Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Earthworm Rescue

A while back it rained, and after dropping Fin off at school Parker discovered a bunch of worms (whats a group of worms called? ooooh, a CLEW*) a clew of worms that she decided needed to be put back on the dirt. This may be a little long for those who aren't directly related to Parker, but this video so en-captures what life with Parker is like. She has no internal dialogue. She is both intensely focused and easily distracted. She's not squeamish at all. She anthropomorphizes and yet is able to talk about the worm's untimely demise with frankness ("dis one wooks old...Den he's gonna die, right Mom?"). Worms, spiders, scorpions are equally as cute as kittens, otters and babies. She asks me questions, but answers them herself. There's no one like my girl and this is what my daily interaction with her is like. I could never be bored as a stay at home mom...

Earthworm Rescue from The Family Wright on Vimeo.

A video of P rescuing some earthworms from the gutter.

*Am I the only nerd who seriously loves learning what different groups of animals, etc are called? Seriously stoked to add another group name in my brain...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Fin's kindergarten class has a stuffed animal called KinderBunny. And every kid gets the chance to bring KinderBunny home and take him on adventures and then document what KinderBunny did with you. We had KinderBunny over the Thanksgiving break, but because we traveled around a bit, I was too scared to bring him with us anywhere for fear of losing him. Come Monday we had no pictures of KinderBunny and he had been on no other adventures other than being fought over by a four and six year old. So yesterday I told Fin, lets take pictures of you and KinderBunny doing all the things you love to do at home. So we took pictures of Fin and KinderBunny dancing, making funny faces, watching YouTube videos of roller coasters, eating edamame and white rice and having dessert at Yogurtland. These were all Fin's ideas. Flipping through KinderBunny's folder we saw that the other families had done pretty similar stuff, and had printed the pictures out with some text explaining what they did. Some got fancy and put some stickers on the pages. But we're a family thats completely incapable of just doing what everyone else did.

Behold: Griffin and KinderBunny's Excellent Adventure

It should be noted that Fin doesn't get "graded" on this, its just supposed to be a fun little family project. And all the picture ideas and some of the wording were his idea. So the fact that Josh and I took some creative license and amped up the layout and wording is okay (right? right?). ;) And both kids think its high-larious and were reading it to each other all morning. As a project that was meant to be a family thing, I think we succeeded.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Recipes

*Griffin's Handprint Turkey

Parker's Recipe for Thanksgiving Turkey (as told to Ms.Aimee)

Get a turkey from the barn.
Wash it.
Put it in a pot with carrots, milk (milk makes it really good), orange juice and cheese.
Put it in a five degree oven for five minutes.
Then eat it!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010



I've had this stuff up since the day after Halloween (I was itching to use those yarn pumpkins the kids and I made!) but just got my camera batteries so I could actually take pics. Since the decline of business at my store (and now its sad sad closing) I've had to scratch my merchandising itch at home and I love love love that we have a mantle now for me to "merch" every season. :) I especially like the challenge of using stuff we already have. The only thing I bought for this mantle was the wheat. The fabric pumpkins I made out of the scraps from our owl costumes and the acorns and pinecones we found on walks. The gigantic pine cone came from my dad. Before Griffin's birthday whenever he'd ask me what I was getting him, I'd tease him and say I was getting him pine cones. I told my dad about the ongoing joke we had and he of course got right on board and showed up to Fin's party with a giant bag filled with pine cones of every shape and size. While it was supposed to be a joke, Fin was actually really stoked on it. I am too, that thing looks prehistoric! And thanks to my Aunt Kathy and Laura for the flowers! I took them from my sister's baby shower. I pulled out the blue daisies and added some feathers. Makes me so happy to look at. :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


"Parker, why did you draw all over your face!?!"
"For Halloween, for my kitty costume."
"For next Halloween? Thats a YEAR away Parker!"
"Yeah, so I'm weady."


Parker - "I think I'm right, or I'm not right."


Parker: "What's a nurse shark?"
Griffin: "Its like a doctor shark."
Parker: "Oh yeah"


Griffin's been trying out some five dollar words, "Whoa! Parker incinerated that bowl!"


Parker: "I love my hands. I take them everywhere with me."


Griffin and I are talking about his friends at school and get on the topic of TLC, the after care program for kids whose parent's work. "You know what the big kids say TLC is?" he says. "What?" I ask. "Torture Little Children" he deadpans.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tall Ship Festival

I came across these pictures from awhile ago that I never got around to posting. Josh and I went to san Diego for the weekend of our anniversary and my parents took the kiddos. On that Saturday the Tall Ship festival was happening in Dana Point. We'd never heard of it before, but they have old sailboats you can tour, and canon battles and pirates and food and sea chantey performances and booths. My dad said that there were people dressed up like pirates everywhere and it sounded to me a bit like a Renaissance Fair. But for pirates. And how could that be anything but awesome?!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nature's Cheerleader

*a different bug from a different day

Its incredibly hot today, so on our walk home from dropping off Fin, Parker and I took a little break in the shade. While I answered a text message from Josh, Parker dug around in the dirt a little and discovered a tiny worm. "Awww, Mommy wook, isn't he so sweet? Its a bahhh-bee worm!" She then set about building the baby worm a house out of mud and sticks. The whole time she was working she was cooing to the worm, "You're such a good widdle worm, isn't he a good widdle worm Mommy?" She built him a home with three fireplaces, complete with chimneys and plumbing for his sinks. She only stopped talking to the worm to inform the bee's buzzing around her that she was "just building a widdle house for dis worm, fanks for making the flowers grow widdle bee, you're so cute and fuzzy, isn't he cute and fuzzy Mommy, isn't he doing a great job helping the flowers grow?"

Even nature needs some positive reinforcement.

Monday, November 1, 2010


We started celebrating Halloween a little early this year, since Fin wanted to have a "scary costume party" for his sixth birthday (really should get those pictures up!). Fin was a mummy at his party, but got frustrated with all the hanging pieces and wrappings, so he quickly decided he wanted to be a vampire for Halloween. Which is just about the easiest costume in the world. He already had the white turtleneck for the mummy costume, so we headed to the Halloween shop, bought him some super cheap teeth (29 cents!), a cape and a medallion. Parker had about a bajillion different ideas for her costume (including an "underwater cheetah" when you figure out what that is, let me know), but when I suggested we could both be owls, she jumped at it. I bought some sweaters at the thrift store, cut the arms off and used those as the chest feathers, along with some real feathers. Some pieces of felt for the eyes and wings and a whole lot of hot glue and we were owls! I swear I could make you anything with a little bit of felt and my hot glue gun, though I've yet to learn how to NOT incur third degree burns every time I use that thing. They held up through Fin's party, my sister's annual pumpkin carving party, her halloween party at school and random wear throughout the month, so I'd say it was pretty successful.
On our walks to school we discovered a house that does a whole haunted house in their front yard and Fin has been closely watching its progress. They opened it on Saturday and we headed over. Parker and I wanted nothing to do with it, but Fin was brave and went through with Josh and loved it. Those two just love to be scared. Fin went on and on about how "awesome! so awesome!" it was. We also went to the haunted house they made at our clubhouse, but didn't go through the actual haunted house (it was billed as being for "adults and teens" so we thought we better not). They had decorated another area and had candy and games and Charlie Brown's The Great Pumpkin playing.
For Halloween night my parent's came over and we headed out to do some trick or treating. We went back to trick or treat in the neighborhood with the haunted house, and found out there was not just this haunted house, but two more, and lots of decorations! There were a lot of neighbors having little parties in their driveways and it was a fun, festive atmosphere. I went through a little tiny haunted house by myself, thinking my mom and Fin were following me and begged the man squatting in the smoke in a mask to not jump out at me. The other haunted house was INTENSE, so intense we couldn't even walk by it. We could hear a chainsaw, and banging on trash can lids, and saw monsters chasing teeny boppers out of the maze and down the street. From a distance it was awesome, but we stayed on the other side of the street. It did remind me of the haunted houses we would go through when I was little, and a part of me was heartened to see that people still do them. There is something thrilling about them, even if in the moment I always think, why in the world did I do this. The kids had a blast, Parker told me after every single house, "This is fun! I wuv dis!" and thanked me a couple times for taking her trick or treating, "Dis is fun, I'm habing fun mama, fanks for taking me trick or treating!" :) We came home and immediately sorted the candy and the kids brokered some trades and begged and pleaded to eat just one more piece. Parker has already asked me if she could be about thirteen different things for next Halloween.

Getting all set to go trick or treating!

At my sister's annual pumpkin carving party

We spent a good portion of our night coming up with names for this bump!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bieber Fever

Last week when I went to pick up Parker from preschool she wrapped herself around me and pleadingly asked me, "Mommy, can I be a beaver for Halloween, pleeeeeeeaaaase?!" One of her teachers looked at me and said, "Oh she wants to be Justin Bieber for Halloween?" and then I heard all the kids at the lunch table start excitingly tell each other how I'm going to be Justin Bieber for Halloween, no I'M going to be Justin Bieber for Halloween, NO I'M GOING TO BE JUSTIN BIEBER. I had to explain to her teacher that Parker has no idea who Justin Bieber is and she thinks everyone is going to show up dressed like beavers for Halloween.

Fast forward to today. Parker and I are waiting for Fin to get out of school, when a little girl Parker's age walks up. Her hair is in two tight french braids and completely covered in glitter, she's got glitter on her face, on her shirt, everywhere. She's wearing a Justin Bieber t-shirt, ripped up jeans and patent leather boots. Parker runs up to her and says HI! and the girl immediately says, "I'm going to a Justin Bieber concert tonight!!" Parker counters, "Wook at dis! I found this giant acorn on our walk!" The girl repeats, "Yeah, but I'M GOING TO THE JUSTIN BIEBER CONCERT TONIGHT" then Parker says, "I hab a tail! Its attach-dey-did! Wanna spin with me?!" and shows off the black cat tail she's worn for three days straight safety pinned to her pants. The girl, realizing Parker is thoroughly unimpressed with her plans for the night sighs, rolls her eyes and walks away. Parker skips over to me and says, "Wanna see how fast I can twirl?" I scooped her up, gave her a giant hug and kiss and said, "I love you so much Squirrelly Whirl, don't you ever change. Now lets see how fast you can spin!"

And she spun and spun and spun.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mystery Neighbors

The mystery neighbors have appeared! We share a staircase with the condo next to us, and up till last night it's been empty. The former tenants here told us the neighbor plays baseball and travels most of the year and uses this condo for the holidays (apparently his family is from the area?). Here's the scoop so far:

1.) We heard people coming up and down the stairs late last night.
2.) Josh spotted a double stroller (kids? two?!)
3.) New Lincoln Navigator outside this morning being detailed by man (possible neighbor?)
4.) Overhear woman speaking inside the house to kid(s?)
5.) Small dog goes berserk inside the condo when I come up the stairs with Tammie.

If you're wondering why we're so worked up about this, you should know that a. we really loved all our old neighbors and b. we've yet to make any real connections with ANY of the people who live here (and have found NO kids) and are therefor pretty desperate for some friendly neighbors. Not that the people surrounding us aren't nice. Just not overly friendly. Basically I want someone to share cookies with and ask for an egg when we run out. Is that too much to ask?

Updates to follow...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Since starting this blog oh so very long ago, I've been frustrated by my lack of technical knowledge of all things website/blog/photography related. Because I know what I would like things to look like, but having never taken any sort of computer class or photography class, I've just had to wing it, scraping by with bits and pieces of knowledge I've gathered from the internet and friends and family. I know there are lots of tutorials out there, and if I had the time/money/initiative I know I could easily learn how to do almost everything I could ever want. But when you're squeezing computer time in between drop off and pick up and nap time and lunch time and craft time and life, it just goes to the bottom of the list. But playing around with the design of the blog and my pictures is a great stress reliever to me, and allows me to flex my creative muscle in some small way. I've read about photoshop "actions" on other blogs, but was never quite sure what they were talking about (remember NO training) so I finally asked The Husband last night and he showed me how to use them. I for see many a wasted hour. Its awesome. I've been converting my pictures on various iPhone apps, and those are still great, simple, easy ways to get a "look" for your pictures. But I love that I have so much more control with photoshop. I downloaded this action from night_fate. I still want/need to really learn how to play around with it more, but I'm loving this new "toy."






Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Both kids ran into our room the first time thunder shook our house, and Parker immediately went straight under our covers and yelped for me to get under with her. By morning she decided that the clouds were just talking to her. As she looked out the window she fluffed up her hair a bit and said, "I'm just fixing my hair so the cwouds will wike it."


Kids are watching tv when a commercial for a stairlift comes on. I overhear Parker say
"Griffin, should we get one of dos for mom and dad when dey get old?"


"Whoa Mom!! Dat bird was wike two minches away from my head!" -Parker


I sent Fin into his room to start cleaning, promising him I'd be in in a minute to help. Ten minutes later he comes out and sighs, "I really need your help in there Mom, things are not going well."


On the back of one of my magazines there is a life sized picture of Julia Roberts head. Fin had been dancing around and making Julia's head his head. Then he put it in front of my head, and says, "Look Dad, you want Mom to have a prettier face?" (thanks dude!)

Rainy Day Schedule

We're stuck in side today with some major thunder storms (thrilling!) so Parker and I decided we'd make some yarn pumpkins (like we did last year). When we made these the last time, I just bought the cheapest yarn I could find, but this year I've got a mantle. A mantle that is just begging to be decorated for every passing season. Right now its covered in rats and skulls and all sorts of creepiness, but I want to phase out the creepiness once Halloween is over and do something a bit more fall. So I got us some super thick, nubby yarn (bogo sale at JoAnns!) to make pumpkins and I have plans on making some more pumpkins out of old sweaters and fabric (like these). The pumpkins came out just how I hoped, lumpy and nubby and cozy. I think with my vintage books, a few acorns and maybe a bouquet of wheat we'll be good to go. Now what to do about Christmas...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Nature Box

The kids have a collection of rocks, sticks, feathers, shells and other various pieces of nature they've found on our walks (I never allow them to take anything except what I think might already be subject to removal by the army of landscapers that populate our area). This morning on our walk to school we found the holy grail of nature collections - an owl pellet. We've only found one before, a few years ago now, but the kids remember it like it was yesterday, and still talk about it. We promised Fin we wouldn't take the pellet apart till he got home. He declared he was going to start a mouse bone collection with this pellet. Searching for something to put the pellet in, I came across this box and containers my dad had given me and P and I decided to make it our nature box. We separated her rock collection by color, and came up with examples of all their collections. So she has a shell, her rocks, a crystal, the owl pellet, pine cones, a feather and seed pods. She had a blast figuring out what to put in each container and arranging her box just so.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Six Years Old

I'm a bit late with this birthday post. I wanted to get it right. And lately I've felt this sort of urgency to just stop and BE with you. So I've spent time this week and last building all your new toys with you. I've cleaned your room for you to make room for this expanding collection of tracks you've amassed. I've spent it decorating the house for Halloween with you. I've spent it reading chapter after chapter of The Witches. And because you're you, you've been so grateful, giving me hugs, telling me thank you. Your gratitude is so sweet and pure, I sometimes feel like you deserve more. For your birthday your Aunt Sarah took you to build a car. And when I talked to her about how you were, she could only say that you were just so good. So sweet and grateful. She said it brought tears to her eyes. People love to spoil you (including me) because of this.

But I haven't done all this just for more hugs (you'd give them to me anyways). I know in the future, you won't want me in your room to play. You won't care if I put spider webs up, skeletons in your bathroom (or will have to pretend you don't care). You won't fit in the curve of my arm and listen to me read in a very bad english accent. So I'm savoring it. Savoring the pure sweetness you ooze every day. Savoring the excitement you have over decorations, new toys, bounce houses. At six I feel like we're at the edge of something. About to go over that edge into the sevens, the eights and nines. Pre-pubescent. Something I feel like I know nothing about.

So I'm trying to hold on to who you are now. A boy obsessed with things that go. You build elaborate tracks for your trains and cars. Mini-worlds and rides. Your most ambitious to date started up on your dresser, went across the whole room, through a "time machine" winded around dinosaurs, under the bed and back through another time machine elevator up to the dresser again. Your ingenuity is astounding. Every time I think about giving away some of your toys, I have to stop and think about what you might need it for. The empty box becomes the time machine. The old barn becomes the elevator. You approach each situation and solve it yourself. Mini physics experiments laid out in hot wheels tracks. This creativity and problem solving makes me inordinately proud. I know that this one characteristic will take you far in life and allow you to succeed where other's may fall short.

You're still obsessed with all things science. Dinosaurs, fossils, sharks, space, anything and everything about this world you live in. The things you remember and understand continue to astound me and your dad. You don't just remember all the planets, you remember their characteristics. Beyond that you've latched onto this idea of meta-physics, building universes and worm-holes. You've sat rapt, listening to Steven Hawkings and Radiolab podcasts. You've surpassed most adults I know in your understanding of these very abstract concepts. We talked and read yesterday about earthquakes, about P-waves and S-waves, fault lines and plates. I love these moments with you, seeing the light bulb go off in your brain, when it "clicks" and you understand. More and more you're coming to these conclusions on your own.

