Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Friday, November 15, 2013

bonk on the head

I was so busy visiting I didn't take many pictures, but I did manage to capture this quintessential cousin moment between Henry and Taylor.
Unsuspecting Henry

Taylor notices Henry.

She shows her affection by bonking him on the head with her pink cup. Both John and Wendi quickly intervene.
It's not the first nor will it be the last time this happens to the baby. That's what happens with cousins.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Poxleitner cousins

After a leisurely morning at Tyler and Laura's house, we drove to the Drake family's home. Wendi is Joe's cousin. She and her husband, John, have an adorable daughter, Taylor, and with both of us having small children, we just don't get to see each other often enough. We last saw them a few Easters ago when Natalie was still Andie and just a bit older than Taylor is now.
We spent the entire afternoon visiting, playing and eating pizza. We had so much fun we all skipped afternoon naps. Hey, you have to live it up once in awhile!
Poxleitner cousins

Taylor was a charmer. At 15 months, she wasn't quite sure how to engage the big kids. She proved she could hold her own by rolling her arms (as in "Roll it and pat it" from Pattycake) to show them just how cool she was. When we left, Sam and ND wanted to know why Taylor couldn't be "our sister".

John and Wendi still had Halloween candy leftover and Sam was delighted to get this candy eye. He must get that love of eyes from his Grandma Dori.

Henry even snuggled with Wendi a little, who is already missing those sweet days of snuggly babyhood as Taylor is starting to enter toddlerhood. I know my days of fat babyhood are numbered, too!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


As we drove into the city, Natalie and Sam were in awe of the HUGE SKYSCRAPERS! While they were gazing up, they quickly spotted A TRAIN! A TRAIN! A TRAIN!
What kid doesn't love a train? We decided that while we were downtown, we would amend our evening plans and ride the monorail. Our good friend and host, Laura, works at Seattle U, so she walked down to Westlake Center (the monorail's one and only stop) and joined us for dinner.
That's Natalie in the stroller. She was a tired little girl by that point.

Henry in the ergo and his mama--she was a tired girl at that point, too.

We all enjoyed our short train ride, but Sam and Joe were like kids in a candy shop. Both of them oohed and aahed over all the sights rushing by the train window. Joe was particularly interested in the sites (as in construction sites) and lamented he hadn't brought his high visibility vest from work so he could check out a huge trench dug for apparent stormwater work downtown.

Jeez! We're on vacation! You don't hear me complaining that I wish I could look at some colons on vacation, do you?

You can take the boy out of the stormwater, but you just can't take the stormwater out of the boy.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pacific Science Center

I recently had my 10th college reunion, so we took the opportunity to have a family vacation in Seattle. Despite partying into the late hours of the night on Halloween the night before, we loaded up in the car at the crack of dawn and hit the road. We changed our road trip strategy with Henry--as long as I sat beside him and kept him well-fed with snacks and milk, he was fairly happy. The big kids are experienced roadtrippers by now and were happy to watch several movies on our long trip.
By the time we hit Seattle in the early afternoon, we were all ready to ditch the car, so we hit the Pacific Science Center. I'm not sure who had more fun--Sam or Joe. The two of them were off and running after a quick potty stop. We managed to catch up with them for a few exhibits, but Natalie, Henry and I had a pretty awesome time ourselves in the toddler center there.
Natalie loved the "anti gravity mirror". You could stand along the edge and lift your leg up and it would look like both your legs were floating.

Henry started out in the stroller, but quickly decided he'd been in a seat far too long that day so we used the stroller to haul our stuff, not our baby.


Sitting at a giant table

Natalie, at the dinosaur exhibit, laying in a giant footprint. Not to brag, but I took this picture with our huge camera while standing and nursing Henry, pushing a stroller. Yep, I got some mommy skillz.

The Science Center had great exhibits for Sam's age and for Henry's age, but ND had some trouble finding her niche. One exhibit she liked was this healthy eating game. Each of those little silver discs represent a food and when you plug it into the computer, it renders a nutritional analysis. To win the game, you have to plan a menu for the day that is low in fat and sodium and high in fiber, vitamin C and calcium. Both kids were successful!
The day just got better and better. After the Science Center, we boarded the Monorail to Westlake Center. Again, better and better.

Monday, November 11, 2013


I tried talking the children into a family theme costume this year, like we could all be characters from a movie or book, for example. Unfortunately, Sam and Natalie could not agree on a single theme and negotiations broke down when Sam wanted to be a zombie and Natalie wanted all of us to be princesses. So, the boys went as a Mad Scientist (Joe), a robot (Sam--although, many people thought was an astronaut because he also wore his NASA helmet), and a little monster (Henry, who also had a cute pumpkin costume, which he wore to Pumpkin Palooza).
The girls went as Cinderella (Natalie) and Old Cinderella (me...originally, I was supposed to be the Fairy Godmother, but Natalie nixed that idea while we were trick-or-treating and told me we were both Cinderella).

Before trick-or-treating, Sam put on some glow in the dark face paint and Natalie requested a bear nose and blue eyeshadow to go with her Cinderella costume. Lala and Papa Dan dressed up as hippies and did some door-belling with us.

That's Joe behind that horrible mask. Henry found it terrifying so Joe put it in his pocket for most of the night. I scored this beautiful blue ballgown at St Vinnie's for $10 and loved wearing it, even though it was a little challenging to walk in. I tried to explain to ND that navigating steps was easier if you lifted your gown but she quickly decided that was stupid advice and shut me down. She ended up falling on her face about 12 times that night and ended up marveling, "I don't know what's wrong with these steps today, Mom!".
We ended the party with the Birch Court bunch (Steve, Teenie and the rest of the crew), ate some delicious beer-cheese soup, cookies, and popcorn balls. Sam downed a whole bowl of candy corn. It's a good thing Halloween comes but once a year.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Natalie on her way to preschool.
She picked out the whole outfit. The dress is vintage--I think it was Tancie's 28 years ago. She carefully and intentionally placed her own Lewiston Stormwater tattoos on her forearms. She put on her Scooby-Doo stocking cap.
Then, she said, "Mom...take my picture!"

Friday, November 08, 2013

monster cupcakes

I put my back into it and made these monster cupcakes for Sam's Family Fun Festival's cake walk. They are a little labor intensive. I baked the cupcakes and froze them, then sliced the tops off to make a mouth. The insides are frosted black and then I had to painstakingly frost each head in purple. I cut the tongues out of fruit roll ups and carefully placed tic tac teeth in place. Two hours later, I was done.
 They looked pretty darn good.
 This guy was one of my favorites.
Then, they slid off the seat in the car when Joe was driving them to the school and they became a pile of sticky purple mess.

Sad times.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Henry's 8 month bear pictures

Dear Henry,
You are now eight and a half months old. Your babyhood is flying by...slow down! This month, I've often pondered why 9 months of pregnancy seems endless while nearly 9 months of babyhood goes by in the blink of an eye. You've started crawling and pulled yourself up to stand this weekend. It's time to start baby-proofing our house. We've had a few close calls with you putting Legos in your mouth. Luckily, we haven't had to take you to the emergency room for any accidents (yet. Quick, knock on wood!).
 You are sleeping a bit better. I'm so thankful. Your sleep is not as good as Sam and not as bad as Natalie. You go down with a bit of fuss around 7pm and usually wake up once or twice a night. Sometimes, you are nursed back to sleep easily. Other times, I pat you, bounce you, rock you and sometimes end up just closing the door and letting you work it out on your own. I'd like to blame teething, but as of yet, you are still toothless.
 We painted pumpkins this year. You aren't sure what to make of yours. You want to touch it but are horrified about the stem's texture. Then you touch it again and are surprised the texture is still horrifying. Ah, babyhood is so entertaining.
 You are still a happy, laidback little guy. You love playing peek-a-boo and emptying containers. You have a happy little voice and we hear you babbling more and more. I keep coaching you to say "Mama" but you seem right on the cusp of "Dada". You've discovered how to mimic Natalie's growly monster voice and it cracks you up whenever you manage to match her tone.
We're still nursing...for now. I gave you formula for the first time this weekend (you've had it occasionally at daycare) and you took it without complaint. I am a little sad that weaning is likely in the near future. It's just another sign of how quickly your babyhood is going. Soon you will be an active wiggly toddler and I will miss our cuddle time, the way your sweet little hands play with my hair while you fall asleep, the feeling of your chubby arms on my neck. Can I say it again? Slow down, slow down.

Love, Mama

Monday, November 04, 2013

and that's the news from Casa Kaufman...

Well, readers, I have to apologize for the lack of regular posts. Chaos reigns at our house and that, I suspect, will be my excuse for the next 20 years. One of my loyal readers (not to name names--but her name starts with a C and rhymes with Mynthia Waldon) sat me down and told me frankly to get off my bum and start blogging again. Here goes...
  • October has flown by. As most of you know, the Corn Maze was cancelled, which was bittersweet. After all the hard work invested by our families, it was sad not to see the fruit of our labor. On the other hand, it meant that instead of being a farm widow for the whole month, I have a husband! We've spent time getting ready for Halloween, Joe's been hunting a few times, and we managed to squeeze in a weekend trip to Seattle last weekend for my 10 year college reunion.
  • Our old dog, Doc, has finally found a home. After being in foster care (with Terri, his wonderful foster mom) for over a year, Team Eddy has adopted him. He's getting older, but the same sweet dog.
  • Natalie Doris has started dance and preschool. This means that she is an expert in all things...just ask her. Her father and I have become stupider already; I thought we had another decade before this happened.
  • Sam is loving kindergarten. His favorite parts of the day continue to be recess, lunch and the bus ride home. I changed my work schedule so I'm home when he gets off the bus. While I miss my Fridays off, it's been great to have afternoons with the kids.
  • Henry is starting to outgrow his fat baby status. He started crawling tentatively and pulled himself to standing this weekend. He has a neck now and is getting longer and leaner. His cheeks are still pretty kissable but I am mourning the end of babyhood.
And that's the news from Casa Kaufman, where the mom is strong, the dad is good-looking and the children are above average. Stay tuned for more updates.