Friday, August 31, 2012

Grandma & Grandpa Dueber's visit

I figured I better write about Grandma and Grandpa Dueber's visit before Grandpa Jeff and Grandma Jane get here this afternoon.  Oh, the big news is that Megan has learned how to say grandma, she says it like "Dama".

Mom brought a new puzzle for Megan to play with; it's a set of Eric Carle zoo puzzles with four different animals from his book "1, 2, 3 to the Zoo".  Megan really likes to work the puzzles, although she needs a lot of help with the 12 piece puzzles still.  Then Grandpa and Amelia invented a game where Grandpa tried to work the puzzle in the air, and Amelia tried to jump up and get the puzzle away from Grandpa.  It turned into a bit of a matador type event, with a lot of hysterical laughter.

Amelia has been really into playing dress-up lately, and she convinced Grandma to wear the one adult sized dress-up dress we own.  The girls really like to hide underneath the dress, like the old lady in the Nutcracker.

 And of course there was a lot of tickling and book reading.  Grandpa teased Amelia by reading all the books like he was actually reading "Brer Rabbit", which drove Amelia crazy!  She knew right away that he wasn't reading the correct words.  Amelia decided that she would rather have Grandma read books that day because Grandma would read them right.  Megan was perfectly content to have Grandpa recite "The Tar Baby" while looking at the pictures of "Biscuit's Day on the Farm."

On Monday morning we went to Olbrich Botanic Gardens; we had never been there with Grandma and Grandpa before.  Amelia loves to explore all the different paths, and is getting better at knowing which paths lead where.  She particularly liked the path around the pond and over the bridge, and she took all of us on it individually before we moved on to the birch garden.  On that day, she was looking for paths in the shade, because it was pretty warm and sunny.  We went to the shade garden first, and Grandma and the girls picked out their favorite variety of coleus.  I was amazed by how many different kinds they had:

I'm including a photo of the bird we saw at the pond, because Dad wanted to look at his bird book to see what kind of bird it is:

We saw these huge trumpet-like flowers (Dad says it is a jimson weed) and Amelia pretended to play them like a trumpet:

Then Amelia and Grandpa hid on a bench in a shady garden while Megan, Grandma and I looked all over trying to find them.  Eventually I heard Amelia shouting "Grandma, Grandma!" and I followed the sound of her voice to their hiding place.  Apparently she was a little worried that we took so long to find her.

I managed to get one photo of the girls together in front of the flowers in the purple annual garden:

Megan was a little tired at lunch one day, but Grandpa got her to cheer up by singing "A carrot is a yum-yum vegetable, I eat them whenever I am able.  Hey, what's up doc?" in his best Bugs Bunny voice and then crunching his carrot.  Megan thought that was just the funniest thing ever, and she wanted to eat every single one of her matchstick carrots while Grandpa was singing the song.  A few days later, she is still saying "Grandpa SONG!" when I try to get her to eat carrots.

Grandma and Grandpa helped Amelia practice her early math skills using snow peas at lunch.  You can't really tell from this photo, but she was enjoying grouping the peas into even groups, then eating one and working out how to regroup them.

 The girls also played in the pool, since it has been in the 90s the last few days.  Grandpa showed them how to put the hose at the top of the slide so that they could slide down a water slide, and Amelia thought that was just great.

We had a really nice visit, and we were all sad when Grandma and Grandpa had to go home.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Flower Girl Dresses

I was looking at flower girl dresses yesterday afternoon, and asked Megan which dress she would like to wear.  This is the dress she chose:


Then Amelia decided that she wanted to pick a dress out, too, and this is the one that she chose:

I wonder what Aunt B is going to think about the girls wearing these dresses in her wedding?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Happy Birthday to Ben!

This year, Ben got an oreo cake for his birthday: a very chocolatey cake with a sweet oreo frosting.  It was very tasty.  Amelia put the candles on the cake, and she chose to put on three candles and then three more candles, which makes sense when you realize that Ben turned 33.  We all wore our party hats and sang happy birthday, and then the girls helped blow out the candles.  I am including a very similar photo from last year, so that you can see how much Megan has grown up.

When I asked Megan what she wanted for breakfast this morning, she said "Oreo".  Unfortunately, they had to eat leftover whole wheat pancakes instead.

On a completely unrelated note, Megan is starting to talk in sentences.  While I've been typing this post, she has been asking me to peel off ocean animal stickers for her, and when I handed her a shark sticker, we had the following conversation:

Megan:  Shark eat you all up.
Me: What would you do if a shark tried to eat you all up?
Megan: Run. Run. Run away.
Me: What if the shark kept chasing you?
Megan: (say) NO.  Turn back, shark.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Corn Fest

We went to Sun Prairie's Corn Fest for lunch on Sunday.  Amelia was excited that we got to go again this year; she had been disappointed that we were going to miss it.  Because Ben was here this year, we got a tote of corn (12 ears) since it was cheaper than buying 4 ears.  Ben ate two huge ears, I ate two medium sized ears, Amelia ate two small ears, and Megan had a few bites of one ear.  (I had to point out the size of the ears, because Ben was insulted when I told him that Amelia ate just as much corn as he did.)  We sat on the grass and ate our corn while we watched a unicycle riding juggler.  He was pretty fun; we got to see him ride a unicycle with a child sitting on his shoulders (Amelia did NOT want to volunteer for that!) and we saw him juggle flaming clubs.


Then we went to the petting zoo where the girls got to pat a few rabbits.  And finally we went to the bouncy house, although the girls only wanted to play in the toddler bouncy house, not the larger bouncy obstacle course.  Amelia had a lot of fun doing seat drops on the little slide.

We did not ride on any of the carnival rides because they charged $3 per person per ride, and Ben would have had to ride with Megan because she wasn't tall enough to ride by herself.  We decided $9 per ride was way too steep.  So I hope the girls like rides when we go to Santa's Village with Becky this week.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Other Olympic Activities

To give the kids a break from all the sports competitions, we did several Olympic themed crafts.  In addition to the toilet paper tube torches that were used during the opening ceremonies, we painted fireworks with koosh balls.  Only Becky was able to make her painting look like fireworks, but everyone else had fun just exploring the new painting technique and mixing colors.  Megan was a little tentative, because she didn't want to get paint on her hands, but she did enjoy it.

I wish I had taken photos of everyone's finished paintings, because Natalie really had some interesting color mixing in hers.  But I didn't, so here are Amelia and Megan's best paintings:

We also had Olympic ring themed breakfasts both days; bagels with honey nut cream cheese and different colored fruit topping.

The kids could pick which kind of fruit they wanted, although we had to add dried cherries to Noah's strawberry jam bagel and call it a ladybug bagel before he would consent to eat it.  And I was happy to know that my girls would eat bagels with cream cheese; I think Natalie and Noah are a good influence in the eating combined foods arena.


Finally, we painted Olympic rings using pool noodle sections and toilet paper tubes.  The pool noodle rings sounded like a good idea, but the paint glopped on them so much that they often looked like solid circles instead of rings.  But the kids didn't care!  I think they liked painting with the toilet paper tubes better anyway, because they could stamp so many more circles on the paper.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Relays and the Closing Ceremonies

On Wednesday morning, we tried a relay running race.  Amelia was the lead off runner:

She passed the baton to Megan, who ran enthusiastically down the sidewalk...

...and passed the baton to Noah.  Their handoff was a little slow, but at least they have the right idea.  :)

Noah ran quickly across the front yard to Natalie...

...but then tried a new handoff technique which could have used a little more work:

And Natalie ran to the finish line, winning the United States team their first team medal of these Olympic games!

Since the sprinting relay was such a success, and Natalie had been requesting more cycling events, we decided to invent a new event - the cycling relay!  During the first race, Amelia tried to get Noah to stop and hand off the tricycle to her, but he wanted to keep going.  But once the kids understood the idea, they had a great time.  Noah must have been exhausted after his first leg, because he needed to sit down and rest before the next leg.  It's hard work competing in two relay events in the same morning!


Megan didn't participate for very long, since her legs are a little short to pedal the tricycle herself for very long.  Instead, she picked flowers and hugged a tree.  Isn't she cute?

Unfortunately, we didn't get a photo of the entire relay team together, because Natalie was being a bit of a cranky pants.  But here are the three happy members of the team congratulating each other:

Then Natalie came back happy and we were able to get photos of all the kids with all their medals:


And finally, the Weidner victors thanked their mother for all her support: