Back-to-School Blues? Not Me!

Am I the only mom alive who’s not sad about her child going off to school? All around me are people who are tearing up at the sight of school buses and lamenting, “They grow up so fast!” Not me. I can’t WAIT until Miles’ first day of school this week. And neither can he.

Maybe it’s because it’s just preschool. This year he’ll be going 5 days a week, but only mornings. How much can I miss him when he’s barely gone long enough for me to do the grocery shopping?

I rarely get wistful when looking at his baby pictures or packing away his outgrown clothes. Maybe it’s because I have another one who’s still in diapers. Or maybe it’s because I really don’t miss the projectile puking, mashed sweet potato phase.

I can honestly say that it doesn’t make me sad to see my sons grow up. I love watching them learn to color and put on their own shoes. I love seeing their personalities develop, and I am fascinated when they exhibit their own individual preferences.

Why did my firstborn adore avocados and my second child won’t touch them? Why is Miles inseparable from his stuffed dog and Riley could care less about blankies or lovies? Why is my oldest unconcerned with his anatomy while I fear my youngest is a budding Pee-Wee Herman?

Most of all, I enjoy my kids’ developing senses of humor and imaginations. Riley has barely been alive a year and a half and he’s already the life of the party, singing and dancing and making faces whenever the mood strikes. And Miles will say the craziest things out of the blue, like “I wish I could walk on the ceiling” or “I don’t want to get old and join the circus.”

One thing that does bother me about the boys going off to school is that I’ll miss so much stuff. Already, it’s like pulling teeth to get Miles to tell me about his day. (Though interestingly, he often opens up to his dad and other people with little prompting. Hmm…) I won’t get to see how excited they are when they know the words to a particular song or figure out how the elevator works on the toy parking garage.

I live for parent-teacher conferences when I get little glimpses into my son’s life beyond me. Otherwise, I may never know that he likes to push a certain little girl on the swings or that his favorite dress-up gear is the dog costume.

It’s just the beginning, I guess. Next year he’ll start kindergarten. Maybe then I’ll get misty at the sight of the backpack display at Gap Kids. But I doubt it. I enjoy watching him grow up too much.

VIDEO O' THE WEEK: They'll kill me for this one day, but I couldn't resist.

NEWS O’ THE WEEK: Speaking of back to school, the next session of my 6-week online writing class, “Personal Essays that Get Published” starts next week! The last class filled up, so sign up ASAP if you want a spot.

The class offers great camaraderie, accountability and best of all, how-to tips on getting published, even if you never have before. Also, it’s a prerequisite for my Level 2 class launching in Nov.

Past students have sold their essays to Chicago Parent, Portland Family, Southern Living, The New York Times, NPR and more. Get more info and sign up here.


Say 'Cheese'

After months and months of screetching and pointing, my 18 m.o. has finally started talking. He didn’t even say “mama” until 15 mos. Here’s a video of us trying to coax it out of him on camera:

At his check-up, the pediatrician noted that most babies say “mama” at 9 mos. She asked me if I was concerned, and I said no. After all, he’s a second child, so he’s got a built-in spokesperson in his big brother.

“Riley doesn’t want pretzels,” Miles will tell me. “He wants popcorn.” Maybe he’s right. Though I’m more suspicious when Miles claims that Riley wants to go to the big playground. Really? The one where all the equipment is too dangerous for babies so he’s confined to the stroller while you play? Hmm...

Riley’s first word was “uh-oh,” followed by “ball” and “more” (as in, “more food NOW!”). In the past couple weeks, though, it’s like he’s had a breakthrough. New words spill out of him daily, such as:

“Shoes.” He likes to go around the house collecting footwear, which makes finding a matching pair of shoes and getting out the door in the morning a challenge.

“Show.” What his brother begs to watch on TV several times a day. Riley, on the other hand, is more entertained by turning the TV and DVR on and off repetitively.

“Up.” Meaning “get me out of this swing/highchair/stroller NOW!”

“No.” I expect we’ll be hearing a lot more of this word in the coming months.

“Cheese.” What he says whenever someone sticks a camera in his face.

“Milk.” Actually, “mek,” but he makes himself understood by hanging from the refrigerator door handles until I get the point.

“Bite.” Meaning, “give me a bite of your food, woman, even though I just finished eating my meal and my brother’s!”

