Thursday, February 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday (3YO Preschool Round-Up)

At the end of every school year, the teachers at Will and Hallie's preschool assemble photos and artwork to create personalized memory books for each child. Last year, Hallie's teachers also put together a photo CD - with all of the pictures they didn't use in the memory books - for each of their students.

Last week, while cleaning out a drawer in the office, I came across Hallie's photo CD and realized I'd never shared any of the pictures here before. So for today's Throwback Thursday, here's a glimpse into Hallie as a three-year-old preschooler.
Coloring under the table.
Watching a science experiment unfold.
Going on a bear hunt.
Handing out Valentine's Day cards.
Celebrating Kara's birthday.
A visit from the petting zoo. 
Building a 100-Lego tower (while wearing her bike helmet).
Pretty girl by the spring flowers. 
Watering her bean seeds.
Birthday girl!
Working in the garden.
Learning how to pump.
Celebrating Pirate Day.
Making a mess.
Visiting with the CSFD.
Peeling apples.
Trick-or-treating as Tinkerbell.
Baking in the home center with Kinsley. 
Art projects with mittens on (because she wouldn't take them off).
Thanksgiving Feast with Mama and Daddy.
Working on Play-Doh projects.
Santa Baby.
Handing out her stocking stuffers.

It's hard to believe she'll be in kindergarten next year!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Will's New Year's Resolutions

Will's New Year's Resolutions - those he wrote at school - came home in his backpack last week. Below is what he pledged to tackle in 2014.

Q: What is something you would like to get better at in school this year?
A: Computer coding

Q: What is something new you would like to try this year?
A: Play more sports

Q: What place would you like to visit?
A: Mishugon (Michigan)

Q: What is something you would like to do better at home?
A: First in Math

Sounds like he has a big year ahead of him!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Beautiful Nails

At the end of January, Hallie and I attended a birthday party for a friend of hers held at a local nail salon. I have many friends who treat themselves to regular or occasional manicures and/or pedicures, but as much as I like how my nails look when they're painted, the discomfort I feel when they're cut or filed (by me or anyone else) keeps me from following in their shoes. And because I never set foot in nail salons, Hallie had never set foot in a nail salon either.

Hallie was SO excited, especially when given the opportunity to choose between 100+ colors for her nails. She sat remarkably still throughout the entire process, and willingly stayed in her seat with her hands splayed out in front of her while her polish dried.

Yes, Hallie is wearing her Christmas dress, tights, and shoes, along with a Christmas jingle bell necklace, in January. Whatever.

Hallie choose an Aggie-ish maroon as her base color, and then asked the technician to cover the maroon with silver sparkles. As an added bonus, the technician added little white hearts to both thumb nails.

I actually enjoyed having my nails painted as well, but that's probably because I wouldn't let them file my nails or touch my cuticles first. Hallie's already begging to go back, which I assured her we would. I also told her that women can only get their nails professionally painted for birthday parties or before weddings though, in hopes of slowing down this "growing up" business...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Love Kara

Last week Hallie came home with a Valentine's Day card, addressed to her and signed "Love Kara", in her backpack.

When I found the card mixed in with a week's worth of school paperwork and Hallie's art projects I called her over and commented on how nice it was of Kara, who is one of Hallie's "bestest friends in the whole wide world", to make Hallie a Valentine at school that day.

Hallie paused for a moment, clearly thinking about how to phrase whatever was about to come out of her mouth, and then confessed to making the card for herself and signing Kara's name.

I thought that handwriting looked familiar...

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Beyblade, Beyblade, Let It Rip!

Will's obsession with Beyblades began more than a year ago and remains strong still today, so much so that Tom decided he might as well jump on board the bandwagon by writing an official Beyblade Battle opening theme song. (Which sounds eerily similar to one of the musical rifts associated with the Capitol in Catching Fire.)

After what seemed like hours of practice, Tom and Will were ready to perform their masterpiece. (Though Will's part is relatively small, he took it very seriously. This video - my sixth - was the first he and Tom considered acceptable for posting.)

