Cool Tricks

There are not many things that Ethan can do that Kendall cannot. Such is the life of a younger sibling. However, there are those random cool tricks that Ethan can do which leaves his sister in competition mode because she cannot. Some of these things are beat boxing...yes, thanks to Biz Markie who is on 'Yo Gabba Gabba,' Ethan now beat boxes when we ask him at act like Biz. Ethan is also now break dancing. This is in part to many of the dancing reality competitions on television that I am obsessed with. He loves when B Boys are featured, and loves even more reenacting their style. None of these skills have been completely mastered, but they are hilarious to watch, but quite difficult to capture on film, since he is a bit camera shy and will stop when the camera is rolling.

Today I was clicking my tongue and I heard a little someone doing it behind me, I turned expecting to see Kendall, but it was E. Kendall then tried to do it also, but could not. So another Cool Trick...he even let me capture it on film, he must be confident with this one. Kendall also let me capture her on film trying oh so hard to master this. Oh and yes, that is a head band he has on his head, he was just at Kendall's salon. And if you listen, you can hear the infamous nasally, 'Nooo....,' that he continues to bestow us with.


The Brave Lion & the Timid Lamb

It snowed yesterday, and as I have mentioned before, I don't listen to the weather forecasters anymore. On any given day you should just wake up, step outside, and have a good idea of what may happen that day...well a much better perspective then let's say Accu-Weather.

Andy had the day off, thanks to Martin, and as it kept snowing and snowing, and snowing even more, we decided instead of suffering from cabin fever to go out in it. So off to Mom Mom & Pop Pop's we went, the winter activity center of Upper Bucks County. Seriously, a frozen pond, a quad, makeshift sledding hills fit for a small child, skates in all sizes except really small like Kendall and really big like Andy, food, hot chocolate, a fire, and games. What did I forget? My camera.

So Kendall is in love with winter weather. She did not want to come inside. The only person that was able to convince her to come inside for lunch was Erin, and that is because Erin loves tuna fish too. I don't know, that was the agreement they came up with. Ethan also spent a good 2 hours or so out in the snow. Very unusual for him. However I think it was one of those times where you just did it because it makes your parents happy. Like a trip to a museum, or a hike up a mountain, I didn't enjoy those activities, per se, I more or less did it to appease my parents. I think Ethan has caught on to this, and in his little head it is, 'o.k, I give it an hour or so, and that's it people.' So he ran across the frozen pond and just watched the kids play and at the first mention of going in to eat lunch, he was ready to move. Kendall went sledding down the back hill of the pond, made her snow angels, pretended she was an ice skater humming tunes and all. We asked Ethan if he wanted to go down the hill on the sled...'No.' The answer came out before we could even complete the question. Anything that involves risk, Ethan is dead set against. He values life, what can I say?

We went inside for some chow, and Kendall went right downstairs to get ready to go outside,set on building a snowman. She has been bound and determined to do this since the weather turned cold, threatening possible snow. The snow that fell yesterday, however, was on the fluffy side, and so packing was not a viable option. Mom Mom decided that we could make this snowman lying down, so Erin, Kendall, Ryan, and Mom Mom made a horizontal snowman.

Where was E? I told him we were going back out, asked if he too wanted to go out---'No.' Interrupted again. So he stayed in with A. Amy and Pop Pop Pop, more his style I suppose.

Andy got Ryan's quad started and immediately Kendall stated, 'I want to drive that too.' Well she wasn't allowed to drive it, she couldn't reach the pedals and the concept of shifting is just too much for an almost 3 year old to grasp I think. So she rode with Andy, begging and begging to go faster and faster.

A. Amy was inside with Ethan and he was watching out the window, and when asked if he too wanted to go on the quad, ready and repeat, 'No'

Kendall stayed out with everyone for a good 2 hours. I was cold, I went in, she was the last one in, and not at all happy about it.

When we got home Andy was dying to continue the snow day extravaganza and saw our neighbor's kids outside in the water basin area sledding. He shared that he was going to go and build them a jump. So Kendall and Ethan and I went upstairs to snuggle up and watch a movie from the comforts of my bed. We get all cozy in the blankets, and Kendall proclaims, 'I want to go sledding too.' So I beckoned Andy back in, got her prepared, and off they went. Ethan, well I think you have the gist of what Ethan decided to do by now.

Andy called and told me we had to come out and see Kendall. She was riding down the hill by herself, on a giant snow tube, hitting the jump, and loving it. After 30 minutes of convincing, Ethan and I went out. He had one prerequisite, no boots, sneakers. I think he thought that if he wore the sneakers there was no way we could stay out there long. I got some shots of the snow bunny, and then she was done and hungry.

