Dressember 31, the last day

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 6:04 PM


I just adore New Year's Eve.

I don't usually make specific resolutions, but I always love the moment to reflect, to look back, and to look forward.

It's basically two of my favorite things: a legit awesome party, and a time to celebrate all that bonds us together as humans.

A time to forget, for a night, that which drives us apart.

For auld lang syne, my dear -

for auld lang syne.

Red lip: Obsessive Compulsive lip tar
Nails: OPI Lincoln Park After Dark
Earrings: gift from my mom
Cardigan: Banana Republic
Dress and belt: Bettie Page (gift from my dad)
Shoes: Aldo, thrifted
Smile: from me to you

Dressember 25

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 7:57 PM


Yes, this is really what I looked like on Christmas. That's my nightgown. (I think if you wear it out and about, you're supposed to call it "lounge wear".)

And nooooooo makeup. You're welcome!

Earrings: Christmas gift from my mom
Cardigan: thrifted
"Lounge dress": Puella
Scarf: Changing Hands Bookstore
Slippers: Ugg

Dressember 24

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on at 7:54 PM


'Twas the night before Christmas, and sure enough, I was still shopping.


Earrings: Halo
Wood bracelet: So Good Jewelry
Jacket: Gap, thrifted
Dress: H&M, thrifted (that's right people, not even H&M is cheap enough sometimes)
Leggings: Last Chance
Boots: Born

Dressember 23

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on at 7:51 PM


Just so you know, I twisted my ankle the day before this photo (it happened while vacuuming pine needles, apple cores, and smarties wrappers out of my van - if you must know).

But these shoes hadn't yet made a Dressember appearance, and they are just so killer, so I put them on, balanced myself very carefully, had Devlin snap a picture...

...and then went and changed into comfy flat boots so I didn't kill myself.

Earrings: So Good Jewelry
Necklaces: Sora Designs
Top: Banana Republic, thrifted
Belt: thrifted
Skirt: Banana Republic
Shoes: Michael Kors

Dressember 21

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, December 21, 2012 at 4:31 PM


I'm on my way out the door on a hot date with That Guy I Married. I'm SO excited. You don't even know.

Earrings: you know them, you love them - from Halo
Peacoat: Dress Barn (yes, you heard right)
Shirt: Sinequanone
Skirt: Old Navy, thrifted
Tights: Last Chance
Socks: Target
Boots: Report

Dressember 20 - winterized!

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 4:34 PM


So, since I mentioned I was freezing, I thought I would show how I would take an outfit from summer-ish to winter-ish.

You're all cool with that, right?

1. I chose the tights. Just thought the turquoise would be fun. 

2. I didn't love how it looked with the flats, so I chose short booties to cover most of the really bold turquoise but not the fun lace. Plus, I just feel cool whenever I wear shoes that require a shoehorn.

3. I went into the closet to grab a scarf, and saw this jacket hanging there. It's new, it's fun, and look! Turquoise!

4. I've never worn this scarf with this jacket, and two different plaids might be a little much for some people, but I thought the colors went perfectly. And it's sooooo snuggly warm.

5. I buttoned the shirt under the coat, because it looked kind of dumpy with them both open. 

6. Last, I ditched the belt because a) it looked too busy, and b) sometimes you just need a big loosey goosey eat-whatever-you-want-for-dinner look.

Tada! There's my thought process. Turquoise is a neutral, comfort and cuteness are friends, and every outfit should contain at least three separate patterns. 

You're welcome.

Dressember 20

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on at 3:55 PM


I haven't repeated yet! I'm not sure I can carry on this way all month - but for now, wheeeeeeeee!

I'm actually freezing, so I'm heading in to put on tights under the leggings, and exchange the necklace for a scarf. Brrrrrrrr.

Earrings and wood bracelet: So Good Jewelry (I'm heading back to this store in a week, so get ready for some new bling!)
Necklace: Anthro
Denim shirt: Bella Dahl
Dress: Old Navy, thrifted
Belt: thrifted (I scored on belts at Goodwill this week)
Leggings: Last Chance
Leopard flats (the bits that haven't worn off yet are leopard anyway...hmmm, Christmas is coming!): BP

Dressember 19

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 2:06 PM


It's all unseasonably warm and stuff.  Again.

