Saturday, January 31, 2009
So what's a Mom to do? Turn to clip art.
So without further ado, because I'm so darn proud of how well it turned out, here is the inspiration, and the finished cake.
The biggest challenge was coming up with black frosting for the eye brows, outline, etc. And Jeff actually gets credit for that. Working with red, blue, green and yellow food color, he mixed it to the point that it was a very dark purple. He then turned to the left-over chocolate cupcakes from his birthday, mixed in a lit of the dark brown frosting, and voila!
AJ was quite excited to see the cake last night. He started shuffling his feet in a little dance, then said, "Wow, that's pretty good! I love it!"
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Maybe it's due to the recent cold spells, but suddenly Sydney wants to be covered by a blanket at bedtime. But not just any blanket. The little girl who loves all things pink and Dora and cashmere, has taken a liking to a cheap blue blanket from IKEA that her aunt Sarah gave us because she'd received it in a gift exchange at work and didn't want it.
Sydney woke up about 1:30 this morning, and silly me, I pulled her from her crib, minus the blanket. I tried to lay down on the couch with her, but when I started to cover us up with the blanket that was there, Sydney, even in her groggy state, started crying, "No, no, no".
By coincidence, another polar fleece blanket was within arm's reach so I covered her with that instead. Even in the dark, that wasn't good enough. Apparently the knots/tassles on the edge felt different. I went back to her crib for the blue blanket and she settled right down.
I've told you, Sydney, Mommy's favorite Peanuts character is Sally, not Linus.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Weird blinks, glares on glasses and squirmy kids just don't lend themselves well to a keepsake portrait.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Of course, as soon as I took her picture, Sydney looked up and said, "Cheese!" She then insisted on looking at the back of the camera, because tech-savvy toddler that she is, she knows her image will pop up there, too.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Jeff and I are certainly sick of it. But I hadn't realized that the kids had reached that point too.
AJ asked me this weekend, "Why is it still snow time? When is it going to be grass time?"
If only I had an answer for him...
Saturday, January 24, 2009
So what's a stressed out Mom supposed to do? Spend a day in denial, focusing solely on her kids.
The Children's Museum had a special music/dance program Friday morning. Nevermind that AJ just wanted to play with the regular exhibits and Sydney was overwhelmed by all the people and so became extra clingy. We still had fun.
At the "campsite", AJ caught and prepared a nice fish lunch for us. Sydney, meanwhile, found a new duck population to line up in a row. Later we checked out the castle exhibit, where AJ found a new - and very appropriate - costume.
"Look, Mom. I'm a clown!"
Friday was awesome medicine for my spirits. Too bad it wreaked havoc on my vocal cords. Sydney's cold has become my cold, and right now I can barely speak above a whisper.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Such was the case last night. This book came with a CD, so he was able to "read" the book while I was playing with Sydney. He did a pretty good job of following along and turning the pages at the appropriate time.
Earlier in the week, he played legos for hours on end. If I remember right, the creations below were both "good robots".
I've had way too much on my plate this week. How do I know? Besides the obvious tell-tale signs of stress and lack of sleep, I've noticed it's been a challenge to come up with things to write about on this blog. I suspect my kids are being no less creative than normal. I've just been too distracted to notice some of the unusual things they're so good at saying and doing.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
So am I spoiling her? Probably. But it sure is cute to watch her excitement every time she spies something with Dora on it. When she finished her Dora (really Go-gurt) yogurt this morning, she got down and gave me a Dora dance: she kind of stamped her feet as she turned in a circle, chanting "Dowa! Dowa! Dowa!"
For any other Dora fans out there, she hasn't learned the famous "Swiper, no swiping!" line yet, but she does know to hold out her hand as if to say "Stop!" when she sees the naughty fox.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Never underestimate the power of branding. Even with toddlers! At 19 months, Sydney is in love with all things Dora. Or, as she says, Do-wa!
Note which book she wanted for a bedtime story last night (after already reading it about a dozen times earlier in the day)
The Dora obsession started with yogurt. Both kids love the packs of yogurt with cartoon characters on the labels. The problem is, the Trix version is all sugar, and the Diego pack includes peach flavor, which nobody seems to like. So, by default, we get Dora.
Sydney will stand at the refrigerator and shriek, "Dowa! Dowa!"
Thankfully, she doesn't really care if she eats out of the Dora yogurt container versus a regular bowl. That's a good thing because during our last visit to Sam's Club, Jeff picked up a huge box of "Go-gurt" for AJ. Nevermind that it contains 32 packages that expire in a week.
So the last few days, we've been doing a bait-and-switch with Sydney. "You want Dora? Sure, let me just squeeze it out of the Go-gurt tube into a bowl for you."
