Saturday, January 29, 2011

Artsy Kaitsy

We hosted a body stencil playdate...Kaitlyn wasn't into the stenciling, but rather doing her own family of stick figures!

Out of the blue she gave me these statements. I had to document her art of Nana and that Nana was proud. Are you kidding me? I just love this one!

I drew the red from the opposite side, I was going to draw a triangle and Kaitlyn insisted she finish what I started. Wow. I didn't see this one coming!

Chalk drawing. She works with all mediums these days!

My letter A is in blue. All other markings are from her. Not bad is what I say! She's pretty proud about doing the letter A...she does it often and in the most random moments! I've seen her do B and C...I think we'll focus on her name soon!

At 32 months she has an elephant's memory. Kaitlyn can remember details that I had simply forgot or recall names of people, places we traveled to, stories we spoke about to imagined pretend-play scenarios as if we engage in the topic regularly. This memory bank is certainly a daddy gene and as for my gene influence it is evident that our Special K could make Picasso's in her sleep.

She has now grown into a new phase of art...first comes the circle for the head. Next are the two eyes, with pupils-mind you, then the nose and finished with a smile. She goes straight to the two ears, generally making multiple circles on each ear indicating the wearing of earrings. This is then followed by two straight lines that are drawn directly from the lowest curve of the circle to become this stick figure's legs. Each leg is finished with a cluster of overlapping circles/ovals to illustrate the wearing of shoes. Her final touch always ends in the hair after she either does or does not do arms with hands. The hair is one of my favorite elements of her work, generally big, but as of late it's been drawn with curls, spikes and even bows! She's a trip. It's very methodical. Yet, she never ceases to surprise me.

Over the weekend she was spending quality time with her dear cousin, Natalia. The two of them were engrossed in drawing. Kaitlyn drew one of her infamous stick figures but from an upside down perspective. Everything was upside down. The steps she took to create this figure were a truly remarkable unfolding of talent. She's going places, that's all I know!

There is this sassy-smart-assy edge to her blossoming character right now. Hmm. Yes, I know it will further emerge and challenge me, exhaust me. Heck, it already does. The key I find is simply engaging her. Play dress-ups with her, act like wild animals or make up our own songs and's through this engagement she is calm, focused and in a sense, providing me with a mini respite from her often unannounced tantrum outbursts-you know those kind that make you realize you did have ears!

Of course I cannot forget to mention she is also a touch on the aggressive side. I often wonder where this gene comes from as I think my husband wouldn't touch a snail somedays and then I shatter that image with the reality that as I type he's completing his SWAT medic training which basically equates to: man + gun shooting + suspense + medicine = aggressive happy man. There is aggression everywhere in his world. Ok, for real, this has no influence on Kaitlyn, yet. I just think she's VERBAL & PHYSICAL and will always be this way. She seems to tackle Dylan either with love head locks or serious body slams any opportunity she desires. He simply just rolls along with her unpredictable shoves, pushes, grabs and even finger pointing bossy comments like, 'knock it off Dylan' (a common phrase of mine....ha, it's an eye opener when your child begins to imitate you). Ultimately I imagine this aggression will translate into a very confident young lady who has educated opinions she is willing to share (solicited or not), have a history of competitive sports and be one to still give me hugs and everyone else for that matter, well into her adult hood!

So here it is...a snapshot of our Sweet Wonder Girl K! I may be her biggest fan.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Body Language

My little guy isn't so little. While he has yet to develop much of a vocabulary, his expressions sure say a lot. Some of my favorite moments with him occur during our bedtime routine. In the bath he will stand up and stare straight into my eyes for a reaction and as always, I give him the standard 'on your bottom' statement sternly looking right back at him. Without hesitation Mr. Obedient sits down only to do it another five times, each time with the same mischievous look. What's unbearably adorable is something that lasts for a mere second...once he stands up his initial face and body language is that which radiates "I'm proud, look at me! I stood up!". Some nights I hate to interfere with his moment of glory, but the fear of slips in the tub would haunt me (they already do as almost 90% of Dylan's baths are shared with Kaitlyn...and the two of them in the tub can turn into a war zone of pushing, hair pulling and shoulder bites not too mention splash raids)!

Kaitlyn can't get enough of Tinker Bell these days. Since Christmas it's been Strawberry Shortcake or Tinker Bell that gives me respite in the afternoon and her a touch of quiet time. If not napping, Dylan will engage in the quiet time showing a sincere interest in the Disney castle that pops up when the show starts. This results in a house shake as his hearty voice turns to ON and out of his mouth comes a drawn out and LOUD, 'MOMMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA'! The best part is not so much what he is saying but how he looks. Both palms, facing upward, frozen at mid-chest height. He's sure to be a crowd pleaser.

