Friday, February 27, 2009

Best Friends

Erin's best friend, Shannon, spent the afternoon at our house yesterday. They had a lot of fun. It's always interesting to see how a new child adds a whole new dimension to the same old toys. Take, for example, Erin's "Creation Station." It is a box filled with construction paper, stickers, crayons, markers, tissue paper and old wrapping paper. Erin generally goes for the construction paper and crayons and draws, or she might get out the stickers and create a picture with stickers and drawings. Here is a pretty typical example of her work.

Well, Shannon sees the contents of the Creation Station, hones in on the tissue paper, and decides to design her own dress. A little tape and a lot of imagination, and wa-la, a beautiful princess dress. Notice the lovely dragonfly detail on the skirt.Erin, of course, couldn't be left behind. She created a dress of her own. Notice the three flower detail around the waist. Each girl has her own signature style.

And here they are together, ready to walk down the red carpet and answer the question, "Who are you wearing."
I made them each a tissue paper flower to go with their dresses.

And I love this picture of the two of them drawing together in a journal. You can tell by the look on their faces that they are having a good time.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Playing with Shaving Cream

Playing with shaving cream is one of our favorite indoor activities. The kids feel like they're making a mess, but clean up is really easy because it's just soap. They actually smell better after playing with shaving cream than before. But there are some DO's and DON'Ts to shaving cream.
#1. DO take off your shirt before you start or you'll get shaving cream all over your sleeves.

#2. DON'T pick your nose if you have shaving cream on your hands or your nose will look like this.
#3. DO draw pretty pictures and words in your shaving cream.

#4. DON'T clap your hands or you'll get shaving cream everywhere, even in your hair.

#5. DO provide a Popsicle stick or other scraping device so that little hands don't become giant blobs of shaving cream.

And when you're all done playing, you might end up with a creation like this:

Monday, February 23, 2009

Playing nicely together??

Here is a rare glimpse of Erin and Garrett playing nicely together. I don't want to give the impression that they fight all the time, they don't. But they don't play together all that much either. They usually do their own thing, mainly because of their age difference and difference in abilities and interests. But they look so cute when they do get together and play. In this clip, Erin is singing a lullaby that she made up herself, trying to get Garrett to go to sleep. I think he rebelled against his nap that day and was kind of tired, so Erin decided she was going to put him to sleep.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Our Little Snagle-tooth

Erin lost her first tooth a couple days ago. Several of her classmates have already been losing teeth, so she wanted to lose some, too. She was very excited the day after the Valentine's dance that her lower right tooth was loose. About a day later, her lower left tooth started wiggling, too. Yesterday, while watching TV and nobody was around, she pulled the lower right tooth by herself. She proudly ran upstairs and showed me her tooth and the hole in her smile. I quickly took a picture.

She couldn't wait for the Tooth Fairy to come that night and started asking a million questions about what the Tooth Fairy looks like and why she has to wait until Erin is asleep to take the tooth, etc., etc....

She had a hard time falling asleep, so she decided to draw a couple pictures for the Tooth Fairy, which she put under her pillow next to the tooth so the Tooth Fairy would find them. If you're not an expert at interpreting 5 year old drawings, this one depicts the Tooth Fairy with long hair, wings, and a wand. She is flying over Erin's bed (the oval) with Erin laying down and her pillow at the foot of the bed. (Some of this is speculation. I couldn't ask her about these pictures because she never showed them to me. They are only for the Tooth Fairy)

This next picture is the Tooth Fairy with some hearts, I guess to show the Tooth Fairy how much Erin loves her, or maybe because she loves drawing hearts.

Of course, the Tooth Fairy came and left her a gold dollar coin. Here is the tooth she lost. It's the little white speck next to the sucker. I put a sucker in the picture to give an idea of scale.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Valentine's Dance

Last Friday, the day before Valentine's Day was a very busy day. Not only did Erin have her class party, but there was also a school dance that night. Erin's best friend, Shannon, came with us as did Garrett and Daddy. We all had a great time. The girls decided to dress up in pretty dresses for the dance.

When they got there, they met up with other friends and classmates. Megan, in the burgundy dress, is another one of Erin's best friends.
The girls danced the night away (with a lot of running up and down the gym floor just for fun).

After all that dancing and running, it was definitely time for a ring pop break.

In fact, ring pops all around!!

Garrett says "Hey, I want a ring pop, too."

And finally, things are winding down and everyone is getting tired. Here is Garrett near the end of the dance just watching and hanging out. I love how this picture turned out because the colors are so vibrant.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Erin's Valentine's Day Party

Erin had a great time at her school Valentine's party. She decorated a box at home for her classmates to put Valentines in. She decided to give out Hannah Montana Valentines to her classmates. Here she is before school with her Valentines and box.

When she got to school, she put her box on the floor with all the other kids' boxes. Here is how some other kids decorated their boxes.

During the party, the kids ate cupcakes and drank juice. They also made crafts and passed out their Valentines.

But the highlight of the whole party was taking out all the Valentines from their boxes and seeing what they got. This is Erin and her best friend Shannon looking at their Valentines.

