Saturday, March 31, 2012

Far Away Mall

A few weeks ago we met my good friend Beth and her kiddos, Natalie and Jackson, at the mall for a fun morning on a wet day. This isn't the mall that is right down the road from us; it's the mall about 35 minutes away and halfway between us and Beth! Colin has deemed it "Far Away Mall." Good enough.

So the kids ran and played and then we rode escalators and elevators and had Happy Meals. Fun for all. Especially since Beth and I got to sit and catch up a bit! Colin even ran the camera for me! These are all his work:

Miss Beth!

The ceiling above the play area!

The girls!

And cute Mr. Jackson!

Huh. One of the girls must have taken this one!

We have really enjoyed meeting up with Beth and her kids a few times this winter. I think we're going to try to make a monthly thing.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chickens and Baby Showers

On St. Patrick's Day I had a baby shower to attend in the Great North for one of my good friends from high school. It was just a quick up and back trip, so I went by myself. It actually turned into a bit of a vacation for me: sunny, beautiful day, quiet car, my own music, seeing friends, and a cupcake. Not too shabby.

And, I got to see my beautiful friend Amy and her baby-to-be Logan:

All of that enjoyment for me meant that Daddy was solo most of the day. Earlier in the week I had found a news piece somewhere that one of the local parks was having a Maple Sugar Exhibition on Saturday. I thought it might be interesting. I mean, the kids LIKE syrup. It was also at the same park that is the county's "exhibit farm." That means they have lots of cute animals to look at and barns to explore. So, Daddy thought it sounded like fun. And it WAS a gorgeous 70 degree March day. So off they went.

The report I got upon my return was this: Maple syrup is not very interesting. The naturalist doing the presentation was not dynamic. And the chickens were really funny.
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Oh well, at least there were funny chickens. And cupcakes.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I Have a Button.

So, as a mostly powerless three year old, Colin is becoming increasingly frustrated with his lot in life. He's been letting us know this with increasing amounts of bargaining and arguing. It's awesome. The other coping strategy that he's developed is his "I have a button" idea. Which, frankly, I find brilliant.

The basic idea is that when Colin finds himself in a situation that he feels is untenable, like rainy weather or bedtime, he just says, "I have a button for that." And he's going to push that button. And the button makes things better. It makes the weather nice. It makes it NOT bedtime. One time he even used it to make it be a "little" bath instead of a "big bath." It never fails to make me laugh. Makes me think of those goofy "easy button" commercials. Imagine how cool it would be if he ACTUALLY HAD A BUTTON. Who knows? Maybe this kid will MAKE a button someday.

He had better share with his Mama.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

T-Ball Man

I picked up a little t-ball set for the back yard a few weeks ago. And then it got rainy and cold. And the kids nagged me everyday to go play t-ball. FINALLY last week when it was gorgeous, we got it out and had a brief lesson. Ok, Colin had a lesson. Gillian would NOT let me show her ANYTHING. Not how to hold the bat, not how to stand, NOTHING. Homeschooling is NOT a valid choice for us (not that it ever was, anyway).

Colin really enjoyed it. And he wasn't too shabby at it either!

I love this video because he spends twice as much time PUTTING THE BALL ON THE TEE as he does swinging the bat. Sigh.

Here's a nice hit though.

And here is Gillian, minus instruction.

And then she got mad, took the tee, bat, and ball and ran away.


Friday, March 23, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Suprise!

A few weeks ago I won a prize on a little blog contest on my friend Rosie's lovely blog: Kitchens are Monkey Business

When Rosie asked what I wanted for my prize, I just told her to surprise us (with no nuts)! Well, on Thursday our packages arrived! Much to the kids' delight!
(um, ignore the clean laundry in the background)


The light up bow tie? HUGE hit.

Oh goodness, jewelry. Oh Rosie.

And M&Ms!! Oh my.

And just realizing that I never got pictures of the beautiful and lovely cookies that Rosie made! Although, there are lots of great pictures of them on Rosie's blog! They were YUMMY. Even Colin ate them, and he doesn't eat cookies (Thin Mints excepted). Thank you so very much, Rosie. We so appreciate the treats!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Life's a Picnic

Our weather has been positively beautiful this past week. I mean it feels like late MAY, not mid March! So, of course we had to take advantage of it! One of our first adventures was to use our new lunch boxes for a picnic in the park!

Off we go!

Mr. Man's sock selection for the day. Nice, right?

First we got in some playground time. It took us a bit to get into the swing of playground rules again. It involved some arguing (common for the present moment) and a couple of time outs (also very common). But, we worked it out and had a good day.

Lunch time!

YUM. Everything tastes better in the sunshine!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Eggie Tree!

