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Friday, October 13th, 2017 10:42 pm
So. When I pack a banana as a snack, I take a Sharpie and write a little note on it. Sometimes it's sweet or kind or encouraging.

Often it is, instead, a joke. Usually a corny joke - which around here gets called "a Mom joke" if that tells you anything. :)

So, I think earlier this week but maybe it was late last, I sent them in with bananas that read:
Q: What do you call a fish with no eyes?

A: A fsh!

This is funny, and I thought Ian in particular would get a good laugh out of it. I was right, but I was a little underestimating, apparently. At parent-teacher conference yesterday, his teacher told me he enjoyed it greatly. Then he told it to her a couple times. And he told it to all his classmates, all of whom started laughing. (She's not sure they all got it - some just liked saying 'fsh!' she thinks, or found it funny because everyone else did.) Then they told it to each other. And her.

...I wonder how many parents got to hear about fsh! that night.

There's a variant in our house now - I first heard it from Ian, apparently he got it from Andrew, and where Andrew got it I am not sure.
Q: What do you call a fish with no eyes?

A: A leaky pipe! *hand gestures of water splashing out* FSH!


...my Mom joke has been one-upped, even.
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Sunday, August 13th, 2017 08:49 am
Those who are familiar with Badge Magic are probably saying "oh no" based on that subject line. For those who are not: it is an adhesive used to attach Scout emblems and patches to uniform shirts. It's also designed to be fully removeable, leaving the shirt and patches reusable; as such, it's not as strong as sewing them on or using an iron on or fusing item, but it's much more convenient if your Scout outgrows the shirt but still needs those patches. And of course, it has its own arcane rules. (It's also more convenient because you can use it without any special tools but a pair of scissors, although access to a dryer is preferred - it heat-sets in the dryer, which is ideal, but it's pretty good at what it does even before that step.)

So, yesterday, I did a load of kids' laundry. I knew that Andrew's class-A Cub Scout shirt was in there, but I forgot, and just tossed it in the washer. Ooops. You should wash these things inside-out (even if you sew on the badges, it's probably a good idea; if you use Badge Magic you definitely should) so all the edges of all those patches don't catch on things and get pulled away.

I kind of got lucky - I spotted it post-wash and fixed it before the dryer, so at least they didn't continue to get pried off, and also none of them came all the way off (although one of the little segments came close).

So I dried it and figured that today I would try to reattach all the loose bits with more Badge Magic. If you know badge magic, you can guess the alternative and the details. If you don't, they're here, but probably still boring. )

Laura's monologue this morning:
  • I hope Badge Magic can save me.
  • Oh, this is going to be tedious.
  • There, got one on! This is going to work. I love Badge Magic. Of course, that was one of the two easy ones because it peeled so far back, but still, this is going to work.
  • Ugh, how big a piece do I need here?
  • I hate Badge Magic. No, get OFF my FINGERS.
  • There. Try again. Oh, that worked. Fiddly, but it worked. I love Badge Magic.
  • This segment almost came off. I'll just take it off, rough-clean the area without solvent, and put it back on.
  • Why could it not have been the Raingutter Regatta segment that came off? I wanted to replace that one with the other segment for that with the other color set, anyway.
  • Oh, I hate Badge Magic. Good thing I'm not going to put my fingers in the dryer, but I'd like the use of my thumb back.
  • Um, no, no, no. No gluing the scissors shut.
  • Arrrgh, what was this pre-attached badge attached with? Well, it wasn't sewn and all the others were, so I'm hoping it was Badge Magic. Even if it wasn't, it should still work to do it now.
  • Hey, it worked! Oh, argh, get OFF my FINGERS you stuff. There.

I showed Scott the results pre-heat-set and he agreed they looked good. Into the dryer for 10 minutes to heat-set it (an optional but highly recommended step) and lay it flat to settle after. I think it's all back to normal, and if not, I'll just have to tweak a few corners. Which is, um, when I'm most likely to temporarily stick my fingers together. At least it isn't superglue.

Given all this, I figure that next month Andrew will have a sudden growth spurt and outgrow the shirt, because that is just my luck. :P
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Saturday, April 15th, 2017 09:12 am
Town Easter egg "hunt" in less than an hour now. Hunt is in quotes because they just set the plastic eggs out on the grass at the ball fields and turn the kids loose age-by-age in separate sections.

