Saturday, March 31, 2012

Calamity Jane

Sorry for the grainy ipod picture but this is part of Mr. T's finished room. He was pretty happy with it.

I swear, we are not the family that is in a constant state of crisis. You know those families that always have a huge thing broken or someone in the emergency room or some other crisis? That's not us. Really and truly it's not. For the most part, things run along pretty smoothly around here but this spring break..... I almost can't help but laugh, it's been so bad. Today's new adventures included a glass baking pan violently exploding in my face, and Mr. T coming down with a fever. Which brings our total to 2 broken cars (one won't be back until April 13), 2 really sick kids, a family crisis, work stress, exploding glass pan (not in my eyes thankfully!), a fighting couple and....yeah. That's about it.

On the up side, Miss E is better (well enough to start being bored and acting out because the attention isn't on her) and Mr. T is still really happy with his room.  So here's to tomorrow going smoothly and us being over this spring break soon! (Also, I am really really really looking forward to the van coming home in a few weeks and to a new windshield on each of our cars).

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Sickie

This girl is sick, and she is not a kid who gets sick. I can maybe count on the fingers on one hand the number of times in her life she has just randomly fallen asleep any place and today this was the second time she dozed off on the couch. This was after sleeping in until 8:30 which is also unheard of for her. This morning her fever was back and so was a terrible cough. She's been gone all week and I swear every single time I talked to her she sounded off to me and I kept checking with Peter "are you watching her?", "is she OK?", "have you taken her temperature?" and he kept telling me "yes, I am" and "yes, she's fine but tired". And I'm sure in his eyes she was fine. But he was checking her temp with his hand, not a thermometer and I don't think he was accounting for the amount that being out of her environment would mask her illness. Yesterday when she got home, she was a wreck, and this morning we went to the doctor because fever all week, plus worsening cough and sore throat = worried mama. And sure enough, she has walking pneumonia.

We have antibiotics and cough medicine (4 kinds!) but unfortunately, she has inherited both her mama's mule headed stubbornness and hatred of all medication. I have spent all day coaxing her to take some tylenol and you can forget about the cough medicine. Right now she is in her room, exhausted, coughing and refusing to take any cough medicine. I've pushed as hard as I can and got to the point where if I want her to take it I'm going to have to physically force it down her throat which I really don't want to do. Fortunately she took her antibiotics today (and it's only 5 days that she has to take them) and some chewable fever meds. Other than that she has laid on the couch all day. I started reading Harry Potter to her, she listened to some books on her ipod and we watched an episode of Human Planet (if you haven't seen this series you MUST DO IT NOW. So good.). I'm hoping that by tomorrow the antibiotics will kick in and she'll be feeling better and I'm really hoping she didn't pass it to Peter's grandmother or his parents on their visit.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sprink Break you can suck it.

Somebody missed his lady

Man I hate spring break. This one, despite all the peaceful alone time, has been riddled with car issues ( 2 down now and the van not coming back until April 13!), family issues, work stress, illness and my husband being a dork. Hopefully it's all just getting out of the way so the rest of spring can be smooth sailing.

This afternoon though, my kiddos came home and I was SO HAPPY to see them! Poor Miss E is super sick, I'm kind of surprised they didn't come home earlier -she is SO sick and pretty much has been all week. She was a wreck in the four hours I between when she got home and bed time. Poor girl. We may be hitting up the doctor tomorrow.

Mr. T was really excited about his room, loved the way I did it and doesn't want to move anything. He spent most of the afternoon down there listening to Harriet the Spy and checking out where I put all his toys. I'll try and get a picture of his room tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


My family is gone this week, all three of them are visiting my in-laws. It's kind of a spring break tradition we've cooked up since I can't get away for vacation this time of year and the kids and Peter can't just sit aimlessly around the house for  a week. So they head down to southern oregon to see the grandparents and I stay here to work. And that's what I've been doing. Working 8 hour days (usually I can only get in 6) and then coming home to paint Mr. T's room in the evenings. He's getting his first big boy room - star wars theme.

It has been so quiet. I have made eggs with garlic and spinach for breakfast and not eaten dinner until 8. Did I mention the quiet? There is something about not having someone talking to you every blessed minute that you are home that is rejuvenating. At the same time,  I miss my kiddos and am eagerly awaiting them to come home and chatter away to me about their trip. Funny how motherhood works.

