Thursday, December 20, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.  Ah, winter germs.  Barrett had bronchitis last Wednesday thru Saturday.  Today Charlotte was diagnosed with croup.  Both children were treated with steriods.  I'm grateful the medicine makes them better quickly, but holy cow, toddler 'roid rage is killer.

2.  Between illnesses, our neighbors had a snow party!  Amazingly, despite the 70 degree weather, they had a company deliver a patch of snow to their drive way that thrilled all of our neighborhood littles.  Snowball fights, snow men, snow angels, and hot chocolate~ ~ love spending time with these friends -- makes us feel all merry and bright
After an hour or so of play + light rain, the "snow" started to melt ... but still really fun!
3.  Remember these painting pages??  It's the kind with the "paint" already on the page.  You just have to add a brush and water.
 It's a quick and easy activity that the kids love -- entertains them just long enough for me to do something fast, like fix lunch.  Plus, it helps that they don't have to share the paints, since the paints are printed at the top of each page.
Charlotte mostly likes to dip her brush in the water and swirl the wet brush on the paper.

Barrett asked me to put his name on the bottom of Woody's boot, just like "Andy" is written on the bottom of Woody's boot in Toy Story.  I'm surprised how he picks up on those details in the storyline.

The Adventures of Sprinkles: Week Three

Sprinkles must be getting worn out by all the Christmas preparations at the North Pole, because his frolicking activities are becoming a little less imaginative.  Sorry to call you out like that, Sprinkles.
Here's what he was up to last week:
Decorating the tree with Barrett's big boy undies.  Silly Sprinkles.

Sitting on top of a mirror in the living room
Whispering his report into Santa's ear
Getting into the snowflake stickers

Keeping watch over all happenings from a perch in a vase on the mantle


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.        This happened again:
Do you see the little footprints trailing up towards the dining room??
Before you ask, this cabinet is childproofed. 
And I was standing right there, opening mail on the island, not three feet away from her.  Sigh.  I guess we aren't meant to keep powdered sugar in the house.

2.       We went to the symphony holiday concert again this year and it was so much fun!! 
Kristopher is a good sport about it, and I just love hearing the symphony do the classic and new carols.  If you see Kristopher, don't give him a hard time about going, because I want to make this a tradition. 
3.  I did this felt Christmas tree and ornament project that I saw on Pinterest.  
I had leftover felt scraps from previous projects, so I just used what I had on hand.
The kids can take ornaments on and off the felt tree, supposedly in lieu of messing with the real tree. 
Yeah.  About that. 
The tree and ornaments spend a lot more time wadded up on the floor or being pushed around in a dump truck or doll stroller.  Maybe my ornaments aren't detailed enough to interest them... 
But, I'm glad I didn't spend much time putting it together since they aren't interested anyway.  Maybe next year?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Adventures of Sprinkles: Week Two

I don't want to jinx us, but I think Sprinkles' magic might be working...a hissed whispered reminder in Barrett's ear has prevented many instances of undesirable behavior.  Who-hoo!!

We are realizing the importance that Sprinkles hide in places that are out of reach for tiny hands...the kids aren't supposed to touch him, and it is way too tempting for Charlotte.  She doesn't quite get the logic of being good for Santa yet; Sprinkles just looks like a cute doll to her.  So, best if he is just out of reach. 

Here's what Sprinkles was up to this week:
Hanging out of Barrett's stocking.  I think he was measuring how many goodies will fit, so he can tell Santa.
Driving the front end loader. 
Barrett didn't really like this one, because he wanted to play with the truck.
Hanging upside down from the chandelier

Going for a reindeer ride

I guess elves drink maple syrup?

Ziplining through the keeping room.
Like we always do.

Flying around the living room,
in an arc that just happened to be immediately below the ceiling fan...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Adventures of Sprinkles: Week One

Sprinkles the Elf joined our family the day after Thanksgiving, direct from the North Pole.

He brought some snow covered donuts for breakfast, but couldn't resist taking a bite of one.
See the powdered sugar on his face?

We explained to Barrett how Sprinkles was sent from Santa to check on us and would go back to the North Pole each night to tell Santa that Barrett was a good he should make sure he's always on his best behavior so Sprinkles has a good report.

Barrett hesitantly stared at him for a while...and tried to work up the courage to reach for a donut from Sprinkles' plate but then decided to wait til Kristopher handed him one. Working so far!

The other toys are making Sprinkles feel welcome.
We found him playing cards with Buzz and Woody.

Relaxing in a bubble bath.

Catching up on his reading.
Fishing for gummy fish out of the candy dish
Coloring a picture in the living room bookcases.
Barrett was tickled that he colored "B for BARRETT!!"

Sprinkles must have been thrilled that we finally brought home a Christmas tree, because we found him nestled among the ornaments the next morning.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Elf on the Shelf

Always a sucker for a family tradition, I couldn't resist the Elf on the Shelf hype.

This little guy is supposed to help keep your kids in line under the threat of reporting bad behavior to Santa. I never said I was above bribery.

Anyway, this is how it works: Santa delivers an elf to your family the day after Thanksgiving. Each night, the elf returns to the North Pole to report whether your kidlets were naughty or nice. The kids name the elf but CANNOT touch it or else ol' Elfie will lose his magic. So, he remains a revered figure that the parents can leverage use as a reminder to keep their precious angels on good behavior. 
Our elf is named Sprinkles.
He is surgically enhanced with pipe cleaners in his arms and legs so he is more "bendy"
Sounds like a good deal, right??
Well, it is. Except for one little caveat -- Sprinkles is supposed to be found in a different location each morning so the children know that he has been back to the North Pole to report their behavior.

There is a whole underground contention of over-achiever mommies who create elaborate vignettes for their elves each morning so Junior can ooh and aah over the hilarity of how his elf switched all the clothes in his closet with his sister's. Besides creating more work to pick up after your elf, isn't he setting a bad example for naughty behavior -- the EXACT thing I want to discourage??

Why would you do this??
So, Sprinkles is going to be somewhere in the middle. He won't be pulling any over-the-top stunts that I have to clean up (NO more powdered sugar snow angels in our house). I just hope he's not a slacker and can remember to move places each night when he gets back from checking in with Santa.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1. Barrett was an Indian in his Mothers Day Out Thanksgiving program. He drummed enthusiastically on his little coffee can and let out a loud "Hey Dada!!" in the middle of their opening number when he spotted us. At the end, Charlotte clapped for him and said "yay Bear-Witt!"
Indian Barrett, eating muffins made by his class at his school feast
2. The MetLife blimp was tethered near our house, so we went for a visit. I heard there are only three of them in the US!

We were all impressed by the humongous balloon. Plus, it has Snoopy on it.

On the first visit, the blimp man said that if we came back the next day at lunch when the winds were calm, he'd let us get in!

So, we went back but it was too windy so we didn't get to be pretend blimp pilots. It was still fun though!

3. My friend Jenny shared the joy of her little ladycake's outgrown dresses and shoes with Charlotte. It's like the hand-me-down lottery, since Jenny hand made most of Catherine's pretty clothes! Who hoo!!
Charlotte loves them and looks adorable. I'm still getting used to seeing her in bright big-girl colors and leggings. Or really, any colors other than white or pastels.

Look at those glitter shoes!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Things That Are Not Awesome

So. I gush a lot about how cute and sweet the kiddos are -- which is absolutely true (in my objective and completely unbiased opinion...). But, seriously. Things aren't sunshine and rainbows ALL the time. In fact, I think it's a little irritating when people act like everything is perma-perfect.
Let's keep it real, folks. It's impossible to pretend that things are 100% perfect 100% of the time. Not to mention exhausting to keep up that charade.

So anyway, here's a few recent stories that I'll probably think are funny later...but not quite yet.

The other day, I was in Barrett's room, helping him get dressed in clean clothes after a potty accident (super fun task in itself).  When I walked back down the hall to the living room, I saw that Charlotte used those 2 minutes to open a bag of powdered sugar and was laying on her stomach in the middle of the pile dragging her little arms and legs through the mess, like a snow angel.

When she saw me standing there, shocked and momentarily speechless, she stood up and ran towards the kitchen, leaving an incriminating trail of sugar footprints and shedding sprinkles of powdered sugar off her clothes with each toddling step.
Do you know how hard it is to sweep up powdered sugar?  And that the vaccuum makes it blow everywhere?  And that mopping it makes the floor sticky?  Just asking...

A few days later, I was helping Barrett use the potty in the powder room off the kitchen area when I heard a crash. I left his soiled underwear soaking in the clean-flushed toilet (best way I've found to pre-clean it before it goes in the washing machine...) and dashed out to find the source of the crash.

Charlotte had climbed from the chairs to the top of the breakfast table and knocked over my big vase full of water onto the white canvas cushions I was sewing to recover a pair of club chairs. She was using the cut stem of a split-leaf philodendron to color brown marks on my hand made white piping.
I'd been working on reupholstering these chairs since JULY.
These are the finished chairs.  In their former life, they were a lovely avacodo-colored curduroy.
Now they are white canvas on casters with nail head trim around the bottom and sides.
I will never reupholster again. Or at least not until the next time I really really want to recover something.

Anyway, as I was cleaning the mess off the cushions and redirecting the water away from the sewing machine I'd set up on the breakfast table, I heard the powder room toilet flush.
Yep, Barrett flushed the undies I'd left soaking. Because I'm sure that's really good for the plumbing. Hey, at least I didn't have to clean them after all.

(cringe.  and eyeroll.  and heavy sigh.)

And then, just when I was ready to give up on trying so hard to "do a good job," I looked in the rearview mirror the next time we were in the car and saw them sweetly holding hands, just on their own.
We were just riding down the road, and they spontaneously decided they wanted to hold hands.
Moments like this make it all worth it, a million times over. If I'm going to agonize over tantrums and shenanigans and frantically wonder what-am-I-doing-wrong?!? then I should get to bask in the sweet moments when they come too, don't you think?
It hapened again, a few days later, when we were riding in Kristopher's truck
I made me feel like I must be doing something right.
Even if they do flush their underwear and can't be trusted around a bag of powdered sugar.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Little Off the Top

Barrett didn't have Mothers Day Out on Election Day, so it seemed like the perfect time for a haircut. Except that every other mom had the same bright idea...

Luckily, we went to the special kids salon this time and they have a whole dedicated waiting room stocked with toys, blocks ,and coloring books to keep their little clients from becoming restless while they wait their turn.

I've just about decided that the kids salon is the only way to go -- Barrett and Charlotte are so much happier (and more cooperative) by the time they get in the chair, plus the fun airplane/car hydraulic chairs keep them busy during the cut itself. And cartoons. And lollipops. Whatever it takes.

Charlotte just had a bang trim to keep it out of her eyes.
Barrett's was thinned all over, but they left enough length for a few curls in the back.

I probably should have gotten it cut shorter so we wouldn't have to go back so soon, but I can't help loving his baby curls. He has the whole rest of his life to have a grown man haircut and I'm just not ready yet!