Monday, December 31, 2012


Our family is so well-loved. So well-loved it's ridiculous. We made the Christmas trip to my hometown with two carloads of presents and suitcases, came home with both cars filled to the brim (even though we gave away the presents we came with), and then wrapped up the week with two more holiday gatherings and another carload full of toys. Today is our first day back to reality...which includes figuring out where we're going to put all this stuff. My New Year's resolution is to get organized, so this will be the first test of my resolve!

I'm going to take one more day to get things in order, and will post a Christmas summary here over the next few days. Now I just have to sort through hundreds of Christmas photos...

In the meantime, enjoy a cell phone photo of Oliver and Rody, one of the million gifts we received!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

White Christmas

We woke up to snow this morning! We might have a white Christmas after all!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmastime? Already?

Whether it feels like it or not, it's Christmastime. We're trying to get into the holiday spirit around here, despite the unseasonably warm weather and world events that feel decidedly un-Christmaslike. But ready or not, Christmas is coming, so we might as well prepare ourselves.

Part of the Christmas tradition for us is making a visit to Santa at our neighborhood's "Donuts with Santa" event. Both boys did fine with him, and I think Ellis told him he wanted a "trash pack from Target"--whatever that is.  Another tradition is, of course, the Christmas tree. We put up our sad artificial tree, which prompted Eric to say, "Let's just throw this away and go get a real tree!" It's up still, in all it', glory. Maybe next year we'll go the real tree route. Then there are the presents. We've shopped until we've dropped (literally, as in the case of the children, who were writhing on the floor of Barnes and Noble as I was searching for a book that was in stock--according to the customer service desk--but not where it was supposed to be).

So now we just have one crazy week to get everything ready...which doesn't feel like enough time, but will have to be. "Blog" is on my to-do list for this week, but if it falls by the wayside, I'll catch you after Christmas with lots of adorable photos from our holiday.

I hope you all (all 10 of you!) have a wonderful Christmas. I am thankful for each and every one of you who come here to see what our little family is up to. Especially in the wake of last week's events, I hope that we can all pause and appreciate all the blessings we have this Christmas. I know I'll be sending up an extra "thank you" for my children, and for their ability to flop on the floor at bookstores and generally make my life a little frazzled. I'll be thankful for our sparse tree and all the presents underneath it. I'll try to be thankful for all the craziness that leads up to Christmas in our family, because it means we have many people who love us and want to spend time with us, and that we have the means to offer them gifts. I'll be thankful that we can travel to be with our loved ones, because there are many who would go any distance to be with theirs, and aren't able to.

Merry Christmas, friends.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


There are "armies." And then there are "guys." Sometimes they play together. You have to make a lot of "pshew, pshew" sounds. Got it?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sand Play

I always say that we might as well live at the beach for all the sand I have in my house. Alas, we don't live at the beach...but we do live by a really cool sandbox. And we have a digger. And really, what more can one ask for?

Sand play is serious business

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Side-by-Side: Piano (in Green Shirt)

Eric has been urging me to do some side-by-side* posts of Ellis and Oliver either at similar ages or in similar clothing or photos. Because I have thousands upon thousands of photos, I can accommodate this request. So here's the photo that gave birth to this idea: both boys playing the piano in the same shirt.

Ellis, November 2009
Oliver, November 2012

*Until I figure out how to make a collage, it won't be as much side-by-side as it is one-on-top-of-the other. But that doesn't flow as well, so...whatever.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Ollie & Yia Yia

Over the last week, we enjoyed a lot of quality time with our Yia Yia! We miss you, YY!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Ellis wanted to hike and "look for interesting things" after one of our many delicious Thanksgiving feasts. I was happy for the opportunity to get a little exercise in, as well as spend some quality time with Ellis (there were plenty of volunteers to hold Oliver indoors). With Uncle Logan's help, we found some interesting things, like a dried up creek, sticks, and mushroom spores.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dog Walker

Ollie may have a future as a professional dog walker, if his current interest is any indication...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Ellis plays for hours on end with his army men, or "armies," as he calls them. They were left by the former occupants of my mom's new house, for which Ellis is very grateful.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Heading Home

We had a great Thanksgiving, and now we're headed home. In between unpacking, laundry, and getting settled back in at home, I hope to get some photos uploaded and onto the blog soon.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving too.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gratitude: Mama Comforts

Today, I'm grateful for baby carriers and nursing for their ability to comfort a snotty, teething baby and keep him close to me while I accomplish what I need to.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gratitude: Independence

If you've raised a toddler, you've probably heard it: "No, Mama! I do it!" Oliver is in this stage right now. No help, thank you. I'll do it myself, even if it's ten times harder and takes six times as long. In the short term, this is inconvenient, but in the long run, independence and self sufficiency really are blessings.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gratitude: Neighbors

Today, I'm thankful for my neighbors. Namely, for the one who took my two children this morning for 3 hours while I cleaned closets. Three whole hours of uninterrupted cleaning time! That's like, unprecedented! Three hours!

And no, you can't see a picture of what my house looked like before. But here's my organized coat closet. Grandma will NOT be crushed in an avalanche of coats and shoes on Thanksgiving! Not on my watch, anyway.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gratitude: Improvement

Do I dare even write this? I'm not really superstitious, so here goes...

Today, I'm thankful for improvement. That things are getting easier. That a full 24 hours by myself with the boys doesn't constitute a crisis. That we can travel across the city to see a friend without serious car drama. That, in general, my load feels lighter.

Last night Oliver was cranky and asked to be put in the sling. As I carried him, he nursed on and off, then started pointing in his mouth, then at the kitchen cabinets. I asked him if he wanted several things and he shook his head "no," and then finally I got to the cabinet where we keep medicine. I held up the infant ibuprofen bottle and asked him if he needed some medicine and he started nodding his head furiously. Poor baby! His teeth hurt!

Sad as that was, it's an improvement. It's an indication that Oliver is better able to communicate his needs to me, and that I spend less time playing the "why's baby crying?" guessing game.

Similarly, Ellis is maturing. And they're occasionally playing in the same room without any screeching or screaming, "He's touching my stuff!!"

I don't really have a photo to show improvement, but I do have a couple cute cell phone pics.