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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Skip. Hop. Play. Giveaway!

Dreamer with "Kitty"
Today we get the fun of having a giveaway for a $50 gift certificate giveaway for tons of Skip Hop items! Toys like these are great for kids!

Having a two year old, play is getting more and more important. Every parent knows that kids love their toys! This is a really great list on a good variety of types of toys. Of course, development also matters. It's good to look at a resource like this one from National Association for the Education of Young Children that lists good toys for different stages

Dreamer rarely goes anywhere without a stuffed animal, usually her sidekick "Kitty." As my mother put it, Kitty is her "lovey." She's also very fond of several other toys as well, but Kitty is the constant.

Then of course, there's bath time. It's not been easy getting Dreamer to like baths. As a newborn, she hated them. After many months she finally tolerated them, but she has never liked to wash her hair. Toys are an important element to keeping littles in the tub long enough that hopefully they get fully washed! We now put in bubbles and fill the tub up with "friends" and usually she'll hop in. She's not above hopping out and running away when I try to shampoo her hair, though.  (She's got several sets of bath toys, including the one pictured below. You can find it and other toys at 

a set of munchkin bath toys

I'm not sure if they count as "toys" but Dreamer definitely adores books. When she decides it's book time we usually read 10-30 books in a row. Lately she's been especially loving books about colors, a concept she's just grasping. It's adorable. I ask her "What color is this?" pointing and she screws up her face in concentration and goes, "Ummmmmm..... Purple?" She's right about 80% of the time now. We play this game outside of the books as well pointing to toys, clothes, and the like.

She also enjoys coloring and playing with stickers. Additionally she likes using a  set of plastic letters that my sister gave her as well. Choosing good toys for toddlers often has to do with providing a variety of activities and toys, to stimulate different skills and ideas.Especially because their attention spans aren't very long yet.

Dreamer also has this purple octopus!

Of course, being a toddler she also loves to just run around. We play a game she calls "running" which seems to be a combination of tag and hide and seek, just with no real rules. She'll come up to me with big cute eyes and tug on my clothes saying, "Mommy, running? Running?" She also loves to play with a variety of balls. She has several in different sizes and gets very particular about which one she wants to play with, varying it each time.

What kind of toys do your kids like?

Enter below for a chance to win the gift certificate!

Skip Hop Play Giveaway!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Eight Years Blogging

I just celebrated my 8 year blogaversary.

This blog has been with me through three jobs and so much unemployment, the inauguration of my relationship with Ryan, the move to India, my marriage, our move to our own place, the birth of our daughter... this is a very long relationship! And even though, just like often happens with friends when kids comes along I haven't been spending as much time with you, I do still value having you in my life.

So here's to 8 years and more!

My first "blogger profile" picture from back in the day:
a photo of my dog Sophie, who is still living with my parents in South Carolina.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Cute Things Dreamer Has Said Lately

I have been sharing on my personal Facebook profile some of the cute interactions I have had with Dreamer lately. Here are some good ones:

Dreamer has gotten a potato from the kitchen. I try to take it back from her.
"No, 'tato!!" She looks at me expectantly and starts miming peeling it.
"Do you want me to cook the potato?"
With gleeful satisfaction she entrusted the tuber into my hand. "Cook tato!"
Well. I have my orders!

Dreamer is hitting me with a big paint brush. I take it from her. She tries to get it back.
"Be gentle. Are you going to be gentle?"
"Gentle, yeah."
"Are you going to be gentle?"
"Yeah." I hand it back to her.
She immediately lifts the paintbrush up to her eye, sort of aiming it like a weapon, and says fiercely. "I. Gentle. You!"
Then bursts out laughing.
Oh boy.

Princess likes to jump up on the hot water heater in our bathroom. Dreamer today stood below her saying, "Kitty, get down. Living room. Come on!" and other encouragements to lure Princess.

It didn't work.

Ryan and I hug.
Dreamer: Noooo
Me: Yes! I *will* hug your Daddy. Do you know who my favorite guy is?
Dreamer: Dada! (what she calls my father in law)
Me: No, Daddy!
Dreamer: Dada!
Me: Daddy!
Dreamer: No Dada!
Me: No, my favorite guy is Daddy! What about you?
Dreamer: Uhh... Daddy, Dada, and Bopa (what she calls my dad)
Me: Aw, that's good. You should love all three of them.

