Archive for April, 2009

Chicky, chicky, chook, chook!

We really have to finish the chicken coop now that the little girls have moved in.  Clara is in love with them, especially the yellow one.  She had such a great time at the Urban Farm Store, so excited to see all the chicks and even some ducklings.  She loves to pet them and wants to give them “tisses” and hold them, but I haven’t let her hold them yet as I think she may squeeze too hard. 

They are adorable, sleeping all piled up together as I write and then suddenly waking up to eat, cheep, and pile on top of one  another.  They are a bit like toddlers; whatever one of them is doing, the others want to do.  If one is standing on the food dish, then they all want to.  They are also all vying to be at the top of the pecking order already.  So far the buff orpington is winning (the yellow one).
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24 hours in San Mateo

There are some toddler days that are all happy and giggly.  There are other toddler days that are, well, the opposite.  This was one of those days.

It started off at midnight with Drew, my nephew, screeching for no reason.  That went on for about two hours with a small pause in the middle.  Then Clara woke up.  She nursed back to sleep for two hours, then woke up again, screaming and demanded to nurse again.  There was no more milk, which she could not understand, so she proceeded to scream for twenty minutes more until she got some Tylenol.  So, the entire house was up from midnight to four. 

Then, at 6:30 Clara woke Auntie Kristen up counting, “One, two, four” over and over and over.  Mommy and Daddy were so tired that they slept right through until Auntie couldn’t take it any more and went in, got her up, changed a gigantic poopy, and brought her out and plopped her on the bed.  Then she had breakfast and demanded to watch Super Why, which she watched while demanding to watch Elmo.

Then Drew got up, also with a huge poopy (#1), and we all ate breakfast together.  Drew demanded to do play dough.  Then we decided it was art time and we started to paint.  Clara didn’t want any of this until she realized that Drew was having fun and she couldn’t wait to ruin it.  It was Drew’s first time painting and he thoroughly enjoyed it.
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Then there was getting dressed and brushing teeth, better known as “Clara has the world’s biggest tantrum.”  Nothing would calm her down.  We finally walked her and Drew across the street while Uncle pooped, and then started swinging.   She was a bit like a three month old… fine as long as she was in the swing.  Then it was meltdown time. But we were bored, so we went to a different park. 

First thing, at this park, Clara stood on a spinning post, and mid-spin, let go and landed on her face.  This is a picture of her before she let go.  So, we returned to the swings.
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After swinging, both kids ran to the women’s bathroom and ran in and out of it for about thirty minutes.  Luckily, we were able to just sit outside in the grass and watch them without toilet water incident.

Then we were finally off to lunch at….wait for it… Costco.  We first browsed the liquor aisle…because we’re in crazy California where they sell booze in bulk.  Clara especially enjoyed shaking the gigantic bottles of Jack Daniels.  We sampled a bit (all butter pound cake), and then got in line at the food court.  Hot dogs and pizza all around.  Everyone was happy.
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Then there was glorious, glorious nap time, in which I laid on the couch and pretended that I was going to go to sleep.  Then I finally showered at 1:30 in the afternoon.  Meanwhile, Auntie ran around the house like she really needed to be doing something… this is up for debate.   She did get a bunch of stuff ready for the next leg of our marathon day.

Naptime ended with Drew’s poppy #3, (poopy #2 was right before naptime), and Clara woke up and refused to get out of the crib.  We finally got her out and threw everyone in the car.   We were going to be late for the Jui-Jitsu tournament.  I sat in the back of the car and tried to spoon yogurt (two different flavors) into the mouths of both babies, at the same time, while Kristen drove as fast a possible around the curviest on ramps that have ever been created.  Needless to say, I got car sick.

We arrived at the tournament with five minutes to spare, and parked 300 miles away.  We ran carrying toddlers and all of their stuff, all the while, talking on the cell phone, to get directions to the gym.  When we got there, it turned out that we had at least 30 minutes to spare.  The gym was hot, crowded, and loud.  The babies hated it.  Not only that, but Drew couldn’t figure out what the heck was going on in there (he kept looking at the stands during the fights), Clara was extremely concerned about everyone involved in the fighting, and niether of them understood why we were there.  We watched cousin Clay win second place in his bracket (go Clay)!  Then, outside we went. 
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Outside, we ran, threw and “caught” balls, blew bubbles, had snacks, picked up random trash, including ABC gum, and said,  “Hi,” to about fifty pigeons.   This went on for about an hour until we moved back inside where Clara proceeded to place stickers in my crotch and then laugh hysterically with cousin Clay as she got them out.
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Back outside, to the grass we went, where, a wedding party was taking pictures.  The kids flirted with all of the bridesmades, dressed all in pretty, flowing pink dresses.  They may have ended up in some pictures.  Then there were the roses.  Clara really wanted to smell and pick them.  Which I thought would be fine.  She didn’t get poked, luckily.  But, she did end up with about two inches of mud caked to her shoes.  As I tried to scrap the mud off, Auntie turned out to be on the phone, and Clara immediately ran, in only her tights, back into the mud.  Humm… no shoes or tights now.
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We dragged to kids to the car, and went to dinner with the Allens.  That was fun for the first five seconds while they colored.  Then, they both simultaneously wanted out of their high chairs.  Dinner was a scream-fest, and the food took an hour to get there–literally.  We scarffed it down as fast as we could, and tried to be polite as everyone else enjoyed their dinner.  Meanwhile, the kids chased each other around and around the restaurant, stopping to give eachother bear hugs when they caught each other.  This may have been the cutest moment of the day.  It was now seven o’clock, bedtime.  But we were still at the restaurant and had a half  hour drive home.

