Friday, November 30, 2012


Last weekend, we decided to take the kids and go bowling.  

Let me pause for a moment to remind you that for the past four and a half years, our lives have revolved around feedings, diaper changes, naptimes, bedtimes, snack times, sippy cups, potty trainings, etc.  Deciding at the last minute to take the kids and go bowling, without planning or preparing or packing bags might not seem like a big deal, but I feel like we have arrived on the other side of some monumental divide between people with babies and normal people.  

Anyway, we went bowling and it was a blast.  The Doodlebug was insanely funny.  He started trying to imitate Craig and I by ruuuuunning up to line when he threw his ball.  After watching us bowl a few frames, he started standing there and lining up first the way we do, then running and throwing.  It was funny because he stood there like he knew what he was doing, and then ran up there like a crazy man.


And every.single.time he let go of the ball, he would get so excited and jump UP and down like Rumpelstiltskin the entire time the ball was rolling.  Every frame.  Hilarious.

What's amazing is that he bowled an 83.  Now, admittedly, we were using bumpers, but he picked up a lot of pins without them.  You can see from the scorecard that he was actually beating me during the sixth frame.  

 The Ladybug would throw her ball, then clench her fists and mutter "I hope it does, I hope it does!" until her ball made it to the end.  She had fun but the ball was so heavy I think it wore her out a little, and she checked out about halfway through.  She loved dancing on the slick floor in her bowling shoes, though.  It was glow-in-the-dark bowling, so I didn't really get any good pictures (too dark), but the kids thought it was an awesome dance party.   Anyway, totally fun.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Franny announced back in July or August that she wanted an alligator costume for Halloween.  I wasn't sure how we were going to pull that off, but when Atticus decided that sounded like a good idea to him as well, we decided to make it work.

They ended up going as Mr. and Mrs. Green, the characters from this wonderful little series by Keith Baker.  They are adorable and smart stories about this little alligator couple who are always so excited about life and so nice and supportive of each other.  Mr. Green always wears a necktie and Mrs. Green always wears a pearl necklace and watch.

This was the first year we went trick-or-treating with friends, and it was soooo much fun.  The kids getting to be the perfect age to enjoy trick-or-treating.  We did have to restrain Franny, who was totally working the "scoring tons of candy" strategies (i.e. taking an extra handful while the neighbor was talking to the other kids). 

I made these costumes, and I do not sew at all or own a sewing machine, so they weren't anything fancy but they were fun.  I wanted to post them because when I googled "homemade alligator costume" I couldn't really find anything close to what I was looking for (which was sort of surprising, considering it's the Internet and all). 

The main part of the costume is exactly how you would make a ghost costume from a sheet: just a hole for their heads.  I used some thick fabric that was on sale and didn't seem like it would need hemmed.  The tail is stuffed with newspaper and has two straps, so it ties on like a belt.  Then I cut a slit in the back of the costume to pull the tail through. 

For the heads, I cut a piece of a cereal box and duct-taped it to a baseball cap (fancy, huh?), then covered it with the fabric.  I used a needle and thread to tack it to the inside of the hat (glue probably would have worked too).  The teeth and the eyes are felt.  I put straps on the hats that tied under the kids' chins so they would stay on.

I realized once we were trick-or-treating that these costumes break every Halloween costume rule in the book.  They were walking choking hazards, long enough that the kids might have tripped, probably obstructed their vision, and were dark at night (not covered in that reflective tape they used to pass out to us in elementary school).  Alas, we all made it home in one piece.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bug Collection

Presenting the Doodlebug Ladybug Fall 2012 BUG COLLECTION!

I was reading a while back on this great blog post about how the average American kid can identify thousands of corporate logos, but can name less than 10 plant or animal species indigenous to their area.  That inspired these parents to learn about native species by doing a leaf collection with their kids. 

The Doodlebug/Ladybug, however, aren't so much into leaves.  But do you want to guess what they are into?  BUGS!  My kids are endlessly fascinated with creepy-crawlers. 

We kept running into bugs on the farm all summer, and it turns out there are some really nasty looking bugs that won't hurt you at all.  For instance, there are bugs that are disguised to look like bumblebees so they can steal all the bee's food and nobody will bother them.  Apparently this kind of chicanery is rampant in the insect world.  Seems like a handy thing to know, right? 

The Doodle making his first catch:

 We've been pinning the insects to a piece of cardboard so we can look at them carefully and look them up to read about them. 

We realize this makes us supremely dorky parents, but the kids love it.  They run up to other kids on our walk and announce "We're looking for INSECTS!"  It's very much the cool thing.  :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Last weekend we went to SeptemberFest at the Governor's Mansion.  I posted about this last year.  We had so much fun.  Here's Franny going down a giant inflatable slide.  Now, this girl isn't afraid of anything, and she has been on inflatables and giant slides on numerous occasions.  So when someone asked if she would be okay on this 25' slide, I was like, "Are you kidding me?  She's got this."  Well, wouldn't you know it, she got to the top and was scared to come down.  I had to go up and get her.  

