Saturday, March 21, 2015

In the Kitchen

Pippa has been helping me cook for a while now.  It started when I was pregnant with Roxy.  People have some "good ideas" for keeping your toddler occupied while you make dinner.  None of them worked for Pippa.  She was way too interested in what I was doing and always wanted to be held so she could see what was going on.  I used to hold her and make dinner one handed, but when I was pregnant I was too tired and Pippa had a knack for kneeing me in the belly just wrong and hurting me.

So I started putting her up on the counter next to me.  (I know there are helper stools for kids for this exact purpose.  But ain't nobody got money or storage space for that!) For a long time Pippa was content to just watch me.  Eventually I started letting her stir whatever I was making.  Around this Halloween I started letting her measure.  And that's where we are.  Pippa loves cooking.  Especially the part where she gets to taste along the way.

And yes, we are safe about it.  If the stove is on she is never next to it - it goes stove, mixing bowl, Pippa.  I don't leave her alone on the counter and she can't reach any of the knives or anything dangerous.

Here she's helping T make rolls.

All of the girls cooking together (I usually strap Roxy to me in the Becco baby carrier and Pippa sits on the counter).

Baking while Roxy sleeps.

Tasting is always the best part!

Some recipes are more toddler friendly than others (you know - no eggs and will still turn out even if the measuring is slightly off).  One we often make together is apple muffins.  It is forgiving with the measuring.  I just give Pippa the correct measuring cup / spoon and watch how big (or small) her scoops are so we end up with about-ish the right amount.  You might have to slightly adjust the baking time, but these are edible every time (though they do taste slightly different every time when Pippa does the measuring!).  This recipe is great because Pippa does everything (mixing and measuring) but the shortening and cutting the apple (I cut it into big wedges then Pippa uses the chop wizard to cut the apple wedges into the little chunks).

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and put in muffin liners (this makes 12 muffins
  2. Mix together:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 and 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
     3.  Cut 1/2 cup shortening (or you can use butter or margarine) into the flour mixture
     4.  Stir in
  • 1 egg (or substitute a bit under 1/4 cup milk)
  • 1/4 cup milk  (so if you sub in milk for the egg it's a very scant 1/2 cup milk total)
  • one medium apple chopped into bite size pieces (any kind of apple works) 

     5.  Divide batter among muffin liners
     6.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes
     7.  Unwrap muffins and dip muffin tops in melted butter then in cinnamon sugar

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Pippa at 2.5 years

Here's Pippa at 2.5 years old. (I took these pictures a few days after her half birthday - I wanted to wait for a day when she was in a cute outfit and her hair was done, but then I realized that a special staged photo wouldn't be quite what she was like at 2.5.  This is more her style - mostly done hair and a "ballerina skirt" on top of pants.  At least she mostly matched this day! :) )

I feel like the photo below is perfectly Pippa right now.

Here's what Pippa likes to do right now:
  • Play "tunnel."  This has two forms: 1) Putting a blanket over her head and someone else's head about two feet apart and talking to each other. 2) Crawling / around / on top of my legs that are propped up on the ottoman while I nurse Roxy in the rocking chair.   
  • "Upside down Pippa" - basically being upside down in any form.
  • "Get me!" - being chased by anyone, but especially Roxy. (T holds Roxy superman style and they run after Pippa together.  I'll put Roxy in the Becco baby carrier and chase Pippa.  Both girls like both ways, but both girls like T's way better :) ).
  • Twirl her curls on the left side with her finger.
  • Makes us go one at a time on the stairs and she always has to go first.  "No. Stop. Wait. It's not your turn."
  • Brush my hair and sing the hair song from "Tangled" (Flower gleam and glow, let your power shine, make the clock reverse, bring back what once was mine)
  • Dance to Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off" and "Twist and Shout" the Ferris Beuller version. 
  • Have picnics at lunch time (you know - regular lunch just on a blanket in the back yard)
  • Purposely put her head / hair right next to Roxy's hands so Roxy will grab it.  Then Pippa will say "Let go!"
  • Go to church.  Basically because she gets to play with her friends in nursery.  At home when she's playing with her cars the most common destination is church (then the park and the store).

