Tuesday, March 31, 2009

after 5 days of sick kids...

(and a sick husband) this is what i get...

i was thinking more along the lines of a drink by the pool.  
oh, well.
i promise there is a laundry basket under there somewhere.  and, yes, there is another basket in the kids' room.  unfortunately, my washing machine was full of sheets, towels and car seat covers that had been covered in puke (and poo), so it was a bit tied up.  i hope it doesn't bother anyone how much poo gets mentioned on this blog...  hey, i live a glamorous life.  what can i say...

another jack "set-up"

i know i have mentioned before jack's use of the word "set-up."  it refers to basically anything he does with toys where he "sets it up" rather than actually plays with it.  i have no idea where he came up with this most recent one, but he definitely spent some serious time working on it.  sectioning toys off in their own area, cutting paper, checking spelling in his star wars book, taping down each name tag, etc.  in addition to making these set-ups, jack has also inherited from his godmother a love for taking pictures of his toys.  and to make matters worse, he has become slightly obsessed with requesting that things be posted on our blog...  thus, here you go.  jack's most recent "set-up"...






what is it about being 2 and OCD?

not sure about you, but all my kids went through this phase...  finn is currently in the middle of it.  kitchen cupboards must be closed all the way, everyone must sit in his or her exact seat at meal time, the second a crumb or smudge gets on him it must be wiped away immediately and lately he likes to scream at anyone who leaves the toilet seat up (i am actually hoping this one sticks...).  poor guy.  its a hard way to live...

desert botanical garden

i chaperoned jack's school field trip to the desert botanical garden yesterday.  i had actually never been myself and quite enjoyed it.  jack was extremely enthusiastic about me taking pictures of any creature we saw there and wanted me to post them.  the lizard and the desert ground squirrel were big hits with all the kids...  they have a really cool exhibit called the butterfly pavilion that was definitely everyone's favorite.  and as part of the school tour, they gave all the kids magnifying glasses, which is absolute genius.  i think next time i take my kids to the zoo i will bring along a couple magnifying glasses... this made everything more interesting somehow.  you should also check out the amazing chihuly exhibit that is currently there (at least look at the pictures online...).  the kids were all fascinated with these sculptures as well.  










by the end of the tour, all the kids looked more or less like this...

the poor tour guide... no one cared about her agaves...


did i mention i love spring?

i don't think it can get any better than sitting on the back porch eating pizza and drinking coke in a bottle in this beautiful weather.  i wish life was always this laid back and slow paced...

did i also mention finn still loves dip...



fresh fruit



i have been gushing a bit about spring lately, but i can't help it.  and now that we have the beginnings of fruit on our trees, i am, oh, so excited!  a couple of weeks ago allie gave me a big bag of lemons and so jack and lucy helped me squeeze a good deal of those and a big bag of grapefruit from our own tree (by the way, if anyone likes grapefruit, come and get it!).  you can't help but be happy, sitting outside juicing fresh fruit.  now we have apples, peaches and plums (!) on their way.  i was trying to find some good different recipes for all three of these before i am overloaded with them and not sure what to do.  most of what i was finding were desserts, which is fine, of course, but i thought i would see if anyone had any other good suggestions...  i love getting recipe recommendations...






jack's "girlfriend"

as a general rule, we don't watch commercials in our house.  we really don't watch that much t.v. with the kids at all, but pete and sports cannot be torn apart.  thus, what the kids usually end up watching (jack, in particular) is a game of whatever sport is in season.  this makes our 'no commercial' rule a little difficult when the games are really long and pete is up and down from his spot on the couch and the t.v. gets left on.  (especially annoying is that sports commercials are marketed at an adult beer-drinking crowd).  this all leading to a story somewhere (i promise...).  so the other day, i caught jack staring at the t.v. during commercials and told him to move along as i was going to turn the t.v. off.  he said, "no, don't turn it off, i love her.  she's my girlfriend."  

excuse me?  i continued to look for the remote as jack continued to tell me of his love for his girlfriend starring in some windows hp commercial.  (this idea of "girlfriend/boyfriend" is a new one that was recently picked up at school...)  then my brother danny, pete and i all made the mistake of laughing at this comment.  so, it went a little too far.  he said his girlfriend's name was giggles.  i really wonder what goes on in kids' heads sometimes...  so, here is another reason to turn off the commercials.  look what it can lead to...

