Friday, April 27, 2012

Ummm... What?

Dear Ian,

One of these days, I am going to look back at this and laugh and reminisce about your imagination and creativity.  Right now, however, I am just totally confused about what goes on in your head.

Son, what in the heck is Snail Juice?

Since you will probably have grown up and forgotten by the time you get to read this, let me refresh your memory.  You currently have this thing going on with your imagination:  whenever you are asked what you might like to eat or drink, you promptly reply, "SNAIL JUICE!"  At first, we laughed.  "Ha ha!  How cute and adorable is that!  He's pretending and using his imagination!"  You offered us some of this delicacy of your mind, and of course we had to partake in your fun.  We pretended that it tasted bad, made faces and it just made your day.  You absolutely crack up.  And we have no idea where this came from, so we just sit there and play along wondering what in the world you've been exposed to that would explain this... thing.

Poor little snail.  He has no idea you plan to turn him into juice.
Then there came more to the story.  Daddy, in his infinite wisdom, told you once that we were out of Snail Juice when you asked for some.  This created a huge issue, and in order to bring some sanity back to the afternoon, quickly decided that we could make more.  How do make Snail Juice, do you ask?  By hopping up and down and shrieking, "SNAIL JUICE, SNAIL JUICE, SNAIL JUICE!" over and over and over again.  Oh!  Of course!!  That makes perfect sense, right?

Sigh.  What I had hoped to be a passing thing is now a staple in our house, and it has even spread past that.  We have had to educate grandparents on what Snail Juice is, and now even your poor babysitter, Miss Kallie, has fallen victim to your little game.  Thankfully for you, everyone is willing to play along.  But for me, I'm wondering when and if Snail Juice will ever be a thing of the past.

And honestly, it's getting tough to work around.  We can no longer ask you what you want for breakfast or snack or lunch; you don't offer any suggestions other than this fine, delectable treat you've dreamed up.  And trying to eat dinner with you is a hoot, too. You insist on sprinkling a little on my or Daddy's plate to make it taste bad.

In order to help our morning breakfast routine go a little more smoothly, I have come up with this idea.  You and I, when you get up from nap, are going to jump and hop and holler as much as we can to fill a plastic pitcher of Snail Juice and leave it in the fridge.  That way I can just pour a little on whatever I decide to feed you (no more choosing for now, little dude.  That's a losing battle.) and we can all eat happily, knowing it's been added.

So for now, we continue to smile and nod and accept the silent questions from other people dining in restaurants with us.  We will keep explaining to servers at those same restaurants that you are just an imaginative little toddler, and we will keep enjoying your quirky little games.

Although, I am getting a little tired of eating cheerios topped with Snail Juice.

Love always,

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Toddler Life # 21

You know you're the parent of a toddler when...

... you know for certain that taking a particular route to school will cause you to pass exactly 12 fire hydrants.  You are so sure of this due to the fact that every time you pass one, you hear the same litany:

"There's a fire hydrant!  That's where a fireman hooks up his hose and turns a knob and the water comes out and they put out the fire!" 

Without fail, without deviation from this script.  Twelve times. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hippity Hoppity

Dear Ian,

Happy Easter, Little Buddy!  That's right!  Easter is here (actually as I write this, we are post-Easter, so I am bit behind, but hey.), and it's time to celebrate Spring and Jesus.  And yes, the Easter Bunny. 

