Semantics

Semantics

When I try a new snack with my kids, I’ve learned to expect anything. They have rejected all things sweet, savory, salty, crispy, and crunchy. Recently Mary Virginia stuck a dagger directly into my heart when she told me that she doesn’t like Cheetos anymore because they’re “too juicy.” Recently I made these, hoping they’d

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Preschool, they’re all yours

Preschool, they’re all yours

Last week my younger two started preschool. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Isn’t that the same shirt David wore on his first day of preschool!?” Yes, you are right, discerning reader. To say that Mary Virginia has grown and matured is an understatement. She’s so excited for preschool, so ready to be the

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31 weeks, 2 days

31 weeks, 2 days

This morning at the bus stop, one of the kids looked at me and said, “WHAT is in your belly?” Me and my belly have been at the bus stop every morning and afternoon for two weeks now, but for some reason he JUST NOW realized that I’m a dead ringer for Humpty Dumpty. My

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Rapidly approaching the hill

Rapidly approaching the hill

The day before my birthday HAPPENED to be the our first full day back after vacation. I don’t know if my kids are the only kids who do this, but my kids spend at least one entire day after vacation punishing us for going on vacation. Like, if you parents think you’re going to take

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Semantics

Semantics

Somehow my kids just happened to miss the madness known as the movie Frozen. Mary Virginia was a tad too young, to be swallowed up by it all, and David was too busy on the racetrack with Lightning McQueen. BUT Have you heard of Moana? I’m not exactly sure how or when it happened, but my kids

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Anything can happen when the two-year old is the only one paying attention

Anything can happen when the two-year old is the only one paying attention

At my most recent prenatal check-up, my doctor was asking me how I’d been feeling, and I told her what I tell everyone — mostly fine but super duper, all-the-time exhausted. We talked about my iron levels and a few other things and then she asked, “Are you getting enough sleep?” Yes. I’m mostly sleeping

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Semantics

Semantics

While listening to the Mary Poppins soundtrack: Oh, it’s a jolly holiday with Mary, Mary makes your heart so light. When the day is gray and ordinary, Mary makes the sun shine bright. Oh, happiness is bloomin’ all around her, the daffodils are smilin’ at the dove. When Mary holds your hand, you feel so grand, your heart

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10,000 hours and counting

10,000 hours and counting

This weekend a friend stopped by and came to our door with a basketball under his arm. Before I even had a chance to say hello, Thomas looked at him and said, “HEY! That’s MY bas-at-ball!” Every basketball is Thomas’s basketball. Thomas loves basketball. If there are two things that mark him at this age they are:

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The first haircut and other milestones

The first haircut and other milestones

Thomas needs a haircut. I’m balking because I love his beautiful hair. It usually looks tousled and sweet, but occasionally looks really messy and unkempt. I know, I realize the insanity of assuming a two-year old boy ever looks anything but messy and unkempt. But there’s a difference between cute toddler unkempt and feral toddler messy.

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Summer flow

Summer flow

I love summer. It is, by far, my favorite season. I love the long days, bare feet, pool parties. I love Popsicles on the porch and burgers on the grill. I love not having to keep track of my kids’ coats. This summer started out with a giant WHOMP WHOMP otherwise known as orthopedic surgery coupled with

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A space for mess, creativity, and kids (three things that are actually all synonyms)

A space for mess, creativity, and kids (three things that are actually all synonyms)

In the past year or so David has become increasingly interested in creating. He loves to draw, color, paint, cut, glue, and everything else. I love watching him, in part because a few years ago he didn’t like any of it — coloring, using stickers, or even playing with Play-Doh at all.  Anytime I brought out

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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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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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A winter wonderland

A winter wonderland

It’s kind of nice living in a place that completely shuts down when it snows. We only get snow a few times each year, so even the mildest dusting sends everyone screaming indoors, arms full of all the bread and milk they could stuff into their grocery carts. Schools close. Events are cancelled. It’s awesome.

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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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