Monday, October 29, 2007

Heidi drew this last week. Apparently it's ME.

She started by drawing the nose, which she informed me, had boogers in it! Then after she had drawn the mouth, she informed me that she had messed up on one of the teeth.

She didn't tell me who it was until she was done.

So here I am -- boogers, black tooth and all! ENJOY!

(I had to request hair...even then it only ended up on the top...)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

"The time has come, the walrus said..."

Well, when Autumn was nearing her fifth birthday, we sat down with her and had an earnest discussion about her blanky. She agreed that when she turned five she would give it up. Her fifth birthday came and she gave it up. For three months.

And then something strange happened. I can't even remember all the details. But suddenly she had a blanky again. It must've been a different one. I don't think she found the old one. But all the same, there she was hugging that blanky and sucking her finger. (It's been found that the two go hand-in-hand in most cases. She only sucks on her finger when she is snuggling with that blanky.)

So we talked about it some more. But suddenly she wasn't interested at all. I have never seen her react so negatively as she did to the idea of giving it up again. This last year has included a lot of discussion about her blanky although we've tried to keep it low-key and let it be her decision.

Finally she agreed that when she turned six, she would give it up (talk about procrastination).

She turned six this month and again it's been a struggle. But then we decided to offer her a reward. If she could go without her blanky for two months, she could go to dinner and a movie of her choice with daddy. She was initially excited about this...but then she decided movies didn't really matter. She could see any movie (we had tried to impress on her that the movies she was excited about wouldn't always be in the theater). So we talked about toys...again, she would get really excited about one and then a minute later decide that it really didn't matter. It was actually quite comical.

So we stuck with the movie idea and would occasionally ask her if she was thinking about our deal. She always said she was and would say she was about to do it. Some days she would report to us that she barely used her blanky. This was encouraging, but we still wondered when our little procrastinator would take the plunge.

Understandably, this is no small thing for her. She has had a blanky her entire life and sucked on a finger as she holds the blanky.

So, lest you think I just had this urge to rant about a never-changing situation...we've found a solution...and I'm getting to it! I promise!

Yesterday I had an epiphany! What if we told her she could have a PET at the end of the month (everyone says it takes a month to create a habit, so we decided to cut it down from two months). We talked, and she is so very excited about getting a hamster! That was yesterday, early evening, and within a few hours she surrendered her blanky and was jumping up and down (literally) with excitement over the prospect of having a hamster.

I like that this reward is something that will help her be more responsible. It isn't just a date or another toy she would tire of. It's something that will help her grow and help her feel some pride in being old enough to have a pet. I think it will help her understand that the blanky was part of a younger version of her while the pet is something new, something for an older, more responsible version of herself.

By the way -- Do you think that after this I'd be pro-pacifier? Not a chance! And I have my reasons (I'm more than willing to share them...but as this post is already getting a bit long...that'll have to wait until another time). But that's not to say I begrudge anyone the choice to use them. I think everyone should do what they want to when it comes to these kinds of parenting choices!

Halloween is especially fun with kids. As I've been racking my brain for costume ideas this year, I made a list of all the previous costumes our girls have had.

We do our best to make them ourselves. And s
ome years are better than others regardless of the costumes being homemade or store-bought. I look forward to the coming years as the girls all grow and become responsible for making their own costumes. Until then...

This year, I think we'll have a Japanese Dancer (in her yukata she got from Japan this summer), Princess Pea (from PBS's SuperWhy), and a bunny rabbit.

Little Ladybug

A green bean. I know....the imagination behind this one is just stunning...
(Please note the sarcasm...)

2003Hmmm...something looks familiar here...we're economizing...
Dipsy (I still can't believe I succumbed to this...) and a flower.

A bunny and a Christmas Present.

A butterfly.

2005Sleeping Beauty and a cat.


Pooh Bear, a Panda Bear, and a Fairy.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I am currently reading Talkers, Watchers, & Doers by Cheri Fuller and am so surprised at how engaging it is. Maybe deep down, we all like to read about ourselves and that has something to do with it.

The book is mainly about learning styles and how knowing a child's learning style can help you be a better teacher or parent. But since the topic itself is learning styles, it's easy to apply it individually as well.

I am now on page 54 but I just had to jot down some of the common points for each learning style. I've been trying to pinpoint my own learning style since I started the book. I'm still feeling it out, but I think I'm a Talker/Watcher with a little more emphasis on the Talker side.

What's your learning style? Or your husband's or your child's (children's)? Fuller points out in the book that many people have more than one learning style, but they usually use one more heavily than the other. I'd love to hear what you all think.

Here's a quick quiz from bits of the book thus far:

When you remember a number:

  • Do you say it out loud or repeat it several times in your mind? (Talker/Auditory)
  • Does your mind's eye "see" the number written in your address book? (Watcher/Visual)
  • Do you move your finger over an imaginary touch pad of the phone? (Doer/Kinesthetic)

How do you find your way in a new place?
  • Do you need clearly written directions telling in words how to get somewhere? (Auditory)
  • Do you like to use maps to find out how to get somewhere? (Visual)
  • Do you just have a "feel" for where you're going and how to find it? (Kinesthetic)

Which of these phrases do you use more often?
  • "A place for everything and everything in its place." (Visual)
  • "Let's talk about it." (Auditory)
  • "I'd rather have a creative mess than tidy idleness." (Kinesthetic)

This book has already been a real eye-opener for me. I see why I interact with the girls & Eric the way I do, why I approach teaching in certain ways, why I clean or don't clean my house in certain ways...and how I can better teach my girls. I love it!

And I found a nifty, new way to link to it for you. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Okay, I've been getting a lot of traffic on my blog from strange places because people have been googling "From the Mixed-Up Files" (noone enters the rest of the title) in search of things about the actual book. I have changed the title but this will not affect the actual web address. I'm not typically paranoid, but I think it'll be a smart thing to do all the same.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pyscho Daisy

When we were in Japan with Grandma, Autumn & Heidi got some toys from the thrift store. This was Autumn's pick. It was too big to fit in our suitcases (with all the other stuff...not because it was's not) so Grandma found a box that fit Daisy just right. It was so perfect that Mom and I dubbed it "Daisy's coffin". We also joked with each other about sending the box to the wrong address. She's a little too creepy for my tastes, but Autumn loves her Daisy Duck.


And as you can see, she also loves to write but we're still working on spelling. I don't encourage the girls to write on things other than paper (you might think otherwise if you came to visit...), and there was no praise for this bit of handiwork, but I did sneak into her room to get a picture.

She also wrote on her play kitchen but the writing has worn off. A couple of weeks ago it said: CICHN.

These pictures don't do justice to the damage done!

Her hair was all the same length before this. And on camera it looks like it would be something we could just work with. Trust me. It wasn't.

This is what I had hoped for, but after it dried I realized it wasn't even. I didn't take any pictures of her hair dry, so it's hard to tell.


The end product. Shorter than I'd planned, but it really fits her spunky personality. Now if I could just find some clips that really keep the front hairs out of her eyes!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I've been tagged by my dear sister, Rachel.

The rules: Each player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people.

Fact/Habit/Embarrassment 1: When I discover something for the first time that everyone else has known forever, I broadcast it to everyone as if it's this amazing new discovery rather than proof of my ignorance! (Although I think it's amazing and love to laugh at myself that I didn't realize it sooner...others are surprised that I'm even willing to admit these kind of things. Example: I didn't realize until recently (or I blocked the knowledge from my elementary school days) that thunder is actually the SOUND of LIGHTNING, the SOUND that LIGHTNING MAKES! See what I mean?)

Fact/Habit/Embarrassment 2:
I love to watch dorky chic flicks. I'll even watch A Cinderella Story or Bring It On or any of the other silly "teeny-boppery" movies. Of course, I did say watch. I don't think I could ever own any of them even though I find myself enjoying them (even as I laugh at them...).

Fact/Habit/Embarrassment 3:
I once tried to remove nail-polish from a toenail with a pocketknife. I don't recommend it.

Fact/Habit/Embarrassment 4:
I have been known to stop at green lights when deep in thought. Don't worry, this is a past fact/habit/embarrassment.

Fact/Habit/Embarrassment 5: My Hitch-hiker's Thumbs are so pronounced, they almost look double-jointed.

Fact/Habit/Embarrassment 6: I am 5'3-3/4". Everyone seems to think I am taller.

Jean, Liz, Lisa, Mary, Tiffany, and Jenni - you're it!


Today I discovered that the hair-cutting jaunt was not reserved to Heidi's hair. Apparently Autumn decided to cut some of her own hair. Almost a week later and I'm just now realizing it.

Thankfully, it's barely visible. Maybe she started with her own hair and then decided it'd be better to mess up someone else's. That would be like just like her. One time she threw up over the side of the top bunk so that it would land on Heidi's bed instead of her own bed.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I was curious so I did some searching and here's what I discovered today:

Ranking electricity by state and cost, we moved from Number FORTY-THREE to Number FIFTEEN!