Candy, prizes, all that. Yes, we're going. Wish me luck, but this is the only scheduled thing I need to deal with this weekend. (Scott is taking Ian to a birthday party tho.)

And as usual, my instruction to my kids will be: NO PUSHING, whether they're smaller or bigger than you. This is a non-contact sport.

His first year doing it, Ian stopped and opened eggs, and got all of three. He doesn't do that any more, but you know, I'm fine with it if he does. I like watching them get all excited. I don't mind if they don't get anything else out of it.
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Friday, April 7th, 2017 05:38 pm
(Crossposted with Facebook, yes.)

Good flamin' gravy.

Ian's entire preschool was indoors all day...reasonably...because first thing this morning a tree came down between the two buildings, missing both of them and also any people, but clearly setting the tone for the day.

Andrew got to do recess in his classroom today, for similar reasoning, minus the object demonstration by mother nature.

Trees along my work parking lot had dropped branches as big around as my wrist or bigger, and ten+ feet long. Our neighbor's (fortunately smallish) street tree is...rather more literal about the 'street' part than is normally the case.

And traffic is a mess.

But no significant property damage, unless you count the trees, anywhere I've been so far. And no injuries I'm aware of. Fingers crossed!
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Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 06:50 pm
Some days I feel like I'm in a parenting comic.

On the way to pick up Andrew, Ian had a discussion with me about gender.

On the way home, Andrew out of the blue asked if we will have another baby...because we could play more games if we had another player in the family.

You know you have a gamer when they want a sibling to increase the gaming pool? Sigh.




Also? Be careful what you ask for and how you phrase it.

Me, some while ago: "Ian, sometimes you just come up and start talking, but I'm in the middle of something. You get frustrated when I don't listen; I get frustrated because I missed some of what you said. Instead, can you say 'Mom, can I tell you something?' and then wait until I say 'yes' and turn my attention to you, and then tell me?"

Ian, then: "Sure! Mom, can I tell you something?"

...

Ian, now: "Mom, can I tell you something?"

Me: "Yes."

Ian: (Tells me something.) "Mom, can I tell you something?"

Me: "...yes."

Ian: (Tells me the next sentence of the same thing.) "Mom, can I tell you something?"

Etc. This can go on for six or eight repeats.

I asked for this but this was not what I meant! Now to find a way to phrase the correction that will walk it back just enough but not too much. It's hard in the moment, because I'm just sitting there thinking, *don't reply with "can I stop you?", don't*....
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Monday, January 23rd, 2017 06:55 pm
Andrew's registration fees for the after-school enrichment courses this term is paid. And Ian's kindergarten registration is filed now, and I can forget about it for the time being. Yay! It's different from when Andrew entered kindergarten, but not by a lot. No choice of half-day or full-day (it's all full-day now) and no fee for full-day. But now you need a form that they've had a dental and vision check. Before that was not required (although Andrew had had both; they simply didn't care if I had proof or not).

Also today, Andrew's backup pair of glasses arrived. He likes them, though hopefully he won't need to wear them often.

Tomorrow I have a meeting at Ian's preschool. Wednesday I have my annual physical (and have to fast for it, because blood tests), and Andrew has a dental appointment in the afternoon (which Scott is handling, fortunately for my ability to get work done). Thursday will hopefully be the day that I pick up Apple. Friday we have the gaming group over in the evening.

Saturday I may hibernate. ;)
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Monday, January 9th, 2017 07:57 pm
Ian has an early chapter book, the Magic Schoolbus and bones. (Inside a skeleton costume factory, not inside an actual skeleton.) He loves it. I am rather tired of reading it to him - I'm not yet in danger of memorizing it word for word, but I have read it a lot. It's been the main - often the only - bedtime book for...well, almost since he got it. (Almost because there were a few other books and they got read for the first time before this one did.)

I am so so SO glad he got it for Christmas. He adores it.

But I'm still a little tired of it. :)
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Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 03:20 pm
First, I supported Bernie. Absent Bernie, I supported Clinton. I find Trump's win as worrisome at best, scary at worst. That said, he _is_ now President-elect, and I have to live in this reality and not another one.

