Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Summer was...


Tball games in the early evenings.

Summer water w oranges web

Big jars of water with lemons or oranges.


Impromptu puppet shows.


Playing in the creek.

Backyard race web

Just-before-bed backyard races.

Seeds08 web

Seed collecting.

Sean and Elgin 08 web

Making new friends.

Salt web

Salt crystal experiments.

Shave ice web

Hawaiian shave ice.

Summer freckles web

Freckle-covered cheeks.

Aidan's strawberry sundae web

Aidan's ice cream creations (which he then illustrates in his Cooking With Aidan book).

Ohsoheavy web

Hamming it up for the camera.

Endless web  

Endless hours in the kiddie pool.

James n the giant peach web

Youth Garden theater.

Soccer camp web

Soccer camp.

Summer08 web

Towels drying on the deck.

Nolan Aug 08 web

Watching this guy grow way too fast.

It's supposed to reach 100 today, but once school starts, summer ends. Even though autumn is my favorite time of year, I find transitions difficult. It's been a glorious summer.

Inspired by Grace's Summer is series.

Friday, August 22, 2008

First Day of School


Bittersweet day for all of us.

Two of Aidan's best buddies, Dylan and David, are in the same class--yay! But Aidan wants to know when he's supposed to have time for all his inventing and playing... 

I'm sure Sean will eventually miss having his big brother around 24/7, but today he asked me if we can have lunch from now on all by ourselves like we did today.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


At this time last year, six weeks pregnant, I couldn't stand the sight of a tomato.


Which makes this year's crop all the sweeter.


The boys eat the cherry tomatoes like they were candy.


Peppers have been so expensive in our market lately, I love seeing these. Assuming they get to grow before the pests get them!


I don't buy cucumbers all that often because I'm the only one  who enjoys them. Love this sight:


We've never had real success with the next two so we are so excited to see these:

Big watermelon08web


Isn't that pumpkin beautiful? I'm hoping the boys will pick that watermelon for tonight:-)

Thanks for letting me share a glimpse at our bounty. We are in awe of the way nature provides, and what a few plants will produce with some water and plenty of sun.

Here are a few of our garden helpers:

Garden helper2web


Blanketflower bee web 

School starts on Thursday here, so enjoy the last week of summer!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

5 Months


After a particularly difficult night, in which Aidan and Sean and Nolan each woke me up at different hours, I admit to telling Brian that I wished we could fast-forward to five years from now.

But even in that tired moment, I said, "Just for one night."

Truth is, I can't believe Nolan is five months old. He has already grown and changed so much and it is all going by too quickly.

At five months, Nolan...

*has discovered toys:-)

 Whosit toy

The whoozit toy was a gift to Sean from Katie, and I remembered washing it while pregnant with Nolan. So when I couldn't find it, I immediately blamed his brothers, whom I saw using it as an alien in one of their games. We searched through toys and under beds ...and then it arrived in a box with other goodies from my little sister. I had completely spaced lending it to her, and Aidan had the biggest grin on his face when he lifted it out of the box:-)

His favorite, though, is Sophie the Giraffe. This is Nolan's facial expression every time he sees her:


Then he gets busy trying to eat her.

Must eat toys

Yes, he's still teething and gumming everything he can get his hands on.

Brian also brought out the "exersaucer" or the farm as we call it.


Aidan and Sean also enjoy the farm, which Nolan considers a bonus. I think he's still a little young for it, but he likes bouncing himself with his legs and the feeling that he is almost-kinda-sorta standing.

Jungle gym  I prefer the jungle gym, where Nolan kicks and squeezes toys as well as chews them. He's been known to let me read a little next to him while he plays:-)

Soccer campNE 
 *is too cute for words. Seriously. Look at those toes. (Kudos to my mom who found a sun hat that actually fits this big guy's head!)

In the above photo, he was at Aidan's soccer camp. Every day for one week, his morning nap either got interrupted or postponed as we headed over to the soccer field and either hung out there or the library for two hours. I'm a big believer that kids are happier when you respect their routines and I've never believed in waking a sleeping baby...but things are definitely different for the third child.

 Thankfully Nolan is very easy-going, and even when he's overtired or out of sorts, all he needs is to be held and he's content.

Hey there

This is one of his favorite places on the planet---hanging out on Daddy's shoulder.

* weighs 19.4 lbs and is 27 inches long.

*laughs hilariously at fake sneezes, under his chin raspberries, and the gentle tickling of his toes. Often just the sound of another person's laugh will send him into his own laughing.

*still doesn't have much hair to speak of and the little he has, in some light, looks blond; in different light it looks red. So did Aidan's at this age, so who knows!

BeautifulBoy5Months Web

*LOVES patty cake and clapping with help.

*Goes to bed at 8 pm easily, but hasn't slept through the night in weeks--and often confuses 4:30 am with the start of the day!

*Sits up by himself gorilla-style (leaning forward and held up by his knuckles) for a few minutes at a time. Beams with pride.

*is a total delight and love-bug.

*loves being cuddled and kissed, and we are happy to oblige.

