These pesky kids are finally starting to earn their room and board.
With Grandmom around to help distract them, snow day #3 has gone better than last week. Play dough has been made, art projects completed, naps taken, brownies eaten, snow shoveled and the bourbon has stayed on the shelf (so far).
Unlike last year’s more planned out shoot, this year’s was more spur of the moment – the kids are tearing apart the living room, let’s go outside to save our sanity – type of shoot. We took far less than last year (109 vs 376) but I think it turned out alright. That’s not to say they all turned out perfect. Here are some of the shots that didn’t make the card cut:
Allison turned one last month and it was a big milestone. We managed not to drop this little screecher creature on her head for a full year! But in retrospect, minus the pink frosting, that day was much like the day before or the day after. From my porch rocker, with my Werther’s Original, I’m sure I will remember the birthdays, the holidays and the graduations, but I also think other, everyday milestones might linger just as large as those more well-marketed Hallmark days.
The last couple months have brought four of these events for us:
Cecilia is out of a car seat
Sure, this one is more driven by our frugality and Allison’s legs hanging out of the baby carrier, but it sure is nice to have one less bulky monstrosity clogging up our back seat and fossilizing months worth of Cheerios and milk stains.
On Wednesday we attend an information session in preparation for Cecilia going to kindergarten in the fall. How did that happen? I should really call this one the last days of day care bills, at least for two children, but we’ll still have tuition (for full day kindergarten) and after school programs, so it feels like a wash. I sometimes dream of disposable income.
The return of the potty seat
One big advantage of two kids? The younger one is a mimic and for Allison that extends right into the privy and your personal space. For much of January she has been using the potty. Not full-time, but a couple times each day, usually in the morning and at night and I’m in favor of anything that results in less diapers. And laughs. Because the site of such a tiny person on a toilet is funny. It just is.
This last one is an example of how the smallest things can have the biggest impact. After the Christmas break, we swapped Allison’s soft infant moccasins for a pair of toddler sneakers. SheShe quickly took to them, stomping playfully around the kitchen and looking for all the world like she was ready to demand the car keys.
I’ll be quite happy to delay that milestone for a few more years.
Cecilia really loves arts and crafts. Each day she comes home from school (i.e., day care) with a stack of drawings that we review at dinner. Most of them still retain a scribbling, scrawling Pollack-like quality, but the tide appears to be slowly moving toward more and more recognizable shapes. The tall blob in the family pictures now sports glasses.
That emerging vision and consistency were on display last Sunday afternoon in the third annual candy binge/Gingerbread House decorating activity. This year she definitely had a plan and it went beyond just slapping candy haphazardly on the walls (and in her mouth). She was looking at overall appearance, balance, design, precision and landscaping. She was especially proud of her multi-colored sparkling lawn.
This pre-fab kit from Target (buy with cash!) is probably the best one we’ve tried. There was plenty of icing, the walls were thick and stayed standing, there were some cute details, and a decent variety of candy included, but still supplemented.
I should also mention that the annual Gingerbread House tradition is always followed by the annual ‘Run Up and Down the Snowdrifts till Daddy Can Feel Your Heart Through Your Snowsuit.’ It’s either that or give her a dram of whiskey to counteract all that sugar and food dye.
It started last night. I came out of the shower and found them wiggling on the nursery floor like the cutest larvae you’ve ever seen.
Maybe I should have seen this coming last year when Michelle made us all buy a matching shirts on vacation (yes, almost 12 months later I can now admit it). It turns out that devious act of marriage jujitsu have been just the tip of the iceberg. In a house with two little girls, she now has the opportunity to fully scratch that matching outfit itch and Cecilia is a more than enthusiastic co-conspirator.
So now, not only am I awash in dolls, ruffles, cute pastel onesies and every hue of pink in the spectrum, there is now a coordinated attack on the girl’s wardrobe. I need to keep a close eye on Dash before I find him with harmonizing accessories danging from his ears or collar.
Have you ever driven a tank through midtown Manhattan on a Friday afternoon? How about blindfolded? That’s a rough, but very similar, analogy to visiting the Boston Children’s Museum on a Sunday at the end of February school vacation week.
We knew what were getting into, last year we’d learned the hard way to avoid peak times, but at this point, even during this mild winter, we’ve exhausted our supply of crafts, recipes, pet stores, food stores, libraries and tanning salons in a thirty mile wide radius to tire out Cecilia. It was the city or bust. We brought reinforcements in the form of the Almeidas and despite a few crying jags (names withheld) we managed to have a good time. Check it out: