Saturday, September 30, 2006

Sherburne Wildlife Refuge

Yep, it's definitely getting to be fall weather up here. Most days, there's a chill in the air, we're wearing sweaters and the leaves are starting to change. Today we decided to drive up north aways and appreciate the fall colors. We found ourselves at the Sherburne Wildlife Refuge and took a long walk along one of the trails there. It was pretty neat, the trail went through deciduous woods, a shady pine forest, and some native prairie as well. Brianna was excited to get to see some animals but alas, we didn't even see so much as a beetle or a squirrel along the way. I think that may have been partly due to the fact that Bree was being loud and calling "HEY DEER! Where are you?"

The leaves were in full color display and it turned out to be a really beautiful walk.

The trail ended up being a lot longer than we thought. But, Bree was a pretty good "hike-ateer" and marched along for quite some time. Of course, she ended up being carried quite a bit as well. Here she is hiking along.

This is what we got when we asked her to say "hi." :)

One last shot of all the beautiful foliage up there.

Friday, September 29, 2006


Yep, the "why" phase is definitely here to stay for awhile. Brianna started back up with that game again the other day after dinner. Here's how it went:

Me:"I'm gonna wipe your face, you're dirty."
Bree: "Why?"
Me: "Because, dinner was messy and your face is dirty."
Bree: "Why?"
Me: "Because dinner was messy."

This went on for some time until Bree got a new idea.

Bree: "Dad, ice cream for sert (desert)?"
Travis: "Why?"
Bree: "I want some okay, ice cream!"
Travis: "Why?"
Bree: "I like ice cream."
Travis: "Why?"
Bree: "Um, have some ice cream for sert? I has to."
Travis: "Why?"
Bree: "ICE CREAM!" (screaming now and NOT amused)

I guess Trav was trying to give her a taste of her own medicine. But, usually when he teases her he doesn't know when to stop. He'll keep going until he's just aggravating her, which, in turn aggravates me. Then it's like having 2 kids instead of one. But, naturally, one of the things that first attracted me to Travis was his silly sense of humor and sometimes childlike joy with life and the simple things. Well, you know what they say..that the things that attract you to someone at first are the same things that will drive you completely bonkers later. What I want to know is....WHY?! :)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

To Infinity and Beyond!

Brianna has recently started wanting to watch more movies instead of TV. And, because her mommy has been kind of stressed out and emotionally drained lately, she's been getting to watch more than she probably should. Lucky for us we own a lot of kid-friendly cartoon type movies. One of Bree's recent favorites has been Toy Story. She knows all the characters names and everything but she especially likes Buzz Lightyear. In fact, today she was even pretending to BE Buzz Lightyear. She was sticking both her arms out in front of her and saying "To ee, aay, an ond!" (Translation: "To infinity and beyond!" Buzz's catch phrase. It's a hard one and she's verbal all right but not THAT verbal.) Anyways she'd say her version of "To infinity and beyond!" then was running all around the apartment with her hands held out in front of her and with her eyes closed. (Great, black eye here we come...) At one point she even stopped and pretended to push some buttons on her wrist, (like Buzz does when he's calling "Star Command"). It was pretty funny, but made me resolve to have the TV off alot more...WAY too influential!

Gosh, I Love My Kid

Bree has several "Little People" sets. Of course, each of them comes with several little plastic um, well people (duh). Bree calls them her "kids." The other day as she was playing with them I overheard her say "Gosh, I love my kid!" Which, if you recall is a line straight out of the "Mommy Needs Coffee" song. (Okay, yes, we've been playing that one alot over here.) :)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hello, My Name is Geck

Today Bree and I got to hang out with Hannah and Kadyn after school. (Hooray!) We see them a lot less often now that they're both busy during the day so we're always so glad to get to spend some time with them when they have a free hour in the afternoons. Brianna was exicted to see her friends and was going "HANNAH! Hey Hannah, I was trying to find you! Kadyn, Kadyn! Hey Peanut!" Kadyn can't quite say Brianna yet, (it IS a hard one, Bree can't say it right either), but she has this little gesture she uses when referring to Bree. So, Kadyn was making that gesture and then she pointed to me and said "Geck!" which is, naturally, her version of my name, Beth. (I have people accidentally call me Geck all the time, easy mistake...) So, I have been given a new nickname. Actually, I kind of like it. Maybe I'll go by that from now on.... :)

A Song for Mommy

Well, since my past few posts have been about songs, why not keep it up? My friend Becca recently gave Bree and I a new CD full of fun kid songs and I found the perfect one for me! It's my new theme song I've decided. It goes like this:

M-O-M-M-Y needs C-O-F-F-E-E
D-A-D-D-Y needs C-O-F-F-E-E

I love my kid... I love my kid
Gosh, I love my kid
But I need what I need, and I need a lot of what I need

M-O-M-M-Y needs C-O-F-F-E-E
D-A-D-D-Y needs C-O-F-F-E-E

I want a latte, a cappuccino
And tonight I think I’ll have a little vino

M-O-M-M-Y needs C-O-F-F-E-E
D-A-D-D-Y needs C-O-F-F-E-E

Isn't it just perfect? I mean, I've mentioned my coffee addiction here more than once. Actually though, this is the way all the moms in Bree's playgroup feel from what I can tell 'cause being a mom is a tiring job. I've said it before and I'll say it is a Mom's only defense! :)

Here's the link, take a listen: (Warning: this song WILL get stuck in your head!)

