KerryAndGabe.com

site updates and random thoughts
About Us Blog Books Games Movies Music Photos Trips

The Sunday Somethings, 16nov14

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Something that makes me happy: Crafty days with Paula and Michelle! Yesterday, I got started on our Disney scrapbook and did some sewing.

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about Christmas!

Something I’m hoping: I hope the weather cooperates for our trip to Ohio and Kentucky coming up.

Something happening around the house: Gabe fixed the dishwasher!!! He thought of one more thing, and it worked. Hooray!

Something I’m reading: I finished Goldfinch, which I found to be a bit tedious. I enjoyed the first half better than the second. I read The One & Only, the newest by Emily Giffin. I was disappointed in that one! I also finished The Lavender Garden, which I liked better than the other two. It would have been a decent book club read, but it didn’t blow my socks off or anything. I’m now reading Kiss and Spell, the 7th book in the Enchanted, Inc. series. It’s light, fluffy, and enjoyable. Just what I needed.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished Red Seas Under Red Skies. Since the last post, he’s also read The Republic of Thieves, Prince of Fools, Annihilation, and Lock In. He’s now reading City of Stairs.

Something I’m watching: We’ve been enjoying The Walking Dead and The Amazing Race. Gabe is keeping up with a few other shows, but we aren’t watching too much at the moment. Our family went to see Big Hero 6, and we LOVED it! I also saw Gone Girl with book club peeps. It was interesting to see that movie after reading the book and knowing a bit about what was going to happen. The movie was pretty true to the book, for the most part.

Something I’m playing: Gabe has started playing games regularly on Monday nights. So far, they have played Caverna, Terra Mystica, Snowdonia, Concordia, Bruges, Glass Roads, Ra: The Dice Game. We have had a couple of dinner and games sessions with friends and played Quixx, Linko, and Walnut Grove. We had a games night, and I played Snowdonia, Splendor, Linko, Hey! That’s my fish! and Telestrations. Gabe started over playing Zelda: The Skyward Sword. We realized we didn’t get too far in that one!

Something I’m creating: I’ve been creating all kinds of things! Since the last post, I finished the WWDC book (and several of my coworkers also wanted to order a copy). I finished the Key West book from the girls trip in May. Audrey and Melisa ordered their copies! I started the Disney Cruise book from our trip back in February. I’m glad to finally start on that one, even if it is a bit daunting. I’m worried I’m not going to be able to fit it all in one book! I created our holiday cards, and I’m hoping to send them out just after Thanksgiving…but we’ll see if that happens. I did some sewing yesterday, again. I made pillowcases out of fabric that Maddie picked out for both kids. I also made a few surprises.

Something about the grownups: I love my crafty days with Paula and Michelle! We just had one yesterday, and I felt like I accomplished quite a bit. Gabe has been enjoying his board gaming nights. He’s getting to play some quality games. They are meeting about every other week. We had fun with the block party, especially the after party at the fire pit. We also had a great time with neighbors on Halloween. We enjoyed that it fell on a Friday this year, and the neighbors had another fire going as well as some fireworks. Good times. Gabe and I celebrated our 8th anniversary, and we had a great dinner at Maximillians. We went to a “romantic” movie and saw John Wick (haha). I had fun finally building the Lego Haunted House that I’ve had for 2 years, and Gabe put together the Ghostbusters car…an awesome combination. For the past several weeks, some of my coworkers and I have started having a shorter lunch and taking a long walk. The weather has been beautiful, and the trails around our campus are awesome. I’ve been walking 2-3 miles during lunch every day. I’ve also been tracking my foods and calories with myfitnesspal. I needed a little bit of a healthy reboot.

Something about both kiddos: After Maddie and I participated in the Chocolate 5k, we had a pile of Ghirardelli chocolates in different flavors. Our family held a taste test challenge with eleven varieties of chocolate. Cullen’s favorite was Intense Dark, Maddie’s was Dark Chocolate Truffle, Gabe’s was Toffee Crunch, and mine was Dark Chocolate Mint. Gabe’s least favorite was Hazelnut, mine was Sea Salt Caramel, and Maddie and Cullen both hated Dark Chocolate Mint. My favorite moment was when Cullen tasted that one and exclaimed, “That tastes like toothpaste!!!” He was horrified. I’m glad to know that Dark Chocolate Mint is safe from predators in my household (Gabe hates it, too.). The kids had fun with Halloween! We went to more houses this year, but we still covered a very small fraction of our neighborhood. Considering that they trade most of their candy to the Halloween witch, they don’t really need to gather all that much. Each kid picked out ten pieces of candy to keep, and the witch took the rest of it in trade for small Lego sets. The kids designed their own jack-o-lanterns again this year. Maddie’s was a simple smiley face, and Cullen’s was a simple frowny face. Their imperfect designs crack me up.

Something Maddie is doing (6.5 years old): Maddie had a marathon challenge at school where we had to complete 26 miles over the course of a month and a half or so. The kids could walk or run the 26 miles, and Maddie completed it! It was a challenge mostly for us to find the time to get in some mileage. Maddie and I did a local Chocolate 5k, and I was so impressed that she ran the entire way. I couldn’t believe it! The day before, she participated in Walk to School day, and she almost didn’t make it less than a mile…so I was worried about how well she’d do over 3 miles. She was so proud of herself, so maybe we’ll be doing some more 5ks in the future. Maddie was a beautiful Elsa, and somehow I was able to bobby pin her blonde wig enough so that it would stay on during trick or treating. We weren’t sure how that was going to work! She will get another chance to wear the Elsa dress when I take her to see Disney on Ice later this year. It’s Frozen themed, and she doesn’t know that she will be going yet. Maddie’s class had “Pumpkin Day” on Halloween, and I volunteered. This was a combination event with the other first grade classes, and they rotated to different stations in the different classrooms. I helped with a station where the kids brainstormed descriptive words for pumpkins. They then had to complete a worksheet with some of these descriptive words and measure a pumpkin in different ways (height, circumference). I thought it was a pretty smart move for the teachers to do something different on Halloween since the kids were going to be too excited to pay attention to regular instruction! They aren’t allowed to do anything specific for Halloween. Maddie had been wiggling a loose tooth for over a month, and it FINALLY fell out on November 3rd. Well, more accurately, I gave it a final yank. She was so excited to lose her first tooth! The tooth fairy came and gave her a whole dollar (yeah, our tooth fairy is cheap). She didn’t much like having the tooth yanked, but it was so loose that night at bedtime that I was seriously afraid that she might swallow it in her sleep. She lost one of the front ones on the bottom, and the one next to it is loose now. I imagine it will take some weeks before she loses it, though. It feels like her top front teeth are starting to get a little loose as well. I volunteered for Literacy Lunch and read some books to Maddie and three classmates. Gabe volunteered for Literacy Lunch once as well. He also volunteered for Otter Time, which is at the end of the day and involves helping kids with various academic areas and enrichment. Maddie is doing pretty well with piano, but it is hard to motivate her to practice at home. You’d think I was torturing her when I sit down with her at the piano. She does seem to enjoy it, so hopefully the practice will become less torturous. She’s doing fantastic with swimming. We are hoping that she will be moving up to the next level and new challenges soon, but she’s still benefitting from the current level. She continues to improve, and we haven’t seen her stagnate in this class yet. Twice a week has really helped her, and she seems to love it. Maddie is tracked out and she went to her favorite art camp this week where they did Inuit art. She is going to the same art camp next week and will also be going to a new Lego and Technology camp during this track out.