For now though, I know they are having a great time and I'm enjoying my space. It's been stressful, the car is becoming a bigger issue than we though, someone I love is going through a hard time, and there aren't enough hours in the day to work as much as I need to and still get Mr. T's room redone, but it's also been peaceful and I feel relaxed in the midst of all the stress. Does that make sense?

Tonight it's salad for dinner, blasting music that Peter hates (rhianna anyone?), and putting Mr. T's room back together.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Screen

Come this time of year, I spend a lot of time staring at this screen, typing in numbers.

Monday, March 26, 2012


He is nothing if not persistent.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sick Kiddo

Well, we are just off to a bang up start of this spring break. Snow the last day of school, the van got crunched and now poor Miss E is sick with a fever. She wasn't feeling great yesterday and felt much worse this morning. We're resting a lot today and I'm hoping that she is well soon.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012


And then, something beautiful.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

For Real

It's the 2nd day of spring here and it hasn't really snowed all winter so naturally, there was a snowstorm last night. Apparently our trees weren't prepared for it because this is what I woke up to.  A giant branch - really really huge - fell and part of it hit the car. The little branch sticking out the window is a twig compared to the main part. It crashed out the back window, dented the roof and the side rail of the van.

And of course, Peter is at work. On a 48. So here I was, 2 kids, one without school and one who needed to be there at 11 and a car filled with broken glass and snow. I got breakfast going, dealt with the child who decided the van was getting too much attention so she figured some button pushing was in order, and called the body shop, and filed an insurance claim, and went outside and started gently clearing snow and branches off our car. All the while realizing that this is going to be expensive and that there is a spring break trip planned to start on Monday, and that I don't know how exactly to cover the back window of a car. Plastic tarp? Duct tape? Would the duct tape take the paint off? Somehow I feel like I have a college degree and therefore should know how to do this.

As I am trying to wade through all of this and deal with it in a somewhat urgent manner (did I mention the trip that starts Monday? the kid that needed to get to school?), Miss E suggested that we call Daddy and have him come home to help. I told her that yes, that would be very nice but no, we were kind of on our own here (sometimes being married to a firefighter is not so awesome). I think this was the first time that it REALLY TRULY sunk in to her what his job means to our family. There is no coming home to help in an emergency, we are really on our own when he is at work. Basically, I might as well be a single parent when he is gone. Any issue that arised, whether I know how to handle it or not, has to be handled by me and the kiddos. Flooded toilet? Busted van window? Power out? Help is not a phone call away. The buck stops here as they say.

So I carried on dealing with the van, took the day off work to care for the kids and this problem, took Miss E to school in a glass-filled car and got it dropped off at the auto-body place. They are telling me the ESTIMATE will be ready Monday. That's not great news, but it is what is so we are rolling with it. Before we dropped it off, I counted three body panels and the rear window that are damaged and right now my biggest hope is that they don't total out the van and that our insurance company doesn't decide to break up with us (Did I mention this is our 3rd comprehensive claim in a year for something ridiculous? Yeah. We are the insurance company's irresponsible boyfriend). For now though all we can do is wait and tomorrow, when Peter gets home, start cleaning the glass and tree out of our driveway. I knew spring was my least favorite season for a reason.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Getting Ready

I'm picking up the last few things for Mr. T's room re-do! I have three days while Peter and the kids are gone to work and get Mr. T's room done and I can't wait!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wild Thing

Each kid has a series of frames up on the wall in their room that I just put their art in and a few family photos. This is one of my favorite pieces by Miss E. Wild Thing indeed.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mr. T, as usual, playing with his two favorite things - the magnetic blocks and Lego's

It's been awhile since I've posted about what we're reading and today was pretty typical so here is what we are reading/watching:

Miss E - she and I are almost finished the 2nd Harry Potter book, then we'll watch the movie and then she will re-read it again on her own. When she is done, I'll start reading the 3rd book to her.

Mr. T - he is alternately being read Charlotte's Web and a Lego Ningajo book. I so so so love Charlotte's Web, it is one of the finest pieces of children's literature ever written (in my opinion which is also correct).

