Sunday, September 30, 2012

Stewardship Sunday

After 3 weeks, it feels like we're finally able to catch some air. Whew. Grandparents headed jome on Wednesday after celebrating HeyMama's birthday I was able to get back to the gym. A little. We were able to do some errands and have play dates. And go to a birthday party where we painted plaster things.

And Fall arrived. The mornings are dark, sunset is earlier, and the air is crisp. We switched out summer wardrobes for cool weather clothing. Away went the shorts and sundresses. Out came the sweaters and tights. And coats. Sigh. I was ambitious enough to get up early to run the dogs before church. But it was pitch black and I wussed out. Sigh. Summer is over.

Ok, so I'm too lazy to get anything else done tonight, so I should report in and get myself to bed.

Time: we spent a lot of time inside thanks to some gloomy weather. We played a lot of catchup around the house. We played with new birthday toys. I spent too much time on Facebook. I think I'm going to take a Facebook fast. If I can give up coffee, I can give up Facebook.
M&Ms: in a moment of temporary insanity, I bought a bag of peanut butter M&Ms. And they're all gone now. I shared a few, but not that many. Sigh. To the gym I must go...
Money: The girls and made a visit to Ikea. We splurged on a $9 lunch, and blew $12 on more, you guessed it, storage containers. That was the cheapest trip to Ikea I've ever taken. Of course, we need to shop for winter shoes for HeyMama this week. That won't be cheap.
Food waste: I did quite a bit of cooking today, and used remnants from the week: bread crumbs made from bread crusts, a casserole made from our green tomatoes. But I still threw out produce: A tomato that ripened, but didn't get eaten, half a head of cabbage. I used the other half in a recipe, but couldn't find a use for the leftover half. You know, we're just not cabbage people. Perhaps I should just stop buying it...

Ok, so a new week awaits. I hope it brings you joy!

Friday, September 28, 2012

If I Had a Million Dollars

Sing with me:

If I had a million dollars (If I had a million dollars)
I'd buy you a house (I would buy you a house)
If I had a million dollars (If I had a million dollars)
I'd buy furniture for your house (Like a nice chesterfield or an ottoman)

Recently, I'm coming to realize how much I agree with the Bare Naked Ladies when it comes to spending a windfall. 

If I had a million dollars, well, I'd first give some to Ruth House and Lutheran Malaria Initiative. And then I'd buy a house. Yes, we already have a house. Well, a condo. But I'd buy another house.

This sounds a bit excessive, perhaps. Who needs two houses?

Well, the biggest regret in my life is that I'm raising 2 delightful girls hundreds of miles away from my parents. And BestestHusband's parents. And the rest of our extended family. Thousands of miles, even. And we don't see them often enough. If they lived closer, life would be better. Now, I know my parents would never truly be happy in Boston. Or even in the 'burbs. But I could see them being happy in New Hampshire. Especially rural New Hampshire. 

So if we bought a house in New Hampshire, we might be able to persuade my parents to come live in it for part of the year. The non-snowy parts, of course. We'd buy a house with lots of rooms. Or maybe even an in-law apartment out back. They could live in the main house. We'd live in the in-law apartment on the weekends. Or maybe stay in the main house and have friends stay in the in-law apartment. My parents could decorate the place in a way that would make it comfortable for them. They would have privacy most of the time, and controllable doses of chaos when we came to visit. If they needed to come to Boston, it would be an easy drive. If we wanted to visit or drop off the girls for a weekend, it would be an easy drive. And we could see them a few times a week or month instead of a few times a year.

And in the winter, my parents could flee the snow and head back to Texas. We could use the house on weekends as a base camp for hiking and skiing adventures. Or just leaving Boston. We'd share it with friends, of course. It would be a great place to spend holidays and vacation time. Or just a weekend for a quick get-away. 

This arrangement could solve many problems:
We need a way to see family more often
They worry about being a burden
We worry about the large doses of chaos that our household inflicts on them
A vacation home needs a caretaker
We don't have a big enough place to host the entire family at once

My dad loves improvement projects, as does BestestHusband's dad. We could get a place big enough that the whole extended family had a bed. We could start hosting our niece and nephews from the far reaches of the country. We could have enough beds to host small church retreats or youth group events. I promise we'd share in the bounty! Think of the possibilities! Fireworks are legal for 4th of July! We could have a white Christmas every year! The girls could grow up with plenty of opportunities to roam in the woods!

If only I had a million dollars. 

