Friday, October 25, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 10)

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Last weekend, we took a trip to the pumpkin patch.  Normally, such an event would warrant its own post, but there was a sore lack of pictures, making a full post seem a little anti-climactic.  Instead, please enjoy the above highlights: Isabel with a giant pumpkin, Elijah expressing his distaste at the loudness of the tractor (and wearing a slightly too-small sweater).

I am currently reading The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers.  I got it from the library for Kurt, but took a peek myself, and was hooked from the first page.  It is a novel about the Iraq War, yes, but really, it is so much more than that.  The writing is so beautiful that I am restricting myself to reading one chapter a day so that it isn't over too quickly.

Isabel is awesome.  So awesome, in fact, that there is one (just one!) thing about her that drives me crazy, and it is this: she just loves dropping her food on the floor.  Or, in the case of loaded spoons, flinging her food on the floor.  It is gross.  Last night, Kurt and I were looking at an old picture of toddler Elijah chowing down on some sweet potatoes, and we realized that this is a new problem for us as parents.  Elijah would not have dared let even a tiny morsel of food escape his gaping jaws.  He still doesn't.


I just sent off another set of snack magnets to a giveaway winner, this time in Spanish.  If you or anyone you know is interested in purchasing a set of your very own, leave a comment or email me at  

Catchiest song of the week?  Has to be That Girl by Jennifer Nettles.  It's kind of like Stay, but, you know, not as depressing.

I wasn't sure what to put for number 6, until Shaina sent me this.  My recommendation?  Bridget Jones' Diary with Woodchuck cider because a girly book needs a girly bev.

Finally, as many of you know, Kurt and I are going to Mexico next week.  Without the kids.  (Gasp!)  I am a bit apprehensive, but am buoyed by both my confidence in the competence of my in-laws and the excitement I feel in attending the wedding of my little sister.  You may not hear from me for awhile, but be assured that I will be enjoying myself heartily while simultaneously missing my children terribly.  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Then and Again



Why watch TV when there is so much to see right out your own front door?

Friday, October 18, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 8)

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Once again, we had quite the abnormal week around here, but instead of being caused by a careening car thief, it was caused by buckets of...yuckiness.  (I was going to let my alliterative side roll on, but some of you might be eating while you read this.)  Anyway, I am sure those of you out there who are parents will hear me when I say that nothing says unconditional love like cleaning up after your sick child (on the side of the road, no less.)


I am pretty sure that I can skip my daily Mensa crossword this morning, as I was able to successfully rethread and reinstall Elijah's car seat in under ten minutes.  This is what happens when you forget that you washed the car seat cover (see #1) and hung it to dry in the basement, only to realize upon heading out the door for school that the naked car seat frame is sitting on the porch. 


Vomiting aside, I did enjoy spending some extra time with my Lijah boy this week.  A shout goes out to Mamo and her timely gift of a giant dinosaur floor puzzle, which provided hours of entertainment for Elijah and I during Isabel's morning naps.


Since it is fall, I have switched from buying 1/2 bushels of peaches at the farmer's market to buying crates of apples.  Unlike the peaches, the apples really are not good to eat raw as they are pretty banged up, so instead, I have been making huge pots of applesauce.  So good.  It may be time for some potato pancakes up in here.  Izzy has been gobbling up the sauce, too, thanks to these.


It seems like fall may finally be here to stay in DC, which means it's....soup season!   Typically I try to limit myself to one soup night per week, as Elijah and Kurt are lukewarm (haha!) about soup, but this week we had curry squash soup on Monday and potato onion soup last night, and I got no complaints (from Kurt).  If you are a soup lover like me and you don't own this book, you should.


Countdown to my sister's wedding: 15 days.  Woohoo!  Sarah and Matt, can't wait to watch you tie the knot in sunny CancĂșn.  And if it rains, well, that's okay, too, because there's no such thing as bad weather for a wedding...or a tropical vacation.


Since this is our last in-town weekend of October, it gonna be all-fall up in here.  Caramel apples, pumpkin carving, leaf pile jumping, we're there.  I promise to take lots of (or at least a few pics.)  Hope you and your are enjoying some lovely fall weather, too!  Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Quotable Elijah

Lisa: What do you want for Christmas?

Elijah: A sea turtle.  Not a pretend one.

Lisa: A sea turtle?  Where would it live?

Elijah: In the basement.

Lisa: What will its name be?

Elijah: Fighty.

Lisa: Is this a small sea turtle or a big one?

Elijah: It will be enormous.

Lisa: And what color should it be?

Elijah: Pink.

So, there you have it, Santa/grandparents, one real, large, pink sea turtle please...or maybe not.  After all, this house is a rental.  You have to admire the specificity, though.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

She's number one!

That's right folks...we've reached the second leg of our family's birth month trifecta.  (Sorry, Daddy, you'll have to wait for spring for your cake.  But the rest of us are happy to share.)

This month's special someone is none other than that tiny girl known affectionately as Izzy, Izzy Fizzy, the Iz, and "pretty girl" (says Elijah). 

When Eljiah was but a wee lad, one of my favorite tunes to sing to him was, "You are my Sunshine," but Isabel really and truly is a ray of sunlight that shines on our little family.  She is as sweet as summer peaches (although she would rather eat cheese or rocks), and always has a smile on her face, except maybe when Elijah bulldozes her with a giant ball.  She's a mama's girl right up until the moment she catches a glimpse of Daddy out on the porch, at which point she scoots as fast as possible and bangs on the window until he comes in. 

The other day, Kurt had a conversation with Isabel that went something like this:

Kurt: Isabel, can you say, "Dada"?
Kurt: Can you say, "Mama"?
Kurt: Can you say, "Elijah?"
Isabel: E-la-la!

Yep.  No doubt about where her greatest affections lie.  And despite the aforementioned bulldozing, the feeling is pretty much mutual.

Happy birthday, sweetest girl.  You are our sunshine.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Why it's been a week since my last post

My apologies for the recent silence around this here blog.  Just so that we're up to date for when I attempt to get back to posting tomorrow, here's what has happened since my last post:

1. Isabel turned one!  (Woohoo!  That merits its own post, certainly, but not tonight.)
2. The police chased a stolen car in our car, which was parked in front of our house.  Everyone's okay, except our car, which incurred $3500 worth of damage and currently resides elsewhere while we tool about town in a sweet silvery rented Chrysler, which Elijah refers to as our "new car". Hopefully he won't be too sad when our old car makes its triumphant return.  
3.  Kurt and I went away for the weekend (actually, for 24 hours, but it was still awesome) thanks to the generosity of my mom, who watched the kids, and our friends Katie and Kenny, who let us use their lovely cabin.
4.  The kids had their 1 and 3 year check-ups, respectively, and Elijah is tall, skinny and brave, and Isabel is teeny and even braver. 
5.  That's all I can think of.  Which, looking at the list, is quite a lot for one little week.  Whew. 

Here's hoping this week is slightly less eventful, and more bloggy posty.  See you tomorrow.

Monday, October 7, 2013

5 Tips for a Great Trip to the Library

Around these parts, we are library lovers.  Now that Elijah is in school and Isabel still takes a morning nap, it's been a crunch to get to the library before they close at 5:30.  For the first time ever, we had Henry and Mudge books that were (gasp!) overdue.  Fortunately, the library staff must have been missing us because the DC libraries are now open until 9 pm Monday-Thursday.  Hooray!  In honor of this win for book lovers, I present to you five hard-won bits of wisdom for visiting the library with children.

1. Make it a habit  Before Elijah was in school, we were at the library at least once a week, and often more than that if it was raining, too hot or we just felt a little stir-crazy.  As a result, Elijah would exit the car, push the button to open the front doors, and stride in like he owned the place.  As anyone knows who has washed a load of laundry just to clean a beloved dinosaur shirt, little kids love routine.  And what better routine is there than reading books in the cool quiet of the library?

