Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pros and Cons

Now that the weather is nicer Brian has been taking the kids golfing with him. There are a few pros and only one con when he does this.

-I get free time to finish a project or get dinner on the table
-The kids get some exercise and learn a sport
-They get to spend some fun time with their daddy.

-Jamie gets hit in the forehead with Lily's golf club on her downswing. This is going to look really bad tomorrow.

disclaimer: Brian has standard rules that the kids are supposed to follow in regards to when they are on the course. Neither one followed the rules when this happened - Lily didn't look to make sure no one was around her and Jamison wasn't paying attention to where he was walking. They normally follow the rules and Lily can actually recite them. This was just one of those things that happen and to make it worse, Jamison's head attracts heavy objects.....

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Love You Airport!

I don't know how long it's been since Jamison has loved planes but he definitely has only verbalized it in the last 8 months...which is kinda when he really started talking so who knows how long his love for airplanes was kept deep down inside, unexpressed?

Since my father flies airplanes we think Jamison equated airplanes with his Pop. As a result he continually calls airplanes "Pops." We correct him every chance we get and occasionally we get him to force the word "airplane" out of his lips but he is very reluctant to say that. A few weeks ago he uttered "airpop" and we thought we were getting closer...but no. He's back to calling them "Pops."

One afternoon we met my father at the hangar at Albany airport so that Jamie could get his dose of fuselages.

You would think that an interior of an airplane would not be the place to let Jamison play. So many buttons and switches.

But he only spent about 10 minutes in the airplane. His focus was on incoming and outgoing aircraft. Lily, on the other hand, realized that when she put the headset on she was suddenly a superstar. She could hear herself sing, talk, and be a pilot.

She moved over into the pilots seat and we were going to fly to New York but because of storms she flew me to Disney World then mid flight we had to stop in Texas because I was done - she kept yelling into the headset and I was going deaf.
Jamison preferred to just stand around admiring the plane while Pop cleaned the hangar a little bit.

And then we head on the radio that some flights were coming in while two other flights were waiting to take off. Show time!

A Southwest flight just landed and he was helping the tower find where it was. The tower frequently asks Jamison for helping finding flights. He can spot an airplane anywhere. You might think I'm exaggerating but I'm not. He should work for the CIA he has such an odd ability to find airplanes on the ground or mid-air. It's very eerie.

Then dad pulled out some chairs and Pop and Jamie decided to sit and watch the planes. If I had photoshop I would draw a little arrow to the airplane that was landing on the runway.

For a long time now Jamison has been telling all of us he loves us. It's incredibly sweet and makes me melt. He'll go around the room telling everyone individually that he loves them.
But two weeks ago we were driving by the airport (our office is literally perpendicular to one of the runways) and he said "I love you airport" and suddenly I realized my competition for his love was the Albany International Airport. Otherwise known as ALB in airport code.
Again, I would draw another arrow to the United flight taking off below. You can barely see it in this picture.
We know from experience that if we go between 4-5pm we are more likely to see more airplanes than any other time of day. Unless it's between 6-7am...and I'm not about to be that crazy. We're already crazy enough that my son's favorite play spot is an airport hangar. As we drove away he bid the airport adieu and proclaimed his love - "I love you airport!"

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Maple Syrup

I am a huge fan of breakfast. If I was captured by terrorists and forced to eat breakfast for every single meal I'd be one happy hostage. (i mean, as long as there weren't any other forms of torture)
So when my birthday rolled around last month Brian and I decided that it would be fun to go to a maple farm, do the tour, go on a hayride, and then eat a huge pancake breakfast with fresh maple syrup and coffee. Lots of coffee to go with the lots of pancakes.
Maple syrup is only harvested in March when the nights get below freezing and the days are warmer. This makes the sap from the maple trees flow better. This March has not been very helpful to the maple farmers because even though it got cold at night it wasn't consistent and the same with the warmer temperatures in the day. So the cost of syrup has gone up. If it gives you a good idea, the cost of a gallon of maple syrup costs between $30-$35 in 2007. This year it's between $50-$60 a gallon.
I found a maple farm that offered hayrides, a tour of their facilities, and a discounted pancake breakfast. AND it was only 45 minutes away.
We arrived there as soon as they opened at 10am and took the brief tour. Then we got ready to go on the hayride. And this is where it slowed down. The horses weren't ready at all. We stood around a waited until 11:30. Then we just had to go since we needed to be home before Jamison's 1:00 nap. We didn't even have time for the pancake breakfast!!
While we were waiting for the horses to get ready Jamison was able to feed them.

