Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Baby Weight

This morning I had a grande black iced tea at Starbucks instead of my delicious frosty grande chai tea frappuccino. I saved 330 calories and about $1.50!! It for sure wasn't as good and spicy and sweet and comforting, but it was cold and okay. 330 calories would take me about 45 minutes to an hour to burn on the treadmill!! Tonight when I run, I'll know that I'm not just working off the drink, but maybe hitting some of that baby weight??

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fancy Nancy Party

We are SO lucky here in Portland. There are so many great things to do all the time. Today as we drove to swimming lessons, there was a giant mobile climbing wall in the park! Every one of these little pockets feel like living in a small town. How do we have such a small town feel in such a big-ish city? I don't know, but the people are warm and energetic and lovely.

Today's outing was to one of my favorite places in town. It is the locally owned A Children's Place Bookstore. I could seriously start in one corner and read every single book in there. Today they held their Summer Thursday event: A Fancy Nancy Party!!

My Mae adores Miss Nancy, and I love reading it to her. How nice to have a fun dress up girl who is exciting, and adventurous, and funny! For the party we did rag curls again, and layered on lots of ribbons and bows and skirts. Just like Nancy.There were stories read aloud, a game of FANCY bingo where when a winner called out "FANCY!!" we all broke into a rousing round of Fancy Nancy to the tune of "There was a farmer who had a dog...": "F. A. N. C. Y. N. A. N. C. Y.!!" Afterwards, the girls all got Fancy Nancy binoculars in celebration of her new book about exploring insects Fancy Nancy: Explorer Extraordinaire! (and anyone who thinks insects are gross are just IMMATURE. I guess I am...), sparkly stickers, some Fancy Punch, and yummy cookies. Mae even asked me if we could wash out her paper cup and save it because she loved it so much.

Great fun having a little girl who can be a friend. I love spending time with her!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Baby Wearing part THREE

Well that was a bit of a failure! Baby O. was SO happy, laid his head right down on me and snuggled in, but with every step, the front ties got tighter and tighter and TIGHTER! I couldn't breath! I stopped, adjusted, retied, twice. Finally when we got to Miss Mae's school, I had to take him out and put him on the front. Not sure what I did wrong, but we'll have to try to get some instruction!

He fell asleep on the way home - soooo sweet.

Baby Wearing 2

I'm attempting my first Baby Hawk back carry walk this morning. Wish me luck!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Paper Airplanes!!

Our newest obsession is paper airplanes! They are SO much fun to make and Mr. H. LOVES to fly them. Who knew they were so technical?? We used to make them when I was a kid, but they were nothing like these.This one is from this book:The Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes. My parents got it for Mr. H. when Baby O. was born, and he is just discovering it 9 months later. There are LOTS of great planes in here, but I have to do the folding, it all has to be folded PERFECTLY, and that is too much for a 6 year old. This site has a lot of them, too.

Next we tried it with a passenger. Our neighbor Brady brought the dinosaur.The camo paper and camo dino landed inconspicuously in a bush!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Summer Chaos - Controlled?

We've been working with the large calendar on the left since Mr. H. was in school, but this is our summer control center. We have it all hanging between the kitchen and the dining room right at the kids' eye level. The top checklist in the middle has everything kids are responsible for doing every morning: make their bed, brush their teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast, put dishes in the sink, etc. The bottom checklist is what they have to do before bed.The dry erase board on the right is our daily note that the kids read to us each morning. H's teacher had this in his classroom, and encouraged us to continue it to help with reading, days of the week, scheduling our day, etc.
Since we have started using the checklists, the kids are SO GREAT in the morning!! The run downstairs to check things off, and buzz around making sure everything is checked off. No more nagging them to do this and do that, and asking them if they've brushed their teeth or not... I LOVE IT.

Every morning after they've finished everything on their checklist, we sit down and do these Summer Skills Daily Activity Workbooks by FlashKids. They really love to do them, but just to ensure enthusiasm, we picked out all of these stickers to go in their sticker books. After each day's activity, they get to pick out a sticker (or five...). Their sticker books are just spiral bound sketch books that they can draw or paint in as well. (the bottom photo is Miss Mae looking through an entire book of LISA FRANK STICKERS!!!! Oh how I remember how my heart would pound at the thought of a new Lisa Frank sticker when I was young!
I can't tell you what a difference our little scheduling has made in our mornings! Everyone knows what to expect, and what will happen next. I REALLY hope we can hold on to this into the school year!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Community Supported Agriculture - LocalHarvest

I’ve been wanting to do this for years, and have never gotten around to it.  Sunday's Oregonian had an article about the difference in prices for a bag of fruits and veggies from the farmer's market, a discount grocery chain, a local Wholefoods, a CSA or Community Supported Agriculture subscription.

You can find one near you here: Community Supported Agriculture – LocalHarvest

They concluded that of course the retail chain store was the cheapest, but you won’t get organic, and who KNOWS where your food is coming from.  The farmers’ market and Wholefoods were basically the same price, but the lowest was the CSA!  The food is coming straight from the farm – often picked that morning – and the money is going straight to the farmer.  LOVE IT.

I’ve had friends who have done this over the years, and they’ve always loved getting the fresh surprise basket each week. 

I’m making the call.  Have you done this?  Were you happy with your surprise grocery basket?  What did you do with all of the LETTUCE in the spring??

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Oh my do I want this book!!! This fall when it is cooler out, I'm going to felt again. I ADORE felting.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What to do with the kids when you are trying to organize the house and they want to play? Give them your scalloped square paper press cutter thing and show them how to make tiny books! Miss Mae was happily pressing, drawing and folding for almost an hour and a half!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

These are my $58 paper pinwheels. I have a knack for making things myself to save money and spending twice as much... In this case we could have bought pinwheels for about $1.00 a piece, but it was great fun making them! The $58 was not JUST for the pinwheels - I can't seem to stay on task in the craft store. We found great stickers and sticker books for our summer activities, and so many beautiful papers!

For the pinwheels, we used Martha Stewart's instructions. I think this is aimed at a little older children. My kids are 6 and 4, so I did most of the steps. They did do the cutting parts, and loved the final products!
Happy Birthday America!