Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Santa Claus is coming to town

Joining in the Christmas celebration at the library was lots of fun. I got to decorate cookies with icing and SPRINKLES!!! We made ornaments that matched my Santa Claus outfit. Then, the big man himself came by to visit us. I really didn't want to go up near him, but I sat quietly on M's lap and watched with total curiousity as other kids were placed on Santa's knee. Some burst into tears; some clung to their moms; and then others shared everything on their Christmas wish list and had to be pulled away from Santa.

Oh, D's Alumni magazine really caught my eye today. It has a picture of a hammer, gear and chain on the front cover. I immediately ran over to collect my toy hammer and red gear set to show M the association. Yep, cool stuff with lots of possibilities!! I insisted on bringing my toy tricycle and lawn mower inside, so right now I'm in the kitchen with my tools playing mechanic! Love to all!!!
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

No more Christmas music

No more Christmas music...just teasing! (wink, wink) I was happily singing along with M and the radio today, until I found these cotton balls.

The fluffy white "stuff" is slowly accumulating outside. I'm really interested in going outside to play in it, but M says it is just a bit too wet right now. So, I guess I'll just have to keep humoring M and glue some more white cotton balls on blue paper inside.

We went to a music program led by Julie K; an upcoming children's musician. She was very engaging, and had a beautiful voice so it was easy for me to pay really close attention. I had so much fun that the hour just flew by. We clapped, jumped around, played instruments and sang lots! I made a couple of the other moms laugh by my enthusiastic butterfly spins, and social friendliness.
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Busy, busy builder!

D received a package from FedEx today. Yep, he contributed to the economy by shopping online on Cyber Monday (from home, after work I'd like to note). Anyway, I could care less what's inside the boxes. Here's me in action. Boy, was I working up a sweat! Hope those items are packaged well!
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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Playing in Peoria's Zoo

What a beautiful, sunny day for the 1st of December! Mark my word, I'll be wearing my snow pants by week's end. Yep, snow's in the forecast. I can't wait. However, I'm trying to soak up all the sun rays that I can until then - I played in the back yard, at the park, and at the Zoo today. M was able to use the camera for just a moment to capture this picture of me. Otherwise, I've been the "unofficial" Jr. Zoo photographer today. We have lots of pictures of fences, railings, posts, feet, and grass in the photo album now! (Those were supposed to be giraffes, rhinos, emus, camels and lions.)

It's good to be home, but I sure had fun while in St. Louis with family and friends! Thanks again to all by "baby"sitters. My mind has been so active ever since....it was a little hard to sit still for the story book at the library; I wanted to start right in on the craft project and kept walking stickers over to the librarian to get her to hurry along the story. Whoops!
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

The day I took my parents to Bloomington

We haven't posted in a while so I decided to take my parents to Bloomington for a photo shoot. On the way I napped in the car - I bet my parents wished they had done the same!

Knowing M's passion for educational toys and books, I took her by the Discovery Room at the public library first. What a great place to play...uh, I mean learn! Of all the interactive learning stations (puppets with matching story books, dress-up outfits with matching story books, trains, Legos, etc.), my favorite item was the toy camera - which I still prefer to hold backwards!

From the library we walked down the pedestrian friendly downtown to the Children's (and, their Grown-Up's) Museum. Let's see where to start, it was all so exciting. I'm definitely taking the parents back some day - they were well behaved and didn't put up too much of a fuss leaving.

This water exhibit was near the entrance, so in the spirit of newness, I happily agreed to wear a waterproof apron (the same wouldn't be true by the time I reached the third floor with the paint exhibit).

I loved playing in the pretend pizza delivery truck. The dashboard included at least ten big buttons with truck-related sounds. I loved the obnoxious horn sound the most.

OK, so my favorite part was painting on the glass wall of the paint exhibit. Of course, the apron was way too inhibiting, so I kept pushing it off. M was impressed that I stayed focused on putting the paint on the glass (not myself) then spraying water on the wall (and not myself) to clean up. I watched the older kids, then I was Mr. Independent contently painting all by myself.

D's favorite exhibit was the two story climbing apparatus - technically, it was curved, laminated plywood suspended by aircraft cables. But it looked much more precarious than that. I found the smallest little hole to crawl through making M nervous as she tried to keep up. D thought about crawling through too because it looked like so much fun (but, he thought he'd make other parents nervous).

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Good to the last drop

Give me my sippy cup, and I'm likely to refuse to drink whatever is in it. But, give me a half gallon jug and I'll finish it off to the last drop. Apple cider is so delicious this time of year! Today, M & I visited the apple orchard where I had so much fun. I played for half an hour in the sand inside an old silo. Then, I rode around and around on tricycles shaped like International Harvester tractors - way cool! I fed the goats and llamas. I lost M in the maze created out of bales of hay, but then found her again on the other side of the tunnel. There were so many cool things to do outdoors, but my favorite part of the visit was strolling through the indoor market and sampling everything from Honey Crisp apples to pumpkin butter to apple salsa. Yum, yum!

Speaking of sampling, over the weekend I took the parental unit up to Kroger's for their Holiday Open House. Let's just say that we had so much fun sampling that we all skipped lunch for the day. And, M won a red rose for knowing the world's busiest florist - Kroger's, of course!

As the weather was absolutely perfect, I suggested a camping trip to my fun loving parents and away we zipped. Boy, was I ever a happy camper - running around the campsite with my arms flung behind me; picking up sticks for the fire; teasing M with the tent pegs so that it took a little longer to assemble the tent completely; eating foil packs for dinner then enjoying the BBQ'd ribs a fellow camper brought over to us; hiking through the woods and playing hide and sneak around a tree. It was very refreshing - and, I slept like a log!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Captain Julian...sort of

What can I say? I'm a budding artist, and my favorite medium is M's make-up. I'm going for the curly mustache look here.

We took advantage of the sunny, warm weather today and went for a stroller walk along an old railroad trail. It's been ages since we've had such a long stretch of our legs, and it felt great! I should mention that before the walk came a romp in the park where I showed off my baby chin-up trick on the beam above the slide. Before the park came a Tiny Tot program at the library where I met a slightly older tot also named Julian. Oh, and there was a 5-year old sibling present named Jillian. What a fun, loving group with great names!

Let's see, as I had a runny nose and was recovering from a slight fever on Halloween, I wasn't crazy about posing for a picture in my costume. However, I did walk down the street holding my own orange candy bag with the tail of my costume dragging along behind me. (I was Max with his wolf suit from Where the Wild Things Are. M says we have days right out of the book with me chasing the dogs with an odd object in hand, and when I jump/swing from the furniture.)

This week, I helped to finish raking the leaves - what a pile we created. Last night D took me to the park for another fun autumn activity - we flew a kite! I tried chasing after it, but couldn't reach up high enough to catch it. As it was chilly, I came back home and enjoyed some hot chocolate! We visited the Zoo too; I had to carry my toy camel with me and was really excited to spy the live one. I love making associations between my toys and objects around me and in books (especially my books about tools!!! hammer, screwdriver, saw - oh, yeah!).
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Say, Cheese!

So, M tried to capture a picture of me hanging upside-down off my lego work bench, but as soon as she said "hold still and I'll get the camera", I jumped off my precarious perch and went in search of my own toy camera. This is the result! (I like to face the camera towards me so I can see the red light flashing. Wouldn't you?!)

Today, M drove me to a county outside Peoria so I could receive the H1N1 vaccine; Peoria didn't receive their shipments, so all their clinics were cancelled. I loved climbing up into the different chairs in the waiting room while M filled out the paperwork, but I didn't have long to wait as the line was non-existant. (Unlike horror stories we had heard about on the news in other places.)

I had some neon green poop today! Yep-cool stuff! It was either from the orange icing on my Halloween cupcake from the library's program, or from the blue raspberry flavored Twizzler I was teething on last night. Either way, it gave M quite a fright!!