Me - I finally finished the unabridged version of the Stand by Stephen King. Whew. THAT was a big book. Now I'm going to move on to A Vintage Affair by Wolff and a biography of Eleanor Roosevelt.

Peter - I think he just finished a book by Tom Robbins. Not sure what's up next for him.

As for TV watching, the kids have been watching Inspector Gadget cartoons on weekend mornings (awesome) and we just started as a family watching a series called Human Planet. If you have not seen this, go get it right now. We've watched the first two episodes and they were both AMAZING. Miss E really liked them and while there was a short part in the second episode that referred to a fertility festival that I fast forwarded through after Miss E asked me "why would you want to win a lover mommy?" , the episodes on the whole have been very engrossing and educational for Miss E and for Peter and I.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day

No leprechauns, no green beer, no drunken singing, no green milk or rainbow cookies. I just didn't have it in me this year. Instead, Inspector Gadget cartoons and doughnuts from Voodoo for breakfast (thanks to Peter heading downtown for a show last night) and then work.

Get home from work early to an empty house. Started to pick up and do laundry but then stopped myself realizing that the house was EMPTY except for me and the dozing creatures you see above.

Shower, clean clothes, read a book, listen to my music, cook dinner just for me (no whining here!), deep breaths.

So relaxing.

Also, I am currently in LOVE with this salad. If you want something different in the greens department, this is a winner.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Helping out in Kindergarten

I got to spend the morning helping the kids get a bunch of art projects done in Mr. T's class and it was pretty awesome. All kinds of awesome.

I'm so grateful for this school and his teacher. She is amazing and I'm a little afraid that she may have set the bar pretty high for all other teachers to follow. What I know for sure is that she has made Mr. T LOVE school.

I'm so grateful that I have a life and a schedule that allows me to spend the morning doing watercolors in kindergarten. I love watching the teacher interact with the class, getting to know the kids and seeing how they interact with each other. I spent a lot of time at the kid's preschool and this has always made it easier for me to talk to them about school and how their day was.

Lastly I'm so grateful for Mr. T! What an awesome kid he is. Sometimes I just marvel at what a lucky Mama I am to have him for a son. The light in his heart shines in his eyes - he's such a blessing to our family.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Princess Recovery

Have you seen those new parenting books Cinderella Ate my Daughter and Princess Recovery? Me too. But I didn’t think we needed them. Miss E has never been into pink, tutu’s or Disney princesses. At Disneyland last year she had no interested in “meeting” the princesses or anything else. She cares about her clothes but she definitely has her own style and it’s not conventional. I should have known better though, because there have been signs. Lots more hair brushing than normal, dressing in sparkly shoes for bedtime, and suddenly commenting on how “ugly” she looks in pictures and an obsession with weddings.

Last night she asked to look at a few photo albums during her free reading time. I gave her a few and the third one was our wedding album. After commenting on how pretty I looked, how young we looked (thanks lady). She asked where we lived, to which I replied that I didn’t remember (yes, my memory is that bad). Then she said “no, where did you live after you got married” and I said “the same house we lived in before we got married” to which she replied in a shocked voice “you LIVED TOGETHER before you got married”?

Can I interject with a WTF people here? Seriously. We are a household that barely believes in long-term marriage itself. We are pro-gay marriage, divorce, contraception, and abortion – basically about as liberal as they come. We don’t go to church - never have. We believe whole heartedly in living with someone before you marry them – IF you marry them. So then, where oh where is she getting the information that you shouldn’t live together before marriage? 1st grade? Who’s talking about that there? This is one of the unanticipated things that I’m finding so frustrating about parenting. Not only do I have to worry about teaching our values and our morals to her, but also how to UNDO what she has apparently been taught by the media and others. And undo it in a way that encourages her to be respectful and considerate of others life-views.

After her comment I explained that of course we lived together before we got married – for 7 years no less and that all couples should do that. Then she seemed shocked and asked if she was supposed to move in with a stranger. At this point in my head I’m thinking “Crap. It’s 8 pm and now we are knee deep in a subject I was no prepared to wade into tonight and really, I just want to turn out her light and get the laundry folded”. But I sat and explained that no, you don’t just move in with a stranger, that you get to know them and love them and then you move in together.

