Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Joking Around

This afternoon I tried to teach Noah some new jokes. You know...because knock knock jokes are only funny for about 10 seconds. He had some great reactions.

Jeana: A piece of string walks into a bar, climbs up on the stool and orders a drink from the bartender. The bartender looks at the string and says, "We don't serve your kind in this place."The string gets up and walks outside. He ties himself into a knot, frays up his ends and walks back into the bar. He climbs back up on a stool and says, "I'd like a drink please." The bartender says, "Hey! I told you before we don't serve your type. You're that same string who was in here earlier aren't you?"The string says, "Uh-uh! I'm a frayed knot."

Noah: Um...I don't get it.

Jeana: Okay, two muffins were baking in the oven. The first muffin said, "Sure is hot in here." The second muffin said, "Aaaaaah!! A talking muffin!"

Noah: Now that's funny!

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Jeana: Knock, knock.

Noah: Who's there?

Jeana: I eat mop.

Noah: I eat mop who?

Jeana: You eat your poo?? Gross!

Noah: That's (gasp) so (gasp) funny! I'm (gasp) gonna (gasp) tell Dad!

Noah: Hey dad! Knock, knock!

Geary: Who's there?

Noah: I eat my poo! Hahahahahah! Wait (gasp) I messed that up (gasp)! Hahahahaah!
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But the best joke was unintended...

Noah: Mom, can I watch more kid shows?

Jeana: No. You've already watched a couple hours today.

Noah (rolling his eyes): Humph!

Jeana: What? Do you think I'm a mean old mom?

Noah: Yes!

Jeana: Why? Because I won't let you rot your brain?

Noah: No. Because you never let me relax through the day!

Jeana: Haaahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahaahhahaahahahaaaaaaaaaa!

I am still wiping tears of laughter over this.

Black Butte 2009

Sunday afternoon we got back from a great mini vacation at Black Butte Ranch. Geary's aunt, uncle, and cousin were also able to come out and it was great to see them. The boys loved having so much attention and entertainment. And the weather was perfect! Some highlights include:
  • Listening to the book on CD The Hoboken Chicken Emergency by Daniel Pinkwater of NPR fame. Hilarious!
  • Geary's cousin Eric who spent a lot of time playing games with Noah. He is such a generous man and we are so thankful for the love and attention he poured out on Noah last week. Plus, he made his famous chocolate truffles that are to die for!
  • Bike riding: We brought the boys bikes down with us and they had fun riding along the bike paths. No scary tree crashing incidents like last year though. Geary and I got to take a couple bike rides by ourselves--I forgot how much I like riding bikes! We're now on the hunt for some nice used ones for ourselves. And we also rented a Deuce Coup so we could take a family bike ride. It was really fun and I highly recommend the Deuce Coup over the Surrey--adjustable seats, lighter weight, easier to pedal, and a bell that sounds like a doorbell. :)
  • Meadow Glaze kiddie pool: Noah had a blast playing in all the fountains and sprinklers. It was awesome to see him overcome his fear of water. He also played in the kiddie pool with no qualms. Tobin was a little more hesitant but I did get him at least sitting and standing in the water with no tears--for a little while!
  • Bocce Ball: We brought our new bocce set with us and played on a couple of Black Butte Ranch's beautiful lawns. It's a simple game but really fun. We're looking forward to lots of back yard games with guests this summer.
  • Unexpected gifts: Geary was given a really nice walking stick--he's wanted one for a long time. Noah got a Black Butte Ranch hat and sunglasses as well as a fun police play set. And Toby got a cute little football (or "feetball", as he calls it) and new shoes! Aunt Mary is going to make some baby gifts for me--she's a very gifted crocheter and knitter. It never ceases to amaze me how absolutely generous our family is. We have blessed by them over and over again. Thank you!
  • Jewelry Making Time: Since I had the advantage of free childcare, I had lots of time to sit and work on my jewelry. I was able to make 11 necklaces and 3 pairs of earrings. It was also nice to get opinions and feedback on the pieces I was making as I made them.

I'm sure are a lot more highlights that I'm forgetting right now but we had a fantastic time. My only regret is that I didn't take any pictures! But I'm sure Mary and Garyanna will share some of theirs and when they do I'll post some of them here.

Thank you again and again, Bob and Garyanna, John, Mary, and Eric, for giving us such an incredible week full of sweet memories. We love you!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Morning Marker Mess

This morning I woke Toby up to find his bed looking like this:





And his pajama shirt looking like this:


And before I did anything I fetched my camera and caught the confession on tape.





video


It's a good thing he's so cute...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Anachronism

Noah was playing with Legos yesterday morning...

Jeana: Wow, that's a big weapon for such little lego guys.

Noah: Yeah, they only use it in super emergencies.

Jeana: Like what? Giant tomatoes that come and squish Lego Land?

Noah (witheringly): No. Like if they get attacked by lego dinosaurs from the future!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Birding

My friend Leng Leng and her husband Mak Teng, who are from Singapore, have been visiting the Pacific Northwest for the past couple of months. This week they were in Portland and we were invited to go bird watching with them. It was really fun!


We met at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge and immediately saw some wildlife.

This raccoon popped out from a tree right behind us.



It glanced all around and several times looked directly at me.



Then it started crawling out of its den! I was a little worried that it would approach us.



Especially when we saw the baby raccoon pop its head out as the mama raccoon climbed down the tree.



Can you believe that cute little thing is going to rummage through a garbage can someday?




We also saw this insect. It had many legs.


We saw some birds, too, including a bald eagle, redwing blackbirds, and songbird sparrows. My camera was too wimpy to take pictures of those birds but we did get to see them through our binoculars and Tak Meng's professional camera.

The boys had a great time and it was fun to see them really enjoying nature. They got pretty tired after about an hour and half and it was a good hike back to the parking lot but they were troupers and didn't complain. And Geary had a great time talking politics with Tak Meng.

Leng Leng and me after the big hike uphill. I should have been a better friend and requested pictures before we were all sweaty.

The whole family with Leng Leng.

The whole family with Tak Meng.

Bird watching was a really fun adventure and I'm so thankful to Leng Leng and Tak Meng for introducing us to a new family activity. We have plans to check out the Portland Audubon Society very soon!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Family Business 2009

We've been hard at work on our furniture makeovers this week. Here are a few "before and afters" of our first projects of the summer.

Dresser Before


We purchased this dresser at a garage sale for $5.


It either belonged to someone named Seth or someone with a crush on Seth.


One side had a pretty bad scrape.

Dresser After


We drilled holes for drawer pulls and painted the whole thing black.


You can see the part that used to be all scraped up. We filled it with spackle. It's not perfect but we think the blemish gives character to this little dresser.

Nightstand #1 Before


Actually, I forgot to take a before picture of this little nightstand. But it looked pretty much like this. Only uglier and not real wood. It was also a garage sale find.

Nightstand #1 After

Ta-da! We painted it glossy black, added a drawer pull and lined the back with pretty wrapping paper.

This is my favorite makeover out of the three.


Nightstand #2 Before


A family at Veritas was giving away some furniture and our friends picked up this nightstand and a matching desk. They kept the desk and passed the nightstand on to us. Their daughter had painted it pink with white polka dots.

Nightstand #2 After

We painted it black and added drawer pulls. It looks a little like a file cabinet now but hopefully someone will want it.

It would be cute in an office, I think. With a nice plant on top.

So that's it! In case you're wondering why everything is black it's because we found a nice gallon of black paint at Home Depot that we're trying to use up. Also, it seems to sell on Craigslist pretty well. It's been fun getting into the Family Business again. However, I need to learn to respect my pregnant body's limits. Yesterday I over did it a little and was pretty much useless after 4 pm. Geary was champ though and made dinner and put the kids to bed. I'm so glad he's my teammate.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Land of Milk & Honey, eh?

Noah was reading to Geary from his new bible...

Noah: So the Lord made manna in the desert for 40 years until the Israelites entered the land of ...Canada.

Geary: Canaan.

Noah: Oh.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Karissa Explains It All

Geary's sister and her two daughters were staying with us this past week. Analia (7) and Karissa (4) were really fun to have around and I know the boys greatly enjoyed having cousin time. Karissa was especially funny this week. Here are some of her best quotes:

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Noah and Analia were trying to figure out sleeping arrangements. Anita and I offered them a few choices and then excused them to go discuss their options...

Anita: Okay, you go talk about it and come back when you're ready to submit your proposal.

Karissa: Purple Zilla!?!?!

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Karissa was hugging Noah tightly and he didn't like it. After Noah asked her stop several times Anita had to intervene...

Anita: Karissa, he doesn't like it! Did Noah ask you to stop?
Karissa: Yes...
Anita: So why didn't you stop?
Karissa: I didn't hear him.

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Way past the kids' bedtime and Karissa was still wide awake...

Karissa: I'm asleep now! Hey! I'm SLEEPING! I'm asleep now!

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After rejecting and ignoring her enchilada casserole for dinner Karissa heard the adults talking about getting ice cream for dessert...

Anita: Karissa, if you want any ice cream you'll need to finish your enchilada casserole.
Karissa: Okay! I love it!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Big Boys Room

A couple months ago we did the big switch from a crib to a big boy bed for Tobin. My parents bought bunk beds for the boys and I took the opportunity to redecorate their room.


Here is what you see when you first enter through the door. We found the desk at a garage sale and I painted it "Waterloo" blue. The shelves are from Ikea and display Noah's robot and rock collections as well as a few other prized possessions. We're still looking for a desk chair.
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The bunk beds. We chose this model from Ikea because it was the lowest bed we could find. The ceiling slants in this room so we wanted to make sure that Noah had enough head clearance. It's also helpful that Toby can climb onto the bottom bunk with no need for a stool. The quilts were made by Geary's talented Aunt Mary. She actually traced the images from coloring book pages and hand colored them with fabric markers. Tobin's is Cars themed and Noah's has rocket ships.
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Bookshelf and toy storage. We're using two robots as bookends.
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The dresser is a craigslist find also painted "Waterloo" blue. I still need to paint the closet doors but you can see my clever closet organization. I used a short shower curtain rod inside an old bookshelf frame to create a lower closet bar to hold Tobin's clothes.
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And since I'm showing the inside of the closet you might as well see the toy storage half. We've had the Trofast storage system from Ikea for several years but I recently hung more shelves above it for some of the toys that I don't really want Toby to have access to. Legos and such.
When I do hang the closet doors I'd like to find some vinyl wall stickers with gears and cogs to put on them. I also have a few pieces of art to frame and hang. But overall the boys have a great new space. What do you think?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Last Day of Kindergarten

It's the last school day of the year. We got Noah's class composite picture yesterday and I was shocked to see how much younger he looked at the begining of the year. He was a baby! I'll take pictures at Field Day today and post them here for you to compare...stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Laundry Organization

Laundry is one of my least favorite chores. Probably because it is simply never ending. And because it seems to pile up so quickly. And because it's so easy to become distracted and leave piles of clean folded laundry on the couch or bed or wherever. When we moved here I decided that I was going to conquer my laundry system. I started out with this type of laundry sorter. It didn't work for me because it held so much laundry that I would just keep ignoring the chore until the bags were too full to even pull out of the sorter. And then I would be overwhelmed with the 8 million loads of laundry I had to do.
So then I bought two laundry hampers. One for the parents and one for the kids. That worked okay...until towels and washcloths got dirty. Which hamper did they go in? Did it even matter? And most of the time we didn't stick to the parents and kids hampers--everything just got tossed wherever. Suddenly all my time was spent just sorting laundry into piles on the floor. And then kicking them back into one pile when I needed them out of my way. And then re-sorting. What a waste of time!


I realized that if I was going to keep up on laundry I need to simplify. Just one hamper and when it was full I would just have to do laundry, right? Ha. More laundry ended up on the floor than anywhere else. And it was just lather, rinse, repeat of the same scenario I had with two hampers.
So I thought long and hard about they way I do laundry. What my system was. What would keep motivated? What would make it easier and more efficient for me? Instead of trying to change myself to match an organizing system I changed my organizing system to match my laundry style. And this is what I've come up with:

The individual baskets are big enough to hold two loads each, but not so big that I can let laundry go for weeks on end and get overwhelmed. I also like that I can take the baskets from room to room for folding and putting away. And the vertical system means I can fit up to five baskets in that space (one on the very top that I don't have yet), instead of only three hampers.

I decided to sort my clothes based on which room they go in (for the most part). Parents' clothes get washed all together (we don't really own delicate things that must be washed separately. It just all gets washed on cold) and then taken to the parents room to get folded or hung up and put away. Same with kids' clothes. And towels. Whites have their own bin so that I can wash them with hot water and sometimes use a little bleach to keep them bright. This system works for me.

My mom saw the system and liked the concept but decided she would sort her bins by color. Lights, Darks, Reds, etc. Cool. I say, when it comes to organizing for your chores do what makes sense to you.

If you're interested in making something like this for your laundry space I bought the pine shelves at Fred Meyer for $30. The basket labels were made by my friend Kristal at {grateful tulip}. She makes the cutest things and they were only $1.50 each with free shipping.


I'm curious, what works for you on keeping up with laundry? How do you stay organized? Do you wash a load per day? Do you have a specific laundry day or days? Where do you do your folding? Do you iron?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Water

Toby doesn't like baths. I'm not sure what happened. He used to love them. He would happily splash and play with all his bath toys. Now he screams from the moment I set him in the water to the moment I take him out and wrap him in a towel. It is torture. For both of us.

So...I do what any sane parent would do. I try to make the process as quick as possible. And sometimes that means just giving him a 2 minute shower. I soap him up, shampoo his hair, and then stick him under the spray to rinse and we're done. Before he can even work up the crocodile tears.

We did this last night and as I was cuddling my two year old in a towel he was happily saying, "All done! All done shower! All done water!"

I slathered him with lotion, brushed his teeth, put on a fresh diaper and clean pajamas. And then he asked for a cup of water.

"I like water. Water please, mama?"

"You like water, Toby?"

"Yeah." And then with his brows lowered, "I like water cup. No water shower."

Noted.