Monday, September 28, 2009

The New Happiest Place On Earth

This is where I want to be next spring.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Times Have Changed

Dagny wins for best big sister ever by taking her little brother to the high school football game with her. She didn't need to take him, she wanted to. She's awesome like that.

It was strange to watch them leave together on a Friday night, it used to be that if I wanted a kid-free Friday night I had to call a baby sitter. Apparently those days are over, we have entered a new era. The era of teenagers. I think I need to go lie down.

Be Careful What You Wish For

This is my staircase

This is the newel post that I hit my arm on every single day

When I was designing the staircase I knew exactly what I wanted the newel posts to look like. The stair builder asked me if I was sure I wanted something square and not something more rounded. I knew the look I was going for, I wanted square. I got square, and while the effect is stunning, it is also a safety hazard. I have had a bruise on my forearm for the last 2 years because I run into the edge of the post every time I go up the stairs. This doesn't seem to happen to the other members of the household quite as often, but Steve has been stabbed in the side many times. Just because the post has hurt me doesn't mean I don't love it, I wouldn't change it if I could. Sometimes you have to suffer for beauty.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Right now Dagny is sitting in Dane's room listening to him regale her with stories about his day. (apparently she misses a lot of good stuff while she's at school) I can hear them laughing and I have absolutely no desire to break up the party just because it's 10:30 on a school night. Some things are just more important than sleep.

partners in crime

Monday, September 21, 2009

Puppy Time

The Puppy Channel
All Puppies, All The time

This is pretty much what our lives have revolved around this week, we sit and just watch the puppies. Seriously, they're better than television. Sadly the puppies are going home tomorrow, we miss them already.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Back To School

I got to do something this week that I've never done before, I went to Back To School Night. Not a big deal for the other 2,000 parents that were there, but since it was my first time I found it kind of exciting.

The high points of my evening:
  • Seeing what Dagny does every day
  • meeting her teachers
  • having the Biology teacher tell me that Dagny's intelligence is "stunning"
  • being the youngest parent there (with the exception of some of the teachers and the student guides, I'm pretty sure I was the youngest person on campus)

The low points:
  • constantly being asked for money
  • being back in high school

I thought the whole night was quite interesting. I think Dagny has a couple of exceptional teachers, and as far as public high schools go, this is a really good one. It's amazing how much more accepted I am by the other parents now that I've "come to my senses and put Dagny in a proper school." One woman gushed about how wonderful it is for Dagny to be in a real school environment and that now that she's not at home I can do something with my life and I no longer have to "waste my potential by staying at home." I told her that Dane is still at home and that I will be wasting my potential for years to come.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Look Who's Here

Gavin's pups have come to stay for a few days.
Have you ever seen cuter house guests?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Any Given Saturday

It is now officially football season. Every Saturday from now until Thanksgiving you will find me on the sidelines cheering on Dane and his team. When people find out Dane plays football they have one of two reactions; they either think it's really cool, or they can't believe I am letting him play. I didn't foresee Dane becoming a football player, we've always been a soccer family. Steve has played soccer his whole life, Dagny and Dane started soccer when they were really young, I thought I would be a soccer mom forever. Last year Dane came to us and asked if he could switch to football, and believe me, my first reaction was to say no. As his mother I was scared, football is a violent game. After really looking into it, I realized I shouldn't keep him from playing just because I was afraid he would get hurt. He showed interest, passion, commitment, and talent, that's a hard combination to say no to. Last year when he was learning how to hit, I couldn't watch, and I almost had to cover my ears. When players hit each other it makes a sickening cracking sound, it's alarming. After awhile I got used to the sound, and eventually I got used to watching Dane hit and get hit. This is his 2nd year in the league, and everything about his football experience has been positive. That doesn't mean it's been easy, it means that in the end it's taught him a lot. I love being a football mom, it's way more exciting to watch than soccer. (yeah, I said it, more exciting than soccer. Don't tell the soccer people.) Expect lots more pictures and season updates, I wouldn't be a true football mom if I didn't brag a little.

