Friday, May 8, 2009

New Day, New Trick(s)!

Yes, on & off the Jeep is fun, but if you get sister to push you and park it next to the couch, look what else you can do!

Then, if you practice, you can climb on & off the teeter totter yourself, too (sometimes your heel gets stuck, but Clara is usually around to help push the last of your foot off).

And finally, revisiting an old favorite - the car. But now he can get in and out without toppling over and honk the horn all by himself. Clear the roadways, we've got a new driver in town!

Birthday "Wrap" Up

First, a big thank you to family & friends for all of the nice presents John Michael got on his 1st Birthday. I've been remiss in getting out the thank you cards...

I wanted to show you what really impresses a 1 year-old. Here we are one night opening another package for the Birthday Boy.

You can see who's really in charge of the opening...

But look, JM was pleased as punch that he was able to get away with this:

Next, he decided, "forget the presents, look at this great BOX!"

I can crawl in it:

Use it to pull myself up:

And fill it up with my new toys:

And just to prove that I am actually at these events:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Why I'm not a single parent !

Yes - my nerves are frazzled and we have only been on our own since Sunday afternoon! Thank goodness Mike is headed back Thursday night (and doesn't have to work on Friday since his boss is with him & decided Friday will be their official travel day)!

I knew we might be off to a rough start when John Michael decided that 5am was a good time to start our day. I tried to convince him that we should sleep longer (by ignoring him), but it was a no go this morning. Then he got so fussy a little later, that we had to make an early morning call to "Da!" Though he didn't actually want the phone near his ear to hear "Da" just saying I was going to make the call settled him down. It was a little before 7, but Mike politely said his alarm had just gone off. Here's Clara chatting up a storm this morning.

And for some reason, Gracie decided she was camera shy this morning. So here's what I got:

The upside of the early morning wake-up was that John Michael took a nap from 8:30 until 10:45. Then we headed over to Gracie's school for the annual Mother's Day picnic. Since it's been very rainy here it was an indoor picnic. We ate and I got lots of nice things that she had made at school for Mother's Day.

Then we took a quick trip to Wal-Mart (okay, maybe it wasn't that quick, but I did actually have a list!) and then went home to rest. John Michael was off for another nap and Gracie ended up taking one, too. That was quite a surprise. I can't remember the last time she has taken a nap.

Once everyone woke up and shook off the sleepiness we went out to dinner (I couldn't face more dishes!). And now everyone is happily in bed.

The girls & I have turned into game junkies at bedtime. Tonight the choice was Memory. We play more of a matching game (we don't turn the cards back over once we've seen them) and they really enjoy it. Clara asked if we needed the "constructions" but Gracie told her that we already knew how to play.

One last funny incident. At the restaurant, JM was having a blast eating Rice Chex. I asked him if I could have one and then pretended to eat it from his hand (which he thought was hysterical). He finally popped it in my mouth and thought it was so funny. Gracie piped up with "I guess that's his Mother's Day present for you!" What a thought, but I suppose she was right - who else but a Mother would eat a semi-soggy Rice Chex from the sticky hands of a toddler??? At least he hadn't started on the spaghetti with tomato sauce yet!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What's Up?

We are missing Mike, but it is going better than I anticipated on our own.

I did resort to leaving Gracie at Stay & Play after school (not too bad for her since she really likes to stay - a second recess, lunch and a rest movie). I think she & Clara needed some time apart! We had quite a few little spats yesterday. Plus, John Michael had the chance to take two naps. But did he actually bother with the morning nap? I don't think so - I went in the playroom and took a nap myself & when I woke up, he was still fussing (don't worry - it was only as long as one Dora episode). But he's having a good nap now.

So, on to some pictures so that Mike can see what we have been up to since he's been gone (and for the rest of you, too!). Oh - I didn't capture it on film, but John Michael is very fussy today. He even tried to crawl out the door and leave with the plumbers this morning. I think he's missing his Daddy and not enjoying being the only male in the house!

So yesterday, we kept busy indoors and out since Gracie was out of school for the swine flu (just a precaution - no one at her school has been sick). Here's is just a sample of what the girls were up to:

Then there was the parade:

John Michael & I got to be the spectators for the parade:

He enjoyed it, but I think he's ready to get out there on his own vehicle!

Here's what he did for today's new trick (in addition to walking a few steps when the plumbers were here):

On! All by myself! He started with just his knee on his seat & worked himself the rest of the way over. He was quite happy!

Okay - check out the cute Baby Legs he is wearing. Some people I know think they aren't so cute - I think they are adorable!!

Working on Off! (which he did finally accomplish all by himself, I just didn't have the camera out quickly enough)

Last night went pretty well, but everyone was definitely ready for bed. I've convinced the girls to brush their teeth, put on pj's and get our game ready while I'm putting JM to bed. Last night they even "bathed" themselves. I'm not sure how that went, but they look clean enough in the picture, right??

And today has been a nice relaxing day. Apparently, that green chair that I took a nap in this morning just makes everyone tired ... or maybe it's the Dora video ...

That's my Boo Bear - she'll probably be up until 10pm tonight, but she had to have been pretty tired to fall asleep. So I'm letting her sleep while I write this and probably until it is time to pick up Gracie.

But she's awake. She just wandered out & I showed her the picture I took of her sleeping. She was a little worried and said "but I just couldn't keep my eyes open!" I told her that it is fine to take a nap if you are sleepy! She's still waking up and a little grumpy ... hmmm. She wants to go watch a new favorite show (for her and Gracie) - the "Brainy" Bunch - aka, the Brady Bunch! I think I better obey or we'll have a meltdown... it's starting .... aggggggghhhh

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Gracie's Film

I promised a Gracie video awhile back, so here it is...

This was one morning before school a few weeks ago. After breakfast, she announced that she needed to go outside and take some pictures/video of nature before school.

Witches' Brew & other misc

Brewing in Action (sorry, not beer)

So on Friday, we finally got around to making the "homemade" laundry detergent that several of the Mom's in my Mom's Club swear by. I'm looking forward to seeing if I like it. It is very inexpensive (a penny a load!) and it's supposed to be great on stains (and heavens knows I have enough of those). The recipe requires you to make 10 gallons at a time, so I really did feel like we were making Witches' Brew. John Michael thought it looked particularly appealing - I tried to give him a stick to stir with, but he just wanted to touch it.

Earlier in the week, the big event of the day (yes, my planner is still organizing a big activity for us every day, although Mike was really responsible for this one) was Elvis going to get a bath and nails trimmed & then ... home for her birthday party. Mike let the girls buy her a present (dog toy) at the grooming place and then they came home, wrapped them, unwrapped them and gave them to Elvis. I'm sure there must have been party hats involved as well - I was out for the evening so only got to hear about the great event. But here is our super shiny, sweet smellin', cute in her pink bandana, girl:

And finally, the big accomplishments for the week.

Yes, he really did color on his own. He thought it was important to put the crayons back in the box and close after every scribble, but he had lots of fun!

Clara was quietly playing with blocks while the rest of us were off doing something else and when I looked over, this is what I saw:

She has been quite taken with the idea of building stairs with blocks and this is the most complex structure I've seen yet. BTW - in Clara's block world, those purple blocks are people. Waiting to go up the stairs, I'm sure.

He walks! He signs! He eats!

Yes - John Michael has finally decided to take more than one step at a time. Thursday night he walked about five steps to Mike (of course I was in the kitchen and didn't see it). But shortly after that he made two more attempts and got in two and three steps at a time. Way to go, Little Man!

He's also started doing the sign for dog - panting with your tongue out. He's quite pleased with himself about that one and is always screaming for "Da!" to watch him do it. Well, in general he is always yelling for "Da!" - when he wakes up from his nap, when he is crawling by the garage door, when he sees him come home from work (and I swear he spotted his car going by the other afternoon and said "Da!"). Yes, it will be a hard week for JM. Daddy is going to Moosissippi (pronunciation via Clara) and won't be back until late Thursday. We will all miss him lots!

Okay - so he has been eating for awhile now. But now we have moved him up to the table (Mike insists that washing that tray for the high chair is what was keeping us so busy!). And boy do his arms seem long. I was in the bedroom (briefly) during lunch the other day, and Clara came and found me so that she could inform me that John Michael had put one of his crackers on her plate. "But he had already put it in his mouth - deeesgusting!"

So here he is tonight - expressing his glee at being able to reach a whole biscuit instead of having to make do with the bite size pieces I had already put on his plate!

Look closely - in the upper section of his plate is the biscuit that I thought he should eat...

But see, Mom, this one is lots better - bigger, messier, and I got it all by myself!
Soon I bet I will be able to cram the whole thing in my mouth. And then do all that fake coughing/gagging that makes you get that funny look on your face!!!