Thursday, September 4, 2014


In July of 2010 I quit working and we moved to Minnesota, where I started my stint as a SAHM. This was my little girl then:

Although she was at preschool for up to three mornings a week between then and now, most of her time was spent with me. I'll be honest, it wasn't always easy. She's high-energy, very extroverted and needs lots of stimulation. 

Today Brighton started kindergarten which, as of this year in Minnesota, is a full day of school. I've not been a perfect mom, and there were times that I felt like I wasn't adding a whole lot of value, but I'd like to think I can take just a small bit of credit for the smart, kind, compassionate, enthusiastic and vivacious girl who marched right in and took her seat in the classroom. I'm so proud of her. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back to School

Pacey started second grade today. He was beside himself with excitement. He has a great teacher. His best buddy has the desk next to him. About half the class are friends from his first grade class. His teacher confided that she and the other second grade teacher were duking it out for who got to have Pacey in their class. It's going to be a great year.

Orange is his favorite color. 

Brighton will start kindergarten on our district the first two days of school are used to do kindergarten assessments so she will have her very own first day. I don't know if I've blogged that they will be at different schools, but they will. Pacey attends a school a couple of miles away where they concentrate special education resources and are therefore able to follow a full inclusion model. He receives busing through special education services. Our neighborhood school is about a half mile away and Brighton is not eligible for busing to another school. I thought about driving them both to Pacey's school but then I'd be committed to having Archer there too, since he and B will overlap by a couple of years, and it just seems silly. Both schools are excellent, and this way each has their own turf. I like that Brighton will go to school with the neighborhood kids. I'm going to try walking in the mornings while the weather is nice, and she will ride the bus home (no way am I sacrificing another child's naptime if I don't have to!!) Pics to come on Thursday!

And I get to look forward to lots of quality time with this guy. Can't pretend I'm not happy about it. :)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

We've Come a Long Way, Baby

I think the motivation I need to continue blogging lies in the blog itself; going back and reading the archives makes me laugh, cry, and thank cheese-and-crackers that I am no longer parenting toddler-and-preschooler Brighton and Pacey. My LANDS that was hard work.

This week I got a case of the oh-my-god-summer-is-ending and it lit a fire under me in terms of doing all the things we haven't gotten to yet. There is so much fun to be had here in the summer, but until Archer started condensing his naps down to one it was kind of impossible. Monday was a gorgeous day and we had plans to meet our friends at the beach post-nap and I decided spur-of-the-moment that we'd visit the working farm that is now a mere 15 minute drive from our house. I wrote about the first trip we'd made to the farm here and it's safe to say this visit was 100% more enjoyable despite the additional child in attendance.

We discussed which chicken was our favorite variety, petted and exclaimed over the calves born in May (I have a real *thing* for cows, I think they are really beautiful), pointed out all the vegetables growing that we do not like (we = Brighton), walked down to the canoe-launching pier, examined a half a mouse carcass without anyone sticking their fingers in it, and had an all-around thoroughly good time. For me, it just makes an enormous difference to have kids who understand expectations (and the threats I issue if they aren't followed) and have enough sense to act within appropriate boundaries. And it helps to have the world's most easygoing baby, if you have to have one along for the ride.

A+ day. And lest you think they are all like this now, I'll come back and write about the beach outing we took where the kids were instructed to just get their feet wet since we had an appointment directly after. Spoiler: they both ended up wet to their waists and Brighton threw her wet self down in the sand when I said it was time to go. Wet, sandy, truculent children: not my favorite.

If you go back to the post from 2011 there's a hilariously
similar picture. Some things never change.

Hard to tell, but these are baby (adolescent?) turkeys.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Didder and Doodoo

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Last First

We had a beautiful day celebrating the first year of our last baby's life. The kids and I went to the beach with party hats, Archer opened a few gifts, shoved his hands in a chocolate cake and we called it good. I love this baby so much, I'm so glad we took the leap and added one more to our brood. I genuinely feel like our family is complete and I'm so excited to be moving on to the next phase.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Seven Quick Takes

1. We're starting off our summer with a couple weeks of swimming lessons. P and B are in the same class and they are doing SO well. Pacey had to sit today out (he has another nasty sinus infection, poor guy) but Brighton decided that she would get over her fear of putting her face in the water. And, she did. She willingly submerged herself several times and began putting her face in while floating and practicing her arm strokes. For the first time in two years of (on/off) lessons, I am actually hopeful that the end result will be children who know how to swim!

2. Yesterday I had the privilege of being interviewed by the MN Department of Health regarding my baby's recent E. coli infection. It was relatively easy considering how very limited his diet is right now, but we got to the end of the interview and I had to tell the woman that I appreciated her diligence and I understood the need to follow up all leads to prevent an outbreak, but that I knew exactly where he'd been exposed to the bacteria. You see, he ate a piece of his BFF's poop. Kids are gross, and we shall henceforth never speak of this again (he's fine now, just had a week of unspeakable diarrhea and no appetite).