Something Cullen is doing (4.5 years old): Cullen still often wakes up before the rest of the family. These days, he doesn’t tend to sneak too many snacks as he has in the past. Sometimes, he does get his “breakfast toast” (which is what he calls his organic breakfast pastries). Frequently, he plays the iPad. He will play his usual games, and he’s also figured out how to access his list on Netflix. One morning, I came out and he was playing the iPad. He had been banned from the iPad for a few days, so I said, “Cullen, you know you’re not supposed to be playing the iPad.” Then, I noticed a couple of men walk through the backyard. “Gabe, there are men in the yard, and I don’t know what they are doing.” Cullen says, “They told me what they are doing!” Um, what? Yep, that’s right. Around 6:30am, the guys tasked with aerating our lawn knocked on the door and he answered it. By himself. When they asked where his parents were, he told them that his parents were sleeping. Within a couple of days, we had installed a double cylinder lock and keep the key out of reach. Cullen was an awesome superman for Halloween. He especially loved running to make his cape fly behind him (I didn’t break it to him that the cape didn’t really fly like he was envisioning). He ran out of steam before Maddie with trick or treating and was ready to return home. His class had a Halloween parade that morning…our last preschool fall parade! The parade was with all of the Children’s House classrooms, and Gabe counted at least 12 Elsas and 19 superheroes. Our kids didn’t exactly pick unique costumes this year. Cullen was sent home with a fever two days before Halloween, but thankfully he recovered quickly and didn’t have to miss all the fun! Cullen had two other opportunities to wear his Halloween costume. His Kindermusik class wore costumes on their class before Halloween, and he went to a costume party for one of his best buddies in preschool to celebrate his birthday. I love when the kids can get more wear out of their costumes! The fake muscles cracked me up. When he put on his costume the first time, he had trouble with the stiff upper part with the muscles. He said, “I need someone to help me with my bras!” Um, not exactly son. Cullen went with me to vote. He was excited to accompany me, and I explained the process to him. When we left, he said, “That’s it? That wasn’t very fun? Why did we do that?” And then after I explained how important it is and our civic duty and all that, he asked, “Did we win?” Cullen had several more Lego classes, and they finished up the session. Cullen went to another birthday party where he played mini golf and rode in a go-kart. Cullen loves music class, and he has a talent for it as well. They are learning all about different percussion instruments and rhythms. He’s doing pretty well with swimming and has a lot to learn. I’m curious to see how he does when we go to Great Wolf Lodge (soon!).

Something I am struggling with: You know, the usual. Writing these posts. It gets tedious when I neglect it for a month!

Something I’m looking forward to: In the next month or so…we have more swimming and music lessons. Thanksgiving. Great Wolf Lodge in Ohio and a trip to Kentucky. Dinners and lunches with friends. Book club. Doctor’s and dental appointments. Art camp and Lego technology camp for Maddie. Our annual holiday poker tournament. Putting up our Christmas tree and decorations! Sending our holiday cards! Annual Christmas date with Audrey. Disney on Ice for Maddie and me. Rudolph play for the family.

Something captured: Elsa and Superman

The Sunday Somethings, 12oct14

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Something that makes me happy: Fall! We didn’t have the best weather, but we did one of my favorite fall activities with the kids today – the pumpkin patch. I’m thinking about doing another pumpkin patch this year to make up for our not-so-great weather today.

Something I’m thinking: Gabe and I are thinking about where to eat for our 8th anniversary coming up soon. That’s another reason to love the fall.

Something I’m hoping: I hope to get the motivation to finally finish my 2014 WWDC book. I worked on it this weekend with the crafty day with Michelle and Paula.

Something happening around the house: Our dishwasher is still broken.

Something I’m reading: I read Attachments, Fly Away (book 2 of Firefly Lane), Necessary Lies (for October book club), and When You Reach Me (also for book club). I’m now reading Goldfinch.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished Ghost Brigades, and he is now reading Red Seas Under Red Skies.

Something I’m watching: Fall TV is starting up! We have been watching Amazing Race. Gabe has watched Gotham, Sleepy Hollow, and Arrow and I pay some attention to those. The Walking Dead starts tonight! I also watched a marathon of Gilmore Girls (season 2) during our crafty day.

Something I’m playing: Gabe is starting to play with some friends in a regular games night a couple nights a month. He played Caverna the first time, and they are playing Terra Mystica next time. We had a games night recently, and I played Splendor, Lords of Waterdeep and Russian Railroads. Gabe played Splendor, Concordia, and Castles of Burgundy that night.

Something I’m creating: I’m working on the 2014 WWDC photobook. It’s much longer than last year’s. We had quite a few photos, and the bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge takes up about half the book!

Something tasty: Funnel cakes and ribbon fries from the farm fun today. Ooh, and pumpkin pancakes on Gabe’s birthday at our favorite breakfast place.

Something about the grownups: We got our flu shots. I barely felt the shot, but my arm was sore for the rest of the day. Fingers crossed that it keeps us healthy this year! The flu was no joke when I had it last winter. Gabe and I have both enjoyed volunteering some in Maddie’s classroom, and we watched Cullen at bike day at his school. I had my September book club meeting. Gabe started a regular board gaming group. We are quite excited that we are planning a bonus trip to DISNEY! We are trying to decide when to tell the kids or whether we just want to surprise them on the day that we leave. Melissa, Jason, and my parents are joining us. It went from a vague idea to a planned trip within a week. Now that we have it planned, I’m so glad that we’re not waiting another 2 years to go to Disney (as we had originally planned). It has been 2 years since our last trip. The kids are going to love it! We celebrated Gabe’s birthday on the 5th, and the kids and I surprised him with a tiger striped Bengals cake. Unfortunately, it didn’t help the Bengals win their game on that day.

Something about both kiddos: Both kids are doing swimming and music lessons. Maddie continues with swimming twice a week and piano. Cullen is doing swimming once a week and loves his Kindermusik classes. I’m excited about both kids doing music classes, and they both seem to love it. Both kids went to their friend Elizabeth’s birthday party where they had a great time playing in their awesome backyard. The highlight of the party was the confetti eggs (who says these are just for Easter?). Today, we went to the pumpkin patch! As I said, the weather wasn’t great. It was misty and cool, but we still had fun. The kids played in the colorful maze, the hay bale maze, the cornbox, the giant slide (well, Maddie), the hay jump, bounce houses, and hay ride. We all watched the hilarious pig races. We each picked out a pumpkin. Maddie and Cullen also recently got their flu shots, and neither of them cried a bit. The nurse said they were her easiest patients of the day.

Something Maddie is doing (6.5 years old): I volunteered to read as part of the Outstanding Otter Literacy program where we read about a character trait. I read about loyalty last year as well, and both times some kids thought that we were going to be talking about “royalty.” I’m always impressed by what some of the kids can express (and have greater respect for the teachers every time I visit the classroom!). Gabe read to a smaller group in Maddie’s classroom for Literacy Lunch. That program is weekly, so we will probably both be reading for that here and there. I also volunteered for Apple Day, which was a fun time in Maddie’s class. I was able to run the science experiment station where the kids predicted which liquid would slow browning of the apple slices. We were all surprised that milk worked better than lemon juice (though I’m not sure how that would taste!). Maddie loves having us come to her classroom! She’s very into getting her hair put into a ponytail lately. She requests that almost every day. Today she asked for “Anna braids” and continues to grow her hair so that one day she can have an “Elsa braid.” We haven’t gotten into a good routine with piano practice, but Maddie does seem to enjoy her lessons. We don’t want to push her too hard this young as we want her to enjoy it. Her class has been working on “how to” writing, and Maddie wrote about how to be a grandparent: “First, you have to be old. Next, you have to have kids. Last, you have to have a name.” My parents thought that was amusing! We had our first quarter conference with Maddie’s teacher, and she seems to be doing well. She’s been doing some pull out enrichment/AG classes for math. I was surprised that they weren’t doing the same thing for reading, but they don’t have any kids in the class at a high enough reading level. She is doing well with her reading and still has been enjoying the Arthur chapter books. Her spelling has been improving, and she does well on her weekly spelling tests. Maddie’s favorite thing to do outside at our house right now is to climb one of the trees in the front yard. The other day, Maddie very sternly pointed at herself in the mirror and said, “Hey! You’re a copycat!” Maddie still loves her Daddy, but she has shown some preferences towards me again lately. I think she’s evening out her parent preferences a bit. Both kids fight over who gets Mommy at bedtime these days.

Something Cullen is doing (4.5 years old): Cullen had bike day, and we realized that we really need to get him a bigger bike. He did great at bike day and loved having us cheer him on. Cullen is doing very well with his music lessons. He is demonstrating good rhythm and demonstrates his singing voice well. I’m so proud of him. He has always been very musical, so I’ve been excited to see where this adventure takes him. I hope that he enjoys music for a long time! Recently at school, Cullen said to one of his teachers, “I smell chicken nuggets.” The teacher said that they weren’t having chicken nuggets, but they were having a different type of nuggets. Cullen said, “Fish nuggets?” The teacher said, “yes, what kind?” Cullen replied, “Dead fish.” Cullen is doing a Lego class during the preschool day once a week, and he had his first one this week. He said that it was fun, and they learned about camels and made a little camel. A few days after a fire drill at school, Cullen woke up in the morning and said, “Last night, I dreamed that there was a fire on the playground at school. That was NOT a good dream. That is a dream that I think I’ll delete.” Cullen has been very sweet and loving with me lately. He also wants to be very tightly tucked into his bed where he looks like a mummy. Cullen is now able to operate the Wii U on his own, as we discovered one morning. He had taken out Gabe’s game and put in his own. He was playing on the game pad without the TV. He’s getting better and better at video games.

Something I’m looking forward to: For the rest of the month, we have…more swim lessons and music lessons, Gabe’s game night, a movie night with my book club friends, Cullen’s Lego class, our neighborhood block party, a chocolate 5k for Maddie and me, our 8th anniversary, some kid birthday parties, my book club, Halloween, pumpkin day at Maddie’s class, the fall parade at Cullen’s class.

Something captured: They really do love each other.

Cullen is 4.5!

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

It’s time for Cullen’s next letter…he turned 4 and a half on July 22nd. (more…)

The Sunday Somethings, 22jun14

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Something that makes me happy: I took the kids to Krispy Kreme for their first experience with “hot now” doughnuts. They had so much fun viewing the conveyor belt and eating fresh donuts! They were quite excited, though I wasn’t sure that loading them up with sugar was our best start to the day.

Something I’m thinking: Um, I have been very negligent of my somethings lately. We’ve been so busy! Oops..it’s been more than a month. I guess I didn’t do a “better job” like I had hoped in my last post. So…the kid updates are going to be even longer than usual this time!

Something I’m hoping: I hope that Maddie’s last week of kindergarten goes well. They have a lot of fun activities planned this week, and we should find out her first grade teacher at the end of the week.

Something happening around the house: The sunflowers that we planted in early spring are blooming! We are all excited. We are talking about doing some landscaping in the front and the back, but we’re not sure what we want to do exactly. We do know we want to get rid of some of the overgrown bushes.

Something I’m reading: I finished Damsel Under Stress. I then started and finished The Way of Kings which was a 1000+ page fantasy novel. I enjoyed it, but I felt like I was reading it forever. This week, I started and finished The Secret Keeper for this month’s book club selection. I’m now reading Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen.

Something Gabe is reading: He finished Last Argument of Kings. He started and finished Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie and started The Way of Kings.

Something I’m watching: We haven’t been watching very much lately as we’ve been playing some video games, and I’ve had a ton of pictures to catch up on sorting.

Something I’m playing: Gabe and I both have been playing Battleheart Legacy on the iPad, and we’ve been having a lot of fun with it. It’s a cute RPG. I haven’t played too much Candy Crush lately. The whole family has been playing Mario Worlds 3D (mostly Gabe and the kids), and we got the new Mario Kart for the Wii U. That’s been getting a lot of play in the house as well.

Something I’m creating: I’ve been doing a lot of sorting of photos, and I’ve been trying to get through the photos from my week in San Francisco at WWDC. I need to get started on both the Key West photobook and the WWDC photobook. I did finish my 2013 photobook.

Something tasty: Fresh, hot Krispy Kreme donuts!

Something about both kiddos: As I mentioned, the kids had their first Krispy Kreme experience. They loved wearing the hats, watching the doughnuts on the conveyor belt, and eating the fresh, yummy doughnuts (they also demanded some chocolate covered ones, but I required everyone to have a fresh one first). Since my last letter, both Gabe and I have been on trips without the kids. The kids always get to do special things with the parent at home, so they don’t seem to mind. They usually get presents when we return, and they get excited about the little gifts. Their favorite thing lately when we’re away is seeing pictures of the tiny koala bear and his adventures. He has a lot of fun, but I have to say he gets into some trouble at times, too! It’s a neat way for us to connect with the kids while we’re gone. Gabe spent 4 days away with his mom in Vegas, and I spent a week in San Francisco for WWDC with work. The kids are great friends and are constantly playing together. It’s a loud place when they are both at home as they are coming up with scenarios and making up rules to whatever world they are currently imagining. It’s nice that they get along so well (most of the time), though it also drives us crazy sometimes as they are so loud! They are happy together most of the time. Both of them have been playing more video games and getting better at Mario and MarioKart, especially Cullen. We went to the mountains with friends for Memorial Day weekend. We stayed in a cabin with a beautiful view near Blowing Rock. The kids loved the Dan’l Boone Inn (we all did and ate there twice). We all had a great day at Tweetsie Railroad. I had been there as a kid when I was a little older than Maddie, so it was neat to revisit with the kids. It’s just right for their age, and it’s nice to not have waits for any of the rides (and only pay the initial entry fee instead of paying per ride like at the fair). My parents came for a short visit while Gabe was out of town. We went to see How to Train Your Dragon 2 while they were here, and we all enjoyed it. The kids had fun with Dana twice while Gabe and I went to see Jack Johnson nearby and Vampire Weekend downtown. Cullen was jealous and wished he could go to the Vampire Weekend concert and can’t wait to be a “grown up” so that he can go. Cullen said he was going to marry me when he grows up. Maddie said, “I don’t think so…because when we grow up, our parents will be dead.” Uh, nice. The kids had their kid book club this morning, and they read Magic at the Bed and Biscuit (for the magic theme). Several of the kids performed magic tricks, and Marie had several tricks up her sleeve as well. She does such a nice job with the club, and the kids love it. Our next theme is the rainforest, and we’re going to a special related exhibit at a local museum.

