Monday, April 28, 2008

M For Mommy


D for Daddy and R for Me!
According to Lilypad Princess at least. After finishing Lilypad Dad's birthday painting, I gave LP a large sheet of paper to keep painting. She told me what each letter meant as she painted them.

M for Mommy
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D for Daddy
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R for Me
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A Birthday Present

With a paintbrush, a canvas, and 4 colors of paint, Lilypad Princess put her artistic talent to work to create a birthday present for Lilypad Dad.
Painting

Painting

The finished piece, all set to be hung in his locker.
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Friday, April 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Lilypad Dad!


A very happy 33rd birthday to my better half! I'm so sorry that it wasn't more of a celebration for you, but we will make up for it next weekend and when we all have an entire week together in Disney.

Everyday I am thankful that you came into my life. You are a wonderful husband and an amazing father and I can't imagine going through life without you by my side.

Making Cupcakes

Lilypad Princess told me that Lilypad Dad had to have cake for his birthday. So last night I measured out everything she would need, then stood back to let her work.

She started off by cracking the eggs into the bowl. She wasn't very happy about it getting on her hands, but she did a great job, no shells in the bowl!
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Next she poured in the pre-measured water and oil.
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Then in went the cake mix, not a speck fell missed the bowl.
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Time to mix, mix, mix.
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As she was filling the pan with the liners, I was being amazed with how neat the whole process had been.
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I must have jinxed myself.
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Or I just should have known better than to encourage her to take the batter outside of the bowl.
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But she got them all filled!
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In action, including a song.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Dentist: Take 3 = Success!

This morning we took Lilypad Princess to the dentist one more time. Today we visited a pediatric dentist instead of just taking her to ours to see if she would be more comfortable. She had lots of fun playing with all the toys in the waiting room before we were called, so she was already more comfortable than the last two attempts.

When we walked in to the room she was very excited to see a chair that was just her size. She climbed right up and made herself comfortable.
In the Dentist Chair
She didn't like the covers on the arms of the chair, so she kept pulling them off. Then she told us about all the animals that were brushing their teeth in the pictures around the room. She got up for a minute to check out the little mouse in the corner, but then she realized that there was a tv above the chair. She settled back for a moment to check out the cartoons.
In the Dentist Chair
She was happy to open her mouth and let the dentist take a look, but wasn't too happy when the dentist started wiping her back teeth with gauze to try to figure out what the bright green stuff in her teeth was (it turns out she ate a crayon just before we left the house!). She let the dentist count her teeth using the mirror, but wasn't very happy when she saw the sharp object she picked up next.
Not so sure about this
(Notice Bear is in her hands, he made everything much easier to handle)
She needed a little hand-holding and there were a few tears during the probe exam, and in the beginning of the polishing. She sat up between each one asking if it was all done now. But once she realized the spinning brush tickled, she let the dentist finish without a fight. I think she also liked the watermelon toothpaste that she chose.
Teeth cleaning
After the polishing was over the dentist used a new Dora toothbrush to apply the foam flouride, which Lilypad Princess got to bring home, and then flossed her teeth. LP was very good for that part, she sat up, kept her mouth wide open for the dentist, and didn't even need to have her hands held. I think she liked the fact that the Dr. Waldman is much faster at flossing than I am.
Once everything was all done, she was given her choice of stickers and was allowed to choose a prize from the treasure chest. After alot of consideration and thought, Lilypad Princess became the proud owner of a mini-slinky. She has talked about her "spring" all day.
Treasure Chest

One More From Today

A song, A Treasure Chest, and Snow

It never fails to amaze me how many different places her imagination takes her, all at the same time.


A Blast From The Past

As I was trying to figure out how to add the new story video, I found these two that I had uploaded a long time ago but forgot about. I can't believe that my baby has changed so much in such a short time.

3 months old


11 months old

Once Upon A Time...

...a little girl told a story.

video

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Food411.com

Another new site I came across tonight is Food411.com. This is a directory of everything on the Web related to food finds, online food shopping opportunities; gourmet foods online, ingredients, recipes, regional specialties, food blogs, unique food gifts, and meals delivered--each and every listing has been carefully reviewed & hand-selected..

Looking for sites to order baked goods? There are over 75 links, each with a short review so you'll know what you're getting. Need a gift for the foodie in your life? Check out the Kitchen Gadgets section, with more than 50 suggestions. The same goes for food literature, wines, chocolates, kitchenware, meals delivered to your house and about a dozen other categories.

I was really excited to find an entire section on organic foods. I have bookmarked this one to go back to for new ideas, foods to try, or places to find specific things I'm looking for.

True Mom Confessions

Some days I feel like I am a bad mom. I know that isn't true but I feel guilty for getting tired of being Mrs. Potts, Chip, and Beast while Lilypad Princess is Belle for the 100th time (and my throat hurts from trying to do Beast's voice) and for not giving it my all.

I just found this site today, True Mom Confessions, where other moms do some anonymous commiserating about motherhood. In fact, the featured confession of the day is, "I don't know how to "play Barbies" with my daughters. It just doesn't come natrual to me. Besides, I get too frustrated getting those stupid shoes to stick on their feet." Taking a few minutes for myself to read what some others mother have to say reminded me that I'm not alone in getting frustrated sometimes and that it in no way makes me a bad mom. And some of the confessions are funny stories about kids and make you laugh, another way to get over any frustrations or guilt.

A warning though, there are some really sad posts mixed in as well. Some of them contain alot of anger or hurt behind them. They are beyond frustration and I hope they aren't real. Don't go to the site if you are having an emotional day.

Bzzz: Oust® Surface Disinfectant & Air Sanitizer


About a month ago I got a new package from BzzAgent*. The new product they sent me to try was Oust® Surface Disinfectant & Air Sanitizer.

According to the company, Oust Surface Disinfectant & Air Sanitizer kills more than 99.9% of germs (including cold & flu viruses) on hard surfaces. It is also specially formulated to kill odor-causing bacteria in the air to eliminating odors rather than just covering them up. It kills bacteria like Staph and Salmonella, in addition to a variety of viruses and fungi.

The first thing I noticed when I sprayed the Clean Scent Oust (they also have Citrus scent and Outdoor scent)into the air was the light scent. Some air fresheners can be really overpowering, have a very strong chemical smell, or make me sneeze when I spray them. The scent of the Oust was light, pleasing, and didn't make me (or the cat who was in the room at the time) sneeze.

I use it as an air freshener down in the basement. Sydney has a bad habit of needing to use the litter box as soon as I go down to do laundry. I guess she likes company or something. Now I spray the air as soon as she's done scratching so that I don't have to go running up the stairs for breathable air.

I have found a couple of uses for it as a hard surface disinfectant. I have been using it to spray the inside of the diaper pail whenever we change the bag. It has really made a difference, the plastic pail itself no longer smells. The Oust dries quickly so by the time I'm ready to put a new plastic bag in it's ready. The products we have tried before either pooled in the bottom of the pail and left a bad smell on their own after a while, or took a long time to dry requiring us to leave the plastic bag out until totally dry.

I have also used it to disinfect the counters after preparing raw meat or chicken. For our everyday surface cleaner we use a non-toxic, green cleaner. But it is not a disinfectant. So after cleaning the counters I spray a light mist of the Oust. It dries quickly, leaves no residue on the counters, and doesn't streak.

BzzAgent sent me coupons for other people to try Oust for free along with my two cans. I have one coupon left, if anyone is interested in trying it out just let me know. I'll send it out to the first person who asks.

*Click here for my previous post about BzzAgent

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Making A Rainbow

making a rainbow

Already In Bloom

While we wait for the new seeds to grow and bloom, here's a look at some of the flowers already brightening up our lily pad.

Pink Tulips
Red Tulip
flowers
White Tulips
Daffodils in the backyard
red tulip
hyacinth

Planting The Seeds

We finally got out and planted all of our seeds this morning. Lilypad Princess, Lilypad Dad, and Uncle Dave did lots of hard work getting the new garden ready and planting some additional seeds in the exisiting gardens. In the new garden we planted a shade flower mixture since it is mostly underneath the trees. By the back corner of the house we added some basil and cilantro to the chives that are already growing. On each side of the kitchen door steps we added lavendar, and we surrounded our butterfly bush with a mixture of butterfly attracting flowers. I cannot wait to see all the hard work pay off, and I know that LP is going to spend hours watching the butterflies in our yard.

Adding some more potting soil to the new garden
planting a garden

Getting the dirt ready for the seeds
Digging the dirt

Watering the seeds
watering the seeds

Fun with water
Gotcha Daddy!

Tada!
Tada!

