Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Alyce has picked up a new skill as of late, cooking.  Alyce started making soup.  She makes all kinds of soup for Mommy and I.  Pea soup, cheese soup, yellow soup, and train soup are some of her creations.  Her soup can be a very involved process.  She adds water from her pretend kitchen, stirs it up, puts it in the over for a while (1 - 2 minutes), and brings it out to me with spoon in hand.  The soup is still too hot to eat when I get it so she blows on it until cool.  I take a few bites of the soup then Alyce takes my bowl and spoon to make another batch of soup.  Sometimes she changes recipes between bowls.  Just tonight she started with pea soup, changed to yellow soup, and finished again with pea soup.

Of all of her recipes I only know one, train soup.  Train soup requires a few toy trains from her brio train set, a box to mix it all in, some pretend water from the faucet in her kitchen.  Stir it all together a few times and voila you have train soup.  We might need to add this to the family cookbook.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Magic House

The hardest thing to do when you are a parent is to get some free time to do the things that you put on the back burner.  With all the work I've been doing on the retaining wall I've been neglecting the backlog of things I wanted to post.  One item sitting in the queue was a trip the family took to the Magic House.

Back in the middle of October the Magic House was having an anniversary party and to celebrate admission was free with donation.  The Magic House is an attraction that has been in existence since I was a kid.  Back then it was just a house with fun learning things for kids to learn.  Now, 25 years later the Magic House is really more like the Magic Mansion.  There is stuff everywhere for kids to look, touch, smell, and hear.

The first exhibit we visited was the Curious George play area.  This traveling exhibit had all sorts of Curious George themed items for kids to play with.  Alyce's two favorites were the slide coming out of a rocket and a conveyor belt with black foam bricks.  Alyce was a big fan of the blocks; putting them in place and even taking a few turns at the crank that brought them up to the lift for their zig zag journey back to earth.  Now would be a good time to mention how busy the Magic House was.  Since admission was free there was a line out the door just to get in.  Inside at times it was shoulder to shoulder.  Because quarters were so tight it was hard for me to stay within arms reach of Alyce.  In this hectic situation I had my first parental scare.  Alyce went behind an exhibit and to follow her I had to go around said exhibit with my eyes being off of her for maybe 10 seconds.  When I got to the other side Alyce was nowhere in sight.  I did that parental 360 degree look, couldn't see Alyce's bobbing head anywhere, got the racing heartbeat, and panic was eating at the edges.  I quickly got back to Mom telling her I lost Alyce and to guard the exit to the room.  About that time I turn around and Alyce is at the top getting ready to go down without a care in the world.  I waved her over to me, gave her a big, and told her to go back to playing.  Oh to be a child where the world is a simple and safe place.

After the Curious George exhibit we found another neat exhibit, a gigantic water table.  This table had all sorts of floating toys and ways to block off sections of water so you could make your own custom river.  Alyce was a big fan of the provided smocks for keeping the kids dry.  Alyce moved from station to station playing with water jets, floating toys, and other fun stuff.

We didn't stay at the Magic House much longer after that.  The place was crowded past capacity so much that you couldn't push a stroller from one room to the next.  Standing shoulder to shoulder in a human traffic jam was very stressful as well.  Alyce didn't seem to mind.  I see us going back this winter when it is too cold to be out in a park or at the zoo and hopefully with less people.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Alyce has picked up a new talent since she started going to school, singing.  At first it started off as some quiet humming to a melody that only she knew.  Next her singing transformed into a special Alyce version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  Alyce's version goes something like this.  "Twinkle star, twinkle star, twinkle twinkle star" with some humming and then another verse of twinkle stars.

Alyce has now moved on and is now making her own lyrics to her songs.  Earlier this week she sang a song to her brother Luke.  Those lyrics were "baby Luke, baby Luke, baby Luke" on and on until we couldn't take it anymore and asked her to sing something else.

