Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Pintrest Project - Wreathes

So far in the pinning, I have pinned quite a few crafts.  Some of which I am hopeful Elizabeth can do with me, others are just for yours truly.  Here are two crafts that Elizabeth and I did together.

Balloon Wreath: The one I saw on Pintrest didn't look as full as I would have liked, but I thought it was super-cute and festive.  I don't remember how many packs of balloons I went through but it was a LOT more than was recommended in the instructions.  I would have used more if I could have found more in those colors (and I searched.  Frequently.)  The Verdict:  I like it.  It's cute.  It was a bit more expensive than what I thought going into it.  Elizabeth was proud to help me with the project.  Since I hung it on our inside door, it will keep for a few years (before the balloons dry-rot).  Check out ours and judge for yourself!

Googly-Eye Halloween Wreath:  I couldn't keep the festive Balloon wreath up until Christmas, so something had to be done.  I thought E would get a kick out of this one, too, and who doesn't like googly eyes???  I used a smaller wreath that I bought for doing more than one balloon wreath (and the picks wouldn't come close to going through that wreath...not to mention there would have been a massive balloon shortage then!).  I covered that wreath in ribbon that I had on hand.  Then we were off to gluing.  I lost count of the number of packs of googly eyes we used, but, again, way more than the instructions called for.  The Verdict:  Super cute.  E loved doing it, until she got bored as we had to wait for a long time for glue to dry (because I wasn't about to do anything with hot glue around her!)  We're quire happy with this one, too.  Again, it's hanging on the inside front door, so we should be able to use this for lots of Halloweens to come!  Check out ours (not yet hanging) for yourself!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Pintrest Project

I love Pintrest!  It's highly addicting...I've gotten a lot of great ideas from other pins -- too many to likely ever see them come to fruition.  In an effort to Blog with more regularity again, I've decided to try to document my opinions on how each pin matched up after I have first-hand experience with them.  Some things that I've already tried (recipes in particular) have been great, others, not so great.  So, as I go through and make different things that I have pinned, I'm going to give it my own review. 

This week, I've made two things that I have pinned, both recipes.  The first yummy, the other, a big disappointment.

The good: Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad.  Easy to make, especially since I used a pre-cooked whole chicken from Kroger.  Lots of chopping, but prep time didn't take but maybe 30 minutes, tops -- and most of that was because I get really picky about the white part of the iceberg lettuce being in my salad (that is a no-no).  I added a small can of sliced olives (just because I love olives, especially in salads!), but otherwise followed the recipe.  For the Greek yogurt, I used fat-free.  I didn't measure the taco seasoning or the ranch seasoning, but I'm sure I did more than the recipe called for -- and I think it could have used a wee bit more.  The Verdict:  Yumminess!  Reid said it was the best salad I have ever made (and I love salads!)  This is totally going in the dinner rotation! 

The not-so-much:  Tonight's dinner was a bummer!  I'm always looking for something to make in the crockpot so I can throw it together on mornings that I go to Morgantown for work and come home to a good meal.  The Italian Crockpot Chicken was just - eeh.  Not terrible, Reid and I ate did Kennedy (Cate dumped her entire plate overboard without trying a bite declaring "All done!").  Elizabeth ate a little bit of it, but when she didn't eat the cooked carrots, I knew we had a loser on our hands.  The Verdict:  Super easy to make, but don't waste your time.  It was bland - really bland.  And after it has cooked all day long, in seasoning, it shouldn't be.  Don't know what would fix it and don't care enough to try.  The chicken was crazy (in a good way) moist, but again, bland.  There was a lot of unconsumed food (save for Kennedy's portion from Cate's splat mat) -- and what wasn't served went down the disposal.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cate's Growing Language

I'm so long over-due for a post it's not even funny...and Cate's language has exploded since my last post.  I'll try to list all of her words here, but I'm sure there are some I will forget.  Ones with a * she also signs:

