Thursday, November 06, 2008

Definitely a Spooky Snowman

Hooray for our first snow day!! I can't tell you the size of my smile when I woke up to such a thick blanket of white outside. I know I am completely crazy, but there is just something about looking out at a snowy day in a warm cozy house, knowing you can go play outside to your heart's content and come in for a steamy cup of hot chocolate. I get all giddy. Most people think I've lost a few marbles....(although I don't think I was given marbles, I think I got bouncy balls. Lately
it feels like thoughts and information bounce into my brain, then right back out again, just as quickly.)
The girls were all crazy about the snow too - I just about strapped Jane down in her booster seat to get her to eat breakfast. I had to keep reassuring her that the snow would not melt while she was eating her banana. I decided we needed to take advantage of this snow day and do it up right.

After breakfast and some quick chores, Jane and I made some pumpkin bread to bake up a little later - one for us and one for a neighbor. We then started the laborious task of putting on snow gear. Holy cow - I'm glad that I didn't know that it would take FOREVER to get us all fully poofed up or I might have had second thoughts on going outside. After 2 potty stops and several redressings, we finally had all our gear on. Allie, however, was missing boots and gloves as I hadn't bought any for her yet, so I tried to improvise. After pulling on two pairs of socks, Jane's shoes and a pair of my fleece gloves, Allie resembled a creature out of Frankenstein Goes to Antartica (not a book yet, but there's a good idea someone can run with...). Finally, we ventured outside.

For all the work, it lasted a glorious 20 minutes. But we made every minute count. We made snow angels (Jane has been practicing all summer and it was the first thing she wanted to do), threw snowballs for Jasper, and attempted a snowman. We had to build him hastily, as Allie would come and body slam him every few minutes. We had to think fast when it came to his face, so he got plastic doughnuts for eyes (scavenged from Jane's play food), a stick for a nose, a scarf and the crown from the pile of halloween stuff waiting to be put away. The result? Um...he looked a bit freaky. Jane told me we made a "spooky snowman". We named him Spook. Just as we finished, all happy feelings went away, as Allie had now lost both gloves and one shoe and was rolling around in the snow trying to stand up. Jane's hands were cold and she started to howl. Time to go in.

We all had hot chocolate and pumpkin bread warm from the oven, and after lunch, both girls took long naps. heavenly. It was one of those happy, comical days not to be forgotten. I love snow days.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Halloweeeeen Festivitieeeees

First off, thank you everyone for your sage words of advice on our crazy sleeper. I too am a huge believer in the Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child book (and I'm not too bright not to have thought about it sooner...) but we weren't too sure Allie would actually SURVIVE the days of training it would have most likely taken. After a couple of bad falls from the crib, her obsession with climbing on things in her room and playing with the space heater we have in there, along with the tranquilizer gun threats from her dad, I didn't argue when Jevan wanted to try the tent. However it may appear to you, it is heaven for us, and Allie was used to it after the first couple days. She is SO MUCH happier now that she has naps back again and is going to bed before 11pm. Things around here are bliss again ( close to bliss as we ever get) and I must admit I love the tent.

Now onto happier topics...HALLOWEEN! I love this time of year. I love fall...almost as much as winter...I love the crisp air and the colors...and the fall holidays like halloween and thanksgiving. Both involve eating lots of stuff that isn't at all good for you, so I'm a big fan. Also, all holidays are more fun now that I have a child old enough to start understanding them. This halloween was great because Jane actually "got" it. I tried to take advantage of this and do some fun things with the kiddos.

Here's our October Halloween Festivities in pictures:

Thanksgiving Point's Scarecrow Festival with our friends and their little ones.

All the kids posing (or not so much) with the scarecrows.

Stinkers! But cute ones...

Jevan's little sister Tasha was working there as a face painter. Isn't she beautiful?

The main attraction at the festival were all the big bouncy play thingys. There were not only bouncy castles, but snakes, sharks, worms, name it. I won't tell you the comments coming from Jevan as Jane emerged from the different bouncy animals in the area where their bums should be.

Jane emerging from a shark's mouth...

A few days before Halloween we carved pumpkins with Jevan's family and Jane's cute cousins. His family has some serious talent when it comes to carving. Jane said the pumpkins all looked "really, really mad."

Jane posing with our pumpkins.

Jane was Alice in Wonderland for Halloween. I think she made a cute one.
We tried to teach her to say "Goodness!" all the time, but it didn't work so well.

Jane's first costume party with little friends from our ward.

Look at all these kids! The mom who hosted this party was a brave woman, I say.

We went to the neighborhood Trunk-or-Treat.
Jane is Alice, Allison is the Chesshire Cat, and I'm the Queen of Hearts. Cheesy but fun.

Allie was a good Chessire Cat..just like in the movie - she was either being darling or very naughty.

Our witchy trunk. Since I'm in YWs in our ward, I was in charge of the YW trunk.
They came up with the idea and helped...cute huh?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Alpha Strikes Back

In order to truly appreciate this post, please turn on your speakers.

The time had come for me to take matters into my own hands. Here is a sequence of events from Friday night / Saturday morning:

2:00 - Allie wakes up and comes into the room; Em goes in.
2:45 - Em has finally rocked her back to sleep.
4:00 - Allie comes back into the room; I go in.
4:30 - Allie has not yet fallen asleep, but has stopped trying to escape (as I am sitting in the rocking chair giving her the evil eye). She wanders aimlessly around her crib for the next half-hour; neither of us has slept yet.
5:00 - Allie begins unzipping her pajamas and crying in an attempt to crack my resolve; I let the half-naked singing stinker cry.
5:15 - In a new and increasingly cunning tactic, Allie starts throwing her binkie overboard and crying. I realize that this is not a good sign.
5:30 - I raise the white flag of surrender, having not slept nor caused Allie to sleep in an hour and a half.
6:00 - Allie comes back into our room.
6:30 - 8:00 - Em makes a bed in Allies room and attempts to snuggle her to sleep. Em dozes lightly while Allie runs around the room, mocking our exhaustion and frustration with cute little pseudo-words and baby babble.

At this point as a parent but, you have to make some important decisions.
  1. How do we handle this new phase in our child's life?
  2. What kind of products are available to help us out?
  3. Is it legal to use a tranquilizer on a child?
What I discovered was better than a tranquilizer. Better than a rope tied to a child's leg. In my opinion, it's almost cooler than having a child that just sleeps without any kind of restraint. I give you my Death Star:

"That's no moon... it's a sleep station!" - Obi-Em Kenobi

"Witness the power of this fully armed and operational sleeping station!" - Emperor Dad

That's right, my daughter now sleeps in a dome. She's like the bubble boy from Seinfeld. I'm pretty sure that a determined and enraged wolverine couldn't escape from this thing.

"But dad, I was just going to go to Toshi station to pick up some power converters!" - Young Allie Skywalker

Am a I bad father? Perhaps. But I know I'm a better father to my children when they aren't wandering the house at 4:00 in the morning and keeping me from sleeping.

Oh, and mom, please put the money you had reserved for my counseling into an interest-bearing account; I'll need to roll all of that into the fund I'm starting for Allie.