Friday, October 30, 2009

Swiper No Swipin'

For Alyce's birthday she was given a Dora the Explorer tent and she has gotten a lot of use out of it.  She likes to crawl into and out of it and closes and opens its doors.  Sometimes she will stay inside of it and have her own make believe adventures.  A few days ago while Alyce was playing in the tent with some of her princess stuff Mom hears from inside "Swiper no swiping, no Swiping".  Then followed by "Swiper you can't have my wand".  Hilarious!

For those who don't know about the Dora the Explorer tv show then this might not be so cute.  To explain, on the Dora television show there is a fox dressed up as a bandit and his name is Swiper.  In certain episodes he tries and mostly fails to swipe whatever Dora has in hand.  To protect yourself from Swiper's antics you have to say "Swiper no swiping" three times.  After the third time Swiper says "oh man" and takes off empty handed.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkin Patch


A long while ago a week from Monday in fact the family went to get pumpkins at the pumpkin patch.  Mom tried going the day before with Grams but the line to get into the place was too long so she bailed.  Alyce was so looking forward to going to the pumpkin patch that Mom decided to try again the next day.  I was home that day working on the wall and decided to go with them.  Both Gram's and Pa Pa came with us too.

Once we got to the pumpkin patch Alyce knew exactly where we were at as she squealed "pumpkin patch! pumpkin patch!" as we pulled into the parking lot.  Getting out of the car and after a short cart ride Alyce first tried to get one of the biggest pumpkins on the lot.  Mom and I found our pumpkins pretty quick which left us a lot of time to just hang out with the kids.  Alyce swung on a big girl swing, climbed through some tunnels, and played on a fort.  Luke was in a great mood and enjoyed the nice day from his car seat and our arms.

When we left Mom and I had our two pumpkins.  The next day Mom, Alyce, and I carved pumpkins.  At Alyce's recommendation mom carved a bat into her pumpkin.  I have yet to do mine but I'm thinking of doing a traditional face.  Alyce helped as much as her agility could to carve the pumpkins but when it came time to scooping out the goo she was no where to be found.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Birthday Party

This past weekend we threw a birthday party for Alyce's 3rd birthday. We threw a small party at our house with some immediate family and friends. The theme of the party was castles and princesses. Mom and I spent the better part of the day on Sunday getting ready for the party and decorating the house; there were pink, purple and blue streamers and balloons, princess plates, and pink castle as the centerpiece.

They started to arrive while Alyce was still in quiet time. By the time Alyce came downstairs the house was full of people and I think she was a little overwhelmed. Any reservation that she had must have disappeared because the next time I checked on her she was strutting all around the house in her birthday dress and boots.

Dinner was running a bit behind so while it was cooking we went ahead and opened presents. This was Alyce's first birthday where she opened up presents herself without any adult assistance. There was a mountain of presents before her and she managed to open them all without getting distracted with a new toy and forgetting about the rest. Alyce received a lot of wonderful presents.
  • Her first Barbie dolls
  • Little People castle and carriage
  • Dinosaur bank
  • Princess dress up clothes
  • Dora the Explorer tent, chair, books, pajamas and purse
  • Her first board game Candy Land
  • Puzzles (Dora, My Little Pony and jungle animals)
  • Clothes

After the presents were unwrapped a few immediately stood out. The Dora the Explorer chair and the princess clothes. While I was in the kitchen getting dinner ready, Alyce's God sister, Shelby, turned my little girl into a princes. She came into the kitchen wearing a tiara, necklace, and a bracelet. When dinner was finally served we put Alyce's new Dora chair on one of our kitchen chairs and Alyce looked like a queen presiding over a royal ball.

Following dinner and some play time with Alyce's new toys we had some cupcakes and ice cream. Mom decorated some of the cupcakes to look like little mini castles. In a little breach of standard birthday procedure Alyce got to eat some cake before we sang Happy Birthday. With some help from Mom, Alyce was even able to blow out the candles on her cake; yet another first!

Alyce must have been more interested in her toys than the cake because she had only eaten half before she wanted to get down from the table and go play. With the help of Uncle Trent and Shelby, Alyce opened up and started playing with her Little People castle and carriage. These were big hits as Alyce continued to play with them while sitting in her Dora chair up until bedtime. Alyce did take a few breaks from playing to give everyone goodbye hugs and to say thank you in her quiet little shy voice.

I think Alyce had fun at her party. To the eyes of a three year I would say that the entire experience would be magical. There was dressing up, presents, sweets, and friends. Everything a little girl could ask for.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Making Friends

Today when I dropped Alyce off at school I learned Alyce has a good friend who she apparently plays with a lot. While Alyce was taking off her jacket, another little girl came in and said, "It's Alyce! It's my friend Alyce!" Of course Alyce just kind of watched her and then the little girl said, "Hi Alyce!" She was very excited to see Alyce. Then the little girl's mother told me that her daughter talks about Alyce all the time and they play together all the time. They play on the slide together and they do all sorts of stuff together. I found it very interesting because Alyce doesn't talk much about school. I ask her all sorts of questions, but I don't always get an answer. So, I'm happy to know that Alyce is making friends at school.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Helping Daddy Out: Part 4

This weekend I spent a lot of time working on my wall. I even took a few days off to take advantage of the prime weather.  While I am out working Alyce likes to come out and help as documented; this time weekend was no different.

Yesterday Alyce helped me by cleaning off the tops of the bricks to make sure the new ones I was putting down sat correctly.  To do this she wanted to wear some gloves because I was wearing gloves to set the stones.  I didn't know Alyce had hands that big.

After cleaning the blocks she wanted to use my paint brush to paint the bricks.  Instead of her getting my brush wet I directed Alyce to her paint brushes and water "paint".  Alyce flexed her creativity and painted the  blocks with her own custom designs.

After painting, Alyce wanted to help me set a few blocks.  One thing I love about Alyce and kids in general is how well they can emulate what they see.  In the picture below Alyce is using the hammer to bang on a piece of wood that I've been using to protect the stone's finish from the hammer's impact.  What is interesting was that the day this picture was taken I didn't need to use the wood as protection; she got into the pile of of tools, grabbed the wood, put it in place, and used the hammer on it.  It pleases me to know that Alyce thinks highly enough of me to emulate my actions.

Today Alyce helped me spread some dirt using those over sized gloves again.   She also helped me pre place some U Channel gutters for installation tomorrow.

With all that I have been doing on this project Alyce must have thought that I'd be thirsty.  She reached into the wheelbarrow where I've been keeping my tools and some of my trash and pulled out an empty bottle of Yoohoo the chocolaty drink, brought it over to me, and said "daddy need some chocolate milk".  I love my little girl.

Keep the Boogies Safe

Yesterday I was talking to Alyce and while we were talking she put her finger in her nose.  I asked her what was up there.  She responded with "boogies".  I went on to ask what the boogies were doing up there.  She replied back to me "staying safe".  What a riot.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Night at the Movies

Yesterday right after work Mom and I took Alyce to the movies.  We went to the AMC to see the re-release of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in 3-D.  Each movie is just under 1 1/2 hours with a 10 minute intermission between the two.  All together that makes for 3 hours in the movie theater.  Earlier this summer Alyce saw the movie UP and passed with flying colors so we were pretty sure she wouldn't have any problems with this.

There was a first for Alyce at this picture.  It was the first time she ever had popcorn.  She was a bit leery at first and only took a single piece.  When finished she was immediately hooked as she grabbed for piece after piece.  During the movie she would even speak up asking for more "pacorn".

Towards the end of the first film Alyce started to get a bit antsy or maybe tired.  She got out of her seat and the climbed into my lap.  The seats are nice in this theater in that the armrests lift up and you can recline across two seats.  I did just that and Alyce snuggled up into me, laying her head on my chest, and watching the rest of the movie.

