realize we’re behind

There are a lot of photos that haven’t been uploaded lately. January. February. 

So here are some taken with my phone the past few months:

pre-Super Bowl

at the playground

Johnny’s “mad-face”

an outfit of choice by Bridget.

(I’ve been busy(ish) over at, but mostly we’ve been doing boring, normal family-type stuff.) 

blast from the past

The past few months, Bridget has become completely obsessed with the Transformers. Not the new ones, but the classic ones. At some ridiculous hour (4am or so) the old school episodes are on and so very excitedly, Brendan set us up to record them and he and Bridget faithfully watched them all. And then there were no more new ones to watch. They went back to the beginning and started showing the first (and second?) series again.

So Bren has taken it upon himself to acquire the rest of the classic episodes. Maybe 40 or so of them in total. Every evening it’s pretty much the highlight of her day. Today, before putting on another one, I asked (ok, I whined a little) “Do we have to watch Transformers?” and she looked at me and said, “Um, Yeah.” (DUH!)

I’ve been signing the theme song in my head for weeks. It’s so damn catchy.

I’m also convinced the Autobots weren’t smarter than the rest (Decepticons, Insectacons, Constructacons… so many -cons, I can’t keep them all straight), but just luckier.

I do appreciate Bridget’s need to be a completist on the subject and to have to watch them all and to watch them all in order.

Maybe we can get her hooked on She-Ra or Voltron next…


Somehow it feels more complicated raising a daughter than a son. Maybe it’s just because Bridget is older, but there just seem to be variables.

I try to keep things relatively balanced and to let Bridget decide what it is she’s interested in. Soccer? Fine. Wearing dresses and skirts whenever, where ever? Also fine. Perhaps my biggest pet peeve is the dominance of pink in “girl” things. Pink on its own is just fine, don’t misunderstand me. I don’t mind it in doses. But I do wonder if it has to be absolutely everywhere. (I’m annoyed too at “boy” stuff that has to have firetrucks and heroes and baseball on everything, but that’s for another time) When she was a baby I went out of my way to buy non-pink items. (Now there’s also a fight against the idea that everything has to look like a glitter factory exploded on everything. )

We’ve also got a wide variety of toys around: dolls, cars, blocks, Transformers, dressing up clothes, kitchen stuff… Both kids play with what strikes their fancy, but I find myself more concerned with being sure that Bridget isn’t consumed 100% by princesses and Barbie pink, than I am that Johnny plays with dolls as well as cars (he does). Maybe it’s just because I am a girl, too. Or that he’s still a baby. Who knows. Her interests are wide-ranging and I’d really like to keep it that way.

She and I talk about how perhaps Snow White should have at least said “Thank you” to the dwarfs for building her an awesome bed of gold and taking care of her, instead of just hopping on a horse and riding off with a prince she didn’t really know all that well. I’m pretty sure I don’t have a lot to worry about on the subject for now because Bridget has told me that, “if someone comes into my room who I don’t know and kisses me and wakes me up, I’ll punch them in the face!” Not quite the point I was trying to make, but I’ll take it for the moment.

Recently, I finished reading How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of all Time and it had me wishing I had some copies to have around in about 7-10 years. I wasn’t a subscriber to Sassy myself, but I did read quite a few of the articles (and JANE as an adult) and the idea of the magazine I think is a really great one. Next up on my list is Cinderella Ate my Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture (sidenote: subtitles might be out of control). I think the two will pretty much make the same point: that being “girly” is awesome, but so is anything else so why limit yourself.

She starts school soon, and I know that means giving up a bit of control over influences. I’m trying to pack them in there while I can! (I’m probably over-thinking it all anyway.)

new years eve involved a lot of driving

Like last year, this year we planned to spend New Years Eve (and weekend) up in Pennsylvania with some friends (and fellow Muskoxen). Brendan’s body however, had other plans. He went from feeling slightly-a-little-sick-but-willing-to-power-through to pull-the-car-over! somewhere around the Delaware line. Still, we headed onward. As soon as we arrived, Brendan took himself to bed upstairs and the kids and I hung out, helped with dinner and played around. But alas, Bren didn’t make a quick recovery (as he had hoped) so after some delicious lasagna, I put the kids in their pajamas and we came back home.

