Saturday, April 14, 2018

She's 5!

Cora turned five on Wednesday. We started the week off with a joint birthday dinner with Aunt Georgia (who turned 30+ on Friday :). On Wednesday, Cora brought toilet paper rolls stuffed with fruit leather and stickers to her 4K class and silk flowers with fruit leather taped to the stems to her friends at St. Bernard's.

On Wednesday night, we celebrated with butternut squash soup, grilled cheese sandwiches and green beans at Cora's request. The strawberry birthday cake was supposed to be a highlight, but both Cora and Peter found it too sweet. I went out of my way to avoid fake stuff (jello, artificial strawberry extract, a box mix or canned frosting), but alas, it probably wasn't worth the effort - note the curdled frosting below.  Sounds like I should have tried adding more sugar instead of assuming it was the acid in the strawberry puree. The cake theme [space/monkey/Hello Kitty], however? NAILED IT! The best part of the birthday night was probably a surprise visit from Helen (our old nanny) and new rain boots, both of whom/which Cora asks for with regularity.

The next day, I had parent-teacher conferences with the girls' teachers. Mrs. Douglas, Cora's awesome 4K teacher, had wonderful things to say about Cora, including her "academic" progress and love of art and science. Louisa also had Mrs. Douglas for 4K, and in September, after only knowing Cora for 2 weeks, she commented on how different she is from Louisa. I didn't get to ask her to elaborate on her observations then, so I asked her on Thursday. She explained that while Cora doesn't do this so much anymore, she tested the limits in the beginning of the school year. She also mentioned that Cora is more apt to play with boys and be more physical (in a playful way) than Lou.

When Cora was in 3K, we laughed about how often we heard of boys in her class competing for her attention. Mrs. Douglas didn't mention that this year. Whew!

Bean Bean, we love you. Your love for make-believe, your family and art is awesome. We're excited to continue to watch you be you. Hang tight - those bangs will grown out soon enough!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

'Till You See The Light [Turn Green]

For years and years, our kids' bedtime routine has been lovely and the same: jams on, 3 books on the couch, brush teeth, hop in bed, 2 songs, 1 prayer, and then 1 final song. Perhaps it's his age, but while Peter has mostly gone to bed easily since he was an infant, he hasn't always embraced the singing and praying routine before bedtime. By not embracing it, I mean there were times when he would request no songs! don't pray! so we would just say goodnight and leave his room.

He has consistently been our early riser too. If the rest of us would sleep in until 6:50 on a weekday and 7:10 on weekends, he prefers sometime between 6:20-6:45 regardless of the day of the week. To help train him to sleep in a bit later, we bought the Ok to Wake clock for Peter, which turns green at a set time, signaling that it's okay to wake up. It's not really working, but it is cute to see how proud he is when he happens to sleep past 6:45, which is his okay-to-wake time. The problem/not-problem lately is that he is waking up around 6:30, removing his diaper and going to the bathroom. Our alarm is thus, I pooped on the potty!

Thankfully he's feeling the rhythm of songs and a prayer lately, and the other night, I decided to sing a song that was new to him. It goes like this:

I will be your home
I will be your guide
I will be your friend
Always by your side
Sleep now in your room
Quiet of the night
Surrounded by the moon
'Till you see the light

When Renae and Jeremy sing it, it's beautiful - repeated a couple of times through, with a round and nice harmony. When I sang it for Peter the first time the other night, I was not thinking of the green light on his clock, but apparently he was. The first time through, he was staring at me, obviously listening to the words. The second time, right as I sang the final word light, he sang along: turn green. It made me beam and still 24 hours later, made my heart swell. I can't say that it helped him sleep in either morning since, but I guess we'll keep trying.

Even if you don't sleep in, we love you, Peter! And happy 3rd birthday!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Attic Upgrade

I'm still so surprised by how well I've been able to overlook the eyesores of unfinished work all this time. Surprised and proud, I guess, as a recovering perfectionist. Nate's big thing about these finishing touches is that after about 30 minutes of living with the improvement, we stop noticing it because it "looks the way it should look." I agree, although 1 week later, I still glance up towards the attic when I'm walking down to the main floor. And if I go up to the attic to do a little, I start to breath deeper before I've even laid my mat down, thankful that this tedious task is behind me. Next step, repainting the walls so there is more contrast between the Pearly White trim and the Modern Grey walls, although I'm not gonna lie - that is not high on my priority list right now. 

I hope these before and after shots help you breath a little deeper too. Namaste.


The attic is definitely a fun and relaxing place to be these days, as long as I avert my eyes from the storage room, which in in need of a big re-org. Or just a door. Actually tonight I sat on the couch and watched an entire movie (Toy Story) with the kids. Not once did I feel the urge to get up and organize. What did really distract me though was how beat-up the trim of Andy's house is. This is a animate film, Pixar! Can't it just be perfect? I've seen the movie before and definitely did not notice the trim then. Apparently I'm extra sensitive after spending so much quality time with ours.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Things They Say, 47th Edition

I just got back from my HIIT class and there are dishes to be done and a house to tidy up, but I know that if I give into those temptations, I'll forget this sweet memory. So here I am, blogging while my house is messy! It's therapy, right? I was actually able to leave for work this morning after noticing the aftermath of a storm that tore through the girls' bedroom. I had to breath through that one, keeping myself from picking up before leaving.

