Friday, October 31, 2008

Perfect as a Peacock

Here are some pictures before we headed out to go trick-or-treating. Aliah is a monarch, Annabelle a peacock, and Violet a Ladybug. It was nearly impossible to get a good pictures since Violet was thrashing around.

How did we decide on costumes this year? Aliah learned about monarch butterflies at her nature class and asked to be a monarch for Halloween. Since we had a whole dress-up chest full of costumes that fit Annabelle, she had her pick of whatever she felt like wearing. So this year she was a snow princess for one party, a disney princess for another and a peacock for trick-or-treating. Does the peacock costume look very familiar? That's because this is the 3rd year she has worn it. That's right, she first wore it when she was 18 months (it is size 18-24 months). Then she wore it again last year. And again this year. So it turns out that costume, even though it was pretty expensive, has been a good investment. It is a great costume, and I am sure Annabelle knows how much attention she gets in it and that's why she likes it so much. Watch for it again next year, rumor has it that Violet has her eye on it.

Happy Halloween!

This morning I surprised the girls with Jack-O-Lantern pancakes for breakfast. As you can see in the picture, they weren't too impressed. Although I have to say, come on girls, it isn't every morning you get chocolate chips for breakfast!

Then after a torturous hour of homeschooling (really- do teachers ever get anything accomplished on party days?), we went to the library for a Halloween party with friends. The girls made a candy-corn craft, played games, listened to a spooky story complete with gross-feeling "body parts," and of course enjoyed snacks.

Here are my friends Kelly & Jess demonstrating how to wrap up each other like a mummy:

Annabelle turning Aliah into a mummy:

Violet enjoying her first juice box (or pouch or whatever you call those things):

Aliah and Annabelle displaying their candy-corn people they made:

Now I hope the girls take good naps so we can do lots of trick-or-treating tonight in the beautiful weather.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Annabelle's Preschool Party

Today the girls and I went to Annabelle's preschool Halloween party. Each child took turns standing on the the "stage" to tell about their costume. Here is Annabelle in her latest costume creation (she just picked out what she wanted to wear from our dress up clothes that morning):

Then Violet scooted over to the stage for a turn. It was fun for maybe a half a second or so:

I helped Annabelle's teacher out by organizing the party. I strategically asked parents who I knew would bring healthy treats, since we all know that our kids are automatically going to get an overdose of sugar this week. We had cute pumpkin muffins and these darling witch hands complete with a spider ring that my friend Kelley made:

I brought Honest Kids organic juice that is made without high fructose corn syrup. Then somebody was trying to be helpful and crashed the party by sending the most obnoxious black and hot pink frosted store-bought cupcakes. Seriously they had about 2 inches of sugary frosting and the black frosting stained everyone. Here are the girls after devouring their frosting:

Fall Pictures

My dear friend Heather is a professional photographer, I'm sure you've seen some of the pics she has done for us in the past. Tuesday she came up to do the fall pictures of the girls and Violet's one year pictures. Annabelle woke up from her nap on the wrong side of the bed that day and cried for an hour and Violet pretty much cried the whole time when ever I wasn't holding her. But despite this, Heather worked her magic and we got some good results. I don't have all of them yet, but just a sneak peek.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Trying Out a Paci

For some reason, an infant pacifier resurrected itself in my house this week. I always tried to give my babies a paci, but they preferred their thumb. (Now unfortunately I have a 1, 3, and 5 year old who all still prefer their thumbs!) Can you tell by these pictures that Violet doesn't know how to use a pacifier?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Progress Reports

Annabelle's first quarter of preschool is now over and she got a progress report from her teacher, Ms. Deanna. The report is as follows (italics mine):

Annabelle is doing great at school. She is very cooperative and follows directions well. Annabelle has strong language skills. She definitely has her own opinions and voices them, but does so appropriately. She has great ideas and is a good problem solver. Annabelle is a good friend to her classmates. She often invites others to join her in play and shares toys. Annabelle has achieved many pre-academic skills. She is doing a good job at writing her name. She rote counts to 13 and labels numerals 1-5. She is labeling many basic shapes and all colors. She is also naming 13 uppercase letters. We enjoy having Annabelle as part of our class this year.

Annabelle is doing awesome in school and was rewarded appropriately with a clip-on-your-belt sparkely lip gloss holder. So I decided that I needed to do a progress report for Aliah too:

Aliah is progressing well in her first quarter of kindergarten. She has learned all of her upper and lower case letter names and sounds. She is beginning to blend sounds together to read short words. Aliah is able to discriminate sounds at the beginning of worlds. She has learned the days of the week. In handwriting, Aliah has learned how to write her name and most letters and numbers properly on a writing tablet. Aliah is able to count by tens and can rote count to 100 with some prompts. She is able to listen to oral directions and complete worksheets independently. Aliah can listen to a story without pictures and retell the story correctly. Aliah sometimes challenges authority (yes that would be me!), attempting to complete projects with a creative flair that was not the original intent of the assignment. Aliah's favorite activities include: reading books, creating artwork, and learning about insects. She also enjoys playing with friends. She is working on respecting peer's personal space and not getting too overly-excited while playing.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Day at the Petting Farm

I figured today would be one of the last nice days so I took the girls to the petting farm. Annabelle loves to see the animals but does not like the smell. She kept gagging when we were next to the pigs, it was cracking me up. (For those with sensitive viewing needs, the following video displays a pig's behind).

Aliah and Annabelle milking a "cow."

Violet telling me "dog" (in baby sign sticking out her tongue panting) when she saw a cow.

Annabelle & Aliah got to go on a pony ride.

Ricky put this slide show on of all of the pictures I took today:

Your pictures and fotos in a slideshow on MySpace, eBay, Facebook or your website!view all pictures of this slideshow

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Violet's First Encounter with Chocolate

A couple weeks ago, Violet started systematically going through all of my lower kitchen cabinets. Our old kitchen used to be child-proof but our new one is not. So I put an impromptu quick-squeeze on the cabinet with the cleaning supplies and figured we could wait to properly child-proof the rest of the cabinets when we get a chance.

All of a sudden, I hear the big girls screaming for me and I am imagining the worst. I run into the kitchen to find Violet who has taken the twist-tie off a full bag of mini-chocolate chips. They were all over the floor and she was chowing on them as fast as her little hands could stuff them in her mouth. She was using the get your palm all slobbery and the chocolate chips stick to them method. Of course by this time her older sisters were helping her "clean up."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Maple Leaf Festivities

Today was the our town's annual festival, the Maple Leaf Festival. It is a huge deal and draws crowds of over 20,000 people. To our girls it equals a fun weekend with lots and lots of sweets. Last night we kicked off the weekend by going to the high school football game. It was the first time for us to go to a football game as a family. The girls loved the hot chocolate, candy, cheerleaders, band and fireworks.

Today we had a busy day. This morning the girls visited the petting zoo and the inflatable jump-ons before watching the parade (and getting a whole bag full of candy). Oh, I forgot that Grandma splurged on pony rides somewhere in there. Then after nap we went to the carnival. On the way we visited stopped at some booths so that the girls could buy some things.

Below is a picture after making a purchase. We let them spend their allowance money on various trinkets and jewelry. Notice I am wearing my Forerunner to see how much I walked today. I spend the afternoon shopping with friends and had a grand total of 4.5 miles of walking. It was a good day to break in my new orthotics and running shoes. (And by the way, when I got home I realized I had worn my shirt inside out the whole day, lovely).

Going down the Big Slide for the first time:

Riding the carousel- Aliah choose a chicken and Annabelle choose a giraffe.

Annabelle on the roller coaster:

Chowing on corn dogs and "tator twisters" after riding all of the rides.

On the way home after a fun day.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Camry vs. the Deer

Yesterday Ricky hit a deer coming home from church at about 8:15 p.m. Thankfully he wasn't hurt. Furthermore, thankfully the girls and I didn't hit it since we were just about a block in front of him driving home from church in the van.

Things are not looking good for the Camry. She has been a good car to us. Reliable and not asking for much in terms of upkeep. Plus, she got around 31-33 mpg commuting, which is pretty good for a ten year old car. We have put almost 150,000 miles on her. Sadly, we are afraid that the insurance adjuster will take her away and write us a measly check tomorrow. So if anyone has a good used car for sale, we may be needing one soon.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Annabelle's Pre-reading Skills

Annabelle is blossoming in her pre-reading skills. She sits in on most of Aliah's kindergarten homeschooling so she already knows most of her letters. Today she was asking me how to spell Violet's name while I was busy cooking. I didn't notice that she wasn't writing on paper, but instead she was writing in crayon on Violet's new bib. Oops.

Today she was also spouting off rhyming words. (Annabelle learned to rhyme the same time as Aliah did, so she was only 2 at the time while Aliah was 4). The words that she came up with today were very interesting: punk, funk, monk, junk, bunk, dunk, gunk. What word picture do you have in your head after reading those words?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tyler is a Man

Today at the dinner table Annabelle was discussing male and female eating styles. I guess I was a little too enthusiastic about my spaghetti because as I was digging in, Annabelle tells me: "Mommy, you are eating like a man." I asked her what she means and she said I was taking big man bites. Oops. Then she proceeds to say, "Tyler is a man." At this point Ricky was choking on his spaghetti from laughing. Annabelle has a small crush on Tyler (a 3rd grader who is a friend from church). "Tyler is my best friend!"

After Ricky recovers he tells me, "Are you going to blog about that?" So there you go, Donna (Tyler's Mom and faithful follower of Haigh Happenings). Too bad we don't have a daughter for each of the Thomasson boys! Just so that you can see that Annabelle has good taste in um, older men, here is a picture of Tyler:

My Baby is 1!

Violet celebrated her first birthday yesterday. It was great having all of my family here. Here is a video of her with a cupcake. She just didn't know what to do with it. Someone asked if it was her first sweet, haha. I need to post the video of her getting into the chocolate chips from last week.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

More of Heather's Pictures

Here are some more of Heather's photography from the wedding. I can't wait for her to do my girls' fall pics!

Aliah's Pet Worm

Aliah has been going to a nature class for home-schooled kids with her friend Gwendolyn once a week. She absolutely loves this class and talks about getting really up close and personal with all different kids of animals. The first week she told us about her teacher putting on a really long glove and then bringing an owl inside on a leash. Plus it was a "who-cooks-for-you" (Barred Owl) like what we have in our back yard. The second week she learned all about monarch butterflies, which inspired her to want to be a monarch for Halloween. This week she came home with a new pet- a worm.

Aliah may be a girly-girl, but she has never minded getting down and dirty with worms. Rescuing worms from the cement after a rain is a favorite hobby. Once when she was 3, I found some stashed in her pockets. So as you can imagine she was more that thrilled to learn about her favorite invertebrate today in class.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Violet and the Wedding Dance

Here is a hilarious video of Troy and Deidra's first dance as husband and wife. Not that Troy and Deidra are funny (actually they were pretty romantic), but Violet was sitting right in front of them while I took the video and she is pretty funny. At this point she had been stuck sitting in her chair for about 2 hours so she was going to extremes to keep herself entertained. So you will see her rocking in her chair, laying her head on the table to the slow music, trying to grab her sister's candy, trying to eat the table, sticking her tongue out, and laying her face on her tray. I apologize for turning the camera half way through the video, I have a bad habit of doing that.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Cancer (Free!) Update

Good news, I just got a call from my doctor at KU Med regarding my bloodwork results. She said my tumor marker was very low, which we can interpenetrate as meaning no cancer growth. I will be having several scans and more tests in December, but so far, so good!

She did say I need to raise my thyroid medication, which I am not happy about. Apparently the first couple years after a diagnosis, it is necessary to have very suppressed thyroid hormone levels to better your prognosis. The more suppressed, the less chance of cancer growth. So I may have to deal with feeling like I have had a bit too many cappuccinos for a while all in the name of good health. Compared to what most cancer patients go through as far as side effects, I am not going to complain.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sneak Peak

So having your best friend be the photographer at your brother-in-law's wedding gives you special privileges. Here is a sneak peak of some of Heather's pictures taken just a few hours ago. (You may be seeing these before the bride and groom.) Okay, isn't Heather an amazing artist?