Friday, July 29, 2016


So...we woke up yesterday morning and discovered the house was a bit warmish. When we went to bed we thought the AC fan sounded off; when we woke up it was not running. Not good.

I was on the phone to our local AC guy by 8, and he was here by noon. The fan motor needed to be replaced, but the part wouldn't be available until this morning. We shut all the blinds, kept the lights off, and did as little as possible. For the bulk of the day, it wasn't terrible. The afternoon hung in right about 82 inside--not awful.

We went out to dinner, and I had it in my head that it would be cooler when we got back. It was not. We topped out at 86. Unfortunately, my brain stops functioning at about 85 apparently. I sort of lost it. My positive attitude wore out and I was super pouty. We thought about getting a hotel, but that seemed silly since it was cooling off. I also didn't want to leave the dogs to be alone over night. 

So...we had a family camp out downstairs:
 The tile stays really cold, and we piled sleeping bags and blankets to make it soft enough to sleep on. We brought down the fan we have, and I was yet again reminded why I married an engineer:
 He built a cooler AC unit. He filled the cooler with bags of ice, clipped a fan pointing down across the ice, and the cool air bounced back out. We centered it by our heads, and I can't believe how much cool air it put out.

We slept with the back door open, complete with classy fly tape, and left the windows open. I can't believe how well we slept:
The kids want to sleep down here again, but I will be quite happy to be back in my bed--with AC. Bless the sweet angels that are installing that part as I type.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What My Kids Learned Yesterday

What My Kids (and I) Learned Yesterday:

1. Dogs can overheat in thirty minutes or less.

We learned this because it happened to Buddy in our own backyard. He is big and dumb and didn't stop chasing butterflies.

2. When dogs are overheated they vomit--a lot.

A. Lot. The kids also learned how to help clean it up.

3. If the top of the shop vac is not latched it will blow instead of suck...

...and shoot the little bits of grass seed that were still inside all over your living room. We did get it fixed and it was very helpful with the clean up.

4. The worse thing you can do for a vomiting dog is give it water.

It will make things worse. Thank goodness for a fabulous vet who answers her cell phone and talks you through it. She was able to ascertain that we caught it early, and we were able to treat him at home. I did have to sit right beside him for thirty minutes to monitor.

5. Mom will lose her sh*t once everything is fine.

At the thirty minute mark, Dr. Wilson wanted us to open the front door. If he popped right up to investigate, he was fine. He did. I started sobbing. It was a great opportunity for us to talk about how even grown ups get scared and cry.

6. When we know better, we do better.

The dogs are now on AC lock-down for the foreseeable future.

All is well that ends well, but it was an afternoon I never hope to repeat. And I hope it cools down soon or these pups are going to drive us all crazy without long running jags in the backyard.

Monday, July 25, 2016

So Many Happies

We are back to somewhat normal around here! Both kids are home this week, and we are settling back into our summer routine. We did enjoy last week, though!

Evan and I went blueberry picking:
 He decided to make a pie with his berries, and he did 90% of this himself:
 I just did the crust crimping and the E.

By the end of the week, though, I was done. Running two kids all over the place and trying to maximize one-on-one time while working full-time was leaving me pretty drained. Thankfully, Brad could see it. I mentioned I almost picked myself up a coloring book, and he ran out after dinner Friday and brought this home:
 It is so lovely.

Saturday, we had hair appointments and then headed to the mall. Both kids truly needed new tennis shoes, and Issa needed some new dress sandals. Since we were out, we also decided to pick up first day of school outfits (that will remain sworn to secrecy)! There were some great sales and cute stuff out. Issa also discovered American Eagle:
 We also spent most of the weekend cooking what Issa made at cooking camp. She made the best salsa I've ever had and really solid bean enchiladas. Everyone's favorite was the pasta purses, though, complete with homemade pasta:
 Sunday, we all enjoyed tea at the Carolina Inn:
 The food was incredible, but it was lovely to just sit and enjoy the time together. We made a rest of summer bucket list, and enjoyed feeling a bit fancy for a while.

We are also starting to get ready for the return of fall. Issa chose her agenda this weekend, and we spent last evening getting it all filled in:
I have to admit, I'm getting ready for a return to routines...and cooler weather...and pumpkin everything...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Too Funny

Evan and I had a great day yesterday! We spent the morning around the house working, but then we decided we needed lunch. Evan remembered we had taken Issa out for wings, and he was pretty sure he needed wings yesterday. We took Issa to the Nickel in town, but it's not open for lunch on Tuesdays, so I had to introduce Evan to Buffalo Wild Wings:
 He is a fan.

We also made cupcakes:
Evan did all the measuring and mixing, and they were delicious.

The rest of the day was spent listening to him chatter. Good grief this kid is funny; I laughed most of the day at his little imagination. He is planning on building a mechanical arm with "infinity hands" so it can do whatever he wants it to and if a hand breaks off a new one pops up "because you know I'm going to not think something through and break it." At least he's honest...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What A Week

Last week into this week was a bit of a blur!

Evan loved Lego camp:
 He discovered he's pretty good at programming on the computer, and he pretty much loves it. Brad's heart is about to explode.

