Tag Archives: meta-blog

Why I Blog

Some bloggers claim that their blog exists to serve its readers, which may be so, but I’m not entirely sure that this blog serves anyone at all!  I try to be on topic but I can’t always be bothered.  Some days, I just want to ask you silly questions, like can I shave the back of my head like I did when I was 19, because it would be so much cooler in this humidity.  Some days, I just want to post links to other places, partially because I want to share and partially because I hope eventually someone will post a link to my page (thereby driving the viral-osity I so crave.  People, I gotta get a book deal.  Then I’ll never get dressed and my children will be glued to Curious George forever.)  Some days, I just need to clear out my memory card on my camera.

It’s one of those days today, Cha Cha centric version.

She’s so cute. . . photogenic children are such a curse. . .

The bow kills me– it’s her Abuelita’s doing.  She wants the girls to be. . you know. . . girly. . . which is, weirdly, not my forte.

Happiest child ever.

Now I need to come up with a d centric post and a m centric one. . .

It’s the weekend, time to roll.  Have a good one.


K et al at AFTHOTW HQ


An Apology

This is a rare two-posts-in-just-two-days thing.  I just had to apologize for yesterday’s piece of crap.    I want to delete it, it’s just so bad.   It doesn’t make any point.  I felt like I *should* write about not going to church and how it makes me feel a little off, but not that off. Then I wondered if skipping a few weeks is de rigeur for the Protestants, especially in the warm months.  The tone is both self-conscious and dimly self-righteous.  Then I ended with a question.  Blech.  It’s enough to make me want to stop reading my own stuff.

Resolution Update, a little late

Here’s the June-ish update.

  1. Reduce overall monthly expenses by 10%.  We don’t qualify for Making Home Affordable, so now we’re looking at a standard refi.  I should know more this week.    We’re generally doing okay on this, but I’m still trying to tighten up a little more.
  2. Move forward with our adoption. As you know, Daniel is here!  For the next six months, we will have monthly visits with his social worker and our social worker and will likely legalize the adoption next spring.  We are settling in pretty well.  Daniel seems to be getting attached to us, we’re improving at managing three kids at once (luckily, they rarely all need me simultaneously) and Madeline and Daniel behave just as you would expect siblings to– that is, they are best friends one moment, wrestling like baby bears the next and tattling on each other the next (“Daniel took my bucket!  Madeline touched me!”)
  3. Make more things from scratch. I am slacking here.  I bought bread.  Purchased bread does, however, make a much better peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  It has been sooooo hot in our area that I haven’t had the motivation to turn on the oven.
  4. Landscape. Need more woodchips.  Front yard looks better since the removal of overgrown bushes.  Picture soon.
  5. Reduce our paper towel habit. The greatest evidence of our success is John’s recent statement, “You know, I don’t even miss paper towels.” 

And, dear readers (all 11 of you), we still want to go viral.  Admittedly, this particular post is more for Mr. AFT’s and my benefit, but if you know someone who might appreciate my pith (perhaps another exhausted parent of 3 under 5?), please forward!  Since we’ve pretty well succeeded on #5,  I may have to add a new goal– PUBLISH.



k and the AFTHOTW crew

Evolving and resolving

Someone recently told me that no one cares about my paper towel usage.  I’m fine with that.  If you are reading this, great.  If you don’t want to know about my paper towel usage (which, by the way, has been drastically reduced since John is now on the bandwagon), skip that part (and any other parts that don’t interest you.)  If you are just here for the pictures (none today), click on the tag in the cloud that says “photos”.

I haven’t been posting recently.  I’ve been putting all of my time and attention into working full time and being a mom and a wife.  By necessity, other things have been falling by the wayside.  But LOTS of things have happened.  I could write eleven-teen posts about it all.  I’ll start with this one.

A while back I blogged about all of the “stuff” I had going on right now. Some of it is no longer an issue.  We’ll go down the list.

Two dogs– not any more.  Jack left us May 24, after 17 or 18 years.  He died lying in the sun in his backyard, which he loved.  He was an old boy and a good boy, my longest successful adult relationship and arguably, the reason I am sane.  Jack and I lived through a lot together and I only hope that he knew on some level how much he was loved.  Holly is still with us, seemingly unphased by her new status as an only dog.

