What to muse about today?

March 30, 2015 ~ Ashlin’s On-Going Birthday

Birthday Girl

This little one turned four yesterday. The night before her birthday she was so excited she couldn’t sleep.  She’s been looking forward to turning four for a long time now.  I’m not sure the rest of us have, she was a fantastic three-year old.

Stu and I left her birthday presents at her seat at the table, and she bounced with joy when she saw them.  So excited to open them that she let her sister help her.  Merc and a “Miles from Tomorrowland” shirt made her face nearly split with happy smiles.  Sleeping Beauty Legos/Duplos and a Frozen dress-up trunk rounded out the awesome presents.

I think the past few days have kept her riding a happy feeling.  Saturday was visitsing the Easter Bunny and getting a balloon and chocolate eggs.  She was so brave, after a failed (wouldn’t go up at all) and a supported (with me between her and the bunny) attempt to visit the bunny.  Afterward, she was so proud of herself, telling me that she’d never not get a picture taken with a giant, imaginary and costumed thing (my words, not hers).

Then we went to a friends birthday party.  She had a blast.  That is, up till the moment that everyone sang Happy Birthday to the friend and not her.  It was momentary, she was easily persuaded to be happy again.  The balloons and cake helped.
Today we brought blueberry muffins in for her class as a special (sort of healthy) snack.  Her teacher gave her a special crown, and she was the birthday line leader.  Then there was “chicken on the bone” from the orange store (Popeye’s) for dinner, followed by birthday cupcakes.

She’s becoming such a remarkable little lady.  Still very into snuggles and kisses.  Daily.  Smart, and quick to learn, but quicker to laugh, a deep and hearty laugh.  She still says jamamas, but can write her name.  Her “s” is a bit snake like, and I hope that doesn’t go away soon.  She will tell us when she’s tired, and is a dream to put to bed.  She still has her Billy Idol mouth when she cries, but the tears never last too long. A grudge she can hold a bit longer, maybe half a day, but when she’s over it, she’s over it and wants to kiss and make up.  She is a total sweetheart.  I’m enjoying spending so much time with her.  I regret that I didn’t get to do this with Teagan, though by this age, she was already a big sister.

I’m looking forward to seeing her grow up, though I know I’ll miss my little baby.  I hope she’ll keep snuggling.

Pictures, because I can’t help myself.

Bringing birthday blueberry muffins to school

Someone is very excited to be turning four tomorrow. So excited she wasn’t sleeping when I went up to check on her. #sobig #birthdaygirl #gothefucktosleep

#Merc and the #MilesFromTomorrowland shirt were a hit. Can you see her vibrate with the happy?

She eventually was lured to the #bunny with the promise of fruit snacks. The #chocolate #eggs weren’t enough. #easter #easterbunny #brave #bravegirl


March 27, 2015 ~ Dribbling With No Hands


Save us – save me – now.  Tonight I signed up the girls for the spring soccer program.  Ashlin in a kickstart program, Teagan in the 5/6 which may have matches.  Both sessions are co-ed.

Both girls are excited about it. Each seems to have bottomless energy and a natural talent for kicking, and left-footed to boot. Teagan, true to her blossoming personality, is a bit less sure about it than Ashlin, but she’s still very willing to give it a go.  Even though she can’t understand how you can dribble without using your hands.

I blame March Madness, not Stu’s lack of trying to educate them on proper football.


March 15, 2015 ~ Shamrock On!

Shamrock on!

Today Teagan ran her first road race.  It was a fun run, nothing super serious or competitive. I don’t think there were official times at all.  My sister and dad ran with her.  She paced dad and  Renee stayed with them, just in case.  Teagan ran almost all of the two-something mile course – shorter than most of the walks/rides we did over the summer.   She stopped a bit when someone gave her a flat and she needed to put her shoe back on.  And a second time, on the big downhill at the end  she got a stitch in her side, so walked a bit.  But she did run across the finish line.

My sister said she was a bit overwhelmed with how many people were in the race.  She’s not often in a big crowd like that.  Just after the start, she asked to turn back just because the cold make her need to use the bathroom.  Maybe it was a bit of nerves… Still, with the “false start” and two slow/stops she finished with a time of around 32 minutes or so.  Not too shabby.  Especially for a first race.  For a five-year-old.

On the drive home, after a lovely lunch of corned beef and Irish Soda bread, she spent the ride home taking pictures with her leappad of all the trucks that went by.  She liked the patterns on the cabs.

This kid is a hoot.  I’m so proud of her for doing the run.

UPDATE:  I totally forgot to mention how she would giggle each time she succeeded in getting a picture of the truck cab, asking me if I saw it or not.  Each time she mistimed the shutter, she would be “aw shucks, missed it,” she didn’t get frustrated, but would get ready to take the next picture. She only stopped once it was way too dark for a picture, well past the point where any older person would have stopped trying.  She was so into her project, it was totally adorable. There must be at least 50 blurry pictures on her Leappad of truck cabs.  I should try to look at them tomorrow :D


December 29, 2014 – 2014 in review – Lookie, Lookie!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,600 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 60 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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December 5, 2014 ~ Say Cheese!

Say Cheese!

Today, I finally used one of the more awesome Christmas presents I’ve ever received and made cheese. Yes, cheese.  Fresh Mozzarella, even!  I’m not sure why I hadn’t tried before.  Maybe it was because I had one or both girls whenever I was mostly awake, or the fact that the package came with rubber gloves.  I don’t really know.  And I’m kicking myself about it.

The cheese was fantastic.

