Tooth Update

Two days ago I couldn’t watch Elle show me how loose her tooth was and tonight I’m helping her try to see the permanent tooth that’s underneath it. Yay for inurement!

Here’s a picture of Elle for her Tooth Fairy Tales book mentioned in my previous post.

I snapped the picture before loading the kids in the car this morning because I was worried that she would lose the tooth while at daycare. You can see her bottom right central incisor is sitting crooked. Yeah, it’s because the tooth is that loose.

What’s Going On?

Happy New Year to everyone! The Higgs Family is hoping to make it the best year yet for the family as a whole, for our well-being – physically and spiritually. We have lots of things planned for 2012, finances and time permitting. Here’s a short list of things we want to accomplish this year:

  • Take a family vacation to Disney World.
  • Redecorate our home. We’ve started on the living room and are moving to the play room next.
  • Buy a new vehicle for Ted that will fit the whole family.
  • Move closer to family – this has been on our list for a while, but I have a feeling that this year or next year will finally be our year.
  • Spend more time together.

Since the new year started, Elle has started cheerleading and also discovered a loose tooth on January 14. She is so sweet to Rhett and baby talks to him a lot. She loves to cover him in kisses and shares with him very well. It’s heart-breaking how quickly she has been growing up these last few weeks. Santa was good to her at Christmas; he gave her the coveted Jessie with the yarn hair. Mommy and Daddy got her a Princess Charm School house, Barbie doll, and DVD. Her Christmas favorites were the gifts from Auntie Diane – a Polly Pocket airplane with a ton of accessories and a bride dress-up set.

Rhett “flipped the switch,” as Ted refers to it, on December 27 and has been talking and picking up new words at a rapid pace. He is constantly trying to communicate and says “thank you” for everything. He says things like truck, stars, train, me see, whassat?, stop it, monkey, blankie, and paci. He’ll repeat pretty much anything you ask him to and it’s somewhat comprehensible. Santa brought Rhett a stand and play race track that is as tall as Rhett. Mommy and Daddy got him small plush figurines of Elmo, Cookie Monster, the Count, Big Bird, and Grover.

Sara is such a sweet little puppy. She loves being around her family and loves to lick on Rhett. She has been tearing up the backyard on her little outings so we are trying to figure out what we should do about that since we would really like to start working on the backyard as well. Our goal is to make it comfortable for us to hang out outside and also a fun place for the kids and Sara to play.

There’s lots in store for 2012! We hope your plans bring you as much joy as ours do.

Word Play

Rhett’s vocabulary lately:

Uh oh!
Bye – sounds more like buh
No – his favorite answer to EVERYTHING.
Hello
Ball
Up – another favorite
Ba-ba – for his nightly bottle
Cool – Ted’s been teaching him this one, but I don’t think he understands the meaning.
Want some? – says it just like Grandma “wan-chum”
More – just like Elle used to, “mo, mo, mo, mo, mo?”
Dog
Mama
Dada
Elle
and of course Coco, every grandchild’s favorite.

Words I’m surprised he hasn’t picked up because of the frequency that they are used: monkey, blankie, and paci.

It’s so amazing watching him be more secure with his footing and it’s very apparent that he’s trying to get everywhere as quickly as possible. Yesterday the whole family spent some time outdoors with the neighbors (the first cool evening of the summer/fall). We let Rhett walk around freely and he was so happy just toddling around the driveway, sidewalks, and other neighbors’ driveways. His little cheeks got a little red, but he so enjoyed the freedom.

Elle, on the other hand, is playing around with the idea of rhyming words. She asks Ted and me random, “Do you know what rhymes with ___?” questions and has a lot of fun thinking up words; some of the words are even made up, but they do indeed rhyme. She’s able to recognize a few more letters–R, N, I, S, and F–and she loves when we go places and I ask her to tell me what letters she sees on the big store signs. She is also loving Sesame Street when she didn’t have much of an interest before. I think she likes it more because of the letter of the day.

While the children still aren’t able to play well together, I’m still hopeful for the day. Right now, Elle makes so many attempts to love on and have fun with Rhett, but it seems he sees her as more of a nuisance at this point. I’m sure once he get’s past the independent play stage that he’ll appreciate her much more. Although, Elle does have an adorable sign on her door that says for Rhett to keep out. I’ll have to take a picture and post it tonight.

