Thursday, October 29, 2009

It's Fall ...

Haunted Gingerbread Houses (aka Use Up All the Candy in the House Before Saturday)

...and some leaf therapy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Potty Charts

We've started potty charting over here. It's week two, and one chart is already full, though we are still nowhere near ready for underpants. Hopefully Clark will have the hang of things quickly while he's still excited about stickers (like big sis) before we have to add a toy bribe to step up the incentive (like big bro.) This is the chart that all three kids have used.

Download girl potty chart here

Download boy potty chart here

Happy Family Fun Time (with Pumpkin)

Yesterday was the first day in many weeks when the sun was shining and it was not freezing rain. So I planned a spontaneous trip to the pumpkin farm after school. Yay, fun, right?

Fun for a bit ... and then we had an exact repeat performance of last year's after school trip to this particular pumpkin farm.

It's interesting how after doing this parenting thing for a few years, I can feel a meltdown coming on. There's just something in the air.

Dora was very on edge from the minute we arrived. After many, many warnings about controlling her temper, we ended up with a huge-mondo tantrum complete with screaming, hitting and foot stomping.

Dealing with a kid who has such powerful emotions is challenging on the best days and soul-sucking and emotionally draining on the worst. I second guess every decision - I spent the whole drive home critiquing my performance and realizing all the ways I could have handled it differently. And since she is the daughter of crazy screaming lady, sometimes I feel ill-equipped to deal with the flood of feelings going on in her little mind.

At least we got a few photos to remember this visit ... just like last year.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Halloween Party #1

Me: Clark, do you want to be a pumpkin for Halloween? A big, orange, happy pumpkin? You want to be a pumpkin, right? (Can you tell I have a hand-me-down pumpkin costume in the basement, all ready to go?)

Clark (very insistent): I want to be a black bird.

I don't know where the idea came from, but he was very sure that this was what he wanted. He really liked flapping his wings.

I don't even bother planning an "official" costume for Theo, because he just pulls out whatever strikes him from his enormous costume collection. Fifteen minutes before we left for the party, he said "I want to be a pirate!" Found a pair of sweatpants to cut into ragged legs, black tshirt and accessories ... instant pirate. For a costume party the next day, he went as Batman. He wants to be Flash at school and a spy for real Halloween.

Dora is Heather the Violet Fairy from the Rainbow Magic series. I wasn't sure how we were going to do the dress, when my aunt came up with this old prom dress at her house. One of my cousins wore it and was a skinny thing, since the only alteration I had to make was to bring up the shoulders. Dora loves this dress ... I think it's because it looks exactly like the style of dress she always draws when she makes princesses, with the giant poufy sleeves. The wig was critical. If we could not find a wig, she was going to be the green fairy instead because the green fairy has brown hair.

Friday, October 16, 2009

First Snowman of the Year

Built before school this morning. I framed the snowman with the front of the house to clearly demonstrate that it is not yet Halloween, and there is snow on the ground.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Long Weekend

The vacant expressions, the glassy-eyed stares ...

Dora and Theo spent the long weekend getting addicted to Lego Batman.

New Sewing

Two new birthday bags.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

This Week...

... the kids got custom made pizzas ...

... we made gingerbread cookies ...

... Dora contemplated the Story Garden gorilla ...

... we painted leaves with friends ...

... and Bakugan got a new home (for a few hours, anyway.)

By the way, I used one of those Facebook stats applications this week, and discovered that "..." (or, "dotdotdot") is my word most used in status updates. Yes, I do love dots. 

Friday, October 2, 2009

What I Love This Week

Theo is crazy about superheroes. CRA-ZY. (His teacher asked me last week which he likes more: superheroes or Bakugan? And oh, lady, please don't ever make him choose.)

So, a few weeks ago, we were shopping and I let him buy a Justice League Unlimited DVD because it was $7 and he's so cute. I typically don't let them watch something without viewing it first, but hey, Justice League! How bad could it be? I settled in for a viewing with Theo and Clark, and it was a titch more violent than I was comfortable with, but all was going well until a horrifiying scene where Aquaman - not the friendly, wussy Aquaman of our youth, but instead a bad-ass, bearded brute - CUTS OFF HIS OWN HAND to save his infant son who had been chained to a rock, speeding toward an active volcano. WTF??? This was like something from a twisted horror film, not a children's cartoon. I gasped, Theo didn't quite get what happened, so I actually had to explain it to him. He ends up getting a cool hook-hand at the end, but still ... a bit too disturbing for me.

During our next trip out, we picked up this:

and, boy, was that $20 well-spent. SIX hours of age-appropriate superhero fun for the whole family. Exactly how we remember them, the ten-minute episodes bookended with magic tricks, puzzles and PSAs. Plus Zan and Jana, speaking out against teenage hooliganism (Hazing! Hitchiking! Drag Racing!) It took Dora one viewing to point out: "They ALWAYS turn into an eagle and a bucket of water!" and now she laughs along with them. We usually save DVDs for car trips, and one disc buys us three hours of reverent quiet in the car. We've since picked up the second volume, all three kids are loving it.