Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Breakfast Date.

Lately, it seems as though each of our kids would really prefer to by only children. 
While that wish must remain a unobtainable fantasy, sometimes I let them pretend that they have no other siblings to compete with. 
A favorite way for us to do this, is to go on a just one kid breakfast date. These dates are great... they give me a chance to focus absolutely on a single kid for a complete thirty minutes. I make it a personal rule to never ever be critical or grumpy during those dates (hey, it's only thirty minutes- I can do that) and this model works well. During our time together, I remind the kid in front of me just how completely fantastic kid they are, and they enjoy every single minute.... what's not to love? 
Most of the time the conversation is pretty routine, but every now and again I learn a little snippet about the sort of people my kids are becoming. 
The other morning Jamie looked up from his pancakes and told me..."I think that music is my thing."
 I asked..."what do you mean by your thing?"
"The thing that I like to do when I'm not doing something I have to do, like school or homework."
I like to play piano and listen to music more then anything else. And also draw... yeah, I'd say that music and art are my thing."
I can pretty much guarantee that this little snippet of sharing was unlikely to happen at any other time or place other than over pancakes at 7:30 in the morning.
So I took a quick photo of my young musician/artist and darned if he doesn't look both musical and artistic. 

I showed him the photo. 

"Ok... now take a picture of me looking like I have sand in my butt so I can send it to Anna."
(the sand in his butt comment is an ongoing joke between him and his oldest sister that never fails to send them both into hysterics) 
So here is a picture of my musician/artist son pretending to have a sandy bottom.
Which he thought was a far cooler photo.
Then he asked for my phone so he could text Anna that he had a sandy butt and include this photo as evidence.
Which I had to agree, is very funny in a nine year old guy sort of way.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Don't call me that!

"I'm not BOSSY!
Don't call me that...
I just get so MAD when you DON'T DO what I WANT YOU TO DO!"

Rosie G... age 3 years 9 months.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Dear Lily!

 Our Lillian happily turns 11 today! 

In celebration (and admittedly, a little fit of mom nostalgia) I thought I would share her birth announcement photo from way back in 2001.
Here is the very young Miss Lily during her first few days of life.

And here is the current version of Lily during that little window of early morning following her birthday breakfast, but before she was off to school.
Happy Birthday Dear Lily- you are much loved!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bring On the Dragon.

The Gieseke family was happy to ring in the Chinese year of the Dragon with noodle bowls at our favorite Chinese restaurant. Jamie and Henry are happily wearing their dragon wear Chinese shirts, which are technically pajamas, but no one really seemed to notice or care. 
 The restaurant was nearly empty... all of it's Chinese clientele were at home celebrating with family, which suited us perfectly. The fewer folks around and at risk to annoy with our obnoxious family dynamics, the better. Here is Rosie twirling her chopsticks while outfitted in the most "Chinese-ish" thing she could come up with... Lily's old gymnastic leotard.
She is pretty certain that she looks pretty fabulous.
"Doodles Noodles" is our favorite restaurant to take the kids to. It's very close by and the owners are  tolerant of our big rowdy family. They even gave us a gift to help us celebrate the most auspicious year of the dragon...a zhong guo jre.
I have never been given a lucky Chinese knot before and I can already feel my chi improving as it now hangs in my kitchen.
I knew I would forget what our new cool knot was called so I had our hostess write it down for me so I could google it later. This is what I learned...
"Traditionally, a Chinese knot must be bent, tied and crafted from a single red rope, to express the endless circle of happy life."
Now, how lovely is that?
Jamie is a fan of the sesame balls for dessert. 
Here, he ponders them before he snarfs them down.
I just had to add this photo... our boys look too much like goofy bookends not to share :-)

To my fellow Cincinnatians looking for a great kid friendly spot with wonderful Chinese food, please visit...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Big Black Monster with Teeth.

The Big Black Monster.
I always thought of it as a a pretty quiet not so scary sort of clothes hamper that doesn't generally cause a lot of problems. I never considered it to be frightening... it's kind of raggedy and old but creepy?
Not so much...
Until very recently when Rosie told me it was really a...
I tried to reassure her...
"No, its a big laundry basket that we put dirty clothes it... there is no such thing as monsters."
Her reply to me... "No such thing, except for that BLACK MONSTER next to your bed."
So I emptied it and let her crawl around and play in it, which she enjoyed very much.
My hope was that by playing in the big harmless hamper, Rosie would have faced her fears and no longer be freaked out by the hamper. 
"See, it's not scary at all... at all" I pointed out after a few minutes of play therapy.
(I was pretty sure that she had come to terms with her irrational fear of the laundry basket.)
Rosie leveled a cool gaze a me...
"That's because it's not dark out...when it's darktime, it turns into a monster with teeth and eats people. I'm SCARED of it because it wants to EAT me."
(ok, she has a point...totally creeeeepy)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Single White Sock Seeks Forever Partner.

Behold- Sock Mountain!
Our family goes through a lot of socks... 14 a day, close to 100 a week.
And we seem to lose more.
I don't know why all of the happily married socks in my family chose to leave their matchy match partners for the single life but they sure do.
Maybe it's how we treat them....
my boys don't just take off their socks they fling them, over the head lasso style to the far corners of whatever room they please.
I guess that the over the head sock fling helps explain the loss of boy socks... but Karl and I hardly ever do that and we still suffered from sock loss...very mysterious.
That is, until very recently.
Unlike most household issues, the sock problem has a simple solution. It's called the sock clip and it's a beautiful invention. It's a simple little plastic device that binds the socks together forever and always- until death do they part. So now, the only time the socks are not clipped together, is when they are on feet... and then, they remain close enough.
So, I hope I don't sound like a complete braggy Maggie when I say that since the sock clip was introduced to our house,our sock problems are very, very limited.

In case you might have a sock mountain of your own...
Lily demonstrates correct sock clip usage.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Very Best Camera...

The very best camera to own is the one that you happen to have with you when your kid does something kind of weird but still photogenic. 
Like yesterday, when Jamie happily stuck himself to the climbing wall by hooking himself from his jacket.
I was thrilled that I had my iphone with me so that I could use it's ever handy camera feature to catch my son in the act of being weird but also fun and photogenic. 
I am sure that he broke about a million safety code violations, but he and I both thought he looked quite cool.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Happy Year!

While Anna and Mary celebrated the new year at the appropriate hour...Jamie, Henry, Lily (and Lil's best pal) celebrated midnight at the exact same time as western Greenland while Rosie stayed awake just long enough to see midnight in Paris before clonking out. 
We didn't even bother being sneaky about bumping up our time zone... I just pulled the clock off the wall and told the kids that it was late, they were cranky and we were celebrating early.
And they were ok with that.
So we greeted 2012 (in western Greenland) with toasts and cheers right here within the glitz and glamor that is our kitchen.
 The biggest excitement of the night happened at the stroke of midnight (in western Greenland)  when Karl popped the cork on a bottle of champagne...woo hoo!
Jamie and Henry sharing a midnight toast (with the rest of western Greenland) and perhaps plotting their new happy year.
 Henry was amazed that we took the clock off the wall and adjusted to suit our needs at the time.
"I didn't know that you could move time to whatever you felt like!" said our little H-Bomb and then asked to have his picture taken with our kitchen clock.
"This is so cool...it's like seeing time pass, up close and really big."

Wishing you all the very best, brightest and happiest new year!