Friday, January 30, 2009

Ember in Action

video

Swimming

Here are a few shots from swimming this week. You can see Yogi wearing his new "warm belly" suit which he loves. It's cute and it keeps him a lot warmer! Yogi moved up a level so they are both in the same class again. And see Ember? She did that herself. She was holding and sucking on Beck's goggles while I was chatting with another mom and I looked down and she had tried to put the goggles on! I was so impressed. She observed the other kids wearing them, understood their orientation and then tried it herself. She just amazes me all the time.



Yesterday something very sad happened: we lost Piggy. It happened while we were at my parents' house in Edmonds. At one point the boys and my niece took a wagon walk around the block so maybe it fell out then, but both my niece and the boys swear it was in the wagon the whole time. And Beck says he remembers clearly bringing it back into the house. Well we've torn the house apart looking for it and it's just not there. We've also retraced their wagon walk path several times and didn't find it. Chris even drove out there after work last night and combed through the neighborhood with a flashlight looking for it. No luck. My parents have called the dog-walking neighbors. Still nothing. Chris made this flyer and I posted it on every mailbox this morning and talked with the mailman but so far we haven't heard anything.

Beck cried for several hours before finally falling asleep last night. It was his first night ever without Piggy. I laid down with him and he told me that he will stop crying some day, but he'll never stop being sad. And then he said he hoped that someone will find Piggy and take care of him and love him like he does. It just broke my heart. I cried too. I know Piggy was just fabric and stuffing, but he's been part of our family since Beck was born.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Papercraft


Yesterday I spent a good half hour creating this paper "cubeecraft" Storm Trooper. And now you can too! Be sure to have a good exacto knife and print your choice of figure on heavier paper. Check out the possibilities on Cubeecraft.com. It's fun!

Protection

This morning I was making Beck's bed which happens to be the upper bunk so it takes some effort to do. And as I was pulling all the stuffed animals off (there must have been about 10 up there) I said, "Beck, why all the stuffed animals? Why so many?"

He just looked at me, suddenly very serious and said, "For protection."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Weekend

Ahh, the end of another weekend. Some cleaning, some shopping, a little dusting of snow, a puppet show for the boys, a childhood friend for dinner on Saturday, a date with Chris at the mall today. Good stuff.

Ember is almost walking. She's standing alone for several seconds now and even took a few lurching steps. In that way, she's very different from the boys. The boys didn't really try to take a step until they were totally confident in their success. By the time Beck took his first step, he never crawled again. Ember, on the other hand, is trying to walk before she can really even stay up for very long. She's lurching and swaying and laughing through it all. It's cute how much fun she's having with it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Lego Craziness

In the last few months the boys have discovered legos - not the chunky duplos, but the teeny tiny choking hazard genuine legos and they have really stressed me out. Like I said, these are choking hazards and there seem to be literally hundreds of them on my floor at any given time. With Ember crawling and cruising and generally exploring everything now, it's been a big problem.

The other part that's making me crazy is the fact that legos are mainly sold in sets that build a specific item - a specific and complicated item (often related to a current movie) that is basically impossible to re-build without the directions. So, with my natural tendency to organize everything I tried to keep all of our sets separate in their own little labeled containers so that we would always have all the pieces together that are necessary for building that particular item. But the only way to make this work is to let the boys only have one set out at a time. You can imagine how long that lasted! It just didn't work. It was making me CRAZY. I can't even say it was making the boys crazy because they just ignored my whole system anyway.

So last night I took all of our sets and dumped them into one big container. The boys loved it and I felt a big wave of relief wash over me. My life just got a whole lot easier!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Days of Fog

We've been having days of fog lately - thick, heavy, and lingering through evening. It did burn off on Monday and we took the kids out for a little urban nature hike. Both boys walked the entire way which was maybe a first?! Yogi trying to convince us to carry him because his "legs were too tired" and Beck showing off a special pebble he found.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Baby Beluga

We just returned from a short trip to my parents' cabin and this time we took my 12 year old niece with us. We all brought our passports and decided to venture up into Vancouver for day trips. The cabin is just minutes from the Canadian border, but crossing can take hours if you're not careful with timing and have a little luck besides. We sailed right through each time!

