Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Little Apples

Every time I think my guys have run out of creative ways/places to stack/line up their leftovers they prove me wrong. Then again, I should probably be thankful things are mostly contained and that they aren't throwing their food. 

At least not this time.

This is our new game, called "little apples". I'm fairly convinced Nate dreamed this one up, but I can't say for sure since I had my back turned cleaning up our breakfast mess at the sink. I assumed they were eating their apples and I thought it was cute that they were calling the apple pieces, "little apples". 

Until I turned around that is.

Nate looking especially pleased with his efforts: 

I has guilt written all over me, everyone!
More fun with the "little apple" gang: 

- L.

After-Sock Magnitude

At least a 6.5 I'd wager. 

Or as it's sometimes also known... 

... shenanigans!*

*Today's shenanigans are brought to you by socks. You know, in case the bad pun did not make that obvious.

- L.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fun With Socks

As a Mommy there are times when you need to pull out the creative big guns, so to speak, and non-stop rainy days are definitely one of those times.

Hence today's post.

It started like this:

It ended like this: 

And in between there was some actual fun being had, which you can check out here.

- L.

Fix It!

There are occasions as a Mommy where I have been called upon to "fix it!".

"Fix it!" was, in fact, Seth's first sentence.

It's a popular term around here. Sometimes it's because something is actually broken, but more often than not (at least so far), it applies mainly to things that aren't as they should be.

Legos that they can't get apart. A shoe that has fallen off. A letter in the bath that doesn't stick quite right.

Easy things to fix and my boys are always amazed that "Mommy fix it!".

On those occasions, I get to be a super-hero with hardly a thought.

Of course it all comes out in the wash because there are those times when I really have to work for it.

I think it goes without saying that today was one of those times. Stuck legos do not make for good copy after all.

This is Teddy:

Specifically, this is Nate's Teddy, but Seth has a nearly identical one. Both of my boys go through bouts of love coupled with complete disinterest over Teddy. 95% of the time, that fleeting love is contained to brief morning snuggles while they're still struggling to wake up. The other 5% of the time, they prefer Teddy to come with when I lift them out of bed. 

Today was a "Teddy!" day for everyone. 95% or 5%, my boys are always 100% in sync that way.

There wasn't much going on at this point since we'd only just gotten up so I was a bit surprised to hear those two little words. But there they were:

"Fix it!".

And there was Nate, clutching his Teddy with a lower lip that was looking more than a little trembly.

Being the super-hero Mommy that I am, I looked Teddy over carefully and finally said, "Teddy's OK, Nate. There's nothing to fix". 

At which point Nate dissolved into a puddle of misery on the floor. 

Oh dear.

Had I missed something? I checked again, but Teddy was perfectly in order. Again, I reassured Nate that Teddy was OK but he was not having it.

What was I not seeing?

Since I already know the answer, I will start by telling you that I was not seeing with eyes that are nearly 22 months old.

Teddy looked perfectly fine to me exactly like this: 

But it took this to "fix" him: 

As soon as Teddy was sitting as upright outside the crib as he typically does inside the crib all was right with the world again.

At which point Teddy was promptly ignored and once again, it was business as usual.

Really, it was that simple – while at the same time being complicated enough it took at least 10 minutes and more than a few Nate puddles for me to solve the problem.

Behold the toddler logics everyone!

- L.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I'm With The 21%*

*Or thereabouts. 

I revisited this post to see just how many of you voted for what I would consider an inappropriate use of food at mealtime. I was looking specifically at this chart since it broke things down into tidy percentages:

I can make charts with the best of them, but I work with the numbers provided. The Blogger poll widget provided the numbers by the way, and I certainly didn't stop to question or double check them. I guess no one else noticed either so I don't feel too bad, but indeed: 

47% + 36% + 21% = 104%.

Nice maths, Blogger™.

So while I blame 83% of you for what transpired tonight, I am going to buffer that with a margin of error of 4% because I am generous like that.

Either way, I suspect the majority of you will fully endorse tonight's happenings.

So, you know... enjoy!

It started like this: 

And ended up with things that looked like this: 


I hope at least 32% of you are feeling pleased with yourselves right now and also that at least 43% of you are voluntarily using your leftovers in a similar fashion because you strongly feel it's the right thing to do.

And yes, I realize the poll was specifically about "Foodstuffs on Heads", but I don't believe for a moment you all didn't see this coming.

- L. 

PS. If you are still feeling militant about creative uses of leftovers and/or are a glutton for punishment and/or just like watching cute babies getting up to no good, there is a new video on our YouTube™ channel documenting the "creative uses of food" process.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Nicely Done, Grasshopper.

