Thursday, December 13, 2012

Having Fun with Our Elf on the Shelf

(34 Months)

We love Bella, our elf.  She flew to us from the North Pole last year when the kids were almost two years old.  They liked looking for her, but never really got excited about finding her.  It's amazing what a difference a year makes!  Now, one of the first things Wild One says is "let's go find Bella!"  It's so cute watching the two of them search throughout the house for her.  If they don't find her, they become concerned "maybe she stayed at the North Pole".  Which is almost always followed up by, "did you touch her?" and Wild One saying very seriously "no Mommy, she'll lose her magic and be sad."

When Wild One finds her, he shouts and points "there she is!".  He's so excited when he finds her.  I love hearing Wild One say, "What's Bella doin'?"  I really need to get that on video.  When Emily finds her she gets a sly grin on her face and says with such subtly  "I see her" and she goes about playing with whatever she was doing (drawing, building with blocks, taking care of Baby), while keeping an eye on her brother who is searching frantically for her.  It's amazing how different these two are.

Here are a few of my favorite places that Bella has flew back to this year.  She's so much fun.  I love this Christmas tradition.

 <<eating cereal>>
<<drinking tea>>

I wonder where she'll be tomorrow?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Where Did October Go????

(33 Months)

October flew by!  I knew it would, because we had a lot planned.  Whenever we have a lot planned, there is never enough hours in the day to accomplish it all.

We finally played with the cloud dough that I made back in August.  If you have not yet had a chance to run your hands through this cool, silky, smooth powder, then I highly recommend you make a batch.  While I was playing with it, I mean mixing it, I decided to hide some tiny figurines inside the moldable powder.  That way when they are playing, and inevitably crushing and squeezing the little balls of dough they can find a surprise.  Wild One loved this!  He was so excited when he found his first treasure.  Little Miss went straight to work filling her tiny coffee cups.  As you can see, she just left the mounds of powder alone and kept spooning more powder into her cups.

We celebrated Grandma's birthday.  Happy Birthday Grandma!  The kids helped make a very special pineapple cake for her, and they helped eat most of it.  I love how they enjoy baking.  It's taken a long time, but I'm finally more relaxed in the kitchen with them.  I've learned that whenever baking with my little ones, I need to allow for at least triple the amount of preparation time, to have a small stack of damp wash cloths ready to clean up any spills, take out at least three extra sets of mixing spoons (just in case one or two lands on the floor or someone decides to take a taste) and that the flour is not going to stay in the bowl.

Grandma always gets the biggest smiles!  

We made Halloweeny Eggs.  I wanted to dye the eggs a spooky black, ghoulish green and frightening orange- they decided that the eggs should be dyed in shades of pink and yellow and peach. They definitely weren't Halloween colors, but they had fun dying the eggs and adding crayon drawings and goggly-eye stickers to each of the eggs.  Later that day, we peeled our first eggs and then made egg salad (they didn't like the eating the egg salad, but they loved mashing the eggs).  I loved watching the careful determination of their little fingers grasping and peeling the shell.  I have a feeling we might be making Christmas Eggs too!

We finally had our trip up to Long Island to visit my family.  We are so lucky, the kidabunks like flying (not that we have done much) and they are, so far, good travelers.  This trip was by far our easiest flight.  We didn't even take a stroller.  The kids held my hands as we went through the airport and security, while dear old daddy lugged the suitcases to checkin.  During the flight they munched on their favorite, travel-friendly snacks (homemade Larabars and Cheerios), while playing their favorite educational apps or watching a LeapFrog or Toy Story movie.  Halfway through the flight we went to the bathroom, along with our travel potty seat.  They did fantastic, not one accident!  I'm so proud of them.
I love how when the three cousins get together they behave as they just saw each other yesterday, and not four or five months ago.  They fall right back into "let's play" mode and start laughing with one another.


Watching the school buses drive by.  This has been one of their favorite things to do since they could stand (Buddy started even younger, he used to sit in his swing by the door when he was only a few months old).

We had so much fun going apple picking.  The apple orchard specialized in dwarf apple trees, just the right height for our little ones.  They were able to go right up to a branch, choose an apple and twirl and pull it off the tree.  We love apples, and these were some of the tastiest, sweetest, crisp apples that I've ever had.  The kids apparently loved them too, they started eating and picking as we were going up and down the rows of trees.  Buddy liked getting the biggest apples he could find, Little Miss preferred the teeny tiny apples and Wild One just loved picking random apples off the tree.

