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Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's going to be a Little People Christmas

Too bad Target was sold out of the nativity set by the time it went on sale for half price...

I've been a savvy shopper and managed to get my kids several Fisher-Price Little People items for an average of half the retail price. These are some of my daughter's favorite toys and have been for years, and my son enjoys them too.

My latest scores included the following, both about $6 on Amazon instead of the retail price of $17.99. The SUV was a Lightning Deal in toys and is now a little more but still far below retail. And the tractor set has been deeply discounted for days!

Just finished Finger Lickin' Fiften

I recently finished the most recent Stephanie Plum novel by Janet Evanovich. I always enjoy the books in this series, but this one didn't provide as much satisfaction as previous ones. I may just be too picky about books these days since I have so little time to read. Finger Lickin' Fifteen was an enjoyable read, but didn't leave me sad that I have to wait to read the next Plum novel.

The next time we have a car trip or I otherwise think I'll have more time to read, I plan on picking up Plum Spooky (A Between-the-Numbers Novel)from the library.

The fifteenth novel may not have excited me as much as previous ones, but if you haven't discovered these books yet, I highly recommend them. They are fun, irreverent mysteries featuring a bumbling Jersey girl who finds herself working as a bounty hunter. She bounces back and forth between the two main men in her life, Morelli and Ranger, and has an entertaining supporting cast of characters.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Amazon toy deals!

Amazon has been running some great buys on toys. Last year I got so many last-minute deals, online and off, that I held a few things back for birthday.

Keep checking their Lightning Deals page. You can preview the items that will be further discounted later in the day. Today seems to have some extra-good deals, and they are selling out especially fast.

That page highlights several other Amazon specials. Of special interest to me was the deep discounts on several items with Frustration-Free Packaging. I'm a huge fan of this packaging for gifts for my own children because the number of wire ties and tape used on some toy packages is pretty ridiculous. It can be quite a project to open them, and there are more dangerous little things to keep away from the baby, and there is a lot more packaging waste. The box isn't as shiny and pretty and made for nice display in a store, so it might not go over as well in some gift situations, but I will choose this packaging over the regular packaging every chance I get when buying for myself.

P.S. If you read my recent post about Sophie the Giraffe, she was one of yesterday's lightning deals and I gave in to temptation. I'll review her after she's been well chomped by Gator!

Muh muh

"Muh muh." That's, me, apparently. Or it means, "I want to nurse!"

I've recently realized that when Gator is following me around persistently, he says mmmmmm mmmmmm or muh muh. When he's that fixated on me, he usually wants to nurse. Luckily for him, Mama and nursing come in one warm package.

One of the interesting things about breastfeeding is you can't ever tell for sure how much your baby wanted to see you because he was hungry and how much was because he needed a mommy fix. It's such a special relationship that gives bonding and nourishment. Not that bottle-feeding mommies don't bond, but the bonding when you're feeding with a bottle is different from the bond while nursing. At least that's what my hormones tell me when my baby is suckling away, getting so much nourishment and comfort from such a simple act. I've had to feed my other baby expressed milk as a newborn who couldn't nurse, and the hormonal response from pumping and bottlefeeding is just not the same as the pure and simple act of breastfeeding.

Gator is so much more of a mama's boy than I remember his sister being. I'm sure part of that is because others can fulfill her needs as well as I can, but only I could feed him for a while, so we were pretty inseparable.

Violet's first word was "da" and everything was some variation or inflection of "da" or "da da". It really makes me smile that Gator seems to be choosing mommy as his first word to tackle.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gender Confused Super Why

At left, Princess Presto. At right, Super Why. So she says.

My daughter has dubbed one of her Little People figures "Super Why". She named the girl with glasses Super Why before she'd even seen the PBS Kids show, but saw a promo after one of her other PBS shows. Apparently, the glasses look enough like a superhero mask to her.

Later, the African-American figure was dubbed "Princess Presto". Even though the only resemblance I can see is their skin tone.

The figures do have a bit of gender ambiguity, and I appreciate her imagination, but she seems very confused about which ones are boys and girls. Very confused indeed. But we're playing along and help her find Princess Presto and Super Why when she needs to locate her "friends".

In case you want your own Super Why and Princess Presto, I found out their real names are Maggie and Michael, and you can find them here: Fisher Price Little People Michael, Dog & Maggie Figure Set

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sophie's on sale

I think I'm still too cheap to spring for Sophie the Giraffe for my baby, but I'm reading all sorts of wonderful things about it in my forums. If you're shopping for Sophie, I noticed that she's currently $5 off on Amazon, and it's eligible for free super-saver shipping when you spend $25. I always find something to up my order, even if it's just stocking up on cat scratcher refills or toiletries.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


It's amazing how quickly a tired toddler can erupt into screams and tears.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Morning Preview

My order from The Children's Place arrived this afternoon and the kiddos tried on their fleece PJs. Violet's is a two-piece and Gator's is a one-piece sleeper that seems to fit narrower than the 12-month ones he has from Carter's. His torso is long enough that a 9 month size would fit him so very briefly, but if the sleeper is too wide, he pulls his short legs up in it. I'm only putting the kids in coordinating jammies, but if you want to put the whole family in this winter design, they have sizes infant through adult.

TCP had a sale that included free shipping on Thanksgiving, and I had an extra coupon, so I ordered a few things from the website.

Gator looks absolutely adorable in the preppy little clothes I got for him. I've always loved the way my babies look in a polo onesie. He got a few of those, some corduroy pants, a striped button-up shirt, and an adorable little vest. It has green, charcoal, black, and ivory stripes and will look oh-so-cute for Christmas and other days. Now I just have to pick up something special for his sister to wear for Christmas...but I usually wait til the last minute and pick up something cute on clearance for her.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Free bear from Amazon & Christmas shopping

See this cutie? Don't let that listed price scare you. He's FREE when you purchase $75 worth of qualifying toys on Amazon. I was shopping and saw he was an optional extra for some of the things I was looking at. Things like that toy next to him below...

Someone asked if I thought Violet would like the Color Me a Song. I'm not sure about it. Do any of my readers have experience with this? I'm worried that it might be a bit too basic for her current coloring skills...and that it might be incredibly annoying. We already hear the scratch scratch scratch of the stylus for her magnadoodles all day. (OK, it's the generic knock-off that makes more of a scratchy sound than the name brand ones.)

I think the GloDoodle will be more her speed...but would she like the Color Me a Song too?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Two Toofers

Bad Santa Photos

Check out the Bad Santa photos on Ellen's site.

I wish my friend Ashley had a blog or someplace else I could share the gem she got this weekend.

I'm a big fan of this Santa photo that stars the subjects of one of my favorite blogs.

By the way, if you're in need of a really powerful photo sharing site, I'm a big fan of If you've ever thought of trying them out, they have a free trial, and you can get $5 off your subscription with the code OBy4LHf0S0dqQ.

Cyber Monday

Amazon is having great Cyber Monday deals...keep checking the gold box and other specials, because they keep changing! The deals aren't just for Black Friday...

A LOT of sites I shop regularly or receive promotional emails from are having specials today. It's worth the time to check out sites you shop to see if they have any specials! It's also a good idea to subscribe to emails from sites you might want to purchase from. I get a lot of promo codes and sale notifications in my email. I have an account I use primarily for that purpose, so I'm not constantly getting promo emails in my more important accounts.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sick of Sick

November has been a rough month for our family. It seems like someone has been at least slightly sick the entire month. I'm finally getting a little energy back after being stricken with mastitis. The last time I had it, Gator was six weeks old and was content to lay in bed with me a lot. Not this time. Violet got to watch a lot more TV than usual and I still didn't rest as much as I should have. At one point I had both kids climbing all over me in bed because I just didn't have the energy to stay vertical any longer.

It's so hard being a mom when you're sick. It was actually easier when we were all sick with a cold, because they didn't have as much energy either and were happy to lay in bed and cuddle with me. When I was exhausted from mastitis and knew the best treatment was rest, Violet was bouncing off walls and Gator wasn't much better.

He's a very busy boy these days and isn't content to crawl around the living room. Instead he's taking off down the hallway or following me into the kitchen like a puppy dog. He can pull up on Violet's Play Tableand swipe her snacks or crayons off of it. That used to be where we told her to put things so he wouldn't put them in his mouth. He cruises along the table with ease now. He's just started to swipe things off the couch, too, which was my spot to put things out of his reach. Time for another phase of babyproofing and decluttering. I'd include a picture of his cute face, but apparently I've been so busy and tired lately, I've barely used my camera in the last few weeks. If you know me, you know that means it's been rough.

Not Funny

This morning, Gator was nuzzling around as if he wanted to nurse. When given the opportunity, he bit me. Hard. I yelped in surprise and pain. He laughed out loud. And was cut off from nursies for a while. I guess he was just looking for something to chew on. My sensitive body parts don't make good chew toys.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Crazy Crawler

Gator has reached the stage where he's no longer content to amble around the living room and he's started taking off down the hall. I move things around to hopefully distract or block him, but he's a boy on a mission.

He's also cruising back and forth a bit while holding on to low surfaces. He's too short to cruise along the couch like most babies do. That's what happens when you start being so mobile so crazy early.

I enjoyed it when he was happy crawling back and forth across the room. It was nice while it lasted. He's crawling faster and faster. How is he growing up so fast??

The "baby" tag I'm putting on this post seems less and less appropriate.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Morning Mayhem

Kitty Cat Love

We have a very happy kitty tonight. We went to a wonderful local cat boutique and found him a Kickeroo that I knew he would love. We used to have cat body pillows, infused with catnip, and he loved those very much. The pillows are fun to wrap his front legs around and kick at with his hind legs, and then when he's worn out from playing, he lays his head on the pillow.

Now we know that Kong makes a product similar to the homemade ones my kitty used to enjoy. And...they are available online for a price that is very reasonable for the joy they instill in my cat.

My boy is enjoying his tiger pattern toy, which was the only option we saw. I see that Kong has three prints, and the price on Amazon varies slightly, if you're not partial to a particular one.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cloudy Swirls Hat

Mom would you put down the camera and pick me up?

I used Angel Hair yarn in a light blue with shades of blue, beige, and ivory. I wanted to play with diagonal stripes in the round. Overall, I like how it turned out, and I'd like to modify the design and used things I learned on this to make some other hats. I didn't trim my ends yet, as you might have noticed, and my photography skills are far better than this, but better to take a fast photo than add it to my list of projects that I haven't photographed.

Do you think the spirals are better for just more girl-centric hats? I'm not sure about this on my boy.

Boo! (better late than never)

Nearly 70 degrees the night before Halloween. Violet was excited to be a skeleton with Gator. Gotta love deeply discounted last-minute Halloween gear purchases and reusing things we already owned. I spent less than $10 on two outfits for him and a tiara for her.

Trick-or-treating in the mei tai. I zipped the bottom of my hoodie around him and had flashbacks to being largely pregnant.

There's a princess outfit under there. She wanted to wear a pretty yellow dress, and lucky us, she could still squeeze into the yellow dress she wore the past two Easters. Temps were in the 40s on Halloween night.

My cutie-pie was ready to play after a great nap in the carrier. His orange sweatpants and jack-o-lantern hoodie were super-comfy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Six months going on two years

Gator is busy with some of the usual six-month old things, like cutting his first tooth this morning. (Finally!) He's also getting a little bit of hair after spending most of his life as a virtual baldie.

It doesn't seem to have occurred to him that he's supposed to be a baby and not doing all the things his big sister does. He's crawling all over the place, pulling himself up on things, and going through walking motions when he gets the chance. Wow. He continually amazes us.

At his six-month checkup this week, he was 26.5" and 16 lb. 1 oz. Much of his height is torso. He needs 9 month or 12 month sizes in sleepers and onesies but 6 month pants fit great and 3 month pants aren't that short. Dressing him was much easier when he was in short sleeves.

He spends a lot of time crawling back and forth across the rug, playing with things here and there and everywhere. He'll chew on anything he can get his hands on. Things like the cat's tail, shoes left laying around, and a shoe that's trying to stop him from licking the cat. That's what I get for pausing to take a picture of his cat attack.

Happy 40th Birthday, Sesame Street!

My daughter's FAVORITE show is officially over the hill, but it is as fresh and educational as ever. Elmo, Rosita, Zoe, and Abby have all been added since I grew too old to watch it.

Elmo gets a little old sometimes, and his silly songs, along with other songs from the show, pop into my head far too often. But as far as kids' shows go, it's one of my favorites. It's not nearly as annoying as many shows are, there are no commercials to get my child excited about the season's hot toys, and it's full of educational content. My daughter has learned a lot from the show, and it's inspired great educational conversations for all of us.

Elmo and Rosita were on the Jimmy Fallon show, along with a book that looks pretty cool. I have a feeling this will be under our Christmas tree...for the young Sesame Street fanatic, and for her parents who also have fond memories of Cookie Monster, The Count, Big Bird, Grover, and the rest of the gang. We just might spring for the DVD with five hours of classic moments from the show, too.
The book is almost half off retail as I type this...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's what all the modern super heros wear

The creativity of my 2.5 year old continually surprises me. She is enacting all sorts of interesting scenarios with herself, her dolls, stuffed animals, and lately, imaginary objects and beings.

Joey Man continues to be a beloved toy in our house. Yesterday's outfit really made me grin. Check out his superhero mask (I think she thinks it's sunglasses?), "police station" shirt, pirate skirt-ish wrap that is upside down, and the fetching blue superhero boots. He was ready to defend and protect the city, because that's what all police officers wear, right?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Get up, stand up

Gator is spending a lot of time on his knees, with just light support. He can stand with lessening support, as well.

And he pushes/pulls himself to standing on all sorts of objects. Yesterday he did a sideways walk while leaning against something. Wow.

Have I mentioned he just turned six months old this week?

He's drooling like crazy and has a tooth just under the gum, ready to break through any day now. Sometimes we just throw on whatever random onesie around the house, and plan on changing it in an hour rather than putting a bib on that he will just rip off. So he was wearing a little bit odder outfit than usual for a day hanging out at home.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Babies, Briefly

Exactly six months ago, I was marveling at how tiny my little boy was, and how quiet his cries and little sounds were compared to those of a two year old. I was thrilled that he took to nursing right away, proud and enjoying the hormone rush from a natural childbirth, and of course sore and tired.

At six months old, my little overachiever is crawling all over the place, sitting up by himself for long periods of time, and pulling himself to a semi-standing position when he has something to lean on that is shorter than he is.

He's talking in his own little way, making strings of varied sounds. He likes to sputter and blow bubbles and spent much of yesterday spitting on me, thrilled with his new talent. Thank goodness he's somewhat bored by spitting already and has moved on to other discoveries.

Big sis can sing a variety of songs, including Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Mary Had a Little Lamb, and the alphabet song. She also does Where is Thumbkin and a few others she learned at story group at the library. She doesn't know the songs perfectly, but knows some of them better than I do...

She had her most intelligent phone conversation to date with me today. She was telling me about her trip to the zoo with her grandpa. There was one animal that I couldn't figure out, but it sounded kind of like walrus. Turns out she was calling the jaguar a "jagwalrus". Grandpa was saying it kind of like jag-wyer and she apparently thought he was saying jag-walrus.

It seems like my babies are turning into children so fast. They are learning new things every day. My heart swells with pride at their achievements, but at the same time, it makes me sad to see the baby days being left in their wakes.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Crayon Fun

I think this is going on my Christmas shopping list. One reason is because I think it will be fun for me to play with too. Never underestimate the importance of your children having toys that don't drive you bonkers to hear or play along with.

The Crayola Crayon Maker appeals to my thrifty side because we have so many little pieces of crayon that are too short for a toddler to use but wasteful to throw away. I love Crayola Mini Twistables Crayons because they don't get instantly broken in half, but my clever child has still figured out how to extract the crayon portion and break them when she's in a mood.

I like the Crayon Maker for artistic reasons as well. I love the color effects created by Crayola True to Life Crayons and the Crayon Maker will allow us to make our own color blends.

Violet has a few years to go before she meets the minimum age guideline for this toy. But I'm plenty old enough and think this could be a fun project for us to do over and over.

Or we could DIY it and melt them down into chunky crayons ourselves. I think they are far more likely to be used with the familiar crayon shape, though, and apparently you can watch the melting magic with the Crayon Maker.

Creativity is a good thing.

My daughter built a hippopotamus out of blocks today.

You don't see it?

Neither do I. Even as she pointed out features. She may be pointing to an eye.

I may not recognize the various things she builds, but I'm thrilled that she has the imagination and creativity to do this.

By the way, those blocks are puzzle cubes my brother brought back from Germany for her. Each side is part of a different picture. At this age, she enjoys them more as blocks.

Room with a View

"They're working on my road."

Further play-by-play ensued as the trucks and workers did interesting things outside. Meanwhile, the baby who sleeps through all sorts of toddler screams and mayhem was very disturbed by the rumbling truck noises outside. But he finally fell asleep, and Violet enjoyed some one-on-one time with Mommy and loved having her picture taken while she played in creative ways.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Changing Views

I need to get used to seeing Gator sitting up every chance he gets. The way he's going, he'll be standing up and looking at me soon. He managed to pull himself up on something earlier today. His mama is not ready for this. Not that it will slow him down.

Slow down, you move too fast

Gator is almost six months old and seems so much older every day. That picture on the left was taken a week and a half ago, and I see him looking like a baby less and less.

He doesn't spend much time laying down to play now. If he's not crawling, he's sitting up and enjoying the higher vantage point as he plays.

I still do double takes sometimes when I see him sitting up. In the wee hours of the morning, this sleep-deprived mama had a "who is that?" moment when I found a child sitting in the crib and calling for me.

This stage and new discoveries and abilities is a fun one, but it makes me sort of sad to see our baby days slipping away so quickly.

I'm finding myself feeling sentimental about little things, like the fact that I need to buy some size 4 diapers for nighttime. Size 4! Violet was in 3s for a lot longer than this. I was reading an older blog post and realized he's only been in the 3s for two months! It's not my imagination...this kid is flying through babyhood.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Why didn't I check Amazon before the local craft chain stores? It's much cheaper to get a nice assortment of knitting needles on there.

I'd love to get some 12" circulars for knitting little hats...maybe I can get my mom to split a set with me. The bamboo needles really are nicer than metal ones, but I'm hesitant to get too many sets.

So far, I'm finding knitting hats to be very relaxing. Something about the circular needles makes it even more so. I never have to change the needle from one hand to another...just knit knit knit. Earlier this week, the kids were driving me NUTS. So I set them each up with activities and sat and knit while I kept an eye on them and chilled out a little. It was good for all of us.

What a difference a year and a half makes...

April 2008

October 2009

She looks a lot different, but she's still in love with that dog.

When it comes to anatomy, she's nuts.

For many months, Violet's pronunciation of "peanuts" has sounded a lot like a part of the male anatomy. It's always nice to hear what sounds like "I want penis!" from your toddler.

Last night, she and Gator were in the tub and she finally looked at his crotch and asked "What's that?" I told her it was his penis, and she said, "Penis? I put penis in my nose!"


Remember my post about the pumpkin seed up her nose? I guess she tried putting some nuts up there too. And I guess she can't discern the difference between "peanuts" and "penis". Some very funny talk ensued.

Then she went to her usual contrary mood and insisted that she had a penis and her brother had a vagina. It does fit with her insistence that she is a boy and he is a girl...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Discovering Food

His: Today, Gator had his first meal that included something other than breastmilk. He seemed to enjoy the mushed up bits of banana that I put on my finger.

He's been showing more and more signs of readiness, and as much as I don't want my little baby to grow up so fast and I prefer less-complicated mealtimes, in the past week or so it's become obvious that he's really ready, and I didn't want to hold him back too long.

I have a feeling his sister will let him sample things long before I'd like him to. We've spent almost six months telling her that he just drinks milk, and now he's trying something else.

Hers: Earlier in the day, Violet was enjoying a bowl of trail mix at her little table in the living room. She told me she had something in her nose and came over for me to help. Usually this means a booger is bothering her. I didn't see anything, but she insisted there was something in her nose. After a few tries, she finally blew hard enough to expel a PUMPKIN SEED in the tissue.