Small curd

And not very difficult to do, maybe an hour for the first batch.  And yes, I said first batch, because, oh yes, there will be more.  I’m sure that when I make the Mozzarella again it will only take about half the time. I will need to get a better thermometer – a digital one, that goes below 100°F.

It seemed crazy to start with one full gallon of milk, but that was the recipe. After adding in the citric acid and heating it up, small curds formed. Once the rennet and calcium chloride were added it changed pretty quickly to much larger curds with clear whey.

Curds and Whey

Straining the whey and getting the curds quickly into a separate bowl was a bit tricky, but eventually I got them all separated. I was amazed at how little cheese curd there was.  Almost all the volume of the gallon was whey.

A quick run through the microwave and it was ready to mix and form into balls.

Warm mozzarella. Omnomnom

I tried some when it was still warm and gooey.  Oh.  It was lovely. Yum.  I haven’t had mozzarella like that before.  Stu also got to try some still warm and thought it was very good.


I decided to make just three balls from the batch, I didn’t have much time before needing to go get Ashlin.  They got nice and shiny as they cooled and I dropped them into the brine just before I left.

Ashlin didn’t believe me when I told her I made cheese while she was in school.  I let her try some after it was brined and she approved.  She may have been impressed I actually made cheese.  (It’s not marshmallow fluff or cookies!  LOL!)  She was sad she didn’t get to help though.  I told her that she could help next batch.

Balls brining

We may be making home-made pizza tomorrow.

I have two thirds of it in the fridge, in brine, and the last third is wrapped in plastic in the freezer.  It may not last the weekend.


PS.  The cheese making kit came from Standing Stone Farms, and their recipe is similar to this one.


December 3, 2014 ~ A Better Day



Today was a better day. Finally.  I think it’s been at least a month since we’ve had 13/14.  We celebrated by taking her out to the dinner of her choice – she chose McDonald’s for the toy and the play place.

I know I don’t write much about Teagan’s troubles in kindergarten.  It makes me uncomfortable to complain about the issues we’ve been having.  What we’ve tried, what worked – if only for a little bit.  Most of what we try doesn’t have much success.  It’s frustrating.  I don’t like failing, failing her.

I know eventually we’ll get it all figured out, but in the meantime, we celebrated our good day.  Our little victory.


December 2, 2014 ~ Kiss the Boys


Teagan is still having issues at school.  This is only part of yesterday’s behavior report.

Her day is divided into 14 periods and she is responsible for keeping track of her behavior.  This is in addition to the traffic light the rest of the class is on.  Her scale is a bit different than the others though – she needs two bad behaviors in a row to move from green to yellow to red.  She also resets back to green at least once during the day.

We get one of these sheets home every day, usually with at least three issues, most are because she was noisy, or couldn’t focus or follow directions.  The  notation that bothers us the most, and there’s at least one a day, is when she can’t keep her hands to herself.  Thankfully, she’s not always hitting her classmates.

Yesterday, there were five times that her behavior warranted the teacher detailing her actions. I suppose it’s not as bad as it could be, though the day only had 13 sections, she did have eight stickers for good behavior.

It was also the first time we had seen that she was chasing the boys, trying to kiss them.

Today, we read that she pulled her pants down during music class.  She said she needed to go to the bathroom.  In music?  Really?



November 26, 2014 ~ Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?

IMG_7149.JPG Snow! We made it. The drive was so pretty. We had no real issues, no worries. Once we got here, there were a few flashbacks from our trip to PA from a few years ago when we couldn’t make it up a hill, thanks to the snow. I need to get new tires on the Jetta. Maybe some studded snows… I wonder if they are legal in CT… Hum…. Anyway…. we’re here and all in one piece.

Hope everyone has an awesome Thanksgiving!


November 24, 2014 ~ Broken Drill

Driving home from pre-school Ashlin told me she had a secret.  A secret she’d tell me at home, and then tell dada, and then Teagan and then mama.  Ok.  You can totally tell me your secret twice.  She admitted that it really wasn’t a secret, she just wanted to say it was, she just wanted to have a secret.  Silly girl.

Once we were home, she told us about her secret – that they had a Broken Drill – or something along those lines – in case of an emergency – at school today.  She said that all the kids in class as well as the teacher and the para go and sit crisscross applesauce in the bathroom and be quiet.  According to her, it was kinda fun, because her teacher let them watch Bubble Guppies on her phone.  Ashlin and her sister don’t get to watch that show often at home.  When I asked how long the drill was, she told me it was 40 minutes.  That seemed a bit long for a drill, when I asked if she got to see all the show, she said no, just a little bit.

We were still talking about this when Teagan got home.  Teagan had a fire drill today, even with the rain.  She told me that for fire drills they go outside, for work drills they sit on the carpet. But for broken drills they go in to a closet.  The kindergartners don’t get to sit, they kneel.  There are just too many kindergartners to sit in the closet or hide in the bathroom.

So sad that both my three-year-old and five-year-old know how to hide in place.  Crazy that both of them were so blasé about the whole thing, but they don’t know how the world has changed.  What they’ve lost.  Well, what we’ve lost, they don’t really know.  To them, normal is hiding in a closet or a bathroom watching Bubble Guppies on a phone.

I wish the world wasn’t this way.  That they can be the silly little girls they are.



November 17, 2014 ~ Nine Years

IMG_0048.JPGNine years ago my life changed. At the time I had no idea how much. It literally changed completely. And is so much more than I could ever have imagined.

Thank you for humoring me and believing in us.

We finally got the timing right.

Love you



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