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Nashville Glewwe Kids » 2007 »

Archive for October, 2007

Yago turns 1! & Ghouls at Grassmere

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Our friends’ son Yago had his first birthday party Saturday at Gymboree. Megan & Michael loved playing on the equipment. Michael did lots of good crawling and walking “with fingers”, while Megan ran, climbed, jumped and fell all over the place. There were several other girls there her age, so she had plenty of people to play with.

 Megan was launched off the end of the “log”. I’m sorry you can’t see the glee on her face.

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 Michael walking across the “bridge”:

(By the way, Michael has mastered climbing steps. Both Sandra and I worked with on the weekend of October 21st. On Monday the 22nd, he took off the steps up to my parents 2nd floor like a shot. I followed close behind, but he went all the way up on his own. Getting back down is another matter…head first so far.)

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 Megan seems to be ignoring the command to put her feet in the air. A parachute floats above the girls in the picture.

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After Megan covered her mouth with green icing from a cupcake, we got her cleaned up, played a bit more, and then headed north to the zoo for Ghouls at Grassmere. Recall that we practiced trick or treating in Atlanta a few weeks ago, so she was primed. Aunt Amy & Uncle Daniel met us at the zoo as well as all four grandparents. Ghouls has changed drastically! The treat stations now covered most of the animal trails. We started off with the treat stations, and we eventually worked our way over to the “Haunted Carousel” and on to Pumpkin Painting with Aunt Amy. Uncle Daniel helped me take Megan to the bounce house. She told us yesterday that the bounce house was her favorite part of the Ghouls! When all was finished, we were at the zoo over two hours, and we left with two exhausted children. Take them home you say? No! Take them to Cracker Barrel for a family dinner. When we finally poured those children into their beds, it was 9:30. Luckily, both were dressed in light cotton clothing under their costumes, so we put them to bed in their clothes rather than wake them and put on PJs. Both slept solidly (well, for Michael that meant six hours without waking…heaven for Sandra). Michael finished his night in our bed eventually, and he and Sandra didn’t get up until well after 8am. Megan and I were up around 7am. We all had a howling good time at Ghouls. We will definitely return next year. By the way, we were excited to see how many people recognized our “Pablonator” from the Backyardigans.

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Chocolate Spiderweb Cookies

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

We were Coffee Hour Hosts at our church on Sunday, so we spent Saturday baking- when we were home. One of the many things I threw together Saturday morning was a double batch of chocolate spiderweb cookies, a Cooking Light recipe from the October 2003 issue. The dough needs to be frozen, so I made two little logs, wrapped them up, then placed them in the freezer for baking later that day. Then I forgot them.

Fast forward to yesterday. We went to the mall for a bit in the afternoon, and no mall trip is complete without a stop in Williams-Sonoma. I wanted to see whether the halloween sugar decorations for topping cupcakes and cookies were on sale. They were, down from $8.50 to $1.99! Being an impulsive girl, I bought all 3 packages they had. I now had 9 dozen little cookie and cupcake toppers shaped as bats, cats, and jack-o-lanterns.

Fast forward to this afternoon. I decided to slice and bake 3 dozen chocolate spiderweb cookies so that I may use one package of decorations. We always find people with whom we might share cookies, and I knew Megan would be eager to help decorate, so I didn’t worry about having the extra cookies around the house. I baked the cookies on two trays, getting all baked at once so that only 10 minutes was lost in the process. I let the cookies cool a bit while I mixed up an icing, a glue if you will, for adhering the decorations to the cookies. It’s the icing that goes with the cookies, so it wasn’t a huge stretch. Once the cookies were cooled and the icing was ready, I allowed Megan to enter the picture.

Remember that in my lack of foresight I only baked 3 dozen cookies, the exact amount of decorations in the package. I knew Megan would want to eat the cookies, so I made her raise her right hand and say “I will not eat the cookies.” When she was done, I made her raise it again and say “I will be a good listener for Mama.” I had one more promise for her to make, and asked her to raise her right hand one last time. She raised her left, and I told her to raise her right instead. I now had my 2-year-old daughter standing two feet from the cookies with both hands in the air, this time “swearing” to “not lick the cookies or the icing or (her) fingers until we (were) done decorating.” She looked at me askance at this one, but made her promise and got into her chair, ready to go. I should’ve been more specific about it all. Oh, the loopholes that girl can find!

I went into the kitchen to snip a hole into my makeshift pastry bag, meanwhile telling Megan what we were about to do; specifically, I would add icing to the cookies and she would stick the decorations “on the white dots” right after I made them. I came into the dining room to find Megan saying something about making sure the cookies were ready. She was using her (clean, I promise!) fingers to press the cookies, leaving little toddler-sized indentations in about 1/3 of the cookies. Hmmm. There was nothing in the promises about putting dents in the cookies, was there? I stopped her and held back my laughter, then started taking decorations from the wax sheet for her to put onto cookies. She did a few, though she was ignoring the ones with icing and pressing the decoration straight into the indentations of the cookies. I corrected her, and we continued. Some of the decorations broke, and I made a mental note to try to get those onto the more severely indented cookies. No luck: I had no control over where those things went!

I have control issues, but they end at decorating baked goods. Especially when I’m working with Megan, my priority is to make sure she doesn’t spread germs AND that she has fun and expresses herself. However, even I needed to loosen up my ideals for this one. Megan put bits and pieces into and onto cookies, though some pieces (those lovely pumpkins!) went on without problem. And forget matching up cookies with decorations: Megan decided some of the little guys looked lonely, so some of the cookies got 2 decorations, which pleased her greatly. When all was done, we added a few sprinkles to the cookies with icing only, and Megan was tickled with the project. Just know this: if you get crazy looking cookies from us, it’s all Megan’s fault, and it’s all made with love.

Oh, and let me know if you want the recipe. It’s fairly simple, and the spiderweb part is all in the icing decorations, so you can have your own adventures in decorating, too!

Show Me a Sign!

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

When Megan was a wee thing, we started teaching her signs to communicate with us. We used a mixture of Baby Signs and ASL signs, and she had just over 3 dozen well established signs before she really got to talking more and signing less. Her first learned sign (and one of the last to be replaced by a word, incidentally) was “milk.” She never did sign “Mama,” but she also didn’t say “Dada” for the longest time; she would sign “Daddy” and say “Mama.” I started calling Grant the daddy-mama. Megan signed sentences and ideas and it was really a great success, so we decided to work with Michael on the signs, too.

Michael picked up “milk” right away, of course. My babies know how to demand food. We now think he is sometimes signing for Daddy (again, not the Mama!), “more,” and “all done.” He clearly understands other signs and words- “bath,” “story time in Megan’s room,” and “Do you want to eat?” produce immediate results from him. Finally, he has asked for “The Old Gray Cat” from Music Class a couple times by petting his arm. Too cool!

Of course, he communicates with us in all sorts of ways. Michael’s in that phase where he wants to walk desperately, but his little body isn’t fully cooperative yet, so he wants to use our fingers for support. When he is ready for this, he is clear about grabbing our fingers and pulling himself forward. When Michael’s MAD, he shakes his pointer finger at us and completely changes his tone. It’s pretty funny, I must say. Certainly, the ladies in the nursery at the Y thought so. He got the finger pointing from Megan; I don’t know where she got it from! And Michael has a few words: he has been saying “uh-oh” for a while and he uses it well. He says “hi” and I think I heard him say “bye” this morning as he waved bye-bye to his daddy. Sometimes the baby talk is in da-das, but I’m unwilling at this point to concede that he’s saying Da-da before Mama. Megan said Mama first; can’t the boy, too?

Be careful what you wish for!

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Megan has, for some time now, been the one to greet Michael in the morning and sometimes even when he wakes from naps. This started out as her idea, but we encourage it: the kids get to play together, and we get a few minutes of delay before we have to take Michael out of his crib. Besides, it makes both kids happy.
When Michael woke from his morning nap, I wanted to get ready for us to leave, so I sent Megan in on an “entertain op.” Hearing the kids on the monitor and knowing they were happy, I took my time in getting ready, relishing the alone time. I could only see a bit of Michael’s crib on the monitor because Megan had moved the camera in her explorations, but I knew he was standing, talking to his sister. Imagine my surprise, then, when I came in and found Michael’s onesie drawer EMPTY, the ENTIRE contents of it in the crib with him, just outside of camera range. And I did laundry yesterday, people. That drawer was FULL! Well, I guess you get what you pay for when you send a 2-and-a-half-year-old in to do your job!

The Differences in Boys and Girls

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

Years ago, when Grant and I were dating and still playing in the SCA, I was given a Woody doll by some of our SCA friends. Yes, the Woody from The Toy Story. Good grief, people! Anyway, I still have him, only now he belongs to my children, not me. Here’s where Woody gets a lesson in the different play styles of boys and girls.
Remember the movie? Woody is dragged all over creation by Andy; he gets into shootouts, car wrecks, the whole nine yards. Well, that life may be dangerous, but at least it allows Woody some dignity. Not in our house. Megan changes Woody’s diaper; she says “bless his heart” while she uses a baby wipe on him, then puts pretend Boudreaux’s Butt Paste on him. As one might expect, she makes him participate in tea parties. Tonight, however, I think Woody reached his limit when she brought him through the kitchen with “his two babies.” The little plastic Pirate Captain Pablo and a Little People pirate (deckhand, not one of the captains) were wrapped lovingly in Poor Woody’s arms.
Of course, Michael did get a hold of Woody after finishing his dinner and chewed on his leg a bit before banging him on a couple pieces of furniture, so maybe he will help Woody “man up” again.

Fun on the Road.

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

We are back from our adventures in Atlanta and Chattanooga. A good time was had by all. Highlights include:
- In our hotel rooms, we had Megan sleep on the sofa bed. Instead of folding it out and putting the mattress on the floor, though, Grant simply turned the sofa to the wall and allowed her to sleep in her “big girl bed” that way. She did a great job of sleeping in her bed; we were very proud of her!

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- At Zoo Atlanta, we did “Boo at the Zoo” with the kids. We didn’t have costumes with us, so the kids wore ears I purchased at the entrance. Megan practiced her trick-or-treat skills and even Michael got some candy. Fisher Price had a booth set up to allow the wee ones to test out new toys, and this just added to the wonderful family atmosphere. Zoo Atlanta did a great job with this one!
- On Sunday, we stopped on our way home in Chattanooga. We had a quick lunch at Mellow Mushroom pizza (I had an incredibly tasty butternut squash soup- yum!) before heading to the Childrens’ Creative Discovery Museum, just a couple blocks away from the Aquarium. We had expected to spend about an hour, maybe an hour and a half there playing. In the end, we spent over 3 hours there and had to drag the kids out. Even Michael was able to play in almost every room. He climbed and splashed and crawled and played instruments; we were thrilled with the whole experience. We were so thrilled, in fact, that we bought a membership. Now we HAVE to go back. That’s not an issue, though: Megan’s already asked me the last two mornings whether we were returning to the museum today.

Pictures WILL follow. I just have to get my sorry self down to the downstairs computer to download and upload!

Going up the incline railway:

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Gorillas at the Atlanta Zoo:

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Georgia Aquarium

Megan encounters a turtle

 

Loss of Bathtime Privileges?

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Hi Folks-
We’re in Atlanta for the evening, and we found a GREAT suite in which to sleep. It has a sofa bed for Megan, a seperate room with 2 queen beds for us (no, I won’t make him sleep in his own), and a little seperate room with entrances from both other rooms that leads to the bathroom. This is where we’ll put Michael.
ANYWAY, there is a huge garden tub in the bathroom, and both kids were excited about getting into it. Grant is in there with them now, and these two are always hard to control, but in a large tub, they’re just about impossible! We had to threaten Megan with “loss of bathtime priveleges” (Grant actually said “Mama will bathe you in the toilet!”) because she jumped in the tub before he could regulate water temp. As I left, I heard him issue a warning to Michael about a loss of priveleges too. I went in briefly and saw tiny limbs flying and water splashing and Grant reaching frantically, so of course I came out to tell you all about it rather than help him out.
I’d better get back in; I’m sure Michael has made a few dives, and Megan has already gotten soap in her eyes once.
There will be pictures from our touristy adventures soon!

Papa’s Girl

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Whenever Mima asks Megan “Whose girl are you today?” Megan answers, “Nana’s.” Then she squeals and prepares for tickling. She loves it. However, the truth of the matter is that Megan is ALWAYS Papa’s girl. The proof isn’t in the pudding, but in the ice cream.
Last night, I made a quick dessert for each of us. I prepared some apples on the stovetop with cinnamon and apple juice, then added a few pieces of crescent roll (unrolled, of course) for the crust and added a side of ice cream. Megan got a smaller portion, but I made sure it was attractive and even put a caramel piece under the hot apples to melt.
It didn’t matter. She didn’t even notice the apples and the cutesie crescent roll piece. She just attacked the ice cream until it was gone and then said “I need more ice cream, please.” She didn’t throw any fits when we told her no, and she enjoyed the rest of her dessert, but we could tell the difference in her enthusiasm. She, like her Papa, rates the quality of a dessert on a simple system: how much ice cream is there?

Pumpkin Patch

Monday, October 8th, 2007

I will get pictures posted soon (read: Grant will take care of it, I hope), but I wanted to get the report out that we have already made it to our first pumpkin patch of the season! We went last week with my friend Sherry, her daughter Kathryn, and their neighbor to Walden Farm’s Pumpkin Patch. A great time was had by all. Megan, after picking four different little pumpkins, finally settled on one. She also admired (from a safe distance, of course) the live animals found on the farm and thoroughly enjoyed exploring the haybale maze made just for little ones. Michael, ever the patient little brother, stayed in his stroller. It’ll be better next year, Michael! We look forward to taking Grant back soon!

Three Miscellaneous Pictures

Monday, October 1st, 2007

One of the good things about having a little girl with long hair…

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Michael is working on standing up, but he loves playing with his sister’s bench.

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Megan at a friend’s house: (their couch looks remarkably like ours)

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