Saturday, March 30, 2013

Why at-home egg hunts are the best

1. No driving, parking, finagling for a spot
2. You can ensure there is actually enough space and eggs for each child
3. Nobody jumps the gun and snatches up some eggs before it's time-- just keep everybody inside
4. That concept of actually hunting for eggs can come true
5. You can fill your own eggs with the good stuff... Not lousy foam stickers but candy or treats your kids will actually like
6. It's a fun way to bless your own kids, and neighbors /friends

Can you tell we had a bit of a flop with a public egg hunt this morning? I signed us up for a free event at a local hotel that just left Tim and me laughing and scratching our heads after apologizing to the kids.

It was free, and there were donuts and coffee and bloody marys (for the parents!), and photos with live baby chicks, and bells and whistles of other sorts, but NOT ENOUGH EGGS. OR SPACE. By a long shot.

I'm mostly just amused but really, a space the size of half a tennis court (not even) with a few eggs scattered about for 50 toddlers? Linnea and Peter got one egg each and I'm thankful they weren't trampled by the pastel-garbed mob. I didn't see any tears, but kids all over the place were clearly disappointed. We didn't see anybody with more than one egg each. The hotel should have scrapped all the frills and invested in a lot more eggs.

15 minutes later we were back home and I had filled our own plastic eggs with candy I was saving for the kids' baskets (it's all the same, really). I actually hid the eggs around the yard and had fun doing it.  Brought back memories of egg hunting with my cousins in Grandma's yard. The best part was finding the occasional giant egg stuffed with double the candy!

Linnea and Peter were DELIGHTED, especially L after the let down of the first event. But of course I don't have pictures of the good one! Home grown egg hunts are the way to go, and next year we'll invite some friends along, too.

Some shots from our week


Fun inside and outside!
Community center indoor playground, park time (P really likes shoveling sand into a bucket!), pizza lunch.
Spring is here!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Chores

We had some new friends over for a Palm Sunday dinner last night, and today Linnea put back the nice silverware into the chest all by herself.

She is really into helping with chores lately. I mean, she's been able to put away her own laundry since age 1.5 (really! "put your shirts in the top drawer" is pretty simple) and has been cooking/baking with me-- mixing, holding measuring utensils, cracking the occasional egg and filling muffin tins or rolling cookie balls -- since age 2. She does love to help and be involved and always has (in 10 years I'm expecting to offload half the week's cooking on her). New favorites are loading/unloading the dishwasher (now that I allow her...and obviously not the sharp stuff) and washing dishes.

I didn't learn how to do my own laundry until I was 13 and went to Northwestern for a three week chemistry class. We'll see if we can halve that for this next generation. :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Indoor egg hunt

No candy, no fuss, but a kid-pleaser just the same! :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Coloring eggs, and their immediate use as egg salad

Peter fell asleep in the stroller on the way home from the park yesterday, which gave Linnea and me a chance to color Easter eggs together. I remember attempting this with L when she was about 1.5 (Rebekah was here then) and it basically involved trying to keep her from grabbing at the eggs and knocking over the cups. So Peter can try it next year.

Linnea was very adept at using the little wire thingy to pull out the eggs and check their color. We did 13, and sipped on rooibos tea while we waited. It was some nice girl time together. Once they were all done, Linnea announced she was ready for some egg salad (after I had told her we might make some and that yes, she did like it). So straight onto the chopping block went six of the eggs, leaving a colorful trail of eggshell behind. :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Guess what we made today

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Petey P @ Peter Kirk

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ever heard of Resurrection Eggs?

I remember doing an activity in first grade that involved putting different objects into an egg carton to tell the story of Easter. I looked it up (all I could recall was the carton, a cotton ball, and a nail) and they are called Resurrection Eggs. Sounds a little creepy, like zombie-esque, but it totally brought back memories and Linnea was excited about doing it.

