Kids always have a way with words. It’s the combination of tone, expression, and word choice that make their phrases awesome. I have been trying to keep track of sweet things that have escaped my children’s lips over the past few months. I never want to forget their sweet words and thoughts.

Hula Girl’s teacher is of the same mindset. She loves listening to and reporting the words of the students in her care. She delights in them as much as their parents do! Here is a portion of a recent email I received from her:

[Hula Girl] said the cutest thing yesterday, and I actually wrote it down to tell you!  The last word on the spelling pre-assessment was “spoil.”  I used this sentence, “When you go to Grandma’s house, she will spoil you with treats, candy, presents, and staying up late.”  As I walked past [Hula Girl] she looked up at me with the happiest face and said, “Boy, does she EVER!”  It was precious!

Monkey Man has his fair share of intriguing things to say as well. Most of the time, he is quite imaginative and he tries his hardest to impress people.

A couple weekends ago, our town held a fall festival. (By the way, living in a small town that celebrates EVERYTHING is awesome. Downtown streets have been closed down at least three weekends in the past couple months for festivities. That might sound annoying, but there are easy ways around the closures. It’s so much fun to be here and be part of a town that is so focused on families and fun!) We attended the festival in the afternoon once Sugar Plum woke from her final nap of the day. We walked through the booths and roamed through a couple stores downtown. We decided to go to the coffee shop for dinner. We ordered some sandwiches and things and while we were eating, a local band came in and began setting up for an evening performance.

The band was made up of members who have adult children. They had banjos, violins, drums, guitars and keyboards. It was interesting to watch them set up and unpack their instruments; Monkey Man was especially interested in the process of tuning instruments. He was watching the woman with the violin with such interest that she invited him up to watch more closely. She asked him if he liked violins, and he said, “Yes! I am good at playing the violin!” She looked at me as if to ask if this was true. I shrugged. I asked him, “Where did you learn to play?” He said he had learned at school. “I’m the best violin player in my class!”

Ok, first of all, he was only in school for a grand total of 6 days. I’m certain he did not learn to play violin. But perhaps there was an instrument station in his classroom?

The woman then showed him how she tunes the violin and how she plays different notes. He was absolutely enthralled. So much so that her husband came over and said that if they can find their child-sized violin, he will give it to us so Monkey Man can learn to play for real. I think we will be enrolling him in violin lessons soon!

Both kids are very interested in art right now.

Hula Girl gave this paper to me and Jonathan last night. Each side is a different type of sunset.

Monkey Man created this picture for his self portrait for our schoolwork at home. It is him in the sky with a rainbow and clouds; the figures on the ground are looking up at the clouds and finding pictures.


Changing Tastes…

I love how fast things change as a young toddler develops. A couple weeks ago, I posted Gelato’s 14-month update. Now that he’s 14.5 months old, so many things are different! In just two weeks!

I want to capture his interests right now so that I can remember him THIS way. He is such a funny little guy!

Gelato does not like Baby Beluga any longer. If I bring it out, he says, “No, Bu-ga! No, Bu-gah!” He pushes the book away. He was really into Margaret Wise Brown’s I Like Stars for about a week and a half. That’s all he wanted to read. He’d say, “Stars? Stars? Read-ee? Stars?” But now he’s so over it. He also had a couple days of being really into “A B C?” Which stands for Dr. Seuss’ ABCs. That book is old hat, so he has moved on to a book called Who’s Hiding? It’s about a mama owl who is looking for her baby, and Gelato LOVES opening all the flaps. He calls it, “Ow-el? Ow-el?”

He loves to wear necklaces. My little guy just adores necklaces. He walks around with about five of Hula Girl’s dress-up necklaces (think pink pearls, sparkly blue beads, purple butterflies, etc.) strung around his neck. Fortunately Hula Girl inherited about a million necklaces from our neighbor before we moved, so there are plenty of necklaces for both children. He will come down the stairs, walk to the dress-up “closet,” and stand there saying, “Neck-iss? Neck-iss?” until I finally get him some. Never just one. If he can’t wear a necklace, he will find his special blue ribbon and drape it across his shoulders, behind his neck. If it falls off, he will stop and pick it up and re-drape it before moving on. I think this is such a silly and cute little phase. I kind of want him to keep it until he’s four or so.

