Finn’s Apple Sale

We tried a neighborhood approach to our apple sale this afternoon, but instead of going door-to-door, we thought we’d set Finn up in front of the house and see if we could drum up any business. The boys turned an old cardboard box into an apple sale booth.

Making the booth

Finn decorates

Ezra decorates

Bruce decorates

I made some apple muffins as a sales incentive.


And both boys took turns manning the booth.

The result!

It was kind of a slow afternoon, unfortunately, but we sold one bag of apples and got a $2 donation from someone who just wanted muffins. Moreover, Finn had a great time and we met a few new neighbors, so I’ll count it as a success.

We have until October 6th to take apple orders or donations, and Cottage’s online store¬†explains the details and makes it easy. We are really trying to bring in the dough this year (Finn’s last year at Cottage and my year as Fundraising Chair), so any and all help is much appreciated. And if you’ve already donated, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

How to Make Mommy’s Day

While Finn was finishing up his dinner and I was doing the dishes, he said, “Mommy, I wish that I was you.” Feeling particularly exhausted after a day of carpooling, laundry and a major toy clean-out, I needed clarification. “You wish you were me?” I asked.

“Yep,” he said, “Because then I could help the whole family.”

Wow. What a love.

“The Best Day Ever”

For one hair-obsessed four-year-old, it was. Finn has been begging for haircutting toys ever since he saw Chaz Dean’s infomerical a few months ago. Last week I finally found a Melissa & Doug hair stylist costume, complete with hair dryer, comb, scissors and a mirror. It was delivered today and he’s in heaven.

Finland, the stylist

The outfit comes with a name tag. He chose his stylist name: Finland. Let me explain. The other day in the car, the boys and I were listening to music on the iPod and a Better Than Ezra song came on. I asked Ezra if he knew who it was, and he said, “Better Than Ezra?” He was very excited, but Finn (nap-free again) was devastated that there isn’t a band named Better Than Finn. So I said, “Finn, you are named after a whole country!” Ezra said, “Yeah, Finn. It’s Finland!” Finn wasn’t having it at the time but apparently he’s happy about it now.

Anyway, I got to be his first customer. Ezra was next up.

Giving Ezra a trim

Combing it out

And I better make sure to schedule the first available play date with Ruby because Finn is dying to cut her hair.

Weekend Away

And speaking of the weekend, the boys were left to paper mache on their own because it was Mommy-Jamma time. I took exactly two pictures on my incredibly leisurely weekend.

My view #1

My view #2

That was my view from my lounge chair by the pool. Yeah, it’s awful in Palm Springs.

Rainforest Class, Part II

It’s Finn’s turn to rule the [pre-]school this year as part of the Rainforest class. He is excited beyond belief that school has started (and believe me, he’s not the only one).

Here are the boys after our celebratory scoop of ice cream at Buster’s on Finn’s first day last week.

Celebrating Finn's first day of school

Here are a couple of shots I took last week when I parent-teacher. (See, Emily, I’m using the new jargon!)

Finn and his friend

Finn at Cottage

And today for his show and tell item he brought the paper mache helmet that he and Bruce made over the weekend. It was an attention-getter.

Finn's paper mache helmet

Paper mache helmet

Little Doggies

I got a blast from the past today from Erin when she found this video of the boys at her house. I can’t tell exactly when it was, but I think they were 4 and 2.

Untitled from Erin Bates on Vimeo.

See, we don’t actually need a dog. We already have two.

Happy Birthday, Papa!

We celebrated Bruce’s birthday first thing this morning with a coffee cake. While I was making the cake, Bruce and the boys were making a pirate ship, complete with a cannon and a pirate flag. Nothing says happy birthday like a little swordplay.

Sword fighting pirats

Happy Birthday, Papa!

Make a wish ...

Catching Up

It’s been an extremely busy week here so I’m playing blog catch up today. First, the kids:

Ezra lost his fourth tooth — this time an upper!

Lost tooth #3!

Nothing like a blurry, bed-head kind of photo, huh?

Finn has become obsessed with typing — on the computer, the iPad and my phone. He types out a bunch of letters, says it’s his new superhero name and makes me email it to Bruce.

Finn typing

The kids discovered the wonders of three-part forms when I brought home some old silent auction bid sheets after a clean up day at Cottage. I would have loved these when I was a kid. And they did, too.

Kids test out the three-part forms

Now, if you’re wondering why it’s been such a busy week, I’ll tell you — it’s Apple Sale time! Thursday night was the official kick off of Cottage’s apple sale (for Finn’s preschool) and I’m the fundraising chair. I’ve been working on this all summer so I’m relieved to have it finally start. Bruce (husband extraordinaire) helped me with my presentation at the all-school meeting Thursday night by doing some drawings to illustrate how the sale works.

