Saturday, September 27, 2008

Violet's Drawer

When I designed my new kitchen last fall, my neighbor Tina gave me the idea to put in an "art cabinet" for the girls to store all of their art supplies. It was a great idea. We put it at the end of the island so that the girls didn't have to come into my "work triangle" to access their supplies. So I have the big girls trained to stay out of my way in the kitchen, but Violet is a different story. Of course when it is time to prepare a meal, that is Violet's fussy/clingy time. She prefers to be right underfoot. So I designated a small bottom drawer to be her drawer. I put plastic cups, paper plates, and the girl's silly straws in it to keep her happy. After a while, she began using her drawer to store her toys. I would find random baby toys that she drug from her room or the living room in her kitchen drawer.

Today there was something new in her drawer. This morning, I gave the girls big soft pretzels for their snack. Violet took hers on the go and was crawling around with it. Well, apparently she wanted to save some for later. This afternoon she opened her drawer, pulled out the pretzel she was storing there and started gnawing on it again.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Take a Shortcut

About 6 months ago, in my desperation to make my life simpler, I cut my hair very short. You know, the "mommy cut." It was a very cute cut, don't get my wrong, and I do have to admit it cut (pardon the pun) my getting ready time in half. Well, cutting my hair was a big deal at our house. You see, Ricky prefers my hair long. His response when I told him I got my hair cut was, "You know I like your hair long." Then later he conceded that as long as I was happy with it, it was fine by him. Anyway, I digress, but the point is that when I got my hair cut it was quite a big deal and the girls talked about "Mommy looking like a boy now" for weeks. Here is a picture of me right after my new cut:

So then the next time I went to get my hair trimmed Annabelle asked me, "Are you taking a shortcut?" I did a double take, because at first I thought she was asking which way I was driving to Lawrence, but then I realized she was talking about a short hair cut. It was a typical Annabellism.

So I took the girls to get their haircut yesterday. We all know that Aliah inherited my thick locks and Annabelle got the shorter end of the stick (let's just say Ricky's hair isn't one of his strengths. We all still have our fingers crossed that Violet gets Spicer hair and so far it is looking hopeful). So Annabelle jumps into the chair at the beauty shop and the hairdresser asks me what I want her to do. I admit that Annabelle's hair is challenging and she suggests to trim off a few inches so that it will thicken up. Annabelle concurs, saying she wants to "take a shortcut." I say, keep it at her shoulders. Well, after it curls up it is quite a bit shorter than her shoulders, but admittedly cute and fuller.

So then it was Aliah's turn. She jumps into the chair and says, "I want my hair as short as my eyes!" I object, telling her that Daddy won't allow that. She responds, "Then why did you get your hair cut short?" I tell her that Mommy is the boss of Mommy, but Daddy is still the boss of Aliah.

Here is Annabelle acting her typical silly self with her new haircut:

Violet in her window

I am posting a video of Violet looking out of her bedroom window. I think this was the first time that she discovered that she had a window in her room. I had pulled the blinds up and opened the window to let the cool air in her room. She promptly crawled over, pulled up and tried to eat a dead fly that was on the dirty window sill. Then she realized that she could see Payton outside. She is demonstrating her "Hi" and waving skills. You can tell that she has a billion things running around in her mind that she would like to say, but right now the only coherent word is "hi."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Moon Sand

This week we are wrapping up our section on "m" and the moon for Aliah's homeschooling. After we finished our table work, I told the girls I had a fun surprise. I filled up their water table with 2 bags of pool filter sand. They have never actually had sand in their water table so they were elated. Besides just to have fun playing in the sand, the objective was to drop objects in the sand to make it look like craters on the moon's crust. We did this by dropping oranges in the sand.

Their sand table is on the front porch, so I busied myself with other household tasks while they were playing. After about 45 minutes they were done and ready to come inside. Of course they had fine sand in every crevice of their clothes and covering most of their body. Being the planner that I am, I started this activity on a day that they really needed a shower anyway. So I told them to step inside the door and carefully remove their clothes on the rug by the door and go to my bathroom to wait for me to start their shower. And I tell them, "Don't touch anything." In the mean time, I get distracted by Violet's random chocking hazard that she is chewing on. Then I go out on the porch and make an attempt to cover the sand table so our cat doesn't find a new litter box. The front porch is covered, as you can see by sand. I make a mental note to clean it up later.

