What to muse about today?

March 28, 2016 ~ The Day Before A Full Hand


Almost five


This one.  She’s turning five tomorrow.  A full hand.  For a while, she was nervous, scared even, about turning five.  It was a new number, she’d never been five before.  Eventually, she decided she was excited, and only a little nervous about it.  She is always a bit tentative about new things, even fun and exciting new things.  Still a very big snuggler, thankfully.  If at all possible, I really don’t want her to grow out of that.

She’s finally understood that she’ll always be my baby, even though she’s not a baby any more.  There may be a bit of baby fat there, but she’s not a baby.

She’s a sensitive soul, quick to feel big feelings.  One day she’s asking when I’m going to die.  (Nice, kid.  Just because you don’t like quiet time). Two days later she’s crying because she doesn’t want me to die, because I make the best sandwiches.  (I’ll take that, food is love).  She’ll cry if an animal is hurt in a show, or if someone is mean to someone else.  Watching Star Wars with her was an experience, as was Toy Story 2 (and Toy Story 3, and …)

She can count to 1,114 (just ask Stu!) and loves getting math questions right, though she thinks she doesn’t know how to do math. Frustration comes quickly to her, but can easily be banished with a few encouraging words.

I’m very much enjoying watching this little person develop and grow.

I love my peanut.

1 First Year - Ashlin5573231750_2b32df1a10

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May 19, 2015 ~ Six? Six!

Joy of Cake

My baby turned six today.  I’m not quite sure how that happened.  But it did.

She’s turned into such a sweet and loving little girl.  Big girl.  One who is easily distracted by ants, but will give you her last piece of candy or french fry if she thinks you need it.  Or a petal from a flower, just because.  She’s a girl who is eager for approval and is almost always happy to get, or give, anyone a hug.  (We will need to talk to her about this, but not yet.  There’s still time for all those hugs.)

I worry sometimes about how sweet and sensitive she is.  How this could be a weakness, a frailty to be taken advantage of by people who just aren’t kind. I worry that her classmates in future years will be cruel to her because she wants to give the bus driver a flower.  Because she’s nice to someone they don’t believe is worth it.  This will be another thing that we put off, for fear of damaging that naïeve sweetness.  Eventually, she will need to toughen up, buttercup, and learn how to protect herself.

This past year has been a bit rocky, with lots of assessments, and screenings, and meetings, and appointments.  Finally, we have something that is helping Teagan be more Teagan, more focused, more there.  And more sweet.  It doesn’t help with everything, but hopefully, it will allow her to be able to help herself, something that was beyond her young abilities.

She’s become a world class snuggler.  I love that.

And I love her freckles.  And green eyes.  And smile.

Happy birthday to my lovely little big girl.  I can’t believe how far you’ve come.

More: Five.  Four.  Three.  Two.  One.  New.


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


May 28, 2014 ~ Five! Finally!







Look at this girl. This where-did-the-time-go, oh-so-big girl.  This girl who can spell a few words, read a few words, who is obsessed with Frozen.  It’s been her going-to-bed music almost every night since Ashlin got a copy for her birthday back in March.  She knows most of the words, the ones she’s not familiar with, she makes up.  I love her made-up words.

She’s been in her first dance recital – and rocked it! – and is officially registered for Kindergarten.  The school year can’t come fast enough for her, she’s so ready to be big, and ride on the bus.  She can ride a two-wheel bike, (though she still needs the stabilizers).  She is such a daredevil, always leaping before she looks.  She loves the fast and the spinning rides, once she’s ready for them, and could go on the Drop Zone over and over and over, laughing the entire time.

She’s slowly learning to think about what she does before she does it.  She loves her sister dearly, will willingly share, usually without prompting, and hates to see her hurt.  She hates to see anyone hurt, such a sensitive soul, the part of Toy Story where Andy may lose Buzz and Woody makes her cry.  She is not scared of thunderstorms, and enjoys lightening and fireworks.  If we could see fireworks every week, she’d never get bored.

This summer, I’ll get to spend a bit more time with her than before, and I’m looking forward to learning more about her, and the amazing person she’s becoming.


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March 28, 2014 ~ One Day Shy


Brand New


Deep Thoughts



#goof in a #easter #bonnet


At the party


So fast!  How can she be three?  Well, one day shy of three.  Crazy.


May 20, 2013 ~ Birthday!

