Friday, January 30, 2015

World Bird Sanctuary

We went to the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis a few weeks ago. It was free, and fun, and I'd recommend it.

The kids love these things:

But then they literally ran laps around this loop for no apparent reason. Whoot! I said. Keep going! You see that Sam is right there with them.

James the bald eagle:

Friends holding hands in the parking lot:

There were cranes (my favorite), several eagles, various hawks, turkeys, chickens, homing pigeons, and I don't even know what else. Then we stumbled upon a training session for this bird. There was also an armadillo and a tarantula in the room because ...? I don't know, but they were neat.

Sally was the one who suggested we go, and then was a good sport about our schedule ... and then she cooked dinner for us :) I need to drum up something fun/free to do in Como to repay the favor.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


I couldn't find a picture of Amelie's first dentist appointment to link up!

James had his first dentist appointment yesterday. He was a champ! The doctor didn't notice any problems, though he did say that James has 4 more molars to go. He hasn't been bothered by teeth yet, so hopefully those are no exception.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Kiwi Crate

Our friend Cabell got the kids a Kiwi Crate for Christmas. It came with two crafts and a pack of bug-facts cards.

The first craft was a sponge-painting activity, which Amelie especially enjoyed - she started making bugs as directed and then covered the entire paper with paint. The next craft was making a lightning bug - and this one was really cool because it wasn't just a cute craft, it was an actual, functioning toy.

The finished product:

And James zip-lining the bug. (Ignore the mess.)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Ice Cream

Dickey's Barbecue has kids-eat-free Sundays and also soft serve. It's a hit!

You can't see it, but James was holding out his empty ice cream cup, appalled that he'd run out, I guess.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Toddler Fashion

James was very proud of this Tigger shirt and vest (he requested the shirt when getting dressed) but then he didn't want to stand still for a photo / fashion shoot.

And then he didn't want to wear the vest anymore.

Thanks, Nana Jana, for the outfit (last year! but I don't think I got any pictures when he was wearing it then). 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


As I alluded to earlier, we brought my great-aunt Helen's twin beds up to Columbia right before Christmas with the plan to create a bedroom and a playroom for the kids instead of having them in separate rooms.

Amelie had been sleeping on a trundle, and James was still in the crib, so it was a move up for both of them. The first night they were in the room worked out beautifully, but since then it's been hit or miss. Twice I've found them in a nest on the floor in the morning. James still wakes up sometimes and comes to our room, too. (And they do sleep all night in their own beds occasionally!)

Here's Amelie in her Elsa dress from Aunt Tara. Thank you!

Anyway, it freed up the other bedroom for a toy room, and that has worked out really well in keeping the mess contained (and giving them a nice open space to play).

Friday, January 9, 2015

On the Couch

The mischievous look Amelie is giving is because she took off James's shoe right after this.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Gingerbread Cookies

Usually we decorate sugar cookies around the holidays, but this year we just did gingerbread. I'm thinking we might make some salt dough ornaments next year - hey, I have to get some use out of my million cookie cutters.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Amelie Says / James Says

Amelie commented, "A bunch of people have signed up for Christmas," when she saw how many houses had lights.

Later, when we passed a house covered in Christmas lights with a particularly big display of carolers, penguins, reindeer, and a nativity out front, Amelie said, "Wow, they must really love Christmas." 

On Christmas Eve, Amelie went to bed around 8pm as usual. At 9pm, as I was starting to get all the last-minute things together, she came out of her room and said, "You guys are going to tell me when it's morning, right?" 

Amelie: What are we having for lunch?
Me: Mac and cheese
Amelie: Does it have peas in it?
Me: Uh huh
Amelie: Yesssss!

When making our grocery list for the week, Sam asked if Amelie wanted anything in particular for dinner. "Yes, but I can't think what it is." And then she walked away. That's that.

There was a package of gummy bears from the Candy Factory in the kids' stockings. James found his and yelled, "Vitamins!" 

