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Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 05:55 pm
I hesitate to share this, given what it says about my house, but enh. It's hilarious.

Friday, we cleaned the laundry room, including sweeping and scrubbing the floor. That room has a kitty litter box, and their food and water, besides the laundry stuff.

Tonight Ian helped me move a load of laundry to the dryer. But only after stopping two steps into the room to exclaim "The floor is gone!"
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Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 05:45 pm
Well, okay, a piece of code is kicking my behind from here to tomorrow at work. (Hopefully no further. I need to make it behave and move on!)

But aside from that, so far so good. REALLY busy weekend, but fun.

Saturday:

Swim lessons, 9 am.

Then off to the Children's Museum where the Garage room (formerly 6+ years old only) is now open to all ages WITH parental supervision. I thought the boys would love it. They walked in, looked around, Drew said he was going to make a puppet and changed his mind, and they walked out. LOL. But they had a blast in the other rooms they went to, and it was a good time. Plus there's now a piano out front "feel free to play" and they did (unharmoniously, of course). (Neither is interested in piano lessons - at least yet - I did offer. But it's fun to push the keys anyway.)

Then on to our friend N's to celebrate his 50th birthday with gaming (and food and gifts, but lots of gaming). I played a game of Pandemic. We, um, failed to save the world. But only barely! We stopped three of the four pandemics. LOL. Scott and I wanted to stay longer but the boys were absolutely done, so we left. Just in time to dash to open swim! So we did, and had a blast.

Sunday we went to the Rennaissance festival for a couple hours. It's a pretty weak one, in that it's sort of a mix of things that fit and things that don't, and it's pretty small. But we got a good deal. It would have been more fun if the weather hadn't been so hot, but last year it _poured_ rain on us and at least this year we were not soaking wet! Got to see Cast In Bronze perform (omg awesome) and miscellaneous other fun. I would have liked to see more shows through, but the boys didn't really want to stay still for a whole show, and so it goes.

I got the most gorgeous hair ornaments there. I wasn't going to, but Scott talked me into them. I'm not sure how often I will wear them - but I really like them. So we'll see. :)

Scott was mourning after that, that he can no longer find his period-appropriate hat which he loved. It should be somewhere in the house, but if it is, it's totally missing. He'd been looking at the festival for another, but they didn't have one he liked. Well, I hunted up one online that I think he will like, and it's on its way. (I asked him, he agreed and said to surprise him, so.)

And my latest order of Goat Milk Stuff's soap is here. And the tomatoes are still doing well.

And tomorrow, maybe I'll get that problem bit of code back in line.

Oh, and our road's now closed where it joins the main road, until some time in October. The other path out isn't too bad as long as they're not working on that corner, though. I'll be glad when they've completely finished that, because right now it's kind of un-fun if I have to go through it when they're there.
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Friday, August 15th, 2014 12:42 pm
We live on a dead-end road in a tiny neighborhood. We have two routes out to the main street - and no other routes out at all. Our best route is to follow our road to the street. Our second best meanders through the rest of the neighborhood.

Hang on, visual behind the cut )

So. We live where it says "Us" and you can see it's a fairly dense neighborhood (I didn't label the apartments and condominiums not off our street, but you can find them if you look).

The blue line? They are extending another street to meet ours. (Actually, it will *become* the street there and ours will T into it, but close enough.) Which means that for 6-8 weeks, the red section will be closed.

Fun times! Now we have only one route out - meandering through the neighborhood.

But, yesterday and today, there is additional construction work at the orange corner (between us and the rest of the neighborhood), so we have to wait for a flagger to get through.

And even better, also yesterday/today, the senior center closest to the red line is having their PARKING LOT resurfaced...so all the cars are street parked.

I don't see how the garbage truck could make it in or out today, it literally could not fit. (Maybe by Monday it'll be better? I hope? That's when they actually come for the houses, though the senior centers and apartments have their own pickup schedule....) It's amazingly ridiculous.

I can live (not without some whining, I suspect) with the 6-8 weeks of meandering. But the "I have a channel home that is at times barely as wide as my car" part is getting pretty stressful. :P
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Sunday, August 10th, 2014 01:25 pm
Oh man I am stuffed. Happily. The kids mostly ate the rice (Drew) and olives/pineapple (Ian), but both tried the chicken, and Ian at least said 'yum' and liked the spicing. Scott and I loved it.

