Archive for the 'Fun' Category

New obsession

http://www.treehousetv.com/kids/index.asp

We have spent hours on this site today.  Anonymous Husband is painting Eirinn’s new big girl room, so I had the sole responsibility of entertaining a finicky toddler with suspected ADHD.  We have watched Happy Feet, played AH’s drums, made Rice Krispie squares, eaten two square meals, snacked on Goldfish crackers and bananas, cruised the basement on various ride-on vehicles, had a (brief) nap, and played every single game on the Treehouse website.  All of them.  A couple of them we have played so many times I found myself begging her to pick another game.  But she loved them and they are good, clean, educational fun so we played until she ran upstairs to bother Anonymous Husband while he’s knee deep in ceiling, trim, door and wall paint. 

I should probably stop typing and go and rescue her him.

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Easter for a Toddler

What are you doing for Easter with your toddlers?  Or, what did you do for Easter when you had toddlers?  Or, what would you suggest someone with a toddler do?  And of course I’m referring the whole Easter Bunny gift giving aspect, not the religious/non-religious part.  I don’t get into that kind of talk over here in Tornado Alley. 

I think Eirinn would really enjoy an Easter egg hunt.  She lawbs playing hide and seek, which is like an Easter egg hunt only hunting for humans.  That sounded more Wes Craven than I wanted it to, but you know what I meant.  And, if she ran things around here (which she almost does), she would be allowed to consume mass quantities of chocolate bunnies, run laps around the house while screaming like a lunatic (preferably clothes-free), slam head first into a sugar low, morphing her into a crazed, tantrum-throwing Mega Beast. 

Buuuuut…that does NOT sound like how I would like our Easter Sunday to go.  I’m picturing her dressed in her finest Sunday dress (note to self: buy Eirinn a Sunday dress), delicately tiptoeing around the garden (note to self: melt snow and plant a garden), finding sweet little decorated Easter Eggs that lead her to a chocolate covered salad (note to self: wake up and meet your daughter for the very first time).  Apparently my minds eye is in desperate need of a reality check.

What I think will happen, and what I’ve purchased thus far, is I will fill those little plastic eggs from the Dollarama with M&M’s, Skittles, and Gummy Bears, in reasonable toddler-sized portions (about 10 candies in each).  This way she can get what she wants (chocolate, preservatives, chemicals…sugar high!) and I can portion control her by telling her she can eat One Whole Egg at a time!!!  And promptly hide the rest.

I don’t think I would be neglecting her or depriving her of her Earthly Toddler Rights if I don’t buy her anything else (stuffed animals that would be ignored, giant chocolate bunnies that would transform her into a sweet [tasting] monster, clothes that she would unabashedly tell me she “no yikes”), especially since her birthday will have only been two weeks earlier and lasted a whole three (3!) weekends long.  Because that’s a lot of presents.

So, tell me.  What do your Easter festivities consist of?

Birthday Party #1

Eirinn and Lucy had their joint birthday party yesterday.  This was Day 1 of Eirinn Is Two celebrations.  I think it was Day Seventy Hundred for Lucy.  She’s an old veteran at the “this party is all about me (me, me, me) so just get your grubby hands off that cupcake already because I’m the birthday week month girl and I GO FIRST” deal.  Eirinn was the rookie, but she soon caught on.  Anything that involves a) cupcakes, and b) being selfish, sounds like an ok gig to her.

They went to a local indoor baby playground (totally awesome, by the way, and I would totally recommend moving near one as your sole reason to relocate) and invited a handful of their mommies’ own closest friends.  Pay no attention to Eirinn in the corner eyeballing me because, besides Lucy, she had never met any of these kids.  They were her closest friends, I swear.

The first half was spent with Eirinn being, by far, the craziest ADHD lunatic in the joint – running at full-tilt, yelling, jumping on anything that would allow her to bounce and anything that didn’t because JUMPING IS AWESOME, stealing Pooh Bear balls from unsuspecting younger boys, yelling, hanging with the older crowd, making a pact with one new friend to break at least one limb each, JUMPING, yelling, and making friends with everyone because she didn’t know the kids invited to the party anyway.  Needless to say, she had fun. 

The second half was in the separate room where Lucy’s mom Carly and I brought lunch and cupcakes to rudely interrupt the crazy feed the party-goers.  We stuffed their faces with sandwiches and fruit and veggies and sugar, spanked them all soundly and sent them to bed.  But not until the three two-year old girls engaged in a 1-2-3-GO! race to burn off the calories.  This ended in a massive head wound bumped head and one upset little Lucy.

Eirinn was a perfectly charming little angel, laughing and talking up a storm and being her usual social butterfly.  She only threw one teensy minor tantrum when it was time to go home.  In her defense, throwing tantrums when it’s time to leave is totally the cool thing to do.  Everyone was doing it. 

