Friday, December 22, 2006

Zoo Lights

To celebrate the last night of the festival of lights, we took the boys to Zoo Lights. Usually we go early in the year, right after Thanksgiving. Let me say, it was MUCH more crowded the Friday befoe Christmas. But, it wasn't too cold, stayed dry, they had a live band, AND a miniature train exhibit!

The boys were so good, we even took them out to dinner. It was a great night, until Hayden balked at his Hanukkah present. "Books again! I don't want books! And he tossed them across the room. Lovely.

Bayley lost his second tooth!

Bay woke us up this morning...with his second tooth in his hand! He was laying in bed and realized it could lay on its side, and then it was out! To celebrate we got him Iron 'Arry & Iron Burt trains from Thomas & Friends. He is so sweet, he shared the trains with Hayden.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

World Forestry Center

We trekked to the Forestry Center, not realizing there would be an ENTIRE SCHOOL of kids there. We are used to smoke jumping and rafting without a line! At least Jeff and Bay didn't have to wait for the canopy lift. Bay was so excited to strap into the harness and have Dad pulled to the top of the museum with him.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Just Stay Home Days

The babes like it best when I don't try to drag them on errands, so we've spent the last two days having what they call Just Stay Home Days. Today we read 30+ books, did workbooks & art projects. Yesterday we baked muffins & cookies, again with the workbooks, and played computer games. They don't know this is low one tell them!

Monday, December 18, 2006

What's your favorite animal?

Hayden may well be on his way to becoming a journalist, or a psychologist. He's learned that to have a conversation, all he has to do is ask a few simple questions.

What's your favorite animal? (Hayd's is a hippo because it starts with the letter H and throws poop with it's tail)

What's your favorite color? (me too. Odds are, whatever you say he'll claim is his favorite color, then he'll tall you Bay likes orange and Eddie likes purple.)

Monday, December 04, 2006

How does a wolf sleep?

Hayden's new thing is to find out how different animals sleep. He asks constantly. How do elephants sleep? How do giraffes sleep? How do hippos sleep? You get the point.

So at bedtime he asks me, how do wolves sleep? Since wolves are like dogs, I took the easy out and said "just like Rogue."

"On blue pillows?"

He's always thinking!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

His First Tooth!

Yesterday, Bay had the world's wiggliest tooth. So wiggly in fact, it caused a blister to form on his gums so every time he wiggled it, it hurt.

Prompted by Gram-mo's promis of $5, Pop-Pop's ante of 3 quarters, Orajel, and Mom's not being able to handle looking at the blister, the tooth came out today!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Burke Brother's First Christmas Tree

I think kindergarten is having a real influence on Bayley. Not only did he demand to see Santa, but he had to have a tree that was exactly as tall as him. We planned on going to a tree farm, but on our way there we found a nursery that had small ones.

That afternoon we got down all of our Christmas stuff and the boys had a great time setting up the tree and looking at all the ornaments Daddy had when he was their age. Their favorite? A set of train ornaments. HUGE surprise. HUGE!

Hillsboro Holly Days

We found the BEST place to chat with Santa. Downtown Hillsboro had a festival with free cocoa & cookies, discounts at all the shops, and Santa stopped by the art gallery to take requests. It wasn't busy at all, so my boys got some quality time with the big guy. Bayley brought him a list of all the Thomas & Friends things he wanted so the elves wouldn't forget. Hayden kept it simple, asking for Thomas, Gordon, James & Percy.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Star Wars at OMSI

The last time we tried to take the boys to see the Star Wars exhibit, we forgot it was Veteran's Day and the lines at OMSI were atrocious. This time, we thought ahead! We got there early, and there wasn't a line in sight!

The boys got to explore the Star Wars universe, and were impressed by how things worked. The magnet cars, the hovercraft, building robots, the video games and robot theater were all hits. Seeing the memorabilla held little appeal.