E patiently waiting for Kendall to show off her sledding skills.

The Vans he insisted upon wearing.

Kendall and Daddy rosy cheeked and quite tired.

A blurry shot of Kendall hitting the jump, it was the only one I could get, it was pitch black out.

Kendall had an awesome snow day, did you?


A conversation between my daughter and my sister...

So we were at Mom Mom Mom's today, working on Kendall's 'big girl bed.' She is getting the bed I had while growing up, only, I am painting it white to go with her decor.

My mother's biggest horror, painting over finished wood. I think it looks a lot cuter white...but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Yes, we are just now upgrading Kendall to a big girl bed. I am a huge follower of...you are in this crib until you have mastered climbing in and out of it a good 10 times for good measure, or you turn 3. I like the control a crib has over children. You get out of it on my time. Kendall will be 3 February 13th...the time has come. All hell is about to break loose. I know it. I am calling it now. There will be a child staring in my face scaring me awake at 5 a.m. There will be visits to our room at least 30 times a night for this and that. But being a social worker, I am a little rusty, but something tells me that letting your child sleep in a crib until they are 13 is not allowed. So it is time. Do mothers ever really sleep? I don't know. I will let you know. It's like one phase after another all surrounding, sleep. On top of moving to a big girl bed, I think this 3 year old may also be growing out of naps...another topic, another time.

So I was cleaning up the craft room, yes my grandmother has a craft room. No need to wonder anymore where I get it from. Regardless, I head Kendall saying, 'let me off of this thing, you,' over and over again. So I eventually go upstairs and find Michelle, Mom Mom, and Kendall in the bathroom, just hanging out. Strange. That we are. I say to Kendall, 'What's going on in here?' And I get the lowdown...

'Well, Aunt Shelly, said I had to go pee pee, but I did not have to go pee pee. Then I wanted my nails painted, but Shelly said not until I go pee pee, but I not have to go pee pee. And then Shelly says, well no nails painted. And then I said, I don't have to go! And then I got up, and I sit here, and well, my nails aren't painted, because I not have to go pee pee.'

Was there breaths in between all these statements? Minimal. Is my daughter now having full fledged conversations with me about a previous conversation she had? No doubt about it, she came from me. Speaking a mile a minute about the injustice of not having nails painted all while requiring minimal oxygen supply to go on and on, its unnatural. Reminds me of plenty of tirades that have flown out of my mouth. The failing economy? How about them not deciding on a station that will have the new season of Project Runway? And sometimes my husband wonders why she acts the way she does...flashback.

More recent comments from Kendall...'I am so sick and tired...' 'I have just about had it...' 'Oh just forget it...' It's like playing a recording...of me.

So I suppose it is time for the big girl bed, because in just a short while she will be throwing herself on it all dramatic like because I said she wasn't allowed to wear make up.


Thanks a lot Weather Man!

There is no snow on the ground? Where is the snow? How will we build a snowman? Is this all? Is it supposed to snow more?

I worked all day Saturday during this treacherous snow storm. The storm that was to be the biggest in 3 years. The snow storm that was to bring us inches, plural.

Phone calls began at 9 a.m.

Is this all we are getting? I thought there was supposed to be snow? Can we build a snowman? Can we go outside?

These questions were posed to me by my 2 oldest children, Andy and Kendall.

Next time it is going to snow...I am not telling them. If we wake up in the morning and there just happens to be snow on the ground...it's a miracle.

Reason...long ago I knew this, but I still was holding out hope. When it comes to snow, the weather 'people,' so Cecily is included, are ALWAYS wrong.

But they did venture out...with the warning, Ethan HATES to be cold.

Kendall first made a snow angel. Her memory is like an elephant...I don't know what that implies, but supposedly an elephant has a good memory? Regardless, she remembered making snow angels with me last year. I am not sure if she realizes that making snow angels actually leaves an imprint in the snow of an angel. I think she thinks that lying on your back in the snow and moving your arms up and down is an activity to do in the snow, similar to sledding, and we call it, 'making snow angels.'

They also went sledding with Brent, Mariah, and Daddy. In true Ethan fashion, the snow and cold proved to be too much for him and so within 5 minutes, Aunt Fran took him back home. Told you so.:) Kendall on the other hand, loved the sledding and was able to do it again on Sunday in the little water basin just across the street from our house. Just big enough of a hill for Kendall to think it is the greatest time ever.

