Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Biscuit and the Little Girl Who Could Read.

One of the things that Ellie works on in kindergarten is "sight words." It's small, basic words that they expect her to recognize and not have to sound out. Small stuff like "look," and "we" and "the" and "a." You get the gist. We've been going over her sight word lists (because they get quizzed!) and I realized that if she could get all of those words, she was probably ready to tackle some of the very basic "I Can Read" books that we have - namely, the collection of a dozen or so very short Biscuit books that Gigi bought a million years ago. Sure, Ellie had them read to her a thousand times, but she hasn't look at them in quite awhile (making the possibility of her just reciting them to me very low) so today we gave her a book and asked her if she could read it to us, and she could! She read Biscuit and the Box (needed no help with the word box) and Biscuit and the Cat. I'm so proud of her! Reading is the very, very best - I can't wait to watch her take off.

As a memory, here's when she absolutely HATED Biscuit and the Frog for no particular reason:
(OMG, this is FOUR YEARS AGO.)

I am also amazed at her command of basic math. On Sunday after the Lions scored, I was despairing about the Packer game, and Ellie looked at the 20-34 score and said "mommy, it's okay. We're still winning by 14 points." I mean, I can barely do that math - I was so impressed!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Mixed Reviews.

Adam went and saw his first movie tonight in the theater! Our little pal Whitney has been desperate to see the new kids movie Storks, and so Sara Jo and I schemed that the dads could take all of the children, and she and I could then go on a hot date that did not involve telling people to sit down or shut up (except for our verbal abuse banter to one another.) It ended up perfectly - the kids and dads went to the giant movie theater, and we wandered around Pier 1 and TJ McMarshalls, and then got some ice cream and met them afterwards.

Tim reported that the kids were mostly good - did some talking and some wiggling, but no one had to be taken out or melted down. Then he handed me a bag of Starburst and said to hide them from Adam, because he'd already eaten more than his fair share. Tim made a joke about "I worried he was going to get sick."

The good news is he didn't get sick in the car. The bad news is that he was sitting on his bed, told me his tummy hurt, and then launched Starburst and popcorn on me like an absolute fountain. I ended up with my skirt full of puke, like a farmer's wife gathering eggs in her apron. It was vile. Plus then there's Ellie sobbing that she doesn't want to get sick, and Adam taking a pause and then going back for a second round. I managed to get us both in the shower while Tim cleared up the spills on the carpet, and thankfully he went to bed without any further mess.

So now Siskel and Ebert give the movie experience on thumb up, one thumb down.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Butterfly Time.

Another busy weekend in the books! The kids are pooped, and are down before 8pm tonight. They were so tired that I ended up giving them a bath before dinner, just to get clean and calmed down a little (usually they shower, and it's a mad house. Tonight, soothing warm bath for babies, and then Adam snuggled with me in the rocking chair, all swaddled up in his towel.)

On Friday, Sara and Gigi went to Target as mom's outing for the day, where they picked up these beautiful babies, for a grand total of twenty bucks:

There is very little that Adam loves more than a Tiger Swallowtail (I think he likes the trash truck more, and maybe Lamby) and Ellie was happy to be a monarch along side of him. They've been very darling this weekend, running around and flapping their wings, and have pulled out our pocket butterfly guide and our favorite out of print book Butterfly Time so that they can look at themselves. They also love the tags that came on their capes, and have been carrying their treasured "butterfly notes" with them as well.



It's utter lunacy, but so darling. Adam now says that he wants to be a butterfly for Thanksgiving. Ellie is still set on being Rapunzel, with the costume she's sure Mimi is buying for her.

Today we had Mimi and Poppy and Jake over for lunch, which was really fun and relaxed. Tried to get Jake to show Ellie how to ride a two wheeler, but she's not even really getting the concept of putting her feet down - she basically tries to jump clear of the bike if it tips, so I think we have a way to go.

Then it was down to Oceanside for Nina and Thalia's fifth birthday party (on their actual birthday!) Ellie was very into the fact that they were all five together, but that she was still older. She was also really into Cora, her new baby cousin:


Adam was pretty enamored too. It's always fun to see all of the kids in their big, happy scrum together. even though we had to leave when Adam had a tearful, screaming melt down. Sometimes the best you can do is a quiet nap in the car, a nice bath, and an early bed time.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Why'd you come in here goofy like that?

This is your Ellie on nitrious and Dolly Parton.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Where a Grizz can be a Kid!

Grizz turned 61 on Friday. It's somehow less fun now that we know he's going to live forever, rather than best case scenario only making it to sixty.

He started his day by driving Sara to work, and also taking Ellie to school for me, since it was my first day back at MOPS. The day before at the YMCA, Adam had dictated a card to Ellie, which features all of his favorite things to do with Grizz:

They like to pick vegetables, and go to the park, and watch the trash trucks. And there are lots of hearts and love. I also cried when Ellie showed it to me. Her card had less illustrations, but just as much love.

