Monday, January 14, 2013

When Life Gives you Lemons...

 make lemonade!

 Jack has learned to stand himself up with no support and has taken only a few steps so far.  He's got great balance though and can stand on command.  It may be a confidence issue.  Or a stance issue.  He often stands with his legs wide apart which seems to be a tough position to begin a stride.  He loves manipulating objects with his hands.
 Here he is putting a straw through the lid of a kid's cup.  He says a few words too.  Momma, Dad, and Ian.  The first time he said "Ian," it took me by surprise.  I was buckling Jack into his carseat while the car was parked in the garage and also yelling for Ian to make his way out of the house and into the car.  I would yell, "Ian!"  Then pause for a moment, then yell it again.  One of the times while I was waiting for his response, I heard Jack mimmick me, "Neean."  SO CUTE!  I've been trying to use signs with him and sometimes he catches on or repeats them, other times he makes up his own signs.  When I ask him if he's all done at meal time, instead of doing the sign to confirm that he is in fact finished eating, he starts pulling up the outer rim of his food tray of the booster seat.
Then tonight at dinner, it sounded like he was saying "amen" throughout the prayer.  He likes to chatter too.  It's so cute to hear him chat away while in his crib before and after naps.
 Here's the full idea of him getting into the standing position.  He does it quite quickly and effortlessly, now if we could only persuade him to put one foot in front of the other!

 Here's a happy smile at mealtime.  I had an epiphany when I read how to make bean and cheese burritos last week.  I am a dork, indeed because I like browsing through cookbooks on my free time to get new ideas.  Somehow I came across a burrito for bean and cheese burritos, who uses a recipe for those?  Not me!  But, I found that if you saute some onions first, then add the can of refried beans to the onions, it makes a huge bonus in flavor.  I happened to have a red onion that needed to be used, and it was amazing in those bean and cheese burritos!  Also, I warmed the tortillas in foil in the oven before assembling them so that they'd be nice and supple to fold.  Then, after the burrito was assembled and folded, it went back into the oven for extra warming.  Topped with some salsa and sour cream it was a real treat!
 I thought we were playing this cute game of mirroring each other, but I later learned that he was probably positioning himself to get out some bodily waste...too funny.
 Here I had to get some photos of Ian being Ian.  For some reason, my kids love making collars and leashes for each other and their stuffed animals.  This time, Ian was using one of my exercise bands as a convenient all in one leash.  Usually the kids use elastic headbands and ribbons when it's Ian pretending to be a puppy. 
 Ian was totally happy to drag his dragon around the house.
 I have no idea.
Another funny Ian story: he recently entertained himself on a non-preschool weekday by participating in his own imaginary dragon and bear-fighting school.  When asked to clear his place at the table, he replied, "Sorry mom, I'm too busy fighting dragons and big huge bears today."  The morning was also punctured with his sincere gratitude to me for signing him up for this dragon-fighting and bear-fighting class. 
The picture below shows that sometimes great minds really do think alike.  Stephen was working a long while beyond his normal time and when he came home, I had invited the neighbors over to enjoy with us our movie and homemade pizza night.  After he greeted us all, Stephen changed into some comfortable clothes.  Not until Stephen made some quiet comment to Johnny a little while later did any of us notice that these two were unintentionally perfectly matched.  How hillarious is that??  We were cracking up because sometimes me and Kristen joke that we're sister wives, helping eachother out while one or the other's husband is at work.  Now we thought it was only appropriate that these two would dress like brother husbands???? I don't know about that one... A little too creepy.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


 Twas the night before Christmas and out on the couch, the kids left a treat and a note for Santa's pouch.  The note read: "Dear Santa, I'm sorry I lost the dust. I hope you found our home okay.  Love, Brooklyn.  P.S.  I have something for the elves to remember me and Ian."  The other note said simply "Merry Christmas" with some cute little stars and a Christmas tree.  The odd-shaped object in the foreground is a wrapped gift for santa and the elves.  I can't even remember what it was, a play dinosaur or figurine of some sort.  I love our little writer!  The dust thing was because Santa had sent Brooklyn a note a few weeks back and asked her to sprinkle this Christmas confetti on our doorstep so he could find our house easily.  We got a little excited though and sprinkled it on our back patio too early and a few days of good rainfall scattered the "elf dust" throughout the backyard.
 Though I didn't snap a picture of the full scene (maybe it's on the other camera), here we at least got some images of the kids on Christmas morning getting first use of their new toys and things.  Brooklyn right away made some keychains for her and her new friend Addi.  Ian bundled up in his new robe started play fighting with some power rangers.  The kid lucked out, he heard the warning many a time about the whole coal deal in the stocking for kids who were on the naughty list.  He was sincerely convinced this would be his fate.  Santa did leave a note though that Ian would have to earn the last 2 Power Rangers from his parents based on his good behavior.
 After Christmas, Brooklyn asked me, "Do you think Santa or his elves shop in regular stores?  Or do they just make things exactly the way the stores do.  The squinkies I got from Santa looked exactly like the ones we bought Addi for her birthday."
 A day or two after Christmas I realized Jack is overdue for a monthly photo shoot.  So here he is at just a little over 11 months.  He loves being part of an active loving family.  If the kids are rolling around on the ground with them, he'll nuzzle his head on them and take a big bite!  He's gotta put those new chompers to good use I guess!
 One day during the break we occupied ourselves with some foil.  The kids created some armor and other curious things.
 Here I was trying to get a silhouette of Jack so I can trace it onto some black paper and fill the matching photo frame that is ready and waiting for it.  It's hanging blank on the wall.  Do you know how hard it is to get this guy to stay still for a second?  nearly impossible.  That's why I also haven't trimmed his long, stray, wild hairs either!
 Who can resist those deep brown eyes?  I can't believe I've got a brown-eyed baby!  They're not even Stephen's color.  It's so fun to see the variety of features that kids inherit!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Fun Stuff

