Friday, February 26, 2010

In Honor of My Cavity Free Mouth

Oh me, oh my. How I cannot wait to share this little gem with you. First, some background.

Part of Claire's kindergarten curriculum this month includes a unit on "Your Healthy Body," and last week, they focused on dental care. Claire's been going to the dentist since she was three, so she has been well-versed in dental hygiene and how to avoid the devilish "sugar bugs." She came home with some floss and a new toothbrush and talked about the hygienist who visited their class, and that was it.

Until earlier this week when she declared that she was going to write AND illustrate a book and "please, mommy, I want this published, so could you do that for me?"
Um, sure dear. Just let me get Penguin Press on the line.

After much debate and much commentary like - "boy, this writing books stuff is hard. Does it take famous authors a long time to write books? Man, this is going to be good. You are going to get it published, right?" - She decided on a book about teeth.

And, because I just got home from the dentist myself and was declared "cavity free," (wahoo!) I am itching to share my daughter's very first book with the world.

After all, putting it on the blog is just about like getting it published, right??

Please, sit back, relax, and try to contain your laughter (good luck with that).

I will translate the story for you underneath each picture. Her words in blue.

"Germs in Your Teeth" By Claire Black

I know the picture is a bit frightening, but you have to give the girl some credit. With a nose that small, it only makes sense that the mouth would be that big. The girl's got to breathe somehow!

Germs in Your Teeth

The Title Page - how's that for formal?

This story is about someone that had a cavity.

A wide-open mouth and a few black teeth. Uh-oh!

One day I had a cavity.

I saw in the mirror and saw sugar bugs biting through my teeth.

Those little black spots on the upper teeth = sugar bugs.

Then one of them said to me, "na, na, na, na, na . . . "
I believe this is a picture of the sugar bug and the na, na's coming out of the person's mouth???

"There's nothing you can do."
Nothing you can do, baby. Just X out that mouth!

And I said yes there is.
That would be a light bulb on top of her head, people, not some weird ice-cream shaped growth.

And I brushed my teeth.
Grrrrr !

The germ that first spoke to me said, maybe there is (something you could do)
See the germ and his word bubble???

Germ still talking - I better go warn my friends now.
See all his little black spotted friends??

But it was too late. I won the game.
Because winning the game is all that matters, baby.

I'm telling you, it's destined to be on the top seller list for sure.

At the very least, I'm keeping this till it's old and falling apart. And then I'm still keeping it.

It's my very favorite book for sure.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Baby G

We were lucky enough to host a little visitor for one day last week and again today. Baby G has to be one of the sweetest little guys I have ever seen. Seriously, if I could guarantee that any successive babies of my own would turn out like him and not the the fire-breathing, puke hurling, screaming infants we seem to produce around here, I would be really tempted to have one or a dozen more.

I'll just let you scroll through the cuteness.

I took these last week:

Ben has never seemed so big in his life. Ben called Baby G, "Little Fella," and he was enamored with the little guy at first until he learned the very disappointing fact that G was not actually big enough to play trains with him. He got over it. Mostly.

I was slightly concerned when, upon hearing G crying because I was changing his diaper, Ben suggested that "we just put that fella in the garage." Hmmm . . . .

Claire was not at all happy that she had to go to school and miss out on all the baby fun. This morning she said, "Oh Mom, the top of his head smells sooo good!" Yep, she's a female. :-)

And I took the rest of these today:

How hilarious is that face?

Don't know why, but this last one's my favorite.

Thanks, Sarah for letting us borrow your little guy. We had so much fun loving on him!

And I promise. We never put him in the garage. :-)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Valentine's Day - The Greatest Show on Earth

Instead of your typical Valentine's celebration including a quiet dinner for two, roses and chocolate, we decided to do something a little different.

We went here:
Not that you can totally tell since my mad photo skills cut off half the picture, but it was the CIRCUS, baby. Valentine's Day = Circus. Makes perfect sense, right?

Actually, it did make perfect sense to us because we were able to get discounted tickets through Claire's Daisy Troop, so it enabled us to avoid having to sell our firstborn in order to attend. Who knew it was so freaking expensive! The kids were totally bummed that we refused to buy them a $9 snow cone, but I felt that was a bit excessive.

Before the main show began we were able to walk behind the scenes and meet a few of the animals.

Sweet little miniature horses.

Elephants - up close and personal. Please ignore the freaky spots. (I'm really thinking a new camera is in order. My birthday is soon, hmmmmm.....)

They also had a floor show that included various side-show type acts, fake tattoos for kids, and a dress-up booth.

Is she ready for the Big Top?

Right before the show began.

I was pretty amazed by all the acts during the show. It had been many, many years since I had been to the circus, so for about the first three-fourths of the show, I totally forgot to take pictures. I really did sit there with my mouth hanging open for quite a bit of it. I'm sure it was a charming site.

But, I did get a few shots of some of my favorites:

How cute is this elephant??

These acrobatic troops were pretty amazing.

And this motorcycle hire-wire act was right in front of our seats. You should have seen Ben's face. Probably would have been good for me to get a picture of it, right?

By the end of the day, the kids were totally pooped, and really the day was nearly perfect.

I say nearly because we soon realized what happens when you allow a three-year old to eat a cheeseburger, cookies, soft pretzel, and half a bag of cotton candy and then put him in a sun-warmed car.

That's right, people. VOMIT!

Vomit everywhere. All over his clothes, in all the nooks and crannies of his car seat and on the upholstery of the car.

And what could we do about it? NOT. ONE. THING.

We cleaned him up as best we could (read: removed the largest chunks), and he had to sit in the mess for the remainder of the ride home - a perilous and very stinky 30 more minutes.

