Saturday, October 31, 2009

Swiper, no swiping....

...my candy!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Preschool parade

I left the high school Haloween costume parade to attend Grace's preschool parade this morning. And, boy, was it worth it!

The "big" kids came out first.
Keep in mind this is preschool. The "big kids" are 3 and 4 years old!
Grace's class of toddlers came down the ramp instead of the steps.
I had the chance to take a few pictures before she saw me, but I think she was so happy I was there to see her first parade
that she was willing to smile for the camera!
I loved watching Grace walk around with her friends.
Her teachers dressed up as "Peace and Quiet". Clever!
Even the littlest babies participated. I thought it was so funny how they were in these giant strollers!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bet you can't guess....

...what I am doing right now.

I am baking sugar cookies for Grace's daycare Halloween party at school tomorrow AND cutting Boots' ears so her costume looks more like a monkey and less like a mouse AND trying to put a cowgirl costume together to wear to work tomorrow!

I have had Grace's costume for at least a month and have been avoiding all the cutting and sewing fixing the ears entails. Yes, I was in denial. I kept saying, "She looks like a monkey" but after Sunday at the zoo when people said Grace was a cute mouse - and an elephant! - and after today at school when one of my special needs students (who is very direct) confirmed it, I made the decision to change those silly ears!Stay tuned....hopefully there will be pictures of the parade and party tomorrow.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Boo at the zoo - Year 2!

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon - the temperature was almost 60 - so it worked out perfectly to go to Boo at the Zoo today. The only problem is that everyone else had the same idea so it was very crowded.Grace made a cute Boots and I dressed up as Dora. I know Swiper was there, but for some reason he remained in hiding and didn't come out to swipe anything today....maybe he'll show up on Saturday when we go Trick-or-Treating....Grace was a little cautious at first, even though we have been practicing saying "Trick or Treat" for the last couple of days. After she got through the first few treat stations she wanted to walk on her own and did a great job carrying her bag up to the people giving out candy. (FYI: Grace has an adorable basket for collecting Halloween candy. But, you are supposed to use the white plastic bag they give you. That is the way they keep track of who paid admission as a trick-or-treater vs. an observer.) I am glad we had today as a "test run" for Grace's costume. Remember Boots is a grey monkey. I started with a mouse costume as the base, altered it to fit her, and added red boots. But after today, I decided to make a few more changes so she looks less like a mouse and is more identifiable as Boots. I hemmed the legs a little more so her boots show off since tucking the pants in didn't work too well. Boots has those tufts of hair on his head, so my mission in the next couple of days is to find something that will work for that and I think Grace is going to carry (or wear!) a banana somewhere on the costume.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Going to a "Show"

Kellie and I bought tickets the Children's Theater Series this year. It is a series of 4 live performances that started this weekend and go through early May. The other three shows include The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Junie B. Jones, and The Dream Jam Band (Grace is going to love that one!)

I was excited to take Grace to the first show Stellaluna, based on the popular children's book by the same name. But I have been pretty sick this week and didn't feel up to it, so Kyle stepped in and joined the ladies for a morning at the theater. Since I told Grace on Friday night that she would be going with him, she kept saying, "Daddy show" non-stop. And when I asked her what show they were going to, her answer was, "Soccer show". Yeah, it makes sense that she would think that.

As the story goes, baby bat Stellaluna’s life is flitting along right on schedule until an owl attacks her mother one night, knocking the batlet out of her grasp. The tiny bat lands in a nest of baby birds and Stellaluna is accepted into their nest on the condition that she will act like a bird, not a bat. Soon Stellaluna has learned to behave like a good bird should – she quits hanging by her feet and starts eating bugs. Eventually, she has an opportunity to show her bird siblings what life as a bat is like.

As you can tell from that description, parts of this story are perfect for any child who is learning to be herself. But, there is a scary element to it when Stellaluna's mom is attacked, so I was a little unsure about how it would affect Grace.
From what Kellie and Kyle said about this performance, it was just "okay". The characters were puppetlike stuffed dolls and other than the owl, which was huge, you couldn't see the other animals' faces clearly from most of the seats in the theater. I am not sure how much Grace understood about the story, but my philosophy is to continue to expose her to as much as I can.

