Posted by: thiscait | February 13, 2010

Crazy Snow

DC has gotten a ridiculous quantity of snow in the last week. The first storm brought 25 inches, followed by a blizzard a few days later which brought 14 more inches. The city, having neither the equipment nor the experience/skill to deal with this, has been paralyzed, but we’ve had a blast (well, except for those few days of stomach bug). Someday we’ll actually start posting real stuff again, but for now, here’s what our life looked like this week.


Tall drifts


Sledding Glee

Happy snowdays to you and yours.

Posted by: thatjen | December 19, 2009

Walking in the snow is tricky

Walking in the snow is tricky

Originally uploaded by jrustdc

Our DC children are puzzled by the quantity of white stuff on the ground and still falling, but we’re having a blast.

Posted by: thiscait | November 29, 2009


While saying goodbye to some friends today, Teddy (out of nowhere) waved his hand and said “buh buh.” He then repeated this several times over the next hour before bed. Natalie was so early with the words, that by 15 months it was not terribly remarkable if she came up with a new one. Teddy is still at that stage where each new word is a big, exciting deal. I can’t imagine that my chatterbox girl ever couldn’t talk, and it blows my mind that someday the little guy will talk as much as his sister. How does it all happen so quickly?

Posted by: thiscait | November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween

The fish and the octopus are so embarrassed by my tardiness that they can’t even make eye contact.

Posted by: thiscait | October 28, 2009


While walking to school, talking about her friend Max:

N: Max is spelled M-A-X-S
Mama: Actually, honey, I think it’s M-A-X
N: No, Mama. There’s a ssssss sound at the end of Max. That’s the letter S. So Max is M-A-X-S

Well alrighty then. I did make a lame attempt to explain the X sound, but really there’s no point in trying to argue with emerging literacy.

The other night, Natalie read us three early reader books. They’re pretty basic, but still. We can’t get away with spelling things anymore. She MUST BE TOLD. Or, when we’re feeling teacher-like, we make her figure it out. Soon there will be no keeping anything from her at all. We are so screwed. (Especially since Teddy’s accomplishments of late include figuring out how to open all the doors in the house and climbing anything he comes across.)

Posted by: thiscait | October 20, 2009

While We’ve Been Gone

Obviously, we’ve been lousy posters in recent months. Or possibly for the last year. That stuff they say about how having a second child is a bigger change than having the first one? Pretty much true. At least for us. We’ve been either frantically busy or dead tired the majority of the time. It’s totally worth all the insanity, but damn. If left on my own I could probably snooze away a few solid days without ever waking up. Part of our absence has also been about some changes that have demanded a lot of our time and attention (and energy). And before you jump to conclusions, we’re neither pregnant nor divorcing. Here’s the summary:

  • We moved.  We’re still in our cohousing community, just across the green and in a bigger house.  We’re thrilled to have more space.  Thrilled.  But we’re still unpacking, trying to find a renter so that we can actually afford to keep paying the mortgage, and recovering from the fact that the timing sucked.  We moved during the first weeks of school, which is about as bad as it gets when you’re a teacher.
  • We’re both back at work.  I’m part time, Jen is still full time.  My job may disappear at the end of December, but we’re all hoping something else will work out.  We’re still getting used to the fact that we all have to get out the door in the morning most days of the week.
  • Natalie started full-time school.  Halfway through the summer, Natalie got into a really good charter school that has a program for threes.  It’s free.  We were uncertain what my job situation would be, so having a good place for her to be full time without paying a fortune was pretty hard to pass up.  We were worried about putting her in a full time school program at 3, but she loves it.  LOVES it.  The hours when she is not in school are spent re-creating school.  It’s both wonderful and frightening.
  • As a result, Natalie is now a metro commuter.  Her school is only a few blocks from mine, so on the days I’m teaching, she rides with me and helps me set up my classroom before we sprint her over to her school during the short window in which her school is open but my students have not yet arrived.  Days I don’t teach are much more complicated, involving picking up and dropping off a variety of children, both ours and others.  But it still involves the train ride to and from school, which Natalie loves.  She can tell you where she gets on and off and where we transfer, and can read the sign to tell you when the next train is coming.  She still sometimes complains about the walking, but is far better about it than she was just weeks ago.  She is fascinated by all of the people, and it blows her little mind when we run into teachers from her school on the train.
  • Teddy turned one!  He is now toddling everywhere, climbing everything, getting into things we never had to childproof for Natalie, and grinning and giggling the entire time.  Nothing makes him happier than climbing to the top of a chair, sitting down, and drinking/pretending to drink from whatever cup or other object that might possibly resemble a cup is nearby.  He dances, plays peekaboo, knows how to open all of the doors in our house, and does his best to risk his life multiple times a day.  He is ridiculously cute and charming, even when he’s emptying a drawer for the millionth time in a single day.
  • There are many other things that I could/should/someday will blog about, but just so that this actually gets posted, I’ll stop now and leave you with this.
Posted by: thiscait | August 21, 2009

