The way we cook, boy edition.

The Mikey and Deli love doing Yucky Tests.  Especially during lunch time.  They dip things in their water, mix foods with sauces, and generally do their absolute level best to gross the sisters out.  The louder the protests from girls, the yuckier the tests become.  I personally really don’t care how gross they make their food, my rule being: Do whatever you want, but you will eat it all.

Both boys are slowly learning some knife skills.  Not because they are slow, but because their mama sometimes can’t handle supervising two sets of fingers at the same time.  And small spastic boys holding knives is a lot to supervise.

IMG_5320

The favorite appetizer around these parts is the “Mikey Special Salad”, which involves chopped carrots, chopped celery, LOTS of Tajín, a whole bunch of pepper, and if I’m not watching closely, an entire week’s worth of our recommended salt intake.  It is actually quite tasty.  A plate of this hits the table and is gone in no time at all, every one of us elbowing the others out of the way to snatch up the last spicy bits.

He usually asks to make it if dinner prep is taking way longer than his stomach can handle (most of the time) and if he remembers before asking that I say no to “just a teeny handful of chocolate chips…” as an appetizer (always).  Del shows up halfway through carrot chopping and whines that Mikey always gets to make things and I never get to make things and it’s just no fair! So Del helps chop as well.
IMG_5322These boys concentrate so hard on chopping their celery and carrot bits until they’re not concentrating and I’m gasping, “Your fingers! Watch your fingers! No! Don’t look at me, look at your fingers!!”  No small miracle that up until now the Mikey Special Salad hasn’t come with a bit of chef’s surprise ingredient.

Now that would be a yucky test.

 

Advertisements

these boys

are goof balls.  Any guesses where this song comes from?

Here’s a hint:

Anytime anyone says “garden of your  mind” in this house, we all collapse into giggles.

Five on Four

Until they learn to read calendars, my kids are hopelessly confused as to when their birthdays happen.  We have them hoodwinked into thinking the day of their birth is whatever day we decide to have a party.   Elia used to tell people, “Last year, my birthday was April 2nd, this year it is April 12th,  and I don’t know when it will be next year.”  See?  Confused.

So the Deli turned 5 on the Fourth of July, even though technically his birthday is July 10th.   He doesn’t know better, and he’s pretty happy with the idea that we all gather to celebrate him with his very own red, white and blue cake.  Funny how every year his birthday is a red, white and blue theme…

His birthday was extra special this year because we had so many family members from out of town visiting, from my side and the husband’s side.  Yes, we still have family here.  My two sisters’ families have left, much to our sadness – there were lots of teary children saying good by and giving big hugs when the separate departures happened.  Now we have one week left with my brother’s family and my mom.  We are all tired but happy to have so much time together.  

Deli had a good birthday, surrounded by loved ones.  Now that he’s a big five year old, he’s planning on learning his letters good, starting to read, putting his shoes on the right feet and maybe, just maybe, wearing underwear.  No promises, though.

Bathing Beauties

The first time one of the chicks flopped down in the sun and fluffed up their feathers I freaked out just a little bit.  I was pretty sure chickie was falling over dead with some type of bird illness which would then kill all the rest of us.  I briefly considered having everyone run inside to scrub their hands and maybe even change clothes, when the other ladies flopped into the sun as well.  They sat there making happy little chirpy noises and I realized all was well.  Laying out, I think that’s what kids these days call it.  I call it the beginnings of crispy fried chicken.  Sort of a pre-fry, if you will.
We’ve been doing plenty of laying out as well.   Did you ever lay yourself down on the hot cement after jumping into a cold pool?  You swim until you’re all shivery and blue in the lips, then you wrap yourself in a towel and lay down on that hot, dry pool surround, and soak up the heat radiating from the cement.  Just the thought of it makes me feel all warm and happy.  I taught the kids this special warm up trick, and they have been using it every chance they get.  

You’ll be surprised to find out that we’ve been hitting the Y pool every chance we get.  
What a difference a year makes with children.  Last year Del wouldn’t get in the pool, even if I was holding him.  If I decided to make him get in he would cry and shiver and in general be so miserable that I stopped making him.  Last year he spent all his time walking about the edges, occasionally dipping a toe in the water.  Last year Mikey’s chin was j u s t out of the water in the shallow end.  Last year the girls were not allowed in the middle end without Mom.  
This year the Deli jumps into the water.  He revels in showing me how well he swims.  He calls it swimming, I call it drowning slowly.  This year Josie swims like a fish, Elia isn’t afraid to get her head underwater, and Mikey is making strides with his doggy paddle.  
All a reminder that nothing stays the same.  Just when I despair that my children will never love the water like I did as a child, the calendar pages turn and they do!  Just when I think everything will stay the same nothing does. 
Also, baby in a box!
I knit the child-size ninja for Deli.  I think it turned out pretty cute.  One coming for Mikey soon…ish.

Oh NO!!

