Still Catching Up...

I wish I could devote more time to blogging these days, but the best I can do is to post when I can.

Stay tuned...

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Nap Returns

Since she is nearly 4, and possibly embarking on school in the afternoon this fall, we decided that it was time to eliminate the Tumbleweed's naps. We thought that after a couple of weeks of not taking afternoon naps she would have started sleeping longer at night, but that has not happened. Instead she is continuing to sleep the same amount at night - which means she is getting about 3 hours less sleep every day. This has lead to some unpleasant afternoons.

After four weeks of dealing with the wild mood swings of a child who hasn't slept enough, the Tumbleweed has napped for the last two afternoons. We are not planning to make it permanent, but I think we are going to make a daily decision based on her behavior whether or not there will be naptime on a given day.

I think I like the new plan because I like the quiet time while the kids nap.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Winter Green

We are 3 days into our AeroGarden project (my anniversary gift from the Eagle). Look at the salad greens grow!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day Recap

OK - So how did the snow day actually play out...

During the early - mid morning the kids did some playing, crafting, chasing, snacks, etc. in the family room while I scrapbooked at the kitchen table. I know, all that scrapbooking space in the family room and I decide to spread into another room! But actually it worked well because the Dandilion didn't try to climb into my lap or reach up to the table and pull the scissors off, yet I could still see what they were doing & they could see me.

Around 11, the Dandilion went down for a nap, and the Tumbleweed made herself a PB & J sandwich for lunch (one of her favorite things to do right now). She got to watch the new Olivia TV show for the first time, and I did some more scrapbooking (I was on a really good roll!)

After lunch, I decided it would be a good time to head outside, so I had the Tumbleweed head down to get her gear on, but she fell on the stairs & bumped her elbow. I didn't see the fall, so there was a while that I was worrying that I might be heading to the ER... but after about 1 hour she was back to normal.

Finally we headed outside - with a small window since the Dandilion would probably wake up soon. By this time we were getting little sleet pellets, which soon turned to freezing rain. The Tumbleweed enjoyed making tracks all over the driveway, making snow chairs in the mounds of snow, and climbing the tall piles of shoveled snow beside the driveway. We were out for about 30 minutes I think - just enough time for me to shovel half the driveway so the Eagle could pull in.

Things got a bit crazy for about a half hour when the Eagle came home, the Dandilion woke up, and the Tumbleweed hit a tearful spell (probably a result of the no-napping, as it was her old naptime). Finally we got things calmed down with a snack & a little TV while I re-grouped.

Next the Dandilion got his chance to try play-doh, which I think he was a bit unimpressed with. I showed him how to make logs (not interested), balls (he threw across the table because ball are for throwing...) and pancakes (he hit the table more than the play-doh). His favorite part was throwing it on the floor & having the Tumbleweed pick it up so he could do it again (Mommy & Daddy wouldn't have played this game nearly as long).

Earlier I had promised the Tumbleweed that we could make cupcakes, so I pulled out a box of cake mix only to discover that we didn't have enough eggs to make it. Seeing a fit in the future, I checked my trusty old Better Homes & Gardens Junior Cookbook for a cake recipe and sure enough, we had the right ingredients to make a (smaller) cake from scratch... so we made cupcakes.

Finally, it was time for dinner - which I did not do in the crock pot as planned. I decided it would be easier to throw together chicken cacciatore... and I didn't really make a dinner plan early enough to "slow cook" it anyway... maybe I will cook slowly tomorrow... hehe..

Anyway, from there it was just a normal night - dinner (with special snow day cupcakes afterward), baths, stories, bed, and finally me time... I am coming along quite nicely on a mini-book project for "book club". It is mostly done now & the glitter is drying :)

Overall, not a bad snow day...

Snow Day Plan

Dilemma of the day - what to do for another day in the house... The Eagle is working, so it is just me & the kids until dinner. Since usually I just take what comes at me on a day like this, and end up miserable, I thought I should try making a plan. Here is a long winded post about my thought processes this morning...

