There are days when you fall into a rhythm. Its a day relatively low on the stress scale. The voice volumes only rise when someone is screeching before a belly busting roll of giggles.

On days like this the little things about my kids make me smile when I'm not thinking about it. Those of you with kids know exactly of what I speak - you just suddenly find the corners of your mouth twitched upward as you stare at your kid. Your stare so focused your perphial vision blurs.

Honestly, you go through it at a subconscious level - filing away the little thing for future smile inducing moments without recognizing what you're doing. Today it dawned on me, this thing that we mom's do, as the three of us walked along the boarded sidewalk at the river.

Its not a terribly long walk but its a nice one. We take our time starting off by throwing some of the baby's puffed up stars to the ducks. (Ducks, apparently, love cherry flavored Gerber finger foods.) Logan walks for a while and then he decides he'd rather ride and snack on puffs himself. He takes his seat in the back of the great-big-double-stroller. Meg sits up front so she can see everything around her without obstructed view.

Today there was a breeze. It was a beautifully warm day with one of those summer breezes that wraps a cozy hug around your shoulders as it whispers in your ear and gently moves the hair from your forehead. When you live near the shore, this sort of breeze brings with it the comingling smells of salt water and suntan lotion. Its a fantastic scent.

I was inhaling deeply, trying to catch that scented breeze and hold it in as long as I could. I glanced down at the two red-headed heads riding along before me. The older one reaching a hand under the canopy to pat the little one. He coos "Oh, I love my little baby sister. Megan Rose, you are so cute." It makes me smile, but that doesn't surprise me because it always makes me smile. It was what I noticed next that pulled out the secret zoning out smile.

It's Meg's hair.

Her strawberry blonde locks that curl up at the ends on humid days is now long enough to blow in the breeze. When she'd lean back against the stroller, the wind would blow her hair over the seat top. The not quite 'wispy' strands fluttered. It was so very little girl and no longer little baby.

I caught myself in mid-smile. It occured to me that it wasn't just the hair. It was that, as Logan has begun to remind us recently, she's not a baby anymore. To quote big brother, she's a "tot-ler". She's still a month and half shy of the offical "Totler" age, yet her growth has suddenly propeled her there.

She walks. She talks. She's displaying that typical toddler ability to lay claim to every item in her line of sight and to scream bloody murder when said items are removed from her grasp. She's clearly in posession of a very well defined personality - complete with a wicked sense of humor and a horrid little stubborn streak. She tries to wink at us by squeezing her eyes shut and then quickly opening them - the eye lid twitch made even smoother by the great big smile on her face as she does it.

She's become so expressive and exhibits her ability to understand what we're saying to her even if she can't answer us verbally. She's taken to giving kisses - her latest victims of the big sloppy, smushing of open mouth being my knee and Logan's cheek bones. She's figured out Eskimo kisses and will shake her head rapidly if you put your nose close to hers.

She dances. She sings. She giggles so much her body shakes. She can bend over to pick something up while standing without support. She can *almost* stand up straight without pulling up on something. She can do so many things that it sometimes seems impossible to remember a year ago she wasn't even here.

All that floods to me by the sight of that red hair fluttering the breeze. The hair that had been so close to the head and fuzzy 10 and half months ago. The hair that today needs two barrets. Its amazing what such a few strands can do to you!


Ideas - Courage - Time = Stagnant

So I have a handful of story ideas I want to pitch to the magazine. Things I think might be the sort of stuff that would be published if its not been done recently or on tap to be done already. Yet the pitch email hasn't gone out yet. Its procrastination piled on a crunch for time and a backbone to instill the confidence that I can to do this stuff.

My new work buddy, who we like, gave me a nice jab in the ribs to get the ball rolling on Tuesday. But the ball is still sitting here at my feet.


He's around here somewhere

When we first met, I was the one that took business trips. Bruce's big venture out of the office was to come across the street to the subsidary I worked in. The early years of our marriage, my travel scheduled slowed, but he still remained 'home bound' as I tacked on frequent flyer miles.

It wasn't until our first child was born that the tables flipped. If I even HAVE any travel for business its a day trip. Bruce, on the other hand, is on his latest trip as we 'speak.' Each time he travels I discover a deeper understanding and appreciation for the single parent -- those permantantly so or otherwise.

I'm spoiled, however. My family lives close and the kids adore them. The feeling, of course, is mutual. We spend a lot of time with Grandma and Papa when Daddy travels. It works out nice for all of us.