Good thing they were old clothes!
All that dirt

Hopefully it won't be long before I'll have some pictures of the new plants and flowers to add to the blog as well.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Our Little Explorer

Little Explorer

Lilypad Princess cannot wait for the butterflies to come back. The first thing she did once the weather turned nice was pull out her butterfly net and bug house. Saturday afternoon she and Lilypad Dad went on a bug hunt.

Checking out the bug

I'm not sure what this little bug was, but she checked it out up close with her magnifying class, then carried him around in the bug house for a while. But she is very good about letting the bugs and butterflies go, when she thinks they have been gone too long and miss their mommies she opens the house and sends them home.

Bug Hunting

Backyard in Progress

OK, I guess I'm going to have to put the rest of the pictures in tomorrow, I'm having a little problem with Flickr tonight. I already published this by accident, but I'll finish filling in photos tomorrow and I'll publish the other posts I have written.

Daffodils in the backyard

Lilypad Dad was off this weekend and we spent some time working in the backyard. He finished tearing down the random steps and stage next to the garage (we still can't figure out what that was for) and used all the bricks to create a little patio next to the porch. We're going to put the grill and sandbox over there to get them out from under the trees. He also pulled up the bricks that ran along one side of the real patio and we're going to turn that into a new flower bed.

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I had to make a run to Sam's Club for more diapers, and found a great deal on some solar lights. I picked them up and we used them to outline the patio and the walkway to the frontyard.

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While Lilypad Dad and I were busy installing the lights, Lilypad Princess was busy planting her own garden. She planted a stick, pinecone, daffodil, and dried flower in the ground.

My New Toy


Everyone needs to get a toy for your birthday, no matter how old you are. This weekend we finally got out to get my birthday present, my toy for this year. It is a Polar F6 Heart Rate Monitor. Now I can really make the most of my workouts. And as the weather gets nicer, I can turn my walks with Lilypad Princess into useful workouts as well by making sure that my heart rate reaches my target zone while pushing her on her bike.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Look For The Bubbles


Nana and PopPop, make sure to look for the bubbles Lilypad Princess sent you. We were in the backyard blowing bubbles the other day and as she watched them float off into the sky, she told me that they were going to Nana and PopPop's house. Please let us know when they get there.


Flickr photo

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Popcorn & a Movie


Earlier this week Lilypad Princess and I shared our first bowl of popcorn. She loved it, and it brought back so many memories of my childhood for me. So tonight with Lilypad Dad home, I decided to start the tradition again.

After a long day working and playing in the backyard, Lilypad Princess had breakfast for dinner, took a Princess shower then Lilypad Dad got her into her pajamas. Once she was all clean and ready for bed, I made a big bowl of popcorn and the three of us snuggled onto the couch together to enjoy the popcorn and watch Snow White together. Lilypad Princess sat in the middle with the bowl in her lap and dug right in. She is definitely her mommy's daughter, she loves popcorn. I think she could eat the whole bowl by herself. But she was very good about sharing and we all shared some quiet time that I hope will lead to the same special memories for LP that I cherish.

A Dinner Conversation

While having dinner at the kitchen table tonight, a beautiful cardinal landed on the bush right outside the window. We watched him fly around the yard for a few minutes. The following conversations went like this.

Lilypad Princess: I catch him on my finger?
Lilypad Mom: No honey, we can't catch him on our fingers.
LP: (Remembering the bird exhibit at the aquarium and demonstrating) I put my finger out and the bird sits on my finger.
LM: Those were special birds. The ones in our backyard are just to look at, they don't sit on our fingers.
LP: The bird flies in backyard and I say "Hi Red Bird" he say "Hi Baby Lillian", I not baby Lillian, I big girl Lillian.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Lilypad Likes: K'NEX

I was recently given the opportunity to try out and review 3 new K'NEX building sets. At first I wasn't too sure if I'd be a good match for the review, Lilypad Princess is still too young to play with them and I've never been much of a brick builder. But I was curious about them and I know that Hunter and Cole would be great reviewers after me. So I decided to give it a shot.

I received three of the new sets, 2 from the Rescue Assortment and a Dueling Racers set.



Rescue Assortment: Looking for a creative outlet for your little helper? The K’NEX Rescue Assortment includes 4 rescue-themed building sets that let kids building police cars, fire engines, ambulances and medivac helicopters. Each set – Police, Fire, Ambulance and Rescue – includes instructions for a lead and alternate build. For ages 5+ yrs. Price: $4.99.




