What We’re Stuck on…


White Collar (My new series to watch on Netflix.)


Spanish translations (at least until my test on Wednesday…)

Baby pictures (for a school project)

Coding (just finished my first website, hand-coded in HTML5 and CSS…will post a link once its live.)


Gymnastics (She has one sad-looking cartwheel.  Imagine a turtle attempting such a feat!)

Hugs (I gave her 17 hugs before bed the other night.  A good night.)

Fast shoes (aka her sneakers)

School.  (She tells me all about it at dinner…centers, books, jobs, lunch, kids that misbehave, etc.)

Sorting. (The other day, she put a penny, cup, button, and straw on each desk in Shawn’s classroom.  I take full credit for her amazing sense of organization.  One of these days, I am going to turn her loose on my closet.)


Songs (“twinkle twinkle star,” “boat ride,” and “bus ride” are his favorites.  And grandpa has at least a half dozen verses in “the wheels on the bus.”)

Sitting on the counter in the kitchen (“Up, please.  Up, please.  Up, please.  Up, please.  Up, please.  Up, please.”  That is how our days start.)

Any activity that involves a ball (soccer, basketball, baseball, golf, egg-toss, ping-pong, etc.)

Stuffing food into his face so he can be considered “done.”

Helping me prepare dinners and bake.  (From his counter perch, he can be quite helpful.)


Eating (Peas, poofs, cheerios, toast, mango, banana, sweet potato, etc.  Girl loves her food.)

Standing up and cruising

Crawling on top of me when I attempt push-ups and sit-ups

Sophie the Giraffe  (Her new favorite toy.  One squeak and she is all smiles!)

Riley and Adrian (She can sit and watch them play for hours.)


In a word, Atlantica.


Oh, and stickers.  We all love stickers.  I would post the pictures of the kids covered in them, but they are minimally clothed.

How We Celebrated Our 8th Wedding Anniversary

Shawn taught all day.

I taught all morning.  Then I scored essays all afternoon (for almost four hours straight!).

We met up at 6:25 at a gym near our house, just in time for me to take Sidney and Riley, so Shawn could do a parent/child gymnastics class with Adrian.

During the class, I scarfed down a bunch of chips from Moes.  Shawn had picked up food before the class.  Does this count as going out for our anniversary?

When we all got home at 7:30, I read to Riley and got her into bed while Shawn watched the littles.

At 8:00, we worked together to get ready for today: cleaning bottles, making lunches, repacking bags, and setting out clothes.  So celebratory.

At 8:15, I fed and rocked Sidney to sleep.

At 8:30, I sat down with a big bowl of banana bread cobbler and ice cream.  Shawn was unwinding on his computer after inhaling his burrito from Moes.

At 9:00, I watched half an episode of Slings and Arrows.

Then I called it a night.  Shawn tucked me in, and I was out.


While we have plans to go out at some point for our anniversary, the day was really, really great.  Full.  Busy.  At work and at home.  And at home, we were surrounded by our little ones.  The pre-bedtime hours were filled with their small voices, their breathless requests for another story, another hug, more milk, their little bodies moving from room to room, blankets flung about.  And then the eventual calm as one by one they succumbed to sleep, Riley first, then Sidney, and finally out little man.

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the day, really.  There’s a certain magic that accompanies the flow state of family life, and last night, we were in it.

It doesn’t get any better than that.

And of course, there was that big bowl of banana bread cobbler…

Love you, Babe.  More and more each day.  Ours is still the Greatest Story Ever Told.

down the LEG and in the FACE

Down the Leg

Poop, that is.  More specifically, very watery poop running down Riley’s leg.  She didn’t quite make it, she said.  I don’t really blame her.  From the look of her leg, this wasn’t exactly something she could control.

So I tell her not to move, not a single step, while I get some wipes and then start a bath for her.

On my way to the wipes, I stop in the bathroom to run her water.

Poop.  Everywhere.  And pee.  Probably 60 percent of the bathroom floor is covered in something yellow or brown.  Thankfully, we have a small bathroom.  Her bath is going to have to wait.  First wipes.  Then bathroom floor.  Then bath.

I threw away the towel I used to mop up all the poop.  That’s how bad it was.  But now, I think our bathroom floor is cleaner than it has ever been.

