Saturday, December 31, 2005

Oven Man

oven_man, originally uploaded by skweerell.

Oven Man mysteriously materializes in our kitchen on certain days. Ro builds one every two or three weeks. He's done about 10 or so. If I can't find my slippers, I usually need to check the oven to see if they've been loaned to Oven Man. Oven Man is made with random things that happen to be around. He's sort of a recurring found object sculpture. This one consists of Daddy's insoles for eyes, a sock for a nose and tiny PEZ dispenser arms. A firehat graces his head and my slippers are his feet. I love Oven Man and regret I haven't photographed them all. I could've done an Oven Man calender or something.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

walking noses

Ro is frequently thrown by idioms such as "let's hit the road" or " let's get rolling". He came up to me the other day and said, "My nose is walking." He he. Instead of running. Other comments have a more obscure derivation and I can't really figure them out. He slipped on the floor in the kitchen and he said, "Look Mommy! I fell down just like a fish in the grass." ???? What's that supposed to mean?

He also claims he likes eggnog because it tastes like flowers.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmassy doings

rabbit racecar, originally uploaded by skweerell.

Christmas is over. It went pretty well this year. Nice and calm. We took a mini-ski trip with Daddy's parents and Ro learned a few skiing basics like how to do the snowplow. I was kind of taken aback by how much he liked eating the snow. It hasn't really come up while playing around here but at the ski area he kept asking if he could eat snow or I'd see him munching away on a handful. Snow = nature's bountiful dessert. He wants to pour fruit juice on it, which isn't really a half bad idea really.

Ro seemed so calm Christmas eve that I thought he must not understand that tomorrow would be Christmas - but he did. He was in awe of the tree and presents and rushed over hugged a pile of presents and said, "Oh! I love presents" and then he sort of basked in the glow of the Christmas tree a little bit. He loved the rabbit race car. He's pictured holding his and giving Sim her red one. It's definitely a favorite toy. His other favorites are his dog clock and game we got called Viva Topo.

Sim's favorite presents were the Baby's Box of Fun books (Babies seem to love Katz's books), a game called Go Away Monster, and a washcloth. It has flowers on it and she loves it and carries it around with her. She calls it "towel". I tried getting her to take other washcloths but she only wants her little flowered one. It's her first favored toy.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

rabbit race car

Ro's really only been consistently asking for one thing for Christmas, which is a rabbit race car. We were a bit dumbfounded at first and still puzzled as the request continued day afer day. He's asking for it two or three times a day now and has resorted to building his own out of household items. They're quite complex. He used a laundry basket as the body with a pillow in it for the engine. This was balanced on two other pillows for the wheels. He had his child-sized folding chair as the seat and a microphone was the steering wheel. He used a rabbit PEZ dispenser as the "rabbit key" to get it started. He covered most of it with shredded tissue, which he described as "rabbit paint". The theme has been growing with Ro building cars for Sim and for Daddy. Your car style is defined by your PEZ key. If you have a pumpkin PEZ dispenser then you have a pumpkin car, chick PEZ = chick car, etc.

Grandpa asked Ro what he wanted to be when he grew up. Typical answer is a fireman or a hero or to fix cars - occasionally a doctor. Today, he said he wanted to be a mommy and take care of babies. I couldn't stop laughing about it when Grandma told me. He has been quite nurturing to Simone sometimes.

Sim is 18 months old today. whee!

Friday, December 16, 2005

little monster

I heard a lot of scuffling downstairs this morning and knew it was Ro. Usually, he calls up to us immediately but he was just playing today, so I got up to see what he was up to down there. When I got to the foot of the stairs, he was scooting by in army crawl fashion - intent on getting somewhere. I asked him what he was doing and he whispered, " I just pretending to be a monster." Then, he crawled away. He eventually ended up slithering into Simone's room when he heard her wake up. She wasn't too pleased to see him, especially when he didn't say much to her but crawled under her crib instead. A good little monster indeed.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

miss lovey dovey

Sim is sooooo incredibly sweet sometimes. Every time I read Hop on Pop, I read it in a happy voice except for two pages, which I read in a sad voice. The first is the Sad Dad pages. Dad is sad. Very very sad. What bad day dad had. The other is the dog pages where dogs get wet and then yelp for help. She gets so concerned and I get totally smothered in kisses. I love it that she tries to comfort me.

