boys and their toys

It’s been pretty miserable, weather-wise, around here. So the boys and I have been holed up in the house, driving each other berserk. Actually, it’s really allowed us to settle in and start to feel “at home.” Here are a few pictures of the boys upstairs in their rooms.


Harry playing on the floor in his room.


Harry’s developed this adorable habit of pointing his tongue up and sticking it out of the corner of his mouth. Bad lighting, but cute.


My boys, playing side by side.


A better picture of Harry’s latest habit, except for the drool. But he’s teething, so it’s cute, right?


Looking very thoughtful.


The other half of his room. For now the kids’ bookshelf is in his room, although we’ll probably have to get an identical shelf for Liam’s room pretty soon. More than half of their books are in the “big” library, and we add to it almost daily.


Liam in his room. I love the expression on his face. I also love how neat and orderly his room looks. That’s because over half of his toys have been stowed away in the attic until he can remember to pick up the ones he has available. Mean Mom? Maybe, but at least we’re not stepping on/crushing his things anymore.


Liam’s bunkbed. What you can’t see are the Spiderman sheets, but the comforter is coordinated with his sheets… and his shirt… and the tent from the last picture. Yeah, he’s deprived.

Remember we told you the bathroom was pink? We weren’t kidding.


The tub, toilet, and sink are all pink. So are the pink plastic towel bars, the pink plastic soap holders, the pink plastic tray beneath the mirror, the pink plastic mirror border, the pink plastic wall light sconces… I think that’s it. It tends to be a little overwhelming. In a few weeks we plan to rid the house of all pink plastic, and the bath should be fine then.

Harry’s fussing, must go become a human pacifier

parenting skills

Reason #432 you don’t want me to babysit your preschooler:

Liam, upon seeing a ceramic Easter-egg-cum-Easter-bunny-ceramic-thingamabob the person in line behind us at the grocery store put on the conveyor belt: Who’d buy a piece of crap like that?!”

Spring has sprung

It’s really beginning to feel like spring around here. Fitting, as next weekend is the equinox (and Jesse’s birthday, so heads’ up to all you well-wishers). The old theme was wearing on me, so I updated to this fresh, spring-y, green one. Like? Hate? Problems viewing? Let me know. Although if you tell me Internet Explorer isn’t displaying the site correctly, I’ll probably just tell you to go buy a Mac.


I took half a dozen shots of Harry playing on this mat this morning, as he was having such a good time, laughing and giggling and smiling up a storm. Except in nearly every picture I caught him NOT smiling. Trust me, he’s a very happy and contented baby. This isn’t the best shot, but I think you can see some of the joy he’s feeling. He loves playing on this mat, especially with his big brother close by. Which he was. Sitting in my lap, actually, trying to see what I see when I snap the picture.


Seconds later. Harry is a roller, meaning if there’s a toy a couple of feet away that he wants, he’s figured out he can roll himself over a time or two and get it. Only problem is that this inadvertently leads to his head coming into contact with tile floors. He rarely complains, so it can’t hurt too much.


Liam is surprisingly good at football. Neither Jesse nor I are big sports people, but somehow Liam knows innately how to dribble with his feet, set up and kick a goal, etc. This is his favorite thing in the yard, hands down.


The back view of our house. The picnic table is sitting on the terrace, which is right in back of the garage. The third window from the left is the kitchen window, so I can be doing dishes and still watch the boys at play. The first set of French doors leads onto the dining area, the second to the computer/living area. There’s actually a third set of French doors, hidden by the large shrub on the right hand side of the picture. Upstairs the pergolas (dormers, depending on where you live) are for the family bathroom (left) and Harry’s room (right).


The mystery tree is blooming. My mom guessed perhaps magnolia? Any takers?

Well, we continue to settle in. After much hard work on Jesse’s part today we can actually see floor tiles in the garage once more. Poor Jesse, he worked so hard today, he deserves a stiff drink. Not only is he trying to clear as much work as possible on the weekends, but it seems Meisje (our dog, for those that aren’t family and don’t know) has found a gap in the fence/hedge. She escaped last night, but luckily we found her before she’d gone too far. Today, however, she disappeared in the five or so minutes we were all occupied doing something else. Jesse went out on his bike looking for her, and must have been gone an hour.He finally found her — or rather, she found him and just showed up at his side. So now her outdoor time is severely curtailed until J can come up with a fix for the escape route.

That’s the news from here. Pictures from the inside coming when we clear the boxes from one room to the next!

baking days

Some weeks back we bought a mondo box of bite-size Shredded Wheat. Because it was a great price. Forgetting that no one in the family cares to eat it. I used to like it, but I find I’m more of a fruit-and-toast-breakfast kind of girl. So said box has been taking up way too much room in our cupboards. Since space is at a premium in this house, I decided it was time to use it up. Happily, I remember my mother once mentioning a Shredded Wheat bread that she’d been served once at a potluck. A quick search of the internet netted me (pun intended) this recipe. Liam and I had a great time putting it together.


He surprisingly got the knack of kneading really quickly. He was chanting fold and mush, fold and mush, and turn…


Note the flour on his lip. He has to try everything at least once.


The new kitchen in which we create our culinary masterpieces. It’s not much bigger than the last kitchen, actually, but it seems to have so much storage space. And the counters! I get misty-eyed just thinking about it. We love that the cabinets are all real wood, the counters are real tile, and the bricks are real brick. Not a bit of particle board to be seen.


The finished product. It was a little soft for our tastes — we’d have preferred it to have more of a crust. But the bread had a good taste and we’ll be making it again, with a little experimentation to hopefully perfect the outcome.

a teaser

I’m too tired to unpack any more boxes tonight. And it’s too dark to get any good interior shots. Here are just a couple pictures I took of our beautiful, green backyard. For those of you back in NNY and Wisconsin still in the grip of Old Man Winter.


Standing on our terrace, overlooking part of the back yard. We now have our picnic table here, and will probably invest in a heavy duty umbrella to shade us during the summer heat. As you can see, the whole yard is enclosed by a high hedge. A couple young trees, a couple forsythia, and a number of little hedges that I think have to go. Complete with a garden gnome. Liam loves the soccer goal, and ESPECIALLY loves the digger nearly in his own back yard. There are stone paths that run from the terrace to the side gate and to the enclosed garden area. Liam and I will get to work on that hopefully in a week or two.


Oh, yeah, and a rose arbor. Also a number of these small triangular gardens with tulips and/or daffodils et al. Obviously the woman who lived here was more of a gardener than I am, although I’m hoping to get more into that.

The house is, for the most part, set up. What to do with the contents of the fifty-odd boxes we have yet to unpack, I’m not completely sure. I’m hoping over the next few days to get some pictures of the layout and how things are coming together. Oh, yeah, and the kids.