Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Eric's Art

Sarah's the one who draws all the time, while Eric prefers to spend his time differently. In fact, he's shown such little interest that I purchased a book this winter, called The Write Start, in order to get some ideas about how to capture his attention. (It's a great book with lots of good ideas. Her blog is great too, although it isn't updated frequently.) But - very recently - he has surprised me with some artwork. I can't get over his little people - somehow they suit him so well. It takes so much effort on his part - I'm impressed by his persistence at this task that doesn't come naturally for him.

Monday, June 27, 2011

a broken arm

He did it. He broke his arm. I've been anticipating this moment ever since he started moving. We've watched him make very poor decisions about his personal safety many, many times. We've put our hands in the air, we've expressed our concerns, we've scolded, and we've cared for all of the bruises, bumps, scrapes, and (yes) puncture wounds.

But this time, it was an honest accident, something that could have happened to a mild mannered, cautious child. It wasn't a superman move - no leap from a tall building. He was playing on a playset, slipped and fell, and fractured his elbow. It was a little break, and he'll heal fast. The cast will stay on for three weeks - I'm hoping that it'll be long enough to remind him what could happen if he's not careful . . .

Saturday, June 18, 2011

On Father's Day

On Mother's Day, Sarah asked us when it would be Kid's Day. Our answer - every day is kids' day. Even on those days that we celebrate the parents. And today, we had a great dad's/kid's day. Sarah and Eric proudly gave Brian and Grandpop their cards, and then, for the most part, it was all about the kids.

We started the day with doughnuts, a New Jersey tradition that Sarah and Eric look forward to with great anticipation. After that, we went fishing at Moxon Pond, another summer highlight. The two dads got their one break during the day when Brian took Grandpop out to lunch at Jimmy Buff's, a local (meat-focused, high calorie, high choloesterol) institution. The rest of us happily ate at home.

After lunch, we checked out an antique car show, saw some horses, played on a playground, and found a geocache. And even though it seemed like the day should be done, we weren't quite finished. We played for a couple of hours at home, without fussing, which was the best dad's day gift of all. We were treated to filet mignon for dinner and popsicles for dessert. We had a very full, happy day.

Friday, June 17, 2011

swallowtail caterpillar

This little guy is a black swallowtail caterpillar. Isn't it so pretty?

It was found and identified by our good friend Emma, who is Stella's big sister and who is nine. (The grown ups didn't know what it was, or thought it was a monarch caterpillar. I thought it was pretty cool that Emma was the one who knew.) It was eating some fennel, along with many others, at Nancy's house. Nancy graciously allowed us to take it home so we could watch it turn into a butterfly, and with help from Emma (and her mom), we have some fennel and parsley to feed it.

It has a defense mechanism that Eric learned about very quickly - when you squeeze it, these orange things come out of its head. He lost holding privileges shortly after that.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


After reading this book about pirates tonight, Sarah and Eric have chosen new pirate names for themselves. Sarah is "Blue Tooth Willy" and Eric is "Limp Leg Ned". There's a chart in the back, which guarantees a respectable pirate name by choosing one word from each of the three columns. They loved it and ran downstairs to tell Brian their pirate names. "AAARRRGGHH! I'm a pirate and me name is . . . " The book is funny and has a lot to offer the adult who's reading the book, although I had to constantly clarify that the entire book was made up - "No, that's not real either . . . "

Turdy the Turtle

My children don't come up with interesting names for their animals. We have Hedgie the Hedgehog, Birdy the Bird, Monkey the Monkey, Giraffey the Giraffe, Ellie the Elephant, and (YES!) Turdy the Turtle. Finally, their lack of creativity has paid off!

I'm spelling it phonetically, just to be clear, although I totally appreciate the four-year-old sense of humor. They didn't say Turtie - they said Turdy.

We met this little guy on a walk in the woods while visiting our friends in Atlanta. I was quite proud - Sarah picked him up carefully and then passed him to Eric, who put him down just as carefully as his sister. They were intrigued by how sharp his claws were and how fast he moved his legs while they held him. Poor guy, they were very nice to him, but he wanted down.

And, after this proud Mommy moment, they decided to give him a name. "Let's name him Turdy!" Eric called out, and Sarah quickly agreed, "Yeah, Turdy the Turtle!" (I'm almost certain they didn't get the joke they just told.) Little kids are the best.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Kindergarten Graduation

When Sarah started kindergarten, I was uncertain. She would no longer spend most of the day at home with me, but instead she would be at school, with someone else. The year is over, and I'm glad to say that I ended the year in a much better place than where I started. Sarah had a good year and a great teacher - she's reading, writing, and (during lunch today) counting to 100 by 2s. And that's only the academic part. She gleefully spots Grady Brown colors (blue and yellow) everywhere and proudly states to whomever is willing to listen, "I go to the #1 school in America".

The end-of-year celebration was too cute, and, thanks to her teacher's amazing ability to get so much done, we have a sweet memory book to help us look back on the year.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Eric's World, a poem

I wrote this for the writing class I'm currently taking . . .

In Eric’s world,
you win a medal
for being the slowest runner
in a race. If you’re fast,
you’ll get one too.

In Eric’s world,
there’s a snake
that is poisonous
and made out of chocolate.

In Eric’s world,
Bendaroos become space ships,
Legos are fire trucks,
and a stick can be

In Eric’s world,
rivers are oceans,
and oceans are meant
for pirates to sail.

In Eric’s world,
picnics should happen
every day, anywhere,
in sun, rain, or snow.

In Eric’s world,
there are knights in shining armor,
dragons, castles,
and a princess for his sister.

In Eric’s World,
there is a superhero
named Love Boy.
He gives big kisses, strong hugs,
loves the most and the best.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sarah's metaphor

While at the museum, Sarah pointed out some venus flytraps. She looked to see if any leaves were closed, meaning that the plant had caught something. She then said (quite thoughtfully), "I'm like a venus flytrap. I eat very slowly." I wouldn't have thought to compare my child to a plant that rots insects for food, but she may be onto something here . . . Love it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

art table

I'm not sure who's more excited about our new art table - me or the kids. They've pulled out stencils, felt, ribbon, buttons and other materials that haven't been used in a long time because there wasn't a big workspace and things were tucked away. Sarah marked a bunch of projects in a forgotten book that we came across while re-organizing. Good timing, I'd say, with summer just a few days away . . .