This one was called Betsy. She was feisty and flirty.

Lily wanted to go on the horse but not by herself. So Brian got on with her and I think he enjoyed it more than she did.

Two weeks later Lily's school had a field trip to another maple farm. I tagged along as a chaperone. Here is our group listening to the instructor.

This farm taught how to drill the holes for the spiles. This procedure is old fashioned and is actually harmful to the trees since the holes are so large. The farm that our family went to showed us the improved way of getting the sap out with a spile that is no wider than the width of a woodpecker's beak.
It was difficult to get a good picture of the kids around the sap bucket since they were all so close. After this we tasted sap directly from the tree (tastes like water with very little sugar in it) and then tasted finished maple syrup (with a whole lotta sugar).

And then my camera battery died. So no group picture. On top of that I never got my pancake breakfast with fresh maple syrup at either farm. I'll have to settle for Denny's.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I don't usually enjoy embarrassing my husband. Occasionally, yes. Usually, no. But I did put bunny ears and a bunny nose on my car and he did drive it around. I also do the reindeer antlers and Rudolph nose at Christmas time but somehow that is not as humiliating for him.

The kids think the decorations are hysterical and that's all that matters.

Easter baskets from the bunny and Easter bags from Nana and Poppa.

Jamison was sleeping in so we let Lily look at her basket before him. She was very excited about the stupid Tinkerbell movie. She has been bothering me forever about the movie and I've kinda ignored her. But then the Easter bunny just gave in and got it for her.
In Peter Pan Tinkerbell is not a very nice fairy. She's always trying to kill Wendy. But apparently she had a change of heart in this film and is now lovable.

She has also become a fan of Madeline so the Easter bunny brought her another Madeline book.

Thanks Nana and Poppa for the bunny potato heads! They were a hit!

Since we leave for church at 9am, we finally had to wake Jamison up at 8:45. It killed me to wake him up but we needed to take pictures and head to Bible class. So that explains his red cheeks and dazed look.

The Easter bunny brought him new Thomas and Lady trains. Previously he had the Thomas and Lady trains that are battery operated and they were ruined in the basement flood. I waited this long to replace them to make sure his love for Thomas and Lady was true.

Jamie pronounces "candy" as "CAHNDY." And he says that a lot now.
And the next gift from Nana and Poppa was THE BEST. These things are hysterical and I suggest that anyone - with or without children - go and find these and make your friends (or children) use them. You will laugh for hours.
I'd like to describe them as duck whistles in the shape of a duck beak but they are not exactly a whistle since they quack. I guess they would be accurate as duck whistles because Lily and Jamison sounded like they were calling to the ducks and inviting them back up north for the spring. They're hard to explain which is why you must go get these yourself and then you'll understand it.
(note: I hadn't done Lily's hair at this point so it looks a mess)

My one and only "finished" picture since we were running late.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pre-Easter Celebrations Part 2 - The Aftermath

After we returned home from the egg hunt the kids were almost done with their sugar high. It was 30 minutes before Jamison's naptime so I sat him on my lap to calm down. After 20 minutes he said that he just went poo-poo so I told him we'd wait until it was closer to naptime and then I'd change him.

Bad Idea.

The sugar must have wrecked havoc on his system - he "leaked" all over himself and me. So gross. Such a mess. So we went upstairs to change him (and me). I told him I was going to go put the clothes in the wash and then I'd put him down for a nap.

