Helmets and Goslings

Dear Kristen,

I hope Little Mister’s sense of balance is improving!  Though little boys should have lots of bruises and scrapes and mud puddle splatter.

Little Man has a number of those on him consistently.  His legs and feet don’t seem to go at the pace his mind wants them….

Today is rainy, but yesterday almost felt like summer!  So we met up with some friends for some practice scootering (a purchase she made all on her own at a yard sale) and gosling sighting – and feeding.



Balance is a Good thing, Right?

Dear Erin,

You know how they say bad news comes in threes? Or sometimes it seems like every event and conversation in your life has a theme, like God is trying to tell you something very clearly? Or, on the other hand, something random comes out of the blue and, as I used to say, smacks you upside the head?

Yeah, my life has been nothing like that lately. Instead, things seem to be working in a gentle balancing act this spring. Let me give you some examples:

  1. We got a new dining / game table and chairs. We’ve needed them for a long time, and we love them. Yay!
  2. Little Mister has already fallen off one of the chairs and has also banged his head on the corner of the table. Boo!
  3. Friends watched LM while Charles and I had a nice dinner out like adults. It was delicious and fun. Yay!
  4. Little Mister dropped the top of a pot on his toe, causing blood, crying, an impressive bruise, and temporary forced inactivity on his part. Boo!
  5. I’ve had all kinds of deliciousness lately (because of my birthday last week) – chocolate, strawberry cream cake – Yay!
  6. Little Mister fell off his jungle gym yesterday and landed flat on his back. Wasn’t hurt, but he did scare himself and me. Boo!
  7. I’ve started a new sweater for Little Mister, which is entertaining me mightily (and making me ignore certain things that have actual, impending deadlines). Yay!
  8. Little Mister fell off the bed (this was the same day as the cookware incident). Boo!

Okay, maybe there is some kind of theme going on: the child obviously needs to be wrapped in bubble wrap, for his safety and my sanity. I mean, look at two weeks ago! That attitude of letting him explore is coming back to bite me. Unfortunately, it’s still our consensus that that’s probably the best long-term approach – although this past week it has not felt that way.

Bring on the chocolate; I’m going to need it for the foreseeable future!

Spring Days

Dear Erin,

It’s been a long, busy week – meetings, deliveries, normal life stuff. My schedule unexpectedly opened up yesterday, so instead of being stuck at home, Little Mister and I made a flying trip to the zoo. We have regressed from this high point of half a year ago:


as we’re now sitting on the bench, but at least he was willing to go on the carousel at all. Last time, that was not the case.

Despite the busy-ness, knitting continues (it helps that I can pick it up for 5 minutes and make a little progress before having to put it down again). Finished the matching accessory for the little jacket I showed you before.


Same yarn, Swirl Hat pattern. This is one of those experiences where my brain took a hiatus. I started it in a 4-month size, which ran out of yarn. Ripped back and started it in a preemie size and bigger needles because – I guess – I thought the combination of thicker yarn and larger needles would make it significantly bigger. Nope. Finally I just followed the pattern. And it came out a fine size without running out of yarn.

I find this progression to be a common thing for me these days: I know just enough in knitting to be dangerous to myself and others; I keep trying to outthink the patterns and end up having to restart and restart again. You’ll see – this will come up again with the next knitted thing I post about.

Anyway, have a great weekend, from a coast where we need absolutely no wool hats for the foreseeable future.


Dear Erin,

Yesterday we had a crisis at church. And by “we,” I mean Little Mister and me.

But let me backtrack and set the scene. Our church just opened the new children’s building – like, last week they opened it. And it’s a really nice, really functional space with all new everything. Gorgeous. They haven’t quite gotten to all the landscaping yet, perhaps because there are plans for putting in a playground in the not-too-distant future.

And it rained here all weekend. Rare, and much appreciated, rain. Lovely stuff; couldn’t do without it.

