Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I have had the strangest experience of my entire motherhood - being away from my children for 12 days. Strange in that while I missed them, I was OK. Strange in that Christmas didn't make me sad. Strange in that the freedom was wonderful, enriching, gave me perspective. I honestly feel like a different person right now then before they left.

While the kids were gone, I did a huge job on the house. Cabinets were added to the kitchen, an island was moved and new countertops added, and as the piece de resistance, I sanded and resealed the softwood floor. No more splinters. Yay!

But before you all think I've gone nuts, I've got to say that today - spending the first day in nearly two weeks with my kids - was the best day I can ever remember as a mother. It was still fraught with the chaos of kids - Thea climbing in the sink and soaking herself just as we were heading out the door, taking diaper off multiple times, etc.

The joy, however, was huge. We went for a run/bike on the Spit in 35-degree sunshine - no snow on the trail meant we had a rare window for such activity. And we came home and ate food that would never have been accepted otherwise. And when Thea threw a fit about something, I had the energy to deal with it appropriately instead of brushing it under the rug and encouraging the behavior. And after dinner, the three of us danced to fiddle music for a half-hour, taking turns "soloing." And then Liam sang us a couple songs, and Thea and I clapped along. And we read some stories, and both kids collapsed in bed.

The stove is crackling. The house is warm and clean and beautiful. I am filled with a feeling of richness. Hurray for perspective.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

chistmas is coming

This is going to be a strange christmas since the children will be gone. I've mostly ignored the holiday so far, but last night, the weather was warm, we got home at dusk, and I decided to strike while the iron was hot and get the tree. I popped the kids out of the car and down the path, saw in hand, in search of a small enough tree to carry. We found one after only a few minutes, just off the path. It took a bit of time to saw down due to the fact that I believe I was using a keyhole saw since it was the only one with any teeth (note to self, get new saw before next Christmas).
Théa managed to howl her way through the whole process since she pulled off her gloves and then fell in the snowbank. I believe the rough translation of her rant was, "Seriously, why do we have to live in a place with all this white stuff, anyway, and did you know I am hungry and really can't imagine why standing out here in the snow is going to benefit me in any way."
Despite it all, the tree came down, and I started pulling it up the path when I realized Thea was not going to walk. So I handed the saw to Liam, hiked her up on one hip, and strongarmed that spruce up the path to the house. It was one of those moments I was glad to be in good shape, because frankly, being a single mom takes as much physical strength as it does mental fortitude.
After a speedy spaghetti dinner, I found the tree stand (amazing!), trimmed the bottom, scrunched it through the front door and got the thing standing upright and mostly straight without flattening any small children. Then Théa went off to bed and Liam and I decorated for an hour. It was lovely - quiet and peaceful and we both had a great time. Liam set up the crèche and I put the star on top, and voila, Christmas.

In the morning, when Théa got up at 5:30 in the morning (uuuggg) I kind of forgot about it until I heard her emphatic "OH WOW MAMMA" as we came down the stairs.
There's something undeniably magic about Christmas - and I guess I can't ignore it altogether. Putting up the tree has always been one of my favorite parts, and I was glad to be able to share that with the kids.

Tonight was Liam's Christmas concert at school. They sang Silent Night in Japanese (and English). It was beautiful, and Liam was so proud. He sang his heart out, really. Not one iota of stage fright in that little guy. What a surprise.
And even Thea surprised me by not pitching an almighty fit when asked to stay in one place for a 1/2 hour or so. Pretty good showing, all around.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

lists and words

Today started with a list - I wrote it last night in a moment of panic that recent weekend time with the kids has been less than peaceful and more like a mosh pit of jammed responsibilities - mostly work-related, but some of my own creating.

So not this Sunday, said I. By 8 a.m., the bread was already rising. By 9:30 - vacuuming done (will I ever learn to spell vacuum? I'm pretty sure who ever came up with that word was cackling when they decided how it would be spelled) At 10 a.m., an amazing thing happened. I pulled out all the boxes for recycling, and Liam and Thea dove into them and equipped with two pairs of scissors and a roll of defunct paint tape, spent no less than an hour playing with the stuff - and here's the kicker - without once asking me for help of any kind. Not a single battle. What happened there? And why, why oh why, do we bother spending money on "super-toys" when what they really want is the raw stuff to do their own thing.