And here is Erin proudly displaying one of her Valentines.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Erin is a Daisy

Erin just started Girl Scouts last week and she loves it. Daisies is for K-1st grade. Brownies is for 2nd and 3rd grades, so Erin is a Daisy. She just got her uniform today and I haven't even had time to iron on the Daisy patch yet. It's just a vest that she puts over a white shirt.
They went on their first field trip tonight to the Fire Station. Erin learned all about the fire truck and the equipment the firemen carry on the truck.

They also learned about the equipment a fire fighter wears when he goes into a burning building. Here is a fireman wearing and insulated suit and oxygen mask.

After all that learning, they got to explore the inside of the fire truck. That was the highlight of the tour for most of the girls. Here are Erin and Shannon "driving" the fire truck.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hide and Seek

One of the kids' favorite pastimes is playing hide and seek (really more like peek-a-boo on steroids). The layout of the downstairs has a lot of little doors and corners to hide behind and the kids could spend hours playing hide and seek with either Daddy or me. Here is Gary playing hide and seek with the kids in Fall 2008.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Garrett Croons the Classics

I was finally able to film Garrett in a natural setting, doing what I see him doing everyday. I've had problems in the past getting him to ignore the video camera and just keep on doing whatever. He would either run to the camera to see himself, or just not perform all together. He's in that "I'm not going to perform on command anymore" phase. I semi hid the video camera in a dresser drawer and propped it up just enough to see over the edge, then turned it on. I guess Garrett figured that since I wasn't holding the video camera, it wasn't recording anything. Here is Garrett singing the classic "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

And here he is crooning another classic, "Old McDonald Had a Farm." On a side note, when he first discovered the existence of McDonald's, the restaurant, he would say "McDonald's" but I couldn't understand him. So he would say "E-I-E-I-O" to get his idea across. I wonder if he thinks that the Old McDonald that had a farm also has a restaurant with a really fun play area.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Life is a 3 Ring Circus

With two small kids, life can get pretty crazy. Sometimes I feel like I live in a three ring circus, and I have all the characters. First, we have the bearded lady.

Then we have the contortionist (just try to pull your feet up to this position. It's harder than it looks).

Next comes the man of a thousand faces.

The lady who can tame the ferocious beast.

The diabolic feline...

The boy who lives on dirt...

And the Great Karnac the Magnificent, able to answer any question posed by Ed McMahon.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Spotlight on Garrett

Poor Garrett hasn't been getting much blog time lately. It's not that he's not blogworthy, it's just that Erin does more exciting things because she is older. Plus, it's hard to get Garrett on film or video these days. When I try to get a spontaneous picture or video of him doing something cute, he stops what he's doing, runs to the camera and yells "See, see." He wants to see the picture/video even if I haven't taken it yet. He doesn't understand that first I have to take the picture for him to see it. He just knows that inside that camera are funny pictures of him and his sister. So getting out the camera ruins any spontaneous moment I might be trying to catch, especially since it beeps when I turn it on. At least Erin can pose for a picture, but Garrett hasn't quite gotten the hang of that yet, either. You'll see what I mean in this video clip:

Garrett is a great singer and can sing along with several songs. His favorites are "Itsy Bitsy Spider," "Farmer in the Dell" and "Old McDonald." He also likes to sing the ABC's and is very inspired to sing when holding a microphone, but he won't do it for the camera.

He stays very busy at school. Here are some recent project he did. He was pretty reluctant to stand still for the picture, so I had to snap quick before he left the shot. I am very happy with his progress at school. Garrett can say two word sentences consistently and can imitate 3-4 word sentences, quite an improvement from 4 months ago when he started school.

Garrett always loves his bath. Here he is just being cute little Garrett.

The name game

Rules: It's harder than it looks! Copy to your own note, erase my answers, enter yours, and tag 10 people. Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real... nothing made up! If the person before you had the same first initial, you must use different answers. You cannot use any word twice and you can't use your name for the boy/girl name question.
1. What is your name: MARY BETH
2. A four Letter Word: MAKE
3. A boy's Name: MIKE
4. A girl's Name: MELISSA
5. An occupation: MANAGER
6. A color: MAROON
7. Something you wear:MOCCASINS
8. A food: MACARONI
9. Something found in the bathroom: MAKE UP
10. A place: MARYLAND
11. A reason for being late: MISS THE BUS
12. Something you shout: MAKE THE CATCH!!!
13. A movie title: MADAGASCAR
14. Something you drink: MOONSHINE
15. A musical group:MAMA'S AND PAPA'S
16. An animal: MALLARD
17. A street name: MAIN
18. A type of car: MERCEDES BENZ
19. A song title: MOON SHADOW
20. A verb: MIX

What was the most difficult question for your name?
#16 AND 19.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

All dressed up and nowhere to go

Playing dress up is one of Erin's favorite pastimes. She has lots of dance leotards, poofy skirts and dresses and some excellent twirling skirts. Her favorite twirling skirt is the one MaMaw (Gary's mom) made her. It's pink and sparkly; everything a girl could want.

But sometimes she's more in the mood for the princess look, complete with boa and tiara.

Or maybe the fairy princess look. You have to have wings to be a fairy princess.

Sometimes when she dresses up, it inspires her to dance. Here she is in her Strawberry Shortcake bathing suit and grass skirt doing her Hawaii (pronounced "Hawadi) dance.