Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's a Ladder! It's a Backpack! No, It's a Hover Craft!

These are possibly one of the best toys ever.
With a very interesting name.

T got them from J's sister for Christmas.  They link together in all kinds of ways and are a bit moveable.  He plays with them more days than not.

Sometimes he goes abstract with them.
A large appendage growing out of the Bat Cave.

 Some sort of Super Man hover craft.

Other times he's a bit more practical.
 A ladder for Spider Man to climb up to a lookout on the "decorative" oars. ;)

A backpack for carrying the ladder.

And even better, sometimes they use them together. 
A two-seated vehicle of some sort.

We definitely love Zoobs.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Butter Side Down

How she eats her toast (or english muffins).

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It Started With The Chocolate Chips (Pantry Remix)

The chocolate chip bag kept falling over and mushing into the peanut butter.  
And the cracker boxes a few shelves up were constantly falling over (Wire shelves!--read like "Newman!").

So, I bought a few containers for the chocolate chips and crackers.
 But then before I knew it, the rubber mallet and I had taken out all of the wire shelves.

And started to paint.

A really, really crazy color--gray.  Warm, cozy sweatshirt gray.  (It's so dramatic, isn't it? ;)

And apparently, nothing will bring out the imagination quite like a table covered in sundries (or an empty pantry closet). 
 M has her little dolls traipsing through the canned goods table-scape.

The baskets were re-lined with fresh cardboard to add a nice flat surface for stacking cans and boxes.  And, yes, the obligatory organized-pantry labels were added. ;)

But most importantly, I rearranged the items on the shelves to make more sense for little hands.
(And never needed the containers I had originally bought to fix the chocolate chip bag problem.)
The Details:
  • The cereals and crackers moved down to a kid-friendly level (eliminating the need for THIS.). 
  • The plastic bags also found a more user-friendly home (from the top corner, to right beside the snacks).  (I need to stand on my tip-toes to reach the top shelf.)
  • The chips and pretzels that used to be all falling down up there on the top left got their very own basket--still on the top.
  • And the vinegars and oils got pulled out of a very congested corner.
  • We have only two cookbooks--the leafy binder and the Weber cookbook that's hiding under it.
  • We do use the mixer and bread maker quite regularly.  (Let me clarify--J uses the bread maker regularly--he's very good at making bread. :)
  • We have another pantry for stuff like paper plates, flours and sugars, etc. in a BIG cupboard in the laundry room. 
And the gray--it's so...drastic. ;)  (But it definitely covered up all of those scuff marks.)

A quick, easy project that makes it all work better.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Funnies: Said I NEVER

Working in her math workbook:

"I mean, I never thought math was fun and then we did multiplication.
If I had to choose a favorite thing it would be multiplication."

(Who says that?!  She is quite obviously her father's daughter. ;)

"Five is a really great number.  It takes up your whole hand!  
Next year I'll have to start using the other hand, too."

"Look, Mommy!  A Dinosaur!" 
(Made out of cheerios--if you squint maybe you can see it.  
Kind-of like looking for shapes in the clouds.
And who knew she knew what a dinosaur was?)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

High 5 For Friday: Celebrating 5 (Family Style)

1.  Arriving (after another 4-hour turned into 6-hour drive) ready to celebrate (with 2 out of 3 of my sisters).

2.  Chilling with Aunt Debra, who was "kidnapped" by M for most of the weekend. (Also the proud new roommate of Pink Doll--who I hear had a very pleasant ride to her new house stowed away in a suitcase.  Hahahaha. ;)

3.  GrammyKathy making the famous 7-minute icing.  (In her version of a double boiler.)

4.  Everybody licking the icing pan clean--because it is without a doubt--the best icing ever.

5.  The birthday guy.

Linking up here:


Dear Birdseed Eaters

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Turning 5

T turns five today.  Last night I asked him for my last 4-year-old hug and kiss. (*bittersweet sigh*)  Then, with tears in his eyes he looked at me and said, "Well...I'm a little bit sad about turning five."  Oh, yeah?  "Yeah.  What if when I'm five I don't like the same things I like now when I'm four?"  I'm pretty sure you'll still like the same things, Buddy.  "Hmm....yeah, I guess boys all kind of like the same things always."  Yep, pretty much. :)

This morning he looked seriously at his hands and said, "Well, I don't look any different.  I still look like when I was four."  (I so wonder what magical thing he thought would happen. ;)

He's out celebrating the day with his most favorite person--Daddy (who surprised him by coming home at lunch to spend the afternoon together.).  

Happy Birthday, T!  Love you!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Dear Wintery Morning

Dear Wintery Morning,

As I bustled about my usual morning chores, I saw you out there all snow-sugar frosted.  Shrouded in fog, but with the crispest blue sky.  You were a winter wonderland.  Maybe even one of the last this year?  But it was a school day.  Hurry, hurry!

Or was it?

Argh...  Is it really okay to cancel school?  On a Thursday?  To play in a winter wonderland?  A phone call answer, "They won't remember another day of school, but they'll totally remember a morning in the snow."  

Amen.  (And love you, J.)

 And, so, dear Wintery Morning, we dashed (after sending a quick note to T's teacher, excusing him from school to play and as quickly as you can when you need to cover every surface of 4 bodies, save the faces, in layers and layers of zippered and elastic-banded gear, remembering the potty break before the snow pants) into building tree forts (with fireplaces for cooking fish--soggy leaves pulled from tiny streams),

Climbing taller than our tallest,

Laying on our backs peering up into the treetops to watch the melting snow fall (in our eyes),
(All in places we would never dream of exploring in warm-weather tick-infested forests.)

Having all the fun we could pack into a morning before lunch-time dentist appointments and snow fleas.

Wintery Morning, thank you for the gift of snow-covered morning memories.

The Mommy

Linking up with Lauren over at Traded Dreams today: 

Open Letter Campaign

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sparkly Green Earrings

A laugh-out-loud-to-yourself-in-a-quiet-room book.

Or, more often, a laugh-out-loud-to-yourself-in-a-room-full-of-chattering-small-people-during-the-middle-of-the-day-when-you-never-read-to-yourself-but-you-can't-put-it-down book.

And just as much a wipe-away-the-tears-before-anyone-sees-you-and-starts-talking-to-you-to-see-what's-wrong-but-please-don't-ask-because-you-don't-want-to-be-interrupted book.

And most definitely a "I-have-to-tell-every-mom-I-know-about-this-book" book.

Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Couch the Pennies Bought

We needed a new basement couch.
T would like something fun to do while M and I delve deep into the ancient world.
The money jar was overflowing (counting money is a tedious chore).

Have T sort the change.
Use the money towards a new couch.
Learn the value of money (at least of coins.) 

Sorting quarters by state is awesome for geography.
Sorting pennies by year (back to 1911) is awesome for history.

Bonus Bonus:
A new, inexpensive couch perfect for the basement and half-way paid for by the money rolls.

Spiderman circa 1981 (with the couch pulled out for "theater seating.").

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Funnies: Parking Lot Skiing

Before the Blizzard on Friday we had been waking up to a light dusting of snow almost every day.

I was holding Beza's hand one morning as we walked across the parking lot into the grocery store.  She started to slip on the snow but didn't fall because of my hand.  She exclaimed, "I'm skiing!  Like M and T!  I'm skiing!"

Perhaps she's seen just a video or two of the big kids doing their thing.
Her favorite and often worn head-wear--a purple skirt under a chef hat. :)

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Nothing Says You're a Miller Like

Hip Hop.

(Excuse me while I wipe the tears from my eyes. ;)

Today M and T started going to a hip hop class.  And this is so funny because there is nary a single musical gene between J and me.  In college we took a ballroom dance class together.  For credit.  For an actual grade.  We passed by the skin of our teeth and probably then only because there were a few handwritten tests that tipped the scales in our favor.  Seriously, beyond that we lack all abilities to move with any sort of musicality, neither one of us can hear the beat.  Oh, we can pretend.  And we try to convince the other person that we're on it.  We might even be for a count or two.  And then all bets are off. 

But, T-man has some mad freestyle moves that make us shake our heads.  Where did this come from?  Surely, this must be nurtured.  (Clearly, not by us.) 

And the class?  Straight up hilarious.  I was so thankful that I could hide my laughter behind Beza's head.  Watching them try to follow choreographed moves was like watching myself at aerobics--I try really, really hard, but I just have no clue what I'm doing.  But, by the end, they were actually looking good out there.  And T rocked the free-style portions--can't get enough of that. :)