Wow, Maddie is 5 years old. Five seems like a big deal to me. Why does it seem SO much more than 4? I guess I’m thinking about how she will be starting kindergarten and gaining more and more independence. It’s hard to believe. So, here is Maddie’s letter…most of it written 3 months ago. Better late than never. (more…)
Something that makes me happy: I had a wonderful Mother’s Day with a good mix of kid time and kid free time. What a great weekend!
Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about our upcoming trip to NYC! The kids are excited.
Something I’m hoping: I hope that the weather will be wonderful while we’re in NYC as we have some outdoor plans (but we can always find indoor alternatives, at least!).
Something happening around the house: We bought a new kiddie pool (which happens to look just like the old one), and we had our first pool day of the year. It was warm during the day, but it was still a tad too cold for the kids to be in for too long!
Something I’m reading: Since the last somethings post, I started and finished The Sociopath Next Door (May book club), Julie and Julia, The Age of Miracles (July book club), and Mockingbird. I was disappointed in both The Sociopath Next Door and Julie and Julia but enjoyed them both well enough. I loved The Age of Miracles and Mockingbird! I just started reading Room, which has been on my list for a while.
Something Gabe is reading: He finished Elantris and started and finished The Martian.
Something I’m watching: We watched the Amazing Race finale last Sunday, and tonight is the Survivor finale. We’ve been watching Game of Thrones now that I’m done reading the books. I went to see 42 today with a girlfriend and thought it was funny that I went to see a baseball movie on Mother’s Day without Gabe! I loved it.
Something I’m creating: I’ve been taking a lot of photos, inspired by my photography class.
Something tasty: We’ve been trying a lot of new recipes, focusing on lower fructose to see if that helps Gabe feel better. We are missing some of our staples, but we are enjoying some new things!
Something about both kiddos: I wish I wouldn’t get lazy and skip a week here and there because it’s hard for me to remember everything that they did in two weeks! The kids missed their rollerblading lesson last week due to Maddie’s strep throat, and yesterday was their final session and the medal ceremony. The kids were losing their motivation for rollerblading lessons, so we’ll take a break from it for now. They still seem to want to rollerblade, so hopefully we can do it some at home now that it is warmer outside. The kids are loving play outside more after more than a week of rainy days.
Something Maddie is doing (5 years old): Maddie had strep throat AGAIN. This may be her 5th time now…at least her 4th. She’s following in Mommy’s footsteps. I can’t tell you how many times I had strep throat when I was growing up, though I remember getting it when I was in middle school (not preschool!). What can I say…she’s advanced! Maddie had her third book club meeting on Saturday. We are having so much fun with the kiddo book club! This month’s book was the Magic Tree House Dark Day at Sea. Each kid made an octopus, and every tentacle was at a different art station. I loved seeing the creativity of each kid! The weather was awesome on Saturday, and the kids had so much fun with water outside. Maddie made a heart necklace for me in her classroom with her fingerprint. She told me that she made a necklace for me on the day she made it (5 year olds aren’t the best at keeping secrets, ha!). Maddie is now officially riding her two wheeled bike. She made an amazing transition this week. I’m so proud of her! She finished her level 1 preschool swimming lessons and started level 2 this week. She’s loving the swimming lessons, too! Maddie is pretty comfortable on her rollerblades as well. We had teacher appreciation week, and Maddie wrote a letter to each teacher. She did a great job, but it’s a struggle to get her to actually sit down and do it! She came up with both what she wanted to say and how to spell everything. I loved her letters.
Something Cullen is doing (3 years old): Cullen told me, “Mommy! I made you something special!” on the day that he made my Mother’s Day gift. I said, “That’s great, Cullen! But be sure you don’t tell me anything about it since it’s supposed to be a surprise.” He quickly said, “That’s all I know about that!” He then followed it with a sing-song voice, “It’s not an annnnnnnngeellll!” The next day, he told me it wasn’t a necklace. It turns out that he made me an angel necklace. So sweet, and I love how he thought he was being sneaky by “not” telling me! Cullen is still a little timid on the rollerblades but has made a lot of progress. He was showing off for his favorite instructor (the only female of course) at the end today, and skated backwards a pretty good distance. Cullen also made letters for his teachers. I wrote out what he wanted to say to his teachers, and he wrote his letters quite well. At bedtime one day last week, Cullen said, “Mommy, you are the best Mommy in the whole wide world.” He then leaned over and gave me one of his signature sweet kisses. I love his sweet kisses! And then three minutes later, I wouldn’t give into a bedtime stalling demand. He said, “you…you…you are some kind of peepee head!”
Something I’m looking forward to: I have another photography class tomorrow, a division picnic lunch at work, and a haircut. We have a seminar about the kindergarten transition. And we’re going to NYC!
Something random: We went to see Greg Proops on Friday, and it was great! It’s been a while since I’ve been to a comedy show. We should definitely do it more often.
Something captured: My only request for Mother’s Day each year is a photo of me with the two kiddos! This year’s is my favorite so far!
