Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Few Notes on Gardening

Even Issa and I can only watch replays of the royal wedding so many times (at least without a break), so we decided to plant the rest of our garden yesterday afternoon. A few important notes:

  1. Compostable, plantable pots should not have plastic wrappers--it seems to defeat the purpose.

  2. If you give a toddler a hose, you will get wet.

  3. Girls can do anything boys can do.

  4. Never, ever, ever allow the toddler to carry a pot half full of dirt.

Let me explain. The kids and I went to pick up the plants that we don't start from seed yesterday. We ended up getting tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, peppers, and mint. We pot
the tomatoes and mint, but the rest go straight in the garden. We were able to get all of the plants in the plantable pots, and Issa decided she really wanted to take the plastic off herself and plant them. My job was to dig the holes. As I was digging, I looked up just in time to see a pot explode in Issa's hands. I have no idea what happened, but the whole bottom was shredded, she was covered in dirt, and the plastic was still in tact. I looked at Evan, and he cracked up, which meant I cracked up, which meant we had a very unhappy Issa. She alternated fussing at the pot and us. We finally did get all of the plants in the ground, though, and Evan watered them in--and watered us in, too.

Issa remembered Papa Rich gave us a bee house at Easter, and she was a little sad Daddy wasn't there to hang it that moment. I said I could hang it, to which she responded, "But we need a drill and you're a girl." I will not have that! I found the drill, the bit, the screws, and up it went! We are waiting for our little Mason Bee friends to move in and pollinate, and Issa was impressed!

Here is the finished product. We already thinned out the peas and beans, and the potatoes and carrots are growing really well, too! Here's hoping everything else takes off. Just after we finished admiring our handiwork, we walked into the kitchen and realized Evan had left a trail of dirt from the garage to the back door--a large trail. Issa got the brooms, and as we were all sweeping Evan managed to spill his juice in the pile of dirt. Ug. As I was trying to decide how to tackle that little mess, I hear Issa pray, "Jesus, we're okay. But I think we might need a little help because I think Mom might be about to lose it." From her lips to God's ears! It was just the laugh I needed at the moment.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Wedding

In case you haven't heard, there is a small wedding today. Issa, Evan, and I are having a stay home day to watch the festivities, and Issa chose these hats for the two of us. (I got the white one; the pink one matches her sun dress better.) We are loving the pomp and circumstance. Issa is far more interested in the flower girls than the bride: "I could do that, you know." Where was her phone call? Evan is most interested in the horses. In case you are wondering, there were roughly four million in the procession. I know this because Evan shouted, "HORSE!" every time one appeared on screen. When a row appeared, you can imagine the volume and the repetition. I'm loving it all.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

To Transplant or Not to Transplant

A few weeks ago, Issa brought home my Mother's Day gift from school. They had planted a bulb in a little pot, and the teachers realized they wouldn't bloom by Mother's Day so they sent them home early. That was their story. The reality is they didn't want them to die on their watch. Every year, they plant some seeds and a pitiful little something comes home and promptly dies two days later. I sneak it out in the dead of night and all is well.

Fast forward to today, and this bulb is really doing well. I think it's a glad, but I'm not sure. I do know it s getting very tall. I transplant it outside? It's not really the season to do so, but I doubt it will be very happy in this pot. It is a real bummer when a Mother's Day gift causes this much work.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Important Notes About Keys

A few important notes about my keys:

  1. I still carry a key to my parents' home; I find it oddly reassuring.

  2. I have way too many discount cards on my key ring.

  3. The picture frame has pictures of my kids--none of which are from the past six months.

  4. The giant felt craft was a gift from Issa; it marks me as a mom from a mile away and makes mechanics laugh.

  5. These keys are far more useful if they are not locked in the van.

Yep...I locked my keys (and my phone) in the van when I took the kids to the library yesterday. Of course, I didn't notice until after we had checked out. Lovely. Librarians are notorious rule followers, so I had to plead to use the phone to call Brad, but they took pity on me and let me use the "Library Use Only" phone. Brad came to rescue us, and there are certainly worse places to be stuck. We sat outside on the big rocks and read stories and walked the tree-lined streets. It could be, and has been, worse: last year I locked my keys in my running van at the grocery store while Brad was in California. Fortunately, the kids were at school, I did have my phone, and we have AAA. Perhaps my next car should be one with the key pad on the outside...or perhaps I should just remember my keys.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Raining Blessings

Issa had a dentist appointment this morning (no cavities--yeah!), and it started to pour on the way to school. They were unexpected showers, and the following conversation ensued:

"Issa, it looks like you might not get to play outside today after all."


"Because it's raining."

"Why didn't I bring an umbrella."

"Because the weatherman said it wasn't going to rain today."

"Why is it raining then?"

"Because God must have decided we needed it to make our grass green and the crops and flowers grow."

"I guess we shouldn't wish it away then. God knows what He's doing."

Gulp. Enough said.

Dear Lord, thank you for sending my daughter to remind me that you do know best, and the struggles and rainy days are according to Your plan and purpose. Amen.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter--the Blooper Reel

Yep...this is life. I think Evan is pretending this candle is a cake. The good news is there were no bites missing from the candle. I have lots of pretty Easter pictures that I posted on the kids' websites, but I thought this blog should capture the blooper moments. They are too funny not to share.

Easter morning trying to get the sibling picture. Too much excitement to pose.

A climb...a blink...a blooper.

Where's the camera?

Tickle, tickle!

But...a picture like this one makes all of the bloopers worth every moment. Such angels.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Our Little Bunnies

Last weekend, we had our own little egg hunt around here. I know these pictures are late in coming, but they were too cute not to post. We did the early hunt as part of a negotiation to not attend the neighborhood hunt. Last year, it was just full of a little too much drama for my taste (as in toddlers having to put eggs back if they picked up more than 12--really?). So, this was our compromise with Issa. She was thrilled. Mom and Dad hid the eggs and they got to hunt. As long as the eggs were filled and she got to practice for the Easter Bunny, she was happy. (It was while were were hiding that she cut her hair.) Evan had no idea what we were talking about, but as long as Issa was excited so was he.

I love that they both wore their ears to hunt--so cute!

The highlight of the hunt was the squinkies inside some of the eggs. Squinkies are the new preschool collectible. That is all that I can tell you about them. They are small, roughly animal shaped things. I don't think they really do anything, but they are apparently super exciting. And yes...this pitcher is way too big for the squinkies, but Issa wanted something fancy and I wanted something plastic. Voila! Compromise. It might be ridiculous, but that's just how we roll around here.

Here is a close up of a squinkie. I wanted to capture their ridiculousness so that someday when Issa is complaining about some new thing her child wants, I can show her this picture and laugh as all the chickens come home to roost.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bonus Balloons

We got our hair cuts last night. Miss Kelly got a huge giggle out of Issa's styling attempt. She was able to layer her cuts in a bit and now it is super cute! Please pray it grows a lot in the next six weeks, though! We have to have her hair at least part up for the ballet recital, and right now that's not possible. Eek!

After the hair cuts, we headed to Texas Roadhouse since we had a gift card--yum! an added bonus...they now have a balloon artist that goes table to table. Issa chose this flower bracelet.

Evan chose a dog--I know I was shocked. If you ask Evan what he wants it's always going to be a dog or a train. Dogs lend themselves better to balloons. You can also see Evan is so over having his picture taken. I think they both are a bit. may have to live with photographic evidence of the chaos and craziness instead of pictures of the kids for a few days.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Breakfast Picnic at the Movies

When Brad and I came downstairs this morning, this is what we found. After the kids were ready for school, they came downstairs and decided to have "a breakfast picnic at the movies." They had pulled their little couch into the kitchen, covered themselves up, turned on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and were sharing the remainder of their breakfast. They were pretending the yogurt was ice cream, and for a brief moment I thought they may have really helped themselves to some ice cream. I started to ask why they were having a breakfast picnic at the movies, but I ultimately thought better of it. Why ask why? Just laugh. They were having fun and eating breakfast--I'll take it where I can get it!

Monday, April 18, 2011


Yesterday, I was able to spend a fabulous afternoon with a great friend getting our nails done. We had a great mommy date, and I think we both came home refreshed and ready to jump back into the (pseudo-organized) chaos--I know I did.

Issa was not really thrilled that she didn't get to come this time, so she decided to do her own nails. Yes...she used every one of these colors. Because she has the best daddy ever, he let her polish his, too. (It is the kind that washes right off or I think it would have been a different answer.) She was so excited, and she actually did a pretty good job. Well, unless you like all of your nails to be the same color, in which case I wouldn't let her do your manicure.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Can you tell?

Do you notice something different about this beautiful girl?
Perhaps you can tell more easily here?
This should be an absolute give away. Yes...Issa finally experienced the "cut your own hair" rite of passage yesterday. We had a very fun lazy day. (I'll post about that later this week--this deserves its own post.) Mid-afternoon, I thought Issa's hair looked a little odd under her crown, but I thought it might just be the way the crown was on her head. Then, Brad came into the bathroom while I was getting ready and showed me this hair in the trashcan. I looked at Issa's head, without contacts, and thought we may be headed for bangs. First I was angry; then I laughed; then I cried. I really didn't want her to have bangs--no idea why. But...on closer inspection, we might have gotten really lucky. She gave herself some face framing fringe. It is actually a perfectly straight diagonal line on both sides. We have hair appointments this Tuesday, so we'll see what Miss Kelly says. definitely could be worse!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Viv and the Frisbee that is No More

Last night, we all enjoyed a little play time in the backyard--especially Viv. Issa dug out the frisbee, and we all headed out to the backyard. Issa is actually really good at throwing a frisbee, but Viv is the queen of catching...

but not so much catching gently. Please notice the holes in the frisbee. We owe Issa a new one. She handled it very well, but by the end of the evening there were more holes than frisbee. Here is one tired pup. She's the best dog ever, but she's not exactly a puppy any more. We all had a good laugh, though, and she was happy to be part of the fun.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The End...

Today is the end of Toddler Spirit Week. For Issa, it was the day to wear the class shirt they made this week. That's one fancy tie-dye! (I have no label for that crazy face, though.)
For Evan, it was career day, and Evan is a vet. In this picture, he is trying to get Issa to come stand beside him.
As soon as she arrived, he took off. I love this picture, though. I have to admit, when they left for school I was so glad that this was the last day of spirit week! I leaned against the back of the door and breathed huge sigh of relief. The kids have a blast, but it will be nice to grab any old shirt and shorts next week. Then, I promptly burst into tears: I realized this is Issa's last Toddler Spirit Week. How did that happen? Who said she could be big enough to go to "big girl school" next year?
On a slightly less dramatic reminiscent moment, I had a blast with all of the kids yesterday. They made me these thank you cards--so cute. The envelope is filled with individual cards from the two, three, and four year olds; the little ones made the huge card. Issa's teacher also helped them make the eggs on a leaf from the book yesterday. So fun!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Animal and Insect Day

Isn't Issa a cute little butterfly? Today is insect and animal day at school. Issa decided to wear her butterfly shirt and insisted I make her some antenna. She also has a temporary Fawn tattoo on her cheek. After all, Fawn is the helper fairy for all animals.
Evan, true to form, was pretty laid back about the day. He opted for an elephant shirt and a ladybug tattoo. He also has decided all pictures must be taken in front of the door.
The big news of today is it's my turn to go in and do an activity with the kids. I'll see the whole center in four groups. I will be reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and then the kids will be helping me retell the story by "finding" the food I cut out and feeding it to the caterpillar. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Silly Day

Today is Silly Day at school. This is absolutely Issa's favorite day. We spent twenty minutes planning this outfit last night: pajama pants, guitar shirt, two different socks (one polka dot, one Rudolph), star glasses, and three pig tails. She also took a tumble yesterday a school--nothing serious, but she ended up with a scrape on her elbow and side. This also meant that the Barbie band aid had to be upside down for Silly Day.

Evan is much more laid back about Silly Day. He let Issa plan his outfit: pajama pants, two different socks (one blue, one yellow), a striped shirt, and his hat. He was beside himself excited about wearing his hat today! I'm sure they will be exhausted this afternoon after so much silliness, but they were happy kids on the way out the door.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Number Day

Toddler Spirit Week continues today with number day. The kids were asked to wear a shirt with a number on it--easy enough. For the ball lover in our family, this was a breeze. He chose the baseball option and is proudly sporting the number 15 today.

For the non-athlete in our family, it was a bit more difficult. The only shirt she had with a number was her St. Patrick's Day shirt, which had the tiniest 2011 possible. Issa was not thrilled. So...I did what any slightly insane mother would do... ...I took a shirt that is really a bit too small and embroidered the number four on it last night. She is a happy girl, we are participating in the school's event, and I may just need a little professional help.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Toddler Spirit Week

This is the Week of the Young Child, a national week to recognize the importance of early childhood education--also known as Toddler Spirit Week around our house! Each day has a theme, and today the kids were supposed to dress up as their favorite book characters. Meet Ballet Kitty and Clifford!
I made the tails from giant pipe cleaners, and the ears are felt on headbands. The kids were so excited to go to school this morning...
...and Evan took his role as Clifford very seriously. The audio to this is him barking as he "jumps" on Daddy. So fun!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


This was our brilliant discovery yesterday! The windows in our family room usually are covered with white wooden blinds, but we decided to put them up yesterday, and we fell in love with this room all over again. It lets in so much light, and the kids loved watching the squirrels and birds! We also get a ton more natural light, which I love. Sometimes, it's the little things that make a huge difference!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Quite the Haul

Under our couch and chaise is akin to the Bermuda Triangle for small toys. Unless you get all the way down on the floor, they are invisible, but the laws of space don't seem to apply under there! I used to get so frustrated, but now it's become a kind of game to see what all I find when I sweep. In all honesty, I was a bit short on time last week, so I just hit the high traffic areas. So, this is a two week haul. It's still pretty impressive! I found: a set of bunny ears, two socks (not a pair), a bat, a tea pot, two teacups, some markers, a block, an Easter egg, a handball container, the lid to the dinosaur container, a slipper, a marble, a book, two stuffed toys, a plastic spoon from the kids kitchen, a book, and a plethora of balls. The kids were elated by their found things after school, and I got a pretty good laugh while I was sweeping.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Most Beautiful Flower on Earth

The conversation between Issa and I:

"Mom, here you go."

"Thanks, Issa," as I sit the clover on the counter (the one millionth clover of the spring).

"Mo-om! You have to put it in water."

"I know. I will." (I'm trying to start dinner, and the odds of that happening were slim.)

"MO-OM! It's the most beautiful flower on Earth! See! It has purple here at the bottom, and then green, and then white. And it looks like a poof. And it's soft. Feel it mom. And it smells really good!"

Gulp. It's amazing what children see that we, as adults, miss. Of course it promptly went into water and earned a spot of honor on the mantle. And...every other clover/dandelion/weed that comes in this season will find a similar place. In the midst of the hustle and bustle, I'm grateful for the reminder to slow down and feel the clover.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

So Much More Than Cookies...

Brace yourselves...this is a long one. Last night was one of those perfect family nights. We ate a lovely stir fry dinner without any spills or negotiations, and then Daddy decided we should bake peanutbutter cookies. Daddy has become the superior dessert chef in our house. I still claim the title of cake queen, but anything else is his domain. We all baked together, and we just had a blast--no other way to say it. (I made the crew pose for this one.)
Please notice the goobery "cheese" faces. They are just begging to be embarrased with future significant others when they do that. The baking was going swimmingly at this point.
Then somehow the flour bowl got knocked to the floor. Miraculously, it landed like this. It really could have been worse!
Issa insisted on sweeping it all up. She then insisted that she was going to sweep the kitchen every night. Who am I to argue?
Yep...we let Evan lick the beater...
...and Issa got the spoon. I did it as a kid and I'm still alive and kicking!
The finished cookies were yummy...
...and the sweet moments with these sweet kiddos (and a sweet husband) were better than any cookies ever could be.