Saturday, November 27, 2010

Gobble, gobble

Despite my promises to myself that my kids wouldn't watch so much television, the fact is, they probably watch more than they should. Then again, I truly believe everyone watches more television than the should, but, you know, it's an imperfect world.

One of the nice things about cable television (besides the good reception) is the commercial-free kids channels. Of course, they have accompanying websites with fine ideas of how you can spend yet more time with their network and characters, but how can you argue with something that ends like this:

Chocolate pudding really is delicious. If that rotten turkey baby hadn't eaten all of it, I might be eating some right now.

Look closely - the poor boy has lost his front tooth. A few days later, the other one came out, but that's another story for later.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A concert

Sometimes it's noisy here. I notice this mostly while I'm home alone wondering why it's so quiet. Don't get me wrong, I like the quiet. But, I like the noise, too. I know some day I will really miss the noise. (I'm not so sure I'll miss the mess, but that's another story.)

I can't quite figure out if this is something Suzy figured out herself or if Harry showed her. It seems he had moved on to other noisy things, but I'm glad it's back.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Have you noticed that when school starts, the months magically disappear and before you know it there are ridiculously dressed kids running about the neighborhood begging for treats? I'm convinced that it's magic, and not because of the amount of Harry Potter we've been watching lately, or, um, maybe it is...

It wouldn't be right if I didn't tell you that Harry first suggested that we dress Suzy up as a mandrake (you know, the screaming root plants from the 2nd movie) before he settled in on Hedwig the Owl. Given the below, maybe we should have stuck with the first idea...

Special thanks to my mom, who sewed on more white triangle feathers than I could cut, proving yet again that I am really her favorite.

Monday, September 27, 2010


On Saturday, Harry and I went to the Badger game. We stayed until just before half time, and then headed over to the bookstore, Library Mall and the Memorial Union. We had a great time and enjoyed Babcock Hall ice cream. But, I'm slightly concerned.

He observed the boy cheerleaders throwing the girls in the air, and of course thought that was cool. He also liked the action on the field. The following ensued:

Cindy: So, do you want to be a boy cheerleader or a football player?
Harry: Mom, I'll just be the boss.
Cindy: The boss of the football team?
Harry: No, the boss of this whole place.

Sigh. Teen years are going to be fun. So, let's look at this picture from the first day of school.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A book

When I was a little girl, I had a Little Golden Book titled Where did the baby go? I loved this book - it seemed so clever. This sweet girl, that I thought looked just like me, found a baby picture and was curious as to where the baby went. Of course, the baby was her. I pose the same question to you, based on the images below.

I know. And she walks around calling herself 'Sup-ah Suze'. It's hard to explain to her that with the hat, we should really be calling her Huggy Bear, but soon enough, soon enough. And, if we're being honest here (isn't everyone honest on the internet?) I really don't want that strange young man below calling her Huggy Bear.

I mean, just kill me dead with the cute, right?

Monday, August 30, 2010

I refuse

You see, Wednesday is the first day of school in these parts. The first day of first grade, more particularly. I'm not going to go into some sort of spiral about how the small boy is really getting to be a big boy, because all I need to do is walk over to the playground on Wednesday afternoon and see the 5th graders. He's really still just a little kid. But, I do refuse to allow my next (this one, confusing I know) post about the first day of school.

Some day we are going to take a State Fair vacation. No, I know what you're thinking - it's not a vacation from going to the State Fair, it's a vacation that is planned around other State Fairs so we can go to more than one in a year.

You may have seen an earlier version of this one. We stopped at the Elegant Farmer for some peach blueberry crisp a few weeks back after going to the pool.

As you can see, we really worked up an appetite over at the pool.

And, there just wasn't enough fish to go around.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Something happened

I really do pay careful attention. Well, at least I try to - but apparently there are so many distractions. Do you see that chin? And, to make things worse, while we were in the Kohl's this morning, he picked out his own shoes and hat. Yes, that hat. He wore it all day long. Even while in the movie theatear (his pronunciation) for the Toy Story 3 viewing this afternoon. Somehow still hanging on to his few mispronunciations seems oddly important tonight. And then there's the matter of the sunflowers. (We're not talking about the tomatoes. It only encourages them.) I'll admit that I have not been paying any attention to these at all. They are so easy to miss. Especially when looking out my bedroom window, on the second floor.

So, if you find yourself in need of some cherry tomatoes, sunflower seeds or square chins, come see us. But not tomorrow. Tomorrow we are headed to the state fair. Heaven.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The beach

There were so many possible things we could have done yesterday afternoon. So many of those things could be considered 'productive'. But, tell me, where else could we have done this?

Of course, now you can do it in our car, or in our bathtub...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It's a bad day.

Scene: Cindy, Harry and Suzy walk out of the house at 8 am this morning. Temperature: roughly 80F. Relative humidity: so thick it should by all measures of reasonableness be raining.

