Friday, July 29, 2011

Weirdo Disease

Okay. A disease is never weird. At least that is what the parent in me says, but then I got an email about a disease is killing a super beautiful forest. Its called Woolly Adelgids. No joke.

One year since discovering the aggressive Hemlock Woolly Adelgid at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, Cary officials have received laboratory confirmation from tested samples that there is no evidence of activity of the damaging insect known to decimate acres of Hemlocks at a clip. After its discovery during a tree mapping project last summer, the Town created and executed a multi-phased approach to eliminating the existing Adelgids and manage reoccurances with the help of multiple public and private entities. Tactics included “bark painting” followed by comprehensive inspections; contractors will return in October 2011 and June 2012 for re-inspections and reapplication if necessary.

Bark painting. I have been to this forest. It is pretty. I'm sure we will take the kids some day, but I don't know if I will forget this crazy disease.

Decimate acres of Hemlocks at a clip. Bark painting. Okay. Yea. I'm still stuck on the name.

What a funky name. Who comes up with these things? I'm glad the kids can't get it.

Can you imagine filling out the beginning of the school year medical form? I'd check the "other" box under medical conditions and the teacher would be like - um - "Is your kid contagious?"

I'm just sayin'

Thursday, July 28, 2011


When you go fishing and don't catch anything its called skunked. When a squirrel jumps is your garden and eats your almost ripe cantaloupe... well I'm just going to call it getting squirreled.

True story. For about three weeks we have been watching and waiting as a very nice (and certainly tasty) cantaloupe grew on the vine in our garden. It was the first one and husband and I were quite surprised when we came home from the beach and saw this.

Now back to last night. After dinner we walked into the garden to find our cantaloupe devoured. There was a small hole at the edge of the fence, in the dirt, like something had crawled under the fence. Then we found the real hole. In the fence. And - a squirrel watching us desperately wanting to get back in.

Major bummer.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how my now six-year-old handled the situation. She was in a bit of shock, but didn't cry. She did yell at the squirrel a bit. Instead she started planning how to keep the animals away from our next cantaloupe.

Here is to hopping there is a next one.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Every kid wants pets. At our house it goes something like this:

Big Girl: Mommy can I have a cat? Dad can we have a dog?

Me: You have a brother. (Thinking not saying: Between both of you Dad and I have plenty to do)

Husband: You have a fish. (Me thinking not saying: good point. Better than my point.)

Big Girl: But I want something with fur to snuggle.

Me: We have stuffed animals for snuggling.

Big Girl: :: scrunchy face ::

Me: Pets are a lot of work. Remember when dog dog (my Mom's dog) comes to visit?

Big Girl: It is so much fun.

Husband and I exchange a look.

The truth is, its fun for about two days. Big Girl helps feed the dog, take her for walks, even brushes her. Then its over. By the end of my mom's vacation Me and Husband um.... Husband is pretty much flying solo on dog duty. (cut me some slack I'm keeping the rest of the house going here) Walks, water, food.

So why would we want a dog all the time. Beats me. Right now we enjoy the occasional visits. The dog enjoys our kids and puts up with the massive hugs, tail pulling, eye poking (Little Man's new favorite). But, by the time she goes home you can tell she is ready. We'll be ready to have her for a few days again soon. (Mom, keep it to 2 or 3 days so Big Girl keeps up the dog chores and we don't have to. Just kidding. Not really. Okay, just a bit, but...)

Anyway. For us, for now, a dog on loan is really the way to go.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Family Book

This project has been in the works since I was part time at the office back in March. However, its now pretty much done (I still need one snap shot, but I've decided not to wait any longer).

When Big Girl was a baby I made her a family book. It was a scrapbook kit from one of the craft stores and I pasted photos of family and friends on each page and carefully wrote their names. When she was small she would read it and learn names and matching them with faces. When she learned to write, she would use ti to copy the letters and spell names correctly.

