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Summer 2020 - Life in a Pandemic

I'm in my final week of summer before work as a middle school teacher begins again. This time of year I'm always in a reflective mood.  I look back and feel so lucky to have had this time with my kids. We went camping, biking, boating, golfing, and hiking. We celebrated my sister's wedding, we did projects together, watched movies, and just hung out at home. It really was everything that summer is meant to be. There were many events and plans that we canceled due to Covid, but we did all the most important things. We missed friends, but I also reveled in the togetherness with my little family unit. Today, I spent time registering for fall childcare and activities. It's less than usual, but still I can see the pace of our lives picking up. As we move into a season of more busy-ness, more work, and likely more stress, this poem sums up the feelings I'm experiencing.... Vacation End by Leslie Pinckney Hill From the charm of radiant faces, From the days we took to dream
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Life With Henry: 2.9 years old.

This morning: "I want to watch the show with the cheese you don't eat. The show with Squidgy" Joe and I have no idea what that means, ask him questions to try to narrow it down - "Is Squidgy an animal? It is a character on Wild Kratts?" No luck. I start scrolling through the options on Netflix, asking "Is this it?" until we get to Justin Time, a show I've never watched. But, apparently Henry has watched it sometime in the super TV marathon that this week has been, as he and Stella have had a horrible bug all week. "Yes! Justin Time!!" Phew. I guess I need to watch more TV with my kids? Also this morning: I try to make Henry cinnamon toast for breakfast. He wants to help spread the butter, and cut the toast. "I can do it myself!" Pushing my arm away. Then after struggling for a few minutes, "I CAN'T do it, Mama!!!" desperately pleading, why aren't I helping him?! We get the toast cut into small squares

The Great Eugene Snowpocalypse of 2013

Last Friday, we got over six inches of snow in Eugene. Today is Wednesday, and school is still cancelled due to icy roads. We are at the point where we have done all of the fun snow activities, and all of the fun indoor activities we can think of. I took my kids to daycare today so they could play with friends and I could get some work done (lesson planning). But then I thought of my lonely little blog and figured I would share a couple of the pictures I've taken the last few days of our snowy wonderland and cookie baking fun. Neighbor's house with the lovely sky. It's been so clear! She runs everywhere, in every condition. Attaching straps to tow Stella by bike. Henry thought it was a bad idea. Stella loved it and didn't want to stop. Cold little nose and mis-matched mittens. Just doing some blending with ski hat and glasses. No big deal. Swings! We love cookies! Notice all the sprinkles? Stella's favorite part. Th

Five Rules for Shopping for Clothes

Starting August 26, I will be a full time, grade 7-8 teacher. I am really excited about my new job, and satisfied with our daycare situation. My husband just got a new job as well, so we are going through lots of changes lately! In the meantime, since school got out and sub jobs ended, I took a very part-time job working at an upscale clothing store. I would want to work there more often if it weren't for the fact that I either pay for childcare, negating most of my profit, or miss out on family time with my husband every time I work. I also have spent most of my paychecks on clothing that I buy with my employee discount, so I'm basically getting paid in clothes, which I do desperately need after the last several years of being pregnant, postpartum, and finally losing all of the baby weight plus some. Overall, the job is mostly fun, often rewarding, and a great learning experience for me in many ways. I keep wanting to share what I've learned with other women so we can all

Spring Cookies

Today during Henry's nap, Stella and I baked cookies. I used the recipe on the top of the oatmeal container, modified for ingredients that I like better. It ended up looking like this: 1 stick of butter, softened 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar 3/4 cup Sucanat (sugar cane natural) 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 2 1/2 cups Quaker Oats, uncooked 1/2 cup Craisins 1/2 cup chopped pecans 1/2 cup chocolate chips 1/2 cup chopped coconut assorted sprinkles 1. Heat oven to 350. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy 2. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. 3. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg; mix well. 4. Add oats, Craisins, pecans, chocolate chips, and coconut; mix well. 5. Scoop with a cookie dough scoop onto parchment paper on your cookie sheets. The dough doesn't stick together super well so you will have to finger shape and smoosh it together (

To Preschool or Not to Preschool

My Sweet Pea turned four years old this week. Unbelievable! This year, I quit my job to spend more time at home with my kids. Or, more precisely, I took a leave of absence from my part-time teaching job that I actually worked at nearly full-time because my part-time teaching wages didn't cover full-time daycare for two children and working full-time was stressful for me and my family, even though I loved my job. (Precision is wordy.) I was hoping that I could net more income overall by subbing a few days a week, and I am so far! Last spring, even after I knew I wouldn't be working every day, I was researching preschools for Stella because age three is the year when children generally start preschool. I found some really great-looking schools and situations, but it seemed the more I liked the school, the more it cost (my preference was for Montessori or bilingual, of course). Since I was planning to be home most days, the more I thought about it, the less sense it made to me t

Not Another Day Stuck at Home!

I was in a terrible mood yesterday morning. Our back fence in being replaced (the neighbor hired a company), so Glen can't go outside to potty or play without us taking him on the leash. Henry has been sick, really sick, for the past six days, and we are just starting to see real improvement, so I am exhausted. Stella has a cough too so I can't really send her to a friend's house to play, but she is not sick enough that she is happy to be just hanging out at home watching movies and playing with toys, so she is asking for a lot of attention, and begging for a friend to play with. My subbing paycheck for the month was tiny, so we are on a very tight budget. All of those things came together and made me a very grouchy mama. I ignored my kids for a few minutes, locked myself in the bathroom, and talked on the phone with my friend. When I came out, I was determined to change my attitude. I would make the best of all this forced togetherness, with no pressure to get anything in