Bloomin' Beautiful II

First of all, these are not tulip poplars - which is what I have called them for years. They are actually magnolias. The first two are saucier magnolias and the third is a star magnolia. Some magnolias actually lose their leaves - unlike the big waxy leafed, sweet smelling, white bloom variety we are used to.

Tulip poplars are actually orange-ish. They grow tall (around 80 feet) quickly, which means they aren't terribly strong - which also means it was a bad idea for us to buy one and plant it between our sidewalk and the street. Good thing ours died (due to lack of water - lazy mother nature!) otherwise it might have fallen into our house during one of St. Louis famous spring or January wind storms.


Joseph was losing interest by this point - all I could get on him was a hat.

Grandpa Blankespor

Karen's dad and I took the kids to the Garden last week. It was fun because he appreciates all the blooming trees and gets as excited as I do about figuring out what is what. Unfortunately I called him Grandpa Pollack all morning. Duh.

By the way, we woke up to snow this morning! It melted by the afternoon, but still it's nearly April!
(Check out Mike's post on his blog about reading to Olivia.)

Bloomin' Beautiful - I

This is going to be the second installment series - Spring. I grew up in the dogwoods and rhodadedrons (I am positive I didn't spell that right.) of East Tennessee, but I still can't find anything to compare to a St. Louis Spring. It could possibly be that we live in the best part of the city - right in the corner of Tower Grove Park and the Missouri Botanical Garden (anyone want to buy our is lovely and for sale) - two of the best tended plots in the city.

Only the yellow and orange and some red tulip varieties are up - there are still a couple of weeks likely until the tulips are peaked. The daffodils will probably peak out this week which is why we intend to make a trip out to the Shaw Nature Reserve - they have fields and fields of daffodils.


Bein' a Colah - Blue

Should Olivia fall into a water hole in her kimono and mardi gras beads, she should float. I have to confess that during this whole dress-up process, Mike expressed concern several times for damage I might being doing to Joseph. I'm not sure what he meant. Clearly, Olivia has come with her own sense of style that we have done little to disuade - see above photo or just come by our house any time. Lately, it has been a pair of white paton (how do you spell that?) leather shoes that apparently go with everything - and I have swallowed my Southern upbringing and allowed her to wear them to church before Easter.
Anyone know what song the post title is from...if you care to admit you listen(ed) to him???


I have a couple of groups of pictures that I think I will start posting in installments - on days when there isn't much going on or no pictures to post. I am trying to get back in the habit of posting daily so that the parents (grandparents that is) can get their daily fix when we are out in San Diego...that's right, we made our decision - come July(ish) we are headed to San Diego.

So the first installment was influenced by this kid, or his mother actually. This is Harkins - the little one in the striped shirt. This was his birthday party a few weeks ago - very mature party for a 2-year-old, we played croquette. Anyway, as a fun party activity his mother brought out color coded bags of dress-up type stuff. The point was to dress up in one color and get your picture taken. You compile all the pictures in a little book and you have a nice little book from which to learn your colors. Olivia knows her colors of course, but Joseph can use it.
This picture is dark, but I had to post it. Harkins is a hugger - sounds like a Seinfeld episode - The Hugger.
P.S. Mike and I drafted up an email letter describing how we made our decision to move to San Diego. We sent it to a lot of people, but some emails got sent back to me. We would love to forward it on to anyone who wants to keep abreast on our journey from here. We are currently working on another letter to give more details about Harbor (the church we are going to) and the when's, how's, whatnot's, and whathaveyou's of our move. We would love to pass that along to anyone interested as well. Feel free to email me or comment here.
Stay tuned for the color installments.

Where do you keep your gorilla?

This morning at breakfast Olivia and Mike's brother, Doug were discussing the plans for the day. Olivia was lobbying for the zoo because it's free - we've trained her well.

Olivia: "Is your zoo free?"
Doug: "We don't have a zoo."
Olivia: "Where do you keep your gorilla?"

I think there may be some sort of deeper meaning behind the question...I'm just not sure what it is yet. She's beyond me sometimes.

