Saturday, September 20, 2008

Animal Care

One of the big selling points when we bought our house was the cute little pond out back that is full of turtles, fish, ducks, and birds. We just sort of assumed that ponds naturally attract wildlife, and for the last 3 years, we've been enjoying nature without much thought about the whole thing. The illusion was broken when our next door neighbors (see World's Best Neighbors) went on vacation for three weeks and asked us to take care of their house. Apparently, the World's Best Neighbors are also the World's Best Animal Lovers. We had some vague notion that they fed the wildlife of the pond, but we had NO IDEA of the extent of it. Jackson has had a blast with the job.

On the way down to the duck feeding area
(they have their own little concrete pad to eat off of)
The pampered ducks get two scoops of corn plus a scoop of turtle food
(who knew turtles had their own food?)
This picture doesn't really capture the frenzy of a feeding session - the ducks peck at each other and step on each other while trying to get the food
Back to the house to reload
Time for turtle food

Getting the turtle food into the pond itself takes a
little bit of effort when you are 2
But whatever spills on the grass is gone by the next day

We no longer have to wonder why the turtles in our pond are freakishly large
On the way to feed the fish

Aww...our happy little zoo keeper

Not pictured: refilling of no less than 4 bird feeders every three days. Apparently our backyard is teeming with wildlife for a reason....

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ace of Cupcakes

If you've received baked goods from us recently, chances are you've been the unknowing victim...err...recipient of Jackson's hard work. I love to bake anyway, and now that Jackson loves to bake too, we've been having a ball. So far he's made strawberry cupcakes with strawberry frosting (this is what's pictured below), banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, and pumpkin cookies. The fact that he's not at all cautious when dumping ingredients in means that he makes surprising few errors (you know - pouring it all in with one confident flick of the wrist), but when errors are made, they are of massive proportions. There's no in between. So far our dishes have turned out fine anyway. Another plus: since he's in a picky toddler stage, he doesn't try to eat anything except a spare chocolate chip here or there. Matt and I still get to lick the beaters...

How do I turn this thing on?

My turn! My turn!
Ok Mom - What's next?
Do I have the next Chef Duff on my hands? Here's hoping!

My Bear! My Bear!

Jackson has recently discovered the concept of "mine." I'm not really sure what took him so long, being a daycare kid and all. Anyway, he walks around the house pointing at things and happily announcing, "My door!", "My closet!", "My chair!", etc. If you don't immediately affirm that the objects is indeed his, he will add, "JACKSON'S DOOR!" for emphasis, just in case you didn't completely understand that it's his...allllllll his.

In recent weeks, his trusty old Bear (who has literally traveled the world with us) has become My Bear. His new game is to have My Bear do whatever you've told HIM to do. Tell Jackson to go potty, and My Bear goes potty instead. Tell Jackson to get dressed, and My Bear gets dressed instead. In this picture My Bear is wearing the shirt that I picked out for Jackson for a visit to his grandparent's house (I had to put a back up on Jackson instead).

My Bear! My Bear!
My Bear getting ready to go visit Nana and Papap for the day
(we fastened him in)
Adjusting My Bear's seat belt

Even though he thinks that everything belongs to him, he seems happy to share it all with us for now. I wonder when that ends?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Monkey Love

We have this super cute monkey puppet that was actually mine when I was a child. I can't remember who gave it to me (feel free to chime in if it was you...!) but I remember being beside myself with joy as I envisioned myself walking down the street with this puppet and fooling people into thinking that I had a real monkey with me. I'm embarrassed to admit that I wasn't all that young at the time. Anyway, the monkey is now entertaining another generation and Jackson can't get enough of him.

Oh no! The monkey's a little scary!
Getting a little braver....
Aaaagh! The monkey's biting me!
Maybe I can tame him with my juice...

Eww! You have banana breath!
I think I'm in love...

Play-doh Party

Jackson has been invited to a few birthday parties recently, and has really gotten into playing "birthday party" with play-doh cake, french fry candles, and a menagerie of furry friends. This would be really cute and fun if it wasn't eerily similar to a task from a test that I give multiple times a week at work.
Judging from the look on Elmo's face, I'm thinking I'm not the only unwilling participant in this game.

And no, this isn't a nudie shot. There's underwear on under there! At home we tend to skip the shorts for easy access to the potty.

The Picture Madness Continues

Now that I've figured out how easy it is to upload and print pictures, I've gone nuts with the idea. My most recent inspiration was to label Jackson's drawers with pictures so he can pick out his own clothes (and perhaps someday put them away too?).
I came up with this idea after Jackson tried to pick out his own clothes for the first time recently and dress himself. I'm not sure what was worse: the fact that he picked out long pajama pants to wear (in 90 degree heat) or the way they hideously clashed with the shirt he picked out. Yes, I should have left him in it long enough to snap a picture, but I just couldn't stomach the vision any longer then it took to coax him into a new outfit.

Sleepy Time

The other day Jackson was having a great time pretending to put Matt to bed. He covered him with his blanket, gave him his special bear, and turned on the "birds" (the little blue crib toy on the left side of the picture). In this picture he has a book and is pretending to read to Matt. This little scene probably wouldn't have been blog-worthy if it was not for the scene below, which happened a couple of days later. Jackson woke up cranky after a long nap and Matt lay down on the floor to comfort him for a few minutes. The next thing he knew, he was completely trapped by almost 30 pounds of snoozing 2 year old. One of the million reasons why I love him: he actually stayed on the floor like this for at least 15 minutes before succumbing to the pain and getting up.

Monday, September 1, 2008

I Go Beach!

We woke up on Labor Day to ominous looking grey clouds in the sky. Jackson woke up saying, "I go beach! I get doughnuts!" We always stop on the way to the beach to get iced coffee for us, and chocolate doughnut holes for Jackson (which honestly may hold more appeal for him then the beach itself). We didn't have the heart to tell him that it might be too cloudy for the beach, so off we went.

When we got to the beach, the error in our judgement became apparent very quickly. The tide was so high that there really wasn't a "beach" at all, and the clouds in the sky were starting to look more black then grey. Since we were already there, we set up our chairs (pretty much at the edge of the dunes) and hoped for the best. Within 20 minutes the ocean had washed up onto the dunes, soaking our towels and chairs. We packed up our stuff, and milled around the beach until the surfers actually started getting out of the water, at which point we knew it was time to make our escape too. As we made a mad dash for the car, the rain started pouring. We still got our coffee and Jackson still got his doughnut holes, and we actually got some pretty cool pictures, so it wasn't too big of a disaster after all...