Thursday, November 24, 2011

5 years ago today

Today, November 24, was my due date with Jack. It was a Friday. My mom came to visit for 10 days. We made this video. That's all I remember.

I am Sonia

Sonia understands the words "you are" to mean "you are named." Therefore, whenever Jack says anything to her such as "you are dead" or "you shut up" (I know, terrible -- and no videos to blame it on!) Sonia replies, "I am not dead (shut-up or whatever), I'm Sonia. She always thumps her chest when she says it. We couldn't catch it in the moment but here it is, re-created:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Jack! #5

Surreal. Jack's fifth birthday.. It was the first time he was really excited about his birthday. I took him to school with chocolate chip cookies, and he celebrated with his school pals. Ryan picked him up from school and they picked up his new pedal bike. We had 8 kids over at 4. The theme was cardboard. Or rather all the games and activities were made from all the cardboard we have from our ikea closets. We raced cars down one big piece, drew pictures on 3 big pieces taped together, hung out in a tunnel made with a wardrobe box. I hung lights thought the wardrobe box, and hung some blinking flashlights in Jack's room. We also had an age appropriate fishing game which really didn't resemble fishing except for the curtain rod that we called a fishing pole. The kids mainly just played. We fed them dinner, sang happy bday, ate cupcakes, exchanged books, and then the kids headed home.
The party was a lot of work but I enjoyed putting it together. I love having lots of life in the house.. Great fun.

House photos

I posted much better pictures taken by our architect on google+ Let me know if you want to see those too.

Our house is a little messy -- we still have boxes to unpack and a bedroom closet to build.

This is the front part of the house from the view of the entry ( I didn't take a pic of the entry yet but I will)

This is a view standing near the 2nd half of the house - I am in front of the stairs

Hallway to kids rooms and trombe walls (passive solar)

Our not-quite arranged bedroom and bathroom. There is an open space so we can see down to the first floor.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fab photos

We attended our friend, Cyrus's, birthday party yesterday. He and Jack were born 5 days apart and we have known Cy since he was born. His dad, Matt, is a great photographer and took some lovely photos of the kids. Here are a few shots of our kids:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Herman The Helper

I am leary of books that attempt to teach moral lessons to children. They often seem heavy-handed. There is a book at Jack's school that he loves called 'Herman the Helper.' I figured since his lovely and amazing teachers chose this book so it must be good. I checked it out from the library and we have read it *many* times. Herman is an octopus. Each page details his day helping all the members of his community -- his mom, dad, friends, enemies, the young, the old, etc. At the end of the day, Herman returns home for dinner. His parents ask him if he'd like help with his mashed potatoes and, on the last page, Herman says, "No I'll help myself." Yesterday I asked Jack if he would help me with dinner. He said, "No, help yourself."
See? These books backfire.
We are in our new home and we really love it. The kids don't really seem to notice. They each have their own room. One bonus is they can play outside without us having to worry as much about them running onto a busy street. Jack spent much of yesterday afternoon watching/helping Ryan move dirt into our backyard. He seemed happy just to be outside. We had to put a special lock on our front door because Sonia quickly figured out how to open the door. She ran out the door 50 times a day knowing it was an act of rebellion.
We've been having fun lately outside, in spite of the weather. We walk down to a lovely green space by our home that feels like a forrest. The kids play in the creek and explore the different paths. Lots of fun.

Sonia in her silly glasses

Kids at the nearby greenspace

Jack not helping

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Halloween and Cool Birthday parties

This year, Halloween was a bit of a bust. Sonia got sick. Jack is freaked out by people in Halloween costumes. The big event was trick or treating at Ryan's workplace. Jack would not put his costume on until both Ryan and I explained (separately, several times) that if you don't wear a costume, no one is going to give you candy. So he put on his super-cool NASA astronaut costume that, clearly, mom loved more than he did. He agreed to the costume initially then told me he wanted to be the Space Needle again. Too late! Sonia was supposed to be a dog.

Last weekend, we went to a creative birthday party. The family lived in a small home (900 sq feet) They shared a backyard with their neighbors. One of the neighbors had built a wood-fired oven. The mom projected circus movies onto the wall of the neighboring building. She created a photo booth - using a closet, her digital camera, a bench placed near the camera and some masks and costumes. We each got to make a pizza. Then we had cupcakes topped with cotton candy. The dad served stout beer from a keg and mexican coke. The party took place in the back yard at dinner time. There were at least 20 kids there. Lots of fun!