Monday, March 30, 2015


Brent's birthday was a week ago, and while we had some sad family news on our minds, we were still able to have a little celebration for him.  Joseph made him a card and decorated a glass jar filled with his favorite Starburst jellybeans.  Almost funny then, that he wrote I hope you "lick" the present I gave you, instead of "like."

Joseph also picked out an ice cream cake for Papa and added the candles, using the 7 from his last birthday and 4 more to represent 40.  Yup, that adds up correctly ;)  Our neighbors thoughtfully popped by with a decadent chocolate raspberry cake, so there were double desserts.  That might explain how those candles got blown out so fast that I hardly got a picture!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Everything is Awesome

You can actually rent Legos.  Like, 30 thousand Legos if you want.  Which is exactly what our friend Andra did for her son Andrew's birthday last week.

That's enough to lie back in and make a Lego version of a snow angel.  Which I imagine kinda hurts.

Andy doesn't much like cake, so every year he gets donuts instead.  No biggie, since everything is awesome!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Dragon Man

Have I mentioned again in the last 5 minutes how amazing our elementary school is?  We must have the most ridiculously overfunded PTA that supports tons of extra programs not funded by DCPS.  They have a whole "special" on digital communications, and another on graphic arts.  They had an open house in graphic arts last week to showcase the kids' work in animation.

Joseph and Kit were teamed together and used the (free!) Lego Movie Maker app to create the critically acclaimed stop motion short film Dragon Man.  They got to create the story line, draw the characters and backdrop, and add music and special effects.  I bet it would have gotten even better reviews if they actually aimed the camera AT the action!  There are already 2 equally riveting sequels as well.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Wizard and I

I've said many times that Joseph loves board games.  (Maybe he just doesn't like playing alone!)  He's been into checkers for a while, but he just completed his first Chess Wizards session in after school enrichment, and I think he might be hooked.

He's actually gotten pretty good at chess after just a few weeks, knows all the rules, and you can see his little mind strategizing away.  He slaughters Brent, but I still have to throw the game to let him win sometimes.   It probably won't stay that way for long.

They ended the enrichment session with a mini tournament and he was so proud to get a trophy.

Sure, he lost it within half an hour and I had to hunt it down the next day.  At least it turned up faster than the one black checker that was missing for months.   Now that it's resurfaced we can finally retire the gold pirate doubloon we were using as a substitute.

Friday, March 20, 2015


Sometimes you can say you simply lost another tooth, other times you have to say you truly LOST it.  That thing was barely hanging on by a thread at pick up from school yesterday, and a few hours later it was just gone.  My bet it that it made its way down with some Pirate Booty.

On his way to bathe before bed Joseph asked if the Tooth Fairy was real or if it was really just us giving him money.  All I could tell him was that it was up to him what he wanted to believe in.  If he believed that the Tooth Fairy was real, then she would keep coming.  If he really thought it was us, he'd be out of luck, since there was no way we'd be giving him money when he's constantly making a mess and never cleans up after himself.  Interestingly she showed up last night after all.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Feel the Burn

I cannot imagine what possessed Benjamin's dad to go on a run last weekend with the boys in a double stroller.  He must have wanted a really good workout.  Joseph couldn't even get his legs under the bar!  So glad Bill texted these photos while I was on the treadmill at the gym.  I doubt it will ever happen again.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sand Art

I saw this idea in a magazine ages ago about collecting sand from wherever you travel.  I should probably give credit to Martha Stewart - because, why wouldn't you? - but there's an outside chance it may have been in something like Architectural Digest.

We've collected enough on our trips with Joseph now that it was time to put them on display.   It's really amazing how different the colors and textures are in comparison.  Of course the pink sand from Bermuda is the most unusual so far.

I labeled the bottom of each jar so we could remember where the samples came from.

Whatever didn't fit in the small glass jar got poured into Joseph's sandbox in the back yard.

The jars are displayed on a shelf in Joseph's room so he has a unique keepsake and reminder for where in the world he's been.  It was a fun project to work on together, and he's excited to bring a sample home when we travel to Mexico soon.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


We already had Joseph's eyes pretty thoroughly examined last year, but out of nowhere recently both Brent and I thought it looked like one of his eyes was turning in now and then, so we consulted one of my favorite pediatric ophthalmologists earlier this week. The assistant tested him for everything, including depth perception, color blindness, and strabismus, and all was happily normal.

She put in some dilating drops and had us wait for the doctor.  Believe it or not, this was our first time watching Doc McStuffins.  Now I can finally tell all my little patients that I've seen her!

After another rounds of tests the doctor was finally able to reproduce it for a second.  Joseph is mildly farsighted, and what we saw is accommodative esotropia, which means that the eyes can cross if he's trying too hard to focus on something close.  He gets to try some OTC reading glasses to see if they make any difference, and if they don't, he doesn't need to use them.

Having dilated eyes was so goofy!  He kept telling me how weird I looked.  I thought he looked like someone else I know with those big saucer eyes.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Taco Tuesday!

You've never seen anyone more excited about Taco Tuesday than this kid was today!  He's been talking about it since the moment he woke up.

I didn't know Taco Tuesday was a real thing.  First I'd ever heard of it was in the Lego Movie, and I'm sure Joseph would agree with Taco Tuesday Man when he says "If only it could be Taco Tuesday every day!"

The Rat Pack

Wow, kids still have birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese!  I'm sure there would be plenty more if kids had their way, but most parents run screaming in the other direction at the mere mention of the place. We managed to go only once before, when Poppy took Joseph and his cousins while we were visiting in Louisiana.  Now we're up to twice after Stephen's birthday party.

Pizza, cake, and video games - sounds like a dream to the elementary school boy posse.  Which might be why Joseph is saying it's his current top choice for his next July.  Feel free to place bets on whether or not that's gonna happen.