Wednesday, April 30, 2008


My mom found these adorable dresses for the girls and they were so sweet dressed as twins for church on Sunday.

Camille insisted we give Chloe a little sprout. You can't see it but we even added this cute little diamondy flower clip so she sparkled! I can't wait for her to get some more hair so we can really do her 'do up cute!

Here's Chloe giving Daddy some love.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

With Rob working as much as he does these days (I thought once he was out of school we'd see him more...) I am always looking for something to make for dinner that is easy, fairly healthy and that I know the kids will eat. Tonight I hit the jackpot with these pancakes. The recipe came from the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics cookbook. I made one small alteration but they were fantastic!

Here's the recipe as I made it (in shortened version...y'all know how to cook pancakes so I'm going to skip their lengthy how-to)

Mix: 1 cup peeled and grated raw sweet potatoes
peel from one orange, grated (called for grated lemon peel, but I had oranges, not lemons)
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil

Add: 1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar

Combine and cook.

Surprisingly, the kids did not balk at the sweet potato in them. The pancakes had a delightful citrus flavor to them so we didn't need to douse them in syrup (or whipped cream and sprinkles, my kids' favorite). This is what Caleb and Camille had to say:

"Mom, these pancakes aren't good. They're delicious!" (Camille)

"I don't like these pancakes. I LOVE them! I like them! I love them! I want some more of them!" (Caleb) He picked up this little ditty at school. Nice.

Number 23

So Caleb has picked a favorite outfit. This consists of a pair of red athletic shorts (the kind with the little holes all over them) and a blue and white basketball jersey (again, with the holes) with the number 23 on it that someone gave him a while back. The problem is this is the only outfit he ever wants to wear these days. Nearly every morning he tries to get me to let him wear it to school. Nearly every morning I decline. On the rare occasion that he does get to wear it to school (no more than once a week), he has to wear a shirt underneath not only to comply with the school's no sleeveless shirt rule but also because there is a rip in the seam down one side that I've not gotten around to sewing up yet. Part of me is hoping that it will continue to unravel down the entire seam and I can have an excuse to get rid of it, although I should really just suck it up and sew the thing.

On the days he does not get to wear it to school, the first thing he does when he gets home is peel off his school clothes (usually leaving them on the floor somewhere on the way to his room) and don his favorite outfit. He typically wears this outfit every weekend since it's not a school day and "I can wear my no sleeve shirt today since I don't have to go anywhere."

I've tried hiding it in the laundry but the kid has dug it out of the dirty laundry basket and has ransacked the washer and dryer looking for it. I may just have to break down and get the kid some more "no sleeve shirts" so that I won't have to look at him wearing the same shirt all summer. (With his "no button" shorts since buttons are still on the no list.)
Eating ice cream

Another failed attempt to get a decent picture of the three kids...this is one of the last.

Here's the progression of photos...

(Just for fun...scroll through the photos on this page and see how many of them have Caleb wearing this same outfit! Embarrassing!)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cute Chloe Pictures

This has been a busy week. My mom and dad came in to town on Monday and we have been enjoying lots of time with Nana and Papa. We hung around the house on Monday, went to storytime at the library and visited Caleb's classroom on Tuesday, went shopping on Wednesday and went to the Dogwood Festival tonight to ride the rides. I wish I had taken my camera - Camille was particularly funny to watch. I thought she'd be a little scared but she enjoyed all of the rides. She especially loved the Fun House and the Carousel. I carried Chloe on my back in the carrier and so she got a ride on the carousel when we rode along with Camille. I had forgotten how much I loved the carousel, especially when you get a good horse.

In lieu of carnival pictures, here is Chloe in the stroller.

Reading books before bedtime.

Another cute one of Chloe.

I think tomorrow we're going strawberry picking (Yum!)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Our day, plus some pictures

The kids and I enjoyed another really nice day. We got up, ate breakfast, sent Caleb off to school and then got busy. Camille needed some summer dresses and I had some material and a pattern so we set to work sewing dresses. We now have three dresses and two pairs of capris partway finished. Go me! I'd have liked to have done more but the weather was so nice today. The sun was shining, and even though it was in the high 80s we had a nice breeze. Camille and I worked while Chloe slept in the morning (that is I sewed while Camille watched Sesame Street, ate a banana and some pretzels and played a little bit). We started a project packing away Camille's winter clothes. I gave her the task of separating clothes into piles - long sleeved shirts, short sleeved shirts, shorts, pants, sweaters - while I took a shower. When I finished, I found her in the middle of this process. She doesn't have THAT many clothes but she was taking her time, making sure to refold everything before she put it in the pile! Her folding skills are pretty good, particularly if you don't mind if she folds it the short way first.

We ate our lunch outside and then walked to the Piggly Wiggly for some ice cream. Yesterday I had this great idea that we should have ice cream sundaes for dinner but Rob just didn't think that was a good idea. Boo. So I figured since he was working tonight this was my chance. The girls and I filled the cooler with ice packs and then took the stroller down to the Pig. Camille picked out Blue Bunny's Birthday Party ice cream. Typically we're Breyer's Natural Vanilla people, but since that was more than $5 for the box, we settled for what was on sale - guar gum and all. We ran into several nice old men in the store (which is to say that we saw them not that we literally ran into them) who admired the cute little girls in the double jogger. People always make me laugh when they see two kids in a stroller. I remember when Caleb and Camille were younger and we used to go literally everywhere in the stroller - Caleb was probably four and Camille two - people used to stop us in the Piggly Wiggly all the time to admire them and then ask if they were twins. Huh? No, he's four and she's two. There was a pretty noticeable size difference in the two. But I guess sometimes people just see two kids and assume. Especially at the Pig where it's so easy to get distracted among the chicken feet, pig brains and other assorted animal parts. So anyway, this one old man was behind us in the check out lane and asked me, "What aisle did you find those in?" It took me a second to figure out he was talking about the kids. "Sorry, sir. I think I got the last ones!" was my reply which proved amusing to the people behind me in line. I explained the joke to Camille on the way home, although she has yet to figure out why the guy thought I got her at the Piggly Wiggly.

At home we got a call from this girl at church about a playgroup trip to the strawberry patch. It's strawberry picking season! Hooray! I think maybe we'll sweet talk Daddy into coming with us all tomorrow for some fresh berries. Yum!

Let's see...we spent some time outside playing after Caleb got home from school. (He brought home two smiley faces today, an especially happy thing after two sad days.) I brought the camera out with us to take some pictures. (Duh. What else would I do with the camera?) I got these cute ones of Chloe walking. She isn't walking on her own yet, but she likes to push things around and walk behind them. At home it's the little table and chairs and this afternoon it was my sewing machine. But this afternoon she amused herself pushing around this little wagon. She's so cute to watch. I love little pudgy babies on the move!

So while I'm outside snapping pictures (the girls were quite accommodating, Caleb less so) I was being dopey, trying to get Caleb to hold still for a picture. I pointed the camera at him and announced that I was taking a picture of his elbow. click. I'm taking a picture of your knee. click. (All the while pointing the camera at his face, hoping for a smile.) All I know is I tell him I'm going to take a picture of his belly button when he pipes up: "Mom! Take a picture of my pee pee!" I look down and he has totally whipped himself out of his pants! (I DID NOT TAKE A PICTURE.) I would have been less mortified and shocked if our ten year old neighbor girl hadn't been standing at the fence watching the proceedings!

But if that's not bad enough, Camille got in on the action. "Mom! Mom!" she called. "Take a picture of my bottom!" Sure enough when I turn around she has her skort and underpants pulled down and is bent over sticking her bare bottom out at the world. That just about marked the end of the picture taking.

Here are some pictures that are safe to share. No one is flashing or mooning the camera in any of these.

After playing outside, we came in for an early dinner of ice cream. I did put bananas in the bowls too, so it was a healthy meal. Here the kids are enjoying it!
Caleb is trying to smile while not showing any ice cream inside his mouth or get the dreaded "brain freeze" (although he did volunteer that the best way to deal with brain freeze is to suck your thumb until it goes away. It works, according to some girls in his kindergarten class).

Camille is genuinely happy about Mom's choice of dinner.

Even Chloe got in on the ice cream action (though hers was only a little bit, led by a banana and followed by mixed vegetables.

After dinner (and Chloe's bath - necessary because she smeared banana and ice cream all in it), we all watched a movie (The Game Plan, which was actually pretty cute) and then went to bed to read until it got dark. The kids love it. They get to stay up a little later and read books and I love it because they keep themselves occupied and Ian start whatever nighttime projects I am starting. All in all, it was a really fun day!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Sunny Day Report

Despite this morning's freezing temperatures, today turned out to be a nice day. After we got Caleb on the school bus, the girls and I enjoyed some of our favorite PBS Kids shows (now made more pleasant by the digital reception we now get on our new TV!), did a little cleaning and had fun playing. Around 11:00 my friend dropped off her little boy to watch and since he and Camille pretty much entertained themselves playing with Caleb's cars and Chloe took a nap (miracle of miracles!)I had a little time to myself.

After lunch we whipped up a batch of cupcakes and then headed to the park. Another friend - who has five kids of her own - was babysitting another family - with four kids - and took them all to the park by our house. Talk about a brave woman! Anyway, after we all played for a while, we all came back to our house and ate the cupcakes. It was nice to be able to share the cupcakes so I didn't feel the temptation to eat a ridiculous amount of them myself! Everyone left right before Caleb got home, so we had a quiet afternoon of playing in the back yard. Caleb and Camille played nicely together for most of it which made it especially pleasant!

Here are some pictures of Caleb all decked out in Duke blue. This was supposed to be a group shot of all three, but only one was cooperating!

Doesn't Caleb have the cutest freckles? We call them "sun kisses."

Doing some heavy thinking...

Going down the slide that's WAY too small! I pulled this little slide out for Chloe, only the wrong kids showed interest in it!

Here Camille gets in on the sliding fun!

Look who decides to show up to play!

A fun little wrestling match

Camille thinks all of this is funny

So does Chloe!

I'd write more but the baby just woke up and I need to get her back down to bed!


Some cute snapshots from the kids from yesterday.

It's so rare that I catch a real smile on Caleb's face instead of a goofy grin or grimace that I thought I'd lead off with him today.

Camille models the princess crown she made at story time yesterday morning. She was the only one there which is always fun for her. She just loves our librarian, Miss Carol, and enjoys having her full attention!

And here she is having fun making faces in her mirror.

And here are a few of sweet Chloe playing with her little house.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sad, sad, sad

We have had some sad times at our house recently...

This is Camille sitting in time out yesterday. I can't remember why I had her in there...maybe hitting her brother or some such nonsense. While she was sitting, she was busy thinking of other things to be upset about. She finally decided to be upset about a bruise she has on her shin. She was then no longer sad about being in trouble, just sad over her boo boo.

Here is Caleb in time out. He was in time out for hitting his sister or some such nonsense. (Do you see the theme?)

We have had a lot of rather sad little moments at our house recently. Some disappointments over potential house buyers deciding against our house (it was really too big for the last person who looked, a single lady who didn't need three full bathrooms), some scraped knees, not being able to play the "Bippity, Boppity, Boo!" game on the Cinderella III: A Twist in Time DVD, having to clean up toys, not wanting to go to bed on time. The usual. Probably the saddest was when Chloe tipped her high chair over during breakfast this morning - she pushed against the table with her feet and managed to tip over sideways and then roll to land face down. She's totally fine, so no freaking out is required here, although she did managed to hit the edge of the door frame of our sliding doors and get a nice, clean slice on her forehead. Fortunately Nurse Rollins lives at our house and was able to doctor her up. She is fine and is now banished from sitting at the table with the rest of the family, doomed to a life of eating off her tray until she can learn to sit nicely and not knock herself over.

Did I happen to mention that Rob passed his nursing boards a couple of months ago and really is Rob Rollins, RN?

