Sunday, January 30, 2011

More bday recap and misc...

More Bday recap... This year, our E-man decided on Wolverine (from Xmen) for his Bday cake. I'm not sure how he even know who this is since he has never actually seen Xmen, although he does own one of the figurines. This was a surprise as I was sure he would choose his beloved Spiderman or his new found interest, Buzz Light Year. Originally the family was to come over Saturday the 8th but we had to reschedule to weather and ended up having everyone over on Saturday the 15th. As you can see, one of his favorite gifts was a Buzz Light year action pack.

He then had a small play date/Birthday party the following day with 3 of his classmates from the Montessori. It was primarily unstructured and I'm not sure if that was to our advantage or disadvantage. However, one of the more creative ideas I came up with was to make forts/tents, which was a definite hit! Since then, this theme has continued with the kids gathering all their blankets and extra sheets to assemble various tents in the basement, mainly around our pool table and sectional. There have been multiple requests and plans to have a slumber party in them. In order to subside some of these, we (Eli and myself) compromised on nap time in the tents. In addition to tents and our regular dance performances, the kids have been composing plays. Schuyler acts as the play writer, producer and a puppeteer when necessary and Eli and Mackie as the master puppeteers. While these activities pass the time on the more bitterly cold days, we still manage to get outside on the more "mild" days to enjoy nighttime sledding, snowball fights and the building of snowmen. Mackie, in usual fashion, takes charge in this category. This year, our beautiful snow-woman is named Kelly. According to Mackie, she would be more perfect if only she had some hair = )

One of the highlights that got lost in the hustle and bustle of Xmas and Bday celebrations was Mackie losing her first tooth the day after Xmas. It was barely hanging on but the minute I would try to pull, she would scream in utter terror. We went to visit Great Grandma and as she was showing it off, Papa asked to see it. The next thing I notice is she has a funny look on her face and Papa is holding the tooth. After the realization that the tooth was gone, she then noticed she was bleeding ever so slightly, which was followed by brief drama and applying a kleenex to the tooth.

Mark and I got to observe Mackie's dance class. It was interesting to watch 6 & 7 year olds practice leaps, the splits, and other twirls that have a proper name that is beyond my basic dance knowledge. This year, they will be performing to a Justin Bieber song. Mack was somewhat disappointed as she would prefer Lady Gaga!!

Schuyler is enjoying Basketball and continuing to develop her skills. In fact, in one of her games, she scored the buzzer beating shot to win the game = ) She loves her studies and although she would never admit it, she is quite the little writer. I find random stories on sheets of paper lying around the house. I need to get her a special journal as I think this would be right up her ally.

I typed this extremely fast without proofing so please do not judge my grammar or spelling = )

Friday, January 14, 2011

guess who's 4?!


Last week our baby turned 4! Certainly a baby no more but forever the baby of our family. He is no longer a toddler yet it's so hard for me to let go. To celebrate, the 5 of us went to Applebee's for a family friendly meal and the use of our free kids meals = ) Well, at least 2 of them since Schuyler now tends to order from the regular menu. It was great to put Eli center stage in the spot light. The night was complete when the staff came out to sing and presented him with a chocolate brownie and ice cream.

Random information about Mr. 4 Year Old... One of his favorite books is "Are you my Mother?". He LOVES to play super heros. He is still an AWESOME napper and cuddler. He is generally a rule follower. Eli can be very sensitive. He excels at puzzles and has mastered his sound book at school. He is finally starting to show interest in writing his name = ) I can't wait to see what 4 brings!!

I LOVE that winter is finally here. Yes, I am one of those people who need and even enjoys snow and until it arrives, it never truly feels like winter. My philosophy is if it's going to be so cold there may as well be some pretty snow on the ground to brighten things up. Mark calls be the sledding Nazi. I was getting the kids in their gear with barely a dusting on the ground but it was so worth it.

Eli is all smiles when presented with his treat!

About ready to dig in.

Umm, this is pretty darn tasty. I wish my mom wasn't such a health nut!!

Let the sledding begin!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

what we've been up to...

During these past few weeks I have been fortunate to spend a great deal of time with my family. I was in a position where I would loose PTO so what better time then the busy holidays to use it. Well, maybe a lying on a beach with my husband but that wasn't in the cards. So, we made cookies, see exhibit A below. I always have grand plans of tackling a long list of goodies but there is limited time in a day so what I accomplish is usually much different. This year, that included White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal, Molasses, and Sugar Cookies. I had willing subjects helping every step of the way, licking the batter every time I turned around.

Exhibit A -

Mackie completed her after school cheer club, which was conducted by her 1st grade teacher and Schuyler's teacher from 1st grade. Um, I can't believe I'm admitting this but I'm pretty sure I have a future cheerleader on my hands. After the first day, her teacher exclaimed what a natural she was. Sure enough, come performance time, she was a leader in the front row, knowing every step, pom-pom shake and kick with the very cheerleader expression on her face. See Exhibit B below, Mackie with her teacher. Or, as Mark and I often say, 2 peas in a pod.

Exhibit B - (Just for the record, I strongly dislike gym lighting)

I had the privilege of volunteering to make gingerbread houses with Mackie's first grade class. I was expecting sprinkles thrown around like confetti, kids stuffing their mouths with candy at every opportunity and frosting fingers smearing over everything. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how organized and calm the classroom was, a clear sign of the respect they have for their teacher. Mackie, in her true fashion, would not accept help from her anyone, least of all her mother. Every candy was inspected and found just the appropriate place on her house. A perfectionist she is and it was no surprise she was the last one done. See Exhibit C below.

Exhibit C-

This brings us to Christmas. Santa made his annual visit to Mark's work where we took the kids and Schuyler's BFF. Eli is big talk but when it comes to the moment to actually get close to the bearded man he quickly clings to me or Mark. I was hoping with the passing of another year he might have outgrew this tendency but clearly not. He sat on Santa's lap but only with Mark immediately next to him and there was no way he would remove his fingers from his mouth. Oh well. Can't blame him. All of our Christmas celebrations were prior to the 25th this year, which left only the 5 of us at home with no where to be. It was a first for us and extremely relaxing. We enjoyed being in our PJ's, playing toys and the only time we left the comforts of our home was to visit the red box for some movies. Here is our annual attempt at a family photo on Christmas. Not to shabby for our clan. Hey, past years have contained hitting, biting, hair pulling, glares and numerous other not so pleasant actions. See Exhibit D below.

Exhibit D-

The New Year is upon us and Mark and I stayed up until 10:00pm. We enjoyed our ritual of Chinese by candle light with the kids. I no longer am embarrassed to admit how lame we are, not even playing our annual poker. It is a sign that we are tired parents with active lives with children. At least that's the story I'm going with and it is that fact that I am extremely thankful for. Happy New Year's to ALL!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hello forgotten blog

Hello, little forgotten blog of mine. Tis' the busy season and I have simply not had a second to pay you any attention at all. But I'm hoping it's time to change that with a post. We'll see, at least it's a start.

Several weeks ago Miss Mack came racing out of school with sheer excitement on her face as she delightfully declared she had a loose tooth. I had my doubts as the kids' dentist, my friend, had said it would probably not be until spring. But, upon inspection, I agreed it was indeed loose. Her next question, "Will I loose it tomorrow". To which I replied, "No, honey. Maybe Christmas". Well, Christmas is days away and I'm not sure it will be gone before then. She has been impatiently waiting for this day as she watched all her friends loose their teeth. I'm so excited for her. She thought it would be very cool if the tooth fairy AND Santa came on the same day.

Miss Schuyler has transitioned into basketball season. I'm relieved of coaching duties as Basketball is Mark's responsibility and I will get to enjoy being a spectator, well at least for the parts where I'm not chasing our spiderman around. Schuyler had a fantastic soccer season scoring all but 3 of the goals. I would have to look back at the season but I think this equates to 15-20 goals. She is fanatical about all sports, including football. In fact, now that soccer has been banned until after the new year, the highlight of her day is when she is voted quarterback.

Eli, oh Eli. He is our comic and provides humor relief on a daily basis. Just the other day at the dinner table he proclaims, "Mom, Dad, my head is not screwed on right". Really! Where did that come from. It wasn't until the following day at lunch time when he announced it was screwed on correctly. It is not uncommon to find him parading around in dance costume or princess costume. Unfortunately, this is par for the course when you have 2 older sisters.

My kids truly amaze me and I'm glad that each has a unique personality, making them all the more special. I hope they are always comfortable to be the individuals they are!

Here was an almost Christmas Card photo =)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

busy, busy, busy...

I'm running one direction, Mark is running another direction and we get home, quickly eat, finish any last minute homework, showers and baths as necessary, sometimes we fit in a book and then it's tuck the kids to bed. However, our work is not done. There is still laundry to do, the table to clear, dishes, lunches to pack, clothes to set out.... You get the idea. It's a whirlwind!

Schuyler was star of the week last week. As one might guess, she brought anything and everything related to soccer in. Soccer pictures, soccer jersey, soccer book, etc... However, she also got banned from playing soccer at recess. Schuyler told me that one of the girls basically made up a story and Schuyler never got to tell the teacher her side. I was a little leary of this until her best friend came over one afternoon and basically confirmed Schuyler's story. I struggle with when to address the situation and when to leave it alone and chose to leave it alone. There is no doubt in my mind that my Schuyler is an extremely aggressive girl, perhaps maybe a little too much for recess soccer. During this "banned" time, Schuyler sat on the side and encouraged her friends. Her homeroom teacher asked Schuyler if she would like to join them, being unaware of the ban. I'm so proud of how Schuyler handled the situation. She informed Mrs. R that she did want to join but had been banned by another teacher. I know she could have chose to say or do something else. She showed character in her response and these are things that warm my heart. I also had the opportunity to join her class on a field trip to Morrill Hall. It was fun to see how much they have learned about Dinosaurs and fossils.

