Tuesday, September 30, 2008

On days like today

I don't much like myself on days like today, days when the amount of laundry generated by one child's late night upset-tummy episode by far exceeds the number of hours available in which to wash said laundry;

days when the volume of raised voices by far surpass the quantity of loving words distributed to my children;

days when lunchtime can't seem to come soon enough but then, somehow, is here much too soon;

days when there is absolutely no way that I would ever allow our lovely speech therapist into this house of utter disarray and chaos and still hope to maintain any shred of dignity (let alone my in-laws, who may or may not be passing through today);

days when all formal lessons are set aside following a near frantic, guilt induced phone call to loving husband;

days when a single, monosyllabic utterance seems to succinctly sum up my entire state of being: meh.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Thursday evening nature walk

"Out-of-door life takes the child afield and keeps him in the open air, which not only helps him physically and occupies his mind with sane subjects, but keeps him out of mischief. It is not only during childhood that this is true, for love of nature counts much for sanity in later life. This is an age of nerve tension, and the relaxation which comes from the comforting companionship found in woods and fields is, without doubt, the best remedy for this condition."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Here's another reason to love my brother:

His fantasy football team is called the Alaska Palinators.

(With, I must also mention, a current record of 3-0!)

It's really the little things that make me happy. :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Super Wilson Party!

For many weeks, I was obsessed with planning the perfect theme for Dylan's seventh birthday party. In years past, we had celebrated with farm animals, Pooh bear, Superman, Spiderman, and, for his second birthday, just a big boring two. (That was the year, in my defense, that I was due any day to give birth to Cait. And I use the words "any day" very loosely here to excuse my laziness, because she wasn't actually born for another three and a half weeks, exactly on her due date.) But this year, I wanted something uniquely Dylan, and I can't believe I didn't think of it sooner: Super Wilson! Although I was (and still am) quite saddened by the prospect of my baby boy turning seven years old (sob!), I grew increasingly excited about surprising him with an entire party based on his own original creation! Walgreens.com was my shopping headquarters this year and boy, was I giddy. Not only had I finally joined the ranks of on-line shoppers, I was thrilled with the wide selection of creative photo gifts they have to offer! It was so hard to decide, but I am so pleased with the choices Darren and I eventually made: two sheets of stickers, a puzzle (with it's own matching tin), and a personalized notebook. (As a side note, Dylan first became interested in acquiring his own diary several months ago, due to the number of historical accounts we've been reading, and I thought it was such a great idea for him to keep one.) The images I used were among my favorites that Dylan has drawn; I simply scanned them in to the computer, resized them according to product specifications, uploaded them to a Walgreens album, and made my selections! It was so fun and easy, I may never shop anywhere else again. :) And I should mention, too, that I had procrastinated so long in ordering that I was worried his gifts wouldn't arrive on time, but thankfully, they all arrived with days to spare!

On Saturday, Darren stayed up with me until one o'clock in the morning to decorate the dining room and cake. Dylan knew nothing of our plans, and I really wanted it to remain a surprise! We were so exhausted by the time we finally made it to bed, but an entire night of sleeplessness would have been worth it just to see Dylan's face when he woke up on his birthday.

We invited my brother over in the afternoon, to join us for games, cakes, and presents. We had some hilarious blindfolded Super Wilson and Zorg face drawing contests (using red and green balloons), and Dylan made the cutest Zorg out of green balloons!

Overall, I think this was just about one of the best birthday parties ever! I love that it was just so very "Dylan". Nothing could have been more perfectly suited to our birthday boy!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


is Super!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

You know what's funny?

Nursing your baby in the cramped confines of a too-small fitting room while simultaneously trying on a number of jeans, rushing because you know that any minute now, your husband and older children will be back to retrieve you from the store next door.

(Also funny, but I'm not laughing: that I've lost twenty pounds, yet those above mentioned jeans—in a size smaller than my usual—still don't fit! Argh! I really very strongly dislike clothes shopping.)

Dessert, alfresco

I'm pretty sure it's impossible to feel anything but pure joy when your children are running around the backyard with sticky red juice running down their chins and arms and your husband is laughing, spitting slippery black seeds at you, and the baby is babbling happily from her swing on the patio and you're hurrying to finish that one last, big slice, because night is descending quickly now and there's actually a briskness to the air that wasn't there before. This, my friends, is life at its absolute best.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Six Months.