Needless to say, I wanted Little Man to have a similar special book. At the same time I wanted them to be different. My artistic sister-in-law is always reusing books so, I came up with a plan to reuse a firetruck book. I honestly didn't like the story itself, but the pictures are cute and firetrucks are good for boys.

So to start off, I gathered:
- the firetruck book (reuse from Big Girl)
- variety of sticky letters
- photos of family
- rubber cement
- Modge Podge (outdoor kind = better for "eating" toys)

I went through the book and labeled each page with who's photo would be on it.

Then I cut out the family pictures. In most cases I worked on them a little so they would cover up the words on the pages. (Turned out to be helpful because Big Girl helps read the book.)

Then I used the rubber cement to glue each of the family photos to the correct page.

A few coats of outdoor Modge Podge like so:

Let it dry and add "My Family" to the cover and cut out Little Man's photo so he looks like he is driving the fire truck.

Then it was into the diaper bag for a special surprise in the car.  Minus the one picture from the family member who "doesn't like any" that I have of them.

Monday, July 25, 2011

1st day of 1st grade

Kindergarten was such a special year. At the start of first grade, I want to always remember three phrases.

"I'm so excited to have homework."
"I'm so excited for you to come to come to school with me and meet my friends."
"Can I just text you instead of talk on the phone?"

The first two are precious. I love them. Love them. They make me want to pick her up and give her a big squeezing hug.

I also know that I must cherish them both. They will soon be replaced with phrases similar to the third one. But that too, I must be glad for. She wants to text me. She wants to tell me about her day.

What a fantastic kid.

Dad is Laughing

I can see him. Right now I can see him shaking his head and chuckling. "If you're going to do something then do it," he used to say. "Don't half ass do it. Really do it."

I did. And if he were here he would have called me laughing too. Its a tosss up if we would have called before or after my husband. Probably within ten minutes of the post going live - either way - lots of laughter.

Dad would be laughing not just because I messed up, but because I messed up on something scientific. Something that he taught kids when he worked at the high school.

In my last post I was ranting about it being 100 degrees. (For those of you not in Raleigh, its been near or over 100 for about 10 days in a row now.) In my post, I said that water boils at 100 degrees. It does, but not on the same scale that we use at our house.

Let me explain. Its 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius.

If Dad were here I'd have him guest post now and explain the science behind it in his fun way.

Instead, I'll give you a link to

If you don't want to go over to Ask, here is basically what it says: Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dad would probably also be able to tell you a way to use mirrors and the sun and make a fire to get the water to boil. But since he isn't here I guess we are all going to have to miss out on that adventure.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Is Raleigh possibly the hottest place on earth right now. When I step outside our nice, cool, air conditioned house I really think it is.

My favorite weather peeps over at WRAL say its 110 degrees out there.

110. As in 10 degrees more than is needed to boil water. 110.

I can't even think about exercising. Forget going to the pool. Today the kids headed to Marbles to enjoy some inside energy burning. Me? Camped out in the office. Working away. Strangely dreading 5 p.m. when I'll have to walk out the door and down the lock to the parking garage.


Thursday, July 21, 2011


This will be the last vacation recap. I promise. Well, hopefully.

I was going through our vacation pictures and there are a lot of pictures of feet. Don't ask why. Some were from my camera, some were from Grandma's camera, some from cuz Marg and others. I thought about explaining each one, but they are seriously better alone.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blue Milk

You may not be able to tell on your computer screen, but this milk is blue. Seriously. Light freakin' blue. How does this happen?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What is He Eating? Wait. I Know.

Babies grow fast. I know. But, I think Little Man is going for a record. Five weekends ago I switched out the clothes in his closet 6 month size to 9 month size. Right before we went to the beach (three weeks later) I did it again. He is wearing 12 month clothes. Y'all - he is 7 months old.

You're probably saying to yourself, "what in the he** are you feeding him that he is growing so fast?"

Eveything. Seriously.

