Monday, May 31, 2010

Curly Locks

Claire's hair has the most beautiful curls when she first gets out of the shower.  Her hair dries in these pretty ringlets, and then she wants her "hat" put in and wears her pretty "resses" and just about kills me with cuteness.  She's been enjoying nursery rhymes lately, and this one reminds me of her.

Curly locks, Curly locks, Wilt thou be mine?
Thou shalt not wash dishes, nor yet feed the swine.
But sit on a cushion and sew a fine seam,
And feed upon strawberries, sugar and cream.

I don't quite see Claire wanting to sit on a cushion, but she'd love the strawberries and cream.  And of course the general doting.  She knows all about how to be doted upon.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Building a Nest

I've been trying to get my nest in order, and not doing such a great job.  I should take a lesson from the industrious swallows who also want to build a nest....on my front porch.  Give them a few hours and they'll have a lump a mud thrown on the brick above the door.  Give me a stick, and I'll knock it down.  They're brazen little things and just sit on the bay window a few feet away and stare at me, all while holding little muddy bits in their mouths.  And then I destroy their home each and every time they try to build it, and they come back again and start right over.  If only I was like that with dishes and laundry and other issues in my own nest.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Happy Birthday

Poor Bryn did not have a great birthday, and it was all the fault of her mean and horrible parents who never make anything special or give her anything.  The fact that she's having a giant birthday party the next week doesn't count.  The fact that she got to choose where to go out to dinner doesn't count.  The fact that she wasn't asked to lift a finger all day, played with and went to the mall with her friends doesn't count.  The fact that she opened birthday cards and got more money in one day than she usually gets in year doesn't count.  Moral of the story: mean parents can ruin a birthday with impunity.

This photo is called, "Stop it, Mom!  It's not funny."

Friday, May 28, 2010

Swinging into Summer

Today was the last day of school.  Great day for Bryn who's had a tough school year; sad day for Ella who loves everything about school.  I think they'll both warm up to the idea of summer vacation pretty quickly, but Bryn has lots of neighbor kids her age to run around with and Ella not so much.  We celebrated by meeting friends for a picnic at the park.  What better way to kick off summer?

The friendly birds thought picnicking was a good idea, too.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Batman Returns

Owen's much beloved Batman pajamas are getting too small, they're pilling and they have long sleeves and long pants.  After a trip to our favorite place on earth (ha! not Disneyland, Target!), Owen is back in action and ready for warm weather.  I wish I could make everyone this happy for $12.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dance Festivals

Ella and Bryn's schools seem to schedule their dance festivals on the same day every year.  I end up going to Ella's which starts a bit earlier and then driving like a crazy lady to Bryn's, where I park illegally and rush to see her dance.  Both girls did a great job with their dances and were so fun to watch.  Bryn's class went Bollywood and did Jai Ho.  Ella's class did a traditional Guinean welcome dance.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Owen has been ranking our family by awesomeness lately.  So far only he and Ella have managed to consistently maintain rankings of "the most awesome of all."  I'll admit there's some definite awesomeness going on in this picture.

I'm glad to say I'm up there a lot of the time, but I frequently get demoted for various motherly infractions--no cookies for breakfast, you can't play the Wii all day, general cruelties like that.  Poor Claire has yet to be considered awesome at all.  Don't worry, I'll call her awesome a lot just to be sure she doesn't get a complex.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Not in my Backyard!

Except it was in my backyard, and front yard and driveway and street and on my car and roof and, and, and.....

I think Claire's reaction sums it up pretty neatly.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sleep Tight

This is the first night we'll all be tucked into our own beds in our own rooms.  And to think, it only took three weeks.  (Yes, you can insert the sarcasm all on your own.)  Unfortunately for Bryn, the box spring wouldn't make the turn at the bottom of the stairs, so she's still a mattress on the floor, but at least it's her mattress.  She does have the advantage of having her room painted and all the proper furniture in there.  Of course, she has no blinds and no doors, but I'm calling this progress. I keep trying to remember it's a process, and that it's one we chose for our greater good rather than just randomly inflicted torture!

Friday, May 21, 2010

On the Big Top Carpet Mountain

As play structures go, this one has some serious kid appeal.  Too bad there's no safety commission in the land that would pass it.  Owen and his friend had a grand time trying it out.  Claire stays a little closer to the ground and after happily waving high to our up high friend, told me "Dat's dangerous!"  Here's hoping that's a sign of common sense to be.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Boy and his Bubbles

Today's weather was gorgeous and so was big O.  He would object vehemently to the terminology, but he's wrong.  Simple moments of fun give me pause and remind me to be grateful and mindful of all that we have.

my five of the day:
a green and blooming earth
a blue and running boy
a pinkie for my sweetly napping girl
a yellow school bus of friendship and familiarity
a clear head to savor the moment 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Torn Dogs

Owen loves a good corn dog.  Claire loves the idea of being like Owen.  Then it touches her lips and that's the end of that.  She asked for a "torn dog" again today, but this time she figured out she likes the corn breading, just not the dog.  She eats it sort of corn on the cob style.  I think her pronunciation fits her method.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Toilet Snakes are Real, along with a thankfully unrelated photo

There was a giant surprise in my toilet today.  It was red and white, striped and huge, I tell you, HUGE.  My worst middle-of-the-night fears were true: the toilet snake does exist.  In case you need to know, they're red and white striped and kinda mushy and slimy looking, and about four times the size of a gummy worm.