Anyone want to join me in praying for a windfall?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

How Much Would You Pay?

Slow down your reading for a moment and try to answer my questions with specific dollar amounts:

How much would you pay to save your family's lives?

Really, try to name an amount. Everything you have?

How much would you pay to save your best friend's family's lives?

Half of what you have?

How much would you pay to save a stranger's family's lives?

Maybe a few hundred dollars?

What if you could do it for $10?
Would you do it?

If you knew that each $10 could protect a family from disease, a deadly disease, how many families would you agree to save?

What if you heard that the disease affected mostly mothers and children?

What if is was preventable with bed nets and education?

Because I'm describing malaria.

It kills 1 million people, mostly mothers and children, every year. It can be prevented with bed nets and education. And you can provide these resources to a family for $10. How much is $10? A week's worth of Starbucks coffee? Half a manicure? Maybe a whole manicure if you don't live in Boston...

For the price of one insurance co-pay (for really great medical care) to see the pediatrician, I could save the children of TWO ENTIRE FAMILIES from malaria. I could provide them with life-saving medical care for the price of a wellness visit for my child. We have SO MUCH HEALTHCARE at our disposal. They have so little.

But $10 can change that for a family.

Look in your wallet right now. How many families can you help right this instant? Ok, if you're like me, you might not carry cash very often. But you certainly have $10 in your account. Possibly more than that.

How much would you give to your favorite neighbor to save his family? So why not give it to your distant neighbors in Africa to save their families?

Please consider supporting the work being done by the Lutheran Malaria Initiative. The lives of families in Africa really do depend on it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Sometimes parenthood makes you insane. It makes you ignore the drudgery of daily life and focus intensely on the moments of joy. It makes you put off all the boring necessities (laundry, cleaning, cooking meals) and invest every moment of your free time in frivolities. Like piñatas. And cakes.

Or maybe that's just me...

HeyMama wanted a Fancy Nancy Tea Party for her birthday. So instead of tracking down party supplies with Fancy Nancy's likeness on them, we planned a party to the description of Fancy Nancy's tea parties in HeyMamas favorite book. We used some of the recipes in the book that had been requested repeatedly for the last year. We pulled out the fancy serving ware. We provided hats, gloves, and bow ties to our guests. We dressed up in our fanciest best. BestestHusband even donned his tux. There were tutus. And tiaras. And a giant pink hat worthy of the Kentucky Derby. It was fancy. 

There were 3 lbs of butter in this lemon-flavored confection. Yes, that's pounds, not sticks.

We ate cucumber sandwiches. We had hibiscus lemonade and hibiscus tea. We made towers out of sugar cubes. We did sugar cube relays. We played "Pass the Hot Tea Pot" with a singing teapot toy. Then we did the piñata. And by "did", I mean we annihilated it. Actually, the kids beat it up. BestestHusband annihilated it with one spectacular blow. After the scheduled events, the kids ran around eating lollipops, blowing bubbles, and giggling. I think it was a success. HeyMama had the hugest grin on her face, which was the goal. 

I'm a little C-pot.

We're using the leftover cake trimmings and the frosting to make cake pops this afternoon. I had to send  the uneaten half of the cake to church on Sunday. There were still 1.5 lbs of butter calling my name. It just had to go away. 

So now we can start looking forward to MeToo's birthday in November. She's informed me that she wants a Princess Cake. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Reflections on 4 Years

Four years ago today, a tiny little person was laid in my arms. I was a bit winded from the exertion of bringing her into the world, but not too much to grasp the enormity of what was happening. I was holding a person in my arms for the first time she'd ever been held by anyone. I'd known her for the past 9 months, but would be introducing her to everyone else for the first time. She would have some of my traits. But she'd be different from me. She'd grow up in our family, take on the values of our family, but change our family. She changed our future. She was our future. She was amazing. And holy crap, we had to learn how to take care of her!

Watching her grow up has been a wonder. My precious HeyMama is serious. Silly. Practical. Conscientious. Imaginative. Smart. Observant. Kind. Affectionate. Articulate. Very articulate. Good lord, that child could talk the ears off a field of corn...

The nanny that took care of her as an infant once commented that she could just sit and watch HeyMama entertain herself for hours. She'd get so focused on playing with her toys, she didn't really need entertaining. Now that she can talk, you know everything going on in her brain. But you always knew there was a lot going on in there. You could see it in her focused little face.

Some moms lament the passing of years, "My baby is growing up too fast!" But not me. I'm thrilled to see her grow. Every new skill, every new accomplishment is a joy to behold. I want to see more. I want more glimpses of who she's becoming. It's all wonderful.

My friend Lori once told me that motherhood causes you to reinvent yourself over and over. She was right. I was told that children can teach you more than you teach them. I would agree with that. I was told that being a parent is humbling, exhausting, and exhilarating. I would agree with that, too. and everyone told us that after we had a baby, our lives would never be the same. Boy, they weren't kidding!

As we celebrate HeyMama's birthday, we also celebrate the rebirth of ourselves as parents. That's an event to be celebrated too. After bedtime. Preferably with a bottle of champagne and some grownup time...

Happy Birthday HeyMama!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Dog Statue

We took a trip on Monday to the Boston Common and took some long-awaited rides on the carousel. The girls had a blast, and I was thrilled that we made the trip without the stroller. Yes, there was some shoulder-riding, but I wasn't pushing a stroller.

On the walk back to our car, we stopped by The Dog Statue. The Commonwealth Avenue Mall has quite a few memorials and monuments down its shady length. But The Dog Statue is not one of them. It's on Comm Ave, but it's at a private residence.

The Dog Statue pokes its snout out between two cement posts of a low fence. It has a ball nearby. The first time I saw it, I thought it was real. Because it looks like a black lab that has run out to the sidewalk and got stopped by his fence. But he's metal, doesn't bark, and doesn't make messes. A perfect city dog.

He's cute. And he makes me sad. I always wonder if he's modeled after a real dog that no longer greets passerbys on Comm Ave. It's the kind of statue that I would commission for a deceased pet. Yet he looks so friendly. The girls and I stop to pet him. He brings joy. Much like real dogs do. So I try not to get weepy around the girls. But he makes me think of the inevitable passing of our dogs. And the statues I'd love to commission for them... Ok, must stop that train of thought right there... (sniff sniff)

So I try to focus on the fact that I live in a city full of fun surprises like him. And give thanks for that. Because every city needs their version of The Dog Statue.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mommy Confessions

Since becoming a mom nearly 4 years ago, I've found myself in the role of confessor to a lot of other moms. My favorite was the fellow dog-walker that I knew by appearance only that caught up to me as I made the daily Arb loop and confessed that her infant son had rolled out of her bed to the floor that morning. He was fine, of course. But she was traumatized. And she just HAD to tell me about it. This was just the beginning of my new job.

The confessions have continued since then:

  • I cried hysterically for days when I found up I was pregnant with our second child.
  • I don't really like my children after about 3 pm.
  • She drives me crazy.
  • We spank.
  • Oh, my first son, he was HORRID!
  • I think we spank too much.
  • I don't feel like a good mom. I'm not sure we should bring other children into our family.
  • I constantly question everything I do.
  • I haven't taken pictures of the kids in months.
  • Sometimes I just have to send them to their rooms for an hour to keep from going crazy.
  • I worry about ruining my children.

Unlike my recent public confession, these admissions are done privately. In parks. In backyards. Over glasses of wine. And they're fueled by guilt. And insecurity. And they're made by good moms. Really great moms with really great kids. Moms who shouldn't have to carry such guilt and insecurity. Moms who shouldn't need to worry so much. But we do. We all worry about our mothering more than we should.


I know I'm not the only confessor out there. I make these confessions, too. I'm not surprised that these confessions are done quietly. And only around other moms. Because how could you explain it to people who aren't moms? Or people that don't remember the struggles of being a parent? Find a popular blog or an online article on the topic, and the public comments are horrifying:

  • You don't deserve to have children if you don't adore them 24/7.
  • Spanking will condemn your child to a life of crime. I'm calling child protective services on you right now.
  • If you question your decisions, you must be doing it wrong.
  • Co-sleeping will doom your child to a life of perpetual dependence. If you don't smother them in your sleep...

It's no wonder we say these things only in safe company. Being a mom opens yourself up to public criticism. As if our job wasn't challenging and wearying enough without it...

What do we do about it?

Perhaps we should reassemble the Sorority of Moms and agree to fight back against public criticism like this. Even if we secretly agree with the criticizer, we should remind them that criticism is not their right. We're never all going to agree on the best way to parent children. Can we agree on that much? And in parenting, we reap what we sow. Cosleep? Someone else is wetting your bed. Use formula? You pay a fortune for something that most moms can provide for free. Employ lenient discipline techniques? You're the one who has to live with the child's behaviors until they outgrow them. We all choose the consequences of our decisions. And we have to live with them, for better or for worse. The criticizer doesn't have to suffer at all. So why do they care so much?