  1. Mommy
  2. Daddy
  3. Sissy
  4. Dog*
  5. Stop it (typically spoken to the dog, Kennedy)
  6. Cocoa
  7. Piggy (for the Piglet blanket that is the new addition to the growing list of items she likes to carry around)
  8. Sock
  9. Shoes* 
  10. Jaket
  11. Shirt
  12. Pants
  13. Hat
  14. I no poop (sometimes "I poop!")
  15. No
  16. Yes (with a bit of a fist pump)
  17. Milk*
  18. Please*
  19. Spoon
  20. Eat
  21. Cookie 
  22. Chip
  23. Chicken
  24. Copcorn (aka: popcorn)
  25. Ice cream
  26. Cake
  27. Want it
  28. Wawa*
  29. Tank You
  30. Done*
  31. All gone*
  32. More*
  33. Nana
  34. Papa
  35. Papi
  36. Aunt Anne 
  37. Sean
  38. Rara
  39. Doug (sounds a lot like dog, but she says it when she sees pictures of Doug, so we get that she's not calling Doug a dog -- or so we hope!)
  40. Maggie
  41. CaCa (She's a bilingual genius!  In addition to this being Aunt Cathy's nickname, she's also saying "shit" - how awesome is she I ask you?)
  42. Campbell 
  43. Let's gooooo (and then I say "Mountaineers!")
  44. Bed
  45. Night night
  46. Baby*
  47. Blanket
  48. Up
  49. Sit
  50. Down
  51. Chair
  52. What's that?
  53. Bye-Bye*
  54. Hello
  55. Play
  56. Hair
  57. Body
  58. Fingers
  59. Toes
  60. Belly
  61. Mouth
  62. Ears
  63. Eyes
  64. Nose, nose, nose (typically while squeezing hers or mine)
  65. Mickey Mouse (sounds a lot like her mouth is full of marshmallows "Micka Mouse")
  66. Emo (Elmo)
  67. Cup
  68. Plate
  69. Funny*
  70. On
  71. Off
  72. Baketball (we're gearing up to cheer for the Toppers and Mountaineers for BASKETBALL season)
  73. Ball
  74. Put away (maybe one of my kids will know to put away toys...)
  75. READ
  76. Book
  77. Where's*
  78. BATH**** (It is more of a full body wiggle with crazy-enthusiastic signing -- so much so we have to spell the word if she isn't going to be on the receiving end of the B-A-T-H)
  79. Dirty*
  80. Dance*
  81. Yellow
  82. Who's that?
  83. Apple*
  84. Pig*
  85. Monkey* (followed by "ooh ooh aah aah")
  86. Horse
  87. Hay (those two typically come together)
  88. Seal (followed by clapping her feet together and saying "oh, oh, oh")
  89. Bunny
  90. Bird*
  91. Duck*
  92. Bock! Bock!* (some of you may call it a chicken -- she only refers to 'chicken' if she is going to consume it, but pictured in a book, it is a "Bock! Bock!")
  93. Color
  94. Paper
  95. Bug
  96. Block
  97. Mine
  98. Top (working on Toppers)
  99. Glasses
  100. WUV YOU!!!  (Never softly spoken, always shouted...hopefully followed by blown kisses...)
Notable names NOT included on this list would be: Grandma and Alex.  Sorry you two, we're working on it...but she has quite the stubborn streak (I have no earthly idea where she gets that), so I can't make any promises...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Cate's language acquisition is unbelievable.  She's saying new words nearly every day.  Here's the latest:

  • Pweese (Please) in addition to the sign...she can get nearly anything she wants with this
  • Tink You (Thank You) - amazing how good the manners are with our sweet 18-month-old
  • Sissy (Sissy) - it sure beats trying to say "Elizabeth"
  • MINE (MINE!!!) - as in if it is in my sight, has ever been in my sight, it's MINE!
  • Hat (hat) - the girl loves hats...she'd love the Derby!
And, not to be out-done...on Friday night while at my parents' house, we all got into our PJs a short while before bedtime.  When E saw me in mine (a tank and shorts, mind you), she told me, "Mommy, you look smokin' hot."  I told her this was inappropriate comments for a person of her age.  She told me, "Well, everyone is saying it."  Alrighty then! 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cate's Jibber-Jabber

Cate is jabbering away these days...every time she says "something" (even the jabbering), Elizabeth will tell me, "Mommy, you need to add that to the list!"

Here are some of the latest:
  • Wawa - water
  • What'sthat -- (all one word wazztha) -- what is that -- we get this a lot
  • Ammaw -- Grandma
  • Papa -- Papa
  • Nana -- Nana (come on folks, work with the near 18-month-old!)
  • RaRa, Do -- Rikki/RaRa (when we pointed out pictures of Rikki & Doug -- sorry Doug, "Doug" and "Dog" are sounding a lot alike these days)
  • Bubbles -- the girl LOVES bubbles!!!
She also had her bottom 4th tooth break through (barely!)  All 4 of the molars are clearly in.

