Monday, December 12, 2011

Phrases Not to Say

Just read this article. I think you should too. :) It's got lots of food for thought....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Dish On Our Food

This is one of those comprehensive posts I've been meaning to write so I can link it to the sidebar for frequently asked questions. If you're a regular here, it'll be stuff you know for the most part. I do get questions from time to time though from parents of infants as they grow. It's all in the contract, but you forget that stuff as the months go by. This way it's all in one spot.

We are on a state-funded child care food program, so we have guidelines to follow for that. They come out four times a year to monitor us and make sure we serve vitamin A rich foods three times a week, vitamin C every day, enough milk and water, all that good stuff. The paper you have to sign every October is to renew on that.

Here's the basic gist of what we do:

Infants: we will provide the general store brand milk-based or soy-based formula. If your baby is on a specialized formula like nutramigen or you just want to bring a certain name brand, you are responsible for that. And of course if you're pumping you can bring breast milk. From 0-7 months a "meal" is satisfied by just a bottle. We aren't required to document any kind of cereal or solid food until 8 months. Most babies do start eating that stuff here before that, and we begin feeding those things on prompting from parents. Some kids have nothing but breast milk till six months, and some are eating full bowls of cereal and fruit at four months. We follow your lead on that and feed your baby what you want them to have, when you and/or your pediatrician are ready.

As far as baby food goes- usually I buy beech-nut stage 2. I haven't found that stage 1 is really necessary for us. The jars are smaller, which is helpful to avoid waste if you just have one baby at home. When we're feeding multiple infants and dividing jars, the bigger ones work better. I don't like the brands that come in plastic tubs as well, which is why I say beech nut. They're one of the few that still come in glass jars. Sometimes I get on a kick and make baby food to freeze, but I haven't done that in awhile. When I do, I make a ton of several kinds so that I can do the sneaky chef thing and hide veggie puree in the big kid food as well as having some for babies.

Older infants: from 8-12 months a "meal" is characterized by a bottle, iron-fortified cereal (we always serve rice due to allergy possibility), and a fruit or vegetable. During this age period the kids will sit in chairs near the big kids during mealtimes and begin to eat table food as well. Since the food program doesn't require any baby food at all past the first birthday, we work on trying to get them ready for textures and tastes. They'll usually be able to eat more breakfast foods first- waffles, cereal, cut-up fruits, pancakes, hash browns, things like that. If we're serving oatmeal, yogurt, or something like soup or stew for lunch, then we'll spoon feed them. Otherwise we just put it on the tray and let them explore. We do put bibs on them, but food is such an interesting sensory experience that it still ends up everywhere. They get messy. :)

For scheduling purposes, we do try to serve infant meals at consistent times from day to day, but sometimes it just isn't possible. They sleep differently and therefore the times when they're hungry is sometimes different too. This age group is the hardest to keep on a schedule because of the fact that they need to be individually fed. There are days when a late feeding can mess up the time that you wanted to eat dinner, if they're not hungry for you then. We apologize in advance for that- we do the best we can in a group setting!

After 12 months the food program considers them big kids and they can eat all table food, all the time. For breakfast I am required to serve a whole grain carb, a fruit/veg, and milk. For lunch, a protein, a whole grain carb, two fruit/veg, and milk. Snacks need to consist of two items from two different food groups. We also have water available to drink at all meals. We're only allowed to do sugary stuff once a week, and I really only offer that on birthdays. It's become a fun tradition for the kids- they know we'll bake cupcakes together on birthday mornings.

My kids and I have been diagnosed with celiac disease. It's not an allergy- it's an auto-immune disorder so we'll never grow out of it. We are strictly gluten-free and it's just not worth it to me to serve gluten to the daycare kids, even though it would be cheaper to do. Twenty parts per million can make us sick, and with little kids around the risk is too high. We've learned to work with it pretty well and the kids for the most part really enjoy my cooking. I like the fact that we can advertise as being able to cater to special needs diets and allergies too. Because of the severity and strictness of the celiac diet, I know about cross-contamination and careful avoidance. If your child is allergic to something else, we can work around it. I've had pretty extensive experience with anaphylactic tree nut, peanut, dairy, and egg allergies as well. Also, Anna is dairy free so we make a lot of things with no dairy.  Sometimes we do almond milk, or else rice milk if we have kiddos with nut issues.

