Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Big Boy Beds

My dream has finally been realized and the boys now have bunk beds!

I didn't have to build them myself, after all, but neither did I convince C to build them...instead his dad had a free week back in February and built them for us (I ordered plans online and made him follow them, rather than randomly throwing wood together). The parts sat in our playhouse for close to a month waiting for C and me to get our act together and get mattresses. I really wanted something organic/environmentally friendly, but at ten times the price of the mattresses at the nearby discount furniture store, I couldn't justify it (now I know just where my limits are!) I did find organic sheets at Target for only $40 (rather than $140 or more), and I finally found organic cotton mattress pads online that cost less than the mattresses (I was on the point of despair and about ready to sew my own!) I was really annoyed, though, when they arrived in zippered vinyl bags.

Anyway, back to the beds...the boys were THRILLED! M was a bit nervous about sleeping up top the first night, but I encouraged him to try it, and I think he's liking having his own space now (if only we could figure out a way to keep the brothers off of it).

This is where they slept before--in a puppy pile on this queen-sized mattress on the floor:

There are two big drawers under the bed. One I filled with extra blankets and sheets; in the other I hope to consolidate the multitudinous bins of Lego's, but haven't quite gotten there yet.

In preparation for the changeover, I tried doing a major clean-out of their room. I filled one big fruit box with books (duplicates, outgrown and generally crappy), another partway with toys and I eliminated one HUGE box of stuffed animals. All of this is waiting in a teetery pile in the basement for my friend's yard sale in June. Still the room seems sooo messy and full of junk...much of it Lego's, but also a lot of other crap that really needs to be sorted and eliminated. It's a bit early for the switchover from winter to summer clothes, but I'm hoping when that happens it will also help.

Yesterday I went on a mad-woman spring-cleaning binge in the downstairs part of the house...it was a gloomy rainy day and my choices were to pull the covers over my head and wallow in despair or get moving. I mean serious cleaning--dusting, washing windows, taking down all of the kids' artwork that's been accumulating on the sun room windows (we had stuff dating back to Christmas), sorting through my own books to add to the yard sale pile, rearranging the sun room furniture, folding laundry and organizing the kids' art supplies (happily I ran out of time before I got to the bathroom). I still feel driven by this compulsion that if I could just get my house clean enough--and eliminate enough of the junk and clutter--then everything will be OK. I know I'm not alone in this feeling, since there is an entire magazine and television industry devoted to this concept (not to mention professional organizers and fung shui-ers)...but here's the question: has anyone ever gotten that organized and did it actually make them feel better?

Monday, March 30, 2009

What Ails Ya

This week's Earth Scouts adventure was a decidedly less resounding success than last week. Again we had three little boys who wanted to stay in their jammies and play Lego's all day. Combine that with a drizzly gray day. And a Mama who has been in supremely crabby mood for at least two weeks (please tell me it's just March in Maine...not ready for psychotropic drugs). And a firstborn child who could not decide WHAT TO WEAR...seriously. Because the chickadees were holding a fashion show out in the soggy field.

Once I browbeat everyone outdoors, I put on my Fake Excited and Cheerful Mama act, as we looked for Colors in Nature (let's see...grey, brown, grey and brown)...actually we ended up with a full rainbow (red dogwood branches and sumac berries; orange stick and rock; yellow grass; green spruce tree and tiny, tiny, tiny sprigs of grass; blue jay; oops, no purple; grey clouds, white snow; black rotten leaves)...but there was much complaining about being cold and wanting to go back...counting on this being a minor blip in the road and not a forecast of what's to come.

Later, after I had gotten to the point of, "If I hear the word, 'mama!' one more time I'm going to f*ing scream" for about the fiftieth time this weekend, I escaped, with a friend, through the pouring rain, to Portland, to see The Passion of the Hausfrau. Which you MUST go see if you're anywhere within driving range of Portland. I laughed. I cried. I laughed some more. Then we went out for Indian food. I felt much better for about three hours, then, reluctantly, dragged my heels home, again through the pouring rain, to a house that had been trashed and which sinking ship C abandoned first thing this morning for the next two days...glug, glug.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New GEMINI and Giveaway

Hot off the presses:

Issue #10: Mother, Nature.

I'm very excited about this issue; it's the first (and probably last) with a full-color cover, and the theme of writing about nature and motherhood is something I'm hoping to do more of.

