Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Motor Skillz

Push, climb, sweep, run, reach. C's interest in his gross-motor skills has skyrocketed of late. He enjoys testing his new abilities whenever the opportunity may arise. Pushing a large object around the room seems to be a favorite: this evening's ottoman-haul was fun to watch. Brooms, trucks, and chairs are fair game too. It is interesting to watch the gears turn in his brain as he learns a new skill; i.e. to pick up the broom to get it over the threshold. Once he has found the solution to the problem, he practices the new-found skill over and over with enjoyment.

C has known how to climb up stairs for quite some time. Yet, his fascination with stairs has only increased since he learned to descend them. Since we only have one stair in our house, he does not get much practice here. So whenever we are at friends' houses with stairs, he takes full advantage.

Probably the most entertaining is when C gets a vacuum cleaner in his grips. If we turn the vacuum on for him, he will vacuum the whole house! Under furniture, in every corner, across the carpets and hard wood! I'd call it child-labor, but he certainly enjoys it!

M, on the other hand, has been polishing her fine-motor skills. She enjoys buttoning her buttons, stringing beads, diapering babies, and writing letters. I have seen an increase in her dexterity particiularly in the electronic realm: manipulating and clicking the computer mouse, playing games on her new Leapster game system, and shooting photos with the digital camera. M's my little technology queen!

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Our First Baby

I realized I overlooked the often-neglected first baby our family. Before we were married, before thoughts of human children, we got RoscoeDog.

We brought Roscoe home when he was a wee six weeks old, weighing in at ten pounds, and smelling like a horse stable (pee-eww!):

Baby Roscoe (August 2004)

He quickly grew into a 100lb bundle of energy. With dog training classes, and lots of discipline, he is a pretty well behaved canine. His five years of age has mellowed him considerably.


Roscoe with his Christmas Bone (Christmas 2005)

And like any child, he is a bearer of both joy and headaches, lately more the latter. He eats anything he can get his hands on. Anything left in jaws-reach in the kitchen is gone before we get home from work: breakfast leftovers, whole loaves of bread, and most recently (and unfortunately) an entire bag of chocolate chips. Somehow he has survived!


Roscoe shreds his Christmas toy all over the floor (Christmas 2009)

He is great with the kids, and he loves them immensely, although I think his heart must have sunk just a little bit when we brought M and then C home: just that much more attention diverted away from him.

Roscoe meets M for the first time (July 2006)


Roscoe and Baby M (November 2006)

While Roscoe is often lowest on the family hierarchy, we hold a special place for our first baby in our hearts. ♥

~

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Snow!

Just wanted to take this opportunity to post some cute pics of the kids playing in the snow.

We went out in the snow twice today. First, this morning, to stomp around, make snow angels, and to unsuccessfully make snow balls. Later this evening, we took the sled up and down the street. M was disappointed we couldn't make a snowman, but it's too cold, so the snow won't ball well.


M finishes her snow angel


M points out some bunny tracks in the snow


C's first real snow experience

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Bedtime Bartering

Along the same lines as M's negotiations for more TV-time, we also have disagreements about her bed preference of late. Previously, we had few problems with her bedtime routine, but lately she has only been able to fall asleep in our bed. My husband moves her to her own bed once she falls asleep, but she often comes back halfway through the night.

We were getting frustrated with the constant companion, and began to push her to fall asleep in her own bed. I explained to M that "Daddy doesn't sleep well when you come into the bed and kick him in the back."

Suddenly she began to cry hysterically and said profoundly "I miss my Daddy when I sleep in my bed." We originally thought her problem stemmed from a growing fear of the dark, but M revealed the true cause. It turns out she helps him prepare his lunch each morning, but if she is not awake yet, she misses out on this opportunity to help dad. By sleeping in our bed, it ensures that she stirs awake when he arises.

My heart instantly melted and I cried right along with her. She stayed in our bed that night.

She must have known how this short phrase affected me, because ever since then, if we hint at falling asleep in her big-girl bed, M responds with "but I miss my Daddy" However, in this case, it is not a sincere plea for understanding, but rather a manipulative whine. My husband and I have discussed it and decided its not worth arguing about any more. It's a phase and can only last so long: she won't want anything to do with us by the time she is a teenager, so we better enjoy this while it lasts!

~

Genealogy

My mother was a skilled genealogist. She spent much time explaining to me the connections we share with distant relatives. I find it fascinating, and I am blessed that I can reference the almost 400 page book that my mother wrote on my heritage.

M has some concept of family lineage as well. When we talk about grandma and grandpa (and especially about grandpa, since she has two of them living), she is always quick to clarify that we are discussing "my mom's dad" or "my dad's dad."

I think its awfully cute, but at the same time, I think she is very intelligent to be able to see those connections at a mere three years old. Perhaps she will follow in her maternal grandmother's footsteps as a genealogist!

~

Sick People are Gross

My husband came home from Chicago today with a headache and decided to lay down to rest. It was approaching M's bedtime, so I suggested she crawl into bed and cuddle with Dad, to which M responded "I don't want to cuddle with a sick person!"