Friday, the kids and I made pickles:
 We've been watching the produce box, and we've decided to do some canning when they have some stock up boxes. These are sweet pickles, and we are hoping to do some dill pickles, salsa, and tomato sauce.

Saturday,we went to the beach with the dojo:
 It was an absolutely perfect day weather-wise, and it was great to spend the afternoon with the dojo community. We even managed to make it to the aquarium:
 The touch tank was not too crowded, which is always a win:
 But the highlight was having the opportunity to touch a jellyfish. It really is so surreal. They don't really feel like anything--like you are touching air.

The new dinosaur exhibit was also a winner:
Sunday, I took off for the mountains. Only in NC could you be at the ocean one day and in the mountains the next! I had a one day work conference, and I got home last night just in time to tuck. It was a bit of a whirlwind.

Issa is at cooking camp this week and loving life. Evan and I get our week to hang out, and I'm sure we will have big adventures! And the whirlwind continues...

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Week With My Girl

So...I made a major minor error in January. Although I swear I signed the kids up for summer camp the same week, I apparently did not. It seems I signed Evan up for this week and Issa up for next week. Although I am mourning the loss of a quiet week with less minute by minute juggling, I am trying to embrace the idea of one on one time with each kiddo.

Yesterday, Issa and I went blueberry picking after we dropped Evan off at camp:
 We had such fun! It's a little family farm, and it is rural! We were able to pick next to a pond in the middle of the woods, although I openly admit the drive to the field was a bit nerve-wracking. I'm not a fan of steep dirt roads that lead to tiny wooden bridges over creeks. The view on the way out was so worth it, though:
 We parked and watched this mama and her fawn for about five minutes.

Issa made blueberry cupcakes all by herself when we got home:
They were delicious! Today, she is attempting to bake peanut butter cookies independently. If the two of us and the kitchen are still standing at the end of this it will be a miracle. She needs no help, but we have learned to read the whole recipe three times this morning. Pray for me.

Monday, July 11, 2016

My Best Boy

Brad had a conference out of town this weekend, and Issa had a slumber party. That meant that I had some good one-on-one time with a certain boy:
We went to see The Secret Life of Pets, and we spent a lot of time just chatting.

To be honest, he did the chatting and I did the listening. My once quiet little guy is not so quiet any more. Admittedly, a lot of the conversation had to do with weaponry. A big part of it was about his game, but a ton of it had to do with the Revolutionary War. I've been listening to Hamilton a lot lately, and that combined with our visit to Williamsburg peaked his interest. We've been checking out lots of books at the library, and he's soaking in more than I thought. He also has lots to say about just about everything he sees. The world is becoming more his, and I love listening to his perspectives. He's not so little anymore, and I'm awfully glad we had the time to talk--even if my ears are still tired.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I Love Tuesdays

Tuesdays are quickly becoming one of my favorite days of the summer.

The dojo is closed this week, but typically I get to watch both of my kiddos do their thing. Evan is still loving being a ninja, and Issa gets to do ballet and jazz on Tuesdays. Ballet remains one of her favorites, and her jazz teacher this summer is truly remarkable and Issa is growing so much.

But there is another reason I love Tuesdays. Tuesdays are little people days at the studio. While I'm watching Issa, I get to watch two classes of the four and under crowd. It seems so long ago that Issa was in those classes, but I love watching these teeny tiny tutus come bouncing in for class. I love watching them watch Issa, the big girl dancer, and I love talking with their mamas.

Sometimes I miss those teeny tiny days when a band-aid or a hug fixed pretty much everything. But I'm loving these slightly bigger days, too. I love seeing my kids become independent and confident, and I love the reminder of how far we have come.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Sideways Independence Day

Well...our Fourth of July was one of those holidays that went absolutely nothing like we had planned.

We had grand plans of setting out early to watch the local parade. But...Daddy stayed up way late and it was raining in the morning. We did make the traditional French puffs for breakfast, but then Issa and Evan settled in for some sibling bonding time while Daddy slept. 

By mid-morning, the rain had stopped, and we decided we would venture out to the town picnic. We ate some fabulous BBQ from a food truck while listening to some local musicians. Issa also got her first henna:
 The highlight was making a Fourth of July hat with the DAR:
I also very nearly became a wild animal foster parent. There is a really cool organization here in town that rehabilitates injured wildlife, and we were able to meet a few of the animals that can't be released back into the wild. I might have fallen in love with the little guys, especially a little squirrel. Then I remembered I need another critter in our house like I need a hole in the head. Maybe when I retire...

When it started to rain again, we went to check out a new local market, which was much fun, before we came back home. Thanks to another break in the rain, we were able to grill burgers and corn on the cob, which was fabulous!

We spent most of the afternoon going back and forth about fireworks. The forecast was changing every time we looked, and Evan finally admitted he didn't even really like fireworks. Although we had plans to go see them, our family of introverts ended up bailing on another crowd. We settled for watching our neighbors' little ones.

It wasn't the day of festivity we planned, but I think I was the only one who was even remotely disappointed. I guess sometimes a low-key holiday can be pretty lovely.