I have been thinking a lot about being a woman in our culture. So much in the news about rape mentality and “leaning in” and how women dress and now that Eve is growing up I have it all swirling in my head. She has very long legs and a slender body so things that fit around her waist are often too short, in my opinion. However, trying to explain “too short” is tricky. In school I just tell her there is a “finger-tip” policy, which she promptly, and rightly, argues that others are doing it so why can’t she? Outside of school the discussion is trickier.

Let’s all go to the movies…

She wore this outfit the other day. That used to be a suitable dress, a few inches ago. I told her she needs to put something under it. She pulled up the skirt and showed me the short shorts that were already under it. She’s a smart girl and knows that she always needs something under a skirt. However, the shorts and the dress are both too small! I tell her that and she says, but why, they fit fine. I tell her they are too short and she says, “too short for what?” Therein lies the question. Too short for what?

Hmmm… too short for her prudish mother? Too short for those long legs? Too short for today’s culture? I have no real answer. She isn’t wearing them to be sexy, obviously, and not even really for “comfort” like some women argue about scant clothing.  Mostly she wears them because she likes them and they fit last year and they still feel comfortable so why not. I know I need to go through her drawers, again, and take out everything I think is too small, however, I can’t do that forever. She is going to have those long legs for the rest of her life and she needs to be confident in her body and her attire, but still not make herself an easy target.  I am grateful that she is a strong, capable girl with great social skills and I know that will take her far in life, I just hope I can teach her to take care of herself and someday come up with a good reason to explain “too short.”

I saw this on the wall in the bathroom at the vet’s office. Random place, but I love the quote and it somehow seems relevant to this post.

Big kids, big problems.


Arlo pup

Arlo spent yesterday at the vet’s office. He had a nice little nap and work up a little lighter! They said he was a champ. This vet was the first vet to examine him when he got up here as a little puppy and it’s fun to hear all of the staff ooohing and aaahing over him now. One vet assistant walked and said, “Oh my gosh, he is so big now!” Another told us that he came up with a sister who was adopted by someone else. I immediately asked who, but she said she didn’t know. She said Arlo was definitely the calmer of the two. :) It’s nice that they know his history and really seem to care about him. I love our vet and her staff! :)

We had the option of a cone or old t-shirt. The shirt looks dopey, but I thought it would be the more comfortable of the choices. He is not amused. :)

Begging for cheese. I spoiled him just a little bit that evening. I figure he deserved it after such a long day.

I also asked the vet to look at his very red paw and she said he had a yeast infection between his toes. I said it started right after I had him groomed, could that be a cause, and she just smiled and nodded. Can’t win! So now he has a few days of antianxiety meds, pain relievers, antibiotics for the yeast, and wipes I’m supposed to clean his paw twice a day. Between his meds and my meds, my counter is starting to look like a pharmacy!

PS.  The word “Arlo” is a very unattractive word.  :/  I should have that of that before proposing the name!  Lesson learned. 


Camper sleepover

Our neighbors got a new camper and invited Eve to sleep over the first night. She was pretty excited.

All ready for a sleepover.

We had a nice chat on the walk over too. She told me that she often feels jealous of Lex because he is older and gets to do a lot of stuff (in her mind) that she doesn’t, but she tries to reminder herself that there are things she does that he doesn’t, like sleepovers. She said she feels a little sad for Lex that he doesn’t get to have fun sleepovers and sleepaway camps. It was a nice conversation, and when I told Alan about it later he said that they had a similar conversation a few days ago at breakfast, only it was him pointing those things out to her! It’s always nice to hear evidence that your kid is listening! :)

My neighbor said she bought the camper because she has fond memories of camping as a child and playing in their camper. Reminded me of the old tow-behind we used to have parked in the side lawn and all the fun times we had playing in it. It was like our own little play house.

Big smiles!

I woke up in the middle of the night to a big thunder storm and immediately thought of Miss Eve in a camper! She told me later that she woke from the first drop of rain that fell and stayed awake through the whole storm. She said she wasn’t scared, just couldn’t sleep. I bet there were a few emotions going on that she wasn’t telling me about. :)



Since Mom and Dad don’t have a blog I figure it’s my job to document this event, Bodhi puppy is going to live in the country!  Lucky pup!  Lucky parents!  We are all pretty happy for many reasons.  I’m happy we get to see him grow up.  Happy there is a new bundle of joy to keep them busy. And happy that it wasn’t me adopting him!  LOL!

