Friday, September 30, 2016

Being Cute


Cornelius Rainbow Dragon had his stuffing knocked out of him through another unfortunate Scissor Incident.  Now Cornelius’s carcass is one of Wesley’s favorite dress ups. If he squats down to half his size, he can become an adorable, cuddly dragon.

9-10 Piper doctor 1

This is Piper dressed up as a doctor, cape included! 

9-10 Piper doctor 2


We fostered a dog for 2 months, and Piper was pretty smitten.

9-10 Wesley

Classic Wesley—clothing at odds (shorts and a hat/scarf combo) with the implements to be helpful and destructive.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Picture Day

I’m not buying school pictures this year outside of class photos, and I didn’t dictate anything outfits for them to wear.  This is what they came up with on their own:




Saturday, September 17, 2016

Stinky, Muddy Quicksand: Either awesome or awful

We finally got a weekend at the cabin and took along Parker and Cecily—my niece and nephew make great accessories at the cabin.


In between showers, we adventured down to “our” beach.  I’ve never seen the tide out so far!  Left behind was sand so goopy that only lightweight kids could partially walk on it without sinking to their knees.


Cecily and Parker were not impressed…and were the only kids who didn’t have to be hosed down later.

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The others played and shlopped for hours.

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I had to zoom in, as I am too big to take on that goop and win!

9-17 Cabin 7

That’s Wesley, Piper, and a neighbor friend—somewhat a female equivalent of Wesley, but better adjusted.

And here’s the rest of my heart…

9-17 Cabin 2

Monday, September 12, 2016

Love Letter

Wesley wrote a special note he slipped into his sister’s lunch bag.

Letter Wes put in Kyla's lunch

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The First Day of School

Wesley starts first grade.

9-6 First Day of 1st grade

Piper, 3rd.

9-6 First Day of 3rd grade.jpg

4th Graders don’t need their moms taking pictures of them.   Perhaps, especially, when said mother is doing something like this:


Did I mention that for the first time in ten years, all kids are in school full time this year?!?!?

My first day of school:

1) Take kids to school and click my heels in celebration several times. 

2) Help host the First Day of School Welcome and Coffee.

3) Help a group of PTA-ers put together Back to School packets.

4) Have lunch out with a group of friends at a local Japanese steak house, including a celebratory cocktail.

5) Return to PTA work.

6) Pick kids up from school.

And it was lovely, lovely.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

One More Birthday Party

9-4 Birthday party 2

With Kyla’s and Dwayne’s birthday 7 days apart, it’s irresistible to not combine the family birthday parties. 

9-4 Birthday party 1

Luckily, I have ways of saying “I love you” that don’t include homemade birthday cakes, especially when Cold Stone makes such great cookies-and-cream frozen masterpiece.

We began with sipping cocktails while admiring the trellis Dwayne had constructed that weekend (more later), and had dinner on the  sunny front deck, with cake and presents. 

9-4 Birthday party 5

The Wesley-Parker entity read Piggie and Elephant books together.

9-4 Birthday party 4

Happy birthday, Beloveds!

9-4 Birthday party 7

Saturday, September 3, 2016

She Blows Me Away

A beautiful day in late summer


a few hours of Mama free time


Time to clean the neighborhood drains

9-3 neighborhood drains 2

It’s not a pleasant job, but it can be satisfying taking out wheel barrowsful of smelly debris. 

Piper came to my rescue, though!  On a warm day, she put together a repast for me, packed it in a basket, and engineered a way to drag it behind her bike up to where I was working.

9-3 neighborhood drains 3

9-3 neighborhood drains 1

Thanks, Pipes! I love and appreciate you.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

How to Celebrate Birthday #10

9-1 Kyla's 10th 10It was pretty easy to figure out how to spend Kyla’s birthday.  Everyone agreed to head down to Pacific Science Center on one of our last days of summer vacation.  The kids were completely delighted by their first monorail experience….once we scrounged up enough change in the car to pay for it.  

9-1 Kyla's 10th 1

With the Brain Store at the other end of the ride, we spent a delightful hour, and surprisingly, not a single dime.

We did very little inside the PSC this time, as the outside beckoned.  I like this sequence of teamwork:

9-1 Kyla's 10th 2

9-1 Kyla's 10th 3

9-1 Kyla's 10th 5

9-1 Kyla's 10th 7

Happy Birthday, Kyla!

Reasons We Love Kyla

1) She is delightful child who is “uncommonly bright” (direct quotation from the May assessment)

2) Kyla loves to learn, and has so many interests. This makes her an interesting conversationalist, like her father.

3) She works hard, whether or not she enjoys what she’s doing, which shows remarkable maturity!

4) Kyla is sweet-natured, thoughtful of others and self-aware.

5) She is so well read, across of variety of genres!

6) Mama tries to emulate Kyla in her ability to keep just the things she loves and not be controlled by her “stuff”.

7) Kyla is beautiful. She has clear blue eyes, a genuine smile, and a lovely profile.

8) She is observant beyond her years.

9) She is so expressive in her communication.

10) Kyla jumps in to help without thought of her own reward.

11) Kyla takes excellent care of her siblings while developing independence.

12) She used her creativity and ingenuity to blend artistry and engineering together, designing and sewing a skirt for Amber.

13) We often take her independence for granted but we’ve really come to rely on her being self-sufficient—a true young adult!

14) Kyla is very polite and loving. (from Piper)

15) Good sleeping partner! (from Wesley)

16) Kyla has excellent sportsmanship. (Piper)

17) Kyla is crafty and is adultish. (Piper)

18) Kyla jumps with me on the trampoline. (Cecily)

19) She is a good playmate. (Piper)

20) Kyla is HELPFUL! (Piper)

21) She is a person who tries new things, like food and audiobooks. (Piper)