Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Winter Project #2

Ruthie and I are learning to knit. Our friend Andrea, an avid and skilled knitter, has generously offered to teach us and we had our first lesson last Wednesday. I'm getting the hang of it, and Ruthie is too; she did a whole row by herself the other day! She really enjoys it and can't wait to make booties and scarfs for her babies and Felicity doll. I hope she'll stick with it- I think it's a great skill for life!

Andrea is so patient!

Look at the intensity, the focus, the concentration!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Trash Truck

Here is real footage of the speaking child. He sorta loses it at the end. I think he wants to see what I'm recording, which doesn't really work when it's him I'm recording...

Harris- 21 months old

This is Harris, waking up from a nap, happy in this case...

He is such a delightful boy. He is 21 months old now and has such personality. He talks constantly, either in his own language or with a daily-increasing vocabulary of our language. His favorite words for awhile have been "ball " and "trash truck." He can say almost anything you ask him to say; one day Jay told him to say, "all I want is chips" and he said it. Harris is full of energy and runs around after his siblings, hopping and bopping right along with them.

He loves me to read to him; he will bring a book, take hold of my hand and put the book in it and say "EED EESE" (read please). His favorite books have sneezing in them, or fun noises like "swoosh, whoosh, zoom!" Probably his favorite book right now is "Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown. He loves the moon and the red balloon, and he can whisper "Hush" just like the old lady.

Harry is very mischievous and gives me that cute smile you see in the bottom picture when I catch him into something. Last week it was cupcakes. He got to the cake stand with cupcakes that was on the kitchen table, knocked it over and ate bites of frosting off various choice cupcakes. All he had to say for himself was "cupcakes" with a big smile. He is also a big fan of the toilet brush.

He is very attached to his Blankie, the blue silkie one in his crib there, and he sometimes drags it around the house until I notice and ask him to put it back in his bed. He snuggles into it when he's tired or upset.

Harry likes shoes and hats, and tries to wear everyone's shoes around the house. One of my favorite hat choices he has made is Mac's baseball glove. I try to get him to wear socks around the house since it is chilly, but he won't keep them on without shoes over them.

Harry is very snuggly, and sometimes when he wakes up from a nap he'll just let me hold him on my shoulder and rock him and sing or talk to him, which is so sweet to me. I think this snuggliness's flipside is being too attached to me, and wanting me to hold him often when I can't, such as cooking time, or now as my belly is growing and I'm running out of lap.

Harry loves Daddy and runs to meet him when he hears him come home from work. Yesterday he saw Jay sitting on the couch after dinner and ran to him, saying "football!" You can see what they've been doing alot of lately. I taught him to say "touchdown!" and hold his arms up.

We love this boy so much, and I write all this mainly for my own remembrance- he is growing up so quickly, and I am so much busier with each child...baby books are being neglected...And Harris will soon not be the baby anymore! He brings us such joy!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy 6th Birthday Ruthie!

Ruthie's birthday was last weekend, and we celebrated with some of her friends. It was a Colonial Girl Tea Party complete with petit fours, Shrewsbury Cakes (sugar cookies), fresh strawberries and Queen Cakes (Cupcakes). We served Liberty Tea (Raspberry Lemonade) since we are Patriots and boycotting tea. Ruthie was a lovely hostess, and served tea to her guests with perfect decorum.

We played Parlor games such as "Hide the Thimble" and "Pass the Ring;" games that little girls in the 1700s would have played. There was even an impromptu dance party, inspired by the beautiful music and sugary treats, no doubt.

The girl's table, daintily set with primroses, china and crystal. I found small cut glass punch cups at Goodwill since I didn't have any demitasse tea cups. Each girl got to take home a doily, a colonial mob cap, and a necklace they made.

Here is Ruthie, demonstrating the art of the curtsy with friends Mella and Campbell.

Would you take more tea? Yes, thank you.
I absolutely love Ruthie's interest in Colonial times, thanks to the Felicity American Girl Books, and our multiple visits to Mt. Vernon. We are planning a trip to Williamsburg in the spring and I hope that will inspire even more learning for the children.
I also absolutely love sweet Ruthie, our big six year old girl!

Winter Project #1

BEFORE (ugly ole fabric...apologies to those of you with a bedspread made from said fabric)

AFTER! (tres chic!)
This chair I picked up off someone's curb months ago. It is such a nice chair, and it looked like it had been refinished recently. I finally got around to re-upholstering it and I love the results. Three cheers for curbside finds!

Monday, January 17, 2011


The same day we went to Harper's Ferry we drove to nearby Antietam Battlefield, just as the sun was going down. We did the driving tour which stops at key points around the battlefield that saw the bloodiest day of fighting in all of American history (23,000 dead in one day).

"Bloody Lane"- the sunken road where over 5,000 soldiers died in fierce fighting- and in only a few short hours.

Harper's Ferry, WV

The week after Christmas we all decided to take a day trip to Harper's Ferry. Our old house and town are really on the way and my brother couldn't resist taking a quick detour to see our old stomping grounds. Harper's Ferry is a very historical town beautifully situated at the convergence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers (click the link above to read about it). We walked around in the freezing cold, realizing most of the private businesses were closed for the winter. That means places to eat. So we saw as much as we could and then had to leave to find a place to eat lunch.

The side story was that at our gas station/restroom stop on the drive, one of Harris's shoes fell out (he can't seem to keep them on when in his car seat) so when we arrived at HF, his shoe was not to be found. It was too cold to just have a sock on, so we wrapped his foot in my scarf and secured it with rubber bands, and called him Stumpy. Our late lunch was at a Subway inside a Wal-Mart so we bought a cheap pair of boots for him so he could run around. I was sick about the shoe since it was a really nice pair of new Stride Rites...and the miracle is that we stopped at the same gas station on our trip home, hours and hours later, and there it was, sitting lonely in the parking lot until we reunited it with it's other half. Hooray!

Cousins (all but Harry)!

A store I could enjoy (had it been open)! We definitely want to return to HF when it's warmer- there is so much to see and do. The Appalachian Trail passes through, and my family used to hike it when we lived nearby. We also used to bike on the nearby C&O Canal Trail, and swim in the Potomac just downstream of Harper's Ferry.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Christmas at Mt.Vernon

Mt. Vernon is, of course, the easiest place to go see from our house, so we went with the clan the day after Christmas. This is a good day to go, especially when it's snowing, as very few others will be there. The lobby of the welcome center had some beautiful trees decorated, and my favorite one was the one with books on it! How clever!

Every Christmas you can go see the Christmas camel, just like the one George had at Mt. Vernon at Christmas time.

He liked Cheryl!


We also were glad to see the gingerbread Mt. Vernon, complete with outbuildings, animals, and the Washington family. Impressive. The guy who did this is the White House Pastry Chef who does the White House every year too.

A Capital Christmas

My parents and brother's family all came for Christmas. We ended up out and about a good bit. My brother is not one who likes to sit around and sip cocoa. Not even when it is 20something degrees out with a wind chill in the teens.

We went to the National Archives to see the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

We went to see the dinos at the Museum of Natural History.

We froze our booties off and walked very quickly down the mall....

We said "hi" to the Washington Monument (which was closed to visitors due to the high winds)...

And remembered the fallen at the WWII memorial...

We saw the National Christmas Tree...

And Ruthie was thrilled to see the huge Nutcrackers outside Old Ebbitt's (historic restaurant).

US Botanic Gardens

Last year we went to see the trains and models at the Botanic Gardens and were very impressed, so we went back this year. They had the scale models of the buildings in DC, and the train theme this year was famous architectural sites around the world, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, Neuschwanstein Castle, etc. They were amazing, all made out of plant materials. It is really such a fun place to visit at Christmastime in DC.

The Taj Mahal

In the Gardens' Orchid room


After last year we are all a bit disappointed (?) or maybe unimpressed(?) with a few inches of snow, and we keep hoping for another big one. Not to say we don't love a few inches on the ground for playing and romping, as you can see in these pictures from the week before Christmas.

Mini -snow people were all we could come up with!

Nonni was here to play this time!

Our snowy street and house.