Putting on our actual Easter best

Last Thursday I dressed my kids in their Easter clothes, took them out in the front yard, and made them take re-do Easter photos. I did this because Easter was rainy, hectic, and we didn’t get photos. I also did this because, apparently, I’m insane. My kids are going to grow up with stories of

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Hippity hoppity, happy Easter day

As holiday celebrations go, we had a very low-key Easter this year. Easter baskets on table, hard-boiled eggs and jelly beans for breakfast. Simple, and still, we were positively scrambling out the door to get to church on time. At some point in the chaos of getting seven people dressed and out the door my

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14/52

Week 14 was spring break. We’d planned on fun outings but our only outing was a trip to the doctor. That’s just how it goes, I suppose. We still had enjoyed our lazy week at home, making messes and having fun doing normal, wonderful things — reading books, coloring, playing play dough, and running around in the

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On the night before Easter, and also the week after

Growing up we always dyed Easter eggs on the night before Easter, so I planned to do the same thing with my kids. This year, I had meant to prepare by boiling the eggs and setting aside bowls and food coloring, but the whole thing completely slipped my mind. The whole thing slipped my mind

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Semantics

After breakfast, the kids were asking about our plans for the day… Me: Guys, I have a great idea! Let’s have a Mommy Day! Let’s just do all the things that Mommy does ALL DAY! So we’ll be cleaning and doing chores… David: Um, Mommy? If we just do what you do then we’d just

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13/52

Today is Easter, and it was so chaotic that taking a family photo didn’t even cross our minds. But I did manage to snap a few in the morning. These are after Easter baskets and breakfast; before tucking in shirts and church. David & Thomas / The boys had matching shirts for Easter. Wearing the

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12/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016… David / In the past few months David has been refusing baths, so we’re pulling out all the stops: showers, bubbles, bath paints, toys, bribes, threats. David loves the water, so this bit of stubbornness is frustrating much like when Mary Virginia would refuse to sleep at

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Semantics

The other day I was playing with Mary Virginia, and I was just struck by how lovely and sweet she is and how thankful I am to be her mommy. So I told her, “Mary Virginia, did you know that I used to pray that God would give me a daughter? I prayed that God would put a baby

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The kindergarten decision

Last fall I took the kids to get new shoes before school. I went to a particular store in Richmond, one that has a reputation for how well they measure and fit shoes for children. Because of this reputation, I consciously ignore their high prices and the 47 other shoe stores I pass while driving

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11/52

One thing I’ve liked about this project is that it allows me to record little bits of information I wouldn’t write about otherwise. Every photo, every week, is a vignette — in photos and words — of my children. My intent wasn’t to do that. My intent was to include a photo and a brief sentence; just

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Number recognition ball game

A few weeks ago I was filling out a preschool application for Mary Virginia. The application asked lots of questions to help the teachers get to know her, including some of her social and academic skills. One question asked which numbers she could recognize, and I wasn’t sure how to answer. Then I thought about

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10/52

Spring won’t officially be here for a couple of weeks, but is sure feels like spring. And all this sunshine does a world of good. A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. All three of them / On the first warm day of the season, I re-introduced our children’s third parent: the water table. Thirty seconds in and

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Deciduous mandibular central incisors

Last weekend Thomas’s bottom teeth finally poked through. They took forever. I’m not exaggerating, I could SEE them just under his gums for a month. A MONTH. I don’t know what happened. Maybe they forgot something and had to go back? Maybe they ran out of gas on the way? I have no idea. I just hope

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9/52

Have you ever noticed that my horizontal photos are just a bit squished? It’s because the theme and framework on my blog is just a few pixels too small. It irritates me, but not enough to fix it. (It’s been like that for two years!) Until I fix it, if you click on my photos,

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And on and on and so it goes

Last fall we were struggling to get in the flow of the preschool schedule. It’s a lot — getting all three kids and myself fed, dressed, and out the door with all their bickering and necessary bags. Plus, Thomas was still very new, and I was spending much of the night awake with him. The year

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Melted-crayon rocks

Melted-crayon rocks

When it’s cold, I cook exclusively in the oven. I’m not kidding, I scour the house looking for things I can bake. Cookies, bread, pizza, roasted chicken. Pancakes? Can you bake pancakes? WORTH A TRY! The house just feels so much cozier when there’s something in the oven, doesn’t it? This is completely unrelated to

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8/52

8/52

Just when I thought this was becoming an easy habit, I completely forgot to take photos this week. Thankfully we had an unseasonably warm Saturday, and playing in the front yard feels special enough for photos. There’s a link-up below for anyone interested, even if you aren’t specifically participating in the 52 project. But if

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A daddy and his daughter

A daddy and his daughter

Last weekend Tom took Mary Virginia to a Father Daughter Dance. As he was getting ready, I encouraged him to put on a suit instead of a sport coat. “Some of the dads will be wearing tuxes, Tom. And come here, look. Elizabeth Phillips has already posted photos. Come look at what Sloan’s wearing.” Tom didn’t even

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7/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. I hadn’t intended on a theme for this week. Actually, yes I had. I intended to take Valentine’s-themed photos. Then I dressed Mary Virginia in the most adorable Valentine’s Day outfit, and a different theme emerged. These are all taken from above, which

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Each day is Valentine’s Day

Recently in the afternoons, while my younger two nap, I’ve been listening to the most popular TED talks of 2015. TED talks are so great, they’re relatively brief but pack in so much new information and perspectives that challenge you to think in new ways. Since I started this new habit, when Tom comes home from