“Ice cream.” Actually “i-keem.” I have the grandparents to thank for that one.

“Cookie.” Are you sensing a theme? Yep, my boy likes to eat. Here’s a video of me trying to get him to say his newest word:

TIP O’ THE WEEK: It’s already started – the Epic Carseat Battles of Toddlerhood. I’ve learned a thing or 2 since my first carseat kerfuffle. The trick is to distract the child with a song. It doesn’t matter what song. I like to make up my own, such as “You’re a little stinkpot, short and stout. See how you wrestle, see how you shout.” To the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot,” of course.


Authors Agree: Marriage Is Hard

At various times, certain themes crop up in my life, when it seems like everything I read, hear, or see converges on a particular subject. The current theme is: marriage is hard.

Now, everyone calm down. I’m coming up on my 7th wedding anniversary and I have no plans to pull an “Eat Pray Love” maneuver and ditch my husband to flit around the world for a year. (Though I’d be lying if I said the thought hadn’t crossed my mind a time or 20.)

I mean, really, is it a newsflash to ANYONE that “happily ever after” is harder than it’s made out to be? Especially when you add 2 kids to the mix? Personally, I find it refreshing when people admit that. Which is probably why I enjoyed the following 2 books so much.

The novel Everyone Is Beautiful by Katherine Center follows a young mother of 3, Lanie, who reluctantly uproots her family and moves cross-country for her husband’s job. The descriptions of the pure chaos involved in raising small kids, the dicey playground politics, the challenges of being friends with other moms whose circumstances are vastly different from your own, and the constant grappling between spouses for free time rang SO true to life.

I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I have debated whether work happy hours “count” as leisure time. Just like I can’t tell you how many times people who say parenting may be challenging but not physically grueling change their tune after a couple hours with my kids. Anyway, you should read the book. And also, fellow blogger/writer Angie Mizzell's interview with the author.

On a very different but related note is Laura Munson’s memoir, This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness. Before I read the book, I read about this author’s long road to publication and found it hugely inspiring. Then I sought out her NYT “Modern Love” essay that the book is based on. (Especially interesting to me, since one of my students recently had an essay she developed in my online writing class published in Modern Love.) Then I bought the book.

Here’s the gist: what happens when your beloved husband of 15 years comes home one day and says, “I don’t love you anymore. I’m not sure I ever did”? I’m willing to bet 99% of us wouldn’t respond the way Munson did: “I don’t buy it.”

Even while reeling from shock and pain, she was able to recognize that this was more about him having a job-related midlife crisis than it was about her. The book covers the following year of Munson’s life as she turns to therapy, writing, mothering, cooking, friends, and nature to help her through this difficult time.

Like Center’s novel, it shows that even “good” marriages don’t guarantee happiness and personal fulfillment. Both books also explore what happens when women pursue their own passions. Honest, eye-opening, gut-wrenching, and yet also beautiful and even funny at times, Munson’s book was hard to put down.

Yep, marriage is hard, all right. Good thing there are writers out there willing to address the subject in such honest and uplifting stories.

LAUGH O’ THE WEEK: Two things you don’t want to hear on a long family roadtrip: 1) "Do you smell throw-up?" 2) "Or is that poop?" Answer: Both.

I tackled one kid while my husband handled the other. If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is.


Alone Again, Unnaturally

We’re currently visiting my parents on the New England coast. It’s a beautiful place to be in the summertime -- beaches, rocky shoreline, sparkling water dotted with sailboats, open expanses of wind-blown grass, wild roses climbing over old stone walls.

Not that I’ve had much chance to enjoy it, mind you. I’ve been busy with my usual activities, like changing diapers, applying sunscreen, packing snacks, and visiting every playground in the area. I’m not complaining, exactly. It IS nice to have a change of scenery once in awhile. And the grandparents do take some of the pressure off me. Not least by serving delicious nightly meals with wine and candles (!!)

Yesterday I managed to go for a bike ride by myself. The baby was napping and his brother was coloring semi-quietly in his room. “Don’t come back until you’ve gone 5 miles,” ordered my mom. I’m not sure if she’s concerned about my fitness or my mental health. Either way, I appreciated the sentiment.

