Currently – August 1st

It’s weird. In a way, I’m like, “Dude. How is it already August 1st?!” In another way, I’m like, “Okay, that sounds about right. The summer isn’t going THAT quickly.” Either way, it’s disappointing, but I’ve enjoyed being lucky enough to be home with the munchkin everyday. Plus, every year seems to go faster, for better or for worse, so I know summer will be upon us before we know it, and there’s a buttload of fun to be had in the meantime.

Here’s this week’s currently…I’m goin’ vertical this week. 😉

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I’m seriously needing to stick my feet in some sand and warm lapping water sooner rather than later this summer. I’m hoping to possibly take the monkey to a lake some place locally to get the job done. Just once a year, that’s all I need.    

This mama’s been listening to her inner self and working on finding some balance. This is ongoing, but finding rewarding external and internal rewards for a job well done or achieving a goal here and there helps.


 She’s also been trying to rack her brain (since when did this blog turn third person?) to remember all the child rearing advice she’s ever heard to deal with “not listening,” “screeching and crying the instant he hears no,” and “asserting his choices which are against parents’ orders.” Not the “he’ll grow out of it” or the “just wait until three…” or the “that’s nothing; my son did such-and-such” advice. The real advice that gives you something — anything — to try. Internal giggling to relax myself and gain perspective doesn’t seem to cut it anymore; I detest this sort of thing. The fact that it isn’t a constant and he still shows huge signs of the sweet, joyous boy I know does help.

I’ve been learning about some updates and new ways to use the SmartBoard in my lessons this year. Professional development, peeps. Good times. Daniel Tiger’s been teaching me a lot this summer, too. And Wild Kratts, Hadman’s new favorite. Of course — animals.

I’m not jumping back into school mode quite yet. After receiving our assignments in the mail, I find myself already dreading and detesting some changes that weren’t made. Instead of letting it all thrust anxiety into my chest, I’m holding on to summer a bit longer. Enjoying the luxury of my little man and my at-ease mind.

We haven’t had a lot of building going on lately; mostly fixing, sprucing, painting, patching, scrubbing, wiping, sanding, rolling, etc. Yep, still working on the house as long as the weather cooperates. We want to be ready to put ours on the market when the right one comes along; way better to do it now than try to run around and get it done during the school year. Besides, we all know I won’t have EVERYTHING done and will have to scramble a bit, but I know I’ll appreciate the stuff I’m doing now later.  


So, that’s it this week! What’s currently going on in your neck of the woods? Listening to anything cool? Learning something new? Jumping into anything not-too-gross? Do tell!

Late to the party, but linking to Harvesting Kale and Ot & Et‘s linky shindig. Thanks, ladies!

Currently – July 25th

In 1970’s game show announcer voice: “Welcome to this week’s episode of Currently!” Let’s see what’s up, shall we?

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This week has been full of watching. Watching the weather to see whether (weather…whether…whatever) I could do some work outdoors or in during a Hadnap. Watching the little guy’s heiny thanks to a horrible case of…well, use your imagination. What makes one’s heiny particularly neon red? Poor little monkey. (It’s teething, BTW.) Watching a buttload of Sesame Street to keep him chill and relaxed. Watching “Little Women” during naptime because, well, Mama can only take so much Sesame Street.

Searching for my ancestors on Ancestry.com is beyond rad. The nights that I can keep my eyelids open enough, that is. Dude. I’m related to Martin Van Buren. (Not the best president ever…or possibly one of the worst…but it’s better than Hitler.) Oh, and we’ve got a handful of relatives that came during the “Great Migration” in the 1630s, along with one that goes back to Edward I. Yep. King of England, folks. Feel free to kiss my feet or try to overtake my kingdom and behead me. That might be fun.

It just goes to show you, though, that you’re missing out on something if you ignore the ladies. I wouldn’t have discovered any of the particularly cool ancestors (or the “important” connections, although those who migrated during the Irish migration are just as important as the “known” characters on the tree) or have gotten as much information if I hadn’t clicked on the little leaf next to the ladies’ names. Mind you, it saddens me that there can be full-length books written about a family’s gentlemen but all you really find out about the ladies is their birth, death, and marriage dates. But, as I’ve always known, we are all truly equal as individuals and, damn it, ladies are cool.

Probably why I’m so thoroughly enjoying reading Marmee & Louisa by Eve LaPlante. It’s no secret I’m a Louisa May Alcott fan (see above spiel about Little Women), and this is an in-depth look at how her relationship with her oft-ignored mother impacted her life and writings. The fact that the author is a distant relative who grew up with first-source materials in her attic just adds to the “thrilling factor.”

We’re growing them big here in the dorky/acting out household. Aye-yea. Veggies in the garden. Cats on the furniture. Toddlers who look like they could start kindergarten tomorrow. He won’t have his two-year appointment until next month (his pediatrician is having a baby this month, so…sheesh, how dare he? ;-)), but it’ll be interesting to hear what percentile he’s in. I feel awkward when people start talking to him in the 4-year-old rather than 2-year-old way at the grocery store and expect answers. There are times that he’s completely social (“HI!!!!” is pretty much all he’ll say to strangers, though) and others when he’s a terrified ball of shyness, so either way, they doth ask too much.

Ignoring the fact that (counts on fingers) FIVE months from TODAY is Christmas, folks. The mess. The toys. The pile of ignored clothes. The running from one family to the next. The baking, the buying, the wrapping. Actually…I’m a little excited…but I’m still ignoring it. Hoping to simplify things a bit this year, too, so we won’t jump off that bridge until we get to it.

What about you? What’s “currently” happening with you? Growing anything cool? Ignoring? Searching?

Linking up to the incomparable Harvesting Kale and fabulous Ot & Et.

Currently – July 18th

This week has been a bummer. I’m not sure why. Well, I kind of do, but some things are private…even in blogland. 😉 But, I’m counting my blessings and that’s totally what counts.

Anyhoo. Along with the “currently”!

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1. I’m working on my saving tactics, once again. The closer we get to possibly moving, and most likely paying far more than we currently do, I’ve gotta get control. Unfortunately, it’s tough when your professional clothes need a major upgrade for the new school year.

Any suggestions on relatively inexpensive — you know, $79 for a blouse ON SALE ain’t a sale to me — and practical/comfy/relatively not matronly (I’m a librarian…but….), give me a heads-up in the comments! PLEASE AND THANK YOU!!!

2. Ever try closing the parts of your brain that say “No. You can’t do that. You’re not good enough. Why are you even…” (you get the point)? I’m trying to do that. Hopefully by closing those doors, others will open that say, “Wow! You’re cooler than I thought. How great!” We’ll see.

3. Hadley was loving our season pass to the zoo this week! We went yesterday and it just frickin’ rocked. Animals that weren’t around last time were out, it wasn’t too busy, the lions were SUPER close to the fence (SO EXCITING!), and the list of awesome goes on. There’s a tiny building that has animal and nature specimens for kids to “examine” (along with a magnifying glass) that he discovered and I almost couldn’t get him out. There was even a composter and other eco-lessons that reminded me why I’m so proud and happy to be raising such an animal-friendly little scientist. #thankswildkratts 

4. I’m despising how I feel. Anyone else get seasonal mood disorder in the summer? I’ve realized it happens every. Single. Year. It’s not full-blown depression (I know the depths of that well enough), which is encouraging, and it ebbs and flows throughout the summer. Like, isn’t this supposed to be the happy, sunshiney part of life? Especially when I’m lucky enough to have summers “off” with my little man? If you’re feeling me, comment. If not, skip over this one. 😉

5. Since “throwing” Hadman’s party, I’m “throwing” myself into my to-do list of house stuff. Er. “Throwing myself” may be too strong. “Gently sticking my toe into” the list might be better. Seriously, some of it’s super simple and some is super complicated or time-intensive, so it can be overwhelming to think about sometimes.

One at a time. One at a time.

So, how’re you all doing this week? Anything fun happening in your neck of the woods? Anyone else dealing with the summer doldrums or chores they don’t want to do (or escaping to a zoo or other fun place)? Let’s chat!

*Linking up at Harvesting Kale and Ot & Et (just her title is cracking me up this week…hee hee, Tony Danza).

Currently – July 10th

This week is all about Hadley. He’s turning 2 years old this Sunday, so we’re doing plenty of reminiscing, planning, prepping, and just generally getting getting our heads in order. God. Two years. He’s practically in college. *sigh* Gotta say, the ladies who put “Currently” together selected the PERFECT themes for our week! 😉

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We’ll be celebrating with our close family members this year. Last year, we invited a ton of people — all whom we care about deeply — but this year, we decided to cut it back to just family. (What my mom calls “a normal birthday party.” Thanks, Mom.) Just kidding, I’m actually super lucky that my mother agreed to hold the party in her backyard since they’ve got way more space than we do (and we could all fit under their carport easily if it rains). I can’t wait to have a larger space for times like this…and for an excuse to clean. Obviously.   

There are times that I can’t seriously believe how much Hadman’s growing into a little boy, but at other times I’m like, “Yup. That happened. I remember it. It’s gonna get worse.” and I can rationalize the crap out of it. Parenthood! I’m just lucky that, when I ask him, he still identifies as both a “big boy” and “mama’s baby.” Oh, Lord, I’m going to go cry now!!

Monkey’s (in case you don’t notice, he’s got a million nicknames) been playing pretend progressively better lately. Oh, and so am I. There was a time when I was about 9 that I remember telling Mom that I was officially a grown-up because I had lost my ability to pretend. She laughed…a lot…and I think I know why. Only a kid with an active imagination could come up with crap like that.


But, seriously, there are a handful of great reasons that parents need to take time out of their day to play, on the floor, no devices in hand, no pictures being taken, no distractions. There are positive psychological and developmental repercussions for the child, but I’ve noticed that it can be a mood enhancer for Mom, as well as providing my brain with some great exercise… not to mention fun memories.

For setting up the shindig, I’m hoping to put up a couple of handmade posters (with none other than ducks from his favorite books, of course), a row of streamers behind the food table, and a mix of the old poufs and a few new ones that go with the yellow-and-blue duck theme. I found some fun cloth to use as a tablecloth for the food table to reuse elsewhere (can you say “chevron”?!), but the rest of the tables will just get a wipe-down. My sister’s also going to bring a kiddie pool to set up, and my stepdad found the old school sprinkler (which kids may or may not run through, we’ll see; Had’s still at the “trip over his own feet” stage) for some fun. Only having two little ones to run around at a party like this makes the “entertainment” part of it kind of simple.

Even a small birthday party like ours isn’t THAT small. I only sent out 5 homemade invitations (they’re awesome), but that ultimately invited 16-17 people. See why we couldn’t have it at our small house? Plus, I come from Blogland, which is just a town over from Pinterestonia. I’ve got to at least put some effort into the aesthetics of the thing. Although, no matter how adorable the paper straws are, NO ONE uses them. NO ONE. Unless, of course, you serve root beer floats.

Oh, the feelings. The feelings. I’m calmly excited (vs. last year’s inevitable stress-out), a tad nervous about making a lemon cake that’ll be fluffy (I’d like to never use a boxed cake mix ever again…even if they are delish), but ultimately all the emotions revolve around Hadley’s growth. Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing some of the stuff he’s saying now, which, when compared to one year ago…well, it’s a completely different kid. Totally.

So, that’s what my week’s currently about. After his birthday, I’ll be turning my attention to some puttering around the house and other laid-back funness. 🙂 With my guys in tow, it’s hard not to enjoy life.

Thanks for hosting, Ot & Et and Harvesting Kale! You ladies rock.  

Currently – July 3rd

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I’ve been managing summer life with a toddler pretty well, I think. The key, especially when it comes to naptime, is to make a *simple* schedule. Apparently that’s the key to a lot of things, parenting-wise. Heh. Who knew?

We’re missing our neighbor, George, who recently passed away. He was in his nineties, but the last time I saw him he was doing so well and asked us all in to hang out with his family. I’m so glad we took the chance to do that. The unadulterated joy in his eyes watching Hadley run around and play and discover was something I’ll never forget. He was, by far, the most sensitive, kind-hearted man I ever met (which always surprised me, given his age and the toughness of his generation). On a bit of a side note, I’m also missing my grandfather since, well, I find myself always missing his presence since he passed earlier this year, but particularly with the 4th of July upon us. Any patriotic holiday does that to me, I guess. And when I watch “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, I’m sure to enjoy it along with some tears.