Except that Logan misses Daddy. He's been asking me every day since Bruce left 'Is tonight when Daddy comes home when I'm in bed? Can I lay in my room awake and wait for him?" Then Megan's head jerks up from whatever it is she's attempting to destroy at the moment. "Dada?" she asks. "Dada! Dada! Dada!" as she looks around for him.

And each night the answer has been "No, honey, not yet." Except of course tonight. Tonight will have to be "Daddy will be home very late tonight. Too late for you to stay awake waiting." Then when Logan wakes up tomorrow and Dad's already left for work, I'll have a new problem on my hands. Poor kid.

Poor Daddy too. He not only misses the kids, he misses out on the changes in them. They change so fast when they're little. He left for San Francisco on Saturday with a boy that was only yearning to swim and he'll come home to a "man-boy' that is able to propel himself around the shallow end. He's grown confident enough to no longer need a set of adult hands to hold him afloat as long as he has his big yellow noodle under his arms.

Dad left behind a baby girl that would walk mere feet at a time from one person to another or one object to another. He's coming home to a toddler that wants to do nothing but walk around the house. She even shakes off your hand when you try to help her balance as she yells "NO!"

The changes are always seemingly overnight yet the awareness of this is heightened when we're on our own. Me calling him on cell phones and emailing to his Blackberry -"Guess what Megan did!" or "Logan can now. . ."

Of course his absence also highlights what a terrific Dad he is. His pride in the accomplishment is as noticable in his tone of voice as is his disappointment in missing it. He plans for big things over the weekend to make up for the missing time. He does a bit too much shopping for 'gifts' as a token to say "sorry I wasn't with you." He'll snuggle them a bit longer tomorrow night. He'll hold them a little tighter. He'll clap even louder when they show off their newest feats.

And each time he returns, I remember why I married him. I remember why the little things like the way he has to turn on every light when he gets up early in the morning shouldn't irritate me as much as it does. The little things are just that and the important stuff is that he's ours and he's home. Tonight. Can't wait.


Mentor? Check.

Little 10 month old Megan has a mentor. Its not hard to imagine who it is. He's a tad over 3 feet tall and he's got two more years of life experience than she has. Yup, Megan idolizes her big brother. She tries to do what he does. She insists on having what he has - even if it means taking something away from him and making him really pissed off in the process. He'll snatch it back from her -- making her cry because she's lost her prize, as he yells "That's MINE! She can't have it! MOM!"

Today, Megan has demonstrated a new level of confidence in one budding skill and a new progression in another skill. We can't credit Logan with her willingness to walk the length of the house on her own. But we can for her mouth. At least some of it.

Some kids put the brakes on miscellaneous areas of development to focus on one big thing. They'd grow quiet as they learned to walk, for example. Not Meg. No, she seems to just knock down a whole bunch of milestones at one time as if she was a bowler gunning for that perfect 300.

When she first started to experiment with walking on her own a month ago, she simultaneously entered that really fun stage of language development we like to call parroting. Say something to her and she attempts to repeat it back to you. The result is that she has a decent sized vocabulary to use as she bravely lets ago of a table for her 3-4 foot walk to the nearest warm body. Most of her 'words' are not something the average stranger would recognize as being such. Those of us in her daily world, however, know exactly what she's saying. You hear it in context often enough and her realize that "dah" means doll and "Elmah" is her beloved "Elmo."

Today, with Daddy away on business, Grandma, Papa, Logan, Megan and I hit the Ice Cream festival downtown. We made a pit stop at the library so the boy could get his second sticker. As Logan walked around looking for new stories to absorb, Megan made her way to the board books. She sat herself down near a shelf and began to pull books just as she does at home. She stopped her raid when her fingers found the "duh-kah" (duck) book. She laughed. She clapped. She tossed it at me. We added it to the pile to bring home.

And that was about the extent of her willingness to look for books. She wanted up. She wanted to yank 'big kid' books off the shelves. She wanted to sing. She wanted to destroy, er explore. Grandma took her for a walk. They found a small, stuffed Dora the Explorer in the stacks of books. Megan grabbed at it. Megan held it tight, squishing Dora's head into the soft, round, baby fat cheeks and neck she still sports.

We left well enough alone for a while. Megan held on to that doll for dear life. Looking at it lovingly (coveting it perhaps) and gently caressing its hair. She'd press it back to her face and whisper "Ahhh." The adults, being all responsible citizens, decided to devise a plan to return Dora to her library shelf home.

"Meggie, honey, we have to put Dora back," said Grandma.

That's when Meg showed her new ability - the ability to combine two words together. She glared at Grandma. She pulled Dora in tighter.

"Mah Dah."

I stopped walking. I turned and stared at her. I looked at my mom. "Did I just hear..." I said, but before I could finish the question, Grandma had started saying "I think she just said my..."

But Meg spoke up again, interrupting as she did so. "MAH DAH!" She said vehemently.

Logan heard it. Logan laughed. "My doll," he deciphered for the strangers nearest him. "She thinks that Dora is her doll. My silly baby sister. She's so cute."

In case we thought it a freak thing, Megan repeated the concept later in the day when the dog tried to reclaim her ball. Sydney (Grandma and Papa's dog) picked up a rubber ball Megan had been tossing away and then crawling after. Megan's lip quivered. She yelled "Dawg!" (Dog!) She stared at Sydney. Then she demanded its return by saying "Mah ball!"

Of all the things she could pick up from Logan, she picks up the concept of "mine" and how to vocalize it. Nice.


If I had a column on fun things you can find online, today's shared tidbit would be Google Earth. Its a download, not a web site and its something Bruce discovered at work.

Well Logan and I have looked up close at the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Canyon, the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx, the Imperial Palace in Japan, and Disney World to name a few places. Yes, I am aware of how out of place Disney World seems in that list to some. Ok, and we did peek at our backyard.


He's too smart for my own good

So the new PC arrived. Its still sitting in boxes left casually in my kitchen. Logan thinks its a nice home for his juice box. ACK!

Ahh, but I wander off topic again.

I explained to my Man-boy that we had to wait around the house today until Mr. Brown-truck arrived. In response, he asked his favorite question, "Why?" And so, I, perhaps unwisely, explained that we had bought a new computer. Logan is aware that this one is on its last leg. He gets as frustrated as I do when it crashes in the middle of one his games or when we're trying to see who can send the smiley on IM faster - him or Grandma. He was very happy with the prospect of a new PC.

And so I continued on with the plan. "When the new one is all hooked up and good to go, we're going to take everything off the old one and put back on just some of the stuff. The stuff you play with. Its going to be YOUR computer!" Well that just put him on a cloud.

Mr Browntruck finally arrived around noon-ish. I ran down through the garage to sign for the packages and let him dump the three boxes next to the Mommyvan. (Our front steps still a crumbled mess since the contractor is still to busy to start the job. ACK!) Logan was yelling through the glass door "Is that my computer?!"

Yes, "my" computer is what he said and it wasn't a mistake. I sat at this heap-o-crud to reply to some work emails and Logan says to me, after a deep pensive sigh, "I don't want this computer. No. I don't like it. Its not mine."

"You don't want a computer? Well, ok, but honey, you can't be on mine when I need it for work." I told him, reminding him of a constant discussion we have.

"I want a computer," he said as if I had rocks in my head. "I just don't want THAT computer." And I, perhaps foolishly, asked him which one he wanted.

He took my hand. He led me from the office/sunroom/playroom to the kitchen. He pointed to the boxes marked DELL in bright blue. "I want that one. That one is mine. That one in there is yours."

"Ahh, so don't think so little man." I said without catching myself before 'little' crept out. He's still so offended that anyone could consider his three-year old self to be little.

And then he, in his best impression of a teenager voice, said "Oh Mom. I don't want that old one. Its too broken. I want the nice good one. You can have the yucky one."

Hmm. Yeah right. To borrow a phrase from my youth - NOT!


slowly going crazy

First - Logan woke up around 6:30 this morning and decided it was a good time to just sit on my lap in the recliner and cuddle. Of course, as many good preschoolers know, cuddling may also include viewing some sort of child-focused programming. I gave him the choice of PBS Kids or Disney. He picked Disney.

I've been singing that damn Doodlebop "Get on the Bus" song all freakin' day!

"Doot doot doot doot doot doot doot doot doot doot doo. Let's get on the bus."
Second - according to the nice tracking page that Dell linked me to, my brand new PC should arrive tomorrow. Of course this is also the same carrier that screwed up part of my shipment to the tradeshow last month. Remember that? Leaving cranky boss' boxes at the wrong hotel. With my luck my brand, spanking new PC will end up two blocks over.

But I digress.

I've spent the LAST THREE HOURS attempting to burn the 'important' stuff from this old hunk o' junk to CD. You can imagine how many times I had to mutter something like "Damn it!" as the machine locked up mid transfer. I finally went with a "Direct CD" program that and skipped the other so-called "Easy CD" mess. So now, again in theory, everything I might want to keep tabs on, is neatly saved on disk that in theory I can open and view again on a new machine.



Retold with pictures! :)

Once upon a time, a young boy watched a big, fat, squishy green caterpillar munching on some parsley. It so happened that he came across this stripped eating machine at the very moment he was out looking for something to move into his brand new bug-condo. And so "Newchur" the caterpillar packed up 'his' bags and moved in.

One day (aka July 4, 2005), Newchur meandered up to the corner of his little condo. He relaxed so much his mid section bowed up allowing him to make a stubby little "J" shape. He leaned back a bit from the frame at the top, suspended by two thing filaments near his head.

The very next day he was wrapped tight in a cocoon, where he remained for two weeks until. . .

He emerged as a butterfly. And the young boy's mother discovered from the blue markings that "he" is most likely really a "she" -- even though the boy insists his mother is wrong about this.


Habits are hard to break

Newchur, the once parsley eating caterpillar, has emerged from his cocoon. Just two week ago we discovered the big fat green fellar hanging in the side of his bug-cage - shaped like a stunted candy cane. As Bruce and I settled in to watch a movie last night I peered over at the bright yellow framed, screened box. Newchur's chrysalis still hung firmly and tightly closed at one edge despite the promise of butterfly emergence in 10-days that I had found online.

"You think maybe its too cold in the house?" I asked Bruce, doing that thing that irks him. The thing where I start talking in mid-thought as if he's privy to what's in my head.

"For the kids? Maybe, maybe Megan woke up because her feet are cold." he reasoned, thinking about how he'd just but the baby back to sleep.

"No, not them, well ok maybe them, but I'm thinking about Newchur," I wrinkled my nose and thought some more. "Maybe he won't come out of there because its just too cold or something. Maybe, you know, its like the other stuff in nature that depend on the temperature changes to know when to do their thing."

It made some sense. So out Newchur's cage went. I placed it out on top of our grill so we could see it from our kitchen window. Bruce wanted me to open the door of the buggy-jail cell so Newchur the butterfly could get out to spread his wings without cramping his style in the box. I refused. Logan would be heartbroken if the little guy got out before he got to see him in his new form.

I had forgotten about it actually. Forgotten when I rubbed sleep from eyes around 6 this morning - being beckoned by both kids. I had forgotten that we put him outside. We were playing for nearly an hour when I decided to do our routine check on the bugger. Ahh, no cage. Wait, cage is outside.

I got side tracked. I filled sippy cups. I located breakfast. Then I glanced out the window and the cage sitting upon the grill caught my eye. I could swear I saw something bigger and black hanging down from the center. No way, I thought, there is no way it emerged! I hurriedly told the kids I'd be right back. "Just wait here!" I thought, knowing that at least the one in the high chair wasn't moving anywhere for a change.

I stepped out the door and reached for the cage - and there he was. Newchur the butterfly. Wings still folded down and stuck together, but big long black legs attached to a beautiful black spotted body. His chrysalis abandoned. I ran back in side, the cage in my hand.

"LOGAN! Look!" I shouted and Newchur fluttered a bit. The two of us oohed and aahed. We grabbed my camera and took a picture. I opened the door and took another picture of him without the screen impeding our view. Logan yelled at me not to let him out, but it was clear then that Newchur was newly emerged and not quite ready to fly. Megan clapped. She didn't know why she was to clap, just that our excitement must surely be clap-worthy.

Logan retrieved Daddy from his ironing. Yelling until Dad came down the hall. We all marveled and then Logan asked to set Newchur free. So we headed out back with our caged butterfly. I had read that the Black Swallowtail Butterfly (which Newchur is now) like to feed on the nectar of Coneflowers. Most specifically the purple ones. And, as luck would have it, my wildflower garden is full of such a plant. We opened the door to the box near the flowers. Newchur continued his solemn march at the opposite side of the cage. Logan began to panic, having heard Daddy say that we needed to get him space to spread his wings so he didn't hurt them.

I pulled one of the shorter, smaller Coneflowers into the cage and dipped the head down near the prancing butterfly. When he stepped aboard I gently pulled the flower out. There he was, wings still stuck together at the ends, feet jittering as he found the right place to hang and check out the world in his new form. He fluttered, each time prying his wings apart a little more. He moved around. Logan and I watched him carefully. We took more photos. He taking a few that I can only hope includes more than just 3 year old toes. Meg joined us as Daddy got ready for church. The three of us huddled around this little creature rediscovering what life had to offer.

