Thursday, March 29, 2012

Waaaay Overdue - Lego from a Galaxy Far, Far Away

I can't believe I never got around to writing this. I bought Lego Advent Calendars for an excellent price, way in advance, thanks to Mir's tip. Every day in December was a joy! The boys got up, changed out of pajamas, ate their breakfasts, everything super fast and efficient . . . so they could open the Lego Star Wars surprise of the day.

Each tiny creation was so clever. Some were mini figures, others were miniature ships and creatures.

TIE fighter and Millenium Falcon, front and center.

X-Wing fighter on the left.

The series finished with a Christmas tree and a Santa Yoda, of course!

Thanks, Mir.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Energy Spiral

Yet another fantastic way to burn off the energy of small boys:

1) Design an earth spiral that demonstrates how it's more ecologically sound to let water be absorbed into the earth instead of going into concrete drains.
2) Build it close to where children are.
3) Watch them go crazy, running around and around.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Butter Drama Continues!

Do y'all remember the butter shortage that our Nordic friends faced before Christmas, leading to an eventual butter crisis, complete with Swedish butter smugglers being apprehended at the border?

Well, the drama isn't over yet!

Apparently, when the local butter industry managed to catch up with supply, there was a lot of foreign, imported butter on the shelves, so some ministry made a plan to clear it off the shelves. The article is a little tricky to decipher, but I think that one domestic butter producer managed to get its competitor's product removed from the shelves too! Now they have a stockpile of 1500 tons of butter.

Monday, March 26, 2012

I Need to Talk to the Teacher

What are these?

Buster brings home all kinds of crafts from preschool, so I didn't notice these tubes in particular. There was only one, and then a week later, I noticed that the pile had grown. I took this picture a long time ago - there are dozens of tubes now, so it didn't seem like a regular craft project.

I asked him, "Do you bring home a tube every day?"
Buster: It's a telescope!
Me: Does everyone else make a telescope every day?
Buster: No!
Me: Just you?
Buster: Yes!

The teachers must be rolling up a "telescope" for him during playtime each day. I need to send some back with him so they can save some paper.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Someone had the bright idea of installing a bit of a climbing wall at the local park & zoo. Hooray for more ways to burn off that little boy energy!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Got Tapes

Buster is so excited. He's "got his tapes," which indicates that he's acquired each skill that he needs in order to be eligible for his first taekwondo belt test.

He then proceeded to don his miniature Harry Potter scarf (knitted by my mom), brandish his plush ninja shurikens and . . .

fling himself into the air! Again, and again, and again.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Not Sure How This Relates to Eggs

Q-ster came into my room a few weeks ago, saying that he had built an omelet out of Legos.

A what?

He showed me a Lego cross covered in Lego jewels on a Lego chain. Oh, an amulet. With matching Lego pistol.

Someone has been reading about pirate treasure again.

Incidentally, the boys heard me talking about one of my colleagues taking a Caribbean vacation and they were SO jealous. We had to point out that he was not likely to run into any theatrical pirates there.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Baby Wants an iPhone

The micro dude is well aware that his fourth birthday is coming up next month.

Buster: I want an iPhone for my birthday.
Me: That's a pretty big present.
Buster: No, it's small. Just a rectangle. (I think that's my favorite line.)

M: Who are you going to call on an iPhone?
Buster: I'm not going to call anyone!
M: What are you going to do with an iPhone?
Buster: Play games.

M: You can play games on the iPad.
Buster: I can't always have the iPad. (We limit the time he and his brother get to have it, to keep our days from being one endless video-watching and game-playing endeavour.)

Buster: If I have an iPhone, I can play games all the time.

Well, he certainly has thought it out pretty well.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Night Out

We had a date night! Involving dancing! And seeing friends! Thanks, Mom and Dad.

We also got to see the performance of a choreography we did based on my research of nineteenth century Polish dance. I'd never actually seen the number live before, since I always had a costume change during that part of the show, so it was a special treat.

I think we need to work on getting another local babysitter, because ours is so often busy and it's really nice to get even a short evening out.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Piano Man and Green

Q-ster performed his Suzuki Book 1 graduation piano recital today! I'm so proud of him. My parents and sister made the drive over, so we had quite the crew to cheer him on.

Shamrock shakes for everyone!

In a not entirely tangential topic, here's Q-ster's Lego model of the day, in honor of the holiday.

And here's Buster's model of the day. Not quite as topical, but certainly interesting.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


In addition to the fancy steak and cornbread, here are a few snapshots from last week in Texas.

Dinner at the Southern classic, Cracker Barrel. Massive quantities of tasty, inexpensive food.

Horehound and peppermint stick candy, just like Laura Ingalls Wilder!

Horseshoes welded into coat hooks.

And of course, the reminder to leave one's concealed handguns outside the office.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Now I Know My ABCs

Buster's alphabet.

The proud child with his handiwork. Dude, when did you grow up already?!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Somebody earned another taekwondo belt!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Pearl

The little dude spent two months of "house points," carefully earned by doing his homework, piano practice and chores, combined with Christmas and New Year's checks to buy this impressive model of the Black Pearl from Pirates of the Caribbean. He put the whole thing together in an afternoon.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Tough Ones

A film came out earlier this year (Haywire) starring a female mixed martial arts fighter. The premise was already sort of intriguing, but most noticeable was the yummy cast that was assembled around her - Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, Channing Tatum. Ewan is a favorite in our household (Obi-wan!), so I took a snapshot of an interview I read on the airplane, probably in United's inflight magazine.

The text, in case it's hard to read.

Ewan McGregor: Gina Carano is unbelievable. I watched her really destroy some stunt guys. Her usual job (as a world class mixed martial arts fighter) is to hit people, so I think it was hard for her to get used to not actually hitting them. But she ended up doing amazing work. She was very careful with me. There was a sequence of three punches we had to do where I punched with the right and then with the left and then I swept right, directly over her head. She was supposed to duck but didn't quite, and I hit her right in the head. she grabbed me and said, "Are you OK?" She didn't feel a thing. I almost broke my finger. How many times do you punch someone in the head and have them ask you if you're all right?"

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Style, Courtesy of the Hunger Games

I'm totally looking forward to the movie version of The Hunger Games, due later this month.

It's not the easiest movie for which to develop marketing tie-ins, given the dystopian nature of the stories. Um, branded weapons? Loaves of bread?

Cleverly, they made a play off the crazy makeup of the Capitol, featuring the character Effie Trinket. Check out those eyelashes.

I came across a post by All Lacquered Up, a nail polish blogger (niches for everything!) who wrote an exhaustive review of the Hunger Games nail polishes, named for each District in the story - complete with photos of how the polishes look on her nails.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Guess Where I Am

Massive steak, potato the size of a watermelon.

And cornbread in the shape of . . . Texas!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Baby on Ice

We had tickets to see Stars on Ice this weekend, and since Q-ster opted to go to his friend's birthday party (yes, back to back Harry Potter birthday parties this weekend,) Buster got to go with us.

We were a little worried whether he could sit still through a whole show, and he got kind of wiggly during the second half, but he did great. Note that to a three-almost-four-year-old, a tub of popcorn is just about the best thing ever.

More Party Stuff

I like this image, taken while I was picking up the balloons before Q-ster's party this weekend.

I got off easy on the cake this year. After last year's Ninjago cupcakes and the Millenium Falcon cake some years prior, we agreed on cupcakes that would represent the Quidditch balls - chocolate Bludgers, red Quaffles, and Golden Snitches.

I guessed that the chocolate would be the most popular, or perhaps Quaffles, because the red sugar is so inviting, but it turned out that the yellow ones were the most sought after. The power of marketing - Golden cupcakes indeed!

Party support tools: We bought a red Radio Flyer wagon to haul party goods across the park, and it was fantastic. (Thanks for the idea, mom!) It's going to come in handy for years. And the longer we have the minivan, the more impressed I am with its design. We got the wagon, a folding table, food, all the sports toys, a dozen helium balloons, and four of us inside with plenty of room to spare.

Monday, March 05, 2012

My Boy is Seven!

Q-ster is seven today. Time flies!

We had a party outside on Saturday, themed "Quidditch in the Park" by his request, since all his friends are Harry Potter fans too. The weather was perfect - sunny and 72 degrees.

We put together some hula hoop goals through which to kick a red "Quaffle," acquired some very soft and squishy balls to use as Bludgers, a small yellow ball for a Golden Snitch, and a whole passel of pool noodles to use as brooms.

In the end though, everything becomes a light saber. They ran around for two hours, stopping for juice and cupcakes. It was grand.

When picking up supplies at the party store, I saw this giant plastic margarita glass for Mardi Gras and thought it would be a good stand-in for the Quidditch Cup trophy. Buster appropriated it for himself and went around all afternoon looking like a bit of a party dude.

Afterwards, Q-ster sighed and said,"That was the best day, the best party ever."

Was it really? I asked my seven year old.

"Well probably the best party ever," he qualified. "I haven't had my eighth birthday party yet!"

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Color is Back!

I had fun shopping a few weekends ago. Look, fuzzy shoes!

These look like they're on their way to being Alexander McQueen armadillo shoes.

I'm not pleased with the new preference for sticking a big ugly metal zipper on the back of delicate blouses and dresses. Yuck.

This bright color palette cheered me up! I didn't buy anything pictured above, but I did get a nice and orange skirt on sale at Ann Taylor.

Fun for spring!