Melted-crayon Christmas trees

Melted-crayon Christmas trees

Mary is on a crusade to make homemade gifts for all of her family members. Also all of her friends, classmates, people she rides the bus with, and she’ll throw in a free Christmas gift to anyone who signs up for Disney + before the end of 2019. She’s so ambitious and excited about it,

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24 months

24 months

Most families don’t talk about this, but there is usually one family member that takes up most of the energy and patience. Sometimes it’s the oldest, sometimes it’s the toddler, sometimes it’s the mom. For the past month, it’s been the almost-two-year-old. It happened out of nowhere. One day I was talking with Tom’s mom

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44/52

44/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2019. We are finishing up birthday week here. We ate the last of Anna’s birthday cake for lunch, and Tom’s birthday cupcakes for snack. The week started warm, and then it snowed, and then it stayed freezing and I gathered the children for a

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I’m TWO!

I’m TWO!

There are a great many traditions I started when I had my first baby. Almost none of them have lasted through the fourth (R.I.P. baby book intentions) Some things I’ve mostly given up on (R.I.P. baby book intentions) and other things I haven’t gotten around to, but I still hold out hope (like making a

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Semantics

Semantics

Thomas, my little herpetologist: Mommy did you know that snakes are the same as people? Except we have hands. And feet. And also talking powers. Thomas is currently in a strong animal phase. He’s always loved bugs and other creepy crawly creatures (like frogs and lizards), but now he’s old enough to remember obscure facts

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42/52

42/52

The 52 Project: A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2019.   David / Tom built a swing set in the backyard for the kids. As soon as they got home from school this week I’ve rushed them outside to play, because after this week it’ll be too dark.  #happyfall Mary

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A truly terrifying Halloween

A truly terrifying Halloween

BOO! Our family had a great Halloween, but as I sit typing this my eyelids are heavy and I’m feeling judged by the spooky decorations that became unseasonable 12 hours ago. I’m already feeling the busyness of the holidays and taking it as a reminder to try to slow down and enjoy the season. Perhaps this

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The pumpkin patch field trip

The pumpkin patch field trip

On the morning of Thomas’s preschool field trip to the pumpkin patch, I was in the bathroom frantically getting ready. Because she never strays farther than six inches from my heels, Anna joined me in the bathroom. She insisted, INSISTED on using my blush (I tried to just hand her the blush brush but baby

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40/52

40/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2019. David and Mary / Are your kids unbelievably, impenetrably silly when they come home from school? I can take some silliness but WOW. It’s a good thing they have each other because Tom and I can’t even understand then when they’re all spun up.

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39/52

39/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2019. David / It’s a bummer that this photo is blurry, because David asked me to take it. When your 8-year old asks you to take a silly photo, you grab your camera so quickly that everything ends up out of focus. (This is one

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38/52

38/52

It was so hot this week. I’m not usually one to grumble about unseasonal warmth, but this week would have been a doozy even in July. The forecast promised relief from the heat and humidity on Friday (but still no rain) so until then I called kibosh on outdoor play past 10 a.m. and exercise

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37/52

37/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2019.   David / This photo is out of focus and through a window because I wanted to snap it without him noticing to send a picture to my mom. The kids have a chore chart and opportunities to do extra chores. David is really,

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Sending my kids to school in the age of active shooters

Sending my kids to school in the age of active shooters

Yesterday Anna, my 22-month old, was throwing a tantrum. She threw herself onto the floor, curled her body over her knees with her forehead pressed to the carpet, and wailed. “Look!” Mary exclaimed. “Anna is doing a lockdown drill!” David and Mary laughed and laughed at the absurdity of a lockdown drill! At home! Ha!

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36/52

36/52

The 52 Project — A photo of my children, once a week, every week, in 2019.   David / The big kids are playing soccer for the first time this fall. There’s a little grove of pine trees behind the Mary’s field. While she played soccer, David made these trails through the woods for their bikes. This

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34/52

34/52

These photos were actually taken on week 33 and I never got around to posting them, so week 34 it is. Not that you’d ever notice, I’m only telling you because I’m extremely honest and this entire blog is built on trust. There’s a time when babies are teeny, and parents post weekly updates and

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Looking back on summer vacation

Looking back on summer vacation

When we got home from Deer Valley, these guys were our welcoming committee. In the spring when I planted our garden, I was so excited about all the produce. I imagined big batches of roasted tomatoes every week, slices of tomatoes with every meal, and giving excess to neighbors and friends. But (maybe you’ve already

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Basically, yes (a Semantics post)

Basically, yes (a Semantics post)

In an effort to expose our kids to a variety of sports, David and Mary started soccer this fall. While we are super excited to become a soccer family, we are not excited about all the gear. Kriegers are runners. Runners are unfamiliar with gear. Cleats, shin guards, special gigantic soccer socks. It’s all a foreign language

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Eight is GREAT!

Eight is GREAT!

