Sunday, May 31, 2015

Amelie's Birthday!

Amelie had a birthday party on Saturday last week. She turned 5! Her cousins and grandparents came out for cake and ice cream at our neighborhood park. There was some running around.

Ellie pulled the boys in the wagon.

James is looking more suspicious than he was in the first picture.

Such a photogenic bunch.

Sam asked if I used an entire bottle of sprinkles on the cake & I replied that the kids did the sprinkles. So, yes.

Our friend Cabell got Amelie the big hit of the evening and the main entertainment planned for the party - the bubble gun.

Sam's folks and Nana Jana all showered Amelie with presents. 

Though cousin Ellie was more interested in the bike than Amelie (for the moment!) Look at her go!

Thank you to Cabell for the bubble gun! :)

When it would run out of bubbles, Amelie yelled, "It's out of gas!" and ran to get the jug of bubble soap, carried it over there, unscrewed the cap, and refilled it all by herself.

Dada helps with the bike.

Check out the backwards cap - he just put it on that way.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Grandpa Bob

My Grandpa Bob passed away last week. The kids and I have been down in the bootheel since Sunday, and Sam joined us later for the funeral in Kennett and the burial service in Tennessee.

This is the picture the funeral home had up on their sign from when he bought the Harley in January. Grandpa had gone for a ride with Uncle Jeff  just a few days before he died. Linda Bristow did a wonderful job at the service telling about his life and the friendship between their two families.
Robert Keith Paddock
January 25, 1938 - May 23, 2015

In Tennessee, I took a few photos of James standing with my dad's marker. It would have been neat if James had waited 4 more days to have a September 19th birthday as well, but September 15th is still pretty close.

Someone - maybe Betty or Cindy - was telling me about how my dad would take a blanket and sleep on the floor of the linen closet at the end of the hall at the house in Malden when he was a little kid, and that made me smile because Amelie went through a phase when she liked to drag her bedding into her small closet and sleep there. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Amelie's Day, birthday edition

We're celebrating today, but Amelie had a fun-filled actual 5th birthday on Thursday.

7:30am - Joined Mom, Dad, and Brother in the big bed
7:45am - Started kicking brother in the big bed
8:00am - Requested and received oats and mango for breakfast
9:00am - Bossed all the other preschoolers in the "KidZone" at the gym (told everyone at the gym it was her birthday)
11:00am - Little Swimmers with friends from church
12:30pm - Picnic lunch (peanut butter & jelly sandwiches & grapes & cheetos)
1:00pm - Played at the park (mostly with mulch)
2:00pm - Play date with Caroline (from 2-5 at our house, so her parents could pack for vacation!)
2:15pm - Second lunch (grilled cheese, milk, more mango, carrot sticks, more grapes)
2:30pm - Hurt feelings over the correct way to build a grass fort
2:45pm - Playing solo outside
3:00pm - Painting
3:30pm - Using branches as swords
4:30pm - Hide and Seek / taking turns trapping each other in the closet
5:00pm - Invented new game: Find out whose blade of grass is longest
5:30pm - Dinner (chicken fried rice & pineapple)
6:00pm - Pick up the backyard so Dad can mow
6:15pm - Made cupcakes to take to school tomorrow (licked spoon)
7:00pm - Watched The Gruffalo's Child on Netflix
7:45pm - Went to the library to try to check out The Gruffalo's Child or The Gruffalo (all copies checked out)
8:00pm - Quick solo grocery store trip with Mom (told everyone at the store it was her birthday & got a cookie)
8:50pm - Read one chapter from The Golden Goblet
9:10pm - (late) Bedtime

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


I probably shouldn't post this because later there was An Incident, but take a look at this daredevil:

Monday, May 18, 2015

Sleep Habits of the American Preschooler

When Amelie first moved to her big-kid (trundle) bed, every once in a while I'd go in in the morning and she'd be somewhere strange, like on the floor or the one panic-inducing time when she was in the closet.

Early this morning, I walked in to find this, and at first I thought she must be in James's bed or on the floor somewhere.

Aerial view: 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Yard Sale

I had a yard sale today. It wasn't the best weekend (by a long shot!) because of weather and grading, but I said I'd go in with my neighbor (who just raked it in - she had some bigger pieces & was nice and dry under her carport).