By the time I get back in the house I hear giggling coming from my bedroom. The coconspirators are buck naked, jumping on my unmade bed! As you can imagine, by this time they have shaken all of that fine pool sand on my sheets and I am livid. Now I don't have a picture of this for 2 reasons: #1: Even I know that I shouldn't put pictures of my young daughters in the buck on the internet. #2: I was so mad, there was no way I was giving them the pleasure of taking their picture for putting a bucket full of sand in my bed.

So simultaneously strip my sheets and yell at at the girls. I tell them they have to help me wash my sheets and make my bed. In the end, this probably made them happy, because they got to stay up an hour late from their nap waiting for my sheets to dry. Next time I will be more specific about don't jump on my bed when covered with sand.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I'm the Mommy

Yesterday Annabelle and Aliah were playing family, which is their version of "house." Annabelle was the Mommy and she was decked out in her necessary Diva Mommy accessories, a tiara and cell phone.

It makes me sad that she pretends she has cancer while playing the Mommy. But I guess my cancer and cancer treatment is just a fact of life to my kids. The don't view it as a bad thing, especially since my treatment went so well. So I am thankful for that. For a lot of Mommies with cancer, especially those diagnosed while pregnant, there isn't such a happy ending.

On the bright side, Annabelle said her wedding will only cost $5! Woohoo! We will only have to take out a second mortgage to finance 2 weddings instead of 3. I suppose she has wedding on her mind since Uncle Troy and Deidra's is coming up soon.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Eating Books

Every parent knows that the more board books your baby gnaws on, the smarter they will be. Violet demonstrates her ever-expanding brain cells in this next video. I was reading books to the big girls on the couch. Violet came up to us and stole a book from our pile. Then she sat down and started pretending to read it to herself in her own baby-talk. It was so cute that I got my camera out, hoping she would do it again. But instead she decided to literally take a bit out of the book. Then at the end of the video, Aliah decides to put her hand in front of the camera to get back at me when I asked her to fish the bite of book out of Violet's mouth.

Aliah's First Soccer Game

Aliah now thinks she is a pro at soccer since she knows the most important rule- "you can't touch the ball with your hands unless you are the goalie." Today was her first soccer game and Mimi and Grandpa Mike came down to see it. Basically it consisted of her and all the other kids chasing the ball around like a mob for 40 minutes, not too much strategy. But what do you expect from a bunch of 5 and 6 year olds?

Here is a picture of Violet enjoying some time with Mimi and Grandpa:

Aliah all smiles after her game (technically they did win something like 7 to 0, but who's counting when you are only 5 years old):

Monday, September 1, 2008

Aliah's First Day of Kindergarten

I have to blog about Aliah's first day of kindergarten, even though it was a few weeks ago. One our first day of kindergarten, Aliah didn't wear any shoes and Mommy didn't have to cry on the steps of the school. That's because we homeschool.

We have been homeschooling for almost 3 weeks now and so far it has been a blast. Aliah really enjoys it, in fact today is Labor Day and she begged me to homeschool even though it was supposed to be a day off. We get to do all kinds of fun projects. This week we are learning about the sun and the letter "s" and today we made a sun dial.

Below is a picture of the two of us on our first day of kindergarten. It looks a little strange because Annabelle took the picture. Annabelle claims it was her first day of kindergarten too. In all fairness, I guess it was since she participates in most of our lessons too when she isn't at preschool. It only takes about 45 minutes a day so right now we can get all of our schoolwork done while Violet takes her morning nap.

Aliah's extracurricular activities include: coed soccer with kindergarten and first graders (Uncle Beau is her coach. The first practice she wanted to hold his hand the whole time.),private and group violin lessons (starting soon) weekly class at the Nature Center, Awana Cubbies, dance class, an occasional art class, and hanging out with other homeschool friends for play dates and field trips.

Here is a picture of one of the projects Aliah completed:

So far the only "issue" we have had has been her artistic tendencies getting in the way of following directions. We did one project where we went on a nature walk to pick up objects. Then when we got home she had to categorize the objects as things God made (leaves, acorns, rocks) and man made (pop tabs, candy wrappers, lids). We made a chart and she was to glue the objects on the paper in the appropriate category. I left the room for a few minutes and when I came back, she had an elaborate symmetrical collage on one side of the page. I asked her why she didn't put the put the man made objects on that side of the page and she said, "It looks prettier this way." I told her to take it apart and do it the right way. She refused. So I sent her to her room. 20 minutes later she came out and agreed to do it the right way. I reminded her that after her school work was done she could do what ever art project she wanted and I wouldn't tell her how to do it.