Sunday, January 31, 2010

Family Game Night

We used to have a regular family game night at my godfather's house.  It was always something we would look forward to, and enjoy thoroughly.  Someday I'd like to start a similar weekly tradition with M and C.   It's just a great quality time experience, especially when our weekdays can be so chaotic.

Tonight I would say was our first official Family Game Night.  My husband points out that we've played the game before, but it wasn't quite in the same context, and the experience never felt as authentic as it did tonight.  We played Super Why Bingo.  Every time someone got a Bingo, they won a gummy bear.  Yum.

There are very few games that M is developmentally ready to play.  I think our options will increase drastically as she gets a few years older.  For now, we have the following possibilities:
Any suggestions for other preschooler-friendly family games? Suggestions welcome.  We have ton of games already, but few that are geared toward her age.



Two big goals this weekend:  start making Valentine's for classmates/friends/cousins, and clean the bathrooms. I was excited because, in fact, we not only started the Valentines, we finished them all!  Whoo!  I was afraid I would wind up doing most of the work myself, but M was quite involved with the process and was able to help considerably.  It was a great mommy/daughter crafting time.

We made two different types, and I wanted to pass them along, since they were both very easy to make, even for a three-year-old:

1.  For folks we could actually hand them to, we made Lollipop Posies.  They turned out to be super easy and cute.  We didn't have floral tape, as the directions call for, but we used scotch tape and it worked just fine.  M stacked each set of the tissue paper circles together in a pattern.  M insisted on "boy colors" for boys and "girl colors" for girls, so we did our best with that...And we finished ours with a heart shape leaf, with the To/From on it.

2.  For those we would not see before V-day, we made these cute Guppy Love cards to go in the postal mail.  Each fish is made up of three hearts, and M loved piecing the hearts together in different color configurations.  Then she colored the backs while I wrote messages on the fronts.  Then, after I addressed the envelopes, M assisted in stuffing, sealing, stamping, and stickering the outsides of the envelopes with hearts.

PS - I cleaned the bathrooms too. ;-)


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Forshadowing Twins?

M was teasing me this morning and called me Grandma.  I told her I wouldnt be a grandma until she was grown up and had her own babies.  We talked back and forth about grandparents and babies and then she said:

"I have a big belly, so I can fit two babies in there"



Friday, January 29, 2010

Art Area!

I may have a second-calling as a preschool teacher.

We had a miraculous find this week while shopping - I finally found the shelf I have been longing for, to organize M's art supplies.

We already had the little bins, but they were just placed on the table willy-nilly, cluttering it up.  I realized a while back that this was not a convenient display of supplies, and without ease of accessibility, the kids gravitated towards other areas of the room that were easy to access.

However, I had a terrible time finding a shelf that met our needs.  I wanted it to fit easily on the table, and I wanted to be able to use the bins we already had, so that supplies could be changed, reorganized, and added easily (I didn't want to be limited by drawers or slots).  Then we found this - its actually a shoe rack - and it works perfectly!  I couldn't be happier.

 A few finishing touches - I took pictures of the items we have, and made labels for each bin, so that she can put them away easily in the right spots.  I love how everything had a place - all of the scrap paper spiral notebooks fit underneath, the crayons on one shelf, the markers on another, and then painting/pencils/stickers on another.

M is already using it!  She really likes how the bins have pictures on them, so she knows which bins are for which materials.  We did some coloring before bedtime tonight. Yay for organized and clutter-free creative spaces.


Purple, Pink, White

Daycare gave M a candy necklace, but the candy was not strung onto the elastic yet.  M conquered the task as soon as she got home today.  She very carefully strung each candy bead, and I was highly impressed.  Not only was her dexterity beyond what I realized, she also has picked up patterns!  Right when she started she said "Purple, Pink, White - that's a pattern!"  I concurred, and she proceeded to recreate this pattern throughout her necklace, with very few mis-threads!  Nice work!


Junior Scientist

M opened and closed her eyes several times, then asked:

"Why is it red when I close my eyes?"

I giggled, but then wondered if I had just heard her utter the first step of the scientific method

A scientist in the making.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Name Calling

M and I were teasing back and forth at bedtime. She called me silly, I called her a goof.  Then she said:

"My first name is M, and my second name is Goofy-ga-goofer"

I guess that makes me Silly-sa-sally.


Is This Normal?

M pointed to her ankle bone and, startled, said:
"this is getting bigger!"

As if it were a tumor that had grown disproportionally to the rest of her body.  teeheehee.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

We All Have Bad Days

"How was your day, Daddy?"  M asked.  She hardly waited for a response, before she stated, "I had a hard day"

Later, as we were getting our pajamas on, she made sure to tell us again, "I had a rough day today"

Aww.  My poor sweetheart.  Tomorrow is a fresh start, honey.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Just Chillin'

We had another, nice, lazy Sunday this weekend.

Here's a short photo recap:

M lines her babies up for "school."  I didn't know you could go to school naked, baby!


C plays Xbox with Dad in his church clothes.

C is rockin' out the shades.  Just Chillin'


Monday, January 25, 2010

Say What?

Two cute little mis-speaks from M tonight:

"Mommy, if you cut your finger, you'll have to go to the doctor, and get sticks, and put a bandaid on it."

And later, in the playroom:

"Ring around the rosie, pocket full of posies, hashes, hashes, we all fall down!"

hehehe. :o)


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Books We Could Do Without

I'm sure every family with small children can understand this one!  We have several books we wish M would just forget existed.  We've tried tucking them away on the bookshelf, or even hiding them, but they always seem to wind up back in the rotation eventually.  You'd think with the thousands of books we own (thanks to my godfather who previously owned and operated a preschool!), that it would be easy for them to disappear into the collection - but it just doesn't happen!  Of course, when the kids bring them to us, we smile and read them anyway.

And so, the Bad Book List begins:
  1. Top of the list - the Sesame Street Library Collection - very poorly written, and terribly monotonous.
  2. There's a Hole in the Bucket - After the first three verses, I just want to rip my hair out.
  3. Any of the Super Why books.  The show does such a better job of engaging kids.
  4. The Learn Your Numbers Sparkle Book. Rubs me the wrong way.
  5. Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel.  Too many words, too little action
  6. Barney Is It Time Yet?  *shudder*
  7. Also, I'm not terribly enamored with Beatrix Potter books - Peter Rabbit, etc.  Too British or something.
My husband has his own list going, most of which I enjoy:
  1. Any book that involves singing, including:
    • Raffi books: Down By the Bay, One Light One Sun, Baby Baluga
    • Miss Mary Mack
    • The Lady with the Alligator Purse
    • Mary had a Little Lamb
    • There's a Hole in the Bucket
    • Five Little Ducklings
    1. Fox In Socks - this surprised me, because he loves to read her Green Eggs and Ham.  Maybe shares the same feelings as Mr. Knox: 
    "Please, sir. I don't
    like this trick, sir.
    My tongue isn't
    quick or slick, sir.
    I get all those
    ticks and clocks, sir,
    mixed up with the
    chicks and tocks, sir.
    I can't do it, Mr. Fox, sir."

    Personally, I really enjoy the singing books, so Dad calls those Mama books.  And I also have no issues with Fox In Socks.

    Luckily, our list of favorite books is much longer than our bad book list.  But that's for another post.

    Do you have any books you'd like to go "poof"?


    Get It Right, Dad!

    Dad was playing with C in the playroom, while M and I were in the adjacent room.  Dad spoke to C, and referred to him as "Little Boy."

    M overheard and spoke up: 
    "Dad, he's not a little boy!  He's a Young Man!"



    The Force Is Strong With This One

    CC just seems to be up to all sorts of mischief these days.  It's as if the first moments of us being awake he must seek out all not-child-safe areas of the house, as if to say "I told you so!".

     This morning was a good example:

    •   First he ran into the bathroom (presumably to stick his hands in the toilet) - Oh No You Don't.