Last year the house down the road had this lovely little tree in their front yard that was hung with Easter Eggs. The kids LOVED it. They looked for it each time we drove past and squealed when they saw it. And they were sad when, after Easter, the eggs were gone. So, since we have a cute little Japanese Maple in our front landscaping that isn't doing much this time of year, I thought we could have our own Eggie Tree this year!

Pre-Eggie shot:

My trusty sidekick, Gillian, was very, very helpful. She handed me the correct color egg when I asked for them and helped me arrange the colors just so. Colin was helpful in a way that involved driving his truck through the mulch.

So, TA DA! Our eggie tree!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Up North

Last weekend (when it wasn't 70 degrees) we took a quick trip north to visit with all of our family. We hadn't been up for a while and it was time. We picked the kids up at school on Friday and Miss Heather told us they were WOUND UP. Guess we shouldn't have told them where we were going after school. Oops.

Friday night night we had a nice dinner with Dickiedoo, Noonie, Uncle Stevie, and Aunt Emily. Colin discovered a love for thin crust pizza and Gillian discovered a love for Noonie's Texas sheet cake!

Saturday morning was pretty chilly, but Colin wanted to go ride Great-Papa's tractors. And maybe see a cow or a donkey. So, we bundled up and put on our boots. It was a lovely combination of cold and muddy, so both were needed!
G and I were having fun stomping on the ice covering the puddles and little streams. What a satisfying crunch and crack.

A boy and mud. What more is there to say? I did have to wash EVERYTHING he had on.

We walked down GraGra's big hill to Great-Papa's house, up the hill to the barn to see the donkey and calf, back down the hill to Great-Papa's house to say HI to Great-Grandma, and THEN to sit on the tractors!

Allis Chalmers for all!

Then we walked back UP GraGra's hill and in for a rest before lunch. Great-Grandma and Great-Papa came for lunch too!

After all that I was quite happy to see that both C and G zonked out quickly for their afternoon nap! After nap we headed over to Grammy and Papa's for dinner and a SURPRISE visit with JOE! Oh Joe is just the favorite person right now. With both kids!

So, nice weekend up north. It was so nice to get to visit with our family and relax a bit! And even lose an hour of sleep!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Boy, Basket, Book, Bear


BlueBlue is now well versed in meteors and other space stuff.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Back to the Park!

Although it's been a mild winter, we haven't been able to actually get outside much. Until last week! On Wednesday it was in the 60's and beautifully sunny, so we made plans to meet Miss Laura, Ian, Julia, and AJ at the playground!

HOORAY for outdoor play!

We are supposed to have a week FULL of sun and warmth this week! CANNOT WAIT.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tunicates and Bacteria

YouTube is a fascinating place. Especially if you are three years old. Really especially if you are very curious three year old with a Daddy who likes to "look things up."

In the past week Colin has been really hooked on a couple of new videos. He has a couple of ones he likes that are bacteria multiplying and one really cool one of a white blood cell hunting down a germ. We've watched those a few (hundred) times. We've been really into germs and bacteria and how your body fights being sick this winter whenever we come down with something. At least it keeps up busy while we're stuck at home sick.

For your viewing pleasure:

The other video that is a complete and total HIT is this one:

That creature is a predatory tunicate. An ocean floor dwelling member of the chordata phylum. We picked up a library book last week about ocean babies and it had a tunicate in it. And we needed more information according to Colin. Off to YouTube we went. I shared this on too and it turns out that other little boys like it too (when given the option to see it!).

The pursuit of knowledge is wonderful. Thank you internet.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Little Getaway

Last weekend the Parental Units around here escaped for a little time alone! Grammy and Papa Frank were kind enough to come for the weekend to entertain the little people.

First up was a Pen's game!
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The tickets were our Christmas present to each other! We had never been to a Pens game before, and we wanted to give each other a gift that we would be able to DO with each other. Fun, parental time alone is RARE around here! And this was FUN! The Pens won 8-1, and Evgeni Malkin score a hat trick! Woo hoo!

Happy parents:
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Umm, it was COLD in the arena. Yeah, yeah, I know it's HOCKEY. But it was still colder than I was expecting.

After the game, we checked into our hotel in the city and relaxed for a bit. We had plans to go a little Italian place in the city for dinner. We had a bit of a wait when we got there, and the restaurant is SO tiny, that we hit up a coffee shop BEFORE dinner. It's so easy to roll with the punches when all you have to worry about is adults and not hungry, three year old bellies.

More happy parents:
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After a quiet night, we were up not much later than usual to hit the Strip for breakfast, Penzey's Spices, and pepperoni rolls! Then it was home again to our cherubs. We can't wait to do it again!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Cheese Foot

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Yes, that's what they were saying while they were doing whatever that was they were doing.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Modern Art

Bean made us this lovely picture at school last week:
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When Daddy saw her work of art, he asked her what it was. Her answer? A hole. A hole on Mars. And now you know.