Something Maddie is doing (6 years old): Since my last post, Maddie had two weeks of track out art camps. She went to a new one and her old favorite. The new one was structured more like a class, and it didn’t seem to fit her as well as her usual camp. She didn’t seem to like it for the first few days, but she claimed it was her second favorite camp by the end of the week. She learned about Monet at the regular camp the following week. Maddie has had some issues with headaches and feeling ucky in the car on long rides when she tries to read or plays handheld games for too long. She has never thrown up due to this until our ride back from the mountains. We thought that she was carsick, but it could have been a bug or something else odd going on as she threw up two other times since then. Hopefully, we’re in the clear with that now. Maddie was invited to her first ever slumber party, but we decided that none of us are ready for that. I accompanied her for the fun part of the evening, taking her home at about 10:30pm so that she could sleep at our house. That worked out pretty well for her. I’m a little nervous as the older sister threw up while we were there. I hope all the girls don’t get stomach bugs! She was quarantined from the kids for the most part, but stomach bugs always make me nervous. Maddie continues to love Frozen, and the party was Frozen themed. I got a cute video of the kids watching the movie and at least 8 of them singing “Let It Go.” You can’t see the kids, but you can hear their sweet voices. The oldest sister put make up on the girls, and they had a fashion show. Maddie had her last field trip of the year to the kids’ museum. I chaperoned, and I didn’t lose anyone, so I consider that a victory. I was in charge of 3 girls, and they were well behaved. The kids seemed to have had a great time. Maddie’s last week of kindergarten is this week, and she has a lot of fun things planned for the week. Tomorrow, her class is performing some kind of end of year show. Afterward, we will enjoy a picnic with the kids. Wednesday is some kind of summer fun day where they get to spend pennies that they have earned in the past few weeks. It will be set up as a sort of carnival, and I volunteered for that, too. Friday, they are having a movie, popcorn, and jammie day. On Thursday, they can bring in board games from home. I think they are done learning anything for the year, and we’re getting in a lot of fun. She’s a bit nervous about starting first grade. The thing that she’s most nervous about is meeting new friends. Since there are only two classes on her track, she will know about half the kids. I think she’s nervous about whether the ones that she likes will be in her class. I hope she will have some favorite friends in there! It will take her some time to meet the new ones, but hopefully it won’t be too bad for her. We can’t wait to hear about her new teacher! Maddie is still doing gymnastics through August. She claims that she doesn’t like it, but I know that she enjoys it while she is there. I think she would enjoy a straight tumbling class more. Last week’s class focused more on tumbling, and she was having a great time! She started a swimming class once a week, and she is doing pretty well with that. We’re going to try to continue the swimming lessons for a while until she seems comfortable in the water and can swim on her own pretty well. I hope it goes well at the new place. We are happy with it so far. She is signed up for a group piano class later this summer, and we’re hoping to start regular group piano lessons in the fall. She seems excited about that, and I hope that she will be excited when she starts! Maddie’s class had a “Donuts for Dad” event for Father’s Day, and Gabe was glad that he was able to attend before heading to the airport for Vegas. Maddie loves having us in the classroom. We intend to take advantage of that for as long as it lasts. I know the day will come where she’ll be embarrassed to see us at school! They made some kind of thing with their footprints and a poem about walking with dad. Maddie is very interested in My Little Pony, and that is her reward of choice. We have been working on her getting good behavior reports from school, and she earns tickets for good days. She turns her tickets in for the opportunity to buy new My Little Pony toys, and she is saving her tickets now for a larger toy. She is pretty good at “saving” for something bigger!

Something Cullen is doing (4 years old): Cullen is totally obsessed with the iPad games and now the Wii U games. He’s especially obsessed with playing Mario 3D Worlds for the Wii U, and he’s getting surprisingly good at it. I’m impressed. I am seeing him complete worlds that I remember that Gabe struggled to complete. His goal is to get the “gold star” on all the levels, which requires you to beat the level with all 5 of the characters. Maddie gets frustrated because he often beats her at the video games now. He almost always wins at MarioKart against her, and he does a lot better with Mario as well. Of course, as her little brother, he rubs it in a bit sometimes as well. We all need to work on being better sports. He can get quite upset when he can’t complete a level and keeps losing lives. He gets his video game temper from his dad (OK, and maybe from his mom, too). I told him about Nana and Papa’s 44th wedding anniversary and what that meant. He said, “Ewwww! I don’t want to hear about people getting married! That means they have to kiss on the lips!” He’s pretty convinced that kissing on the lips is what makes people married and what people have to do if they are going to get married. I tried to explain to both kids that they will probably want to kiss someone on the lips if they want to marry them. I reassured both kids that there is absolutely no requirement to get married. They are both happy with living at home forever (when they aren’t talking about marrying each other). Cullen claims that dogs get married by rubbing cheeks instead of kissing on the lips. Cullen has some transitions at school soon. Some of his favorite classmates, including his best buddy Austin, will be moving onto kindergarten. Austin’s last day is this week, and Cullen will really miss him. Before too long, Cullen will become one of the graduates (once all the current graduates move to kindergarten). He’s excited about becoming a “french kid” as the graduates get to go to french class and get special art and music lessons. Cullen has still had some tummy issues, but he has seemed fine over the past few weeks. We changed out all of the toothbrushes in the house, so maybe that helped get rid of the ick? Cullen still loves reading to me, but now he’s reading harder material. He usually reads a page or two and says, “that’s enough for now.” I try to get him to read a little more than that, but I’m letting him set the pace. He’s starting to get a lot of the long vowel rules. It’s still exciting to be teaching a young reader!

Something I am struggling with: Keeping up with photos and keeping up with posts!

Something I’m doing towards my goals: Well, I finished the 2013 book…but I haven’t made progress towards others.

Something I’m looking forward to: Maddie’s last week of school (and several fun events), a trip to Great Wolf Lodge and another to Edisto, Maddie’s first day of first grade (only a week off in between grades), Maddie’s swimming lessons, Maddie’s gymnastics, my book club, Gabe switching jobs (his last day is this week, and he has a week off before starting contracting), hopefully a scrapbooking day, and Marvel Universe Live are all in store for the next few weeks or so. It’s a busy and Maddie-centric time!

Something captured: I think the kids approved of the donuts.

The Sunday Somethings, 06apr14

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

Something that makes me happy: A good visit with family!

