July 28, 2014 : date night.

Last night, my main squeeze and I had a shooting date. He graciously waited as I set up our tripod, attached the remote, and then stood spot-to-spot while I looked for just the right light and just the right background to take some pictures of us, complete with “don’t move” and “step two big steps to your right”.

Thank you, babe, for always indulging me.

And P.S.: For those of you with this setup, it’s way more fun to set shots up like this with just you and your man out in a field somewhere. This super-secret tip could be bad for business, but we were loads less self-conscious about taking these ourselves! PDA rules! ;)

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July 23, 2014 : the nest. and a toot.

Last summer was hot. This summer hasn’t seemed as hot. Last year’s hot prompted us to buy a ghetto pool for the boys, but this year’s hot hasn’t quite urged us to put that pool back up for them…however, the boys have a different kind of urging that works better than hot.

I volunteered to help get the sand pit ready. Up until today, we had used the sand pit for the fire pit’s home, complete with an assortment of stumps at the back edge for the kids to have a place to sit. I’ve encouraged them to not only sit on them, but to use them as jumping-off places and hiding places and whatnot. Today, I noticed that I would need to move those stumps to level out the sand pit area for the pool. I skirted them, then picked the heaviest, largest one…and then thought I’d best start with the next to heaviest, you know, just to warm up. Continue reading…

July 15, 2014 : finding our marbles.

This is soooo much better than losing your marbles.

Isn’t it interesting that your children can have certain toys that stay cooped up in their play area forEVER, and then all of a sudden…they can’t get enough? I suppose that’s why the brilliant child development people advise us parents to “rotate their toys.”

Perhaps I’ll finally remember to do that when I have grandchildren.

Marbles and sunspots are helly cool.

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July 10, 2014 : a chatting date.

Sometimes, we take a walk, just the two of us…and just so he can chat.

0710 quelfjr-001Yep. He’s a talker.

July 10, 2014 : flattened.

I think that those people who go the hardest get smacked down the hardest.

Our 9yo is that, exactly. Always into things full throttle, he has seen no sense in resting. In fact, at the beginning of every break from school (be it summer or other holiday breaks), he will break down into tears at bedtime if he feels that he didn’t squeeze the very life out of every minute of that day. I remember feeling that same way, well into my 30s, and would wake up in the wee hours of the morning thinking, “Oh no! I didn’t do enough!”

But he showed me something different this time. He came down with a gnarly case of strep on Sunday morning, meaning that there was a wait for relief until a Monday doc appointment, which gave that stuff an extra tough grip on him. He was flattened. And this child, who hasn’t taken regular naps since the age of two, has taken daily naps for the last four days. He has said things like, “I think I should stay low-key today,” and, “If I play outside for 45 minutes, will you remind me to come in and rest a bit?”

He’s decades ahead of me of understanding the whole rest thing. (I understand it now, mind you. I can rest with the best.)

So there I was, all book-smart and life savvy, being schooled on balance by my kid.

Keeping it real, though, we are now past the “balance” part and have flown straight into “I’m feeling better and a little mean” part. I can always tell when they’re coming out of the sickly fog when they start the orneriness and feistiness with each other. (I think they’re taking cues from the animals…)

Back to life as we know it. ;)

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July 8, 2014 : box troll?

Our 5yo is our unintentional comedian. He’s been asking for days if he could please keep the next box we get, so today I obliged. When I saw him next, he had the box on his head, but was trying to draw eyes on it by reaching under and around the box to draw them on blindly.

We smothered our giggles and continued to watch.

Then he asked Daddy if he could please use big brother’s pocket knife. Daddy obliged. When I saw him next, well, here you go.

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After freeing some eye holes, he then made the box into a pair of pants.  Continue reading…