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6/52

I call these photos “The Crib Series.” I didn’t intend on a theme, it just happened. I first snapped Mary Virginia’s flip, then a few days later I spied Thomas looking over the rail. So I looked at David and said, “Show me whatcha got, kid.” David / I asked David to see if he

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Semantics

On our way to preschool we drive on a number of roads, several that are two-lane, most that have a 35 mph speed limit. None of that matters to David, who thinks our Toyota Sienna is racing in the Daytona 500. David: Mommy! Go faster! We’re losing! Can you pass that guy!? Can you race

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5/52

It’s only week five and I’m already breaking my own rules for this project. I’d planned to not re-post images. The 52 project images should be new; ones that I haven’t already used for a different post. I already used these photos for another post, but I’m posting them anyway. Because I am a person who

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And now something you haven’t yet seen on the Internet: pictures of my kids in the snow

If you’ve read this website for three or four minutes you might already know that winter is not my favorite season. I’ve been known to shiver uncontrollably as soon as the temperatures dip below 70 degrees. When we started hearing about Snowstorm Jonas I just ignored it because that’s my favorite way to deal with problems. I act

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4/52

It’s week four and snow is falling outside at impossible rates. I’m trying to distract myself from the worry that we’ll lose power by writing this post. (It’s not working.) David / The hum of the nebulizer has become commonplace in the past week or so. David’s actually gotten pretty good at it. If you’re looking for a non-screen toy

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3/52

This is just week three and I can already tell I’m taking more pictures. We had a stressful week and I still had several photos to choose from. It’s not too late to join in; link up with your own 52 project, or other captures from the week. David / Recently the kids’ door broke and we’re in

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Laughing all the way

The Monday before Christmas I drove to Rockville, MD by myself with all three kids. I was very, very nervous. It’s just a 2-hr. drive, and I know, two hours is not a big deal. I have friends who have flown across the country, and across the Atlantic Ocean with kids. My sister flew from Taiwan

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2/52

A photo of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016 David / Mommy, is this a smile? Yes, it is. Do you want to take a picture of it? Yes, I do. (Phew! That was easy!) Mary Virginia / Tom has been taking the kids swimming at a nearby gym. When he told

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Funshine Bear

When I had David I constantly thought about what it would be like to have more than one child. My day was so full — so consumed. From the moment he woke up in the morning to the time he went to bed at night I was harried and overwhelmed with every step of caring

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1/52

These photos are the first in a weekly photo project. You can read more here, but this is the gist: A photo of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016. Join me? I included a link-up at the bottom of this post and I’ll continue doing so if there’s interest. Happy 2016 🙂

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A 2016 photo project

For the past few years I’ve been following along with a photo project at Practising Simplicity. She’s a mom, writer, and photographer living in Australia. She’s either a professional photographer or just a really, really good photographer, and takes an “unportrait” of her kids every week. The goal is to capture them just as they

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On family dynamics and age gaps

Recently I wrote age order posts about each of my children (David, Mary Virginia, Thomas) because, when I have time to think, I think a lot about my kids — about who they are and what they need as individuals, and about how they fit into and shape our family. Our kids are pretty close in

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DIY play makeup for toddlers

I rarely put on makeup these days, but when I do Mary Virginia is always underfoot. “Mommy, can I have lotion in my hair? Can I have deodorant on my belly? What are you puttin’ on your mouth?” If we’re going somewhere that requires more than me redoing my ponytail when we arrive, Tom and I team

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Thanksgiving 2015

I don’t know why, but I always feel cliche saying I’m thankful for family on Thanksgiving. Because that’s what everyone says. I’d like to be more original. Profound. But what else is there? I’m thankful for high-speed wi-fi? For drive-thrus? That I’m raising three children after dishwashers were invented? Ok, those are valid. But what is more profound

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My experience selling with ThredUp

[Psst: If you’re planning to shop ThredUp, use my referral link and we’ll both get a $20 credit: http://www.thredup.com/r/PBHKWD] ————- After I wrote THIS post about cleaning out my closet and sending a bunch of stuff off to ThredUp, a few people asked me to write about my experience. Since I don’t get too many post requests,

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Just in time for Thanksgiving

I don’t often give parenting advice here, but Thomas asked me to tell you about this. Give your babies a chicken bone. A chicken bone, cooked and stripped — it’s nature’s teether. All my babies have loved chicken bones because all babies love chicken bones because, what’s not to love? It has flavor, it’s the perfect shape for holding and

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A very happy Halloween

For some reason I’m lazy and unprepared when it comes to every aspect of my life except  the holidays. We have a “Happy Halloween” banner in our dining room, pipe-cleaner spiders lurking around the house, and I ordered Mary Virginia’s dress on September 1 because I could not wait another day. Technically, I made David’s

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57,200 stitches

I haven’t been blogging as much in the past few weeks. This website has taken a back seat, as have replying to emails, wiping my countertops, and putting away laundry. And when David says, “Watch me!” and then jumps on the couch and does a somersault the exact same way he’s been doing for a solid year, I

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The oldest of three

Most mornings, David asks me how we’re going to spend the day. Often, he asks if we can go to the children’s museum. No, I tell him over and over. We aren’t going to the museum. Inevitably he asks why and I tell him the truth: Because Mommy’s afraid to go to the museum with

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