Monday, April 30, 2007

Sweet Little Birdy

I took this picture of this sweet little bird one day on our way home from the park. It had such pretty colors and was twittering away prettily. I have been wishing I knew how to identify birds by their songs and markings. I'm pretty good about identifying plants and flowers but not so with the world of Audubon.

We had a week off preschool for parent/teacher conferences. Basically another spring break. Looks like Jooge is developing normally and is appreciated for her goodness. Now we are back to school this week for another month before summer vacation. We start swimming class next week. Jooge will do her class and then Avery and I will be in the pool doing a class too at the same time. Should be fun. I do things like this and then when we're all getting cleaned dried and dressed in the locker room I remember, Oh yeah. THIS. We will all sleep well after the workout in and out of the pool.

We are dealing with Pink Eye around here. Avery woke up today with eyes nearly sealed shut with gunk. It was terrible. Hopefully it won't be around for long after we hit it with the prescribed eye drops. Our Pediatrician doesn't see patients for pink eye, they just diagnose over the phone, so we didn't have to go in. Seems like odd germs are grabbing on at this time of year when they know they can't for much longer.

Have been listening to Elizabeth Mitchell's You Are My Little Bird album, particularly track four, which a certain three year old likes to have on repeat. It's a great song that is now burned into my brain along with every other song they love. Lovely is the best word I can use to describe her voice.

We went to Washington Square this weekend. The husband needed a few new things. We ended up at Pottery Barn kids and I was drooling over a few of their mobiles, one that the butterfly lover in our house would love, and one of the solar system that we were studying to see if it's really got the planets in their proper places. Between those and their great selection of books, doll strollers, dollhouses, wooden food and tea sets, I left empty handed as unwillingly as the two year old who threw a fit in my arms when I had to take her out.

We may be entering the nap rebellion phase with Miss Avery. She did not do it yesterday and it sounds like she's trying not to today, also. So funny to hear her talking away to her crib mates, the occasional doll head conking into the iron rails of her crib. Poor dollies. Ooh, looks like I spoke too soon. Suddenly it's quiet. Ahhhh....

I'm off to work on a made-up shirt for Jooge. I have to do button holes, which I have in my mind that are scary, but which really don't have to be. I will share the finished product later. Happy Last Day of April!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Avocado Planting

I always have one of these growing in our window. It's so exciting when they first sprout roots, and then send up a shoot that grows leaves and gets taller and taller. I cut them down, and they grow back again. But my problem is after that. Then what? I aspire to grow a healthy, green, multi-branched, leafy wonder. Not sure how to get there because usually if I transfer them into soil they don't make it. Any pointers?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Cool Online Magazine Alert

A big fan of perusing magazines, the whole idea of an online publication has just as much appeal. I just discovered this online magazine . It is really visually pleasing. Check it out.

Straight Pants Only Please

This weekend I realized that Jooge presently owns about three pairs of pants that fit and that she will wear. I decided today that on our way home from school we'd stop by my favorite resale shop and find her a few new pairs. It didn't need to be many, summer is just around the corner. Armed with bagels and apple slices I was confident that between school and the store, we could get a little nutrition in and then hit it.

I got the kids out of the car fine and we all made it into the store. Greeting me was the sweet manager, who also informed me that I had a $28 credit because I'd recently unloaded a stroller, backpack, crib bumper, and exersaucer there and the stroller had sold. Sweet. Next to the entrance of the store, a huge tent/castle immediately swallowed both kids. They proceeded to play while I started browsing for potential duds.

My main aim was to involve Jooge for the first time in this process because she was very opinionated about her pants, only wearing ones deemed, "Straight." When I had selected a whole hand full of hangers and it was time for Jooge's input, I had absolutely NO LUCK engaging her in the task. Instead, she ran away from me and went and hid in the castle. Later I wrangled her into my grasp only to be kicked at which made me furious. She was being so naughty I was beginning to get a stress rash, my fair skin changing from normal to red and blotchy. The worst part was that my mind held one large beeping exclamation point. I felt unable to act in a way that would get the desired result: either 1) to get her to cooperate or 2) to give her a consequence that mattered to her.

Meanwhile Avery had begun to strip out of her pants and "HAD TO GO POTTY!" Sure enough she'd poooped a big 'ole smelly one into her drooping diaper.I went out to the car and grabbed the diaper bag, hoping everyone knew that I wasn't leaving, though believe me, for a moment I was tempted. I gathered up the pile of clothes on hangers, wrangled both girls into the changing room, and laid out the clothes, urging Jooge to pick something up that she liked and try it on while I changed Avery. She indulged me and put on one pair of shorts that was huge on her. Guess we're not into a size 5 yet.

I'd woken up with a bad hair day that had turned into a bad parenting day. I wanted to wring Jooge's neck but I didn't. She needed some new things but obviously, despite my persistence, this wasn't going to be the time to get them. I promised Jooge time on the step and we left with nothing. It wasn't until I was out the door holding a screaming, thrashing Avery that Jooge grabbed her boots, put them on, and followed me.

In the car on the way home I was feeling really frustrated with this child of mine. She won't wear jeans, she won't wear anything but her "straight pants" which I am still baffled by, and she won't stop for two seconds to help me understand what straight pants are so everything I buy is a guarantee. Don't even get me started on her eating habits, which are so particular and selective, it makes me mad, as in mad hatter mad. My daughter is smack dab in the asserting Independence phase and am bent on trying to change her.

As I drove home feeling increasingly frustrated, the kids were eating their bagels again and screaming, the kind of screaming that if you try to get them to stop, they just screamed louder. Suddenly I saw what I thought was my husband's car returning to work after lunch so I pulled out the 'ole cell and gave him a ringie dingie. Turned out it wasn't his car after all and I ended up calling and interrupting him during a meeting, which he flatly informed me of and which was the last straw. Cue the tears, and I'm talking about mine here. Yes people, I am PMSing. This isn't an everyday occurrence in my world, to bust out crying. I was so done though. So done.

What happened after that was a blur but there was one kid put in bed without books for nap and there was another who said things like, "It's all right sweetie" as she rubbed me tenderly. After she was in her room for quiet time and I was showered, facing a slightly better hairdo in the mirror, the phone rang. It was the gal from the resale store just calling to let me know I'd left Avery's fleece in the store. My long sigh was followed by her kind words. "You were having a hard time, believe me, I've been there. I totally know...." I knew she'd noticed, that's what made it so awful when I was smack dab in the middle of it, but just having her remind me that she understood, made it all so much better.

We will go and pick up Avery's fleece later and I will pick out a few things for Jooge and that will be that. That's how we've been doing it so far, and most of the time, the stuff I pick out for her goes over just fine. I don't know why I'm hell bent this time around on finding stuff she'll wear. (Maybe it's the four or five pairs that have been flung, rejected, into her closet). This time around, if she wears them, great, if not, there's always Avery, who thus far has no opinion about the orientation of her pants.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A Funny Funny Man

Not everyone will appreciate the humor in this, but me? Loved it and laughed hard. Thanks for sharing, Meghann!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Letter to My Two-Year-Old

Dear Avery,
You turned two today and time has pulled you into a taller version of your savvy adorable and always-entertaining self. Lately, you've been up to a lot. You listen to books for longer stretches. You comment on what I read, (after saying, "Momma, have to tell you sumpeen," of course). You request t.v. shows now, watching with better attention. Whatever your sister does, you do too. You look up to her with a lot of love and admiration.

Mine is your favorite word these days. Like most independent-minded two-year-olds, you're famous for moves like running off down the sidewalk and away when it's time to get in the car, or when it's time to climb out of the car seat, climbing into the front seat instead to press buttons and pretend. If you are in trouble for smacking mommy in the face, you sit on the step until your timer goes off. You are going to bed without resistance these days, asking for, "Unshine away" so I sing "You are my sunshine" and then you say a perky, "Goodbye," and snuggle in with your friends.

You are 27 pounds and 35 inches tall. You love to eat string cheese and when it's time to drink your milk or water you'd prefer it without a lid, thank you very much. Lids cause tantrums, which you have been known to throw, surprising mommy and making her ask, "What? What is it? Use your words!" Good thing you're used to using your words. The doctor can't believe how verbal you are, how you said on the way to the doctor, "Ion't want to go to the doctor. He take my snot out." Yes, you have snot right now. And you like to wipe it off all by yourself. You do a pretty good job, too.

