Friday, December 26, 2014

Too and Two

Here's some of what's happening:

  • Baby T has been using the words "too" and "two" appropriately.  She probably doesn't quite get that they are different words, but she's doing great with them.  She'll say something like, "monkey, too," to mean that the kitty and the panda are not enough--she needs the monkey, too.  I also think that she is starting to get the concept of the number two.
  • My husband snaked out a slow bath drain and a slow shower drain today--first time ever.
  • C has been faithfully practicing ukulele the last few days.  She has a nice little music library now.
  • We are coasting through December with no cafeteria--two more weeks of home cooking left before the cafeterias reopen.

Pingrey Bulletin

Dear Pingreys:

Are you familiar with BBC's Story of Maths?  We got the boxed DVD set for Christmas (which has a much longer running time than the one listed in the Wikipedia article, what with extra goodies) and we're working through the second episode in the evening with the kids.  So far, we've visited Egypt, Babylon, Greece, China and we're about to visit India, presumably to discover zero.

I get a little lost from time to time, but it's very exciting!

Post-Christmas bargain shopping

D, Baby T and I went to our mega HEB the day after Christmas and scored the following:

  • two rosemary bushes ($5 each, formerly $20 each)
  • one box green Christmas tree cookies (.99)
  • baobab jelly ($2)
  • chunky papaya jam ($2, normally $6+)
  • Tabasco pepper jelly ($1.50)
  • three cans pie filling ($1.50 each, regularly around $3)
It was a very good haul.  We haven't had rosemary bushes since two houses ago and the kids (especially D) have been talking about getting into herb gardening again, so this brings us just a little closer to that goal.

Also, I got a couple cans of apple cranberry pie filling, which is one of my favorites and not always available.  

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

Here's some of what's been happening:

  • C had her very first private ukulele lesson yesterday with her guitar teacher.  She's going to have one more ukulele lesson over break, plus her usual guitar lessons.
  • This evening, C has been working through a ukulele chord book that I gave her.
  • Christmas Eve was more civilized than usual, seeing as how the presents were wrapped and the tree was brought in earlier this week.  We also did our grocery shopping last night, rather than today.  So much better!
  • By the way, Aldi's is a great place to do Christmas grocery shopping, because they have unusual items.  
  • Today is kind of a blur, but the big kids (with some help from Baby T) did nearly all of the tree decorating and hauled nearly all of the gifts downstairs to put under the tree.
  • We did oplatki.
  • My husband baked salmon with oregano, dried basil, Chinese ginger and turmeric.  It was very good.  I made mushroom soup from Campbell's and sliced in some fresh mushrooms.  Several members of the family loved it.  We also had garbanzo beans, naan from the store, brussel sprouts and some strawberries from earlier.
  • Then we opened presents.  One side of the family did entirely Star Wars and Star Trek themed gifts (Baby T now has some Star Wars pjs that she loves).  The kids also got to play with a mini-drone and a funny flipping robot toy from grandma and grandpa.  The kids got a lot of small items from us.  D got the set of Rook cards and fake jewels that he had requested (the jewels are for a hoard), as well as some sand castle molds.  C got a couple of "For Dummies" guitar books (Guitar and Guitar Theory).  The guitar theory book looked hard.  T got some new play doh and we regifted an old lion flashlight to her.  (Problem--the roaring when it lights up scared her.)  I got my husband the Ankh-Morpork board game based on the Disc World books.  He got me a big box of carefully-selected Torani coffee syrups.       

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Baby T, age 26 months, says "souffle."  (Panera's makes them and C and D love them, particularly the bacon one.)

Baby T also has been trying to say "gouda."

This is reminiscent of C at the same age, one of whose first several hundred words was "brie."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas list

The kids recently wrote Christmas wish lists for me at my request.

Here is a lightly edited version of C's list (most of which she's not getting, by the way--it's the sort of stuff she can actually afford):

--fire/wind/earth Skylander
--frozen yogurt gift card
--fabric markers
--mask feathers
--Baby T hugs

I just noticed the last item.  Awwwww!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Three word sentences

Baby T is starting to routinely do three word sentences.

Post-Thanksgiving catch up

Here's some of what's happening:

  • C and D and I went to the West Coast for Thanksgiving (they get a whole week off from school) and we had a lovely weekend in Seattle with one grandma (Space Needle, glass museum and science center) and then we went to the Olympic Peninsula to see my family.  We had Thanksgiving with my grandparents, visited the farm, the store, and played lots of cards with family and friends.  We also discovered a creperie near the ferry docks in Port Angeles and had breakfast there one morning.  So amazing!  The Thai restaurant right next to it is good, too--they had lemongrass creme brulee and black rice pudding.
  • Baby T says, "Uh oh, kitty!"  It's apparently totally hilarious, even when I say it.  I have no idea where she gets that one--parents' day out?
  • Baby T and I were heading out for a morning outing and she said "babies see."  I'm not sure if that was "babies see" or "babies see?"  "Let's go see the babies!" is my usual code phrase for her for parents' day out.
  • We had a flood a few weeks ago (the water filter under the kitchen sink burst) and we are gradually putting our home together.  C's bedroom is the main problem now, as it still needs to be reassembled.
  • C took the SAT as a 7th grader yesterday!  She got her choice of restaurant for a dinner out and we have promised her one large item (in the $30-70 range), with the possibility of similar largesse if she scores well on her test.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Santa Claus lies

C was scandalized to hear that her CCD teacher lies to her kids about Santa Claus.

The CCD teacher said, "The kids who don't believe in Santa get under for Christmas."

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Baby T at the grocery store

Baby T and I were at the grocery store about a week ago.  Baby T was walking.  I turned my back for a moment and when I looked back, I discovered that Baby T had grabbed a bag of grapes and was just about to fling it in the grocery cart.  

Baby T understands how things work.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Here's an update:

  • For Halloween, Baby T was Yoda (but didn't want to wear the ears), D was a knight (wearing his red crushed velvet cloak) and C wore her red kimono costume.
  • Baby T continues to do well at parents' day out once a week.
  • So much rain!
  • For about a month, we had an all-black kitty cat hanging outside our house, looking in the windows and rubbing up against the glass door.  Kitty was friendly and very, very persistent.  We eventually cracked and started feeding kitty our old canned tuna and salmon.  By and by, we found ourselves buying actual cat food for kitty.  I had flyered the neighborhood to figure out if kitty had an owner, but the consensus was that kitty was a free agent.  We made an agreement with some critter-loving friends to take in kitty.  That was after a harrowing episode with two loose dogs who came inches from kitty and treed kitty until they got bored and then came back again, at which point I brought kitty into the house and shut him in the garage until we could get our friends over to collect him.  The hand-off went off without a hitch and our friends sent a multitude of awwwww-inspiring photos and videos of kitty enjoying life indoors at their house.  I love a happy ending.   

Monday, October 27, 2014


Here's a public service announcement:

"Unbreakable" toddler dishes are not, in fact, unbreakable.

That is all.

Monday, October 13, 2014


Our Baby T has developed the following quirk at some naptimes and bedtimes:  she painstakingly chooses her outfit for bed and then wants to take a big pile of clothes to bed with her.  She can put on elastic-waist skirts, but probably not other stuff, but I guess she wants to keep her options open.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Already 2!

Here's some of what's happening:

  • We are experiencing a tsunami of birthday parties right now.
  • Baby T turned 2 yesterday and we celebrated with a store cheesecake topped with a white chocolate unicorn that C made specially.
  • Baby rejoiced in the following gifts:  a pile of boardbooks (a couple on the bedtime-is-awesome theme plus a spectacular interactive cat boardbook that I picked out) plus some Hello Kitty stuff.
  • Wow, it's getting early now.  But the days are still hot--up until today, we've been having highs in the high 80s topping out at around 90 degrees.
  • C went to horse riding this morning.  Unfortunately, next week is her last day (we did a half term), but the bright side of it is that we will be able to take full advantage of the FREE (did I mention that they are FREE?) group ukulele and guitar classes offered at Guitar Center on Saturday mornings.  
  • My husband took C and D to the fair this afternoon.
  • C won a 1st prize for a wire horse sculpture at the fair!  

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Almost 2!

Here's some of what's happening:

  • Baby T is almost 2!!!
  • She's been to parents' day out three times and is doing fine.
  • Baby T loves her kitty and her monkey and is almost never without one or both, including at meals.
  • C has been trying to work out "Ode to Joy" on the ukulele.  There are free ukulele and guitar lessons at Guitar Center on Saturdays (but not each instrument every Saturday), so I'm really looking forward to C being able to start doing that.
  • D is almost done with his 6-week robotics after school course.
  • C (with a little help) melted a bar of white chocolate and molded it into a white chocolate unicorn cake topper for Baby T's birthday cheesecake.  


The delightful Simcha Fisher discusses the difference between expecting a first baby and a tenth baby.  I especially like the last one.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Baby T deals with groceries

Baby T and I went grocery shopping today.  When we got home, I was unpacking groceries.  Baby T was pulling out various items that she thought would make a nice lunch and setting them out on the dining table near her high chair.  Eventually, she discovered my HEB brand frappuccinos (HEB calls them "cafeccinos").  Baby T pulled out one of the frappuccino bottles and carried it carefully over to my place at the table.


