Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

I listened to this show yesterday and found it very interesting. Cathy and I (well, me really) have struggled with how to celebrate the major christian holidays in a way that feels comfortable to me spiritually and socially. After listening to Greg Epstein it appears that I can wish you all a Merry Christmas without being a hypocrite. And I do wish everyone a day of family, friends, gifting, enjoying good food, and feelings of warmth and wellness during these dark days.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A bathroom in every room.


The reason most people don't encourage potty learning in the winter is because of clothes. That isn't an issue in our house because they are so rarely fully dressed. But man, getting them to use the bathroom, then get dressed, then put on snowsuits, mitten, hats, boots, etc only to get outside to hear "I peeing" is so frustrating.

They don't want to wear diapers so I have to try to plan our day around enough bathroom stops. However, several times a week I have to take them out of their beds asleep and put them in the car. Then they are stuck in the car for about 35-40 minutes while I pick up the older kids and drive to their afternoon activities. Then it is too late and we have a puddle. In the car seat (where it freezes) or the waiting room at gymnastics or some other not so ideal place like the grocery store entrance.

But they are doing great, expect when they are not. They've never had an accident at school, so that is good. And by summer, they'll be experts.

Oops, I hear "I pee on rug. On rug I pee." sigh..............

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Solstice!

Happy Solstice. Today we celebrate both the rebirth of the sun and the babies' half birthday. Winter was shown the way by a lovely snow. Yesterday was spent on snowy adventures- snowboarding on our ramp, failed attempts at x-c skiing (wrong type of snow), snowshoeing and building forts.
Then we warmed in the house and decorated the tree, made solstice cookies and played with glitter and glue.
Avery, through a haze of falling snow. Just for the record, she has a sheer summer dress on under the snowsuit. "Because it is so pretty!" Life with her as a teenager is going to be a challenge.

Finley was fearful of falling. Our new driveway produces the most lovely black ice. She crawled most of the day to be safe.


Meryl, who just takes it all in stride.

This morning I discovered just how competent and independent my two youngest can be. When I was upstairs helping Avery with her braids (now worn daily to keep the lice away! It is out of control in her school.) they got the paints, took off their clothes and got in the tub to start painting! I'm fine with this, but not in the middle of the morning rush.

What I found.



What it turns into.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Still Here

Busy with not terribly important things.
We made some sugar cookies.

The kids worked pretty well together. Logan and Avery have become more competent at rolling out the dough.


Meryl did not eat any.


Truly. Not one bite went in her mouth!



We bought packaged gingerbread houses again. More fun with no work. Avery had a new friend over after school this week. I gave them the box and went away to entertain the babies. Two six year olds had a blast, consumed way too much sugar, and had something to display at the end. I spent my evening chipping away at the dried up frosting on the table. I figure now we have a good excuse for inviting this kid (who Avery thinks is just the bee's knees, and now I agree) back again during school vacation. To eat it!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Jealous Much?

Look what I'm getting for Christmas. (Repeat three times in a sing-song voice!)

First- Cathy is getting the fridge of her choice, not the one I'd prefer. And with the cost difference I am getting this!

Then on Saturday I am picking up this. That first egg is going to be very expensive!

They say things don't bring happiness. They lie. I can't wait to toss the old mildewy bike trailer. Only now I need a new shed to keep this in!


eta- Of course the fridge is being delivered and installed with the old one being hauled away. This is NE. They know no one would pay for such a thing so it is worked into the cost of the fridge!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Guest Blogger- Fairy Houses by Logan


This post is brought to you by Logan. He built the fairy houses and took the photos. His teacher is concerned by his lack of keyboarding skills so this gives him a chance to practice. Of course I had intentionally kept him away from a keyboard so his handwriting would be better.



I made a litel (long) bridg that conected from a biger
house

this is a close up of the house above.
I made this fairy house on the top of bloe hills



this is the mane house.


this is a close up of the mane house.



Dining room


This is a plase to sit.


Mane house.



I think of this as a old wizards house.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Snowy Hike

Waiting for the babies, who wanted to walk. Logan and Avery were quite patient.
At the top.

Fairy Houses


Shadow play.

Snow!
(At the bottom of the ski slope!)
The actual hiking was great. The top was fun, what with screaming inside the watch tower, building fairy houses and having a snack. Getting into the car to drive there? Driving there? Getting out of the car, to the bathroom, getting everyone on the trail awake, with shoes? Not so much fun. Sadly Havasu is still a few years away, even with a donkey!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Screen Time

I'll give you one guess as to what they are watching!

Friday, November 6, 2009

I've been had!

Finley and Meryl wear diapers. But we have potties floating around the house and they understand the general concept, I think. They also know that if they make a deposit they get a chocolate chip. But we haven't done any serious attempts at getting out of diapers and I don't have any current plans.

But for a few weeks now Finley has been bringing me a tiny bit of pee in the potty and asking for chips. Fine. Usually this is after dinner and before bath. And she often ends up peeing on the floor while she eats the chocolate. Whatever.....

Today she asked for the potty and then asked for a cup of water! "Like Lolo" (Lolo is her name for Logan) She pours the water in the potty and presents it to me for the chocolate.

I've been duped and can't wait to talk to "Lolo" about this scam of his!!

EDIT- PS- Logan insists that he gives her warm water to put her hand in. Although sometimes, if she is naked, he'll run the warm water down her back. I don't know, perhaps it is all legit.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

No Nap


Meryl decided not to nap today! Note the droopy eyes.


Instead she put her fisher price animals in alphabetical order (following the zoo map that has pictures) and played at the table with paper dolls. Then I found animal families lined up around troughs of food. 1 little zebra and 2 big ones at the basket of apples. Two hippos and a rhino at a bag of grain. Such grown up play! I need to find a way for the two little ones to play alone more often.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween

So I guess I am supposed to post cute pictures of my kids in costume. Or the jack-o-lanterns glowing. Or the kids passed out in a sugar coma. Nope, not happening. I didn't get a single photo of Logan in costume.

But we had a full Halloween schedule. ToT in the commercal district the next town over. (Doesn't anyone make costumes anymore?) The neighborhood pots and pans parade to scare away the ghosts. (Doesn't anyone cook their own food anymore? Not a single homemade item on the food tables, unless you count chocolate covered marshmallows homemade! Ugh) The literacy night at school where you were supposed to dress as your favorite literary character. (3rd grade is too old to dress up?) And of course the regular ToT. Beautiful warm night, light off and on drizzle. 400 kids knocking on your door for candy. (Yes, our neighbors kept count but ran out of candy at 400.) Kids who didn't even put a hat on and call it a costume. Kids who knocked after every light in the house was out. Oh, and someone stole Logan's bag of candy after he finished ToTing.
Bah hum bug.... I am becoming such a scrooge.
Insert some witty segue here.

We've been missing the morning bus a lot recently. The bus used to come at 8:07ish, but the route changed and it now comes at about 8:25ish. We had never missed it until it started coming later. Go figure.

Sad kids waiting for me to drive them.

Picking nose kids waiting for me to drive them.

Waiting for me to drive them!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Closing in on the end of the season

Sadly, the last of the carrots were pulled today. Also, sad is the fact I did not pull the last of the rutabagas. Ugh..... how did we end up with so many rutabagas???

This is a nice time of the year to be in the garden with the babies. Anything above ground is dead and can't be destroyed, so they can climb around without me cringing or telling them to stay off the growing plants. We had a nice morning taking our time.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Where was I?

So I've come to a place where I am not very comfortable nursing both girls in public. Partly because in the US so few people nurse past one or two years. Partly because I have stomach flab that I would rather not share with the world. (Sorry about the visual there.) Then I saw these things on the same day.

Nursing in Mongolia

Bumper sticker

Gandhi- and no I didn't see him, obviously. It was a lecture/sermon about him. Basically the message I got was "if you're gonna talk the talk you need to walk the walk."