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking I’m also happy about a great year of fundraising! It’s amazing to see all the support from family and friends once again.

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping to get my thank you notes done soon. I’ve been emailing thanks the last few years, so I just need to get organized.

Something happening around the house: My parents and my sister and Chad came to visit all at once for Walk MS. This is the first time that we have had them both spend the night in our house. We borrowed a fancy air mattress from the neighbors, and that worked quite nicely. Brendon and Abby both spent the night, too. It was fun to see them interact. Abby was so happy to see Brendon!

Something I’m reading: I finished reading The Husband’s Secret, and I think we’ll have lots of good stuff to discuss at book club! I started reading I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe is still reading Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.

Something I’m watching: Kentucky basketball!!! WOOHOO! We are looking forward to the championship game tomorrow. Will Kentucky win their 9th championship?

Something I’m playing: I’m still playing some Candy Crush. Maddie and Cullen played some boardgames tonight. They were excited. They played Zingo, Max the Cat, and Too Many Monkeys.

Something I’m creating: I’m still working on our cruise summaries.

Something about both kiddos: The kids had a lot of fun playing board games tonight. We have some work to do with their sportsmanship skills. They do get upset when something doesn’t go their way or they lose, and they tend to gloat a bit too much when they win. We need to carve out more game playing time! It’s great family time. We all had the Walk MS event yesterday. We didn’t bring any strollers (and couldn’t remember if we had last year). The kids walked the whole way, except for a short period that Cullen rode in our friends’ stroller. They did a lot of complaining for the mile route, so there was no way that we were going to try the 3 mile route! They had fun playing in the bouncy house area after the walk. They had a good time visiting with Nana and Papa this weekend (and Kristin and Chad yesterday). They introduced Nana and Papa to Frozen last night. Today, we dyed Easter eggs. Papa and Daddy hid them in the yard a couple of times for the kids to find. Then, this afternoon we went to the neighborhood egg hunt. It was a busy, fun weekend! Both kids have been getting themselves dressed each morning, and this has been a huge help to our morning routine. The changing weather each day makes this challenging as the kids put on long sleeves and need short sleeves or vice versa every other day.

Something Maddie is doing (6 years old): Maddie went to a birthday party for one of her favorite school friends yesterday. It was at a horse farm, and Maddie had a great time! I wasn’t sure if she would opt to ride the horse, but she did. She was very nervous, but she was excited (and she did it). I was proud of her. I was also happy to see how quickly she warmed up at the party. She went off running just about as fast as we arrived, which isn’t always the case with her. Gabe went to visit during lunch with her on Friday, and she enjoyed that. She had complained that *everyone* else’s parents had been to lunch with *their* kids (which I’m sure is totally not true). She had another gymnastics lesson this week, and that seems to be going well.

Something Cullen is doing (4 years old): Cullen has been working on his reading in the early phonics readers. He’s been working on short vowel sounds, and I’m really proud of him! Sometimes he throws out random guesses, but he’s starting to get better at making the sounds and putting it together to make the word. I feel like he’s catching up fast (though that still means slow, steady progress towards actually reading). He is really excited about reading, and he asks to read to me every night. It’s amazing to watch this process again! Cullen continues to give me directions on the way to school and the way home. He’s often right, but more importantly he has the “right” and “left” directions down now. Cullen was especially nervous about my parents’ dog Abby, but he did pet her a few times. He was nervous every time she came close to him.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: We raised nearly $5,000 for the National MS Society!

Something I’m looking forward to: This week we have the NCAA championship game to watch (GO CATS!), I have a musical (Wizard of Oz), Maddie has gymnastics, we have a “child led conference” at Maddie’s school, Maddie has picture day, I have a scrapbooking day, and we’re getting together with friends to decorate Easter cookies. We may have bike day for Cullen in the next week or two. Cullen also has picture day next week. Gabe’s parents are coming to visit for Easter.

Something captured: This year’s walk team

The Sunday Somethings, 30mar14

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Something that makes me happy: Our family is happy that Kentucky is in the Elite 8! Now I hope that they can win this evening!

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about the blog posts that I’m writing about our cruise. I’m glad that I’ve gotten started on those. I really need to get to sorting out those photos, too.

Something I’m hoping: I already said that I hope Kentucky wins tonight!

Something happening around the house: Well, Gabe was sick when the cleaners were supposed to come over a week ago. They should be coming this week, though we have a lot of picking up to do before that’s going to be possible!

Something I’m reading: I finished Hollow City. I was a little disappointed with this sequel, but I will read the next one, I’m sure. I am now reading The Husband’s Secret, which is an upcoming book club selection.

Something Gabe is reading: He finished Pandora’s Star and started Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.

Something I’m watching: More NCAA basketball, Amazing Race, Hart of Dixie, and The Walking Dead (finale tonight!!!).

Something I’m playing: Just Candy Crush. Which is sad, I know.

Something I’m creating: Blog posts about the cruise.

Something tasty: Still addicted to “hiding eggs” or “bunny basket eggs.”

Something about both kiddos: The other day at lunch, the kids were sitting at the table by themselves (having lunch earlier than us). I overheard them playing “good/bad” with Maddie recording their responses in a notebook. I thought that was awesome that they were asking each other the good things about their day without our prompting! They often ask us to play good/bad when we are all at the dinner table, but this is the first time they have played it by themselves. Both kids worked on Lego sets from The LEGO Movie this afternoon. We went to Maddie’s school’s spring festival, one of the big fundraisers of the year. The kids had fun. We’ve all watched more of Frozen.

Something Maddie is doing (6 years old): We got her some new shoes this afternoon, though her feet didn’t change size that much. I made the mistake of putting her wet shoes in the dryer after one of our snow days, and I think I ruined the shape. Oops. She has refused to wear them since then. We had another pair that she can still wear, but she has started to complain about those, too. She is thrilled with the new shoes, so maybe we won’t have complaints. One of them is a half size bigger than the previous pair, but I think the other pair should be fine for a while, too. She had another gymnastics lesson, and we have some new clothes for her to wear to gymnastics. She had no shorts that she could wear for gymnastics, so Gabe bought her some sporty clothes that will be more appropriate than what she has been wearing! Maddie and Cullen do a lot of pretending, and lately Maddie has opted to be Elsa or an owlicorn. Yes, owlicorn.

Something Cullen is doing (4 years old): Cullen has been motivated greatly this week by the offer of an extra “ticket” that he can use to trade in for time on the iPad. He has been getting himself dressed, including picking out his clothes, almost every day this week. It’s been such a nice, welcome change. We’re also able to get everyone out the door much more easily! He is addicted to the iPad, but at least we have curbed that somewhat with the ticket system. Cullen has been learning his “left” and “right” as he now gives me directions to and from school. Cool way to subtly learn his right and left!

Something I’m looking forward to: In the next couple weeks, we have Maddie’s gymnastics, the MS walk, family visiting, a birthday party for one of Maddie’s friends, the neighborhood Easter Egg hunt, Easter cookies with friends, Wizard of Oz musical (for me!), a possible photobooking day (for me!), and a possible poker game (for Gabe).

Something captured: Go Cats!

