Friday, September 30, 2011

Boy vs. Girl

The craziness at our house today just illustrates the basic difference between BOY 3 year old and GIRL 3 year old. (Well, almost 3 year olds)

I've been encouraging Colin to be more independent with putting his clothes on. So, after nap, he took his diaper off and got on the potty and did his thing. I left the bathroom for a minute and told him to get his undies and pants back on and wash his hands. I came back a minute later and HOORAY he was all dressed! Well, that went better than I thought it would! He looked correctly assembled, so I left it and we moved on. I come downstairs a few minutes later, look at him, and HEY WAIT! Your underwear are coming out the bottom of your pants! It's ZOOLANDER! Apparently he had just gotten the pants on correctly and forgot the undies. Sigh.

Even better....he got the undies put on, but the pants put on backwards TWICE. I got that straightened out. We ran some errands, played on the playground, and made dinner. In the middle of dinner Colin had to go to the potty, so I get up to make sure the seat is set up for him. And LOW AND BEHOLD, the kid has had his underwear on BACKWARDS since naptime. I give up. I just had to laugh.

Now, Gillian? In this same time period, she has gotten her diaper off, her undies on, her princess dress on, accessorized with wand, purse, bracelet, and HIGH HEELED SHOES. Changed in to her real clothes to run errands, INCLUDING SOCKS AND SHOES, all on her own. Only thing I did was button the back of her shirt.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

September Funnies

I've been trying to keep track of some of the funny stuff the kiddos say and I thought I'd write down a few before the end of the month! (seriously, how is it the end of September already?)

We checked the book "Olivia" out of the library a few weeks ago. I think it spoke to Gillian. Olivia and G have quite a bit in common. Anyway, we were playing out in the yard one morning and I was sitting in the sun in a chair and G looked at me and said, "Are you basking in the sun, Mommy?" Umm, yes Olivia I AM!

September brought us a lot of "back to school" commercials, especially the Mini Wheat commercials where the Wheats tell us that they "Keep Kids Full and Focused!" We eat Mini Wheats pretty often (well G and I do) and after watching those commercials for a few weeks, I'd hear the kids at breakfast saying "KEEPS 'EM FOCUSED!!!" Over and over. If only I could get the kids to FOCUS when it's time to leave the house!

Daddy recorded "A Bug's Life" a while ago for the kiddos. I wasn't there the first time they watched it, either that or I was busy around the house. But soon after watching it, the kids came up with this game where they piled all the living room pillows between the couch and the coffee table and jumped off into the pillows while shouting. It took about 20 repetitions of "OOOSEY DOOOSING, COLIN!" and "OOOSEY DOOOSING, GILLIAN!" for me to realize they were saying "Introducing, Colin/Gillian!" I think the circus bugs at the beginning of the movie say something like that while they are performing. Anyway, the OOOSEY DOOOSINGs stuck around for quite a while. Made me laugh every time!

Colin has become quite the negotiator. He thinks. If I tell him 3 more minutes or only 2 M&Ms or 2 more turns, he offers me an alternative that HE wants. However, his quantity skills aren't quite up to snuff yet. So if I say, "3 more minutes, Buddy." He says, "NO, TWO MORE!" Umm, ok. Or if I offer him four M&M, he'll yell, "NO THREE!" Sure thing, Mister. Not sure how long it will take for his skills to improve, but I'm enjoying it while it lasts!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thomas! We Love You!

This past weekend we had the most fun ever. At least according to C&G! On Saturday we traveled to Lancaster to visit none other than Thomas the Train!!! WOOOT WOOOT! Thomas visits the Strasburg Railroad a few times a year and we have been planning on seeing him for MONTHS!

Saturday morning we were all packed up and out the door right after breakfast! C&G are such good travelers! They have lots of practice traveling back and forth to the Land of Grandmas which is about a 2 1/2 hour trip. They do really well on that trip with no "DVD entertainment" but on longer trips we set up their DVD player. Given all of this, Daddy and I found it pretty funny that G started asking for a "show" approximately 5 seconds after pulling out of the driveway. We convinced her to make it another 2 1/2 hours before we turned it on for her!


We met up with GraGra, Papa Greg, Grammy, and Papa Frank near our hotel for lunch. Gillian pulled yet another graceful move, tripped, and fell into the rung of a chair. She managed to give herself a horizontal bruise on her forehead to match the vertical one on her cheek! That girl!

Anyway, we headed to the hotel and while Daddy and Papa Frank went off to visit a train museum, GraGra, Grammy, and I took the kids for a swim in the hotel pool! (No pictures of this since Daddy took the camera to museum with him!) Colin loved, loved, loved jumping off side into awaiting arms. And G was so excited to find the 3 feet deep hot tub to swim in. It's the only place she's ever found to swim that doesn't make her shiver!

Photo of the train museum!

We all had a very nice dinner at a local microbrewery in downtown Lancaster. Funny story: we had been trying to decide between MicroBrewery A and MicroBrewery B before we left. We settled on Microbrewery A and I (thought I had) made reservations there. We walk in late to Microbrewery A and they look confused but are getting us a table. Meanwhile, my phone rings! It's Microbrewery B asking where we are and are we coming! Ummmmm, no. Seems I called the wrong brewery to make reservations! I felt badly, but the place where we were actually seated us very quickly and it was the place we actually wanted to be! (Can I still blame Mommy brain 3 years later?) Anyway, it was a yummy meal and the kids were FABULOUS! Especially considering they only had a brief lay-down in the afternoon, not a real nap!

After dinner we gave the kids a bath in our VERY large, whirlpool style tub. They thought that was awesomely cool. It was like another swimming pool! Then we settled them down in their air mattresses for their first official night's sleep in a hotel. They actually were pretty excited about the whole hotel thing. They kept asking question after question about what a hotel was and how it worked and where it was and why were we staying there. They kept calling the hallways "tunnels" and Colin asked us why there were all those DOORS! GraGra and Papa Greg had a room with a separate bedroom, as did Daddy and I, so we hosted the kiddos. Colin stayed with Papa Greg (of course) and Gillian chose to stay with Daddy and I! I think they were out like lights!

Bright and early on Sunday morning we were up and raring to go! We had a quick breakfast at the hotel, and C&G impressed some random strangers with their behavior. It's always so nice when strangers compliment your kids' good behavior! Then we were off to Thomas!!!

Due to all the recent rain, the railroad had off-site parking and had school buses to bring people into the station! I'm not sure if they realized that to my kids, riding a real, live school bus was just about as cool as riding Thomas! Then, we were there!

And look! Trevor the Traction Engine!

And there he is! THOMAS!!!
He was actually really, really cool! A real working steam engine that looked exactly like our best bud Thomas!

There were lots of tents set up and other attractions that came with our train ride ticket!
Colin really enjoyed his day at Thomas, but we think parts of the day were too loud or overwhelming for him. Or he didn't sleep well at all the night before; he just wasn't as peppy or as excited as we thought he would be. Gillian was though! However, C seems to have enjoyed himself since he's been talking about it nonstop since we got in the car to come home!

We picked one of the open cars to ride in when it was our turn to ride on Thomas.

The ride never really picked up a whole lot of speed and Thomas pushed us one way down the track then pulled us back the same way! It only took about 15-20 minutes, but the kids loved it!
(See that leg that C has his hand on? That's me. Apparently I am not in ANY of the pictures from the weekend)

After our train ride we tried out a number of the other attractions at the train station! Colin's favorite was the cranky cars!
(Oh hey, those are my feet! Another picture of me!)

They had a miniature steam engine that we rode too. It was pretty cool. The young man who was running it would get off after each (short) ride and feed it some coal or some water or oil it! But, Daddy really wanted to do the pumper car! So did Papa Frank! So, off they went!

We stopped for a bit to watch Thomas chuff in and out of the station and listen to him chug, chug, chug. And whistle!

See all his adoring fans?

This is one of the regular steam engines that always resides at Strasburg. They have dinner theater and wine & cheese rides, and all sorts of fun. Gillian keeps pretending she's this engine now!

After checking out all the fun and picking out Thomas balloons from Grammy, we hit the road. Well, hit the school bus back to our car, then hit the road! We grabbed a quick lunch, kissed the grandparents, and made for home! After two very busy days and not enough sleep, I was hoping the kids would zonk out for at least half and hour or so. But, no such luck. Those two TALKED the entire 4 1/2 hour trip back home. Without watching tv. They were so good. And so chatty!

Daddy and I were so proud of our kiddos; they were so well behaved all weekend and so happy and so eager to do what was asked of them. C&G obviously enjoyed exploring every new thing they came across and they were just darn pleasant to travel with. It was a fantastic weekend, and we can't wait for more adventures!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Firehouse Fun!

One of Colin's current favorite things is fire engines (and police cars and ambulances). He loves to see them on the road, especially if they have their sirens on. He MUST know what the emergency is and where it is and if it's over yet. (We're thinking he needs a scanner) As we were driving around the neighborhood last week, I noticed a sign on the local firehouse for a Sunday Open House. Perfect!!!

So post-nap and post-Steeler game last Sunday, we hit up the Fire House Open House for some fun! Daddy and I decided it was our favorite kind of outing - close by, free, and outside in gorgeous weather! The kids were VERY impressed with the big ladder truck!

Colin decided he wanted to try out the hose. He was pretty good! He knocked those fires down pretty darn quickly!

So proud of himself!
G declined a turn, but she claimed the hat that Colin had earned! No skin off C's nose, he's not a hat man.

Gillian wanted a balloon. REALLY wanted a balloon. We couldn't do anything else until we made our way to the back of the fire house and got a balloon. THEN we could go back out and check out the fire trucks!

Such a happy boy!

It was a nice afternoon! The kids really enjoyed playing in the fire trucks (until C accidentally set off an oxygen meter in the fire truck and it freaked him out). The fire chief invited us to come see their drills on Monday evenings too! Oh boy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mighty TV Powers!

For the longest time Colin and Gillian only wanted Max and Ruby when it was time for a little tv. Nothing else. But, Daddy begged and pleaded that they PLEASE find something else to watch. He was tired of C&G imitating Max's one word phrases over and over and over. So we were in search of a new "it" show. I recorded a few "Super Whys," "Word Worlds," and "Team UmiZoomis." After some trial runs, the kids settled on UmiZumi as the NEW FAVORITE SHOW EVER! Woo hoo!


I have to admit, I am impressed with the things they kiddos have learned from the Umiz. The focus of the show is teaching pre-math skills. So they work on a lot of counting and quantity concepts, but also on learning shapes and patterning. And, boy, are we obsessed with patterning now, or what!


C&G love the Umiz so much that we have to play Umiz quite a bit when the tv is off! For those of you who don't live in toddler world, Team UmiZoomi is made up of a brother/sister team of Geo and Milli and their super handy robot, Bot. Apparently, Milli is the absolute favorite of C&G. They BOTH usually pretend to be Milli and I have to be Bot. Bot has extendable arms, so that's handy for Mommy. Poor Geo though, no love here!


I know that tv isn't great for growing brains, especially Mr. Sponge Bob apparently. But, honestly, sometimes a Mommy (or Daddy) just needs 20 minutes to cook a meal, start some laundry, or make a phone call! Or, heck, regain sanity. So, as long as I feel like my kids are LEARNING something (and they obviously are), we'll continue to enjoy a little tube time!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Firetruck Jammies

A few weeks ago we had to run into Kohls to return something. It was a rainy morning and we were looking to kill some time. I don't usually take the kids into stores like that; when they were little it was just to hard to do and when they got bigger it was just easier to leave them with Daddy while I ran errands! So, anyway, they were very, VERY impressed with Kohls. They liked the mannequins all dressed up and they LOVED the beds made up with pretty bedspreads.

We returned our stuff and then we walked over to the kids' clothing. I wanted to look at pajamas since I knew we would be needing warmer PJs soon! C&G were ALL over that! They really got into looking at the different kinds of PJs and telling me which ones they wanted! I think they both would have left with four pairs if I had let them! I DID let them each pick out one pair. Gillian picked a pink night gown with candy canes and fairies on it. And Colin went crazy over a pair of fire truck pajamas!

When it cooled down last week, I new C would be all excited to try out his new, fancy pajamas! And he WAS! He told us, "I look good in this." And, "I so comfy." What a riot.

Well, he DID look good!

And loving!

(And now I'm remembering that G's new nightgown is still in her bin under her bed. Need to get that washed for her so she can wear it!)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First Day of School!

Last Friday the kiddos had their first day of preschool! Well, ok, so it was an hour long. And Daddy and I stayed the whole time. But this week they go by themselves. For another hour. They start out slowly!

Anyway, C&G are going to a one day a week, 2 year old class at a local church for this school year. Their teacher is Miss Heather, and her helper is Miss Kim. They both seem very nice. They will have 5 other kids in the class besides them, 1 girl and 4 boys. I have a small fear that Gillian will be Queen Bee by Halloween!

So on our first official day of school we had to take some pictures! G was making some super funny faces that morning!

Some Brother-Sister Love!

And G had to show off her backpack (or packpack as the kids call them).

Colin had a little hangnail booboo that morning that he made Daddy take a picture of.

Then we made the kiddos get some obligatory Mommy and Daddy pictures!

We are hoping for a great school year!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Labor Day Catch-up!

Little behind lately! We've been busy and I've been unmotivated blog-wise. Sigh.

We spent a nice, busy, quick weekend up north for Labor Day, just Saturday to Monday this year. But it was nice to see all our family and relax a bit. We spent most of the day on Saturday trying to stay cool (very humid and warm) and catching up with Uncle Willis, Leah, Uncle Stevie, and Aunt Emily. The Uncles (and GraGra) cooked up a feast and Great-Grandma made us some homemade peach ice cream. It was all delicious and wonderful. And not a single picture was taken of it! Daddy did take some pictures in the afternoon while the kids forced him outside to play in the heat for a while. Thanks for taking one for the team, Daddy!

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Still skeptical, as always.
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How they have that much energy when it's that hot, I'll never know.
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Apparently, G found GraGra's tape measure and went off to measure the corn. Not with her knee this time.
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Hopefully it was measuring "Nearly Ripe."

Sunday morning we took one last dip in Dickiedoo's pool before he closed it up for the season. Gillian did really, really well in her life jacket. She paddled all over by herself and even jumped off the top of the ladder into the water with no one to catch her! She was quite proud! Again, no pictures though!

Sunday evening we went over to Grammy and Papa Frank's for dinner with the Keisters (minus Jessie Bean). The kids had fun running all over, playing in what leaves had already turned and fallen, and enjoying the wind kicked up by a (lovely) cold front!
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Colin wants to have a "Leaf Picnic" in the worst way!
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The Underbrella was again requested!
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And Papa gives great airplane rides!
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On Monday morning we took a quick visit to see the newest baby donkey. It was pouring though and since we were all huddled in the barn, we didn't get any pictures of him. Needless to say, he was QUITE adorable and funny!

Another fun weekend to "end" our summer!