Mack continues to enjoy school and the social life surrounding it = ) She has made friends with a girl she calls Ellie Belly = ) Mack also enjoyed her first sleep over at a friend's house this past Friday. They went to a camp just outside of Lincoln and enjoyed roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, hayrack rides, bounce house, fishing and watching the movie UP projected onto the side of the barn. Such a cool time. She actually slept until 8:45 the next morning!! That is a record for that girl. Mack and I have been enjoying Little House on the Prairie books. Would you believe I never read these as a child. I think I might be more addicted then she is!!

Eli said good-bye to his toddler bed and has welcomed a big boy bed into his room. His sleeping habits have drastically improved as well and he is no longer waking in the middle of the night to find his mama!! He continues to provide comic relief to the family. He does not like PJs anymore but prefers only his pull-up to sleep in.

On a complete whim, I grabbed the kids one evening and went and snapped a few pictures. No change of clothes, no brushing the hair, no planning once so ever! This might be the best way to do it!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

getting my groove back on

Maybe I can do this blogging thing after all! Ha, we'll see. I'd like to think I'm getting my groove back on but it's still early.

Our Eli man is getting bigger and I don't always realize it until I'm flipping through pictures. Sometimes I feel like we're shuffling the older 2 here and there that we don't get those special little moments with him. So, I'm taking a moment to record some thoughts, random sayings and anything else that pops into this overloaded brain of mine. E-Man does NOT like loud noises. He was still not a fan of fireworks, which meant that all 3 July 4th parties he could be found inside. This also includes thunderstorms. He will tell you he is "scaredy". The spider-man obsession continues. At night, he will ask, "Mom, when will I turn into Spiderman?" It does not matter that we constantly remind him that Spiderman is fictitious. He does not care. Eli does NOT like veggies and I struggle with creative ways to include them in his diet. Baby carrots is pretty much it unless you count potatoes of any kind. He might be a future baseball player. We pitch the ball to him and he hits it like no other 3 1/2 year old I've seen. He recently has taken a liking to baby dolls, but probably not like you would think. For example, he has wrapped their legs in a bind with his sister's necklace and then hung the baby from the bunkbed so Spiderman could rescue her! He showers at any given opportunity. Baths no, showers YES!

I guess I should at least mention his siblings = ) The girls are both enjoying school. Mackie is extraordinarily enthusiastic about school. So much so that she was disappointed we had a 3 day weekend and one night even cried at the dinner table. Silly girl. Schuyler received an extra effort award last week, which apparently is a big deal as one of her friend's saw it on the refrigerator and made a comment. She has also received the highest score in spelling 2, (maybe 3) weeks in a row. However, she is very modest about her accomplishments. She is willing to share with Mark and I but becomes embarrassed when we ask her to share with grandparents.

Mackie had a doctor appointment this week as there were some skin issues that were concerning me. She has 2 spots on her face where there were tiny blood vessels. One formed early this year and the other just recently. The diagnosis was Spider Angioma. In the case of children, they are asymptomatic and usually resolve on their own, although it may take several years. This is the route we are taking. If they continue to spread or get worse or do not disappear after several years, we may consider removing them. If she gets a third we will need to revisit to make sure there is no underlying issue. The other concern was an area on her leg that did not tan as the surrounding skin. The diagnosis for this was Tinea Versicolor, which is a fungal infection of the skin. So, we will try some prescription antifungal cream.

I'm pretty sure this post will take the award for most randomness!! So, back to normalcy, here is our growing boy...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

where to begin...

I've been wondering how in the world I could ever get caught up on blogging after basically taking the WHOLE summer off. I've started many a time and then get overwhelmed and quit. I figure the best approach from this point is not to dwell on the past but make an effort starting with the recent, which is the FIRST day of school.

Yep, the kids went back to school on Wed the 18th. Prior to this we got to find there classrooms and meet their teachers at open house. Mack has a teacher that is new to the school. I had fears as I saw that the name began with Miss and instantly started thinking she must be young, does she have any experience, etc... That was when my better half calmly reminds me that LPS is extremely competitive and they actually have to turn good teachers away. And, we are fortunate to be in a good school district. We ran into Schuyler's old teacher at the store and he said all the teachers were raving about her. I was pleased when she called us on the 2nd day of school to assure us (or more me) that Mack was adjusting fine socially and academically to public school. The fact that she was proactive says a lot. If you ask Mack her opinion of her teacher she will say "I have the most beautiful teacher of all the 1st grade teachers. She doesn't make us read, write or do math". Well, that was the after the first few days and I'm happy to say they do actually do work = )

Schuyler also has a fantastic teacher. She brought home spelling words already on the 1st week and I was astonished at how hard some of them were. For example, her list had some of the following words: discrepancy, dramatization, rafters, scrutinize, plankton, etc... Holy smokes!!

Eli is happy to be back at the Montessori and even more excited to see his friend Dalton. I thought without his older sister he might be lost. Not so. Daddy gets a few extra hugs and kisses in the morning but that's the only real change.

Besides school, soccer season has kicked off. I continue to assistant coach both of the girls' teams. Schuyler's team has already had several practices and games and Mack's season will officially start Monday.

I'm hoping that this post will get me back in the practice of blogging but I also know that as the kids continue to get older, I continue to get even busier. So, I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't post every week and will do the best I can = )