It’s not always necessary to talk when having a “conversation” with Jane…

“Mom this smells like your favorite drink!

Mom, whats your favorite drink again?

Wait! … What is it called?

Oh right- caffeine.

What does caffeine smell like again?”tea

…but it’s always a good idea to listen because you can bet that she’s been listening to everything you say.

Also, in answer to your question Jane, I’m not sure that caffeine has a smell but if it did I’m pretty sure it would be just like heaven.

Happy Tribus Day!

Happy Tribus Day!

A day to celebrate cookies, tea and blogging!Cookies, Tea, Blogging

What? You’ve never heard of it?

That’s OK. I’m sure it’s only because, thanks to CoachDaddy and Rarasaur, it came into existence earlier this week. And what a fantastic concept, because, well, cookies, tea and blogging! It’ll be international by this time next year!

(Of course if cookies, tea and blogging aren’t your thing, Tribus Day can work with that too. Just pick your three favorite things and start the celebration. That’s the beauty of Tribus day!)

I am happy to let cookies reside at the top of my list. They are my favorite thing, specifically chocolate chip cookies. I like other cookies, I might love some other cookies. But chocolate chip cookies never disappoint and that is a beautiful thing in a dessert.cookies

Cookies are extra fantastic because I like to bake. I’m not going to claim to be some expert baker but I’m a master craving fulfill-er. You come to my house looking for cookies, give me 20 minutes and I’ll have a hot one for you. Though you should plan to bring a Diet Coke just in case. You see I have this thing about baking (and driving, and waking up from a nap, and 3 o’clock in the afternoon and sitting at the computer and late at night with bourbon…) it’s just better with a Diet Coke at hand.making cookies with a Diet Coke

While cookies can be made on short order, the tea is always available.

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Better. #notamorningperson

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Mornings inevitably lead to a quick zap in the microwave in order to get the caffeine into my body as soon as possible. Other times of day I’m willing to wait for water to boil and the tea to steep properly for a superior cup. But in all that waiting you’ve got to do something, and nothing goes with tea quite like books.reading a book while waiting for water to boil Then once the tea is made you need to let it cool a bit so you can just finish the chapter, and then once it’s done there is such a nice rocking chair under the window, good light, and a spot nearby to set a cup of tea… Ahhhh!

As for blogging, well let me check some stats here… Looks like I’ve been blogging for 65 consecutive months and published 1,136 posts. This blogging business seems to have some appeal for me!

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I could get used to this!

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And the best part is that a majority of those posts have pictures. Pictures that I’ve taken. In the last few years my camera has gone from being somewhere about the house, to immediately accessible at all times. I have discovered that anything, even a trip to the park, can be made more enjoyable with a camera in hand.   And then, joy of all joys, I get to put them on my blog and share them! What’s not to love!?!

picture of laptop

I just tried to take a picture of the camera sitting next to the laptop – not my smartest move.


All three together?blogging, tea, cookies

Looks like a beautiful day!

Of course a day with my camera in hand and plenty of Diet Coke and books would be pretty awesome too.Camera, Diet Coke, BooksBut then I’d miss my cookies, blogging and tea!

Happy Tribus Day!

How will you celebrate?


Cheerful Noncompliance Strikes Again

Clara and I are having a little trouble seeing eye to eye today.

Or you could more accurately say that I am cranky and Clara is cheerfully non-compliant.   I must have missed the lessons that Ivy was giving her in cheerful noncompliance but I must say, she has mastered the skill.  Also, it seems that cheerful noncompliance turns me from a cranky mother to an insane mother, which is unfortunate for all involved.

Like most insane mothers I tend to talk (read: lecture) more than I should.

After an afternoon (read: two hours) of frustration I was trying to convince Clara to go do something really fun and exciting outside (read: I was desperately trying to convince her to get out of my sight in the nicest way possible).  Finally she was headed out the door and I, in my insane mode, had to give her a few last directions (read: I shouted lectures at her all the way to the door from the other side of the house) all which revolved around not letting the muddy dogs back in the house.