3. Now that he's feeling better he is starting to chub up nicely, is spending more and more time on his feet, has two of four molars bulging and has three signs ("all done" "more" and "milk"). I feel like we are sliding into a much easier phase of babyhood and I couldn't be happier about it. He is still the best natured baby I have ever met and greets me from his crib with a smile that could start a fire. He puts his little arms around my neck and squeezes and I think proper baby hugs might be my favorite thing ever. I'm so very grateful to have experienced this version of mothering a baby.

4. Pacey became such a young man over the course of this school year. He made several friends in his class and one boy, J, expressed that the thing he would miss most about first grade would be seeing Pacey every day. J's dad called earlier in the week to invite Pacey over for a play date and the look on P's face when I told him might be the most heartbreakingly beautiful thing I've ever seen. He sees his sister go on a lot of play dates (largely because she wasn't in full time school this year) and he was so thrilled to get to have his turn. Unfortunately we had to cancel because he's sick but they will get together next week. I admit I'm a little nervous but it's a completely appropriate and good step for him to take so we will embrace it. Also, Reason # 28753 why big kids are awesome: when Pacey started feeling bad he looked at me and said in the saddest little voice, "Mom, I'm not feeling so well." So much easier than trying to decipher why a younger kid is acting like a beast.

5. I bought a new water table for the kids to play with and it is just about the best thing ever. If you're in the market, this toy rocks:

6. Along similar lines (of consumerism, that is), we recently killed our blender making smoothies and replaced it with a Ninja. I'm totally in love. My go-to breakfast in winter is oats, but in summer I love smoothies and this thing makes it SO easy.

7. I've recently started listening to audiobooks. I love putting on my headphones and listening on my phone while I do chores. I'm definitely learning that I have some pretty specific likes and dislikes when it comes to audiobooks. A good narrator makes a world of difference and a bad one is like nails on a chalkboard. I don't like hearing a narrator do accents badly. Hearing them read swear words makes me cringe. And I read SO much faster in print than I can listen. You can adjust the speed but I haven't been able to get used to anything faster than the standard. It's annoying because I've been borrowing from the library and struggling to finish the books in the allotted time. I'm currently listening to Delicious by Ruth Reichl and it's a great story but I won't finish it before it expires tomorrow. I recommend, though, based on the part I've been able to listen to.

Friday, May 30, 2014


It would be pretty funny if this post was about a vasectomy, right?

It's not.

Archer got his first haircut today. I'm pretty sure Pacey didn't have a haircut for...gosh, I really don't even know how long. I think we just finally buzzed the baby mullet ourselves?? Brighton had her first cut when she was about 18 months old. We did it after we'd moved here to Minnesota and I have a little envelope of clippings they gave me (which I totally thought was gross and unnecessary but man, was she thrilled to pull it out of her keepsake box today to have a look. Worth it).

Archer was blessed with quite the head of hair, and I decided today I'd go ahead with his first cut. I knew the curls would most likely disappear, but they would anyhow (no one in either family has had truly curly hair after babyhood). I sat with him on my lap and, predictably, he was happy as a clam.

And he still looks pretty darn handsome, if I do say so myself.

(I love this baby).



Happy weekend to us all.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

10 Months

I'd say the time flew by, but in truth it's been a long 10 months. Although I have handled having an infant much better this time around, the fact remains that I am not a baby person. And if you can have this baby and not be a baby person, you REALLY aren't.

He's delightful. He is nearly always happy as long as I am within touching distance. He claps and waves and (hilariously) growls and is starting to sign back to me. For a huge skeptic of baby signing pre-Pacey, I am a strong supporter of it now and there is such a thrill when you see the look on a baby's face the first time they realize they can communicate that way. He is crawling and cruising and into absolutely everything and I have a feeling he's going to be a challenging toddler. I'm biased but I think he's adorable. I feel ok saying that because he sure as heck didn't get his looks from me. He has surprise curls that pop out after his bath and an infectious grin and my lands his eyes are blue.

I have been stretched to my mental and emotional limits this year. A needy baby and a precocious 4/5 year old that thrives on nonstop interaction has really tested me. Most of the time I still don't feel like I'm getting the balance right but my kids are undeniably happy and I suppose that's the most honest measure of all.

I still don't put enough towards myself. I need to prioritize the things that allow me to breathe more freely: quiet time, exercise, time with friends I relate to. The components of my life are so good: strong marriage, happy and healthy kids, beautiful house in a place I'm proud to raise my family. But unless I take care of my own brain I really can't enjoy them to the fullest.

We're on the brink of a new season in a lot of ways. Summer, with its different routine, both more and less restrictive at the same time. Three short months and then five days each week with just me and the baby. That too, will be harder and easier at the same time. A little more quiet time for me, but two kids with two schools and two separate sets of educational needs.

I meant to write about the baby but I guess this is sort of the nature of the third child...caught up in the chaos of the rest of the family. Archer, I love you. I'm so glad we have you. You complete our family in the best possible way.