When we told the kids

When we told the kids

  Technically, Mary Virginia’s first guess was right. Our kids have been suspecting a pregnancy for over a year (Mommy, do you have a baby in your belly? Then why is your belly so big?), and so once we found out we had another baby on the way, I was so, so excited to tell them.

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Loquacious, precocious, ferocious

Loquacious, precocious, ferocious

Since she was 15 months old, every time we go to the doctor for a well-check everyone comments on how verbal she is. It’s true, she is, and I take no credit. She could speak in complete, articulate paragraphs by 24 months and by three we were actively trying to discourage her language development. Just kidding. Kind

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Midterm progress report

Midterm progress report

This post is a little out of order; I still haven’t written the entire story of what happened to my hand. That’s coming. But this is where I am now, exactly five weeks after surgery, nearly seven weeks after the injury. This is me giving a thumbs up. No, really. That’s all I got. Last week

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Semantics

Semantics

Mary Virginia: Mommy, do you want to hear the song I made to help Thomas stop fussing? Me: SURE! Mary Virginia: Quack, quack, quack goes the little feather duck! [Thomas continues fussing] David: Um, Mary Virginia. I think you need to make the song longer. Mary Virginia: QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK goes

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On a Friday morning

On a Friday morning

There’s a saying you hear occasionally if you have multiple children — if you have more than one child, having just one is like having none. I sort of agree with it. If I’m with just one of my three children, the chaos does diminish dramatically. Sometimes there are even moments of silence, moments between requests for snacks

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Backyard bouquets

Backyard bouquets

For the past few weeks I’ve been watching flowers bloom my yard with what can only be described as sheer delight. We haven’t lived here for quite a year, we moved in after the azaleas had faded; the daffodils were a distant memory. Because of the foliage I knew to expect irises (but I didn’t know

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Semantics

Semantics

I completely forget the circumstances that sent me there (which is maybe best?), but one day I was standing in the kitchen, shoving pretzels in my mouth faster than I could chew. Mary Virginia: Mommy, why are you eating pretzels like that? Me: Well, Dear, It’s because you’re stressing me out. Mary Virginia: [starts laughing] But,

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Make nap time extraordinary — for mom

Make nap time extraordinary — for mom

I became a stay-at-home mom almost six years ago, and one thing (among many) I’ve struggled with for that entire six years is taking time for myself. It’s one aspect of parenting that doesn’t change. Kids go through all kinds of stages and phases, so my days and routines have changed drastically throughout the past

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Easter weekend 2017

Easter weekend 2017

Recently I noticed that my motivation for creative activities with my kids has really plummeted. To my credit, I think it’s in part because my kids are much more likely to entertain themselves than they were two years ago. When I had a 3- and 1-year old, they were aimless unless I gave them direction —

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The most wonderful time of the year

The most wonderful time of the year

We lost an hour for daylight saving time last week, or the week before, or actually who can keep track? Because turns out that hour we lost was the one we needed to function, to be able to walk through the living room without accidentally falling on the couch and sitting there for the rest of the

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Her nap time song

Her nap time song

When our kids were babies, we always sang the song “Sanctuary” before bedtime. Now that they’re older we’ve switched gears a bit to a version of, “IF YOU ASK FOR ONE MORE THING…” Nap times have always been a little different, especially Mary Virginia’s nap. For her nap I tell a story, then sing a

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Semantics

Semantics

We were driving home from the playground one day and Mary Virginia announced that she was bored. I guess that’s what happens when you spend all morning frolicking at a playground. I was on the highway and focusing on the road so instead of my routine of twirling flaming batons to keep Queen Mary entertained, I said, “Ok! Let’s

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Reference materials

Reference materials

I don’t often given parenting advice here. But. If you insist. My top two parenting tips are: 1. Hold off on introducing the song “First is the worst, second is the best, third is the one with the hairy chest” as long as possible. You might have a sleep-deprived, frustration-fueled moment when it SEEMS like

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53/52 – reflections and favorites

53/52 – reflections and favorites

Last week I officially wrapped up a year of portraits of my children. A whole year and I didn’t miss even one week. I know, I’m even more shocked than you. An explanation of the 52 project.  I really enjoyed the project for a lot of reasons. There were reasons I expected — I love having 52 photos

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52/52

52/52

Our family is still in the midst of Christmas celebrations, but I’m pausing to catch my breathto post these photos. And, who knows, maybe after a few minutes on the couch I’ll have room for another slice of cinnamon bread. Instead of Christmas morning photos (which would be so much more relevant), these photos are from

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51/52

51/52

I’ve been knitting. That’s what I’ve been doing. That’s why posting has been light, that’s why you might have seen me dragging yarn to the playground, knitting over cocktails on girls’ night, and stopping mid-conversation to count stitches. This year I made 48 hats, and every day Mary Virginia would cozy up to me and ask,

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50/52

50/52

This is week 50, which is incredible for two reasons. First, at this point it’s safe to say that I’ve stuck to the project! Second, it means this year is almost over. The year feels long and short at the same time, especially when I look back at these photos; especially when I look at

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49/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016.  David / This weekend David got to take home the class pet, Narni the narwhal. When he told me he was bringing home a narwhal I asked him where we were going to put the giant aquarium and his response let me know

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48/52

This past week we celebrated Thanksgiving. We celebrated in town, out of town, and in the middle of it all we had a spur-of-the-moment celebration with out of town friends. I took very, very few photos over the holiday. Partially because I was busy visiting with family and partially because I needed my full attention

