Thursday, November 18, 2010

Welcome Home!

The Skloss family has moved! We just purchased our first home and we couldn't be happier! It's been months of searching, signing contracts and houses falling through but we are so happy and relieved to have closed and moved in to our new home.

Here's some of the details:

We went from 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1200+ sq. ft apartment to a brand new, 5 bedroom, 3 bath, 2871 sq. ft house. It's been a BIG change for us! We are loving having so much living space, closet space and a playroom (and one of my favorite spots--a laundry/mud room).

We've been moved in just two weeks today and the kids are adjusting so well. Clay is always eager to go "back to my new house" whenever we are out running around town. Mike and I are just thrilled to have more space for EVERYTHING.

More details to come on our new space (with lots of pictures) but for now--I've got boxes to unpack!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday, Carolina!

Carolina turned two yesterday! She had a sweet little day except that she was a little under the weather.

We started her morning off with her birthday bucket and a birthday song. She wasn't shy about her song--just a little confused, I think. She immediately got into her bucket which had some of her favorite things. She got Elmo, Cookie Monster and Big Bird figurines, an Elmo book, a birthday play outfit, a birthday dress, a birthday gown and some foam letters and numbers for the tub. She wasn't too impressed with the clothes (maybe next year!) but she loved her Sesame Street stuff and her letters/numbers.

She came out to the living room to her big birthday surprise-- a see saw! It's the perfect size for her and Clay but it took her a little while to warm up. She finally got on it and she and Clay got going and boom! she fell forward and hit her face. Oops.

It took her a long time to calm down from her fall but we got settled and ate a breakfast taco birthday breakfast (complete with candle/song). She was still pretty whiny as the morning went on so we could tell she was feeling a little yucky.

We went to the Purple Cow for lunch and she continued to act puny while we were there. She laid her head on Nana's shoulder the whole time we ate lunch and barely touched her strawberry ice cream for dessert. As nice as it was to have a quiet lunch, we all missed her normal wild restaurant diner self (especially on her birthday!).

We were supposed to head to the Nature and Science Museum after lunch but we were worried that Carolina wouldn't be up to it. We had a quick change of plans and headed to the "Animal Museum" instead (AKA Petland).

The kids both had a great time there and it was the perfect place for our little animal lover on her birthday. We played with a puppy, pet rabbits and all the other little creatures they have. She loved it!

We came home and the kids went down for naps and I started on her cake creation. I was very unsure about what kind on cake to make but at the last minute I found one I liked and it worked out well.

We did our (younger years) birthday tradition with a small party and Aunt Rebecca came over and joined us. Since Carolina's such a homebody, we grilled fajitas and did fun sides.

After dinner, Carolina got to eat her Sesame Street cake (she recognized all of the characters--thank goodness!) and open all of her presents and she caught us by surprise. She was really into the gifts and couldn't wait to open another one.

Some of her gifts this year were a latches board, a Cinderella costume, a princess book with sounds, a magnetic wooden dress-up doll, a membership to the Nature and Science Museum, some new CD's and a counting piggy bank. She loves them all!

We ended our night with a drive around looking for Halloween decorations and it was the perfect end to the perfect 2nd birthday!

Two Little Pumpkins

Friday, October 22, 2010

Grapefest 2010

Back in Mid-September, we heard that Grapefest was happening and I thought it would be a cute little outing for the kids. Luckily, Anita was willing to extend her visit for a few hours to give me a hand and we had such a great time!

We went early in the morning and there was an area (totally free!) that had a huge sandbox, an area with 20 or so tricycles to ride, a petting zoo, tables with crayons and tables with playdough and blocks. It was so nice and completely uncrowded.

Clay immediately went for the block table and Carolina went and sat down right next to him--so sweet.

Clay loved playing on the bikes and Carolina liked playing at the playdough table with Nana. We switched kids back and forth and hit all the areas. It was morning so the weather was still pretty mild and they had stations set up with water. Everything was in close proximity and the kids had a blast moving from one play place to another.

Clay was a little wild in the petting zoo and tried to chase the rabbits around. I think they reminded him of our cat, Landry, and he just wanted to sit and hold one. That didn't happen. I had to put my foot down though when he tried to pick up the miniature goat. Oops.

Carolina wanted to stay in the petting zoo area for a good part of the time but everywhere we went she would stand at the fence and watch all of the rides. She was so eager to ride something (which came as absolutely no surprise to me given the adventure queen that she is).

