Tuesday, August 25, 2009

School, School!!!

Well they survived! We now officially have a preschooler and a kindergartner. Although my kindergartener informed me that it didn't seem much different than preK just yet!

Their quotes about the first day for the blog:
"Miss Brannon is a fine teacher." - Clara (I didn't coach her on this - promise!)
"I had a fun time on the first day." - Gracie

So - this morning, my big girl was ready first -

Here's her funny pose for the day:

That's her bag that we (the parents) got to make & that she will carry all year. It has lots of fun, family pictures on it!

Next up, Clara-bear was finally ready! We had a little trouble getting ready this morning, and I'm not sure how much breakfast she really ate (a few bites of cottage cheese?), but she sure looks happy!

And now for her funny/excited pose:

And yes, that's Tinkerbell on her back! And pink running shoes, to boot.

Someone at our house was definitely ready for the girls to leave:

Although once they were gone and we came back to an empty house, he wasn't quite sure what to do with himself (and I wasn't really sure either!). He checked out their room for a while and jumped on Clara's bed and at one point ended up running around the house screaming unhappily. But we found some fun things to do - eat a popsicle (that's always a winner), play some musical instruments, read a book, climb on chairs and stools (JM, not me...). And then it was time to pick up the girls. Thank goodness for half-days!!

It's great but sad to see the girls growing up. I don't know what I will do when there are three little ones in a picture like this:

Monday, August 24, 2009


Gracie was telling Mike the other night that you really have to be careful when writing with Sharpies (permanent markers) not to get them on your skin. She was going on and on about it, but she finally told him that it will come off, but it will take a really long time. So Mike responded with, "When I was a kid, I wrote on my hands with a Sharpie and look what happened to me - all my hair fell out."

Gracie had to think for a minute, but then she caught on and laughed along with us!


Clara's latest interest is to ask me several times a day - "How old will I be when Gracie is ____(fill in the blank)?" I've tried to explain that there will always be two years difference between the two of them but that hasn't worked. And the other day Gracie even questioned that and pointed out that right now they are 4 and 5, only one year apart. So then I tried to explain to her about how that is only 1 month a year and the rest of the year, etc. But with Clara, I have given up on explanations and just answer her. The other day she asked me how old she would be when Gracie is 100. So I answered "98." She thought about that and then asked "but won't Gracie break her head on the ceiling when she is that old?"

Obviously, we still need some work on our idea of growth and grown-ups!

I haven't updated any of JM's "firsts" lately, but I'm sure I couldn't really keep track of them.

He hasn't met a chair yet that he can't pull himself up onto. I'm just amazed by how he will just hang there with his belly on the chair and finally get his legs up. And then he looks so pleased. Here is a picture from today - he got up on one of our patio chairs for the first time.

And he just loves the "alligator purse" that Mimi gave Gigi a few years ago. He discovered it just yesterday and was quite pleased about carrying it around. Can you tell how quick he is by the blurry photo?

And finally, he's learned to say "uh-oh!" Sort of. The girls said this very early on, so I've always been surprised that he didn't say it earlier. He's got it now, but he actually *hums* it instead of saying it. I'll have to try and capture it on video.

Clara's birthday post is still to come (she had a grand time - thanks to all of you for the birthday wishes and gifts).

And the girls are off for the first day at school tomorrow. Gracie will be in kindergarten 5 mornings a week and Clara will be in PreK MTW mornings. I imagine JM will be a little lonely (and maybe me???).

I'll post some 1st day of school pictures.

Vacation, Bathroom, & Birthday

WARNING - Super long post ahead!!!

Okay - I'm not really going to post about all of those things listed in the title, but those are all the reasons I haven't written a post lately! This should really be called "Houston & The Beach Vacation!"

We had a fab weekend in Houston, August 5th - 17th. Too short of course, but we did get to take a trip to Galveston. It was our kiddos first time at the beach. We found out that Gracie is crazy for the beach. She was soaking wet, head to toe, within minutes of us arriving (and we got to park on the beach and set up camp (well, the awesome canopy J&J had bought) right next tour cars). I couldn't believe Gracie had gotten in the water that quickly & been doused by the waves, too. But she loved it! She was crying when it was time to leave. I told Julia that I don't think we'll get away with going to Houston again without including a trip to the beach.

Here are a few pictures of the beach visit:

Beach Baby!

Everyone at the water's edge. We got to the beach around 9:30 on Sunday and it wasn't too crowded. When we finally left around 3pm (we had planned to leave around noon - hah!), the beach was getting much more crowded.

Our brave little 3 year old (at the time), hanging out in the waves by herself. She got upset later in the afternoon when she got tumbled by the waves a few times. It was nice and shallow but by the afternoon, the waves were breaking pretty hard & even in the shallow water I felt like I might get knocked over!

John Michael had a grand time. Digging in the sand, playing with the pinwheel and even standing in the waves were favorites. As we were trying to de-sand him before leaving, Mike pointed out why we hadn't gone to the beach when we were in Houston earlier in the summer - I think babies have a special magnetic force that draws sand to them!!

He actually got tumbled and went completely under water at one point, but he wasn't bothered in the least. Next summer, he'll be swimming out to sea (like his Uncle Jamie & Cousin Alex) if we don't watch him. J & A got out so far that they had a fish jump up out of the water right in front of them!

The boys hard at work on the sand castle. The kiddos (and maybe the grown men) were very proud of the that sand castle (and moat!). JM thought the moat was his own personal swimming pool. In the background, you can see our cars & the canopy (blessed relief from the sun, but I still wasn't saved from getting burned)

Mike took the longest walk ever (and sacrificed his bare feet on the hot sand) to get JM a good nap. Too bad we don't live right on the beach - the waves seemed to lull him to sleep and I don't think his sound machine at home does nearly as good of a job!

A rare picture of me and my big sis! (I think we're usually the ones behind the camera...)

One of the few pictures of Alex - he was in motion almost the whole time & I wasn't fast enough for him. He was swimming away in the ocean, just like in the pool!

Of course, we did a few other things while in Houston - took Clara's doll back to the doll hospital to be repaired (from the stand that poked a hole in its belly), went swimming at Alex's neighborhood pool, and ...

Decorated cupcakes after the beach for ...

Clara's Astronaut B-day party! (Check out those nifty napkins Alex & Aunt J found!)

Clara opening the "giant fly swatter." At least, that's what Alex & Aunt J claimed - check out the next picture to see what it really was (look between Gracie & Jamie).

Playdoh party

Picnic & a movie (JM decided on his own that he should be included, too).

Before we left, everyone had to try out all of Alex's fun trikes/bike/scooter. The kids were having a blast, but it felt like sweltering heat - okay it wasn't that hot - high 80s?, but sooooo humid).

He can still fit in his fire engine!

John Michael couldn't get of enough of Aunt J. He wouldn't even leave her to come to me! That's a first for him.

We had a great weekend and thanks to the Double J ranch for hosting us and making it so fun. I think the kids had a good time, too. But I'll let you all judge. Here's an image from about 30 minutes into our trip home: