Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter Everyone!

The baggy PJ bums made the late night and early morning worth it.

- L.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Second Verse Same As The First

The verse:

S: I think we can wait. Yes.
N: Or maybe not.
S: Or maybe we can!
N: Maybe...
S: I guess we'll see!
N: We WILL see.
S: Or not.
N: Or... we could.
S: We could!
N: Maybe.
N: I guess we'll see.
S: Yes.

The chorus:

N and S: Mommy! Mommy! MOMM-EEEEEEEE!

- L.

PS. The picture has nothing to do with this post really other than that my boys like to stand on that box in the kitchen at night and sing songs (real ones) while I listen and applaud. I got them to stand still by asking Seth what song he was going to sing next and if he could hold his brother's hand at the same time which is why he looks a bit puzzled but it worked.

PPS. This picture is several weeks old and in-between everyone being sick and getting sick again. Songs are not the same if you don't do it nakey so I might be waiting awhile for an encore. The conversation was from today, but it's pretty standard fare. I should try to get it on video one of these days. I guess maybe I could do that. 


I could.

We'll see.

- L.

This Isn't What It Looks Like

At least not here:

Or here:

Or even here:

Nate loves Fox like nothing else and in our spare time today we played doctors which makes sense since we are all sick again. You will be glad to know that Nate checked his patient over thoroughly and Fox's temperature and reflexes are OK and Carrot even survived a shot.

I didn't manage to get a picture of Seth when Broccoli got "a shot in the eye! And it HURTS! Ha ha ha ha ha..." followed by much poking and laughter, but I think his expression in the last picture right after Broccoli "got it" says it all:

– I stick it to him good everyone!
- L.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Great Grandma Edna's Puzzles

Great Grandma Edna's puzzles are very popular over here, most especially with Seth who coincidentally isn't especially fond of anything to do with crayons, markers, or paints.

Nate loves crayons, markers and paints and thinks Great Grandma Edna's Puzzles are good fun, but they aren't his favorite.

As such, I have a great stash of Nate art and not so much Seth art, but on the rare occasion when Seth decides he wants to "do art now" he gets pretty serious and he got pretty serious the last time we got out the fingerpaint to attempt some St. Patrick's day art. As you know, our attempts at shamrocks were short-lived and everyone pretty much went to town – some were keepers, some were not – but at the time I couldn't help but notice that Seth pretty much painted the same picture twice.

Specifically, this picture.

And I mostly couldn't help but not notice it because Seth started telling me about his painting the second time around. His paintings might not look like much, but they have a pretty big story behind them. The captions are his own, except I should have said "mans" instead of "men". 

My captions move around more than Seth's paintings did. You can pretty much stack his work over the picture on the box. He really, really loves these puzzles (they come two in a box), but this one is his favorite.

Thank you Great Grandma Edna on the good find. We have other puzzles and they are occasionally asked for, but nothing close to the level of this one. Seth can slap both of them together in under 5 minutes when he wants to at this point, but mostly he likes to take his time and ask questions and think about the stories. It's really been something to behold and participate in and it's brought up some interesting questions along the way as well.*

- L.

PS. Nate and Seth really do call these "Great Grandma Edna's puzzles".

• • • • • • • 

*Dear Ravenburger Puzzles: You make a great product within a reasonable price point and it inspired my 3 year old son who does not like art to paint a story he saw in your puzzles – twice in a single sitting. That said, my son doesn't understand why all but one of the women who appear to be doing anything in either of the puzzles other than looking sad/scared/alarmed or giggling is the paramedic (and thank goodness for her).

Fortunately, my sons have a legacy of strong women behind them – including Great Grandma Edna – and I like your product enough that the Easter Bunny is bringing a farm puzzle to by you to our home. But really, Ravensburger... get with it a little. You can still make a great product at a reasonable price point with women who can do something other than be scared or giggling.

Overstating The Obvious

"I think maybe a bath night tonight..." he said (as though we don't have a bath every night), "because I think I have spaghetti in my hair". 

- L.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day Everyone!

We might be sporting last year's St. Paddy's T-shirts...


And I'm very sorry Gamma Rita, but try as I might I couldn't get anyone to sit still for a close-up of the ones that simply said "Happy St. Patrick's Day".

Unless you count the slightly out of focus one where Nate decided to do his best James Dean: 

We also tried out some St. Paddy's Day crafts. There were two that involved paint - and we never got around to the rest because... paint. 

The first one was a bell pepper shamrock. Nice, but the novelty wore off fast.

The second was a thumbprint shamrock (it's up there in the left-hand corner, I swear!). Also nice, but one was enough. 

After that the boys just wanted to paint, so that's what we did. 

"Bugs" by Nate.
"Untitled"* by Seth.

And it must have been my lucky day because while I was cleaning up the mess everyone else made a very civilized "parking lot" in the hallway, complete with spaces in between "so the people can get out". 

