Poor Jane

As John braved the chilly evening, swimming out into deeper water with the older girls, Jane and I ran in and out of the shallows.

But before too long the two of us were chilly and had moved on to playing in the sand. Digging holes, building castles…

Me: “Look Jane! Now it has water all around it, like a castle with a moat, or an island.”

Jane: ” NO! It’s a LIBRARY!!!”Jane smiling

Soon Jane was cold, not even a sand library could keep her by the water, and off she went to the play structure at the edge of the beach.

Jane was happily playing on the slide.

Ivy, Clara and John were happily swimming out in the cold water.

A young park employee was happily(?) using a tractor to haphazardly move picnic tables about.

I was happily sitting on the sand.

And then Jane erupted with screams of terror.

“MOM! MOM! I scared! MOM! I scared!

I ran to her side.

Jane pointed one little, shaking finger at the park employee, who was still bouncing about on a tractor, curly hair tucked under a bandanna, and cried:

“I scared of the pirate!!!”

Poor Jane. Jane worried

She was so scared of the pirate.

She was so scared and I, her rotten mother, could hardly keep it together long enough to calm her down before dissolving into a fit of giggles on the beach.

Poor Jane.

My Time

Ten o’clock has always been my time.

It’s the time of day I get a second, (or 45th) wind.

The time of day I’m awake, happy and with John on second shift and the kids in bed, blissfully alone.

It’s the time I bake cakes, decorate cookies, read book, write blogs, edit pictures, and often workout.

Yes, it’s a bit crazy to start a workout at ten pm. But there is nothing better than punching your cares away at the end of a tough day.

It's ridiculously difficult and silly to attempt to take a picture of yourself doing a Les Mills Combat workout. And just the sort of thing I like to do around ten o'clock!

It’s ridiculously difficult (my form here is terrible!) and silly to attempt to take a picture of yourself doing a Les Mills Body Combat workout… And just the sort of thing I like to do around ten o’clock!

For certain it’s insane to start to decorate a cake at ten. But it’s a much easier process without my band of helpers.

I do sometimes jot down ideas for a blog post during the day. But it’s not until I’m alone in the evening that I have the time and space to sit down at the computer and really write.

Ten o’clock is my time.

Which is why, on the nights that that youngest girl of mine shows her night owl tendencies, I get a touch irritable… perhaps a smidgen cranky.

I could pretend it’s because I know that if her sisters wake her up early she’ll be tired and difficult next morning. But if I’m being honest, I must admit I turn into a surly, jealous monster because that little girl is usurping my time.

Mama’s need their time.

And ten o’clock has always been my time.

I’m again linking up with Northwest Frame of Mind  and her 1 Day 1 World project. Click over to see what else was happening around the world in the ten o’clock hour



Moo! by David LaRochelle and Mike Wohnoutka


We are absolutely spoiled in our house.

Mike Wohnoutka is the brother-in-law of a good friend of mine and many of the books he has illustrated have shown up on our doorstep complete with cute inscriptions to the kids.



Moo! is funny, the pictures are, of course, adorable and it made me laugh. But when it really got good was when the kids started reading it to each other!

Would I recommend it? Yes. I know it sounds crazy but, trust me, there is nothing like listening to a kid talk “cow” to a policeman to brighten your day and and put a smile on your face!

Dear Brain,

Dear Brain,

I’m ever so grateful for all you do, however. However. We need to talk. It’s about sleeping- I know, I know. You don’t get enough. Believe me, as your body- I know.  But here is the thing Brain, I think if you actually tried at night we’d get much better sleep.

For instance, when it’s too hot.  I’ve already done the hard stuff. I’ve woken you up, diagnosed the problem and gotten the synapses firing. So could you please do something useful with those brain waves of yours? Throw off the covers. Open a window. Turn on the air conditioner. Anything!  I know you love John, I do too.  I’m all about snuggling but sometimes we need to let your emotional attachment relax for a few hours and run to the cooler side of the bed!

And so long as we are on the subject of temperatures, let’s talk about being cold. The blankets. They aren’t that far away. There is an entire chest full of extras just at the foot of the bed. So, smartypants brain, when we lose the blankets, could you please rouse yourself enough to find one!? I know – you feel that finding a blanket in the middle of the night is an insurmountable task.  But trust me, trying to sleep huddled under a pillow for warmth is also pretty damn difficult.

My other request, is admittedly, a bit harder. It involves the children. Yes, I know, don’t even start whining about how you deal with them all day, they are still our children all night long. And when they come down at night with their pointy elbows, tickley hair, nonstop talking and excessive body heat we need to remove them. Not just hide on the other side of the bed, because, perhaps you’ve noticed, they follow us there!  Brain, I have done the pregnant thing- three times. Ditto on the nursing and the co-sleeping thing. I have shared my body and my bed and now? Now I am done. I am too tired, too hot and I am done sharing. We need them to go back to their room in the middle of the night. Yes, they are cute, and their cheeks are soft and when they do fall asleep they are lovely and angelic. But mostly they talk and giggle and manage to stuff their fine, wispy hair up our nose and steal our pillow. They’ve got to go Brain, they’ve got to go.

And finally, when we get a chance to take a nap, could you please just settle down and let us sleep. Stop composing to do lists, dinner ideas and blog posts in our head, you can do that when we wake up. You are jeopardizing our scant hours of sleep and we need it all Brain. We really need it all!

This has been a great partnership, you and me, body and brain.  Just think how much better it could be with a little bit more shut eye – we could do anything!

Here is to a continued fantastic union and a long well rested life!


Your Body


Perfection Pending
Click above and hop on over to Perfection Pending and to read more Manic Monday posts!

Hay Field Magic

It was years ago when I followed the ghostly white patches on my dog through the trail in the woods.

The trees blocked the moonlight and only by occasionally calling out to Piper could I keep her close enough to see, as she guided me down the path. It was the route we walked every night. And as we had done so many nights before, she cut to the side, through a narrow opening in the brush and ran out into the neighbors hay field. I followed, watching my toes, stepping over the fallen log out into the open field and looked up stunned.

The field was a mass of golden lights, slowly rising into the sky.

Thousands of fireflies lit the air. Each of them flashing one long golden stream of light as it rose up into the night, only to settle back to the ground and begin again. A bunch of bugs had turned a humble hay field into effervescent magic. The two of us continued our walk. Piper trotted through the rising lights and I followed, soaking it in, hoping to remember forever the night we stepped out of the dark into a field of light.

It is again just that time of year, the rising one blink fireflies are out. Not as many this year and the white spots on the dog I now follow through the dark run too fast to use as a trail guide. But every year at this time when I see those slowly rising, one blink fireflies I remember Piper and one very special night.

After nine the fireflies came out and I headed out to lock up my birds, camera in hand, hoping to get a picture. Instead I got a swam of mosquitoes up my nose. I decided it was probably better this way. My night time photography skills aren’t up to illustrating this story even if there were enough fireflies in the air. But picture or no I’m linking up with Northwest Frame of Mind again this week. Click on over and see what else people have been up to in the nine o’clock hour!