Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fall Fun

It's been a while. This school year is kicking my butt. One of these days it's bound to get easier, but I haven't seen it happen yet. Here are some pictures of the fun we've been up to this fall when we can squeeze it in!

All four of us headed down to Blacksburg for a football game - we had a beautiful day, and a WIN! Claire showed off some very unique Hokie style.

We harvested lots of tomatoes from our garden, and have a freezer full of spaghetti sauce to show for it.

I went on a field trip to the C&O canal, where there were some beautiful views.

We took our annual trip to the pumpkin patch.

The kids had international day at school.

And then Halloween - an adorable musketeer, and a beautiful princess showed up at our door!

Stay tuned for more. In the meantime, for those who are interested in some unique handmade jewelry check out the giveaway going on over here. Lisa Leonard's designs are lovely.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Early Morning Funnies

Me: I think you guys gave me your colds.

Ben: *sniffs experimentally* No, I still have mine!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Best Shot Monday - boat ride

Ben enjoying a boat ride on the weekend before Labor Day. Looks just about perfect to me!

Check out more great shots when you visit Tracey over at Best Shot Monday.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Ten on Tuesday - the back to school edition

1. Today was a busy day for most of the household. It was my first day of school with students, Ben's first day of Montessori, and Claire's -2nd day of kindergarten (kindergarteners don't start back at school until Thursday, but she went today to help her teacher show the new 3 year olds the classroom routines).

2. When Ben woke up he didn't even make it all the way down the stairs (he saw me in the hallway) before he ran back upstairs to put on his clothes for the first day.

3. He was most excited about his new "cool" shoes (sorry Uncle Brandon, they're not fancy anymore). So excited that after taking off his pajamas and running to the bathroom, he came back naked, and started putting his socks on. I did manage to talk him into putting on his clothes before his socks and shoes.

4. When I picked Ben up he told me he met lots of new friends. According to him, he met a girl named Christopher, a boy named Benjamin wearing the same shoes (Brian guesses he met him in a mirror), and a boy named traffic light. So pretty much everything he said is suspect.

5. Claire said she was very helpful, but that there were lots of people to help, so she got to spend some time doing her own work. She brought home two bracelets that she made, one sewn, and one beaded, and some coloring including a picture labeled "me and mi famle".

6. After school we went to get a "treat". Ben opted for the coffee shop and got some of "Nonni's favorite cookies", I got a pumpkin spice latte, and Claire chose ice cream from Cold Stone (I still can't believe that Ben chose the coffee shop over ice cream).

7. I was planning on asking Claire for a bite of her ice cream until she made her choices. Cotton candy ice cream (blue) with mini marshmallow mix-ins. No thanks.

8. Brian didn't have a special first day of anything, but he did a good job finishing packing the lunches (he was responsible for the PB&Js, and taking some pictures before they left.

9. He did, however, turn Ben's name tag in to the front office with the paperwork instead of actually putting it on our child.

10. All in all a good first day for everyone.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

I've been thinking a lot lately about what my kids have added to my life. Here are some of the things I've been pondering lately:

1. Patience. Teaching middle schoolers I was pretty sure I had boundless stores of patience. Clearly I had a lot left to learn - as my kids quickly taught me. I am more patient than I imagined, but still, it runs out sometimes.

2. Humility. There is no choice when you have children, but to be humble. Like a few weeks ago at the post office when Ben told a man he had a big butt. That was most definitely a humbling experience.

3. Reflection. Sometimes when I watch and talk to Claire I see some of my traits reflected in her - particularly self-consciousness. I hope that I can help her outgrow that, as it is something that I have struggled with all my life. As I watch my children experience things, I spend a lot of time reliving my own memories of similar things.

4. Energy. There are days I feel like I have nothing left to give, but as a parent, that's just not an option, so I somehow manage to find enough extra stores of energy to make it through the day and keep up with two very active monkeys.

5. Laughter. I have never laughed as much as I have since Claire and Ben were born. Every day they do something goofy that makes me laugh.

6. Wonder. Having kids is an opportunity to look at the world again through fresh eyes. The wonder that they find in the smallest things is amazing to watch. The other day Claire said to me, "Look Mama, isn't this the most beautiful rock you've ever seen?" It was something that normally I would have walked right past without noticing, but to her the color and the shape were clearly noteworthy.