We'll just pretend we're not halfway to a year, though, okay? Because that would just make me cry.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Darren has taken this entire week off from work, in the hopes that we may actually accomplish a majority of the herculean tasks topping our mighty to-do list. And yet, given all that we have to do, he still gladly makes time to participate in the children's school day, joining us for circle time, praising their efforts, and supervising their studies for me while I indulge in such luxuries as unhurried showers! How my heart rejoiced at the sight that met my eyes as I emerged from the bedroom this morning:

Lessons were smoothly moving along in full swing, and he had even brought in a thematic jar of leaves and caterpillars from our garden as a center piece for our learning table! And yesterday, if it bothered him at all that I was inside cutting out hearts and swords for Our Lady of Sorrows, instead of helping him clean out the storage shed, he uttered not a word.

Nor did he complain when, while he was busy excavating the garage, I, too, was busy...snapping photographs of the gardens during the children's "recess".

How blessed I am to be married to such an incredible man.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Last week, "B" was for...

Bees, of course!

( And sneaky bears, disguised as bees.)

And our Blessed Mother's Birthday.

And burning candles (so we must be nearing Fall!).

And, as ever, my big, beautiful baby.

Not yet two weeks into my resolution to share more of our school days, and I'm already behind. Sigh. This week we're on the letter "C"...for caterpillars! I hope to post more promptly, but on this blog, there are just no guarantees. :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

An Uncommon Exchange

Meghan sits bare bottomed on the potty beside me in the bathroom as I straighten my hair for work. After a while, I encourage her gently, "Meghan, honey, are you sure you have to go potty?"

"Yep!" she replies enthusiastically, with an affirmative head shake.

"Well, go ahead and do your potty then!"

"Okay," she says, feet swinging. She is in no hurry.

"How did you get so cute, anyway?" I ask with a sidelong glance. (She really doesn't like me being in the room with her right now.) "Who taught you to say 'Yep' like that?"

"No-bod-y," she enunciates carefully, smiling, clearly pleased with herself.

She slides down, tries to climb onto the vanity cabinet, gets stuck halfway up, cries pitifully, "Help!".

I kiss her and help her down.

She goes about her way. She has no idea how her mother's heart is soaring.

These spoken words are all new to her, new to me, and I will never tire of hearing them!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I love my husband.

Like love notes scattered about the house, my Darren has left me little stacks of clean, folded laundry to be put away—children's shorts and jammies on the living room couch, panties here, underwear there—because long after the rest of us had gone to bed last night, he was up late washing clothes and didn't want to wake anyone by relocating them to their proper places once they were finished. Isn't he the best? :)

For The Godfather

Definitely not so little anymore! :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008



As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

Ha! That's a good one. I'm not sure I've ever been called "Superior" before, so I'm willing to accept this pronouncement, but not really, because I'm pretty sure I lied to myself on some of these questions. "Has a pleasant disposition in the morning--not crabby." (Well, provided I've had at least two cups of coffee and an uninterrupted hour to myself, then that is, theoretically, true.) (But it is absolutely true that I do not "smoke in bed or have cigarette stained fingers".) :)

H/T: Lillian

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

This music is addicting.

Very catchy. Noggin. Who knew?

I sang a modified version of this song for our morning circle time today (substitute "Dylan", "Caitlyn", and "Meghan" for all other names) and it was pretty much the most successful idea I've ever come up with. (And I can't believe I just ended that sentence with a preposition, but that's not the whole point of this post.) The point is the music! Really! You must give a listen. Have you all known about Noggin all along? Where have I been? We had to interrupt our jammin' dance party this afternoon for Meghan's speech therapy session, but as soon as Kristen wakes up I'm sure we'll be right back to YouTube.

*Update: Ohmygosh, and I just found this! I'm pretty sure I love Laurie Berkner. :)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mary!

Dylan is so cute. He remembered this morning that today we celebrate the birthday of our Blessed Mother and so insisted that all lessons revolve around Mary. So far, we've read stories, colored pictures, and done some fun activity pages. A white birthday cake is cooling on the kitchen counter and I can only hope that it will last until after dinner tonight. And, since I've already confessed my compulsion to coordinate clothing, I'm including this photograph we took this morning. (See? Blue and white, like Mary!) The lighting was horrible, but ultimately, I sort of liked the ethereal quality of this shot. Darren will totally be shaking his head when he sees this at work. :)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

This fine September day.

Chiles roasting on the grill;

the Dallas Cowboys playing on TV;

fresh raspberries plucked and eaten straight from the garden;

life is good.

Bovine Beauty

I'm sure this must seem like an udderly random post, but these photos were among the 315 previously mentioned and I just love them. They were taken during our day trip to the Kingston campgrounds last weekend and perfectly capture, I think, the beauty of the day and the surrounding area. More photos, I hope, will follow soon. Enjoy!