Aug 30, 2011

Big Week

Since our trip to the fair last year, the girls have mentioned wanting to go again about every couple of weeks. We kept saying, "Sure- next year!" and they would cheer with excitement. Well, next year finally came and they were super excited to go again. Nana kept Colin so we could be hands free.

This time Chloe was barely tall enough to ride a few more rides. She had her heart set on the ferris wheel, but that sure wasn't happening even though it was quite a bit smaller than most. She was way below the line. Maybe "next year", right?

We took them through the fun house and they really liked it. I have a specific memory of myself at some young age screaming bloody murder at the sight of this turning tube- the last thing to crawl through. They had to stop the whole ride for me.

So even though my kids are deathly afraid of dogs, they were just fine with the fun house.

This ride was so funny. Hannah was ringing the bell and Chloe kept swatting at the bell rope, unable to figure out how to get it to ring, which was really strange for her. I kept calling, "Grab it!" and finally she did : )

Cool treat for the major heat. They did have mist fans everywhere, so we didn't let them get scorched.

Inside the exhibits, they enjoyed bubbles for awhile while Dax talked to a Sears rep. Then Hannah whispered to to me something so quietly, it took about 8 times for me to hear - "I want face paint." Chloe picked a cat face and Hannah picked a sparkly tiger face.

As you can tell, Chloe was super pleased. Lots of people got a kick out of her doing this for about 5 minutes.

Hannah felt super empowered with hers. She talked to random people, saying, "I'm a tiger!" and growled at various groups of people, too. Earlier in the fair, she also spoke awhile with some rollerderby ladies who were trying to recruit her : )

Dax and I loved this. With no one else on board, and given the chance to sit anywhere they wanted, they chose these seats.

Neither girl did too well with the petting zoo. They both screamed if an animal even looked at them. They were brave enough to pet a baby goat, but then the screaming started again, so we had to take them out. The bounce houses were a better fit.

Ballet recital !

I thought the recital costumes were very cute this time around, although I love the colorful birds they were last time. Now they are in different classes, so Chloe was a fairy and Hannah was a princess ballerina.

Chloe is a bit mistaken on the demeanor of a fairy and growls at the camera.

As for the routines, it's really anyone's guess what they'll do. Their classes aren't structured around the recital per say, since not everyone participates in it, so come recital time, it's not always clear to them what they should dance. It's still pretty cute, though, and as long as they watch Ms. Rachel, they know what to do. Chloe did a great job...once she got on stage. Two video clips below. And Hannah did a little more than usual : ) Her first recital, she just stood there- her second recital, she raised her arms, and this one she did a few more moves in addition to yawning and playing with the tape on the floor- haha!! It's always funny to see this because she is one of the most diligent ones in class, but she still did a good job, too : ) That video also below.

Little man looking ornery as we get ready for church.

This is his standard face as of late. He's turned 15 overnight and pretty much disapproves of everything I do, unless I'm chasing him through the house. He likes that.

I decided to spend literally 3 minutes organizing some music for my students and this happened. Hannah's looking at this as I type and says, "Heh- that's our party."

Hannah and Colin love doing this around the house. The fun thing about having 3 kids is that there are three different relationships to watch.

Wohoo!! I can't believe my own child is having a first day of school- after all those pictures my mom took of us- now it's my turn. Off to pre-school she goes! It's just a few hours two days a week, but a wonderful new world for Hannah.

The lady in black is the assistand, Mrs. Schmidtke. Hannah is still trying to remember that name! Doesn't her classroom look fun? It definitely makes me want to go back to school. Or at least just rent out this room to play in by myself for awhile.

Putting her stuff away in her cubby. I love cubbies! She found a laminated shape in there and had to take it to a corresponding spot on the carpet.

After that, she was completely settled in and barely looked my way as we left, so good for her!
That's Mrs. Weber, the head teacher.

I took the two little ones to a parent meeting and Colin made sure some of the other parents didn't listen, but instead carried on a conversation with him : )

I originally decided to just bring them back home and have a normal day there, but with all the excitement, I just felt like that would be a downer. Plus, it's the first time I will have several hours with just Chloe and Colin, so we decided to have some fun. The school is also about 20 minutes from home and I wanted to stay near on her first day in case of an unexpected breakdown. So I took C and C to a nearby outdoor mall and let them play at the fountains.

Yep, there's that face again- hehe.

Soaked at the beginning of the day.
Next we walked over to the Nestle store and shared a cookie for a snack.

Then we went into my favorite toy store, Brilliant Sky. I needed to get a couple of birthday presents. They have some original toys in there, lots of play areas, free gift wrapping, and very kid-friendly staff. We walked right into a storytime, so Chloe felt like she got to be in a bit of school, too, since she was feeling a bit left out. They even did a craft project related to the Rainbow Fish book they read. It turns out this is a weekly thing, so we'll probably be regulars.

Colin found a baby baby grand.

And a John Deere lawn mower. If you're wondering about Christmas presents, he loved this thing. There's also a train table area, a doll area, dress-up and kitchen, and dollhouses.

They head back to the piano for a sibling spat.

Guess who won? Haha! Don't worry- I made sure Chloe got in some playing time before he took over. : )

After a Wendy's lunch, back to school to pick up Hannah!
We got there a little early so we could peek through the classroom windows and she was doing really well. It's so fun to see her in that environment, and of course I feel proud seeing her on her own, and a little sad she's at that first stage of independence.

Playground time after school! I love that there is so much space and accommodation for younger siblings here.

At the toy store, as a gift for her first day, we picked out a baby tiger for Hannah- since she seemed to like her tiger face so much, and the very first thing she played with in her new classroom at orientation was all the animal figures. Chloe picked out some ducks in a row. Later, she was disappointed they did not become unstuck from their row.

Hannah's first pre-school artwork. Her name is "Penny."
She says Matthew, Ava, and Wyatt are her friends at school and I got bits and pieces of how the day went. She seemed to really enjoy everything. As we passed by her room one more time on the way out, she saw her teacher and yelled, "Hey, Weber!" and told her a little something. Oh dear! haha So I had to tell her again that teachers need the Ms. or Mrs.

Chloe's rainbow fish.

Aug 23, 2011

Little Rascals

Colin was excited to be big enough to ride around in the red car.

Here he is refusing to get out of it.

Since tax free weekend was coming up, I went through the clothes bins to take inventory before I bought anything new. This is always an opportunity to play dress-up.

Dax's school had a party for faculty and staff. I call this picture "collision course."

I remember going to someone's house when I was a kid and they actually had one of these in an upstairs nook. How great.

Chloe had her heart set on getting one of the various balls and bouncing it on the court. I told her to just ask for one. Hannah is good about approaching people like that- very much unlike me as a kid- and it turns out Chloe is, too. She went up to the boy in orange, and unfortunately he refused, and poor Chloe dragged her feet and hung her head about it. I encouraged her to keep trying. She got one man to let her borrow the ball for a few seconds, then she staked out the game from the previous picture and eventually got one of her own. She was so happy! I kept telling her good job. : ) As side note, I do realize my shirt is 8 sizes too big, but apparently spouses were wearing school shirts and this is what they had so I went with it. : )

This looks like another collision course in a bad way- ha!

With little ones, there's never lack for silly pictures. Chloe's bouncing a ball off her head and Hannah clearly needs to visit the potty.

Just chillin- as much as he can in the heat!

I got a chance to get a shot of all three of them on a pretty day. Hmm- almost.

Very close...

Good one!

We returned to the Highland Village Balloon Festival this year with Nana in tow.

The kids were up and excited at sunrise.

When we went last year, Colin was just a limp little thing at 2 months old. And I think there was a droughtless green grass last year, too.

I thought this picture was really great, until I zoomed in and saw all the half-eaten
Cheerios in her mouth. So I recommend you not zoom in.

The kids are demonstrating sequence here. Colin is coming for snacks. Chloe is digging for snacks. Hannah is shoving snacks in her mouth.

"What's the meaning of life?"

Balloonists' Prayer...

The Winds have welcomed you with softness
The Sun has blessed you with its warm hands.
You have flown so high and so well,
that God has joined you in your laughter,
and set you gently back again
into the loving arms of Mother Earth.

Here are some of my favorite balloon shots.

They had a few rides and crafts, and a lot of air conditioner salesmen.

We walked over the beach again, but no skipping rocks for me since Colin has no concept of safety of course and wanted to walk into the lake. Here are my favorite shots of them.

It's been awhile since I posted anything about how we try to turn their library books into activities. Today, technology proved itself to be helpful again. This week we checked out our first non-fiction books rather than just stories. I thought they might not be as interested since talking dogs and bunnies weren't going to be around, but they turned out to love it. We read about racecars and then ran to YouTube to watch the Indy500, which I suddenly found to be pretty thrilling once I had read up on the subject a bit : ) We read a book about astronauts. So we watched a couple of rocket launches on the computer. They were saying "Wow!!!" and I was thinking it, because as many times as I've seen videos, I've never seen it with children and realized how incredible it is. Chloe immediately wanted to race cars and wear a helmet as well as be an astronaut. Hannah wasn't committing so readily. That's their personalities in a nutshell.
Finally, we read a book about deep-sea creatures. I was simply reading the picture captions since the words were for much older kids, but Hannah insisted on listening to the real text. They also loved it when I sounded out the scientific names of each animal. Hannah's favorite was the angler fish, which she seemed to know all about already thanks to a PBS show on the Ipad, she said.

Here's the handsome guy now! She likes how his headlight works.
I happened to have the Blue Planet DVDs so they ate their lunch and watched the Deep-Sea Creatures disk. Again, I thought they would lose interest, but they oohed and ahhed the whole time.

I suggested Hannah draw the Angler Fish. She said, "I can't draw it. But I can draw like it."
I was pretty surprised when she showed me her drawing! She also said she added it's "long name" (scientific name) which is MNAHAAAAAHNNH. That definitely cracked me up.

It's been awhile since I posted anything the kids have said. Unfortunately,
I've forgotten some, but a couple I managed to put on Facebook, and some just happened today.

Colin was sick last week and when I took the kids through the Walgreen's drive-thru for his presciption, Chloe started begging, "I want chicken nuggets! I want chicken nuggets!" I guess every drive-thru has that potential, right? I should have asked the pharmacist for some just to joke around, but I'm not that brave.

Upon the girls not following any rules of a game, I said, "You guys aren't fun to play with." Hannah said, "Hey, we aren't toys!"

Chloe was holding a mechanical pencil the other day and I noticed she had taken the eraser off. I told her not to do that since the lead would fall out and we wouldn't be able to use it anymore. She said, "I just want to see what's happening in there. There's no batteries."

Today Hannah was upset to discover that a few months ago I threw out a pair of ruined pants. She looked at me and said, "Do you know why I have tears falling on my face?" (which she totally didn't) "I don't know where my pants are. Where are they? Where did you put them?" 'The trash can' wasn't her favorite answer.

Hannah's been helping a lot more around the house the past couple of days, which is great! But I found out that tonight's help was part of a bargain Dax had orchestrated. She came to her room and said, "I'll help you clean up if you help me finish my dinner" - which means spoon feeding her corn and green beans. If you're wondering, I absolutely took the deal.

Colin has been talking "up a storm"- a phrase I grew up with : ). He mainly babbles with great intent, looks you in the eyes and ends his phrase as a question. Whatever you answer, he's pretty satisfied, so I really don't know what I'm signing on for. However, his first real word happened today and as you might guess, it was "No!" Today I was chasing him down to take his nap and he looked behind me as he ran and said, "Noooo!" I thought this was fluke, but then at dinner, he said it to Dax when he didn't want his food. It figures, since he hears that word x 3 kids every day of his life. Also today, Hannah asked about her upcoming pre-school teacher's name. It's Mrs. Weber. She she repeated it, then Chloe repeated it, and Colin walked toward me, stopped, and said, "Webah?"

Today I threw everyone in the van and dropped by a friend's house to pick up a copy of this month's book club book. She's a teacher, and wasn't home, so she had left it on the doorstep for me. Thankfully the kids were fine about not getting out to play, but as soon as we passed a Sonic, Chloe was wanting food, and most especially a drink. I told her I didn't have any money and we would be home soon. She begged again and I said, "You know what? You could get a job! And then you would make money and then you could buy food and drink whenever you wanted." She really like that idea. She said, "Yeah!! I will get a job." I asked her what kind of job she wanted. She very quickly said she wanted to "fix the house." I was kind of impressed since I didn't think she understood the concept of a job. I told her that was a great idea and we talked on about it for awhile. Finally Hannah said, "Um Mommy? Are you just pretending?" I told her I wasn't and did she have a job she would like to do? "No, I'll just watch. I don't want money." haha
She also asked what my job was, and since I don't make money taking care of them, I told her I taught horn lessons and played in concerts. "No, don't pretend!" she said.

So here is the picture of Chloe at work fixing our house. It looks like she hired on Hannah after all and then also hired a lookout. Colin works for cookies.

Up next- we have a ballet recital this weekend!