Saturday, November 29, 2008

Kylie and the Dinosaur (with video)

After two long days we decided to brave "Black Friday" by making a trip to our favorite new hang-out...Munchkin Playland. The staff remembered us and welcomed us back and we were very excited about the newest addition to the place: a stuffed, mechanical dinosaur named Kota. This thing was a bit freaky, even for us adults. It made noises, turned its head, opened and closed its eyes and even ate fake leaves (if you were brave enough to stick one in its mouth).

Here's a video of Kylie and Kota.

Personally, I loved her expressions and the pitter patter of her little feet slapping the floors. Too cute! What a cool place!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend Outings

Weekends are pretty laid back around here. Karen and I take turns sleeping late. And unless we have a playdate arranged, we usually don't have any plans.

This is a good thing because our tempo is more relaxed. But it's a hard thing when Kylie wakes up at noon and Karen and I look at each other and ask, "Okay, what are we going to do to occupy the darling girl between now and 6pm?"

I'm accustomed to my weekday schedule with Kylie. But the activities we enjoy on weekdays such as Gymboree aren't open or places like the duckpond or the zoo are packed with too many people.

It is strange to admit this but unplanned weekend activities make me a bit nervous. I'll never forget last Fall when, on a whim, I thought the three of us should visit a pumpkin patch. Worse possible trip ever! That day was filled with horrible traffic, stinking pumpkins, tons of bees, a colicy baby, and stressed out moms. The only picture we got was this one. (I could have taken this at my local grocery store.)

So maybe you can understand that when I decide we should go someplace new, my heart rate accelerates and I hear, "another pumpkin patch day of despair" echoing around in my head.

But this was not the case this past weekend when we decided to visit a new indoor playground named "munchkinland". Kylie loved it! It had this type of play props--similar to mall playcenters, except that they weren't the usual germy, sticky things. Nope, these props were impeccably clean.

The place also had dollhouses, train tracks, chalk boards, and lots of books and child-sized furniture.

The best part was that there was a small cafe with a few tables and free Wi-Fi so the adults could relax a bit while the kiddos played within sight. And we got to do exactly that. Kylie felt so comfortable that she toddled around and played with everything. And Karen and I were able to read a bit and sip cafe mochas. It was heavenly!

(Note- if you are a local reader, send me a comment or email and I'll give you some directions. This new playcenter doesn't have a website yet.)

If you aren't a local reader, please soothe my mind and tell me that you get nervous on some outings as well. It's comforting to me to know that I'm not the only occasionally neurotic person.

Here are a few recent scrapbook pages!
Clorox wipes

Kylie and the sea lions

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nightly routine with the buckethead

Lately our nighttime routine has consisted of Kylie running around her room with a bucket on her head.

So I like a bucket on my head. Ya gotta problem with that? I didn't think so.

I call the last 30 minutes of the day, "running it down". It's like she's got to expel the last bits of energy before she can wind down for sleep.

When she's not running around laughing with a bucket on her head, she's intently watching a Baby Einstein or Backyardigans DVD and feeding her dolls with a fake bottle.

Then she runs back and forth between me and Momma Karen to see which one of us can tickle or flip her the best.

Momma Karen is the best.

But finally Miss Kylie winds down enough to relax in our arms.

Then it's bath and bed for darling Kylie. We're so lucky. Kylie is asleep every night by 6pm.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A few new cool things

While Kylie was chalking on her chalkboard, she reached her arm up and said "High" as she chalked as high as she could reach.

While using my Brown Bear storytelling kit, Kylie said "teacher" when she saw the teacher figure.

Kylie did a log roll on the floor and said "roll" as she rolled back and forth.

She said each of these things without any prompts from us which makes it all the more amazing to us.

She's enamored with three new ways of playing.
1. she LOVES play-doh. She likes to pick out her own colors thank you very much!
2. she likes to play the on-off game with two flashlights. I'll ask, "Can you say on?" and Kylie says "On!" I'll turn one flashlight on and then she'll say, "Two!" and I'll turn the second on. And then I'll sing a little tune and make the flashlights dance on the wall. This has the added benefit of freaking out the cats. Then I'll say, "Can you say off?" And Kylie will scream "Off!" We do this several times in a row at least twice a day.
3. She likes taking different stuffed animals and putting them under a metal mixing bowl. Then she ever-so-lightly knocks on the bowl. If I'm doing it with her, I'll knock as well and say "Teddy are you asleep? May we come in?" And then I'll flip the bowl and applaud, "Hurray Teddy is awake and wants to play!"

Not so good news: Kylie has become addicted to Blues Clues. We have one Blues Clues DVD. I made the mistake of playing it for lunch and sometimes dinner when Karen was out of town last week. And quick as that, now Kylie demands to watch it during her meals.

I usually have music on as we eat and play (the house gets too dang quite otherwise). But I thought there would be no harm in having a little children's program instead. Boy was I wrong. I am shocked at how quickly she wanted to incorporate the tv into her regular routine. So when I refused this week to play it, except for one show at the end of the day, she's had quite a few tearful sobbing moments pointing to the mini dvd player and begging for, as she calls it, "Toos, toos".

