Thursday, February 21, 2013

Daddy's Belt

I built my first MatchBox® car track today. Maybe this doesn't seem like a huge accomplishment but I didn't grow up with this particular toy and the instructions weren't the greatest so it felt like a personal achievement when it actually worked.

More importantly*, my boys found new ways to make the track pieces awesome interesting.

Seth was so beyond thrilled when he made "Daddy's belt" that I had to take a picture:

– This is just like Daddy's belt everyone!**

Then he made one for his brother which really was awesome, as well as being a big hit (despite appearances). Nate insisted I take a picture so here it is:

- L.

*And by more importantly, I mean to my boys. I still feel like super-mom for building that track.

**Note to Daddy: please consider replacing your bright orange plastic MatchBox® belt with something more tasteful.

Monday, February 18, 2013

No Heat

The furnace heaved a heavy sigh this morning and stopped working, but somewhere between then and having to put on jackets while we waited for the furnace to be repaired we all managed to get in a little fun in the living room with our new train-track pieces: 

I was still reading the finer points on how to make a figure-eight track when I looked up and discovered my boys could care less about a figure-eight track. 

In fact, this was a toy that needed no explaining at all. 

- L.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

I Think We're In Trouble Now

That little red-haired girl I mentioned earlier? It turns out she's even more popular than I first thought: 

"Little Red-Haired Girl" by Nate

"Little Red-Haired Girl" by Seth

When she's not busy driving a sporty moped or wearing decidedly green boots she also enjoys:

• running around
• cars
• Legos
• jellybeans
• Ford Mustangs AND Plymouth Barracudas
• macaroni & cheese
• The Beatles
• red-haired boys

Of course, her favorite thing is red-haired boys – as told to me by my boys – but I'm sure you already knew that.


– L.

PS. Who wouldn't have a crush on that girl? She sounds awesome!

Valentine's Day At The OP

These were the most Valentine's Day themed outfits I could find so I went with it. The shirts have some red in them if you look closely enough: 

Still, it didn't seem very "Valentine", so I asked my boys to hold up their paper hearts from the craft we did earlier "so everyone could see" and they did – right in front of their faces: 

– Hey, Mommy said "hold them up for everyone to see". She didn't say where!
– Trust me when I say this could have been much worse, everyone.
In the end, I managed to get one of them (mostly) in focus: 

– This one's for all the "grils".

Our craft this year from re-purposed from here (where I apparently had time to string them and take semi-artsy photos – ha ha!), but this time we made wax crayon valentines: 

This year I had time to lay them on a table for 30 seconds before the
demolition started. Still, it was fun.

They are best viewed when held up to the light (pictures never do it justice, but really they are very pretty): 

And maybe someday they will last longer than 30 seconds.

We also made cookies: 

And by we I mean me, but my boys sure played quietly once I turned the mixer
on to make the frosting. If you want to see my kids scatter, just turn a hand
mixer on. They practically become a vapor.

This year I made sure I had some proper Valentine cookie cutters on hand, and from all appearances, they were a big hit (maybe even more than the "Valentine Swine" from last year): 

And best of all, they forgave me for turning on the hand mixer.
At least, I think so.

Happy (belated) Valentine's Day everyone!

- L.

PS. My boys captured the attention of pretty much everyone at the grocery store on the big day shouting "Happy Valentine's Day!" to anyone that came within passing distance, but none more so than a little red-haired girl. Nate and Seth were both a little bit smitten I think. It's two days later and they're still talking about her.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Fart Joke

Seth: Mommy go to the store and get a new dresser.

Nate: And noodles.

Seth: And maybe some farts.

Me: You guys think we can get everything at the store, but I'm pretty sure there isn't a store where we can get a dresser and noodles AND farts. 

• • • • • • • insert long, thoughtful pause • • • • • • • 

Seth: Maybe Wal-Mart.

When I stopped laughing long enough to speak, I conceded.

If you're ever in a crunch and need a dresser and noodles AND farts all at the same time, I'm pretty sure that is exactly the right store to be at.

- L.

Missing Grandma Leslie & Grandpa David Too

Please know that you are both missed also. Despite the hurricane that is Gamma Rita there have been some rumblings along the way... 

"I don't know where is Grandma Leslie or Grandpa David."
"I think Grandpa David is playing cars... or maybe running around."
"Maybe Grandma Leslie read us a story soon."

The boys are sporting their new Christmas turtlenecks today. Seth is floating around some, but Nate fit into his rather well. The difference around the neck opening made me laugh:


They woke up this morning and asked me about the "black box" within the first 5 minutes. I had to think about what the black box might be and then realized they meant the TV. The promise of the "black box" was how I managed to bribe them into sitting still enough to take a few pictures.

Of course, sitting still is relative: 

Except when the "black box" turns you into a zombie:

This is everyone's not impressed look. Mad zombie, sad zombie...
these are not happy campers.

We briefly auditioned a couple of DVDs today, but after 15-odd minutes they decided they "didn't loike it" and got on with being regular hooligans again. I think we are over TV for now and I'm not sure how I feel about that to be honest. 

