Saturday, August 27, 2011

Spray Park

We're pretty much just letting summer pass us by without worrying about it a whole lot.

My business was booked full in July and August, and now that my last August person has had a baby, I find myself with some unexpected birth-free time for a little while, which is nice. I didn't plan it. I had planned to take September clients, but one turned out to be due in August, one moved, and one risked out of my care. So here I am, with nobody due until October.

And since I can't catch up all at once anyway, CHUBBLE PICTURES!!! My dad is in town, and we spent part of the day at the spray park.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


"Crabble" being, of course, a mashup of the words "crabby" and "chubble." Which is how I've spent my last few days, wrangling a completely crabby Chubble. One who also won't sleep for more than an hour and a half at a time and wants to nurse constantly. She wasn't this hard to deal with as a newborn.

She makes up for it, mostly, in cuteness. Except that she's 15 months old, and all 15 month old toddlers are unintentional punks.

Actually, I was letting her play with the bitty cast iron skillet because we'd been talking about them in a group I'm in, and it reminded me that we had one. We haven't used it for years; there's nothing I'd make in quantities that small! So she happily filled it with toys and walked it around the kitchen while I started making these:

(Recipe here:

That was, unfortunately, pretty much the only time during all of yesterday that she wasn't either on me or screaming because I'd dared put her down to do something so trivial as pee.

A little bit hashed today. We started a huge project in the girls' room a couple of days ago; we moved out their broken dressers, put shelves in the closet, and have been sorting clothing ever since. If it weren't for Crabble, this probably would have been a one-day project. But folding/sorting is hard to do with a complaining toddler in your lap, and BittyPrincess is, at 6, not exactly proficient at knowing whether any particular piece of clothing is still wearable. I really wanted to finish BittyPrincess' half of the closet today, but apparently Crabble is still in full force and it is very unlikely we'll accomplish anything at all, much less a bunch of finicky reorganization.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Camping at Penrose

This past weekend we packed up and went camping at Penrose Point State Park with another family.

And here are some photos:


Not that "prettyfying" is a word or anything...but still, the concept is obvious. We have a very ugly hot tub cover in our side yard, and we waited for a forecast of 3 consecutive sunny days:


Took a break:

Or two:

Chalked and painted:

And now the hot tub cover is lovely.

Of course, a couple of days later our landlord called to say she'd finally arranged to have the defunct hot tub removed. We've been living here almost 3 years, so of course as soon as we decided to do something fun with it... Luckily, the whole cover lifts up, so we moved it to another part of the yard, propped it up on old deck foundation, and leveled it.

Saturday, July 02, 2011


Well, we went to the zoo yesterday, but who knew it was actually a photo shoot for Chubble?

We do have pictures of everybody. Just mostly of her. Poor neglected big kids.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Us, Divided

Last week, Chubble and I went off to Wisconsin for my grandmother's memorial service. It was a sweet little service and it was great to see family. In particular, my grandpa, who is so much older and frailer than he was when last we saw him, 6 years ago. Chubble got to see her little same-age cousins, which was fun; I saw family members I haven't seen in 6 or more years also.

Meanwhile, Francesco and the other three kids went to Oregon as planned to meet up with his mom/stepdad and all the siblings/cousins down there. By all accounts they had an incredible time. He had the camera and came back with it full; I've invited him to guest blog here, but we'll see if he actually does it.

Anyway. I can't write their experience, but I can write mine.

We had minor travel drama, and instead of getting into Madison (where my dad is spending the summer) in the early afternoon, we rolled in a bit past 10pm. We stayed at my dad's efficiency rental and had a surprisingly good night, took a walk in the morning, and then headed out for the memorial service. It was a little service in a sweet old tiny church. My dad dreads speaking in public but did it anyway, and I am proud of him for it. Elaina fussed just as he was getting towards the end of what he was saying, but it seemed like she and her three same-age cousins were tag-teaming the noisemaking during the service, and nobody seemed to mind.

I was perhaps not as close to my grandparents as I'd liked to have been. Certainly not as close as my cousins, who lived nearby, were.

My grandma (dad's mom) died in April. Grandpa wasn't aware of it, because he was coming off a major surgery and was hallucinating, so they couldn't tell him. They holding off memorial services until he was aware enough to plan it and well enough to attend it, which was last weekend.

Grandma suffered from Alzheimers, severe enough that she would have been unable to recognize me or the kids for quite some time. It feels like the relationship died long before she did, and although there is still sadness, there's also a hope that whatever happens after death, she's just as whole mentally now as she ever was before this disease.