Here she is going down another one.  After the first, she was good to go!

There were some FFA kids with a little petting zoo.  They had lambs, chicks, a turtle, a pony, and the sweetest little piglets.

The Ladybug milking a cow.

The kids both got to ride horses.  They've ridden ponies and donkeys before, but I think this was their first time up on a full-sized horse.  You can't see Atticus' face that well in this picture, but he was absolutely positively beaming the entire time.  He was thrilled to be riding that horse.  

This is such a cool event to take kids to.  There was so much to do, and there were short lines for some things, like the horses and the inflatables, but I don't think we waited more than five minutes for anything (except maybe hot dogs).

My mom's friend at the State Department of Agriculture showing us their gardens.  Instead of flower gardens out front, they have these cool gardens with vegetables and Oklahoma commodity crops like cotton, canola, and soy.

Anyway, so fun!  People with kids should definitely check it out next year!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Summer Catch Up

Hi, there!  We're back.  Back to town, back to school, back to wireless internet access at home.  Here's a quick catch-up post from this summer.  

First, we had an absolutely wonderful time back in Stillwater.  We spent hours and hours out at the farm working on the little house.  The kids pretty much had the run of the place while Craig and I were working, so they were as barefoot and dirty as any kid would want to be in the summer.  

When we got tired of chasing the kids, we found a great way to hold them in one place.  :)

 Here's the Doodlebug pretending to be Little Boy Blue (under the haystack, fast asleep).

Franny-girl was a kitten for about half of the summer.  Oh, and she finally decided she likes letting me braid her hair.  :)  I've been absolutely itching to braid it for almost a year, but she would never sit still.  I'm loving it!

The last week we were there, our (most wonderful) nanny had to go back to school, so I stayed home in the mornings with the kids and we went exploring.  So much fun.   

When I told the Doodle that I was going to stay home with them in the mornings, he got so excited and said, "You mean like a babysitter?!!"  ::facepalm::

What else?  Atticus is in preschool four days a week in the afternoons, and is doing great.  He had to get four shots at his doctor appointment and shed not a single tear.  Lady Frances is finally out of diapers at night, and is doing so well.  Her brother still comes and wakes up daddy when he has to use the bathroom at night.  Ladybug gets up and goes by herself, and if she can't get her underwear back on, she just goes back to bed without it.  We moved both kids out of their toddler beds this summer and into twin beds, so the kids think they are pretty big time now.       

Stay tuned  because I have lots more things to post and actually time to do it.  And an internet connection (!)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mid-Summer Check-In

I've been doing an internship this summer, so we've been in a little apartment without internet.  Thus, no picture-posting for the past six weeks or so.  A tiny bit of catching up:

We went to a car show over Father's Day weekend.  The Doodlebug and I went around and found all the characters from the movie "Cars."  We found Lightening McQueen, Sally, Doc Hudson, and the Dyno-King.  And to top it off, we found...Mater! 

("Mater" actually belongs to Papa, so Atticus got to sit inside it and play around.)
Here is Franny-bug out on the farm feeding the sheep.  We have video of her petting the sheep, giving it kisses, and then looking at the camera and saying in a perfectly sweet little voice, "We are going to eat these sheep!"

 The Doodlebug helping Daddy work on the cabin/cottage/tiny house.  I can't believe he just turned FOUR!!  Such a big helper! 

 Here are the kids last night at the Fourth of July celebrations waiting in line for the bounce house with their cousin Neely.  The lines were really short so they got to do plenty of  bouncing.  

This was the first year they got to stay up and watch the fireworks.  Neely invited us over to watch them from her yard.  Franny was a little fazed by the loud noises, but she loved watching the fireworks.  The Doodle would have preferred to watch them from inside the house.   

I wasn't scared of the loud noises, but I was scared about keeping the kids up two full hours past their usual bedtime.  You could tell they were getting tired, but they did great.  As soon as the fireworks ended, Franny's first words were "Can I go to sleep now?"

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Life with Frances

So yesterday morning I go in the kitchen and the kids are sitting at the table.  Atticus is cutting strips of paper with his little safety scissors.  Goldilocks is cutting her hair.  Luckily, I walked in and caught her in the act, so she didn't get more than one whack at it.

Do you think that's all the fun we've had the past few weeks?  Indeed it is not. 
A review in pictures: 

 #1.  We find Franny like this:

We have these paint markers in the closet that she climbed up to get.  We caught her because we heard her moving the footstool across the bathroom to admire her work in the mirror.

Why don't we keep the markers out of reach, you ask?  Let me show you where they were stored at the time she got them.  See that top shelf?  The two see-through plastic boxes?  The markers were in the one on the left.  She demonstrated for me how she got up there.  She used the grocery cart, bottom, as a booster.

