Archive for August, 2009

So You Say It’s Your Birthday

Today Audrey turned four. This is the first birthday of hers when she’s had honest-to-goodness directed attention. Last year she and Elliot shared a party, the year before that she didn’t have a party, the year before that she was one and he thought her party was for him and the year before that she gave him Thomas Duplo to commemorate her own birth.

But this year? This year she had a party that he wasn’t invited to. She got presents he doesn’t want to play with. He had a supporting role in the Audrey show.

He’s so good at doing her bidding that he made her breakfast. By choice. He wanted to do it! That’s how good she is, he offers to do stuff for her and he thinks that he’s coming out ahead.

Other than her uncanny ability to wrap her brother around her finger, she can also push his buttons. Without even breaking a sweat. She is the typical little sister.

Today they were best friends. He struggled with the attention she got, with the getting to spend her birthday money and he wouldn’t be getting anything tangible. And through it all he hugged her. And held her hand. And was a great big brother. Even though it was really all about her.

Or maybe it can never be about one of them without how the other impacts them. She wouldn’t be the articulate, silly, wonder-filled kid she is if she didn’t have Elliot as a big brother. So while happy birthday wishes are in order for Audrey, happy anniversay-of-the-day-you-became-a-big-brother wishes are bestowed on Elliot too.

Bake Me a Cupcake

Tomorrow is Audrey’s Fancy Nancy inspired 4th birthday party; we’ve each invited four friends over for a fancy lunch. Today I helped Audrey make cupcakes for her party. She was able to put the ingredients into the mixer and stand watch as it worked (my camera decided the mixer was the interesting thing, not the kid -  I need to work on controlling it better).

She was able to put the liners into the pan.

One thing I don’t like about making cupcakes & muffins with kids is that it’s tough for them to get the batter into the holes. But today I had an aha! moment and made a modified piping bag for the batter. It worked really well. I think next time I’ll cut the hole a little smaller though. While she doesn’t have the gross motor skills to hold the bag and squeeze it, she was able to control the filling with some help.

The piping bag is not a mess-free solution to this particular problem but it let Audrey help more than she’s been able to in the past. Now I just have to frost five dozen mini-cupcakes.

What do you cook with your kids and how much do they get to do themselves?

Is It a Fad?

These numbers are staggering, but I am not surprised. Except that the fastest growing segment on FB is 55-65 year old women. My mom is on FB and she’s in that demographic, but I thought she was an anomaly. Clearly not.

Might FB might be the killer app? How would your life change if FB went dark tomorrow? Would you pay for it if it became a subscription service? And remember who your friends are, or you might end up like these folks.

h/t Uppercase Woman via FB
h/t KellyGo via shared items

Ultimate DIY

It was hot outside. There was a slide. And a hose. And a mom without a lick of sense who decided to turn the slide into a water slide. I think we’re lucky that no one got hurt. The slide was fine, it was the dismount that got a little dicey.


Summer Fun

We’ve had a cool, wet summer here. It’s weird. Ask anyone that’s lived here more than 10 years – we haven’t seen the likes of this since 1992 (I might be making up that year, it’s one I heard on the news – the specific year is immaterial, the point is that it hasn’t been H-O-T all summer).

We went to our outdoor pool on the first day of school. Of course, AFTER school. Nothing says, “yay Kindergarten” like a few rides down a water slide.

Casa Bonita

On Elliot’s last day as a free kid, that is a kid not tethered to the school calendar we visited a Denver landmark: Casa Bonita. It’s so fantastic. And no, I am not talking about the food. I remember going there as a kid. It hasn’t changed one bit.

You order, grab a tray, your food is placed on said tray and you are taken to a table. On a weekend night the line can be very, very long.

Since we were there in the middle of the week for lunch we were able to sit near the main stage. Black Bart, Sheriff, a gorilla and his trainer all ran right by our table (not all simultaneously) much to Elliot’s delight. We had a great view of the cliff diver too.

Elliot was entranced by the whole thing. If you haven’t been, it’s a little like dinner theater for children. He even liked most of his lunch (I can’t blame him for skipping the enchilada, corn tortilla + velveeta <> enchilada), he especially enjoyed the limitless sopapillas and the self-serve honey.

Before we went to Black Bart’s cave we snapped a happy picture. He didn’t enjoy the cave (it’s a little dark and creepy and makes weird noises). After the cave he was done with Casa Bonita which was fine, I didn’t want to go to the arcade.

First Day of Kindergarten

Elliot started school last Wednesday. To say he was excited would be an understatement. On Friday when I picked him up he declared it “the best day of Kindergarten EVER” because he got to do some math.

I didn’t cry.

His teacher is (so far) awesome. She just returned from teaching for a year in China. She’s so enthusiastic, it’s hard not to be affected. We’re all very excited for this year. Even Audrey, the sooner it’s over the sooner she goes to Kindergarten.

Shirt Dress

Months ago I saw a post about how to turn a men’s dress shirt into a shirt dress for a kid. I thought, I can do that! And then a few months passed and I saw another where she claims it to be easy! I can definitely do it if it’s easy.

My crafty partner in crime brought her machine over for another episode of “Seamstresses that Drink”. We liberally applied vodka and our own interpretation of the instructions. I had to add lace to my creation to hide the fact I can’t sew a straight line. In the end however, I am pleased with how it turned out. In all I spent less than $6 (since I already had the shirt) – that’s $1.99 for lace, $2.39 for thread and $1.00 for buttons.

Back detail – daisy button attaching the strap to the dress

Front detail – the front of the dress is the back of the shirt (the buttons run up the back of the dress)

Back with buttons (in real! button holes). You can still see the tag in the dress from its first life.

It’s difficult to see, but the same brown trim is on the straps and the bottom of the dress. I did a zigzag on the hem – I thought it went with the lines on the fabric a little better.

The dress is a little big around Audrey’s torso, but will be fine with a t-shirt under it. I used the buttons on the straps so I can let out the length as needed.

Overall, I am pleased (like I said) and will probably attempt this again. I like the idea of reusing old shirts, it’s definitely cheaper than fabric. Also, I would suspect that with some searching you could find some pretty interesting patterns to work with.

Next up, an art smock for Kindergarten-bound Elliot for school (it’s on his school supply list, I better get cracking).

Brotherly Love

Peter’s brother is great. I love him like my own, or at least I think I do since I personally do not have brothers of my own. Anyway, I think he’s swell.

Joshua and his lovely girlfriend (who I am also crazy about, hi Kathleen!) visited us in early July. While attending a festival, I tell Peter & Joshua “look like you like one another” and this is all the better I got.

Self Portrait

Elliot took this picture while we were out camping with Peter’s parents.

I wish I knew what he was looking at.

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