Sunday, December 30, 2007


Nana, of the famed Nana's Boutique, will celebrate her 29th-ish birthday on Dec 31st.

Mom, have I ever told you how totally cool I think it is to be born on New Year's Eve? I can see how holidays such as Christmas would not be fun for a birthday, but New Year's Eve comes with a built in, all night party during which you are the only one to get presents. Sounds like a blast to me!

I hope you enjoy your evening Nana. Thank you so much for everything you have done, everything you do and everything that I know you will do in the future.


Edited 2 hours later: PS Nana, I am very happy to tell you that I have another birthday present for you. It will be arriving at your house in the next 12 hours. It is medium size, black, hyper active and it just came tearing into the family room, hooked its foot on the cord of my laptop, yanked it onto the floor and broke the screen so that it is no longer connected to the actual keyboard. ARG!!!!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Cooties

Our little Anna has been hacking and coughing and dribbling all sorts of offensive goop from her nose for almost two weeks now. We, being the seasoned, veteran, non-alarmist parents that we are, assumed virus and assured ourselves and Anna that it would go away soon and a trip to the ped would be pointless and end only in a diagnosis of an untreatable virus, instructions to keep a humidifier in her room and keep her fluids up, which we were doing anyway, and the obligatory co-pay.


Poor baby, she has a severe double ear infection. Do any of you other parents have this problem? I SWEAR...every time I assume infection and take them in it is only a virus and there is nothing to be done. If I assume virus and decide that it will run its course, we always end up with bacterial infection and antibiotics. What's a mom to do?

Incidentally, if you are instructed to give your young child the now forbidden infant strength decongestants and cough suppressants, be prepared to pay for them. They have been pulled from OTC shelves, are now prescrip only and as of this post there is not a generic brand available. Ok, it only cost our prescrip co-pay for a brand name drug, but some of us are a tad on the thrifty side and don't appreciate paying $30 for something that we used to be able to buy OTC for $10 or less. I find this highly irritating considering that we fully understand how to give our child the correct dose of a drug, know to look for possible drug overlaps, understand that in the world of cough medicine more is NOT necessarily better, etc. Perhaps we might have simply moved these OTC drugs behind the pharmacy counter so that they would not be sold without directions on proper use from a pharmacist? Eh? Anyone? Maybe? Ya think? Whatever.

Where was I?

Ah yes, Anna. The point is, she is really sick, poor baby. Anna has been a very healthy girl to this point. This (these) is (are) her very first ear infection(s) and only her second round of antibiotics. Not bad for 20 months old eh?

In case you are curious, I attribute Anna's robust immune system directly to the fact that she has been nursing since birth. Yes I realize that this is not a terribly popular topic and I am very much aware that there are people near and dear to my heart who think we should have quit nursing ages ago. And you know, that is ok with me. As long as you respect my choices and my space, you are more than welcome to disagree with me. Just don't expect me to change what I am doing. Ok? Good, I am glad we got that out in the open.

In case you need something else to focus on, chew on the fact that I consider infant formula companies to have almost the same level of responsibility as the tobacco industry for ruining America's health and contributing to the fundamental breakdown of the American family. Yup. Through years of research and personal experience I have this path of destruction worked out in detail. Interesting isn't it?

Yes I realize that there are legitimate exceptions to every sweeping generalization, you don't need to point those out. I am not sitting on a high horse condemning every mom who ever put a bottle in her child's mouth. No really, I would never do that. Both of my boys were bottle fed through part of their infancy. That's where the personal experience part comes in.

What's that you say? You did not come here to read my lecture on the wonders of breast feeding? Oh my, how silly and presumptuous of me. Is my face red? It's just that I get so fired up about certain topics and...My apologies. You are a kind, considerate and patient reader.

Where were we?

I have NO idea.

Here is a Christmas slide show to make up for the lecture.

Love to all!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007



I have included last year's Christmas card a. because I think it is a CUTE picture and b. because I wanted to view the professionally created card next to the one I made.

We hope everyone had a LOVELY Christmas. The S Family delighted in our time with family and the very, VERY white Christmas we woke up to. Details and pics later. Even though Anna set her bangs on fire during the candle light service on Christmas Eve, it has been a delightful few days and we are very much enjoying our vacation.

Much love to all of you!

PS I never have time to address comments but I just wanted to thank those of you who regularly read and comment. It is so much fun to read your thoughts and, as any mother, I love ANY complement regarding my children. Thank you, Merry Christmas and much love to you!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

10 Years in the Making (written by Jesse)

For those of you who have never seen Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, there is a legend that whoever is captain of the Flying Dutchman must spend an eternity at sea, ferrying the souls of those who have died at sea to the other side. In order to do this, he apparently must have his heart cut from his chest and placed in a 'chest' (the treasure kind), to be kept by his one true love... who he gets to visit on land once every 10 years... kind of romantic… in a macabre sort of way.