Cindy: Whew, it's warm.Harry: Yeah, it's HOT HOT HOT
Suzy: Hey, a nuk!
Cindy: Come on, we've got to go!
Harry: You know what it's a bad day for, Mom?
Cindy: What Harry? Suzy, get in the damn car!
Suzy: Bye! Bye! Bye! (waves to the house)
Harry: A snowball fight.

Hope you're staying cool.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A hammock

Who knew they were so fun? You can lie there with your sister, or your brother. You can swing. You can mount from the end and launch the other. The hospital bills are unimaginable!

They are also a great place to hide and appear 'busy' while your parents cute down an insane amount of bushes and drag them to the curb.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The days are just packed

We've officially moved into our summer Saturday morning routine - local farmer's market, being ever grateful for air conditioning, getting closer to friends with pools and other important things. Our girl is coming along nicely - she's filled with words; a head, a shoe, a foot, a eye (poke), and a whole sentence last week, 'Hey, a nuk!' She's also working on Harry, which most often sounds like 'arrow'.

But, friends, I fear it's become the summer of ice cream sandwiches. They are everywhere.

They are making hair grow.

And squaring off chins.

See you at the farmer's market.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The 4th

Some of you know we live close to the park. And since this park does 4th of July festivities, I always feel compelled to have a party at the house on the 4th. Things got a little out of hand a few years ago - there were over 100 people here and I made Pete put up a tent. He remarked it was kind of like a wedding.

Thankfully we're still married.

Since then, we've scaled back, but we always manage to have a pack of Harry's friends here for the fireworks. Somehow, I took zero, nil, null, zip pictures of this event. It's a mystery. How could I have been eating sweet cherry pie with almond crumble and savoy cilantro mint slaw instead of taking pictures?

And, my fellow gumshoes, any idea on what happened to my strawberries? I've gathered the evidence.
She ate the bottom of each and every one. And then informed me that the rest of the container was, and I quote, 'uck.' She's got an expanding vocabulary - it includes nuk, fish, Daisy and Harry. But, the best is the oinking like a pig whenever she sees a happy porker.

Meanwhile, this past weekend, we took 9th place in the decorated wagon division ($6 in prize money) and somehow we crammed all these arms and legs back in for the ride home. Hope you had a great weekend.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A gift

The kids gave Pete and fabulous Father's Day gift this year. On Thursday, we packed up and drove about as far north as the great state of Wisconsin would let us to visit my sister Mimi.

We stopped a Summit Lake for a swim. If you haven't been to Summit Lake, you should hop on 45 and go. It's worth the drive. Plus, it's like a historic site, since that's where I took my first steps. Really. And, the dudes there are awesome. Check out this guy:
Suzy was kind enough to teach us that it's important to accessorize.

And then, thank goodness. Oh, wait, I didn't tell you this part yet. We let Pete stay home. I took the kids by myself. But, wait, thank goodness I was saying, we found Oma and Papa. And they read us a story. And posed for crazy pictures.

But Aunt Mimi... she took us to an excellent restaurant with great waitstaff and got us a fire house/ambulance tour.

We may have lost a tooth along the way (and composed an explanatory note to the tooth fairy related to digestion) but Suzy hasn't been the same since I caught her with those 4 salty dogs.

Did I mention that Pete stayed home? I know, how awesome am I?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Finally, a mini-me

So, this boy of ours. There are days that I look at him and I see my brother - the boy with a gross of bottle rockets (or the one who overheated the brakes on a Volvo station wagon a few years later). Then, there are days where I think, 'that must be what Peter looked like as a little boy' and then I don't know if I'm sad because my rotten brother moved away or thrilled that I have a little window to see what Pete must have been like as a boy.

But, this boy, look at him. 10 days left of kindergarten. It seems impossible.

And, don't tell anyone, but this boy told me that he loves me just a little bit more than he loves his dad. Of course, we all knew this but we weren't actually supposed to say it. It made me love him all the more. That, and he used the stick to write his name and not something else.

But this girl. Birger was right - she's been nothing but trouble since the start. Look at those feet. And, if you ask her, she'll very politely say, 'shoooooe?'

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Running away from home

We ran away to Boston last week Wednesday. The kids were on an Oma/Grandma vacation. A good time was had by all. Predictably, Pete and I decided we should really move to Boston since it is such a nice city and there's all that chowder around (well, not as much as there was before we got there) and the nice sea air and the historical places and the exorbitant cost of living. Sigh. But, we were happy for a bit.

Our sweet girl expanded her vocabulary while we were gone - on Wednesday, just after our plane took off, she declared, 'Shoe?' to my mother. And yesterday, she managed 'bubbles?'. I really like how each one actually starts off as a question. Meanwhile, she's working on something that sounds like 'Daisy' but might actually be Suzy.

Oh, and Harry. He declared, upon returning to my parent's house on Friday night: 'This is the kind of house I like; no dog, no angry parents and 103 movies!'

I don't think Daisy likes him anymore anyways.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The game

We're headed out of town on Wednesday, without the kids - I still cannot believe we're leaving them for 4 days. I'm sure the Grandma's will have them well in hand, after all, Pete and I appear to be still here and living productive lives. Ahem.

I'm trying to make sure I remember everything, which of course isn't going to happen because traveling automatically puts you on the board for the 'what did I forget game'. Last time it was toothpaste, honestly, how do you forget toothpaste?

Meanwhile, I've been meaning to tell you for a while now that we made cupcake pops a while back. Because I'm not completely insane (really) I called for back up. Aunt Mary Beth, Katie and Patrick were great help - not only in getting these ridiculous things made, but also of disposing of them to ensure that my pants still fit. And they were just so darned cute here that I had to share:

Don't you wish she was your orchestra teacher?

Friday, April 9, 2010


We've been off all week, sort of a vacation at home (I know, but I think staycation is a ridiculous word and I refuse to help in it's proliferation) and we've kept busy with trips to the zoo to research clown fish (note - they don't have any) and making chocolate pudding.

But, I've been meaning to show you our budding artist's work. I'm not sure how that dear sweet art teacher got him to sit still long enough to mimic Cezanne, but we were impressed. The piece (I know I've just called my kindergartner's rip off of famous art 'the piece', but just give me the moment here) was displayed in the school district office.
And, you know, it was the best one there....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A reason

Back before we had 2 kids, people would tell us that it wasn't that big of a deal to have a second. I always assumed this was codswallop, and let me tell you, it really truly is codswallop. (I like that word today. Go with it.)

But then they do things that can just kill you dead with the cute. Like tell you that pancakes would make their legs feel better. Really, they would. Just make the pancakes and my legs will feel better and then I'll go to school. Otherwise I'll be forced to just lie here all day and play the Wii.
Or, please buy me that handband at Target. Then I'll wear it while I stand on the kitchen chairs while you make food for me to eat. And I'll look sweet while I do it. Look at me.

But, mostly, when that ridiculous brother of mine wails on the steps about whether or not his 5 minutes are up, I'll climb up next to him and be ridiculously cute. More cute than you can take. See? Just try to stand it.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The word

Cindy: 'Suzy, come by mom for a new nappie.'
Suzy, lips in perfect O form, 'Nooooooooooooooooooo.'

Honestly, I ask you, how does one not file into a pile of giggles when a lovely little girl says such a thing? Especially, when she then walks over, arms back, belly out and plops herself down on the ground with legs up for the change?

It seems when she wakes up each morning, she is an inch taller and tries to figure out something new to do. Yesterday she started on the landing of the stairs and used the railing to walk down as we would. Upon alighting, she threw her arms up in 'yay baby' form and expected applause.

Of course, this is all preferable to Harry's antics over the weekend, which ended with his cousin at the emergency room getting 5 stitches. Blood is so gross.

But isn't he just the most handsome thing you've ever seen?

Monday, February 22, 2010

To dunk or not to dunk

I know it leaves horrible crumbs in your milk. I'll confess that I never finish the milk anyway. The milk is only there to dunk the cookie. Just ask them:

We're still negotiating which are the best cookies.

Reasonable expectations

An essential part of a successful life, in my opinion, is how to set reasonable expectations to protect yourself from disappointment, relying too much on others or signing yourself up for too much*. When it comes to breakfast, or really, anything edible, our little Suzy has a fair bit of work to do regarding managed expectations.

Case in point, some drumsticks. You know, the delicious ice cream cones with peanuts and a chocolate bottom.

My thought on what's going through her sweet little head during this photo shoot:
  • Top left: This is awful! Why would she eat that in front of me. All I have is this thing making a mess on my hand over here
  • Top right: Finally. Did she think I would stop screaming without this in my mouth?
  • Bottom left: Can you hold this for me?
  • Bottom right: Can I have another?

*talk to me on Sunday about signing up for too much while I'm licking my wounds from having publicly humiliated myself on a beautiful Steinway.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

How to...

Kids are funny. No matter how cold it is or what kind of snow you get they want to play in it. So, here's little how to on snowmen when the universe sends you the wrong kind of snow (and believe me, according to me, there is no RIGHT kind of snow).

1. Get a shovel and push the soft puffy non-adhesive snow into a pile.
2. Nag your mother for supplies while she overexposes you with light
3. Sit proudly with your new apple faced friends.

Meanwhile, it's never to early to think about the importance of a good pair of boots.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pancakes and other piles

Most days when Harry gets home from school, he leaves a pile like this somewhere:

I always think of it as a visual deep sigh. And then he retreats to the couch in his underpants and t-shirt to unwind from a stressful day of kindergarten. (She said without an ounce of sarcasm.)

Of course, most mornings, we are willing to go the extra mile to keep him on the right side of happy, since he is. not. a morning person. And most mornings, this means pancakes. Oh, we've had our fits and starts with them, from the Smitten Kitchen (good tips, too much buttermilk) to Barefoot Contessa (a little complicated for every day) and even the Pioneer Woman (just bad. and no buttermilk).

And finally we landed on Alton Brown's recipe. And we were happy.

And our pants don't fit.

So, now we make a 1/2 recipe and fry up 1 pancake per morning for that glorious boy.

And he was happy.