Ick. Ick. Ick.

And yes, the car, despite 2 full out cleanings, still has a faint vomit aroma.


But, all ended well. How could it not when you come home with these?

(please politely ignore the freakishly large oil slick on my face)

And, don't worry. I also had these at home too.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Make New Friends . . .

I was a Brownie . . . you know, the littlest group of Girl Scouts? Those cute little girls with the brown and orange knee socks and Beanie caps? At least that's what they used to wear.

I really have no idea how I got involved in that program since I attended a small private school at the time, but my parents must have thought it would be a good fit. Either that or I saw the snazzy Brownie outfits that some of the older girls were sporting during my one year foray into the public school system (kindergarten), and I decided that I simply must, MUST be a Brownie too. I mean, brown and orange knee socks! What could be better?

I don't remember too much about my Brownie experience; though, up until about last year, you could probably have found the "sit-up-on" mat that I wove out of newspaper and covered in vinyl in my dad's house, and I still have my Brownie pin. I never did get the snazzy Brownie outfit, a fact I'm sure was torment to my grade-school self, but I do remember enjoying myself.

We went on various field trips, learned how to tie some serious knots, cooked, camped, sold large amounts of cookies door-to-door with my red wagon, and experienced my one and only up close and personal experience with a tick. Yes, a tick. It was horrifying and life-altering, as any experience with a blood sucking insect that burrows into your body should be. Amen.

For whatever reason (I'm thinking it was largely due to the tick experience), I decided to quit Brownies right when I should have moved up into Girl Scouts. But, as fate would have it, my Girl Scout experience is far from over, but now I'm the parent of a Girl Scout. Or, actually, she's a Daisy Scout. They are the littlest of the little Girl Scouts, Kindergarten and First Graders.

Claire actually started asking me about Girl Scouts this past summer, so I tried to find a local troop but had no luck. However, one of the mothers at her school also wanted her daughter to be involved, so she jumped through all the hoops required to start a new troop in the area.

Her troop is brand new; they just started meeting in January, and right now, they only have 5 girls. But, Claire is having a great time.

Here they all are at their first ceremony where they all received their Brownie pins and their first Daisy patch.

"On my honor, I will try to serve God and my country. To help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout law."

My proud little Daisy Scout.

Each meeting they learn more about the Girl Scout law, play games, make crafts, AND . . .

have a snack.

She's enjoying herself, and I hope she sticks with it longer than her mother did.

Hopefully, no ticks get in the way.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Do You Like to Pick out New Paint?

Cause I don't.

Let me clarify that. I actually love to go to the store, sort through all the gorgeous paint chips and imagine those lovely colors on my walls.

What I hate about the process is when the paint that I loved on the little bitty paint chip goes up on the wall, and I realize in about 15 seconds that the color is hideous, is nothing like I thought it would be, and, oh. my. gosh. it's the exact color of our circa 1980's faux wood cabinets.

This process has happened at least once for every room in our house.

It is frustrating. I would say that it is also exhausting, but that might be stretching it a bit since Shawn is usually the one to do the majority of the painting. I just stand back and say critical things.

He loves it, let me tell you.

So, since painting our house has never been a pleasurable experience for either of us, you can understand why it has taken us about 9 years to finally decide that yes it is really time to take down that awful green and brown vine boarder and paint our living room.

Problem is, we are gun shy. Or, I guess I should say paint shy. We've narrowed it down to three choices, and now we are stuck.

We thought that buying those little paint cans of paint samples would actually help us make a decision this time. Surely, painting a large portion of the wall in the actual colors would help us make the decision. We could view it in all lights, in our setting, and the choice would be obvious, right?


Um, wrong.

Here is what my living room wall has looked like for the past two going on three weeks.

Do you see my problem? One is just a little too gray, one is just a little on the green side of the nice khaki brown we are shooting for, and the last one just may be too dark. UGH! And before you ask, yes, we've tried to find the "in between" colors, but they just aren't there.

So, here I am, all you paint and decoration aficionados.


And, not that my camera really represents these colors as they truly are, but you get some idea.

The three colors on the top row are the ones on the wall.

Really, I'm so desperate, I think I may actually just close my eyes and point.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Just Call me Mother Nature

Seriously. Who would have thought that an innocent post about wishing for snow just last week would prompt the serious winter snow dumping that we had this past weekend? Granted, the storm didn't prove to be quite as big as predicted (12-15"), but I think the 8-9" that we did get is pretty impressive.

The kids were impressed anyway.

They were impressed, until they realized that it was freaking cold outside, and the only thing we can do in snow this deep is walk around and fall down. See evidence below:

They seriously lasted about 5 minutes that first day. The "hot chocolate" cry was quickly sounded, and they came back in.

And then. Then! because being cooped up in the house causes children (and adults) to go a bit crazy, they decided to create their own entertainment:

Talent, I tell ya. Pure talent.

Yesterday, the sun came out and warmed everything up a bit, so they had much more fun playing in all that white stuff.

Claire with some of the neighborhood kids.

And, finally, finally, my southern babies got to experience one of their momma's favorite winter past times:

So, it was a short trip. Who cares. They LOVED it!

Trekking back home. Notice Libby is still able to walk on top of the snow. The kids were breaking through and had a hard time. Shawn ended up carrying Ben.

And, since the white stuff continues to stick around, and since Claire was off school due to the snow, they went back outside today for more snow fun. But they weren't interested in building a snowman, no sir, because building a snowman is, like, so totally last year (seriously, they built one last year - a month ago). Today, they opted for the more mature snow construction of . . .

Snowball fight?

Bring it.