The drive home started with Drew sceaming joyfully at the top of his lungs over and over and over.  Auntie got quite fed up with this and told him, “No! NO!”  As soon as she turned back around to drive, he would scream again.  He thought it was hilarious.  She didn’t.  Meanwhile, Clara was screaming in annoyance at having to sit in the car seat.  I poked a binkie in her mouth and all was well for a little bit.  Drew learned how to say Clara’s name.  It was adorable and I tried to take a video of it, but he refused and this is the video we did get.

Clara then threw her binkie and teddy on the car floor… three times… and when I refused to pick them up, she screamed the rest of the way home.  This is how the day ended.  They are both in bed now.  We hope they are so exhausted that we won’t hear a peep until at least 7:00… or 4:30.

The Letter of the Week is E

This is the last letter of the week post.  I will add new posts about preschoolish type things and projects soon, but I’m working on something new, so….

The letter E did not go as planned.  I decided that we were going to paint sticks that were in the shape of the letter E.  We painted, but not on those.  We painted our faces and the table mostly.  I think that about three drops of paint made it onto the E’s. But at least we had fun.

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Chicken Coop–Days 3, 4, and 5

Well, the henhouse still isn’t finished.  I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am a bit disappointed.  Oh well.  On Friday night  we put the roosts in and put a floor on it.  Saturday we figured out the doors, how to hinge them, and how they should work.  On Sunday we finished the doors and I cut the roof out of Palruf and I screwed it up, so then I had to go buy PVC glue and try and fix it, then let it dry.  So, this is how far we got.  It looks a lot like the last picture I posted.  The roof is ready to instal as soon as we can find the time, though!
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Chicken Coop Building: Days 1 and 2

We are taking the plunge!  We’ll be getting a couple of chicks the last week of April (after our road trip to Cali) and we decided that we better think about a coop for them to live in before we get too far into things.  I thought and thought about what our coop should look like, where it should go, how much room the chickens would need, etc.  I read books about keeping chickens and building chicken coops.  Then I drew up a plan of the hen house.  It was pretty rough.  This is an updated, revised version.  The run is not included here as I have not completely figured out how I want it to work yet.
PhotobucketOn Saturday, we took some old fencing from our neighbor’s back yard (with permission) and did some demolition on it during naptime.  Adam says that demolition always takes longer than you think.  That was true in this case.  It took all of nap time.  We also went to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore and bought 2×4’s, hinges, nails,  and door pulls all for under $15.  We also went to Home Depot and got some clear plexiglas type stuff for roofing, some cedar fencing for walls, and some metal posts for the run.  That was $40.  I also need to buy some fencing wire for the run, but I haven’t decided what I want yet, so I’ll get back to you on that.  

On Sunday, after Easter egg hunting (thanks, Erin and Terry!), Clara passed out in a sugar coma and we went to work on the frame of the hen house.  We measured twice (or three times) and luckily only had to cut once except on one angled piece.  Its official, though.  I am really good at stripping bits in the drill while screwing in screws.  Clara woke up an hour later and we weren’t finished, so after she went to bed, we spent an hour and finished up, brushing up on our Pythagorean theorem along the way.  Here is our finished frame!!!  Its not perfect, but I’m not going to live in it, so who cares.  We left some “legs”  on it for leveling purposes later.  Thank goodness I have a husband who knows how to build things.  I never thought all those tools he collected in high school would really get used as much as they have.  Or by me for that matter.  More on finishing the hen house later!
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Exercise/Diet Check-In

I’m excited to announce that I have officially lost 4.5 pounds!  This is mostly through dieting, but also through walking and gardening, and chasing a toddler.  I want to lose a few more pounds still, but I’m feeling pretty good about what I’ve done so far.  I do need to do some pilates or crunches or something, though to tone up my belly flab!

Musings on creating Easter egg suncatchers

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When I think about toddlers, I think of little bundles of energy who are always moving, impulsive, and busy.  But, really, that’s just the way that Clara is.  Not all toddlers are as outgoing and full of energy as she is.  Thier little personalities really do express themselves very early.  Even Clara’s best friend is very different from her.

M. came over this morning to play for a little bit while her mom was working.  I had made a little art project for Clara to work on, so M. did it too.  I cut egg shapes out of foam (more on the egg shapes on Monday) and then put contact paper to cover the middle to make Easter egg sun catchers.  I gave both girls the contact paper covered egg, sticky side up, and a bowl of tissue paper and Easter basket grass scraps to collage with.  

Clara’s creative process involved grabbing the biggest handful of scraps possible, then pushing the handful onto the sticky part as hard a possible.  She repeated this three times in quick succession with new contact paper, then dumped the rest of the scraps on the floor.  She then picked up the salt shaker, the pepper grinder, and the garlic powder from our lazy susan and tried to add some spice to the project.  Then she was done and ran off to play while I hung her creations in the window.  
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On the other hand, M. had a very different art experience.  She started by just feeling the sticky contact paper for about a minute.  Then she neatly pulled out one little piece of tissue paper at a time and placed it as flatly as possible onto the contact paper.  She did this about six times, then decided that that was too many pieces and took two off.  Then when she saw that I was hanging Clara’s on the window, she demanded to hang hers as well.  It had to go horizontally, though since that was the way it was created to go.  She was completely satisfied with this minimalist creation.  
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I can’t wait to see how this difference in personality plays out over time in school, work, friendships, etc.  They are both so different!  I never thought that personality would be so definite so soon.  Its amazing to watch. Everything they do is so developmentally similar, and yet so unique.
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