Category Archives: Clutter

Our little author/illustrator is busy at work.

It seems like our eldest child might have a better chance of publishing her work than her wannabe-a-writer mother. At least, given the shear amount of material she creates week to week.

Nora started making books this fall at her school in Pennsylvania. Things really kicked into gear, though, once we moved to Connecticut. To date, she’s made something like twenty-one books, only one of which is actually complete, mind you. Most consist of a title page and maybe two to three pages of drawing with text.

In the beginning, she required a lot of help with spelling. Recently, she’s been trying to manage on her own. I love discovering her latest creations and admiring all the effort she puts into her craft.


A season’t worth of books crafted from folded 8-and-1/2-by-11-inch paper and staples.


“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Ellie and the Doghouse” with strikingly similar characters and settings. Note the legless child on the left. Not sure what her deal is.


“Appleland,” the prequel to the lesser-known “Fairyland.” Incidentally, it should be known that there was no mention nor drawing of actual apples in the book “Appleland.”


This one is a little harder to interpret: “That next morning, Emily and her best (friend?) Lizzy went in the car. They went to…” Where did they go? Read on to find out!


“That night (she must’ve gotten help with those two words!) they went to Grandma and Pappy’s and Grandma’s and Grandpa’s…” “Hooo Choo.” Are they owls? On a train? I don’t know.


Love the imagination and detail here with the view of the back side of the people. Also love that the characters on the right page are sitting in pews at church!


“Where is My Halloween Basket?” Lately we’ve been making flip-books modeled after some of our lift-the-flap favorites. These are a total pain to make, because instead of just folding and stapling paper, I have to tape together every couple of pages and then cut out little squares behind which Nora draws hidden images. the end result is worth it though. And why in the HELL are that guy’s legs so damn long?!



“Is it under the bed?”


“No.” Haha!








Of course, never to be outdone, Frances has also mastered the art of book-making. Although she lacks the skills needed to write her stories, she’s never short on words to explain all of the images on her pages. According to her, the books above are about “Our Family,” “Farm Animals,” and “The Playground With Some Little Ducks Over There.”


Lastly, I just had to capture this birthday card while I was recording images of the books. It’s from Nora, given to me a couple of weeks ago. “Now you [are] 37, but soon you’re going to be 38.” Thanks for the notice, girlie. 

I like to think that I will keep some of these to show Nora when she’s a bit older. Not insta-throw them away like I do much of the art work that gets made around here. I’m trying to be better about photographing the pieces I like best. My plan is to preserve the images in some kind of keepsake book, so we don’t have to hang on to the actual physical clutter. But these books are pretty special. So, I’m thinking we’ll save a few for posterity. And, if not—if some get lost or accidentally thrown away in a fit of clutter-rage—at least we’ll have this post of evidence of the work that was done.





How many t-shirts should one man own? Really. Please tell me what’s reasonable.

My husband has seventy-two t-shirts. 72! (Yes, I counted). Granted, these include both long sleeve and short sleeve, as well as white undershirts. But still! He could wear a different t-shirt each day of the week for two-and-a-half months without having to do laundry. Ree-DIC-u-lous. Absolutely ridiculous. (Incidentally, when I point this kind of thing out to him, he always mentions how it’s kind of brilliant, given our tendency to fall behind with the laundry. What a wiseass.)

Now, I will be the first to admit that I love a good t-shirt. The super, super soft shirts. The ones you’ve had forever that are worn down just perfectly. The oversized ones that are great for sleeping in. The classic summer white tee. The tees that represent beloved sports teams or favorite vacation spots. I could go on, but I won’t. Because no one should own as many shirts as my hubs. As our four-year-old would say with a bunch of sass—seriously.

Here’s the thing. If we had a big house with a walk-in closet, or room in the bedroom for more than one DPP (dresser per person), I’d be OK with the outrageous number of shirts. But, as it is, we do not live in a mansion. We have a small house with two small closets and two small dressers which overflow way too easily.

Now, with the exception of the cloth diapers—Liam helps to wash these all the time, God love him—I do the laundry in the house. And, I fold and put away clothing too. Why is this significant?

Because when you try to stuff seventy-two clean t-shirts in drawers that are only meant to hold half that number, and you’re impatient like I am, you start to easily lose your shit when putting away the clean clothes. And then, you wind up doing wildly immature and nonsensical things when you, in fact, do lose your shit. Like throwing a stack of neatly folded tees into the deepest and darkest back corner of your husband’s closet, after you’ve asked him nicely, forty-six times, to please, for the love of all that’s holy, pare down the collection because it’s driving me INSANE. 