Claire still hasn't been eating well, so I've been letting her have anything she wants.  This morning included Diet Pepsi, cookies, and gummy worms.  (Don't worry, there were some healthier things in there, but I might win a MOTY for the previous list anyhow.)  So about five hours after her gummy worm snack, I happened to go to the bathroom, and that's when I found it had morphed into a toilet snake.  So now along with letting my child eat loads of junk food, I also somehow managed to not notice when she left the kitchen and went upstairs with a worm, put in the toilet, put the lid down and somehow rejoined us without me knowing anything was amiss.  I'm going to claim I was doing important things like snapping Owen's pants or laundry or maybe saving the world.  Then I won't feel so bad about the junk food in the toilet.

I think we're all grateful I didn't take a photo of that, but I did venture into my backyard during the rain today to get some photos of our beautiful purple tulips while they still last.  They are a bright spot in the giant weedy mess I call a backyard right now.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Truck, The Truck

We're so super cool because a big truck came to our house.  It's definitely more exciting when you're little.  Owen, of course, wanted to know if he could drive it, seeing as he's very experienced now that he's driven a big yellow truck.  He was more than a little disappointed (disgusted perhaps?) that I didn't ask the delivery men if he could have turn.  That's what you get for not wanting to talk to anyone outside your own family, young man!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Enough already with the vomiting! Hard to believe this happy little face threw up just an hour earlier.

Something about being sick seems to make Claire believe in security food.  She just holds it, and maybe nibbles a tiny corner, but she gets mad if you try to take it away.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

"I'm Thinking"

Owen wanted his pants snapped, so he came out of the bathroom and pointed at his pants.

Me: Yup, those are your pants.
O: Ugh (frustrated look) and points again.
Me:  Yup, there they are.
O:  My pants aren't snapped, Mom!
Me: Yes, I know.
O:  You're supposed to snap them.
Me:  Then you're supposed to ask me to snap them.
O: No, I just say "mmm" and point at them and then you do it.
Me: No, you just say, "Mom, could you please snap my pants?"
O:  I'm going to think about that.  This is how you think:

Me: (click, click, click)
O:  I'm still thinking about it, and I think you should just snap my pants.
Me:  Ummm, no, you have to ask nicely.
(a few minutes filled with more chin stroking go by)
O: Please snap my pants.
Me: Okay. 

And then I snapped his pants.  Miraculous how that works, huh?

Fast forward to a while later where Owen updated me on the importance of his thinking methods.  "Mom, boys think like this: (chin stroke, chin stroke). Girls think like this: (taps first finger against his temple), so that's what you need to do when you think."  Thanks goodness I keep him around to clue me into these things.

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Cat, the Addict

We're having a hard time getting Oscar off the Wii.  Today he even stole Owen's pajama top so he could look cool while playing Super Mario.  He was so busy with his game, he wouldn't even look at me for a picture.Yeah, my cat's an addict and I'm not afraid to admit it.

OR....Claire was up puking last night, so I didn't want to leave the house today, and I was really bored and cranky, and dressing the cat in pjs entertained me for a few short minutes, and then I didn't have to pay attention to real life.  Something like that, or the cat is an addict.  You pick.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dress Like Chester

Ella's school custodian is retiring this year, so they had a school wide "Dress Like Chester" day in his honor.  Chester seems to have been a very beloved character, but the instructions sent home were to dress our children like dorks and send them to school in Chester's honor.  Is it honor or is it mockery at that point?  I'm hoping Chester has a good sense of humor.  I'm guessing he'd have to if he's been an elementary school custodian this long!

So here's Ella wearing her socks pulled (almost) up to her knees, (not quite baggy) denim shorts, tucked in shirt (we don't have scrubs), tennies and baseball cap.  Can you guess whose hat she's borrowing?  We didn't tell Owen, just hid it in the backpack and went with it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Daughter, the Artistic Genius

Okay, that mother's pride thing may be going a bit far these days, but I am very impressed by Ella's artworks.  I especially love the self portrait.  Ella loves the fish "because they're really cute and there's lots of pretty colors in the ocean.  Bryn likes the flowers.  Ella was insulted because "those aren't flowers, they're just weird shapes!"  Art is in the eye of the beholder, right?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Yet Again

I must say that Claire is the cutest thing ever!   Clearly, you'll have to agree.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Soak the Coach

Ella's had the same soccer coach and team for a few years.  Their tradition after the last practice of the season is a water balloon fight.  The girls look forward to it all season.  Coach Ryan is an incredibly good sport since the kids do anything in their power to get him wet. Balloons are great for each other, but Coach gets coolers of water dumped on his head, etc.  They're all happy and wet by the end, and I can watch from a safe distance so it works just fine for me.