And of course, we wound up in the Science Playground, where after soaking themselves thoroughly with the water tables, they decided to be eagles for a while. Eddie has decided he is a red race car, and so when the eagles invaded the squirrell den, the car drove through.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Turkey Bowling Train Ride

Since we didn't have to trek down to Gram-mo & Pop-Pop's for the holiday, we were able to use the time to do activities closer to home. We've been trying to take the boys on a train for a while now, and this was a great opportunity.

The boys are really interested in trains right now, so they loved exploring the station, moving from car to car while the train was running down the track, and getting popcorn and m&m's from the dining car.

We had seats in the caboose, so had a great view of the switchback, the cuppola (a loft seat so they could see over the train), and a front row seat for when the train buffered up for the return trip.

When we made it back to the station, we bowled with turkeys...and then had pizza & played games in the arcade where the boys 'won' train whistles!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Monday morning we woke up to a light dusting of snow. What an incentive for the boys to eat their breakfast quickly, so we coul play in it before it melted away. Bay liked 'skating' on the sidewalk, and Hayd thought snow was a special snack.

We had the best 'just stay home day'. We did two packs of phonics books (23!), did puzzles, karioke (digital cable rocks), and baked cookies! Chocolate chip, no nuts, of course.

Today they had school...and a nice combo if ice and snow on the ground. Bay's comment..."Not even enough to make a snowball." True, but plenty to make the trek to school trecherous. Saw 2 cars who had skidded off the road and had to be towed. How do people live in snowy areas? We can't manage it here.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving morning

I'm a bit under the weather, but still I managed to whip up some chocolate chip banana muffins for our holiday breakfast. Then, as we sit down to eat, Bayley suggests we practice being thankful. Is he sweet or what?

Jeff - I'm thankful for a healthy, loving family. (ah, that must be where Bay gets it).
Me - I'm thankful for a safe, warm house for us. (quite the storm outside!)
Hayden - I'm thankful for banana muffins. With chocolate chips! (Ain't he cute?)
Bayley - I'm thankful for the most important thing of all. Fresh, clean water to drink. (Think he is channelling Chris?)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Bayley's Chili

Bay was in a cooking mood on Thursday. We read a book about he wanted to make pumpkin muffins. OK. No problemo. Then Hayden had a jones for cornbread. Perfecto. And then...Bayley wanted to make chili.

Does Bayley eat ANYTHING that goes in chili? No. but I figured, what the heck. It is FANTASTIC. He didn't eat a bite.

Bayley's chili

In 1 T olive oil, saute:
2 peppers (orange and yellow were our choices), chopped
2 cloves garlic, minces
2 onions, chopped

When softened, dump in:
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can corn, drained
2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 jar mild salsa
1 jar pasta sauce (garlic and onion was our option)
1T chili powder
1 T cumin
1 t salt
1t pepper

Oh man, this is GOOD! He tried one nibble. Ah, well.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Vivacious V

Very sad to report our valiant attempts to increase our V vernacular were in vain. Not that I truy expected the boys to taste test different vinegars, but it seemed like a good idea. As did the 'try a new vegetable' pledge I made them take. Vermicelli (thin spaghetti ) and vanilla pudding fared far better.

The world was trying to help, people putting up vampires everywhere we went to honor Halloween. We read about vultures and voles, but I also picked up some books about losing teeth since Bay has a loose one, and the boys prefered them.

On a trip to Costco we played with violins and violas and looked at books showing the vertabrae of snakes and dinosaurs. Ultimately, I think the boys were happiest to realize they had an excuse to watch videos.

Next year I'll schedule the veteranarian for the dog, and flu vaccinations for the rest of us. Ah well, at least we remembered to take our vitamins every day and Vote!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Pumpkin Patch

What kind of Halloween would it be without a jaunt to Lakeview Farms? Gram-mo & Pop Pop were in town, so they joined in the fun, along with the Tweeds, since Eddie cannot miss any opportunity to ride in a wheel barrow.