The weather was nice so we even got outside and had a bit of a run around.

It's been awhile since either of my boys have been able to use their Nickel Fortress so it was very popular (today at least!). 

I had to trick Seth into sitting still for a photo by pretending I wasn't taking his picture. I guess it worked. 

And if wouldn't be a proper St. Patrick's Day without a gross green dessert. I refined things a little this year and also set some regular non-green pudding aside for myself, but it was still a hit: 

Hope you all had a great one too!

– L.

*This picture does in fact have a title, but I've left it untitled for now because that is a separate post for another time. If you can figure out what it is in the meantime, I'll give you a nickel towards your own fortress.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Late Night Snack Raid

We are struggling a little with the time adjustment, but more importantly my boys finally figured out how to properly raid a snack cupboard. 

They can spell and sight-read words like nobody's business but it's taken them 18 months to figure out that Mommy doesn't lock this cabinet. 

 Looks like the gig is up: 

The look on Seth's face in the last pic says it all – he's brandishing a brand new bag of Goldfish™ crackers like he just discovered the Holy Grail.

- L.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Months Of The Year

– Brotherly love... I'm on it!

– Hey, you are on it... and I like it!
– Me too!

– And now I'm over it.
– Yeah. Me too.

I took these photos* around the same time I shot a video that I posted on our YouTube™ channel well over a month ago and neglected to mention here, which is simply "not good" (as my boys would gladly tell you).

In this post I said the following about Seth:

At three you alternate between barking out orders like a drill sargeant and saying things so sweetly that angels must pause to listen to your voice.

This might not be the very best example of what I was talking about, but it's a reasonably good one. Check out the switch between October and November. Either way, you'd do anything he was asking, but the sweet voice when he hits December gets me every time.

I don't know where Nate gets his "scholar" pose from. I guess from himself. And despite his reputation as Michigan J. Frog at times, I will say (again) that Nate sure does love a camera.

Gamma Rita's shadow makes an appearance toward the end of the video if that's any indication of how long ago I should have posted this. It's 26 seconds of my boys really just being themselves and it's probably one of my all time favorites for that reason.


- L.

*The photos have nothing to do with the video, but I was fairly negligent about posting last December and January so I'm attempting to cover a few bases here in case you were wondering.

PS. There might be a few more posts like this one coming your way.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

# 501

For a brief moment earlier today I thought my curtains were haunted...

 ... but it turns out they were inhabited by some rather familiar hooligans instead of ghosts. 

At which point I decided we'd all spent enough time "playing" in Mommy's room and whisked everyone out to the living room where I spent 5 minutes throwing together a fort.

My skills in this area haven't improved a great deal since the last time I built one, but at least there weren't any cave-ins this time around.

- L.

PS. I missed the opportunity yesterday to acknowledge that this was our 500th post. Today is number 501 and since I couldn't think up a title, this seemed to fit the bill for tonight. The days might be long sometimes, but the years are short indeed.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

At Least One Of Us Is Feeling Better

– I'm baaaack...

Nate is looking pretty feisty, no? 

Of course, my second clue that a full recovery was more or less imminent was this look: 

Eyes up and to the right are Nate's "tell" when he's about to get up to no good... and this would be his look when you bust him at it: 

– It's hard to stay mad at this face, everyone!

Seth on the other hand is pretty much always up to something: 

But he does get an extra twinkle in his eye when it's about to be something especially good:


I wonder what it could be... 

- L.

PS. Seth thought I was distracted taking a picture of Nate in that last shot and was taking advantage to mess about with Mommy's fan (strictly off-limits by the way). The sneaky look on his face is priceless.

PPS. My room is generally off limits to my boys since it's also my office and there are way too many things for them to get into in here, but after a week of bad weather, illness and everyone suffering from cabin fever all bets were off. When my sons said they wanted to play "sleeping in Mommy's bed" I thought that sounded like a fine idea – and for the most part they stayed there too.

I wish they'd come up with games like this one more often!

Sunday, March 3, 2013


For the past week we've all been sick with sniffles and sore throats. Nate's illness turned into a throat infection a few days ago and while he's slowly on the mend, Seth appears to be on the decline. Mommy is somewhere in-between, but mostly just exhausted after one too many middle-of-the-night wake ups tending to sick boys.

My current critical patient taking an unexpected siesta while "watching" Raffi this morning: 

And 10 minutes later he looked like this: 

Pitiful, but so cute I had to go in for a close-up:


Of course that wasn't my only opportunity today as it turned out. Seth between dinner and dessert tonight: 

And a few minutes later he looked like this: 

– Zzzzz...

He did wake up for dessert though.

Should be an interesting night!

- L.

PS. Following this post – and through much trial and error and "don't like it!" – I found a couple of DVDs that were a hit with my boys and that they now watch quite willingly which makes for a nice break for all of us. Raffi in Concert and Little Bear were the last two DVDs in my arsenal and it turned out they love them both.