Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Last week we went blueberry picking with the Headleys and Jerusha at Butler's Orchard.  Strawberry picking was such a hit that we were all waiting rather impatiently for the blueberries to ripen.  

Last year Owen and Evan grazed in the bushes - eating their weight in berries while the grown-up frantically tried to fill the giant buckets as quickly as possible, knowing that the boys' attention spans would only last as long as their appetites.

This time Owen tucked into his berries right away.  Filling and emptying the bottom of his basket steadily for the first few minutes.  

As I saw his eating enthusiasm start to wane I challenged him to put two, then three, then ten berries in my bucket.  Pretty soon he was my shadow and followed me quietly from bush to bush - picking and dropping - only breaking the flow to inform me again that we wanted only the big blue berries...not the green unripe ones.  

He was the same way harvesting strawberries.  My natural farmer.

It was one of those moments of pure enjoyment for me.  I can see the two of us working side by side for years to come and am deeply thankful for the strong, loyal, dedicated spirit that I know Owen has - so similar to his father's.  Life will be fun with these kids around.

PS: this did nothing to squelch my desire for a little farm.  Maybe we can just be squatters here?  

PPS:  The pictures are light on Everly because it was at the beginning of her I was holding her almost the entire time.  Thank goodness Owen was helping me or else we might not have brought home many berries.  We ended up with almost a full bucket - over 7 lbs of berries!  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Last week Everly came down with a little summer cold bug and her few rough days happened to correspond to the first big heat wave of the season.   It was 100 degrees outside but she was stir crazy in between two of her three naps, cycling between fussing and cuddling non-stop.  So we went outside to play with a bucket of water in an attempt to keep her quiet-ish while Owen napped.  After a few minutes of splashing she dipped her hands in the water and turned around to pat my face with her drippy fingers.  It was so much fun, apparently, that it kept her occupied for 15 minutes.  I was soaked, but cool, and giggling with my sick baby for a few moments eased the strain of an otherwise emotionally intense day.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mix a Pancake, Stir a Pancake


I have the best helpers.  They especially like making pancakes and waffles but will pull up a chair anytime they hear me puttering in the kitchen.  I can open the refrigerator and know that within 3 seconds Everly will be at my feet pulling jars of pickles and mustard bottles out of the door.  It's my version of a dog whistle.  And I have to load the dishwasher in spurts (and only while I'm alone in the kitchen) unless I want the contents simultaneously loaded AND unloaded. 

I won't say that I loathed being in the kitchen before - but I certainly didn't enjoy it like I do now.  There definitely is more meaning in my work there or maybe just a greater reason for cooking and keeping things in order.   Two pretty sweet reasons.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012


For mom:  here are some pictures of the ships.

We actually left the house before 9 this Saturday.  It might be a first.  We only knew that we had to beat the crowds that were predicted to pour in for the Sailabration and Blue Angles air show in Baltimore.  

It was peaceful when we arrived.  It wasn't until we made out way down to the corner of the inner harbor that we started seeing people lined up for blocks to tour the ships.  Lined up for block an hour before they opened the gangways.

First: a map.  I am a geographer, after all.  Blue are navy boats and red are tall ships.

Panoramic view.  For some reason I keep staring at the men with the boxes.   I'm so curious about what's in them.  They don't look too heavy...but they need one guy for each?  hmmm....maybe a little too much Sherlock Holmes viewing lately.'s a mystery. dundundun.

The tall ships are from all over the world.  The US, Indonesia, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Mexico. They were really beautiful.

We would have loved to see the tall ships underway.  It must be breathtaking.  Jon almost wanted to re-join the navy.

Owen and I climbed the lighthouse to get a better view.  Here's another panoramic shot from the top.

Owen was not too thrilled to be up on the lighthouse deck.  But he's a trooper.


Three US Navy Patrol Craft.  Jon served on one just like these for a few weeks.  It was fun to have him point out the different parts - where the mess hall was, the lookout room where he spent time finding his sea legs, his 'office'.

We took the water taxi for a spin around the harbor, thinking it would be fun for Owen to see the boats while riding in one...

...but Ever was the one going crazy.  She was literally jumping up and down and screaming and fake laughing and waving at every boat.  And clapping.  

They both were practically begging for nap time by noon.   Must have been all the salty air?  The sea breezes still folded away in those sails?  

I'm not sure where they all head off to next.  I know some are in Boston after June 30th, and Newport RI in early July.  It's worth checking out.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Park Part II

We found ourselves in DC last week.  In one of the NW neighborhoods that I have always thought was charming.  

We were a little unprepared for the amazing water-play area but it was nothing some rolled cuffs couldn't handle (or diaper play in Ever's case).

An accidental perfect afternoon. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Treasure Hunt

Owen with the treasure.  
Jon beat me to the punch with this one - he had a post on facebook before they had even found the cache!  (They don't call him a social media evangelist for nothing.)

The kids were overtired this evening.  Short naps and lots of playing meant shorter fuses than normal.  We needed a distraction.  

I knew about geocaching from way back when I was earning my geography degree.  It's what all nerdy gps users do on weekends.   In hindsight it seems strange that I hadn't tried it before. Especially since a favorite part of my work job had an oddly similar description - off road adventures collecting far flung gps data.  It should have been right up my Lat/Long.

I convinced the family that a little adventure was just what we all needed and we set out to find our first cache - only a quick half mile from our house near a familiar park.

It was a little trickier than we planned for.  I guess the clue "be careful of the thorns" should have indicated that the cache might not be right next to the paved trail.  Owen and Jon tromped through the woods while Everly and I waited for news by the path.  

It was a pretty fun experience.  What little boy doesn't love a good treasure hunt in the woods?  It will be a fun challenge to see how many caches we can find this summer with the kids.  With over 500 hidden within 10 miles of our house...we have plenty of options.  

Interested in your own adventure? Check out the geocaching site here!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New Parks and Family Dates

We 'discovered' a new park this weekend.  Little kid playground, giant sandpit, pond with swarming minnows...pretty much toddler heaven.   AND we can walk there!  Win-win-win.

By the pond we met a nice couple feeding bread to the fish.  They gave Owen a few slices.  We could have plucked a few fish out with our hands.  But we didn't - mostly because a GIANT snapping turtle came by a few times to check out the buffet.  Fish and finger tips anyone?

Jon pushed the kids up this impressive hill (off-roading even) while I sang Climb Every Mountain quietly at the top.  (I think it helped.)

 I don't think I need to explain this picture.   It is Boy.

Ever's messy hair.

She was showing me how the sprinkers on the baseball diamond work.  Re-enacting them with her arms (while eating cheese - of course).

More hair shots...

And this guy.  He's pretty cool.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Yesterday was hot - the perfect type of afternoon to test out the new-to-us sprinkler we were given by our neighbor.

The water was pretty icy - increasing the pitch of the squeals - but kids don't seem to care too much about cold water.  I guess aging causes us to determine a personal range of acceptable temperatures.  Pity.  Sometimes icy is fun.  Owen was the bravest one of us.  He stood right up next to the water and let it soak him.

The kids and I held hands and counted, "one...twoooo...thREEE!" and ran through the water screaming.  Even Ever tried to count.  

Sweet Ever.  We all kicked the red ball back and forth through the water.  Sometimes, on her turn, the ball would end up a little too close to the spray.  But she would stick it out - squatting down with her eyes squinted - trying her best to get chubby little fingers on that ball while being pelted with water.  She'd toddle to over to me, "wet...shirr.." translation:  my face is wet, could you wipe it off with your shirt?

But she certainly didn't object...given the number of times I had to wipe off that adorable face.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Champion (of the world)

Jon's hockey team won the Spring season championship game last Thursday and Owen and I were there for the game!  It was a rare early game so the little guy and I snuck out while Jerusha watched over a sleeping Ever.

Owen was maybe a little intimidated at first.  Daddy was wearing a mask and all his big goalie pads.  It was cold, the players were so fast and hitting the walls and there were whistles.  

Also he thinks that hockey games involve a move called a 'score you down'.  Score you down is when someone hits the puck toward you and you fall down.  And then they score.  It's all very dramatic and the puck doesn't have to go in the goal, or even near the goalie but the goalie MUST fall down.  Every time.  It's how we play in the basement.

He was a little worried that someone might score daddy down.  And since the whole second period was played in front of Jon's net I can see how he was nervous.

Once I explained that daddy was diving to cover the puck up - not knocked down by each shot - he was a little better.  And even more at ease once we went to watch by the upstairs windows where it was warm.  

It was a great game and Jon played exceptionally well against a pretty impressive opposing team.  I was really proud of him - and so happy that Owen and I were there to see him and the team play.

Yay team!

Cookie Monster

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Puddle Jumping

The huge storms last week created a little pond in the backyard.  It was entirely too splashy looking to ignore so in between showers the kids put on some shoes and tromped around in big circles getting soaked.  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Leaf Mask

I love:

the chubby hand
the stick being held (as a whacking implement, of course)
the fact that you can tell that he's smiling