Today is "whirling Wednesday", and while I opted to prioritize a completely new dress without a fun flared skirt over a more whirling-friendly repeat, I am definitely showcasing circular motion!

This morning was Iris's preschool Christmas program, and it must be said that the yogistic (did I just make that up just now?) contortions, squats, and balances in which I participated to get a clear line of sight for the video camera really, REALLY made me wish I had been wearing pants.

But I was not wearing pants. 


Earrings: Nordstrom Rack
Necklace: Sora Designs
Top: Anthro
Dress: Target
Socks: Sock Dreams
Shoes: Seychelles

Dressember 18

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2:07 PM


Dressember really forces me to be creative, and I love the challenge.

This dress is a light cotton t-shirt dress, one that I usually wear to death all summer (and it's my third summer with it in my closet too) so by the time cool weather rolls around, I'm sick of the sight of it!

That, and this is Dressember Numero Tres for the Wizzle, so you have seen this (and most of my other skirts and dresses) twice before.  Minimum.  I really do try not to repeat a look, either within the month or from one year to another, because, well, that's just not interesting.

Can anyone say "remix"?

Earrings: Halo (and this isn't the last of them either)
Necklace: souvenir from Santa Fe
Denim shirt: Bella Dahl
Striped top (under dress) and red dress: Boden
Belt: Hollister, thrifted
Silver bracelet: Target
Tights: Last Chance
Boots: Report

Dressember 17

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, December 17, 2012 at 4:36 PM


A lively color combination, a whimsical print, and layered texture keep an otherwise conservative outfit  from veering into Boringtown.

Plus, *I'm* wearing it - and that pretty much takes everything down one notch on the conservative scale, right?

Earrings: Anthro
Cardigan: Kate Spade, thrifted
Top: Express, thrifted
Belt: thrifted
Skirt: Boden
Tights: Spanx
Booties: J Shoes

Dressember 16

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM


You know that awkward moment when you find out your chosen "relaxed, neutral" facial expression came across in all the photos as "I am going to eat your children and then burn your house down"?

Earrings: Halo
Cardigan: thrifted
Top and skirt: Anthro
Mala bracelet: made by me
Tights: Last Chance
Boots: Report

Dressember 15

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 11:51 AM


I am all over the place.

I feel like I am on sensory overload, with a heightened awareness of everything there is to see, hear, and feel.

How can this world be the Brandenburg concertos - and children maimed and then forced to beg in the streets?

How can it be a healthy body, running on a beautiful crisp winter day down streets that smell like orange blossoms - and cancer, that tortures so cruelly and indiscriminately?

How can it be my first-grader, pink cheeks and a blonde bob, wearing a rainbow cape and eating frozen yogurt - and someone else's first-grader who now forever has to hold the memory of hiding from a mad gunman in a cupboard in their classroom?

It's too much. Too much for me right now.

And I'm wearing a dress. Here you go. Spots and stripes day:

Earrings: Here on the Corner
Cardigan: Anthro
Scarf: London souvenir
Dress: Boden
Socks: Sock Dreams
Boots: Born

Dressember 14

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 2:10 PM


I wish I had posted this earlier in the day, before I knew that a young man in Connecticut had taken a gun to an elementary school and killed dozens of people, including 18 children.

I feel like my fingers are too heavy to type.

The state of mental health management and understanding in this country is woefully, tragically, fatally inadequate. That's all I will say about that for now.

I'm going to hit submit, then go back to reading my kids a Christmas story, and painting rocks to look like ladybugs, and listening to their laughter, and their singing, and their fighting...

and the fact that they came home from school today.

Earrings: handmade (but not by me - I wish I knew who!)
Dress: hand-me-down from my mom (true story)
Tights: Spanx
Socks: Steve Madden
Boots: Born

Little can-can move: free of charge

Dressember 13

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 10:02 PM


Tra la la la la, it was Thursday today!

Seriously, you guys, I'm posting a picture EVERY DAY. If you think I can write something smart and sassy to go along with it, you need to lower the bar.

Like, just put that bar on the ground and walk away.

There you go. Nice and easy.