M made me a "Max, King of the Wild Things" costume to wear, but I'm not crazy about trying it on. It's really cool with a wolf's tail, pointed ears, and claws. Maybe, just maybe, I'll put it on later this week for a picture.

I've got attitude these days - I can cross my arms across my chest and make a pouting face when I want to. But, I make up for my contrary moments when I gently reach out and hold M or D's hand and lead them over to a toy I want to play with. I certainly know how to get my way!
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere

At the library, we sang a cute little rhyming song about pumpkins. Well, that got us in the mood to do some pumpkin exploration on our own at home. I really liked stabbing with my curvy knife into the pumpkin, but as you can see from the picture, I wasn't really crazy about pulling out the gooey pumpkin seeds. However, after we roasted them in the oven, added some butter and salt, I sat with the bowl in my lap and couldn't stop eating them!

In other fall news, I helped rake up some leaves with my little, purple toy rake. Our next door neighbor wanted to play hide and seek; guess where her first hiding spot was? Yep, buried under the leaves. Well, I had to jump right into the fun too, only I didn't want to lay down in the leaves. So, the girls just piled the leaves all up around me. I stood very still as they worked. Later, I threw the leaves up in the air and ran out!
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The itsy bitsy LADYBUG climbed up the water spout

I woke up from my nap yesterday and I wasn't sure which planet I was on....ladybugs were flying all around the place. They loved the sunny side of our house, especially the water spout and window frames. One landed on my coat collar and tickled my ear. Oh, and ladybugs aren't the only insect hanging around our house these days; I found a "walking stick" that once placed on my knit cap wouldn't come off no matter how much I swung it around. And I've spied a very, very woolly caterpillar already too! Guess what that means!?!

The fall yard clean-up is in full swing. Raking leaves is so much fun! I can hide my sandbox toys in them, throw them in the air and crunch them under my feet. Mason next door passed along a small skateboard to me that he's out grown, so I can even roll along into the leaves if I want to!

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm helping, Mom!

So, since the weather has turned chilly the dogs haven't gotten as much exercise outdoors as they have become accustomed to. Gertie was definitely showing signs of cabin fever - barking at us every five minutes or so if we didn't play with her. Well, I thought I'd help out. I love "walking" Gertie in circles around the house and up and down off the couch. This retractable leash works best so Gertie has a little more freedom to do her own thing. Oh, Gertie, I love you! (Even if you did finish off my cherry sucker this afternoon!)

I've been waving like autumn leaves and reaching up high in the air to pick apples in the tiny tot programs at the library. Pumpkins, caterpillars, and piles of leaves have been some of the other subject material recently. However, despite all the festive signs of the season, I've got racing on the brain!! In preparation for this weekend's Sturmfest, I've been revving the engines of my John Deere tractor around the house. I'm hoping someone will need a mechanic at the races because I'm planning on bringing my toolbox - D justed added a real metal wrench to it last night as I didn't have one, and the storybook we were reading referred to one. :-)
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O

What's the chemical compound for water?.....I heard it's H to O, so that's H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, right?! Here I am at the car show on the Peoria Riverfront pumping some very cold water into the tub with a plastic river otter. I worked up a sweat but never filled the bucket as quickly as the engine-driven pump. Oh, well, I sure had fun! In fact, I wore myself out even further bouncing in the blow-up cage with other kids, watching a clown make balloon sculptures and a lady face paint. Here I thought we were going to the car show for D's benefit only - I was surprised at how much fun M & I had too!

Let's see, did I share with everyone how I enjoy walking on my tippy toes these days? I can do the splits on cue too. Oh and watch out for anything that resembles a curb; I love to show off my attempts at jumping!

Today, we ventured out to a library program in the city since it was a rainy day. I carried the umbrella all by myself and then found some puddles to stomp in on the way. I was very attentive during the program highlighting stories and songs about apples. Afterwards, I munched on Apple Jacks cereal and tore off the leaf on the paper bookmark shaped like an apple with a removable worm coming out of it.