Things Pippa is saying right now:

  • "My do it!"
  • "Want some"  and "Wanna taste it" - usually said when she is "helping" me cook / bake
  • "What am I doing?" (or he / she / you doing?) She loves a running narration.
  • "You ok?" and "You hurt yourself?" (sometimes said as a statement)
  • "Boy crying.  His mommy help him feel better."
  • "You go away." - When she sees me coming to turn off her movie. But also sometimes at the park when I'm pushing her in the swings.  
  • "Okay, see ya, bye"  (sometime followed with "See ya next week") - When talking on the fake phone, when telling T goodbye as he leaves for work (she still gives him gibberish instructions for the day on his way out the door, too), to me after I tuck her into bed.
  • "You go help Roxy sleep" - also after I tuck her into bed. 

Other things:
  • Loves the movies "Tangled" and "Finding Nemo" (aka "The Fish Movie").  Probably because these are the only movies she's ever seen. 
  • Still signs a lot and still does babble signs.  (Not sure if she would sign to anyone but me and T, though.)
  • So social.  Pippa loves other kids and isn't typically shy.
  • Finally lets us dress her in jeans "like Daddy" and it is ridiculously cute and makes her look way grown up. 
  • Is potty trained.  Still needs help pulling pants up / down (wouldn't be a problem if she wore elastic waist sweats all the time, but she mostly wears leggings and they are harder to get down). Wears underwear for naps and diapers at night, but has been dry in the morning for three weeks.
  • Sleeps through the night most of the time.  Not a small deal if you are familiar with this story.  When she wakes in the morning (or at night) she crawls on the floor to our room - there is a small section with a railing that looks down over the lower floor and she crawls that section into our room.  She's a brave girl to crawl to us if she's afraid. Not sure why it's only at night that she does this - maybe because it is dark?
  • Names her cars Dorie, Marlin, Nemo, and Crush (after "Finding Nemo" characters).  The names don't always go with the same cars.
  • If there is water outside, Pippa will find it.  She especially loves the hose. 
  • More independent play.
  • Pippa has a serious case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).  Anytime T and I hug or kiss she immediately comes over and hugs our legs and wants to be picked up so she can get in on the action.  
  • Says prayers by herself without prompting.
  • Loves riding in the stroller and playing at the park - especially anything with climbing or sand.
  • Pippa has a really great memory - she knows lines from books after reading them once and she knows where we are going by looking out the windows.  She knew the big tunnel was around the bend and she's only been there once before (a few weeks ago!). 

And some outtakes:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Roxy at Six Months

Here's Roxy on her six month birthday:

Here's what our sweet Roxy was up to between her five and six month birthdays:
  • Starting on her five month birthday Roxy rolls from back to front a lot. But she still cried once she is on her tummy. She still doesn't like tummy time.
  • Likes peek-a-boo
  • Easy to get her to smile
  • Laughs at Pippa a lot (mostly when Pippa is running, jumping, or dancing) and laughs even more when Pippa is doing those things and I'm doing those things at the same time with Roxy in the carrier. 
  • Has long curled eyelashes
  • Her hair is so many colors (just like T's beard, haha) - she has brown, blonde, and red in her hair and the dominant color appears to change depending on the lighting and when I last washed her hair :)
  • Does a big, loud, happy gasp at the start of a laugh
  • Spitting up less
  • Wears 9 month clothes
  • Busts out of the swaddle (Yes, she's still swaddled for sleep. Yes, I know you shouldn't swaddle after they can roll. But she never even tries to roll while swaddled and she will.not.sleep. unswaddled.)  
  • We call her the usual nicknames and LL (Little (real name))
  • Pulls her own hair while nursing
  • Still burps after every feeding (I get an odd feeling of satisfaction getting a burp out of her)
  • Is 27.5 inches tall and weighs 19 pounds 2 ounces with a head circumference of 17.5 inches.  Roxy gained less than one pound since her four month appointment.  (She was 18 pounds 4 ounces at 4 months.) The pediatrician was not concerned because Roxy was in the  95th percentile for height at 4 months and her weight was way above the 95th percentile growth curve at 4 months.  Now at 6 months, both height and weight are right on the 95% curve.  It makes me laugh a bit because I know of a few 15 month olds who just barely hit 20 pounds and Roxy is pretty much already there at 6 months.  
  • Towards the end of her fifth month Roxy could sit up alone for 30 seconds to 1 minute, started passing things from one hand to the other, and we started some very gentle sleep training (well, T did).
And of course Pippa had to get in on the photo action: