Along Came a Spider…

A few weeks ago Micah asked if we could make a “remote control bat” to scare mommy and grandma on Halloween. While I was up for a creation, and a bat sounded like fun, the whole aerodynamics bit seemed complicated. Fortunately I was able to negotiate him to a land creature. At that point I figured if I found a small remote control car and some black pipe cleaners we could handle the rest with supplies at hand.

Even with Prime shipping I was almost too late, but I managed to find a reasonably priced 3 inch car that arrived on Friday. Which meant the Halloween morning activity was “figure out how to build a spider around the car. Enter black felt and our trusty glue gun. First we found an extra cap from a long gone plastic container (fun fact: Lauren and I bought this container in a Kampala Nakumatt). to make for a proper bulge on his back we broke off the tops of two plastic spoons and glued them on top of the lid. Then we covered the whole thing with a piece of black felt. Pipe cleaners made for some fuzzy legs, and then we made a spider head from black duct tape and googly eyes.

Next step: mounting the car. The wheels were oversized so that the car could do “cyclone mode” (which the kids loved). So we needed to improvise a mounting column. Fortunately we are flush with cardboard. After a little work with my favorite two kids creation tools (Xacto knife + glue gun), we were all set!

Spider all ready for the car to be attached by duct tape
Ready to roll!
Isn’t he cute?

The boys were really happy to surprise mommy, grandma, and cousin Miri with their big spider coasting into the hallway. Here’s them practicing their piloting skills:


Welcome to Rocket Town

Ezra got Rocket Town for his birthday, but then it got buried in the back of our bookshelf for months. Recently the kids rediscovered it and it quickly became a favorite for both boys when they are upstairs.

Generally they read it to each other on the potty, but this morning after breakfast they set up a “bus” in the kitchen for reading time. I managed to catch them on video in a short clip that does a good job summarizing their sibling interactions at this age. For those unfamiliar with the book, the rocket Ezra is pointing to midway through is the shark rocket (his favorite).



Ezra likes to rummage through my backpack in search of interesting things. The other day he was rummaging and he found a granola bar.

EZRA: What is this, mommy?
LAUREN: It’s emergency food.
EZRA: I know! We should give it to a fireman!

Happy Sukkot!

This week in preparation for Sukkot, Ezra did a bunch of arts and crafts at school that he introduced to us this morning. First was a sukkah. He proudly told me “Daddy, this is my sukkah!”


Then he paused a moment, and said “Open the door….and you see….Ezra!”


In addition to his sukkah, Ezra made a lulav with glitter paint and leaves. It was delightful watching him shake his lulav around the kitchen and explain to us what he had learned.



Since we’ve returned from Europe I’ve noticed that Micah and Ezra are playing very well together, including each other in their activities, and initiating lots of hugs (in both directions). It’s especially gratifying to watch Micah play along with Ezra’s imaginative play and letting his brother be “the leader” at times.

“Cooking” at Powell Barnett Park

Musical book time!

IMG_2820Camping together at grandma’s

IMG_2689U District park buddies

This morning I found them playing together with some empty boxes in the office – Micah had put one of his K’nex motors into the box and was flying his “plane.” Fortunately I was quick enough with the video to catch this morning’s action:


IMG_3611All good pilots need to brush before school


As many of my friends and colleagues are aware, I am a huge fan of the techniques covered in How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. It seems that Micah’s been picking up on the theory that “when kids feel good, they do good.”

This morning I witnessed Micah deftly avoid a huge blow-up with his brother. Here is the scene:

Micah has just come upstairs, and both he and Ezra want to see Lauren.

EZRA: Don’t go into mommy’s room!
[Ezra puts himself squarely in the doorway to our bedroom and glares at Micah. Micah reddens and looks like he’s about to get violent when all of a sudden he cools down and turns to Ezra with a smile.]
MICAH: Ezra, can I have a hug?
EZRA (immediately): Yeah, I love hugs!
(The boys have a big embrace.)
MICAH: Ezra, can I come with you into mommy’s room?
EZRA: Yes! Now that you gave me a hug you can come into mommy’s room. Let’s go in together!