Monday, December 27, 2010

Official Christmas Card

So Christmas came about a month early this year.  Don't know how.  I had good intentions of adorable pictures of the kids printed out and sent to friends and family.  But then, well, it was December and I hadn't done anything. 

Then I got this cutie picture after putting up the tree...

and I thought, "Oh, I'll snap a couple cute ones of the kiddos and send those out!"  What could be wrong with that idea?

Here's how it went:

...closed eyes...
...dorky smile...
....don't even know what this look is.  Pretending he has a bushy mustache?
...cute but blurry...

....Stop hugging me!!!...
...If you do not stop hugging me, I will stick my finger up your nose....
...Look! my sister is a cabbage patch kid!....
....Belle! Stay by the tree!....
...One won't shut up and the other looks, um, let's say blissfully vacant of thought...
...Oh, screw it...    

 And sadly enough that is just a selection of the dozens of attempted shots.  But you get the idea.  So....

Merry Christmas, everyone!
-From the not-so-picture-perfect DeFluiters!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Deck the ... bowls?

D had just finished going to the bathroom the other day when I glanced at the potty.

Me:  "Eww.  There's pee on the rim.  Let's clean that off."

D:  "That's not pee.  It means that Christmas is coming."

Me (not even trying to hide the 'are-you-crazy' look):  "Um, no, it's drops of pee and I'm cleaning it."

D:  "I really don't want you to clean it.  It's a sign.  A sign that Christmas is coming."

It seems like at this point a caring mother might have probed farther. How on earth did he get to that point?  Dried pee drops = Christmas?  Huh, seems like he's thought this out.  Maybe I should try to be sensitive to the fact that he finds this pee valuable.

Or think, think, what in the holy advent story could possibly remind the boy of pee?  Stars are vaguely like yellow circles.  

Do you think it's a bad sign that none of that even crossed my mind?  I just thought, "Eww, pee spots."

Me: "Well, I'm afraid that's too bad.  You'll have to find a new sign that Christmas is coming."  Wipe, flush.

D: ""Nooo!"  (then sadly) "ok....  HEY!  We have DONUTS!"   and off he ran.

So I guess my insensitivity didn't scar him. 

The other night when D was supposed to be up putting pajamas on we heard the "thump thump thump THUMP!" of something falling down the stairs.

Me:  What was that?

D:  A book.

Me:  What??? Do we throw books down the stairs?

D:  Um...I'm afraid I don't want to answer that question. (sound of feet running down hall and door closing.)

I have this thing against talking about my Etsy shop to family and friends.  I know, I know,  not exactly a good entrepreneurial practice, but I hate people to think I'm bugging them and I certainly don't want any sympathy sales.  So, with that disclaimer, any of you who have the slightest inclination, could you pop over to my shop and poke around in it?

My shop was picked to be in this online boutique next week through UCreate , which I'm super excited about.  The dilemma comes from the fact that Belle has had some rough sleeping nights in the past couple weeks so I have found myself up at 2 am making listings for my shop while I wait for her to go back to sleep.  This does not always lead to coherent writing.  So if you would, dear friend, stop by and spend a minute or two glancing at anything that catches your eye and make sure the descriptions make sense and that the photos are good, I'd really appreciate it.  I've looked at them all so many times that they all mush together in my mind!

And those of you who could care less about Etsy and jewelry in general, well, just pretend that this post ended 3 paragraphs ago. 

Oh, and Etsy has finally made it possible for people to use coupon codes, so if you ever do want to order anything, use the coupon code FRIEND and you will get 20% off your order.  

Thanks!  Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sweet relief!

My house is not neat.  At least not everywhere.  There are pockets of neatness that wander around the house, but they leave trails of messiness in their wake.

I clean the kitchen counter and the piles move to the desk upstairs.  I get the laundry room emptied of clean laundry and the pile plops down in my bedroom.  I straighten up the living room by tossing all toys down the playroom steps.

This is a constant, nagging source of guilt.  I admit that there is this pressure to have a neat house.  Especially since I'm home all day and 'not doing anything else'.  But really people, when everyone who lives in a house are not in it for 8-10 hours out of every day, that's 8-10 hours less of mess-making time.  And my house wasn't perfectly neat when I did leave it for a chunk of each day.  It's definitely worse now.  I'd like to blame it on the rug rats, but Medman and I do our share.  We are especially good at our own particular pockets of messiness.  Medman keeps his in the basement (the Med Cave) or hidden on his side of the bed.  Mine are my night stand, my entire craft room and unfortunately in everyone's way on the kitchen counter.