Wrote this last night (on Sunday), but I forgot to post…
Something that makes me happy: Finally finishing A Dance with Dragons. I have been working on reading that series for more than 6 years, and some of it has just been a chore. I guess that means I don’t love the series quite as much as others do!
Something I’m thinking: I knew after the yard sale in 2007 that I would never have another one, and I relearned this on Saturday at my sister’s moving sale. The yard sale subculture is fascinating, but it’s not worth the trouble. That being said, Gabe and I were happy to get rid of a few big items at the sale that we might have had trouble offloading otherwise. It was also nice to spend some time with my sister and brother-in-law, though I think next time we’ll pick a different activity!
Something happening around the house: I’ve been forcing the kids to pose for pictures next to windows and open doors for my photography class assignment this week.
Something I’m reading: I finished A Dance with Dragons, and now I have to figure out what’s next!
Something Gabe is reading: He finished Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Book Store and started and finished City of Bones. He enjoyed both of those. He’s now reading Elantris by Brandon Sanderson.
Something I’m watching: We’ll probably get back to watching Game of Thrones this week (after I finish the book).
Something tasty: I’m looking forward to dinner with friends tonight at a tasty Italian restaurant!
Something about both kiddos: They both had their bike days this week! Maddie zipped around on her strider at her last bike day, and Cullen plodded around on his new scooter at his first bike day. Both seemed to have a good time, and I had my best two sessions as far as taking photos of them at bike day! We are ready to take a break from rollerblading. Both kids have lost some of their motivation for it.
Something Maddie is doing (5 years old): I can’t believe that Maddie has now had her final bike day! She is making progress on her big girl bike without training wheels, but she was nowhere near comfortable enough to try it at bike day. She will be zipping around unassisted on that pretty soon, I’m sure. Maddie continues to do well when going to bed at night and has been sleeping through the night most of the last month. It’s an amazing difference, and I think that it has positively affected her in other ways. It has certainly been positive for her parents! I signed her up for two more sessions of swimming classes. She’s taking a level 1 preschool class now, and I thought she’d be ready for level 2 after these are finished. Her instructor wasn’t so sure at the beginning of Tuesday’s lesson, but by the end of the lesson she agreed that Maddie was more than ready for level 2. She jumped into the pool without any assistance from the instructor, and she was comfortable submerging her head under water several times. Considering how terrified she was of the water at the beginning of last summer, I’m extremely proud of her progress!
Something Cullen is doing (3 years old): Cullen is excited about his new scooter. He wasn’t very fast at bike day, but he seemed excited. He was exhausted by the end! We were laughing on his last laps as he tried to “sleep” on the handlebars. He even stopped in the middle of the course to sit on the scooter and take a rest. Cullen continues to be accident free with potty training during the day AND night. Of course, now that just means we’re in the phase where he goes to the potty by himself but yells from the bathroom for someone to wipe him. Cullen didn’t seem to be into rollerblading on Saturday, but he ended up doing some drills with skating around cones and even enjoyed skating backwards.
Something I am struggling with: I’m FINALLY feeling better with my bronchitis. It seems that the new antibiotic didn’t try to kill me, and it actually cured me instead. Hooray!
Something I’m doing towards my goals: I’m taking another photography class, and this one is called “Photographing Children.” I have been wanting to take it for a while. The class started last Monday, just in time for me to use tips for both bike days. I struggled a little with our assignments this week. The kids aren’t the best subjects on demand. I took about 400 shots to submit one for my “homework.”
Something I learned: I learned some useful tips for shooting the action of bike day!
Something I’m looking forward to: We have swimming lessons for Maddie on Tuesday and Thursday, photography lessons on Monday for me, strawberry picking for the family on Friday, and rollerblading for both kids on Saturday. Maybe this week’s assignment will have something to do with strawberry picking or swimming??
Something captured: Two pictures this week, two of my favorites from the bike days.
Something I’m thinking: What? It’s already April 21st? Man, time is flying!
Something happening around the house: I tried to flood our “water closet” in the master bath. I guess I truly wanted it to live up to its name. It took all the towels in the house to clean it up. Yuck! I’m just glad that Gabe was here to help in my panic as the water filled up the room. He’s able to do things like think clearly and turn off the water. I am only capable of panicking and yelling for towels and help.
Something I’m reading: A Dance with Dragons…getting closer to finishing, then I guess I’ll have to tackle next month’s book club book before I get into anything else. I have a few library books that I should probably read before they expire, including one that had a long waiting list.
Something Gabe is reading: He finished Fall of Giants and started and finished Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Book Store.
Something I’m watching: We decided to skip a few episodes and catch up with Survivor. I’m glad we did as the last tribal council was one of the best I’ve seen!
Something I’m playing: A little Qatqi, but that’s about it.
Something I’m creating: I wrote a few more paragraphs on Maddie’s letter. Maybe I should try to finally finish the thing this week. I’ve also been writing thank you notes for the MS Walk fundraising.
