Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why My Son, The Green Veggie Hater, Refuses to Eat Asparagus

Zach has already made it well known around these parts that he absolutely cannot eat broccoli because of its hair.  Green beans are only consumed under duress while simultaneously guzzling down an entire glass of milk.  Peas are mashed and then proclaimed to look slimy and disgusting.  Lettuce and celery are absolutely out of the question and I haven't quite been brave enough to suggest his consumption of zucchini. 

So at dinner tonight, already prepared for his response of disgust, I asked Zach if he would like to try some of my grilled asparagus.  He took one look at the asparagus spear on my fork, stuck out his tongue, and responded with a resounding "NO!"  When I asked him why not, adding that asparagus doesn't have any hair or inner slime, he calmly explained, "Because it looks like a big bug.  And, I can't eat things that look like big bugs."  Alright then.  Fair enough.   

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Preschool Graduation

Today, Allie officially graduated from preschool!  We made sure to get lots of pictures because although she is excited to begin kindergarten next year, she was also sad to say goodbye to all of her teachers and friends from preschool.

Here she is just outside of her classroom this morning before the ceremony:
 We also made sure to get a picture of her with her teachers Miss Billi and Miss Tammy:
In addition, Allie requested that I take a picture of her drawing of Sleeping Beauty and the flower that was on the classroom's dry erase board:

 And, then, she posed by the kitchen for one last photo op:
Later, we all waited anxiously in the sanctuary for her to march in for the official graduation ceremony:
As the music keyed up and she began marching in, I couldn't help but think that in another 13 years, we'll be watching her graduate from high school!


Each class sang a few songs...

...before their names were called and the diplomas were handed out.
Allie made sure to give Miss Billi one last big hug.  Afterwards, Allie told me that she felt like tears were coming out of her eyes when she said her one last goodbye to Miss Billi. 

Here is our preschool graduate!

After the ceremony, all the kids headed outside for popsicles.  I tried to get a good picture of Ben and Allie, but this is the best I got:

And, it completely cracks me up because they both could not keep their eyes open for any of the pictures I snapped!  Plus, there is no mistaking the father/daughter relation. 

Happy Graduation, Allie!  You are officially on your way to kindergarten now!

Crazy Hair Day


Believe it or not, it took a lot of work to get her hair to look that crazy.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Swinging

When we bought our house almost 6 years ago, we were excited about the swingset in the backyard. 
At the time, I was pregnant with Allie and we knew that some day she would love swinging on it. 
Little did we know that a mere five and a half years later, our backyard swing set would be full...
...with not just one baby girl...
...but a crazy three-year old boy... 
...and a giggly five-year-old girl as well. 
I couldn't be happier about our full swingset. 

"Annie"

Last weekend Allie and I attended "Annie" at the Children's Theater in Minneapolis.  I can remember watching the movie when I was about Allie's age and LOVING it.  So, when I heard they were putting on the musical in the Twin Cities, I had to snag us some tickets. 

So, last Saturday, Allie and I headed out for lunch at a little cafe in downtown Minneapolis before making our way to the Children's Theater to see "Annie."  Allie was definitely excited, but since she has never been to a play or musical before, she was really not sure what to expect.  Here she is at the theater, waiting for "Annie" to begin, with her very own Sandy (I know, bad quality phone photo): 
The musical was over 2 hours, so I wasn't sure if it would hold Allie's attention, but it turns out I had nothing to worry about.  From the very first time Annie waltzed on stage, Allie was mesmerized.  Her eyes were glued to the front and she sat on the edge of her seat throughout the entire production.  She LOVED it and even after 2 hours was so sad that it was over.  She told me that it was so much better than a movie! 

It has been a week later and Allie is still singing songs from the play and taking Sandy with her all over the house.  She has adopted a little bit of a New York accent in an effort to sound like Annie as well.  Plus, she regularly enlists Zach to help her act out scenes from the play. 

While we were enjoying the show, Ben stayed home with Zach and Olivia.  Zach opted for a PJ day and was apparently struggling to wake up from his afternoon nap when Ben snapped this picture. 
It was good that I left these two at home because there would have been no way they could have sat through a 2-hour musical.  But, I am looking forward to the day that I can take them too!

Mayfest

Each year, the preschool Allie attends holds a spring carnival/fund raiser where families can come, eat a pizza dinner, browse through a book fair, purchase treats at the bake sale, play carnival games, and hear the preschoolers sing.  Mayfest was a blast last year, and since both Allie and Zach remembered how much fun it was, they were both excited for it again this year. 

