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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Preserving Memories

I know of one person so far who has preserved their blog into a book format. Did you know there is a company out there who can do that for you??

Bloggled.com will soon be offering a "Blog to Book" feature to allow you to bind all your entries together in a book format. You can even add pictures along with your entries.

Sign up for their free service to backup your blog and they'll let you know when this awesome service will be available.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A birthday to remember

We had a really good day for Little Man's 2nd Birthday.

First, we headed out at 7:15am toward Baltimore to visit Santa at B&O Railroad. Although the breakfast was a little lackluster, all that mattered was Little Man A was so excited about seeing all the trains again. We even got a really good picture of us with Santa.

After hanging out with Santa, we were able to venture around the museum. Local model train clubs were displaying amazingly detailed layouts of construction sites, zoos, ice skating by city hall, and an amusement park. Little Man was in heaven when he spotted the firetruck at the back of a train car.

Then we boarded a train for a short mile long ride out from the museum. Another quick visit by Santa on board and we were back to touring the museum. A volunteer who knew an astounding amount of information about trains was nice enough to catch this photo.

Unfortunately for Little Man A, we couldn't stay all day as we needed to return Gramma and Pop-pop's rental car to the airport and get ready for a train birthday party. I thought Little Man could stay awake until we got home in time for lunch, but he fell fast asleep about 5 minutes out. Fortunately, he was able to sleep for an hour and a half because he was wide awake and ready for the second half of the day as soon as we stopped in the driveway.

While Pop-pop worked on making homemade pizzas, Daddy was busy hanging decorations, Mommy was putting goodie bags together with fun magnet frame kits (that I wasn't brave enough to have the kids put together with glue at my house), Gramma was busy designing this masterpiece.

Yes, that is cupcake train cake. With twizzlers, tootsie rolls, m&m's, and sprinkles. All a parents' worse nightmare at 6:30pm.

Little Man was right at home with all the train decorations. I tried to put out a few small trains on the table for decoration, but Little Man didn't recognize them so they needed to be played with.

When we started to open gifts, I was about to grab his Tigger chair, but Gramma had a different idea.

The bottom cushion folds up and it's equipped with a throttle to make "chugga-chugga" sounds and make the wheels on the bottom go round and round, a train whistle, and Thomas' theme song. As Little Man opened each present, he was less and less interested in opening more presents. Especially when he received a bulldozer, a loader, and a tractor book with wheels. It's a good thing because the other kids were more interested in opening the gifts for themselves.

After everyone cleared out, Gramma brought out her gifts and we were able to have some quiet time with Little Man.

All in all it was a good day. I hope Little Man had a good day too.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, baby!

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday dear Little Man,
Happy Birthday to You!

Happy 2nd Birthday Little Man!

P.S. Thanks to Uncle Carl for some great portraits! (psst - TRUCKS!)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Playdate Contract

For those of you who are involved in playdates, here is a "Standard Contract for Playdate Services". I haven't had these experiences yet, but I'm sure some of you might have in the past.

(You can click on the image for a larger viewing.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas gift ideas

Part of Cookie magazine's Top 100 list was an idea of what to get the parent who has everything therefore their kids have everything. These books are coffee table worthy titles that kids will enjoy as well, in order of age. Check them out.

Newborn: The First Picture Book, by Edward Steichen and John Updike (Fotofolio)

Ages 1-2: The New Alphabet of Animals, by Christopher Wormell (Running Press)

Ages 2-4: I Am a Little Giraffe, by Francois Crozat (Barron's)

Ages 4-6: Martin Pebble, by Jacques Sempe (Phaidon)

Ages 4 & Up: A Balloon for a Blunderbuss, by Alastair Reid and Bob Gill (Phaidon)

All of these books can be found at Amazon.com or even half.com, but there may be limited availability.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Reality sets in

I can't believe in less than 5 days my baby will be two years old. Where has this past year gone?? It seems like just last week we were having his first birthday party. Now we get to do it all over again.

This year, no surprise, is going to be about trains.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A new perspective

Although I've had similar circumstances lately with Little Man A, sometimes I just can't find the right words to express how I'm feeling. I thought Elsa Fluss, an IT Support Coordinator and a MOPS mom, did a pretty good job of getting to the point, especially with the holiday season upon us now.

A Child's Perspective

"This morning we woke up to our first snow of the year. A thin blanket of white covered the strawberry plant outside the living room window. When we got downstairs for breakfast, my daughters were so enthralled and surprised by the snow that they didn’t immediately run into the kitchen to help me pour their cereal. I stopped for a moment to remember that when life gives me lemons, my daughters are sweet enough to turn it into lemonade.

A few months ago, my car broke as I was driving to the daycare to pick up my daughters. As the shimmying and shaking grew worse, I grew more concerned about how much it would cost to fix it and how we would get by with just one car while it was in the shop. I warned my girls about the car and told them we were going to go to the car shop instead of going home. When I started driving, they both squealed in joy and excitement, and my four-year-old called it a rollercoaster ride. This little bit of perspective helped calm my fears and reminded me to take a breath and relax.

The recent time change now means that it’s dark out when I get to the daycare in the evening. To me, this usually means that I have spent another day working inside, and that I haven’t seen the sun since my morning eastward commute. But to my daughters, it means that they get to see the moon during our drive home. They talk to the moon, comment on what shape it is, and strive to see it on their side of the car. Because of their ability to find joy in things as common as the moon, I am no longer annoyed that the days are so short and that I have to spend them inside. Instead, I am reminded that there is just as much beauty in the night sky as there is during the day.

This holiday season, I want to remember to search out the joy in mundane circumstances and find perspective within my fears."

Friday, December 5, 2008

Quote of the day

Keeping house is like threading beads on a string with no knot on the end.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Step 1: Conquer your fears. Check!

Today, Little Man tackled his worst fear.

The Potty.

Apparently, while I was out grocery shopping (of course when I was not here), Little Man A peed on the potty!!

We've been putting the potty seat in the tub since that's where he likes to go while taking a bath. He's started to sit on the potty, but then immediately starts chanting, "No, no, no." Tonight, Daddy did the same thing and when Little Man started to pee in the water, he immediately picked him up and sat him on the potty. Of course, Little Man started his chant, but then Daddy started lightly splashing water on him. Next thing he knew, he was peeing in the potty!

Daddy threw a little party and danced around the bathroom while Little Man couldn't believe he actually just peed in the potty.

I know I shouldn't be overly excited about it. As my good friend just informed me, don't get your hopes up early. These little buggers go at their own pace. I know, but I can help but get excited about his new accomplishment.

We'll see how next year goes.

Kids say the darndest things

Although this little girl speaks her imaginative story in french, there are english sub-titles. It's well worth the four minutes.

Enjoy the show!

Once upon a time... from Capucha on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

10 Things I Learned over Thanksgiving weekend

1. Never travel the day before Thanksgiving. We decided to try our luck at driving at night. Apparently, so did the rest of Virginia, D.C., Delaware, New Jersey, and New York.

2. A reclined car seat is best to prevent baby wiplash. It was bumper to bumper traffic about 10 miles before crossing into Delaware, then stop and go in Delaware .... which is about the time that Little Man woke up.

3. No matter how far you travel, it's always worth it to spend time with family. Although it took us 6 hours to drive a trip that normally would take 4-1/2 hours, it was all worth it to see family.

4. Nothing like a little fresh air to get your juices flowing. Needless to say, Little Man wasn't having the sit around all day and watch football thing. So thankfully, we were able to go to the park across the street and the library.

5. When in doubt, say "TRUCK". You had to be there.

6. Leftovers are always better the second time around. Okay, so this one I already knew, but they are.

7. Toddlers will always find something to do, even if it means "bunking" down the stairs.

8. After Thanksgiving sales are not worth waking up at 4am. I could not believe some of the stops stores were pulling to bring people in. Our local mall was opening at midnight the day before Thanksgiving and Kohl's opened at 4am on Black Friday. I heard one store was offering an additional 10% off if you came in your pajamas. I say wait until Cyber Monday to do your shopping in your pajamas in the comfort of your home.

9. You definitely learn from your mistakes. For our return trip back we made sure to have more toys, more books, more imagination, and a reclined car seat. Little Man slept the entire way back home and managed to get back to sleep in a matter of minutes once back in his own bed. The pure miracle was him sleeping in until 8am!

10. You always have more to be thankful for than you think.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Little Man A - Age 2

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. More on our adventures later. Right now I want to share the video that Aunt Wenderina put together about Little Man A. Makes me cry every time.

Thanks Wenderina!