The Sunday Somethings, 16feb14 and 09feb14

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

Something that makes me happy: A weekend of playing games! I wasn’t sure how the weekend was going to work with the logistics of the kids, but Gabe and I both were able to play quality games last weekend.

Something I’m thinking: I’m glad that it didn’t snow last weekend and make a mess of the gaming weekend…

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping we’re done with snow for the year. Two big snow events is more than we can handle in the south. We now need to make up 5 more days of school, and the make up days are running low. I’m wondering if they are going to add time to our daily schedule versus make up the days.

Something happening around the house: Twice this month, we’ve been stuck in the house all together for several days waiting for snow to thaw.

Something I’m reading: I finished The Returned. The book wasn’t all that great, but I wouldn’t mind seeing the show. I’m now reading the third book of The Demon Cycle, The Daylight War.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished Sand, and now he’s reading Pandora’s Star.

Something I’m watching: We’re keeping up with Hart of Dixie, The Walking Dead, and Downton Abbey. We’re also watching Elementary and Sleepy Hollow, but I think we’re behind on those. We are still recording S.H.I.E.L.D., but we are about 10 episodes behind on that one. Oh! And we went to see The LEGO Movie yesterday, and we all loved it!

Something I’m playing: Gabe and I have sadly been playing Candy Crush (as have the kids). I swore I wasn’t going to play that game, but here we are. We played a ton of games last weekend. Gabe played Lords of Waterdeep (with expansions), Bora Bora, Amerigo, The Cave, Freedom: The Underground Railroad, Spyrium, and Geistesblitz 2.0. I played Shitenno, Village (with 5 players, but without the expansion parts), Village (with 5 players and the expansion), Glass Road, Rampage, Belfort, Lords of Waterdeep (with expansions), Lords of Waterdeep (without expansions), Bora Bora, and Spyrium. Lords of Waterdeep was our favorite game of all the ones we played.

Something I’m creating: I did a few more pages in our 2013 photobook. I have come close to finishing it before the cruise…something I was hoping that I could do so I’d be ready to work on the cruise book when we got back!

Something tasty: Snow cream! When it snowed heavily this week, we put out a bowl and made fresh snow cream. We all thought it was tasty (except for Cullen who liked it well enough but didn’t rave about it like the rest of us).

Something about both kiddos: We knew the winter storm was coming, so I think that we bought two of the last two sleds in the area on Monday. We got two of the saucer type. We ended up with over 6 inches of snow before it turned to sleet, and the next day we got even more snow (though I don’t think it added too much to the pile). We had more than enough snow to sled on the road. The kids had so much fun! Their first time sledding was a success. Then, we went next door for dinner to celebrate our neighbor’s birthday. We had a fun snow day. I was glad that the school system cancelled schools ahead of the storm, as that prompted me to work from home. We heard so many stories of people taking hours to get home or having to stay in hotels for the night. We were thankful to be safely home together. The kids were excited to make snow cream and especially liked the mini chocolate chips and sprinkles mixed into it. The kids loved being in the hotel for the games weekend. I can’t wait to see how they like the cruise ship! We all had fun with Cullen’s birthday party. We invited two of Cullen’s classmates to see The LEGO Movie and go out to dinner. We already want to see it again. That’s definitely one we’ll have to get on DVD. The kids had a good Valentine’s Day. Both celebrations were postponed on Friday. Maddie had hers on Saturday, and Cullen’s will be tomorrow. We gave them a sweet Teddy Bear Valentine’s Lego set that they put together in the morning. We also had heart shaped pink pumpkin pancakes for breakfast, and we ended the day with heart shaped chocolate chip cookies. Both kids are doing great with playing video games and have gotten better at playing Mario 3D Worlds. They also love watching us play, if we can stand the constant commentary from them. “Get the bell! Don’t fall into the lava! Daddy got dead!” The kids were both home for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. They did a pretty good job entertaining themselves so that Gabe and I could work.

Something Maddie is doing (5.5 years old): Maddie’s 6th birthday is this week. At first, she was disappointed and thought it was “not fair” that we have to drive on her birthday. She has since embraced it. I mean what other kids get to drive to a Disney cruise on their birthday?? Maddie had one dance class from her hip hop / tumbling class, but they missed another one due to the winter weather on Thursday. She’ll miss both of the make up classes due to vacation. She also missed her last two rollerblading classes of this session. We wanted to sign her up for more rollerblading since she could sign up for the advanced class this time. Unfortunately, we’d miss too many of the classes for this session. We’ll have to try again for the summer sessions. Maddie is officially tracked out (after her Saturday make up day), and she’s going to art camp for a few days this week before our vacation.

Something Cullen is doing (4 years old): Cullen had fun with his birthday party and especially enjoyed getting presents from his friends. Cullen has been going to sleep each night in our bed, and then he gets carried to his room once he’s asleep. This has become quite the bad habit! We are going to have to do a reset on this after vacation. Cullen has been playing a lot with Legos, especially the minifigures. He also loves the Ninjago spinner game.

Something I am struggling with: I’m feeling like I’m not prepared for our cruise, but I know a lot of that is due to not needing to do all that much to prepare for cruising. So much of it is already mapped out for you! I’m debating whether we want to do an excursion on St. Maarten. Originally, we had decided against it, but I’m thinking we might want to do a tour.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I’ve been working on the 2014 photobook, and we’re about to go on a Disney cruise! Two things on my goals list.

Something I’m looking forward to: Our Disney cruise!!!! Gabe has a dinner with a friend, I have lunch with a friend, and I have a rescheduled hair appointment. Maddie’s birthday is also this week. Big week for us!

Something captured: Silly kids at dinner last night.

The Sunday Somethings, 26jan14 and 02feb14

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Something that makes me happy: Seeing the kids play in the snow (but I’m not so excited about making up snow days!).

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking usually this time of year isn’t too busy, but we’re crazy busy this year. Only part of it is the cruise that we’re taking in a few weeks.

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping that we do not have any more crazy wintery weather. I’m officially ready for Spring.

Something happening around the house: The house has been in a perpetual state of disaster with all of us at home a bit more than normal. Poor Gabe is used to a nice, quiet house during the work week. He’ll be happy to get back to that!

Something I’m reading: I finished The Selection. I also finished Sand, and I didn’t like it was well as Wool. It was still entertaining enough. I’m now reading The Returned, and I want to see the show.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished The Golem and the Jinni. He started and finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane. He’s now reading Sand.

Something I’m watching: I’m not *really* watching the Super Bowl, but I am rooting for certain point combinations since we played a squares game at the Super Bowl party.

Something I’m playing: We have played some new games with the kids lately. They received several board games at Christmas. We have been playing Robot Turtles, Max the Cat, Too Many Monkeys, and Gobblet Gobblers. I’m a little sad to report that all four of us are playing Candy Crush. All four of us have also been playing Mario 3D Worlds on the Wii U.

Something I’m creating: I finished Cullen’s 4th birthday letter and I’ve been working on our 2013 photobook. I really want to finish it before our cruise.

Something tasty: I’ve been using MyFitnessPal to track calories, but I gave myself a holiday today since we went to a Super Bowl party. We had all kinds of yummy stuff there.

Something about both kiddos: The kids were so excited about the snow. We got about 3 or 4 inches, which is more than we have gotten in more than 3 years. I don’t think either kid really remembers our last “big” snow. The snow was very powdery, so they didn’t get to make a snowman. They still attempted to make snowballs, and they mostly threw them at Daddy. It was hilarious to see the powder fly. They were so happy. The snow stayed around on our grass for a couple of days, so they were able to play the next day as well. Last weekend, the monthly book club meeting was a field trip to see a play. We saw Hansel and Gretel. The next day, we went to see the Pinkalicious musical. That was a lot better than we expected! Gabe and I even enjoyed it. It had some humor for the adults, and it seemed to be better quality than several of the other plays from the kid series. Since my last update, we’ve taken the kids to lunch twice in the cafe at work. The first time was on Maddie’s holiday for MLK, and the second was one of the “snow” days when our roads were clear (but roads in other parts of the county were not).

Something Maddie is doing (5.5 years old): Maddie was probably the most excited of all of us to get snow. She didn’t have to go to school on Tuesday in anticipation of the snow to start falling at about noon. Unfortunately, the snow didn’t start falling until 5pm Tuesday night. We got about 3-4 inches overnight, so of course school was closed again on Wednesday. Temperatures were quite cold, so of course that means ice on the roads in the south. Our roads were fine, so we weren’t totally stuck at home for four days at least. Maddie’s school was again closed on Thursday AND Friday. So now we have FOUR Saturday make up days. I guess that’s one disadvantage to year round school! The first make up day was supposed to be yesterday, but that day got cancelled for continued icy roads. Maddie has school for the next two Saturdays. This isn’t going to be very convenient for us, but we will figure it out. I’m disappointed that she is going to miss her last two rollerblading lessons. She has been doing so well in that class, and her coaches felt that she could move up to the advanced class. We definitely want to sign her up for that, but we may have to skip a session given the number of Saturday plans (and snow make up days) that we have. Maddie celebrated her 100th day at school. I had fun volunteering in the classroom and manned the fruit loop necklace station. The kids also had a station where they built towers from 100 cups, one where they made their afternoon snack (10 of each of the 10 items), one with a 100-day book (with 10 items on 10 pages), and one with a coloring, cutting and pasting activity. It was such a fun morning, and Maddie loves having me in the classroom. We went to lunch after where I watched her eat lunch. I love the opportunity to volunteer, and I know that we will have less and less opportunities as she gets older! Maddie has been enjoying her dance/tumbling class more, but she doesn’t seem to love the hip hop part of it. She looks so nervous and doesn’t participate in that part. She wants to sign up for a gymnastics class with Sophie, so I hope we’ll be able to make that happen after our vacation. Maddie has a project at school where she was supposed to interview a community helper. She decided she wanted to interview a teacher, so she interviewed our neighbor. She is supposed to dress up as her community helper and do a presentation tomorrow. I made her an id badge on a lanyard in a card holder so she looks more official. Otherwise, she’s just going to look like she does any other day!

Something Cullen is doing (4 years old): Cullen is now four years old! We brought cupcakes to his classroom for his birthday. He was so cute when his classmates were singing to him. They all surrounded him while they sang, and he was grinning ear to ear. I loved that. He loved having us there, and of course the cupcakes were a bit hit. That night, we went out to eat with his BFF. Melissa and Jason were able to join us as well. The kids got a little crazy in the restaurant. He requested Zoe’s Kitchen as he loves the “kid roll ups” there (basically a rolled up chicken quesadilla). We had a little cake, so Cullen had quite a few treats that day! The cake had chocolate frosting, and he got a little crazy after it. We’re going to avoid chocolate as well as we can for a while. He’s sensitive to it (maybe it’s the caffeine?). We’ve also made a direct correlation between strawberries and reddened cheeks. We have noticed this before, but it has been more than confirmed with his recent exposures. We’re not sure whether we will completely avoid them, but we are considering taking him to an allergist for their opinion. We know that there are other things in his diet that cause a rash type reaction, but we haven’t figured them all out just yet. Cullen said the other day, “when I grow up like a Mommy, I want hair like yours. No, wait, I want to be just like you! Then there will be two Kerrys.” Cullen always wants to sit next to the pianist in the cafe. He had a great time on Friday, and the pianist played some special songs for him. Cullen is still obsessed with playing Daddy’s iPad. We’re trying to limit his time. We’ve thought about coming up with some system where he can earn iPad time for good behaviors and tasks around the house. He’s been a sweet boy, and he will often tell me that he loves me. Every morning, when we leave the house, he tells Daddy, “Goodbye! I love you! I hope you have a good day at work.”

Something I’m looking forward to: We are thinking about the Lego Minibuild this Tuesday. I have a rescheduled book club meeting (since we had to cancel last Wednesday due to the weather). Maddie has another dance/tumbling class. We have a gaming weekend, so we’re trying to figure out the logistics of how we’re going to get to play games and manage the kids. Cullen has a birthday party to attend and Maddie has school on Saturday. Next week, I have a haircut, and Maddie has an early release day. She has school on that Saturday, and we are officially celebrating Cullen’s birthday with The Lego Movie with a couple of his buddies and their families. My parents are coming to visit and celebrate with us.

Something captured:

The Sunday Somethings, 19jan14 and 12jan14

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

Something that makes me happy: I had fun watching Maddie and Daddy playing Mario 3D Worlds together. Maddie’s doing pretty well!

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking I better get started on Cullen’s 4-year old letter!

Something I’m hoping: I hope we have fun at the hockey game tonight. A generous coworker gave our family the tickets he couldn’t use, and it will be Maddie and Cullen’s first hockey game.

Something happening around the house: The house is in need of a serious clean! We managed to get presentable for games night, but we missed our regular cleaners appointment when I had the flu.

Something I’m reading: I finished both The Golem and the Jinni and Lexicon. Both are books that I would recommend to others but fell short in some way overall. I started and finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane, an odd, creepy little thing. I am now reading the second book of The Selection, The Elite.

Something Gabe is reading: He’s almost finished with The Golem and the Jinni.

Something I’m watching: Right now, I’m watching Gabe play Mario 3D Worlds. We’ve been watching Downton Abbey, The Walking Dead, Hart of Dixie, and Elementary. I think those are the ones that we’re mostly caught up with, but we have a few others that we have languishing on our DVR.

Something I’m playing: We had games night last night, and Gabe and I played several games together while letting the kids run free. The kids had a few incidents here and there, but they did pretty well playing with their friends overall. Gabe and I both played Tribune, Puerto Rico, Ticket to Ride: Team Asia, and Big Boggle. Fun games night!

Something I’m creating: I ordered my little WWDC book and showed it to coworkers. I think my coworkers were amused and impressed. I’ve been working on the 2013 book, but I’ve had a few setbacks with being sick.

Something about both kiddos: They are both continuing their sports lessons (soccer for Cullen and rollerblading for Maddie). We’ve been seeing improvements with both of them, and they seem to be having fun. Gabe and I appreciate the hour later time with 10:30am lessons instead of 9:30am! They had fun yesterday with their friends at games night.