I'm thinking they must watch Dora, or maybe have some Dora toys at daycare. Because we really don't watch it much at our house. Makes no difference to Sydney. She's now a groupie!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
I walked into the garage, happened to glance at the ceiling and couldn't help but notice brownish splotches of ice stuck to the ceiling. Hmmm... I've got to think that can't be good.
I looked around for a few seconds, trying to figure out what could have caused stalactites to begin forming in my garage. And then I discovered the culprit. There it was on the floor - a couple of 12-packs of pop that now looked like they were puking out slushies.
I don't think I would have wanted to have been in the garage when those cans started to blow. The pop cases are standing upright on the floor. That must have been quite the explosion to shoot slush so hard that it reached the ceiling and stuck.
I hadn't worried about leaving pop in the garage, because the cases were propped against an inside wall, and we never left the garage door up any longer than absolutely necessary. Note to self: bring pop inside next time the temperature plummets below zero and stays there for 90 straight hours.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
As if the urinary track infection, odd (and still unidentified, though they've ruled out cancer) lump on her side and diabetes aren't enough, she also is stuck with a well-meaning but inept "Mom" who only can remember three of the four steps needed to successfully inject her with insulin:
- draw insulin (more than you need) into the syringe
- tap the syringe to remove any air bubbles
- push the plunger down to the correct dosage amount
- give the cat the injection
Friday morning, I managed to forget the critically important step #3, and instead gave Maddie about five times the dosage I should have. AAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!
The car was running. Sydney was screaming. AJ was asking a million inane questions that he already knew the answer to. I was trying to remember all the things I needed to grab at the store and calculate if I had enough time to run all the errands on my list prior to Sydney's doctor's appointment because the builder was bringing a plumber over in the afternoon to look at the basement. Plus, there's that stuff I needed to drop off at work. And oh, shoot, I still needed to give Maddie her insulin... And now you perhaps can understand how I could be so careless.
Suddenly, none of that mattered as I ran for the phone to check with the vet about possible implications. They recommended I bring her in and leave her for observation for the day.
So we scratched off half the things on the to-do list and headed to the vet. As we walked in, Dr. Dougherty, a very kind man who's normally our vet but isn't the one who's been helping with Maddie, waved to me from down the hall.
"And how are things going today?" He asked with a nod to me, the kids and the cat in the carrying case.
AJ cut to the chase. "My mom gave our cat too much medicine."
We were hustled into an exam room where an assistant filled out paper work. Both kids managed to pull hats and mittens off in that short time, while AJ also couldn't resist opening Maddie's kennel door to "check on her" - no doubt causing further trauma for the poor cat.
As we at last prepared to leave, I said, "Bye sweet girl, we'll see you tonight."
And that's when Sydney lost it. Did she think I was bidding farewell to her? I have no idea.
So we made it to the front reception area, with me instructing AJ to put his mittens on, while trying to get hat and mittens on the still-crying Sydney.
AJ felt compelled at this point to provide additional instructions to the staff member at the check-in desk. "You take care of my cat. You take good care of Maddie. Don't give her any shots."
The lady thought it was delightfully cute. I just smiled. I think they at last understood the distractions that led to my mistake.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
A co-worker showed me this ad, which is on the back cover of the December issue of Minnesota Monthly.
The resemblance is absolutely amazing.
A left-handed co-worker noticed one difference, which I had missed - this boy is a south paw, and AJ is not. A cruder colleague, meanwhile, suggested I ask Jeff if he's been fooling around.
Once I got past my initial awe, I did have another thought: "So this is what AJ would look like if we did a better job combing his hair."
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Sydney wanted Cheerios for breakfast, so I poured some in a bowl along with milk. She promptly ate it up, so I asked if she'd like some more.
"Yeah!" was her enthusiastic response. She slowed down a bit on the second bowl, though continued nibbling away. So when I finished my cereal, I left her at the table to finish eating while I started the dishes.
A very short time later I heard the horrible sound of a whole lot of cereal cascading from the box all over the table. Sydney didn't actually say, "Uh oh," but you could tell from the look on her face that she was thinking it.
I couldn't resist asking, "Did you want some more, Sydney?"
And that's when she brought her thumbs and pointer fingers together, perfectly demonstrating sign language for "more".
On second thought, I'd say her timing was perfect, because how do you scold a child who's just shown you something so cool?
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
I successfully distracted the kids long enough to take a shower. (God bless the creators of Elmo!) But when I reached the bathroom, this is what I saw:
Let me explain just what it is you are looking at. The towel bar on the left is mine. The one on the right is Jeff's. On the far left of the photo, you can see a blue wash rag. It was used by Jeff. It is still wet. It has been placed over my towel, leaving a large area of said towel cold and damp. Note how relatively empty Jeff's towel bar is. Note how much emptier it would be if he put hangars and shirts back in the closet where they belong. Surely there would have been enough space to drape a wet wash rag.
I don't normally make a blatant pitch for comments on my blog. But I'd love to hear suggestions on appropriate payback. Ideas, anyone?
Friday, January 9, 2009
His newest idea is to open a restaurant, which he'll name "Mixers". Don't ask me where he got the name. He just likes to come up with that sort of thing. (Have I mentioned he's announced that someday he'll have a son named JJAJ? No word on what all those initials will stand for.)
Back to the restaurant plans... Based on the menu he's cooked up, it sounds like he'll be serving a mix of seafood and preschool favorites. He's going to serve "smoked fish and salmon fish and crab legs and lobster and pizza and meatloaf cupcakes and chocolate milk."
Just what exactly are meatloaf cupcakes? As he explained to me, "It's meatloaf with frosting in the middle."
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Sydney loves her rubber duckies. She would play with them in the bathtub for hours if we let her. We've also used them as a distraction to keep her on the toilet longer while potty training. Her little duck friends are the most fun!
Just so long as they're all in a nice line on the edge of the tub.
It is an obsession with her. The first thing she does when we put her in the tub is search around amongst all the various tub toys floating in the water. If any of the ducks are out of place, she lunges to grab and place them where they should be. If one gets knocked in the water, "Uh oh!" She then either puts it back where it belongs or hands it to me to place it on the ledge.
"Rubber duckie, you're the one..."
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
I can't help but wonder what she's thinking as she's doing it, or what's motivating her to try.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
When the commercial comes on, AJ points it out and says, "Mom, we could get that." The scary thing is, that means he's not only inherited his Grandpa's love of sliders, but also his fascination with "whizzersnazzers".
No, we haven't caved in and bought one... yet. But we have bought frozen White Castle cheeseburgers and made them for lunch at home.
Don't let these two go to the Fair together!
Monday, January 5, 2009
I'm guessing it was a very skinny rabbit. Unless it has a 2-3 foot vertical leap, it's point of entrance and exit must have been the small gap between the gate and fence post (not visible in the photo). It came in, circled the hot tub once, and left.
I pointed out the tracks to AJ, who theorized, "I think it came to take our carrots."
"Do we have any carrots in the backyard?" I questioned.
"No, it came in our house and ate our carrots!"
That better not have happened. We had a vegetable breakthrough with Sydney this weekend. She suddenly likes cooked carrots. So we're keeping those well-stocked in the fridge.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Our living room reached "out of control" point this weekend. AJ unintentionally affirmed that, asking, "Why do we have so many toys to pick up?"
Exactly! All the new Christmas presents have nowhere to go because the toy bins already are filled to overflowing. So Jeff and I decided to sort.
We filled a large box with baby toys, which is now on a shelf in the basement. The toy Sydney is playing with in the photo has earned a slight reprieve. We'll see if she continues playing with it today. Plus, that'll give us more time to find one of the balls.
Meanwhile, we re-united many of the small pieces we found in the bottom of the toy bins with the toy where they belong. Plastic screws and bolts are now back with the tool bench. And the Superheroes memory game is now just Hulk legs away from being complete (except for all the little grey cups that Sydney has scattered around the house. I suspect many of those are in our cars.)
Now, it's on to the kids' closets. As my family knows, I love cleaning closets! Maybe I could convince Jeff to put up more shelves when I'm done. I'll have to tell AJ that's something Grandpa David doesn't seem to know how to fix!
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Gone, but certainly not forgotten! Grandpa David and Grandma Elouise may have headed south for the winter, but that's not stopping AJ from thinking of them.
He continues to say, "My grandpa can fix anything!"
I questioned him on that. "How can you be so sure?"
He confidently answered, "Because he has tools!"
There's something else about Grandpa that's left an impression on this young impressionist. This is my first attempt at adding video to my blog, so I hope it works. Be sure to have the sound up!
Friday, January 2, 2009
I pulled out our box of 100 cookie cutters, which includes more shapes than you can imagine.. except for a snowflake. That was okay once AJ saw the other options. We now have cookies shaped like two kinds of dinosaurs, a flag, stars, a snowman, a Christmas tree and a ghost.
While waiting for the cookies to bake, AJ found time to do a little fishing. Casting his imaginary line and then reeling it in, he announced he was catching salmon fish and smoked fish. That is quite a catch!
After eating the cookie, Jeff told AJ, "That was a very good cookie. Thank you."
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Sydney's favorit part, of course, was the melted butter. This girl is going to be a contender for Princess Kay of the Milky Way. Rather than wait to have her head carved in butter, though, she decided to douse herself in it. I think her intent was to lick the bowl. Instead, she managed to get it all over her face, dress and hair. Note the shine on her cheeks and forehead. That's all butter!
AJ, meanwhile, provided the after-dinner entertainment. Sliding his fingers into the leftover shells, he performed an impromptu finger puppet show, starting by saying, "Hello, I'm Crab Man!"