Monday, February 06, 2017

Morning succulents

I just love the way morning sunshine can transform a room. 

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Project Night Night

I came across this charity, Project Night Night, in an article in a parenting magazine a year or two ago. It has always been on my mind to get involved with it because it is for such a good cause. Providing a blanket, book, and stuffed animal to a homeless child. You see becoming homeless can be for any reason. Fire. Flood. Abuse. Poverty….. The list can go on. Shelters all over the country are recipients of these very needed tote bags. The bags are made for children birth to pre-teen. The website provides links to various shelters in need of the bags. Calling ahead is recommend so that you can determine if the shelter needs more bags. Sometimes they get large donations from other social groups and due to storage space many shelters can't store many at one time.

I decided I'm not going to wait any longer to get involved with this charity. I ordered the tote bags from their website. Due to the location of where we live I was confident that out of the 30 shelters available we'd fined one in need of replenishing. We opted to participate in the Adopt a Night Night program. This program accepts gently used stuffed animals (we have so many that need a good home) and new or like new books. We felt that this is a better option for us since the girls can choose which stuffed animals to give away. We've been having problems with them being unwilling to part with their hardly if ever played with stuffed animals that I thought this might be just the motivation for the girls. It's also a good lesson in sacrifice. Sharing the joy of a treasured toy is a great way to start of the new year.

Following their instructions I sought some warm lightweight fleece blankets online. We chose different colors to brighten up the bags. Then we called our friend an Usbourne Books seller about finding books to put inside the bags. We bought 5 Dr. Seuss favorites just because.

As for the stuffed animals…well as I mentioned we have plenty of lightly used stuffed animals lurking on bedroom shelves eager for a new home. Many are going to be bears but we do have a few odd ones like a lobster and dinosaur that will be great for boys. The girls had some hard decisions to make about those friends sitting on their shelves. Each needed to decide if this toy would be better on the shelf or in the arms of another child.

Packing the bags was fun.

We tagged them to make it easier for the shelter staff to decide which bag would be best for its recipient.

Then we drove them to the shelter.

Truly this was a great charity to support. I dare say it may just become a new favorite.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Cat guest

This is Lincoln. We adopted him 5 years ago when he was a kitten. It has been an adventure to say the least. I have never had a male cat so my knowledge is low on expectations but we have been pleasantly surprised by this fella. He was fostered in a family with dogs which explains why he is rather dog-like in some behaviors. He prefers to go outside for bathroom time rather than use his litter box. He comes when called and he will track you down and beg for attention.

Such as he is doing here in this picture. December is a busy month and this guy has been feeling neglected. I was busy in the dining room working on some Christmas organizing when Lincoln gets comfortable in the highchair across from me. This was weird even for him but I kept on working away. There he was sitting watching me work looking like he was ready to help me out.

He sat there for quite some time. That's impressive for any pet to be that patient and companion-able. When I brought the gingerbread village to the table he became very interested. I should have assumed he was hungry by the way he was staring me down the whole time. Once I determined that his food bowl was empty I realized he was joining me at the dining room table for some non verbal communication. Still these pictures make me laugh at how perfectly he sat at the table. I imagined his thoughts to be something along the lines of him noticing his empty bowl and then deciding to sit at the table until someone brings him food because this is where the people sit to eat. 

So maybe he was thinking that because in the end he got what he wanted by having me refill his food bowl. This cat has a way of making life in our house so much more entertaining. 

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

First Dentist visit

Despite the small bit of concern about those dental instruments this darling girl had an amazing first visit to the Dentist. Not only that but she managed to charm the fantastic office staff who let her "help" for the morning as her sisters were taking their turns. We have been patients of the same dentist for 14 years. I didn't realize how long we have been with this office until I was at a soccer practice one night 2 years ago where my dentist's own daughter plays. I noticed him and stepped over to say hello as I waited for my daughter to come off the field. A team parent noticed me and as I began to introduce my dentist, then pausing, because well, I've never bumped into my doctors in my personal realm before this moment. I pondered how to introduce him. Dentist? Friend-ish person? I think I said "Dddd-fffFriend". It was certainly awkward. I think my friend wondered what was going on at first....the travel soccer world is a drama-fest, I'm sure my friend was wondering if there was some sort of competition tension between us....or some other crazy drama laden idea. 

My friend inquired how long have we known each other. I paused and said it out loud "12 years....ummm he's my dentist" I stood there cocked my head to the right and finished my thought by adding "I just realized that I've know my dentist longer than most of my friends."  So that awkward conversation was ended by the timing of my daughter and us taking the opportunity to head to the car. I still laugh when I think of that weird moment. But now the topic of soccer comes up at my dental visits as we both ramble on about what our daughters have been doing. 

Why have we been patients there so long? Because He and his staff are fantastic. My girls have been cared for by professionals who are willing to put my nervous girls at ease and still manage to get them to laugh. And because I had a great childhood dentist and that set the bar pretty high for my expectations on what a dentist should be. By chance I found this practice when we moved to the Virginia suburbs of DC. It was finally the practice I was seeking and we have been patients since 2002. I'm so happy that for our family going to the dentist is not something to be loathed. It has always been a positive experience. Just as is should be.

Friday, December 02, 2016


Our sweet little girl turned THREE today. Gasp! The little snuggle bear toddler has grown so. What a fun year we had being two. Learning so many new things, independence has blossomed, and the vocabulary. Wow! We have a lovely conversational little girl telling us all kinds of wonderful stories about her day. She still loves her blankies, fish, pink, fancy shoes, dressing up like a princess, books, and being outside. Her left-handedness is steadfast and here to stay.

Because she loves fish so very much we'll be taking a trip to the National Aquarium in Baltimore tomorrow. She'll be so excited I'm looking forward to her seeing the surprise. We found her a small cake at our favorite grocery store, Wegmans. She chose the pink candle and of course the frosting to match. It was such fun to watch her tell the baker all about how it's her birthday. That jubilant smile she beamed was enough to pass on joy to the people around us in line. This is what a birthday should be. Happiness and joy that YOU were added to this world. "I am here and I am happy on this day" is the statement a three year old feels on her birthday. That's beautiful.

 The warmth of family and a lovely cake. Happy birthday sweet Janie!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Story in our Mess

I don't know about your house but ours seems to always have odd assortments of things scattered about. My bathroom counter this morning caught my eye. At first sight I felt frustrated and over burdened. More random clutter to put away added to the crammed full list of household chores. I took a step back and really looked at the cutter on my counter. What did I "see" in the mess? Beauty products for my hair and face represent the daily routines in my morning, toothpaste is evidence that we are making an effort to have clean teeth, contact solution that the Mister used in his flurry of getting ready for work, the diaper that my 2 year old still needs to wear after we try to potty but really end up in a complicated discussion about how she already went potty yesterday and that's sufficiently good for the rest of the week, that leaves the random items. Iron Man seems to be found all over the house these days. Today he's here because the littlest daughter sleeps with this toy and had him in her hands along with her blankies when she wandered into my room. I see the coins from the 6 year old who has been learning how to count money. That also means I'm finding coins all over the house in piles which makes me wonder if I have a Leprechaun problem too. The knock off lego brand football guy is one of many lego-y things in every corner of our home. What these things tell me are that I have small children in the home and we are in the thick of being a busy family. My bathroom is always a mess and most days it just makes me feel overwhelmed. I need to stop and look at the messages these clutter piles are telling me. Snapshots of our days, pieces of our daily interests, left behind as reminders of us. How are you "Seeing" the stories in your messes? Being positive and grateful for our family that's the key to conquering our perception of feeling engulfed with chores. #whatsyourmessyhousestory 

Monday, November 14, 2016

50th Day of School

We nearly forgot about the special 50th day of Kindergarten. Oh Mondays you are tricky little ones. Almost at the last minute I remembered that it was dress in your best 50's style to celebrate the 50th day of school. I dashed down to the storage room and fished out the poodle skirt costume. We frantically pulled up her hair and found the bobby socks. I managed to take a snapshot before running out the door to school. I'm certainly thankful that we can walk to school that being so close gives us a few extra minutes to cram in last minute things like this in before having to leave. My cutie was ready to rock around the clock in her outfit.