Earrings: Halo
Scarf: Thrifted
Jacket: J. Crew, thrifted
Dress: Boden
Shoes: Frye

Dressember 12

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 4:07 PM


It's "nature day" here at Dressember headquarters, so here's my best offering (kindly take a liberal approach to the interpretation, as I did):

Earrings: pearls (get, it? Natural?)
Necklace (a compass on one side and a map on the other - hooray Planet Earth!): Sora Designs
Sweater (green, like a leaf): Target
Skirt (well, this is obvious - festooned with flora *and* fauna): Anthro
Boots (um, brown like a branch?): Born
Haircut: Brittany at Tantrum, bless her heart. She's made me a new woman!

Dressember 11

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 2:00 PM


Every morning, I want to dress in snuggly wool and stay in the house.

Every afternoon, the sun comes out and half my clothes come off!

Earrings: Halo Piercing
Top: Banana Republic
Belt: thrifted
Skirt: Anthro
Tights: Smartwool
Boots: Report

Dressember 10

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, December 10, 2012 at 2:45 PM


Dressembering today with Kim (remember her beautiful scarf from yesterday?) and her littlest little man.  Apparently, not everyone knows how to use a phone camera, even if they are of the artistic persuasion, so our photo together is pretty blurry but I wanted to include it anyway!  

Don't you love her fun tights and stripy dress?

And here's me, less blurry.  I am going to be right sick of that doormat before the month is out though!

Earrings: Holly's Headgear
Cardigan: Anthro
Top: Talbot's
Skirt: Target
Lace leggings: :Last Chance
Booties: J Shoes

Dressember 9

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 1:31 PM


Earrings: here on the corner
Scarf: made by my bestie Kim
Bracelet: So Good Jewelry
Top and belt: Anthro
Skirt: Boden
Tights: Spanx (because if you're going to wear tights, they might as well be Spanx)
Boots: Born

Dressember 8

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 1:59 PM


Earrings: Halo Piercing
Dress: Presley Skye
Belt: thrifted
Shoes: Aldo, thrifted

Dressember 7

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, December 7, 2012 at 2:09 PM


I was out raking leaves before breakfast this morning, and I was so chilly I never really recovered properly! So I snuggled up with a long-sleeved dress, tights, and a cozy sweater.

(I often wear this sweater around the house in the mornings, and Iris asked me "Mom, why are you going out in that pajama sweater???")

Earrings, necklace, and cardigan: Anthro
Dress: Boden
Tights: Spanx
Shoes: J Shoes

Dressember 6

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 3:43 PM


Do you think Santa will be charmed by this ensemble? We are going to see him later tonight.

Actually, I can take or leave Santa's opinion...what is really need is the approval of the opera director at rehearsal later tonight!

Earrings: Holly's Headgear
Dress: Cotton On
Necklace: Sora Designs
Belt: thrifted
Shoes: Xchange by Charles David

Dressember 5

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 9:15 PM


I won't bore you with all the details (mostly because I don't think I could adequately convey in a blog post just how insanely productive and on-the-ball I was today), but let's just say my time management skills were EPIC.

I so richly deserve a trip to Goodwill for Dollar Day tomorrow, treasure hunting for some new Dressember pretties, don't you think?

It's all about the jacket today, though. The jacket that I didn't *really* wear, because it was 81 degrees. I wore it to work, after dinner, and I wore it for this photo, and by golly I'll wear it if it ever decides to actually be winter around here!

Jacket: Anthro (clearance!)
Skirt: Boden
Bracelet: gift
Shoes: bp

Dressember 4

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 3:45 PM


Got a suuuuuuper cute new jacket yesterday. Can't wear it until after sundown. Yawn.

Earrings and bracelet: Target
Necklace: made by me
Jacket: Gap, thrifted
Striped top: Boden
Skirt: Old Navy, thrifted
Tights: Last Chance
Boots: Born

Dressember 3

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, December 3, 2012 at 2:21 PM


Well, if it's going to be 80 degrees, then I'm going to just run right through my light summery dresses and hopefully, mid-month, I can get back down to the fun business of layering and tights and scarves and whatnot.

An unexpected sick day (for Eve) means that I needed a pick-me-up - and my "lucky" dress was just the thing. A nice cheery dress and purple shoes is a winner, no matter the weather, right?

Dress: Anthro
Earrings: gift (I looooove pearls)
Necklace: Last Chance
Shoes: Frye

P.S. I almost forgot! I'm just doing Dressember for fun, but some people also use it as a fundraising opportunity. I have just one such friend, and I'd love it if you went and poked your hear in her little corner of the world. (Side note: If you live in the Ogden UT area, you really NEED to be reading this blog!

