Saturday, December 08, 2007


A few nights ago as I was trying to herd the boys upstairs to bed, Kemper kept resisting my pleas. After a couple of attempts, I finally went back into the kitchen to see what was going on.

"I'm hanging my monkeys in their trees to sleep." He was being very careful to make sure they wouldn't fall out during the night. Here's what he did:

The only empty drawer pulls were a result of an insufficient number of monkeys.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


After long deliberation, I have purchased high-backed booster seats for the boys. If you don't have small children, you are not very likely to know much about the current various options for child restraint systems. And if you do have small kids, you know how many choices are out there.

One member of my mothers of twins group sent an email with a YouTube link about why you should keep kids in a 5 point harness seat for as long as possible. It was, of course, a tear jerker. You know, a story about how they put their son into a booster, then got in an accident and he died because the seat belt failed. And how if he'd stayed in a 5 point harness seat, he'd still be alive. (I'm not trying to minimize the loss, but to summarize the video. I can't imagine losing one of my kids in a car crash, or in any other way.)

So I started thinking we needed new, bigger seats with harnesses since the boys are outgrowing their current seats. Research on various sites muddied the waters, in my opinion. I couldn't find anything other than the video that talked about prolonged use of the harness. I felt like this horrible parent for even considering a shift to booster seats. It was suggested by someone near and dear that perhaps I was overreacting. I continued to stew over this for a good long while. Several months, actually.

In the end, I decided that since I survived a child restraint free upbringing, and since my kids are perhaps the only children alive who haven't unbuckled their straps in protest, I would go with the boosters. Every time I went to Target or any other store that sells car seats, I'd examine them carefully, then leave to think on it some more. Maybe I am a bad mommy for reaching this conclusion, but I have to draw the line somewhere, right? I always make sure my kids are buckled up, I'm a careful driver, and last but not least, Kemper and Rowan are SO happy with the new seats I'm convinced I made the right choice. Rowan thanks me for buying him a new seat every time we get in the car. It's only been a few days, but they're still very excited about using real seat belts like mommy and daddy.

Monday, December 03, 2007


We spent our Thanksgiving in Norfolk, VA with our sister-in-law's family. They host every year, but we haven't gone consistently due to the cost of flying and the length of the drive. But since Christmas has been relocated to our house this year (and therefore we will neither be flying to New Orleans nor driving to D.C.), we decided to brave it and drive to Norfolk.

It wasn't all that bad, really. We left early Wednesday morning and hit almost no traffic. In fact, the worst of it was when we arrived in D.C. to spend the night with Morgan's brother and his family. The boys did quite well in the car, aside from the obligatory "Are we there yet?" and "How much longer?" and "I don't want it to take so long!". Toward the end of the drive, Morgan offered them each $5 if they could avoid any questions or comments about how long it would take to get there. I remembered a tip I read somewhere and revised the rules so that each time they asked one of the forbidden questions, they'd lose some money. Whatever was left when we got to D.C., they could keep. Let me tell you, this was the most amazing trick ever! We will definitely be doing this on future trips. In case you're wondering, the idea I had heard about was to give kids a roll of quarters at the start of a long trip, then take a quarter away from anyone who asks "Are we there yet?" or other similar questions. They keep any money left when the trip is over.

My boys don't even really know about money, but they knew they wanted some. What a great idea. Next time we'll go with the quarters, as it's both cheaper and easier to keep track of since you simply take the money away on the spot.

The visit in Norfolk was fun. This was our first non-vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner in many, many years. I think we had been vegetarian for about 17 years, but recently started eating meat again. And our hostess didn't mess around. She served a turducken, so there was meat aplenty. Maryam is a good cook, and we had a good time. Fortunately her son Keon, who is about 9 months older than the boys, had lots of cool toys in his room to occupy the kids.

Of course, then we had to drive back to Boston. The last day we were in Norfolk, Rowan got sick (fever and vomiting), which made the drive home somewhat dubious, but we survived. I don't know what it is about our family and travel, but someone always ends up being sick. Oh well. I'm still glad we went. With so much loss in my life, I find myself eager to try and create family for my boys whenever I can.