Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Day of Firsts

December 1st, 2007 was a day of firsts. It was the first real day of snow this winter. Isaac was too little last year to play in the snow, so it was his first time playing in the white stuff. He loved it! The boys built a snowman with their daddy. Not only was it the first snowman of the season it was the first either of them had ever built.

Daddy bought a snowmobile this year. Although there was only a couple inches of snow on the ground Andrew convinced daddy to get it out and ride it around the yard. So Andrew had his first ride on a snowmobile. Daddy hopes that Andrew will grow up to be a snowmobile man like himself.

We are hopeful that this day of firsts will not be our last this winter. Daddy is planning on many fun days of snowmobiling and sledding. So lets all pray for snow!

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Zoo Fun

We went to visit KC's brother in Phoenix this Thanksgiving holiday. It was great to be able to leave the cold and go down to the nice mild almost warm weather in Arizona. For a family activity the day after Thanksgiving we went to a local zoo, the Wildlife World Zoo.

At this zoo they haveplaces where you feed the animals. The first feeding place was the Lory Parrot feeding area. You hold an apple out in your hand, hopefully you soon have a new Parrot friend. They only let you feed them for 15 minutes at a time because they have fast digestive systems (watch out!). We all got to have at least one parrot eat from our hands, all except Isaac who fell asleep in his stroller right before we went in. KC had a Snow White experience when he twice had more than one parrot on his arms. Two even landed on him where there wasn't an apple in sight.

The second feeding place was a petting zoo for the kids. Baby goats, llamas, and deer were all available for petting. Isaac didn't want to leave. He loved all the Isaac sized animals that he could touch.

The last feeding place was the Giraffe Tower. We climbed up to be level with the Giraffe's, paid a quarter for some food and got to drop it on the Giraffe's lengthy tongue. Sometimes the tongue touched your hand, ewww slimy.
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It has been so fun lately to do activities like this with the boys. They are getting to a really fun age where we can interact with them and they like to play with each other. The 10 hour drive to and from Phoenix wasn't even that bad. They are such good travelers. I guess the portable DVD player and stash of Disney movies helped too.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Barber Shop Open

Today the Family Barber Shop was open for business. It's a modest establishment located in our downstairs bathroom/laundry room. The first customer of the day was young Isaac (pictured right). He was starting to look like a little hobo so he got a bit of a trim with emphasis on the back and sides. Daddy helped by keeping the little customer from grabbing the scissors and moving too much. We keep his hair longer because he looks so darn cute with it long.

Since the next customer, Andrew, fell asleep while waiting, Daddy came next. I have had a lot of experience cutting Daddy's hair and he's usually pretty happy with the results. After getting over a nap, Andrew came next. He was a unhappy little boy at first since he decided he'd rather watch Little Einsteins. His hair is actually more difficult than it looks since half of his hair likes to go straight out of his head and the other half hugs it. When he was little he was described as being "naturally cool" since he had a natural mohawk (pictured left at 10 months old). It's not that bad now but it still sticks up a bit around the crown.

After cleanup the Family Barber Shop closed down and won't be open again for at least another month. It's not a bad part-time job but there isn't much money in it. I do get tips in the form of kisses and hugs though.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Privacy and Blogging

When I first started this blog my husband mentioned that I should be careful about what I post about our family, as in full names, birthdates, location and so on. At first I thought I'd use nicknames for my boys. That felt uncomfortable and slightly unnecessary. All of the names in our family are quite common. Surprisingly to some, our last name is too. For example I googled my first and last name a bit ago and found many pages of references to people with my name and not one referencing me. Anyway I wasn't sure how far to take privacy on the internet.

Today I read this post and it made me think again. The author talks about how pictures of people's children have been used improperly. How careful should I be about my children's names? How worried should I be about having some pictures of them on the internet? I have another website that I don't use a ton, but this one has names and pictures and birthdates and all. It's the main website I use to post pictures. What should I do about that? I don't know.

As for Mom Joy, I'm going to stick with first names. No references to my other website and not too many pictures. I urge other blogging moms and friends of mine to think about this and decide what is best for them.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Fun and Educational Toys

I started writing an email to share some links for some great toys with my sisters and mom, but then I thought, I could post this on my blog. So here I am.

Here are some toys that I found that you might like for your kids. (or grandma can buy for the kids). Melissa and Doug toys are really nice, well made toys. Andrew already has some Melissa and Doug puzzles that he likes. For some reason I like the idea of toys made of wood so here are the links to a website with some of the toys I liked. There are a ton more great toys there and this isn't the only place to buy them.

Standard Unit Blocks
These blocks are just like the ones that KC and his brother's played with as kids, we have a big bag full of them. Andrew loves to line them up to make a road or buildings.




Cutting Food Box
I thought this toy is a great idea. Velcro holds the slices together and they use the "knife" to separate them.





Lace & Trace Pets
This seems like it would be good for times when they need to sit still for a while like in church or on car trips.






Magnetic Responsibility Chart
This isn't a toy, but it seems it would be very useful. I've been trying to think of a way I can make some sort of job chart for Andrew that would have graphical representations of chores since he can't read yet. So this sort of does that for me and better.








Shape, Model, and Mold Play Set
I guess you can get versions of these all over, but I liked the wood thing and how it seems like little toddler's fingers could use them easily.







See & Spell
No not the old electronic game. I really like this because it combines a puzzle feel with letters and pictures. This is one I am seriously considering getting Andrew

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Einstein Generation

Today I realized my kids are part of the Einstein Generation. Andrew was on the computer playing a Little Einsteins game on the Playhouse Disney website. Isaac meanwhile was watching a Baby Einstein DVD on the TV. Isaac was hearing music from Bach and Vivaldi while Andrew was interacting and 'conducting' music from Beethoven, Mozart, and Grieg.

Andrew has been watching Baby Einstein DVD's from 6 months of age. He started watching Little Einsteins 6 months ago. Guess what he hums while playing.... classical music. I ask him what he's singing... "Little Einsteins" he says. He gets on our piano and announces that he's going to play a sad song. Sure enough he goes to the low notes and plays his 'song' slow and sad. Then he plays a happy song and uses the higher notes and plays them lightly and fast.

How will the kids of the "Einstein Generation" turn out? I don't know but they certainly will be more familiar with classical music. I can't help but be reminded of the animated short, "Jack-Jack Atack" that came with "The Incredibles" DVD. I love the eyes of Jack Jack once the babysitter turns on the classical music. "Ready for some neurological stimulation?"

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pacifier Problem

Minutes after he was born, Isaac was sucking his fingers. Some babies don't like pacifiers, but there was no question whether or not Isaac would take one. He loved to suck on his pacifiers, two at a time if he could manage it. Isaac is also very cuddly both in a good way and a not so good way. Sometimes he'll just cling to me as a 28 lb toddler and insist on being cuddled and held. Sometimes I just can't do it, so instead I'll try to distract him with a combination of his pacifier and something interesting.

My husband and I went on a trip with his family for over a week this past summer. My mom watched the boys for me at her house. She made the rule with him that the pacifier stayed in his crib and he only got it at nap times or at night. From what I understand he followed my mom around the house ( he doesn't like to be alone in a room) and whined/cried. She refused to carry him around, he's just too big to do that and he didn't have his pacifier either. I understand that by the end of the week though he was getting used to this. YEAH!

BUT old habits die hard and I tried to keep the pacifier away but I just couldn't do it for long enough. Soon I was turning to it when I just needed him to stop clinging and crying long enough for whatever task I was trying to get done. So now he's 1 1/2 and his pacifiers are becoming good friends. If he has one and finds another he'll switch them.. then he looks at the old one and switches back, and so on until he find something else to play with. If he sees one on the counter he'll find a way up there to get it. He just loves them, he doesn't really need them, except to help him go to sleep, but he really likes them. I like them too.

My husband along with my mom, who gets after me when she sees him with it, are both saying that I need to take him off it, cold turkey. I hear this and my mind says.... "But, but, but... what will I do?"

So I guess it comes down to this... the problem is more breaking my pacifier habit than breaking his. It seems a lot of parenting involves training the parents more than training the kids. I need to figure out how I can be Isaac's mommy without resorting the pacifier. Right now I don't have enough resolve to go cold turkey. I think for now I am up to limiting usage to sleeping times, I can do that much.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

No Baby Here

Isaac had his 18 month doctor's appointment a few days ago. He is now 28 lbs and 35 inches tall. He is no doubt a big boy. But he is a cute boy.. yes he is!

Anyway he needed some shots including his flu shot. Andrew needed his flu shot too so I brought him in before Isaac got his. He watched Isaac get poked twice and start crying. Then I said, "Come here Andrew." Well he was no dummy, he yelled... "NO, I not a baby!" Poor kid, he thought only babies got shots at the doctor's office. Well he was a good sport and let the nurse poke him. He didn't even cry.

Halloweeny Time

Well the long awaited Halloween has arrived and is gone. The boys, Andrew and Isaac had a lot of fun trick 'o treating in the neighborhood. We didn't go to all the houses, we actually skipped most, and I used the double stroller to make trick 'o treating with two little kids easier. It was also great weather for the activity, unlike last year.

Andrew insisted that he should be a snowman. When I asked Andrew what Isaac should be he first suggested a "hole". I'm not sure how one could be a "hole" but maybe Andrew has an idea. Mommy was to be a Ghost and daddy was to be a "bush" both according to Andrew. Neither of us actually dressed up, which Andrew didn't really seem to notice. Isaac ended up being a pumpkin. I was planning on making both of their costumes, but I luckily found a homemade pumpkin costume at Savers that was similar to what I was thinking and better. For Andrew I had some white fabric, batting, and felt already. It was fairly easy to make. So basically I only had to purchase some sweats for them to wear underneath. It certainly took a lot less time than last years costumes which took me a month to sew.

So here they are... Andrew as "Snowman"


And Isaac as "Pumpkin Boy"

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Long-time Blog Reader, First-time Blog Poster

I have been reading blogs for quite a long time. Well "long time" relative to the web world. I believe I found my first blogs back in the summer of 2002 just after starting my web design job. Soon I was immersing myself in daily RSS feeds from various design blogs trying to learn as much as possible for my new "profession". After going part-time due to having some kids I sorta stopped reading blogs until recently when I've found a couple jems created by other moms like me.

So I thought, why not have a place of my own to periodically share something of interest, keep family updated, and so on. I do host a neglected website already, but found it difficult to keep updated on my own. Blogger is a bit easier in that area, so maybe Mom Joy won't be as neglected.

When I have some time, I think I might try to design my own template for this site. Right now it's a lovely shade of pink. Pink isn't really me, but it did say "mom" to me so I used it.

So without further ado, Welcome to Mom Joy.
 
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