Happy Birthday to Me!

In our house something breaks (or is broken) approximately every 7 seconds.  And it kills me to have to replace a perfectly good thing that was broken because my children someone was careless.  I’ve posted on the minor triumph of doing a repair myself. Sometimes it goes awry, such as when I popped my phone into a bag of rice to dry it out.  But more often than not, I have success at least for a time. I have twice replaced the cracked back glass on an iPhoneI am the queen of finding replacement parts online (think coffee maker carafe, food processor bowl, blender lid) and would a thousand times rather repair what I have than get a new one.

Approximately a year ago, we were on our way home from vacation, and I brought a tall cup of tea in my cup-with-a-lid onto the plane.  It took me about five minutes to pour the entire contents into my backpack.  Miraculously, my computer stayed completely dry, but the camera absorbed about 16 ounces of tea with milk.  I tried the bag of rice, the hairdryer, paper towels, and letting it sit open in the dry Colorado air. I replaced the battery pack.  All to no avail.

Five seconds before the accident. Can anyone identify this movie?  I can’t. Should my then-7-year-old have been watching it? Probably not.

I almost bought a new camera before our trip last month and then decided I was still mad at myself for ruining the last one.  I finally  gave the broken one  to Phoebe to use as a toy camera and used my phone’s camera in London.

Not bad for a phone camera.

On my birthday last week, Phoebe came to take a “birthday picture” of me with the broken camera.  We both knew this was all make-believe.  I posed, she pushed the on button, and the camera turned on.  Then she pushed the shutter button, and it took my photo.  Not only that, but the photos taken immediately before the drowning were still on the memory card.  Happy birthday to me!!


No, this is not my birthday cake.  This is the 15-month old previously unseen photo of a birthday cake from 2015, but it still makes me hungry.

Happy Birthday: Six!

SweetP turned six, and she does it well.

Six is big enough to keep herself busy (without my having to worry about her burning down the house.)

Six thinks “Guatemala was Awesome!”

Six can be frustrated that she can’t do it all yet.


Six knows a lot of things, and Six likes to be the expert: “Actually, Mommy…”

Six likes to tell jokes… even when she can’t quite remember how they go.

Six knows what she wants and is pretty good at talking Mommy into it.

I love you, Six!

A Party of Nine for Eight


We celebrated M’s eighth birthday last week.  We were able to have some of her friends over  for a tea party. Initially I balked when she wanted to invite 12 girls (for a total of 14) and suggested she not invite the younger sisters, but she said, “But Mommy, I play with them, too.” And she knows what it is to be a younger sister. I didn’t want to snuff out that instinct to kindness and inclusion… so we ended up with nine girls.
Here’s M putting out place cards for her guests:

I made a tactical error and played that party game where each person draws a number and then chooses a wrapped gift in order of their numbers. #1 opens a gift. #2 can chose #1’s gift or open a new gifts. #3… you’ve played it, right?


Well, I think all the girls were convinced the gifts in this basket were much better than they actually were.  Like DS’s or diamond jewelry or something.  Each time they opened one, they looked at it and said something like, “But I don’t LIKE yarn.”  Or, “I thought this was a movie.”

Anyway, the three 4-year olds were happy with their gifts (they all unwrapped some sort of little notebook), and since I’d forbidden the older girls to steal from them, at least 3 girls went home happy.


Other than that, we had a lovely time eating, dancing, and playing.  Best of all, M was so happy.



In honor of your twelfth birthday, here are twelve things I love about you:


  1. You know what you love.  This year it’s dragons.
  2. You want to tell me about every book you read.
  3. You want to hold my hand sometimes.
  4. You love chocolate almost as much as you love dragons.
  5. You are kind.  Ever since you were very small, your empathy has been powerful.
  6. You are the most enthusiastic person I know.
  7. You have forgiven me for all the mistakes I’ve made learning to be a mother.  Practicing on you.
  8. You love to cook.
  9. You are honest.
  10. You have kept every stuffed animal I’ve sewn you, from the sharks I made when you were three to the hydra I made from my college laundry bag.
  11. Your laugh.
  12. You ask great questions.


So here’s to you, son.  I love who you are.  I love who you are becoming.  Happy birthday.



We had a weekend of birthday celebrations for my O.  We had snow lasy week and some bitter cold over the weekend, which reminded me of the week he was born.  It was so cold we tucked him between us in the bed and watched him in his tiny baby hat and double sleepers.  Now, he’s a heater and prefers to wear no socks with his crocs and no coat if I’ll let him.

Sam again designed a fabulous scavenger hunt race with “nine” as the theme. Nine tasks, puzzles, and relays which kept the nine guests laughing for an hour.

From O’s youngest days, he saw beauty when no one was looking.  He still does, catching me off guard at my growliest with an observation or genuine compliment. I pray his vision of beauty and the Beautiful will always keep his eyes on the prize.