Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Beauty of 2 1/2...

I know I say this about every stage....but this one is truly the best (I know I said that about the last stage too. So let's just call me a parenting optimist and leave it at that.) Two and a half is great because they are physically capable of doing more and they are so enthusiastic about doing it all themselves. So if you're on top of your game, you can really use this time to establish good habits and teach good life lessons. I didn't realize that she would be capable of doing as much as she does by this age. I figured this kind of comprehension wouldn't start until she was at least 3. I'm not suggesting she's advanced, I'm just saying that I had no idea some of these things would be possible at this age. Like flossing her teeth properly or memorizing books. When I think of her age as "two" I think of her as my little toddler. But then I watch her and I just think "You're a little girl now. A preschooler. A little lady. You're just not a baby anymore."

She's gotten a lot more affectionate with us. She will tell us first that she loves us or missed us while she napped. Nothing can melt me more than when she puts her arm around my neck, looks into my eyes and says "I sure love you Mom. I missed you." Of course NO ONE gets the amount of "love yous" and "missed yous" as Kyla does. Kyla still remains McKenna's favorite person in the world and vice versa. You wouldn't believe how their faces light up when they see each other for the first time every morning.

McKenna has gotten really independent. Dressing herself everyday (multiple times a day) brushing her teeth on her own, going potty on her own, puts movies on without help, can operate the remote control and the microwave (not that she's allowed without supervision of course), helps to take care of her sister, cleans her own room, helps me with chores. She loves doing chores and is so proud when I ask for her help (wouldn't it be great if that lasted? LOL!) She also loves to help me cook dinner and she'll tell Erick "Here Daddy. I made you dinner all by myself." I'm just so proud whenever I hear her having full conversations or when I see her master something that I know she is so determined to master.

A few cute things I don't want to forget:

When she puts on one of her princess dresses, she says "Oooh, milky smooth." She means "silky smooth" but some how it got twisted into "milky smooth". LOL!

(BRB I have to stop to go give her a "ballerina bun" in her hair).

Whenever she wakes up from a bad dream, I always hug her and say "Shh, it's ok. Mommy is here. You don't need to be scared. Mommy and Daddy are always close by." Well her and Erick were playing a silly video game that starts with some ominous music and she put her arm around me and she said "It's ok Mommy. You don't need to be scared. Kenna is always close by."

Ok so speaking of her ballerina hair, you know how I've mentioned that she loves to do a dozen costume changes every day? She has to try on all her princess and fairy clothes, complete with VERY specific hairstyles for each, and finished off with a touch of blush and lip gloss. This is a big part of her day. So I've decided that one of the things we're gonna do for her third birthday is take her to Libby Lu for the Princess makeover. She will LOVE it. Of course her birthday is still four months away but last time her and I were at Downtown Disney, we stopped in the store and she was in princess hEaVeN so I made the decision right then and there. I can't wait for that! I wonder if I'll be able to wait until her bday...= D

We have a new "discipline" tool in place. I don't know that discipline is really the word I want to use. There are times when McKenna is just getting worked up too easily and too often. Not necessarily misbehaving but just getting frustrated really easily. This is common on days when we have to skip naps or maybe if we've been on the go too much. So we've started to do "calm-down" time. If she keeps having melt-downs I ask her "Do you need some time to calm down?" And instead of time-out, she is then put in her chair with a little bag of books that she can read to help her calm down. She LOVES this because she does calm down instantly and she knows she's allowed to get up anytime she wants. I don't want her to feel punished because she's tired and cranky. And I don't want her to think of books as punishment. So this is just something we use to "calm down and relax". Now if she misbehaves, she does still get time-outs, pennies taken out of the wishing jar or early naptimes if it's necessary. But this has been a really great way to positively redirect those tantrums that are a result of things outside of her control.

Now Kyla, she is a rolling fool. That kid is all over the place. McKenna has considered it her personal mission to make sure that Kyla is always safe. Even though I'm always in the room with them, she will immediately call my attention to Kyla if she thinks that Kyla is getting too close to something that could harm her. She will frantically call out to me to "Save her! Save her!" And there have even been a few instances when I apparently didn't act quickly enough (LOL I assure you, Kyla was never actually in any danger but McKenna felt she was) and McKenna would grab Kyla's feet (Kyla is on her belly now) and McKenna would drag her sister backwards away from the impending doom. It is hilarious to watch this little two year old, dragging her baby sister across the room on her belly, by her feet, backwards. Kyla thinks it's the funniest game in the world and McKenna thinks its a near-death experience.

AND...Kyla's first two teeth broke through! Erick discovered them yesterday and they are so cute!! I'm glad I got some good pics of her gummy smile because those days are long gone now. Here come those baby teeth!


Ok, a couple of scrap announcements I wanted to make....

* My friend Traci is taking the plunge and opening her own scrap-for-hire business called Cotton Blossom Scraps. She is having a logo contest and you could win a $50 gift certificate of YOUR choosing! C'mon....I know you've got an idea in your head already. You heard "Cotton Blossom" and you immediately got a beautiful image in your head right? DO something with it. Give it a go. Send it to Traci. Read more details here.