I also love to hear you impart your knowledge to your sister. In the car the other day, she asked you if any animals eat rocks. And you immediately answered, "Alligators eat rocks, because they swallow their food whole. So they eat rocks too, to help them break down their food." You two are still as close as can be. You have inside jokes and silly songs that put the two of you in hysterics. We hear you two talking and laughing when you should be sleeping and we holler for you to go to sleep, but then we look at each other and smile, because its such a sweet thing to hear. You are so good with other kids, younger and older. When we showed up a tiny bit late for school today, the three mothers waiting outside exclaimed, "There's Griffin! All the boys were asking where you were!" You're sweet and mellow and funny and kids are drawn to that in you.

There's all these other things I want to say about you. How you still love music, rocking, rollicking music, the louder the better. How you can bust a move, do a James Brown spin, have great rhythm. How you care deeply about the clothes you wear, what you look like, how things feel. How you have to go to the salon to get your hair cut because no one else can do it right. How a bad hair day can ruin your morning. How you are pessimistic, fearing the worst outcome in every situation, and yet still maintain a bubbly happiness. How you manage to be a happy go-lucky pessimist is beyond me, and a trait unique to you and your dad. How you can be ecstatic and grateful over something nice someone did for you and then follow it with a "but what if..." How you believe your Papa can build anything and everything.

Everyday we feel so lucky to have such a sweet, smart funny little dude like you in our lives, and we look forward to all that is to come. Happy Birthday Boog-ity!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Five Years

Around this time five years ago I was in the lobby of the Louvre, having a breakdown. I was jet-lagged, starving and ached for my baby. Not many people have a angry whisper fight with their new husband amongst Roman antiquities on their honeymoon. I don't remember what I was angry at you for, just that I was angry. Angry that we were fighting in Paris on our honeymoon. Because thats not what you're supposed to do. Honeymooners don't fight. Don't ask me about the logic there (we're fighting because I'm mad that we're fighting). I don't remember how we resolved it. I held onto my shame about that fight for awhile. I would never admit to anyone that our honeymoon was anything other than charming, lovely and romantic. I would never admit I was on edge, cranky and sad. But the truth is, it was charming, lovely and romantic. Stumbling upon an open air market, holding your hand at the top of the Eiffel tower while you begged to go back down, meeting the couple from Georgia in a graveyard, the same Goldfrapp song on the tv all week, gray skies and wet leaves. And when I think about the obstacles in our way of enjoying that week, its a little bit amazing to me. We never got used to the time change. We'd never left our baby boy longer than one night before. We had no money for good food. We knew two words in French. And if I want to get really philosophical and cheesy about it, that week is a good metaphor for our what our life together has been. Its been charming, lovely, and romantic. And we've been on edge, cranky and sad.

We've had so many "obstacles" in our life that could have gotten in the way of enjoying it. But its all been amazing. Because I'm with you. Because we duck under that wave hand in hand and come up, gasping for breath, laughing and ready for the next one.

Happy Anniversary babe, I love you.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Bear Researchers

Last week when I asked what she was doing Parker told me she was "killing bears" Slightly alarmed, I asked her why, to which she replied,
"We're just killing dem and putting dem in a cage so the Mama bears don't kill them."*
"You're killing the bears, so that the other bears don't kill them?" I clarified.
"Okay then."
So today when the kids started loading up to kill some more bears, I told them that instead of killing bears to save them from being killed, why didn't they use tranquilizer guns to put them to sleep? Scientists do that, I explained. To see how big they are, and to track them, and give them medicine if they need it. Then the sleeping medicine wears off and they wake up and go back to the forest. The kids latched onto that idea and have been "in the forest" researching all morning. In fact, I was busy cleaning and emailing, so I had nothing to do with any of this:

Here's their computer (an old DVD player that no longer works). The guns are also hooked up to the camera, and go off when a bear passes by.

This is their telescope/big gun for seeing bears that are far away

Here's Parker (and I quote) "writing notes about the bears"

Fin is completing his "check marks" while Parker mans the computer cam
Not sure what the safety gear is for, but you have to admit it does make them look pretty official. Later Fin put on some suspenders too, which really completed the outfit. Before I put them down for nap they were bringing books out to put in their "forest school" so it seems like this is a long research assignment...

*hey Gammie! Thanks for showing us that awesome clip of the tiny baby bear clinging to a tree for dear life while the voiceover contemplates whether or not the other Mama bear is going to kill and eat it! ;)