So about what the kids said. We were eating dinner last night (apple & bacon pancakes) when the topic of conversation turned to having kids. I forget how we got there, but I had asked Cora who would have to have kids, to make Nate and me grandparents. She wasn't totally sure, and eventually we explained how we could become grandparents. Then the conversation took a turn:

Nate: I hope someday you all can have your own kids
Louisa: Yeah, I want to
Cora: I don't want to have kids because they're too silly for me

(fast forward 24 hours, to tonight at dinner (venison and veggie stir fry)

Cora: how do you not have kids?
Louisa [before we could think of what to say]: can't you take a medicine or something?
Nate: You don't have to worry about that now, because you have a long time to decide whether or not you want to have kids.

Wow, these minds are active! And birth control? How does Louisa know about birth control? Perhaps I should read through It's Not The Stork again and see if it mentioned it?

Life is fuller these days since Peter started preschool, but life is good. We were able to sneak in two ice skating outings last weekend, which the kids loved. The first outing was on Friday. It was just for us girls (pink jackets required :) and we got all the sunshine and clear ice. Saturday was still great, but it had snowed about 1 inch after they already opened the rink for the day. Nate, Peter and Papa joined us this time and then we all went out for dinner at Pasqual's!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Ready? Set. Create!

A few months before Christmas I decided that we were ready to start transforming another section of the attic into useful space. For more than just storage or sewing, that is. We kept our IKEA kitchen island that we bought in California. It served us well there, filling up lots of dead space in our oversized kitchen in Campbell. It has even earned it's keep as the perfect wrapping table here in our attic. Between last Christmas and this one, however, it started to acquire stuff. That's probably what prompted my motivation to transform.

What is it now, you ask? An awesome craft center. The girls may not have received the drums, American Girl dolls and horses that they asked for, but I think they're pretty excited about their new space. A few hints to gift giving aunts filled the little bins and back shelves quickly.

Another sweet part of the whole project was the Friday in mid-December when the kids didn't have school. We trekked down to IKEA, only after checking IKEA's website for height restrictions for Smaland. All three kids were in the zone of acceptable and now that Peter is mostly potty trained, it meant 1.5 hours of free shopping time for me! They had fun in Smaland and I had even more fun shopping for the accessories. I may not long for IKEA furniture at this point in my life, but they had some useful things to keep us organized. Well, at least me. We'll have to see if the set up keeps Lou and Cora organized. Next I think I need a clothesline for them to hang all their creations!

p.s. No, it doesn't always look this clean. I had to clean up for the photos :)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Trim

I try not to write about only one of our children, but Peter is just at that amazing age where you wish you could remember all the funny things he says. So here's my attempt to capture a few. But first let me give you an image of this funny, creative little man (who lived a few weeks bottomless to work on his potty skills).
The jagged drywall around the window without it's trim will serve as a before picture
The first story relates to the window trim, which I've been meaning to blog about. Remember when I used to blog updates on our house renovation ALL. THE. TIME? I suppose it's natural - and a good thing - that eventually you finish most of the projects so there is less to blog about. But anyway, the trim. Most of our windows have interior trim on them! The best story I never want to forget was a conversation between Peter and Nate and they came up from the basement shop with jams for the main floor windows. Peter is slowly climbing the basement steps behind Nate and says, "and those are the jellies?" Oh man did we laugh.

The playroom window, after, with curtains my mom saved from her time in Japan
Peter's first memorable airplane ride was in September. He loved it and these days, airplanes are central to his prayer requests. Perhaps I should call them prayer interjects. While someone is praying, he'll quietly say, "and airplanes." So whoever is praying will quickly add "we pray that someday soon we'll be able to go on an airplane together," or something like that. He also requested an airplane song before bed a few weeks ago, so Nate started singing Leaving on a Jet Plane. One line from the song got his brain thinking hard: Oh babe, I hate to go. We've explained many times that this is a time when it's okay to say that you hate something. A few days later, he looked me in the eye and in the sweetest most enduring way, said "I hate you mama." Oh boy. He also loves to ask (every time we sing the song), "what means babe?" We tell him that's what the singer must call his wife.

Sometime in the past month, Peter finally embraced potty training. We have a jar of M&Ms in our kitchen, so he'll come running in to announce his successes. He recently shouted, "I peed and pooped!  One M&M for pee and two for poop!" Helen asked him how many he gets and he replied, "Um, um, um...A LOT!" This was a similar computation he did back in August at Cora's school open house. Mrs. Douglas has a jar of starbursts for kids to practice estimation. Peter ran up and wanted to take one from the bowl (labeled For Eating) but I explained that first you had to guess how many were in the jar. He looked at it for a couple of seconds, then said "a lot."

I imagine this is the same concentration employed when he was trying to compute 1 + 2
One night the kids were having dinner with Oma while Nate and I went out with friends. They were talking about the difficult times in Puerto Rico while Peter was minding his own business. He all of the sudden started annunciating "Puerto Rico" pretty well, as the story goes. He occasionally says it now from time to time and it reminds me of the Fransisco scene in Elf.

On Saturday we were driving home from Home Depot (or Depots, as Peter calls it) and Peter must have seen some decorative candles lights in someone's windows or yard. He announced, "I saw some Roman Candles!" The only reason I can think that he would call them that is that last year, Cora's class went on a field trip to a local pizza place called Roman Candle, so now every time we drive by it, she get's excited and yells "There's Roman Candle!" It's just funny what a two year old stores away in their brain, only to pull it out six months later.

One last story. A favorite book of Peter's lately has been Dear Zoo. In it the child writes to the zoo, to send him a pet. The lion is too fierce, the camel is too grumpy, the frog too jumpy. Today he was playing with the camel from our PlayMobil Nativity set when I heard him say, "He's not too fierce. Guess he's mad."

We love your cheery soul and the way you make us laugh Peter (aka Buster Brown, Buddy, Pizza). And finally, a few more images of the newly hung trim!

Our bedroom 
Nate working hard while the kids eat breakfast
Guest room

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Henry Vilas Zoo

Last Friday we went to the zoo. It was a chilly day, maybe 42 and cloudy, so there weren't a lot of animals to see. Leave it to kids - who always find the upside of any situation, to take fun pictures with the statue animals. These creatures are here no matter the weather! The best part of the four photos below is that I did not have to coerce, or even suggest, that they pose for them. I only had to keep them from slipping off Bucky Badger and the tortoise. Love you three, Louisa, Cora and Peter!

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Porkies

As is the Bosscher fall tradition, we made our way to the gorgeous Porcupine Mountains in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in mid-October. In recent years, Nate has been going online six months ahead of time to reserve the 8-bunk cabin, and this year was the same. Marcia (Oma!) joined us as well as 3 friends from church - a couple our age and a woman Marcia's age. What fun we had! It was chilly, but that's actually best, if you ask me, because it makes it cozy and helps us break into winter. This year, just like last, Cora and Louisa came, but Peter stayed home. Three years old is the minimum because there is a cast iron stove in the cabin, 3 mile hike to the cabin and short walk/stumble to the lake outside of the cabin.

Cora did exceptionally well this year, not asking to be carried at all on the hike. That was a massive improvement over last year. Louisa also did well, carrying her own hand-me-down backpacking pack from our neighbor Lea, who is now 14 years old. 

Tasty food, interesting conversations and beautiful hiking filled our short 36 hour visit to the Porkies. We hope to see you again next year!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Run With Me in Washington D.C.

There's nothing like an upcoming potentially-blogable event - our annual trip to the Porcupine Mountains - to get me to catch up on recent blog-worthy events...especially when you have this realization when your two youngest children are napping and dinner prep is done.

Whew. That sentence would make it seem as though I'm feeling long-winded, but I'm actually not. Which is probably for the best since I have to wake Peter and Cora in 20 minutes to go pick Louisa up from school.

So without further ado, the recent blog-able event: our fun trip to Washington D.C. Thankfully, we spent so much money on house-projects over the past year that we had enough airline miles to get the whole family to D.C. September 14-18 for the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon. Not that everyone had to come, but it's way more fun to run 13.1 miles when you know you have a cheering squad waiting for you at the finish line!

The race was humid (but not sunny), fun and a priceless memory for me and my dad to share. We're forever grateful to Nate and my mom for heading up the cheer-team. Peter rode the last couple hundred feet of the course on my shoulders and the girls almost jumped in too, but looked like they weren't sure it was actually allowed (or at least that was my interpretation).

Other than the race, we had almost four full days to enjoy D.C., which we packed with lots of walking, two trips to a wading pool/splash pad, some great restaurants, and of course a few Smithsonian stops. Louisa, my mom and I also made it down to Alexandria to visit our 2007-2008 stomping grounds, check out the art fair and look for deals at the Crate and Barrel outlet store.

Pajama airplane ride since our flight was delayed by 3.5 hours
Metro rides for a huge highlight for Peter and he still asks if we can go ride the train in Madison
Outside the Library of Congress
Inside the Library of Congress
Hanging out in the kids reading room, inside the Library of Congress
Yards Park has a great pool - only 12 inches deep, so perfect for kids
Just a sweet, happy kid
And an adventurous, daring kid. The one who hated swimming lessons has turned out to love swimming
Waiting for Mom and Papa to finish the race, while posing in front of the Lincoln Memorial
Cora at the base of the Washington Monument
Louisa supporting the Washington Monument
En route from the Metro to the Natural History Museum
"Hold hands!" was a common refrain with all the big-city walking. Apparently I thought it was more important to take a photo than enforce this with Cora 
The final stretch of the 1/2 marathon
Victory! And still smiling!
No surprise Peter fell in love with airplanes on this trip too. Pure fascination.

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