Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, to my love.

On a journey with Daddy
Originally uploaded by MrsBinParis
He's 36 today, and I can't think of anyone who could even come close to everything he gives to me.

I love you, honey. Happy Birthday.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I'll never get tired of this face.

Swinging!, originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dance Party: Yippee!!!

Our Hips Don't Lie from Ronica on Vimeo.

Please ignore the tall, bloated dork who appears occasionally in the frame, and focus on the cute kid with the smokin' moves. My favorite part is after I spin her around, when she nearly falls over but keeps on groovin'.

My daughter is so awesome.

PS: Lucy? Not much of a dancer.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Recession Stick

They say it affects everyone. They're not kidding.

Yep, here we go. His summer funding? Lots of "Oh, we'd like to..." and "We'll keep you in mind" but no actual dollars. Which means? Our paychecks this year go down about 20%.

Twenty percent.

That's a big freakin' chunk.

It's a hit we can't afford. And of course, we found out just after our trip to France, in which we spent more than we planned, though we were able to go on the cheap due to the generosity of our dear friends and his paid tickets via his class at the University.

Now, we're caught, like many Americans, between a rock and a really, really hard place.

I hate this place.

When you're already buying generic, how do you cut down?

Right now, we're working on some solutions. Some freelance, doing the best we can, shh don't tell anyone, cash and thank you very much solutions. I could go back to teaching, but that would require a bunch of tests and license fees I can't swing right now, and finding daycare for Rowan and all sorts of other stuff, and I just, well, I'm just not ready yet. I'm a glutton for my little girl. She is my Kryptonite.

So anyway.

There will be stuff happening that I can't talk about on here, things I can't share, and it's not because I don't love you, my faithful readers. I do, I really do.

I'm just trying really, really hard to keep 4 heads above water.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Rowan, color

Rowan is a surprisingly strong little girl. She always has been. I felt my first kick at 14 weeks of pregnancy, and it was nothing like those flutters they tell you about--it hurt! Physically, she's got a lot more stamina than most of her friends, so I'm able to push her in ways you might not expect of a 2-year old.

The other night, her dad was not coming home for dinner, so we were on our own. She took an extra long nap and woke after 5 PM, and I wanted to help tire her out so I could get her to bed at the right time. We went to take Lucy on our usual walk, but this time I offered to let her walk the whole way instead of riding in the stroller for 3/4 of the walk.

Our walk is 1.4 miles. She's done a mile before without a problem, so I decided to give it a try.

I leashed Lucy, and then grabbed Rowan's Elmo walking harness handle thing.

Yeah, I leashed her. I LEASH MY CHILD. Cruel, whatever. We live on a 35 mph road, and at 5 PM I am not taking any chances.

So we took off walking, and she was doing great. Down the hill we went, the two of them criss-crossing in front and behind me. Lucy would stop to smell a tree or clump of grass, and Rowan would do the same. We walked past the park, up the hill, and around the corner. We met neighborhood dogs and talked to people we see on our daily walks. Rowan was doing fine--she was going strong! This was wonderful. No problem! I envisioned days without wrangling with the second-hand Peg stroller, without the "Rowan walk? Rowan walk?" arguments, free as a breeze as we walked together as a family.

As we were heading back up the hill, Rowan started to get a little fussy. I gave her a lift on my back for a few blocks, and she giggled and held on tight as Mom took on the steepest part of the hike. As we reached the corner where I normally allow her out of the stroller, she begged to walk again. Lucy took this chance to finally do her business, and I dutifully bagged and sealed it as we headed home. It was supper time, we were hungry, hot and sweaty and both in need of a cool drink.

Just then, Rowan tripped.

And then it started. The lip squared, the jaw jutted forward, the waterworks commenced. And then she wailed as her knee developed a dime-sized pink scrape.

My only thought? DISTRACT HER. Distract the kid. Give her something so she stops. STOPS. Anything! QUICK!!!

"Here, Honey! Can you carry this for Mommy?"

And I found myself handing her the only thing I had.

The bag of poop.

Yes, I leash my precious child and make her carry sacks of dog shit.

Someone call Child Protective Services.


Monday, June 08, 2009


*Note: more info and photos re: our France trip soon, but I had to post this before I forget it.

Rowan's language is developing rapidly. She knows when to say please, thank you, Bon App├ętit, Cheers, and many other niceties (though "excuse me" is always followed and preceded by lots and lots of giggling and usually some attempt at reproducing whichever sound she just needed to ask to be excused for.) She asks questions, some two or three words, and tells us all about things she's done or things she's seen. Every night, there's a play-by-play of the day, and during prayers she thanks God for things that are important to her, like Lucy's haircut which currently appears to be the most wonderful thing she must give thanks for.

The one thing she can't say is, "I don't know." For that, she developed her own word, "Rowrie." (Rhymes with "Cow Pee.") No clue where that one came from.

We look through a book, identifying objects on the page, in English or in French. When one comes that she doesn't know or has forgotten: "Rowrie?"

I ask her the color of objects in a room. She gets to the undefinable puce, beige or olive, and... "Rowrie?"

Planning for her second birthday dinner tomorrow, I ask her what she'd like to have. "Rowrie?" (Eventually it came out that she wanted sandwiches. Fish ones, but we had fish tonight, so we settled on chicken.)

Before bed, we started cleaning up her play area, our living room. She had taken every single book out of the basket, so as we put them back in, I encouraged her to count. She made it up through ten with no problem. Then came eleven and twelve, which needed a little help to come out correctly. She took the book from my hand, plopped it in the basket, and said just after I did, "Thirteen!"

I handed her one more book. She put it in the basket. I said, "which one is that, Honey?"

She looked at me and smiled.

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