Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Thanks to Shutterfly, now my cards won't be completely late!

But I better get that holiday letter posted...

Picture Joy Christmas
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View the entire collection of cards.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Questionable dress code

I walked into Bitty Girl's room today after she'd been up there playing and found this.

Perfectly arranged, mid-story.

Behold, the teacher bear.

It's even a Halloween-themed story.

Not quite sure about the girl with no pants on the right, but at least she's sitting quietly and listening. In Bitty's class, you wouldn't dare do otherwise.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wired for school

Guess which kid is headed for a life as Ms. Goody Two Shoes like her mama?

She brought this "homework" sheet from preschool today - it's not due until NEXT Wednesday, but she insisted that WE DO IT RIGHT NOW, MOM! And no, you can't write it for me. I'm doing it myself. With a marker. And you need to print out a picture of Sammy, my stuffed animal dog that "breathes" because we don't really have a pet.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Not so Bitty anymore--Four!

Four. It doesn’t seem possible. Our baby girl is four.

(don't ask about the elbow bandage. Major fall and scrape 15 minutes before we were to leave for birthday dinner at Red Robin. She's fine. But, oy, the tears.)

Bitty Girl,

You have grown up so much in the last year, but so many parts of you are just MORE this year. You laugh louder, play harder, ride your bike faster, argue longer, and stand up for yourself more. You are a sweet, kind-hearted girl who would share the last bite of her cupcake even if we didn’t ask. Clearly not a first-born.

You love to laugh, and your infectious giggle makes us all shine brighter. You’re working on joke telling, both knock knock jokes and riddles, and while the punch line is sometimes a mystery, you can laugh convincingly enough to make anyone think it’s really funny.

You are on your way to being a gourmet chef, mainly thanks to weekend breakfasts with Daddy. You can practically make pancake or crepe batter yourself. You love to help with everything—breakfast, toast, cakes and cookies, sprinkling cheese on nachos, and even doing dishes! Just this week you were literally filled with excitement to help make your own birthday cake, insisted on helping with everything, even racing upstairs midway through to don your chef hat and apron.

You can flour cake pans, use the mixer, measure flour and sugar, fold egg whites into batter, and crack eggs.

We switched you to a new preschool this year, the Shoreline Children’s Center where The Boy went, and you are thriving. You have your group of 2-3 best girl friends, and you greet each other with hugs and smiles. It literally said “Audrey is a joy to have in class” on your assessment/report card sheet. I think I cried tears of joy, or maybe relief. You love coming home with facts you learned at school—this month has been sea animals. You have demonstrated how a starfish moves on its suction cups, how long an octopus can stretch, and reenacted the entire egg-laying cycle of sea turtles. Guess you’re a good listener in school too!

I watch in wonder every day at your dramatic play—I cannot believe what you dream up. The details, the elaborate details of where people are going and which imaginary friend is calling you and why you have to pick up your babies from school and your grocery list and your plans for the weekend—astounding.

I do worry about the way you rush around, worry that you are mimicking me and my eternal state of being over-busy. You have to “go pick up brother” or “go teach my class” or “be a volunteer for the PTA and make lists” and so much of it sounds familiar. But you will entertain yourself for long stretches of time, reading to your babies or setting up your “classroom” or playing with your Pet Shops or Ponies.

You are the artist of the family, specializing in little notes and sculptures. You make us hundreds of presents, little letters or drawings on paper that is folded and taped (and taped and taped—you LOVE your scotch tape) into little packages that you hide for “Mother’s Day” or “Father’s Day” or “next year!”

At preschool, you are the Creation Station Queen, and the teachers know it. You insist on saving our toilet paper tubes and other recyclables to contribute, and we joke with the teachers about the “Circle of Life,” how we donate things and then you use them and just bring them home again.

Stubborn? Oh, the arguing and the negotiation! You might ask me what day it is, and I’ll answer “Tuesday.” Then you say, “No, it’s Wednesday.” And there is no changing your mind. It’s futile to argue, although I find myself getting sucked into the Typhoon of Argument Despair almost daily.

And heaven help us if we don’t know what you are talking about. You have a fairly short fuse, and often collapse into a puddle of whining and tears, complete with a foot stamp and stink eye if we don’t know what “thing” you’re talking about, no matter how few clues you’ve given us. Lucky for us, you are still easily consoled, rarely pout very long, and can often be cheered up quickly with a distraction. Or if you get what you want—this is an ongoing issue around here.

For your brother, though, you might just be the best little sister ever. You actually enjoy playing Pokemon with him. Once, when he was going on and on and on about his video game and I just got sick of listening, you said, “I’ll listen to you. Tell me.” He does leave you out sometimes, and has taken to locking his bedroom door, which breaks your heart.

Your worst little sister trick is one that I know and remember well—it was played on me. When he is getting in trouble, you pipe up to remind me how you are doing the right thing, or being polite, or having good manners, etc. I tell you that that doesn’t work—it didn’t work for Auntie Em and it doesn’t work for you.

I cringe thinking about the inappropriate words and tv shows and conversations that you hear and see, thanks to a 7 yr old brother. There is far too much Pokemon and potty talk for my liking, but luckily you seem to have a good handle on what’s appropriate at school vs. home.

I often tell the story about how we were ACTUALLY WORRIED that you weren’t talking that much at 18 months or even 2 years old. Compared to how your brother talked, you seemed fairly quiet. HA! Serves us right for worrying. The other day I had to ask if you could be quiet for 5 minutes, and I would set the timer, just to get some peace and quiet. Wonder where you get that talkative side?

Things you have learned/done this year include:

  • Riding a bike with training wheels, and not just any bike: a pink and white princess bike
  • Writing your name
  • Starting a new preschool and making new friends
  • Learning to play Crazy Eights
  • Creating hundreds of paintings, drawings, and sculptures
  • Planting a garden
  • Learning to write your name
  • Taking swimming lessons--and now you put your face in the water willingly!

We are so proud of you. You remind us to say grace at dinner, to get excited about beautiful flowers and airplanes and seeing the moon during the daytime. You share and find ways to include everyone, and really think about other people's feelings.

Happy Birthday - we love you to the moon, through outer space, and back!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ninety One

Happy Birthday to our NuNu! She's 91 today!

Last year we threw her a big birthday bash, so this year we felt like we had to come up with something....

In honor of your big 91, we spelled it out...
OR (see the 9 and the 1??)

Rode it out....

Shot it out.....

and jumped it out...

We love you, NuNu!! We hope it's a wonderful birthday!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I can hardly wait

I think I will quite enjoy myself if I ever have the pleasure of becoming a grandmother. (If they're good and old enough, first, of course)

Because Bitty Girl is compiling a list, and I, her dutiful yet evidently a FAILURE of a mother, am acting as her scribe. Stay tuned for future additions to the list.

We call it "My Kids," and it goes something like this:

MY kids..... (heavy emphasis on the my)
  • are going to be able to stay up late. As late as they want.
  • are going to eat all the candy they want. For breakfast.
  • will be able to color with crayons and markers in the living room
  • can have all the crayons they want in their room. Even if they color on their furniture.
  • will not have to use lotion after they take a bath.
  • are going to be allowed to bring toys and stuffed animals outside, even if they're inside toys.
We also play another version called "When I Grow Up, I Will Let My Kids"

When I grow up, I will let my kids.....
  • drink chocolate milk all day
  • drink carrot milk. This involves dipping your carrot into your milk and licking the milk off
  • get chips every time they go out to eat at places that sell chips
  • drive the car. (I usually just smile and say, "Lucky kids!" but for this one, I said - "Really? Before they're 16?" To which Future Mother of The Year replied, "I'll put in a special car seat so they can reach the pedals."

Now to file these away so I can carry on the tradition of snorting with laughter when my daughter complains about her children.

Monday, February 8, 2010

It's the angle

The Boy has always been a great photographer. He seems to capture angles we don't see from adult height, or maybe he pushes the button sooner because he's not waiting for the perfect pose.
Anyway, he captured some great ones of Papa and NuNu on our last visit.
Papa, relaxing after a long day in the workshop with the kids

And her more playful side. Or maybe her "Are you talkin' to me?" face.

Maybe Santa should have brought him a camera for Christmas instead of the horrendous nerf gun.
I took this one, but it was too sweet not to put in here
And I needed the eyeball video camera again, because I didn't catch the best part of NuNu reading the Human Body book with him, and how she explained what your pulse is and how to take it..
My feeble catch before I was spotted.. I have tried, in vain (HA HA, pun only intended after I wrote it and laughed out loud at how funny I am), to explain to him how these videos are so important because NuNu won't be around forever, and he'll want to watch them and remember all the good times, with her and can you hear the Charlie Brown parent voice echoing in his ears? Wahhh-wah-waaah-wahh-waaah-wahhh. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

This little light of mine

Bitty Girl is aiming to be the artsy Martha type her mother only dreams about.
When I picked her up at school, she was deep into her painting. Gave me a look that said, "MOM - I AM NOT FINISHED!"

Yesterday she spent a few secretive minutes with a pipe cleaner and some rips of black paper before proudly presenting me with her bird. Look closely - it really looks like a bird.
With wings and a tail.

And then tonight, we made candle cookies. Or assembled and decorated candle cookies, complete with icing "wax drips."

She picked them out from a picture in Family Fun magazine, and decorated them with minimal Mama help.

Again, what's with the obnoxious polka dot plates? Must get some solid color ones for future projects.
That and a blog designer.

I present Bitty and her candles. And it really was fun. Sorry about the post-bath wet hair and the Blair Witch video. I'm sure Martha is shuddering.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Oh, Happy New Year

We started the new year a few days early with a trip to Celebration Lane. Outside Bellevue Square Mall (or Lincoln Square or whatever they call it now), they do Snowflake Lane before Christmas and Celebration Lane before New Year's Day. Local high school drummers dress as toy soldiers and bubble "snow" falls nightly, with lots of music and, just because we're lucky, NOISEMAKERS!!

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong.
Can you tell which thing is not like the others, (or which one belongs to the 3 yr old?)
By the time I finish my song?
Ok, I'll spare you the song..

But in spite of the party horn casualty, we really had fun.
Tonsils and all.
I asked them to say Happy New Year, not Aaaaaaaah!