Finally, when we had played in the play area for a while we decided to go try out some rides. Nana got us some tickets for the carousel and we watched as it went around, excited for our turn. When it finally came to our turn, Carolina was NOT having it. Anita had tried taking her on and when she wouldn't stop kicking and screaming, I tried too. Needless to say, Carolina and I watched from the sidelines and she was more than happy with that.

We decided to pick another ride and see if she would do okay on that. Clay picked some bears (reminiscent of the spinning tea cups) and I tried to take her in there. Again, lots of kicking and screaming. I guess it turns out she's not so adventurous after all! Oh well, I was excited to ride since I've always loved rides and I was talking big about how they never make me sick. Well, that was before 72 turns inside of an enclosed bear. I didn't lose my lunch but I did feel like I was on that ride for the next two days or so. Clay loved every second.

We let Clay ride on some airplanes and he loved those too (no such luck with little sister).

Finally, we decided to let Carolina pick a ride she would like to go on. She chose some cars that didn't actually leave the ground. We got up to her turn in line and the ticket man said she was too short. Bummer.

After our adventures on the rides, Anita and I decided it was time for some air conditioning. We had lunch at a cute little Italian restaurant that also had some awesome gelato.

Grapefest definitely exceeded my expectations and I'm so glad we went- and I'm so glad Nana got to share it, too!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Memory Work

Clay is doing Awanas this year and has to memorize verses each week. Clay is super auditory (like his daddy) and picks up on stuff he hears really fast so I knew this stuff wouldn't be a big deal. It's turned out to be a lot more work than I thought! Here's some examples of us going over his verses:

Me: "Say "Everything He did was very good.""
Clay: "Eberything He didn't do wasn't berry good."
(No matter how many times we went over it, our little turkey wouldn't cooperate. That was week one so you can imagine why Mike and I were a little nervous about taking him to class!)

This was tonight's:
Me: "Okay Clay say "Mine eyes have seen his salvation."
Clay: "Mine eyes have seen his decorations....Mama, are we going to have ornaments this year??"

Sometimes we get distracted but overall, he's done pretty well!

First Pumpkin Patch of 2010

Clay LOVES fall and all things fall. He loves scarecrows, pumpkin, hay bales and he gets so excited to see it all. Carolina is learning but we've tried to train her right (her first outing was a pumpkin patch at 6 days old).

Knowing how into it Clay is, it's made me sad that we were so busy that we hadn't had time to do a pumpkin patch but we have also been up to a lot of other fun things (more blogs on that later!). So today was our first time to a pumpkin patch this year.

We had some errands to run and I knew there was a small one that we had passed in the area so we planned to make a stop. I thought when we passed the pumpkin patch before that I had seen a BBQ restaurant right next to it so it was kind of funny when we got there today and the "restaurant" was actually a trailer with barbeque pits behind it. Mike and I like living on the edge (ha!) so we tried it out.

We ate some lunch and watched the kids play in the pumpkins. There were a couple of bounce houses and lots of hay bales with pumpkins for sale and the kids thought it was awesome. Mike and I loved it because we were the only people there and it was totally low key.

It was such a fun way to kick off our pumpkin season! We're looking forward to many more!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Avoiding the Question

Clay comes in the kitchen while Mike and I are cooking and says, "I need a towel." Mike asks him why and he says, "To wipe Crina's face. She's sticky." Mike and I both know we haven't given the kids anything to eat (they were watching Barney in our bed) so we kept on cooking and didn't think much about it.

When lunch was ready, Mike went to get the kids and Carolina's face was covered in chocolate. We still didn't know where it came from since Clay didn't have any on him.

Me: "Clay, where did Carolina get the chocolate all over her face??"
Clay: "I'll tell you tomorrow."
Me: "Clay, where did she get that stuff on her face??"
Clay: "God gave it to her."

That's when I gave up.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Circus Time!

Last week we got to do something really special with the kids. It's another of those things that I was really excited about doing as a mom so I was just as thrilled as the kids. We got to go to the circus!

We had the most awesome 3rd row seats (thanks to Nana and Papa) and we were right in the middle of everything. I couldn't believe how close we were especially when they made the two rows in front of us move to the arena so they could do the high-wire act above our heads. Clay had to lie down just to see it!

We had been talking about the circus for several weeks and Clay was extremely excited about going. He would talk about the "junglers" (jugglers) and the other things he had heard from the Mommy Date book.

We thought about not taking Carolina because we thought she might be too little but we were so wrong! She paid attention as much as Clay did. She was way more wiggly and needed more snacks to keep her occupied but she was really into it. She loved it when the "zee zee's" (zebras) came out and she got to go on the floor with Mike and watch the elephants paint during the pre-show (Clay and I missed it since we were in the restroom :().

Carolina did pretty well but there was a point where she got her foot stuck in the chair in front of her and Mike had to kneel down and try to get her free. She was pretty stuck because it took some maneuvering to get her loose. She didn't try that trick again!

Clay was in a circus trance and he couldn't take his eyes off the show. When we tried to talk to him, he just stared and his expression never changed. He was in awe. It was the greatest thing to watch him take it all in and love it all.

Before the show we walked around and looked at all of the booths and Clay fell in love with the sno-cones. He started talking about the a couple of minutes into the show and we had to keep reassuring him that he would get one when it was snack time. He couldn't wait to get his hands on one (and I was loving being able to add to the "circus magic" by getting him something so fun). Luckily, the sno-cone was so big that we could give Carolina some in a cup and she was just as thrilled. As ever with my little opposites, she wanted chicken and fries so they both shared their goodies and everyone was happy.

When the show ended, they turned on the lights and everyone stood up. Mike swooped Carolina up and I turned to Clay and said, "Did you have a good time?". He looked at me for a couple of seconds and then just burst into tears! Bless his heart, he was so sad it was over and did NOT want to go home. We felt so bad for him but he recovered quickly.

Mike and I had so much fun just watching the kids. I'm sure the show was fantastic but nothing beats seeing their little faces when they can't believe their eyes. It was such a neat experience for all of us and we are so grateful that we got to go. We're looking forward to many more circuses to come!

(Just a little side note about their circus outfits. I thought they looked precious in their matching outfits and we got tons of compliments but my favorite comment was from a group of kids who came with their daycare. All of a sudden as we pass the group this little boy starts shouting to his friend, "Look at that BOY in a dress! Look at that BOY in a dress!" I guess he saw Carolina's dress and thought Clay must be in a dress, too (for the record it's a jon-jon). I was laughing so hard! Poor Clay in a "dress"!)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sand, Sliding and Splashing

Clay went to a birthday party today and had the best time. It was a water party and there were about 10 other little boys there to play with. I think he would have stayed all day if I had let him! He had such a great time playing in the sand and running around in the water. Here's a few shots from the party (I think it's hilarious how his tongue is sticking out in half of them-such focus!):

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Carolina's Getting Big

Our Carolina girl is 21 months now and she is such a fun girl. She has the funniest little personality and I can't get enough of it! We've loved watching her turn into a toddler and I wanted to make sure and record some of the things that she's into now.

Carolina is a Mama's girl. She loves Mama, looks like Mama and acts like Mama.

As far as her personality goes, she's totally mischievous and loves a good joke. She makes a "monster face" that has people laughing so hard it hurts (a monster face is when she sticks her arms out and stiffens her fingers and makes her whole body tremble) and she loves to do her stinky face. She loves an audience and will do any of her "party tricks" to get a good laugh.

A part of Carolina's personality that I hope never changes is her willingness to jump in with reckless abandon. She is quite the climber and she has no fear. It's not uncommon to find her on the top of the changing table or in the middle of the kitchen table. She's super fast! When you walk up to her she'll say "Gaca!" (we have no idea what it means) and she'll dive at you. Total trust and absolutely no fear in her body at all.

The other night as I cooked dinner I gave her the step stool to stand on so she could "help". She took advantage of the step stool to get to higher ground. That cup cabinet was unloaded before I even knew what hit me! She's creative and she loves to climb.

Carolina's such a smart girl. At her last check-up our pediatrician said she was advanced and I would agree. She talks a lot. She can count and say her alphabet and identify some of her letters (S, A, Z, O). Here are some of the things she says, "I not hungy" (when she doesn't want the food you offered her), "Huck!" (look), "Ca-ay" (Clay), "ele-cant", "eggle" (eagle), "ga-gick" (blanket), "bap" or "pas" (pacifier), "I got dis" (I got this)," I gonna git down", "all un" (all done) , "goodness", "I want muck" (both I want milk or juice) "I gotta go bobby" (I gotta go potty), "ZZ" (zebra) and much, much more. She's incredibly verbal and doesn't hesitate to let us know what she wants.

Carolina has a little bit of a temper. She always has and I'm thinking she always will. She loves to throw herself on the ground when she doesn't get her way but she does usually snap out of it really quickly.

She is by far the rowdiest restaurant diner I've ever known. With Clay, we ate out from the time he was born and we've never had a problem. Carolina's a wild one, though. She screams, she throws things, she wants down, she rears back in her high chair, she's a sight to behold in a restaurant for sure. Mike and I have tried EVERYTHING and nothing has worked. If you look in her diaper bag, you'll see stickers, stamps, stuffed animals, electronic toys, drawing boards, snacks, old phones, dolls, necklaces and at least half of the toys in our playroom have been in there at some point. Needless to say, she has caused two restaurant-loving parents to love eating at home. (I say this not to complain, just to record how it actually is)

That brings me to the next thing about Carolina, she's a homebody. She is a dream at home. She plays well, eats well and is generally happy. The second we walk out the door, though, she turns into a different child. She goes from being a child who loves to play independently to the one who would rather not leave us at the play area. She does let loose and play for a little while if we go to museums and kid places but she checks in with us every couple of minutes to give hugs and get reassurance. She would rather engage in a game with Mike and me than go out and play with Clay and the other kids. If we go outside to play, she will head for the house in less than five minutes. She loves her home, her things and her comfort zone.

Our girl is a pretty good eater but she has a tendency to be picky. While we all love shrimp, she hates it. She loves her sauces (ketchup, ranch and bbq sauce). She especially loves to streak them down her face and paint her body with them when she's finished eating. She won't eat any veggies and only a small amount of fruit (strawberries and bananas). She loves her orange juice (just don't give her too much water in it or she'll throw it at you and fall in a heap on the floor). She loves chicken and she's getting a lot better about eating casseroles. She loves eggs and bean and cheese tacos. She's pretty good about eating bread, lunch meat and cheese. The girl can also eat her weight in cheese enchiladas and queso. She's my kind of girl!

Clay and Carolina have a typical brother/sister relationship at this point. Sometimes they only want to play together and sometimes they drive each other crazy. Their personalities are completely different and it gets tricky sometimes. Clay still calls her Crina and we're not sure if that's ever going away. When we try to correct him he just says "Carocrina". He's also called her Crina Bear a few times which is hilarious because he genuinely thinks we named her Carolina Bear and not Carolina Blair.

I can always count on Carolina eating, playing with and liking just the opposite of whatever Clay has. He loves Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and she wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole- it's Velveeta Shells and Cheese for her. He likes chips, she likes sweet treats. He likes ice cream, she likes the cone. He likes "Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang" and "Bedknobs and Broomsticks", she likes Barney and Elmo. He loves to cuddle up with you on the couch, she loves climbing in our bed by herself and watching her shows. It totally amazes me every day how different they are (and we love it that way).

Carolina is still a great sleeper. It's totally her personality to do her own thing and she usually sleeps at least an hour later than anyone else in the house. She loves to lie in her bed with all her blankets and animals and just chill. I have only seen her sleep on her belly twice in her whole life and she always has legs and arms coming out of the sides of her bed. She goes to bed around 8:30 and usually sleeps until 8-8:30.

She is so into her "stuff". She loves her blanket (which is actually from Clay's bed), her kitty and her pacifier. She loves chenille (but only the kind with the lines) and she will sit and run her fingers up and down the lines on her blanket while she's watching her shows. She drags her blanket all over the house, Linus-style, and she loves having her pacifier. When you go to take her out of her bed, she hands you her things one by one, "Here it is! Pass! Here it is! Kitty!" and she goes on until she's given you everything to carry for her.

One of the great things about Carolina is that she already knows what she wants. I've learned my ways around her preferences and it seems to work for both of us. She'll tell me, "I-unna-nack" (I want a snack) and then I'll offer her several things but she shakes her head back and forth and tells me "I not hungy" if she doesn't like the choice. So I pick what I want her to have, set it on the kitchen counter and walk away. She'll walk over, pick it up (because she decided to) and she'll eat it. Everybody's happy.

What does Carolina like to play with? Blocks, books and puzzles. She'll play legos with Clay and some Play-Doh stuff, too. She loves to sit on the tricycle (she has her own but prefers Clay's) and she loves to drive in the bus. She is always up for doing school, working on letters, counting bears and stamps that we have and all the educational stuff. She's pretty independent about her play most of the time except when it comes to school time and she always wants to sit in my lap.

She doesn't really like baby dolls but she LOVES stuffed animals. She will always find one at a store and she normally has several in her bed. She loves her necklaces and playing with shoes. If Carolina could do one thing all day, though, it would be watching Elmo and Barney ("Bowney"). She is a huge fan and asks for them all the time.

Carolina is the sweetest thing. We just love her personality and all the fun she brings into the house. She is happy, loving, sweet and full of spunk. We love our Carolina girl!