Sunday, February 14, 2010

Heard (or thought) around the house . . .

Gracie - "I've got to write that down . . . in my head!"

Clara, with sarcasm (after Gracie sat down too close to her) - "Last time I checked, that was my arm!"

JM - "No." "No." "No." (answers to: let's change your diaper, time to go night-night, let's clean your face off, and a bunch of other questions we must learn to phrase as statements!)

Me (thought) - why did I feed a one and a half year-old cottage cheese right after cleaning the floor?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Future Engineer?

This is from several months ago - I don't know why I never got it posted, but here it is, better late than never!

So during the Mother Goose week at her school, Gracie and her class got to participate in an egg drop experiment. They were given sandwich bags, a variety of materials to choose from and an egg and told to try and devise something that would keep their egg (Humpty Dumpty?) from breaking when they dropped it from a few feet up.

Well, Gracie and her friend Kareth were the only two (out of 16 kids) whose eggs survived the fall. Gracie will tell you that she didn't choose the straws because they were "like pokey" and she thinks that the blue ribbon, which only she and Kareth had tied around their bags, were critical to the design.

Mike's Birthday

Even though he tried to convince us it was every other day of the year, we knew that January 22 really was Mike's birthday (and coincidentally, my Grandfather's as well). Clara was concerned that he had to go in to work on his birthday, but I told her he would be home in time for dinner and a party. She informed me that he would be home early. I found out later from Mike that she had instructed him to come home early & good Daddy that he is, he listened and made it home an hour or so early. Which was good, because everyone was super excited about him coming home. Here's everyone watching (and I do mean everyone!):

So as soon as we saw his car coming down the rode, the girls started screaming "hide, hide!" So we did. Of course they popped out pretty quickly and JM was kind of oblivious to the whole hiding/surprising thing. But he was happy to see his "Dada!" home:

Next, the girls informed Mike that it was time for him to find his presents. They had decided the day before that they would hide all of his (wrapped) birthday presents to make things extra fun. It wasn't too hard to find them, though. The girls were both so excited to give hints (i.e., point out present locations) that I don't think Mike had to really spend any time searching.

Here are a few he had accumulated.

Then he had to open the present Clara had picked out at Target a few days before (she was *so* excited, she almost told him what it was several times the night before). And it was ... Battleship! They had to set it up and play it right away. Which was fun, but made harder by JM running off with the bag of all of the pegs.

After a dinner of Cowboy stew and cornbread, it was time for the apple pie & ice cream.

And if you look closely, you'll see that we were able to use supplies on hand for this party (puppy hats and Elmo hats and red plates!), which was grand since Clara and JM were still under the weather. And Mike certainly didn't mind (he might not even have noticed!) Mike's always one to say not to worry about things matching or being "perfect," he's good about always keeping the big picture in mind and passing on that attitude to the rest of us.

So Happy Birthday, Dada, Daddy, Mikey!!

Heard around the house

"Peas for it hot, peas for it cold, peas for it in the pot nine days old." - Gracie

During a game of Parcheesi - "Watch out or I'm going to fire you." - Clara

"Mine, MIne, MINE!" - JM

"Is the internet working on the labtop yet, Daddy?" - Gracie & Clara (and that's not a spelling typo!)

"Don't touch the stove, JM, it will fire you." - Clara

"Just hold still for one moment & I'll have that tooth out." - Mike to Gracie, while brandishing the pliers.

"This is called stalling." "What is stalling?" "This is stalling." "But what is stalling?" - Mommy/Gracie/Mommy/Gracie, at bedtime

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A favorite word: "POP!"

"I'm getting serious now - stop taking those pictures!
Don't you see me standing here & don't you hear what I'm saying???"

What's up at our house

Here's the latest & greatest:

Gracie - reading up a storm, but gets worn out if there is too much. She stated the other night "I'm *sick* of reading." She wasn't even reading at the time, it was just the idea of the reading she needed to do that night. We teased her about it & got her to laugh & I don't really think she hates reading (I hope not, I can't imagine that!). She read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" the other night by herself. Pretty neat, considering it was one of the first books I ever read to her!

