Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Undie Sorter

It's an official title in our house. The undie sorter. The description is obvious. Baby B loves chores. Put a cotton sock on her hand and give her a can of Pledge and you can count on her being busy for 30 minutes. The sorting thing though, that's for me. I don't want to have to pull each tag out of each tiny pair of undies to see whose initial is on it. I don't want to keep track of who has Dora and who has Ariel. Beignet can accomplish this feat in under 60 seconds.

Watching her recently, I saw her carefully pick up each pair of little girl undies. "Ladybug's. Mine. Ladybug's. Mine." Then I saw her pick up my undies w/ only a pointer and a thumb, as if she were holding a dead rat's tail. I assure you that there is nothing fancy about those undies dangling between thumb and finger. Nothing special at all. "Why are you doing that to my undies?" I asked. "Because they are gross. They don't look like my undies." "Well they're grown-up sized, but other than that...." "They don't have DORA!" There you have it. No Dora = disgusting undies. Who knew?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dorsal Fins

My favorite picture of my current kids is one I didn't actually take. I was scared I would ruin the moment, so I picked up the camera and put it right back down. In the picture, Ladybug and Baby Beignet are side by side on the couch, pillows behind them, shared blanket covering them, pile of books surrounding and burying them. They were reading "Whales and Dolphins," a book we picked up at the store after going to Sea World. The conversation was something like this:

Bug: Look! Orca Whale. He name Shamu.
Beignet: Oh yeah, look at that beluga whale. He's so cute. I'm gonna get me a beluga whale.
Bug: I get me dolphin and humpback whale. See humpback whale dorsal fin?

Next was the book on dogs.
Beignet: When I get big, I am gonna have a chihuahua.
Bug: Look, puppy get ball in the water. That Arlo. Arlo get ball.
Beignet: There are the sled dogs. They live in the cold.
Bug: Police dog! Dog help the police!!

I loved this moment for so many reasons. I loved that the girls were reading books. I loved that they were doing it together. And I loved that our shared experiences are what fueled their new vocabulary words. Hearing "dorsal fin" out of a 2-year-old's mouth is pretty fun.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Colorado's Top Ten

I was worried that if I didn't get out of the car on Saturday and sit right down to remember our trip, it'd be forgotten. Not so, thanks to the 5 year old and 2 year old who have "'Member?" as their most frequently used word of the week.

10. White Fence Farm. My mother, the vegetarian's favorite place to take kids for dinner. Fried chicken, petting zoo. B will say: Remember I got to feed that cute little baby sheep? Bug says: "Member cow? Cow sneeze Tammy? Tammy scary. Ladybug say Bless you Cow!"
9. Denver Zoo. OK, so maybe not the best place to take two overtired children for four hours, but WOW! We love animals. And carousels. And trains. And gift shops (thanks to Susie.)
8. Graduation party. Set them free with a pack of Twizzlers, a 1/4 can of Sprite each, and their own private bouncy house, and they are happy campers.
7. Washington Park...during a hail storm. "Tammy, remember we was at that park with your friends and all that ice was falling from the sky?"
6. Arlo and Annie. The two new additions to Guy and Susie's house. Annie loved both girls for their ball throwing ability. Arlo loved that both girls wanted to share his crate with him. "No you may NOT lock yourself in there!!" was my daily response to their question.
5. Tiny Town, Colorado. A sea of tiny little houses and a train to ride. There was even a creepy looking chiropractic office where Ken was giving Barbie an adjustment.
4. Colorado's Capitol Building. We happened to land here during a quilt show (quilts displayed all around the dome) and during a Texas Children's Choir performance.
3. Boulder, Colorado. A day spent playing with friends while we wore jeans and sweaters. Our Austin friends were suffering through near 100 degree temps that day.
2. The Wildlife Experience. Baby B is a bit confused. She calls this the "fake zoo." In fact, it is a museum of sorts that has life-sized models of animals in their habitats. It snowed in the tundra.
1. Hotel swimming pools and hot tubs at 10 pm. "I wish we could stay in a hotel every night."
And 0. "Look Tammy, there's the capitol. That means we are almost home. When we get home, I am going to shout: YAAAY! WE ARE HERE!!!" And that she did.

If I had a wagon I would....

...go to Colorado, go to Colorado. If I had a wagon I would go to the state where a man can walk a mile high!

This song that I learned in 3rd grade music class was the theme song that got us through the last two weeks of school. (Baby B would say she is "not a fan" of school.) We were getting in the car after daycare one day and she said: I am so excited about summer camp. I can't wait!

"Wait a are more excited about summer camp than vacation?"
"Yup, cuz I don't know what vacation means."

"Vacation" needed a meaning, "vacation" needed some pictures from the internet (MOUNTAINS!!), "vacation" needed a song.

From time to time, I can still hear Ladybug, who always has some song in her head, singing: If airplane, fly to Colorado, fly Colorado!

How Long We Gonna Get There?

"How long we get there to Colorado?" Baby Beignet asked a few weeks ago when I was talking about our vacation plans. "Is it long like Sea World?" Hmm, how to explain that it's WAY longer than Sea World?

"Well, it's longer than Sea World. You will eat lunch at school and then I'll pick you and Bug up. We'll get in the car and you will be tired so you'll take a nap. Then we will get out of the car to go to the bathroom. Then we'll get back in the car and drive. Then we'll stop for dinner. Then guess what?"

"We'll be there?"

"Nope! We'll get back in the car and drive some more...."
And this was how the conversation continued.

In the end, both girls were awesome both ways in the car. 19 hrs there, 18 hrs back. We learned a few things:
1. Baby B can make herself go to sleep at the drop of a hat. Even if she has just woken up from a three hour nap.
2. Ladybug can entertain herself for more than 30 minutes with just her pointer and one nostril. Double that time if you give her a kleenex.
3. Small Texas towns have softball tournaments that cause every hotel in town to be full. Keep on drivin'.
4. Competition over who has cows the most often on "their side" of the car is tough.
5. For some unknown reason, this side of Witchita Falls, there is not a horse farm, not a cow farm, but a CAMEL farm. Great entertainment.
6. You can never have too many CD's with kid songs on them. Even when you think you have plenty, at some point, you are going to be so very sick of the rocked out version of 5 little monkeys jumping on the bed, that deep in your heart, you want to throw that CD out the window, just in front of the passing semi.