Tuesday, October 13, 2009

She Did It!

By golly, I think Olivia is getting the hang of #2 in the potty! Tonight she asked George to make a BM in the potty, and she did it! In a way, I thought this day would never come. On the other hand, I know that we all end potty-trained eventually. It's hard to be patient but everything we've read warned us not to make it a power struggle...let her do it on her own time and on her own terms. That approach seems to be working. God knows that all the bribery didn't. My big girl. Sigh.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The TV Cart

Grocery shopping with kids in tow has taken on a whole new meaning...I visited a store yesterday that had revolutionary TV Karts. We've all seen the shopping carts with the little fire engine seats on the front for the little ones who need to rush to the 5 alarm fire in the aisle 11. The TV Kart puts the fire engine to shame. Imagine shopping while your brood sits comfortably in the seats while watching Handy Manny, Mickey Mouse, or Special Agent Oso. The screen is about the size of a portable DVD player and there are parental controls on the upper portion of the cart. While they enjoy their cartoons, parents can even enjoy a series of commercials or a brief show on parenting tips. I wish I could say that the novelty of the TV Kart kept my two entranced for the entire journey thru the store. Unfortunately, it would have taken a visit from Special Agent Oso to pry the kids off of each other as they wrestled and pushed at one another. It's a great idea, and while the novelty of the TV Kart wore off quickly, it did make me wonder what else is being developed to help mom get thru the grocery store with two unruly children.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Here Ye Here Ye

Livy made a big girl poop in the potty! According to George, it was bountiful! She called me at work to tell me the good news. Maybe we're actually making some progress?

Today was picture day at preschool. I dressed Nate in a red corduroy button up, jeans and his new Toy Story cowboy boots. My little cowpoke was looking mighty handsome if I do say so myself. Olivia insisted on wearing her new kitty cat shirt instead of the outfit I had picked. I actually somewhat enjoy when she exercises her independence. I imagine I was behaving the same way when I was her age. Either way, I'm excited to see the pictures. Hopefully they were able to catch a good shot of the siblings together that we can use for our Christmas cards this year. Is that too much to ask?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Potty Talk

Olivia and Nate have developed a bad little habit lately. They insert the lovely word, "poop" into every possible nook and cranny of a conversation. Apparently they had quite a good time with George one night singing, "Row row row your POOP" which caused Nate to giggle wildly. It's their new favorite pastime. Unfortunately Olivia is calling her brother things like "poopyhead" and it's not quite as cute as the little song they were singing that night. Today we were on our way to get her flower dress altered. I told her we were getting her dress "altered" and she said, "ha ha I'm not a turd! Turd. Turd. You said I was a turd!" Ahh, thanks Dad.

I'm also going to blame this next story on Dad too. He has the propensity for using, ahem, colorful language while driving. Not always cursing, but when another driver annoys him, there's always a comment. While at a stoplight today, Olivia shouts from the backseat, "c'mon bluehair!" Not seeing an elderly driver near us, I asked, "why did you say 'bluehair?" She replies, "that car with the loud music playing." So, she doesn't really know what "bluehair" refers too, but she thinks that whatever annoying drivers around us are "bluehairs." I so enjoy trying to understand how her little mind works.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Little Fishy

Olivia started swim lessons at the YMCA tonight. Reports from Dad indicate she had a ball and was impatiently waiting her turn to impress the teacher. I think I was about Olivia's age when I jumped in the Zukley's pool and decided to teach myself to swim. She is definitely following in my footsteps in that regard. She's fearless in the water.

Hopefully Nate will get a permanent spot in the Perch class. He's on the waiting list right now but they let him participate tonight because there were 3 no-shows. So, while George is helping Nate on one side of the pool, Livy is participating independently in the Pike Plus class on the other end of the pool. I think it will be a fun way for them to spend their Thursday nights. Maybe it will wear them out which means a stress-free bedtime for George!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Taking Daddy to the Zoo

We became members of the Philadelphia Zoo recently. George hadn't been there yet so one Sunday when it actually wasn't raining (a rarity this summer) we went for a visit.

In the primate house, we saw some rare White-faced Sakis. They look a little like our children!

In the Big Cat area, Nate got excited about this waterfall.

The petting zoo is always a big hit.

One last bit of fun at the fountain before we left. Next trip we are hoping to visit the new aviary. Olivia has also asked to ride the camels.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Flower Girl in Training

Olivia has been asked to be the Flower Girl in her cousin Tricia's wedding on Sept. 26th. We've been talking a lot about what Flower Girls do. She got to try her dress on recently to see how well it fits.

I found some silver ballet slippers at Target a few days ago. I asked her to try them on, hoping they weren't too big. She slipped her feet in, walked around a bit, then kicked them off. "These damn shoes! They're too big." I tried really hard not to laugh, I really did. This kid is lucky she's so cute. It's the only thing that saves her sometimes.

I'm going to try and take both kids with me to Michigan. So many of my relatives haven't met Nate yet and it would be a shame to travel all the way there and not take him. Getting through the airports might be interesting, but once we arrive, there will be plenty of extra hands. We are looking forward to seeing everyone!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Big Boy Birthday Bash!

Nathan Dean turned 2 on Wednesday, Sept 2nd. We had a little party at their favorite park on Sunday to celebrate. Our good friends, the Kou family, joined us for the festivities.

Nate had two candles to blow out. If you look closely, you'll see the one in the corner for Livy to blow out...

Poor Livy couldn't contain herself and kept blowing Nate's candles out too. I had to intervene. I remember once when I was a kid, Justin Hawkins blew out all the candles on my birthday cake. I was so devastated. I didn't want Nate to be scarred for life too.

Nate of course, cleans his plate. Livy asks for both cake and ice cream but always eats just the ice cream.

Doug and Christina Kou. She's my Pennsylvania Bestie. They moved her last year from Ohio. She's a nurse and Doug works for Merck. We really enjoy them!

Christina's parents were visiting from Ohio so they attended the big event also. Nate got some more trains, plus a Super Grover and Sesame Street bracelet from the Kous. Livy even got a present..a dinosaur, dinosaur book and matching Sesame Street bracelet. That was so nice of the Kous!

Olivia met a little boy, Luke, at the park. According to his mom, when he saw Olivia carrying around her dinosaur and dinosaur book, it was love at first sight for him. He loves dinosaurs too!

We played until it got dark out, hoping the kids would run off the sugar they ingested. On the way home, Livy was talking about her new friend Luke. Nate, who tries to say everything his sister does, started saying "Luke" but it sounded like "gook." We were coaching him on the anunciation, saying, "la la la Luke." He replied, "la la la gook!" He cracks us up!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Orchard Outing

Some cute pics of the kids during our berry picking adventures yesterday. We drove up to New Hope, PA and spent a few hours at Solebury Orchards.

We spent some time picking blueberries so daddy could make us a pie. Of course, Livy and Nate ate every one they picked.

Then we rode on a big wagon pulled behind the tractor out to the apple orchard. The Galas are ready to be harvested!

George saw a few good apples up high so he climbed right up! He was like our big Papa Bear in the tree!

Nate loves his sissy. It was a really nice day !

Monday, July 06, 2009

Sprinkler Time

It's starting to get hot here and we've had a brief break in the rainy days so Livy has been asking to play in the sprinkler. They had a lot of fun getting each other (and us) soaking wet!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sunday Ride

Here are some pics of a recent bike ride we took. There's a bike trail less than a mile from our house that runs along a nice creek. We stopped at a day use area for a picnic and Olivia spotted the smallest toad we've ever seen! On the way home, it was time for nice dip in the creek.

Great way to spend Sunday afternoon!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Moon Sand Mess

I see a pattern developing with my posts...they seem to be about the kids creating messes. Imagine!

This is what happens when your diaper-less son crawls up on the table and sits in a pile of Moon Sand...kind of gives a new meaning to the name "Moon" Sand, huh?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day Craft

We attempted to make Daddy some stepping stones for the garden. The kids really like to do crafts but it's always such a mess. Why is it that the fun kids have is proportional to the messiness of the activity? It was a plaster nightmare. Well at least it kept them busy for 20 minutes or so. I think it took me twice that long to clean everything up.

Phase I: mix the plaster and pour into the molds. Must dry overnite. We put glitter and glass beads in the heart shaped one. The other one had to dry before we could paint it.

Phase II: On Father's Day morning, the kids painted the stepping stone...and themselves! Here they are with Daddy covered in paint. They went straight into the tub.
At least I had the presence of mind to make them paint nude so they didn't ruin any clothes!

The kids also bought Daddy a new Gators shirt and a Big Head Todd sticker for the window of his new car. We had a nice day out exploring and even found a nice walking trail. Even Charlie was paying special attention to George, sitting in his lap. What a nice contrast to last Father's Day when he was still so scared of George that he'd run and hide under the bed if George as much as looked in his direction.

Next year we're hoping to get Daddy a flat screen TV, or at least a new recliner! Dream big right?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Don't Talk to Strangers!

On the way to the park a few weeks ago, we began to have the "stranger" conversation with Olivia. We began with the definition of a stranger.

"A stranger is anyone you don't know."

We elaborated: Even if the person looks nice, they are still a stranger. If the person has a puppy in their car they want you to go pet it, you tell them you're not allowed. If they want to give you candy you say "no." If they grab you, yell "HELP" as loud as you can, then poke them in the eye and kick them in the ouchy spot. Then I began to role play with her.

"Hi little girl. I've lost my puppy. Will you help me find it?"
Olivia replies, "sure!"
"No! You're supposed to say "no!"
"Oh, okay."
Let's do another one...
"I've got some candy in my car if you want a piece."
"Oh yeah, I love candy."
"No! Remember, never take candy from a stranger. Do not go to a stranger's car! Yell 'help" and kick him in the ouchy spot!"

By this time we've arrived at the park. Walking from the parking lot, Olivia spots the first family (of strangers) she sees and walks over to them. "Do you like strangers?" she asks. Before receiving their response she adds, "just poke 'em in the eye and kick them in the ouchy spot."

Well at least I know that if she befriends a dangerous stranger, she'll know how to defend herself. She's a hoot!

On Wednesday we went to a different park for a picnic and play time. The kids had big fun on the equipment and in the sandbox. Olivia found two older boys to play with (probably 5 and 7). She was bossing them around. "Chase me! Now, you count to three and I'll hide." The boys were very gracious about playing with a younger girl. I'm sure they're at the stage where girls have cooties. When it was time for them to leave, the younger boy brought Olivia a little bouquet of weed flowers he had picked out of the grass. Plus a big dandelion! What a sweet little boy! His mama is obviously teaching him well.

Nate's new favorite thing to do besides say "NO!" of course. I think he learned this new trick from his sister.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Holy Bejeesus!

Olivia resisted her nap today, as usual. At about 5pm she called from upstairs that she was awake and had a good nap. I doubted this, as she had been making noise for almost the entire time she was in her room. I walk into the room and scream! The first thing I see is a pair of scissors lying on the floor. My eyes move next to the clumps of curly blonde hair scattered about.
By this time, George is running up the stairs, having heard my cries. He begins to get very upset. I am just thankful she didn't hurt herself with the scissors and less concerned about the bald spots on her head. I actually began to giggle.

I remember when I gave myself a haircut. I was at Aunt Peggy's preschool and had run out of construction paper. Apparently Carolyn Cade wouldn't share any of her paper with me so I whacked off a ponytail. I promptly received a very short pixie cut.

So, I consider this an inevitable occurrence. A rite of passage. The hair will grow back but we'll always have the memories!

A Bite of the Big Apple

Last Friday was our first trip into NYC. On Thursday night I half jokingly suggested to George that he take the next day off and drive me into the city at the crack of dawn. My favorite band was playing at Rockefeller Center on the Today show! I am NOT a spontaneous person so the likelihood of me actually doing this absurd thing was very slight. However, he woke up at 5:15am on Friday morning and said, "You know, if we leave now we can make it in time." I laid there and thought about it for a few minutes, then bounded out of bed! We scrambled around getting ready and packing anything the kids might need. I woke the kids up and told them we were going on an adventure. I was hoping they'd sleep in the car. No luck. George dropped me off in front of Rockefeller Center at 7:20am, parked the car and found a spot farther back to watch the performance. I was probably within 100 feet of the stage. It was pouring rain but still a great time.

Here I am, soaking wet and happy!

After Dave finished the 8:30am set, we took the kids to walk around Times Square.

We spent time walking around the M&M World. Three floors of M&M heaven!

We had originally hoped to see the "Statue of Liverty" as Livy says. The weather and visibility was just too poor. Since we're only a 90 min drive from the city, we'll go back on a sunny day!