7. Fatigue. All nighters in college were nothing compared to the day-in day-out demands of taking care of two kids. Especially when one or the other (or both) are going through periods of not sleeping very much, or for very long at a time. Somehow we make it through. I can do a lot more, on a lot less sleep, than I ever thought possible. It definitely makes me forgetful, though. Sometimes I wander from the dining room into the kitchen, and by the time I've arrived I've forgotten what I was coming for.

8. Pride. There is nothing that makes my heart swell more than watching my kids accomplish something new. When people compliment them it makes me so proud of the little people that they are becoming. Also getting to see the pride that they take in their accomplishments - be it reading a new word, some artwork, or an outstanding physical feat - fills up my heart.

9. Gratitude. I feel as though since becoming a mother I stop more often to be thankful for all of the blessings I have. Clearly, Claire and Ben are two of my biggest blessings, but there is so much else to be thankful for. Every time that I take a moment to stop and think about it, I feel so incredibly lucky.

10. Love. I never imagined that I could feel so much love, and yet it continues to grow and grow. I am so lucky to have these two amazing children in my life. The love makes me happier than ever for the good things, but it also makes me hurt when they are hurting. I wouldn't give it up for anything.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ten on Tuesday - the picture free edition

1. The power cord to my lovely MacBook is not working well. Tomorrow I will be visiting the Genius Bar. This is why there are no new pictures today.

2. Tomorrow I will also be celebrating my 9th wedding anniversary. Yippee!

3. Except we're not really going to celebrate until next week when the kids are at my parents' house for 3 days.

4. Also, to add to tomorrow's excitement, I need to register Claire for SACC (school aged child care) for the 2010-2011 school year. I have been told that if I don't get through tomorrow, I am likely to wind up on the waiting list, without a spot.

5. My kids crack me up all the time. Lately they frequently pretend to be mother and child, and so tonight I heard Claire telling Ben, "Honey? Honey, you're beautiful, but I just don't know. You're kind of odd." I have no idea where she came up with that, but I could not stop laughing.

6. In other funny kid stuff, Ben has started prefacing many statements with "I'm serious!" which just makes me laugh so hard. He really is trying to be serious a lot of the time, but I can not help cracking up.

7. We just got back from 5 days in northern California. We had a great trip including a trip to an aquarium, riding a cable car, seeing the giant Redwoods, a 98th birthday party, and a trip to the beach where both kids got to splash in the Pacific Ocean. It was fabulous.

8. My mom told me today that one of Claire and Ben's fourth-cousins-once-removed (got that?) who is between them in age, told her Nonni yesterday, "I want to go back to Auntie Popo's and play with those kids." When she was told that they flew home on the plane yesterday she then replied, "Well call them, and tell them to come back!" Apparently they were popular.

9. Ben liked playing with his fourth-cousins-once-removed, but preferred playing in their father's fire truck. I think if we lived in California Nick would be Ben's new best friend. He let them turn on the lights, talk over the loudspeaker, and try out the siren, as well as trying on his hat and coat.

10. Speaking of his coat, in a classic example of one hand not talking to the other, it was determined that all fire personnel at a traffic incident have to wear reflective vests. The reflective vests are not fireproof, so if there is a fire they can not wear them. Makes perfect sense, doesn't it? Ahh, bureaucracy.

And that's it for this Tuesday. Stay tuned - if I can get a new power cord, or they can make it work, hopefully I'll have pictures from our trip to share soon.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Best Shot Monday - buds

As a kid, being forced to get up early on Saturday mornings to go and weed the gardens, I never thought I would have gardens of my own, or get so much pleasure out of watching the flowers come up. My favorites are definitely my hydrangeas.

Please stop by Tracey's blog to check out some of the other fabulous pictures from Best Shot Monday.

Monday, June 08, 2009


Claire's fifth birthday was last week. I will try to write more about it later, but here is a photo from her party on Saturday as she waited at the table for the cake to be brought in - she couldn't hold still she was so excited.

Happy birthday, Claire! I love you!

Make sure that you go visit Tracey to see what everyone else is sharing for Best Shot Monday.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Best Shot Monday - Memorial Day

Today we remember all of the men and women who served our country and have died, but most particularly, around our house, we are thinking of our grandfathers. Here is a picture of Brian and the kids with Papa Jim taken in December 2007. This is the first year that we are remembering Papa Jim on Memorial Day, rather than Veteran's Day. He accomplished so much in his years of service for our country, and was very proud of it - deservedly so. We miss him, and we're grateful for his service, and that of Grandpa Collins, and Grandpa Mills - all of whom proudly served our country.

There are so many men and women who we honor today. Take a moment to remember them, before heading on to see the magic everyone else is sharing at Best Shot Monday.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Stay tuned...

For 10 on Tuesday - the Wednesday edition. I am exhausted, and it is not going to happen tonight. I will leave you with this cute picture, as a consolation prize.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ten on Tuesday - remember that thing?

1. It's been a long time. At the end of the day I am tired, and though I frequently think of blog posts as I work or drive, I rarely take the time to type them once I'm sitting on the couch.

2. I'm making it a mission to take better care of myself - tonight I soaked my feet, then exfoliated them with a sugar scrub, and put on nice foot lotion and heavy socks.

3. I've also started doing a cross-training exercise program every Monday at school. It makes Monday long days, but I get a great workout, and I need it.

4. I had a very relaxing Mother's Day with my three favorite people. They were very sweet to me.

5. My husband must have read my mind about my plan to take care of myself because I got a spa gift certificate for Mother's Day.

6. Last Saturday we made our first (of many) trips to the farmer's market. Even though there's not a lot of produce out, what was there was great, and the kids were thrilled that the homemade donuts were back.

7. Brian was sad that the olive and pickle guy was not back.

8. My fresh crepe at the farmer's market was delicious (feta, spinach, and mushrooms - yum). My favorite part of Saturday mornings.

9. Right now I'm watching the Biggest Loser finale, and chatting online with my sister. An enjoyable way to finish the day. We're also simul-blogging our 10 on Tuesday. (I just made that word up, btw.)

10. Our gardens are starting to change over to summer flowers, and I'm enjoying looking around each week at what is new. The bleeding hearts (shown above) are shedding their flowers, while the peonies are getting more buds every time I look. The clematis has started to bloom, and one lilac is done, while the other hasn't begun yet. I've found one of the nice things about gardening is how much everything changes week by week (or sometimes day by day).

Monday, May 11, 2009

Poor sick boy

This afternoon at almost 4 I turned my cell phone on to find I had a message. Ben's daycare had called to tell me he had a fever of 101.5 and didn't feel well, and was I going to come pick him up. They did not call my work number, or Brian, but I jogged over to get him, and then had him sit on a mat in the gym and watch me exercise. He sat so very still and watched us run, do sit-ups and push-ups, run some more, jump rope, sit down and stand up over and over again (squats). He must have thought it was all very bizarre. I got several comments about how well behaved he was - I knew it was because he was sick (and maybe because he was up at 4:45 this morning - ugh).

Tonight at dinner, he leaned against my arm, looked at his plate of food, and said pitifully, "I'm so berry hungry" and yet he didn't pick anything up to eat it unless I handed it to him. He had roughly half a piece of garlic bread, and half a cup of water.

My boy is sick, and I wish I could make it all better right away.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Things to remember

Some of my favorite current phrases and words that the kids use:

ickscover - Claire's version of discover
icksgusting - Claire's version of disgusting (a theme?)
It will feel me better - Ben speak for it will make me feel better


We have been inundated with rain lately. This morning Ben saw all the worms on the driveway, and begged me to let him pick them all up and take them to school. Because I am mean and horrible I refused - instead we threw them into the garden. He sulked for the first 4-5 minutes of the car ride, but then wanted to know what a sign said, so the silent treatment was over.


On the way home today the kids were in the backseat. They decided to tell each other jokes. Claire said, "ask me if I'm a crab?" Ben: "Are you a crab?" Claire: "Yes! Wok wok wok wok wok!" They laugh like little loonies. Then it was Ben's turn. He tried the same crab joke, but Claire said he needed to make up his own. Ben: "A hat was silly and fell into the gas station and they closed the tank." Claire: "That wasn't funny. Yours needs to be funny like mine."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Best Shot Monday - how can I choose

A few shots from the beach - it's been a week and a half now - how is that possible? These are certainly special memories. See what other memories people are sharing by visiting Tracey over at Mother May I for Best Shot Monday.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


I have been extremely neglectful around here lately. Things have been hectic, and my stress level has been high, so blog posting has not been at the top of my list. Yet life goes on.

