Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Book reviews

Just to keep all of you folks posted on what I'm reading and offer my opinion on what I've finished. I know some of these didn't make it to the current category; they were such quick reads I didn't bother to change the template.

Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables: The fact that she grows up so makes it interesting. The first half was rather tedious with her monologuing; there were times I just wanted to grab her by the shoulders and say "QUIET!" But I stuck with it and she actually got interesting. I was wondering how there were seven books in the series; now I know. There's actually a chance I may pick up another.

Eden's Thrill of the Chaste: It's a good book to give to a girl late in high school, when she's old enough to have seen her friends make some of Dawn's mistakes. You know the mistakes she made not because she goes into graphic detail, but she makes enough allusions to be clear. It's the spiritual consequences she deals with, not the sexual activity. It was a refreshing change from the lurid tell-alls one can find so easily.

Dr. Anonymous' Unprotected: This one is more graphic than Eden's, but in the medical not the puerile sense. This would be a good one to read after Eden's where if the spiritual consequences don't scare your pants back on, the physical ones can.
If you didn't trust the politically-correct agenda already, this is going to completely destroy it.

Vicki Iovine's Guide to Getting Your Groove Back: Typical Iovine, and that's a compliment. Common sense advice abounds to having four children and a husband. She admits the importance of church attendance, but is not judgemental enough to imply hers is correct. She advises that fairness among four cannot be tabulated daily but must be an annual calculation. Her discussions of maturing motherhood's impact on friendships and wardrobe were honest; I got a lot out of them.

I'm still whittling away at Crocker's Triumph. I'm past the Reformation, so it's all downhill from here. I'd really like to read up on the whole Galileo controversy; if anyone can recommend a single volume that's worth reading, I'd appreciate it.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

More on those pesky shots

One of our two pediatricians has four young daughters. The next time we're in, I'm going to ask him about the Gardasil shot.
Oh, no reason. Idle curiosity.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

On letting go

Madeleine lost her first tooth this weekend. We knew it was coming; when we last went to the dentist, he pointed it out as loose. It finally made it all the way out when she was brushing her teeth on Saturday night.
Did she panic? Cry? Not a tear. "It didn't even hurt! I wonder what the Tooth Fairy will bring me?" she said excitedly. It's surprising she got to sleep.
Now, this was part of her body. She doesn't remember life without it. Sure, it's a small part and she'll grow a new one, but it still was physically part of her. She bid it adieu without regret for she knew not what.

I, on the other hand, don't let go quite so easily. I still have most of the clothes I bought in preparation for my student teaching--in 1993. Including the "interview suit." I don't remember wearing it during the last two years of teaching, let alone since then. I pulled the skirt out for church occasionally but not in a long time. But I'm still having a hard time letting it go.
I know it's probably a decade out of style. I know it probably doesn't fit right anymore (I've gotten down to pre-baby weight each time, but shape is another matter).
Still it hangs in my closet, along with most of its cohort. I don't anticipate returning to work and I really don't see myself wearing those clothes. I dread moving them to another house, only to put them in another closet for more undisturbed years. But still they linger, cluttering up my closet, crowding out the things I do wear.

I wonder how many other things, years old, I'm holding on to that are just taking up space in my mental closet. Old apologies that were never said aloud, sins long since absolved, goodbyes that were simply implied instead of stated. All of that energy going there instead of loving my husband and children, taking care of these wonderful gifts.

One of the most painful breakups I ever went through was right around Independence Day. We'd been together for two years and, instead of actually breaking up, he just took a job across the country and didn't contact me about where and when. The timing seemed coincidental at the time, but now it seems more Providential.
I think I'm ready to let go of the suit, and the other clothes, with as many regrets as Madeleine has about her tooth.

Labels: , ,

Friday, June 22, 2007

When do you tell your spouse?

