October 31, 2009

Slim Cooley...the Mustang Herder

I'm here to tell ya, that Slim Cooley is one tough cowboy.
He's a Mustang Herder.
And the best cowboy in these parts...

There's nothing worse than gettin' the news that some rustlers have run off with your best mustangs....

Slim Cooley will sit back and ponder.

He can always come up with a plan....

Goin' out to catch him some rustlers and free his mustangs!
No more Tricks! Only Treats!

Yee Haw!!!!

(That there's Slim's trusty steed, Tappie, a fine mare.)


Now, just for Catherine, over at The Daily Lois, heeeeere's Murray Cook for you!

No, Hannah wasn't Murray for Halloween, she was Murray for her 8th birthday! It was a crazy mixed up day, but we started with a trip to Richmond (before we lived here!) to the Children's Museum. This is the only picture that shows her Wiggles pants. Remember, this was back before there were Wiggles clothes and costumes (not that they make them in size 8 anyhow). A little red electrical tape works pretty well. At least for the short term...then it's a sticky situation.

Much later, after many unexpected delays, we had our family party. At around 10 p.m.

As I have mentioned in the past, she has broken her Wiggles addiction. We are not missing Murray much.

October 30, 2009

Can't keep up!

Oh, I'm about 20 posts behind...at this rate you'll probably see Hannah's costume in January! I've started to make little notes so I could remember all I wanted to write--Hannah's been pretty funny these days, but I think I "organized" them. Probably to the recycle bin.

We've been on the go pretty much non-stop. So far we're healthy, though so many friends have contracted the flu. I still haven't made a decision on the shot, which is fine, since it isn't available for us yet. Makes it easier to not make a decision!

We did manage to carve pumpkins today. Hannah did a great job! She has always been interested, but her help has not always been the kind of help that actually helps. This year, however, she cut the "lids" off the pumpkins and did most of the scooping. She tackled the slime and goo, and even did a little bit of the faces.

We had two pumpkins for the record books--in Hannah's pumpkin there were sprouting seeds! One sprout actually looked a little green. It was kind of like a pregnant pumpkin! Then, my pumpkin had such thick flesh that it was practically solid!

Now then, here is a short walk (very) down memory lane...

Age 8

Age 9

Age 10

As you can see, Hannah takes her costuming seriously. I'll give you a hint for this year's costume: It's her favorite character from The Magic Treehouse Ghost Town at Sundown. I doubt there are many of you out there who are familiar with the story...let me know if you've got a guess!

October 28, 2009

October 27, 2009

21 Things

A year ago, I made a list of 21 Things About Hannah. Here's this year's version. I wrote this year's before reviewing last year's, and I've only got one overlap. Interesting that none of these have anything to do with that pesky extra 21st chromosome.

1. She has been known to stay in the bathtub for nearly 2 hours.

2. Nan was terrified of the dentist the first few times. After we excessively played pretend dentist, it became her favorite place to go.

3. She will now eat just about any food put in front of her. Within reason. (Sorry, buckwheat pancakes with blackstrap molasses aren't gonna cut it, Opa.) But she will always ask, hopefully, if noodles are on the menu.

4. She has donated to Locks of Love twice, and is planning on growing her hair out again.

5. Soccer is edging out baseball these days, though she still plays both.

6. Her room is usually a huge mess, but when coerced, she is really good at cleaning it thoroughly.

7. Her nicknames include: Birdie, Love, Nan, Nanabird, and Puddin'.

8. She LOVES to see stage productions.

9. She wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. Or, move to Hollywood and become the piano accompanist for an ongoing production of The Sound of Music.

10. When she was born with severe pulmonary hypertension, she was given a 15% survival rate.

11. Peter Pevensie is her favorite character in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. (not a bad choice in my opinion)

12. After independently sifting through 150 magnetic words, here are her favorites:
(and I agree, these are her favorite things to do!)

13. All time favorite: Watching videos. Second place: drawing/coloring.

14. She wants to visit Egypt.

15. She has a collection of teddy bears, but only one, Molasses, sleeps with her. Molasses has a best friend named "Oddy", who is an ostrich.

16. Guilty pleasure: Little Debbie's Zebra Cakes (ick ick ick says mommy)

17. She was my only kid who ever lost both front teeth at the same time. I took her directly to the photographer.

18. She likes to bake peanut butter cookies, especially to share with her brother.

19. I have heard, on rare occasions, Hannah matching pitch while singing.

20. There is nothing so satisfying as tossing pebbles into a puddle or pond.

21. The countdown to getting an electric guitar has begun. Less than 18 months away. Save us.

October 26, 2009

Peace Corps: Intro to Amman, Jordan

I got to speak with Kate briefly today! The connection was terrible, but we did manage a few sentences before giving up. But, I had a treat on Facebook this evening--she was able to download some pictures from the past couple of days!

Kate has been in Amman since Saturday and will be leaving tomorrow for Mafraq. The PC group took a short tour of the ancient ruins surrounding Amman. (No hijab required in Amman.)


Mosque in the background

I guess they like satellite dishes!

Ruins of a Roman Amphitheater

My Favorite!

I can tell that she's having a good time (so far!). The hard work begins soon, but she's got her sunny attitude at the ready!

*****To read more about Kate and Peace Corps, click here ******

Kate Update

Yay: We've heard from Kate!

Boo: We missed the phone call.

She also briefly emailed and posted to Facebook, so we know:

1. She's safely there.
2. She's tired.
3. She figured out how to buy a phone card.
4. She sounds happy.
5. She's met interesting people in the Peace Corps.

We're so glad to get this little bit of news!
I have to brag on My Friend Wendy. Boy is she ever nice to me! Look what she sent to make my day brighter last week when I was down in the dumps with Kate's departure.

I never had an Edible Arrangement before, and it was just delicious! We gobbled it up. See those white things in there? They are chocolate dipped bananas. At first I thought they were marshmallows, so Hannah ate the first one. She hates bananas, but didn't say anything about it (it's been a long time since she ate one). Later, when I ate one (I hate marshmallows, but love chocolate), I was happy to discover it was a banana. We laughed about that, and Hannah even ate some more (but she's still not willing to try a plain banana again). They were so GOOD!! Just like My Friend--so good!

October 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Chris!

(That says "Nineteen!" in Wingdings)
Your first birthday away from home!

We miss you, we love you, we're proud of you! Hope you have a great day, without excessive amounts of Physics. And Caution tape.

It happens to be Bunsen's birthday too! He's three and a never ending source of entertainment. He sends birthday sniffs and nose juice to Chris!

October 23, 2009

Okay now.

Yesterday was tough, but fortunately today is better. I slept well, with no haiku disruption.

I'm generally matter-of-fact about my kids coming and going, and we all take it pretty well. Yes, there have been pangs here and there, but more of a wistful nature. Yesterday was more like grief. It's still there, but much calmer today. Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement.

Even though I have some fun Hannah posts in the works (at least, to me they are fun, we'll see what you think), in keeping with my more somber mood, I'm going to share something that happened on Tuesday.

We have neighbors on both sides, one couple has no children, and the other is a rental house. When we moved here, the owners were still living in it, and they had two boys who became fast friends with Hannah. They moved out about 14 months ago, and the house was on the market for 9 months or so. They finally ended up getting a renter for it, a family with 4 children, 18g, 16b, 13g and 8g. They are good enough neighbors--the parents are friendly and kind. They're rarely home. When they first moved in, Hannah made several attempts at building friendships with the younger girls. They were polite, but didn't seem to be all that interested. Over the summer we traveled, and they traveled so we didn't have much opportunity to see them.

This fall Hannah has really been wanting to play with the girls. She's gone over to ask if they could play a couple times. The answer was that they had to do homework first and they'd be out in a little while. But they never came out.

She was disappointed, but moved past it quickly.

So on Tuesday, the girls were in their front yard, playing with their puppy (Max). Hannah saw them so she went out to play with them. They sat on the front steps (I was spying through an upstairs window). It looked like they were all having a conversation. A few minutes later I saw the girls running around the yard. And a few minutes later James went over to see how it was going. Hannah decided to come inside.

I asked her if she had fun with the girls. She hesitated and said, "My brain says that they don't want to be friends."

So we talked about why she thought that, and how it's important to listen to that voice inside of her. She doesn't always like everyone she meets, and they might not like her either. And that's okay.

Of course she'd rather have friends right next door. But right now she doesn't. And that's okay too.

I've always aimed for her to have people in her life who like her and appreciate her for who she is. It's really good for her to start to get the idea that some people might not make good friends, especially if they don't want to be.

Kate Update

I spoke with her while she's en route to JFK. She's pretty happy with the team of volunteers she's with--already made friends. She's the youngest of the bunch (as she said, "No surprise there."). About a quarter of the volunteers are retirees.

They will stay in Amman until the 28th, then move to Mafraq for 2 months in language school.

She's feeling better (she's had a cold), and she's looking forward to what's ahead.

My Wild Thing.

October 22, 2009


This is hard.

Kate just went out the door.

The tissue box is being put to good use, catching tears.

I'm so proud of her. But I don't want to be this far apart. Sending her off to college was pretty easy, even if she was 1300 miles away. Letting her go to Spain by herself when she was 16 was easy too. I knew I'd see her three weeks later.

Amman, Jordan is 6,013 miles from home.

It was a restless night for all of us. I dreamed of haikus of Kate leaving. Of my feelings, and how I imagined she was feeling. Of her wiped-clean computer, awaiting a new owner. Of the third car we will sell since we have no driver for it. Haikus of Hannah not understanding how long two years really is. And tears.

As much as it hurts to think about her being gone, we are all very excited for her. It's amazing.

I just saw her Facebook status: Let the Wild Rumpus Start!!!

That's my girl. The adventure begins.

Deo volente.

October 21, 2009


This was Nan's idea. She picked out the photos and I helped her make them fit in.

Totally. Hysterical.

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Weird Wednesday

No, this is not a milkshake. It's a science experiment with bunny ears. Hannah wanted to know what happens if you put lemon juice in milk. Ta-Daaah! Curds and whey. Eww. And I don't know why it needed to have bunny ears for the picture.

October 19, 2009

Puppy Love

What kind of puppy is the best puppy?

The kind that belongs to the neighbors!

Hannah and I have been taking care of Max once or twice a day while his new family is at school and work. It's fun having a wiggly puppy around. But only for 10 minutes at a time!

October 17, 2009

20 years ago....

...we lived on Yerba Buena Island in San Francisco Bay. James was a Naval Officer, and I was a new stay-at-home-mom to a very demanding baby. We lived in Officer's housing on the island that anchors the middle of the Bay Bridge. The bridge actually tunnels through Yerba Buena Island. Attached to the island is a man-made island, Treasure Island, which was was the Naval Base where his ship was stationed. It was a lovely peaceful place to live, hills and trees, and a gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge from our living room window. It was a million dollar view of the city, Alcatraz and the Bay.

Our house is one of the ones on the second tier to the left of the picture.
This picture is looking towards the East, to Oakland.

On October 17th, 1989, James was navigating the USS Roark on a three month deployment in the Gulf of Alaska. Kate and I were flying back from North Carolina from an extended visit to my parents to celebrate Katie's First Birthday. While in North Carolina, Hurricane Hugo hit Charleston, SC, and then worked its way quickly up to Charlotte, NC. My parents lived in the country and had no electricity and no water for 10 days. It had been quite an adventure!

When Kate and I landed, weary and bleary, I decided to go the long way home because I feared the traffic from the World Series would be horrendous (Oakland A's and SF Giants, both local teams!). So I headed South and took the San Mateo bridge and came up the East Bay, on Route 880, then across the first span off the Bay Bridge. I had considered stopping along the way to get milk at the store, but was too tired, so we went directly to our house. We had been away from home for a month.

So we pulled up to our house. I took Kate into the house and stepped out again to get the luggage. As I was going out the door, she started crying, so I went back to get her. Then, the earthquake hit. I grabbed her and scurried out the door.

It didn't feel like a big one (we'd had several small ones in the year previous), but it was the first time we were on the island. The island is solid--a rock.

All my neighbors came out, and we chatted a little, compared damage (none for anyone). I went inside and called my parents, leaving them a message that we were home safe and that we just had an earthquake. I didn't think much about it, but it was very fortunate that I called, since within a few minutes all the phone lines would be out from overloading and fires. My parents had heard about the quake on the radio (they knew more than me). It was sweet relief for them to know we were safe.

I went back out to the car to bring in the bags. I was surprised to see a few people walking up the hill. I was a little uneasy because there are rarely strangers on the island, and this man was walking right up to me. He asked if he could use my phone. I hesitated. Then he said the bridge had broken from the earthquake! The very bridge over which I had just driven not 10 minutes earlier.

The man tried to use my phone. But already it wasn't working. A crowd was coming up the hill, and Base Police came to help them. Kate and I went back inside. The television did work, and I gradually discovered the disaster that had occurred. I had just driven the length of Rt 880--the double-decker highway that collapsed from the quake--killing 41 people instantly.

It was a miracle. If I had stopped for milk, that would have taken 10 minutes.

That night, out the picture window, all I could see were two endless lines of light. One of white headlights, and one of red tail lights. Gridlock. And there was the fire.

The USS Roark had new orders to come to San Francisco to provide medical and logistical support to the area. None of the crew had heard from their families--no cell phones, no email. Everyone was worried. It took 3 days for them to arrive in San Francisco. Somewhere along the line they did get a telegram informing them that all families were safe.

Those of us on the island were stranded. We had no way to get off the island for a week. (It was a good thing I was still nursing Kate, or we would have been in trouble!) The Island had water and gas, but no electricity (they shut it off the next day for safety). So we were safe, warm, clean, and I could cook. With whatever I could scrounge up. Neighbors shared. It was a good community.

But we did have cabin fever. Katie wasn't yet walking, but working towards it. We took long stroller rides all around the island, frequently stopping to see all the construction vehicles (the half that came from the SF side parked on the island).

Kate took her first steps walking in the Bay Bridge Tunnel! I guess she was born to have adventures!

It was a chaotic but also, a quiet time. Another opportunity to appreciate our blessings.

Life in Fast Forward--Peace Corps Bound!

Things around here are just going way too fast for me to keep up! I feel like I've got so much to write, yet no time to write it!

It's a little stressful these days getting Kate prepared for her big move. We have four days left to get everything in order. She leaves on Thursday morning. While I'm not all that worried about her going--it's more feeling excited for her grand adventure--there are enough details to make anyone crazy.

We ordered some basic fashion essentials for her life in Jordan. She is planning on buying much of her clothing there, since it's difficult to find culturally appropriate clothing here (or we don't know where to find it!). The Peace Corps (PC) strongly encourages volunteers to wear clothes that will help them fit in to their community. So while Kate is not Muslim, she will be wearing a khimar (head covering) at first. The first two months she will be living with a family while she takes intensive Arabic lessons. The town where she's staying is one of the more conservative areas of Jordan.

Here in the States, I know that some people are offended by others wearing clothing from other faith traditions. Kate does not mean to offend others, but she does have to "assimilate" as best she can, so she can do her job. We have read blogs of other PC volunteers in Jordan (here's one if you're curious), and not all of them dress this conservatively. It just depends on the town or village. Once Kate gets her assignment within the country (to be determined after language proficiency is completed), she will adapt to that areas culturally acceptable attire. Generally, she will need to cover every part of skin other than hands and face, plus a head covering. This will be a BIG change for my girl!

Here is a first peek of her future fashion!

