Wednesday, March 5, 2014

birthdays, books, belle and brownie, etc.

Emilio turned 1 in February (and I turned 33! Oh my.).  He is such a sweet boy.  We celebrated his birthday with a candle in a cup of yogurt, twice, because the girls get such a kick out of singing "Happy Birthday" and blowing out candles.  Sometimes we do it just for fun, play Birthday, along with playing Christmas, Easter, and Halloween.

The other day I got a fat book of kindergarten worksheets at CostCo that I think Zoe might enjoy.  I think I'll get the preschool one, too, next time I'm there (somehow I didn't realize that grade "P" meant "preschool" until after the fact).  Zoe has used and likes Kumon books but goes through them really fast (the ones she's into, anyway, like the easy mazes. If they're over her head she's not interested).  I also noticed these fun doodle books at CostCo and got one for the girls:

 I love Zoe's fairies.

And I recently got this out-of-print book, How Babies Are Made, that has these super great paper cut-out illustrations.  It talks about plants and animals and people and is very factual and straight forward and I like it a lot, more than the kids probably, who really haven't asked about this topic much but I guess I'm taking a proactive approach with it.

More and more we've been reading chapter books to the kids at bedtime and it's been kind of a revelation for me and Enrique.  It is so much more interesting for us to read something we haven't already read a thousand times, not to mention something with a larger story arc than picture books, and Zoe really seems to enjoy it, too, even books that I would have thought might be too old for her.  I introduced her to Oddfellow's Orphanage, which we read (and re-read and re-read) over a year ago.  Some time later it was at her urging that we read The Borrowers, which she'd found in my room.  Now we've also read Charlotte's Web, Twig, and currently, the Little House on the Prairie series.  Neva does get antsy sometimes, with so few pictures and so many words, but she tends to get antsy at bedtime anyway so you can't always blame the book.  We do often read something else for her first.  

A few weeks ago we got two new baby chicks.  We lost one of our last two (something broke into our coop) and didn't want our remaining chicken, Blackie, to be all alone.  But after we got the little chicks Blackie got super aggressive and now we don't even like letting her out of her coop while we're in the yard because she charges and pecks at us.  I'm trying to give her attention and be nice to her but it's hard when she's scary to be around.  The new ones, Belle and Brownie, are living in the laundry room for now (in a container, normally).

We're having a winter this year that just won't quite shake.  We got hit with another cold front a few days ago and all the windows were wet with cold condensation.

I'm looking forward to the last of the cold and spring planting.  I have a bed prepped in front where I want to plant zinnias (again) and am also considering some more permanent, low-maintenance residents.  Prickly pear cactus, aloe, agave, and rosemary are all under consideration.

So that's what's been going on around here lately.  Oh, and after the kids are in bed, Enrique and I have been watching and loving Sherlock.  It's so good.  We also recently saw About Time and both really liked it.  It is sometimes hard to find things we both like (Enrique is way pickier than me) so it feels like a triumph when we do.

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