Something about both kiddos: They weren’t too excited to go to rollerblading on Saturday. We’ve missed a few lessons in this session, and the sporadic attendance has hurt their motivation. I think we’ll probably be taking a break from those. We’ll be trying to do more swimming lessons this summer, anyway. We took the kids to the cafe this week, but both of us were feeling under the weather and the kids acted up a bit. We had plans with a big group, and the kids were going to be disappointed to miss it.
Something Maddie is doing (5 years old): At dinner the other day, Maddie said, “Mommy, my brother was making me laugh so much that my mouth opened, and my juice fell out.” While we were walking into swimming lessons on Tuesday, a guy in the parking lot was wearing only a speedo. He was walking towards us, and when he was about 5 feet away, Maddie pointed at him and laughed. “Look at that guy! Why is he wearing underwear?!” We had a little talk about why we don’t point and laugh at people (even if we think they look a bit silly). She’s doing great at her swimming lessons. I’m impressed with how she’s warmed up to the instructor and made a new friend. It’s been good for both her swimming skills and her social skills. Maddie asked Daddy if she could take the training wheels off of her bike this afternoon, so they did some practice on the big girl bike without training wheels! She doesn’t quite have the hang of it yet, but she’s getting closer. We’ll have to get her some more practice soon. Maddie’s been asking for ballet lessons. I’m not sure if she will enjoy “real” ballet lessons as she’s done the “pre-ballet” a few times. I think mostly she wants to twirl around in a leotard and skirt. Maddie was excited about the graduate field trip at school. They visited the on campus construction site for the new building and saw a parade of construction vehicles. She enjoyed telling us all about it.
Something Cullen is doing (3 years old): He had a small poop accident in his underwear this week at school. Instead of telling anyone, he decided to just turn his underwear and pants around backwards. I noticed they were backwards when I picked him up, and said, “oh, I see you put on your own pants!” When we got home, I asked, “Cullen, why are your pants on backwards?” He triumphantly exclaimed, “I pooped! Wanna see??” and dropped his poopy pants right there in the kitchen. Other than this incident (which was somewhat amusing), he has been doing really well and been mostly accident free. He hasn’t had a change of clothes from school in a while. He even went to bed last night without pullups and woke up dry! He was dry after nap this weekend, too.
Something I am struggling with: I was feeling better for a few days, and then I woke up on Friday feeling much worse. I went back to the doctor and got a new antibiotic which will hopefully get rid of this stupid bronchitis. I’ve had it for almost two weeks now.
Something I’m doing towards my goals: We raised some more money for the MS Walk this week with some late donations. Our total is up to $5,591!
Something I’m looking forward to: We have a busy week with Maddie’s continuing swimming lessons, my new photography class starting on Monday, book club on Wednesday, maybe poker on Friday for Gabe, helping my sister with her yard sale, and rollerblading. Whew.
Something captured: I don’t know if I took any new photos this week (it’s rare, but it happens), so here’s a picture of our Triangle Walk MS team!
Something that makes me happy: I can’t believe the support that we had this week leading up to the walk. We raised over $4,000 this week to bring our total to almost $5,500.
Something I’m thinking: Just thinking about the upcoming week.
Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping to feel better this week (and that nobody else in the family gets sick).
Something happening around the house: My parents came for a quick visit for the MS walk.
Something I’m reading: A Dance with Dragons for at least another week or two…
Something Gabe is reading: Fall of Giants (his is a long one, too!).
Something I’m watching: We took the kids to see a Winnie the Pooh play as part of the Storybook Theater series. They had a good time!
Something I’m playing: My mom convinced Gabe and I to start playing QatQi on the iPad/iPhone.
Something about both kiddos: The kids pretend to play “baby school.” We have no idea why they call it baby school except that maybe they bring their dolls to the school? No idea. Baby school involves dragging all of the toys from around the house into one room. Baby school was in our bedroom for a short time. It’s been in the library, the foyer, guest room, Maddie’s room, and the bonus room. Currently, it’s in the bonus room and neither of us have had the energy to get them to straighten it up. Better there than anywhere else in the house, I suppose! Also, I can’t really explain why Cullen likes to play that he is “baby spider.” The two games aren’t related. They didn’t have rollerblading because our MS walk was on Saturday morning. We have been enjoying a lot of outdoor play time (even with the constant pollen cloud, ugh!). Until the pollen attacked the area, we had been having some dinners outside. The weather has been beautiful!
Something Maddie is doing (5 years old): Maddie started her swimming lessons this week, and she’s doing great. She seems to have lost her fear of the water, and she’s doing very well listening to the instructor (and being responsible when it’s not her turn). I’m so proud of her. I was surprised when she recently brought home a math problem that she had done in class adding two 4-digit numbers where every column needed to “carry the 1.” So cool! Maddie has done very well the past few days with her walkie talkie. She hasn’t called us very much, and she hasn’t been “scared” every night. Progress!
Something Cullen is doing (3 years old): Poor little guy had a high fever on two nights (not back to back) and a bad cough. He was out sick for 3 days this week. He didn’t act sick most of the time, but he was more sensitive then usual. He played some new iPad games while he was out. Gabe downloaded some Lego based games, and both kids have been enjoying it. It is amazing to see how they navigate around the tablet! Cullen has an awesome imagination lately. It’s so fun to hear his stories, and he’s very good at recounting movies or books. He has been writing his name on papers at school, and he’s been working on writing other letters as well. I’m impressed by his penmanship!
Something I am struggling with: This bronchitis has me extremely tired. Parenting doesn’t stop for illness.
Something I’m doing towards my goals: We finished up our fundraising for 2013, and I’m thrilled with how we did yet again! Every time I get discouraged, I’m reminded about how wonderful people can be.
Something I learned: I’m allergic to azithromycin (in addition to the sulfa drugs).
Something I’m looking forward to: We have a crazy number of appointments this week. I think we might have to try to reschedule some of them. I have an evening with a friend, swimming lessons for Maddie, rollerblading for both kids, and an iPhone photography class.
Something captured: The kiddos before today’s play!
Something I’m thinking: I’ve really been neglecting the blog…mostly because I can’t get my act together on Maddie’s 5-year letter. I feel like I can’t write anything else until I get that done.
Something I’m reading: I finished I’ve Got Your Number, which was cute and my favorite of her books. I finished the Sisterhood series as well, Sisterhood Everlasting. I read Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Book Store for April’s book club, and I loved it! I’ll be interested to see how the rest of the club likes it. I started A Dance with Dragons, so that may take me a while. Sigh.
Something Gabe is reading: He finished Blackout, the last in the Newsflesh trilogy. He started reading Fall of Giants.
Something I’m watching: We watched seasons 1 and 2 of Downton Abbey (free on amazon prime!). We were disappointed to find that the 3rd season isn’t free (or at least not yet), so I guess we’ll take a break or decide whether it’s worth buying somehow. We’re really enjoying our Roku box lately!
Something I’m creating: I made periscopes and disguises with this month’s kiwi crate (this month has a spy theme).
Something about both kiddos: The kids had a great time making their disguises, but they weren’t willing to let me take photos of them! Both kids enjoyed their Easter goodies! The day before, we went to the Life and Science museum for the dino egg hunt. We skipped a week of rollerblading (no classes Easter weekend), so they were both a little rusty at this week’s lesson. The weather has finally warmed up, so we have been playing outside quite a bit. It’s nice that it is warmer (and still light) after work, so we can get in a little play time before dinner. The kids had team spirit day at school, and Maddie chose to wear her Kentucky sweatshirt while Cullen represented NC State.
Something Maddie is doing (5 years old): Maddie loves for us to take her to the cafe, yet she melted down when we picked her up for our last outing. It was pizza day. Maddie hates pizza, except for the pizza at school. Apparently she LOVES that pizza, so much that she wanted to make sure that we didn’t come to lunch on Fridays anymore (just in case). She has had some rough nights, but the last few nights have been better. Fingers crossed that this is yet another new trend! We had our second Magic Tree House Book Club meeting, this time about Leonardo da Vinci. Maddie is having a great time with the book club. I hope to continue to foster her love for reading. Her swimming lessons start this week. Maddie’s reading speed has been improving.
Something Cullen is doing (3 years old): We discovered a tick on Cullen’s belly this evening after bath. Yikes! He was a little concerned but a brave boy while I removed it. When I was putting him to bed, he said, “That tick was sneaky!” Yesterday, Cullen spotted a deer crossing sign and said, “that sign means that reindeer aren’t allowed to gallop on the road.” Cullen has been writing his name on some of his paper at school and has been writing lots of letters at home. I’m surprised at how well he is doing with that! He is excited about his “readers” that introduce pre-readers to the letters and phonics.
Something I am struggling with: Meh.
Something I’m doing towards my goals: Our walk is on Saturday, and we’ve been raising funds for the National MS Society!
Something I’m looking forward to: MS Walk, Maddie’s swim lessons, Winnie the Pooh play.
Something captured: Cute kiddo book club!
Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking that I could have slept the whole day yesterday, and I think I’d still feel tired. I’m still recovering from the solo parenting weekend (almost a week ago now). Gabe had a lot of fun on his trip!
Something happening around the house: We all stayed home yesterday which was a cold and rainy day. We were glad that we didn’t have plans! The kids entertained each other pretty well, and Gabe and I spent quite a bit of time being lazy.
Something I’m reading: I finished the third and fourth book of the Sisterhood of the Pants series. They were quick, fun reads. I also finished A Land More Kind than Home by Wiley Cash and The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. Both books were for our new online book club. I didn’t love either one, though the habit book had a lot of interesting anecdotes. I enjoyed the first section of the book the most. It got repetitive, and some of the organizational/society things weren’t as interesting. The last section had a few more interesting bits with night terrors and gambling. I’m reading I’ve Got Your Number. I had been on the waiting list at the library for a while, and it finally became available recently. I’m not sure how much to expect from it!
Something Gabe is reading: Gabe has been reading a lot, too. He finished Deadline by Mira Grant and is now reading the third book in that series. He also read the first book of another series, The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett in the Demon Cycle series.
Something I’m watching: We are thinking about streaming Downton Abbey to see what all the fuss is about. It looks boring to me, but people seem to like it. It’s free to stream, so we’ll see if we like it. I guess.
Something I’m playing: We had games night yesterday. I was able to play Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar twice. I liked it, but I wonder if I’ll be able to get a handle on a good strategy to use in that game! I’m glad I finally got a chance to play it as I have heard about it from several friends.
Something I’m creating: I haven’t finished the 2011 photobook or worked on it much. I started an 8×8 book about my Disney adventures with Audrey early last year. I guess I finished about a third of the book so far.
Something tasty: I can’t stop eating Brach’s Hiding Eggs and Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs. I’m glad Easter will be over soon.
Something about both kiddos: The kids and I had a great time while Gabe was gone. When he returned, they said, “Daddy! Daddy! You missed all the fun!” We went out to dinner almost every night which kept us out of the house and kept me from needing to figure out what to cook. Keeping us out of the house was an even better benefit as I didn’t have much energy to keep up with cleaning and laundry and all that. We went bowling (their first time). They loved it, but I’m not sure I’ll do it again for a while! We went to the Shiny Diner for the first time (well, theirs, I hadn’t been in at least a decade). We had rollerblading lessons and spent the weekend with Sophie and her mommy doing all kinds of crafts, Easter egg hunts, and cookie decorating. The kids had their first official slumber party. Marie and Sophie ended up sleeping in the guest room, but Maddie and Cullen slept in sleeping bags on Maddie’s floor. They took forever to go to sleep. The kids made a sign for Gabe to welcome him home. We had a lot of fun, but we were very happy to have Daddy home again. Surprisingly, I kept everyone healthy and happy and kept my sanity at the same time. It’s a miracle. They had rollerblading again this weekend, and both kids did great. Maddie claims that she doesn’t like rollerblading anymore, but I don’t think that’s true. She has a big smile on her face while she’s doing it, and today she asked to rollerblade on the hardwoods in the house. They are both making big improvements! Oh, and we got some “journals” while Daddy was out of town, and the kids have been drawing and writing in them frequently. One of the crafts that we did while Sophie was spending the weekend with us was to make things out of toilet paper rolls. The kids all decided to make binoculars and used them to “explore” the backyard. They then returned and wrote what they saw in their journals. Some of the pictures are mostly scribbles, but the process was great!
Something Maddie is doing (5 years old): She’s not been doing particularly well at bedtime. I think part of this is her usual stuff, and another is both the time change and Daddy being out of town for almost a week. She went to bed at a pretty reasonable time tonight, so I hope that’s a good sign. She has been staying awake until 10:30pm or 11pm almost every night. That made for an exhausting time while Gabe was out of town as I couldn’t really go to bed until I got them settled (and then one or both of them would be up bright and early in the morning). Maddie is still reading every day. I’m glad she’s so motivated! It seems like in the past couple of weeks she’s gotten a lot faster with her reading. I’ve been impressed. I wonder when she will make the leap to read to herself. It’s rewarding to see all of her hard work (and mine) paying off after months of daily practice.
Something Cullen is doing (3 years old): Cullen has been enjoying his journal and enjoys drawing random pictures and writing his name (not always with the letters in order). We are wondering whether Cullen may have a food sensitivity. His cheeks have frequently been flushed, and we used to think that it happened mostly when he had been playing outside and it was too hot or too cold. Recently, I have noticed it happening at other times when he hasn’t been in any extreme temperatures (though the temperatures didn’t have to be all that extreme). We think we are noticing a correlation with things like pizza and other tomato things. Since tomatoes are one of his favorite foods, that could explain why his cheeks have been so flushed lately. I feel like it happens even without tomatoes, but I found out that many of his other favorite foods contain some of the same things that can cause sensitivities with tomatoes. We may have to do some more investigating. Cullen has been doing well at preschool! He is excited about being at Children’s House, and he was even more excited when I volunteered in his classroom on Pi Day. We made mini chocolate pudding pies in mini muffin pans. I had so much fun! Cullen was so proud to share his mommy with the class.
Something I am struggling with: I knew I would have a hard time writing this one while Gabe was out of town, so I’m not surprised I skipped. As long as I write this every other week, I think I’ll be happy. I’m having trouble finding time for writing…and still need to write Maddie’s 5-year letter. I’ve worked on it, but I have a ways to go to finish it.
Something I’m doing towards my goals: I did some fundraising for this year’s Walk MS. I’m having a slow start, and the walk is coming up fast. I always wonder at this time of year if we’ll make our goals, and somehow we always do. Somehow I still find myself doubting it each year.
Something I’m looking forward to: Book club is this week! We are discussing Little Bee (and it sounds like many of us didn’t like it, so we’ll see what everyone has to say!). We also have some doctor appointments and dinner and games with friends. We are going to do a dino egg hunt next weekend, and the Easter Bunny is coming to town! Just in case I don’t write next week, the following week brings a movie outing with some book club peeps (The Host), the second kiddo book club meeting, and a birthday party.
Something captured: At the Shiny Diner while Daddy was out of town
Something that makes me happy: Weekends filled with near perfect weather! We had a lot of fun playing outside.
Something I’m thinking: I just didn’t get my act together to write one last week, so here I am covering two weeks again. I don’t even have a good excuse!
Something I’m reading: I finally finished A Feast for Crows. I’m going to take a little break to catch up on some other reading before tackling the next book. I started and finished Little Bee for this month’s book club. I didn’t love it, but I liked it well enough. I started and finished Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and enjoyed it! I started and finished The Second Summer of the Sisterhood after a friend suggested that I continue the series. I’m now reading the third book in the series.
Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished The Blinding Knife and he is now reading Deadline by Mira Grant.
Something I’m watching: We saw a live play, Rapunzel, last Sunday. We all had a good time at the theater, though the play wasn’t exactly what we were expecting. This weekend, we went to see Charlotte’s Web at a different theater. We had another great experience there! The kids are having fun with their cultural events.
Something I’m playing: We played some Catan Junior this week. We’ve also been playing outside a lot. I love spring.
Something I’m creating: I only had one of the two scrapbooking days that I mentioned with the last Sunday Somethings, but I did manage to make quite a bit of progress in my 2011 photobook. I hope to continue doing a few pages almost every night so I can finish that one.
Something about both kiddos: My sister brought two of her baby goats for a visit on Saturday. We all enjoyed watching the “kids” frolic in our yard. Several neighbors enjoyed them as well. It was just so much fun. The goats were adorable. Oh, and they loved seeing Aunt Kristin, too. We took the kids to the cafe on Friday, and that was Cullen’s first time for that special privilege! Both kids did great. Hopefully, we can take them more often now.
Something Maddie is doing (5 years old): She got some practice on the new bike this weekend, and she still loves to ride the balance bike. She really zips around on that thing now! We found out that she will be attending the year round school that we were hoping to get into…though we don’t know which track yet. Somehow, I don’t feel as relieved as I thought I might. I guess I don’t fully trust that we’re in yet. Maddie attended her first book club meeting! It was great. We had activities, crafts, and snacks related to Irish history and folklore. The kids seemed to have fun!
Something Cullen is doing (3 years old): Cullen has continued to do well in his new classroom. He seems to be more tired in the evenings. He’s more sensitive as usual and ready for bed! This has caused a little extra conflict between Maddie and Cullen. Hopefully, things will settle down as he adjusts to the new routines at preschool. They had their first jammie day to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Cullen was excited, and they did some cute activities to celebrate. Prior to this weekend (before he saw the baby goats), he said, “When I grow up like a Daddy, I’m going to have baby goats. I’m going to name them different names. One is named carrot.” He was excited to see the baby goats in theory, but he was a little nervous about actually seeing them. He warmed up after a little while and held and petted the goats. He brings up the baby goats at random all the time (even before meeting them, so we’ll see how much he talks about them now!). Cullen’s been doing great with potty training lately, and he started wearing underwear at night. We have had to change sheets a lot more than usual!
Something I am struggling with: I’ve had issues writing…I’ve had some writer’s block on Maddie’s letter. Fortunately, I’ve made a lot of notes and wrote about half of it, so hopefully I’ll be able to capture all of the important things.
Something I’m looking forward to: I’m not sure I’m looking forward to Gabe’s trip to Phoenix, but we have some plans while he is gone. We’re having a slumber party with friends, rollerblading, and a Lego event. Hopefully, the kids will not be too crazy while Gabe is gone.
Something random: I had a dream last night that I was trapped on a resurrected Titanic filled with mostly zombie pirates.
Something captured: Cullen and my sister with a baby goat!
Something that makes me happy: My family makes me very happy these days. We’ve been in a good place lately.
Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about Maddie’s letter which I hope to get done this week. I’ve had a hard time finding all the right words.
Something I’m hoping: Well, to get Maddie’s letter done.
Something happening around the house: We have two new bikes! We decided to get a (smaller) regular bike for Cullen, too. I dusted off my bike and rode with them a little bit, too.
Something I’m reading: Slogging my way through A Feast for Crows.
Something Gabe is reading: King of Thorns.
Something I’m creating: I am trying to get started on Maddie’s letter, but I’m looking forward to two scrapbooking days with friends this week. I’m taking a vacation for one of them, woohoo! I’m hoping to finish at least one photobook in the near future. Still many more to go… Oh, and the kids and I did some crafts.
Something tasty: We have had a lot of cake lately. Oh, and the best was homemade marshmallows. YUM! Now I want to make them more than ever. I need to find a good candy thermometer.
Something about both kiddos: Both kiddos are so excited about the new bikes. We had intended just to get one for Maddie as her birthday present, but we ended up with one for each kid. I guess we’ll have to find something else special for Maddie! We had wanted to wait to get Cullen a regular bike with training wheels (or without) until he had gotten better on the balance bike. He was zipping around the store on the bike, and he just looked so cute…and he *does* need one for bike day. So, anyway. Gabe and I were suckers and both kids took home nice, shiny, new bikes. We played outside all afternoon which was nice! The weather was beautiful and a perfect ending to a wonderful family weekend. They have started watching all kinds of new shows in the past few months. Some of these include the Pink Panther, Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, the Mr. Men show, and Sofia the First. They will still watch Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Doc McStuffins, and Super Why when they have new episodes. We got this month’s Kiwi Crate this weekend, so we made some of the crafts this weekend. They made cute little pom pom pets out of yarn and a little pet playground. We all love our monthly craft boxes! We had a break from classes this week (no ballet or rollerblading).
Something Maddie is doing (5 years old): We really thought that Maddie would be able to handle going straight from the balance bike to the real bike without training wheels. We didn’t account for how much heavier the bike is or how difficult it is to teach a kid how to ride a real bike! I don’t think any of us are ready for it yet. We took them off briefly this afternoon, but we decided to put them back on for now. Maddie enjoyed having us come to her class for cake on her birthday, and we had a nice dinner to celebrate that night. She’s very proud of being 5! She continues to do a lot of reading every day. She has been in a phase where she enjoys tracing her coloring pages to make a “copy.” The walkie talkie and ticket system continues to work well for us. Nights are not nearly as frustrating as they used to be! Maddie has seemed like a very happy girl lately, so I think a lot of different factors are contributing to that.
Something Cullen is doing (3 years old): Cullen had a big week, too. He started his new preschool class! He had no problems with the transition. He’s already doing well in the new class, and it sounds like the teachers are very pleased with his transition. I’m so proud of him! We made birthday cards for two birthday parties this weekend, and Cullen wanted to write “Happy Birthday” on his just like his big sister was doing. I didn’t think he’d be able to do it, and I was shocked when he wrote every letter. He didn’t write them in order, but he wrote them! He then wrote his name really well (and in order) several times this weekend. I couldn’t believe he could do it. I was very impressed. He’s excited about his new bike which he definitely earned by his utter cuteness in the store.
Something I’m doing towards my goals: We were excited to take two large boxes to the shred-a-thon. Woohoo! We still have quite a bit to scan and shred, but it’s a big start.
Something I’m looking forward to: Appointments for Maddie, book club, two scrapbooking (photobooking) days, the new session of rollerblading for both kids, and Rapunzel (live play) for all of us.
Something captured: Two pictures this week…each kid on their new bike! The kids picked out their own clothes today. Cullen insisted on that snowman sweater.
Something that makes me happy: We had another wonderful weekend, this time with Maddie Special Day.
Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about the school application process. Ugh. I just want to know where we are going and what the schedule will be. I hate not being able to plan for anything.
Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping we will get into the year round school.
Something happening around the house: We have been getting rid of more things, but we still have a lot of things left to sell or donate (or trash). Little by little, we are making some progress. Oh! And we finally got a new mattress!!! So far, so good, but we will have to see how we feel about it in a month or so!
Something I’m reading: I finished Son and remembered how much I like that series! I finally got back to reading A Feast for Crows (again). I had started reading it (for the second time) about a year and a half ago and got distracted. I hope that I can get through it this time. I didn’t start at the beginning, but I started pretty close to the beginning. A lot of it has been coming back to me, but I also remember that this one had chapters of people that I find myself going “um, who? do I care?” I hope that I can stay on task…then finally, finally read A Dance with Dragons and be caught up to everyone else. Reading this series is a bit of a commitment, and I haven’t felt all that committed to my reading in the past 5 years.
Something Gabe is reading: King of Thorns.
Something I’m watching: Amazing Race started last night!
Something I’m creating: I helped the kids with their Valentine’s Day boxes and the rest of their valentines. That’s about all of the creating that I’ve been doing lately.
Something tasty: I had oatmeal raisin pancakes for breakfast on Maddie Special Day. Yum! It’s like having a cookie for breakfast.
