What We Did Four Days Ago

Nothing like staying on top of things, right? I’m only a few days late, but it took me that long to a) find the cord that connects my camera to my computer and b) find the motivation to connect my camera to my computer.  I’ve had the motivation of a sloth on this trip, which has felt pretty good most of the time!

On Sunday evening we left for California! It was a nice distraction from the potential sadness in which I could have wallowed on Mother’s Day, and overall it has been a very uneventful, relaxing trip.  The odd times we’ve traveled and the time difference have left me a bit disoriented, but I think that might add to the fun, no?

After one of our flights, Gabe made a small detour into the cockpit  where he checked out the lay of the land and had his picture taken. Kudos to Delta who made a 6-year-old’s day!

We made it to California without even a hiccup!  Granted, it was 2:00 in the morning, but we made it!

This is what 2:00 in the morning looks like when you’re in kindergarten and you’re waiting at baggage claim.  Really, really exciting.  It would have been even more exciting if we’d made him walk through the airport to get our bags. But I took pity on him and carried him. Do you know how heavy a 50-pound slightly-asleep child is?  Way more than 50 pounds!  Lest you think I had the difficult job, I carried Gabe while Tahd carried all our carry-on luggage, which included two backpacks, a surprisingly heavy shoulder bag, and a purple purse.  Tahd definitely got the raw end of that deal!

Note: if you’ve ever lost a piece of luggage on any flight, there’s a really good chance it’s in Sacramento.  This is only one of several carts full of random bags.  Best of luck getting it out of the stack!

More to come…

What Time Is It?

I am so confused!

On Sunday evening we traveled to California. We left at 7:30 and arrived at 11:15 and had one one-hour layover and were on 4.75 hours worth of flights. Time change?  It’s magic!  My cell phone automatically picked up the new time but my itouch and my computer didn’t, leaving me in a perpetual state of disorientation, uncertain about what I should be doing at any given time. Should I be eating? Should I be asleep? Should I be picking Tahd up from work? Working myself? I HAVE NO IDEA!  The only thing I know for sure? Gabe should be in bed.  Always in bed. Because he seems to have been able to keep himself awake until 3:00 in the morning on Monday, which (along with continued sleep disruption) has induced an impressive series of tantrums and epithets aimed our direction. Namely things like, “Why are you so mean to me?” and “I know you hate me right now!” and “WHY can’t I EVER {fill in the blank}??????” and “Do it RIGHT. NOW!” and “I’m going to sit here until you do what I say!” (which happened to be related to a cup of Sprite that got dumped out tonight by Tahd because Gabe wouldn’t stop blowing bubbles in it) and all sorts of delicious 6-year-old demands that leave me concerned that I may have entirely screwed up this parenting gig.

But it’s bedtime right now – sweet, glorious bedtime in which the heavy eyelids of tired 6-year-olds have closed over the day and I have finally exhaled an epic sigh of relief since I know there will be no altercations for another six hours. And hopefully more.  🙂

If I were a good blogger I’d have downloaded my photos and would display evidence that in spite of the discord we’ve been having a pretty fun time. But what I am? Is a tired mommy who doesn’t want to leave the sofa to find the camera – let alone the appropriate cable.  Rest assured there’s been fun and there’s been swimming and there are sunburns and there are plans to round out the week with lots more adventure.  But first, I must lay on the couch and be lazy.

This and That

I have random bits to catch up on tonight…

I made a reading list of the books I possess that I haven’t yet read. I divided them out into the ones I really, really want to read and the ones I’ll be happy to get to at some point. On my “Must Read” list? Twenty six. I have twenty six books I reallyreallyreally want to read.  Love me some books {apparently}!  My favorites so far? The Mysterious Benedict Society series (for kids but really interesting… a little Harry Potterish but not quite as mystical), Expressive Photography and If You Want To Write. Next week I’ll have new favorites, but that’s just how it goes!

On Tuesday the kindergarteners went on their second field trip of the year – bowling! They had recently completed a unit in gym class about bowling and the teachers thought it would be a fun thing to do during Easter week. I got to chaperone, and what fun!  We had lots of adults, each taking a few children to a lane. I think everyone in my lane bowled either a spare or a strike at some point during the morning.  Which – let’s be honest – is probably better than I would have done!

