Monday, May 14, 2007

Caught on tape

Today the kids built a little city out of a play mat, various vehicle toys, and Little People. They were both narrating their own stories and working together, so I decided to pull out the camera and shoot a little footage. They didn't even seem to notice me, they were so wrapped up in what they were doing. About a minute after I started there was yelling and punching (I didn't do any of it, I swear!). So, my great idea of saving their cooperativeness for the future was completely wrecked my their innate need to bug the heck out of each other.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The perfect Mother's Day

Today was pretty much perfect. They let me sleep in a little, and when I came down I had to wait until they got in their places. (I was told that next time I should stay in bed until they get me.) When I walked into the kitchen there were streamers hanging over the door and they threw little balloons up into the air. There was a card, some "princess" flip flops, and some flowers to plant, and a NEW BIKE! Yeah! So exciting!

For the rest of the morning I worked in the garden. The kids were supposed to help me plants the flowers they bought and water the plants we've already put in, but Spencer went to play with the neighborhood kids and Evie didn't want to get her feet pricked by the pricker weeds, so she stayed inside while Alan watched the F1 race. Once we finally got ourselves together we went over to my mother-in-law's to help her hang a blind.

Spencer got a little upset and out of control, so instead of the kids hanging out with their grandparents for the rest of the afternoon we came home and Alan worked on fixing our phone line, which wasn't working for some reason. That took 2 hours. It turns out Spencer had eaten 2 bags of gummie type candy, which explains why he wouldn't eat real food and was behaving like a stinker.

My mother-in-law came over to hang out with the kids while we exchanged my bike for a smaller size, had dinner, and did the grocery shopping. I put Evie to bed and then took a bike ride while Alan put Spencer to bed.

It was a really great day. The best Mother's Day I've ever had.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Pretty plants

Today the kids planted the boxes they got for Easter from their grandmother. Evie had sunflower seeds and Spencer had tomatoes. The tomato seeds spilled after they were planted, so we may just be mowing them every week instead of watching them grow from their box. Evie was sad to hear that we'd have to move her sunflowers when they got too big, but 6 foot flowers just won't fit in the little 6 inch box that came with the kit.

Since we were on a roll we decided to plant our carrots and radishes, too. A friend had suggested we surround the carrots with radishes to deter rabbits. I guess the radish leaves are prickly or something. At any rate, that's what we'll try this year.

I'm also hoping to plan mini pumpkins once I get a trellis worked out. We also have zucchini seed (why?) as well as chives and lavender. I'm not really sure where to put all this stuff, especially since I have other gardening plans that I just don't have time for.

Oh, the strawberry plants the kids picked out a few weeks ago have now yielded three strawberries. These plants are pretty big, so I imagine we'll have to move them to a larger pot or the ground soon. I'm just not sure how they'll survive the winter.

The maple tree planter has some seedlings, but I have no idea if they are maple trees or weeds. I'm going to let them grow a little to find out. If we do get a bunch of trees I'm not really sure where we'll put them or what we'll do with them.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Paddling Pool

The kids and I managed to fill the little pool with some water for a brief time today. We didn't get lots of opportunity, and between Evie's fear of the pricky weeds in the grass and Spencer's hesitation to put on his swimsuit (this was all HIS idea, anyway!), it was quick. Then, off to Spencer's soccer game.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Kindergarten, bikes, and boo boos

Boy, what a busy day!

We ate lunch at St. Mark's after school, cleaned up, and then dropped Spencer off at the Kindergarten Roundup at St. Charles. After spending a week telling me that he was going to tell anyone who asked that he didn't own any western wear he ended up wearing the white cowboy hat I brought him just in case the whole time. He seemed to enjoy his hour there. The teacher changed her snack plans at the last minute so it could be something Spencer could eat. And she served water instead of milk. It was really sweet of her. But now I'm left with 3 dozen cookies!

While playing outside Spencer's back bike tire literally popped. It has a gash in it all the way through. He's been skidding his tires whenever possible and it has several weak spots. He wasn't skidding when it happened, so it was a little bit of a surprise when it blew. He took it pretty well and showed the neighborhood kids the tear.

Then, only 5 minutes after reminding Spencer that his helmet needs to rest on his forehead and not pushed back and less than 1 minute after I told him that he should use his scooter break pedal and not his foot to stop, disaster struck. He tried to stop himself with his foot while going fast down the hill, tripped, and fell right on his forehead. He was in quite a state for a long time. He's got a lovely mark on his forehead. He even told me I was right about the helmet thing.

So poor Spencer has no bike until we get a tire and doesn't want to wear his helmet to ride his scooter because of the boo boo, so he's stuck with just his big wheel. And of course the wheels are looking a little thin on that thing, too.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Peter and the Wolf

Today was Evie's performance in Peter and the Wolf. She was a kitten. It was all incredibly adorable and fun. Pictures will be posted when I get a chance.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Busy day

The weather was great today, so both kids got lots of outdoor time at school. I know in my own class we were out for almost 2 hours. Evie's was as well and I think Spencer's even sat in the sun to eat lunch (too hot for me, but it didn't stop them!).

After school Spencer had to go to his Kindergarten assessment at Summit, one of our public schools. It was completely different from the one at St. Charles. Spencer was very reluctant and shy, barely talking through most of it. Evie, on the other hand, answered the few questions she was asked (her name and age and if she's like to color). We will be arranging to go observe during class some time to see what we think. They had a Bev Bos quote in the hallway, which I thought was encouraging, but then I heard a teacher yelling at her class to line up. That was not so encouraging. It was an older class, but still. Lots to think about.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Maple helicopters

We actually planted those helicopters today. I have no clue if any of them will grow, but the kids seem excited about it. We were going to do a bunch of other gardening, but both of them were cranky so we just had a low key afternoon.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Little 500

Completely unplanned, but we went to the Little 500 bicycle race this afternoon. They really couldn't have had better weather for it, and luckily we packed extra sunscreen. Also luckily, the kids were too young to notice how many of the people around us couldn't walk without assistance. I imagine they've been partying since Thursday. I know they were partying at 10am when Evie's dance class ended (we saw two different banners that urged us to honk to make the people at the party drink).

Ah, springtime in Bloomington.

And oh, yeah, we also made the first trip to the farmer's market for the year.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Rub me the right way

This afternoon we went to the park. I brought flat crayons and paper so the kids could do rubbings. At Lower Cascades park there are lots of things with different textures, including a tile mosaic, so it was fun. Spencer only did a couple, but Evie really got into it.

We also collected maple tree helicopters at school to see if any will grow. They're in a plastic bag right now, and I have a feeling they're going to rot before we can plant them. The kids seem completely uninterested in going out to buy some dirt. I'd use dirt from around the house, but I don't want to disturb the weeds in the lawn. They seem happy.

Friday, April 06, 2007


Am I the only person who finds coloring eggs with kids a little stressful? Not terribly so, just a little. The kids had a good time, but dye was spilled and there was some crying about an egg that didn't come out just perfectly. Then all was made well when we decided to put stickers on some of the eggs.

Ah, Easter.

Easter plans anybody?

After some nice snuggles with Spencer between Alan and me this morning he sat straight up and said, "Let's talk about Easter plans. Anybody?" He sounded just like a professor expecting hands to go up in response. Hilarious.

Hoosier Heights

One of the families at the kids' preschool owns an indoor climbing facility. Since school was closed today for Good Friday they opened for a special session just for the little kids. I couldn't get Spencer to try on a harness (he spent the whole time running with other kids), but Evie got all dressed up and tried several climbs. She was upset when it was time to go. It was a great time and they both want to go back.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Do Bunnies Eat Carrot Cake?

We decided to make carrot cake today in honor of Easter coming this weekend. Secretly, I just wanted to do something other than sugar cookies. Here the kiddos are, cleaning up after baking. Afterwards I had to do more cleaning up of the cleaning up, as usual.
They are both recovering nicely from bouts of mild pneumonia. I really don't want to go through that again this year.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The first big drop off

Because of the food allergy thing, I've never dropped Spencer off at a birthday party or a play date and just left him. I always have to come so that the parent in question doesn't have to worry about administering an EpiPen should the worst happen. I don't really feel it's fair to ask someone to do that or to try to keep track of all the dietary restrictions.

Today Spencer went to a birthday party by himself. The parent is a teacher at his preschool, so she's already trained to use the EpiPens, and she gave me the gift of letting me leave him there. I brought cupcakes for him and she had fruit there, and I gave her the bag with his emergency meds. He was thrilled. She had to tell me about ten times that it would be ok.

I cried the whole way home. I think it was an anxiety attack. I knew he was in good hands, but things happen, you know? So, after I calmed down, I took a walk and then went back a little early to let him know it was time to leave.

Spencer had a fabulous time. He really didn't want to come home. I'm so glad. And it was good for me, too. Most parents have already been through this before now and I know I won't get to do it much. It's really hard letting him go to things on his own because of the potential consequences. But we did it. And it was good for both of us.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The cobwebs of my mind

Spencer, after having a nightmare last night, said first thing this morning while waking up, "I'm going to make a web to put across my brain. It will let the good dreams in and keep the bad dreams out."

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

They write those instructions for a reason

The ant farm is empty. I guess 1/4 inch is really too small for the ant farm. We think they escaped through the tiny air holes near the top. We now have 6 new residents somewhere in the house. I think next time I'll just order the ants from the supply place. Or maybe we'll wait until summer when the ants are bigger.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ant farm

Spencer's tummy is still a little iffy, so we took it easy today. We got to enjoy the nice weather a bit and Spencer decided he wanted to find some ants for the ant farm he got for Christmas. Since we seem to have a large nest near the house it was easy to find ants. They were a little on the small side, but we collected ones that were the requisite 1/4 inch (have you ever tried to measure a moving ant?). After 6 ants the kids got bored, so that's the population of our farm. I hope they live at least a day.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wacky weather

Everyone's been getting a taste of summer recently. Alan's also taken a few days off, so we've had a good week. Tuesday I took the kids on two hikes (one on a paved trail so they could bring their big wheels) and they were zonked by the end of the day. It was fun.

But today, it's rainy. I'm having a very hard time getting everyone moving. No one wanted to get dressed and now they just want to play in their room instead of doing our errands.

On the plus side, we've started moving the office to its new location. In fact, the computer is already set up. Now we have two rooms in complete disarray. At least Evie will eventually get her own room again. Progress is progress, even if it's slow.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Another head wound

Evie managed to bonk her noggin yet again. This time, she had Spencer's help. Alan was working on installing some shelving and Spencer bonked Evie with the end of a hanging support. We're lucky he didn't get her eye. Now she has a lovely red and purple lump on her forehead right between her eyes.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Did I say we were on the mend?

What a crock! Spencer has now been sick for two weeks. The latest is a really gross nose and fevers at night. Evie is perfectly healthy, but still on mega antibiotics for last week's ear infections. I've still got a runny nose and now Alan says he's feeling a bit ill. Will it ever end?

Having three days off from school this week due to the weather didn't really help. Spencer seemed to be feeling better yesterday so we went to the library to blow off some steam. We were there for an hour and a half (possibly a record) and I didn't have ONE SINGLE ARGUMENT from him. Over anything. He was so compliant and polite it was scary. After we got home his temperature got to 101 so now I know why. Sorry library, I didn't mean to share germs.

I would love to take the kids outside, but not only is it frigid, it's boring. It's just ice with a dusting of snow. It's really too sharp to sled and you can't build anything.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Snow day

Today the schools were out so we made the best of it even though it's ice and not snow. We made gak in the morning, had a picnic lunch in the living room, gave Evie a bath to get the gak out of her hair, and did some coloring. Now cookies are in the oven just in case the power goes out later!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

On the mend

This week was spent with both kids sick and I had a sore throat. Spencer was on steroids (he calls it hyper juice) and Evie just felt yucky. We took Evie in to the doctor on Wednesday but she only had some fluid in her ears. Thursday night she had another fever . She was complaining that her neck hurt from the swollen lymph nodes. Friday morning I couldn't get her off the couch even once the drugs brought her fever back down. So, the doctor decided to call in a prescription so she wouldn't get exposed to more germs at the office. It must've been bacterial, because she felt tons better within about 8 hours.

Poor Spencer though. Yesterday he was so bored he decided to sharpen pencils to pass the time. That didn't last long. He's so hopped up he just can't control his energy level and Evie needed a lot of snuggling.

But now everyone is on the mend. Alan is back from his weeklong business trip so I'm not alone with the sickies. Hopefully we'll all get some sleep and feel back to normal soon.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Potty mouth

Overheard by everyone at McDonald's on Monday, as proclaimed by Spencer:

"Hey guys, if you need to go potty bring your coat. It's really COOOLLLD in there!"

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The dreaded forehead wound

I got a call from hubby today to tell me that I needed to come home to see the cut in Evie's forehead. Apparently she had been playing with "duct man" at Menard's and a piece of him fell off right onto her head. Poor thing. It's not pretty, but it didn't need stitches. I have a forehead scar myself and I have always wished it would go away. Now I guess she'll have the same.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The power of a clean desk

A few weeks ago I cleaned off the table in the play room and put some of their office supplies (pencils, scissors--yes, I'm starting to leave them out, tape, envelopes, etc.) in little caddies. Since then there has been a flurry of writing, taping, mailing, and everything else. Letters are written everywhere. Colored masking tape has covered everything. We've gone through a whole pile of construction paper, a box of envelopes, a roll of scotch tape (Evie calls it "teeth tape" because of the dispenser), and mountains of masking tape. So, I highly recommend keeping a flat surface clean that belongs to the kids. The trick is keeping it clean since they never want to get rid of their creations.

Another cool thing: colored masking tape. You can get this from Discount School Supply and probably other supply places. We got 10 different colors and it has been so fun to watch them play with it and cut it.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Adults don't need sleep

Did you know that adults don't need sleep? Well, everyone knows that kids do most of their growing when they're asleep, which is one reason why they need so much. Spencer has been waking me up a lot at night for things he can do himself--going potty, putting on covers, fetching a toy that has fallen out of bed, etc. This morning he explained why.

"Mommy, I can wake you up whenever I want to. Grown-ups don't need to sleep because they're not growing anymore."

Boy, that clears a few things up for me.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


This afternoon I found chocolate frosting hidden among the stuffed animals behind the recliner in Spencer's room. This involved 4 no-nos:

1. Taking a treat-type food without asking.
2. Climbing to get the food.
3. Hiding food in a room other than the kitchen.
4. Lying about it (the kids claimed they were quietly playing with Legos)

So, Alan and I have decided a few consequences. First, the stuffed animals have been removed from the behind the chair until further notice so they can't hide things as easily back there. I'd remove the chair, too, but the door has to be removed before the chair can go and I just can't do all that on my own. Second, the box of Legos has been removed, probably for about a week, since they used the Legos as an alibi. Third, they won't get to watch their 30 minutes of TV for two days. That last one is mostly to drive home how important we think the food thing is, since it isn't the first time.

Do you think these are reasonable consequences? I'd say no treats, but they don't really get a lot of treats so it might be days before they were denied something. By then it wouldn't make any sense.

I wouldn't have figured out that they had the frosting except I found chocolate on their clothing. When I asked Evie where she got it she didn't know enough to realize that she wasn't supposed to tell me. I knew they were up to something but since I thought I had put up all the sweets I didn't think they'd be able to get any or think to try. I guess I underestimated them.