Yesterday we dropped Lucky off at the house he would be staying at while we were away, only to find out about an hour later that he had run off. Here's a snippet of conversation from the back seat as we drove back to try to find him:

Claire: We need to hurry, we can't waste any time! I don't want him to be gone, because he has such soft ears. I love his soft ears. And I love beagles. If Lucky is gone we would have to get a new dog, and I think the pet store wouldn't have any more beagles.
Ben: *shrugs* I guess Papaya (ed: our Siamese kitten) will have to be our beagle now.

Claire: We can't give up.
Ben: Imagination Movers never give up!

Today he was found, and is now back safely at Brian's grandmother's house. We'll pick him up on Monday. Hopefully he won't have any more adventures between now and then.

In the mean time, we'll enjoy this.

Picture taken at dinner. Not a bad place to relax, eh?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Soup to the rescue - M'm, M'm, Good

We may have reached a milestone last night.

For dinner the kids were having Campbell's princess noodle soup, and grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches. Ben ate all of the noodles out of his soup, then picked out a tiny bit of carrot that was in there, and said he didn't want it, so we told him to put it on his plate. Then he picked up his bowl and drank all of the broth. Brian made some kind of comment about how good the soup was, and how he even ate all of those carrots. Ben looked a bit surprised. Then we pointed to the one on his plate, and, since apparently he believed that he'd just eaten carrots, he picked it up and put it in his mouth and ate it! This is the first time we've gotten him to eat any sort of vegetable in probably over a year without hiding it in something else.

When he asked for another bowl of soup I made sure to give him plenty of the teeny carrot pieces, and he ate every single one! We talked about how good the carrots were and he said, "Yes. And soft." So for now we'll stick with super cooked soft carrots, but at least it's something.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Best Shot Monday - ponies and dinosaurs

This photo is from several months ago, on a weekend morning. I could hear both kids playing together and giggling, so I peeked in to see what was going on, and this is what I found. The perfect blend of the two of them.

Check out more pictures by visiting Tracey over at Mother May I.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Grace in Small Things

1. My sweet boy - even in the middle of the night, when I'm utterly exhausted, he still makes me laugh. "Mama, can I sleep with you?" "No, you need to go back to bed." "Just a teensy-tiny bit?" For the record, I did not give in, so as soon as he woke up the next morning, he said, "But I didn't wanna go back to my bed."

2. Pleasant conversation with neighbors after our neighborhood association meeting.

3. It is incredibly unlikely that there will be any changes to school start times despite the SLEEP coalition trying their hardest. Hooray! I'm glad that I finally truly cared about something political, and I put time and effort into making my voice heard, and it worked! (Obviously it was all my influence.)

4. My husband cooking dinner. Yummy, and I could snuggle on the couch with my kids while he got it all ready.

5. KGB jokes on The Office.

You, too, can find Grace in Small Things.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Grace in Small Things

1. Having my kids play happily and independently so I can veg out for a little while when we first get home from work/school.

2. Yummy Mexican food for dinner. That I didn't have to cook. Or clean up.

3. Happy kids eating a decent dinner and popsicles for dessert.

4. Snow days and two hour delays.

5. Seeing all the hyacinth tips coming up that we planted down by the mailbox last fall. I can't wait to see them!

You too can find Grace in Small Things.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Grace in Small Things

1. An adorable birthday card that Ben made for me at school today.

2. The sweetest cupcake made out of flowers sent by my sister (and Pete).

3. Being able to find amusement in the irrationality of a very tired three year old (Ben: Mommy, (pointing) why is this your forehead? Me: I don't know, that's just what it's called. Ben (whining): But I don't WANT it to be called a forehead.)

4. Lots of happy greetings today from wonderful friends.

5. Coworkers who were kind enough to bring in a (yummy! oreo!) cake for me, and enough leftover to share with the kids after dinner.

You too can find Grace in Small Things.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Grace in Small Things - part 3

1. Receiving beautiful flowers at work from my husband last Friday. It made me feel so special and loved.

2. An unexpected playdate/chat with a neighbor (even in the bitter cold).

3. Kids playing happily together - even when it only lasts 5 minutes before the fighting starts. OK, sometimes ten.

4. Crossing things off of my to-do list.

5. "Mama, can I snuggle with you?"

You too can find Grace in Small Things.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Grace in Small Things

1. Relaxing to watch Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice with a glass of wine.

2. Having a (mostly) clean house.

3. Having reservations at a yummy restaurant for Valentine's Day.

4. Peanut M&Ms.

5. Playful kittens (but not at 5:20 AM).

You too can find Grace in Small Things.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

1. I missed Best Shot Monday - again. That pesky work thing keeps getting in my way. But it has a new home now, so feel free to stop by and say hi to Tracey. The photo above is the one I would have posted.

2. My back hurts. I was doing some rearranging in the basement this afternoon. Perhaps I should have waited until Brian was home, but I wanted to surprise him.

3. On the plus side it looks great, and I think we'll like the new arrangement.

4. The weekend keeps going by too quickly. And yet when it's over, and people ask me what we did, I can't think of much to share.

5. I did do a lot of laundry. That's always fun.

6. Still have two loads to fold. Blah.

7. This morning in the car Ben and Claire were talking about Spiderman. Claire said, "he can do all of the stuff a spider does except eat bugs." Then Ben talked about how he catches bad guys in his web, too which Claire replied, "and sucks their blood." Umm, no. Are they reading vampire stories in preschool now?

8. I really enjoyed the Twilight series, but I think Claire's still too young for that.

9. Ben has his interview tomorrow at Claire's preschool.

10. He asked to be in the green room because green is his favorite color. Also, that class has a pet gecko named Harold. I think it would be a good place for him.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Grace in Small Things

There is so much in life to be grateful for, and we so rarely say those things out loud. I'm going to take my cue from Susan over at Friday Playdate, and try to make this a regular thing around here.

1. Ben wandering around with a pair of Mr. Potatohead glasses precariously perched on his face. "Mom, I can't see you without my glasses. See? I can't see you!" *whips teeny tiny plastic glasses off of his face*

2. Claire cajoling her brother into giving her some of the artwork he made at school. "Pleeeeeeeeease? I'll invite you to my birthday! Oh thank you! This is so lovely!"

3. Working with a new group of students at school who actually want to work and are doing really well, and being sought out by a student at school who know he needs help so he doesn't fall behind in the second week of the quarter.

4. After Ben bit the head off of a dinosaur shaped chicken nugget he made it walk around his plate saying, "help! I can't see anything. Can you see me? I think I need a new head!"

5. The memories I have of my kids with Papa Jim. We will forever regret not being able to forge new memories, but the ones we already have, and the photos, will always be treasured.

You, too can find Grace in Small Things.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Dear Ben,

Yesterday you turned 3. As usual, you first woke up around 5:30 AM. You are nothing if not predictable in that respect. In many other ways, you keep us guessing every day. You are full of character, that's for sure. The last few months your favorite insult, and you imbue it with as much scorn as your little voice could possibly hold, has been "baby girl". If Claire, me, or even the cats do something to bother you, you will give a big harrumph, and then exclaim, "baby girl." I think you like it most because it bothers your big sister so very much.

You are still very stubborn. Bribery and threats rarely work with you. This week I would often tell you that we had to go straight home from school because we had to get things ready for your party. You would tell me, "actually, I don't want a birthday party." No, you don't, you'd rather get whatever it was you wanted right then. But only a few minutes later you would change your mind again, "actually, I do want a party."

I love how much joy and enthusiasm you have. When I pick you up from school and you first see me you get the biggest smile, and you run to give me a hug. That makes my day. You are still such a loving little boy. Though you would correct me, "I a big boy now, I wear underwear!" You will sometimes come up to me as I sit on the sofa, and say, "Mommy? Can I snuggle with you?" How could anyone say no to that?

I love listening to you play with your sister. Tonight the two of you were playing with one of the new toolkits you got for your birthday. You were pretending to screw something in, while Claire manned the cell phone, and talked to your client, "Yep, we're just checking on things. Making sure it's tight. There's a leak? Ok. Uh-huh. Bye." You continued to work industriously. I'm so glad that you two can be such good friends to each other. That is when you're not driving each other crazy, because we definitely see that, too. You seem to have a talent for saying and doing exactly what will annoy Claire the most. I keep telling her that that is a little brother's job, but that doesn't really make her feel any better.

You love music so much. You will frequently put on concerts for us with the guitar that you got for Christmas. You almost always request to watch Imagination Movers on TV, or a Rocknoceros podcast on my computer. Sometimes you won't respond to me unless I call you Imagination Mover Dave or Coach Cotton. At your school's holiday concert whenever we could hear anyone in your class singing it was you. You may not be pitch perfect, but you are certainly enthusiastic.

Ben, you amaze me everyday with what a big boy you are becoming. You are growing up so quickly, and I love the new changes, but I will also miss the stages that you are growing out of. I worry that sometimes I don't pay attention and the "last times" slip by without me noticing. I didn't realize the last night that I put you to bed in your crib, or the last morning I got you out. I want to go back in time, and make sure that those memories are imprinted in my mind forever. I love you so very much. Happy Birthday!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ten on Tuesday - the Inaugural edition

1. Yesterday we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.
2. For King's day of service, I've decided to participate in the Knit your Bit campaign.
3. King is probably best known for the "I have a dream" speech. I think today, that part of his "dream" is becoming a reality.
4. Today is about change.
5. I am grateful that my kids will grow up in a world where they won't understand why electing a president that is African-American is a big deal.
6. Unknowingly, but what a nice coincidence, Ben and Claire chose to wear patriotic colors today.
7. Me? Do blue jeans count?
8. At least my Starbucks cup has a patriotic cardboard sleeve.
9. No matter who you voted for, it is impossible to deny that today is a historic day for our country.
10. Yes we can!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Best Shot Monday - cousins

Every year sometime in the week before Christmas my husband's mother's family all gathers for a holiday party. I caught Ben and his cousin, Ryan, in a particularly "cheesy" mood while the older generation tried to watch football behind them.

Visit Tracey at Mother May I for more pictures from Best Shot Monday.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Where has my baby gone?

I rushed home from school yesterday to be here when Ben's bed was delivered, then headed back to school, ran some errands, picked Claire up and took her to dance class, and then finally returned home.

I found Ben and Brian in a storm of cardboard boxes and pieces of pine. Some of them resembled a bed.

About 45 minutes later, we had a twin bed, with rails set up. (We bought Ben a twin-over-full bunkbed set, but for the time being we are only using the top part.) I quickly heated up some dinner for the kids, they ate, and then we went back upstairs to put on pajamas. As soon as Ben had his pajamas on, and for every 30 seconds thereafter he said, "will you tuck me in, Mama?" Over and over and over again. Until finally it was time to get tucked in. I kissed him and hugged him, and put his stuffed elephant in beside him. He gave me a huge smile, and said goodnight.

This morning I was awakened by him calling me. I went in, and when I reached out to him in bed he realized where he was, and suddenly said, "oh, I can get out by myself." Then he told me, "The bedbugs didn't bite me. My elephant helped me sleep." By all accounts, a good first night. Let's hope it continues to go as smoothly. Or that maybe? Possibly? He will start sleeping later in the mornings. Ha!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

1. I have been a terrible blogger lately.

2. My baby is turning 3 in 11 days. Scaaaaaaaaary thought.

3. He gets a big boy bed tomorrow. I'm excited and trepidatious.

4. Work has been a little crazy since we got back from the holidays. Hopefully things will get straightened out soon.

5. I was so tired this morning that when I got to Ben's classroom to sign him in I looked at my watch and thought the battery was dead again (it had just been replaced last week). I was frustrated, but just made up the time based on the last time I'd looked at the clock in the car. Today at 3:45 PM I realized I had put the watch on upside down, which was why the time looked all wonky when I checked it throughout the day. Brilliant.

6. I am sipping minty green tea out of a mug my office-mate gave me for Christmas. Lovely.

7. We decided that the cats were finally big enough to wear the collars that we had bought them when we first got them. I put Penny's on after dinner, and she has spent the last hour and a half trying to figure out how to chase the little bell on her neck.

8. Now we need to figure out where Papaya's collar is hiding.

9. Claire started a new dance class last week, and tomorrow is her second class. We got her tap shoes last weekend, and I can't wait to see her face when she puts them on and starts tip-tapping.

10. The kids and I have a four day weekend this weekend. Hooray!