Monday, April 20, 2009

Full Tilt...

Jack had his first Tilt-a-Hurl experience on Saturday, and my friend Alice was there to witness and record it all on her iPhone.

He started by eating all the requisite birthday-party food: pizza, Pepsi, cake, ice cream. Then he got on the ride, which lasted about five minutes. He and his buddy, Mark, seemed to love it, so they got right back in line and rode it again -- five more minutes of tilting and spinning. Wheeeee!!

And it was all great fun until about 10 minutes later, when Jack started looking a little green and told me he felt sick. We raced to the bathroom, then to the car to head home.

Poor little guy had a serious G-force hangover. Lasted about an hour or so. Not sure when/if he'll ride the Tilt-a-Whirl again.

Friday, April 17, 2009

My friend Kollen says he thinks his 4-year-old daughter -- who is "pretty bright, natch" -- is ready for some read-aloud chapter books. "Any good ideas?" he asked. "I guess 'Little House on the Prairie' is the obvious one, but she may not be able to follow or be interested in all that."

Have to agree there. I adored the "Little House" books as a girl, but when I got them back out to read to Hannah (she was about 5 at the time), I realized that some of the chapters went on and on and ON. I remember one that included a detailed account of Mr. Ingalls building a door, for example. Not exactly intriguing stuff for a preschooler. (Granted, it could have been me. Yawns did not help the presentation.)

In any case, I offered my friend some alternatives to consider. Then I put out a call on Twitter and Facebook and got a whole bunch of great suggestions. Here's the list.

** The Junie B. Jones series. (These early chapter books are sort of a love-it-or-hate-it thing. I happen to LOVE them with all my heart.)
** "Charlotte's Web" and "The Trumpet of the Swan" (E.B. White)
** "The Mouse and the Motorcycle" and "Runaway Ralph" (Beverly Cleary)
** Winnie-the-Pooh (the original A.A. Milne books, not the Disney stuff)
** "Because of Winn-Dixie"
** "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"
** the "Little Bear" series
** Amelia Bedelia
** the "Fudge" series (Judy Blume)
** Magic School Bus series
** Magic Tree House series
** the Captain Underpants series
** "The Boxcar Children"
** "James and the Giant Peach"
** "Harold and the Purple Crayon"
** the "Henry and Mudge" series
** "Flat Stanley"
** "Babe"
** the "A to Z Mysteries" series ("Canary Caper," "Quicksand Question," etc.)

More suggestions? Please add them here.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Bunny Bread Saga (or Things We'll Remember About Easter 2009)...

Every year (since 2001, when the recipe graced the cover of Quick Cooking magazine), I have made bunny bread for Easter. We dig out the little belly area and fill it with veggie dip, put the bunny on a bed of lettuce and surround him with vegetables, and it's a pretty dang cute centerpiece for an Easter meal.

Up there is a shot of this year's creation, sculpted with care early this morning, brushed delicately with egg and baked to perfection. I put it on the counter to cool (posted a quick photo of it on Twitter/Facebook), and joined Randy in the backyard.

About five minutes later, Jack came screaming through the screen door yelling, "Izzy knocked the bunny bread down, and I think she's eating it!!"

Aaaaaaaand, cut to this scene:

I'm not making another one. This will stand as a crystal-clear reminder of Easter 2009: The year we got that stupid dog.

Things making me happy right now...

Sometimes, when you haven't updated your blog in almost two months and people start to hassle you about it, you gotta just jump back in and post something and not waste time explaining or apologizing for having been such a slacker. So there it is.

Some things making me really happy right now:

*** Cadbury Mini Eggs. They're not just my favorite Easter candy. They're my all-time favorite candy, period.
*** Watching birds at the bird feeder outside our kitchen window.
*** Listening to Hannah and Sammi play American Girl.
*** Running into former Eagle editor Jerry Ratts and his wife, Mrs. Ratts, at Dillons and chatting for 20 minutes.
*** Holiday traditions, like Bunny Bread.
*** A weekend off.
*** Goofing around with the Dance Moms every Monday and Wednesday.
*** Awesome neighbors.
*** Hannah getting into the Pre-IB program at Robinson and being so excited to start middle school.
*** Looking forward to Oma and Papa's visit in about a month.
*** Getting right back on that blog train. :)