Here are a few pics.

Bodhi came to visit at our house for a few minutes. He came with his brother and Parrish. Arlo wasn’t sure what to make of all the commotion and little things in his house!

Bodhi (left) and his brother Dash (right) having a final play before Bodhi headed home.

They are so stinkin’ cute!! Dash on the left and Bodhi on the right.

Bodhi wasn’t real interested in leaving his brother and walking all the way over to our house, so Dad gave him a ride.

We have said goodbye to three other puppies, so it was very nice to be able so say “see ya later” to Bodhi.

Bodhi in a box. It’s like a puppy car seat. I wonder how quickly he was out of that box and snuggled on a lap. <3

Mom reminded me of a great picture I posted on the blog the first time I posted puppy pictures. When we went back to find it we were happy to see that the puppy in the picture was Bodhi! Maybe it was meant to be. (Maybe it was Facebook actually, since I can’t find the post on the blog.)

Bodhi and Lex, the very first time we met the puppies.

Congrats Mema and Grandpa Tom. Now we have yet another great reason to visit! :)

Coding and Robotics

I’m at a course this week learning to teaching Coding and Robotics to the Elementary and Middle Grades.  I’m LOVING it!  I’m so thankful to have a job I can immediately apply this new knowledge too as well.  We met Friday to learn a lot of stuff, then this week we are “teacher helpers” at a coding camp for kids.  It has been interesting learning with and from the kids, several who have coding experience already.

We have been focusing on, and Lego WeDo 2.0, and touched a bit on Scratch as well.  Here is my first Scratch project.  :)

The WeDos are similar to the NXT and EV3 programs that Lex has and loves. It has been interesting and challenging learning this “simplified” program because Lego made it more cartoony, but less usable. These kids (and teachers!) are struggling with the lack of functionality, inconsistent outcomes, and vague icons. As someone who has studied usability in the past, I can honestly say there is no excuse for this, especially from Lego! That said, I will continue learning it and developing ways I can introduce it in my library without having 250 confused kids!

Big thanks to Alan and my parents who team up to take care of the homestead while I’m away for five days!

Lex is a well child

We went in for Lex’s 11year well child check up today.  No surprise, he’s a well child! The inurance only covers one per year (of course!) so they end up getting farther and farther from his birthday each year. He did have to get some vaccinations, which he handled like a champ!  By his standards.  There were some tears, but he used some deep breathing techniques and got through it.  I was very proud of him.  We opted not get the HPV vaccine this year.  Maybe next year.  Maybe not.  We’ll see .  

He is 57.5″ and 114lbs.  Growing right up! 

4th of July

We celebrated a quiet 4th of July this year.  No plans during the day, then the usual fireworks party with friends in the evening.  Now that we have a wagon we decided to give walking a try.  It was great!  Everyone was a bit tired on the way home, but not bad at all and so much nicer than sitting in traffic!

Off to the fireworks!

Thanks for the filter, Snapchat! 😄

The mandatory hill rolling. The grass was very dry and prickly, but that didn’t stop them for long!

Cuddle time with Daddy

Sparklers. A friendly police officer came over after a few minutes and told us that sparklers are considered “personal fireworks” and therefore not allowed. Oh well.

King Lex


She’s back!

We picked Eve up from camp today.  She was so bouncy and happy to see us!  We all had brunch together, then Eve gave us a tour of (some of) her favorite places.

Someone was happy to see little sister!

Siblings reunited!

Brunch in the dining hall. (Ignore that pile of carbs on Lex’s plate.)

Eve took us on a tour of her favorite places. (This is kind of a trippy picture!)

See the pretty horses.

She told us stories the whole way home and then went right to her room and almost cried from exhaustion.  I thought she would take a nap, but she listened to music and worked on a friendship bracelet while I took a nap!  😄

My favorite story came when I asked if she got the package I sent her with the disposable camera in it.  She brought her toy camera to camp, but it takes terrible pictures and probably ran out of battery, so I made a special trip Wednesday to the drug store and post offic to get her a camera.  I envisioned pictures of her friends and her counselors and the horses.  Ya know, camp pictures! I had plans to make copies of some of them to share with the other two families.  My plans evaporated when I ask her about the camera and she said, “Yeah, but it was really confusing.  I mean, it had no screen so I didn’t know if the pictures were good, then I couldn’t figure out how to make it work, and I think it needs something called film?!”  I was laughing so hard!!

