Dogs can't blog.

November 2, 2013

[scene missing]

Filed under: Uncategorized — bmc @ 9:44 pm

Not even going to bother trying to explain everything that’s happened in the last six months. We moved back to Ithaca (well, it’s ‘back’ for Crystal and me – the girls never lived here before). I have a new job which I like very much. Everybody is six months older than they were, which is fortunately a lot more apparent in the girls. If you want to know what things are like around here lately, this video might help.

(There’s supposed to be a video up there. I sort of trust this Google Drive embedding thing to work, and I sort of don’t. So, did it work?)

March 10, 2013

Hannah’s first birthday

Filed under: Uncategorized — bmc @ 10:36 pm

Look who’s a whole year old:

Birthday girl

Hannah’s one now, which is sort of hard to believe. She’s been walking for more than two months! She eats pretty much anything we put in front of her! How could she only be twelve months old? But it’s true.

We celebrated on February 28th, which seems like the nicest way to do it. Abby worked hard on Hannah’s special birthday dinner:

Making challah

Abby was also interested in helping with Hannah’s presents. Hannah herself was maybe more interested in using them to gain as much elevation as possible (a constant hazard – she can climb anything).


But once she tore her attention away from the wrapping paper, she really liked getting presents.

New doll

Then we all had cake.

Birthday cake

January 23, 2013

Lindsey (the dog)

Filed under: Uncategorized — bmc @ 8:35 pm

We said goodbye to Lindsey (the dog) today. Here’s an old picture of her, looking young:


In 1999, we got a dog. I say that, but getting a dog was the last of a long line of changes that happened in 1999. We graduated from college. We moved to Ithaca. We got real jobs. We got married. And then we got a dog, and we named him Jake, and we all lived in our tiny little apartment on Farm Street.

A year later, we moved to a real house with a real yard. Almost right after that, our new neighbors had a yard sale, and one of the things in their yard was a box full of puppies. We looked at those puppies, and we went home and agonized about it for a while, but finally we decided that it was time to get Jake a puppy. But when we went back to the neighbors’, all the puppies were gone.

We were decided, though, and so we went to the shelter that same day. They had exactly one puppy there, living in a horse trough full of straw, and she looked just like Jake. So we brought her home, and we named her Lindsey.

Lindsey was with us through six addresses in four states. We lost Jake in December 2008, when we still lived in Madison. But Lindsey was there for the birth of both of our children. She was there in our tiny terrible apartment in Durham, and our medium-sized sort-of-OK rental house in Ann Arbor, and our wonderful new house.

She’s been sick ever since we moved to Michigan, and we’ve sort of been trying to prepare for this for more than a year. It was still hard when the time came to say goodbye, though. And now we don’t have a dog anymore.

December 16, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — bmc @ 9:01 pm

A busy couple of months, and lots of changes. Hannah’s been gradually improving her mobility, and ordinarily I would have hoped to post lots of pictures and videos of her standing up, cruising around on the furniture, and climbing the stairs by herself. But let’s skip to the big finish, shall we?


All by herself. There’s no going back from this.

Here are a few more pictures we’ve taken in the last few weeks. Here’s Abby, riding a boat to somewhere interesting. Africa, possibly, or London. I can’t remember.

Abby in a boat

Here’s Hannah, camping out in the Lego bin.

Hannah in a lego bin

Here’s Hannah again, having just won a fight with a roving gang of blueberries.

Hannah ate blueberries

Abby looks happy about something.


Hannah’s started to pay a lot more attention to Lindsey, since she can now go visit her whenever she wants. Lindsey is tolerant.

Hannah and Lindsey

Abby plays baseball.

November 4, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — bmc @ 9:55 am

Halloween sillies

This year, Abby was a volcano, at her request. Crystal put lots of hours into sewing her a costume. Check out the lava spewing from her hat.

Abby's volcano costume

Volcano (back)

Hannah was a giraffe.

Hannah's giraffe costume

We decorated the house with the pumpkins that Abby carved. If you were wondering about the hammer in the previous post, we were using it to pound cookie cutters into the pumpkins.

Carved pumpkins

Abby also did some painting on pumpkins.

Painted pumpkin

Paper pumpkins

Our new neighborhood is great for trick-or-treating. We went almost all the way around the block with Abby’s friend Aidan from two doors down. Every night after dinner, Abby announces, “I think I have room for a bit of chocolate.”

October 28, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — bmc @ 9:24 pm

It’s definitely fall here.

Sisters in fall

We’re doing all the usual fall things. We went to a pumpkin patch, and picked out a pumpkin. (Actually, we picked out nine. Two for eating, four for carving, and three little ones for decoration.) Abby likes this one, even though it’s heavy.

Heavy pumpkin

We cut the top off and scooped out the guts.

Scoop the guts

Then we carved a face into it.

Cut the face

Then we brought out the hammer.


And the screwdriver.


I think our pumpkin decorating went a little bit off the rails there.

Hannah’s been getting more comfortable crawling around and pulling herself up.

Of course, this means that she can reach things we never really thought of, like the dinosaurs.


October 1, 2012

Time slip.

Filed under: Uncategorized — bmc @ 10:00 pm

I’m not even going to try to explain everything we’ve done in the last ten or twelve weeks.  We moved to the new house.  Abby started going to preschool.  I’ve traveled more for work this year than in my whole life to this point.  We took our first airplane trip as a family of four.

But let’s hit some highlights.  Abby’s now building her own marble runs.  I didn’t touch a single block in this setup:

Hannah threatened to learn to crawl.  Then she went ahead and did it.  Then she started pulling herself to a standing position.

She also learned to play the kazoo.

July 16, 2012

Two posts in July.

Filed under: Uncategorized — bmc @ 9:36 pm



I’ve resigned myself to the idea that monthly is a reasonable posting frequency when you have two kids. But that last post was just a quick one from the beach, and actually a lot of things have happened lately, so here’s a more thorough recounting.

We had some visitors at the end of June. First, Aunties Nerissa and Valory came out to see Abby and Hannah (and Crystal and me, I guess). They had lots of fun together. Abby and Valory built a zoo:

Valory and Abby building

Nerissa and Hannah laughed at the ceiling:

Nerissa and Hannah

Then, Cousin Beth came out, for essentially the same reason. They went to a farm without me (but not without Crystal):

Beth and the girls

Then, at the beginning of July, we bought a house. Now, we haven’t moved into that house yet, because it needs some work. We had a pretty good idea what we were getting into, but it’s still a little alarming. Here’s the kitchen:


Here’s the bathroom:


Here’s the scary part. The family room needed a lot more work than we thought it was going to. We didn’t think there was anything more than some compromised wood paneling in the walls, but actually the sheathing and some of the studs were bad, too, and they had to pull the siding off to get to it. So here’s the family room:

Family room

We plan to move in at the end of August.

We did just have a wonderful vacation, though. We went up to Northern Michigan, which is beautiful and glorious. First, we camped for a couple of nights at Sand Lake, in the Manistee National Forest. The lake is little, but so is the campground, and it was definitely warm enough for swimming.

Hannah had all the comforts of home:

Hannah camping

Abby had Kai:

Abby and Kai camping

We got rained on a little bit the second night, so we moved on to Sleeping Bear Dunes, which is on Lake Michigan. That’s where the spectacularly beautiful photo in the post below is from. We camped one night there, too.

Then it was on to Onekama, where we stayed with Durham friends Elizabeth and Andrew. Abby had a blast with Andrew, and also with the lake. She let me take her kayaking:


And then she swam around in her lifejacket for hours.

I cannot say enough nice things about Northern Michigan. It was beautiful, we had perfect weather, and you can’t drive a mile without the opportunity to buy delicious sweet cherries.

July 10, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — bmc @ 4:44 pm

Northern Michigan, I think I might love you a little bit.

Abby at Sleeping Bear

June 10, 2012

May is gone already?

Filed under: Uncategorized — bmc @ 8:43 pm

You might be surprised to hear that we hardly ever have time to sit down and post to the blog, especially during Euro 2012. But we have taken some pictures, at least.

First of all, Hannah is three months old. We took a picture:

Hannah, three months old

But the video is more typical of what she’s like these days:

Especially the part at the end, where she tried to leap off my knees and I almost drop the camera.

You may have detected a certain ambivalence in our posts over the last few months when it comes to our attitude about Ann Arbor. I think that the best way to say it is that I like Ann Arbor, but I don’t love it. Optimistically speaking, I don’t love it yet. But I’m pleased to have found one thing about it that is unambiguously awesome: the Water Hill Music Fest. It’s about as DIY as these things come, taking place entirely on front porches and having no commercial infrastructure whatsoever. I didn’t even see any of the bands selling CDs. I took a couple of videos, just to show what the turnout was like:

I also have to admit to a certain fondness for the Toledo Zoo, although it’s hard to give Ann Arbor too much credit for that. We went there on a hot weekend and saw the elephants. And lots of other animals. Here are the girls riding a lion while wearing sun hats.

Riding the lion

And, you know, we have fun when it’s hot out. Just last night I went down to the hardware store and bought Abby a sprinkler.

Reflections on our new home aside, we’re keeping busy. Abby is helpful (also note that Crystal can’t resist planting a garden):

Mowing the lawn

Hannah is adorable:



Abby is learning to take good pictures:

Abby took this

Great-Aunt Kathy sent Abby and Hannah beautiful new summer dresses:

Abby's new dress

Grandma Julie reads to her granddaughters:

Grandma Julie with granddaughters

The news here is mostly that we think we’ve found a new house, but we’re not 100% sure yet that the seller is going to fix all the things that we need him to fix. I’m busy and happy at work. Everybody’s busy and happy at home.

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