Coin collector

I love having kids partly because their interests enable me to learn new things. Take for instance, coins. Oliver is very much into coins and how rare certain versions are, etc. So many kind friends, neighbors, and family have helped Ollie build his foreign coin collection. And now he's getting into the rare coin business. We have a man who lives in our neighborhood who owns a coin shop and the other day we paid it a visit. 

As we walked in, Oliver knew exactly what he wanted.  I chatted a bit with the lady at the counter, then Ollie took his turn, "Do you have any Benjamin Franklin half dollars?" Um, what? I thought to myself. I had no idea this coin even existed and here was my seven year old talking with the coin dealer like it was no big deal. The dealer went to the back and grabbed some coins for Ollie to look at. He choose a fine grade coin and handed over $7 in exchange. Ansel joined the fray and bought two silver dimes (one was a mercury dime, another coin I did not know existed) for $3. We talked some more, looked around then headed for the car. 

Jess and I looked at the boys' coins and oohed and aahed over them. They were really neat and a part of history. As we backed out of the parking lot Oliver exclaimed, "I am so happy now, I'm crying!" His eyes were watery. I think he thought rare coins were so out of his reach and unattainable, that he couldn't believe he had actually bought something that, only moments before, he had only read about. It was a magical. And since then, his coin collection just keeps growing. Ask him about it sometime. It really is something special. 


Hard boiled

This year was the first time in my married life where we actually finished eating all of the hard boiled eggs we dyed for Easter. 



Yesterday was a pleasant day filled with good words, egg hunts, spring walks, and family dinner. What a wonderful time of year to celebrate the reason for hope.


Dyeing my hair blonde

Last night, Jess and I were watching a show and in it, one of the ladies has platinum blonde hair.  I thought for a minute and said to Jess, "I want to do something different, like maybe, um, dye my hair blonde."  Jess' response, "Really? I like your hair."  And I answered, "I guess I just want to do something totally out of the ordinary."  And that's when I realized it might be time to sign up for another half marathon. 


Meetings at school

Today I ran to the school twice, once for a meeting and the other to help out with a party in Ollie's class.  There was a lot of back and forth and dropping kids off at friends' house.  And of course, I was running late.  I did this all to the song The Chase, which is from the Man from Snowy River soundtrack I received for my birthday this year and which was playing in my car.

This same song and the feeling it gave me might be to blame for the fact that I uncharacteristically volunteered to be part of the corporate fundraising committee for the PTA fundraiser next year when my natural instinct wanted to sign up to be part of the PR/Marketing committee.  I am now getting rid of the soundtrack. 



Things worth remembering about these days...
Ollie smelled fire outside and didn't want to smell it, thus the protective nasal gear. 

Cute 7 month old with a hole in his pjs.

Celebrating my 35th at the symphony. I fell asleep due to lack of sleep, but it was the best nap on the second tier of the hall I've ever had. And the part I did see and hear was very good. The conductor led and played the piano. 

Jess has the magic touch when it comes to getting Ian to eat solid foods. 

Ollie gets Ian to smile. 
Ansel and his cousin giving air and light to their newly sprouted seeds. 
Ansel is quite the climber. He also likes to dress up as a railroad engineer. 
Giving this kid a swig of water. He loves to do this. 
Sleeping soundly. 
Three boys sitting on a futon. Do we see a familial resemblance?


Green smoothie

This babe doesn't dig the pears and banana baby food I'm trying to get in his diet these days. But he does love my afternoon green smoothie. It must be the Greek yogurt and spinach that he's tasting and loves. No wait, it's probably the peanut butter and vanilla protein powder. Love the stache!



A day spent at the capitol building and going on a hike is a good day. 



Let me first explain that currently, my kids and their cousin are way into money. They collect coins, count their coins, draw their coins, make magnets out of coins, fold their dollars and put them in extra special boxes, sort their money, tabulate their money, study the pictures on money, ask how they can earn money. It is endless!  In fact the other day, said cousin was brushing sand off of our picnic table and said, "Ash, how much can I earn by doing this?" The answer was, nothing. But be assured, I am happy to give payment when it is due. Yesterday afternoon was just a time. 
Little cousin loves to earn money and so he suggested to my boys that they all set up a table outside and sell some art. They were game. They got busy creating drawings, taking time to make art that people "would want to buy." This was very important to them and lots of effort was put into their work. After some time, they were ready to set up shop. 25 cents per picture. 
Let it be known that I never would have done anything like this as a kid. It scared me. I didn't want to fail, and never tried. I'd like to say I've grown out of this tendency, but I have not, and nearly every bone in my mother body wanted to tell them to forget the enterprise and heck, I'll pay you for cleaning off the picnic table! But I didn't. I sat back and watched their teamwork and organization. They walked boldly to the end of the driveway and for 45 minutes they sold their wares.  They made $2.50. I was impressed and so very proud of what they accomplished!

It was magic. And it made me want to make sure I stop at every stand I see this spring and summer. 



While Oliver is at school, Ansel has a lot of time to show Ian how things are done. 

How to hang out in your "pajammies" in the morning. 
How to watch PBS kids, currently the Super Why show. 
How to use the iPad. 
How to sing patty cake. 
And how to wear a sun hat at the park. By the way, he chose the hat. Ansel loves that hat. 


On clearance

At carpool the other day I was wearing these glasses for the first time when I picked up the kids. I got some varied responses. 

"Mom you look different," said Ansel.

"You look like a famous person," said Ollie.

"You look like a boy! Boys can have ponytails you know," said Oliver's friend.

"I got these glasses for $3 at Nordstrom rack so I say these look like a steal!" I replied. 

And with all that honesty, we drove home. 


Heard on Sunday

From Ian:
I'm tired (communicated through crying). 

From Ansel:
Mom, is it fast Sunday today or slow Sunday?
The rains came down and the flowers came up!

From Ollie:
I remember when I was in nursery. I played with puzzles and had a great teacher. Those were the good old days. 


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.