Monday, November 18, 2013

leafy letterboxing in the arboretum

another leafy walk a few weeks ago.  christian came too, and the boys had lots of fun trying to catch leaves that the wind blew down.  it's hard!

isla collected many, many leaves and sticks.  and then had a hard time walking with her voluminous loot.  but she refused to leave any behind.  finally she realized she could pack some items into her backpack, which she did.  she even broke some of her sticks in half so they would fit!  funny girl.  i think these mementos are in her little backpack still...

ezzie did some bird-watching.  "caw-caw!!!" he would yell, and point!

carrie had told us about a hidden letterbox with block-print stamps that was supposedly hidden somewhere near the tower at the top of the arboretum.  we searched and searched but to no avail.  so sad!  luckily isla and i had brought a few of our own stamps and ink just in case, and we did a little stamping along the trail anyway.

carrie says there are more letterbox sites around town.  we need to get out and try to find another one!  i think this is such a fun idea.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


here are the kids ready for the harvest fest at church the weekend before halloween.  noah is a "soccer guy", ezra is ezra, and isla is a "crafting queen"!

i made this apron for isla to store her craft supplies.  now she can craft on the go!

and here they are on halloween night ready to go get some candy around the 'hood.  noah is now a "lego maniac," ezra is a baby dragon, and isla is a crafting queen again.

i sewed some lego fabric onto noah's shirt and made him his own apron for lego-ing on the go! 

happy halloween!

the curls!

a sample of ezra's post-bath hair.  it is absolutely crazy!!

get out while you can

yesterday we enjoyed a little window of warmth and mostly sun, and took a short hike around squires lake.  it was a new trail to us, and fun to explore.  ezra especially relished the chance to run free!

(special thanks to grandma for his speedy new running shoes!)

Thursday, November 07, 2013

ezra august at one and a half

says: mama, da-dee!, isla (for isla and noah), bus (bu-busssssssss!!), hi, uh-oh, yeah, ball, nana (banana), phshew (airplane), app-app (apple), baaaa (sheep), neigh-neigh (horse), bye, car, caw-caw! (bird), choo-choo, with a little wiggle (train), whoo-whoo (owl), whack-whack (duck), moo (moon)

signs: milk, more, please, airplane, bird, hi (wave), all done, thank you, cold (shiver)

very favorite things: shoes, airplanes, buses, reading books, condiments!, trucks, balls, ice cream, digging in dirt, climbing on anything, fruit, doing things BY HIMSELF, juice

stats:  35 inches tall; 26.5 pounds heavy; curly, red, unruly hair; dimples; big belly; wiggly, chubby cheeks; little feet; tons of teeth.

  • is a voracious reader!  delivers books to whomever is willing to read.  then climbs into that person's lap.  says, "OH!" with each page.  points to things like airplane or bus.  loves books with pics of babies.  waves to babies.
  • loves, loves, loves shoes.  loves to put his own shoes on and take them off.  loves to deliver our shoes to us, even (mostly) when we do not need shoes.  loves to wear our shoes.  and, upon being buckled in his car seat, immediately takes both his shoes and socks off and throws them so it is impossible to find two socks and two shoes when it's time to disembark.
  • DESPISES the church nursery.
  • DESPISES having his nails cut.
  • is really interested in animals.  loves to watch the cats that roam the neighborhood, gets right up close to dogs, always spies the white horse on the way to the kids' school.  loves animal books too, pointing and identifying them by noise.  and LOVES birds!!
  • goes down big slides.
  • laughs heartily and often.
  • sings in the car.  "caw-caw-caw, baby, baby, baby!" does funny mouth trills.  cracks himself up.  
  • loves water!  bath, kiddie pool, hose.
  • goes to get his shoes and coat when we're going outside.
  • likes riding the little trike.  tries to ride the big kids' scooters and gets frustrated.
  • loved picking his own raspberries and strawberries this summer.
  • loves balls.  is really good at throwing!  seriously.  he can really do some damage.
  • loves bags.  carries bags around the house, filling them with random items.
  • loves music.  will dance, dance, dance when he hears music.
  • loves sweeping.  carries various brooms around the house all the time and "sweeps".
  • saw me look through the peephole of our front door, and then proceeded to get up and go lean his head against the door like i did.  and then turn around and look at me as if to say, "why are we doing this?"
  • does not ever sit still.  (except when reading books.)  is desperate to get out of the stroller when he wants something or wants to run off.  
  • yells!  really loud!!!  often!!  especially at meals!!  especially when he wants ketchup!!
  • climbs on everything!  kitchen table, arms of chairs, stools, giant ladders, anything tall and dangerous.
  • loves the telephone.  somehow called 911 on his own.  (seriously!  they called back and asked if i needed help.  yes, i said, i need help with my crazy baby!)
  • has perfect baseball batting stance.
  • sleeps with his special paper airplane blankie, holding onto the tags.
  • loves to build and knock down block towers.  loves the wooden ring stacker.  finally figured out those wooden bead maze things at the library.  loves taking duplos apart.
  • somehow, amazingly, has become a great sleeper.  he goes to bed with the big kids around 8 and even sometimes reads a board book to himself in his crib while they read in their beds for a few minutes before lights out.  (so cute!)  rarely wakes in the night anymore.  and wakes with the big kids around 7.  hooray!

  • in summary, this kid is lots of fun.  i love to hear his laugh, to kiss his rosy cheeks, to watch his excitement at seeing the things he loves.

    but also, this kid is super, super exhausting!  seriously.  SO MUCH ENERGY!  so very different from the other two kids.  he is clever and naughty and inquisitive and FAST!

    maybe it's the red hair.  maybe i was like this as a child too?  in any case, i am trying to appreciate more deeply his zest for life.  ezra, thank you so much for teaching us that there's not a moment to lose.  we love you!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

reading right now

since ezra has been sleeping in the big kids' room, aaron and i have been really enjoying reading in bed again!  i still haven't graduated to reading anything too substantial, but i'm enjoying some lighter reads.  i've been mixing it up between classic YA books and a few humorous non-fiction types.  in the YA category are:

the extraordinary education of nicholas benedict by trenton lee stewart (the newest one in this series, which is great)
breadcrumbs by anne ursu
counting by 7s by holly goldberg sloan
flora and ulysses by kate dicamillo
and next on the docket is to reread the giver series by lois lowry.  (she has a newish book in the series that i haven't read yet.)

in the funny non-fiction category are:

my heart is an idiot by davy rothbart (which i loved!  so funny and good!  i also saw him read recently at our local bookstore.  he's great.)
is everyone hanging out without me? by mindy kaling (so funny!)
dad is fat by jim gaffigan (laugh out loud funny!!)
let's explore diabetes with owls by david sedaris (a bit more serious, but honest and touching)

for read-aloud time as a family we've been mixing in more chapter books with the picture books, and really enjoying the anticipation of what will come next.  our very very favorite new series has been the goony bird books by lois lowry.  she is such a funny and clever main character!!  the whole family loves them.  we've also listened to them all on audiobook (over and over!) and no one has tired of these stories yet.

other current favorites include the moffatsmilly molly mandy and the noisy village stories.

for her birthday isla received:
anna the bookbinder
ivy loves to give
the ox-cart man
she is also loving the crafty chloe books

noah spent this weekend reading about 20 donald duck comic books from the library.  he thinks donald duck is so funny!  he is also still working his way through the set of jack and annie books from grandma louise.

ezra is an avid reader these days as well.  his favorites are simple board books with pictures he recognizes.  he really likes the dwell studios books (one on vehicles and one on food).  also anything with birds or planes!

aaron was reading the history of europe (but kept falling asleep!).  now he is reading a dan brown book that seems a bit more riveting.  and for his birthday irene and kevan gave him the book by nick offerman, so that will add some humor to the mix!

any recommendations from webside?

Monday, September 23, 2013

birthday buddies

isla is so lucky to have a birthday buddy who is a wonderful friend as well.  now she and autumn are at the same school!  they have had lots of fun and funny times together over the years.

dress-up time.  isla is of course an austere princess, and autumn is up for anything silly!
snuggled up together listening to sparkle stories.
all the below pictures were taken by christina on the girls' 5th birthday.  so cute!!

the below conversation was overheard while isla and autumn were coloring and i was preparing lunch.

autumn: i love school so much.  i love it more than anything in the whole world!  don't you, isla?  
isla: well, i love school, but i love crafting more.  
autumn: i think your teacher would be sad if she heard you say that, isla.  
me: what about crafting at school?  
girls: yes, that's the best thing in the whole world!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Isla's birthday party

we decided to keep things relatively simple this year for isla's birthday party (i.e. not have to clean the house!) and had her party at dancing for joy, the great dance studio where she and many of her friends take classes.  

we didn't really have a cohesive theme this year, but isla was clear she wanted ballet, strawberries, butterflies, flowers and a tea party to make their way into the festivities.  we put out a simple butterfly craft for the girls to decorate with stickers as they arrived.

thanks to grandma, yet again, for a beautiful cake-decorating job!

the lovely ladies chatting on the couch

after the craft the girls made their way into one of the studios, where mrs. v., (the owner of the school and a mom from noah's class) led the girls in a wonderful tea-party/obstacle course/ballet class.  she did a great job of incorporating all our random themes and keeping a dozen 5 year olds interested!  

a teddy bear tea party

practicing balance with the teddy bears

isla flying!  (photo from christina)

as a party gift isla and i made each girl a little notebook.  we just used pretty cardstock paper for the covers and put a few sheets of typing paper inside.  i sewed the middles on my widest stitch, and they came out fairly sturdy!  we added a pack of colorful pens with each.

i think everyone had a great time!  i for sure enjoyed not having to clean up before or after!  and having someone else make hot coffee for the grown-ups was a perk as well.  :)

here is a video of the special tea party dance the girls did, where isla the host invites her friends to come and serves them tea.  so cute!