And then they "let it rip".

This could go on for hours…and when it does, Hallie and I leave the playroom in favor of the watching The Sound of Music on DVR.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sittin' and Waitin' and Watchin' (and Whinin')

I'd hoped Will and Hallie would have similar interests when it came to sports and extra-curricular activities, primarily to make coordinating our schedules easier. I figured that if both Will and Hallie played soccer, for example, there'd be a chance they'd practice at the same time and place and I could spend less time in the car driving them to and from their activities and more time watching them enjoy their activities.

Well, as luck would have it, Will and Hallie's interests differ about as much as do their personalities. Will loves baseball, football, soccer, and karate, while Hallie enjoys gymnastics, dance, and art. This means that each kid has to sit through the other's practices, games, and classes, which can be challenging (for all of us) at times.

Thankfully, they're nearing ages - Will especially - at which they'll follow my instructions and stay put if I give them physical boundaries that they aren't to cross (stay inside the gym, or stay on the grassy area next to the baseball field). It's when the boundaries are small that they get antsy and we have to get creative.

Hallie's favorites to keep her busy at karate are playing My Little Ponies, "writing" letters to me, and watching the ONE video - a 10-minute Penguins of Madagascar Christmas special - I have on my iPad over and over again with her little friends.

Will prefers to fly solo, and often seeks out the smallest, most out of the way place to work on his homework, practice his spelling words, and play his Nintendo 3DS.

Thankfully they both remain relatively tolerant of the other's sports and extra-curricular activities…for now.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ear Shots

Around the time she turned four, Hallie started asking me how my earrings stayed in my ears. I explained the concept of piercing - in no way sugar-coating the fact that ear piercing feels just like ear shots - and told her that whenever she felt ready, I would take her to the mall to get hers done. Since that day, every time we'd walk past Claire's she'd stop, take a few deep breaths, and then shake her head. "No, I'm not ready", she'd state, and then she'd turn and walk away.

But last Friday, after taking her deep breaths, Hallie shocked me by proclaiming, "I'm ready", and marching right into the store.

I asked Hallie repeatedly if she was sure she wanted her ears pierced (once the employee opens the pre-sterilized earrings you have to pay for them regardless of whether or not ears actually end up pierced), and every time she response with a confident, "YES!" After I talked her out of Hello Kitty, Hallie agreed to go with (fake, but don't tell Hallie that) diamond earrings.
Waiting to get started.
(See that man, just over Hallie's left shoulder and sitting out
in the mall? I'm pretty sure he thought I was torturing Hallie.)

Only one employee was working that day, so we knew from the get-go that Hallie's ears would be pierced one at a time. For those of you who've been through ear piercing either yourself or with your kiddos, you know that this method often proves problematic because many people, after having the first ear pierced, think twice about having the second one done.

Hallie was no exception to the one-and-done ear piercing "challenge"; as soon as the first earring shot through her ear, Hallie started crying and refused to let the employee anywhere near her. I too refused...I refused to leave Claire's with only one ear pierced. So I talked Hallie down off her ledge with the promise of two lollipops and distracted her with a stuffed princess bear just long enough for the employee to administer the second ear shot.
All done! Smiling through her tears.
Getting them cleaned for the first time.

The recovery process, aided by four college girls who ooh-ed and aah-ed at Hallie's new body art, went quickly and within two minutes my girl was grinning like the Cheshire Cat.
The compliments from the college girls solidified for Hallie that
getting her ears pierced was the right thing to do. No more tears!

Hallie LOVES her new earrings, and can barely wait to start changing her earrings in six weeks. She also can't wait for her daddy and brother to get their ears pierced so that "everyone in our whole family can have their ears pierced together!" I may just buy a pack of stick-on earrings for Tom and Will and let Hallie think they've joined in the fun.

The only negative in all this? My baby suddenly looks much older...

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Under the Mistletoe

The hubby and me under the mistletoe on Christmas Eve. This holiday season (January 10th, to be exact) marks 10 years of marriage; here's to our first decade, defined by considerably more ups than downs, and to many, many more.