 Ian is just being his creative little self.
 Ever wonder how to burn hard boiled eggs?  Wonder no more.  Just set the sauce pan to boil and forget about it! ;)  You may hear a popping sound at some point and then you will find this.
 Best buddies and brothers!
 Brooklyn's Christmas performance.  She's giving me "the look" because I totally arrived 10 minutes late and MISSED the whole thing!  I felt so terrible!  Luckily she's a forgiving gal.
 Here's Ian's Christmas nativity at preschool.  He was a shepherd. 
 A little distracted, anyone?
 Just trying to add a little something extra, I guess.
 The girls were so cute. They made perfect little angels and a very sweet Mary.
 Here's Brooklyn with my cousin Broklyn on her wedding day in the dress her mother made her.  My Brooklyn drew a picture of it and wanted to pose with the Bride who nearly shares her name.  I'm so sad that I didn't have the flash on my camera!  I'll have to get some better pictures of her.  It was very intricately detailed and unique.  All those layers of ruffles and lace reminded me of another December wedding last year...

 Brooklyn made a face of her snack foods at Ninie's house.
 Brooklyn shows her new puppy that she got for her friend's special birthday outing at Build-A-Bear Workshop.  Thanks Sandi! :)
 Light saber time

 Jack practicing the piano
 just like his big sis

Just Stuff

 Ian's Preschool Thanksgiving Feast- love those head pieces-too funny!
 Guess which letter we talked about this day for learning time? (The orange in the cupcake tin is called a cutie or sometimes a California Clementine, as a hint ;)
 This is probably this biggest expanse of rainbow I've ever seen.  I looked again and saw another rainbow above the first, a little lighter though.
 I saved my milk bottle lids for what seemed like a year (not really though) in order to finally put these little alphabet stickers on them...all 27 letters.  Thanks Jen M. for always inspiring us to do fun learning time activities, and for purchasing preschool materials online in large quantities! ;)
 Our expressive 4 year-old

 And his wiggly little brother! That six-tooth smile gets me every time!  Clearer and more recent photos coming soon!
Lily our neighbor came over one morning for a playdough date.  We pretended to make a zoo with the cookie-cutter animal shapes.
 Bath time for Ian.  He does not like to make faces...
 or play it cool.  Not one bit.
 On another day, here's a glimpse of Ian joining in on mom's exercise time - a.k.a. an excuse for Ian to wear the sleeveless hand-me-down Thomas the Train shirt.  Recently Ian asked me, "Mom, don't you need to do some Denise Austin today?"  The cat's out of the bag.  I totally have a Denise Austin work-out video that I got after testing out my mom's copy of it at her house.  She's been around forever, but I like how upbeat and happy she is, not all crazy, mean, and intense like a lot of other instructors this days who just think they are a gift to the world and think that their body is SO INSANELY AWESOME!  Anyway... I'm off the soapbox now.
After I took the picture of Ian in the bath, I had to go peak in and get a shot (modest of course!) of his big sister in her shower.  Yes, Amy C. taught me that when kids are in kindergarten in her house, they become self-bathers and it's in the shower.  Funny thing is, she often begs to bathe with her brothers.  She's too old for that now though.  Growing pains.
It's a mystery how these pictures got jumbled out of order.
 I love finding notes all around the house from our newest reader and writer in the family.  This sign describes her outfit and hairdo plan for the tall-short dance at school the next day.  The tall-short theme just means that each student is to bring a parent to groove with.  Brooklyn of course went with her dad.  I don't blame her.  He'd be my top pick too.
Sign translation: "Hairdo:  braid in one pigtail and then pigtail plain."