Sunday, July 31, 2011

All Grown Up

Will: "Mom! I like peppers now!"

Erin: "That's great news, Will!"

Will: "Back when I was deep down (?) four, I didn't like peppers. But when I got older to four and a half, I suddenly liked peppers. (Long pause.) I'm practically a grown up."

Friday, July 29, 2011

Gone Fishin'

As I mentioned in my Lincoln Lodge post, Will’s become quite the fisherman. Grandpa Mike and Tom have slowly and patiently (I’ve seen them in action – they deserve medals) taught Will how to cast his line, reel in a fish, take the hook out of the fish (in the simplest of cases), thumb the fish, and toss the fish back into the lake. Most recently, Will learned how to catch a fish flopping around on bottom of the boat; I find this feat particularly impressive because when a fish starts flopping around on the bottom of a boat in which I’m fishing, I cry like a little girl and jump into the water. (As if a lake full of fish is “safer” than a boat with one fish in it.)

Last year Uncle Grant (Will tells us it was Uncle Grant, but both Tom and I confess to not remembering), who is also an excellent fisherman, gave Will a child-size but real-deal fishing pole and a little tackle pouch. We weren’t able to take Will’s fishing pole with us to the Lodge because we flew, so it finally came out of it’s packaging last weekend.

Tom and Will spent what I considered far too long prepping for the fishing trip. (I recall waiting on my dad to prep for our fishing trips when I was a child. By the time he was done, I wasn’t usually interested in going fishing anymore.)

Then the four of us made a stop at Gander Mountain for a few lures and a new reel for Tom. Gander Mountain was considerably less interesting than I anticipated, and I had a hard time entertaining Hallie while the boys shopped.

And then we went to the fishing pond, where the boys both got one bite but didn’t catch a thing. They had a fabulous time.

Hallie ate apples.

And I kept a lookout for snakes.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

This One's For Aunt Chandi

As I mentioned on Monday, Hallie's transition to a big girl bed isn't going as smoothly as we'd like.

When I checked on her yesterday afternoon, I discovered that she'd taken absolutely everything out of her dresser (she'd even uncoupled all of her pairs of socks), all of the books off her bookshelf, and all of the diaper wipes out of the package. When I opened the door and saw the chaos, I gasped and asked Hallie, "What happened in here?!" Hallie replied, "AUNT CHANDI DID IT!"

Sorry Aunt Chandi, Hallie ratted you out.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Big Girl Bed

Our recent move presented an opportune time to move Hallie from her crib to a big girl bed. Will moved from his crib to his big boy bed when he was exactly – within a week – the same age as Hallie is now, and for Will, the transition was unbelievably smooth. We figured the transition would be equally smooth for Hallie, you know, because we’re idiots and have obviously learned nothing throughout the last 27 months about how our two children are COMPLETELY different from one another.

Will, circa January 2009, just before his first night in a big boy bed.

Hallie, circa last week, just before her first nap in a big girl bed.

Pretending to sleep.

Carefully planning her escape as I exited the room.

Hallie’s first go at the big girl bed was during naptime. After she’d been in her room for about 15 minutes I checked on her for the first time. I found her completely naked (she’d taken off all of her clothes AND her diaper), except for her dressiest pair of shoes and all of her jewelry. I helped her out of her dress shoes and jewelry, put her diaper back on, and helped her climb back into bed. 15 minutes later I checked on her a second time. She was sitting in the dark in the corner of her closest, brushing her doll’s hair. Scattered throughout the room were ALL of the diapers that had been in the diaper genie…and ALL OF THE CONTENTS of the diapers that had been in the diaper genie. That’s right, folks – she opened all of the diapers and dumped what had been in them on the carpet. I cleaned up the mess, discussed with her what should and should not happen during naptime, and helped her climb back into bed again.

Hallie never did nap that afternoon, and when Tom went to get her up at the end of naptime, he found her standing in the middle of her room, completely naked once again. She informed him, “I have some-ting (something) in my hay-ya (hair)”, which prompted Tom to investigate and led to him discovering that she’d taken the protective paper off the back of eight Command Hook wall mounts and gotten them stuck in her hair.

After that first nap we had about a week of good nights and good naps. And then she learned how to open doors. (Cue the Jurassic Park background music and the parallel line from that movie about velociraptors.) She’s only come out of her room once – when Tom found her in the hallway she smiled guiltily and cheerfully said “ta-da-da!” – but she regularly stands inside her room and opens and shuts the door over and over and over again.

A few nights ago, when I checked on Hallie before going to bed myself, I found this. (She's literally hanging off the side of the bed - her feet are not touching the ground.)

It reminded me of this. (At least he had something to rest his feet on.)

And so that we’d having a matching set, we took this picture... go with this picture.

I have no idea how falling asleep hanging out of bed is even possible, but somehow they’ve both done it. Maybe it’s some kind of special skill.

Friday, July 22, 2011


While Daddy wasn't paying attention, Hallie put on "piddy yipstit (pretty lipstick) just yike (like) my mama".

