Friday, October 29, 2010

Warning: Much Bragging Ahead

Well, first here are some pictures from Madeleine's fall party last Friday at school. Since I'm not the room mom this year -- and the room mom is a friend & "let" me do absolutely nothing! -- it was great to just show up and help out and have fun! Especially, great since I had 2 other little ones in tow. :)

When we first got there, they were painting pumpkins, which they followed up by filling gloves with popcorn and candy corn to look like creapy hands. Then they got to chow down on some yummy cupcakes, the extra popcorn and cookies. And, she came home with a huge bag of candy. Yippee! We were flying high on sugar that afternoon.....she was sweet enough to share some of that candy with her brother.
Harrison didn't want his picture taken, but here are my 2 girls. Charlotte had quite a time just watching all of the activity going on in the room and the kids looooved her right back!
Then today was our parent conference with Madeleine's teacher. I've been looking forward to this for awhile. I know that we have a great little girl, but it's always nice to hear it from her teacher as well. Since my parents are here for the weekend, Matt and I were able to go alone and have such a nice visit.
The first thing Ms. A said to us was "Madeleine is a sponge" and she went on to explain that she just soaks in everything she's learning. She said that Madeleine is always raising her hand to answer questions & that she often will ask if she can do more than the required assignment. That's my girl! Ms. A told us that her behavior is perfect & she's always doing the right thing. Loved hearing that!
She also told us that Madeleine is reading on a level 10 (they want them at a 6), but she felt sure that if she put level 16 material in front of her, she would have been able to read it. Level 10 was the highest they tested this time and by Christmas they will test her up to a level 16, which is the requirement for going to 2nd grade, and she's sure Madeleine will be there. :) Such a smartie! She said her writing skills are excellent and she is able to communicate her thoughts on paper. They only "grade" spelling and math and Madeleine had a 98% in spelling for this quarter & she was the only one in her class to score a 100% on her end of quarter math test!
I'm just such a proud momma! She works so hard, but she has quite an inspiring teacher. Madeleine loves Ms. A -- which is saying A LOT since we loved Ms. S last year too. She tells me almost daily, "I just love 1st grade!" That mades me happy, too.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Corn Maze Craze

After hearing how much fun our LifeGroup had at the corn maze (and we weren't able to go with them --boo!) we decided that we just had to try it out! Actually, I decided that we had to try it & I'm so glad we did! It was such a fun and perfect morning for us & gave us some much needed family time.

The kids were super excited to try out the corn maze -- although I'm not sure they knew exactly what a corn maze was. I think it just sounded exciting to them! We found the entrance to the maze and off we went.
We let Madeleine lead at the beginning. It was her job to get us "lost." And, she did it well. :) Poor Harrison looked like he was being dragged along just trying to keep up and constantly telling us that he was ready to get out of the maze. After about 30 minutes I'd started to agree with him. Carrying around all 20lbs of Charlotte in the baby carrier was starting to wreak havoc on my back!
And, here we are at the end! Hurray we made it -- I love Harrison's happy smiley face! He was ready be done. Madeleine was the complete opposite, she loved being lost in the maze! And, she kept trying to read the map & convince us that she knew exactly where we were. After the maze we checked out the Cave Springs firetrucks that were there. The firemen were so nice & had it set up so the kids could try on their uniforms and hats. They could climb all over the truck and even honk the horn. Madeleine was all over this! She had such fun trying it all out, while Harrison was a bit more shy.

Our final stop was the cow train. This was so stinkin' cute! They were excited to ride it & after waiting in line it was finally our turn! Harrison got a little unsure at the last minute, so Matt rode with him & I'm pretty sure that Matt's knees will never be the same! :) They were quite a sight riding, or rather bumping, along. Madeleine thought this was pretty fun, too.

Such a perfect, fun Saturday morning! I'm sure we'll be going back next year to get lost in the maze again.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chefs in Training

One afternoon last week, the girls and I whipped up some goodies while Harrison was taking a nap. I love having all of them help me, but this afternoon it was fun to have us some girl time! We weren't making anything too exciting or difficult -- just Halloween brownies -- but we made some wonderful memories.

Charlotte thought she was big stuff getting to "help" in the kitchen. She played with the teaspoons and my tart tamper while Madeleine and I mixed up the browines.
The best part about making browines??? Licking the batter! Yum!
I think Charlotte knew she was missing out on getting to lick the spoon. :) Soon she'll be big enough, but for now, she's stuck with just chewing on a nice clean spoon.
And, I have to add that I just love their matching outfits (which I realize you can't see too well here, but they were just adorable!).

Monday, October 25, 2010

Biking Bliss

Last week we pulled out Harrison's big boy bike & decided to see how he would do on it. He completely surprised us by taking to it fast. He was off and biking in a matter of minutes after asking Matt a dozen times how to "apply the brakes." Every time he brakes he says, "I have to apply the brakes." I think he got that from watching Thomas.

We keep telling him to slow down, and he yells back over his shoulder, that he has to go FAST. That boy loves to go fast. I can't help smiling as I watch his little legs petaling with all their might!
We've been spending many afternoons outside while Charlotte takes her nap. Once she wakes up, we'll take a walk around the neighborhood & let the kids bike. It's a good 1/5-2 miles & they love it! I think Madeleine is ready to take her training wheels off, but we've decided to wait till next spring & take both kids off -- I'm pretty sure Harrison will be ready for that too next spring.

We did have to take Harrison to pick out a new helmet. His 3-5 year helmet was just a bit too tight. So, we upgraded to a Toy Story helmet that's for 5+.
And, Miss Charlotte loves being out there & watching her big brother & sister! She's quite content to sit in our laps or in her stroller and watch them go!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Inside Out Day

This past week my sweet Charlotte turned 9 months old! It's amazing how fast the past 3/4 of a year has gone! It seemed like those 9 months of carrying her dragged on and on waiting for her to arrive (and not knowing then that we were having a GIRL!) but the past 9 months of knowing her have gone so very quickly!

To say this month has been a big one for her would be an understatement. First of all, she's now mobile! She's crawling and can reach what she wants most of the time. Although she can crawl up on all 4s, she generally prefers to just scoot on her belly to reach what she wants. She's also learned to get herself up into a sitting position from being on her tummy & get to her tummy from a sitting position without just falling over. Yay!

This month miss Charlotte has also found her voice. And, by that I mean, she's found a bit of a temper & now most definitely has a preference about where & what she's doing. She will scream loudly if a toy is taken from her (or my car keys, a shoe she's chewing on, etc.). She'll also scream if she wants out of her carseat, high chair, or in my arms. :) I'll admit I'm ready for this phase to pass. That screaming isn't quite music to my ears.
But, thankfully, most of the time she's still that happy baby that she's always been. She's still a great sleeper & I think we've finally found a schedule that works around taking/picking up Madeleine from school! It only took 9 months, but we're there. She usually gets up around 6:30am and eats breakfast with us before Madeleine leaves for school. Then she goes back down for a nap around 9:30 and sleeps 1 1/2 hours before lunch. Then she takes another nap around 3:00 when we get home from picking up Madeleine. It's working out great since it lets me have some special time with the big kids in the afternoons. It just means that most mornings we have to be home for her to nap and that's been a big adjustment.
She's still a good eater, although she's not eating as much these days. When we went for her checkup this week, she was 20lbs 2 oz (75%) and 26.5 inches (25%). That means that she's only gained 3/4 of a pound in 2 months. That's a HUGE change for this girl & she dropped from the 90% to the 75% in weight. Dr. D seemed to think that we'll start seeing her get longer, but her weight will most likely slow down as she gets more mobile. She's started not taking as much bottle at her nighttime feed & Friday night she skipped it completely.
I've also started giving her a bit of table food. She's had peas & carrots & yogurt. She still loves her puffs and has discovered Baby MumMums! She drinks water from a sippy (with a little help).
Bathtime is one of her favorite times of the day! I usually put her in and get her clean & then Madeleine and Harrison crash her bath & they all splash in there together! I love that time everyday and I love how sweet they are with her.
This month has been such fun! I can't wait to see what the next month holds for her. I'm hoping that she'll hold off on walking, since she's pretty content to sit and play and crawl to things close to her. Having her crawl is keeping me busy enough. :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Painting Pumpkins

First of all, I'm not at all crafty. I wish I was one of those mom's that could come up with those adorable crafts that kids not only enjoy doing, but also look great. Alas, that was not my gift. So, all the crafting that happens around our home is easy-peasy and usually lifted from some other website. Ha!

Every year since Madeleine was 3 (and her preschool class did it) we've been painting pumpkins. It's always one of the kids favorite activities and it's great for all ages & skill levels. I actually really enjoy this one too. :) Harrison and I picked out the "perfect" painting pumpkins & some paint to go with it. I let him choose the paint this year, thus the white, blue & green options. It's all about what they like & I usually want their crafts to be very "them."

They had such fun this year working on their pumpkins. We chose a beautiful day and worked outside while miss C was napping one afternoon. They spent the longest time on their masterpieces...even Harrison. And, they were so proud of them! They couldn't wait to show them to Dad when he got home -- and of course he was quite impressed. I do think they look a bit modern artish this year! Hehe...

Up next?? Pumpkin pie play-doh.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Finally, Fall

After such a hot HOT summer, we've been enjoying the past couple of week so much! We're trying to spend as much time outside everyday as possible & it seems like the kids never seem to tire of playing outside. And, we're enjoying our new swingset so very much!

Most afternoons, after a quick snack, we head outside to play for a couple of hours. Right now they're favorite place to be is the front yard, which means that I have to be out there with them every second. So, Charlotte has gotten to spend a lot of time outside, too, and she's loving every minute! She's so content to just sit and watch Madeleine & Harrison as the play ball, blow bubble or ride their bikes.

When we still had the dirt pile, Harrison's favorite thing to do was shovel that dirt! He just moved it around and around.
Biking has become their most favorite thing to do! They can bike on the sidewalk & turn around in both of our neighbor's driveways. One of the benefits to having a neighborhood with such large lots -- they have quite a ways to bike between houses! Madeleine is probably ready to get rid of the training wheels on her bike, but she's so fast with them on & she likes going fast. I'm thinking we'll wait till next spring to take them off.

We've also been going on walks & letting them bike. When it's just me & the kids we ususally walk until the sidewalk ends & turn around & go home. But, one day this week, Matt was home early & went with us & we did the big neighborhood loop -- almost 2 miles -- including a big hill. I couldn't believe that they survived. :) And, they slept soooo good that night. It's certainly something we'll be doing again soon.

Charlotte loves being outside too. She squeals & "talks" during our walks and is so cute exploring the grass. She's quite content to just hang out outside. And we're making the most of these gorgeous days!!

Harrison has discovered a love of swinging. Or actually, a love of me or Matt pushing him on the swing. :) Teaching him to swing on his own is at the top of my to-do list right now, but I'm not having a lot of success. However, I am getting quite the arm workout!

I just love this picture! It's definitely going in a frame. Madeleine is just the best big sister! She entertains Charlotte when we're outside and Miss C just squeals and squeals.