At Alex's 5th birthday party (still need to Blog about that!), she became obsessed with playing with Aunt Jane's miniature tea set...too cute!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cate Says...

For months now, Cate has been holding court with her own talk "speewka na wha za booka is ga na doota..." complete with hand gestures as if we are able to understand every syllable.  With every new sound, we think it's all going to click in her head and that she will start talking in words that we can understand.  

Cate tickling her belly button (April 2012)
Here is what she currently says that we do understand: 

  • Dada (her first word!)
  • Mama (the one we hear most often...especially when she wants something of an evening)
  • more (complete with signing -- typically regarding food that isn't a vegetable)
  • down (she gets told this a lot -- some times she say 'down' but signs up when she is in the high chair and is attempting to wiggle/crawl out)
  • no, no, no (head shake required - at least we don't (yet) get the finger wagging!)
  • shoe (a girl's gotta love shoes!)
  • ticka ticka ticka (while lifting her shirt high and digging at her belly button)
  • nose nose nose (as she is squeezing her nose -- or mine)
  • uh oh (when she deliberately drops something from the playroom side of the gate into the kitchen side...or when she is dropping food from her high chair to Kennedy, which she is NOT supposed to do!)
  • baby (as she is looking at the pictures of herself on the wall -- which reminds me that I need to update some of the photos...)
  • stop it (yes, she hears that a bit...along with 'down')
  • doh (dog)
She also signs (without the words):
  • milk
  • eat
  • please
Waving high after WLU won the Regional
Other cool things she does without the words: 
  • Waves bye-bye (typically with the arm fully extended and waaay up in the air)
  • Knee hugs (when she sees you, she will run over and hug you around the knees -- they are the best!)
  •  Blows kisses (who can resist a baby who blows kisses?)
  • "Awwww" (that's the noise she makes when you pick her up and give her a hug -- so sweet!)
  • Dances!  (The girl has moves like Jagger -- she loves to dance, to just about anything...sometimes to the tune she hears in her head...or just doing the happy dance if she is eating something that she is truly enjoying, you'll see her wiggling her bum in her high chair)
She's at such a fun age right now!  She is entertaining herself a bit, which is nice to not have to be on the floor playing with her every second.  She is so much more happy than she was just a few months ago -- not that she still doesn't do plenty to earn the moniker "Cranky Cate." She still climbs waaaaaay too much (just ask Miss Nannette and Miss Jody at her daycare -- a new wooden structured tent lasted all of about 30 minutes in their room thanks to someone, who will remain unnamed, thought it was put there for her to climb up and jump off of...  Sometimes it's hard to believe it's already been 17 months...when she's putting on a "Cranky Cate" moment, there are times that it feels like it's been twice that long...  We ♥ her so!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Alex's 5th Birthday Party -- Uber Cool Invite

Alex's birthday is right around the corner...and he, too, is having a Star Wars party!  

The invite looks pretty cool, if I do say so myself!  Most importantly, the soon-to-be-five-year-old is happy!!!

I went from this picture (thanks to Anne, Sean, & super model, Alex):

To this:

Looking forward to what all we're going to be doing at his birthday party.

May the Fourth be with You!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Baby Cate Update

At 15 months, Cate is built more like a Weeble Wobble and less like a toddler -- she's 30-1/2" tall (50th percentile) and weighs 23 lbs, 8 oz. (60th percentile). She has finally cut the fourth upper tooth, one on bottom (making it 3 in front) and 3 molars - 2 upper, 1 bottom. She's still cutting teeth, either that or we're not feeding her enough so she is constantly drooling and putting her hands in her mouth hoping they will turn to food.

She loves, loves, loves bananas -- probably her favorite food. Other favorite foods include applesauce, grapes, pears, strawberries (sometimes), bread (any flavor - wheat, garlic toast, banana bread...), Cheerios, yogurt, chicken, salmon, cheese, eggs (hard boiled and scrambled), hamburgers/meatloaf, stuffing (see bread reference)...she isn't too big on veggies yet, which is perplexing to me as Elizabeth gobbled them up as quickly as we could put them on the tray... She insists on feeding herself.

