29 January 2009

Interview with C

The youngest child in the P Four family, C starts our interview by asking "What we doing here?" He's a blanket-toting, thumb-sucking version of Dennis the Menace. Last year, we couldn't have even had this conversation. He's a late talker, and has come a long, long way. So, here's our conversation.

How old are you? (counting his fingers) One, two, three, four. Four.
What is your favorite food to eat? Pizza.
What kind? And macaroni.
What is your favorite restaurant? Ice cream store.
What is your favorite candy? Lollipops.
What is your favorite ice-cream flavor? Chocolate one. And strawberry.
What is your favorite smell? Ummmm, macaroni smell, and you smell.
I smell? No, you smell.
You like my smell? Yup.
What is your favorite animal? The one with a big head.
A giraffe? Yes, giraffe.
If you could be any animal, what would it be? Ummm, tiger.
Why? Cause, me like tigers.
What is your favorite TV show? Spongebob Squarepants. And Shrek.
What is your favorite movie? I don’t know.
I actually think you answered that already.
What is your favorite song? Pizza song.
I’ve never heard of that song. (C busts into a made-up song about pizza.)
What is your favorite toy? Nothing.
Would you rather be inside or outside? Outside
Do you like morning or night time better? Snow.
Let me ask again ... morning or night? Snow.
What is your favorite sport? Giraffe one.
C, I think I’m losing you.
What is your favorite place to visit? Outer space.
Have you been there before? Nope.
What is your favorite holiday? Ummmm, Halloween
What is something you like to do at school? Nothing.
What about cookie baking? Oh, yup. And trains.
I think the trains are in childcare, not school. Are you ready to be done? Yes, me have dessert now?
Me. Ok, bye.

28 January 2009

Etsy :: All Things Red

UL ... Red Apple by tinctory
UR ... Faux Bling Scarf by littlepurls
LL ... Small Nesting Bowls by Gretchens Creations
LR ... Double Heart Ring by jujulee

Cupcake Morning

Look what my boss brought me today. A red velvet cupcake from Starbucks. I'm trying not to eat this stuff, thanks to the extra holiday pounds I put on and lack of exercise lately. But in the cupcake vs. me challenge today, it looks like the cupcake is probably going to win.

26 January 2009


C's been channeling his creative energy into fabricating stories. In other words, he's been lying. During the holiday season, we noticed chocolates from his advent calendar were missing and he blamed it on the elf. He recently told his teacher that I'm the one who told him to do cookie baking in school every day. And at dinner tonight, we had the following conversation.

Me: C, tell Dad who came to your school today.
C: Barack Obama.
Me: What?
C: Really!
Me: That's not what you told me before.
C: Ya, Barack Obama ... and a fireman. (Pause) You ask my teacher?
Me: Yes.
C: Ok, me lying. Only fireman, and alarm no loud.

P.S. Yes, we clearly knew the entire time that he was making this up. But we actually thought this one was pretty funny.

Blog of the Week: Dooce

is definitely one of my favorite blogs. (Yes, there is a lot of advertising -- but you really can't blame the author. You see, Heather Armstrong is a bit of a blog goddess, and if you got something like a million hits a day and could support a family on your blog, you'd have advertising all over it too). The writing is funny and the photos are great. The front page features a story, and links to three other photography sections: Daily Photo, Daily Chuck (Chuck is one of their dogs ... who has an uncanny knack of balancing objects on his head) and Daily Style (which has some seriously great finds). Enjoy.

25 January 2009


After a morning of building towers out of blocks & books, we went bowling with my parents, Christie, Tim, M & J. It was the first time for boys and they had a blast. Even though H's high score was about a 20, he was a trooper and can't wait to go again. Somehow, C even managed a strike ... on his own.

Skiing at Cascade

For the past couple of years, we've been talking about getting H on skies. So a few weeks back, my sister emailed me at said there was going to be German Fest at one of the ski hills. We ended up deciding to go to a more local hill, come home and make some sort of German meal. Well, the temperature was below zero, so my sister and her family backed out -- but still agreed to make dinner. We packed up the boys, and headed to Cascade Mountain. Since our children don't listen to us at all, we decided to put them in ski school. The instructors were great, and both boys did awesome. Cascade has a learning hill with a "magic carpet" for beginners. The highlight of the day was taking H up the big bunny hill in the chair lift and watching him go down the entire way without falling (C was crabby and nearly asleep at this point). It was my first time on skies in about 20 years too, and I had a total blast. (Ever since college, I've been snowboarding instead of skiing, but the last experience left me trembling. It was Park City with our friends. The mountains were big, Brian was impatient, and it hurt a lot more than before when I fell.) I'm glad I made the decision to switch back, because it was awesome and I can't wait to go again.

We came home, took a sauna at my parents (nice, right?) then went over to my sister's for homemade German fare. It was a great night.

22 January 2009


Long, long ago, Brian & I wanted a mobile. But large mobiles tend to be ... expensive. One day, we were out for brunch with friends and stumbled upon this one at Modern Times. What a find! Original and a fraction of the price we would have paid for a new one. We love it, and have made sure to find a home for it every place we've lived.

Comfort Food

Vegetable Tempura Udon Soup from Tokyo Lunch Boxes - spicy, of course.

Other comfort foods? Hot chocolate with marshmallows, warm crusty bread, real macaroni & cheese, pie (any, as long as it's homemade), a steaming mug of hot tea ...

20 January 2009

Neighborhood Ball

As seen outside FitzGerald's tonight, who were hosting a "Neighborhood Inaugural Ball." Another local restaurant was having a George Bush Farewell Party. Here's photos of Obama's people, a fun children's toy, and more pictures of the day.

January 20, 2009

What a beautiful day!

(Obama skateboard deck by Oliver Barrett)

19 January 2009

Design Mom

Last week, I "highlighted" one of my favorite blogs, Design*Sponge. I have many, so I thought I'd continue to share them, if you don't mind. Design Mom was one of the first blogs I started reading. It's "where design and motherhood intersect" and loaded with lot of good stuff.

Scenes from Today

The boys had off of school for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I worked from home -- too much to do to take off. It's almost dinner, and they are still in their PJs.

18 January 2009

Sunday Breakfast

When we lived in "the city," we ate breakfast out at least once every weekend. Since moving "the suburbs," we've had breakfast out probably less than five times in four years. Last Sunday and today, we woke up early and hit the gym to go swimming. Then we went out for breakfast. Today's spot was Blue Max Coffee in Forest Park. It is located in an old house on a residential street, smells divine (hello, fresh roasted coffee) and was delicious.

17 January 2009

Our Saturday

Crepes for breakfast (Nutella, Raspberry Jam with Sugar and Cinnamon & Sugar) -- made with soy milk. They turned out great!

A walk in the woods.
Some graffiti from our nature walk.Dinner and homemade Tarte au Sucré (Sugar Pie) -- I can't find the recipe, but it's from this amazing book.
I also went grocery shopping, Brian got a frozen pipe unfrozen without bursting, the kids painted wooden trains, and H & Brian played some Wii. Now, it's time to get the doodles to bed so we can watch a movie.

15 January 2009

Interview with H

A couple weeks ago, our H was the "Can Do Kid of the Week" in school. It was a big deal, that involved pages of questions, and a photo board he got to present to the class. Around the same time, one of the blogs I read had an interview of her son, and I thought, what a great idea. So, today I sat down with H and asked him a few questions:

So, you are the oldest child in the P family. How's that going? Good.
How old are you? 6
What grade are you in? 1st
What is something you like to do at school? Math
What is something you know a lot about? Sharks
Do you have a favorite food to eat? Yes, french fries.
Sounds good. What is your favorite restaurant? The sushi one (Sai Cafe)
What is your favorite candy? Gum
What is your favorite ice-cream flavor? Strawberry
What is your favorite smell? Strawberry. I love everything strawberry.
What is your favorite animal? Alligators
Scary. If you could be any animal, what would it be? A cheetah
Why? Because you can run fast.
What is your favorite TV show? Spongebob Squarepants
How about your favorite movie? (shrugs shoulders) I don’t know. I really don’t have a favorite one. Oh! Maybe Alvin & The Chipmunks.
What is your favorite song? The song from Alvin and the Chipmunks
Do you have any sort of collections? I have a cicada collection.
Anything else? Shells
What is your favorite toy? My train. Wait! I mean our Wii.
Would you rather be inside or outside? Outside, and I even like playing in the snow.
Do you like morning or night time better? Night time.
What is your favorite sport? Soccer.
What is your favorite game? TV tag.
What is your favorite place to visit? The Museum of Science and Industry.
Why? Because of the electric trains and the whole setup.
What is your favorite holiday? Christmas.
What are three words to describe yourself? Silly, crazy and funny.
I agree, but I also think you are very sweet. Are we done now?

Brrrrrr ...