Fire and Ice

Jen and I went back to work this week. Her school is impossibly hot. Mine is so cold that large non-smoking circles form in front of the school during breaks so that teachers can thaw out in the stifling heat and humidity that is DC in August. Really makes one want to go back to school, eh?

Posted by: thiscait | August 2, 2009

Creative Manipulation

As we attempt to teach Teddy to replace his screeched requests with signs, his older sister provides constant reminders of the pros and cons of having a child with language.

Like many three-year-olds, Natalie is very set on what she wants. She is a natural manipulator, and we have said for quite a while that she might someday make a good lawyer. Apparently our responses to her standard arguments were getting too predictable for her, because while traveling, she has come up with some new techniques.

While packing for our trip to Michigan, she approached me carrying her swaddled baby doll and a small train toy. Knowing that the toys were already packed and that we were not anxious to add to the pile, she opted for imagination. “Mama, we have to bring this train. My baby needs it. She is INSISTENT on it.” Caught off guard, I could do nothing but laugh and allow her to add the toy to the bag.

Yesterday at a rest stop, she was trying to negotiate bringing a few toys in with her. Our general rule is that toys don’t leave the car until we reach our destination, for fear of accidentally leaving some favorite toy behind and/or having to double back to retrieve something. After I told her that a book needed to stay, she began to argue for her baby to be allowed to come in. When I said no, she asked me to step aside, and reached her baby out into the sun from her carseat. “Look, Mama. She loves to be out of the car. See how she’s laughing?” Again, I was caught speechless, and the baby was allowed in with stern warnings to pay close attention not to leave her anywhere.

We’re taking applications for counsel for the defense.

Posted by: thiscait | July 6, 2009

Still Here

Just tired. Life is taking pretty much all the energy we’ve got these days. We’re exploring options for selling our house and buying something with a little more space without actually leaving the area. Not easy to do when you don’t have a lot of money. Or when showing your house means frequent cleaning of the mess that two kids and two adults make in the process of living in an over crowded space. My work situation for next year is uncertain and that has been and will continue to be quite stressful. The kids are delightful, yet exhausting.

Teddy has, in a lovely range of unpredictable ways, not been sleeping well for the last…10 months? Every time we get to the bottom of one issue, a new one crops up, so we’re fabulously sleep deprived. He is also crawling, cruising, climbing, standing, figuring out how to get from sitting to standing completely unaided. He rebels furiously against any attempt to contain him or limit his freedom. He has the most gorgeous smile I have ever seen and charms anyone within a 10 mile radius.

Natalie is three, with all of the wonder that brings. She is incredibly verbal, and uses her skills both for good and for evil. We have decided that she could someday make a great lawyer, with her drive to negotiate and her unwillingness to take no for an answer. She alternately makes us laugh hysterically while marveling at her genius, and makes us want to stab our eyeballs out with a fork.
How did we get so lucky?

Posted by: thiscait | May 6, 2009

It Makes Me Smile

It’s been a rough week, and it’s only Wednesday. Discussions with my school about next year have been difficult. A neighbor is angry with us for something that we didn’t do, and has had no response to an email explaining that it wasn’t us. Plus an assortment of other ups and downs and sleep deprivation. So Teddy’s discovery of clapping, and his delight with his newfound skill could not have come at a better time. Witness…

(Can’t get video to embed.  Don’t know why.  But hopefully following the link won’t be too strenuous for you.)

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