You guys!  I went out to check on the baby robins last night and they were all gone!  I knew something was up when mama didn’t swoop at me like usual.  She normally stands guard and the minute you step out the back door she’s like a hawk.  This time she stayed close by, but didn’t attack when I peeked at the nest.  No babies in the nest, no babies on the ground.  It was so sad.  
You know who I blame?  No, not Mikey.  The dumb raccoon that comes in the night to dig in the compost.  Mama robin built her nest in a low bush right next to the fence, not the smartest, considering even Mikey could get a peek without having to climb.  That raccoon must have come in and found himself an unexpected smorgasbord.  
When Mike and the kids walked in the door last night I greeted them with the sad news.  Of course as soon as they realized I was talking about robins and not the beloved chickies, nobody cared anymore.  I was the saddest.  Dumb, callous kids.
The chickies are great.  They are starting to get feathers and are growing incredibly fast.  According to Elia, Harry is the pooper when people hold him.  I think Harry is also the most docile.  The other two are a little feistier.  I don’t know if we told you, they are Australorp and Rhode Island Red mix.  Some people don’t think I can kill my sweet little adorable fluffy chickies if they turn out to be boys, but I can.  It’s just like with the kids.  You disappoint me, and I will end you.
~~~~~~
Speaking of sweet little adorable chickies, look who I’ve been waking up to lately.  This chick usually comes stumbling to our bed around 5am or so, and climbs on in.  I don’t know how he makes it down the stairs and to our bedroom without hurting himself because he does it with his blanket over his head, like a little crocheted ghost.  During the week, the husband is up by 4 working in his teensy tiny corner office of the bedroom, so he greets the Deli and lets him clamber on up into bed with me.
See the blankie?  All the holes were finally too big to fix.
Grandma had to patch them with fabric.  It’s well loved, that blankie.
I think I like sleeping with the little blond boy.  I think.  But do you see how much room he takes?  It’s a Queen size bed, and I’m pretty sure he’s taking up a Full sized space.  Not much left for Mama!  In theory, sleeping with your kiddos is great, but when you wake up huddled against the wall with a knee in your back, it’s not so fun.  
The feathered chickies are good, my baby chickies are better.  Especially since they don’t poop on me when I hold them.  

Idyll in the country

A few weeks ago we spent a lovely afternoon at our favorite watershed.  We go there quite a bit, it’s perfect for any weather.  In the spring we watch the flowers bloom, in the summer we play in the creek and enjoy the swallows nesting in the gazebo by the creek.  In the fall the deer come out to fatten up before it gets too cold and in the winter we track the deer through the snow.  
We take pic nicks to the watershed, or we just take a ball and some gloves.  The girls have begun bringing books so they can read while we play (which reminds me, did anyone find a Westchester Public Library Garfield book?  Grrrrr)
On one lovely Sunday afternoon, the girls read books, Mike and Mikey threw the ball and I wandered around taking pictures and enjoying the beauty of the day.
What is this scene I see before me?  
Ah, a sweet little family on a hill, enjoying the last rays of the summer su-  wait a minute.  What is that little one on the left doing?

Is he?  
Is he doing what I think he’s doing?  

Yup.  He was.

Now he is four

We had a birthday boy living in this house recently.
He turned a big four.

This boy had not one, not two, but three days where the mail arrived with cards, envelopes and packages with his name on them.
He happily tore open envelopes filled with crisp dollar bills and boxes full of treasure.
And what treasures they were!

Great Aunt Becky sent a superhero t-shirt with just enough room to grow.
Yes, he did wear it for three days straight. And that was only because I made take it off to wash.

Uncle Dave and Aunt Katie sent over a pirate outfit.
The sword and hook may or may not have made some other children in this family jealous. Who doesn’t want a hook for a hand?
The outfit came complete with earring, eye patch, chain necklace and hat.
The only thing it didn’t come with was a belt and scabbard for the sword.

But Del made do.

Arrrrrr.

Posted by Picasa

Now he is four

We had a birthday boy living in this house recently.
He turned a big four.

This boy had not one, not two, but three days where the mail arrived with cards, envelopes and packages with his name on them.
He happily tore open envelopes filled with crisp dollar bills and boxes full of treasure.
And what treasures they were!

Great Aunt Becky sent a superhero t-shirt with just enough room to grow.
Yes, he did wear it for three days straight. And that was only because I made take it off to wash.

Uncle Dave and Aunt Katie sent over a pirate outfit.
The sword and hook may or may not have made some other children in this family jealous. Who doesn’t want a hook for a hand?
The outfit came complete with earring, eye patch, chain necklace and hat.
The only thing it didn’t come with was a belt and scabbard for the sword.

But Del made do.

Arrrrrr.

Posted by Picasa

It burns

You, dear reader are about to witness a moment in the life of the Del child.  Small though he may be, his mental gymnastics are boundless.

Del (lifting his dinner plate):  This is my body….

Mama looks on at the cuteness.

Del (lifting his cup):  This is my blood….

Del takes a drink while Mama continues to marvel at her sweet boy.  But suddenly!  That Sweet boy is clutching his neck and gasping and gagging and choking for air!

Mama:  Deli!  Are you ok?!  What’s wrong?!!

Del (in a raspy, choked voice):  I…..Am……  A……. Vampire!!!   (death rattle, he falls over dead)

 And scene.