Legos*. They are popular at the OP, which is awesome because I never really got over my own childhood love affair with them and I will happily play with Legos anytime the boys are up for it.

Like today.

I was doing my usual thing with Legos this afternoon – building a perfectly sensible (albeit dull in retrospect) dwelling for Lego cat to hang out in. It was going pretty well I thought. I was already hard at work on the second story when I was politely interrupted.

And then schooled in a serious way.

Everything (and I mean everything) that is awesome about this structure is courtesy of Seth:  

I don't know about you, but if I was moving in I'd definitely be eyeballing those spaces on the upper levels (in-home cash register, anyone?). Admittedly, my favorite part is the roof-top green space. Eco-buildings and sustainability are not merely architectural buzzwords, they are good design everyone!

The architect at work putting on the finishing touches: 

I already composing white paper 'bout my process, everyone!
And enjoying a well-earned snack break: 

Is important to refuel from time to time.
Snacks also very important sustainability item too!
• • • • • • •

*While I recognize the plural of Lego is still Lego, we frequently throw caution to the wind over trivial linguistic conventionalities at the OP. Plus it's more fun to say "Legos".

- L.

PS. Er... about those flashcards lurking not so inconspicuously in the background... 

I wrote a post awhile back where I laid claim to the following:

"I'm not the mom with the flash-cards".

And I'm really not, except that I am. We have flash-cards. The flash-cards were a gift, but I don't mean that as an excuse.

I mean they really were a gift. As in a good one.

And when I made my bold claim what I really meant was: I'm not the mom drilling my kids with flash-cards.

My boys have tons of fun with their flash-cards – often in the form of scattering them about because we also pride ourselves on "messy" around these parts – but mostly looking at the pictures and "reading" their abba-bets (which are officially "abbets" now, but that is another post). I always know when someone has found the "E" card, because it is always and without exception followed with elephant noises. 

PPS. I do wish my guys had been a little less reserved in their big "elephant noises" debut last week. I'm guessing they were camera shy. Trust me when I say they can make elephant noises with the best of them.

Friday, November 18, 2011


After our big Hallowe'en photo shoot with Padrin – and subsequent downloading of some very large files onto my computer – it suddenly became quite clear that my computer hard drive is not a bottomless well of storage space.

The warning that said storage space was perilously low caught me quite off guard, but it was certainly an eye opener.

In a previous life (AKA "before babies") I worked as a graphic designer and have a considerable amount of client files on this computer dating back to 2005. I designed for both print and web and I can assure you that there are some very large print files being stored on my computer. Trade-show displays. Multi-page documents rife with hi-res photos. Billboards.

The complete contents of my client folder adds up to 13 GB. This is the sum of 5 years of work.

My folder with every single picture I've ever taken of my boys EVER?

Well, that would be 30 GB.

That's 30 gigabytes, everyone!

For the non-nerdy types, rest assured it's a lot.

Like, a lot a lot a lot.

And as much as I enjoy taking pics of the boys, I am still fumbling my way toward hobbyist level at best. For every 30 photos I take of my sons, maybe 3 are keepers.

I am no Padrin.

So, I've been spending "all my free time" lately making an effort to properly archive the nice photos of the boys (ie. largely the ones that made it onto the blog).

I've still got a long way to go, but have made a small dent at least – and in doing so, I've unearthed a few treasures.

Treasures I'd put aside to blog about later.

At the time, I never would have thought that "later" would mean 17 months later, and yet here we are.

Without further ado (and before Gamma Rita leaves a message complaining about all the posts lately with no pictures), the OP proudly presents a blast from the past in the form of 4 month old Nate and Seth:

Gamma Rita was in fact sitting across from me when I took these pics. We were on a patio at Starbucks™ enjoying the summer weather after a nice walk with the boys during her epic first visit to finally meet her grandsons. She even bought those outfits, including the "Division Champ" t-shirts and the "Team Captain" hoodies. I can't believe I still remember all that actually, but I do. Maybe it was because it was the first time I realized how sharp they look in orange. 

Or "unge" as my babies would say. 

Looking back, I can now see that Seth was already working on his cool-dude gaze that would later be the downfall of many a cutie, and that Nate was still 75% eyeballs. 

I can also see that Nate was deploying his wing-flaps and that that probably meant something, but I didn't know about wing-flaps then so it went unnoticed at the time. Seth was clearly onto it though, and also over it.

