I think she’s in the middle of telling a joke.

"...and then the second guy says--"

Jake put one of Thomas’s tee-shirts on her for pajamas the other day and it looked hilarious.


I took the kids to the downtown art walk a couple weeks ago. I went by myself because I didn’t know how big and crowded the event was going to be.

We went into NSA where they had wine, cheeses, bread for the cheese, grapes, and some really yummy sparkling lemonade stuff. That was the only art exhibit we went into because, again, it was so, so crowded and I had three crazy littles to herd.

We* ended up sitting with some grapes and lemonade while the kids swarmed among the crowd. There was loud music and lots of nice people and lots of nutty** people. The type of crowd where your kids can run around and play, but you want to watch them, too.

There was also an spot where students had a bunch of props and were taking photos. Thomas stood watching a long time because there were play swords and axes.

And I thought to myself “If I were a fun, adventurous kind of mother, I’d take them for pictures. But I’m not.”

And we were about to walk away when I had a surge of “Wait! I’m not a mother who thinks it sounds fun, but I could do it anyway.”

So we did.

kill the bad guys while eating a cheese sandwich

Jubilee's goal was to wear everything

we tried a hat for her, but the cameraman wasn't baby experienced and took time to choose an angle

And it made them very happy.

And then we connected with my parents, which meant that I suddenly had back up and other people to hold Rose and it all just generally got much less stressful. And I’m glad that we did the pictures.

*’We’ means me. The kids were everywhere else.

**’Nutty’ in the wacky-but-not-very-threatening variety.

Flowers and random.

Most of the pictures I’ve taken the last week or so have been of flowers.

It’s the children’s fault anyway. Flowers stand still and smile.

These pictures were taken on the weekend while I was on a garden tour organized by ladies from church. We toured three gardens and ended at a fourth to eat cookies.

I was very ready for those cookies. I’d had a decent breakfast before coming but I was getting sick before we finished. Food helps a lot.

Also, I never mind cookies.

Jake got a new car! Well, ‘new’ as in a beater that’s about ten years newer than our current car. He kept warning me it was so, so ugly. His ominous descriptions have worked so far as both I, and my parents when they saw it, have said “Oh, come on, it’s not that ugly.”

High praise.

The kids and I washed it today and that improved it. I keep thinking of as ‘Little Blue’ but since it’s going to be Jake’s work car he can name it something else if he wants to. It’s our third blue car in a row.

So the next thing needed is something bigger that can be my car. Our ancient car continues, defying logic, to be reliable and mostly trouble-free. This can’t go on forever, however, and we’ve got to get more seats.

Our old car’s name is Sparky. Because it shocks me (and no one else) randomly, sometimes quite violently.

my favorite flower, whatever it is

A two car family. We sound so grown up.

Thomas is doing his best to kill a fly in the window with a spatula right now. He gets a penny per fly. He frequently claims the bounty on flies he’s sure he killed that were already dead. (Though he certainly hits them, thoroughly, first.) The other day he told me
“It didn’t see me! It wasn’t watching me wiff it’s widdle eyes.”

His lisp is adorable.

I have found that making a list, with check boxes next to each item, can really help my day. Occasionally I’ll have a morning where making a list sounds onerous and stressful so I skip it that day, but most days it helps me work out what needs to be done and inspires me to do it.

Today I need to go to the DMV to register the car and get license plates. Because life is glamorous. That’s why.

Rose and weather and more birthday.

Rosie’s birthday went well, though she was, unfortunately, kind of cranky for a lot of it. She likes having new toys. Her new shoes finally arrived and barely fit her. I carefully measured her feet according to the directions, found her size, then ordered A SIZE UP from what they recommended. And the elastic is snug on her fat little ankles. And I can’t return them.*

a year of being one? yes, yes, I can do that.

also, you are all in my power.

It is cold today! 45 right now, rainy, chilly weather all week, which is not June weather I’m used to. You know, June is supposed to be swelter season, followed by July which is panting season, followed by August which is fainting season, followed by September which is I-thought-this-was-supposed-to-be-the-end-of-summer season.

So my kids are outside in jackets and coats. In June. I can’t complain, though, our apartment is always gloriously warm whatever the weather.

Also, obviously, these pictures are not from today.

Today is Tabitha’s birthday. So, party tonight!

*Really, I’m just mad at myself, though, because I didn’t think to check what size her other pair of soft leather shoes are. I should have ordered her 18-24 months. I could sell them, but they will fit this summer (I think, I hope) so I’m just going to keep them. Because I’m lazy. Also, they’re awesomely cute.

Yardsale find

I found a filthy Kitchenaid mixer (grimy with basement dirt and cat hair stuck to old grease) for $20 at a yardsale. The lady thought it might be slightly broken. Since I’ve never used one (though I know people adore them) I was a little hesitant to jump for it. I offered $15 and she took it.

And then my husband fixed it in about 3 minutes.

And it works gloriously. I think it’s cobalt blue. It looks almost purple.

the sweet taste of a score and a cake

We haven’t tasted Rosie’s cake yet, but it looks perfect.

I’m seriously excited about learning to use it. I know my mother-in-law adores hers.

Our baby, Helium.

"You look like an ant, Father."

"I'll just be going, then. Bye, peeps."

Don’t worry. Her birthday cake is in the oven right now. She’ll come back for the chance to drop it on the floor tomorrow.

Viking with a View

Rose got her first first birthday present yesterday. A very nice doll from her Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa (who also sent her money, which she would probably enjoy tearing up if I gave it to her without converting it into a present first.)

Rosie with her birthday doll

Her birthday is Friday, and it’s going to be way fun. She hasn’t been a toy kid and she’s usually pretty laid back, but she got very excited and talkative about her present. And screeched if Jubilee or Thomas touched her doll.

That temper we suspected was deep inside her? The one that made her kick violently before she was born? She’s been such a calm, quiet baby we were a little mystified. Now it has suddenly surged out.

a troupe on a rock

On Monday we went hiking on the mountain. I’d never been there before and I love hiking. Or ‘viking’ as Jubilee kept calling it.

the viker

During the hike:
Jubilee: “Viking is scary. We’re deep in the woods.”
Me: “Don’t be scared. You’re here with Mommy and Daddy and we also have a cellphone if we need to call anybody and tell them where we are.”
Jubilee: “So we can call the zoo and ask them to come see animals we find and tell us what they are?”

Since all we found were mosquitoes, gnats, ants, and such, we didn’t call the zoo.

these were incredibly soft

Hiking with a pack of small children was interesting. Of course. We had to carry all of them the last stretch. We got a good workout.

At one point we started on a steeply uphill side trail that we thought went towards the car. After a long climb we realized we were meandering in unknown directions. Visions of a 6-hour we’re-lost vike, on a mountain, with exhausted small children danced in our heads. We backtracked and got to the car just fine.

We also learned that trail instructions or markings seem to be nonexistent. Lots of meandering bike and walking trails. All over a mountain. Next time: bring someone who knows the area and leave behind the really small people.

she hated it. she burst into tears a moment later.

But overall it was fun. Wading in a little stream was a big hit, and then the day was saved by taking a break to eat Smarties when the short ones were starting to complain. Many thanks to Matt for donating those.

Rose nose and coffee carafe miracle cleaner.

Rosie is almost one, and she’s a very watchful sort of girl. She doesn’t rush forward to jump in the middle of it all. She likes to sit or stand to the side and just watch, watch, watch.

But through careful conditioning she has a clown streak. My sisters taught her the nose game. She knows she can make us laugh, instantly, whenever she pleases, by playing the nose game.

this makes me laugh

this most decidedly makes me laugh

I gave this lady’s miracle cleaner a try. (Ok, her writing style sounds like someone jacked up on 10 cups of coffee screaming excitedly in your face, but my curiosity overcame my…eh, style issues with her.)

Overall I found it excellent for a few select things, and not worth it as a general cleaner.

It cleaned some edges on my kitchen and bathroom sink, but not more so than cleaning them carefully normally does anyway. I think it’s best for stains you haven’t given a good scrubbing yet. It was a pain to clean up afterwards. I’m still finding baking soda streaks to clean up.

The A+ item was my coffee carafe. We have one of those thick, stainless steal ones that keeps the coffee hot without burning it. I might be able to fit my hand in there to save my life, but that would be a bloody affair.* So the thing hasn’t been particularly cleaned beyond swishing with hot, soapy water every day.

Badly coffee stained, it definitely was. I know you can buy stuff to dissolve that, but that’s expensive. And I kept forgetting to search for it at a cheaper price.

Anyway, I did have to scrub it with a sponge in addition to the paste, so I had to use the wooden end of a spatula to scrub with the sponge.** However, the carafe is now a sparklingly brand-new silver without a hint of coffee stain.

This is satisfying.

*Because you really wanted to know that.
**Because, remember, we don’t want a bloody hand forced in there.

And Jubilee mopped with me today. She also mopped the wall. That wasn’t a mom-sanction action.

The house stayed together surprisingly well while I was sick. Things just didn’t fall down all the way, even though Jake and I were both sick.

So yesterday I felt better, started decluttering, and the house looks a little bombed. Of course, that makes it sound like it’s the decluttering’s fault. It’s not. It’s my fault for sitting and doing nothing in the moments I could have gotten it together.

That’s how it goes.

Anyway, decluttering feels nice. I’m going to put our house together a little differently, get rid of stuff, and put some things away more neatly It’ll be good.

yep, everybody is doing their thing

I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory out-loud in two days. I’m pretty sure the kids could have sat and listened to the whole thing in one go, but my voice couldn’t take it and other things intruded. That book was written for Thomas.

The kids have taken a sudden leap in listening to longer stories. Jubilee now has the attention span to listen to long tapebooks, or for me to read chapter books, and Thomas imitates her. So much fun. Come to think of it, I’ve finished three chapter books to her in the last couple days. I guess I read to them the same way I read to myself. Who wants only one book going at once?

this is how you smile for your aunt

this is how you smile for your mom

$1 Americano day. Yum.

I wrote this when I was really sick last Friday and didn’t post it as it felt anemic and tired, which makes sense now. Yesterday was the first day I felt finally well again, as allergies hit me along with a virus. It’s awesome to feel better again. I’m not used to being sick for a week.

Sometimes I have an impulse, when I’m checking a few blogs I check most days, to check my own.

I don’t know what I’m expecting, but an awesome and self-generating blog would be pretty cool.

It would also be creepy, come to think of it. Maybe it’s better not to be.

I like that color contrast

So we got back from IL this week after traveling for a wedding. It was all great fun, we had a wonderful visit, and recovering has been slow.

Why did I expect to be put back together and recovered after the trip in a day and a half?

Er, because that would be nice. That’s why.

Well, it was a nice thought, anyway. Rosie thought the time change was a myth, plus she got lots of nice sleep on the way, so she was up at 5am. This is too early, but was especially a bit too early since that meant we got 3 hours of sleep that night.

These are flowers at my family’s house. Gor-geous. Red and yellow tulips are everywhere here.

Rosie is starting to talk a little. She definitely says no, phone, Mama and Dada, yay, and that sort of thing.