Pinterest and My Inner Crafter

So I’ve become somewhat addicted to a site called Pinterest. It’s a place where you “pin” your “interest” onto boards. You title a board (I have a board called “For the Kids” for example) and you pin things you find around the Internet to it. On my “For the Kids” board, I’ve pinned things like sewing patterns for skirts for Elle, creative food presentations to make eating lunch or dinner more enticing, and fun crafts to do together.

Addictions aren’t always positive, but I think that this one is. It has helped me to be more creative and to make an effort to make things more fun for the kids and for me. Ted and I bought a few items at IKEA the last time we were there shopping for Rhett’s furniture and one item that was never assembled was a very plain toy box. It’s finished exactly like Elle’s table and chair set in her bedroom: plain, unfinished light-colored wood with white seating and table surfaces.

So I stumbled on this awesome find on Pinterest:

And I immediately knew that I wanted to do this with unused toy box. I got the toy box out from under Rhett’s dresser, started thinking up ideas, made a trip to Michael’s for some spray paint for the wood and chalkboard spray paint, and got to work last night. I was able to get the wood spray painted thanks to Ted driving to four different stores to get me some more of the exact spray paint I had picked out (and for future reference, Walmart carried Krylon spray paint – I had picked up the last of the almond satin finish Krylon at Michael’s). I let the paint dry outside over night.

This morning I taped off the spray painted areas of the toy box cover and spray painted the chalkboard on. It’s sitting the garage drying right now and hopefully tonight I’ll have time to assemble the toy box. I’m excited to see the finished product.

I have more plans in store for the plain white sides of the toy box, like Martha Stewart’s stencil patterns that are $16.99 at Michael’s, but it’s a little too pricey for me right now so I’m waiting until we have a little more expendable income. I’d use the stencils for so much more than just the toy box so it’ll be a good investment. I have designs on using it for wall patterns when I’m feeling extra ambitious. 🙂

I also saw a spray paint that creates a magnetic board so I’m pondering making one side of the toy box magnetic so it can also be a learning center for Elle as well. I’d buy those little magnetic alphabets and using that a letter recognition teaching tool.

I can’t wait to share the finished chalkboard toy box with y’all!

Infrequent, I Know

I wanted to update this blog more regularly with things going on in our lives, but I’ve learned that life is very hectic with two children. The only down time we have is when the children are sleeping and I’m usually ready to go to bed right after they do. Tonight is a rare night.

This past weekend, I took Rhett and Elle to Sea World and let them splash in the Bay of Play area. They loved it and it was a nice way to enjoy the hot summer day. After playing in that little area, I took them around the lazy river one time and then planned on taking them to the toddler area only to find that it was under construction for a new water park. So we all walk down the long and winding handicap accessible path (for the stroller) and by the time we get to the wave pool, Rhett has fallen fast asleep.

Poor Elle really wanted to be in a pool, but we had to turn right back around and walk all the way back to the car to head home. She was really good and didn’t even complain about a) not getting to go into the small pool, b) having to walk all the way back to the car (in fact, she was optimistic and said she was getting her exercise), and c) how hot it was.

Elle is enjoying dance; this year we have her in ballet and Mexican Folkoric. I also started a Facebook page – called Elle, Oh Elle – of all her little quotes by request and also because it was starting to take over all my status updates. I’ve been teaching her letter recognition and we’re also introducing letter sounds. Once Rhett is asleep, she and I work in a workbook given to her by her cousin Hayden. She really loves learning and all the practice writing her letters. She can identify and write: A, C, D, E, F, J, L, X, & Z so far. Elle also LOVES drawing lately. It’s pretty much completely replaced dress-up, Barbies, miniature princess, miniature Strawberry Shortcake, and Rapunzel play-time. She draws every day and I enjoy seeing all of her creations. I will need to start posting more of those.

Rhett started walking August 18th and since then he’s been practicing more and more. He’s doing really well these days. Even when he falls down, he picks himself right back up and tries again. I love it. His poor little thighs must be so sore from all the squatting he’s been doing trying to sit down and stand. He has all four teeth exposed on top finally, happened about a month ago. He says: catch, throw, ball, uh oh, hello, bye bye, vroom vroom, mama, dada, Elle, shhhh, no no, and Coco (Grandpa V). He’s trying to communicate a lot more and REALLY loves his bed time stories. He also loves just sitting quietly and looking at the pictures in books.