Tuesday, October 31, 2006 No comments

It didn't take long for Chloe to catch on to what Halloween was all about...the candy. Notice the Skittles on her tray.  Posted by Picasa

Chloe getting a hug from our neighbor's son. Posted by Picasa

Matt & Chloe set to go trick or treating. Posted by Picasa

Chloe throwing leaves in the front yard on Halloween. Posted by Picasa
Sunday, October 29, 2006 No comments

Chloe the Kangaroo rocking out to the band. Posted by Picasa

Chloe at the Newcomer's Halloween party. Posted by Picasa
Wednesday, October 25, 2006 No comments

Fashionista Chloe sporting the ensemble she chose and assembled. Posted by Picasa

Keep your eye on the ball

Chloe woke up in the middle of the night with a runny nose and cough. I decided that I would cancel all activites for the day and keep Chloe at home. Chloe and I were playing catch this morning and I thought she was too precious. We played for over 30 minutes and everytime she would throw the ball she would say the same thing. So, I had to record it. There are 2 takes. The first is us throwing the ball back and forth and the 2nd was me trying to explain to Chloe that she has to keep her eye on the ball and put her hands forward to catch the ball. She took it very literally and thus I must post her "keeping her eye on the ball".

A side note: I need to add that Chloe insisted on wearing her ensemble which was a diaper, her Halloween shirt (given to her by Grant), a beaded necklace from BeBe and a sash/belt tied around her waist. My little diva has got an eye for fashion!

Happy Birthday to You...

BeBe and Gemma!! Today is Chloe's BeBe's birthday and her cousin Gemma's 5th birthday. Happy Birthday!

We hope Gemma had a fun birthday party this past weekend.

Chloe made a video card for BeBe:

Tuesday, October 24, 2006 No comments

Chloe working her way under someone else's blanket for warmth (hey, it was cold)! Posted by Picasa

Chloe deciding on a pumpkin to choose. Posted by Picasa

Chloe wanting me to pick her up so she can snatch the camera. Posted by Picasa

Hayride--Take 2

Today we went back on our hayride and pumpkin picking with Chloe's Mommy & Me pre-school class. Notice the photos from our 1st hayride. Chloe's in short sleeves. Notice a difference in today's photos??? It's cold. There's even some talk of light flurries!!!

The hayride to Chloe was old hat. She went to see the chickens and peacocks and decided there was nothing else to do except take some photos of Mommy on the hayride. I was lucky to get any photos at all. When I would take the camera from her, Chloe would yell, "hold me mommy, hold me!". I would pick her up and then she would swipe the camera and yell, "Down!" It didn't take long to catch on to that one. I did manage some photos though.

Oh, and to prove my diva/toddler theory....Chloe picked a pumpkin and was holding it. As we boarded the hayride to return to the nursery, the driver of the tractor held out his hand to help Chloe up the stairs. Chloe, handed him her pumpkin instead and said, "Here, you hold Chloe's pumpkin. Chloe do it by self." I said, "Why doesn't Mommy hold your pumpkin instead?" Her response, "No, he can do it." After she made it up the stairs, she turned back to the driver to order him to, "Give me Chloe's pumpkin!" He obliged and got a "Thanks!" and a cheeky little smile. All hail Diva Chloe!
Monday, October 23, 2006 No comments

A photo of Daddy & Bryan taken by Chloe. Posted by Picasa

Chloe helping to rake and sweep the leaves in the front yard. Posted by Picasa

Toddler's are Divas...(well at least our toddler is)

My husband is correct when he says that we were better parents BEFORE we had children. It was much easier as an "arm-chair parent" before we had children. "Our child will NEVER do that!": Yea right!!! Now that we are parents, we've gained a much greater understanding.

Chloe has hit the "terrible twos" and I have had to take a few moments to count to 10 to myself. I have read that there is no such thing as the "terrible twos" in several parenting books. What then has possessed my otherwise delightful, laid back child?

Life was good one month ago. At 27 months, Chloe was a happy, go-lucky little girl. Now, she's more likely to burst into a tantrum than smile at you. My parents don't believe it. Of course, they are grandparents, they aren't supposed to. The diners of two local restaurants can attest to it. Chloe kicked up quite a doozy on Saturday night. So much so that Mommy & Chloe has to leave the restaurant and sit in the car while Daddy & Bryan finished up and paid the check. Then, on Sunday morning at breakfast, she had a timeout moment in the ladies restroom when she screamed non-stop at the top of her lungs because she wanted ALL of Daddy's milkshake (she didn't want to share).

My favorite tantrum thus far was today. I had given Chloe a cup of milk and she was drinking it while I made dinner. I needed more milk for the recipe I was making and reached into the refrigerator for the gallon of milk. As soon as Chloe saw the milk she began to yell, "I want milk!!!". "You have milk," I said. "WAHHHHHH!! MILK!!!" (fall on floor screaming,fake crying and flailing). Did I miss something? Not more than 5 minutes before I had given her a glass of milk. And, yes, I checked, it was still full of milk. Count to 10 Shannon & ignore. You pointed out the glass of milk in her hand. That's all you can do.