Birthday Girl

Birthday Girl

My little girl turned four on Sunday.  I can’t believe she’s so old, so big already.  She’s become quite the little person, a story teller, bug inspector, singer.  Her imagination is boundless, and sometimes perplexing.  She’s fast to laugh, which is wonderful.  A bit too quick to cry, which is not quite as good, and is getting better.  She gets so excited about small things – opening her window in the car, a bumble bee, ants, wiggly worms, finding a rock, tickles.  When she laughs, her true laugh and not the forced one, it’s one of the best sounds.  She still will snuggle, sometimes in the morning, but more often at night after dinner before bed.  The snuggles are great.  She shares – usually without prompting – with her sister, they hug and kiss every night before bed.

We had her party on her birthday, and we had it at the park.  So many of her friends seemed to be having their parties at bounce houses – which are awesome! – we chose to do something different for hers.  Outside.  It wasn’t supposed to rain, but it did.  There was also a bit of last minute craziness, as the invites for her day care friends didn’t make it to the parents.  Oops!  Still, half were able to make it, she has good friends at day care.  Her other friends also made it!  Even with the less than stellar weather.

She asked for Strawberry Shortcake cake for her birthday.  How could I not oblige?  We also had strawberry cupcakes, with strawberry icing and rainbow sprinkles.  We had rainbow balloons.  I didn’t tie two up well enough and they floated up into a tree.  Oh well. Teagan told me she still had a purple one and Ashlin still had a yellow one.

Birthday girl with her flower piñata

Birthday girl with her flower piñata

We had a piñata, which made her so excited!  And it was a flower!  Mama, a flower!  I got one that you pull open instead of hitting.  The kids are still a bit too young to be swinging sticks around blindfolded!



Everyone grabbed a ribbon or two and pulled!  Unfortunately, it didn’t open up, so I had to help.



Even though it didn’t work right, they still loved it.  And the whistles and candy inside :)

We had kick-balls, airplanes, horseshoes and Frisbee.  The kids ran around with animal hats, which they got to keep.  They also got to leave with one of the balls and a balloon.  Yay balloons!  Everyone loves balloons.

moar beez?

moar beez?

Ashlin had a good time, dipping chips (to her knuckles!), eating macaroni and cheese, and cupcakes!

Everyone who said they could be there was there.  And they stayed and played, and ate, and had fun.  We even had a few people that stayed longer.  Teagan has good friends!

When we got home, she took a two hour nap in her big bed.  A two hour nap.

It was a very good day.


May 17, 2013


Teagan’s Selfie

Today we had our first parent teacher conferences. Day Care let me schedule both girls back to back at drop off. It worked out perfectly! After the seemingly endless hugs and kisses the girls ran off for breakfast – they had pineapple! – and we settled into (big) chairs at a table behind a divider.

Other than a few blips, both conferences went well. Teagan knows her letters, shapes, numbers, can write her name. Usually. She needs to want to do it, to focus on it, but often loses her focus. More often than not at day care, there’s something to pull her attention away. She loves to color, do art. Her pictures are detailed and creative – she even included her freckles when she did a self-portrait. A possible solution to her bad nap time behavior may be to have her color after she gets bored reading books to herself. Her teachers say she’s very smart, but easily distracted. Teagan was the first of her classmates to complete a sequencing project, (a rainbow!), and asked if she could color it in. She’s outgoing and quick to make friends. My sweet baby.


Weaving a web

Ashlin is much like her sister, outgoing and empathetic. She’ll hug everyone as they come in, and as they leave. She made some parents feel better about dropping off their kids as she ran up to hug the crying children, trying to make them feel welcomed. Ashlin is also very smart, knows all her colors, most of the letters and can count to 11 (which she pronounces “luvyoo”). She’s the youngest in the class, and also the smallest, but is right up there with the rest of the kids in her class. Outside, she’ll run laps with them, and although she falls behind, she never gives up but keeps plugging along. Although she’s a little peanut, she has no problem being physical with her classmates. I’m sure the nightly half-naked wrestling matches with her sister at bedtime prepped her to roughhouse with her classmates. The teachers would like her to be a bit more interested in potty training. We’ll do what we can there :D

All in all, good things. We learned a bit about each girl, saw how others see them, how they interact with their teachers and their classmates.

In preparation for Teagan’s 4th birthday, we bought her bed last night. She’s getting too big too fast. They delivered it this morning! Crazy fast! We’ll be swapping out her crib mattress for the full tomorrow, once we get the toddler bed frame converted. She doesn’t know yet…

Also, they both love the “Hamster Dance” song. Save me.


April 8, 2013

#birthday #cupcake   Yay!


