Sunday, August 21, 2011

Toy Story

Meet Ariel, one of our squishy dolls.
Marielle calls them squishy dolls because each doll comes with dresses made of a flexible, stretchy rubber, presumably for easy dressing. Ariel is by far the most preferred squishy doll in our house, especially by Jenna. You see, Ariel comes with a pink ball gown and a mermaid tail you can take on and off. Pretty awesome huh? Our girls think so. You can often hear "ah, ah, ah" (insert trademark Ariel tune) somewhere in the house and mermaid Ariel swimming through the air.

A few months ago Jenna managed to yank off Ariel's flowing red hair. I super glued it back on, but it was shortly pulled off again by a toddler who shall remain nameless (but her name rhymes with Henna). Ariel's hair is now basically a wig; it comes on and off as often as her tail. And since I am the designated hair reattach-er, it shouldn't surprise you that I was secretly relieved when the hair recently got lost . Bald Ariel was a sorry looking toy and the girls shied away from playing with her. For awhile.But they missed her and soon bald Ariel was once again swimming through our home. Bald Ariel is better than no Ariel, right? Marielle once told me that Ariel had cancer and that is why she had no hair. (Thank you, lemonade stand.)

Then one ma-gic-cal day last week, Marielle ran out of her room just giddy, "Mom! I found Ariel's hair!" Now I am back to re-attaching the "wig" 12 times a day. Why do I tell this story? Because each time I snap on the hair, I sigh and want someone to know how much I love my kids in this simple act of service that is repeated over and over and over again. I mean even Taco Bell workers get a shout out when they make Employee of the Month. Can I have the "Haven't Thrown Away the Squishy Doll Award" please?

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Joy of Whip Cream: A Photo Essay

Who ever said you needed a spoon?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Few New Tricks up his Sleeve

1. Playing outside with the big kids.

2. Shopping with mom just got a whole lot more fun, now that he can cruise the store sitting up in the cart.

3. Crawling? Not quite. More like pushing up and collapsing repeatedly while inching closer and closer to his goal.

4. Ok, last trick is not really a trick, but man can this kid drool. Can you see how wet his shirt is? You can even see the drool just dripping down his chin. Mostly I wanted to post this picture because he looks darn cute.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Trading Spaces

Have the Mullens been selected for the next episode of Hoarders?
Nope, but last weekend we completed the much dreaded*/anticipated** event of the year -- THE ROOM SWAP! Now Ryan and I are in the mini-bedroom and the kids are in the master bedroom. I love that our room is baby free and the kids have way more room to store and play with toys. Here's a few pictures of the girls saying goodbye to their room.

Stay tuned for pictures of the new and improved kids' room once we get it spruced up with curtains and other fun embellishments. (But don't stay tuned too closely, because I move at the speed of molasses these days and it might take me a while to get said improvements finished.)

**everyone else

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Before Careful What You Blog About...

Exhibit A.

Marielle said it best, "Mom, you got A LOT of Dora things. Most adults don't get Dora presents do they?" Thanks Justin and Kim (and Abbey) for a present the whole family will love.

In case you missed it, I first expressed my feelings about Dora here.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oh Man

I've heard Jenna a few times in the last week or so muttering to herself, "oh man" and I know she learned it from me. I had one of those moments myself this morning. We went to Costco for the express purpose of buying a package of King's Hawaiian Rolls for some sandwiches I'm making for a baby shower tonight. Apparently these rolls cost $132.65 because that is how much I spent at checkout.

Since we don't have a garage, we use a Radio Flyer for the minivan-to-kitchen trek. However, the haul was just barely over our little wagon's capacity, so I asked Marielle to carry a bag of chips and Jenna the bananas. Both girls were staggering under the weight of their items (it was quite humorous to watch) so I told them to sit down in the shade and wait for me to unload and come right back. At the same time the package of rolls slipped off the top of the load, so I tossed the rolls over to my little strikers and continued on with my handcart, I mean wagon. From a distance, I saw Jenna take advantage of those nice, soft, fluffy rolls by sitting on them.

Oh man.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Fortress is Crumbling

It seems all generations come with their annoying cartoon characters. I'm not sure what cartoons annoyed my parents most, but I'm pretty sure that Smurfs, Snorks and Woody Woody Pecker were near the top of the list.

Now that I'm a mom, my cartoon nemesis is Dora. From the first time I saw the show, I thought, "Ahh! Could that voice/plot/music be more annoying?" I decided to lay down the law: No Dora. Despite the clear adoration from my child, I invoked the parent privilege in our relationship and simply guided Marielle to better entertainment choices. My guard went down just a hair when I allowed Dora as a special treat on road trips, with a strict headphone provision. Then the Dora ban was weakened when Dora became kosher during visits to Grandma's house as well. But I still held my ground -- I let Marielle shed tears in the middle of Ross rather than come home with Dora-plastered footie jammies.

However, my resolve really started to break down when Jenna came along. In our "Dora OK Zone" at Grandma's I'd hear my baby shouting "map!" and "backpack!" and it was just so dang cute. Then last Christmas Ryan and I brainstormed "Dora Hunts" for Marielle and her cousins. I mean how fun is it to see six kiddos running around with backpacks and flashlights and fighting Grandpa Swiper? Before I knew it when Grandma asked what Jenna would like for her birthday I easily said, "anything Dora. She loves her."

My fortress isn't completely in ruins. We still have a no Dora check-out policy at our library and I sure didn't change the batteries on Jenna's talking Dora doll when they wore out. But look who just got herself a sweet pair of Dora jammies?

Sometimes it pays not to be the first born.