If that doesn't tell me perhaps I should just suck it up and do what is best for my girls AND get in control of my eating and exercise, I don't know what will. I loved the article about nursing in Mongolia. It is so true about nursing solving the problem 100% of the time. I can talk about taking turns or I can get two of the same exact toy, but that doesn't always soothe things over. But if I were to just lift my shirt and say "Who wants it?" I can pretty much guarantee that I'd have two kids running over. So what did I do at the playground today when Finley was having a tough time and needed to nurse. I let her. But when Meryl also wanted to nurse. Sorry. Time to go home or nurse in the car.

Sigh......

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekend Round Up

THURSDAY-after school

Leaf Ride

FRIDAY-
Topsfield Fair

Crazy Bus



SATURDAY and SUNDAY-
At Grandma's House- the big Yew tree is always a hit.
This was the first time the babies spent the night in the barn. It went suprisingly well. The main house is not toddler-proof in the least, but the weather was great and the newness of it all kept the babies busy. The house was a disaster when we left though. I think Grandma will be cleaning up peanut shells for a few weeks.


Grandma has cats, but we never see them. This guy got a lot of attention from Finley.


On MONDAY we hired a babysitter to take the babies to the new SMILE playground. For 2.5 hours Cathy and I just cleaned/organized/picked up the house/yard. It felt good, but hardly made a dent in the chaos and mess in which we are now used to living. I think the babies had fun out on a scavenger hunt and at the playground.
All in all a lovely long weekend, even if we didn't go to St. Louis.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

School Holiday

Monday was a school holiday so we headed into the Boston Children's Museum.
The Peep water area was a hit for all 4 kids, which shocked me. Someone did a good job designing a play space that can be enjoyed by a 9 year old as well as a two year old!


Meryl enjoyed the hand air dryer the best.

The walk to the parking garage was really, really long thanks to Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz filming and taking over the entire area. We had to stop and take a break. This was the first time I intentionally left the ergo at home and I normally don't take the stroller. Oops.
Next week we have a 4 day weekend and Cathy will be home. We had hoped to go to City Museum in St. Louis again but the flights don't work. Topsfield fair and a trip to Grandma's will have to suffice.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Full Sentences

Meryl's and Finley's increased vocabulary has me cracking up this morning.

Finley: Poopy head Momo! (Her name for Meryl)
Meryl: No me poopy head. Ninley poopy head!
F: No mine poopy head. Momo poopy head.
Followed by a stuck out tongue and a raspberry blow!

I tried my hardest not to laugh, but failed.


Bathroom names and insults already? The tongue blow? How? Where? Logan and Avery are past that. It was just so classic. I'm sure it won't be so funny after the next dozen or so times.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Denial

Yesterday was the local twin group's yard sale. I got great deals on clothes for the babies. 8 pairs of fluffy, fleecy pjs at $1 pair. (Still soft but washed enough that most of the flame retardant is washed away, I hope.) 7 pairs of pants and 13 shirts at $.50 each. All the same brand, all compatible so that they should match even on days they pick out their clothes. Awesome! Until I get home and realize that they don't fit my babies. My little tiny babies. Who no longer fit in 2T but need 3T. How can that be? They are such babies!!

Anyone have some extra 3T pjs to sell?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Night Life

Our evenings end pretty early around here since we are up and down all night long with the kids. All of a sudden though Logan has activities that keep me out well past my bedtime. He's only in 3rd grade! Yikes! What will it be like in middle school? His basketball tryout assessment goes until 9pm. He is typically in bed before 8 and asleep by 9. I guess his tryout will go poorly, they'll expect very little from him and he'll only look good by the end of the season? Who knows................ Yawn...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

First Day Jitters- NOT!



Finley and Meryl attended their first day of "school" today. An hour and half drop off program at park and rec. The only problem was around how to get there. Both girls knew they wouldn't take the bus, but that Mommy would drop them off. But Meryl thought she would still take her scooter, since the older kids scooter to the bus stop. Once we got that confusion cleared up it all went smoothly. They had a blast at "school." Phew.......