Every now and then he will start to look through the shirts in an attempt to get rid of a few, but he never does. The man doesn’t hang on to much, but he does love him some shirts.

Why does he feel the need to hang on to every running race shirt he’s ever received? I don’t know. Or all the sports ones, many of the same teams. Or the ones from all the pubs and taverns in every town he’s every lived and likely visited. If he’s so attached to the words on the shirts, surely some of the plain color tees could go out to the curb? Or bring us a buck or two in the upcoming yard sale? I mean, come on!

I’ll give him credit. A time or two he has removed some shirts and relocated them to a bin in the basement. His plan was to keep them on some kind of rotation. That never happened. 

I probably should just start sneaking some into the trash now and then when he isn’t looking. See if he misses them. I’ll only take from the way bottom of the drawer. Grab the ones that haven’t seen the light of day in a year or two. Because even in our darkest laundry moments, when I’ve neglected the growing mounds for well over a week—maybe two—the man still had two drawers nearly full of shirts. 

I mean, is this normal? Is this just a guy thing? If so, somebody please let me know, and I’ll try to be more tolerant. Or, find alternative spaces in our home in which to store the damn things. Or, alternative uses.

Off the top of my head, I’m thinking replacements for hand towels in the bathroom. Pillowcases maybe. Dish rags. Blankets for the girls’ baby dolls.

Guests in the home mention we are nearly out of toilet paper? Here, use this shirt. It’s OK. He’s got a duplicate. Yes, I know. Isn’t that silly, hanging on to two of the same shirt? Please, use it. Your ass will just love it. 

My plan to supplement my maternity leave income through the selling of the shit that we no longer want or need.

In about four more weeks our neighborhood will be having its annual yard sale. If you follow the blog, you may recall that four posts or so ago, I shared my thoughts and feelings about yard sales. Needless to say, they are not overwhelmingly positive. 

In the six summers we’ve lived here in this house, we’ve managed to be on vacation for five of the neighborhood yard sales. The one time we were around, we had guests visiting us, so, naturally, we declined to have a sale at our house.

I love recalling how leading up to that year’s sale, we had a very friendly woman come to our door a few days before the big weekend to ask us if we minded her setting up an egg roll stand in our yard. I politely told her I did mind, despite her offer to give us free egg rolls for hosting. Apparently, our yard had one of the only big shade trees in the neighborhood? I don’t know. I thought it was a bit strange, especially given that we were going to have company. “Oh welcome to our house. This is our crazy neighborhood yard sale, and our dear new friend selling egg rolls on our lawn. But don’t mind her. Let’s just hang out.”

A few women I work with are huge fans of yard-saling. When I mentioned the egg roll thing one day during lunch this fall, one colleague-friend said, “Oh yeah, I know her. She sets up shop at all the big sales. I have her phone number stored in my phone from last year. I used to text her to see where all the big sales were going to be. And, I would occasionally get in touch with her to request some egg rolls to be made for my family.” Seriously?! Egg roll lady on speed-dial?

So, apparently, this egg-rolling at yard sales is a thing.

We did end up heading out into the neighborhood streets that Saturday our guests were in town. And, we did end up seeing the egg roll lady on someone else’s lawn. I felt a little guilty about not being more hospitable to her. But then we bought some egg rolls from her to make up for being so unaccommodating. They were super delicious. If she comes around again asking in the next couple of weeks, I will gladly say yes this time to her setting up her biz on our lawn in exchange for some free rolls.

Anyway, I have been debating for months about whether or not to participate in this year’s sale. We aren’t going away anyplace (at least not as of yet). And, we aren’t expecting anyone either. And, we actually have a ton of stuff gathering cobwebs right now in our basement that we desperately need to get rid of. Our house is just too small to be stumbling over all this needless crap.

Generally, I’d say I lack the patience necessary to hang onto any of our unwanted things long enough to accumulate much for a good yard sale. I might consign some of it, or give some away to friends or others in need. 

More often than not, though, I typically bag up old clothes, household items, and toys that we no longer like or have use for, and call the local charity collectors. I schedule an appointment online for them to bring their trucks ’round to pick up our stuff at the curb in front of our house. How easy is that? For someone who hates clutter, and likes to think of giving to charity as a worthy service, I just can’t do much better than that.

