Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Spirit of Giving...

First, the back story to this post: Mugger's preschool has asked each of the children to bring in $4.00 to buy a "Jesus Loves Me" lamb from the Samaritan's Purse Gift Catalog. Here's an excerpt from the Director's Note in Mugger's ECC (Early Childhood Center) newsletter this week:
"I want to extend a great BIG thank you for the MANY lambs we will be able to purchase for children in need. One of our ECC children came into my office last week with his teacher to ask me if there were enough lambs for children. Then he proceeded to give me an envelope with $20.00, and it was enough to purchase five little lambs. This child, who is only four, gave from his savings and from money given to him for Christmas. He chose to spend his own money to help others instead of purchasing something for himself. He also needed one more dollar to make it $20.00, so he helped his dad straighten out the garage to get the additional dollar. What a heart!"
We're awfully proud of you, Mugger, and I know Grandma and Grandpa will be thrilled to hear what you did with their Christmas money. By the way, as of last Friday, the preschoolers have brought in enough money to purchase 83 lambs!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Mugger's Joke of the Week

"Hey Mama/Papa-- I can count to 900! 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900!"

This is the height of silliness to a 4-year old, and Mugger has told this joke to EVERYONE this week!

Bug our Singer Girl

Bug is turning into quite the little jukebox lately! She seems to be singing all the time-- often with most of the right words. Some songs which she has been singing excerpts from this week:
  • The Alphabet song
  • Jingle Bells
  • Old MacDonald Had a Farm
  • The Itsy-Bitsy Spider
  • The Wheels on the Bus
  • Down by the Station

An Early Christmas with Grandma & Grandpa

Last week, the kiddos had the best Christmas present they could have hoped for, a visit from Grandma and Grandpa! Mugger got to bake cookies with Grandma, Bug got lots of storytime with Grandma, and we all got to celebrate Grandpa's 60th birthday at Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel.
Mugger was very concerned that Grandma get to hang the first ornament on the Christmas tree, since we had saved the decorating for their arrival. He did a great job decorating the rest of the Christmas tree, though. He even made a paper angel to help hold up the star and added a whole box of candy canes to the decorations.
After the decorating, they were ready for presents. Mugger (being the Hugger Mugger that he is) loved his zebra pillow, which he declared his new best friend (along with Bunny.)
Mugger also loved his Jeep Adventure Set and makes new tracks daily!
Bug was totally in love with her new stroller for her doll...
...and then she saw her new doll!
After all the excitement, they were ready to head for bed in their Christmas jammies. So cute! Thanks Grandma & Grandpa!

Santa Claus & Snow Come to Town

Last Saturday was the day a local realtor trucks snow down to a parking lot here in town so California kiddies can experience snow! Montana-born Papa thinks this is hysterical, but I never want to miss it since it's all the fun of snow without the 2-hour drive to the mountains! I must admit that it's pretty funny to see the snow corralled in a chain-link fence though. Anyways, Mugger had a great time playing "Snow Fight" (as he called it) with Papa, and Bug enjoyed her first experience (in her memory) of playing in the snow.
We also had the seasonal sleigh ride with Santa (in his California sleigh on wheels), though I must say we still don't know exactly what to do with the whole Santa issue. Mugger knows that Christmas is about Baby Jesus and has even asked me if Santa is just a character like Caillou (from his favorite TV show), but I think it confused him to be asked what he wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas! Oh well, we'll just let his mind sort it all out until he has more questions. For now we'll keep our focus on counting down the days until Baby Jesus' birthday.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Trains!

Last Wednesday Nonnie & Gramps took me and the kiddos to the Nixon library to see the holiday train display. Mugger liked lots of the trains, but Bug was more interested in laying on the benches! (All those pix turned out blurry as she was too busy!)As many trains as there were there, Mugger was most excited to help Nonnie and Gramps get their train set up once we got back to their house. He even helped move and clean furniture to get the train running sooner.
And of course, once we got home, he was all excited to get our Christmas train set up too. Those pix will come in another post...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

"Mama, what's heaven like?"

Exerpts from a conversation with Mugger in the car yesterday...
  • Mama, are there toys in heaven? We'll have everything we need to be happy, Mugger.
  • But will there be enough trains for every kid to play with? Yes...
  • Does God have a really big, big backyard? I'm sure He does.
  • With frisbees? (laugh)
All because he was concerned that he would be as happy in heaven as his great-grandpa is...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving '07

Thanksgiving this year was one of our quieter ones, just the 4 of us and my sister, Jen. The kiddos were more than happy to have Aunt Jen all to themselves, though. She came early to play games with Mugger and help us cook-- though with some interesting logic Mugger tried to convince all of us he had made most of the meal since he had helped me shop for all the dishes!After our feast, we headed down to the beach. The kiddos and Papa did some sandcastle-building (the only reason the beach exists, as far as they're concerned) until Jen & I came to get them to check out all the wildlife in the tidepools. Mugger had fun rock-scrambling with Aunt Jen, spotting the little fish and hermit crabs, and both he and Bug liked watching the "sea enemies" (sea anenomes), as he called them.
At dark we headed home for pumpkin pie. Mugger seems to be as crazy for pumpkin pie as his parents, so the 4 pies I made Wednesday were gone by Sunday. (Well, one went home with Jen...) Good thing the kiddos were such good help at making them!

