Saturday, August 8, 2009

So What Have We Been Up To?

In spite of our deliberate efforts not to put too much on the calendar, we've had a rather whirlwind summer. Mugger finished Kindergarten and celebrated his 6th birthday fishing with much of his family as Nonnie & Gramps, Uncle Bryan, Aunt Jen, Great-Grandma (Harriet), and Aunt Susie were all able to come to Corvallis to celebrate Nonnie and Gramps' 40th anniversary.

Then Mugger was off to a Skyhawks multi-sport camp and had chess camp the week before VBS this last week. In between, he lost tooth #2 and he and his sister entertained Grandma & Grandpa and Great-Grandma (Inga) for the 4th of July. We also managed to squeeze in a family camping trip to our new favorite spot on earth, a riverside campground in old-growth forests less than 2 hours away.

Bug enjoyed her second year of VBS this last week-- she was much more willing to tackle the climbing wall each day. She's also been a great blueberry picker, as I've had her and Mugger out to pick blueberries at least 3 times and marionberries once.

Bug's big news is that she's off to Pre-K this fall. We had intended to keep her home next year, but it looks like she may start Kindergarten in one year, so we wanted her to have some classroom exposure before being at school all day, 5 days a week. Pre-K this fall will just be 3 mornings a week for her, but she's as excited as can be and is waiting for her pink backpack to arrive on the package truck.

As for Mama and Papa, we are currently moving like chickens sans heads as tomorrow marks the beginning of our 3000-mile roadtrip as we attempt to visit both sets of grandparents in one vacation. If you are in OC, our current plan is to picnic at Melinda Park (corner of Melinda and Santa Margarita Parkway in Mission Viejo) on Sunday, Aug. 23 at noon-- hope you can bring a picnic lunch and join us!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mugger our Reader

I believe we've let you know that Mugger is now reading independently, so I guess we should let you know just how much he is reading...

Mugger started tracking his daily reading minutes for the Scholastic Summer Challenge on May 17. (Yeah, I didn't realize until after I had told him about it that he's technically too young, but you try talking him out of a project once he's excited about it!)

So today, three weeks after starting the challenge, Mugger broke the 1000 minute mark and is officially at 1102 and counting. If you do the math you'll see he's become quite serious about this.

I see many days at the library this summer...

Edited to add: Apparently Mugger is just as intense when it comes to math. Mugger has been doing quite a bit of 2nd grade math with the 1st grade teacher this year (since he tested into 1st grade math in the fall), however, Papa just told me that the 1st grade teacher stopped him on Friday to let him know that she gave him the end of the year test for 2nd grade math and he got a 98. Apparently he's the only kiddo who consistently gets carrying and borrowing...

Backyard Campout

Well, the kiddos spent last Saturday playing in their tent, so when evening came, Papa just couldn't say no when they wanted to sleep outside.
Couldn't leave them alone out there with the... deer. So Papa and Mugger set up another tent.
Such happy little campers!
Unfortunately, we couldn't repeat the experience this weekend: our weather has gone back to springtime in Oregon (rain!) and Mugger woke me this morning with, "Mama, I think I'm gonna throw up." Oh well, I'm sure there will be plenty more backyard campouts this summer...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mugger, meet Rube Goldberg...

Well, Mugger officially has a new obsession: Rube Goldberg contraptions. It all started with this month's edition of The Book of Days in which the Imagine section included a poem called The Goodnight Machine-- see it in the excerpt here. That was all he needed! One look at that and we spent the rest of the day on YouTube watching contraption videos...

And of course, knowing Mugger, you didn't think he'd be content to just watch contraptions, did you? No, he became a boy obsessed and would not relent until he and Papa built one in the playroom. So, without further ado, Contraption #1, who's sole purpose was to turn on the CD player:

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Another first...

Did you guess? The hint is in his smile-- or the lump in the pocket of the pillow: Mugger lost his first tooth today! Looks like Nonnie got his favorite shirt converted into a tooth fairy pillow just in time!

Bug is ready for Spring!

One advantage of having a captive Nonnie and Gramps last week was that Bug got 2 new skirts sewn by Nonnie, one from a pillowcase (below) and the other from cute fabric Mama found. Bug would like to wear them daily, but I refuse to do that much laundry! At least she can see them daily here:

In 6 weeks, he'll be 6!

Well, the end of kindergarten is rapidly approaching-- seems like 5 Year Old Mugger has been a blur. He's grown so much in the past year, and not just physically. His thirst for knowledge astounds us daily.

