Sunday, June 27, 2010

watermelon pops, a moth's tombstone, and eyeball stew!

There is never a dull moment around here, I tell ya! Just when I think the creativity can't get anymore creative, one of my girls comes up with something that just blows me away! Last night, together they brought me a "mommy and me cookbook" that had some yummy homemade popsicle pictures in it with a quick and easy recipe ~ so I promised them we could make them. Well, first thing this morning they wanted them for breakfast, but somehow I managed to redirect them and hold them off until after mass. (whew!)

As we were making them, they both wanted to fill the popsicle molds with different liquids. I allowed them to try apple juice, coke zero, water with a squeeze of lime, and our watermelon mixture. I drew the line at caramel syrup and beer. (they didn't want to put them together, however, I still had to draw the line somewhere or we would have run out of molds before we got to putting in our homemade stuff!) Maybe I should have suggested the caramel and beer combo and maybe it would have been a hit and then maybe we would have needed to market them and then maybe we would have become local popsicle celebs. hmmmm. Crazier things have happened, right?!

Anyway, this isn't the creative part of my post.... it's still to come, after these quick photos......

The next thing to report is that we have an official resident bug rescuer in our house this summer, and Holland is her name-o! She does come complete with a little sidekick-bug-rescuer-wannabe-helper so I can't complain because now I don't have to be the assistant! Anyway, in just this last week, she rescued a moth with a broken wing, captured a caterpillar at audobon park, dug around in the mud for a couple of roly polies, and then today she caught a dragonfly bare handed!

As she was nursing the moth back to health, it somehow took a turn for the worse (i.e., got squished) and died. She insisted on a funeral, and she made all the arrangements herself! She buried "frisy" (pronounced "frizzy") the moth in a play pie tin covered with sand with a rock headstone that she decorated all on her own! Here..... see for yourself:

Cute, huh? (and quite creative, too ~ remember that was one of the main points of this ridiculously long post)

Well, since we are speaking of creative, I saved the best for last...... EYEBALL STEW....... (and I don't really have anything to add to that - it kinda speaks for itself!)

And to think I have missed a whole year of this sort of thing by not blogging. : (

I'm back though so stay tuned for more ashmash tales to come!

Friday, June 11, 2010

last day of kindergarten

just a few months ago, we were walking holland to school for her first day of kindergarten, and now here we are driving her to school for her last day of kindergarten! (it's funny how things change over the course of a year - we were so eager to walk to school every day at the beginning of the year, and i am embarrassed to say that we drove 90% of the time, and we only live about 5 blocks away). pathetic, i know.

she has had a wonderful year at school and she really loves going. she absolutely adores her teacher, and will miss her terribly. we were saddened to hear a few weeks ago that 6 of the teachers at her school, including her kindergarten teacher, were let go due to financial crisis and decreased enrollment. not good.

i will just leave it at that.

so on a much more pleasant note, i introduce to you our very own-soon-to-be-first grader.......

Thursday, June 3, 2010

my june bug turns 3 and the return of ash mash, the blog

My oh my! Where in the world do I even begin? (I guess I unintentionally took a year off!) I have been thinking for the last few months that I would like to start the 'ole blog back up again, but it was sort of overwhelming to try and pick a random date. As the months and months without blogging stacked up, it seemed impossible to pick up where I left off so after giving it more thought, and letting more and more months stack up, I thought it would be appropriate to just literally pick up where I did leave off - Dylan's birthday. So without further ado....

Happy Birthday, my little june bug! And hello long lost blogging buddies!

Our birthday celebration started a little early this morning! Holland woke up at about 6:30 this morning, and ran over to Dylan's bed and jostled her around a bit telling her to "wake up" "wake up". Holland reported that Dylan kinda groaned, shouted "no", rolled over, and pulled the covers over her head. So then, Holland quickly and energetically reminded her that it was her birthday (she couldn't just let her fall back fast asleep, you know! After all, it was her sisterly duty to get her up and ready to celebrate).

Holland told us that Dylan just heard the word "birthday", kicked off the covers, and jumped eagerly out of the bed!

By this time it's about 6:4oish and I hear a set of pitter patters coming down the steps. Holland was dressed in her school uniform and Dylan was dressed in her birthday girl shirt and mixed matched pants that were sitting out on her bedroom floor. Holland quickly rushed Dylan into the kitchen to see the birthday presents and balloons that the birthday fairy had left, and I kinda rolled over, glanced at the clock, and wished this wasn't happening quite yet! I did somehow manage to get Dylan to come into the bed with me for some "birthday cuddles", but this only lasted until 6:52, and then the party got started!

