Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Afternoon Play Time

I've been trying awfully hard to get us on some kind of schedule around here. One of the things that we've been doing is having a good hour of play time, all together, usually in Jessica's bedroom, after quiet time (formerly known as nap time...).

It's worked out well. Yesterday, Jillian was 'reading' books to Jessica. Jessica just flips out for books. We got these two puppet books for Christmas - one is called "Do You Wear Diapers?" and asks all kinds of animals if they wear diapers...to which they reply "No, I don't wear diapers. I poop in the [jungle, forest, rain forest, etc., depending on the animal]." Jilly was reading this to Jessica and got to the cat page. I got it on video - it was priceless. I translate her toddler-ese at the end if you don't understand all of what she's saying.

Here's Jessica showing off that book...and a hat I found in one of our many boxes of little girl clothes.

Today I got out the "real" camera and took some pictures during play time. Jessica is getting pretty good at sitting up unassisted. She still needs a little support, but doesn't have any problems staying upright with just the Boppy to lean against.


And she wishes she could crawl. So do we...
Trying...

Frustrated!

Really, Mom?

I'm SO done with this.

Jillian was taking a bubble bath today during play time. She took it upon herself to get out when she was done, drip water all over the bathroom floor, get a towel out of the closet herself, and join us. *sigh* She also made some funny faces for the camera.




I do so love to see the girls playing together, though.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Updated Look

Some of you may remember when we got this last May...

Yesterday, we picked up some spray paint and I gave the race car bed an updated look. Now it looks like a Barbie (or Princess, or whatever girly thing she likes that day...) bed!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Great Minds Think Alike!

Cow Diapers...modeled by Jessica & Henry

Astronauts...modeled by Jillian and Jack (though Jillian is getting a tad tall for hers...)


Tanks...modeled by Emily & me (thanks for the picture, Brenna...finally getting around to posting it!)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kitchen Day

Today was a kitchen day. Dishes were washed, the dishwasher was run, bread was baked, cupcakes were made, and I even threw together some chili for dinner. Phew! Jillian joined me to help with the cupcakes. She's getting to be a pretty good helper.

She adds the ingredients...

...tastes...

...tastes...

...and tastes some more.

We had some leftover blue cream cheese icing from the cake a week or so ago. Today's "lesson" was color mixing. We added some red food coloring to the blue icing and made purple!

And Jessica was pretty content to hang out in the kitchen while we worked!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ballet

I signed Jillian up for her first ballet class through Howard County Rec & Parks. The class was called "Ballet and Fairytales". Each class had music and a theme from a Disney fairytale. This week was the last class, and the theme was "Snow White".

Here's Jillian before her last class.

Learning 1st position.

At the end of each class, there is a small obstacle course (for lack of knowing how else to describe it), where each girl individually goes through and follows a set of instructions...walk around this, hop around this, skip around this, etc. Today it was a series of jumps and then leaps over the apples. Here's Jillian post-leap.

And last, Jillian looking on as her classmates finish up.

I think she really enjoyed the class, and from observing her, I can tell she got much better at following instructions and being a part of the class, rather than playing and doing her own thing!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I've never been much into 'actual' spring cleaning. But I'm starting to feel the need to organize. We pared down some things last year when prepping for the baby, but I still feel like we have TOO MUCH STUFF. Still. So what did I do? I made a list. And what a list it is!

In my free time (hahahahaha!), I've been chipping away at the list. I've started cleaning out the garden area, and we're expanding it from last year's. I helped John hang the gutter that got just about torn off with the snow and wind this winter. I cleaned, and I mean CLEANED, the bathroom in our basement. I'm starting to work in the cat laundry room; sewed and hung curtains yesterday. The list is daunting.... But I can't wait to get these projects done!!

And I've been knitting at night after the kids are in bed. By the time I finish the scarf I'm making for me, it'll definitely be too warm to wear it. I'm working on Mother's Day presents now, too.

Jessica is eating Cheerios. And LOVES them!!

Jillian has her last ballet class tomorrow. She has really enjoyed the class. She started gymnastics two weeks ago, and does best on the balance beam and bars. I can tell she has a hard time taking firm direction from her coach, but I think it's really good for her. I hope she ends up liking it!

That's what's going on around here. We haven't had too much exciting stuff going on, just trying to stay sane and stay on some semblance of a schedule. Oh yeah, and I can't wait for warmer weather to show up and stick around.

Pictures next time...I promise!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sleep Woes

What to do with this three year old???

Jillian has been fighting naps for some time now, but I've often been able to get her to settle down for some afternoon sleep eventually. Over the past week or so, however, she just fights me and fights me. Most days she does fine with just some quiet time, to the tune of playing quietly in her room for about an hour. But after a couple days without naps, the cumulative lack of rest catches up with her and bedtime becomes the BIGGEST.FIGHT.EVER. I'd let her just cry it out in her room, except that her room is right next to Jessica's and is not soundproof.

It's classic stalling technique: wanting one more toy from downstairs, one more hug and kiss from daddy, blah, blah, blah. And we're SO over it. As I type this, she's been punished to the basement and is crying and crying. She isn't allowed to come back upstairs until she settles down.

Jillian being three, we have several disciplinary issues right now to deal with, and I've been wanting to put together a reward system. Something visual. Much like the poster we did for potty training, though simpler. That visual seemed really make a difference in that process for her. So I've been trying to figure out what to reward...and now I'm thinking it will be bedtime. Maybe a star chart for going to bed nicely and staying in bed? Each night she goes to bed well she earns a star and after "x" stars (maybe 14 for two weeks?) she gets a special reward. She has been wanting a pink bedroom...maybe the reward could be painting her room pink? She's also been asking for a new bed and we have a full size bed in storage...we could reward her with that bed, but not until she learns how to go to bed nicely? (Of course, that would mean we have to buy a mattress...)

Anyone else out there having bedtime fights? Help help help!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rainy Day Cake

No, I've never heard of one either. But since it was rainy today, and Jillian wanted to make a birthday cake but it's no one's birthday around here, we made a rainy day cake. A chocolate cake with blue cream cheese icing and sprinkles.




On an unrelated note, Jessica has had some tummy troubles today. Her naps have been messed up and she's been on and off pretty cranky. So I tried a binkie again tonight. She has NEVER taken to it, but this evening it seemed to help soothe her, and at least she gave it a chance! I may regret this in two years, but for now, anything that helps her stay asleep is a winner in my book!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Six Months, Second Time Around

Jessica is six months old! Where does the time go? You can go here to see Jillian at six months. Clearly, Jessie is a bigger baby, but both had their two bottom teeth! Try as I may, I couldn't get Jessie to smile for a picture today.





And just for kicks...Jilly sacked out AGAIN tonight while I was putting Jessica to bed. I could get used to her going down this early...and this easily!

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Break

Yesterday I got a break. My mom came down and watched the girls for a few hours. This is not that out of the ordinary, but what I did was. Instead of my usual pack-ten-errands-into-three hours mentality, I slowed down. I still ran a couple errands. I went to the library, and actually looked at the books I checked out, instead of just grabbing the first three within arms reach as I'm running after an unruly toddler. I walked around Lake Elkhorn, without a stroller, and even stopped to take pictures of some birds along the way without a baby crying at me to get moving again. I made a quick stop into the dollar store and the liquor store. I even went to Starbucks for a coffee...and sat down and actually drank part of it at Starbucks before heading home. I hate to sound so complain-y, and I love my girls dearly, but it sure was nice to have some time to myself without feeling like I have to get my entire to-do list for the week done during my "me time"! Thanks mom!!!