Monday, March 1, 2010

Thank you, Dinosaurs. Thank you!

I know, I know. I haven't written in forever and I didn't mean not to write, things just got away from me. We've been trying to potty train, given up trying to potty train (whole long story I just don't want to go into), doing taxes, having parties, and the usual day to day craziness that goes along with a two-year-old. First, this is the last year that we will get probably any taxes back and I just want to commemorate this tax season by saying I will really miss the wonderful surprise of completing our taxes and getting a HUGE check, or automatic deposit. Of course I wish we could use it for something fun like a vacation, but saying goodbye to credit card bills feels pretty darn good too. We also had a really fun Valentine's Day Party for Laylah's usual playgroup and their moms. It was a craft party with gifts to be made for dad ( a heart-shaped dough hand-print, later baked and painted to be a paper-weight) Mom (scented candles with message heart candies glued on to make them festive), and grandparents (home-made valentines) We also decorated shortbread cookies with pink and white icing and lots of lots of sprinkles. Oh, and made heart shaped hats/masks out of paper plates. It was really a good time and everyone brought home some really cute crafts and memories. We also almost went to a Valentine's Cupcake party but Atlanta shut down because, drum roll please.....IT SNOWED!!!!! Three or more inches! In ATLANTA!! It was crazy! We had lots of left over strawberry cupcakes (we took them to an AP meeting the next week and it worked out) but we had a fantastic time in the snow. The next day was a Saturday and we went to Chastain Park, where everyone had sleds, where the heck did they get sleds in Atlanta? It must have been a rush shipment to Target that we didn't get the memo about. We used out pizza pan, didn't work too well, but we build a snowman and a snow-dino and multiple snow-angels. Laylah's snow-angels were head down, but still the general shape. Everyone was out though and the park was sooo pretty! The next day on Valentine's Day we went to the Fernbank, the Dino-Museum, because, let's face it, Dinosaurs are Laylah's true love so we decided to honor that on the day of love. We had a blast with her showing everything to Daddy, since it's usually just her and I. Brandon also made me dinner that evening, planned it and everything with no input from me. It was yummy and I think the tradition should continue, maybe once a week? Anyway, since then I've been the dentist once a week to continue fixing my stupid tooth, it's been what? five months of this now? Nice. But one good thing has come of it. We finally found a reliable babysitter! We had a girl before but she got a job and started canceling all the time, so we went to this playgroup at a place called Play. It's basically a kid's gym with trampolines, balls pits, foam pits, balls, slides, sand-boxes (actually full of rice so less messy), a book corner, play kitchen, trains, cars, a kid wonderland! and they have a drop-off program. You can drop off your child for up to four hours at $8 an hour for age appropriate play and programs including a snack and craft and a report when you pick them up of everything they did. It's fantastic. I checked it out very carefully and read all the reviews, but frankly, Laylah loves it! She doesn't complain when I drop her off, the staff there is fantastic, the security is great, she has made the cutest crafts, and they have a kid's night out every Saturday evening so parents can have a date night. I've only dropped her off twice for dentist appointments, but it worked out great and no need to reschedule because you can't find child-care. It's not like day-care with forty kids and nothing for them to do, they only take eight at a time, ever. I love the reports of what she did too, makes me feel like I didn't miss out. She shared, she played with dolls, she read a story, she had a poopie diaper, etc. We also went this last weekend with Daddy so that she knows we don't just drop her off there and so Brandon could see it. They also have a parent's room so you can let your kid play in the supervised area and you can sit on the nice couches and watch TV or read or whatever. There should be one of these places everywhere! Our mom's group is thinking of using it one morning so we can go to the salon next door and get our nails done while the kids all play together for an hour. Bliss! Next topic. Dinosaurs. We went to the Fernbank again this week with two of Laylah's friends, one, Quinn, is her special dino-fan buddy. They are both huge dino and train fans, and they both love Dinosaur Train and can both sing Buddy's T-Rex song. Quinn's mom and I predict a large wedding with all of their paleontologist friends with a reception at the Fernbank. Laylah had a great time taking Quinn to see all her favorite dinos, singing the song together, holding hands. She of course got a dinosaur at the shop, a parasaurlophasus, which she can say. here's the best part. She spent and hour and a half playing with her dinos ALONE when we got home. No tugging on me, no wanting anything, just taking them with her around the house, talking to each other, etc. It was amazing! I got so much done! Laundry, dinner, ironing, cleaning the bathroom! Thank you Dinosaurs! That $5 dinosaur was sooooo worth every penny. She's gradually collecting them all, and can say all of them. We also have so many dinosaur books I'm beginning to think I've read every child's dino book there is. We went to the library on Wednesday and got five more! I also went to a consignment sale last week and found a box labled, "Dino Books," I got like five books for fifty cents! Woohoo! I'm saving some for Easter presents. Then on Friday we went to the Aquarium with her playgroup, she and Quinn connected again over the love of fish. Laylah held his hand as much as he would let her and kissed him a couple of times. Tried to drag him off to dark corner to talk of their love of dinos and fish. I've got a two-year-old who's boy-crazy! Well, maybe more Dino-fish crazy, but still. Brandon should be worried. The weekend was busy as well, Friday evening we picked Daddy up from work early and went to the bookstore and then Taco-Mac for a special dinner treat, Laylah ate about three tons of chips and salsa, her favorite food by far. Saturday we went to J Christopher's for breakfast and had Dino-eggs, a key point in it's popularity with our family. Play is right next door so we went there after. Then we went to Harry's, it's a huge version of Whole Foods with a farmer's market feel to it. They had tons of yummy samples and we got Laylah gelato. In the evening Brandon babysat and I got to go see Valentine's Day with Laurel. It was a very feel good movie though very similar to Love Actually, but I loved Love Actually so I don't see a problem with that. Sunday we cleaned, went food shopping, and watched USA loose Hockey Gold. Then Lee came over for Pizza. Laylah loves Lee, I think he'd give Quinn some competition if he wasn't twenty-five years too old and married already. That's all for the catch-up, maybe next time I won't have to catch up and will just keep up. If the solo-dino play continues I may have a lot more time on my hands. Yay for Dinos! All HAIL DINOS!

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