I’ve tried to take a bit of a break from thinking lately. Does that sound idiotic? I mean, I’m an over-thinker, so it’s nice to just kind of stick with the aforementioned toddler schedule with a few fun or productive activities thrown in for good measure. I fall into a guilt-ridden abyss when I don’t try to do something productive, so I’m taking my mom’s advice to try to do something fun and something off “my list” each week. I’d say that sounds good, especially knowing that once I get my “something productive” done that I can just kinda chill…unless the energy hits me to do something else. 😉

Be it naptime or after the munchkin hits the hay at night, I’ve slowly but surely been creating his little felt food. It has taken FUH-REV-ER, but it’s worth it. I had some confusion when I posted an image of a lowly “fried egg” the other day. Yes, I’m making him fake food made of felt. There are toys all over the interwebs for sale, but I like to do one handmade gift a year (if not one for his b-day, one for Christmas). He happens to be obsessed with pretending to “cook” and “mix”. I guess if folks could hear how adorable his little energetically mouse-like voice as he “tastes” his “soup”, rubs his belly and says “Yum, yum, yum!” they probably wouldn’t question how much he is going to L-O-V-E these toys. Dave saw a slice of “bread” I sewed the other day and wouldn’t stop talking about how much the monkey will enjoy them…which is really all that matters.

I just hope I can get a ton more done before next weekend (his birthday); gah!!! Lots more planning and getting ready to do, too, so yeah. I’m a tad stressed. Just a tad, really. Gotta find a cake recipe that suits Hadman but that will be tasty enough for the rest of the guests to enjoy, too. (Like, I would do a lemon-blueberry cake but I’m not sure if that’s universally liked, y’know?)

Speaking of searching, I’m still looking for new leads on my Ancestry.com search. My “world” membership, which gives me access to a buttload of new material from our European ancestors, just began. So, needless to say, I’m excited about this. My goal is to see how far “up” the tree I can go through my more recent European ancestors (like the majority of my relatives on my mother’s side), most of whom came from Ireland in the mid- to early-1800s.

I’m also newly interested in my paternal grandmother’s family. They’re part of the only line that has lived in the U.S. from pre-Revolutionary War times. I had found some who were in the British nobility (which makes me think of Downton Abbey, but in Medieval Times) and some part of the Dutch settlers of Manhattan Island, so any additional information with regards to the heights of the tree will be simply thrilling. If I could do this stuff all day long, I would. 

What’s “currently” going on with you guys? How’s your summer going? Are you managing/missing/thinking/creating/looking lately? 😉

Linking up to Ot & Et and Harvesting Kale. Check ’em out!

Currently – June 26

Howdy, folks! Back for this week’s “Currently”, and guess what that means! Yep, I’m done. One more year of inventory’s in the books. It’s not perfect, and I’ve gotta work on some areas during the school year to organize better and weed, but it’s D-O-N-E enough for me. Whew.

Time to check in with the ol’ “Currently” list of the week…

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The learning that’s been going on in our little monkey’s head lately is awe-inspiring. It seems like every day he “gets” a new word or concept. Sure, he needs to practice some of these (er, all of them) to mastery, but for now the fact that he can communicate with us and does so in such an at-times hilarious, sweet way makes me want to cry. Yup. There I go.

On the nights when the energy hits me, I’ve been working on making the Hadman’s little felt food birthday present. I’ve got two slices of tomatoes, a slice of cheese (easiest. thing. ever.) done, and am working on a bunch of strawberries (very time consuming), and a bunch of other stuff. I even thought ahead enough to put aside a small plastic container that looks like it holds strawberries for him to put them in. (The edges aren’t sharp or anything! Check this mama out, bein’ all cautious.) My husbands says that it’s the absolute PERFECT gift since the little man’s been really into “mixing” and making “soup” lately. Like, it’s one of the only playful activities I can get him to do, for real.

I’m loving a lot right now. Loving the fact that I get to be home with our monkey all summer. Loving that we got a season pass to the zoo, so we can hit that joint up whenever we want. Loving that we’re planning our vacation, and I’m super excited to hit the road! Loving that I get to celebrate my nephew’s awesomeness at his graduation party this weekend. Just. Loving. Everything. Oh, and my cats are pretty rad, too.

