Wednesday, November 30, 2011


can be so bossy.  Like when there is a kid around who is younger than him.  He is so relieved to have someone to push around who isn't wise to his manipulative ways. 

Yesterday we were babysitting some friends, ages 2 and 11months.  I called "all the kiddos" to dinner (the 11 month old ignored me because he was too busy eating turkey bones out of the trashcan.  Or pulling out tupperware from the lower cabinets.  Or pulling the magnets off the fridge and eating them, I don't remember.  One of those things.).  BR turned to the 2 year-old girl: "She said 'kiddos' so that means you, too."

And then he noticed an opportunity to pawn off his pre-dinner setting-the-table chore, so he added: "Hey, there are five of us so we'll be needing five forks, okay?"

Monday, November 21, 2011

Silly B.R. (a guest post by L.)

(L. wishes she could have her own blog. In lieu of that, here's a post entirely by her, including photography.)

Sometimes, B.R. cracks me up. For example, he makes silly faces. Here are some of them:

This down here is me crackin'  up:

Sunday, November 20, 2011


One of these days I will post some of L.'s Etch-a-Sketch dragon creations. They are really, really cool and impressive. So impressive, in fact, that at a pizza gathering the other night with some strangers (I mean, new friends), one of the new friends came up to me with the Etch-a-Sketch in her hand. "Look at this! She's seven! I mean look at it!" And I didn't want to be annoyingly-gushy mom so I said, casually, "Yeah, I know. It's pretty great, huh?" And she kept waving it around and saying, "She's SEVEN! LOOK at this! I mean, LOOK at it, have you SEEN this?!?" over and over again and I just said "Yeah, right?" or some other nonsense and it went on for so long that I got just a teeny tiny bit beet-red and looked shy and proud at the same time and then, yes, I gushed a little.

Right away, the admirer walked away in disgust muttering something about how that's what blogs are for and stop gushing about your kids at pizza parties with perfect strangers. (Not really, but she did kind of huff and then leave abruptly which was really kind of weird.)  So here I am.

She's only seven.  Prepare to be utterly amazed.


L.'s "fire-breathing dragon" that we hung on the wall so we could play pin-the-tail-on-the dragon:

it was HUGE!  As big as BR:

next up, a black on white drawing of a dragon, which L. carefully covered with individually cut pieces of construction paper, re-detailed and then laminated:

Finally: a book written by L. featuring mythical characters of her own invention.  (be sure to read through all of these carefully, you won't be sorry you did!) all-time fave:

Friday, November 18, 2011

right over her head (or was it...?)

i was trying to irritate BR.: "I just want to kiss and kiss and kiss you."

him: "NOoooooooooooooooooo!!!"

me: "Yes, I just love to kiss you.  Because you are tough and tough guys love smooches and cuddles and kisses."

him: "NOoooooo!!!!"

A.: "Mommy, I'm pretty tough, you know..."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

taek won do

L. and BR. are enrolled in this class and although neither of them earned a new belt at the promotion ceremony, they were rewarded by some "stripes" for their belts. 

one for BR...

and two for L.!

the ceremony got a little long... he made himself a little more comfortable:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

announcing...a new cousin!

May he stay asleep for a good long while yet.  :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

his costume for the Saints Day party

an honest gal

moi (I'd had it up to here): "Kids, if you are thinking about saying something mean to someone else, then think twice because you're going to end up in your room with no dinner or dessert!!"

(long, self-reflective pause)

L.:  "But Mommy, the problem is, if I think twice about it, then I decide to say it."

Friday, November 4, 2011

these creative girls

The other day, I handed L. a packet of craft sticks and then I went to take a nap.  There was a zoo of popsicle-creatures hanging on the livingroom walls when A. and I woke up an hour later.

this is a tiger, by A.

On another day, we found this book at the library:

and she is wasting no time.  She will learn to draw a dragon, dangit.

I feel like it's always art time at our house.  If they are not at school or in the bathtub, there is almost never a moment when at least one of the kids isn't creating some masterpiece.  As long as there are markers and paper available, they provide the inspiration, and we have to forcibly separate them from their crayons and coloring books at mealtimes.

Sometimes the kids take breaks from crafts and do experiments or a baking project.  They like to pick up books, too, and I get a run-down on the most recently fascinating facts about birds or planets (or whatever) that they have gleaned from reading the Children's Encyclopedia.  (They usually like to recite their report over breakfast or while I'm brushing my teeth after stumbling out of bed.  Like I said: time=not wasted.)

But then, back to crafting and coloring.  here are the sewn books from about a month ago (photos by A.):

A combination of printouts, bits of lace and some paper folded in half, held together with a few stitches, and...voila!

(the Great American Novel, ok ladies?  I expect nothing less.)

she's getting good, right?
And then there was the traumatic day when L. realized she did not have all the supplies on-hand for her project of choice.  But after scavenging around the house and brainstorming for ideas in a panic (for oh, three harrowing minutes), she came up with a plan.  She held up paints, scissors and an empty milk jug and announced that it would be Frankenstein.  I didn't really catch the vision until I beheld the final result:

not bad, eh?

Last Saturday, L. woke up early.  By 6:30am she was working on her entry into the pumpkin competition:

she reasoned that since she is an animal lover, there was no point in NOT decorating the pumpkin with animals.  Here we have a couple of birds, a shark, a dragon and a snake wrapped around them all.

When they are not doing schoolwork, the kids will either quiz (then grade) each other, or find some other paper-and-pen project to do.

These photos were taken about 10 minutes after getting home from school:

Sometimes, it all makes me just want to go curl up and take a nap.  I just can't keep up with it all. Thankfully, I have at least one child after my own lazy heart.  A. keeps me company during naptime and she'll even crawl under the covers with me, mid-afternoon, just to exchange back or head rubs.  I couldn't possibly keep up with L. without those little breathers.

But don't get me wrong, A. has plenty of creative motivation herself.  It's just that she is also fine with her world just the way it is.  This evening she came to me with an announcement: "There are three things that rock: Kindergarten, kids and parents."  Yup, that's A. allright. 

Meanwhile, I look forward to L.'s future creations.  Who knows, with her love of snow, it could be the next snow dragon sculpture sensation!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

brag blog

For Halloween, my little nieces were Mary Poppins and her chimney sweep (make sure you scroll down to see the next-to-last photo).  This could just be the cutest thing on the planet.

looks like he redeemed himself somehow...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Night

the pumpkins were dressed,

we were dressed... oh wait.

4:30pm and I am still sewing.  (but see my smile? that's because I Don't Mind At All!)

And then finally we were dressed: a parrot, a cheerful vampire and a superhero!

first stop: our neighbor Octavia.  She is in her nineties and loves the kids.  (she gives out apples!)

(this guy had the best costume ever.  too bad he couldn't walk in it)

We still have time before our Saints Party on Saturday to take suggestions.  I'm thinking that one of us needs to do the old eyeballs-on-a-platter thing.  Otherwise, I'm really desperate for ideas.  When I asked BR who he would like to be, he said: "I want to be that saint with the sword...and the thing that looks like a gun."