Sunday, August 24, 2014


This week the hubbs took Thursday and Friday off.  We would have loved to have spent all of our time together doing exciting things but this whole family has been battling a horrific cold and on Friday the hubbs was struck down.  We did manage to go out and do some totally awesome things as a family.

Noah had an awesome birthday.  Per his request we went to the farm with our friends.

In the afternoon we went to go and see a historic ship that was docked in Yonkers.

And there was cake.  Oh there was cake.

The night before Noah's birthday Claire reminded me that I needed to hang streamers in his doorway (something she had seen one of their cousins do).  I scoured the house and all I could find was Halloween crepe paper.  That, along with the Christmas wrapping paper should pretty much secure me some angsty  teenage years with him.  I can almost hear the arguments now--"You didn't even love me enough to buy birthday wrapping paper!"

We tried out the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk which was packed but really fun.  The hubbs was at home in bed trying to beat the cold but that was probably for the best as it was incredibly crowded (turns out Connecticut schools start on Monday so we weren't the only people trying to take advantage of the last day of summer.

Finally, we convinced the hubbs to come with us to the Natural History Museum.  We've been members of the museum since Christmas and this was the hubbs' first visit.  I'm pretty sure he was impressed (we also found street parking which was a minor miracle).  When we go to museums we try to spend time in the actual exhibits but mostly we spend time running around outside.

We walked into the gem room and Claire gasped and said "I love gold jewelry!"  She then proceeded to to take pictures of every one of the gem cases

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


We made another entry in the Summer of Modern Art {replication} file--Mark Rothko.

They'll go beautifully next to the Pollocks that are already on the wall in the playroom. 

Who should we do next?  Who is another modern artist that the kids would like to replicate?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Family Theme

This week I started talking to the hubbs about how we should prepare for school.  It's hard to know if it was my lack of eloquence that elicited the look of horror on the hubbs face as I talked about how some families choose family themes for the year and have special dinner parties to present them to the kids or just the idea of actually being a family that chooses a theme for the year that had him scorning the idea before I even finished.  I ended by saying, "clearly, if we're going to have a theme it's something I'll have to work on myself--I'll let you know what I decide."

I don't know if we'll actually do it (my gosh--that sounds like a lot of work doesn't it?) but I like the idea of Claire having some short thing she can say to herself as she makes decisions at school.  Then yesterday I came across this on facebook:

It's exactly what I want to think about while I interact with other people--and exactly what I want to teach my children to do as well. It's too lengthy and wordy for a 4-year old but maybe we can just sum it up by saying, 

"Love yourself.
Love one another."

We might just be one of those families that has a theme after all.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

This week in pictures

A couple of nights ago I sat down to write about how summer has just started to turn to fall here.  We can hear crickets when we open the windows at night and it's starting to really cool down at night.  It's such a lovely time of year but this year it's filled with mixed emotions as we await the arrival of a new little lady and Claire is going to start going to formal PreK every day--it feels like we are entering a new stage of life and we only have a few more weeks to enjoy the stage we are in now.

My post had to be postponed.  This week I had an awful head cold (which should not be allowed when you are pregnant and already having trouble sleeping) and I gave it to Noah.  Sadly, when he caught it it turned to croup and an ear infection.  We had a long couple of days there and now I'm playing picture catch up.

For months now Noah has carried around 3-4 Matchbox cars wherever he goes.  This is tricky because when your hands are already full of cars you can't really pick up or play with anything else.  This week we convinced him to wear a backpack full of cars instead of carrying them in his hand.  The results are both functional and ADORABLE

Yes, Claire is carrying a jar full of popsicle sticks.  She has written the names of everyone she knows on them and she uses them to play church.  She'll pull a name out of the jar until she gets to the name of someone who is present and then ask them a question.  Any of you who have ever been to a Mormon primary will know she is spot-on.

We hit this zoo this week which was a total dram because it wasn't too crowded and also wasn't too hot.

The zoo has a Dinosaur safari during the summer.  It's like a huge hayride and along the side there are animatronic dinosaurs.

You can see how much my kids love it.  That's our friend Evie behind Claire and she's hiding her head in her mom's lap.  The dino safari should be fun but really, for us, it's terrifying.

Noah had to leave the zoo early for a nap and Claire elected to stay and come home with her friends rather than come with us--kind of a big deal for someone who mostly stays at home with mom all the time.

