This summer my girl has become a real swimmer. And she's learned to ride a two-wheeler. And she's shot up like the weeds that I'm constantly battling in our garden. I'm a little stunned, really, that she's suddenly a big seven-year-old. I suddenly realize that I don't remember her being a baby anymore. Was she ever so tiny and buttery-soft, the way her baby sister is?

Will I just blink my eyes one day and find that my little fishy has, indeed, swum?

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Other notes for today:

+I got a lot of questions about camping with kids after this post. Alicia was way more on top of it than I was, and made this awesome post full of camping tips. Basically, she said everything I would have said, only more clearly, since my brain is in a fog this week. Anyway, the way we camp with our wee ones is not really "roughing it". It's more like setting up a home-away-from-home. Like Alicia's family, we are state park campers, and we love the air mattresses, the organized camp boxes, the roomy tent. The canopy above the picnic table is an invaluable addition. We like bathrooms, because our oldest simply cannot go to the bathroom outside, try as she might. My husband and I used to rough it more, but we have found that it's just easier with little ones to make it feel homey and familiar. I love Alicia's tip about eating well, too. 5 days on hot dogs just doesn't cut it. We make simple, real food while camping. It's easy, and there are lots of websites that offer tips on that. But basically, familiar recipes with short ingredient lists work very well.

+I'm cautiously optimistic about my technical difficulties. Scary stuff, though. I lost a lot of photos to that little drama. I see that there is recovery software for corrupted photos, but I'm not anxious to allocate $30 or $40 to it right now, since I have to buy a new compact flash card as it is. I'm hoping to get caught up both here and at near:far very soon.

+During this unintentional break, I've been sick as a dog. Really, so sick with one of those nasty, depressing summer colds.

+My shop update is coming along, very slowly. Being sick has made sewing feel undesirable this week.

+We've had some amazing and crazy weather around here lately. Two nights ago, we had a storm that was part thunderstorm, part tornado, part hurricane. (OK, not really hurricane, since we live miles and miles away from any ocean.) Lots of trees in our neighborhood fell, and many people had broken windows and worse. We were luckily spared the worst of the storm.