Friday, October 29, 2010


Pumpkin Time

We're about to have our courtyard party of carving pumpkins, pizza dinner, treats, and costume parade! I'm excited to get a picture of everyone in their costumes. Alec and Charlie look adorable! Or I should probably say, rugged. Pictures of the evening are coming soon.

Here are some pictures of a pumpkin patch we went to a few Saturdays ago!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bitter Sweet

But mostly sweet, so maybe I should say Sweet Bitter. We bought a washer and a dryer! Someone from the ward was selling their hardly used super nice washer for a good deal and so we found another good deal on a dryer on craigslist. That means no more trips to the laundry with a baby in a wrap, 2 kids stuffed in a wagon with 7 loads of laundry. Ok, that only happened a few times. Mostly Chris did the laundry (all 7 loads) after bedtime. But at least it means no more pausing our evening entertainment for 40 minutes so Chris can go switch the loads and wait for that one washer that takes 20 minutes longer than the rest. And no more realizing we forgot that stinky bib stuck behind the highchair forcing ourselves to smell it for another week until we do the next batch. Maybe now I'll wash my sheets and towels more. Maybe folding laundry (if I can manage to do it after each load) won't take 4 hours. This is all the sweet side. So goodbye to this:

And hello to (eventually a cleaner) this:

(Eventually) Beautiful, right? What could possibly be bitter about getting to do laundry at home while kids are napping? Well, its all about space. I have to give up my sewing station and kitchen cart. That doesn't sound so bad except I won't be able to leave my machine out to easily jump back into a project with the small 15 minute windows I have to sew with every couple of days. And at night when I have more time, I have to hurdle the "I don't feel like doing anything after putting all the kids to bed" feeling and get out everything to work on a project. Its already hard enough to muster up the energy to simply sit down at the sewing machine and remember what I was doing. Plus, I have to find room somewhere else in my tiny apartment for all my sewing and playschool supplies, microwave, toaster-oven and some food storage buckets.

I wish I had a picture of my sewing/microwave corner but I didn't get one before we put the washer/dyer back there and I don't feel like scouring through all my many pictures in hopes that I might have one somewhere.

Boy, now I sound really grouchy and ungrateful. I think I really will be glad for the washer and dryer and I'm sure it won't take too long to figure out a new sewing system. Also, I probably won't be sewing as much for the next 6 months or so anyway once I finish my current (TOTALLY EXCITING) project since I tend to sew in spurts.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Birthday Boy!

Our little Charles Leland is 2 years old today. I can hardly believe it. He thinks he's 5, if you ask him how old he is, he'll tell you so. His voice is so adorable. I even think his occasional, "Doe away, Mom!" is sort of cute. I know he really doesn't mean it.

Chris told me he wanted Charlie to feel special today and I think we did that. Alec started the birthday prep yesterday by telling him (even before talking to Chris or I) that the next day would be his birthday. When the boys woke up we asked them if they knew what today was, and Charlie said, "my duhday!" Super cute. We had a new (to him) Radio Flyer trike waiting for him downstairs and the present Alec wanted to give him - a train that goes by itself.

I taught playschool for Alec and his friends today and Charlie joined us and did his best job yet of listening and acting big. Immediately after we had a little indoor (because of rain!) picnic party for Charlie. We had helium balloons and cookie dough cupcakes/cake. Charlie loves cookies.

He loved getting basketball shorts (like Alec wears all the time) and brand new rain boots! He refused to take them off for nap time.

Then came a Primary Program Practice Pizza Party. Whew. What a day. I enjoy being Charlie's mom so much and want to hold and cuddle and kiss his cherubic cheeks all day. Sometimes I do and sometimes he likes it. We love you, Charles.


Anyone surprised?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Baby pictures

So this isn't really a game because it would take way too long for me to format it, but here are a bunch of pictures of all three kids. See if you can guess who is who. They look similar to me and in some pictures its hard to tell the difference but with lots of different pictures together like this, their individuality is more apparent to me. Oh, and sometimes Gwendolyn is wearing her older brothers' old clothes for camouflage.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Illustrators and authors

Last weekend there was a big book event with free books, crafts, food etc... for all the graduate students and their families. The craft table had supplies for the kids to make their own books. I started helping Charlie draw/write down his favorite activities and Alec was scribbling something next to us. It wasn't till we were done that I asked Alec about what he was drawing and I realized his pictures were both original and they looked pretty darn close to what he said they were supposed to be! I was blown away.

