Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Sofa Fort City {Sponsored by Wayfair}

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015


Our big (ugly) family room couch is one of those sausage-casing monstrosities, where all the cushions are attached, with built-in recliners and cup holders. It’s truly hideous. But while we’re in the “Oh my god where did you get that yogurt?!” stage of children, there’s no point in having NICE furniture, so I settled for comfy and functional in a beige color that hides dirt.

The biggest problem with that kind of couch (besides ugly) is that it’s pretty useless when it comes to couch forts, and couch forts are an essential part of childhood. Luckily, when I was trying to fancy-up our living room last year I found a nice mini-sized couch that a) is also a good dirt-hiding shade of beige and b) has two nice huge cushions that make an excellent fort wall. The kids LOVE that couch – it’s the perfect size for them to spread out and watch iPad, set up all the dolls into elaborate tableaus or just climb all over while they hit each other with lightsabers. Lovingly, obviously. Lovingly hit each other with lightsabers.

I got an email from Wayfair saying they put together some super cute sofa fort plans and asking if my kids would be interested in building one. They even sent a super cozy Lush throw blanket to get us started. Check out their fun ideas:

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We chose the Dreadship Blanket and got to work rearranging the furniture, finding supplies and collecting throw blankets and pillows.

Real life talk: This is what passes for “super clean and organized” in our living/play room. It’s half grown-up, finished space (art! mirrored table! fireplace! throw pillows!) and half kid zone (toys! more toys! even more toys!!!). Please ignore the photobombing cat.

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And here’s what happened when we created our own Dreadship Blanket:

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We left the fort up for a week before I wanted my living room back for a grown up event, but pretty much any time they want to rebuild a couch fort I’m on board. It’s the kind of fun, creative, independent play that ends up with about 80% cooperation and only 20% screaming at each other. In case you don’t have multiple kids, those are REALLY good percentages.

Thank you again Wayfair for the fun idea!

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My Week(262) in iPhone Photos

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

Alternate title: The first week after the time change so all my photos are dark and blurry because I haven’t gotten used to the sun setting at 4:30. I’m going to schedule a nice, colorful, sunny photo post to go up tomorrow morning because this is too depressing to leave at the top of the blog for long.



They both love this




Putting the kids to work making a pie they refused to eat



Toddlers on the loose


Riding the dog like a small horse is frowned upon in this establishment!


Stupid time change



Why look at fish when you can hang out in the aquarium reading area?


$3 worth of dead fish make the stingrays way more fun


The force is strong with this one



He’s plotting how to knock the largest number of things off the shelves


While the sun is up the weather is GORGEOUS


Poor ear infection girl



Matching leggings 4 life


MUCH needed nap time


Super ambitious sewing plans (so far so good)



Wearing two babies instead of one


Suspicious baby is suspicious


Sleeping like he’s posed for a newborn photo





Bacon crackers. So simple. so delicious.


Playing cards is my favorite

I was really confused when I realized today is November 8th, which means November is 1/4th over already. HOW is that POSSIBLE? As ready as I am for Christmas decorating, I’m not actually ready for Christmas. I still have to plan Thanksgiving and Caroline’s birthday, schedule our family pictures, order Christmas cards, and buy all the presents. Plus E has a bunch of travel for work, which means I’ll be doing it alone. At least that means I can have cereal for dinner along with the kids.

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Sunday, October 25th, 2015

I was going to do this an hour ago but then I decided to watch The Walking Dead and (no spoilers) now I don’t  really feel like it. EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE.



Ok, sure, I GUESS you can bring that birthday party snack in the car




Sunsets this week have been amazing



He would sleep in a mountain of blankets


I let Evan walk to the end of the street to put something in the mailbox and he was really excited


Being a big kid



A murder of crows, circling the bus stop.


He’s reaching for a leaf in my hand, he doesn’t actually know how to look at a camera


This is their new favorite game



This was outside my house all day, and after a lot of peeking out the windows to see what happened I think the elderly man who rented the apartment in that house passed away. So not interesting, just super sad.


Bare feets


Being a scary ghost



View from Bluff Point


View from Avery Point


Very nicely sharing the Panera buzzer



Toddler friends


It was VERY COLD by the ocean for my evening session


Even my husband got this right, and he doesn’t even care about my garden



The faerie village was amazing


Oh ok, go ahead and look 15



I am seriously drowning in photography work, which is both good (yay money! yay doing a thing I love!) and bad (my house is a disaster! we have no food!). I have a dress I need to return – by mail! I don’t even have to go to the store! – and it’s been sitting on my table for a week because remembering to put it in a package is too much. I suppose I could stop planning any fun fall stuff for the family and JUST take care of my messy house and grocery shopping, but that doesn’t sound fun either.

Just a couple more weeks and then it will be way too cold for anyone to want photos…right?

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Have I Mentioned I Love Fall?

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

On Sunday morning, we participated in the Mystic Pirate Invasion. We did it last year too and the kids had a blast, Maybe next year I will plan ahead and find them pirate costumes that fit instead of cobbling together dress up from the last 4 years. They got a ton of treasure (candy + beads + plastic gem stones) and I got my 10,000 steps. Linc was strapped to my back (in our pirate/kraken themed carrier, obvs) the whole time, his pirate outfit went mostly unnoticed.

