Did I mention….

…the kids start kindergarten in September?  Holy crap. Where did the time go?

Matt & I took the day off today and took the kids back-to-school shopping.  We splurged, since the end of writing checks to daycare is very near.  We went out for breakfast, got them haircuts, went to Target and then the mall, took them out for lunch, kit up Kohl’s, and then, after a short break at home, took them out for ice cream. Bless their little hearts, they fell asleep in the car on the way to the ice cream place:


Note the hats.  The last several (5) years we’ve only shopped at the cheapest places possible and had a rather limited selection of clothing options.  We walked into one of the stores in the mall and there were some really fun winter hats.  Jessie picked the loudest one, Sam took the kitty.  Sure, it’s August and they don’t need winter stuff yet, but hey, we were having fun.  Why not get wacky hats?

Sam’s easy to shop for.  She loves little skirts, leggings, and dresses.  Totally girly-girl.  I have no idea whose kid she is, certainly didn’t get that from me.  Jessie on the other hand is almost impossible to find clothes for this year. She refuses to wear jeans and won’t wear leggings.  She’s ok with skirts, but doesn’t wear them that often.  Her favorite clothes are loud both in color and pattern and clash with themselves as well as whatever she wears them with.  Yeah, that’s not in this year.  Almost the only things out were leggings, skirts, and skinny jeans. Her pants from last year still fit, but once she has her favorites she wears them so often that they’re soon faded.  Matt’s task, as the morning parent, will be to make sure she doesn’t leave the house looking like a pauper wearing faded, worn pants 2 sizes too small. Wish him luck.

Examples of some of Jessie’s greatest outfits:




Think of it as an incentive for her teacher not to show up with a hangover.  ;o)




Introducing Henry.


Henry came to live with us mid-March.  The name he had when we got him from the humane society was “Tuffy” but that completely didn’t suit him.  Henry stuck because he responded to that name immediately and ignored everything else we tried to call him.  He now responds equally well to both “Henry” and “Hank.”

Hank was pretty matted up when he arrived, so once his kennel cough cleared up, he went for a serious grooming appointment:



He’s a great guy.  He listens better than the kids, loves to go for walks, and is (finally) getting along well with the cats.  The kids absolutely adore him:

His fur is growing out and he’s starting to look more like he did when we got him, minus the mats.



The kids went with a “good twin, evil twin” theme this year. They picked out their own costumes.  Sam was the princess, Jessie was the witch.  I’ll refrain from further comments.

Jessie and Her Dog

The dog takes up most of the bed. Doesn’t matter one bit to this little girl.

The Hospital Stay

That’s Sammie in the ICU after the surgery. I’d say she looked so tiny and helpless, but it’s a pediatric unit and she was one of the older patients.  Most of the kids were just little bitty babies.  Seeing how sick some of them were really gave us some perspective.

When she first came to, she was pretty groggy, but she insisted that she had to start writing her letters. She passed back out with a pen in her hands.

One of the doctors came in to check on her and found her like this:

The little bench for the parents to sleep on was about 3 feet long and not all that comfortable. At least one of us stayed with her the whole time.  It made for some fun slumber parties.

Towards the end of her stay, after she could get up and around, we wheeled her in a chair all over the place, trying to keep her from getting cabin fever.  Trying to keep a three-year-old occupied in a hospital was a bit of a challenge.  A couple of times we passed the gift shop.  She wanted to know what it was. We told her before she left we’d take her there to pick something out. She wanted to pick out a gift for Jessie.  We told her she could get something for herself, too.  We were just so thrilled to have her alive, we didn’t exactly establish parameters for the gifts before we entered the store.  Live and learn.

The labrador is Sammie’s and the dude with the spots is Jessie’s.  Sam’s sleeps next to her bed with his head right by her pillow.  Jessie’s usually sleeps in bed with her.  They’re not as expensive as they might appear and it was probably some of the best money we ever spent.  The kids love them.  And it was cheaper than getting real dogs. Plus, they don’t want to go potty in the rain at 4:30am.

It seems so long ago. Writing about it brings it right back.  It was so stressful, I did my best to just forget it completely after we got home.

I don’t think we would have made it through that without the support of our families and coworkers.  As bad as last year was, we realized just how good we have it.


I apologize!  Someone pointed out to me that I had left the blog to gather cobwebs in such a way that it appeared Sammie’s surgery didn’t go very well.  So sorry!

First, Sammie’s surgery went fine. The time in the hospital was as stressful as possible, but the great staff at Mott’s got us through.  We got back and had a lot to deal with, both with Sam’s recovery and with a new house.  I intended to take a week or two off from the blog, but then could just never get back to it.  I was in a bit of a funk for the second half of last year.  We’d been through a lot as a family and there was a whole lot of stress at work. Previously, I had used the blog for stress relief, but I was worried about coming off like a real complainer if I took out all of the job frustrations and the personal life depression in writing, so I just avoided the blog.  And then when someone reminded me that perhaps I should not leave my 2.5 readers hanging about Sam, I couldn’t remember the password for the blog.  My bad.

I shall try to post a few things to make up for my absence.  That all depends on how long everyone naps this afternoon.

July Update

We’re moved.  Everyone seems to be adjusting well. Charlie the Cat had a few issues at the beginning, but even he seems to be doing pretty well now. The new neighborhood is really quiet. I loved the old one, but I think we landed pretty well here. The elementary school is in walking distance, there’s a lovely little park two blocks away.  Most of the boxes are unpacked.  I’ll never figure out where I put everything.

Sammie’s surgery was postponed until July 14.  They had a couple of emergency infants that were going to be born over the holiday weekend and since Sam’s surgery wasn’t a matter of immediate life-or-death, she was bumped back.  That’s kind of good, really, since it gave us a few minutes to catch our breath between the move and the surgery.

We moved on the 25th of June. It feels like it was years ago already.