Friday, November 18, 2011

Another Week Gone...

Ah yes, another week gone. WHO AM I KIDDING? I haven't updated you for a month! But you're still here, so let's just carry on and pretend like everything is normal, 'kay? Speaking of normal, there was the usual:

Grace choking hugging Mark

Mark bailing before anyone else could "love" on him

"Mark, if you spill that... I won't tell anyone. Hee."

Mark: "You think she knows we're the ones flinging
blueberry yogurt on the floor?"
Grace: "Just act natural. I've been doing this for years
and she hasn't caught on yet!"
We had LOTS of fun at birthday parties, dressing up for Halloween, and cooking in the kitchen. First we cooked dinner with a little help from DeeDee:

She made bacon wrapped scallops. No, I'm not kidding.
And I'm not sharing either.
Then we cooked, er, made dessert:

"We're pretty good at this stirring stuff!"

"We're pretty good at the tasting part too!"

Proof this child is related to me.
(In case it was needed.)
I'm fairly certain I'll be passing the meal making chores to the kids any day now... Don't worry about them eating to much sugar though. We're pretty tight with the candy around here:

"Aargh Matey! Hand over yer candy and we'll
spare ya the plank!"
AREN'T THEY ADORABLE?!?! (So I'm a little biased. Sue me.)

"Ya see this stash o' candy little lady? That's how
we pirates get it done."

"Hey! How did you get more than me?"
"Face it matey, I'm older and wiser...
I've done this before ya know!"
Our little pirates terrorized the neighborhood demanding loot from anyone who would open their doors. Grace had a ball, and Mark caught on pretty quickly. At one point, we chatted with the neighbors too long and I looked down to find Mark had stolen a Tootsie Pop from his container and was gnawing through the paper! Those pirates are tough cookies!

That weekend we hosted John's 5th birthday party (and Uncle Kevin's 40th, but he said not to tell anyone so shhhh...). We visited the local bounce house hangout and Grace had a ball:

After one slide with mommy...

Grace was ready to win the race!
(Happy Birthday Cousin John!)
She also rocked the house with her drum solo.
Mark had fun too, but he was a little distracted:

Decisions, decisions...

"They said there was gonna be cake. There's cake right??"
Afterward, we came home to the festivities and Mark made sure to keep us on track:

"The pizza was great, but there's still
gonna be cake right? Cake?"
I didn't actually get a photo of the cake eating mess, but rest assured - there was cake. Grace and Mark were very excited that Auntie Kim also left a birthday balloon for each of them. They are very fond of "boons", and fought over them ALL WEEK. Thanks Auntie Kim!!!

Once all the guests had said their goodbyes, we ate dinner and settled in to watch the new DVD release: Cars 2. Auntie Kim had taken Grace and the cousins to see it at the theater months ago. It was Grace's first (and so far, only) movie at the theater. Daddy was anxious to check it out for himself since Grace was the only one who'd seen it. Turns out, Grace is still the only one who's seen it...

Seriously. I couldn't make this stuff up.
Remember Tuesday's post about how kids do goofy things because, well, they're kids? Turns out it's not that hard to get pictures if you really try:

Mornin' Markie.
Here's proof this child is also related
to me. (In case it was needed.)

Banana, telescope, leftover spy
glass from her pirate days... you decide.

Yeah, daddy helped with this one. Mark kept them on
for two hours. And cried when I took them off.
I hope your week was filled with a new way of seeing things, and that you weren't overrun by pirates tryin' to steal your loot! We are hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year, and I'm looking forward to celebrating all we have to be thankful for as a family. Oh, and pie.

"See ya soon!"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

That's What YOU Think

My kids do not think like I do. (Shocking, I know.)

Rumor has it this will continue well into adolescence. It's been said that even when they finally acheive adulthood and some form of maturity... they may still think differently than I do. (I assure you I will do my best to prevent that from happening.)

