Tuesday, May 31, 2011

From the Garden

The sweetest strawberries!

Strawberry plants can be expensive to buy, but once you've tasted a strawberry right out of your garden it is completely worth it!

I bought strawberry plants two years ago from Burpee, but I don't remember what variety.They came in a hanging bag, but the first year we had barely any strawberries. Those bags just don't work, unless you remember to water them several times a day. Even then, they probably just aren't the best way to grow fruit. I decided the strawberry plants should be planted, so I planted them in the ground in the fall and they survived. The next year they came up and were OK, but we still did not have very many strawberries. OK, so part of that was our one year old who LOVES strawberries, and he would pick and eat them white, leaving us with very few red berries. But this year, we have so many strawberries! They multiplied and are really taking off! They are also very sweet berries - no extra sugar needed! Yum! I expect we'll have a bowl each day at least this big for the next week or more - and that is not including the ones that never make it into the house and are eaten right out of the garden.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Happy 11th Birthday to Velvet! 

I decided to make some cake pops for her birthday.  The kids LOVE them.  They are a little too sweet for me.  I made these with vanilla cake with vanilla frosting so Velvet could have one.  I may try them once more with chocolate cake and some vegan cream cheese frosting, and I'll probably prefer those. I dipped of few of these in melted Ghiradelli chocolate chips and sprinkled some coconut on top, which Andy seemed to enjoy, while complaining about how much sugar these contain. 

Present time!

She really didn't need anything for her birthday, so we just wrapped up some treats for her. She loves unwrapping presents!  Her favorite activity is going for walks, so we planned on taking her for a long walk for her birthday, but because of the weather that didn't work out. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Last night Faye was riding her 'new' bike we found on Craigslist, and Alex ran right in front of her and they crashed. I was in the house making dinner, and suddenly heard two kids screaming.  Andy came running in the house with both of them, Alex's face completely covered in blood. Head wounds have so much blood! I know this, but every time (luckily this is rare) I see one of the kids dripping with blood, it really freaks me out!  

We really had no idea where all the blood was coming from at first, but we got him cleaned up and saw that it was his lip.  His tooth went all the way through his lip and through his skin underneath his lip.  He also banged up his teeth on the top, but he was screaming so we really couldn't get a good look to see if any of them were loose.  I called the nurse to see if he needed to come in or go to the ER.  Since his tooth went all the way through and it was on his skin rather than his lip, they said he would probably need stitches and he would have to go to the ER.  Faye ended up with a pretty good scrape on her knee, but luckily was OK otherwise.

At the ER
At the ER, the nurse came in right way and checked on him, and warned me once again he would probably have to have a couple stitches. The doctor ended up not stitching up his lip, but he will be on antibiotics for awhile to make sure he doesn't get an infection.  She said she would normally stitch something like this, which would help prevent infection, but he's so little it would be traumatic for him, and me too, and he'll probably have a scar either way. His teeth on the top seem to be OK, just bruised gums.

This morning
Here's the 'new' bike!  Faye doesn't seem too traumatized by the crash. She was still smiling this morning telling me how much she loves her new bike. It's a vintage Schwinn Bantam. Andy probably knows the year, but I really have no idea.  It might need a little work on the back tire, but otherwise seems to be in good shape!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Biking and Slip N Slide

We told the kids that they had to learn to ride their bikes this year. It was no longer a choice with gas prices so high. I'm hoping they'll become good enough that we can ride bikes to school next fall, at least when the weather is nice. Sorry Andy, but we WILL NOT be riding in snow or ice!

Drew could almost ride his bike 2 summers ago, but then last summer was crazy busy so we barely rode at all. A few weeks ago we took an old garage sale bike, cut off the pedals, and turned it into a balance bike. I saw an article about it someplace, and I've heard good things about balance bikes for small kids. It lets them learn how it feels to balance on a bike, but still be able to put their feet down easily and catch themselves if they need to. We had both the kids practice a few times on the balance bike, as well as Andy holding the seat while they pedal on their bike, and now they can both ride! They need some more practice getting started, stopping, and turning, but they will figure all that out with more practice! They can both get started when riding down the small hill by our house, but need some help when going uphill.

Of course my actual video camera was not charged, but I took a few videos with my camera.

They were hot after all that biking today, so we got out the Slip N Slide!

Unfortunately Alex broke it today, so we might be looking for a new one this summer. I bought this one for $5 at Target last year, and they used it quite a bit, so it was worth it. Are there any out there that last longer?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Time for a new one!

We had to get rid of our old swing set first thing this spring. It was our neighbor's old swing set, which he passed to us the first year we moved in here.  We figured it was free so why not? The kids used it for a couple years, but all last year it was home to several large wasp nests.  The kids have all been stung by a wasp at least once, and I would have to dodge wasps every time I mowed the grass by the swing set. It was time for it to go!

The box is the best part!
We looked around for several weeks, trying to decide if we should get a new one and which one to get.  I wanted to get a nice wooden play-set for the kids, but the ones that we could afford looked like junk.  Serious junk! The reviews were not great either. Andy found a Jump n Swing at Sears and thought it looked fun.  Fun, but I know the kids and I'm sure they'll turn it into something dangerous very quickly. 

Andy spent all evening putting it together, finishing the slide last.  They could not wait to try the slide!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spring photos

Drew - My little stunt man

He stands on the teeter totter and Faye (and sometimes Alex too) tries as hard as she can to knock him off by making it go up and down really fast while he's standing.  He can stand on there for quite some time!

Alex - At Touch a Truck

The little kids could run up the ramp and then slide down. It was crazy but he had so much fun with this!

Faye - Now a Brownie Girl Scout

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Mario poem by Drew

Drew wrote a few poems at school too.  Of course he wrote about Mario! Really, what else is there to write about when you're a 6 year old boy? Star Wars maybe?  I found one of those too!

Title: Mario
Mario can you save the princess hurry up go mario go kill bowser and bowsers enemies too and go Mario save that princess.

This is what he typically brings home from school - a Mario drawing, so to get some writing from him is amazing! He draws an almost identical Mario each day!

And finally, a non-Mario poem.  Can you believe it?

Title: Easter egg hunt
We went to Grandma and Grandpa's to do a Easter egg hunt I was so excited I said when will we have the Easter egg hunt we found lots eggs some egg are upstairs some are downstairs.  (I'm not sure if this is exactly right, but I tried my best. If anyone can figure out the two words after 'we found' let me know).

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Poems by Faye

I thought these poems Faye wrote at school were really creative/cute.

Last week in Library they read a book and then did a writing activity.  They were to write what they would put in their mixing bowl or words related to baking.  Faye wrote 'egg replacer'.  She's such a vegan kid!  I don't know if Drew will be vegan or vegetarian when he is older, but I have a feeling Faye will almost always be vegetarian.  

2nd tooth is gone!

Faye lost her 2nd tooth on Friday night!

It was just barely hanging in there for the past few days, so we were expecting it to fall out at anytime.  I can't believe it stayed in there as long as it did. The kids were going to spend the weekend at Grandma and Grandpa's house, so when she left on Friday I sent her tooth fairy pillow with her, just in case.  I wasn't sure if she should wait until she came back home if she lost her tooth, or hope the tooth fairy could find Grandma's house. What's the proper procedure for these things? The tooth fairy found Grandma and Grandpa's house, and left her two silver dollars!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lack of blogging and my vintage sofa

Its been crazy busy at our house the past few weeks, so that explains my lack of blogging. Well, that and I just don't have anything interesting to say (did I ever?), and my SD card was not working, so I really couldn't take pictures. It seems that we have something almost every evening now, with swim lessons, girl scouts, boy scouts, appointments, playdates, etc. I'm exhausted and overwhelmed and so far behind on everything, but I'm still running! I thought that after my 5K I wouldn't be very motivated to keep running, but it is just the opposite. I feel even MORE motivated to run. In fact, I decided to take a break the first week after my 5K, but by the 3rd or 4th day I felt like I absolutely HAD TO RUN!

I've been searching for a new sofa almost since we bought our sofa 7 years ago at Slumberland. I never really loved it. From the moment we got it, it seemed like we had issues with it. Especially after a few years, when all the poof was deformed and lopsided and gross. Never again will I own a poofy sofa, but it is really hard to find a non-poofy sofa, at least in our price range. Then I found one on Craigslist. A vintage Henredon sofa, that was reupholstered a year ago. I went to look at it, and loved it. The woman selling it inherited it from a grandmother. It sat in her grandmother's fancy living room, so it was barely ever used. It originally was a white brocade fabric, but she didn't like it so she had it reupholstered a year ago. I couldn't imagine why she was selling it, but she told me she was pregnant and didn't want it to be ruined by a little one. The sofa doesn't photograph well because of the fabric, but it is a very high quality sofa, with down cushions. We don't really know how old the sofa is (20+ years for sure), but we love it!

They were going to deliver it to our house several days after we agreed to buy it, and I kept expecting her to call me and tell me she had changed her mind. Really, I was freaking out. But it is ours, and she also gave me the roll of leftover fabric, just in case. Hopefully we won't need to recover anything anytime soon. The kids are not allowed to even have water near the sofa.

I've been waiting for a reason to buy this fabric, and finally I had it. I only bought enough to make one pillow for our sofa, but I'll be buying more next week to make another or several more. Asian inspired toile de jouy!