Recipe, in case anyone wants it )

And enough leftovers for me to have a couple lunches this week from it (one wrap in a tortilla - yes, I'm weird - and one salad with a side of the dish cold), plus probably another meal's worth of rice (for Drew) and meat/sauce/whatever (for Scott and I, with olives for the boys).

...yes, really, it went that fast. Inhale-worthy. Though if I weren't cooking for the boys, I'd be really tempted to omit the black olives. They don't hurt the flavor, but they're not adding much ... except for making the small ones even try the meal. Which is a lot. (And no one even noticed the onion in the end result, which is IMO the way onion should be - adding to the whole and keeping quiet about it. :)
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Sunday, August 10th, 2014 12:35 pm
One of my friends linked to The Real Reason Why Kids Fidget (an article in the Huffington Post).

Honestly, kids have energy. Who is surprised by this? I'm happy if they don't dismantle my house.

This morning, it was heading that way, so I took them to the 'walking park', the neighborhood park nearest us. It's 4/10 of a mile away, and its tile is in scare quotes because actually there are four parks I'd classify as being within walking distance of us - this is just the closest.

The others are 8/10 of a mile for another neighborhood park, walking only (there's a trail in there - so it's longer by car), 7/10 of a mile for the water park by the Korean War Memorial, or 0.9 miles to the upper part of Memorial Park (1.1-1.2 for the lower part). The upper part of Memorial Park has both a water feature and the playground with the enormous slide, so.

We are blessed. Especially because small children have - as I started out saying - a LOT of energy. Drew _ran_ all the way to the walking park, stopping when I called out (because I couldn't see him again) for him to wait, and stopping for streets that needed to be crossed. Ian ran a little ways and then walked the rest. And then both went wild on the playground. Using curbs as balance beams, climbing all over the play structure, bouncing on the teeter totter, swinging on their stomachs, and SOMEHOW talking ME into a wild game of tag. The only one tired at the end of that was...ME.

I did text Scott to come get us, but that was because Ian wanted to stay and Drew wanted to go. As it turned out, when Drew realized that if he played any longer he'd be _walking_ back with Dad, who wasn't tired, he decided he could go home with us in the car, so we all drove back. :)

Drew also said, as we were going over, "Mom, know what happens when I use up all my energy? Poof, I get more!" Said with a fountaining-up-from-the-head gesture with his hands.

Yes, Drew. I know. Trust me, I know. :)
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Monday, August 4th, 2014 08:15 pm
http://www.livejournal.com/support/faq/350.html

But they're not becoming Facebook. No really.

Luckily, I don't think most people care about that 'feature', and I pay no attention to what's there anyway, but ... wow.
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Monday, August 4th, 2014 08:06 pm
No, seriously...I don't need to know about kids who died in hot cars in other states. It doesn't help my life in any way, and there is nothing I can do to help with that problem. I certainly need to know about the risks and not to leave my kids in hot cars, but a) I know that and b) the sad stories don't really help.

I don't need to know about a great number of things the news tells me about. I need to know about things that affect my life or that I might be able to help with. (For example, when they were looking for a local woman who had done something fairly horrible - I will skip the details, because you don't need to know them! - having everyone aware just in case they saw her was important. Now that they've captured her, having us know not to keep an eye out, also useful. But do I really care about further coverage of what she did and the court process? NO I DON'T. Unless someone sets up a fund for a particular person...that I would want to know about.)

I also don't need to know about the feel-good humanitarian stories, but I don't mind those because they give something, if only the light pleasure of knowing there's still good in the world. Individual horror stories that can't be changed or addressed, and don't personally affect me other than by existing on the news, however, neither give me anything, nor permit me to give anything.

I wish there were not quite so MANY of them in the local headlines right now. I am tired of being tired. (SIX out of 10 leading stories at the moment. And you could make a case for one more, but I think it's more irrelevant than directly bad...but it wouldn't be IN the news if the woman at the center of the non-news hadn't been at the center of another story in prior years....)