Little Man is a social eater. He eats when he is hungry and he doesn't skip meals. When he sees other people eating he wants to eat too. A few weeks we were at an Italian resturant. Out came the bread. Up stood my baby (he was on my lap) waving his arms and saying "uhhh. whhh." at the bread. I didn't know he would know what it was. Sure enough the Little Man knows his carbs. Last Thursday night, out a resturant with the whole big family.

Yes. That is an entire dinner roll in his hands. He didn't ever get a bite and three rolls later. (We replaced each time one hit the floor.) We had enjoyed a fuss free meal.

He also goes through the milk - about 6 ounces at a time - 5 or 6 times a day. That's about 1/4 a gallon of milk a day.

Wait. That was my beach drink, not his.

Seriously thought - No freakin' wonder my body was exhausted and sore. Weaning is going well, and I have so much more energy and more of these.

Back to Little Man. He also eats three meals. Mostly fruit and veggies, some cereal and yogurt. On vacation we started adding in some chunky foods since he was so picky and wouldn't eat most of the stuff out of jars. Green beans, pasta, mashed potatoes. All in little tiny baby pieces. (He is good at chewing them up!) The doctor says he portions are fine and he isn't old enough to overeat yet. Still, I just have to wonder.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

'Da Beach

Everyone feels differently about the beach.

Husband loves it. The sun. The waves. The sand. He will sit and play as long as the kids want. Covered in sand he sometimes has to be pulled away. He has even been known to stay down at the shore digging in the dirt even after the kids are done.

I tolerate the beach. I love everything that a trip to the beach entails. Low cell phone signal. Relaxed days. Fun nights. Fellowship with family. I however do not adore the ocean like my husband. I like going out on the beach. Talking a walk at sunrise or sunset is fabulous. I will go in. Usually with the kids, since we don't like them going in alone. I don't care to get splashed. The tide pools are too warm for my taste. I really don't like being near all the sand when the wind blows. Nor do I like the mid-day sun.

My kids take after my husband. I think its a learned love. And although I don't share it, I always encourage them to play on the beach.

Big Girl can't get enough. Goggle on her head. Cute little bikini and boogie board. She is ready to go play. For hours she can ride the waves without a care in the word. Then there is sand to lounge in. Shells to collect. Seagulls to chase. Do it all over again and maybe take a break for lunch.

Little Man isn't quite as sure, but he is learning. Day one, he watched the sun rise over the ocean with Dad. Later when I plopped him down on a towel he reached right down and started digging. Giggles. Oh the giggles. Then into the mouth went the hands. More giggles. He did it two more times before I told him it was yucky. "But Mom." he seemed to say, "its tasty." When I wiped off his hands and doused his mouth with water he fussed.

He was also unsure of the waves. Instead he preferred to sit in a tide pool and splash. It was as warm as the tub. Perfect for a baby. I think he would also stay all day if it wasn't so warm I didn't insist on bringing him inside for diaper changes.

What a sweet and wonderful family. All of us together. All of us having fun.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

So Big

"So Big." Its a game we play with little man. We help him stand up, then stretch his arms to the sky and say, "so big."

My last post was about Big Girl's birthday, but as I sit and humbly thank God for her, I thought it was time to reflet (again in more detail) on her wonderful life.

As I write this, she is down at the beach. Not with me, or with her Dad, but with her big cousins and their friends. What sweet girls. They all (including Bug Girl) took their towels and books (she is reading Heidi y'all), lathered up with sunscreen and shades and went out to enjoy the day.

Towels, shades, book. Six. Maybe I am thinking about it too much here, but six. Six.

Husband said a few times on her birthday that she is a third of the way to 18. I can hardly believe it. It seems like she was just a little thing.

Perfectly content to have Mommy by her side all day long. Whatever I said was cool was cool. Now she has her own ideas. Her own understanding of cool.

I hope. I pray that cool continues to include dad and I. She is such a blessing in our lives. No matter how big, how sassy, how too cool she gets, we will always love her.

