Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I've seen so many changes with Kylie recently.

Her capacity for imaginative play has really grown. For the past two weeks, she and the other kiddos have pretended to be horses during Gymboree class. There is a girl in class who pretends to be a dragon. This has really made an impression on Kylie. At home, she pretends to be a horse, feed a horse, run like a horse, etc. She's also likes to pretend to be a cat, a dog, and a dragon.

She can pretend that ordinary things are other things. For example, this may look like a small magna doodle. But to Kylie, it was a kite. (She looks a little disconcerted here in the picture that her kite is on the ground but trust me, she loved playing with her "kite".)

She's enjoying her small and large magna doodles more and more. She loves it when Momma K draws Elmo on it or when I trace her feet on it. She asks us to draw things like stars or circles all the time. It's hard to know which hand Kylie will prefer. Right now, she uses both her left and right equally.

She's grown more and more resistant to her sippy cups. She prefers drinking out of a "big girl cup".

This cup is from her toy set but it is her favorite.

And she loves drinking from a straw.

She's looking up at Momma K who came down to see what all the giggles were about. Kylie was blowing bubbles with her straw and she and I thought it was a hoot.

She LOVES to twirl. She loves to twirl 5 or 6 times, just enough to make herself a little dizzy and then fall to the ground. She's intentionally falling and rolling around a lot more. And she does those trust maneuvers all day long. You know where your little one goes all limp in your arms so that you have to pick them all the way up. She loves that. When one of us holds her she likes to either lean way back, like she's doing a backbend or have us spin her around.

Here are a few more pictures:
She held Elmo up and danced him around the kitchen floor. Elmo is wearing a pair of baby shoes. They are now Elmo's shoes.

Lugging around her toy food.

While I tilled up the dirt and sprinkled grass seed in our back yard, Kylie helped. With her spade.....and mop.

Of course, she wasn't too happy to leave. Can't you just hear the "NOOOOOOO". If you look closely, you can even see a tear.

Such a sweet doodlebug.

And here is a recently completed scrapbook page:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Early morning at the park and more

Kylie and I were at the park at 8:30 this morning. The sun was breaking through the mist and warming the early morning dew. Everything was very still except for the birds overhead, squawking at us.

I wish this picture had captured how beautiful the light was hitting the park bench and nearby grass.

Here's Kylie patting her three trees. I've never caught this angle before and I just love it.

Morning sun hitting my sweet baby's curls.

We were quite the pair. I've got my baseball cap on covering my bed head, my headphones on top of the hat so that I can listen to this book (excellent audio book series by the way), camera around my neck. And Kylie's got her sticks and trees. We're both happy and enjoying the park in our own way.

Yesterday's fun was fingerpainting

and visiting this place that had seven different inflatable jump structures.

Portland's got to be one of the most kid-friends cities around. Every time I think I've exhausted all the kid possibilities, I find something new.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Toy Rotation, three sites and a question

I started a toy rotation plan for Kylie about a week ago. So far, I'm loving it.

Kylie has 21 toys and 14 puzzles on rotation. So each day, she gets three "new" toys and two puzzles.

She has some toys that sit out all the time because they are either her current favorites or they are too big to store away. Things like her toy food and kitchen, basketball hoop and balls, a handful of cars, stuffed animals, Ms. Potato Head, and toy piano.

The rest of her toys are put into pretty bins that sit on my office bookshelves. At the end of the day, I put away the day's three toys and get out tomorrow's. There is far less stuff sitting around. Kylie is more engaged with the day's toys and puzzles. And our deal is that if she asks for a toy that isn't out, she can certainly have it.

Of course, this system may crash and burn because, you know, she IS a toddler. But for now, it is working beautifully.

I have three newly found websites I would like to share:

  • If you love looking at lovely and original scrapbook pages, check out Gallery Standouts.

  • If you are looking for fun stuff to do with your toddler, check out No time for flashcards.

  • And if you are interested in some cool Bento lunch box ideas, visit Wendolonia. I serve Kylie her meals on kid trays but when I see Wendolonia's boxes, I want to do boxes instead.

    Lastly, here's a quick question for you: Fruit leather, have you given it to you toddler?
  • Tuesday, March 24, 2009


    Armfuls of Disney Princesses. (BTW, we stumbled on this sweet web site today and it amused Kylie).

    Armful of frogs. We use these to play hide-and-seek.

    Armul of Elmo.

    One lucky girl.

    Here are two recently completed scrapbook pages:

    Swim class

    Monday, March 23, 2009


    Don't you just love how inventive toddlers are? Such imaginations.

    The blue things in this picture are the posts for this very cool threading toy. Kylie hasn't quite got the hang of threading yet.

    So she turns them into some kind of wild, padded, toddler nunchucks. I really need to get a video of her twirling these. You'll just have to imagine the Bruce Lee sound effects.

    More inventiveness: this may look like a funnel and a box of toy food. But to Kylie, it's a hat and a seat.

    And this is one of Barbie's dresses. But for the moment it is a very stylish arm cuff.

    I just adore her sense of limitless possibilities.

    We've been having typical Portland March weather. The sun will be shining but by the time I get Kylie's shoes and coat on, it starts sprinkling. Ten minutes later, the sun is shining again. Today I said, "The heck with it. We are going to the park anyway!"

    I'm so glad I caught this expression below because it's a new one for Kylie. It's like she's holding back a laugh. It looks very "two" to me.

    This is my favorite picture of the day. She picked up these little pieces of moss and put them on the swing seat. Lovely.

    Lastly, we were at the mall on Saturday and there was no line for the Easter Bunny. So we made an impromptu decision to get her picture made. As the techs were getting the camera ready, I held Kylie close to me.
    I said, "Do you know what to do?"
    She said, "Sit on Bunny lap"
    I said, "What else?"
    She said, "Give him a hug".

    Friday, March 20, 2009

    Just stand there

    I read this quote from photographer Jay Maisel and it touched me.
    When we shoot we should savor what goes on in front of us, allow things to develop, anticipate things, not be in such a hurry to move on to see how much more we can see quickly and superficially. It’s all there, if we take our time and look, things have a way of happening in front of you. Standing still is also a good way of covering things; just let the world come to you. To paraphrase an old cliché – Don’t do something, just stand there. Be patient.

    Here's an image I shot this week just sitting in the floor playing with Kylie. The radial blur was added in Photoshop (I've always wanted to try out radial blur!).

    Have a great weekend!

    Cookie dough

    Dang ya'll. It was warm enough for short sleeves. I had one on so Kylie wanted to wear some short-sleeves too. She spent an hour walking around and flapping her arms to feel the air on them.

    Today we had fun with cookie dough. Oh, I wish these pictures had come out better. They came out of the camera just awful--blurry, bad focus, bad color. Just all around bad. I fixed them the best I could.

    It's shame because we had lots of cookie dough fun.

    Kylie got excited as I pinched off balls. She helped me mash them flat and place the cookie cutters. And then I tried to make a wild dash to wipe my hands (that stuff is greasy!) and take a few pictures. No wonder these came out blurry. Kylie's smiling and thinking I didn't see her sneak a bite. Hey kiddo, you're not fooling me! You've got some left on your chin!

    She enjoyed mashing the cutters into the dough. She also liked holding the cutters up to her face scaring her poor Mommy to pieces.

    And she loved scrapping away the excess and sneaking in bites.

    Would you like to see it in vintage?

    Finally, Kylie shook some red sprinkles on the cookies. Sprinkles were flying everywhere but we were having fun. When the red haze of sprinkles had settled, I took a few more shots. Kylie is showing me the red stuff on her hands.

    Focus on baby:

    Foucs on hand. Aahhh! It's coming to get you!!!!

    I crack myself up. By the way, I thought the pre-made stuff tasted awful once it was baked. Next time, I'll take the time to make some dough from scratch.

    Thursday, March 19, 2009

    Three playgrounds and tons of pictures

    Here are some gems from yesterday.

    **While I was getting Kylie dressed, I thought she said, "Big hug and kiss". What she really said was, "Belly button kiss". When she realized I misunderstood her, she grabbed my head, pushed it to her tummy while shouting, "Belly button kiss!" It cracked me up.

    **Some mornings I wear a big, baggy, lay-around-the-house shirt. Kylie knows that when I'm wearing it, I'm not ready to go out anywhere. So many mornings she orders me to, "Go change shirt Mommy."

    Now, on to the playground pictures! We had a a beautiful day yesterday (sorry to rub it in if you didn't). And Kylie and I spent most of it outside.

    The first playground we visited was our usual one. We were there from 9:30 - 10:30. Kylie is learning how to climb this ladder. She's about got it mastered.

    Excuse me while I have heart failure, drop the camera and go spot her on the rest of the climb. Every time she pushes me away yet every time she gets stuck on that last rung and needs me to boost her to the platform.

    If you were to look mischievous up in the dictionary, you might see this picture of my daughter. This was shot about two seconds before she flung mulch on top of her head and then on me. Little stinker. Keep it up Kylie and some day I'll show your future dates these pictures of you wearing flowery pants.

    Kylie always touches the three trees closest to the swings before she leaves. She does this little commune with them and then gives them a pat. I can't help but think that the trees love this.

    After Kylie's nap, we went to a new playground. On the drive Kylie said, "Let's go find boys". I snorted and told her okay and sure enough there were two boys at the playground. It had a cool slide but no swings so we didn't stay long.

    We drove to our third playground and stayed there for the rest of the afternoon. It has these nifty rockers.

    I love this playground but the swings are really high off the ground and have short chains so the kiddos don't have much of a swoop in the swing. Here Kylie is telling me she's really high.

    Kylie decided she wanted to swing with leaves and then sticks. This was fine by me but....

    she scared the pants off the kiddo next to her. And no, Kylie didn't throw the sticks at her. She waved them menacingly just to hear the little girl scream. I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing.

    The little girl paid her back by blocking the bottom of Kylie's slide. I'm making it sound worse than it was. Actually, the two girls enjoyed one another. They laughed and squealed together for quite a while.

    It was a fantastic day. Oh...if you have a second, let me know which photo you like the best. Once again, I can't decide my favorite for my photo-a-day batch. Thanks and have a good one!