Sunday, September 30, 2007

The door that can immobilize children

The girls have this little thing they do that I wish I could get a video of, but since it's always too dark and you're trying to get them to go to sleep, it just wouldn't work.  If you put them down to sleep, sometimes you hear them start to play in the monitor.  Anna has only ever gotten out of her crib and into Cara's crib once, on the first night we changed her crib to a toddler bed. Since then, she has stayed in her own bed like she's supposed to (as far as I know, anyway!).

Anyway, if you hear them playing after you put them down, they're both probably still in their beds.  Cara will just be standing in her crib talking to Anna, and Anna will be standing or sitting up in her bed talking back, and both giggling over who knows what.  When you open the door, they immediately know why you're back in there - you almost don't even have to say a word.  Both of them will literally freeze wherever they are in their beds, and immediately flop down into a laying down position (no matter how uncomfortable it looks), as if you had just emitted some magical burst of power that sapped them of all muscle control which would have allowed them to continue standing or sitting up.  It's hard to describe other than to say it looks like they just fall dead as soon as you open the door.  It's pretty funny, though.

The picture in this entry, by the way, is completely unrelated to this story.  Cara had been sitting on the couch next to Papa Nick.  I was taking a couple pictures of her.  Anna saw this, stopped playing with her PlayDough, and had to come over so I would take a picture of her.  So there she is saying "cheese!!"

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Mama "Jet" and Papa Nick are here visiting from Kansas City.  Beth's niece Kylie when she was little started the Mama "Jet" thing - it's short for "Jeanette" and was the best Kylie could pronounce it when she was little.  We like the name, so we've encouraged it since then (to Mama Jet's chagrin).

A couple nights ago, we were at the dinner table.  Cara got really fussy, and we couldn't figure out what was wrong with her.  She had thrown up in her crib earlier that afternoon for no apparent reason (and she's been fine since).  She first asked for "Banckee!" which we've figured out is her blanky. That appeased her for awhile, then she started saying, "Bet. Bet!!"

We couldn't figure out what "bet" was supposed to be.  She hadn't eaten much dinner, so we though maybe she was asking for bread.  "Bread? Do you want bread??"  "No!! Bet!!"  "No bread? How about meatloaf?"  "No, bet!!"  "How about a cookie?"  "Noooo!! Bet!!! Beeeeeetttt!!!" She was breaking down at this point.

"Bed?? Do you want to go to bed??"  "Yesssssss!!!" said Cara, nodding her head up and down very mechanically.  It was an hour before her normal bedtime, but I guess she was just ready for bed.  I don't think I've heard of a 1 1/2 year old begging to go to bed.  And remember this is the same little girl that will try to entice Anna to come play with her after we've put them both to bed.  We'll hear a little voice saying, "Aaaannnnnaaa…. Aaaannnnnnaaa!" in the monitor once we've left the room.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Daddy Raffi

I was reading some stories to Anna tonight, and in the pile was a book by Raffi.  He's a children's song writer, and the twenty-something guys in my office love to hate him. I'm sure they secretly have all of his CDs.

Anyway, he apparently looks like me, or I look like him, depending on how you look at it.  Anna has seen a picture of Raffi on his CDs before, and has declared several times in the past that it's daddy on the CD.  Well, on this particular book was a picture of Raffi, and upon seeing it, Anna said:
Anna: Look, it's daddy!  It's just like you!
Me: It is? Are you sure that's me?
Anna: I know it's you!!
Anna's pretty darn sure.  Are you?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Great Frederick Fair

We took the girls to The Great Frederick Fair last week.  Lots of animals, lots of rides, lots of food, lots of people.  We all went together on Wednesday night because I was leaving for Chicago the next day.  Anna's best friend Rachael wasn't there, but she still had fun on the rides, wearing that big smile I love to see.

Beth took the girls back to the fair that Friday.  They got to see more animals, and I heard that Cara got an up close greeting from a sheep.  There are more pictures in the photo gallery under Day to Day -> 2007 Fall -> Frederick Fair.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Download and listen to live broadcast of the 9/22/2007 NCC concert at Moody Church in Chicago

I'm back home from the NCC Chicago tour, and I think the link I may have given out for folks to listen to the Moody Church concert wasn't correct - Beth said our concert wasn't on at 8:10pm Eastern time.

Fortunately, my dad recorded the live broadcast off the Internet, so if you missed it, you can download it and listen to it.  It was a wonderful concert, one of my favorites from my 6 years with the choir. Moody Church is the perfect place for choral singing, the repertoire this season is very meaningful, and there were around 4,000 people in attendance, which sounded incredible when everyone in the church was singing together. I apologize if you tried to listen live and couldn't - but here's your second chance:

Download the NCC's 9/22/2007 Moody concert broadcast here.  I recommend you save it to your hard drive first (right click on the link) and play it from there - this is a 92MB file.  Thanks, Dad, for recording this! Note that this is a recording of the internet stream, so it won't be as high quality as if it had been recorded directly from the radio.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sibling rivalry

We were riding in the van this past Sunday, stopping at a few stores. To keep Cara occupied, we gave her a little bag of marshmallows.  Anna loves marshmallows and wanted some, so we told her to ask Cara for some.  She kept screaming and saying she wanted a marshmallow, and we kept telling her to ask Cara nicely for some and stop screaming.  It only seemed to get worse.

Beth finally discovered what the problem was.  Anna was asking Cara nicely for marshmallows.  Cara would then hold out a marshmallow for Anna, but before Anna could take it, she would take it back and eat it, then laugh.  Anna apparently did not find it as funny.

I don't know where Cara might have gotten such a mean streak.  I never did anything to torment my little sister.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Buckey Mouse

We're very much looking forward to our trip to Orlando next month.  We got several "old school" DVDs of old Disney cartoons - Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Chip & Dale, that the girls like to watch, and they're excited to see them "in person."

Anna says it correctly now, but early this year she pronounced "Mickey Mouse" as "Buckey Mouse."  I was able to capture it while Anna was talking to Titi Toni on the phone about coming to visit:  Listen to Anna & Titi Toni discuss Buckey Mouse.

FYI, during that conversation we figured that when Anna was talking about "big drum," she was telling Titi Toni either about the bear & his drum from a Little Einstein video, or she was talking about The Little Drummer Boy, which was her all-time favorite song for awhile.  Also, when she goes off about Gracie, and "this button, and this button," (pointing to buttons on the phone), she was just very excited about going to see Buckey Mouse and was just talking about anything that popped into her head.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Way past our bedtime
Anna and Cara sleep in the same room, but in separate cribs.  They do pretty well - usually when Cara is asleep by the time I bring Anna in, there's no problem.  If Cara isn't all the way asleep, then we'll hear the girls on the monitor talking to each other for a little while before they go to sleep.  Cara will call, "Aaannnnaaa…." until Anna responds.  If we go in to tell them to go to sleep, they fall right into sleeping position, right where they are, as if that's how they had always been, and Cara, at least, pops right back up once we leave.

Anna has been wanting to get into her crib all by herself, so we figured it was time to convert the crib into a toddler bed, with safety rails.  I did that tonight, and we weren't sure what to expect.  Anna gasped with excitement when she saw that she could get in and out all by herself.  After her bedtime stories, I told her many times that she needed to stay in bed.  She wasn't allowed to get out of bed and play.

Well, Cara wasn't quite asleep yet, and I heard the usual play sounds.  Only now I heard more banging than usual (even though many times it's just Cara kicking her crib mattress).  I went upstairs and cracked the door to see what was going on.  Anna was still in her bed, but then I saw that she would purposely slide off her bed between the safety rails, fall to the floor (bang), then get back in, and repeat.  I went in and told her to go to sleep.

