Saturday, March 31

Things We Love About Rachel

** She has a sweetness about her that draws people to her.

** The way she cuddles up with mommy or daddy when she wakes up in the morning or after nap. She is so very cuddly.

** Her unconditional love for her big sister. She is Alex's little mime and biggest fan -- sometimes driving her sister crazy with all that 'love and attention.'

** Those big baby blues - just like her daddy's.

** Her unique musical ability. Rachel hums to herself when she's eating something that she finds particularly tasty. It's hysterical.

** This little girl LOVES her doggie - sometimes more than he can stand!

** Her funny little wiggly run.

** That crazy hair.

** The way she says "That's funny."

** The way her nose crinkles up when she smiles big or makes "the face."

**Her ability to entertain herself for looooonnng stretches just 'reading' or playing by herself.

** Her unbridled enthusiasm for random things. Rachel will get sooooo excited (about balloons, ribbon, the moon, it could be anything) that she almost can't breath and begins to stutter through a huge grin as she tries to tell us what's so thrilling.

** Behind that sweet exterior is a girl who knows what she wants and as she grows and matures, will figure out a way to get it.

** ** ** ** **

Friday, March 30

Things We Love About Alex

** Her friendliness. Alex has never met another child that she didn't like. I've often said she could make friends with a rock. (She now has a pet rock. Named 'Rocky,' of course.)

** She's a GREAT sleeper.

** The way she looks after her little sister. Worried if she's hurt or sick, engaging at play time and instructive with new games/tasks. This is not too say there are no squabbles. They are siblings after all! But it's clear that Alex loves her baby sister.

** Her big, bright, brown eyes and the way her nose crinkles up when she smiles big.

** She is tough. She'll fall and get back up and keep going. When she gets sick she doesn't slow down for anything this side of 103 temp. She's been this way since birth.

** Her curiosity about all things 'icky.' Bugs, spiders, lizards - it doesn't matter, Alex is curious and wants to take a look. She'll collect rolly-polly bugs, worms (both alive and crispy), anything!

** That little girl LOVES her mommy.

** Her boundless energy - even when she's sick.

** Did I mention that Alex is a GREAT sleeper.

** Her initial impulse when she goes to a garage sale. The first thing she wants to buy is a scooter for her sister.

** Her amazing 4-year-0ld imagination and that she is still young enough to be frightened by "Finding Nemo."

** The way she can make anything into a song or a dance - or both.

** Her ability to 'get over it.' Alex doesn't stay mad or upset long and will stop and take a breath and calm herself before getting to a tantrum. She's never been a tantrum kid - I love that about her!

** ** ** ** ** **

Tuesday, March 27

The Wisdom of Children

A Conversation at the Grownup Table,
as Imagined at the Kids’ Table
by Simon Rich, The New Yorker, March 26, 2007

MOM: Pass the wine, please. I want to become crazy.
GRANDMOTHER: Did you see the politics? It made me angry.
DAD: Me, too. When it was over, I had sex.
UNCLE: I’m having sex right now.
DAD: We all are.
MOM: Let’s talk about which kid I like the best.
DAD: (laughing) You know, but you won’t tell.
MOM: If they ask me again, I might tell.
FRIEND FROM WORK: Hey, guess what! My voice is pretty loud!
DAD: (laughing) There are actual monsters in the world, but when my kids ask I pretend like there aren’t.
MOM: I’m angry! I’m angry all of a sudden!
DAD: I’m angry, too! We’re angry at each other!
MOM: Now everything is fine.
DAD: We just saw the PG-13 movie. It was so good.
MOM: There was a big sex.
FRIEND FROM WORK: I am the loudest! I am the loudest!
(Everybody laughs.)
MOM: I had a lot of wine, and now I’m crazy!
GRANDFATHER: Hey, do you guys know what God looks like?
ALL: Yes.
GRANDFATHER: Don’t tell the kids.


Sunday, March 25


“Often we set out to make a difference in the lives of others only to discover we have made a difference in our own.”—Ellie Braun-Haley
“We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.”—Marian Wright
“It doesn’t matter how much you have, it just matters what you do with it.”—Becca Levie

Give, Participate = Receive, Thrive

“Often we set out to make a difference in the lives of others only to discover we have made a difference in our own.”
—Ellie Braun-Haley

Working with the International Rescue Committee is the best gift I've ever given, surprisingly, to me. There is something about working with these wonderful people from all over the world that has given me a fresh perspective on what's important and an appreciation for all that we have.

