Saturday, May 17, 2008

Alison's art sale

We finally got Alison's art website/blog going. She told me what to say and I typed it up. I love her descriptions of her art projects. This is about half of them. We'll add more soon. Even if you don't buy something leave her a comment about your favorite piece. Like all artists she loves to hear how people like her works of art.

Must be spring!

Today was a beautiful day. I thought about taking the kids to Mayfest. But in the end we decided to get out the deck toys and furniture. I'm glad we did, it was a lot of fun. We even had a picnic outside for snack. There is also a toddler slide and picnic table out there. I want to try to keep the middle of the deck free for running and riding toys and drawing with sidewalk chalk. I'm trying to decide if I should put the sandbox up on the deck. We've had it forever and it's never gotten used. I think up on the deck it would get used. Or we could put it out by the swingset. Choices, choices...I think we'll put our potted plants along the far railing. It gets the most sun during the day.
We've got some strawberry plants and some veggie seeds to plant....

Time to get Ian in bed. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Here we are again!

Well, I'm doing better, it's only been a few days since my last post. hahaha

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms who read my blog. I had a fun day. Dan and the kids gave me my presents first thing in the morning since Dan had to be to work for most of the day. After nap time we went to visit Papa and Nana (Dan's parents). Then we stopped and got take out and my mom and dad came over to visit. A very busy day surrounded by people we love and who love us. Who could ask for a better day.

I was trying to let Ian's hair grow out. It ended up looking pretty crazy. So I chopped most of it off again. The whole time I was cutting it, Ian kept saying "OW" "no-no-no" and every time he saw a piece of hair drop he shout "uh-oh". He ended up with a little chunk in the front that is still long. I was cutting his hair in the tub (the only place he'll sit long enough for me to even try cutting his hair). By the time I got to the front, he was almost dunking his head in the water to keep me from cutting it. Dan calls it a reverse mullet. Dad said it's called a princeton. I'm still trying to decide if I like it or not. (Also in this picture you'll see why we call Ian the "nuk-aholic")

Alison is reading up a storm. She's also still very excited about her art business. We just haven't had time to work on her art sale blog lately. I'm hoping we can get to it in the next day or so. She's been spending lots of time playing in her room lately. She used some of her money to buy a new Polly Pocket set and it has set off lots of creative play and made all her old Polly sets seem new again. She is also very into magic lately. I got her a how to do magic video from the library this week and today she performed her first real magic trick for me. She was so proud of herself. She did it very well too. Even though I watched the video with her and new how the trick worked, she pulled it off without a hitch.

I've been trying all sorts of new things. Since Easter, I've been baking our bread from scratch. It was getting so hard to find decent bread at an affordable price. So I decided to make my own. It's been going really well. Although, if I try to make a triple batch again, I need a bigger bowl. I also made cheese the other day. I got the recipe from a website called New England Cheesemaking. I made 30 min mozerrella and it actually turned out! It was amazing making something like that. Dan and the kids got me a book about cheesemaking for Mother's Day. Some of the hard cheeses like cheddar seem a bit intimidating right now, but I'm sure with practice I'll work my way up to them. It's so much fun learning all these new things and being able to show Alison that food just doesn't come from a store, we can make it ourselves. Although, I'm drawing the line at getting my own sheep and cow to get the milk.
One last thing. I'm getting low on available space here. So when I run out of space, I'll set up part two and leave a link here to it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

This isn't working out the way I planned

I'm finding it really hard to blog lately. Lots of wonderful stuff has been happening, but it seems like I never remember to write it down. Part of it is because I want the perfectly balanced accounts of Ian and Alison and life just doesn't work like that. I'm going to try to write more often, but less elaborate posts and see what happens.

So what have I missed telling you about?

Alison lost her first tooth on the 18th of this month. As with all new things she was terrified of it coming out, but then she was eating a snack and it just popped out. Whew! Now that it's over she's convinced next time will be easier. I can only hope so. We gave her a cute little toothfairy doll that has a base to stick her tooth in and for the toothfairy to leave a surprise in. This time the toothfairy left a golden Sakajawea dollar. Alison was very excited. She loves her money collections.

Also on the tooth front, Ian is getting 3 of his 4 canine teeth at once. We had a rough couple days were I had to give him some Motrin because he was so miserable. But we are past that for now. Hopefully we'll have a decent teething break before the 2 year molars come in.

Alison wanted to start a lemonade stand. After we talked about it though, we decided we just don't have the right kind of neighborhood for that and she really doesn't like lemons anyway. She decided to sell her artworks instead since that's something she is good at and enjoys doing. We again decided that setting up shop in the front yard probably wouldn't work. So Alison decided an online business would probably be the best. She made her sign for her store (Spring Art Sale). Because as she says, "Everybody likes a sale!" She is now creating several works of art to put in her store. They are all beauties. I'll start a new blog for her art offerings and post a link here. Some of you lucky readers will even get emails about it. Her pricing strategy is wonderful and makes sure that anybody who wants her art will be able to afford it.

That's about it for now. Ian's getting into stuff he shouldn't (surprise, surprise) so I need to get him before he makes a huge mess.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ni-hao! Gung Hay Fat Choy!!!!

Say what?!?!

Hello and Happy New Year!! No I'm not really behind, I do realize that January 1st was over a month ago. But did you realize that the Chinese New Year was just last week? Did you also know that it's traditionally a 15 day long celebration? We are still working on our study of China and having a great time. We have red lanterns hanging in the dining room and we've made our own lanterns. We've tried Chinese foods like chow mein, egg rolls, Chinese pork. Alison tried and liked the crunchy chow mein noodles. So did Ian. We got a video from the library that showed kids cooking Chinese food and even though we didn't follow their recipes, it was fun to watch and learn from them.

Weatherwise the snow just keeps piling up. It is crazy. Dan and I were talking that this is more like the winters we remember from when we were kids. The big snow banks along the driveway and at all the corners. The worst part is that it's been so cold that Alison hasn't been able to go out and try her sled on the snow piles. The sun is actually shining today. It's been a long time since we've seen it. I could never live further north where they have months of no sun at all.

Ian's last molar (for now) finally popped through the other day. It gave him a horrible time. Now we have the eye teeth to go and I'm scared. Seems like those have been really rough for our other baby friends. I hope his pop through without giving him so much pain.

That's about it for now. I'm trying not to go so long between updates.

Monday, February 4, 2008

February Fun!

I can't believe it's February already! We have had some crazy weather around here. First all the snow melted and then we've gotten tons of snow. My friends who are teachers are saying that they've used up all their snow days for the year and are looking at lengthening the school days or going extra days to make up for the time they missed. Makes me glad that we don't have to deal with all that. We've just been staying home a lot. We get a little cabin fever, but we are safe and warm and that's what matters.

Ian is growing and changing by leaps and bounds. He is 18 months old today. We went to his check-up and he weighs 25 pounds! Hard to believe that this is the same kid that we were so worried about not growing.

His new favorite activity is climbing the furniture. I've had to pluck him off the top of the loveseat more than I'd like to admit. Luckily he hasn't fallen off the top yet. He's fallen off the seat part a few times though.

He also likes hats now. Which is good sense he hated them with a passion before. I found this hat in his closet the other day. Nana made it for him usingthe smallest pattern and it is still a little big on him. If I roll it up a bit, it fits though.
Alison decided she wanted to learn about China. She picked a movie at the library and it happened to be an intro to Mandarin Chinese. It got her curious about China. Right now we are waiting for lots of books and movies to come in at the library. We did go to a tiny oriental market. The lady that owns it was really nice. She is Vietnamese though so her store of course she had lots of Vietnamese things. We did buy some odd little cookies. We didn't get pictures of those yet. But they were yummy and Alison actually ate something new! Chinese New Year is Thursday so we are going to make some sort of Chinese food that hopefully she will eat. I figure we can't go wrong with noodles and she likes some veggies. So maybe a nice stirfry. I'll try to update Friday and let you all know how it turned out.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

January Doldrums

Ever wish some of the excitement from November and December would spill into January? I don't really mean more parties or presents, just some of the thrill, the excitement, the anticipation. What is there to look forward to in January? More snow, ice storms, freezing temps. Spring in Michigan is a long way off, so it's best not to even think that far ahead yet. All of our normal activities stopped around Thanksgiving and haven't started back up yet. Thankfully story time is starting Thursday.

We try to find fun where we can. Last weekend the kids and I went to a concert by the Watoto Children's Choir from Africa. Every single child was an orphan, most due to the AIDS epidemic. Each child has a family made up of 7 other children and a mother. Each family has a house and the houses are set up as villages. It's amazing and really sad to think that there are that many kids that nobody can take care of. Right now there are 2 choirs touring the USA. One up north and one in the south. Both kids liked the concert. It was a bit loud for Alison though, so she covered her ears for most of it. Ian was transfixed. His attention didn't waver till the grown ups started talking about 3/4 of the way through. As soon as the kids started singing again he was ok.

Yesterday we went to the mall. Alison has a little Christmas money to spend and she is on the hunt for party shoes. Never mind that the Christmas parties are over and that most of the birthday parties we go to are casual affairs. She is a girl and girls need proper shoes and that includes party shoes. (at least according to her)

Ian on the other hand has become entranced with gravity and defying it. He has discovered that throwing toys over the baby gate and down the stairs is a very satisfying past-time. He finds great pleasure in the thump, thump, thump, thwack of the toys as they fall down the stairs and hit the door at the bottom. (the door used to be open, but now it's only open a crack to keep all the balls from being lost forever under the desk at the bottom of the stairs. We have taken all his toys away that could get broken or that are just too big and heavy for him to throw overboard. We also put a lot of his toys into the pack n play so that he can play with some but we don't have to worry about them flying down the stairs either. The funniest bit of all of this is the laugh that he does as something is thudding down step after step. His defying gravity stunts include standing on his rocking horse without holding on. His other is using his new zebra ride on toy as a step stool for climbing onto the couches (which up till this point he had been too short to get onto). He has no sense of danger as he scrambles up and then stands on the couches way too close to the edge for anyone's comfort except his own. He even fell off the other day. Alison was almost crying because she was so worried for him. Ian, well he didn't utter a peep. He just got up, looked at the couch, looked at his zebra and climbed up again. He loves to stand on the couch and when we tell him to sit, he throws himself back into the cushions and slides down to the seat. I'll try to get a video, but that kind of distracts him. I'll see what we can do.

Well, Ian is waking up from his nap so I have to go. I really need to figure out how to hook up the new camera to the computer so I can add some pictures. It should be easy, I just have to remember to do it.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Getting back to normal

Whatever normal may be!

We had a wonderful Christmas. We got to celebrate 4 times and each was great. Ian really got into opening presents and would get upset if we tried to help too much. The kids had so much fun and got so many fun presents. Now we have to find new places for them all. (They really need to get out of the dining room!)

We also need to take down our tree. Ian is getting too comfortable with it and starting to touch it more and more. Maybe we'll take it down today before it becomes a problem. He has already tried to cut it down with his hacksaw (thanks grandpa!)

ok, well, I started this about 10 hours ago and then got busy. So I'll post it now and come back later to add more. I just don't want to loose what I started!