4.28.2013

Sisters and Their Swingset

Long ago, we received a sweet board book about Sisters (from Grandma Baird).

This is the story of two sisters... who in many ways, were different.
Perhaps because the book reminds me so much of growing up with my big sister, it makes me so happy every time I read it:
One liked to chase fireflies through the grass... while the other liked to lie back and look at the stars.
The two sisters were alike in many ways too.  They both like horses... and sugar-snap peas fresh from the garden.
And a pile of leaves was never safe with those sisters around.
They fought over the piano... 
And both felt the day would not be complete without a swing after supper. 


Last week, Jake erected the girls' swing set .. all for the total cost of $40!  Not too shabby, eh?  We paid for 2 new big girls swings (which Hazel was initially leery of, but now LOVES) and one yard sale slide.  The rest of the set came from the house of a friend of Jake's whose kids had outgrown the set.  I snapped the above picture to show how Jake, the rock climber, managed to stand the set-up without my assistance!  IMPRESSIVE :)  Yesterday during some gloriously warm Spring weather, I was thrilled when both girls spent a huge chunk of time playing on their own outside now that they have their own "playground".

Speaking of SISTERS, recently Houdini Heidi has perfected the art of climbing out of her crib, unscathed.  We're not sure how she does it, but we're thankful our little climber manages it without injury!  Recently I put the girls to bed and knew they were up to mischief, but let it be.  Eventually their squeaky voices quieted and I was relieved that they fell asleep... until I checked on them and was shocked to discover them sleeping in the same bed!
umm... let's pretend my 2-year-old doesn't have electric cords by her head!
Because, you see, they loved each other so very much.
These two sisters sure do love each other!  Hazel is always quick to call Heidi her "best friend" and tell us all the amazing things they are going to do together once Heidi gets bigger.  In the meantime, they're finding plenty of laughter (and mischief) together:




Yup, sisters sure are one of the sweetest things in life!  I can't wait to spend some time with my sister this summer... we will laugh, cry, fight, craft, share and HAVE A BLAST :)

What's your favorite thing about having a sister?

*Here's my affiliate link for this fantastic book.

4.19.2013

Changing My Name

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."  will shakespeare

It's cliché for a mama to say "I'm changing my name" in response to 24/7 yells for "MOMMY!".  In fact, like many women, I spent the bulk of my life wishing, hoping, dreaming & praying for the gift of being called "Mama".

However, Heidi is growing two back molars.  Heidi has found her voice and talks NON STOP.  Heidi has a very loud speaking voice.  Heidi has a cold & a cough.  Heidi has decided that she wants to sleep in my bed (note: not with me, just take over my bed).  

Over the past 4 days, Heidi has perfected the art of sleeping peacefully for 2 hours, screaming for "MAMA! MOMMY!  MAMA!" for 30 minutes (feels like 300 minutes), and then sleeping for a few hours again until starting again.  When I know that she is safe, comfortable & as medicated as I'm going to make her, we make her scream it out.

Our hope (and a fact we've proven many times over) is that by not reinforcing this dreadful habit by responding to her every time, she will learn not to scream like a banshee for me throughout the night.  

In the meantime, I'm missing those blissful rapid eye movements and my heart is breaking while I have to lie in bed not responding to the frantic (and have I mentioned LOUD) calls for me throughout the night.

For today, how about everyone just call me "Sleepyhead".

*For the record, this behavior is very unusual for Heidi.  She typically gleefully lies down in bed at 7:30 and doesn't make a PEEP for about 11 hours.  She typically requires no coddling, cuddling, nor canoodlings.

4.12.2013

Kindle Review for Mama and Toddlers

Similar to my great cell phone rebellion of 2000-2002, I've held strong against the e-reader phenomenon of the past 5 years.  At times, I have the determination and attitude of an 80-year-old during a contemporary worship service (HA!  I kid... though the older generation does typically dislike anything new at their religious houses).

My arguments against e-readers, weren't unique, but I was passionate:

  • I love books.  
  • I love looking at my book shelves (though I'm too cheap to buy books, so I guess this point was lame).
  • I love the smell of books.
  • I like leafing through a book after I'm done and re-reading my favorite plot twists.
  • I love sharing books with friends (especially being on the receiving end).
As you may know, I started an Independent Consultant business this past fall/winter.  My mentor is an incredibly successful and generous consultant and periodically has some major prizes for her team to compete for. 

RECENTLY, I WON a $250 Amazon gift card.  Personal "fun" items have not been in our budget this year, so I was like a kid at a candy store choosing what I'd spend that money on... JUST FOR ME!

So, I channeled my tablet envy and my book obsession and bought:


At first, I thought I might just use it for checking my email and facebook and maybe a book when I travel.  HA ha DOUBLE HA!  I've read one or two books a WEEK since I bought it.  Yeah, I don't have that kind of time, but I sleep less, watch NO TV and because it's so handy I carry it with me everywhere and enjoy little snippets of reading while waiting for my family, while my kids watch .3 seconds of a TV show, waiting my turn at the bank, etc.

source
The other amazing discover is how much my KIDS LOVE IT!  They prefer my Kindle over their own toddler electronics and I LOVE the low cost of the apps, in fact most of them are FREE (while I also like their LeapPad, the cost of those games/apps are astronomical!).  Now we can have story time on the go with a HUGE selection of books without carrying all that weight.  I can also keep them quiet in the car, at meetings, in church by handing it over with the sound muted (Heidi loves making fireworks and will do it for a loooong time).

While I have paid for a few apps and books, mostly we enjoy free apps and free books.  I check www.ereadergirl.com every day for daily FREE Kindle books for me and the kids.  You must check it daily because most of the books return to their normal price after a day.

Here are some of our 
FAVORITE TODDLER KINDLE BOOKS and APPS:

  
    

What are your favorite Toddler Books & Apps?

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.  I will make a SMALL commission on any sales generated through clicking my links.  Thank you.

4.01.2013

Heidi's Goodnight Moon Party

What a BLAST!  I love a good theme, and this was my favorite yet!  I have tons of Goodnight Moon Party details over at Lazy Green Mama.

However,  I'm betting that you want to see more of
 THE GIRL!
This is what she does every time someone asks her how old she is.  Perhaps she'll master this fine motor skill by next year :)

Despite a cough and a poor night's rest, Heidi had a WONDERFUL birthday!

Our sweet girl went from THIS:

To THIS:
Be still my beating heart
After a too-short-nap, her Grammy Kosker and I let her open her first present (which I needed for party decor) and then headed out for her birthday photo shoot.  I think the present was a hit:

Then we came indoors and got ready TO PARTY!
  
My master plan worked and our Adelaide's Boutique outfits from last year still fit!  Next year Heidi's will still work as a tank top!  
The guests:


Heidi with her Great Grandma.  Probably the sweetest picture I've ever taken.
2 party girls livin' it up

The PRESENTS 
(her Aunt Marianne will be pleased to know that Heidi declared "Presents" was her favorite part of the day)

Heidi opening up her presents.  I'm thrilled with our new book selections!
The TRACTOR RIDE
And what party is complete without a Medley Acres tractor ride?


Please head over to Lazy Green Mama for more Goodnight Moon party pictures.