After riding a miniature train to the patch, then a barge across a lake complete with erupting Jaws replica, smoke breathing dragon, and pirates (Bay's fave), they boys were ready for more action!

Can you believe I let my boys ride in the catepillar train? This this is pulled by a tractor, and there are no safety devices whatsoever. Of course, all three of them declared this was the best part of the entire outing.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Ultimately, U wasn't the best for us. The boys flat out refused to try Udon noodles, or even take a trip to Uwijamaya (Asian grocery store). I offered to make an Upside Down Cake, but one look at the picture and they balked. Ugli fruit met a similar fate. They've lost their usual enthusiasm for unique letter releated experiences.

We did buy umbrellas for everyone, read the Ugly Duckling, do a puzzle of the United States and study the Universe, especially Uranus.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Children's Museum

We trekked to the Children's Museum, towing along Eddie & Auntie Kim, along with one of my writing friends and her two kidlets. It is darned difficult to keep track of two kids in a place like that, even with extra eyes and hands!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ahoy Matey!

AARRR! Aquifer Adventure

The boys spent the afternoon cavorting with pirates and searching for hidden treasure while learning about groundwater and how to protect it. Games, free T-shirs and free canoe rides led by real pirates.

the boys had the BEST time. They loved the treasure hunt -- looking for items like birdsnests and herons. Bay needs things to feed his brain, and learning how ground water trickles down really got him thinking.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Shining Star

Bayley is the Shining Star of his kindergarten class - kind of like person of the week. We get to make a poster all about Bayley to hang up in class, and he gets to take care of the class bear all weekend. So far that bear has been costume shopping (a bust), shoe shopping (Nike had 1 pair of shoes with zippers. He's better learn to tie shoes soon.), and out for Daddy's birthday dinner at Red Robin. Get this - I got a pix of the bear, Bayley, and Red Robin. He was walking about, giving the kids a thrill. Poor Red Robin didn't count on Hayden stalking him the rest of the night. Ah, well.

On the costume front..he wants this:
but just like Costco, Old Navy is letting me down on costumes this year. Where are they, people! They don't even have it online in his size!

I'd go to the party stores, but the costumes there are always so thin and flimsy. It's COLD here for trick-or-treating. I need warm costumes! Plus, they are SO expensive, and usually come with guns or swords. Really, is that necesary?Tomorrow I'll have to try to talk him into:

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Hayden's a Busy Bee!

Holy Smokes! Hayden is in preschool!

He wasn't all together sure he wanted to go to preschool this morning, though he's been asking to go all summer, and ends each night with "I go to preschool in the morning?"

After changing his clothes twice (he had to be sure he could get the shorts up and down by himself) he decided he'd try it. I promised to stay, but once he had his Busy Bee name necklace on, he wanted to play, and I was just in the way.

He was so happy when I picked him up. He told me all about playing in the 'big room', snacks, music, coloring, and story time. They pack a lot into those two hours!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Weekend Warriors

It's good to be a Burke Brother. This weekend is proof!

Saturday began with a Lowe's Build-It workshop, where they both built birdhouses. Then came a playdate for Bayley with his best friend. And to top it all off, a Duck game. It doesn't get better!

Or maybe it does! Sunday brought a trip to the zoo for the Dino Dig.

Then came their first ever trip to the circus!

Shrine Circus Gatti isn't posh, but it is great for kids, especially those that find sitting still a challenge. I thought for sure they'd be all about the elephants, but they both thought the clown was the best part!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Bayley's 1st Day of School

"You can go now."

Bayley was more than ready to handle kindergarten on his own for his first day, but the teacher had a list of things for the kids to do - write their name, find their cubby, cut out a circle, hang up their backpack. Bayley said he could do it himself.

"Yes, honey. But you can't read the list."

Grudgingly, he let me stay a few more minutes. But once the first kid sat on the story mat, he evicted me from the room.