~

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Always Ask Nicely!

"Move your big butt" M demanded, while trying to pass me in a narrow pathway, on a mission to get a toy at grandma's house. "M, that was not a very nice thing to say to your mama," I explained, with not much response from the offender. Having found the toy-of-interest, M was on her way back. "Mama, can you please move your big butt"

~

Monday, December 21, 2009

Daycare Dynamism

We had K, B, and their 3 little ones for dinner tonight. K has been our childcare provider for a few months now, and we're extremely happy with her. At K's house, their personalities truly shine through.

At daycare, C's signature move is a High 5. He seldom slaps hands at home, but with K and B, he is Up High, Down Low, and never Too Slow. It was great watching C with the other boys tonight - he has already decided he is one of the big boys, and does everything they do (or tries his darndest!). They were all riding in a big loop through the house on little cars, and C was the caboose, pushing along a large, loud Tonka dump truck.

M is still M at daycare! K reports that M tells the boys how its going to be: today at dinner, she picked up each boy's Capri Sun and pulled the straw wrapper off of the pouch for them. The boys did not protest, but watched as she carried out the task, and returned the drink to their place mat. I never realized that children don't just inherit physical characteristics, but personality traits too. M and I are one-in-the-same: opinionated, assertive, and bold. Is the "headstrong" gene dominant or recessive? ;)

Unfortunately, this evening didn't end very well for M; she was having a hard time sharing the little cars with the boys and threw quite a tantrum. She is soundly asleep beside me now.

Life is good.

~

Superman Obsessions

It is pretty obvious that our family has a strange Superman obsession. For heaven's sake, C is named after his alter ego! Good thing too, because no one makes fun of a kid whose named after The Man of Steel.

My beloved husband was permanently inked with the super hero's emblem in October 2007.
M thinks it's cool, displayed here with her own not-so-permanent, pink version:


(July 2009)

Both kids were Superman for Halloween in 2008, C at a mere 11 days old! Take note: although M's costume is actually "Super Girl" she insisted that she was, in fact, Superman:


(October 2008)

Even our extended family knows of our love of Superman. Two different aunts bought C Hallmark ornaments for the tree:


(2008 Hallmark Ornament)



(2009 Hallmark Ornament)


"Faster than a speeding bullet.
More powerful than a locomotive.
Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Look! Up in the sky!
It's a bird. It's a plane. It's Superman!"

~

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Spatula

C's favorite toy has consistently been The Spatula. Any spatula, or anything that resembles a spatula. It begin with a small blue spatula that came with M's play kitchen set. From the moment he learned how to grip (~3 months), he began to carry it around everywhere he went. Odd, but we figured he was destined to be a gourmet chef, or at the very least a fry cook. ;)


(July 2009)

This Spatula-philia expanded; any spatula is fair game. M has two others in her kitchen area that are often targets of his spatula cravings. But also the large spatula grill-tool:


(September 2009)

Uncle even gifted him his very own spatula for his birthday. He likes to push the bigger ones around like brooms, and he is beginning whack things/people with the spatula. So, watch out!

~

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sitting on Santa's Lap

M sat with Santa for several minutes, truly enjoying the experience:
















C's opinion of Santa's lap was quite the opposite:















~

Bath Time

Both kids love baths. We have bath toys out the waazoo. C especially likes water-friendly books that he pages through while he splashes around in the water. When its bath night, he will drop anything he is doing, in mid-action, to come running into the bathroom as soon as the water begins to pour. He just can't seem to get in fast enough. he bounces at the edge of the tub saying "eh" "eh" "eh" until all his clothes are removed and he's plopped in the water.

While I was bathing this morning, M joined me. She regaled me with a twenty minute imaginative-play story about how she wants to ask Santa for a pink bathtub, with faucet knobs, soap, and numerous toys. She got very specific, asking for "one of those circles that turns into a washcloth" (We've had a couple of those "magic" washcloths that transform when they get wet). I've been so impressed with her since she started school: not only has her vocabulary and annunciation improved, but her pretend-play has skyrocketed. Teacher says her favorite center at school is Housekeeping. I wonder if they have a bathtub...

~

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hangin' Around the House


On our way home from daycare today M said "I wanna put on my lounge pants when I get home, because I want to loooouuunge tonight." Mama was cracking up. And sure enough, as soon as we walked in the door, she went straight for the laundry and put on her loooouuunge pants.


C takes a more active approach to hanging around the house. Here he shows off his dance moves to Low Rider along with Santa and his reindeer:


video

~

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dressing Up

M is at that stage where she wants control of her environment. This is especially present when it comes to clothing, shoes, and accessories. She insists on picking her own pants, shirt, socks, underwear, shoes, and headband/hair ties out each morning. Some days are better than others, but often times there is just no convincing her that striped red/blue/green socks just do not go with pastel pink polka dots, or really anything else for that matter. She went through a "pink pants" phase a few weeks back, which involved wearing every pair of patterned pink leggings we had in the drawer, no matter how hideous, and no matter if it matched anything else she wore. I have since stored away many of the most problematic of those pants. We have had many moments lately where I have given another passing parent that look that says "oh yes, she dressed herself this morning!" I can only imagine what the teachers say at school!