For our first trip we decided to go to the WORLD CLASS Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park. I've been to a lot of aquariums on the west coast and this was the most impressive. They have an outdoor dolphin pool and beluga tank with several daily shows each. And while we took in the show, bald eagles and sea planes cruised over our heads which just added to the experience.

While the dolphins were the most entertaining, the belugas were especially fun to see since a baby was born there last June. She looks like a little gray comma compared to the huge white lumpy looking mother beluga. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring along my camera, but here's the aquarium's video of the birth.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sewing

I'm sew excited (sorry I couldn't help it!) to fool around with my sewing machine again. I bought the machine just before my first pregnancy, but then packed it away for the last 6 years because of moving and having babies and remodeling our house. Now I actually have a place to set it up and leave it out so that I can come and go as necessary and I've even managed to complete a few projects! It took me awhile to re-learn threading the bobbin and adjusting tension, but then I was ready to go. I'm using a wonderful book as my guide (as well as conversations with my mom):Home Decor Sewing 101 My first project was a set of napkins. I got inspired when I saw this fabric collection (Farmer's Market by RJR fabrics) at the store and instantly thought of napkins:
Each one is a separate fabric and there are many more in the collection!)
I also made a few pillowcases for Yogi since my mom had made some for Beck in the past. He fell in love with this Yogi Bear fabric and has used the pillowcase every night since I finished it - which, of course, makes the whole project so satisfying!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beck Turns 5


Beck had his 5th birthday this weekend. He decided to forgo a big birthday party with his peers in favor of a smaller "just my cousins!" gathering at our house instead. Here are some photos:


The boys admiring the train cake that my mom made by special request for Beck.
The cake baker and the birthday boy. Opening presents. Putting together the new Lego Racer set. Party girls!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

After the Bath

Ember spends most of her time trying to walk now. She pulls herself up constantly and cruises around the room from couch to table to chair to Beck and Yogi's heads and whatever else she can find to hang on to. She even hitched a ride on our canister vacuum today.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Name Game

Have you ever tried to name a blog? I'm thinking about starting another blog - mostly about unschooling - so I've been trying out name possibilities on blogger. The thing is, ALL THE COOL names are already taken. This wouldn't bother me so much if someone was actually using the blog and posting to it, but in every case except one (titled apple slices) the blog name ideas I thought of were taken. Taken as in title + blogspot.com. I don't want a blog title where I have to insert my name or use dashes to distinguish it from the other blogs with the same name. No, I want it neat: simply the title + blogspot.com. And what really, really drives me nuts is that some people don't even use the URL as their blog title. What's up with that?! Drives me nuts.

Here's my list of titles that are taken and that I wanted (and yes, I admit some of them are a little cute!)

inchworm
carrotsticks
cheese and crackers
sugar cubes
nudge
pencil shavings
peanutbutter and jelly
lunchbox

The funny thing is I got a little addicted to trying out names to check availability. I'm not a gambler, but each time I typed in a name and pressed the "check availability" button I felt a squeeze of excitement. And then blogger would always say "sorry, blah, blah, blah, how about susan-inchworm?" No thanks. The name I settled on is middle blue. More about the name and the new blog later!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Snow Shots 3: Here We Go Again!

These were taken about an hour ago...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Christmas 2008

Well, it's over. The snow is gone, the tree is gone, the Christmas boxes are packed up and back in the basement. Somewhere in there I did find myself feeling a little like we were "on vacation" - for a few isolated moments anyway. We watched a few movies - something we rarely do these days - and the whole family slept in until almost 8am a few mornings which is the first time in years - not kidding.

This year we got the Playmobile Nativity set which is wonderful! All the pieces are lovely and full of detail and the boys really enjoyed the storytelling around it. They also loved taking the figures and playing with them in all kinds of different scenarios. And because of it I found myself saying some funny things like this:

Me: Wait a minute! Where's baby Jesus? We better find him - he's a choking hazard.

or: Beck, Yogi? Do you know where the three kings are?

the boys: We're using them. They're pirates now.

or: Why is Mary in the landspeeder? (a StarWars toy)

Here are a few photos from Christmas:

The night before Christmas we put together a little plate for Santa and his helpers.


Yogi and his stocking.


Beck and his Playmobile chief.


The boys and presents.

Ember loved pulling things off the tree.


Christmas group shot - boys in motion!