In this new phase of parenthood, I turned to the experts to help me interpret. All it did was confuse. When it comes to toddlers, the experts don't even agree. Yes, they all say that this stage of development is all about independence, but that's where the agreement ends. Great, yes, I am aware that Chloe keeps running from me because a) she thinks it's funny to see Mommy chase her and b) she wants her independence and doesn't want to have to be held or hold hands. Now, what do you do about it so that she doesn't run into the road or in front of a car and get hurt? One expert said time out for two minutes (1 minute for each year of age), a local doctor said the 1-2-3 Magic approach and one expert said to tell them "No running from Mommy!" in a stern but not too loud voice because time out and 1-2-3 Magic are still beyond a 2 year old and you don't want to crush their self-esteem (this is also the same expert who says toddlers are identical to teenagers). Great, thanks for your advice.

So, as I was pondering my discipline approach, here's what I discovered....I am going to write a book about toddlers entitled, "Toddlers are Divas". I once bought a shirt for Chloe that had the word "DIVA" on the front in rhinestones. I thought it was cute and I thought at the time it was funny. I didn't know it was true. Maybe I came to this realization because I talk to a 2 year old all day. It's like talking to a diva. They talk in 3rd person--"Chloe don't like it!"; "Chloe all done!"; "Chloe loves you!"; "Chloe do it!". There's never or rarely an "I" in any sentence. Then, there's the bossiness--"OPEN THIS!"; "Chloe want milk!!". There's the tantrums and fake cries. There's the moodiness. It's an egocentric world a toddler lives in. It's all about them. Does a diva know that running into the road could cause you to get hit by a car? NO! A diva (and a toddler) believe if there is a car, it will stop for them. Everyone is supposed to be taking care of their needs.

So, I think I am going to search out for that DIVA shirt again and get one in Chloe's size. It was cute, now it's true.
Saturday, October 21, 2006 2 comments

This is a family photo of us at our local BCA China Cares Little Dumplings playgroup. Posted by Picasa
Thursday, October 19, 2006 No comments

Chloe with her pick. Posted by Picasa

On board the hayride. Posted by Picasa

Chloe smiling with the pumpkins the children can "pick". Posted by Picasa

I told Chloe to put her head in the pumpkin. She didn't get which side to put her head in. Posted by Picasa


This afternoon Chloe and I went on a hayride with the Newcomer's group at a local nursery. It was very cute. Chloe made a new friend, Cori, and the giggled, laughed and screeched all during the hayride (much to the delight of everyone on board the ride). After the ride we walked around the barnyard and could look at the turkeys, chickens, pheasants, peacocks, sheep & goats. The entire nursery is decorated for halloween. Chloe was happy & giggling until she noticed all the goblins and skeletons. From that point on she was held. After the ride, the children were treated to more screeches from Chloe and Cori and doughnuts & apple cider.

After the hayride, I asked Chloe if she had fun. She didn't reply. So, I said, "Mommy thought the hayride was a hoot! How about you Chloe? Did you think the hayride was a hoot?" Chloe's response: "No, Daddy toots!"

Apple Picking

Tuesday, October 17, 2006 No comments
On Saturday, October 14, Matt, Chloe and I went apple picking at Applewood Orchards & Winery in Warwick, NY. It's the thing to do in the area in the fall and we all had a good time. I ended up picking all of the apples as Matt & Chloe were kicking and stomping on the fallen apples. We now have a 1/2 bushel of Golden Delicious, MacIntosh, & Cortlandt apples. I will begin making applesauce and other apple dishes for our enjoyment.

My allergies and Chloe's allergies have been going non-stop for the last few weeks. Texans think their weather is bizarre! We have had some insane weather here. One day it will be 72, the next will be 54 and then the next will be in the 60s and then back into the 50s with rain to be followed by 74 degrees. It's nuts and it's causing my allergies to go in overdrive.

Despite the wet and cold weather today, Chloe and I made the best of a yucky day. After pre-school, we headed to Edgewater, NJ for some errands. Edgewater is a few miles away and is just as it sounds, on the edge of the Hudson River. After running a few errands at some local shops, we stopped into the Whole Foods market. The WF's in our town is small and cramped and has a limited selection, it's like a WF's conveinience store. Edgewater's Whole Foods is nice, like the WF we were accustomed to in Texas, large, spacious and a really good prepared foods section. I had to smile as Chloe and I were eating lunch in WF's because the nice and enormous WF's of Plano, Texas could never compete with the Edgewater WF's view. As we sat in the dining section of the store, we could look across the Hudson into NYC. Now, where else can you go grocery shopping in a nice, big store and get views like that? Pretty cool.

For the rest of the day Chloe and I will be holed up in the house attempting finish folding the laundry that has been occupying our basement. I am also in search of the digital camera as it has gone missing. My mother's intuition tells me that a certain two-year old has hidden it somewhere. I just have to find out where.

Bingo II

Thursday, October 12, 2006 1 comment
I am happy to report that we have returned home with Bingo. Chloe was very eager to go and get Bingo from the pet store. It inspired her to help clean up and put her shoes and socks on at the end of her art class at the YWCA. She was giddy with excitement to go and pick up Bingo.