Coincidentally, Cherith and I are celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary today. And, like Calypso and Elizabeth Swan, Cherith has been in sole possession of my heart for these 10 years (I assure you, however, that even though I did have my chest ripped open at one point, my literal heart is still ticking away in my chest - not my treasure chest, but my regular chest… you know… my torso). And while I’m not exactly the captain of a mysterious ship, sailing the seven seas and ferrying lost souls, I am the proud husband and father of a most spectacular 'crew', who I occasionally will ferry to the store, a park, restaurants, etc. in my own vessel of sorts… the Flying Honda Odyssey. Furthermore, unlike Davie Jones, I do not have a ‘locker’ (well, I did in high school, but it was hardly a source of mortal terror for anyone - that is, of course, assuming I didn't leave my egg salad sandwich over Christmas break) and instead of having a kraken to unleash on my foes as a pet, I have a four-legged, ill-behaved, half-wit-half-breed canine we call Phantom (who I’m not terribly happy with at the moment considering what happened on his walk the other night, but that's another story). And while Davie Jones prefers to play tragic and frightening compositions on his organ, I prefer to play decidedly less-frightening compositions on my electric piano. And finally, while Davie Jones apparently keeps his keys tucked away under his tentacle-chin, I prefer the much more practical storage of my coat pocket. I can continue, of course, but I sense the groans and eye-rolling this writing is almost certain to illicit, and so for now, I will now keep the Pirates references at bay…(he-he)

Anyhow, if you were to scroll down, you will see some fairly shocking 'before and after' images of myself: please excuse the gynormous bottle-bottom glasses and the fuzzy brown caterpillar perched on my upper lip (which finally died about a year after those photos were taken). And, if you look closely, you can very truthfully say that I am less of a man now than when I first got married...about 40 pounds less..which is just fine with me. But putting all joking aside for one moment, I do want to say that I am so genuinely thankful that I am one of those fortunate enough to be a part of something truly special. Ten years ago, I never could have imagined the adventures Cherith and I would have together, and while certain obstacles were trying and even rather frightening, we have managed to weather various storms and emerge stronger and closer because of them. Happy Anniversary, honey.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

10 Years

Happy 10 year anniversary Mr and Mrs S!

For the amusement of all who know and love us, I have scanned some wedding day photos that I dug out of the shed. Once you have viewed them you will understand why we do not post them openly in our home.

12 cyber cookies to anyone who can spot what I consider the 4 most significant differences between our appearance then and our appearance now.

Hint: You will want to point out only positive changes. Wrinkles and gray hair need not be mentioned.

For easy reference, and to sooth the troubled mind of anyone who might fear we still look the same as we did on our wedding day, I have included our two most recent family photos. You may or may not already know that I utterly and completely loath my appearance in pictures, so this is a rare appearance. Occasionally a professional photographer manages to make me look less repulsive than your average every day digi cam.

I love you Jesse! The last 10 years have been a wild ride but I would not trade them for the world. I hope, wild ride or otherwise, we celebrate as many more anniversaries as possible.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Letter to Santa

(Not original writing)

Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my
children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor
and sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a
shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my
list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter
with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry
room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time
in the next 18 years.

* Here are my Christmas wishes:*

* I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple,
which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze,
but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy
aisle in the grocery store. *
*I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh
month of my last pregnancy.

If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint
resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music, a
television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking
animals, and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the
crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, 'Yes,
Mommy' to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't
fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without
the use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting 'Don't eat in
the living room' and 'Take your hands off your brother,' because my
voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can
only be heard by the dog.

If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough
ti m e to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the
luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being
served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to
brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare
ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would
be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house
without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized
crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is calling and my son saw my
feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back.
Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and
come in and dry off so you don't catch cold.

Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave
crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always,


P.S. One more can cancel all my requests if you can keep
my children, healthy, safe and of course, young enough to always believe
in Santa.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


I never did get back to that promised Thanksgiving Day post. The problem is, there are no words, at least no words I am familiar with, to express the depth of emotion, sense of joy and deep gratitude I am experiencing for the difference in our lives between last year and this year at this time. Perhaps if I were a poet or a writer I might take a shot at expressing these feelings, but I just cannot convince myself to write a post that I KNOW will fall far short of communicating the thoughts in my heart.

So I am just going to leave this brief epistle by stating that I dearly love my husband and my children and not a minute of a day goes by when I am not overcome with a sense of peace and joy and gratitude for their presence in my life.

If you are a new reader and have no idea what I am talking about, you can find the S family's old blog here. The blog is called AnnaNathanandIsaacsDaddy.

Love to all!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Deck the Hallls

...and the trees, the grass, the roof, pretty much anywhere you can get a light to stick.

The S house is now very much aglow for the holidays. Lest you assume, as many have, that my darling Jesse shimmied up that tree and put up all those lights, I have provided you with photographic evidence of the person who actually spent two days in the tree just so that people will pause while driving by our house and think, "I wonder who on earth was crazy enough to put all those lights in that tree!"

Jesse, while secure and always willing to take a risk, does not typically put on pink jackets and hang out of trees in full view of the neighbors. I, on the other hand, am ALWAYS willing to wear pink and hang out of trees! In case you are wondering, it was very cold and on Sat also very wet due to an utterly bizarre DECEMBER rain.

Mary, does that make you feel better about YOUR December rain?