Tag Archives: photos

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


Daniel is Here!

Look at that face!  I assure you that he was laughing as I took this picture, because that’s what he does most of the time.

Daniel came to live with us full-time as of June 17.  We did back-and-forth transition visits for the week prior to that.  Now, we’re settling into our new normal, just like after I had Charlotte.  No raging hormones for me this time, but maybe that’s why I’m so tired.  Or maybe it’s having three kids under 5.  Just sayin’.

Daniel picked us on February 27, walking right up to John at an adoption event and asking for juice.  Our social worker said that he wasn’t the right little boy for us.  Daniel’s social worker wanted him to be the youngest child in a family.  John and I thought we were going for siblings, a little bit older. . . but Daniel is our boy.  I have great satisfaction in my soul when they are all playing together or when M and D are singing in the car or when they are all asleep in their beds or when Daniel pats my face before he falls asleep.

I’m not saying that having three little dudes is easy.  But it has its perks, too.

M and C are thrilled.  Well, M is.  C is reserving judgement until she can speak, but she seems to think Daniel is mighty swell.

The brain trust hard at work at HQ

Do you know how hard it is to get all four of them looking at the camera?

And this one, because M is so pretty. . .

. . when she’s not covered in mud.

More soon– two more days of work and then I’m all yours, all summer long. . . .

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.

We’ve Replicated

Long day. Lots of stuff going on.  Many things I could post. Coming in under the wire (I have to learn to post in the morning.)  Today’s pithy thought is. . . . .

I had a fabulous time at my dear friend Laurel’s 40th birthday.  I also got to see my friend Michelle.  My kids had a fabulous time. Well, Charlotte is a pretty undemanding party guest, but Mads was over the moon to play with all of the kids.

There are several people who may shudder to realize that collectively Laurel, Michelle and I have 7 kids.  (Keith Mallory, Gary Green, Bobby Metro– are you reading this?)  I half-shudder myself.  Here’s five of them.

M loved her new older friends.

(Both photos courtesy of M. Clark and her Blackberry.)

All of these seven kids got on fabulously (well, again, not so much Charlotte, because she really isn’t into the socializing scene.)  Is there some genetic link to who you get along with?  You know, the mothers are friends, so the kids are predisposed to be friends? Or did the kids all just play together because that’s what kids do?

There some philosophizing to be done here, but I’ve got a very tired three-month-old who needs to fed and soothed to sleep.

Indoor and Outdoor Fun

One way we have reduced our expenses is to drastically cut our entertainment spending. Luckily, we have an in-home mobile entertainment unit. See?

She’s also helpful in teaching Charlotte to be similarly entertaining.

"See, Baby Charlotte? This is how you be a ballerina."

Charlotte wasn’t too interested, though.  She was reading.

Luckily, Daddy is interested in Madeline’s entertainment choices.  On Tuesday, the storm that they had both been waiting for was finally here. That would be the storm that gives us snow that can be formed into a snowman.

Maddie inspects the snowfall and finds it to be ideal for snowman making

Daddy did the bulk of the hard labor. . . .

. . . while Madeline focused on the accessories.

I put rocks for eyes, hats, scarves and a plastic carrot for a nose in the bag.

The end result pleased M immensely.

I like it!

She pointed out the snowman to all of neighbors who were busily shoveling.

"See, everybody! Snowman!"

It was so pleasing, that she and her daddy built another one, a lady this time.

Mads kept a close eye on everything, to ensure quality snowman construction.

I have to admit though, the lady snowman looked like a guy to me, but what do I know?

We have no need for going out on the town, designer martinis or theatre tickets when we have this.  But I wouldn’t refuse theatre tickets if they came my way.  With a free babysitter.

Flour Power

I’m posting late, again.  I have composed the beginnings of at least four different posts today, but before I could actually write any of them, something happened that made me think, “This has to go on the blog!”  Roughly, the topics would have been Shawn’s departure, a dog tied to a bike rack, the joy of Murphy’s Oil Soap and homeschooling.  Each of those deserves a post of it’s very own, but today I feel compelled to bring you the following as an important public service announcement.

Here it is.

A quiet toddler is a dangerous toddler.

I need to learn this.

Here’s the scenario.  I’m typing furiously to submit an article for a deadline.  Maddie watching her favorite, Curious George.  She gets up and goes into my totally child safe kitchen.  She is not more than 10 feet away from me and I assume heading my way. When she does not arrive at my side in 4 seconds, I assume that she is silently sorting through tupperware or playing magnets and unearthing the bag of plastic toys I keep on the bottom shelf of a rolling cart.  See, where the problem is here?  Have you been paying attention?

She’s silent.

I hit ENTER and submit my article and turn to investigate the situation with my little love bug.

I see this.

Let’s scan up, shall we?

Now, let’s zoom in.

Could have sworn that bag of flour was unopened.

By this time, M has retreated.

Note the look of non-chalance and the dusty pajamas.

This one is going to be trouble in about 12 more years.

Remember – silent toddler = DANGER!  Important safety tip.  Thanks, Egon.*

She did help clean it up.

* Leave a comment to identify the classic film that gives us this sound bite.

The Secret to Joy

I wish I could find where I originally saw this, but somewhere I read that one of the secrets to happiness is connecting with strangers.  My husband is fantastic at this.  He will talk to anyone.  Everywhere we go, he makes a new friend.  This morning, we went out to breakfast.  The tables in the café were close together and we kind of created a spectacle, wedging Charlotte’s giant car seat into a chair and coaxing Madeline into sitting  at our table, as opposed to the neighboring one.  There was also a flurry of coats and hats to deal with and my giant mama purse with snacks, wipes, diapers and books and all the regular purse stuff.  We dominated the aisle for what felt like a half-hour but was probably only two minutes.  The two gentlemen next to us commented on our peaceful baby and when I finally sat down, the older of the two gentlemen said, “See?  Everything always works itself out.”

So we struck up a conversation.  The younger guy (who was not young) worked at the Garden so we talked sports for a minute.  The older gentleman was a retired pediatrician so we raved about Children’s Hospital.  We even talked politics, but without getting contentious.  When our places came, we turned our attention to eating and the two men had their own discussion.  When it was time to leave, we said good-bye and thanked them for a lovely conversation.

Then we went over to the resale shop to look at an armoire I had seen two days ago.  It was gone, of course, but we ended up chatting with the woman in front of us in line.  She seemed a touch unstable, but pleasant enough.

Then we went home to sell our too-large Thule box to a couple who saw it on Craig’s List.  They were charming and pleasant.  John amiably helped them mount the giant box to their roof.

John and I called it an exceptionally good morning.  Would it have been as heartening to only talk to each other at breakfast, ignore the crazy lady and just take the couple’s money and go back into the house?  Probably not.  Will we ever see any of these people again?  Probably not. But in being open to what the day presented, we had a more pleasant day.  I have no clue about the psychology behind this, but it made me feel good.

And Madeline got a new Curious George for a buck.  Life is good.

Discussing happiness and acting like I know what I’m talking about is making me tired, so I’ll switch gears.

Why do baby pants have pockets?

What is she supposed to put in there? Her keys?

Why doesn’t she do this all the time so we don’t have to keep track of those infernal binkies?

And Madeline says hi.

Go forth and talk to strangers.