Friday, May 31, 2013

He Loves Babies

....sometimes he loves them a little too.....hard......but he does love them nonetheless......any baby.  Every baby.

I have this baby doll that I received on my very first Christmas, we call her sad baby.  When David first found her amongst our boxes her legs and arms were taped on, she was hemorrhaging stuffing and she had a bit of a lazy eye--he loved her anyway.  He practiced 'gentle touches' with her in anticipation of each new baby and held her close when we found out one of those babies wouldn't be coming home after all.

Once I realized sad baby wasn't going back to her box anytime soon, she made her way to the local doll hospital for a little repair work and is no longer sad baby--okay she's still called 'sad baby' but she doesn't look like a sad baby........

.....well really she looks creepily like our actual baby.  I've been known to have mini panic attacks after walking into a room and finding her face down under a 'pillow nest' or laying head first in a box of blocks.  Mostly David just keeps her in his bed, though occasionally he wants to do something like wear her to the park just like mom.  I'm pretty sure this was mostly a ploy to impress the neighbor girl (whom he says he wants to marry because quote "she lives the closest to me").

On that note, we recently had to clear up a little misunderstanding when David started telling me he wished I were in heaven already.  Apparently he thought that in order for him to get married and have his own family I had to be 'in heaven' first.  Why it was just me and not Chris and I, I still don't know.  Well, much to everyone's relief I explained that mommies don't have to be in heaven first for their sons to get married--although I suppose there are many who would prefer it :)  And that if he gets married I want to be there to see it and celebrate, to which he responded that if that were the case he wants to build his new house right next to mine and he and his wife will make me lobsters for dinner--with macaroni and cheese and peanut butter and tuna fish, and also lunchables "for the kids."

Delicious :)

PS Don't tell Chris I put pictures of his eldest son baby-doll-wearing on the internets....he would not be amused :)

PPS Isn't he precious?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

We've Got Legs

Can I just say that watching a tadpole grow legs is really fun?

David named him "Tom, Tom the Piper's Son" which is probably a good indicator of the amount of Beatrix Potter audio books we've been listening to in the car--this particular name comes from the The Tale of Pigling Bland--they sing it in the audio book version....I have no idea if it's in the actual book or not.  I do know that the version they sing in the book is an incorrect though commonly sung version of this nursery rhyme:

Tom, Tom, the piper's son,
Stole a pig, and away did run;
The pig was eat
And Tom was beat,
And Tom went crying 
Down the street.

Pigling Bland Version (to the best of my child-ruined memory):

Tom, Tom, the piper's son,
Stole a pig, and away did run;
And all the tune that he could play,
Was over the hills and far away.

Clearly I'm putting all of my previous education to good use here--I think everyone would agree that motherhood makes you smarter in a tremendous variety of ways, although none that anyone commonly awards degrees in.  Although I suppose knowledge of obscure nursery rhymes with an emphasis in tadpole development could make for an interesting course of study...........

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tales From Our Garden: vol.3 {Memorial Day Weekend Edition}

Over the three day weekend we did a little work in the garden.....the biggest excitement being these amazingly wonderful tomato cages we made out of some found bamboo and string.

The cage for the tomato plant on the left is really more the invention of wishful thinking than necessity.  That particular plant is our saddest tomato plant....but maybe just seeing his new tomato cage will inspire him to fill out to his own glorious potential.

We also did some more weekend adventuring and found the first real, teach-your-kids-the-laws-of-physics see-saws we've seen in Florida.  David loved it.  Henry was terrified........mostly of David.....combined with the laws of physics.

John Michael also had fun.......

......with me in the car.......................

......trying to take pictures of him in my lap.......

......nailed it.  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Through the Driftwood Forest

We decided to do a bit of adventuring this morning and set out for Blackrock Beach in Big Talbot Island State Park up here in Northern Florida.

Once we arrived and Chris was loaded down with all of our necessities he declared himself to be Samwise the Brave....I'll let you decide if he was being dramatic or not.....but I certainly don't think that he looks as if he's packed enough to get himself to Mordor.......

You can tell that we are not professional adventurers by the fact that we forgot to bring both sunscreen and bug spray and we most definitely needed bug spray.  The lovely shaded path we started down was home to approximately eleventy-billion mosquitoes and David was not pleased.   Adventuring lesson number one: mosquito bites + salt water = burning fire legs of death.

I thought the trail ended with a path down to a regular beach.  In reality the trail led to this:

An amazing driftwood forest/tree graveyard.  It was a bit of a scramble to get down to the beach but it was so worth it.  We promptly abandoned our shoes and got down to the business of exploring.

The pictures don't really do justice to the surrealness of this place.  It was wonderful and quiet and pretty much totally abandoned.

We found hermit crabs, regular crabs, and tiny schools of fish.  We also had a bit of a surprise in the shallow water.......

The hammerhead was swimming right by our feet when we noticed him which was amazing.....and also a little frightening......but also solidified this beach's reputation as our most amazing place visited in Florida.  Of course after the shark sighting we were a little more careful with the kids in the water :)

I think we'll definitely be revisiting soon.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fishing for Tadpoles

There's a little creek that occasionally turns into a lake near our house.  One morning this week when it was in full on lake mode we happened to notice this:

There were so many tadpoles David was catching them with his hands to get a better look at them and I promised we would bring daddy back to show him once he got home from work.

Unfortunately for me there must have been some kind of tadpole massacre while we were gone because there was not a tadpole to be seen when we came back after dinner with all of our tadpole catching apparati (I mean really, if David could catch them I'm sure there were any number of more nimble predators who could have gotten to them in our absence).

I finally managed to redeem myself and found a measly two little tadpoles and we brought them home for further study.

I remember catching tadpoles with my grandpa in the creek behind his house as a little girl, but I don't think we ever had one that made it into full fledged frog status....I'm pretty sure the best we ever managed was to watch one grow two legs.

Hopefully we'll have better success with these guys--although I think we may already be down to one tadpole in the bowl unless we have one regular tadpole and one master of disguise.

Luckily (or sadly?) we had an open fish bowl since Howard (aka the fish who lived.......and lived.....and lived) passed away last month after three long years as the most neglected pet in our family--which was mighty impressive considering his beginnings as a party door prize.

We haven't named him yet, but I think he is my favorite found creature that's been brought into our home....not that I didn't enjoy all of the lizards/frogs/giant cockroaches that proceeded him but....well, they were gross and they couldn't metamorphosize sooooo they pretty much have nothing going for them.......

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day To Me

David (while watching Captain Hook steal a picnic on Jake and the Neverland Pirates--because I'm an excellent parent):  "Food isn't treasure!"

Me:  "Your treasure is the thing you love most."

David:  "Then you're my treasure mom."

Henry:  "And we're going to lock you up in our pirate ship."

It's good to be a mom.  Even if you do end up locked up in a pirate ship :)

We've had a lazy day.  Last night after Henry's party I was taken out by a migraine and haven't been out of my pajamas since.  My wonderful husband took over all of the party clean up and children-hyped-up-on-juice-boxes-and-candy duties.  Today I've had flowers and time alone to rest and read in peace and quiet.  Chris always takes such good care of me, every day really is Mother's Day in our house......

.....and now the hero of my day is taking a much deserved nap with this sweet baby.  They're really too precious for words.


We threw Henry a Cars and Trucks and Things That Go party for his third birthday because Richard Scarry books are his favorite things right now, second only to vehicles of any kind.  If he disappears, you can usually find him reading one to himself and if you try to sit down and read it with him he will tell you that he wants to read it "by himself!"

I'm sure people with more sophisticated software and computer prowess than I possess could come up with much fancier invitations than these but in our house we make do with what we have!  I will say though that cutting out all those pickle cars by hand seemed like a much better idea before I actually started doing it.....

.....the same is true for cutting out goldbugs from yellow posterboard......I hid a bunch of these goldbugs all over the house and yard which Henry and David thought was hysterical (if you aren't familiar with the book, goldbug is hiding on pretty much every page). 

For decorations I used (surprise!) our homemade birthday bunting--which goes up for pretty much every birthday celebration in our home and I also made some paper garlands from an old, used Richard Scarry book I picked up at our local used bookstore.  I've never destroyed a book on purpose before and it was really hard to make the first cut but it was really fun once I got going.  We really live on the wild side here :)

We also transformed our thing-a-ma-jig into a pickle car....I was pretty proud of myself with this one and Henry thought it was fun :)

Okay I was also proud of myself for my sprinkle cake masterpiece.  It's supposed to be a two layer cake but I had a cake-tastrophe when I was removing one of the first layers from its pan so I had to make a second cake and ended up with three usable layers and one plate of extra cake parts in the fridge...I mean you don't just let good cake parts go to waste, am I right?

Henry was beside himself with the desire to lick all of the sprinkles off the cake once he laid eyes on it and it may or may not have needed some sprinkle patch jobs before the guests arrived.....

The pinata was a big hit too....well really, who doesn't like pinatas?  Chris said he was surprised at what a good job I did stuffing it.....I'm not sure if that was a complement or not....maybe he was afraid it would be full of healthy granola bars and toothbrushes instead of the generic matchbox cars and copious amounts of candy.

To all of our little guests' :)

We didn't have party games planned, mostly because I really dislike the idea of rounding up a bunch of one to seven year olds and attempting to make them all do the same thing at the same time.  Instead we just had activities strewn around--a table for coloring Busytown coloring pages, a sand table with construction vehicles, bouncing balls and balloons....but mostly the kids played (i.e. wreaked havoc) in the boys' room where they ran with their stolen candy to devour it away from the watchful eyes of their parents.

David said his favorite part of the party was getting presents and "eating all the yummy cheeseballs."

Henry says his favorite part was the sprinkle cake.

It was a really good day....even if I still couldn't manage to get one good picture of all of my men together.....

Well, at least Goldbug is smiling.......and we did get one good picture of my littlest man :)

A big thank you to everyone who made the day so special!  

And check out my pinterest board for info and sources for all of my party inspiration :)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Tales From Our Garden: vol. 2, {p,h,f,r edition}


After the May crowning of Mary we did at mass last Sunday, the boys wanted to have a crowning of our own...and like most things they lost interest in making the crown of flowers right after they picked them, handed them to me and then realized I couldn't instantly, magically weave them into a crown......I think it turned out nicely though--even if I was abandoned in the end.......


All of our seeds sprouted after all!  I'm trying to burn the memory of my happiness at being able to turn seeds into small plants so that if (or, more likely when) they fail to yield anything edible I can remember this small triumph and not be too overcome with self pity :)


"MOM!! Take a picture with me in it too!  I'm dancing!"  Wow, okay son.....those are some excellent moves you've got going there..........


I thought my cilantro plants looked a little off when I bought them.  After further research--now is apparently not the time to be growing cilantro in Northern Florida.  Now is the time when cilantro turns "leggy," gets the crazy lacy leaves, sprouts some flowers and goes to seed.  These were already lacy when I brought them home so I've decided that I'm no longer growing cilantro--no, now I'm growing coriander seeds, because who doesn't need more home-grown coriander seeds in their lives?  Problem solved :)

In other gardening failure news--after our three day long monsoon, three of my five tomato plants seem to have all come down with some sort of tomato blight which is really......disheartening......BUT, I saw the spots, did some emergency googling, and found and ordered this:

I'm hoping it is the organic problem solving miracle it claims to be and I haven't lost all hope of delicious tomatoes in less than a month of expert gardening.  If anyone has tips on saving tomatoes from certain doom please share!

And also, I think we have snails.

Will my garden be overrun by wild cilantro if I let it go to seed?  Will all of my tomato plants succumb to the dreaded tomato blight?  Will David ever learn some less embarrassing dance moves?  Stay tuned for the answers to these burning questions and more.

P.S. The answer to that last one is probably not--especially if he continues to rely on his rhythmically challenged mother for lessons......

P.P.S.  Make sure to check out even more contentment over at Like Mother, Like Daughter
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