Gelato loves apples. Like, apples are his very favorite food. He will walk around with an apple in his hand and eat the entire thing, down to the core. I bought him an apple in the grocery store a while ago just to keep his tummy from eating itself alive while I rushed around getting last-minute ingredients for our (very late) dinner. The clerk thought I was nuts for buying him an apple, saying, “He’ll never eat that. You should get him chips or something.” When I went back through her lane 15 minutes later, he had eaten about half his apple, and she was pretty much in shock. “He did eat the apple? That’s amazing. I have never seen a kid eat an apple before.” Um, what? Anyway, apples. He also likes applesauce. He calls it, “ap-poh AHS? Ap-poh AHS?” Today he found an applesauce cup in the fridge just before lunch and asked for it. I told him he could eat it at lunch, and let him wander with it a bit. I was surprised when he wasn’t following me and whining about eating it. When I stopped to look at him, I saw he had bitten a hole in the foil and was slurping it through like a smoothie. “Mmmm, Mummy! Mum! Mummmy!!!”

I am currently weaning Gelato. He used to nurse four times a day: 7, 11, 3, and 7. I have slowly dropped one feeding a week, so that now he is only nursing at bedtime. Next Friday will be the last day I nurse him. I am so sad about it, but so happy all at the very same time. I love that I have nursed both my babies until 14.5 months old, but I really feel like that’s about my limit. 🙂

Gelato is a little independent guy. He does not want to be held or pushed in a stroller; he wants to WALK. He doesn’t want to walk with me, though, so he tries to wander. Too bad for him when he tries to wander and I don’t let him. He can also be a bit disobedient at times. ‘Tis the nature of the age, I suppose. He is truly a toddler now- when I tell him to come, he grins, turns, and RUNS the other way. Goober.

All in all, Gelato is just a delight. Still.

Oh, and one more story. The other night Gelato was told a firm, “No, you may not throw your food off your tray.” I removed his dinner. Hula Girl clapped and shouted, “Hooray! [Gelato] got his first consequence!!!!!” It was hilarious.

Trashin’ the Camp

I love Phil Collins. Tarzan’s a pretty good flick, too.


When we were in California, Hula Girl slept on a foam mattress with some extra padding in the form of blankets and pillows. She had some sheets and blankets over the top of her, and of course she had her three very special blankets and Daisy. She slept in Ama and Papa’s office. We thought it’d be okay because Ama and Papa took out all the tempting items and hid several others in drawers. I didn’t think Hula Girl would go so far as to open drawers in Ama and Papa’s office.

Hula Girl also had a hard time falling asleep while we were there because she could turn on the light and she could open the door (she can’t do either of those things here at home). So we got into a bit of the bedtime mania that many families with toddlers/preschoolers face. We ended up taking away special blankies, and even Daisy one night, in order to drive in the point that she needs to be staying in bed and going to sleep at bedtime.

But one naptime she just didn’t feel like sleeping. She felt like exploring. This happened in about 30 minutes:

Hula Girl ingested about three boxes of these before deciding she'd hide some under her blankets for a bedtime snack.

Hula Girl ingested about three boxes of these before deciding she’d hide some under her blankets for a bedtime snack. (My father-in-law shops at Costco.) She also apologized to Ama for putting several of those “beans” in her mouth and then spitting them back into the box. 

Here's the view from the corner by the foot of her bed. Note various office supplies strewn all over the floor.

Here’s the view from the corner by the foot of her bed. Note various office supplies strewn all over the floor. This does not show the chapstick and glue sticks she smeared into the carpet and all over the sides of the desks and file cabinets. Did you also notice three pairs of scissors? Fortunately she didn’t cut her hair… this time. And note the pile of Tic Tacs by the potty. 

I guess we can just be relieved she decided to scribble on a part of the desk that won't be seen by anyone? Yes, and it's permanent.

I guess we can just be relieved she decided to scribble on a part of the desk that won’t be seen by anyone? Yes, and it’s permanent. She also chose to color the bindings of several photo albums on the bookshelf. My sister-in-law said they’re not the very special ones. Still.


It took three adults and one preschooler about 30 minutes to clean this all up. Ama and Papa’s desk things went into boxes to be stored in the garage until the Tornado had gone home.

Hardest part of this whole thing? Trying desperately not to laugh when Ama walked Hula Girl back into the room and said, “Now you need to sit down and take the pennies off the bottom of your socks.”



Both kids have been going through periods of rapid language development lately. Neither kid is quiet unless asleep. No one will ever wonder if they’re really mine!

Gelato is 8.75 months old. Here are some of the words he says:

  • “gaa” for cat (he practices this a lot when he sees Riley; I can’t really exactly type the noise he makes- “gaa” isn’t quite it, but neither is “daa”)
  • “boo” for book (he launched himself over the arm of the rocking chair this morning, screeching, “Boo! Boo!” and reaching for the pile of books)
  • “mama” (teehee, I love babies who say mama)
  • “dada” (he gets very serious and looks directly at Jonathan when he says this one)
  • “ee-hee” for sister (it’s quite breathy)
  • “kak” for quack (a.dor.a.ble.)
  • “duh” for duck (he loves to hold yellow rubber ducks and point to pictures of ducks in books)
  • “bah” for bark (he says it when he hears a dog barking)

Hula Girl is 34.75 months old. I cannot even begin to believe she will be three in June. That said, here are some of the amazing things she has been saying lately:

  • “I’m gonna eat the baby! <sad voice> Oh, NOOOOOOOOOOO! The baby is crying because I ate his head!” (She was holding a tortilla like a baby. Also, this is kind of disturbing.)
  • “I just love you guys so much.”
  • “Oh, God, oh, God, oh, God.” Upon further questioning
  • from a freaked-out set of parents who could not for the life of us begin to think where she learned to take the Lord’s name in vain, it was revealed that, “I am praising the Lord. Oh, God! Oh, God! You’re beautiful, God!”
  • She fell down and scraped her hands and knees. “Mommy, I will pray and ask God to heal me.” Several minutes later… “Mommy! I prayed and asked God to heal my hands and knees and now they don’t hurt anymore! God is not really that far away, is He?”
  • “Mommy, I can’t wait for Grampy to come and see me cutting scraps. He will laugh and think it is so funny.” I commented that she likes to make people laugh. “Yes, because that is the way that God made me!”


Natural Consequences 1, Hula Girl 0

So. This morning Hula Girl was waiting downstairs while I went upstairs to get her a cute outfit for storytime. I wanted her to look extra special since, after all, it is VALENTINE’S WEEK! (Yes, Valentine’s Day is awesome and I have always liked it and now that I have a house that I can decorate in PINK for at least a month a year with a legit reason, well, it’s even better.)

As I was coming back down the stairs, I heard Hula Girl start to gag and cough a bit. I figured she had eaten something awfully bad for a toddler to eat, so I stepped up my pace. I realized that we had just painted her toenails, and she has always had a fascination with the nail polish… what if she drank some?!? I started to sprint down the stairs two at a time. Then I heard, “I am going to YO UP!” (That’s toddlerspeak for THROW UP.) Three at a time.

I finally found her in the kitchen (after about 4.2 seconds since this all started, but it seemed like 4.2 hours because when your kid is gagging and coughing and crying about throwing up, time sssslllllloooooowwwwwwsssss dooooooowwwwwwnnnnnn and you can’t move fast enough no matter how hard you try). I asked her what happened… and then I looked down. And I cracked up. And took a picture, naturally.




Her breath was atrocious after this incident. She kept telling me that the basil made her sick. She calls all spices basil. I am so glad this was the culprit, and not the red nail polish. Sheesh, I really need to do a better job of keeping my kitchen counters cleared off. 

I’m a Bad Parent (a.k.a. M.Y.O.B.)

So this Tuesday we had a snowstorm. Of course, all eight inches are already melted and we aren’t expecting any more snow any time soon. Such is the weather in Colorado. Anyway.

Tuesday morning I woke up and saw that we had about a quarter inch of snow outside, and that more was falling. How exciting! I woke Hula Girl and told her there was a surprise for her outside. We opened the curtains and she rejoiced at the idea that she would get to eat some snow. As soon as we could manage it, we got all bundled up and headed outside for a romp. It was only a couple hours after I first woke up and looked out, but 4 more inches had already fallen. I shoveled a path from the front door to the car (ahem, Jonathan, the garage still needs to be cleaned out so I can park the car INSIDE!!!!), and then we headed back inside so Hula Girl could have her roomtime and I could nurse Gelato. I asked Hula Girl whether she would like to stay home and play in the snow or go to storytime. She debated for a while but she finally chose storytime. Fine.

On the way to storytime as I was driving on roads that were six inches deep (our little area of town does not get plowed due to some weird secession failure issues) and I stopped and called my mom to see if she thought I really should take the kids to storytime at all. She said go for it. We were already halfway there, and even if no one else was there, we could always go home. Fortunately when we pulled into the parking lot, I recognized three cars that belong to moms with toddlers. So I knew we’d at least get a mini playgroup if nothing else.

As I was getting Gelato out of the car (I always get him out first and put him in last- he’s a bit more “contained” than Hula Girl is at the moment), this random lady walked by me in one of those old long quilted coats, like the one my third-grade teacher wore every day to recess. She had a knit cap on her head and she was carrying a large satchel. And she said, “What the h— are you doing bringing your children to the library on a day like this?!?!?!”

I was flummoxed at first- I wasn’t sure if she was making a sideways comment about the weather being so terrible. After all, sometimes I do the same kind of thing. I’ll comment on something not extremely related to be kind of jokey about whatever situation I find myself in with a random stranger. (For example, when stuck in a slow checkout line, I might turn to the person in front of me and say something like, “Well, it’s not like we’re going to be watching the Broncos in the Super Bowl, so there’s really no need for us to hurry home!”) You know, just a little tension-breaker so that a) the clerk doesn’t feel so awful and rushed, which inevitably leads to mistakes and even LONGER waits, b) the other person doesn’t get all huffy and treat the clerk with disdain, and c) I have someone to talk to that is not 2.5 years old.

Anyway, I responded to her strange comment with a lighthearted, “Yeah, what was I thinking? This snow is crazy!” I thought she’d laugh with me and be on her merry way.


She continued on to tell me that she wouldn’t dream of endangering her dear children’s lives by taking them out on a day like this, that I was obviously lacking judgment, that I should be concerned about my driving skills, that I should worry about other people’s driving skills, that I should feel awful about forcing those poor children (who obviously HATE leaving the house in any kind of weather other than sunshine… NOT) to get dressed and go out when they should be peacefully nestled in their beds enjoying a nice long sleep-in. Obviously I am a terrible mother who is less than qualified and I need to get my priorities straight. After all, going out in such awful weather proves that I am very selfish and I really have no regard for my children’s needs, desires, feelings, or dreams. I am ruining my children forever by bringing them to storytime.

I kept a smile on my face. I remarked that I grew up here so I am used to the weather conditions. I explained that I felt confident in my driving skillz (and my avoiding other drivers skillz). I established the fact that my children had not, in fact, been begging to stay in bed; rather, they had both been awake since 5:30 a.m. Finally I said (quite winningly, I imagine), “Well, storytime waits for no one, so I had better get my kids inside! Have a nice day!”

The lady walked into the library in a huff.

Then came the penultimate nail in my “good mom” coffin. When Hula Girl gets in the car, I make her take off her coat to get strapped in. Then I turn it backward and put it over her arms so she stays warm. Safety first. Since we were literally less than twenty steps from the library doors, I let Hula Girl choose whether she wanted to wear her coat or leave it in the car. She chose to leave it in the car. Fine with me. As my little chickadee squeaked in through the rapidly-closing automatic doors, the snide woman turned to see what was happening… and said, “OH MY GOSH. SHE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A COAT?!!?”

M.Y.O.B., Self-Appointed Library-Monitor. M.Y.O.B.

Friday’s Firsts

Both of my children had some “firsts” in their lives on Friday. I took them swimming at the Y, which was a wonderful break from the monotony. It’s been very cold here lately, so even going outside for a few minutes at a time is just tough. But a nice warm indoor toddler pool was just the thing.

I had to chuckle while I was there because I had Gelato’s carseat/carrier and I had put our towels and stuff in it rather than getting a locker. I brought it out to the pool area with us. I had Hula Girl walk in front of me, I carried Gelato, and I had the carrier swinging at my side. A little boy who was probably 8 or so looked at me with HUGE round eyes and said, “How many babies do you HAVE?!” Ha, guess he thought the carrier had another baby in it!

Anyway, our firsts:

Gelato: first time swimming and blew his first raspberry!

Hula Girl: first kid’s meal and first time she’s ever had her full name used in a “you’re in so much trouble!” kind of way.

