I'm adding posts scattered through March - I think as far back as March 5th. New calendar feature on the left - hover over dates to see which are clickable. Or just click on March 2008 on the archives. :)
Changed the layout a little a couple of weeks ago, which made posts with photos look pretty wonky on my end. I have now combed through all 260+ posts to correct this AND make sure that every post has categories selected so that the "category cloud" thing there on the left is more useful. I suspect that the width of the middle column varies from screen to screen so photos may still not look neatly lined up to you. My apologies. I wish Typepad provided a quick and easy way to handle that short of me having to learn how to enter tables or some such solution.
Mmmm, for your entertainment in the meantime, here's a Hardy Boy favorite (TMBG "Spider"):
This joke courtesy of They Might Be Giants' new CD, Here Come the 123s. Griff wanted to give it to Dan for his birthday and silly me, I didn't realize it came with a DVD. It's not half bad, reminds me a little of Schoolhouse Rock for the post-ironic, digital-age kid.
Griffin found the numeral candles in my shopping bag and said "Dad is
63?!?" I said, no, try again, and he figured it out. Whew. Only 36.
For dinner we had Chicken Marbella, at the request of the birthday gent. Can you believe I've never cooked with capers before? I prepared homemade applesauce, parmesan couscous, and fresh green beans to go with it. Griff prepped all of the beans for me.
Dan and his boys, below. Reese *really* had a hard time waiting for the cake.
...and the answer to the question, "can we fit three carseats into the back of Dan's new car" is a resounding YES!!! It took some doing, and it's smooshy, but they're all in, they're secure, and everybody seemed pretty happy about it.
Wait, what? Dan's new car? Yes, Dan's old, cheap 1995 Dodge Neon had a long list of repairs that it needed. Just to pass inspection it needed repairs that totalled more than its worth (not hard when you're worth about $100. Seriously.). Other things weren't really necessary per se, but think about this: you're paying $$ to see a neurologist in July, in Virginia. Your appointment involves sitting in a small exam room with him. Do you want him riding in an air-conditioned car? I'm thinking yes. Then there were little things, like the stereo that only had one functional speaker, and even that often shorted out due to moisture in the system. This car had seen better days.
So what did he get? A new, cheap, 2005 Dodge Neon. Amazing how if you drive a really old, broken-down cheap car for 10 years, a three-year-old cheap car seems posh.
No hybrid? You heard the "cheap" part, right? Even used hybrids are $pendy. The up side of a Neon, though, is that it's lightweight and gets pretty good mileage. And hey, the last one lived to 13 years old, 10 of which were with us.
Ok, so why is he driving the kids around in it? He's not. I was. My car was in the shop for inspection.
What's in Reese's hands? Glad you asked. His new Crocs. Light blue, as requested. He wears them when he's not insisting on his brother's new, one-size-too-big, army green Crocs or the hand-me-down Mickey Mouse Crocs. On the wrong feet, naturally.
Isn't Reese in Griffin's carseat? My, you're observant. Reese has indeed inherited Griff's carseat. Griff has finally graduated to a booster seat. He is beyond psyched.
I think I see Griff's lunchbox in there, too. Your eyesight is so keen it's scary. Griff's lunchbox is indeed on the floor at his feet. Remember how I was worried about how the pink box would go over with the preschool set this year? Griff is, I'm proud to say, his own man and does what he wants to do, stereotypes be damned. He is currently dealing with classmate comments that Yo Baby is for toddlers, not preschoolers. Being five is tricky!
No school today. Adam called to see what we were doing, which was a big fat NOTHING, so we joined him/Ruby/Luke for lunch, park, then playing at our house. My hooligans got raised eyebrows from an older woman at Panera who finally *had* to say something. The scathing remark she chose: "ma'am, your son's shoes are on the wrong feet." She seemed appalled to hear that I already knew and didn't care. I am NOT fighting with Reese over which feet his Crocs are on. They're CROCS. And he put them on himself, which is an enormous victory.
Luke and Xander weren't thrilled to be out and about but liked chilling out in the Gymini together. Luke was born the day before Xander, with the same midwife. I actually met Adam and Sarah in her living room. :)
What is it about holidays in our house that the boys always end up in these jammies? At the very least, I'm gratified that this impulse purchase has turned out to be such a good one.
Griff snuck downstairs this morning to check for his basket. While age three seems to be when our kids are really old enough to enjoy holidays, five seems to
be the age of expectations. He had told me the night before that the "best thing" about Easter is the basket full of toys and candy. I wouldn't say it was *full* and honestly, I don't usually do toys, but fortunately for me, the simple baskets with a couple of pieces of candy and some mini sticker/activity books, along with some bath confetti, was satisfactory. Whew.
We had a laid-back Easter at home this year, with a little bit of gardening (weeding to prep for planting) and then the main event in the afternoon: the hunt. Our neighbor Georgi hid eggs with me and Don and Matt joined us for the search. Reese was STOKED and has become quite the adept egg hunter.
They generally move too fast for photos, but here's the best of what I managed:
Major development this year: Griff is suddenly much more thoughtful about the egg-dying process. He explored the relationship between length of time in the dye bath and intensity of color, and also experimented with several dip-dyed two-tone eggs.
Video below of dye prep. The smell of the vinegar was the source of much amusement.
One of the things I love: stream-of-consciousness education. Like this:
Griff and I are playing with alphabet fridge magnets. He has spelled "DOG" on the fridge. I'm showing him how you can switch sounds to make different words.
DOG goes to DIG goes to BIG goes to BOG.
Griff: "Bog!? That's not a word." Jess: "Yes, it is." Griff: "What's a bog?"
So I tell him about wetlands. He asks me to use the computer to find pictures of a bog so that he can see "what color it is." Using Google image search, we find pictures of bogs. I mention that there's a man named Seamus Heaney who wrote quite a few poems about Irish bogs. He asks if Seamus Heaney is still alive, and I'm not sure, so we look up his Wikipedia entry. I find photos of Heaney to show Griff. We look at the pictures of Irish bogs and the things found in them and find a map of Ireland, as well. I pull out a volume of Heaney's poetry and we read a bog poem.
The English professor who introduced me to Heaney had a habit of reading a poem and then pausing and saying "ah" with this air of complete satisfaction. That's how I feel, having had this adventure with Griff.
(It's the second time lately we've talked about Ireland, the first being on the 17th, when I tried to explain St. Patrick's Day to Griff, and in doing so, had to explain sainthood, Druids, and how a person would drive snakes out of a snakeless country. Griff opted not to celebrate the holiday.)
I'm changing the layout of the blog, which will cause some issues with spacing of photos within posts, width of the image at the top of the page, and possibly more. It's possible that I'll eventually go back and reformat posts with photos in them to look prettier, but until that day comes, old posts may look a little funky. Bear with me. :)
Oh, and yes, I need a new header with updated photos of all of the kids. Those pics are almost 2 years old, yikes!