Piano recital

Ollie had his first piano recital a while back. The kid was nervous but mustered up the courage and played like a champ! I was impressed. 

He is so much better at piano than I was at his age. And his teacher is superb. 

It was held at a music store I used to frequent as a kid with my mom and siblings. The smell of the place brought back so many memories. And it looks exactly the same. Makeshift closet toy room and all. 


He's four

Ansel has been waiting to turn four for a long time now. The day finally came and he was so very excited. This guy is such a treat to have around. 

He LOVES to swing on the swing downstairs and listen to music. He knows pretty much all of the songs on several CDs and their order. His interpretation of words is classic. He sings "I bought the law and the law won!" with such enthusiasm. 

He loves the game Temple Run. He loves it so much we limit it to about 15 minutes a day or else we get frustration that he can't play it more. So yesterday, instead of playing it on a mobile device, we ran around the house collecting coins, jumping for gems, and ducking from prickly plants. All his idea! At the end, Ansel exclaimed, "I'm sweat[y]."

His latest is gathering rocks from outside and painting them. He loves to find granite rocks and he likes to paint them gold. 

And one day before his birthday, he was running so fast in the house, tripped on the baby bouncy seat and hit his head on the edge of the wall. Six staples later a very brave boy is very protective of the wound. "I had to get staples. Don't touch them!"

And sometimes he'll just stop and say, "Mom," and I'll ask him what he needs and he'll say, "I love you."



Sometimes I'll look at my kids seriously and say to them, "Hey, I want to tell you something." They'll stop and look back, wondering what could be so important. Then I say, "Please, just stop growing!"  It makes them laugh every time and they respond with, "Mom, we can't stop growing!" They then explain that their bodies simply grow on their own and they can't do anything to intervene. In fact, they don't want to stop growing. Dang, I'm out of luck. I do so enjoy each of them at these ages, regardless of how little sleep I'm getting (I'm looking at you Ian:). 
Old enough for the exercise-saucer? Say what?
Very excited to get his cookie college diploma. 
Spelling things in the Cyrillic alphabet, with park bark. 


Unsuccessful marketing

I saw this ad in a magazine I was reading the other day. 

It made me sure that I never wanted to ever try that pizza-like concoction pictured in that microwaveable bag. 

On the bottom in small text it read, it's what inside your teen's snack that counts. I couldn't help but laugh. 


Ancient penny

Oliver recently discovered that he has what he calls an ancient penny. It's from 1942 and made mostly of copper (instead of the copper-plated zinc we have now). He's photographed it and is willing to sell you the photographs, but he's keeping the penny. It's worth more than 30 times it's value (~35cents)! He even made a viewing case for it that says, "for display only."  Can you tell this kid has been to a few museums lately?

Love this kid. 



Last night Jess and I finished a movie that took us three nights to barrel through. The movie was so bizarre and slow, but it had Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt in it so we thought at some point it would get better. It did not. I do not recommend it and don't want anyone to suffer through it and so I give you the title, Meet Joe Black. Painfully slow, mostly awkward, and 180 minutes that could be spent doing, heck watching, something much better. 

The fun thing is that Jess and I watched it together, making clever comments and pithy jokes at the awkward film's expense. I had a great time. The movie was lame. But the company was good. 

And here we are trying to get a family photo with our kids on Christmas. Ollie and Ansel thought it'd be really funny to act like they were picking their noses. It's like they're 7 and 3 year old boys or something. 


10am lollipop

Ansel likes going to Trader Joe's because at checkout they often give him a lollipop. They used to just give him stickers, but once he was given a sucker there was no turning back. He asks for the treat every time. 

One morning around 10am we found ourselves at the checkout. He asked for a lollipop and was given one after the cashier asked me permission. He quickly started to eat it. A fellow toddler behind us watched him with mouth drooling. The cashier then asked his parent if he also wanted one. 

"No thanks. He doesn't eat sugar," his mother replied. 

"Wow, that's great!" I responded. Feeling a little sheepish that it wasn't even lunch yet and Ansel was already half way done with his orb of flavored fructose. 

"Actually his favorite food is spinach," the mom added with a big smile. 

That's when I wanted to respond mentioning that, sure, Ansel eats spinach like a dinosaur during dinner. And he likes avocado and peppers. We, too, like vegetables around our house. But instead I said, "hey, that's great!" again and went on to help Ansel throw his finished sucker stick in the trash. 

What would you have done?


Winter gray, not today

We are beating the winter gray and lengthy evening blues over here. Our days are quickly passing by. A smattering of our doings now. 
Ollie catches some air! And yes, he is riding a boogie board. Those make thee best sleds. Much better than any sled I've seen out on the hill this year and last. 
Ansel after a good run. These boys love to sled. 
Ian looking at me like, yes mom, I'm warm enough for the sledding excursion. 
Ansel gives Ian a checkup. It's going well. 
Early morning tummy time. Nice job bud!
Ice skating with the pro. Jess loved skating with these dudes. They did great!
Oliver helps Ian stand up. They were both loving it. 
Ansel watches me make Ollie's lunch every morning, and so he made his own today. 
Mom's tea with some sisters of mine. I don't know what it is, but sitting in the Grand America lobby drinking herbal tea and enjoying lemon curd with scones does wonders for the soul. 


Good words


I intend to do more of this, live more like this this year and beyond. 



After getting ready one morning, Ansel came out of the bathroom with some major mousse in the middle of his hair in one spot. "I put it on to get handsome," he explained. 

And when queuing up a PBS show to watch, a talk show came up as the television turned on. Ansel angrily responded, "Not girl football!"

This kid.