Good girl

5 Feb

Michaela accompanied me to the doctor today. I had to have some lab work done and she spent the whole time chatting with the extremely friendly and competent tech who took my blood. Michaela told her all about how I need to eat more spinach (test was to see if/why I’m anemic) and how she LOVES broccoli. They chatted about carrots (“I LOVE carrots! Especially carrot smoothies!”) and Michaela told her she’d asked me if we could go to the library when we were done.

The tech turned to me and said, “She loves carrots and broccoli and is begging to go to the library? Good job, Mom!” I was super proud, not because of the external validation (though that was nice), but because I do feel like Michaela is growing up to be a good person, which has become one of my main goals in life.

What do you want on your tombstone?

25 Jan

“Mom, do you know what these are?”

2016-01-25 19.26.59-1

“Umm… Our tombstones?”

“What’s a tombstone?”

“Never mind. What are they?”

“They’re us! I’m going to draw our faces.”


Good Skin

19 Jan

Last time I was at the hair salon, my stylist told me I have good skin. I started to protest– I get blemishes like everyone else, even now in my 30s (ugh). Then I realized, when she said I have “good skin,” she didn’t mean clear skin. She meant relatively wrinkle-free skin. I am now so old that there’s a whole new definition of “good.” Oy.

I’ll take it, though!

Chef-Scientist in Training

18 Jan

2016-01-18 11.11.15

Big Girl Playroom

18 Jan

One of the most exciting things about our house, when we moved in nearly three years ago, was having a separate playroom for Michaela. At our old house, her stuff was divided between the living room and her bedroom; here, she has a whole room for her toys, dollhouse, play kitchen, stuffed animals, etc.

Originally, we bought foam alphabet tiles to cover the playroom floor. We moved the cutouts from Michaela’s baby room into the playroom and got a set of rainbow curtains for the room’s entrance. It was a lovely space– she enjoys playing in there and Mike and I enjoy her stuff being out of sight!

A friend called today asking if we wanted a couple of kid’s rugs. I said sure, and that’s how I found myself spending hours today cleaning Michaela’s playroom. It was filthy. I have to admit, we don’t do a good job of making Michaela keep the playroom very neat and tidy.

I took all her stuff off the shelving unit (which you can see here) and started making piles: keep, trash, and get rid of.

The keep stuff, I set aside.

The trash stuff, I tossed straight into our giant outside trash can.

Michaela has a hard time getting rid of things, even if she doesn’t use them much anymore, so the deal with the “get rid of” pile was that we’d talk together about if we should keep or donate it.

Slowly but surely I worked my way through the room. I through out a lot of stuff. I made a pretty good sized pile of things to get rid of. Eventually, with Mike’s help, I cleared EVERYTHING out of the room. The dollhouse, the kitchen, the tubs of dress-up clothes, the shelving unit… the alphabet tiles.

After scrubbing the floor and letting it dry, I put in the rugs and started converting the playroom from a little girl’s room into a kindergartener’s room. I made a little book for Michaela to sit and read, reconfigured the shelving unit so there’s space for Michaela’s millions of art supplies, and moved some of the big items around.

(Looking north)

2016-01-18 19.59.57


(Looking south)



2016-01-18 20.51.38

Michaela was thrilled! When she saw it, she exclaimed, “Mom! It looks like a big girl’s playroom!” She insisted we read her bedtime story there tonight.

I want to get her a comfy chair for her reading nook, and put some more art on the walls. (Mike and I asked her if she wanted to take down the animal figures that we brought from her baby room and the answer was an emphatic no.)

The real question is, will the kindergartener’s playroom be any easier to keep clean than the little girl’s? Fingers crossed!

Caught in the act

18 Jan

When I went to put Michaela to bed tonight, I found her already laying there with a book tucked into her shirt. I took it from her, kissed her goodnight, and left.

Fast forward ten minutes and Mike pulled me aside to tell me he’d gone to kiss Michaela goodnight and found her under the covers, reading.

Michaela loves being read to but hasn’t, until now, been terribly keen to read to herself. Maybe (hopefully) that’s changing!

Now, therefore, be it resolved…

1 Jan

Mike, Michaela and I eat out a lot. A LOT. We spent about $3,500 on restaurants in 2015, not including anything we paid for with cash or with our two other credit cards. That’s about $3.20 each, each day. Which is crazy, considering we also spent thousands of dollars on groceries!

That’s why I have resolved that in January 2016, we will eat dinner at home at least 20 times during the month. Hopefully we can not only save money, but also be healthier. And making dinner at home means leftovers for lunch, which is good for all of us!

Mike does 99.99% of our cooking, when we do cook, but I’m starting us off by cooking dinner tonight. Citrus rosemary whole chicken (minus the rosemary, because I forgot to go out to the garden to snip some) with roasted red potatoes and brussels sprouts. This is my first time ever cooking a whole chicken– I don’t even like to eat meat on the bone, let alone cook it!– so for me to make this is a testament to my commitment to this month-long resolution.

Bon appetit!

Goodbye, 2015

31 Dec

In lieu of a “Top 10 moments of 2015″ list or anything of that ilk, I’ve asked each member of the family to share their favorite moment(s) of 2015.


“Hmm… I liked the really good cookie celebration with Daddy at school. I liked in 2015 that we decorated the Christmas tree with lots of ornaments. I liked playing with Ashlan.  That’s probably about it.”

[Yeah, ’cause nothing else happened outside of the last couple of weeks.]


“I don’t know, what was yours, Mom?”


[This is why I write the blog, not Mike.]


“I loved our trip to Europe, and getting to see so much family here and other places (Mike’s bro and his family visiting in February; going to Colorado to see Mike’s mom and stepdad and extended family; going to Oklahoma for our annual trip to visit Mike’s dad, stepmom, and brothers; Thanksgiving with Mike’s aunt and uncle and their family; visits from Mike’s mom, stepdad, dad, and stepmom over a few weeks in December; plus our usual quality time with my parents). I loved watching Michaela learn and grow. She’s gotten so big and so smart and so interesting and funny! I loved seeing Mike’s business continue to evolve and grow. I was thrilled to put together a great team at work that’s going to kick butt and take names in 2016. And I read nearly 10 books this year!”

[Turns out this is a Top 10 list after all.]

Here’s to a great 2016!

Toothless Wonder

30 Dec

One week after losing one of her two top front teeth, Michaela lost the other one. Too late for Christmas but adorable nonetheless.

2015-12-29 11.06.10

Fun and games

28 Dec

Whenever Mike’s dad and stepmom visit, or when we visit them, we always play games. Now that Michaela is six, she’s expressed an interest in playing, too, leading to rousing post-Christmas games of Sorry, Suspend, War, and Spot It.


I can’t wait until she can play Boggle and Scrabble!


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