Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Saturday, February 28, 2009

tape and crayon on paper

A word on the video posted below: Silas clearly says "tape" about 100 times before Drew figures out what he's referring to. And yes, that's his potty, doubling as a stool so that he can reach one of his works-in-progress. Since returning from Wisconsin, Silas has taken his tape and crayon series to a new level. We now have layers of papers, 3 sheets across, on the opposite wall. I'll have to photograph that piece too sometime, as it is particularly nice (in my completely non-biased opinion :-)

Friday, February 27, 2009

An artist at work --the video

Drew took this video before we left for WI butI didn't have a chance to post it till now. He took some great pictures too. I'll publish those as well, as soon as I have an opportunity...

Monday, February 23, 2009


One of the highlights of our trip to Wisconsin was visiting Madison and seeing our friends Jessi and Dave, and their son Alden. Silas and Alden are only a few days apart in age and it was great fun to watch them together.

Alden has a really cool slide and clearly, he is the master of it! Alden looks like he's not budging unless Silas gives him the secret password :)
On Saturday, we took the boys to Madison's fabulous Children's museum. I could have played with this wooden city for quite a while myself.
Nothing beats percussive instruments...
...except possibly learning to lay bricks...

...or dressing up in a hard hat and tool belt.
It was awesome to see our Madison friends, and I wish we could get the boys together more often. I asked Silas the next day "Is Alden your friend?" and he replied "Alden...Friend!" It's now been several days since we saw Alden, but I showed him the first picture on this post today and with no prompting, he remembered Alden's name and again reiterated that Alden was his friend. Awe...

Yesterday was a long day of travel for us, but we made it back home in one piece. Silas did really well on all of the flights and napped a lot, thankfully. His schedule is still a bit off, though. Today, he was up by 4:30. I'm hoping to get him back to his regular routine by the end of the week.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mitchell Park Domes

What better way to beat the winter blues but to spend the day at the Mitchell Park Domes? Apparently, our family was not the only one to have this idea. We spent a few hours on Monday enjoying the Domes with a fair amount of other people, including Papa, Grandma, Auntie Jennie, Uncle Eric, and cousins Adam and Anna. Eric managed to snap a few pictures of the three of us. Silas' favorite part of the domes was the waterfall in the Tropical Dome (too crowded with people to take any pictures there). Had there not been a lot of other kids wanted to see it, Silas could have happily stood staring at the falls all day long. Like his cousins, Silas also enjoyed watching the trains. Next time we visit, Grandma and Papa will take us to see the Domes at night as they have a spectacular new night display.
We are off to visit the LeClairs in Madison this afternoon and then will be back in WA State on Sunday. I'll probably post again with a vacation wrap-up sometime after we get back home.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Grandma G in the House!

Grandma G visited today. We hung out and took pictures. Love you, Grandma G! See you again tomorrow...

Wisconsin living

Peering down from the top of Grandma and Papa's stairs...

Silas and his cousins, Adam and Anna, playing Papa's organ:

Anna, always a ham for the camera:
And, practicing his scales with his Daddy and Papa looking on:
It's hard to believe that our WI trip is more than half way over already. I still have a fair amount of pictures to sort through, and we still have more activities planned, including a trip to Madison! We were supposed to have a lot of snow today but thankfully, it seems to have passed us by, so far. Grandma G. is enroute right now to spend the day with us. I'll be back with another blog post soon.

Monday, February 16, 2009

23 months old! Birthday parties, WI-style!

We've taken many pictures since arriving in WI last Thursday. Where to begin? How about a few showing how we celebrated Si's 2nd birthday, one month early. The top photo is from Si's dance party with Drew's family on Saturday.

The next day, we did it all over again with my side of the family. Silas got to help Grandma make his cake.

Drew and I decorated it (see the first picture)
...and Silas got to blow out his birthday candles for the second time in two days. Lucky boy.
Never fear, I'll post more pictures soon.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chinese New Year Celebration

Last Sunday, we took Silas to the Chinese New Year celebration down town. I was pleasently surprised that the noise from the lighting of 1000 firecrackers (accompanied by drumming and a dragon dance), didn't seem to bother Silas at all. In fact, he loved the dragon and wanted to get as close to it as possible.
He also loved the gigantic red ball:
Here are my two handsome boys, enjoying the parade.
We had a fun time and ran into several of our friends (that's small town life for ya!).

On the home-front, we are getting ready for our trip to Wisconsin. We leave on Thursday. There may be one more posting tomorrow, but if not, we'll see all of you Wisconsin people soon!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

For the love of Bob (and Belle & Sebastian)

As mentioned in the last post, Silas has a serious music obsession. Topping the list of favorites are Bob Dylan (Maggie's Farm is his favorite Bob song) and Belle & Sebastian (Judy and the Dream of Horses tops the list). He requests "Bob Dylan" and "Ba'tian" ALL of the time, Maggie's Farm and "Dream Horses" being asked for specifically. Not surprisingly, he often wants to listen to his favorite songs over and over again. While it's true that we grow weary of listening to Maggie's Farm multiple times a day, we also know that it is way better than having to listen to brain numbing Barney-like music or watch the same video over and over again. Drew and I speculated that he grew attached to "Dream of Horses" because he sees horses every day when he takes his walk, so it is something in his life that he can identify with. Perhaps it's because of that that he also asks that I sing "Pwitty Horses" (All the Pretty Horses) to him at bedtime.

It boggles my mind to see how long he will stand near the stereo and just listen to the music, dancing around from time to time, but mainly just listening. In our world of constant multitasking, I realize that I hardly ever just sit and listen to music. I'm always doing something else to occupy my hands or my head. There's something to be said for the one-track mind of a toddler. He really pays close attention and has learned a lot of vocabulary from music. He will also announce when different instruments are being played (or are about to be played), including guitar, harmonica, base, and horns.

This picture cracks me up every time I look at it. That's Silas, practicing his moves:
Drew recently made Silas a Bob Dylan tee and two Belle & Sebastian tees. We only got a picture of one of the B & S tees. Dreaming of horses, are we Silas?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bob Dylan enthusiast: preview

Drew recently took a bunch of pictures of Silas modeling some of the t-shirts he made for him, featuring Bob Dylan and Belle and Sebastian (2 of the people/bands Silas is currently obsessed with). There are so many good shots, I haven't had a chance to sort through them all or make them "blog-ready." Here's one to tide you over. I'll post more soon, along with more on Si's growing love of music...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

February 09 Book of the Month

Announcing Planet Silas' February 09 Book of the Month:

And if the Moon Could Talk by Kate Banks ; illustrated by Georg Hallensleben.

This is not the first book I've featured as a BotM by the writer/illustrator duo of Banks and Hallensleben (see our very first BotM entry, Close Your Eyes). I doubt it will be the last either. I just cannot resist their thoughtful and strikingly beautiful books.

I can think of no better way to end the day than curling up with Silas to read this book. Like Close Your Eyes, And if the Moon Could Talk is a gentle bedtime story in which tranquil nocturnal scenes are intermixed with images and text of a child's peaceful bedtime routine. The moon looks down upon and unites each image, be it that of a silent harbor, animals bedding down for the night, or the comfortable domestic setting of a young child's bedroom (Someday in the future when Silas has his own bedroom, I hope to make it as inviting a space as the one in this book). The vibrant colors and eloquently simplistic text are sure to capture the attention of both parent and child.

Here's a bonus book, just for the parents! I've decided to feature a parents' "book of the moment" whenever I happen to come across a title I think would be worth sharing. I doubt it will be every month since I honestly don't read them that often. Drew and I have been enjoying this books, so I thought I'd mention it:

Peaceful Parents, Peaceful Kids: Practical Ways to Create a Calm and Happy Home by Naomi Drew.

Among many other useful concepts, the idea that we ourselves have to emanate peaceful behavior so that our child learns to model it really resonated with us. We got the idea for a "house of kind words" from this book as well. Many of the concepts discussed would be easier practiced with a slightly older child, but at it's core, peaceful parenting cannot begin too soon! We plan on implementing other aspects found in the book as Silas grows, including having regular family meetings and creating family guidelines, rules that Silas will be able to help us set. One of the misconceptions that Naomi Drew dispels is the idea that peaceful parenting must mean never getting upset or frustrated, or that peaceful parenting equals passivity. This is of course, not the case (as well as impossible, if you ask me). Instead, peaceful parenting focuses on acknowledging both parent and child's emotions while dealing with them in a mutually respectful way. This is a helpful book and is also easy to digest in small quantities (very useful for busy parents).