More Singing

Since it's getting a little more brisk and windy outside around here, this morning Bree and I went to play at an indoor park. We headed to our old standbye Edinborough Park for a little fun. At Edinborough they have one of those really big inflatable jumpy things. You know the ones where the kids can climb inside and jump all around like maniacs and not get hurt? So, turns out that it wasn't too crowded there today and Bree got to jump around all by herself. As she was jumping she started singing "Ring around the rosy, pocket, ashes, we all FALL DOWN!" (She doesn't know all the words to that one yet.) And then she'd purposefully "fall down." She did that for quite some time and was very pleased with her little game. I just watched and felt amused..funny the little things they come up with!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Songbird

Brianna loves to sing. She sings quite frequently and often even tries to sing along to songs that she doesn't know the words to. When left to her own devices though she has two songs she sings most often..the ABC's and also Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

The ABC song has actually progressed and is getting clearer and better all the time. Now it goes something like this:

"A, B, C, D, A, P, G, "Aich", I, J, K, lleminino, P, A, B, C, D, T, U, V, dubbwhoo, ess, Y, and Z. Now I know my ABC's next time won't you sing with me!"

As for Twinkle Twinkle, she's done pretty well with those words for some time now. However since the two songs have a similiar cadence to them she's started kind of getting sidetracked halfway through the ABC's, like this:

"A, B, C, D, E, F, G, Twinkle Twinkle Idda Stah, How I wundah what you ah!"


Monday, September 25, 2006

Mommy, You Tell Him!

We had a bit of trouble getting Bree to go to bed tonight. She's been fighting it a little recently. We'll go through the usual bedtime routine but then lately it will only be a few minutes later and she'll be calling out, wanting an extra toy or book or stuffed animal in her bed. (It's gotten so bad I'm not sure how she has room to sleep in there.) Along with asking for more things to get piled into her bed her new trick is to tell us she "needs to go pee" after she's been tucked in. While we know she doesn't really need to go potty, and is merely stalling for time, well, she's kind of got us there. We don't want to discourage her from using her potty...

Tonight it was the same deal. After tucking several requested stuffed animals and toys into her bed, sure enough she claimed to need to pee. So, I helped her out of bed and into the bathroom where she happily sat down on her potty and began casually perusing "The Jungle Book." After a few minutes I cajoled her into getting off her potty chair, convincing her she was all done for now and could try again later. I laid her down and started to put a fresh diaper on her when I realized that I needed some diaper cream since Bree has a bit of diaper rash right now. For some reason though, she's been fighting getting the cream put on her little buns the past few days. Not wanting her to fuss I called out, "Trav! I need some c-r-e-a-m brought in here please!" A minute later Travis popped through the door with wipes in his hand. "No. C-r-e-a-m, what does it spell?" I asked him. "Oh right." he said, coming back with cream in his hand. I rolled my eyes. "So, did we go pee?" he asked, cluelessly. "Shh" I hissed, kind of annoyed, "Why are you asking right now? She doesn't really need to go and it just took me 5 minutes to convince her to get off the potty. I don't need you reminding her about it. So, why don't you sh..." I caught myself. Yes, I had almost said shut up but didn't want Brianna to think that's okay to say to her Daddy. (All right, I get kinda crabby in the evening!) Silly me, I should have known that she'd already guessed where I was going. From her spot laying on the floor Brianna finished for me and said in a peevish tone, "Daddy, would you just shut up! Mommy, you tell him!" It took us both so by surprise that we just ended up laughing hysterically and Bree did her courtesy laugh, sure that she'd just said something extremely clever!

Quality Time with Daddy

This evening after dinner Travis suggested we all go for a walk. I said "Sure, let's go." Then Brianna piped in, "Mom, you don't want to go. You need to stay right here in my house. Just me an' Daddy." Since I was happy to just sit on the couch and read another chapter in my book I said, "Okay then. Guess I can't go. See you guys later!" "But I want Mommy to go!" Travis told Bree. But she reiterated, "No. Mommy doesn't want to. She needs to stay here. Just Daddy and me this time." So, I stayed home while the two of them took a little walk around the apt. grounds. I guess sometimes a girl needs a little quality time alone with her dad...

Before they left, Brianna insisted her and Daddy put on their "cowboy" hats. (His is actually a cowboy hat, hers is really a straw hat.) Here she is looking like she's in a scene from Little House on the Prairie or something. :)

Bree gathered pine cones on her walk with Daddy. Three was about the limit of what she could carry though!

It's a bird! It's superman! Oh wait, it's just a plane.

One happy Daddy's girl and another great close-up by Travis!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Laundry Delay

Weekends mean laundry time at our house. Oddly enough, Bree loves to help out on laundry day, as I’ve mentioned before. She likes to walk down to the laundry room with us, carry a few things from the washer to the dryer, and “fold” as well. (Which actually means romping around like a puppy in the laundry pile while Travis and I frantically fold as fast as we can.)

Today when we got ready to drag our laundry down the hall we said, “Come on Brianna, help us with the laundry.” “Okay, just a minute. My potato wants to come,” she said back. By that of course she meant Mr. Potato Head. Problem was that Mr. Potato Head was not ready to go. So, Bree made us stand there while she very carefully put him together with the eyes, nose, mouth, arms, hat, and feet all in the correct places. Finally, Mr. Potato Head was assembled and she was ready to go. We started to head down the hallway when Bree said, “Mom, carry me!” “I can’t carry you, I’m carrying this,” I pointed to the laundry detergent in my left hand. “Mom,” she said, pointing to my right hand, “You can carry me in this hand.” Well, no fooling that one….

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Kids Say the Darndest Things

We really do think Brianna says the darndest things. Some of the things she says are pretty normal, everyday type things that shouldn't necessarily be funny, but for some reason hearing a very tiny person say them, and in the tone of voice she's hysterical! Here's a few funny little things Bree has surprised us in saying recently:

"I need to e-mail!" (As she was climbing up into the computer chair.)

"Mom, I have eyeballs. My eyeballs need to stay in my head." (Well, I should hope so!)

(After tripping and nearly falling while trying to walk down the stairs she said) "Was that a nice trip?"

"Mom, I'm following the leader." (While climbing all over the couch. I dunno, maybe the leader was imaginary?)

"Daddy, stop it! Just leave me alone!" (After he'd been teasing her, and then,) "What are you thinking?"

Friday, September 22, 2006


The other day Bree ended up watching the Winnie the Pooh Heffalump movie. I had gotten distracted off doing..something..and had turned it on for her. We've actually had this movie for a while but this was the first time Brianna really showed a lot of interest in it. She actually ended up watching the whole thing and loved it! After it was over she told me "You're a heffalump and I'm Roo!" This is nothing new for her, she's been role-playing characters from TV and movies for a while now. (Remember when she was Tigger and her daddy was Piglet?!) Except this time I just wasn't too sure how I felt about being the heffalump...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

An Accident

Brianna has long been in love with our cat Bogart. Despite my frequent reminders not to, she is constantly following him around, laying on him, hugging him, chasing him down, and sometimes yelling "SHUT UP!" at him when he's meowing. (Got that one from Daddy.) I have really been trying to communicate with her though that she needs to be gentle and nice with Bogart and that he doesn't always understand what she wants. So, today while she was eating her lunch Bree was swinging her legs under the table when Bogart walked past. Of course, she managed to kick him as he went by. Perhaps afraid of a reprimand she quickly turned to me and said "I didn't mean to Mom. It was an accident!"

Buenos Dias!

It’s official, Brianna is now bilingual! (All right, yes, the TV’s influence again okay?!) Today she just started singing “Buenos dias, Buenos dias…” (She’d been watching a cartoon, Dragon Tales I think, that had a character who had just moved to America from Puerto Rico and was teaching the other characters about the language, etc.) Anyways, so I said “Are you saying Buenos Dias?” “No,” she told me. I don’t think she actually knows what she’s saying but for an hour or so she just kept randomly adding “Buenos Dias” into her dialogue, plain as day!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Well, I knew it was coming sooner or later. The "why" phase. This afternoon as I was helping Bree out of her crib from her naptime we had the following conversation:

Brianna: "Mom, I had a boogy! (booger) I licked it up!"
Me: "Ew! We don't do that. We only put our boogies on tissues."
Brianna: "Why?"
Me: "Because that's where they go and licking them up is just yucky!"
Brianna: "Why? Why? Why Mom?"
Then before I could respond.
Brianna: "Mom, my pony, why?"
Me: "What about your pony? Why what?"
Brianna: "Why Mom?"
Me: "All right. That's enough now...."

Gross booger habits aside, (Oh come on, like you never did that as a kid or had your kids do it?!) it was kind of funny. Although, this is the first time it's happened. By the time it's a full blown asking why all the time obsession I'm sure I'll be annoyed enough.

Cutie Pie

All right well there's no real story behind these pictures. Just allow me a moment to dote on my child. I know all moms think their own kids are adorable and I know that I'm extremely biased but I can't help it! I just think she's such a beautiful little girl with her happy, generous mouth (from her daddy), and those sparkly, super-blue eyes (those are from me!). I don't think she's capable of taking a bad picture... And also credit where credit is due, Travis does a great job taking her photo.

What a big toothy grin!

Check out the eyes in this one.

Thinking deep thoughts.

So cute in her little hat and that far-away innocent look in her eye...

Another hat shot, this time wearing Daddy's hat.
I think this has to be my new all time favorite picture of her to date!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Return of Storytime

Today marked the return of storytime at the library for Brianna and I. Except now, we've graduated from baby storytime to toddler storytime. It was a little more hectic and crazy than we've been used to, with around 25 toddlers and their parents scattered around the room, shuffling, talking, and fidgeting. (The toddlers that is not the parents.) Toddler storytime has a weekly theme and letter and this time it was bears and the letter B. We read a few books with bears in them (like Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Turn Around) and also sang a few bear songs (ya know "there were 10 in the bed and the little one said, roll over, roll over"). It took a few minutes but Bree really got into it and was dancing and singing along. We got more than a few amused glances when Bree was the only toddler to join in trying to sing the songs in her loud off-key toddler voice. And got a few more when she would yell "YAY!" at the end of every song or book. The funny thing was though that I think Bree's favorite part was getting to sit on the little square mats. It was a nice way to spend a morning and we're looking forward to next week. :)

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Big Girl Bed? Er, Maybe Not

Several of Brianna's friends who are around her age have long since been out of their cribs and are sleeping in toddler beds. Although Bree's bed converts to a toddler bed pretty easily, personally, I haven't felt ready to deal with that yet. I could just picture her trying to play with all of her toys in the dark, then bonking and hurting herself. That, or her pounding on her bedroom door and screaming to come out. Nope, I just didn't want to deal with any of that. But today Travis got it into his head that now was the time to make the move. So, he took the front rail off the crib and presto chango! toddler bed. Brianna thought it was pretty neat. She had fun climbing in and out and jumping up and down on the "new" bed. Then came bed time. I nervously kissed her goodnight and left the room holding my breath. Sure enough, 5 seconds later she was wailing in there. "Your problem," I informed Travis. He went back in and I overheard Bree saying, "Daddy, I want to sleep in my crib!" "Well, this is a big girl bed, let's just try it out huh?" her daddy told her. (By this time I had wandered back into the room.) Brianna thought about it a minute, then she pointed to the front railing of her crib, (which Trav had stuck next to the wall, behind her crib), and said "Daddy, put that back on, sleep in my crib!" Well, there was no questioning that one. Shortly thereafter the front of the crib was hooked back on. Bree bounced up and down a minute then quickly laid down and was zonked out in 5 minutes... Guess I wasn't the only one who wasn't ready to give up one of the last pieces of Brianna's babyhood.