Back home, it's a great day to sit in front of the window with my stuffed animal friends, sippy cup of milk and my remaining Apple Jacks while watching the construction workers battle the reappearing water hole in the street. The noisier they are the better, I say!
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Drip, drip, drip

Tonight was Open House at Illinois American Water's 100+ year old facility in north Peoria. Boy, did they put together a cool event. Let's see, I can't decide what I enjoyed the most - the chocolate cake with blue icing and a completely edible 8x8-inch high yellow duck topping, the free umbrellas and tote bags, the bath tub rubber duckies (one brushing its teeth, the other carrying a tool box), the plastic hard hats, the tour of the historic water plant/museum (a beautiful brick building with four gargoyles on top), the Zoo lady with her parrots, the front loader with tools and pipes on display, or the three teenage girls dressed up as blue rain drops. M & D had an enjoyable time too, by the way.

I've been munching on strawberry Twizzlers all day today as I'm teething again. D thinks my runny nose last week was all due to my dental growth (and NOT due to germs) - who knows!
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Tool man

I'm writing this from dreamland tonight (pretty talented, huh?). For starters, I had a grrrreat weekend; the weather was in the low 70's, I visited with friends and got to paint with water colors in their playroom as well as check out all their cool toys, I hiked with M & D on the river trail (a wooden deck above Illinois marsh land), I also rode on a horse pulled hay wagon and then chilled out at home running wild indoors but calming down frequently to help the parental units move furniture around (I grunted alot, took small steps sideways and squated down to lift things - just like M & D).

Today, I happily helped M dust (the walls?!?), wash the windows (then press my tiny hands up against the glass), and vacuum (with my plastic lawn mower, of course).

Before going to bed, M read a book about a teddy bear's toolbox. Oh boy, did that ever get me going - I tried to pull the pictures of the hammer, screwdriver and drill off the book pages, but they weren't real!!!! I was mad (and overly tired, but I wouldn't admit it). I REALLY wanted those tools. M quickly found a little screwdriver in the dresser drawer and I tried to open the battery compartment of the Jay, Jay-The Jet Plane toy. I had to hold the screwdriver while M rocked me to sleep.

Next weekend is the Spoon River Drive - D says there are lots of garage sales along the drive and I'm certain to find cool tools to add to my new toolbox that he is already designing.
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

A whole lot of Julian

Cheese! This photo of me was taken with a kaleidoscope held up to the camera lens. Cool, huh?!

Well, I'm a bit under the weather today with a runny nose and sneeze. It didn't stop me from heading outside to play barefoot though. Right now I'm filling up my tike-size wheelbarrow and hauling my blue plastic bowling pins around the yard. I'm busy! You can't keep a good man down.

Yesterday, I tried a new way to play basketball - I slipped my head up through the net from underneath the basket. It was silly pressing my nose through one hole then sticking my tongue through another hole. The beach ball mom kept tossing would just bounce off my head; it never could go through the basket - I think I finally figured out why.
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Friday, September 18, 2009

You can take the boy out of the woods, but...

Hi ya'll! Me, maw and paw are good. Got a bit hungry this mornin', so I stuck me's whole face into the bowl of cereal - awwww!!

In other news, I caught a green walking stick and had fun examining him in the insect jar today. I added some grass clippings and sticks to create an "at home" habitat. He was a big attraction when the neighbors came to play. Unfortunately he didn't make it till evening to show to D. :-(

At the Morton Pumpkin festival (home of Libby's Pumpkin cannery), I rode my first carnival ride. I absolutely loved the car merry-go-round. A little girl sat in the backseat and I sat up front, so I took my job of steering the wheel very serious at first. However, it didn't take long for a big, happy grin to break out across my face. I put up a little fuss when the ride stopped and I had to get off. However, we enjoyed a pumpkin pie Blizzard at DQ, and I was quickly in good spirits again. That is, until I was strapped into my car seat for the ride home - ugh, I hate being immobile these days.

