Thursday, December 30, 2010

With A Capital T

Oh, well hello there Tantrum.  I was wondering when I was going to meet you!

It is so very hard for a toddler to be told no.  No jumping on the couch.  No dumping your cereal bowl over.  No throwing, hitting, biting.  For most things, and most of the time, we're pretty good about redirecting and telling Elliot what he can do, instead of what he can't do.  In those moments, tantrum averted!  But there are those times, too, when he simply must just be told No.  Then, watch out.  Head shaking, arms flailing, usually a full-body drop to the ground and lots of screaming.  Pretty textbook.

But what's interesting is watching Elliot process those tantrums later, after he's moved on and is no longer upset.  It could be at any point in the day that he remembers, and often he wakes up from his nap he launches right into remembering a tantrum that he had earlier in the day.  Reenacting it, he'll shake his head and arms back and forth, stick out his tongue and says, "ahahuaghgthsh, what's dat?"  Then he looks at you for an answer.  If one doesn't come right away he'll repeat his question, head and arms flailing back and forth, "ahshghchsugaaahh, what's dat?"

"Oh," you say to him.  "That's when you were tantruming."

Then, each and every time, he responds to that by doing the sign for crying (a finger pointed to the eye and drawn down the cheek).  And he says, "Cwhy."

"Yes, that's right Elliot.  You got frustrated, had a tantrum, and then you cried."

This memory and reenactment happens over and over each day.  He watches us so intently as we discuss it with him, often reenacting it ourselves.  And it goes in the same order every time.  Always ending with, "cwhy."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Boy After My Own Heart

Somewhere along the way I must have taught Elliot that you do whatever it takes to get at the peanut butter.  Yeah, me and him.  We suuure do like our peanut butter. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mama!

Sorry your birthday pie was a little flat, but I had to test all of the apples before I would let Mumma put them in.  I hope you had a wonderful day.  Oh, and I know!  Let's eat pie leftovers for dinner tonight!  Yum yum!


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Coolest Kid On The Block

Yeah, that's right.  Elliot's Uncle Kaua got him what every 15 year old boy asked for this year.  Don't mind the fact that Elliot is only one and a half.  He can hang with the big boys.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wishing You...

A wonder-full day!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snuggle Time

Liam and Baby Owen came over to play today.  Elliot did lots of fire trucks and coloring and eating snacks with Liam.  But he also got a whole lot of snuggle time in on the floor with Baby Owen.  So incredibly sweet. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Little Artist

Elliot has a wonderful sitter in the afternoons.  She comes to our home and they sing and dance and play and draw and who knows what else.  She's pure merry-making.  I love when I come home to a project she and Elliot have started, like this piece of cardboard that was spread out in the kitchen with some drawings and a pile of markers.  Just the right amount of inspiration for Elliot and I to pick up where they left off.  We spent a long part of our afternoon today adding animals and names and doodles.  Elliot has totally surprised us by saying, with almost complete accuracy, the names of 6 colors--blue, yellow, green, red, pink, and grey.  We didn't "teach" him those.  We are not at all interested in making sure he knows things like the names of colors and the alphabet.  I'm much more focused on making sure he's a kind and gentle friend to himself and others.  The whole colors and letters thing will come later.  That doesn't worry me.  So you can imagine how surprised we were when he just started pointing out and labeling the colors of things.  The other day he pointed to the ground that had just been rained on and said, "gray."  Then pointed to the big painted handicap sign on the parking spot next to us and said, "blue."  And today, with this pile of markers, he picked up the red in one hand and the green in the other and told me the color of both.  With no prompting.  All on his own!  I am amazed every day that this little one is only a year and a half old.  He's learned so much.    

Monday, December 13, 2010

Festivals Of Lights

A late Hanukkah celebration brought with it a weekend full of festivals and warm light. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cookie Monsters

As I write this I'm devouring one of Andrea's inside-out carrot cake cookies (and dreaming about Maria's peppermint chocolate cookies, and Julia's chocolate chip cookies, and Kirstin's snickerdoodles, and....).  Yes, cookie exchanges can make you feel a bit cookie-obsessed.  And with 9 different cookies on the table, there was plenty to get obsessed about.  But the best part of our cookie exchange party was watching the 6 little boys that were here all playing together.  Yes, 6 of them!  Can you find them all?  
They played, decorated cookies, wrestled (you got to get all that sugar out somehow!), and they even all sat on the couch for the obligatory and oh-so-cute group photo.
Elliot was in cookie heaven.  I'm pretty sure he ate more cookies, sprinkles and chocolate chips in one afternoon than he's eaten in his whole life combined.  Yes, happy happy happy boy!  And sweet enough to share.  


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Learning How To Do The Snow

 No, Elliot did not start out happy with this situation.  He absolutely loved his new sled when it was unpacked from the box and sitting in the living room for him to play with (thank you so much, Auntie Santa!).  But once I got him all suited up and finally out in the snow learning how to ride in it, Elliot was not a happy camper.  Apparently, sleds are not meant to be pulled through the fluffiest, thickest part of the snow.  Doing so causes much toppling over and ending up with ones face in the snow.  (Yes, this mumma had some learning to do about how to pull a sled.)  But once I took him out to the street where the snow was packed and slippery, we both got the hang of this sledding thing.  And it was fun, fun, fun!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cabin Fever

Starting to go a little stir crazy being cooped up in here while the temperature outside still hangs below freezing.  I'm just not used to it.  Thank goodness Andrea came home from work tonight with a fun, fresh idea... bring the fun of the outdoors inside!  And with that, up went the tent.  In our living room!  Elliot was very, very pleased.  It turned our stir crazy, cabin fever into a fun, spontaneous adventure. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010


This Thanksgiving, Elliot learned about the magic of the kids' room.    

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

16 Degrees

That was the temperature outside today.  The HIGH temperature.  Ouch.  Good thing this cold front is a fluke and not the norm here in Boise, or in the entire snowed in/freezing west coast for that matter.  So... what does one do when frozen in for the day with a toddler?  Make playdough, of course! 

First you mix the dry ingredients:

Then you stir in the wet ingredients (we chose blue because Elliot is pretty good at identifying things that are blue... "Bue!"):

Finish by mixing with your hands until combined:

And enjoy!
My one-time-use, so easy, no cook playdough:

2 parts flour
1 part salt
Stir in :
1 part water 
1 quick squeeze of food coloring
Then mix with your hands until fully combined.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

We've Got Pumpkin

And lots of it!  None of my beautiful pumpkins were carved this Halloween (when a toddler runs the show, sometimes priorities just need to be shifted around, you know?).  And the recent snowfall made them turn from a pretty fall decoration on the front porch to a pile of unseasonable squashes.  So inside they came, to meet their match with my knife and oven.  I cut them, buttered them, spiced half and left the other half plain, and popped them in the oven for the afternoon.  A little zap in the cuisinart and I had myslef a bucket of plain pumpkin puree waiting to be made into pumpkin curry soup and another bucket spiced and waiting to become muffins, sweet bread, pancakes, you name it.  Oh the yumminess!  Elliot was totally into it with me.  The squishing of the pumpkin guts.  The smelling of the spices.  The tasting of the raw pumpkin.  Er, I didn't put him up to that.  It was all him.  But he didn't get too far.  Raw pumpkin really doesn't taste that good.  But whole wheat pumpkin walnut chocolate chip muffins sure do!  See below...

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking sa
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or make an equivalent mix of cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (or 1/3 c milk plus 1 t lemon juice, let sit for 5 mins)
  • Plus a few handfuls of chocolate chips and walnuts

Whisk together the first 3 ingredients and set aside. Blend together the next 6 ingredients.  Mix wet into dry ingredients just until combined, then add any extra yummies.  Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees.  Makes a dozen muffins.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Look at that little face!  Can you even stand it?  The snow over the past few days, Elliot’s first real snow, has quickly changed the mood here from Fall to Winter.  Suddenly the pumpkins, still sitting on the front porch and on top of our mantle, look terribly unseasonable.  Snapping pictures of this little snow baby today made me want to dig out our twinkly lights, spread pine boughs along the mantle, and start making this year’s Christmas card!  Last year we made a photo card for Elliot's first Christmas using Shutterfly.  I loved the simple design of the card we chose (and am even toying with the idea of using it again because I just love how simple and clean it is while still giving me lots of photo spaces).  And since I got a new camera this year (thanks again, Nan!), I have so many pictures to choose from.  I doubt I'll be able to stop at just the Christmas card.  Watch out, loved ones... pictures of Elliot plastered all over calendars, mugs, and wall decals (no way?!) will be arriving in your mailboxes any day now.  Shutterfly makes it so easy.  And who doesn't want to look at that sweet little face each time you rest your drink on the coffee table?  Oh Shutterfly, you know exactly what I want!