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Archive for October, 2012

This Halloween is a little scattered for us so far. I usually like to make our girls’ costumes for Halloween, not because I try to do everything, but because I can usually enjoy doing it. This year was not going to be one of those years. With the upcoming move and downsizing and sorting and general life chaos, this was not the year to be pulling out the sewing machine and taking 12 trips to the fabric and craft stores. Sooooooo, off to Toys R Us it was.

Oldest (5) had said she wanted to be a cat again this year, but once we got to the store she saw this dress Barbie Princess gown and…Fell. In. Love.

And when we got home and she saw that her younger sisters’ costumes had come with wigs, I saw that longing look in her eye and knew I had just the thing to top it off.

I’ve had this wig for ages, well, at least a decade. It was quite tangled and even matted in some places, so we took out some fabric softener and soaked it for a little while and then brushed it like crazy.

It only took a few minutes for it to dry after we finished brushing.

And then she was ready for photos.

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Miniature Polka Dot Garland

The girls found these stickers in the sticker bin the other day. Since we had some scissors and thread sitting out, we started putting together some miniature garland, with a little round sticker on each side of the thread. Its alot of fun to twist and twirl and I foresee some fabulous dollhouse birthday parties in our future.

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In addition to our beach cruisers, my husband’s ride-to-work bike, two trikes (was three, but we sold one), and two balance bikes, we now have a sparkly purple bike and a slightly smaller pink bike with tassels and training wheels. I think we’ve got the bike “needs” covered for a while.

Last week, the sparkly purple bike was black and red and yellow (a thrift store purchase from almost a year ago). Earlier that week, Husband was riding around on the bike and exploded the tire…yes, exploded. It was loud from inside the house. So, over the weekend, after stopping by the bike shop to pick up a new tire, we stopped by the hardware store to let Oldest pick out the paint for this baby.
All the girls took turns practicing their tagging skills. There is a light layer of glitter spray paint coating everything in the backyard.

She tried it out for an afternoon, but we soon realized that it was still a little tall for her, so…

it wasn’t long before they left to buy a slightly smaller bike. We figured that with two more girls coming up behind her, w’ll be able to use something in this size range for quite a while.

It came with training wheels and after a few days of trying it out, she’s got the hang of it. I’d venture to guess it won’t be long until she’s ready for the training wheels to come off. The balance bikes have helped them get the balancing thing down.

The most pressing decision when it comes to riding the bikes now, is which toys to put in that pretty pink handlebar bag.

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At two years old, helmets are easier to wear, I guess.

With all of our girls, we struggled with keeping helmets on their heads when they were under two. This struggle was particularly frustrating when in the bike trailer. It really wasn’t happening since the girls could take them off themselves. I am still not certain about the laws regarding helmets in bike trailers where we are. Here is what I can find regarding helmets on bikes, by state and here is what wikipedia has on helmet laws by country.

Wearing a helmet was still an issue when they wanted to ride bikes in the alley, but there was something more unbearable about wearing a helmet while sitting in that trailer. And I hated forcing it on them, so we basically didn’t do bike rides. Not as a family, that is.

I’ve recently come to accept not putting ourselves in a situation as an appropriate way of handling these types of issues. There are plenty of fun and physically active things to do that don’t require helmets.

Recently, though, we got the bikes out and everyone was excited about putting on their own helmets and going out to the alley and to the boardwalk to ride their bikes. Especially this one. She’s all of a sudden very proud of that helmet.

I still struggle with freedom and choices and obeying other’s rules and laws when it comes to the littlest ones. But, as they get older, it just gets easier. When they can talk to me and when they understand to some extent what I am saying when I explain the safety issues…and sometimes get into the principles behind the laws we live under. Until then, I prefer to not do those things, or not do them often.

This parenting thing is like riding a bike in a sense. You keep finding your balance, readjusting and rediscovering it as you move down the road, which is good, because we’re going places and we’re rarely sitting still.

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This can be done in 3 minutes.

I can hear it happening from the other room and I probably have the strangest smile-grimace expression on my face.

I have a love-hate relationship with theses blocks. They are amazing. We have so much fun with them. But the clean up…

We do have a system for picking them up. After so much trial and error you realize how many you can safely carry without your stack disintegrating.

They don’t always end up in chaos. Most of the time they are actually used to build trees and thrones and houses and castles and forts. Their favorite things to build, however, are scooters. They put one foot on half of a large block and build a short tower of small blocks, use another large block for the handles and then scoot around on the wood floors.

There are so many ways to play with blocks in general and with interlocking blocks on this scale they get the benefits of learning and exercising the patterning, creative, spacial and social (its always a team effort) skills in a gross-motor context rather than a fine-motor context as with the smaller lego-size blocks.

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