Hunting eggs with your class.
To kick of the festivities, you first had a couple of egg hunts and parties at school.  You decorated bags for your eggs in art, and then your class hunted for eggs in the courtyard of the school.  Daddy and I even got to come watch one of your egg hunts.  That was really fun!  Then you had cookies and cupcakes and stuff at a party in your room.  I got to hear all about it in the car on the way home.  Then, Saturday afternoon, you and I colored eggs.  That was a LOT of fun.  Mommy found this nifty trick where you put the eggs in wire whisks and then dunk them, and it really helped you have more control over the whole process.  We practiced naming colors and figuring out what mixing colors would do while we dyed our eggs, and Daddy even got in on the fun!
Coloring Eggs with Daddy.
You and Grandma after Mass
This Easter, we spent the day at Grandma and Papa Davis' house with them, Uncle Gary, Aunt Megan, Payton, Baby Taylor, Aunt Maggie and Great Poppey.  It was a really nice day.  You came downstairs and noticed that the Easter bunny had come and left you a basket full of treats!  You were so excited.  You went through all of your treats, but then it was time to get dressed.  We started the morning off at church, and you did a great job this year, little man.  Last year was fine too, but this time there was less FSU war chant and clapping after hymns than last year.  Mommy came prepared with paper and stickers and crayons, your mini Magna-doodle, and of course a snack for you to eat when everyone else was taking Communion.  Whew.  Dodged a bullet there!  It was just you, me, Daddy and Grandma and Papa at church, and it was a nice service.  We do need to work on whispering with you, but all in all, it was a good experience.

Our little family after church
After church, we went to breakfast at The Egg cafe, and then it was time to go home and get ready to head out to the farm for lunch and egg hunts and stuff.  As usual, we had leg of lamb (Mommy's favorite!) and ham, and with it we had sweet potatoes, corn casserole, regular potatoes and carrots and deviled eggs.  It was a yummy lunch, and it was absolutely beautiful outside, we had our Easter dinner outside at picnic tables.  That was really nice. 

After lunch, Papa took you and Payton (and Baby Taylor!) on a hayride while eggs were hidden for your egg hunt.  Daddy, Uncle Gary and I hid 45 eggs for you and Payton to find, and you did a great job!  And Daddy hid some of them really tough!  The two of you were so cute running around the yard looking for the eggs.  It was great to watch.
Hunting eggs in the yard
Your bucket is getting full!!

You and Payton gathering eggs.

 It was a really nice day.  And lucky you, you get to have another egg hunt with Grandma and Grandpa Brooks the next time you see them!  Here are some other fun pictures from the day...
Helping Grandma decorate the bunny cake for dessert.
Great Poppey admiring your cake decorating work.
My handsome little man all decked out in his Easter Finery.  
The neat bag you made in art for your class egg hunt.
Your Easter basket after the Easter Bunny came!
A close-up of your Easter treats
You, examining your Easter goodies!

Happy Easter Ian!  We love you!
Mommy and Daddy
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Traveling Man

Dear Ian,

Spring has officially sprung here in Tallahassee, and we are thoroughly enjoying some pretty nice weather.  Even more enjoyable is the fact that your school follows the Leon County Schools calendar, and that meant that you and I got a week long Spring Break.  I must say, this was pretty cool.  And this year, you celebrated your first Spring Break in style:  we went on a family cruise.

All in all there were 10 of us on this cruise.  Your Grandma and Grandpa Brooks were the organizers of our trip, and Uncle Ryan, Aunt Andrea, Uncle Kurt, Aunt Stacey and Abigail all came, too.  It was a really nice trip, and I think you in particular had a blast.

You and Daddy walking through Downtown Disney to dinner.

We kicked off the trip by heading down a day early and spending the night in Orlando.  We were leaving out of Cape Canveral, and instead of trying to do the trip that morning, rush to get on the boat and cause you to miss nap, we thought this day-ahead thing would work better.  I think it did.  We arrived Saturday afternoon, and Mommy and Daddy had planned a special dinner for you this night.  We went to Rainforest Cafe!  It's a neat restaurant themed like a rainforest with animated animals all around, and it actually "rains" every now and then, too!  We got to sit right next to the elephants, and at first you were a little weirded out by it, but then you really seemed to enjoy it!  The raining, however, you had a little trouble with.  The lights would flicker and then it would thunder, and you would hug me tight until it was over.  Despite the rains, you had a great dinner, loved watching the fish and fake animals, and at the end of dinner, you got to visit the gift shop.  You bought yourself a stuffed panda (with your own birthday money), and you were so excited about it. 

Your dinner.  It was pretty dang good!
One of the elephants next to us.  This one was practically in my plate!
Me and my Buddy Bear at dinner.

