Monday, June 30, 2008

In the Mail

We finally put all the letters Aleks wrote to Jonas in envelopes with stamps and mailed them off.There were seven total and I had to undo some of Aleks' sealing of envelopes and tape them as they got a bit bulky so I couldn't write the address.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Bastian lines up all the marble run bits like the good little OCD boy he is. He also pew-pews! with them, making them crash into each other and talk and fight.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bread Baking

Bastian and I made Anna's Bread recipe, which is not really a recipe at all, for my Consciousness Raising group meeting. Bastian mostly just played with the dough for a bit once it was all mixed. Then I had to re-shape it for rising.
"Anna's" Bread (not really Anna's bread, but where I got the recipe)
  • 6 cups flour (white, wheat, whatever)
  • 1 or 2 T yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 T honey
  • pinch salt
Preheat the oven to 350° Dissolve the yeast in the water. Mix all the ingredients. Knead dough. Let rise for 30 minutes, punching down halfway. Shape into two loaves (or braid to make it prettier) and bake on cookie sheets for 1 hour. Presto.

Bastian likes to bake a lot.

Lazy Sunday

Papa Logan visited us briefly over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as he was in town for a conference against the war. Sunday morning, he went to a meeting early then hung out with the boys a bit around lunchtime.

Anna had delivered a letter from Jonas the night before while Aleks was sleeping, so when he woke up, I gave him the envelope. Inside was a 2-sided drawing and the words "Love Jonas." We believe the drawing were instructions for building something with Lego. Aleks immediately set to work writing his own letters to Jonas. He wanted to create images that showed what to use for the Lego Game, which at first was supposed to fill 3 pages. In the end, he filled 6 pages, one of which was a giant sheet of paper. Plus there was a 7th page with instructions, dictated to Papa. This took all day to accomplish.
Bastian wanted to draw too. He still just scribbles, but he was trying to use many different colors. He lined up all the markers in his little OCD way.
Aleks brought out all the stuffed animals to the living room, plus emptied the lizard/dinosaur/amphibian cupboard to set up the animals for a battle. Once they were set up, no real battle ensued, but a bit later Bastian played Pew Pew with them on his own, also making them talk and interact in his adorable, nonsensical gibberish.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Painting Wrapping Paper

I like to use the thick butcher-like paper that comes in packages to reuse as wrapping paper. It's thick enough to draw or paint on without ripping and thin enough to fold nicely around a gift. For a 2-year-old's birthday party, the boys painted together on this giant sheet saved from packages recently received. Yes, that's a gun.
Aleks was very upset when Bastian painted over his fancy guys. I missed what they looked like originally, but the dozens of arms looked really neat.

Aleks got purple paint on his I <3 Heavy Metal shirt, which he loves, but it seemed to blend in well with the design and other assorted stains. He is very intent when he arts.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Unschoolers Night Out

Our local Unschooling Group (they who created the Unschoolers Winter Waterpark Gathering) has a monthly Parents' Night Out at a Borders book store. I usually just go by myself, but decided that since the kids were stuck inside all day while I cleaned and Jon needed a lot of time to himself to write, it made sense to take them. Most of the kids that go are older and can be left unattended without running screaming through the store (well, mostly), but I knew the boys would like it.

Aleks and Bastian got a fancy hot chocolate with lots of whipped cream, white chocolate shavings, a chocolate chunk, and chocolate drizzle. It's insane. They love it. Aleks looked at a book about Egypt, which he seems to seek out wherever we go these days - he claims his fascination is only in mummies, but he doesn't neglect to pay attention to related items or pontificate about them. Bastian loves those books with buttons on them, not so much for their content as for the fun button-pushing and noise-making. I refuse to own one of those. They generally did pretty well in the store, though they did cluck like chickens and act super goofy, as they are prone to do these days. The older kids who haven't spent lots of time with them yet thought they were weird. Maybe something about being ten years old that causes that, but the other girls whose families we know really well weren't phased by the craziness of my sons. I think they think they're kooky too, but remain indifferent to it, mainly.

We didn't stay too late and we didn't buy anything, but we enjoyed a relaxed evening just spending a bit of time with other families.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bastian's Costuming

Bastian keeps wearing costumes about. Tonight he was a bee for dinner. He didn't like his (grass-fed, local Amish-raised) hamburger, but ate kale (yay City Fresh!) and macaroni and cheese.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday Running Around

A doula client and I met up with our kids at the Hinckley Reservation to chat about things. The kids ran around crazy and ate up carrots, cheese, and cheerios (Tuesday was brought to us by the letter 'C'). They played in the water pump, climbed on my car, tossed around a ball, watched Daddy Longlegs, and Bastian peed in his pants, but wouldn't pee in the outdoor toilets (which a small 3 year old could very well have fallen into - ewwww).

We also found a cool mushroom. Mushrooms are abundant all over right now because of all the rain we've been having. We should get a book on them...We stopped at a road-side farmer's market/country store to check out the flowers, but didn't buy any because nothing caught my eye and the perennials were too expensive. We got Cookies 'N Cream ice cream though (more letter 'C').
In the afternoon, we headed to the library and City Fresh for our farm share. This year, our Fresh Stop is at the part outside our library, so we can take the wagon and walk! There were bunches of kids climbing the mulberry tree and getting all purple. Bastian and Aleks joined in while I tried to sort out what happened to my registration (the website didn't accept it, apparently, so we only got a half share this week and no strawberries).

Aleks ran off to the Dreaded Big Park next door, which involved a lot of frustration on my part trying to track him down and keep Bastian from running off with a wagon full of library books and vegetables. If anyone knows how to gently handle a kid who runs off, please let me know - I'm at the end of my rope with this one and running out of ideas!

After dinner, we headed to the toddler park. Bastian wore the cape I made Aleks three years ago that he never wears. He's been really into wearing costumes a lot lately.

There was an egg beater on the playground for some reason, which the boys had a blast with trying to mix sand and using it as a fancy weapon. They ran around for hours with another little boy we remember from last year. This worked out really well because usually the park is just full of toddlers and babies who don't hold the boys interest any longer, or, come to think of it, never really did. They have a tendency to run out the gates without the presence of the 4-and-older set to occupy them.
After awhile, I noticed there was another big kid sort of watching Aleks, Bastian, and our friend running around playing, but not joining in. I suggested they go say hi and introduce themselves. They promptly ran over and did so, and the kid was relieved of having to make the first move. Then there were four. They ran and ran, around in circles, plotting against evil guys, trying to find the magic key, and other assorted fantastic adventures. They stood on the shaky bridge and spied a small German? Russian? (not sure on the language) boy with interesting Euro-hair and super-hip-looking parents, then ran away again. An older boy joined in too. It was really nice for them to have the opportunity to be boys in a pack, working together to save the world, the fate of humanity resting in their capable hands.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Visit to Anna's

Our friend Anna and her children, Jonas and Lavinia, moved into a new house with a nice, fenced-in backyard. We stopped into visit for awhile since during the day, she is immobile due to watching children in her home. Bastian saw me sitting on a yoga ball and brought me a dragon and pulled up a moon bounce ball beside me. Jon caught us striking similar positions.A bit later, while running through clover, Bastian got stung by a bee. I have never been stung my whole life, but Aleks has been stung four times and now Bastian's been stung once. I had to take a picture, which Jon yelled at me about because I left the stinger in, which he said was coursing venom into Bastian's foot. Turns out he was right, because after I got the stinger out, you could see the venom moving upwards through his bloodstream - it was swollen and white while the skin around it was red. I put a meltaway Benedryl strip on the wound and added some ice to wet it. I didn't want to give Bastian Benedryl, but putting some on the sight helps with the pain and swelling a lot. I guess Bastian is not allergic to bee stings, we've learned from this.
Lyz came by to pick up Xoe. I made a joke about not being able to imagine her with a stroller. She said she'd walk really slow so we could watch out the window.
In the evening, the kids played heroes and villains in the backyard and we had pizza for dinner.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Coventry Street Fair

Every summer, there is one street each month up the street from our house. We tend to miss them because they're always on Thursday evenings when I always have other meetings and events, but we managed to make it to June's fair this year. We were actually heading out the door for a Junior Ranger program at a farm, but we were running super late and hadn't had dinner, so when I realized the fair was on, I turned the car around and parked back at the house.

