Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I’ve been thinking a lot about color recently. I think it’s interesting that children develop such strong color preferences so early on. Benjamin has loved royal blue for as long as he’s had an opinion about things. He loved his royal blue sweats (he had two pairs) and would have worn them every day if I’d let him. Finally when they were about 4 inches too short, I sneakily retired them. We were at the fabric store yesterday, and he ran to a spool of royal blue sequin trim and shouted, “Oh, Mommy! This is SO cute!” Recently, he has also identified an awful royal blue Monte Carlo in a parking lot as “beautiful” and a bike at Walmart (which was actually more a cross between aqua and royal blue) as being the coolest thing he’d ever seen. Whenever we play Candy Land, of course he uses the blue gingerbread boy.
I’ve noticed the same is true of little girls, that often they are obsessed with anything pink. I don’t think I ever was. I loved “sky blue,” and would make fun of my preschool boyfriend Jesse for liking pink best. I’m not sure why my color preference was acceptable in my mind but his wasn’t.
Later as I explored my artistic side, I enjoyed wearing really bright clothes. In middle school, I had a pair of royal blue corduroys that I paired with an awful multi-colored sweater. Later, I had bright red corduroys and purple corduroys. I still love corduroys, but at least since I’ve had kids, I’ve found my color choices have become a lot more subdued. Now I wear a lot of grays, browns, blacks and whites. I sometimes wish I had Benjamin’s complexion and could get away with wearing kelly green, but I don’t.
One of my favorite classes I took in college was “Color Theory.” It’s hard to explain what we actually did in that class, but it was fascinating. It had a lot to do with the relationships between colors, and discovering what “true” primaries and secondaries were. In case you were wondering, I am no longer convinced that red is a true primary color. I think it might actually be more of a magenta. We had a color-blind guy in that class, and he had to work REALLY hard. I thought it was kind of funny.
It’s interesting how color can affect mood. I love October for the vibrant blue skies juxtaposed by the fiery autumn leaves. I love the early Spring for the bright yellow-greens that emerge from the dark earth. I love the vibrant reds that appear in the late Spring. God has the perfect color sense.
The eating area in our kitchen is perfect, as far as I’m concerned. It balances the adjacent red room, and the two shades of green complement each other very well. We had a lot of paint left over from that project, so being the cheapskate I am (I also like to think of myself as “green,” since I hate wasting things), I decided to continue the darker shade of green down the hallway. I think that also looks great in our house. Then of course, the extra gallon of light green needed to be used, so I decided that it would be perfect for the baby’s room (Benjamin’s old room that used to be a dark steel blue. I liked the color, but it looked like someone hired a ten year old to paint the room. We had to go over it with a coat of Kilz plus two coats of green,). But it wasn’t. Now it just looks depressing.
I think there are several reasons why it doesn’t work at all. First, it’s a north-facing room with only one window, so it gets little natural light, and the light that does come in through the window is cool light. Second, the baby furniture we have in there is white, so the room looks very washed out and pale (but not in a good way). I’ve been playing around with different fabrics and am still stitching together a large colorful rug for that room, but it’s still not working. I got some great striped fabric for a roman shade that I’m going to make out of the mini blinds in there. Again, I got the idea from one of my very favorite design blogs, Little Green Notebook. If I can do that, then I feel like I can tackle the five windows in our bedroom that are also covered in awful mini blinds. I love one of the rooms she uses to illustrate the uses for roman shades. The shade here is actually exactly what the rug I’m working on looks like. Which has of course gotten me thinking…maybe it would be worth it to get a nice warm brown and repaint Peter’s room. Again. But this time I’d have to do it alone since Paul is VERY done with painting our house! Can you blame him? :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Four Months

I can't believe how fast this kid is growing up. Peter is already four months old! He won't have his routine check-up for a few weeks though, so I have no idea what his stats are.
He sits with support now.

I think he's a pretty handsome kid.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Preschool Dilemma

Benjamin has been all about school lately. He likes to pretend his tricycle is a school bus, and then he "goes to school" with his backpack, lunch, shoes and coat. He even kisses me goodbye. It's really cute. Then he tells me all the fun things he can do at school, like make new friends, have snack and learn new things. I don't talk to him a great deal about it, although he does love to read books about school. We talk about how when he's 5 years old, he can go on the school bus.
Most of his friends his age all go to preschool, and I think it would be a really good thing for him. I talked to my "Parents as Teacher's" lady about it, and it sounds like on average most kids go to preschool for two years, but that one year is sufficient. I have no real problem sending Benjamin to preschool except for convenience. Since we still have only one car, I can see it being kind of a hassle. I have been thinking about doing a "home preschool" for a year with him where he has a few hours of structured one-on-one time with me. Has anyone done this? Does it work? I've also thought about signing him up for soccer or tee ball or tumbling, since those seem like a little less of a commitment, but would give him additional social interaction. I guess in the end, it really doesn't matter. After all, he is only 2 1/2. I don't think I'll be scarring him too badly if I don't send him to two years of preschool, but I also want to give him lots of opportunities for growth. What have you guys done?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"Squeaky" Clean

So we had a mouse last week....gross. It probably sounds naive, but I think it really was just one, and we caught it.*** Needless to say, it has definitely motivated us to be cleaner around here. I wish I could say I am a great housekeeper and that the mouse incident was a fluke, but we had it coming. I get so tired from running around with two (messy) boys, and so the last thing I want to think about at the end of the day is cleaning up. Maybe I shouldn't admit that. But just so you know, I get inspired to be a better housekeeper reading some of your blogs! So keep posting all about your immaculate homes and I'll be motivated to keep ours just above a level of pure squalor. :)

Benjamin also helps motivate me to keep things cleaner by making the filth blatantly obvious (so I have to clean it!). He likes to decorate our tub with his crayons and color the water. He thinks shaving is pretty fun too.

Alright, so I can't blame the mess entirely on the boys. I encourage a lot of it. Here was our silly Valentine's Day project. Kind of tacky, but that's what makes Valentine's Day so fun!

Benjamin got a little carried away. Poor Peter! Benjamin loves him to death.

On a completely unrelated note, I finally cut Peter's hair this week. It was driving me crazy with long patches on the top and on the back of his neck, but rubbed off on the top, back and sides. I kind of felt guilty cutting off his newborn hair, but he looks tons better now! He is changing so much day to day. He is already accurately grabbing at my food and hair and everything else within reach. He really, REALLY wants to eat food. He won't be four months for another week or so, and his four month check-up is a few weeks after that. So we'll see. I might just start him on rice cereal without the doctor's "go-ahead." I still think it was ridiculous how Benjamin's old pediatrician had us to hold off until 6 months because she was worried that he was too fat.

Peter is also getting close to sitting up on his own. Benjamin sat early (at 4 1/2 months), and I think Peter might just do the same. I borrowed my friend's Bumbo seat (no, we didn't buy him a pink one) and he loves the new view. I've also put him in Benjamin's old exersaucer a few times, and he likes it.

I hope everyone had a happy Valentine's Day. I did--I have three cute boys. We went to a dinner at Paul's boss' house with a bunch of his international co-workers, and had a good time. We took Benjamin and Peter, and they did really well. We didn't get to bed until 11:30 p.m. though, so as you can imagine, 11:00 church the next morning was interesting.

Since we were going to that dinner on Valentine's Day, we celebrated early on Friday night, and Paul made a delicious Masala for dinner. He also got me a gorgeous herb planter! It's going to have to sit in our family room though since our kitchen is north facing, and never gets any direct sunlight. For breakfast on Valentine's Day morning, we made smoothies and blueberry waffles. I made a scavenger hunt and a nice card for Paul. This was our fifth Valentine's Day together!

*** Paul's side note: We found an ingenious idea on the world wide web of how to catch a mouse with a toilet paper tube, a bit of bait, and a trash can full of water. I felt triumphant for days afterwards despite the lump in my stomach reminding me that I drowned a mouse. It's better than sticky paper though, right?

Friday, February 06, 2009

62 Degrees=Heaven

Yep, this picture about sums up how I felt about today's weather, too. It's supposed to be great weather all weekend! Hooray!
And Benjamin was excited to be able to dig in the dirt again. It's been a while!