And lastly there was this: 

The precursor to all those teeth that continue to torment us to this day. I knew something was up even at the time. If the boys weren't busy drooling, they were busy chewing. They loved those terry cloths like nobody's business. 

- L.

PS. I hope you all enjoyed the trip down memory lane. I have a feeling there will at least a few more posts much like this one while I get busy archiving things properly.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Kiss The Bunny!

I'm a weary Mommy tonight, so I'll just point you in the direction of our latest YouTube™ video. I captured it as part of our last hurrah to the nursery chair.

- L.

PS. The book Nate is reading is the Little Bunny Finger Puppet Book. The boys have had it for ages and I thought they'd lost all interest awhile back. When I used to read it to them, the Bunny would always give them "kisses" and they loved that to no end. I was a little surprised they not only remembered the "bunny kisses", but were suddenly keen on giving some back and/or barking out orders about giving some back).

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pink Food

In a household with two boys and a Mommy that isn't exactly wild about pink, it shouldn't come as a big surprise that pink was one of the last colors that the boys learned. Pink is in short supply around here.

And perhaps because it is hard to come by, the boys have especially delighted in the things they find around the house that are pink. Surprisingly, I find it delightful also.

Fish, on the other hand, has been a much tougher sell over here. Salmon gets a pass from Seth 50% of the time, but Nate has always been strictly in the no-fish camp (although to his credit, he will usually at least try it before spitting it out).

Until last week when I pointed out that salmon is pink.

Now they can't get enough of "Pink food! Pink food!".

We had salmon for supper tonight. Nate had 2 generous servings. Seth had 3. The constant chorus of "Pink food! Pink FOOOOOD!" bothered me not.

- L.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bye-bye Chair

– I has a funny feeling something big about to happen, Nate. 
– I feel it too. I bet is Mommy up to something.

– Oh, is always that Mommy! – especially when she has serious look like right now. I afraid things be changing in ways we isn't going to like. I brace myself and make motion for you to fetch the smelling salts and my fainting couch. I has feeling I need both soon. 

– I doesn't know what it is Seth, but you is on to something. 'Dis one a nail-biter alright. 

• • • • • • •

Mommy note: Nail-biter indeed! It all started like this some months ago: 

Which led to this: 

Which led to this

And while that appears very innocent and all, I assure you many shenanigans were afoot in the 24 hours prior to that sweet photo.

I will leave you with the following:

1. The nursery is suddenly a lot more spacious.
2. There is a video about all of it HERE.

- L.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Raisin Eyes

Despite what it looks like, my babies did not simultaneously come down with a splitting migraine. 

This is the new meal-time fun everyone!

Step 1: Acquire raisins. If you can't find raisins on your own, ask your Mommy. If she's worth her salt, she probably has some.

Step 2: Hold them up in front of your eyes and/or mash the raisins into your eyes.

Step 3: Declare to the world that you have "raisin eyes!".

***Bonus points***: If there's a camera rolling at any point, do your best Michigan J. Frog impression.

• • • • • • •

Mommy note: Michigan J. Frog aside, there actually IS a video but by the time I managed to capture "raisin eyes" the boys had mostly moved on to "cookie eyes" – although if you're quick there's a brief "raisin eyes" moment at the very beginning. The dab of melted chocolate under Seth's eye once they move on to the cookies adds a nice touch though.

- L.

PS. Raisin eyes. Cookie eyes. Whichever. I'm just glad they're not mashing stuff up their noses.



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Elephant In The Room

Earlier this summer I wrote a post called "Things We Know". In it I stated that my boys are "keenly interested in all things abba-bet and can tell you what every single letter is no matter how abstractly it's presented". 

For your consideration, here is an example of what I mean by abstract (click to embiggen):

When I wrote that, the boys really had mastered the upper-case letterforms, including the ones shown here. At the time I wasn't sure whether to be impressed or alarmed. Shouldn't uppercase "D" look like a "D" or is a lumpy square also acceptable?

Since that time, Nate and Seth have moved on to learning the lower-case alphabet as well. In the longest video ever, you can see them happily working on their new puzzle which includes a reasonable rendition of upper and lower case letters. They are quite good at their new puzzle and are able to point out individual letters in both cases now in print which they tend to do unsolicited a lot.

Like when I'm reading them a story, for example.

It tends to make even the most gripping tale a little disjointed since I have to pause and acknowledge the letter being pointed out before I can continue.

Each and every time.

But I digress. 

For their birthday last year the boys got a set of colorful blocks. At the time they enjoyed stacking them (or at least watching me stack them) and knocking them down. We've also had fun color-sorting. The blocks also have the complete alphabet in lower-case and numbers 0-9 printed on them. Until recently that has largely been overlooked but now, of course, it's game on.

