Posts Tagged ‘life with boys’

Cozy Your Castle

November 2nd, 2011 by zoe No Comments

Welcome to our castle.

We made this castle, in the boy’s room, from plywood and paint. It sits back in a nook created by the roof of our house. Sadly it always seemed a little neglected and unused. This week I decided that I would give it another go by actually furnishing it – duh!

Now that it has a curtain, soft rug, lighting, toys and CD player it is now a crazy popular place to hang out.
Come on in, that is if you can handle the music they are playing FULL blast in there!

The big favorite right now is  BeBop Your Best by Red Grammer
A really wonderful CD for kids with its marching band like sound and songs titled after virtues like truthfulness, respect, patience and fairness.

Some mornings they are happily dancing around the room listening to music in their castle at 6 am – which is actually quite adorable.


Out in the Backyard

September 27th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

We live in a tiny little town, what it lacks in population it makes up for in pride.

September brings apples, fall leaves and …. The Ashfield Film Fest. Yocals young and old are invited to create a 5 minute film that celebrates life in our little village. Entries are judged and awarded prizes at the big film fest shindig held in the old town hall.

This little film was done in our backyard and my little guys definitely steal the show.

You Don’t Have To Go To Colorado

It’s a big backyard. We bike, run,  ski and snowshoe there.

We make the most of this country living by adventuring right out the back door. Over the years the Mr. has built several miles of trails that wind through the woods with a few bike stunts too! Trail building around here borders on obsession, now our friends and neighbors have started to build trails and link them together. We love living in the woods and try our best to enjoy all it’s adventures.


My boys have been hiking out there since they could walk. Now they ride their “run bikes” on the trails and get into the action with the rest of us. I think these bikes have been their favorite toy for the last 2 years and I can’t say enough about how fantastic balance bikes are for little ones. There are lots of brands out there to choose from – wood ones, metal ones, super posh designer ones. My boys ride Strider bikes and they have worked out wonderfully for us.

Everywhere we go folks ask us about them and now all their little friends have them too! Some of the features we really dig about these particular bikes is they are super adjustable so a 2-year-old and a tall 5-year-old can ride them, they are metal and can take a rain storm without worries and they are CRAZY light making them easy to maneuver for small kids but also helpful if … your little rider has a full throttle melt down miles from the car and you wind up having to carry their bike(s)! I am not super into product pushing but we seriously LOVE these bikes. Even now that my boys ride two wheelers they still use their Strider bikes for trips to the skate park, mountain biking and fun at The Kingdom Trails pump track.

So many trails, so much fun to be had in the big woodsy backyard!






Magic Inventions

August 5th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

My mind likes to think of inventions. Sometimes they are practical ideas for simple things and sometimes they are wholly improbable, but amusing none the less. For instance today I was wishing I could invent a ….

CLEAN HOUSE RETENTION FORCE FIELD - You know how it is, you clean the house and it only lasts…. um…. 15 MINUTES! If you install THE CLEAN HOUSE RETENTION FORCE FIELD it will guarantee a clean house will last at least 48 hours. Amaze-ZING!

The RELAXA-BUCKLE-UP-ORAMA would be another fabulous invention. This lovely contraption would freeze time as children dilly dally while getting into the car. Rather than grinding their teeth or shouting adults would be frozen in a calm and dreamy state while children…ever so slowly….complete the task of GETTING IN THEIR @#$%^! SEATS!

The other day the kids were asking me how some very complicated technologies worked. I had to tell them, I didn’t know! We would have to learn about them together.

It got me thinking about two inventors, Albert Einstein and Philo T. Farnsworth.  I told them what I remembered about the story of Philo T. Farnsworth as he was depicted series The American Experience, Big Dream, Small Screen. Have you heard of him, heard his story??

As a boy, of 14, he was struck by the patterns in the soil made by the disk harrow. It gave him the glimmer of an idea that he followed through his life to eventually invent television. The boys were wild about the idea that a kid could be an inventor. I am wild about the idea that a boy could show so much focus, determination, persistence and follow through. Qualities any mother would hold in high esteem!

When you start each day with children who ask lots of questions you never know where you will wind up! Society has a lot to say about what you should teach children and sometimes it’s easy to get all tangled up in it. But hell, if they want to learn about electrical engineering but are not the least interested by what letter comes after C in the alphabet I sure as heck will do my best to oblige. I will leave that pile of dishes in the sink and hope that we can invent my clean house force field SOON,it would make a lovely birthday gift!

I have no illusions that they will be great minds. I simply hope they find the discovery of new knowledge to be as cool as I do. I hope they never give up being curious about life.

Albert Einstein held firm in the belief that knowledge and imagination together create true genius. When in doubt just go with Einstein!

I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.
- Albert Einstein

A bit of a downplay on your brainpower there Albert, but, I love the passionately curious part!






Living with Toys!