Nuff said.

The day was productive, too. The bane of my existence - running to the dump in the itty-bitty subaru with garbage cans hanging out the back - turned out to be funny. Snow blew in the back and Liam giggled the whole way down the hill. Then to the pool for a swim with my son-turned-dolphin (he'll be teaching me soon enough) and a quick grocery store run, and home again in time for Liam to build a fort, do his homework, and read to me. Somebody give the gal a medal. Or at least a beer. Even remembered to bring shampoo for Liam to the pool so I only had to put one kid through the wash cycle tonight. Seriously. A day like this only happens once or twice a month.

But by far the best part of today, hands down, came when I was kneading bread this morning. I heard a story coming from Liam's room, not unusual - always a story coming from him. But this time, I heard him earnestly sounding out words. OK, that's usually because it's a book he's read before and already knows the worlds. Not this time. New book. New words like "talk." I went quietly to his gate and watched in wonder as my child read to himself for the first time I had ever seen on his own. Magic. By tonight, he was blazing through the pages, no surprise since he's had it forever, but I really wanted him to lead the way, and he did. Look out world, here comes another word nerd.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

transition day dread

I'm starting to dread transition day and here's why. Somewhere in the first couple hours of being home, both kids have to test the boundaries just to make sure they are there in numerous ways. Tonight that included jumping on the couch, grabbing numerous items of interest from respective sibling, chasing the cat with a spear, stuffing a huge chunk of garlic bread into ones mouth when I turned my back for a second after explicitly saying that more protein must precede any such carb consumption, chasing the cat with a spoon, and repeatedly trying to scale large sibling room special protection fencing. And there was the incident where someone tried to stealthily confiscate a burned-out light bulb. I can handle stupid, violent, and opinionated, but I've got an issue with sneaky.

So at one point shortly after dinner, both kids were in detention on opposite sides of the same wall, me leaning against the dividing wall staring at the height chart and wondering how many more nights like this I had before they turned 18. 16 years x 56 weeks = 896 bottles of wine. Nooo problem.

Stayed in town this weekend, with the thanksgiving holiday and all. It was nice to dine with friends, and so much easier than hosting one of these shindigs, but a little odd. Started a painting this weekend, ran a 5K race (no idea what my time was, but I know I pushed it), got some things accomplished, and watched a few chick flicks. Pretty well balanced, I would say.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Tonight, as I played ring around the rosy with Thea and Hannah (Thea clutching Hanna's ear with glee) I was washed with gratitude. It has been such an unpredictable couple months, but today I took a big step forward toward stability for these little people entrusted to me, and it felt amazing. Now, as the fire crackles and kbbi keeps me company, calm settles around me. I am very thankful for that.

Thea has been talking up a storm lately, and I can see how happy she is when I actually get what she is saying. Hopefully, that will mean that once she can communicate more consistently, some of this frustration will dissipate. My goodness but the little girl has an opinion at every turn. It really has only been the last month that I've started laying down the law - correcting her when she hollers her requests and expecting a please instead and refusing to give in to her floppy-floor moves. But at this rate, it's going to be a long, long year. So I'm holding out hope that the speech thing will help.

Liam also is doing well, though the split time has been harder on him. Lots of cuddles are doled out, but more recently, I've adopted the philosophy of being less indulgent with him. I think what kids really want is to know that while some things have changed, others have not. The ground still stays beneath your feet, and you still have to clean up your room at the end of the day. The order of life. We often have a tough time on what I call transition day, especially around dinnertime, but this week, I plopped a laundry basket in his room and asked him to fold it all and (this is the clincher) put it away when he was done. And he did it. Really well. And then pranced around saying how he could do lots of challenging tasks. We discussed meals he could help me make in the future.

As for me, I've been able to do some things the past few weeks that have really recharged my perspective - most important of which is getting out of town. Last weekend I made it to Anchorage for a couple days and am still smiling about the experience. I stayed with Jerzy, with whom I moved to Alaska 17 years ago, and his wife Paula, who is a wonderful person and a joy to spend time with. Paula spent an hour one morning working on some specific stretches for my hips, which are probably the root of all my knee issues. Amazing stuff. I also ate lovely Thai food, thoroughly enjoyed the company of new and old friends, danced, went for an exhilarating run and oogled at the amazing inspiration behind a Nutella porter. Yum. And I didn't see a single Homerite the whole time. I think I'll go back soon.

