Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween 2013!

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Yesterday during our dress rehearsal for the big Halloween night, Will took a look at his monkey suit and said, “Brown. No. Don’t want monkey!” and ran away. So tonight I attempted to distract him with a banana while sneakily tried to get the costume on.  His reaction?  The same - he wanted nothing to do with monkey. I didn't want a tearful monkey and so for Halloween 2013, Will went as his dapper self. :)

[side note: it never occurred to me that Will, who's turning 2 in 15 days, would have an opinion on his costume. i borrowed the monkey suit from my friend thinking that it saved me some money. next year, i am definitely letting him have a say.]

Our sweet cupcake was giddy and excited the entire time. I had bought the cupcake costume last year, along with the fish. After rocking her fish costume for her school parade, she decided she wanted to be cupcake instead for the big trick or treat.

After some obligatory photos, we left our sleepy neighborhood and crashed my friend's neighborhood for some chocolates. It was a lot of fun hanging out with Sully and butterfly. We hit up more than a dozen of houses before calling it the night, just as the rain came down.
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As a mom, I love documenting each Halloween (or any other major holidays) with pictures of the kids.  I hope you got some good shots of your little ones!  And more importantly, some delicious treats.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Anna's Halloween Parade!

We are back from our Disney World vacation! We had a great time, but you know what they say, it’s good to be home. The kids were especially excited to be reunited with their toys. They even climbed into bed happily last night. I will be sharing pictures from our trip soon, but in the meantime, normal life goes on and today Anna had her Halloween parade at school.

It was fun seeing all the princesses and super heroes, but my favorite was the pretty little blue fish. Yup, she wore the same costume as she did for last year’s Halloween. It's still TOO BIG, believe it or not. I arrived in the nick of time and was surprised to see the massive crowd that gathered for the (10-minute) parade (read: walk around the block). It definitely made me even more glad that I left work for a bit to see her marching down the street. She was happy to see me, too. :) I love attending her school events.
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[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, October 18, 2013

23 Things About Will @ 23 Months

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01 according to the home scale, he just broke 30 pounds.
02 on most nights, he gets 10 to 11 hours of sleep.
03 he naps close to 3 hours.
04 he still gets 2 bottles of milk a day. first when he wakes up. then before nap.
05 his wardrobe consists of mostly Carter's (24mo, 2T) and Old Navy/Baby Gap (18-24 mo).
06 he wears size 7 shoes.
07 his preferred methods of transportation are hopping, running, and being carried.
08 he says he's scared of Pesto because the dog steals his food.
09 one of his favorite food is pho noodles, just like his sister.
10 right now, one of his big toes doesn't have a nail. but he's okay with that.
11 he's thoughtful. he heard that anna wanted cereal and automatically offered his.
12 he doesn't cry much, even when he's hurt.
13 he does cry when he wants his mama or baba.
14 he sits on the potty voluntary.
15 we think his favorite color is yellow.
16 he is dexterous.
17 he has the sunniest personality.
18 he enjoys identifying all the colors, numbers, letters, and shapes that he knows. all the time.
19 he shows concern when anna cries.
20 he likes to put on his own shoes (unsuccessfully) and buckle his own seat belt
21 he knows all the characters in Ni Hao, Kai Lan.
22 he says he's Geo in Team Umizoomi (Anna is Milli and I am Bot, btw)
23 he is 4 days away from going to the Happiest Place on Earth!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

the kids and pumpkins

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I really, really, really wanted to go to a fall festival this year. Not just a freebie one with a bunch of vendor booths, but one that has slides, mazes, haystacks, tunnels, farm animals, kettle corn, and wagon rides that takes you to a real pumpkin patch, where we can cut a pumpkin straight from the vine. Yes, it would cost $$$, but worth every penny because of all the great pictures I would get.

But, long story short, it looks like I will have to wait another year.