I wish I knew the answer to that question. 

Do you?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Stewardship Sunday

Whew. I think I have a lot to report today, but I'm a bit overwhelmed by it all. Yet I'm procrastinating from doing a large batch of dishes and folding a week's worth of laundry, so blogging seems much easier right now.

I kept asking myself, "Why do I still suck at this?" My house was out of control. The laundry pile is threatening to eat me alive. The sticky floors are threatening to hold my feet hostage. How can I not manage to control my own household?!?! And then I remembered all of the things we were adding to our week. Kind of big things. 

This week was largely spent building up to yesterday. We had a fun Ruth House event that we helped with, and I spent some of the week soliciting and organizing donations of home-baked baked goods and gift baskets to be raffled off. We Lutherans are big on baking. We've got some serious cooks and bakers in our congregation. So we had a serious assortment of baked goods spread out on our bake sale table. Unfortunately, they were eclipsed by the free cotton candy and free cake. So as of early this morning, we still had a serious assortment of baked goods. Until we went to church. Lutherans are also big on eating baked goods at Coffee Hour at church. So the baked goods were disappearing rapidly when I left before the second service.

Mandy and her mom, smiling volunteers from our church. And a caramel apple. Yum!

Homemade goodies. Yum!

Gift baskets for raffle. Including gift wrap.

Homegrown tomatoes, tomatillos, and jalapeños. They were smoked, roasted, and make into delicious sauces by BestestHusband.

I just spent 45 minutes explaining how these lovely pictures described our fun day at Ruth House, the work that went into it, and the intensive cooking that went into a lovely meal that we had with friends tonight. Then I lost all of the typing. And I'm too tired and discouraged to start all over again. I'm tired. And I still have all of the dishes and laundry to do. And it's almost 11pm. And did I mention that I'm discouraged? And tired? Sigh. So let's just report in on the week and get other stuff done. Sigh. My earlier drafts were interesting, and occasionally witty. Sigh...

Food waste:  We're working hard to manage the garden bounty. BestestHusband's been putting in some serious hours smoking and fire roasting ingredients for sauces, then searing and reducing them on the stove. The house smells heavenly. And I have other ingredients that require immediate use to prevent food waste. Like 8 egg yolks. Custard anyone? BestestHusband made a fruit compote of late-season rhubarb today, so I'll have to find a good use for that. We did throw out some strawberries. I made the mistake of buying them on sale and not eating them immediately that day. 

Money:  I was shopping for HeyMama's upcoming birthday party. I went online to my favorite party store, and declined the $17 piñata that would match the party theme perfectly. I might find this to be one of my most pennywise/poundfoolish ideas yet. While piñatas are not difficult to make, they do require time. I'm not sure I have much of that this week. But I did promise HeyMama a piñata for her birthday. So this should be interesting.

Patience: The Patience Angel apparently just doesn't like coffee. I'm still coffee-free, and the Patience Angel still hovers on my shoulder. I'm very thankful for her. She does take occasional breaks, but we're still doing pretty well. And for that I give great thanks daily.

Time:  We were busy, but did a lot of fun things this week. I'm happy with our time utilization. There just wasn't enough of it for our ambitious week plans. I'm fine to prioritize by letting the house suffer. Until I have to play catchup...

M&Ms: Not a problem. The ice cream sandwiches in the freezer were a problem. As were the baked goods this weekend. But not M&Ms. 

My mind is boggling at what the next week will bring. But I'm more concerned about the current state of my dishes and laundry. So time to say "good night" and get to it. Have a great week!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

As Seen on TV

I currently work at the primary acute rehab facility in Boston. So if anyone gets discharged from a major Boston hospital and needs rehab, they come to us.

So when I see a news report of a bad accident or other injurious event, I always think, "Good luck buddy. I'll see you in about a month," and most of them do come to our hospital. But because I only work 2 days per week, I don't get to meet many of them.

But today, I did. I recall the extremely injurious event. I recall thinking my usual thought. I was thrilled to see him looking better than I would have imagined. I was not thrilled to tell him that, in addition to his serious bodily injuries, he also had some serious cognitive injuries.

So I'm going to change my reaction from now on. I think, "Hope you don't need to see me in a month" might be better for my patients. And some prayers. Definitely some prayers.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Curlers and a Countdown

I'm sitting here at the computer wearing giant curlers in my hair. 

