Posts Tagged ‘reading’

My Week(297) in iPhone Photos

Monday, July 11th, 2016

This summer is going by really fast. I’m mostly ok with that (because at the end I get a baby!) but I’m starting to feel the pressure of doing-all-the-fun-things-quick-before-we-run-out-of-time.

Sunday:

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Man, I hate when the beach is crowded

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WHAT CHA EATIN MOM??

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Spying on my children who are playing nicely

Monday:

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Patriotic New England Children

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Counting frogs

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Shut down the lake at 8 pm

 

Tuesday:

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Really excited about Seaport Camp

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You baby judges you

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Evening swim

Wednesday:

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More playing nicely. Have they been body snatched?!

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Private Seaport

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The lake is the only thing keeping us all from dying of heatstroke

Thursday:

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Trying to sit in my lap

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Naps

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Reading time

Friday:

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Less hot, still at the lake

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Caroline telling us about her favorite boat, which is a party boat because she likes parties

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One month until her recital!

Saturday:

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Went for a walk to look for Pokemon

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Linc likes to give hugs

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Game night!

 

All my photos this week are going to be of Pokemon, because the kids are always carrying my phone around and it’s hard to take iPhone photos when I don’t have control of my iPhone. But I’m not really mad, Evan is super good at catching them. Priorities.

 

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Sunday, February 21st, 2016

This was one of those weeks where when I look back at the pictures from Monday I can’t believe it was less than a week ago. The long weekend on top of all our regular activities plus a busy work week for E meant I spent a lot of time in the car, a lot of time with all 3 kids and a lot of time wearing leggings.

Sunday:

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That looks comfortable.

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NOT OK

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Happy Valentine’s Day?

Monday:

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I abandoned my children to video games

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…and whatever this mess is…

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…to take VERY IMPORTANT PICTURES

Tuesday:

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Of course the morning we have plans is the morning he sleeps in

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They are way too big for that cart

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I let him play on my phone during Caroline’s ballet and found a dozen of these.

Wednesday:

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Yes dear, your toes are very dirty, I see.

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KEEP DOING THIS

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I swear I feed him, he just really wanted cake

Thursday:

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That’s his eating seat

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SNUGGLES

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Check out my leggings I will never wear again because I ripped a HUGE HOLE across the butt. In public.

Friday:

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My toddler + extra ginger toddler = a game where they jump off chairs

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Linc INSISTED he needed to wear these boots to the grocery store

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He also insisted on helping me drive while we waited outside Caroline’s piano lesson

Saturday:

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Just when I was ready to pass on the trains, everyone loves trains again

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New hair color

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NEW FIT BIT!!! All my walking COUNTS AGAIN!!

 

I swear I washed those leggings in between days I wore them. I also washed that grey sweater. Twice. Because I’m wearing it again right now. I’m pretty ready for spring so I can start wearing dresses with cardigans again instead of JUST leggings. Although I’ll probably still wear a lot of leggings.

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Sunday, December 13th, 2015

Caroline’s 5th birthday party is DONE! Today, she and I went to see The Nutcracker done by the ballet company where she takes ballet. Next Saturday, on her actual birthday, we’re going on the Polar Express to see Santa at the North Pole. I’d say she’s turning 5 absolutely in style. This last week was crazy but now it’s over and all I have left on the to do list is wrap one million presents before Christmas.

Sunday:

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Tree decorating at church

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Making lemon curd

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They look so nice, but they’re terrors

Tuesday:

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E’s favorite method of babywearing

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Trying to see how close he can stand to the edge without falling off

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So, Many. Desserts.

Wednesday:

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Santa baby thinks he looks HILARIOUS

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PARTY MENU PREVIEW

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Never tired of looking at our tree

Thursday:

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So dark, no one wants to get up in the morning

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Who needs a coat, it’s only DECEMBER.

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Grandparents are so good at reading

Friday:

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The day started a little foggy

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But the sunset was pretty spectacular

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Like I said, grandparents are super good at reading

Saturday:

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Babies are very helpful when it comes to setting up bounce houses

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DECEMBER BIRTHDAY IN NEW ENGLAND WHAT

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Such a super fun day with my girl!

Because my parents are the best, almost all of the party stuff is already cleaned up and my only job is eating leftovers. And maybe making time in my schedule for some exercise, because it’s too nice outside for me to already gain my winter hibernation weight. I should go jog on the beach or something. As much as I love the idea of a White Christmas, the longer it stays mild the lower our heating bill and the less school the kids miss and I don’t want to sell them to the circus.

Stay tuned for an epic party post – the photos are done so all I have to do is get them (and the links to alllll the places I ordered from) into a post!

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The Book Of Strange Coincidences

Friday, November 1st, 2013

One of the things I love about my iPhone is the ability to buy and ready instant eBooks. I read myself to sleep at night, sometimes for 2 minutes, sometimes for an hour.  I like long books or series so I don’t have to keep remembering new characters (which is hard, when I fall asleep in the middle of every chapter). I read all the Anne of Green Gables books (free!) and all the Sherlock Holmes books (also free!) plus all the Game of Thrones books and all the Stephanie Plum novels and a bunch of young adult appocolyptic end of the world type stuff. I don’t really have a TYPE, just a general rule that I don’t read anything that requires more than 10% of my brain at any given time.

This week I finished my end-of-the-world-secret-Nazi-plot-wormhole-through-time-and-space book (it was called The Atlantis Gene, it wasn’t terrible but the rest of the series isn’t written yet so no real ending) and I started skimming the Kindle lists for a new book. I stumbled across a book called Lowcountry Boil, and since a) lowcountry boil is delicious and b) it was 99 cents I bought it. I like books set in the south and the description said it was a mystery which is one of the genres I almost always enjoy.

So I started reading the book. I can’t spoil it for you, because I am only a couple chapters into it, but I NEED TO TELL YOU ABOUT WHY IT IS FREAKING ME OUT.

It started with normal coincidence stuff. The main character is 31 years old and I am 31 years old! (Unimpressive, lots of people are 31 years old.)

The main character’s childhood best friend – who returns as a ghost – is named Colleen and MY childhood best friend is named Colleen! (Still not impressed, since it’s a fairly common name and also real-life Colleen is very much alive and I think even reads here sometimes so maybe she can confirm she really existed.)

The main character starts in Greenville, South Carolina but goes home to an island off Charleston and visits lots of Charleston places. I went to college in Charleston and recognize a lot of her locations! (Eh, lots of people like Charleston. And I bought the book knowing “lowcountry” was in the title, so I shouldn’t be surprised.)

The main character is named Elizabeth (which is not my name) but her middle name is Suzanne (which IS my name). OK, that was the point where I messaged Amy and said “THIS BOOK WAS MEANT FOR ME! IT’S BOOK FATE!”

And then I read one more chapter, in which the Elizabeth Suzanne (who is a private investigator) starts investigating things. She’s looking into the town council and the mayor, who is named Lincoln. Lincoln is my grandfather’s name! Not a super common name, but not unheard of. AND THEN she mentions the mayor’s wife is named Mildred. Which is my grandmother’s name. The one married to Lincoln, in my real actual life. Those are my real actual grandparents, Lincoln and Mildred and also two of her supporting characters in a book about a 31-year old named (Liz) Suzanne in South Carolina with a childhood best friend named Colleen.

TOO MUCH! I mean, no, it isn’t. It’s not like ANY of the story applies to my life in any way. It’s just the framework is full of random coincidences that makes me feel like this book ending up on my kindle IS fate.

I Googled the author and she went to my college (at this point, I’m not surprised) but not at the same time as I did. I think I’m going to social media stalk her a little, just out of curiosity. Maybe she’s somehow related to me on my mother’s side? Or we rode on an airplane together?? I’m going to keep reading, since it’s a really good book so far, but at this point I have to stop looking for MORE similarities. OMG, the main character likes coffee and I like coffee! She finds the ocean relaxing and I find the ocean relaxing!!!! She walks on two feet and I walk on two feet!!!!!!!!

I’ll definitely let you know if she ends up married to a guy named Evan and with two ginger children. Then I might get suspicious.

(This random is brought to you by not enough sleep and way too much Halloween candy.)

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A Western Massachusetts Fairy Tale (With An Appearance by Mo Willems)

Monday, July 15th, 2013

I love people. I don’t often feel that way – and the news from the last few weeks has made it more of an act of willpower than an easy truth – but after our experience on Saturday my faith is restored. There are plenty of people who are good and kind and willing to go above and beyond to help others, and it was sheer luck those are the people who I ran into at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

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Giant hallway art

We are huge, huge Mo Willems fans in our house. It wasn’t love at first sight (I was a little baffled by Knuffle Bunny the first time I read it and also super annoyed no one could tell me if the “K” was silent*) but once Evan and then Caroline were old enough to help choose our bedtime reading selections Mo quickly became a favorite. We have all three Knuffle Bunnies and several Pigeon books at home, and almost always include at least one Mo Willems in our library picks. When I heard he was going to be at the Eric Carle Museum on one of our rare weekends home (we missed the last one) I knew we had to make the drive.

E was working, as usual, so I packed up and we made the 90 minute drive early Saturday, getting to the museum seconds before they opened the doors at 10 am. Right as we hit the ticket counter I realized my wallet wasn’t in my bag. It was one of those moments where you can literally feel the universe split into two separate paths – one where I was smart and double-checked my bag before I left home or stopped for gas in town or went through the drive thru for a coffee 10 minutes from home and realized my mistake, and one where I was and idiot there in Massachusetts, without my money or credit cards or debit card or driver’s license or military ID or anything. I didn’t have anything. Idiot.

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Can you believe this idiot?!

The woman greeting people at the door saw me rummaging frantically through my bag and asked if I was OK. I told her my wallet wasn’t in my camera bag but I might have it in the car. I grabbed the kids and we ran back out, even though I knew it was pointless. I knew exactly where my wallet was: on the end table next to my laptop where I left it after I used my credit card online the night before. Standing next to the car with two kids staring at me I made another universe-splitting decision. Instead of calling the day a wash and heading for home, I headed back into the museum.

I didn’t have much of a plan at that point. I vaguely thought maybe they would accept a business card and an IOU for the admission fee (which wasn’t very much but was more than the nothing I had) and we could just forgo buying the big pile of books I had promised the kids from the gift shop. We had one book from home, so at least we could still get SOMETHING signed. Or maybe they could just give me one of the line passes they were handing out – I could make it home and back in 3 hours, which was still in time for the 2 pm signing but I was worried they would run out of tickets. But before I could even offer one of those as an option, the lady who had asked if I was OK was standing next to me, giving my kids pigeon tattoos and reassuring me we could figure something out.

I used to be the kid who cried in class any time a teacher even LOOKED at me harshly, so it’s not surprising I cried while I explained we were far from our house and I didn’t know anyone in Massachusetts and my husband was working and I just didn’t want to let the kids down so…. The lady, Rebecca, said they would be happy to take a credit card over the phone if there was someone I could call. Thank God my mother picked up on the 5th ring and said of COURSE she’d cover my admission. Rebecca suggested they write down the number and she would put it in a safe place so I could use it later in the gift shop to buy our books and my mom agreed. Mom asked if I was going to be able to get home without money – did I have enough gas? – and I assured her I could make it home (and I did, with 1/8th of a tank left). So lucky.

After handling everything for me smoothly and calmly and in the very kindest way possible, Rebecca handed me two free lunch coupons, good for one item from the food truck outside and said if I needed drinks she would buy us some. She explained now that I was inside all the events and crafts were free and she would be there all day and I should feel free to come find her if I needed anything, so I was just supposed to go and have a good time. And we did. We had an amazing time.

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Pigeon tattoo! I have one too.

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When I went to the book store to buy our books, I was nervous about explaining my credit-card-on-a-piece-of-paper-somewhere-behind-the-counter to the cashier, but as soon as I opened my mouth and said “I, uh…” she knew who I was and rang it up no problem (Mom, I’m paying you back ASAP). While the kids and I were playing, another staffer came up and asked if I had gotten everything worked out, then offered me cash for the drive home, since if she was traveling with kids she’d be nervous in my situation (I declined, but it was an amazing offer). When I went to get our 2 free lunch items, the girl in the truck gave us hot dogs and chips and drinks. Everyone else we talked to the entire day was kind and helpful and friendly and just…amazing. I don’t know if Rebecca got the entire staff together at some point and said “See that woman with the two ginger kids? She’s kind of an idiot, so be extra nice to her” or if everyone in Amherst, Massachusetts is just inherently a good person, but it felt like we were getting extra special treatment. I mean, we WERE getting special treatment. Everyone else had to bring their monies to get in.

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After we spent 4 hours enjoying the yard and crafts and movies and pigeon wall and chalk and library and story time and the museum galleries, we stood in the very first general admission line to get our book(sssss) signed.  It went quickly and was beautifully organized but the kids were kind of at the end of their ropes (Evan: I want to go HOOOOME. Caroline: I don’ wanna go HOOOOOOOME.) and I had used up all my threats and bribes and promises and was just hoping to get out without embarrassing myself even more than I already had. But we got up to where we could see Mo and the kids first perked up and then totally flipped out that he was RIGHT THERE! He looks like the dad from Knuffle Bunny! Mo! It’s MO! My friend MO! When it was our turn, someone took my camera to snap pictures, Rebecca opened all our books to the best signing page, and Mo drew a little picture in every one of our books. The kids watched him draw and shouted “Dinosaur!” or “Piggie!” and finally “PIGEON! IT’S THE PIGEON!!” I just stood there grinning like an idiot. It was great.

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All these are a little out of focus (the camera was on auto because I handed it to someone else and it focused on the sculpture in the background) but the kids look so happy I don’t even care.

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As we were leaving, I stopped by to thank Rebecca (who I think might be the Director of Development based on some website stalking, but I can’t be sure – I never got her last name) for being so helpful and saving our day. You know what she said to me? “You’re such a good mom.” The person who forgot her wallet, cried at the ticket booth, couldn’t stop her children from running and being loud, hissed at and threatened them in line, and was now a big, sweaty, exhausted mess. A good mom. Then she hugged me.

I cried in the car on the way home, but not because I was an idiot but because my faith in humanity had been renewed. It was a really awesome day.

I’m going to write a more concise, less rambling version of this and send it to the email addresses listed on The Carle’s website, since I’m not sure who to thank. And when I get my pennies from last month’s blog advertising I’m going to be buying a membership to show my support (the museum is a non-profit who relies on memberships and donations). Plus I’ll be buying the next year’s worth of birthday and Christmas gifts for everyone I know from their gift shop. It’s one of those instances when Pay It Forward doesn’t seem like enough, but I’m sure going to try.

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#HappyBirthdayPigeon!

*In the cute little animated film version, it was pronounced “Nuffle”, which made me very happy.

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