Inside: Leapin' Salamanders, Camping w/ Kiddos, Climate Change Anxiety, Mother-Earthy Reads and More!

To celebrate, I want to give away a free issue to one lucky blog reader. Please leave a comment on this message between now and next Tuesday, March 31, 12:00 noon (EDT) for your chance to win. If you already have a subscription or are a regular trade, expect your copy soon. You can still leave a comment, and win a second copy for friend (or leave a comment and opt-out of the giveaway, if you'd like).

Here's the thing...I still haven't figured out how to send an email directly to a commenter, so you have to come back here next Wednesday to check and see if you're a winner.

Good luck!

3/31/09--Comments closed. Come back tomorrow to see who the BIG winner is!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Signs of Spring

We had our first Earth Scouts adventure Sunday morning, and once I finally convinced three little boys who wanted to stay in their jammies and play Legos all day to get dressed, it went surprisingly well. They loved the vests and bags, and refused to put coats on over them, even though it was only 32.5 degrees out.

We went out looking for signs of spring. Here E and Z point out some green moss. That's not covered in snow. That counts.

We hiked our little trail and heard chickadees singing their "see-saw" song (yes I know it's called the "fee-bee" song, but it sounds like "see-saw" to me), and heard (and saw) a Canada goose fly overhead (definitely a sign of spring). M thought he heard an owl and E thought he heard a peacock (hmm).

We walked on crunchy snow (yes, that's spring-like). And saw that below the willow tree, the ice on the river is breaking up.

We found a big pile of feathers from a grouse that met its demise near the river's edge, and everyone was able to add a few to their foraging bags. At home we made a list of our spring sightings, looked up grouse in the bird book, to make sure that's what we saw (also verified by C who for more sinister reasons--i.e. dinner--has had occasion to be up close and personal with grouse feathers.

We also started some wheat grass seeds. I wanted to try to do it soil-less, so we're experimenting with our Bio-set seed sprouter. We'll see how it goes.

Another sign of spring is C's maple sugaring operation. Not one to do things by halves (note the twins), C is incapable of tapping a couple of trees for a couple of quarts of syrup...instead he's got probably 30 or more taps distributed through the neighborhood, and has been boiling three days each weekend. Not sure what we're up to on syrup, but I'd say it's nearing 20 gallons.

I'm not a huge fan of sugaring season, because it means C is unavailable for huge chunks of time, and a constant stream of people drop in for a visit. Which is wonderful, when it's my friends who I enjoy talking to and hanging out with, but when it's my in-laws making themselves permanent fixtures in my front yard, let's just say it's not so good for my tooth-grinding issues. It is better this year than two years ago, last time he sugared, because the twins are older and more independent, so I have to give them less constant attention, and worry less about them falling into the stove, even though Z thinks the only place to be is in the 20 inch space between the evaporator and the wood pile.

Saturday night, after I sat through the interminable town meeting (alone, because C was boiling...but no I'm not resentful!), we had a little Equinox blaze...an old Christmas wreath (from two or three years ago), welcoming spring!

I would say the boys got their four elements play in this weekend--Earth (mud, mud, and more mud...M rode his bike in it all Saturday and Sunday and looked like he was made of adobe by the end); Water (the melting river...although we didn't actually play IN it); Fire (flaming wreath; evaporator burning cords of wood); and Air (M flew a kite for 93 minutes Sunday...trying to go for the world record!).
Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

EarthScouts Resurrected

I have strange dreams. At the same time vivid and fuzzy. They make no sense. They blend real and imaginary characters. They usually involve some sort of anxiety...being chased, or looking for something, or trying to get out of somewhere. When my babies were little, I was always dropping them in deep black oceans. But once in a rare while, a good idea comes to me in a dream (I have dreamed the plots to movies and novels and once a board game, but they never came back to me in any sensible way during the waking hours).

One night, many, many years ago, I dreamed I was leading a troop of scouts out in the woods, studying nature. Even their uniforms--dark turquoise vests--came to me in the dream. After I woke up, I came up with a name, "EarthScouts," and started up the first troop with my younger brothers, my youngest sister and my niece. C and I took them for a weekend morning or afternoon over the few months we lived nearby and did various environmental education activities. I made the vests and the patches they earned for our various activities--a worm for composting, a skull and crossbones for finding and labeling household chemicals, a recycling symbol for making recycled paper, a water drop for examining water in a nearby drainage channel.

Here are the original Earth Scouts are on a field trip to the zoo:

We saw this rhino poop (and a hippo too)...it was very thrilling.
(They are now 18, 19, 20 and 22 years old!)

I hadn't felt inspired to restart EarthScouts with my own children until February, when a package of books C had ordered for me for Christmas finally arrived at our house after globe-trotting since December 17. One of the books, I Love Dirt, is filled with ideas and activities for spending time outdoors with kids. It's a nice book, with neat, simple ideas, but I knew it would end up on a shelf unless I made some effort to actively use it on a regular basis. And so I remembered Earth Scouts--the twins are now old enough to concentrate on a guided activity for a few minutes, and we all need encouragement to get out and get moving on the weekends--we could have a weekly EarthScouts adventure, following the activities in the book. The book has 52 activities--one for each week--arranged by season. I decided to start the first weekend of spring, and make a concerted effort to do every one (in order when practical) every Sunday morning (since we now have baseball on Saturdays--ugh!)

I had enough fabric to make three more vests, and enough felt to recreate the EarthScout patches. I had thought briefly of getting wool felt and making them prettier with embroidery and such, but decided that the more environmentally responsible thing to do would be use the acrylic felt I already had. In fact, I could see this easily turn into an excuse to get more stuff, so my intention is to only use things we have on hand already--the I Love Dirt book, along with a dozen or so kids' field guides from our shelves, several pairs of plastic binoculars, along with various nets, magnifying glasses and bug jars, which I've been trying to gather together in one spot, but they keep migrating around the house.

(I just noticed the EarthScouts patches look vaguely like Jesus fish, or the Du Pont logo...no similarity is intended.)

I did, however, also make these field bags, based loosely on these lovely embroidered linen foraging bags...mine are a little more utilitarian, made with blue canvas a friend of mine "rescued" from a load of fabric headed toward a dumpster (for shame!) and lined with blueberries, feathers and owls...just in case we want to carry water bottles or field guides with us, or collect acorns and shells when we're out. Really I just wanted something to put the little Earth patches on.
My intention is to focus on just spending time in close contact with nature in our own backyard, rather than learning about big ecological or environmental concepts. For patches, I think I'll do each season, and maybe certain areas of interest, like birds or frogs--not as rewards (I'm not a big fan of reward-based education), but as embellishments, I guess. I also want to invoke magical thinking and imagination, rather than scientific explanations for everything. Right now the idea is for them to breathe fresh air and feel the sun and rain and get dirt under their fingernails and between their toes, so that it becomes a part of them matters to them, later when they learn about those big scary things like climate change, or faraway places like the rainforest.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I won my first ever blog giveaway last month over at Simple Makes (go there and make a comment for your chance to win some lovely earrings!)--a pair of kids' legwarmers from Laylalegs. Of course I had to order an additional two pairs so everyone could have some. It turns out I made a serious miscalculation in color choice--both M and Z's favorite color is blue, while E's is red; I really liked the rainbow ones, but they only had one pair that wasn't super girly, soooo, I took a chance and went with one blue, one red and one rainbow hoping it would all settle out. As it turns our Z got the shaft (poor middle kid!); the legs arrived Sunday (actually Saturday, but I didn't get around to checking the mailbox until Sunday) and Z got stuck with the red ones, while M took blue and E took rainbow. He cried for a good half hour over that one.

By Monday he'd gotten over it, and both he and E wore theirs under jeans and went out to play for the first time in months, months and months with no snowpants! Sure they stuck to the deck and driveway, but the seemed so joyous running around with all the freedom of movement that boots and snowpants and winter coats inhibit. Later, we picked M up from school and drove him to an eye dr. appointment. In the back seat, E and Z pulled their jeans up over their knees to reveal their legwarmers, and when we got to the eye doctor's office, this is the site that greeted the receptionist: E walked in first, wearing a hunter orange knit cap, high on his head, elf style, a grey Tyrolean sweater, with red hearts and two silver buttons with a chain, a fluorescent yellow lanyard around his neck, patched jeans pulled up over his knees, rainbow legwarmers and mint green socks, followed by Z, more conservatively dressed in a hat that is half tan cashmere, half turquoise acrylic, a beige sweater with a sled dog on it, patched jeans tucked into red and black striped legwarmers, white socks and white shoes. She about cracked up. I am ashamed to admit that for a fleeting second I considered having them pull their pants legs back down over the legwarmers, but managed to contain myself.
I can see so many fun uses for these--extending shorts season at both ends, an extra layer under pants in fall/spring when it's not cold enough for snow pants, keeping warm in the house on cloudy winter days, warming up when the temp drops suddenly on camping trips. I think they should make some in my size, don't you?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What’s UP with St. Patrick’s Day??