You take an empty egg carton (we had an 18-hole one) and get 12 plastic eggs which you number with a marker. Then you add an item to each, which corresponds to an element of the Easter story. The first one is a small leaf or palm branch to signify Jesus riding into Jerusalem and being greeted with palm fronds. There is a stone for in front of a tomb, three dimes for the 30 pieces of silver, a cracker for the Last Supper, etc. Like an advent calendar, there is also a  scripture for each egg, and it's a simple way to teach young kids about the Easter story so they can tell it to someone else. The last egg is empty, signifying the tomb is empty: He has risen!

We had fun hunting for items around the house and had to improvise for a few. Peter watched from his high chair and happily devoured two cheese sticks in the process.

Afterward Linnea decorated a paper for the top of the egg carton which had on it some Easter eggs, the letter B a few times, Jesus' cross, a bunny, and a "wild cat" who was "just walking around," according to my young artist. Haha. She is very interested in repeating the exact phrase that goes with each egg so ask her about them when you see her. I have no doubt it'll all be memorized soon.

I got my info foe the craft from www.teachkidsthebible.com. Loved it!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Just for fun

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Peter boy

My buddy is 15 months today! Wahoo!

We had his well check today and he's still stinkin' tall, with a weight that ambles around but is still proportional, and all good marks on development. He's something like 34 inches tall (not that far behind Linnea!!) and 27 pounds. I have the sheet somewhere. And he totally charmed the doctor, who I love anyway, with his sweet little grins and easygoing manner.

Oh, Peter at 15 months. He wants to do EVERYTHING Linnea does. She climbs up on the couch, and there he is right behind. Sister tears through the room like a tornado while screaming at the top of her lungs, and there's Pete with his little bird voice and bow-legged scramble. She does something disobedient and, well, monkey see, monkey do. That part is less adorable.

Little guy is still nursing a few times a dag and has actually asked foe it more often in the last 3-4 weeks, which I attribute to my covert little weight loss plan that seems to have altered my milk production. I was finally being diligent about eating less and definitely seeing fast results, but then Peter started waking a bunch more at night a napping less. I ate more, and he nursed less often and slept more. Sigh. I still have some net weight loss but it looks like I either need to wean him before he's ready (not my style) or grin and bear it for little while longer in the post-baby-body department, which I'm really fine with (for those wondering I just Don't have regular time to exercise, hence the life-sucking calorie counting I've been *mostly/sort-of* doing). But fitting into some of my favorite pre-baby jeans was getting really fun. ALL THAT TO SAY THAT God is teaching me about discipline and delayed gratification, both for serving my kids and getting back into the shape i really want (and the means I have to use to get there!). Petey is still my baby and we'll probably wean some time in the next few months. I'm not in a hurry. Meanwhile I am striving to remember that my body isn't my identity and actually I'm not in terrible shape either, but regardless it shouldn't be the source of my joy. I may look like I've had two kids and THANK GOD. I know ladies who can't. My goal isn't to erase all their marks and evidence, but rather to be healthy, steward my existing wardrobe and get in shape for baby #3. So yeah, soapbox over!

Back to Teeter.

He lkves balls, trucks and cars. Still likes light switches but isn't as obsessed. He talks about Tim all day long ("Dada! "Dada!") and points at his picture and the front door. He lately started pointing at other pictures of men in books and billboards and saying "Dada!" too, which is funny.

He likes to get out his board books and take them to the floor by the couch where we sit to read our bible story at night. I think it's just the cutest thing. He follows simple directions really well, like when I tell him to go get the ball or put an object into a container. I remember marveling at this stage with Linnea and it's really fun to live through again!

At meals he'll five me his plate and ask for "mahr", and will put his fork on top of his plate and slide them away when he's finished. :) He has one-syllable words for most normal things and objects like doll, car, milk, book, bottle, bowl, sis, duck, train, etc.

Hr likes drawing outside with chalk and going down the slide head first, splashing in water and riding on his trike (and I often have to tell him to not stand on the seat). He is often giving Linnea sweet kisses (his word is "tiss!") and we all ask for them frequently. Hr just loves following his sister around. He can run and loves to be tickled and to imitate funny sounds. He LOVES This Little Piggie and will pull at his toes over and over foe you to do it again. Hr likes seeing older boys out places and will watch them like a hawk... He just knows somehow that they are like him.

