Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Day at the Park

We've decided to take a hike every week as a family.  Not only is it fun and outside and away from our regular stuff, but it is a great way to explore our area.  This week, we went to the swollen falls and the surrounding park.

This is a place my husband and I have visited many, many times, but for some of our children, it was a first.

A rather rusty suspension bridge hangs over the rushing waters and it is a little unnerving.  When anyone jumps or jogs or walks to fast, the whole thing wiggles under your feet.  Eliza, especially, was freaked out.

We wanted to gaze into the mesmerizing swirls and billows beneath us, but she just wanted us to get across and live.  At least we paused to take pictures.

The long-awaited baby backpack arrived so we gave it a test run.  It is far and away a better pack than our old hand-me-down version.

The park boasts this old metal goat that "eats" your garbage.  It's hooked up to a giant vacuum, but I didn't get that as a kid.  I just thought it was funny that a goat would eat garbage.  Now that we have goats, I know that it isn't a joke; I've had goats eat the mail right out of my hand.

We ended up at a little playground.  It was a huge disappointment to my growing children since the toys were small and rather unvaried.  Spoiled rotten, I tell ya.

You can do it!!

First Monkey Bar crossing of the year.

And first squeals of delight on the swing.  One or two pushes and the girls were off the toys and gathered around the laughing baby.

I'm loving this new tradition--even if this one wasn't a "real" hike.

Dad and Eliza explore the clock tower.

Monday, March 31, 2014


I have this girl.  
This girl who is always the first to finish her chores and assignments.
This girl who does her things right away and doesn't make me nag all the livelong day to get them done.
This girl who does it all with a good attitude.
This girl who does stuff right the first time.

This girl, at ten, 
has neutralized her difficult first four years.
What a treasure, this girl!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Trip planning is work for me.  I like to think about where I'll be heading and what we'll do when we're there,
 but timetables and venue hours and ticket prices and public transit planning is plain old work.  
Necessary, I understand, but not fun.

my 18 year old nephew, Kevin, and my nearly 1 year old baby boy 
are meeting Isaac in New York City 
in nine days.
Three boys.
One grown-up.
Technically two, but, really, one grown-up.
I'm trying to plan, I'm trying to become familiar with the subway and the basic layout of Manhattan, I'm watching videos of how to be a smart visitor to the city and reading articles about what to do and what not to do in the Big Apple (not to call it the Big Apple, for instance).  I'm getting excited, but I also think I'm making too much out of things.  
Although I've never been to NYC, I have been places.
And I know how to read a map.
I can DO this.

Then, this morning, at some unreasonable hour (which is usually when my brain kicks into gear), I realized I'd have to plan and prepare for my husband and four children who will remain at home.  
Most specifically, food planning.

When I told this to my 15 year old son.  His reply was, simply, 
"That's why there are so many different kinds of fast food restaurants; 
McDonald's Monday, Taco Bell Tuesday, Wendy's Wednesday, etc."


Thursday, March 20, 2014


I adore this darling girl who is comfortable in her own skin;
not common for 13. (At least not me when I was 13!)

As requested:
A bass for the birthday girl.

I thought I was being all clever when I wrote on the package "From, Brian M,"  which was supposed to be Brian May from her favorite band, Queen.  

Brian May plays the guitar.  Geez, Mom.
I'm such a dork about names and bands and stuff.
But not her.  She beats me every time at Name That Tune.  
She's a human jukebox.

She loves anything BBC, with Sherlock topping the list.
Not that she really loves him, but Benedict Cumberbatch is her favorite.
The other day she posted this with the caption,
"I need this more than I can say."
Benedict Cumberbatch Photo-bomb Bookmark

I love that her "poster boy" is the same age as her mom and is kinda goofy.

She is also the sweetest thing around.
Love you, sugar.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bullet Points

  • I think it's safe to say, those eyes are green.  
  • We're having a bit of role reversal this week as I am have been selected for Jury Duty.  Dad is taking over my duties and I'm earning the big bucks--well, $40 per day is a raise for me!  :)
  • Jury Duty has been interesting.  It is a civil case, which is a huge relief.  I wanted to serve, but was very afraid it would be a gory/disturbing criminal trial.  
  • After a second appraisal (and over $1000 in appraisal fees!!) came in drastically low, we are not building a new house anytime soon.  It is sad, but I'm dealing with it.
  • My nephew, the baby and I are meeting Isaac in New York City in two weeks.  I'm excited for the trip, but get cold chills any time I think about watching Isaac in a competition . . . again.
  • When I was buying material for Isaac's costume, the lady at the cutting counter called me a Dance Mom.  I bristled.  I've never thought of myself as a dance mom.
  • For the first time ever, this spring begins my designation as a soccer mom--and when I say "soccer mom," I am not using the term the way Rush uses the term.  I mean that three of my children are playing soccer with the local rec league.  I'm nervous.
  • I burned some chicken really bad the other night.  (Boring story.)  When my husband began washing the dishes and came upon the burned chicken pan, he threw it away.  "I will buy you a new pan!" he declared.
  • Since we aren't getting new bedrooms just yet, we're going to put in some of the items I was slowing buying when I came upon awesome deals.  I bought this chandelier for 65% off.  My little girls are IN LOVE!
  • One day last week, I decided I'd had enough and tore out the carpet in the living room.
  • I am no longer sorting socks.  I hate the job so much that I am now paying children 5 cents per pair.
Whelp, I have to get up for work tomorrow so I'm going to go crawl in bed.  Goodnight, friends!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Beautiful Day

Last week we were knee deep in snow.  This week?  50+ degree weather and


We had to, had to, had to go outside.

Our wilting winterized bodies soaked up the sun.  I mean, you could feel the happy filling up inside us
like air in a balloon.

 We kept to the lower elevations because with the rapid snow-melt, we had some serious mud higher up.

The hand-me-down backpack we got when Isaac was a baby finally bit the dust after our now five-year-old was through with it.  I've bought a "new" one from ebay, but it didn't come in time.

Baby Boy didn't mind.  We took turns lugging him around.

 Like the rest of us, he was SO HAPPY to be outside!

Trying to catch the rays?

We live in such a beautiful area.  I'm so glad the founders of this town had the foresight to preserve a large area of wilderness right in the middle of things.  The trails were full, even though it was a Wednesday afternoon.  Everyone needed to be outside!

 One solitary boat.
The girls had to share their joy.

Eliza didn't want to smile because we had just had Everything Bagels for our picnic lunch.
Everything Bagels have everything on them.
She has braces.
That's okay.  You're never too old for a smooch from Mama!

I know how March works.  I know that we'll likely have at least one more good snow before Winter breathes his dying breath.  For today, we'll take all we can get!