July 15, 2012

Succulent Quartet

After yet another lovely little while at Terrain (oh, that place is amazing... sigh), we came home with this grouping of tiny succulents and that amazing spiky satellite plant. I love the staggered height effect. Now let's just cross our fingers that they survive... because out of these guys? Only the elephant palm remains.

July 14, 2012

It Came From the Basement...

... but luckily, it was just a tree stump turned planter for the back yard!

I've become kind of obsessed with these log-based side tables that have been floating around the internet. So I found someone on Craiglist who was giving away their cut down tree, and swooped in to pick up two pieces, each about a foot in diameter and two feet long.

For a couple of months, they sat drying out in our basement, looking pretty much like what you'd expect the chopped up sections of a tree trunk to look like:

I didn't spend too much time identifying the species of tree because, honestly, I have no idea how to do that in the absence of leaves (any takers?). Then I saw that one of the pieces had rotted out on the inside somewhat, so it seemed like having that in our living space wasn't the greatest idea. But outside? Why not!

I chipped off the bark with a hammer and chisel (after the drying time it proved super easy), and then chipped out the rotted part with various improvised implements:

A little potted soil and a relocated plant later, we ended up with a little planter/side table next to the iron bench:

I'm quite happy with it. My only question is whether the plant will survive inside the tree trunk - could the tree rot be dangerous to the plant somehow? I guess we'll have our answer in a few weeks. Meanwhile, the second piece is still undergoing processing, and will be revealed shortly!

July 9, 2012

Kids say the darndest things

Hi again.
This is not quite the amazing crafting or cool house project post that sometimes graces this fine webpage, but that's not my gig - as I posted yesterday, I realized I had much to share, and thought I'd go for two in a row.

I have been saving up a giant list of hilarious (at least to me/us) stuff the kids say. The problem with this is, I save up these things, procrastinate and postpone blogging, and now it's like 3 months after they were said, and there's no way the kids would say some of these things any more.

However, they're still absolutely priceless, and as we all know what happens on the internet stays there forever, so hopefully the kids will get to read some of these many years from now and laugh. Or I will, in like a week.

Jake, during the 4th of July fireworks, with huge concern: "Is the fiah-wohks going to explode the house?"
Jake, during the drive back from the 4th of July fireworks: "Daddy, does the trees like the fiah-wohks?" "Daddy, does the guy on the moto-cycle like the fiah-wohks?" "Daddy, does the light like the fiah-wohks?" "Daddy, does the cars like the fiah-wohks?" ... basically a constant stream of wondering just how awesome absolutely everything else thinks the fireworks were. Concern, gone. Incidentally, every day since then, Jakey asks if next July we'll see the giant fireworks in front of Philadelphia. (Yes, if only they'd start at a reasonable time. 10:30pm? C'mon Philly!)

Recently, when we were driving and it was pitch black outside, Jakey was reaching up into the sky, and asked, "can I touch the dark?" with complete sincerity, and it was surprisingly hard to explain why not, actually.

Here's an amusing one from Lara, who is walking the party line with this one:
Lara: Jakey, this weekend I'm going to Marina's house and you will stay with Mommy and Daddy.
Jakey: No!
Lara: But guess what you will get to do? You will learn to go potty. Like me. Everyone really wants you to be potty trained.

A few weeks ago, Jakey trips and falls very minimally, clearly uninjured, but is crying.
Me: Are you ok?
Jakey: (through sobs) Yes.
Me: Ok, let's go then.
Jakey: But my feelings are hurting!

Jakey, upon seeing a bee, freezing up and not walking further: "But there's a bumble mommy!!"

So, question - when kids start falling asleep in the car like 10 minutes from home, and clearly they need to just stay awake to nap at home, raise your hand if you tickle them to keep them awake. I definitely was on the receiving end of that one as a kid, and of course I started doing it to Jakey and Lara. They loved it, and wanted more, so I said "I'm not just going to tickle you while driving; I'm going to wait until you least expect it." About 3 seconds later, Jakey yells, "I'm dis-espected! I'm dis-pected!" This is now his "please tickle me while driving" phrase.

Of course, some little phrases just can't be captured, like "she be's mean to me" or "the three of we are holding hands," which are just awesome stand-alone kid-isms. Disproportionately many of these are from the mouth of Jake, who still has some baby language and so says funnier stuff than Lara, who talks like a teenager. Whatever.
(That "whatever" should be in quotes, actually--it's a favorite of Lara's at the moment.)

A recent Lara gem of a conversation:
Lara: Ugh, errands are so boring!
Anna: Well, errands are a lot of what grownups do; didn't you say you wanted to be a grownup already?
Lara: Yeah, but I didn't say I wanted to be a grownup to do errands! I want to do fun grownup stuff.
Anna: Like what?
Lara (zero hesitation): Cooking.
Anna: We can do that already! I'd love for you to cook with me.
Lara: But I don't know how to do anything!
Anna: Well, do you think when I was your age I knew how to cook? ... Then how come I know now?
Lara: Did Baba teach you? And Marina? And Michael?
Anna: Well, not really Michael...

And here is a great Lara text:
"I. Am. Fairy. Ik. Sitid. For. Maya. Too come. Too. My. House" ("I am very excited for Maya to come to my house.") When she texts, Lara often pushes space twice, which is an iPhone shortcut to end a sentence, thus, the periods/caps.)

(And, yes, she texts. I told you - teenager!)
(No, she does not have her own phone.)

Lara is also really into music, and picks up songs in the car insanely quickly (at least to me, who has not yet remembered a single song lyric in his entire life). Recent lyrical analysis from the Sarah McLachlan song "Ice Cream," which features the line, "Your love is better than ice cream." Lara's immediate addition: "And then when an ice cream sees another ice cream it says, 'Your love is better than people!'" Which is just awesome. And very meta.

One of the best things, though, is how the conversations get more deep and mature and grown up. I recently learned that Lara is apparently starting to be indoctrinated into the world of comic book characters by her mom, since while we were driving to the beach, Lara busted out with: "There's an X-girl who has a super power and can lift people up with her mind without touching them, and she has a parrot that's magic that lives inside her and she can use it to give her power to fight bad guys!" This, it turns out, is Lara's version of Jean Grey, who has telekinesis and sometimes has the Phoenix living in her. Or something. I am not the comic book aficionado around here...

July 8, 2012

Recent Adventures

Hi all!
Long time no see for this Forty-Two Roads pinch hitter, who is here with a summer update. And so, in backward order:

This weekend was crazy awesome, with all sorts of fun and good times. We went canoeing again - and this time saw turtles and a water snake! Also, Lara made two sock puppets and the cutest ever list of items each requires:

(for sok pupit - eyes Hat eyebrow's blue Mouth tong ear)

This was on the heels of an exciting trip to the somewhat re-vamped (or at least mildly refurbished) Camden Aquarium:

However, looking at fish through glass was nothing compared to a recent visit to Aric's house, where we actually caught the world's tiniest perch ever, thus at last showing the kids that fishing actually occasionally results in the acquisition of a fish... This is the first success in - ahem - three or four such ventures. Shown here is our triumphant return march down the dock:

It was also "baby frog spawning season," and we caught so many frogs that at one point Lara was actually ignoring one that was hopping up her arm (!) because she was chasing another. Loads of fun. We kept three overnight, but after we failed to catch even the tiniest gnat, Lara announced, "Daddy, I think we should put them back. We really don't know what to feed them."

And the nature didn't stop there, oh no. We also found two praying mantises (manti?), including this inquisitive fellow who climbed right aboard and patiently waited as I right-hand-iPhone'd about 12 pics to get this perfectly-lit-if-I-do-say-so-myself shot. Obligatory educational mantis factoid link to fun facts found here.

Least recently, we had a visit from Forty-Two Roads's dad, who brought a giant case of cheeses for us to sample and amateurishly rate. Turns out we have very divergent tastes, but still, we did discover that there is a nice little overlap area on the "who likes what cheese" Venn diagram, so we can hang out there, taste-wise. Perhaps a listing of those cheeses, and our comments, will appear in the interwebspace soon. Stay tuned.

We're having a great summer (heatwave aside), and hope you all are too!