* I know there is always a need for more boy scrap items. So I wanted to point out Gina's new "Andy's Things" collection available at SBB. A neat little fact about these kits - all of the drawings are by her brother Andrew. Isn't that cool? I just loved his artwork and I loved what Gina did with them. Everything turned out so cute! She is currently selling them in four-packs and will soon sell them individually. But it is cheaper to buy them in groups so if you're looking to save a buck...

Andy's Things: Collection 1
Andy's Things: Collection 2

* Christine Haskell is officially selling as a digital designer! She just released brand new items (2 kits and 2 alpha sets) at Liddy's Loft. Be sure to check her out!

And of course

Recent LOs

Sprinkler Head

Credits: Everything here is from the beautiful "A Little Something" line by Kim Christensen. Everything from "A Little Something Pretty" kit and solids pack, except for the staple which is from "A Little Something Playful". Fonts are CK Paris and FG Linnea.

Sugar Baby with the Champagne Eyes

Credits: These Van Morrison lyrics always remind me of McKenna's eyes. I knew one day I'd want to scrap them with this photo. I just had to wait for the perfect papers to surface. Papers (Bramble Manor), envelope, tape, staple (Essentials pack) by Iron Orchid Designs and available at Scrapartist. Emulsion Transfer available at ACOT. Black stamp by Taran Conyers and background brush by Michelle Coleman. Fonts are Beyond Wonderland, CK Paris and Blackjack.

Kyla Girl

Credits: Welcome to the GMD team Aggie! I loved lifting your beautiful creativity. Papers are Jen Wilson's "Sweet Little Things". Flowers by Amy Martin. Monogram by Tammy Bankston. Floral stamp by Kate Teague. Stitching is a mystery file. Let me know if they look familiar. See Aggie's original here.

Practically Perfect

Credits: Welcome to the GMD Team Janet! Well, I did the best I could but your LO is so beautiful with the stunning photography that it was a challenge to try to measure up! Fortunately, you had a great design so even with my tv in the background the LO still came out pretty = D Everything is from Mindy Terasawa's "Touch of Spring" freebie with the exception of the blue beads (Holly McCaig), stitching (Dani Mogstad) and the paper tear (Traci Murphy). Fonts are Petrascript and CK Cosmopolitan. See Janet's original here.

First Beach Trip

Credits: See....boy kits aren't just for boys. ; ) I had a blast working with Gina Miller's new "Andy's Things Collection: Under the Sea" kit. The glitter and the netting were the perfect touches for this LO. Everything is from the kit except for the kraft paper (Kristin Tilly), the staple (Shabby Princess), the paper tear action (Atomic Cupcake) and the journal strip (from Gina's "Note This: Take 2" pack). Fonts are Mom's Typewriter, 2peas Fleamarket and 4990810.

Ok, I just realized that I forgot to tell the NY&CO story. I'll tell that next time since this post has gotten long enough.

Question of the Day: The networks are gonna cancel ALL television shows but you get to pick one to stay on the air. What show do you pick? News doesn't count. A show you watch for entertainment. Which one would you absolutely insist stay on the air?


Maegan (Coffeebean) said...

Oh I loved reading about your girls. Zoë is 21 months and I just cannot imagine that in about eight months she is going to be talking in sentences and dressing herself. Sigh.

I am absolutely going to try the calm down chair (or area) when Zoë starts to get worked up. I did try the "naughty rug" today and let me tell you..it went SO well (insert sarcasm here).

Your layouts are all beautiful. I just don't know how you whip them out so quickly. Gorgeous work!

Alyson said...

Awww, I've been reading your posts too, and THINKING I've commented, but totally haven't. We're not neglecting each other. We're keeping up on the down low! ;) just kidding. I'll be better with comments! I promise!

OK, I REALLY miss McKenna lately! Give her some big hugs from us and tell her we'll see her as soon as we can!

LOVE your LOs! Your girls are so gorgeous! I gotta go get the Iron Orchid one...I need that tape! :)

Alyson said...

Oh. And I would only want Gilmore Girls. All. The. Time.

Kim said...

Awww, Shannon. Your stories about McKenna melt my heart, from 1,000 miles away! What a sweet, caring, brilliantly smart young lady you have raised!

Julie Jewels said...

Kenna is such a sweetheart!! I love how caring and thoughtful she is! I think your calm down discipline is a great idea! Sometimes they just need us to help them get it in control! Good parenting, Mommy!!!

I'm LOL at the thought of Kenna pulling Kyla away from imending doom! How funny!!

Not surprisingly, I've never heard of Libby Lu, but what a great place for girls!!

Gina said...

"It's ok Mommy. You don't need to be scared. Kenna is always close by."

Aww that is so cute!!

Libby Lu will be such a cute little birthday thing. And it will make for a very cute scrap page. ;)

She will frantically call out to me to "Save her! Save her!" This just made me LOL! haha So cute.