You also put on your socks by yourself. You love jumping on furniture. You like to draw and color. I got you nighties for your birthday and you'd like to just wear them all the time. You talk about Luna and Zoe all the time. You also like to act like a kitty and a doggy. You willingly take medicine and vitamins. You love to brush your teeth, well, mostly you love to suck the water off the toothbrush. This has been happening for awhile now. Your feet are really sweet. Your whole body is really sweet, I just want to kiss it and munch on its soft huggability, easy to accomplish when you are running around "Maked." You held your birthday card and pointed at the words and read what it said. "Love, Julia." You know what you want and you ask for it. Last night it was to play with the "pooter" game. (Really a battleships game). You have some of the funniest sideways expressions and when you smile for a picture it just cracks mommy up. You enjoy cleaning up and do so while singing, "Clean up, clean up, ev-bodee clean up."

When you see someone new you get a little shy, yet these days I've heard you belting out "hellos" to the checker as we're leaving the line. So much to enjoy about you these days. I must go because you want me to draw a Daddy Snowman and then a Mommy Snowman and then Julia Snowman and then Avery snowman........... Welcome to the third year of your life little Bub. I love you so much.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Whatcha Makin'?

I found a tutorial here for this mousepad.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Easter Post

Yesterday we went to an Easter egg hunt in some friends' beautiful backyard. It was our first real hunt and so fun to watch them marvelling over one egg, unaware that the point was to gather many.
We decorated eggs using the good 'ole Paas color tablets. Jooge was in heaven and Avery's rough touch with the eggs was pretty comical, nearly throwing them into the color.
We woke up to the sound of kid joy after Julia discovered this outside her door.....

She pulled each thing delicately from her basket and from her mouth flew classic exclamations like, "Ohh, the Easter bunny must have known I love butterflies." When her sister saw her stash she immediately started popping "Jugga-beans." Ahhh, the best days are started with sugar and laughter, I say.
Following that there was an egg hunt downstairs where the "Easter bunny" (daddy) had hidden our eggs.

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

E My Name is Edith and I Come From Eugene and I Sell Eggs

Last weekend we went to Eugene for the weekend to visit friends who are due mid-April to have baby number two. (Holla guys!) One of the greatest things about visiting them is that they are graced with a HUGE backyard which our kids love. There's a playhouse, a sandbox, a slide, swings, an area to ride on toys, a hot tub, grass to play golf and it goes on and on! This compared to our eensy weensy speck of a paved backyard is pure heaven for the girls.

While in Eugene we ate Track Town Pizza and had tacos from Mucho Gusto. We got to feed the ducks at Alton Baker (so much duck poop!) and see the sun and planet models. We even sat on the bench where my husband proposed to me on the little island in Alton Baker's duck pond. They got the neatest park that you have to check it out if you're ever there. It's the coolest playground I've seen, rivaling any we know around here. Of course we had to hit that and spend some time eating sand.

Good times.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Everybody Wants to Be A Cat

Everybody around here, anyway. The Aristocats has done nothing but encourage this. Meowing and purring our way through the days, we are feline in our mannerisms down to the licking, the love of milk and walking around on all fours. Though I don't consider myself a cat person, I'll take it. It's better than going the Disney route paved with princesses and happily-ever-afters, which is just beginning to infiltrate Jooge's imagination thanks to a viewing of Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid.

The Aristocats is one of the better Disney movies in my opinion for lots of reasons. First of all, it was born in the 70's, like all things great. The "evil villain" in the movie is merely the Butler Edgar, not too scary. Also, Duchess the mother cat is a strong female character, just like Madame Adelaide, her owner. It has great music, including some jazz. (Jooge sings "Scales and Arpeggios" at LEAST fifteen times a day). It's funny. (Jooge laughs out loud when George enters the scene at the beginning and when Edgar is trying to rescue his hat off the sleeping dogs). The voices, from the kids to the hounds and Roquefort, (Sterling Holloway is such a voice from the past for me) are RICH! One of the best things about the Aristocats is that it holds their attention, which for Avery is unheard of. Overall, if you are looking for a Disney movie without dying parents, super-scary bad guys and half-nude female leads and you haven't yet popped this one in the DVD player, give it a good look-see. To us, (for now) it's the creme-da-la-creme of Disney flicks.