Monday, October 16, 2017

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

I was given the opportunity to show my children that even people you know don't always do the right thing.  It sucks.

On Friday afternoon I arrived school to start setting up for Scare Fair.

2:07 I texted Greg a photo of a bike that was in the used sports good sale asking if we should get the bike for Wren.

2:15 I spoke with the Dad in charge of the bike sale and said I was interested in a bike.  He said great.

3:00 In anticipation of Greg's response, I wrote "SOLD BADEN" on the tag hanging from the handle bars.

3:10 Wren came over excited that she saw the SOLD sign on the bike.

3:59 Greg replied OK.

4:00 The kids and I had to go to Wren's taekwondo belt test.  I did NOT take the bike with me.  I figured that I had written my name and SOLD on the tag.  I just didn't think about it.

Saturday morning at 9:15 I arrived at school to do the heavy set up for Devilish Delights.  I walked through the sports good sale with my arms full of bake sale items and noticed the bike was missing.

I spoke with the Dad who looked a bit mortified and said he may have sold the bike to another mom.

We figured out who it was sold to and I went to talk to her.

I calmly explained that I had written our name and sold on the tag.  She looked me straight in the eye and first claimed that she actually bought a different bike.  She didn't.  Then she said that it didn't say my name on it.  It did.  Then she said that she'd already brought it home with her (totally my fault for not taking it at 4pm) and that it was hers?

Now I have to explain to Wren that her friend's mom took the bike I bought for her home and that she's not giving it back.  That sometimes, people don't do the right thing.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Apple Picking For The Win

On a whim, after seeing some photos from friends - I decided to take the kids apple picking.  I mean, who doesn't need 15 pounds of apples?  There are so many amazing farms within 30-45 minutes of our house, it seemed silly not to go.

The plan had us headed to Harvest Moon Orchard.  I knew the traffic would be a bit crazy, so we took the prior exit and used Waze to wiggle over.  And well, after following a line of cars, we ended up at Outhouse Orchard!  Eh - that worked out well too.

The map of the day said that we'd be picking Macintosh and Idared varieties.

The kids were smarter than me and both wore baseball caps for the day!  

He dropped the one he had been eating!

The highlight of the afternoon was using the 10 foot long apple picking stick!

Hayride?  Sure!  We were able to see more of the orchards this way.

Singing cowboy, Orville Davis was along for the hayrides.

I just did a quick google on Mr. Davis and it seems he's done a right plenty in his time here on earth.  Here's an article on him in the New York Times.

Now it's Monday morning and I'm staring at a huge bag of apples.  The kids each took an apple in for snack today and they each brought one for their teachers as well.  I've also spent about an hour peeling apples and tossed them into the crockpot with some sugar and cinnamon to simmer for the day.  Hopefully we'll all be having applesauce for dessert.  Tomorrow, I'll branch into apple cakes and apple muffins...


What a way to wake up.  The news pouring forth over the news is horrendous and terrifying.  I find it even more upsetting as our family just attended Yom Kippur services the day prior.  My kids and I have spent the past 10 days since Rosh Hashanah talking about being a good person and what that means, how to be a better sibling, how to be a better friend, how to be a better person in society.

When will the majority of this country start talking about mental heath and gun control instead of what they perceive as an insult to the flag?  I just can't imagine the horror of being at the concert last night.

Do something good today.  Prove that there are good people out there.  Smile at a stranger.  Hold the door for someone.  Something.  Anything.

Saturday, September 30, 2017


We have a new rescue.  His name is Jango.  He's orange and fluffy and looks like a little lion.  And he purrs like no one's business!

Little Jango had quite the adventure getting to the Baden house.  He was found outside of MacKenzie and Casey's house in Oklahoma!  Then there was a quick jaunt down to Texas.  Then a few hour flight up to LGA.  Whew.  And now he's settling into life indoors.  I think he likes it.  :)

Welcome home Jango.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Tzedakah starts at home

The past few weeks have given us plenty of opportunity to talk to our children about giving back and helping others.

I wish we could help everyone, but I'm happy knowing that we're trying.

Atticus and Wren planned on having a lemonade stand to raise money to go to Rye Playland which is a small local amusement park.  Then came the hurricanes.  Hurricane Harvey hit several of our friends hard.  Several had damage.  One college friend lost her home.  My cousin works with two nurses who lost everything.  The kids and I talked and we decided that any money raised at our lemonade and bake sale would go instead towards gift cards to help our friends rebuild.  In exchange, Greg and I promised to take the kids to Playland without them having to spend their own money.  (Little did we know the theme park was already closed for the season!  That part stinks as it still feels like summer outside and we totally could have gone for a day of fun.)


Other friends also decided to hold a lemonade stand.  Then, a local benefactor sent us an additional $100!  We were able to send a grand total of $400 in gift cards to our friends.  

Super proud of of all the local kids who are helping do good things!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Moving at the speed of light

Well, it seems that the owners have accepted our offer.  Next up - finding a home inspector.

I'm a little nervous that we were only in this house for a grand total of 15-20 minutes before making an offer, but at the same time -- it was definitely one of the best ones we viewed.

I'm already making plans and updating a few things in my mind.  Things like relocating the office and the guest bedroom.  Adding a shower to the half bath that's on the main level so that we can have a main floor guest room.  Adding a half bath to the lower level so the kids aren't having to traipse upstairs every time they need the loo... Yes, I do want to redo the kitchen layout - but for now, I'll work with what's there and see how it goes.

The other big decisions require a floor plan, graph paper and some creativity.  What goes in the great room?  What should be in the formal living space?  We don't need a formal living space?  Is there enough room for a library instead?  Do the funky columns in between the dining room and the formal living room neeeeeeed to be there?

There's a lot going on to say the least.  It's going to be a busy end to 2017!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

On the Move, Again...

I know.  You're shocked.  Surprised.  How can it be you think?

Greg has accepted a job as the General Counsel for a small(ish) software firm in Andover, MA.  Since we're leaving firm life, we've got fingers crossed that moving in house will bring a bit more stability to our day to day lives.  A little more family dinners and a whole lot less weekend stress.  That's the game plan.


Never thought my kids would grow up in Boston, but then again - why not Boston?  I am definitely drawn to college towns and relatively large cities.  If it's by a body of water, even better.  The  Boston area definitely checks all the marks.  Oh, and there's the added bonus of some pretty cool US history too.

Now, it's as much a mental leap as it is a physical one.  Sure, there's the usual drama of packing, unpacking, trying to rearrange furniture that was bought in one location into another... but it's the mental game that has me up thinking these days.  Will I find friends?  Andover is much more rural than I'm used to.  I mean currently, I can walk to a plethora of coffee shops, pizza, bookstores, the train.... How am I going to cope when I put the kids on a school bus and then that's it?  No walking the kids to school.  No bumping into other moms outside the flagpole on a daily basis.  Eeeek.  I guess we'll take it day by day and just keep swimming!