Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Daddy, His Girls and a Swing

Much like with our picnic table, E recently decided that the girls needed a swing for our backyard.  We have a baby swing in our front yard, but Miss A is a little too big for the baby swing, and soon Little J will be too.  So E stopped at a hardware store for some rope and metal things (I can't really tell you what they are), found a board in our garage, and put together a new swing for our backyard.  

Both girls are loving their new swing.  Little J tells us, "wing, wing" constantly. The branch it is connected to is pretty high, so the swing twists, but both girls hold on and swing, swing, swing.  I know E worries sometimes that he has to work too much, but I think he makes the most of the time he is home with us.  I think the girls will remember that their daddy was so fun.  He made them a swing (and a balance beam to play on while he worked), and made them smile and of course loves them very much.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dinosaur Week(s)

So, Dinosaur Week actually stretched in to two weeks.  Partly because the dinosaur books are really fun, and partly because I bought a few things for dinosaur week, so I wanted to make sure we got some use out of them.


One activity we did during our dinosaur weeks was to make dinosaur cards and send them out to a few friends and family. I totally forgot to take pictures, but thankfully Heather did.

The rest I think I remembered to take photos of.  Miss A really loved Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp, so we did some of our own stomping.  I put roll paper down our front walk, painted the the girls' feet and let them stomp around on the paper.  I'm pretty sure this was Miss A's very favorite dinosaur activity.  I saw some cute ideas on Pinterest for making dinosaur feet to stomp, but this worked for us.  The girls roared while they stomped to make themselves more like dinosaurs :).

One of the things that I bought for Dinosaur Week was a Dino-Dig Excavation Kit from Lakeshore. Last time we visited Lakeshore this set was out to play with, and Miss A loved it.  It was also half off, which was why I bought it.  The set comes with dinosaur skeletons, sifters and brushes.  We took the kit to the park and I buried the dinosaur skeletons in the sand.  Then I let the girls dig for the dinosaurs.  Miss A really enjoyed it.  Little J enjoyed playing in the sand, but was less successful in finding the dinosaurs.  Another day, we buried the dinosaurs in our colored rice at home, which both girls really enjoyed.

We also played with the dinosaur skeletons and some dinosaur figures in play dough.  The girls pressed the different dinosaurs into the play dough to make their own "fossils."  The girls enjoyed seeing the different shapes the dinosaurs would make.

After the success of painting the girls' feet, we also tried painting the dinosaurs' feet, and the rest of the dinosaurs' bodies.  

And, no week for us would be complete without a tea party.  So our dinosaur friends joined us for tea, just like in Tea Rex.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Girl and Her Stick

This past spring, Miss A started zapping everyone with sticks.  It didn't take long for Little J to get in on that.  Now it's not often that Little J is outside without a stick, zap, zap, zapping.  My Little J has personality all her own.  She wants to do what big sister is doing,  She wants to run, jump and climb.  She's daring.  She's stubborn (*not at all like her mommy*).  But she's also my sweet little girl.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Miss A's Special Adventure

Right around a year and a half old, Miss A thought she was too big for naps.  I had a weird work schedule where I would pick her up from day care a little after 12, so she would fall asleep in the car, and then think her nap was done.  Not good for me considering I was pregnant with Little J, and wanted a little time to relax or get things done in the afternoon.  

As Miss A has gotten older, we've given up on the idea of an actual nap in favor of rest time.  Even if she never falls asleep, she's still much happier if she has some down time in the afternoon.  When June came and I got to be home with the girls all day, rest time was extra important for me to have a little break, and get some things done around the house.  But Miss A didn't want to miss out on whatever I was doing, so she was constantly calling for me, or coming out of her room, "to go to the bathroom."

Then came a day when Miss A had to go to the bathroom 8 times during her rest.  I was so frustrated.  Then I remembered a friend mentioning that she was trying a token reward system for her daughter at bedtime.  I decided to try our own token system the next day.  Each day at the start of rest time I gave Miss A 3 tokens (poker chips), and told her every time she got out of bed or called me in to her room, I would get to take a token.  But she would get to keep the rest, and when she had 10 tokens she could go shopping and buy a Princess Sofia doll she had been asking about.  

