mmmm, marshmallows

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On Memorial Day, we had a little campfire in our backyard and Kris introduced B to the joy of roasting marshmallows. She was wary at first, but one taste of the warm gooey sweetness was all she needed. She smiled at Kris as if to say, "Dada, these are AMAZING. You've been holding out on me all this time?!"

Adventure Resume: Mt. Sanitas

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Hiking Dakota Ridge Trail before age 2? She is her father's daughter.

New Mama

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This robin took up residence by our front door and her eggs hatched this week. B and I sat and watched them gobble down some dinner tonight. We'll be using the back door for a while :)

Bubbles

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Surefire way to cheer up a grumpy toddler.

Thievery

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Toddler property laws are pretty simple. Perhaps you've heard them before:

1. If I like it, it's mine.

2. If it's in my hand, it's mine.

3. If I can take it from you, it's mine.

4. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.

5. If it's mine, it can't ever appear to be yours in any way.

6. If it just looks like it's mine, it is mine.

Still, the first time you witness your little angel ruthlessly grabbing a toy out of another kid's hands, it's like a punch in the gut.

My kid is a thief. Next steps: Pilfering a pack of gum at the grocery store, swiping cash out of my wallet to buy beer, and hot-wiring cars.

Backyard Makeover

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Today, a 5-year-long dream of Kris and mine came true. We have a backyard that we L-O-V-E. Now, I know this might sound melodramatic. It's only a yard, and we're not the type of people who spend hours grooming our hedges and plucking every dandelion. But, we bought this house largely because of the expansive backyard that backs to a small patch of open space. In a neighborhood full of postage-stamp yards that back up to other postage-stamp yards, our yard is enviable.

What we didn't know (since it was winter when we bought the house) was that our back yard consisted of weeds and not grass. And not just any old weeds, but GOAT HEADS. For you readers back East, goat heads are the plague. They spread like an alien vine across the ground and spit out the nastiest, sharpest, thumbtack-like seeds that impale your feet, often through the soles of your shoes.

What we also didn't know when we moved in was that the previous owners kept chickens in the backyard...but that's another story.

In short: To walk around our yard was to navigate a mine field. Ollie tolerated the pain, but the moment B started toddling around back there, she got thorns in her feet and her hands, and she cried. And she quickly learned to say "owie!" So this week, we finally brought in some professionals to obliterate the whole yard and start over. They tilled and pulled out all the old weeds, laid new topsoil, laid new rock borders, shrunk the lawn space (to conserve water) and laid a blanket of lush, weed-free sod that we can walk barefoot in.

Now would be a good time to insert some before-and-after photos. And I will, but they don't do the job justice. The first photo Kris took about a year ago. He pulled all the goat heads out of this lone patch of grass so that B could sit comfortably:



And here's a photo from today (note the lush, weed-free grass). Really, you should just come over and take your shoes off and see for yourself.

Beer Gut, 17 weeks

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Mother's Day

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This morning, Kris got B up so that I could sleep in. I woke up at my leisure, hopped in the shower, and when I stepped out, there was a latte sitting on the vanity, fresh from my favorite coffee shop. Next to that, a glass of ice water. (I've been dehydrated and have had to avoid coffee as a result...so this was a special treat.) And next to the water, a fresh-cut tulip that B picked from our yard.

But the best part? After I got ready and came downstairs...this is the scene I encountered:



My two favorite people were on the couch, reading books, playing, and laughing together. To me, no gift is more precious.

A Girl And Her Dog

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We had a request for more Ollie photos. Just to prove that we still love our bastard child, here is a couple recent shots. Of course, Bronwynn loves Ollie most of all.





Airing the Dirty Laundry

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Actually, this is a photo of CLEAN laundry. A whole first trimester's worth of laundry for three people, to be exact. If you've been to visit us recently, you have not been invited upstairs, and this is why.

This is what happens when Mama is nauseous and exhausted for 3 months. I felt like I should tell you, because there seems to be a myth circulating that women can work, raise children, grow new babies in their wombs, and still manage to cook and keep clean houses. It's just NOT TRUE (I know you probably know a woman who you *think* can do this, but she's probably taking her kid's Ritalin).

When I was feeling sick, I was barely able to take care of myself and Bronwynn, let alone any household chores. Kris, who really is a superhero, picked up the slack almost everywhere...except laundry. He doesn't do laundry. (It was in our marriage vows.) So as I've been feeling better, I've been washing as many loads as possible every day, assembly-line style, and piling the clean stuff in our loft/library.

I learned this technique from my friend Elizabeth, who has successfully raised 4 teenagers. Although, I'm fairly sure that Elizabeth managed to get it all folded and put away within the first 24 hours or so. My mountain has been growing for well over a week.

The sad part is that I have another 3 loads to go...

Field Trip

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Bronwynn has been showing an interest in bugs lately, so this weekend we took a little field trip to the butterfly pavilion. She fell in love with the tarantulas, and it took everything in me not to cry "eeeewwww" and steer her away.



Once we got into the butterfly exhibit, she trembled with delight. I had been telling her the entire 25-minute car ride that we were going to see butterflies. But clearly, she had no way to imagine just HOW MANY butterflies we were talking about. And they were REAL. Most of the time, she just stared in awe, like this:



When she held out her hand, a pretty blue one landed on her:



Then, they released new butterflies into the room, and dozens were floating and flapping all around us, which scared her a little...she clung to my leg:



...but as the new butterflies dispersed, she ran off chasing them, pointing, and yelling "fly! fly!":

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