1. I got an amazing new haircut last week, but no one can tell because I let my hair dry into an untamed frizzy mess. I'm hoping the curlers will help my hair dry into its lovely layered self instead. Without the 30 minutes of tedious blow-drying the stylist did.

2. I'll be sitting here at the computer for the next hour to earn 1 unit of my 22 required CEU units that remain. I have to earn 22 CEU units before the end of the year. Ok, so I've had 3 years to earn 30. But I've been busy. You know, raising 2 children under the age of 4. So I'm diving in tonight. Wish me luck. Only 22 to go. Let the countdown begin.

3. Curlers are sexy. Ok, maybe not so much. Darn. 

Let's go learn something!

UPDATE:  I was wrong. It's not 1 hour, but 2 hours!!! Wah-hoo! I didn't realize this until I'm an hour-and-a-half into it, so I'm relieved to hear that I'm not spending more time than I get credit for...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our Stratified Society

I'm starting to suspect that there is a great divide in our country. It's not along the lines of race. Or income. Or even education.

Because we can always find common ground among those of different races, religions, income levels and educational attainment. I have no problems talking to my patients who were raised in other countries, who only have a 4th grade education and cleaned houses for a living. We can find plenty to discuss. Our children. Our families. Cooking. Places we've visited. Hobbies. We can laugh. We can talk of regrets. Share funny stories.

But there are people I meet that might as well come from another planet. Some of them are white. Some of them are educated. Some of them were raised in middle class Christian families, like mine.

Its hard to describe what they have in common... But they all seem to be rule-breakers. Not in a good way. They father children but don't support them. They scoff at medical advice. They blatantly ignore expert advice, like "Don't stand up on that leg. It's held together by pins. It won't heal if you stand on it now." They drink themselves into stupors and fall down stairs. They try to evade police on their motorcycle at 90 mph and get thrown a few hundred feet when they hit a car. They refuse to manage their diabetes and show up to the hospital mostly-blind, in need of bilateral foot amputations. They refuse to participate in physical therapy. The therapy that would allow them to walk again. They mock us for trying to help them. How dare I want to help them get out of their bed and living on their own again?!

I do not understand these people. They fill me with great sadness. Ignorance is one thing. But willful ignorance and overt resistance is another. Their rehab potential is limited. Only because they don't truly try. And I struggle to find compassion instead of taking offense. I'm willing to go to the mat for all of my patients. But if they won't go to the mat for themselves, what can I do?

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

I'm heading to work this morning on 4 hours of sleep. With no coffee.

This is a first. This is where the rubber meets the road. I didn't take my first sip of green tea until I was at the bus stop. I would not even have attempted this with coffee. But I made it to the bus on time, and I think I even have everything I need with me.

We'll see if I cave later in the day. There's a Dunkin Donuts in the lobby of the hospital. If they give me 3 evaluations to do and I spend the afternoon at a desk trying to write all of the reports in one extended session, I might be in trouble.

Part of the problem is that I had the last of the chocolate-covered espresso beans yesterday afternoon. I was craving chocolate, and I wanted to see what the effects would be. Would I be cranky again? Well, I wasn't. But it sure did kick off a sugar-craving roller coaster that lasted through the evening. It also kicked off an extremely productive weekend. I had a lot of catching up to do. And I did it. Until 1am. So now I suffer. But with less stress. We'll see if I feel it's worth it around 3pm... Wish me luck...

Monday, September 10, 2012

Making Up For Lost Time

Whew. It's been almost a week since I last posted. It was a whirlwind week.

My parents were visiting from West Texas for a week, and left this morning. We had a lot of lost time to make up. We only see each other a few times a year. And with the girls as young as they are, 6 months between visits is a lot of time passed. That results in a different child at each visit. So there's a lot to do. There's a lot of "Pawpaw Monster" game to squeeze into every day.

The girls call my parents Pawpaw and Nana. The Pawpaw Monster game involves a lot of roaring, squealing, running, roughhousing, and bouncing on the bed. It's exhausting for everyone but the girls. They just can't get enough. I'm surprised my Dad still has a voice after all of the roaring he did this week... The girls were pretty nonchalant this morning when my parents went to the bus stop to head to the airport. They were perfectly content to resume our regular Monday schedule. But this evening after dinner, when they couldn't play Pawpaw Monster, and Nana wasn't available to read stories, the tears started to flow. You can't blame them. We need more Nana and Pawpaw in our lives.

