Back by Popular Demand: Family Car

September 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

Late last week the whole family finally came to terms with one simple fact: we missed Family Car.

Family Car is the morning ritual of reverse Sardines. We all pile into one car and drop each other off, one-by-one, until Brad is left alone to take himself to work.

When H and E both went to the same daycare and my bus stop was on the way, Family Car was convenient. Now that H goes to Kindergarten across town from daycare, it looked less good. On paper.

In reality, Family Car is much more than convenient. It’s the glue that makes our day. Without realizing it, we had all grown to love this morning routine and I’m surprised at how long it took us to figure out that we needed to get it back. By “us” I mean me n’ B. Hiram and Eldyn were telling this to us all along.

I miss daddy.

Why isn’t my brother here? 

I wish mama could come in our car.

And so, it’s back. In all its clunky, non-six-sigma glory. Somehow we all agree that it makes us more efficient. And happy.


Who Likes Antler A?

September 26, 2014 § 2 Comments

Hadley Barrows

Here’s the best endorsement I’ve ever received for Antler A – My 2-year-old likes it so much he sleeps with it. Either that or it put him to sleep.

Let’s go with the first one, shall we? IMG_3275Now you can follow Antler A: A Cabin ABC Book on Facebook! We’ll put news there when it comes up, so make sure you Like us. Thank you for all your support!

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Fall Fun List

September 25, 2014 § 2 Comments

I was at a friend’s house a few years ago and saw a list she made with clear input from her kids and husband. It was a list of “goals” for winter, which included sledding (twice), learning how to cross-country ski and making a snowman. Being a list girl, I loved this idea but also worried that this list could mess with me. It could turn all that is fun into something else to keep us running. I dismissed is as an amazing idea for “other people to do.”

But this list stuck with me. I kept thinking about how happy it was to have a list that was just for fun. Just for stuff you really hoped you would get to do. I also loved how it was related to a season.

This fall has been tough. Not tough in any kind of way that will have serious long-term repercussions. It’s just full of change and emotion and starting all over to find our grove. We’ll get there but sometimes all I want is to go back to July.

So finally, I allowed myself to make a list for fall (September/October).  And I asked the boys to add their ideas too. What we have now is just a list of things that could make us happy. I love it and have so far resisted the temptation to make us crazy doing everything. So far we haven’t done anything but to be honest, even if all we do is have the list, I think it’s successful. It highlights the opportunities instead of just the trouble. Here’s our list. 5 points if you can guess which one was Eldyn’s.

  • Pumpkin patch
  • Watch the Twin Cities Marathon
  • Scenic day trip
  • Zoo
  • Science Museum
  • Ride an elephant

Write a Novel: September Update

September 23, 2014 § Leave a comment

The most exciting thing about my novel update for September is the news that I am finding time to work! I am not sure how but I AM chipping away at the 8 Houses report. I even have the final draft outlined. I still have a lot to do and it’s still my favorite current project.

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Micro Stories continue to be SO MUCH Better. I tweaked the assignment even more so that I can use what I learn in each chapter to enhance a section of the short story I’m working on. I do notice it helping, especially when I’m in a rut.

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My short story draft is taking time but every time I work on it, I see progress. I also took a Character Development class at the library (free – you guys should check out First Pages at Hennepin County Library) and that helped me define my main character a little more. The story isn’t done but I feel good about my attitude.

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Being on track is getting me really excited to start planning my goals for 2015. Deciding what to tackle next is going to be the hard part. I just want to do everything!

Kindergarten: Week 4 Recap

September 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hiram’s been going to kindergarten for four weeks already! This is the last week I’ll post a special edition recap on his kindergarten progress because I can tell we’re starting to normalize and normal + blog = blah.

We are starting to notice some fun things about Hiram as a kindergartener. His artwork has been prolific and he’s paying so much more attention to how things look. I think his art teacher is really inspiring him. He also did so well on his pattern lesson that his teacher sent us a note to let us know he was impressed! We are very proud of him and are trying to help him get enough sleep (not easy to do) and feel ready for each day.

Drop off still has its ups and downs each morning, but now that I’ve started rating each day, I can’t deny that things are getting better. (1 is Hiram screaming “bloody murder don’t leave me.” 10 is Hiram basically telling me to get lost.)

Hiram’s Daily Drop-Off Score – Week of 9/15

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The Number One Grand Prize in All The Universe

September 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

This past weekend we had our family reunion at the farm. As usual, it was awesome. So good to see family and talk about how the kids are growing up fast. This was Kindergarten year for 3 of Hiram’s second cousins, so catching up on that was really good, too.

We always do so many fun things at our reunion. This year, we had a book club discussion, watched the Iowa/Iowa State football game and had a “grilled appetizer contest.” We have some of the most amazing cooks in our family so entering this contest needs to be done with low expectations of winning and mainly for the fun of it. I was thrilled (and surprised) to be awarded third place for my grilled eggplant Baba Ganoush.

A few minutes after the (extremely well-deserving – Jessie send me that recipe) cook-off winner was announced, Hiram climbed into my lap and started to cry.

“What’s the matter?” I asked him.

“I thought yours was the best, mama. You should have won.”

And just like that, third place became the Number One Grand Prize in All The Universe. In Hiram’s eyes, that sloppy mess of mashed eggplant and tahini was the gold standard and benchmark for excellence. It was something made “how mom makes it” and we all know what that means.

I have arrived. I have arrived, indeed.

Kindergarten: Week 3 Recap

September 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

The trend is continuing to head in the right direction with Kindergarten. Hiram is coming home each night with tons of stories and information about things he learned and did and new friends he made during the day. He also loved having Zero the Hero come to his class on his TENTH day — even if it was “just Mr. B” dressed up.

He had the same hair.

And glasses.

Can’t fool Hiram.

We just have the morning drop-off nut left to crack. It’s still a struggle almost every day. But seeing this face when I pick him up after school all last week – I know we’ll get there.


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