Biggest and Littlest

I don't know how much my Tootsie likes being called "Big Toots," but ever since Olivia came along we've had to have a way of distinguishing everyone. So this is the little bitty toots helping the Big Toots with her birthday presents. My Toots didn't like the idea of being called Grandma when my brother and I were born - she felt too young (she always has been kind of prissy :) ). My brother called her "Dim" until I came along. Poor Tootsie - Big Toots and Dim, she might ought to have just stuck with Grandma. But she started calling me her little tootsie when I was little and one day I turned it on her and it stuck. She opened a little hair cutting business in her basement for a few years one time - we tried to get her to hang a sign out that said "Tootsie Cuts One." She didn't really go for it. I still think that would have been funny.
Happy Birthday, again, Toots! (P.S. I won't tell you how old she is, but I guarantee you wouldn't guess it. My mother either, who just turned...well I said I wouldn't tell you.)

Hazards of Sesame Street

I have wanted to make a post about Sesame Street for a while, but I thought it would be titled sometime like "Mamma's New Power Hour" - because of all the new found freedom I had found with that one single hour of their preoccupation (that is if I didn't pass through the room and get sucked into it myself...Sesame Street is good...better acting than 24 sometimes). But at about 3:30 this morning I was made aware of one of the hazards when I was startled awake by Joseph's distressing cries coming from their bedroom. "Cookie Monster eat me!" he cried when I picked him up. Poor kid. Sesame Street. Watch at your own risk.

"Just call me angel...of the morning, angel."

"Just brush my teeth before you leave me, baby."
That song really has nothing to do with this post - it is just what my sister used to think the song actually said - and it's funny.
Sometimes I am in a bad mood in the morning. I don't know why. I really like the morning - it might be my favorit time of day. I like coffee. Breakfast is probably my favorite meal. We are getting a reasonable amount of sleep these days. Everyone usually wants to be close and snuggly. At this stage of life we often get to have breakfast as a family. I honestly can't explain it. I think it is the devil.

But that's really not the point of this post either. The point is that children's bible we are reading. It is The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Loyd-Jones. It is great. Over the past couple of years I have had the opportunity to teach and be a part of multiple bible studies and small groups - even above these things, this little bible is reviving my heart for the story of redemption. I would recommend for daily reading - even if you are an adult.

Worth every pound

This thing weighs...a lot. It was my dad's brain child. He had 3 extra cabinet doors from one of his houses and built the whole thing around them. It might cause us a blowout on the move out West, but so far it has been worth every pound - particularly because it serves four.


I can't tell if he is jealous or he just thinks they are wierd...


I forgot to post this one from the wedding. Is this not every little girl's dream? Olivia was very excited.

"If you become a crocus in a hidden garden,"

said the mother bunny, "I will become a gardener and find you."
The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown

Spring has sprung here. This is our last spring to enjoy the MO Botanical Garden. Come and visit us! You won't regret it.

Future peanut vaccine?!

Can you tell what I have been doing today during nap time? Reading the newspaper! It's nice.

Over the weekend Olivia had another reaction to peanut butter. We thought we had two chocolate chip granola bars, but it turned out one of them was pb and cc - we realized that after she swallowed the first bite. It was actually a little scary. She started sneezing right away - right in the middle of the nice, quiet, wedding ceremony we were attending. Then coughing and her lips got splotchy. Then the wheezing. For someone who grew up with asthma, the wheezing always makes me nervous. Thankfully, I had some benedryl and she was recovered within about an hour. (We thought it was going to wipe her out for dancing, but as you can see from the videos it did not."

Anyway, that is why this article caught my eye. I wonder if we'll see a future peanut vaccine added to the already rather large regimen???

Read this!

I LOVE my husband for setting up The Wall Street Journal as my internet homepage! This is probably one of the best articles/essays I have read...on any topic, ever. I know that probably sounds a bit dramatic, but read it. Steele, not only has an understanding of modern American politics that I think is pretty accurate, he communicates his perceptions in a winsome, intelligent, powerful, but respectful way. Conservative talk radio should take a lesson.

What I want to know is where the Church fits into his paradigm? It seems that we could very easily bridge the gap between the activism and discipline. I mean read I John and the Sermon on the Mount!

If you want to read more by Steele, he wrote (The?)Content of our Character. I read it in seminary

With the sound track...

I'm really sorry for the bad sound in this first video - the band was having some feedback issues. I posted a second video so you can hear that the band was actually really good. And you can see the progression in Olivia's moves. In the first video (which was taken later in the evening) she was much looser. We call Joseph's dance the poop jig. That is the stance he takes when he is filling his diaper. The camera is unsteady because I couldn't stop laughing. I just couldn't believe with such naturals as parents, he doesn't look any smoother. Clearly I am kidding, though Mike and I have been known to cut a rug...and Mike can break dance. Ask him.

Breakin' it down

This weekend we went to Mike's cousin's wedding. This is Elizabeth and her dad, Mike's uncle. You can see where Joseph could have gotten his reddish hair from...though I don't think you could call him a real read head compared to these. This is what it looks like for a 6'4" dad to dance with his 3-year-old. Olivia had been asking about the dancing all weekend. In fact, after every part of the ceremony passed she would ask, "Are we going to dance now?" I think she was wanting to try out some of the new moves she had been working on in front of the oven door.
Teaching Joseph the moves.
Breakin' it down with her cousin, Kurt.
We had a great time. Elizabeth and Damon really threw a party. I know the candy table was probably for the children, but I think it was my favorite.

No surprise

Guess what continues to be the main ingredient in our pancakes these days. We haven't had a a regular pancake since that fateful day a few weeks ago...and lets just say we have had pancakes at least three times since then. Joseph thinks it is chocolate cake.


We walked to the Garden over the weekend while it was warm. Just thought I would document her style - prepared to bird watch, prepared for the blinding sun, prepared for any slight windy chill.
There are a few things blooming at the Garden - I think I have some pictures of that to post. But, here is a tree I've always wanted to take a picture of. It is easy to get into a routine in how you walk around the Garden. We used to always come in and go to the left - that is probably because Spring was the first season we encountered when we moved here and most of the spring blooming plants are to the left, so is this tree. But as the kids have grown older we started going to the right because that is the direction of the ducks and fish and sheep statues and children's garden and fountains. And, usually everyone is too tired to make it all the way around - and so I had forgotten about this tree. That limb just rests right there on the ground!

Remember what I said about everyone being too tired to make it around the whole garden? Here they are fighting over whether or not the wagon seats should be up. We just stood there, took their picture and let 'em duke it out.

I guess he lost.

Hey Mama! Whatchis!

Olivia is into show and tell these days. She loves to ask, "Hey, have you seen me do this?" or "Mama, did you know I could do this?" Usually she is standing in front of the oven door and is seeing herself do something for the first time and wants to share the new talent. And usually it is some sort of twirl or leg kick. Sunday afternoon we were riding home from church and she asks from her seat, "Hey Mama, did you know I could do this?" (Keep in mind, we had the radio on and were jamming out a bit.) "Do what Olivia?"
Olivia: "Dance and pick my nose."

The pride I feel as a mother.

Here and There

We went here yesterday morning.

Then we went here - because we just can't stay away. (Sorry, Samantha - I'll try not to cut your face off next time.

Interesting animal fact: What do you call the cats in that first picture? The sign by the cage says Puma. But did you know they are the same thing as a mountain lion, panther, another I can't remember and another I couldn't pronounce (which also means I don't remember it). I thought those were all different kinds of cats - apparently not.


Or, maybe I should say their daddy wants them to be.


It's not officially here yet, but we have had some nice days lately. The witch-hazel and crocuses are blooming and the daffodils and tulilps have popped through. No, the dog is not supposed to be off the leash in the park.

Trimmin' up

I trimmed Olivia's hair today. Her hair grows straight forward (like mine), so unless it thickens up so that it will actually stay back when you pull it back, I think we are going to have to stick with bangs. Which I don't mind actually. I would love to cut them Audrey Hepburn short, but I am afraid. I just cut about 1/2 - 1 inch off the bottom and I didn't put the layers back in - though I might go back and do that. Joseph and Daddy are next - tonight after supper! Why does "Cheeeese" always look so painful? It is hard to cut hair with the wind blowing. It is well over 70 here today I think. Found her shirt at a consignment sale this morning. Cute, huh?


"This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes." Ps. 118:23
They are here! Audrey Elizabeth Pollack and Samantha Hayden Pollack. And they are so pretty.
This is Samantha - you know her by the blonde fuzz on her head. This is Audrey. She has a head full of dark hair, though you can't see it here.
I think this was Samantha again. You can check the Pollack's blog for all the stats and far better pictures - though it may take them a while to get them up there. If it takes them too long, I'll just steal the pictures from the email announcement - you will want to see those. They do have more things to do than update their blog right now I suppose.
I do have a really beautiful picture of Karen and Samantha, but I doubt she wants it plastered all over our blog. You'll just have to imagine - it is very sweet.