Sunday, January 31, 2010

Niamh's Balloon


Today we went to the Festival International de Ballons in Chateau-d'Oex. Pictures and info will come later, but here is what Rowan expected to see.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Forget the DSLR

The following pictures were taken this morning around town with my iPhone.

Trendy, but oh-so-fun!!! Lo-Mob is my new favorite app.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Baby Mischief

For the 578th time, I am SO glad we do not have wall to wall carpeting anywhere in our apartment.

A Note on Rowan's Recent Artwork

This is how our table often looks these days.

Since the beginning of January or so Rowan has spent a good chunk of every day drawing, which has been so fun for Pat and me to watch. Before starting school last fall, he really did not draw except for the occasional person and a lot of scribbling. Which always made me feel a bit remiss in my parenting. I really had no idea how to teach him (I can't draw), or if I should teach him (isn't this something kids just do on their own?), and though we have a plethora of art supplies I'm just not able to sit down and do much artwork of any kind with the kids very often.

But slowly, slowly, his drawings have become more and more detailed. Last week Rowan had his friend Sebastien over to play. When they asked to do some drawing I readily agreed and got down all the necessary supplies. Looking at their finished pictures I realized that their trees were the same. Their flowers were the same. They had been coloring in their windows the same way. The houses had the same general shape. This is something I have noticed with the artwork he brings out of school too--it looks almost identical to every other kids' artwork. It seems there is little creativity in his class. Is this how it is in all schools at this age? At all ages? Is it a good way to do things at the beginning? On the one hand I feel like creativity is being squashed a bit, but on the other hand, Rowan loves drawing now. And coloring! Something else he didn't do before last fall.

Which brings me to the Ed Emberely drawing books he has fallen in love with. Auntie Katie got the kids one for Christmas, and then I picked up another two for them a couple of weeks ago. They are fabulous!! Rowan (and me too!) has been drawing trucks, trains, farms, deserts, etc., and having so much fun with it. I am not at all opposed to drawing I don't know why it irks me a bit that all the children in his class at school are obviously getting pretty specific instructions on how to do their art projects. It's not all that different from what goes on with a book on how to draw things.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Very Slippery Slope

On Sunday Niamh and I took the train to Geneva with our friends Sandra and Alyssa and saw the Disney Princesses on Ice show.

Niamh has only seen two of the Disney princess movies, and though she'll sit through parts of them and seem somewhat interested, it's really Rowan who likes Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. Not the princesses, mind you, but the stories. Anyway, I had originally bought Rowan a ticket too, but he had a birthday party come up and could not go. Which actually was a good thing. I'm sure the loud volume and the dark arena would have terrified him.

In fact it took a lot of whispered persuasion to get Niamh to stay once the lights went out and the music came on. After that she did pretty good in spite of her complete indifference to the show itself.

So, Niamh's favorite parts of our afternoon? Hanging out with Sandra and Alyssa, the popcorn (I finally had to tell her no more. I was sure she was going to make herself sick), and the new magic wand she got after the show. There are a few more pictures up on flickr if you are interested!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

More Artwork

A bee, a ladybug, a spider with her web, a caterpillar, and a snake.

Monday, January 18, 2010

More artwork

A giant and four people in the United States.

Doodle Jump, I Love You

There's a new member in our family. Didn't know we were expecting? I was a little surprised too! When I got an iPhone in December I was certainly not expecting to love it as much as I now do. Nor was I expecting to be vying with Pat, Rowan, and Niamh for time with my little toy. I probably would not love it so much if I hadn't received a couple of iTunes gift cards for Christmas (thanks Pat, Ann & Mike!). I'm not really into music or movies. I don't like audio books. I refuse to read books on an electronic device. So I started browsing through the thousands of different applications. And of course was sucked in.

I think my favorite (and yet, also the most pointless) app right now is Doodle Jump. I've logged an embarrassing amount of time playing that game. But I do have a variety of pretty cool and yet practical apps like SBB Mobile (my phone IS my ticket!), a English-French dictionary, Skype, and a Fromage app (c'mon, totally practical living in Switzerland), to name a few. I may, in fact, have gone a little app-crazy.

I even got several apps for kids, which Rowan and Niamh both love. The one they are playing here is DinoMixer.

Oh, and there's the whole phone thing. Yeah, sometimes I use the iPhone as a phone.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dress Up Fun

When I learned that H&M sells Batman costumes year round I couldn't resist going to Lausanne almost immediately and getting him one.

He is having fun with it, but doesn't love it as much as I had thought he would...perhaps blankets and rain boots are better for the imagination.

I contemplated getting Niamh a Superman costume (H&M only carries two superhero costumes), but she doesn't really care about superheros and ultimately I got her another fairy set. She has actually been begging for months for new slippers and a magic wand, as the ones she got for her last birthday were too small/broken.

There were a lot of tears when only a few hours after this picture was taken her new magic wand got caught in a door hinge and the end broke off. It was deemed unworthy and thrown angrily to the ground. However, the next day she grudgingly agreed to continue playing with the damaged, but still functioning, wand.

More artwork

A scene from Saint George and the Dragon.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Snowy Wednesday Morning

We were greeted on Wednesday morning with yet another blanket of fresh snow over Morges. It was the perfect day for it since both Rowan and Niamh have Wednesdays off from school and we could go out first thing to play in it. We saw a lot of dogs being walked, but not one other child the entire two hours we were there. Which is so odd to me--we weren't out that early in the morning!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Two Is Better Than One

I've been experimenting this week with putting Muriel's hair into pigtails. I'm loving it, as Niamh's curly hair never did this when she was a baby!

Snowy Sunday Morning

We've had quite a bit more snow here this winter than in the previous two when there was maybe one or two days of very light snow. The kids were delighted to wake up Sunday morning to a fresh blanket of white over Morges.

The best part of playing in the snow is coming home afterward to hot chocolate, mint Hershey's Kisses, and snacks from the boulangerie.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Years 2010

Though we had a quiet New Years with just us and my parents, Rowan and Niamh were so excited about our "party". Staying up late, special cake, ice cream, popcorn, hot chocolate, watching some TV, sparklers...what's not to love?

Rowan and Muriel check out the New Years cracker (I have no idea what these are actually called, so I'm just calling it a cracker). They sell these all over in Switzerland, year round, but are especially popular for New Years and August 1st.

Everyone is ready for the big bang! Rowan hid in his bed.

Basically, the wick gets lit and then all sorts of toys and party favors pop out of the top.

Niamh puts together a little puzzle that was in the cracker.


I was so surprised that Rowan was willing to do the sparklers (this is the first time we've done them with the kids), but apparently he had already done them at school, the last day before Christmas break.