Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Worse for the Wear

Just as I had expected, Mollie woke up looking pretty worse for the wear this morning.  Her poor lip was swollen and purple, and her chin was red and sore.  Poor little girl!

I think her binky had a lot to do with the severe bruising on her lip.  Either way, she was quite a sight.

She didn't eat overly well this morning, but by dinner time she was back to her usual self.  She didn't quite know what to do with her swollen lip sometimes, but she didn't really complain.

Hopefully tomorrow she'll be on the mend and not looking quite so ... worse for the wear.

Monday, May 30, 2011

First Injury for Miss Amalia

My beautiful little girl sustained her first real injury tonight.  She was circling her Uncle Gil and Aunt Sarah's minivan when she tripped over her own feet and basically landed on her chin.  She split the inside of her bottom lip on her front teeth and bled like a stuck pig.  And she cried.  Oh my did she cry! 

Here are a couple pictures of her banged up face.  My poor girl.

And the more she sucks on her binky, the bigger the bruise on the inside of her lip gets.  We'll see how she is when she wakes up tomorrow.  For now, her teeth are okay, her lip has stopped bleeding, and she is alright. 

And even with a banged up face, she's still adorable, isn't she?

Finally Warm Enough!

Last weekend we finally had a day warm enough to go enjoy the outdoors.  It was so warm, in fact, that we were able to get out the water table!  The kiddos were pleased, to say the least.

Mollie donned her stylish glasses, as usual.  It was her first time getting to play with the water table, and she was an instant fan.

Being one, however, she quickly looked for something new to do.

Once she had it in her heart to go for a walk, I was obliged to follow.

After a little walk, Mollie went back to pouring water on herself.  She also discovered it was great fun to splash around in the little puddles she inadvertently created.

Baylor used a watering can to fill up the water wheel.

And he discovered that spraying a hose is super silly and, at the same time, totally fun.

It was so good to see him smile!

And, you know, our plants needed some less-than-effective watering.

Mollie, needing another distraction, got into the wagon and happily bounced on the seat.

Then she tried out Baylor's tricycle and helmet.  I have a sneaking suspicion that she is going to be our on-the-go girl.

Maybe it has something to do with age or maybe it is just a difference in temperament, but while Mollie bounced to and fro enjoying a whole variety of activities, Baylor was content to play only with the water table.

Seriously, she was on the go the whole time we were outside.  Of course, it is much tougher to be on the go when you lose one of your shoes.

And no worries, no Mollies were harmed during the photography of this day.  Hope you have a good one!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Grand Rapids World Record

The above video was shot in our fair city, Grand Rapids, Michigan.  It breaks the world record for the largest and longest lip dub, a "type of video that combines lip synching and audio dubbing to make a music video" according to wikipedia.

This video features 5,000 participants, both local celebrities and everyday citizens that are all proud to call Grand Rapids home. 

Article: Raising a Genderless Child

Sparked by a conversation we had the other day with an acquaintance of ours, I was compelled to read this article. It is all about these parents in Canada who have chosen to keep the sex of their third child, a now four month-old named Storm, a secret.  Only Storm's two older brothers, Jazz and Kio, one family friend, and the two midwives who helped deliver him/her know his/her sex.  His/her grandparents and other extended family and friends do not know if he/she is a boy or girl.  The parents, Kathy Witterick and David Stocker, sent out an e-mail to friends and family at Storm's birth saying, "We've decided not to share Storm's sex for now — a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime (a more progressive place? ...)."  Their other two boys have been raised to "challenge how they are expected to look and act based on their sex", both boys seemingly leaning towards a more typically feminine gender; Jazz wears his hair in three long braids and enjoys wearing dresses and all things pink, and Kio has chin-length curly blonde hair and enjoys wearing purple.  Both are often assumed to be girls, and neither parent offers up a correction unless the child desires them to.