BUT, my friend Karen posted a link to the most wonderful article called "Saying Yes to the Mess."  Here are some of my favorite quotes:

It is a truism of American life that we’re too darn messy, or we think we are, and we feel really bad about it....But contrarian voices can be heard in the wilderness. An anti-anticlutter movement is afoot, one that says yes to mess and urges you to embrace your disorder. Studies are piling up that show that messy desks are the vivid signatures of people with creative, limber minds (who reap higher salaries than those with neat “office landscapes”) and that messy closet owners are probably better parents and nicer and cooler than their tidier counterparts. It’s a movement that confirms what you have known, deep down, all along: really neat people are not avatars of the good life; they are humorless and inflexible prigs, and have way too much time on their hands.

(sorry you neat people, but I have suspected this for awhile...)

"It’s chasing an illusion to think that any organization — be it a family unit or a corporation — can be completely rid of disorder on any consistent basis,” said Jerrold Pollak, a neuropsychologist at Seacoast Mental Health Center in Portsmouth, N.H., whose work involves helping people tolerate the inherent disorder in their lives. “And if it could, should it be? Total organization is a futile attempt to deny and control the unpredictability of life."
It was the overall scumminess of Alexander Fleming’s laboratory that led to his discovery of penicillin, from a moldy bloom in a petri dish he had forgotten on his desk.
"Stop feeling bad," say the mess apologists. "There are more urgent things to worry about."
It’s a flippant remark, but if you’ve never had a messy kitchen, you’ve probably never had a home-cooked meal.
Mess is robust and adaptable, like Mr. Schwarzenegger’s open calendar, as opposed to brittle, like a parent’s rigid schedule that doesn’t allow for a small child’s wool-gathering or balkiness. 
Mess tells a story: you can learn a lot about people from their detritus, whereas neat — well, neat is a closed book. Neat has no narrative and no personality.
[Studies] linked messy desks to higher salaries (and neat ones to salaries under $35,000), answer Einstein’s oft-quoted remark, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk?”

So there you go, everyone.  Don't waste your Saturday cleaning.  Relish your messes!   And think, that mess makes you more interesting, more real and it should raise your salary.

Happily Ever After

I FINALLY got around to painting Belle's room this week.  Only 4 months after the rest of the house was painted.  Besides my natural procrastination, there is a good reason for this.  She's ONE.  Before I've mostly painted while she naps.

How do you keep a one-year-old from touching the wall, looking at their hands, saying, "Blech!" while you look on in horror from your perch as you trim above her window?  Turns out I can't get down from a chair with a loaded paint brush both quickly and neatly.  Has to be one or the other.  And then how do you stop said one-year-old from tottering out of her room, bracing herself all the way down the hall with the painted hand?  My hall was like some ancient cave with petroglyphs of partial hand prints.  Tiny partial smeared handprints. 

The answer is you don't.  Or at least I don't.  I just run after her hoping I find all the lavender smudges in the hallway. 

I had been under the impression that the light green walls "weren't too bad".  But they must have been because when I see her pretty lavender walls now I just LOVE them.

Of course, painted walls bring out the fact that her room was barely decorated.  I found this really cute "Happily Ever After" scrapbooking dimensional sticker at the local Wally-world.  So, after seeing so many talented people in blog-land reusing canvases, I pulled out the dollar store canvas I bought months ago in the hopes that one day inspiration would strike.   Here's the before:

My apologies to whomever painted this lovely picnic scene (and to all of you who think I should know who painted this lovely picnic scene) but I painted it pink!  And added clouds with highlights of gold to match my sticker!  And finally the sticker!

Oh, and I added glittery paint to the clouds, because what is a fairy tale ending without sparkles?

And now it hangs on the purple wall above her crib.  I actually think it looks sort of little and lonely there.  I think I'm going to look for a nice, fancy, over sized frame to hang on the wall around it.  But we'll see.