The show I would insist stays on would have to be.... LOST. For now. I might change my answer tomorrow.

jenn v said...

Loved reading about your girls...it's funny with two boys I miss that girly stuff (and just LOVE that picture with the ballerina outfit). I agree with the 2 1/2 comments - we have horrible 4's in our house - the terrible twos were nothing compared to this.

I will be doing a scraplift of your last beach layout tonite.. I just love it. I got Gina's kits this weekend and haven't played much.

Question--keep LOST - I love that show.

Elaine said...

I am totally on the same boat as you as far as saying, "This is the best stage.. oh no wait, THIS is the best stage" Just recently Brad jokingly said, "stop the madness!" and now Maddy can't help but say it everytime someone on t.v. is in trouble. "Stup da mannneesss!!" Hilarious.

I always love you Kyla/McKenna stories! And I like the idea of the calm down chair. Maddy has a naughty chair (sometimes she naughty chairs herself!) but I don't like to put her in it when she has a "meltdown" from being tired or worked up. Great Idea!!!

momy4him said...

i love reading about mommylife with kenna and kyla! i learn alot from you-i have been in the game for a while, but i can always learn new things!
libby lu is the ultimate store for princesses, that will be soooo much fun! i need to plan a day for me to take my girls.

Stephanie said...

So, these stories about McKenna got me teary-eyed. She just sounds so sweet & thoughtful! Plus, I have a soft spot for ballerinas. :)

LO's are beautiful.

TV show I can't live without...I think I could actually live without them all. But if one had to replay all the time I would pick Friends. I just love all the episodes! And there are enough to last us a quite some time without constant repeats. LOL. If I have to pick a current show, then I pick Grey's Anatomy. :)

Britt(any) said...

I'm going to say FRIENDS, even if it's already off the air. You just can't go wrong.

Laura said...

O.K. first to answer your question, Food Network is a "network" right? It's in the title, so I say it is. And I'm going to say Everyday Italian, I just find Giada to be very inspiring.

I just loved reading all the McKenna stories and how Kyla thinks it's all fun and games when McKenna thinks she's saving her. I think you are such a thoughtful parent with the creative ways you use to redirect McKenna's behavior. Based on the things she repeats back to you (the Mckenna's always close by thing for example), you can tell she's so well taken care of and loved.

Looking forward to the NY and Co. story, I was wondering about that the other day.

Laurie said...

Seriously McKenna has to be the sweetest little girl ever!! Listening to your stories about McKenna and Kyla make me so anxious to have another baby!! I just can't wait to see how Libby is as a big sister....there's just nothing else like the bond of siblings!! I might have to use the idea of the calm down chair when Libby gets a little older. Your LO's are stunning, as usual!! You have such beautiful girls and I can tell you're a wonderful mommy!! As far at TV shows go...hmmmm....I love 24 for my weekly adrenaline rush and the OC for my guilty pleasure, lol. Can I pretend that that's one show? :) What would your show be?

Have a wonderful evening!! :)

Shawna Taylor said...

I love all the layouts, especially the Sprinkler Head one of McKenna! My girls had similar hair do's & my dad & step-mom always called them fountain-heads!

And just wait, you think 2-1/2 is fun, try the horrible 4's! The back talk, not following directions, not sharing with her sister, the list goes on for miles! And of course it's only when she's at home with us, her preschool teacher & our daycare provider claim shes an angel! And then add to all the 4yr old fun a 2 yr old who is very stubborn & wants her way all the time, well you can imagine the power struggles at our house!

Melissa Ives said...

Awww...what two little princesses you have! My niece had a princess make over birthday party last summer (but they did it at home), the girls had a blast!

My favorite show? Law and Order-SVU...I know, incredibly grusome at times, but I'm addicted.

Robin Forman said...

I would definitely have to say Gray's Anatomy- I love that show, and it is the perfect combo of drama and comedey all rolled into one!

wyowoman said...

well, heck girl - my first thought was "yay- the news will be gone!" I refuse to watch it. a newspaper is bad enough... so, my one show would be... greys anatomy i think.
so, I am loving loving loving the "champagne eyes" page. so gorgeous. !!!

Joy said...

Hi Shannon,

Your girls are absolutely adorable and you have such great parenting ideas! It warms my heart :)

P.S. My fav show right now (that isn't reality) would be Grey's Anatomy - I just started watching it two weeks ago and am hooked!

Erin said...

Oooh, milky smooth."

Sooo funny! Ah! I needed that laugh. Cutie pie Kenna!

She is just so sweet and so caring already. Just an amazing little girl!

Kyla is already getting her first teeth! Wow. Caught me off gaurd for some reason! Time goes fast :)

Beautiful layouts! They are milky smooth! lol.

The show I'd pick is House!

Jen said...

2 1/2 is fun- I agree. I love the independentness of the age all while still needing us to give them lovin :)

Chandra said...

Thanks for the Club Libby Lu tip. I'm always looking for new birthday party ideas!!

The one show I can't live without is "Grey's Anatomy." And "Lost." But "Grey's" most of all.