Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Rylan Says

This is the best conversation ever:

Rylan: Do you know how to fight bad guys?

Me: No.

Rylan: You kick them in the balls.

Me: Oh, yeah. And poke them in the eyes.

Rylan: And say, "Avada Kadavra."

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cole Blogs: Lemonade

lemonade stand
hello i am i am making a lemonade stand with my
taught me how to make it.turns out it was a money,no business.

Rylan Blogs: X-Men

silly Rylan

I am being Wolverine. He is a mutant. Those are my claws.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Circle Circle Dot Dot...

Did you know that you can play Cooties without a boxed set of plastic bug parts? All you need is paper, pens, and a die.

I think this discovery is brilliant because I like the idea of board games but don't like having a billion games with a billion parts to keep track of.

(This is a great game to play if you are without power thanks to Irene.)

The rules are simple:

Players take turns rolling a die. The numbers on the die correspond to the different parts of a cootie bug:
  • 6 = the body
  • 5 = the head
  • 4 = the wings (one at a time for 2 wings)
  • 3 = the legs (one at a time for 6 legs)
  • 2 = the antennae (one at a time for 2 antennae)
  • 1 = the eyes (one at a time for 2 eyes)
For each number that you roll, you draw the corresponding body part on your paper.

You must draw the body before you can draw the legs, wings, or head.

You must draw the head before you can draw the eyes or antennae.

See if you can guess whose cootie bug belongs to whom:

cootie bug

cootie bug

cootie bug

cootie bug

Thursday, August 25, 2011

This Is the Part I Don't Like

rylan and shellEli sleeping in sand

A few weeks ago, Cole and Eli began to insist that their summer vacation would be incomplete if we didn't make a trip to the beach, so last Thursday, the Peters Family Band took the day off and headed for the sandy shores of Wilmington, NC.

Michael and I are failures at spontaneous travel:
  • I checked the weather that morning...for the wrong city. Apparently, sunny in Raleigh does not mean sunny in Wilmington.
  • Michael forgot to pack towels. Perhaps the most important item for a trip to the beach.
But the sun eventually came out, the beach was practically empty, and the towels were hardly missed.

Cole and Eli in sand 2Cole swimming

As soon as we arrived, Cole and Eli dashed into the ocean, punching and kicking the waves like ninjas. They challenged themselves to wade farther and farther into the water and then laughed as they were knocked backward by the waves. Michael headed for deep water until all I could see of him was his head bobbing up and down above the waves.

Rylan and I spent most of our time in a shallow pool of water on the beach. The one time I successfully coaxed him to wade with me into the ocean, the waves crashed into our feet, and he cringed and squealed,
"This is the part I don't like!"

I know what he means. I much prefer the placid calm and gently lapping waves of lakes to the powerful crashing waves of the ocean. On the other hand, if we never spent any time at the beach, I wouldn't get to take priceless pictures of my children buried in the sand such as this gem:

Eli in sand sad

This is the part I like a lot.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Eli Blogs: Me at the beach

Eli swimming

I went swimming. On Thursday At the beach. Cole and me went out in the deep waves with our dad and I got washed out on a really big wave.

Music Lesson: Punk

Erin has already given everyone a previous music lesson, so now I guess it's my turn.

I started listening to punk music when I was a freshman in high school ('94 or so) starting off with some of the pop-punk stuff that made it to the radio (like Green Day, The Offspring, etc) and then branching out into some other varieties. I still like a lot of pop-punk stuff (more recently bands like Alkaline Trio, Motion City Soundtrack, Bayside, etc) but I generally prefer some of the more complex punk derivatives like math-punk, post-punk and post-hardcore stuff (like Fugazi, Jawbox, Thursday, etc).

Punk often gets a bad rap because of some of it's meaner participants, but there's a lot of friendly, thoughtful and intelligent punk bands out there. So in the spirit of introducing people to some of my favorite current punk bands, here goes:

Hot Water Music
Not totally current since they broke up in 2006. But they have since gotten back together and are starting to record a new album, so I still think it counts. Nice jarring rythms, gravelly voice and some harmonies.