I'm not 100% happy with it.  It's not balanced right or something.  But it's pink and has fluffy, sparkly clouds, so it pretty much oozes happiness, which is what I was going for.  And the sticker ($3) was by far the most expensive part.  Which makes me like it even more. 

I'm going to try to link this up to Mural Maker's linky party, but I've never done that before, so we'll see!

 MuralMaker and More 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fall and Halloween

Some recent pictures:

D wanted to be Thomas the Tank Engine for Halloween.  So I designed a little costume for him and thought it was pretty cool.

Uuntil I saw what other people have done...

But try to forget that image when you see Dalton's...

I'm quite proud of the fact that anyone who knows Thomas could recognize his costume as such.

And Belle refused to tell me what she wanted to be, so she was a princess.  Mostly because I had princessy material. 

Thomas is supposed to have a #1 on his side, but since D's costume didn't have sides, it got plopped on the back.  He didn't seem to mind the discrepancy.  I was actually afraid he would. 
And lest you make some complimentary comment about my sewing skills, here is the first fitting for Belle's dress.  Seems that during a mid-production design change I miscalculated the circumference of her chest just a bit.... Yup, that's EIGHT extra inches.  Around an 18" chest.  Oops.

Kinda hard to see since she is in perpetual motion.  But it was....billowy.

The kiddos, of course, thought that Trick or Treating was the greatest tradition ever invented.  Belle very quickly picked up on the concept and dove enthusiastically into any bowl of candy offered to her.

Other fall things we've gotten to do....

Jump in the leaves

and have our first fire in the fire place of our new house.  So lovely!

Hope everyone else is having as beautiful of a fall!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Words, birds, turds and a bike

Belle has apparently been reading the blog lately and it seems she does not like being mocked for her lack of linguistic skills.  Within a week of my post pointing out her speech problems she scowled at me and started talking.

She's mastered the important ones.

Lollipop - "Pop-pa-pop"

Bumblebee - "Bum-ba-bum"

I have a stinky diaper - "Peeee yeewwwwww!"

Donut - "Do dut"

So sorry about implying that you had some mental disability, Belle.   Next time start proving you have skills before I have to mock you publicly.   

Something unsettling is going on out our house.  At least once a day, usually twice, a bird slams into one of our windows.  This has been going on for TWO WEEKS.  For those of you who have remedial math skills, that is approximately 30 instances of kamikaze birds smashing into our windows.

Now, I'm not entirely sure what the motivation behind these events is.  Are the birds trying to kill us?  Do they really love our home and want to live in here?  Are they punishing themselves for something?

Lest you think they can't see the glass, please remember that I am a fairly poor housekeeper.  And I have twerps with grimy hands.  No bird who's made it out of the nest could possibly think that our windows were not there. 

Most just sort of zoom in from the side and ricochet off.   But not all.

In at least two instances the birds have, I believe, given themselves concussions.  The very first bird, a robin, hit the large window by our front door so hard that I thought someone was trying to break down the door.  It crashed to the ground in front of my front door and lay perfectly still.  For an HOUR AND A HALF.  No kidding.  I was just deciding I had to get the shovel and wondering where one throws a dead bird when suddenly it stood up.  And immediately fell over again.  Then it stood up.  And fell over. But after a few more tries it stayed up.  And after a few minutes it hopped away. 

Just yesterday another bird slammed into the same window.  It dropped down to the front porch too.  It then stood itself up, and holding itself perfectly stiff tipped slowly forward until it's face bonked into the ground.  It shook it's head in surprise and straightened up again.  And holding itself perfectly stiff it tipped slowly forward until it's face bonked into the ground - again.  The did it sit down?  No, It stood itself up AND DID IT AGAIN.  And I laughed.  I mean I felt sorry for it, but c'mon.  It took that little avian 45 minutes to be able to hop away. 

Now 'bird brain' isn't a term that leads one to think of a stout intellect, but apparently a concussed bird brain is even more stupid.

Ok, so I just really put this in because it rhymed with "Words" and "Birds".  The only turd issue we have is that we keep finding poop on our deck from some large animal, like maybe an elephant.  Remember the raccoon?  Yeah, so do we.  But really, no raccoon could produce something of this size.  I'm not actually confident that there are any North American mammals besides the buffalo that could.  But would bison climb up stairs to a second story deck and poop dead center of the top step?  I find that unlikely.  Don't worry, I will continue to keep you all posted as this mystery unfolds.  You can always count on a good poop story from my blog. 