In the Face

On Saturday morning, Shawn and I started playing racquetball together.  We’ve played at different times in our relationship here and there.  This is how it goes: Shawn plays one game with the racket in his right hand.  He beats me pretty bad.  I think yesterday, my best day, the score of the first game was 15-6, Shawn.  Then he switches to his left hand, and things get more competitive.  For me, the goal is and has always been to get Shawn to switch back to his right hand.  I think in the beginning, like the first time we played together, I don’t think I realized Shawn had switched to his left hand; I just thought I was Most-Improved-Racquetball-Player-of-the-Day or something.  Now I know better.


So we started playing again.  Apparently, our racquets were pretty old, too.  So old, that on Monday, a gentleman walked by, stopped, and popped his head in to ask exactly when the last time we had played was.  The 1990’s?  Then he proceeded to let me borrow one of his nice, new, wide, and light-weight rackets.  Man, was that fun.  I even beat Shawn once or twice (after he switched to his left, though).

So when we were out running errands yesterday, we treated ourselves to 15 dollar new racquets.  Seriously: how was I supposed to go back to using one of our old rackets?  Sorry, Daddio…I think the next stop for them is our garage toy bin or ebay.

Then we played last night.   And I took two hits to the face.

The second one wasn’t that bad.  It really just grazed my forehead and still managed to hit the front wall.  But the first one stung.  Right to the cheekbone.  I saw the blue coming and couldn’t turn out of the way fast enough.  We finished playing, but by 11:00, I was done.  My head hurt, and I just wasn’t feeling great.  My head is still spinning this morning.

Was it worth it?  Absolutely.  Plus, I kind of love battle wounds/scars/bruises.  Am I thankful Shawn was playing with his left hand?  Absolutely.  Do I need a pair of racquetball goggles?  Probably.

Not exactly what I wanted to hear…

Me: What is this?  Does it look weird to you?  Bigger? Or is that how it always looks? (I’m pointing at the side-rear of my right leg.  I jiggle it a little.)

Shawn: I guess.

Me: You guess?  You guess it’s the same or different?

Shawn: Different maybe.

Me: Really? (Big-time frown.)

Shawn: Don’t worry.  You’ll work it off.

Me: I’m already down below my pre-pregnancy weight.  There’s nothing to work off!

Shawn: Then you’ll tone it up.

Me: Thanks, Babe.

I love Shawn’s honesty.  I really do.  And this conversation cracked me up.  I’ve started doing some squats.

Dear Husband,

We both know I’m not Cate Beckinsale.  Not even close.  But you tell me I’m beautiful even   now, even after three kids, despite my tired eyes and peanut-butter smeared sweatshirt.

We both know I have high expectations. For myself.  The house.  You.  Our family.  But you remind me not to worry.  You believe in me as I go after my dreams.  You vacuum so I can go to sleep.

We both know I write a blog.  About our family.  About me.  Sometimes about you and not necessarily in the most favorable light.  But that’s so I can work out things that bother me before I bring them up with you.  So I won’t try to hoard the mood or start a fight.  Besides, if I only sang your praises, my blog might be viewed as fiction.  “Surely such a supportive and helpful husband is the stuff of fairy tales and fables,” my readers would say.

We both know I want a lot out of life.  A big family, a career, the world.  But I know that these things are only possible with you in my life.  You make me want more.

We both know you spoil me.  Even if it’s just a bag of peanut M&M’s on sale at Kroger’s.  And yet I complain when you buy bottles of Coke Zero at work.  I’m sorry.  Really, you deserve a Coke Zero fountain and a moat of M&M’s.

We both know we’re busy.  Some nights, I wonder if we’ve talked at all or only really through our children.  But I know some day we’ll have plenty of time to talk, once our children are grown and its just us again.  You’ll make me a cup of tea, and I’ll pour your sugary cereal.  Then we’ll look back on these days and the teamwork it took to look after and love our kids.  Then we’ll smile, remembering all the happiness we shared and created together.

We both know I don’t thank you enough.  Recently, we haven’t held each other enough either.  The little one starts to cry for a diaper change.  A big one wants his blanket, her snack.  But just being with you, knowing that we are in it together is more than enough.  Thank you.

I love you through a black hole and back.