I haven’t been reading a lot beyond magazines lately, but since school has come to an end I’ll get to turn my attention back to a few already-started books piled up next to the bed. I tend towards non-fiction, so I’ve got a couple of history and biographical works (one on Audrey Hepburn that’s awesome so far), but I might push the boundaries and see if anyone has a FUN fiction suggestion for me. (No downers…no mysteries…all fun!) I only know what’s on the kiddies’ best seller lists lately.

I love smelling stuff. Is that weird? Maybe it’s a tad less weird if I explain that I enjoy smelling GOOD stuff. Like the summer breeze. And a freshly-bathed baby. And my cats. (They smell good, I assure you. They’re OCD clean. Aren’t most cats?) Not less weird? Eh. It’s my thing, I guess. I also hope to FINALLY be smelling some flowers outside!! I got my veggie garden planted, but the foundation plantings I usually get done around Memorial Day…well…didn’t happen. I was waiting to paint the foundation itself, but I think I’m just gonna get on it. The house looks depressing without some fun pops of color…and I need something new to stick my nose in.

How are you guys doing this week?? Enjoying the awesomeness that is summer? Yeah.

Linking to Harvesting Kale and Ot & Et. (Thanks for the linky party, ladies!)

Currently – June 20th

Holy crap. There’s less than a week left of school.


I feel like I’ve been as busy as a bee lately, with inventory (which I told y’all about last week) and a poor little teething toddler-monkey and getting some stuff together for my sister’s tag sale this weekend. It’s weird because it feels like I’ve hardly gotten anything done; at least, nothing of note, nothing you can SEE necessarily done. But, I have.

So, anyhoo, here’s what is “currently” going on…

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1. Watching our almost-nightly episodes of the Dick Van Dyke show help to give us a mental break and a quick escape into what seems to have been a fun time to live. I actually bought Dave this book for Father’s Day (let’s just say I can’t wait to read it, too). We love that Rob Petrie treats his wife pretty equally by the day’s standards, and when he mentions that he’s “changed our son plenty” brings to mind today’s active dads. It’s no secret that I want my own Millie, too. Hoping one moves in nearby! 😉 I’m also in love with any casual pant outfit Laura wears. Adorbs!

Also watching lots of new-to-us Winnie-the-Pooh, Donald Duck, Sesame Street, and Mr. Rogers episodes, thanks to our recent discovery of a USB port on our DVD player. The hubs just hopped on YouTube, hunted for what we’ve been hoping to show the little guy, then popping it on his flash drive. He also threw in a couple of documentaries for me. Just call me one lucky lady!

Oh, and in a more “existential” way…We’re watching Hadley constantly coming up with new words or funny inflections that just make us think, “My God. He’s almost two years old. He’s such a big boy!” Where HAS the time gone? *sniff, sniff*

2. Wearing capris everyday. Between a sudden bout of summery weather (with a rip-roaring storm Tuesday) and inventory, it’s just the comfortable thing to do. I also have a white pair of Clark’s sandals that spend 50% of the time on the library floor. Let’s just hope I’ll be wearing a smile come next Friday, our first official day of vacation (if I don’t need to come in to finish my work!). 

3. Wanting inventory to be done. Sorry, I don’t mean to complain; it’s just where my thoughts are lately. This year, I’m not just “inventorying” but weeding AND getting rid of lots of “stuff” from the back storage room (that has been there for decades). So, factor in over 15,000 books to organize…zero helpers…still holding library classes…and deleting tons of pre-1960 books from the computer, and it’s been busy! (Next year, I’m hitting all the 60’s, 70’s, and possibly 80’s!)

I guess the “let’s get rid of crap we don’t use” bug has bitten, because I’ll be helping my sister out at her yard sale this weekend and bringing along stuff that’s cluttered up the basement…closets…heck, everything for awhile. I wish I could’ve found the time to go through our baby clothes (we’ve got 6-7 BIG totes in the basement…we could have twins and I’m pretty sure we’d still have stuff leftover at each age) — maybe tonight, last-minute. Either way, I’m excited to hang out and chat with her all day Saturday!!

4. Waiting until school’s over to try potty-training the monkey. He’s getting SO close on his own, asking to use the potty at his grandma’s house during the day, that I just need to keep the momentum going, then make the jump to big boy undies. *sigh* Our little man’s growing up!!!

