Sunday, August 17, 2014

Llama Llama

My sister-in-law gave my son his first "Llama Llama" books by Anna Dewdny and the whole family was hooked.  These rhyming books describe the very typically preschool-age adventures of Llama Llama and his Mama, such as temper tantrums, not wanting to go to bed, over-stimulation, and separation anxiety.

My daughter reads Llama Llama to our giggly baby:

My toddler "reads" Llama Llama.  (He has it memorized.)

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Great, Indoor Duckling Round-up at My House, Earlier Today

This morning, before my daughter went to school and my husband went to work, there was a great parent/child confrontation in my household on the topic of open doors.  Doors must not be left open.  We have a one-year-old toddler.  Since spring has started inviting older siblings to go outside, the baby has escaped through open doors not once but twice and darted for the street, where our beloved and alert neighbor has twice stopped him and prevented catastrophe.  While our neighbor is wonderfully vigilant, we do not want to continue risking baby escape.

Apparently, humans aren't the only parents who have problems with babies and open doors.

This afternoon, in spite of the morning confrontation, my children went out to play and left the door open behind them.  This time, my baby did not escape.  Instead, three duck babies escaped the wild and came in to my house.

I found my children and the ducklings in a panic.  My cat, pleased with the situation, was looking on.

My first step was to lock the cat in a bedroom.  Then I grabbed two mismatched gloves (no time for fashion) and went on a duckling chase.  After I caught each of the first two, I took them outside and deposited them in the yard next door, where mother duck was frantically pacing around.  The third was trickier.  It went down the stairs and took refuge in, of all places, the cat's litter box closet, then stopped chirping and hid silently.  It wasn't until I gave up looking and went upstairs that it finally started chirping again and I was able to find it.  (Were ducklings the inspiration for the Find My iPhone app?)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

My Mom and My Sisters on Our Wedding Days

Once again, I made my mom scrapbook pages for Mother's Day.  (That is my own wedding veil in the background.)  Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Too old to hunt eggs?

When I was single and 21, I attended a memorable family Easter egg hunt. I am the oldest female cousin on that side of the family, and my sister (age 20) and next oldest female cousin (age 19) were already married. My older male cousin was a single returned missionary. No one invited any of them to hunt eggs, but everyone kept urging me to join the hunt with the kids. I finally explained that I was too old to hunt eggs, given that I was now of legal drinking age. They were confused. “You don’t drink.”
Not taking my word for it, they turned to my mother, who was known to be a key witness to my birth, to verify whether I had really aged out of the hunt.  ”April is too old,” she confirmed.  Then she added, “She was never any good at finding eggs anyway.”
Kids look on as adults hunt eggs
But my egg-hunting skills continue to improve.  While I am too old to pick up eggs off the lawn with the toddlers, no one ever ages out of the annual “Adult Easter Egg Hunt” hosted by my parents. Sometimes the hunt is designed with clues, leading the adult egg-hunters to eggs hidden across the city. Winning this kind of egg hunt requires speed, geography skills, wit, and most importantly, an insider perspective into my parents’ warped minds.
Sometimes this event is similar to a traditional Easter egg hunt, except that ladders, shovels, and duct tape are employed to hide the eggs with the skill of a pirate hoarding treasure.  This kind of hunt can lose steam at a certain point, as we all wander the yard baffled, finding nothing. After fossilized eggs were discovered years after their originally intended hunt, my parents started numbering all of the eggs and recording their locations so that unfound eggs can be reclaimed, usually through a game of hot/cold, with the biggest, most aggressive egg-hunters emerging victorious from the pile of adults diving for the egg in the “hot” locale.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Skipping Across the Soccer Field

My 6-year-old skips when he is happy. He often skips his way to class when I drop him off at school. I love to watch him skip across the soccer field.

This is his "favorite sport"

I think gymnastics is her favorite, but she also rocks at softball.  I am excited for softball to start up again in a couple weeks.
My kids did not inherit my complete lack of athleticism. (Phew.)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Baby likes...

Age 1
Washing Dishes but I do not love his help. It is sort of like a race, where I try to load dishes faster than he can throw them back out, and I often lose.

Showers:  If I say, "Shower?" my baby  enthusiastically tugs at his clothes and runs for the bathroom.  If I don't lock the door for a shower, a fully clothed baby comes in and joins me.  If I do lock it, an angry baby pounds on the door.

Mama and Dada and Nana--especially Mama.

The Parts of TV Programs that No One Else Likes: He drops everything and watches commercials and credits. (He likes jingles and theme music.)

Pinching the Cat or sitting on her. The poor thing doesn't fight back or run away. She just suffers.

Balls, especially tennis balls. They're bouncy and fuzzy!

Throwing Food on the Floor: Most toddlers I've known start throwing food when they aren't hungry any more. Mine does it the through the whole meal.

Anything with Buttons that light up and turn things off and on or otherwise cause chaos, like computers, TVs, phones and the dryer.  (My friends who have received emoticon instant messages from him can attest to this.)

Hugs and Kisses: He is a master hugger, who cuddles in with his whole body. He also likes to offer open-mouth kisses.  Often, when he releases from the hug, he goes back in for seconds.

Singing: He has excellent pitch!  But a limited vocabulary, so he sings nonsense words to familiar tunes.  His first song was "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." Or "The ABC Song." It was hard to tell, because the tune is is the same.

Banging His Head Against Walls: No comment.

Friday, February 14, 2014

This Graffiti is So Cute!

This is how I discovered that my kindergartener had discovered written word:
"I like you"

"I love you"

It might have made me mad, if the messages weren't so sweet.

The cuteness stopped in December, when I bought several cans of hot chocolate to give away as gifts.  My son was not pleased with the plan to give the hot chocolate away.

"NO Mom and Dad do not giv this or ol kll you"

I told him that we don't tell people we will kill them because that is really mean, and he amended his threat as follows:

"or ol mak you do chors"