Thursday, October 12, 2017

Cute things my kids do

*In kindergarten, Eliana has been working on sounding out words to find how they are spelled. She loves to make signs and cards and often asks me to help her write out sentences. Earlier in the month, she was working on a birthday card for our neighbor and we were trying to spell "Happy Birthday to You."  Eliana was doing a good job with the beginning and ending sounds of most words.  Then we got to "you." She hasn't worked as much on vowels yet, so I said "You is kinda tricky, so I might need to spell that."  Eliana stood up straight, pointed to her chest, and very confidently replied, "Not for THIS kindergartner!"

*Have you ever heard of a king cake? I'm not sure why, but I must have told Eliana about them at some point.  Yesterday Eliana and I made pumpkin pie (her favorite).  She asked if she could put a chocolate chip in the pie, then declared that whoever got the piece with the chocolate chip could be king or queen for the day.  So we decided we were making Royalty Pumpkin Pie.  And I'm the one who got the chocolate chip!! Which makes me the queen.

*In gymnastics class that Will and Eliana take, the teacher asks a question at the beginning of class each week.  This week's question was, "What's your favorite day?" Some kids said one holiday or the other. Eliana said, "Easter!" Then on his turn, Will said, "Zoo Day!" I love this answer.  This is just like Will, my little animal lover.  What an awesome answer!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Dinosaur ride at the zoo

All summer the kids have been begging to go on the dinosaur ride at the zoo.  The zoo has a little 5 minute boat ride through some wooded area that changes themes year to year.  Last year it was a Pirate Adventure.  My kids had no desire to see that and in fact were scare to go back near the kangaroos because you could hear the booming cannons from the boat ride.  This year the theme is dinosaurs so they have really wanted to check it out. Unfortunately, all passengers must be old enough to walk in order to ride.  Which means we could not go on the boat ride until either a) Laney learned how to walk or b) David was able to join us at the zoo so one parent could hold Laney while the other went with the older two kids on the ride.  Last month, on an absolutely beautiful Saturday, we were all free and decided to go to the zoo to check out that ride! Unsurprisingly, just about every other person in Columbus decided to do the same thing.  Usually going to the zoo on a Tuesday morning, I was definitely not used to the crowds of a perfect Saturday afternoon....

We beelined it for the back of the zoo where the dinosaur ride was.  When we got there, the sign said "30 minute wait" but while we were standing in line for tickets, the sign was changed to "45 minute wait."  The kids were really set on finally going on the ride, so we decided to do it anyway.  They actually have a great set up for kids while they have to wait in line because every few few there is an animatronic dinosaur to look at.  We learned about paleontologists and the different eras that the dinosaurs lived in.
Here are some dinos that we saw along the way.

It's a nest!

We were in line for a long time!  I was really impressed though because neither Eliana nor William got whiney about the long wait.  They were both so excited about finally being able to go on the ride. (I guess having to wait all summer made this wait seem shorter!)  Which is really good because the 45 minute wait turned into over an hour wait... David though we were never coming back.

But we finally made it on the boat! The wait was worth it for me just to see the kids' faces.  Will said he wasn't scared, but he held onto my hand very tightly, and every time we came upon a new dinosaur (most were meat eaters with sharp teeth), he would squeeze my hand even tighter.

Look at Ana's face! I think she might have gotten nervous a couple of times too.
 We literally only had time to ride the boat and then turn around and go home.  But the kids might just say it was one of their favorite times at the zoo!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Backyard Time

Loving the outdoors

 Everyone likes to push Laney in her new baby swing.  Will also likes to twist her swing and turn her in circles.  It always makes her laugh.

Sweet kisses

I think she might like her swing just a little.

Laney has been venturing in the sandbox a little.  She has to be watched very closely because she really likes to eat sand. Or eat the toys in the sand that are covered in sand. 

This is what summers are made for.

In our neighborhood, a lot of people put things that they don't want anymore out by the curb as a free item for anyone to pick up.  Our neighbors next door do this on a very regular basis.  And quite a bit of it is baby/kid items that they have outgrown.  So also on a regular basis, we grab the stuff that they have set out and bring it over to our house.  They might just supply our whole play room with toys and furniture!  This baby gym is a recent acquisition.  It is just the right size for Laney!  I think we will actually move it to the basement once it is winter time for some indoor fun.  We are very lucky to have such generous neighbors!

After playing in the backyard for a while, the party moves to the front yard when Daddy gets home from work.  Laney is always especially excited to see David when he gets home.  She is the biggest Daddy's girl.  Note how she thinks she is such a big girl too and is trying to walk.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Speaking of teeth

William visited the dentist for the first time last month.  He did great!  I was nervous because when he first got to the office, he hid behind a couch when the hygienist came to get him.  However, we convinced him to do some dinosaur roars to show her his teeth.  That, plus the promise of a prize for good behavior, was enough to get him excited to be there.  He sat in the chair all by himself and was a perfect patient.  No cavities for this big guy! What a relief.  As his prizes, he picked the blue spider you see in his hand plus the funny glasses. This kid always cracks me up! They hygienist had him put the glasses on before the dentist came to see him.  Dr. Barry played along and pretended that he couldn't find Will, just some stranger wearing glasses with a mustache. I think Will had enough fun that he will be willing to come back again in 6 months!

Highlights of Eliana's summer

Eliana had a busy summer this year.  She started kindergarten in August, so I feel like she did a lot of growing up this summer.  Time sneaks up on you.  I blinked and she has grown up into this wonderful, smart, loving young lady.  Remember when she was just a baby sharing our room in our one bedroom apartment in Fountain Square? Or when she was little and refused to ride in the stroller and tried to walk everywhere? Or when she was a defiant toddler and hated naps so she would make huge messes in her room during "quiet time"?  And now she is a big sister twice over, riding the bus to school, able to swim across the pool, and reading chapter books.  When did she become this big little person?

This picture is from our parish picnic.  Eliana has always wanted to have her whole face painted like this (they offer this at the zoo but I have never let her do it). She was so excited to be a cat.  She asked me to take this picture of her growling.  This picture is more significant though because it is the last one with all of her baby teeth!

Later that evening, with her face freshly washed, Eliana lost her first tooth!  She couldn't wait to put the tooth under her pillow.

Missing tooth selfie
This summer Eliana had her first sleepover.  She has probably been asking for the past year if she could have so-and-so over for a sleepover (boys and girls).  I finally agreed that she could have Adele over to spend the night.  Sometimes I feel like Adele could be her sister, they are so close.  Plus she lives down the street so if there were any issues in the middle of the night, her parents were close by.  Eliana had some very elaborate plans for the sleep over including camping in the back yard and roasting marshmallows on a fire.  In the end, they painted, played dress up, watched a movie, made s'mores in the toaster oven, and ended the night with a tea party at 10pm.  
 The girls slept in the basement on the pullout couch.  At 4am, I heard footsteps and got up to find a tearful Adele wandering the hallway.  I asked what was wrong, and she told me that she couldn't find Eliana.  I took her back down stairs and we looked together.  I found Eliana sound asleep on the floor right next to the couch.  She apparently rolled off the couch and didn't even notice haha.  Adele felt better that her friend was still in the basement and was able to go back to sleep.  Just until 6am... They were some tired girls the next day!
We went to a park the morning after the sleepover.

 Eliana also participated in Safety Town this summer. This is a two week class for kids entering kindergarten to teach them about safety related to things like bike riding, swimming, riding the school bus, weather safety, gun safety, stranger danger, don't do drugs, etc.  Eliana had a ton of fun and has now become my safety patrol when it comes to crossing the street or wearing a bike helmet. She is pictured above at her Safety Town graduation.  I thoroughly enjoyed Safety Town because Eliana took the afternoon session and, amazingly, almost every day that she was in class, her two younger siblings napped at the SAME TIME.  That meant two hours a day to myself!  I took naps, cleaned the house, folded laundry... you know, Mom Fun.  Awesome!

Eliana was in class with Adele.  Will and Hannah joined in for graduation.

Laney had such a fun time at Eliana's graduation ceremony that she couldn't even stay awake that evening to finish her dinner.

Shortly after Eliana lost her first tooth, a second one right next to it got loose. Now she has lost two teeth!
Eliana has been very excited about her tooth fairy money.  In fact, when she lost her second tooth, she had me help her write a note to the tooth fairy to tell her how much she loves her.  Eliana is just starting to grasp the concept of money and getting to use it to buy the things we want.  She took her money to Target and was very excited to pick a Unicorn out of the bargain area at the front of the store.  We had to have a long discussion about how she could afford the unicorn but not the big doll house in the toy section.  She said, "you can just buy it with your credit card!" so I had to explain that the card was not magic and that I had to have actual money to pay the bill for the things we buy with the credit card.  Definitely a tough concept for a little girl to grasp.  Now if someone asks what she spent her tooth fairy money on, she tells them that she gave it to Mommy to pay the bills at the bank!  Hopefully no one thinks we are desperate for money and having to ask for a loan from Eliana!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Swim lessons for Will

Since Will is now three, he started swim lessons this summer.  William has always liked the water, but has been pretty nervous to get in water over his head.  He loves to splash around in the shallow pool, but if you try to take him in the deeper water, he clings to you like a barnacle.  He has watched Eliana take swim lessons for two years now, so I though he would be excited to finally get to do some too.  He was excited, right up until he had to get into the water past the steps leading into the pool!  The first day of lessons, he had lots of fun splashing with the Miss Nick, his teacher, on the steps, blowing bubbles, pretending to be a crocodile, and "deep sea diving" for fish.  But then he had to go off the steps into the water up to his chest and he cried like someone was trying to kill him.  It was terrible!  I don't think I have ever heard him scream like that.  It made me tear up a little, but I knew he was totally safe and needed to get in the water with the teacher and rest of the class.  Miss Nick was the most amazing teacher.  She really catered to his needs and let him cling to her to feel comfortable while slowing getting him to do more and more in the water without realizing it.  She would have him sing his ABC's and start moving his arms, and the next thing you knew, he would be floating in the water on his own without even realizing it.  By the end of the class, Will was swimming the length of the pool in his puddle jumper and even jumping into the deep end of the pool all by himself!  I couldn't hardly believe it.  In fact, on the last day of lessons, Will was jumping into the 3 foot deep water without his puddle jumper (right to the instructor) and doggie paddling to the steps.  I was so proud of him!  Now he will swim all over the pool as long as he has his puddle jumper on. 
All ready for swim lessons

Best picture ever!

This is huge! Do you see him kicking his legs and swimming in water over his head?  He has a death grip on Miss Nick, but he's out there swimming!

And even more amazing, he jumped into the deep end wearing his puddle jumper and swam all the way back to the other side of the pool.  I might have cried a little bit this time too.  But those were happy tears because I was so proud of him!

You see him swimming on his own?!
What huge progress Will made this summer!  I know how hard this was for him, and I am so impressed with all that he did.

Eliana took swim lessons too, and she is now able to swim across the pool without a floatie.  It's not pretty - her forward crawl quickly turns into doggie paddling, but she can do it!  She also worked on back stroke and diving under water for rings.  She loves wearing her goggles and searching the pool under water. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

William's 3rd Birthday

Happy 3rd Birthday to my big boy William!  He turned 3 last month and we celebrated with a little party.  Funny story - Eliana recently had her first sleepover with her best friend Adele.  Five seems a little young to me for a sleep over, but these girls are so close that they seem almost more like sisters than just friends.  After the sleepover, William said that he wanted to have a sleepover too.  I asked who he wanted to come to his party.  Cousin Claire? No, he said.  Your friend Paolo? No, he said.  Your friend Hannah? No, he said.  "I know, I will invite a cricket and a friendly spider!" said Will.  This describes him to a T.  He loves animals of all types.  H pretty much asks daily if we can go to the zoo.  And his favorite game is to pretend to be different animals.  Some of his more recent choices are armadillo, gorilla, frog, panda, mandrill, and baboon.  Monkeys or apes tend to be his animal of choice, and he loves to crawl around on all fours on his fists.  He is such a funny kid.

Three year old stats: He weighed 33lbs (64th percentile) and was 37.75 in tall (58th percentile).  His favorite colors are green or blue.  He loves The Land Before Time, playing with dinosaurs and small animal toys, especially his tiny panda from the zoo, and reading books (especially ones about animals). His favorite food group is dairy including milk, yogurt, and cheese.  That is basically his entire diet.  At his three year checkup, the pediatrician asked if he liked vegetables.  I laughed.  Nope, those hardly pass through his lips.  She had a picture of the rainbow made up of different vegetables, and made Will check it out.  She had him pick different things that he could eat from each color.  Since that time, we have talked about eating the "colors of the rainbow" a lot.  I will tell him to take a bite of his broccoli, and he will ask, "Is this a part of the rainbow?"  Yes, Will, it is, so eat it!  Then he will take a tiny nibble and be so proud of himself.  He is just learning how to ride a bike with training wheels.  He loves the swing, never seems to tire of being pushed in it, and is learning how to pump his legs.  He especially loves underdogs on the swing.  He also is a big jokester.  Also at his 3 year old check up, he had his vision checked.  One eye at a time, he had to identify little pictures of houses and squares or apples and hearts.  He readily identified them with the first eye.  Then I could tell he was getting bored with the game.  With the second eye, he gave a sly look at the pictures, had his classic pause, and then said something absurd like "banana!" I knew he knew what the shapes were and I was quite certain that he could see them just fine with the second eye.  But he's not a people pleaser like Eliana, who loves to excel at tests or answering people's questions. He just wants to be goofy.  That kid is a trouble maker and we will definitely have our hands full when he starts school.  After joking around for several minutes, he was able to correctly name all the shapes quickly, confirming that he was just being silly.  Classic example of our Silly Willy.

On his birthday, first Grandma Bond visited and they spent some special time together.  I know the two of them have a very special relationship, and William loves the individualized attention that she gives to him, especially when they play dinosaurs together. She gave him a Paw Patrol plane.

Then we had a small party with the Flanigan family.  My brother, sister-in-law, and niece Claire came as well as my parents. The weather was perfect (part of having a July birthday) so we spent much of our time outside playing.  My parents bought the kids a little swing set.  Although it arrived on William's birthday, they made sure that the kids knew it was for everyone, not just Will.  My dad and brother spent much of the party building the swing set.
Laney enjoyed her first beer

Will requested a dinosaur cake.

Happy Birthday!

Will and Claire got their own little table.

Playing outside the next day.

Enjoying our new little swing set!  Laney is so excited about her baby swing.

Will is pretty happy too (photo credit: Eliana)
I can't believe how grown up our little boy is getting.  He amazes me every day with his imagination.  He loves his sisters even though he also likes to tackle them both and sit on them.  He gives sweet kisses and hugs, and tells the best jokes.  We are truly blessed to have Sweet William as part of our family.  Happy Birthday Will!