There has been a shift in my confidence and I'm not certain where the credit lies other than I've been a mom now for over 3 years (yes, I'm including the pregnancy since really...your life changes when you see that + on your home pregnancy test). I can hardly wait to see what confidence I'll have in 13 years and then in 23 years! Other than the drastic changes that happen both physically and intellectually from the infant to toddler stage, I think the only other comparable era in ones life is designated to motherhood. What you prepare for, actually endure and learn in a short span is mind-blowing. It must taper out eventually, but right now it does seem like I'm trying to push through a self-inflicted barricade of lessons. The little confidence that is developing has helped tremendously!

I've had a series of Ah-ha moments. Some worth mentioning here and others intended for my inner think tank: 1.) always keep time on your side which translates to....plan your day so Kaitlyn has ample time to do all tasks on her own since she will undo whatever you do anyway (dressing and undressing herself, putting toothpaste on the toothbrush, going in and out of the car, buckling herself in the seat...the list does go on); 2.) preschool is awesome which means I give credit to the school environment for often teaching or at least reinforcing excellent manners, demonstrating compassion, and encouraging independence (the latter is not in need of anymore encouraging, Kaitlyn is fiercely independent)!
As always stories could be abundant, but time is limited so with these last statements I do bide thee farewell....

Kaitlyn has been known to exclaim to me in mid-day, as a complete random statement un related to anything in her surroundings or even day's experience....'Mommy, I need chocolate.' Oh how the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!

Dylan has come to really master the melt-down-into-the-ground-lay-upon-the-floor-crying action on cue when I walk into the room (mind you this only happens when he has been spending what would be considered quality time with someone other than me...I apparently make his world shatter upon arrival)!

I continue to stay up way too late, get up only when the kids are awake (can't seem to get out of bed earlier than the two of them to squeeze in a morning work-out) and still consume too much sugar, probably too much fat and way too much caffeine! Hmmm. What a combo.

Friday, January 7, 2011

As spoken by Special K herself...

'MomMom, I want my bubble gum' She is referring to a gun shaped bubble blower.

'No, I want more shake milk'. Yes, I was corrected for telling her it was a milkshake and not a shake milk.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Club Holiday Party

Hmm...Red. Tis the Season.

Smiles for the camera.

Our little Winter Reindeer!

I hosted the MOMS Club holiday party this year in mid-December. Such a fun time for the kids and moms. Moms did a cookie exchange (hello to a new favorite, peppermint & chocolate dipped oreo cookies). There were over 20 kids running around, toys were everywhere and so were the moms out of necessity. Such a fun time having the spirit of the season grace our home. These photos were taken by one of the moms, Lisa O'Donnell-she is starting her own photography gig and has been an incredible resource for documenting the events we have (and a few family portraits in this new future)!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Grab a cup of Joe...

Photos....Photos....Photos....with all this digital craze I have way too many photos and just can't stay organized enough with the downloading of them, labeling them and then of course, using them! So, in an effort to relive some moments and highlight a few great times....I have put together a simple collection featuring life starting with Steve's 40th birthday (Nov. 23rd)...
But first...a few general must-knows about life as a Patterson:

Dylan is by no means a slight boy. His figure is shooting up as well as out-I fell in love with a love handle today (most likely a temporary creation due to the way he was sitting...but, still a love handle in my book)...He has a fierce addiction with banging objects on Kaitlyn's head-a dinosaur toy, a drumstick, a teapot, his hand, a block, a remote...nothing stops him. She, of course, gets all bent out of shape and if I ignore the abuse a brawl breaks out with both of the kids attacking each other to the floor. It's quite a sight.

Dylan has a growing obsession for blueberries and continues to be repulsed by bananas. He is surprising me with his palate, while Kaitlyn seems to eat all things-or at least attempt to eat them if dipped in ketchup-Dylan stays clear of all things when crowded on his try, he takes a double take at pasta when paired with red sauce, giving it the eye and ultimately deciding he's just not into it...he gobbles up meat, any kind and pushes his milk away when he's had enough.

He fits into size 24 months or 2T on top and 18 months on the bottom (for length and can wear some 24 mos/2T for waist fit). He's a PAIN to change! This boy does not sit still when changing his diaper nor does he sit still when dressing him. It's a test to my patience every time with the exception of putting on socks. He'll stick his leg out and flex his toes indicating he's ready for me to shimmy the sock on...pretty adorable.

Finally, he's all boy. The climbing days are in full swing around here with the sofa being the favorite place to climb, stand on and bounce (which makes me rich with nervous energy)!

Kaitlyn continues to be all princess. She notices when I paint my nails (instantly, as if she just watched me walk out of a salon), she just recently began to comb my hair and twist it, pull it and attempt to put clips in it. She was regressing with potty training since I returned from NYC and to spiral her out of episodes of peeing on the floor or in her panties, we started this new conversation about teaching Dylan how to use the potty. Thus far it's been working wonders as this girl loves to boast about things she knows of and things she knows how to do! I'm often told what Dylan is getting into since Kaitlyn has learned right from wrong...she reports to me such things as,'Mom, Dylan is getting his hands wet in the potty', or 'Mommy, Dylan just hit my head', or 'MomMom (said real fast-my new nickname apparently) Dylan is going up (implying he's on the stairs)'. What would I do without my little informant!

Kaitlyn is showing less and less tantrum behaviors and now more and more birthday suit marathons. Yes, she seems to undress herself whenever she can around the house and pretty much run around you until you can physically stop her to get her dressed. It's an hilarious stage...and also a trying stage (like all the other ones thus far). Reading is her favorite thing to do, I'm certain of it. If she finds a book she's never read, forget attempting to read it to her. She's all ready to grab it and take off, telling the story out loud should anyone desire to listen. Her imagination is over the top and thus the story telling, based upon the photos, can be an uproar! Kaitlyn's latest phrase to say once she's done something worthy of correcting or disciplining is, 'Funny?' and when you respond with a 'No, that's not funny...', she will counter with 'Yes it is.' Of course, smiling the entire time...

And so it is with these few notes I holler to all...Happy New Year!

Steve's 40th birthday I was able to kidnap him despite his 2 hours of sleep from his previous night and take him to Catalina Island. There we enjoyed a lovely brunch while he read through his entire gift, an anthology of his life as written by some dear people (possibly you)....very cool and very touching! Then we ventured to the island's Zip Line made famous by The Bachelorette with Ali-since we always watch this frivolous show, it was only right that we had our own Hollywood afternoon!

Yes, we look like naturals!

Typical Steve stance these days....what would he do without his cell? I can only dream.

Roadtrip to AZ following Thanksgiving: the cousins meeting Baby Finn!

Baby Finn and Kaitlyn in conversation! Notice his stunning blue eyes?

Baby Finn hanging with Dad (Uncle Jonathan)....what a cutie this little guy is and continues to be as he rises to great health in the Seattle Children's Hospital under the blankets of tender motherly love, fatherly care, hospital know-how and united prayer!

This is what a rested mother can look like! Here I am on night 4 of my 5 night trip to NYC, solo....yes, no children and no hang with my dear girlfriend, Jenna! We just loaded up on some silly delicious Italian lasagna and pizza after having had an excellent day romping around in the city!

I loved my trip to NYC THIS MUCH!

I'm beginning to think this fishing obsession could be genetic. Will Dylan follow in his Uncle's footsteps? It appears so....(at Grandma's house).

'Tis the Season'

Trying to get a Christmas Photo...they were so engrossed in the balloons or the dirt or what was going on by the adjacent fountain. One of the gazillion shots I took did turn out...barely!

Daddy's little girl.

I know art will follow her wherever she goes. Look at this girl...

Winter Preschool photo...darling!

I've dreamt of the day when she could push her own cart around. It has arrived! She was ecstatic!

My chef. This is her new chef knife (kid friendly-from Santa)...and yes, she is regularly helping me. After this stint of chopping cilantro I had her busy with the salad spinner. In a simple moment of not watching her she had added a spoon full of sour cream, all the cilantro she cut and the grated cheese....ingredients I had out for the chili we were going to eat. This girl takes after me...salads call for everything but the kitchen sink. I think she'll be a natural in the kitchen!

Delivery Day! In lieu of traditional gifts for our neighbors we put together 10 children's books and took them to the local hospital pediatric ward. On the way up the elevator I told Kaitlyn she was such a good partner, helping me get this big basket to the sick children. She laid down the law and said, "Mom, I'm not a partner. I'm a princess. You're a partner."
Hmmm. Such confidence.

Delivering our Christmas cards to the neighbors!

Dylan's new bedtime buddy from Uncle Scott & Kimberly. Christmas at my folks house-celebrated on the 26th!

Daddy's new car (Denali-extended) has the kids in the very back row and compared to my hot rod where they are situated a mile apart, in Daddy's car they are within reach. Here they held hands for the entire drive from our home to Grandmas's (when Kaitlyn let go of Dylan, he would cry)!