June 27th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

Living with toys isn’t always easy. They are supposed to amuse occupy and delight the children with the primary goal being – they are so absorbed in playing with their super-crusher monster baby that  they haven’t bugged Mommy all day.  Secondary goal – they are so intellectually stimulated by playing with their superplasma word gizmo and are now reading on par with high school seniors.   Then there are the less spoken of toy truths – they were going to go all ballistic and tantrumy in the store if you didn’t buy them SOMETHING.

Or they HAVE to have ALL the coolest toys because that is the American dream of a perfect childhood.

Whatever the reason, there always seem to be too many toys in my life. Which is funny because I hardly ever buy them. Okay maybe that is not entirely true!  Nonetheless more toys are constantly funneling in like unwanted rodents and I am constantly packing them out like, like, like – unwanted rodents. In a perfect world heaps of toys would make for happier, more engaged, more delightful children … RIGHT! Unfortunately there are often fights, bickering, and battles over the little hunks of plastic not to mention they quickly break becoming obstacles for me to trip on. Nevermind the mind-blowing environmental impact all this absolute junk is having on our lovely planet.  So for summer I am putting most of our toys away (partially, in truth, because I redecorated and never did get most of the boys stuff out again). So, we are making toys out of the rubbish bin, stuff that can easily be recycled when it ceases to amuse. This Week I am thinking we can finally make THESE!  And we are playing with real tools and trying to get all educational and inspired.  Come winter I am sure I will weaken and the toys will be pulled from the dark crannies of the basement to once again litter the landscape of my home. In the meantime I can now sweep the floor without first picking up 3 hundred million little pieces. In the meantime we are playing baby, gardener, prep cook, critter hunter, and painter. And when I happen to find myself eyeing anything toy related in the store I look at it and ask myself this -

When it is strewn cast off onto the floor will I…

a. Be glad I bought it because the boys happily play with it all the time.

b. Curse the day it was popped from its plastic ejected mold.

c. While no one is looking, throw it away.

d. Congratulate myself on the fact that it is made from eco-friendly wood and can at least be burned to heat our home.

e. Wish I had used the money to buy another Viburnum bush, LOVE!


The letter Y

May 28th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

Beautiful day yesterday, with the temperatures bouncing into the 80′s, we packed up the sand toys and mosied down to the lake. The water was friendly and the sun felt like a long-lost old friend.

Leaning there against the beach house was the most beautifully carved stick – with the bark carefully carved off in stripes, the ends whittled into perfect points.  There waiting just for ME – the proverbial Y!

While boys ran off playing here and there in the sand making friends, I sat on my towel thinking of the letter Y.

A hodgepodge of thoughts on the letter Y…

Y as in YES. I should try to say “YES” more often!  My days are overly fraught with no, NO and *@%# NOOOOO!

For instance… YES you can bang my computer with a hammer, YES you can chase the chickens wielding a giant stick, YES you can have ice cream every day, and YES you can stay up till midnight blowing that shrill whistle in my face.

The word WHY,  spoken as Y. Have I mentioned that I have two four year olds? The word Y blasts through my ears with the pitch and frequency of a smoke detector in need of new batteries.

And lastly Y chromosome. The wonder of nature that makes these beings that are male, that are boys, testosterone filled all the way up to their sweet little eyeballs.  That Y energy, flowing through their bodies with such force that I would not blink if they raced to the moon and back before lunch. Yelling the entire way, “No,I’m first!”.

And of course there would be a herd of mothers following behind yelling “GENTLE”.


On a crafty note, I finished the last tile in the boy’s room and they happily hung them up with pride.

I traced their hands on the back and wrote the date.

I drilled a hole in the tree trunk and made a little blue bird in a nest out of paper clay to make it just a little more fun.  I have a feeling the little bird will be plucked from its nest pretty quick despite the turbo glue I used to set in there but I couldn’t resist! Still working on those sweaters!

Baby Robin Has A Grand Adventure

May 25th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

I looked out the window and I thought the child was playing with a frog, but the frog seemed to flutter a bit.  It was in fact a fat little robin chick!  Apparently having discovered a nest up in the rafters of the woodshed he had climbed the 7 feet of wood and SOMEHOW managed to smuggle the wee chirper out safely.  He loves babies and was pretty certain he could keep this baby bird as his very own pet,  “I’m its new Mama!”, he exclaimed.  The fat little feathered robin seemed pretty calm about the idea but none the less I managed to pop him back in his nest. I was doubtful from my childhood experiences of trying to save baby birds that she would make it through the night.  Amazingly the robin along with her two siblings seem to be thriving!!  Now the child on the other hand was quite upset, he kept trying to get back up the wall of wood to the nest.  So we used the computer as a resource to find out what kind of jobs a mama bird does and the little boy decided he did not want to collect 35 worms a day, or eat the baby’s poop to keep the nest clean.  So last night I couldn’t help but make him a nest and baby robin of his own.  I cut up strips of an old t-shirt to make “yarn” and crochet a thick little nest and stitched up a little felt robin that has its beak open wide.

I hope the chirping birds in your neck of the woods have found safe & quiet spots to hatch and brood!