Our Summer- Month 1

Brief recap of the first month of summer break:

Pool pass!  (That’s Levi in the bright orange swim shirt)

photo 4
Lemonade stand!
photo 2
Cherry picking!
Fun with cousins!
photo 3
photo 5
Girls weekend! (I spent a weekend in Chicago with my best friend and we pretty much looked like this the entire time.)
hphoto 1
Community garden!
photo 2
Vacation Bible School! (They’ve been to two so far.)
photo 1
My birthday!
photo 1
All the parks!
photo 4

Signs Your Mother is a Chemist

1.  She packed up her mother’s crystal and delivered it to you like this:

photo 3

I’m afraid to open it.

2. You’ve never heard her say, “fingernail polish remover”, only “acetone.”

3. In her cleaning supplies at home, the spray bottle containing diluted bleach is labeled with its molar concentration.

4.  She owns a bumper sticker with Avagadro’s number on it.

5.  You have seen her get really peeved at news reports about a meth house exploding and you get the feeling that it isn’t based in moral outrage but rather a deep annoyance at their sub-standard work endangering a neighborhood.  Like, “Come on, Meth Cookers, IT ISN’T THAT HARD NOT TO BLOW UP THE HOUSE.  Just stick to the standard laboratory operating procedures.”

6.  While having never smoked or drank (nor danced the hootchie-coo), you mother has told you on more than one occasion that she “has dropped acid.”  Thankfully this is in the literal sense and is usually followed by forlornly examining the bottom part of her skirt which sticks out below her lab coat and finding many holes burned through.

Gallery Wall

What do you give the Mom/Nana that has everything? A wall full of her beloved grandbabies.

This is what I made for my Mom this Mother’s Day. There are currently some guests on a prolonged visit at their lake house. When it’s empty again, I’ll hang this on any wall she would like.

Top: a vintage photograph of the Smithsonian.  My parents love to go to D.C.

Clockwise: My niece and nephew; a dessert plate from my grandmother’s china; a drawing Levi did of Nana and Papa’s house.

Pictures of the grandkids taken on our trip to Florida last November.
The number 14 has recurred many, many times in our family history; I made the arrow from shims; a picture from my sister’s wedding rehearsal.  The boys are wearing fedoras and it was so cute.  The baby outfit was my brother’s.
And here is one of my all time favorites.  Every single part of this picture makes me laugh.
It’s a little hard to make out. Here’s the original:P1000211

Bye Bye, I mean, Hello Birdie

Well, another bird flew into our house.

Apparently she was building a nest on the light fixture on our front porch. One of the boys left the door open a bit and she just flew on in and proceeded to flutter around and scare me half to death.

photo 1

Milo and I managed to get her out of their bedroom and into the upstairs bathroom. My plan was to leave it there until Lucas got home but during a play date that afternoon (during which I said things like, “What? I don’t hear any loud chirping coming from upstairs.”) the boys again let the bird loose.

My friend Wendy is very brave. She led us in a thirty minute charge to direct the scared and not-very-bright bird out of the house. Finally she left (the bird, not Wendy. Well, Wendy eventually left after an appropriate amount of time but that was to be expected. She has her own life in her own house. A house probably quite bereft of fowl).

Here she is standing on the edge of the tub, so plucky that one.  Yes, that’s a badminton racket she’s using.


I’m not tall enough to peer down into the nest but I held my phone up over it and got a picture of the eggs.  Such a pretty color.  I don’t know that I could build such a sturdy and tidy nest and I have hands- two of them.
photo 2
The eggs hatched while we were out of town this weekend. Unbeknownst to me, Levi dug up worms and tossed them up into the nest. I hope that’s ok with Mama Bird.
photo 3

What We’ve Been Up To (besides ending sentences with prepositions)

The children are growing at a staggering rate. They both look so big to me lately. We got them stocked up on shoes for the summer- sizes 2 and 12.5.
photo 3
I’ve been doing free-lance work here and there but last month started back with some regular, part-time office hours. It’s a wonderful opportunity and am able to do some from home. It’s great to be able to hop on a conference call while keeping an eye on the boys in the front yard.
photo 4
We’ve found a lovely sitter to be with the boys two mornings a week. Not only do they have fun she even does laundry and a little light cleaning. Also, as a surprise for mother’s day she and the boys made these chocolate covered strawberries for me!
photo 5
We took a whirlwind trip to Florida last weekend for my cousin’s wedding. It was a beautiful day and the boys were part of the wedding party. We also got to visit with lots of family.
photo 2
The school year is coming to an end and there have been several special activities. Here are the boys warming up for the Fun Run.
Also, as an introduction to the Cub Scout group Levi will be a part of this fall, Lucas, Levi, and Milo all went on a camp-out.

Sit Down and Stay Awhile

My mother-in-law asked if I would keep my eye out for a small chair to go in her bedroom. Could I?  Could I be her personal second-hand chair shopper?  The answer to that question is always, always YES.  In fact, if that were an actual job, I would chair shop full time, no problem.

Mission accomplished:
photo 1

The chair was in a slightly different condition when I picked it up from the seller.  Here’s what I bought:

My guess is that the chair is from the 40’s. It needed a little help.

I pried off the tacks and fasteners holding it together.
The original upholstery is pretty but completely worn.  I scrubbed it down and used ‘Restore-a-Finish’ and ‘Feed-n-Wax’ on the wood.  This was my first time to use that combo.  I’d heard it recommended several times as a great option to freshen up a piece without stripping the original finish. The ‘Restore-a-Finish’ evens out the worn spots and deepens the color.  The ‘Feed-n-Wax’ is spread on and then buffed.
We brought the chair with us when we visited my in-laws over Easter.  Lucas and his Dad did the dirty work of adding new padding to the original cushioning. The springs were intact and still attached but the straw padding and small bits of felt were quite disintegrated.  My father-in-law also attached the upholstery.

He did a great job.  Voila!
photo 2

A Spectacle

I’ve ordered glasses online a couple of different times and my best experience by far has been with Warby Parker. The frames are current and the quality is great. Also, when you call their customer service line a real person picks up the phone!

Lucas requested several frames to try-on at home. Which should he order?


(Warby Parker calls this style, ‘Seymour’, but I call it, ‘The Raymond’ in honor of my bf’s dad who wore this style for most of my adolescence.)

(WP’s name: ‘Sibley’, mine: ‘Hello I’m an Architect’)

(WP’s name: ‘Chandler’, mine: ‘Harry Potter’s Dashing Uncle’)

(WP’s name: ‘Arthur’, mine: ‘Sounds fine, Arthur it is’)
Of course the boys wanted in on the fun.
Odds are that glasses are in the future for these two. I’m as blind as a bat and Lucas is as blind as…well…he’s as blind as an animal that can see better than a bat but still needs corrective lenses to do most activities.