That's my bias. This is not, however, going to be about that, but about what I hope we will all - regardless of how we voted - act _now_. If you'd like to skip over the rest of this post, here's a cut tag, but I hope you'll keep reading )

* This is actually my one sticking point. If you supported Trump to upend Washington DC, or because you liked other parts of what he said, or because you hated Clinton - I don't agree with you but I'm not going to argue it. At this point history will sort that out. But if you supported Trump or wanted to support Trump because you think people of another race, or of another religion, or of another gender, are less-than and should be treated as such?

If that's the case, please unfriend me. I'm not unfriending anyone over politics. I will unfriend over bigotry if it's there.
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Saturday, May 14th, 2016 11:12 am
Scott and I are both feeling a bit run-down and off today, so no swimming today after all. (Open swim at Children of the Sea is closed tonight in any case, but we'd planned to go to Canby. Now? Nope.) Luckily, Canby has public swim 1-3 Saturday _and_ 3-5 Sunday, so we can still get plenty of swimming in tomorrow too.

The cookies I baked were a hit, which is good.

A while ago it was noisy upstairs, but Scott was in amongst it and it didn't sound un-cheerful, so I ignored it.

I just went up to help Ian put away a game, and Scott got to enjoy my reaction - the dresser that was supposed to be moved today or tomorrow from Andrew's room to Ian's room is IN IAN'S ROOM. Scott and the boys moved it. It's not a small dresser, and the boys are rightly proud of themselves.
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Saturday, August 29th, 2015 06:25 pm
It was always questionable - the boys and I had our eye exams this morning, and if they dilated us, maybe not. Then we saw the forecast with a 70% chance of rain...maybe not. It stormed this morning (YAY) and then was supposed to (and did) again in the afternoon (oops) and they also dilated our eyes (all three of us), so no state fair today. Tomorrow, Drew has a swim lesson in the late afternoon so that's not a really good time.

But next weekend - Saturday or Monday would work. So we deferred. (We pre-bought the tickets and wristbands to get a better price, so we ARE going, barring disaster.)
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Friday, June 26th, 2015 06:10 pm
(Sorry for those of you who already saw this on Facebook.)

They are just across the street from the school where Drew has summer camp. There are two summer camp groups there that I know of, the YMCA and the Club K.

Today, the Buddhist temple had a big event (yesterday too, except it did not have as big an impact as it did today). Their parking lot filled up and they directed overflow parking to the school. I hope with permission, but I really have no idea. I got what looked to be a parking space that had recently been vacated in the front, just as I was hyperventilating about being able to park at all, because _EVERYTHING_ I could see was parked up - not just the parking spaces, including the handicapped spots, but also the no-parking drop-off zone in front of the school.

When we left, they had parked up the curbs around the central turning area and even the right turn lane almost to the exit from the driveway.

More details and blathering and what I emailed and so on )

I have resisted creating one-time-use tags of "common courtesy isn't" and "a little kindness please?" and "how about being mindful of others?" and so on. :P

And of course, the more-than-90-degree heat (and the fact that I have to hike to a back side door, which is NOT related to the parking situation and is normal for pickup here, it's just a longish walk when it's hot) didn't help my reaction. :P
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Sunday, June 21st, 2015 07:42 am
...to all the fathers out there, and everyone who has a father they love. And gentle wishes for a good day to all those wanting to be fathers and not yet there, and all those missing their fathers.

Drew heard about breakfast-in-bed for Mother's Day (after Mother's Day) and declared his intent to do breakfast-in-bed for Scott on Father's Day. I got the stuff set up, including hot pan and oil, and brought him the eggs. He cracked the eggs, scrambled the eggs, spiced the eggs. I poured them in the pan, he stirred them in the pan. I lifted the pan, he scraped the eggs out on to the plate.

Ian put the toast in the toaster oven and turned it on (with me watching him). He could have buttered it but backed out, so I did that. We also put some of the pineapple (that Ian picked out at the grocery store because he wanted pineapple, not with Father's Day in mind) on the plate, so. :)

Scott asked us to take the breakfast back out to the kitchen so he could eat there, but still, he was brought breakfast in bed. I think it was pretty cool. And Scott liked his juice. (It was blue raspberry juice...lol.)
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Saturday, June 20th, 2015 05:47 pm
So, Ian's hair blew into his face at the farmer's market on Thursday. He complained. I said long hair does that. He said he wanted short hair.

Lots of confirmation later, he really wanted his hair cut and understood he'd have to wait for it to grow back if he didn't like it, so today we got his hair cut. He didn't like the process, but he loved the results. Drew asked him what he'd do when it got long again and he said he'd get it cut again.

It's so weird to see his face framed by that hair instead of longer, curlier hair, though. I'll get used to it, but right now, so weird.
Tags:
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Sunday, June 14th, 2015 09:30 am
Things that didn't used to matter when I worked my four-day week-of-doom (because I had Fridays off), but do matter now:
  • The vet my cats go to, here in town, to has full Saturday hours. Which reminds me, I need to schedule appointments for the critters. They will not appreciate it.
  • The dentist we see is here in town. And has occasional Saturdays, but I'm not sure how much I need to depend on that.
  • Our doctors are 15 minutes away, but no freeway/rush hour traffic need be involved unless the weather is bad. We have EXCELLENT doctors, so I am not likely to change this.
  • The eye doctor we see, who is perfectly fine, is 10.5 miles away but it all involves roads that can get ugly at rush hour. They are open only weekdays, except "some Saturdays" (call and ask) and the latest they are open is 6 pm on Monday - the rest of the week it is earlier. Meanwhile, there is what seems to be a perfectly good eye place here in town, which is open until 7:30 on Tuesdays and has regular Saturday hours. ...I need to change eye doctors for us, yes I do.
  • The affordable/easy store probably isn't, unless I ask Scott to go. They used to be right on my way home; they are now an 11 mile drive away. But they aren't too far from Scott's office, so when he's in the office I may ask him to stop on the way home. Some days. (Scott doesn't like grocery shopping, so this is an imposition, though.)
  • The Washington County library system has been my preferred library, both because picking up holds was easier (three days a week I drove past my "home" library in that system, Tigard, when they were open - they're not open Thursdays - whereas Friday was the only day I could go to Wilsonville's library without sorting out kiddos), and because they have a slightly better book selection system-wide, in my experience. Now, Wilsonville and Clackamas County is, because the Tigard library is holy whoa out of my way.


...yeah. Reorganizing my life around being extremely local, and having five days a week of job. On the whole I like it, it just needs some adjustments to fully make it work. The library adjustment I knew was coming; I didn't know about the local eye care place and how good it was relative to my schedule until I started hunting during a recent eye health crisis (when I luckily turned out not to need it, and may I never have a stye/infection on the inside of my lid again, because ugh). I didn't know the vet had Saturday hours because I never _needed_ to know, but it was right there waiting for me on their web site when I looked.

And hey, I get a Thursday farmer's market that I can actually get to. Which is nice, because suddenly driving to the Tigard farmer's market or Lake Oswego's looks like an even bigger pain. (Although LO is a good weekend option, but on Saturday, it's pretty close after the Thursday market. Tigard is on Sunday. Both of those are really good markets, IMO, but ... they require more driving!)

This week, I made two trips that I expect to be atypical - I drove up to Tigard to Home Depot and the Farmer's Market on Sunday, and I drove to downtown Portland for a company event on ... I think it was Wednesday? Maybe it was Tuesday. Some day. And I only walked to work one day this week, Friday.

Even with that, my mileage for the week is under half my former _commute_ mileage (not including side trips or Friday errands). This is really sweet. Of course, this week Drew starts summer camp, which is further away. My route to pick up Drew-then-Ian-then-home is just under 15 miles per day, though - so 75 miles a week for that. Add another 5 miles once a week for the farmer's market. Add 2 or 4 miles per day I drive to work (depending on whether I come home for lunch). 100 miles is sort of the worst-case for all of this, before any attempt to add in errands such as grocery shopping. My former commute mileage, for 4 days a week only, was 200 miles a week. And during the school year, the whole loop from home to Drew to Ian to home is 5.5 miles (instead of 15 miles), and in fact next summer the same will obtain.

(We are switching child care for Drew next school year and summer from the YMCA to Club K, so he can stay in the school and go to after-school activities and such. Drew loves the YMCA, and so do we, but he's willing to try it because he also hears good things about Club K. And one of their summer camp locations IS Drew's school, so that will simplify a lot. Also, his school is close to the farmer's market, so the full round trip hit for the farmer's market won't happen in that case. This switch was already planned for the after-school activities, before I changed jobs, so.)

Reorganizing my life to be incredibly local and allow for my schedule turns out to be, on balance, fairly easy. And really rewarding.
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Saturday, June 13th, 2015 08:00 am
I miss my free Fridays. But I'm enjoying picking the kids up at the end of the day, sometimes stopping at the park before we come home. And yesterday I walked to and from work. (So why was yesterday the only day so far this month that I FORGOT to take my antihistamine in the morning? lol)

I'm not in the best of shape, IMO, but a mile walk is still very doable and I feel good about having done it. Plus, a commute by foot is a win for the environment.

Thursday, I drove in a little early and was able to leave a little early (although not by as much as I arrived, because heads-down work distracted me, heh) and get to the farmer's market and still pick the boys up on time and head to the park. So very awesome all around.

This morning, I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that, in spite of my not getting any more sleep, the dark circles under my eyes are missing.
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Sunday, May 24th, 2015 09:50 am
Drew is feeling better this morning and no fever at all.

Yesterday, while Scott watched the boys, I did some needed basic shopping and went to the Japanese Garden. Alas, I didn't make sure I had the memory card for my camera with me (AUGH!). I got some pretty good photos with my phone, though. Wish I could have tried the same photos with the camera.

I am done with the Ridiculous Week of Sous Vide cooking. We have lots of stuff prepped and frozen for future thaw/heat/sear/serve cycles. I am happy about that. Also happy about the results I'm getting in general.

I think I may have to cave and buy a Wii U. Our Wii is starting to have problems reading its discs...any discs. I was tempted when it first came out, but there's not a lot "extra" that I wanted...however, working? That's an EXCELLENT additional feature. :P

Way before I worry about that, I need to plan the meal sequence for the week, and also swing by the library and return the videos. Late fees for videos are nothing to laugh at. :P
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Thursday, May 21st, 2015 11:15 am
I was going to have a nice long 5.5-day weekend after leaving just before noon Wednesday. That was my plan.

Drew ended up being home sick yesterday and today (so far: probably tomorrow as well) with a fever and a sore throat. Scott stayed with him until I got home from my last day on Wednesday. It does appear to be just an annoying cold - the rapid strep test was negative - but still, it's not quite the leisurely "wander about the Portland metro enjoying some of your favorite spots" I'd planned on. Instead I'm taking care of the house while I let him veg out to videos and relax. (I do have his homework, and he'll need to work on that in a bit, but I wanted to let the ibuprofen take effect and get some lunch in him, first.)

Still feels weird to not work there any more, but I'm very much looking forward to starting my new job on Tuesday.
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Sunday, May 10th, 2015 06:40 pm
Today was a pretty good Mother's Day, overall. I got a sweet booklet Drew made at school about things he likes to do with me / things I like / things he likes about me, and if it was prompted, the answers were pure Drew. (What do I like to do with him? Clean! And it shows a picture of him scrubbing the floor of the bathroom and grinning. Actually, I did like that - I just had to squeeze the water out of the mop for him, as he's not strong enough for the lever mechanism yet.) I got a heart card that Ian made with fingerprints all over it (day care supplied the heart card and wrote his name, he supplied the fingerprints). And a couple chunks of Lush soap. Yay. :)

This weekend is also when we learned the boys' level placements for next session of swim lessons. Ian was still water safety 2 - no surprise. We can get him in the pool, but we can't make him want to do it or make more than a half-hearted effort, and he really doesn't like it any more. Drew got our choice - water safety 3 one more time or stroke 1. He has all the skills but a little more practice wouldn't hurt, they say. He's bored. to. tears. And has been for at least a whole session, maybe more. A little more practice would hurt!

