The Wagstaffs wanted some family pictures done. I called E up one day and said, "So... I've been thinking about your family session and I have an idea. You are going to hate it. Your boys are going to love it."

It literally blew my mind when she agreed to do it.

You see E likes black and white. She once told me about a store she found where all the clothing items were either black or white. She was in heaven. I don't get it :)

E likes straight lines, she likes even and proportional. I have literally seen her move a friend's couch and side tables so that it lined up beneath the mirrors on the wall.

E likes clean. Me telling all our kids to go ahead and leap into the sand piles makes her twitch a bit ;)

E is a super cool mom to 3 super awesome boys and wife to adventurous D. Beneath her black and white straight line loving exterior is a pretty adventurous brave woman.

We went to a field and they began to paint a family canvas.

I'm pretty sure at one moment she said "This isn't going to match my house." Giggle.

And then they started throwing paint. I'm still so thrilled she agreed to do it! And not only do it - embrace it!

Such a little trooper :)

Getting attacked by both parents!

B - rocking the paint.

N - super tough.

Seriously, this woman is stunning.

Gah - I love this shot!

The canvas is hanging in the house ;)

Even Sarge took some paint. Good sport :)

Such a fun session that suits such a fun family. Love ya Wagstaffs!

There is on some days a tiny window of time between when the tall one leaves for work and when I venture down the stairs to greet the day and my littles who have already exuberantly begun their day an hour before. Today was such a day. I heard them giggling and running through the living rooms presumably racing their strollers (it’s pretty common). As I went to brush my teeth things started to get quiet. The silence didn’t sit particularly well with me but I tried to convince myself that they were just getting along and driving their dinky cars peacefully downstairs. I did venture to call down, “Kai! Whatcha you guys doing?”

“We’re playing!” he answered. Oh good, it was just as I thought. I came downstairs, sorely in need of a cup of coffee as my last coffee had left me wired until 1 am when we were then joined by two munchkins in our bed that resulted in me spending the rest of the night curled up at the foot of the bed. Apparently the King size bed means nothing to this family of giants.

The kids weren’t in the living room, I heard hushed voices in the kitchen. Ugh… this may not be good. I walked into the kitchen and in my foggy brain could not even compute what on earth was covering the kitchen floor. It slowly sunk in. The floor was covered in smeared margarine. It was every where and it was being flung around the kitchen by the boy one and they were both grasping chairs and “skating” on the greasy surface. “Look Mom – it’s slippery!”

I did the only thing I could manage at that point, sink into a chair, cover my face with my hands and cry… and say a few curse words in my head. Thankfully the tears impressed on my children that this was not a good choice and that they should be silent and do whatever I told them to do because I at that point could not coherently figure out a lecture or a lesson. “Sit down. Stay still.”

I cleaned the margarine that went up to their knees. “Go to the living room and do not talk to me until I have this cleaned up. Do not ask for one thing. “  Then I took pictures. A) for proof and B) because this will someday be a funny story, which it already apparently is based on the reactions from those I’ve told!

 It took me an hour to clean. It was everywhere. The boy one and I had a big long chat afterwards. So long that he kept trying “I’m done talking now.” Um…nice try. His mess took me an hour to clean up today so, they owe me an hour of cleaning. I’m thinking wiping down baseboards, doors, vacuuming and sweeping the deck. Oi. 

I first saw the idea on Pinterest to make little "buffet" type meals for toddlers in ice cube trays. Great idea - I love it. I was finding though that ice cube trays were a bit too small for some of the food I wanted my kids have on their plate. What I came up with is working perfect for us - Painting Palettes!

Considering that I pretty much deem a meal a success if my kids eat 4 bites of anything, these palettes were a perfect fit for the portions of food I would normall give them. They have a couple larger sections for things like sandwich quarters or in this case hotdogs and watermelon :) The smaller sections hold a nice amount of fruit or veggies and even a small treat like a cookie. I'm also thinking the little mini spaces would hold goldfish crackers well.

What I love about giving them a variety of small portions for the meal is that it often prevents the inevitable "But I don't like this!" With so many options it's likely they will like something on their plate and I'm not too sticky about them eating everything on the plate, as long as they get in a good balance their garborator dad will eat the rest!

I picked these palettes up at the dollar store for a buck each. Easy peasy. There were also some egg holders that I thought would work alright too but again, I like the variation in the compartment sizes.

~ Monique