(oh, and pete pointed out that she looks like miss katie with long hair...)

"no me like strawberries"

pete was just commenting last night about how we need to start teaching finn how to say things in a slightly more grammatically correct way.  "me like" and "no me like" are big in his vocabulary.  he also still refers to me as "me" sometimes (i wonder why...).  for example, he will say, "me go read book."  ok, go ahead.  "no.  me read book with me."  huh?  he also has this strange way of using the word "on" for describing things.  if we turn the lights off he gets really upset, but instead of saying it is dark, he says, "is dark on me" or "is dark on my book."  and he gets really stressed out when we drive at night and it is "dark on my window!"  also, if you ask him to carry something that he thinks is too big or heavy he will tell you it is "heavy on my hands."  and one last one, this morning outside it was, "hot on my shorts."

we heart forts


is it all kids?  when we give our kids permission to build a fort you would think they just won the lottery.  i am not kidding, they jump up and down squealing and hugging one another.  they were very excited about this one that has a long hallway down the middle and then four separate "rooms."  one for each of them and then a fourth filled with sleeping babies and stuffed animals.  the funniest to me is how much finn will hang out in here by himself...

design mom blog

so christine sent me to this blog some time ago and i absolutely love it.  it is written by a mom of five living in new york city (she actually just announced that they are moving to colorado, but i digress...).  here she is (in the back holding a little one) with all her kids out on some exciting adventure in the city...
she always posts about fun things to do with your kids (whether it be crafts, activities, recipes), she links to all sorts of baby and kid items (clothing, strollers, etc. - if she found raph i am sure she would link to it - that kind of stuff...), and then she also has "guest moms" that write on her blog for a week about anything they might have to add (recipes, kids' birthdays, dinner parties with kids, etc.).  one of my favorite guest moms showed how you can take really great expensive kid items and do them up yourself for much cheaper.  here she showed this kids play flower stand that she loved from paris and how she put together her own for a fraction of the cost...

one of my favorite features about this blog is the random giveaways.  she always has unbelievable items that you can win simply by posting a comment.  this week to enter her giveaway, you must link to it on your blog.  so here it is.  everyone should check it out.  you will all want to link to it as well, i am sure...   it is for a $300 gift certificate to the store peek... aren't you curious.  here are a few of the fun goods from that store...


Thursday, March 26, 2009

b.s.

so pete decided to teach jack and his cousin peter how to play the game b.s. last weekend with grandad.  jack, as is standard whenever he learns a new game, became obsessed with playing it.  the next day he came in and asked me, "mom, do you know what b.s. stands for?" in a way that implied he did know and it wasn't appropriate.  i said no and he said, "you don't?!!" sounding shocked as if he knew something i didn't.  i was getting a little nervous and asked him what it meant.  his tone immediately changed and he said, "i don't know."  (phew!)  his tone changed again as he said, "i wonder what it stands for?... hmmm, b.s.?  hmmm... bus?  it could stand for bus... but that doesn't really make sense...  i'll just go ask dad."  outta my hands.  so, my advice would be, if you are going to teach your child this game, perhaps try and come up with an altogether different name for it...

st. paddy's originals

i just had to share some of these pictures we took of finn (pre-photoshop)...
and lucy examining her guinness...

and jack's many attempts at the "grumpy" face...

on the other hand, i don't think lucy's face budged from this expression until we told her to smile...



a homemade life by molly wizenburg


has anyone heard of or seen this book?  it looks lovely.  just wanted to know.  i guess i will just add it to my wish list...

