Before Bed

Matthew: "Thank you, Jesus, for everybody to say 'hooray!' Thank you for giving us a lot of food tomorrow. Thank you, Jesus, for the Ferrari on Daddy's computer. Amen."

Handy Hysterical Homemaker Helpful Hint #1

The fastest, easiest way to remove lint from the lint filter in your clothes dryer is to grab the now-smooshed-up dryer sheet (I use eco-friendly Mrs. Meyer's--lovely subtle scents, not chemically overpowering to my sensitive hyper-allergenic nose). Run the dryer sheet over the filter and voila! It grabs all that sticky lint like nothing doing. Keeps you from having to run your fingernails under that linty lint in a vain attempt to scrape it off somehow.

And you don't even have to pay me for this. It's on the house.

You're welcome.

Happy Birthday!

When I told Matthew that it's going to be Mimi's (my mom's) birthday tomorrow, I asked him how old he thought she was going to be.

He said, "She's going to be TALLER!"

Happy new, taller year to Mimi!

You know you're getting up there when...

...the group of girls you thought were out-of-place middle-schoolers huddled together chatting on the elementary-school playground actually turn out to be moms when your walk takes you closer.

Who knew a stroll to the post office and library could be so enlightening?

(And let's not even talk about that gray hair on my head!)


Matthew, as we said goodnight to the beans and left them in their beds: "I love you guys! You have a nice warmly sleep tonight!

There's a reason...

...that both beans are in the 95th percentile for height.

Sometimes we wonder how they are fueled at all (must be mostly green smoothies and yogurt with honey), but today I had no doubts as to how they are growing like runner beans.

Breakfast of champions: oatmeal with raisins, honey, milk, cinnamon, peanut butter. Orange juice. Milk.

9:45 pitstop on the way to Costco: pancakes.

10:30 snack at Costco: each had a whole banana.

12:30 lunch (per their requests): scrambled eggs with cheese and ketchup, sun-dried tomato chicken sausages with ketchup, fresh strawberries and blueberries, milk, and green smoothie. They cleaned their plates, and we also gave them each a couple of spoonfuls of Breyer's all-natural chocolate ice cream for dessert.

Now they're napping and I'm wondering what I'll have to make for them when they awaken from their hibernation, roaring and ravenous.

And they're not even teenagers yet.

He's Funny!

Joel, at the breakfast table today as he did something goofy to make us all laugh: "My [I'm] very funny!" (while grinning cheekily and looking around to make sure we all know and agree that he's hilarious). Then he leaned over to kiss the table, saying, "Kiss table!" He kisses everything from the floor (bleck!) to shoes (double bleck!) to animals in books. You can't say he's not affectionate.

And speaking of shoes, he now puts on his shoes all by himself (and gets them on the proper feet, too) and is trying very hard to do his own clothes as well. "My do it!!!" is his current mantra.

Odds and...Odds

I love our 1926 mailbox! This is the view from the front porch (the post lady gets a workout running up and down everyone's front steps)...

Joel brushing his teeth and about to demonstrate something for the camera...

Open the mailbox and check to see if we have any mail...


Everybody wants to turn 38 because it means you get rhubarb crumble...

There are so many things about our street out front that fascinate M and J...they can't stay away from the windows.

Someone gave these to me from her garden...are they peonies?

I don't blog much about the Woodland Park Zoo, but we go there a lot since we have annual passes. This was the first time we'd been on the carousel, though.

Abigail and Joel in the mirror...

M and J spend a lot of time at the entrance in the boat near the penguins...must be a really friendly dinghy.

In the African savanna, near the zebras...and a couple of little beans in the house...

And introducing...Tower Man!

Bedtime Prayers

Matthew: "Thank you, Jesus, for Mama, Daddy, Matthew, Joel. Thanks for us going to Costco sometime. Thanks for something. Thanks for us coming upstairs to our bedroom. Amen." [Matthew had a hard day--maybe he was trying to forget about it. Usually he's much more specific!]

Joel: "Thank you Jesus, Mama, Daddy, Matthew, me, bus, bears. Amen."

Tanking Up

This morning at breakfast...

Matthew: "Joel, do you run on diesel fuel?"

Joel: "No."

Matthew: "Oh. Mama runs on diesel fuel!"

[Joel is actually fueled by oatmeal, green smoothies, guacamole, and hummus. He's our vegan child.]


Yesterday both beans got vaccines and then ran low-grade fevers before bed. As I was getting some medicine poured for them, Matthew asked if I could put some flax seeds in it [I sometimes put flax seed meal in our green smoothies]. How many four-year-olds know about flax seeds and ask for them? I'm guessing M is one of the few, the proud, the fibered.

All About Tummies

Stephen, pointing to Matthew's belly button: "Matthew, what's that?"

Matthew: "It's my tummy button!"

Stephen: "What does it do?"

Matthew: "It goes 'Ring ring ring!'"


Matthew, on finding out that our friend Kristin had her baby the other day: "Is Coraline [the new baby] now going to go into Geoff's [Kristin's husband's] tummy?"

Feeling Orange

One of my all-time favorite authors, Barbara Kingsolver, just won the Orange Prize for Fiction and I'm so proud of her. Her speech, too, touched my heart and I could relate to what she said about focusing on her children when they were young and waiting for her Cinderella moment.

It's here now! Congrats, Barbara--you deserve it!

Warmly Reflections

We were at a park on Sunday lunchtime for a picnic, and as we walked around and looked at the ducks in Lake Washington, we did notice they were leaving white "trails" in the water. They were also diving under the water every once in a while to look for food, and as Stephen asked the boys what they thought the ducks ate, Joel promptly replied, "Poo."


I don't know where he got it, but Matthew says "warmly" instead of "warm". As in, "Daddy, did you have a nice warmly shower?" or "I want to go play outside in the nice warmly sunshine."

Tugboatin' and Readin'

I got an email from a Seattle friend this morning (thanks, Hilary!) about a storytime on an actual tugboat, so I stopped the boys mid-snack and off we went to South Lake Union!

The 100-year-old Arthur Foss is moored on the lake along with some of her (his?) other antique friends at the Center for Wooden Boats, a free visit if you are in the area and are interested.

We loved it!

This guy landed near us during storytime (so you can guess who was royally distracted!)

On the way back to the car, we also encountered this cute little family...

Well and Tall

M and J had well visits to the GP yesterday and both beans are in about the 50th percentile for weight but 95th for height.

Tall runner beans, they are.

Matthew Love Bean

Matthew's prayer tonight before bed: "Thank you Jesus for Mama [he only calls me Mama in prayers now], Daddy, Matthew, Joel. Thank you for us staying in this new house. Thank you that it's raining harder now [we had a downpour tonight]. Thank you Jesus for love."

Sticky Conversation

Bit of a busy morning so we drove through somewhere on the way home for lunch.

You can tell the beans don't eat much junk food (or eat out much, either) because as we were having lunch, Matthew held up a french fry and asked, "What's this? A stick?"

Coloring Pages

If you have a preschooler and need some free activities, go to Preschool Coloring Book for a bunch of coloring pages with themes like "family" and "alphabet".

We're coloring food pages today to stick in our basket and send down the "line" (i.e. clothesline in the backyard) while we read The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch. If I have time I might even print out some of the alphabet pages so Matthew can match the letters the foods start with with the food pages themselves.

There's no end to what you can do with these coloring pages. Let the good times roll!

P.S. Today Is Fun is also a great resource for fun and usually free activities.

Stephen's Birthday Presie 2010

Stephen had to work on Memorial Day so I shot off to a mall in Lynnwood with the beans. My two main purposes were to visit Daiso (Japanese 100 yen store) there and also the mall has a play area for kids.

So I parked outside JCPenney and we used their facilities on the way into the mall. Next to the facilities just happened to be the Penney's photo studio and it got my wheels turning for a gift for Stephen's birthday for the next day. But when I stopped in to ask them about it, they said they wouldn't be able to get the pictures back for 7-10 business days, definitely not in time for the big celebration the next day. They unselfishly told me that there was another studio in the mall who could get the photos back right away, so off we went on our expedition.

This new place had an appointment available for an hour from then, so we booked it and then went off to Daiso, where I found some flags to decorate our kitchen. Anyhoo, after doing a wee bit of shopping and playing, we headed back to the studio and on our way there, the thought hit me that we should use the flags in the photo shoot.

So we did.

And the rest is history.

Just forgive us for our lack of exciting apparel--it was all on a sudden whim and the preparation was a bit lacking.

But Stephen loved his presie anyway.

The Cracking on the Wall

Matthew: "Owwwwww!!!!!!!!! [holding his head]. I hit my head on the wall and the wall cracked!"


What are the odds of someone thinking of one of their Japanese moms and wanting to call her, calling her, and then being told by her that she's been thinking of you all day, too? Hmmmm...



  • I am officially "Mom" all the time now--"Mama" has moved away, far away.
  • The "loves" continue...This morning it was "I love Kristin!" (a special friend here in Seattle that I knew in college).
  • I heard "Mom, there's a magazine in the sky!" today and looked out the front window with Matthew to see a plane pulling a square-shaped banner.
  • Joel did something he's not supposed to and Matthew laughed. When I said he shouldn't laugh about it, Matthew contradicted me with "Mom, it is funny!" And truthfully, it was pretty hilarious, but I can't let on, can I!
  • While talking on the phone to his great-grandparents in Florida this evening, Matthew told them a lot about our life here, and then exclaimed, "We're in Seattle! I miss you!"

  • Said one of his first official prayers tonight before bed: "Thank you Jesus for Mama, Daddy, Matthew, me. Amen."
  • Is really great at pronouns, whether first, second, or third person.
  • He and Matthew were looking at each other's eyes (at least they weren't poking each other's eyes like they usually do!), then looked at mine. I was telling them what colors their eyes are and I asked Joel about mine. He said they were "blue" (they're brown) and then grinned cheekily.
  • Besides the eye example above, Joel is pretty good at colors.
  • Recently he loves The Tiger Who Came to Tea and enjoys reading it by himself or with me. And when we're at the pocket park around the corner, he runs for the cups in the sandbox so he can pour some tea (I caught him "drinking" the "tea" (i.e. dirt) yesterday).

Full of Hot Air


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