Thursday, October 19, 2017


Baby T thinks that the cobwebs that she sees at home are decorative.

"There's a Halloween theme!" she said.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Transitions III

So far, the transition to carrying a lightly-packed medium purse and keeping a backpack with emergency supplies in the car has been a success.

It's been several days, and I have yet to find myself caught without necessities.  Also, it's been much easier to get at my basic stuff (wallet, cell phone, keys).  I also like the large zipper wallet itself.  I may eventually transition to nicer version of the purse and the wallet, but in terms of functionality, this is just about perfect for me.

The new backpack should be here in a few days, and not a moment too soon--the old backpack is disintegrating.


Here's some of what happened yesterday:

  • My husband was away until late evening to a conference, so all three kids and I went to C's therapeutic riding lesson.
  • I hadn't really figured out how to combine that with looking for herbs for D at Home Depot, but there's a well-placed Fazoli's nearby, so the kids and I had lunch there before Home Depot.  We had never been to Fazoli's, although it provides some of the kids' hot lunches, so this was a new thing for all of us.  It's fast food Italian, which is kind of inspired.  It was a little grubby, but the food was good (in fact, the kids gave rave reviews).  We got pizza, lasagna, spaghetti with a meaty sauce, and shared a slice of pumpkin cheesecake.  It was $30 for the 4 of us, which is not bad at all for real food, given that we almost all got drinks.  
  • We went to Home Depot, cruised the entire garden section, and finally found the discounted herb plants.  We got a medium-sized rosemary bush, a small thyme, a small cilantro and a small mint bush for $12.
  • At home, D (the main gardener in our family right now), led the planting of the herbs in our two outdoor pots, which are just about exactly the right size to hold two herbs each.  My primary input was to suggest putting the mint in one pot, the rosemary in the other, and then add a remaining herb to each pot.  My thinking is that the mint and the rosemary are perennials, and if all goes well, they will each eventually need a pot of their own.
  • Baby T got to plant the rosemary and she also got to do some watering.
  • I was very gratified that we managed to do the herb trip for D.
  • The way gardening works in our part of TX, you get a short spring growing season, a summer dead zone, and a short fall growing season.  We're at least a month late doing the herbs (and I fear the cilantro may die on us any minute), but I think we're going to get $12 worth of gardening out of this, especially if either the rosemary or the mint survives the winter.
  • C is determined that we have some herbs to add to our Christmas Eve fish.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Transitions II

The new wallet came in the mail and I've moved into the new wallet (real leather) and the new purse (real plastic).  The card slots in the new wallet are a little snug, but otherwise, it's a nice addition, and the wallet itself is very roomy and suitable to use as a stand alone purse in a pinch.  The wallet closes completely with a zipper, so there's a lot more peace of mind than with a conventional snap wallet.  I've devoted a small zipper compartment of the new purse to shopping lists and coupons and the main compartment is actually rather cavernous with just my cell phone and the wallet in there.  I suppose more stuff is going to creep into there eventually, but at the moment, it's nicely minimalist.  It's a nice feeling.

I'm waiting for the new backpack now, but there's no hurry.


Here's some of what happened today:

  • I went to a parent teacher conference for Baby T first thing in the morning.
  • D did a training run for a 10k race he is planning to do.
  • I rounded up all of the kids (they are on fall break) and went to the doctor's office.  I managed to get Baby T's vaccination record for school but wasn't in time to get a flu shot for C.
  • We hit Starbucks for a late-morning snack/lunch.  I was planning to just look at Fossil purses and check out which of their models would hold my calendar (I have a HUGE calendar).  I found this (Kim Rogers' Evie flap crossbody in cognac) and was smitten, especially since the calendar fit.  I see from the online description that it's not actual leather, but it's a very good size and shape (four pockets and 11" wide x 10" high x 2.5" deep, with very simple lines and details).  I just took out a measuring tape--it seems like this one is more like 10" wide.  It probably is 2.5" at the base, but it's definitely wider higher up, and it stands up.  I also like the strap length a lot--not too long, not too short.  It was labeled $58, which I was willing to pay, but was delighted when it turned out to be on sale and $28 with tax--so I can afford for this to be a mistake.  
  • The main consideration (aside from aesthetics) was purse size.  I'm coming out of years of using a backpack as my primary bag.  This made sense for a long time, as on any given day, I'd be toting around:  cell phone, large wallet, diapers/pullups, wipes, change of clothes for Baby T, spare plastic bags, snack for Baby T, water bottle, hats for me and Baby T, bandaids, Benadryl, Tylenol, sunblock stick, etc.  Now that Baby T is 5, I feel like the time has come to downsize from this type of expedition packing.  
  • As my current backpack is seriously fraying, I've ordered a new backpack (the Columbia Fourmile backpack is $40 on Amazon).  The plan is that I will continue to keep the backpack packed with serious expedition supplies and perhaps keep it in the car, but will move to using my new purse for daily use.  The purse needs to be small enough to be more convenient than the backpack, but big enough to fit basic necessities.  (Because if I wind up carrying the backpack all the time because I can't fit my stuff in the cute little purse, what was the point?  And if I buy a bucket-sized mom bag and carry the same stuff as in the backpack, what was the point?)
  • My current wallet a) has a broken zipper b) is starting to fray and c) takes up too much space.  I've got this (a leather zipper wallet with a wrist strap) ordered and coming soon.  The new purse has a built-in wallet compartment, but I should just move the wallet from purse to backpack, depending on which I'm using. 
  • But here's hoping that I can actually fit the necessities (cell phone, new wallet, ???) into the new purse.
  • This sounds like a huge spree, but all of it (backpack, purse and wallet) cost a grand total of about $101. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Birthday party

Baby T is barely a baby anymore, as we had her 5th birthday party yesterday.  (She needs a few more days to become officially 5.)  Here's some of what has been happening:

  • We invited three other families to an indoor bounce place for a small birthday party last night.  (The location was Baby T's idea--the guest list was my idea.)  There were 10 children total and 5 adults total.  We had pizza (the reliable cheese pizza and pepperoni pizza) and store cake (half chocolate, half white, with purple decorations), a large helium 5 balloon and a small My Little Pony balloon.  Some senior members of the group played Set while the little kids bounced.  (D both bounced and played Set.)
  • Baby T got a charming set of My Little Pony princesses from one set of friends (Princess Celestia, Princess Luna and Princess Cadence) and a fat Richard Scarry book from another set of friends.
  • At home, C gave her C's Hot Wheels car collection and Hot Wheels tracks (a princely gift, as my husband and I agreed) and we parents gave her a clear pink piggy bank and a new Play Doh press (to replace one that broke).  We will be giving more gifts later this week on her actual birthday--she's getting a sparkly mermaid tail plush blanket from Justice and a couple of small LEGO Star Wars sets (x-wings?).
  • D is in training for a 10k.
  • C is in training for the PSAT.  It's not the official one for her (that's next year), but it's a big deal.
  • C is starting to have dress-up school events, as she's now a 10th grader.  As her wardrobe lately mostly consists of a) school uniforms and b) t-shirts, some shopping was in order.  She and I and Baby T went to Old Navy Friday night and made a pretty good haul:  a couple nice tops, a white t-shirt to go under the tops, and a pair of black pants.
  •  C also wanted to know if I was going to follow up on an old promise of giving her some of my jewelry now that she is older.  C's ears are not pierced, so that excluded a bunch of stuff.  I gave her a bracelet, a Polish or Russian gold necklace (grandma?), and an amber necklace (Polish or Russian?) with lots of amber.  I also promised her my stash of amber earrings if she gets her ears pierced.

Thursday, October 5, 2017


Here's some of what's going on:

  • Husband and I just started Taxi Blues (1990) and Kommissar (1967, but released 20 years later due to censorship issues).  I'm not sure we'll finish them, but they are really good.
  • Baby T is doing well at 3-day pre-k.  She really loves school.
  • Baby T is also really attached to me.  She likes to say, "Baby cat loves mama cat!" and similar.
  • D is in youth group now, not CCE.
  • C is going to be performing a Star Trek theme at a school event soon.  Her instrumental music class will also be performing a Tom Petty song together.  
  • The kids did a sibling picture today.  C hates school photos, but I'm really pleased to have a professionally done photo of the three of them.