In the meantime...

Grandpa David: I think it's time to put down those cars and stop running around. Or maybe come play with your cars and run around over here? Either way, the visual on this one made me laugh.

Grandma Leslie: please make sure your library card is in good working order and your reading voice too.

I think the boys just tagged you both in.

- L.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Missing Gamma Rita

Dear Gamma Rita,

We miss you:

We are sad that you had to go home:

Really sad even*:

And remember that snow storm we joked about on the phone last night and said it would never happen?

It happened:

I dug us out as far as the steps and then gave up. We're not going anywhere, but I missed having someone here that could put up a bit of a fight over who would get to escape to shovel the snow.

Did I mention we had some laughs after all the sadness? We did. Mostly poop jokes and fart jokes and pee jokes, but still... good times.

We also watched our first DVDs today. I went with the Grinch and Frosty even though it's February. The boys "loiked" them both and asked me 5000 times today what the "grils" names were and I had to say "Keeran" and "Cindy Lou Who" 5000 times in reply. The 44 minutes of non-consecutive silence while we watched them was hard won as it turned out.

"The More We Get Together The Happier We'll Pee" and "Happy Birthday To Poop" are rocketing their way up the Top 10 list over here even as I type this.

Also, I stepped in poop today which definitely added to the hilarity.

I took a video tonight with you in mind because I know how much you must be missing us also. You can tell I've had a good day in it because I can't stop laughing.

My only question is how did you manage to leave all this behind?

- L.

*Nate got his eyelashes stuck under his eyelid today while I thought he was just being his regular theatrical self and quite possibly while I was taking this picture. Really, just a fun day all around. So... when should we expect you back again? I suddenly want to pencil it on my calendar for no particular reason.

Armistice Day At The OP

A long time ago, my boys used to share their toys willingly and lovingly. These days it's a fight to the finish over a scrap of paper that no one wanted in the first place until suddenly someone did. Basically, if it can be fought over my kids are on it. They are probably fighting about something as you read this.

And yet.

And yet, sometimes there is a lull in the war where we lay down our arms and there is 10 minutes of peace and if you're not paying attention you just might miss it. I almost missed it yesterday when Nate got industrious with some magnet letters and spelled out his favorite phrase on our front door:

Nate was pretty excited to say the least. This was the least blurry photo I
managed to take of him.

To be fair (to me), Nate had a reasonably dramatic meltdown when he couldn't find a second "B" to complete the mission*. It wasn't epic, but distracting enough that between scrambling to find and wet a foam bath letter and stick it on the door so he could get on with things again and grabbing the camera to take a picture of the finished product I didn't notice how quiet the other one was being. 

In case you didn't know this already, a quiet 3 year old is almost always up to something and rarely anything good. My heart sank a little until I walked around the corner and found this, complete with a makeshift "b", a work-around "T" and a substitute "W":

Really, it was very ingenious and I was suitably impressed over its merits but the part that truly blew me away was that this was executed without any fighting. Seth patiently constructed an entire alphabet without fuss even though he knew perfectly well where to find the missing letters. For whatever reason, he let his brother have this one.

The lion laid down with the lamb.

There was peace in the valley.

And I almost missed it.


Or as my boys would say, "Almost – almost – but not quite"**.

- L.

PS. Don't worry, it didn't last long and things were back to business as usual in short order including this:

I couldn't get Seth to stand next to his masterpiece for love nor money, but Nate repeatedly switching the M and "W" back and forth got him out to the kitchen every time. This is his "not impressed" face by the way.

PPS. My boys are three, are curious about how things are spelled and have excellent recall. They aren't actually spelling, but they are good at putting letters together in the right order. They are just as likely to put together a random string of letters at this point and say "what does that spell?".

Still, some of their other efforts surprise even me:

"Won't be beat" probably takes the cake though. Nate really, really, really likes this one:

Won't be beat, indeed!

• • • • • • •

*The missing apostrophe didn't sit well either. I was just relieved I didn't also have to explain why the magnet letters didn't include a "registered trademark" symbol (although there isn't much that's cuter than listening to a toddler say "that's a registered trademark" in a super-serious way).

*We are big fans of Keith Baker. This is an oft quoted line from No Two Alike – a highly recommended read for all children, but most especially for twins.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Doctor Is In

It's reasonably safe to say that there haven't been too many days where Gamma Rita has been here and at least one person in this house hasn't been sick in one form or another.

We are OK now, but everything that could come our way more or less did – some of which more than once. I'm still not sure what to do with our Christmas pics. It seems a bit silly to post them in February and disingenuous to backdate them.

Probably I won't have time to do either so it's a moot point.

Anyway, it's a good thing I have two savvy doctors in house now. I'm not sure the patient survived, but everyone on staff seemed to know what most of the instruments in the bag were for if that's any indication of the past 6 weeks.

- L.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Three Years Old

No commentary, just pictures. Enjoy!

– L.