Now the neighbor kids are over.  We couldn’t say no to them because they are leaving tomorrow for a month long vacation!  I think everyone will sleep well tonight.  I know I’ll be happy to have Miss Eve back in her own bed.  ❤

PS. Lex and Asher saw the camera on the counter after I unpacked Eve’s stuff.  Eve peeled off all the stickers and wrappings so its just a weird black box.  Lex figured out how to take a picture, but I had to show him how to scroll forward to take the next one.  The boys took a few pictures of each other but got bored when they realized they couldn’t immediately see them. Hahaha.


Unlimited screentime

This is the first summer that screentime has been a real issue.  Lex is SO focused on the computer and it’s all he wants to do.  He was at the point where he would go wander around outside for ten minutes just to earn ten more minutes of screentime.  He was tired of having to quit his game in inconvenient places just because a timer was going off, I was tired of the timer going off and getting reset (despite the fact that we agreed they wouldn’t do that), and tired of policing the whole thing.  I was dreading going into summer with hours and hours each day to debate screentime.

At family meeting this week I brought it up as a problem.  My solution was a screen-free summer, and Lex’s solution was unlimited screentime all summer.  We came to a compromise.  Unlimited screen time AFTER they complete a list of jobs and activities.  Lex loved the idea.  I printed a few samples from the Internet (no idea is original any more!) and Lex made up our version.  They have to do 30 minutes of something creative, one household chore, take care of pets, outside time, and more.  So far things are going GREAT!  We are only on day two, but I’m optimistic!  Lex completes the jobs and (as I was hoping) it takes him awhile to get through the list so he isn’t on the computer at 9am for the entire day.  So far it has been mid- to late-afternoon before he got things done.  I don’t have to remind, he doesn’t have to ask for screen time, neither of us have to listen to (and decided how to handle) the beeping timer.

So far, on day two, this unlimited screentime plan is fantastic!   I hope it lasts the whole summer through!  :)

Miss Eve goes to camp

We dropped Eve off at Girl Scout Camp today.  She is there with two friends from school.  She was so excited!!


All packed and ready to go!

Her friends came over to our house this afternoon and we caravanned up together. It was great to have her friends and MY friends there for support! :)


She was so excited! She rolled down her window and said hello to every councelor that gave us parking directions along the way. Look at that smile! <3


Three eager girls heading to check-in!


Her GIANT Valentine’s Day puppy went to camp too! :)

We parked and headed to the check-in lines. Fortunately all three ended up in the same camp sight (there are multiple sites with many cabins/tents/treehouses each). We had a little scare with them being in different groups, but when faced with a few panicked mothers the nice councelor fixed the problem asap! LOL!


Head checks for all the girls. Of course, I checked her this morning! I DID NOT want to be the parent bringing her girl home with head lice before camp even started! :)


This way to Tall Timbers!


Eve’s cabin. It is small and HOT!


Eve got the top bunk because her buddy wanted the bottom bunk. Her other friend is in the other bunk in the cabin, with one other girl who they don’t know. They promised to be nice and inclusive with her! :)


Her shelves, fully stocked.

It was great having the other families and all the siblings there. The moms helped the girls set up and make beds while the dads/boyfriends/friends chatted with councelors and played with siblings. The girls made name tags, met their councelors (at least two of them, one named Pickles and the other named Hatter — both camp names, I’m assuming!), found the water fountain and bathrooms, and generally settled in. The mom’s laughed, exchanged advice and support, and everyone parted in good spirits.


Saying goodbye to brother. Neither of them seemed too upset. I’m curious how they will feel later in the week.

I have been texting with the other two moms and that has been fun. I’m very glad to have their support. One’s daughter has gone to visit family for weeks at a time and the other girl goes to visit dad on a regular basis, so I’m the only one with separation anxiety, but they are nice and supportive and giving me gentle loving grief.

Eve will either have the time of her life, which is what she’s expecting, or it will be miserable. The temps will be pushing 90° all week with rain in the forecast for two of the days, though not a cooling rain. I hope she has a great time!

Now we are watching The Martian, a movie that’s not appropriate for her, and staying up late. Lex has karate camp this week so I will have a few mornings to myself again! Hello naps! LOL!

PS.  Since this is the digital age, camp now has an email system.  You can send an email and they will print it and deliver it with the daily mail call.  If you would like to email Eve, let me know and I’ll send you instructions.