At least we know he's ready.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hayden's Dragon Story

My story is a dragon. He eat me almost.

A green dragon caught Bay! He caught my Dad. He caught my mom too! Maybe he had Bay and Hayden.

Dragon ate Gramma Bobbie's soda. He eated brown soda and green soda. And blue soda.

He eat a lot of people. He eat Eddie and Auntie Kim. He ate meat out of my belly button, and out of my elbow.

That dragon ate the park almost. He eat a bicycle and a big big firetruck. One hungry dragon and two hungry dragons. Red and green and blue. One green, one blue, one red, one brown, one yellow. 5 dragons. I left them all at Gramma Bobbie's.

He eats broccoli and carrots and marshmallows. The blue one does. And the grren one too. Green one is a healthy dragon.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The camping trip that wasn't

We planned on camping this holiday weekend...a big R fest : Enjoy some Rustic Rural Recreation. Near a River. Bring our Raft. And fish with a Rod and Reel. Rogue the dog was coming too. Uncle Russell and Jeff would be burning Rubber, Racing to get there, and neither has a Radar detector, so things could get dicey. I've hidden the Rope so no one is tempted to Rappel down any Rocks. I'm hoping it doesn't Rain, because as nice as a Rainbow would be, it would Ruin by trip.

And then...Bayley spent his weekend at Grandma & Grandpa's collecting kindling for a campfire. Where we had a campsite Reserved there was a burn ban. Jeff thought he had a plan to find a site...but after driving around for hours on Friday night...we ended up camping in the backyard. Jeff tried to make it real...he borrowed the outdoor fireplace from a neighbor and we Roasted marshmallows for s'mores. But in the end...Bay decided "I think I would be more comfortable in my own bed."

I had such high hopes for the weekend, that I'm a bit crushed by the let down.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Burke Brother's Travel Log - day 8

Home again, Home bedtime. First we had to check out the Railroad park in Medford. It was a favorite of the Bayley family when I was a kid, and it's gotten better over the years. The lines are longer, but what do you expect for free?

Then it was off to Wildlife Safari! And ANOTHER train ride. What a day!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Burke Brother's Travel Log - day 7

Uncle Dan got married today!

The boys were VERY handsome. I'll snag some pix from Auntie Kim as soon as she gets them up on her site. I forgot to snap too many shots. Ah, well.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Burke Brother's Travel Log - Day 6

The Burke Brothers woke up to find Mom & Dad had arrived!

After a kiss & cuddle morning, we were off to Lithia park for the playground & duck pond.

That night came the rehearsal for Uncle Dan & Aunt Christina's wedding. Hayden wasn't interested in participating, but Bayley paid very close attention. Especially to the cheese pizza, and monogrammed bag full of fun stuff at the rehearsal dinner.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Burke Brother's Travel Log - day 5

On Thursday Gram-O & Uncle Gabe took the boys to the Children's Museum in Jacksonville. They swung by the History Museum as well. Then it was off to Home Town, where Hayden unfortunately ate mroe than he could hold.

I couldn't stand to be away from them for another minute, so we conned Jeff's folks into door-to-door dawg service (thank goodness we have a good dog), and trekked to Medford as soon as he could get off work.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Burke Brothers Travel Log : Day 4

Today we went to the science museum in Ashland. It has an electric globe, but it didn’t pull electric on me and uncle Gabes' hands. It must be just for scientists.

We tried to get the balls out from the way up high parts of the exhibit, but a big girl jumped and got all 5 out at the same time. We tried to use a contraption to get all the balls stuck but problem – it didn’t work.

And they also had bubble machines. And you know what is even bigger than our bubble machine? They have one that is a big square and you cut around the edges, it has the same railway things of when we went down to the submarine. And that was cool. And other little tiny skinny ropes to pull the railway things up. And you pull the rope in the middle, and then voila, you’re in the bubble.