He fluttered with a bit more determination and got the wings open. The top and bottom sections falling into place and displaying the intricate beauty that nature can paint on such a creature.

"Oh, he's so pretty Mommy!" Logan sighed.

And then my mind raced. What was it I had read - male Black Swallowtail butterflies have more yellow on their wings. Females have more blue.

"Ahh, Logan, Newchur is a girl. She's beautiful." I took the time to explain as simply as I could what the color markings meant.

And Logan said "No he's handsome."


Life by Bullet Point

Once a week we have a team meeting at work. It happens to be on Monday morning so I get to go. I also once made the mistake of taking really good minutes for bossman while covering for someone else on the team. Since then I get to do it every week. Lucky me. I'd be irked by it if I didn't end up with my regular hourly rate to be a note taker. Each Monday afternoon I type up my notes - in bullet format - and send the transcript off to the entire department and the executive committee. I've become comfortable with the bullet point as a result. It seeps into my life when I least expect it - like tonight.

* Nag - My son has become a nag. I think its a three thing. Or an obnoxious tick designed to pay me back from some form of evil I engaged in. Example?

Him - Mommy, can I have a yogurt now?
Me - No, Daddy will be home in 15 minutes and we're having dinner then.
Him - But I want a yogurt right now.
Me - If you eat a yogurt now, you won't eat your dinner in 15 minutes.

Moments later he appears at my side and hands me a cluster of containers held together by cardboard. I ask him some what sarcastically "What is this?"

Him - That's my yogurt. Can I have it now?
Me - Logan Daddy will be home any minute, just wait. What are you doing now?
Him - Getting my spoon.

* Sometimes the best part of having a chef in your family is stealing his recipes because its not like he'll really get around to cooking FOR you. I type this as my spare ribs sit in their salt rub for the night preparing to be slow roasted tomorrow. Yummmmy!

* The neatest part about helping out someone that thinks she knows more than you - is proving that she does not. I'm not getting into that one.

* For the 2nd time we've canceled a scheduled garage sale. Once because of my uncle's health issues and once because of the threat of cruddy weather (that so far has not shown up.) However, some day we WILL have this darn sale and I will get to clear out all the crap in my basement. Its safe to say at least half of said crap is a hand-me down from the inlaws.

* Sounds that can make me smile
- Megan smiling at me and saying sweetly "Mwah!" Its her attempt to blow kisses without, you know, really blowing kissing.
- Logan whispering to me as I kiss him good night "Mom, you're the greatest. I love you."
- Megan holding her stuffed frog and giggling as she says "Rrrret, Rrrret!" (or Ribbet, Ribbet.)
- Logan lecturing the dog "Now Tasha, that is not nice to try to get Megan Rose's breakfess. You have to leave her alone. Here, I will get you a treat. Come on! Get the treat!" (All while the dog sits beside the high chair staring as if to say, "You've got to be kidding me. The buffet never ends over here!"
- Hearing a three year-old's take on aging, "Mommy, you are not old." (To which I said "Thank you honey.") "No you're not old now. Next year you will be old." (Ahh, gee, thanks.)
- Don't ask how it got to this point, but Logan on being dead "My body will not be in the ground. It's just hiding and I'm going to find Jesus and tell him to come help me find it again."

* Finally, I probably should not be posting when half-asleep. Ya think?



Well I found a better deal and so I placed the order. Confused - keep reading.

Fund still open. Now I've got to pay this damn thing off!

BSNC Fund - first a complaint

No, don't google it. Its not a real fund. Its one I wish was real though. BSNC fund - Buy Sandy New Computer. Yup, I need one. I need one badly. This piece o' crap sucks. Ask anyone that tries to IM with me on a regular basis. The damn machine crashes often. And now. UGH! Tonight! I was *this* close to posting a three year update on my son's blog and the browser I was working in just shut down. No error notices. No warnings. Poof! Its gone. Blogger did not eat my post. My PC did. Gone. Gone. Gone.

Yesterday I found some great deals on a computers we'd like. I did the research. I got the info from B on his company's employee discount program for this particular brand. I even did the online credit approval form. And B chickened out. "I think we probably need one," he says, "But I worry about how to pay for it. The money. It scares me." So we walked away from the deal - the "this special ends TODAY" deal, by the way. Today as in yesterday.

So tonight I sat down at my 5 1/2 year old piece of crap, er I mean computer. I start to type. I invest many a minute of my night crafting a heart felt piece about how big my kid has grown and how fun and amazing he can be and the damn PC just fries it up into little bits of never again to be seen 0s and 1s.