Thank you, Crayola, for making Washable Markers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Kids Say the Darndest Things...


Will's fairly obsessed with winning these days, to the point that he somehow trained Hallie - who has no idea what losing actually means - to think that losing is cool so that he can always be the winner. We've recently heard all of these exchanges between the kids:

Will: I’m the winner!
Hallie: I da you-ser!

Will: I won!
Hallie: I yoose!

Will: I’m going to win!
Hallie: I going to yoose!

The funniest part about listening to the kids have these conversations is that Hallie is legitimately excited about losing.

Uncle Jeff's Fan

Uncle Jeff needs the white noise of a box or stand fan to sleep, so the day before he, Sara, and Lily arrived for a visit Hallie and I hunted down and cleaned up our stand fan for him.

Hallie: What you doo-ing?
Erin: Cleaning up the fan for Uncle Jeff.
Hallie: Dat's NOT a big girl bed.
Erin: No, it's not a big girl bed. It's a fan.
Hallie: Hmm. It's a very nice fan.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Lincoln Lodge, Summer 2011

We spent last week vacationing with Tom's family (everyone - Grandma, Grandpa, the four of us, Adam and Chandi, Jenna, and Grant - made it) at The Lincoln Lodge in Northern Wisconsin. We fished, swam, and lounged in the lake; played disc golf, Blongo Ball, Uno, and checkers; watched girly movies and Man vs. Wild episodes; read books and trashy gossip magazines; sang “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and Justin Bieber’s “Baby”; danced to keyboard demo songs; and shopped “in town” at antique and touristy shops. We ate too much fried fish, too many brownies, and too many Harry Potter Bertie Bott’s beans (there’s a story here, but this isn’t the post for it), and drank a few too many Blue Moon beers and Amaretto Sours. We laughed and cried and talked and sat in comfortable silence and made this vacation, as vacations at The Lodge always are, perfectly relaxing and rejuvenating.

Bottom line: we had a blast. And here are the pictures to prove it!

We're back!

The airline misplaced our luggage for about 24 hours, so for the first day of our trip we were all wearing other people's clothes. Hallie and Will thought it was awesome.

Enjoying the view from the end of the dock.

My super hero boy.

Happy Birthday, America!

Good times shopping at Wal-Mart.

Chandi's leg goes on forever!

Horribly ugly Wal-Mart 4th of July shirt #1.

Horribly ugly Wal-Mart 4th of July shirt #2.

Horribly ugly Wal-Mart 4th of July shirt #3.

Waiting for Uncle Adam to start the campfire with fireworks. We convinced Will, in the name of fireworks safety, that Uncle Adam had attended and graduated from a special school that trained and then qualified him to use fireworks.

The Bertie Bott's beans we snuck into Tom's birthday cupcake were heavy and fell to the bottom of the cupcake paper, thus ruining the surprise. (Or at least preventing Tom from learning about their presence when he bit into his cupcake.)

"Cheers-ing" the beans. (We played quite a few rounds of Uno. All of the losers - everyone except the one winner - had to eat a bean at random from the Bertie Bott's box of beans.)

"Chasing" the beans with donuts.

Rotten egg.

The girl loves her boat coat, and the water, to the point that I just couldn't stop her when she was ready to go in.

Will is a pro at fishing. He knows how to climb in and out of the boat (for the record, the boat is on the shore here, which is why he's not wearing a life jacket),


Take the hook out of and thumb the fish,

And throw the fish back in the water.

He can also do all of these things naked. (?!)

We bathed the kids in the lake one night. One child loved it...

...And one child hated it.


Aunt Chandi painted tiny hearts on Hallie's toenails.

And every morning, Aunt Chandi and Hallie picked bouquets of Sweet Williams (or "Will Sweeties", as Hallie called them). Chandi's bouquet was displayed in the kitchen, and Hallie carried her bouquet around for the entire day.

Cousin Molly and her husband Kevin stopped by and Hallie caught up with their full-grown-but-just-Hallie's-size dog.

Sharing Fruit Loops with Grandpa.

Cuddling with Grandma.

Will learned how to play Checkers, Uno, and Sorry on this trip.

We gave potty training a try at the Lodge, but found out that Hallie is definitely NOT ready.

Awww... Grandma consoles naked Hallie (who's not picking her nose) while Hallie's mom sits back and drinks a beer.

Culvers - mmm...

Fish fry - double mmm...

Playing with Uncle Adam and Aunt Chandi.

Will and Hallie LOVE the song "Baby" by Justin Bieber (thank you Glee). Here's a video of them singing and dancing to Tom's piano rendition of the hit tune. I think Will's trying out a heart throb meets superhero-who-has-to-pee performance style.

There's still one video post to come, but we're waiting on AJ (who is super busy these days) edit a couple of different videos down into one top-notch video. Just thinking about it makes me smile, and I'm sure you'll love it. Hint - the video has to do with "Baby", and Hallie's obsession with singing the correct words...

Thanks, everyone, for a great trip!