Sunday, August 30, 2015

On Picking Apples and Doing Fall Right

Since this fall we'll actually have real fall weather with leaves changing color and everything I am determined to do all the fall things we possibly can, including but not limited to:  apple picking, pumpkin picking, attending as many fall festivals as humanly possible, jumping in leaf piles and generally strolling through the crisp autumn breeze.  In a sweater.

This weekend, though not exactly fall, we started off the season a mite early with apple picking because the Honeycrisps were ripe, and why bother eating an apple if it's not a Honeycrisp apple?   Am I right?  And they were such a good deal--a dollar a pound.  For comparison sake, they were four dollars a pound at the commissary.  I know this because I let David pick out the apples once and he put twenty in a bag to be funny (which I didn't mind since we go through so many apples anyway) but when I got home and looked at the receipt I realized we spent forty dollars on apples.  Forty dollars.  We forgave them for being so expensive though, after all, they were delicious.   These appels were equally delicious as could be verified by all the slightly nibbled ones we found as we unpacked them.

None of us have ever been apple picking before so it was kind of an exciting endeavor.  Since it's the very beginning of the season, there were still plenty of apples within any child's reach but that didn't stop the biggest attraction of the day from being the apple picking sticks.  Clearly the best apples are the ones on the tip top of the tree that require real ingenuity to acquire, not the paltry ones within easy grasp that require no effort whatsoever to gather up.

Never let it be said that children of mine choose the easy way.  

They actually always choose the hard way.  Always.  I blame their father.

Well, they eventually lost their apple picking stick privileges because they kept dropping the apples on their way down and then complaining that they couldn't tell which was their apple amidst all the apples on the ground.  While I'm not an apple picking expert by any means, I'm pretty sure the top two rules are not to eat apples that have been laying on the ground and don't waste the fruit.  So back to the non-exciting arms reach apples it was.

After we gathered our peck of apples and sang a few rousing choruses of "A Bushel and a Peck" (much to the children's chagrin) we headed off to have a picnic at a nearby state park.  It was really a wonderful day and I can't wait to do it all over again with actual fall temperatures and forest colors.  The summer humidity is already gone so I'm sure the crisp autumn air is just around the corner.  I can almost feel it.  Almost.  

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

On Finally Getting Out

We've just pulled through* weeks of the strangest illness that has ever ravaged our home.  The entire family has gone down and come back up and gone back down with some sort of no-fever cold that mostly makes everyone tired but randomly makes the toddler spew that which cannot be mentioned from all orifices.  The spewing started two days after we began potty training so obviously that was put on hold.  And every time I thought we were better and ventured back into public John John would start going again (so sorry to anyone we may have inadvertently infected).   This is obviously Chris' fault for refusing to wear a face mask and gloves while he rides public transportation to and from work which I'm pretty sure is ground zero for all the Reintjes home illnesses we've faced since moving to Virginia.  That and the fact that no one in his office will call in sick--including him--and risk not getting their work done.  The horror.  Much better to bring the germs to work and share the love.

Well today all bodily fluids seemed to be staying in their proper places so I decided that we desperately needed to get out of the house and let the big boys run off their excess energy.  They've been sleeping so much during the day that they've been waking up in the middle of the night because they're "not tired" and then again at, oh about four o'clock.  That's not okay.

We went to a local nature preserve because I thought it would be pretty (it was) and our chances of accidentally infecting anyone-if we are still infectious-would be low.  I was also hoping a little time in the forest would help reset their clocks.  There was a lot of rock throwing and stick lifting so they should be tired out.

I guess I'll find out in the morning.

Oh and Margaret had fun too.

*please let us have finally pulled through!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

{p,h,f,r} The Sewing and Sunscreen Edition


So I finished sewing my Sweetiepie ABCs sampler and I ironed, stretched and pinned it just like the directions said to to get it ready for framing.  The next morning I proudly showed David the toil of my hands and he said he loved it, but wondered why he couldn't see the Z?

Well, obviously it's because I completely forgot to sew the Z and my darling six year old was the first one that I showed my sampler to--including five other adults--to notice and alert me to the fact that it was not quite complete after all.  I posted my trials on instagram and Alicia Paulson herself gave me permission to leave it artistically lacking its final letter but in the end.....


....I undid the bottom corner and added the Z in without taking the whole thing apart.  Although, now that I'm looking at these pictures does the whole thing look a little too wrinkly for framing?


With all this cross stitch drama I needed some laughs over the weekend and these didn't disappoint.  I take my Library Project recommendations very seriously over here :)


After naptime was over a few days ago I went outside to see what the big boys were up to during their "quiet time."  It turned out they had been mixing sunscreen with dirt to form "gray paint"--which they were lathering liberally over.....everything.  David was so proud to have finally deciphered the elusive formula of paint that he had apparently been contemplating for some time and absolutely would not accept the fact that he might be mistaken.  I'm not an expert on paint ingredients but I'm almost 100% sure that SPF 50 is not one of them, no matter what David says to the contrary.

And I still don't understand why Henry also needed a sunscreen circle around his mouth.  War paint?  Neither of the boys could understand why it wouldn't just wash off.  Umm, because it's WATERPROOF. They've lost their unsupervised outdoor play privileges for a while.....

As always pop over to Like Mother, Like Daughter for more captured contentment.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

On Fossil Hunting and Fish Bones

We decided to take the kids out fossil hunting last weekend because they've been begging to go to "the beach" and technically there was a good four feet of beach there along the low tide.  Supposedly this is a prime fossil hunting spot (according to Ginny, and she's never led us astray before!) but I think we must have been in a picked over spot, i.e. right where you pop out on the beach from the trail.  The professional fossil hunters were nowhere near us so that was probably clue number one that we were in the wrong place but, and I'm not a professional so I could be wrong, but it's a little awkward to follow around the only other people on the gigantically long beach and dig wherever they are digging.  It's at least probably frowned upon, right?

"Oh were you hoping to have a relaxing day of adult fossil hunting in peace and quiet?  Don't mind me and my minions, we're just going to stick next to you and your friend.  I'm sure you won't even notice we're here stealing your fossils and ruining your day.........."

We didn't find any fossils but we did find a lot of old fish bones so that was something?

The boys lost focus pretty quickly, deciding it would be more fun to 1) swim in the river, 2) attempt to use giant pieces of driftwood as boats and float themselves away 3) make sandcastles and 4) go try to find a geocache.  I'll let you guess who wanted to wander the woods looking for tupperware.  I also found out fossil hunting isn't as fun when you're wearing a baby.

Oh well, I think we're going to go back and try again soon.  It was a nice little place even if we did leave empty handed :)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

On Being a Fun Science Mom

David has a science book that he loves, complete with lots of experiments that "can be carried out with simple, everyday materials that can be found around the home--especially in the kitchen--or acquired very easily."  I don't know whose home has all the random materials that the author's home apparently possesses but our lack of kitchen weights, spring balances, fuse wire and heatproof glass beakers usually works out to my favor.  When my little scientist gets a scathingly brilliant idea and needs to do it I can calmly ask him to check the materials list and there is generally at least one essential component missing that gets me off the science hook.

Not today though.

Today we did have everything we needed to make our own model hot air balloon.

Trust me honey, it looked just like the picture.  And it was just as easy to assemble as the instructions said it would be.  It wasn't obnoxious at all attempting to glue strips of tissue paper together to form a balloon while not letting any already glued parts touch anything else lest it become one giant gluey ball of broken dreams.  Not at all.  And those looks you were giving me in addition to your repeated cries of "we need Daddy" were also really helpful.

As if Daddy would ever agree to make this particular project.

The whole thing was pretty much a bust until we cut loose the basket which was entirely too heavy for our little tissue paper balloon to lift.  I suppose it could have worked if it was made of copy paper but that's not what the directions called for.  Once it was gone the balloon mostly just lifted up into the air and spun in circles.  But the lesson was learned:  hot air rises.  Check.

The important thing is that we did it.  I'm a fun science mom after all.

Well, maybe not fun.  Tolerant?

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