And so now I'm back on this piece of crap and instead of going back to what I was doing, I'm off shopping again for a new computer. It may take longer this time since I'm going to feel compelled to find another deal like I had yesterday. DAMN!

Anyone want to send their spare pennies over? The fund is now accepting donations.


Ah, not quite

No sooner did I hit "post" this morning, then did my husband appear in the next room with a not quite sleeping girl on his shoulder. "She was standing" he said glumly. So much for that theory.

This afternoon the sweet, lovable, office dufus decided to help the boss find a better hotel deal for tonight. He found one. He told the new exec assistant that he had the two required rooms and she just needed to call back to confirm with the right credit card number. He told the boss that he had rooms at half the price of his original stay. Boss canceled his expensive reservations under the repeated assurance that he had a better option. He got the address and he was on his way.

Then the Exec Asst. made the call with the credit card number in hand. "You just spoke with someone in our office, we had two rooms reserved a moment ago..."

Oops, not quite. Between the time Dufus hung up and EA called, one room vanished. Mad hunt for new hotels ensued. Being on the outside of this fiasco looking in, I found it quite comical.

And yes, if you're curious, bossman did get a new hotel finally.

Three Cheers for Footy Pajamas!

I may have referenced this before, but Miss Meg has entered that delightful stage of baby-hood where standing in one's crib is oh so much more fun than sleeping in it. Its a particularly irritating feat when she does it at 2am. The problem is two fold:

a) She can stand up, but she's not quite figured out how to get back down. Stand or sit while out of the crib and sure she'll get it all worked out. Stand or sit in the crib? The child has been known to fall back to sleep sitting up. Yes. She has.

b) Even if she COULD get back down after standing up, well she just simply does not want to. If you help her lay back down, she's sitting back up before your feet hit doorway and she's standing before you can whisper "Shhh, sleep-time Megan Rose. Go to sleep honey. You're fine."

Simultaneously she's decided the bottle is so not worth her time. Its not that she's looking to ditch what's in it, she just has no need for the delivery mechanism. Its so baby and she's ready to be a big kid like her brother. The last two days, Megan has taken the vast majority of her non-solid meals out of a strawed sports cup. Just like the one big brother likes to have his milk in. We're just very happy she's not got to have the regular open topped plastic cup he drinks his water out of. Ack! But I digress. You see, this recent bottle adversion also means she's waking up looking to eat. Sometimes its early - like an hour or two after she's gone to bed. Other times its wee-hours-of-the-morning early - like today when we got up at 4. And other times, frankly before we figured out the whole sippy cup thing, it was both.

Last night we heard her start to fuss at 11pm. We had been sleeping already - wiped out from the previous nights up and down with her. She called out once or twice. Then before one of us could roll out of bed to help her back down, she fell quiet. This morning at 4 she went from silence to hysterics. I walked in her room expecting to find her standing at a side rail, reaching out for a hand out. What I found was a baby frustrated by her own two feet.

We were lazy with the laundry this weekend and Miss Thing's clothes didn't end up in the machine until last night. She's out of her regular PJs. Instead she's wearing a pair that's been hanging in the closet as 'if we need it' back-ups. Old, one piece, pale blue hand-me-down footed PJs. Size 18 month. My daughter only wears a 12 month. The PJs, however are that tight, body fitted style so she can manage the larger size in a pinch - if we're ok with the big floppy feet. And trust me, after last night, I'm more than ok with them.

When Meg wears big, floppy footed pajamas, Meg can't pull up.

When Meg can't pull up, Meg goes back to sleep on her own accord unless she's really hungry.

When Meg polishes off 10 ounces before bed, Meg isn't hungry until early morning.

Mommy LOVES Footy Pajamas.

Its a temporary fix, no doubt. She's a little firecracker of a kid. She'll get this problem of hers figured out soon enough. In the interim, I'm contemplating a trip to the nether regions of my basement to see what other slightly too big in the feet sleepers I can scurry up.

As the big brother has recently taught his little sister to say, "Oh fey." Alas, my kids are tapping into our propensity to use the little Yiddish we've learned from my paternal Grandmother's side of the family. My Great Aunt Millie would be thrilled.


More signs you're losing it

3. Your in-home sanctuary is the very tiny Master bath.
And I do mean "very tiny" by the way. Its occured to me that if you go into that itty bitty bathroom, close the door and turn on the exhaust fan, you hear nothing else in the house. NOTHING. No crying. No screaming. No "ITS MINE!" Not a thing at all.

