Sunday, November 28, 2010

Parent Teacher Conference

Last week I met with Ben's teacher for PTC.  It was very insightful. Ben has a fantastic teacher with a great sense of humor.  Thank heavens.

She asked me if Ben likes to sing in the bathroom. Frankly I don't know because we have such loud fans in our bathrooms that I can't hear anything that goes on in there. Mrs. Sandora said that whenever Ben goes to the bathroom (which is connected to the classroom) he sings heartily - in an operatic way.  The accoustics must be great. She said that they have knocked on the door and told Ben that everyone can hear him but that doesn't seem to phase him.  He continues on with the aria.

She also told me that the bathroom door has a very loud creak and when Ben shuts the door he likes to get every last creak out of the door.  I asked him about it and he said, "Oh yeah!  It goes like this CRREEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeak." So now I know what the bathroom door sounds like at school.  Maybe I should go there with a little WD-40 and solve that issue.

Luckily we were able to laugh about it - like I said, she has a good sense of humor. 

Also Ben has lost his two front teeth.  See picture below. I know what Ben wants for Christmas!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Catching Up

So not a whole lot has been going on in the Fairchild household lately.  Lots of routine stuff - same drill different week.

However, the boys manage to keep life interesting. Gabe is always coming up with cute phrases... every day he will say to me at about 10:00 or so - "Mama, I have something I need to tell you." My heart races a little bit because generally this is followed by some kind of confession.  Not for Gabe.  After I say (calmly) "What do you need to tell me?" 

"Mama, I would like a go-gurt."  Whew.  I can handle that.

One of the morning routines is Mike chases after the boys to grab a hug and kiss and Gabe will yell (while laughing) "Why don't you pick up somebody your own side."  It's just cute.

Sammy is getting so big.  He is mushy, squishy, smiley, and oh so cute. On Sunday, during church, one of my friends, Owenna, pinched Sammy's leg and said, "Oh!  He is so soft!" It's true. He is yummy.

Halloween was fun - we went to my friend Tamara's house and had a yummy dinner and took the kids out to get loaded up on candy. Being paranoid about candy and Ben's nut allergy I remind him several times "Don't eat any candy until we get home!!" Poor kid. I'm sure he loves being nagged that whatever candy he consumes needs to be pre-approved. The boys wanted to be ninjas so we bought them some costumes.  I think I am done buying costumes. I hope to make some next year.... well I guess we'll see. Truth be told, we will probably just buy. I am inspired by some friends of ours who always make their costumes and they are FABULOUS!  This year they were Lego guys - LIFESIZED!  Blake, who is 4 1/2 (Gabe's best buddy) was dressed as Lego Indiana Jones.  It was too great!  I just have to attach the picture because it is worth seeing.

Marin is the big Lego guy and Blake is Lego Indiana Jones.  Awesome, eh?

On to our photos.

Cute Baby!

My favorite Ninjas.

Ben reading the paper in his suit.  Doesn't he look like a little businessman?  I love these pictures!

Gabe sleeping in his Santa nightcap - Naughty or Nice?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'll apologize ahead of time for what you will read next

I debated whether or not to write this next entry... it's funny and humiliating in that kind of way in that you will want to cover your mouth, gasp, and giggle a little.

Last Wednesday Gabe, Sam, and I went to the zoo with Blake and Marin (little Quentin came along too).  The weather was perfect so we couldn't resist spending the day outdoors.

While sitting down having lunch there was this nice man, an employee of the zoo, cleaning up the picnic area. The boys were playing with him and he was teasing them back. Marin and I chatted and ate our lunch not really noticing what the boys were doing. UNTIL I heard Gabe yelling, "MR. BROWNIE!!!  COME AND GET ME MR. BROWNIE!!"  My ears perked up when I heard that because it sounded awful strange. "Gabe come here... why are you calling him Mr. Brownie?"  Gabe's reply, "Because he has brown skin."

"No no no.  We don't call people by the color of their skin. Do we call Daddy Mr. Whitey?"

Gabe - "No."

Me - "Please don't call him that anymore."

Gabe continues to YELL "MR BROWNIE!"  The only way I could get him to stop was to yell back, "STOP GABE!!"

I was mortified to say the least. Yes, the man was brown as Gabe observed, but it is not like Gabe hasn't seen someone with brown skin before.

Then, to top that off about 3 minutes later Gabe says, "Mom I just saw a ninja!!"  Very loudly of course. He was referring to the woman wearing a burqa. It was a good day for explaining ethnic differences.

Aye, aye, aye. I don't think there is much more I can say about that!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

At least I didn't know them

Yesterday we went to Longwood Gardens - it was a perfectly beautiful fall day. I'll write more about that later.

As we passed a large sculpted plant in the shape of a dog Mike remarked that the dog had bushy eyebrows. Ben replied, "Yeah, just like me and mom have bushy eyebrows."

Of course at that moment a small wedding party passed by and heard every word because Ben doesn't exactly speak quietly.

I said, "Oh thanks Ben, that's just great."

Mike said, "Just what you want to hear eh?"

The wedding party chuckled. At least I didn't know any of them. Of course I had to ask Mike a little later, "Are my eyebrows bushy?" Let me reassure you... my eyebrows are nothing like the furry caterpillars I had in highschool. I could put Brooke Shields to shame!

Friday, October 8, 2010

What happenend to the day, the month, the year?

Making the transition from mom of 2 boys to 3 boys has been interesting to say the least. During the summer Sam was in that hazy, not quite aware of what is going on around him phase... or maybe that was me. Now that he is 5 months old (gone by waaay too fast) and Ben is in school and Gabe is in preschool I honestly don't know what happens with my days.

I spend a lot of time feeding Sam, cleaning up spit up, bowel explosions and nose aspirations. Oh yeah and laundry, laundry, laundry.

I do manage to get in some gym time - about one hour if I am lucky and everyone is healthy.  But by the time night time rolls around, I am exhausted!!

When the boys went back to school I was excited because I thought I would have a little time to do some paintings, or write a little bit more. Instead I have about 1 1/2 hours after I drop Gabe off at preschool, get Sam down for a nap and then that precious bit of time seems to be over before it started.

I always thought that as a mom I would have enough time to do at least some of the things that I wanted to do, but now I am worried that I am on that freight train of life filled with shuttling kids back and forth, fixing meals, doing laundry, keeping the house tidy, etc. etc.

However it is not all business. Last night Mike and the boys spent about a half hour wrestling and throwing eachother around. I held Sam up so he could have a front row seat to all the rollicking fun. It was cute to see how enthralled he was by all the action. I can just see him in about one year, running and throwing himself on top of the boy pile.

It's funny though how the things I love about having boys - the enthusiasm, the jubilance, the silliness, the noise... it's also the stuff that drives me crazy too. I love them to pieces though.

Anyway, just wanted to write about stuff going on in our house these days.

Let them eat dog food

Dinner time is always a time of joy and a time of tears. We have managed to establish a silly ritual in which the boys seem to think that their food can only be consumed once they have determined how many bites to take - mom or dad being the one that sets the number. Usually 15 to 20 bites. It drives me crazy that dinner has become a countdown. Along with the counting there is usually some grumbling and complaining about certain ingredients.

I spend about 30 to 60 minutes preparing dinners because I really enjoy food and I like to cook. I refuse to be a short order cook. I make one meal and if you don't like it... well that leads me to the best part.

I bought a can of dog food - we don't have any dogs. I put the can of dog food in the middle of the table and I said, "I spend some time making this meal for you and I am tired of the counting and complaining. If you don't like what I make then you are welcome to eat the dog food because anything that I make is inevitably better than dog food and I am tired of you treating the meal that I make for you like it is dog food."  That night I received accolades for the meal I made.

The dog food currently sits in my pantry and on an evening that I make something a little different I bring it out just to remind them that anything I make is better than dog food... at least I hope it is.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Yummy Pumpkin Scones

I made Pumpkin Scones this morning - Yummy.  Here is the picture and the recipe.


Serves 6


2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons half-and-half
1 large egg


1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk


1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ginger
1 pinch ground cloves

Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Using a pastry knife, fork, or food processor, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half and half, and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Form the dough into a ball.
4. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle (about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide). Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet.
5. Bake for 14?16 minutes. Scones should begin to turn light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.
6. Mix the powdered sugar and 2 tbsp milk together until smooth.
7. When scones are cool, use a brush to paint plain glaze over the top of each scone.
9. Combine the ingredient for the spiced icing together. Drizzle this thicker icing over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (at least 1 hour). A squirt bottle works great for this, or you can drizzle with a wisk.

Mr. Karate Man

Ben got his second red stripe on his karate belt on Monday.  Big day.  He was so excited as he stood at the front of the line waiting to receive it - he was bouncing out of his skin. That's Ben - bouncy Ben. He is moving on to the advanced class... woo hoo! -  that means we get to spend some money on more equipment!

Hawk Mountain

This weekend we headed to the Pocono's to Hawk Mountain.  No imagination needed to decipher what is at Hawk Mountain.  Apparently there are lots of hawks that fly around at certain viewpoints. I think that only people without small active boys see hawks flying around. We hiked up to the North obersvation point, a beautiful spot overlooking the valley below.  I saw plenty of people with binoculars and fancy cameras, maybe 2 hawks and some turkey vultures (ugly creatures). It takes a bit of time and patience to see the birds flying around - something that we lack.

The boys did great on the hike though.  For the hike up I hung out with Gabe and Mike hung out with Ben and Sam was attached to his back in what we lovingly call "The Limo".  Practically every person we passed remarked that the baby was travelling in style. It's true.

Once we got to the top Ben remarked several times that it looked like a postcard.  True enough. The funny thing about the boys is that they don't seem to have a volume control.  At the observation point people were conversing in low murmurs, obviously focused on seeing some pretty birds.  Then we come along and everything we discussed was heard by everyone. Needless to say, we didn't stay all that long - maybe 25 minutes, which was plenty long enough.

It was a beautiful day, though and we had such a fun time. The boys did great on the hike. On the way down Gabe found a perfect stick - in his words, "just the right short, long, smoothness".  When we got to the bottom and passed the girl sitting at the entry/exit gate she told Gabe to leave the stick behind - whatever was picked up had to be left. Oh puleeeze. We kind of gave her that look "whatever" and begrudgingly asked him to put the stick down. I told Gabe, within earshot, that we would find another perfect stick. Gabe pushed out that bottom lip and did his best to maintain his composure. Ben mananged to weasel out some acorns, though - such a rascal. After five minutes of searching we did find another perfect stick, which he ended up leaving in the parking lot. That's gratitude for ya!

Here's some pics of our afternoon.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sammy Lammy Bing Bang (his nickname)

Yesterday I was taking some pictures of Sam, something that doesn't happen as often as it should.  I can't believe that he is already almost 5 months.  He is such a fun addition to our family.  He laughs and smiles easily, and he sleeps through the ENTIRE night.  However, he is still an infant and I think that I have forgotten what it is like to have an infant.  During the summer he was easily portable being in that newborn, hazy, sleep anywhere phase.  Now he is in the "I only want to sleep in my bed!" phase. 

So I am a homebody now.  But, it's all good.  As long as I can make it to the gym I am ok spending the rest of the day at home.  Lots of projects around here for me to do - like catching up on the blog.  I'll let you know if I get bored, but I think the likelihood of that happening is minimal.

Some funny events that have occurred - about a month ago I set Sam on the couch propped up between pillows sitting by his brothers.  I was right by them on the computer, keeping a watchful eye.  Ben and Gabe were playing video games.  While Ben plays video games he bounces up and down like Tigger on steroids.  I reminded Ben not to jump on the couch and he plopped down RIGHT ON TOP OF SAM!  It all happened in slow motion.  At the same time he sat down I yelled, "BEN!! Watchit!! SAM!"  Ben jumped up immediately.  Sam didn't even utter a cry.  Ben was a little shaken by the experience - more so than Sam.  It all happened so fast I don't think Sam knew what landed on him.  No harm done, however, Sam is far away from the couch while Ben plays video games.

Anyway - here is the little man.

This is Sam's concentration face.  He pushes out the fantastic double chin.

He has found his hands and he can't get enough of them.

He is a happy litte guy!

Side view of the waddle (double chin).