Housemate.  Shawn moved out.  I already blogged about this.

My sister-in-law, sadly, passed away last week.  She had breast cancer, one of the most beat-able cancers.  Unfortunately, Ann never really responded to treatment and the cancer spread to her liver, lymph nodes and brain.  She leaves her devastated husband (still in remission from prostate cancer), two in-denial kids and a stepdaughter who is now the de facto maternal figure down there.  I’m grateful that Ann is no longer in pain but consumed with worry about her husband and kids.  More on this another day.  Shanti shanti shanti.

Our adoption.  Closer and closer!  Things are happening. There are people that I want to talk to in person who may or may not be reading this blog, so this update will have to wait.

My jobless brother got what amounts to close to his dream job– working for the US Tennis Association in some high up executive capacity. 

Stayed tune for upcoming posts with monthly resolution updates (super duper two-month edition), the return of Food Waste Friday (the accountability does help), Menu Planning Monday (but we’re eating the same things over and over, so the plans are boring) antics of the goobies and all the other fantasticness you’ve come to expect from all of us here at AFTHOTW HQ.

And the winner is . . .

(Fade in to home interior, early evening.  Our lovely heroine lies face down in bed, with a snoring toddler to her left and a menagerie of stuffed animals to her right.  Heroine stirs and says. . . )

I give up!  Day with only 24 hours, you win!  No matter how hard I try, there are, in fact, only 24 hours in each day and I can’t get everything done!  Alas!

(Fade to black.)

Sounds like a great movie, right?  I should be a screenwriter, right?  Yah, right.

So, I’ve been away for a while.  It’s the whole back-to-work thing.  It really isn’t that bad, but I’m finding it difficult to accomplish all of the stuff I was used to accomplishing while I was home on maternity leave.  Like line drying my laundry.  My dryer is running right now.  I used it last night, too.  I’m still line drying occassionally but not every load, like I did last month at this time.

And meal planning.  I haven’t posted a meal plan in two weeks.  I had a plan in mind last week and this week, I’ve just been winging it.  If you miss my thrilling meal plan, check out any of the 400 or so linked on www.orgjunkie.com.

And Food Waste Friday.  For the last three weeks, I’ve just been freezing my wasted food.  No pictures, no posting.

And my daily chats with you all and of course, Vishnu, the God of Death (anyone get that literary reference?  Anyone?  Tell me in the comments.)

But tomorrow is the first day of spring.  Time for renewal.  Time to get back in  he saddle, go viral and make the book deal HAPPEN, right?  Riiiiiiiiiight.

We have more light so I can take pictures, which I need to do.  Poor Charlotte’s infancy is zipping away undocumented.

She eats cereal now.  She digs it.

I’d love to chat more, but I have to do laundry and pack for a weekend sojourn to Connecticut for Will-i-am’s fourth birthday.  Two parties– and two cakes!

Meal plan on Monday.  Really.  Well, at least I hope so.

I Went to Work and It Was Okay

It is the tail end of day 2 in my back-to-work saga.  M and C seem quite thrilled with their new day care provider and already my Spanish is improving!  Today I even understood a joke in Spanish about Charlotte’s lack of teeth.  Teeth and day care are big topic in Massachusetts lately (I’m sure that sounds very odd to anyone who isn’t the parent of a young child who attends day care in MA.)  Mads, apparently, does a lot of bailando during the day.

Astonishingly, work hasn’t been as awful as I feared.  It seems very clear to me now that being pregnant absolutely drained me last fall.  John is actually coming to work with me for a few days to do some observations for school. He is working with some of the students that I taught in the fall and they’ve asked him if I was as mean at home.  Good husband, he’s been lying and saying that I was a dream to live with, even in the moments before the induction.

I do wish the day was about three hours longer.  I’m madly typing this at 10:43 p.m and I didn’t prep the writing samples that I really wanted to for class tomorrow.  And if I was staying on top of things, I’d also fold a load of laundry before I went to bed.  Not happening.  I’m holding off on broad comments like “this is impossible” or “this is totally doable” until we settle into an actual routine– and John isn’t around to help with day care drop off and pick up.

My ability to be pithy here seems to have fallen off in the last few days.  I’m sorry.  Hang in there with me folks– snark will return as equilibrium is reached!

To make up for my lack of insight, I’ll throw in some gratuitous photos of Team AFTHOTW.  Because I know you’re just reading for the pics anyway. . .

A man outnumbered

Notice that Mads is paying attention neither to me nor to her father.  I suspect she is riveted by Curious George.  Girl’s got priorities.

Think of me at 7:35 a.m., molding young minds.

A Decision

As my return to work looms, my spare time becomes more precious.  I’m not even back yet and here I am, out of time on a Saturday and no post written.  It’s not that I have nothing to say (never worry about that) but rather I have run out of time to say it.  Again.  So, for the time being, I will be suspending publication of posts on Saturdays.  I’ll still be posting regularly Monday (meal plan), Tuesday (general ramblings), Thursday (general ramblings) and Friday (Food Waste Friday.)  I may occasionally post on Saturday or even – gasp – SUNDAY or WEDNESDAY!!!

Or, you know, not.

Stay tuned here for back-to-work week meal planning Monday.  Sigh.

The dog and the bike rack

Last Thursday, I had ideas for numerous posts.  This is idea #2.

That day, I saw a dog tied to a bike rack.  We live a dog-dense area so this is a common sight and as the owner/keeper of two large pups,  I’ve done it a few times myself.  As I got out of my car and went to run my errands, I pet the dog on the head.  About an hour later when I returned, the dog had pulled free of the rack and was starting off down the street. I was able to grab the dog’s leash and retie him.  I would hope that someone would do the same for me if I tied Ding and or Ling out somewhere and they worked themselves free.

At this point, an employee of the cafe that was there came out and asked if it was my dog. I said, “Oh, no.  I was just retying him as he’d got loose.”  The hapless coffee clerk said that the dog had been there at least two hours, no one in the coffee shop claimed to own the dog and the barista was preparing to call animal control since it seemed that the dog had been abandoned. I said that I doubted the dog had been abandoned since it had tags and it’s nails had been recently clipped. I said I’d take the dog home with me and call the numbers on the tags and see if I could track down someone who knew the dog. Worst case scenario, I’d just keep the dog.  Things are already chaotic here at AFTHOTW HQ, why not add to the excitement?

The barista thanked me for helping out and I left him my phone number in case someone did return for the dog.

I went home, called the animal hospital listed on the tag from 2007, they said bring the dog in and they’d scan him for a chip, the tag was too old to be of use.  Maybe 45 minutes later, I’m home feeding the baby and the phone rings.  It’s the barista, agitated.  The owner had returned and wanted the dog back immediately. I said I’d be there as soon as I could and it would probably be about 20 minutes.  The barista put the owner on the phone and she was flustered.  Said she and her daughter were on foot and could I get there any faster.  I finished with C and got her and the dog loaded back in the car.

As I drove, I got kind of agitated myself. Yes, I had taken someone’s dog, but the dog was loose and about to be sent to animal control. Besides, I was dropping everything to bring the dog back immediately.  Animal control wouldn’t deliver. And the dog’s tags were 3 years old!  What about preventative care? This woman had left her dog tied out on a sidewalk for at least 3 hours on a 20 degree day.  I thought briefly of not bringing the dog back and letting him hang out with my buds in my heated living room. But I delivered him back to exactly where I’d found him. I expected the woman to come bounding out of the cafe to reclaim the dog. Nothing.  I went inside and found the guy I’d been talking to.

“Where’s the lady for the dog?” I asked.

“Oh, yeah. She. . . ummm. . went across the street to the toy store.”

“Oh, ok, I’ll just go let her know the dog’s here now.”

“I wouldn’t.  She kind of ripped me a new one about this. We’ll call her.”

Why was this woman upset? And why did she take it out on the barista? I thought for a minute.

“Well, if she’s going to be like that, I’d just as soon avoid the confrontation.  Sorry to make this messy for you. We were just trying to help.”

And I went home.

I was trying to be a Good Samaritan and I ended up putting someone else in a difficult situation.  Should I have left the dog to wander the streets or be picked up by Animal Control? Should I have just kept him? Should I have not been a coward and spoken to this woman? What was the right way to go in this situation? What do you think?

Your comments are *always* appreciated.  Feel free to forward this post to other animal lovers and get their take on it too.

We’re going for blog hits this month!  I’m hoping for 650 hits in February.  Help make it happen- read AFTHOTW, forward to friends (or not-friends if you think I’m boring), visit often!


First, I am on the clock.  I’ve committed to posting Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, plus Food Waste Friday, and right now it’s 11:15 p.m.  Today we learned that blog posting needs to happen in the morning, lest I have to drag myself out of my warm bed and precious scarce sleep to post.

I got a wonderful, long email from my cousin Marisa (hi Missy).  Marisa writes rambly, intelligent emails that make me feel like we’re having tea together.  She says (writes?) that she is “unapologetically happy and proud” of what she does, as well she should be since she’s a SAHM to a little nugget, Max, adopted last year.  I’m temporarily a SAHM and Missy’s sentiment resonates with me.  Being a good mommy is the thing I’m proudest of.  It gives me joy and satisfaction in a way that being good at my money-making job never has but that pride also brings me guilt.

I feel guilty that I am enjoying choosing to not work right now, even though I work in a reasonably motherhood-friendly occupation.  I feel like I’m failing to blaze forward at “having it all” and therefore disappointing the spirit of feminism.  I’m wasting my education.  Worst of all, I just don’t care.  My guilt is tempered with gratitude that I get to do this. And the daily hilarity of the kidberts.

Humility is a central lesson of Christianity and general good breeding.  Yet we use it as a carrot to encourage children to achieve– “Mommy will be so proud if you use the potty!” (hasn’t happened yet.) “Mommy and Daddy are so proud that you slept in your own bed all night!” (happens all too rarely.)  We want kids to be proud of themselves and then later, expect them to not be proud.  Parenting rarely makes sense.  Proud adults are often seen as arrogant.  We only allow ourselves and others to be proud if that pride is accompanied by some humble gee-whizzing and abashed foot scuffling.

Let’s have a holiday, National It’s OK to be Proud Day.  It can be like Pride Day, including all the rainbow leis and pulsating techno music.  Emulate the little kid who has just mastered pedaling a tricycle.  If you are complimented, simply say, “Damn right, I’m good!”  Then eat a cookie to congratulate yourself.

On another note, January 21 I had the highest number of hits yet– 23!  My blog stats scale changed from increments of 1 to increments of 6.  Who’s lurking?  Comment and let me know.  I’m just curious.  Pass along a link to a friend who needs a dose of me in their day.  I’m also hoping that someday that number will seem pathetically small.  You know, when I get my lucrative book deal. . .and yes, that would make me proud.

BTW, the posted email address on my contact page, AFTHOTW at gmail dot com is experiencing technical difficulties that I have not yet unraveled.  If you want to contact me, leave a comment.

Coming in under the wire at 11:50.

What I’ve Learned So Far

This is my first blog.  I don’t  know if there will be others.  Part of the blogging adventure has been actually reading other blogs *.  I’ve learned a few things with all of this reading and writing.

  1. Writing less might be good.  I’m clocking in at around 500-600 words per post, which might be a little much. 
  2. If I can’t write less, I need to figure out how to add a break to a post– “click here to keep reading”– so my dear reader(s) can abandon ship if the first paragraph or two doesn’t draw him/them in.
  3. If I can’t add a break, I need to at least have some photos.  This could be an issue because I’m writing about intangibles, like faith and God and intangibles are notoriously difficult to photograph.
  4. I said that I wasn’t writing a mommy blog, but I am going to write about my kids and post pictures of them.  Why not?  They are my proof that God exists (after all, He sent me these little cuties) and dang, they are cute.  And it conveniently addresses point #4.
Maddie's profile
M is absorbed in the Mermaid
Daddy and Charlotte

It's a mutual admiration society here


See, I told you they were cute.
*  I’ve already talked about my admiration and fanatical reading of www.thefrugalgirl.com .  I’m also really digging www.thepioneerwoman.com.  More links some other time– I don’t want to overwhelm you.