Eli in a Buttermilk Bath - 5 Months


Why buttermilk? He has really sensitive skin with eczema, and the buttermilk soothes and smoothes the patches. I add lotion, and the combo keeps it at bay. : )

*Kate has blotchy patches everywhere - worse every day - any miracle cures out there? Diet tricks that help?


Apples to Apples - Football Players Review

I posted a query on Facebook a week or so ago asking if anyone had played Apples to Apples Kids or Apples to Apples Junior because I was debating which would be the better choice for the kids' reading levels. As it turned out, after the post, I didn't see Apples to Apples Kids on the shelves again. It was completely off the market in Bellingham. BUT it'd been replaced by Apples to Apples Family ... I snagged one right away! (as did Kevin on the very same day, so we had to return one! ; )

Apples to Apples Family is very cute and very fun. Collin and Marley totally got it and enjoyed it. Owen mostly got it, but he's not really reading yet so it was a bit of a stretch for him.

Never fear! Creative Collin - who may be a game inventor afterall - is here!

Collin brought out his football cards last night, handed me a stack, said, "Remember Apples to Apples? Here's your cards. Dad's the Judge. Get it?" Me: "Uh, no?!" Nice rules ...

Anyhow, it really was as simple as that! We each handed Kevin a football card, then he debated which was "the better player" and explained why he'd made his call. It was fun! The boys learned even a bit more about their cards, the players, the stats, the game, AND it was absolutely a version of Apples to Apples that Owen (and I, despite my general lack of football knowledge) could play! Even Kate can play a blind game of Apples to Apples - Football Players Review!


Christmas Hit: Beyblades

Top 10 Things I LOVE about Beyblades:

1. They are classic toys: TOPS!
2. Anyone can work them ... from my 2 1/2 year old daughter to my 80 year old grandmother.
3. You "battle" without weapons, blood, or injury.
4. It's ok to have more than one ~ inspires sharing with others and invitations to play!
5. No mess. And they are small (size of a clementine), so I don't have to rearrange or reorganize our playthings to create space for the Beyblades.
6. No annoying sound.
7. No crazy rules.
8. They spin long enough for my kids to run upstairs, jammie-up, brush teeth (too quickly), and race back down to beat the blade! In fact, you'd be surprised what you can do while they spin! The boys have created games of challenge, like how many times can you race around the house before the blade stops spinning? *It turns out that you can run around our "circle" A LOT. (50+) My kids were extremely tuckered out tonight!!
9. My kids cheer each other on ... but also talk good-natured smack. And it's ok because sometimes they win; sometimes they lose. Good lesson in humility and sportsmanship. (*Smack includes the rare opportunity for "appropriate" name calling!)
10. Beyblades were the perfect #1 gift this Christmas, and Santa didn't even bring them. The boys picked them out (at different times) and gifted them to each other!


Carousel Delight

Our second stop in Seattle was the carousel at Westlake Center. Watching my children's joy and hearing their laughter was the highlight of the day!! It's remarkable, really. I mean, the horses stay rooted and move up and down ... and yet the moment that your horse raises above another's = bliss! and then you lower and the other has a moment to shine. So simple and yet more of a thrill to my boys than any other ride they've ridden yet (admittedly, they've ridden very few!) Such simple, sincere pleasure!

Giddy Up, Let's Go! Jingle All the Way!

Visiting Santa

We traveled to Seattle last week for some holiday merriment! First stop Friday morning was Macy's downtown, where Santa has set up shop and is visiting with kids for a few hours a day in between his busy schedule! (Mrs. Claus is busy making cookies up north, and the elves are hard at work building toys and prepping the final list. He's such a good delegator! They do all the work, while he enjoys the children and experiences the magic of Christmas, 15 minutes at a time! ; )
The kids made their lists for Santa and couldn't wait to deliver them in person!
In the pic above, if you can't tell, Owen's mouth is wide open!
Kate stood on the outskirts and watched her brothers, needing to see that Santa really was ok. She loved watching him through the window, and she wanted to meet him, but she was still a bit anxious ... (But she was much more inclined to meet him this year than last year!) Once the boys gave him a hug, she was ready to approach.

She eventually warmed right up to him:

Nice to meet you, Santa! Good luck Christmas Eve! We'll be listening for your jingle bells!

Tree Farm Adventures

The day after Thanksgiving, we bundled up and headed to our tree farm to pick the tree! We searched high and low this year, even contemplating the many different styles, until we finally found our tree. (Went for a Noble Fir like always ; )
Owen's not with our tree, but this is the one he wanted! I was afraid the branches were too weak to hold our many (some heavy) ornaments, but it was a beauty!

Thanksgiving Morning Snow!

What a treat! Snow on Thanksgiving! And nowhere to go ~ so lots of time to play!!! Plus Eli's morning nap was during the best hours of morning sledding, so I got to sled too! Great fun!

Watch out Collin!!!