Monday, February 15, 2016


On the way home from my birthday lunch at my parents' house yesterday, the kids crashed, as expected.  They didn't stay up late or do anything super crazy during their sleepover, but throughout the afternoon they were moody, not listening, and seemingly in need of a nap.

Today after lunch and some lazy playing as we had been doing all day on this day off from work and school, Michael said he needed a nap.  I offered to read some stories, the three of us snuggled on my bed like old times, and they the kids crashed again.

I didn't pump my fists or anything, but I did feel somehow victorious.

I've fallen behind a bit on my photo-a-day project (as always) and was counting on this little break to help me catch up.  It was a rare gift to be able to stalk my snoozing peanuts.  Here are my two favs.

Sweet face.
I took a bunch of photos, some kneeling by the beds, some standing on a stool.  I felt seriously creepy but loved the opportunity.  The shots from the foot of the bed please me the most.  Admittedly in the one of Michael I was trying to get his eye in focus, and I did in a couple of other shots, but ultimately the focus on the fuzzy red blanket resonated with me more.  The kid seriously lives in that thing.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Distaste for Dinner

Mike and I are pretty firm about enforcing the rule that we all eat what's for dinner without substitutions, but Michael tests us on that often.  He's always been less than enthused about vegetables, but he comes around.  We credit our firm policy for that.  Broccoli used to make him furious, but he finds it less offensive now and eats it without fuss.  Sometimes, though, Michael just doesn't want what's for dinner and seems certain that he hates it, no matter how many times he's loved it in the past.  That's just how it goes, I guess.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Valentine Factory

Last year we were in Disney World for Valentine's Day, so Michael and Sophie did not give out valentines at school.  I did grab some Mickey and Minnie valentines at the Dollar Tree before we went, in case the kids did want to leave some for their school friends.  They didn't care, so we didn't use them.

Disney (147)

This year Sophie and Michael were perfectly happy using last year's dollar store valentines in kindergarten.  Let life be so simple in years to come!  They signed the cards over several weekends, glued on their classmates' names as their teacher suggested, folded the valentines closed, and sealed them with heart stickers from their kits, amused to consider themselves a valentine factory.

I was tempted to get more Pinteresty, perhaps reviving the crayon, silly straw, bubbles, ball, or puzzle valentines they (we) gave out over the years in child care.  This seemed like a good year to let that go, though.  The kids did fine writing out and assembling their valentines, and like so many tasks as they grow up, I believe this should be almost entirely in their hands now that it can be.  If they ask to do more next year, we'll likely go for it, especially if they're willing to do most of the legwork.


Their conversation while assembling their valentines was quite amusing.  Aside from Sophie mentioning once that a boy in her class told her she was cute and a few "I think I'll marry...." discussions, they've never talked about crushes and such before, at least not in my presence.  But as Sophie made out a valentine for one boy in her class, she said she loved him, that he was very kind to her and funny.  Michael said he loved a little girl in their class, and Sophie told him, "You know what you should do? You should tell her she's beautiful.  She wears beautiful dresses."  Michael said he would talk to the boy and make sure he loved Sophie back.  At that point I chimed in and reminded them that they are too young to worry about being anything other than a good friends to their classmates.  They agreed.
"K---- said I'm cute," Sophie reminded me.
"And you are, sweet pea."

At least he helped.

During the few minutes that I photographed Michael unloading the silverware from the dishwasher I did not notice that he was handling every item in this manner.  I realized that later when looking back at the pictures.  Mental note to remind him to grab silverware by the handles has been made!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Sophie and Michael get thirty minutes of tablet time a day, and it starts at 7:30 in the morning.  They use it most days before school after all their morning jobs are done (getting dressed, brushing teeth, etc.).  This gives Mike a bit to get a little work done before heading to the bus stop.  On weekends tablet time is typically done in pajamas while Mike and I drink our coffee.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Ballet Brother

I tried to get another photo of Sophie before ballet class, but she was not in the mood.  Buddy didn't mind.

Monday, February 1, 2016

February Ride


For my photo project this year I've been using the Collect app.  Adding images to the calendar and creating collages and videos at the end of the month is a new encouragement for me.

I also think looking back on a monthly basis will help me to evaluate my own progress.  I'd say I have about five or six photos from this month that I truly love and that I'm glad this project led me to produce.  Hopefully next month I'll love seven or eight.  This isn't a sponsored post or anything.  I just really like that Collect app.

I also love warm February afternoons.

Sunday, January 24, 2016



Full Moon Over A2


After our afternoon out in Chelsea, we stopped downtown Ann Arbor for dinner.  We don't live far from Ann Arbor, but we head over there as often as I'd like.  That causes views like this one from the Maynard parking structure to strike me with some nostalgia.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Chelsea Treehouse

I'm cheating a bit here.  I didn't get a photo at all on 1/22, so I was sure to take a bunch on 1/23 in a few different locations.  This one is Sophie coming down the slide at the Chelsea Treehouse.  On Saturday afternoon we all got a little stir crazy working on projects around the house.  Last year we beat some winter claustrophobia on a Saturday afternoon by trekking out to Chelsea and putting a Groupon to use.  We had the urge to go there again before these kiddos get too big for our favorite indoor play spaces.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Reading to Peanuts

With shoes on my feet and bag on my shoulder, I was ready to head out the door to work when I spotted this scene on the floor of my bedroom this morning.  I even heard Michael say, "I'm going to read to Peanuts," while I put on my earrings, but I hadn't really taken a look until I gave that kiss goodbye.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Bubble Wrap

Mike replaced a part in our dishwasher tonight.  The part came with entertainment.

Monday, January 18, 2016



Santa brought Sophie a StarLily the Unicorn, and both she and Michael enjoy feeding her and using the app to play little games and give StarLily more magic.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Old Fellow

Today the Michael and Sophie played the game "Othello" during which Sophie asked, "Is this game called 'Old Fellow'?"  We'll be sure to get that cleared up before AP Lit. rolls around. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Saturday Morning


Sophie and Michael enjoy the "nest" our quilt makes on laundry Saturdays.  (Sometimes it's a slide instead.) Mike ran to the grocery store this morning, and the kids got their screen time there while I took a shower.  Well, they got a little extra today because I took time to take pictures first!

Thursday, January 14, 2016


It's been a mild winter so far with only a couple of significant snowfalls, one just before Thanksgiving, and another melting away right now.  This second one came with windchills in the teens and below, so it felt perfect outside when it warmed up into the high 30's this week.  The kids had their boots and snow pants on as they exited the school bus, so we stayed outside to play until dinner time.

Monday, January 11, 2016



Sophie has renamed her American Girl Truly Me doll numerous times, but Charm seems to be the name that sticks.  I'm not sure where the name came from, but apparently to a five-year-old, it's the coolest.  Eventually maybe we'll get her a Lea or Kit or Samantha or Miranda or Charlotte...I'll have to study up...but for now, Charm is our Girl.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Kindergarten Homework

Sophie and Michael get a little bit of homework in kindergarten this year.  There's usually a math packet to complete as convenient, a weekly reading handout with daily tasks, and now they have two books to read to us throughout the week.  It's all very manageable and easy to set aside when they're reached their limit.  Above they're drawing pictures of themselves weighing two objects of their choosing in their hands to show which one was heavier.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Our Bunny

Servers tend to look at us funny when Sophie orders a salad, as if we're playing some kind of trick on them.  This girl just loves her veggies!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Snowflake Sticker


Remember when you were a kid and you got a sticker from your ballet teacher every week, from your school librarian every library day, from the doctor, after gymnastics and after every haircut, and from the cashier at the grocery store?  Me neither!  Add it to the list of the ways childhood today is a at least smidgen more charmed childhoods past.  

Monday, January 4, 2016

Back to the Routine

These photo-a-day challenges help me to enjoy the playfulness of making do.

Without this kind of project I would never pick up my camera on my way to kiss my kids goodbye before work.  I know full well that the results of a hurried shoot a good hour before sunrise are likely to be...well, you have eyes.


But this part of my morning routine is a treasure that I wanted to capture, and now I'm kind of into the graininess, the contrast between the stark, linear door and the tousled blur of my snoozing love bugs. (They're both in Sophie's bed here as they still alternate rooms in an ongoing twinsie sleepover.)

Cold and steady.  Warm and crumpled.  That's my treasure.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


As we began taking ornaments down from the tree yesterday, Sophie suggested we listen to some Christmas songs.  I was feeling pretty over Christmas carols at that point, but I agreed that we needed some music and followed her suggestion.

Later on in our work, iTunes teased the Star Wars theme music, and it was exactly what we needed--emotionally stirring, nostalgic, and no jingling bells or holly.  I pulled up that station, and we finished packing away the lights and garland to the "Imperial March."  This could be a new tradition.

Despite spending most of this last day before returning back to work at home, I didn't remember to get out my camera until after dark.  That's why I need this project; I am out of the habit and need to deliberately fix that.  Lucky for me and my low light, Sophie and Michael were playing with a light saber M&M's dispenser that Michael got over the summer when I remembered my project tonight.

The kids have not seen any of the Star Wars movies yet.  It was a pretty solid part of my own childhood, but I recall not really following the movies' story lines until I was much older than five.  I also want to hold off on sharing that level of violence with them for bit yet.  So far Michael and Sophie's Star Wars curiosity has been satisfied with books and toys like that M&M's light saber.

When we were listening to the music yesterday, the kids were really pumped up, talking about how Luke and Leia are twins like them.  If I play this just right, my intentions for their 2016 Halloween costumes just might happen!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Michael Putyourpantson

While both kids have said they're looking forward to going back to school when this break is over, I believe Michael is going to be pretty bummed about having to wear actual clothes again.  Of course, I'll feel the same.  Who is it that gets to determine whether or not yoga pants and t-shirts are professional attire?  I'd like to have a chat.


Michael's preferred "outfit" these days, his undies and Planes blanket, goes quite a bit beyond casual.  We find jeans, sweatpants, and PJ's randomly discarded in the bathroom, the hall, the playroom, wherever he's been hanging out, earning him the new nickname of Michael Putyourpantson. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Man v. Floor

1/366 Man v. Floor

Mike spent the first day of 2016 installing the last of the hardwood flooring to go on our main floor.   Starting this year by checking a major project off of our home improvement list and seeing a significant transformation complete makes me optimistic about 2016.  While this is just a floor, it represents much more to us--the days at work that paid for this improvement, the years of planning and envisioning, the skill and sweat that Mike put into making this house our home.  This is a good start, a very good start.

You might have noticed that there is another beginning at work here.  I am embarking upon another photo-a-day project. I know I'm going to get backed up in this project, but I want to stay true to taking one photo from each day and publishing it at least within the week.

Like last year, I'll post these photos on this blog, in my Flickr album, and on Instagram.  Since this post is also home improvement related, I'm also publishing it on Living in During.

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