Friday, January 31, 2014

Just Ducky

You know, before Caroline was born, I knew Amy would be so thrilled to have a little baby in the house. The big girl who still loves playing with her baby dolls, and who always dotes on children much younger than herself. What I didn't know was how much William would be fascinated with this little one, too. Arguably a calmer presence, William has a nice way with his little sister, and is happy to just lie on the floor next to her for a bit. His enthusiasm has only grown with each passing week. Caroline thinks that is just ducky. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

And Another

School was cancelled again today. We have been very grateful for the extra time at home - seems to have done everyone a lot of good.  Today was much the same as yesterday. No snow, but so cold that yesterday's dusting was still hanging around this morning. Don went to work. We trekked around outside for a bit collecting icicles. William wore his new hat - go me! - though for all my fear of it being too big it is actually a touch small... heads are weird.  

Otherwise our day was filled with a lot of Legos. And cars and trucks. And Little House games. All this just between Amy and William. I floated around, attending to laundry and other work, serving meals, and hanging out with Caroline. It was a nice day. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Day(s)

I was fully prepared to share this little picture yesterday and I had much to write about it, too, but alas, the power went out at dinnertime and didn't come back on until lunchtime today. I tried to log into my blog from my phone but entered the wrong little code Google sent me to verify the login and as a result I got shut out as a wannabe hacker - oops. 

Amy got an early dismissal yesterday, due to the incoming weather, as did Don, and we all had a cozy afternoon of Lego and knitting. Earlier in the day I finished (!) a big afghan I had nearly completed before Caroline arrived but hadn't be able to settle on an edging for it. Yesterday I found new resolve and remembered an old stitch and half-double-crocheted my way around the whole thing in record time. I'll share a picture one of these days. But the afternoon I spent on a new project - hat for William - with the crazy goal of finishing it in time for him to wear in the "snow" today. The last hat I made him seems to have gone missing... somewhere in the house. Anyway, I had to restart this project three times because I am lousy at gauge and couldn't find the pattern so twice I started it too big. That makes it sound like I lose things a lot - I don't really, just knitting patterns... and one hat. 

School was cancelled of course and Don's ship granted a snow day, too. The ice started in the evening and coated things pretty thoroughly. The temperature didn't move from 28 degrees all day. The power was out all night and through the morning and we were getting a little chilly in the house, but the kids were thrilled when the snow fell for about 30 minutes after breakfast. None of us has seen any snow in almost three years. The glaze over the grass even made a bit of sledding possible on our little hill - it was great! Then the kids came in with cold hands and were done with the outside thing. The rest of the day was spent with more Lego and more knitting... a perfect snow day. 

And here's a bonus picture, to make up for missing yesterday. 

Caroline is wearing the "Snow Bunny" shirt that belonged to Amy and was always a favorite of mine. Also note recently sorted and organized (and dusted) bookshelf behind me, with cat on top. 

Monday, January 27, 2014


Today's post is brought to you by the number 100. 

Schools around here celebrated the 100th day today. This is apparently something new since my era - I don't think we ever counted days elapsed... Anyway, Amy reports that it was a fun day. 

And that means just 80 to go.  I think we can I think we can I think we can...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lego Quest

Daddy plays the best games. 

When Mommy plays Lego, it goes a lot like this: sort the Lego back into the right drawers, rebuild something from the directions, help find missing pieces. (And hey, I can build nice square houses, too - with a door and a window). 

When Daddy plays Lego it goes like this: spend two hours assembling characters and staging them throughout the downstairs of the house, while fending off questions and keeping a six- and three-year-old engaged in the preparation and focused on what promises to be something Really Fun when it is all ready. Then spend another hour on a very detailed Quest based on the arranged characters and a big story conjured up in Daddy's head. This one involved pirates, a bicycle, a "horn of sleep," a wizard, "crabby gems" and a protagonist who could talk to animals, among other things. 

All this plus a sleeping baby meant Mommy had some time to get things done, and everyone had a good morning. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Tea for Two

Amy and William love their tea time. Being allowed to sit on the table made today's tea all the better. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Waiting for Company

One of the many things I am grateful for in this house is the space to have a dedicated guest room. This front bedroom is always clean and clutter-free with a bed made and ready for guests. It is also Ollie's favorite place for an afternoon nap, so usually that top cover gets freshened right before guests arrive... 

We are currently anticipating the arrival of my mommy in just about a week and we are SO excited. 
Ollie is excited, too; G is his favorite person. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mug Shot

I really felt like I had arrived when I opened this Christmas present from Amy. She had the chance to shop for each of us in secret at her school's little "Santa Shoppe" and I was so totally tickled that she picked this. Not that I think I'm a perfect Mom, but I just love the colors and design and having my first Mom mug given to me by my child really made me realize that now I am what I always wanted to be when I grew up. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Well I've lapsed already and it's only January. Let's just say that yesterday started with a little boy with an upset stomach (secondary to a very congested cold, and quickly recovered from) and the day finished with the same little boy covered in itchy hives. Yippee.... 

Today was better... sort of... still lots of hives and lots of crying and a trip to the doctor and more crying over having to take medicine... but also lots of nice normal moments too. I had my 6-week postpartum checkup, a milestone that I have always found slightly emotional.  
And of course, that means that Caroline is six weeks old today - oh my! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Caroline's Corner

Wanted to share with you where Caroline spends (a little bit) of her nights. We live in a four-bedroom house and yet all five people are sharing just two rooms... hmm.  But with a move in about five months, it didn't make much sense to set up a full room for Caroline, especially since William shared with us for his first eight months. 

At first we had the pack-n-play set up alongside our bed, but after two weeks we got thinking that really, the full-size crib would fit just fine, and is a more comfortable surface to sleep on, as well as being a more convenient height for changing, etc. I'm proud to say this crib is our original Jenny Lind death-trap-drop-side crib purchased for Amy, and I still love it. I don't think I'll ever be able to get rid of it.  

I really like Caroline's little corner of our room. Above her crib is the mobile that hung over my crib. My high school best friend made the frame of butterflies for Caroline. The picture in the black frame was there before the crib was but I see no reason to move it - it is a collage of lots of pictures of my family from long ago. Amy and William received two Moon nightlights as Christmas gifts, so one hangs in their room and one in our room. The yellow blanket my mom made, and the green one I made - awhile ago, out of a piece of seriously cozy green minky. There is a small collection of friends in the corner: the noise-machine lamb, Sophie the squeaky giraffe, and two little bunnies that Santa brought Caroline for Christmas, along with a tiny little dog that William wanted her to keep in her crib. 

I'm setting aside some other things for Caroline, when she does have a room to call her own - keeping in mind which dresser she might use and what I might put on the walls and which toys I will pull out to make her very own. But for now I'm happy to have her little corner still be just the one that is very close to us. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

More Mud

My goodness, nothing entertains the kids more than playing in the dirt. A whole hour this afternoon was spent mixing cups full of water to the dusty patch out back and creating some really fabulous mud pies. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014


This little froggy was quite content to nap the day away, and is now very much not asleep, and not one bit happy about laying on my lap while I type this - so, off I go! 

Friday, January 17, 2014


No caption quite fitting for everything going on in (and just beyond) this picture. Happy Friday! 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sisters, and Knitting

I've gotta hand it to Amy and William, they really dote on their little sister. Sometimes a bit too much. Caroline puts up with it fairly well. 


Amy wants to learn to knit. I set her up with the basics today, but yikes, that's a hard thing to teach a person, let alone a six year old.  Any knitters out there know if six is too young?  I know I was knitting around 8... I think... any tips? 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


The planets aligned today. Amy was at school. Caroline was napping. Don had the day off and took William out for some man time. The laundry was done; the house was quiet. 

And finally I started on our Christmas-New Year-Thank You-Birth Announcement cards. Phew. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Pink

(Don't judge on the carseat picture - we hadn't gone anywhere yet; I fixed his arm). 

Today was very rainy and William had his second ever visit to the dentist. He was not at all happy when I announced this as the Plan for the Day. But I gotta hand it to the boy, he really manned up and was an absolute angel - amazingly patient and cooperative for the cleaning and exam and even x-rays. Totally thrilled with his new toothbrush and toothpaste. It was a good visit. 

But the pinkie has to go. The Pink. Pinkerton. Since he was four months old William has made a favorite of his left pinkie finger, turned backwards (yes, like Austin Powers). It is so endearing and such a calming habit for him that I haven't really wanted him to stop, but the dentist was quite clear that his grace period for finger sucking was just about over. I don't know yet how harsh I'm willing to be to help him break this habit. I don't need my little boy to grow up any faster than he already is. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Two Games

Last night we started re-reading By the Shores of Silver Lake, at Amy's request. 

This morning Mommy finally purchased "real" light sabers for her two young Jedi and William has hardly put his down since. 

This afternoon, in one of those moments of totally crossed play, William steadfastly played Star Wars while Amy just as earnestly played Little House. Remarkably, this did not lead to a argument. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Flower

Caroline got in on the dress-up action after breakfast today. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Today I finally took down the tree. How nice, I have been thinking, to not have a tree dropping needles. It has been so lovely to enjoy our Christmas tree for what, six or seven weeks now? without worry of it drying. And look, I even bought this clever bag to store it in - it zips and has wheels and everything! Go me, I love this artificial tree business. 

But as you can see, putting tree in bag did not go well at all. Wrestling this colossally heavy and deceptively large metal-and-plastic creature apart and out of the living room was almost as vexing as dragging a real tree out the back door and vacuuming needles for weeks. 

Incidentally, I am currently reading The Joy of Less, which is fantastic and inspiring and I'm feeling ever so slightly that a seventy pound prickly green elephant in a poorly fitting red bag lurking in my garage doesn't really fit with my scheme to rid my house of excess stuff.... hmmm. 

Friday, January 10, 2014


For reasons I don't fully understand, riding the bus is not the norm for schools here in SC. Therefore, I transport Amy to and from school every. single. day. Fortunately, it is less than 5 minutes up the road, but that's still a lot of in and out of the car. However, I did not come here to complain. 

When we get home most days Amy announces "I'm riding the bus" before she gets out of the car, walks a little way up the road while I go inside, and then rings the doorbell 90 seconds later. I, then, must greet her as though I have not yet seen her that afternoon, and she then tells me about her day. 

Today was the 90th day of school, and I am relieved to be halfway done. Amy and I both continue to have mixed feelings about kindergarten. She loves school for the stimulation, the friends, her teachers, and the enrichment it brings to her day. I love it for how quickly she has advanced in her learning. I love her teachers and her school nearly as much as I loved my own elementary school. It's a great place and continues to be, on the whole, a positive experience. On the flip side, I still hate being beholden to the school calendar. I miss my parents so and would love to snatch the kids and take a trip north, but I can't do that without careful consideration of school missed. We all hate getting up so early. I dislike the "attitude" that Amy brings home sometimes when she's tired, and I hate seeing her tired. I still think that a full day of school is too much for a six year old. 

But for now we are enjoying the whole experience for what it is and I look forward to forming a plan for next year once we know where we will be moving to. 

On an unrelated note, my reader(s) may have noticed my increased blogging frequency and I would like to officially declare my intention to post something every day of 2014. I was inspired by Rebecca and I hope I can see the project through, if for no other reason than to have a snapshot of each day recorded for my own enjoyment. I hope you will enjoy these snapshots, along with the occasional rambling paragraphs, as much as I will enjoy writing them. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Digging holes in the dirt is good for the soul. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Four Weeks

Hard to believe this baby girl is almost a month old already! At the doctor today Caroline weighed a whopping 9 lbs 8 oz and has grown two inches. She also bested herself and slept for over six hours last night. She's becoming more engaged every day and is very close to smiling. And just for fun, here are Amy and William at nearly the same age... who does she look like? 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Due to the unusually cold temperatures here in South Carolina (and everywhere, apparently), the first day back to school was delayed by three hours this morning. That meant we all got one more day to sleep in and gather in Mommy and Daddy's bed for a slow start to the morning. 

Monday, January 6, 2014


The the mailman and UPS lady had quite a load for us today - and what wonderful gifts were inside! We were all so touched by the time two very special people took to make beautiful things not only for Caroline but for Amy and William, too. The top flap of that box says it all. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Evening Company

I am sneaking today's post in under the wire because of course I had to watch Downton Abbey. And then grab a shower. Then feed a baby. Now it is nearly midnight and I'm typing this one-handed. Thank goodness Amy doesn't go back to school until Tuesday.  

Caroline has been keeping Don and I company in the evenings, while we watch TV or read. Alas, she slept through tonight's viewing, but there are some nights when she is very awake and content, like two nights ago when I finally got a handle on some low-light techniques with my good camera and took the above picture. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Meant To Be

It wasn't until I started to put away the book of Christmas music we purchased to go with our new piano that I first opened the piano bench. Apparently no one else had opened it lately either. Along with a nice coating of dust and a set of spare house keys in an envelope labeled with crayon was a treasure trove of sheet music: first and second course piano theory books and an assortment of "Greatest Hits" for easy piano, circa 1985, and at the very bottom, the Neil Diamond collection, with none other than "Sweet Caroline" included. 

We bought our little piano exactly a week before our Caroline was born, and it was delivered the Friday before she arrived. Quite fitting that we find her song in the piano bench! 

Friday, January 3, 2014

I Think We'll Just Stay In

If yesterday was my test day for managing three kids at home all day, by myself, today was my test day for taking them all out and about. We made it through a haircut for Amy (including an hour-long wait and a diaper blowout) and a spin through Target (involving the store being much busier than I like, with schools still off for the holidays). Amy and William were super-cooperative and happy to be out for a change. Caroline slept for most of the trip (except for that bit about the diaper). 

Everything went really well but as we came to our last stop, a much-anticipated lunch at Panera Bread, we were all happy to just hit the drive-thru and come home. I can't really say that being out with three was overwhelming, but I came home with the general feeling that our situation now is a good reason to just stay put. There will of course still be plenty of necessary and recreational outings, but I think the scales have now tipped in favor of being homebodies, at least for the rest of the winter. Here's hoping that will result in less spending, more sewing, and a tidier house. In fact, that pretty much sums up my hopes for the New Year. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Rainy Day PT

Don had to go back to work today after an unprecedented three weeks of leave. Boo. But the kids and I all had a nice day here, despite it being dark and dreary and rainy. Oh, if only it were snow! 

Happily, Daddy was home in time to get the big kids some exercise in the garage before dinner. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Clean Start

Today I vacuumed the whole house while Caroline and I tried out our new mei tai carrier. 

I like the carrier very much. I like Caroline even better. I'm even fairly fond of vacuuming. 

However, newborn-in-carrier = no bending over. 

Toys and books all over floor + need to vacuum + no bending over = lots of squats.

Conclusion: my body was probably not ready for an hour of squats, but Caroline found dipping along with me to the purr of the vacuum to be quite soothing.