Monday, March 29, 2010

Family Night

We went to a zero entry pool with my parents for our family night. Red Fish loves being able to walk in the shallow end. Both of my girls are such water babies!No fear!

New Fish was pretty excited when I took her to the shallow end where her feet could touch. She was jumping up and down in her ring going crazy.

Produce Prints

We've been using different kinds of produce to make prints. (Oranges, bell peppers, apples etc.)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Easter Clothes

My dress belonged to my Mimi when she was a teenager. I love it.The only way Red Fish would be in the picture is if we let her adjust the camera on the tripod, push the timer button and run into the picture. Little goober did a pretty good job! I had the camera somewhat positioned ahead of time but she was moving it for every picture. We got a few random outtakes but overall it was great!Here is a picture of her running into the scene.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Extra In Love Today

Today, I am extra in love with my babies. No special reason other than their adorable sweetness. I just want to hug and kiss them and snuggle them and now I actually miss them because they are upstairs asleep. They both let me hold them for an extra long time today and I just loved the weight of their little bodies and the pull of their arms around my neck. There is something so great about feeling your kids curl up with you for a good hug.

Watching New Fish play with her toys and make faces at them completely cracked me up today. Everytime I laughed she would look up at me and smile.We went to dinner tonight at a deli and the whole time we were there, both of our girls were being so funny and cute. They just made me laugh the whole time. Red Fish was so in love with her chicken and ice cream. She made a HUGE mess but she was so happy I actually loved the mess. Good thing we've learned to take a bib with us everywhere! Sorry if the picture grosses you out, but I think it's funny.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

By Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

This book is officially the best parenting book I have read. I love it more than I liked Love & Logic. I'm a little overwhelmed at how many ideas I want to implement into the way I communicate with my family.

The writing style is clear, concise and well supported. I like the down to earth tone of the book. The authors offer plenty of suggestions, tips, techniques and examples of how to implement ideas without resorting to disrespectful, harmful or fear-based methods. Practical everyday parenting and communication issues are addressed in a sympathetic and respectful way that encourage children to make choices and think through problems. Family members are encouraged to hear each other clearly and use humor to respond to many situations. I really think the parenting ideas in this book can help bring and keep my family closer together.

Every topic is addressed from multiple angles instead of a one size fits all approach. My favorite parenting books are full of ideas rather than dictated plans of actions. A paint by the numbers approach to life has never worked for me.

This is a book I will definitely be using quite a bit.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Proud Day For Mamma

Today has been a crazy day full of art at our house. First thing Red Fish did after breakfast was start plundering through the art supplies. Usually I will set certain supplies out or demonstrate something fun and then let her go crazy. Today she had plans of her own. She got all of her own things out, set up and created her own projects without any help at all. In fact when I tried to move something for her I got quite the verbal lashing. This was HER project. I found it completely fascinating to watch her work. I was one proud Mommy today.
While I was cooking dinner, Red Fish got out side walk chalk, miscellaneous collage items, stickers and card board and went to town.
She started out with stamps and stamp pads and covered a big sheet of paper, then she drew all over it with markers and shredded the paper. I was a little sad she had destroyed it but then she asked for a glue stick and glued all the little pieces onto another piece of paper. I really love this one.
Red Fish used google eyes, feathers, shredded paper, sequins, and foam stickers stuck on paper with strips of cut up contact paper. (I think she wanted to use packing tape but this is cheaper.) The only thing I did was cut up the strips for her and stick them on the side of her table.

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

By Barbara Ehrenreich
The battle to earn a living wage. Journalist and author Barbara Ehrenreich sets off to cities around the country to try and make an honest living as an "unskilled worker" in low-wage America. She works jobs at Walmart, nursing homes, diners, maid services etc. to gain a firsthand perspective of living hand to mouth. Ehrenreich puts in an honest day of back breaking work for a month in each location, only to find that seven days a week of work will not pay for even the cheapest of rents, food and absolute necessities.

The descriptions of her coworkers broke my heart a little bit. The devastating effects of being unpaid, under-appreciated and almost invisible to the middle and upper classes were disturbing. Not to mention the lack of proper nutrition available in their circumstances. The poverty of people working that hard is positively unthinkable. Ehrenreich doesn't find hoards of slackers and drug addicts working for meager paychecks in the most thankless of jobs, but rather people banding together with their families and working to get through tomorrow.

"I grew up hearing over and over, to the point of tedium, that 'hard work' was the secret of success: 'Work hard and you'll get ahead' or 'It's hard work that got us where we are.' No one ever said that you could work hard–harder even than you ever thought possible–and still find yourself sinking ever deeper into poverty and debt."

I found this book completely illuminating. It also made me feel guilty and like a completely spoiled brat. I guess in my mind all this time I've pictured homeless and destitute people as lazy drug addicts and alcoholics or families who have some catastrophic event. I didn't picture the checker at Walmart or Wendy's as an emergency case who sleeps in her car with her kids. Now that these working poor are growing in numbers (somewhere around 1/3 of people in the US)–"well what do we think of them? Disapproval and condescension no longer apply, but what outlook makes sense?" We are living in an culture of extreme inequality, an invisible caste system that is taking over. When you can no longer keep your family off the streets with full time employment, what exactly is the answer?

