Our Black Friday

Monday, November 28, 2011

We've been having the most gloriously beautiful fall weather this past week.  What an amazing holiday weekend it was!  We spent Black Friday getting outside as much as possible with a trip to the playground and a picnic in the park.

The fake smile is not quite as cute as a real one...

Cecilia was very excited to be climbing!

We tried to picnic on the grass but it was SUPER wet, so we ended up on the basketball court. 

And John Paul spent most of the time exploring the area...  I heard him saying, "Dorothy, this is how you sit on a bench" while he got up and down from the bench.  Someone might be watching too much Sesame Street...

Cecilia wasn't going to let anything keep her from the sparkling apple cider!

Not even Dad!

Grandma took Cecilia walking while Dad and John Paul played basketball with a soccer ball...

And when they got tired of that, she was ready to play with the ball by herself!

The kids got VERY dirty.  And when we got home, we made sure to do some online shopping so our Black Friday would be complete ;)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Today I am thankful for...

A set of 3 carpeted stairs.

Because Cecilia can climb up and down to her little heart's content.

And even if she falls, it's not a long way down, and it's padded.

And it allows for the perfect ledge to drum on Aunt Sister's head!

I am also thankful for the fact that Cecilia prefers peeing on tiled floors to carpeting.  Much easier to clean up!  Although when she sits on the kitchen stool to pee, it makes for a much larger mess...  Maybe it's time to start trying the potty?

If you give a 2-year-old a camera

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

He's going to want to take some pictures...

Then he won't realize he has already started pressing buttons.

He'll point it up to his face to make sure he's aiming it correctly.

But he'll get it to close to his mouth.

He'll try again, thinking it must not have worked because the picture has already disappeared from the display.

Then he'll bring the camera to his mom, blinking rapidly because of the constant flash, asking for help.

And she'll see that he has already succeeded in taking 7 "self-portraits."


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Andrew:  "John Paul, did you poop?"

John Paul:  "Just a wittle turd..."


Yesterday the valve fell out of Cecilia's sippy cup during dinner, spilling water on her tray.  At first she was rather dismayed, until she realized the splashing potential!!!  This actually made for easier cleanup for me, so I was fine with it.

Unfortunately, in the absence of a sippy cup this morning she decided to improvise.

I got her diaper off and she played in John Paul's room for a while until she evidently felt the urge...  She crawled into the bathroom and I found her splashing happily in a puddle.

Of her own pee.


So someone took a morning bath today!

I'm hoping she forgets about this by tonight...

Montessori Activities

Monday, November 21, 2011

John Paul has been spending a lot of his time lately (when Cecilia's not awake) doing Montessori-style activities:

Pouring cereal from bowl to cup...

Transferring egg shakers from bowl to bin with a spoon...

And more pouring and portioning, this time adding in a colander and mixing bowl!

And the great thing about cereal is, once Cecilia wakes up and knocks everything on the floor, the kids do their own cleanup!

A very contrary child

Thursday, November 17, 2011

John Paul had a rough time on our ride home from our morning activity.  Apparently it was time to argue with Mom on EVERY point.  If I said yes, he said no. 

He has been purposely putting his shoes on the wrong feet lately.  No biggie, but if he doesn't velcro them tightly they fall off and he gets upset.  So, of course, one fell off in the car.  He immediately asked for help, but I was driving so I told him I couldn't help him.

Melt.  Down. 

I told him that I would put his shoe on when the light turned red.  "When the light is BWUE?"

I told him to be quiet because Cecilia was sleeping.  "BE LOUD???"

I told him it was dangerous for me to put his shoe on when I was driving.  "SAFE to put a shoe on???"

I told him he was making Mom sad by fussing and screaming.  "Make Mom HAPPY???"

Heck, he even argued with the song lyrics.  "Singing sweet songs" was changed to "Singing SOUR songs????????"

Thankfully he recovered and had a good afternoon.  My favorite part?  The following joke:

John Paul, holding a John Paul II prayer card:  "Thaaaat's?"

Me:  "That's the pope."

John Paul:  "That's poooooooope?   (very quietly)  Benedict.  NOOOOOO!  That's Pope John Paul!"

The joys of a second child

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I don't know if it's the fact that she has had to learn to be patient, or that she's just got a different temperament, but Cecilia is infinitely more patient than John Paul was at 9 months. 

Heck, she's more patient than he is NOW. 

