Today is Halloween. Jessie has been talking about trick-or-treating all day. One of Jessie’s schoolmates got out of her car in the drop-off line wearing her costume. I could have dressed Jessie in her costume. I wonder if she would have wanted to. I wonder how many other children at her school dressed up. Do you trick or treat? Do you leave the light on at your house and open the door when the bell rings? I love greeting kids in costume at the door. In all my houses I’ve had since I moved out of my parents’ house I … Continue reading


I have to come to grips that summer is over. Summer is my favorite season. I love the sun and the heat. We’ve had few cold days so far this fall, but enough for me to break out the jeans and long sleeves. I need to look through Jessie’s jammies from last year to see if she has any that would fit her now. I went through the box of 12-month clothes to find footie jammies for Emily. We have not turned the heat on in the house yet nor have I stopped wearing sandals. The colors are starting to … Continue reading


Are you a coffee drinker? Starbucks sells in the area of 4 billion cups of coffee a year. Starbucks serves roughly 30 million customers a week and around 4 million customers each day. That’s a lot of coffee. It’s Pumpkin Spice Latte season at Starbucks. I don’t really like pumpkin pie, but I love those warm cups of spicy pumpkin goodness. Eggnog season is coming and eggnog lattes are better than Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Several years ago a barista encouraged me to put chai in my eggnog latte. I didn’t know that something as wonderful as eggnog latte would be … Continue reading

Slow Cooker

I don’t know what happened. I think a somewhat domestic body snatcher has moved in. No, I haven’t become neat, although I know my husband would appreciate that. I’ve re-discovered my love of cooking. I collect cookbooks and I used to subscribe to a number of cooking magazines. I hardly ever look at any of them, though. I look through the cookbooks available on Amazon. I still haven’t gotten inspired to start doing more than fixing meals for my husband and children. I think the turnaround came when I stumbled upon a few Facebook pages devoted to different types of … Continue reading

New School Drop-Off Routine

The first week we parked and I walked with Jessie to the gym to wait for her class to be dismissed to her room. I continued to walk her to the gym and everything was fine until we came back after Labor Day. The long weekend threw her off and she was back in tantrum mode. The teachers in the gym watching over the children had to intervene and take the crying Jessie from me. Again, she was fine when I picked her up. We had another change in the school experience. The school decided that all children need to … Continue reading

Evenflo Symphony 65

The first child safety seats we got were a Graco Safeseat and a Britax Marathon. We added another Marathon when Jessie joined our family and we had two toddlers. Jessie graduated to the Britax Frontier when she was over three and almost at the weight limit of the Marathon. Emily can stay in the Chicco Keyfit to 30 pounds. The Keyfit is so easy to install that I was happy to leave her in it and not remove the heavy seat and baby from the base. Emily was tired of being at that recline so she barfed all over herself … Continue reading

Sister Rivalry

I know about sibling rivalry. I’m the youngest of four with two sisters and a brother. My nephew who is closest in age was born two weeks after I turned eight. He grew up with me like he was my little brother. I’ve watched sibling rivalries with my friends and my nieces and nephews. My sister has worked hard to minimize the rivalry between her four children and assure that they’d be friends all their lives. Siblings compete with other for a lot of things. The most common one is trying to get the most attention from the parents. When … Continue reading

No King at Burger King

The other day we were driving home after running an errand and Jessie wanted an apple bag. She was very insistent about it. We passed Burger King first followed closely by McDonald’s. She cried from the back seat to turn around. She was really upset in the back. As we approached Walmart she wanted to get an apple bag there because there’s a McDonald’s inside. I kept driving home and as we approached the street where we’d turn, Jessie changed to wanting to go to Tom Thumb. We have a new tradition of getting a corn dog at the service … Continue reading

New TVs

We got a refund after we filed our 2010 tax return. We added it to our 2009 tax refund. We didn’t know what we wanted to do with the money but we had a list of things that were good to do. One of the things on the list was couch. The sectional has served us well but it eats almost everything. We’re lost two remotes in it. The couch has eaten both my and Jessie’s combs. The fist blanket that we thought we lost we found years later in the couch. The couch is also covered in cat hair … Continue reading

The Teacher Next Door

My first grade teacher is one of my favorite teachers. I don’t remember how old I was the first time I saw a teacher at the supermarket. It was odd to see her out of the context of the school. Miss Branfield and the mom of one of my oldest and dearest friends are best friends. I can’t remember how old Kim and I were when her mom and Miss Branfield became friends, but that is my first relationship with a teacher outside school. Miss Branfield was at my bridal shower and would have come to my wedding too. In … Continue reading