October 16, 2009

Overdue Buddy Walk

Let's see...I guess I'm only 6 days late, but it feels like a couple of weeks! Last Saturday was our Richmond Buddy Walk. We had it at the Richmond International Raceway. We had all our activities in the infield. (Is that what it's called? You'd think after living in Charlotte, NC for 15 years I'd know a little something about NASCAR, but I don't.) Then, we walked on the actual racetrack! It was pretty cool on the banked curves--we had Hannah in the stroller and had her zipping all around like she was Lightning McQueen (but we call her Lightning McNan).

Chris and I worked in the registration tent, which was fun. We did get to sneak out to watch Hannah's dance team perform. They did great, even though it was sprinkling a little bit. Fortunately it never did pour, though it threatened.

James, Kate and Hannah had fun watching other performers and checking out the firetrucks. I wasn't thinking at all, or I would have gotten tickets to take a ride in the pace car around the track. Hannah would have loved it. Maybe next year!

October 14, 2009

Weird Wednesday

I do actually like the idea of Wordless Wednesdays, it's a nice easy method to get a blog post up. But I know that I could never make myself follow the rules. So I'm making up my own version.

We'll see if I can even follow my own rules (which are, do whatever I want, hopefully odd, with little text, on some, or most, Wednesdays). I bet I can do that, ya think? I guess it will be the same stuff as usually, but without me blabbing on (but definitely including parenthetical clauses).

October 12, 2009

Singing Glasses

We had a wonderful weekend! The Buddy Walk was good fun, the kids all watched Hotel for Dogs (Hannah's choice), Kate had her last day of work at Starbucks (and Hannah got to go in and pretend to be an employee!), plus, we had Thanksgiving!!

We always take a break between dinner and dessert...so last night Hannah got into her fancy American Girl nightgown before we sat down for pumpkin pie. As usual, the mischief began...noisy noisy singing glasses!

When I was about 8 years old, our family never went out to restaurants. To celebrate my mom's first paycheck from her new job, they took us out to a very fancy restaurant. My Dad took that opportunity to teach the three children how to test for good crystal. It's a nice little parlor trick, but it's probably not so welcome at a snooty restaurant! Make sure you hold the base of the stemware with one hand, while you steadily run your wet finger along the rim of the glass.

Hannah mastered it a few years ago, and every formal dinner she starts the fun:

p.s. My counter will soon hit 10,000! Take a peek and leave me a message if you happen to be the special visitor who hits 10,000!
Addendum: That didn't take very long! Someone from Marina, CA (a new reader, I think) was #10,000 last night at 2:11 a.m. Eastern Time.

October 9, 2009

All together now...

Chris is home on fall break! Hannah has been bugging him solidly for the past 3 hours--she's so excited he's here! We are too! He has Monday and Tuesday off from classes. Hopefully Nan will slow down a bit and give him some time to rest.

The three kids were having crazy fun this evening--teaching Hannah what to say when anyone asks a question: If this is a consular ship, then where is the Ambassador?
Q: "Hannah, would you like more fruit salad?"
A: "If this is a consular ship...."

It's a multi-purpose answer. But only funny if you're a Star Wars fan.

More craziness: Yesterday was Dog Day. Clipping and bathing. It takes a few hours to groom them. Bunsen detests his bath. But when he is set free he is very excited. All I have to do is say, "crazy" and see what he does?

Tomorrow is our Buddy Walk! I am woefully behind. I made Hannah's fundraising page, but I never sent it out to anyone, so she has officially raised $0.00. I feel guilty enough that I'll probably hit up friends and relations soon after the Walk is over. Chris and I are volunteering, Hannah is performing with Miracles in Motion, and Kate and James are supervising Hannah. I am hoping that this year I'll actually be able to walk! It's been years since I've walked--I'm always on a committee or being a gopher. We're doing registration this year, so maybe we'll get to sneak out for the walk.

Sunday we're having Thanksgiving. This is the last time we'll all be together for a couple of years, since Kate is leaving on October 22nd. She hasn't been home for Thanksgiving in 4 or 5 years. She is our chief stuffing maker and she's looking forward to getting her hands on the dry bread and sage! She's really good at making stuffing. No oysters allowed, thank goodness!

After feasting, we'll put the kids to work on the mountain of mulch that was just delivered--sounds like a good way to build up an appetite for pumpkin pie, don't you think?

October 6, 2009

Attn: Northern Virginia Bloggers/Readers!

I know there are several of you who are in the Northern VA/DC area. I wanted to let you know that I'm going to be doing a literacy presentation in Alexandria on November 14th. It is sponsored by the DSANV. I don't yet know if I'm scheduled for the morning or afternoon, but I'm planning on coming to town on Friday, and might even stay Saturday night as well, to catch up with old friends.
I thought it would be fun to see you in person at the presentation, or perhaps even for dinner on Friday or Saturday night. Please email me if you're interested in getting together!


October 4, 2009


The little girls are happily back home. Can you believe that I never heard a whine or a wimper from either of them? I must be getting too nice! We survived (and enjoyed) the visit, and more importantly, so did Carley and Macey!

This morning Hannah was ready for some "alone time". I knew as soon as she came out of her room this morning, bedhead and pseudo-ready for soccer (scheduled for 4 p.m.), that she was interested in getting out of this house with little kids. She's got nothing on under that jacket. And no socks on--just shin guards. And Buzz Lightyear in that blankie. And a full backpack--dunno what's in it. (it's not quite as crazy as she was on this morning)

When told that it wasn't time for soccer yet, she said she'd go outside and play. Which she did, alone, for nearly 3 hours, without any breakfast. Then happily entertained our two guests with bubbles and silliness until nap time.

Now, back to your regularly schedule Hannigans:

The Bird had her physical last week. We're sort of off schedule, hitting the physicals on the half-year, but at least it makes for an easier birthday!

Our beloved Dr. M. was magical again. She is so encouraging, interested and thoughtful. Thoughtful is the best part. I don't mean that she is "kind" and "thinking about us", which she certainly is, but, she is often full of thought. She thinks things through. She measures her words. She is careful about what she says.

We talked together (all three of us) about what changes Hannah might experience this year (still waiting on the big adolescent milestone for girls). How she is doing with her academics and other endeavors.

Dr. M: How is the CPAP going Hannah?"

H: "It's great! I like it!"

I guess I have an odd kid.

Hannah has always been unusually tall for a child with Down syndrome. She is officially 5' 1.5" tall. That puts her in the 90th percentile for height on the typical chart. She weighs 97 lbs, which is the 50th percentile. We think she'll probably grow at least another 3 inches, so she'll be about as tall as I am!

Hannah was due for the DTaP booster. I always get surprised at this one--there aren't too many vaccines during middle childhood, so this one sneaks up on me. I am not a fan of vaccines, but I've sort of decided that it's one of the battles that I'm not going to wage. I will spread them out as far as possible. When she was little I had them separate the DTaP. Now that she's older, and healthier, I'm okay with giving her this one combined shot.

We had a discussion about flu shots. I am still on the fence about this. We have never done flu shots because my mother had Guillain-Barre, which has been linked to flu and flu shots (particularly the swine flu of 1976, which apparently has a historical link to H1N1). But, I have to weigh this carefully. Hannah doesn't really have any "underlying condition". She did have a heart issue, and she still has slight mitral valve regurgitation. But, she is healthy enough to get over colds without getting a secondary infection like she ALWAYS did when she was younger. She hasn't had pneumonia in years. Which brings me to the Pneumovax vaccine that Dr. M. would like Hannah to have. I have to mull this stuff over. I haven't done any "optional" shots with any of my kids...should I start now? Are the risks any greater? I know if I dip my toes in too deeply I will drown in the onslaught of the anti-vaccination movement. I need to be "informed", but I don't want to have to know this stuff inside and out--which I'd have to in order to form a true opinion. I don't have time, nor enough interest. I know that sounds bad, but there is only so much time to get things done. I admire people who have a passion for or against vaccines. My passions just don't lie in that direction. So, for all these years, my blanket policy of "only what's required" has been my line in the sand. And now, whether because of propaganda, or real threat, I am questioning myself. I also have the valued input of Hannah's trusted doctor who is recommending these vaccines. What to do, what to do? How alternative am I? What are the true risks?

It was hard to think all of this through while Hannah was bouncing around the exam room in her examination shorts! Just look at these disposable bloomers they gave her! They are huge!

I think I could have fit in them!

Hannah was not so thrilled with the idea of getting a shot. She got herself all worried for the 45 seconds leading up to the shot: I don't want this Mom. It's going to hurt. I don't want it.

So I told her like it is: Yes, it's going to hurt, but just a little bit, and then it will be over. Hey look! She's getting the alcohol wipe ready to clean off your skin! (This actually is a distraction to her since she is interested in medical stuff.)

The nurse gave permission to tell her how much she didn't like it as loud as she wanted to when she gave the shot, but she couldn't wiggle. So Hannah sat there and said, "oh." and then, "Hey! Not so bad!"

I'm thinking that I'm pretty overdue for a tetanus booster myself. The last one I remember was when I was 12 years old...I probably had one when I was in college. So I'm less than 3 decades late. I'll try to get it when I schedule my mammogram...

Anybody else put themselves last? Don't answer that. I think we all do.

October 3, 2009

Guests of honor!

We've got two extra special visitors staying with us until Sunday afternoon.

Carley and Macey! They are staying here while their parents are visiting big sister, Rachel, at college. We're more than halfway done with our weekend, and while it's been exhausting for some of us (grown ups? yes.), it has been tons of fun!

We met up with the girls on Friday while Hannah was having her horse grooming/care lesson.

Yes, that is glittery horse nail/hoof polish. I guess that's a kind of "grooming".

I heard that Macey didn't like being on horses, so I wasn't sure how she'd react.
(Wendy, I think she's over that.)

I have to share this one, because it shows how beautiful Macey is.

Carley had a turn too, but she didn't stay on for long, even with Hannah's encouragement. You can see that Carley will be expecting a visit from the tooth fairy pretty soon!

We adventured out to dinner. I had forgotten how much little ones enjoy trying out the "facilities". Fortunately, Hannah doesn't need assistance. Depending on the location, and how crowded it is, I let Hannah go to the restroom unattended. I usually have to remind her to keep quiet, since she's apt to start up a conversation with her stall-mate, or sing a little made up song to herself. Out loud. Very out loud sometimes.

But, I digress. We had a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant, and came home in time for baths and bed. I put Carley in with Hannah, and Macey got to sleep in Chris' room. Macey sometimes still rocks during the night, which was her self-soothing behavior when she was in the orphanage. I didn't hear her rock last night, but she did decide to get up a few times to check on the other girls. I guess she was ready to play! Fortunately, everyone went back to sleep without much trouble. Tonight we are using a baby gate at her bedroom door. Even if she breaks it down, at least I'll wake up from the noise!

Hannah is completely better from her cold, but I am still coughing a good deal, and I have a "Demi Moore" voice (according to one pal of mine), slightly scratchy and husky. I think my voice is more on the froggy side of things, but I'll take a Demi comparison any time! The good news is that I'm feeling pretty much okay. Just tired. Thanks for all your well wishes!

Today we went to Hannah's baseball game. The little girls were just perfect! They cheered on everyone, and kept their eyes on Hannah's progress around the bases.

How lucky am I? Both of the girls still take naps in the afternoon! I would have insisted on a "quiet time" if they didn't fall asleep, but they were as good as gold. We played outside until dinner, enjoying the grand weather we've been having.

All girls were polished to a shine in the tub, and now, I've plunked them into their beds. Yay! Isn't that the best feeling? I had sort of forgotten the joy of bedtime! Now I'm off to catch up on Queen Noor's book (reading about Jordan...Kate's departure less than 3 weeks away! Yikes!).

Next up: Hannah's physical. No bad news!