She'll sit there with a toy for long periods of time, methodically figuring out how to take it apart and put it back together.  She's mastered toys that John Paul didn't have the patience for until he was a year old.  It's amazing seeing her sitting there with her stacking rings, sticking her little tongue out in concentration, calmly failing 5 times for every success.  John Paul at the same age would try twice and then whine, frustrated with his failures.

So what do you think?  Is it because she's number 2?  Is it just a difference in temperament?  A little of both?

Let's GO!

Apparently Cecilia has decided that it's time to go for a ride!

"Hi, Mom!"

A note:  She's only halfway dressed - leggings pulled up to her armpits are not my idea of baby fashion :P  Don't you worry, she's got a jumper to go over it!

Sunday at the playground

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

We have been experiencing some really beautiful fall weather over here.  I mean really, this is what fall in Virginia should be!

So we headed to the playground!  Don't worry, that's  =a happy scowl.

Our local elementary school has a great preschool playground - I don't have to worry about Cecilia eating any woodchips (although she does try to eat the leaves).

And it's so climbable!  She can climb the whole thing ridiculously fast - I'm looking forward to the spring, when she should be coordinated enough to go down the slide on her own.  She loves it!

And the wheel is pretty fun to spin.

John Paul, in stolen sunglasses with a stolen ball (Thanks, Oliver!).

And of course, the pumpkin and screwdriver that he and Cecilia decided were stroller necessities.

What in the world are we going to do once it cools down for good???

Sleeping Beauty

Monday, November 14, 2011

That's my sweet 2-year-old, passed out with a book in one hand and a sticker in the other.  I wonder if he always sleeps with his knees up in the air like that...  I know he always sleeps with at least one book.

A hand-me-down

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pretty early on in my pregnancy with Cecilia, I started buying things for John Paul that I knew could be repurposed with a girl, just in case.

John Paul, Fall 2010

Here's one of my favorite gender-neutral sweaters - an argyle cardigan!  It's got adorable little elbow patches, and since it was sold in the boys' section, I don't feel bad recycling it for a little girl.

Cecilia, Fall 2011

We'll ignore the size difference - it's a 12-18 month sweater on a 9-month-old.  Roll up the cuffs, and we're good!  And over a gingham dress with a peter pan collar and mary janes, who's gonna mistake this kid for a boy (in a yellow ruffly shirt, blue leggings, and pink shoes she was mistaken for a boy twice yesterday)?

The pumpkin was John Paul's toy of choice for the stroller.

Yup, we wore church clothes to the playground.  They stayed surprisingly clean, especially considering what a climber this little one is turning into!

StyleFind - if only it came in baby sizes...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I've been using this new website for a few months, although I haven't bought anything off of it yet.  It's a pretty genius idea. 

Say you're looking for a long black skirt - what's your course of action?

Before StyleFind, I would check out my go-to clothing websites, click around to find all their skirts, and be annoyed when they didn't have what I was looking for.  I'd probably get through 12 or 15 websites, taking way longer than I wanted and probably wasting an entire naptime when I could have been doing something useful (let's face it, John Paul and Cecilia's naptimes collide so infrequently, I better use that hour or so for something AWESOME!).  Failing my task, I'd resort to Google, where I'd probably be inundated with a whole bunch of ads or websites that don't have what I'm looking for at all.

Enter StyleFind!

Just enter what you're looking for - "Long black skirt" or "Striped dress" - and it'll scour TONS of websites and bring you back sortable results.

It's not infallible.  I searched for a skirt and the lowest-priced items were a bunch of pairs of black underwear...  A few of the links were dead, too - items were on sale last season, but aren't available anymore.  But it's such a great idea!  I was introduced to a whole bunch of stores I'd never heard of.  And what a timesaver!

If they can figure out a way to keep it more up-to-date and add more categories (children's clothes?  Hmm...) I think it'll go a long way.  And apparently if you click the link above, it'll give you some great deals you might not otherwise receive! 

I registered for the site through Bzzagent.com - check it out!

Getting smarter!

Cecilia is trying harder and harder to please us.  This morning she was nursing and John Paul really wanted her to look at him instead.  I told him he could try his crazy dance, but she wouldn't unlatch, she just giggled while nursing (which is one of the more adorable things - the little corners of her mouth turn up, but there's no way she's letting go!). 

So I told him to start dancing and clapping.  She thought this was a GREAT idea, and immediately popped off and started clapping clapping CLAPPING WITH GLEE!!!

I told her to smile and say, "Ha!"  She, of course, obliged :)

I've found an amazing way to keep her occupied for several minutes - cheerios in a spill-proof cup!  She had a lot of fun, even though I had to pick tons of cheerios off the floor afterwards (She seemed to be more interested in getting them out than in eating them.  This is probably a good philosophy for a child who hasn't had a significant bowel movement in a week...).

She is VERY interested in mimicking everything we say to her.  The problem is, she doesn't have a huge arsenal of sounds...  She says "Ma, Ba, Da, Ga, Ha" and she can sort of make a "Ffffff" and a "Shhhh" sound.  She's really paying attention to our inflection, and tries to pitch her voice properly to imitate how we say things.  It's pretty adorable, especially when she tries to "sing!" 

We may have another smart one...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I got pregnant with Cecilia when John Paul was around 9 months old.  This meant that from about 10-12 months, I lay on the couch feeling sick a whole lot while John Paul created new games to play to amuse himself.

Some of his favorites were:

-  Throw metal mixing bowls and wooden rings from the stacking toy on the coffee table repeatedly.  The more times you get them to rotate and clatter loudly, the higher your score!

-  Eat books.

-  Bring books to Mom and maybe even let her read a few pages to you!

His absolute favorite thing to do was bring me different letters, either from the magnets on the fridge or from the set of foam letters he loved to chew on.  He would bring me one of his favorites and then stand there, waiting expectantly.  For every letter (or number, but he preferred letters) I had to sing the song his little Fridge Phonics toy sang.  He knew all his letters and the sounds they made by the time he was about 14 months old.

Cecilia has begun the same thing.

I was sitting at the computer while she played with the magnets on the fridge, and she grabbed one from its holder, brought it to me, and waited expectantly, a small smile on her face.

So I sang the song.  "F says fffff, F says ffff, every letter makes a sound, F says ffff."  She looked at me solemnly and said, "Fffffffff."

From a baby who calls everything "Gah" this is a big deal!  Looks like she might be motivated enough to be an early reader, too...  (John Paul, by the way, has advanced so much that now he is sounding things out in his head before speaking an unfamiliar word aloud.  He understands plural endings and -ed endings.  What the heck.)

She's growing such a personality - she found a baby wipe on the floor (we use cloth ones) and snuffled her nose several times, bringing it to me and shoving it at my nose.  I've been blowing my nose a lot on these lately, and apparently she has finally picked up on their purpose!

And every time she walks a few steps, I clap for her to try to encourage her to walk more.  So now she pulls up on something, stands on her own, and looks at me and starts CLAPPING AND CLAPPING AND SMILING!  Then sometimes she'll walk, but I think she thinks the purpose of this game is just "LOOK AT ME MOM I KNOW HOW TO CLAP AND EVEN I AM STANDING TOO!"

I just don't know what to do with these kids - they just learn things so quickly!

Today's Vocabulary Addition

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"WHAT da HECK?"  Now imagine that said in the highest, squeakiest voice possible.  Approximately 70 times.  At the dinner table.

Andrew and I were trying VERY hard not to laugh.  John Paul was giggling hysterically, which made Cecilia start giggling while bobbing up and down (she's trying really hard to learn how to nod her head) and clapping at him. 

Also, he was listening to "Old Paint" and one of the lines was about "riding an old dam" and he latched on to that word.  So he decided to run around his quilt (that I am FORCED to lay out on the floor to be the center of his track) singing, "Come on...  Da learning DAM!"  It's a combination of LeapFrog and folk songs. 

My kid is weird.

A few things

Monday, November 7, 2011

1.  Cecilia keeps crawling up the stairs (our little set of 3) and then around on the floor in the kitchen/dining room.   When she's done, she seems to be trying to trick herself into figuring out how to go down without getting backwards - she finds a toy and crawls over, getting down on her belly, and drops it onto the top stair.  I haven't let her get any farther than this, I'm honestly not sure what she would do!

2.   John Paul, reading the title of a book:

"Jesus is... or good shepwed."

Me: " Jesus is OUR good shepherd."
JP: "OR good shepWED."

Me: "OUR good shephERD."

JP: "Jesus is our good... Cat."

Apparently that solves THAT.

3.  John Paul has been listening to "Wee Sing America" for the past couple of weeks.  Apparently this has turned him VERY patriotic.  Sitting in his chair, eating snack, he all of a sudden proclaimed, "Amewica FOWEVER!"  And then, in a very encouraging voice, "Yeah!"

Time to lock the fridge...

John Paul figured out how to open the fridge a couple of weeks ago.  So far this hasn't been too bad - he's gotten bagels out (which he's allowed to eat), as well as his sippy cup, and several different condiments. 

Now, he generally brings these things to me, and we mostly don't keep things in the fridge that he's not allowed to eat anyway.  So he's been eating veggies dipped in ranch dressing or (gross) mustard, because he likes to get those out and bring them to me.

The problem is, today he got out eggs.

Raw eggs.

Every time we're at Trader Joe's and we get eggs, he BEGS me, "MAY I PWEEZ HAVE SOME RAW EGGS?"

Uh....  NO!  Seriously, WHY would he get the idea that those are tasty?

So we're having storytime over here and I see him opening the fridge.  I figure, worst case, he'll get out a block of cheese.  No biggie. 

Then he's coming down the stairs with something dripping out of his hands.  Yup, he has a raw egg in each hand.  One is whole, thankfully, and another mom jumps up and removes him to the kitchen before he had dripped too much on the floor (Cecilia was nursing and was VERY upset when I put her down).

So clearly I need to:

A.  Move the eggs farther back in the fridge so that he can't reach them

B.  Lock the fridge

C.  Teach him that we hold raw eggs very gently or they will break

D.  Start hard-boiling eggs for him so that he *can* crack them on his own and eat them. 

What in the world is the appeal of raw eggs???

First Steps!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

If I don't memorialize it here, it never happened.  Right?

Cecilia took her first steps two days ago!  At 9 months, 1 week.  She pulled up on the bottom step, turned around to prop herself up, and took 5 or 6 steps to make it to my arms.  It was ridiculous!  She is by NO means walking, and she has only duplicated the feat once (last night), but she's getting so much closer to being *really* steady on her feet. 

When did my baby grow up???

Cecilia is 9 months old!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We are officially at the break-even point - Cecilia has now been out of my body for as long as she was *in* my body (9 months and 5 days, to be exact).

What is she accomplishing lately?

-  Well, she thinks she can walk.  She cruises to the very end of whatever she's using, holding on by a finger or two, and then lets go and LUNGES for whatever is just out of reach.  She has yet to take a step, but she's convinced that it'll work one of these days!  I'm pretty sure she's not going to be one of those babies who can walk but needs to be convinced of it.  The moment she figures it out, there will be no stopping her!

-  She climbs everything she can find...

-  She's basically a genius - she figured out how to put one of her egg shakers in a little stacking cup.  Then she takes it out and puts it in another cup.  Then she picks up the cup and dumps it out.  This keeps her occupied for a LONG time.  Is it sad that I feel really proud of this development?  We're moving towards more meaningful play!

-  She understands a few basic words - she knows her name, if we tell her to drum she bangs her hands on whatever she can find (same thing with "splash"), and she'll shake a shaker when I tell her to shake.  There are probably other words she understands, but I don't remember John Paul understanding anything (even his name) this early...

She's "drumming" on Andrew's head here...

-  She *finally* cut her first two teeth a couple of weeks ago.  Two months later than John Paul!  It was actually nice, because she got over her biting-while-nursing stage before the teeth came in, so those few bites were really more uncomfortable than painful.

-  She's a devious little thing!  She'll be playing by herself and all of the sudden she'll remember - THE STAIRS ARE THERE FOR CLIMBING!  This usually happens when I think it's safe to cook or do dishes because she and John Paul are playing happily together.  I hear silence, then panting and thumping.  Then silence again, then giggling.  Without fail, I'll look in the living room - no Cecilia.  I'll look under the table - no Cecilia.  I hear more giggling.  Oh look.  There she is.  On the stairs.  Again.

I would gate them off, really I would, but she only goes up a few steps and she knows how to get down on her own.  If she falls and breaks something, I'll take responsibility.  But we really have *no* way of gating these off anyway.

Time has certainly gone by quickly!  To think, we'll be celebrating her first birthday in just a few months!

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Well, it's All Saints' Day and I'm posting Halloween pictures.  I'm gonna say that John Paul is St. Isidore the farmer.  Not Old MacDonald...  Or a migrant worker (I need to work on my eyeliner mustache skills).

And Cecilia is...  a cow.  But we'll say we're paying homage to St. Brigid.
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