We started out the night with our pizza dinner in the gym (this year they had SLUSHIES!  The kids were sooo pumped for the slushies!) before heading around the facility to visit all the carnival games. 
Here we are at the face painting station (please excuse the fact that my children were running around the carnival with cheddar sun-chips smeared all over their faces): 
We also saw Clifford wandering around.  Since it isn't everyday that you can pose with a life-size red dog, we made sure to get a photo with him. 
The inflatable bounce house was a HUGE hit with all the kids.  This picture of Zach jumping cracks me up! 

Since Allie's class is the oldest age group, we had to wait to hear her sing last.  So, by the time 7:00 rolled around, everyone was pretty tired.  Although, Allie seemed to have consumed enough cotton candy to get her through the program with a smile on her face. 
Aack!  When did my Allie-Babe turn into a little girl?! 
The songs this year were fabulous.  I always love watching the kids sing and do their motions.  Allie had been practicing at home for weeks, so we already knew the majority of the songs.  If Zach hadn't been so crabby at this point, I'm sure he could have sang right along with them. 



Here's Allie's plate she made this year.  She said she drew a picture of our whole family at Minocqua riding on Grandpa's boat.  Hmmm....maybe someone is a little excited for vacation already ?!
I can't believe that Allie will be a KINDERGARTNER next year!  I'm sure we will have just as much fun watching her programs at the grade school.  And, we'll even get to go to Mayfest again next year, but this time to see Zach sing because he is going to be a PRESCHOOLER! 

Behind...again

Between end of the year activities with preschool and ECFE, play dates, a few cases of the sniffles, and lots of play time outside, I am officially behind on the blog again.  After a busy weekend of errands, cleaning, church, and a birthday party, I have officially declared today a stay-at-home and catch-up day.  Apparently in addition to laundry, the kids and I are all in need of catching up on sleep as well.  Olivia and I both have a pretty yucky cold and I think naps will do us both good.  Zach and Allie, although healthy, could also use some rest time today after severe weather hampered our quiet-time efforts yesterday afternoon (nap time and blaring tornado sirens really do not go hand-in-hand). 

I'm still not feeling all that motivated to catch up here, but I do have a whole slew of pictures I need to post (so, be prepared for an onslaught of photos pretty soon).  Due to the copious amounts of snot occupying space in my head, my brain is not functioning at full capacity, so I'm just going to do a quick run down, in list form, of what's new. 

  1. Ben had our first backyard campfire with the kids last week.  Since Olivia and I were feeling pretty nasty, we stayed indoors and went to bed.  The big kids and Ben successfully devoured 5 Hershey's bars, a half package of graham crackers and an entire bag of jumbo marshmallows.  I was told Zach alone consumed at least 4 smores. 
  2. Zach hates broccoli...more specifically, he hates the "hair" on the broccoli.
  3. Allie is getting concerned about the impending end of preschool...in reality she is pretty much only concerned about what she is going to do all summer long in the absence of preschool.  Hmmm....apparently, as her activity coordinator, I best get on that.  Swim lessons are definitely in her and Zach's not-to-distant future.  And, I'm looking into a possible summer ballet class for her, but we'll see.
  4. Allie spilled an entire glass of milk at lunch time yesterday...all over the table, all over the floor, and all over Ben's Blackberry.  The table and the floor recovered.  Ben's Blackberry did not. 
  5. I'm literally running my butt off.  I know I haven't been that great about the weight loss posts, but as a quick FYI, I'm officially down 20 lbs since January.  Only about 10 more to go until pre-preggo weight.   
Alright, I can't think of much else (aren't we super exciting?!).  Lots of pics to come soon....

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Vehicle Day

This past Saturday was Vehicle Day.  The yearly event, sponsored by our ECFE program, is a fun way for kids to see (up close) all kinds of different vehicles.  From road construction equipment to delivery trucks, from semi-trucks to emergency vehicles, the kids look forward to exploring and "driving" each and every one.  This year Ben took the kids to Vehicle Day while I stayed home with a sniffly Olivia who desperately needed her morning nap.  Ben took a few pictures on his Blackberry so that I didn't feel too left out.  Apparently, in addition to "driving" a Zamboni, the kids also had the opportunity to operate the jaws of life.  Here are a couple pictures Ben captured on his Blackberry so that Olivia and I didn't feel too left out of all the fun. 





Not the best quality photos, but you get the idea. 

After vehicle day, Ben took the kids out for lunch at Culver's for burgers and custrard.  After lunch, they headed to Home Depot where Allie and Zach participated in the monthly free kids' workshop.  Since the weather was gorgeous on Saturday, the kids played outside for the rest of the day upon arriving home.  I think the kids would pretty much declare Saturday's event schedule a hit. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day

Mother's Day sort of snuck up on me this year...kinda like May snuck up on me.  I feel terrible that I haven't even gotten my butt to the store to pick out Mother's Day cards for our own mothers.  But, between the rain, the crabby and sorta sleep deprived kids, running to preschool, ECFE, doctor's appointments, and a baby with a nasty cold who also isn't sleeping very well and just wants to be held all the time, the store just hasn't happened this week. 

