Friday, February 22, 2008

The Hills Are Alive...

and I'm sure you know with what. These hills of music have created an obsession in our house. It started innocently. The Sound of Music was my favorite childhood movie, so I found a few of the movie songs on YouTube and showed them to Reiley. I filled in the plotline since the movie is WAY too long to hold Reiley's attention (a Dora episode is about the most she can do). We continued to watch the YouTube clips once a day (because though Mommy loves the Sound of Music, once a day is about as much as she can handle). Then Reiley got the soundtrack for Christmas, and our days began to involve more of the VonTrapp family. Day by day, the invasion grew larger. At this point, Reiley has a full-on prebuscent crush on Kurt VonTrapp (yes, a fictional character who is actually now a 50 year old man). We pretend-play weddings to Kurt in which she is pretending to be Maria marrying Kurt (it's a little incestual - but we're not going into that). When she's not marrying Kurt, she (as Maria), and the stuffed animals (as the children) have elaborate schemes of taking naps and playing in the park. She, Ainsley, and I pretend daily that we are running to the Abbey so that we can hide from the "mean soldiers" (which I realize is an understatement for Nazi soldiers, but genocide is another one of those "hard-for-a-three-old" topics). I know Rogers and Hammerstein couldn't have intended to infiltrate my home with rhyme and music. The music I can handle, but Reiley's suggestion that we should have seven kids so that we can be like Maria - well, that's just taking it too far.

Here's Kevin (directed by Reiley) playing the role of Captain Van Trapp singing "Edelweiss" with Leisel (played by Reiley).

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

First Annual Kid's Day

Reiley was reminiscing about what we did last Father's Day, which got us talking about the purpose of Father's and Mother's Day. I said that I was glad there was a day that we could celebrate what a great Daddy we have. To which Reiley replied, "and I'm glad that on Mother's Day we can celebrate what a great Mommy you are!" Of course, in that one moment, all memories of sleepless nights, toddler screaming tantrums, and hits on a baby sister vanished as a I basked in the glow of my 3 year-old angel daughter. Then the conversation shifted. Reiley says "I wish that there was a Kid Day, so that we could celebrate what I great kid I am."

Kid Day was born.

After I informed Reiley that we would also be celebrating Ainsley's "kid greatness" (which prompted a brief look of doubt), we got to event planning. First order of business: plan a delicious breakfast chosen by the honored individual. Reiley's choice? A chocolate long john that was far too big for a 3 year old, which resulted in a slight tummy ache ("It's kind of interesting, Mom, because my doughnut feels like it's coming back up my throat." Yes, Reiley, that's why we talk about 'listening to our bodies'). Second task: planning the family outing. Reiley's choice was Faust Park: home of the Butterfly House, World's Fair Carousel, and awesome playground. Here we are in the Butterfly House (very pretty, but feels like a sauna, which means Reiley wants to stay in there for about 3 minutes max). A butterfly landed on Ainsley and she promptly tried to squish him (too quickly to get a picture).

It's a Heffern Family Sandwich on the carousel.
Beating the winter blahs on the playground.

The last must of Kid Day was again food-centered: LUNCH. We chose noodles and company because nary a Heffern can resist noodles and meat with yummy sauce. Here's Ainsley palling around with Dora ("Dora-dora-dora" as she would say).
I think an annual event has been established, and I for one had a really fun day celebrating the "greatness" of my children.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Super Tuesday - Stuffed Animal Edition

With election fever in the air, I thought it might be timely to explain to Reiley the concepts of voting and democracy (in 3 year old terms). President = "Boss of our country", Vote = "Paper that shows everyone who you want to be the boss of our country". Consituents was a little complicated, so I tried to relate it to the population of stuffed animals that reside in our house. That launched the idea of the race for the presidency of stuffed animals. She decorated a ballot box with valentine and Dora stickers.
She then chose a variety of candidates that represented different ideas of the stuffed animal constituency. She wanted them to lay down until they gave their speeches, which is when is when they could stand up.
Campaign platforms varied from health care to recycling. The best campaign platform? Susie (the stuffed dog second from the left), if elected president, would "make sure all the bathrooms are clean." Amen, sister.
Ainsley was first denied the right to vote based on age discrimination ("Babies can't vote, Mom"), but Reiley relented, and even let her decorate the top of the ballot box.
Anxiously counting votes (which she brazenly tried to stack in Cheer Bear Bunny's favor). Guess I need to tell her about fair campaign politics.
Reiley embracing the not-so-fairly elected president, Cheer Bear Bunny. She baked him a cake in congratulations.

I think I had the most fun watching the campaign speeches. A pretty entertaining day at the Heffern House!