Saturday, August 25, 2012

First day of school

J - 2nd Grade
August 22, 2012
Favorite animal: horses and dolphins
Favorite book: Beverly Cleary books
Favorite color: purple
Favorite food: cake
Favorite game: Mouse Trap
Favorite movie: Mirror, Mirror
Favorite place: home
Favorite song: Love Is Spoken Here
Favorite subject: math

M - Kindergarten
August 22, 2012
Favorite animal: giraffe
Favorite book: Fancy Nancy Pajama Day
Favorite color: pink
Favorite food: brownies
Favorite game: Hungry Hungry Hippos
Favorite movie: Beauty and the Beast
Favorite place: Disneyland
Favorite song: I Am A Child of God
Favorite subject: ?

Cute as buttons (what about buttons are cute? why not "cute as bunnies" or "cute as babies?"):
It's a miracle! The whole gang dressed and out of the house by 8 AM! Baby G, stop eating the paper. And dude, pretend to cooperate. Just for the picture.
M's class all lined-up and ready to go without her ever once looking back (they look so so small! Way too little for all-day kindergarten. I protest!):
J's class (she kept sneaking peeks at us and walked off with shoulders hunched and a very anxious look on her face after a morning of complaints about not liking butterflies in your stomach):
Sniff, sniff. But we all survived without any tears even (I'd got mine out of the way the night before. Although when a couple of kids, whose parents had dropped them off and left, that were looking terrified and terribly lost and alone stood by themselves while all the other kids lined up until a teacher asked them who their teacher was and one of them whispered with a quiver that she didn't remember, I almost burst into tears. Same thing happened the next morning when a little boy leaned against his kindergarten's teachers leg and whispered, "I miss my mom," and started to shake with silent sobs that he was trying so hard to hold back. Gets me even as I write it days later!). And when we came to pick them up, after our little man had enjoyed a day of mama's attention (he kept looking up at me and saying, "dank you mama, dank you mama," all day long even when I wasn't doing anything other than sitting next to him), they came running to hug me and tell me all about their new best friends and about how much they loved school. Success!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

In the words of baby G

Sometimes I scoot backwards. All the way into a corner! I think it's pretty cool that I can do that frankly. 
And sometimes, when my chubby little arms can reach, I play with toys. I see everybody else doing it all day long, why not me?
Then there's those times when Mr. Fancy Pants comes and rains on my parade. Can you believe this guy? He is actually chewing on MY star right in front of me. Just to prove he can. The nerve.
Oh and this is a little embarrassing, but sometimes I need help. I mean, what's with this slinky anyway? We were having fun and then I rolled over to get a better handle on things and poof, I find my arm and leg both wrapped up. I think it won. And frankly, I don't really know what to do now.
And sometimes they even let me out. On my own! It's bright out here. And I'm not sure about this grass stuff. Anybody ever heard of a lawn mower?
That's better. I like this a lot. If only this big guy were here all day to walk me around. Then we'd get somewhere.
And quite often, they call me fuzzhead. I have no clue why.
Look at what I can do now!! Also pretty cool. Just not sure what to do next. I'd like that toy over there. Hmmm...

How old is my baby girl?

7?! That's so nuts! How did she get so old?? Not to mention long and lanky! J was beyond thrilled when the big day finally arrived after she'd been counting down for months! The last month in particular was really hard to wait. Here she is the night before, her last night ever being only 6. And here she is, happy as can be to open presents before daddy left for work. We had french toast as she requested, but nobody could wait and had to have a bowl of cereal to tide them over. My kids don't think the day has started if they don't eat some cereal, no matter what else they do have to eat. Weirdos.
Trying on one of her favoritest presents - a dress-up that actually fits her:
Opening up Nana and Bopa's presents with them on Skype to see. Nice family picture, right? Even baby G has her head down there, though I couldn't convince her to look. She was still trying to figure out why the computer was talking.
The dressed-up gang (I cannot look at this picture too many times. Cracks me up. Oh, and dude is wearing J's boots. He kept trying to walk up the stairs in them, one would slip off, he'd pull the other off, run back down to me for me to put them back on and try it again. Which he repeated for like a half hour straight. Kid has perserverance, I'll give him that.):
But back to J. We feel like she's done a lot of maturing this year. Something that really struck me was when she was opening her presents at her friends birthday party. She was so gracious and delighted with each little gift. Genuinely acted like and said each was the best present she'd ever got, which I noticed made each of the little kids feel pretty cool. There was no disappointment. No asking for more. No ripping through them to get to the next before properly acknowledging and thanking for even the smallest present. And then, M ran upstairs to get a present she had worked really hard on by herself to make for J. It was just a piece of paper that she'd folded in a unique way and decorated with jewels and coloring. She was SO proud of it. And when she pulled it out from behind her back in front of all J's friends, J acted like it was the coolest thing ever. M beamed. J even took the time to make sure all of her friends saw it properly and explained how long and hard M had worked on it and how beautiful it was. J could've said that it was just a silly piece of paper or not a real gift or whatever. She could've been embarrassed or embarrassed M in front of her friends. Instead she gushed and M loved every second of it. I was so proud. Can't believe she's 7 but we love the spunky, sensitive, darling, happy, giggly, helpful girl she's become! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Would you feel comfortable...

sleeping in one of these tents?
or throwing a frisbee back and forth with this fella spying on you (there were two guys doing exactly that less than 20 feet away from him. I think he just wanted to play. Or to eat them.)?
or playing cards at this picnic table?
or grilling up a something to eat for dinner? Buffalo burger anyone?
or having family dinner at the table (I love this one! Looks like this guy was like, hey! where'd everybody go? What happened to the party?)?
or biking down this road through the middle of this herd (saw some guys headed down who looked a little hesitant)? 
The girls were willing to get out of the car to pose for a picture when the buffalo were at a much safer distance! For some reason they wouldn't when buffalo were surrounding the car and a huge guy was licking and scratching himself on this table. Could be they overheard Coop saying that buffalo are extremely moody and stampede up to 40 mph. Or could just be that they are huge and hairy with sharp horns and a face only a mother could love. We didn't let dude out of his carseat. He was way too excited and kept mooing at them. Not cows buddy.

And baby G, who was understandably a little jealous of all the bison's hair, was just happy to be along for the ride!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Andrew and Lenora's visit!

So in the last post, I very briefly mentioned how Red had overcome her fear of diving boards. That is a  VERY brief summary of a long week of our lives filled with many, many pep talks, lots of questions, constant worry, countdowns, and tears. Not to mention the failed attempts, the cold that kept her out of the water just when she thought she was ready, and a huge burst of applause when she finally did it. It was a serious accomplishment to conquer a fear that she was embarrassed to have but that left her shaking and backpedaling on the board in front of her class. All night long, she kept saying how proud she was of herself. The day after she did it in class, we went back and practiced again and again with her jumping to Andrew and later, to daddy. She got so much braver!
M, of course, was around to hear and see all of this. And for her first attempt, she walked to the end, and simply jumped in. They are such different little girls.
 Dude warmed up to Uncle Andrew and they had some good times together, especially at the playground where he surprised us all by leaving mama to go play with Andrew and then by being super brave and going down this huge slide by himself! Progress!
 J is very proud of her monkey-bar prowess.
 And is getting SO BIG!!
 Blondie seriously loves to climb. And I think she's part-pixie.
 As I said, she loves to climb. And is proud of being able to get in the weirdest of places.
 The huge playset outside our rec center. It is so high! I never go by myself because I can't keep track of  and be on-call to save dude while lugging baby G around!
 Baby G LOVES to give open-mouthed kisses to the people she loves. Aunt Lenora was happy to receive lots of these!
And then she went happily to sleep for Mama. If only I could still do this with all my kids!
Thank you to Lenora for all these pics! I stole them off her facebook page because she's so great at taking pictures and we needed these memories! And thanks for visiting! We had a blast!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Not much going on here

 Just enjoying lazy summer days for as long as we can...
 which is only about another week. Sad!
And a couple of funnies because I've been a big-time blogging slacker lately:
* Dude loves to yell ATTACK! and go running through the house. Fortunately, he doesn't know what it means. He also likes to jump like a frog, which consists of jumping from a squatting position and landing on his tush in a criss-cross applesauce position while saying, "Boing." His favorite thing to say/do though is to pop around the corner with a huge smile and say, "Haaaaa-aye! eh me! I ee you!" He even does it to himself in the mirror.
*Dude also is obsessed with the girls' nerf guns. However, the only way he has enough strength to pull the trigger is with his thumb. With the gun pointed at his head. And as he pulls, it swings back and forth from just left of one ear to just right of the other. Somehow, he has yet to nail himself in the face. Can't say the same about J's or baby G's faces though!
*We LOVED the Olympics around here. So much so that the girls play it all the time now. I overheard J saying the other day, "No, pretend I'm not from the USA. Pretend I'm from Texas." Attah girl.
*The girls loved watching synchronized swimming, but for totally different reasons. M thought they were beautiful. J enjoyed laughing at how silly they looked, which, of course, offended M deeply.
*J was staunchly supportive of any US competitor. M, however, said, "Who is going to win? I'm rooting for who is going to win. I guess I'll have to wait and see who I'm cheering for then." Which offended J deeply. Are we sensing a pattern here?
*I, thinking about classes I might sign the girls up for, asked M if she'd prefer to do gymnastics or ballet. She asked back, "for the Olympics?" 
*J just finished up a swimming class in which she overcame an extreme fear of the diving board. I anticipation of her first plunge, she was encouraging M to "hurry and finish eating so I can go swimming on the diving board." M immediately whipped back with, "J, how could you go swimming ON the diving board?"