One more game and a pizza party and our soccer season is officially over.  Hallelujah!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

We are some low key people around here today.  Pretty much we just laid around and recovered from yesterday's havoc.  My girls made me sweet cards, and then we had dessert with Andrew's family in the evening.

Dear Mommy,
I love it when you let me cook with you.  I love it when you help me make my bed.  I love it when you take me to the places I like.  I love it when you help me feel better.  I love it when you are always nice.  Happy Mother's Day!
Love, Ella

Dear Mom,
Thank you for everything you do for me.  You are an awesome mom.  You are very nice, sweet, and funny mom. I love you so much.
Luv, Bryn

And in other news, Claire has learned to do a somersault.  I guess having new carpet in the room inspires my children to gymnastic feats, and C just followed along.  She's very proud of herself.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Good Stuff about Vomit

I'm trying really hard to look on the positive side of life right now, and it's not working out so well with this stomach bug raging through the house and felling us all.  So in an attempt to choose my attitude, this is my list of good things about vomit.
  1. I didn't have to cook any meals.
  2. Therefore, I didn't have to do any dishes.
  3. Ella threw up, and then had a massive nose bleed all over the living room carpet. No problem since the carpet guys were coming in just a few hours to replace it anyhow.
  4. Claire got sick right when she woke up, so her stomach was empty.  No fun for her, but way less mess for me.
  5. It's the weekend, so no one missed school and there's no school work to make up.
  6. All of my kids took naps. (See poor Ella below, crashing while the carpet guys worked loudly in the other room.)
  7. I took two naps, and I got to do it in my normal bed with the door closed.
It's not really part of the stomach bug, but on another positive note we now have tv, internet, phone and new carpet, so I think we'll reach some normalcy soon.  The kids can move into their bedrooms, furniture can be placed, Claire can watch Elmo.  Life is good.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Building the Bed

Owen and Claire had an extra day with Nana and Grampa today.  I bought carpet, lots of paint and supplies and then got to work.  The nasty 80s floral border came down, and then Owen's room was painted big boy blue.  He came home and got to help Daddy put the bed together.  Using power tools is a great way to make a four year old happy!  I'm just happy to have one room that's mostly done since everything else still needs help.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Blood Drains

I love Owen.  He's so busy thinking and learning these days, but sometimes things get a bit mixed up in the processing.  With skinned knee season in full swing, he's been paying attention to owies and blood and learning about the heart and circulatory system in a very basic way.  It's been weeks since we had our original conversation, but today and he started telling me about how he has blood drains, etc, etc with the most serious tone of voice.  Of course, I don't want to correct him because he's cute this way, but Andrew ever so rudely interrupted and told him they were actually called veins.  Owen's response: "Oh, well I call them blood drains."

Long live childhood and Owen's wonderful imagination!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hope of America

Bryn participated in Hope of America tonight.  It's been a very cool experience for her.  She's enjoyed learning all the songs and some American history, but I think her favorite part is being part of the spectacle.  The show had about 4000 5th graders from our county singing in the chorus which is shaped like a giant US flag.  Bryn's on the far right at the bottom of the fourth red stripe.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cleaning, Cleaning, Cleaning

But not here at the new house, just at the old one.  It's kind of crazy to spend so much effort on the old house, but we moved into it super clean and I'm sure the new owners will appreciate it.  Here, we're a giant late night mess, but we'll be done with old and just have the new to concentrate on as of tomorrow.  Thank goodness!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Real Americans

Andrew told me tonight that we're real Americans now. Patriotic spirit?  Nope.  His reason: we have a garage full of crap.  Now you know.

Our "meowie" is also confined to the garage for now.  Claire finds this fascinating.  I even have to sing bedtime songs about garages and meowies lately.  That's definitely pushing my musical limits, so I guess we'll let the cat in the house soon.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Big Yellow Truck

Yesterday was the big moving day, but Owen was gone to Nana and Grampa's so he'd be out of the way.  We kept the truck overnight just so he could see it.  Let me tell you, the thrill level was pretty high.  Owen even got to sit on Daddy's lap and drive the truck in a parking lot.  He thinks he's the only four year who knows how to drive big yellow trucks!  His only complaint was that it went too slow.  I think Daddy had something to do with that one.  The girls were pretty excited, too.  I guess there's something to be said for sitting up on top of the world.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The New House

First night here and not a whole lot of regular life to be had.  Bryn and Ella are sleeping in the living room until the basement gets new carpet.  Hopefully they'll look back on it as an adventure and not just torture.