Something about both kiddos: I’m thrilled about how much Maddie and Cullen love each other. I know that the sibling lottery is a crapshoot, and I’m sure every parent wants their children to be best friends. I’m encouraged by a study mentioned in NurtureShock that says that how siblings relate at a very early age is a pretty good predictor of what their lifetime friendship will be like. They are great buddies. I’m interested to see how the dynamic changes as Cullen starts preschool and as Maddie starts elementary school. Maddie has been telling Cullen all about what to expect at Children’s House. It is funny to hear them talk these days. This evening, they were upstairs playing and laughing. It was one of those times where Gabe and I looked at each other and just knew they were up to no good. Then there’s the debate of “do we go up and investigate? or do we enjoy another couple minutes relaxing downstairs first?” They had discovered the drawer with a bag full of flossers and had them all over the floor. I think they each put them in their mouths first before putting them on the bathroom floor…the same bathroom floor with a mostly-but-not-quite potty trained 3-year old boy. Yuck. But, I must say, there were worse things that they could have been giggling about doing! We were amused by how much fun they were having. The kids had fun at the science museum on Saturday, and they were excited to see the Titanic exhibit. At the beginning of the exhibit, you are given a boarding pass. At the end, you get to find out whether you went down with the ship or whether you were saved. I found my name and Maddie’s name first. We both survived. Gabe’s was next, and he made it, too. Then we got to Cullen’s. I finally located his name on the list that went down with the ship and in parenthesis, it said, “band.” Cullen asked, “did I sink?” I knelt down on the ground with him and said, “Cullen! You were in the band! That’s exciting! You played music for everyone as the ship was sinking!” “Was I saved?” “Um, well, um, no. But you were in the band! Isn’t that cool! What instrument do you think you played?” “The drums!” He was a little bit upset at first, but he seemed to like that he was part of the band. Later, I heard Maddie telling him that he went down with the ship, and Cullen replied, “Yes, but I made sure that you and everyone was happy.” The kids liked touching the iceberg and a piece of the Titanic’s hull the best. I have to admit that I was pretty excited about touching the hull! In the rest of the museum, they enjoyed talking to people and doing various crafts. The kids loved seeing all the pretty snow on Saturday, but it didn’t stick around. It was pretty to watch as we had big, fluffy flakes. The kids had their last “ballet” class, and it will probably be our last one for a while.
Something Maddie is doing (4.5 years old): Maddie was so happy all day on Maddie Special Day. We started with our favorite breakfast place where she had orange juice and chocolate chip pancakes. By the time we left breakfast, it had started to snow. We decided that the roads were not going to be too bad considering that it had been 65 degrees the previous day. We headed to the science museum. The kids were most excited about seeing the Titanic exhibit, as I mentioned before. Maddie spent a lot of time with some entomologists talking about bugs that she was coloring. She also told them all about her Special Day. We headed to lunch at her favorite place after the museum and then to the toy store. She was very convinced that she wanted a racing car set. We started in that aisle, and we visited lots of other aisles. She would examine other interesting toys and comment, “I really like this! I’m going to stick with what I have, though.” We happened to glimpse the bikes when we were getting ready to leave, and Maddie thought a big girl bike was the only thing worth trading away the race car set. We told her that we might have to shop around, and we praised her when she made the choice to get a bike tomorrow or later this week versus going home with a new toy right away. She picked out a Hello Kitty bike on Sunday. After the toy store, we headed home where we were joined with good friends for dinner and cake. She requested chocolate cake, chocolate icing with chocolate sprinkles and “rainbow sprinkles for good measure.” She decorated the cake herself, and she decided to put chocolate graham cracker bunnies around the edge in a border. Oh, and she had hot chocolate for the first time. I’d say it was a pretty perfect day for an almost 5-year old chocolate-loving girl. She was very happy. She’s still reading to us every night, and we picked up a couple of new readers when we bought the bike. Reading is definitely her passion right now. On the way to school last week, she was reading road signs. It occurred to me that she can read just about anything she wants now. I asked her how it felt to be able to read whatever she wants, and she replied, “I’m freeeeeeeee!!!” Perfect response.
Something Cullen is doing (3 years old): Cullen starts his preschool transition today. One of his teachers visited him today, and tomorrow she will come to his old classroom to take him to his new one. They are hoping that he will stay through at least lunchtime. He will have the option to stay the whole day, so we will see what happens. When I asked him this afternoon, he said, “I’m going to stay all day and then I will hear Maria [current teacher] crying.” Awwww! Last week, the kids and I were listening to Mumford and Sons on the way to school on my iPhone. It was paused all day, and I started again just before picking up Cullen. As soon as he got into the car, he said, “This is a very long song!” Also last week, he was making noise in the kitchen, banging on something. I asked him, “Um, Cullen, what are you doing?” He replied, “I’m fighting DRAGONS.” Oh, ok, then, carry on. He then said, “Maddie, you should be ok now.” Maddie said, “But they are still alive!” Cullen replied, “Yes, but they won’t growl at you now.” He then ran over to Gabe and me, “Mommy! Daddy! Be careful. Watch out for dragons. They could roar fire on you. They are still alive.”
Something I’m looking forward to: This week, we have Cullen’s transition to Children’s House, and Maddie’s birthday including a celebration in her classroom and her birthday dinner. We have two kid birthday parties to attend this weekend, and we need to get to a shred-a-thon on Saturday. We have a couple of giant boxes full of papers to be shredded. It will feel good to have that done!
Something random: My sister’s goats started having babies this past week. She has a whole bunch of new baby goats.
Something captured: I know how to make 3 preschoolers happy – hot chocolate! I’d say that Maddie and Cullen’s first hot chocolate experience was a success.