She's always busy with little "projects." At school they get a little bit of free time in the morning to go to a center, and she usually chooses art, writing or science. If she's been in the writing center, she almost always comes home with something for Clara or JM. Here's her project from yesterday:

It's a puzzle with a picture of Humpty Dumpty saying "Aaaaa" (before he falls, I assume). She made the matching picture on the envelope and then that's a receipt that she included as well. She informed me that she was trying to trick Clara about where it came from with the receipt (see the red "Target?")

Clara - Well, I don't have a lot of new things to say about what she has been doing, because she has mainly been trying to get better. She endured six shots last week of antibiotics (2 shots a day, for three days) & these suckers hurt - she hurt too much to walk or stand afterward for a few hours. But on the positive side, it did finally get rid of her ear infections. Now she just has fluid in her ears, so we'll see in a month if that has cleared up. If not, then we do go on to the ENT. Hopefully, we can get her completely healed up.

She did recount the whole story of the people coming from the desert and walking around the wall seven times for seven days, and then the wall fell down and Jericho was theirs! (we have the Veggie Tales movie). As usual, she has a lot to tell us and likes to give lots of details (I don't know who that comes from ... ha, ha).

Oh & before all of the ear infection got bad (along with a respiratory virus that put her on breathing treatments again), she & Gracie got out their Barbies & took them to the portrait studio. Here's Clara's rendition with the Barbie posing next to the drawing. The one on the left was the final product - the other two were practice ones, she told me.

JM - okay, he should probably have his own post! He's saying lots of things, but still in that phase where we are not sure what half of them are. Here are some of the more recent ones: amen (after grace), dee end (the end), brush (hair & teeth - he loves to do both!), *CRASH* (people, toys, things, whatever!), no-nut (donut, his all time favorite food that will drive him to a 20 minute fit if you tell him no more - as I found out yesterday, but Clara helped him get over that by suggesting .... a "pop," as in a popsicle), coat (as in - put my coat on I want to go outside!).

One of the funniest things he's taken to doing lately is "practicing" the piano like Gracie does for her music class. Gracie has been working on the five finger scale & she is supposed to sing along (do, re, mi, etc.) as she plays. She has a plastic folder for all her music stuff and props it beyond the keyboard when she's practicing. So JM found a plastic folder in a bookcase, started saying "do-do-do" and ran to the keyboard and started playing, of course. He's done this several times now, & if we ask him if he is going to practice the piano, he will go and get that notebook and tell you "do-do-do."

John Michael has finally learned to really enjoy his books, too. It used to be a good night or naptime if you could get through a couple of shorter books without him becoming too wiggly. Now you have to give him the last book warning & even then he is sure he still needs more and more books - it's a great thing, though. But we'll have to keep Gracie from telling him about the whole "bonus" book thing.

He also loves to sit in either his little rocking chair or the recliner in his room and page through books on his own. If it's not naptime or bedtime, he's not really interested in you reading him a book, though.

He loves to carry around a pencil/pen/any writing instrument and a notebook/piece of paper/Mike's old driver license/anything he thinks should be written on. And just trying wrenching those objects away from him when it is time to sleep/eat/limit the destruction!

I know I am leaving out tons of new/neat things he can do now. Just this afternoon, he was helping me load firewood (not sticks but actual logs, although they were split logs) into our yard cart. He's a very determined boy!!

Here he is with his Sis just this morning.

And last, but not least. Coco has learned to (mostly) stay in the yard when the gate is open, to stay outside and not complain too much if we don't have time to let her in & dry her paws off every half hour, sleep through the night (as long as you consider being awake and ready to play by 4 or 5am morning), sort of sit when you are giving her a treat or a biscuit.

And that's all for now, folks!