Baby T is getting better and better at understanding where things go and what you do with them.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Laundry chute

Baby T and I were hanging out in T-ville (her playroom).  She mentioned something about "poop" and yes, indeed, she had a dirty diaper.  Eventually, we got moving out of the playroom, but not before Baby T had unzipped and taken off her footed fleece pjs.  I suggested "laundry" and was amused to see Baby T walk by the laundry room, shoot up the stairs, and head straight to the laundry chute.  She needed help opening the hatch and putting the pjs down (good!!!), but she had obviously fully assimilated the relationship between dirty clothes and the laundry chute.  

Friday, September 26, 2014


Here's some of what's been happening:

  • Baby T and I met some friends at the zoo today.  Baby T loves animals right now, so it's perfect for her.  The main excitement was a preschool girl getting beaked by a large sea bird after getting too close to it. 
  • C had crochet club today after school.  She really likes it.  Yay, free school activities!
  • My husband and D went to a potluck tonight while Baby T, C and I went to C's guitar lesson and then did a little light grocery shopping.  (Note to self:  9PM not great time to take baby grocery shopping.) 
  • C is doing very well with her guitar.
  • I just discovered that there are free Sat. AM group guitar and ukulele lessons at guitar center!  Be still my beating heart!  (I believe they alternate an acoustic guitar lesson, a ukulele lesson and a bass lesson, so they don't offer all three every week.)  We're currently tied up, but in a month or so, I'm going to have to take C. 
  • We're fighting our way to the end of the month with a heavy schedule of activities, but all the optional stuff is stuff the kids like.  For October, we may drop fencing and lighten up guitar.  Likewise,  robotics and riding will be over for the term in mid and late October.    

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Don't make formula at home!!!!

Here is today's PSA message from Dr. Roy Benaroch.

Don't try to make "homemade" formula, moms!  Just don't do it!!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2014


I forgot to mention that Baby T and I went shopping for a backpack for her for parents' day out a couple of days ago.  We have a huge HEB with Walmart-like offerings, so we had our choice of about half a dozen baby backbacks.  After some reflection, Baby T chose a giraffe backpack.  She held onto it tight the whole way home.  

Parents' Day Out!

Here's some of what's happening:

  • We have plane tickets for some members of the family to travel to the West Coast for Thanksgiving!
  • My husband has been kept busy fixing bathroom fans and car stuff.
  • C has yet another pool birthday party tonight.
  • School is haaaaard, but the kids have been enjoying their extracurriculars, too.  They both do CCD (or CCE) and fencing.  D is doing a short weekly robotics thing and C is doing Greek club, guitar, horse riding and this week she went to crochet club at school.  (The Greek club and the crochet are free and hence particularly interesting.)  That's this month.  Next month, who knows what we'll do.  
  • C is also gearing up for science fair.  
  • D is reading LOTR.
  • Baby T has been enjoying riding along with me and C out to the ranch where C does her therapeutic riding.  There are lots of toys in the office and Baby T has been a very good girl.
  • Baby T is starting parents' day out this week and she'll be doing one day a week.  It's a short day (5.5 hours) but a big plenty for an almost-2-year-old (Baby T's birthday is in less than three weeks).  I cleared this with the pediatrician, who says that children this age are less prone to serious illness.  If Baby T gets sick too much, we'll pull her out and try again later.  I really need the time to do clerical, though:  papers, emails, phone calls, etc.  The amount of paperwork that big kids generate is simply phenomenal.  I hope Baby T will manage--she handled church nursery very well last week, which gives me a lot of hope.  I think that the playground and being around other 2-year-olds will be particularly enjoyable for Baby T.  C started morning preschool at 3 and D started parents' day out at 3 (first one day, then two days), so this is an early start for our family. 
  • Baby T loves walking around with monkey and IKEA kitty. 
  • The weather is lovely!  Even the warm, rainy, overcast days are great!

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Here's some of what's happening:

  • We got a sitter last night (for the first time in nearly two years) and went out to see Guardians of the Galaxy.  Being out of the movie loop, we chose somewhat at random.  I like any movie that I get to sit in a theater and drink a $5 Diet Coke while watching, but you have to wonder about any film where a hyper-intelligent genetically engineered space raccoon and a walking tree carry the movie.  (Terrible, terrible villain--a metal hat and a big hammer are no replacement for an actual personality.)  Then we hit the grocery store for ice cream and went home to pay the sitter.  Outlay (tickets, $5 Diet Coke, $42 sitter, ice cream from grocery store:  about $70.
  • Baby T went to church nursery this morning.  This spring she'd been transitioning from crying constantly (and getting pulled out) to sitting koala-fashion on the nursery worker the whole time.  Today, several months after her last visit, there were a lot of kids there and Baby T was just fine.  As she arrived, she stepped out very confidently to check out the toys.  Next stop, parents' day out?  (Still working on those papers--the pediatrician still needs to give us some stuff.)
  • Baby T has a 2nd birthday coming on fast!
  • Both C and D have paddled independently in kayaks at the marina on the river.
  • C is doing very well with Scarborough Fair on the guitar.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Here's some news:

  • C made baklava for Greek club (with a little help from me in pouring the spiced honey syrup).  They're talking about Herodotus.
  • C also made some little apple turnover thingies with sheets of phyllo.
  • I have mixed feelings on phyllo dough.  On the one hand, it's an interesting material to work with, but on the other hand, it tastes a lot like paper.  However, when drenched with spiced honey syrup and packed with nuts, it does redeem itself.  
  • C is pretty awe inspiring 
  • The kids have been fencing.  My husband has been checking out the college fencing club, as well.  If current rules apply in a few years, the kids will be able to go to the college fencing club at 15.  D LOVES fencing.  
  • Two parent education nights this week at school!
  • C is adjusting pretty well to the junior high/senior high building.  We have to get over there earlier than for the elementary school (about 10 minutes--a huge big deal for our sleepy family), but we're all coping. 
  • It's easy to forget about guitar practice with the flurry of homework activity and all the nightly activities, but C has been enjoying her music a lot lately.    
  • The weather is moderating.  The mornings are very pleasant and I think within a week, the whole day will be nice.
  • Baby T is a great little grocery shopper these days.  I try to get her one of the VROOM VROOM shopping carts that are shaped like cars and have steering wheels.
  • Baby T also walks really well holding hands.  
  • The cafeteria is great!!!!
  • D is in 4th grade now, which is a big transitional year at his elementary school.  They'll have kiddie physics and Latin.  
  • I'm looking into parents' day out for Baby T for one day a week (5.5 hours--it's like a school day, but shorter on both ends). 

Monday, September 1, 2014


I somehow managed to schedule 5 days of extracurriculars a week for the month of September.  It all happened very innocently:  the therapeutic riding C has done for years, CCD for both kids, Greek Club at school for C (my husband will be volunteering with the club), fencing for both kids and guitar for C.  It's a little nuts.  But, on the other hand, it's not going to be like that all term--the riding is just a half term (with the possibility of more if we can manage) and we may drop the fencing and guitar by the end of the month.

Monday, August 25, 2014


Baby T, when she feels that she wants a parent or sibling to sit down and stop hovering over her as she eats, will say, "Ch!" and point in the direction of the chair.

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Here's some of what's happening:
  • Summer is over!  The kids are back in school!
  • C is a 7th grader now and is over at the junior high/high school building (it's a PK-12 school).  She has the full dignity of her own locker.  It's an 8 period day, 20 minutes longer than the 6th grade day, but she does have study halls in the morning.
  • C has an elective first period (study hall), a block of academic classes with everybody else in her grade, then a final 8th period elective that she has some freedom over (that's a little up in the air, as her first choice was cancelled for lack of enrollment).
  • There's going to be a Greek club!
  • D is starting 4th grade!  Latin!  Physics!
  • Extracurriculars are also up in the air right now.  We'll be doing CCD for both kids (at a different parish than the past 7 years).  We'd like for C to do therapeutic riding and weekly guitar and for both kids to do fencing, but we're currently figuring out the logistics for that.  
  • For reasons beyond our control, there's no PE for C this fall (complicated reasons having to do with C not being in official school sports and the school being small, so they can't afford both fall and spring PE for a tiny group of children).  That's kind of a pain, but we will try to compensate.
  • Baby T is talking a bunch and likes it.  She often makes funny comprehension mistakes--she thought that "fat" meant "cat" and that "on line" had something to do with lions.  She LOVES animals.  I have bought her clothes accordingly--she owns two cat shirts, a horse shirt, zebra pants and cheetah pjs.
  • Baby T is bummed out that the DVD player in the new-to-us minivan is broken.  She says "moo" for movies.
  • Baby T can make sad faces on command.  
  • Baby T was SAD to hear that mommy has no tail.
  • Baby T loves puzzles, but isn't yet up to doing jigsaw puzzles independently.    
  • Husband and C and D have been watching movies on our ceiling with the projector.
  • We now have a huge solid pine dining table from IKEA.  The old dining table (1998-2014) was set out on the curb and disappeared--it was simply not big enough for our family anymore, and certainly not for if we have any company.  I expect that the new table will dent up, being pine, but it is very generously sized--it's big without leaves, and with two leaves it's supposed to seat 10.  (We got the biggest brown-black Stornas table.)
  • The IKEA trip is totally different with a DVD player.  In fact, aside from driver fatigue, there's really no obstacle to our doing longer trips now.  
  • Furniture for D is next on the agenda.  Christmas?  We also will eventually be getting a larger leather sofa, probably in chocolate brown.    
  • C is still working at Scarborough Fair on the guitar.  She has also bought a ukulele with her own money and has been working at that, too.  I think D is softening up to the idea of music lessons.  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Back from the West Coast

Here's some of what's been happening:

  • My husband and C and D are just back from an 8-day trip to the West Coast.  Baby T and I spent the week eating dinner at Panera's and doing this and that.  Baby T also enjoyed a huge leap verbal leap forward that is impressing everybody.  She now uses words to request things, a big step forward for her.  She's using more and more all the time.  She also knows a lot of animals (her current passion) and knows what a number of them say.
  • C went to a half-day babysitter training course at the YMCA and got a card from them and $20 from her mother and father.  In future, I'm planning on having both kids do First Aid courses there and C will probably do the junior lifeguard class next year.  The YMCA is really great for these life skill type classes.  They also have a teen physical training course that looks good that both kids could do next year.    
  • C is thinking about saving up for an embroidery machine.  
  • C turned in her reading sheet at the library and got her goodie bag, but was disappointed by her haul.
  • My husband has been under the weather, but is feeling better.  
  • Baby T is crazy about kitties.
  • We've finally starting having 100+ temps and are baking.  

