Raindrops on roses

… and leashes on kittens,

We walk our cats in Portlandia

Blah blah blah blah blah and warm woolen mittens,

Photo by Kellie O’Donnell

Counting to ten and then stopping to sing,

We didn’t get Julie Andrews down, but she does the Beatles pretty well.

These are a few of my favorite things.

Naughty in church face

When the dog barks, bark bark bark bark,


When I’m feeling:


I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so:




Maniac, Maniac

Remember that scene from Jennifer Beals’ Flashdance when she’s dancing to “Maniac”?  Yeah, me neither, which is why I had to look it up on “YouTube.”

Lo and behold, I saw that dance move replicated tonight, when Mama K put a plate of chocolate chip cookies above Little Bug’s reach.  The “Maniac” stomp!  Followed by 90 seconds of crying and burying her face in the couch pillows.  Remind me to stain treat the fabric later.

I was going to post the 80’s movie clip, but since we are trying to teach LB not to run around without pants on, I’m going to share this instead.  It’s way pun-ier and he is fully clothed.

Click HERE to laugh a little and then imagine LB doing this with her short little legs and a pout on her face.


In one ear

Hey friends! In a recent visit to the audiologist, we learned that Lucie has hearing in her right ear and nothing in the left.  We’re going back next month for a follow up, when we’ll hope to learn more.  The cause of the left ear condition is unknown, but there seems to be no alarm from the professionals.

In the meantime, we are having fun sneaking up on the poor kid.  It seems that having two fully functioning ears helps to locate the origin of sounds.  Good thing she’s not a bat!

As a side note, we have been referred to our county Early Intervention services, which is basically like a free parenting tutor.  Though Lucie isn’t talking yet, the specialist seems okay with her progress enough to let us know that she will probably be ineligible after age three.  We’re cool with that.

Okay, has anyone else been imagining a 1/2 deaf bat bumping into things like a cartoon character?  Ah, life.


I get that LRR is not my biological spawn.  I fully accept that some things are out of my control, like that she prefers using her right hand, despite my best efforts to engineer a southpaw.  But today I was reminded that my influence only goes so far, and quite frankly it was devastating.  Parents, shield your young ones’ eyes.


This is a piece of donut thrown on the floor by Lucie.  A DONUT on the FLOOR.  Not only was this cake donut thrown down in disdain, but also the glazed donut hole before that.  To my horror, I gave Lucie (Lucifer?) a bite of maple bar–quite possibly the king of donuts–only to watch it dribble out of her mouth in slow motion heartbreak.

I.  Don’t.  Like.  This.

She didn’t even have the decency to break eye contact as the rejected specimen fell to its demise.  It was a cold moment that still sends shivers up my spine.

Who is this stranger I’ve been living with for almost two years?  Why am I just now finding out about her,  and what am I to do now?  How could it be that the baby I was so proud to call my own will not follow in my footsteps as a connoisseur of crullers, a bearer of bear claws, a fighter for fritters?

Alas, nature vs. nurture has struck again.


She chooses fruit.  Double fisted gobs of fruit.


And look who we have to blame for that.  It’s Ms. Applesauce-is-a-viable-snack.

Ha.  Smile all you want, Team SFAV (stupid fruits and veggies).  I’ll get my revenge.  Yes, I’ll probably have Type II Diabetes while I get it, but know that unlike kale, donuts last a very, unnaturally long time.  As with this passion project, my friends.

In the meantime, have fun with your silly little plaid tops and fruit snacks and coordinating shoes.


The donuts will have their day.  In the name of Homer Simpson, the donuts will prevail.

The Green Ribbon

Kate and I were watching a T.V. show on the Xbox one evening when a notification popped up: “Achievement Unlocked! Watched 10 shows after 9 PM.”

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Did we just get an achievement for vegging out after our daughter goes to bed?  I am totally on board with getting a badge for racing a video game car in record time or mastering a drum solo for Rock Band.  I certainly don’t expect the Xbox to say, “Kudos, we haven’t seen you in a week– you must have been on a nice vacation, or just enjoying the great outdoors!”  But an award for watching T.V.?

This leads me to the Participation Ribbon debate.  Does our society reward too easily and perhaps for the wrong things?  Should we dole out those green “thanks for coming” ribbons as often as we do?

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Don’t get me wrong, as a recipient– commemorative marathon medals are about all I can hope for at my running speed (term used loosely)– I have to say a ribbon can be nice to have.  Plus I hear they’re fun to wear all day long.

But should I get an “All-Star” ranking for a LinkedIn profile that barely says anything about me?  Seriously… our firm’s compliance department disables all but six fields on the site, and yet LinkedIn congratulates me as though I did something really awesome.  It’s not flattering.  It’s weird.

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At this point in our childrearing endeavors, encouragement and incentives go a long way, whether we’re trying to get Lucie to follow us up the stairs at night, put her toys away, or just calm the heck down from a temper tantrum.  In the words of The LEGO Movie, “everything is awesome.”  At least that is the message we seem to be sending to Lucie.  So far celebrations are limited to clapping and cheering, but what happens when the stakes get higher?  Is she going to hold her hand out in anticipation after showing us a good report card?  Will we go broke buying stickers and trinkets for potty training and get fat from reward milkshakes after piano lessons?  Is Lucie going to require the same kinds of incentives from jobs and volunteer positions and spouses and everyone else?  And if she doesn’t get what she wants, will she live at home with us until someone agrees to pay her six figures for an entry level job because that earworm of a song is till stuck in her head, except “everything” is replaced with “I” and “awesome” is replaced with “entitled”?  Wow, that turned dark rather quickly.


Okay, let’s take a step back.  I’m all about encouraging people to keep trying, keep going, and keep up the good fight.  As a former benchie (aka pine-rider aka 3rd stringer), I really do understand and appreciate the values of participation and inclusion.  I sure do hope Lucie gets her fair shake in life, but I think it’s really important to emphasize that it is fair.  A few lucky breaks, yes.  A few times getting the short end of the stick, too, even.  I guess what I’m hoping is that she does things because she loves them, or she works hard because it’s the right thing to do.

But for now, yeah, everything is pretty awesome.