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!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Nate's getting to be a really big, strong boy. And fearless. Dangerous combination.

One night, after we put the kids to bed, George and I were downstairs watching tv. All of a sudden we hear a heck of a thump on the floor above us followed by the pitter pat of little feet and then Olivia screaming. Nate had jumped out of his crib, ran straight over to her bed and began pestering her. Olivia had just fallen asleep and was very upset he had disturbed her. I decided to put her in his crib where she would be somewhat safe from his taunting and try to get him to sleep in her toddler bed. At least he couldn't really hurt himself by falling/jumping out of the toddler bed. I spent 45 straight minutes putting him in the bed and then leaving the bedroom only to have him jump out of bed, run to the doorway, open it just a crack and smile or giggle at me. So, I'd march him back to bed and start the cycle over. After nearly an hour of this, I decided that wouldn't work. We tried to bring him to bed with us. He refused to settle down and sleep. Finally at almost midnight, I put him in Olivia's bed and laid down with him, almost barricading him in. He must have been exhausted and he did eventually fall asleep.

We had a few sleepless days and nights trying to figure out how to contain him before we decided to try a crib tent.
So far, it's working. He was very angry the first night we zipped him in. Since then, he's figured out that he can't escape, so why bother fighting it? It has been a godsend though. He's too young for a toddler bed and I can't have him getting hurt jumping out of a crib either.

The same thing happened with the baby gates recently, for instance. Olivia can open them now and roam freely. That might not be so bad, but Nate follows right behind her and has also learned how to operate the gates. Really, I am just trying to keep these kids from getting hurt but how can I protect them when they're too smart for their own good?

This whole parenting thing is a constant challenge! Just when we think we're one step ahead, they outsmart us again. Drats!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Springtime Fun

The kids have been enjoying their time "outs" as Nathan says. Olivia decided to pick a few pieces of fern and pretend she was a bird and the ferns were her wings. Nate likes to do everything his big sister does so he started running around with a fern also.

Olivia's obsession with worms continues. Nate does NOT share her fascination with the creepy crawlers. As soon as she hands him one and it moves, he throws it down!

Big sissy is learning how to push her brother on the swing. Nate loved it!

This is George's pride and joy. A free mower he found in an alley and got to run, against all odds!

Here is the little patio George built for his grill using random stepping stones from an overgrown pathway in our yard.

And here are my boys in their matching Crocs. Of course, Olivia had to stick her foot in the picture too. She's holding out for a pair of Scooby Crocs.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Under the Big Top

We took the kids to a local Shriners circus on Sunday. It was, by no means, Ringling Brothers, but the kids did enjoy themselves. Olivia said her favorite thing was the clowns. I think Nate liked the motorcycle that rode a tightwire.

Of course, both kids got to eat a snow cone.

Olivia is amazed by the death defying acts!

The girl on the upper bar is the youngest professional tight-rope walker at only 10 years old!

It was a nice way to spend a Sunday evening!