We returned to the pet store that we bought Bingo I at some 5 months ago. After some discussion with the fish caretaker at the store, she convinced me to put Bingo II in a smaller glass tank with no gravel. She said Beta's prefer this and live longer this way. I always thought it was a bit cruel to leave them in a tiny little glass bowl, but she told me they prefer it, they live in puddles in the wild. Hopefully she is correct.

Chloe ran through the fish department in search of Bingo. "See 'em, see 'em," she shouted as she looked at a guppy in the tank below the Betas. "No, that's a guppy. He's pretty, but that's not Bingo," I told her. "There she is, there's Bingo!" she exclaimed pointing to a white & blue Beta. "Well," I said, "Bingo's going to get his feelings hurt because Bingo is a boy and he's red." "I see 'em," she said pointing out a red Beta, "Let me pet him," Chloe responded. "You can't pet a fish Chloe. Bingo has to stay in the water and we don't put our fingers in the water," I told her. "How 'bout I hold him?" she asked, reaching to pick up the glass bowl another Beta was in. "How about you hold him when he's in a plastic bag?" I asked. "Ok. See 'em? That's Bingo," she claimed, once again pointing to another Beta fish. So, her 3rd selection became Bingo II. He's red with a blue body, a slight difference from the all-red Bingo I.

Now, Bingo II is safely at home in Chloe's room in a small glass bowl with no gravel. I will have to change his water daily, so I bought a second glass bowl. As we were putting Bingo II in his new home, Chloe pointed out that we were giving him a drink of water. "He drinking water," she said, "See 'em? See 'em?"

Bingo's Demise

Wednesday evening, Chloe and I were following our usual bedtime ritual which includes feeding Bingo her Beta fish. Well, Bingo got fed, but he wasn't swimming to the top for his food. In fact, he wasn't swimming at all, but laying at the bottom on his side, dead. Chloe, of course, did not notice. I slyly had her pick out 3 books to read for bedtime and took Bingo and his tank next door to our bedroom. We continued with our usual bedtime ritual. After tucking Chloe in, I proceeded to clean the tank. I had thoughts of running up to the pet store when Matt came home for another Beta, but decided to just clean and fill the tank and let it sit until Thursday. I figured Chloe hadn't noticed, so it would be ok.

Well, this morning, Chloe came in to our bedroom for her morning diaper change and she saw the fish tank. Here's how the conversation went:

Chloe: "Hi Bingo!!"
Chloe: "BINGO!?!"
Chloe: "Where's Bingo?"
Chloe: "Bingo's gone!"
Matt: "Bingo went on a trip. You and Mommy are going to go and pick him up this afternoon."
Chloe: "Bingo's at the train station?"
Matt: "No."
Chloe: "Bingo rides the bus."
Matt: "No."
Shannon: "Bingo's at the pet store. We have to pick him up this afternoon."

And, with that the conversation was over. No more mentions of Bingo. We will have to see how it goes this later today at the pet store.
Sunday, October 08, 2006 No comments

Dancing (and putting on a performance) with a Chinese fan she managed to "find" from a new friend. Posted by Picasa

Paddling on the boat. Posted by Picasa

Chloe and Matt preparing to go out on the boat. Posted by Picasa

All childen had to wear a life vest on the boat-though I don't think thisone fit very well. Posted by Picasa

Chloe modeling with the dragon boat. Posted by Picasa

Autumn Moon & Dragon Boats

Friday, October 6 was the Chinese Autumn Moon Festival. Today, our local FCC chapter held their Autumn Moon event at Lake Parsippany. Families got to ride on the dragon boats and Chloe went out with Matt. She was very eager to go and once she got on the boat, Matt said she didn't say a word.

As always Chloe made her presence known. The world is her oyster and everyone is at her beck and call. By the end of the afternoon, everyone had met Chloe.


Saturday, October 07, 2006 No comments

We sat down on this chilly fall day in Jersey to watch the Razorbacks take on the #2 ranked Auburn Tigers. I had to run upstairs and grab Chloe's Arkansas cheerleader outfit (thanks Christi). She liked twirling in the skirt. I couldn't get her to do the Hog Call but she did make an attempt to join in on the "GO HOGS GO!" chant with the TV. She now likes to point out every cheerleader on the TV. She saw some cheerleaders with their belly showing and now is insisting hers show too. GREAT. WHAT HAVE I DONE? I was only trying to be a supportive alumnus and begin the Razorback brainwashing on my 2 year old. I didn't know watching a college football game would warp her and cause her to run around the house showing her belly.

I was happy to see the Hogs do so well on national TV & a little pleased to see a #2 ranked SEC rival fall. I hope the Razorbacks put in another great appearance on national TV against LSU in November. I think Chloe's cheerleading uniform will remain in the closet for that game and her belly shall remained covered.

Cheering on the Hogs! Posted by Picasa

Laying on the couch, watching the game & eating jellybeans with Daddy. Posted by Picasa

Not certain what this move was all about.  Posted by Picasa