Um, this is not exactly what I meant when I said,
"Lay down and go to sleep!"
At what point do they begin to think like adults? At what stage do they look at a bookcase and cease to think that climbing it would be fun? When do they realize that drinking the water from the tub they just peed in is actually NOT a good idea? And don't even get me started about scissors.

No, children certainly do not think like we do. They have a wonderful sense of seeing the world only as it is presently. They do not look to the past, and they cannot look to the future. They see items and circumstances only as they are now. Which is their gift.

"I think I need a hat in the next size down..."
I look at our pots and pans reminding me of meals that need to be made, dishes that need to be washed, and meal planning that has yet to be done. My children see clanging cymbals, containers for trucks, and sometimes - hats. Whatever they happen to need in that moment, the objects around them can serve the purpose. They are not restrained with rules of how things are to be "used", what they are "for" and how they "work".

The imagination of a child is an amazing miracle. The world around them is still pliable. They can bend any object to serve the purpose at hand. The rigid structure of adulthood has not pierced their thoughts, inhibiting them from licking peanut butter off the table or turning couch cushions into forts. Responsibility and knowledge don't weigh on them, preventing them from enjoying dirt, water, food and bugs.

Mud Pie. It's no longer just for dessert!
They don't care if they get dirty. They don't have to care. That's what we're here for. So, as I walk around the house and find things that are a little "off", I have begun to take pictures. (Shocking, I know.) Reminders that their vision of the world around them is so different from my own...

Please join me on a short but fascinating trip into the minds of my children. But please, no questions - I have no idea what they were thinking.

"Whaddya mean pockets aren't made to hold dirt?
It works perfectly!"

"Who needs pancakes? Or a shirt? Or the ability
to actually twist open the cap?"

"But every time I took one bag out, another
popped up in it's place! Isn't that how
the game works?"

Swim suit or new headwear? She's such a
fashion trendsetter.

Why yes, that is a kitchen sink filled to the brim.
Why yes, that is my daughter drinking straight from it.
Why yes, that is my son scooping water oblivious to
how abnormal this entire situtation is...

You see: Iced Tea Pot
They see: Stuffed Animal Sleeping Quarters

Oh, like you haven't found your keys hanging from
holes in the walls at your house. Right.
(How the holes got there is another story...)

*No Caption Needed* (Ha!)

"Hey mom! What's in-hi-bition?"

"It seemed like a good idea at the time."

"How come adults have no idea how fun this room is?"

You see: Laundry Basket
She sees: Chair. Or Train. (Depends on the day.)

Speaking of trains... why bother with the plastic one
when you can invent your own?
I love the reminders that my children definitely do NOT think the way I do. On second thought, I take back my earlier statement. Maybe I won't do my best to teach them how to think like me. Maybe I'll even learn a little something from them.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Another, Um, Month Gone?

It turns out October is a surprisingly busy month. We have birthdays, trips to pumpkin patches and local attractions like Apple Hill, and of course the usual chaos that comes with red-headed mess makers:

"See no evil..."

"Look ma! No hands!"
I've been working on planning specific activities for the kids. Part of it is to encourage imagination and play, helping them to learn and experience new things. The other part is that sometimes I get to strap them down in one place for 20 minutes:

"Ooohhh... look Grace! Mom thinks this will keep us
out of trouble. Hahahahaha!!!!"

Mark only gets to play with the caps to the markers.

Grace got to color with markers for the first time, and
did a great job drawing circles for mommy!

Strapping them down is helpful, but not foolproof. While they were playing, I got a phone call and went into the other room for just a moment...

"Um, mommy? What does the 'permanent' in
permanent marker mean?"
Luckily, they were washable markers. I may walk out of the room when my 3 year old has a rainbow of markers in front of her, but even I have some brain cells left.