I'm pretty sure our mothers will understand...after all, they've definitely had the same type of weeks.  But, it doesn't mean that I still don't feel bad about it.  I'm pretty sure that any woman who has cleaned up puke in the middle of the night in a sleep-induced stupor, wiped poop off of every crevice of a little bum (and often other body parts as well), and refereed thousands upon thousands of sibling rumbles at least deserves a card, if not a medal. 

Unlike me, the kids' preschool and ECFE teachers did remember that Mother's Day was coming.  And, so, they helped the kids make these for me: 






When Zach asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day, I told him all I wanted was a day where none of my kids whined, cried, complained, or threw fits.  He thought about it for a moment and then replied, "I think it would be just easier if we bought you something from the store!"

So, when Ben asked me what I wanted, I tried to be a little more realistic as I thought through my options and eventually declared that I want a break from the kitchen!  He thought that sounded pretty reasonable...and then asked if there was any way I could prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner for Sunday on Saturday.  Oh the never ending joys of motherhood.   I joke...I definitely wouldn't trade being a mom for anything in the world, but the joys come right along with a lot of hard work.

Hope everyone enjoys a wonderful Mother's Day Weekend full of appreciating all the moms in your life!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy 6 Months, Olivia!

I know I'm almost a week late in posting (not to mention, these pictures were taken three days late), but nonetheless, you are now SIX MONTHS OLD, sweet baby girl!
I remember last year at this time being so excited to meet you.  We didn't even know if you would be a boy or a girl yet, but we were thrilled you were part of our family.  You were also making your mommy feel quite miserable at about this time last year.  Oh, how I am so glad you are on the outside with us now! 
This month has been a fun month for you!  You've had a lot of firsts...first time eating solids, first time sitting by yourself, first time going on a walk in the big stroller, first time swinging on the outside swing, first time puking up your solids.  Apparently bananas are not your friend. 

You are also "playing" more and more now that you can sit.  You love all of your baby toys, but are especially fond of the baby keys.  When you get tired of sitting to play, you plop yourself over so that you can roll whichever way seems more interesting to grab more things. 

You are laughing and "talking" more everyday.  Allie swears that you can say her name, but all I can decipher is "na-na-na," "da-da-da," and "ba-ba-ba."  I'm sure before no time your babbling will turn into real words.  You already fight your brother and sister for our attention, especially while we are sitting down for dinner, by making as much noise as possible so that everyone will turn to look at you.  As soon as you have our undivided attention, you smile because you've gotten exactly what you wanted! 
You are still sleeping like a champ!  You go to bed around 7:30-7:45 and sleep until about 6:00-6:30 every morning.  There have been a handful of times you've woken up in the middle of the night, but it is usually because you aren't feeling well.  After some cuddling and nursing, though, you go right back to sleep.  We've started giving you your little pink elephant/blankie at bedtime and you are in love.  We can't even pry it out of your hands while you are sleeping because you hold onto that thing so tightly! 

Naps are becoming more regular too.  You sleep from about 8:30-10:00 most mornings (on mornings I have to take Allie to preschool or have ECFE you do your best to catch your zzz's in the car seat) and from about 1:00-3:00 or 2:00-4:00 in the afternoons.  I am so glad you are such an easy going and flexible baby who so easily adjusts to upsets in your routine...because with your big sister and brother, there are always surprises!
The official stats from your 6-month appointment are....
Weight:  18 lbs, 12 oz (92 %)
Height:  2 feet, 3 inches (89%)

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed you weren't closer to the 20 lb mark!  But, I'm sure we'll get there soon too.
You were amazing at your 6-month check up.  You were all smiles for the nurses and doctor.  They all commented on how cute you are!  I was even surprised how little you cried after your shots.  You even gave the nurse a big grin after she was done poking you!

The nurse also commented to me that by around 6 months, eye color is fairly well established.  Well, baby girl, it looks as if you are going to have your momma's eye color then!   Hazel it is!  Oddly enough, your blue-eyed brother and brown-eyed sister were a little disappointed you didn't inherit one of their eye colors. 

We love you, Olivia!
(...and I apologize now that the name we picked for you was the #4 baby name from 2010...it's really not that bad, though...having such a popular name.  Take it from someone who knows.    And, your unique last name definitely makes up for the commonality of your first name...ok, tangent ended.)
Happy 6 months!