The first part of the ride, I half-noticed the scenery and the sea air while continuing my usual incessant brain-chatter: “I have to get back by 3:30 or the baby will sleep too long and won’t go to bed tonight, plus that’ll give me time to take a shower before we meet our friends at the playground, which I’m not sure I know how to find exactly and I wonder if they have bathrooms there and I have to remember to pack the green sippy cup that doesn’t leak and the sunblock that doesn’t run into the baby’s eyes and -- dammit! I forgot to get more Overnite diapers..."

Unconsciously, I pedaled to the edge of a park overlooking the ocean. I stopped for a water break and leaned my bike against a high stone wall. Far off, a boat silently trailed a streak of white, like sidewalk chalk on a driveway. I heard the drone of bees and noticed a woodchuck trundling along in the underbrush a few yards away. A butterfly circled lazily overhead. Aside from a guy mowing a lawn in the distance, I was alone. Alone!

You know in that Dr. Seuss book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” there’s that line, “Alone is something you’ll be quite a lot”? I’m guessing he didn’t mean when you have 2 small kids. Because I am alone about as often as I make a nice, home-cooked family meal with wine and candles. Which is to say, almost never.

Not in the car, not in the house. Not in my bed, not in the kitchen. And especially, not in the bathroom. Going to the grocery store by myself doesn’t count. It just doesn’t. Technically, I guess you could say I’m alone on the treadmill when I go to the gym, but come on!

And I am a person who needs my alone time. Cherishes it. CRAVES it. I get to eat an entire cookie in peace. Listen to my own music. Think my own thoughts. (That part is key.) Ironic, since for a good part of my life I had too much alone time. If only it was something you could stock up on, like toilet paper at Costco. But that works about as well as stocking up on sleep before the baby comes, doesn’t it?

I know, I know. There will come a time, far too soon, when I am alone again. When my kids don’t need me as much. When I can take solo bike rides whenever the mood strikes. I wonder... will I appreciate them half as much when the time comes?

Nah. Just like I never fully appreciated "sleeping in" till 7 a.m. on a Saturday before I had kids.

READ O’ THE WEEK: After reading this article and the NYT essay that sparked the book (writers, take note!), I picked up Laura Munson’s This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness I am really, really enjoying it.


The Pros & Cons of Vacationing with Kids

Obviously, I use the word “vacation” loosely. Many a mom has realized that a trip with kids is more like a work-release program than a relaxing getaway. But still, it’s nice to get outta Dodge now and then, isn’t it?

Especially if “Dodge” is a euphemism for Baltimore in August, otherwise known as the 7th Circle of Hell. Because I am nothing without my lists, I’ve compiled one of the pros and cons of the so-called “family vacation.”

Pro: Traveling solo with small kids sometimes gets you perks, like being ushered to the front of the baggage-check line, and extra pretzels.

Con: If you’re flying Southwest, or another airline that’s done away with pre-boarding, you may find yourself squeezing down the aisle with 2 kids and an enormous carry-on bag, bumping into half the passengers as you make your way toward an empty row in the back of the plane.

Pro: If your baby is under 2, you don’t have to pay for their seat.

Con: If it’s a full flight, you’re stuck with a heavy, wiggly, and possibly damp child in your lap.

Pro: Your 4 y.o. is at an age where he can be entertained for an entire flight with a coloring book and some markers.

Con: Your 17 m.o. is entering the Terrible Twos early, and screetches bloody murder throughout the entire flight at not being allowed access to the markers.

Pro: Your kids are surprisingly compliant at bedtime, even though they’re sleeping away from home.

Con: Your kids are so well-rested and eager to explore their new surroundings that they wake up at 5:45 a.m. each day, raring to go.

Pro: Your children’s grandparents shower them with gifts every time you visit.

Con: Gram and Gramps seem to favor obnoxiously loud toys, like fire trucks with deafening sirens and talking Elmo books.

Pro: Having relatives around means built-in childcare so you can go out to lunch with a friend, go to the gym, or go see a movie with your spouse.

Con: Because they’re family doing you a favor, not paid childcare providers, you feel guilty and rush home ASAP.

Pros: Trips to the beach, ice cream cones, playing outside for hours

Cons: Daily sunscreen applications, post-sugar meltdowns, nightly baths

Pro: You get away from your daily routine for a week.

Con: You’re away from your daily routine for a week. No Handy Manny at 7:30 every morning? No Go-Gurt and Cheerios for snack? No favorite chair for bedtime stories? For a whole WEEK?!