But we made the most of our week. We went camping. We took my parents to Nickerson State Park on the Cape to introduce them to camping without 100+ degree heat, snakes, scorpions, or clouds of bugs. The weather was mild, sunny, and relatively bug-free. Well, after the first day of non-stop deluge, that is... When we first got there, God had turned on the spigot, and the rain was tropical in nature - falling hard and steadily. For hours. We looked at the radar on our iPhones, determined that the rain wasn't stopping soon, and went to go grocery shopping and find some dinner, where I had the best fried scallops of my life. We did get a good chance to see where the rivers flowed through the campsite when it rained. That's always a good thing. The rain did stop long enough to let us set up camp before nightfall. Which was also good. We were pitching our new ginormo-tent for the first time. It sleeps 6, and has an attached garage. Yes, a garage. The dogs' kennels fit well in there, as was a good weather-proof place to store just about everything else. Thankfully, the first day was the only rain we saw. The girls were in heaven. The park had a playground, and we had our own private swimming beach right off our site. Which was also very good. Our attempts at sightseeing around the Cape were thwarted by lack of parking. Even after Labor Day. It reminded us why we don't make it to the Cape often...

This tent is ginormous.

Our campsite was right on a pond, with our own private beach!

After our Cape camping adventure, we took the family apple-picking. And peach-picking. It was a gloriously beautiful day. We got a bushel of apples, both Honeycrisp and Cortlands. Then we picked peaches, because we just couldn't help ourselves. The girls had a blast. My parents got to check something off their wish list. We made applesauce. Four batches, so far... Yum...



The next day, we went to church. And BestestHusband and my Dad smoked a brisket. We had Ally, Brian's second-cousin and our closest family member, over for dinner. We made fresh peach daiquiris, and ate out on the patio. Yum. 

It was a great week. We had a lot to do this week, and did most of it. But now we have more lost time to make up for. Time to do laundry. Time to finish cleaning the camping gear. Time to get ready for a Ruth House event. Time to plan HeyMama's birthday party. Time to continue our other basics of daily life. Back to the grind. 

It was good while it lasted. But now it's 1am. I spent the evening cleaning my kitchen and floors, catching up on laundry and email, and trying to feel like I'm in control of my life again. Reality has come crashing in. I return to work at 8am tomorrow, with a string of evaluations to complete and write up. So I should sleep now...

I hope you had a good week. I hope this next one is even better!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Still Here!

Sorry, I missed my weekly Sunday Stewardship check-in. And a ton of other opportunities to post. I've been preparing for the long-awaited arrival of Nana and PawPaw.

My parents are in town. The girls are over-the-moon happy. The have their own personal playmates who don't do all that boring grownup stuff like cooking, cleaning, and running errands. But those playmates are still big enough to throw them up in the air and take them to the playground. The girls are in heaven.

I'm pretty happy, too. Because living 2000+ miles away from your parents really sucks sometimes. Like when you have kids. Kids who love their grandparents. And grandparents who love their kids. And parents who are great to just sit around talking to. So we try to cram all of that lost time into a week-long visit. It's a pretty intense week. But a blast.

So we have a busy week. Our agenda includes a trip to the Cape. And camping. And hiking. And apple-picking. And Dad's helping me make rhythm sticks for preschool music time. And of course the obligatory games of PawPaw Monster. And Nana Monster.

So tonight I pray that no one else gets the stomach bug they my Mum came down with today. Because we have a lot of weeks to cram in to this one. And no time for sickness...

Saturday, September 1, 2012


I'm thankful for neighbors. We have a few neighbors that we like and want to spend more time with. We spent time with some of them tonight. Actually, we crashed their let's-try-to-be-productive-before-the-sun-goes-away evening with some cupcakes and mint juleps. BestestHusband got up on a ladder and helped the productivity. I just handed out cupcakes and mint juleps and tried to keep the kids out of the way of the power tools and the ladders. We totally disrupted their bedtime routine. And ours. But the kids were having a blast. And the mint juleps were good. And it's such a joy to find other adults that you just want to spend more time with. That live a short walk away. We have wonderful family. None of them are in walking distance. We have wonderful friends. None of them are really in walking distance. But we do have a few wonderful neighbors. Neighbors that we can drop in on and destroy their evening. Neighbors that feel comfortable asking us to climb up on ladders and screw giant boards onto the side of their garage. And I'm thankful for that.