Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Meeting Elsa!

When Amelia got in the car after school today, she told me that she was feeling sad because she had had a bad day.  She couldn't pinpoint anything specific that went wrong, just that she had been feeling out of sorts all day long.  I wonder if it had something to do with the fact that she woke me up at 5:30 in the morning because her tummy hurt.  Turns out she was just hungry, so she ate a bowl of cheerios and went back to bed.  But even though she wasn't sick, it still wasn't a great start to the day...

Anyway, I had seen that the mall way over on the west side of Madison was having a special kids day out, and that Frozen characters Anna and Elsa were going to make an appearance, so I decided that we should all make the trip over there.  After all, what better way is there to make someone smile than a warm hug?

The girls were delighted to see Anna and Elsa and willingly went up to them to get a picture taken.

They were too shy to talk to them, but we did follow them around the mall for a few minutes until Amelia worked up the courage to show Anna her ponytail holders that had Anna and Elsa on them.  We also got to hear Anna sing "For the First Time in Forever" which she sang very nicely.  She told the kids in the audience that they could sing along with her, but I think Amelia was the only one who did.  Amelia told me afterwards that she knew it wasn't the real Elsa, because she could see her gray hair poking out below the wig (the wig really should have been a bit bigger), and that she could see Olaf's glasses when she looked up at Olaf's head.  But she was still happy to see them.

There was also a balloon artist who made the girls purple butterflies:

And Build-a-Bear was giving out paper princess crowns.  The girls wore theirs for a while, then decided that Nate should try one on.  He was not very happy with it.

The girls wanted to play in the play area, which must have been sponsored by an electric company, since all the climbing sculptures were interesting electrical things, like a light switch and a light bulb.  Megan had a hard time figuring out how to get up on the hard hat, so Amelia showed her how to get up, and then reached a hand down to help her.  What a sweet big sister!

We had a special McDonald's dinner at the food court; I was excited to find out they had a Potbelly inside the food court, so I could eat that instead.  By the time we got home, it was too late for Amelia to do her math homework (draw a picture of a group of objects in her house,, and tell someone a story about it - how is that math?), but we did get her reading homework done. Regardless, she told me in the car that her bucket was all filled up, so I think our outing was a worthwhile success!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Megan's Snack Helper Day

Megan was snack helper at preschool today, and I got to spend the day with her.  We had so much fun!  Megan doesn't usually tell me much about what she does at preschool, other than what she had to eat for snack, so I was happy to discover what she actually does during the day.  As it turns out, Megan does a little bit of everything.  We started out playing Zingo with five of her little friends.  Lots of the kids were really excited to play with me - it was so cute!

Then we moved on to the sensory table, which was full of little rocks and construction trucks:

Then we built a rainbow barn out of magnatiles:

Then we played restaurant at the dramatic play area.  Megan wanted to use my phone to take a crazy photo of me:

Then Megan wanted to do the art project, which was hardhat drawing - it was really cute to watch the kids try to draw like this. 

Then we played with the magnet board and practiced spelling people's names.  Megan spelled "Mommy" all by herself - she made me close my eyes so she could surprise me with her spelling!

And then we played with the little animals, figuring out which habitats they lived in.  Megan made a parade of animals on the savannah.

She was an excited participant in large motor today, which was scooter stop-and-go and push-your-partner.  She doesn't always choose to go to large motor, but today was one of her favorite activities, so she had a blast.  I found scooters a lot easier this year; last year I was 8 or 9 months pregnant when I had to get down on a scooter - that was a challenge!

Finally, we served snack; Megan chose to bring baby carrots, white milk, and apples that we picked at the apple orchard yesterday.  Most of her friends really liked the carrots (I was surprised) but they all wanted more apples.  Since it was such a beautiful day, the teachers decided that we should have a picnic snack outside.  It went well and was really fun.  Plus it made cleanup a breeze!

Megan said her favorite part of the day was getting to help me set snack up.  My favorite part was getting to spend a large chunk of time with Megan doing exactly what she wanted to do.  It was delightful!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Nathaniel is 10 months old!

Nathaniel slept through the night last night!  He has a bit of a cold, so the few nights before that were rough for him; I hope last night starts a good new sleeping trend.
Everyone has been asking what Nathaniel does while the girls are at school, and the answer is that he mostly sleeps.  After we get home from dropping Amelia and Megan at their schools, Nathaniel takes his morning nap.  I usually have to wake him up at 10:30 to leave to go get Megan.  Then after we pick Megan up, come home and eat lunch, he is usually ready for his afternoon nap.  And again, I often have to wake him up at 2:45 to go pick up Amelia.  So his days are spent driving his sisters around and sleeping.  Poor baby!  He's a good sport about it, and is happy enough in his carseat if he has toys to chew on or a sister sitting next to him to look at.

So when he's not sitting in his carseat or sleeping in his crib, what does Nathaniel like to do?  Well, he has figured out how to pull himself up to stand:

His favorite place to stand is holding on to Ben's leather chair.  He especially likes it when there is a toy, or better yet, a remote, on the seat of the chair for him to play with.

He LOVES to play with remotes, so Ben found him an old Tivo remote that we no longer use, and this is known as Nate's remote.  It is especially cute when both Ben and Nate are playing with their remotes at the same time.

