Monday, February 28, 2011

A Boy and His Pineapple

One day last week, when we were all feeling relatively well (a short-lived rarity), the kids and I ran down to Costco to pick up a few things. As soon as I as I told them we were going to the "Smokestack Store" Colin got all excited and told me, "Buy a pineapple, Mommy!"

(We call it the Smokestack Store since our Costco is located on a reclaimed industrial brown field....yeah, not sure we should be shopping there)

Here he is when we got home:

Here's the thing, he DOESN'T LIKE PINEAPPLE. Won't touch it. Ever. Arg.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Meditation on Max and Ruby

The kids' new favorite tv show is "Max and Ruby." Daddy and I were a bit skeptical at first; the kids have a Max and Ruby Valentine book and we just weren't impressed with it. Max seemed a little dim (as per Daddy) and Ruby seemed awfully bossy. But, hey, if it means I can get dinner made, they can watch it!

So after weeks of watching episode after episode of "Max and Ruby" I have decided I like it. I really do. Not sure Daddy is sold, but he tolerates it. And, in all my free time, I've been contemplating the greater meaning of those two silly bunnies. Bear with me....

1. I need to take patience lessons from Ruby. Ok, I know if she tried to boss Max less she wouldn't need as much patience (oh wait, that might be a lesson for me too)! However, this big sister never, ever loses her cool with her little brother. No matter how many times he gets her out of bed, messes with her toys, or flies toys into her baked goods, she never raises her voice, speaks meanly, or even sounds remotely frustrated. Phew, a true bunny saint.

2. Max is one language disordered bunny in need of therapy or at least, that's my take on Max. He is one cool little bunny. Very bright, curious, and inventive. I cannot figure out how old this bunny is supposed to be, but given his motor dexterity, his language skills are certainly not matching! He always knows exactly what's going on, more so than Ruby, usually, but he doesn't have all the skills to TELL Ruby what the deal is. He reminds me of a lot of my preschoolers with expressive language delays.

3. Max and Ruby provide wonderful play scripts for two-year-olds. Shortly after starting to watch Max and Ruby, the kids could sit at the lunch table and tell what happened in each little episode. Recently though, the kiddos have started acting out the stories they see! They have made fliers to pass out for a Bunny Scout bake sale. And looked for a missing Mrs. Quack. And most complexly they made banners for a Bunny Scout parade and then, paraded! Check it out!

First, the kids (on their own) got out their paper and crayons and "made banners" for the Bunny Scout Parade (from the episode where Ruby and Louise make a banner for a parade to represent the Bunny Scouts):



Then, we had a parade!! (This might make you dizzy!)

As you can see, fun times! I am so impressed with the pretending that Colin and Gillian do! Makes me feel a little less guilty about the tv that they watch!

And, it took me exactly two weeks to write this blog post since we have been down and out with a NASTY upper respiratory virus for ten days. Hoping we are on the upswing now!

Movin' On Up!

So in the past few weeks we have taken down all the baby gates in the house AND converted our highchairs into boosters! WOO HOO! We're moving up to BIG KID territory!

The first dinner with both kids in boosters!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sweet Treats!

Out of the blue a few weeks ago Colin asked me for M&Ms, which is funny since he doesn't really like sweets. I told him I didn't have any, then he told me "Buy some the store, Mommy." Oh, really??? Glad he figured out that particular fact of life....need it, don't have it, go buy it! That happened early.

Anyway, nice Mommy that I am, I picked up some M&Ms for them. I wasn't sure that Colin would eat them, but I knew Gillian would (she's a sugar fiend, like me). Turns out, Colin does enjoy M&Ms!

And, of course, Gillian does too!

Now the kiddos (mostly G) ask for M&Ms daily. We have had lots of conversations about them being a treat. And more specifically, that M&Ms are NOT FRUIT. So, I'll give them 8 or 10 M&Ms once a day if they ask after they've eaten a good lunch or dinner. I probably won't refresh the stash when it's gone, but it is good to know that I have a potty training weapon when I need it!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Last weekend GraGra and Papa Greg came to visit for the weekend! That is ALWAYS a fun time, in Colin and Gillian's minds. I think on Friday night though, that Daddy and Mommy were bigger fans of the visit, since we WENT OUT. Woo hoo! We went for an early dinner and then on to see "The King's Speech." (An unsolicited review of the movie: FANTASTIC. We loved it. Go see it.)

On Saturday morning, Daddy had to go to work (boo) so Colin, Gillian, and I took GraGra and Papa to The See Saw Center for some fun. The kids and I go to The See Saw Center about once or twice a week in the winter. It's so nice to go somewhere, not our own home, play with some new toys, hang out with other kids and moms, and get out of our house! Awesome!

Anyway, so I think GraGra and Papa liked The See Saw! GraGra wants to open one of her own!

Colin showed us his favorite, The Big Thomas!

Gillian found her favorite Princess Dress and spent the rest of the day in it!

We spent a lot of time in the rice table on Saturday.

Oh, and Bean worked on her static....

We really enjoyed showing one of our favorite places to some of our favorite people!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sending Some Valentine Love

During the first two weeks of February, the kids I worked on homemade Valentines for some of our loved ones. And I apologize if you didn't receive one....they were a hot commodity and the two year old attention span is very short. If you are heartbroken, let me know and we'll work some leprechaun magic for you.

Anyway, we started with plain, white paper and some watercolor paints. C&G had never used watercolor paints before, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well they liked them and how well they USED them. YAY!
Not sure why they have so many teeth in those pictures!

Then I made a heart template and cut hearts from the prettiest portions of the water color paintings. Then the kids decorated the hearts with lovely stickers from the $1 bin at Target!

And, TA DA!
They look a little dull in these pictures, but they were actually pretty cute. We had fun making up our little Valentines. I think we'll do it again next year!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentine Treats!

As Gillian told us, "MERRY HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!" That girl loves a holiday.

On Valentine's Day, the kids and I headed to our favorite, wintertime play space for the little party they were throwing. It was very low key and uncrowded, two of my favorite things! We played a while, made a couple of Valentines for Daddy, and had a little snack. Perfect!

When Daddy got home he was greeted at the stairs by two (loud, excited) Valentines with their homemade cards in hand!

We had a nice (so not romantic) dinner of Daddy's favorite homemade chicken noodle soup and then we let the kids open some little treats from us.

Colin was pretty pleased to add another train to his collection. This time it was James and his tender!
(Gillian was excited too and promptly stole it from her brother)

Next it was Bean's turn. She was pretty excited!

This is when she realized it was a PRINCESS DRESS!!!



A nice, quiet, sweet holiday for all!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Material Girl

Gillian is the Queen of Accessories and All Things Girlie right now. If she finds a dress, tutu, bow, bracelet, necklace, or pair of "panties" (the bloomers from under her real dresses) they MUST be immediately added to her outfit.

The other night after dinner she was running around in her onesie, then she found her Christmas and Valentine's necklaces and then she found some "rings" leftover from the baby days to use as bracelets. And not just one or two bracelets....more like twelve.

Later she found one of my headbands and added that into the some sort of collar....
Daddy thought she looked like some sort of punk. I thought she was channeling Madonna. She seemed to enjoy "Papa Don't Preach" when I sang it to her!

She ended the fashion parade with a cup of "decaf," as she told us.

What a girl.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Proud Papa

A few weeks ago when Grammy and Papa Frank visited us, Papa built this awesome tower with C&G's Magnetos set (AKA Sticks and Balls).

Look how proud he is!

The best part was, the kids totally left the tower alone for a good 10 minutes (a record for them), then Schmo got startled, ran like a crazy cat THROUGH the bottom of the tower, and CRASH. Down it came. Poor Papa.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Super Bowl and Other Blah.....

So, it's been a bummer of a week around here. Steelers lost the Super Bowl; it was a good game, but the Packers just played better!

So, no celebrating in the 'Burgh. Just a cold, cold, cold, snowy week in February. Blah. We've been winter troopers so far, and, really, it hasn't been that tough of a winter around here. But, I think we've reached our limit with Jack Frost and his buddies. The cabin fever is setting in and we are ready, ready, ready for some warmth and sunshine. And outdoor time. Lots of (snowsuit free) outdoor time.


See? Blah.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Blue Eyes

Yep, that's where he gets them!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A New Use for Stickers

Armor Plating!


Seriously, it took her 3 seconds to do this. I tried to dissuade her from using ALL her Wonder Pets stickers in such a manner. You can see how well that went over.


Funny girl.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Some Random Goofiness

Colin and Gillian have been quite the pair of goofs lately. Sometimes I can get a quick snapshot of their antics, and this past week I managed to grab a few. They aren't up to Michael's usual photographic genius, but they'll have to do!

We tried using markers for the first time last week. It went surprisingly well. And C&G really enjoyed it! For the time being, it will be a CLOSELY monitored activity though!

Look at our little Lefty!

We also tried out our new Fly Boat! It was a Christmas present from Grammy and Papa Frank. I had it hidden down in the basement until some cold, snowy day that needed some fun! Well, that day came. Both kids really enjoyed opening up the box and exploring the parts. Colin soon left to go play Thomas, but Gillian really stuck with it!
Oh, and thanks to MegaBlocks for being so greedy that we only got Linny and MingMing with our Fly Boat. Tuck sold separately. Boo.

At some point, Colin found our new Pittsburgh Penguins hat. It's quite a big, floppy hat and he looked pretty funny it.

Last weekend we had lots of company, so I baked a Texas Sheet Cake style dessert. Gillian was ALL about it. Colin, not at all. He just doesn't do sweets.

Just another fun week around here!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Skinny Butt

Yes, we know Gillian is skinny. How skinny is she, you ask? Well, her butt fits in a leftover container....

Yep, a box this big:

So funny! Good thing she's gorgeous!