From what she tells me, apparently she put it up there on purpose. I guess it's not enough that she sticks her fingers up her nose all the time. The stuck seed seemed to shake her up a little, so hopefully she'll stop subjecting her nostrils to intruders.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Violet Wanderer

Violet's a big fan of the hat I just knitted for her. It's my second hat, and I'm still a beginning knitter, but I'm enjoying it so far. I need to perfect how and when to start reducing at the top. I'm not sure that the pom pom is the best way to top off the hat, but it needed something.

I think I'll call this general design The Wanderer. It was a free-form design with sections of different stitches as the mood struck me. I really enjoyed working with some different stitches without having to pay a lot of attention to how many times I knitted or purled or what I was supposed to be doing on a certain row. Keeping to a pattern with little ones around isn't always easy, but I get bored just knitting the whole time.

I have some other ideas for things I want to try, and I need to work on perfecting my sizing for my little girl, and get some double-pointed needles or shorter round needles if I want to make much for the baby without driving myself nuts constantly moving the stitches around on my 16" round needles.

Interesting expression, eh?

Baby Sitter

Gator has progressed from a tripod sit to sitting without his arms as support, for brief periods. I happened to have my camera handy when I saw him doing it for the first time yesterday morning.

At 5.5 months old, he's getting more and more efficient with his version of crawling. He can do a traditional crawl for a few steps, then goes to his modified version that works so well for him.

No teeth yet, but they have got to be close. He chomps on anything he can get his hands on. Including his toes. I really need to get a photo of that, because it's pretty funny, and he'll probably stop as soon as a tooth pops through. He crawled over and chomped on my toe yesterday, and that did not feel good. The kid has some strong jaws!

Violet's jealous furies have increased now that he is touching more and more of her stuff. We're attempting to use this as an incentive to keep her toys picked up, with mixed results. We're also working on SHARING. It's fine when she doesn't want him to play with something he shouldn't have. Not fine when she lays claim to infant toys.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Books, Booties, and Boogies

This morning, Gator had a very happy reunion with his toes during a diaper change. There have been many such joyous events since fall scared summer away and footed sleepers became a necessity. Seeing his smiles come so easily brings me great joy.

He had a not-so-happy reunion with the hospital nasal syringe, a.k.a. the Yucker Sucker. Poor little guy was snuffly all night and we had a night like we had when he was brand new and needed to nurse constantly and needed a lot of extra soothing to rest. It's amazing how quickly your body adjusts to getting just a little more sleep, making it that much harder to backtrack.

We had a fun day yesterday that included some great time with friends. Violet wasn't as interested in the little boy her age as she was in his baby brother. That baby is about six weeks older than her baby brother and just a little more interactive in a way she likes. For instance, he can sit up! She loved that.

We enjoyed seeing the Usborne Books and have a few in mind for Christmas and birthday gifts for Ms. Violet. I'm considering doing a home party and/or e-show, so if you're interested in seeing more or thinking of buying any for your kids (or mine), let me know. I really enjoyed seeing the books in person and they were a nice combination of quality and affordability.

One thing that really caught my eye was the Box of Bugs puzzle set (unless someone's tastes change more to fairies before I order it.) Violet loves things that come in neat little storage boxes with handles, plus the puzzles are just perfect for her age. We were also impressed to see a new baby book that depicted our postpartum life much more closely than many books do. Mama didn't suddenly look thin after having a baby, and she was breastfeeding. Yay, Usborne!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Green Crafts!

I've always loved the upcycled creations my friend Devona makes and sells on etsy (that's just her latest store). She and another creative lady have an amazing blog, Clever Nesting, that is full of great tips, ideas, and tutorials..

Two great things I just learned about from them that I can't wait to try out...

Use pretty kerchiefs or scraps of fabric as reusable gift wrap, and learn pretty ways to wrap and tie them here. I love using reusable gift packaging, and this is such a simple solution and can give temporary use to those wonderful pieces of fabric that haven't found their purpose yet.

And I can't wait to try crocheting tiny flowers to use on hair bows and other craft projects for my little darling. And because I have LOTS of embroidery floss from back in the day when knotted friendship bracelets were all the rage, I don't even need to buy yarn! Just a small crochet hook, unless I manage to find the one I know I once owned...but the need to corral stray craft supplies is another post altogether...


