Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ready to move!

Look who finally decided to stand on her own. Just after I took these shots she took a few first steps. She's not walking walking yet, but will be soon, I'm afraid!


Some of the faces we see frequently at our house!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Field Tripping

So today Caleb's class went on a field trip to a local nature center and science museum. I had signed up to chaperon and was assured by Caleb's teacher that it would be no problem to bring the girls along. So despite the rain (it was partially an outdoor field trip) and the early time (we were supposed to leave from the school at 8:20) and the effort of getting everything ready (as well as remembering to bring an extra cooler for the teacher to use for the kids' milk for their lunches) we got ready to go. We made it to the school parking lot at 8:15 and waited in our car with a dozen or so other parents (who were waiting in their cars, not ours) for some sign of the kids or the buses or that we were really going on a field trip after all. Finally at 8:35 (a full 15 minutes after we were supposed to leave), the buses pulled into the parking lot. We managed to leave around 8:50 but without directions. Apparently the school folks putting this field trip together thought it'd be a good idea for everyone to just "follow the bus" instead of giving directions to parents. About two minutes into it, I realize I should have printed off my own directions. Why? Picture this: Twenty cars in line all following two school buses through town, stopping at stop signs and stop lights. By the time we made it to the highway (which, incidentally, was not the highway I thought we'd be taking), I was last in line (I don't know what happened to the folks behind me) trying to catch up to everyone else, going fifteen miles over and praying there were no cops nearby and that I was following the right people!

We finally got there and I got the girls unloaded and Chloe strapped into the stroller only to realize that the nature center is not stroller-friendly when it's filled with a group of kindergarteners. So then I have to go back out in the rain and put the stroller away and stick Chloe in the carrier. Not a big deal only Camille decides instead of going to the car with me she wants to stay and look at the koi pond. Not a big deal since it's not far from where we parked and I could see her the whole time. If she stayed still. The next thing I know she has moved to the other side of the pond. I could see her but the people in the nature center didn't know I could see her. I heard people asking if they knew who the child belonged to and wondering why she was left outside alone. Embarrassing moment #1. Thanks Camille.

But we go back inside, check out all of the animals (mostly snakes, lizards, small water creatures and birds) and then follow the group to the science center and planetarium. The planetarium was fun to visit. I had never been to one before and enjoyed learning about the stars and planets and what not. The kids were, fortunately for me, well behaved although I did have to pull Chloe out of the carrier and feed her during the space spiel. Good thing it was dark and no one noticed.

Then we went into the science portion of the museum. It was pretty interesting, small science stuff: a demonstration of solar energy, looking at x-ray films, learning about the human body. They had this big model of the digestive system. You could walk right in the mouth and out through the end of the stomach. If you didn't have a 20 pound baby strapped to you, that is. Anyway, the kids go in to explore and the next thing I know I see Camille's head popping out the hole in the top of the stomach (I think it was there to let the light in) and shout at me, "Mommy, I'm scared! This is scary!" I told her to get her head out of the hole and hurry through the rest of the tunnel (it wasn't very long) and then she'd be done with it. Easy, right? Nope. She's in there and in there and finally some kids start shouting, "There's a little girl stuck in the tunnel." And some teacher makes a big show of climbing in to get her out. Embarrassing moment #2. Thanks Camille.

We go to see some of the other science things and she decides to crawl into this mini building. It's a little replica of the local hospital. (I think. I'm not entirely sure because the ceilings were only high enough for people to crawl, although it did have three stories.) Anyway, there are some small, steep stairs leading to the other floors. As soon as I see her little feet disappear up the stairs I tell another parent, "I sure hope she's okay in there. The last thing I need is for her to get stuck in this one too." And what did I then hear? Some kids shout, "There's a little girl stuck in there. She's scared and won't come out." I found a little girl that used to go to preschool with Caleb and asked her to go up and help her down, but Camille wouldn't come down the stairs. Then I see Caleb and send him up to help her down and he finally succeeds with the help of this little girl in another kindergarten class. The two of them had to pretty much lower her down the stairs and catch her on the other end, pretty much saving her life and earning her eternal gratitude. Embarrassing moment #3. Thanks Camille.

We then go outside and get on this train. Can I just say I'm not crazy about those little kid trains that move slower than I can walk? We all pile on there and I get to watch Camille push herself onto Caleb's teacher, being all sweet and trying to win all of her attention. After that, she did not want to have much to do with me. So much so that when we went back in and she needed to go potty, who did she tell? Not her mother that's for sure. I had to assure her that Ms. Paramore did not need to (or want to) take her to the potty.

