Monday, December 29, 2008

Mommy Crafts Part II

I made this felt board for Ruby for Christmas (and also one for her cousin, Jack). She looves playing with it and it was so easy and cheap to make! Plus it promotes learning shapes, manual dexterity, creativity...now I just need to make some story pieces for learning narrative skills! I am also thinking of making a small one for when we go to restaurants....hmmm....

More Winter Pics

Well, the snow just kept coming so we were snowed in for about 4 days....though I use the term "snowed in" loosely since we could go to the store, play outside and had plenty of warmth so it's not like we were reliving "The Long Winter" or anything. We just didn't go anywhere. At any rate, we had a lot of fun sledding and enjoying the white stuff. Here are some more pictures of Storm Watch '09: Ruby and Kayla forging through the drifts. We had a nice morning sledding down Kayla's driveway. Unfortunately, Ruby's little paws got too cold so by the time we made it home she was slightly hysterical. Nothing that a little cocoa couldn't cure though!

Here's Ruby and her dad going back up the hill after sledding down. This is on the closed street near our house. It was full of kids and grown ups sliding up and down on snowboards, sleds, innertubes and garbage can lids. You can see that Ruby is using a grout pan..'cause that's how we roll. The entire city was sold out of sleds so we made do with what we had. Turns out it worked perfectly! Here's our poor little garden gnome, Monty, all covered in snow..

And Ruby's first " 'no-man"! She was tired and mad that it was so hard to walk in the snow so she pretty much cried the whole time I was making the snowman. However, when I showed her this photo she got really excited about it. Turns out...she's a lot like me and can only enjoy the snow so much.

Belated Welcome to Willa!

Ruby's pal, Willa was born on Dec 17th! She missed the snowstorm by mere hours (phew!) and with all the hubub with the weather, I forgot to post a proper welcome! So, without further ado, a big congrats to her parents Leslee and Jude and big brother Elijah! We're looking forward to meeting you Willa!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Welcome, Ari Louise!

Ari Louise was born this morning, December 26 at 5:36am at 6lbs 13 oz.

This counts as the best Christmas gift ever! Ruby is super excited to meet her new playmate!

A ginormous congratulations to her parents, Monica and Steve! We love you guys!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

SNOW Day!!

We got a lot of snow this week. The snow suit Ruby got and my boots I got in 1998 are finally coming in handy! Ruby really likes playing in the snow but only if her hands are covered. If the snow touches her bare hands, the playing is DONE. Carden and Kayla have been her snowbunny playmates and though it is a little too powdery for snowmen, we've managed to enjoy it. We also went innertubing down our closed street. Once Ruby got a taste of that, she was hooked. She kept demanding, "Turn! Turn!" even while we explained that it was Carden's turn. Patience..we'll be working on that. But man, can that girl book up a hill in the snow when an innertube is waiting at the top!

Mama Project

I can be a little crazy, therefore this year I decided it was necessary to make my own advent calendar. I bought the supplies on Veteran's Day. I finished it on Dec 12th so at least I had it for half the month. And I figure we'll be using it for years to come. I got the pattern/idea from the Queen of Crafty, Martha Stewart herself.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Toddler Tear Jerker or The Gorilla Made My Girl Cry

I checked this book out from the library, Little Beauty. It's a beautifully illustrated story about a gorilla who knows sign language (kind of like Koko) and requests a friend and receives a kitten whom he names "Beauty." I LOVE the illustrations and the story is simple, sweet and just weird enough to make me really happy. At one point in the book, the gorilla is sad that he is going to lose his friend, Beauty. The picture that accompanies this is a nearly full page of a sad gorilla face. I've had this book for a couple of weeks and we've read it several times, Ruby and I.

So, last night, she is sitting on the couch reading her books as she is wont to do. She picks up Little Beauty and starts turning each page. Then, out of nowhere, when she gets to the sad gorilla page, she bursts into tears. Really, the saddest little face and most heartbreaking cry. I can't decide if she's saddened by Gorilla's face or if she's scared by it. She loves the other pictures but, now, every time she gets to that page she cries. The funny thing is that she would put the book down and then a minute later want to read it again and then cry as soon as she got to the page.

So, is it a tear-jerker or horror? Terms of Endearment or Pet Sematary? Old Yeller or Carrie? Where the Red Fern Grows or Cujo? Hmm...... Such a bummer because I really like this book!

UPDATE: Verdict is it's a tearjerker. Last night she was reading the book with Dustin and when they got to that page she said, "Hurt!" and closed the book and ran away. Poor monkey, she feels sad for the poor ape.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's Santa!

