Monday, November 30, 2015

Little People go to Starbucks

This morning I went into Baby T's room and found that she had loaded up her pink Little People car with a Little People kangaroo, pig and chicken.  I pointed that out to Baby T and she told me that they were going to Starbucks.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Dumbo and Thanksgiving

Here's some of what's happening:

  • Dumbo is Baby T's new go-to, as well as the only full-length movie she sits through.
  • At bedtime, Baby T likes to talk about what she wants to dream about--for instance Dora, My Little Ponies or Dumbo
  • She also likes to tell me what she wants to do the next day.  For instance, a night or two ago, she wanted to go to the "drive thru zoo" the next morning.  (The drive thru safari was what we did for her birthday about 6 or 7 weeks ago.)
  • For Thanksgiving we had a largely store provided feast, but I did the cranberries and sweet potatoes from scratch.
  • While I was cooking, my husband took all of the kids for an outing to the big wild city park.  Baby T loved the outing (I think this is her first walk in the real woods) but did have a tendency to run off.  
  • I made a full plate up for Baby T for Thanksgiving dinner, but she had me remove everything except the turkey and sweet potatoes.  She liked that, though.  She also liked the pumpkin pie and was dismayed when it was all gone and we were starting the apple pie, which is not her thing.
  • We've been surviving the Thanksgiving cafeteria closure pretty well.
  • On Black Friday, my husband took Baby T and C to the zoo (it was a rainy day, but they did a lot of indoor exhibits), took C and D rollerskating (C tried rollerblades and was very good) and then drove C to a playdate out in the far suburbs to learn to make crepes from a friend's visiting French grandma.  Baby T and I went to the big strip mall in the late morning and it wasn't crazy while we were there (but it was getting that way after lunch).  With Baby T's assistance, I bought a pair of Carter's fleece two-piece pjs with polar bears (on sale AND with a coupon).  She was very pleased and carried it around the whole visit.  Baby T is a phenomenal walker now and we visited stores on the strip mall and then walked back to the car.  She wore the new pjs last night over a pair of normal cotton pjs (long story, but my husband has specially adapted a number of pairs of pjs with velcro panels so that Baby T cannot remove them at night or during naps).    
  • We encouraged the big kids to get to work on their Christmas lists and the Christmas shopping is starting.  We have finally gotten lists from the kids.  C helped Baby T draft one, but I think I will get more usable intelligence from taking Baby T to Toys R Us and observing.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Baby T prefers pumpkin to apple pie.

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

November

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.)