Right now "playing" seems to be going well. The kids are playing in the family room, chasing each other around. That will probably end in tears before I finish this post, but right now it sounds like fun. (Update: I am ready to post and there have been no tears!)

I still debating about going outside for snow play time. The weather is supposed to change over to "wintery mix" after lunch, so we would need to go out before then. And since the Dandilion will eventually take a nap this morning, if I want to include him we'd have to go out soon. But then again, I don't know if I can handle both of them outside in the cold (and getting all of their gear on) by myself. Maybe I'll take the Tumbleweed out during his nap...hmmm...

Since the Tumbleweed is no longer napping in the afternoons, I have 3 more hours to fill with activities for her (and 3 less hours to do what I need to do!). So I think we will do a movie in the early afternoon - maybe I can get some scrapbooking time during the movie :)

Later this afternoon I think we will set up play-doh at the kitchen table, so the Dandilion can sit in his high chair and try it. I am still concerned that he will eat it, but I'm going to give it a shot.

It also seems like a good day to do some cooking & baking. I think I will try another Crock Pot recipe - better get going on that. Then if I don't have to throw together dinner around 4:00, we can bake something as an afternoon activity. The Tumbleweed is really into baking these days and is always asking about it.

Somewhere in there, I am hoping to spend some time making progress on some of my scrapbooking projects. My monthly scrapbooking "book club" meets on Sunday, so I have a deadline to get things done by. I am enjoying having these deadlines, as it definitely helps me get more done but sometimes it makes for late nights when I procrastinate!

OK - sounds like it's going to be a busy day! TTFN

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ice Capades

Well, not quite yet. Today the Tumbleweed went ice skating for the first time. She was really excited to go after seeing ice skating on TV last weekend. She took quite a few spills while she & Daddy worked out the kinks of skating together. In the end he held her by the collar of her vest and she ran along in her skates. He managed to do quite a good job catching her when she couldn't stop or turn fast enough.

We were all quite cold by the time we left --- mental note: dress warmer if you are not skating.

Friday, January 23, 2009


The Tumbleweed's preschool class spent this week learning about disabilities and ended the week with a "Hop-a-thon" to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

She made phone calls to our family for pledges earlier in the week. She particularly enjoyed dialing the phone ("Mommy, you spell the numbers and I'll push the buttons"). We liked hearing the various pronunciations of Muscular Dystrophy ("Mulular Dirosee").

At the Hop-A-Thon she did 315 hops in 2 minutes (all while holding hands with another little girl!) - racking up quite a bill for the family members who pledge by the hop!

It was a great learning experience for the kids - and lots of fun too!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Disciplinary Trouble

My friend Ali's post reminded me to record some of the discipline challenges we have these days...

1- Counting to Three

Mommy: "Honey if you don't do X I am going to count"
Tumbleweed: "No, I don't want you to Count!"
Mommy: "One"
Tumbleweed: "Don't Count!"(shouting)
Dandilion: "Two"
Tumbleweed: "Only Mommy can count!" (crying/yelling)
Mommy: "Two"
Dandilion: "Three"
The Tumbleweed complies before Mommy says three.

Hard not to laugh at this when it happens but it seems to work for now.

2- Time Out

We started timeouts with the Tumbleweed when she was around 18 months, and she caught on amazingly quickly. Within a few days she new we were serious and sat in time out and said sorry when it was time to get out. Before long she responded to the warning and didn't repeat the action to avoid the time out.

That is not the case today. She has turned into the screaming kid from Super Nanny while in time out, flipping the chair, throwing things and refusing to apologize. Hopefully this is just a "Terrible Threes" phase and will turn around soon because I don't like the nasty attitude that shows up from time to time.

The Dandilion is now 18 months, so I have started to implement timeouts with him too. He does not get it. He has successfully sat in timeout a few times, but definitely doesn't know why because he will get right back up and do the punishable action again. He certainly doesn't respond to the threat of a timeout. Heck, he doesn't listen if we say "no" or "stop" - he's too busy trying to get away with something!

Do they have obedience classes for kids?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Adventures in Cooking - Part 2

Cooking for Kids...

Today I decided we would have a "kid meal" for dinner and the Tumbleweed helped me make it. We used one of her Christmas gifts, the "Cooking for Kids" cookbook. We picked the recipe in the morning and made our list, then went shopping for the ingredients. When it came time to cook our "Pizza Snack Cups" she helped with several of the steps. When we all sat down she was vary proud to announce to Daddy that she had made dinner - and she ate it too (we have been off & on with dinners over the past few months so any dinner that isn't a struggle is good!)

I have been trying to remember to include the Tumbleweed in my daily activities by giving her some "harder" tasks to keep her interested. Lately she has seemed so disinterested in helping out, and finally I realized that she was probably just bored with her "jobs". (I'm bored with most of mine too, but I don't think I can stop changing diapers...LOL). So anyway, she did quite well with some new responsibilities at the grocery store, including holding the list and checking things off. She is also getting pretty good in the kitchen at knowing where to find things and what things get hot. It is quite pleasant when she is into helping out :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Potty Training Lesson #1

We spent a lot of time sorting and organizing this weekend and in the processes unearthed some things that had been stored. One such item was the Little Potty - which provided a cute little moment.

We were both in the kitchen and the kids had gone down the hall and seemed quiet... too quiet, I had to go investigate. When I peeked into the Dandilion's room I saw the Tumbleweed giving the Dandilion a tour of the little potty..."here is the flusher, here is the toilet paper, and you sit here" It was so cute. The Dandilion was half listening and half exploring how the levers & seats worked. It provided a good half hour of entertainment until the Tumbleweed got mad that the Dandilion wouldn't sit on the potty - he just wanted to step in it. Now he is obsessed with the little potty every time he sees it --- "Pah-tee, pah-teee, pah-teeeeeee"

It will be a while before I actually start potty training him.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of both kids putting their foot in the potty:

The Tumbleweed gets a new potty - July 2006

The Dandilion tries out the potty - January 2009

Adventures In Cooking

OK, so one of my goals for 2009 is to be more creative with dinner. Lately I have been feeling very uninspired when it comes to dinnertime because we are always making the same meals. It is time to put the shelf of cookbooks to use!

Today, we started by pulling out the Slow Cooker Bible & flipping through some pages to see what we could make with things we already had, using the slow cooker that hasn't been used in the 2.5 years since we moved here.

The final decision: Hearty Chili Mac. It was delicious --- although Daniela decided she didn't want to eat it. I think she would have liked it if she had tried it.

We also found several other yummy recipes that we are going to try in the coming weeks - after I shop for the right ingredients!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Not getting enough done

Why is it when you have lots of things to do, and free time to do it in, you get less done than if you had very little time to do the same things? That's where I am at today. I have a list a mile long, and almost nothing crossed off...grrr. I could make a lot of excuses, but I think the reason is plain & simple --- there is not urgent reason to do it, so it is hard to get motivated.

One of my goals this new year is to not procrastinate projects until the last minute, so I am trying to work on breaking this habit. I have basically cleared this weekend for all of these projects, so for tonight & tomorrow I am going to try to be more specific and give myself some "homework" & deadlines. I need a specific direction in order to focus my energy, rather than aimlessly working on 12 things at the same time and completing non of them!

As the saying goes... "If you want something done, give it to a busy person"... I need to be busy, to have a mission, to have a direction, to have a deadline. (Just ask everyone who went to Disney with me...LOL)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Back to Reality

Well, we returned from Florida to a driveway full of snow to shovel. Life is cruel. Anyway, we had a great time at Disney World. I have lots of stories to record, but I haven't quite decided what format I will be doing that in yet. I think I am going to start by downloading 600 pictures and decide where to go from there.

