Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Elusive Smile

Isaac has a great smile, but it's really hard to capture with the camera right now.  Every time I get the camera out, he wants to see the digital screen and he wants to "help" me take pictures.  So, I try to catch him off guard and spring the camera on him.  That usually doesn't work either. 
Once in a while I get lucky and catch a little smile...

...right before it turns into a game and he runs off and hides from me, smiling the whole time.

Bribing doesn't work either.  Isaac was having fun sitting in the kitchen sink, but then he needed help getting out.

We said, "Give us a nice big smile then we'll help you get out." 
 Well, we did get a nice big cheeseball smile!

Monday, February 20, 2012


Noah has his own email address, and he eagerly checks it every day. He loves sending and receiving email. Sometimes he dictates to me and I type his emails for him, but he mostly prefers to type them himself. When he's in charge of typing, he types as many random letters as he can, then he adds all sorts of emoticons just for fun.

The main recipents of Noah's email are Baubie, Grammy, and Yaya, but he sends the occasional email to friends and family and he's tickled pink when he gets a reply.

But there are days when he checks his inbox and only finds a one or two new emails. He really does prefer to have about 7 or 8 emails in his inbox, so he just sends himself about 5 emails and giggles when he opens them and reads them.

I have created "folders" for his emails, so when he gets a new email, he reads it, replies, then puts it in the correct folder. He likes organization like that. He said, "When I am a man and I have a job, then I can just make new folders for the email that I get when I'm at my job." Always thinking ahead, this one is.

One day Noah decided that he wanted to introduce Isaac to the exciting world of email, and I snapped these pictures:

Noah shows Isaac his inbox

Noah opens an email for Isaac to see, and it has little emoticons in it.

The little pictures are smiling right at Isaac, and I love his complete surprise and delight!

Noah says, "See? I knew it! I knew Isaac would like email too!"
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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Spaghetti Night

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sodium Bicarbonate

Last week I looked around our house and realized it was time to dust.  But I didn't do it.  I just thought about doing it.  It was one of the first times that being a procrastinator payed off!

Last Tuesday, I was baking cookies to bring to a teacher appreciation lunch at Noah's preschool.  Thankfully, Matt was home at the time and he switched out cookie sheets for me while I was helping Noah with something.  But that's not what I'm thankful for.  While he was taking out the cookie sheet, he noticed that our oven was sparking.  He called me over and we could see large sparks coming out of the fan holes in the back of the oven.  We could also see a flame that was getting larger and larger behind the oven.  

Matt always thinks clearly under stress, so he turned the oven off and closed the door.  But, the sparks and flame grew larger.  Matt knew where our kitchen fire extinguisher was, and he found it and sprayed inside the oven.  Even after that, we could still see sparks and flames.

Still calm, Matt told me that I should go wake up Isaac from his nap and take him and Noah outside while he calls 911.  About 2 minutes later, the firetruck was at our house and the firemen pulled the oven out of the wall , put out the flames and that was it.  Thankfully, the fire did not spread to our house!

I am so thankful that Matt was home at the time.  He remained calm and was able to think, which made me calm.  Even though I was calm, I still wasn't able to think clearly, but I trusted that he could.

But that's not where the story ends.  After the firemen left, we went inside to survey the damage.  There was no fire damage, but there was a whole lot of white powder.  Everything in our house was coated white.  It was unbelievable!

I have since learned that kitchen fire extinguishers are filled with sodium bicarbonate, which is baking soda.  It's harmless, but no one wants a house coated with baking soda.
Here's our kitchen counters.  Note that the counters on our peninsula are black.  You have to look hard to see it, but it's true.

Here's the culprit, and the cookies that I'm sure would have been delicious.  I ended up bring cookies from the Harris Teeter that I'm sure were only average.

Our kitchen floor

Our kitchen cabinets are old, and they never close quite right.  As a result, every single stinking thing in our kitchen cabinets was coated with sodium bicarbonate.  It was unbelievable.

But, it wasn't just in our kitchen.  We needed to air out the house after the firemen left, so we opened up all our doors and windows.  Later in the day, this is what our playroom looked like.  Our playroom is nowhere near our kitchen.  The boys had lots of fun drawing in the powder on the playroom's hardwood floor.

The next day, the boys had a blast washing all the toys that had been out in the playroom.

So, as a result of our oven fire, and a whole of cleaning, everything in our house is completely clean!  It's quite wonderful!  We even needed to wash our windows.  Spring cleaning came early - if only we can keep everything clean until spring!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Potty Training and Band Practice

Last week, Isaac made the declaration "no diapers!" and so the potty training began.  At 27 months old, we know we're in the ball park for when potty training could begin, but it wasn't quite on our radar yet.  But, it's always best to take cues from the child, even if it wasn't in our plans.  He had a blast wearing undies.  He showed his undies to Noah and me many times throughout the days when we were potty training.  

He even had one great success using the potty.  When you ask Isaac about using the potty, he now says "fountain!" and points up in the air because he created quite the fountain all over the floor and it was very exciting to him.  As he wore undies on and off for three days last week, it became apparent that we need to wait a little while longer until we officially start potty training.  After the "fountain" potty incident, Isaac refused to use the potty again, and he isn't quite ready to tell us when he needs to go.

Well, we're sure to try again in the near future.  It was an exciting glimpse into a possible diaper-free future.  A girl can dare to dream.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Noah loves getting mail.  He is interested in everything to do with the postal system and how mail travels around the world.  He loves it when he gets mail from Grammy and Yaya and Baubie.  He eagerly checks the mail every day, and he claims any mail for himself that is not important to us.  He opens and examines all our junk mail, and he loves to "fill out" all the credit card applications and any other types of forms.

Noah loves mail so much that when we were in Arizona, he "wrote" and sent himself 7 letters.  That's dedication to getting mail when you're sending it to yourself!!

He especially loves getting international mail, and he was so excited when we recently got a letter form my exchange sister in Japan.

It's a little early for Noah to have a true international penpal yet (especially because I don't know how I would find a 4-year-old in another part of the world that shares his love of mail), so we did the next best thing - we signed up with Postcrossing, and it is so much fun!  With postcrossing, you send and receive postcards from other Postcrossing members all over the world.  

In just the last month, we have sent postcards to Germany and the Netherlands, and we've received postcards from the Netherlands and Poland.  We're keeping track of all this on the world map in Noah's room.  So, really it combines two of Noah's passions - mail and geography.  Score!