Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cars and Carousels.


My other blog has some photos of the kids from today.
We rode the Metro (choo choo!) down to the Mall. We walked to the Ellipse of the White House and saw the National Christmas tree and all of the State Trees. Clark and his friend, Owen, were mesmerized by the Choo-Choos! under the big tree. They watched them for about an hour. Iris happily crawled around.
Then we walked on the Mall towards the Carousel near the Smithsonian Castle. We rode it and played in the dirt and rocks nearby. Then we rode the Chooo Chooooo home!
It was a great day.

The kids have also been enjoying one of their Christmas presents.... New Cars! I was assembling them when I took these photos (with my cell phone), but the kids - especially Iris - are crazy for them. Iris will sit in it for hours, opening and closing the door, backing herself into a corner. She even rocked so hard in it that she knocked it over, and then laughed!  What a nutter! Clark loves it when I push his down our driveway (into the grass). It's his roller coaster!


Friday, December 16, 2011

December 2011

I've been letting Clark take photographs and this is what he's coming up with.
Iris is not interested in taking photos yet, her favorite thing to do is hide in the cabinets

That's Tom and Iris. 

This Advent, we've taken a music class called Making Music Praying Twice. Its like music together classes, but with a Catholic point of view, meaning we sing Christmas songs about Jesus not Santa.  
Before coming to our 4pm class, we went to the playground. It was sprinkling and 50 degrees, the temperature dropped as the rain fell heavier and heavier.  I never bring extra clothes, but I had a box of things that Iris had already grown out of. Clark ended up in these dry, warm girl clothes.  I'm glad they were able to have such fun on such a yucky day.

Clark's cute outfit and musical instruments. Iris is there in the front.

Getting instruments again.

Iris rocking out. She really loves shaky eggs. I made some this morning out of plastic Easter eggs, tape and beads.

Very intent on shaking. She actually shook them to the beat too!

While the teacher rocks the baby Jesus, Iris destroys both the nativity and the prayer table.

Just another photo of Iris the adorable darling!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Save It, Don't Spend It

Save It, Don't Spend It.

My new blog, a path to reaching financial goals by ceasing to spend money in 2012. Let's use peer pressure to stop spending money. Who needs an iphone4s (even though I want one so bad)? Who needs a birthday present? None of us! Handmade cards coming your way! 

In 2012, I plan on being the ultimate tightwad.  How about you?

Monday, December 5, 2011

traveling for 80 years

We stayed with my Aunt Nina, Uncle Bernard and Cousin Nico. Nico and Bernard were especially baby crazy and couldn't get enough of Tessa and Iris. We traveled for my grandpa's 80th birthday! All of my aunts and uncles and my mom and dad came. Most of the grandchildren, myself included, were there, and Iris and Tessa representing the great grand children.

Iris enjoyed traveling. She especially liked takeoff and landing in the plane. Her favorite part may have been all of the attention.

And here's a picture of Clark washing the dishes.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Iris has her 3rd tooth. She ate her first shrimp last night. We are trying to keep her from eating grains, but she eats lots of chips and rice off of the floor. She remains completely awesome. She wakes about twice at night, sometimes zero, sometimes 4, when she's sick. She can walk if you hold her hands. Yesterday she climbed the stairs at my friend's house in the 2 minutes it took me to turn my back to change Clark's diaper. Yes, she is my danger girl. She babbles her own little baby language and doesn't do any baby signs. She does shake her head sometimes to say no, but that one she made up herself. She adores all of us, as she should. She loves dogs and laughs uncontrollably in their presence.