Dressember 2

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 10:48 AM


Morning cuppa with some gorgeous redheaded Dressemberers. The more, the merrier!

On me:
Top: Boden
Necklace: Sora Designs
Belt: Anthro
Skirt: Gap, thrifted
Shoes: Seychelles

Dressember 1

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 10:13 PM


Dress: brand unknown, thrifted
Cardigan: Maggy London
Necklace: Sora Designs
Boots: Born

It was warm enough to swim today, and the 7-day forecast shows more and more of the same. Highs in the mid-70's to low 80s. This is very distressing. I do Dressember partly because I enjoy the fun of layering: tights, socks, cardis, blazers, scarves.

At this rate, I will have to continue shaving my legs, which is completely unacceptable.

It begins. Again.

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, November 30, 2012 at 3:23 PM


See my jeans? You won't again until January...

...because tomorrow is Dressember 1

Come live vicariously on my blog, or - even better - come join us on the Dressember Facebook page as we let neither rain, nor snow, nor cold nor illness, nor fat days nor full calendars, nor lethargy, schlumpiness, nor bad attitudes of any kind dampen our creative, frugal, feminine fun!

And now for the rules:

1. Anything but pants on your lower half. Dress, skirt, tunic, nightie, tutu, ballgown, or any of the above over tights, leggings, etc. All fine. You be your own boss.

2. You do not have to wear a different outfit every single day. Creatively remixing what you already have in new and exciting ways is kind of the whole point, and you certainly do not need to own 31 dresses to participate.

3. You do not need to be female to join in. :)

4. The point is to go outside your comfort zone a bit. If you normally wear sweatpants, that might mean dressing up a little once a week. If you already consider fashion a priority, it might mean challenging yourself to wear things you don't normally get around to, or trying different shape/color/style combinations. Or maybe it means buying absolutely nothing new but participating anyway. We're happy to have you on board, whatever section your ticket is in!

5. Yes, I know I'm in Phoenix, but the fabulous ladies who began this are in Britain, so there goes your "but it's cold!" whatever you were about to say.

6. Photos or it didn't happen! Your face is a really nice bonus. As for myself, almost all of my shots (including the one in this post) will be taken by my 9-year-old on a phone camera, so if it looks like I'm going for an uppity, artistic, model-ish thing, it's probably actually that I put up the only pic I have containing my entire person, relatively in focus. And that's the gospel truth.

I love you guys, and I'm happy to have an excuse to be back blogging regularly! It's been kind of a nice break, but I'm ready to hop back in and I can't think of a more fun way to get started.

See you tomorrow!

On the Horizon

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 10:24 PM


First world problems ahoy!


When we moved into this house almost 2.5 years ago, it was with the contracted stipulation that the carpets be replaced.  The housing market being what it was, and is, that didn't happen.  We got this house, it's an incredible house for us, and we love it here.

But the carpets are, tragically, still in place, still Formerly White, and still the bane of my existence.

David bought us a fancy steam cleaner a couple of years back, so now I take out my flooring frustrations quarterly on the offending spots and stains.  But before I can get down to business and clean the carpet, I first have to make my way through the five stages of grief.

(No, I am not remotely kidding).

Denial. (They're not that bad! I just cleaned them, didn't I?)

Anger. (I should never have had to be dealing with this stupid carpet in the first place!  And white???? Seriously? Who does that?)

Bargaining. (Honey, I love you.  You're the best. Want to get some new floors?)

Depression. (Oh, crap. New floors x 2600 square feet = eleventy kajillion dollars.)

Acceptance. (Fine. FINE. Looks like my options are "clean them", or "be eaten by whatever varmints might be residing in their filthy depths").

So I cleaned them.  They are now clean.  


But I really hope, and have reason to believe, that this will be the last time I have to do it.

Because, my friends, the Dixons have big plans for our flooring.

If anyone has done this, now would be an ideal time to offer your tips and suggestions...


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 9:51 PM


Dear Dollar Tree

Really? Two generic brands of tinfoil? I was suspicious as soon as I saw it.  I know I'm not going to get Reynolds Wrap, but this way I had to guess which cheap crappy tinfoil was going to be slightly less crappy.  Turns out, the Handi-Foil isn't really very handy when you have to take it out of the box to unroll it, and I would try again with the Ultra Foil, but I suspect it may be similarly "ultra" in name only.  How about just one kind that actually works?

I've got birthday brownies to make,

The Wizzle

*   *   *   *   *

Dear Truck Owner at Coffee Rush,


You know what, never mind.  I'm sure you did need two parking spaces.  My mistake.

Carry on,

Not As Important As You

*   *   *   *   *

Dear Truck Owner at Speed Smart,

If you cannot open your doors without dinging my A-pillars, because your doors are the size and height of tank doors, and if you cannot make a three-point turn in a parking lot due to the length and breadth of your super duper double mega king cab, perhaps you might want to consider purchasing a smaller vehicle next time.

And I'm in a MINIVAN,

A Grumpy Old Mom

*   *   *   *   *

Dear Readers,

I promise, I don't dislike truck drivers categorically.  And perhaps the young man in the gas station was driving his parents' truck, who need it for legitimate business reasons, and he was just unfamiliar with maneuvering it.  Maybe the driver at the coffee shop was double parked because the person who was parked next to him when he got there was double parked, and they left before he came back out so it just looked like he was a double-parking spot hog when I got there.


But it's kind of fun to write snarky letters anyway, don't you think?

Everybody's got to make a living,

Oh wait, I don't get paid to write this stuff,

Guess I'm Just A Grouch Today

*   *   *   *   *

Dear Jillian Michaels,

I thought my quads, calves, and hamstrings were reasonably strong.  Then I did your Level 3 workout twice in 4 days.

Every day's a school day,

Jell-O Legs

*    *   *   *   *

Dear Jillian Michaels, again,

I notice that you have never been pregnant and given birth to children.  I hear that you adopted a couple of beautiful babies, and I'm so happy for you!  But I believe this small fact explains why you think I'm going to end up with a 6-pack after 3 weeks of ab work.  I'm pretty sure I do have some muscles under there, but man.  Gravity is a DRAG, and the old gray mare really, really ain't what she used to be.

It can't hurt to keep trying,

And There's Always Spanx

*   *   *   *   *

Dear Nichole,

You are super stylish and chic, and I'm so excited for your wedding to my husband's brother.  I've got a coordinating new outfit that I think will fit right in (you know I love an excuse to buy new clothes, right?)  The nieces and nephews are going to look darling. 

I would like to apologize in advance, because there is a good chance that my youngest child will be either barefoot, or wearing one of the (garish, well-worn) pairs of shoes she already owns.  It's hard to find cute dressy shoes in an extra-extra wide.  I hope you can forgive me.  And maybe take photos of them from the waist up.

Function over form,

Iris's Mom

Boys and girls, girls and boys

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 11:15 AM


Yesterday was my son's ninth birthday, and even though I haven't been blogging as frequently, I should really probably pop over here and say a little something about that.

He definitely deserves it.  He's a great kid.

But today, I'll write something about him, and something about my daughters, and something about my life.

Just a little something.

When Devlin was 3, I think, I discovered this amazing toy: the best kind, that keeps a child busy for long periods but isn't too loud, that is fun but really educational, that doesn't need batteries replaced or have tiny pieces to get lost, that won't be left behind the next time a new movie is released with a more compelling hero or villain.

They were his gears, and he adored them.  He played with them for years: the years he went to preschool wearing a red cape every single day, the years I spent nursing his sisters when they were little and he had to entertain himself.  He loved the way they fit together, experimenting with how to build ever taller and more elaborate structures, and I could see the gears turn in his mind too.

That child has a lot of gears in his mind.

Eventually Devlin moved on, and Eve got to be the age when the gears had first captivated him.  I tried to bring them out so she too could experience the wonder of understanding how two pieces fit together and act on each other - the marvels of the physical world - but she would have none of it.  She spent (and continues to spend) her early years constructing rich, verdant, incredibly detailed universes in her mind, and then bringing them to life with blocks, playsilks, ponies, barbies, lego minifigures, and stuffed animals.  

I can always tell at the end of the day when Eve has been playing in my room, because my deep soaking tub houses a complex diorama of animal, vegetable, and mineral at whose true meaning I can only guess.

But even though her splendid imagination meant she did not enjoy playing with the gears, she has nonetheless learned to do arithmetic very well, and Devlin is teaching her all about the periodic table.  Her mathematical and scientific education is proceeding right along, in spite of her strong inclination toward Disney figurines.