4. You consider starting your children a pots-n-pans band that rehearses at 6am Sunday mornings.
Last year, the day of Logan's 2nd birthday party, an authentic backhoe showed up in the yard of the house behind us. It dug them an inground pool. Something we can not FATHOM how it fits in that small space, but fits it does. Anyway, so far this summer they have a party every. Saturday. night. A loud, drunken, rukus of a party that extends past midnight most weekends.

I fight to muster the maturity each Sunday morning NOT to hand my children wooden spoons and frying pans as I let them sit in the back corner of our yard banging away - as loud as they can. They only thing convincing me NOT to do so are the other houses around us that suffer the way we do. Now, if I could get *them* to join our noisy band, we've got another story.

5. People talking to you on the phone have heard you yell "TASHA get the OUT of my garden NOW!"
This isn't actually a sign you're crazy - just that people may think you are. Maybe.

My dog, she's weird. She hunts vegetables. Some dogs hunt small animals. Mine tends to stare at them until its clear she has no chance in hell at catching it - then she makes a big show of charging at it's fleeing backside while barking up a nice storm. Veggies, on the other hand, are not safe - ever.

Last year I planted my first real garden and last year the dog had a her fill of cucumbers. They, apparently, are her favorite snack. She'd hop the small fence and help herself to whatever she could find. This year we changed out the fence for something we thought would be more of a deterent. Its not. It has gaps. She sticks her face between the spacers.

I have small growing cucumbers now. They're not nearly any where near ready to pick. . .unless your the Siberian Husky known as Tasha. Two down. Who knows how many more to go.

6. You begin to think that you're going to get kicked out of the Mommy-group because you're tired of just shaking your head and not saying a word.
Its a story so long, I won't get into it. I've spoken up once already today. I'm about to do it again. I am going to find myself without a playgroup - which is really ok since I hardly end up at most of the groups activities anyway. It just seems like such a badge of shame - having to admit that you once got booted out of a Mom's group.


Stories he reads and those he makes up. . .

As residents of the county seat we are blessed with a kick-ass library. It's under renovation, at least the old side is. The new side opened recently and gives indication that the entire place is going to be even better than before once the work is finally completed. Logan LOVES going to the library. He could spend forever and a day there. He likes picking out books. He also likes riding the glass elevator up and down and staring up at the mimicked stars on the ceiling of the elevator bay. He likes cuddling into the bean bag chairs to sample one of his story selections. And he really likes taking time to play the games on the computers in the children's department.

Each summer our library offers a reading program. Its designed to encourage school aged children to continue reading over summer hiatus. Pre-readers get to participate also by having 20 books read to them throughout the course of the summer. Logan signed up on Saturday. We've got 5 books already filled in - his five favorite selections from our nightly reads. Every five books he gets a sticker from the library.

Tonight was PJ storytime. He and I headed over a bit early to show the librarian his summer program card. I handed it to him as we entered the children's department.

"I get a sticker?" he asked excitedly. And I told him that yes he would get one tonight. He ran to the desk. He saw a mom there with her kids. "Is it my turn?!" he said anxiously.

"Not yet honey." I told him, resting my hand on his shoulder to keep him from charging ahead.

The woman and the kids left. "Is it my turn now?" he pleaded. Yes it was. He handed the staffer his program paper. She took that deep golden sheet from him and opened it to see what it contained.

"I get a sticker," he told her. She stopped to praise him for his five stories already accounted for. She pulled out the stack of stickers and asked him to pick one from a sheet she showed him. He picked a shimmering pink basketball and asked her to affix it to his paper for him because, as he informed her, he couldn't go behind the table since he didn't work there.

She gave him back his book and said something about seeing him again when he got to 10, but he didn't hear. He was too busy admiring his prize. Then he was off to the stacks of books, happily pulling one book from each aisle - something he felt destined to do tonight.

The bell rang and we followed the other librarian to the meeting room, joining a slew of PJ clad 2-7 year olds for a special time of stories in the early summer evening. First she played a song on CD. Logan stood - no one else did. He said, loudly I might add, "What's wrong with them? Don't they know its music?" He danced. He bopped. He clapped a little.

The woman read. He made it through two books, but her method of holding a book so only she and half the room could see it left him uninterested. He asked if we could leave for story time.

"This *is* storytime," I told him. And he told me no, he wanted to go back out to the beanbags and have our own story time. So we did.

