October 31, 2009

Picking Your Battles... aka Halloween and your 3-year-old...

This is what Sassy dressed up as at the beginning of Halloween season:

This is what Sassy dressed up as in the middle of Halloween season:

This is what Sassy dressed up as today, Halloween Day:

You win some, you lose some. What can I say?

Well, besides that she is my little Beauty, no matter the costume...

October 29, 2009


Why, I ask you... why, why, why?

Why must you take one shoe off each and every time we get into the car?

Why do you enjoy feeling the breeze between your toes on your right foot, while miss lefty over there sits hot and stifled?

It never fails.

October 28, 2009

Halloween Shenanigans and Stellan...

As I explained here, we had the good fortune of having three Halloween parties to attend this past weekend.

On Saturday we headed out to my friend Monica's farm house for a little get-together. (Monica- do you live on a farm? You have a barn. And chickens. And land. And some big ole' equipment. That's a farm, right?) We went to the same party last year and had a great time!

Everyone brought food and yummy Halloween treats. The kids ran around the yard and jumped in the bounce house. It was great. Here are some pictures from our day:

Daring Miss Sassy:

Daddy's Little Ladybug:

Mischievous Ladybug:

Sassy working on putting her shoes back on:

My little toddling ladybug:

Sassy working on her apple craft after changing out of her costume:

Mommy and Little A- this is about as good as it gets:

Sassy and LMB:

Digging for gold spiders:

The people who keep me sane:

Sunday evening, another group I am in had their annual Boo Bash. We set off with a huge crock pot of chili and cornbread muffins in tow. The kids danced the monster mash, made sand art, ghost lollipops, and decorated a pumpkin cookie. They also played Boo Bingo, and Sassy won one of the rounds!

Tyler helped the girls make their sand art projects:

Sassy enjoyed dancing with her bud, Bubs:

Mommy helped Sassy play picture Boo Bingo:

We had an insane Halloween weekend, and this evening marks the beginning of four consecutive nights that the girls will be donning their costumes for various events. Oy! I'm not going to want to think about Halloween again for a long, long time after this one is over!

Last, please hop on over to MckMama's blog and leave an encouraging comment or say a prayer or think a kind thought for Stellan. His SVT reared its ugly head again last evening, and he is in a dire state, intubated and sedated on this day, just one day before he was supposed to be at home celebrating his 1st birthday with his family and friends.

This is hitting me especially hard today, exactly one year since Little A was hospitalized for RSV at 10 weeks old. I remember what it felt like to be that helpless, worried mama in the hospital room. It's nowhere I want to be again, and nothing I would wish on my worst enemy. Hugs to the MckFamily!

October 27, 2009


I know all about negativism.

I mean, I work for Parents As Teachers. We talk about negativism all the time. It's a completely normal part of child development- a shift from external control to self-control. I get it.

So, why was I so taken aback when my own little 14-month-old decided that now was the time for her "burst of negativism" to surface?

Her favorite work is NO. Mind you, she says, like, six words. But, NO is her favorite.

Oh, and thanks to a certain big sister, it's not just NO. It's Na-na-na-NO or nnnnnnnnnnnNO! With a little lip curl and finger point and everything...

One of her favorite acts of defiance is to chuck her sippy cup off of her high chair tray. At first, I was like... OK. Cause and effect. Cool.

Yeah... no. She does it because she knows she isn't supposed to. Than, she laughs when I get riled up. No, no, Little A. That's naughty. We don't throw cups.

[Laughter ensues...]

So, this morning, we were getting ready for the girls dentist appointments, and Little A had her duck. I sat her up on the couch and tried to snap a few pictures before we left.

All was well until she decided to send her duck in flight across the living room.

Na-na-na-NO, she says to me.

Like I did something wrong. It's a sad, sad day when your 1-year-old can put.you.in.your.place.

But, she's so sweet, you all say...

Mmmmm hmmm. That's what she wants you to think...

October 26, 2009

Ears, Art, Coldness, Hoods & Bugs...

What a melange of topics that I will cover in this post!

On to getting you all caught up on the happenings in the SPH (Sweet Pea Household)...

We have been trying hard to maintain our health around here. Sometimes, we just can't catch a break. After waking up in the middle of the night screaming with an earache, followed by a report from our MDO teacher's that Sassy was complaining of her ear hurting, it was off to the doctor... again.

After several excruciating attempts at getting a look inside her right ear (left ear... a-OK), she was determined to have an outer ear infection (aka swimmers' ear), which have a tendency to be more painful than run-of-the-mill inner ear infections, so I was told. I wouldn't know. I'm not much of a swimmer. She was prescribed some ear drops and encouraged not to lay in the bathtub with her head under water.

I was DREADING the ear drop process, especially after seeing what the exam was like. Guess what... piece.of.cake. Go Sassy! So, for the past 6 days, we have been having ear drop rituals twice a day...

She's my little trooper.

Last week, our mom's group had a private art class at The Wichita Art Museum. Sassy really enjoys these classes each time we attend. I snapped this picture outside the museum, and thought it was so funny once I saw it on my computer screen. It's like Where's Waldo, Sassy style...

The kiddos gathered patiently under the Chihuly sculpture...

Little A got a glance, too:

After the lesson, we headed down to the studio to complete our project. This time, we learned all about lines. Sassy did so well following the teacher's instruction to make a vertical line:

In fact, she followed directions well the whole way through. I am so proud of her work!

Once the kids practiced their lines, the made a tree with no leaves using a charcoal pencil. Little A was too little to do the project, but she enjoyed people-watching!

At the very end, each kid was able to contribute to a painting to be hung in the living room by painting a few squares. Sassy chose yellow as her color:

Friday, Tyler took a vacation day from work so that we could make a family trip to the pumpkin patch. It was nothing short of a disaster. It just happened to be the coldest day we have had yet, with highs reaching around 42 degrees. Forty-two degrees is even cold for me, but have I ever mentioned the fact that Sassy is extremely sensitive to cold? Like, we can't go swimming in indoor heated pools because she gets too cold? Yeah.

It was cold.

I did manage to get a decent picture of each of the girls at the How Tall This Fall station. Mission accomplished!

I snapped a quick one of Daddy and the girls at the little set-up photo op:

They had about 32 seconds of hammock fun:

We headed to the barn to catch a break from the wind. Sassy tried to play in the corn, but she was so cold, their were tears streaming down her cheek:

She did jump in long enough to make a corn angel or two:

We ran into Tom, LMB, and LuLu and the girls spent a minute climbing the hay bales:

And, we were done. Seriously, we were there less than an hour. As in, the car ride there was greater than the amount of time we spent inside the pumpkin patch. As in, we never made it out to the patch to pick pumpkins. As in... OK, I'll stop now.

Friday evening, we prepared for Halloween Party 1 of 3 for the weekend. I only wish my calendar was so full at 3 years old.

So, anyway... without further adieu... I present to you...

Sassy as Little Red Riding Hood:

And Little A as Little Red Ladybug:

Blowing you all kisses until next time...

Traditionally Speaking...

Now that October is coming to an end and we will be enjoying November in just a few short days, I have really started to get excited about the holidays.

I absolutely love the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas- the decorating, the gift shopping, the food, the cookie swaps, the fun family activities...

We have established several traditions for our family. Some are extension of traditions Tyler and I experienced as kids, and some are new. I thought I'd share a few with you all, and I would love for you to comment about some of your family traditions! Maybe we can add a few more this season!

Every year, we make a big event out of putting up and decorating our Christmas tree. We build a fire in the fireplace, usually get into our pj's, play Christmas music, and take the time to slowly unwrap each ornament and tell the story about how we acquired it, what makes it special, and reminisce about that year. You'd be amazed how solid these stories become in your ind when you revisit them every year- I still remember the details about ornaments I received or made as a child.

After the decorating, we all enjoy Scottish shortbread, plum dumplings, and chamomile tea together before reading a Christmas story. I can't wait to do this soon!

To go along with the concept of our decorating night, Tyler and I purchase an ornament or two for each girl each year. We don't just buy any ornament, though. We try to choose something that relates to each girl for the year. This aids in the reminiscing/story-telling part of our decorating tradition. For example, when Sassy was 2, she was obsessed with dinosaurs, so I searched high and low until I found the perfect girlie dinosaur ornament for her. This year, I will try to find a nice ballet ornament, since she started dance this year... You get the idea.

Another tradition we try to maintain each year is to get dressed up and go out for a nice dinner on Christmas Eve. We used to spend Christmas Eve at my paternal grandmother's house, and once she passed away, we began this tradition. After dinner, we would return home and open one gift apiece, which always happened to be new pajamas. Then, we would get into our new pj's and watch a Christmas movie before bed!

Finally, Tyler and I began a new tradition last season that I read about in an issue of Wondertime magazine (which I am SO sad to report is longer in publication. I loved that magazine)! To prevent going overboard with the holiday shopping, we decided to stick to this little motto (outside of Santa gifts and gifts from family, of course)- each member of the family receives something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read. We had such a great time adhering to this last year, and there is even a little bending room. For instance, Sassy was really into Tinkerbell last year, so her something you want was a package of Tinkerbell things- a doll, a movie, and pajamas.

So, there are some of our favorite holiday traditions. What are some of yours?

Not Me! Monday

Time for MckMama;s awesome weekly blog carnival, Not Me! Monday!

This week, I did not let Sassy eat a mini 3 Musketeers bar... for breakfast. I did not justify this decision by providing her a nice, healthy glass of milk to enjoy her chocolate with. What mother would do that? Not Me!

I did not have to face embarrassment when a friend let themselves into the house while we were gone to drop off a few things, and when we returned home, I did not realize that our house literally looked like a tornado had hit... like, more than usual. Not me!

I did not accidentally mess up my husbands fantasy football league. He did not ask me to submit his line-up, and I did not take the liberty to make some much-needed changes to his roster... only to learn later that it is a bad league. Like, the players who score the lowest are desirable. Oops.

I am not officially running late for my daughter's dance class right now because I felt compelled to write this post. Not Me!

What have you all not been doing?

October 25, 2009

My Little Tumble Tot!

Sassy has started a new adventure!

We have enrolled her in toddler tumbling at the rec center here in town, and she has had 2 classes so far. She has enjoyed it, for the most part. There are several girls she knows from PAT, and LMB is in her class, as well.

She was pretty excited to show me her moves before we left for class:

She's always in the mood for new skills:

The girls warmed up a bit:

After several tries, Sassy finally got the hang of this triceps stretch:

She did a little crab-walking:

And, some wall stands:

She is still working on her listening skills, how to follow directions, stand in line, wait her turn, etc. She is very sensitive, and she got her feelings hurt during the second class when her teacher told her to get off of the stacked mats and join the class in line. We had to take a break, and she was crying and pleading with me to take her home.

But, we stuck it out, and she was back to normal in no time. These are the things that she needs to work on, and I am trying hard to encourage her to roll with the punches a bit better. Currently, she can let one little setback ruin her day. I want to teach her how to brush it off and move on, or she will lead a miserable existence in this world. It's a hard lesson to teach while remaining empathetic and encouraging, though!

Sassy really enjoys tumbling class... so what if her favorite part is getting to wear her pink leotard? I'll update the tumbling situation once we have a few more classes!