To be honest, I find some of the letters/numbers a bit ambiguous. Am I look at a lower-case "b" or the number "9"? Depends on which way it's facing I suppose, but some of the letters and numbers are definitely open to interpretation.

Still, I figured if the boys managed to master lumpy, square uppercase "D" then there wouldn't be much to throw them off course.

Until this: 

Like me, you probably think that's a lower case "m". And you probably think that because you know you're looking at an alphabet form. And you probably know that because you know that you're looking at a child's block on which alphabet forms are often printed.

Also, you are not 21 months old.

And not only are you not 21 months old, you are also probably not fairly obsessed with elephants. And even if you are fairly obsessed with elephants, you probably don't regularly go about making elephant noises.

So at first I was a bit mystified when I casually asked Nate what letter that was and he countered with his elephant noise. When I asked again he looked at me very seriously and said "el-fant!" and after pondering that for a moment I took a closer look.

And he was quite right of course. That's an elephant everyone!

- L.

PS. For your enjoyment, there is a new video with some of Nate and Seth's quieter "elephant noises" posted on our YouTube™ channel.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bananas On Your Head For The Win!

– Oh hi everyone! Is me, Seth. I here to announce my landslide victory in recent poll. I put together 'dis new hairstyle using lunchtime foods for big event. I also make Mommy put together exciting graph to show results: 

• • • • • • •

– In case you is not linear thinker, I also put Mommy to work on pie graph. As you can see I clean Mommy's clock in big debate so she not saying anything about my new coif. 

• • • • • • •

– I take a moment to bask in well-earned victory. 

– And give thumbs up to everyone who help me win it. Is nice to know so many of you believe in the "bananas on head" cause. It mean a lot. Keep up the good work everyone! 

• • • • • • •

Mommy note: This post would not be complete without a victory dance, however much like Michigan J. Frog, Seth does his best footwork when the camera is off. And unlike our last video which was epic in length, the victory dance portion of this post is our shortest video to date – a mere 8 seconds – but I did capture at least a little of Seth's infamous moves that Gamma Rita dubbed "the Bojangles" when she visited us last summer.

- L.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Meet Gord.

Gord of course, is a gourd. 

Now meet Gord's friends:

Pun'kin, Pun'kin and, er... Pun'kin. Also sometimes known as "White!", "Orange!" and, er... "Orange!". If nothing else, we pride ourselves on our originality at the OP, everyone!

The Pun'kin trio* and Gord made their first appearance at our Hallowe'en photo shoot and while Gord was not an immediate favorite, he quickly grew into one in the days that followed.

Gord and his friends were nursery staples and regular tagalongs for the past couple of weeks while I silently prayed the novelty would wear off long before things started to get overly ripe.

Prayers were answered and Gord and the Pun'kin trio were composted without incident this morning while no one was looking.

Oh Gord, we will miss thee. Thank you for the many fond memories but mostly for not overstaying your welcome.

Know that you are forever in our hearts and will be remembered for generations to come thanks to our new YouTube™ video, complete with an introduction by Seth at the 2:40 mark.

*If you're the sort with a keen eye, you will have noticed that the Pun'kin Trio was originally a Quartet. Pun'kin #4 left the group during that fateful outing due to creative differences (which is another way of saying we somehow lost a pumpkin at the playground).

- L.

PS. I left our latest video unedited. It's basically 6 minutes of the boys putting together their new upper and lower case alphabet puzzle, complete with requisite chatter. I left it unedited mostly for me because I can, but I really do recommend checking out Gord's big intro. Both the pumpkins and Gord were added by Nate and Seth before they got down to business. They were pretty dedicated to their new friends at the time.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Speaking Of Baths...

I decided to make the OP's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies again today, except this time I served them while the chocolate was still more melt than actual chip.  

Results were interesting.

But not varied. 

Gooey chocolate, however, led to a new game. 

Stick chocolate in your brother's hair. 

Then giggle your butts off. 

Rinse and repeat. 

Until the inevitable sugar crash.

Let's just say it was a heavy shampoo night.

- L.

Splish Splash!

– We is takin' a bath. 

– Long about a Saturday night, yeah. 

– We is a-splishin' and a-splashin'. A-rollin' and a-strollin'. 

– A-reelin' with the feelin'. Movin' with the groov'n'. 

– Splish splash, yeah.

- L.

PS. Awesome photos once again courtesy of Padrin (in case that wasn't rather obvious).