Monday, June 28, 2010

Two Already?

This weekend we celebrated Kendra's second birthday with a puppy themed party! (Click here for more pictures...)

We had puppy balloons, paw print napkins, homemade "puppy chow" served in a doggie dish, sweet tart candies shaped liked bones - even a cake shaped like a dog dish filled with kibble. Dan grilled up some yummy ribs to satisfy the carnivore side of the festivities. We had some great friends come to celebrate with us, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

The weather was -finally- beautiful and we spent the day outside. Believe it or not, all the pallets of bricks are gone. We were able to put some chairs and a table in that area for seating, put the food under the canopy and grill where we park my car. A cooler full of beverages and it was a perfect day.

About those bricks - you read correctly. After 3 years, all 8 pallets of bricks are in place along the Great Wall of Dan. We still have a ton (and that's quite literal) of dirt to dig up and move, but we have made some remarkable progress this year! I am so proud of my fantastic hubby for working so hard to make us a usable yard.

Kendra is able to go outside with us, which makes it easier. She raids the strawberry patch for fresh berries as we work. Today I brought a little iPod radio thing outside and she entertained us by dancing along to the music. It was really, really cute.

I can't believe that just two short years ago I was in the hospital wondering how long I would be able to stay pregnant, and if my baby would be ok being born so early (remember - we didn't know if she was a boy or girl!). Amazing what a change a very short 730 days can bring.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Official Kendra Translation Guide

Some toddlers start speaking very clearly right off the bat...ours not so much. She's getting there, but we have issues with different combination of sounds.

Here is your official Kendra translation guide:

Cuck - stuck. A good catch all word for anything that isn't moving exactly as she wants it to.

Eyes - can mean eyes, but when stairs are involved and small hand outstretched as she says "eyes, eyes" it mean hands.

Keekee - Mickey. Turtle is Turtle with a slight Bostonian accent, and Bailey is just "Cat."

Biper - diaper. Most frequently heard preceded by "ucky."

Baby - anyone under the age of 10.

Ahnu - airplanes. I have no idea where ahnu came from.

Beep - Jeep, as in "daddy's beep"

Wabber - water

Ta too - thank you

Peas - please

Foffee - coffee. (And heaven help us all if the girl doesn't get her morning cuppa)

Imins - vitamins. She loves them because they are gummy vitamins. She'll try to con all of us into giving her vitamins. We've had to start putting a serving out in the morning, and when they are gone no one gives her anymore. She'd eat the whole bottle!

Fuffs - Pirates Booty Cheesy Puffs. Frequently heard when she doesn't like what is being offered for dinner.

Mine - something that belongs to daddy or mama. "Mine's shirt"

Yous - something that belongs to Kendra, or Kendra herself. When pointing to a picture of our family, "Mama, daddy and yous." (How does she understand the concept of possessiveness, and yet manage to mangle the words themselves so badly?)

She's getting very good at expressing herself using language, but you do have to use your toddler speak filter. There are many times we simply have no idea what she is saying. She is quite adamant about saying it though, and will become frustrated when we don't get it.

It's tough to be 2.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Photo Contest

I've entered Kendra in a photo contest. It's a nation wide thing, so I don't really expect much, but I thought I'd at least try. :)

Yesterday I spent two hours being interviewed (on camera) about children's clothing. It was a market research firm and they wanted to know all about my life, my hobbies, my attitudes, and of course my shopping habits. I had to have five household items that represented how I see myself at this stage in my life (computer, camera, wedding picture, Kendra picture, flowers/strawberries from my garden). I also had to show 3 outfits of Kendra's, and ultimately ended up bringing down about 15. They wanted to know why I shopped at certain stores, how I shopped (online or brick and mortar), why did I like some stores more, what did I look for in clothes... It was very thorough and ultimately pretty interesting. Kendra spent the time at the neighbor's house playing with their little girl so she had fun too.

We also had our last ever toddler class yesterday. Kendra will be too old to enroll in the fall :( We will continue to meet with our group over the summer at various parks in the area, but I'll miss going to the class.

Otherwise all is well. We've been really busy working on the house and the wall. Nothing major - just all those little jobs that need to be done. We are replacing all the light fixtures upstairs. The existing ones are dated, and ugly. We are putting the finishing touches on the bathroom (trim work, finishing work on the cabinets, etc.) and installing a new door that matches the others upstairs. We are also on our last pallet of bricks for the wall, so we are reallyreallyreally close to being done.

Next up - build an awesome deck!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Our Parrot

We have reached the stage where EVERYTHING is parroted back to us. Time to watch our language!

Kendra has developed some very cute habits recently. Besides parroting, she likes to simply "talk." She'll sit in the backseat of the car and just jabber away. It usually sounds something like "no beep, no beep, BEEP, wabber, wabber, bye bye wabber, more wabber, more wabber, bye bye wabber" and on and on. (Beep = Jeep and wabber = water).

She is also very good at copying tone and intonation, even if the words aren't there. It was hysterical to listen to her mimic the sound of the guy trying to get people to sign a petition at Costco. She couldn't say the words at all, but it was very clear she was copying him.

Since our potty training fiasco, we've pretty much dropped the subject for now. However, Kendra is pretty adament that diapers must always be clean. When she wants a new one, she will walk up and say "Ucky biper" and as we change her she continually chants "ucky biper, ucky biper." She has also developed the unfortunate habit of checking daddy's "diaper" if he farts loudly. Or checking other kids' diapers if they smell funky. She "helped" another mom change a little girl yesterday by offering her running commentary the entire time.

Tell me this child isn't ready to be potty trained.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day - Thank You to Our Vets

First off - thank you to all the veterans and their families for all they do. It isn't easy to be a soldier, and they don't get the thanks they deserve nearly often enough.

Our Memorial Day weekend was wonderful. We spent part of Saturday wandering around Folklife. Folklife is a northwest tradition. It's basically a music festival but includes arts & crafts, dancing, street performers and ethnic foods. It's a fantastic time and a great way to hear/see hundreds of musical groups.

Sunday we hosted a BBQ at our house. Unfortunately Mother Nature didn't cooperate and it rained all day. We ended up a bit squished inside the house, but had a great time. Dan did a fabulous job grilling up ribs, brats and hot dogs. A few others grilled oysters, kabobs, and vegetables. The rain was light enough that under the canopy it was fairly dry, and a the grillers sat outside. The kids played Wii and the adults sat around and talked. It's always amazing to get groups of folks who don't really know each other together and watch the friendships form.

Monday started off gloomy and rainy, but by mid-afternoon the sun came out in force. I think everyone in Seattle dropped everything and ran outside. Kendra, Turtle and I headed to a couple of neighborhood parks and played. Dan worked on the wall and made good progress.

After all our cooking on Sunday we decided to go out to dinner at a local pizza place. We loaded Kendra into her new Deuter Kid Comfort III pack and headed out. It was only about a 2 mile roundtrip walk, but I'm glad we started slow. Carrying an extra 35 pounds on your back is tough - no matter how well designed the pack is. Kendra seemed to like it, though, and our goal is to do more hiking. I have a book called "60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Seattle" that has some great places that are close enough to head out to after work.