They also like to help Grizz grill, which he had to do for his own birthday dinner. He made them some sliders to start, so they enjoyed their food while helping him feed the rest of us. Then we had brownies, and of course, sang twice because each kid had to be allowed to blow out his candle for him.

The big fun though, was that he asked them to see Chuck E. Cheese with him, in the style of Grandpa Howie having his grandkids come with him to Showbiz Pizza for his birthday celebration. I have never taken my children to Ratville, and was nervous going in, but it was nowhere near as bad as I feared. For one, they have actual lighting now instead of it being some weird, dark pit. Whether because of germaphobia or other litigation, there's no ball pit (which is good for Sara. A favorite family memory is her getting stuck in a ball pit, and Uncle John having to climb in and scoop her out because she couldn't get her feet under her, and David and I thought she was actually drowning) and there's very little climbing equipment. Most of the place is taken up with video games and carnival style games. I absolutely killed it in skeeball, and Grizz and Ellie did some good smashing of clowns.



The video games are oriented much more to small children - Adam did a great job at some fishing game because all he had to do was smash around. There were some incidences of weeping, but considering how easily my kids get overwhelmed, it was a very successful outing. Plus, who doesn't want to pay a bunch of money to then turn in a bunch of tickets for the grand prize of not one, not two, but THREE plastic rings! A spider, a butterfly, and an enormous purple jewel.

There was another pizza place in the shopping center, so we were able to go and get regular pizza instead of Chuck E Cheese food, and also they had beer! See, he didn't need to go to Germany last year - there's plenty of fun here.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

High as a Kite!

Because Tim and I are terrible parents, our little girl ended up with a bunch of cavities this year - four in total, back in her molars where the teeth touch. Our dentist has been so nice about the whole thing, has avoided making me feel too much shame, but the thing I felt worst about was the fact that Ellie had been SO good at her dental appointment, so happy to be there, and I worried that one bad experience with a filling would put her off of it. I know too many people who hate the dentist or are scared of dental work, and I don't want that for her (especially because if she has her dad's teeth, she's going to basically live at the orthodontist and dentist in her teen years.)

Our dentist assured me that it would be a good experience, and recommended that we give her a dose of laughing gas to take off the edge. Ellie sauntered into the dentist on Tuesday, happy as a clam, ready to get her "sugar bugs" fixed. The doctor asked her if she'd like to listen to music, and she goes "oh yes, 9 to 5!" So, she got Dolly Parton up on the headphones and plugged Ellie in, while the assistant plugged her into the goofballs. And oh man, was Ellie a goofball. At one point she hollered out "ISLANDS IN THE STREAM! I LOVE THIS SONG!" and then waved her hands around, dancing. She didn't flinch during any of the injections (even though later she said she felt like it was a shot - please recall that I have to hold her down at the doctors for her boosters) and she was so happy to share random facts with the dentist, like saying out of nowhere "I WEIGH FIFTY POUNDS!" And when the dentist asked her to scoot up in the chair, Ellie goes "don't look at my underwear!" because she was in a skirt. Our dentist was so great with her, explaining everything in terms that she could understand, and making it fun. While she was putting on the bonding compound, she told Ellie that she was drawing on a tiny picture of a kitten, and her assistant goes "oh, don't forget the whiskers." They really played it up. At the end, Ellie sat up and goes "now it's time for the toybox!" and told them "this is the best day ever!"

Plus I got her a milkshake on the way home, because I figured dinner would be a bit of a mess with half of her mouth numb, and lo, it was. The filling itself was fine, but at some point in the late afternoon, she put one of her teeth deeply into her lip, and also really chewed up in the inside of it. So, she's had a huge fat lip for the past two days, despite promising the dentist that she wouldn't bite at it. I don't know if she did it in an absent minded way, or if she did it on purpose because her face was numb and she couldn't feel it, but hopefully this is the only time it'll happen. Because we have to go back next week and get the other side fixed up.

The poor thing then cried yesterday morning that she couldn't go to school, or to ballet "looking like this." Oh, my poor darling. No one will make fun of you, I told her, and if they do, tell them to worry about themselves. And also, this is probably not going to be the last time that something's wrong with your face and it makes you want to stay home. But whether it's a fat lip, or a fat zit in your teens, you're going!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

School Aged Children.

I DID IT YOU GUYS! I survived long enough and raise my kids old enough to send them to school! I HAD TWO WHOLE HOURS TO MYSELF!

As expected, Adam was a dream boat about going to preschool. I did not make him a sign at home (because somehow it doesn't feel as real as regular school. I mean, I can keep him home or switch schools or do whatever I want, since I'm paying for it) but at preschool they had cute little chalk boards if you wanted them.

STARE RIGHT INTO THE SUN MY SON

He gave us a hug and a kiss, went into his classroom, and that was that. Put Lamby in his cubby, and apparently had a fun day! He made some art, his teacher said he was a good helper, and there were no tears at pick up either. During the three hours he was at school, Ellie and I went to the drugstore and bought some new mints, and then I dropped her off and went and got my hair cut, AND went to the grocery store, all by my lonesome. Cue very loud car sing alongs!