Thursday, March 31, 2011

a cold day at the critter barn

Though the sunlight was beautiful and warm, the biting cold in the air made us so grateful for our extra layers, our warm sweaters, coats, hats, and mittens. Maya and I spent Wednesday together on a Preschool field trip at the Critter Barn. When we first arrived, we huddled together on benches in the cozy barn as "Miss Mary" taught us all about the chickens, and eggs, and goats, and milk, and sheep.

Maya was delighted, enraptured, ...listening intently and watching in awe. She jumped at every opportunity to pet, feed, milk, hold...

Thirty some preschoolers, parents, and grandparents lined up along the fence to watch the sheep run from the barn to the pasture.

The friendly turkey, "John Smith" and his wife, "Pocahontas" followed us around the farm all day.
Adeline was concerned when Maya started to complain about her cold feet.
They were cute, and great for the mud, but apparently...not quite warm enough.

Sunbutter and strawberry jam sandwiches, apples and banana chips (and a heated barn) warmed us up a little, though Maya looks a bit tired here...

Even the bus ride home was an adventure filled with pretend characters, games, and laughter.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sophia Marie Elise

My thoughtful, delightfully spunky, goofy, sweet,WILD,happy, talkative, dramatic, storytelling, trickster, too-cute-for-her-own-good, lovable, delicate, little Sophie turned three today. And she is really happy to be three...

We had a small party with family on Saturday...a "Madeline birthday..with Madeline sticking-out-of-cupcakes." It was a simple celebration with a gracious and grateful, (well-rested) happy little hostess.

So this morning, she couldn't believe it was true when I woke her up singing...telling her it was really her birthday. "Mah-ch twenty-eight?!?!? (round opened-mouth gasp)"...the day she has been waiting for.

We quickly put on her special cupcake birthday shirt (made by a very creative friend and former student) and brought Maya to pre-school. We decided to have a special date, just me and Sophie at Starbucks to celebrate her day. After a long look at all the baked goods behind the glass, Sophie decided upon a "birthday pop" (suggested by the barista) and chocolate "cow milk" for her "breakfast." (A "birthday pop" is a round piece of cake, coated in pink candy-like frosting on a lollipop stick.)

The cafe was filled with blinding yellow sunlight which lit up her wild yellow hair and squinty-eyed smile. She chatted earnestly, flashing goofy faces at me across the table. She really likes her tongue these days...

Next, we grocery shopped together. And she picked "blue-blaillies and stwah-blaillies, turkey, avocado and...(some red bananas which she was certain were) chocolate bananas." After the penny ride at Meijer, we went to school for first grade music class, where she passed out some birthday prizes for her "fuhst-gwade-ah fwends." After picking Maya up at pre-school, we headed home for lunch with Daddy...and nap time.
When Sophie woke up from her long hard sleep, Maya and I were just finishing wrapping some gifts, a wooden puzzle, a hungry caterpillar coloring book, and a 'playmobile' farm set. We waited, ready, eager, and excited for Ryan to come home.

Finally, he arrived and we opened the gifts and headed to the Olive Garden (Sophie's choice) for dinner. However, on our way, I realized that she had something different in mind when she asked if we'd see the "turtles" at the gardens. I think she was counting on butterflies and playgrounds too. Once we were inside the Olive Garden, she wondered where the "lobb-stahs" we avoided the long wait and walked across the parking lot to Red Lobster for a delicious and ridiculously buttery meal.

Yes, that is ice-cream too. Things will have to change tomorrow.

Despite all the sugar, she fell asleep quite contentedly tonight after we snuggled in bed and read "The Mitten." She thought that mouse was so nice to share her warm mitten with all those animals.

Friday, March 04, 2011

home for sale

Warning: This is a post with an ulterior motive. Though I am speaking in my authentic "Angela voice"...I'm also trying to sell you my house. Proceed with caution.

We don't really want to leave our house. Honestly, we love it. The cozy new fireplace in the basement is one of our favorite places on earth. In fact, the whole house just seems cozy and warm...even when it's messy (which has been more often than I like lately). We love this house, inside and out. In the summer time, we love being outside in the yard (with underground sprinkling), picking fruit, herbs, and vegetables from the gardens, gathering with friends around the fire-pit... roasting marshmallows, or sitting on the front porch talking to our neighbors. The quiet street is perfect for riding bikes and walking.

The open space between the kitchen and living room is ideal for our busy kids who like to be close to me while I'm in the kitchen or doing laundry (they also enjoy chasing each other around and around the island. The girls have the upstairs to them selves, with bedrooms with the cape-cod ceilings that I've always loved and their own bathroom to share.

Living in a new house is a luxury I never imagined myself enjoying...I have actually always liked old houses better (the charm, the character, the quirks, the hardwood, and plaster, crown moldings, and built-ins, the possibilities, and the creativity required to see past wallpaper and dirty carpet)...

But the open floor plan, main floor laundry, fresh clean bathrooms and kitchen.... and lack of projects requiring demolition have been perfect for our family. Though I've been anti-carpet/ pro-restored-hardwood in the past, I have to admit, the carpet has been wonderful for our babies and small children. In fact, we'll be happy to stay here for a long time.

But...we may have found our 'dream' (project) house...

(an old brick colonial requiring TONS of work but holding incredible 'potential') in a great location at a great price (It's a "buyer's market," you know). And while we're a little nervous about the 'risk'...we're usually up for adventure (especially when it feels a little spontaneous). For the most part, we're boring, 'safe' people. But this house seems worth the leap.

So there is a sign in our front yard.

And, if you'd like to buy our "newish," cute little cape-cod with four bedrooms, and 2 and a half baths, a newly finished basement (wired for surround sound and set up for a 'theatre' room with a fireplace), can call for a showing and check out our realtor's listing here.