Anyway, we decluttered quite a bit & I met a new neighbor & talked to several others & petted many dogs out on walks. The kids had a ball. Amelie, as you might imagine, was quite the salesperson. She also very helpfully directed folks over to Ann's sale across the street. Once, a woman was looking at our highchair & Amelie pointed to the price sign & said, "That's how many bucks you need to give us." James rescued several things & took them back inside. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

James Can Draw a Person!

James can draw a person! Can you believe it? I brought it to work with me this morning to scan in. I'm so impressed :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Grass-haired Monster Centerpiece

James brought this home from school 2 weeks ago. We watched it sprout hair. It's on the bench in this picture, but usually it's our outside table centerpiece.

Apparently that was it for the picture-taking. Done.
Also pictured is the birds' nest that fell from our tree. It's remarkably heavy (and probably full of germs!) I think it must be from last year, or one that's already had chicks this year. There was a pretty blue robin eggshell that may or may not have been related to it in the back yard as well.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mothers' Day Book

Amelie made me a book for Mothers' Day at school. It said:

My mom's favorite color is green. (Right-o!)
My mom's favorite food is rice. (This reminds me of when she said grownups like Chinese food.)
My mom's favorite thing to do is the computer. (hahahahaha)
My mom is happy when I dress myself. (Bingo, again!)
The best thing about my mom is she lets us watch TV when she is working on the computer. (By this time, I'm dying. They really only get to watch their shows when I have to grade a set of papers.)
My mom gets mad when I argue with James.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Amelie Says / James Says

There's a checkout limit of 7 books from the library on my Kindle. Amelie really likes for us to read together on it, and she wanted a particular new book about a pirate school, but we'd reached our limit. I told her that one of the books would expire the next day & we could check the new one out then. First thing the next morning she asked me, "Did the book dissolve yet?" I didn't immediately know what she was talking about, so she repeated herself. "The book! Did it dissolve? Is it dissolved!?" 

We were in line at the drive through and Amelie observed, "I don't like it when there are people in front of us." 

Amelie: Would Captain Hook be friends with Jack? 
Me: Who's Jack?
Amelie: You know, they guy who wants to turn the animals into robots on Wild Kratts.
(I guess that makes sense - they're both villains.)

When our friends Jerry and Michelle came to visit, I overheard Amelie telling their eldest, "My dada has a disease." When pressed, she reveled that the disease in question was seasonal allergies.

Amelie has also made fast friends with our neighbor Cindy. She's out in her backyard now that the weather's warmed up some and Amelie and she have conversations across the fence.

Amelie explained to us that in the morning, first her ears wake up, and then her eyes wake up, and then her body wakes up. Seems like an accurate description of what happens when you wake up without an alarm to me.

James was exchanging pleasantries with the bagger at the grocery store and then he indicated me and said, "Her name Mama." 

For some inexplicable reason, he calls "Hush Little Baby" "the crying baby song." 

When Amelie called Sam "Dada," James said, "That not your dada! That MY dada!" 

When we go to the library or the grocery store, James always asks for a drink out of the "water mountain." 

Playing a game where they were hiding under the covers, James poked his head out and said very clearly, "The ghost is clear!" 

We had ravioli tonight, which James still pronounces "rava-holey." Also, he learned the word "thing," and I swear the rest of his vocabulary decreased. Everything is a "fing." 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Amelie found a worm.

James was a little more cautious. 

And then I made her go put it back in the dirt. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Tuesday Swim & Picnic

On Tuesday, I took the kids to Little Swimmers at the ARC.

They wouldn't pose for a picture. We like candids anyway, right?

Then we had a picnic at the neighborhood park.

 They still wouldn't pose for a picture.

After that we played at the park.

And by 'played,' I mean 'did some creative landscaping.'

Not pictured: We had a playdate with our former neighbor Finn Tuesday evening. I'm doing my best to wear them out, since it's still light outside at 8pm!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Flat Stanley

Amelie's class at preschool read Flat Stanley, the story of a boy who is squished flat by a bulletin board. I suspect this may not be our last encounter with Stanley. In 2009, Sam & I took a few photos for one of the kids' cousins out in California. Here's hoping the link works, since it was pre-baby-Buffaloe-blog & I put it on Facebook. Then in 2011, Flat Madi came to visit.

We didn't have very long with him, but he was at our house long enough for James to get jealous so he colored one, too, and Dada helped him cut it out.

Flat Stanley went rock climbing ...  

Tree climbing ...

And to swim lessons :)