my spring soundtrack

i don't know why, but i always dig up this cd in the spring.  it seems like as soon as you can open the doors and windows and let the indoors and outdoors flow into one another this is the perfect soundtrack to fit such lovely spring days.  just wanted to share because it makes me happy when it is playing in the background of our life...

i would gladly burn anyone a copy that would like to give it a try...

killing time in the waiting room

today the kids all had dentist appointments and as we were waiting jack saw an ad on the back of a magazine for a tv show called rita rocks.  the guy in the picture was arching his eyebrow and jack pointed out that it looked just like dad.  finn came over to see and immediately agreed as he pointed at it, "dad."  finn decided to keep playing the game and gave each person in the picture a name of someone we knew.  i don't know why i thought it was so funny, but i did.  unfortunately, i couldn't find the exact picture (no arched eyebrow, which was the selling point for the dad character and no "uncle danny" on the far left...), but you get the idea...
i don't know which katie (we do know several) finn was referring to, but he did not hesitate when naming that lady katie...

style

yeah, finn's got it.  i think he gets it from his dad...



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

hoolie-hooping is my favorite and my best




so, my kids absolutely love the book series and cartoons of charlie and lola (and i must admit, i do as well...).  they are very sweet stories about a brother and his little sister and they always seem to be playing together and helping each other out.  this, i find, is rare in most children's literature, where the author tends to portray older siblings as bullies and little siblings as pests.  thus, this is one of the only cartoons i let my kids watch.  and as an added bonus, they have british accents.  our library has several of the picture books, which i highly recommend also (and, if you want to be a super-cool mom, like a very good friend of mine, you can read them with british accents...).    every story begins with the phrase, "i have this little sister lola.  she is small and very funny."  the first time we watched the cartoon, jack leaned over to me and said, "mom, small and funny.  that's just like lucy."  and ever since, we kind of can't help but compare charlie and lola to jack and lucy...  

we recently checked out the book "snow is my favorite and my best" and so lucy has picked up referring to things as her "favorite" and her "best."  funny how it was written to sound like an incorrect thing a kid would say and lucy started saying it because of the book...

one more recommendation from our family...

pippi longstocking illustrated by the same author/illustrator for charlie and lola, lauren hill.  my kids thought the story of pippi longstocking was hysterical and the pictures are so fun.  check it out.   they also liked to pretend they were tommy and annika, so i guess they have a thing for putting themselves into stories and movies (we have had lots of von trapp kids around the house these days as well...)

"actually"

finn's new favorite word is "actually."  for example, he will say, "play trains... actually, play cars" or "yeah, bagel!... actually, toast."  i know he won't say it for long, so i had to capture it...

video 

yes, that is an excessive amount of drool pouring out of finn's mouth... 

it's so embarrassing...

how the obamas are always trying to be like us... 
obviously, i am kidding...
anyway, my wonderful husband (i have noticed a spouse-gushing trend on most of the blogs i read, so i am trying to keep up...) built us a small garden in the backyard.  i wish i had taken a picture in the very beginning so you could see how much everything has grown, but it is still very exciting in my opinion, so i had to share.  here is our first bit of lettuce...

and here is our garden.  the kids were very excited to help pick everything out and then to come home and help plant, water, etc.  they are responsible for our attempt at growing corn...



this is an old mining wagon that we hooked a drip up to a while back and it has been home for our crazy basil plants ever since (i trimmed them a week before this picture...).  the kids also added some strawberries to the other half where i have been a failure at everything i have tried to grow.  so we will see how the strawberries do...


and finally here is lucy singing to her artichoke plant.  she tried artichokes shortly before we planted our garden and quickly deemed herself an "artichoke girl."  thus, she came home from bakers with her own little artichoke plant and has been keeping a watchful eye over it ever since.  her songs are always different, but i think the most recent one was something like, "artichoke, artichoke, oh, oh, oh.  artichoke, artichoke, grow, so, so."  (i've mentioned her stellar lyric skills before...).  anyway, if talking (or in this case singing) to your plants is really supposed to help them grow, then i think we might have the biggest most delicious artichokes to share in a year of two...