When did this become another major consumerist holiday, complete with imaginary nighttime visitor/bearer of treats? When I was a kid, we would try to slip some green into our school uniforms of blue, white and grey (usually a green pin or ribbon at the collar), and pinch anyone who forgot. Maybe watch Darby O’Gill and the Little People or The Bells of St. Mary’s on TV. Nowadays kids build traps in hopes of capturing a Leprechaun, who will grant them three wishes. E and Z have been talking about this event for weeks, and what they’ll wish for (gum, candy and lollipops), in addition to coloring multitudes of Leprechauns and shamrocks. Last week the daycare director pulled me aside to tell me not to worry about green bowel movements, because they will be eating green grapes, green beans and green milk today for lunch.

I would be totally fine with using it as an opportunity to learn about Irish culture and celebrate the coming spring (I assume that’s what it’s about originally; co-opted to celebrate the saint who drove all the “snakes”—i.e. Druids—out of Ireland), but when it turns into another opportunity to get stuff, I get irritated.

But even I got sucked into it last year, when M built a Leprechaun trap in school, and was so wound up about whether the Leprechaun would come to our house, and how would he know if it did, that I made a little green Leprechaun shoe using this pattern (I was going to make two, but ran out of time) and casually placed it on the bottom step. He was soooo thrilled when he found it, but then he spent the next several months obsessing about whether it was from a real Leprechaun or whether I made it. I had intended to make the other shoe this year (so at least it would be a pair) and hide it, but M hasn’t seem too interested in the idea (and E and Z are more interested in actually catching the Leprechaun…and cutting off its head), so I let it drop.

This year we kept it simple—M read to us from a book of Celtic Fairy Tales over the weekend, we watched The Secret of Roan Inish Saturday night, we’ve been listening to our Celtic Tides CD, and I made Irish-American soda bread for dinner last night (along with kale-potato gratin, which, while not Irish, is green) for dinner. I left early this a.m. to go swim, so wasn’t around to dress the boys in green (unlikely that C would think of such a detail) and even forgot to bring green clothes for myself (instead choosing a blue sweater that had a big smear of something slimy on the sleeve, that I noticed in the middle of a meeting, and which totally threw me off whatever I was trying to say). It remains to be seen when I get home tonight whether they will have noticed that they didn’t “get” anything—felt shoes or gold coins—this St. Paddy’s Day.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Daylight Savings Time Blues

I used to think Daylight Savings Time had something to do with farmers, then Congress extended it last year purportedly to save energy (although it actually uses more energy), and now I know for a fact that it is an evil plot to keep the masses off balance so that they don’t rise up and overthrow the oppressors.

We are all in a DST-induced discombobulation at our house. It’s not just like our body clocks are one hour off, but more like we have been transported to a planet that has shifting days ranging from nine to 36 hours long. Everyone is tired and cranky by 6 p.m., but no one can fall asleep before 9:00 (M yelled from his bed last night: “We need sleeping pills, Mom!”). I’ve been waking up between 3:00 and 5:00 every morning (which translates to 2:00-4:00 Eastern Standard Time!), unable to get back to sleep. And tiny little things set everyone off—they whine and fight and cry over who gets which carseat, sitting down to eat dinner and broken Lego sets (OK, they did that during EST too, but my tolerance level is WAY lower now).

In other news, I started an email poetry class yesterday. We’re encouraged (but not required) to write a poem a day. Here’s my attempt for day 1 (with the caveat that I know f***-all about writing poetry, so go ahead and laugh, you won’t hurt my feelings):

Turning on My Computer in the Morning

Still cold from the long walk
From the parking lot to the red brick building
That once housed mental patients but now
Confines State workers in even rows

I change my shoes—like Mr. Rogers—
Drape a deep turquoise shawl over my shoulders
And press the power strip switch with my toe

The grey burlap walls of my cubicle
Press in around me and I don’t see
The faces of my children, the moon over Half Dome
The dried orange butterfly wings or the piles
Of unfinished work as I sit, hand poised over mouse,
And wait for my day to begin

