Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Today was the Science Fair for Alla! That girl relished every minute in the spotlight, loving to demonstrate and explain her project.

2. I was overjoyed to shoot a newborn over the weekend. So teensy. You forget.

3. We are currently in the melt-freeze overnight-melt-freeze overnight weather pattern. The corners of our lawn (I'm trying to picture what that would look like if, say, I could see it) still have an easy four feet of snow piled up. It's still winter.

4. Did you happen to try my Lazy Mama Art Activity?

5. Another good one is the old baking soda in a pan, colored vinegar in muffin tins, and a dropper to get the vinegar to the baking soda causing fizzy goodness. Fisher asks for this regularly and Alla, too, if she's home; she's definitely not too old for this one.

6. I have a deep craving for a big pot of soup. Part of that is probably that it is indeed still winter, but a bigger part may just be the level of satisfaction one gets from making that pot of soup that you know will feed your family for a few days. If they like it.

7. It has also been awhile since I baked something, and I'm not sure what that next something should be. Scones? Cookies? Muffins? Granola bars? A cake?!

8. This weekend is the school carnival. My husband is cowering in fear, and I'm right behind him. 500 kids and their families packed into school hallways and classrooms lined up to play games and get their hair spray painted. Let's just say we'll be drinking Sunday night.

9. Fisher woke up this morning with Alla's stuffy nose and he is being such a male about it. It's just a stuffy nose, and I haven't heard Alla complain about it once.

10. Despite his stuffy nose, we did accomplish a great deal today: changed the bag in the vacuum and vacuumed the whole house, cleaned a bathroom, he read me the book Cat Days, we went to the library to pick up Batman books and Edmund Fitzgerald books, watched Wild Kratts, and he made a hide and seek game for me with 17 circles he'd punched. Speaking of which, there's a bonus art activity for you - punches. Goodness they can busy themselves for hours with a slew of punches.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Lazy mama art activity.

 Step 1: Get a large roll of white paper. Spread on table, adhering with tape.

Step 2: Set out markers, crayons, colored pencils, stickers, dot-dot daubers, and googly eyes.
Step 3: Sit down at said table and watch as you earn appreciative faces like this -
Step 4: Leave the white paper spread out on the table until there is nowhere left to draw or play tic-tac-toe. Or until the children have made it too completely filthy for you to be okay with.
Repeat steps 1-4.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Took my little boy bowling this morning. A great mama-son time.

2. The weather has turned freezing again, back to sub-zero windchills for a couple days. And we are all anticipating two big snowfalls, fingers crossed!

3. Exactly one month from today my son will turn five, which, if you haven't yet crossed that milestone with one of your own, is a major turning point for both child and parent. Child all of a sudden thinks they are big and grown, parent realizes the end of an era, which I will surely discuss at length when the time approaches.

4. The website I'm looking for today is a science project website. Do any of you mamas of older ones have a resource for this? I personally hated science projects when I was in school, but so far Alla loves them and has no problem coming up with her own ideas for them. So I'm not really looking for a cheater's guide to science projects, just a general guide to setting up the display. There must be a nice, streamlined method. You'd think I, a former scrapbooker, would be able to figure this out easily, but it alludes me, and every year I am sitting there matting titles and cutting out letters because the set we have is missing an I, and E and three H's. Ugh. It does help, however, that this morning Alla told me it looks beautiful. She's seven, so that's not actually true, but it's nice that she thinks so.

5. Thank you to my friend, Tara, for suggesting our next topic of research, the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. We've got three books on hold at the library and I'm sure we'll all be singing the song in a few days!

6. I mentioned on facebook last week that my children didn't seem too amused at my knowledge of Beach Boys songs. Turns out, my son loves The Beach Boys like I do, and we've listened to Surfin' USA several times a day for a week straight. Never gets old. Well, not so if you're my husband.

7. I am woefully behind on Grey's Anatomy, in part because my husband decided he couldn't watch it anymore. I am probably in it for the long haul, but I do agree with him that they could have made this the last season. Better to go out on top, rather than drag it out.

8. Not to give away anything, but a big reason I fell for Weeds years ago was the ticky-tacky song, so I'm super glad to have that back.

9. We are in desperate need of replacing a floor lamp that Fisher knocked over and cracked at the age of 8 months. It was the second floor lamp that met its demise in the presence of my son, but this one unfortunately still works. If you ever come over and wonder why I've got it stashed in a corner, it's because the side facing the corner has a big hole in it.

10. If the weather ever warms, I'm going to go pick me up a new houseplant to tide me over til spring.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The joys of a boy.

I know some families who have seen Legos take over their homes, but we are not there. Yet. We are at this great place where we own two kits, a fireboat and a fireplane, but on a daily basis I see all kinds of different creations being built and then every month or so the original kit gets rebuilt.

 I love it. He can play this for hours, and in fact this is what Quiet Time is usually about in our house.

I also love Fridays, because it's one of the few days in any given week when we rarely have someplace to be, so we get to do stuff like sit on the floor and fight Legos together.

I also love that I have a boy, without whom I would not know about fireboats, smokejumpers, C-130s, the Titanic, the world's most horriffic plane crash, or the International Ice Patrol.

The kid keeps me in the know. I certainly hope the kindergarten library will be full of books that meet his interests.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Sometimes the kids get up and dressed and eat and brush teeth and hair quick enough to play together before school. This time is their favorite, as I can tell they are both working together to make it happen before school.

