Yay for balloons and skateboarding--watch that and it'll cheer ya right up.

(I also keep going back to this one, too. So beautiful.)

Paint Me Orange and Call Me Joel

  • Orange is Joel-Bean's new favorite color.
  • His attention span for anything art related is extremely long.
  • We just finished watching Marshmallow Farm (and one line is "I wanna, I wanna go!") and Joel sang instead, "I wanna go chocolate milk!"
  • When I told Joel that we could watch Marshmallow Farm after he had asked me, he replied, "I'm so happy now! Yay!"
  • Joel has graduated from liquid vitamins to gummy vitamins and loves to copy Matthew's idea. They each get two vitamins after breakfast and a while back Matthew would take one in each hand, walk them toward each other, and recite some of The Zax (by Dr. Seuss). Joel now does the same but adds his own twist by shouting "Chocolate milk!" at the end.
  • As you can tell, Joel is still going through his "Chocolate Milk" period.

Maffa-Bean's Latest Quotes

  • In the car yesterday, Matthew piped up from the backseat: "Mom, I want to drive!" When I told him he had to wait till he was 16, he replied, "No, Mom! I need to drive now!"
  • "Let's get in a spaceship and fly to the sun!" After I told him the sun is very hot, he asked, "It's run by fire?" I said yes, the sun is a fire-ball, and he said, "I'll be very, very careful."
  • When I asked Matthew if he'd like some nice roasted broccoli (I love it roasted with olive oil and S & P), he answered, "No, Mom, it makes me very, very nervous!"
  • As I write, Grandma and Grandpa are in their room packing. Matthew ran up to me and said, "I looked everywhere for them in the living room and I couldn't find them! Then I found them in their room at last! At last!"
Matthew is our Rhythm King! He enjoys all kinds of beats and makes his own, too. A great singer as well.

And speaking of beats...I mean beaters...

Here's Matthew helping me make chocolate-orange cake! (I don't know if you can see his nose, but it was covered with batter, too.)


Grandma and Grandpa are leaving tomorrow (wah!), but here we all are this past Saturday at a lovely Mexican restaurant called Cactus! on Madison Street, near the Arboretum and Madison Park right on Lake Washington.

We had gone to MOHAI (Museum of History and Industry) that morning so I was trying to think of lunchy-type places nearby, and this fit the bill nicely.

I would go to Cactus! again just for their "Mexican lemonade", which consisted of fresh lemon juice, just a hint of sweetness, slices of poblano peppers and lots of fresh cilantro leaves. YUM. Plenty sour and spicy. Nice and tasty.

We spent today light-rail hopping so more on that later...

So Far

Grandma and Grandpa are in their last week here with us (boo hoo!) and we are enjoying every minute.

Here's a selection of a few shots from the last five weeks...

Here's a funny quote from bath time tonight: Joel was dipping his hand in the tub as the water was filling up, and Matthew came in and yelled, "Joel, don't touch the water! It's too wet!"

My Little Mushy Peas

As you well know, our kiddiewinks have been "the beans" for quite a while now (I think it started here, when Matthew was about a month old).

But recently I've made and fallen in love with British-style mushy peas (with a little nod to Nigella's "upmarket mushy peas"--I added plain yogurt instead of her suggestion of creme fraiche and I also threw in some chicken stock and black pepper). (The mushy-pea leftovers make great soup--just throw them in a pot on the stove, add some milk, whisk up and then throw in some chopped leftover bangers from my new favorite butchers, Better Meat. Mmmmm.)

So now the boys are my little mushy peas. (They seem to enjoy it now but we'll see how they feel about it when they're teenagers.)

And they're forever entertaining me and touching my heart.

Matthew, to Grandma today: "Grandma, can you wrestle with us?"

And to me: "Mom, can I have a combine harvester?"

Joel was lying on my lap this evening with a little fever, and I whispered in his ear and told him I loved him. He whispered back, "Love you, Mama."

How can you not adore little mushy peas?

Having a blast, wish you were here!

I really should be in bed, flippin' heck. Why do I always get the blogging bug at 10:30 pm when I know without a doubt my kids could be bright eyed and bushy tailed before 6 am?

There are no answers to the questions that storm my mind like an October deluge in Seattle.

OK, so this pic was from 3 weeks ago but I thought M and J did such a great job decorating the letters...

Too much fun...

Lots of story time going on round these parts...

And we had some other beloved visitors as well. Two weeks ago my Aunt Tina and Uncle Jimbo came all the way from Virginia! We miss you guys!

(Something's Fishy Pie recipe over at Mamatouille.)

Now to bed I must go or bleary eyed I will be. Oyasumi!

New Names

Joel, talking to Matthew this evening: "Your name is Chocolate Milk. My name is PIZZA!"

Here, playing with their new London taxis and double-decker bus.


Matthew, this morning at breakfast: "Mom, I want to go back to Japan!"

Abigail: "Matthew, do you miss Japan? We will go back sometime, I promise."

Matthew: "I want to take my little toy takyuubin truck back to Japan so I can show it to the real takyuubin trucks there!"

Birthday Blessings and Random Quotes

I had a superb birthday spent with some of my favorite people! Stephen's parents are here visiting and all six of us went for brunch to Alexa's Garden Cafe (home of the famous beloved koi), inside Swanson's Nursery. Beautiful ambience and the food was completely more-ish.

And my beloved Stephen made his specialty for dinner, Papatouille's Peachy Lamb with couscous. And it was. Just peachy. Award-winning black cherry pie and vanilla-bean ice cream for dessert (aka "pudding").

Thank you to all of you for your special birthday messages and all your across-the-miles hugs.

And to pass on the birthday fun, here are a few of my favorite beanie quotes from the past several days:


Matthew, while looking at a book of Japanese vehicles with me: "Mama, you called them 'shinkansen' but I called them 'bullet trains' because I'm half British!"

Abigail: "Matthew, you're half American, too."

Matthew: "Yes, and I'm also half Japanese."


Joel: "Call me 'Chocolate Milk'."


Matthew, seeing the word "Viva" written on the package of reusable cloths for washing dishes: "Mama, that spells 'Ivar's'! [Ivar's is a famous seafood restaurant here in Seattle where we had lunch one day with my Aunt Tina and Uncle Jim when they visited a couple of weeks ago. We had fun watching the ferries and firefighting boats right outside the windows.]

I was amazed at how close he was with his reading--three of the letters were in the same order.


The machine rolled over to a big(-ish) number today but I still feel like I'm about eighteen. Where did the hubby and kids appear from? How am I so blessed? My three boy-beans give the best cuddles in the whole world and today had an even extra number of both the hugs and the blessings. I'm treasuring lots of moments in my heart and am so thankful for the ones from my birthday today.

And as one friend said, it must be nice to be 29 again.

It is.


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