The other day, we were driving in the car and Sim was rambling on in the backseat. I thought it sounded like she was saying "I love you, I love you" over and over again. After several minutes of continuous repition, she said, "Mama, I love you." I said, "I love you to, simone" and then she was quiet.. She's used the phrase several times since as well. I felt bad for ignoring her for so long in the car but her talking abilities really take me off guard sometimes. It's like babble, babble, coherent sentence, babble babble. Also, I think Ro was 3.5 before he verbalized more abstract concepts like love.

She's doing really good counting to three and she's learning all the alphabet letters but she doesn't yet associate them with symbols. Some days, I point to three or four letters and she names them correctly. But the next day, I could ask her for the same letters and her answers will all be wrong. I wonder if she knows it a little or if she just gets lucky. She's so determined to do everything her brother can do. They've been playing so well together lately. I brought in the plastic ride on cars that we typically keep outside for them to tear around the house. They're having so much fun with them. It's great.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

O Christmas Tree

nervous_pirate, originally uploaded by skweerell.

We went out to the tree farm Saturday and chopped down our tree. Ro and Sim were besides themselves with the excitement of decorating it. Sim keeps running up to it and shrieking, "Treeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" Occasionally, she attempts saying "Christmas tree" but that's a bit hard. They were both dancing around the tree desperate for Daddy to finish putting the lights on so they could hang ornaments. And, in Simone's case, take them off again. She's really into undecorating.

Ro was really thrilled with some abstract felt ornaments that he made last Christmas, when I just gave him a bunch of random felt shapes and he glued them together in different ways. While hanging them on Saturday, he said the one on the left was a "nervous man" and the one on the right was a pirate.

We didn't have a tree topper so I whipped up a felt angel last night, so Ro wouldn't go apopleptic from having a bare topped tree. Otherwise, we're cutting back on our Xmas decor because of Sim's destructive tendencies. We're not putting out the train because our nativity scene looks like the aftermath of a hurricane after Simone plays with it. The wisemen are scattered. Mary is flat on her face and minus her veil. Jesus is AWOL. I found him under the Christmas tree. The camel has no saddle and the sheep have their feet up in the air. The cat is totally missing. Simone really gets the mother/baby thing though. She's always bringing me Mary and Jesus together. Thankfully, we have a Playmobil nativity - so it just looks a mess with out being too destructible.

We also have lots of presents under the tree already. Ro gathered up random toys and wrapped them in blankets and positioned them all around the tree. We've been doing lots of blanket gift giving all week actually. Ro never seems to tire of opening imaginary presents.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The play

Our church put on the Xmas play twice this weekend, once at a local nursing home and once again at church last night. Simone was hilarious in both shows. She wandered all over the place nearly knocking over microphone stands, almost dumping the coffee of the directress, sitting on the lead sheep's feet any time she was in the spotlight and clapping a lot.

When she'd wander off stage, I'd whisper in her ear, "Go hold Roen's hand" or "Go give Roen a hug" and she'd toddle off and give him a hug. Toward the end of the play, she got really into hugging her brother. She gave him a hug and then another and then another. He'd mostly been ignoring her but he couldn't really ignore all the hugs in a row. Then, she decided she really needed a kiss. So, she puckered up and grabbed Ro and he just gave her a smile in return. Sim wouldn't take no for an answer so she grabbed him by his shepherd turban and pulled his head down for a big kiss on the lips. It was so sweet. All the elderly ladies doted on Simone like crazy. She was a cute little sheep.

The play was pretty rough on Saturday but the kids did a really good job with it last night. Ro mostly picked his nose throughout the first play so I told him not to do that for the second play --- and he didn't. Yay. Most of the kids, 10 and under, did really strange things on stage like pick their nose, twirl their hair, bite their nails, etc. In the nativity scene, Mary got so fixated on staring/admiring her nails I thought she was going to drop the baby jesus and request a nail file. Overall, Ro did a good job. I was just glad he stayed on stage because he wouldn't last year. They were calling him the rogue angel because he jumped off stage and ran to sit with Grandma.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

back seat driver

Ro: Mommy, you're not steering!!! Put your hand back on the wheel!
Me: I'm still steering with my other hand, Ro.
Ro: Are you joking? You need to steer mommy!

