Thursday, December 31, 2009

Adios, 2009, and Sayonara to the First Ten Years of the 2000's.

How about 2009? The kids turned three and one, and we all moved into a new home. Here's looking forward to a better 2010. Cheers.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Princess & "The Princess and the Frog"

I took Danica to see her third movie in a movie theater last Saturday. Naturally, it was The Princess and the Frog. We'd taken her to Cars when she was about six months old and to Wall-E shortly after Colin was born, but this is the first time she'd had the patience to sit through an entire movie (or most of the movie). She wasn't totally hyped to see the movie because I hadn't shown her much of it and we hadn't talked about it a lot, which is not to say she did not want to see the movie. I think I was more excited to take her, but it was still a good time.

We went to an 11:30 am show, which was probably a little late, since she hadn't slept well the night before. In retrospect, the 10:30 show we missed might've been better. It was a pretty good day to go to the movies since it was in the 50's temperature-wise and raining cats & dogs. When we went to get in the car, I was a little concerned because it was coming down hard, but after a quick run back inside to pick up some snacks, the rain had stopped. Guess that was a sign to go through with it.

I wanted her to get a little bit of a movie experience, so I bought her some M&M's and a Sprite, thinking she might have some. M&M's yes, Sprite no (but I think she just wasn't thirsty). We got into the moderately-packed theater and found some seats in the middle near the top. She just kinda sat and took it all in, which was pretty cute. She didn't want to take off her jacket for a couple of minutes, sitting straight up on the edge of her seat, clutching her bag of M&M's.

We got there just a little bit early since I have a thing about getting to movies on time and not wanting to struggle to find a seat. You never realize how much crap is shown before you even see a preview until you wait with your child. She didn't take her eyes off the screen and she wasn't restless, I just wanted to get to the movie. She sat perfectly still, even through all the previews, with occasional smiles and comments regarding some of the previews she saw (favs were Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel and Toy Story 3). Once the movie began, she cuddled up next to me, holding my arm.

She sat through a good portion of it, either in her seat or in my lap. The M&M's and the bag of Cheerios and fruit bar I brought along helped out. I'll play critic for a second and say that it was an average Disney movie – not bad, but not groundbreaking. It took a while to get to the frog part, some parts in the middle were a bit slow, and there weren't a lot of “wow” moments. Consequently, she started to get happy legs about two-thirds of the way in, but she was good the rest of the way, staying quite and watching the movie despite standing up or bouncing her legs on her seat. She liked the movie, except the parts with the “bad man. He makes monster shadows.” Kind of her standard answer, liking most movies, but pointing out the antagonist as the part she could do without.

After the movie ended, she did ask if we were going to see Alvin and the Chipmunks, so I guess she did like the movie experience. I took her to see the giant Alvin and the Chipmunks statues they had out in the lobby, but she didn't want to take a picture with them, given that (her words), “They're not real.” She did end up snapping a photo of them, despite my offer for her to take a picture of me with them if she would let me take one of her.

We had lunch at Panera afterward, even though I knew she was getting tired. She did eat most of her grilled cheese and of course had all of her yogurt and milk. Hoping we'll have a chance to do it again, but my year of free movie tickets is up at the end of January and there are few kids' movies out after Christmas. Glad she's getting to the age when we can start doing things but still small enough for her to enjoy doing them with us.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

So We're Back... Hopefully

I figure six months off is long enough... It's been hectic, given the move over the summer, travel, getting through fall sports seasons, and now getting the winter sports underway. To put is bluntly, it's been hell.

The kids have grown so much over the past six months, I'm not even sure where to begin. Colin is beginning to grow into his attitude - starting to exhibit some of his sister's traits, so you know they're brother and sister. His big things right now are that he's extremely whiny when he wakes up, wanting to be held (only if you're standing up, of course), and he's only good for (maybe) one meal a day. Guess his growth spurt is over.

We are starting to see evidence that the second child picks up certain things faster than the first, as Colin's vocabulary is much more advanced that his sister's was at one-and-a-half. Of course, he doesn't pronounce things so well, but he's constantly adding new words. Prominent ones are “wah-why” (water), “bah-bye” (bar, as in fruit bar – though he does say “bye”), “siz-zee” (sissy, as in Danica), “wha et guh?” (where'd it go), “dey iz!” (there it is), and he has picked up “Santa.” He, of course, can say thank you and please as well. There are more, but I can't think of them right now.

He does do a funny “Woody” and “Buzz” from Toy Story - “Whou-y” and “Buh.” I just picked up a hat with the two of them on it that he loves. He'll point at it and say, “Whou-y. Buh. Whou-y. Buh... Buh. Whou-y.” Gotta love marketing.

Danica's growing up into a little girl, so much so I forget that she's only three. She does come up with something hilarious to say every day. She's really noticing the world around her and formulating her own thoughts. My favorite recent one about a commercial for Zales Jewelers. The story was relayed to me by Kindra:

The commercial features a couple with a sleeping baby in front of a Christmas tree. When Danica saw it, she commented, “Mommy, that's Baby Jesus.” Kindra burst out laughing, and Danica quickly backpedaled, “Maybe it's not.” Kindra assures me that she only laughed because it caught her off guard.

The Girl's also got a pretty decent imagination, but still has trouble articulating. She loves for you to play “games” with her, which usually involve you taking control of a My Little Pony or Disney princess figurine and her telling you what to do. “You want to play _____ with me?” is the invitation to twenty minutes of the same thing over and over. It's a lot more draining after a while than you think it might be, but it's still cute.

One thing that Kindra and I are very happy with is that Danica's starting to listen to our commands better. She can be a real sweetheart most of the time. It's nice to be able to ask her to do something or tell her that she needs to finish her food and have her actually listen. Of course, she's been a good girl her whole life, but it's nice to be able to reason with her a little bit now.

I know there's more, but I'm gonna kill myself trying to write it all down now. Regardless, both kids are happy and healthy, which is all we can hope for.