This afternoon we went to our church picnic.  We played with bubbles.

made clover chains


played with friends

and did some booty dancing with the women from the church group--just your average church picnic in the Bronx.  As we were leaving Noah turned to me and said, "my like the stomp! stomp."

We know summer ends soon.  We're getting as many slurpees as we can and making as many silly faces as we can too.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

How to be popular

We've been in our new neighborhood for about 2 months now and we love it.  We love being able to walk to the bakery and the grocery store and the small hardware store (we've been to all of those today).  Our move to the new neighborhood also meant a new religious congregation for us.  Mormon congregations are divided geographically so once you're in a place you don't have options of where to attend--you attend where you're assigned (lots of Mormons base where they live on what the religious congregation is like).

Not too many weeks after landing in the Bronx I got a new church assignment working with the kids again.  It's an assignment that I love.  And, I hate to brag but I'm pretty good at it too.  Last week we talked about prayer and I found a way to incorporate this little gem into my lesson.

I'm pretty sure I'm the most popular person in the world with kids ages 8-11 in the church right now.  Try it with your kids--totally fun.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

It was an accident

"Mom, the sheets accidentally fell off your bed."
"And we accidentally brought them downstairs."

Sometimes I think that we should have a stricter house but then my kids pull all of the sheets off my bed and bring them down the stairs so they can hide from me and their little giggling faces make me realize that I don't really like stricter rules either.

*Pay no attention to the piles of things lined up on the stairs.  This house is 3 stories and instead of taking things where I should when I find them I pile them up on the stairs.  The idea of this is to save my 7-month pregnant self from  having to run up and down the stairs.  It's only mildly effective.  Mostly the house is just messier than it should be and the stairs are loaded with piles and piles of things.  I still have to trudge up and down the stairs more often than I'd like and even more regularly than I should I'm carrying 40lbs of wiggling and writhing Noah with me.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Good and Cheap

Have you seen this amazing new cookbook?

This brilliant woman made a cookbook for people living on food stamps.  All of the ingredients are available for those on food stamps and each recipe is based on cost per serving.  And the best part?  It's free. I love that it's a cookbook for those on food stamps that really looks like a cook book--awesome pictures, easy directions and lots of explanation about how to substitute things that you don't have on hand.

I downloaded the PDF and made corn meal crusted veggies on Sunday {do not ask how my family responded. They were delicious.  I know this because I ate all of them because no one else would touch them.  It was a zucchini we grew in our yard!  Claire helped me pick it and she still wouldn't touch it.}.

Leanne Brown also has a vegetarian cookbook which I also downloaded for free and if you think my family isn't going to be forced to eat Chana dal you are wrong.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Dirty Laundry

Two clothes related stories:
1. Last night I dreamed that my little brother walked into my parent's house wearing nothing but his underwear.  When we questioned what he was doing he said that he had gained weight and that he didn't feel comfortable with his body and none of his clothes fit him right.  I then spent the next whole section of the dream trying to convince him that robes like Jesus wore were his best option.

There's a whole analysis of that dream that could probably happen and would reveal all kinds of horrifying things about my pregnant self but first and foremost I think we can glean this little bit of wisdom--DO NOT TAKE FASHION ADVICE FROM ME WHILE I AM PREGNANT.  Clearly I've gone crazy.  Just to cement that I'm seriously considering muumuus for the rest of my pregnancy because really, aren't they the perfect summer/huge belly clothing option?

When I was 10 my grandparents went on a trip to Hawaii in November.  That Christmas we all got Hawiian themed gifts.  Fanny packs for the boys and muumuus for the girls.  Mine looked just like this.  That went down as the most hilarious Christmas in family history because we considered ourselves so far above both fanny packs and muumuus that we weren't afraid to wear them ironically.  Well who's laughing now eh?

2. In our house we have lots of white clothes.  There's a whole section of them that aren't supposed to be bleached and for some reason they are always a little stinky.  I've tried all kinds of options to help with the vague smellyness: vinegar, borax, baking soda, just a little bleach; and they still come out just faintly stinky.  Last week in the mail I got a sample of a new product from downy called Unstoppable (it was in a packet of things mailed to people who have moved recently).  They are these little things that look like wax beads that you through in the wash cycle.  This morning, on a whim, I tried it.  I used half the recommended dose and my. gosh.  I feel confident that it worked because my whole house smells like downy. I ordered some right away.   So goodbye ecologically friendly options to non-smelly clothes and hello to the chemical storm that is downy and whites that are never even a little smelly.