It’s a wonder we all survive. But we do, and we do it again the next year. I guess the pros must outweigh the cons, huh? Or more likely, like so many parts of motherhood, we just block it out the minute it's over.

LAUGH O’ THE WEEK: Miles was introducing his Grandpa to Batman and his cast of characters, including the villain Dr. Doom. Grandpa remarked: “How come the bad guys always have PhD’s?”


Confessions of a Belated Writing Instructor

I was raised by 2 teachers. As far back as I can remember, my parents spent their evenings grading papers and had summers off. Like many children, however, I had zero interest in following in my parents’ footsteps. I wanted a corporate job in a big city. Skyscrapers, suits, business trips -- bring it on! It sounded so glamorous and important. I set my sights on publishing or advertising.

My first hint that maybe corporate life wasn’t so glamorous was a stint at a glossy NYC magazine in college. Then, the only job I could get after graduation was an unpaid internship at a regional magazine, which I supplemented with a job answering phones. So much for summers off.

I eventually worked up to a series of paying jobs at various magazines, communications depts., and internet companies. At the “height” of my career (I use the term loosely) I was making more money than I ever had and writing next to nothing. I wanted to jump off a bridge.

I became a freelance writer instead. Fast forward to a couple months after I had my first baby, when I was desperate to regain some semblance of my former professional, adult self. I found an online writing class that sounded perfect: “Writing and Publishing the Short Stuff: Especially for Moms.”

I was wowed. First, by the caliber of the instructor, Christina Katz. (You may know her as author of "Writer Mama," @thewritermama, or The Prosperous Writer.) She wasn’t a top editor at a big-name magazine like some of the instructors I’d had. She wasn’t affiliated with an Ivy League university. But boy, did she know her stuff. Her approach was positive and practical, a far cry from the snarky, “good-luck-you’ll-need-it” tone of many resources geared toward aspiring writers.

Christina was better, in fact, than some of my professors in a graduate program in publishing I’d completed years earlier. I’ll never forget what my thesis advisor said to me when, despite my top grades, I was having trouble finding a job: “Sorry, but I can’t really help you with that. I’ve never worked in publishing.”

Anyway, Christina and I hit it off and she asked me to be her teaching assistant for the next class. Eventually, she offered me my own class. Me? TEACH?! Remember my childhood vow to not follow my parents’ path? Except...

The idea was kind of appealing. I DID enjoy helping people improve their writing, and I HAD spent years and years studying and working in the publishing business. Since the classes were taught via e-mail, I could even fit them into my busy life as a mom. I decided to give teaching a shot.

Two years and 7 classes later, I can’t believe I didn’t start sooner. I have met some fascinating people and helped dozens of writers polish their work, gain confidence, and send their words out into the world.

And guess what? They’re getting published left and right! In regional parenting magazines, on web sites, in prestigious places like the Erma Bombeck Humor Writing Contest, Southern Living, the New York Times, and NPR!

So it turns out maybe teaching IS in my blood. I’ve accepted it. I embrace it. And I don’t even mind grading papers.

NEWS O’ THE WEEK: Due to popular demand, I am developing a Level 2 essay class that will launch in Nov. I am devoting nights, weekends, and naptimes to designing a course that delves deeper into how to write great personal essays and get them published.

In the meantime, registration is open for my intro class, “Personal Essays that Get Published,” which starts Sept. 8. (BTW, it’s a prerequisite for the Level 2 class.) For more info, student testimonials, and to sign up, go here.


A Poop Post, Featuring Tori Spelling

Warning: this post may contain content that some readers find objectionable. Namely, readers without children or those who are especially sensitive to descriptions of certain bodily functions. (Translation: this is a post about poop.)

Last week I read Tori Spelling’s memoir, Mommywood. A quick, fun read, my reaction was equal parts “Thank God I’m not famous and don’t have to deal with THAT” and “Wow, celebrities ARE just like the rest of us.” Case in point: they have to deal with their babies' poop.

Oh, Tori may take her tot to private swim lessons in salt-water swimming pools, but when the sh*t hits the swim diaper, she’s left holding the diaper bag. I laughed out loud at her description of how poop loses its “structural integrity” underwater, and how she debated whether to throw away a poopy towel and risk being seen as a wasteful, spoiled brat or whether to stuff the mess in her bag and bring it home.