Monday, July 11, 2011

6 is Super

This week Big Girl turned six. Its seems to be a magic age, even thought I honestly didn't see it as one ahead of time. In the last few weeks she has embraced being big. She is self assured and so responsible for her age.

At our house each birthday is marked as not just a celebration, but by the milestones that can be accomplished. When Big Girl turned four she traded in thumb sucking for bubble gum. At five she was big enough to carry her own bag (okay - maybe that was on the getting ready to go to kindergarten list). But, each year we talk about birthdays as a time to do new things and a time to leave some things behind (i.e. thumb sucking).

Here are some of my thoughts on six, and a look at what six is to us me Big Girl.

6 is sweet.
6 is super cute hair cuts and caring about how her hair is styled.
6 is "its time to take a shower" and a half hour later returning clean, dressed and ready to go.
6 is boogie boarding on her own.
6 says cool is important.
6 cares about music.
6 hangs out with the big cousins without mom or dad.
6 takes a chapter book to the beach.
6 is a pajama party.
6 is texting.
6 doesn't need to ride in the back of the cart anymore. (okay that is me, not her!)
6 is wonderful.

Plus, here's a celebration pic!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Things Kids Can Get Away With: Part 2

I know how much y'all enjoyed Things Kids Can Get Away With But Grown Ups Can't, so I wanted to add a few more thoughts.

1. Pulling Hair

Kid Version: Little Man, don't pull Mommy's hair. He looks at me and grins (knowing he isn't supposed to pull hair) and shakes his head no. Me, "No, no." Little Man giggles. Me, "Mommy said no, no. That hurts."

Grown Up Version: Standing around waiting on my iced green tea lemonade with pomegranate that some kids is taking the better part of a year to make. So, I reach across the counter and pull his hair. Umm. Ka-bow. I'd be sayin' hello to the back side of his hand.

Grown Up Version 2: Think of all the guys and gals at the jail waiting to be fingerprinted. (Maybe I just finished watching a Law and Order rerun - just sayin'). They've been there for-freakin-ever, so one of them reaches up and grips the nice officer's ponytail. Hello assault on an officer. Not so good.

Kids can pull hair. Even if they really shouldn't, they can totally get away with it. Not so good for grown ups.

(I did some really cute drawings to go with this one, but am having major scanning issues. I'll try to add them soon.)

2. Showing their underpants in public/for a camera.

Kid Version: Big Girl and I were picking strawberries. She was wearing a sundress. When we took a picture of her with her bucket of berries she squatted (very ungracefully) down. Hello princess panties. No big deal. She is precious and cute and I hit delete.

Grown Up Version: I'm visiting a family member in a retirement center. We sit out on the patio and I decide not to cross my legs like a lady. My husband may laugh if its the two of us at home, but not here in front of all the old people. What bad manners I have. Can't you hear them?

Grown Up Version 2: Britney Spears. Who can forget it?

Oh to be a kid. Things are so much easier!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Scary Things

Kids are scared of all different things. For Big Girl it was loud noises. Yep. We are talking fireworks, car horns, sirens, the vacuum cleaner, the buzzer at the end of a half at soccer games. She would cry. Oh she would cry. I'd have to hold her and reassure her and cover her little ears.

Clowns were cool. So were all kinds of animals (she now screams at many types of bugs, but husband will tell you that she learned it from me - which may or may not be true). The dark bothered her a little, but as long as there was a night light she was fine.

So far there aren't many things that throw Little Man for a loop. Sales guy at the furniture store making crazy faces (I was a little frightened) he laughs. Grandma and Grandpa after not seeing them for almost three weeks - no big deal. My mom's dog that comes up to my knees running straight at him and stopping for a lick across his forehead - makes him bounce up and down and grin. Its probably in part because he is so little and doesn't have any fears yet.

I wonder what will happen this weekend when we go see fireworks. If he's like his sister we may have a screaming situation. I really hope not. That would be a bad one in a big crowd. But, we will have to wait and see. Cross your finger. Knock on wood. Whatever you do for luck, send some our way.