We live in the town where I grew up. Different neighborhood, but the same actual city. We attend the same parish where I was baptized. I even grocery shop where my mother does, most of the time. Hey, I come from a long line of creatures of habit.
That being the case, it's always a possibility that I may run into someone I used to date. When you consider the kids' activities too, it becomes more likely.
So I ask you, Gentle Reader. When do you tell your spouse you ran into an ex? If it's your date for the Eighth Grade Graduation Dance that you talked to three times in high school after that, and you saw the person pulling into a gas station as you were pulling out, it seems relatively minor. It would involve more explaining than seems worthwhile, almost. On the other hand, if it was a years-long relationship and your kids are in swim class together, it seems to bear mention.
But then there are gray areas--you saw him or her grocery shopping or at the park. Just a weird fluke of timing where it may never happen again. Or you happen to stumble on to their blog and it may be interesting. Or you realize they've stumbled onto yours...
If you tell, when? And when does it cease to be harmless omission and become deception?

Discuss. Or mull it over the weekend. That's why I'm posting this on a Friday. And please, remember to be nice.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

The 4x4 Meme

Got tagged by Sarah.
The hard part was the first--coming up with four new things in the past four years.

1. Homeschooling. Only 18 months ago, there was no way. Now I can't imagine living, and raising my kids, any other way.

2. Becoming a stay-at-home mom. We realized that daycare for two, even by family, was beyond our pay grade especially given the aggravation and the intangible costs to our family. So I took my 12 weeks' maternity leave for The Boy, went back and took up space for the last 7 days of the school year (my sub had already given exams and marked report cards), and was done. I've missed it for about 6 hours in the past 4 years.

3. The Modesty Movement. Wearing skirts four or more times a week, given laundry, weather, and activity considerations. It's affected my girls to wear more skirts too, even without me saying anything.
I think it's affected The Boy as well. Twice he's had "scary dreams," and not wanted to tell me. "They're too scary for you, Mama. I'll tell Daddy when he gets home."

4. Raising more kids than I have hands. My OB, who has four boys, said the big jump is from one to two, not two to three. It really was. Now, we've got three and another coming; why not have eight? I'm already outnumbered!
This, of course, will be dramatically affected by #2 below.

Four things I hope to do:
1. See some (roughly half) of my children make their First Communion. It's a big deal, you know?

2. Find our way to a bigger house. The housing market around here isn't exactly motivating us to put ours on the market. The kids are.

3. Since we're dreaming, I'd like to get back to French. I miss it. Reading, listening, studying it. I used to have a pretty good Parisian accent but haven't been back there in 14 years. No, I'm not longing for stamps on my passport; just the time, energy, and money to maybe take (graduate level?) classes again. Or at least pick up a novel or history book once in a while.

4. Read all of the books on Kolbe's middle school literature list. That should put me in good shape for Madeleine; she'll be at least in fifth grade by then!

Tag: Dear husband, Brownie Mama, and Heather again (since she had so much fun the last time).


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Is this normal?

Regardless of whether or not, how long can I expect it to last?

What am I talking about? The conversation that goes like this.

"Mom, can we turn on the TV?"
"Yes, once the toys are put away/couch is cleaned off of toys. Not before."

They put away a few things, then start playing with others or reading the books, and forget about the TV. I've gotten away with it at least three times this week, sometimes multiple times in a day.

My goal is to keep the TV off, not necessarily get the toys picked up, if that helps.


Where are we now?

I realize it's been a while since I posted about the kids and school. We're still homeschooling and loving it. Every week I find another reason why it's working for us. I'll start posting them.

Madeleine is almost a third of the way through first grade. (Remember, this is the child the "expert" said needed two years of kindergarten.) Her science book is written at a second grade reading level (you're supposed to use it for two years), and she can read it. Anyone: where can I find a test to determine her reading level? I'd guess it's somewhere in second grade, given the science text, but wouldn't mind something more specific.
We've slowed down from what we were doing as far as official school but the way she pulls out the nonfiction books I don't think she's slowed down in her learning.

Dale did five pages of kindergarten math yesterday. Not because I made him, but because he chose to. At the conference Saturday, we ordered Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. I chose it because, while he really seems to want to read, at age four he doesn't quite have the fine-motor skills to do as much writing as MCP Phonics demands. I asked another more experienced homeschooling mom about it and she said that would be right up his alley.
We're looking at the reading/phonics for his speech. He's coming along leaps and bounds, but there's still lots of room for improvement. My thought is, if he gets the idea that sounds go with the letters, and he sees all of the letters, he'll start to say all of the sounds.

Rachel is... not ready for school yet. We did go without training pants last night making it a nonissue (thanks, SFO Mom). She was fine and since we didn't discuss it or make a big show of it I don't know if Madeleine even noticed.

The Player to be Named Later is still giving me a ravenous appetite. We heard the heartbeat at my last appointment; my doc said, "A heartbeat at ten weeks? Wow! Then again, you're a skinny Minnie." I'm starting to not fit into regular clothes but haven't officially gained any weight. I never have in the first trimester.

I'm still mulling that 4x4 meme. I can come up with four things I'd like to try, but four new things in the past four years? All I can really come up with is homeschooling. I'll keep noodling it and have something tomorrow.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Summer recipe ideas

I'm going to assume that in hot weather nobody likes to turn on the oven, and cool foods with lots of veggies are a big hit. That's how it is at our house, anyway. When the weather turns warm, the menu shifts.
For example, I made gazpacho last night (I looked for the link, but didn't see it. It's in the Betty Crocker cookbook). The kids like it, finally, though I think Rachel filled up on the chopped vegetables before dinner was actually served. I've made vichysoisse once but it defeats the whole purpose of summer cuisine--you have to cook the potatoes and onions, then chill them. Who needs that?
Another summer dinner is the Suddenly Salads. I've bought the original in the package in the past, but I'm generally worried that there won't be enough noodles (always a concern with small children). That and I have a preference for whole wheat noodles; none of the kits have them (yet).
So I take them as inspiration. I buy my own noodles. I grill some chicken breasts in the morning before it gets hot (or have him do it on the weekend), then cut them into chunks and chill them. I boil the noodles, throw some salad dressing on them, and toss them in with the chicken. Serve on a bed of greens (I prefer spinach, but romaine or something like it works too) and voilĂ ! It's dinner when you're ready for it.
I've also done that with shelled shrimp and canned tuna or salmon. I'm not wild about the canned chicken, but thought I tried it once. The grilled is better.

Labels: ,

Monday, June 18, 2007

Advice request from more experienced moms

Since I typically get more hits after the weekend, I figure now is the best time to ask these questions.

1. On Madeleine
She has expressed a desire to bathe on her own. She's been washing herself, except for her hair, while one of us washes Rachel since she was four. I know she's pretty thorough. Her hair, though, is quite long and thick and we've always washed (and conditioned) it.
My question is, when should we let her try to wash her own hair? We still use tear-free shampoo for all of them. Should we look into one of those hand-held showerheads to make it easier for her?
UPDATE 6/19--she did just fine in the shower, mentioning how it "tickled." I provided assistance with the hair, but I'll bet within two weeks I'll be unnecessary. Hooray!

2. On Rachel
She's been potty-trained during the day for months now and nighttime came about the same time. When should we start leaving the pull-ups off her? This issue hasn't come up before; Maddie still needs them. The Boy started staying dry about the time he potty-trained too. Then the day before his third birthday we went to a hamburger playplace and the next day we went to a pizza playplace; all of the running around brought on diaper rash. The doc told us to leave off the pull-ups at night (he was staying dry anyway) and we haven't gone back.
Rachel is still in the crib so changing sheets isn't a HUGE project, not to mention everything is waterproofed. I'm seriously thinking this weekend. Advice?


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Memory and kids' books

We went to a Catholic Homeschoolers conference this weekend. They had a book fair, which to us is like giving a junkie a free pass at a pharmacy. Anyway...
Since I think about kids' books a lot, having of inspiration to do so, I think about books I remember reading. We've actually acquired at least one; my husband's Gift with used book stores and online sellers is a wonderful thing. Some are still in print, like Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are.
But my point is, there are ones I remember and lots that I don't. One I remember is It Could Always Be Worse, by Margot Zemach. It pulled on the corners of my mind until I ordered it. When it arrived, it had one of those Caldecott/Newbery Awards on the cover. I didn't remember that. But what kid would?
It seems the ones I remember turn out to be award-winners. I usually have found this out when I find them as an adult.
We don't own any Curious George (yet--the treasury is on the "to buy" list), but we borrowed one from the library months ago. Madeleine asked about it just last week, which tells me it was good. We don't have Harold and the Purple Crayon yet, either, but I think those will be in the same Amazon box.

So I wonder. Do I and my kids have the same standards as the award-givers? Or do the award-givers just make sense?


Friday, June 15, 2007

We have completed the set.

As of today and the arrival of Bob the Mailman, we have the whole set of Little House books. The last was Across the Puddingstone Dam, which we had to order from, but it's on my lap now as I type.
Some are even hardcover.

I suppose I could probably start reading them, eh? After Anne, perhaps. Though that seems interminable...


Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Meme

This is the 30 Things That Don't Bother Me/I Don't Worry About Meme. I've been noodling it for a few days and it's really tough to come up with them. I promptly forget things that don't bother me, frankly. But here goes.

1. The breast-versus-bottle argument. Just because none of my kids ever got formula doesn't mean I think it's child abuse. Unless you're going to lecture me on the propriety of public nursing; then I'll sic La Leche League on your a$$.

2. Misspelling my kids' names on birthday cards. As yet, they're really too young to get upset. And hey, you sent a card.

3. Bad/reality TV. Pardon the redundancy. See, my TV has a channel changer and an OFF switch.

4. Dirty kids' clothes. As long as they were clean when they put them on, they really aren't meant to last forever.

5. Reading the same children's book over and over and over and... It motivates me to make sure the kids have good books.

6. My kids ruining their appetite for lunch with... fruit.

7. Child safety seat laws.

8. Crying children in church. It could be mine.

9. Cheap coffee. I put so much milk and sugar in anyway, the original flavor doesn't matter much.

10. Hand-me-down clothes for the kids. It has to do with #4 above.

11. Pulling over for emergency vehicles.

12. Trips to the dentist.

13. Bible-quoting evangelicals. We Catholics can take a few tips from them, namely: we should know The Good Book better and we ought to be more open about our Faith.

14. Having only one TV in the house. More than one bathroom would be nice, though.

15. Taking prenatal vitamins.

16. Feeling the baby move. Even when it's kicking the bladder (which hasn't happened yet this time).

17. Global warming. Sure, I reduce, reuse, and recycle, but if the Goracle's pet cause is powered by solar energy and evaporation of the oceans, how much can I change it?

18. Celebrity misadventures/breakups/etc. The only exception, really, is Katie Holmes. I pray for that poor girl. And Diana's boys.

19. Changing my own kids' diapers. Sure, sometimes it's inconvenient and/or messy, but there really are a finite amount of times you end up doing it.

20. Listening to my kids sing their own compositions. Even when it's Hiawatha mixed with the Song of Roland Extended Dance Remix, in the original Old French.

21. My son's fascination with bugs.

22. My daughters' fascination with dressing like princesses.

23. Getting asked for ID when writing a check.

24. Guitar masses. The Church survived before them, She'll survive after them. Nobody's singing anyway.

25. Long car trips. Provided bathroom stops for the kids are convenient enough and the weather is good.

26. Loopy Piskies. They're a wonderful source of teaching moments.

27. Catholic Traditionalists. Trying to make mainstream more of what I was cheated of. Here, here!

28. Other people's dogs barking. They're usually too far away to wake my kids.

Okay, I've devoted WAY too much time to this. I know it's supposed to be 30, but I have things to do! I'm tagging Shelly, Heather (Matt's wife), Peanut Butter Heather, and Zach. I'd like to tag Diane, but she's got enough to do! Just let us know in the comments box when you're done, eh?

Labels: ,

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Welcome to my world.

Last week, I was asked, "What does the Tooth Fairy do with all of the teeth she collects?"

The other day, the question was, "How big are whales?" I know she doesn't want tons or feet. How many garbage trucks or school buses?

Yesterday, while hanging whites, Madeleine asked, "Why do every single one of Daddy's underwears have holes in the front?"

Today, The Boy requests, "I want all the yellows together." And hands me a Rubik's Cube.

Yeah. May I go to my Happy Place now?


I didn't mean to hit a nerve.

What I was talking about was the idea that, regardless of working outside the home or not, boarding school or homeschooling or anything in between, day or night, there are no "breaks" in motherhood. Those who go into it trying to plan for those, thinking they're really going to get away (or their kids are) and they won't worry like they used to before kids, are kidding themselves.

I did NOT mean it to turn into an anti-working-outside-the-home diatribe. I know our society has changed from 40 years ago and there are more financial reasons for moms to work. Some moms are the sole breadwinner, others are the primary, others make the difference on whether the utilities get paid or not. I know this.

I also know, though, that there are moms who are working who don't really need to. If they as adults and parents would set aside some of their own priorities and put their children's well-being first, recognizing that a parent at home is what the kids need more than fancy clothes, newer cars, another TV or video game, or enrichment lessons, they could find a way to have it.

Who falls into which category, I can't say. I can't say what anyone else can cut; I don't see anyone's financial records but ours.
And hey, it's not my judgement that should matter to you. I look in my own eyes when I tweeze the brows.


Monday, June 11, 2007

"When do you get a break?"

That question wasn't asked of me but of another homeschooling mom. "I've thought about it, but when do you get a break?"
I don't know about you other moms, but "motherhood" is one of those things that never ends. Time away from the kids happens, but time off is a joke.
Use of the toilet is a committee endeavor. Especially if you have someone who hasn't learned how to use it yet.
I've had two professional haircuts in almost six years. Madeleine has had two in the past six months. Okay, they were just trims, but it wasn't me in the bathroom with some haircutting scissors.
When the little people are asleep, you're still on-call. Even at night. To get them out of the crib when they awake, escort them to the potty, minister to them if they wake up in pain, feed them if they're hungry... regardless of the hour.
When we're outside and I'm hanging laundry, I still have an ear cocked for flying sand, or tumbles from the slide or bike, or bonks from the steps. Same goes for when I'm inside washing dishes.
Even when we're not home and the kids are technically in the care of someone else, we as mothers still have a part of our conciousness occupied with their well-being. "Did Grandma remember sunscreen? Is she cutting up the hot dogs right? Does she remember it's The Boy's day to choose the story? If Rachel falls and scrapes her knee again, will she find the Neosporin and bandages? What if Madeleine gives Rachel nursemaid's elbow again?"
I mean, when Dale broke the house, the waitress came up to me and knew my name. Never a good sign. My first thought was, "Which child, which hospital, and how many stitches?"

I could go on about the question missing one of the essential elements of good parenting: the idea of self-sacrifice. The necessity of putting someone else's well-being (the child's) before your own wants. "I want to get my master's in French/study knitting or pottery/join a book club. I'll never be able to do that with all these kids around! So I'll stick 'em in day care/send them to school. There!"
But that's another post. PS to all you single working moms--You are desperately trying to pay for food and utilities. You are sacrificing your wants for your child's needs.

So that question of "When do you get a break?" seems just silly to me. When you're a mom, the answer is, "Never."

Labels: ,

Thursday, June 07, 2007

On air conditioning

I grew up without air conditioning. My mother's house still doesn't have it. The closest we got to "central air" was sometime in high school when my parents bought a window unit secondhand from a neighbor. They put it in their room and we just put up a shower curtain in the hallway. Mom quit using it after Dad passed; she worries about someone breaking in.
Our house now still doesn't have it. Thus I just spent 20 minutes on the couch listening to the wind in the trees, the quiet clatter of the street sign twisting, the dog barking in the yard. Those are the sounds I'm used to during the summer. I think the crickets are waiting for the wind to die down, but they're usually there too.
We have a couple of window units; we just haven't put them in yet. I don't feel the need. (The big one didn't go in at all the summer I was pregnant with Rachel.) Sure, those nights when neither the temperature nor the humidity are expected to be below 70, they're great. But those happen what, about a dozen times a year in Michigan? Yeah, that may happen more if the Goracle is right; I'm not really holding my breath, though.

So those of you who find crickets and tree-rustling a lullaby, and your alarm clock to be birdsong, I'm there with you.

I love summer.

Labels: ,

Hey, U of Michigan alumni!

What do you think of this? How will it affect your donations to your alma mater?

I realize it's not Ann Arbor; that could just be a matter of time.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Making new friends as an adult is hard.

It's possible; I've done it, but it's not like when you're young. When you're a kid, all it takes is a similar interest in the slide. Easy. Even in college, it can simply be the same dorm floor assignment.