Friday, November 13, 2009

interesting days

Winter has come to the Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea. Today, my handy little car thermometer-thingy said it was 24 degrees outside, but with the wind chill, it had to be a good 10 degrees colder. And of course, today was the Raspberry Lane Lantern Walk.

I am trying to stay connected with this wonderful group of people, even as Théa is too young and Liam too old for the preschool program. Miss Red is a VIP in Liam's life, and touching base is wonderful, even as Liam graduates into new stages. Today, he gladly plopped down with a group of 50 children and parents and listened as Miss Red told the story of the lantern light, sang songs from memory, and hung out with his buddy Sam. It was beautiful, and impressive to watch Miss Red hold court so comfortably with her adoring masses.

But oooh it was cold. Within an hour, toes and fingers were starting to get uncomfortable and we abandoned the scene for warmer spots. But it was lovely. I can't wait for Théa to be old enough for such endeavors.

The world continues to spin up here on the hill, though sometimes it feels it may spin off its axis altogether. It's a busy time of year - lots of work, lots of things to do around the house, and lots of bleary-eyed early mornings. Liam started swimming lessons again this week, and I watched in wonder as the water-fearing kid turned into a head-dunking boy. Liam also managed to splat on the ice at school this week and knock one of his front top teeth loose. I'm thinking it may make for some fun, gappy-toothed Christmas photos.

Darkness is starting to set in, with a little over a month to go before the darkest day of the year - winter solstice. With it, the small town seems to get smaller, and I am learning some hard lessons about navigating these new roles - lessons about trust and friendship and truth. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with my Christmas sans kids - possibly head out of town for a few days, possibly refinish the floors in the house. It's going to be one of those memorable years, for sure. But what doesn't kill you, right?

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Théa did her first "toot" in the toilet last night. There was much rejoicing. Somehow, she uses the word toot instead of poop. Very ladylike. She's been doing a lot of practicing - which involves a lot of undressing and wandering around without diapers on. And it is not particularly warm this time of year for that, but she doesn't seem to mind. Also, she's got no interest in using the "potty". She went straight for her brother's seat on the toilet and squiggled right up on it. This girl, I swear, she's a force. I love it.

Still no snow. This year is just nutty. I've seen a few flakes fall, but nothing notable. We had a cold snap for a few days and then a few days of absolute pouring rain and high wind.

I ran 10 miles today for the first time. Feel like I might need a wheelchair and a nap, but proud, too. Now, to try out the hills.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 09

Yesterday was Halloween, and jam-packed with activities for all ages. It started with a morning race for Elastigirl (me) and about 20 other crazy runners from the hills above Homer to Bishop's Beach. Then it was home, shower, and off to the library to make dozens of little apple monster-mouths. Then the Scary Stories hour and after that, trick-or-treating in Andrea's neighborhood. (Sidenote - Andrea had her fourth kid a week ago and still held a jam-packed party for 40 or so of her closest friends, and wandered the neighborhood trick-or-treating with Amakah strapped to her chest. Wow)

All-told, we are not going to try to accomplish much today. Couch time, serious couch time. And who put daylight savings time right after a night of over-indulgence on candy and chaos??? Whose idea was that??

This was also a wild week because it was the first week of the new two-household version of family. Liam spent most of the past week with his dad and Thea did her first overnight there on Friday night. It's hard, it's confusing, and everyone is half-a-bubble off plumb. Nothing easy about this stuff, but it bears noting.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Star Wars Six

Liam's birthday party extravaganza was today, capping off a week of birthdaying and celebration. This year, pirates had given way to another force... Star Wars. And how. The child has three ships, tons of figurines, star wars books.... you name it. He's stoked. Currently, a few hours after the dozen or so little people who swarmed through the house today left, he is in his room devising elaborate adventures between good and evil. It's fascinating to watch.

It's been a very dramatic week around here, but it seems that the birthday festivities came together with little drama, thankfully. On Wednesday, we had our friends Martin, Heather and their son Lukas, Martin's mother, Ruth, Thane, Rowyn and Frida, who's birthday is also Oct. 7, over. We had hamburgers, salad, and cupcakes. Yum.

I also got to do my first drive-by cupcaking in the classroom on Wednesday - which was also my first real opportunity to hang out in Liam's class since he started school. It's amazing and his teacher is a wonder. How she wrangles all those kids all day, every day, is a mystery to me. I'm pretty sure I would rather work at McDonalds - not that there's anything wrong with that.

Today, we set about transforming the living room into outer space. Balls were spray painted, others were wrapped with tinfoil and hung from the ceiling. The sliding glass doors were covered with fabric, the lights turned down, and a star hung from the ceiling. My sister carefully folded a dozen paper starships for kids to decorate. Good stuff.

Then people started to descend. At this point, when you invite 7 or 8 friends, you wind up with lots more than that because of little kids, etc. But this crowd was almost perfect - everyone seemed to find a place they played happily in, and they all spent quite a bit of time outside, despite grim weather.

The highlight was for sure the cake. Matt had recently gone overnight to Soldotna, and came back with a lot of characters - Darth Vader, R2D2, a bunch of these guys. They were placed on the cake, which was an outer space setting, with a cave for Yoda. Liam was blown away. Seriously. His expression was a trip. Too funny.

Then presents (I forgot to add the "don't spend all your hard-earned money on gifts" disclaimer.) and outside for a treasure hunt.

Then, 2.5 hours after it started, the crew trailed out the door, properly sugared, etc. I can't tell you how tired I am now - seriously, I would gladly sit here and not get up for the rest of the night, except for that silly thing about dinner and getting kids to bed and all that stuff. Sigh.

But I would call the day a success. He's a happy kid.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

off and running

A friend of mine recently returned from nearly two weeks away, and noted that there hadn't been a post in all that time. It seems hard to believe that I am busier now than in the summer, but it seems that way. Time is chopped into narrow chunks - 6 a.m. up (unless Thea wakes earlier, which seems to happen more often than not). Out the door by 7 a.m. to drive Liam to school. Liam gets dropped off at 7:45 a.m. Thea gets dropped off back at 8:10 at Nikki's. Then I have a little time. I can't get into the library until 9 a.m. at the earliest. So what have I been doing?


The first day I went, I barely made it a mile before I had to walk. The next time, maybe a mile and a half. By the end of that week, I had made a huge leap, running more than 3 miles. By the end of the second week, I was up to 4.5. Now I'm running 6.5 miles comfortably, with the exception of a swollen knee that I am ignoring with great resolution. It is, in short, the best thing I've done in months. I'm so excited to be seeing such progress. For years I chonked away at the gym and never broke 4 miles and never enjoyed it. But this, I love it. At the end of a run, I sometimes hit this point where I feel like I am flying. This week, I logged 24 miles of running. Crazy.

Some days, I go to Two Sisters and work, but more and more, I find myself turning the wheel toward the Spit, regardless of wind and rain. It just seems like a cleansing thing to do and I rarely regret it once I get out there. Now, if I can just get this knee thing under control.

But enough about me. Thea and Liam have been cruising through the busy weeks like typical American kids, rarely pausing long enough to breath. It's getting colder and darker, and since we've decided not to do Hawaii this year, that's intimidating. Thea is working on talking with great determination. She seems to grow a bigger personality every day, though that hardly seems possible. She's also very interested in being helpful, though not much of what she does actually is. It is a constant challenge to come up with new ways to include her in the day-to-day chores, as she loves doing them, and without direction, will gladly empty the entire dishwasher - the entire dirty dishwasher - onto the floor.

Liam has been experiencing cowboy poetry at school as a cowboy poet from Montana has been visiting the school. Tonight he was strumming his guitar and singing, "Oh, give me land, lots of land, under starry, starry skies, don't fence me in...." Too funny. He is also writing tons, much of it understandable in a wonderfully phonetic way. He's not as interested in reading yet, but writing seems to be his thing. Poor kid.

Matt's back from surfing adventures in Yakutat, and determined to get wood as the temperatures are dipping lower and lower. We've had one really hard freeze, and lots of crisp mornings. It seems early this year, but maybe it always seems that way.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Indian summer

Liam impersonating a Beatle from Sgt. Pepper

Liam and Nora, a very good friend of his with a similar dressing aesthetic

Karyn Noyes, one of the very first people to ever meet Théa, reading her a bedtime book

The Super-sized Swingset.