That being said here is the link to his birthday wishlist on Amazon for any of you far-flung family members who might want it (since Nonnie has asked.) You'll notice there are no toys on it-- he doesn't play with them! When he's inside due to the weather (pretty much the only time he is inside) he plays games, makes things, or we spend a lot of time with books as a family-- often 10 to 20 checked out per week at the library. Hence his list is games, story books, some art books, and some CDs. You don't have to shop through Amazon, though if you buy someting on the list elsewhere, give me a heads up so I can remove it and avoid duplicates (like last year.)

When our boy is outside, he's playing any sport he can (usually basketball, soccer, baseball, tracball, or biking) or playing in the dirt or the garden. There isn't really much wishlist fodder in those activities, so it's pretty much all inside stuff on the list. However, the one thing not on his list that he would love would be a gift card to Home Depot-- he really wants to build a fort with Papa this summer and he'd get a kick, too, out of picking out more tools for his tool box or gardening things.

So that's our boy in a nutshell: he doesn't seem to have much need for things and he'd rather be out "doing". I jokingly told him his 6th birthday present from us would be a pile of dirt, but you can bet the party will be outside! If you just made him a card, he'd be thrilled-- he's quite the paper hoarder and still has his classmates' valentines up in his room...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pajama Ride!

Tonight, in honor of the Jeep being in running condition, we continued a little family tradition we started while we still lived in sunny southern California-- the pajama ride. I don't take credit for this little idea as I first heard about it from Sheri Torelli, a MOPS speaker, whom I've heard speak (twice) on "the importance of mommy." The one thing that I still remember from those talks is her telling about taking her kids on PJ Rides: she and her husband, every once in awhile, would get the kids out of bed, right after tucking them in, yelling, "PJ ride! PJ ride!" and whisk them off for some mystery treat or experience.

Well, in our family, the Jeep plays a very important part of the Pajama Ride, for the very first time we did a Pajama Ride with the kiddos, we piled them in the Jeep and pretended we didn't know where it was taking us! Papa had great fun driving all over the condo complex and the Henry's parking lot until we finally stopped in front of the frozen yogurt place.

So tonight, it seemed as if the stars aligned for a Pajama Ride: the Jeep was running, the kiddos had a great day (and went to bed without fussing), and it was warm enough that I didn't have to worry about them freezing to death if I took them out in their PJs-- I have to think about these things now that we live in Oregon, you know.

As soon as we got into the Jeep, Mugger (rubbing sleep out of his eyes!) asked, "So where is the Jeep taking us?" We, of course, had to continue the game and pretend that we were as surprised as they were when we ended up downtown for gelato.

Yes, it was a busy day, but a good one. The kiddos both couldn't stop at 3 when we asked them to list the 3 good things of their day during their bedtime snuggles...

Painting Eggs

Mugger and I decided we needed a spring craft project, so we were thrilled to find wooden eggs at the craft store, especially once I told him that we could keep them from year to year and not have to throw them out like dyed ones. I had painted them all white to give them a base to paint on, so today we were finally ready to paint. Here's our progress so far-- I think I'll wait to post the finished masterpieces until Easter...

Spring Soccer Week 1

Well, the day Mugger has been waiting for has finally arrived: Day 1 of the spring soccer season! He was Mr. Go-Getter as you can see above, but did some great defending, too. We were so glad to finally see the sun today, especially since he wanted to be outside practicing all morning before his 12:00 game.But it was Bug who had the best day of all, I think: she made a new friend. Ava is the younger sister of the new player on Mugger's team-- their family just moved here from Chicago a week and a half ago. Bug had a great time with Ava on the playground and even shared her snack with her. She bawled her eyes out when it was time to go, even with the promises of 6 more weeks of soccer.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Anka Spada

So, Bug has her own language. And her favorite phrase in Bugspeak is "anka spada." So what does "anka spada" mean? Anything she wants! Yesterday it meant "I love you" and today it meant "Good morning!" She likes to randomly say it throughout the day and is even more tickled to keep you guessing at what it means. Silly Bug!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mugger's Quote of the Day

"I have a loose tooth, Mr. Bathroom!"
Yes, Mugger is a bit excited this morning that he can wiggle one of his teeth (bottom left middle). They grow up so fast...

Monday, March 30, 2009


Well, Papa and I finally joined Facebook after much badgering from many of you. Don't know if we'll be better Facebookers than bloggers, but at least we're there!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mugger's Reading!

Normally Papa or I do the before-bed-reading, but last night after tubby time, Mugger got to do the honors. He read all of "Are You My Mother?" by P.D. Eastman and was so proud that he asked, "Are you going to put this on the blog, Mama?" What could I say but yes?

We hadn't read this in awhile, so long that Bug forgot about the machine that Baby Bird called a Snort. She thought that was hysterical and kept running around saying, "Snort!" all evening.

You know, our typical quiet evening as we settle down for bed...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thanks Nonnie!