I promise I won't torture you with every poem I attempt (provided I actually follow-through with daily writing), but you may see another poem or two here over the next few weeks.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rash Decisions

Saturday I went to the open house at the Montessori preschool M went to. My plan was to look around, get a feel for the place now--what had changed, what hadn't, in the last three years--and go home and weigh my options. But as we sat there in the primary room, sitting on tiny wooden chairs at a tiny wooden table, the sun streaming in the window, E and Z happily stacking gradually-smaller cubes on top of each other, I began to feel lulled. I thought about Leprechauns--specifically the Leprechauns E and Z brought home from daycare last Thursday, which each had exactly the same colored hats and beards and suits and boots, as if they were colored by the same robot, and which also were cut out EXACTLY along the outline, in a way no three-year-old could ever muster (I have often remarked that the "teachers" at daycare get a lot of practice with their fine motor skills). And I thought about the dark, cramped preschool room, on the second floor of a converted garage with only two windows, with drab gray carpet and dingy white walls, where the TV holds the most prominent position in the room, and in the arsenal of childcare and kid-wrangling tactics.

After nearly two hours of stacking and building and chatting, we moved into the elementary room to get the price and registration information and found out that there were only barely two part-time slots still available. The price per week came out only slightly more than what we're already paying for daycare (but I neglected to consider before- and after-care). I made a quick call to C, wrote a post-dated check for September's tuition and snatched up the spots. Only later did I remember the things that were going to go in my "down-sides" column--the school closes on holidays and snow days, daycare does not; the school day goes from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (with a 7:40 early drop-off and 5:00 late pickup, at a cost, of course), while daycare runs from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; daycare is about half a mile from my house, making it equally convenient for either C or me to drop off or pick up the kids, while the preschool is on my way to work, making it my job to both pick up and drop off.

Other objections I had harbored seem less significant now--I was always bothered by the clutter and disorganization of the place (yes I am a total hypocrite)...it was very clean Saturday--of course they would clean up for an open house, but they also have two administrative assistants, so hopefully they handle organization. I knew at least five or six of the current and/or prospective parents who were milling around Saturday, which is at least four or five more than I knew after M went there for two years (yes I was a little self-absorbed with the business of twin pregnancy/birth/infancy).

I asked E and Z if they liked the school--E said yes, Z said no. When I asked which they would rather go to, school or daycare, they unanimously voted to "stay home."

Later that evening I felt a moment of panic--what if I made a mistake? What if, through a change in fortunes, we don't need daycare or preschool next year (of course if we have a change in fortune of that magnitude, we won't care too much about forfeiting our deposit). Now that a few days have gone by, I'm getting kind of excited at the prospect--if nothing more than for a change. But also because I think it would be easy to underestimate E and Z's need for intellectual stimulation because their language skills don't come close to what M's had been...I've had a nagging feeling I was short-changing them (conflicting with a satisfaction that I was supporting their childhood and not pushing them), and now I think that everything will be just fine...no more long days at daycare in front of the TV. No more naps, making bedtime that much easier (and earlier). I'll miss out on a year of early morning swims, Pilates classes and solo grocery-runs, but it's only a year and I think our gains will outweigh our losses. Let's hope.

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Few Laughs

Last weekend, C and I went to a comedy show, which was totally out of character for us--not only was it our second date in as many weeks, but it's not the sort of thing we normally go to. However, the comedienne was a friend of ours, whom we haven't seen in a while, and we were excited to see her show (which included one story about M!). The venue was extremely odd--the tiny living room in a cramped house, filled with lots and lots of people. The opening act was two electric guitars blasting Led Zeppelin (or something...all that stuff sounds the same to me--I'm such a grandma!). But the show was great, and very funny. As I sat there laughing, I realized that I NEVER laugh. I probably go days or even weeks without so much as a snicker or giggle (other than fake laughs at M's jokes). Even my writing, which I once considered mildly amusing, has gotten, if not depressing, then just plain boring.

Is it just this time of year (not much is funny about negative 8.9 in March)? Or am I just a miserable old crank? Will the coming spring lighten my mood and bring levity and jollity to my demeanor or do I need to join a laughter club? Maybe I just need to spend more time hanging out with my funny friends (you know who you are!).

