Sunday, November 27, 2011

Oh, what are the Holidays without cheesy family traditions the entire family actually really hates.


So. So. Painful.

In every family shot, someone is either frowning or just about to start crying.

The holiday photos turned out cute the first year. Last year with a boisterous little toddler, as least we got some good outtakes. This year I just felt like a total ass for dragging my family there.

It was pointed out Mike and I take much better quality pictures of the kids than in this staged, cheesy environment. But maybe I wanted Mick to have his cheesy 1st Christmas pictures too.

Next year I will make everyone put on holiday sweaters, but we will have Aunt Pat over to take pictures of us on our couch.

**I'm updating this post with one outtake that is too bad to not share.

The PERFECT picture if we were making evil Holiday photos. Big Brother about to use the candy cane as a weapon against little brother.


The ONE picture that turned out good:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Killian's Nook


Killian has created a little nook for himself and his stuffed animals in between our bed and our window. He likes to play there during the day and sleep there at night. Last night before he fell asleep, we could hear him whispering, "Close your eyes, animals." This morning he said, "I'm going to stay in my nook all day!"

Bear Attack










Saturday, November 12, 2011

Killian & Cormac

I love this series of pictures so much because they really show typical interaction between the boys these days.

Mick eyes something he wants that Killian has. Killian is unsuspecting.

Mick goes for the toy and Killian is not happy. Noooooo, Mick!

Mom has to intervene.

Happy when they both have their own toys.

Mick loves his brother SO much. He loves to bury his head on people he loves. Killian is thinking he's touching me.

Love these boys.

Where's 2011?

Killian loves the calendar they have at school. I know how badly he wants to play with it (take all the pieces out and put them back in), but he's not supposed to play with it.  So I wanted to get him one for home. I found one online for $19, but Mike insisted he really wanted to make it himself. (Of course, he spent $20 on supplies.) But it was a fun project to do with Killian. (And a good activity to do on 11-11-11?)


So here is Daddy's version. He says it's "endearing."


I know they use the calendar to discuss days of the week and birthdays during circle time, but I really had no idea how much Killian knew about the Gregorian calendar until we started putting the calendar together. He kept saying "I need more months!" "Where are the days of the week?" Then it sounded like he was saying "Mango Lunes?" And we realized he was saying "Domingo Lunes" (Spanish for "Sunday Monday").

This morning he ran up to me and said, "I'm missing years! Where's two thousand and eleven?"

I know at 2 years old, he can't really have much of a concept of time (he does seem to understand days of the week though), but it's really cute to hear him say "two thousand and eleven!"

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Day in the Life

A month ago I made the decision to pull Mick out of daycare, thanks to a new (very boring, but very flexible work-from-home) job I started in September.

Once I put in my (required month's) notice at daycare, I eagerly began anticipating the extra time I would be able to spend with Mick, while he is at this super cute age, crawling all over the house, but not mobile enough to get into serious trouble. I tried to get as much done as I could while he was still in daycare (even submitted our 4th quarter taxes early!) and interviewed a few mother's helpers for the days I would need some help. The ladies at daycare all agreed - oh, Mick is so easy, you could definitely work with him at nice to be able to keep him home with you...

So first day home without daycare: my sweet, happy baby is transformed into a baby who had just looked into the bucket of truth. Thanks to teething pains, he was moaning/wailing/howling all day long. It was not the picture I had envisioned of sitting on the floor working next to a happy baby crawling around playing. The teething pain continued all week...

One morning I notice how Killian seemed to be distracting Mick from his teething pains. Mick was busy following Killian around the house, watching him go about his business. The two of them were getting into some shenanigans together.


I think, awesome, I'll keep Killian home a little longer this morning before taking him to school next door. Having him around is making it easier!  ....  Ha.