5. With inventory and grading hanging over my head, I don’t really feel like I’m winning at much in life. I take stress in stride and it doesn’t usually show outwardly, but I do beat myself up internally more than I’d like to admit. I guess the most “winningest” part of life lately is the small things: getting the kiddo to eat dinner, take a bath, and to bed without much drama; getting grades done; remembering to, say, brush my hair.

Actually, I’m doing well at remembering to just enjoy the time that I’m not working, and I’m really not stressing too much while at work. Just keep pluggin’ away. Just keep pluggin’.

So, what have YOU been WATCHING / WEARING / WANTING / WAITING / WINNING lately? Seriously, when I post next week’s “Currently”, I’ll be D-O-N-E with school for the year! I’m probably a tad more excited than our students about that!!

Happy to be linking up at Harvesting Kale and Ot & Et.

Currently – June 13th

Every once in awhile — just for fun — I decide to take part in the link-up shindig, “Currently.” It’s hosted by Harvesting Kale (isn’t that an insanely awesome blog name?) and Ot & Et, although I always happen upon it through Christine at Nekaro. I’m thinking I may take part a tad more over the summer, when my brain tends to shut down from the heat and day-in-day-out of chasing a hyperactive monkey around.

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1. This week, it feels like we’ve been hearing nothing but the dappled sound of rain. My husband loves it. I don’t HATE it, but the fact that the weather’s a touch spastic — humid, yet chilly at times, plus the rain. I’m not a weather complainer, really. Bonus: I’m also hearing a constant rotation of Aladdin songs (they were incredibly well-written, weren’t they? Didn’t appreciate that as a kid) and Winnie the Pooh. Aladdin, because my 4th graders are watching it while I do inventory; Pooh because it’s Hadley’s new fave.

2. There’s a complete and utter lack of hinting going on around here. We’re an indecisive lot, for the most part, so when I’ve posed the daily question to Dave as to what he’d like to do for Father’s Day (with vague suggestions that he can even pick from), I get nothin’. Looks like we’ll be spending it with family, which isn’t bad, but I wish I could make it more of a special day for him. He does just so much for us, and while I’ve got some gifts, I’d like to fit in some sort of surprise. My creativity is draaaaaaiiiiined.

3. Work has been nuts lately with our annual inventory, hunting down books and organizing and, this year, weeding. The shelves in our elementary library (where I’m housed 99% of the time) haven’t been, shall we say, “lightened” in…well, many, many decades. Many. While I’d like to get rid of absolutely every book pre-1980 (or later!), I haven’t got the space to put the weeded books. I put them out for teachers and kids to take for free, and I don’t blame them for not being super excited about an obscure poetry book from 1958. So, each time I pull off a book I know hasn’t been taken out since the ’70s, is in rough shape, is inaccurate/irrelevant now (I’m talking about you, Pluto book), or is full of offensive stuff, a feeling of extreme excitement mixed with a pull of guilt and restraint comes over me.

I finally had to give myself a cut-off; anything from the 1950s and earlier, or that is in crappy shape, goes. Next year, I’m thinking of sticking to a Weeding Wednesdays schedule. For busier days, finding 10 minutes to weed a handful would be doable, whereas other Wednesdays an hour would get a lot done.

(See why I don’t discuss library business? Only interesting to myself. ;-)) 

4. I’m hankering to be done grading 5th and 6th grade research papers. I’m just gonna leave it there to avoid saying anything I’ll regret. The only thing of note I’d like to remember for next year: don’t save the papers ’til the end of the year. (They weren’t supposed to overlap into inventory, but that’s another topic.)

5. Lately, I’ve been hoping to finally get some more work done on Hadley’s birthday party. It’s officially one month from today (I love Friday the Thirteenth! We welcomed Monkey into the world on one. Luckiest day of my life.), and need to get to work on his felt food toys. When I had the energy and excitement to work on them, I found myself needing to grade papers or read chapters for the next day. Now that those assignments have died down a bit, I haven’t the energy. Eh, ’tis life. Either way, we’ll have to make some final decisions about where to have the party and who’s invited, then send out the invitations. Luckily, once that’s done, I’ll have at least a couple of weeks after work gets out to devote to decorations and meal planning.

One thing at a time.  

Linking up here and here.