    • Then he ran into the M's room and scampered up onto her bed to jump around - Not Today.
    • Next thing on his list is always to find Dad's empty Mt. Dew cans scattered around the house, and bring them to Dad (but not without trying to sip out the last few drops!) - Naughty Boy!
    • And finally, to sum it all up, he brought me the Wii remote, left on the couch from last night's gaming - I Will Take That, Thank You Very Much.

    What a problem child!! It's as if non-child-proofed things call to him, and he gravitates towards them unawares!  If only he would use his powers for good rather than mischief; he could move mountains!


    Friday, January 22, 2010


    M overuses the word "actually" but in a way that is entirely too cute.

    "Actually, this is my closet."

    "These are actually my shoes"

    Just everyday scenarios, and everyday conversation, she likes to drop in an "actually."
    This word is typically used along with a flip of the wrist.

    Actually, I actually really like when you drop in actually into an actual sentence.  :-P


    Thursday, January 21, 2010

    A New Kind of Greeting

    Rather than shaking your hand, giving a kiss, or saying "hi", C has a new interesting method of greeting people.  HONK, HONK!

    That's right,  he honks your nose!  It's the first thing he does as soon as I pick him up at daycare, and it's the first thing he does to Dad when he gets home.

    We like to honk him right back.  What a goof.

    Apparently he is starting his own customs;  I wonder in what country this salutation would receive a welcome reception...


    Can You See the Resemblance?


    "Of course, you can always accessorize"

    We ♥ Olivia.


    Our "Family" is Growing

    Our stuffed animal family, that is. ;)

    Introducting... Sammy the dog (left), and Annie the Girraffe (right):


    Wednesday, January 20, 2010


    "When we were at the grocery store, we saw orange bubble bath!"  M told me this morning.

    "Oh yeah?  I wonder what it smelled like..."  I replied.

    "I think it smelled like green"


    Tuesday, January 19, 2010

    New Bedtime Routine Part 2

    Here are the end results of our Bedtime Chart:

    I used a strip of magnets at the bottom as the "check mark collection area".  and then I cut some of the strips up into rectangles for the check boxes.  Cutout the check marks and the stars and moon from construction paper, and mounted on a posterboard my husband got for me at Walgreens while picking up the pictures - thanks honey!!  Only spent about two hours total on the project, including taking the pictures yesterday - well worth the time!

    It's taped up on the wall in her room.  And she is very much enjoying putting the check marks up as the bedtime routine progresses.  She likes to match up the check mark to the correct colored rectangle:

    My husband said my crescent moon looked more like a banana. :-P

    M is asleep in her own bed for two nights in a row.  A new record!



    Monday, January 18, 2010

    New Bedtime Routine

    We are fighting back against M sleeping in our bed with STRUCTURE.  I did a lot of reading online, and have decided to do a bedtime routine chart.  I took a bunch of pictures of our bedtime routine tonight, and I plan to make a poster out of them tomorrow.  Already tonight, she is asleep in her own bed after reading books to sleep!

    Take a bath (if its Bath Night)

    Put on pajamas

    Have a little snack (if we ate a good dinner!)

    Brush our teeth

    Go potty one last time before bed

    Pick the animal we want to cuddle with

    Read lots of books  (tonight it was seven before she fell asleep)

    Kiss goodnight

    Go to sleep!


    Sunday, January 17, 2010

    Babies Run Wild

    My husband and I stayed up late last night on a date and playing Wii after we got home, so we were not keen on rising at 7am with the kids.  They were both anxious to start the day, so we let them loose in the house so that we could continue dozing.

    Perhaps letting the kids run around unsupervised after a late night may not have been our best idea.  We quickly jumped out of bed when C brought us an open bottle of Mike's hard lemonade.  Oh my!  And, he was covered in chocolate pudding.  We had left the living room a bit of a mess, and he thought it'd be a fun place to make some mischief.   At least we were awake enough to close the bathroom door - he has already gotten into the toilet twice this week - ew!