Talked to the boys. The upshot is that Ian is quitting swimming lessons for now (because doing ridiculous registration, paying over $200 for three months, and coaxing and badgering kiddo to the pool so he can fail to learn are not fun). Drew also got a choice (because the requirement was about safety, and he's out of the safety levels - but if he quits swim lessons, he loses his chance at open swim too). Drew elected to keep taking lessons. I let him pick which level, and he picked stroke 1 - no surprise there. Last session, there was a stroke 1 class at the same time and sometimes they only had one student. Drew got to shift up several times and even though he was working above his level and below theirs, he LOVED it. I think he made the right choice.

We'll wait the summer out, but if my new job settles in well into our life routines, I think I may ask Ian if he wants to try gymnastics. (Maybe martial arts, but gymnastics seems likely to suit him better.) Since that's not a safety issue and he is not a lazy pants and gets plenty of exercise left to his own devices, this would be purely a "do you want?" and not a "you must pick something" situation. Although, oh God, now I'm envisioning him taking those skills and using them at day care, and the conversations we'd get to have....
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Sunday, April 5th, 2015 07:20 pm
Went to Easter dinner at Uncle John & Aunt Julia's. I'm on call for work, as a back-up, but they have good wifi and aren't too far away, so I figured no big deal. I was right - especially since I didn't get called at all. Yay for not being needed right then! :)

It was a lovely meal, and the fruit and dip I brought got positive comments. (Mostly the dip: it was basic, but I served it in hollowed-out pineapples. I found that on the internet, which is why I had to bring fruit and dip, because seriously that's awesome.) There was a bunny race (of little pull-back-and-they-run bunny cars) and the boys got to run around and play (MOSTLY in approved ways, Ian had a couple moments where he was a bit too wild and got picked up by a parent to calm down).

The food was lovely, the company was more-so, and the weather was glorious - cloudy but bright, dry, and cool but not cold. After we finished dinner and the games and were about to clean up, the clouds grew more ominous, so the deck was cleared first. 15 minutes later it was raining and shortly after it was storming, with pouring rain.

So, a lovely Easter; the forecast weather held off until it was a welcome glory to watch, rather than something to be overcome.
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Saturday, September 6th, 2014 12:18 pm
It's very easy to never have enough time - anyone who lives in this day and age, parent or not, knows that. There is always something that needs to be done around the house; something extra you could do at work; some obligation you've stepped into and need to step up to.

This week, Drew started kindergarten. They started half the kids Tuesday, half Wednesday, then everyone was in on Thursday - so Drew had Wednesday off.

I took Wednesday off work, and I chose to have time. It was hard, actually. I wanted to get laundry done; that didn't happen until Wednesday night, and only one load. I wanted to clean the house - well, hopefully the gaming group (which is used to clutter anyway; our house is never truly clean) will forgive me that the clutter was worse than normal. Irritatingly, I failed to wrap a birthday present (although it was still delivered to the recipient, who seemed to like it).

What did I do instead? I made _memories_. I puttered about a bit in the morning while Drew watched a couple short videos, but after that we went to the Children's Museum - for longer than we normally do. He played outside in the water quite a lot. He played at the train table, and in the forest hallway, and he laughed and he grinned and he was friendly with and kind to random kids younger than him. He was, in short, happy and awesome. We ate lunch there (almost never do I do that: it's a decent cafe, but _really spendy_, because captive audience). Then we played some more.

We left, and we went grocery shopping. Drew did not think that was awesome, but we really needed some stuff, and our day needed some reality.

After that? We packed up and went to the water park, where he ran happily through the fountains and down the streams and had a grand time. He got too cold, so we got him dried off and dressed and went to the playground nearby, where he ran and played and was friendly with a girl about Ian's age (he basically treated her like Ian, and she responded by refusing to do what she didn't want to, which is what Ian does, so everyone was pleased, more or less), and went on the slide about a bazillion times, and ran around like crazy.

And then we went and picked Ian up from day care, and had dinner, and all that stuff.

I remember the joy on his face. I remember the laughter. I remember walking through the park in the warm but not sweltering air and the incredibly blue sky and the trees and the light breeze ruffling the leaves. I remember the water reflecting the sun in two very different play areas. I remember Drew standing in a hole in the middle of the train table that's supposed to be - when it has its inset - a lake. I remember *contentment*.

All too often, I get harried and hurried and I forget to make time, to choose to have time.

Wednesday was awesome.