Friday, March 30, 2012

The Great Pennsylvania Post.

We spent our spring break in Pennsylvania, where we got to sit around and enjoy quality time with our family. The kids had the best time, and were not pleased when it was time to go, although Fisher was easily consoled with the idea of getting on another airplane. Seeing aunts and uncles and Grandma and celebrating Fisher's birthday were all of the reasons we went, but if I had to give the real reason, Baby Keila would be the answer, hands down. The kids were smitten.Two days after we arrived was Fisher's fourth birthday and with the great weather we headed to the park for some before-lunch birthday fun.

This one's my favorite. Fisher makes any number of goofy faces, but this one shows his fun, goofy, happy spirit, too.
Fisher got to celebrate along with Aunt Renee (also a March birthday) and big sister Alla, since all the family won't be here next month for her special day.
For his gift to Alla, Uncle Will threw Alla in the fish pond.
Just kidding. Aunt Renee would never let him do that to her Alla.
The next day we took the kids to Hershey's Chocolate World, which they loved for the ride, and I loved for the gorgeous forsythia as a backdrop.
Here are the Killins siblings - Renee, Ronna, and Ron - with Alla, Baby Keila, and Fisher.
We rounded out the trip with a visit to Great Grandma where Alla indulged in chicken fingers and rolls.
And, just to prove that I went on the trip, too! Me and my niece and mother-in-law, who put up with all of us for six sleeps! These are some lucky kids to have her for a grandma. Baths around here are practically punishment after the bubbles and jets in Grandma's tub!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ten on Tuesday.

1. My, oh my, I have a four-year-old.

2. We surprised Alla at school today by joining her for lunch. She smiles all through lunch when we do that.

3. It is blowing something crazy out there. I despise wind.

4. We spent last week in Pennsylvania visiting Grandma, aunts, uncles, and a new cousin. Photos to come!

5. When we got back, we celebrated Fisher's second "burt-day" with Nana and Pappi. We are pretty sure that he actually considered it an official second birthday.

6. We made what he requested: vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting. Vanilla frosting to die for, thank you Pinterest!

7. Another Pinterest score: Quinoa Mac n Cheese last night for dinner.
8. I think Pinterest may take over the world.

9. When we left for Pennsylvania, all of Minnesota was brown. When we returned six sleeps later, the grass was green and the lilacs budding, most of the trees branches lined in pale green. All beautiful, and all contributing to a very early start to allergy season for me.

10. 100 more pages left of Katherine Boo's book, and then I'm hoping another Katherine's book will arrive shortly thereafter!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Birthday Boy.

Lately I've been going through videos from the past few years, labeling, marveling, and now I find that what I am most surprised about this fourth birthday is not how he isn't a baby anymore. (That feels obvious, but I'll be bringing up baby pictures and mourning those days again in future birthday years.) What really strikes me is how he's not this little toddler, with garbled words and cute pronunciations. Of course he isn't a baby, but when I'm looking back at videos, I guess I thought those toddling days would stretch out further. No, he is definitely a preschooler, and in the middle of even that, if I can wrap my head around it. What he truly is, at four years old, is so incredibly kind. Sincere, emotional, sensitive. Loud. Boisterous. Creative. Smart.

He has the warmest kisses.

He has a vast knowledge of emergency vehicles, particularly fire ones, battleships, construction vehicles, and aircraft.

His favorite colors are red and goldenrod.

He loves his sister.

He is loved, very very much.

Happy Birthday, Buddy!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Twelve on the 12th: March.

Monday morning rain
oil pastels that you love
little finger that you love
taking pictures with Mommy's camera that you love

What you see outside through my lens
self-timer: Us and Lovey
I knew you'd fall asleep, silly time change
you and Udai, buddies

Grumpy face, but you weren't grumpy
treasures multiplying on our doorstep, safe
Daddy headed for a rainy run
End of the day: bath.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ten on Tuesday.

1. We are too busy enjoying the mid-60s to be inside blogging.

2. Harbingers of spring: geese flying in a v-formation, robins, and, today, Dusty the Street Sweeper. That last one, Fisher has declared, must be the first sign of spring.

3. Today my son made his first birthday wish (this is big, people, because he only wishes for things that are never attainable) - he wants one of those (nerf) bow and arrows that our across the street friend has. Those arrows flew down the street!

4. Had Alla home with a yucky cold today. March 1st is that date (for me) when the nice weather mingles with the bad, however, we must wait til at least May 1st for most of the colds to be gone.

5. But it's nice to get outside in the sunshine, and sit wrapped up in a blanket on a lawn chair in the driveway, even if you are home sick.

6. Tomorrow we're sharing a "treat" with Fisher's school friends - smokejumpers. Some of you may think of those green army guys as paratroopers, but my son would correct you.

7. The kids started a new (to them) swim class this weekend at the University of Minnesota, which Fisher likes to call "The Use."

8. All that nice warm sunshine, and the resulting running around caused our children to be asleep moments after closing their door.

9. There once was a time when my daughter knew hundreds of signs, but now that both of my children speak in words, only a few signs remain in daily use: pay attention, I'm Sorry, Thank You, Please, and I Love You.

10. Our favorite little boy turns four on Monday, and lucky for him, we will get to celebrate with Grandma, aunts and uncles and a special little baby cousin. And then have another celebration a few days later!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Ten on Tuesday.

1. What an amazing day today! Over 50 degrees, blue skies! Here is why I love March - you can actually feel the sun. I ran in short sleeves!

2. Yesterday Fisher and I hit up the mall for new shoes (for him - he picked the same ones in the next size up), and I was reminded that I despise the mall. Is it absolutely necessary for every store to have its own scent and waft it at you as you walk by? I'm talking especially to you, Abercrombie. Ugh.

3. We also stopped by Alla's school to have lunch with her.

4. When we came home I had big plans to eat the last Cadbury egg I'd saved. Unfortunately I must have forgotten having already eaten it, because it was not to be found. I was very sad.

5. My husband rescued me and brought a few for me this evening.

6. I have embarked on the world's longest project, which is labeling all of our home movies. They are all officially on my computer now (instead of the Flip) but I have to watch each and every one in order to label it. Three years of cute little clips.

7. I registered Alla for a watercolor class on a Friday in June at our local awesome nature center. The girl is over the moon.

8. One exciting thing Fisher is getting for his birthday - a rope.

9. We are really (just about) done with 90210. It's just horrible.

10. But New Girl - awesome!

Friday, March 02, 2012

Play sink.

I love Friday. I love Saturdays and Sundays because it's the weekend and everyone is home and things are looser, but often because of the empty hours, they get filled up and suddenly what looked on Friday to be 48 hours of lovely nothingness has turned into errands, groceries, projects and then it's Monday morning all over again.

So maybe I like Friday best. From the moment I wake up on Friday, I feel more relaxed. I have to get kids ready for school, so there's a little bit of hustle, but I know that once the last kid gets picked up at 4:00, the only thing I have to do is make pizza for Fisher. No lunch to pack on Friday. Bedtime is still bedtime, but somehow it doesn't feel as hurried. We linger at the table longer, eating slice after slice and usually have time to play a game of Yahtzee when we're all done. The kids can keep their nightlight on longer to read.

For all these reasons, I feel nicer on Fridays; it seems to be the day I'm most likely to say yes. So, when Fisher finished his yogurt and granola lunch and then asked if he could play in the sink, I said yes. Instead of thinking of all the things on my to-do list that could happen after I hurried him into nap, I just said yes.I read a great article awhile back (and sadly can't remember where I read it, so I apologize for not giving credit here!), about a mom designating one day where she makes a conscious effort to say yes. She doesn't tell the kids what day it is, she just makes a point of saying yes as often as she can that day.The other days of the week can zap me (and Friday can, too, now and then), so I'm glad when Friday comes to remind me that to recharge, to relax, and to say yes.How could you not say yes to those little lips anyway?