I saw a mess at grocery store. A backpack mess. Someone passed by it and made a big mess. They knocked a bunch of backpacks over. It was an accident. Someone needs to clean it up!

I pooped in the potty and wiped my butt. Just me. I love you, Mom. Bye.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Burke Brothers Travel Log : Day 3

I had waffles with green eggs and ham, just like Sam I am!

I'm drawing an underground bathroom. I'm drawing with pens. Guess what? Grammo has no markers. I love you! We're going to meet one of Grammo's friends at the park this afternoon. Her name is Sandy. We're going to the same park we went to yesterday. The park is so awesome. They have a big bridge, and a wiggly piece of plank you have to balance on. It's like a big wiggly raft. A big slide you can put rocks down to make music.

I walked a big, big bridge. It was over bark, not water. Grammo brought Capri Suns to the park. When we got back, Hayden and me were so sweaty, we ran through the sprinklers at Grammo and PopPop's house.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Burke Brothers Travel Log - Day 2

I had the best nights sleep ever. I spent half the night awake, and the other half of the night asleep. I woke up so early! I figured it was morining time. I didn't have breakfast. I just got up! It's very early. Did you know that these stools that they don't just stay there, they twist, they spin around and around and around.

We wake up and go to sleep and wake up at grammo's house. I dreamed about a white horsey just like Amigo. Flies are flying around, and grammo needs a flyswatter. Rice crispies and candy! I want to come to your house, right now!

Hayden used the potty last night. Hayden got up and used the potty.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Burke Brothers Travel Log - Day 1


We saw some lighting – and one of the lightning almost struck Pop Pop’s car.

A shark show commercial is on now, it’s for Mountain Dew. You know what we did while we were waiting for my dinner to arrive? We went to McDonald’s and it had a play area, and Hayden and I played on it while we were waiting for our dinner to arrive. We had chicken nuggets, French fries, chocolate milk and cars!

I was good the whole way! I took a one minute nap, only a tiny one. Hayen and me entertained ourselves. That’s what kept the ride fun. Once we got our cars, we were making our cars crash into each other.

Pop Pop has a clock that never moves. Pop Pop needs to put new batteries in it, but there is no battery tank on it. He needs to strap a battery on there. He needs to get a battery strapper!


We at Pop Pop’s. We playing. I see goldfish. Grandma getting some goldfish snacks. The goldfish is hungry.

Friday, August 04, 2006

P is for...

A picnic in the park with the Gordon princesses! Miss Katie brought potatoes (jo-jo's) and we played at the brand new playground and water fountains. A perfect way to spend a summer day. Hayden and Mom got a wee bit pink in the sun.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

In honor of P

  • Bayley got new pajamas.
  • Paper projects -- paper airplanes & Bayley started a scrapbook!
  • To improve Bayley's picky palate, we got a Pillsbury kids cookbook. He's tried bunny rabbit pancakes, pizza bites, and a pasta toss. On his own he asked for a peach, peeled.
  • Today we planted pink petunias, purple pansies, & portulaca in the front yard and in hanging baskets on the porch.
  • We painted on our sidewalk with sidewalk chalk spinner paints.
  • Hayden has learned how to pedal his trike bike.

My parenting philosophy was called into question when Hayden ran inside a store while I was grabbing a cart (to strap him into). A passing dude thought I should punish him. As if he asks my permission before doing the crazy things he does in public. I only scream at him when he is in a precarious position - otherwise I'd lose my voice!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

P is for Poop

At least according to Hayden. It' sbeen his favorite word for a while now. At least he's occassionally getting his pee and poop in the potty. Maybe we'll have him potty trained before preschool starts!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Wrapping Up The 'O'

What better way to finish off the O fortnight than with a trip to the Oregon Zoo (for the otter & orangutan) and OMSI? Daddy didn't even have time to wish he was back at work this vacation - we kept him far too busy!