Clark has 20 teeth. He eats everything except for gluten, and whatever else he doesn't want to eat. If it was up to him, all meals would involve cake, candy, cookies, chocolate, Brussel sprouts, carrots or peas. He asks if everything is "gluten free" and revels in things that are. When we were going through the halloween candy, Tom let Iris chew on a bag of Skittles. Clark told her, "that's gluten free, Iris." it was super cute. He loves Iris and involves her in almost everything. He does not like it when he is sitting or standing on a chair and she cruises over. In those circumstances he pushes her. He also likes to roll on her, but I think he thinks its loving and a fun game. She does not always agree. He steals her walker all of the time and calls it his bulldozer. He loves trucks, firetrucks, tractors, construction equipment, rockets, airplanes, helicopters, machines of any sort. He is taking a soccer class this fall with his friend, Will Clark (born 4 days after him to Katie Noonan). It is a little over his head, but it is for all of the kids too. Maybe we'll try again next year. He loves his friends, especially Owen Farmer, who he asks about all of the time. Anytime we get in the car or I talk on the phone he hopefully says, "Owen?" He likes painting, glueing things, cooking with me - especially pouring and mixing. He pulls the chair all over the house to be able to reach things that we've put out of his reach. He has an imagination now and is always talking about monsters. He isn't afraid of them, sometimes we hide from the monsters and jump out to scare them. He is at an incredibly fun age. We go to the playground every day. He loves the swings - still, and is a great climber. He is able to play games with the other kids in the park, and I especially like it when they chase each other! He's very polite and says "thank you" unprompted most of the time, "your welcome" when someone says thank you to him. I wish he would always say "please" instead of whining, but he doesn't. Hmmmmm....... He has a guitar toy and loves to dance around with it while listening to music. He has a career in the Rock arts in the future. He loves to dance, then slam the guitar on the ground, and then roll around. He is awesome. I have zero clue where he got that.

I have 27 teeth. I have my most profound thoughts about life, children, motherhood, faith and family when we are walking in our nearby woods (Rock Creek). I always hope to come home and write a blog about it but never do. I ran a 10K in 1 hour 9 minutes and 36 seconds. I stopped to tie my shoe and use a port a potty in that time. I am amazing. It was an incredible race. I should write about it one day, but not today. I am taking ballet which is offered by our city and I love it. I hope I can take it forever, but it will depend on my work/teaching schedule. I am working with friends Kathryn and Sarah to make a co-op preschool for our kids, its fun. I am co-leading the moms group at our church with a program called Play and Pray. Its a playgroup with prayer, just like it sounds. We meet once a month and love it. I've got a number of parenting groups on facebook that I'm coordinating. I'm teaching childbirth stuff and starting to take Doula clients. I've been to two births so far and I like it. I continue to love Tom, Clark and Iris, which is perhaps the most important thing I do.

Tom has 28 teeth. He will turn 35 this weekend and is very excited about this landmark birthday. He recently had sinus surgery. His mom came out to help us through it, watching the kids while I went to the hospital and to appointments with him. Thank God she was here. He likes work and is doing his big neuroscience conference next week. He's excited to be planning a big road trip for us. We will be driving down to Louisiana for Thanksgiving! He was in a triathlon at the beginning of October and got 1st place in Swimming, 15th overall. Isn't that awesome?!?! He really kicked its butt! He likes his job still, but I think we all secretly want to move further South. So, keep that in mind when searching the government classifieds for neuroscience jobs. ;-) (if any NEI people are reading this, its just a fantasy, and we aren't really ever moving, so don't worry).

That's all I can think of now. Thanks for listening! =)

Fall in review.

I give up keeping up with this thing. I'm sorry everyone. From here on out, I'm just going to daily digest this blog and that will have to be enough. Although, the daily digest may have to be a seasonal digest. We'll see if I can keep up with that!

Here are some of my favorite photos from the Fall.

Clark and Iris made a huge splashy, bubbly mess in the bathroom. Iris was covered with bubbles, Clark was thrilled and cheering the whole time he was splashing. Iris loves the bathroom. What is it with babies and bathrooms? or electricity for that matter? and dangerous cords? and choking hazards? Iris is my danger girl.
Here's some pics from Halloween. Iris fell asleep early, but it was a nap. She wokWhen she was still sleeping, we tried to get Clark into his Winnie the Poo costume. He resisted, cried and generally acted like a child. So, we took this cute photo with Tom in Iris' costume, me in Clarks, and Clark in his pumpkin shirt that he was already wearing. I did eventually wrestle the boy into the costume and force him to trick or treat. Either Tom or I carried him the whole way. He and Iris had had a fever on and off the entire week. It was a hard week for them.
This is one of my favorite photos of her in her favorite spot, under the coffee table!
And as a mother, nothing has made me more happy than seeing how these two crazy kids love each other. Clark asks to hold her constantly. We went to vote the other day and I let someone hold Iris while I went in the booth. She was gone for one minute when Clark asked, "where's our baby?" In many ways the 3 of us are one person who all belong together. I've heard of the mother-baby di-ad, but we've definitely got a triad going on.

We love the Zoo and hanging out with Owen and Kathryn Farmer!

We've been buying apples from the farmers market. We can buy a bushel of "seconds" which means slightly "flawed", for $7, so we have. Its fun to think of ways to incorporate them into meals. Here is some Apple Chicken, Apple Risotto, Greenbeans with apples. it was all yummy.

We made Apple Cider, yum.

Happy Birthday Tom!!!!

This is Tom's big year! He's 35!!!!! We celebrated a few weeks ago by taking a Segway tour of DC, something Tom has always wanted to do.

Autumn is Beautiful

And we are enjoying it!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

These kids were drinking crazy juice

This is 3 videos of them "bof laughing".
Watch when you are in a bad mood and need some joy in your life.


Here are some photos from the co-op Preschool I do with my friends Sarah Berry and Kathryn Farmer. Sarah is Emily's mom, and Kathryn is Owen's mom. These photos are post-lesson, during "crazy time", what some real preschools call "free play". We each lead a lesson about once a month. This lesson was about night time. Clark wore his pajamas. He is getting opinionated about his clothing and loves the many pairs of spiderman pajamas he has.

And Owen, he loves Owen too!

New York -

We drove up to New York last weekend to stay with Uncle Ray and Aunt Karla. They live in Long Beach, Long Island. It took about 6 hours with stops and both kids did excellently. It was a trial trip for driving down to Louisiana for Thanksgiving, and again this March.

The trip happened over the 9/11 weekend, so we stayed in Long Beach and didn't venture into the city. We hung around Ray and Karla's house. We went to the beach. Here are some photos.

There was a sailing regatta AND a Quicksilver surfing competition this weekend. Ray and Tom went out to surf (not in the competition, just in the ocean). I think two of these surfers might be them.

The kiddies played in the sand. Iris mostly ate it. I built castles and Clark would smash them. We found 2 sand crabs.

Iris had fun exploring their house and playing with their doggies! Both of the kids loved playing with the dogs' toys!

We did a lot of standing around and talking. We also did some sitting and talking.
Tom's cousin Paul came out from Brooklyn and visited with us. He brought his girlfriend, Stephanie, who is in midwifery school. We had a lot to talk about. ;-)

And one last photo demonstrating the incredible height of Uncle Ray,
and the incredible adorableness of Iris.

Clark's first day of soccer

We signed up for soccer lessons this fall. Clark is taking these classes with his friend Will, whose parents are Katie and Brian. Will is just 4 days younger than Clark. Here is a photo of Clark in his soccer clothes with his new soccer ball and shin guards. He is holding a car he got for pooping on the potty yesterday. He's getting so big!

Here's a video of the most organized part of the soccer lesson. They were kicking the balls into the cones to knock them over. Clark got the message about knocking them over all right! He's in a navy blue hoodie. The boy in the second part is Will. He is with his dad, Brian.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rain, Rain Go Away! (or what we'd talk about if you called me on the phone today)

- This is my complainy post. There are also kid updates below. No photos this time, sorry, just rambley words.

Its soooooo rainy. I think we have the entrails of some Tropical Storm (Lee)? peeing all over us. It has been raining since this weekend. I feel so bad for Texas and their drought.

In addition to the rain, I've been sick this week and Clark and Iris have had runny noses, and Clark has a little cough. That means we have been stuck indoors for 3 whole days. To some people this may sound fine. Those people do not have a wild and crazy Clark on their hands.

Sometimes I wonder if he is going to have ADD or ADHD or some other hyperactive child disorder. Then I remember that he is a child and his natural curiosity is what is helping him learn so much about the natural world, and test the boundaries of his imagination and physical limits. That said, he is pretty wild and crazy. Most days we plan something to do in the morning and it usually involves other kids his age, or the outdoors or using a ton of energy. We usually spend one day at home each week and that's a day for laundry. That day usually also involves a trip to the playground or playing in the back yard and porch for a few hours.

So we were trapped, no playground, no friends to communicate illness too, no indoor play places to spread illness, no nothing. So what did we do this week?

On Tuesday I felt the most yucky so we watched TV pretty much all day. I know, a shining moment of parenthood right there. Well, I wish I could take a sick day and lay in bed and nap and eat chicken soup and drink orange juice, but I can't. So we watch TV. We must have done some other things, but I don't remember. I think we made smoothies. The smoothie recipe comes from the Janzens. Daron told me it is 5 things: strawberries, banana, flax, orange juice and yogurt. We used yummy greek yogurt.

On Wednesday, I begged my best friend in the whole wide world, Liz Barturen, to come down from Hagerstown, MD to keep me company and play with the children. She did. I love her. She wanted to go to this giant new Whole Foods they built down here. We trooped over to Whole Foods in torrential downpour, found a garage and parked the car. We rode the elevator down and found out we were in the wrong garage and we had to move the car. We found another garage and mazed our way to the elevators to Whole Foods and mazed our way into the giant store. It took probably 45 minutes to get from the first garage into the store. Liz said it was our adventure for the day. The kids were happy, I was happy.

We shopped the whole store. I bought5 items for $50, big surprise, right? The things I bought were the yummiest whole food staples though: Golden yellow butter from pastured cows, Coconut oil, Maple Syrup, Olive Oil hand soap (the only cure for my Dumbledore eczema hand), gluten free pasta noodles. I did buy a few pounds of butter, that increased my debt to WF.

What did we do then? We brought the kids home. We hung out a little while longer. I love that Liz is up here living with her dad again. I hope she lives here as long as we do. It is so wonderful to have her here. I think its good because she knew me before I was a mom and I'm still a person to her, who happens to have a husband and kids. She loves the kids. She's their Aunt Liz. It is really cool.

On Thursday, we had smoothies again, but we also used a grapefruit, which was a lovely addition to the smoothie. I also used Coconut Oil. Coconut oil is delicious and the fats in it are some of the best fats on the planet to eat. They help you fight viruses and bacteria and fungus and anything else. They are awesome for your heart and brain! I hope they cure my cold, right?!?

Today I decided I was feeling well enough to go out in public with other children. We went to the Mall. Clark played and Iris crawled all over the indoor playspace.

On the way home, GASP!, they both fell asleep at the same time. Then they both napped back at the house at the same time. God was kind to me. I had a very lovely break from parenting for a few hours. I worked on my business stuff.

Business Stuff: I went to my first birth a week ago. It was long and difficult, exhausting and inspiring. I'm so glad I was able to be a doula for this couple. I can't wait to do it again.

Upcoming this fall: I'm going to teach 2 private "refresher" courses this fall, and one "long course" for first time parents starting at the end of October. This fall, I'm also going to take Ballet one evening a week. One day per week, I'm going to take Mommy and Kid yoga class. My friends and I have a "co-op" preschool where we meet once a week, so that's another thing we're doing. Once a month I run a playgroup called "Happy Healthy Playgroup" designed to support my students in their motherhood. It has been really successful so far and I really love it. Once a month we also meet with our Mom's group at church. I'm also doing a 10K, Tom is doing a Triathlon.

Wait? Did you just say that Clark gets his hyper activity from me? no. couldn't be.

He gets a few other things from me too. He says, "sure" if you ask him an affirmative question. If you ask him what he wants he says, "ummmmm" or "How 'bout...." He is starting to say that things "suck" which reminds me I need to watch my language. He loves anything with wheels and balls and sports. Clark is going to be taking a soccer class this fall. He is really excited about it. If you ask him what he is going to do today he will respond... "Soccer in two weeks!" actually, sometimes he says "basketball" which he also loves. We'll have to get him into a class this winter. We are going to take the soccer class with Will Clark, the little boy who was born 4 days after Clark Greenwell. His mom is Katie N.

ummmm... I know I'm rambling, but I've had a frustrating week so its therapeutic to help me focus on things, good and bad, that have happened recently.

Clark is really speaking in sentences and expressing his ideas pretty clearly. He does throw whiney fits a few times a day, but I attribute that more to my lack of managing him well more than anything else.

Lately Clark has this new stall technique before going to bed. When I put him in bed, he starts screaming "food food". He'll do this even if he just ate dinner, so don't worry, I'm not starving the boy. If he hasn't just had dinner, then he will usually eat a whole bunch in order to postpone bedtime. It is actually genius, he eats and then he goes to bed. He even sleeps longer in the morning because he isn't starved at 6am. His diet is pretty decent. He eats a ton of fruits and vegetables and sometimes cheese, yogurt and eggs. Occasionally he will drink a glass of milk. He mostly drinks juice, which isn't that great, but the best we feel we can do right now. He has cereal and sometimes crackers, chips or popcorn for a snack. We make him "Clarky snacks" which are raisins (sometimes other dried fruit like mango, pineapple or apricot), Chex cereal (gluten-free!) and some nuts. He eats every kind of nut he can. One of his friends is allergic to pistachios and cashews, so we have to keep that in mind when hanging out with her, but otherwise they aren't a problem.

Now Iris. Iris doesn't eat much of anything. When Clark was her age, I was anxiously shoving food in his face, having him reject it, me crying, him frustrated that I persisted, me reading books on getting your kid to eat, me worried about his weight gain and what the doctor would say. I watched his weight plummet from 90%tile to 75th to 50th to 25th to 10%tile, always feeling like I was the one who was wrong. We got his weight up because we fed him massive doses of goldfish cracker, fruit snacks, and ice cream. It wasn't logically healthy food, it was "get the kid to eat" food. I understand why America has an obesity epidemic.

I'm not worrying about feeding Iris. She sometimes grabs food off of our plates and we let her eat it. She has bits of fruits, vegetables and meats. I'm not giving her grains. Clark likes to eat the skin off of peaches and pears, so I'll cut up the rest and freeze it for her for later. The fruit is fresh and local from our CSA.

Iris can crawl, and pull up. She can babble, and does incessantly. It is wonderful. She says both "mamammama" and "dadadadada" and some other noises, maybe "yayayayya" but not "Clark". I'm sure she will soon.

She continues to be a wonderful child. She is deliciously fat, as she really only gets my fat inducing milk to eat. We call her the "baby seal" because she loves swimming, baths, water of any sort and has a nice thick layer of blubber.

Its funny how baby fat is so delicious. Everyone wants to squeeze it, pinch it, or, like me, nibble it. Its so thick and soft. I wish people would grab my tummy fat and say, "oh this is so yummy". What is wrong with us as a society? It is really a weird thing when you think about it, but it must be some evolutionary love for a baby that is going to survive because they are so fat....

Now that she is crawling, though, I know its the end of her fattening up phase. I expect in a year she'll be thin and tall like Clark. She'll be walking, running and climbing. She'll be just starting to drive me crazy.

It is amazing how fast they grow.

Anyway, I hope this rain goes away. We are driving to New York tomorrow to visit Tom's Uncle Ray and Aunt Karla in Long Island. It is 9/11 weekend so I hope nothing bad happens up there, and at the very least, the traffic isn't horrible. Wish us luck! It is our first big road trip with Clark and our first with Iris too!

Rain walk.

This is a moment I want to remember forever.

We took this wonderful walk tonight when Tom came home from work. We made our way down to Rock Creek Park, slow as molasses, following the stop and go whims of Mr. Precious. When we got into the park, I carried him. We got to Rock Creek, usually far below us, with a high bank. It was swollen, maybe 4-6 feet. It was running fast. You could hear the energy in the water. We threw some seeds, sticks and leaves into the water. It started to rain again. We weren't surprised. We started home, Clark, Tom and I with umbrellas and Iris in the stroller. Clark loved having his own umbrella. He kept saying, "daddy has umbrella, mommy has umbrella, Clark has umbrella". His umbrella was leopard print. He was wearing a size 4T Firetruck shirt on his 2T body, jean shorts peaking out underneath the shirt hem. White socks with blue and red stripes pulled high above his brown rain boots. The rain hitting the trees above us was like applause. The rain on my umbrella was a tippy tappy tap dancer. The air smelled like nothing, days of rain had already removed the smell of earth and sweat from the air. Tom pushed the stroller ahead of me with his green and white umbrella. He leaned forward to try to keep Iris dry, his back was soaked. I glanced back to see Clark walking slowly, listening, looking, absorbing the life around us.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It was a pretty wonderful day.

Tom's brother, James recently mentioned that I was falling behind on the blog. I'm sorry. I think it has taken me about 7 months to get used to having 2 kids, and now I'm up for it again. At one point I'd like to go back in time and write some good updates, but for now I just want to write about today. It was the kind of day I want to file away in my memory bank for forever. I'll begin in the morning.

Iris slept the entire night without waking me. This was the second night in a row she's done this. The first night, I woke up throughout the night to listen for her, and in the morning with an aching chest. The second night, I slept hard and woke comfortably to the morning light peaking through the cracks. I tried to resist the morning, but I was so rested, I really was awake. It was lovely to wake up for "no reason" as opposed to baby noises, Clark's scampering feet or an alarm clock. Tom and I even got to cuddle for a few minutes before we heard Clark banging around downstairs.

We all got up and had a yummy breakfast. We had some wonderful eggs from "happy chickens" and I juiced a few carrots with an apple and kale. Clark and I shared this "special carrot juice" while he ate a bowl of cereal and apple slices.

The past few days have been pretty cool for this area this time of year. It is "September weather" in my opinion. We slept the last two nights with the windows open and the A/C off. Maybe that's why Iris slept so well the last few nights.

Anyway, the nice weather is inspiring me to get running again. I usually skip out on it in August because it is too hot to walk to the car, let alone tie your shoes and go for a jog! Not today.
I decided today was an excellent day for a long practice run. I'm doing a 10K in October as part of the Marine Corps Marathon.
I'm running on the Run for Vocations team which is raising money for our seminarians (please give!). So I drove the van and the kids to Tom's work by the Twinbrook Metro. We metro'd up to Shady Grove Metro (almost in Gaithersburg) and I proceeded to run home.
Here's the map, but I ran from the 6 to the green flag, not the other way around. It was 6 miles of hard running on sidewalks and the roadway. The first 2 miles were in the full sun, and the second 2 miles were ridiculously hilly. The last 2 were in my regular running ground - shady and pretty flat. It was hard, but I'm glad I did it. I did the route in 1 hour and 41 minutes, pushing the jogging stroller and 2 kids, with lots of hills and I stopped 1 time to talk on the phone and 1 time to backtrack and look for a dropped item. The max time you are allowed to take for the 10K is 1 hour and 30 minutes. I think it shouldn't be a problem to finish, and that's what I was trying to determine today.

The blessing of the run were that the kids both slept for part of it, which was unexpected, but awesome. 1 hour and 40 minutes in the stroller is a long time. Another blessing of the run was the beautiful area I ran through. This is Rock Creek Park, the last 2 miles of the run.
This is Lake Needwood, the middle 2 miles.
I really love the beauty of this area. The trees and the water are so refreshing and nourishing. I am truly blessed to live here and every time I am in a "wild" place I am reminded of what God has made for us to enjoy.

Towards the end of the jog, the kids woke up and got fussy. I made them stay in the stroller until I was finished, but let them walk the rest of the way home. Oh, sorry. I let Clark slowly meander up the massive hill that led towards home, and I held Iris. This is the google street view of the massive hill. It is long and steep.

At the top of the hill was a special treat, though. We have a new Methodist Church being built, and something being built means... Tractors!

I parked the stroller in the grass by the sidewalk, plunked Iris down so she could practice standing up (yes, that's right ladies and gentlemen, she is pulling up to standing already, holy cow!) and put Clark on my shoulders. We stood and watched the backhoe dig a big hole in the ground. Then it drove around to a dump truck full of rocks and scooped them up. The tractor drove back to the hole and then waited. It was waiting for a pipe to be installed, which we didn't see. While it was waiting, the driver turned off the engine and talked to us. He loved it!

We walked a little further to a playground by the Aspen Hill Co-op Preschool. Clark begged to stop and play. I was tired and my legs hurt and I wanted to go home, but instead we stopped to play. The air was cool. Trees shaded the park, and the sunlight danced through the leaves. Clark ran around with some other children. Iris crawled on the grass for a little while. We moved over to the sand box. Clark played with trucks. I showed him how to pour sand through one toy to sift the rocks out, and then the sifted sand poured on a wheel to make it turn. He finally understood how it worked and did it himself. It is amazing to watch him learn new things. 2 and a half is a magical age. Iris crawled around in the sand, occasionally tasting it and deciding she didn't like it. 7 months is pretty magical too.

I guess moments like this aren't especially "special" to others, but to me they are. They are the treasures I lock up to keep in my heart forever. It is in moments like these that I know I am the happiest women in the world and wouldn't want any other life.

Clark never wanted to leave the sand. I finally convinced him to leave by promising him that daddy would bring him ice cream. Tom was having "free ice cream" day at work and I knew he would bring home something for Clark. So we walked the rest of the way home.

It was about 12:30 by the time we made it home. The house was dark (as always) and cool due to the windows being open. I dropped Iris off in Clark's room where she started wheeling a truck around. Clark asked to color. I set him up at the table with a "Waste water treatment" coloring book he got last week at the Montgomery County Fair. I finally got into the shower to get the grime of the run off of me. As I was showering I heard Iris making her baby noises and Clark talking to her. Then, the shower curtain pulled back and there they both were smiling up at me. Iris pulled up to standing on the edge of the bathtub and had a huge grin with her two bottom teeth poking out. Clark was as pleased as ever with his big right dimple, and the left dimple going too. I finished my shower and got out. After getting dressed, I fed Clark and nursed Iris. Tom came home soon after with ice cream as promised.

What happened next? We dropped Tom off at work, this was the way to get the van back to me from the morning's metro excursion. Then we went to Target. I looked through Clearance clothes looking for a special shirt that wasn't there. Then we went up to the toy section. Clark ran amok in the car and Cars 2 (the movie) isle. He carried toys off of the shelf asking, "bring home?". He found the big Tonka trucks and just so many other fun things. He is so good about not taking toys home and knows he can play with the boxes as long as he doesn't destroy them. Eventually, we headed out of Target. I did buy one drink for 88 cents because I was so thirsty, but otherwise no money was spent.

We went to the Twinbrook Library. They have a nice kids section with puzzles and those wire things you move beads on, and a block table. Clark ran over to the blocks, Iris crawled on the floor - headed to the little kids chairs to work on pulling up. I grabbed a few books on Yellowstone National Park - my latest obsession and read them on the floor. Clark eventually came over and started bringing me books to read. Oh joy! He brought me.. picture books... with plots! Yay! the days of one word pages may be behind Clark and I! We read book after book and even on in Chinese! I tried to tell the story based on the pictures, but still I'm not sure what happened with the giraffe whose legs were used as posts for a clothes line. It was kind of confusing. After a while we started to leave, but in walked a dog! It was a reading dog. It sits there with its owner and kids read to it. Clark is crazy about dogs so we had to stay. We stayed for a little while to pet and read to the dog.

Then we headed home. I fed Clark and Iris napped. After his dinner, we played in the yard. We kicked around a ball and swung in the hammock. Clark lay on my chest and together we swang and looked up at the leaves rustling in the trees.

After a while Tom came home from work. He left soon after to go swimming in training for a triathlon he is doing in early October.

I ate dinner, Clark played in our wading pool. Tom came home from the pool and took Iris so Clark could get some alone time with me.

Clark had a bath and then we read a few books. We sang "Hail Mary, Gentle Woman" and "Jingle Bells". He said, "all done" and asked to be put into bed. He asked for a "blanket, please". He went right to sleep. Sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't, but we were so happy that tonight was a sleepy night.

Iris slept late from that earlier nap, so she was wide awake. She crawled right over to me. Tom caught up on the computer, then washed the dishes. Iris laughed and laughed when he sang his special Iris song for her. It is all about her Tonguey Smile! We love her tonguey smile.

Then Tom went to bed, Iris finally fell asleep and I wrote this. I'm tired, but satisfied. Tom is probably already asleep - or tossing and turning because I'm not there.

It was a pretty wonderful day, I wanted to have it down for memory's sake. Since you read this far, I'll give you a cute little photo of the kids.

Clark wants a bow too.