Friday, May 28, 2010

friday favorite: in my...

malcolm is loving the new play rug that we got him at ikea last weekend. he wants to spend a lot of time in his room now. he has never wanted to play in there quite as much as he has this past week. pretty funny. so we've been reading a lot of his board books instead of the picture books that i keep (safe) in my bedroom.

he has lots of fun board books, so this week i decided to feature something for the younger crowd. a few of our favorites are the in my... books by sara gillingham, illustrated by lorena siminovich, for petit collage. these stories are really simple, the artwork is oh so cute, and they are very well made. malcolm loves the little finger puppet animals, so does alanna... and i do too! they are fun and easy to read.

i ordered ours here right before the holidays, and gave them to malcolm for christmas. i really like everything this site sells, they have such fun, bright, and unique decor for kids. and if you join their mailing list, they will send you emails about specials and new items (i used a discount code to buy all four books, and they also offered free shipping... score!) it looks like they have two new books, so i will have to pick them up soon too. i just took these images off of their website, since it was easier than taking my own photos. you can also pick these books up at borders and many other book stores.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

yard finds

this afternoon we went out in the yard to play and explore.

(our house is on a hill, and our yard is on an incline)

there are bushes growing all along the front of our house. over a week ago i noticed a little grey bird building a nest in the bush that is just below one of malcolms bedroom windows. she used lots of grass, and pieces of old plastic. what a crafty little mama bird! then last sunday i spotted a few tiny blue eggs in the nest! so i've been looking out his window every day to see if they have hatched. it's been 9 days since she laid her eggs, and so far, no baby birdies yet. she sits on them constantly. if i peek out there and she is gone, she comes right back in an instant.

today while outside, i tried to peek at her from below, without disturbing her, but she saw me and dropped out of her nest fast. i figured that since she was already out of it, i would try and hold up my camera and snap a photo. this is what i got! look at those beautiful bright blue eggs! i hope they hatch soon!

we decided to stay away from that area of the yard, so that we wouldn't stress her out anymore (she was making crazy bird calls at me, because i was too close to her nest), so we went toward the street. and then we found a bunch of apples growing on one of our trees! last year there were tiny ones, but the birds ate them all before they got any bigger than the size of a walnut. these ones are lots bigger than that already, so hopefully they will be spared this year. we'll see. malcolm wanted me to pick one for him to eat, but they are still too small and would be too tart to eat just yet.

we actually found one more little one on the other smaller apple tree too. here's hoping the birds don't eat them all up before we can!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

weekend fun

this weekend was great. on friday evening alanna went to a slumber party to celebrate her friend elizabeth's 13th birthday. since she is vegan, i picked up a few things earlier in the day, so that she would have the same things to eat as the other girls, and not feel like an outcast. they were having cupcakes as dessert, so i called whole foods to see if they had anything available that was vegan and already made (i didn't feel like making my own). i was pleasantly surprised when i went to pick them up, and this is what was in my box! how cute are these!?

alanna took two turtles with her. one for herself, and one to give to the birthday girl!
i ate the beautiful bluebird. i almost felt bad about eating it... almost. it was delicious!

here is danny's "turd"le, haha! way to go whole foods! what a wonderful way to start the weekend.

on saturday morning we picked alanna up (she had so much fun at the party!), and then ventured 2.5 hours to charlotte to stay with our friends justin and lynn. this was the first trip we've made out there since they had their baby boy dexter, and we were all so excited to meet him. he is just shy of six months old, and he is oh so sweet. seriously, one of the most chill, easy going babies i've ever seen. he was great the whole time we were there. the only time i heard him cry was in the night when his new teeth were giving him some pain. malcolm was a real challenge when he was that age. he had colic, terrible reflux -he spit up everywhere after almost every meal, and he had major sleep issues (til he was 15 months). i cannot even imagine having such an easy baby like dexter. they are so lucky :)

malcolm loved sitting in dexters bumbo, haha (maybe i should get his back down from the attic?)

we ate some delicous lunch from zizi's, and then lynn, alanna, the boys, and i headed to ikea, while danny and justin had some "bro time" without us. the charlotte ikea is pretty new, only about a year old, and it was so clean and nice inside. i love that damn store sooo so much. it's crazy. it was a nice but exhausting trip. the store was pretty busy and really crowded since it was saturday, but the boys were really good. malcolm got a bit cranky right before we got to checkout, but for being a terrible two year old, he was pretty good overall.