Dane is playing center

Yes, that is Dane's arm. I'm horrified, he's kind of proud.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Does The Real Tooth Fairy Have This Problem?

Who else out there has a collection of teeth? Seeing as how I am the Tooth Fairy around here, I have amassed a pile of teeth. Dane just lost the last of his baby teeth, and when I picked up his tooth the other night and put it with all the other teeth I've collected over the years, I was left wondering if I was the only mom with a stash of baby teeth. Now that I'm done collecting teeth what should I do with them? At my baby shower someone gave me a beautiful set of keepsake boxes; one for a lock of hair, one for a foot print, one for the first lost tooth... Great, the first lost tooth has a lovely resting place, what about the other 19? (actually 38 since I have 2 kids. My sister Sabrina will end up with about 140 teeth. Seriously, what do you do with all of them?) I'm pretty sure I'm unable to throw them away, and making jewelry out of them seems a bit macabre, so I'm left with a pile of teeth. I am officially open to suggestions.

*Just for the record, my kids have never believed in the Tooth Fairy, (or the Easter Bunny or Santa for that matter) they've always known it was me. Just because they don't believe doesn't mean that they don't want money for their precious teeth.

Monday, September 7, 2009

(Free Of ) Labor Day

For us, Labor Day is always all about the beach. We head down to one of the Santa Cruz beaches and spend the day eating and playing. I think Labor Day might be my favorite holiday.

How Dagny spent her day at the beach

Dane's favorite beach activities -
digging holes and building sand castles.
(I think he builds things just so he can destroy them)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Smelling The Roses

This pretty much sums up what I'm thinking these days;

I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is'.
- Kurt Vonnegut

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Homeschooling my kids in not something I ever saw myself doing. When Dagny was 4 I sent her off to an amazing Montessori pre-school and it was a great experience. She learned a lot, made friends, it was everything I thought it would be. Then it was time for kindergarten, and off she went. A few months into her kindergarten career we realized something was off. Steve and I both volunteered in the classroom and we didn’t like what we were seeing. The teacher, time and time again, would either ignore Dagny or blatantly denigrate her intelligence. After a sit down with the teacher where we were told that since Dagny was more advanced than the other kids it was too difficult to integrate her into the class, and the best thing for her was to sit and read a book while the class worked, we decided that public school was not the place for Dagny. (kindergarten wasn't all bad, she made lots of friends, and learned how to successfully navigate the monkey bars) After researching private schools we weren’t sure that was the answer either, then Steve suggested homeschooling. I have sisters who have very successfully homeschooled their kids, so you’d think that I would have come up with that option on my own, but I didn’t. I never saw myself as a homeschool mom; I always thought I’d send my kids off to school in the morning then go to the gym, meet my friends for lunch, volunteer at the school, basically be like all the other moms I knew. The moment Steve made the suggestion, something clicked, and I knew that being at home was the best thing for Dagny. I spent the remaining months she was in kindergarten doing research and buying curriculum, and fielding questions about why on earth I had chosen to do such a weird thing. Some people were supportive, most were not. Something I didn’t know at the time, but have learned since, is that people who don’t understand homeschooling are very threatened by it. Why if the public school is good enough for their child is it not good enough for mine? Over the years I have answered that question, and others like it, many times. For me, the bottom line is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to education; we’re all just trying to do the best for our kids.

In her very own classroom, first day of first grade

I loved homeschooling Dagny. She was so easy to teach because she loves to learn, it was amazing to watch her soak everything in. I could go on for days about different curriculums, field trips, book clubs... Our homeschooling years were very full and I wouldn't trade them for anything. I'm so glad I had Dagny at home all those years. Last year she decided that she’d like to go to public high school. Many people have asked me how I feel about that decision. I feel great about it. One of the by-products of being homeschooled is that Dagny had plenty of time to become her own person. She has had time to think her own thoughts and form her own opinions. That girl knows who she is. So when people ask me if I’m worried about her going to high school, the answer is no. She’s ready for them, I don’t know if they’re ready for her.