what not to wear

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Somewhere along the way, we had a conversation about desert nomads and headwear.

This is what she does. She memorizes and reenacts her favorite books, sometimes in the aisle of the grocery store. She assaults us with questions, an endless stream all day long -- how do people live in the desert? -- and she listens eagerly to our answers, or, if we say we don't know, she crafts her own explanations.

She absorbs every morsel of information that's fed to her, stows it away, and then, at some later time we see her imagination take over.

Like today. It's 113 degrees outside, and she insists on wearing a blanket on her head to protect her from the sun. 

I can't convince her to take it off... but thankfully, very soon, we're heading to a place that's much cooler. We're escaping to the mountains, that sacred place. I'll be posting while we're on the road -- tips for traveling with toddlers, fun activities, outdoor adventures and more. Keep an eye on the blog the next few weeks!




happy 40th anniversary, Title IX

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Loved this video, and so did B.

"back when I was a boy..."

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Teaching Miles how to make a phone call the old fashioned way.


i scream

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Item #2 on our summer to-do list: make ice cream.

You know, I could craft a poignant story here about how my kids helped me measure all the ingredients, how they waited patiently while the fancy ice cream maker churned the cream, sugar and milk into gooey bliss.

Maybe I'd even weave in some profound metaphor -- something about life's sweetness, simple pleasures, or the rewards of patience and teamwork. I'd inspire thousands of parents to drop what they're doing and make ice cream with their children!

No. No. No. That's not how things went. From the get-go, this shoulda-been simple project was total chaos. The kids fought over who would stir, they played tug-of-war with the measuring cups, leading to a volcano of sugar and milk cascading down my counters and cabinets. There were tears, complaints, and then they whined for 20 minutes that the machine didn't make the ice cream fast enough. When it was finally ready and I served it up, B complained that it wasn't chocolately enough, and as a consequence I took hers away.

The only part they DID enjoy was smashing up chocolate cookies to add in to the ice cream. Because how often does Mom say you can smash something to bits?

On the bright side, the hubs and I thoroughly enjoyed the ice cream...after the kids were in bed.




an ode to daddy

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overheard

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"When a balloon pops, it dies forever."

"You know, Mom, I like you. You're pretty cute."

"Mom, your job is to be my mommy and to write and make money. When I grow up bigger, my job is to have pets. I'm going to have a chipmunk, a bumble bee, a guinea pig, a fox, a friendly coyote -- you can come over and pet the coyote -- and a hamster and a little alligator. You can't pet the bumble bee, because it will sting you. But you can tickle its nose."

B saw me typing this, and so I asked her what she'd like to share with the blog readers today. She replied:

"Oh hi, hi, hi. I'm just a daughter, and I can't drive."

She also wants you to know she's not angry in this photo. She's just silly.

But I think we knew that already.

just peachy

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We created a summer to-do list, and at the top was picking peaches. Peaches ripen early here, so a few weeks ago we met up with friends at a local farm and the kids gathered a boxful of sweet, juicy bliss.

They picked 11 pounds, to be exact.

...which seemed like a lot, until we got the peaches home and I started browsing recipes. And then B ate 4 peaches in one sitting and asked for more.

Suddenly it became clear we had too few peaches. I had to settle on three recipes: peach jam, peach pie and peach sangria.


I'm especially excited about the homemade jam, which my friend Sarah inspired me to try. I'd never canned before, but it was fairly easy, once I read up on the hot water processing method. (Note: I used my largest stockpot and pasta rack instead of a canning pot.)  I ended up with a small-ish batch (6 jars), but am hopeful it will last us until fall....if B doesn't get her hands on the stash.

What are your favorite summer traditions?





this guy

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A reprieve from the heat, rolling in the grass, eating dirt, laughing 
until he falls over.

the best $5 I've spent

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This heavy duty plastic tub turns any table into a water play table for your kids.

So far, ours has been an ocean, a dinosaur habitat, a pony swimming pool, a Barbie beach, and a car wash/rock wash/toy wash. It's inspired hours of outdoor play, which is saying a lot given that we're already in triple-digit temps around here!

I found ours for $4.99 at the hardware store in the concrete/grout section.


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