Gelato’s are self-explanatory. Hula Girl’s kid’s meal came on the way home from swimming when I realized it was 4:50 and she needed to eat by 5:15, while I had to get Gelato down for the night by 5:30. So we stopped at Wendy’s. Can I just tell you that I hated every second of it!?!? I do not want my kids eating that kind of grossness. Alas, it was what we had to do. Then when we got home, it was freezing so I decided to rush Hula Girl to the front door and let her in to take off shoes and coat while I ran back to the car (parked in the driveway, where I could see it the whole time) to get Gelato. When he and I came in the door, Hula Girl was nowhere to be seen. I heard rustling upstairs (where she is not allowed to be by herself), and I said loudly and sternly, “[Hula Girl’s full name including both middle names!], come downstairs right now.” I heard scrambling, then, “Yes, Mommy! I’m coming!” She knew she was being naughty. Haha! I still don’t know what she was doing. Must not have been too destructive. (Don’t worry- our house is toddler proof. It’s not like she was guzzling medicine or anything like that.)

So there you have it! Would you believe that Gelato’s first swimming experience was literally seven full months earlier than Hula Girl’s? I don’t know why we waited so long to take her. Must have been because we lived in the world’s smallest town that only had an outdoor pool! 🙂 Thank goodness for the YMCA.

Frere Jacques

When a 2.5-year-old sings the song, it comes out like this:

Where is Yah-tah? Where is Yah-tah?

Yoh may boo? Yoh may boo?

Yummy yummy tina. Yummy yummy tina.

Din, din, don. Din, din, don.


She’s a Girly Girl and this Proves It!

So, you all know that Hula Girl is a girl with an obsession for fuzz. Yes, she still collects fuzz and balls it up and rolls it around on her top lip. She still puts it on the table while she eats. She still sets it on the side of the tub while she takes her bath. Haha!

Anyway. We had a pretty funny experience yesterday that just proves that my fuzz-loving little girl is truly a girly girl.

She and I were in the living room cleaning up all her books. Mind you, we never really have to clean up toys- she only ever wants to read books. When given the opportunity to choose her activity, it’s always books. Books, books, books. (And she rubs her fuzz on her lip while we read.) I asked her to go over toward the Christmas tree and pick up a book over there. She was in a mood and started to tell me no. I told her it’s not appropriate for her to tell me no. She said, “Yes, Mommy.”

The next thing I knew, she was wailing. I thought perhaps she was starting a tantrum about the books even though she had just changed her attitude. Then she came scuttling across the floor toward me with an absolutely terrified look on her face. I asked her what was wrong, and she said, “The fuzz moved!” I was like what?!

She took a few deep breaths to calm down, sniffled a big sniffle, then, with giant tears rollling down her cheek, she said, “I touched a bug.”

Now THAT is a fuzz.

Now THAT is a fuzz.


She sure did. This lil’ guy was crawling away from our Christmas tree. As soon as we touched him, he curled into a ball. How freaky would that experience be for Hula Girl? Think about it from her perspective: she sees a giant prize fuzz on the floor and goes to scoop it up to rub it on her lip. Then it moves in her fingers! No wonder she was terrified! Bless her poor little fuzz-loving heart.

I saved the little guy by tossing him outside in the bushes. It’s not too very cold here yet. But I doubt he’ll make it to butterfly-hood.

UPDATE: I am preeeeety sure this dude is gonna die. He’s a “banded woolly bear” and is generally frozen solid all winter long. Poor little thing defrosted in my living room. Kind of gross.  

Hula Girl’s Special Or-mee-nents

Two funny little scenarios from our day, both involving Christmas tree ornaments:

1. Hula Girl walks up to me and shows me a random ornament from our tree. Jonathan and I have had this ornament since the first year we were married, but it came in a bulk pack of silver shatterproof ornaments (read:inexpensive and not-exactly-high-quality). She says, “This is a very special or-mee-nent to me.” I asked her why. “This is the or-mee-nent I got when I got married.” I asked her who she married. “This boy who was a baby but now he is old. And this is our very special or-mee-nent from our wedding day.”

2. Hula Girl decides she is done with dinner and wants to feed the rest of her food to her stuffed owl (borrowed from the library). I told her that owls don’t eat people food. She asked what they do eat. I told her they eat moths and mice. I took a huge risk in telling her they eat mice-she loves mice. So she gets down from her chair, walks over to the Christmas tree, and starts “feeding” the owl her special collectible ornaments- all of which have mice on them. So glad she thinks that highly of them.

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