Bastian dressed himself up as a witch and Aleks wore Bastian's pirate cape.
First stop was saying hi to Heather at the Rape Crisis Center Table, where she was volunteering. The boys hadn't seen her in awhile, as she still hasn't brought over the book about giant squids.

Immediately after, the boys spotted the Flower Clown who was making balloon animals.
Aleks got an alien and Bastian got an enormous black spider (which I seem to have no photos of).
We ate dinner at Tommy's together. The boys fought with their massive balloons, which was quite tight in the booth, much to Papa's chagrin. I tried to remind him how cute they are.
One booth was selling funny hats. Aleks really liked this wolf hat, which he called a werewolf, but it was twenty dollars he wasn't willing to part with, despite the day previous having counted out his new money jar earnings from Grandpa Jim which amounted to quite a bit more than that.
Bastian tried on a crab hat.
We sat and watched a puppet show for awhile about helping others. At the end, it started talking about how Jesus was the only one who could help you, which led to it being promptly and abruptly time for us to go.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Down on the Farm Recap with photos

As I mentioned in the earlier post, Bastian is in love with hassling the animals. Ziggy gets it pretty bad:

He also managed to poke Bootsie in the ear with a stick, which was bad news because I had to check it out and find out what the heck happened and found a tick in her ear and had to hassle her a plenty to get her all cleaned up. Much shaking of the head to rid her ear of hydrogen peroxide commenced.

We went swimming lots:

After Papa got back from New York, he got to swim too. This pool is so nice. It's a private club, though that doesn't mean much. It's an old pool, built before the 50s, at the very least, and it's all wooded until you get to the pool. So you walk on this long path from the parking lot through the woods, past a creek, a putt-putt course, a party cabin, and a playground before hitting the clearing where the pool and volleyball court is. We watched the swim teams practice on several occasions.
They also have a snack bar, so we ate a number of peanut m&ms.
Which the boys shared very nicely.
For three days in a row, Aleks & Bastian played for hours upon hours in the chicken coop. Usually they wore nothing but frog boots. Bastian got covered in tiny scratches from rubbing against chicken wire and picking up hens. Aleks always checked for eggs. Grandpa Jim had already fed the chickens and collected eggs each time they went in, but one morning Aleks managed to find 3 eggs.
Bastian liked to pick up the hens and put them places. With the babies, it was in a cage that Jim keeps for ill chickens and the grown-up biddies got either thrown in the baby section or shoved in the hen house.
Much to the chagrin of Grandma & Grandpa due to loss and damage, Bastian likes to wear their reading glasses. These he found laying in the yard, which Jim must have dropped.
Aleks helps to pick snow peas for dinner while Bastian throws clods of dirt about.
For Father's Day, the boys painted cards for my dads and for Papa.
They woke Papa up with his presents, which they then opened for him.
And Bastian gave Papa kisses and hugs.

Birthday Re-Cap

Since we're finally back home, here's the pics from Bastian turningHe got awesome pirate gear from mama (found on Etsy), though only the cape arrived in time (there was also a hat and felt sword and a pirate map playsilk that still hasn't shown, grrr).
And he blew out his candles. And was so very proud of himself!

It was a nice, laid-back, no pressure sorta birthday with just family and a couple of friends that count as family. I've done the big birthday parties in the past with all my friends' kids, but the hype got to be too much, so I've abandoned that model while the boys are still young. It's just not worth it.