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Sunday, March 30, 2014

What We've Been Up To...

I don't really have anything particular to post about but do have pictures that I'm sure my mom would love to see.  :-)

Abigail has been an exceptionally busy book worm.  Mostly, because she fell in love with Junie B. Jones books and we got all of them from the library.  She's been reading non-stop, every time I come from the library.  I think I stopped at our local library almost every day last week just to supply my kids with enough books to read.  They have been devouring them.  Here is Abby halfway hanging from the table and reading another Junie B. Jones book.  Although Abby is not happy that Junie B. says "D--n".  She tells me so often.

Thank you, Oma!  Isabelle loving every bite of this German chocolate Santa Claus. (Oma, das Hemd ist eins das du geschickt hast.)

Ah, the Wii.  My kids have been loving it.  We still only have the basic games that came with it, Tangled, Mario Kart and Mario Olympics.  They usually get to play either on Fridays or Saturdays.  But with me being pregnant and tired, they have gotten a little more than that....  They love it most when adults join them.  Uncle Mike and dad are always welcome.

Abby's other obsession: Frozen music.  At uncle Mike's birthday party, uncle Rusty, Olive, Rosie and Abby watched Youtube and listened to the Frozen song "Let it go".  Abby has the song as well as the movements memorized.  She sings it ALL DAY LONG.  I'm not kidding you.  I dream of the song and it is in my head all throughout the day.  I may go crazy.

On one strange occasion I found this: Both dog and Nathan in the crate.  Life with boys can be mysterious.

The dog has taken over the couch.  At least he tries.  Dave's favorite spot belongs to the dog when Dave's not around or kids don't tell him to go down.  He's such a good dog.

Grandma has been helping me a lot lately.  I've been told to slow down and so grandma comes over once a week to help me with laundry and dishes and the kids.  I love it when she is here.

With grandma comes sugar.  Lots of it.  Here Abby is enjoying a banana popsicle (yuk!).

And Isabelle at one after another.  After another.  After another.  Days with grandma are well loved.

The dog getting really comfortable.  Abby with her beloved bear.  I'm not sure how much longer I can sew that bear.

Abby proudly displaying her velvet coloring sheet.  She earned the set after getting a full sheet of star stickers.  Star stickers are awarded for good attitude with homework, chores, for extra help for mom or siblings, for getting along with siblings and just generally very nice behavior.  And anything else mom deems fit.

More readers.  Nathan has read almost every book in the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne.  Abby is finishing some of the last books of Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park.  Nathan has also been reading lots of books on the reticulated python, anacondas and other pythons.  I've learned a lot since then.  His latest interest are baseball cards, particularly of Ken Griffey, Jr.  His recent dinosaur phase has passed along with his school project.  Once it was over, he no longer wanted to read about Megalodon or other dinosaurs.  He went back to his beloved snakes.  He also wanted to have one for a pet. I told him Oma would never come again if he had one.  He wondered if he could hide it while she was here.  Ah, I can just picture that going wrong....

The kids read extra today as there is a contest at school for the readers who read the most during a month.  Abby has 1155 minutes minimum!  Crazy.

Nathan is trying to reach 1000 reading minutes this month and is about 1.5 hours away from that goal.  (Update: He made it!)  It would be the first time for him to reach that many minutes.  He also got his own library card this month. 

Other than that, we are in full swing with baseball practices and have been blessed with some great weather.  With the good weather, I take the kids to the nearby playgrounds at the schools where David has his team practice.  He is such a good coach.  Yes, I need to brag about that.  Makes me fall in love with him all over again.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Pretty Little Ballerina

Abigail's ballet school does have an observation week occasionally.  This is where parents can come into the classroom and observe the lessons first-hand.  Usually we are in a little room outside and can't see very much.  Those weeks are so neat because it makes Abby so proud to show me what she learned.  I do also learn why we usually are not in the room.  :-)  The kids get really focused on parents instead of their lovely instructor, Miss Laura.

Abigail in the dressing room with her matching bear.  Her age group wears all pink. 

Their lesson begins with a warm welcome, checking all who are there, a bible verse and a quick run over all they will do.  This also allows enough time to anyone who is late to arrive.  

