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Hip hip, hippie-hoo-ray!

“I want to study chemistry,” he said. “Do you do that here?”

“Sure,” she said. “If you come here, you get to choose a lot of what you do. What do you like about chemistry?”

“I don’t really know, yet, I just think it would be neat.” He was playing with Legos in the middle of the floor, happily chatting, a far cry from his refusal to look at the new parapro the day before.

“Well, you can maybe choose that for some independent study, or when it’s time to do a group project you can pitch that to the other students and see if other people want to do it, too.” For the past half hour she had gamely jumped from topic to topic along with him, unperturbed by his non-sequitors and occasional lack of manners.

“I want to learn how to blow things up!” he said, sweeping his arms wide. As I barked his name and dropped my face into my hands, he laughed. “Just kidding!” he added. (more…)

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Lucky 13, in a milestone way

Monkey claims that 13 is his lucky number, in large part, because it’s mine. He still thinks I’m cool; he still wants to like what I like and do as I do.

You, on the other hand, suffer under no such delusions. If I say it’s black, you are all but legally obligated to say that it’s white. If I dance to a song, you roll your eyes and make a mental note of the song’s now inherent uncoolness. If I remind you to thank me for something, you deadpan, “Thank you so much, Mom, you’re are quite simply the very greatest,” and don’t even crack a smile until I start laughing.

But you also curl up with me on the couch to watch television; plunk yourself down in my lap as if you were still a preschooler instead of just a few inches shorter than I am; demand I join you in jazz hands or link arms and skip with you; and rest your head on my shoulder and catch your breath when you’re trying not to cry. Because I am yours and you are mine, and today you are a teenager, even though you’re still my baby. (more…)

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Special Guest Post: It’s Mir’s Dad!

You asked (over on Facebook) for the famous Mir’s Dad to come and write so, while my lovely bride (oh, hey – this is Otto tapping at you now) is off getting lovelier, he was ordered to hunt and peck his way through writer’s block (hard, when you’re an architect by trade and nature, to problem solve in your kid’s realm) and create the following missive.

So, some rules:

  • We love Mir’s dad. He’s awesome. You must agree to this before clicking through to his post.
  • No nasty comments or he’ll leave mean ones on your blog.
  • The chances of him registering “” are pretty slim, but you can ask.
  • He has kids already and, while he’s sure you’re a perfectly nice person, probably won’t adopt you. Sorry.

That’s it, click on through to read …

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Love makes its own schedule

Today is Christmas.

Oh, okay; TECHNICALLY today isn’t Christmas, but today is OUR Christmas, because the kids are leaving tomorrow. Which means that there is currently a big mess of wrapping paper in my family room.

My biggest concern with the whole timing thing was not, in fact, today, but last night. See, the elves bring new pajamas on Christmas Eve. And the kids had already been informed that there was no way that Santa could come early—he is far too busy in these last days before the holiday, after all—but that we would do our family gifts, and after they return we’ll see if Santa came and what he brought. But then there was the matter of the elves. Might the elves make a special early trip?

I just wasn’t sure how to handle it. Fortunately, the weather made it easy. (more…)

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Love is a long time comin’

Today I am running around, trying to do at least twelve things at once. There’s work to be done and errands to attend to and the dog wants to play (which, YAY, but also, kind of busy here, pup!) and despite their “help” I had to really clean the kids’ bathroom, today, just to preserve my own sanity.

This afternoon my mother-in-law and her sister (Otto’s aunt and godmother) are arriving for their first visit to our home in Georgia. For those of you who are new, or maybe just to refresh your memory, Otto’s mom was sick and unable to travel for far too long. After a prolonged and scary medical drama, last year she received a liver and kidney transplant, and now she’s on a plane, headed here.

It’s kind of a big deal. A huge deal, really.

Otto’s mom has never seen him in his home, with his family, doing all of the things that he normally does. And even though I wished for this day years ago, it’s hard to believe it’s finally arrived. She can spoil her grandkids. She can see her oldest child in his element. She can see the man I see.