Playing at Lego Land

After a tasty dinner, we walked back through Downtown Disney to get back to our car, but on the way we stopped by Lego Land.  You and Daddy got to play with some legos set up at small tables outside the store.  I dont know who had more fun, you or Daddy!  It was a great night and a great start to a week of fun.

The next morning, we got packed up again and headed over to the cruise ship terminal.  You were so good on the drive.  You slept most of the way to Orlando during nap time on Saturday, and on Sunday, you took a little cat-nap on the hour drive over to the port.  Random note, you did have to pee on the side of I-75.  Sometimes those exits are just too far apart.  But I digress...

Daddy and Grandpa toasting an awesome trip.
We made it to the Cruise Ship terminals, and we unloaded all of our stuff.  We had a zillion bags, but hey, it was less than the last cruise we went on when we had a PackNPlay, toys and tons of other baby stuff.  Anyhoo.  After checking in and getting all of our stuff squared away, we boarded the boat.  It was huge!  We were on the ship Freedom of the Seas, and it was amazing.  Unfortunately, the first thing we had to go was get you down for a little more of a nap, but we did, and you slept well.  We wanted you to be rested for the sail away party.  After you woke up, we went up to the top deck to meet up with the family, and we got our vacation kicked off!! 

You, eating.  You did a lot of this...
To say there was a lot to do on our ship is an understatement.  You got a huge kick out of just riding the elevators, but there was "Ship School" (a play place for kids.  We called it Ship School so you would understand that it was like your school at home.), an arcade, a main street promenade, an ice rink where you watched a skating show and a huge water park.  We spent most of our time here at the water park, but any other time we were doing what most cruise passengers do: eating.  I am so glad you hit a growth spurt as we were taking this cruise (or at least I think that was what was happening) because you ate a TON!  I dont know where you were putting it!  The food was everywhere, and it was good, and you were a happy man because of that.

Your bed, ala Mr. Franklin.
We had a great cabin, and it had a gorgeous balcony.  Our room steward's name was Mr. Franklin, and the two of you became fast friends.  He was so sweet to you, and every morning and night, he would make and turn down your bed and carefully arrange all of the friends that you have to sleep with.  Your Loveys were artfully placed, and it was so cute! 

Like I mentioned before, most of our time was spent at the ship's water park.  You had a total blast running and splashing in the spray.  It was a lot of fun!

Some of the places we went on this cruise were: Labadee Haiti, where you got to play at the beach, and lo and behold, there was another water park there to play in and Grand Cayman.  We all got off the boat here and had lunch at a great little place called the Breezes Beach Bar and Cafe.  It was tasty.  Daddy unfortunately lost his credit card here (we found out on the way home) but we still had fun.  The ship also made port in Cozumel and Fallmouth Jamaica, but we didn't get off the ship there.  You preferred hanging out at the ship pool and water park and eating yourself silly.  By the way, the ice cream machine had to be your absolute favorite.

Playing in the water park on the ship
You and Daddy on our balcony.
Building sand castles on the beach in Haiti.

Playing in the water park in Haiti
Learning how to play Skee-Ball in the ship's arcade with Mommy.
You sitting on a fountain in Grand Cayman.

You and Daddy enjoying ice cream cones, poolside.  Nice.

 We had so much fun, it seemed like the week was over in a blink of an eye.  You had an absolute blast, and I am looking forward to more fun vacations with you soon! 

Love you so much!
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Friday, April 6, 2012

Family Matters

Dear Ian,

Yesterday evening, your newest little cousin was born.  Uncle Gary, Aunt Megan and Payton welcomed baby Taylor Grace into our family.  And we got to be part of such a special day. 

Aunt Megan was set to be induced (like you!) and arrived at the hospital early yesterday morning, but due to some emergency c-sections that needed to be handled, she hung around for a bit before the show got going.  The doctors kicked things off around noonish, and we all settled in for Taylor to make her entrance.  You and I spent the morning at school, but I was getting updates via text message, so we were in the loop.  While it was sorta stinky for Aunt Megan and Uncle Gary, the morning's delay was actually good for us, since we had school and a nap to get in before we could head up to the hospital.  And as it was, we got there for the good part! 

