Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lily and Charlie's Version of "C is for Cookie"

As promised, here is the Lily and Charlie rendition of the Sesame Street classic, "C is for Cookie." Pay no attention to the one-second tantrum from the Bug.

The Letter C

Charlie and Lily's current favorite song is "C is for Cookie" - they sing it all the time. Joe got a cute video of them singing the other night that I need to ask him to post. But anyway, we were naturally excited about C Week! We started out by reading If You Give a Cat a Cupcake and then of course we had to make some chocolate chip cookies. Charlie and Lily were very enthusiastic about baking the cookies. We were finishing up as Joe was coming home from work, and Lily stood in the door and yelled out to him, "I making cookies! I making cookies!" They were a little afraid of the mixer, but had no problem stirring the ingredients up by hand.
And for some reason Lily felt it necessary to sit on the cookie sheets.
And then the hardest part - waiting for them to bake. Charlie kept a watchful eye the entire time.
For art we made caterpillar C's. We used dot paints, which are kind of like Bingo markers and these were a big hit. Very little mess, and Charlie and Lily loved pounding them down on the paper.
We also celebrated the first day of fall on Friday by making autumn trees. The sister of a friend of Joe's works at a job that requires her to order from Oriental Trading Company often, so they frequently send her gift cards. She passed a bunch of the cards on to me, so I was able to purchase a ton of great art supplies, including the dot paints and a big bag of felt leaves. (Thanks, Alison!) Charlie and Lily used some of the leaves on Friday, gluing them to construction paper tree trunks. Lily loaded her tree with leaves, but Charlie took a more minimalist approach.
Charlie and Lily have also started playing pretend a lot. They have frequent conversations on their play phones with Nana, Crackers, Pop-Pop and Mom-Mom, and they love to go on "trips", a game where they say ""Goodbye, I miss you!" then walk around the corner, come back and say "I back!" Lol. Lily also spends a lot of time with her baby. She puts her down for naps (which involves slamming her face down onto the top of our portable air conditioner, for some reason), asks us to change Baby's diaper and feeds her a bottle. The other day Charlie and Lily were sharing their Goldfish crackers with Baby and Charlie went right over and got Baby's bottle to feed her. He usually has no interest in dolls, so I thought it was cute!
And then there's Lily's new sense of style. She's become very opinionated on what she wears, and frequently asks for bracelets, hats and certain shoes. Yesterday she paired these awesome rainbow pants with a purple hat and Elmo shoes. Fierce! And then later in the day, after we took Charlie and Lily shopping for new shoes, Lily exchanged the Elmo shoes for a pair of sequin-encrusted pink sneakers that she picked out herself. Charlie tried to take home a pair of pink party shoes, but we talked him into a more rugged pair of navy blue sneakers instead ;)
Thank you for all the concern for Lily's arm! She's been doing great wearing the sling and judging by the way she's climbing the furniture, her arm is feeling better. We have an appointment with the orthopedist tomorrow morning for another x-ray and hopefully her arm will be all healed and we can ditch the sling - I'm tired of finding peas and Teddy Grahams inside it....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Apple Festival and the Letter B

Yesterday was a beautiful fall-like day, and it also happened to be apple festival weekend at Terhune Orchards. We were excited to get out in the beautiful weather and kick off the fall season with some apple and pumpkin picking. The first place we stopped was the gourd patch to pick some gourds. Charlie and Lily had no idea what a gourd was, but they enjoyed hunting for them.
We then had to explain the Charlie that the gourds were not edible.
Then it was off the orchard to pick something that Charlie actually could eat - apples! There were tons of apples right at toddler height, which made them perfect for Charlie and Lily.
We took home about 8 apples, but paid for closer to 14, since Charlie and Lily felt the need to take bites out of almost every apple they picked.
Charlie was so caught up in the moment that he forgot that he actually does not like apples.
Lily loves them though, so she and I took a break for a little snack while Joe and Charlie did the picking.
Yay for apples!
Last week we also learned about the letter B. Lily's accident on Monday threw me a bit, so I didn't get to everything I had on our lesson plans, but we did bake banana chocolate chip muffins, which they really enjoyed. It's nice now that they understand what's going on in the kitchen a bit - they put the liners in the muffin tins, dumped in the flour and milk, stirred the batter and stood in the front of the oven looking in the door and waiting for the muffins to finish baking. I used this recipe from Weelicious - she has so many great, healthy recipes for kids. These muffins are so sweet and delicious and they have no sugar! We also made bumble B's for art.
I also decided to break out the Play-Doh for the first time this week. They weren't quite sure what to make of it, but they were interested enough that it passed the morning nicely!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lily's Fall (and the Letter A)

Yesterday was quite a day. I had taken Charlie and Lily to the playground in the morning, and while Lily was on the climbing structure about to walk across the wobbly bridge, a little boy raced across and plowed right into her. The climbing structure was completely enclosed on all sides, however the platform she was standing on had a hole cut out of it with a circular ladder underneath. Lily had been standing a good ways from the hole, but when the boy ran into her she was shoved back and just happened to tumble down the hole. I saw her fall and I'm pretty sure my heart stopped beating. I scooped her up and she was sad and scared, crying and asking "What happen? What happen?" I didn't see any obvious injuries, but after calming her down I noticed that she was not raising her right arm at all. She would let me move it for her, but she would not use it herself.

So we headed to the car and drove right to the pediatrician, who sent us to the radiologist for x-rays. (I have to praise Charlie here, because he was dragged along with me and Lily to all these places and was a total angel, even though we were out WAY past lunch and nap time and he had to be starving and tired. He's such a good boy!) The x-rays showed a fracture in Lily's right shoulder and the doctor told us we needed to see an orthopedist. I was able to get Lily an appointment with one for that very afternoon, so after rushing home to feed the kids lunch and to drop Charlie off to stay with my mom (thank you for leaving work, Crackers!) Lily visited the orthopedist. She was such a good girl for the entire 2 hours we were there, and was happy when her Daddy came. After looking at the x-rays, the orthopedist told us that he could not put a cast on her arm due to the location of the fracture, so all she needs is a sling. She should be healed in about 2 weeks, which is great news! She's been good so far about wearing the sling and does not seem to be in any pain. So that was our adventure...I think we'll be staying away from the playground for awhile.

In other news, now that fall is here and school has started we are back to our weekly lessons. I decided that we'd go through the alphabet again, since Charlie and Lily have a much better understanding of all of this now. We started, of course, with A. Charlie and Lily ate apples...well, Lily ate apples.
We sang Mr. Alligator and made Alligator A's.
But by far, the week's favorite activity was the making of edible acorns. I saw this idea in Family Fun magazine and couldn't wait to try it. Here are the ingredients - Hershey's Kisses, vanilla frosting, mini cookies and pretzel sticks.
This craft also doubled as snack time.
Using the frosting as glue, we attached all the pieces together.

Ta da! Delicious!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Miracle?

So today has been a long day, to put it mildly. But the story of today's stress is not the point of this blog, nor even of this particular post. I want to tell you a story, and I want to say "thank you" to some very important people.

We still own the house we moved out of last December, but that's a long story and if you don't already know it you probably don't need to know the details. Suffice to say, I stopped by the house we own but don't live in today and, low and behold, the basement is flooded. We've owned it for five years and never had water and now, less then a week before we're finally supposed to close on a sale, this happens. Needless to say, I was upset.

I called my mother in law (Crackers) to make sure she could stay with Charlie and Lily so I could work at the house (Brooke is away for the weekend); I called my brother (Umple John) to bring his tools and his handy self to help me clean; I called my parents (Mommom and Poppop) to bring a shopvac and more hands; I called my sister in law (Aunt Jill) to bring another shop vac. Nobody hesitated, nobody complained that their Saturday was ruined. Everybody dropped what they were doing and came right over.

It's nice, but how is this a miracle? I was supposed to go to my cousin Amy's housewarming party with Charlie and Lily this afternoon but was pretty sure I was going to be preoccupied at the house all day and unable to attend (I was able to go; congrats Amy and Anthony!), so I texted her sister Melissa to pass it on to Amy so they knew not to expect us. Melissa asked if I needed anything and I responded "an extra miracle would be nice."

About thirty seconds after hanging up, Umple John pulled up with all his tools. About ten seconds after that, Mommom and Poppop got there with all sorts of things I hadn't thought to ask them to bring. About five minutes after that, Aunt Jill arrived, having brought us not only the promised shop vac but also some extra supplies from Home Depot that she bought for us on her way over. And we spent our day ripping up gross wet carpet and scraping linoleum flooring.

It didn't occur to me until finally sitting down around 9pm this evening that maybe Melissa sent me that miracle after all. Think about it: how many people are lucky enough to have a family who will literally drop whatever their doing to suddenly and without notice come and help do gross, smelly, physical labor on a beautiful Saturday morning? I asked Melissa for a miracle, and our family came.

Perhaps there is something to this after all. Looking back on the two-plus years of Charlie and Lily, on Annaleigh's sickness and death, on extreme prematurity, on a nightmare pregnancy, on infertility, I'm realizing that our family has done more for us then anyone has any right to expect. I can't possibly tell you everything that they've meant to us and every way they've helped us, but I can tell you that we wouldn't be here-- none of us-- without them. Their love and support and shop vacs have kept us strong and made us the family that we are.

So to Crackers and Mommom and Poppop and Aunt Jill and Umple John (and everyone else, too), we thank you for everything you've done for us and we love you very, very much.

Is it a miracle to have a wonderful family? I don't know. But even if it's not, on days like today, it feels like a miracle to me.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thank you, Daddy!

Dear Daddy,

Thank you so much for the most fun summer ever! We had the best time! The pool, Sesame Place, Junglerrrific, the playground, Wildwood - we loved every minute of it, especially the fact that we got to do all of those things with you. You are the best Daddy ever and next summer will be here before we know it! Good luck at school this year - we will be here waiting and ready to play every afternoon when you come home. We love you!

Charlie and Lily