Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Another Snow Day

We were under a winter storm warning all day today, but when the school district called with the school closing message at 6am (thanks for waking us up, school district), there was only a dusting of snow on the ground.  I felt like we were living in Tennessee!  Amelia cried when I told her that preschool was cancelled because she was so excited that she was supposed to be snack helper today.  I checked with her teacher, who told her that she could bring her snack in tomorrow instead, and Ben even rearranged his schedule so that he could go to school with her tomorrow instead.  She is really looking forward to it.

It snowed pretty hard all day long, but we only ended up with 4 or 5 inches of snow.  I made the girls wait until late afternoon to go out and play, because I was hoping the snow would stop entirely, but it was still flurrying and blowing when we went outside.

Megan was still not a fan of the snow.  She spent less than 5 minutes outside, didn't want to touch the snow, didn't want to eat the snow, didn't want to do anything at all.  She tried one bite of snow, then cried because she said her mouth was cold.  So Ben took her inside.

Amelia, on the other hand, loved the snow and spent over an hour playing outside.  She was excited to find icicles under her little picnic table, and of course wanted to eat them:

Then she and Ben kicked some snow at each other (the snow was terrible for packing) and she had a good time being dramatic and falling down,

And then she and I went sledding down Cosette's backyard.  This time Sydney, Payton, Marli and two other kids were outside sledding on the steeper side of Cosette's house, so we joined them.  Amelia did a fantastic job avoiding the trees, and learned to bail before she ran into the swing set or the fire pit.  She went really far and really fast and had a great time!

Tomorrow the high is supposed to be 11, and only 6 on Friday, so we might not get to play outside again for a few days.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Rainy Day at the Zoo

Today was unseasonably warm for January - it got up to 55!  It rained and thunderstormed all night last night, so most of our snow is gone.  The ground is sodden and the sidewalks and driveways are awash with flowing water, but we had to get outside to do something since it might not be this warm again until April.  The forecast for today showed rain in the late afternoon, so I thought we could sneak in a quick trip to the zoo before the rain started.  Ha ha.  The weather was lovely while we were driving to the zoo, but once we got there, it started misting.  Then it got foggy, then it started drizzling, and finally thunderstorming.  Needless to say, we spent a lot of time in the various houses.

First stop - primate house!  Amelia stopped to show me where we live on the globe - I think the girls like spinning the globe more than they like the primates.  We had the house entirely to ourselves today, which was great.  And all the animals were inside, so we got to see them up close.  This chimpanzee came up to the glass to give us a big smile:

Megan wanted to go in the rain forest house, where we saw this beautiful Brazilian tanager.  We left the bird area quickly because the macaws started shrieking and the noise freaked the girls out.

The otters weren't outside today, which was a big disappointment to the girls, because the otters are usually their favorite animals.  But the polar bear was out pacing around:

We stopped to see the prairie dogs, who mostly showed good sense by staying hidden in their burrows.  This bison was chilling out on a lump of snow, probably to avoid the quagmire that was the rest of his exhibit.

Then we had to stop and take a look at the map to figure out how to get to the giraffe house.

As we were walking there, it started thunderstorming:

So we ducked into the reptile house, where Megan enjoyed looking at the frogs:

Amelia had fun looking through the microscope at the different types of feathers, bones and skins:

A docent came out with a box of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, and told the girls all about them.  We learned that cockroaches breath through small holes down the edges of their shells.  Did you know that?  Then she got one out of the box, and we all got to pet it.  The shell was very hard, and the idea of petting a huge cockroach was seriously disturbing.  Both girls tried it, but Amelia really didn't like it.

We spent a while looking at the giant tortoises, because a zookeeper was inside the exhibit trying to get the tortoise to come to her to get a tasty sweet potato snack.  Amelia said that the tortoises were not very good listeners.

We finally got to the giraffe house during a break in the rain, where we ran into Amelia's preschool friend Ava, and spent at least 5 minutes watching the giraffes while we waited for the rain to die down again.  Amelia noticed that giraffes even have spots on their tails.

And then we gave up and headed to the car:

We had a fun time in spite of the rain!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Natalie and Noah visit

My kids had the best time playing with Natalie and Noah the last few days.  As they left yesterday, Amelia said she was so sad that they couldn't stay and play with her forever.

The kids spent a lot of time playing together independently, and there were only a few incidents when Becky or I had to step in to remind them to share or not to push each other.  Here's Noah during hide and seek:

 While they were enjoying play time, Becky and I were so productive - we baked, we made tool belts for Natalie and Noah's birthday party, and we made a baby quilt.  Amelia and Noah helped with the quilt by pushing the pedal to make the sewing machine sew.

On Friday, Amelia wanted to freeze water to make an ice skating rink for Barbie.  This turned into filling all kinds of containers with water, plastic animals, and food coloring, freezing them outside, then using warm water to melt them to rescue the frozen animals.  The food coloring made it pretty messy, along with the fact that water got poured or spilled all over the table.  But they had fun!  Noah's shirt got wet early on, and he took it partway off because he doesn't like to wear wet clothes.

Since we were already messy, we decided to move to painting.  We tried rubber band splatter painting, but only Amelia and Becky were interested in doing that.  Becky created a whole series of paintings complete with creative names.  You can see from Natalie's face that she did not like the paint splattering all over.  Then we did some fold the paper in half, dot with paint, and smush projects.  Everyone really liked those.

Then it was bath time!  It was the first time Natalie and Noah had had a bubble bath, and I think they liked it.  Noah stayed in the tub at least 15 minutes after everyone else got out.

On Saturday, the kids played dressup.

Noah dressed up as the bee prince, but then changed into an evil witch outfit with a princess crown.  He and Amelia kept turning each other into things - it looked like a duel!  Natalie was being a silly monster in this photo:

And while Becky and I finished up a project and made dinner, the kids got to watch an episode of Dora.  They all sat together on the couch snuggled up under a blanket.  They look a little scared here, but it was fun to listen to them answering Dora's questions.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Spirit Week at Preschool

Tuesday was mismatch day at preschool; Amelia kept calling it mix-match day, because you were supposed to mix up the clothes you were wearing.  She planned out what she was going to wear the night before, and laid it all neatly on her floor.  She settled on a flowered dress, stripy tights and a butterfly hair bow.  I'm not sure why these clothes don't match in her mind, when a lot of other similar looking outfits do match....

We had such a fun day on Tuesday.  As a treat, since Ben was out of town all week, I took the girls to Panera for lunch, where they each got a cinnamon crunch bagel.

Then we went to Goodwill, and I let them choose a book to buy.  As it turned out, they had a hard time deciding on only one book (do they take after their mother, or what?) and so they talked me into buying them each two books to take home.  At $0.69 a book, I was a big spender!   Amelia chose "Chester's Way" by Kevin Henkes, because it has Lily the mouse in it, and "Goldilicious" and Megan chose an Angelina Ballerina book and a Gold Medal flour ABC children's cookbook from 1990.  She was adamant that she wanted the cookbook, even after I explained what it was.  We have read it several times already, and it has some cute recipes for kids.  Megan is so funny.

That night, we went to DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) night at preschool, and read books for an hour and a half in our jammies.  I was glad to see how much Amelia has warmed up to her teachers; she wanted only Mrs. Herron and Ms. Bottomley to read stories to her, and she snuggled right up to them.

I read stories to Megan for a while, and then she abandoned me to ask Mrs. Becker (her teacher next year) to read to her.

 The girls read so many new books that they couldn't tell me what their favorites were, although I suspect Megan liked "Spoon" because she asked several people to read it to her and Amelia liked "Chester's Way" by Kevin Henkes.

Thursday was crazy hair day, and Amelia decided she wanted lots of ponytails with different kinds of bows.  Here's how her hair ended up:

At first, she wanted to wear her purple dress up wig, because she told me that if she had lots of barrettes in her hair, it would look cute, not crazy.  But after I did her hair this way, she agreed it looked crazy, but also cute.