I will say though, that with each curbside giveaway, I’ve thought to myself that we could probably make some money off of the selling of our throwaways. People more thrifty than me have probably done so with their unwanted belongings. 

In addition to yard sales, there’s also advertising on Craigslist as well as through Facebook groups. These two options are great if one takes the time to take photos of things and post them online. I’d just rather get the clutter the hell out of our house as fast as humanly possible. Thus, curbside giveaway it is.

But this year is a little different. We are living on limited income throughout the rest of my maternity leave and into the summer, until the middle of August, when my paycheck will resume again as usual. 

I’ve been trying to think creatively about ways I can make some additional money until then. But, I’ve come up with essentially nothing because these days my postpartum brain is incapable of doing much good thinking. It’s just keeping us all alive at this point.

And yet, it has contemplated participating in this year’s yard sale as a means to make a little spare change. I keep telling myself that if I can get an iced coffee stash going as a result of selling our cast-offs, or even pay for a week’s worth of groceries, it will all be worth it.

The questions that remain are: Will I be able to hang onto all those garbage bags full of our things for another four weeks or so? Or will I cave and call the charity collectors because the clutter has just become too overwhelming?

We shall see.

Magazines: The good, the bad and the ugly.

We are a magazine-loving family. We subscribe to several: Food and Wine, Golf, Martha Stewart Living (although I boycotted during the prison years on principle alone), Better Homes and Gardens, Parents. Even our oldest gets pumped when her monthly Highlights subscription arrives in the mail.

What is it about the glossy pages of magazines and catalogs—wait. Did I mention catalogs? No? Well, catalogs too. For the life of me I can’t recall ever signing up for one of these. However, they continue to arrive regularly, as a frequent reminder, that at some point in our lives we have bought something from their company, ever tempting us with material goodness, which we cannot responsibly afford. Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, Land’s End, L.L. Bean, Williams Sonoma, Patagonia. This time of year I especially love thumbing through Baker’s Creek Heirloom Seeds and Johnny’s seeds, as we anticipate spring gardening in the next month or so.

We love our magazines and catalogs because they inspire us. They help us to find ways to perfect our golf grip and swing. They include tips on how to perfectly frost a cake, and trim back roses, never mind that we’re never going to find the time to make that cake in the first place, or that we don’t even own a rose bush. They include lofty calendars with gentle reminders and suggestions about what we could be doing with our days—planting asparagus, going horseback riding on the beach, doing Pilates practice three times a week, dry cleaning and putting away sweaters for the season, knitting tea-towel dresses for the kids—as if!

Magazines provide images and descriptions of the remodeling process of a small kitchen like ours, and its transformation through the breaking down of walls and building of additions that end up housing a gorgeous granite island, and a complementary backsplash, along with a charming eating nook and of course, stainless steel appliances. This kind of browsing, while hopeful with potential, can be also especially depressing when we reflect on how we rent our small old house and can only imagine one day owning a space as described above. Because the chances of this actually happening—us being able to afford a house in the first place, never mind a fancy remodel, are about one in five billion. We can still dream, right? Magazines help make it so. And, well, there is the fact that we do participate in the annual HGTV Blog Cabin sweepstakes, so our odds of living in some kind of amazing space probably go up to like one in four-point-five billion, right?

For all of the reasons we love our magazines, there is but one reason to both hate and fear them. (Well, apart from the obvious consumerism and materialism, which surely we can and should live without. Our life is perfect and charming as it is and we don’t need anything on those glossy pages to make us happy). No. The reason I’m talking about is—you guessed it—and if you didn’t, shame on you. You should have. Clutter. With a capital C.

If left to their own devices magazines will cleverly stack themselves in both tidy and messy piles on various surfaces and containers in your home. They aren’t picky about where they congregate. They’ll cover up other, far more important mail. They’ll act as a coaster and host a glass or two or three. They’ll even lovingly provide a sturdy surface upon which your toddler or preschooler can work on a coloring page.

I suppose if you are a clutter-lover, or at least more tolerant than me when it comes to clutter, this kind of thing wouldn’t bother you so much. But, if you’ve any sense of the stress and displeasure I feel upon seeing loads of papers gathering about in my house, you might imagine my magazine frustration, which will flare up from time to time.

