Sunday, May 31, 2009

Vive La Différence!

Gavin worked on foreign relations by making friends with Bella, an English Bulldog. This may be the best that England and France have ever gotten along. 

Friday, May 29, 2009

Summertime Blues

I am so ready for this to be me

Isn't it summer yet? 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Dane has a thing for water balloons.  It's strange, but true.  Even before he figured out how to tie them he would fill them up and get Dagny to tie them for him. He has proved to be quite talented at the art of water balloon making, he knows the perfect amount of water to put in so it will provide the maximum splash on impact. For his 7th birthday party he made 300+ balloons and he and his friends had the most massive water balloon battle I've ever seen.   At the beginning of every summer the warm weather makes Dane think of water balloons (I told you it was strange) and he makes huge batches of balloons and we get to throw them at him. He runs around and gets wet and tries to dodge, and we get to pelt him.  It's a win for all involved. 

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Day In The City By The Bay

This is Dagny on the BART train

This is Dane on the BART train

Please notice how one of them brought reading material and one of them begged to play on my iPhone because he had forgotten his book.  I think he may have forgotten it on purpose.  

This is Dane on Market Street holding his tooth.  

We were just standing there when Dane suddenly leapt away and chased something that was bouncing down the sidewalk. Turns out it was his tooth.  It had been loose for awhile and it picked that moment to literally pop out of his mouth. 

This is us with my nephew Mar-Kell at the Embarcadero Center  

He has been in San Francisco for the last 2 years and is going home to Arizona on Monday.  We met him for a farewell lunch and had a delightful time. We ate at a little sushi place and then had dessert outside.  It was lovely.  

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Get Lost

If you were born in the 70's and you had older brothers who controlled the television, you probably got to watch lots of Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. Being the youngest I had very little say about what we watched, I was just along for the ride.  Every Saturday morning we would watch Land of the Lost and I'm not at all embarrassed to admit that I loved it. 

It was full of cheesy special effects and terrible dialogue, but we thought it was the greatest show on television and we never missed it.  I had nightmares about the Sleestaks, (they were scary!) but I couldn't stop watching the show.  I had to find out if the Marshall family would ever make it back home. (they never did)  Thinking about that show brings back memories of Saturday morning cartoons with my brothers and sisters, thinking about the new Land of the Lost movie makes me angry. Seriously, why the re-make? Is Hollywood completely out of new material?  I don't want to see a slick new version of an old TV show, come up with something new, stop stealing from our childhoods.  I didn't like Will Ferrell before, (except in Old School, that's funny stuff) but now I officially hate him.  Please join me in boycotting the new Land of the Lost movie, if you go see it you'll only be encouraging them.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Happy Belated Mother's Day

Mother's Day did happen around here, I just totally forgot to blog about it.  Oops.  

Believe it or not, I am pretty low maintenance on Mother's Day.  I don't require gifts or flowers or breakfast in bed.  I just want homemade cards from my kids, a meal that is not prepared by me, and peace and quiet. I got all of those things so I consider my Mother's Day a great success.

Dagny was MIA during the Mother's Day photo shoot, not sure how that happened

celebrating with Great Grandma Clara

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lost And Found

Guess who found this

and is no longer in this

Dagny wore a shirt today that she hasn't worn in awhile and casually reached into the pocket and pulled out her missing retainer.  It was one of those moments where you're not sure if you should just be happy that it's found or mad that she'd told you she had looked in all her pockets and that it wasn't in any of them.   I'm going to choose to be happy that the retainer was found, and that now I know where to start looking when she loses it again.  

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Next Step

It's a wonderful thing when a child begins reading on their own. Having a kid who can read to themselves is life changing. Dagny was reading at 4 and ready for chapter books at 5, and what I learned back then as I was trying to find books for her is something that has become a mantra, "Just because you can read it, doesn't mean you should"   There are many, many worthwhile books out there, and just as many that are complete junk. (Captain Underpants, anyone?) Some people think that it doesn't matter what a child reads as long as they are reading, and that has spawned a whole world of books that cater to that idea.  I wholeheartedly disagree with that way of thinking, there are books that aren't worth reading, a kid is better off playing outside than reading a worthless book.  

(Stepping of my soap box)

Some of the chapter books that my kids enjoyed were The Magic Treehouse books. 

They are a combination of magical and educational, so you learn while being entertained. Along with a friend, I based an entire book club around the books when Dagny was 7 and Dane was 5. When we read about knights and castles we had a medieval feast, when we studied pirates we talked like pirates for a week and made hardtack. (it was gross) Studying Japan took us to the Japanese Tea Garden for a tea ceremony, ancient Greece brought the Olympic Games to our backyard. The books provided endless ideas for activities, field trips, and projects. (and snacks, snacks are big when you're dealing with a 5 year old boy)   


Making Mummies 


erupting volcanoes

learning about the first Thanksgiving through pie making

Friday, May 15, 2009

Character Study

There are books that kids love having read out loud to them, then there are the books that kids love and that parents can't stand, those are the ones where parents try to skip pages hoping that the kid won't notice.  (they always do) We had a few page skippers, but mostly we had books that all of us loved, and characters that became part of our lives. Madeline, Corduroy, Curious George, Pooh, Clifford, Eloise, Max and the Wild Things, The Berenstain Bears, Little Critter... They inspired countless hours of imagination and endless art projects.  A good picture book is something amazing that you wouldn't want to miss a page of. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Moo, Baa, La La La

Indestructible books for babies?  Brilliant.  Whoever invented board books is a genius.  Some of the best board books my babies ever heard (or chewed on) are by Sandra Boynton.  We discovered her through one of her non-board offerings, 

after that hippo party we were hooked.  Her books are simple and engaging, and very, very clever.  I read The Going To Bed Book every night for years,  long after my kids stopped chewing on it. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


When Dagny was born her Grandma Caren started a library for her, and every month she would add a book to it. It was Dagny's own private book club.  This lasted until Grandma Caren passed away when Dagny was 2 1/2.  Some of Dagny's favorite and most beloved childhood books are from that collection, not just because they came from her grandma, but because her grandma had excellent taste in books. She was an elementary school teacher for over 30 years, and she knew her way around children's literature.  She was someone who loved and appreciated books, and she wanted to help instill that same love in her grandchildren.  I think Dagny and Dane's love of reading would please her, and I'm certain she would love knowing that she had a hand in it.  

Monday, May 11, 2009

Time To Celebrate

A week celebrating children's books?  Count me in!  Books have always been an important part of my children's lives, I  think I'll celebrate Children's Book Week by sharing some of our favorite books.   Stay tuned. 

Friday, May 8, 2009

Summer Movie Guide

Summer is still a month away, but the summer movie season has already started.  The critics are lined up telling us what we should and shouldn't see, and what is worthy of our movie dollars. I won't tell you what you should see, but I will share my criteria for movie selection. 

There are 3 categories of movies;
  1. worth seeing in the theater
  2. worth Netflixing
  3. not worth seeing
Movies worth seeing in the theater are action movies that need to be seen on the big screen, movies that you want to see but can't wait until the DVD is released, and any movie that your girlfriends will go see with you. 

Movies worthy of a spot on your Netflix queue are things you wouldn't pay $10 to go see but are still interested in, movies that will make you cry, and any movie that you don't want people to know that you watched. 

Movies that are not worth seeing are the majority of new releases.