The final stop in the science museum was the big electricity exhibit that I sure did wish I could have seen. We all stood around in a big circle ready to see the kids take turns to make lightning spark. (I can't remember the name of the thing that does it. It's the big ball that makes your hair stand up all crazy when you touch it.) Anyway, the next thing I know neither of my kids are in sight. I found both of them at the bottom of the stairs. Camille (who wanted to stand next to the teacher instead of her mother) had decided it was too scary - she thought people would be killed by the electricity and didn't want a turn to make lightning. Caleb had followed her to try to bring her back but had given up and was returning to his class when I got there a minute later. Camille was crying hysterically and I had to take her as far away from the exhibit as I could. Embarrassing moment #4. Thanks Camille.

After that, all the kids used the bathroom and we proceeded to go outside for our picnic. Unfortunately, along with the rain we also had colder than predicted temperatures. We were lucky to have the high 50s, and I had dressed all of my kids in shorts and short sleeves. We gobbled our lunches, but not without another trip to the bathroom (I think Caleb had fooled during his turn earlier instead of doing his business), some spilled food and Caleb begging for parts of my lunch after he threw away most of his school lunch that I was required to buy as part of the field trip. What does his school pack for a kid friendly bag lunch? A large peanut butter and jelly crustables sandwich, a package of baby carrots, a package of apples and a package of graham crackers. With milk. I think my kid ate his sandwich and graham crackers. He threw away his carrots and apples without opening them. And he wouldn't drink his milk - they were out of both strawberry and chocolate milk and he refused to drink more than a sip of regular milk. He just doesn't like that stuff. It's a constant battle with him. A funny thing about the milk they serve's not in a carton. It was in a plastic pouch, more like a bag than a capri sun pouch. Totally weird.

After lunch we were free to go. Fortunately there were no more mishaps. The girls and I loaded our stuff back into the car and headed home, stopping on the way at this little roadside produce stand which reminded me some of our family's stand years ago. Produce was homegrown or fairly local, the cashiers weighed everything and tallied it all on a notepad and then counted back change the old fashioned way. It was a high point in my day, making me so nostalgic that I had to call my sister and reminisce. It lasted about three minutes until she had to go. It was just as well because my phone battery just about died on me.

Also on the way we stopped at a little quilt shop just to look. It was fun to browse and lucky we had stopped because Camille decided that she did need to go potty after all. Twice. And we were there all of ten minutes! The ladies at the store were very friendly and offered me some simple advice for my sewing difficulties: sew slower. Maybe that is the secret. Oh wait, the secret is to not choose a pattern that is too difficult for your skill level using fabric that is way too expensive to waste, making sure you measure, cut and sew straight. Let's just say I'm pretty hopeless in the measuring, cutting and sewing straight departments. But I pretend I'm not. Maybe one day I won't be.

Chloe fell asleep on the way home (hooray!) while Camille and I had this conversation.

C: Mom.
M: Yes, Camille.
C: *sigh* I love you.
M: I love you.
C: No, you need to say I love you too.
M: I love you too.
C: No. Mooommm.
M: Yes, Camille.
C: I love you.
M: I love you too.
C: Not like that! Mooommmmm...
M: Yes, Camille.
C: I love you.
M: Thank you. Camille.
C: Yes, Mommy.
M: I love you too.
C: Let's do that again!
(Repeated five times)

Anyway, we got home, Chloe finished her nap in the car while Camille and I snacked on grapes and waited for Caleb to come home. I think maybe I'll skip the next field trip that comes along. And Friday's field day. And next week's kinderfest. Perhaps I'll send Rob in my place. And have him bring the girls, at least Camille. I don't want to hog all of the fun! He should get to share some of it too!

There are no pictures with this post, not that I didn't have my camera with me, but that I didn't have a second to take any. Sorry. Maybe we'll go back one day and visit the nature center. It was a pretty cool place.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

I have had the most wonderful Mother's Day weekend. I woke up to flowers on Saturday morning (Rob worked late on Friday night and put them out so I'd see them when I woke up first thing). Then I had all morning to myself. I went back to bed for a couple of hours, took an uninterrupted shower (miracle of miracles!), read a book while I ate lunch and then bopped to the store to pick up some flowers to plant in the front of our house. I don't know why I've never planted flowers before. Maybe I thought they were too expensive, but they're really not. I bought some pretty pink and white impatiens and then found the most glorious purple heirloom rose bush and bought that as well. We gave the rose bush to our neighbor, Mrs. Moore, who is quite possibly the sweetest woman I've met. She always remembers my kids' birthdays and gives them Christmas presents and loves them like they're her own grandchildren. She has the most amazing garden each year and I wanted to not only give her something for Mother's Day but also something to remember us by after we move. Purple roses are my absolute favorite - when I was a girl taking ballet and tap classes, my folks would always give me a purple rose after each recital. They smell so heavenly! Anyway, I got to spend the afternoon with Mrs. Moore (and Chloe) while Rob took Caleb and Camille golfing. They spent all afternoon at the local golf course having a great time playing golf (Rob let the kids putt on the green), losing balls in the water traps, and riding around on the golf cart. I'm guessing that it wasn't busy on the course. Caleb has decided that regular golf is as much fun as mini golf.