Today, days before her fourth birthday, Iris got out the gears.

I don't think any of my children are especially like one another, so I don't often have these moments, but when I saw her bent over the gears, practically drooling with concentration - even wearing a cape - I felt a flash of nostalgia and warmth for the days when her brother, 5 years older almost to the day, looked just like this.

(Except for the curls.)

My heart swelled as I patted myself on the back for providing opportunities for my girls to learn about math and science, and my boy to learn about cooking, sewing, and dolly care and keeping.

"See?" I thought.  "Eve wanted to play with dolls and figurines because that is her personality" (and I treasure her individuality very dearly, believe me).  

"Iris is not her sister.  She's another girl, but she is her own person and I need to remember to offer her all the choices we have available.  There's no earthly reason why a girl child shouldn't be absolutely infatuated with these gears!"

*   *   *   *   *

There's just one tiny difference.

Iris just called me in to have a look at her gear creation.

"Mom, come see all my flower decorations!"

*   *   *   *   *

The lessons continue.  For my children, and especially for me.

Curls and tacos

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, September 10, 2012 at 10:44 PM


David was able to work from home most of the day today, so me and Iris went to lunch with him.

Shrimp tacos + cute new hedgie hairdo + beautiful weather = fabulous.

She may have started preschool, but we definitely still get plenty of buddy time.

Last baby, first day

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 8:49 PM


Iris declared yesterday to be her last day as a baby.

This morning, she was coloring (in her pink tutu, naturally):

When she was finished, she wrote her whole very own name for the very first time.  Usually she just does the i's:

Then we ate lunch, she got dressed and grabbed her backpack, and it was time to go. 

She came home with a fancy hat and a Froot Loop necklace, and I think that's a success by anyone's definition.


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 9:10 PM


Since my kids are obsessed with skinny dipping...

I'm choosing to enjoy the break from wrangling them in and out of their suits every time someone has to pee (Iris, I'm looking at you)

relish their innocence and simple joy in the sensation of the air and the water

and, let's face it, there is sooooo much less laundry this way!


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 10:18 PM


I am thrilled that the big kids are back in school.  THRILLED.  I am actually a really good mom to one child at a time, and that's what I have for a few hours a day.  Feeling competent part of the time fortifies me for when they come home and I have to shepherd, remind, encourage, cajole, referee, and generally provide for three little wild people until bedtime.

But, although I love the structure of the school day, I am looking at first grade, fourth grade, preschool, piano lessons, dance classes, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, student council, wrestling, my own singing commitments, dentist appointments, eye appointments, and a partridge in a very overcrowded pear tree.

For example, next Thursday I am supposed to be at a choir rehearsal, Hale Elementary curriculum night, Eve's first Girl Scout meeting, and watching Devlin get his Wolf badge.  SIMULTANEOUSLY.

If you figure out how that one's going to work, I have a job for you as my assistant.

Just warning you, though, the pay is terrible.

Double your pleasure

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on at 12:03 AM


Isn't this picture just precious?

What you can't see from the photo is that Dev is in the car, reading chapter 22 of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban...

while we are all listening to Jim Dale (not pictured) read chapter 12 of the same book.

Now that is love.


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, August 17, 2012 at 7:18 PM


"Never start a boy in school early".

"Boys always struggle if they are the youngest in their class".

"Being smart isn't all there is to school - you have to consider social skills too".

"But if he plays football, don't you want him to have the size advantage of being older"?

(Seriously, does this child look like he will EVER play football?!)

I'm not here to discount all those people who shared their experiences with me over the (literally) years while I was trying to decide what to do with my little sensitive, nerdy boy whose birthday fell just beyond the school-year cutoff.  I appreciate them sharing their wisdom with me, and I'm sure they are, by and large, statistically, right on the money.

But I trusted my own judgment, and the opinions of his teachers, who worked with him every day, and we started him early anyway.

He's the smallest, for sure, and kind of wiggly, and has a major, terminal case of know-it-all-itis.

But my sweet scrawny, goofy, bookish fourth-grader was voted today by his classmates to the (apparently highly coveted) position of student council class representative.

And 5 years into his school career, I think I'm finally starting to relax - stop waiting for his peers to turn on him and somehow declare him undesirable, in that weird unspoken yet binding way that children have - and trust that he is finding his way, and making his name.

