Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sweep the park?

In between rain showers yesterday, Kylie and I went for a walk. Oh, how I love outdoor light for pictures!

It was wet enough rain boots, much to Kylie's delight.

And then for some bizarre reason, Kylie decided to take my old ratty broom out of the garage and drag it around/sweep our nearby park.

All done!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Little nudges

This week Kylie and I moved up to Level 5 at our Gymboree play class. Level 5 classes are for toddlers 22-28 months old.

There is more guided play in this class. For example:
  • We play red light, green light and ring-around-the rosy.
  • We play hide-and-seek for toys.
  • The kids line up and take turns jumping onto the big mat, etc.

    And I found myself more at Kylie's side during playtime. I would lean down to whisper instructions to her and then give her a little nudge on her back to get her going in the right direction.

    Today, I nudged her towards the box filled with maraca shakers and stood amazed as Kylie dived into the mess of 15 kids all trying to reach into a small box. She navigated efficiently to the box, grabbed her shaker and went back to the mat where the teacher was sitting.

    But as I nudged her, I had a flash of premonition of all the nudges I'll be giving her. Nudging her to preschool and then kindergarden. Nudging her forward and not having her come immediately back. And in contemplating that, I thought I would feel sad. But I didn't. I felt peaceful. I thought to myself, "I'm fulfilling my job. This is what I'm supposed to do".

    Of course, I was shaken out of this two-second reverie by the sound of 15 kids banging with maracas. But still it was a sweet moment that I thought I would share with you.

    Now! On to some pictures!
    Yesterday's picture of the day.

    In this one, Kylie is looking out at the snow falling (again!) in our backyard. This shot is straight out of the camera.

    This next picture is a little weird but I like it. It was taken early yesterday morning with overhead lights and a flash. And the original picture just screamed brightness. "Too bright! Too bright!" I played around in Photoshop with it; first trying black and white and then sepia settings. But the lids on the floor got lost with those settings. I got this picture by desaturating it by about 30% but then adding saturation back to the lids.

    Like I said, it's funky. But this little event of Kylie pulling out the tupperware lids happens every morning and I'm glad I captured it.

    Lastly, here is a scrapbook page I finished last night. I'm determined to get these Christmas pages done!
    Snow Globe
  • Monday, January 26, 2009

    If you need a laugh....

    Just look at this picture.

    This was taken at lunchtime. Kylie had pulled apart her peanut butter cracker and put both halves back on her tray. I asked her three times to eat it and she didn't. So I said, "That looks so good!" and I reached over and popped a half in my mouth. There was a two second delay, just long enough for me to steady the camera while chewing. And then Kylie gave me this fantastic expression which said, "You did NOT just take something from my tray!"

    But no worries. She was pleased as punch to eat a few pretzels instead.

    So do you steal your kid's food too?

    By the way, Kylie has started wanting to sit in our regular dining chairs rather than her chair with the booster seat. She's very well behaved as long as I'm sitting with her. But the moment I get up, she wants to stand in the chair or rub food on the back of the chair like it is fingerpaint.

    Do your kids still sit in their boosters?

    Do you ask so many questions on your blog?

    Sunday, January 25, 2009

    Five things- thrilling title, I know.

    Five things about Kylie
    1. Kylie was incredibly patient when we went shopping on Saturday.

    2. But she had a meltdown when we tried to leave her in the nursery at church on Sunday. Karen stayed with her so that I could attend the service.

    3. Kylie is doing great with the toddler bed. She really likes to crawl out, get a book for us to read, and crawl back into the bed. She loves putting all her stuffed animals in and then back out. But so far, she seems to think that one of us needs to be in the room with her in the morning before she can get out of the bed. We'll see how long that lasts.

    4. When I'm making lunch or dinner and I open the fridge, Kylie likes to open the fruit drawer, grab an apple and gnaw on it.

    5. Kylie loves her swim class. She'll kick in the water when I ask her to. She can do a cheek-to-cheek backfloat and is learning to blow bubbles. She hates to leave the water though. This week I'm going to see if some post-swim stickers will pacify her.

    Here are my pictures of the day from the last few days.

    Five things about me.
    1. I made The Pioneer Woman's Ranch Style Chicken tonight and loved it.

    2. I'm not a big fan of Jenny on the L Word. I hope she doesn't monopolize the show this final season.

    3. I hope Meridith and Christina (from Grey's Anatomy) have made up. I've missed their camaraderie. And I miss George. He only gets four words per show, poor thing.

    4. I really don't watch that much tv. And I knit stuff as I'm watching.

    5. But sometimes knitting while watching tv has horrible results. I recently knit a sweater. I tried it on after it was done. I looked as huge as a football defensive linebacker. I'm going to try to rip it apart and salvage the yarn. Right now, I'm knitting another hat for Kylie and a nice, safe afghan.

    Here's a recent scrapbook page- kissing santa.

    Wednesday, January 21, 2009

    Swings and slides and standing back

    I recently heard the term, "helicopter parent". It was used to describe a parent that hovers over their kids, interfering with their child's play whenever the child becomes frustrated, not letting their kid figure things out for themselves, and being generally over-protective.

    Well, I've got to admit, that's me.

    But I'm trying to improve.

    Take our visit to the playground. Normally, I would climb up onto the play structures with Kylie and stand within arms distance. But today, I stood back and played with the 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 lens on my camera. I think this is the lens that came with my camera but I don't think I've ever used it since I prefer my macro lens.

    Anyway, after Kylie played on the gym, she told me she was going to slide.

    But first, she had to clear away the stick that was one the stairs. Because you know that's not acceptable. She's such a clean freak.

    And up the stairs she goes and I stand back and cheer.

    I think I stopped breathing right around here.

    Okay, I can't stand it anymore and I've moved up a bit. I'm absolutely silent but at least I'm not chanting, "Careful, careful" like I usually do.

    And now she's ready to slide down and we are both so proud of ourselves. I've let my baby bird have some wing time and it feels just fine.

    And you've got to love it, she went up and down the slide five times and didn't hurt herself.

    Then it was time for the swings. We both needed a breather.

    I love trying to take pictures of Kylie in the swing. It's like a workout for my poor camera as it tries to focus, focus, focus. I can practically hear it panting out of breath. And I'm trying to push the swing, and aim the camera, and not get kicked in the face. I love it!

    This was my favorite shot of the day.

    But then there is that moment when it's time to go.

    And no manner of explanation of windburned cheeks, cold hands, wet diaper, snacktime, or anything will make it easier for a toddler to leave the swings. So you just sigh, pick her up, put the screaming kiddo on your hip and walk to your car. But even with her normal good-bye tears, it was a great day.

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009


    I was beaming throughout the entire inauguration broadcast. I teared up and cheered and had a grand ole time.

    And there were cupcakes! I'm so tickled I made these!

    It's so wonderful to feel hope for our country.

    Our happy two-mom family says, "Hurray America! Let Freedom Ring!"

    Monday, January 19, 2009

    21 month milestones

    Dearest Kylie,

    What a fun month this has been! This month has been all about talking and playing.

  • You’ve learned the names for shapes. You can say square, diamond, star, circle and triangle and you almost always put the correct word to the right shape.
  • Several times a day we hear you say, “eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hair, hands, fingers, elbows, back, belly, knees and toes” as you pat those parts and then you move onto “shirt, pants, jeans, coat, socks, shoes, hat”.
  • You've started putting short phrases together such as “Big fish. He’s swimming [in] water. Swimming fast.”
  • You love to have pretend conversations on the phone. It usually sounds like this: “Hello. This [is] Kylie. Uh-huh. Mommy’s cooking. Uh-huh. Bye!” You also say, “Hola Dora!” when you have your Dora phone.
  • You crack us up when you throw your arms out and say "I don't know!"
  • You are doing really well understanding and saying opposites. You know and say: up high & down low, on & off, open & closed, empty & full, hot & cold, wet & dry.
  • You've started chiming in on some of your favorite songs and you know and sing several of the words to “Twinkle, twinkle little star” and “Row, row, row your boat”.
  • You can correctly identify all the images in several of your board books.

  • Imaginative play- You love to give pretend sips of drinks and bites of food to all of your dolls and toys. You like to tell them to “sit here” or “go sleeping”.
  • You like to help us unload the dishwasher. And a Clorox wipe remains one of your favorite things to play with. You just love to clean, clean, clean.
  • You love to put various toys in the windowsills of our family room. And it amazes us how you keep your toys in their own groups. Your Little Ponies get grouped together as do your Backyardigan figures, your professional people dolls and your Little People.
  • You have a set of matching tiles and you are great at matching two tiles together.
  • In addition to making tall towers out of your pegboard pegs, you like to stack blocks. You can make a stack over 10 blocks tall.
  • You learned to run this month; it’s a scampering, pity-pat run of fast feet.

    Clean Up
    At 19 months, you became very interested in the potty. So we bought you a child’s potty seat and you used it about half the time for two weeks. But then you became very resistant to the potty seat. So we’ve put potty training on hold for a while.

    Ever since you were 9 months old and cut your first teeth, brushing your teeth has been a struggle filled with yells and tears. But suddenly this month, the struggle ended. You will open up and let us brush your teeth (as long as we do it quickly). What a relief! Then we hand you your toothbrush and you brush them again yourself.

    You’ve always enjoyed your bath but now you love the bathtub even more. You like to lie on your belly in the tub and say you are swimming. You like to splash and kick. You love to pour water from small cups onto your hands and feet.

    Lots of love for such a little girl.
    You are 32 ¾” tall which is in the 45th percentile and weigh 22 pounds, 3 ounces which is in the 6th percentile. You are such an affectionate little girl. You enjoy giving hugs and kisses throughout the day. We love you immensely and are lucky to have you in our lives.
  • Sunday, January 18, 2009

    Bed & stairs progress

    Well we are three days into life with Kylie's new bed and we are doing great. So far, Kylie alternates between putting every possible stuffed animal, soft book, blanket and pillow into her bed.

    or throwing everything out onto the floor, even her pillow, and leaving in only her beloved bouncing Tigger.

    When we've walked into her room in the morning or after naps, she's been in her bed but a couple of things have been moved about. She's so quiet about it that we aren't sure if she's getting out of the bed before she goes to sleep or when she first wakes up. Anyway, so far so good.

    We also took down the gate at the bottom of our stairs so that Kylie could begin to learn how to climb them. We're trying to find our way around giving her the freedom to explore the stairs but we also want her to follow our directions when we tell her to come down. Kylie came dangerously close to her first time-out today. I sat her down and gave her a warning about following my directions. The expression on her face was priceless. It was a mixture of upset and defiance with a big old pouty lip. Only time will tell if we've taken the gate down too soon.

    Anyway, the first day we took the gate down, Kylie celebrated by lining up books, animals, toys and such all around her. Precious!

    Kylie's had a cold this weekend and unfortunately I've caught it too. So I'll sign off now with a few more pictures.

    Friday, January 16, 2009

    Thursday, January 15, 2009

    Three transitions

    Transition #1 - new daytime routine
    Kylie is enrolled in her first toddler swim class. And she's ready to move up to the next level in Gymboree. These are both really exciting developments with one big hitch--her new classes are at the 9:30 - 10:30 time frame. And this shakes up my entire day.

    Our routine for the past 20 months has been to keep around the house in the mornings, start her nap around 10am and to go out for activities in the afternoon. Now we are going to have to flip-flop our day and move her naptime until later. I actually had to sit down with pencil and paper and talk out the new routine with Karen--"When will I feed Kylie?, When can I run? When will I shower? When will she nap?" and so forth.

    And in talking out the creation of a new schedule, we decided to:

    Transition #2--move Kylie to a toddler bed.
    I'll spare you the long story about how her new routine is related to her new bed. Just trust me, it's connected. We had planned on waiting until Kylie was two years old to convert her crib to a toddler bed with guardrail. But now we plan to make the change this weekend. We've taught Kylie how to turn on and off a touch light so that she'll have more than just her night light if she gets up in the morning before I get to her. Next, we will introduce her to her new bed.

    I feel the way that I always do with Kylie's transitions. Excited about these next steps, worried that I'm doing it too soon, nervous that it may be awful, and just a twinge sad about her taking another step away from babyhood. But mostly, I'm excited.

    I pray that we have smooth sailing with this transition. It could be easy or complete chaos. Cross your fingers for easy!

    LastlyTransition #3
    I'm thrilled to see Obama's Inauguration. I'm making these cupcakes to celebrate. I wish you all could come over for a big morning "swearing in" party.

    Here's two new pages.
    I made Waking Up before I had decided about the crib. I feel nostalgic just seeing her peeking over her crib in these November pictures.

    and Silly Girls

    Wednesday, January 14, 2009


    This morning during second breakfast, Kylie was eating some strawberries. I snapped a few pictures and started cleaning the kitchen.

    I turned around and saw Kylie eating strawberries with her eyes closed.

    So I sat down and had a few with her. She's quite right. Strawberries taste much sweeter when you eat them with your eyes closed.

    Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    New Hat and 365 Projects

    Kylie is deeply in love with her new hat. She wore it practically all day.

    She wore it while playing in a laundry basket.

    The moment she woke up from her nap she wanted it on.

    And she wore it to the park where we enjoyed a beautiful sunny day.

    Cute as a button but kiddo had some serious hat hair by the end of the day.

    I've noticed that there is a lot of energy out there in blogland about 365 projects where you take a picture and/or blog every day of the year. I did a photo-a-day of Kylie during the month of May last year and by the end of the month, I was all too happy to put the camera down for a while.

    And so I've raised my eyebrows at the sheer number of people who have taken this project on (over 8,000 in one of the Flickr groups). I remember thinking on January 1, "It's harder than you might think". And yet, surprisingly, I've taken a photo of Kylie every day of January. I really enjoy being behind the lens. Each day I've kept the camera ready and have told myself that if the feeling strikes me or if I notice some nice light, that I would fire off a few shots. I've kept it casual and not too intense (shocking for me, I know!) and so far I like having these quick little snapshots into our days.

    My plan is to finish out January with a picture each day and then evaluate whether I want to start again in February. I think I'll decide at the start of each month of this year whether or not I'll commit to a picture EVERY day or not.

    Most of the time, I'm pleased with one good picture out of the plethora I take. Today, I got lucky and shot several that I liked. But then I'm forced with the dilemma of picking just one.

    Today, this is the one.

    I don't think that it is the best picture but it has special meaning to me because I have tried so many times to capture Kylie's hands. And today, I got lucky. The photo is straight from the camera and I think Kylie's skin looks luminescent. And she's playing with one of my favorite things, yarn!

    If you are interested in taking on a 365 picture project, you might find this article interesting.. There are some nice calendar templates (I plan on using the Ali Edwards one). And lots of inspiration from 365 Flickr groups. It's not too late to join and it might be really cool!