Thursday, January 28, 2010

Six and four

Happy, happy birthday to the Brinton boys!
On Tuesday, these guys had their birthday:
It was a splendid celebration.
In their honor, enjoy a sampling of what they were saying in 2009:

Definitions by Jacob
rodent: "It's a little animal that steals stuff."
wild: "Wild is like how tigers don't have manners."
encyclopedia: "It's a book that all these cool facts about something are in!"
Zachary's adventurous ideas
(holding a pair of scissors) "Can I cut my nose off, Mom?"
(holding a handful of spaghetti) "I'm going to juggle this."
(circling a tree with a squirrel in it) "I'm going to kill that skunk!"
and, my favorite, "I'm hot-lava-stone-proof."
Jacob on geography
"Is there a sign after Panama that says, like, 'Welcome to South America'?"
"Why do you think Jesus put a temperate forest in this part of South America?"
(answering Zachary's request for a coconut tree) "Then you have to have an island, and they are very hard to find."
Discipline by Zachary
To his toys: "I love you, I love you, I love you! Don't say bathroom words."
To Michael, who had attempted to swipe Z's milk: "I'll hit ya if you don't repent, Mike."
To Amy: "I'm going to glue you to the wall!" (A: "WHAT?") "But I will take you down if you promise not to get our church clothes on."
Jacob on fairness
(explaining that how our family should handle computer account time limits)
J: "You should only get about two minutes on your account because you only need it for 'Tunes and Mail."
A: "Does Dad need more time?"
J: "Yes."
A: "What does he need it for?"
J: "For watching movies and videos of the president and for answering questions about the germs that are in your body."
Comparisons by Zachary
(while eating tapioca pudding for the first time) "This was made out of beaver...this tastes like beaver."
"Hot dogs look like Band-aids."
Confusion by Zachary
Between Halloween and Easter: "I want to be a vampire for Easter egging."
Between birds and mammals: "Do you remember when I cracked out of your tummy?"
Unusual thoughts by Jacob
"If you could get married with vegetables, I would love to get married with a tomato."
"When you're drinking blood, you're really having oxygen."
Causes of death
Zachary, from underneath Jacob: "Mom! Dying!"
Jacob: "On pbskids they said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I don't think it's right. I think dinner is the most important because if you didn't have dinner you would starve in the night."
On their faith
J: "I wish that [my kindergarten teacher] would spend more time teaching us about Jesus."

Z: "They ate trunks."
A: "Who?"
Z: "Adam and Eve. They ate trunks."
A: "No, honey, they ate the fruit."
Z: "Then they ate the trunks."
Zachary, on his mom
Z: "What is that fountain there for?"
A: "It's just there to be pretty."
Z: "But you're pretty, Mom."

and, my favorite quotation of the year: simply, "Mom's my girl."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Maryland port cities weekend

We've been Eric-starved for the past month because he has been working in a challenging ICU rotation. In Jacob's words, "Dad's either at the hospital or sleeping!" (It was not an exaggeration!) So we were thrilled to be able to see lots of him this weekend. We decided to see a little more of Maryland, too, and we spent time in Baltimore and Annapolis.

On Friday, Eric and I went on a date. A DATE! We ate at Phillips Seafood, which sits right on Baltimore's inner harbor, with windows facing the water. My (fabulous!) visiting teacher generously offered to tend the boys; we just brought Adam along and he was a peach. Afterwards we walked along the coast and enjoyed the electric night skyline, the bobbing anchored boats, and the friendly fellow night-walkers.
(Also, did you know that you can afford to dine at deliciously fancy restaurants by buying dining certificates at Buy during the 80% off promotion periods, and a $25 dining certificate is only $2! It's true.)
We also watched our first Ravens game this weekend, which was a tragedy because apparently they were playing horribly. I didn't mind--Eric was there!

Today we went with my family down to charming Annapolis. After some GPS configuring,
a short drive,
and a short walk
or ride...
we saw the U.S. Naval Academy and museum
(I did not see this, but Eric documented the multitude of stalls in the USNA restrooms--he couldn't even fit them all in this shot! Wow.),
the State House
(including a tour and scavenger hunt!),
and the Annapolis harbor.
The brick streets, beautifully preserved buildings, and bright harbor scene make Annapolis an absolute charmer. Maryland is like everywhere I've ever been--the longer I'm here, the more I love it!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Trying a little harder

This morning I made the kids barnyard waffles. I used to make them all the time, but I got out of the habit after we moved here because, well, I just got busy I guess. But I made them today and the thrilled kids chatted all breakfast long about them.
Sometimes all I can think about is this (momma-loving baby, wanting nothing more than to be held)
and this (newly mopped floor stamped with blackberries via snow boots, representing messiness in general).
But lately I've thought, "Amy, you can do better than that!" I'm trying to make my way out of survival mode and into something, well, something more fun. I'm realizing that a lot of my self-worth relies (for better or worse) on how happy my kids are. So I'm trying a little harder.

Exhibit A: biking!
I let Zachary ride his bike up the long path to get Jacob from school yesterday. We spent five minutes trying to fit that pom-pommed hat into his helmet but finally gave up and had him wear his hood under the helmet instead. He fell off once on any icy patch over the bridge, but there were some "big kids" walking home who cheered him on, and he got up smiling.
When Michael came out biking one day, he told me after a few minutes that "Velma is cold. Velma is FREEZING!" and so we all went inside and thawed ourselves with hot chocolate. (Michael would be warmer if he could keep his mittens on, but he won't because he loves his thumbs.)
Exhibit B: building! Last night I cut up a Costco diaper box into 4-inch(ish)-wide strips to make a modular street building set. The kids used other toys to create a town and we had a fun night building different set-ups.
Adam just chimed in over the baby monitor, so there's my reality check! It's a busy, joyful house here.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas break

Seriously, Christmas break has been this fun:
I did most of my Christmas shopping online, on my iPhone, on Interstate 80. We were coming back from Utah. Good heavens, what bargains I found--free express shipping, at least half off on everything. When we got home we had (terribly exciting!) daily deliveries. Then Santa came, which was even more thrilling, because honestly, the only thing better than the FedEx guy bringing you a bargain is Santa bringing you something for FREE. Fun, right?
My favorite gift of the year, though, goes to the biplane that Jacob spent two hours making for Zachary. I wish that this picture showed the cabin and the wings on top. They were really cool.
Aside from all the gift-giving, though, this Christmas season has been especially memorable because we've had plenty of family fun. We hung out with my parents and siblings throughout the week for sleepovers, hiking at Gunpowder State Park, and a trip to the D.C. Temple lights display. Here's everyone but Eric (working) and Adam and I (picture-taking):
Zachary is Grandpa's little tagalong:
And here we are outside the temple on New Year's Day. What a beautiful temple, and what beautiful boys! Here's to a great start on 2010!