Are You Ready For Some Football?

After last week’s performance, it looks like the Patriots could use a little extra support from their fans!


2 We train ’em early around here!  Go Pats!

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Happiness Is…{laundry baskets}

What is it about laundry baskets?  Is it just my kids, or are they the universal gateway to imagination?

Since I feel like laundry baskets are constantly in a state of flux, being dumped out and filled again with mountains of folded clothes, there is a good chance that you could stumble upon more than one in our downstairs play area at any given time.  And they really do come in handy when you need a change of pace or venue.  The same old books just have a certain extra flair when being read from the comforts of a laundry basket.

Naps beckon with all the more intensity from within the confines of a laundry basket.

And actual pirate ships?  They have nothing on a laundry baskets flying a skull and crossbones while wearing a good pirate scarf.

He’s a fierce one, that pirate Jax.  He’ll make you walk the plank faster than you can say, “Aargh!”

That’s just one of the things that are making us happy as the holidays approach.  The simplest things are what I’m treasuring this Christmas!

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Duck Hunting, Take Two

Is it too much to ask for my kids to have the pleasure of feeding our leftover bread to some local ducks?  We tried last year and failed miserably, but I thought we’d have more luck this summer.  Why, when we are barely beginning to regain some normalcy with flooding and tropical storms, can I not find one single hungry duck to feed when I have a bag full of old hot dog rolls with duck written all over it?

And what’s worse, do you know how hard it is to restrain your children from eating the day-old bread, when there is no live animal in sight to feed it to?  Their little logical brains say, I don’t see any birds.  This is false advertisement.  I can’t let this bread go to waste.  Snack time!

Yuck, kids!  There is a reason this bread was intended for wildlife, not our bellies.  Gross!

But the more I insisted that the bread was not for eating, the funnier apparently it became.

Me: Jax, come on!  I told you not the eat that bread!  That’s gross!

~insert children, happily ignoring me~

Me: Seriously, guys, stop eating the bread.  You’re going to get sick.

Em: (her voice muffled from chewing and smirking) Bread?  What bread?

~insert her brother’s inappropriate and unstoppable laughter at their utter disregard for authority~

Diabolical Laughter Montage

When the thrill of disobedience wore off, and there were still no birds in sight, we settled for feeding the two sun fish that swam our way.  It was definitely a lot of bread for just two fish, but the kids didn’t know that.

And when the bread was all gone, it was time to stretch our legs, have some fun, and soak up the afternoon sunshine.

The kids had a case of the sillies, or maybe it was just a side effect of moldy bread.

A pleasant, fun way to spend the afternoon and it required nothing more than a bag of bread I would have thrown away.  Oh, and some ducks would have been nice.  But I’m 0 for 2 on that count, so I guess I’m gonna have to start thinking about feeding cows.

Killing time, Vermont-style.

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Just What I Deserved

I can see how I am going to have to keep my wits about me when my kids are older.  Without question, I will fall for the old sibling You cause a diversion and I’ll wreak havoc routine.  It’s so easy to get sucked in to one kid’s cuteness and forget that there’s another one skulking around, stealthily abusing my momentary lapse in diligence.  I can only imagine if there were three or four of them!  I’d be putty in their hands, if they were smart enough to gang up against me.  Even with the two I have, I can be manipulated pretty easily.

Exhibit A.
Em knew that insisting on going out of the house with her cute shoes, strands of beads and rainhat on would cause me to run inside to grab my camera.  She began playing the Will-I-Or-Won’t-I-Eat-This-Rock? game…
 …so I was sufficiently distracted to let her brother get into a touch of mischief.
Please note how her foot is looped through her necklaces,
so when she tried to stand up, she couldn’t straighten.  Caused quite a fuss.
Enough for me to be oblivious to the slealthy silence which is never good when you have a two-year-old running loose.
Sigh of acknowledgement.  I have been bested.
I am of the parenting school of thought that if they’re already dirty/messy/need to be changed, might as well grab your camera and have a good laugh.  No way to go back.  And really?  Do I want to?
Also, why should I yell at him?  I’m the one who wasn’t paying attention.  I got what I deserved.
As they say, kids will be kids!
So I loaded Em into her carseat so I wouldn’t be double-crossed (Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me!), took off Jax’s shirt, and let him have a few minutes of fun.
I know, he looks like an extra for The Village People.  Gardener Spice.
 Whatever.  It’s hilarious.  Shirt could come off, but the red beads had to stay.  Maybe Em has been giving him some fashion advice.  Accessories at all times!
My favorite photo:
Hilarious.  Can you imagine if he had squeezed it?  Right up his nose.
And then, someone had to be the bad cop and take the hose away.  We had to take our dog to the vet.  I had no choice but to be the voice of reason.
Again.  Hilarious.  I stung him to the core.
Look at the betrayal in his eyes.  How could you?!  Trying one last time to wrangle the hose himself and regain power over the situation.  I’m so cruel.  I find his attempts at vengeance completely amusing.
Sorry, buddy.  You got me once, but I’m on to your little game.  Send the cute, chubby, little one out to be photographed and then conquer and destroy behind my back.  I’m not falling for it again.
Let’s be real.  Who am I kidding?  I’m an easy mark.  I got just what I deserved, and undoubtedly it will happen again and again.
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Well, I don’t know if I could pull off that hat, but it looks good on you.  You can work it.  Aw, you really think so?  Oh well, you’re too kind.
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A Screw Loose

I think I’ve been watching one too many Bob the Builder and Handy Manny episodes.
Yesterday I had the sudden urge to fix the awkward doorknob on Jax’s bedroom door.  It was awkward because it turned to the left instead of to the right like normal doorknobs.  It’s been that way since we moved in two years ago and someone…um, well, me…put the doorknob on wrong and we never bothered to fix it.  I thought it would be a fun way to kill some time with Jax, who is obsessed screwdrivers, and get something useful accomplished.
We did a really great job, and although I thought the screws looked a bit skewed, not exactly perfectly aligned horizontally like the others in the hallway, it worked.  So we said, “Hooray!” and went to have lunch.  Jax could even open and close it on his own, which may or not prove to be a good thing in the future.
Then it was naptime and I was pleased with having fixed the door because it used to make a loud click when I opened it and sometimes woke Jax up when he was Em’s age.  Now it opened quietly and smoothly.  I was proud of myself and was excited to show Daddy when he got home.
Except that after Jax’s nap, when he was calling me to come get him out of his crib, I tried the doorknob only to discover it was stuck.  And I mean stuck.  I couldn’t twist the knob an inch and there was no way I was going to be able to finagle it without taking the screws out.  Thankfully, in my usual stellar aptitude at everything I do, I had left the side of the knob with the screws on the outside, unlike all the other doors, because honestly I hadn’t noticed until it was already on, but then I figured it was a good thing to be able to break into a toddler’s room if necessary.  Turned out, I was right.
Luckily, Jax thought it was very cool that I had to take the doorknob off again and kept yelling, “Screwdriver!” through the door.  I think if anything could have persuaded him to leap out of his crib, the promise of a job to do with a screwdriver would have been it.  He had his leg up and was definitely contemplating how to get out when I finally popped the knob and peeped through the hole.
Fixing the doorknob, take two!  Jax loved it just as much the second time around.  I had two screwdrivers handy, and he loved to point out the x on the Phillips head and no x on the flathead.
Don’t ask me why he was just wearing socks and a diaper–seemed like the right thing to do at the time, I guess! Apparently the perfect ensemble for my little handyman.
Oh, and don’t forget his hat.  He went into his room to get it himself!  Apparently he needed it so he could get the job done just right.
Thanks, Auntie Dawn for the great birthday present!
And just like my inspirations, Handy Manny and Bob the Builder, we got the job done and the doorknob is as good as new.  Can you believe it was such an ordeal for me to do one simple little job?
Don’t answer that.
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Mr. Wizard

Here is our little trickster, who loves to dump his face in the soapy bathtime water to create a funny wizard beard:

And here is a real wizard, for comparison:
The result is uncanny!
Silly Jax!
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