Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bluebird's Stage Debut

As part of the Youth Arts Festival, Bluebird signed up for the Theatre Workshop sponsored by the Youtheatre. They put on a production of "Cinderella," in which Bluebird was cast as a bird:











Friday, June 25, 2010

Youth Arts Festival


Bluebird and Penguin have been busy these past two weeks with the Youth Arts Festival. Penguin took a Kinderarts class in which she has made some of the cutest little projects, such as this pet rock. (It's a penguin...shocking.) She's also painted bread rolls, made tissue paper butterflies, did sand painting and spray tie-dyed a t-shirt. She absolutely loved it.

Bluebird took a theater workshop and will be making her stage debut tonight as a bird in the play "Cinderella." I had to buy her a pair of tights to be dyed orange and she has informed me that her costume is "yellow and so soft and fluffy." I can't wait to see her performance! Hopefully I get some good pictures to share.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Little Boy Fabric

I have few blankets of the non-pink variety, and only one that's big enough to use as a nursing cover-up. Obviously, a trip to the fabric store was in order! I plan to make two nursing blankets out of the bottom four fabrics and a car seat tent out of the top two fabrics. (That is, when I find the time to get out my sewing machine and actually use it...)

It was a refreshing change to look for boy fabric...there's some really cute stuff to choose from these days! What a great time to have a little boy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Mutant Parsley

This was our parsley bush:

It was taller than our three year old:

So Michael did this:

We planted this last year and it grew to a height of ten inches, which we thought was pretty impressive. Michael cut it back to a height of two inches early this spring and it just took off in the past few weeks. (It actually had achieved some degree of fame in the neighborhood.) But now it's only a pittance of its former glory, and I'm interested in seeing how it fares after such a severe pruning. Crazy mutant parsley.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Nature Study: Warm Up

We're trying to get back into the swing of things after the birth of Monkeyboy, and nature study is one of the most requested activities. I decided we could do a very, very short nature walk and see how it went.

Why only a short walk? Because Monkeyboy can't hold his head up yet and I have to carry him around like this. We did a nature hike at this location last year, and it was an actual hike because I could carry Junebug on my back. Not so with the little man. Moreover, it's already pretty warm by late morning and I worry about him getting a sunburn on his wee little head because I only own frilly sunbonnets and won't subject him to such a horrible photo op.

The walk lasted five minutes at most, but we did manage to scare off some sort of animal hiding in the undergrowth. We also used the walk to brush up on our nature study skills of walking quietly and observing our surroundings.

Afterwards, the girls played at the nearby playground while I hung out with Monkeyboy in the shade. I used the opportunity to get a shot of his cute little feet:
It wasn't a big production, but at least we got out and spent some time in nature. Really, to accomplish that with an eight week old is downright admirable to me. We'll just ease back into it, little by little.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Day in the Life: Monday, June 7, 2010

Figured I'd start a little series of documenting a full day from beginning to end. I plan to do one of these every 101 days.

Bluebird: 6 years old, Penguin: 3 years old, Junebug: 2 years old, Monkeyboy: 8 weeks old.

2-ish AM: Monkeyboy wakes up to eat. Normally he goes right back to sleep, but he doesn't cooperate and I am required to stay awake with him until 3:30. I decide to push back the first day of my exercise routine due to this loss of sleep and turn off my alarm.

5 AM: Monkeyboy wakes up to eat again and goes back to sleep. So do I.

6:15 AM: Michael gets in the shower. I try to continue sleeping.

6:30 AM: Junebug wakes up, singing. I'm not happy about this. I go to her room and tell her to be quiet and go back to sleep.

6:55 AM: Our neighbor knocks on the door. Michael drives her to the bus stop and continues on to work.

7:00 AM: I give up on sleeping and get in the shower.

7:30 AM: Monkeyboy wakes up to eat. I wake up the girls with the promise of going to a new park today if they'll get their chores done quickly.

8:00 AM: After vociferous protests from Penguin and Junebug, we eat oatmeal and dried fruit for breakfast. Bluebird and Penguin are dressed, Junebug is naked. I decide not to care.

8:30 AM: Monkeyboy goes back to sleep and I help Junebug get dressed and then walk them all through the rest of their chores--styling their hair, brushing their teeth, making their beds and supervising Bluebird while she sweeps the dining room and takes the kids' dirty clothes down to the laundry room.

9:00 AM: I start the laundry, Junebug settles in to watch the Disney Channel and the other two girls fire up their computers. I then sit down to fold the massive amount of clean clothes that are waiting for me in the living room. I fold and fold and fold, all the while reminding myself to be thankful for all the clothes we have.

10:00 AM: I wake up Monkeyboy to feed and dress him, then load him in his carseat as the girls scramble to get their shoes on--we're going to the park! This is the first day of our summer schedule where we do all our outside playing in the morning while it's still cool and our school in the afternoon when it's too hot to go outside.

10:20 AM: I open the front door and unleash my squealing daughters out into the driveway to get in the van.

10:40 AM: After taking a massive detour around construction and picking my way through a confusing array of suburban back streets, we arrive at the park. It should have taken five minutes to get there, but it took twenty. The girls frolick towards the playground while Monkeyboy and I set up camp in the shade. He's hungry again, so I feed him, feeling a little conspicuous...I don't like nursing in public at all! The girls check in with me from time to time, mostly to eat their granola bars and drink juice pouches, which I keep on hand in the van for on-the-go snacking. I snap pictures and coo at Monkeyboy.




12: 15 PM: It's gotten hot at the park and Monkeyboy is not liking it. I feed him again, then herd the girls back to the van so we can go home.

12:25 PM: We arrive home, bask in the beautiful feeling of entering an air-conditioned house and I make lunch. We eat in practical silence--the girls are pretty worn out from their time at the park.

1:00 PM: I put Junebug down for her nap and send Penguin and Bluebird to their respective rest time stations--Penguin sets herself up playing video games and Bluebird opts for the computer. I feed Monkeyboy and spend the remainder of the hour trying to get him settled down to go to sleep.

2:00 PM: Monkeyboy finally falls asleep. I check on the girls before laying down for a nap myself. I'm exhausted.

4:00 PM: Monkeyboy wakes me up and I feed him again. I get Junebug up and feed the girls a snack. I phone Michael at work and am incredibly disappointed to find out that he's going to have to stay late.

5:00 PM: I help the girls get in their bathing suits and let them go play in the sprinkler in the back yard. I realize that I totally forgot to do school, but am too tired to remedy the situation. I go online to purchase some dress shirts for Michael, a bathing suit for Emily and I finally locate an extra set of pillow shams for the girls' bedding on eBay.

6:30 PM: Bluebird tried to stand on top of a volleyball and fell off, landing on the sprinkler. I try to console her and Penguin falls off the edge of the sandbox and whacks her head. I decide that sprinkler time is over and usher them, screaming and crying (Hi Neighbors!), inside to take a bath.

7:00 PM: All four children are bathed and pajama-ed, I throw a quick dinner together for the girls and then feed Monkeyboy. I phone Michael, only to find out that things are still going bad at work and that he's going to be staying even later than originally reported.

7:30 PM: I'm worn out. I send the girls downstairs to watch TV while I do some internet browsing. I buy myself a pair of shoes.

8:15 PM: Somehow, Penguin whacks her head again. When I ask what happened, Bluebird tells me that they had made a bridge of couch cushions and that Penguin fell off the arm of the couch trying to cross it. Pulling the cushions off the couch is a big no-no in our house, so I send all three of them to bed. They all wail at the injustice.

8:30 PM: I feed Monkeyboy and watch "The Big Bang Theory" on TV.

9:00 PM: Monkeyboy's not going to sleep, so I hold him while uploading and viewing the photos I took at the park.

9:30 PM: I feed Monkeyboy again and he goes to sleep. I wash my face and get ready for bed. I think about cleaning up the kitchen and folding the last load of laundry, but opt for sleep instead.

10:15 PM: I go to bed, but can't sleep because Michael's still not home and I really hate being home at night without him. I think about losing weight and decide to set my alarm a half hour earlier to 5:30 AM so I can go to the gym in the morning.

11:00 PM: Still awake. I doze off at some point and wake up briefly when Michael finally gets home, but I have no idea when it was.

Next "Day in the Life" post: Wednesday, September 16, 2010.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Roar! A Dinosaur Hat

Pattern: Roar! A Dinosaur Hat, by Kate Oates
Yarn: Knit Picks' Shine Worsted in Aquamarine and Clementine (60% Pima Cotton, 40% Modal natural beech wood fiber)
Needles: US 7

Talk about crazy cuteness! I saw this pattern while I was still pregnant with Monkeyboy; and, not knowing the gender of my little bambino, told myself that if I had a boy that I would definitely make this hat. Let's just say I was all too happy to keep that promise and I plan on fulfilling it many times more after this initial completion. I LOVE this hat!

Of course, my darling boy looks completely adorable in it. (But really, with a smile like that, he could make anything look absolutely charming...) I plan on making the next one in a monochromatic color scheme...light and dark shades of the same color. (I've been told that this would make it look more dinosaury.) I've also had a request from one of my daughters for a pink version. This hat is a runaway winner!

The pattern is super easy to follow and the spikes are totally easy to make. (Perfection for a sleep-deprived mama such as myself!) Make one yourself, you'll fall in love with it as well!

Click here to see this project's Ravelry page.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Yet Another Attempted Photo Shoot:
Oh, Junebug!






Our Favorite Way to Enjoy Fresh Strawberries

June isn't June without indulging in seasonal strawberries. We like them best atop warm waffles and smothered in whipped cream. The girls are completely silent throughout the entire breakfast meal as they shove forkfuls of this delectable dish in their mouths, and they usually ask for seconds (and sometimes, thirds!).

It's a dish specifically for us ladies in the house, as Michael doesn't like strawberries and only tolerates waffles. It's a special way for us to start a beautiful summer morning.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bluebird

Here you are, little girl, graduating from Kindergarten and getting excited about the big jump to first grade. We have the summer ahead of us...your last summer before becoming a full-time student. You've lost two teeth, can make your bed all by yourself and surprise me sometimes by doing random acts of kindness such as cleaning up the kitchen table by yourself while I'm busy tending to your baby brother.

You are my firstborn, my guinea pig, a carbon copy of myself--for good and bad. Dear daughter, I love you dearly. You are one of my biggest blessings and I'm so honored to be your mother. I love watching you discover the world and I love listening to you as you explain your many (enthusiastic) ideas. You are a sparkling light.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Calm Before the Storm

We're waiting for a severe thunderstorm to hit us this night, which made my shutterbug self very happy with tonight's sunset:

Friday, June 4, 2010

Attempted Photo Shoot: Sisters at the Park

With Father's Day fast approaching, I thought I'd try to get a nice photo of the girls to give as a gift to Mr. Brooke. Turns out my girls have completely forgotten how to sit for the camera:









*sigh* At least I've got another week to keep trying, right?