Friday, August 29, 2008

Backyard Campout and Pop Art

Brianna has a cute little ladybug tent that she loves to play in. She's been asking to have it set up lately so we decided to put it up in the yard for the kids to play with.

It was a big hit with Noah. Here he is sitting in front of it with his little ball cap on. I mean, now that he's 1 and a real man, he has to wear a cap while camping right? (Actually we didn't let them actually sleep in it or anything, they just played around with it for a few hours.)

Here's a close up of the cap and one big ol' grin. That boy sure has his mom smitten with him! I think he's a cutie all the time but he looks extra charming with the hat.

And I had to include this photo just for this face! This is his indignant face. He makes it when you don't get what he's trying to communicate right away or when he's telling you off in baby babble.

This is a great shot of the new top teeth I've been telling you about. Check out those chompers!

Anyways, back to the tent.... the kids thought it was great fun. They especially enjoyed peeking out the windows at each other or Travis.
Peek a boo!
Although, Noah seemed to have a different idea about what the mesh windows were good for:

Here he is doing his best impression of some Andy Warhol-esque pop art.
The original for comparison:

Hey, it's kind of weird but you have to encourage talent where you find it, even if it's face smushing for the sake of art.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Naked and Nutty

Bath time at our house continues to be not just functional, but fun too! It's a major event. Both kids go in the tub, both kids immediately start splashing and screeching (with happiness) and by the time it's over practically the whole bathroom is wet, walls, floor, and sometimes even the ceiling, not to mention that I'm pretty soaked myself. So, I decided it would be fun to share some pix of the action since Travis got some great shots last time.

Shampoo heads

'Tude in the tub. Hey Mom, "Aaaaagggghhh"
Monkey see monkey do.

My cute beaming bathers.

And for the first time on my blog, some gratuitous nudity! No really, just wanted to show you how cute the little man looks standing there. Check out those buns! Only time in his life mooning someone will be considered charming. :)

Finally, a shot of the newest trend at our house. The after-bath towel/cape race. I don't exactly know how or why it started but for the past few weeks the two of them think it's fun to put on a hoodie towel and then crawl around butt naked with their towels streaming out behind them like capes. I guess if it makes them happy for a few minutes it's harmless enough. I dunno, kids are funny.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Looney Tunes

Hello out there! Hello? (echo, echo, echo echo)

I think this must officially be the longest I've ever gone between posts! Holy cow! Aside from my regularly scheduled excuses for not getting to my blog lately I've been afflicted with a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad cold. In the middle of summer! I've had the darn thing for over two weeks now, it just keeps dragging out. And actually both Travis and Noah have had it too, making us all very sniffly, sneezy, throat-achey and crabby. Not to mention the Olympics started. So, being somewhat of an Olympics fanatic I have been sitting around, nursing my cold and watching as many events as I can. I don't know why, but for some reason I find the whole thing fascinating, even the sports I never watch at any other time... I mean, I think I'd watch Olympic nose-picking if that were on too! (Well, maybe not on second thought.) On top of all that, add in two frisky kittens running amok all over the house, a teething toddler, and an opinionated preschooler and you're starting to get the picture.

Between Noah and Brianna both, they're just so active that these two kids are driving me nuts!

(Get it? DRIVING me nuts? he he he)

Noah got that little car for his birthday, (he was always trying to ride his sister's and she didn't really appreciate it), and they have enjoyed cruising around together.

Ahhh, see how nicely they're sharing too?

Seriously though, with all the illness and hectic lifestyle lately, the kids just being, well kids, has made me feel a bit looney tunes lately. For starters, in addition to being sick, Noah is also teething again. Yep, beside his two bottom front teeth, now he's got one of the top ones with the other one looking like it'll be breaking through the gums any time. Which, makes the kid pretty cranky. On top of that I think he's decided to started his terrible two's early. He's very emotional and dramatic lately, and has even started having tiny tantrums, pushing objects away if what you're offering is not what he wanted or, even worse, sticking out his lower lip in a full pout, sobbing, and throwing himself face down onto the floor in response to being told no. He's even actually smacked his mom, and once his grandma, on the cheek for telling him no. And he gets told no a lot in regards to the kittens especially, like when he hoisted one up by the tail.

Meanwhile Bree seems to be growing up a little bit in the past few weeks. I mean, we still butt heads quite frequently, like when she got in trouble for stuffing a kitten into a large jar and sealing it in, (but don't worry, no kittens were harmed in the making of this blog). However, she's also been answering, "Yes Mom," more and more when asked to do something. In fact, when I asked her to pick up her blocks today she immediately started to pick them up and said, "This is my 'sponsibility." The thing is, the kid keeps up a constant, and I mean constant, string of chatter that I find a bit overwhelming and hard to keep up with, especially when I'm trying to focus on something else. Here's a sample of a typical conversation lately:

(in the car, on the way to the store)
Bree: Hey Mom, who's in that car right there?
Me: I don't know.
Bree: Well what's their name?
Me: I don't know who that is kiddo.
Bree: Why don't you know Mom?
Me: I don't know everyone who lives in town silly.
Bree: Why don't you know everyone?
Me: Because I don't.
(passing through an intersection)
Bree: Hey Mom, you ran a red light!
Me: No I didn't. Our light was green, don't worry. (It was the light for the cross traffic she was looking at.)
Bree: Yes you did Mom! I saw it!
Me: No I didn't. Just let me drive.
Bree: Mom, turn on some music!!
(I turn on the radio.)
Bree: Mom! Not that song a GIRL song! I need a girl song Mom!
Me: Well, it's the radio babe, I can't pick the song, they just play what they're playing.
Bree: Why Mom?
Me: That's just the way it is.
Bree: Mom, what store are we going to? What are we going to buy there?
Me: Milk and cheese and bread...
Bree: And fruit snacks Mom? Can we get a kid's meal for lunch too?
Me: We'll see. Hey, tell you what, if you and your brother act nice in the store we'll go play at the park for awhile okay?
Bree: Which park, the big park, the little park or the medium park?
Me: It's a different one than those.
Bree: Why Mom, which one is it?
Me: A new park okay?
Bree: The big one?
Me: No, I said a different one, a new one.
Bree: Well which one Mom?
Me: I don't know the name of it okay?
(arrive at the store, less than a mile from my house)

I mean, don't get me wrong, I think it's great the kid is verbal and asks a lot of questions and stuff, but believe it or not, I don't know the answers to everything and it's kind of exhausting after awhile to be explaining why and how you're doing every little thing. Of course, all that chatter makes for some pretty amusing moments as well. Take the other day when I was cleaning the bathroom, Bree popped her head in the door and said, "What are you doing Mom?" "Cleaning the bathroom," I answered. She observed for a minute and crinkled up her nose, turned on her heel and as she was headed back out the door said over her shoulder, "Well, good luck with that!" Later, as she was telling a rather involved story she got sidetracked, then jumped back in with, "Anywhoozle...." (Something I say a lot as a rather inept transition between topics.)

Yep, they do make me a little crazy but they are awfully cute....

Finally, (in closing this rather, long, rambling, and somewhat haphazard post), in the spirit of the Olympics, I leave you with ideas for some future Olympic events:

How 'bout Olympic stroller races? You can't really tell their speed from the picture, but this is my baby sister racing around super fast with the stroller. Obviously, Noah thinks that's a horrible idea, hated every minute of it.

Here's Bree practicing for the good old traditional Olympic event, the high jump...
Note the Michael Jordan-esque hanging out of tongue that indicates her concentration.

Pretty high off the ground for a squirt huh?

Or what about Olympic bubble blowing? I'm a real champ at that one.

And here I am demonstrating another of my strengths, dorky adult riding kids' tricycle improperly. I'm either a true tricycle athlete or it could also be that due to all the craziness in my life this summer, I'm reverting back to my childhood and blowing bubbles and riding trikes and stuff.

Well, just thought I'd check in and let you all know I'm still alive and everything.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Your regular update on Brianna amusements and silliness...

Okay so, I don't pretend that I'm going to win the "Mother of the Year" award anytime soon. I mean, I genuinely want to be a good mom but as I've said before and freely admit, I'm just not June Cleaver, or Mary Poppins either. I'm just not THAT mom, the one who hand sews all their children's clothing, makes every meal at home and makes sure there's something from every food group, never lets their kids watch TV, or, in this case, is patient and altruistic enough to be able to listen to kids' music all the time. Because, really, come on now, one can only take so much "Wheels on the Bus" or "Mary had a Little Lamb" without starting to feel psychotic after awhile. (Or is it just me?) So, Bree has been exposed to some "secular" music when it's Mommy's turn to listen to tunes. (Which, as previously mentioned here, can be embarrassing when your small child suddenly starts singing something like "Hey hey you you I don't like your girlfriend..." at inopportune places.) Now that she's a grown up 4 year old though, Bree is starting to have a definite opinion about which songs she enjoys and when Mom tries to turn on a song she likes, say while driving, you can be pretty sure a small voice will pipe in, "MOM, not THIS song. I HATE this song!" Actually, Brianna hates any song not sung by a girl. Maybe she finds it easier to sing along to those, or her fairly feminist mother has already passed on a dose of girl power attitude, but she's always going, "Mom, put on a guhl song!"

Brianna gets along famously with her grandmas and actually has taken on quite a few of their respective habits, including some of the things they say frequently. One of those that I find amusing lately is that Bree will go, "Oh my!" something my mom says quite often. So, there was Brianna, watching some Looney Tunes the other day. It was this episode where Bugs Bunny was trying to have a picnic. Alas, Yosemite Sam was causing trouble and let loose an army of picnic ants who started making off with all the food. Of course, as always, Bugs was on to this and quickly grabbed a watermelon, cut a hole in it, and shoved a stick of dynamite inside. (I mean, I know I always keep a stick of dynamite handy, don't you?) And then, the ants went marching back to Yosemite Sam, dynamite watermelon and all guessed it, there was a big bang and Yosemite Sam staggered around all charred and blackened. Classic Looney Tunes and the stuff that kids have been laughing at for years. So, Bree was watching all this and what was her reaction? She just did a long blink and said, "Oh my!"

They say truth is stranger than fiction but sometimes it's also funnier than cartoons too. While Brianna may not find Yosemite Sam getting blown up funny, real life can sure crack her up. Take the idea of what kind of animals lay eggs, and which don't. While talking on the phone to her grandma Bree started telling a silly story about her new kittens laying eggs and having babies. Grandma responded by saying, "But kitten's don't lay eggs, chickens do." Well, this made Bree start laughing hysterically and say, "Chickens don't lay eggs! You're joking me!" Hmm...can you blame me for not addressing forms of animal procreation already?

Bree has always had a great sense of self confidence. Being outgoing has never been a problem for her. In fact, just last week when meeting some new people for the very first time Bree demonstrated this. We went over to have dinner with a guy Trav works with and his whole family. Travis introduced us all. "And this is Brianna," he said. And she jumped in and said, "I'm a genius!"

As usual, it makes me laugh to hear Bree talk like an adult sometimes and use big words, just sound comical coming from such a small person. But, I still think that some of the funniest stuff about kids is things they say wrong. So, I leave you with some more translations of "Briannese"

Willy Wonka = Billy Yonka

Kids' Happy Meal = Happy Kids Meal

chop sticks = pork chops