Growing Out On A Limb

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A walk and the water

The Shikatehawk trail is our favorite.  We only go in as far as the deep hole but it is the perfect distance for both boys to walk (Emery too) and the deep hole offers the perfect pause between the walk in and the walk out – the boys love throwing sticks and rocks in the water and running up and down the hill.

Just the boys and I took the walk on this beautiful sunny day, about a month ago.  The camera battery died before I took many pictures but I did manage to walk out with some fiddleheads so it was still a win.

Emery is slower but Oliver is (usually) pretty good about not running too far ahead.  It’s fairly easy to occupy him with talk about what’s around us… trees, moss, leaves, etc.

Love this shot.



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Ultimate Potato Salad

I told Brian that I hope he likes this recipe because this is it… my potato salad recipe for the next 20 years.

I still love the classic potato salad that came with every pot luck I ever attended growing up (and there were many) – it is comfort food.  But this is a tangy, chunky take on that that definitely takes it up a notch.

I rarely have scallions but throw in fresh or frozen chives instead.  I often use dried herbs instead of fresh and bottled lemon juice instead of fresh… it just depends on what I have on hand.  I also changed the recipe slightly to include more potatoes (because it is really creamy) and more eggs (because they’re protein and I like them!).  It’s a pretty forgiving recipe.

Original recipe is here, from Tyler Florence.


2-2.5 pounds potatoes

3 or 4 large eggs


1/2 bunch scallions, white and green parts, sliced

2 Tbsp capers

2 cups mayo (I definitely recommend the Real mayo)

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup dill pickles, finely chopped

1/4 cup dill pickle juice

1/2 small red onion, chopped

2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 bunch dill, chopped

1/2 lemon, juiced

Freshly ground black pepper


Peel and boil the potatoes.  When cool, cut into rough chunks.

Hard boil the eggs.

Stir together the mayo, mustard, pickles, pickle juice, onion, scallions, capers, parsley, and lemon juice in a large bowl.  Peel the eggs, grate or chop, and add to the bowl.  Add the potatoes and toss to coat with the dressing.

Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with olive oil before serving (ok, I rarely remember to do this but I’ll note it here so I might remember one of these days!).


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Oliver has taken to puzzles lately.

He’s always enjoyed doing them with someone but a couple of weeks ago we put him in front of a Thomas puzzle and, much to my surprise, he finished it all by himself!  And he is so proud.  Lately it is the most frequent “quiet” activity he asks to do and he will cycle through our set of three Thomas puzzles a couple of times before he gets tired of it (and is off once again to rip the house apart).

It is so hard to sit back and not guide him or correct him or offer suggestions.  That is the instinct of a mother after all – to guide and steer and help – but it is important to just stand back and watch now and then.  Let them work things out themselves.

He was just so sweet doing his puzzles today, in that light and with that focus.

And then he started with the faces.  He knew the camera was there but he acted like he didn’t at first.

And then he started hamming it up, asking to see the camera after every shot.

This is the sad face and what a terribly sad face it is.  Yeah, it’s hard to say no to that one.  

And then a serious face, just to round it out.  

And then there’s Emery, always right behind big brother.  He will sit at the table “putting together” puzzles as long as Oliver does.

Are you kidding me with that cuteness?  (Despite the fresh forehead road rash from the park this morning)

Looks like he’s giving me the business here.  About what, I can’t remember.

Emery is just past 18 months now and, since putting him in the 18-24 month clothes, he looks less like a baby and more like a little boy each day. I remember that switch with Oliver at right around this age too.  Of course Oliver insists that Emery is still a baby because being a ‘boy’ would mean he’s like him and as big as him.  And that is in spite of Emery doing everything possible to keep up with Oliver.

I love to see my boys grow and learn new things but every now and then I wish we could hit the pause button and keep them here – at this age, in this moment, in this humor – for just a bit longer.

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Victoria Day Weekend… out and about

On Monday we visited our friends Robyn, Dawson, and Isabelle.

Oliver and Dawson have a funny relationship.  They talk about each other quite often and they like a lot of the same things (Thomas, cars, trucks trains, etc) but when they get together to play their similarities often clash because they are so much alike.  We, the mommies, very often have to diffuse situations that come up between them.  But hey, sharing and taking turns are hard thing for a toddler to grasp, especially when someone is coming to play with your toys.  And they do show affection toward each other a lot of the time.  I have no doubt they will grow up to be good friends.

Emery likes to get right in there with them.  No fear.

Sweet little Isabelle was stubborn about taking a nap – must have been all that boy energy – but you wouldn’t know it by this picture.

Emery likes to pick dandelions.  He gives them to me but mostly takes them back.

Later on Monday we took the kayaks out.  Last year we had Oliver in the boats but he wasn’t very interested in sitting still.  He still got antsy this year but after paddling for 45 minutes or so… win!  And it wasn’t a huge battle to get his life jacket on … double win!

We gave him a pair of binoculars to look for birds, which kept him occupied.  It probably also helped that he sat facing daddy so they could talk about what they were seeing.  I think we’re going to look for a little paddle so he can help out.

Emery sat in with me.  We probably could have paddled around for hours, he was so relaxed.

Then we splashed around the shore.  Throwing sticks, rocks, that sort of thing.  It’s not the cleanest water but it kept us cool.  

A sweet picture of brothers.  Little boy butts have never been so cute.

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Victoria Day Weekend… at the blue house

What a beautiful weekend we had.

The weather couldn’t have been better.   We kept busy enough to avoid having antsy kids to contend with but not so busy that we were pulling our hair out.  We had lots of family time, friend time, outside time, and plenty of firsts.  It was one of those weekends that you wish could go on and on (because, let’s face it, sometimes I am begging Monday to get here) and one of those weekends that makes you smile all day when you are back at work.

Oliver is such a creature of habit and not at all a fan of change.  When it came time to put his shorts and sandals on he balked and it took quite a bit of convincing for him to switch up his pants and sneakers.  He finally gave in and we won’t have that trouble again now that he’s worn them once, but what a struggle to convince him!

On Sunday we went to nana and papa’s ‘blue house’… the camp… for a BBQ and an afternoon of playing outside.  We had a nice walk with grammie down a lovely country road…

Emery loves to walk with us.  It surprises me how long he can go on his own.

This picture cracks me up – Oliver said, “Take my picture, Daddy!” and then he jumped as high as he could.

Let’s stop for a hug (whether Emery wants it or not)!

A boy and his truck.

Oliver even tried fishing!  The fish weren’t biting very well but he seemed really interested to hang onto the pole and wait.

Then Daddy caught one.  The boys were so curious!  Oliver thought it was great until it wiggled on the line.  Emery leaned in really close for a good look and even reached out to touch it.  He has no fear.

Oliver and I played by the water for a long time, sending grass and leaf “boats” down the stream.  I love this picture with grammie fishing in the background – Three generations that love the outdoors.

Nana played in the water with Emery for a while.

I think this picture oozes curiosity.

I swear this kid would never tire of playing outside.  He is constantly at us to go out, even when we just came in five minutes ago.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In fact, we spent most of our weekend outdoors.  More pictures to come!

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Catching Up


It has taken over for the last three weeks.  Nights to midnight, days so busy I was vibrating with adrenalin.  I haven’t hit the gym in two weeks, my whole craft room is covered in dust, and laundry is being folded three loads at a time and only when it gets to the point of necessity.  There have been too many thrown-together suppers and not enough play time with my boys. 

But I tell myself that is IT support, it’s temporary, and that I am working for my family.  Day by day. 

I’ve missed my blog too but I’m back and am going to take the next few posts to dump the last month or so of pics from our camera. 

A few weeks ago I got the paints out for Oliver.  At this point it’s harder to keep Emery out of Oliver’s way so I suited him up and let him go at it too.  He loved it. 

Oliver always loves to paint.  It’s neat to watch how he approaches it a bit differently each time. 

Ahh… the sign of a successful painting adventure! 

Pretty sure that’s the face of a painting fan!