Then it's time for Mick's morning nap, and I go into our bedroom to nurse him and put him to sleep. A few minutes later Killian walks in the room with what looks like lotion all over his hand. I asked him where he got the lotion? Turns out... it's not lotion. It (was) a stick of butter that was left out near the stove. Killian decided his sensory activity for the morning would be to smear a STICK OF BUTTER over half of our house. It was EVERYWHERE. There was only an empty butter wrapper left behind.

He was very sheepish about it and when I told him he can never play with butter again, he was quick to nod and say "ok!" I had seen him eyeing the butter before and he seemed relieved to have gotten it out of his system.

So the first week home with Mick had some challenges for sure, but overall, I feel much more fulfilled and balanced by being home with him. I am so lucky to be able to snuggle with this guy during the day.

I also love that since I've spent the whole day with Mick, when Killian comes home from school, I don't feel torn between the two boys, trying to squeeze in quality time with the both of them. I can happily pass Mick off to Dad, and go have some great quality Killian time.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Economics Joke and Philosophy for Life

Some people have favorite quotes from religious or literary works that are significant to them, inspiring, or remind them of their values.

I have an economics joke.

I think of it almost daily, and it sums up a lot for me.

Two economists walked past a Porsche showroom. One of them pointed at a shiny car in the window and said, "I've always wanted one of those." "Well, obviously not," the other replied.

In economics this is called "the principle of revealed preference," meaning your preferences are revealed by your actions

Another analogy I found while googling for this joke my econ friend told me years ago:

"A smoker's statement that he puts infinite value on his own life may help to explain what he believes, but it is less useful for understanding what he will do than is the kind of value expressed when he takes a cigarette out and lights it."

Yes. It's easy to have beliefs or principles or wants. But what do we actually do? That is all that ultimately matters in economic theory... and in life.

When I hear myself say "I really want .... "  my inner economist challenges me and says, "Well, do you?"

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Activity Table

I always think I'm more laid back and don't have many peculiarities about "things having to be a certain way," but I've come to realize something about myself: My mind is much more clear and focused when my surroundings are de-cluttered and my environment is set up purposefully. And I can tell Killian is the same.

Since Killian was 15 months old (about the age where kids generally stop shoving everything into their mouths), his room at school has had a "sensory table" that houses new objects and materials each day (purple sand and seashells, soapy water and baby dolls, fake grass and bugs, etc). Killian has always looked forward to seeing what would be in the sensory table each morning. 

I've wanted to do something simliar for him at home, but don't want to have messy stuff (sand, etc) in the house.

I finally really organized all of the toys in our house, put most of them in his closet, limiting what is displayed on his shelves, and developed a rotation system. Now when he comes home from school every day, there is a different toy or activity sitting on the table. The less often he sees a toy, the more he is interested in it. And the less cluttered and more structured our house is, the more focus he has on his activities.  This arrangement has lead to him asking to watch his TV shows less because he's so busy in independent, creative play. HOORAY. I didn't like how often he had been wanting to watch one of his shows and I really don't want Mick growing up with a TV on in the background.

So here are some different toys and activities from the past month. I leave it out until the next morning and then put a new one out before he comes home from school the next day.  And these pictures are also proof that Killian once had a Billy Ray Cyrus haircut.

Airport/Crane Set from Aunt Pat and Cousin Patrick:

"Mom's Special Toys" - a shoebox full of almost 30-year old little Care Bears, Smurfs, and Strawberry Shortcake figurines. The Strawberry Shortcake figurines still smell yummy!

Inexpensive train set from Ikea:

Killian's "coloring book" (a big binder I got from the hospital about how to take care of babies):

Nativity set. Killian kept saying,  "Yeah, activity set." And he kept asking "Where's the cow?"

Another inexpensive wood magnet crane toy from Ikea:

And of course, playdoh.

Not on the regular activity table, but one night, we got out the "rainy day" box which had those things spongy pill things you drop in water and then they turn into different shapes. Do they have a name? Killian liked watching the dinosaurs come alive. (Friends and Family: if you come across these, this would be a good Christmas present for Killian :) We're almost out. They are cheap, just kind of hard to find.)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011