She has THE BEST belly laugh (doesn't hurt that she has the belly to accompany said laugh)! Practically anything Elizabeth does can bring on this laugh. Reid can get it out of her, can Uncle Sean, and Chuck Scatterday... When she is really ticked with something she will wrinkle up her little nose -- it's too cute!

She loves the freedom of trotting around of the floor after West Lib games. John Wolosinczuk taught her how to give high 5. She loves to wave hi and bye-bye (mostly well after the fact...or on Skype). She can blow kisses (when she feels like it). She can identify her nose. She loves shoes (and sort-of says shoe as she walks around with them saying 'sh sh sh'.) She loves to "read" -- taking books and turning the pages. She can identify her belly button (will flash you her shirt like a co-ed at Mardi Gras collecting beads) -- sticks her finger in her belly button (it's quite the crevice) and says, "Ticka ticka ticka." That is super cute!!! She cannot stand to have her face or hands wiped. She loves bath time, especially with Elizabeth. She still cries a bit - especially when she is being wrestled down for Sleepy Time Down South (a familiar theme in this house, I know...) She's a climber (another theme around here)...and dancing. (If she is eating something that she loves, she also dances in her seat.) She also likes to pretend cook in the kitchen, get pulled in the wagon Santa brought her, and drop food from her tray for Kennedy. She would climb the stairs all day if we'd let her. She loves to blow the whistle on my key chain, and I swear she might be a better ref than a handful of the stripes West Lib has had this season! She still doesn't sleep through the night, much to my demise...

He hair is looking like it's going to curl, at least in the back. Like her big sister, she's a 'sweat head' - I can feel the heat rising from her head when she is tired...and when she goes to sleep, her hair gets soaking wet (along with my arm as I'm holding her.)

She brings us all so much joy (when she's not screaming...)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Elizabeth's Cool School Project

Elizabeth had a cool school project: craft a plastic egg to look like a character from literature. 

She loves crafts.  She doesn't love books (yet, we hope).  So, I wanted to make this really fun for her -- and to get her at least a little excited to read a bit more about her character.  I wanted her to do the egg by herself (although the instructions said parents could help).  So I only helped (aka: did) the background for her egg.

So, unlike every project that I have ever had to do that involved reading a fictional book -- I actually bought the book rather than having E pick up my bad, let's just watch the movie habits.  The Lorax. 

She did so well in working with the yellow fuzzy stuff I bought for making the eyebrows and mustache.  She even did a nose and mouth out of her Play-Dough -- the mouth is especially difficult to see thanks to the fuzzy mustache, but it is there!

Here is the school's link to the Egg'Citing Fashion Show.  As you will see, several of the eggs are awesomely cute, but I'm not sure what book (other than perhaps an NFL stat book) features Troy Polamalu as a character.  E's egg is at the 1:15 mark of the video. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

It (should be fun to play hoop) at the YMCA

Yes, it should be fun to play hoop at the YMCA, but there is an annoying little ball hog on Elizabeth's team...and his dad is their "coach" (if you can call the guy who's only coaching tip all freaking season -- no exaggeration here -- came AFTER his son, who's actually a year older than all of the Kindergarteners, mind you, fouled one of his own teammates to take the ball so he could shoot it...the "coach" told his kid to move closer to shoot. Not, "Hey, son. Don't freaking foul your own teammate. Pass the ball every once in a while. You might want to learn how to dribble..." Nada.)

We endured 5 weeks of YMCA hoops. Would have enjoyed it much, much more if E didn't ask why the kid, who will remain nameless to protect his innocence, never had to come out of the game (when they had 9 players show up on more than one week), why the kid, who will remain nameless, never passed the ball -- especially when she wanted to be like the Toppers and pass to her teammates (I know, this will serve her well in the years to come! Makes her former point guard Mama proud!)... Yes, there were 6 weeks in the season. Yes, I was sooooo annoyed, I had no remorse in blowing off the last week of the YMCA Winter League to take Elizabeth to Charleston for the WVIAC Tournament - where she was fortunate enough to participate in the Youth Basketball Clinic that the coaches put on...and where she learned more in a 2-hour clinic than she did in 5 weeks of basketball at the Y.

She's becoming a rather proficient dribbler and a very good passer. Her shot has good form for a kid her age. Most importantly, she likes to play! :-)