There was another celebration for Ashlin this weekend. He he he. I think that makes three parties, for turning two years old.  Sounds about right.  We always joke about how birthdays last an entire week.  And so they should!  And there should be cupcakes.

Ashlin had a very good time with her friends here, coloring with chalk, eating pizza and chips and cupcakes, swinging on the swings, playing with balloons.



Thanks to Aunt NayNay, we were able to go to the zoo on Sunday.  Both Ashlin and Teagan had a great time.  Ashlin was was very excited to see all the animals.  We went into the Research Center and got to see a legless lizard, some baby aligators (or were they crocodiles?  I forget).  Chomp chomp!  Ashlin would point to each as we told her what they were.  She was intrigued by the bearded dragons, I think because they didn’t look like the ones in Mike the Knight.

As we wandered through the zoo, Ashlin would greet each animal as we came up to them, calling them by name, sometimes adding their sound. “Hello goat!  Meh meh!”  Then as we walked away, she would tell each “bye bye.”  It was so sweet.  “Hello monkey! Ooh ah ah!”  I think her favorite area was the farm area, with the loud cow, the piggies – ick! – and the chickens.  And ZOMG!, her head whipped around when we told her there were sheep.  Baa baa!

When we got to the lynx, Teagan bounced like a rabbit after hearing that that’s what they ate.  She bounced up to the fence in front of the tiger, who stopped pacing to look at her.  Like she was a snack.

We may have only been there a couple of hours, but it was a good time.  Ashlin has never been so aware of the animals.  Teagan was great walking through the zoo, only taking one or two short rides on the sit n stand, listening well, being a very good girl.

It was a very good weekend!

Quack quack!!


March 29, 2013 ~ Birthday Girl

Cool birthday girl. With snot.

Cool girl

Look at her.  She’s so big!  She’s two now, and I’m amazed at how quickly she’s gotten this big.

She’s become quite the little personality.  In height only, not size.  Like her appetite, her personality is super-sized.  Tonight at her birthday pancake dinner, the waiter was impressed at how much of the Grand Slam she put away.  (One big pancake, half the eggs, half the hash-browns, one sausage, chocolate milk, and one pancake pop).

She has so many words and loves putting them together.  Sentences.  Many of her words end with a -tch, Russian sounding.  Animals?  She has them down, and their sounds too!  Reading?  She’ll read a book to you, if you ask her just the right way.  She loves giving hugs, and must hug everyone at the day care before we can leave at night.  She hugs them all hello too!

She has little fear, going down slides and giggling for more before her bigger sister finds her own courage.  Swings are still a big treat, and she will ask for more tickles and raspberries.  Then ask you to stop, barely getting those words out before she asks for “more, please!!!!!!”  Sometimes she does get scared, crowds, loud noises, strange people.  When she does, she’ll cling to you, asking to be picked up, to hold your hand.  That simple act seems to give her strength and she’ll end up running off to play soon.  She’ll also ask to hold hands when she’s tired.  Maybe that small comfort helps her relax to sleep.

She loves music and will dance dance dance.  Yo Gabba Gabba and Fresh Beat Band are two of her favorite shows, though Steve and Blue and Timmy rank up there too.  She thinks Steve and Blue live in a house on our walk.  She and her stuffed Foofa will sit next to each other on the sofa (foofacouchtch!) and watch a show before bed, usually while she holds her giant strawberry or her tiny sheep.

If she hurts you or anyone, usually by mistake, she’ll apologize, saying sorry while making the sign on the person she’s apologizing too.  Then she’ll give you a hug and a kiss.

She’s quieter than her sister, but not quiet.  She will sit and watch, planning, plotting.  She’ll let Teagan get into trouble and while we’re distracted she’ll dive off the sofa/chair/slide.

This little person has changed our lives.  Love her so much.  Happy birthday baby, mommy loves you.

She's two tomorrow!  How did that happen??


March 9, 2013


When Ashlin apologizes she will rub her fist on the person she’s apologizing to, her version of the “I’m sorry” ASL sign.Then she gives the recipient a hug. It’s so sweet. Is is the closest I’ve been able to get of her doing her version of “sorry.” She had stabbed Stu with her fork at the restaurant at dinner tonight.

We went out to dinner tonight to celebrate dad’s birthday. We ended up getting there late, it was super busy, food took a long time to get their, but both girls were still super well behaved. Stu and I surrounded Ashlin, my dad and sister had Teagan. It was a good restaurant night with them for a less than stellar restaurant service.


Happy birthday dad. You’re a great PopPop!