Halloween '07

Halloween was a great excuse to make Mugger a superhero cape! Papa sewed him a cape for his "Super Mugger" costume. (No, his t-shirt doesn't say "Super Mugger"-- we did use his real first name!) Mugger had a great time "flying" around the living room. Bug got to wear her brother's Tigger costume. Being that she's such a bouncer, it was the perfect choice. She was happy to bounce for anyone who asked her all night long. And no, we didn't head out to go trick-or-treating-- this picture was taken right before we went to the Harvest Festival at church. I may be an evil mom, but so far, Mugger has the impression that trick-or-treating is only something kids used to do. Since we don't get any trick-or-treaters on our doorstep, I haven't felt the need to correct him!

Bug's 2nd Birthday Party

Bug's birthday party was at "green park" (as the kiddos call it) again this year. Bug wasn't too sure about a crowd of people all arriving to greet her-- she spent the first 20 minutes hiding under the playground equipment! She was eventually coaxed out though, and really warmed up once Papa drew her a picture of her beloved Jeep with some of the chalk we brought to play with. Mugger did great in his party planner role, as all our guests had handwritten nametags that he presented the moment they arrived.
Bug did great at blowing out the candles on her Old MacDonald cake, but she was not at all interested in opening presents. She opened hardly any that day or the next day (which was her actual birthday.) Here she is in a sweater from her godparents that she finally opened 2 days later. Being that it was very cozy-- and pink (uh oh!)-- she was happy to model it for the camera.

Pumpkin Patch!

Well, the kiddos were giddy to go to the pumpkin patch this year, at least Mugger was. Besides picking out the biggest pumpkin he could lift, his favorite part was the corn maze.
Bug liked that some of the pumpkins were little enough for her to hold, but her favorite part was the tractor ride all around the farm. She was not a happy camper when we had to leave, but it was too windy to stay and ride again.

Laguna Beach, Oct. 10, late afternoon:

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bug the Goof

Bug has only just this fall discovered school-like settings and she LOVES them! Highlights of the week for her are Sunday School and the Monday nights she has MOPS. She's pictured here with a MOPS craft that she was so attached to that she screamed when Papa made her let go of it to go to sleep.
Bug is also getting pretty good at playing with Mugger. Play to her can be as simple as sitting in the recliner-- or as rambunctious as Mugger launching her off the leg rest as she slides down!
Bug is also quite the master of Found Toys, especially the Empty Box. The empty case of diapers can keep her busy all morning!

Mugger the Fisherman

One of Mugger's summer highlights would have to be fishing. In Montana, Grampa gave him his very own pole and took him fishing. He managed to catch his first rainbow trout.
While camping (right after the infamous Road Trip!) at Green Valley Lake (perhaps no more, thanks to the October fires), Mugger caught 2 more rainbow trout. Or, as he put it, "I caught 2, but Papa only caught 1." Hey, that was 3 more than anyone else around them caught, so he must have some good fishing genes somewhere...

Road Trip 2007

Since Mama ran away to Europe, Papa figured the best thing would be to get the kiddos out of the house. His mom flew down from Montana and they took a two-week road trip to Montana and Oregon. Here's Papa's family gathered at Uncle Tim and Aunt Nicole's place. Notice Grampa's wonderful Eeyore impersonation!
After time in Montana, it was off to Oregon to stay with Bug's godparents. Mugger's godfather came down from Washington to have some time with the kiddos. He managed to catch them for a moment while they were tearing around the yard with Ben and Abbie.

Papa! Papa!

Mugger and Bug are as crazy about their Papa as two kiddos could be. I don't know whether to call him a hero or a saint, especially since he took the kiddos on a road trip to Montana this summer while I ran away to Europe with Mom. Can you tell he has fun with the kiddos?
I happen to think he looked a bit more relaxed when he and I had our getaway weekend on the Central Coast. Kudos to the Kaleidoscope Inn in Nipomo for this tip for a beautiful walk...


Welcome to Mugger and Bug!

Mugger is our son, aka "Hugger Mugger." He's a busy preschooler, but he also loves to stop for a snuggle. I plan to enjoy it while it lasts...

Bug is our daughter, aka "Little Bug." She, too, is one busy little girl, who just turned 2, but doesn't seem to think there's anything too terrible about it...

I've chosen to write about them using these pseudonyms to spare them any embarrassment when they're older and realize what I've been up to!

Post #1 has to include my all-time favorite pic of them, taken last spring.