The Chex Mix Incident

Well, here's a little moment that somehow slipped through the cracks a few weeks back...

Brianna and I had gone to the park with our play group. Everyone brought snacks to share and we had a lot of fun hanging out. At the end of our little get together my friend Lynsay and I were cleaning up when Elissa, Lynsay's daughter, found a bag of Chex's Mix and thought she'd like to try some. She opened the bag up and poured it right out on the ground. This, of course, caught Bree's attention, and not to be left out of the action she wandered right over to "chex" it out. (Ha ha!) Here's what happened next:

Yes, we actually let them eat it right off the ground! Can you beleive it? Guess we're both the more laid back mommy-type...or at least in this 5 minute time frame we were.

This is when Brianna really got into it and laid down on the grass for better access.

Here's Bree picking out the best part of the whole mix, the M & M's! After those were gone the girls pretty much lost interest, leaving us moms to clean up the mess....typical!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Funhouse Mirrors and Silly Faces

Today Travis had some fun snapping pictures of Brianna using his wide-angle lens. It's a great lens for taking sweeping landscape shots but for portraits, it makes things look, well a little odd, shall we say? And, the closer a person is to the lens the more distorted and strange they will look in the pix. The end result is sort of like if Bree had walked through one of those hallways of funhouse mirrors at the fair or circus.

Mirror #1
Hmm..almost normal but just not quite right. You know, one of those funhouse mirrors with just the slightest wiggle in it...

Mirror #2: Wide Nose and Cheeks

Mirror #3
Okay actually this one's mostly funny 'cause Brianna is making a silly face.

Mirror #4: Big Fat Cheeks and Chin
(I'm pretty sure that wide smile is normal size though!)

Mirror #5: Big Forehead, Little Mouth, No Chin

Mirror #6: Long Jaw Effect
Here's what Bree would look like as a monkey baby. :)

Whew! That's more like it, the face we know and love. This last one is still a bit distorted, but it only emphasizes her eyes even more than normal. Black and white for added fun...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Brianna the Bug Catcher

If you know Travis at all then you've seen this one coming from the day Brianna was born. Yep, he's gotten her into the bug thing. I guess kids already naturally think bugs are kind of cool and want to touch them and stuff. So, all it takes is a little encouragement from Daddy, (I suppose watching Bug's Life didn't help either), and voila! a tiny partner in bug finding and collecting. (Well, everyone's gotta have a hobby right?) For the past several days Travis and Bree have taken afternoon walks around the apartment grounds finding beetles and catepillars and such. She's found it so much fun and they burst through the door with identical gleams in their eyes to show me their special finds inside the bug jar. (The only downside being that Brianna can't take a walk now without looking under rocks for creepy-crawlies.) Travis says she has an eye for spotting insects, (probably because she's closer to the ground), and Bree is learning which bugs are "mean," which are "nice" and how to say "cat-a-pill-a." It's a little different for a father-daughter activity but they get to spend time together and they have fun anyways.

Staring at her bugs in the jar and managing to walk without falling down and look adorable all at the same time. (Yep, she's a multi-tasker. How does she do it?)

Here's Brianna giving her bugs their daily scream therapy. (Actually I think this is her, "Wow! Holy Cow! It's so neat I'm making my mouth really big," face.)

Hmm...Dad was right these things are so fascinating...

Whew! That catching bugs thing is hard work!

Fruit "Candy"

Brianna has a sweet tooth. We've been having trouble lately getting her to want to eat any nutritious food at all. She especially loves fruit snacks. (I suppose it could be worse but those don't have much nutritional value themselves.) We get different "themed" treats each time we buy them. This time we have Shrek fruit treats. Bree'll say, "Mom, one donkey treat." (Some of the bags have pictures of Donkey, Shrek's buddy, on them.) Then she'll point her finger into the palm of her hand. "One donkey treat right now. Those are the choices," she'll inform me. (Tricky of her, trying to turn it around on me.)

Recently she's also discovered that she loves fruit roll ups too. Except, she calls them "fruit candy." "More fruit candy Mom?" she'll say...

This morning as I was putting on lip gloss Bree said, "I want lipstick too Mom!" "Okay," I told her and smeared a little lip gloss on her mouth. She was so happy, "Look at my lipstick!" Then, since we were both gussied up, we headed out for our morning fun with our play group. As I was carrying Bree to the car she suddenly looked at my lips and said, "Mom, you have fruit candy lips!" (I guess 'cause they were pink and shiny.) Then a pause "And I do too!" :)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Super Brianna!

Brianna is kind of taken with the idea of superheroes right now. (Yes, the TV's influence again. We really don't watch that much though, I swear!) Sometimes she'll get one of her "magic" wands from her dress-up drawer, wave it around and say, "I'm a superhero!" Well this morning there was a superhero theme on Dora the Explorer. (Mornings are the main time Bree watches TV. I nurse my coffe and try to keep my eyelids open while she jumps all around like a bunny, runs around the coffee table, squirms all over the couch, "eats" her cereal but mostly gets it everywhere but her mouth, and occasionally pauses to watch her cartoons on in the background. You get the picture, anyways...) So, after watching the "Supermap" on Dora a few minutes Bree threw her hands up in the air and said "I'm Super Brianna!" Her daddy heard her say it and he said, "Well, if you're Super Brianna you need a cape." A few minutes later Bree was running around the room, still in her pajamas but with a pink blanket flapping behind her, clamped around her shoulders with one of my hair claws used as a fastener. She spent the rest of the morning being a pajamaed superhero and doing important superhero stuff like blowing bubbles, stacking blocks, and making red monkeys hang in a chain. Yup, a superhero's work is never done...

The Magical Power of Band-Aids

Even though I've seen certain parenting techniques in action before, like the airplane flying into your mouth with food trick, I've still been kind of amazed that they actually work. One of those such things has been kissing a boo-boo better. I guess it's more of a psychological fix than a physical one but I find it cool that many times I have the power to stop the tears with one little kiss to make it better. Sometimes Brianna will even request I kiss her if she's sad, or thinks I might be upset with her and not even physically hurt at all.

Of course, besides a kiss from Mommy Brianna also counts on that other toddler psychological healer, the band-aid. Naturally, she insists she needs one with every bump, bang or bruise she gets. Of course, we don't give her one every time or else we'd go through a box a day. (We don't want her to have a "pack a day" habit do we now?) So, if she's asking for a band-aid we'll say "Are you bleeding?" Then sometimes she says yes even though she's clearly not bleeding anywhere. That's just how sure she (and most toddlers) are that a band-aid is the answer to every ouchie in question. Brianna even asked for one the other day when she was just plain old upset. She'd been crying for some time, (I think 'cause I told her no to something), so she requested a kiss from me. Well, apparently that didn't work and she said, "Mommy, I'm sad..I need a band-aid!"

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Oldies But Goodies

Recently Brianna has had renewed interest in some of her old toys, ones she hasn’t played with in quite some time. Some of the toys making a comeback are her electric drum, the barrel of monkeys, her latch puzzle, and Mr. Potato Head. I guess she’s coming back to these since she can now play with them at a new level of understanding and technical prowess.

Another toy that had been kind of forgotten but is back in action is her little Magna Doodle. (You know, the one where you make the magnetic “pen” draw by dragging it across the screen.) Today she spent hours scribbling away on it. But, the funny part was that she’d scribble, scribble, scribble until the screen was completely black. Then, “Mom, I drew a turtle!” she’s say. “Yes, very nice,” I’d tell her. She’d scribble a few minutes more, still having a totally black screen and declare “Look, it’s a cat!” Scribble, scribble, “Look Mom, it’s Dora!” (the Explorer from TV). Scribble, scribble, scribble, “Hey, I made a picture of Kadyn!” Of course the screen looked exactly the same each time, but I guess art is subjective right?


Bree’s big into pretending stuff when she plays. She makes her dolls and stuffed animals do all kinds of things. (Although, I have to say that a lot of her pretending comes when she’s about to be in trouble. Take for example the other day when I started to scold her for “spitting,” taking a huge sip of juice and then letting it dribble back out of her mouth onto the carpet. Before I could finish asking her not to do that she said “Mom, I’m just ‘tend spitting.” And she did switch to pretending instead.) Lately she’s kind of amped up her pretending and branched off into role-playing. As I’ve posted in the past she’s “tended” to be a boy and a mouse among other things. (The other day she even told me she was a lion, growled at me and then “tended” to scratch me up.) Well, today her big pretending moment included her Daddy as well…she was hopping around the house and informed me “Mom, I’m a Tigger,” then she added (much to my amusement), “and Daddy’s a piglet!”

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hanging with Kadyn

This afternoon we got to see Kadyn again for the first time in quite some time (okay more like 10 days but it felt like a long time!). Both her and her mom, Hannah are now in school. (Hannah’s an elementary school counselor and Kadyn’s been going to daycare.) Lucky for us though, Kadyn’s daycare is right near our apartment so Hannah called us when she was picking Kadyn up for the day and we all met at a nearbye park. I don’t know who was more excited to get a chance to catch up, us or the girls. We had fun letting them run around though and they ended up almost naked (only their diapers on) skinny dipping in the lake together. Hee hee!


Like all toddlers do at some point, Brianna has started to figure out the rules of grammar and speech but is applying them either too strictly or haphazardly. Her newest thing is making words plural. She’s figured out that adding an extra “s” sound to the end of a word is what you do when referring to more than one thing. Which is pretty smart, but she’s been adding extra s’s everywhere now. She’ll say stuff like, “Look Mommy, frogs’s!” or “I want two Shrek treats’s in my hand!” (pointing to her palm) or “I hear the ducks’s quacking!” (Hmm..I’m noticing I tend to make all her sentences end in exclamation points but that’s actually how two-year-olds’s talk you know. Very animated and excited about it all…) Needless to say, we’ve found it pretty amusing to hear her making such classical baby talk errors’s. :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Some Itchy Bumps

The past few days Brianna has developed 5-6 itchy, red bumps on her torso. They’ve been getting bigger and redder so, this morning I took her into the doctor to get his opinion about them. (Turns out he thinks they’re some kind of bug bite…she’s taking Benadryl and using Calamine lotion to get better.) To prepare her for her visit, I told her we were going to take her to see the doctor, who’s a really nice guy, and he was going to look at her bumps and make them better. Apparently she was paying close attention to this part because while we were checking in she told the receptionist, “I have bumps, going see the dokker.” Then, as we were walking towards the children’s waiting area she told a random guy sitting around waiting for his appointment, “The dokker’s going to look at my bumps and make them feel better.” Once we got inside the office, our nurse said to Brianna, “So, I hear you have some bumps.” “Yep I do!” replied Bree. (They obviously don’t bother her much though huh?) The nurse was quite amused and then kind of impressed as Bree continued to chatter on to her for awhile. “Wow. She talks a lot!” the nurse said. (It always kind of surprises me when people say that though, it’s just normal for us… and her being my first and only, I have no idea what the “regular” amount of talking at this age is. Anyways….) Finally, when the long awaited moment came and our “dokker” came through the door Brianna pulled up her shirt and said proudly, “See my bumps!”

Monday, September 11, 2006

Don't Matter if You're Black or White...(to steal a line from Michael Jackson)

Brianna has been becoming more aware of the differences in people, for example, if someone is a boy or a girl. Well, recently she brought up a whole new subject...

The other day we were over at my friend Shannon's house. Bree loves to play with Nayan, Shannon's son who is about her age. Things were going well, the kids played nice together, Bree got to pet their new puppy, and we all had lunch together. Then Aamani, Shannon's daughter who's almost 1 now, woke up from her nap. Bree went into Aamani's room with Shannon and suddenly for some unknown reason she turned to Shannon and asked her "Is she brown or white?" (While Shannon grew up around here, her husband is from India.) Luckily, Shannon wasn't offended and told Bree "She's both. She's a mix."

Great! Now I have to worry about Bree talking loudly about people's skin color. I guess it's only natural for kids at this age to start asking a few questions...hope I'm ready for it though.

In Case of Fire, Take the Stairs

Last time we went to the library we ended up checking out a Curious George book that's a "picture reader." This means that every few words instead of having the next word in the sentence printed out there's a little picture. So, it goes something like this:

Travis: "One day (point)
Bree: George!
Travis: was taking a walk with the man in the big yellow (point).
Bree: hat!

It's great because it makes the reading part so much more interactive and Brianna was so proud of herself helping Daddy "read." She's starting to get the idea that pictures can translate into words and vice versa. She even applied this new skill of "reading" pictures to the sign outside the elevator in the past few days. Now every time we're standing there waiting for the elevator doors to open she points to the "In case of fire, use the stairs" sign, which also has pictures of a stick man going down stairs and a fire, and says "Go downstairs and fire." Not bad huh?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Happy Grandparents Day!

Happy Grandparents Day to all the grandparents out there! (Yes, it's actually a holiday if you didn't know..look on your calendar.) To our own grandparents: If you haven't gotten it yet, Bree sent a special card to all her Grammies and Poppas. And, not to ruin your surprise but I did send a few 4x6 pix in each card. I was in such a hurry to get them in the mail on time I just scanned through our photo albums quickly and picked a few cute pix. Of course, after I chose them I looked back through and wished I'd sent different ones. We have so many cute shots of her, I would probably be second-guessing myself no matter what I'd chosen. So, here are a few other good shots dedicated to the grandparents. (It's okay, you can print these ones out too.) :)

Saturday, September 09, 2006


For the most part I've been amused and thrilled to watch Brianna turning into a little girl. I've enjoyed hearing the funny little things she says and seeing the sometimes odd way she interacts with and figures out her world. But, I guess the changes have been sneaking up on me a little at a time and suddenly in the last few days I've been a little nostalgic for the baby days....

The other when Bree "woke up" from her nap she was snuggly and still acting tired. So, I laid down with her on the couch and hoped she would go back to sleep. We ended up taking a little nap together...Bree actually slept a whole 'nother hour there. It made me think of the "old" days when she was younger. When she was nursing I would actually end up laying on the couch letting her nurse and nap and usually fall asleep myself. Although by the end I did get tired of having my chest on 24-hour call there was something to be said about the "forced" quality snuggle time it created. Not to mention it was good for me too. Made me just sit and be still and perhaps even take a nap, something I rarely do these days. Well, anyways, it was nice and made me miss the baby days when there was more snuggling, although the toddler days of craziness have their own charm too.

Then recently, as we often do, we found ourselves back at Medicine Lake Park near our apartment. As usual Travis took many cute pictures of Bree as she played, climbing, sliding, and swinging. But, there was one pic of her in the swing that looked so much like some of her earlier ones...I couldn't help but compare her with this time last year.

I guess it's inevitable, my baby is growing up!

At Medicine Lake Park, 7-28-05
13 months old

At Medicine Lake Park, 9-6-06
26 months old

Children's Museum

Today we went to the Minnesota Children's Museum. It's a great place! It has four floors with many rooms full of kid-size fun. There's the Magic School Bus room, the Habitot room (where toddlers can play in several kinds of "environments" like forest, desert, etc. and it's all interactive and soft), a huge ant hill where the kids can climb through ant tunnels, rooms to experiment with light and water. It's really educational and essentially the best kids' playroom ever. Brianna's favorite part though was the "Our World" display that has a whole neighborhood in miniature complete with a grocery store and restaurant, we spent most of our time "shopping" and "cooking" there. We'll definitely be going back. Meanwhile, check out the fun we had this time....

One of the fun things we got to do while we were there was paint Bree's face. Here's a good shot of the flower I put on her cheek. :)

One room was all set up so the kids could push a button, have a fun song play and then dance against a "blue screen" background. The end result was it looked like they were on TV in their own music video. They also had props like foam guitars and microphones as well. At one point Bree was actually holding a guitar, "strumming" the strings and jumping up and down like a little rock star.

She's saying "Look at me on the TV!"

Me making a really big bubble. (Hey, adults can have fun at the Children's Museum too.)

At the mini-grocery store, reaching up for something on the shelf to add to the cart. This is a good shot showing how realistic it was and how much stuff this "store" had.

Here's Bree checking out once she'd gathered up all her necessities.

After her grocery shopping Brianna headed over the the super delux mini-kitchen (seriously, it's way nicer than mine!) to cook up a T-bone dinner.

Here's the great meal Bree prepared for me. I'm actually thinking of making her cook dinner every night from now on...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Leftover Soup (ya know, little o' this, little o' that)

On her gender identity kick still Bree declared tonight, "I'm a boy!" "I don't think so!" I told her. "Mom, I'm a tend (pretend) boy!" she informed me. Oh, how silly of me, I should have known!

Bree and Savannah quite frequently go play down at the apartment park play area. Every time they head off I say, "Ok, be safe and have a good time." This time as they left however Brianna beat me to the punch and said, "Bye, have a good time!"

I guess I must say actually a lot 'cause Brianna is now using that word quite frequently. (I know I seem to type "actually" fairly often here.) Wherever it came from though it's been quite amusing to hear Bree using the word when trying to make a point... IE: "Ack-shoo-ee it is raining outside Mom."

Although "concha" was a much loved nonsense word Bree used for popsicle, I think I have to say the "concha" days are gone. After Brianna's older pal, Savannah, heard Bree saying "concha" she said, "Why does she say that?" Then said "Bree, can you say pop-sick-kle?" Well, after much speech therapy from Savannah Bree has abandoned saying "concha" and has moved on to the much more grown up "pop-shua." (Popsicle is just still too hard to say correctly.)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Airplane Food With A Twist

So, it's so cliche and overly done already. But, you can't deny what works right? Tonight in order to get Brianna to eat her sweet potatoes (which were really yummy anyways) we had to resort to using the tried but true airplane flying into your mouth trick. Travis held a bite of sweet potato way up high and made airplane noises, telling Bree that the airplane wanted to land in her mouth. Brianna was thrilled with this idea and when the "plane" zoomed up she opened her mouth obediently. "I ate a plane!" she told me, excited. "No, not a plane! Really? You're not supposed to eat planes, that's naughty!" I said with super fake shock. This made her laugh and she said, "I want to eat another plane!" This worked for awhile and then Travis decided to get clever and said "This one's a bird." That went over just as well so then he tried, "Okay, this is a butterfly." Before the game was done Bree had also eaten a "bee," "squirrel," and "chipmunk." Leave it to Trav to embellish! It was getting a little disturbing actually. But, at least she ate quite a bit of her vegetables right?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I'm Stupid

Once again, Brianna has been corrupted by the television. Her new favorite show is Bug's Life. She's constantly going around asking to "watch Bug's Knife Mom? Bug's Knife?" It's a pretty cute show, and fairly harmless in content so I usually let her watch at least a few minutes when she asks. At first, we had to reassure her every time the mean grasshoppers came because it kind of scared her. Now though, she's watched it so many times that she's prepared..."The grasshoppers are coming," she tells herself, "They're mean! It's okay." There's one particular scene however when the head grasshopper says "Are you calling me stupid? Do I look stupid to you?" For some reason Bree has focused in on this part. Today I caught her walking around the house going "I'm stupid!" "Hey, no you're not! I don't want you to say that. You are very smart!" I told her. (Actually, we kind of had a little arguement about it when she refused to stop saying it and I made her cry.) Well, ultimately I couldn't get her to stop saying it all together but by the end of today she's ammended it to "I'm stupid! No, I'm not stupid, I'm 'mart!" then this is usually followed directly by "I'm not a boy, I'm a big girl!" It's all about the opposites, and putting yourself in the right category at this stage I guess....

Daddy's a Big Boy

Lately Bree has started that phase where she's a lot more aware of who's a boy and who is a girl. Naturally, it's an important distinction for her and she's been marching around telling everyone. "I'm not a boy. I'm a girl! And Mommy's a girl...but Daddy's a big boy!" Then, if he's there, Travis will say "Yes I am," in a deep voice. It's just silliness but it makes me laugh every time to hear Bree call her daddy a "big boy."

She's also still occasionally calling him Travis as well. Usually it's after I've called him that first, but not always... This morning as Trav was leaving I called "Bye, have a good day!" And Bree piped up with, "Have a good day, Travis!"

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Generally Bree has named her stuffed animal friends by either their color, or what they actually are. For example, her two favorite bears are named Bear and Green (although, Green isn't actually green, he's tan so not exactly sure on that one). But, today Brianna took the naming game to a newer, more creative level and assigned one of her stuffed animals a name that really has nothing to do with well, anything really. She named one of her little stuffed cats, (a black and white one who previously had no name), get this, Motorcycle. Yeah, I have no idea why or even where that came from. But, it is definitely his name now. She came out from her room holding him and saying "Mom, see my motorcycle?" "Baby, that's a cat," I told her. "Motorcycle says meow!" she replied. (So, at least I know she doesn't actually think the cat is a motorcycle.) Then later when she got a little bonk on the head, and was crying, she said, "Motorcycle, kiss me. Dad, I feel better now, Motorcycle kiss me." So, yep, that's very clearly his new name. I dunno why though, crazy little munchkin!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Save the Picture!

Today Brianna and I created a masterpiece together. Okay, well actually we drew a picture and stuck stickers on it. We had some lady bug stickers sitting around. So, I drew some flowers and insects and Bree added some scribbling and stuck glittery ladybug stickers here and there among the flowers. She was quite taken with our artwork once we were done and she dragged it all around the apartment with her. Of course, after a while she tired of it and left it laying in the floor, ignored. That is until she saw me walk by the vacuum cleaner. She became convinced that I was about to vacuum and grabbed up her picture yelling "Don't vacuum my picture Mommy!"