Sunday she improved on her custom songs by adding original dance moves.  On Sunday the family met my mother for dinner and upon getting out of the car I asked Alyce if she could sing a song for Grandma Onermark.  She started singing "Onermark Grams" over and over again but this time she started bouncing and balancing on one foot then the other.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Alyce's Parenting Advice

Yesterday, Alyce wanted to play outside, but Luke was crying and I didn't know what was wrong, so I told Alyce we couldn't go out right now because I had to figure out what Luke needed. She said, "Put him upstairs, he's tired." She thought Luke needed a nap, so she wanted me to put him up in his crib. Then later, she said, "I want to go to the playground." I told her we couldn't go yet because Luke was upstairs sleeping. She said, "Go get him!"

Saturday, November 7, 2009


A few days ago I was sitting on the blue chair watching a tv show while Alyce was sitting next to me working on a Dora the Explorer puzzle.  On occasion a puzzle piece would shift out of place stopping her from putting in the next piece.  One time I helped Alyce push a piece back into place.  Alyce, without skipping a beat says "thanks" and continues with her puzzle.  I pulled her over, said "that is very nice of you", and kissed her on the head.

What a great kid.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Halloween last Saturday was Alyce's 4th.  The first one she was only 4 days old so she was a newborn, the second she wore a Tigger costume, the third she was a cowgirl, and this year she was a princess.  This year had a lot of firsts for Alyce.  The was the first year that she had an opinion on what her costume would be (a princess), she knew that she would get candy from houses and was excited about it, and she went trick or treating with friends.

Saturday was Alyce's second time wearing her costume.  Two days before at school the kids were encouraged to wear their costumes.  The night before Mom got to flex her domestic muscle by hemming Alyce's princess costume.  Mom did a really good job given that she only had a needle and thread to work with.  However, even the best sewing job won't hold up to the onslaught that is children and Alyce tore out the hem by the end of the day.  Before Alyce got back into her dress on Saturday Mom fixed it again and this time it held the entire evening.

Trick or treating began down the street at our neighbor's house Jess and Steve's.  They were throwing a party and almost the entire block was in attendance.  Our whole family loaded up the wagon, grabbed the candy and the kids, and joined the festivities.  After Mom got settled with Luke Alyce and I set about hitting the houses in the neighborhood.  This was a first for me too, this was the first time I did the "dad" thing by hanging out with the other dads, drinking beer, and supervising the kids going from house to house.  Alyce being one of the youngest kids in the group was usually bringing up the rear but she patiently waited her turn at each door and received more candy then she could ever eat.  I think she leveraged her cuteness to score more treats.  All of the other kids in the group would get a single handful of candy and so would Alyce, however, Alyce was a bit slow to turn and join group racing to the next house.  Before turning away Alyce would lock eyes with the people at the door and they would say "you can have another handful" and drop another handful of candy in her bag. She learns fast.

We went up and down the street and even up the hill a bit but I could tell that Alyce was slowing down and getting a bit cold.  With her bag full we turned around and headed to the party.  After some warm food and a few pieces of candy we left Alyce to her own devices.  She eventually focused on the pumpkin pounding station.  The pumpkin pounding station is a pretty neat setup.  You take the pumpkins from the night with the candles extinguished, grab some golf tees and a kids hammer, and smash the golf tees into the pumpkin.  You would think that something like that would be entertaining for 10 minutes tops.  Alyce was banging golf tees into a pumpkin for probably an hour.

As the evening drew on we started to get cold and the kids were getting tired.  We bid our neighbors goodnight and whisked our kids off to bed.  It was a good Halloween; good weather, low stress, and lots of fun.

Going Crazy

Last night Alyce started going crazy.  Crazy in a kid sort of way.  Starting when I got home from work Alyce was going nuts.  She was running, singing, bouncing, talking, screaming, squealing, and generally not standing still.  While doing any one of those or even a few of them isn't out of the ordinary but when Alyce behaves in such a manner is usually only lasts for a few minutes and then she goes back to her sedate, well mannered, quiet child.  Last night Alyce was in high gear from the time I got home until she went to bed which was early as we couldn't keep up.

You would think that perhaps her exuberance stemmed from large amounts of Halloween candy.  That wouldn't be the case.  Leading up to this outburst she had only one piece of candy and that was from the day before.  Other sources of her craziness could be the time change or even a full moon.  It will be interesting to see what she will be like tonight when I get home and whether she will be her old self or start a new kidtacular trend.

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