Are you curious?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I found this fun quiz through my friend Liz and it is so fun! After you answer a whole slew of questions, you get to find out the 24 places best suited to you.

After combining my list with Eric's and narrowing them down (you can even see pictures of all the places and stats....snowfall was a big help in narrowing things down! 115 inches in Syracuse!! No thankyou!)

Our top three are:

3) Hartford, Connecticut

2) New Haven, Connecticut

1) Reading, Pennsylvania

What are your favorites? Are there any places you would never live?

Okay, so the next morning when I got another look at Heidi's hair -- it was SO messed up. I gave her a haircut the same day. I'll add pictures to this post soon.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Somehow I thought some things from my childhood would not repeat themselves in my own childrens' lives. HA!

Autumn's has been six for only 10 days and already one of her presents bears the marks of...a genius? Not exactly. She received a piggy bank for her birthday and guess what is written across the forehead of her now "branded" bank? PIG.

Another instance....yesterday I found hair on Heidi's bed. Several locks of hair. Autumn cut Heidi's hair! The funniest thing about it though, is that you can't even TeLL. Heidi has such a mane that there seems to be NO difference. I often think to myself that her hair fits her wild personality. :) She's so spunky!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Autumn & Heidi both got kid-sized chopsticks from their Aunt Maddie and LOVE them!

Feeling like the princess she is. :)

A Princess Jewelry Box - so much fun!

Looks like fun to someone else too...

And yet another someone...
(Aren't sisters great?!)

A Watch for Autumn from Grandma & Grandpa. This came a few days after and she opened it right after she got home from school. I promise I do my girls' hair! This is the end result of a full day at school. Heidi's hair-bands stay in less than an hour.


Playing library

We all love the new tent from Oma & Opa!

Who knew credit card offers were coming for toddlers too now?
("Hmm...the interest is a bit high...")

Monday, October 8, 2007

So tonight I was reading an adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood and had to laugh inwardly, several times, at what a silly story it is! It reminded me of the "physics" mistakes in Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

  • Seriously, would you let your daughter go walking in the woods if you had just seen a wolf there?! I struggled to keep it in when Red's mother says, "Take these fresh buns...[blah blah blah], But stay on the main path. Don't wander off it! Your father thinks there may be a wolf prowling about in the woods." Yeah...right.
  • And then of course when Red does meet the wolf, she assumes he's a little hairier than most people because she's never seen a wolf before! I guess if she's like a certain celebrity who doesn't know tuna is "Chicken of the Sea" - that'd make sense, but only then. :)
  • Moving on, she tells the strange-looking perfect stranger her name AND where she's going!
  • So she gets to the cottage and Granny is locked up in the closet...of the same room...ding ding ding...any "this story doesn't make sense" bells going off here? Granny's in the closet of the SAME room the wolf and Red are in. I'm thinking if I were Granny, I'd be screaming my head off or banging against that closet as hard as I could! And lest you think she's simply knocked out, read on for a few pages and you'll see as she relates the story to the woodcutter (Red's dad), that Granny heard it all!
Anyone ready for a little more fun? I'm not even going to address Red's conversation with the Wolf as her eyesight is bad and the room is dark. So convenient.
  • Next the Wolf runs away and takes a nap. When Red's dad finds him, he hears Red yelling for help from inside the Wolf....okay, we're beyond practical. We're beyond any amount of explanation. At this point we just have to accept that this story is beyond goofy and sit back for some more laughs.
  • So Red is "alive and kicking" (literally?) INSIDE the Wolf....
  • Father/Woodcutter cuts the Wolf open, but the Wolf is so tired he doesn't even wake up. Naturally.
  • Red is safe and as payback, they load the still-sleeping Wolf's belly with rocks.
  • They then stitch up the still-sleeping Wolf's belly...
  • And all's well that ends well when the Wolf wakes up, goes for a drink, and sinks to the bottom of the lake.
Can someone tell me why stories like this are written? Of course, if a story is about a TALKING wolf to begin's bound to have some reality flaws. It is, after all, a classic tale (though not a fairy tale).

When we finished Autumn told me, "That was scary." I suppose for a six-year old it would be! Fortunately she likes being scared, a little, so that was acceptable. Anyway...I enjoyed it too, even if on an entirely different level than my girls.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Today I've been going through pictures playing catch-up. We had such a busy and fun summer and most of the pictures are already on here, but I found these two that are not. I love seeing my mom and Eric's mom playing with our girls. They're awesome!