And a bike:
We went to a flea market in a small town semi-near us a couple weeks ago.  "Flea market" actually doesn't do it justice.  "Flea metropolis" maybe.  Here's a picture:

The thing covers 60 ACRES.  Fully half the shoppers show up on their four wheelers and drive around it.  It's a full blown Midwest flea market.  It's a ... cultural experience.  But it was sorta fun.  And D got a bike. 

It's about the smallest bike I've ever seen.  It was....well loved when we bought it, but the price was right.   Medman painted it green, cleaned it as much as was possible, bought some training wheels and lo and behold, a bike. 

D loves to ride it.  And as many of you know, D has a deep and abiding love for speed.  Thankfully he is ignorant enough to think that his bike is fast.  Because it is NOT fast.  I had visual proof this afternoon that it is not quite as fast as Belle's top running speed.  And when we are talking about Belle, "run" is used loosely.  She sort of leans forward and does a cheek-jiggling march. 

In actuality I'm amazed that he can make the thing move at all. It's tires are sort of flat, the chain is rusted and it weighs about 40 lbs.  Still, he's happy.  Even when racing around the cul-de-sac with the 5 year old across the street who has a real bike.  D just waits til the boy zooms past him and is coming back around again and yells gleefully, "You're behind me!"  Ethan, not amused, yells, "No I'm not, I already passed you!"  But D sticks to his guns, "Nope, you are behind me!  You only have 2 wheels on your bike.  You can't go fast.  I have 4 wheels.  I can go fast." 

That's OK, D.  You just keep up that blind happiness that things are really going the way you THINK they are.  You've got plenty of years ahead of you to realize that actually your bike sucks and everyone is faster than you.  Even the toddler. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fun givaway!

I'm so excited because my good friend Bethany has the most adorable little invention called Squeaky Bunz and she's doing a giveaway!  Now, unless you are a 12 month old baby yourself, this giveaway won't be for YOU, but it is a FANTASTIC baby shower gift.

What's Squeaky Bunz, you ask?   Here's the description from Bethany's blog:

What is SqueakyBunz? SqueakyBunz is an all original design. I have designed onesies with a cute applique on the front and a matching applique patch on the bum. The exciting part, and the part babies LOVE, is the squeaky noise the patch on the bum makes. Not only are these little outfits super cute but they are a hoot for baby and family alike! 

Yes, a cute onesie with a squeaker in the bum.  Every time they land on that little tushy, it squeaks.  (Don't worry, not an annoying squeak.  Just the kind of squeak that makes everyone in the room chuckle.  Yes, sometimes the adults even more than the babies.) 

Here are a couple of her designs.

 And here's your favorite one-year-old wearing her personalized one from Miss Bethany.  (Sorry for the sucky pictures.  Did I mention she's one? Meaning 'will not pose for pictures'.)

These are perfect for when they are learning to walk.  Every time they plop down on their bums, it squeaks.  Belle likes to sit on the bottom step and bounce so it squeaks.  She giggles and giggles. 

So, here's the link to her giveaway.  And if you don't have a need for one right now just hop over there anyway and check out all the cute designs.  And keep her in mind next time you have a baby shower to go to.  Seriously, you will the the one that brought THAT gift.  The one all the grownups play with the entire time.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Nature Hike

So we've decided to homeschool D.  I sort of cringe while I type that because for some reason homeschooling is one of those polarizing topics.  I keep running across people who either rejoice because I am keeping him from becoming an evil psychopath from going through the dreaded public school system or I am destroying his social skills and turning him into a freak by keeping him away from public schools.  SO, between psycho or freak, I guess I picked freak.

But seeing as I'm sort of known for not having particularly strong opinions in general, it's not surprising that I do not subscribe to either of these extreme ideas.  Actually, I'm just excited at the fact that I can teach my own kids.  Mom, you'll be pleased that there seems to be a bit of the teacher in me because I really enjoy thinking up the ways we can have our own little preschool.  D is diggin' it and he's taken to me teaching him very well.  He's a tiny genius and it's fun watching him learn so many things.