These are the days I wish to hold forever. But I know Nolan is already eager for all that is ahead, to be mobile and to try his first taste of food (well, his first "official" taste of food...that teeny-tiny, minuscule taste of ice cream he had in July doesn't count, right?).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

And the cd & cookies go to...


I think to win anything here, you have to live really far away. John in Beijing won our first contest, and the Bacons in Alaska won today's.

Stephanie, please email me your address and we'll start baking.

Thanks to everyone who played! We loved your song suggestions, and if you have a boy around Aidan's age, we'd be happy to send you a copy of the cd too. Just email me.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Last day for the giveaway

Contest details:

1. Submit a song suggestion for Aidan's new rockin' CD mix via a comment to this post.

2. Contest closes Tuesday, Aug 12th at midnight.

3. Winner will be chosen randomly by printing all comments and picking one out of a hat.

4. Winner will receive a dozen cookies made by Aidan and a mixed CD --either recent favorites of Aidan's mom or Aidan's new mix:-)

I'm addicted to Pioneer Woman contests and determined to win one *someday*, so I'm enjoying this little venture. Sorry, no $500 Amazon gift cards here--and no need to use the Randomizer either;-)

Everyone is welcome to leave a comment---even if you're just visiting because you googled "constipated baby" (and whomever that was yesterday, here's wishing you a full diaper and a good night sleep soon!). Just keep in mind, Aidan is six years old, so girls still have cooties and love songs aren't a big hit...yet.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Olympic Scrooge

I'm trying to get the Olympic spirit.

My husband, who normally can't sit still long enough during the day to be a big TV-sports-watcher, loves the Olympics. The guy doesn't even stay up to hear the winner on election nights, but had to stay up to see the cauldron lit last night:-)

My good friend Angie is the biggest Olympic fan I know, normally hosting Olympic-themed parties just for the occasion. Today I even got an email from my big sister Erin on how the Olympics are a holiday celebration in her family.

I get how other people see it as countries putting aside their differences to celebrate sports. But you have to turn a blind eye to see the Olympics as non-political (just ask Joey Cheek).

I'm trying--not to turn a blind eye but to change my focus. Trying to turn my focus away from the insane amount of money spent by the hosting city, (reportedly $40 billion by China this time), away from the nationalistic celebrations that leave all the peace rhetoric sounding hollow, away from the cheating and the failed drug-testing, away from the over-the-top drama that NBC uses to turn a feel-good success story into slick salesmanship, and away from my general annoyance that our TV is on more than normal for the next 2 weeks.

Least I be haunted by a ghost of Olympics Past, Future and Present, I'll remind myself of who I was in 1980, thrilled at 10 years old to be watching the Olympics on my granny's telly in Ireland when I knew none of my siblings back home could.

I'll remind myself of Aidan (who has completely caught his father's Olympic spirit), telling us tonight of his plans to medal someday in soccer, swimming and especially the high bars.

And hopefully, despite the flashy montages of NBC, I'll see the individuals from around the world whose talent and dedication have led them to this moment, whose sacrifice and hard work can cure even this cynic.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008



This boy has seen ONE episode of Ben 10, but that is all he can think/play/talk about ever since.

Sean may never get his Buzz Lightyear compass back. It is now an official omnitrix.

and Ben10 never fails with his watch!

Aidan typed that last line with some spelling help from me...and it still took much longer than I planned to spend on this entire post.

So we'll cut to the chase.

Aidan is getting older, discovering his own things that I know nothing about, and also developing his own taste in music. He wants me to make him a new CD with more "rock" music and less Broadway tunes (oh the days when he used to love to sing "Happy Talk" with me!).

Some of his favorites are "Zombie Zoo" by Tom Petty, and "Everybody was KungFu Fighting", and the Ben 10 theme (he made me add that as he is reading over my shoulder right now...urrr).

Here's the contest: leave a comment with a song suggestion for Aidan's new CD mix. Looking for songs that are rockin' enough to interest a six-year-old and innocent enough to get past his sheltering mother. And since we'll be listening to it ad nauseum, it can't be too annoying ("George of the Jungle" was fun only the first dozen times).

I'll put whatever suggestions we receive in a hat and then Aidan will pick one name to receive a mix CD of my recent favorites and some cookies made by Aidan. Sound good?

Contest closes on August 12th. Please help us out!

ETA: It makes me irrationally happy to read your comments & suggestions:-)  Maybe because I love music, love the magic of playlists/mixed tapes, and love having you leave a note. Please continue to add them---thanks to the magic of Yahoo Music Jukebox and a rare rainy afternoon, I'm able to let Aidan listen to each song and give his own yay/nay. So far "Eye of the Tiger" is a BIG hit!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hummingbird or Grasshopper?

Bird or bug

While deadheading our purple coneflowers last night (and never finishing it), these little guys were flying all around me, snacking on our Giant 4 O'Clocks and even the phlox. They hover while beating their wings just like a hummingbird, but don't appear to have any feathers or to be birds at all. There are crazy big flying grasshoppers around here, but these don't appear to be hoppers either.

Anyone know?

ETA: White-lined sphinx moth, Hyles lineata

Thanks Brian, Katie, and Eric!

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