Eight years ago Tom and I were going to bed and I started crying and told him some version of, “He’s never going to be born and I’m going to be pregnant for the rest of my life.” About four hours later my water broke, and about 14 hours after that David was born. Little

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32/52

32/52

I’m in the middle of recapping our family vacation (and David’s birthday, and the end of summer, and, and, and, and, and…) but I’m taking a break from all that to post some photos from this week. This week was normal, boring. We didn’t go anywhere or do anything. I even put off post-vacation grocery

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Semantics

Semantics

The last time David was featured in a Semantics post was August 2017. TWO YEARS AGO! This wasn’t intentional. I suppose I didn’t even notice because I was getting so much great material from toddlers, not to mention a little girl who has been trolling me since she turned two. (That’s a direct quote from

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29/52

29/52

This week I didn’t pick up my DSLR one time. That’s abnormal for me, an overly-sentimental person who’s surrounded by memories that are, let’s be honest, getting bigger every day. I declared this week a rest week. We’re in-between summer adventures and will spend this coming week preparing for our next trip. But this week

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28/52

28/52

I am interrupting my previously-scheduled recap of our trip to Vancouver to get back to my previously scheduled weekly photo project. Last week Tom had a work trip, and I decided to take the opportunity to take the kids to visit my parents. I have a lot to say about this trip. I could do

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Semantics – Vancouver edition

Semantics – Vancouver edition

On the banks of Beaver Lake at Stanley Park, watching ducks with Mary… Mary: There are so many ducks here. It shouldn’t be called Beaver Lake, it should be called Duck Lake! Me: Seriously, who named this lake? Probably a beaver! Me: pause…waiting for Mary to laugh… Mary: Mommy. No one would ask a beaver

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Steveston Village

Steveston Village

Steveston Village is a small harbor town close to my sister’s house. It’s so close that we technically visited it on a “home day.” (We actually went the day Thomas was sick with a fever, during Anna’s nap.) I thought about lumping Steveston in with my home day post, but ultimately decided it deserved its

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24/52

24/52

This week was so busy. We leave for Vancouver (TOMORROW!) and so we spent all week on appointments, errands,  cleaning out the fridge and doing all the other things we needed to do before we could actually pack. Preparing for a big trip does not highlight my strengths. You should have seen me try to

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A family bike ride: Kriegers do hard things!

A family bike ride: Kriegers do hard things!

Last weekend Tom’s grandmother’s neighborhood had a little carnival with a petting zoo, face painting, balloons, and vendors passing out plastic trinkets. Actually, “carnival” might be overstating the event. But since my kids haven’t really been to a true carnival, we’re sticking with it. Carnival or not, this sort of thing is a kid paradise,

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Semantics

Semantics

If you follow me on this blog or Facebook or Instagram or have ever happened to drive past my house you probably know this: Thomas doesn’t love clothes. I dress him every day, sometimes more than once, and he always just takes them off. We have requirements about clothes that Thomas begrudgingly complies with. For

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Summer solstice

Summer solstice

I have so many things on my to-do* list. There are “summer organization” projects and fun activities to do with the kids. But all of it remains, untouched, on my to-do list, along with piles of mess on every surface of my house. *The to-do list, of course, is metaphorical. If you know me at

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22/52

22/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2019: The week before the first week of summer.  David and Mary / My kids took the bag of balloons I was using for Mary’s birthday decorations and started filling them with water, which led to a full-on water balloon obsession. All week it was

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21/52

21/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2019. When people ask my advice about whether to redshirt kids for kindergarten (Actually, scratch that. Literally not one person has asked me for advice. When I offer unsolicited advice…) I always say — the best thing to do is don’t have a summer baby. Then

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18/52

18/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2019. David / Back in his natural habitat, swimming and splashing. I love this picture because he’s playing with a toy boat, just like he did the first summer we moved here and he was still four.   Mary / Everyone who knows Mary is amazed

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Almost four years old

Almost four years old

This is Thomas’s birthday week. He turns four on Sunday, and we’ve been building up to his birthday in small, special ways — a happy birthday banner on the mantel, a special “T” balloon on his chair. Almost every day we gently explain to Thomas’s siblings that the reason we have different expectations for him

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17/52

17/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2019.  David and Mary / This week was Teacher Appreciation Week. I sent these two off to school with irises, roses and one peony each, paltry gestures of my overwhelming gratitude for the teachers that care for my kids every day. I read once that

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16/52

16/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2019.  David / Last week I promised myself that I wouldn’t post another picture of him with his head down reading or doing a workbook. But besides sleeping, reading is the only thing he does. And the lighting’s not nearly this great when he’s sleeping.

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15/52

15/52

Last week my mom asked me if there were any pictures of the week. “What do you mean?” I asked. “You know, on the blog,” she explained. “Are you done with that?” Come on! I’d only missed ONE week, I thought. But then I checked and actually I’d missed two weeks. And now that I

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Earth Day, everyday

Earth Day, everyday

I never really talk to my kids in a formal way about the environment. I didn’t even realize it until I sat down to write this. I don’t talk to them about it, even though it’s very important to me to raise kids who respect and enjoy plants, animals, and the great outdoors. Enjoying God’s

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