However, to make sure that I still have some pumpkin pictures for 2013, we visited a local "farm" yesterday. Actually, I wouldn't call it a farm, but more of a nursery where pumpkins, fall squash, mums, and local fruits are sold. Everything was laid out really pretty and there were actually lots of spots to take pictures of the kids.

Overall, we had a good time exploring, touching, and the kids tolerated my constant, "can you stand here and smile? Don't move, please." We ended up taking home a tiny pumpkin and a fall squash and both kids were pleased. Anna even slept with her pumpkin during nap.      
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One of my favorite thing about fall is all the photo opportunities and I can't wait for the leaves to start changing color!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

lately /

Rain rain go away
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The last few days have been cold and rainy so we have just been hanging out at home. Last night, we started a fire (too early, maybe?) and the whole family snuggled up to watch The Great Pumpkin. I love watching shows that are centered around what we are doing, and right now it's all about pumpkins and Halloween. The kids enjoyed it, as did I.

Then this morning, we carved a pumpkin. I guess when I said "we," I really meant just Luke. The kids jumped and screamed in excitement when we told them about the project, but none of them wanted to be involved with the actual process. Oh well....kids will be kids. At least I can check this activity off on my Fall 2013 Bucket List.  :)

PS. The last picture, doesn't Anna look like she's 5?  I bought those sweats at Target the other day. They are so comfy and perfect for lounging at home. I already ordered another pair online.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Will - 22.5 months update

As I write this, Will is 22.5 months old. I can't believe he will be 2 soon. Just when Anna was about to turn 2, we took her to Disney World. So we will be following that tradition and taking Will (Anna is tagging along, too) to Disney in about 2 weeks! We are all super excited.

Anyway, onto the update!
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Good Will

Eat and Sleep: Same as before, read here.

Personality: Will is on the brink of turning 2, but (knock on wood) he's showing no signs of terrible twos.  I can't remember when was the last time he threw a tantrum. This guy laughs and smiles easily and it's so darn adorable. He warms up to family members in no time and gives out hugs. Yes, we all love him very much around here!

But as much as he's loud and outgoing around family, he can be reserved when we are out. I think a lot of it has to do with his sister. Anna is a cautious girl and I think Will senses that vibe and acts the same way. Like, for example, this weekend we went to a fall festival and there was a moon-bounce for toddlers. At first Anna was excited to jump in, but all of a sudden, she changed her mind and said she was scared. So then Will didn't want to go in as well.
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@ Fall For Fairfax KidsFest

Will currently attends a Music Together class on Fridays with me. It's his first class ever and....I don't know if he really enjoys it. Sometimes he follow along when we are on the floor, but he always wants to be picked up when the class gets up and moves around. This past Friday, Luke came with us and managed to get him participate a little more than usual. I think that was his best session yet!
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@ music class

Favorite Play Things: Will's favorite thing is still his green Kai-Lan doll. He cuddles with it every night. I guess that's the one thing I will definitely put it in a box and save it for him. We recently received a tub of cartoon animal figurines and both kids have been doing lots of pretend play with them. He also enjoys Hot Wheels and trains. And he also like to play with musical instruments and cutting fruits.  But I think he's favorite, favorite "play things" are the people around him - running and hopping with his sister, rough-housing with Luke, and getting tickled by me.
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"Education": Will loves to point out colors, shapes, letters whenever he sees them. He likes to play with puzzles and read books (he especially likes to count!).  I think having a big sister helped him in learning all these things quickly. We also contribute a lot of his learning to educational shows, such as Preschool Prep and LeapFrog.  Besides that, we take him to story time at the library whenever it is available.
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Language: It's hard to keep up with Will's expanding vocabulary, thoughts, and sentences, but I do want to remember that he now calls his sister "Anna" instead of "Nana".

Also, just last night, as Luke dragged out his suitcase, he said, "bye" like he knew exactly what comes with a suitcase. And this morning, Luke threw him a ball, but it hit his leg instead and he said, "hurt." His mind is working hard and he's definitely getting better at communicating!

Lastly, with the government shutdown, my part-time work has became even more part-time (read: I am not working) and I am spending day in and day out with Will. Hey, I am not complaining! He's such a pleasure to be around! I don't know if we are throwing a party for his 2nd birthday, but either way, I can't wait to celebrate it with him. :)

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, October 4, 2013

crafting for Halloween

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October is here...which means it's officially not too early to do some Halloween crafting. Last year we scored a couple of spooky foam kits on clearance at Target. They were originally $2 each, but marked down to 10 cents or something ridiculous so we grabbed a couple and saved them for this year.

It's nice to bake a cake from scratch, but sometimes it's more convenient to just use a cake mix. I feel the same way about crafting. Sure, it's great if we can be original and make something one of a kind, but these kits made everything easy peasy and the kids received satisfaction just the same. And for me, no planning and no mess to clean.

They were SO EXCITED to decorate the house with their creations. Like Luke said in one of his comments, our house looks a little bit like a preschool.

Love that.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Museum Day Live!: National Building Museum

Did anyone else take advantage of Museum Day Live! this past Saturday and visited a museum that normally has a fee? Long time readers know that I am a deal seeker, so you bet that I didn't miss the opportunity to drag the family to the National Building Museum in DC.

I've read many praises about the NBM on several local DC blogs, mostly about how family-friendly it is. Now, the name of the museum probably doesn't suggest it to be a fun place, but it actually has two exhibits designated for kids and the Great Hall is a wonderful place for the kids to just run and get their crazies out.
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We got there early, parked right in the front at a meter parking, paid $5 for Anna (the Museum Day Live! was good for 2 people and Will was free), and then we were free to roam around.

The Building Zone exhibit was designed for children 2-6, so age appropriate for my kids and they definitely seemed to enjoy it. The large play room was filled with things that encourage kids to build and use their imagination and pretend. I think mine enjoyed the soft blocks the most - building them high and body-slamming them down.
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Then we went to the WORK PLAY BUILD exhibit for more things to build with. This exhibit is probably more suited for older kids, so my kids' extent of play was pretending to fish with the blue foam noodles. Hehe. I thought the interactive video screen was pretty cool, though. The kids had a good laugh with that.
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But, overall, I thought the NBM was just so-so. Yes, definitely kids-friendly because my kids ran, jumped, and explored loudly throughout the Great Hall and no one told them to stop. That part was good...but that part was free anyway on any day. The museum is free to enter, fyi.

As for the exhibits, as fun/interesting/educational as they were, we will probably not be returning. I didn't think the normal $8 for adults and $5 for kids was worth it. At all. So I was glad that at least we visited during a free day and got to check it out. Now I can put my curiosity to rest.

(ps. If you only want to visit The Building Zone exhibit, that's $3 per person.  pps. There are other exhibits besides the two we visited, but they were for adults.)

What did Anna think of that place? This is what she told me:

As we were leaving: "I want to stay here forever! This place is so fun!"
The next morning: "Can we go back to that museum? The museum with the toys?" In which Luke replied, "We don't have money." She said, "I have money in my piggy bank, we can use that."

So it's safe to say that she liked it.  :)

After the museum, we went to Chinatown, only blocks away, and had lunch before walking back to our car.
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And this was where our day got sad.

When we got to the car, we found a parking ticket of $25 stuck under the windshield wiper.

We had been fined for not paying to park.

We were stunned and in disbelief and ANNOYED THAT THE COP MADE A MISTAKE.

But, after some investigation, we realized that we had paid to park at the WRONG ZONE. Using that stupid Parkmobile app (where we paid using Luke's phone), we had paid to park elsewhere and not where we actually parked at.

We were sad, angry, and felt that this trip was a big waste. After all, it was supposed to cost nothing.

But, eh, we got over it before we even got home. Next time, we will be more careful and double check everything. Actually, next time I am putting those damn quarters in the meter myself. No more apps.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!