Friday, March 28, 2008

83 and sunny

It really hit 83 degrees at our house. It was the perfect day for swimming, but we are currently pool-less. We had a small plastic wading pool we bought the first year we lived here, which was just barely big enough for the kids, but it has since met it's demise. The kids removed (and then lost) the nozzle to the hose so we were left with very few options for water play. I let the kids put on their swim suits, though, and filled up a bunch of containers with water and let them have at it. They had great fun for about fifteen minutes.

Here is Chloe in her swim suit. You can't see, but it has a pink flamingo on it.

The most recent attempt at a picture of the three. Rob set up the tent yesterday in hopes that they could have a back yard camp out (they did not), so they had a lot of fun playing inside. Note the death grip Camille has on Chloe and Caleb's lovely face.

Adorable. Is this really my child?

Camille loves having her picture taken. You should see the way she hams it up for the camera - not that we know anyone else who used to do that!

Caleb reading The Sneetches to Camille. He is reading on his own! It has been so fun for me to see him learn to read, and so exciting to see that he even likes to read to his sister!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Our Favorite Music Video

My amazingly talented sister just released a video of her band. How amazingly talented is my sister? She wrote the music and the lyrics, plays guitar, plays bass (with synthesizer pedals she plays with her feet!), does the vocals, came up with the idea for the video, did much of the video editing, even sewed the costumes.

When Su sent the video to us last week to preview, Caleb and Camille enjoyed watching it. We had to write her an e-mail so the kids could tell her what they thought - Camille was very interested to know who the bunny was and Caleb came out with the following gem: "I didn't understand the words, but I liked the way you sang!"

For your viewing pleasure, click here or here.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

On the Road

So yesterday we decided to take a trip about town. Rob and I walked and the big kids rode their bikes. Chloe hitched a ride on Rob's back, much to Camille's dismay. Camille only rode her bike since Rob wouldn't carry her on his shoulders. I brought the camera along to document the trip. Here are the highlights of our trip through our great little town.

So here is Chloe ready to go

Camille decked out in her riding gear

Caleb is ready to go

On the road

A really pretty house in town that we admire every time we go by. These folks won the town yard of the season award last summer.

Here we have the Ugly Tree. Each time we pass, Rob wonders why they don't just cut it down.

The daffodils are in bloom

The pretty town gazebo

A huge nest of fire ants

The old theater that is now home to the community players. I think this is a fantastic looking building.

My favorite sign in town. I don't know if you can read it but the paper taped to the door reads: THE ABSENCE OF PROFANITY WILL OFFEND NO ONE.

We really do have Piggly Wiggly.

They really do sell chicken feet.

Here's Chloe chewing on her finger outside the Piggly Wiggly.

This is my favorite house in town.

My other favorite house

They just put in this gorgeous new fountain.

On the way home Caleb picked me a beautiful bouquet of clover. Isn't he sweet!

Friday, March 21, 2008

The egg hunter, sassy faces and Chloe Appleseed

This week we enjoyed lots of time outside because of the beautiful weather. On Wednesday we went to a friend's house for a picnic lunch and easter egg hunt. Camille had a blast! Here she is searching for eggs with her friend Helen.

Camille also had fun playing on the swing set.

Here she's excited to try the slide

Camille also enjoyed jumping on the trampoline. She jumped for a long time, playing nice with the other kids. I was pleased that no one got hurt!

When we got home, we spent the afternoon in the back yard. Now that Chloe is crawling, going outside is a challenge. There is nothing she likes better than to find sticks, dead grass and other gross things to stick in her mouth. Until she discovered the stairs. She can climb them. Especially when she sees something she wants.

And my sweet Caleb making a face that is not too sweet.

Today the girls and I took a walk downtown. On the way home we saw a woodpecker. I don't know that I've ever seen one for real. It had a read head and everything. Camille and I watched it for a while and I was glad she was able to see it. Have you ever tried to explain which tree a bird is sitting in when there are tons to choose from?

Later tonight, Chloe slipped into Caleb's room. When I came to see what she was doing, this is what I found.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

You're always a winner...

So today after Caleb got home Camille and I had a race to see who could get their shoes and socks on first. Because I took the time to do a couple of other things, including getting the baby ready to go outside, Camille finished first. Camille cheered for herself triumphantly. Caleb looked at me, smiled and said, "Mommy, Camille won the race. But don't worry - You're always a winner in my book!"

Today Camille, Chloe and I played a funny game. I was getting Chloe dressed while Camille colored at the table. I picked up Chloe's shirt, held it to my head and asked, "Do you girls like my new hat?" Surprisingly, Chloe looked at me and broke out into this huge grin and gales of laughter. So I picked up something else - a shoe maybe...I can't remember what was next - put it on my head, and asked the same question: "Do you like my hat?" Again, Chloe laughed and laughed. We went through several more rounds of this game, using everything I could find in the dining room that would fit on my head, all of which elicited Chloe's laughter. We had a great time and I was super excited to see Chloe's little sense of humor come out today!

So Caleb has gotten over his Daylight Savings Time funk (you know the one where he never wants to go to bed and then fights me when it's time to get up for school in the morning). This morning I woke up (at 6:15) to find him in the kitchen making his own breakfast. What was on the menu? Marshmallows, a candy cane, and a couple of chocolates that I didn't realize were even in the cabinet. Maybe I should teach the kid to use the toaster so he can make a real breakfast.

Camille continues to spend nearly all of her free time drawing and coloring. This week she has moved beyond princesses to mermaids. When I get all of my schoolwork done for the week (I am swamped and should be doing that instead of typing this!) I will post up some of her newest creations. She has changed how she draws hands, gotten better at hair and has developed as an artist (how hokey does that sound!) in just the past couple of weeks. It's amazing! I swear, she's the best three year old artist I've ever seen. She already draws better than I do!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Funeral Flowers and the Stinky Kid

So yesterday our whole family decided to walk down to the Piggly Wiggly and fetch some food for dinner. The girls were in the double jogger and Caleb was walking. Camille was throwing a tantrum because she wanted to ride on Daddy's shoulders and not in the stroller. Well, we live about 1/4 from a cemetery and sometimes flower arrangements blow off the headstones and end up on the street. Well, here we are walking along, Camille screaming and Caleb decides to be helpful. He runs ahead, grabs this arrangement on the curb (think big fake flowers stuck into floral foam that have been out in the weather for way too long!) and presents it to his sister. "Here Camille," he says. "I got these beautiful flowers for you."

Camille stops crying and her face lights up, "Wow! Caleb, those are such beautiful flowers." She puts them on her lap and admires them. Then she realizes that they are really too big for her to hold and she turns to Rob. "Daddy...will you please hold my flowers for me?"

The whole thing just totally had me cracking up! It's not enough that my kid picked up some dead guy's flowers to make his sister stop fussing - or that it worked! - but then they expected their dad to parade around town holding the arrangement. It was a few minutes before I could regain my composure.

(Rob managed to to get Camille to agree to leave her arrangement where we found it and pick it up on our return trip. Fortunately she forgot all about them by the time we came home so I didn't have to have that sitting around the house!)

So then we're sitting at dinner and I tell Caleb that he needs to get ready for a shower right after dinner. "Why?" he asks. I explain that he needs to shower because he's dirty and because he doesn't want to be the dirty stinky kid at school. "What's a dirty stinky kid?" he asks. I explain that it's a kid who doesn't shower when mom says to and plays in the dirt and doesn't wash their hands afterwards. He tells me there's a stinky kid in his class. "But I don't remember who." I tell him to be sure that he isn't the stinky kid.

"Wait! I remember now. I am the stinky kid in my class," he says.


"Well...sometimes I stick my hands in my pants by my bottom and then my hands smell like bottom!"

Nice. I get to explain to my kid that we shouldn't put our hands down our pants, especially at school. Lucky me.

What's a mom to do? I did what any self-respecting mom would do. I turned to Rob and admitted, "He takes after your side of the family!"

Needless to say, yesterday was a funny day in our household. Since I tend to cry when I laugh I didn't have any makeup left by the end of the day!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Cute little baby

Isn't she sweet?

Why we don't like to take group pictures

So lately it has become so difficult to snap a cute picture of all three kids. With Chloe becoming mobile, she does not want to sit still for a picture. Here you can see the big kids try to keep her still. Maybe some day they'll learn to smile while they hold her down. Or maybe someday she'll realize it would be better for everyone if she'd sit and smile instead of try to grab the camera.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

What a joke!

So conversation at dinner tonight went something like this:

C2 (Camille): Why did the spoon cross the road?
C1 (Caleb): I don't know.
C2: So he could save his mother and his brother and his baby sister!Ha ha!

(Both laugh)

C1: Why did the elephant sit on the strawberry?
C2: I don't know.
C1: To keep from falling into the strawberry hot cocoa!

(Both laugh)

C2: That was a good one Caleb!

Some day maybe I'll come up with a way to explain to my children what a joke is and what makes it funny.

From the Gallery

Camille has become our resident artist. She has always enjoyed coloring but now she really seems to love it. She got a giant princess coloring book for her birthday and spends hours at a time (literally) coloring with markers. Today she surprised me by drawing her own pictures on the blank sides of the pages.

Here are some pictures I particularly enjoyed.

This one is one she did a few weeks ago. We call it "The Peeing Princess." Look closely and you will see why. When she colored it, Camille proclaimed, "This is a little girl princess. She had to go potty but she just didn't make it. Poor little princess."

This one is a giant with a giant ice cream cone. Notice the attempt to draw pants on the giant.

A princess and a prince. Notice they both have crowns, teeth and clothes. She drew the clothes by herself (it has taken a lot of practice!)

This is a girl ("guhll"). Those circleish looking things around the dots are her eyebrows.

Two girls and a monster. "This is Frankenstein," she told me.

This is a girl superhero. I think her big ears help her to fly!

This one I liked because the girl is wearing "legging things" on her legs.

To illustrate how well Camille colors, here is a page that Caleb and Camille colored together. He did one half. She did the other. Can you tell which one is which? (Caleb tends to rush and scribble to get things done. Camille is very thorough, almost a perfectionist.)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A sunny, summerish day

It was so beautiful today - seventy something degrees and sunny. We took a walk downtown and enjoyed story time at the library and then spent the afternoon outside. The kids loved being outside in summer clothes (although Camille insisted it was very, very cold and kept her sweater on for most of the afternoon). Here are some action shots.

Camille took a minute to pose for the camera before pouting because I wouldn't let her dig in the dirt to play her new favorite game: Poop stick.

How do you play poop stick? Good question. I'll give it to you in Camille's words. "First you get a stick and stick it in the dirt. Then you chase people with it and say 'Poop stick! Poop stick!' and you try to get them with the poop stick." When I asked Caleb, he gave me a similar explanation. This is a game they doubtless invented together.

Chloe spent the afternoon playing outside as well. She crawled across the grass, found lots of random bits of nature to snack on and had a grand time when the kids pushed her on this ride-on toy that banned from the house because it was too loud and annoying and the kids fought over it. (It's the corn popper ride on the one that you push only you sit on it and the things pop while the wheels turn.) I should have gotten some pictures of that.

I know these pictures are all kind of the same, but I couldn't decide which one I liked the best.

And here's a sad picture of Caleb who was either pouting because he didn't get his way or because Camille whacked him in the head with the broom handle when they were playing swordfighting. I can't remember which time this was.

In other exciting news, Rob got word today that he passed his nursing exam and he is now a licensed, registered nurse in the state of Connecticut! Now we just have to sell our house so we can move there...

Which reminds me...some things I've learned over the past few weeks...
1. When you are selling a house for sale by owner, be prepared for all kinds of people to stop by and look, even if they're not in the market to buy a house. It is okay to make people have an appointment. You do not need to drop what you're doing and let people in just because they ring your doorbell. You can have them set up an appointment to come back and look. If they don't bother setting up the appointment, you didn't waste your time on someone who wasn't going to buy your house anyway. Also, if people ask you questions such as "So how does this work? Do you finance?" or "Which mortgage company are you going to go with?" they don't know what they are doing and will likely not buy your house. It is okay to only show your house to people who are preapproved for a mortgage (read: who are interested enough in buying a house that they have found out how much money the bank will lend to buy a house).

2. When you make corned beef (totally off topic, I know), know that the little spice packet they include is enough for the meat. If you want to boil veggies with the meat, you may want to add some extra pickling spice. Otherwise your corned beef will taste very not very corned beef like.

3. When you are in the middle of a blog post and realize there's a major thunder storm, listen to the mother's voice in your head and turn off the computer so it won't get zapped while you type, especially when all of your photos are on your computer and you haven't backed them up yet. Gotta go!