When I came up from the basement I heard Lily scream: "EMERGENCY!" I ran to see this at the bottom of the stairs:

And this at the top of the stairs. He thought it was an amazing game - throw mama's shoes down the stairs and hear the clunk as they crash onto the floor and into the walls.

It took him 10 minutes to bring all the shoes back up (there was no way I was going to clean up that mess) and then he finally got his nap.

After naptime we dyed our Easter eggs. Jamie wasn't sure what he was about to do but he was very excited about it. That was very short-lived. He dyed eggs for 4 minutes - tops.

Waiting for the dye tablets to dissolve in the vinegar.

Intense concentration for the brief time he was interested.

Lily was more into all the color combinations, writing her name on her eggs, and trying to marble them. I thought I'd try that new technique and see what the eggs would look like. I wasn't impressed but it was a tiny scientific experiment so it was fun to watch.

And then Jamie decided to see what the dye tasted like. We had already warned both of them that it would taste gross because of the vinegar (you would think the smell would be
repulsive enough) and Lily was telling him, as we was dipping his fingers in, "Jamie, you don't want to do that."

He didn't exactly react like I thought he would. I'm a fan of vinegar myself, granted it's the balsamic or malt variety, so maybe he inherited some of my tastes.

And since he wasn't put off by the taste or the smell Brian had to intervene and take the dye away.

Lily and I kept dying the rest of the eggs and once they dried we added some stickers. The eggs didn't turn out so pretty but that wasn't what it was all about anyway. And lucky for us, Lily and I love hard boiled eggs so we are all stocked on snacks for the next few days.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pre-Easter Celebrations Part 1

Saturday we took the kids to an Easter egg hunt/brunch. I was focused on the brunch part Lily was focused on the Easter egg hunt part.

Lily was prepared in her bunny ears. Of all the things that she and I will argue about in the future there is no way I'm going to choose the bunny ears battle now. And who cares? She's four and she's proud to wear bunny ears. (she is holding Jamie's duck Easter basket because he kept putting it on his head and quacking)

While Brian and I attempted to eat the brunch the kids were under the table going through my purse. Time to pet the little bunnies kids! Crawl on out....

Ummmm can you guys look up? Lily, Jamison, look at mama!

Good Jamie! Lily! Look up!

UGH. JAMIE! Look at me!

At. Me.
I give up. Thank you for not trying to eat the bunny Jamie.

A little excited about the cupcake?

VERY excited about the cupcake. (Brian cut it in half and put the frosting in the middle so that it would create less mess. Good in theory.)

Like I said, it was good in theory. It was only slightly less messy.

And then the Easter egg hunt began. Up north, all normal egg hunts are done indoors. It would have been torture to do it outside - it was 40* and drizzle-y.

Please excuse his pants problem. They are size 18 months and still won't stay up on him without a safety pin. Somewhere, way down our family lines, there is a tall, thin person. Whoever that is, that is who Jamison takes after. It certainly isn't the Meeks/Dooley side.

This is his third egg so he knows exactly what is hidden inside.

I was tempted to brew myself a cup of coffee while he ate all the jellybeans. And I think he knew what I was thinking.


This is very serious business.

Please do not disturb. Any type of interruption will be ignored: Jellybeans being consumed.

I am trying to teach her the balance between having a picture-smile and baring her teeth at the camera. We're working on it.

Alright Jamison. You know what time it is. We are going to all look at the camera - at the same time! - and take a picture!

Jamison's expression clearly shows how he feels deep in his heart. This girls are always in my way, but what's a guy to do?

And this was as good as we got. There were about five other shots and this was honestly the best. I know, it's sad. Jamison looks desperate for another jellybean-filled plastic egg and Lily looks incredibly enthused about who knows what. "what? a picture? so unexpected!"

Part 2 - tomorrow - "The Aftermath."