Hattie’s sick today. Leva suggested that she take her out to Jeni’s to help her feel better. We popped her in the stroller and walked up, Hattie pathetic. They stood at the counter picking their flavors, Hattie shivering with fever. Then Leva pulled out her wallet, counting out 5 dollar bills, six quarters, and the balance in dimes. The girl at the counter was so impressed that she gave Leva a coupon for a free triple the next time she stops in.

Right now Geert is sleeping, sucking his thumb. And like every night, I pull it out of his mouth. I cover him up and shut his door again after finding that he’s gotten out of bed to open it that precious 6 inches.

Right now Hattie is snuggled with her dog, Ice Cream, in the middle of her big bed. Naked. Pigtails askew. She was so tired at bedtime tonight that she asked to sleep without jammie’s so she wouldn’t get hot.

Right now Leva is sleeping peacefully, on her side of the bed, like an impressionist painting. I think about how today, walking home with her coat open in freezing rain she tells me matter of factly that she walked home from school like this today and “her breasts didn’t even get cold.” Uh, your breasts didn’t even get cold? “No. My breasts didn’t even get cold.” Because she’s a big girl who walked home from school without an adult for the first time today, with her friend Maggie Wessel. And Maggie’s mom and Brad stealthed home after them, watching them sprint across every street after looking both ways at least six times.

Leva just called from her first sleepover. It’s 10:30pm and she called to say goodnight. She went in the hottub and it was cold but then it got warmer and warmer until it was hot, but then she jumped in the pool and it was too cold! And she and Lizzy and Elise are going to sleep in their sleeping bags in the Little Mermaid tent in the basement all together. And they watched a movie but she forgets what it was. And she just called to say good night.

And I have to say that I almost cried talking to her and my heart is aching because I love her so much. She’s two blocks away and I miss her.

We love you!


Coming to you from the Ballerina, Spy Kid, and Optimus Prime. A little cold this year, and mom and dad were glad when it started to rain at 7p so we could close up shop, get the kids to bed on time, and excise the mommy and daddy Halloween tax.


Since our back yard is a mud pit, and now a frozen mud pit, the only place to really play outside is in the alley. It’s good place for bigwheels, bikes, trikes, and a sort of good place for running. What would we do in the yard at this point anyway? It’s FREEZING outside!




Went over and took some new pictures today. It’s coming along!

Front porch and new sidewalk

Fireplace in the living room

Mudroom with new bench (it’ll be white, and hooks will be on the wallboards)

Kitchen sans countertop or appliances

Eating room

Family room

Stairs – one of my favorite parts of the house

Kids’ bath – yep, squeezed in that double vanity

Geert’s green room

Leva’s pink princess room

Hattie’s sunny yellow room

Master bath

Master shower (aaaaaahhh)

Master bedroom

Upstairs hall

Downstairs half bath

These are our most recent versions of the floor plan – but a little has changed since then. The first floor is pretty darn close to what you see. Upstairs, the closet on Hattie’s room (the smallest – sorry Hattie!) was moved to be opposite to Leva’s and the door moved – you can kind of see it in the sketching. Also, the kids’ tub was turned 90deg, we lost the window and gained a skylight, and a double vanity was added. Worth it, I think for two sinks, but I admit that the bathtub will be a pain to give baths in with the vanity blocking the back third of it. (hopefully our kids will bathe themselves soon!) In our bathroom, we turned the tub into a shower, and turned the shower into a linen closet. You can see most of the room dimensions if you look hard enough or do math. The house is roughly 26 feet wide and 40 feet long and split into thirds, with the street side being 14ft deep, the middle third 11.5 feet deep, and the last third about 13 feet deep, if that makes sense. About 2000ft2 in all.

First floor
First floor

Second floor

Leva: “Hey mom! Can we have some P-R-N-L-I-Q-S?”
Me: “What’s that Leva?”
Leva: “Ice cream!”

Leva: “Hey dad! Let’s go to the Q-R-V-C-L-T-V.”
Brad: “Go where, Leva?”
Leva: “The pool!”

Brad and I have been spelling a LOT lately. Some of the favorites: C-H-E-E-T-O-S, P-A-R-K, I-C-E-C-R-E-A-M, C-O-O-K-I-E-S, and last but not least, N-A-P.


Leva and I had a girls’ weekend at the beach last weekend to celebrate the end of summer. We took a plane (one of the most exciting parts for Leva) to Salisbury and spent the weekend with my good friend Sophia and her family. Another good friend, Monica, and her daughter, Maya, joined us on Saturday. We were able to hit both Ocean City, Maryland, and Assateague Island for beach days, and miraculously, had great weather despite the storms off shore. Leva had fun submersing herself in the sand, and got the hang of jumping waves by the last day. I don’t think there’s a place on earth Leva is happier than a beach. And now, I get a beach buddy for life!

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