Well, three days of rain + a space that has recently been a construction site =


Mud, mud everywhere. Not a problem for someone with common sense, but who ever said that 2-year-olds have any common sense?

So he was chasing a friend around on the sidewalk in front of the building and decided to take a detour into the more “natural” area just beyond the sidewalk. Result on shoes:

mudtastrophe 2

The mud just sucked those little feet down; he tried and failed to get free and ended up:

mudtastrophe 1

Luckily he sat down in it instead of face-planting, so it was just his pants, shoes, and hands that were covered in yuck.

You know, sometimes I think I’ve not developed great mothering instincts: I let strange dogs who seem friendly come up and sniff my kid’s face (thus worrying all the “real” adults close by), and I laugh at him in the mud instead of taking pictures instead of running immediately to somehow hose him off.

I didn’t make him wait very long, though, both because he was starting look distressed instead of merely confused and because I didn’t want Charles to notice that I was just letting him sit in mud. The trick was getting him changed and cleaned up without destroying the brand new furnishings in the brand new building in the process, but with the help of a good friend (who also had a convenient garbage bag in which to stash what you see above! Now that’s parenting instinct and preparedness), it was kept to a minimum. He had no socks, but wonder of wonders, we actually had an extra pair of shoes with us, so even that wasn’t a big deal.

So, short-lived mud-tastrophe. Dramatic but ultimately not too much of a problem. And highly amusing to me.

Sunday in the Park with Friends

Dear Erin,

You’ve got more wildlife around you than if you lived in the country. Here, it’s just skunks that wander through occasionally, leaving their rancid calling cards to linger in the air for hours in the middle of the night. Makes it very hard to sleep sometimes.

If you are in the mood for a bird movie that tries to be scary and fails miserably, might I suggest Birdemic?


Just kidding, I would never recommend that movie. Unless it’s through the kind offices of RiffTrax (like Mystery Science Theatre), which make it hilarious. But on its own, it’s really, really awful.

We’re not doing the scary thing here, though. We’re partying down because it was recently Little Mister’s 2nd birthday! Last year, we had a big (for us) shindig, but this year we went a little more low-key: Sunday afternoon at the park with just a few friends.

Cupcake cake 2

Pinterest idea. Looks less like a train track than I was hoping, but if you use your imagination, you can probably see it.

Right now, LM is all about the vehicles – pretty much any vehicle – so we had a generic sort-of vehicle-themed party.

  • The tablecloth was black with a masking tape center dividing line so it looked like a road. And then it was covered up with food, so you couldn’t really see that detail.
  • The cake was a train track, although it was surprisingly difficult to find small, 3D trains to put on top. Almost all the train stuff I could find was Thomas the Tank Engine, which was not what I was going for.

train candle

  • And decorations involved some cheap, tiny toy cars and bulldozers. But LM felt they were much better used as toys by him rather than as decorations by me.
  • And the food was entirely unrelated. There were some other ideas I found on Pinterest that I thought about doing, but you know me – do less work and call it “being subtle.” After all, there were two 2-year-olds and one 6-year-old there, and everyone else was more or less an adult, so no one really cared about these things.
Giving directions

Little Mister in the hat, directing things

We had a beautiful day, a convenient playground, grassy space and dry creek bed for exploring, great company, plenty of food. Party success!

Of course, we did briefly think we had lost LM, so there was also a slight spice of panic to liven things up. As you can see from the above picture, some of our guests kindly went with LM to watch him and play with him while Charles and I got to visit with others, and I got so used to it that I just assumed someone was always with him and stopped really thinking about it, other than to check every few minutes. And at one of those checks, I couldn’t see him and had no idea where he was or who he was with.


But then we realized that one of the adults was also missing and after a couple seconds could see that they were together, so relief set in. But there was that quick stopping of the heart to make things interesting.

Seriously, though, we had a good time, Little Mister seemed to have a good time, and hopefully our guests had a good time, too. Next year, it might be a little crazier, but our boy’s worth it.

Show those teeth