Zugtastic Snowblast 2012


It snowed last week. I lived in Minnesota for 18 years – a place where your nostrils stick together if you breathe too deeply, and your eyeballs freeze if you’re outside too long – so I’m not one of the crazies who gets all excited about the snow.

But about once or twice a year it taunts me.

Abandoned Street

The depth of my selfishness revealed itself during the snow week. I couldn’t even muster enough excitement for the sake of the children.

“Come play in the snow, mom!”


Fortunately, we have a neighborhood full of play mates, so my presence was not requested often. But still. Would it have killed me?

(I think it might have.)

But I more than made up for it as the Queen of Hot Cocoa and Indoor Entertainment. Name your game consol, we’ve got it.


My big win for the week was that I didn’t lose my mind. I was in the middle of writing a script with a deadline on Friday, and it was not at all convenient to have the kids home from school.

Historically when Things don’t go According to Plan, I end up going Momageddon on the kids. But thankfully I’m 40 now because that behavior is sooooooo 39.

Checking Up On Snowman
Thomas wanted to say goodnight to the snowman he built in the park.

A Zugtastic Halloween

"Full of Stars" filter using the Percolator app

Halloween always reinforces my love for public school. I know it sounds like a strange correlation, but it’s one of the only times a year that I realize just how rooted we are in our neighborhood.

There’s nothing quite like the squeals of third grade girls as they run into friends on their ghoulish walk from house to house, or the look of surprised awe when they realize a teacher lives in their neighborhood.

Thomas couldn’t get over that one. It’s like he thought all the teachers slept under their desk or something. “You mean she LIVES here?!”

We even scored a pair of shoes for Thomas that a neighbor’s son outgrew. It’s not every day you get a pair of Keens in your trick or treat bag.

Encounters like these are one of the reasons we chose public school – we wanted to connect with our community. And every year I know more trick-or-treating faces, and every year I know more of the neighbors who great us at their doors.

Zugtastic Pumpkin Carving Festivus 2011

I love that Bryan balances out my Control Freakishness by having the kids design their own pumpkins. They had some awesome drawings that involved teeth and scars, and I kept hearing Bryan say, “I’ll see what I can do.”

He did great, of course.

Carving six pumpkins made for a bit of a crazy Saturday night, but so fun.

I just noticed I matched the wrong pumpkins to the wrong drawings in a couple pictures below, but you get the idea.

Zugcycle Ride


Bryan and I used some money we were gifted at Christmas this year to buy new bikes for ourselves. The kids have always had wheels, but we were getting left in the dust as we walked along behind them on the river trail.

A couple weeks ago we dusted them off for the first time and went for a family bike ride. And “dusting off” is not just a figure of speech, either. We store them on a stacking bike rack in our dining room, which means they don’t get dusted just like everything else in my dining room.


I’m pretty sure I haven’t ridden a bike since I was twenty-two, so I was part terrified and part invigorated. But at least I know how to use my brakes, which is more than I could say for Ruthie. She narrowly avoided flipping herself over a parking curb at the bottom of a hill, but thankfully we all came home in one piece.

Zugtastic! Paper strength experiment!

Recently, Ruthie came home from school with a 8.5×14 sheet of construction paper and was tasked with folding it up and seeing how many books we could stack on top of it. Thomas really got into this, and emptied my bookshelf.

Just getting started - 8 books!

It holds at least eight books!

17 books!

TWENTY books!

Books as tall as Bryan!

A stack of books as tall as Bryan!

Counting all the books

I can’t remember how many books finally crushed the paper, but it was, like, TEN HUNDRED, according to Thomas.

Crushed under the weight of all the books

Before and after.