Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Swiffer!!!!

Here's some of what's happening:

  • Right now, Baby T is swiffering the kitchen floor.  Go, Baby T!
  • C did some yoga with me last night.  I'm paying her $2 per 15 minute session--we did 30 minutes last night.  I've informed C that part of what she's getting paid for is nagging me into doing it.  I'm finding several poses more and more doable but think I should probably avoid the one-legged poses.  I can touch my toes--yay!
  • C is saving for her big senior trip to Italy in four years.  We've done the math, and she needs to save $77 a month to pay the projected trip costs, plus have some pocket money.  We have been doing a check-in at the end of the month for several months now and she hands over $77 a month to the Bank of Mom and Dad (a non-FDIC insured institution that pays 3% interest a year) and any surplus for the month is transferred to her spending money.  C is pretty good at hitting the $77 every month, but she has to really hustle to get any spending money above that.
  • The Bank of Mom and Dad paid out the kids' interest after tax time this year, much to the kids' delight.  Now that both kids have accounts with us in the mid-three figures, 3% is very nice.    
  • C also accrues $2 for each 15-minute ukulele practice she does in her ukulele practice fund, which is spendable on music stuff.  She is getting close to having 1/3 of what she needs for a ukulele cruise to Alaska.  She won't have enough in time for that summer 2016 cruise and that particular group isn't doing a 2017 one, but I'm hoping that either some other group will do a 2017 Alaska cruise or that Chee and Maisel will do a 2018 one.        
  • D has been enjoying his climbing rope.
  • C says, "the zebra gets to blow out the candles."
  • For Easter, my husband and C both did chocolate molding.  C did white chocolate bunnies, lambs and chicks (dying the chicks yellow) and my husband did large dark chocolate bunnies.
  • The kids and I colored eggs, using a gold gel kit from the store.  Baby T dyed about half the eggs by herself.  C did all of the work with the gold.  
  • The big kids helpfully packed up the plastic eggs with chocolate for our egg hunt.
  • My husband hid the eggs and the kids all hunted, with Baby T getting a three-egg head start.  Baby T was so effective, though, that we are planning to cut her handicap down for next year.   
  • For Easter lunch, we had our traditional egg-and-sausage sandwiches and C cooked us French toast for dinner.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Barn?

Baby T is building a massive barn/stable/house/castle thing for a LEGO dog and Little People horse.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Baby T's plans

Here's some of what's happening:

  • The big kids get a 4-day weekend for Easter.
  • Baby T's parents' day out class had an Easter party with an egg hunt and a massive feast (Chik-fil-a chicken and fruit cup, chocolate milk, huge cupcake, small cookie, green Peep).  I took her home early after lunch, as they don't nap after parties.  She didn't nap at home, either.
  • My husband thinks that Baby T's upper body strength is increasing lately.
  • Baby T has become a regular muffin-making helper.  She enjoys smelling the spices and mixing.  She was also able to helpfully remind my husband that he needed to spray the muffin tins with PAM.  She's less than 3.5, dear readers.  
  • Baby T told my husband that she's going to learn to drive when she's bigger, and then she's going to drive to Starbucks, Petco and Old Navy!!!!  Baby T has a lot of plans.
  • C is working on Fur Elise and Ein Kleine Nachtmusik on the ukulele.
  • Her uke teacher is leaving Guitar Center for a new job.  C has worked with her new teacher before, though, and C has good chemistry with her, so it's a nice opportunity.  


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Housekeeping

I finally rearranged the kitchen bookcase so that all Baby T's art stuff is in easy reach on the second shelf.  Here's what I have out for her:

  • dry erase books
  • construction paper
  • preschool scissors
  • dry erase markers
  • washable markers
  • glue stick
  • several coloring books
  • leftover Valentine's cards
Baby T now spends hours a week puttering around with her stuff.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Night light

Here's some of what's happening:
  • C did 30 minutes of Wii yoga with me last night.  We have an arrangement where one 15 minute session = $2.  C is saving for a senior trip to Europe in four years.  They do yoga in PE at school and she really enjoys it.  I'm so stiff!  But I'm starting to get a better sense of what I can currently do, and what to work toward.  I really like having the feedback from the Wii balance board.  It's also very helpful to have C, as she has excellent spatial skills, so she doesn't get confused by the directions like I do.  
  • After a number of nights of angry wakeups from Baby T, we slept through the night last night.  It might have something to do with the fact that a friend picked up a huge star night light from IKEA for us and my husband installed it in Baby T's room last night.  I was concerned that she was going to decide she hated it, but so far so good!  She knows how to flick the switch on and off.
  • The deal with Baby T lately is that she's been wanting to use me as her human teddy bear, so even after I've gone through a longer than usual bedtime ritual, she still tells me "Don't leave!"  It's hard to know what to do with that, but the current solution is to tell her I'm leaving and to ask her for how many back pats she wants before I go.  Fingers crossed.  

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Mid-March

Here's some of what's happening:

  • Taxes done!
  • It looks like we may be able to finish off our fence this summer with our refund!  (Our backyard is 90% fenced, but with a small child at home, that last 10% is really important.  If we start doing potlucks for my husband's department, it could make it much easier on everybody to entertain young families.)
  • We also are doing a thing for the big kids this year where (right around tax prep day) we pay them 3% interest on the accounts they hold with the Bank of Mom and Dad.  (We used to do accounts for them with real banks, but it was a pain to take care of them.)  C is saving for her senior trip in four years and D is primarily interested in getting a car (although I suspect he'll be able to go on the senior trip, too).  The Bank of Mom and Dad is not FDIC insured, but you can't beat the interest rate.  
  • We're having a little cold snap--back to the low 40s in the morning.
  • C just got her monk costume in the mail--her class is going to be doing a monastery demonstration for some younger students.
  • C is back to being able to do full ukulele practices, but she still asks for an occasional Motrin.
  • After a long idyllic period of just putting Baby T to bed and then next seeing her 11+ hours later the next morning, we've hit a rough spot with Baby T's sleep.  She's now wanting to have her light left on and the door left open (we have a baby gate and a doorknob cover on that door).  Also, she has been adding many tiny rituals to the going-to-bed process (rock her in the rocker, pat her back 7 times, lie down next to her and sing to her, etc.).  It kind of makes me miss the days when I just had to dress four stuffed animals in her pajamas before getting her to bed.  She's gotten very reluctant to have me leave at the end, and will often stick a little hand out to hold me to make sure I'm not leaving before she's fast asleep.  She says, "Don't leave me!"  We've been flicking her light off and closing her door as we go to bed.  Problem is, she's also waking up in the middle of the night and needing to repeat much of the process.  She did it this morning around 1:30 something (namely, once we had fallen asleep) and I left her with the light on, as that's what she wanted.  Boo hoo.  The other thing is that apparently, only I am allowed to do this bedtime/middle of the night stuff for her now.  Boo hoo some more.  
  • Her nap is getting more and more theoretical.  Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't, usually it's no more than one hour, and a lot of the time, she just bounces around her room for the hour.  Problem is, they have a nap at school this year, next year, and the year after that...   
  • Baby T and I have both been enjoying discovering children's songs and videos on youtube.
  • I have started to do a little bit more planning for a West Coast trip early this summer for me, C and D.  It looks like I have about a week blocked out, but I'm not sure where we'll be during that week.  We'll be taking C's ukulele this time, I expect.  I'm planning to wait until summer 2017 to take Baby T to WA.      

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Rope

Here's some of what's happening:

  • D is 11 now!
  • We did his birthday party at a gymnastics place.  They were a little amateurish (come on people--if you're serving ice cream, have spoons!) but it's a very nice facility and the boys had a great time.  We had 11 kids total, including our own--a little light considering how many we invited, but a lot of people were out of town.
  • Our main gift to D was a climbing rope for the backyard (my husband found a suitable tree).  He can climb using just his arms--no legs.
  • C had five teeth out (a sideways 12-year molar and all four wisdom teeth).  It took a week to recover to 95%.  Bummer.  She's finally back to ukulele practice, though.
  • The surgery also really interfered with her senior trip savings (she needs to save nearly $80 every month for the next four years), as she wasn't able to work as consistently as she normally would.  We've told her that we will refigure her savings number at the end of the month.  (Normally, she only gets to have as spending money anything over her monthly savings target--she's managed that for several months now.)      
  • Baby T packed her lunch for parents' day out!  And she did a good job!
  • I got Baby T a Kumon My First Book of Tracing book.  She's done the whole thing with occasional help.  The book is listed as for ages 2-4, but I think they're nuts about the 2--the complicated tracings are far too difficult for an average 2 year old.  I suggest sticking to the middle of the Kumon age ranges for safety.  
  • There's another tracing book in the series, but we'll probably wait on getting it for a month or two.  The Kumon easy mazes book will also probably be good in a month or two.  
  • Baby T is at a very artsy-craftsy stage right now.  She enjoys scissors, tape, markers, dry erase books, and chalk, with occasional forays into using wax paper and aluminum foil.  Our newish big dining room table is perfect for these large projects.    
  • By the way, I have to put a plug in here for dry erase books.  For preschoolers, they offer a lot of bang for your buck.  Kid isn't good at tracing yet?  Just wipe it off and try next week.  We have a couple of old ones, I just got a new one, and I'm expecting a shape tracing one in the mail soon, which is probably the most age-appropriate of any we have.  But Baby T can just draw in the dry erase books without me thinking, "That's a $7.95 Kumon workbook, baby girl.  Use it right!"  
  • Yesterday, we found a $6.99 My Little Pony toddler umbrella for Baby T.  She carried it around half the day yesterday.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Biscuit

Baby T has a book entitled "Where is Love, Biscuit?"  In the book, Biscuit the doggy looks for love in various places--a blanket, a warm sweater, crispy cookies, etc.

Baby T just said, "Give me a hug!"  When I gave her a hug, she said, "And that's where love is!"