Super Husband working on the Apple Sale presentation

The presentation turned out great — adding a little humor to my speech about the sale details went over very well. Hopefully that will translate into a very successful fundraiser. For more details or to make a donation (please?!?!!) go to C’mon, how can you resist this face?

Bag o' apples


Too Early for This Conversation

Shortly after I returned from my walk this morning, Finn came downstairs. At first, our conversation was pleasant as I got him breakfast and made myself a cup of iced coffee (it’s already almost 80 degrees at 6:30 in the morning). Pretty soon, though, things turned loud as is par for the course with Finn lately. He started yelling about not wanting the cereal he had picked out and then had a tirade about a street sweeper. So I told him that it was only 6:30 in the morning and I wasn’t really interested in being yelled at yet.

He seemed to be thinking a bit as I got him a second kind of cereal. When I set the bowl down, he actually said, “Thank you, Mommy.” I kissed him on the head and went back to making Ezra’s lunch. Then he said, “Mommy, even when I yell at you, you still love me.” “Yes, I do,” I said. “And even when I’m dead, you’ll still love me,” he added. “Yes,” I said, feeling a little uneasy. “And even when you’re dead, I’ll still love you,” he said.


Ezra’s First Day of First Grade

Ezra started First Grade today. He hadn’t seemed very excited up until this morning. In fact, whenever I would ask him how he felt about school starting, he’d say, “I don’t know.” But this morning, he was jumping with excitement as evidenced by this picture I took on the front porch before we left.

First grade!

Here he is in line with his classmates and his teacher, Ms. Thea, before walking down to his classroom.

Waiting in line on the black top

He made a name tag.

Making a name tag

And found his place on the carpet.

Finding a spot

Ms. Thea did some preliminary stuff about their schedule, the welcome message, the kids who are new to Aveson, etc. Then she asked each child to say their name and tell everyone what their favorite animal is. I caught Ezra’s part on video.

Finn was not in a very cooperative mood this morning, but I did catch him in a rare moment of sitting quietly.

Finn settles down for a second

Then the first graders rearranged themselves on the carpet and Ms. Thea read The Kissing Hand.

Reading The Kissing Hand

They were just starting to trace their hands when Finn and I left for the day.

When we picked Ezra up from school, of course I asked him how his first day was. He replied, “It was great! I didn’t expect it would be so good!” And I breathed a sigh of relief.

Labor Day / End of Summer

On the long-awaited last day before school started, we took a hike in the Arroyo to play in the creek with a few friends from Aveson. It’s a kid’s paradise. They caught frogs.

Blurry frog

And put them in water bottles.

Capturing frogs

Then showed them off to the parents, who took pictures, of course.

Ezra shows off the frogs

Happy Ezra

They eventually let the frogs go and moved on to swimming and playing in the water. Finn found a stick.

Finn: a stick!

Ezra found a bigger stick.

Ezra in action

And fun was had.

Lots o' kids

Aveson kids at the creek

Later, I took the boys to Slaw Dogs for lunch while Bruce worked.

Ezra at lunch

Even though it’s his favorite place, a napless Finn still looked grumpy.

Finn at lunch

Even later, we let Ezra pick a place for dinner to celebrate First Grade. Growing up too fast.

The night before first grade


Finn has taken to riding Ezra’s scooter lately and he’s getting pretty good. Of course, it gives me a heart attack every time he gets on the thing, but that’s beside the point.


He wanted to do a video of him doing his “tricks” so here you go. In true Finn form, there’s lots of explaining and a couple of tricks mixed in.

Crazy Mud Day

The new gardeners have been doing a fantastic job cleaning up the yard and Ezra — the boy who has loved to dig since he was a baby — is very pleased with the loosened soil in the planter beds. I didn’t really want him digging up the front yard but a boy’s gotta dig, so we needed a compromise. I decided to offer the backyard. The sheer delight in his eyes when I answered “Yes” to his question: “Can we make mud?” was priceless.

So, I gave them some parameters (let’s keep to one spot, please) and went back inside to continue working on the Apple Sale stuff. Pretty soon I heard, “Mommy, can we take our clothes off?” “Yes, just keep your underwear on.” More delight.

When I came down to check on them about ten minutes later, this is what I found.

Muddy boys

And as if they weren’t covered enough, they started re-covering themselves just to be certain.

Mud bath

And then they wanted to do a video about how to take a mud bath.

I decided to let them have at it (while taking periodic peeks out the bedroom window) and after a while they’d used the hose to [almost] clean themselves up. They still needed a bath but this was probably the easiest mud-play cleanup we’ve ever had.

Clean up time