Dueling Racers: Speed-minded youngsters can build their very own motorized race cars! The set includes instructions to build four batter-powered race cars (two at a time), and comes complete with 132 pieces, 2 motors, as well as K’NEX rods, connectors and bricks. For ages 7+ yrs. Price: $19.99.

After they came I sat down with the Police Rescue set to start, thinking that since it was the smallest, it would be the easiest. The instructions were very easy to follow and in no time at all I had police car zipping across the living room floor. A few minutes later, all the bricks were rearranged into a police helicopter with spinning blades. I quickly moved on to building the Fire Rescue set into a firetruck and boat, then followed the included instructions for using both sets to build a mega model.

At that point I was hooked. I was ready to move on the Dueling Racers. This set is definitely more involved than the Rescue Sets (which explains the differences in recommended ages) but still had good instructions to follow. The hardest part I found was getting the cars apart again once they were together. The set comes with 2 instruction booklets and pieces to build two cars at the same time. So 2 kids can build together, then race their motorized cars. They can even change them around to a different style then race again. The motors made them quick cars, racing easily across our living room floor.

After the fun play was over, I took a look at them through my parent view. I really like the fact that clear instructions are given so that a child can build the vehicles without becoming frustrated, but there is plenty of opportunity to change it up and use their imagination as well. And the entire time they are building they are working on their fine motor skills. The company also makes me feel good about buying theor products. They are committed to environmental sustainability and their green initiatives have made them a leader in the plastics industry. They have received over 200 awards, most from from kid-testing panels for groups like the Canadian Toy Testing Council, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, National Parenting Center, Parents Magazine, Sesame Street Parents, Dr. Toy and more.

I can't wait for Lilypad Princess to be old enough to use K'NEX. They have KID K'NEX for ages 3 and up, that let them build animals and cars. I will definitely be looking for these for her next birthday! In the meantime, I am going to pass the Dueling Racers and the Rescue sets on to Hunter and Cole. Once they have had a chance to try them out I will post their reviews for you as well.

Lilypad Likes: Olive Kids is 10!


Olive Kids is turning 10 and to celebrate they are hosting a contest with over $1000 worth of prizes. Head on over to their site to enter the contest, and take a look around at the cute bedding, bedroom accessories, and great placemats.

A few months ago I won a set of placemats and luggage tags through a blog giveaway (click here to see my previous post). The quality is great, they have all held up really well to constant use. Lilypad Princess likes to pick the placemat that she's going to use for dinner and they make her excited about sitting down at the table. We put one of the luggage tags on her carry on bag for our trip to OK, we had close to 20 people comment on how cute it was and ask where we got it. I will definitely be taking a look at what they have for bedding when we are ready to move her to a bed.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

No Surgery For Me!

I've been having alot of knee problems the last few months, especially going up and down the stairs. I put off having it checked out for a while because I was afraid of what they would say. I went to the orthopedic surgeon this morning and I'm happy to report that I don't need surgery at this point!

I have to start taking Motrin to bring the swelling down, and start doing some physical therapy. He gave me the excerises to do at home, I'm hoping I can make that work so I don't have to try to arrange babysitting for LP to go to physical therapy every week.

Hopefully the combination of these two things (plus weight loss) will be enough to stop the pain behind the kneecap, and the ligiment pain is just a reaction to that and not a tear. I am so happy to not have to worry about surgery right now, I can't imagine trying to run around after LP,getting her in and out of the bathtub, car, crib etc. after surgery!

Happy Birthday Uncle Joe!

joe

Wishing a very happy 34th birthday to LP's Uncle Joe. He is Lilypad Dad's brother (as if you couldn't tell from the picture right?)We hope you have a fun-filled day and that we will see you soon!

(Yes, I originally posted this on the 14th. That's the last time I'll listen to Lilypad Dad when it comes to his family's birthdays! Sorry Joe!)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Friends and Sun

There is nothing better than an outdoor playdate, unless it's the first outdoor playdate of the spring. Alessandro and his mom came over to play in the backyard with us today. It was a very busy afternoon, full of cars, sand, soccer, chalk, and swings.

Going for a ride in the jeep
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Giving him a little push in the police car
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Returning the favor with a push on the swings
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A little sidewalk art
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Time out for a permicmic
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Picking some flowers
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She might make a pretty good soccer goalie
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The kids were having so much fun that Lilypad Princess skipped her nap today. She was so exhausted that she fell asleep sitting up while I made her dinner.

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