Not exactly the "exposure" I meant!
Anything she absorbs is welcome and she continually surprises me with what she learns and understands! Grace came home with some coloring sheets she got at the play and the was able to show me the bat when I asked her which one was Stellaluna. And, when I put her in for a nap I asked her who she saw at the show and she said, "Owl". So, I know she learned something today. But the best part is she seemed totally pumped to have some one-on-one time with Kyle.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dumb baby inventions

It is hard to believe, but these are real inventions that appeared in Life Magazine. All I can say is, "What were they thinking?"

A Life Magazine photo showing a baby in a cage attached to the exterior of a city apartment window. A nanny inside the apartment is watching the baby.

Baby cages like this one were provided to members of the Chelsea Baby Club in London in 1937. The idea was patented in America in 1922 due to its many perks:

The problem: city apartment dwellers don’t have much space.

The Solution: store your babies in a cage attached to the exterior of your apartment window.

Perks cited in the patent:

  • Baby receives fresh city air.
  • Sufficient room to play with toys.
  • Doubles as a place to sleep (like a crib). One variation describes curtains placed on the cage to prevent a draft.

Undocumented perk: Because of its mesh floor, spit-up and diaper leaks are a pinch to clean up. But what if the apartment above you has a baby cage too? Well, the patent describes a solid slanted roof that would easily sluff off any urine or feces raining down from above.

Life Magazine photo of two adults with tethers around their necks holding a baby in the air via a harness between the adults. The adults are in an ice skating rink and are wearing ice skates.

Oh, why not suspend a baby in a cloth bucket swing secured with one tether tied around the mother and one tether tied around the father while they both go ice skating? What could go wrong?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Choo-Choo

Grace has become fascinated with Thomas the Tank Engine. Don't ask me how. I have no idea. I think we were at the public library once this summer and she noticed a Thomas video. We borrowed it and since then, she is all about trains.In New York, the Times Square Toys R Us had a huge Thomas section with tracks, mountains, tunnels, etc. set up on a low table so kids can play. Grace was smart enough to know that once she got her hands on a train or two she shouldn't put them down because another kid would just snatch them right up.We watched her for a long time, playing with the trains and if she hadn't gotten cranky and tired, we probably would have left the store with a few of our own!
The funny part is that after about 20 minutes of playing with the trains we managed to pull her away and wander into the Barbie area. She walked in and after just a couple of minutes, Grace said, "Let's get out of here!" What a tomboy!

Grace also learned about tunnels on this trip. There are multiple ways to get from Laguardia Airport into Manhattan. On Friday, our taxi driver decided to take the Midtown Tunnel. So as we were driving through it I told Grace we were in a tunnel and that the tunnel went under the water to get to the island where Nana and Ba live. Later that weekend, we also went through the Battery and Lincoln tunnels and each time she said, "Tunnel. Under the water" and did this funny swooping move with her hand.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CMOM

Last weekend we visited the Children's Museum of Manhattan, aka "CMOM". (You can check it out here.) Like the children's museum in Clevleand, this one has a a variety of hands-on exhibits for kids to touch, play, and experiment.Grace and Nana found the Dr. Seuss car on the 4th floor where the entire area was dedicated to popular children's books.But, by far, Grace loved the Dora and Diego floor the best....as did about 100 other kids. It was crowded! Grace is not the most aggressive toddler and I prefer it that way. I want her to wait her turn and to say, "Please", "Thank you", "I'm sorry", and "Excuse me", but apparently not all (New York City) parents feel that way. There were a lot of pushy kids that she had to contend with. Grace managed to hold her own and still have a good time exploring.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Raindrops keep falling...

We spent a long weekend in the New York City area. On Saturday, we visited Grace's Uncle John, Aunt Deborah, and cousins Connor and Ryan in New Jersey. It was a cold and rainy day but we didn't let that stop us!Nana and Big Daddy (aka "Ba") seemed very pleased to have everyone together again.We ALL ventured into the corn maze and NONE of us made it out the exit. Connor and Ryan persisted the longest but eventually even they gave up and came out.We did better with buying mums, pumpkins, fall decorations, and apple pies!I told Grace last week when we were in the pumpkin patch that the rule is: You have to be able to carry your own pumpkin. But with Ba and Uncle John around that rule didn't work. They got her whatever she wanted!Grace had fun running around in a maze that was more her size! (Shhh...don't tell anyone...I liked this one better, too!)Connor (almost 10) and Ryan(just turned 6) were so sweet with their baby cousin.
They pushed her around on the wagon,
held her hand, shared their toys,
and helped her paint her tiny pumpkin.
I think Ryan and Grace have already developed a special bond with each other. How cute are they together?