Let’s start with the food magazines. These are really Liam’s thing, although I do love to browse through recipes and look at food photography from time to time. But the way I look at it is, they are only useful for keeping around if you are going to attempt to make the concoctions they describe on their pages. And, let’s face it. We rarely do. Every now and then one of us will try one of the recipes. Liam recently discovered an amazing one for hot oatmeal, which is definitely a keeper. But for the most part, the magazines are read for entertainment in the moment only, and then left around to collect dust. I wish I could say we go back and look at old issues when we are planning out meals for the week, but we honestly don’t even do that. It’s so much easier to look online, or fall back on our regular dishes. So what’s the point in keeping them around, I ask?

For years I was on Liam’s case about hanging onto dozens and dozens of Gourmet magazines. He insisted and still insists on keeping them since they are no longer in print. Some of them reside now with our cookbooks. Some I’ve made him take down to the basement. And the rest are stashed away in the bottom drawer of a nightstand where no one can see them. Perfectly useful, right?

I’m much better about disposing of my magazines. Typically, when I read through one of them, I’ll fold down the corner of any page that contains something that’s caught my eye. It could be a recipe I’d like to try, or a craft with the kids. Sometimes it’s book or a product review, which I can add to Pinterest or an Amazon wish list. Most often, however, I find I’m drawn to images of other people’s homes and outdoor spaces. So, these pages eventually get ripped out, and sorted into corresponding file folders based on their content (kitchens, wall art, entryways, storage ideas, etc.). This is my pre-Pinterest, non-techy paper system, and I’m sticking to it. And before you go getting all, “But isn’t that cluttersome too?” on me, you should know that my filing system takes up only three-quarters of a bottom desk drawer. If it ever comes time to need more space than that, I know I will have to purge, or at least by then have purchased a damn house already so we can make use of the ideas on those damn pages.

Now, if a month or two or three should go by, and I haven’t dealt with filing or Pinning the pages, I will either make fast work of getting it done, or simply trash the things, trusting that there is nothing on the pages so special that my life would be worse off for having missed out on capturing it in the first place.

So why this love-hate relationship with our maggos, as I affectionately call them? Well, it stems from my childhood, like most of my OCD issues, I guess. You see, one of my parents, and I won’t mention her name here, but her initials are M.O.M., had a bad habit of collecting newspapers and magazines and mail and receipts and coupons, without ever actually regularly looking at or going through any of them. These papers and scraps of papers would pile up on chairs and counters, floors and boxes, and even black trash bags, in our childhood home until one weekend, several times a year, M.O.M. would decide to ‘go through them.’ The only problem with this was, since there were so many to begin with, she rarely made a dent, and to top things off, most items never got trashed, but simply recycled back into some other filing system which nobody but her ever understood. It was total madness.

She will readily admit to being a pack rat. By the way, I love this euphemism for hoarder. Let’s just call it was it was and is. In her defense, she worked a lot. Long hours at the office and long hours being M.O.M. to four kids. She couldn’t keep up with the clutter. I think in her mind she thought that if she threw something away, there was a chance she would miss out on something that would be so harmful it wasn’t worth doing. Like, what if she threw away a newspaper that had an article about my dad and his policing in it? Or a magazine that had the world’s best chocolate chip cookie recipe in it? I think she always thought there would be time in her busy schedule to go through things more thoroughly. But history showed this was not to be the case.

There is still evidence of this clutter in my parents’ home today. M.O.M. is very sensitive to criticism about it, and all of her children as well as her husband are aware of it, and try to steer clear from commenting about it. A few years ago, however, on a trip through their garage, I just couldn’t help it. And so I asked M.O.M. why on Earth did she insist on hanging on to the stack of Family Circle magazines from the 1980s. Or the plastic baggie full of expired coupons from the nineties.

“Leave me alone!” she shouted defensively. Clearly D.A.D. must have been on her case about it too. “Maybe I’m going to read those magazines someday.”

“M.O.M.,” I said, “I’ve never seen you read a magazine. Like ever. In all my thirty-some years.” (Even now that she is partially retired I’ve never seen the woman read a magazine).

But back then, this is what she said: “You can all burn my magazines when I’m dead! How’s that?”

I don’t know why, but her comment struck me as insanely funny. I know I should have been horrified, for that is my normal reaction when anyone I care about carelessly or humorously mentions his or her own death. As it is the source of my greatest anxiety—losing a loved one—I typically recoil when these kinds of comments are made.

That time was different, though. I can recall having the most distinct and vivid image of us all standing around weeping, yet laughing through our tears as we had a bonfire in the backyard, torching all of those old Family Circles and Reader’s Digests. What a loving tribute that would be, huh?

And so, because I do not want to burden my own children with the task of burning my magazines upon my death, brilliant as that plan is, I will continue to go through them, when I can, to keep our house from being overtaken by paper clutter.

I hope they will appreciate this when they are older.

My least favorite thing right now.

There is nothing I dread more these days than having to bend over to pick something up off of the floor. For the life of me, I just cannot remember pregnancy ever being as difficult or uncomfortable the first two times around as it is now.

When you live in a house with two little litterers, it is just appalling the amount of shite that accumulates on the floors. Coloring pages, hair bands, markers/crayons/pencils, random socks and other articles of clothing, cloth diapers, uneaten food items and enormous crumbs, baby dolls, books, blankets, pillows, and used tissues—these are just a smattering of items I’m observing from my spot at the table now. It’s as if these little people live to scatter every last one of their belongings about the house in an effort to undo me. Blow my nose? Check. Put tissue in the trash? Why? It looks so nice here next to the couch and the dog puzzle piece, don’t you think? Don’t they want their mother to be in a happy place?

And don’t even get me started on the oldest’s newest game of “treasure hunt,” in which she collects as fast as she can, random trinkets and toys and loads them into all the drawers in her dresser and shelves in her nightstand, so that when I go to put away laundry, or retrieve some item I need, I’m bombarded by an abundance of play kitchen food items, wooden building blocks, random stuffed animals and board books. Treasure, my ass. More like, going into the effing garbage and never coming back out again.

It used to be I could whip around the place and tidy up in no time. Granted, the litter was still annoying, but I was able to keep up and on top of the girls for the most part. But now, this garbage collector has run out of gas. I waddle about the house these days and wince every time I see the collective debris. It’s become so challenging to bend over, I just don’t do it. Instead, I try to enlist the girls’ help from time to time to do a big group clean-up. I can often set a timer and make a game of this. The oldest one has been really into beating the clock lately for any number of chores. However, just today she told me that she no longer likes the clean-up game. Great. And, the youngest usually just tells me flat-out no, she will not be helping me to pick up anything. I guess it’s good that I am very talented when it comes to using my toes as fingers. I’m able to pick up a lot with my feet.

Still, I’ve been struggling to get along tolerating much more mess on the floor these days. Even at school I have to ask the kids to pick up pencils or scraps of paper I’ve dropped, as well as to reach inside baskets I keep on the floors. At least there students are happy to help me out and respond favorably to my requests. Just five more weeks or so of this nonsense. I’m trying to enjoy it as it likely to be (read: better effing be!) the last time. But it’s really freaking hard.

Coloring Page Clutter

We have a prolific artist living in our house. She loves to paint, draw, write and color. Our fridge showcases many of her best pieces, and every now and then, so do our walls. More often, though, the papers end up on various tables, desks and floors. Not only are the pages unsightly, they are hazardous as well (imagine for a moment a seven-months-pregnant lady who can’t see beyond her growing belly, walking in socks on the kitchen floor, and then slipping on an unseen giant “Winnie the Pooh” coloring page, and the ensuing rage that will surely follow).

I don’t know why clutter has the power to undo me, but it does. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a house full of clutter—picture newspapers and magazines, unopened mail piled up in every corner—the result of living in a home that was far too small for the six people that inhabited it, combined with full-time working parents who had little time to clean and organize while also raising four children, combined with what may be the slight hoarding tendencies of my very well-meaning mother.

I, however, can spend loads of time organizing and de-cluttering our small house. I have a very low threshold for messiness. Which isn’t to say that our house is always clean and put-together. Our living room, kitchen and dining areas, our most heavily used spaces, are prone to collecting post-tornado-like debris on a daily basis. My husband, who has a much higher tolerance for clutter, often argues, “Why do you even bother cleaning up? They’re [the kids] just going to destroy it all again anyway.”

I see his point. I do. In fact, I sometimes find myself muttering the same thing under huffy breath. Still, I find there is something so satisfying, so necessary, about ridding spaces of clutter. It seems logical, then, that I might want to start with the countless coloring pages that pile up and grace the flat spaces in our house.

I suppose I could neatly stack the papers and file them away in some sort of album, or shoebox. This is something my mother would have done. Alas, she and I have a different relationship with clutter, so into the garbage they will go.

I try to find moments when our little artist is either not in the house, or absorbed entirely in something else, to stealthily trash the pages and create order once again in our home. Two or three times I made the mistake of throwing pages into some of the open waste baskets in our home. The artist, Nora, would then pass by and discover the fruits of her hard work in the dump and yell, “Hey! What’s my picture doing in the trash?!”

I blamed it on her younger sister a couple of times, which wasn’t totally inconceivable, because Frances went through a phase of trashing things that definitely didn’t warrant trashing. There was a span of a few weeks when I had to carefully examine the contents of the wastebaskets before I dumped them into the larger trash because I had discovered, quite by accident, a baby doll in one bin. Thanks to my checking, a pair of socks, a book, and several play dishes were saved from certain death-by-trashing.

“Oh, Franny must have done it,” I said. “Remember when she tried to throw away Baby?” And then, admonishing the younger, clueless sister, “Silly, Franny. We don’t put coloring pages in the trash.” Poor sucker. I know, I’m totally heinous. I then had to pull the artwork from the trash and hang it prominently on the fridge until a satisfied smile appeared on the artist’s face.

Since then I’ve learned to use the trashcan in the kitchen to dispose of old pages. It has a lid which hides its contents well from unsuspecting passersby. But then this past week I made another mistake. I just wasn’t thinking. Minutes, and I mean minutes (I usually wait at least an overnight), after Nora finished a lovely butterfly coloring page, I discovered it had fallen from the magnet which was attempting to secure it to the fridge. Frustrated after finding another effing paper on the floor, I took advantage of Nora’s bathroom break and moved the paper to the trash.

Then, I started cooking dinner. I set my youngest up at the sink to play in some dishwater so she would stop demanding incessantly that I hold her. Nora asked to eat a clementine once she returned from the bathroom and I told her fine. As long it means you leave me alone to finish dinner! 

She walked over to the trashcan and used her foot to press the pedal to open the stainless steel butterfly lid (a month ago she didn’t have the strength or coordination to pull this off!). She began peeling the clementine and must have discovered her drawing as she looked down after dropping one of the peels inside. “Hey!” she shouted, sounding appalled. Oh shit. Caught red-handed. “What’s my butterfly doing in here? Who threw my butterfly in the trash?!”

I couldn’t really blame the toddler then. She had been splashing in the sink with spoons and bubbles. And even if she hadn’t been, she lacked the strength necessary to open this trashcan. I quickly came up with some lame-sounding excuses, so my daughter wouldn’t think her mother was the most offensive, uncaring, soulless human being on the planet.

“Oh honey. Mommy must have done that by accident. Maybe mommy didn’t see the butterfly, but instead the other side of the paper. Maybe mommy thought it was a paper she didn’t need anymore, like a grocery list. Here, let’s get it out of the trash and straighten it up and put it back on the fridge. There we go. How’s that?”

Sheesh. She seemed to fall for my sorry ass excuses, appeased for the moment. What will I do when she wises up a bit more and starts to notice that all of her drawings are slowly disappearing day after day after day?


There aren’t enough magnets to support the number of pages that get churned out at our house each day.


Sample table clutter after a lengthy session with crayons and markers. The neatly colored lion was done by yours truly. I do love a good color every now and then.


Sample under-the-table clutter featuring the GIANT coloring pages I mentioned above.


Today’s dump. The artist was at her grandparents’ house so I had plenty of time to dispose of the evidence.

For all my bitching and complaining about these damn papers, I do appreciate very much that the girls are engaged in making art. It keeps them busy for long stretches so that I am able to get things done around the house. And, I do keep the best ones for posterity, though they are very small in number.

Nora colored the Piglet below a couple of days ago. I told her that I liked how the colors were so lifelike, that the watermelon looked just like a real watermelon. And Piglet looked just like the Piglet in the books. I suggested she hang it on the back of the front door since it was too large to fit on the fridge. I rolled some tape doughnuts for her and then walked away. A little while later, I stumbled upon this scene in the bedroom.


Piglet watching over me as I sleep, in all his true-to-life colors.

I found Nora and told her I thought she was going to hang it on the door. Her response: “Since you liked it so much, mommy, I decided to put it next to your bed so you can see it all the time.” Oh joy.

Whenever the youngest walks into the room now, she looks at the wall, squeals, “Nor-Nor! (her name for her sister), and starts cracking up laughing. If I’m being honest, I guess I’ll admit I do too.