Monday, May 30, 2011

My Baby Can Read*

When I first saw the "Your Baby Can Read!" info-mercials on Nick Jr., I had my doubts.  I mean, really, what kid under 5 needs that sort of pressure?  
Your Baby Can Read!

Seriously, can you imagine a 2-year-old reading Tolstoy to all her little toddler friends at storytime?  But, to all you doubters out there, check it out:
See?  It really works!*

*Child seen in video has been read this book at bedtime EVERY SINGLE NIGHT for over a year.  She may or may not have it memorized.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater

As I am always looking for new ways to wear the girls out and get them away from the t.v./Nintendo DS/, I just had to steal this great idea from my friend, Rita. 

The concept is easy:
1.  Chalk out a super long series of activities.
2.  Do one demo run-through so the kids will know what to do.
3.  Sit back and play Angry Birds for an hour while everyone else burns lots of energy, all the while dreaming of the long nap they will be taking soon.

One can dream, right?

Here's how it actually went:
1.  Chalk out activities, stopping every 2 minutes to tell Haley to stop pulling the neighbor's grass and throwing it into the a/c unit.
2.  Do ten run-throughs, stopping half-way each time to put Haley in time out.
3.  Give up, go inside, and let the kids color.

So, Rita, what next?  Keep posting those great ideas, and I will eventually find one that renders my girls completely exhausted!
"Make an animal sound" 

"Stop and smell the flower"

"Drive the truck around the track"

"Wave your arms in the air"

"Sing a song at the end"

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sip and Sew

The perfect gift for this momma for Mother's Day?  A night with the girls!  Thanks to my mom taking the girls, Bryon going to see a show, and sending me lots of free goodies, I was able to have twelve great friends over for "Sip and Sew".  

Ready, Set, Sew!
The Singer sewing machine company loaned me a Confidence 2467 machine and sent 4 yards of material for all the gals to play with.  Even though most everyone hadn't touched a sewing machine since Home Ec. circa 1989, they all were able to sew cute little bags in a flash.
Cute reversible bags
I can't speak for everyone else, but I can say I had a blast just chatting, sewing, and crafting.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures during the party...oops!  Avani, Gigi, Fanchon, Annette, Lori, Lilly, Corey, Lauren, Anneva, Bev, Heather, and Karen, you have officially been bitten by the sewing bug!

Showing off our creations at work

Friday, May 13, 2011

Dear Haley

Dear Haley,

You have no idea how much we have in common.  Despite you absolutely wearing me out on a daily basis, I have to giggle at the genes you were lucky enough to inherit.  

~You wake up in the best moods, laughing and ready to face the day.

~You will eat anything we give you.  In fact, you love anything spicy, including pickled okra and salsa.  You love edamame ("pops"), pizza, corn on the cob, filet mignon, and ketchup.  I love watching you try new foods and making "yum" noises!

~You are stubborn strong-willed.  If at first you don't succeed, you try, try, try, and try again, and are very resistant to help from others.  I have to phrase my help as, "Let's do this together," so that you won't be admitting you need help.  For instance, you love unzipping things but sometimes struggle. So, I have to hold your tiny fingers and un-zip things "together". 
~You are VERY smart.  (Just like your momma!?!)  You can follow directions and are eager to show off how much you understand.  We can tell you to "Go get some wipes out of the basket, bring me one, and we will wipe up this mess together," and like a flash, you do exactly what we ask.  It's like you have a lightbulb above your head going off, and you get SO excited.

~You haven't stopped moving since the day you were born.  Even when sitting on the couch to watch t.v., you still wiggle around constantly.  Don't ask me why, but I think we get this from your great-grandma Susie Blackman.  She was always in motion.  

~You love to have your hair fixed.

Check out those cute bows!
~Hugging isn't really your thing, but you are learning the value of a good hug.  I can count on one hand how many times you have wrapped your tiny arms around me, but each time, you get better and better. You seem a little resistant to hugs.  We are both learning!

Ah, at least pretend you want to hug!
~ You are eager to be just like your sister.  In fact, you already want to use the potty and wear panties like her.  I'm just not quite ready to let you out of diapers yet, even though you have tinkled several times now in the potty and are definitely ready to be potty-trained.  I think my sister is pretty cool too, and I try to do things just like her even to this day!

But, my adorable Haley, there is one thing you do that drives me CRAZY.  I think you get it from your dad...Anyway, you love water.  Running water, puddles of water, bathtubs full of water, water from the water fountain, dumping cups full of water on the floor, watering plants that don't need water, and especially toilet water, you love it all.  I have to follow you around all day cleaning up your water messes.  Isn't it getting old yet!?!
You are already more comfortable in the water than you momma!

Oh, and Haley, I can't wait for you to start talking in sentences.  You have a few words and are really trying.  Keep it up!  Mama, up, duck, bike, bawoon (balloon), and some animal sounds are about it right now.  Maybe in a few months, you'll be able to tell me why you can't stop moving.


Dear Monica, Age 56

Dear Monica, Age 56,

Today, I realized that Monica, age 56, will not remember the true Monica, age 36.  In twenty years, as a coping mechanism, my mind will have blocked out how extremely hard parenting truly was.  I've seen this with my mom.  No offense, Mom, but I kind of doubt Monica, age 2, potty-trained herself and would sleep through the night without wetting the bed.

I think human nature has evolved so that children wake up their parents in the middle of the night to purposely cause sleep-deprivation.  This in turn causes parents', and especially moms', brains to turn to mush so that they will continue to procreate.

So, Dear Monica, age 56, here is a tiny reminder of the "fun" times in Monica, age 36's, life:

~You were so tired, you eyes were in a constant state of blurry vision.  Focusing on things took much more effort than ever before.

~You were so forgetful, you couldn't remember if you worked or had the day off when climbing into bed.  If you worked, you had a hard time naming the co-workers you had just spent 8 hours with.

~You were so forgetful, you left your wedding ring at the tanning salon.  Thirty minutes later, when you ran back to get it, it was gone.  You were too drained to truly grieve over the loss.

~You were so exhausted that by the end of the day, disciplining your children seemed more of a chore than tolerating their antics.  Plus, you hoped their screaming and fighting would wear them out so that they would sleep just a little more.

~You were burning you candle at both ends and didn't have enough time most weeks to even watch a 30 minute sit-com on t.v.  If you did get the time, you sat through the entire episode thinking of other things that needed to be done.

~You cancelled breakfast with an old friend that you were desperate to see just so you could catch your breath for an hour.  (Sorry, Rita, age 29!)

~Your brain doesn't fire on all cylinders, so your co-workers and your three-year-old have to finish your sentences for you.

So, Dear Monica, age 56, you get the idea.  I can only hope I will look back on these years and be reminded of that great Garth Brooks song's lyrics, "I could have missed the pain but I'd of had to miss the dance".  

Here's to hoping the rest of this parenting thing is one big dance!
Monica, Age 36

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Blooming Hearts

How cute is this idea?
I really love the idea of homemade cards, so when I saw this tutorial on a photo bouquet, I decided to use it to make cards for Mother's Day.  I really wanted to involve the kids, so I decided to have them watercolor plain white cardstock.  I then cut out the shapes, glued our cute faces to the center,  "arranged" my bouquet on another sheet of cardstock, and had Shelby draw the stems.

 The girls loved watercoloring, and the crayola water colors washed off very easily.  I even painted a page of my own and loved it.
Haley showing off her "skills"

Shelby loves crafting

Happy Mother's Day to my mom, Bryon's mom, and our kids "second mom", Gloria.  You make our hearts bloom!