Due to all this, I really would prefer that you didn't bring your child (over 12 months) their own special food. It's one thing for infant formula or homemade baby food that I can freeze- that stuff is easy to deal with. But when it's goldfish crackers or pop tarts, or even something homemade and super healthy and fabulous, it's difficult sometimes to keep a mobile kid completely away from everyone else while they eat. We try to eat at the table family style and I hate to ostracize anyone. If the kind of food we serve doesn't work for you, I can work with you to see what we could change, or else maybe we're just not a good match for your family. That's why there are so many great daycares out there. :)

I cook hot food a majority of the time. Sometimes we'll do stuff like cold cuts and veggies for lunch, or cold cereal and fruit for breakfast. More often though we do homemade soups and stews and casseroles for lunch, and stuff like homemade pancakes, waffles, fruit crisp, or breakfast casseroles. I don't have the luxury of just ripping open a box most times, and if I do, it really doesn't taste that good. (Yesterday I made pancakes for breakfast using gluten-free Bisquick and almost all the kids threw it out. My homemade ones are much tastier!)

Here's a sample big-kid menu:

hash-brown muffins with eggs and veggies: I use this recipe (I love pinterest!) and scramble the eggs and put in chopped veggies. I've been calling them "nest-eggs" to distinguish them from our other casseroles.

Chicken and rice soup, apple slices, and milk.

GF pretzels, red bell pepper slices

My philosophy of food is that I will cook meals as healthy and tasty as I can make them. My job is to offer a variety of foods at appropriate times. The child's job is to decide whether or not they're hungry, if they want to eat the meal, and how many helpings. I don't short-order cook for kids who don't like what I'm serving. I explain to them that the next meal is several hours away and that they might get hungry if they don't choose to eat their food. But it's the child's choice. I don't think they will starve if they don't eat, and I'm not going to offer a bunch of empty calorie snacks in between meals just because they turned up their nose at the veggies. Besides, gluten free snacks are hideously expensive. Many reasons why I just don't do it.

I also don't serve juice. When Duchess was three and she had her first trip to the dentist, he commented that he could tell we never gave her juice. He said it's just as bad for kids' teeth as soda. Between that, the sugary calories, and the recent arsenic business, not to mention the fact that I would go broke trying to serve as much juice as this many kids would be willing to drink, I just don't do it. They get milk at meals, they get water in between. Every now and then we have a tea party and I make decaf white tea and we get all hoity-toity. Sometimes I make whole fruit smoothies. (love my blendtec!) But no juice.

And there you have it. Please understand that the purpose of this post is just to lay out what we choose to do, so that you can see if it matches what you want for your child. I am not trying to say that you are wrong or bad if your kid drinks juice at home, or if you cook their favorite thing every night in addition to whatever you're eating, or just whatever. No judgment here at all. There are many, many good ways to raise a child, and tons of different paths that all lead to productive members of adult society. My grandmother used to say, "you raise your kids to suit yourself", and that's totally true. Different things suit different people and if you do something else, that doesn't mean it isn't a valid choice.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Focus: Aurora

This will be the last focus on Aurora! She's got two more weeks here and then she's off to preschool after the holiday. It's very weird to think of her being gone, since she's been here since she was six weeks old.

Teeny baby girl!
Big girl, eating cupcakes for Tarzan's birthday last month.

She's going to do such a great job at preschool. Most moms are apprehensive when their child leaves our program, and Aurora's is no exception. :) But really, for the most part, at three a kid is ready to go. When they get to the new place, they're one of the youngest instead of the oldest, and they learn SO MUCH in an amazingly short time. All the prep work that we do here suddenly clicks, and they're magically potty trained and practically reading. They're ready for field trips and computer time and they're so happy to be at big kid school. We work really hard on lots of things here, but being in a class where everybody is close to your age and ALL activities are geared toward that makes a big difference. Aurora is going to be in hog heaven in their huge kitchen area, and that makes me smile.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We Can Haz Veggie Soup

As it starts to get cooler we eat a lot of soup. There are at least four or five different kinds that I make on a regular basis and most everyone likes it. Today I made some vegetable beef. And then I took pictures of everyone enjoying it. I love when people like my food, especially when it's kids getting some good veggies in their systems. (I also hid a cup of butternut squash in the breakfast this morning!)