Did I ever mention how he mimics the opening part of Uptown Girl whenever anyone songs it? Too funny. All in all he's such a social, cuddly, sweet little guy. Curious and irrepressibly happy. Linnea says that Petey is her sunshine. I couldn't agree more.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Dreams

At bedtime...

Linnea: "Mommy, what would you like to dream about?"

Me: "I'd like to dream about playing with you and Petey. What would you like to dream about?"

Linnea: "I'd like to dream about lady bugs crawling down my fingers!"

Haha. I don't know how she thought of that, but it was delightful to hear. Linnea has always been quite articulate and it's really fun to be surprised by the new things she says.

These days she still loves playing with her dolls... Last year at this time, it was all about taking them on trips and to the hospital (having just welcomed Peter and been to Bainbridge and Suncadia around now). Now it's still Dr checkups, since that has been a near constant presence for us this winter, and also going to school. She loves her dolls so much and still sleeps with about six of them every night. And she is mostly sleeping all night in her room without waking to come get Tim, which has been new and fun to see how she's growing. Next step is to get her into underwear at night instead of a diaper. She so infrequently has accidents during the day that making this happen has kind of slipped my mind. Can you tell we aren't rushing things around here? I've made her aware that she needs to try to get up and go potty instead of going in her diaper while in bed falling asleep, and she gets that now. I think it's laziness all around but honestly it doesn't bother me. Ad with everything else, the day will come.

What else? She still loves to help in the kitchen, though I've been allowing this less because Peter is always climbing up on her chair. I need to figure out a way to safely add him into the mix because I miss my little helper and I know she misses helping. Meals requiring lots of chopping are a problem, and he got his fingers into raw egg a couple times making those cupcakes I pictured, but we'll figure it out I know.

Linnea has been more interested in practicing riding her bike and last weekend when we were all well again she took it for a spin downtown (with Tim holding on the whole way). It got me excited for spring bike rides as a family! Can't wait to make that a regular thing.

I continue to marvel at our new normal of Linnea happily going into her class at church and Tim and me getting to sit through the entire service. She really has grown up so much since turning three. She already has a birthday wish list going foe turning four, which I'm putting here just for entertainment's sake, including a play kitchen and princess dress-ups. We talk about her fourth birthday constantly because we always sing the happy birthday song while washing hands (switching to ABCs because its longer and less of a trigger!), plus she likes to know whose birthday is next in the family - here's looking at you, Mom!

At 3.5 Linnea is still as sweet with her brother as ever, relishing time she can cuddle, hug and kiss him. She draws Peter pictures and really plays quite well with him, though can be rough and has started to retaliate when he pulls her hair or takes a toy she's using. Normal stuff for a preschooler! But she is always telling me (and him) that she loves him and prays foe him every night, either that he would sleep well or thanking God for him. She loves to make him laugh and to pretend to talk on the phone with him. I am so blessed to see the start of what I pray is a wonderful lifelong sibling friendship.

Other tidbits:
Favorite clothes to wear, dresses. Her Christmas dress and tights still fit and she wears them at least once a week.

She's recently been telling me that she likes the meal we're having and she always wants to set the table.

We have wonderful conversations that move beyond the "why" questions and into the "hows" of things... How things are made and how they work. I am looking into finding videos of how some stuff is made that she's asked about.... China, plastic, and waffle bowls to name a few. :)

She loves to play with her friends and I'm sad that the only other little girl in our community group (besides a newborn) is moving away this month.

Oops, bedtime potty break so I'll cut this short. Love my sweet girl!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Half birthday cupcakes

Wow, Linnea is 3.5 as of yesterday! We celebrated by spending the day keeled over with the stomach flu. All except Peter, who seems to have escaped somehow, praise God. It must have been passed around at community group on Tuesday since other friends have it too. Soooo rotten. We're feeling much better, though Tim, the last to fall, is still a little low. And Linnea had asked for half-birthday cupcakes so we made those today.

I'm delighted it's March 1. Spring is actually on its way! I have other photos from Valentine's Day etc to post sometime... February was a light blogging month for me. But our crocuses are up and we're seeing daffodils all over, and I'm dreaming of Easter and sunny days on the deck!