To Do Lists

Dear Kristen,

We are in the stage of the year where my “To Do” list gets longer every time I check something off.  With end of the year shenanigans, vacations to prepare for, etc. it really is never done.  But that’s okay!  I’m not content if I have NOTHING to do.

The spring was extremely busy, at least it felt that way, so right now I am finishing up our spring cleaning – which took place all last week and this week.  Can you tell?


Munchkin is helping today.  I’ve dusted and scrubbed and she’s taken out lots of things and gotten stuck in her car seat.


Oh, and there’s Gibbs – see her there by the fireplace?  She’s helping lots, too.


But since its a drab and dreary day and playing outside just invites wet socks and mosquito bites, this is what we’ve opted for!

Just to make you smile.  Our first blue lollipop!

Just to make you smile. Our first blue lollipop!


Happy Memorial Day!

Thank you to all the men and women who are serving and who have served in the past two and half centuries.  Thank you for your sacrifice and love of this nation!

We hope everyone gets a chance to celebrate our great heroes, our great nation, and the coming of summer today.  We are celebrating here with festive wear:

Yes, she sleeps with these, too.

Yes, she sleeps with these, too.


And puppy wrestling:


And hopefully some sprinkler fun!

Welcome to summer everyone and thanks again to our troops!

Summer Series, 2014

Dear Erin,

I can imagine a tiny Hitler dressed like Munchkin and throwing a temper tantrum like that, and it is simultaneously hilarious and strangely disturbing. But I know you’ll all get through it, and like a disaster, it will make for good stories down the road.

But we aren’t there yet, so instead of having to watch “Mickey” all the time, I get to call the shots on the TV. And I’ve lately been watching TV during the day more than I used to, what with LM’s odd inability to feed himself. When I’m watching cable, it’s plenty of HGTV and Food Network, for the most part, as there’s usually nothing else on. But if I am ahead of the game I put something on deliberately, and I’m a little tired right now of the British murder mysteries, my usual go-to for semi-mindless viewing.

So I’ve set myself a new project, to be pursued in a leisurely manner as time and interest dictate. It’s certainly not highbrow, and I may not get far with it, but I think I at least will have some fun, and it might be a nice, light series for the summer. I’m planning to watch through some of the “classic” 80’s movies that I either haven’t seen ever or haven’t seen in a very long time. You know, the very 80’s movies, the ones that, when you think of them you go – yeah, that was really big then. But they would also be of good quality, and therefore worth revisiting. Then I’ll review them here.

That means there will be no Ferris Bueller or Breakfast Club, as I’ve seen both of those far too often. No Princess Bride, as that is a classic that needs no quotation marks, and I can quote it at length. Almost certainly no horror (No Freddy or Jason or any of those other movies I wasn’t allowed to watch then and have no interest in now), but I will try to make selections across the genres. I’ll shoot for between four and six, which means the choices need to be well considered, rather than chosen at random, and I’ll post a list before I write the reviews. Any suggestions you have would be welcome.*

I’ve already seen the first movie, which means I’m ahead of the curve!

But today will be no movie-watching day, at least not for me. Charles is working from home, so I can leave LM with him and get out and about. First stop Starbucks! And after that, who knows? I might go down to the end of the town and disappear like James James Morrison’s mother.

*Any suggestions from any readers would be welcome.

The Opinionated and Fickle Twos

Dear Kristen,

Gaze upon Little Mister all you want!  Then hire a maid.

Seriously though, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying this stage completely and utterly.  As they say, “they grow up so fast,” a true if cliche statement.  Take us, for example.  We are in the midst of “the terrible twos.”

I read that they don’t typically happen when the child reaches 2, but rather the 2.5-3 range in which we are entrenched.  And sometimes the Munchkin has moments when I think we are at war – at war with a sweet, tiny person who turns into Hitler throwing a tantrum after his advisors told him, “No – you can’t hit the dog with the broom or your stroller.”  Can’t you just imagine Hitler throwing a tantrum like that?  Drop of a hat – no real logical reason?  I can, because I live with a 2.5-3 year old.

But I’ve also found that this is “the opinionated and fickle twos.”  Doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as easily, but I think it also fits.

Opinionated:  She has a very clear idea of what she wants and she sticks to it.  For example, she’s playing a game on my phone right now that is repeating words in three languages that are NOT Romance languages or English or German…and she won’t let me switch it to English.  Absolutely out the question, Mommy!

Fickle:  About 40% of the time, she makes a very clear decision, and then switches it two minutes later and sticks with that.

Me – “Would you like pretzel fish or cheese fish?”

Her – “Pretzel fish.”

Me – Getting the pretzel fish out and pouring on the plate.

Her – “No, Mommy!  Cheese fish! Cheese fish! Cheese fish!”

Me – “Awesome.”

But these characteristics have become fun (in most circumstances) to see played out.  She has specific ideas of what she wants to do, listen to, wear, etc.  So here are a few things that she is IN LOVE WITH and that we can’t seem to escape.

Munchkin’s Fickle Opinions (This is how it is…until its something else):

  • Listening to “Snow” – which means the Frozen soundtrack, and if you don’t start it at the beginning, you’re in trouble.  She also insists that her Dad and I sing along.
  • Watching “Mickey” – this is not new.  This has been going on for about two years now.  I have the episodes memorized.
  • Wearing socks – she doesn’t love going barefoot…unless she has painted toe nails.
  • Wearing her sparkle shoes – Mom and Dad sent her two pairs of shoes, one high-top no less, that she adores.  They’re still a little big for her, but she doesn’t care.  We’ve found her wearing a pair while sleeping and cuddling the second after she had definitely gone to bed without them.

Yes, she took a picture of her shoes. What is she? A teenager shopping for prom?


  • Thinking people should be wearing clothes.  I wore a strapless dress for the wedding we were in this weekend – she told me I needed a “shirt.” Apparently the dress wasn’t modest enough for her taste.
  • Picking out her own clothes – see below: stripes, flowers, penguin socks, and orange sparkle shoes.  Now this is reminiscent of me, I was pretty opinionated about clothes.  But I figure if she’s dressed, it doesn’t completely matter what she looks like.



So enjoy the moments of talking to plastic animals.  If he’s anything like Munchkin, Little Mister will start telling you exactly what he thinks before too terribly long.

Just a Status Report

Dear Erin,

I know you had a busy weekend; I hope it was as fun as it sounded like it would be.

Things around here continue apace. In the days when I am working on enough sleep (so, two per week or so), I’ve been feeling like I’m finally well after a long convalescence. On these days, I feel like I can do anything. Thus the messages you got from me on Saturday about sending you clothes and making presents for Munchkin. Unfortunately, I find that these feelings are still translating more into plans than into action. And of course, the few things accomplished are not necessarily the most important or pressing of the things on the To Do list.

So, you know, things are pretty much back to normal. Other than the addicting child I hang out with every day now. He himself stands squarely in the way of progress on most of these lesser things (I ascribe value as I suspect he would: everything is of lesser importance than he is). Right now, for example, he appears to be having a fun conversation with some plastic animals. I’m not even involved, and yet writing this post has taken at least twice as long as it should because somehow I can’t take my eyes off of him. And when it comes to a choice between watching him and doing housework or paperwork or answering emails or writing thank you notes or writing my book, he almost always wins.

I hope this fascination wears off soon; the house is starting to creep around us. It might soon just pick itself up and walk off.