2. Go to story time...or don't We are very fortunate in that our library has lots of choices for story time.  There's a day for preschoolers, one for babies, a "rhythm and rhyme" program...the list goes on.  There have been times when we were all about story time.  We would get there early to snag a good seat, and Elijah would sit there enraptured for the full 30 minutes, then recreate practically the entire thing at home, using a sock for a puppet.  In other seasons (and sometimes just on a rough day), we forwent story time in favor of just browsing the book selection, or wandering around the upstairs, looking out the windows.  Because story time is free (and frequent), there is never any pressure to attend.  To me, that is the mark of the perfect toddler activity.

3. Test drive the books before checking them out I try to allot at least an hour of time for our library trips.  That way, whether or not we go to story time, there is plenty of time to read books at the library.  There is something about reading on the carpet surrounded by books that is just lovely.  Plus, by reading the books there, I can gauge whether Elijah is really interested in a particular book before I haul it all the way home. 

4. Let them choose Eljiah has strong opinions about books, particularly those with trains or drums on their covers.  We recently brought home Drummer Boy by Loren Long for that very reason.  It is very clearly a Christmas book, and it is very clearly not Christmastime (a sweaty 85 degrees last week), but he chose it, so we got it, and read it and read it and read it.  I want Elijah (and Isabel) to feel like their opinions matter, so I bite my tongue when we check out The Little Engine That Could for the third time in a row, even though the thought of reading it repeatedly for another week makes feel just a teeny bit of despair.

5. Choose for them I was a teacher, so I have my own opinions about which children's books are worth reading.  Even if you were not a teacher, if you are a parent, you are now.  So make sure you get some kids' books that you want, too.  After all, you are the one who will be reading them over and over and over again.  For me, anything involving Lane Smith or Rosemary Wells tends to be a good bet.  Also, I am very susceptible to beautiful illustrations. 

I could go on, but five seems like such a nice number of list items, so I won't.  Plus, you know, I have my own books to read.  Because really, as much as Elijah and Isabel love the library, the real reason I have spent so much time there with them is because I love it even more.  What about you?  What books are your kids loving these days?  We'll be sure to check them out.

Friday, October 4, 2013

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 7)

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On Tuesday, Isabel participated in a study at the University of Maryland where she got to wear a sweet hat that passively measures brain waves.  In true Izzy fashion, she kept the hat on for the whole experiment, which apparently never happens.  Score one for science!

Once again, it's been a l-hame week around this bloggity blog.  I blame the kids, of course.  Two sick days for Elijah, plenty of not sleeping for everyone, blah, blah, blah.  I'd promise to do better next week, but I'd just be setting myself up to feel guilty.  Just keep coming back.  I'll do my best to keep the content flowing.  Or at least post more cute pics of the Iz and her bro.

Lately, I've been dipping a toe into the world of baking.  For this, I blame/thank my friend Peggy, with whom I like to share some tea and treats on a weekly basis.  This week: these banana muffins.  Mainly because they don't require the forethought of letting butter soften.

 I would really like to try to make some scones, but I am a bit intimidated, as they require multiple steps.  So many opportunities to go wrong.  For now, when I need to get my scone fix, I'll stick with Shortcake Bakery.  Seriously, their oatmeal scones are heavenly, and they are located dangerously close to Elijah's school.

Since Isabel is now an official scooter, we have entered another Era of the Dingy Pants around here.  It is worsened by the fact that girl pants tend to come in lovely pastel colors.  Anyone have any good laundry times for removing the ground in grime?


I just noticed  that Kurt bookmarked this page on my computer.  Aside from they glaringly obvious omission of Downers Grove, it's an interesting read.  I know many of my readers live or have lived in Chicago and the surrounding jurisdictions.  What are your thoughts?

Most exciting news of the week around these parts?  This time, it's not the kiddies' doing, it's the husband's.   Check out this article from Tuesday's Washington Post.  Autographed copies available upon request.