Saturday, November 21, 2015

Drawing Marlin and Nemo

Previously, Baby T had been having me draw many many iterations of Marlin and Nemo.  It's fortunately pretty easy to draw clownfish--draw fish outline and add stripes.

Lately, Baby T has kicked it up a notch--she's still having me draw the fish outlines, but now she wants to add the stripes herself.

My Little Ponies

As I was putting Baby T to bed, she told me that she was planning to have dreams of My Little Ponies eating cookies and being happy.  Awwww!

Previously, Baby T used to talk at bedtime about having Dora dreams.

Monday, November 16, 2015


Here's some of what is happening:

  • D is home sick and missing a field trip to the Big City.  Bummer! 
  • Baby T has her kid table all set up for a pretend birthday party.  She was just feeding me some Melissa and Doug pretend birthday cake.  "Happy birthday to you!" she says.
  • After a year of minimal use, Baby T is really getting into her pretend fruits and veggies.  Her fancy kitchen is also getting a lot of attention.
  • "Clean up!  Clean up!  Everybody do your share!" she's singing while putting stuff away.  Bless you, parents' day out teachers.
  • Yesterday Baby T was telling me that at her next birthday, she will be four.
  • "I'm setting up the animals to have a picnic!" says Baby T.
  • C is now taller than me!
  • A few years ago, the big kids' school instituted a senior trip to Europe.  I went to the informational meeting at the end of C's 7th (!) grade year this past spring.  We've had some talks with C about trip savings.  She's going to need to earn and save $77 a month (!) for 52 months (!) to cover the trip.  She really wants to go but that's a pretty daunting sum for a 13-year-old.  She has a lot of small home earning options that do easily add up to $77 a month, but it's $1 at a time, so it requires a lot of diligence.  The good news is that being 13, C is showing a greater and greater amount of childcare know-how, so her earning power is going to be increasing exponentially over the next two years.  She has the opportunity to do some neighborhood babysitting for a family we know well (probably in about a year) and I think I could be comfortable with her babysitting Baby T by herself in two years.  We've also discussed the possibility of C giving Baby T ukulele lessons in two years for pay.  (C has been chomping at the bit to give Baby T a ukulele but I want to wait another year for that.)  Obviously, a lot of this income for C is going to be coming from us, but we will hopefully be getting good value.  
  • I'd like us to do a monthly check-in with C to see how she is doing, probably on budget night.  
  • I've also ordered C a second piggy bank (it's actually a see-through pink teddy bear) in addition to her current clear piggy bank.  The plan is that during the month, she can save her month's earnings in the pink teddy.  At the end of the month, we need to count up her earnings for the month.  We will bank anything up to $77, but anything over $77 will go into the clear piggy and she can spend it as she likes.  The $77 gets banked and then she starts the next month with an empty pink teddy bear.  A little complicated, but C gets it.   
  • D would like to save for a car instead.
  • I kind of hate to see C sweating away for nearly 4.5 years just to go on a brief trip, but it is her choice, and if she changes her mind, she can do something different.
  • We did have official savings accounts for the big kids, but we're phasing that out, as keeping track of the taxes and passwords for the small accounts was putting a lot of wear and tear on my husband.  The current plan is that we will keep a sort of virtual Bank of Mom and Dad for the big kids.  The sweetener is that the Bank of Mom and Dad will offer 3% interest on their accounts, which is pretty darn sweet these days.  (The catch is that the kids only get to access those funds for approved expenses--car savings, senior trip, etc.)    

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Our weather finally flipped over from a hot fall and we've finally got some morning lows in the 50s.  I pulled out Baby T's turtlenecks from the closet and put them into the playpen where we've been keeping her clothes.  (Not an elegant solution, but the playpen keeps them in one place and she's able to reach all of them.  This is really important, as Baby T's morning clothes selection process involves a lot of trial and error, and I would go bananas if I were taking half a dozen shirts off hangers for her and then needing to put them back on.  We'll eventually get Baby T a wardrobe with hangers at a level that she can reach and manage, but that can wait a bit.)  Her initial try at an outfit this morning was (if I'm remembering correctly), two striped turtlenecks on top of each other, a sleeveless lavender tutu dress on top and some zebra print knit pants.

In a week or two more, I'll give Baby T her corduroy pants.  The turtlenecks and the corduroys are the fun part.  The not-so-fun part is the fact that Baby T is going to need to wear SOCKS soon and putting on socks is a pain.  

Baby T has also gone big into leopard print.  At last count we have:  a pair of leopard ears, leopard stretch pants, a leopard print knit dress and a snuggly faux leopard fur jacket.

Marlin and Nemo

Although Baby T has never been willing to sit through Finding Nemo, she is charmed by the stuffed Nemo that one of the big kids got at Disneyland years ago.  The stuffed Nemo is one of her favorite companions.  She also loves to ask me to draw her Marlin and Nemo (the daddy fish and the baby fish) on scrap paper.  I've drawn them for her in orange and purple crayon--fortunately the clown fish is pretty easy to do a rough version of--draw a basic fish and just add a few stripes.  All done!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Halloween vs. Christmas

C (age 13) says:  I love Halloween!
Baby T (age 3) says:  And I love Christmas!

Saturday, October 24, 2015


Here's some of what's happening:

  • I got the bug that everybody else had earlier this week and am taking today off.  I was thinking of taking off Sunday, too, but I don't think that will be necessary, as my bug is less lingering than the one C had (she was out of school Tuesday-Friday).
  • I've signed both big kids up for a cupcake decorating class!  
  • Baby T has been saying, "I want to get something new from the store every day."  Ooooookay!
  • We are having torrential rains.  Up until now, October had been very dry, and I was running the sprinkler.
  • I used to do the treadmill A LOT, but then had to give it up on my podiatrist's advice.  I tried the elliptical after that (we even bought one), but I got peroneal tendonitis within about two weeks.  Back in the summer of 2014, I tried several more suitable classes (yoga, aquacize and spinning) but having to go to class at particular times was not a good fit for our schedule or lifestyle.  But, at least for the moment, I've finally got something I can do at the gym again--I've been going and doing the stationary bicycle and watching Fixer Upper, the Texas-based HGTV renovation show.