On our way out we passed another regular summer occurrence - a concert in the courtyard outside the main entrance to the old section of the library. I asked Logan if he wanted to stay and listen some - "No," he said, "They're too loud." Instead we danced our way to the car, enjoying the cool evening and the 'loud' music.

We stopped for ice cream on our way home. As we were pulling out another car attempted to leave the lot down an aisle with no exit. He instead ended up just feet from us, front fender facing front fender. The man backed out and nearly clipped a car pulling in the lot at fast speed, desperate for a space at the popular local ice cream shop.

"What's that man doing?" Logan asked. "Crashing into cars?"

"Apparently," I said. "Or at least he will if he's not more careful."

Logan giggled as he sat securely in his car seat. "Come in, come in! This is Rocky Canyon," he said, pretending once again to be his favorite Rescue Hero. "We have a code 57298. We've got crashing into cars."

I laughed. "You're a real pip, you know that!" I told him.

"Why, yes I am!" he agreed, and dissolved into a fit of laughter.

A Caterpillar Update:
I am very proud to say that I managed to keep that thing alive long enough to cocoon! Logan named his wiggly, hungry pet "Newchur." I have no idea why. Regardless, on July 3 I noticed that Newchur was no longer chowing down on my parsley and carrot-top sampler. The little green thing was instead partly suspended in a pseudo "J" shape on the frame of the cage. Bruce thought it might have met the same fate as our 36-hour gold fish experiment. I thought it might be preparing to morph.

I was right. On July 5th we woke to find Newchur fully in cocoon. Now if I can only manage not to kill a morphing butterfly. My favorite caterpillar info web site says it should take about 10 days from the time our little friend hid away. Keep your fingers crossed!



We did get to the doctor this morning and Miss Meg does not have anything more than one pointy new front tooth and one rotten head cold. Whew! I mean the cold part sucks...and the fact that she's teething at the same time is pretty stinky for her, but at least its not an ear infection or croup, etc.


The baby is sick. It could be croup, although her rather impressive impersonation of a seal is only something she does occasionally. She's not coughing frequently, per se, and each time she does, she's not got that deep "arf, arf" sound going. Its when she cries. When I've gotten her from her crib and Daddy takes her over so I can sit for a moment or two without being a human tissue. Then she barks. Its awful. She cries, barks, yells MAMA, then cries, then barks some more.

Her little nose is so stuffy and runny. You can her her breathing as she sits feet away from you. She sneezes a lot. She also drools a lot which is likely the fact that her mouth is always open because of the stuffy head. She's a little more clingy that usual - but not much. Not like her brother gets when he's ill. He's velcro when sick. He's cranky and whiney and stuck on me like a new appendage. Its ok, I understand it, its just wearing after a while to have the extra 30+ pounds while doing all my normal stuff.

I had called the Ped yesterday evening to make an appointment for her. I thought it might be her ear. When I had picked her up from my parents she was runny but otherwise fine. When i got her out of the car 10 minutes later she had the glassy eyed "I feel like crap" stare and the heavy mouth breathing that signaled somewhere between here and there runny had moved to stuffy. The day before we had thought she was reaching for her ear a bit more than usual - so maybe. . . better get it checked.

Now it'll go from "is it her ear?" to "is it croup?" I suppose. Poor kid.

But she's not major clingy crank - clingy yes, and a tad cranked, yes, but not major. She's still playing (right now pivoting and inching along to retrieve her drum. She's already spent minutes chasing Tasha in the living room - letting go of the table and walking on her own towards her pet muttering "Dag, dag, dag." Until Tasha gets close and sniffs at Meg and then Meg just whines and calls "Mama, mama, mama, mama, Na. Na. Na." (Yes, she's now saying No. Usually with a shake of her head - a violent shake of her head.)


And the winner is. . .

It started when Logan was just days old. I got it in my head to photograph him in black and white for a special framed piece. The 'winning' selection hangs in our hallway behind black frame and white mat coupled with a card bearing his footprint, birth day and stats. Each year since, we've taken black and white photos of him just after his birthday. The winning selection is put in a frame with three openings that matches the original frame. This year the last opening gets filled. We took our roll today and this is the winning picture:

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Spinning, spinning, spinning

Today marks one full month of spin classes under my belt. Well technically I really missed a week in there but its four classes and I took the first one in June so there.

Its a HARD workout (we did a 5 lap up hill climb today!!) but its a good one once you're done. I'm proud of me. Now if only I can get to the gym more reguarly for everything else!!!!