Gabe also had a doctor’s appointment that afternoon at which he was to get a shot. We have chosen to delay immunizations, and this was only the second one he’s had – probably the first one he’ll remember.  He was so brave!  It was amazing! The nurse positioned him carefully so we could each play a part in restraining him. Then she gave him a stern lecture about flinching. She needn’t have worried, though, because he didn’t budge – not even the tiniest bit!  I was very impressed!  I think it helped that he’s seen me give myself (and helped Tahd give me) a lot of shots, so they’re not that scary.  I guess there’s an upside to injectable fertility medication?

Afterward I suggested we stop at the store and get a little treat. I was thinking candy, but he’d been gobbling up the candy he got at his school’s Easter party, and once I saw him in Target I nixed the candy idea.

Somehow, Target succeeded in beating me out of $25 more than I intended to spend on a “little” present.

You have to watch out for those Target marketers.  They’re sneaky!

Gabe’s last day of school before spring break was Tuesday, so we’ve been having wild times since then.

Actually, I woke up with a headache on Wednesday morning, one that quickly progressed into a flashing-lights-nausea-throbbing-headache sort of migraine. Gabe, excited by the novelty of being home during a weekday, was content to play while I “slept” on the couch.  Note: this is what your child will eat while you’re resting on the couch with a migraine…

Yes, that’s a bowl full of ice cream sprinkles.

Yes, he took full advantage of my plight. 😉

We also did a few Easter-related things. We’re attempting to grow wheatgrass.  Did you know you can grow it in paper towel with no soil at all?

Gabe rehearsed for the rock concert he intended to perform when our family was together.  It was quite a concert.

That’s his fierce face. Lately he’s telling me that everything is “fierce!” <insert snarl>

And then it was Easter weekend! My family was all together and we celebrated the 30th birthday of one of my brothers-in-law.  I made the “cake,” which was actually an apple pie.

Nom nom nom!

Happy birthday, Corey!

Then it was Easter basket time.  I decided Gabe didn’t need any extra candy, so I bought absolutely none of it for his Easter basket. Instead, I bought a bunch of little toys. The idea sounded good in my head, but when I actually filled the basket I realized it was more like a Christmas basket. It was just full of a lot of toys!


Toward the end of the week I realized that I wanted to have something that reminded me of Mara for Easter. I had seen instructions on The Handmade Home for simple stuffed animals and thought I’d add a few more to our collection so Mara’s owl would have some company.

They both turned out a little differently and I think they’re fun. They’re especially soft, too, since their bodies are made with a minky fabric and they both have some flannel on them, too.  FYI – I didn’t measure a thing; I just eyeballed everything. And I sort of combined all the instructions she gives; so even though she gives instructions for 2 types of animals, I rolled them all up into one. Perhaps this is why I think they look more like pandas with floppy ears???

Gabe named his Fuzzy, I think.  I suggested Erma for mine, but Gabe didn’t like it.  Any suggestions?

Then it was Easter! My mom made a delicious dinner for our family…

Isn’t she cute?

And we mostly spent the day around the house. It was pretty low-key. Except for Gabe, who bounced off walls most of the time.

At one point he asked to take pictures, so I let him.  I love this picture.

Gabe wanted a picture of his orange Easter egg, but he wanted Mom to hold it up REALLYREALLY high! She’s doing her best, and I love how you can just barely see her and Kayla, trying hard to hold back their giggles!

Gabe also wanted to use my sewing machine, so I helped him make a small pillow.

You might think those ovals represent Easter eggs, but they don’t. They’re Mighty Beans. Which completely frustrate Tahd because they cost all of about $0.02 to make, yet they mark it up something like 5000% and sell them for a dollar each.

I feel a little more caught up now! 🙂  At least on my blogging. I still have 26 books to read…

And Tahd Smiles (but not too big because he just had a tooth extracted)

All week Tahd and I have been planning to take Gabe to an open house at a local astronomy observatory.  Having been something we’ve never experienced before we thought it might be fun, and Gabe has an affinity for all things science.  Thank you, Phineas and Ferb!  Tahd did his fatherly duty of keeping it a secret throughout the week, all while teasing Gabe with cryptic hints that frustrated and humored him.