But when you're a mom, and you look for things you have in common, you don't know where the land mines are. While adults have opinions on things, some are more easygoing about differences thereof. Other folks can get into a spitting rage on some issues. Like these:
1. Natural versus medicated childbirth
2. Scheduled caesarean versus old-fashioned surprise
3. Breast versus bottle
4. Crying it out versus immediate response
5. Spanking or not
6. Disposable versus cloth
7. Immunizations or not
8. TV: Harmless entertainment, useful tool in controlled amounts, evil mental & moral sewage?

And those are only in the first year or so of motherhood.
You don't know if that nice woman you meet at the park could be a friend; your kids certainly seem to hit it off. Your sons are even wearing the same outfit! Then a child misbehaves, she calls hers over and lights into the poor kid using terms you don't say even after your kids are in bed. Yeesh. Oops. You suddenly remember you need milk right now.
Then you stumble on to someone's blog, pretty much following links from your comments boxes, who plays classical music for her kids. Reads them good books. Limits their TV, both what and how much. Geography says you'll probably never meet in person, and the circumstances are a little peculiar (don't ask for details--she knows), but if you're sure if you should meet anonymously at the park you'd get along really well. And those issues 1-9 don't really matter so much anymore.
While motherhood can bring to light major differences in opinion, it also bridges a lot of boundaries. My sister and I are as different as chalk and cheese, but her advice of, "You don't get to choose what your kid needs therapy for" has gotten me through more than one rough spot. As mothers, we all universally want what's best for our child (or children). That much is easy to have in common.

I guess this is just a belated Happy Mothers' Day thanks to all of the other mothers out there who have supported me to be the best mother I can, those that I've met in the past six years or so. Naming names would take too long and I know I'd leave someone out.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

On books

We admittedly are book junkies in this house. They don't have to be leatherbound, gold-tooled, antique ones; paperback is just fine. They just have to be worthwhile to read. Honestly we are such geeks that our idea of a good time is to wander around a good bookstore for a while and then show each other the treasures we have found.
Which we did with some friends last night. We managed to walk out of there with only a half dozen books or so; I could easily have come away with more. My birthday is next month; now I've got a list started for him. We got The Dangerous Book for Boys, which I can't recommend highly enough. If you have a son, or know someone with a son, or are someone's son, you want this book.

While we were there, though, I just wondered. How many of these books here will still be read a year from now, or five, or ten? Sure, some will; the classics will still be wandering along. I hope, anyway. But ten years from now, how many will still be in print? How many will have been utterly forgotten by all but those with royalty checks?

While I'm talking about books, I'll mention the ones I'm reading over there to the right.
Anne of Green Gables: I'm about halfway through. Sure, it's cute. I guess Anne Shirley is likable. I don't understand why it's on Kolbe's middle school literature list, though; I'd put it on the same list as Wilder's Little House series. Maybe a grade or two later. Then again, I don't get Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, either.
Triumph: Dale has nicknamed it Spicoli's History of the Church, after everyone's favorite from Ridgemont High. He's not too far off, but it's giving me a better historical overview than I had before.
I had Agius' Tradition and the Church in there but can't manage to get into it. I've tried at least twice. Maybe in a couple years, but now, I've got other things to do than fight my way through an optional book.

I'll let you know on the others.


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Ethical question

Is it a bad lie to tell the movie telemarketer calling at 8:50 PM on a Friday night that you've gone TV free when you haven't? Or is it more akin to lying to the Nazis about the Jews you have hidden in your basement?


Friday, June 01, 2007

Happy birthday, honey.

To the man without whom I would not be the woman, wife, and mother I am today. The one who leads his family not by dictum from on high, but by example. The one who calms me, humors me, understands me even when I don't.
The one who takes our toddler to the potty at 1:00 AM because I nudge him. The one who brings me books to share his interests. The one who doesn't complain if the rug isn't vacuumed or dinner isn't made; instead he says, "Would you like someone else to cook?"
The one who encourages us to homeschool. Who has prowled around protectively like a father lion when I'm nursing our child in public. Who looks at a new outfit of mine I thought he'd like and says, "Yep, it'll look nice against the carpet."
The one who doesn't tell me bad news he hears about children--be they missing, abused, or worse. Instead, he comes in and cuddles each of ours.

I love you, sweetheart. Happy birthday.

PS--Neema, you and Papa did a really good job. Thank you.

Labels: ,