Monday, January 12, 2009

First Haircut

The Dandilion had his first haircut while we were at the Magic Kingdom. It was very cute, with everyone blowing bubbles and taking pictures. At the end they gave him special First Haircut Mickey Ears.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bibbity Bobbity Boo

The Tumbleweed had an awesome first full day at Disney World:

7:00AM - Ran 5K through Animal Kingdom & got a medal
11:00AM - Won her heat of the 100m dash & got a medal
2:30 PM - Got a princess makeover at the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique
5:00PM - Met Jasmine & Aladdin
5:40PM - Dinner with Cinderella & Friends
7:00PM - Met the Princesses at the Magic Kingdom
8:00PM - Met Ariel
8:15PM - Saw the fireworks "go at the SAME TIME!"

Monday, January 5, 2009

No more bottles

After forgetting to take the Dandilion's bottles on the first leg of our Christmas journey, I can now say that the Dandilion is all done with bottles.

Since I can't be sure which of the old bottles are BPA-free and which aren't, I am throwing all old bottles away. Sure does clean out space to be free of them! I also packed up many of the other "little baby" things: The boppy, spit up cloths, swaddling blankets, pacifiers. My little guy is getting so big!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Storage System?

Yes - I am reorganizing several areas of the house as I do every year at this time. With the Christmas still up, my annual organizing and packing for vacation the house looks like a bomb went off. Grrr. It is going to take me a month to dig out of this mess! Where is it going to go? I honestly don't know!

Anyway... I emptied out some of my scrapbooking cabinets to organize them, and I guess the Tumbleweed noticed so she emptied a toy cabinet onto the floor (I don't think she got the concept that I was going to put everything back shortly). A little while later, I hear "Mommy", "Daddy", "Come find me" . Yup, she was in the cabinet. It didn't take long for the Dandilion to get into the action either...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Welcome to Ponyville

Can you tell the Tumbleweed is into My Little Ponies? For Christmas she got several of the "Ponyville" houses and has had a ball "delivering Ponymail" to each of them. Grandpa even made her a new shelf to help organize them.

Friday, January 2, 2009

January Clean Sweep

My annual purge is just getting going. I started with my scrapbook space, since it had gotten out of hand with Christmas projects and when I brought home my Christmas presents there was no where to put them. Besides, why not start with the "fun stuff".

My couple of hours of work has already paid off with some great finds... The pictures of the Tumbleweed on Santa's lap from 2005 (I have searched several times for these and thought they were lost in the move) and a bracelet & necklace my Aunt got the Tumbleweed in Summer 2007 (I wondered where they went!).

Back to my mess --- you have to make a more of a mess to get organized, right? Well, that's how I do it. The house is a disaster right now! I wish I had a "clean up crew" like they do on the orgnaizing TV shows :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Look Back at 2008

Every year for about 4 years on New Year's Day I have written out my New Year's To Do List/Goals/Resolutions. It takes about 5 notebook pages (most of it is the to do list for the year) and a few hours to do. A lot carries over from the previous year. When I am done I keep in it in a binder labeled "Lists". I don't frequently look back at at after about February, but I pull it out at the end of the year and see what kind of progress I have made...

A couple of big ones on the 2008 list that I accomplished were...

~teach the Tumbleweed to use the potty
~teach the Dandilion to sleep (although we still need to teach him to sleep in places other than his own room)
~create a blog to record thoughts on life
~get several old projects completed (not really caught up, but getting closer!)
~create a more peaceful bedroom (we donated lots of extra clothes & turned our bed diagonally over the summer!)

A couple that will go back on the list in 2009...

~organize papers, mail, filing, etc better
~use internet banking more
~cook fancier meals more often/plan meals before going to the store
~make time to exercise on a regular basis

I guess I better get to making that list, but I do know that step one of the "January Clean Sweep" is to shed the excess paper (no, not scrapbooking paper!). To get that going I will be starting to read "When Organizing Isn't Enough, Shed Stuff, Change Your Life" by Julie Morgenstern. When I finish with the papers, I will move on to read "Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?" by Peter Walsh (TLC's Clean Sweep). Both have been on my bookshelf since July...hmmm... I guess make time to read more will also be on the resolutions list.