Tigger's cheeks slay me. The eyelashes are pretty good too.

Asking for bowl number FOUR. You may notice it's a different color- he ate his and his sister's.

Silvermist had multiple bowls as well. She told me, "I enjoy this."

Mater made a valiant effort and then had to take a rest.

Well, I said most people liked it.... :) Hercules looked at the bowl and decided it wasn't even worthy of being put down in front of him. But this is one of my most favorite pictures of him. His mouth is actually full of milk.

Yummy Vegetable Beef Soup
1 lb ground beef
1/2 chopped onion
2 stalks celery
2 diced potatoes
1 chopped carrot
1 chopped bell pepper

Saute those all together. Add:
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
about 6 cups liquid- I used 1 can beef broth and 4 cups water with powdered beef bouillon
1/2 bag frozen corn
1 can mixed vegetables
2 bay leaves
Lawry's season salt and Mrs. Dash to taste

Let it all simmer about half an hour or so.

It's yummy! Kanga and I added the rest of last night's leftover yellow rice to our bowls. Even more yummy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Naming Trends

This really has nothing to do with anything, but sometimes I come across random stuff that I find interesting. I love names. I always like to know the whole names of the kids. I like knowing why they got named that and who it honored and how it got chosen. It's just fun stuff. Even though I don't plan to have more kids of my own, I still think about what I would name them if I did.

I think this Swedish study is interesting. We don't have any boys here who end in -y. I do tend to notice that a lot of little boys go by the y-nickname and then change it as they get older. Joey to Joe or Joseph, Nicky to Nick or Nicholas. That kind of thing. And I do know a grownup Billy who doesn't seem to be a criminal. :) y-names do make me think of Italian mobsters sometimes though.

Another study I read years ago has stayed on my brain. I can't find a link to it, but basically it said that moms with lower education levels tended to name their babies after expensive objects- stuff like Crystal, Porsche, and Jade. Moms who were college-educated trended names that ended in -n.

On our current roster we have no expensive object babies. However, Duchess, Tod, Copper, Alice, Tarzan, Hercules, Tigger, Roo, Lady, and Mater all end in -n. I'd say the theory works well in our case.

*of course, there are MANY lovely and educated names that just don't end in N. That's what the rest of our kiddos are. Don't be thinking that I'm trying to hate on your education level. Just mulling on a study.....

Monday, November 28, 2011

"Friday" Focus: Perdita

Gotta get these focus posts done whenever I can! :) Happy Monday!

I haven't really said a lot about the babies lately since I've been focusing on getting the holidays started with the big kids. Perdita is five months old now and is just cute as a bug. A ladybug, in fact...

I babysat for her the Friday night before Halloween and we took her to the fall carnival at Duchess's school. We ran into Silvermist and her big sister Queen Clarion there, who was most pleased to find that they were both ladybugs.

Hermione Granger and Robin were very excited to take an honorary baby sister to the carnival with them. She was an angel and we got tons of comments on her cuteness.

She's very bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. We get the big eyed look quite a lot. I took this picture from the other room hoping to catch her playing in bed, but you see how well she notices things.

Alice has been very interested in Perdita. I think she really enjoys not being the smallest anymore and being able to crawl around and inspect babies littler than she is. The flash caught them both in a kind of crazy red eye thing, but they were both really happy about hanging out together.

Perdita's doing the standard five month old thing at the moment- life is just better when she's not sitting on her own bum. She's the happiest baby in the world as long as you can hold her. Unfortunately school is not always like that. She and I are having some summit meetings this morning regarding the five days off for Thanksgiving and the getting back into group care and all it entails. :) She's very convinced that being rocked to sleep and held by many extended family members is better than school. Shocking, I know. I feel her pain. No matter how fun school is, family vacation days are better. It's a sad, terrible lesson to learn....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Here we are, very serious about our mashed potato jobs:

Tarzan and O'Malley took charge of the washing and drying. Duchess and I peeled and chopped.

Silvermist scooped them all up and put them in the pot.

Aurora ran the water. (I was beginning to run out of jobs at that point, but she thought she was the bee's knees so it worked out fine.)

And then we ate tons of lovely food! I survived! Poor Kanga has bronchitis and had to stay home, but Mrs. Potts helped out and I did more of the cooking last night than I ordinarily would have, rather than letting the kids help. They like it a lot, but they are SO SLOW. :)

I forgot to take pictures while everybody was here. That makes me sad. But it was a little busy. I said 11:30, and it was closer to noon by the time I had everything on the table. I think it went well though! Some people were asking about various menu items, so here's what I have links to:

the Pioneer Woman's mashed potatoes I put much less butter than it called for.
cornbread dressing
Ellie Krieger's cucumber salad
candy apple pie

We also had smoked turkey breast, sauteed green beans, and a lime jello salad that my family always makes for holidays. Real coca-cola is the key to that- all I had in the house was diet coke and so it separated into layers. Still tasty though. And I have to say, I'm kinda proud of myself that with the exception of the graham cracker crust on the pie, the entire dinner was gluten free AND soy free. (not dairy free though. I live for cream cheese dishes on holidays. My record is 8 blocks in one meal, spread throughout various dishes. I think only 3 this time. Maybe 4.)

Copper was trying really hard to get to Mater's lunch. But he had already eaten most of it. Plus it's not so sanitary to just let them all feed off the one tray. :) So I put Copper in a chair of his own and gave him some mashed potatoes.

I love the look on his face. Okay. I have successfully hunted and trapped my food. It is squishy. What the heck do I do with it now?

His answer? Finger paint awhile, then throw it on the floor. Don't think he ate one bite. But he had fun. And also ended up with potatoes in his eyebrows. Nice.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Focus: Tigger

Tigger is a hot mess these days, which is to be expected for his age. He's into everything! He can climb way higher than he knows what to do with, and he's the reason there's a lock on the fridge. Definitely a kinesthetic learner right now. And smart! He watches me pretty closely during the morning just to check where I am. While I'm in the kitchen making breakfast I can see most of the playroom from there, but he always hides around corners to make mischief, or else tries to climb over the couch and banzai off the top in the hopes that I won't get there in time. Then after breakfast when I go in the playroom to do circle time and play, he's in the kitchen trying to climb inside all my major appliances. Silly, silly boy. I love that he's so careful about it though. It's kind of funny. And you could never say that he isn't learning a lot through all his sensory explorations.

I am seriously in love with this hat. It's hard to see the floppy dog ears on it in the picture, but they are SO great. And I love even more that HE loves the hat, and will cheerfully wear it around the house for us. If you ask him what the dog says, sometimes he just looks at you. Other times he'll say "ruff" with a straight face and no sound effects whatsoever. Just the word. "Rough". :)

What? I know we sit in the red wagon outside. Why not this one too?

It's a real shame this child is so ugly. Just look at him. Pitiful. Not at all photogenic.

Tigger has two great loves these days: bringing me the paper in the morning, and my father. Kanga says as soon as they turn into my street he starts yelling for both things. He knows my dad's truck and if he doesn't see it in front of the house, he starts in with the "where POP! POP?! where?" It's really sweet. When my dad comes home from work in the afternoons, he usually looks for Tigger before his own grandchildren. He gets a much more exciting reception that way. My kids are just, "oh hi pop." Tigger is running with open arms and fat dimply cheeks and drool, screaming for his honorary pop. So cute.

Look at the proprietary look there. I wouldn't try to make him get down anytime soon.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown

Menu is set! I'll have a signup sheet for ingredients in the living room today, just because people are asking what they can bring. Don't feel like you have to though- I know this week is going to cost more at the grocery store and I plan accordingly. :) It's something I just like to do every year. But help is nice too, if you want. I'm good with it either way.

People were also asking why I start so early and what on earth I'm doing with the kids all that time for weeks ahead. Their attention spans aren't so long for most things and I don't want to overdo it, but they're perfectly happy to work on something everyday for fifteen minutes and then it takes us a month to get it done. For example? Turkey place mats with leaf feathers for all the guests.

After this day, I realized it was somewhere between lunacy and suicide to set that many of them loose with Mod Podge at the same time. I'm still cleaning up sticky. So, one at a time now, we go outside to choose leaves from the neighbor's yard and then come in to stick them to the paper turkeys. After all the kids have made one for themselves and for the babies, then we go with round two, and three, and sometimes four, to make sure that attending family members can have a place mat too. They're turning out cute and I'm going to laminate them all. You'll get to take them home after the feast is done.

So that takes a long time.

Then, as I mentioned before, for a week or so we were looking through grocery circulars and cookbooks and Pinterest at different recipes, and reading books about Thanksgiving to give them ideas about traditional foods. We get on all kinds of tangents explaining what various vegetables are, and what they taste like, and if they have gluten and I can or can't cook them.

Now that the menu is done, we'll do things like put graham crackers in ziploc bags for them to beat into crumbs with plastic hammers. They'll beat happily for twenty minutes, I'll have to transfer the pieces into new bags two or three times as they rip through them, and when they're done? We have ONE tiny step of the candy apple pie done. So I put the crumbs away and we do another step later on. Takes awhile.

The day we do the mashed potatoes, every kid who wants to help has his own job. I've got somebody at the sink washing potatoes and one with a towel to dry. For awhile I had to be the peeler, but now that's Duchess. Yay third grader! Then I chop them, and somebody else puts them in the pot. After they cook then we have mashers and mixers and butter people... it's a huge affair and takes all morning.

And then we take days off to do important motor skills work like hammer golf tees into a big pumpkin.

They hammered for almost two hours over the course of the day. Then I pulled all the tees out and they started over. Fun times.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sum Up

In Inigo Montoya's voice... no, there is too much... let me sum up...

I have gotten completely bogged down in the fact that it is Tigger's turn for Friday Focus, but my computer ATE about fifty pictures that included four really cute ones I was going to use of him. I'm at a stall while I keep thinking of the post in my head that makes no sense without those pictures, and I couldn't possibly write a post about anything else while it's HIS turn...

I'm one of those people who make a lot of rules for myself in my head and then feel terribly guilty about breaking them, even though very few other people even know them or would care if they did.

So. I'm just gonna move on.

We're getting ready for our Thanksgiving feast. O'Malley, Aurora, Tarzan, and Silvermist are super excited about doing some cooking and planning. Hercules and Tigger are able to help some too, even though they're a bit clueless about the reasons. We've been looking through grocery store ads and I've been trying to talk to them about traditional holiday food. Turkey has sunk in. That and pie. Other than that, they keep thinking we're planning a tea party. They want to make cucumber sandwiches and cookies and strawberries and tea. You can tell we've had tea parties before. :) And those things would be fun, but I really want to do the whole big holiday meal. Hopefully today or tomorrow we'll have the menu settled and I can start having them do things to freeze.

In the meantime we're practicing on breakfast. They love to help me pour and stir.

Hercules is happy to be tall enough that he can climb up and help with the preschoolers but he's not quite sure what to do when he gets there. :)

We're also doing some fun fall crafts that I found on Pinterest. I am SO loving that website. I have a board now for daycare ideas. We take walks and save leaves to make all sorts of things, and I think we're going to do some other stuff for Christmas presents for moms and dads. We're just about done with the Mother Goose body work and instead of buying something else before the holidays we're just filling in with crafty stuff, reading, and cooking. It's nice.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I got out the dress up clothes yesterday- they've been in the attic for awhile so it's like they're brand new. Silvermist and Tarzan have been working through gender issues with the costumes.

Tarzan: "Silvermist tell me this not for boys!", waving a magic wand with a glittery star on the end.

Me: "You can use that if you want to! It's a wand. Like Harry Potter! He's a wizard."

Tarzan to Silvermist: "YEAH! See? I need this! I a LIZARD!!"

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Full Grown Lady!

I really cannot believe how fast the time has gone. She's not one of the littles anymore at all. Guess we need to get her a collar and a license!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Body Work

We're working on the Mother Goose Time's "My Amazing Body" this month. I have two weeks of curriculum left still because of all the sickness and nice weather. :) Either they're feeling bad, or it's too nice to stay in. But on days that we've been doing our MGT box, they're having a really good time. Tarzan is especially excited about it. He comes in every morning and asks me, "we do body work today? do circle time?"

The last few days have been about the senses. Yesterday we did smell, and we talked a lot about skunks. I really enjoyed the discussion. It's fun for me to try to explain things in a way that they really get. They wanted to know WHY the skunk smells so bad. And yeah, I could have used the phrase "defense mechanism" and left it at that. But I talk a lot. We looked at a photograph of a skunk and I asked them if he looked nice. "Yes! Like a kitty cat!" Tarzan tells me.

Okay, I say. So does he have sharp teeth? NO! Does he have sharp claws? NO! Does he have long legs for running fast? NO! So... what happens when another animal wants to fight him?

...crickets chirp while they ponder... and then O'Malley yells, "OH! He will get REALLY hurt!! And maybe DIE!!"

um, yes. Leave it to a four year old boy to make it about the murder death kill. So, I ask, "Do you think any fierce animals will want to come close to him if he smells REALLY bad?"

They were totally delighted. It made me laugh. OH! He can protect himself because he is so stinky! And he doesn't have to fight and die!

We're also working on the word "texture" this week, and talking about how different textures feel. Bumpy, sticky, stuff like that. Easy and fun to reinforce at home if you're so inclined. :)

Monday, September 26, 2011


Okay, so I haven't done a Friday focus in about three weeks. And I even told Alice's mom that it was her turn next.. two weeks ago. So sorry, Alice and family! :) I have fallen down on the job.

She doesn't look like she's interested in forgiving me, huh? I'm pretty sure there are some rude words in that thought process. :) Either that or the breakfast is super bad.

My kids were patting and poking and calling her name and making her laugh hysterically. Of course as soon as I tried to take video she stopped laughing. Oh well.

She is on the MOVE now, all of a sudden. Just a couple weeks ago she didn't even want to sit up by herself, and now she's full-on crawling and all over the place. She also has some serious jumping skills. I like watching her in the jumperoo because she stiffens out and still gets a lot of air. Looks like Riverdance. Very proper dancing.

We haven't seen her pull up on anything here yet- no big deal because she's not even seven months old yet for goodness sakes. :) I wasn't expecting that at all, but her mom sent a picture of her pulling up at home! Baby days fly by really fast in general, but even more so when your baby goes from 0-100 in less than a month.

Such a big girl. Pushing buttons and learning how to rule the world already.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gems of Wisdom

"Aren't I sweet? I am sweet to everybody! Except people at the store, because they are just annoying."

"My mommy and my daddy are BEST friends!!" (made me all warm and fuzzy. so cute!)

"No, you can't hold my baby. She doesn't like monsters!"

I need a tape recorder to just carry around all day. Some of the really good ones have left my brain. Right now they're currently obsessed with "Baby Stephanie", who is a large rock living in my backyard. They're very gentle with her- rock and hold her and kiss her. It's one of the strangest games I've seen in awhile, but they all love it. They fight over who is going to hold her and whose turn it is to wheel her around in the carriage.

And I have to put this picture up even though it has nothing to do with anything- it brightens my day. Hercules for some reason woke up extra sweaty the other day and all I did was smooth his hair up instead of down. Definitely did not expect it to stay like that on its own. :) He's a good sport!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Focus: Twins!

Okay, most times they will get their own posts. I usually hate when two separate things (or in this case people) get combined. Your birthday is in late December? One present when everybody else gets two! Got twins? Only half the airspace because you gotta share with your brother. He's practically the same as you right? Yeah, no. I really hate that. But for introduction purposes and all that, and because I haven't settled on disney names for them, today they gotta share.

Seriously, how cute are they? And the novelty of having twins here has been really fun. Everybody fawns over them and they lap it up. I'm looking forward to the cooler weather so I can show them off in the stroller. Right now it's been still too hot to take them out.

I don't actually remember which one of them is the oldest. I guess I've got a 50% chance of being right if I say it's him, right? Anyway, at first he was the more serious one, although he's quick to laugh if he likes you. He's just a bit more suspicious right up front. His giggle is awesome though. He hands it out regularly now that he knows us.

And here is his brother. He gets so excited. Smily all the time. And I absolutely love his laugh- it's really low for a baby. he heh hehe.