Remember the rice and beans Grace had such a fun time with last March? Mark was too little to participate then, but he's finally outgrown putting things in his mouth all the time, so I let him try it out recently. He loved it! He did quite well, but toward the end he still tried to eat some. Nevertheless, it kept them both busy for a long while which made me happy. Oh, and them too.

Why yes, that is a pink tutu over a party dress.
If one is pretty, two must be prettier!

Mark really got into the whole sensory experience. After
using just his hands for 20 minutes, he graduated
to full body immersion.
It's hard to believe I haven't posted ANY pictures of all our adventures the last two months. I finally went through them, and picked out some of the best. There are over 100. Hey, I told you we'd been busy!! Even the Grands may not be able to handle that much Sunshine at once, so I'll share just one with you today.

When daddy was on vacation last month, we did lots of fun stuff - including the Children's Museum. Both of the kids had a great time playing, exploring and working. Well, maybe not working, but training for future employment.

"What extension please? Can you hold?"

Panama Canal Director OR Disney Park Engineer

Ships captain OR
the role of Ginger on the new Gilligan's Island

Bus Driver OR Practicing for Drivers License

"'Don't worry dad, I've got this one!"

"If you run out of fingers, you can always use your
tongue. It helps."

This was by FAR Gracie's favorite play area. The register
beeps, the drawer opens, and she even handed me
my change! We did this over, and over, and over....
Life isn't always roses though. Earlier this month, Grace was climbing on a toy and fell off. She has a huge smile on her face because she was granted permission for a band-aid. If only everything were that simple.

"This has to rate at least TWO bandaids!"
Mark also got a bandaid this week. He went to the doctor for a check up. He's in the 75% for height, which means his Daddy is very proud of his "big boy" and his mommy is going to have to buy size 2T footie pajamas because his toes are threatening to burst out of the 18 month sleepers due to those long legs.

Mark had a GREAT time at the doctor's office. He played when we first arrived:

"Wow! This doctor stuff is fun! Let's do this every week!"
"I'll dance, you spin on the chair... then we'll switch!"

"Let's see, yep! All stocked up. Are we done here?"
After the kids were done touching, opening and playing with everything not baby-proofed, the nurse finally arrived. Mark cried when I put him in the scale to weigh him (25 lbs!). He cried when I put him down to measure him. He cried when they measured the circumference of his head. He cried when they took his temperature. He cried, cried, cried...

"Breathe? How can I breathe? I'm practically
hyperventilating here!"

"Look lady! Only I put things in my ears!
And for the record, it's usually something edible!"
If he had known what was coming, maybe he would have saved the tears for the final scene:

"What was THAT? I don't care how many
band-aids are involved. I'm NOT going to smile!"

"DeeDee... they SHOT me! SHOT ME!!!
Isn't that illegal or something?"
(DeeDee is a nurse, that's why she can smile while
Mark is so upset...)

"Nevermind what I said about the
doctor being fun. I'm NEVER going back!"
Gracie is also growing by leaps and bounds. You can't see it on the outside, but her words and actions indicate a much deeper level of understanding. She is still in love with the moon, and frequently asks to see it. "Where did the sun go?" is a nightly question, and "It's dark outside/in there/in my room" is a frequent comment.

Recently, I put her hair in a ponytail when we were in the kitchen. When I was done, she said "I'm going to go look in the mirror!" Daddy asked me how long she'd been saying things like that. I replied "About 2 seconds!" She has been fascinated with the mirror lately though. I caught her yesterday admiring how it works:

"Why yes, you do resemble Mrs. Potato Head!"

"Uh, mom? Some privacy please? I'm practicing for
my role on the next Toy Story movie."

"Oh my goodness! Buzz in trouble again??"

"Don't worry, I can be worried and pucker up for the
final kissing scene. Buzz does have a thing
for redheads you know."
Well, you made it to the end! I hope your month was filled with more smiles than bandaids, and that you're taking the time out of a busy life to enjoy those you love. Good job for making it all the way through... not everyone does you know.

"Whew! That was exhausting!"