2. My son seems to be the only one in his class who is covered in snow when I pick him up. Like, can't even see his hat for all the snow on it.

3. Speaking of that son of mine, here's what he says to me on the way home from school yesterday: I am always trying to be a better child. I wonder if I can tattoo that on him or something for a reminder of the many times when that's not actually true.

4. Alla and Daddy spent a good chunk of the weekend working on her science project. This year's topic: Which ball bounces the highest?

5. This was the first year in many where I thought the Grammy's were just awesome. Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers, Bruno Mars with Sting, and let's not forget about the Grammy Award-winning Okee Dokee Brothers!

6. Speaking of which, Fisher got to play the triangle onstage with The Okee Dokees this morning at the Mall of America.

7. Things spotted by Fisher and I on our journey to and from the Mall of America this morning: 1 grader, 2 Okee Dokee brothers, 1 Becky (their fiddle player), 2 light rail trains, 1 plane taking off right over our heads, lots of planes taking off in other directions, 3 crash tenders, 2 tower cranes, and 2 freight trains. Exciting stuff.

8. I scored a great deal on napkins at Target over the weekend. This might not be thrilling to all, but we are a strictly cloth napkin house, and we go through them at an alarming rate, so they are always getting washed, and we (ok, the kids) are hard on them, so eventually they get raggedy. The deal I found was a 4-pack for two bucks. So I grabbed whole shelf and now I think we're good for a few years.

9. Currently on the kitchen chalkboard:
10. Real Simple's February issue had a section about spicing up your average nacho, so for date night in this weekend, Ron and I had the BBQ Chicken version, which is just this: Oven to 400 or so, spread your chips on a cookie sheet, spread diced rotisserie chicken on top, cover with cheese, cook for 4 minutes or til cheese is bubbly melted. Top with as much BBQ sauce as you prefer, and a sprinkle of green onion. Add a Dark and Stormy and a movie, and you have yourself a lovely Date Night In!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Kindergarten round-up.

Steps are being taken to ensure my son, my baby, grows up. Just last week he went to this crazy event with Daddy, who by the way took my daughter, my firstborn baby, to the same event three years ago. The reason I know that these types of events are concrete steps on the road to growing up? Sure enough, three years later, that little daughter of mine is now a second grader, which is clearly more grown up than a four year old. See where I'm going with this?

I know some of you will look at this picture and think, wow, that kid looks like he's ready for kindergarten! Go Fisher! Those people will be shot.

The loving people who look at this picture and say, oh he looks just like a baby, he can't possibly be ready for kindergarten, those people are welcome to remain in my inner circle.

Stay tuned. I'm sure other steps are being taken to ensure this madness they call kindergarten actually happens in the fall.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Ten on Tuesday.

1. The kids and I finished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this weekend. I am so glad that Alla is loving to read books a second time so that we can share them with Fisher. He wanted to start Harry Potter tonight, and Alla climbed right on board even though she's well into the fifth book. In our family we write our name and the date on the title page of a book that we finish, and there must be half a dozen entries on this title page of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone between Ron, me, Alla and me, Alla by herself, and multiple re-reads by each of us. It's a wonder the book is holding up!

2. We got a little tiny bit of fresh snow and the temperatures rose out of the sub-zero range so we got out for a family nature walk on the weekend, some snow play after school yesterday, and yet another nature walk this morning. Sure is nice.

3. Fisher has kindergarten round-up tonight! This is one thing I know nothing about, since Ron took Alla to hers, and will be taking Fisher as well, but from what I understand, it's kind of an intro to kindergarten night for the Class of 2026. I'll be checking my math after I stop hyperventilating.

4. I am so excited to go with Alla's class on a field trip this week for a morning of snowshoeing! This is only because I made the same field trip myself a few weeks ago for some instruction so I could get my snowshoes figured out before the big day. Whew, big relief.

5. We'll be rooting for The Okee Dokee Brothers this weekend at The Grammy's! And if you're in So Cal, you'll be kicking yourself if you don't head up to The Mint for a rare LA show. I'm sorry you won't be here next week to see them at the Mall of America with us.

6. I have a vase of alstromeria that has lasted since my birthday. If it makes it to the weekend, that will be four weeks. I'd say run to your nearest TJs and try out a bunch of your own.

7. February is a short month. Good and bad. Good, because though it may snow in March it may also  melt and we will open the windows and our kids may find buckets of melted filthy snow left in the yard on a warm (sixty degree) day to throw upon themselves. Bad, because February is a short month, followed by March, the month my baby turns FIVE, which is hard on a mama's heart. I'm guessing he wants presents for his birthday, too, and February is a short month to figure that out.

8. I am very very much enjoying these "primal fudge" circles. Around here I'm just calling them 'those fudge things,' and I may or may not have polished off the last one tonight, so I suppose I'll be making more of those fudge things this weekend. Nothing says Happy Valentine's Day, Family, more than 'those fudge things.'

9. I am happy to report that I have finished The Passage and am well into The Twelve.

10. I am wondering if any of your children have as many stuffed animals as my daughter, and if so, however do you store them? Mine wants all of them out, accessible, all of the time. They are currently in the playroom, in an overflowing basket, and she would like to remedy this by getting them into her room, by which I mean the tiny room she shares with her brother. I would love a brilliant idea for how to make her (and I) happy, but in the meantime I have told her that this weekend she and I will photograph each of them and document their stories, because, miraculously she knows the story behind each of them. Like a good mama.