talk about it more

a virtual baby book

When she was two, Fiona regularly said "Talk about it more!" to express her desire to know more about whatever we were discussing.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Big sisters rejoice

Ian had to work, and a number of ladies were already meeting at our house that day as well, but Fiona and Nora still got to celebrate Big Sisterhood with friends Helena and Ada even though neither parent could attend. They played games, ate dino cake, and made merry with a number of friends. Now all there is to do is wait for our newest little friend to arrive!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Food: it does a body good

I wasn't sure we were going to make it to this field trip today with 75 other homeschoolers. Nora urped down her shirt right before we left the house. But she said she felt fine so we chalked it up to a fluke and went to visit our local food bank.

I'm so glad we went! Not only did Nora buck up, we all learned a lot about the needs of our community. Homeschoolers are in a great position to be able to help, because their schedules are sometimes more flexible during the day. I was thrilled to find a volunteering outlet that was suitable for families with young children. The kids are hoping to make this a new Extreme Helping Hands project. I'm in communication with both the local bread outlet store and also the food bank. I hope so too.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


The kids went outside to play with the neighbors while I cleaned off the lunch table. Fiona had popped inside the back door to put a walnut, a feather, and a piece of bark onto the table. I was talking to my Dad and emptying the dishwasher when peals of screaming came in from the back door.

Nora had slipped on the soggy wet grass by the garage and hit her head on the bricks by the garage entry. Her knee hurt too, but it was mostly her head that was making her scream like that. She said she didn't hit her head, which was alarming since she clearly did, but she began making sense soon afterward. Her pupils look even, anyhow.

The contusions don't look too bad at all-- it's just that they spread from above her eyebrow down her face to her nose. There's no evidence on the palms of her hands that she tried to stop her fall. Awwwwwwwwwww, Nora.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dry, dry dry

Have we yet announced that Nora only wears diapers to bed anymore, and is actively working to phase those out too? Big, big girl.

Book group day

I forgot my camera, so these pictures are actually from last month and sadly don't show everyone, but today was our book group co-op day; and it was pretty special. We discussed Love That Dog, a book of poetry by Sharon Creech. The kids selected bone-shaped questions from a dog bowl, wrote poems to decorate a poet-tree (get it?!), performed a little reader's theater, shared poems aloud, and ate brownies just like the kids from Miss Stretchberry's class. Great activities all.

But the most wonderful part was, and I think always is, when the kids began to chime in with original thoughts and questions. I'm so glad we know this fabulous bunch of people.

Bluejeans critique

Fiona's incredulous analysis during handwriting practice this morning: Mom, the people who made these pants didn't really measure anything!

When she put her hands in her pockets, the pockets didn't feel like the same size. They look OK to me, but what do I know?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's never a bad time to brush teeth

Fiona and I went to the library today to see some Science Fair exhibits our friends made. The judging was still going on when we arrived; but there's never a shortage of entertainment at the library, so we just decided to wander around and enjoy some Big Girl Time together.

Sure enough, we discovered a tooth program where Fiona got to brush hard, white little teeth in stuffed animal mouths (surreal!), try to brush soda pop gunk off eggshells, meet a Tooth Fairy, play a true and false game, and decide which foods are good and bad for your teeth. When the hygienist applauded Fiona for knowing raisins were good for her body but bad for her teeth unless she brushed right away, Fiona piped up "We could just eat grapes! Those don't stick nearly so much in my teeth, and raisins are just dried grapes!" That's my girl.

Arty smarty Saturdays

Nora's usual ballet class filled up too quickly this semester, and we had paid ahead for a class, so we decided to enroll Fiona in something else this time around. She now enjoys a watercolors class on Saturdays from 9:15-10:45 with five other young students. It has been a great fit for her.

She comes home using words like 'vehicle' and 'space' and, unlike her summer art classes, comes home with completed work fairly often. Her teacher is quite pleased with her progress, and we are too. Fiona revels in this environment and we'll all be kind of let down when the class ends. She would also like to be dancing with her ballet buddies; but this class, along with the one she takes every other Friday afternoon, has really been a boon for our eldest child.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Don't count on Mom for the sympathy vote

A couple days ago, I asked Fiona to take some surplus groceries to the basement pantry shelf. It's cold down there, so I usually recommend the kids put on slippers. Why do they like to go barefoot year-round otherwise, even when their feet are like ice?

She put on the slippers and began yelping with pain. "When I step down in my slippers, it really hurts!" If you could see her slippers, you might understand a little bit of my skepticism. It's hard to see any of her foot because of all the downy pink luxuriance.

I told her she was simply going to have to find a way to get down the stairs in her softy pink slippers with a load or two of jars. She did it, but she looked so genuinely pained when she was finished that I went out to the living room to look at her foot.

Sure enough, she had a pencil eraser-sized puncture wound in the arch of her foot, with a tender halo of pink around it and a bruise just beginning around the perimeter. I gasped in surprise. As it turns out, she had stepped on a horse's tiara the day before. Why I never heard about that is beyond me, considering I'm never further away than the washing machine.

No sooner than I began monitoring it with real concern, it began to disappear. I hung the offending tiara on her toe for the proof shots today. Fiona is tougher than I thought!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Just peachy

Today Fiona, Nora, Dever and I met Tessa and Elena to see James and the Giant Peach performed downtown. This time we listened to the book beforehand instead of afterward, and we've been writing down some of the things that we imagine would happen if we had a giant peach ourselves. Dever's story involves some solar panels and flying pizza dough. Fiona's concerns a guinea pig that lives in our backyard. It's heady stuff. I think we'll enter them in the Reading Rainbow Young Authors and Illustrators contest, actually.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Everyday valentines

Fiona has only made a couple valentines this year, and the ones she made are not, generally, being distributed on Valentine's Day. I wanted to remember this series though, so we took a picture of Helena's. Fiona's people so surprised me that I got choked up. I love the details like Fiona making the AOK sign with her fingers, and Helena, whom I had said was growing her hair out (so she got a whole headful) is daintily holding her skirt for the smooch.

Fiona loves art in many mediums. It makes it very easy to just have supplies around and let her do her thing. She is currently reading Love That Dog, and her cards carry over her thoughts about the book.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy science day!

We met Heather, Paul, Helena, Ada, Lettie, Zelle, and Lena today at the local science hangout. As fun as it is to investigate things hands-on, it's always better with a friend or seven! We enjoyed a picnic lunch there and then just partied until we crashed. There was a bridge testing contest going on as well as birthday parties and other madness, so it was just frenetic! We had a great time, but we also slept very, very well that night.

Friday, February 13, 2009

That's some Annie Rose!

Sharon and I try to keep track better, but even with our best intentions our kids do not get together very often. This is a doggone shame because Annie Rose & fam are true blue friends for Fiona and the rest of us, too.

Much to our delight, Sharon had some tickets to our local production of Charlotte's Web, and Fiona, Nora and Ian were tickled pink to attend with Annie and her mother. They all enjoyed the show, but that was nowhere near as gratifying as spending time with such a wonderful friend. Thanks, Annie Rose and Sharon. You're terrific!

Puddle jumping in February

We got so much rain over the past 48 hours that, had it been snow, we would've been digging ourselves out a week later. As it was, the girls were thrilled to put on their boots and wade on our back deck. I was pleased to begin moving our raised garden to the side yard. With a couple more days like that, I could've moved the soil, too. Oh well. Spring is right around the corner, isn't it?

Oh! We have a blog, do we?

The hustle of the past couple weeks combined with Ian's nighttime need for our computer has cut down on our entries, huh? I wouldn't want to forget about the fun, crazy things that have been happening here, so I think I'm going to work backwards. If no one awakens too early, I might even get something done. In the meantime, entries will go backwards and possibly also forwards. Now to dump 150 pics and vids off the camera...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Soccer fun

Fiona started a soccer class today. The deal: for one child it costs $25/session. Bring a friend and both come for free! When our neighbor Dever invited us, we were thrilled. It's a small class with lots of personalized attention. She feels right at home there and is gaining skills in sport and sportsmanship. These are blurry pictures, but they just move too fast to catch!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Let's play Two Angry Chickens

Nora proposed this to Fiona over the breakfast table. Immediately they both clambered down, plopped their dishes onto the counter, and went out to the living room to play the game as if they do this all the time. My question is, 'Do they?'

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Happy birthday all over again, Nora!

What a weekend of excitement! As if last Saturday's birthday dinner was only an appetizer, this weekend held the fun and frenzied play of a visit from James, Luke, Aunt Carrie, Uncle Eric, and Grandma and Toot Toot. When this many of us get together, we don't even have to go anywhere special to have fun. Hours of play, food, and each other is special enough.

Nora wanted a frog cake, and is partial to my recipe for Wellsley frosting, so she wanted a brown frog. Yum! We had a wonderful time, and Nora scored a pony with long hair for brushing and styling, and a refrigerator gear game, and a stack of handmade doll clothes plus accessories for Jenny Moon from Grandma and Toot Toot, and a bag that should hold her wardrobe from Fiona. Fi picked out the pattern and fabric, and Grandma sewed it all together. Wow! A big weekend for our big girl. Everybody else, too!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring... Bananaphone!

Fiona will do the silliest stuff to make Nora smile. It usually works on the rest of us, too.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Granny Racing

Count on Granny to send unique items in the mail! This time for Nora's birthday she sent a Granny Racing set-- going so far as to label the dueling racers 'Granny' and 'Grandma' on the box. LOL!

Nora enjoys it more once the game is set up, but it was Fiona and her father who really sent those matriarchs flying today. Ivy, for one, was highly suspicious. Nora spent time getting to know her doll Jenny Moon and trying to wear her using Fiona's scarf from Uncle Bob and Aunt Ruby. NB: slings work much better.