 #2.  Saturday morning breakfast.  The kids have their pancakes at the table, and Craig and I are finishing up the last few pancakes and bacon.  I hear Franny say, "And now she dives in!!"  I turn around, and her pancake is diving into her bowl.  Which is filled with the entire bottle of maple syrup. 

 #3.  I don't think this requires an explanation.  I think we've all been here. 

 Sometimes after a long day of being Frances, you pass out right where you are.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Who Needs Toys?

So I get home this afternoon and the Doodlebug is out in the backyard, carefully cutting up chunks of mud with the side of a garden spade.  
What are you doing, Atticus?
Cutting up vegetables.

He recently figured out how to cut up his pancakes with the side of a fork, and the other day he got to help dad cut up carrots with an actual knife.  Apparently this new skill is very simulating for him, because I got him a plastic knife and he literally sat out there for two full hours doing this.  We had to drag him in for a bath but promised him that he can work on it again some more tomorrow.   

I think it is amazing when the kids hit on something that coincides so well with their development that they are willing to concentrate on it for hours.  It's pretty amazing.  He was just so relaxed and happy out there, perfecting his technique.

In other news, we go to the dinosaur museum and the "bug guy" is there with a cart full of snakes, turtles, and tarantulas.  When we walk in he's sitting there with a snake around his neck.  Franny-bug, of course, shrieks, "A snake!  I want to PET IT!" and makes a beeline for the snake.  She loved on that snake and let it lick her all over the hand and face with its little forked tongue.  (Ugh, right?)  She didn't even hesitate for a second.  

I'm kind of proud of her for being so brave, but it also terrifies me a little on a daily basis.  I mean, this is a girl who caught a bumblebee in her bare hand.  I'm a little scared she might walk in the door with a rattlesnake one of these days.

One more thing: I try to take the kids' questions seriously and give them the best, most truthful answers I can.  So Atticus asks me the other day, completely thoughtfully, "Mom, why does everything have sides?"  
Good grief.  What do you say to that? 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ladybug Girl to the Rescue!

Tuesday afternoon.  I am cleaning house, sorting through the kids' clothes and packing up winter things, etc. The kids are running around playing and entertaining themselves, so I'm not paying too much attention to them.  Then the Doodlebug wants to go outside and help Dad, who is working in the front yard.  So I let him out, and when I come back inside, I can't find Franny-girl anywhere.  Then I see her running through the backyard, like this:

She looks like some strange Frog-Butterfly Superhero on a mission.  In case you are wondering, those are Christmas trees on her glasses.

 She was running around the backyard carrying on this intense running monologue.  "Look at those puddles!  Those are BEAU-tiful puddles!  Let's count those puddles.  One...two...three...four...Look at those birds!  Those are beau-tiful birds!!  Let's count those birds!"  I couldn't quit laughing.

 The Doodle came back with some dandelions he had collected.  


Which makes me think of this sweet little book:

 Does anyone remember this book?  We'll have to look for it at the library.  By the way, have I mentioned how much I love it that the kids are old enough now to follow actual stories, and not just read picture books?  So much fun!!  (Except that Frances still wants to read Go, Dog, Go! every single night.  I feel like I've read it at least once a day for the past four months.  Would it be wrong of me to hide this book?)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Little Chef and the Alligator

I just have a few random pictures so I thought I'd post a life here the past few weeks.  First, the Doodlebug thinks he's this guy from the movie Ratatouille:
 In case you haven't seen the movie, this kid who works in a restaurant but can't cook meets a rat who is a great cook but can't work in a restaurant because, you know, he's a rat.  So the rat hides in the kid's chef's hat and helps him cook, propelling him into a career as a celebrity chef.  The kid calls the rat "Little Chef."

So the Doodle has this little plastic lion that he carries around and calls Little Chef.  I guess because it has whiskers like a rat?  Anyway, Craig made him this chef's hat from posterboard.  The Doodle keeps the Little Chef in his hat.  It's mildly hilarious.

Now Lady Frances.  I post this picture even though her eyes are closed for two reasons.  One, because she insisted on wearing this ensemble all day, including at the dinner table.  Two, her eyes are closed because she is preparing to jump.  Which she did, off of the rim of the wagon.  I don't know how it didn't turn over on top of her.

Here they are at the zoo last week:

What else? We were driving the other day when Craig turned around and looked at Atticus sitting there in his carseat, serious as can be, wearing the chef's hat (yes, I know).  Craig laughs, saying, "He looks like the pope...or a priest...whoever it is that wears those hats."  Atticus says, "What's a BEAST?  I look like a beast?"

As for Franny-bug, she loves to ride the elevator at the museum, but she calls it the alligator.  As in, "Mommy, we went up in the Alligator today."  And she insists on wearing her brother's underwear.  You know, because they have Thomas the Train on them.  Sooo much cooler than her own.  She'll love that story someday.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Then and Now...

The last set of pictures I took of the kids seemed strangely familiar, so I went back and took a look.  As Franny-bug says, "I'm getting big and big and big!"