Today Rob let me sleep in and then he and the kids woke me up with a fabulous breakfast - hash brown casserole, peach-coconut coffee cake and fruit salad - and I was not allowed to lift a finger all morning. Rob took care of the kids all morning, getting them ready for church, and I just had to worry about myself. And they gave me my Mother's Day cards - for some reason this year Rob has been into musical cards, the ones that play music when you open them. This card had Care Bears on it singing a lovely tune about being the best mommy. It was a hit with the whole family, particularly the three kids who all took turns opening it to hear the music. Even Chloe got in on the action - especially funny because every time she heard the music she would do her little bouncy baby dance that I love. Caleb made me a card at school - a cute one complete with fingerprint flowers. Camille made me a Mother's Day wreath at the library story hour last week with Ms. Carol (another benefit of being the only person there!). It was actually quite pretty, paper die cut flowers glued in on a paper wreath frame and tied with a big bow for hanging. And I got lots of Mother's Day wishes and hugs and kisses.

What a day!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Stories by Caleb

The following are some actual stories Caleb brought home from school this week. I have left the original spelling and punctuation. I am not going to copy in the pictures although, take my word for it, they are really quite good.

"I played baskitball. I beet my Dad! Ya! It was fun! Wooo!

"I wocked Transformrs. Oktmis Prim dide. Bumbl bee got to be the next lyter and then thay wun."

"I wont a sord. I wont a spire. I wont a club. I wont a aro and bo. I love wepins."

"I went too the dog wood festubl at my nana's and papa's. I rod on the rollr costr and the faris well and...then I jumpt in the pond."

"I went to the stor. I bot Irn Hid and Bone Crushr. Irn Hid beet him. I love Irn Hid and Bon Crushr!

When I went to the Dentist
by Caleb
I went to the dentist. I had no cavadys. I was helthy. Then I went to the pet sop to get me a cat. I was happy. Then we went home. And then I played with my cat. I LOVE my cat! It was fun. I go to bed with my cat. He plays with me everry day. He is cute.

Wedding Bells...

This is the actual conversation we had over breakfast.

C1: Mom, guess who I'm going to marry?
M: Who, Caleb? Is it Savannah or Hailey?
C1: Hailey!
M: Does she know?
C1: Yeah. I asked her and she said yes.
M: How did you ask her?
C1: We were in handwriting and I said, "Will you marry me?" and she said yes.
M: That's really nice, Caleb. Hailey is a nice girl.
C2: (whining) But I want to marry my brother.
M: Camille, you can marry another boy. You can't marry your brother.
C2: I'm not going to marry anyone except my brother. So there!

There you have it!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

For the record...

There are only 13 days until I turn 29 again. (I'm not sure that I want to claim 30 this year.)

So all of you folks who plan to send me a birthday card, remember that the post office raises the price of stamps to 42 cents on May 12.

Tiny Dancer

So the other night at dinner Rob and I got into a rather heated discussion about the song Tiny Dancer by Elton John. Rob is notorious for singing the absolute most wrong words of a song, thinking, of course, that he's totally right. You should hear the crazy things he comes up with.

Anyway, for the record, it's: Hold me closer tiny dancer

NOT: Hold me closer I'm tired of dancing

Here are some snaps of our tiny dancer, having fun dancing in the driveway.

Here one may argue that she's trying to ride the broom, but I promise there was dancing involved!

Cute Baby

Chloe just loves playing outside, and it is becoming increasingly more fun as she figures out how to do more than eat sticks.

Here she is standing by her little walker. She loves to push this thing around the yard.

And here you can see she has branched out from sticks to chalk. Or whatever else she can find on the ground.

Get on the Bus!

Watching Caleb wait for the bus is the funniest thing. We can see the bus come down the street from our kitchen window so on cold or rainy or lazy mornings we just wait at the door until we see the bus before Caleb runs out to catch it. (It picks him up at the bottom of our driveway.) On nice mornings, however, he goes outside to wait - and when all the stars align at our house, the rest of us go with him.

Here are some snaps of Caleb waiting for the bus last week. Please notice his attire. You'll notice on this day he added a lovely pair of dinosaur socks pulled up as far as they'd go. Now that is what we call a fashion statement!

The kid is so excited to get on the bus!

We live at the bottom of a cul-de-sac so the bus picks Caleb up, drives down the street to pick up a couple of more kids and then turn around and head back past our house on the way to school. We like to wave to Caleb as he goes back by - Camille loves to do this and even Chloe gets into it now that she's figured out how to wave on cue!