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Principles and Practicalities

Squish and I rocked in the dark in his room at 6:27 a.m. today in my vain effort to lull him back to sleep.  He responded by making the sign for milk. 

And so began an extra long morning (thanks, in part, to the delayed opening of daycare/school today). 

By 8 a.m., it was time to get all of us dressed.  With Squish on the changing table, I hollered to Bug, "[Bug], I am putting on [Squish's] clothes now, and then in two minutes it will be your turn."

Bug responded with an enthusiastic, "Okay, Mommy!"

Then I made a big mistake.  I thought to myself, "Well, isn't that great?  All I have to do now is give [Bug] a two-minute heads-up, and he is so cooperative.  We have a loose routine here, and I'm not sure I even really know the routine myself.  But that's fine.  I have cracked the Three-Year-Old-Cooperation-Code.  All [Bug] needs is a heads-up.  A little preparation before he has to change gears.  I am brilliant.  [Bug] is brilliant.  Oh, and look, [Squish] is brilliant now, too, in this amazing outfit I chose for him.  Fantastic!"


Confessions of a Mom at the Breaking Point

On my way to work this morning, a little orange light shaped like a wrench went on in my dashboard.  I looked down and saw "15% OIL LIFE."

New to the area and without any idea where to go to deal with the orange wrench, I picked up my phone and told a certain "intelligent personal assistant" — let's call her "Weary" — that I needed an oil change.

About forty-five seconds later, she replied, "I'm really sorry about this, but I can't take any requests right now."

Normally when she says something like that I throw down the phone and let out a dramatic harumph. Today, I kept the phone in my hand and said,



This morning, I opened my hotel room door, picked up the Times, and read the news out of the Upper West Side.  It's a nightmare.  A term I use loosely because I don't think our brains would actually force us to have a bad dream of such enormously terrifying proportions.  My thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathies are with that family today.


Giving back

I received a message with the following ways to volunteer and contribute to your communities... take a look and figure out which one works for you!

5 Little-Known Things you can do Right Now to Improve the World
…and they won’t cost you a cent!

1.       Offer a Veteran a Ride
The Disabled American Veterans' Voluntary Services Program provides numerous opportunities for men and women of all ages to help make a difference in the lives of disabled veterans:

2.       Spend time at a Shelter
You don’t have to be an animal expert to help out at your community’s shelter. You just need to have the time and desire to lend a helping hand:

3.       Help safeguard the environment
It is as simple as recycling batteries. The kind that get recharged, like the ones in laptops and cell phones, contain mercury and lead, heavy metals that can contaminate the air, topsoil, and water if they’re tossed in the regular garbage.  Call2Recycle has partnered with major recycling facilities in the United States and Canada to process and reclaim materials from rechargeable batteries and cellphones. You can find a Call2Recycle recycling location here:

4.       Declutter and Donate
You might not think so, but you can donate your old running shoes (they’ll recycle them!), same with your old mattress, and much more:

5.       Offer to babysit for free, it could be a friend or relative
There are a few things you can do to help out families in your neighborhood and even your own that would be much appreciated:


Women, the new Ohioans. (For the week anyway)

I want to write a blog post.  I really, really do.  Maybe something about making sure my Bug and my Squish maintain a balanced diet and get all of the nutrition they need.  Or something about work-life balance - I have plenty of thoughts to share on that one.  Or what about a little something about costumes, pumpkins, or candy. 

I cannot write any of those posts.


Hey, is that a truck book over there?

This morning, Bug and Squish and I were playing on the floor in the living room.

Squish pulled out a musical toy.  Squish seems to love musical toys and music in general.

Bug quickly turned his interest toward Squish and the musical toy.  Bug started playing with the musical toy.

Squish seemed not to notice.  He turned his interest toward the book shelf.  He picked up a book - a book about trucks.

Bug loves books and trucks and books about trucks. 

Excited at the possibility that Squish also loves books about trucks, I started to read the book.

Squish seemed excited for the first page.

Bug turned his attention to the book about trucks, too.

Once Bug was fully engaged with the truck story, Squish crawled to the abandoned musical toy and took it back.

That is one clever Squish.  One very clever little Squish.


The case for walking

"Why don't you run an errand?  Grab us some [of our new favorite beers]?  Just get a walk?" my husband suggested.


twelve days, two brothers, two birthdays, two parties, one [totally normal] momma

We are preparing to host the second birthday party in our home in two weeks.  The first was for my three-year-old Bug, the next will be for my one-year-old Squish.

When I was pregnant, the potential proximity of my boys' birthdays became a pretty big source of concern.  Any time I met someone who mentioned a birthday within the same week or two of a sibling's birthday, the following conversation usually ensued:



Today, my Squish is one year old - it is his very first birthday.

It bears repeating: one year old.

This morning when I was getting Squish ready for the day, I opened the drawer to look for something special that he could wear.  I saw a bright orange Halloween onesie that seemed a little flashier than what I usually find in the drawer.  (Think brown sweatpants and striped tees... lots of them.)  I looked at the label and read, "6-9 mos."  I hesitated.  I actually wondered if Squish could wear the Fancy Halloween Onesie even though he has been breathing air on this earth for twelve months today.  (And he has been pretty big for his age for each one of those twelve months.)

It is time to admit that I often think that Squish is nine months old.



Four days after Bug's third birthday, he was scheduled to visit the doctor for a check-up.  In the week leading up to the appointment, I tried to prepare him.  I listened to his heart to check for any drumming; I looked in his ears, eyes, and throat to check for tiny monkeys that may have been hiding back there.  We acknowledged that he might get a shot, which could definitely hurt, but that the shot and the pain would be over really fast.


Like riding a bike. Exactly like riding a bike.

Phone Call Number 1:
  • 6:55 am
  • My husband called me.
  • He explained something about having taken my keys that morning so he couldn't lock his bike at the T.  
  • Would I please use his keys - which include the bike lock key - to lock the bike at the T?  
  • Yes, okay, of course I could do that.

About five minutes later, I looked for his keys to add to the pile of Things I Have To Have With Me Before I Leave In The Morning Or Else...

Phone Call Number 2: