Snapshot of life

Oliver is very much into Rube Goldberg Machines, which he currently calls RGMs for short. He uses everything from books to the tape measure and everything in between to build them. Jess and I were just saying that only weeks ago Ollie was asking us to help him build his marble run. Now his marbles runs are way better than what we ever built and his RGMs or contraptions are creative and clever. We have lots of marbles, dominoes, blocks and whatnot strewn across the floor on a daily basis. I am amazed at how Ollie brings the chaos together to create.  He called this RGM the "best of the best."

Ansel gets in on the chaos too, making RGMs 3-yr-old style. And right now he's very much into playing board games with me. For example, Pictionary. His version is drawing something. Telling me what it is. Choosing a card and saying that what he drew is on the card (imagine that!). Moving his game piece. Rolling the dice. Taking a look at the hour glass timer. Repeat. He's also writing what he calls "easy letters" on paper. That includes O, L, T, I and the newest member V.  He's also very independent and wants to do everything. Including dress himself. 

Jess is busy caulking our bathroom shower. And to tell you the truth, I always think I could get it done faster but his precision and attention to detail will always produce better results.  He also won our latest family bowling tournament. Yo. 

As for me, I'm pulling weeds and really enjoying the beauty that spring brings to our front yard. And I finished our taxes. Woot. 


Our Easter photo

I have to post one of the few family photos I get in a year. It's always on Easter after the egg hunt. Love this group. 


These words from Ansel...

"Did you know that pepperoni is macaroni's middle name?"

"This says 'faster shoes'." While pointing to the words on his shoes. 


These two

Ansel and Ollie are 3 years and 9 months apart and it's taken a while for the two to "play" together. It's certainly not always sibling love but the moments come around and it's so sweet (especially for a mom that wanted so badly to have more than one child so they could have each other). One of these moments sticks out in my mind. 

Ansel's birthday was coming up. Ollie whispers in my ear, "what should I give Ansel?" I asked him if he had any ideas. Now Ollie is way into money these days and likes to know he has what he thinks is a "good amount," so what he said next was surprising and kind. "I'll give him some money so he can put it in his money jar." And so it was. Ollie gave Ansel an envelope. On it we wrote ANSEL'S WALLET and in went a dollar bill, a dollar coin, and a nickel. Ansel loved it, you know, because Ansel loves anything Oliver loves. 

These two. 

See Ansel in the background?


Yes! I'm so glad Downton Abbey ended happily

Last night after viewing the Downton Abbey Finale I was happy that everything was tied up nicely and ended well. I even teared up during a scene between two sisters earlier in the season. Good stuff!

And yes, if I went to England and had the time I would not be ashamed to pay to take a tour of the place they shot the series. Pour some tea, make some scones, top them with cream!  Here's to good tv show endings. Haha!



Designing a Valentine's box

"Ollie, we've got to make your Valentine's box for Thursday," I say to Ollie Monday evening as we prep dinner. 

"Okay Mom, I know what I want to do."

And with that we had a internet-idea-free box, complete with Big Bird. I only helped with the red and orange paper and the blue arrow. 

I love watching Oliver come up with ideas and execute them. He is so original. Something I wasn't completely as a kid (which isn't bad, I liked what my siblings did and I followed suit and it worked for my personality so well).  I think as the oldest child you've really got to break out and be brave as you experience the unknown often. Ansel really learns a lot from his brother and I'm thankful I was able to learn so much from my siblings. I often think of my oldest brother. The sibling who had to do everything "first."  And I'm thankful he is such a great older brother. And how I have five more older siblings who enabled me to follow in their wake and succeed. 

I don't know how this post took this turn, it was just supposed to be about Oliver's awesome box. But there you have it. 


"I'm three!"

This past week Ansel turned three. He's such a fun kid to be around. The whole week he'd point to 2s and 3s in books and on papers and say, "I used to be this (pointing to 2) and now I'm this (pointing to 3)!"  The kid is so excited about getting bigger. As a parent it sure is fun to watch him grow. 

For his birthday we went to a trampoline park. Because Ollie got a bounce house for his birthday party, Ansel thought that he'd be having one too, 'cause, ya know, birthdays = bounce houses. In hopes that he wouldn't be bummed that there was no such thing happening, we tried this out. Success. Fun had by all!


Skiing with the kids, try no. 1

Ansel says, "I'm ready to go home."

Yesterday we took the kids skiing for the first time. They were both up for it and we, as parents, were geared up and ready to go. The day was gray, very snowy, and the slopes were covered with powder. This of course, is wonderful for a seasoned skier but for two little boys who'd never been on the mountain before, it was a bit crazy. Still, the boys were patient and Ollie skied like a champ. Ansel got cold pretty quick, but he loved the rope tow. Jess and I are pretty sore today from how much effort the rope tow was due to having to support a nearly 3 or 6 year old. However, by the end Oliver could do it all by himself. I was impressed (and tired) at the end of the day.  

Ollie has a successful run down the hill

Then it took us 2 hours to get down the mountain. Wow! Holiday traffic mixed with the snowstorm took us back to our DC days and traffic jams. At one point Ansel and his new potty training self had to go while mom opened the door and held him tight. 

During our ride down the canyon, these were their "calm" faces. 

Adventures in parenting!  Totally worth it. 


The latest in conversation from my kids

Ollie: I haven't had an IKEA hotdog for months!

Ansel: Let's go to the in-quarium!

And after being on a total Charlie Brown kick over the break,

Oliver: Good grief!

Ansel: Bird-stock is Snoopy's friend, right mom?