The biggest problem for most people I know, other than the lack of living wage jobs, is the lack of affordable child care. How can you work for $7-10 and still pay for a babysitter? It's something to think about.

Overall this book was an eye opener for me. I appreciated the honest approach and Ehrenreich's total transparencies in her research and personality.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Theater Weekend

Our Town by Thornton Wilder
Although this play has been produced more times than perhaps any other 20th century play, I had never seen it before. I had previously read the book a couple of times and always enjoyed it. I liked the stage production very much.
I love the use of the bare stage, minimal props, and the direct address to the audience. I'm not nearly as familiar with theatre as I am with some of the arts so I really loved the explanation in the play notes.

"Wilder exploded the accepted notions of character and story and catapulted the American drama into the 20th century. He did for the stage what Picasso's and Braque's experiments did in cubism did for painting and Joyce's stream of consciousness did for the novel. To mistake him for a traditionalist is to do Thornton Wilder an injustice. He was in fact, a modernist who translated European and Asian ideas about theatre into the American idiom."

I found the archetypal characters and the direct address of the stage manager really poignant. I loved the celebration of the best moments of life. Sometimes the actions and familiar details that really define us get lost in the day to day shuffle of our lives. Simple moments, stringing together the bigger events of our life, get overlooked. I feel the seeming acceleration of time very keenly right now as my girls transform before my eyes. I liked having the reminder to celebrate the small moments before they are gone.

Alice In Wonderland

I went to see this in the theater (a rare treat) with my sister in law A. I LOVE Tim Burton and Johnny Depp so I was really excited. I loved the costumes, Johnny Depp being a weirdo, the set, and pretty much everything else.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Starting Young

Friday, March 19, 2010

Girls Night

These girls are from our last neighborhood and I try to get together with them for a monthly girls night out. We are usually tempted to stay at the restaurant all night, so one of my friends M invited us on an overnight getaway. BBQ, junk food, a huge breakfast, hours of gab, a lot of laughter and so much fun! It made me grateful to know so many awesome women. I don't think I have laughed quite that hard in a long time.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Self Portrait Of A Wild Child

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

6 Months

Where has the time gone? I can't believe my little baby is six months old. She is such a great addition to our family. I love her sweet little smile. I took her to the peditrician for her shots today and it just about broke my heart to see the look of shock and horror on her face when they gave her the shots. She looked at me like a complete traitor. She is such a sweet little thing, I hate to see her get so upset.

Here are some things about her at six months-
• She is getting chubby fast. She is up to the 50th percentile for height and weight and weighs in at 14 lbs. 14 ounces and 25.75 inches tall. Her head is 42.5 cm. I'm completely shocked she got so big so fast. I adore her chubby legs and double chin.
• She is very happy. The only time she gets a little whiny is when she is hungry or tired.
• She has totally rejected solid food so far. I just get it spit all over me. I'm hoping she will give in soon and eat so she can start sleeping through the night.
• She is completely in love with her sister and happily welcomes late night visits to snuggle in the crib. Today I caught Red Fish even trying to change New Fish's diaper.
• She is getting very steady at sitting up and can stay up for several minutes at a time. (I know this seems like a funny thing to be so proud of but I just love seeing their little milestones.) She can even bend over and pick up a toy while sitting.
• She is a rolling machine! She rolls all over the room now.
• She is a snuggler. She would love to be held, kissed, and cuddled all day long.
• She loves to take baths.
• She is a slobbery baby. She soaks her shirt and bib through on an hourly basis.
• She has the biggest, brightest eyes and fabulous eye lashes.
• She loves to be tickled (especially by her sister) and laughs and laughs.
• Her lower lip still quivers when she is sad.
• She is getting very into being read to at night. She tries to hold the book.
• She LOVES to jump in her exersaucer and can really get it bouncing.
• She always wants to have a rattle of some sort in hand.
• She has a new coating of fuzz all over her head and it looks blond right now.

Bubble Wrap Prints

We had some used padded envelopes I cut up and let Red Fish paint the pieces. She pressed them on paper to make a print. She was totally wowed by the polka dot pattern it left. She really loved this project. We need to invest in an ink brayer so we can do more print making projects. I think she would like rolling the ink on and it would be easier. I am going to start saving up more bits so we can do this again.
She took a fork and drew lines on one of her prints.
Here is one Red Fish made today with her Aunt A.


When I carry New Fish around in the sling or moby wrap, Red Fish wants to carry her baby the same way. It's really cute.

This month is always crazy for me. I'm getting ready for a huge convention next month and it always means a lot of extra work. I'm teetering bit on the brink of sanity. Luckily, the weather has been fabulous the last few days and we have been out on LONG daily walks and to the playground at the end of our street with friends. We've all been seriously soaking in the sunshine and we couldn't be happier to end our hibernation. It improves all of our moods immensely. I'm looking forward to a lot of time in our backyard this summer. (I am not, however, looking forward to the yard work.)