Belt It

Recently Brianna recieved a new pair of purple pants (from Grammy Dee-Dee). They're these really cute cargo pants. Bree was completely taken by all the pockets they have and also one other feature...They are her first pair of pants to actually have belt loops. (I know, for you and me, no big deal. But, for someone whose never had their very own belt loops, ya know, cool!) Well, upon noticing the belt loops Bree said "I need a belt!" (Even though the pants actually fit quite nicely without one.) Then she ran into the master bedroom, found her daddy's pants and started trying to work the belt off of them. "That won't fit you," her daddy told her. "This is for Daddy," she answered, "I need a teeny belt!" I don't even know if you can buy that teeny of a belt...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

What's in a Name??

So recently Brianna has started to grasp the concept that people can have nicknames or go by more than one name, as demonstrated by her interchanging Travis/Daddy and Kadyn/Peanut when talking about those people. But, even though I call her Bree quite a bit, she's never used her own nickname to refer to herself. That is, until the other day. We went over to Hannah and Kadyn's house for a playdate. The girls actually played quite well and were sharing better than we've ever seen them. However, there were still a few moments of jealousy and declarations of toy ownership. During one of these moments Brianna though Kadyn might be starting to pick up the cup she'd been drinking out of. "No, no, no Kadyn," she said, "That's Bree's!"

Outside Screaming

Thankfully, the whole inside/outside voice method of dealing with Bree's incessant shrieking seems to be working. Now, she'll start to scream and then remind herself "screaming outside" and wait until she goes out there to start up. Seeing as how our balcony is not that big and right next to the living room it still drives me crazy. But, since this is working I manage to smile and say, "Yes that's good. That's right," in response to her telling me "Mom, I'm screaming outside! EEEEEEEE!" The other night though she managed to find a loophole in the screaming outside rule. As she sat at the dinner table waiting for her plate she made the tiniest scream. "Mom, I squeaked!" she told me. "Ok, that's nice," I said. After that she kept doing the "squeaking" (which was actually more like very brief screaming) and then laughing hysterically. Like this: squeak, insane laughter, squeak, insane laughter, squeak, insane laughter, get the point. "Mom, I'm laughing about squeaking," she stopped to tell me, and then started back up again. The funny part was that when she was "laughing about screaming" you could tell it was her "fake" courtesy laugh. But, for some reason it struck me as funny and we both started genuinely laughing after every stupid tiny shriek. It's been the only moment of this whole screaming obsession phase that I've found anything about it remotely amusing...I claim temporary insanity on that one. :)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

What the Heck?!

At our house we have a DVD player and a Playstation 2, which will also play DVD's. But, right now we can only have one hooked up to the TV at a time. (I think we need an adapter or something to have both active at the same time.) This means when Bree wants to watch a movie, I'm never quite sure which player to put the DVD into. This morning I forgot that we had switched the cables back over to the DVD player. So, for awhile I kept trying to get "A Bug's Life" to play in the Playstation. I think I pressed the reset button 3 times. After watching this go on for several minutes Brianna said "What the heck Mom?!" (Another little verbal nugget she's heard me say and apparently filed away for use at an opportune moment, such as Mom fumbling around with a DVD....)

Goats at the Zoo

Yesterday, we headed off once again with our friends Hannah and Kadyn to the zoo. As usual, we spent all our time in the farm part of the zoo, particularly feeding and petting the goats. We had a great you can see by the pix here. (And, thanks to Hannah for letting me borrow her camera.)

They let us inside the goat pen again this time. Brianna loved it just as much the second time around. Here she is peeking into the wooden climbing structure inside the pen to see a goat hiding out in the gap there.

In order to get down on her level, and get a good shot of her face, I sat down on the wooden structure the goats climb on. And, it worked, this is such a cute pic! Note that Brianna is smiling though since that goat in the front is virtually sitting in my was worth it though, I love this one!

Never one to hold back or be shy, here's Bree smiling into the face of a large goat.

One of the goat-keepers actually handed Bree a brush and let her help brush the goats. Brianna thought that was great and started grooming away. She was quite serious about it...

Brushing another goat. I think almost all of them had been groomed by the time Bree was done with them!

One last shot of her petting and brushing a goat. I coudn't resist, she looked so cute doing it!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Fixing Nemo

When you're two, a traumatic experience is defined quite differently than for the rest of the population. Take last night's extreme drama for example:

It all started out innocently enough...Grandma Dee-Dee sent us a package in the mail. Inside, among other things, were two fun little bathtime toys, these little clown fish that you can wind up and make swim. Bree was instantly in love with them, calling them Nemo and carrying them around all day. Somewhere along the way though, she managed to break off the fin of one fish. It was pretty easily fixed however, we'd just shove the fin back on and that would last us a good 15-30 minutes before the fin was off and needing attention again. This tactic worked fine, until bedtime that is. Brianna insisted on taking the fish to bed and there, inevitably, she'd manage to get the fin to fall off and cry. A half an hour and 2 breakdowns later Travis and I were frantically trying to figure out a solution. Finally, I went in there and took the broken fish, telling Bree that he was sick and needed to go see the doctor and that he'd be back in the morning. (I was hoping this would give me some time to either figure out how to fix the fin permanently or "accidentally misplace" that particular fish, hoping she'd forget about it.) But, this didn't fly. As we listened to her little broken-hearted sobs it suddenly occured to me to give Nemo a band-aid. So, there I was at 8:45 pm frantically attaching a Sesame Street band-aid on a plastic bath-toy fish and praying it would hold the little fin on. And, it did! I headed back into Bree's room and jauntily told her that Nemo had been to the doctor, gotten a band-aid and was much better now. Fifteen minutes later I smiled in the complete silence and tried to savor getting to be the least for the moment.