Really, O was a great success, outstanding since we live in Oregon. The boys ate oranges, olives (a nay from Bay), orzo (once) & Oreos. We read about opossums, orangutan, ostrich, & otters. We visited the ocean, the boys tried their best to be obedient - or at least oblivious to the rules while keeping obnoxious behaviours to a minimum - Daddy got out of the office and had the oil changed in mom's car, Bayley & Hayden got new outfits for school, we spent a lot of time outside in the outrageous heatwave that came by.

I meant to take the opportunity to expose the boys to opera - grab a few CD's from the library and play them while driving - but never got around to it. We were so busy we even missed the open air market, outlet shopping, and obligatory opthomologist visit. Next year.

Bring on P-weeks. Pie, pizza, & pasta for all!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Oaks Park!

Count another task in the O column! Chipper's Preschool Party at Oaks Amusement Park! We even dragged Auntie Kim & Eddie along!

Monday, July 24, 2006


What a vacation we had!! On Saturday we dropped off the dog and headed to Newport for a weekend of O fun. What better way to celebrate O weeks than a trip to the ocean!

We started at Yaquina Head lighthouse, where Bayley & I climbed to the top. At the vista there were volunteers with telescopes so the boys could see Seal Rock. We hiked down to the rocky shore and saw seals swimming. We drove to our hotel and checked in...briefly. Nothing could keep those boys from the beach! They played chicken with the waves, flew a pterodactyl kite, and made sand mountains. Thankfully we had beach access, so we were able to spray the sand off when we called it a day.

Day two was the Oregon Coast Aquarium where were we sure to seek out the octopus & otters. They have a great crustacean exhibit set up like a comic book. A seal made friends with Hayden, and both boys agreed the shark tube was the best feature. At the Hatfield Marine Science Center they loved the tide pool with fish, rays, anenome, sea slugs, and starfish. We even made lunch educational with a trip through Rogue Brewery - hey, they have a great kids meal, crayons, a lego table, and view of the marina. After lunch we headed to the Bayfront and did Ripley's, Wax Works, and the Undersea Garden. Yaquina Bay lighthouse came next - this was my highlight of the places we visited. The lighhouse had the lightkeepers cottage attached, and they'd done up the rooms to be historically accurate. Back to the hotel for swimming in the pool, followed by a trip back to Yaquina Head where they have tidepools. We found a hermit crab, muscles, sea snails, anenome, starfish, sand fleas, and a crab ran in front of us as we were leaving! After dinner we were sure they'd be tired out. No such luck. But it only took an hour to get them to settle down. (Better than the 2+ from night one.)

After a chocolate breakfast (chocolate chip muffin & cocoa. So nutritious!) we were on the road. We stopped at a few places on the map. Devil's Punchbowl was interesting, but Bayley declared Cape Foulweather the worst place ever. He finds no point in an ocean view when there is no beach to play on. So we found him a beach. We didn't exactly count on how dirty they got there, but they had fun. We ate at Pig'n Pancake for no other reason than it is a Oregon coast staple, and then headed for home!

Quite nice for our first summer vacation!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Airshow Weekend

Our weekend was spent in the neighbors' driveway, the place to be on airshow weekend. This year was so relaxed and fun, we all hung out and watched the planes and the kiddos. Things got a little loud for Bayley when the jets flew over, but mostly they were interested in the kiddie pool and riding bikes. Oh, and chips. No chips at home, poor dears. They love parties with chips.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Library Reading Program

Our library does a great summer reading program. The kids get a free book, passes to Bullwinkles, and fun performances like Jugglemania & The Reptile Man.

That's Hayden, in the oragne & blue stripe shirt, helping to hold up a python.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Birthday Bonanza!

First came Hayden's Hebrew Birthday.

Then Bayley's Birthday & the birthday party.

Hayden's birthday.

And finally, Bayley's Hebrew birthday. Phew. Glad that's over!

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Thanks to Auntie Kim staying in a hotel, and Uncle Dan living in an apartment complex, the Burke Brothers are getting used to the pool.