    M was a little bit more constructive during her solo time:  she covered two sheets of paper entirely with stickers.  We decided the extra hour of rest was well worth the cost of stickers!


    Early Morning Wake Up Call

    M strolled into our room at 5:30am.  This occurs regularly, especially on the weekends.  We brought her into the bed and tried our best to ignore her so she would fall back asleep for another hour or two.  To no avail.

    "Daddy, daddy, dad, daddy, dada, dad" M pestered her father.  She always seems to bug him incessantly - maybe she knows I will sleep right through it, so there is no use talking to me.

    Finally, Dad turned around, flustered, and said "What?!"

    "you're scruffy."

    He seemed irritated to be bothered by such a trivial factoid, but as he rolled back over to close his eyes, he was smiling.

    Reminds me of the book Pat the Bunny where you are invited to feel daddy's scratchy face, made of sandpaper.


    Saturday, January 16, 2010

    Tweaked Mis-speak

    My husband told me I was being snippy, to which I prompty refuted that he was the snippy one.

    M got riled up and said "my mom's not snibby, you're snibby, Dad."

    When I looked up snib, I suppose it could be a pretty good description of Dad; a piece of hardware.

    Friday, January 15, 2010

    Bathtub Variety Show

    Hilarity has insued in the bathtub of late, with C in particular.

    1. By doctor's orders, C must soak his injured finger in the tub for fifteen minutes, twice a day.  In order to entertain him, we have several bathtub safe books to read.  Today, he learned to say "baaa, baaa" about the sheep on the farm animals page!  We went on with this sheep-speak back and forth for quite some time.  Mama was very excited, and proceeded to try to teach him all of the other animals' sounds too.

    Bath Night January 13, 2010

    2.  During Wednesday's Bath Night festivities, while M & C were soaking and playing, C stood up twice and decided to pee in the tub!  At first we were surprised and thought it was kinda funny, and we all laughed hysterically, but the second time just got gross and we all rushed out of the water- we were done anyway.

    3.  Everyone loves to SPLASH


    Thursday, January 14, 2010


    As we are walking out the door this evening, M calls to dad:

    "Bye, Honey.  We'll see you later, Honey."

    It's cute when she incorporates our grown-up phrases into her three-year-old vernacular.


    Wednesday, January 13, 2010


    "S-T-O-P.  Stop."  pronounced M clearly.  Her first spelled word!  Almost as exciting as the first time she spoke!

    She has known how to recognize and even draw octagons since before she started preschool.  Its really neat that now she has added another dimension to her knowledge of this sign.  Its red, its octagonal, and it says STOP!


    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    The Encyclopedia of M

    "Who was that?" M asked after I hung up the phone.
    "I was leaving a message for Erin Anderson." I replied.
    "Is that your best friend?" M questioned further.
    "No, honey, my best friend is Beth Anderson."
    "Oh, that's right." she stated matter-of-factly, in an oh-of-course-I-knew-that sort of way.

    How does she know so much?


    Monday, January 11, 2010

    Super Daddy

    "Daddy, do you know where my game player is?"

    "M, I know where everything is" Daddy told M as he retrieved her Leapster.

    "That's because you're Super Daddy," M replied.

    Yes he is, M.  Yes he is.


    Saturday, January 9, 2010

    The Littlest Interpreter

    M has a way of letting us know what her brother needs. It's as simple is interpreting C's "eh" as "Mama, C wants something to drink".  I wonder if it is because M is down at his level, or perhaps she is still young enough to remember what it was like to be one-year-old and unable to verbalize; but she seems to really *know* C in a way that none of the rest of us can.  Its a special relationship between sister and younger brother.  She looks out for him.


    Daddy Time

    It is a rare pleasure that my husband is home both days of a weekend.  This Saturday was particularly relaxing, and the kids got some much needed Daddy Time.  This definitely put a smile on my face today:

    Wii MarioKart with Dad

    Rough-housing with Dad.  Which is really fun to watch, because C tackles him, slaps him in the face, and punches him in the groin.  Oy! M follows suit, so Dad really gets beat up! But he's all smiles when he's roughhousing with the kids.

    Guy time - chillin' on the couch. ♥


    Lisa and Henry

    I myself have never been very creative when naming my stuffed animals.  Usually its just Doggy, Kitty, Bunny, etc., etc.  I still have my first stuffed animal, Puffy the Puffalump.  I could surely write a whole blog about him and our adventures together:

    M has finally taken her imaginative play into the realm of Naming.  It has really only just begun, with two animal names.  Introducing....

    Lisa the Dog


    and Henry the Fox

    Personally, I'm quite fond of Henry too.  Very soft and cuddly, and there are a several stories we particularly enjoy reading with Henry around as an interactive character:
    • Hattie and the Fox by Mem Fox
    • Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr / Eric Carle 
    • The Hat and The Mitten by Jan Brett
    • The Fox Went Out On A Chilly Night, an old song, Illustrated by Peter Spier
    In each book, the fox plays a role in the story.  I must say, Hattie and the Fox has become one of my favorite stories of all time; a must for any children's collection.

    The other thing I like about Henry is that he is not just another teddybear, dog, or cat.  He's a fox.  Awesome.


    Thursday, January 7, 2010

    Just Checking!

    Last night, the babysitter relayed the cutest little story.

    C was asleep, and I left all of the materials out for toenail painting, while my husband and I took a jot to the gym.  M had stayed up late the night before watching Toy Story 2, so I could tell she was a bit sleepy.

    Shortly after we left, M gave the sitter a sort of glassy-eyed-look and said "its time to paint my toenails" in a grumpy tone.  As the sitter painted the nails, M quickly nodded off.  About twenty minutes later, M abruptly sits up, gives a dazed look around the room, touches her toes to make sure they are dry, and then lays back down on the pillow, zonked out for the night.


    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    Digging for Gold

    What is it with little kids and nasal cavities?  We just cannot keep M's finger out of her little nostrils.  Even her teacher at school commented about it at her most recent parent-teacher conference, stating that even requiring hand-washing after every instance of nose-picking didnt curb the habit.  At first it was almost as though she didnt realize she was doing it, but now she knows its inappropraite, and stops when we say something.

    Unfortunately, the behavior seems to be rubbing off on C too (eww...not literally).  This evening I caught him with one finger from each hand up each nostril.

    I guess they just like digging for gold.  Maybe they'll get rich...


    Sunday, January 3, 2010

    One Tiny Tongue

    While helping M brush her teeth last night, we brushed the bottom, top, we went "EEEE" to brush the fronts, and then we went "AHHH" to brush the tongue. She would not stick her tongue out enough! I asked her repeatedly to stick her tongue out further. I asked her "Why won't you stick your tongue out more? I know you can, I've seen you do it.", to which she responded "I have one tiny tongue!" Everyone in the room laughed histerically.


    Saturday, January 2, 2010


    Rather than always referring to M and C, I was thinking it'd be nice to refer to the kids with nicknames. Anyone have any ideas?

    I'll stay Mama, and I'll refer to my husband as Superman, since he's my superman.

    For M the only thing I've come up with is Babers, since thats what we call her mostly. When she was a baby, my friends often called her BabyBrum, but that doesnt seem to make sense now.

    I thought a superman reference would be fitting for C, but can't think of a good one...

    Suggestions welcome!


    Superior Sustenance

    C's favorite foods have usually been fruits and pasta, although he's been known to down some ham and turkey! He dabbles in anything, but he shies away from foods he cannot feed himself (doesn't like mushy babyfoods). Today, he learned to say "Nanna." Mama was very excited for the expanding food vocabulary.

    M is a cheeser. Cheese anything is what she craves: cottage cheese, string cheese, "Daddy's cheese" (packaged cheese that you slice), cheese flavored popcorn, chips, or anything else. We all know M loves cheese. However, if you ask M what is her favorite thing to eat, she firmly states "Meat!"