Saturday, August 2, 2014


We've had a little bit of a regression with Baby T and food.  There was a long time when she LOVED eating fresh fruit--bananas, blueberries, apples, mandarins, etc.  She'd go through vast quantities of fresh fruit.  She still loves blueberries (we just finished off a 2-pound box) and she'll have the occasional banana, but that's it.  The good news is that 1) she will eat baby food fruit and 2) she's really good with a spoon.

Baby T is also much more verbally communicative than she used to be.  She is learning and using words, and enjoying it and we are headed toward being able to talk.  I imagine that by two, she'll have a lot to say.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Baby T's words

Our pediatrician had some concerns about delays in Baby T's speech a couple months ago and had us take her to a speech therapist for an evaluation.  Her comprehension was good, but her productive speech was a little slow (she was relying heavily on the point-and-grunt at that point).  Well, I'm happy to report that Baby T is starting to use words in her requests--more, cookie, blueberry, etc (that's not exactly how she says any of them, but that's what she means).  She also seems to say a lot of clothing words now:  shirt, shoes, and some word that sounds like "p" that may be either pajamas or pants--not sure which.

Baby T is also interested in dressing and has tried to put on pants.  She can put on her shoes pretty well (and sometimes goes and gets them).  She also heads over to her feeding seat at meal times.

It's a very interesting time--her speech is just starting to snowball and she has a strong sense already of how things ought to be.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Swim and quilt

Here's some of what's happening:
  • This last week, the kids did a morning swim class and an afternoon quilting camp Monday-Thursday, C had guitar Friday and a rollerskating b-day party (for her 12th) on Saturday.  C graduated from the top swim class, so next summer one of our options for her is the junior lifeguard class (open to 11-15 year olds).  D is in the class just below the top swim level.  C also managed to finish her quilt (with some overtime from the very nice teacher), but D didn't, as he was sick and missed a day.  The hope is that he'll be able to finish up at home with C's help.
  • When we have the option, I've been scheduling C multiple guitar lessons in a single week.  It's still kind of up in the air whether she'll do guitar during the school year--C is not much for practicing spontaneously and her parents are not into nagging her into music practice.  C has been given notice that complaining about practicing or not practicing could mean no guitar lessons.  C is very good at guitar and her guitar teacher often praises her efforts, but it shouldn't require an act of Congress for her to practice 2 or 3 times a week for 10 minutes if she likes guitar.  
  • Between her swimming, her guitar and the sewing, C now has many skills I've never had.  (My swimming is good enough to keep me afloat, but it's a basic dog paddle.  C has actual strokes.)
  • We threw a roller skate/laser tag party for C's birthday on Saturday and had 14 kids--C and D, a bunch of C's girl classmates, and a bunch of siblings.  A number of C's classmates have siblings in D's class.  And there were several moms.  It went very smoothly.  Now that we have two vehicles, it was a snap managing the party and Baby T's needs.  Baby T came late with my husband, had some pizza, enjoyed the flashing lights and then went home for her nap.  I stayed and wrapped up the party and handed out coupons good for free rink admission.
  • One of the classmates' families has invited everybody to meet for more skating later in the week.  Yay!  
  • Some friends are packing up for a move to Ohio this week.
  • The kids are almost done with their scheduled camps and classes.  C is going to have a bunch of guitar and she's doing a half-day babysitting course (that I'm paying her to attend) and there's going to be a week or so around Vancouver, but that's essentially it.  
  • School is starting in less than a month...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Simcha Fisher on children cooking

Here is a cute piece by the lovely Simcha Fisher on children cooking.  My kids are somewhere in between her kids and the pork medallion kids.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


This week I somehow made it to a gym indoor cycling, aquacise and yoga class.  I used to just go and do the treadmill a lot or walk a lot, but my podiatrist is encouraging me to vary my exercise as much as possible and to avoid too much impact on the feet, so that's why I've done as many group classes this week as in my entire adult life.  That's probably not a pace I can keep up long term.

Interestingly, I've learned that C (who is interested in the aquacise) can join me as soon as she hits 5'.  One inch to go!

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Baby T had a trip to the zoo (zzz, she calls it).  She tried to say elephant, lion and snake.  She can hiss, kinda roar like a lion, oink like a pig and buzz like a bee.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Easter basket

Baby T was playing in C's room this morning.  Baby T found C's Easter basket in C's closet and hauled it out.  Then she found the plastic Easter eggs elsewhere in the room and put them into the basket.

Monday, June 30, 2014


Here's some of what's happening:

  • A 2011 Kia Sedona minivan has just joined our family.  This was literally the first day that it was financially feasible when we saw the ad for a dealership a couple towns over.  We had lunch to get our wits about us, all drove there by car and then my husband drove it to a mechanic in our town while I drove the kids in our old car.  Then we killed time waiting for the mechanic to get to it and I took ALL of the kids to C's guitar lesson and then the kids and I went home.  My husband got a quote from the mechanic (small oil leak) and then went back to the dealership to make an offer.  And now, we are the proud owners of a minivan with DVD player and back up camera!  Wealth beyond the dreams of avarice!  It's funny how none of this existed when I was a tween 30 years ago, but you can now get it on a budget kid wagon like the Kia Sedona.  We're keeping our 2004 Ford Taurus for the moment, but may sell it if it turns out we're not using it at all.  It would be really, really nice if this car lasted as long as the Taurus has, but we got a good deal either way. 
  • I kind of want our next car to be a self-driving google car...
  • Still no dishwasher.  We've had two visits from a plumber.  We have made progress, in that we know what part we need for the dishwasher and we're waiting to hear from an appliance repair place when the appropriate part comes in.
  • C had a guitar lesson today.  We're doing a sort of DIY guitar camp, in that I've signed her up for three 30-minute lessons this week.  C is very good at her lessons, but I haven't seen that her home practice does much for her, so I'm trying to see how far we get her to progress this summer.  This week, she'll be starting her first song.  She chose Simon and Garfunkel's Scarborough Fair, which her teacher says she's within reach of and should be able to start this week. 
  • I've booked C another four guitar lessons (two more this week, and then two weekly ones) and when C finishes those up, we can talk about what we're doing next.  We might even do more "guitar camps," depending on how things go.
  • C and D are probably going to do fencing in August.
  • We're still figuring out what to do about extracurriculars in the fall.  The kids will have CCD and D will have obligatory school sports.  C will not do have to do school sports but will probably do therapeutic horse riding during the school year and may or may not continue with a weekly guitar lesson.  We could either do a weekly guitar lesson for her during the school year, or just keep guitar as a summer thing.  Horse riding is nice for the school year because the weather is moderate, whereas fencing and guitar are nice indoor activities.      
  • Baby T oinks beautifully.
  • Poor Baby T spent so much time today being buckled into her stroller and car seat!  But she's free now.  

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Indoor zoo

Here's some of what's happening:

  • We had a large flying roach in the living room a couple nights ago.  Gah!
  • C will be continuing her guitar for at least another few weeks.  I've booked her for a 30-minute lesson three days in a row this coming week, which I think should move her forward pretty well.  If she makes progress and is interested, we may continue.
  • We had some small mystery puddles in the kitchen.  The plumber came, diagnosed it as being a problem with the supply hose to the dishwasher, and shut down the hot water in the kitchen.  The dishes have been a pain ever since, but hopefully we'll be fixed up and have hot water in the kitchen and a working dishwasher by Monday.
  • Some friends are back in town and had a party with burritos Saturday night.  Baby T enjoyed a tortilla with chicken (she likes her spiced chicken).  She also LOVED the family's bird and new kitten.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Blueberries and peanut butter

Here's some of what's happening:

  • Baby T is growing restive with regard to buckles--stroller, car seat, and feeding seat.
  • Starting the last day or two, due to her resistance to the feeding seat, we've moved from feeding her in a feeding seat with a tray to having her sit in the feeding seat and eat at the table (with the buckle snapped once she's happily settled with some food).
  • C is taking a cooking class this week!  She cooked cinnamon French toast this evening and Baby T enjoyed a slice.
  • Baby T's food preferences are shifting again.  For a long time, she LOVED the starch + cheese formula.  Of late, she's meh about cheese, but loves peanut butter.  It took a while to realize that when she had something like a waffle and was looking wistfully across the room, she was looking toward the peanut butter.  The waffle or bread is, in fact, mostly a pretext for the peanut butter, which she likes to scoop out of the waffle treads.
  • Baby T also LOVES blueberries.
  • I was just taking Baby T out of her feeding seat when she noticed some smooshed blueberries.  She picked them up and then stuffed them into my mouth.  Thanks, Baby T!   

