Thursday, September 27, 2007

Step away from the Swiffer...

While Reiley and I were cleaning the bathroom the other day, Ainsley discovered the most ingenious child's toy ever made - the Swiffer. You can push it, pull it, twirl it around, pivot on your bottom while swinging it in a circle, bang it, pinch it, you use it to smack things, and, most importantly, chew on it. It is so entertaining that my attempts at swapping out the Swiffer for another toy illicited intense rage. Thirty minutes later, after using an old towel on my hands and knees to wipe up the dust, I attempted to remove the Swiffer again to change Ainsley's diaper. More fury. Solution: break apart the Swiffer so that she can hold the handle while changing the diaper - quickly reassemble Swiffer after new diaper is on.

Yet more evidence that regular household items are far more entertaining to babies than carefully sculpted plastic. Here's a movie of the Swiffer antics (Reiley got a little too close to the Swiffer for Ainsley's comfort), including Ainsley's trademark "grimace smile".

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hokey Pokey, anyone?

Reiley's favorite part of preschool is singing and dancing (go figure, right?). I am amazed that songs that she already knew (Five Little Monkeys, Wheels on the Bus, Old McDonald, Hokey Pokey) are so much cooler when she sings them at preschool. When she is singing them at home and I try to join in, I am quickly shushed because "she's singing her preschool songs", of which I am obviously not a part. While I am very happy that she is enjoying preschool and clearly takes great ownership over what happens there, my brain is racing ahead 10 years to Reiley at 13 expressing her teen angst and yelling "Get out my life, Mom!"

Right now I'll politely stay silent, enjoy the fact that she's three, and listen to the solo choruses of Hokey Pokey.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Apple Picking Time

Fall is absolutely my favorite time of the year. I don't think it always has been, but since I've had kids it is because there is SO much to do. Apple picking, nature walks, pumpkin farms, apple cider, and most off all, no more disgusting summer heat and humidity! I feel like I can actually breathe and walk farther than my car without sweating profusely.

That said, I've been looking forward to going apple picking for several weeks. So I was less than pleased when the morning's forcast predicted a high of 89 degrees. The heat increased our frustration factor (particularly for Reiley who prefers to find the shady spot in any amount of bright sun). However, the pig races, pumpkin cannon shooting, petting zoo, and ice cream at the apple farm upped our spirits (rather, prevented a complete meltdown before we were able to get cool in the air-conditioned car). Here are some highlights:

Riding out to the fields. Reiley is trying to act cheerful, though she is sweltering and slightly crabby (there had been no ice cream at this point).

We kind of rudely sat Ainsley in the huge barrel of apples just to get a cute picture. Selfish of us - yet cute!

Last year during apple picking, Reiley sat in one of the trees (the closest this non-risk-taker has come to climbing a tree) and wanted to recreate it this year.

Ainsley spent about half an hour chewing on the apple, and Reiley in the background is clearly spent. (In retrospect, we realized she was coming down with a stomach virus, not just crabby).

Fun and sweat was had by all!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ainsley's Adventures

Ainsley is SOOOO close to crawling, but not quite there. She's rolling, doing an almost-crawl backwards, lunging forward to catapult herself towards toys, and the round-and-round pivot on her bottom. All these locomotive devices have gotten her in some adventurous places lately.

Here she managed to roll herself all the way under the futon, and couldn't figure out how to get out. Whereas Reiley would have been immediately furious, Ainsley checked out this predicament for a little while, banging her head on the bottom of the futon, and then looked at me like, "Hey, can I get some help here?"

She's figured out how to pull herself up on her knees, but is still trying to understand how to pull herself up the rest of the way. In this picture she's trying to steal the apple on the picnic table from an unsuspecting Reiley.

Her newfound mobility has made the dishwasher her favorite plaything. Just the right height to pull up on, a shelf that slides in and out, dishes to take in and out. WAY more fun than the hunks of wood and plastic in our house called toys.

Ainsley's also very interested in reading all of our grown-up books. She studies the covers, trying to pull the words off, flipping the pages, until she gets FURIOUS about something that I haven't quite figured out. That's the point when she typically chucks the book across the room in frustration.

I had forgotten how fun nine month-olds can be! So much personality, new mobility, funny babbles - all fun and games until she gets into big sister's toys, not understanding that they are carefully placed for an elaborate pretend scenario. Once she starts crawling, I forsee some brawls.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Movies Movies Movies

As promised, here are some movies of the girls. Some are new, others are oldies but goodies:

Here is a movie of our worm adventure yesterday, complete with mom commentary from me. Mom commentary seems useful when I'm talking to the kids, but now that I'm sharing it with everyone I realize the potential lameness :-). I'm coming to terms with the fact that my "cool" factor might be decreasing as I get older and plummeting even more quickly due to my mom status. Oh well, the girls think I'm funny (at least for a few more years).

Here's an oldie: Reiley practicing her guitar skills with a rousing rendition of Oh Susannah. We might be American Idol bound!

This one is of one of Ainsley's favorite pasttimes - the head-shaking game. She'll look at you (usually while she's eating in the highchair) with raised eyebrows and shake her head, waits for you to shake your head, and then shakes her head again. Looks funnier than it reads - it keeps us giggling!

And for all of the Cardinal fans out there, we'll close this blog with an inspiring round of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" by Reiley

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Attempting to be a Modern Blogger...

When you really have no idea how to do it! I occasionally read blogs and the bloggers always seem so witty and insightful. However, I don't think that I have the brain space or time for wit and wisdom. Case in point: As I sit here writing this blog, Ainsley just plucked an entire grape from the bunch I was eating. I see her chomping away and freak out, "What are you eating??" Kevin chimes in, "Oh yeah, she picked that up, I thought you saw it." WHAT?? No, I didn't, I was trying really hard to be witty and wise!

To save my children from dying while I impart my humor, I'll use the blog to keep you family and friends updated on our life and to share pictures and movies of our rapidly-growing girls. If all is calm on the homefront, you may even receive an occasional treat of my thoughts about the world. (I know, you can't wait, right?)

Here are some pictures of the girls:

Reiley has really developed a love for anything crafty. We made this bird feeder and Reiley spent about 30 minutes painting it (using this VERY serious face). What I failed to remember is that bird feeder painted with washable paint = no paint on the bird feeder after it rains. Fortunately, there was no turmoil because of the paintless bird feeder.

While Kevin was digging up weeds, he found a worm and Reiley wanted to hold it. Keep in mind this is the kid that one year ago would not touch any bugs. She spent 20 minutes keeping it as her friend, showing it the swingset (including going down the slide and steering the wheel).

Letting Ainsley touch it. Although Reiley had serious fears that Ainsley might eat it or squish him.
I'm trying to be artsy with the camera (it doesn't happen often).

Ainsley going down the slide on her tummy. Reiley is such a timid slide-goer (probably because I was a nervous first-time mom) that Kevin and I are determined to make Ainsley a slide enthusiast.

I'm tired tonight from all of this blog learning. I'll post some movies tomorrow!