Saturday, August 29, 2009

Oregon Trip, Part 1: flying to Oregon

I'm finally caught up with all our recent photos on the blog so I can finish off posting pictures from our other major summer event: the trip to Oregon. Our trip began with a flight from Petersburg to Portland with our family, the Peter Smith family, Linda Smith, and Grandma and Grandpa Smith!
Grandma Smith keeps the Little Sweetie happy on one of the legs of our journey.
Multi-tasking is a must when flying with a baby.
Of course Baby Josie made the trip down to see Josie Underhill, the inspiration for her name.

I love this little video because it reminds me just how "baby" O Boy still is. He's got little chubby hands and a sweet little boy face. But he's also developing into a very inventive and creative big boy. And, the one thing that hasn't changed from practically day one: he still absolutely detests being caught on camera!

Monday, August 24, 2009

I can sit!

Storytime with big brother

To be honest, here he was actually not reading to her as much as saying continually, "No touch! No touch! No touch!"

Rainy day fun

Yesterday it was so rainy but the boys really needed to get outside. Or perhaps I just needed them to. At any rate, I put them in their bubble suits, filled up a pool with soapy water and sat back to watch what would unfold. They decided to haul their one bike into the pool and "wash" it with an old paint brush, sponges and then rinse it with creek water. Fantastic!

The face of a puddle jumper

Pushing out the boundaries

I only include this post to remind myself just how far Mr. T has come and where he is going. Yesterday he told me he wanted to follow a stream next to our house deeper into the woods than he had ever himself. This, from a boy who used to have trouble going anywhere near the woods because the tickling branches drove him crazy and freaked him out. So I staked out a place with my camera and watched him go. I actually couldn't follow him because I had Little Sweetie on my back and she was already getting poked with enough branches. The stream bed he was following was only really accessible to those toddler-height. ! And he plowed ahead bravely. I didn't really think ahead to what might happen if he got stuck (which he did in the end). He did such an amazing job pushing into the woods and then almost all the way out again. This may not seem at all astounding to most of you with typical kids, but it is a huge accomplishment around here.

Heading out to go exploring deep in the woods. I like this picture because it shows how truly tangled and complicated traipsing around in our woods can be!

This video is neat because it really captures his expanding vocabulary (and my ruthless parenting style). He did get rescued in the end for those who might be concerned!

The puzzle master

O Boy's puzzling abilities have been getting better and better each time he puts together puzzles. The other day he put together all these puzzles one after another to show Mimi and Papa (who gave him the puzzles). With only a tiny bit of help on the cat puzzle from mom (plus a whole lot of encouragement), he did an amazing job!

I'm five!

Mr. T's one request for his birthday was a chocolate cake. That's not a lot to go on, since I like to build birthdays around themes. BUT thankfully a few days before the big event a friend offered me the use of her huge cupcake cake mold and VOILA a birthday was born! This gigantic cupcake was definitely the hit of the 3-5 year old set who came to the party. And the parents were impressed by how delicious it was. Thanks Tina!

As I tried to think of what Trevor likes to do, and in keeping with the chocolate theme, I remembered that he LOVES to paint with chocolate pudding at home. He and O Boy can play with that stuff for as long (and as messily) as I'll let them. But...I hadn't factored in one small detail: we had his birthday at the beach. This immediately invalidated almost all of the appeal of the pudding activity. One boy smeared it all over his cookie sheet, Trevor just shoveled it in his mouth, and no one, but no one else would touch the stuff. They waited patiently until we let them get back down to go play in the sand. Why do I bother planning?? You can see some of the boys looking longingly away from the table to the beach.

Now here is the main attraction of the party: someone (not from our party!) figured out how to open up the bottom of the drinking fountain allowing access to the spigot...which allows a huge spout of water to run uncontrollably into the sand. This makes instant sand/mud and tremendous rivers and lakes. Here is where the fun was at. We had to tear them away to open presents. Speaking of presents, Mr. T opened one and said, "I'm done" and tried to race back to the sand/river project. Poor boy, we coaxed him to open a few more until almost all his presents were opened. Then we gave up and took the rest home to be opened later. Five year olds!

Another huge hit with Mr. T was the frisbee he found laying on the sand. When he wasn't running up huge water bills for the city he would run way down the beach and yell out for someone to catch the frisbee he was about to throw.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Eating playdoh

The other day we invited a friend over to make "eating playdoh" - one of the most delicious snacks in our cooking library. I'll include the recipe below. It involves a lot of stickiness and sweetness. And since it is a project that both makes a fine mess and tastes great, it has all the ingredients that go into making a very fun time.
"Are you SURE 6 month olds can't have M&Ms?"
"Can I fit anymore M&Ms into this lump of playdoh?"
The best part of this playdoh isn't that you can play with it; it's that you can EAT IT!
Please note that ALL 3 kids were captured with hands in their mouths. Excellent photography! And if I seem to be 9 feet tall, it's because I'm standing on a bench behind Martha!
2 c peanut butter
6 Tbsp honey
nonfat dry milk
edible treats: M&Ms, raisins, etc.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix, adding enough milk to reach consistency of bread dough. Shape, decorate with edible treats, EAT!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Reading time for 3

Unfortunately the youngest member of our group doesn't have the greatest attention span and the boys are more into easy reader chapter books like Frog and Toad. ! At least now they like to "read to baby" themselves and they are learning to turn the books around and show her the pictures. Hooray!

Am I supposed to like these?

One of the foods we gave Little Sweetie to try out recently was purple organic carrots! Yum! Well, sort of. As you can see, she was less than thrilled. She likes them now. And so do we. Seriously.

"New" big boy beds...finally!

After a series of delays that are too long to list on this blog, our wonderful "free" beds (which we decided to spend hours sanding, priming, painting, putting together, taking back apart, sealing, putting back together...) are finally in the rooms and look great. No paint chipping off, no mildewy smells. Phew. We're so thankful for them and the boys are thrilled to finally be in big boy beds.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

6 months old

I can sit up!
Okay, maybe not...
Lying down is just so much more fun anyway!
Big brother wants to share my limelight

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

First time fishing

On the day Phil and Mr. T were set to arrive home from Juneau, I asked one of the 9 year old boys who goes to our church to take O Boy, Little Sweetie, and me fishing and give us some lessons. I figured I could handle 2, but not 3 kids down on the docks. O Boy was so extremely excited in the days leading up to this event that he would ask several times a day if it was time to go fishing. When the big day actually arrived he wasn't really interested in even holding a pole. ! He did enjoy watching the whole experience and got his hands on a pole once or twice though. He also learned how boring fishing can be and how long you have to wait until something actually happens. We started down on one dock fishing for one kind of fish. So Cole had to teach me to tie on that kind of hook...which took forever. No sooner had we both cast out a couple of times than one of our resident HUGE sea lions appeared and we got out of there fast. They can (and do) haul out on the docks and it is really not safe to be down there with small kids. So then we had to change locations, change hooks, and change the kind of fish we were aiming for. By that time Phil and Mr. T arrived home from Juneau and joined us. Jigging for herring is absolutely my favorite kind of fishing - you drop down 6 hooks, jerk the pole up and down and, if you're in the right spot - BAM! 6 fish! It's instant gratification again and again and again. Very fun for kids (and me). The boys liked trying to catch the flipping fish on the dock but only Mr. T liked tossing them back in. The Little Sweetie hung out in her backpack the entire time like the little trooper baby that she is - despite the fact that she was wearing her hat backwards and over her face (her own doing) for much of the time (see pictures). !

Monday, August 03, 2009

Out to check the shrimp pots

We continue to have beautiful weather up here (unusual for summer in Petersburg) so we take advantage of any opportunity to be outside that we can. On Sunday a friend needed to check his shrimp pots and so invited us to tag along for the boat ride and experience. Here are a few shots.

Little Sweetie processing all the new sights and sounds on a boat!
The 2 personalities beautifully illustrated: one standing as far back as he can, the other reaching out to touch the crab.
"You throw it, Dad!"
"No, I do it!"
O Boy tries and gives a little toss. His crab ended up in the back of the boat. Oops.