Four Year Strong
Duelling vocals, nice rhythm changes, keyboards, Orange amps and EPIC beards :)

Pilot to Gunner

Out of Brooklyn with some clever rhymes and lyrics. Interesting rhythms to the music and vocals. (This song probably isn't their best example but it's their only video I saw on youtube).

cole blogs:potter


cole is here. have you heard of harry potter.OFF with the colors.e,stop messing with the keyboard, I've only read 2 - stop messing around- 2 books.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How Long Has It Been Since Michael Mowed?

Two weeks ago, I was stung by a bee for the first time in my life.* My reaction was totally normal: I alternated between screaming and laughing frantically while hopping like a crazy person around the backyard so that my kids weren't sure if I was hurt or doing some kind of weird dance. After I calmed down enough to make my way back to the porch, I spent the next two hours with my foot in a bowl of ice.**

That night while describing the experience to a friend, I said, "The only reason it happened was because I was walking barefoot in my backyard, and Michael hasn't mowed the lawn in months."

She said, "Oh yeah, I had to take over the mowing from my husband years ago. Even when I was pregnant."

I said, "I've already had to fire Michael from so many chores, I refuse to take over the mowing. I'm just going to let it sit until the weeds take over our house, or we're ostracized from the neighborhood."

We're just about there...




*I've also never been stung by a wasp, hornet, or yellow jacket.

**Apparently, the best way to treat a sting is to rub apple cider vinegar over it. Unfortunately, I didn't learn that until two days later when my foot had broken out in an itchy rash.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Eli Said Something Funny!

Eli: Why can't we watch Netflix on Sunday?

Me: Because Sundays are for doing things that are restful and relaxing.

Eli: Well, going potty isn't either of those, but we can still do that on Sunday.


Can I have more french fries?

How about you don't and say you did.


(I guess that was more Rylan being funny than Eli, but Eli set him up...)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Music Lessons: The Lonely Forest

Did you know that the Peters Family Band has impeccable taste in music? At least, we like to think so.

Probably the number one reason that Michael and I are married is that we both love to discover obscure bands and then share them with other people. On our very first date, Michael forced me to listen to Sunny Day Real Estate, Hum, and the entire 16 minutes and 11 seconds of the last song on Clarity. On our second date, he gave me a mixed CD of his favorite songs, accompanied by a novel-length note explaining what made those songs so fantastic. I responded with a mixed CD and novel-length note of my own. See? Made for each other.

Here's one of my more recent musical discoveries:


Friday, August 12, 2011

Eli Never Says Anything Funny

The last time I posted "Cole Says" was on August 3rd. The last time I posted "Rylan Says" was on August 6th. The last time I posted "Eli Says" was on November 21st of last year.

Based on that information, you might conclude that Eli never says anything funny.

But you would be wrong.


Rylan is funny because he is three.

Cole is funny because he is seven going on seventeen.

Eli is funny because he actually is funny. Or at least, he tries to be.

silly Eli

For instance, today Eli began lunch upside down with his feet in the air and his head hanging over the seat of his chair.

"Eli, sit up and use good manners," I told him.

He spun right-side-up and giggled, scrunching his shoulders up around his ears. Two minutes later, he had his legs stretched out across Michael's empty chair and was absorbed in a little wiggle dance.

"Eat your lunch, Eli," I said.

The doorbell rang. Eli dived under the table.

I accepted a package from the mailman and then returning to the table said, "Eli, get up and finish your lunch."

"Doo da doo da doo," he sang, climbing into his seat as if he'd been heading that way all along. He turned his attention to his older brother, mimicking Cole's every move like a mirror image.

"Eli!" Cole shouted.

I gave Eli a look. "Finish. Your. Lunch."

And so on and so forth, all day long.

silly Eli

Sometimes I think about what it would be like to be someone like Eli. When your default expression is a smile. When you feel so much happiness that it bubbles out of you in contagious giggles and irrepressible wiggles. When every second of life is another opportunity to find a reason to laugh. What would it be like to be so happy all the time?

silly Eli

I don't consider myself a pessimistic person. Like most people, I sometimes see the glass as half empty and sometimes as half full. But I am an adult, caught up like most adults in the drudgery of every day life, trying to keep my head above water, trying to get done the multitude of tasks that must be done every day just to get by.

"Now is not a good time," I say, forging ahead into the mundane.

But Eli reminds me that no moment needs to be mundane. He dances through life with a great big grin and a joyful heart. He sprinkles little seeds of laughter like Johnny with his apple seeds. Most of Eli's humor is delivered at inappropriate times, most of what he says is humorous to no one but himself. You could say that Eli never says anything funny, and you wouldn't be far off. Or you could say that Eli is exceptionally funny, and then you must be one of his brothers. Or you could say that Eli tries very very hard to be funny, and whether or not he succeeds, he makes a lot of people very very happy. And that would be the truth.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

This Weekend in Instagram

lake johnson walk 6lake johnson walk 4

lake johnson walk 3lake johnson walk 2

lake johnson walk 5lake johnson walk

Because Michael had to work on Saturday
and because the weather felt a little bit less like standing on top of a soup bowl than is typical for August in North Carolina, I decided to take the kids on a little nature excursion at Lake Johnson.

For those of you not in Raleigh, Lake Johnson is a lake (duh!) with canoes and paddle boats that you can rent and a bridge for fishing off of and a trail for walking on. It does not have a) a playground or b) anything resembling a playground.

It does have ducks.

In my mind, the kids would have some connecting-with-nature time while I sat on a bench and read a book. In reality, they saw said ducks, and since they didn't have any bread to feed to said ducks, they decided (as any boy would) to throw rocks at said ducks.

I allowed this to go on for about 15 minutes or so, and then my vegetarian conscious got the better of me. I suggested that we go for a walk along the trail.

Note to future hikers around Lake Johnson: the signs that say "Lake Trail" do not mean "trail that goes around the lake." If you want to take the trail that goes around the lake, you need to follow the signs that say "Scenic Overlook." If you follow the signs that say "Lake Trail," you will end up at NC State. More importantly, if you follow the signs that say "Lake Trail," you will end up walking for two miles with no water and no stroller wondering when you're going to get to the other side of the lake. And then you'll end up walking two more miles back with no water and no stroller and a three-year-old riding piggyback and six and seven-year-olds whining about not having any water.

But overall, you will still consider it a good day.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Peters Family Band is Open to the Public!

And now comes in Super Size!

I started thinking a few days ago about de-privatizing our blog to make it more accessible to friends and family. I've been stubborn about keeping it private not because I worry about my kids being kidnapped or some other unsubstantiated fear but because of a half-formed notion that I need to respect my children's privacy. You know, in case they run for president some day...

So with this blog open to the public, you will no longer have the privilege of viewing naked pictures of my sunburned children, and Cole has absolutely demanded that I quit posting Cole Says. But! You will be able to add this blog to your feed reader, enabling you to follow the adventures of the Peters Family Band with greater ease.

Rylan Says

While looking at some old photographs, Rylan says matter-of-factly, "When I was a baby, I had red eyes."

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Date with My Baby

chuck e cheese

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cole Says...

This afternoon, I was watching one of those I Am a Mormon videos (and sniffling like a fool). Cole walked in right at the end when the husband and wife took turns saying, "I am so-and-so, and I'm a Mormon."

Cole said: "What's a Mormon?"

I snorted. Um, Cole, where have you been for the last seven years?

In the Garden


Purple Snap Beans

We got one good harvest of these - enough to have as a side dish for dinner. Now, we're just getting a couple beans here and there.



Cucumbers and Canteloupe
I have both of these sort of trellised on the PVC pipes that crisscross over the garden. Last year, we tried doing the cucumbers on a regular string trellis, and although this method takes up more space, it has worked soooo much better. We've gotten about 8 melons os far. Highly recommend growing those.



Tomatoes and Bees

Michael decided about three months ago that he didn't feel like mowing anymore. He says every weekend that he's going to get to it, and every weekend, he doesn't. I'm grateful that our back fence protects us from annoyed and possibly angry neighbors...But the jungle of weeds has turned out to be a great benefit for the garden. We have birds, bees, and butterflies galore, plus ladybugs, spiders, and praying manti.
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