Up in smoke January 8, 2017

Up in smoke

M has been extremely excited to get the Christmas tree burnt this year. To her credit, we left it up in the house far too long. The thing was a tinderbox waiting for a spark. So, I hauled it outside and dumped it on the fire pit.

Typically, we wait until the summer to burn the tree as one of the first fires of the season. But, M had so much energy, L had her go out and pick up any sticks she could find to add to the pile and they burned it together today. I stayed inside with C because it was incredibly cold out, but I managed to get this little shot of them staying warm by the tree. L came in and said the whole thing burned up in less than five minutes from a single match, Christmas Vacation style.

I should've had that thing out of the house a week ago.

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Bottom of the cup January 7, 2017

Bottom of the cup.

I drink maybe two cups of coffee each day. The travel mug I use for work holds just the right amount and I usually don't finish it until 10:30 or 11 just because I'm so distracted with other stuff.

The weekends are another story. With no travel mug or schedule (other than kids) to take my attention, I power through coffee and I find myself at the bottom of the cup very quickly.

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Categories: routines

Lines January 6, 2017

flickr photo shared by bennettscience under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

This hairbrush goes through a lot. It's become one of C's favorite toys and one of M's most feared self-grooming devices. It's a battle, every time we finish the bath, to get M's hair brushed. My wife is super gracious and uses it to spend time talking with M and treating her like one of the adults. Our other option is to see how many times it takes us to sing the ABC's while M has her hair done. It depends on the night. Either way, this hairbrush is out in the living room with the toys more often than it's with my wife's things in the bathroom.

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Categories: toys

Tea for two January 5, 2017

flickr photo shared by bennettscience under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

This tea set has been in the family since M was born. Gram got it for her for Christmas 2014, just after she turned one. It's a small set...two cups and saucers, a kettle, and a sugar bowl. But, the set is always within reach when the fix for tea hits.

It's also hilarious to hear what kind of tea M is mixing up. She handed me a cup today and said it was tea for me. So, playing along, I took a nice loud sip and asked what kind it was. Well, it turned out it was Jo (our dog) tea. I'm not sure how it worked, but it was definitely not the answer I expected.

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Spill it January 4, 2017

Spill it

When M was born, some friends gave her a piggy bank. As she got older, we would throw some coins or bills in there when she got some. One of our favorites was when an old man in Aldi gave her a $2 bill one day. She's still too young to know what it is or why it's cool, but I think it's neat.

This bank usually sits up on the shelf, forgotten. Every now and then, she makes a trip down from her perch to play with the other toys. Tonight, things got rough and she was spilled for a quarter. I'm just glad I haven't turned into the bank yet.

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Categories: family

Shelved January 3, 2017


Our house used to be two bedrooms only, but they were both massive. This past fall, we decided to split the master bedroom into two smaller kid-sized rooms. We were left with a small nook in the new hallway and we decided to do a built-in bookshelf.

This is a copy of "Anne of Green Gables," one of my wife's favorite books. We had an old, beat up paperback copy (which is great in itself...) and this is a copy I got her for Christmas.

One of her favorite design companies is Rifle Paper Co, and they did a custom cover, along with some other classics texts, as a special series. I grabbed a copy of Anne and it was the first book put up on the shelf when we finished it earlier this evening.

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Jo, the dog January 2, 2017

Jo, the dog

Jo is a nearly three-year-old Weimaraner/black lab mix. We didn't know when we got her that Weimaraners were just as needy as labs tend to be. So, we now have a 65-pound dog who loves to lie right on top of you. She's a big softie...really submissive and extremely gentle with the kids. It's amazing watching her interact with the girls day to day. The younger walks around shouting "Hi dah [dog]" first thing in the morning before Jo is even out of her crate. The older rolls around, hangs off of, and in general, borders physically abusing her during the day, and Jo just takes it in. She's a part of the family, no matter how annoying the constant need for contact can get.

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Categories: Uncategorized

What year is it? January 1, 2017

What year is it?

The start of a new year always makes me more reflective. It's a completely symbolic date, but it's nice to have those landmarks in life.

My daughters are three and one and have recently decided that waking up at the crack of dawn is how they want to go through life. It doesn't matter if the sun isn't up, they're both ready to go, hard, every morning. I wish I could say that I wake up with as much enthusiasm as they do, but it's not hard to get into the spirit when one can't stop giggling and the other is wondering why I'm shining a bright light in her eyes.

I'm constantly reminded by wiser people in my life that parenting goes by in a blink and it's days like today that I really feel it.

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Categories: family