This evening I tried out my very own potty for the first time. I made some grunting sounds which pleased the parental units. I also had to read my "Babybug" magazine out loud while I was doing my busy. The result - a drop of pee! Whippeee!!!! :-)
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

1,2,3...ready or not, here I come!

I could hardly wait for lunch to finish so we could play a game of Hide N Seek -- I had a really great hiding spot in mind. Did you find me??

Entertainment came to my front door today - the street crew was outside with a front loader, back hoe, two big dump trucks and five workers in bright yellow shirts. I stood on avvvv chair M had pulled over in front of the window for me, and intently watched the commotion outside. I think I figured out how to operate that back hoe now!

Oh, M & I went for our tri-weekly walk up to the library (Book Babies was happening once again!), then over to the park for some play time and a picnic lunch. I met Brady who is only one week younger than I am - we had a great time playing alongside one another. The chimes at the playground are the coolest equipment ever - who needs slides and swings when you can make lots of noise!!!! Oh, did I tell you I can do the splits - side straddle. I love falling back on my bum!

Much love to all!
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Welcome fall!

Oh, what a wonderful time of year - leaves are falling so I can pick them up easily, rolly-pollies are scurrying around, snails are trekking through the mud, the breeze means D and I can fly a kite and a few rain showers leave messy (but, fun!) water puddles. I loved checking out the pumpkins at last weekend - this one weighed in at 635.7 pounds. Whew, that's a lot of pumpkin seeds!

I made a "leaf buddy" at a first day of fall program this morning - it has goggling eyes (which I quickly disassembled) and is easily crinkled up in one little palm! I had fun singing about all the things that wave in the breeze - my hands, my elbows, my tongue (I'm good at this one!), my legs, my chin, even my nose. And, I tried to sit patiently through three story books, but it was more fun swimming on the carpet and trying to share my slightly used string of Fruit Loops with the little girl next to me. Right now I'm trying to talk M into sharing her cup of Pumpkin Spice cappuccino and cake with me - I'll have to be really, really sweet to get some!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lil' Artiste

It's a good thing M decided to have our craft time outdoors the other day. Even though the package of paints read "water colour", they weren't water colors! (a UFS bargain set of paints) I experimented with the paint brushes for a little while, then decided to dig into my work quite literally! Can you say fun??? I looked a little bit like a smurf after I was done being creative, and M looked a bit like Smurfette after she carried me inside to wash up! My shirt appropriately read "I tried to be good, but I got bored".

Yesterday's craft project (again outdoors - love this warm autumn weather) involed peanut butter, yarn, pine cones, scissors, Cheerio's and GrapeNuts. You guessed it - we made bird feeders. My nextdoor neighbor came over. She was much more interested in putting big golbs of peanut butter onto the bird feeder, while Gertie, Bongo and I were more interested in putting big golbs of peanut butter into our mouths!!! We had to find really thick branches to hang the feeders on - they were loaded with good things for our feathery, wild friends.
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

These boots are made for...ME!

Here are my cool Spiderman boots!!! I'm ready for about three feet of snow this year. In the meantime, I've been enjoying the mid-70 degree weather we've been having. This afternoon my neighbors brought over all their outdoor wheeled vehicles they've out-grown. Boy, oh boy am I in seventh heaven. Now I can "drive" around in a Wiggles' Big Red Car, a John Deere tractor, a canopied red buggy, an all-emergency vehicle, an orange tricycle, a green tricycle, a little wheel barrow, and more. The next motor mites play time should be at my house!

After a fun, family filled weekend, today M and I enjoyed some quiet time. But, not too quiet. We danced to the Wiggles' toddler CD this morning. Then, we headed out the recreation center to splash around. I liked pull the strings to tip the buckets of water over on our heads. But, what I really wanted to do - and M wouldn't let me - was join the senior citizens' exercise class; they had neon noodles and dumb bells that looked like great fun. We had a picnic lunch and ran around the playground afterwards. I nearly fell asleep on the way home, but held out for my own crib.
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