Happy Birthday Aunt Eli!  We had our first taste of banana custard cake, so yummy.  We even got to sing an encore just so that we could help blow out the candles.

We always get spoiled when we go to Grandma and Grandpa's house.  Today we got to make pizza!  We both sampled the cheese as we added it to our individual pies.  Little Miss created mounds of cheese on her pizzas, whereas Wild One took more of an artistic approach.  I love the way he's sprinkling cheese on from up high- that's my little chef-in-training!

This year for Halloween, we dressed up as Woody and Jessie!  Little Miss loves wearing her costume.  She wore it almost every day!  Instead of taking the kids out trick-or-treating, we had them help us give out candy to all the kids that came by.  Of course, the first kid to ring the bell had on a scary wolf's mask and it completely frightened Little Miss, Wild One stepped back from the door, but Little Miss kept saying "I don't like you" over and over.  The little boy wearing the mask took off the mask to show her that he's just a boy, but that didn't help.  She was already clinging and climbing up her Daddy's arms.

Every time they heard the door bell ring, they ran to the door.  Wild One handed out candy to each visitor (after he got a good look at each one of them), and Little Miss would stand far enough away from the door where she could still see who was there.  When Little Miss saw a girl in a cute costume (especially one with a brightly colored wig) she would rush over and throw big handfuls of candy into their goody bags, otherwise she would say "I don't like the boys."

We love our teachers at My Gym!  

Having fun playing with instruments at music class.

We love riding the train at our local mall.  
They always want to wear their Thomas the Train hats when we go.

Now for some random moments- we have been playing with our homemade Play-Doh almost every day.  We're still going to My Gym four or five days a week, and our kiddie music class one morning a week.  We love playing outside, either in our lanai with the playhouse and chalkboards, or at one of the nearby playgrounds.  We still love our favorite indoor toys: the pretend kitchen, reading books, doing circle time and calendar time, playing with our knobbed cylinders, drawing and painting, and dancing to any type of music.

Wild One loves music!  Throughout the day he'll be singing and making up his own songs.  When he's not singing, he's dancing a wild, energetic, crazy dance.  Sometimes, if the music is not on, he'll turn on one of his pianos or his little LeapFrog radio and click through all the songs until he gets to the song he wants to hear, and then he does his wild boy dance.

Little Miss loves to sing too.  She'll make up songs narrating what she's doing or wants to do (hint hint).   She still carries Baby with her everywhere.  She's is so careful and tender with Baby, giving her "nice nice", gently rocking and singing her to sleep, feeding her special meals and then WHAM!  She throws Baby on the floor and laughs.  Then she goes right back to giving her hugs and kisses.  I love hearing her talk about what Baby is feeling and thinking.  Little Miss even creates elaborate stories about a pretend monster with gray hair that is actually Baby's sister.

Our latest driving game has been to find a Crazy Waving Arms Man.  They get so excited when they find one, and if they don't they begin imagining different scenarios for why he's not outside waving his arms:  he's sleeping, he's eating, he's tired, he's watching Blues Clues (or Super Why or Daniel Tiger), he's already napping.  Sometimes they will ask us to drive by his "house" to see if they can see him through the windows.  The people inside those stores must think we are absolutely insane- they see our car at least three times a week.  When they do finally see a Crazy Waving Arms Man, they start having immediate conversations with him "how are you?' "where have you been?" "you're waving to me, Crazy Waving Arms Man!"  I really need to start recording these conversations.

I also need to take a picture or record how Wild One piles books, shoes, blankets, wipes and anything else he can find in their room, on top of his sister while she's sleeping.  We've caught him piling stuff on her at least eight times already.  When we asked him why, he simply responded with a long narration of each item he put on her bed.  He always seems shocked when we tell him to get back into bed and to stop piling books and shoes onto his sister.

We sang Happy Birthday to Daddy!  They enjoyed singing Happy Birthday to Daddy so much, that we kept singing for another two weeks.  It's good thing that we bought the jumbo 4 0 candles!

OK, now to begin writing a brief recap of November.  How did I fall so behind?