Bleh.
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Sunday, August 3rd, 2014 05:49 pm
The boys are now registered for swim lessons next session - going in person as soon as registration opened worked nicely, I got exactly the slots I most wanted so that my schedule won't be insanity. :) And they had fun at swim lessons and open swim.

My new prescription swim goggles are in and I'm very pleased with them - they do what I'd hoped for and they do it well. And the frames we wanted to try for my new glasses came in, I tried them on, and I love them. Lenses are now ordered, so I wait again, for those as well as a backup pair I ordered at one of the cheap online sites. I think the latter will be acceptable for a backup pair, but I distinctly went cheap on the options and they wouldn't be my first choice for anything else. That's not the point for them. :)

Laundry, kitchen cleaning, dishes, care for the vegetables - all done. I picked all the carrots; they aren't doing well in these containers, and the other things in with them will do better with them out.

Yesterday was Fun in the Park also, and we did have fun. Drew got a balloon sword, Ian got a balloon cat, both got cotton candy. Ian tried chicken teriyaki and liked it, which was kind of neat. I would have preferred to spend more time on things I instead went right by, but in all honesty, not much time all the same.

Today, the boys went with Scott to the zoo while I got stuff done around the house (at my request!). Then we went to the library, where they turned in their summer reading program and got to pick free books and science experiment kits, and got (rather nice, really) packets of coupons/freebies. Being small and indulged is apparently good for your ability to snag treats.

And I almost finished reading a book! _Cast In Flame_. I will finish it tonight, I swear I will. :) And then I will sulk because the sequel isn't out yet, if history is any judge.
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Sunday, July 27th, 2014 09:07 am
First, thank you God and thank you all of you who prayed or thought of us or just expressed that you cared. Uncle Dick's melanoma was successfully removed and contained, and he was officially declared cancer-free on Thursday. He has some rehab to go through because of where things had to be removed, but that beats cancer by a great deal.

Parenting moments:

The boys needed new shoes. (Ian destroyed one pair, and the other pair was getting too small. Drew's last pair was coming apart at the toes.) So we got them new shoes...and I about melted, because after Drew picked out the Bumblebee transformers shoes, Ian got the same shoes in his size. (They were one of the three he was already looking at.) Small kids being hard on shoes, we usually get them two pairs. I was going to get the second pair rather more cheaply than the store we were in, but Drew begged very sweetly for a second pair there - Star Wars with light sabers and a light saber noise. So Ian got a second pair and picked police sneakers with flashing lights.

This wasn't deliberately a reward for swimming, but since it was right after swim lessons it may have been taken that way. Both boys have advanced a level! Drew to Water Safety 3, Ian to Advanced Parent-Tot 2. There's only two sessions of APT2 that suit our schedule, so he may have to go to APT1 again anyway, but I'll try to avoid that. Which is to say I'll be at the swim school when registration opens, next Saturday morning at 7 am, and will likely have been waiting a little while. Ugh. Well, so it goes. This is the only session likely to be that way for quite a while - Ian will graduate out of APT2 based on age, and move into either water safety 2 or 3 depending on what his teacher says, both of which have a lot more time slots.

Me and health:

I've had my annual eye exam and my prescription is the same and my retinas are fine. I'm not so fond of having my eyes dilated, but it is pretty important in general and especially with my vision. And by next weekend I will have prescription swim goggles to wear when I swim, which would be awesome, because right now I wear my glasses into the pool and that is _not_ good for them. (But I have to be able to monitor the boys, which means I have to be able to see them, and that means glasses.) New glasses are also in the works, but I'm waiting for frames that are being ordered in so I can see them.
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Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 07:53 pm
I picked the boys up at day care tonight. On the way home tonight:

Drew grabbed the green toy car and announced, "I have the cool car!"
He was taunting Ian. Ian grabbed the silver car and replied happily, "I have the cool car!"
Drew, sounding aggravated: "I do!"
Ian, sounding happy: "I do!"
Repeat a couple times as Drew gets more frustrated before I tell them both to drop it.

Later, Ian, aggravated tone: "Mommy, Drew is LOOKING out my WINDOW!"

...