We made it back here with plenty of time to spare to watch Dick Clark and the ball drop. (And by “we” I mean me and Bridget.) After the boys were tucked in, she and I snuggled (under her new Snuggie naturally), had ice cream, counted down the seconds and banged pots and pans outside to ring in the New Year. Not exactly what I had planned, but still enjoyable.


Thanks to a generous gift from Brendan’s mother, we spent Monday overnight to Tuesday at the Gaylord National Harbor and took the kids to see ICE.

I think though, that Johnny would have been happy with the balcony.

At some point while we were in line, our point and shoot got dropped and appeared* to be pretty broken. The lens wouldn’t close or focus. So we were left with our camera phones in what turned out to be a pretty low light situation.

Poor Johnny had pretty much had it with being carried by the time we reached the ice slide, which was packed. So we left Bridget and Brendan behind to slide away while we finished up the exhibit and got warm on the other side. Bren was pretty happy to be able to go down the slide himself (we’d heard it was a kids only activity). I really would have liked to linger a little more and look at all the details of the sculptures, but it was so crowded I always felt like I was in someone’s way.

The next morning we had breakfast with the Grinch. Bridget was thrilled at the sight of him (though you wouldn’t know it from this photo)** and surprisingly, John really couldn’t have cared less. Now, if the Grinch had touched his precious cantaloupe, there might have been a problem.

It was crazy crowded, but mostly pleasant.





*Before the kids were both asleep, Brendan had ordered us a new camera, that is meant more for video. And sometime yesterday he had the broken camera fixed, but it was too late to cancel the order on the new camera. It was delivered today. If I hadn’t seen and held the camera when it was broken myself, I’d be more suspicious — he’d asked for the new camera prior to Christmas.

**I might be softening on my Disney stance just to see her smile (I really don’t want to go)…

merry & bright


Kids (and adults) had a good Christmas.

Johnny’s favorite present by far was a bag of Animal Crackers in his stocking from Santa. He carried them (and some Hotwheels) around all morning. (He’s got a bit of a cold; sorry about the boogers.)

Bridget’s Snuggie from Santa was a huge hit as well. She’s been wanting one hardcore for a while now. 

Happy Holidays!

(Hope we get enough snow tomorrow that it’s fun, but not too much that it’s a headache.)

an attempt

It wasn’t my smartest idea — we had a costume parade earlier in the day and small/no naps — but this afternoon we took the kids to the park to try and get some good shots for possible inclusion in Christmas cards.

There were a lot of them together that didn’t work.

And ones of just one kid that worked pretty well

And one of both of them that I think is as good as we’ll get.


Over the long Columbus Day weekend, we packed up the kids and headed to Ohio to visit with Pat, Steph and the kids at their new house. Heading to the pumpkin patch has become sort of a tradition around this time, as it’s always close to Hannah’s birthday.

We headed to the local apple orchard, had a some delicious cider and donuts.

Johnny thought about taking a step or two.

And then we celebrated Hannah’s birthday with some of her friends from school. (I love this picture because it looks like Johnny is a little ladies man!)

The kids always have such fun together (and grownups do, too).

[All the photos in the gallery]


Bridget had her first (two!) soccer “matches” this weekend.  It was a lot of fun. 

Before the second game, I told her that I wanted her to concentrate on dribbling with the ball if she got it. In the first game, it came to her and she just sort of stood there. When she did find herself with the ball in the second game, she did run with it –though more sideways than forward. 

Brendan’s coaching them and they’ve named the team The Bees. It’s adorable. He huddles them up before the game, goes through their rules (1. No hitting hands 2. Have fun 3. Don’t steal the ball from your own team) and then they put their hands in and all go “BZZZZZ!” 


Brendan joined the party on January 2, 2004. He's cool now.

Jessica has never been cool. She is OK with that.

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