Violet picked up Gator. She was doing surprisingly well with it, even though he weighs just 10 pounds or so less than her. She kept lifting him higher and higher. Right before I flew over there to intervene, she finally listened to me and put him down.

She lifted her arms from under his and dropped him on the laminate floor!

Fortunately, he was more scared than hurt, but OMG!

And now I know it can be more dangerous to have her suddenly stop something she's doing that she shouldn't be than to let it continue a moment longer until I'm there to assist.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Melissa & Doug Deals!

Some of you know how much we love Melissa & Doug toys. A friend just alerted me that currently has their play kitchen at a significant discount! It's usually $250, but right now it's almost $100 off, and you get free shipping! There's no telling how long Amazon will keep it at this low price, so if you are thinking of getting one of these for Christmas and can swing the purchase now, I'd go for it!

If you're going to buy these or other items on Amazon, it helps me if you start shopping from one of my links!

This play kitchen doesn't come with accessories, but you can add your own play food and accessories from M&D or whomever you like. The pots and pans are pretty cute, but I'm really a fan of the sandwich-making set. Maybe this year Santa will get that for Violet...she's played with it at a store and loves it!

Ooh, Amazon seems to have almost everything M&D on sale right now! Including these magnetic dress-up dolls that I hadn't seen before. Violet LOVES the one she has, and this includes two girls to mix and match. I wonder if I could use these as a potty-training bribe. One more piece of clothing for each time she uses the potty? Or would it be yet another failed bribe that got her interest but didn't produce results...

Two dolls in one set! And our beloved "Joey Man"

P.S. Not a M&D fan or just looking for something else? I love the look of this red play kitchen, and it's currently $25 less than the M&D, and seems to come with accessories. Please read the description and reviews more carefully than I just did before making your final decision ;) KidKraft Red Vintage Kitchen

Monday, September 28, 2009

Oh, the Places You'll Go

We've been busy the last few weeks. One of the the reasons is Gator being on the move! He isn't doing the traditional hands and knees coordinated crawl, but he is increasingly efficient with his modified inchworm crawl. He spends more and more time on his hands and knees...or hands and toetips!...and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before he is zooming around.

Gator is chomping everything he can get his hands on. Newspapers, mail, my shoes, and sometimes even the cat's tail have all been gnawed on. His favorite teething surface is my knuckles. I try very hard to keep inappropriate teething surfaces away from the baby, but it's very hard when I'm the only one in the house making that effort...and one of the people in the house is two years old. And sometimes I just forget and leave my shoes out. I never dreamed I'd have to worry about this before he was five months old.

Violet is still obsessed with lining things up and arranging them in various ways. In this picture, she's arranged her "friends" to watch her sippy cup. Those Little People figures and other toys enact all sorts of scenarios, day after day. They go to sleep, get put in time out, play with things, etc.

Sibling rivalry is better some days than others. Sometimes big sis is thrilled with her little brother...whom she calls "Big Sister" these days...and other times she flips out because he dares to touch one of "her" toys. Even if it's a baby toy that was never hers. One day she threw half the contents of her room on her bed to keep him away. And that's a lot of stuff.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Recent gems from my little girl...

"What's wrong, little guy? Hey little guy! Hey little buddy..."

"What's the matter?" (to her little brother)

"He looks cute! That's a nice outfit."

"No no no no no no no no no no no no..."

"No way."

"Yaa" (Yeah)

"That's cute! That's cute!" (as she goes through clothing on a rack at the store)

"I want to watch set treet (Sesame Street). I want to I want to I want to!!!"

"I don't want to watch the animals and I don't like the animals." (whine as I watch something other than Sesame Street)

"YOU do it." (when she wants to be a baby)

"I do it allll by myself!" (when she wants to be a big girl)

"One, two, three, four, five, sex, seven..." (I know it's just her pronunciation, but it still makes me laugh a little to hear her saying that word all the time in such an innocent way...)

Friday, September 4, 2009

My big little guy's 4 month stats

15 pounds exactly
25.75 inches
Impressed the doc with his strength and locomotion abilities.

Why are both of my kids so fascinated by my wallet??


The hubster was quickly hooked on his Blackberry Storm. And today, my 30-month old quickly figured out how to browse photos...a skill that took her father slightly longer to perfect.

Monday, August 31, 2009

To my little boy at almost four months old...

Gator, you're growing up so very fast. You're almost four months old. You've been able to roll over from your belly to your back for about a month, and from your back to your belly for a couple of weeks.

Being able to roll over at will opened up a whole new world to you. We put you down for anything and you immediately work on getting into a position you like. It's great when we want you to sleep, not so great when we want you on your back for a diaper change.

Finding new sleeping positions that you think are oh so comfortable, and being able to shift your way around to play with cribside toys means you've been been sleeping through the night sometimes. I am THRILLED with this development of the past week. You don't necessarily sleep that whole time, but I'm very happy that you wake up, play with your aquarium toy or shift positions, stuff your thumb in your mouth, and soothe yourself back to sleep. (Could you give your sister a few tips on this self-soothing back to sleep thing??)

You've been pushing yourself up on your elbows and knees with your belly off the ground. You can do an inchworm crawl around and do a remarkable job of rolling, flipping, and inching your way toward your target. Your hand-eye coordination has improved a lot in the past week or two and you're delighted to capture toys and even bring them to your mouth to chew. The world is full of new things to discover when you can twist and roll into all sorts of positions with different views and things to reach for.

Your newest skill is attempting to pull your back up off the ground, like you're about to do a sit-up. You are so very strong. Which is good, because your sister sometimes wants to treat you like an interactive baby doll, and she only weighs ten pounds or so more than you do and her embraces worry your mother.

It just doesn't seem possible that this big boy was in my belly four months ago. Or that my boy who keeps filling his infant car seat more and more was dwarfed by it when we brought him home from the hospital.

How did he get so big so fast??

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A light in the darkness of insanity...

Every now and then, Violet says something incredibly sweet. I changed a stinky diaper and got her dressed for the day when out of nowhere, she announced, "Mommy, you need hugs. And kisses!" and proceeded to give me what she thought I needed. 

Usually, two and a half is a really frustrating age for both of us. But this extra verbal ability leads to some really nice exchanges sometimes.

She tells me about her days, and it's always interesting to learn what sticks out most in the filter of her young mind. Events like her grandparents getting a new vacuum cleaner (red!) can be incredibly exciting. 

She's just recently started to tell me that she loves me, and this morning was the first spontaneous "you need a hug." I appreciated it so much

Sometimes she's very caring and motherly. She gets concerned when I'm tired or upset...sometimes. Other times, she's completely oblivious. She also wants to comfort her baby brother, but she's not so great at holding him and soothing him yet. Like in the photo here, from when he was five weeks old. She still likes to touch his eyes and tries to manually open and close the lids, like she can with some baby dolls. He's not a fan of that. He does love to watch her play and try to entertain him in other ways.

I'm looking forward to many more sweet moments as they grow up. And my babies are growing up so very fast...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Let's make these moments last...

Time has been flying by recently. Summer will be over before we know it, and I feel like we've barely gotten to enjoy it. And more importantly, my baby boy, the little one that should be my last baby, is growing up soooo fast!

About two weeks ago, Gator figured out how to roll from his back to his belly. His new mastery of rolling around opened up a whole new world of sleeping positions to him. He's now sleeping MUCH BETTER on his own, thank goodness, thanks to finding a comfy position and his thumb.

The new sleeping position means he's peeing out the front of his diapers, which were getting smaller and smaller, as you can see from this very recent photo. It's time to buy some size 3s! We might start doing cloth at night, since I can customize the aborbancy of those.

My little boy continues to amaze us with his movement abilities. Last night I found him in his crib with his belly off the mattress, up on his elbows and knees. This morning he was doing an inchworm crawl in there. 

He's also getting better and better about grabbing things. Grandpa's chest hair and Daddy's arm hair aren't fans of this. But he's really enjoying playing with toys that rattle and crinkle and seems to grab them purposefully rather than as a happy accident. 

Slow down, you move too fast. We've got to make this moment last. Feelin' groovy...