Really preschool is awesome.  Absolutely anything can be considered preschool education.  Like laundry.  I mean we've got sorting by colors, following directions for which cycle to use, matching socks, fine motor skills in folding, etc, etc.  Now lest you think I am viewing school as slave labor, I will point out that having a four-year-old help with laundry quadruples the time each task takes.  I'd use a bigger word than quadruple if I knew a sophisticated word for 25 times as much.  Like Twenty-five-uple. 

Soooo, all that to say that we took our weekly nature hike today! We talked about season this week so we read the "Autumn" page in our library book to find what things we should find in the fall.  D's research yielded the following list, "Leaves, acorns, berries."  Ok, good list.  I have to say I wasn't sure we'd find berries.  Turns out I'm not too outdoorsy.

We headed to the local Conservation Department where they have a lovely hike that goes through all the local eco-systems or some such thing.  I really only like the forest part.  The prairie bores me to tears.  But I digress.  Here are some pictures:

2 cuties on a log.  Gotta love 4 year old smiles.

Turns out there are berries EVERYWHERE.

Excellent pointing skills.

And stinkin' cute.

Our big find.  Notice how no trees in these pictures are turning?  Yeah, the colored-leaf find was a bit sad.

2 cute tushies.

D said "Wait!  You HAVE to take a picture of the super awesome antenna!"

 And inside the Conservation Department is just as fun. Fish tanks, bee hives, snakes.

So there ya go.  No more complaints that I never post pictures of the kids.  The highly educated kids.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Too much...

Between the fact that we went on a wonderful trip to Montana, began homeschooling D for Preschool, the fact that I haven't posted in, oh, a month and the fact that my kids do blogable things about every 90 seconds, I have so much to post that it's paralyzing.    So here is an eclectic collection of the highlights:

D often wants to play "I Spy".  Cool.  A game that requires no physical activity and almost no brain power on my part.  Love it.

Only he must think the game is sort of random because he'll say, "I spy something black."  After about 5 guesses I'll say something like, "Is it the chair?"  He'll say, "Ummmmm-", look around blankly until he sees the chair I'm talking about and say, "Ummmmm, YES!!! THAT IS RIGHT!  Good guess, Mommy!"

Clearly he does NOT get that he needs to spy the object FIRST.  THEN tell me the color.

My favorite was we were all in Montana playing it in the car (after I had really emphasized that he needed to think of an item BEFORE saying he spied it)  and he spied something white.  Medman made about a hundred guesses, all of which received encouraging answers like "Nope, but good try, Daddy!"   Finally, as a shot in the dark, I asked, "Honey, can you see this thing?"

To which he cheerfully replied, "No!  It's REALLY far away!  All the way back at our house!  It's Daddy's Jetta!" (Which happens to be silver, not white....)

Which flicked on that little brain bulb as I realized, "Oh, the kid doesn't know that 'spy' means see'."  Oh well, at least he had fun.

There are certain concepts that I find hard to explain to D.  Dreams are one of them.

"Um, it's like a story, in your head that happens while you are sleeping ....."

Which leads to him telling me his "dream" which oddly enough parallels EXACTLY the Thomas the Train book we just got from the library.

So when he says, "I dreamed that I was at a State Park."  We just looked at each other and said politely, "Oh?"

D: "Yeah, I was in a State Park and there were trees."

Me: "Trees?"

D: "Yup, with arms."

Medman (asking the obvious question since did he really know what a State Park was?) :  "Which State Park?

D: "What State Park?"

Medman:  "The one in your dream!"

D (totally confused) : "What????"

Sometimes it is hilariously funny how little communication is going on.

Speaking of communication, Belle is still doing her no-means-no-AND-yes thing.  We had this EXACT conversation about ten times a day on our trip.

(First you must know that Belle can nod her head, but it is hysterical.  Her head being approximately 1/2 of her minuscule body weight, nodding it up and down makes her wobble between tipping backwards and plummeting forward while she staggers around attempting to remain standing.)

B: "Dih"

Me: "Drink?  You want a drink?"

B (with feeling): "NO!"

Me:  "Does that no mean yes?"

B nods her head vigorously.

Me: "Of course it does..."

I'm not kidding about that happening ten times a day.  Oh, and she says "uh uh" too.  Like the kind of  "uh uh" that means NO.  Except, yes, you guessed it, hers means EITHER no or yes.