Some good things have happened here lately, too. Yesterday I planned to walk to the Piggly Wiggly to grab a few groceries and Caleb decided to come with me. Camille wanted to stay home with Daddy and Chloe was sleeping, so it was just the two of us. I haven't had a lot of one-on-one with Caleb since he started kindergarten, mostly because he prefers time with Daddy when there's opportunity for one-on-one of any kind, so I was really surprised that he wanted to come along. He and I had a really fun time. He held my hand the whole way and walked nicely (sometimes we have trouble with running ahead or lagging behind) with me. In the store he was good not to touch anything or ask for much, although he did put in a pretty solid petition for a package of sliced American cheese which I agreed to buy. I figured it was better than him begging for candy.

Camille continues to say the funniest things. The other day we were in the car heading back home from running some errands. It was around lunchtime and we planned to eat lunch as soon as we got home. Camille couldn't wait, though, and started letting us know how hungry she was. That's when she let out this gem: "I need some food quick before I starve!" Our sweet little girl is in no danger of starving anytime soon.

Chloe is super mobile these days. She has been crawling for a while, but now is an avid cruiser. She has a little push wagon outside and has figured out how to pull herself up behind it and push it along as she walks. It's really cute. I tried to get a video of it, but she wouldn't do it when she saw the camera. I'll have to try again. She is so smiley and fun these days. She loves to laugh and play. One of the games she likes best is the hat game. It's where she brings me an object - today it was Camille's Barbie watch - and I put it on my head and pretend it's a hat. She loves to pull it off my head and giggle. She is also very interested in her big brother and sister. She loves to follow them around and try to play what they're playing. This morning we played cars and worked on crawling around and pushing cars at the same time. I'm so glad Caleb and Camille have been really good about sharing their toys. Caleb will sometimes even share his swords - his favorite toy. And Chloe has watched her brother enough that if you put a sword in her hand (or a wooden spoon or a crayon or anything remotely stick like) she'll wave it back and forth like she's fighting. It's really funny!

Anyway, ramble's over. Here's a picture of Chloe for the sake of cuteness!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Excuses, Excuses...and some pictures!

We've been a while in posting for several reasons:
1. Chloe rolled off the bed last Sunday and had a lovely bruise on her face. Since I didn't think anyone needed to see a picture of Chloe with a shiner, I purposely did not take any pictures of anyone.

2. I have been busy reading Harry Potter. For whatever reason I never got into them when I tried reading the first one years ago, even though Rob read the first three and really enjoyed them (and considering he's not a reader, that's HUGE!) I picked up a copy of the first book a couple of weeks ago figuring I'd give it another try and I liked it a lot. Enough that I got books two and three from the library and devoured those as well. After that I read the next four books in four days and then read book seven again. Unfortunately Rob hasn't read the last four books (and it's been six years since he's read the first three) so he's not much for Harry Potter conversation. And he's adamant I not spoil the whole thing for him and reveal the ending of book seven since he thinks he may actually go back and read them all someday. So if anyone wants to talk Harry Potter with me, let me know!

3. I had a conference with Caleb's teacher this week. He is doing so well in school - she says he's like a sponge and she has to keep making the work harder for him so he won't get too bored. She's a great teacher and we're thrilled she's willing to make extra games and create extra activities to keep him interested. She said that she tested him and he's currently reading at an end of first grade reading level, and that she's guessing by the time kindergarten is through he'll be reading mid-second grade. Not bad for the youngest kid in his kindergarten class! Other awesome news is that we've learned that the school cut off date in Connecticut is currently January 1. That means Camille will be able to start kindergarten not this fall, but the one afterward. We are thrilled! We thought she'd have to wait a whole other year, but it looks like she can start before she turns five!

But now all is fairly back to normal so here's a photo recap of the last couple of days.

Rob had fun a couple of days ago giving the girls airplane rides in this old diaper box.

A cute smile on Camille. It's rare that I get one of these on camera. She (unfortunately) has inherited her mother's "fake smile for the camera" gene.

Chloe sporting her first little sprout of a ponytail, per Camille's request.

The girls played dress up yesterday. Camille was Cinderella. Chloe was Belle.

A rare moment where the big kids show how much they love each other.

We call him Caleb the Warrior.

A happy surprise awaited me when I checked on the garden yesterday. The rhubarb that Dad brought for me last year and we transplanted at totally the wrong season did not die! Here it is, popping up out of the ground!