Monday, March 26, 2007

It's your turn to put out the trash, dear...

It's dump month again in our city. This week is the week for our street to put anything and everything out on the curb for the city to pick up. We really tried to our best this year to have the most impressive pile on the block, but we have some stiff competition. Our pile is on either side of our driveway, but is also shared with our neighbors. Try to locate our old shed, concrete that used to be in our backyard, and even a motorized car that someone gave to me in the parking lot of Salvation Army once that we never tried to get working very hard.

Sigh, but our neighbors two houses down always make the best pile. I'm wondering if they have all their friends and family in the area come and contribute to it?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Watching is half the fun

Apparently toys love watching trains as much a 2-year-old boys do. Olivia and Noah actually worked together with very minimal "negociating" to set up as many spectators as possible around the smallest train track you can make. I thought it was pretty impressive.

More Signs of Spring

We also have iris and tulips blooming in the front, but I haven't managed pictures of those yet... But here is a Diva Rose I bought on the whim from the drug store that I just love, even though it's only an inch tall or so.

And I'm particularly proud of this Calla Lily as it's the first that's bloomed since I transplanted it myself.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Ok, I'm slightly behind my blogging. It's been a mad rush to get things done for dump week around here. More to come on that, but first, here is Olivia with her 3 leaf clovers last week, or was it the week before?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Car Wash Day

Sunday afternoon the cars got washed while I worked on taxes. Don't get my started on taxes. Just look how cute Olivia is in her pink hat. And just one picture of Noah hanging out becuase he's cute too.

Signs of Spring

I so need a new camera, these pictures are awful. But I'm still going to gloat about how beautiful spring is in Calfornia. And since we are experiencing dramatic changes in our yard, I'm on cloud nine. I even got into it enough to order some stuff from a gardening catalog last night. We need a lot of landscaping around here, it's overwhelming, but I think I'll tackle it little by little each year.

I ordered way more packets of seeds than we'll ever need, but there were so many appealing ones. I even got a sunflower mix called the Van Gogh Mix. How cool is that? Won't it be fun for Olivia and I to plant sunflowers and see how all the different ones look as they grow. I can't wait until my order comes!

Anyway, here is our first rose blooming. This rose plant is actually the worse off of our 3, and the roses don't stay in bloom very long, but it's pretty.

And here is one of our peach trees blooming. They are getting worse and worse each year as I keep putting off spraying them for peach tree leaf curl until it's too late. Next off season I will, this time, I really will.

Still, it's nice to see spring around here.

The best toy

What kid wouldn't love a big pile of dirt in their driveway. Fun for everyone. Especially mommy and daddy who get to wheelbarrow it to the backyard to replace the concrete. This time I actually did a noticable chunk of the pile. All so Travis could have more energy to get it done and grass planted last weekend. Which he did on top of several other weekend projects. Go us. But the poor kids lost their pile a lot quicker than they did last time. Last time it sat in our driveway so long that grass was growing up the side of it. I think I was more motivated this time because with the automatic garage door I would miss parking in the garage too much. Of course I did document the short amount of play time the kids had with it.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Best Day Ever

After the lovely time riding bikes outside all day today we finally made it inside for dinner. We had Olivia's favorite, spaghetti and meatballs. I tried some new meatballs, frozen turkey ones from Trader Joes. I think they will replace the Costco ones we are used to in our freezer. Delish.

Then we were off to Baskin Robbins for Dollar Days. I decided to be good and only get two, Tax Crunch and Chocolate Covered Cherry, for me and the kids to share. It was so good when we finished I went back for a third for us to share, something chocolate with lavendar and blueberries in it. This is the best tuesday tradition to have when Travis is out late with band practice.

Then when I got home and glanced at the mail I noticed the letter from the school district. I wasn't expecting to hear if Olivia got into our kindergarten of choice until the 15th, so I was surprised and nervous to see the letter. I was even more surprised when I opened it and learned she got in! Olivia's kindergarten is now officially Washington Open. (And Noah's too since he will get a priority spot as a sibling in a few years.)

Washington Open is an alternative, public school in our district. Their goal is to education the "whole child." Sounds so hippie, huh? I thought so at first too, but the more I learned about it the more it just made sense. The biggest difference is that it is parent-participation school and each child is required to have a parent work in the classroom once a week. Because of this the teacher has a lot more help and can do a lot more activities. Also, field trips are a big part of the ciriculum, they go on at least one a month. As they get older they include overnight ones like camping in the gold country and staying on a battleship in the San Francisco harbor. I'm very excited to be so involved in Olivia's education.

I could go on and on about Washington Open, but I'll just say it was the perfect ending to the perfect day. Yet, just the beginning to Olivia's education so I have a lifetime of things to be nervous about!

A taste of the outdoors

Today we experienced the perfect California weather. We must have missed it badly because we spent nearly the entire day outside. The kids rode bikes in the front this morning. We had lunch and Noah napped at the perfect time. Then we took the bikes to the park with friends in the afternoon, and even more riding bikes out front in the evening. I even got some weeding and pruning done in the front.

After living here nearly 2 years, it's one of the first time we took advantage of the fact we live at the end of a cul-de-sac. Olivia would ride a little ways up and down the sidewalk and Noah would stay in sight and come to me when I called most of the time. This is the kind of day I pictured being a mommy woue be like.

Here are my two little riders. (Noah still pushes with his feet, and this is his idea of smiling for the camera.)

Here is Noah with a little more of a cutie expression.

Check out Olivia concentrating hard. She has gotten so much more comfortable and better at riding her bike. She even fell at the park today and after a while to calm down, she was up and back on the go.