While I applaud these parents for their choice to allow their children to decide who they want to be, I believe they are not being realistic about how their children will eventually function in society.  Currently, they are practicing a version of homeschooling called "unschooling", a belief that learning should be driven by a child's natural curiosity.  They came to this choice because Jazz, who was eligible to attend school last fall and made some program visits, was upset over the fact that people commented on his hairstyle and choice to wear pink.  To keep him out of school for this reason is obviously up to them, and while I can certainly appreciate the urge to protect your children from any hurt whatsoever, I wonder if they are being unrealistic in their expectations of others and of society as a whole.  Things aren't going to change overnight no matter how much they would like them to.  I would love it if our culture were more accepting of people's preferences, persuasions, and differences, and I hope that in raising my children to be open-minded, kind, caring individuals I can help us move closer toward this goal.  With that said, however, there are people out there who don't feel this way, who aren't as accepting of others.  In Jazz's case, it seems like they are setting him up to be shell-shocked when he finally goes out into the real world.

In Storm's case, it seems like they are treating him like a sideshow attraction/social experiment, neither of which is an ideal way to start out life.  This is, of course, just my opinion, but I feel like this is just creating another way for this child to be different.  Don't get me wrong, I am all about celebrating and embracing our differences.  But this child didn't get to choose what is happening to him.  And it isn't a difference born in him.  His parents are creating this difference for him. 

It's a complicated issue and an interesting approach to parenting.  Regardless of how I or anyone else feels about this issue, I hope that little Storm grows up well-adjusted and happy, because or in spite of his parents' choices. 

What do you think?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Potty Time! Excellent!

He did it!  He did it!  I can't contain my glee.  My adorable little boy used the potty today ... poo and pee!  (I know that is probably a little too much information for some of you ... feel free to disregard this post if you feel the slightest bit offended by my bodily functions talk.)

He didn't even need much coaxing either; he just wanted to get to flush the potty himself and he wanted to know we were proud of him.  Check and check!

I don't know what this means for potty training, but it's certainly a step in the right direction.

We're all smiles around here on this momentous day (which, by the way, I thought was possibly up to a year away ... he was that disinterested in the potty).

Hope you all had a wonderful day as well!

Rough Day: A's Not Sharing

Amalia is having a rough day today.  I don't know why, though I suspect some new teeth are on the horizon because her usually voracious appetite has been affected.  In any case, for whatever the reason, she's a bit cranky today.  And boy oh boy, she does NOT want to share.

Poor kiddos.   Poor Mollie because she so clearly wanted to play with the Cozy Coupe but Baylor got there first.  Poor Baylor because he hates it when Mollie cries; it really distresses him.

But it's a day, and we'll get through it.  And hopefully we'll keep the tears to a minimum.

Craving Ice Cream for Breakfast?

Today the little man had a hankering for ice cream for breakfast.  As much as I like to think I'm a cool mom, I'm not that cool; there was no way he was getting ice cream for breakfast.  But he was adamant.

So I came up with a solution on the fly that I think appeased us both.  Enter the yogurt parfait.

First, I talked it up as this great, fancy treat.  Then I poured one of his YoKids yogurts into a bowl, added some blueberries and strawberries, and sprinkled a little granola on top.  Voila!  A healthy, fancy treat!

I'll admit, he was a little skeptical of it at first.

But then when I asked him if he liked it, he wouldn't answer me in between bites.  Which is usually a sure sign that he is totally digging something.  Awesome!

I think he'll like this treat even more when he is fully over his cold and can actually taste things.  Either way, I'm so glad he enjoyed it now!

Under the Couch and the Cozy Coupe

My mom got a Little Tykes Cozy Coupe for the kids to enjoy, and when we went over to visit last night, Mollie did her fair share of enjoying.  

For some reason, she was compelled to lean out the front window.

I don't really get it, but that's how she rolls.  Oh, and she also rolls backwards because she hasn't figured out how to move forward in this thing yet.

Now that she has so much to say, she can really emphasize her jibber jabbering by leaning out the front window.

Baylor, meanwhile, has shown a renewed interest in the GeoTrax trains my parents have at their house.  Last night he wanted the track to go under the couch.

So that is just what it did.  (Thank you, Christine and Bryson, for helping the little man achieve his ultimate goal.)