It really is a bit freaky how Kylie can already say: Barbie, Dora (she has several Dora books but has never seen the tv show), Blues Clues and Elmo. She has an Elmo doll but I think she's only seen Elmo on tv once. The funny thing is that she says "Elmo" in a very high-pitched voice--just like Elmo's voice so he must have made quite an impression.

PS--I hope to take and post some fresh pictures soon. Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Just the facts

Well I have some interesting news about my running.

I used a pedometer back on September 14th to determine the distance of my running route. According to the pedometer, my route was 3 miles. But according to more accurate GPS tracking, I’ve actually been running 2.

So my real stats through November 13th are as follows:
Ran 41 out of the last 59 days for a total of 82 miles.

Starting on Friday, November 14th, I added another mile to my route. So for the past four days, I’ve run 3 miles a day. This brings my grand total to 94 miles.

Based on this new information, I’ve changed my goal. I now plan to run a total of 185 miles by the end of the year.

I was REALLY disheartened when I found out that my burly 3 miles was in fact only 2. Especially because I’m so sore right now that I can hardly walk. This also meant that I’m a waaayyyy slower runner than I had thought.

But I’m going to keep at it. I’m pleased that I’m now up to an “official” 3. I’m tickled with the rain bubble for our stroller. It keeps Kylie warm in cold weather and completely dry when it is raining. I enjoy being outdoors in the morning and seeing all the people who are walking, biking, running on the trail with me. And of course, I love the high I get at the end of exercising.

Now, on to another hobby: Scrapbooking!
I just loved these pictures of Kylie. I hope this page does them justice.
Fall Fashion Model

Monday, November 17, 2008

19 months old

Dearest Kylie,

So many changes this month!

One big change is that you no longer drink formula. Your Mommy was very attached to rocking you in her rocking chair as you drank your early morning (and only) bottle. But when you turned 18 months, she decided it was time to let that go. Now, first thing in the morning, you drink warmed whole milk from a sippy cup while sitting in my lap on the floor as I read stories to you. You like to have 10 or more stories read to you every morning before you are ready to get dressed and begin playtime.

In the past, I would get you dressed on your changing table. Now, after picking out your clothes, I sit on the floor of your room near your mirror. You say “off, off” as I unzip your nighttime sleeper. You stand so helpfully as I put on your shirt. You like to lean against me and lift your feet one at a time as I put on your diaper and pants. And then you walk to your mirror to admire your clothes for the day.

Another big change this month is that you’ve started going to the potty. This process started when you began to tell us when you had peed. So now you wear pull-up diapers and we take you to the potty after meals. You pee in the potty about half the time.

Some of the new words we’ve heard you say this month:
wa-wa for water, bean, apple, cheese, cracker, cheese toast, hot, down, off, see, bus, car, bubble, flower, moon, puppy, turtle, tree, coat, hat, pat, pee, poop, Barbie, Elmo, Dora

You weigh 21 pounds are a just a bit shy of 31 inches tall. This will probably be the last month you wear 12 month pants and 18 month shirts.

You still like to play with your Little People, puzzles and cars. You prefer playing with your Barbie dolls rather than your stuffed animals. You like to prove how strong you are by carrying heavier and bulkier things around like your plastic playroom chairs. You can carry handfuls of toys and you’ve started liking to play with Play-Doh. You’ve always loved to have books read to you but now you want even more read to you throughout the day. And you’ve started asking for a book to be read two or three times in a row.

You continue to be such an affectionate and easy child. The only time you get upset with us is when we have to take something away from you or we have to change your direction as you walk. We are so proud of your accomplishments and we love you dearly.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

10 best things about yesterday

Eating bites of banana by putting my nose to the table and scooping a piece with my tongue—just to get Kylie to copy me and eat a little bit more. She loves it when I goof around with her.

The sound of Kylie’s laughter as she held out her hands, then her toes and then lifted her shirt so that the duck puppet on my hand could nibble her.

Talking with Karen on the phone.

Running in the rain to the song “Love One Another” by Cher.

Watching Kylie interact so bravely and sweetly with the teacher and other kids at Gymboree.

Petting my cats

The salty, crunchy goodness of pretzels

An episode of Friends

Ordering a new book on my Kindle—courtesy of my Mom’s birthday gift.

Making changes to my blogger template without the whole blog crashing down.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Blogger Template

Hello dear readers,

Today I changed blogger templates to accommodate my large landscape-oriented pictures. Already I miss the green edging of my old template. I hope that you RSS readers weren't slammed with a bunch of entries every time I made a change. If you were, could you leave me a comment so I'll know about that in the future?

I couldn't help but quickly throw together a photo montage for the header--complete with glitter! :)

Here's a scrapbook page I finished last night. (I hope this new template works!)
Take it easy

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Play-doh, play tents and pages

Kylie had thirty minutes of fun with playdough today. Thirty minutes seems like a wonderfully long amount of time for a toddler. I was content to just sit still, have a breather and take some pictures.

She liked to smash flat the small balls that I made for her. And make finger holes.

And she really liked putting small bits into the container and then taking the bits back out. Over and over.

Of course, she wanted to sneak a bite. But mean ole Mommy wouldn't let her.

Yay for play-doh!

We also had fun with a cheap play tent that I bought for her. (Note- if you buy one of these, be sure to get one that has a bottom. The first one I got didn't and it kept collapsing on Kylie as she moved around.)

The tent was a huge hit with Kylie. Even the cats like it (they are romping around in it as I type this).

Tonight is one of those nights when I feel like I could just fall over from tiredness. So I'll leave you now with a couple of recent scrapbook pages. It looks like my Blogger template is going to cut part of these pages off, so click on them or the title if you want the full view.

blankets over babies

Monday, November 10, 2008

First sentence

Today, the three of us were in the car on the way to have some lunch. And just as casual as you please, Kylie says, "I see a bus." And sure enough, we had just passed a bus sitting in a parking lot. Karen and I freaked out with excitement.

Later, we were standing in a shop when someone walked in and the doorbell rang. Kylie said, "Ding dong". And earlier this week, I placed a bowl of yogurt in front of Kylie and she looked at me and said quite plainly, "Cheese toast". I made her cheese toast and she ate every bite.

It's so exciting to watch her learn and grow.
Here are some more of her new words:
Bubble, flower, moon, turtle, hot, hat, pat, coat, wa-wa (for water), down, off, bean, apple, cracker, tree, and see.

Simply amazing. Or to quote Brian Andreas:
"Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life."

I saw this quote on Jessica Sprauge's blog. And speaking of Sprauge, she's offering a FREE week-long class beginning tomorrow, Monday 11/10. It's titled Stories in Hand. Here is a description:
In our week-long, instructor-led class, we will learn:
Techniques for capturing memories from our own lives and from others
Dozens of prompts for stories you might have forgotten
A cool system for capturing the stories happening in your life right now, AND for listing the stories you have yet to tell
Technologies you can use to help you gather your stories together with photos, video, your blog, or any other media you have that gives a peek into your life
And we will make a REALLY CUTE project!

If you've been reading me for a while, you've heard me rave about Jessica Sprauge's classes. Here's a chance to experience one for free. You don't have to be a scrapbooker to participate. So go on over and sign up!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Weekend Photos- Series II

Kylie is wearing a stylish suede coat with faux pink fur trim (thanks to Shelly H for the hand-me-down). Kylie decided that her plastic ice cream cone would make the perfect accessory.

Hmm, I believe this is a dogwood leaf.

This coat shall forever be called the ice cream coat. Chicka wouldn't put it down for a moment.

The coat hangs well while looking up at trees,

and while day-dreaming of eating real ice cream,

And for kneeling by waterfalls.

Now here is something fun. This was the original picture from my camera.

If you scroll back up, you can see my Photoshop version. I painted on some rocks! How fun! I didn't like those for sale signs in my background so I covered them up. It's a pretty crude job but I wanted something fast so that I could blog the picture. Photoshop is so amazing. Its possibilities are endless. Maybe someday I'll learn how to erase my double chin.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Weekend Photos- Series I

I am blessed with a baby who wakes up from naptime in the sweetest and oh-so-cuddly mood. I love how her hair is all mushed around and the sleep wrinkles on her face and how warm she is. I usually sweep her up and shower her with kisses but today I thought I would snap a few pictures.

Here she is just standing up. And I've opened just one window shade in her room.

big yawn

Flash me a melt-your-heart smile.

Oh look! Mommy opened up more window shades. Now I can see outside.

Okay, enough of this. Let's get movin'!

Don't you just love those first few minutes when they wake up?

Friday, November 07, 2008


What do you do when you've had a week's worth of rain and you live in Oregon? You get out and play in it!

She had a blast!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thank you for your birthday well wishes!

For my birthday, Karen took me out for lunch and then ordered in dinner (hurray!). She gave me this Jill e photo bag that I've been craving. And she surprised me by giving me a book of our 2 Moms blog from July 2007 until Kylie's birth in April 2007. She did an incredible job putting this together for me. And she intends to make additional books for our 2007-08 blog entries.

On my birthday we shopped around at Ikea where we found Karen these cool drapes which give her new office some great color pop. And we purchased this children's easel which was a big hit at home.

On November 4th, my beloved Nanny J turned 90 years old. During his acceptance speech, when Obama spoke of all the changes Ann Nixon Cooper has seen in her 106 years, I couldn't help but tear up and think the same of my Nanny.

What a historic night! My dad will be the lucky recipient of a scarf that I was knitting during the night of November 4th (It's your Christmas present Dad). In that scarf are all my feelings of excitement and then jubilation as Obama won. I think I've ever cared this much about an election. I feel so proud of my country and so hopeful for our future. Or as Obama himself said:
"In this election- in this moment-
let us reach for what we know is possible.
A nation healed.
A world repaired.
An America that believes again."

ps- this cool picture is a font that can be found here.

Between Karen's travels and my office painting project and then Halloween and then a trip to the dentist office yesterday for a crown (ouch!), I haven't had much time to scrapbook. This is the only page I've done recently. And for some reason, even when I put the picture size to small, my blogger template is cutting off part of my landscape pictures. So to see the full scrapbook page, click here