The first week was amazing.  Miss A slept 3 out of 4 days.  I was happy, she was happy and at the end of the week she got her Sofia doll. This was right before E and I left for Germany.  So we gave the token system a little rest, and started it up again when we got back.  This time around Miss A only got 1 token to start each rest time, but the reward was bigger too.  When she got 10 tokens, we would have someone watch Little J, and Miss A would get a special big girl adventure.
Miss A and I riding the bus.
Checking out the tallest building in Mpls.
Sharing a gelato treat with Daddy.

The special adventure was to take the bus to visit Daddy at work.  Miss A had been asking for months when she would get to ride a bus, so this seemed like a perfect adventure.  We planned our visit for Thursday so we could visit Daddy's office, go to lunch with him and visit the farmer's market.  Miss A loved her special adventure!  And it was fun for E and I to have a little time with just our big girl.  

For now, we're giving the tokens a rest.  Miss A started losing interest in them before she got to her special adventure, and if I hadn't had a babysitter set up for Little J, she probably would have had to wait longer to get her special adventure.  But the tokens did help for most of the summer, and I will probably try them again if she gets in bad habits once school starts and I'm back to work.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Two Hundred Twosday

When I posted Twosday Four last week, I noticed that it was post 199.  I started this blog way back in January 2010, when I was pregnant with Miss A, and here we are at post 200.  Feeling pretty proud of myself right now.  I had big ideas for this post (maybe a list of 200 things making me happy/I like/something else fun), but decided that a Twosday post would be fitting (and faster and easier).

Two most viewed posts
1. A's First Birthday Party
2. A to Z

1. Miss A
2. Little J

Two favorite posts about Miss A
1.  Santabelle
2.  Little A: Toddler Top 10

Two favorite posts about Little J
1. On the move...
2. My Little Monkey

Two cute 19 month photo shoots
1. Miss A
2. Little J

Two sweet sisters
1. Big Sister
2. Sisters

Two big birthday parties
1. Secret Agent Josephine
2. Cowgirl A's Birthday Party

And with that, rest time is over.  Here's hoping for another 200!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Twosday Four

Two Main Sources of #sschallenge Points
1. Wake up & run (100 mind & body)
2. 10 minutes stretching (25 mind &body)

Two Podcasts I Listen to While Running
1. Pop Culture Happy Hour
2. Stuff You Missed in History Class

Two Fitness Achievements Last Week
1. 90 second plank
2. 1 pull up

Two 500 Point Tasks Complete
1. Social Media Free Day
2. Run 5 Miles (5.67 to be exact... furthest I've run at one time, maybe ever.)

Two 500 Point Tasks I Will Do This Week
1. Clean Out Basement Room (I've been working on this for weeks... I will finish this week!)
2. Paint a Room (Trying to finalize a new living room color.)

Two Books I've Finished Recently (and Enjoyed!)
1. Bossypants, by Tina Fey
2. How Children Succeed, by Paul Tough

Two Foods I've Eaten From Our Garden
1. Raspberries... so many raspberries.
2. Zucchini

Real Mail Sent Last Week
1. Dinosaur Cards
2. Flower Notes

Recent Theme Weeks (That I Will Get to Soon)
1. Daddy
2. Dinosaurs

Thursday, August 1, 2013

July at a Glance

Wow!  I can't believe how quickly July went by! What happened?  I feel like I just got done with school, yet Target is already full of back to school supplies (not that I don't love school supplies, but really, why is everything out in early July?  I still have weeks before going back to school!). We had a busy, wonderful July.  And, considering we were gone for 10 days, we still managed to pack in a whole bunch of summer fun with the little ones while we were here.  There have been many picnics and parks.  Visits to the library, children's museum and zoo.  A wedding and E's birthday. Miss A even got to go to her first movie in a theater.  It's been an amazing summer, and there is much more fun to be had in August! (Also, I'm obsessed with Instagram right now, can you tell?)