We did make a couple of trips to see Santa. There are some really good ones in our 'hood and all for charity so that's even better. Unlike last year, when she'd let us do whatever we wanted, Ruby wanted NOTHING to do with good ol' Santa. Nada. The first Santa suggested that maybe we not force her to sit on his lap. So, it was me, the dad and Ruby with Santa off to the side. Ugh. I was not expecting nor did I desire to have my picture taken. Does Santa not understand that we had children for the mere fact that one day we would get a hilarious picture of her screaming on Santa's lap so we could submit it to the Scary Santa Pictures site? Anyway, here we are in line waiting for the picture and a video of Ruby learning who he is:

video

The second day we tried a different Santa with the same result. So, when you see the pictures, you'll see me too. This time we went with Carden from across the street and his parents. Afterwards we hit the cupcake store after that for some fun and sugar. Sadly I was not able to get a picture of the two of them holding hands but, trust me, it was precious. Below are some pictures because she looked so damn cute in that dress. So, while the actual Santa photos may be a bust, we had a great time going out to get them and I don't think Ruby will be scarred for life. Phew!

Holiday Cabin Fever

With Thanksgiving out of the way, I now realize it's time for Christmas. Unlike years past when I have been on top of the whole holiday, I am not. I haven't been for many years and I don't know if I ever will again. I'm mainly only doing presents for kids this year which takes some heat off and I've got a million little projects piling up. Luckily, Ruby expects nothing so a less than exciting Christmas (for me) will go unnoticed. Next year, I had best be on the ball.

At any rate, we were fairly busy this weekend. I was feeling somewhat...disillusioned with the whole house thing so I tried to go OUT as much as possible. Sometimes I feel like all I do is sweep, clean, tidy, dismantle piles, do laundry etc yet it is never DONE. I might have mentioned that I would give up an arm to have a live-in housekeeper at one point during the weekend. So, I rebelled and I read a book while Ruby napped and sewed instead of mopping the kitchen. Take that housework! All I'm sayin is if you come over anytime soon it had better be to see me because my house is a hot mess.

But I leave you with some cute pictures of our girl:

Got my drink and my catalogue. Perfect. Ok, at least SHE was mopping...
Dressing up with the hat basket! Fancy!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving and the End of November

We had a lovely thanksgiving weekend - spending lots of time together with many of our dear friends. Unfortunately, our families all live too far away to spend the holidays but we were thinking of them! At one point during the weekend, Dustin set up a drum kit that Ruby can use. She looooves banging on the cymbals! We also caught this quiet moment as Ruby and Uncle Harlan read together one evening. Sweetness. On Thanksgiving day, we went to Nick and Heather's and shared an amazing dinner with our wonderful and talented pals there. Stuffed! Ruby spent most of the evening trying to find Heather's cat, who is NOT very friendly but was a good sport considering. Here's a blurry picture of our dinner. The following day we had another Thanksgiving dinner at Steve and Monica's (a new tradition) and Ruby had a lot of fun with all of the other kids there. Here are three of them watching a movie together. Ruby only stayed until the ice cream ran out. One of my favorite parts of the evening was when Ruby spied a pair of red patent leather shoes on the mantel that someone had bought for Monica's baby. She kept pointing at them and saying, "Shoes!" Monica, being the nice auntie that she is, took them down and let her wear them and once they were on she had the biggest grin on her face and she kept looking at them and stomping her feet and smiling. She was so thrilled by them! I swear I did not teach her this love of shiny shoes!! Also during the weekend, we did some painting and drawing. Ruby did great with the paints and did not eat them. A couple of times she made like she was going to put them in her mouth -- I think out of force of habit (it's a lot like holding a spoon, no?) -- but she caught herself just in time.

Ruby was fortunate enough to get to spend a WHOLE day with her Auntie Kathy last week as well. They spent a lot of time playing, reading and sharing their love of pictures of dogs. One of the books that they really enjoyed together was Dinosaur VS Bedtime. Run, don't walk, to the library or bookstore to get a copy! It's seriously fantastic!

I also managed to get a shot of Ruby and her Auntie Danielle reading together. Another dinosaur book! We really had a wonderful time this holiday. We feel so fortunate to have such an amazing group of friends in this town with whom we could spend the holiday weekend!

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Letter to My Baby

Dearest Ruby:

I understand that you've been a little under the weather and that it's hard to sleep with a cough and snotty nose. I didn't mind sitting up with you, sleeping in a chair for two nights so that you could get a better night's sleep, at the sacrifice of my own. This is what a mother does and, I am told, it's part of the 'magic' of parenthood. Some day, I might even look back upon it wistfully, longing to do it again. Anything is possible.

I also understand that it's nice to want to read a little in the middle of the night when having a hard time falling asleep. In fact, it is something I do quite often myself.

But, why, for the love of god, did you insist that I read to you last night at ONE A.M. O' CLOCK OF THE MORNING?!?

I am trying to cut back on coffee. I am trying to get up early to excercise. That you repeated "Book! Book! Book!" like a little chicken over and over, flinging your head and shoulders backwards if I went anywhere near your crib whilst unleashing an unholy screech, does not help me with these goals in the least.

I will read to you pretty much ANYTIME you want me to but I must request that we keep it strictly between the hours of 7am and 7pm for the sanity of your dear mum.

I love you dearly.

Your Very Very Tired Mama

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Full O' Personality

Wowee the girl is coming out! So...words are spilling out everywhere and it's just a matter of time before we are playing "the quiet game" to quell all of the questions. However, until then, it's just plain fun, hilarious and adorable as she peppers us with a new word (or six) every day. She loves pointing across the street and saying, "Carden!" Hoping he will come to play perhaps?

Last week, that tactic worked and Carden's mom and I headed over to the closest community center for toddler play time. We got there and I was overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they had to play with. Cars, playhouses, dolls, slides, trucks, motorcycles, hula hoops, balls and the coup de grace, a mini bounce house! The best part was, we were the only people there for at least half an hour. Ruby ran from car to car, slide to slide and spent a good amount of time just running, with her arms outstretched and yelling as loud as she could. Here are some shots of her in the fire truck:
!Emergencia!
Last week, on our excursion to the mall play area, we stopped in at H & M , which is quickly becoming one of my favorite places. I found these funny lion mittens that look like little lion puppets. Ruby had a wonderful time roaring with these on her hands so I dropped the 5 bucks to bring them home. Well....a few days later, the Dad, thinking they were socks, put them on her feet and now she refuses to wear them on her hands. Which makes me think about when my nieces moved in and the 3 year old kept falling down, not used to the combo of socks and hard wood floors. One evening after she had fallen down twice she wailed, "Why is your house so slippery!??!?" My guess is that Ruby will have the same question if she keeps up with the lion-mittens-as-slippers thing. I am thinking that maybe she needs some cute animal slippers so that we can return the lions to the hands where they will keep her warm and not cause her to smash her sweet face on the floor.
Roar!
And I have to include this picture of our neighbor, Kayla, helping Ruby put on her hat. Kayla came over with Auntie and Mom to give Ruby a hat that Auntie had crocheted for her. Unfortch, I didn't get a picture of her in said hat but I definitely will. Anyway, I just liked the spirit of cooperation as is so rare in the 2 year old world:
Ruby right now is sportin' a really ugly cough but, otherwise, seems to be feeling ok. I am hoping that we don't all get this particular germ. We are looking forward to the holiday next week and to spending some down time together!

Ruby and Daddy Have a Little Chat

New Hat By Mama

It's a little big and I didn't have the patience to go all out with the embellishments that day but...it's still pretty cute on her:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Parenting Poetry

I ran across this woman's poetry about parenting in my blog reading and well...wow. Talk about poetry that totally says what I am thinking! Made me laugh out loud in parts too!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Somebody's Got Opinions

It seems that Ruby has discovered that she has an opinion and she now exercises her right to use it. A few days ago I plopped a hat on her head which she immediately took off, all the while saying, "No! No!" and then she went and got a different hat and put it on. Ok then!

It's also apparent that she really really wants to communicate. She gets very frustrated when she is trying to convey something to me and I don't understand. On Saturday she was doing the 'no' thing while pushing and pulling me to try to get me to go somewhere I don't know and do I don't know what. At some point she either gave up or I stumbled onto the answer because she stopped making that sound - the one that only toddlers can make.

We had a nice little visit from my cousin, Suzanne and her friend Richard weekend before last when they were visiting from DC. I hadn't seen her in a very long time and it was the first time she met Ruby.

Now, my youngest brother is staying with us for a bit and Ruby is enjoying having her uncle around. She's even got his name down and it's cute as hell to hear her say "Harley!" Trust me on this.

We also helped celebrate the 1st birthday of our neighbor, Carden, which was really fun. When we ask Ruby where Carden is she says his name and points across the street and she gets really excited when we say we're going to see him.

Well, fall is upon us and so our the holidays. My goal is to keep it simple. We'll see how that goes. Happy fall to you and yours from all of us!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween '08!

We had a really fun Halloween this year. Ruby was dressed as a little flamenco dancer. I got the dress in Spain about 7 years ago for my youngest niece, Sienna when she was about Ruby's age. Add one headband with flowers and, "Olé!"
A bunch of us met up at our neighborhood trick or treat the week before the holiday and tried to get another picture of the kids in costume all together as we did last year. Turns out, toddlers are a lot harder to wrangle than 9 month olds. Who knew? Ha ha ha! Anyway, here's the shot for what it's worth. Still pretty damn cute, I say:
Eva, Blix, Ruby and Arrie
And then, here's a picture of Ruby in her costume. Unfortunately, she wouldn't hang on to the castanets so no props:

?Quieres bailar conmigo?

On the afternoon of Halloween, Auntie Kathy came over and we went to Hank's house for a little get-together. Here's the three of us:

Cheeeese!

And here are Hank and Ruby working on the MagnaDoodle together (what a genius toy that is). Hank was a giraffe but he got too hot inside so he's just rockin' the black T.

A circle! A circle man! A donut! A wheel! A ball! Pictionary is hard....

And we also got to see our pal Ryder who we haven't seen in an awful long time. Not only is he growing up, he started walking and even without the 6 extra legs!

The Not-So-Itsy-Bitsy Spider

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Said NO *&%^$& Paparrazi!!

Well, parenting just got a lot more fun. Just one day shy of her 21 month birthday, Ruby threw her first real tantrum. She's thrown little tantrums before but they have always been very very shortlived and easy to distract her from. This evening however, my normally easy-going and happy girl turned into a screaming, shoe-throwing, wailing Sean Penn....just in time for Halloween. Wouldn't even let me take a picture!

It all started when I wouldn't let her turn on the hot water faucet at the bathroom sink. Mean mommy. And let me tell you, she would not let it go. First she tried scooting a foot stool up to the sink and when that didn't work, she began to climb on the toilet. I told her that it was time to get ready for bed and we were going to get her pajamas and she howled and tried leaning to get me to go a different direction (kind of like you do when riding a horse) and when that didn't work...more screaming. I got her on the changing table and started taking off her shoes and she yelled, "No! No! No!" and kept trying to get her shoes back on. She really didn't want to take off her shirt. I put her on the floor thinking that maybe she would want to pick the pajamas. "No!" she stated emphatically and shut the drawer, pushing all of the other drawers shut to prove her point.

At this point, I figured it was time to change tactics and so we went downstairs to change out the laundry for a change of pace and scenery. Didn't really help. She was really really mad. Even the faithful chupa chup was not the answer. I did finally get her in her pj's and read a story and she calmed down a bit....until I put her in her crib. She is now pretty calmed down but wowee...what a doozy! Looks like the 'terrible twos' hit a teeny tiny bit early.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Gramma-Rama

Grammapalooza, Grammastravaganza...call it what you will but it was good times! Grandma Genie and Grandma Rita came to visit for the weekend and Ruby was soaking it up. We were just missing Grandma Ruth and Grandma Grace and it would have been a complete Gramma-Rama. We had a really fun time and hit some of the grandmas' favorite stores like Uwajimaya and Ikea. We also had some really food including a meal at Buca di Beppo where Ruby ate her weight in Italian food. I swear to you that she weighed 5 lbs more that night. Here is Ruby with the Grandmas: And here they are reading her a story: Grandma Rita left Monday morning and Grandma Genie and I spent the rest of the day cooking and planting bulbs. While I was doing something in the kitchen I went to find Ruby and this is what I found:
Last Thanksgiving, Grandma Ruth let Ruby lick her first beater and Grandma Genie continued the tradition. No complaints there!
All in all it was a wonderful visit and we only wish that it could have been longer! Ruby loves her grandmas and I love my mamas! Halloween postings coming soon!

What Does The Little Piggy Say?

video

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Animals!

This afternoon, our sweet friend, Karen, called us to let us know a fall festival was going on down the street so we headed on over. It was great fun! Not only were there pony rides (!) but there was a petting zoo! Here are some shots as Ruby played with the animals.
Ruby and the goat


Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease can I have a pony??????

Firefighters! Sheep!

So, I got a new camera and while I figure IT out, here are some photos that I got off the old one. We had a pretty exciting week. After the disease had run its course, we went out and made up for lost time. There were two, count'em TWO firefighter story times to attend, one at my branch and one at our neighborhood branch. It was really fun to see the firefighters in their gear and see the fire truck and engine up close (the truck holds the hose, the engine the ladder etc...I think that's what he said). Anyhoo...here's a picture of Ruby on the fire truck:
On Friday, we went to the Seattle Children's Theater production of "The Green Sheep" with Hank and his mum. This play was based on the book, "Where is the Green Sheep?" by Mem Fox and it was aimed at kids ages 1-4. Instant Hausfrau strongly recommended it and BOY am I glad we went! It was SO fun and Ruby was enthralled. It was the perfect environment and length for this age and they did such a great job with it. We were impressed! Unfortunately, my camera was being weird (hence, I had to get a new one!) so all the pics were kinda blurry but you get the idea.

Ruby with the Bed Sheep

Hank and Ruby smell the flowers together

Ruby pets the Green Sheep. He was sleeping the whole time!

All in all, a fun few days and time well spent after a weekend of being sick. Yay! More to come, my friends. More to come....