My girl Clara though, she’s super talented. She has not only got the hang of cheerful noncompliance but has also mastered cheerfully irritating compliance.Clara black and white

To my ridiculous barrage of directions a little sing song voice trilled out:

“All right, I will keep that in mi-ind.”

She went out, the dogs didn’t come in, I rolled my eyes took a deep breath and enjoyed three minutes of bliss.

Then she tried to boil her sister like a lobster in the shower.

But that, is a whole different story.

Now I have to go, the only cure I know for insane mother syndrome around here comes in a delightfully shiny, red and silver can – and we are out.

Time for a trip to town!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy

These are a few of the things that made me happy this Wednesday.

Notable absences are:

Trip – Who is with my brother in Montana happily hunting without me.

Ivy  – Sadly I missed the photo of her and Clara collecting eggs together. Kids playing together while doing chores makes me happy, happy, happy!

And the Ducks  -I challenge you to watch a line of duck walk around and not be just a little bit happier. I also challenge you to get within photographing distance of my ducks without panicking them out of there cute little ducky line.

Hope you also had a happy day!


In terrible mothering moments of the week I forgot to include Jane in my post. Of course she is a part of my daily happiness – she smiles lots, she giggles, she’s easy going, content and oh so easily overlooked in the chaos of the rest of the house.

On a positive note I haven’t forgotten her anywhere – yet – but I do take roll call when we get in the truck!

Loud Issues

When Clara and Ivy are playing unless bodily harm seems imminent we leave them alone to figure out their own differences. For the most part they manage to play together, work together and resolve their troubles without help. There are of course times when one or the other comes to us in tears and we have to step in and moderate.  Since we’ve been having trouble with hitting and pushing lately the moderating has been happening quite a bit more frequently.

We are saving money by having the girls wear the same clothes. We are saving time by making them wear them at the same time to reduce the amount of laundry.

This afternoon I heard the start of their spat at the sandbox from in the house while I was putting Jane down for a nap.  As I bent over to lay Jane in her crib it escalated into screaming, shrieking and crying and Clara flew into the house yelling like she’d been mortally wounded. Since Clara often screams like she’s been mortally wounded but has never actually been in that condition I wasn’t too worried.  But, wounded or not, the screaming had woken Jane up and my attention was needed downstairs. Now, I suspect that spat occurred not over a yellow plastic shovel like they claim but purely because their little sister was almost asleep.  It’s like some sort of eerie siren song.  When I’m putting Jane to sleep as soon as I stand to lay her down in the crib everyone runs to me with their issues.  LOUD issues. Dogs bark, the cat pukes, the phone rings with advice on how I should vote in the upcoming election, John has questions and children who have been playing quietly for hours start beating on each other and run to me crying.

It’s possible that the frantic, one armed, gesticulating to get out while silently yelling “Go away!” that they receive isn’t the friendliest reception, but seriously, can’t anyone see that “I’M TRYING TO PUT THE BABY TO SLEEP?!”

Ahem, anyways….where was I? Oh yes…

Clara comes into the house screaming.

Jane wakes up.

Ivy follows Clara into the house yelling.

I go downstairs and tell the girls to stay put.

I head back upstairs get the baby to sleep.

Finally I go back downstairs to ask what happened.

There they are still sitting in their chairs at the table where I told them to stay happily playing together.  I have to interrupt the new game to ask what all the fighting was about and with frightening nonchalance I hear:

Clara: “I hit Ivy two times and then she pushed me out of the sandbox.”

Ivy: “Clara hit me, I told her to go away and she didn’t leave fast enough so I pushed her out of the sandbox.”

I had just started to make obligatorily parental noises about behavior, and ways to solve arguments when they asked if they could go back outside and keep playing yet.  I looked at my two happy girls, who were barely paying attention to me because they were still trying to secretly play with each other, agreed and they disappeared all giggles out the door.

Rain puddles after a May storm are fun, but chilly, gotta wear a hat!

Which left me standing in the kitchen with a spinning head.

Did what I think happened just happen?

Was this all just because Jane was going to fall asleep and cosmic forces conspired against their happy play forcing them into a noisy fight?

Is there any way of impressing on your children that they should stop beating on each other when after four minutes neither of them care any longer?

Or is it yet another example that I should learn from of the way kids live in the moment and can let bygones be bygones at the drop of a hat.

I thought about it, decided that parenting philosophy, cosmic forces and moral issues were all beyond me this afternoon, grabbed a Diet Coke and sat down in my quite house to enjoy it while it lasted.

A Clara Moment

The scene: It is late morning, I am in my bedroom rocking and burping a very sleepy Jane while reading my book with the door closed.

Clara enters: “I come say goodnight Jane.”

Clara puts her nose on Jane’s nose and says: “Goodnight Jane! Goodnight Jane!”

Clara looks up and points at two Diet Coke cans sitting near me: “What those doing there?”

Me: “I’m drinking them.”

Clara stalks over to inspect cans: “Oh, this one nothin’ in it. Just tiny sip for me.”

Clara walks out attempting to suck the last drops out of my Caffeine Free Diet Coke and slams the door behind her.

Jane and I return to quiet rocking.

Good News… Bad news…

It’s the second day of being home alone with the kids while John is at work.

The good news is everyone is still alive.

The bad news is that two of the three kids seem to have the flu and the third is now complaining too.

The good news is that they are all currently sleeping.

The bad news is it’s not going to last much longer.

The good news is I have a Diet Coke and a Milky Way bar.

The bad news is it doesn’t have caffeine in it… or whiskey.

Through the keyhole.


You can’t live with ’em and you just can’t shoot ’em.

Or maybe that was men.

Either way I’m still hating computers… except for when I love them.

Or maybe that is men?

Right now I sort of hate them.


Not men, or really man, before I get myself in trouble with John.

John is good.

Love him.

Hate the computers.

Now that we’ve got that straight…

Our regular computer died.


Again it seems to be a terminal issue.

 I’m thinking of shooting it but I can’t get Trip interested enough to point it.

We do have a backup computer now, which is great and I love.

 Except for when I hate it.

The problem is the back up computer is old.

It has four USB ports.

I have 76 things that would like a USB port.

One of them is my cameras card reader.

But even if I mange to get that into a port it completely freaks out the computer.

As in constant beeping while the mouse cursor jiggles it’s way across the screen full scale computer freak out.

Why a computer would do that is beyond me, maybe Trip would point this one…

But then I would be cut off from the internet and I’d have to go cry and we don’t want that.

In the meantime I think I’ll go make a wish on an empty Diet Coke can.

I hear that’s what you do when you are out of Diet Coke on a rainy day and you desperately need the Diet Coke fairy to come deliver a fresh one.

I think I’ll look for an empty Milky Way bar wrapper while I’m at it…

Faking It

This morning when we woke to a winter wonderland outside and a huge flock of red winged blackbirds I thought we’d better go take advantage of what may be the last good snow day.

So during breakfast I took stock of the situation.

Ivy was better, but cranky from being cooped up.

Clara was not feeling as well as Ivy, but definitely on the mend.

And as evidenced by my multiple trips to the bathroom during breakfast, I was feeling decidedly worse.

Left with no option other than to survive the day I took the plunge…

…some herbal tea, a neti pot, a handful of Tylenol, a Diet Coke and it was snowman making time.

Clara ate snow and cried.

Ivy made tracks, snow angels and a snowman.

I helped with the snowman, held Clara, took pictures, and pretended I felt fine.

Faking it with Diet Coke.

It’s not the answer to a quick recovery, quite the opposite I’m afraid, but it gets us through the day!

Reason #46 We Do A Lot of Laundry…

…because Clara’s new favorite trick is to climb on the table – and sometimes she finds things there.

I’m hoping that most of the soda went on the clothes instead of in her belly, but I’m afraid nap time is going to be tough today!

*I’d also like you to know that by the time I got there the soda was already down her front, in her belly and gone. As much as I like posting photos on my blog I’m not about to let my child caffeinate herself just before nap for a photo op!