All this time I thought we were happily trundling along, not needing to explain marriage or romantic love or anything like that yet – she is 7 after all – and really I was just giving the media and our culture time to fill her head. Somehow she filled her knowledge gap in this area with the princess idea – pretty girl meets good-looking boy, they are both princes/princesses, big fancy wedding, living in a castle.

Fortunately, Miss E is a practical girl and a smart girl and she knows who she is.  I don’t believe she will be eaten by Cinderella for too long. It’s a fine line though isn’t it? You want girls to be comfortable wanting to be pretty, fix their hair, experiment with clothes, wear make-up if they want. But you don’t want them to define themselves by how they look. You want them to have relationships with boys (or girls if they are so inclined) that are fulfilling and loving without defining themselves by that either. Come to think of it, there are many adult women who have yet to find the balance in those areas. I guess all we can do is keep talking, keep listening and carry on.

Princess recovery – here we come!~

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Miss E Style

So.....clearly, it's tax season. The blog has not been updated, the house has looked better, and I am cranky as heck. The best part about tax season is the big paycheck and the definitive end (April 17 baby!). The worst parts are the hours and the endless stress. I'm tired, my mom is tired, everyone at the office is tired. My mom is a fantastic boss and is always treating the staff to snacks, doughnuts, Starbucks and take-out lunches. It really does keep everyone going. It also (combined with all the sitting) is widening my behind. Another thing to take care of after April 17. I did actually get out and walk with Ginger the other morning but she is kind of like walking a horse-sized squirrel and it was not very relaxing. Anyhoo......

Miss E has asked me several times if she could have her picture taken and put in a catalogue. Since that doesn't seem like it's going to happen anytime soon and since she wears some wild and awesome clothes, I told her that I would put her picture on the blog. I'm sure you've seen those fancy style blogs? Where the ladies apparently have endless money and time and look fabulous every day? Like that. This morning as we were running out of the house I asked her to hold still as I rapidly snapped a few pictures.

Miss E spends a lot of time putting her outfits together each day with an equal emphasis on comfort and color. A few times I have gently said things like "I don't think that skirt (floral print) goes with those leggings (striped, different color family) but she is confident in her look and I am going with it. Sometimes I secretly suspect she is ahead of me fashion-wise. She puts outfits together that I would never dream of yet always look adorable and unique on her. I think there are great things in store for her in the self-expression department (although let's hold off on tattoos for a bit...). I did have to make a layering rule - limit of 2 on bottom and 2 plus sweater on top. Also, no bathing suits or leotards under clothes (true story).

So without further is Miss E's style.

Green shirt: Mini Boden, red striped shirt: Tea collection,
 Capri's: Hanna Andersson (there are leggings under there but I don't know what they are), Boots: Sears

Now check one childhood wish fulfilled for my daughter off this tired mama's list. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March Snow

 2 hour school delay, no morning kindergarten, I think so far it's snowed more in March than it has all winter long. The nice thing about the March snow is it melts quickly! Still Miss E is a little incensed that she has to go to school and Mr. T doesn't.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mr. T's self-portrait

I got a remote for my camera for Christmas but just today got it out of the box to try it out. Mr. T thought it was pretty cool and snapped a few pictures of himself.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


I love our hellebore's! They grow easily in our yard (which is no small feat) and they are so pretty and interesting without being showy. Plus they are in bloom this time of year when so few things are. I just love them.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Mr. Tangerine

Most irritated cat face ever.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Trying to make it up

This ladder is either one of my more brilliant or more stupid ideas - only time will tell. It is wobbly and hard to get up but the kids think it's pretty fun since it's hanging in the tree they usually climb. Miss E can get up it pretty well. Mr. T however, is still working on it. He's pretty frustrated too because I won't help him. Our rule has always been "if you can't get up then you can't get up", meaning that if they are going to climb up something they have to do it under their own power. Seems kind of mean but I think it works to ensure that they don't end up on top of something they can't get down or aren't ready to be on top of. Mr. T spent all day trying to get up this ladder though, he put the chairs underneath (I vetoed using the ladder but told him the chairs were OK), he put his helmet on to keep his head from hitting the tree and he worked at it. His arm strength combined with the fact that the ladder is pretty wobbly is making it hard for now but I predict that by the end of the summer he'll be climbing up this like a champ.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


The kids are out of school today and tomorrow for conferences. That makes a 4 day weekend for those of you who are counting. 4 days off. Sounds pretty nice. Until Sunday. Then I will be ready for school to start  again. Today though, the sun was shining we had both conferences this morning so we decided to make it a family day.

