Friday, February 24, 2017

Parker at Two

Parker turned two at the beginning of the month!

I feel a tad guilty that I never got around to blogging months 11 and 12 for him . . . I'll consider it a success that I did get through 10 months, plus all 12 months of photos (Parker's monthly photos).

There was a week in January that Parker was sick, so he was waking up every night for a couple hours and was pretty fussy while he was up (unless he was eating). He fell asleep on a pillow in our room for a short period one night:
20170106_005328_Parker-at-Two

He wanted to have the big polar bear from my mom in his bed:
20170109_223754_Parker-at-Two

Stuffing his face with chips at the book fair at Evelyn's school. This boy loves to eat.
20170112_184803_Parker-at-Two

Rode the bumper boats at Enchanted Island Amusement Park in Encanto Park. He didn't know what to do, so he just sat in the bumper boat while it puttered around. His expression is funny!
20170129_104959_Enchanted-Island-Bumper-Boat

  • Puts his hands on his hips, not with attitude, just because it's a new thing
  • Loves playing any kind of ball
  • Is very polite. Often says "thank you, mama" or "ah choo, mama" (his equivalent of "bless you")
  • Can say a bunch of words (and recognizes more): mama, daddy (including in Chinese), get up, hold me (in Chinese), more (including in Chinese), cheese, sister (in Chinese), not nice, be nice, grandma, grandpa, eye, mouth, nose, doggy, cat (in Chinese), shiny, Moana, happy, thank you, no thank you, ball, bear (including in Chinese), need help, I see, my turn, shower (in Chinese), I love you (in Chinese), read
  • Learned how to pucker his lips for kisses
  • Gives us hugs if we pretend to cry
  • Says "My Little Pony," but can't pronounce all the words, so he says, "Me me me me me" with the same intonations.
  • Pointed out Dory by name when he saw the character. I didn't even know he knew Dory.
  • Pretended to call Grandma, which I, of course, got on video and sent to Grandma, who very much enjoyed it.
  • Imitates Statler and Waldorf laughing (they're the two old guys from the Muppets)
  • Pretends to bite and be bitten with daddy, so that he can say, "No bite!"
  • Asks to read, and especially likes Pout Pout Fish

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Daddy-Daughter Dance 2017

The daddy-daughter dance at the elementary school was last Friday. This is a new-ish thing to us because it's Evelyn's first year in elementary school. But this kind of thing is right up Greg and Evelyn's alleys because Evelyn is pretty much a daddy's girl.

Evelyn chose to have a family dinner at Waffle House before the dance (nevermind that Greg took them to IHOP the night before since I was working late!). I see that the love of breakfast for a meal other than actual breakfast is being cultivated quite well by Greg, to his current and future benefit.

The two of them, ready for the dance:

Daddy-Daughter Dance 2017 | shirley shirley bo birley Blog

At the dance:

Daddy-Daughter Dance 2017 | shirley shirley bo birley Blog
Daddy-Daughter Dance 2017 | shirley shirley bo birley Blog
Daddy-Daughter Dance 2017 | shirley shirley bo birley Blog

In that last picture, Evelyn's showing off her nails to her friend. I went home a little early last Friday afternoon so that I could have time help her get ready, including painting her nails.

Also, at the dance, they filled out these little questionnaires, which I thought was cute and amusing, therefore it must be immortalized in a blog post, which I will likely reference for future scrapbooking purposes (when I actually get around to scrapbooking all the things I want to scrapbook . . .).

EVELYN Dear daughter, tell me . . .
What's the silliest thing you did in school this year? Talk when my teacher is talking
Who is your hero? Daddy
What do you want to be when you grow up? Candy store helper
If you could only eat one food, what would it be? Candy
If you could go anywhere in the world for a week, where would you go? School
What is your favorite subject in school? Valentine's Day
What is your favorite book? Clifford


GREG Dear Dad, I was wondering . . .
What's the silliest thing you did at work this year? Put on a Snuggie in front of coworkers
Who is your hero? Mama (Greg says Evelyn told him to put that)
What do you want to be when you grow up? An awesome daddy
If you could only eat one food, what would it be? Fried chicken tenders (Greg answered this more like what his favorite food is, not literally what one food he'd eat every day)
If you could go anywhere in the world for a week, where would you go? Germany
What is your favorite subject in school? Math
What is your favorite book? The Hobbit

Friday, February 10, 2017

Doggy Thanks Card from Stamping Smiles Designs

Another piece of snail mail from recently: this doggy thanks card from Ka of Stamping Smiles Designs. Cute!