There's a lizard on the wall. Dreamer is trying to convince him to come down by talking and gesturing.
"Come ON! Down! (Mumble mumble) Mommy. (Mumble mumble) Daddy. Out! Come ON!" All this is said looking pleadingly at the lizard and gesturing down, towards me, towards the balcony door. Basically convincing him to come down, meet Mommy and Daddy and we can all go out.
Then she turns to me with big longing eyes and says "Cuuuuuuuuute." Yes, sweetie. Lizards are cute. He's still not coming down (and if he did the cats would kill him, but I am not telling her that if I can help it.)

You know those photos that go around with toddlers crying and the reasons why? Here's mine:
Because I won't fasten my bra around her bottom.

I watch Dreamer just outright let go of a bottle of water with no top so it spills across the bed.
"No!" I scold her. "You spilled!"
"Bed did it!" she protests, pointing at the bed. "Bed did it!"
I'm not buying it, baby girl. Points for creativity. Interesting you've entered the blaming others stage...

Dreamer just saw herself in the mirror:
"You're cute?"
Spinning around towards me, grinning ear to ear, pointing at the mirror, "I cute baby!"

Dreamer's declaration to me when I emerge from the shower, which she very well knew I was in considering she'd been coming in and out to see me during it:
"There you are, my baby, there you are!"

I have a scratch on my leg. Dreamer sees it.
"Yeah, ow."
"Daddy bit you?"
I burst out laughing.
"NO! Daddy didn't bite me. It's a scratch."
"Oh." She wanders off, bored.

"Sit down! Mommy sit down! [Dreamer] sit down," Dreamer demonstrates and sits on the floor. Points to the floor next to her. "Mommy sit down."
"Mommy IS sitting down," I say, pointing to the stool beneath me. "You want Mommy to sit on the floor?"
"Mommy sit down!" she points.
"But why? Is it so you can cuddle Mommy?"
"Then why? So you can kiss Mommy?"
"Is it so you can steal Mommy's chair?"
"YEAH!" she exclaims brightly with a huge smile.

Dreamer is watching Frozen, I'm mentally not paying attention. She is saying something to me. I tune in and realize: "You want me to sing?"
"Yeah, sing!"
"You want Mommy to sing?!? You like when Mommy sings?!!!"
"Yeahhh like Mommy sing."
"You have no idea how happy that makes Mommy, that you like when Mommy sings!"
So I restart "For the First Time in Forever" and belt happily with Dreamer enjoying it, and chiming in at times.
My heart is happy.

Dreamer clawed Ryan in the face. We force her to apologize.
"I dorry," she says giving Ryan a hug.
"Are you going to hurt Daddy again?"
"Yeah, again!" she says cheerfully.
Ryan and I can't help it, we laugh.
"I funny??!!" she says excitedly.

Dreamer spots a laser on the shelf, from her perch on my hip.
"That! That!"
"You want to play with the kitties?"
"Kitties! Yeah!"
"Okay, but only Mommy can hold it, okay?"
"Okay!" I turn it on in front of Vex the cat.
I set Dreamer down. Vex darts at the red dot. She laughs. "Funny! Funny!"
Then she starts chasing the red dot too! While peals of giggles ring out she and Vex both go after the red dot. Princess hangs back but when I bring it closer to her she flicks her paw a few times. Everyone is having fun...
Until Dreamer starts shrieking loudly and flinging herself wildly at the red dot.
Vex and Princess run under the bed to hide.
Dreamer keeps playing and laughing for another minute or so, then suddenly looks around, crestfallen.
"Vex? Princess?" she wails.
"They're under the bed."
She goes into the bedroom and starts sobbing. "VEX! PRINCESS!"
"They're under the bed, honey."
She wails, gesturing to the top of the bed. I bend over and point. "UNDER the bed."
She gets on her knees and looks. "VEX!" she says, relieved. I put the red dot near the edge to try to lure one out, but she starts shrieking and trying to stomp on it. I go around to the other side of the bed and shine the dot just under it. After about thirty seconds, Vex darts out in a sudden burst.
"Vex!" I declare, to draw Dreamer's attention.
"FUNNY!" she screams and runs towards him. He startles and darts behind the hamper. Dreamer goes after the red dot until he starts playing too, and then I draw them out to the living room. Princess eventually emerges too.
I had no idea that red dots aren't just good cat fun but toddler fun too. Dreamer especially loved when I shined the dot on her out stretched hand, but turned the light off before she drew it in close enough to see detail. She also had fun jumping at the curtain when that darn red dot settled just two or three inches above the highest her hand could reach.

"Dared! I dared!"
"You're scared?"
"Aw, come here." I stretch out my arms for a hug and Dreamer runs in. "Why are you scared? Don't be scared, Mommy's here. Mommy'll take care of you. Did you know Mommy loves you most?"
"Daddy loves me most."
Well then. Buahaha.

Dreamer starts crying in her sleep.
"Shoes! Can you give them to me... " she trails off and settles into deeper sleep.
I swear, every time this child talks in her sleep it's about shoes!!

"Ow," says Dreamer. She's rubbing her nose, which is reddening on the right side. Something is clasped in her right hand.
"What did you do? What's in your hand?"
She opens to reveal a crayon.
"Did you just try to stick that crayon up your nose?"
"Yeah!" this is said ruefully.
"Well don't do that! That hurts!"
Ladies and gentlemen, she's definitely a toddler.

"Up! Up!" Dreamer tugs at my elbow.
"You want Mommy to pick you up?"
"I wanna be in Mommy's arms."
Who can say no to that??!

Dreamer is enthusiastically eating a banana.
"That is hitting the spot, huh?" I ask.
"NO, it's a banana!"
"No, I know it's a banana. But 'hitting the spot' means it tastes really good, right?"
"No, it's NANA."
"No, I know, but the banana tastes good, right?"
With a cocked head and a "duh" expression, "Yeahhh."

Dreamer is waking up from a nap. She smiles large, laughs, and says, "meow meow." Then laughs again.
"You dreamed about cats?"
With a dreamy smile, "Yeah."

Friday, July 22, 2016

Why I Stopped Blogging

Why I Stopped Blogging... More than Once

Dreamer has been watching Frozen, and I've been analyzing it because that's what I do. I have a hungry mind that is always, always analyzing.

I start this out referencing a lovely Disney movie that I do enjoy, but this post isn't going to be happy and light. And it's not about Frozen.

Friday, June 17, 2016

I'm Back

My laptop has been fixed.

I've been back in India since mid-May. Ryan took a few weeks off to reconnect with us so I had decided not to blog until he went back to work. Then I have tried to write. And tried.

I have written things, but it's so unpolished. There's so much inside me lately. I've been wrestling with a lot. I keep thinking to write in one direction, and then another.

For the past several months I've been thinking of how to redirect my blog. It needs a shift. Since Dreamer has been born, I've not really gotten to write. I am not saying the content is horrible, but it's cohesively what I've wanted. I hadn't had the time to do it, though now she's getting better at occupying herself so I think I will have more time to write.

However, I'm not only planning to write. Before she was born, and even when she was a newborn, I was an avid reader. But since she's been born I've read maybe six books? Which sounds like a lot to some, but I used to read six books in a week. I still have that hungry mind, but now I need my eyes and hands free... so I've been devouring podcasts.

They've been becoming a huge part of my life and when I was in America the first few months I barely had any internet. Then I bought a cheap pre paid phone that had "unlimited" internet. That is, one gig of high speed and then unlimited slow internet. But I discovered, if I allowed for a nice buffering time, I could listen to my podcasts again. And it made me feel more human. I realized I really love the media.

So I'm thinking about starting some podcasts.

Ryan is an audiophile, so I want his imput on equipment (though I'll probably start with something cheap and if it goes well upgrade.) There's no way you'll be listening to anything in a few weeks, because my plan is to record 12-15 episodes of each podcast (and I'm thinking of doing at least two) before I release the first one. This will give me a nice buffer, so unlike with my blog if life gets in the way one week I won't be so ridiculously inconsistent.

I'm not giving up this blog or anything, and now I'm back. I will be blogging at least once a week from here on out. However, I do think things are going to be different.

Things you can expect to see on the blog:

Some nice deep posts I'm still wrestling with, especially about the Lord
Recaps of my trip to America
Updates on Dreamer

I'm sure there will be more, but that's what I know I'll write.

Love to you all.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

He is Risen!

Hello! We are still in America, still not easy to update. I have missed the blog but it's also given me some time to do some soul searching of what I want to do here, and when I return I think it will be better than ever.
In the meantime:

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