And then, today for playschool my friend helped the kids make a similar book, but this time they also wrote the words themselves to their pictures. I am so impressed with all that Alec is learning and realize how big he's getting. As I type this, I'm trying to ignore the fact that he "accidentally" threw something on Gwen earlier and that he just woke up Charlie early from his nap and they are now throwing things around their room... books maybe? It sounds hard. Man, did I say he was growing up?

AHH!! Now they are throwing everything down the stairs. If I ignore it, do you think it'll stop? I know, I know... "probably not." Well, I guess some things like obedience and common courtesy take longer to learn than pencil coordination.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The gravitational pull of babies: a thesis

Someone should do their graduate research on the well-known, but un-explained theory that babies are mini centers of gravity. Everyone feels the need to get closer. I would like to assert that this law also include the fact that the closer a baby is to the ground, the more gravitational pull s/he has. Writing this thesis would be easy, I even figured out the title.

Its 100% predictable that if I lay Gwendolyn on the floor, her brothers immediately follow. Sometimes even myself or Chris depending on how much weight other responsibilities have on us.

See, its starts like this:

(and I didn't even get time to take a single picture of her by herself! It works that quickly...)

And then this happens:
Which leads to this:
Which, after some biggest brother bossy-ing, ends up with this:

Eventually turning into this:

After all the excitement dies down the boys eventually get desensitized to Gwendolyn's magnetism and I can get a cute picture of the Center of Earth, herself.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

This old man

I did a decent job of cleaning the house one day a while back and the next day found myself without any obvious household work to do. So, the kids and I decided to make a movie. I tried to think of a theme that was simple and easy and the song, "This Old Man" came to mind. We made/gathered some costumes and props then began shooting. Three quarters of the way through, Alec got tired of doing it, but by then we'd attracted the attention of our courtyard friends and they helped us finish it. A few hours later (after Chris came home to offer (technical) support), we had a movie and invited those friends over for a big fancy Movie Premiere. The movie is having trouble loading, but here is a pictures of the Premiere.

I'll see about getting the movie somehow. Its pretty big I think. Ok, so I had to compress it to 1/15 of its original size, lets see how it looks:

UGH! the resolution is terrible, you can't even see Charlie's awesome expressionless face as the Old Man. Oh well, I'll have Chris try to fix it when he gets home.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

last bit of summer weather

A week or so ago, we had some crazy hot weather (for this area) like practically 100. I was happy to get a chance to break out the hose and pools one last time. We combined a few hoses to make it reach all the way to the sandbox so the kids could make rivers and puddles in the sand. They LOVE this. The next day we filled up a big patio pool and tried to compare how much water each activity actually takes up. The pool filled 550 gallons of water, and it took shorter to fill up than we let the kids have the hose on in the sand. So... yes, its pretty wasteful and yes, I'll stop it sooner next time. Good thing we don't live in Arizona or some other place that can't sustain its water usage (Maybe I should've started that sentence with "hopefully" since I actually don't even know where we stand on that issue here). Environmental impacts aside, these activities meant I could put Gwen in her swimming suit for the first time, even though she didn't get wet a bit. A-dorable!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Its playschool time again! Even Charlie gets to join in on the fun this year. Alec does a 2 hour, twice a week rotation between our house and two friends' houses. Charlie does a 1 hour, once a week rotation between our house and two of his friends' houses. I've taught both groups once already and enjoyed both of them. I'm reminded by doing Charlie's group, how young and little they are. (Also, how CRAZY we were with trying to do playschool for 2 hours, twice a week with 6 kids when Alec and his friends were Charlie's age... even with another adult helper. Eek! Well, we live and learn). Charlie just LOVES the fact that he has his own playschool to go to. He is so excited for it and seems to already know how to do things. He's had the advantage of joining in on Alec's school whenever its at our house. Also, I love First Day of School pictures.

Here is my other little angel. She does so well with tummy time, and is so strong. She does relatively well at night and always has a smile. Oh, I love her.