When the feature was over it was nearly 8:00 and Alyce was tuckered out.  The evidence for this was that she threw herself on the ground in a crying heap when we tried to put her coat on to go home.  She was asleep in the car before we got home.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

3 Year Update

As Alyce approaches her 3rd birthday it is time for another checkup with the doctor.  We brought her and Luke in for checkups; it is Luke's 6th month checkup.  Alyce's hearing and vision were tested and checked out fine.  The doctor put Alyce through a lot of different tests.  Things like standing on one foot, jumping with both feet off the ground, and checking the extents of her vocabulary.  Alyce passed all of these tests with flying colors.  Her height and weight have moved towards the average for her age with both being in the 50th percentile.
  • Height: 37 inches
  • Weight: 30 lbs
The only other item of note of Alyce's visit is when we asked the doctor about her flu last week.  The doctor said that she most likely had the Swine Flu since the only cases of the flu she has seen this season have been of the H1N1 Swine Flu variety.  Even though she has developed an immunity to the virus the doctor still recommends getting the vaccine just in case it wasn't.

While Luke was getting looked at Alyce and I did have some fun.  She even managed to find some space on the examining table to lay down.  That didn't last too long as Luke started kicking her in the head.  Towards the end of the visit Alyce did get the seasonal flu shot and that did lead to some tears.  A grape sucker does wonders for drying tears.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dry Day

Yesterday was a good day for Alyce.  She went the entire day without getting a single diaper wet.  It started in the morning when she woke up with a dry diaper.  We got her on the potty without accident and she did her business.  Before I left with the kids to go see my mom Alyce did her business on the potty again.  While out at my mothers Alyce used the potty two more times.

All of this is a great indicator of things to come.  I'm thinking Alyce has reached the point where she is ready to begin potty training and her interest in using the potty is returning.  Now Mom and I need to devote a week or so to make it happen.  It is easy to stay complacent since Alyce only needs 3 or 4 diapers a day and changes take less than a minute.  Once we invested the time the dividends will be worth it.

A Big Helper

In the past few weeks Alyce has been a big helper to Mommy. I'll ask her to get me something like a diaper or Luke's burp cloth and she is always willing to help. It's so cute and she's such a big help.

Most recently she decided to help Mommy by feeding Luke. So, I told her to sit on the couch and propped some pillows up next to her. Then I put Luke on her lap and propped him up on the pillows. I handed her the bottle and helped her put it in Luke's mouth. Then she continued to feed him on her own. A few minutes later, Luke was getting too heavy for her, so I took over for her. She did it long enough for me to snap a few pictures of them. Here's the cutest one!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dancing in the Kitchen

Even though Alyce has the flu now it doesn't mean that I can't post about some things she's done in the past.  A few weeks ago in the morning she was dancing around the kitchen with Mom.  Mom showed Alyce a few moves from her Jazzercise class and Alyce did her best to emulate.


My little girl has picked up her first flu bug.  She awoke this morning complaining that she was cold, didn't want to eat, and had a cough.  Later on she registered a fever too.  Talking to Mom it sounds like Alyce is taking it all in stride by laying around, being tired, and watching tv.

For the sake of history if I look back on this a few years from now there is a big flu scare about the H1N1 flu or Swine flu.  This flu jumped from a pig species over to humans and then the flu jumped from human to human.  The reason why this is such a big deal is that the populace hasn't ever seen a flu of this strain N1 in recent history so the entire population is susceptible since there is no inherent immunity.  All of that being said it is just a flu virus so in an otherwise healthy person it is just an annoyance rather than health concern.

Alyce is almost three and this is her first bout with anything greater than a cold so I would say she has had a pretty good track record of health.  I'm guessing that she picked this up from her another kid at her school and that this won't be the last time she brings something home with her.  I'm hoping that she hasn't infected her brother Luke.  Him being 6 months old could have more serious side effects were he to get infected with any flu strain.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I Want to Buy a Monkey

While waiting for Mom to checkout at Walmart with Alyce's birthday present she and I were sitting the car.  While in the car Alyce said that she wanted to buy a Monkey.  I asked where could get a monkey at this time of night?  Her response after a bit of prompting was... "Walmart".

Walmart your local monkey superstore.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Full Circle

Tonight I've come full circle as a parent.  The whole family went to the new Wal Mart near our house to pick up some groceries while there we stopped by the toy department.  While there Mom spotted the present she wanted to get for Alyce's birthday, a pink castle.  Before Alyce could see what Mom was looking at I took her down an isle so she wouldn't see it.  The next time we saw Mom there was a box in the cart covered by a jacket.  We finished our shopping putting other items in the cart and Alyce didn't have a clue that her birthday present was mere feet away.  When it was time to pay I took Alyce out to the car while Mom finished paying and loaded up the car.

When I was kid my parents would do the same for my brother and I.  We would be at Target, point something out to our parents, and then they would tell us to take a walk while they bought it and put it in the car.  As kids, like Alyce, we didn't know what was going on.  Later in life we knew what was going on but the fact that my parents still went to the effort showed that they cared.  Now here I am, full circle, a parent, and doing the same thing for my kid that my parents did for me.

We're Having Pancakes

Sunday was my morning to wake up with the kids. Mom and I trade off each day of the weekend so we can sleep in at least one day. Before Mom woke up I decided to make some waffles for the family. Alyce is a HUGE fan of pancakes and goes crazy whenever she gets them. While I was mixing up the batter for the waffles Alyce continued to ask me if we were having pancakes. I tried to explain to her that we were having waffles but she would have none of it.

As breakfast was approaching I asked Alyce if she could go upstairs and tell Mom that we were having waffles. She ran out of the kitchen, through the living room, and up the stairs. The story continues as Mom told me is that she heard Alyce running up the stairs. Alyce then flies open the door, says "We're having pancakes!", and starts to close the door to go back downstairs. Mom asks for Alyce to come in and give her a good morning kiss which she does then hot foots it back down stairs. As Alyce is going down the stairs she says back up the steps "come downstairs Mommy" and then Mom replies, "I'm coming!"

Alyce comes running back into the kitchen in to my waiting arms for a big hug, said "Mommy's coming", and I thanked Alyce for giving Mom the message. Once the waffles were served Alyce finally did start referring to them correctly as waffles but she would say "wassles" instead. Alyce ended up eating 1 1/2 of waffles and a glass of orange juice before leaving the table to go play with some toys.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Not Really Helping Daddy Out

Over the past few weeks Alyce has been helping me with my project.  She has helped me hammer, dig, shovel rock, and put blocks into place for a retaining wall.  With all of that she has stayed pretty much out of the way while I've been working on things.  Her winning streak sadly has come to an end.  Alyce did something that cost time and money.

On Wednesday I took a half day off from work to get some blocks placed on my wall.  While out there Alyce was doing her own thing, staying out of trouble, and playing with a pink bat and ball on the patio.  As I was placing my ninth block and really started to hit a rhythm my concentration was broken with Alyce saying "oh no, my ball".  I asked her where her ball went and she pointed to a piece of black corrugated pipe which was attached to the main drain line that ran from the back of the house, under ground, and to the front of the house.  I was instantly sick to my stomach.  I pulled the lengths of pipe out, reached into the line and the ball was no where to be seen or felt.  At this point I was rather frustrated with my little girl, but I knew it wasn't her fault, and didn't direct any anger towards her.  I asked Mom to come out back and bring Alyce inside so that I could cool down a bit and figure out a way to get this ball out of the pipes.

To skip over a lot of details I was unsuccessful in getting out the ball and had to rely on a plumber a few days later to blast the line with water or use a camera to find the ball for $200.  Even the plumber was unsuccessful at getting out the ball.  I didn't know where the ball was, but I was pretty sure it wasn't in the drain.  While picking up some pipes today to get ready for a big day of work tomorrow I looked down into the pipe and staring back at me is the missing pink ball.

A lot of things could have happened.  Perhaps Alyce put the ball into this tube but pointed to the other tube when I asked her where her ball was.  Maybe I jumped to conclusions on what I thought happened and didn't bother to eliminate the possibilities.  I think both Alyce and I need to learn some lessons from this experience.  I should look before I leap.  I should learn to close open holes when children are around.  Alyce could learn to not play around daddy's projects but I think that might be asking too much from a 2 year old.  I regret that I had to spend $200 to learn these lessons, but if I don't learn anything from this experience then the money and time would be wasted.

Saturday, October 3, 2009



Alyce at the mall playing on the playground with 50 other kids is an example of pure chaos. She seems to be enjoying it.

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