I've learned so much and I've grown attached to many of the refugees. The most amazing thing I've learned is how similar we all are, no matter how rich, how young, how old, or how poor. One day last month we had all the women in our class write down their dreams for themselves and their families. Each dream consisted of themes that would be familiar to all of us -- success, a college education and happiness for their children, a good job, a nice home, and 'a world without war.'

Working with them and watching our children play and learn from one another, I think we're all working toward our dreams together.

So. Think about it.

Join us - Make a difference.

Or, if not the International Rescue Committee, find something, someway of helping and making a difference. If you're anything like me you'll discover that the biggest difference you've made is in your own life.


Wednesday, March 21

Educating our children...,

I've been discussing this for more than a week with several friends. All of our children are younger than 5. I'm talking about it now in hopes of figuring it out so that I'm ready when the time comes.

I have friends on both ends of the spectrum. From relying exclusively on abstinence education to another who says, "What can I do if my 13yr old wants to do it - he'll find a way. There's really not a lot I'll be able to do about it." (My girls won't be hanging out with her teenage sons!)

As for me, I'm certainly not as hands off as the mom who has already thrown in the towel on her 13 yr old. But I don't think relying solely on abstinence education is the way either. It seems that part of the equation has to be logic and reason (a tall order w/ adolescents perhaps), which clearly only comes with good, open, strong parental relationships.

I think talking to kids about the why of it all is important. Do they want to do it to be popular? To be liked? loved? Because everyone else is doing it? (they're not, BTW). And explaining that none of these is a reason to have sex and will likely yield far less than the desired outcome.

Repeated and varied discussions about the risks to health (both mom and baby), present and future (for all involved) have to be a part of the equation. But in a relevant dialog rather than a high-minded lecture. Also, what can be gained by waiting and/or lost by becoming sexual too early?

There is one more important question to consider. Is waiting until marriage really the goal? I didn't get married until I was 35 and I think my head might have EXPLODED had I waited until then. My real goal is to raise my children to be healthy (NO STDs or unwanted pregnancies) and guide them toward making smart decisions. I think sex in high school is RISKY business that should be avoided (early 20s? college? with birth control and protection? OK.) I'm not sure how all this will play out - but I'm starting the talking EARLY!!!

Are you??


Monday, March 19

Thought for the Day

"Any dead fish can swim with the current. It takes a live one to swim against it."


Wednesday, March 14

Wanted: Grandma

Seeking older female interested in taking part in the lives of two very bright, engaging little girls.

A tolerance for random noise, patience and understanding required. The ability to multi-task a MUST along with a warm voice for reading stories and providing guidance when needed. An interest in crafts, mudpies, the park, sandboxes, the beach, the Zoo, and bike riding helpful. No previous experience necessary but must have a willingness to learn and grow with her adopted grandchildren.

Salary and benefits package includes a life time of love, hugs and kisses, handmade crafts, and cookies (with mom's help). Vacation package negotiable.

All interested parties inquire at


Sunday, March 11

Ode to the Cupcake

Just like her Daddy, Rachel loves chocolate cupcakes!!

"Wha..?? Did you say something? Shhhh. I'm eating chocolate."


Saturday, March 10

Spring is here!!


Playing with Macro Photography

OK - the flowers might fall into the realm of macro photography too, but this is REALLY macro.
What do you think? A little crazy..?


Friday, March 9

Balancing Act

Lately, for the past few days at least, it seems there are a million things to do. I need to do my bills, taxes, order updated medical records, IRC work, clean house, laundry, cook meals, feed the dog, the cat and on and on. With all of these things on my to do list, I too often hear myself saying, "Not now, honey. Mommy has work to do." Or, "In a minute. Let me finish this and I'll be right there." But that minute doesn't come.

At the end of the day, after dinner and bath time, while we're settling down and reading bedtime stories, I look at the girls and grimace a bit. I miss them.

I mean, I had a productive day and attended to most of those things on my to do list. That's a good thing right?

Well, during all that 'productivity' my girls got lost. Not once today did I get down on the floor and play with them. We didn't play dress up or color or play with play dough or do any of the things they love to do - and love even more when Daddy or Mommy join them.

Now, it's true that my oldest would engage me every second of every day if she could. But neither of our girls have gotten their fair share lately and it's time to put down my to do list and get down on the floor and play. The dishes and the cat can wait.

"Come on girls - let's paint stuff!!"


Sunday, March 4

How Could We NOT Love This Man??

DH is the perfect father for two curious, fun-loving little girls. So patient and willing to indulge. Even to the point of this....,

This was more fun than you can imagine. The girls LOVED it! (OK. I have to admit, I had a bit of fun with it too.) And this is one of soooo many reasons why DH gets the 'Father of the Year" award year after year after year.