Yes, it took Mama forever to take the pix, but we've been enjoying the jammies and robes you sewed for us for awhile now!

Circus Time!

Well, thanks to the free ticket Mugger received at school, the kiddos took in their first circus this last week. Sorry the pix aren't great, but it was pretty dark inside the Benton County Fairgrounds Arena. I couldn't even attempt a photo of their highlight-- the (3!) motorcycles inside the giant sphere! Anyways, they did like the wild animals:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bug the Bookworm

Since we've started browsing the stacks at the library after preschool storytime, Bug has become quite the bookworm! Current favorites would have to be the Olivia books, John Lithgow's kids' books, the Polo books, the Harold and the Purple Crayon books, and Nancy Shaw's sheep books. One of these days, I'll have to post a video of her "reading" Tikki Tikki Tembo-- I'm rather impressed that she can already say his whole name: Tikki tikki tembo no sa rembo chari bari ruchi pip peri pembo.

And beloved favorites she should check out? Feel free to leave titles in the comments!

Monday, March 2, 2009

100 Days!

Well, Mugger had his 100th day of kindergarten last week, and boy, is it going fast! They each had to bring in a collection of 100 items and had a grand time sharing them. Mugger was especially happy that his friend, Dalton, brought in 100 Uno cards and they all got to play. So what did Mugger bring? He brought this:It's a mosaic of a photo of Mugger and Bug... made from 100 different photos. This was Mugger's idea, an adaptation of a Christmas gift Papa made this year. You have to double-click on it if you haven't yet...

They had "100" activities all day long, things like seeing how many peanuts they could crack open in 100 seconds-- he can do 6. Mugger's favorite was seeing how many times he could jump in 100 seconds-- he made it to 220. He loved this activity so much that he had to repeat it with Bug after school at home-- good thing I have my stopwatch still from my coaching days. Bug jumped 226 times in 100 seconds and Mugger got past 250. (He would remember the exact number.)

So that evening, I asked him what he likes best about kindergarten so far, and of course, the answer is still the 3 recesses a day. That boy loves playing as hard as he can, as witnessed by his dirty jeans when he comes home... We talked about some of the other things that have made kindergarten memorable: the nature walks, Libbie Mae and the other "friends" they get to take home, and the monthly field trips. Yes, monthly! That still blows my mind. So far they've gone to pick blackberries at the KOA campground (where they also had a teddy bear picnic), out to a local farm to pick pumpkins, to the grocery store to shop for the soup kitchen (with delivery by llama), to the Storybook Village out at the Albany fairgrounds, to a lunchtime outdoor concert at OSU, and to see the new lambs at the OSU sheep barns. This week for their March field trip, they're off to the community college to see a production of Charlotte's Web.

Kindergarten sure is agreeing with our boy...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cute as a Button... the title of my review and giveaway over at Northwest Mom Finds! My little Etsy shop got some press! Head on over to this post to check out their kind words (*blush*) and enter for your chance to win.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bug's 3 Year Old Check-Up

For you grandparent-types...

Bug finally had her 3 year old check-up this last week (only 3 months late!) She's 31.5 pounds and 39.5 inches tall. I have no idea where that puts her in terms of percentile-- sorry! Her doctor did mention that she's on the slender side but that she seems very healthy, active, smart, and social. None of that was news to us!

Just one concern (aside from her umbilical hernia, which is getting smaller): she seems to have some chewing/swallowing issues still, so we'll be getting a referral for the feeding clinic up in Portland to see if there's a physical cause. We'll be sure to keep you posted...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

So Where Have We Been?

OK, so the Christmas pix aren't up yet and we never formally wished you all a happy new year, but hopefully you at least saw our Christmas card-- better late than never, right?

I'll get some catching up posts in soon, but until then, yes, we are all alive and well! Mugger got his first black eye at school-- no, not a fight but an errant scooter in PE. Bug has now taken to drawing "birthday spiders" on cards (starting with her one for Baby Jesus), but we have no idea where she picked up that idea!

We spent last week in Montana for an unplanned vacation. Papa's Grandma had remarried almost 4 years ago at the ripe old age of 91, but her husband, Guy, has preceded her on the journey Home. The memorial service was Friday, which also happened to be my birthday. Bug decided to make it memorable by puking all over the second we stepped foot in the church for the service! Oh well, at least they were both healthy enough for most of the visit to enjoy their time with their Montana family, especially their new cousin, Rogan. Pics coming soon, I hope...

So what's been keeping Mama from the blog? Well, if you see these posts in an e-mail or feed reader, you may not be aware that my little Etsy shop has been up and running. It's start to take off, so I've been making hair accessories left and right! If you'd like a chance to win some, I'm hosting a giveaway this week over at my shop blog at this post-- and yes, family and friends can enter!

Hope all are well!