A little later, I heard more banging.  Then I heard a toy singing "You Are My Sunshine."  Knowing that toy wasn't in either of their cribs, I again went up to investigate.  I cracked the door, and thought Anna was in her bed - but no, she wasn't there.  I looked around the room, wondering where she went.  Then I looked over and realized that she had gotten out of her bed, somehow climbed her way into Cara's crib, and was just in there playing and giggling with Cara.

I took this picture around 10pm, after we had put the girls, in their separate cribs, at 8:30pm.  Notice that somehow one of Cara's arms escaped from her pajamas.  How could you be mad at these faces?  Anna was sad when we put her back in her bed and took Cara out to rock her to sleep, but thankfully both are (finally) sound asleep now.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

First day of preschool

Anna strapped on her "pack pack" Tuesday and had her first day of preschool.  I wasn't there to see, and they shoo the parents out pretty fast once you drop them off.  But Beth tells me that Anna didn't have any trouble at all when she left - she was probably too distracted with all the new toys to get worried.  Plus she had her best friend Rachael to keep her company.  She keeps telling me how many days it is until she goes to school again, and there's a Curious George story I read to her every night that she loves, about George going to school.  She always says, "Just like I go to school!"  I think she really liked it.

There are a few more pictures in our photo gallery under Day-to-Day, 2007 Fall, 1st Day of Preschool.

More Sesame Place pictures

I've finally put up new pictures from our trip to Sesame Place.  These are pictures our friends took while we were there, plus pictures from the water attractions we visited (including my unwitting trip down the lazy river with a diaper full of poop on my lap).  The pics are in our photo gallery under Vacations and Trips, 2007 Sesame Place - More pics.

Oh, and by the way, Titi Toni, even though Anna inisted on seeing only Titi Edna while we were driving back from Sesame Place, we asked her the other day again if she wanted to see Titi Toni. You'll be happy to hear that this time, she said, "Yes, I think that is a good idea!"

Monday, September 3, 2007

Big girl perks

Tonight we had trouble again getting Anna to eat.  She likes peas, and she likes rice, but for some reason she wouldn't eat the rice, and she was eating the peas one at a time and didn't eat very many.  We eventually gave up, and didn't let her have any cookies for dessert because she didn't eat her dinner.  She seemed to understand.
As I was putting her to bed, we had this conversation:
Me: Goodnight, baby Anna!
Anna:  I'm not baby, I'm big girl!
Me: Oh, you are? Did you know that big girls eat their dinners?
Anna:  No… they get cookies!
I don't know if three year olds understand jokes or not, but she was on the verge of giggling when she said that. After she said it, though, we both laughed.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Not tired of Goofy

I was watching Anna & Cara on Saturday.  Anna had just finished watching several episodes of Goofy on DVD:
Anna: I want another one, Goofy!
Me: You want more Goofy?
Anna: Yes!
Me: Aren't you tired of Goofy?
Anna: No, I'm waking up!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Cara the Catburglar

As I've mentioned in a previous post, Anna has an absolute favorite companion - kitty and blankets (or "keelee and blankets" as she calls it).  The "blanket" is just a cloth diaper, and there must always be two, otherwise it's not right.  The only, and I mean only, time she has ever parted with kitty & blankets was the night after we returned from our trip to Sesame Place, and she wanted to sleep with her new Big Bird doll.  That only lasted one night, though.  Kitty even poops now - Anna will make straining sounds, tell us that kitty's poopy, hold her nose and tell her she smells, and go take care of her diaper.

Anyway, Cara is fully aware that kitty & blankets is sacred to Anna.  This, however, doesn't translate into Cara respecting Anna's most cherished possession.  One of Cara's favorite games is to secretly snatch away kitty & blankets while Anna is distracted with something else and run off with it with big giggles.  When Anna realizes that Cara has kitty & blankets, she starts running after Cara to get them back, and Cara runs even faster and at the last second will throw kitty & blankets in one direction while retreating in the other, like a submarine launching countermeasures for a torpedo.  Other times she'll show me she has kitty & blankets, but when she hears Anna's footsteps approaching from around the corner, she'll throw them to the side as if she never had them.