C has a little better sense of style (no thanks to his mother who likes to wear white socks with sandals. ;) ). He pulls of a sweater-vest like no one else I have ever seen.

~

Driving in the Car

"Mama, you don't drive very good." (how did she know ?!) "why do you say that?" "dad's head is at the top, so he drives good, and when I get bigger, my head will be at the top, and I will drive good too." Interesting logic there, M.

C loves to ride in the car. No matter what toys he's focused on, or how cranky he might be, he will drop everything if he hears we are leaving somewhere, and will sit very contently in the car. *shrug* Guess it's a guy thing.

~

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Patience

M has always been a little impatient, taking after her Mama. She has always demanded instant results, from the moment she let out her first little cry. But I didn't know until today just how impatient she really is! M asked "When will I be big?". Mama responded "You're getting bigger every day, honey. When do want to be big?". M paused to think, but only for a moment, and then said "in two days".

C has always been more patient with us, although being a second child, he usually does not have much choice other than to wait. However, I think he has decided recently that enough is enough, he is done being patient; he has started to screech when he is not getting the attention he thinks he is entitled to. It was cute at first...but three weeks later, its started to get a little rough on the ears.

Patience is a virtue!

~

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Communication

C has finally said his first word other than mama and dada: "J-ssss" = Juice. He does this very deliberately, especially around mealtimes, while pointing or looking toward the dishdrain. It's absoluately fascinating to me to watch his brain develop, as he constantly makes connections and absorbs information from his environment. He also is intarcting non-verbally. He likes to smack his lips to indicate that he wants to kiss, and will lean towards the recipient and expects to be kissed back. He will sit between my husband and I and kiss us back and forth, back and forth for quite some time, he can be so affectionate sometimes!

M's development is also expanding all the time. She is beginning to understand some abstract situations. This morning, while putting her shoes on, she yelled from the other room, "Mom, is this the right foot?". I responded that since I was not in that room, I could not answer her question. She quickly ran into the room I was in and showed me her foot. And yes, it was on the right foot!

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Poop

We questioned whether C would be a mama's boy, since he is a very pretty boy. But there quickly came a day when we knew he was all male. He was not more than two months old, sitting on the couch. Being a breastfed baby, and hence a continuous pooper prone to poo explosions, it didnt surprise us when he started grunting. We looked over at him, he lifted his leg, let out a loud, messy fart and grunt, scratched his belly, and then gave the whole room a huge grin.

M, on the other hand, takes a more artistic approach: the "poop opera." When she needs help in the bathroom, she lets us know very clearly by belting out "I PooooooooOOOOOOOooooooped" until someome comes to help her. Her tone and inflection is nothing short of a suprano. We can't help but smile as we walk down the hall to assist.

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Television

M has been honing her negotiating skills lately. She often uses her growing art of negotiation to get more sweets out of us at dessert time, or to read more books before bed time. Each morning, we usually turn the TV on for about fifteen minutes while mama tries to wake up. After I am up and dressed, its time to start the day, get kids dressed, eat breakfast, and get to work. The last couple of mornings, M's best line has been "only two more Mouse-k-tools" (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse reference...)

What is it with men and remotes? C has a fascination with all electronics, especially remotes.


(May 2009)

He recently made the connection between remotes and television. He found the remote, looked at the remote--looked at the tv--looked at the remote--looked at the tv. then said "eh" to dad to turn it on.

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Christmas Time

M says to mama, while looking at the nativity scene "Where are they?" Mama responds, "They're in a stable, love, its kind of like a barn where the animals live." M looks puzzled momentarily, then asks "why was Jesus not born in a hospital like C?"

C's favorite thing about Christmas is pulling as many ornaments off of the tree as he can reach, and throwing them across the room as far as he can. Or better yet, taking them into the bathroom and seeing what it sounds like when they hit the bottom of the empty bathtub.

~

Creator's Note

I created this blog to try to capture the magic of childhood, the essence of what youthful spirit brings to our lives. My children put a smile on my face every day, and I wanted a place to record those moments. My own mother recorded snippets of her children in writing, and looking back at those is a precious memory for me.

About the kids:

M is a 3.5 year old ball of fire. She is feisty, bossy, and beautiful. She is in preschool now and absorbs knowledge like a sponge. We have to be very careful what we say around her because she remembers just about everything. The day she learns to read/spell, my husband and I will need to think of a whole new way to discretely communicate.

C just turned one and couldn't be more of a Boy. His motto is "how far can I throw it, and how loud can I make it crash". He likes noisy toys, the louder the better. Every day I see him learning new things, especially from M. They get along beautifully, but they definitely have their sister/brother feuds.

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