I have a website! ...(and other news)

Dear Family,

It is snot central here. I am feeling extremely miffed by the whole thing, because I haven't even taken the boys to the Sciencenter ONCE this entire season, PLUS I made elderberry-ginger tonic (and I personally consume the nastiest cod liver oil ever, on a thrice-daily basis) AND I make both boys scrub all the skeezies out and not touch their eyes every time we go grocery shopping. This is not even mentioning the amount of borderline-compulsive thought I put into our daily meals, which really should be full of enough trace minerals and phytonutrients to ward off the common cold.

Busty Babes and small Boys and Being a Grown-Up

Dear Family,

Our neighbors have an adorable little 20-month-old girl. In case you haven't spent much time around babies lately, 20 months is NOT the age when humans generally acquire developmental skills such as sharing toys and playing cooperatively.

Anyway, this adorable baby and her mother were recently in a toy store, when the baby scratched another child in a scuffle over a toy. The other kid's mother was upset. But get this: she asked my neighbor, "Does your daughter have any friends?"

Pheromones and Frisbees, and lots of other things

Dear Family,

Sometimes you envision a day, and what it means, and how you'll celebrate, and you can get nearly swollen with how lovely it will be. Yesterday my bubble burst bright and early.

Jem woke up pre-dawn, somewhere around 4:45am, and whined. And tossed. And kicked. And did not go back to sleep. And so the rest of us didn't either.

When Ben was fully awake, he started whining almost immediately that he wanted breakfast.

Thanks for the Chocolate

A Final Clue for Jeff, on his treasure hunt

Treasure hunts are super neat
And your hunting this time was quite a feat.

But now I'm sad to say, my dear,
The end has come--you're very near.

Think of some neighbors who have a big garden
And also a greenhouse! It heats up some yard in.

GO SEEK YOUR TREASURE!

There's bound to be something tasty to eat
As well as at least one other treat.
But nothing that says exactly how sweet
YOU are, and how glad I am that we meet
At the end of each day.
I'm so happy to say,
I love you, Jeff A.

Do you know Kissy Robin?

Dear Family,

There are certain questions I hardly ever asked before I had children. Respecting people's privacy, and all that. Yet since Ben was born I have--at conservative estimate--asked "Do you have to pee?" approximately 32,029 times. And I KNOW that some days I asked more than 15 times.

(Fun fact: to date, I've received approximately 31,709 negative responses to that question.)

----

For my thirtieth birthday, I wanted to do something besides navel-gazing, since I do that enough as it is. So I came up with the idea of a bake sale, to benefit Heifer International.

Summer in November!

Dear Family,

I made it to the other side, and have now officially completed three decades of life.

It doesn't feel much different, though. A young friend of ours, who also just had a birthday, explained it this way: "...I still _feel_ three an' three-quarters!"

Luckily, I've had a bladder the size of a lentil for several years now, so I can't blame that on old age.

----

I'm about to...[gulp]

Dear Family,

For the teeniest tiny moment, when I woke up yesterday morning, I couldn't remember what had happened to my hair. But since I'm only just about to turn...[gulp] one year older than I am now...and many of my faculties are still functional, I remembered really quickly.

In case you're wondering, my hair is now technically a bob. It was

Best Holiday of All Time

Dear Family,

I just love it. Making stuff, wearing costumes, going out at night, trading treats with people, adults and kids all having fun together...Halloween is just totally and completely awesome. There was this semi-dry spell of about ten years, between Growing Up and Having Children, where I had no good excuse to go to the effort of making a costume, etc. But no more!

Golden Days

Dear Family,

We are deeply into critters here.

Facts:

-Pillbugs don't pee (they expel their ammonia wastes as gas); the mamas carry the tiny babies in a pouch for their first few days; they breathe through their gills; and like many crustaceans, they have hemocyanin in their blood (copper, instead of iron) which makes oxygenated pillbug blood appear blue.

-Garter snakes birth live young; in the spring, females give off a
pheromone that attracts males (sometimes so many that they create a
squirming "mating ball"); and the male garter snake has two penises,

Snakes, Sweet Potatoes, and Stethoscopes

Dear Family,

This week I harvested my bumper crop of sweet potatoes, from 24 plants which all had to be dug on Monday because of the frost.

It was a bitter, misty day, and I went down to the garden with two boys and low expectations. Then suddenly I discovered how incredibly cool it is to turn over a careful pitchfork of dirt, and find seven orange tubers lying comfortably in the soil.

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