First up was Miss E's conference, which she attended and showed us a few things they were working on. She's still pretty soft spoken in the classroom but she's getting better about it and things are overall going great. My main concerns with her are I don't want her to get bored AND I don't want her to get too comfortable thinking she's the smartest kid in the class. We got her TAG program today which, given the school's funding limitations, I'm pretty happy with. She's going to stay in her reading group, which is OK by us. It's a little slow for her but they are really learning the building blocks of language and of comprehension, which is important. She is going to be doing a weekly pull out with the other 4 kids in 1st/2nd grade who are in TAG where they will work on critical thinking skills, and she is going to be able to do a research project with her teacher later this year. It's pretty great overall, lots of opportunities for her to challenge herself and to keep busy. Her teacher also told me that since Miss E doesn't raise her hand in class very much (something we have been working on) that's she's started just calling on her sometimes. My hope for Miss E this year is that she will find her voice in the classroom and continue to love school and learn new things.

Then we headed to Mr. T's conference which was equally great. I'm the room parent for his class so I know his teacher pretty well and she and I have chatted a lot. I knew there wouldn't be any big surprises, Mr. T is at grade level just where he's supposed to be. His reading/writing just crossed the base-line where they want them to be starting 1st grade and he's, of course, social and talkative in class. More importantly, he has just started WANTING to write and WANTING to read things. I have struggled with him because I don't want to push him into anything that he's not into but at a certain point you HAVE to read and write. He's just always happier building things or making up stories that he tells us or talks himself through. As his teacher has put it "he's very verbal (understatement of the year there) and we are hoping to translate that onto paper soon". And it's happening!

Such different and wonderful in their own ways kiddos! I am just so happy.

Afterward we went out to lunch and headed to a local park to enjoy some rare Oregon sunshine. It was such a nice family day.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lazy parenting?

Fixing the Millennium Falcon

The struggle.

Now that the kids are older, and we are busier, I'm finding it a fine line between being doing the right thing and using our busyness as an excuse to be lazy.

A good example is the last few days. Tuesday Peter worked, and then he left straight from shift Wednesday to fish all day, so he's basically gone for two days. For me, it's tax season and billing time so I've been getting up at 7, fixing breakfasts, fixing lunches, getting everyone dressed, taking a shower, doing a load of laundry and starting the dishwasher then off to drop the kids at school and to work. At work I've been rushing to get as much done as I can before I need to leave, get back to school, pick up Mr. T at 3 and head home. Then snacks, more laundry, more dishes, more picking up. Last night for dinner we had a "pick your own night" and the kids actually picked pretty healthy stuf f- Mr. T had eggs, toast and oranges, Miss E had bagel with avocado and pear nad I had leaftovers from teh night before. Then baths, more dishes, more picking up, an hour of reading and more laundry. Get up and repeat.

I'm exhausted. Now it's Wednesday night and I feel like I should be putting a healthy dinner on the table. Only, I'm tired, I don't know what to cook, and all I want to do is throw a box of mac and cheese in boiling water and serve that. So here's the issue - part of me says, yes, I'm alone with the kids, give yourself a break and do something easy. It won't kill them. The other part of me says, don't use the fact that you're alone to be lazy and give them sub-par nutrition, nut up and make something better for dinner.  Plus Peter's coming home and he might like a real dinner after drinking all day and eating very little (also known as "fishing"). I don't know. I think I should cook a real dinner for my family but if I'm tired and it makes me cranky to do so is it better to feed them mac and cheese and have me be not so stressed out? I literally feel like this is the first chance I've had to sit and have some quiet in 2 days and I really don't want to get up and cook dinner. But that's not really an excuse to feed the kids (and myself) crappy food again is it? When is it OK to give yourself a break and when does it cross the line to laziness? I don't know, but I'm leaning toward the box of mac and cheese tonight.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Making Brownies

Mr. T is always my kitchen helper. He loves to mix, cook and stir anything I will let him (as long as it doesn't involve the stove or raw meat. He's out on those so far). I love having someone to help and envision cooking with him more as he gets older. Hopefully his love for all things kitchen will last.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Lounging in his sister's bedroom