And still later they argued whether the man in the construction site was Bob the Builder, a discussion that has happened _every time_ Ian has seen people in the construction site since they started. Made much more hilarious tonight because the dude probably shouldn't have been in there, didn't have a hat on, and was walking his small dog. (It was after-hours and no one was working, but.)
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Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 08:22 am
Context link, in case anyone is unaware, with trigger warning because harassment *and* stupidity in the response thereto: http://radishreviews.com/2014/07/21/wiscon-the-frenkel-decision/

Cut for excessive capitalization and bolding, and some near-swearing )
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Saturday, July 19th, 2014 08:07 pm
http://www.kgw.com/news/Boy-with-brain-tumor-just-wants-box-of-cards-for-birthday--267802461.html

This is current, and currently on multiple news sites. I find no debunking of it in a quick search. Meaning that this one is probably real and currently topical, so if you are inclined to send birthday cards to a boy (whose tumor is inoperable, and of a type that tends not to respond well to chemo, so...yeah) - the article has the PO box.
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Saturday, July 19th, 2014 01:00 pm
So, we're doing the summer library program, which is reading for 20 minutes a day, with the boys. And it comes with a separate track of doing science experiments also. We're trying to do that with the boys, but really, mostly with Drew - Ian doesn't entirely understand (not surprising - he isn't even three!) and also gets bored.

Today, however, Ian managed to stay focused for most of the time involved.

See, I got a book on candy experiments.... So we did color dispersion, and dissolving candy in water and adding baking soda to tell if it was an acid (and confirming that acids were sour, which of course meant a taste test of the candies, which was popular), and then - stretching the definition of experiment marginally, but in a good cause - we compared the behavior of *chocolate* in a microwave to the behavior of a *marshmallow* in the microwave.

Happy boys. Too much sugar around, but I think I kept the ingested amount reasonable, and happy boys.

And we still have a "pizza box oven" out back trying to heat s'mores. I think they've actually subsided on the plastic and are no longer in the proper shape, but eh, we'll see. If they melt, it will have made its point. And really, shouldn't candy science be sticky and gooey and messy?
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Friday, July 18th, 2014 06:36 pm
Quiet days of getting things done around the house. Good books. Information. Computers. Cameras. Trellises. Wild tomatoes. Wild boys. Good days at day care. Pizza (that I can actually have, because I know how many pills to take). Computer games. (Regular games, but tonight's is canceled. It happens.) Getting the grocery shopping done while I don't have to worry about the on-call phone. Hot showers. Card games. Chips Ahoy Chocolate Reese's (basically brownies with peanut butter).

Friends. And now I wander away from the keyboard to spend time with the one who is here. :)
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Sunday, July 13th, 2014 08:11 pm
Today we had thunderstorms, complete with lightning. Way too daylight for any dramatic pictures to even be attempted, but I got to see the flashes and hear the thunder, and share my joy with the boys.

And remember how much my mother loved a good summer thunderstorm. Ours aren't as impressive as the ones she grew up with in Ohio, one of the things I know she missed. But they're not half bad, and I enjoy them, and I think of her.
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Sunday, July 13th, 2014 01:11 pm
Today's lunch, for example, was brought by the letters Q, M, and W (Qdoba, McDonald's, and Wendy's). Why? Because we didn't have anything planned and were up against Lunchtime, and if I'm going to buy crap for the boys, I will at least buy crap they will eat excitedly. That's McDonald's. On the other hand, Scott gets really tired of McDonald's and really likes Qdoba. Normally I'd have gone with one of those two, but Wendy's had a new pretzel burger I really wanted to try.

And so it goes. Sadly, the pretzel burger is really good. Sadly because it is not the greatest choice calorie-wise. Heh.

On the other hand, as the title says, garden! Ian has this ridiculously enormous tomato plant. (It is from a seed started because he chose tomatoes, therefore, it's in his planter, therefore it's "his" tomato plant.) The thing, if it were not in a planted, would be about as tall as he is or a bit more I think. In the planter it's definitely taller.