Whistle a Happy Tune

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, August 12, 2012 at 7:38 PM


The best, smartest, nicest kids in the world

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 8:48 AM


 The kids are off to their first day of school this year.

First grade.

Fourth grade.

(You will be pleased to note that Devlin, completely of his own volition, replaced the planned tie-dye shirt with this more-subdued, but still snappy option.  I confess I am relieved.)

(By the way, those are girls' skinny jeans.)

They really, really wanted to ride their bikes to school (I can't blame them - it takes a third the time of walking, and you get a nice breeze that gives a very realistic "convection oven" effect.)  Eve is still pretty uncertain on two wheels, but I followed them in the car and they made it just fine.

Now, if the rest of the day can be much less eventful than last year's first day, I will consider myself a lucky woman!


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012 at 6:46 PM




A rainbow, and then some

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at 8:45 PM


I don't want to spoil the whole surprise for you, but I'll give you a hint: Devlin's chosen first-day-of-school outfit includes, but is not limited to, the three patterns shown.

(And this is after what I deem to be a reasonable amount of guidance.)

May he be watched over, protected, and either fast enough or smart enough to evade those detractors who may not be quite as into "snappy" dressing as he is.

The Prayer

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 5:16 PM


O Lord, bless this thy servant the Vacuum with strength and wisdom, that it might have power and suction even beyond that of its natural machinery

And yea, also good judgment, that it may not suck unto itself that which would render it clogged and useless, and with a great whining sound and fruitless toiling of the bristles

Yea, though the path be strewn with socks, and water balloons, and safety pins, and bits of yarn, and duct tape, and popsicle sticks

And Lincoln logs, and marbles, and pipe cleaners, and iron filings, and tiny batteries, and many, many Legos, yea, even many rare and desirable Legos

And sand, and rocks, and sticks, and shells, and magnets, and shoelaces

And Monopoly houses, and Battleship pegs, and cups with lo just one swallow of liquid remaining, and apple cores, and old bits of cheese that are shriveled like unto a raisin

And homework from two years ago, and candy wrappers, and robots, and slingshots, and lanyards, and paper airplanes

And yea, every manner of project of strange and curious workmanship, and also many experiments

Though all these things may hedge up the way against our path, we know that this must be done, in thy mercy, O Lord

We know that we must venture into the very mouth of the beast, yea, even into Devlin's bedroom, for even that dark and loathsome cavern must be cleaned from time to time, for thus it is pleasing unto Thee

Thy will be done, and if we should not return from our endeavor, receive the spirit of thy servant the Vacuum into thine eternal rest.  Amen.

Summer Magic

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 10:32 PM


It's been a really busy summer for me and my constituents.

There's a saying on the internet that if you don't have pictures, it didn't happen - but I'm here to tell you that I have pictures of everything in my head, and that's good enough for me.

(In the unlikely event it's not enough for *you*, I will provide links to my more responsible family members who documented some of the larger events much more thoroughly.  Love those guys.)

I drove to LA with my kids to visit my sister and my nephew Jasper, for his first birthday.

We went to the beach, and I only lost my cool one time, which is amazing for me.  Take three kids who can't follow simple directions, add sand, and you've got me losing my cool.  It just happens.  But mostly it was lovely:

The drive was a little scary once or twice:

But mostly it was just delightful:

We did pretty much everything free for families in the greater LA area, including the Science Center:

Then I drove home, and literally hours later we drove (with That Guy I Married, this time) to beautiful Greer, AZ for the First (Hopefully) Annual Dixon Family Reunion.  The lameness of my photographic evidence in no way reflects the awesomeness of the reunion itself.  That can be seen here.

But, roughly, we had treats:

Did puzzles:

And prepared food in large quantities:

We have been driving a great deal, even when we are in town, because a) it's air-conditioned, b) the kids are legally strapped down and more than arm's reach from each other, and c)

Devlin has been favoring Boo Who out of his stuffed animals (twin brother to Lou Who), and he has been having all kinds of escapades along with the rest of us:

We saw Brave (a movie! in a theater!) with my mom, and Eve came in her version of "costume":

I have painted many, many a finger- and toenail (including my own, because did you hear? I stopped biting my fingernails! Yes, I am over 30.  Be nice to me.)

And we have been working very hard on remembering our simple family rules and being nice humans: