Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rick has Monday's off work which leaves the whole day usually for playtime with Daddy. It is so much fun. This past Monday Rick took the kids in the morning so I could clean house. It had been awhile since I had gotten the nitty gritty and I was so grateful.

Anyway, since 1970, our church has asked families to set aside Monday evenings for a "Family Home Evening" (FHE). It is a time to have fun together as well as an opportunity to teach the children about gospel principles and other important topics (like manners). Our family did it while we were growing up, and as we got older it became a time to actually ALL be together as well as coordinate schedules as everybody seemed to have so much going on. I always looked forward to FHE.

Honestly, we have been a little slow on starting it with our children because A) we already were spending the day together and B) I really was unfamiliar with how to teach young toddlers. But we both knew it was important that the gospel be taught in the home and not just in church. Obviously, it is something we do on a day to day basis in normal speaking, playing and correcting our children, but this little time set aside is still crucial. So for a while now we have been trying to actually plan a lesson and activity together and have been doing some fun things. I have also realized teaching toddlers about spiritual things really isn't that difficult and that I really enjoy it.  I love to see Cole and Lyla learning new things.  We do it in fun ways and they get excited.  Their favorite is catching fish and then learning about what is on the fish.  (i.e. sharing, helping, hitting, yelling, prayers, singing, etc.)

This weekend is general conference for the LDS church. It is a time when we are blessed to hear from the prophet, Thomas Monson, and the twelve apostles. So in preparation we brought out pictures of them so we could talk about who they are and why we would want to listen to what they say to us about living Christlike lives. They loved it and kept wanting to look at the pictures. Cole and Lyla really enjoy looking at pictures. They always ask me "Who is that?" whenever they see any pictures of anyone. Sometimes it is a random picture at the store and so I say "I don't know" or make up a name. This has been great since we have so much family living far away.

We then played "Follow the Leader" and sang the chorus to "Follow the Prophet" as we marched around the house. Cole and Lyla giggled the entire time and of course Daddy then turned it into a chase which made it even more fun.  For those that don't know the song, I found it on youtube (anything is there now).

Afterwards we had a birthday kickoff party.  Three of our birthdays are in October (Rick, me and then Cole) so we decided to start early.  We made funfetti cupcakes (Rick's favorite) and put candles on them so Lyla and Cole could practice blowing them out.  Cole was SUPER excited. As you can tell. Lyla caught on to the whole festivity pretty quickly and very much enjoyed her cupcake too.

So now mommy is very, VERY excited for birthdays.  Guess I should decide what kind of festivity we will have for Cole.  A friend of ours asked him what kind of cake he wanted and he said "Green and Yellow" and has been saying it since. Hmm...Pistachio cake?  I doubt he would like that.  He actually doesn't usually eat the cake anyway, just the icing.  So I'll be sure to pile on lots of green and yellow icing.  Maybe he is wanting a Percy Cake?  He is green and yellow!  Or maybe I should make it easy and just do something like below.  Cole is already excited for Christmas AND Easter and keeps adding things to his wishlist.  I just have to remember to add them whenever he tells me something else he likes.  (Wishlist links are kept permanently at the bottom of the blog page.)  Oh yes, and the reason he is excited for Easter is because last Easter he got a little Percy train in an egg and is hoping for another since he lost it.  He also got a Thomas the same way but hasn't lost that one.  This boy is a train and cars lover! Just like any other little three year old I suppose!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lyla is getting so big.  She speaks really well but doesn't enunciate enough for strangers to understand her.  I started listing all the things she says the other day and finally quit when I filled an entire sheet of paper all over.  It's all happened so quickly!  She is fiercely independent but is beginning to realize that a little help from mom isn't all that bad (thank heavens).  She loves to climb and does many things that Cole would never have done at her age.  For example, this playground ladder.  She got it without help on her first attempt. After doing it a few times, she started to realize there is a chance of falling so she kept saying "help, help" in the video.  She just wanted me there to make sure.  She climbed up it a number of times after the video too without saying help.

She still loves her blanky and doesn't go many places without it.  And she still sucks those fingers.  Occasionally she finds it amusing to play with a pacifier instead of her fingers but really, she is happy with what she has got.

She is a book aficionado. She still prefers to read them to herself but sometimes lets mommy read one, okay maybe two, books to her.  She is will spend a great deal of time just flipping through books each day.  The librarians promised me that is just as good as if I were reading to her so I quit trying to prod her to let me read with her.  She also loves to build things with blocks, legos, stacking cups, etc.  She is really good at it as she has really good coordination and balance.  Lyla loves to sing and since she repeats sound well she is pretty good at it. Strangers won't know what she is saying but they will know what she is singing because the tune is spot on.  Her "Twinkle, Twinkle" is so cute it makes you want to cry. (promise.  it's not just because I'm her mommy.)  She enjoys "Super Why" and "Thomas" ("choo-choo's" to her) with Cole and frequently asks for "Whhy, Whhy" even when Cole isn't around.  She enjoys watching "Signing Time" but almost never signs anything.

Lyla is daddy's girl 100% and boy does she have him wrapped around her little toesies too.  She lights up like a Christmas tree when he comes home and jumps up from wherever she is and runs to him yelling "DaaAaadddEee!!!"  Heartwarming.

I think Cole is becoming more of a momma's boy because he only lets me put him to bed.  On the nights he wakes up for some reason or another (sick, storm, etc.) but that is because he knows he has a really good chance of getting in bed with mommy and daddy if Dad comes.  He has about 0% chance with mommy.  (cruel, I know.)

Cole is almost three and is definitely maturing.  He speaks SOOOOO well that it even shocks Rick and I.  He is still shy but is getting better at trying new things or meeting new people.  He is starting to give up naps here and there but does really well at playing in his bed for about an hour or hour and a half if he doesn't nap.  Thank goodness!

These two fill my days with craziness and delight.  And I love it!

Day Out with Thomas

So I haven't been taking pictures lately which means I don't post. They just kind of go hand in hand. I've not been carrying my camera around and all the pics on my iphone are blurry or off color now for some reason. But it is what it is.

Last weekend we went to Burnet, TX for a "Day Out with Thomas". It was so much fun with lots to do and the weather was perfect. Lyla loved the coloring. She really does enjoy drawing and coloring. Much more so than Cole does, but she is messy and crazy with the colors. So unless I can sit right beside her we don't do it. She spent a lot of time with daddy at the coloring table.

Cole went to play with all the trains on the huge train table multiple times. We would leave when he would get frustrated with the amount of children at the table (because then he couldn't actually drive the train anywhere) and then come back later.

Cole played in the train bounce house once. He wanted us to come in but it was too small.

So he moved on to miniature golf with Lyla (and she and daddy made that lovely necklace she is wearing too).

They got balloons from conductor clowns and we saw Sir Topham Hatt. Cole really couldn't wait to see him. He even stood patiently in line just for the chance to touch him. He is holding his hand in the picture.

I can't believe I didn't get a picture of the actual Thomas train but here is Lyla standing outside the gate right in front.

When Cole first heard Thomas blow his horn and then drive around the bend he started pointing and saying Thomas. I was fortunate to have the video on.  And for those that know Cole, he is NOT dramatic and doesn't show a lot of emotion. THIS is a genuinely very excited Cole.  Trust me.  I was so happy for him I was fighting back tears. I'm such a blubbering mommy.  But he was very interested to get back to the small trains too.

 The REAL train was on the other end pulling and then pushing "Annie and Clarabell" (aka. the passenger cars). It was loud when the horn blew and Cole didn't like that very much so by the time it was our turn to ride he actually didn't want to. But by the time we got on, made silly faces at the camera,

and realized it was much more quiet INSIDE the passenger car, he was all smiles and excited to be on the train. The ride was only 20 minutes but perfect for two little tots who were hungry by then and ready for naps. It was really a great time for everyone!