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47/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. David / Making a beaded Christmas wreath ornament. Working on fine motor skills and Mommy’s patience. Mary Virginia / Sweet little marker-stained hands pat pat patting sugar cookie dough with her trusty sidekick Barbie dog. Thomas / I suppose the up side to having

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A certain kind of lifestyle

This morning, before 8 o’clock, my kids dismantled the playroom. When I say “dismantled” I don’t mean they made a typically giant toddler mess, disproportionate to their small size. What I mean is they took apart their toy bins and moved around furniture. Thomas spent the morning wondering how we fit all of Disney World into our

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46/52

It’s week 46. That means there are only six weeks left in 2016. And 41 shopping days before Christmas. As if we needed another reason to freak out this week… A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. David / I’ve taken so many pictures of David creating this year. (7

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45/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. The three of them / This is from this weekend just before kickoff. My kids made my dreams come true by wearing Virginia Tech clothes and standing in close enough proximity for a photo. When Tom asked me to marry him, we went hiking and

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Halloween 2016

The kids had their costumes planned for weeks, maybe even months before Halloween. An octopus for David, a butterfly fairy for Mary Virginia (heavy on the butterfly, light on the fairy), and a hand-me-down dragon for Thomas. Then the day before Halloween, Mary Virginia called an audible and switched to the most terrifying costume of

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A pumpkin novella

Here we are, on the other side of Halloween 2016 and can I just say: WHEW! We made it, guys. I don’t know what it is about walking with my family through our neighborhood in the dark that takes it out of me but MAN am I wiped out today, maybe for the rest of the

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44/52

Pumpkins carved, candy in a big bowl, costumes ALMOST assembled. Tomorrow’s Halloween and the Kriegers are ready. Except for the teeny detail that Mary Virginia spiked a fever last night and so our princess butterfly might end up on the couch watching Sofia the First instead of trick-or-treating. It’s lose lose for everyone, because that’s

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43/52

I know I’ve been posting a lot of afternoon photos of the kids in the backyard, but I just can’t help it. It’s like fall heard that it’s not my favorite season so it’s upping the ante with beautiful, golden light. Fall means winter is coming, so though I love the angle of the sun

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The late afternoon light

The late afternoon light

Every afternoon my two napping kids wake up around 4, and after a quick snack we go outside. When we first moved, my kids seemed uncomfortable and listless in the yard, which was a total shock to me. Our new yard is bigger and has more places to dig and explore, but they just weren’t really

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42/52

42/52

Every afternoon we have about an hour after naps and before dinner, and I’m trying to get in the routine of going outside. I wish going outside to play only involved me saying, “KIDS! LET’S GO OUTSIDE TO PLAY!” But that’s simply not the case. I won’t bore you with the details but there are shoes and

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Neighbors to friends

In the summer, our neighborhood had Popsicle parties every Friday. I posted about it on Instagram and several people asked me about the logistics. It’s this simple: the person in charge of our neighborhood association emailed everyone at the beginning of the summer with a calendar. Anyone who wanted to host signed up for a

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41/52

I’m trying to get the kids outside as much as possible. There are a hundred reasons, but at the top of the pile are 1) When we’re outside Thomas is happier and it’s almost impossible for him to get into the toilet from the yard 2) winter is coming. Like most of the south eastern

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40/52

Last weekend we went to Franklin County to visit my parents. It was a quick end-of-summer visit; the kids got to close out the summer swimming in Grammy and Gramps’s pool and to catch up with cousin Gabby. (Visiting from Canada!) So these photos are technically from last week. More like 39.5 instead of 40. A

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39/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. David / We got something like three inches of rain this week, and since it hasn’t rained in Richmond all summer, we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. Scratch that, David knew exactly what to do. On our way home from preschool

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Just two girls at the beauty salon

Just two girls at the beauty salon

It’s true. Since I had kids, certain things have fallen to the wayside. Things like trips to the doctor and dentist and shopping for a pair of warm boots for the fall. Of course I’m talking about appointments for me. Don’t worry, my kids are set in the appropriate-shoe department. I’m the cookie-cutter, stereotypical mom you see

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38/52

38/52

We started school this week, and it’s when our schedule fills that I most appreciate the remaining, quiet time at home. A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. David / Introvert at play. As David grows we can see his need for alone time more and more. Tom made his

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37/52

This was our last week of summer — school starts for the big kids next week. Instead of a last hurrah, it ended up being one of those weeks we just had to muscle through. We had lots of doctor’s appointments and subsequently Mary Virginia got sick. Is it just me or do other moms have

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36/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016 David / If you follow me on Instagram, you already know we gave David an long-overdue back-to-school haircut this week. As I was cutting it, he said, “Mommy, don’t make my hair pretty. Make it cool. Make it like a triangle with flames shooting out.”

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35/52

We spent last week on vacation with Tom’s family on Lake Anna. So this week we’re doing laundry, missing our cousins, and languishing in post-vacation hangover/denial. More vacation pictures to come (what kind of mommy blogger would I be if I didn’t publish at least 300 photos of my children in puddle jumpers?) but for now,

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34/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. David / It’s been a huge summer for David. He learned to swim, and now he can ride a bicycle. It took about three lessons and now he’s off! (Riding a balance bike for two years really was the best teacher.) This photo doesn’t

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33/52

It’s a birthday week in our house. David turns five on Tuesday, but we kicked off the celebration with a small family party this weekend. A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. Thomas / When we have a birthday, I buy a bag of balloons in the kid’s favorite color, blow them up,

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