Tuesday, May 31

Cake = Caca

Matilda is getting better about writing things on her own lately. For a long time she would make me spell everything for her, but these days she is getting bolder about trying to sort it out on her own. It results in awesome spelling, but makes me glad to see her trying without being so paralyzed with the fear of doing it wrong.

Here is a grocery list she wrote for me:
  • taffu
  • brakoly
  • chacolat caca
  • watrmaln
Looks like she's planning for her favorite tofu broccoli stir fry paired with watermelon for dinner which sounds good. I am a bit concerned, however, for the dessert plans.

Monday, May 30

Staycation: Day 3

For our final day of long-weekend-fun we went for a double-museum header visiting the Butterfly Pavilion at the Natural History Museum and then the Science Center. The butterflies exceeded our expectations, except for poor Matilda who was devastated that one never landed on her. (Porter did not touch this butterfly. The docents were very rigorously patrolling with their "no touching" message.)
Next up, a 3D Imax showing of Born to be Wild, a film documenting orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who raise them. The film had Tim and I in tears and every turn, was perfect for our animal loving kids, and even showed a big herd of baby elephants playing soccer with their keepers. I think our whole family was ready to head to Kenya right then.Next we took Tim for his first spin around the great ecosystems exhibit in the Science Center. It was not really as crowded as we expected for the holiday and Tim was happy to finally see visit the exhibit we have all enjoyed.The kids could not get enough of interacting with these divers.

Sunday, May 29

Staycation: Day 2

Today's agenda: hiking, getting dusty and trying to fill the creek up with rocks.
Exhausting fun. So exhausting that I fell asleep in my bath tonight. Seriously.

Saturday, May 28

Staycation: Day 1

In a totally rare move, we decided to just stay home for this holiday weekend. Not that we didn't really want to take a trip, we just couldn't quite get organized to plan anything once Tim got last minute notice that he would be off for Monday.
To kick the fun off we went to Underwood Farms this morning for a birthday party and some berry picking.
Porter is not very helpful if you are trying to fill a container. If your goal is to eat your weight in berries, well then he's your man.
Sometimes you gotta blow raspberries when you are picking raspberries.
Porter wanted nothing to do with pony rides, but the tractor, wagon and train rides were all well accepted. A menacing emu tries to convince us to dole out some of our feed.To cap the day off we took our fresh raspberries (and some wine, cheese, salami, etc.) up the hill to our park and watched as the sun went down. It was all perfect except for the fact that there is no bathroom up there and Porter is not yet convinced that peeing in the grass is o.k. City boy!

Thursday, May 26


We met up with our old friends Molly and Gracie at the playground today and they brought huge, delicious cupcakes for a picnic dessert.
Cupcakes are serious business. No smiling allowed.

Monday, May 23

Backpack Obsession

Porter's been gifted two backpacks this week and is obsessed with wearing them. Here he is out with Tim for an adventure Sunday.
He looks so grown up I think!

No Cavities!

The kids all got a clear bill of teeth-health and Porter had his first dental check-up last week.
He continues his streak of amazing compliance with health care professionals and totally let them count, scrape, polish and otherwise fill his mouth with tools and fingers. It was astounding. Matilda was really proud to go first and set a good example for Porter. Here he watches as she gets her cleaning.
M practices brushing on Molly the monster.Porter happily gets his turn.

Sunday, May 22

It's In Her Blood

Matilda just said to me, "Mom, I wanna look at one of your cookbooks." I'm so proud!

Saturday, May 21

Baseball Night

A very fun night:
(Unless you were the 5 year old in row 14 living in constant terror of the post-game fireworks. Poor girl, we tortured her until the 7th inning stretch when we finally acquiesced to her pleas and headed home.)

Tuesday, May 17

Indoor Playground Fun

Matilda's school has had too many indoor playground playdates recently. I mean, the kids love them, but I am tired of them. The place we went to today was pretty awesome, but it is so hectic trying to keep up with kids in those places as the 5 year olds inevitably bounce some 12 month old off the wall of the bouncer or leap on them in a ball pit. Plus the $9 per child entry is highway robbery. Time for some free, peaceful running in the park playtime for me. Enough complaining, here's the fun:
Porter loved, loved going down this huge slide into the pit. Here you can see his feet only as he did a head-first approach.

Monday, May 16

Weekend Snapshots

In our new home search we are hoping for the ability to get pets. Tim and the kids found a cute contender at market!
Adlai came for dinner Saturday and the kids had a ball playing trains and bubbles and basketball.
Sweet smiles for Daddy as he tells her jokes. Matilda is big into jokes these days.
Porter got some practice time in at the park for his mad dribbling skills.

Last night we had good friends over with their cute little bundle. After a few minutes Matilda asked to hold her and was SO happy to get to snuggle the baby.
Making play dough cakes today we were discussing whose birthdays are coming up next. Uncle Brian, Matilda wanted me to mail you the "smoked salmon cake" that you can see in the foreground here. I told her a picture would be just as good. Which reminds me that I wanted to share Porter's cake idea; before Tim's birthday I was asking the kids what kind of treat we should make and Porter exclaimed "Meatball Cake!!" I think they call that meatloaf.

Saturday, May 14

Annual Preschool Spring Party

Instead of the normal potluck-in-the-park deal, this year one of the families offered up their big backyard and we all rented an enormous bouncer house/slide thing. Originally they had planned to rent a waterslide bouncer, but the cool forecast had them change plans. Matilda was intent on doing cannonballs in the water bouncer thing, so instead she just would scream "Splash Cannonball!!" before doing a standing leap halfway down the slide each time. Since there was no water, it seems irrelevant to point out that the cannonball should come before the splash.
Porter enjoyed the bouncer and slide a lot too, but also found great delight in getting completely saturated in glitter at the craft table.
He also spent a lot of time in the soccer corner! The entire drive home from the party he cried, "Go more fun party. Go more that fun party."
For the grown ups there was a gourmet spread of food and wine as well as plenty of policing to do. As we left one of Matilda's buddies gave her a big hug and said, "We have to go now but I love you so much and I'll see you soon at school." I almost started crying right there -so sweet to see. We paid for all the fun as both children went down in a ball of flames at bedtime due to their over-tired state. Hopefully that means they will all sleep in a little later than their 6:15 wake-up of late.

Friday, May 13

Boom Box Butt

I took Porter to pick out some underpants at the store this week and he turned down superheroes, cars and TRAINS, all in favor of Yo Gabba Gabba! DJ Lance, is gonna make you dance.

The Gentle Barn

Matilda's class went on a field trip to The Gentle Barn this week where they all got the opportunity for lots of interaction with the sweet animals there. I have a boatload of pictures to share; I found them all too funny to pare down any more. While everyone gathered upon arrival and waited for tour there was a big old tractor to clamber on. Porter waited rather patiently for his turn!
The entire enourmous class group was let into this cow enclosure first and amazingly, the cows were totally fine with it. Sure, brush my butt - I don't care.Porter cringes as he gets a big sloppy sniff.Just a few carrots for the horses.
Matilda was hesitant at first but then got really into feeding them. The horses were so careful taking the carrots that even the littlest kids got a turn offering carrots.
This chicken carefully considers her offer to join the girl group at preschool.
Matilda holds petting the turkey as her favorite part. Even though this turkey did eventually peck her when it was tired of the attention.
This photo was right before Porter chucked that ball at the turkey. Surprisingly she was not interested in a game of catch. I eventually hid the ball in the fenced tree enclosure so that Porter would stop trying to "play" with the farm animals.
Porter got to lay on 1,000 pounds of pig and she didn't even stir from her nap.
These cows also were not a bit phased by the chaos around them.

We hung around for a picnic (vegetarian foods allowed only, the farm had LOTS of rules) afterwards and got another shot at the tractor with less folks clambering on.All in all a very fun afternoon.

Tuesday, May 10

Annual Check Up: 5

Matilda & Porter both had check ups last Friday with the normal report of healthy-all-around/growing-fine. The 5 year-old check up was interesting in that it involved a few more exams than previous ones including an eye exam, hearing check, blood pressure reading and even a urinalysis. Matilda was so excited about the prospect of peeing in a cup that she momentarily forgot to be freaked out about her impending vaccines.
She passed the eye exam just fine, which was a relief to Tim and I as we assume she'll end up with glasses at some point. While the nurse was taking her blood pressure Matilda was looking down at the cuff funny, prompting the nurse to remark how "It does feel a bit strange, right?" Matilda responded, "It feels like when that big snake wrapped itself around my arm." The nurse looked over to Tim and then back at Matilda, asking "Did that really happen?" Tim quickly provided the backstory on Matilda's birthday party attempting to assuage the nurses concerns a bit and prevent any DCFS reports. The nurses then assured Matilda of her great bravery.

For the record here are the stats:
Matilda is 43" (75th percentile) and 42.4lb (50th percentile), almost a perfect square. I can't believe she's finally broken the 40lb mark. Her blood pressure was 90/54 and I have no idea how that compares to anything. Matilda was a mess for her shots this time, although afterwards she was really proud of her TB test bump and has nursed her injection sites with daily bandaid applications for 5 days now. I don't think we really find out about the urinalysis results unless there was something exciting in there so I am assuming they just found some pee.
Porter is 35.5" (80th percentile) and 32lb (90th percentile) -roughly the size Matilda was at age 3. He is at 100th percentile for cuteness I think, but that may be a subjective measurement.