The girls are starting to really play together and I'm loving it. I've been spreading out blankets for New Fish to play on and Red Fish brings little piles of toys over to share with her. Red Fish is eating raisins in this picture like they are having a picnic. I had a hard time convincing her to stop trying to share with her baby sister.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Four Years. Go.

Four Years. Go.
Click on the link above.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Friday, March 12, 2010

Baby's First Swim

We have to make sure Red Fish has plenty of flotation devices on because she has absolutley NO FEAR when it comes to the water. She loves to lay face down in the bathtub and blow bubbles. She wanted to jump off the side the whole time and she made me jump in the 12 foot deep end with her over and over. We will definitely be investing in some swimming lessons this year.

New Fish was very excited to be in the water. Most of my pictures are blurry because she was kicking her legs and waving her arms around so much.
My girls are very relaxed in the water. It was nice and warm like a big bathtub.
I'm getting excited for summer clothes so New Fish can show off her little Michelin man arms and legs.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Adorable & Annoying

Lat night, Two Fish and I were going to bed and we noticed Red Fish's door was cracked open. We peeked in and she wasn't in her bed. We started to search the house for her and finally found her curled up in New Fish's crib, snuggling her little sister. Red Fish had even brought all of her blankets and stuffed animals in and had her sister all tucked in.
I went to the Apple store again tonight. I was the phone with my brother in law earlier and even took the time to lock my laptop in the office. (I just had the keyboard replaced after several attacks by Red Fish.) I guess I didn't get things secure enough because I came back to find every single key missing. I managed to get half of them back on but had to go to the genius bar for help yet again. Now some of my keys are out of wack again. I'm hoping that this mischevious streak is to make up for being a great teenager later or something.

When I was packing the girls up to meet Two Fish at work (so I could go to the Apple store) I asked Red Fish to get herself a toy to take in the car. She came downstairs with her baby doll, her blankie, New Fish's blankie and a rattle for New Fish. I thought that was really sweet.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Projects We've Been Working On

Red Fish made a salt dough sculpture that we let dry over night. Then today she painted it. She had fun painting something with more a texture and shape to it. Shortly after the paint dried, Red Fish destroyed it. I'm pretty sure she had as much fun destroying it as she did creating it.
She also has been working on this painting for a few days. It has feathers and bits of paper stuck in the paint.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Print Making

Foam stamps and a collograph.

Reasons To Smile

We went for a walk the other day. It was a nice day (and then it snowed later.) New Fish was a little alarmed by the stroller. It's a sad thing that she hasn't been in one since September. Red Fish held her hand and calmed her down.
Two cute babies. Red Fish kept telling me all day yesterday that "Daddy is gee-ing." (Daddy is skiing.) She was very excited when I told her in a couple of years she can ski too.

My friend Nancy put this on my blog the other day and I love it.

"The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it.
You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh.
Crying gives me a headache."
-Marjorie Hinckley

Friday, March 5, 2010

Zoo Keeper

New Fish had an epic blowout this morning. I was upstairs trying to take her clothes off without anything going up her nose and give her a bath. I got her somewhat cleaned up and I heard a huge bang downstairs followed by a door opening. I looked out the window and there was Red Fish streaking naked through eight inches of snow in the backyard with the dog running circles around her and they were both screaming at the top of their lungs. I went down there, ran barefoot after them, brought them inside and managed to get a diaper on Red Fish (who I should mention had already wet the floor once today after her bath.) The dog beat me upstairs and grabbed the poopy diaper and clothes and shredded the diaper all over the room making a fantastic mess. I tried to blockade Red Fish in the toy room but she of course escaped, ran downstairs and emptied my pantry (by climbing the shelves) all over the kitchen floor. She also emptied several cabinets while I was trying to depoopify my house. Then when I finally got everyone calm (including myself) and tried to get some lunch out I opened the fridge and saw a bag of melted popsicles (among other things) all over my fridge. Red Fish broke my child lock and learned how to open the fridge and freezer yesterday. * Insert tears here.* This all happened in the course of about an hour.

The monkeys have overtaken the zoo and the zoo keeper is about to go on strike.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Reasons For Red Fish To Get Out Of Bed

I forgot to kiss her stuffed turtle.
The blankets aren't pulled up right.
Her blankie isn't where she needs it.
She needs a drink.
She needs an extra hug.
She needs a song.
Her sock is twisted.
She hears her sister making noises.
She has an owie from yesterday that needs to be kissed.
She is hungry.
She didn't say goodnight to the dog.
She needs another story.
She wants to sing me a song.
She wants her back scratched.
She wants to give me another kiss goodnight.
She wants to sleep in my room.
She wants Mommy to put her to bed.
She wants Daddy to put her to bed.
She wants to play a game.
She wants to sleep "in bubba's room."
Her stuffed bear fell out of the bed and needs to be tucked back in properly.
Her pillow isn't fluffed.
She wants to see what we are doing without her.
She can't find her music player.
She wants to sleep with a book.
She thinks now is the perfect time for a piano solo.

And one thousand other reasons. Silly girl.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hanging Out

New Fish loves a free ride while I'm cleaning the house.

Sunday Afternoon Adventures

Ready to roll.

Grandma and Bockum with the girls.
Staring contest with Gammie.