Sunday, November 30, 2008


Well, we made it through Thanksgiving. I think I ate the last of the stuffing this afternoon and all of our guests left yesterday. I thought the food from Metropolitan Market was quite tasty and my only complaint was that it took over an hour to heat up the sides which were supposed to take only 20 minutes. I'm happy our families could be here to share the meal.

One of my favorite parts was taking a few walks. A cold wind was blowing so we bundled Ember up and she looked so cute!

School Zoo

The other day another mom was telling me how she had to laugh every time she drove by the local school during recess time. She said that the school has only dirt and pavement for the kids to play on and that she always sees the students walking the chain link boundary of the school grounds and pulling in leaves from the bushes on the other side - bushes growing outside the boundaries of the school. "The kids look just like animals in a zoo!" she said. She has one child in the school already and will send her other to the same school next year.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Beck and Ember

Here's Beck feeding Ember. I think his fondness for her is so sweet. He's always got his eye out for her, gently takes away inappropriate toys (or his toys!) and gives her a basket of baby toys instead. He asks to feed her, to push her stroller, to have her in his bed. I wonder what it is about this kind of sibling relationship where the oldest is especially close to the youngest. I had this kind of closeness with my oldest sister too.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Yogi and the Feast

This morning I reminded the boys that today was the "Thanksgiving Feast" celebration with their preschool. And then Yogi turned to me and said this:

Yogi: Good, do you have a big pot?
Me: A pot? No...?? Why do I need a pot? I made cookies to share.
Yogi: You need a big pot to hang over the fire.

I guess this tells us what he thinks of when he hears "feast"!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

At the Park

Firsts and Lasts

First Christmas tree sighting during my evening walk.

Last leaf raking in the front yard from the magnolia tree.

Last use of our high chair. We retired it to streamline things. Ember is perfectly able to sit up to the table buckled into one out our Svan chairs without the tray. She seems to really enjoy being part of the group and getting bits of food from our dinner. For some reason she always giggles heartily when we say grace.

First time I've ever ordered Thanksgiving dinner - from Metropolitan Market. We'll have 14 people and one baby here and I just didn't think I could pull it off otherwise. And to be honest, I've never done a turkey on my own before so it seems a little daunting.

The last of the fall color is gone now. We're back to skeletal trees and the molasses brown colors of winter.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Last night we had a monster play date here: 4 preschool aged boys, 1 toddler boy, 2 girl babies, 3 moms, 1 babysitter. I think it's interesting to observe how crazy they are at the start of the date and by the end they settle in together and seem to be more comfortable exploring toys individually or working together on a common theme. The last time they all got together they wound up with a "mining adventure" wearing hard hats and carrying flashlights in the dark space under a staircase. This time they all ended up on the top bunk playing fishing - and then scuba rescue. It was very cute.


Thank you, sisters, for all the good advice. Yesterday I observed carefully what was going on between the boys and yes, I think they need training. I've also looked up the Siblings Without Rivalry book and there is a LONG wait list so I think I might buy a copy. (Obviously, a lot of parents out there are dealing with the same issues! :) And if there is one thing that makes me nervous about homeschooling, this is it. I think I will go crazy if we can't make some progress on the home fights. But we will, right?!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fighting Boys

It's been tough around here lately. I'm not sure why, but the boys are fighting a lot these days. I just finished the Positive Discipline parenting class and I can tell you that I'm getting really tired of problem solving around these sibling fights. Now I'm trying the love and logic method of letting them fight and work it out for themselves AWAY FROM ME, but they're still coming to me, usually crying and blaming the other, to work it out. And so today I told them they had to go outside to fight. It's cold out so they "worked it out" pretty quickly. But overall I don't feel like I was very successful and I'm exhausted by it which isn't a good sign. Ok, enough whining.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Just for Fun!

I saw these sites listed in our weekly news magazine, The Week. The tests were quick and the results were fun. Start with Youjustgetme. You don't need to log in or join anything for this one and after just 40 questions it rates your personality in several categories.

Sanityscore was more serious, had more questions and you do have to set up an account, but I thought the assessment was right on.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ember on the move

Ember is really moving now! She is very happy to putt around the house and investigate all the stuff she can get her hands on which is anything up to about 12" off the floor. For some reason her favorite spots are the cold air returns. She pulls them right off the walls. We have plaster walls and since our house is about 50 years old the screw holes are worn out. Behind the vents are always a few dust bunnies since I don't normally have access there with the vacuum and as soon as Ember spots those little balls of dust fluff, she grabs them and gobbles them up. I've seen her go after the fluff that sticks to the bottom of the broom too. Really, she puts anything and everything into her mouth that she finds, it's just that seeing her down the dust balls is a little gross. Now I keep the vacuum out all the time to try and stay ahead of her.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mini Business Cards

Last week at the pool a woman, a children's photographer actually, handed me her business card. I wasn't interested in her photography services, but I LOVED her little card! It was tiny - only about 1" x 3" and had a photograph covering the front of the card and her contact info on the back. Well, I've been wanting to make a business card of my own since I was a kid, but I've just never really had a reason. But now as a mom there are surprisingly many times where it would've been handy to pass on a card with our information instead of scrambling to find a used napkin or handy-wipe wrapper. So I'm making one! A tiny one! After a search on the internet for "mini business cards" I found You can use your own photos and for a box of 100 cards you can use up to 100 different photos if you want! I can think of all different possibilities - a mini photodeck of our trip to Ethiopia, perhaps? A deck of cards with stuff on it for the kids? Little photo inserts for letters? This is going to be fun.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Season Table

So this was our little project for the day: a fall season display. I saw the idea on another blog that I stumbled upon when I was looking for something else and I noticed the sweet collection of objects they had assembled for fall. This morning the boys and I gathered a few things together and made our own. They've been adding to it throughout the day, but this is what it looked like this morning. We have more leaves in the press and as soon as they're ready we'll add them as well.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Getting Caught Up

I'm not sure where my motivation to work on my blog went, but it seems to have vanished for the past week or so. The problem is that now every time I look at the computer I feel guilty so I thought I should resume my efforts. Here goes.

Let's see. We have a new president! The whole election day I felt like this:


And what else... Ember is crawling. She's still a little herky jerky and sometimes she ends up going backwards until she's wedged under the furniture, but she's getting around. I can see that things will be busier around here now that she's mobile. She is into everything!

I set up my sewing machine after 5 years of having it packed away. It took me more than a week to wind the bobbin and get the tension right, but I think it's ready to go now. I'd like to sew a little curtain for the opening under the stairs. It's only visible when you're in the utility room, but since I spend a lot of time there - doing my daily meditation and laundry I think it would be nice to spruce the place up.

And I've also been doing a lot of reading about homeschooling. After I finished John Holt's book called Teach Your Own I was ready to commit to it. And then I read Hard Times in Paradise by David and Micki Colfax. They left their professional jobs and moved their family to an undeveloped piece of property in northern California. They started their own little homestead - built a house, raised animals, grew their food, and homeschooled their children who ended up going to Harvard for college. It was pretty inspiring!

Our bright blue fall days are gone. Now it's rain and raking leaves. We gathered up 12 bags this weekend!

Here are a few photos from Halloween. Beck went as Robin and Yogi was an explorer.