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Stuff and Nonsense

Gift I made for a baby shower I went to this past weekend:

for some reason I was feeling compelled to make something baby out of blueberry fabric...looking at the photo, it looks more old-lady-ish than baby-ish, but very Maine, so I think it's OK. I think the blubes would even work for a boy (especially my berry lovin' boys), but I would not have thought to make them something...funny how you rub up against the edge of your comfort zone like that...I have a friend who dresses her son in all kinds of flowery things, and I greatly admire her for it, but can't bring myself to do it, although I did dress all three boys in pink flowery onesies handed down from their cousin when they were babies. It's probably a good thing I don't have a girl...she'd be dressed in all kinds of fruity (literally) clothes, particularly strawberries, I think, in either Little House on The Prairie style long dresses with pinafores or Little Orphan Annie style short dresses before pinafores (before she finds Daddy Warbucks, in the movie Annie--is it weird I love her orphan dress?)

The blanket is from an old Martha Stewart Kids (just a yard of cotton sewn to a yard of flannel--I tried to get all fancy with the rounded corners). The shoe pattern comes from here. Wish I knew about this when my babies were little...I would have mad a dozen pairs. And the round thing is a teether made with a wooden ring and grossgrain ribbon. I don't remember where I got the idea, but I think it's cute. Each thing took an hour or less.

The Healthy Eating Plan--is going fairly well...I like the escape valve of "whatever" for dinner and weekends (but still no sugar, although the jam I had on my pancakes may have had some sugar in it--I made some this summer w/ sugar, some w/ fruit juice and some w/ honey and I don't remember which). I got very cook-ey Friday and made hummus, bread, creme bulgair (that's yogurt made from cream) and scones (which I tried to make like drop biscuits to avoid the patting and shaping, but they came out more like blops)...the hummus for lunches this week, the bread just 'cause, and the creme bulgair and scones because I had a lot of cream to use up (we get milk from a nearby farm and it has about 3 inches of cream on the top of every half gallon).

(This picture shows everything but the bread, which is in the oven, and a lot of the mess, which is off to the right).

Hummus ready for freezing (btw...hummus from scratch is not as good as store-bought...bummer).

I was very good and didn't eat any scones b/c they have sugar in them. Monday I kind of forgot about the vegan part of the eating plan and suggested egg salad for lunch because it had gone over well Sunday (i.e. M ate egg salad, Z ate a "round" egg, and E ate the white off his egg). I ate some egg salad anyway, because I felt starved for protein haven eaten at least three meals over the weekend that consisted mainly of mashed potatoes. I also had cabbage salad, and avocado and carrot sticks (and no bread), so it wasn't too bad.

The last (yummy) thing I made before Lent was Bohemian Kolaches, a recipe I remember my mom making on rare but yummy occasions when I was little. They're little rolls of sweet bread with filling in the middle. She always made some apricot, some prune and some poppy seed, but I had a lot of prunes to use up (and if you make these ever, I would not recommend eating all the leftover prune filling out of the saucepan, even if it does taste exactly like mince meat pie because of the allspice. Not that I would do that or anything. Just sayin'). They came out a tad on the dry side, but they were light and flaky and yummy. A couple of days earlier I also made the Best Cookies Ever for a gathering we went to...imagine a cookie that combines the best of peanut butter, oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies all in one! And is easy! And delicious! Where did I find this magical recipe? Some fancy-dancy cookie cookbook? The internets? NO! It's from the good old-fashioned red-checkered Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook--they're called peanut butter oatmeal rounds and they rock! I can't wait for Lent to end so I can make them again. M took one taste and declared, "I don't like peanut butter cookies," and I was like, Yeah! More for me! They went too fast to take a picture, but I'll get one next time.

M, Z and E had a spontaneous tea party Sunday after lunch. I love Salt and Chocolate's little tea parties, but I am not that organized. They wanted to play with the tea sets (which I store on top of a very tall piece of furniture after a few breakage incidents), then they wanted real tea, so I washed the cups (which appeared to have a crust of sugar from the last tea party) and put tiny leftover Valentine's hearts on the plates...it was cute to watch M pour, and the little ones sip (and M say, everytime E or Z asked for a re-fill, "Just let me drink MY tea!" Hmmm...who does that sound like?).

And finally, it's March. March? It snowed 10 inches yesterday!! On March 2. Crocuses? Tulips? Daffodils? Not a chance. BUT...when C got home last night, he plowed the driveway and I looked out at 5:30 p.m. and I could see the plow truck! That is progress (although apparently we're going to switch to daylight savings soon and be getting up in the dark again! Arrggh!)
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