It's -9 degrees (don't let those blue skies fool you). The kids think the icicles make our home look like a gingerbread house. I think they look more like the teeth of a 'winter monster.'

14 January 2009

Braving the Winter

All I'm saying, is if there is going to be so much snow, and freezing cold weather, why can't I be enjoying it here? (View more photos here.)

12 January 2009


Because I don't feel like talking about the fact that it's still snowing (a lot), or that my Cole Haan bag broke on the way to work (nothing I don't think can be fixed) and I had to use yarn from C's school to hold it together, or that work is insanely busy right now, or that C decided to cut another child's shirt at school today and is banned from unsupervised scissor use for awhile, I thought I'd highlight one of my favorite blogs instead. There are a lot of blogs that I find inspirational. There are many I read over the course of a week. There are some I refer to every day -- sometimes, even multiple times a day. Design*Sponge is one of them. Be sure to check it out for some great features, such as sneak peaks into designer/artist/people's homes, diy projects, city guides, before & after and recipes.

11 January 2009

Breath of Fresh Air

Something amazing happened today. I said "C, do you want to go to the library with us?" He said "No, me stay here." So H and I made a mad dash for the door and had some one-on-one time while C and Brian stayed home, which never ever happens. After spending some time at the library, we decided to take advantage of the situation and stop at the conservatory on the way home. It's only a few blocks from our house, and a great little gem. Especially in the winter.

The boys have declared ...

Sounds good to us! They couldn't leave each other alone yesterday.

09 January 2009

C's Snowman

Every Friday, C brings home a stack of his artwork. This snowman was in the mix. I'm thinking we have a Tim Burton in our family. Or I should say, I hope that's what it is.

08 January 2009

Fire Alarm

Dear parents,

Your children may come home tonight talking about a fire drill. We had a problem with one of the toaster ovens and it set off the smoke alarm which triggered the fire alarm. The bad news was that the alarm is very loud. The good news is that the alarm works very well. It was exciting and scary and everyone handled themselves in a calm way. You have great children!
We received the above email from the administrator of C's school. Guess who was working on "cookie baking" when this happened! Yup -- C's cookie was the culprit! He was pretty excited to tell the story of his cookie starting on fire when I picked him up today.

07 January 2009


Before H was born, we had talked about painting the bottom of his room in chalkboard paint so he could color on the walls. When he finally entered this world, our friends Kim & Jesse gave him some chalkboard paint as a present. But we just never got around to doing it. Over the holiday Brian pulled out the almost 7 year old paint can, and used it on a wall near our kitchen. On Christmas Eve., we wrote our first message wishes our guests a Merry Christmas. Within a couple days, the wall was filled by our friends and family. It was hard to erase. Our wall currently lists "major house rules" as well as some giant chocolate chip cookies the boys drew. I love the life it's taken on.

05 January 2009

Lucky Pup

It's true ... at this point, Christmas was almost two weeks ago. However, Storm got a gift that I just love -- a new dog tag from Lucky Pup (via Scratch 'n Sniff). Hopefully it will last longer than the dog bed he got last year, and chewed up within a couple months.

04 January 2009

Last Pajama Day

Over the past couple weeks, the boys have enjoyed about five pajama days. Even if we had plans later that day, they were probably in their pajamas until right before we had to leave. "Normal" clothes were not a big priority for us over the holiday break. The last couple weeks have been so much fun. It's been such a great time with Brian, H & C -- and I really just don't want tomorrow to come. I feel like we were able to unwind, relax and enjoy each other like we honestly have never been able to do before.

Today was spent at home. H got to play as much Wii as he wanted. C got to watch as much Spongebob as he wanted. We at cheese fondue for lunch ... the boys in their pajamas. Brian made chocolate chip cookies with H. We took a walk around the block after dinner ... in the cold, the boys still in their pajamas. This has really been an incredible couple of weeks. Thanks guys!

03 January 2009

Lunch and a Show

All holiday season, we had been meaning to go to Redmoon Theater's Winter Pageant Redux, finally deciding that today was the day. We are so glad we did (tomorrow is the last performance). It was fun and interactive for the kids. It's urban and artistic. H & C were shy at first, but by the end, they were throwing paper "snowballs" at one of the actors and laughing like crazy.

Before the show, we ate lunch at Minnies. I had the house special with a cuban, mykonos and minnie turkey cheeseburger. On the way to the venue, we ran into the Dutch Bike Company. Brian went in, and said it was incredible. I was in the car, but didn't mind admiring the one outside the store.

It was another great day!