Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Let the schooling BEGIN!

I didn't post any first day of school pictures, here or on Facebook, simply to be stand-offish. I TOOK pictures, but everyone else was posting them and I don't want to be just like everyone else. So I waited a few weeks, and here they are on the blog! Stand-offish though I may be, it would be silly to post them too much later.
 Patrick started 1st grade and is in Mrs. Byrd's class. He really loves having his own desk, which has a compartment to stow things - he thinks that it SUPER cool. And maybe he's right, I like that same feature in our computer desk! He got a new backpack which is far too big for him, but his backpack from last year, just the next size down, is too small for homework folders. I guess that's just part of growing up, eh, being awkwardly sized.

Eli was excited to see Patrick leave. Patrick started a week earlier than Eli, even though they're at the same school, and Eli was completely nonplussed, perhaps even a little glad, to be missing a brother all day long. 

Here was Eli's first day - he started preschool! He loves his teacher, Mrs. Kim. It seems ridiculous that he is in preschool, he seems so very old to me! Maybe it's because the word "big" is often used to describe both size and level of maturity - both "you're so big, you can reach that tall shelf" and "you're so big, you know how to write you name!" Since Eli is so big physically I think we "big" people tend to get confused about his maturity. I think of him as Patrick's age, as they are the same size and share everything, so this is just one of those helpful reminders to me that I shouldn't actually treat him like Patrick; they are 2 years apart, and 2 years is a lot when you're 4 or 6. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Good Reads for Kids

A long time ago I posted some of our favorite kids books, and of course I enjoy going back through old posts, so it was so fun to come across those books and remember how awesome they were! Then to go get them from the library again. We just hit the library a few weeks ago and came across a few new favorites that the kids just couldn't - and wouldn't - put down.

Little Quack. A story about courage, with counting and rhyming and ADORABLE pictures. Happily read this 1,000 times. Apparently there is an entire series of Little Quack books - bedtimes and colors and hide-and-seek, so we'll have to see if we can find some of those.

Mighty Dads. By Joan Holub, illustrated by James Dean, the same guy who does the Pete the Cat series. I loved the illustrations - they were simple and bright but had just enough detail to be seriously fun! I loved having Joe read this to the kids.

Bang! Boom! Roar! A Busy Crew of Dinosaurs. FANTASTIC art! Have you ever watched Wonder Pets? It's the same multi-media approach, with tons of fun little touches, like pictures of real granola bars stuck in illustrated tool belts. Plus at the end there is a list of things to find throughout the book, which I (yep, the adult) had a really good time looking for.

Pierre the Penguin - a true story. By Jean Marzolo, author of the I Spy series for kids. Sometimes rhyming books technically rhyme but trip over themselves when it comes to the rhythm, but this books has really cute rhymes, great rhythm, AND a great story (hey, it's true! That always makes it better!) AND really great illustrations. We just loved this book. Another one I read 1,000 times and still loved it.  Added bonus: since it's a true story you can look up Pierre the penguin and his rescuer, aquatic biologist Pam, on google and there's lots of pictures!

Huck Runs Amuck by Sean Taylor. Hilarious! And great rhyming

Sophie's Masterpiece by Eileen Spinelli. I cry every time I read this. 

It's a Tiger! by David LaRochelle. A laugh-out-loud story, and I loved the art. 

Oh, man, we really love to read around these parts!

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Hopefully nobody's anaconda wants some of my house, because we got BUNS! Bunnies!

Meet Cinnabun (above) and Shadow (below)
 Our previous bunny, Easter, died only a few weeks after the blessed holiday of his namesake. We were all saddened by it, but since we purchased Easter at the fair we thought we could just wait a few months and do the same again. When the fair rolled around this August, we did just that. It seemed Easter had died a bit early (he was 6) and we read that bunnies, being very social, often live longer when they have a bunny companion. Not wanting to breed hundreds of bunnies, and also not wanting to pay to get bunnies neutered to avoid hundreds of bunnies, we bought two females. They're both young, less than 6 months old, which is supposed to make it easier for them to bond (I guess because they're not crotchety old women yet!). Bringing them home was sheer delight for our own brood of small humans, who immediately vied for spots.

 Cinnabun, the seemingly more timid of the two, his in the corner with the brooms and tried to look like a dust bunny! Very tricky.

 We put them in separate cages next to one another for a few days - they are supposed to get familiar with one another's scents and habits before being formally introduced. Once we introduced them, though, Cinnabun proved she is NOT the timid one and she fought Shadow, pulling out some of her fur, and then nipped my finger when I tried to pull her away. Whoops! Too soon! We realized if there was to be a much longer introduction period we would need much more permanent housing, so Joe got very busy and completely re-built the bunny hutch to house two bunnies - a common area in the middle, currently with wire mesh down the middle of the middle so they can get used to one another without any fighting or nipping. Then, of course, the kids had to paint it!

 And voila! We now have the most beautiful, colorful rabbit hutch, with two adorable bunnies.