Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
(1 Chronicles 16:34)

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am continually reminded how thankful I am for my family and friends - near and far! On Thanksgiving day, we made out annual trip to AL to see my Aunt, Uncle, and cousins. It's always a full house and so much fun. I would be so sad if our tradition ever ended - it's a highlight of the year. I love being together with you guys and appreciate you so much! We reminsced a little bit about the "old days" when we would sit around and play games for hours.... then we started getting married and having kids.... Here are the kiddos that can still be refered to kiddos. If they are over 6 ft tall - they didn't hang out for the kid pictures.
This year was a sweet year celebrating with Megan - boy, how life has changed in a year.... Last year the challenge was coordinating Megan's nap schedule, and eating schedule so that I got to eat with everyone... This year - it was a whole new ballgame. For starters, she didn't sleep on our 3 hour journey over. I had this all planned out... and my plan didn't execute quite as planned. So by the time we got there, it was Megan's nap time - but she was having way to much fun to nap.... so actually eating was a bit of a challenge. I can honestly say, it was the first year that I didn't leave totally full. Which was probably a good thing - just different. Tom put Megan in the car for the trip home, and she was asleep before we finished saying our goodbyes. I think it was her way of saying, 10 hours is a long time for a little girl to stay awake.
When she did wake up, she had Grandma and Papa right there to help keep her happy until we got home. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving over here. We are thinking of our MN family and sending you guys hugs and kisses!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Grandma and Papa

Megan is enjoying her visit with her Papa and Grandma! She thinks they are the best playmates in the world... Grandma even let her help make her famous Buster Bar. I think it's been the highlight of the visit so far!
And of course...
When you are cooking.... It's the cooks perogative to sample the goods.... a lesson to be learned when you are young.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Funny Story

Just a little story for today...

Last night Megan tried to bite a friend.

We've had this situation before and we've been dealing with it by spraying her mouth with lemon juice and telling her that her mouth is to be used to Praise God, not bite friends. So far, it's been pretty effective. Her biting has curtailed a lot and we know it's just a stage - but that doesn't mean it's ok.

So last night - the almost biting happened. I saw her "look" and knew what she was about to do and jumped in before she could chomp - I grabbed my handy lemon juice bottle and sprayed her mouth. Megan got the "lemon pucker" and as I was putting her in my time out lap (we were about to leave a restraunt) she looked at me and signed and said, "more!"

Great.... now she likes the lemon juice. On to bigger and better discipline options.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Come Play!

We got adventurous today and we went to check out a local play place. It's an indoor playground. It has a couple of inflatables, some foam pits (see above picture), trampolines (toddler safe), ball pits, etc... In addition - they have another more quiet area where the kids can have some pretend play time with toys, a big kitchen area, and a rice table. Megan loved it all and played hard for hours today. She cried when it was time to go. The best part... it's one price and you can come and go and take in your own food. Sooooooo, I think we are heading back over there when Tom gets home from work. Might as well get our full day's worth of playtime! This is just like the foam pit I wrote about in the last post. I don't have tons of pictures from today because I was heavily involved in playing (meaning, I was in the foam pit to fish Megan out).

What she really really loved.... the ball pit.

video

The fun thing about this - I've already got the makings (pool and balls) to make her one for a Christmas present. Now I know it'll be a hit! Maybe we'll even move our little slide inside for the winter. And that is her making that noise.

The other really fun thing - the trampolines.... I laughed and laughed watching Megan try to bounce.

video

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Recommendation

Today we started a class through our local park and recreation system... It is a mommy and me type gymnastics class. Because it's through the park and rec system - it's extremely affordable. Probably 1/3 of what you'd pay anywhere else and it's a great indoor, run off your energy, winter activity.

I have no pictures - but I will. Today I was so busy that I never had a chance to get my camera out. Megan LOVED it! I have to say, this has been the most fun class we've taken. It's really more like a guided playtime than a class - but there are 2 teachers for 7 kids so Megan got a lot of attention and learned to hold on and swing on the uneven bars, balance on the balance beams, try her hand at rolling down an incline, try to climb a rope ladder (not eager for her to master that one!), jump on a trampoline, she even got to swing on a rope swing and held on by herself, and her favorite activity... jumping into a giant foam pit.

I spent a lot of time in that foam pit to fish her out. Let's just say that I got a workout too! Megan literally laughed for the entire 45 minutes that we were there. I can honestly say I've never seen her have so much fun.

So all that to say.... if you don't live in my city - check your own park and rec system out to see if they offer classes. They are inexpensive and fun and I know our parks offer classes for the littlest tykes in sports, art, etc... And you can sign up even if you don't live in my city. They are a little more for a non-resident, but most are still cheaper than you'd find anywhere else.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Can!

Is it just a can???

Oh no - it's a drum! It's a stool to stand and sit on!
And hey - why not just get in!

Who knew there were so many wonderful uses for an empty Boyscout popcorn tin?!?! Thanks Daniel and Justin for helping to provide some unexpected entertainment for your little cousin. And hey, we enjoyed the popcorn too!


Thursday, November 13, 2008

A priceless purchase!

We have entered into a new phase....

Abby Cadabby!


If you don't know who Abby Cadabby is.... just watch the intro to Sesame Street and she's the first character you see. How do I know???? My non-tv loving child - knows this. Oh does she ever. From the time she wakes up, through playing, through breakfast, through playing some more... she's asking for "aabbbyyyyyy ddaaabbbyy" over and over and over again.




So at 8:58 we turn the tv on (SS comes on at 9)... it's the same commercials every single day... and Megan knows the order and she knows when it's time for Abby to fly into the scene. And then she starts naming all the characters to Sesame Street. It's so hysterical and fun because she's so excited (Abby, Belmo (elmo) Govo (Grover) Ossss (oscar), (she skips Rosita, Burt and Ernie), ccckkkkksss (cookie monster), Be Brddd (big bird). Are you frightened that I know the characters in the order they appear in the intro? I am! However, her enthusiasm is gone once the show starts if Abby isn't there.


Now, as a teacher - I'm all about limiting TV and really monitoring what kids watch and how much they watch. That's never really been an issue with us because Megan isn't interested by the tv. All those great Baby Einstein and "sing and sign" videos that everyone raves about... yeah - never did much for us. As a mom who would love just a few minutes without a toddler clinging to my leg or screaming because I've left her alone (she's never played well alone for more than 5 minutes ---- she's just like I was as a kid)..... boy would I love it if she's watch something for just 15 minutes or so. I am fortunate that she'll color and paint - but that's still time that I have to really monitor her so she doesn't eat the crayons.

As Abby would say (using my imagination here)...

"allacazoo ,allacazam, , lookout mommy, here I am!"

If Abby is on that screen... she'll sit in her little chair for an hour (if I'd let her).

So in the name of sanity, I went looking for a Seseme Street video that featured Abby.

Well I saw one once but didn't buy it, but don't cha know.. I can't find it again. And then, last week we were at Toys R Us looking for sand for Megan's sandbox and I found this amazing singing Abby doll... the best part - she came with a 15 minute video called, "Abby's First Day on Seseme Street." The doll and the video were less than a video would have been (she was on sale). Oh how life has changed. That was the best money I have ever spent!!!!

Megan asks to watch that video constantly. If we'd let her, she'd watch it over and over and over again. All I have to say is.... finally I can sweep the floor!

Now I know it's important for a child to play alone... I'm all about that and agree 100%..... However, every childs personality is also a factor. And Megan has never been a girl who plays alone. I think she was supposed to be a twin. She's so social and wants to be with other kids. All that said - She does play alone - but it's ususally in the same room. As soon as she realizes I'm doing something "more exciting" like cooking or cleaning, she's done playing and wants to help. And unfortunately helping near a hot stove or a vaccum that terrifies her just isn't a good thing. So here's to 15 minutes of bliss to organize, clean, cook and whatever else without a helper attached to my leg!!!!

And did I mention that Abby is our best tooth-brushing friend! Abby uses her wand to brush her teeth as Megan brushes her teeth (or gets them brushed) - it's made a world of difference in getting her to open her mouth! yipee!

So, are you curious why Abby is so fun... Watch this video of Abby

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Friend to play in the leaves with...

Megan is loving the fact that our yard is covered in leaves. Tom's not loving it so much.... until he sees the look of delight as Megan frolicks about in the leaves. Then he's reminded, it's ok that the leaves are still there... it's really his contribution to Megan's own personal playground.
We have a scarecrow as a table decoration... at least it used to be a table decoration, until Megan claimed him as her new playmate. Here she is trying to throw leaves in the air (she likes leaf showers - but that usually requires a little assistance from mommy or daddy). And her little scarecrow buddy never leaves her side... he's adventurous - even going down the slides with her.
I have to say, Fall has always been my favorite time of year - and when I see Megan playing in the leaves, I am reminded why!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Jackson!

It's a little belated - but Happy Birthday Jackson!And thanks so much for letting me help with the Pinata. I loved all the candy!


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Moments from the week

Let me out of here!!!! Come on - we can scale this wall!!!
Oooohhhhh, an ice cream break! Now this is true freedom!

video

Our new challenge... Megan has finally learned the word "NO!" I know a lot of my friends with kids who are younger have already started down this part of the toddler journey. This weekend it became very apparent that Megan has now caught onto that dangerous 2 letter word - and it's currently her favorite word.
Do you want some water? NO (followed by her drinking a gallon of water)

Do you want to go outside? NO (followed by her running to get her shoes)

Let's just say I'm thinking this might be a challenging week ahead - for both of us.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Happy B-day Hannah!

Happy 2nd Birthday Hannah! It was so fun celebrating your birthday with you. You had an awesome cake!
And you were so sweet to share your toys. I really really liked riding on your birthday tricycle! It was super fun!
I loved playing on your Daddy's guitar also. My friend Will lets me play with his Daddy's guitar too. My Daddy doesn't have a guitar.... But I hear Mommy has one in the basement - maybe I can talk her into letting me play with it when I'm really really good!

You are a sweet friend and I'm so glad you invited me to your party!
Hugs and Kisses!
Megan




Thursday, November 6, 2008

Snowball Bites Back!

So today, we were in the car and I hear Megan going crazy in the backseat.....
She's not crying, but she's very upset and is trying to tell me why. I still have no idea what she's trying to tell me and then she holds up her hand...
and snowball is attached to it.
From the front seat it looked like snowball was biting her finger.

I realized what had happened, and after a little giggle, I had to pull over to unattach snowball.

Megan has literally loved the stuffing out of him (he's going flat) and loved his mouth off. His mouth has come loose (I've already done emergency surgery once) and she got her finger under the thread and it was twisted and she couldn't get it out.
Poor snowball... who knew being a best friend could be so hard!

Sidenote..... I did get his mouth repaired today so we shouldn't have any more biting episodes (at least not from snowball).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Halloween with the Cousins

Sunday we had a chance to meet up with all Megan's cousins at Grandma and Granddad's for a post-Halloween celebration. It's a fun tradition so that we can see all the costumes without the driving on Halloween night.
Super Girl wanted to give all her candy away - she's oh so generous.
It was hard to get Megan to focus on anyone during the "photo shoot" because she was so engrossed in what Daniel, Justin and Anna were wearing, and what was in her jack-o-lantern. Towards the end of the pictures, I noticed that she had something on her lips (you have to look closely to see it).....
Who knew she could chew through a bag of M&M's.

I had just told someone the day before that Megan had never had chocolate candy (she's had cake, ice cream and brownies, however). So, now cross that one off the list - she's now had chocolate candy and loved it.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Too Much Candy????

Now that Halloween has come and gone, we are overwhelmed with candy! I know that if it stays here, we'll eat it. And that's not good. It's not like anyone else needs more candy...


Or do they?


If you find a lot of candy hanging out at your house as you recover from your candy coma - consider donating it to Operation Gratitude. They will accept donations of left-over candy to send to the troops.

They also would love letters, other items for care packages (there is a list on their website), and donations. It costs $10 a package to send to the troops. Perhaps this would be a great family project as we head into the next holiday season and remind ourselves and our children why we have soooo much to be thankful for!