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Look! Linc is in a picture!

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Scary pirate faces.

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Caroline felt is was VERY important that puppy come with us. The child-sized baby carrier was supposed to just be a toy but now it means I don’t end up carrying around the thing she insisted we bring and then loses/drops/wants me to hold. TOTALLY worth $30.

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After we ran home and switched to regular person clothes, we headed to WeLiKit ice cream for their 25th anniversary celebration. A friend told me about the ice cream stand over the summer and I have to agree it is some of the BEST ice cream I’ve ever had. And what can be better than a waffle cone that is so fresh it’s still soft and warm when you eat it? It was a tiny bit on the chilly side for ice cream, but the kids did so much running around and general shenaniganery they were plenty warm.

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Watching the waffle cone making. Obviously an ice cream stand is the best place to also buy beef.

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Indian pudding, my new favorite flavor. It’s molasses and corn meal and if you think that sounds gross we can’t be friends.

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p.s. They also sell clam fritters and chowder. Does it sound like the perfect place or what?!

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And because I was so happy to be outside after a week of rain, I talked Caroline into playing model for a few minutes. I bought a set of Lightroom presets from Mastin Labs. They’re based on film (remember film????) and while I’m not going to switch over to ALL Mastin, all the time they are gorgeous. I love what they do to greens and shadows. The ones in her tutu were taken in the parking lot of Scotland town hall. The rest were in my yard.

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Parenting in Public Is About 75% Nodding And Smiling

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

When you are in a public or semi-public space with your child/ren, people are going to talk to you about those children. And when strangers talk to you in public, they have a tendency to say some really stupid things. Try to remember that 99.99999% of the time they are just talking to you because you are there and their mouths are capable of forming words. I am an expert at having people talk to me because I haven’t yet learned the art of making absolutely no eye contact. Also, my children like strangers (I’m pretty sure they were switched at birth. All of them. Individually.)  So when Grandma Grabbyhands starts petting Caroline’s hair, instead of screaming “STOP TOUCHING ME STRANGE LADY”, Caroline insists on chatting about how she’s four and a half and loves horses and goes to school and one time on the bus her friend Michael threw up right on the floor.

Here is a brief list of things strangers might say to you in public that make you do the slow double blink. Remember, none of these things are personal. They would probably say them to a brick wall if the wall appeared to be listening:

  • Calling your boy a girl or your girl a boy. Your beautiful little girl could be wearing a pink, sparkled, ruffled gown with high heels and full make-up, her long curly hair braided and tied in bows and holding a giant flashing sign that says “I AM A GIRL”…and some lady at the grocery store is still going to say “He’s so sweet, what’s his name?” I promise this is not what is going to send your kids to therapy, so just smile a nod and say “Matilda Jane”. Then you can laugh and point as she struggles to comprehend why you would name your son Matilda. Or maybe don’t laugh and point, just stick with the smiling and nodding.
  • Saying “Wow, you sure have your hands full!” You probably, literally, do not. Most parents I know cannot parent without at least one free hand so we have found a whole list of ways to keep them available: babywearing, carts, strollers, leashes, whatever. This is just stranger-talk for “I see you have some small children in your vicinity”. Non-responses to this comment include: “Yep, children are a blessing”, “I sure do!”, “Really, it’s not so bad” or the perennial favorite: JAZZ HANDS while you nod and smile.
  • Making completely arbitrary comments over your child’s physical attributes that are probably wrong. Someone looks at your child who is in the 3rd percentile for height and says “She’s so tall!” Or they see your 99th percentile in the grocery store and say “What a little peanut!”. These are just words people are saying because they want to make a comment. They might as well  say “She is wearing blue!” or “Your baby has feet!” Unless you are at a medical doctor during a medical doctor appointment and it’s the medical doctor who looks at your very small child and says “What a chub!”, do not react. Nod and smile.
  • Asking you if the baby is sleeping through the night. THIS IS A TRICK QUESTION. They do not care if your baby is sleeping through the night. What they want to do is tell you about their baby or their cousin’s baby or their hairdresser’s nephew’s mailman’s baby who either a) started sleeping through the night at 4 days old, b) still doesn’t sleep through the night at 10 years old, or c) refused to take this stranger’s advice and now their baby is broken. Do not waste your time forming a truthful and accurate answer. They are not listening. Just said “Mostly!” and then nod and smile during what is sure to be a fascinating story.
  • Giving you ridiculous or outdated advice. Again, unless it’s your pediatrician telling you a little Jack Daniels is the perfect cure for teething pain, nod and then smile and then nod some more to disguise the fact that your eyeballs just rolled out of your head. (If it is your pediatrician, may I gently suggest you look for a new one?) These people will insist that they raised children who have survived to adulthood, which means you should do everything they did or your children will diiiiiiiie.


I know it can be really really hard to simply nod and smile all the time. When the people doing these things are inescapable – because you are trapped next to them on a bus or because you live with them – it is incredibly frustrating. But I promise you, 90% of the time they are not being malicious, they are just talking because at some point human beings evolved the ability to speak and they are afraid if they don’t use that ability as much as possible they will lose it.

Nod and smile. Nod and smile.

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