I feel like Belle should be learning animal sounds, only because reciting animal sounds was the distraction I would use with D at this age to get him to not notice I was sticking food in his mouth.  (why that child is opposed to eating when I love eating so dearly, I'll never understand...) (and yes, I know I shouldn't expect the same things from different children.  Pipe down, you know all of you with kids do it too...)  Unfortunately she treats animal sounds with the same freedom of expression as the rest of her communication skills.

She almost never gives the same answer to "What does a cow say?" or a horse or a pig.  But she is consistent in one animal. 

Me:  "Belly button, what does a sheep say?"

Belle (with the same enthusiasm she brings to all her incomprehensible speaking) makes this super creepy hissing noise.  Not a pure hiss like a snake.  This is a freaky gutteral hiss that sort of sits in the back of her throat.  The kind of hiss some sort of prehistoric monster would make before it ate you.

And I suddenly find myself a little scared of sheep.

Come to think of it, if that's the sorts of noises she thinks animals make, it's not surprising she blocks out any information I try to give her about them.

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's been a while since I posted some of the funny things D has said.  I was thinking of a ton in the middle of the night when I was awake and now I can only remember two, so I'm just going to keep typing and see what I come up with...because we all know that rambling is the #1 way to keep readers interested...

1) Isn't it so cute when kids do something so.... kid-like?  Like the first time they see a shape in a cloud.   The very first time I heard D do this was weeks ago.  We were driving back from the blueberry farm and he looks out the window and says, "Hey mom, look at that cloud! It looks like..."

I was so excited!  What would his little imagination conjure up?

"..a loooong, skinny poop!"

 And I have to say, it really did.

2) Medman, D and I were outside one evening before bed.  D already had pj's on but we had caved for some reason and let him go back outside.  He's walking around in his pj's and rubber boots with his Lightning McQueen fishing pole by the creek that runs behind our house.  Nice and close to three neighbors.  Medman and I hear a funny, fairly loud noise and look at each other in surprise.  Then we notice the boots.  OH!  His boots were squeaking. 

Medman: D, was that your boots?
D: Nope!  It was my BUTT!

3) And there are things that are only funny because I've decided to laugh instead of scream...

During breakfast I leave the room to go to the bathroom.  From upstairs I hear...

Belle: MOMMY!!!!

D: Belle, she'll be right back.

Belle: MOMMY!!!

D: she'll be right back!

Belle: MOOOOOMMMMMMY!!!!!!!!

D (starting to sing his answer): She'll be right BACK!  She'll be right BACK!


D(now in full Broadway musical mode) She'll be RIGHT back back back, She'll BE right-


D:  Belle, don't talk while I'm singing!

D (singing again): She'll be right BACK! SHe'll-


D:  Belle, don't talk while I'm singing!


D (singing again): She'll be right BACK! SHe'll be ri-






So I did what every good mother would do.  I pulled the bathroom door closed and turned on the water in the sink to drown out the noise. 

Then at nap time while he was praying:
"And God, please help Belle to NOT TALK WHILE I'M SINGING!"

Ah, sibling love.

D does say plenty of funny things that do not involve bathroom humor or arguing with his sister, but for the life of me I can't think of them right now. I'm sure tonight when I'm awake I'll think of a half dozen more. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I posted a bit ago about Belle's growing communication skills.  She was spitting out a handful of phrases in an effort to demand things convey her thoughts.  Besides noting the oddness of going straight from no words to phrases and absolutely refusing to use single syllable words, I was pretty excited that whining and grunting for something could begin to be replaced with a primitive form of communication.

Belle, however, doesn't seem to see the value in communication.  At least she's not convinced that in order to communicate clearly she must align her free spirit with the rules of the English language that the rest of us follow.

She has utterly tossed aside several of the things she used to say, refusing even to repeat them if I say them.  For instance if she does something exciting and I say "You did it!  Say 'I did it!'", she stares at me like I'm crazy and she has no idea what I'm talking about.  Never mind that she said, "I did it!" about a hundred times a day a couple weeks ago.

Instead of normal English, she spends most of her time talking in that super cute baby language that sounds like English, having all the correct inflection and noises and earnest facial expression, but is in fact just nonsense.  I do happen to love listening to the gibberish and like to answer her in a way that sounds like we are having a conversation.  I'm sure that language development people would tell me not to encourage the nonsense talk, but it's so stinkin' cute! 

