Houston, We Have a Problem


And that is- a six year old girl who loves horses and “horse riding”, and parents who aren’t quite committed to supporting the habit.

Monday kicked off a week of campapalooza around here. Chicken went to horse camp at the generous sponsorship of her Grandma and Grandpa. She is three days in and seems to adore every minute of it. I don’t know what we are going to do when camp ends on Friday. Sneak her over there for secret midnight rides?

She’s a few years from being helpful at the barn- which is how my sister eventually supported her own horse habit. We have quite the quandry, and in the meantime she is turning into a barn rat. Filthy clothes, muddy boots, spending the afternoon mucking stalls, and loving every single minute of it.

(I love that she loves it).

Monkey, meanwhile, headed off to “Science and Your Senses” camp. On the first day he dissected a cow eyeball! He reported that he and one other “sister” (maybe he doesn’t know to say “girl”?) were brave enough to touch it without gloves.

Ummm… yay?

Clearly this interest is not one I can support, either. I got sick just looking at the pictures from his day at camp.

On the upcoming agenda: moving one child off of thumb-sucking and potty training another. Could I really be looking at a respite from diapers, after six years straight? It can’t be possible.

Happy Day


This weekend felt like an instagram come-true. The weather was perfect for being outside. It was bug-free and the humidity was low. Watching fireworks on the 4th, I actually got chilly. Cool- on the 4th of July. I don’t think that has happened in a long time.

My kids played outside for most of the weekend. We hiked at Ivy Creek for a couple of hours on the 4th. I realized, sometime in the afternoon, that we had not even considered finding a parade somewhere. Nor were my kids wearing red, white, and blue.

I felt a little bummed; sort of guilty and missed-opportunity’ish. But then I remembered that my kids are not on facebook and will, therefore, not know what they’re missing. The bummed feeling passed.


After realizing I felt tired and lamenting the deep injustice of this (in my second trimester! I should feel like a million bucks) I realized I was going to bed late every night. So I’ve been getting in bed earlier and setting myself up for better sleep. It is the darndest thing. I’m not so tired anymore.

The kids are fun these days. The baby is in a screech-when-he’s-frustrated phase, but we are working on it and I know it will pass. I’m enjoying time with them so much that it brings up the whole homeschooling decision all over again. After a fun week together, like last week, I told my husband I lean toward keeping Chicken home again this coming year.

(This is a scale that tips easily in either direction, so expect a different leaning at any point).

Happy Monday, all!

Brain Dump

1. Where is that lovely burst of energy that is supposed to come with the second trimester? So far, it alludes me. This is very disappointing, to say the least.


Puffy morning eyes and stinky slippers, on the day of his surgery

2. Last week I remembered a detail from the morning of the Monkey’s surgery.

On that morning, this past December, he was lying on the table in his Thomas pj’s with his super-large Thomas slippers on. He was calm as he could be- I don’t think he knew or sensed to be worried or afraid. The anesthesiologist told us that the gas he would breath in would smell funny, so they would give him a choice of LipSmackers to rub around the opening of the mask. The LipSmackers’ smell would help cover up the weird gas smell.

I knew, before he chose it, what he would pick. Sure enough- watermelon. He loves watermelon. He was excited about watermelon. The anesthesiologist rubbed it all around the mask before she put it over his mouth and nose, and then he was asleep in seconds.

Something about remembering that just struck me. Little 3 year old kid, on the big table, everyone suited up around him; and him just picking out a watermelon LipSmacker like it is…nothing.

That memory. He’s just fully vulnerable and fully human, you know? Not a “brave little boy”, or a “poor sick kid”, or any other one-dimensional version of himself. Rather, a 3 year old, in big Thomas the Train slippers that make his feel smell terrible, picking out a LipSmacker flavor to mask the smell of the gas. Gah.

Remembering that was just so very sad, all over again. Small child. Big surgery. His participation. That was just a hard, hard thing.

3. We just returned from a long weekend at my dad’s house. Their house- the house that we lost, then rebuilt, and that I grew up in- is under contract. If all continues to move as planned, he and his wife will move to their new place next summer.

We got married in the front yard. My brother’s wedding reception was in the front yard. My mom’s memorial service reception was in the front yard. It will be weird (understatement) to see other people in that front yard one day.

4. But in the same vein, it is very weird to go home and not know my way around town anymore. There’s just been so much growth since I left.

We did a day trip to Harper’s Ferry and trying to find my way to Hillsboro through Purcellville about blew my mind. I was clueless. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to directions anyway, so all of the new neighborhoods and roads just defeated me soundly.

5. Today, as I was holding the baby in one arm and the diaper bag in the other, I watched as my two big kids stood in front of me and wrestled to open the locked door. I did the usual- shift the baby to the other side, fumble with my keys, and say “excuse me” until they (finally) moved to the side.

Ohhhh. It’s locked! Again! Just like last time! And we don’t have the keys! And mom has a baby who is trying to dive headfirst out of her arms! And we’re standing here- both of us- right in her way!

How often does this happen?

Every day. As many times as we come and go from the house.

Seriously, people.