All in all, it was a good birthday -

chocolate chip muffin top with candles, birthday song, zhu-zhu pet accessories from holland, new sandbox toys, new gardening tools, a Diego DVD, balloons all over the place, birthday tutu, a ribbon to follow all through the house to unveil the beautiful new dollhouse filled with furniture, mini bday photo shoot, a mobius "hungry caterpillar" reading and art activity, lunch at dylan's favorite restaurant with grandma & grandpa (the noodle express), more presents (webkinz pelican, bird stuffie, a lemur stuffie, a new baby doll, and some bday cash), back home for some sandbox playtime, out to fishtrap lake to try out the new swing set grandpa built, cookies and ice cream with more candles for dinner, walk to the lake, playtime in grandpa's boat, back home again, bedtime reading of excerpts from bedrest boutique, a reading of last year's favorite book (brown bear, brown bear) followed by lots of birthday girl cuddles and snuggles.

I seriously can't believe my baby is three! I have been telling her jokingly for weeks that she needs to stop growing and that I am so sad that she is not a baby anymore. This is usually followed by a fake pouty lip and silly wail of a cry from me, in which she replies, "I can still be your baby". "I can always be your baby".

And then I say, "seriously?" "you can still be my baby even when you are a big girl?" and she says, "yes, I can still be your baby even when I'm a big girl!".

I then hug her repeatedly, squeeze her tight, swing her around, say "oh good! I'm so, so glad you are gonna be my baby", and then we both giggle with delight!

Those words have been music to my ears for months now, and they help soothe the sting of her growing up so fast. Unfortunately, tonight at bedtime, she was short and to the point when she broke it to me.....

"Mommy, I'm not your baby anymore because now I'm a big, big girl". (at least she waited until the end of the day to tell me!)

Apparently, I didn't listen close enough to our verbal agreement - it was only until she was a "big girl" and now that she's three, she's entered the "big, big girl" phase - so the deal is off.

she's not my baby anymore.....

(sniff sniff)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dylan at Two

When you wake up in the morning, I never know what to expect. Some mornings you wake me up by standing in your crib and shouting "mooooommmmay" "daaaaaaaddday", and then other mornings you wake up and play quietly in your crib with your stuffies and your blankies. You line up whichever stuffies are currently in your crib, and you carefully tuck them all in under your favorite cozy blankies. Sometimes I can hear you singing them songs over the monitor or giving them lots of loving. Then there are the mornings when I go into retrieve you and you have thrown out all of your dear stuffies and blankies onto the floor, and you are just standing there waiting to be retrieved. I just never know what kind of morning it's gonna be!

You are incredibly sweet when it comes to looking out for your big sister. If you get a snack, you insist that Holly gets one, too. If you get a drink, you insist that Holly gets one, too. When you and Holland are rough housing with daddy and playing "one for the money", climbing up his legs, or being swung all around to high heaven, you make sure that Holland gets equal amounts of turns. You tell daddy, "Holly's turn, daddy. Holly's turn." And when you both are in the bathtub, you insist that Holland gets a bucket of water dumped over her lathered up hair, just like you!

When Daddy or I return home from work, you insist that we take our coat ("toat") off immediately and stay awhile! You say, "toat off, mommy. toat over dare, mommy!"

One of your favorite things to say right now is "No Funny!". If daddy or I laugh at you at what you think is not an appropriate time to laugh then you point your little finger at us, and yell, "no funny, mommy. no funny". Then we just laugh louder and we get more finger shaking and more yelling!

You are really developing a love for music and you have been for a few months now. The only problem is that you acquire love for songs, one song at a time, and then you only want to hear that song - over, and over, and over, and over again. Seriously, you would listen to the same song 30 or more times if I let you, and the reason I know this is because Grandpa did let you!! Your first favorite song was the "hello song" from your music together CDs, and other favorites include: "Zoom Zoom Driving in the Car", "My Friends Tigger and Pooh Theme Song", "Song in My heart", and the most worn out of all (the grandpa song) is "Baby Beluga".

Your favorite TV shows right now are Dora the Explorer, My Friends Tigger and Pooh, and the Little Einsteins.

You love school, and every morning (m,w,f) when we are getting ready, I will say (in a sing songy way), "who wants to go to schooo-ul?" And she shouts, "I do, I do!" while doing a tippy toe balerina dance in a circular motion and chanting "too-ul, too- ul".

You also love water. You always have and I'm afraid you always will. You could stand and play at the sink for hours. You especially love it when I give you a cup or two of water to play with in your kitchen area. When I turn the water on for you to brush your teeth, you like for it to come out of the faucet with a pretty strong force. I tend to have just a little bit of water flowing out, but you immediately tell me, "Louder, mommy. Want water louder!".

On school day mornings when we are driving to school, you eagerly await driving through the tunnels (the freeway and train underpasses). You have a little routine to say, "Mommy, tunnel tumming (coming), tunnel tumming!" Then when we pass through it you shout "TUNNEL!" "TUNNEL!". And then once we are a block away, you say, "all done tunnel, mommy. want other tunnel".

You are in a phase right now in which reverse psychology works wonders on you! I think we have gotten you to eat whole meals by saying, "Don't you take another bite. No, no, no Dylan! No more bites! Noooooo! Don't do it!". And then you laugh hysterically, slyly open up your rmouth with a little sneaky grin, and hastily eat more bites and insist that we say it again. "uh-den Mommy, uh-den!". or insist that we go around the table. "Don't you eat that salad, Daddy". "No, no, no Daddy". "Holland Olivia, no more bites for you either! No, no, no......" And the cycle continues. We also use this reverse psychology for getting you to say "Ahhhh" while brushing your teeth. I do remember this phase wearing off with Holland so I'm sure our days are numbered on this one!

At night time when I am putting you down, we have a routine of rocking in the rocking chair and singing songs. I use to have a set playlist that I would sing - the same songs every time. You have outgrown those songs though. I think you started to lose interest a few months ago when you caught on that they were actually aiding in the process of you falling to sleep. There were a couple of months of you fighting the sleep process, but now you have fallen back into a nice, little routine. The basic rocking and singing is the same, I just never know what songs I will be singing. You like to tell me which songs you like to hear. Some of your favorites right now are: "the ABC song", "Five Green and Speckled Frogs", "Old Macdonald", "Goodnight Song that we adapted from the Hello Song", "You are My Sunshine", and the "Rockin' Up and Down in the Rockin' Chair Song". I usually sing a variety of songs or variations of the same song, adding characters like Pooh, Dora, Mickey, etc and then I give you a warning. I say, "Okay, Dylan, just one more song and then crib". You do an exceptionally good job with this. Usually immediately following the stipulation (one more song, three more characters, etc), you sit up, point to crib, give kisses, say, "I love you, Mommy", and then get all nestled into your bed with stuffies tucked under each arm, bottom in the air, and blankie covering your head!

Such a delightful, girl! Thank you Dylan Grace for putting a smile on our face! : ) (taken from a line of daddy's birthday song for you)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

All Done with One!

happy birthday, sweet, wonderful, amazing, dylan grace!
(more birthday blogging to come, but first we must celebrate the day!)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"ten reasons holland loves CBCC"

Holland had her last day of Preschool at the Community Building Children's Center (CBCC)last Friday, and needless to say, I was a mess. She started going to CBCC when she was about 2 1/2 years old, so she has been there for 3 years. We have adored every minute that she has spent there, and we can't say enough good things about it. The school is based on a school in Reggio, Italy, and it is just like no other! The philosophy of the school is that it is one part school, one part home, and one part museum. And the set up of the school is just that - there are parts that feel like a school, parts that feel like home, and parts that feel like a museum.

Anyway,the main reason for this post is to share a little book that Holland and I put together for her teachers as a "i'm going away" gift! The name of the book is
"10 things I love about CBCC". I asked Holland to name all the reasons she loved her school, and then draw a picture to accompany each one. It was pretty priceless to hear her responses. Here are some pictures of the finished project:

"I love CBCC because my teachers let me make

butterflies with paint and stuff."

"I love CBCC because we go on nature walks"

"I love CBCC because I have good friends and they share!"

"I love CBCC because we get to roll down hills on our nature walks!"

"I love CBCC because we have a good community."

(sidenote: "what does that mean, holland?"

"I forgot what it means, you will have to ask my teachers".

"Oh yeah, it means teamwork and friends!")

"I love CBCC because we get to recycle, and that helps us save paper."

"I love CBCC because we get to dance!"

"I love CBCC because we get to make arts and crafts,

and we get to put moon sparkles on them!"

"I love CBCC because we get to play freeze tag outside!"

"I love CBCC because Theo & I play polar bear,

and we pretend the climber is an igloo!"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Public Announcement

I interrupt this blog to make the following public announcement:

Holland has officially declared she is NOT into princess dress up anymore!

She and I spent the day, yesterday, cleaning out her room and rearranging her furniture. As we were deciding what to leave upstairs and what to shuffle downstairs, she made the big announcement.

It went something like this:

"Mommy, I want to tell you something".

"Okay, what is it darling?"

"I'm not really into my princess dress-up anymore. I think we should donate some of my dresses for other little girls".

"That's a great idea Holland. I was thinking though that we might save them for Dylan because I bet that when she turns three, she is going to go nuts about dressing up- just like you did, and most of these dresses are from Grandma and that makes them special. So why don't we save them and then when Dylan isn't into them anymore, we can donate them."

"Okay, mommy". "Let's just move them to the basement and save them for my sister."

A few minutes later, she was telling me that we could move "this" and we could move "that" to the basement because she wasn't really "that into them either".

And then she stopped dead in her tracks and got a puzzled and very concerned look on her face.

"I was *just* into them at Christmas, Mommy." And she paused....

"What is happening to me?"

(this made my heart sink a bit because my baby is growing up and this was her first realization that she was changing. she had such a worried look on her face as she was trying to process that she didn't really like something much anymore after it had been such a huge part of her life)

I told her that this was normal and that she was growing up and her tastes were changing and also that she was going to have lots of different interests over the years. I also pointed out to her that all of her friends that had gone onto Kindergarten weren't really into dress-up anymore either.

"Like, Lindsey?"

"Yep, like Lindsey. And probably Sylvia, and Elise, and Annika....."

I then followed it up the discussion with this question:

"So, Holland, what are you into these days?"

In which she replied,

"I am into littlest pet shop, webkinz and beanie babies. That's about it."

Mother's Day 2009

Another year, another photo shoot

Lilac Garden at Manito Park

Click here to see more about our tradtion

There was only one lilac tree that was partially blooming this year so we didn't get all the color that we usually get. They weren't in bloom last year either on Mother's Day, and I made the mistake of trying to wait for them to bloom before we had out photo shoot. Well, what ended up happening is that we were waiting and waiting and then we forgot all about it so as a result, we don't have what would have been Dylan's first year of joining our tradition. So I decided that from here on out, we will have the photo shoot no matter what, and it will be fun to look back and see just how differnent each Spring can be. Hopefully, we won't have too many without the blooms because this means we have had a long, drawn out dreadful winter!

Happy Belated Mother's Day to you all!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Snail "Ho-tail"

We have a new pet at our house, and Holland has designed quite a snazzy place of residence for it.

It's a snail, and it's living in a "ho-tail".

have any of you ever heard Holland pronounce the word "hotel"? for some reason she has the most southern draw on that word that you can possibly imagine, and that's the way it comes out "ho - tail").

Anyway, she was quite delighted to fill the little fairy swing up with dirt so the snail could play, then she filled the fairy bathtub up with water so it could bathe, and of course a "ho-tail" just wouldn't be complete without a cozy bed to sleep in after a long, hard day of playing!

So here you have it....


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

New Summer Doo

One of my least favorite every day activities is brushing and fixing Holland's hair. It is always on ordeal - she screams, she whimpers, she protests with every stroke of the brush. Somedays she screams, whimpers, and protests louder than other days, but no matter what, she screams, whimpers, and protests - making it an unpleasant experience for both of us. There are so many mornings that we are in such a hurry that I can barely get it brushed before I am rushing her out the door, so I decided I wanted to try a cute cut with little maintenance. A cut that has layers and body and will for the most part not require much attention. We both want her to grow her hair back out again, but it has been requiring too much daily pain --so for now, we have settled on a cute summer doo, and we'll re-visit growing it out in a few months! I must say, it is pretty stinkin' cute and the best part is that so far we have had less screaming, whimpering, and protesting. We aren't quite
scream-whimper-protest free, but there is definitely less, and that's all that matters for now! : )

A Few New Masterpieces

Check out some of Holland's latest art here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Playing Catch Up

Hello out there!

Anyone there?

It has been entirely too, too long since I have posted on this here blog, so I am attempting to play catch up over the course of the next couple of days.

Wish me luck! And, thanks for continuing to check in from time to time....


Double No-No!

The other morning, I was giving Dylan some directions to do something, and she looked straight at me, pointed her little finger directly towards me (in its cute, little upside down position), and said,

"No, No Mommy"

"Double No-No"

As opposed to Holland at that age who would get told something was a "no-no", and she would reply, "That's not a no-no, Mommy - it's a yes-yes!"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Teigan's Baptism

What a special day this was! My grand niece, Teigan (yes, I'm a great aunt) and her father, Dustin (my nephew-in-law) were baptized on the same day. They were baptized by my brother-in-law who is Teigan's grandpa and Dustin's father-in-law. Teigan looked absolutely gorgeous in the dress that her grandma (my sister-in-law) made. (Got all those in-laws straight?)

It was such a wonderful day to be a part of, and here are some of my favorite shots of the event.... (I especially love the one where Teigan looked up at her Grandpa as soon as she heard his voice as he was blessing her and sprinkling her with water).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Give me a "G".....

Opposite Day (or opposite year as the case may be)

Just trying to get a cute picture of Dylan today... I should have known better than to ask her to look at me! It's time to pull out all the reverse psychology tricks that I learned when Holland was this age. Works like a charm - until they figure it out, of course!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Grandpa's Irish Girls

(thanks for the shirts, grandma and grandpa - they were a BIG hit!)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Puttin' Her Style On

I haven't posted an ensemble post in a while or written about my struggle with letting Holland express herself with fashion and such, but this conversation brought it all flooding back, and was just too good to ignore.....

"Holland, go get your socks and shoes on, please"

"Mom, I don't want those socks and shoes, I want to put MY style on".

"Your style?" What's your style?"

"It's silver shoes and pink socks"

"And, um...."

"shiny necklaces" she quickly adds, as she's reaching into her top drawer to pull out some accessories to add to her ensemble".

"And blow dried hair" she says, as she does a little hair flip while catching her reflection in her mirror.

"Oh yeah, and polka dotted sunglasses" (the ones that caught her eye as she was closing the jewerly drawer!)

"And barretted hair"


"Okay, Holland I get the idea!" "Go get your silver shoes!"

And now you can get the idea.....

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New Tutu

(thanks, mary!)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Daily Dancing 3


(he should know that my camera is always within reach!)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


1. Dylan is 21 months old today. If I do the math correctly, that means she is just 3 months away from being 2. How does that happen? I mean, seriously at this rate she will be starting kindergarten next week.

2. Dylan absolutely adores her big sister. She calls her "Holly", and she is always looking out for her. If she gets a snack, she gets one for "Holly". If she gets paper to "doll" on(Draw), she gets some for "Holly". If she gets "apuhdoo" (apple juice), she gets some for "Holly". If she gets her hair washed in the bathtub, she wants "Holly" to get her hair wet, too, and if Daddy is swinging her around or throwing her on the bed, she stops each turn and makes sure "Holly" gets a turn, too!

3. The other day, Grandma came to visit and she said something along the lines of, "I can tell you have been teaching Dylan more words, Holland. Every time I come to see you, she has more words". I chimed in and said, "Yeah, she's been teaching her words like P - O - O - P ", and Dylan got a big grin on her face and shouted "POOP!". She's a genius, I tell ya! Already spelling!

4. Dylan loves Pooh and Mickuh (Mickey).

5. Dylan enjoys drawing, just like Holland. If there is a paper and pen out, she is demanding to draw. Her favorite thing to draw is a snake. She scribbles a big, swirly line on the paper, and yells, "Mommy! nake! nake!"

6. She is starting to get very opinionated in the car about what music she wants to listen to. She will immediately protest each song with a loud, screeching squeal and full blown tantrum if it isn't too her liking. It just so happens that this is every single song, except one. She only wants to hear the "hello" song that they sing at her Music Together class in the toddler room. That's it. One song. Over and over and over again. I'm surprised Jonathan hasn't burned a CD with 15 tracks of "Hello" - that's something he would totally do! (and I wonder why I continue to be chopped liver when he's around!)

7. Dylan is just tall enough that her little head is at the same level of all of our tables. You know what that means - lots of head bonks.

8. Dylan's favorite things to do are: go to school, read books, dance with Holland, play with babies, stand at the sink and play with water, swing in daddy's arms, cuddle with grandpa, read books with grandma, talk on the phone with mimi, tease mommy when she's trying to steal kisses, refuse to say "carmen", eat snacks, play with bodie, put piggy tails in her hair and then pull them right back out, climb the stairs, splash in the bathtub, eat scooby doo push ups, try on every one's shoes, sneak into holland's room when she's not here, make art in the art studio, play with "maya" (jeremiah), and "rocky" (roxie), look out the window for ava and teagan, help mommy clean with "wipeys", turn the lights on and off, make us smile, keep us laughing, and steal our hearts. She especially lasts that last one!

9. Zucchini is one of her favorite foods.

10. Some of her nicknames are dilly mcgilly, dylan mcgillan, punkin poo, sweet pea, baby girl.....