Ever since they have enjoyed walking through the remnants of snow each time we venture out for some errands. I think they love the crunching it makes.

I have forgotten how much of a clean up playing in the snow is. Salt on the floor, puddles of water here and there that have dried leaving rings on my floor, boots everywhere, mittens thrown across the room. ugh.It is pretty to look at though isn't it? The snow I mean.

What to do when there isn't too much snow to play in?

Pretend there is, in Mommy's snow boots.

So like I said next time it snows we aren't talking about it until there is a substantial amount on the ground...the incessant questioning from those who can speak clearly in our home can drive you mad.It's either that or we move out west where we are guaranteed some inches when they say it is going to snow.

So instead at Story Time this week, we read about snow, and created some snowmen craftily.Kendall's in on the right, Ethan's done in typical E style is on the left, they glued the snow balls and nose on where they saw fit...and obviously I drew on E's face...but isn't Kendall quite the Picasso?

Now this, this is a snow storm...


A Dose of a Princess Wanna Be

This is our resident Princess singing her favorite princess song of the moment. She does only know one verse, but we won't let her know, she thinks this is what the song consists of, a chorus over and over again...some people think that of many songs and they are much older than 'almost 3.' So I cut it off third time through because it just gets more fantastical and she begins running and dancing around the house. One of these days I am hoping animals come running in dancing and singing and start cleaning up my house.

Pardon the snot nose, hair in face,and grogginess we have just woken up and have a cold. On most days, she wakes up in princess mode, I mean Cinderella woke up singing, why not Kendall? I love when E pops in the background, like what the heck is she doing? Princess songs at 8 a.m.?!?!


Get Down On It Wednesday

So my mix tape website shut down. We were so sad because they were a pretty awesome site, specifically if you made mix tapes back in the day. Ok, perhaps it was just pretty awesome to just me, but that really is all that counts on my blog, right? So it looks as though we will have to step up and just put a play list on the site if I want to continue with the mixes, and I do, my friends musical stylings are intriguing. So here goes...

I can't have it on Mondays anymore in respect for the mix tapes, so I will serve it up on Wednesday. Wednesdays are a day that I attempt to get a lot done, especially when it is rainy like this and I need the motivation, and so Get Down on It Wednesday is here...

I will start it off with some favorites from the past year, everyone likes to recap a previous year with some highlights, I will do it with some tunes.

1. Get Down on It-Kool & the Gang. This song is just great who cannot not dance to this song? I don't know, we do every time it is on. So that is why Get Down on It Wednesday has its name, its a great groove to get down to. What song do you get down to? Get ready I will be asking you.

And, no duh, it didn't come out this year, but Kool and the Gang...timeless.

2. Lucky-Jason Mraz- feat. Colbie Caillat. I have loved Jason since he first came out on the scene, his voice is quirky, his song writing is catchy, and his style is up my alley. So he decides to team up with the voice behind 'Bubbly,' and their voices just go together. Like it. Doesn't she look like Jennifer Aniston? I was kind of over the whole 'Bubbly' song like 30 seconds after it came out, but she sounds better when in a duet, and not singing about being about a ridiculous feeling, bubbly? Really?

3. American Boy-Estelle-feat. Kayne West. I know, I am way into songs by artists featuring other artists it seems, but I do enjoy a good beat, and this song has it. And Kayne West, I really like him. I know, he is super cocky and says he is the greatest artist and all that, but I think he may be on to something...

4. Love Story-Taylor Swift. She is getting credit for being the best new artist of the year. She is young, she sings country, so that is two strikes against her right there in regards to my musical taste. Because I do not like country, and I absolutely do not like anyone who is grouped with Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers. However, I am always into second chances, so I look in to her, turns out she writes her music and she is a bit of a spitfire...she is growing on me.

5. Fairytale-Sara Bareilles. I have mentioned her before. She is a pretty cool chick. Sort of like the Sarah McLaughlin of today, but to me she is better, she has a little more pep to her music instead of the super mellowness that is Sarah. This song adds humor to what is the Princess fascination, which is right up my alley.

6. Green Light-John Legend- feat. Andre 3000. Another artist featuring another artist. Perhaps that was my trend for 2008. But I have liked John Legend since he came out to the scene, he has a soulful vibe to him that I like, because I am in love with Stevie Wonder and all his music. And Andre 3000, I have enjoyed him since Outkast.

7. What You Thought You Need-Jack Johnson. Jack Johnson will most likely always be a pick for me, every year, any day. His music is a great soundtrack to life. And he is just the epitome of cool. He makes you want to just move to the ocean's edge and take in life. I love this song from his most recent release...it makes me think of a date with my man...well if we actually got one. ;)

8. That Dress Looks Nice On You-Sufjan Stevens. This is my new artist for 2008. This song was not released in 2008, but it is new to me. Check out wikipedia for info on him, pretty cool cat.

9. Single Ladies-Beyonce. Ok. So I am not single, he liked, and he did put a ring on it...so it really isn't my woman chant to be shouting out the windows, however, if you saw my son dance to it every time it came on, you too would decide to get up and get down with him. It's catchy. But I must mention that I do not like this new leotard look that Beyonce has been styling when performing this song, kind of strange.

10. Dreaming with a Broken Heart-John Mayer. I used to really like John Mayer, and then he opened his mouth to speak and not sing, and he got on my nerves. But he pencils some good tunes, so I am a little torn. So he is my broken musical relationship of 2008.

11. Get Up Off Of That Thing-James Brown. Ok so obviously, he has not released some new tunes from beyond, but since when I ask you what your play list of fav. tunes, you will need to include a song you get down to, this is another one of mine, it was almost Get Up Off Of That Thing, Thursday, but Kool and the Gang won out with my kids.

Bottom Line: Dance Parties are fun. Have one today. Gather. Let loose. We will be.

*Note: if for some reason, you're computer is taking a long time to display the playlist, like some have mentioned, and you really want to groove, just click the black box underneath that says Pop Out Player, and you will be able to shake it right away.*


Family Fun Times

Who doesn't love a good healthy dose of Family Time at Mom Mom's? Even if they are sick the next morning? I know I love it. We got together at Mom Mom's because well, because it is nice to all get together for dinner, but also because Mom Mom has enstilled in us a tradition, that being going to other family members homes to look at their trees and also to see what you got for Christmas. These events can take place before and after Christmas, but this Christmas was a little hectic, so we did it after. Mom Mom's tree is glorious, always, but for some reason I don't have a picture of it. But I don't think I would be able to get a good shot of it. I am not skilled enough to capture something with a trazillion glowing lights on it and not have it be blurry, so just know that it was sparkly and decorated gold and red.

By the way if your Christmas Tree is still up, you have gone over the time limit.
Take the darn thing down.

It was also Ryan's 20th Birthday. Kendall and Ethan LOVE birthdays, good thing they have some of their own coming up. They are always front and center for a birthday celebration and Kendall loves to dote over whomever is having the birthday. It really makes you feel all special, really, come celebrate your birthday with us, you will feel like the king and queen of the universe for that day...wonder who let her know birthdays are SO very important and that the person having one IS the center of the universe?

Getting the Ice Cream Sundae Pies ready for singing and wishing.

Ethan blowing out the candles mid 'Happy Birthday.' Timmy thinks this is hilarious.

The right time to blow out the candles.

Ethan getting brain freeze.

Kendall's Ice Cream Pie creation, she wanted to be like the big kids.

We also enjoyed games of Blockhead by the fire...I have blogged on Blockhead before, very important game to play. I mean you can even make one of your own, just go get some blocks of wood and shape them all crazy, maybe even paint them different colors for some flair. Do they even sell Blockhead anymore? Erik Szabo would know. I know free publicity, what's up with that? Looked it up, looks like they do in a really great retro box for $10. Get one for your next Birthday recipient, its that great. Turns out you can play online also, but how would that work, you need gravity to play Blockhead, something the internet does not have.

Concise placement and concentration is required to succeed; as demonstrated here.

Erin succeeding at Blockhead, I think it might be the glasses.

The fire by which Blockhead was played.

Jack loves Ethan, Ethan loves Jack. It's like a little dog loving a boy relationship except we don't have the dog in our own home. So when Ethan was off playing, Jack decided to take a nap on the beloved blanket of my sons.

This is Andy Kitty. Remember him, the rescued cat from our home that we found as a kitten in our garden and took to Mom Mom's, brother to Sylvia? Here he is. He is now a fanciful adolescent. Such a good find, he is a handsome little devil, huh?


Finally...Christmas Day

So now that the holidays have officially died down, and the stomach bug seems to be on hiatus for another night, fingers crossed, I have some time to download the pics and share the Christmas joy that the kids and Andy and I shared.

Santa came here in all his glory.
And Freddie left with him to prepare for his visit next Thanksgiving morning.

I hear many people say that they work so hard shopping and stay up so late wrapping for it to all be over in 5 minutes. Not here.