Mr. T hanging out on Miss E's lower bunk bed aka her reading room.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Family Day

It's pretty rare that we all have a weekend day where Peter isn't working AND we don't have any plans. When we do, we try to make the most of it. This morning we all went swimming and then to IKEA for lunch and to pick out some storage for Miss E's room. By the time we got home, I was pretty tired but Miss E wanted to ride her scooter so I hung out in the front yard weeding while she zoomed up and down the street. Then I spent about 3 hours putting her new cabinet together (IKEA I love and hate you). All and all it was a pretty sweet day. 

Days like this remind me of the line in Old School when Will Ferrel's character is talking about his weekend in a quote that ends up pretty much summing up married life: "Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we're going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don't know, I don't know if we'll have enough time. "

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Drugged kitty

Tangerine got his teeth cleaned yesterday which resulted in two being pulled and stitches in his mouth. Today he's on a hefty dose of antibiotics and kitty narcotics and has pretty much been laying in one spot all day long. Unfortunately, that one spot is on top of Mr. T's pillow in the middle of the fort he built and is playing in. Due to the narcotics, Tangerine doesn't seem to mind. Mr. T however, is impatiently waiting for him to get better so he can have his fort back.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Big Day for all

Mr. T made his own fort after school. I had to tone down the colors ...well, just because.

Today was a busy day for all of us (except for Peter...) and a fun day overall.

For Mr. T it was their Dr. Seuss celebration at school. They got to wear PJ's to school, bring slippers and a stuffed animal friend and build forts out of all the tables with blankets. Then they got to connect all the table forts, have the entire class sit in them and read books - teacher included. Have I mentioned how much I love his teacher? She is awesome. She is strict and focused and also really really fun.

This was also Miss E's last day of being star of the week. Today at circle she got to present her pictures and all the information about herself to her class. She also got a book filled with one page from each kid where they all wrote 3 facts about her and one nice thing. For her, standing up in front of the class talking about herself is a BIG THING, so she was pretty nervous.

For our cat, well, he got his teeth cleaned.

And as for me, I stepped WAY out of my comfort zone and went to a "fire wives wine night". I really didn't want to go but Peter kind of made me. I was super nervous about it and texted my friend Amanda with something non-dramatic like "this is my worst nightmare!" to which she texted something crazy back like "well, it's probably not the WORST thing ever, you might have a lot in common with those women", to which I promptly lamented her reasonableness over my foot stamping and tantrum throwing. Truth be told though, I did drive by once before I walked in and I did stand in the drive way for a minute looking at 6 well-made up blond women chatting inside and it was awkward when I walked in alone.  BUT, I took a deep breath, put on my big-girl panties, poured myself a glass of wine and found another woman who looked equally as awkward to chat with. By the end of the night I did meet many women who were just lovely and it was nice to chat with some others who truly understood what it was like to spend years on the spouse-end of a fire schedule. The 48's, the weekends alone, feeling alienated from friends because your schedule is so different, the loneliness and the strength you have to have to do it (there's no calling your husband home from work for an emergency).  It ended up being very nice and I will probably go to the next one. So thank you to my husband, for forcing me to go. And thank you to my friend Amanda for dropping me back to reality.  A lot of times I need that hand gently placed on my back pushing forward.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dancing on the tables

This is the blurriest picture I think I've ever posted but they were moving so fast, the light was so low and I'm pretty much allergic to flash so this was the best I got.

The kids love listening to music, especially Mr. T. He is my dancing machine. Currently they are loving listening to the Rio soundtrack (which is awesome as is the movie). Tonight I put it on after dinner, Peter and I were putting stuff away and soon enough the dance party had inexplicably moved from the living room floor to the table. One of the beautiful thing about older kids is you can let them dance on the table a bit without 1) standing 1 foot away to make sure they won't fall off and 2) thinking that they will assume that this is ALWAYS ok, since they got to do it right now. It's pretty much the best thing ever.

Anyway, I made a remark to Peter about how they were ready for college now that they had figured out dancing on the tables, to which Miss E (not one to ever miss anything) immediately stopped dancing and asked "what does dancing on the table have to do with college?". Busted.