Once construction on the track was complete, Baylor left the train running a loop so he could check out the cozy coupe.

Mollie was not giving that up to save her soul, so Baylor had to lean in the window to show her just how the steering wheel and horn worked.

And then something happened.  *sigh*  Something I never want to see my girl do again ... she was drinking and driving.

The Aunt Christine cam caught her in the act, sipping away while behind the wheel.  Now, it was just milk, but she was distracted nonetheless and bumped into quite a few things.

What can I say?  The girl loves her milk!

Read With Me

The kids spontaneously sat on the little Sesame Street couch together last night.  Baylor sat down to read a book, and Mollie sidled up next to him.  He read to her instead and tried to teach her about all the words in the book.

Mollie tried to join in and slide some of the doors in the book, but Baylor wasn't exactly having it.

Really, she was just so excited that he was paying attention to her.

Then she got distracted.

And up she went.  It was a nice moment while it lasted, anyways.  Hopefully the first of many to come.

Tea Time with Little B

No, seriously, he asked for tea.  Just like Daddy.  Since it is decaffeinated tea and I had no intention of giving it to him while still blazing hot, I figured it'd be okay.  Also, since he's not overly handy with a cup just yet, I thought I'd provide him with a straw.  So not just like Daddy, but close.

We heated water, steeped the tea, and then waited until it was cooled.  Then it was time for the first sip.

I think he was a little unsure at first.  He claimed it was too hot, so he blew on it a little bit.

Then he decided it needed a stir.

He had a few more sips here and there, but for the most part he concentrated on stirring.  At one point his straw got flipped upside down, though I'm not quite sure how.

It was a good first try with tea.  And a fun lunchtime activity anyway.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Bulbs of Spring

A few years ago, with the help of my mom and sister, I planted some spring-blooming bulbs.  Every year since I have enjoyed a beautiful bevy of blossoms throughout spring.  First the crocuses come up, poking through the last of the snow and reassuring us that winter is almost done. Next the hyacinth come up, blooming forth their stalks of fragrant trumpets announcing the arrival of spring.  After that come the daffodils, my personal favorite, blazing forth like little bits of sunshine poking up from the ground.

Finally, now in late spring, come the tulips.  They are a popular flower in our area, in part because we have a large Dutch population, so you find them planted all over the place.  Most are the smooth-edged variety, some with a variegated color and some solid, but so rarely do you find one like this.

This is the type I planted in our front flower beds, and every spring I am treated to a delightful boom of red fringe playing out the last of spring.  They are fascinating, these fringed tulips, seeming almost wild of form, delicate teeth springing every which way.  I love them both because they are beautiful and because they signal that summer is nearly here.

It is nearly here, right?

Enjoy the end of spring and all the blossoms that come with it.

Liking Daddy

Amalia has started to like my husband, her dad, a lot more lately.  It's not that she didn't like him before; she just didn't really want to be away from me.  And now, whether because of her "advanced" age or something unknown that we've done differently, she is more interested in being away from me and is interested in hanging out with Daddy a little more.  It's wonderful to see, as my husband's face lights up when she goes over to him holding her arms up to be picked up and then gives him a pat-pat-pat hug.

She's liking Daddy more and more these days, and it's a welcome change.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

First Pigtails

I ran my fingers through Mollie's hair the other day and realized that she probably had enough there to pull off pigtails.  I quickly grabbed some small hair ties and a comb and set to work.

Man, she looked cute!

But she hated them.  So they were quickly dispatched.  Hopefully we'll get to do this again soon, though, because it was an adorable look for her.

Making Coffee

The other day I suggested to my husband that Baylor might really enjoy helping him make coffee.  So that is what they did.  From scooping the beans, putting in the filter, to pouring the water, Baylor got to help with everything - except grinding the beans, which was a little too loud and sent our little boy running for the living room.

Making sure there is enough water in the tank.

So proud of himself!

He even got to push the start button!

Mollie watched her brother in awe.

And then he got to watch a little Sports Center.

He's becoming such a little man!