We headed up around three in the afternoon and took Grandma, Papa and Aunt Maggie some lunch/dinner, since they had been there for a while.  When we arrived, you were excited to see Payton, and I think the feeling was mutual.  You both ran around and played a bit, and Aunt Megan was a trooper through all your noise and activity.  Personally, I would have been a crazy person trying to labor with toddlers running around the room.  We did our best to keep you corralled, and for the most part, you both behaved great. 

All us grown-ups had a pool going as to when Taylor was going to arrive, along with how much she would weigh and stuff, and it looked like things were moving along slowly but steadily.  Most people were guessing around 5:30ish, but when that time came and went, Grandma and Papa and Uncle Gary decided to go get some supper.  Shortly after they left, Dr. Hall (who was one of Mommy's doctors, too) came in and checked on Aunt Megan and determined it was time to have a baby!  Whoa!  We got on the phone quick to get Uncle Gary and the Grands back in time.  Luckily they made it, and literally 18 minutes later, Taylor was born.  Uncle Gary even got to deliver her!  It was so neat! 

She's tiny and perfect, and she actually was born at the same weight and length as you, and it was totally amazing to stare at that little girl and to think that my big boy had been that size.  Where has the time gone?!  Nothing like seeing a new baby to make a Mommy get all mushy and weepy thinking about how fast her little man has grown up.  You got to meet her within minutes of her being born, and I think you were really impressed by her.  I was very proud of how calm and still you were while she was being born, too.  Uncle Gary asked me to take pictures at the last minute, and you were great while I did. 

I'm really looking forward to seeing the three (soon to be four, since Aunt Maggie and Uncle Brian are due in July) of you grow up together.  You and Payton are so funny and sweet to watch, and we're just adding to the fun with all the other cousins.  Our family just keeps getting bigger and better! 

 Taylor Grace Davis
April 5, 2012 at 6:18pm
7lbs, 1oz and 19 3/4 inches long.

So there's the birth story of your newest little cousin, Taylor Grace.  Only a few more months until we can add another birth story to our blog, when we welcome cousin number three (grandchild number four for  Grandma and Papa).  All of these new babies add to the excitement of our already exciting life! 

Love always,

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Creativity is Key (To My Insanity)

Dear Ian,

Of all the developmental leaps and milestones, I have to admit, the one I was looking forward to the most was the onset of your creative and imaginative play.  You know, where your little toy characters have conversations, you spend hours making pretend meals, and all where matter of critters and friends exist solely in your mind.  I love listening to your squeaky little voice as you act out the drama of your toys; it makes me smile knowing you are developing a complex part of your brain.  

I had no idea, however, that with the growth of your imagination there would come the degradation of my sanity.  I consider myself to be a fairly creative person.  When I was little I had a rich imaginary world, and since I spend so much of my waking hours with children of varying ages, I still have a bit child-like behavior left in me, and I can play pretend with the best of 'em.  But your little imagination occasionally has me stumped and grappling with the thought that these pretend things actually DO exist, I simply cannot see them, and I am going to go insane looking for them and trying to understand how you and I can communicate and coexist peaceably.

For example:  The Case of the Missing Keys

The other day, you came running down the stairs all in a tizzy.  It was after nap (so you were well rested and not in a sleep-deprived-hallucinating state, but then again, maybe you were still dreaming?), and you had been playing in your room for about half an hour.  (Can people sleepwalk for half an hour?  Probably not.  There goes that theory.)  Your little feet came thudding down the stairs at a hundred miles per hour and you were hollering something about your keys missing.  I went upstairs with you, and we proceeded to tear your room apart looking for your keys.  Your Papa Davis had given you a set that he no longer used for you to play with, so I figured this was what we were searching for.  I managed to find those keys, but no.  You rather loudly proclaimed, "Not that keys!!" and started a bout of fake crying.  (By the way, that little trick can end ANY day now.)  Not aware of any other set of keys in your possession, I continued to search.  We looked upstairs.  We looked downstairs.  We looked in Mommy and Daddy's room.  We even looked in the garage.  Finally I suggested we get a drink of juice and take a break and think about it.  You agreed, and we went to the fridge.  When I opened the door, you SHRIEKED!  "There they are Mommy!!!"  I am looking all over the fridge, and I see no keys.  You reach in and pluck an imaginary set out of the produce drawer.  "You didn't find them, Mommy.  I find them," you proudly proclaimed.  Well DUH, son!!  I had no idea that the keys in question were in fact INVISIBLE!  I feel like that little bit of information would have been a tiny bit helpful.  Anyhoo.  Keys were found, you got juice and life went back to normal.  Or as normal as it could be with a person that hallucinates missing keys hiding in refrigerator drawers. 

But to keep me guessing, a few days later we had this moment:

We were in the living room, and I was talking to you about what you wanted to have for snack.  You said you weren't hungry, so I let you be for a minute, and I went back to playing on the internet paying attention to world events.  A little bit later, I heard you in the kitchen, so I went to investigate.  You were reaching in the drawer that houses the Ziploc bags, so I asked what was up.  You said, "I need a ziptop (your way of saying Ziploc; so cute!) for Daddy's snack."  I looked around and didn't see anything, so I asked the obvious question, "What snack?"
"This snack," you responded.  I see nothing.  Just you and me and our usual kitchen clutter.  I mention something about not seeing any snack, but you are adamant.  Finally I decided that sometimes you just have to pick your battles, and I gave you a flippin' Ziploc.  I watched as you painstakingly opened your bag and placed inside: an imaginary snack.  You were so careful and cute not to "spill" any of your snack for Daddy.  And you kept telling me that Daddy had to eat it.  Well, I was going to Cairo that night to teach twirling, so I labeled Daddy's snack for you and hung it on the fridge.  When Miss Kallie, your baby sitter came, I made sure she was aware of the snack-on-the-fridge situation, and you were so proud of it.  I had to take a picture.
Thankfully you can't read (yet) so I was able to give Daddy a little help with this snack situation, since he was going to be blindsided with it as soon as he got home.  I can only imagine what it would have been like if I hadn't left the clue that it was imaginary.  I had already been through that hoop of craziness, and I wanted to save Daddy the trouble.  Although, maybe I shouldn't have - that way we both could have felt like we were going nuts.

I love you and your little imaginative mind,

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Works of Art #30

I am a bad Mom-blogger.  But, I am a good mom, because we have been so busy with each other, I have had no time to get to your blog.  But that was more for me than for you or anyone else. 

Anyhoo.  I am wicked behind on posting, and first off, we have about a zillion works of art to view, so here goes:

We'll start with Winter Art.  (I TOLD you we were behind.) 

 These penguins and the snowman are just too cute!  The snowman was made with shaving cream and glue mixed together; they were super cool!  

Next we have Valentine's Day Art:

 Your sweet hand-prints making a heart - awwwwww!
 Stamping hearts with cookie cutters.
 This is actually the front of a valentine card that you made for me and Daddy.
 Here's the inside
 This is really pretty!

A mosaic heart.  Very nice!

Next your class learned about Community Helpers, so you did art that reflected that lesson:
 Here's a firetruck that you put together.  Actually you and I did this at home since you were home sick the day your class did this project.  But we took it in and it hung on your class bulletin board.
 You made this when you discussed bakers!  It's a cupcake, painted brown for icing and topped with actual sprinkles!  I had sprinkles in my bag for a while, but it was worth it.  Cute!!!!
And here's a took that you painted white with a toothbrush for the dentist!  Neat!

Moving right along, after Community Helpers, your class worked on learning colors, so your art reflected that.

 Lots of green here.  On top you made a mosaic of all things green, and the bottom picture, is obviously a green painting.
 A red and green painting.
And a blue painting!  

Whew!  I think that catches us up to this week, and I have those pictures ready and waiting, but now it's time for us to play.  So I will have to get back to that, but I promise to be better about blogging.  We just have too much fun.

Love you bunches,