Nathaniel is crawling all over the place now.  We don't have gates up yet, so we generally barricade the living room entrance with the ottoman and the exersaucer so that he can't escape.  He loves to crawl over to the corner by Ben's chair and try to play with the laptops and chew on all of Ben's cords.  I block that area with a big pillow, and so far he hasn't figured out how to knock the pillow down to get to all the cords.  It's just a matter of time, though, because he is a determined little guy.

One of my friends gave us this riding motorcycle toy that her daughter had grown out of, and it is Nathaniel's favorite thing to play with, after remotes.  He loves to sit on it, bounce around, and push all the buttons to make noise.  He also loves it when Megan pushes him around the living room.  He likes things that make noise, so the guitar is another favorite toy.

Megan has become such a wonderful helper and playmate for Nathaniel.  She delights in feeding him, reading him books, bringing him toys, and carrying him around.  Nathaniel loves all the attention, and reciprocates by pulling Megan's hair and giggling at her.

What is Nathaniel eating now?  Well, almost everything!  He eats little bits of table food now and rarely eats pureed baby food.  He loves all kinds of grains, like bread, pretzel rolls, corn bread, Cheerios, puffs, and he liked every kind of fruit he's tried, including tiny grapes, strawberries and watermelon.  He loves hot dogs, hamburgers and sausage, but does not like deli turkey.  He will usually eat carrots and peas, but pushes green beans and broccoli off his tray right away.  He will sometimes eat cheese; he seems to like fresh mozzarella but turns up his nose at extra sharp cheddar.  He does not care for beans, tortillas or plain yogurt.

When Ben is home, Nathaniel often crawls over to him and pulls up on Ben's chair to try to get Ben to pick him up.  He loves it when Ben holds him upside down (guess Noah's pants are too big on him!), throws him up in the air, or lets him ride on his shoulders.  He also likes to watch the Cardinals play, but mostly because it gives him a chance to chew on his remote.

Yesterday, Nathaniel was pulling himself up on the laundry basket, and he decided to help me sort clothes by pulling out the girls' underwear.  I put a pair on his head because it reminded me of the time the girls wore their underpants on their heads, and he immediately pulled them down over his face.  Doesn't he look like a masked underpants bandit?  So funny, and I'm sure it will be so embarrassing when he is a little older!

Does he have any teeth?  Nope, not yet, but he puts everything in his mouth.  He still sucks his thumb sometimes, and he occasionally chews on his fingers.  But mostly he likes to chew on toys.  And socks.

He has a very expressive face, and is almost always happy.  I love to tickle him under his chin and listen to his sweet baby giggles!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Megan's First Day of 4k

Megan has been counting down the days until 4k starts - she was upset that she didn't get to go to school last week when Amelia started first grade.  She was super excited that it was her school day this morning!  We had a special breakfast of toast with cinnamon sugar and cocoa sugar.

It was a little cool this morning (51 when we woke up) so I made Megan wear socks and shoes.  She picked out her Halloween pumpkin socks herself.

When we got to preschool this morning, Megan did remember to give me and Nathaniel hugs and kisses, but then she was the first one to run into the classroom.  I think she was more excited about saying goodbye to Nate than me.  When we picked her up, she told me that she had had a great day.  I asked for more detail, and she said that she had apple juice and Ritz crackers for snack, that she played bristle blocks with Ms. Bottomley,  that they sang the "Boom Chicka Rocka" song, and that they are going outside tomorrow.  I have no idea what else she did in her two and a half hours at school, but she enjoyed it!

Amelia's First Day of 1st Grade

Amelia's first day of 1st grade was great!  She came home all excited about school; she said she felt comfortable with her teacher already, and she was happy to have three good friends in her class. 

After I took these photos of Amelia, she wanted to take a photo of Dinah, since it was also Dinah's first day at school.   I found this dress on clearance, and it came with a matching 18" doll dress, which fit Dinah perfectly.  Amelia loves when she and Dinah have matching clothes.  Amelia told Megan and me that we were responsible for teaching Dinah something during the day, so Megan taught Dinah the names of all her plastic dinosaurs.  Dinah was a very good student.

Her second day of school, the first full day, was a little bit harder.  She came home saying that her bucket was empty (her teacher had read them a book called Have You Filled a Bucket Today? about how everyone can help fill up other people's buckets by doing nice things for them and being kind) because she got lonely for home.  Megan and I cheered her up with a snack and some reading time, but she felt sad most of the evening.  She only had one bit of homework last week, to decorate a paper lunch bag and fill it with five things that she could use to tell her friends about her.  Amelia chose to decorate her bag with Frozen stickers, as well as cupcakes, butterflies and cats.  She also colored part of the bag purple and taped on some pipe cleaners.

She filled her bag with a Boxcar Children book (because she loves to read), her journal (because she loves to write stories), a picture that she colored (because she loves to draw), a Lego car (because her favorite things to play with right now are Legos) and a pipe cleaner crown and braid that she made for her Barbie (because she and her neighbor friend love to create things with pipe cleaners, and Amelia is proud that she has learned how to braid).  Amelia was the first one to share her bag with the class; she said she wasn't nervous at all, that she liked telling her friends about herself.

I think Amelia did a great job coming up with things that really do represent her.  Thankfully, the rest of last week went well, and she was very excited to go to school this morning, too.  She has Daisies this afternoon, so that gave her something fun to look forward to.