In a related story, my parents were visiting last weekend and generously agreed to babysit -- and bathe –- the boys one night. All was well until the poop hit the tub. Miles screamed, my parents panicked, and the baby was oblivious. To capture the true horror of the experience, here’s an excerpt from a post I wrote when Miles was small, “Month 16: Tub Torpedo.” Add in another kid and it’s even worse.

“There’s no way around it: being a mom means dealing with gross stuff. I knew this going into it. And I’m not a gal who likes gross. From the moment I got pregnant I was bombarded with icky words like mucous and discharge and placenta. And the birth itself? Just yuck, people. Y-U-C-K.

And newborns, as everyone knows, do little more than pee and poop and spit up. Gross, but not that big a deal. Yet in spite of all my exposure to extreme grossness in the past year, I encountered a new level of nastiness the other night: the dreaded tub poop.

Now, I have been warned of this phenomenon by other moms. It’s even happened to C., who usually gives Miles his baths. I’m actually shocked that I’ve avoided it this long.

But no, that fateful evening, the baby stopped splashing, stood up, gave a telltale grunt and … the rest is just too gory to go into. But why stop now? You know what they say about, um, "stuff" hitting the fan? Well it’s worse when it hits the water. It immediately starts to dissolve and scatter in every direction. I swooped Miles out of that tub like I was rescuing him from the Titanic. Mayhem ensued. Gags were stifled. Powerful disinfectants were administered after the offending party was put to bed.

So now baths are back to being solely Dad’s domain. Isn’t it bad enough I went through childbirth? I can’t deal with this kind of carnage.”

I don’t want to spoil the book for you, but there’s another part where Tori describes scooping up a “dead leaf” floating near her toddler son in a hotel pool. Suffice it to say, mayhem ensued.



I figured everyone and their mother knew what Twitter is at this point. First of all: Ashton Kutcher. And second of all, you can hardly watch a commercial without hearing “find us on Twitter and Facebook!” (Thanks all the same but, no, I do not need to “follow” my plumber or become a fan of my favorite cereal on Facebook.)

Facebook, at least, everyone seems to be on board with. They make jokes about it on sitcoms. Even senior citizens are on it. (Though not my 98-y.o. grandfather... yet. He’s all over e-mail, though. He particularly loves to forward political jokes to everyone he's ever met.)

Me? I could take or leave Facebook. I don’t know why. I like looking at pictures of my high school friends’ kids as much as the next gal, but that’s about it. Maybe it’s the pushy way they try to suggest people I should friend? Maybe it’s the fact that “friend” is used as a verb?

But Twitter, on the other hand. I love. And I have encountered all sorts of people lately who are all, “I don’t GET Twitter. What’s the point? I don’t have time for that.”

I say, if you have time to post a 28-page album of your cats on Facebook, you have time for Twitter. Besides, the whole point is that it DOESN’T take up lots of time. Since you can only post (or “tweet”) 140 characters at a time, you can scroll through a whole page of witty one-liners, inspirational quotes, interesting links, and cute kid pics in the time it would take you to read ONE of your high school friend’s longwinded Facebook updates about her latest vacation in the Poconos.

And the other thing is, Twitter is just more fun. You can follow whoever you want -- even celebrities! (“Follow” being the equivalent of “friending” someone on Facebook.) There’s no pressure to get back in touch with your 7th-grade boyfriend or friend your father-in-law. (AWK-ward!) You can follow anyone you find interesting.

The other Twitter criticism (Twitticism?) I don’t get is when people say, “I don’t care what someone had for lunch.” Well, I DO! I really do want to know about someone’s black bean hummus and flaxseed tortilla chips. With recipes, if possible. (Thanks, @weelicious !) It gives me ideas for my own meals. Or at least lets me live vicariously through those who aren’t eating the leftover crusts from their kids’ PB&J.

And did I mention it’s fun? Just take a gander at some of these gems from my Twitter stream (that’s Twitter jargon for the list of tweets from people I follow):

* Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. (Mother Teresa)

* Camp Insanity: 6 Very Unusual Kid Camps http://su.pr/2vhP3R

* I wonder if bartenders can drink on the job.

* No air conditioning on the @megabus. Kill. Me. Now.

* Skip Hop Studio diaper bag 28% off. http://amzn.to/9gLBhX

* Awesome weekend with grandson's 2nd birthday party!

* “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” --Margaret Atwood

If you have a better way to pass the time while waiting for the baby to wake up from his nap any minute, or while your toddler watches Dora, or while you’re waiting...and waiting...and waiting for your husband to come home from work and put the kids to bed, by all means. Me? I’ll be tweeting my peeps. TTYL!

TWEETS O’ THE WEEK: Here are some of the famous people I follow on Twitter. Writers: @susanorlean, @ayeletw (Ayelet Waldman), @MargaretAtwood. Celebs: @torianddean (Tori Spelling), @RevRunWisdom (Rev Run from Run DMC), @kathygriffin, @ActuallyNPH (Neil Patrick Harris), @kevinweisman (Marshall on “Alias”!)


Hidy Ho, Neighbor!

I ran into my neighbor the other day. “Sally” has been having terrible problems with raccoons breaking into her house. I could commiserate, since we had a whole family of them living in our attic a while back. Ah, the joys of homeownership!

So Sally told me that the night before another neighbor had heard a strange noise and looked out the window to see a fireball hurtling down from the sky above Sally’s house. Turns out, the raccoon had chewed through an electrical wire, CAUGHT FIRE, and fallen in a smoking heap in Sally’s backyard!! (You can’t make this stuff up, people.) Adding insult to injury, she had to arrange for the raccoon’s charred remains to be removed. I didn’t even know there were people you could call for that!

I would never have learned of this bizarre incident if I didn’t know my neighbors. Can you imagine? I might wake up one night to a strange screetching, sizzling noise and NEVER KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.

There was an interesting article in Parade magazine a while back about neighbors. It mentioned how in certain parts of the country people are bucking the trend of favoring privacy over community. According to social scientists, neighborhood ties today are less than half as strong as they were in the 1950s, writes Peter Lovenheim. For this he partly blames the trend towards suburban “McMansions,” huge houses set back from sidewalk-less streets that further isolate neighbors from one another.

While we live in a city, quite close to our neighbors, it’s only fairly recently that we’ve gotten to know many of them. We attended the occasional block party or BBQ here and there, but it was the blizzard of 2010 that really cemented our relationships. We all had to band together to dig out of the 3+ ft. of snow that marooned us in our houses. A neighbor hiking to the store would offer to pick up some bananas for us. Another hosted a potluck supper, and another helped us push our car out of a snowbank.

Some new people have moved in, families with young kids like us. We pass each other on the street pushing plastic cars and strollers. I’ve gotten to be good friends with the only other stay-at-home-mom on the block. She’s been a GODSEND, I tell you. We have watched each others’ kids when one of us had to rush a sibling to the doctor. We get together for impromptu movie nights and splashes in the kiddie pool, and we commiserate over glasses of wine while our kids play and our husbands work late.

The best thing? It’s easy. I don’t have to make complex arrangements to schedule a playdate with a kid across town that will likely be cancelled at the last minute anyway due to illness. I don’t have pack up diaper bags and lunch boxes and drive somewhere. The kids have built-in playmates and I have a friend I see more than once every 6 weeks when the stars and schedules align.

It makes life a lot less lonely, too. An elderly neighbor once remarked that while you used to see people around all day long, now the street clears out by 9 a.m. My MIL tells me that moms in her neighborhood used to get together for coffee while the kids played in the yard. Wow. Socializing that doesn’t require signing up for high-priced, “enriching” children’s activities and forcing the baby to skip his nap!

I admit, it’s nice to have other adults around to talk to during the day. Ones who share their tomatoes and can tell you how to get your azaleas to bloom. Ones who will lend you a bicycle pump and bring in your mail when you’re on vacation.

And especially ones who can warn you to watch out for electrocuted raccoons falling from the sky.


My Weekend in Photos

Remember when weekends were a time to relax and recharge? Yeah, me neither. So in lieu of witty, insightful prose this evening, please accept these photos of my witty, excitable children.

"I can spot bad guys a mile away with my super-duper Spidey Shades!"

"Just chillaxin' in the dishwasher. How 'bout you?"

"No, MINE'S an innie and YOURS is an outie."

Biker Babies 1 & 2: Miles (on left) 8/07; Riley (on right) 8/10

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