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Here's some of what's happening:

  • My husband just finished teaching some computer game design courses for a camp.
  • The kids have one more week of their gifted camp.
  • C has one more fencing class and then a one month break.  She wants to continue and D may start then.
  • C didn't want to do guitar before her lesson today because she was afraid of her fingers hurting (it was going to be a 60 minute class).  I sat in on the lesson and the teacher shifted her between different exercises to keep her fingers from getting too much abuse.  C wanted to know how the electric guitar works.  C's fingering is apparently pretty good, especially for a second lesson and she sounds great (at least to my untrained ear).  She has one more 30 minute lesson next week and then we will decide what to do next.  Another month (4 lessons) would probably be fine.  I was also thinking that we could maybe set up a "guitar camp" with 30-minute lessons on consecutive days (4?) to maximize the impact.
  • We took a road trip to IKEA this afternoon (a birthday gift to me) and came back with a nice little haul of small household items.  There's a small table for Baby T's playroom that is going to be really cute.  Baby T also acquired a baby-safe stuffed panda there, and it was love at first sight.  The lemon gingersnaps are really good, too.
  • Baby T didn't nap at all today, despite two car trips. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

T's sense of humor

Baby T guffaws when she sees us making a mistake--dropping something accidentally, for instance.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Water for kitty

I saw Baby T offering water from her sippy to her IKEA stuffed kitty tonight.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Quilt class

And one more thing--I've signed up both C and D for a quilting class.  This will be C's third quilting class and D's first.  D took a beginner sewing class two years ago, but given C's expertise and C's sewing machine, I'm quite sure that we won't be left with unfinished quilts.  

Getting ready for bed

Here's some of what's happening:

  • C got herself a Minecraft book with her mother's helper earnings.
  • D has been practicing his fencing footwork, as his is not quite good enough to join the class that C joined the previous week.
  • I was just getting Baby T ready for bed.  She was saying "no! no!" as she realized where we were headed, but then I asked her if there were anything she'd like to put in the bed for the night and she threw in a Brother Bear and a stuffed kitty and then lifted up her leg to try to climb in the crib.  At naptime today, she had three puzzles in her bed and was hoping to put in two more, but I figured three was enough.  
  • Baby T is showing more and more preferences for particular clothing items.
  • Baby T loves looking at internet pictures and videos of animals.  Zebras are a particular favorite.  Baby T is a bit down on cows, because she can't understand why they're not horses.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Exercise ball

I told Baby T, "Mommy needs a ball for her feet!" and Baby T rolled the exercise ball right over to me to use as a footstool.  And then she wanted to take it back.

Monday, June 2, 2014


Here's some of what's happening:

  • We think that when Baby T says "O!" she means OK.  She finally has a way to say "yes!" after many "no's."
  • Baby T has some croup.  We noticed something wrong with her breathing this morning, she and I showed up close to opening at the pediatrician's this morning.  They diagnosed croup immediately, but wanted to do x-rays to check for pneumonia.  No pneumonia, so she got oral steroids to fix her constricted air passages.  She is breathing well this evening, but she's a little puffy around the eyes.  
  • Baby T has gotten into the idea of loading up her crib with toys for the night.
  • C worked as a mother's helper this morning and then went with that family to the water park this afternoon.
  • Baby T is getting better and better at puzzles and shape sorters and she is very good with a musical toy we have where you stick different plugs in to get different musical effects.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

School is over!

Here's some of what is going on:

  • We finished up school late last week.  Yay!
  • Baby T finally had her 18 month appointment at 19 months.  She's almost 24 3/4 pounds and 31.5 inches.  She is going to be able to take a break from vaccines from now until 4 (except for flu).
  • The pediatrician would like to see her making a bit more progress with speech.  Baby T understands a lot but uses only a handful of words at any one time and leans hard on the crutch of grunting and pointing when she wants something.  She also gets a lot of mileage out of "No!"  Apparently, the doctor would like to see her using 2 word phrases at this point, which is something I have not seen yet.
  • C baked a lovely chocolate cake.  She and I worked on a no-cook fudge frosting, which was also great.  (C measured, I poured the boiling water and used the hand mixer.)  Baby T had some--her reward for saying "cake!"
  • The cafeterias are reopening for the summer.  Yay!
  •  We are having a leisurely week starting Monday, and then the last three weeks of June will be a heavy camp and class schedule.  Both C and D are doing a bunch of 1-week classes as part of a gifted camp, but they are also doing a fencing class one night a week during June.  C will also be doing 4 30-minute guitar classes and then we'll revisit the question of whether or not she should do more.  The guitar (a Chinese-made Fender) arrived earlier this week.  C is charmed with it but a little worried about how she'll manage to learn guitar.
  • I'm not sure what we do with July and the first half of August, but presumably there will be some travel, C (and maybe D) can do a sewing camp, C has a birthday, we have our water park passes, and maybe we can fit in some swim classes.  I have some other ideas, too (a one-day babysitting training course, a knitting class and a cake decorating class for C), but I'm not sure what we'll manage.
  • I took C and D to a birthday party in a VERY nice suburb (30+ minutes away) today.  There was an inflatable longer than our house is wide and a pool--the kids had a great time.     

Friday, May 23, 2014

Feed me!

I've seen Baby T doing a gesture where she points into her mouth, as if prompting us to feed her.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Baby T says "cake" and "shoe."

Monday, May 19, 2014


Baby T has been calling D "duck."

So cute!

Friday, May 16, 2014

No more playpen

I just watched Baby T vault gleefully out of her upstairs playpen.

Time to stop using that one and to measure the downstairs one to see if that one has taller walls.

The crib has already had the legs sawn off.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Baby T was IDing a cat in a children's book, saying "ca!" repeatedly.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Thunder storm

Baby T keeps squeaking "No!" to the claps of thunder.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

Here's some of what's been happening:

  • We have our sand and water table set up!  We've taken to heart the internet advice I've read and it's only a sand table right now.  C, D and T have all been enjoying it.
  • The current backyard amenities are:  sand and water table, wagon, slide, toddler seesaw and hammock.  
  • Less than three weeks of school left!
  • To prepare for Mother's Day, I got a 1/8 German chocolate sheetcake from the store and a tube of crescent roll dough.  My husband and a kid picked out a helium balloon for me. 
  • This morning, we woke up to fresh crescent rolls, half of them filled with chocolate almond paste and drizzled with chocolate.  C did it all herself, down to melting the chocolate in the microwave for the chocolate drizzle.
  • The kids presented me with a basket filled with cards (D's thanked me for giving birth to Baby T and weekly bagel runs), homemade molded chocolates, a store-bought hollow chicken chocolate for me, and a gold necklace with D's thumbprints on it (a school project).
  • The kids' want to know if we're going to celebrate Father's Day like this.  My husband told them that it's up to them.  
  • We went to church across town today and I put Baby T in the nursery and came back a couple times to see how she was doing.  In the past, she's cried the whole time she was there and I retrieved her during the homily.  Today, she was being rocked and comforted the whole time, but didn't cry.  She did start looking unhappy once she noticed me.  She lasted the whole Mass.
  • Baby T has been enjoying our Mother's Day cake.  In fact, she's been saying "cake".    

Friday, May 9, 2014

Ann Althouse on not making fun of silly baby names

Ann Althouse says:
Resist mockery. Remember: Babies are named by people who have babies. Don't like the names? Have your own baby.

Dalek toaster

Our old white toaster broke and we ordered a new stainless steel one.  Now that it's here, I find that it looks like a small Dr. Who Dalek.  (The resemblance is more menacing in real life.)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Bad ideas in obstetrics

There's a NYT article here on the c-section rate.

I find this one quote really disturbing:
Since OB hospitalists spend all their time delivering babies, they are also expert in vaginal operative deliveries with forceps or vacuum — skills that can prevent C-sections. 
Let's not and say we did, OK?  Forceps have a lot of inherent risks.

And I don't think this is even true--the effective use of forceps is a dying skill.  (Not quoting from a disturbing forceps delivery story--everybody can thank me later.)

Friday, May 2, 2014


Baby T says "ball" a lot, often when throwing things that aren't balls.  We're thinking that "ball" means "throw" for her.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Here's some of what's happening:
  • We're trying to break in C's new cowboy boots in time for her big horse show.
  • At church this morning, Baby T was wanting to buckle her baby doll into Baby T's stroller.  (She does not have the dexterity, but it was clear what she wanted.)
  • When Baby T heard everybody saying, "Alleluia!" she was trying to say Alleluia, too.
  • D noticed Baby T trying to put a leg over her crib rail, so we were working on improving room safety today.  (Crib tents are now unavailable as they have been implicated in at least one death and some serious injuries.)  After some discussion, my husband sawed the legs off of the crib so that if Baby T vaults out, she will have a much shorter distance to fall.  (The flooring in her room is nice soft plush carpet.)
  • She napped just fine today in her sawed-off crib.
  • We were also rearranging the less baby-safe stuff in Baby T's room and my husband put some baby-proofing on one set of cabinets.  (We have lots more built-in cabinets in that room, but didn't have the necessary cabinet latches.) 
  • We did our board game club this past week after school and my husband taught the kids Chinese Chess.  We had 11 kids in attendance, which is very good.  
  • About a month of school left!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

6 blocks

My husband crafted six oversized 3" by 3" wooden blocks for Baby T.  Baby T has been skillfully stacking them in a pile six blocks high--very good for her age, I believe.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


I forgot to mention that Baby T is now saying No! a lot.  C was talking about picking her up this afternoon and Baby T said, "No!"  Other things Baby T says:

  • Heh! (horse--C has been brainwashing her)
  • Da (daddy?)
  • ma (mom?)
The family also thinks she is saying give! and maybe a word or two more.  She's used a lot of words over the past six months, but they come and go.  

She's very into connecting pictures in books with reality outside books.  So when I get to the monkey or the doll (two of her favorite critters) in a book, she's very likely to want to find and hold the item when I'm reading about it.  

She's also started to ID words for concepts that she's not crazy about.  For instance, I've seen her look unhappy when the word "change" was mentioned, and when I start singing the Our Father (her bedtime cue), I've also seen and heard her get unhappy, but also stick a thumb in her mouth and start tugging on her hair (a sleepy cue for our Baby T).  

Bathroom project done!

Here's some of what's happening:

  • C did four academic events at our city-wide UIL and took three firsts and one sixth place.  Yay!
  • Our small bathroom project took all of Wednesday and then Thursday morning, so it was all done by the time Easter weekend started.  We are done and it looks great!  (We had a new toilet installed in D's bedroom and then had our master bath toilet area redone with a white fixture, white paint, and neutral vinyl flooring--plain and simple.)  The only drama came on Wednesday when we discovered that one of our two new toilets was broken in the box.  My husband got the store to give us a different one and we had it ready for the crew the next morning.
  • I talked to the contractor about redoing the master bath and he gave me an estimate of $8500-$9000 for doing the whole master bath and painting adjacent closets and doors.  For the master bath, I was thinking of putting in new cultured marble countertop, shower and bath (apparently that will suck up about $3500 just in materials), having the cabinets repainted, white paint everywhere, brushed nickel fixtures (and knobs, presumably) and then some charcoal wood look vinyl plank for the floor.  The contractor says a lot of people are using vinyl plank for baths these days.  He also suggested doing the lighting while we're at it, which hadn't really crossed my mind.  We might also want dimmable lights for the bath and maybe a timed fan.      
  • The big kids got a 4-day weekend for Easter.
  • On Holy Saturday, we got C a new Western shirt and cowboy boots for her horse show in May.  I got her new jeans earlier in the week.
  • We decided to give Baby T a reprieve from kinder kennel in honor of the Easter holiday and didn't go to the church with a nursery.  Next week, baby, next week.
  • We had our now traditional hard-boiled-egg-and-sausage sandwiches for lunch.
  • Baby T has spent much of Sunday afternoon wearing pink Easter pjs that I got on sale for about $5 that say "Daddy's Snuggle Bunny."  Awww.  
  • During Baby T's nap, the big kids dyed eggs.  They did 95% of the measuring and work.  C got some nice two-tone effects on one of her eggs.  We then had an Easter egg hunt in the backyard before dinner for all of the kids.  The purple plastic eggs with pictures of horses inside were set aside for Baby T to find.  The other eggs (which had chocolate eggs inside) were for the big kids.  Baby T managed to collect all of her eggs (with help) and also managed to snag one non-purple one that was sitting in a bucket of grilling charcoal.      
  • My husband also melted chocolate and molded various Easter critters for the kids, another family Easter tradition.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Contractor next week?

I have reason to believe that we may have our bathroom job getting under way early next week!

Pots and pans for Baby T

Here's some of what's happening:

  • We got a shipment of Melissa & Doug metal pots and pans for Baby T a day or two ago to go with the stainless-and-espresso kitchen.  She got to play with the pots today and there was much stacking and clanging.  They're very pretty pots.
  • She was also rampaging through the preschool toys in the living room today.  
  • Baby T is starting to not like being picked up and carried off and she's started to learn how to resist placement in a stroller.
  • She wanted to spend a lot of time sitting on my lap between me and my laptop today.
  • She's also starting to pick up on cues that bedtime is imminent and now makes little grunts of protest when an activity she disapproves of is mentioned.
  • Baby T has finally wised up to the fact that plain yogurt is sour.  I haven't been able to get any into her for weeks.
  • She is almost 18 months old.
  • D needed a book, so I offered him The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  It was enjoyed.
  • C has a full day of UIL academic contests later this week. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Here's some of what's happening:

  • I handed Baby T a little mandarin still in the skin and tried to get it away from her to peel.  Uh-uh.  She wanted to do it HERSELF.  After she'd chewed a hole in the peel, she finally let me peel it for her.
  • The new espresso-and-stainless steel (actually silver paint) kitchen arrived in the box on Tuesday and my husband and C and D assembled it.  (C had been bugging me about letting her assemble it for days--in fact, she kind of wanted to assemble it herself when she was home from school Wednesday.  I put her off until my husband was available.)  It's the KidKraft Uptown Espresso and it actually does look as good or better in person as in real life.  It took a good 3+ hours to assemble Thursday night, but C stayed up until the job was done (nearly 10:30PM, actually). It's going to be in the living room for the moment, as it's a preschool age toy.
  • I promised not to let Baby T see the kitchen until the big kids were there to see her reaction.
  • The kids and I moved all of Baby T's play food and tea stuff to the play kitchen.
  • Baby T likes the new kitchen, but I think that the big kids appreciate it more.  We used to have a very basic plastic play kitchen that looked WAY nicer online, but this is 1000X nicer.
  • I'm planning on getting her a set of metal pots soon and an espresso table and chair set toward her 2nd birthday.  We'll also get a sand and water table soon.  We don't strictly speaking need any of this stuff right now, but we have some friends leaving our town this summer, and I'd like to maximize our fun.
  • A day or two ago, I think I heard Baby T say something that sounded very much like "get out" when I was getting her out of her car seat.
  • I was reading Baby T a book where there's a picture of a doll.  Baby T immediately went looking for her baby doll, and wasn't contented until I got her baby doll.  (Baby doll had been flung over the baby gate.)
  • We (i.e. my husband) had a really epic day of Saturday chores today:  reinflating stroller tires, relabeling some canisters, sealing some holes that could let in vermin, attempting to balance the fan (not done yet), mending baby's books, cutting and installing some insoles for C's shoes, and hosing down the high chair that I'm planning to give away, as it's 11+ years old and I've never really liked it that much (it's ridiculously hard to clean, for a high chair).  And there's still some shopping to do.     
  • No word from our contractor.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Here's some of what's happening:

  • Baby T has a new word:  "sword" (or as close as she can get to pronouncing it).  My husband made our two big kids each a large padded foam sword out of pool noodles and then a tiny one for Baby T. 
  • D really wants Baby T to start talking more.
  • Her current words are "sword" and "touch" and "heh" (horse).  She's had a lot of other words, but those are the ones in current rotation.  
  • We've got just under 2.5 weeks until the big UIL academic meet that C's going to be in.  
  • My husband just put up some safety netting on the stair railing this morning.
  • We are waiting to hear from the contractor as to our start date for the bathroom project.  
  • In the meantime, we discovered that one of our toilets is wasting an unnecessary $10 a month in water, so we'll be replacing it at the same time.  That leaves one final toilet from the old set--we'll get to it eventually.  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Academic contest season

Suddenly, it is academic contest season.

  • This week, C participated in a regional spelling bee at the local community college.  There were only 15 participants, which was nice--I had been envisioning an all day affair.  C went out at 8th place--middle of the pack.  Her word was "sonata" (she doubled the "n").  It was almost exactly a hour, with a brutal duel toward the end (by which time Baby T and I were already scampering out in the hall).  
  • Before the bee, C and Baby T and I had a second breakfast on campus--tater tots, biscuit and bacon (the latter just for Baby T--I forgot it was a Lenten Friday while ordering).
  • C loved the community campus and I told her that once she's in high school, she can take courses there, for instance art.  It would be nice for C to be able to have a whole art course, rather than an hour here and there.
  • C especially liked being able to miss a whole morning of school for this, but she had to make it up over the weekend.    
  • And that's not all--we also have UIL (University Interscholastic League) coming up.  C is supposed to be representing her school in four different academic subjects.  For the first time ever, school is suddenly very, very serious about doing practices.  In past years, C has only had at most one practice session for one subject.  This year, at least three of the subjects she's signed up for are doing after school practices, often a weekly practice until the big UIL meet in April.  It's going to be a long, long three weeks.   
  • As I've said before, school is HARD.  
  • 2 months, 1 week more to go.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Cow's milk

Baby T has finally warmed up to cow's milk at 17 months old after a number of months of just drinking water.  I offered her some whole milk in a cup today and she was operating the cup herself.

We got our quote!

Our contractor says he can do the bath job for $965 plus cost of flooring plus cost of toilet!!!

It looks like we're ready to roll.

Wimping out on Marmoleum?

Here's where we are:

  • We saw our contractor this morning to explain the scope of the bathroom job:  take out toilet, take out bidet, paint, baseboards, put in vinyl flooring, etc.  This is the contractor that put the roof on our house and painted the big kids' rooms.
  • To recap, we are not doing a whole bath, just a small room with a toilet.
  • Our contractor thinks he can use the existing plywood subfloor and the existing baseboards (I was very concerned about the baseboards).
  • He told us to look for a 6x5 vinyl remnant at a particular flooring store in town.
  • We are awaiting a quote for the job.  He thinks it can be done in 4 working days and that he would be able to start within 7-10 days of us giving him the green light.  Ideally, I'd like this to happen during the school year, so the kids won't be underfoot.  
  • My husband and I managed a little outing this morning with Baby T.  Among other things, we went to Lowes and found a plain brushed nickel toilet paper holder (the previous one, which has already been removed, was a brass scallop pattern).  I was very pleased to discover that both my husband and I like the brushed nickel.  
  • After lunch, we went to the flooring store the contractor had recommended and got a remnant just a little larger than he had asked for.  It's a light/beigeish/grey tile pattern and we paid $35 plus tax.  I think it looks fine.  
  • I think we have all of the finishes chosen, with one important exception--the paint color.  I will have to talk to the contractor about his recommendations.  It's going to be a white of some kind, with some gloss in it so it can be wiped down. 
  • While we were in the flooring store, I saw a marble-look checkerboard flooring (in some sort of higher-end vinyl or laminate--not sure which).  It looks like it would be much easier care than the Marmoleum I've been thinking about.  It is $6.50 a square foot, and we have a lot of square feet to cover.  I mentioned the Marmoleum to the salesmen, and he thought that Marmoleum would be overkill for a non-commercial setting.  I still wonder how it will look next to hardwood, and how it stands up to moisture (for instance in the kitchen, powder room and laundry).  The checkerboard product I was smitten with comes from Karndean.  I should try to get a sample.        

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Children's museum and birthday

This morning, the kids and I went to the children's museum and did a travelling exhibit with a lot of great hands-on activities.  Both C and Baby T hugely enjoyed the stuffed horse with toy curry comb and they both spent a lot of time brushing the horse.  Baby T was mostly occupied with increasing the entropy in the exhibit.  I took the kids to Panera's for lunch after that.  It was D's birthday, so I kept pulling out gifts throughout the day.  The big kids spent much of the day assembling a great LEGO castle with working portcullis and drawbridge--a grandma gift, naturally.  They will probably finish tomorrow.  D's haul included a couple of checks (he got 20% in cash and 80% went to our Great Wolf Lodge fund), a red umbrella, some toy gold coins, the LEGO castle, Settlers of Catan, a book on castles, a real trowel for better beach expeditions (toy shovels are so flimsy!), some washable markers (those went to C), and probably something else I am forgetting.

During Baby T's nap, C took out her marzipan, dyed it green, and made two Minecraft creepers, one for her chum who is nuts about Minecraft, one a cake topper for D's large round two-layer chocolate store cake.  (The creeper facial features were formed with chocolate jimmies, an excellent choice.)  The first creeper is now in the freezer, awaiting the first Monday after spring break when it will travel to school.  C put the second one on the cake (there were lots of fears that it was going to tip over, but it didn't) and wrote Happy Birthday in icing on the cake.  We had silver birthday candles, which were very pretty.  We had the cake after dinner and Baby T had part of a slice, too.  I froze a bunch of the cake in slices.

Plumbing II

A second plumber visit revealed that the toilet has a major design flaw due to holes (vents?) in the rear of the tank.  Whenever the water level in the tank reaches those vents (which is really not very high), it floods slightly.  Evidence suggests that this has happened repeatedly over the years and has contributed to water stains downstairs and damaged baseboards in the bathroom.  The good news is this is all clean water.  After some discussion, I had the plumber remove the carpet and carpet pad and I've been letting the plywood underneath dry.  I didn't have a new toilet put in, as putting in new flooring will require resetting the toilet anyway (as far as I understand the process).  Oh, and the plumber told me that the toilet that caused all of this probably cost $1500 or $1600 (!) back when it was new.

We'll be talking to a contractor in a week that we've worked with previously.  My current thinking on this is that we should take out the purple (!) bidet, replace the purple toilet with a $200 white one that works, paint the toilet area (it's a small separate room, which does allow us to do just this bit and have it look OK), replace the baseboards and put in new vinyl flooring (sheet or plank).  The question is, how much will all of that cost?  Also, when we finally redo the bath, won't we have to redo the flooring to match the bath?  At this point, however, I'm just so excited about the idea of paint, new baseboards, a new white toilet and new flooring that that doesn't seem very important.  It seems like we could have a pretty large improvement in quality of life just by doing that one little room.

I've got a pretty good handle on the color scheme for the house (although I haven't nailed down the exact colors and products).  I'm thinking white walls, grey floors and a lot of chocolate brown furniture (leather sofa, dining room table, etc.).  That may sound a little stark, but I'm hoping that it will warm up once I add appropriate textiles with soft blues and rosy reds.

I guess we're going to do this house one itty bitty room at a time.


Sunday, March 9, 2014


Here's some of what's happening:

  • We had a plumber in today for a leak that was coming through C's bathroom ceiling vent (!).  He said that they'll be able to troubleshoot it better when it dries a bit, so we're supposed to call them tomorrow.  It would be nice to have an answer already, but it does save us the double time billing for weekend work.  In the meantime, we're just closing off that bathroom, with occasional checks to see if the carpet is wet.  
  • The plumbing stuff started just as we were leaving, so my husband took all three (!) kids to church alone while I cleaned up and waited for the plumber.  Then they came home and I left for the Latin Mass at the same church while my husband gave the kids lunch, put Baby T down for her nap and waited for the plumber.
  • It's at times like this that having 3.5 baths comes in VERY handy.
  • I wonder if this episode is going to lead to our doing the master bathroom this summer instead of getting a minivan.  The bathroom is carpeted and this has been a helpful reminder of what a bad idea that is.  
  • There was a pinata after church today.  One of the Latin Mass-goers was giving a short talk about the symbolism of the pinata representing our battle with sin.
  • We went to IHOP for dinner.  Baby T had an enjoyable assortment of breakfast foods and then a run on a big nearby field and the opportunity to handle some large acorns under a burr oak (burr oak acorns are enormous).  Both C and D ordered crepes with cinnamon apple topping.
  • We're finally having cleaners tomorrow.  Yay!  They wouldn't come near us while we had chicken pox at home, but now it's gone and we can have somebody besides ourselves cleaning.  Yay!
  • This coming week is spring break and D's birthday.  We'll probably be spending much of tomorrow hanging out, waiting for the cleaners and the plumber, but we'll eventually escape.

Friday, March 7, 2014


Baby T keeps us guessing as to what she's saying (has she really been saying "door," "help" and "clothes") but it is very clear that Baby T is now saying "Touch!" a lot and in the appropriate context.  Last night at church, she was saying "Touch!" with regard to a statue of the Holy Infant of Prague high up on the wall in the cry room.

Baby T also seems to get the concept of touch screens.

My husband believes that Baby T was steering him away from footed pajamas for her and encouraging him to dress her in a two piece pink set.

In other news, C has been chosen to be on three different UIL teams and alternate for a fourth.  The big UIL competition will be in about a month.  

Friday, February 28, 2014


Baby T said "Kiss!" a day or two ago.


I visited a couple of home stores this week, and one of them had samples of Marmoleum.

The good news is that it's very natural looking and not plasticky at all.  The samples I saw were BEAUTIFUL and I think it will be very difficult to figure out which colors to go with for a grey-and-white or light-grey-and-charcoal checkerboard, as there are a number of greys in their line, and they pretty much all look fantastic.   The bad news is that it sounds like the installation is finicky and there may or may not be anybody in town who can do it.  I also need to do a little research with regard to how it is in potentially we areas (powder room and bathroom).  Obviously, it is a standard kitchen material.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Phases 3, 4 and 5

There are three more phases left to discuss.  These are much less disruptive, as they only involve bedrooms and bathrooms.

Phase 3

  • paint master bedroom and master bath white (covering up pink)
  • remove dirty pink carpet from master bedroom and master bath and replace with more neutral color (white or cream?) in bedroom and perhaps the grey-and-white checkerboard Marmoleum in the bathroom (if it is bathroom safe).
  • major renovation of master bath, replacing purple swirl vanity, built-in tub and shower and removing purple toilet fixtures and replacing with white  
Phase 4
  • paint kid baths
  • repaint kids' rooms if needed (we did it before moving in in 2013)
  • redo kids' storage
  • get D bed (captain's bed?) and desk
Phase 5
  • Paint and decorate Baby T room to taste (I believe in the magic of bedding and removable wall decals--you don't need more than that)
The only really intimidating item is the master bath renovation, but it's a doozie.

Phase 2 of renovation plan

Here's Phase 2, which is concerned with finishing up the kitchen and the laundry room:

  • replace mauve laminate countertops with marble laminate countertops and backsplashes in both kitchen and laundry room (we might eventually replace the marble laminate with some other surface)
  • paint laundry cabinets glossy white (they are currently a sort of dirty cream)
  • swap out older appliances for stainless (we currently have some stainless, some black and some white--too many colors!)
  • leave granite on island??? (It looks pinkish, but I'm hoping it will look much less pink when the pink Formica is gone)
  • switch out water lily ceramic cabinet knobs for brushed nickel or similar
  • What to do about kitchen cabinets?  They are currently a pinkish pickled late 80s/early 90s finish.  I'm thinking painting white, charcoal, dark blue, or doing a dark stain.  Conceivably, we could do two colors, for instance, charcoal lower cabinets and white upper cabinets (it sounds weird, but actually looks great) and is probably a lot easier to keep looking nice).
The flooring will already have been taken care of by Phase 1.

One quandary I have is that we have gold tone door knobs and fixtures everywhere.  How many of these do we need to replace with brushed nickel or at least something non-gold?  Fortunately, it's not a super high pressure issue, as my husband could easily do that himself. 

Phase 1 of renovation plan

I've been working on a phased renovation plan.  It won't be for any time soon, as 2014 is supposed to be dedicated to the purchase of a minivan and 2015 is supposed to be for starting (!) college savings.  I've really been choking on the entry (as we want a floor with some give to it that doesn't look cheap), but I think I've got a color scheme now.  I have no idea Here's Phase 1 (the whole downstairs, except for a bedroom, a bath, and most of the kitchen):

  • grey and white (or charcoal and light grey) checkerboard Marmoleum in entry, hall, powder room, laundry and kitchen (replacing pink-veined marble-look white tile)
  • white paint everywhere downstairs except for one bedroom and bath (replacing pinkish paint)
  • wall paper in powder room (vinyl? toile? chinoiserie? color? not sure), replacing pink palm wallpaper
  • replace several ugly light fixtures (I've seen a lot of prettier alternatives)
  • replace dirty pink carpet on stairs and in upstairs hallway with fresh carpet (dark beige? medium brown? definitely not a darker brown)
  • do we go white or black with stair rail? (it's currently white)
  • do any windows need to be replaced? (hope not)
  • is front door OK? (I really like the ornamental glass panes, I hope it can be repaired--there may be a little bit of decay)
  • chocolate brown leather sofa or sectional for living room
  • media center (IKEA? color?)
  • turn Baby T's playroom into game room/playroom for everybody
  • living room decor with soft blues and soft rosy reds 
I have a lot of blue stuff, and if we are going to do white walls, brown carpet, white-and-grey checkerboard flooring, the challenge is going to be to warm it up.  I suppose I should eventually work on bringing in those soft rosy reds wherever I can, but that's going to be the final layer of decoration.  (I might wind up doing the powder room in a rosy red, though.)

D's warning sign

D put the following warning on the door of his room:
Do not come in I am blow guning my castle

Checkerboard II

Here is a gallery of grey-and-white checkerboard floors, including some used in entries.  Based on my reading of comments around the internet, it looks like it might be a good idea to go for a vinyl or Marmoleum or similar that has flecks in it.

Sunday, February 23, 2014


I've been wrestling with the question of what to do with our pink-veined white marble-look tile flooring in the entry, hallway, laundry, powder room and kitchen.  The problem is 1) that we want a softer material with some flex in it 2) the tile runs right into some hardwood in the living room.  I hesitate to put a wood-look or stone-look vinyl right next to actual hardwood or in the entry (I think it wouldn't be bad at all elsewhere).  On reflection, I'm thinking that a checkerboard vinyl might be just the thing.  We probably wouldn't do black-and-white, but I think charcoal-and-white or light grey-and-white might be very subtle.  (Theoretically, beige-and-white might be OK, but charcoal is nice, and I feel like we'll have a lot of beige and brown elsewhere.  Blue-and-white is probably too much, but it might be OK in just a kitchen.)  The nice thing about checkerboard vinyl is, it won't look fake.  It will look like genuine checkerboard vinyl.

My husband tells me that 2016 is our very earliest possible renovation date, and it will probably be later.  We would be painting the downstairs (but not the bedroom or full bath), replacing the tile with the checkerboard vinyl, replacing carpet on the stairs and upstairs hallway, and putting new wallpaper in the powder room.  There would be some other odds and ends, but that would be the bulk of it.  


Here's some of what's happening:

  • Yesterday, D got a thump on the head from tipping over a yard waste container and got a goose egg on his forehead (he'd been helping me weed the borders).  He went to ER yesterday and had a CAT scan, but they said he looked fine.  We paid D $2 for weeding the borders and $1 workman's comp.  
  • Before that, we all visited a local commune/intentional living community/cult with a total of two moms, one 5-year-old, an almost 2-year-old and an almost 1-year-old.  We had a fabulous picnic lunch (quesadillas, sausage and falafel) and then went to see the sights.  We visited a water mill, an herb garden, a fiber arts gift shop, a garden, some goats, some chickens (C LOVED the chickens), a smokehouse (didn't get to go in but it smelled AMAZING), a woodworking shop, a pottery shop, and a big general gift shop (don't touch anything you're not buying, kids!).  Then we had dessert--ice cream, carrot cake (very good!) and coconut cream pie.  I am hoping to make a return visit in the fall for their big craft fair.  
  • After months of ignoring it, Baby T has finally gotten interested in the toy telephone.  I was concerned for a while that it was an obsolete toy, as it resembles no telephone that Baby T has ever seen in use.  But Baby T is finally interested in it.  In fact, today she set it on my lap.  It took me a while to figure out what she wanted (to have the on-switched flipped for her), but I eventually figured it out.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Baby T loves boxes

Here's some of what's happening:

  • Baby T loves being boxes, putting baby doll in a box, etc.  After a couple of episodes where Baby T got stuck in plastic milk cartons or tipped herself out, I've decided that she should have cardboard boxes.  She has already flattened one.
  • We have finally figured out that when Baby T says, "za?" she probably means "What's that?"  It took us weeks and weeks to figure out that that wasn't just her private word for a couple dozen different objects.  Sorry, Baby T!
  • Baby T and I went to Barnes and Noble this morning and stocked up on Sandra Boynton boardbooks.  My preference with toddler books is that they be 1) boardbooks 2) have pretty pictures 3) have short rhyming text.  So, Boynton is perfect for us. 
  • We had the first roach of spring this morning.  Our outdoor temperatures have been in the 60s and 70s, so I've been waiting for this to happen.
  • We are planning a first trip to Great Wolf Lodge for D's 9th birthday next month.  Unfortunately, it may take a while before the schedule lines up and we are able to do the trip, but in the meantime, I am ordering new swimsuits and on the lookout for new beach towels.  
  • It's too early right now, but I'm starting to think about Baby T's next acquisitions.  She has really all the 1-year-old toys we could want, but I have some major pieces that I'd like to get her for either her 2nd birthday or Christmas:  a covered sand and water table for the patio, a set of table and chairs (espresso?) and a play kitchen.  I'm also thinking of getting a set of bins for toys, but I'm also in talks with C about handing over her set of bins, as I can't help but notice that she doesn't actually play with that stuff anymore.  I have mentioned to C that if she hands over the bins, that will free up space for the Swingasan from Pier 1 that she wants so much.   
  • With regard to play kitchens, IKEA has a wood one (no doubt very sturdy and serviceable) but I've also been looking at Kidkraft kitchens.  I like their retro kitchens a lot, but haven't been able to figure out a color.  A red or cranberry is nicely unisex (and less vulnerable to graffiti) but Baby T might enjoy a pink one more.      

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sugar-free pudding sampler

Is it a bad thing that I'm excitedly waiting for this to arrive?

It would be kind of a crazy item to purchase from Amazon, except that as far as I can tell, the grocery stores do not stock sugar-free instant pudding besides chocolate and vanilla.

Will I eventually order the 24-packs?  Who knows.


Here's some of what's happening:

  • Baby T rode along to the ranch for C's riding lesson.  C has been looking forward to Baby T's introduction to real live horses for a very long time.  Baby T was definitely interested in horses and said he-he-he (horse) excitedly when she saw C on a horse.
  • D and I biked to the college gym, D ran a mile on the track, I walked, and then we biked to meet my husband, C and Baby T at the cafeteria for lunch.  
  • We had a dryer service call earlier this week and we seem to be doing OK for the moment.
  • We have our costumes for C and D for history fair figured out.
  • Baby T is just about out of her 18 month outfits and headed into 24 month and 2T.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Coming out of the cold?

Here's some of what's happening:

  • We've been suffering the same cold snap as everybody else, but had a very pleasant high in the mid-60s yesterday.  And now we're back to the very low 40s.  
  • My husband is back from an East Coast trip--two college speaking engagements and a welcome addition to our minivan fund.  One of these days, we need to get the kids to NYC.
  • I took the kids to IHOP while my husband was away.  One thing we've talked about is having me take the kids out to dinner more when he's away, to take some of the pain out of travel.
  • We went to the zoo with friends on Saturday.  This was the first zoo visit where I've taken Baby T out of her stroller and unleashed her.  She loved it.  C was very good at walking Baby T around the zoo playground.  
  • Baby T was thrilled when her daddy reappeared.
  • Baby T loves the mirror and loves brushing her teeth with her toddler brush.  
  • The dryer is on the fritz.  It runs for a few minutes, then shuts off.  I can get it to dry a load, but it's very labor intensive.  We're thinking it's overheating.  (My husband has already had a go at clearing the exhaust hose.)  We had a previous dryer repair this fall.  I'm thinking we are probably looking at a new dryer.  The fridge is probably the next on the list, as our sellers warned us that it shuts off occasionally and has to be rebooted by unplugging it and then plugging it in again.  
  • Being new to the world of home ownership, I purchased the Consumer Reports kitchen issue, read through it a couple of times and then THREW IT OUT.  That was pretty dumb, as we've replaced a microwave and will probably be replacing a dryer and a fridge within the next year.  Next time, I will try to remember that we need to keep the kitchen issue until the next year's edition comes out.  
  • I love my duck painting that I got from my grandparents!  
  • We are deciding between a trip to the beach for D's birthday or our first family outing to Great Wolf Lodge.  He would enjoy both, he says, but he would prefer the beach, which is more of a drive. We're still thinking about it.  He's going to the West Coast this summer, so he will get the beach.     

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dave Ramsey on college degree choice

From the January 31 show:

"If you get a degree, and people laugh when you say it, that was not a good idea."

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February update

Here's some news:
  • We and the big kids recently watched all 5 hours of The Deluge (Potop), which is about sin and repentance and the successful Polish response to a Swedish invasion.
  • Baby T loves her reflection.
  • Baby T loves brushing her teeth (and she has so many of them to brush!).
  • Baby T has been toting her baby doll around for weeks now.  She may be saying "dah" for dolly.  
  • C took 2nd place at a school-wide spelling bee.  A 7th grader took 1st.  C is going to the regional round.  Yay!
  • Our temperature variations have been extreme.  A couple days ago, we had a large roach (a traditional local harbinger of spring) show up in our living room, but a recent 10 day forecast predicted 6 days with lows in the 20s.
  • History fair approaches...I just ordered a leather (or faux leather--not sure which I got) jacket for C to wear as Amelia Earhart.  My husband has already ordered an aviator's cap and some goggles and I think we can find her a scarf.  D is going to be a medieval mathematician, and we need to make (i.e. C needs to make him) a cloak.    
  • We (or mainly my husband) had a huge household maintenance day on Saturday.  He put in baby gates on Baby T's doorway and the top of the stairs, changed some light bulbs, changed HVAC filters, and put in the new convertible car seat.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Post-Christmas loot

Baby T and I had an outing to Barnes & Noble and Home Depot this morning.

  • I'm feeling very smug about my haul from the Barnes & Noble Christmas 75% off table.  I got a cup of coffee, a large box of peppermint bark and a bag of chocolate truffles all for $10. 
  • We don't usually go to Home Depot (we usually go to Lowes), so it was interesting to check out their offerings.  I came away with yet more speckled white and white marble laminate countertop samples for my renovation hope box.  I also noted that there were some small bathroom vanities that might fit into our downstairs powder room.  The powder room sink is so constructed that water winds up hitting the caulking and sitting there, so was quite thrilled to see that some of the small vanities have a sort of built-in backsplash.  Would it fit, though?
  • One nice thing about Home Depot is that after my years of perusing House Beautiful and other home magazines, just about everything looks really inexpensive.  $30 a square foot for granite--sign me up!
  • Another area for study is the question of the kitchen/entry/powder room/hall/laundry room flooring.  It is currently white tile with pinkish marbled veining.  I actually kind of like the light flooring.  The problem is 1) my ultimate plan is to de-pink the house and 2) there's an area in the kitchen with a crack that runs across four tiles.  Our local soil is prone to expanding and contracting as the water content changes (hence the need to vigorous water the foundation to prevent movement).  The existing tile has worn very well over 20+ years and getting new tile would be very practical for the entry, but then again, it would nearly kill me to put in new tile and then have cracks suddenly appear again.  We can't really do wood because there's already wood flooring elsewhere in the downstairs, and it's not really that practical for wet areas.  Engineered wood would be OK for wet areas, but you still have the problem of matching the existing wood floor in the living room--I think fake wood is going to look bad next to real wood.  The current leading option is to do vinyl planks or tiles.  I think it would look fine in the kitchen, entry and powder room, but I have concerns about how it's going to look in the main entry, which is one of those over-sized McMansion entries with sweeping staircase.  If we go with vinyl plank or tile, it needs to look really good.         
  • It sounds like some family paintings may be coming to our house!  I'm thinking that the paintings may help us choose paint colors for the downstairs.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

First world problems

Here's some of what's going on:

  • This is a bit of a first world problem, but I am sad to see that the antique/knick knack store downtown that I had been hoping to buy a new reclaimed wood dining room table from is now closed, with no sign on the door or forwarding address.  Bummer.  I am hoping I can find the people and order a table from them, as their price ($1,000 for an 8-foot long table made from solid hardwood planks reclaimed from old buildings) was very attractive, as was their product.  I really like the idea of a big farmhouse table.   
  • I think I heard Baby T saying, "Up!" earlier today.
  • I also think that Baby T was expressing displeasure and dismay after hearing me mention a diaper change and also after hearing me mention a nap. 
  • She now puts up more of a fight when we try to remove objects from her grasp.
  • Baby T loves walking around with her baby doll.  She holds it correctly, as my husband pointed out to us.
  • Baby T loves C's stuffed horses, in all sizes, but particularly the enormous stuffed horse that she enjoys riding.  As C points out, Baby T used to be terrified of the huge stuffed horse.
  • Baby T enjoys being read to.  Her mother especially enjoys rhyming boardbooks with few words per page.
  • I'm on Day 2 of a modified version of my diabetic diet.  I'm having trouble finding shoes that fit properly, so any serious exercise is pretty much out until I have a chance to see my podiatrist.  It's probably a sign of creeping middle age that I start as many sentences as I do, "My podiatrist says..."     

C on T rolling off a stuffed horse

C said:  "I feel sorry for her, but it was really funny."

It was totally painless, as the floor is covered with foam tiles.

Monday, January 13, 2014


C has been machine-sewing felt saddles for some plastic horses.  There's a black felt saddle with red detailing that's very striking.

End of break

Here's some of what's been happening:

  • We celebrated my husband's birthday about a week ago.  He made a delicious cinnamon chocolate version of the classic Hershey's chocolate cake recipe.  
  • We've watched all of the extended versions of LOTR over Christmas break.  I did a substantial chunk of that on our new elliptical machine.
  • D has been building LOTR inspired block fortresses and my husband has cut and sanded a bunch of new blocks for him.  On one occasion, D had a block Minas Tirith and a block Mordor (with Barad-Dur and Mount Doom).  
  • C has sewed a stuffed Minecraft creeper and finished a baby quilt kit from Big Lots.  She also made up an Aunt Annie's gingerbread pretzel kit I got from the store on clearance.
  • I got such a good deal on cloth napkins today on Christmas clearance--70% off.    
  • I made a visit to the nice local home materials store over Christmas break.  I'm kind of smitten with Armstrong's line of vinyl tile and I think it is a fantastic product for areas like bathrooms and kitchens.  It's much warmer to the touch than ceramic tile or stone. 
  • I need to talk to a professional and make some sort of staged plan for renovating our house.  My current thought is that for the kitchen, we could do very well to change the floor from the current tile (we'd also be retiling a hallway, powder room and entry), paint, change the knobs on the cabinets (currently white ceramic with pink water lilies) and switch from our current mauve pink laminate countertop and backsplash to a different neutral light laminate countertop and backsplash (I'm thinking pearly white or sparkly white or fake white marble if that's possible).  That could change a lot.  I'm not sure how the new stuff would go with our late 80s/early 90s pinkish pickled finish cabinets, but what I'm hoping is that once the paint and countertops aren't pink, the cabinets will stop glowing so pinkly.  We will eventually have appliances to think about.  I don't want to be the last person on earth to buy stainless steel appliances, but I am nonetheless leaning toward getting a stainless steel fridge when the time comes, as well as replacing our current antique-looking wall oven with something stainless steel.  
  • Appliance-wise, we've currently got a lot of different finishes.  We've got a white fridge, black dishwasher, black cook top, stainless microwave and a white/black/stainless oven.  I'd like to limit our appliance palette to stainless and black or just stainless.  
  • There's some risk that the pickled pink cabinets just won't work with stainless steel appliances.
  • As I said, I don't want to be the last person to get stainless, but I also don't feel crazy about white or black, and I really like our stainless steel microwave.   

Monday, January 6, 2014

Captain Awkward archives

Being an advice column junkie, I have been enjoying Captain Awkward's archives over Christmas break.  Here's a snippet of an old advice letter from 2011:

He's kind, generous, supportive, and smart; he understands "privilege" and "the kyriarchy," we have similar goals in life; and the sex if awesome.  We're talking about getting married and having kids.  However, I have a problem:  his personal hygiene and housekeeping skills are disgusting.
Here's my short answer:  How about finding a guy who doesn't understand "privilege" and "the kyriarchy" who brushes his teeth twice a day, showers daily, and keeps a clean home.  You'll find it much easier to live with.

Friday, January 3, 2014

For Sarah

Here is a great Huffington Post piece on Facebook abuse.

The only problem with it is that it leaves the question hanging, so what do we Facebook about if we can't do X, Y or Z, as it's all attention-seeking and bragging?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Baby T was saying "ca" while pointing to her daddy's phone.  My husband thinks that she was trying to say "computer."

Baby T has of late started using us as book-reading machines.  Current favorites include Is Your Mama a Llama?, Are You My Mother?, a baby ABC, Wheels on the Bus and Sandra Boynton's Pajama Time.

Pad thai

I put some pad thai (dinner leftovers) on Baby T's tray.  She was looking at it with interest, but there was something missing--namely a fork.  She needed a fork.

Husband's movie idea

We've been discussing summer travel logistics.  My husband suggests the following as a movie premise:  Toddlers on a Plane.