Happy Memorial Day…..


Have I told you about the tadpoles?  I found them in a urine sample cup (part of a longer story), on the floor of my bathroom, partially hidden behind the toilet. I discovered these little guys – two of them – at night, after we had flown home from Marquette, and put both boys down for bed.  I saw the cup peeking out from behind the toilet and when I bent down for a closer look….something moved.

Luckily Mike was home.  “They’re tadpoles” he announced.  “One of the kids must’ve snuck them into the house.”  He looks around for a place to put the cup…and inexplicably decides on the piano.  “Well,” he says, plopping the cup down, “I’m going to bed.”

Tuesday, before we left for Maquette, Aunt A and Aunt Linzi had taken ten kids hiking, including ours (it was election day, so school was closed).  It is a well-known fact in these parts that when Auntie A takes your kids (and this applies to any kid – she’s basically Auntie A to all of greater Philadelphia), they will return home exhausted, happy, have probably done something you’ve been saying ‘no’ to for years, and may, in fact, have a pet.  (Don’t you dare argue, A, REMEMBER THE HERMIT CRAB INCIDENT???)

But Linzi was also going as the voice of reason.  So I thought it was safe to skip my usual lecture/death threats. In any case, when tadpoles were discovered in my bathroom, I knew exactly who to call.

“Please explain to me,” my text started, “why I have tadpoles in my bathroom.”  My phone rung, instantly.  A was on the other end, laughing so hard she could barely breathe.  “It wasn’t me!!!!” she gasped.  “Really!  Not this time!  The kids wanted to bring tadpoles home and Linzi shut that down in two hot seconds and I backed her up!  Someone went rogue!”

Rogue indeed.  This meant that those tadpoles had been in their cup, behind my toilet, for FIVE DAYS.  And the night before we left for Marquette our house had been full of kids, so it arguably could’ve been anyone.  But I had a sneaking suspicion that I knew who the culprit was….can you guess?

The next morning, Raines woke up first, and came down for breakfast.  Mike and I are both standing at the breakfast bar, and I slide his bowl of oatmeal over to him sloooowly.  We watch him eat for a minute.  “So,” Mike says, casually.  “Tell us about the tadpoles.”  Raines jumps. “What?  What are you talking about??”  He can tell something is up, and immediately get nervous.  We interrogate him for a few minutes until I’m relatively sure it wasn’t Raines.  He’s not nearly as innocent as everyone thinks he is, but it would be unlike him to totally disobey a rule and then lie about it.  I am both surprised and secretly impressed that Pax didn’t let his brother in on his secret.

Pax is next.  He’s never a great morning kid, so Mike carries him downstairs, and sets him, wrapped in blankets, on his stool.  I jump right in.  “Pax,” I say, “we know about the tadpoles.”  He shrugs, smirks, and says…”what tadpoles?”


“PAX…” I warn.  He smirks again and then says, “Ok fine.  It was me.  But MOM!  I WANT A PET!  And you always say NO PETS.  So I was thinking I’d just…let them grow into frogs…”

Ugh.  My poor kid is such an animal lover and we are too crazy to take care of plants.  So we had a long talk about how he’s lucky that his stunt didn’t actually kill the tadpoles (they were alone behind my toilet for five days), and they need to be in their natural environment, blah blah blah. #parenting

All I know is that I’ve now got to keep these stupid things alive, long enough to return them to said natural environment.  Which is how I found myself boiling lettuce and chopping it up as tadpole food.  So Pax wins.  We’ve had a pet for over a week.  But this weekend, THIS WEEKEND, we are going hiking to say goodbye to the tadpoles.  (And watching Pax verrrry closely as he gets back into the car.  We might perform a backpack check, too.)

Final note:  Pax’s partner in crime?  Pax was too smart to include his brother or A’s son, both of whom would’ve sold him out immediately.  Instead….he roped in the son of Voice-of-Reason-Perfect Linzi, who was only too happy to go along with the crime.  Oh, the irony.

Memorial Day Sales…..  If you haven’t yet checked out our Guide To The Memorial Day Sales, we worked pretty darn hard on that thing.  It’s a good one. I personally have been shopping Hanna Andersson for kids, Parachute’s edge-trimmed duvet set (I have one set and it’s the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever put on my bed), and J.Crew bikinis.  Now I just need to figure out what else we need for the summer, and get shoppin’.

Oops – we missed oneMara Hoffman has a bunch of swim on sale right now, including this cuuute seersucker one-piece (I tried it on here – the fabric is SO GOOD).  I’m also a huge fan of her string bikinis – seriously flattering on EVERYONE.  Promise.  (Or this wrap one.  Gorg.) ps.  IG crowd, thanks for the seriously kind words on my Mara Hoffman bikini pic.  It just is what it is, ya know?

My cut-off shorts.  I’ve been shockingly impressed with BlankNYC’s denim cut-offs (pictured above).  Social Threads has them at 20% off this weekend, and, last I checked, fully in stock.  I think they run a bit big, however (or they’re just stretchy).  I’m wearing a size 24.

I know I’m late to THIS party….one of my friends has just gotten me obsessed with Soda Stream.  We go through La Croix like water (haha), but I hate the amount of waste.  I’m trying to decide between the Aqua Fizz (wish it came in white, tho) and the quirky penguin.  Both are on sale at William-Sonoma. Decisions, decisions.

Not on sale, buuuuut…Madewell’s basket-weave crossbody is giving me life.

Summer project inspo?  In recent years, Kiwi Crate has expanded its offerings far beyond the elementary school years.  They now have project crates appropriate for kids up to age 16.  They’re kinda perfect for rainy shore days.  I might get a three month subscription.  If you sign up this weekend, you can get the first month for $10! (50% off).  Use code WEEKEND.

Beta-test a dance class with me?  Remember those amazing dance classes I’ve been taking with my friend Laurel?  So many of you have expressed an interest in taking them that we’re trying to figure out if we can somehow livestream a few – just for fun.  If you want to see the class in action (and maybe even dance along from your living room), follow my livestream on Instagram (@shanachristine) this Friday, June 1, at 9AM EST.  We have no idea if this will work, so keep those expectations low.  (And we’d love feedback, too.)

My Favorite thing on Instagram right now. You’ve GOT to check out Amanda Watters’ doves.  Earlier this Spring, a pair of doves made a nest on her windowsill…and the babies were born a few weeks ago.  Luckily, she saved all of her related IG stories to her profile under “birdies,”  and we’ve been obsessively watching over and over.  Pax is insanely jealous.

What’s in the newsletter this week? The best of what’s left in the Memorial Day Sales. We’re changing it up daily through the weekend, so now is a good time to subscribe, if you haven’t already.  And we’ll be drawing another winner of our $200 gift card giveaway next month.  (NOTE – we love our newsletter because, unlike Facebook, we can actually make sure you get notified of new content.  We’ll never spam or share your email either, nor will we sell your personal data to Russia to try and sway an election, haha.)

Enjoy your long weekend!




  1. Long time soda stream user here. The ones you picked look great, but I highly recommend you try one that plugs in and you just push a button to get the level of fizz you want. I gave my manual one to my kid and I am a much happier seltzer drinker now. Also, FYI the fizz lasts longer if the water is cold prior to adding the bubbles. Why??? You are an engineer, so I am hoping you can explain, LOL. Love all your writing and thank you for being an example of kindness.

  2. Your Pax sounds eerily similar to my own Pax (Paxton) at almost 10-yrs-old. While we have 2 old cats, he wants a pet of his own; a snake or lizard, of course. uh uh. not happening on my watch. Animal lovers unite. :0)

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