I took 6-foot trellises and set them up adjacent to support the tomato because the tomato support has been more or less absorbed and the tomato was merrily going sideways and down from out of the overwhelmed thing. Hilarious. Now if only some of those flowers actually, yannow, become tomatoes. (No, it's not a six-foot tomato. But I had standard flimsy tomato cages, and 6-foot trellises. So.)
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Saturday, July 12th, 2014 03:15 pm
The weather is too hot for me at the moment. But I am still getting things done.

I kind of LOVE the City Pickers planters I'm using for growing our veggies. Because we were in Wisconsin for the Fourth of July weekend - we left midday July 3 and came back the evening of July 7, and the water reservoirs were empty but the plants were fine - they'd had enough water to carry them through (as planned). Awesome. Ian's planter has the most amazingly happy tomato in it, this thing would be almost as tall as he was if it was starting from ground level. (As it is, it's taller.)

The boys have swim lessons on Saturdays at Children of the Sea, and we usually go back for open swim in the evening. It used to be that I found both quite pleasant. Now I am not as fond of the swim lessons even though I am very proud of Ian!

Reason being: he started out in parent-tot, where a parent must be in the water with him. Also, he started out super-clingy to me, so I was that parent. And when the pool - and the room it's in - is heated to 90 degrees (they teach all the way down to infants).... Well, being in the water is nice than sitting on the bench watching. LOL.

Anyway, he's now in advanced parent-tot, where one of the goals is to get the parent out of the water and the kiddo still content and fine. And today was my first session out of the water. He did NOT want to get in, but a bribe of a toy got him in, and once he was in he was fine. Sniffle. I'm so proud of him, and it's awesome that he's getting so confident in the water. But...I kind of want him to regress so I don't broil. LOL.

In unrelated news, I bought two pounds of blueberries at Costco today. Those who know my kids - especially my "little fruit bat" (Ian) - will probably not be surprised to learn that I expect us to actually eat them all this weekend. You might be surprised to know that in less than 2 hours, about 3/4 of a pound (judging by volume now missing) have been eaten. Goodness.

Dinner tonight is going to be what the kids call "toothpick snacks" - little cut up bits of cold food and a toothpick to stab them with. It's a win-win-win: healthy foods (when chosen well), the kids consider it a treat, no one eats something hot when they're already hot, and I don't have to heat the kitchen up by cooking. Assuming we still have any left by then, the blueberries are part of that. (Also grapes, ham, chicken, cheese, and possibly some marshmallows just to keep it from being purely healthy. And bread cubes if anyone wants them, but history says I shouldn't cut any bread up before asking. Heh.)

They now make Vanilla Coke Zero. I miss Vanilla Coke! So, we'll see.
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Friday, July 11th, 2014 04:45 pm
I was re-reading early 2002 (January-April) tracking down when we started the move into our first house (April, we got the keys on the 23rd).

I used to post A LOT back then. And I'm wistful for some of the exchanges and fun then.

I have two kids now, and I don't have as much time to post, but I am going to try not to be radio silent for weeks or months at a go. *nods*

Yesterday, we had our "regular" Thursday night gaming session. I put regular in quotes because we now only have one of those a month starting this month - the other three moved to Fridays!

That's awesome because Drew is five and starts kindergarten in the fall, Ian is two and will move up to preschool sometime in the next year (probably in about six months when he turns three, I'm guessing, but he's VERY verbal, so maybe sooner), and the "Friday morning meltdown after a late Thursday" symptom, which hits about 25% of the time, bites. So reducing it to once a month instead of four times a month for a potential trigger? HUGE.

Anyway, last night we were playing the Pathfinder Kingmaker game Scott runs (the one that is staying on Thursdays) and I posted a couple Facebook statuses that I think my friends here will also be amused by:

And now I cut because some of you are both places, and it's probably not so funny you want to read it twice. )

And a random bit of silly from Tuesday, involving picking on a 5-year-old a bit.

ALSO already posted on FB. )
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Sunday, June 1st, 2014 06:33 pm
But I sort of did. Sorry about that. I've been reading, and commenting, intermittently - but not very reliably. I have been a bit overcommitted, though mostly getting things done and enjoying it.

Anyway, a quick update on key points. Since the beginning of the year:
  • I've been eating better and exercising more. I've improved my stamina and lost some weight. And I am mostly pleased but _slightly_ annoyed because I now need to shop for a smaller swimsuit, and swimsuit shopping is not my idea of fun.
  • Drew and Ian have been in swim lessons. Both are now enjoying their time in the water. Ian swims well with floaties and flippers; Drew swims decently without. But most of all, they're enjoying it, and I loved swimming when I was little, so that's precious to me.
  • My job continues, and is good, but there's not much changed there in terms of what goes on. I got a good review, which I'm always happy for.
  • We continue to play roleplaying games weekly. I'm trying to negotiate a shift of days so the boys aren't staying up late nights before school.
  • Drew starts kindergarten in the fall! Where does the time go? He is so pleased. And I think he's in good shape to start - he can count to 40, he can identify, write, and recite the alphabet (in and out of order), he can write his name, etc. I've been to the parent meeting, and I like the people and the school (which in general doesn't surprise me: our local schools are very good; but it's nice to find your observations match with others').
  • I am still finding time for reading, and for the record, Michelle Sagara's _Silence_ is excellent and also a very hard read. And the Wearing the Cape series continues to be really fun reading.
  • I may be a little too fond of bullet points.
  • Ian likes shrimp! Yes, I totally consider that an accomplishment on my part.


...yeah, I still exist. I'm not sure any of that is all that interesting, but there it is.

I am still thinking of things I'm grateful for daily. I'm not posting them any more. It hurt an acquaintance who thought I was more active on Twitter than I was and became upset that I didn't read all of the hundreds of messages posted to my Twitter feed every day, and I feel bad about that, but also ... as much fun as they were, I'm not sure they had much substance. So, that also means I'm not cross-posting them.

Today was Fun in the Park in Wilsonville! It was a good time. There was a racing group/museum/whatever there with a kid racer car that the kids could sit in. Drew got his photo taken in it. They can race starting at 8 and it can go up to 90 mph. O.o Uh, no. Thanks. Yikes. I enjoyed the art, but I enjoyed the people-watching and the kids - the water features were on for the first time this weekend - even more. And the food. (Pork/cranberry and beef/raising empanadas. Hmm. And shoestring fries made fresh from a whole potato while you watched. Neat. So there's that.

Some guy was walking his two little dogs and paying so little attention he didn't notice one lifting its leg on a vendor's display panel. The vendor did and was NOT amused. I can't fault her. Luckily, her art was on display above that little dog's height - but the panel still got peed on, and I don't imagine she needed that in her day. :|
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Sunday, February 9th, 2014 03:09 pm
Nearly daily (I try for daily), I post something I am grateful for to my Twitter and Facebook. I used to collect those here, but honestly, I'm not sure the medium really suited them and it became a chore. But today I feel like a longer post than Twitter/Facebook allows, because there is so much I'm grateful for:

I'm grateful for the snow outside, which is gloriously beautiful. I'm grateful for first snowballs, and first attempts at snowman, and kids "sledding" in cardboard boxes, and laughter and dashing inside to shed snow and snowy clothes all over the carpet, before burrowing into blankets.

I'm grateful for my house - it's messy, yes, because it's full of joy and family. It's also warm, secure against the elements, and we haven't lost power this whole storm. I'm REALLY grateful that the furnace died and was replaced in November, so that we have faced this snowy little storm with a brand new high-efficiency furnace.

I'm grateful for our health - horrible colds aside, we've been well, and we're sturdy enough to get through those. I'm grateful that Ian is healing well after being smacked in the nose with a wooden train tunnel - quite the dramatic cut. Noses like to bleed. But it appears to be mending fine.

I'm grateful for our two cats, for cuddles and purring - and for Ray's tolerance of small hands attempting to pet him, and perhaps doing so less than gracefully or comfortably at times.

I'm grateful for friends, family, and coworkers - I am lucky enough to have some of the best ever, of all three.

I'm grateful for a job that allows me to work from home, which is very handy when the forecast suggests that might be the only way I'm getting home at the end of the day - and even more handy when day care calls out closed early.

I'm grateful for an amazing day care that is so wonderful for the boys, teaching and guiding them as well as taking care of them.

I'm grateful for so much more, but I fear this is becoming self-indulgent. Feeling so lucky after this weekend.