Christmas Eve we went to Honeygram & Poppy's for dinner to exchange gifts, and to go to church with them. Ethan received a big Tonka Truck and backhoe which was unwrapped under their tree. When he spotted them after dinner, he just stared at them whispering...'trucks'....until he was given permission to get them out, he was so excited. All he said he wanted from Santa was trucks, so this was a wish granted.

Kendall was very agreeable to getting ready for Santa that night and getting to bed. She and Daddy placed the magic key that opens all doors in a special spot outside, and left for Santa cookies, milk and a note that said, "Santa, thanks for coming to town. Here are some cookies we made for you. Enjoy! Love, Kendall & Ethan.' (dictated by Kendall)

I definitely did work hard shopping. I was given a budget to stay in and I watched my chosen items closely to see when they would go on sale and where. (pat,pat on my back) Target, people. That was the place to be this holiday season. At least the one in Quakertown. I don't want to give my secret away for fear that it may be spoiled, but this Target is nestled away. It is away from the mall and pretty far up 309, so what you are looking for is going to be in stock, and when things go on sale massively for Target as a whole, they will have the items there. Also, people in Quakertown prefer Walmart, no idea why, perhaps it is just me, but Target is set up for the shopper in me. I did go to Walmart for stocking stuffers to spice it up a bit, but for the most part I stayed at Target. I did my shopping at 9 p.m. on. Next year I think I will just do it online. I had to sneak out of the house at bed time, because once I make a move towards the door and I am not going to work, I usually have volunteers to help me shop.

I did stay up late wrapping. I was up until 3 a.m. Christmas Morning. The only thing on was that ridiculous Duggar family and their reality show. Sometimes they just annoy me. This was one occasion. I know things do not run that smoothly with all those kids running about, and don't tell me otherwise. I know that mother looses her cool at least 6 or 7 times a day, don't play her out to be some alien. And who has 18 or is it 19 children and starts all of their names with the letter J? That is annoying. And with all this publicity and money coming in, please Jim Bob, give your wife a trip to the spa and have them do something with her hair. I just think to some extent enough is enough, and the case of the Duggars you can say this for many things.

So all this wrapping and sleep deprivation, was rewarded by my kids. I know, perfect I tell you.

Kendall with her stocking.

Ethan, super excited about what was sticking out of the top of his stocking,

a dinosaur and a Buzz Lightyeat toy.

We take turns opening gifts, even down to the stocking. There was a few times Kendall took a little too long and Ethan wanted to open his gifts so he got ahead, but would quickly be reminded to wait, and he would say, "kay..." Each gift opened was examined, played with, and showed to the other.

After stockings comes breakfast. I know, we are terrible to make them wait, but it is nice to have a family breakfast. Then we move to opening the gifts under the tree, again taking turns. They wanted to play with each toy they got then and there. Christmas Morning last 3 plus hours.

Santa brought Kendall her princess requests among some other things and brought Ethan some trucks, tools for his tool bench, dinosaurs, and Buzz! (Toy Story movie)

One of her favorite gifts, and of course it had to be princess in nature.

We ate lunch together, played with our new toys, took naps, and then headed to my parents for dinner with them, my sisters, and my grandparents. We opened more gifts there, Kendall of course doting over each gift. Ethan opened his Geo-Trax train from my parents and was beyond excited.

The next day we went to Disney on Ice. There was a tent set up outside which had all the Princess Dresses in them. As we were getting ready to exit I heard Kendall gasp, I looked over in the direction she was looking and there was Cinderella in the flesh. Kendall was so thrilled she could hardly move or speak. Cinderella is Kendall's favorite princess. She waved to Cinderella and just stood there admiring her. I will never get the lack of connection with children and seeing their animated characters become a reality. This is not strange to them. I remember I was the same way, there is no connection between animated and reality when it comes to Disney. Amazing.

The show was a lot of fun. Mickey and Minnie were there and characters from movies. The main part of the show was centered around Tinkerbell. Kendall and Ethan sat still for most of the 2 hours, they only stood up in the last 10 minutes, but even then were paying attention. On the way home Kendall got really upset and was crying because Cinderella was not in the show. This was devastating to her, again, proving that the princess obsession is alive and well. She admitted she loved the show, but was just so sad Cinderella was not on the ice.

Kendall enjoying her snow cone with Daddy and watching the show.

Ethan entertaining himself at intermission, sticking his head between the seats to see if it would fit.

So our Christmas Holiday was a lot of fun. My house now looks like Santa took his giant bag and just opened our roof and dumped a ton of toys in that scattered everywhere, but organization is on its way.

Lily hoarding the candy cane stash...she's a little greedy around the holidays.