On Grandma's couch in Japan. Grandma's trying to hide from the camera. :)

At Westmoreland Berry Farm in Virginia. The girls loved feeding and petting the goats but they especially loved having Oma & Opa with them.

Okay, here's my sad attempt at video footage from the Bon Odori festival. Unfortunately there is no sound. In our rush to move and fly overseas, we misplaced our camcorder portable battery so this was filmed with our digital camera which does not do sound. However, I found a place online that has the same version of one of the songs we did. Watch carefully in the first clip and you'll able to see my mom, Autumn, my dad, and Heidi. The second clip shows Autumn drumming -- fun! loses a lot of the effect without the sound...but I think you still get an idea of what it was like.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Tag: 5 Things

1) Working at Burger King -- never again!
2) Taking piano lessons from a CRAZY woman who stood behind me with her hands on my shoulders saying, "One, choo, three, One, choo, three..." and watching TV while she taught (REALLY)
3) Swing dancing (so fun!)
4) Staying up way too late (wait -- has that changed?)
5) Cheating at RISK (which I only attribute to the time of day and lack of attention paid by everyone else! YOU try playing neverending RISK till 3am with no end in sight and then you'll understand. Especially if you blatantly cheat and your buddies STILL don't notice! :) I love you guys!)

1) Go to Jennie's for a play-date with Max & Kate (done)
2) Make a list of all the high school choirs in the area (done)
3) Give the girls a bath
4) Have Family Home Evening (I'm lesson tonight)
5) Kick back and watch TV

1) Toast and Cocoa (and my birthday Cocoa Latte just came in the mail today, so I know what I'M having for a late-night snack!)
2) FRESH pears (none of that canned nonsense - I forgot until recently just what a difference there is between the two!)
3) Chocolate (in almost any form)
4) a bowl of cold cereal
5) BREAD (mmm...yummy bread. And guess what? One of our Wal-marts has a great bakery and sells fresh-made sliced Italian or 9-grain bread for only $1.33...boy am I in trouble...Mom, Anna, you better come help me eat all this yummy bread!)

1) John Lee Supertaster by They Might Be Giants (this is one of many that I love but was only introduced to because of Autumn & Heidi's interest in the CD "No" -- check it out! It's hilarious!)
2) Groovy Kind of Love by Phil Collins (well, not originally by him of course, but that's my favorite version)
3) Mysterious Woman by Christine Lavin (another one you just have to hear to understand why I love it...It's silly and a little quirky so it fits me well :0))
4) I Can See Clearly Now (yay for old songs with fun memories!)
5) Man on the Moon by Harry Connick Jr. (this one always cheers me up)

1) Buy a grand piano
2) Go on a cruise (hopefully I'll do this sooner! They're not as expensive as I always thought!)
3) Buy a house up front (it'd be fun to see just what that amount of money would look like...maybe I should pay for the house in CASH, brand-spanking-new bills, ONES? Well...maybe 100s...)
4) Invest! Somewhere...somewhere smart. Eric knows all about that. I'd leave it to him (mostly).
5) Buy some new clothes.


1) I put dirty dishes in the sink when the dishwasher is right next to the sink (BAD, BAD, BAD...this one's on it's way out, I'm proud to report!)
2) making lists (there really should be moderation in ALL things, even lists!)
3) Putting my keys in a different place almost every time I set them down!
4) Leaving unfolded clean laundry in my laundry basket for way too long!
5) not asking for help (why is that so hard? It's silly!)

2) Black and white polka-dot skirts that have enough fabric to twirl all the way up to the waist (tell me, when is that EVER fashionable?)
3) TAPERED jeans
4) Glasses with lenses more than twice the size necessary.
5) Biker shorts (and we're not talking about biker shorts worn when biker or under exercise clothes here...we're talking about that age when it was "cool" to wear biker shorts as stand-alone SHORTS!

1) a stuffed cow I insisted was a HE for the longest time, despite the fact that I knew very well that wasn't biologically possible.
2) A baton I got for Christmas when I was six. I used to dance for hours in a leotard (with tu-tu and all) to "Feliz Navidad"....
3) Depending on the definition of "toy", I'd include my piano!
4) puzzles (currently kakuro but I love sudoku too)
5) books (I just randomly thought of "Gus-gus" in Cinderella when he sees the cheese and says, "Oh goodie, goodie, goodie!"

Alright, Anna & Jenny - TAG, you're it!