We got to Friday and found nothing but overcast skies and angry rainclouds with a sprinkling of thunder and lightning.  In other words, less-than-ideal telescope conditions.  Boo!  So we revealed the surprise and its disappointment and gave Gabe three alternatives – going to a movie, hanging out at Chuck E. Cheese, and having a family game night.  Guess what he said?

“Are those all the options?  What about farm things? I really like farm things!”

So Tahd and I consulted.  It’s a little cold for any farm events, and the pounding rain and driving wind (um, hello wind advisory?) pretty much sealed the deal on anything in the Great Outdoors.  Lucky for us, Tahd works for a company in the agriculture industry and told Gabe we could go to his work and look at farm equipment. And that?  Is what he picked.

Tahd definitely smiled.

But, as I said, not too big because he had a tooth extracted today.  A really infected, really painful tooth that rendered him unable to chew, swallow, or even open his mouth.  Fun, right?  And he’s got a slightly giant swollen lump on his neck just below his jaw.  It’s right below the edge of the computer screen.  Convenient framing. 🙂

He wasn’t nearly as cranky as he looked – which is to his credit given the incredible joys of a tooth abscess!  We stopped off at our favorite destination – Barnes and Noble – between dental appointments, which was a fun little afternoon date.

We spent most of the day doing oral surgery types of things, which was a new experience for me because I never had any wisdom teeth.  Tahd teases me that I must not be very wise, but today the dentist said eventually no one will have wisdom teeth, so I’ve decided I must be genetically advanced. Tahd didn’t laugh at my joke, but I’m attributing that to his pain killers and stuff.  He’s clearly unable to fully comprehend my impressive humor.

But back to the farm stuff… I think one of my most favorite things to observe in my son is him imitating his dad.  We went to Tahd’s classroom where Gabe relished the opportunity to pretend we were his students while he illustrated his specialized tractor and said things like, “Please hold your questions until I’m done.”

See?  It’s an 1107. Not sure what the squiggly line is on the windshield.

Tahd and I cast furtive sideways glances at one another while we stifled giggles, enjoying every minute of our son’s mastery of bossiness.  Or at least I was – Tahd was probably distracted by the teeniest smidge of pain.  The look of delight in Gabe’s eyes while he scrutinized each piece of machinery and asked sharp questions left me with a contented smile on my face and in my heart.


We haven’t had the easiest week together; Gabe has been a little punchy and quick with the backtalk, and I’ve been a little impatient and overtired.  But tonight we existed in harmony and even had a little fun together, and it was refreshing.


A Walk In The Woods

Can I just start this post by saying you could come to my house right now and go in any room in my house and I wouldn’t be the least bit embarrassed?  This has absolutely nothing to do with our walk in the woods, but because it’s such a rare occurrence I needed to mark the occasion.

Carry on.

Anyway, we went to a maple tree sugaring this weekend.  What I expected to see and what I actually saw were two entirely different things.  I expected to see tree after tree dotted with steely metal buckets catching their precious golden liquid.  Instead, I saw one tree.  With a white plastic bucket hanging off a crude spigot.  And it was frozen, with no sap running.


It was outside! In the woods! And we didn’t freeze ourselves to death! Or get buried in snow!

So it was a lovely walk, even though there was no sap.

Magical, in fact. The walk was truly magical, reminding me that although I proclaim my love of cities and people and technology and convenience, a country girl hides somewhere within me, much to Tahd’s delight.

There is something soothing about the woods, hushed in branches, leafed or bare, ground covered in signs of seasons past.  A dull echo murmurs back amidst the crunch of leaves underfoot, alternately beckoning me to step deeper into its quiet solace or to stop for observation of the intricate minutiae that comes alive through the conscious awareness of the senses.

The day seemed dreary. The gray, overcast sky blended well with the muted earth and trees around us, but it was far from boring!

Rich in texture and insulation, we could see winter fighting his valiant battle against spring as she attempted to break through.

For the record, I hope spring wins pretty soon.

I had never been to this little section of woods before, even though it’s just a few minutes from our house.

I’ll be back, though. I’m sure of it.


Out walking in the frozen swamp one gray day,
I paused and said, “I will turn back from here.
No, I will go on farther—and we shall see.”
~ Robert Frost

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