he was pretty interested in baby dexter. they were both so cute, checking each other out.

i got these photos right before malcolm started to get pissed.

back at the house. dexter is so cute in his jumperoo. he loved alanna talking to him, he would get the biggest smile and laugh a little!

and their dog bateman also liked playing with alanna. here he is begging for some of her food.

on sunday we got some more tasty takeout for lunch, and took it to a local park. it was pretty warm and humid out, but it was awesome that the playground was partially covered by a giant canopy! we don't have any playgrounds like that in raleigh.

please note all the scratches and bruises on malcolms legs! he is such a boy. always climbing, falling, and getting hurt.

lynn and dexter! what a great photo of both of them! :)

we walked along this little path and found a crazy huge centipede (i think that is what it was?)

malcolm loves bugs

after lunch at the park, we headed out, and stopped at ikea again to pick up some things that were too large for me to manage on my own the day before. alanna got a very generous gift card from my parents for christmas, so she used some of it to buy the shelf she wanted for reorganize her room. they have recently lowered the prices on a lot of items, and thankfully we didn't buy the shelf right after the holidays, because now it is $60 less than it was before! awesome! she has enough left on her card now, to get a cute new bedframe. but the one she wants is much too long to fit in my rodeo, so we will have to make another trip back soon in danny's minivan to pick it up. yay for more trips to ikea... and to see baby dexter again!

here is the shelf alanna picked

she also got this cute lamp. it reminded us both of super mario bros., which we love! too cute!

we got this fun rug for malcolms room

and danny was nice enough to let me get something too. i've wanted a coat rack for a while now, since we always have tons of hoodies, jackets, and bags etc. spread out all over the house, but could never find the right one. so i was delighted when i found this one there. plus the price was good. i already put it together, and it is great. i just need to decide where to put it. danny had to do some tetris-like magic to fit all the boxes in my car, haha. what a great husband i have!

we had a nice time in charlotte. i'm glad we could make the trip out, that the weather cooperated, and that malcolm slept in the car during both drives there and back. thanks again lynn for having us over. sorry malcolm was so naughty saturday night, and i hope we didn't leave too much for you to have to clean up after.

the week before last alanna had her eog's (end of grade tests). she was really nervous about them, and was worried that she wouldn't do good. i knew she'd be fine. she always stresses herself out, for no reason. she is a smart kid, and does really good in school. so yesterday she got her test results... and she got 4's in both subjects! they grade on a scale of 1-4, 4 being the best. dannys sister works for the school district, so she can see her actual scores and the percentile where she placed based on the states scores. she was in the 90th percentile for math, and 86th for reading (in the state)! heck yes! we are really proud of her.

to celebrate, we let her pick where to go out to eat for dinner. she chose indian. it was tasty.

Friday, May 21, 2010

friday favorite: the spider and the fly

this week malcolm and i have spent a lot of time watching videos on youtube. it seems he has inherited my love of all things spooky. it's crazy, but ever since he was a teeny tiny little guy (well, he is still pretty little) he has loved anything halloween, or nightmare, or scary. alanna did too when she was a toddler. i guess that it is in their blood, you know, since i do have a tiny little obsession :)

we found lots of old disney halloween cartoons, and we watched the halloween screams fireworks show over and over (the same one we loooved this past october at disneyland), so all of this macabre has inspired my book pick of the week. today i chose the spider and the fly by tony diterlizzi -based on the cautionary tale by mary howitt. i found this book on a trip to barnes & noble with alanna when she was about six. as soon as i pulled it off the shelf, i was in love. i felt like it was made just for me. it is beautiful, and sweet, and dark, and creepy all at the same time. perfect! i know that malcolm doesn't understand the message in this story yet, but he really loves for me to read it to him. it is one of his favorites, go figure! haha. the description online is great, so i am just going to post it here:

Breathing new life into Mary Howitt's 175-year-old warning against those who use sweet words to hide their not-so-sweet intentions, DiTerlizzi draws inspiration from classic black-and-white Hollywood movies like "Frankenstein" and "The Mummy" and fills dazzling silver-tinted illustrations in this monstrously entertaining picture book with a dose of humor big enough to quell even the faintest of hearts.

" 'Will you walk into my parlor', said the Spider to the Fly..."

(please disregard the torn bedspread. thanks lucky dog.)

one of my absolute favorites!