Today is a very good day.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone.

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It says so, right here

There are crumbs on the table and dust bunnies on the floor and there’s something sticky on the back corner of that one shelf in the fridge that I’m afraid to investigate.

I’m tired and I’m getting a cold and my desk is a mess and the laundry’s piling up and it’s rainy and disgusting outside.

I am profoundly grateful for all of it. This life, my life, is sweeter and more blessed than I deserve. Every year I dread my birthday—vestiges of ghosts long since past—and every year it arrives and I look around and realize, “Life is good and I am lucky.”

Because it is, and I am. Even if this IS the last birthday I’m planning to have. Ahem. (39 is the new black, or something, right? Right.)

And if for some reason I didn’t realize my good fortune, magical forces are hard at work to remind me. (more…)

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Two cool things

Today I have almost nothing for you; I am busy continuing Operation Kill Fleas Immediately If Not Sooner, and that involves a lot of vacuuming and laundry and also bathing a dog who is really not all that jazzed about finding herself in the sink. AGAIN.

Also I am trying to spend some quality time with my children, which would be a lot easier if they would stop doing things like shoving garbage in their closets and then swearing that they’d cleaned their rooms (and then getting all offended when their jerkery is discovered). AHEM. (Jerkery is SO a word, by the way.) Anyway.

Two very cool things happened to me lately, though: (more…)

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Family (re)union at sea

Why yes, I am blogging from the middle of the ocean. I have to purchase some Internet time here on the ship at the luxury rate of about a bajillion dollars a minute so that I can do a little work, so I figured in for a penny, in for a pound—you get a piece of me, too. Lucky you!

Yesterday was a VERY long day. It turns out that the business of getting to the port, meeting up with eight other people in your party, getting through security and check-in, and then finally boarding the damn ship takes quite a while. And then just as you’re thinking to yourself, “Wow, I’m on a floating city and will never find my way back to my room again,” you have to run out on deck to your “muster station” for a safety drill, where they tell you how to put on a lifejacket and which lifeboat you should take in the event of an abandon ship order. (While that’s kind of crowded and boring no matter what, they pack you in five lines of people deep and sound various alarm chimes and I thought poor Monkey was going to abandon ship of his own volition if it didn’t conclude pretty promptly, which—thankfully—it did.) (more…)

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I feel pretty, oh so pretty

I am coming to you live from the new and improved Woulda Coulda Shoulda, which was redone to match the new and improved Want Not, which pretty much makes me squeal with glee every time I look at it. If you’re looking for a crack team of web designers, I heartily recommend the folks over at LEAP. They not only made everything gorgeous, they totally put up with my truckload of neuroses while they did it. And I’m pretty sure they didn’t even charge me any extra.

Anyway, I spent about twelve hours yesterday sitting here at my desk, programming stores into Want Not’s new little mini-marketplace (called Shop Pretty, of course, because it’s so pretty), and as such, my brain is now mush. Abedgfihwtgng. Like that.

Fortunately, I have a story for you over at Five Full Plates, all about how I fed my family… well, you’ll have to go read it.

And I need to go take a nap.

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Love is everything

For the first time in my life, I have made a sizable, life-changing resolution for the new year. This will be the year I take my health more seriously. Otherwise known as: The year I learn to love or at least tolerate exercise, or die in the attempt. Otherwise known as: The year I refuse to get my ass kicked in a friendly little competition just because I have all the willpower of a jar of mayonnaise.

Mmmmm… mayonnaise….

Wait. Where was I?

Oh! Right. The competition starts tomorrow. So today, Otto and I went out to lunch for my favorite food on the planet and I ate myself silly. And then spent the ride home commenting on how full and happy I was, and how I would savor this day in all its deliciousness on account of I’m about to be horribly deprived as we head into 2010. (more…)

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