Now, enjoy the slideshow:

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Yes, this blur of a flying little person is Eirinn.  This is what she looked like most of the morning.  And this was before the sugar.

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This velcro wall was fun.  It was almost like a puzzle, only not so bossy.

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There was a whole collection of vehicles the tots could cruise the room in.

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More craziness.  Trust me, this is just about as good as the camera could get.  You should have seen Anonymous Husband and I frantically trying to figure out how the camera could capture even faster motion.  She was certainly testing the limits of technology.

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Synchronized candle-extinguishing.

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“What just one cotton-picking minute.  Hers has way more icing than mine.”

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And the day ended as it began.  With running and crazy and yelling.  So.  Much.  Fun.

Follow the leader (with my recipe)

After weeks of eating completely healthy 100% of the timemostly healthy 85% of the time, something was bound to give.  I had turned myself into a regular Betty Crocker in months previous, after all, so a stick of pure butter, several cups of sugar, and a couple of egg yolks were bound to find their own way into a bowl, mix themselves together, fload their way into the oven and bake themselves into cookies.  And wouldn’t it be rude if I didn’t eat them all after they went to so much trouble?  I think it would be terribly ungrateful of me not to eat them all.

Ok, so no magic cookies, but after reading this, I felt compelled by the power of Jesus to whip up a batch of my World’s Greatest Chocolate Chip Cookies.  By the way, how much do you have to change a recipe before you can officially call them  your own?  ‘Cause I’ve done quite a bit of tweaking to this recipe and I feel rightful in calling them “my” cookies.  Especially when they are so darn delicious and irresistable.  Just ask Carly’s husband.

Carly called them Devil Cookies, which I completely disagree with.  Not only are they not Devil Cookies, but I think they were sent down by a higher power, in a gift basket, with a card signed “Enjoy – G.”  I’m just saying…they are that good.  In fact, I’ll be right back…

*burp*

In an attempt to escape doing puzzles for the entire morning on Saturday, Eirinn and I decided to make these together.  It went much better than I expected.  Nothing “accidentally” broke.  “No one” had a fit.  And I think she enjoyed herself.  Mostly she watched me while asking “You need this?” of every measuring spoon, mixing utensil, and ingredient.  She helped me pour in the chocolate chips, receiving a handful of chips as a reward.

picture-357.jpg  She was an excellent chocolate chip pourer.  She didn’t spill one.  Or at least she ate up her mess before I saw it.

picture-362.jpg  Then we waited the long, torturous 15 minutes of baking time.  That heavenly smell was enough to send Eirinn into madness.

picture-363.jpg  See?  This is what she was driven to do while we waited.  Soccer in oven mitts.  Not an act of a sane person.  Is anyone else mesmerized by the Doras on her pants?  They are hypnotizing me into eating more cookies…

picture-365.jpg  And the prize for waiting?  Yummy cookies.  Well, at least yummy, melty chocolate chips.  She ate the cookie part about two hours later.

Merry Christmas from Tornado Alley!

We have an eventful three days ahead of us.  With all of our family living within walking distance, we are required by Familial Law to visit each and every one of them at least twice.  In the next three days.  Which is wonderful (honestly).  Our schedule for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day looks like this:

Christmas Eve

8:30 – 12 – I work (Boo.  Hiss.)

12:30 – Lunch at home with the Tornado and Anonymous Husband.

1 – 3:30 (fingers crossed) – The Tornado should be nestled all snug in her bed, while visions of Diego dance in her head.  Otherwise known as nap time.

4:00 (or earlier, if those crossed fingers don’t do what they’re meant to) – 7:30 – Christmas Eve with my side of the family at Casa Del Parents, during which time we will engorge ourselves on deep fried cheese sticks, chicken wings, shrimp rings (excluding those who will remain Anonymous and shellfish-free), and literally every other finger food you can think of.  Oooo…and my favourite Christmas savoury – bacon wrapped water chestnuts.  We’ll also do our gift exchange (yay, presents!).

Christmas Day

7:30 (again, fingers crossed) – 9:30ish – We’ll do our very first annual Tornado Alley Christmas morning (last year we were living with the Anonymous grandparents, waiting for our new house to be built).  We’ll open stockings and presents (!), have a light breakfast and get ready for the rest of the hectic day.

9:30ish – 1ish (toddler attitude-dependant) – This year we’re with AH’s family in the morning.  We’ll eat a traditional Irish fried breakfast (bacon, sausage, fried eggs, potato bread, black and white pudding, and clotted arteries in a pear tree) and our gift exchange with them (more presents!).

1:30 – 3:30ish – Naptime

4ish – 7:30 – Christmas dinner back with my family.  I can’t even express to you how excited I am for dinner.  I am literally vibrating right now at the thought of my mom’s stuffing and of gravy sandwiches.  Never heard of them?  Hmm…that’s weird.  Take a dinner roll, poke your finger almost all the way through, pour gravy in hole, consume.  And just try not to repeat.  I dare you.

Boxing Day

Oh, sometime in the afternoon – Christmas dinner with AH’s family.  This one I’m excited for because of dessert.  And second dessert.  And sometimes even third dessert.  Why bother with first course?

If I don’t come out of these next three days at least 15 pounds heavier, I’ve done something wrong.

And that will be us until the 28th, when Carly, Lucy and Eric come to visit and what else?  Exchange presents*!

So, from us here in Tornado Alley, have a very merry Christmas.  If that’s what you’re into.  If not, have a great few days anyway.

* Just for the record, I happen to be one of those people who quite honestly enjoys giving presents much, much more than receiving.  It’s my favourite.

** Also, just for the record.  Just because I like giving more than receiving doesn’t mean you have to take the presents back that you got for me.  Let’s not get crazy now.

That’ll teach him

Eirinn got Tickle Me Elmo last year for Christmas.  The TMX version.  Have you seen this in action?  As a grown up, I think it’s pretty darn cool.  He laughs and shakes like the original, but he also throws himself to the ground, rolls around, slaps his hand on the floor, and is all-round hilarious.  Most people probably find him annoying, and admittedly after being “tickled” more than 3 times he can grate on my nerves, but I think he’s cute.

Eirinn has been afraid of him right from the start.  I can see how he would be a little overwhelming to someone less than 3 feet tall.  So, he’s never been played with all that much.  Until this weekend.

On her daddy-morning (we take turns sleeping in on the weekend – I highly recommend this become an immediate deal you make with your husband if you are a new mother), they rediscovered Elmo.  While still nervous of him, she cautiously observed as he giggled and vibrated his way through the playroom. 

When he was finished doing his ‘thing’, she got brave, crept up to him and, using proper football technique, hoofed him as far as she could.  That’ll teach him.

And, of course, that got a full 5 minutes of roaring laughter from Anonymous Daddy.  And because this got laughter, it’s all she wants to do now.  “Tickle” Elmo and send him flying.  She even took him to daycare so she could kick Elmo all day.

Hi! Remember us?

Last week was fairly uneventful here in Tornado Alley.  The usual crazy, crazy, but nothing really note-worthy.  Or blog post-worthy, as the case may be.

Today we, as in all three of us, drove north (where they had snow!) to have dinner with our good friends Carly, Eric, and Loooocy.  You have to say the ‘oooo’ with great, big, duck lips to get the correct sound.  It was a long drive during which time I heard “Mommy?  We see Loooocy?” approximately 1,000 times.  And no less, would be my guess.  She never once asked Daddy because Daddy was driving, making Mommy the navigator and the navigator is the One Who Knows Where We’re Going.  I may not always know the directions to get there, but I am the leading expert on our intended destination.  I think she was just so excited to see her friend.  And to play with her toys.

Lucy and Eirinn are complete personality opposites, as has been the case since they first met when they were wee 5 month olds.  Back then, Eirinn slept as little as possible, cried as much as possible, and had to be held while not sleeping and crying.  Lucy, on the other hand, slept for hours on end and was content most of the time.  Now that they are 20 months old, Eirinn has extreme highs and lows, moments of hysteria, both good and bad, has more energy than 10 toddlers would know what to do with, and is not afraid to let the neighbourhood know how she’s feeling at any given moment (read: she’s LOUD).  Lucy, still, is on a permanent even keel.  She’s shy (which Eirinn is not), and quiet (which Eirinn most certainly is not), and she is very well behaved (which Eirinn is, but only when she feels like it). 

But these two get along like Jenny and Forrest (like peas and carrots).  They both love running.  They both like Dora, although Eirinn LOVES Dora; Lucy is a bigger Elmo fan.  They both think being naughty is hilarious.  They are too cute together.

Here Eirinn is teaching Lucy the Macarena.  They just finished the “Hey!  Macarena!” part.

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This shot is a tradition.  Nearly everytime we visit Carly and Lucy we take a picture of the girls in this chair.  It never fails that one of them is throwing a fit.  The first time Eirinn was crying because I wasn’t holding her.  The next time Eirinn was crying because Lucy stole her soother.  This time was Lucy’s turn.  I think she was just sticking it to the Man for telling her where to sit.  She’ll sit where she wants to sit, when she wants to sit there.  Power to the People.

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I hope our two girls stay friends forever.  What a great story to be able to tell.  To have a friend you’ve known almost literally your entire life?  That would be wonderful.  That way, if they’re friends forever, that means Carly and I have stayed friends forever.  And I hope for nothing less.

(ps, Carly, thanks for dinner!  It was delicioso.)