Something Maddie is doing (5.5 years old): Maddie started a class at my work called Rollin’ Hip Hoppers. It’s a hip hop dance and tumbling combination class. She spent the first class in Daddy’s lap the whole time, not wanting to participate. I managed to get her to participate in the second week (though will admit it took some bribing). It helped that her friend Sophie is in the class. Sophie was great at helping Maddie be more comfortable and even held her hand during some of the class. Maddie and I finished up her science fair board last weekend, and the science fair was this week. I was so proud of her, and I think she was proud of herself! She has a 100th day celebration coming up this week at school and was tasked with creating a poster with 100 items. She wanted to do hearts, so she glued candy hearts to her poster. It looks cute (and tasty!). I’m excited to come and volunteer at her class for the 100th day celebration (though, really, when did this become a thing???). As I mentioned, she has been doing some of her video game training today. She’s getting better at the different types of games. Mario 3D World is fun for her to play with Daddy.

Something Cullen is doing (3.5 years old): Cullen and I visited the Lego store for the monthly minibuild. He built a cute little snowplow. We had a great time with the minibuild and a dinner at PF Chang’s. Cullen was a perfect little dinner date. We had to wait to do the minibuild, but it helped that we took the dinner break after getting our ticket. We’ll have to do more of those! Cullen has had a cough for a while, and we took him to the pediatrician. He is taking an antibiotic now. He then got a little bit of the flu, maybe? It didn’t seem as bad for him, so we aren’t sure if his flu shot helped a bit or he caught something different. He had a high fever for a couple of days, and then he was fine. I can’t believe that Cullen is going to be 4 this week!

Something I am struggling with: I managed to get the flu and was quite sick for about 5 days. At least two of those days were spent being miserable and trying to sleep in bed all day. Poor Gabe had to manage everything while I was out of commission.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: Still trying to get those photobooks done.

Something I’m looking forward to: I’m looking forward to volunteering in Maddie’s classroom twice in the next two weeks. This week, I’m helping with their 100th day celebration and next week I’m supposed to read to them after their lunch. I’m looking forward to celebrating Cullen’s birthday, though his “party” will be in a few weeks. He’s going to take a couple friends to the movies to see The Lego Movie. This week, we’re going to go out for dinner on his birthday at a restaurant of his choice. Cullen has his 4-year old check up. Maddie has Rollin Hip Hoppers on Thursdays for the next two weeks. The kids have their book club meeting this Saturday, which is a Hansel and Gretel play. And we have a Pinkalicious play on Sunday. Next week is my book club and a scrapbooking day with Michelle and Paula! I’m looking forward to the hockey game this evening, too.

Something captured: Our little scientist!

The Sunday Somethings, 11aug13 and 18aug13

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Something that makes me happy: I’ve been doing some catching up on my photobooks. I still have quite a few left to do, but I’ve at least been making progress.

Something I’m thinking: Disney really hit a home run with their new Sofia the First series. Our princess hating 5-year old is obsessed with Sofia all of a sudden.

Something I’m hoping: I hope Maddie’s track out will go smoothly this week. Just when we were getting the hang of kindergarten…

Something happening around the house: I can see the floor in the living room. Mostly.

Something I’m reading: I finished We Need to Talk About Kevin. I read The Fixer Upper, my second Mary Kay Andrews book. I needed some fluff. I then read Mudbound which has been on my “to read” list for a while. I now have started Dust, the last book in the Silo Saga by Hugh Howey!

Something Gabe is reading: He’s reading Shogun, but he will probably take a break from it and read Dust as well.

Something I’m watching: Right now, I’m watching Gabe play Mario on the Wii.

Something I’m playing: We have been playing a lot of Le Havre on our iPads! We have been playing 2-player, but we tried a 4-player game of it last night. That was too slow for me…I doubt I’ll be attempting to play with 4 (or even 3) again! I still play a little Letterpress.

Something I’m creating: I finished the photobook of my Disney trip with Audrey. I’ll be starting my next photobook soon. First, I’ll need to write Maddie’s 5.5 year letter, “due” this week. I’ve been creating things for TBGT which is coming up fast.

Something about both kiddos: On Friday night, we went to see Disney Junior Live: Pirates and Princess Adventure. It started at 7pm, so it was a late night for both kids. They handled it pretty well, though both of them were exhausted by the time we got home! Unfortunately, they woke early on Saturday, so they were a bit sensitive for most of Saturday. It’s something we can do every now and then, at least. Both kids loved the show. The kids have been playing together pretty nicely lately (yes, they still fight).

Something Maddie is doing (5 years old): Our Magic Tree House Book Club field trip to the planetarium went well! They have a special Magic Tree House show that I thought was pretty good. Maddie loved it. Of course, her favorite parts probably had nothing to do with the stars. I think she liked the parts where the tree house spins to the next destination. It has been years since I’ve been to a planetarium show! We finally finished reading Remarkable by Lizzie K. Foley. This has been my favorite book that we’ve read together so far! It was long and took us quite a while to get through with only a couple chapters each night. I’m excited that she’s ready for this type of no-pictures chapter book. I’m looking forward to reading things like Harry Potter together! Maddie has had mostly great days at school, getting into the groove of kindergarten…and now she’s tracked out. She’s going to Art Camp this week. She’s excited about that! She’s been doing a lot of painting at home lately. Her class goes to the library at school once a week, so she’s been bringing home a book each week. She loves this. Maddie is rather obsessed with Sofia the First all of a sudden. For weeks, she has been insisting that she wants to be Sofia for Halloween. I realized last night that the Disney Store online was already sold out of her size. Fortunately, we found it in our local store today. She’s thrilled. She left a trail of glitter all over the house when she tried it on this afternoon. We put together some more of R2-D2 this weekend. One day, we might finish it!

Something Cullen is doing (3.5 years old): On the way home from school the other day, Cullen said, “I told C that his art isn’t pretty.” I said that wasn’t a nice thing to say, and that art is subjective. What one person thinks is pretty, someone else may not. Cullen claimed that two other friends said the same thing. I told him that it still wasn’t a nice thing to say, even if other people agreed. He said, “C is my friend, but his art just isn’t pretty. He thinks it’s pretty, but it’s not.” Cullen talks about dressing up as super heroes and other costumes for Halloween, but he’s pretty consistent about wanting to be a Storm Trooper when choosing between costumes. I guess we’ll be trying to find him a Storm Trooper costume soon! Cullen did a lot of Legos this weekend, too. He gets a really cute determined face when he tries to put together teeny pieces with his chubby little hands. Cullen really needs some action figures. He stages pretty elaborate scenes in the car with whatever toys that he has handy. He even used his Spider-Man shoes to stand in for Spidey a few times.

Something I am struggling with: Writing this every week…but I’m glad that I do it. I would forget things all the time otherwise!

Something I’m looking forward to: I’m curious to see how art camp goes for Maddie this week. I have volunteer training at school for their literacy program, and I’m thinking about taking the day off to do some other errands and maybe work on photobooks. I have a hair appointment, lunch with a friend, a rescheduled dinner and games with friends, and a “scrapbooking” day.

Something captured: The kids before the Disney Junior show