Alaska sure is putting on a show this summer, and gifting us with a Labor Day weekend like none in memory. Sunshine, t-shirt weather, gentle breeze to keep bugs at bay, so very very awesome. There might have been frost last night, but very subtle at best, but season's change is certainly in the air. The days are getting shorter, though it is still light until at least 9. The fireweed has all bloomed out, replacing its summer-time fushia blooms with crimson seed pods and white tufts of seeds. I am currently looking out onto the hills around the house where the setting sun is enhancing all these colors with an amber glow that makes it all seem a little surreal. The mountains don't have any snow-dusting covering them yet, and are more barren than I have ever seen them. The yard is so green it almost glows, thanks to volcanic ash and plenty of sunshine.

It's a fascinating thing about Alaska, though. Just when you start to finish your to-do list for the year, and can settle in a chair and enjoy it - fall hits, followed closely by winter. Fall in Alaska goes like this - one day, usually in October, it gets cold and all the leaves change color. About two days later, it rains and blows and all the leaves fall off. Then it is gray and rainy for most of the next two months. But hey, maybe this year will be the exception. One can always hope.

So today, instead of working on any of the practical things that need doing (windows in rental cabin, finishing painting of house, etc.) we assembled a gigantic swing-set. A friend of ours who moved to Anchorage said we could have their swing set, if we could move it. It turned out to be about 20 feet long and has room for a lot of stuff. Best of all, it has two swings, which both Thea and Liam loved so much during our time near the parks in Victoria. So I was thrilled. Finding a place for it, not to mention getting it here, took some effort, a few strained muscles and a couple of explatives, but we managed. We even finally buried the electricity line to the cabin that has been exposed for a very long time ... does the list of things like that ever shrink???

Anyway, we ended the day with a foray into the wilderness in search of blueberries. We found some - just enough to spend about 20 minutes picking and enjoying the warm, mossy ground, and the act of discovering and then eating straight from the source. Then we scooted into town and raided the sadly-ignored raspberry bushes of a nonprofit organization that will go unnamed to protect my family. It was an amazing day, a gift from the weather gods, really, and the cap to an extraordinary summer.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A week

It has now been over a week since I stopped nursing Thea, and really, it has been surprisingly easy - not something anyone who has read this blog more than once knows I often say about my little bundle of attitude.

Other than a couple rough bedtimes, she has mostly accepted this new development with ease - further evidence that she was emotionally ready. She has been very Mom-centric this week. I'm the only one she wants as an attendant and Matt's attempt to brush her teeth the other night resulted in a purple-faced choking session (her face, not his) that reminded me of the plane ride spazz-out. We've also done a lot of cuddling. But one great development is her interest in bedtime stories has increased exponentially. We've gone from one book once in a while to 3-4 books every night. That's an excellent trade, I'd say.

I've been trying to ease into some sort of a work-out regime as a result because 1. I need to get outside more 2. I don't want to put on 15-20 pounds like I did after weaning Liam and 3. I can't afford to buy new clothes if I did put on weight, so it's a win-win, as exercise always is. It's been a little slow-going. My cardio capacity has dwindled to non-existent and my leg muscles, though improved from extensive walking in Victoria, leave much to be desired. But I'll push through. I'm also excited about getting involved in the fire department again - hoping now I can reclaim some of my interests that have been shelved for 3 years now since I got preggo. And hockey! Bring on the hockey!

Liam made it through his first week of school relatively unscathed, but not without incident. There were tears the first few days, though he never let on (I got secret notes in his pockets from his teacher.) And then, on Tuesday he rode the bus home the first time. That worked out great, but on Wednesday, the bus driver let him off the bus before I got there. So I pulled up in the parking lot of the Methodist Church to find Liam peeing on the lawn, tears streaming down his face because I hadn't been there when he got off the bus. Poor little guy. He rebounded and all went better the next two days, but wow. That's a memory I won't soon forget.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First day

Today was Liam's first day at school. Perhaps the most telling part of the day came when Matt woke Liam up at 6:20 in the morning. "Time to get up," said Matt. "Are you sure," asked Liam.

Getting to school on time is the greatest challenge of these new days of school. McNeil Canyon is a 40 minute drive away, and starts at 7:50 a.m. I wanted to be there a few minutes early for the first day, so we set out at 6:50 a.m. It turned out not to take us quite as long as I thought. We were the second or third ones there.

Liam was fine with the whole thing - to the untrained eye. He marched right in the door, gave the principal a high five, and his new teacher, Mrs. Dee, a big hug. He went into the gym with Mo and played a game, never even glancing back. But I saw the fidgitty stuff of a nervous guy.

Even so, Matt and Thea and I headed out, and I was back in town long before anyone shows up at the library to let me in. Good stuff. I did a couple of freelance projects at two sisters, then headed to work.

At the end of the day, I went to pick Liam up. Mo said he'd had a bit of a rollercoaster of a day - a few tears, but nothing too dramatic. I wasn't surprised, every new encounter seems to be that way for Liam. I'll bet by the end of the week he's in love with the whole scene.

So of course I asked him on the ride home how his day was. After we got through the nuts and bolts, he told me the following story.

"But one part of the day was NOT good. There was another boy named Liam, and he thought his name was my name, so he just pushed me out of the way and grabbed my name tag and flipped it around. The boy did not like me. He thought I was stupid. I could tell because of the way he closed his eyes and walked right past me and pushed me."

"Wow, did you tell anyone?"

"I did and Mrs. Dee said she saw the whole thing but she was just waiting to see what would happen," he said. "She and I went right down to the principal's office and called his mother and his mother came and got him and then he went to dinner and didn't have any supper."

"Hmm, Liam, is this a real story or something you imagined?"

"It was real ....." pause ...." well, maybe not. Maybe it was something I dreamed last night before I went to school."


And yet, I'm pretty sure there was something in there somewhere that was true, but possibly not at McNeil Canyon. There was another Liam at Kachemak Kids, one that our Liam said was never friendly to him. So maybe there was anxiety brewing about similar situations at this school. Who knows. But he sure had me going for a while there. Yikes!

Long and short of it, Liam knows 9 of the 18 kids in his class, and it sounds like they had a pretty good time, although I can only imagine how tricky it would be as a preschool teacher to have a whole group of kids who know each other and try to actually get a word in edgewise.

One day down, a zillion more to go. And tomorrow, Liam says, he wants to ride on the bus. Yikes!

Thea hasn't nursed in 3 days. I think we are in the home stretch. Bring on the Coffee Crisps.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


OK, perhaps I will regret this post later in the week, but tonight is official 48 hours since Thea has nursed, and tonight, I navigated the most difficult of all feats - I put her to bed without nursing her and without her flipping out. Very exciting.

And a little bittersweet.

When I nursed her two nights ago, I suspected it might be the last time. We were down to one nurse a day, and that was really just because of routine. So when I nursed her, I took my time, savored the moment. I'm glad I did. It's not like I can't offer her the same tenderness in other ways, but somehow, it is a major milestone for both of us. I do not plan to have any more children, so that is the end of a phase of my life.

Meanwhile - another phase is starting. Tomorrow, Liam heads to his first day of kindergarten. Matt got home just in time to witness the event after a month in Fairbanks. And it sounds like he will be leaving again just as soon, probably to Canada.
Liam is pretty ready, it would seem. His backpack is overflowing with gear. He has tissue and hand cleaner and a binder and a tape and all the good stuff a person could need on a first day.

I'm not sure who is more excited - him or me?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Victoria views

Ah, traveling with kids. There is nothing like it to make me want to clean manically. Which is what I just spent the past hour doing. And I almost feel better.

Thea and Liam and I are in Victoria, enjoying some nice days with the grandparents. Both children are reveling in warm weather (with matching skinned knees, no less), the parks, and two weeks of solid swimming.

I signed Liam up in swimming lessons days after we got here, and we've had one week of them and what a difference. Liam puts his whole face in the water now, and is floating around like nobody's business. While he takes his lessons, Thea and I splash around in the nearby pool. She's so hard to keep upright, it's like trying to hold a blob of jello afloat.

Otherwise, the kids have been having fun tormenting their grandparents. Liam and Charley have escaped the chaos on several occasions on the local bike trails, while Thea and I have gone on several jaunts into town. It's a little more challenging this year to get out because both kids don't fit very well in the stroller. But I make it work in a pinch.

Tomorrow, Anika and her crew get here, which will be a welcome respite from trying to entertain the kiddos - four kids should form somewhat of a pack, I would imagine. If I don't finish this post, it will never go up. It's late and the pauses between words are getting longer and longer.... zzzz.