I've been kicking around a couple of options for their blog names. I like Gus and Jaq, the little mice from Cinderella, because of the way they laugh. That's a bit obscure though, and sometimes it gets complicated using names that sound like they could be real. We've had several real- life Jacks in the past few years. But it's a possibility. The other names I like are Tod and Copper from the Fox and the Hound. I think I'm leaning toward those, but really I could go with either one. Thoughts? There's a poll on the sidebar. Please vote!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Summer Lovin'...

I carried a watermelon last night. It was heavy and as I was staggering up my walk to the front door I actually said out loud to myself that I was carrying a watermelon. Too bad I can't dance like Jennifer Grey. But yeah, I found a huge one that could accommodate our newest baby girl and so I snagged it. My husband still shakes his head and says I'm stealing their dignity and what do their mothers think?!?! They pretty much all laugh and say they can't wait to see the pictures. :)

Here's history on me and the watermelons. And the pumpkins. It makes me so very happy. I'm not quite sure why.

So. Here is my new itty bitty. Is she not fabulous?

Duchess and O'Malley are smitten with her. They keep trying to talk me into having another baby, and then I think they realize they like this one enough to just keep. So then it's "Mama? I weewee (really) want to be a big brudder. Why does her mommy have to come get her?"

Honorary big brother here. Available for permanent status whenever her current family is done with her.

For the blog I'm going to call her Perdita, the cute momma dog from 101 Dalmatians.

I put the watermelon outside in the yard for a few minutes with suran wrap around it to warm it up. A friend suggested it last night and I don't know why I haven't thought of that before. Warm and slimy is preferable to cold and slimy, yes? :) Then we set to work.

Ready to go outside. I have crazy eyes here because the shot before this one had closed eyes and I was trying to open wide this time. It's not really maniacal glee like you might think by looking. Perdita is happy in her towel, blissfully unaware of what's about to transpire.

Hmm... what have you people done to me? I am unsure about this...

I usually don't get full shots since modesty on the internet is an issue, but she behaved herself in such a ladylike way here that I get to show off her legs too. :)

She really did pretty well- most of the pictures are a variation of this. She's not exactly excited about it, but she's not screaming either.

My sister came over with her even smaller baby girl to use the other half of the watermelon. She was not so calm and serene about the experience. In fact she thought it was pretty terrible.

So she sat on her mama's lap for a minute and sucked her binky to feel better. And then she peed in the watermelon.

After that she felt better and was willing to let us take some more pictures where she wasn't crying.

I think it wasn't until we were back inside and ready for a nap that the enormity of the morning caught up to Perdita. She looks rather shocked, don't you think?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Focus: Hercules

Hercules continues to discover new things. Although we haven't been outside in awhile due to the ridiculously hot weather, it's still one of his favorites. He likes running around with the bubble accessories.

He also really likes electronic stuff. Sometimes he gets hold of O'Malley's "laptop". It makes him happy.

The need for sleep hits him at odd times and he just gives in. It's funny to come across him asleep in a corner somewhere. As long as he can find a doll blanket to snuggle up with, he's golden.

He cannot open the refrigerator door yet, but his partner in crime Tigger can. So Hercules will do this funny song and rain dance thing outside the fridge until Tigger comes and opens it. Then they both climb in and do what they can to wreak havoc on my food. They're getting very sneaky about it too- they always wait until Kanga is in the living room feeding or diapering a baby, and I am sitting on the floor surrounded by big kids building block towers or reading books. They're with me one minute, and all of a sudden they flee the playroom to dive into the fridge. By the time I can untangle myself from what I'm doing, they're climbing up the shelves so their heads touch the ceiling. Good times. Yesterday Tigger unwrapped a stick of butter and took a bite, while Hercules busied himself munching on half a cantaloupe. Pickle relish, chocolate sauce, butter paper, and tin foil everywhere, in twenty seconds flat.

Last night I bought a fridge lock. :)

Here's a time when I caught them before the disaster. They have so much fun it's hard to be mad. Exasperated, yes, but the nonstop sensory exploration of this age will continue no matter how I feel about it, so it's much easier to just roll with it.

Besides, sometimes I get this face. Who can be angry at this face?