Doggy Thanks Card from Stamping Smiles Designs | shirley shirley bo birley Blog  | cardmaking, handmade card, snail mail
Doggy Thanks Card from Stamping Smiles Designs | shirley shirley bo birley Blog | cardmaking, handmade card, snail mail

I'm itching to have more free time again to craft. I got some craft time in the week between Christmas and New Year's when I took some time off, but it felt so very short.

I was joking with Greg the other night that before the kids go to bed each night, I think to myself, "After they go to sleep, the night is my oyster!" But by the time they are actually in bed and asleep, I just feel like, "Blah . . . I'll just sit here and watch a show."

Some nights I am actually productive creatively, though. In the last week, I made two more heat transfer vinyl shirts, and I finished (double!) matting and framing a piece of art work. I've got plenty of other crafty projects on my list though, if and when I get to them. I just want to make all the things!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Naomi Loves - 1000 Postcard Challenge

I have an affinity for snail mail, and so I started to follow snail mailer Naomi Bulger on Instagram when I stumbled on it a few months ago.

She's currently doing the 1000 Postcard Project where she's sending unused vintage postcards out (signup is still open, I believe). 1,000 postcards is quite the undertaking, but I'm a little in awe of the effort (and cost)!

I got my postcard in the mail last week:

Naomi Loves 1000 Postcard Challenge | shirley shirley bo birley Blog
Naomi Loves 1000 Postcard Challenge | shirley shirley bo birley Blog

In addition to the postcard, I like the interesting stamps she used. Makes me want to get more interesting stamps for when I send snail mail!

See also:
Tiny Letter (also Naomi Loves snail mail)
My snail mail-related posts

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Packing Lunch and Taking Responsibility

Recently, Evelyn asked to bring her lunch instead of buying lunch at school, which she's done all year so far.

Frankly, her buying lunch at school is more convenient for me and Greg since we don't have to worry about her packing and bring her lunch each day. We're not opposed to her bringing her lunch, however, so we bought her groceries to make sandwiches for lunch while setting the expectation with her that she would be responsible for packing her own lunch.

On Packing Lunch and Taking Responsibility | shirley shirley bo birley Blog

To me, this is a task that a 5-year-old is fully capable of doing, and so it was a reasonable expectation on our part that she be responsible for making and bringing her own lunch.

I'm a believer in holding kids responsible for their age-appropriate assigned chores/tasks - and generally, their actions - while they're young, because the consequences of them failing to take responsibility now are far less than 10, 20, 30, or however many years from now. I did, however, comment to Greg that I think I set a bad precendent the very first day that she brought her lunch because she ran out of time to make her lunch the night before and I - out of the goodness of my heart - made it for her that first day, even though I explictly told her that I made it the first day since I was being nice.

One morning last week, I went in to wake Evelyn up so that she could get ready for school, which made me feel a little bad inside, but is ultimately one of the many things in our day-to-day lives that tests my resolve as a parent (in a do-I-stand-my-ground-or-do-I-let-her-walk-all-over-me kind of way).

Evelyn's words in block quotes, my thoughts in italics:

Did you make my lunch?


No.

I told you to make my lunch!


Oh no you di'int just give me attitude while telling me that you told me to make your lunch. Because not only do I not appreciate the attitude, you did NOT tell me to make your lunch. And even if you did, YOU are the one responsible for making your lunch, not me. (Reinforcing that she's the one responsible for making her lunch is the expectation that was communicated out loud to her that morning).

Daddy told me to read!


Yes, it is true that Daddy told her to go do her daily ready after she'd already started to make her lunch. That doesn't, however, absolve her of lunch-making responsibility, especially considering that she engaged in at least 10-15 minutes of playing Hide-and-Seek right before bed (which I pointed out to her), time that could have been spent making lunch if she hadn't forgotten, which I think is what actually happened.

I can't reach it!


She was referring to the meat and cheese in the fridge. I challenged this when we were talking that morning because in the past, when she's wanted something bad enough that was out of her reach, I have seen her scoot a stool over to the fridge, cabinet, or pantry in order to reach what she wanted. I know she can problem solve, so to me, this wasn't an issue of "I can't," this was an issue of "I forgot to".

I also pointed out to her that while her alarm went off at 6:25 am, she was still laying in bed as of 6:55 am, and in that 30 minutes that she chose to lay in bed, she could've packed her lunch.


What I believe happened is that she realized she forgot to finish packing her lunch and was unhappy about that, so she tried to shift the blame off of herself. I get that to some extent. It's human nature to feel that way and I certainly have done that to Greg in the past (although, I would argue that I've mellowed out some over the years in that respect).

In any case, she did speedily get ready this morning, finished packing her lunch in short order, and also left the house in a better mood than when I first woke her up, but I'm glad I didn't give in because for a split-second when she was giving me 'tude, I wanted to tell her I'd do it for her, and that doesn't do anybody any favors in the long run.

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