Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Epic Easter Pics... If Only

So last year, I noticed the majority of my FB friends with kids, had these cute Easter pictures of their kiddos ready for church. I then remembered my own experiences as a youngin' getting photographed at Easter--my Dad would bring us over to some blooming tree, perch us on various rungs of a ladder and have us hold flowers near our faces. He might have been a little over the top, but we certainly have a lot of amazing Easter photos growing up.

This was about what we ended up with:

I remembered we were supposed to take pictures after Jackson had already removed his clothes. It's too bad we didn't get a picture, as it would have topped the epic family picture list. Jackson insisted on wearing a red plaid, collared button up T-shirt, with a blue striped tie. Really matchy, and really Eastery. We were just thrilled he had clothes on before we left in a whirl-wind of craziness trying to get to choir practice at 8 am. The band-aid covering his post-church split chin would have just added to the effect. Maybe he'll repeat that outfit next week.

Thankfully, the Easter bunny came after church, and Allie was beyond thrilled at this idea. She tried every piece of candy she got, and I decided I needed to tell the Easter bunny that snickers don't work so well for kids under 2.

Although we didn't get our epic picture, we did visit the cherry blossom's a week prior to Easter, and like last year, we managed to go on the peak day with peak weather. Oh wow.


And, although the shadows are horrific, I've got some awkward pose going on, and Allie looks like she might cry, a stranger took our family photo! You'll recall last year's attempt just included Jackson's hands.

Making progress. Next year, we may have an epic Easter photo to share!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Playing House

The kids have been experimenting with playing house lately. Allie with her baby, and Jackson with Miss L. ("you be the dad and I'll be the princess"). We've also started playing more reality-house/learning-how-to-work house. Documentation is required so I can remember these good ol' days when working was still fun.

Beside her one household chore (putting silverware in slots), Allie has been helping lots with wall cleaning. Unfortunately it's due to her coloring rampage. Although I appreciate her art, we've decided to confiscate all writing utensils because I'm not quite sure how to get marker out of a wall. She started with chalk, which is hard to do more than say "no no" because it comes off so easily. But she has progressively moved to pencil, crayons, and pens. I finally started putting her in time out yesterday, since she didn't seem to mind the cleaning aspect. She did seem to know a lot about time out, being the observant little sister--and dutifully screamed just like Jackson. Hopefully, we can continue the love of wall cleaning, and keep her art consistently on appropriate surfaces.

Jackson has taken on floor cleaning. We happen to have dark blue carpet, inherited from the last tenant. We are so grateful he left all the rugs for us, because it meant we didn't have to invest a bucket load of money in covering "80% of the floors" (as specified in our contract). Funny enough, the dark blue carpet shows more dirt, crumbs and grass than white carpet. So, we vacuum at least once a day. We're grateful for a small area to vacuum and a great vacuum, and most recently we're grateful for a third vacuumer! Jackson has taken the chore on with vigor. It looks to be a fabulous muscle builder for him. Our electric bill may double this month, but it's well worth having a happy helper.

I caught this video of both the kids the other day. Allie had just finished rocking her baby, and Jackson was pausing his vacuuming (getting ready to move to the hose). You can hear my persuasiveness as I coax Allie into continued rocking and I'm so glad I did. Oh my heart melts when I see her do this. She totally picked it up herself. My favorite is the singing with the squat rock. Ah! The best part is she still loves to cuddle up and let me do this to her. So fun.

Excited to see what other chores the kiddos pick up... unfortunately for Mark, I think dishes are a few years out. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Creative Enterprises

I originally thought of calling this post "artistic forays." It had a nice ring. Unfortunately I had to look up how to spell "foray" and also read the real definition: "a brief excursion or attempt especially outside one's accustomed sphere." Our recent creative adventures do not seem especially outside either child's accustomed sphere, but more like natural awakenings or remembrances. So, drawing inspiration from our recent forays into space movies, creative enterprises it is. [Enterprise: a project or undertaking, typically one that is difficult or requires effort]

Notice the effort involved in our sidewalk artistry and sport:

Allie is most obviously creating quite the masterpiece, with Jackson hopscotching away. 

That same blissful day included Jackson teaching Allie how to throw rocks into ponds (the pond being the flood zone in our back yard). Allie was a most enthusiastic student and will be a great companion to our champion rock thrower.

Jackson's enterprise was to find the biggest rocks (which were all thrown to the other side of the fence in an attempt to banish them from the garden).

I love Allie's cheering. And Jackson's hiding the rock after retrieval. 
Not as much in love with clearing out rocks for a second time.

Allie is creatively making forays into language acquisition, and it's almost as cute and frustrating as her new posed smile.

She can say all the baby signs that she knows (all done, please, thank you, etc), but venturing into more concrete territory has been a bit laborious. Not to worry though, "gog"  (dog) and "a-ee" (baby) have broken through and I'm sure "ball" and "bus" are well on their way--or whatever words intrigue young feminine minds.

We'll keep working on this. Nothing a little enterprise can't fix.

And we couldn't leave with out letting everyone know we have joined another [dying] trend! Both kids have successfully recorded their own covers of "Let it Go."

Allie may be headed toward the money making side of enterprise. Goodness, I'd pay to watch her!


Jackson's cover had the aid of Miss L.. His one saving grace. I don't think this will send him into stardom.

And apparently we all need to work on the words a little more before we publicly publish this on Youtube. A new enterprise awaits!