The problem, of course, is that when she wants her cup - no, she still won't say "cup", "milk", "drink"... - she rattles off a bunch of gibberish and waves her arm around.  Or points at the wall.  Or at me.  Or at her own ear.   And then is frustrated that I didn't get "cup" from that.

To make matters worse, she has now decided that any single word or phrase can mean both its real meaning and its opposite meaning.  I know that sounds confusing, so here are two examples:

1: NO

She likes to say 'no'.   As in:
"Let's go change your diaper." 
"No!" and runs off in the opposite direction.

So "no" means "no".

Except for when I say,
"Do you want a snack?"
"No!" with an excited face as she runs to her booster seat and attempts to climb into it. 

So "no" also means "yes."

2: Here Ya Go!

This is a phrase that has remained in her vocabulary.  As before, she uses it often like this:

"Here ya go!" pointing at some toy she can't reach.  She continues to chant that phrase until someone taller than her retrieves it for her.

So "Here ya go" means "Give that to me" 

But other times she says

"Here ya go!" while walking toward me with a book she wants me to read to her.

So "Here ya go!" means "Give this to you."

And in those two instances her meaning is fairly clear, but what about the times when she is standing near things she can't reach, but holding something else and is looking at me as she waves her arms around or points to her own head and says desperately "Here ya go!  Here ya go!"

Seriously, you need Sherlock Holmesian observational skills to decipher what a one-year-old wants.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Catch up

I've been very delinquent in posting lately, but I have been good at taking pictures of things I'd like to post.  So, since the backlog is getting a bit overwhelming, here's quick snippets of things from around here lately:

In an effort to decorate the house on the cheap, I found these beauties at the Salvation Army for $2 each. 

After seeing this done on some blog or another, I bought some "Oil Rubbed Bronze" spray paint and turned them into nice chunky candle holders for by the fireplace.

I found a pattern at Obsessively Stitching to make a teepee tent from a sheet.  Since twin sheets were on sale for $3 at Walmart and since the pattern had almost NO edges that needed to be finished, I made it.  I was afraid that my over-enthusiastic efforts would go unappreciated, but so far the tent has been up for about 2 weeks and gets regular play time every day.  Who knew that running into and then out of the tent while hooting (sort of like an Indian, now that I think about it...) could be so much fun.  I'm sure they like it because of it's authenticity.  Fabric woven from dyed buffalo hair, the same PVC pipe found in the original teepees of the Sioux Indians....

I've started to give D some chores.  He has a little chore chart thingy with clothes pins labeled with chores that can be moved from the "to do" part to the "all done!!!"  part.  One is laundry.  It is D's job to match socks and (if he does that before I give up waiting and do it myself) fold washcloths.  He's pretty helpful. 

Belle, not so much.  She just rummages through the laundry basket til she finds two pairs of D's underwear and voila!  Accessories!

We went a little green around here.  After seeing a post months ago about small things you can do around the house, I've been wanting to do this.  You take plastic bottles (sprite and gatorade for us), put some rocks in the bottom...

...fill with water...

 ...and place in the tank of your toilet where it won't interfere with the potty working.  :) 

Am I the only one who has never heard of this?  It just takes up space in your tank so less water is used in filling it up.  Granted, not a lot of space, but any water saving is good.

And finally, when we moved into this house, I was a little concerned that it was going to be an adjustment for me that the kids would be off playing somewhere far away.  In the old house they pretty much couldn't be out of my sight.  But here with their enormous, awesome play room downstairs from the kitchen I thought I'd spend all day peeking down the stairs to see how they were.

Um, yeah...not a problem.  This was me trying to check email at the kitchen counter.  I had to hold the camera up high above myself to get a good view.  So this is the view that a fly on the ceiling above me would have.  Apparently my legs are the most interesting toy in the house.  Forget the new tent or the seven zillion toys in the play room. 

In an effort to have patience with this, I just breath deeply and chant,

"Someday they won't want to be anywhere near me. 
Someday they won't want to be anywhere near me. 
Someday...."  then my eyes glaze over as I dream of the peace and quiet of that day.

Until I get elbowed in the stomach.