I suppose that's a good segue into our poison control story. Amelie and James were suspiciously quiet when I was making them pancakes. I found them hiding, huddled together, eating nearly half a container of gummy vitamins, which one of them had thieved from the counter and opened the childproof (ha) lid for. The poison control line said there was no iron in them and they have to purposefully package them so that a single child would have to eat more than a full container for it to be toxic (thank goodness) but then of course no one wanted from-scratch pumpkin pancakes.

James to me: "I sneezed. Say Bless You!" 

James came up to me without any pants on. "What happened to your pants?" I asked. "I taked em off," he explained. When I asked if he was going to put them back on, I got "No!" accompanied by an actual stomp of the foot.

I was reading a wildlife card to James with a photo of an elk on the front, but he said, "No. It a reindeer." I told him that on the back it said it was an elk. To this piece of information he says,  "Me read the back." He took the card from me, turned it over, pretended to read, and said, "It a reindeer. Rudolph reindeer had a shiny nose."

I told James that he smelled and he said, "NO! YOU smell." 

Dress Up

Amelie put on her too-small crocodile costume from last year, so James wanted to be a too-big Tigger.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

St Louis Mini Trip

I got to meet up with some friends from college in St. Louis on Saturday, and we went to eat at Fitz's because it's kid-friendly (also delicious). They were bottling the rootbeer and you can watch, so it was hard to keep the kids in their seats. I'm sharing this photograph even though it's blurry.

Amelie said, "What is that delicious smell? *sniff sniff* What IS it? It smells delicious!" (and it did). When Emy asked her what the rootbeer tasted like she said, "I don't know. You can taste it." It must be pretty hard to describe.

Then we went to the zoo. It wasn't too cold (43, I think?) but it was overcast and gloomy, so I was able to score free parking and there were very few other people there. We spent a long time in sea lion sound, and one of the sea lions was playing with the kids, tracking a mitten they were tossing around. James called another one a dog, and I corrected him and said it was a sea lion, and the zookeeper corrected me and said it was a seal (apparently two seals live there, too). Ha!

The elephants and big cats were out even though it was cold, and then we spent a long time in the monkey house and the reptile house, which the kids like to do anyway.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Bead Toy

Amelie got a bead toy from her Uncle Jeff & Patti for Christmas. She was itching to play with it, but I didn't want to get it out until we were at home since there were small pieces. And then the day after we got home she saw it still in the truck and wailed, "We FORGOT to do the beads when we got home!" So anyway, we did them:

Dada and James coloring. He was jealous of the beads.

She did two different designs (these were printed on cards that stuck behind the trays). It's really similar to a bead thing I did when I was a kid, but with mine we baked them in the oven to set and these got misted with water and put under a fan.

Why, yes, we did let James play with the clearly marked "for age 3 and up" toy. He used the pincer tool and Amelie used her fingers.

The finished product!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Christmas in Columbia

Hey, we had a (somewhat more low-key) Christmas at home, too. The kids got a big bag of books from Scholastic. James doesn't look too pleased.

We wrapped up the dollhouse people. "Papaw!" he said.

We just put the dollhouse under a blanket. This is the dollhouse Grandpa Bob made for me when I was a kid. I wallpapered most of the rooms on Christmas eve when James was napping. When I had it, I played with it for a long time - maybe through 5th grade (and then used it as a bookcase until I went to college). I hope the kids get a lot of use out of it, too. They played with it for hours on Christmas day.

I made a video that I'll try to put up later. Unfortunately, I didn't catch on camera the time Amelie was saying, "Oh, no! The dada fell off the cliff!" when she knocked him off the coffee table.

Aunt Holly contributed the living room furniture and Aunt Barb gave us the spiffy buffalo head decoration. (It really makes the room, doesn't it?) I think the rest of the house needs some art on the walls, too, so that's my next project.

Their other joint gift was a traffic mat, and they played with it for a long time, too. (Both toys have now moved into the play room - more on that later.) 

Clothing-optional Christmas.

There was just too much excitement and James had to have his nap in the middle of the floor. 

We went over to the kids' cousins' house that afternoon and played with their dollhouse :)

And read books.

Two times the trouble.

Uncle Luke put the kids' food on their plates to cool off before we ate, so of course they started eating it and were done pretty much right after the adults sat down at the grown-up table.

The kiddie table is where it's at, anyway.