Breakfast and Legos

Breakfast and Legos


The summer heat chased us from the apartment early; we were left wandering, in search of breakfast and air conditioning.

What we found were legos.


Lots and lots of legos.

lego collage

We discovered a new cafe/kids play area dedicated entirely to legos – big duplos for the littles downstairs, and upstairs massive amounts of regular legos. The lego table is in the center of the room, with tables for the parents around the outside. It’s called Wunderkind, if you’re interested, and in the Ravenna neighborhood of Seattle. Wifi, coffee, air conditioning, snacks (with many healthy options), beer, wine, sweeping views of the cemetary (hey, its actually quite a serene view) – including peekaboo views of the Blue Angels performance over Lake Washington. Just the break this tired mama needed from the oppressive heat.

I could work, uninterrupted.

coffee and computer

Or, play around on Facebook.

And my girl? She had the best day ever! (her words)

legos are fun
lego table
lego perspectives

We’ll be back.


This is not a sponsored post.


This year, I am participating in Susannah Conway’s August Break. Follow the hashtag #augustbreak2015 on various social media to find more posts from participants.

Today’s Prompt is Breakfast.

The August Break - Susannah Conway
3 Generations

3 Generations

Years ago, my parents discovered that we have a photo of my mom at 4-years old, and a picture of me at 4-years-old that highlight the family resemblance.

I determined right then, that if I ever had a daughter, I would take a similar photo, so we could frame together the 3 generations of photos.

This is my mother at 4

3 generations

This is me at 4

3 generations

I kept waiting for my daughter to turn 4, so I could take this picture of her. Then I forgot about it. Then she turned 5.

Finally, my mom kicked me into gear and reminded me to take that photo.  So I started planning the photo, scoping out the perfect location, and then forgetting about it again.

I remembered again this morning, so I threw a blanket on the floor, put her in a dress, and snapped the photo before I had time to start planning again, and then forgetting again.

This is my daughter at 5

Gem age 5

3 Generations

3 generations of childrens photos

I’m so glad I stopped planning and just grabbed the moment.

Kindergarten Readiness

Kindergarten Readiness

Prospective kindergartners, along with their parents, shuffled and herded themselves into the little elementary school cafeteria. The room was thick with nervous energy, excitement, squirmy 5-year-olds who have not yet learned to sit still for an assembly, and information packets fanning at the summer heat.

This was just an introductory meeting – an open house for families new to the school. These children will not start school for 3 months, but school related anxiety is already starting to kick in. At least for the parents.

If you look at my daughter, you’d likely see something like this:

five years old - ready for kindergarten

But as a parent, I’m more likely to see something like this:two year old

Looking around the room, it was easy to distinguish the parents with older children, who had ushered a child through kindergarten before, from those who were encountering kindergarten as a parent for the first time. The wide-eyed, deer in the headlights look of those in that second set gave them away. Yes, I’m a first time parent of a kindergartener as well.

kindergarten readiness

The information packet introduced the school, advised of upcoming getting-to-know-you playdates at the playground through the summer, and included a list of skills children would need to master in order to be ready for kindergarten.

The kindergarten readiness checklist is quite long, a couple pages, but it was helpful. It is simple things, such as the kids should know the numbers 1-10, sing the abc song, and go potty independently. Most of the items she mastered long ago, and others, we have the summer to work on. I did give her a long name to learn to spell.

On the other hand, I went through all the documents front and back and saw nothing about kindergarten readiness for parents. So help me out in the comments section. What do I need to do to get ME ready for her to go to kindergarten? What should I be prepared for.

I’m pretty confident that she’s more than ready for kindergarten. I’m not quite so sure about me.


Hey, hey it’s my birthday

Hey, hey it’s my birthday

It’s been said that there are few pictures of me where I’m not hiding behind a camera.

camera selfie - CoffeeJitters.Net

That might be true. But, since it’s my birthday, and I’m in a celebratory mood, I thought I’d just prove that there are a few pictures of me sans camera.

Judy Schwartz Haley - CoffeeJitters.Net

Also, since I was going through old photos, I got sucked into a vortex of Gem’s old baby photos. Seriously, people, I have the coolest kid. (This still counts as a picture of me, check out the reflection in her glasses.)

gem shades - CoffeeJitters.Net

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: A kicking-cancer’s-ass and everything else under the sun update

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: A kicking-cancer’s-ass and everything else under the sun update

I guess it’s time for another update on the whole kicking-cancer’s-ass and getting-on-with-my-life situation.

Let me e’splain.
No, there’s too much. Let me sum up.

The Ugly

I finished up the radiation treatments and my skin is feeling much better, although it still looks dirty and scaly in a big square-shaped patch across my chest and collarbone. It’s not too much of a problem, although I look like I missed a spot while bathing if I wear a v-neck, or anything with a lower than crew-neck collar.  That’s all fine though, and it will fade with time.

I just have a handful of Herceptin treatments left, and I’m done with scheduled treatment altogether!  And my hair has grown back enough for me to have bad hair days frequently! Anna, I’ll be giving you a call soon so you can whip my poor confused locks into shape.

My lymphedema is not really under control, so I’m going to have to get (even more) serious about dealing with that, and find some time (and $) for more physical therapy treatments.  The swelling isn’t too bad at the moment, but the pain is getting worse, and it makes my right arm essentially useless, even for little things like writing more than a couple sentences by hand. One of the best things I can do for my arm is not lift heavy things, but more on that later.  I’ll also need more lymphedema sleeves and gloves (very pricey) as mine are getting stretched out and not snapping back into shape anymore.

The Bad

The side effect that is having the biggest impact on my life right now is fatigue. It just seems like it should have lifted a bit by now, but it keeps getting worse. Part of the problem: I went back to school full time in January, and that may have been a bit too soon. I was determined, and I decided that cancer had sidelined my life long enough. So back I went. Full time. Why? Because I hadn’t been challenged enough lately? That semester kicked my ass, and by the time it was over, I felt like I just wanted to sleep for a month. (I did manage to pass all my classes, but I have never in my life been so happy to get a C.)

But no rest for me.

Aaron graduates with his Master’s Degree at the end of this quarter (that part isn’t bad, in fact it’s awesome!!), which means we need to be out of the school provided apartment, and get one of our own. So house hunting commences. And packing. And job hunting. And how do you get an apartment when you don’t have a job yet?


Mom is moving back to Alaska to live with my brother, and somebody has to pack up her apartment (hi). She wants to be completely out of her apartment by next week, then she will live with us a couple weeks until we hit the road to drive to Alaska.

The Good

Did you catch that “WE hit the road” part?  Yeah, Gem and I are driving up to Alaska with mom!  So Aaron can finish classes (teaching AND as a student), hunt for an apartment if we haven’t found one yet, hunt for a job, and finish packing up the house while the baby and I are on vacation. Then we’ll move into the new place as soon as we get back, just a few days before our vacate deadline for this apartment.

I’m really excited about this trip, and I have so many old friends in Alaska that I dearly miss and can’t wait to see again. Most of them haven’t even met my daughter yet.  Brace yourself for this blog becoming a bit of a travelogue in the near future. I’ve been known to take a few pictures while on vacation.

and the best medicine any girl could ask for:

The Lovely