Doris B. Judd, age 86 of Presque Isle, WI died on Friday April 22, 2011 at Our Home K-Care in Lac du Flambeau, WI. Doris was born on January 13, 1925 in Missouri the daughter of Earl and Edith (nee Tate) Hutchings.
She married Claude I. Judd on December 27, 1947 in Madison, WI.
Doris enjoyed traveling and spending time “Up North” with her best friend and husband, Claude of 63 years. They retired to Presque Isle in 1989 to their home on Armour Lake. She was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. Doris had the greatest joy by doing things for and with her family. She created an annual “kids week” to spend time with all of the grandchildren and made many special memories with them.
She is survived by her husband, Claude of Presque Isle, WI and by their children: Tom (Karel) of Hayward, WI; Mike (Gwen) of Honolulu, HI; Carol (Robert Kelley) Judd of Muskego, WI; Kathy (John) Sitkiewitz of Presque Isle, WI and Steve (Cheryl) of Stone Lake, WI and by 11 Grandchildren and 16 Great Grandchildren. Further survived by 1 Sister, Mary Skaggs and 2 Brothers, Jim and Richard Hutchings and many other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents and by 1 Sister: Margaret Young and 3 Brothers: John, Robert and Carroll Hutchings.
In lieu of flowers memorials to the Alzheimer’s Association.

We visited the sweet, tiny graveyard in Belleville WI where her ashes will be buried.

Afterwards, we all got together for dinner and a few hours of visiting at a hotel. My Grandpa, once so vital and invincible in my eyes, seemed a deflated person; he seemed much more himself when we saw him at breakfast the next day. Getting this short contact gave me very little feel for how he is doing. The idea that I may have had less contact with him than perhaps he deserved weighs pretty heavily on me now.

In one particularly sad moment, he said "you and your family must come to visit us...I guess it's just me, just me now." I told him we would visit just him, too, but honestly don't know when we can. My brief trip gave me a hunger to expand our family's horizons a bit, but that takes resources that right now, we don't have.

Elaina and I returned home just in time for me to go on call again, take her to a few prenatal visits (this went OK, not spectacularly but OK), and try to keep her occupied for a few days until Francesco and the other kids returned from Oregon.

They got back yesterday. Real life resumes.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Busy Busy Busy

Starting a business is expensive. I know this isn't a surprise for anyone. I just had to say it because damn, starting a business is expensive.

Also, writing or updating my handouts and consent documents is time consuming. And I've never been the best at writing for a low literacy level; in fact, I tend to assume that even if everyone can't quite read as well as I can, most of them will understand what I'm saying. I think I was suitably unsurprised - visibly anyway - the first time someone said "what's my rectum?" and I straight-faced answered "your butt-hole," but those types of incidents still seem like random funny stories and not so much like things that might happen when people read what I've written. I scoff at authors who write simple sentence upon simple sentence (ahem, Terry Goodkind), only to find myself challenged to do the same.

Chubble (now a toddler) is very distracting. She just locked herself in my bathroom. While it might be convenient to leave her there for a Even on my worst day I'm not that mean.

Anyway, pictures. Yes, you're going to have to deal with a lot of Chubble pictures.

Let us first go back in time, a whole month, to right before we left Hawaii. Here are the girls getting their hair dyed purple:

Chubble loves to be outside. And like the little Pacific Northwest child that she is, she loves the rain.

She ran around the deck licking rainwater off all the patio furniture (it's relatively clean here, no worries).

She spent about an hour out there trying to splash or lick or drink all the water, and we have many photos, but I think you get the idea.

Here we are at the park. I am not quite sure why I like this photo so much, but I do. Maybe because Chubble is a little blotch of pink in the Pacific Northwest color scheme.

She LOVES the slide. She's happy, I promise.



Boyness and Chubble, wearing matching expressions:

You can't really tell, but she's rolling down a hill:

Let's do it again!

Why hello, BittyPrincess! I've had a heck of a time getting this child to brush her hair lately. So much so, that we cut it really short just to try and make it easier. For quite a while she was wearing hoodies and hats and trying to sneak out of the house with her tangled mess of hair covered, but it's getting warmer out and besides, a head covering of any sort on that child is now a dead giveaway.

So, in the meantime, prenatal appointments and home visits. Gardening. Cleaning. Childrearing of various sorts. The kids had their big bad standardized tests and once again, the lowest anyone scored on anything was 93rd percentile. The big two both need orthodontic work (yay, more expense! totally not covered by any sort of insurance we have). Life life life.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Words

It hasn't escaped my notice that I have posted very few words lately. I just don't have it in me, I think, not with all the noise and hubbub and toddlering going on around here lately.

Our trip to Hawaii was lovely, but also, I have a toddler. She gets into everything, needs naps, and doesn't let me take pictures. It was a sharp contrast from last year, when I spent many hours reading in the shade while the kids played in the pool. Towards the end of our trip, I was really looking forward to baby gates, to handing Chubble off to Francesco, and of course, to my own bed.

Somewhere in the complete madness of the last few weeks, we've flown past the opening notes of Spring, past Easter, and even past Chubble's first birthday. All a blur.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011