Monday, December 05, 2005

more signage

dirtyfaces, originally uploaded by skweerell.

Ro's really taken off on the signage. He's so inspired by his sister's behavior. When he saw her grinning ghoulishly at us with black or green lips, he was inspired to draw up "No Babies Eating Markers". It hasn't deterred her from her marker sucking habit at all. If anything, telling her NO just eggs her on. We also have "No babies eating salt", "Go eat your breakfast!", "No colds!", "No babies bumping bookcase" and "Baby eat your breakfast". And, an aggravating muffin baking session resulted in a "Don't mess up mommy" sign because Sim was harassing me so much and making me forget critical ingredients.

Signs are posted all over the house, which has lead to an additional problem with Simone. Drawing on paper is allowed but now paper is all over the place. Signs are taped to windows, walls and cabinets and things. aaaaiiiiieee. She went on one drawing spree and scribbled on some of the signs and a bit of cabinet and some floor and a little wall but I was able to get it all up. I need to be more vigilant about her getting hold of writing utensils. I'm sick of seeing her sucking on markers. She also chews chalk and crayons, sucks wet paint brushes, and eats playdough. It's terrible. I pretty much have to watch her all the time. Thankfully, most stuff is non-toxic. I wouldn't let her do any of the above at all - except that she wants to do whatever Ro is doing and he's doing little painting and drawing projects --- so she is too. Sometimes, she's really good but sometimes she's just a little scamp.

picture: Ro and Sim writing a plastic wheelie car together.

Tea and words

Sim is making her first attempts at multiple word expressions. As she watched Daddy pour syrup on the waffles, he wiped his finger on the edge of the bottle to pick up the last drop. Then, he licked it off his finger. Simone immediately started yelling, "No! Mine! More!!!!" Then, she licked her finger. Daddy was surprised and gave her a drop of maple syrup too. He didn't know that I give Sim little drops of honey on her finger if we happen to be making tea together.

A few mornings ago, Sim said, "All done Animal night night", which means she was all done sleeping in the room with the animals (i.e. her bedroom). She thinks of it as the animal room because that's the room we play with stuffed animals in and that's about it. I haven't really gotten her room together yet.

Sim loves tea and the whole process or ritual of making tea. She loves getting a drop of honey. She gets the tea out of the drawer, drops a bag in the cup and then puts the box away. When I open the fridge, she gets the milk. Then, she points at the sippy cup pieces that I need to get. It's cute. The only thing on her mind when she gets up in the morning is TEA, TEA, TEA, which she says over and over until I get it made. It's cute.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

On with the show

shepsheep, originally uploaded by skweerell.

It's time for the Christmas play at our church again. Ro was supposed to be a sheep but he flat out refused to even consider it or try on the costume. He kept saying, "I'm not a sheep! I want to be a leopard!" He meant shepherd but a leopard would liven up the play quite a bit and give the shepherds something to do. The play is kind of week and the kids can't act either -- so it gets a little painful to watch at points.

During practice, Ro was trying to get off stage at one point while the directress was telling him to stay. In a really anguished voice, he said, "I have to peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" Then, sort of fell to the floor. He had to go so bad he couldn't even walk anymore. I grabbed him and rushed him to the bathroom but it was too late. Fortunately, I had extra clothes with me. The whole time in the bathroom, he was begging to go back on stage and be a shepherd in the show again. He insisted on bringing the shepherd costume home with us too. Ro likes to play "catch the sheep". He gets up in his shepherd outfit and I dress Simone in her sheep costume and they play chase. When he catches Simone, he says " I caught the sheep!" and they start all over. Fortunately, they both enjoy this game. I don't expect Simone to spend much time on stage - but she is free to wander and be cute. Hopefully, she won't wreak any havoc on stage. She can be quite impish as you can tell from her expression.