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...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Old Enough

Our local YMCA has a nice rock wall in plain view of just about everyone in the building. You can see it from both floors and we have been passing it for nearly 5 years on our way to various Early Childhood classes & swim lessons. For the past 2, maybe 3, the Tumbleweed has been asking to climb it. She has been able to try climbing at Attitash in the summers, but the rules at the Y say you have to be 6 years old to climb.

So just as 16 year-olds get their permits on their 16th birthday, 18 year-olds buy lottery tickets and 21 year-olds go out for a drink, the Tumbleweed wanted to climb the rock wall as soon as she turned 6. Due to our schedule and the available class times, she finally got to take the required safety course (and climb the wall) just about two weeks after her birthday. She loved it!

Since she is a very focused kid, she is constantly asking to go to the Y to climb. Well that and to make crochet projects.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Bat Signal

The Dandelion is branching out! Don't get me wrong, he is still *very* into Cars but he is starting show interest in some other things. Sometimes that includes the Toy Story gang and, most recently, Batman. Apparently he was really in a Batman mode when he got his first ever design done in his hair at the barber shop. I couldn't believe he didn't get a Cars design!

Then he followed up the hair cut with his "bat face" while at a birthday party.

My little boy is growing up!

Her First Crochet Project

On one of the many snow days this winter, the Tumbleweed taught herself to finger knit from an American Girl magazine. She spent days knitting every last bit of yarn we had in the house into long chains. Belts, bracelets, jump ropes, there was yarn everywhere.

For her birthday, the Tumbleweed got a crochet instruction book for kids. It is a bit of a delicate balance between what she is capable of at six and what she thinks she is capable of. She wants to make the projects in the book, but she doesn't want to make any mistakes. She got the hang of creating a chain quickly and wanted to tackle the next project. The book is designed to progressively teach kids, but the Tumbleweed still needed a bit of help understanding the instructions and finding the stitches she was supposed to stitch into.

Together we made this ---

I think I am going to have to study more before we move on, because we have exhausted my crochet knowledge ;)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Time Flies

When you're having fun.

It seems like it was a long time ago that the Tumbleweed got a Lite Brite for her birthday. Really it was only two years, but boy have times changed. At the time it was one of her "quiet time activities" - things she could only do while her brother was napping. The Dandelion was not yet two and still puts all kinds of little things in his mouth.

Fast forward to today... the Lite Brite is something they both can do. And they can do it together (mostly) successfully. Well fed, well rested and in a good mood helps!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Thunny Fings

When the Tumbleweed was not quite four she would drop the "s" off the beginning of words when she spoke. And as I predicted, she outgrew it. It was cute :)

The Dandelion also has a few odd tendencies when he talks. He switches some of his consonants around. Not randomly though, he has very specific sounds that he switches.

F <-> Th: Free (=Three), Thruit, Thlamily

V <-> B : Banilla, Bacation, Vafing Suit, Pribacy, Cuvvy (=cubby @school), Neighvors

The switches don't make the words sound too unrecognizable, so he is not hard to understand most of the time. I love it when a cute word comes out :)

A few other cute word mix-ups he uses:

"Commander Oranges" = Mandarin oranges
"Toilet" = Toilet paper (he calls a toilet, "potty")
"Usually" = really
"Pacific" = specific
"Mercurtory" = Mercury
"The Hug" = The Hub TV Channel
"Twenty Ten, Twenty eleven..." = 30, 31... (he counts "twenty nine, twenty ten....")

But despite his mixed up words, he seems to be mastering his letters and sounds at school. He recognizes all of the letters upper and lowercase and knows most of the sounds. He will correctly identify that "B says 'buh'" so I guess he will be surprised that vanilla is spelled with a 'v'. And while he can identify his letters, he has no interest in writing them, especially at school. The teachers tell me that he never wants to go to the stations that involve writing, tracing, or coloring. At this point they don't think it is a problem, just a desire to do the more active stations. Only time will tell I guess.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cookies, Cookies and More Cookies!

Customer: "What kinds do you have?"

The Tumbleweed, listing them in the order of the rainbow colored boxes: "Thank You Berry Munch, Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos, Lemon Chalet Cremes. They're my favorite. Dulce de Leche, Thin Mints, Trefoils. They're my brother's favorite. And Samoas." (Note - Dulce de Leche was a tough one to learn and if you asked her in January, she said "delech deleach")

To say that the Tumbleweed was obsessed with selling Girl Scout cookies is putting it mildly. I don't think I have ever seen her put so much energy into something for such an extended period of time. From the day they passed out the order cards at the beginning of January until we turned in the money this week, she has been talking about cookies. "I have to take my order sheet to school today. I haven't gotten to ask the [art, music, computer] teacher if s/he wants any cookies." or "Ooh, there is nothing on the schedule after school today. Can we do a cookie booth?" She made phone calls to relatives, stepped carefully over icy sidewalks in the neighborhood, took her order card to school no less than 8 times, asked all of her coaches/instructors and worked at 4 different cookie booths.

And when all was said and done, she sold 332 boxes of cookies. Thank you to all of our family, friends & acquaintances who supported her!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Island Fun

Another year has gone by and the Tumbleweed was excited to celebrate her 6th birthday. After very little convincing, we settled on an Island Luau party (not the previously mentioned Barbie Thumbelina party). And while the theme was pretty easy to arrive at, and to come up with things to do, making a guest list was a little more complicated. Each year her parties have gotten bigger, and at times I find myself wondering if I should put my foot down and limit the number to the number of guests we had last year. But I don't, and the number of kids rises by a few more. But the kids are also a little older and the numbers have been pretty manageable.

We had a great time, but my time estimates during the party were a little off. I guess as they get older it doesn't take as long to do stuff. We had done a craft, 2 games, pinata, had cake and opened all of the presents and there were still 45 minutes left! Yikes. I had been so worried that we would still be opening presents when the parents came to pick-up that we had finished too early. But it all worked out and I don't think the kids noticed ;)

Perhaps I should start planning the Dandelion's birthday...

Another Year, Another Cake

By now most people who know me know that I like to make the kids' birthday cakes. The Tumbleweed's 6th birthday was no exception, however unlike previous years, I did not have a specific idea in my head. Usually I look through the cake books at the grocery store or see a cake creation on the internet that inspires me. This year it was less than a week until the party and I did not have inspiration.

I tried searching the internet, but I really didn't find many luau/beach/island cakes but the couple I did find provided enough inspiration for this:

Along the way I came across the Cake Wrecks Blog. It is a hilarious collection of messed up cakes, and on Sundays they have a post with really well done cakes. A word of warning though, they occasionally have some posts that are a little distasteful.