Warming exercises and stretching.  They are also learning fine finger movements for a part of their big recital at the end of the year.

Love this picture of Abby suspended in the air in such nice posture.  They are learning to skip is what Abby wants me to write here.

More warming up and learning how to move in certain ways.

Abby loves her ballet.  She always has a hard time going but when she is there, she loves it.  When she comes out of her class she just bursts forth with words, a clear sign she loved it and is excited  I love, love, love watching my ballerina.  Even more so, I love it when she comes home, puts on beautiful music and teaches her sister how to dance.  Isabelle will be all ears and pay close attention to every word Abby says.

Nathan's First Science Fair

 This school year had Nathan's first science fair.  The kids had quite a large selection of topics to pick from and Nathan chose "Fossils".  While researching fossils, he found out about Megalodon (or Megatooth Shark).  Thankfully I was able to get him to refocus since it felt overwhelming to make a model of a Megalodon.  Nathan had a pretty good idea of what he wanted to make.  He needed help with his report but was otherwise pretty independent.  He had most of the pieces needed already on hand and only had a borrow a few leaf imprint samples with identification sheet from Grampy.

Here is what his diorama looked like in the end.  On one side you see a volcano with rocks and a dinosaur who had died and is starting to be covered with sediment.  Further down on the box you see paleontologists uncovering a dinosaur fossil in the rock.

On the side of his box he had all the labels explaining what was going on in his diorama and also exhibiting some tools paleontologists may be using.

Here are the leaf imprint samples with identification sheet.  There are also two fossils at the top borrowed from Grampy (they are squids).

A proud Nathan behind his exhibit.  He is greeting guests, answering questions and also has a question and answer sheet for any visitors.  In addition, he brought my lollipop stash to hand out.  :-)

Nathan's report he wrote about fossils.

Students from both second grades were having a science fair.  This is Nathan's class visiting the other classroom and learning about their exhibits.  Abby was very interested as well.  It was neat to see all the exhibits, they were amazing.  The kids were very interested in learning from each other and it was just such a fun day for them.  They even had first, third and fourth grades visit them.

The funniest thing though was that when I woke up at 6:30 on the day of the fair, Nathan was already dressed in his room and ready to go, that is how excited he was.  And apparently he wasn't the only one.  A friend of mine told me that her daughter, Heidi, did the same exact thing.

And in conclusion, Nathan got the full 50 points available for his first science project.  Great job, bud!  You really did a wonderful job putting it all together.

For Oma and Handmade

Fuer Oma: Isabelle mal wieder unter dem Tisch...  :-)

This first picture is for my mom.  Isabelle likes to play under the table and so did my mom when she was little.

Lately the hand-making bug has hit me again.  Or maybe it is the early nesting instinct. I finally finished a dress that I started knitting for Isabelle about 3 years ago.  All it needed was an arm and a neck.  Sad, uh?  Thankfully it still fit as a shirt.  :-)  Isabelle loved it and she keeps asking me to wear the shirt "that mama made for me."

This is another project I've been thinking about a lot.  I saw this skirt tutorial on Pinterest.  My stash of fabric still had this crazy color fabric I had once bought for Abby at a garage sale (she loves lots of color).  It was perfect for the skirt.  We didn't have quite enough fabric so we adjusted the pattern to have two top rows instead of one more larger bottom row.  It came out really cute anyway and it twirls nicely.  Abby also loves her home-made skirt and wears it whenever it is back on her closet after I do laundry.  All my kids really appreciate home-made things and I love that.

This is yet another Pinterest idea.  Bowl and plate covers in order to save on plastic wrap.  This fabric also was bought month ago and needed to finally be put to work.  It was amazing how easy this project was.  Actually all the projects were so super easy, it made me mad they had been on hold for so long.  But it sure felt good to make them and have them ready.  I guess that is what carpal tunnel surgery recovery time is good for.  :-) 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Carpal Tunnel

After two years, I was very happy to have carpal tunnel release surgery on Wednesday.  I'm weird, so the following statement might not make sense to you:  I quite enjoyed the surgery.  First off, patients lay down on one of those comfy, comfy surgery beds.  You know, the kind you can make the legs move up and the back up to sitting position (note to hubby: GREAT birthday gift!!).  Then there is this waiting period: simply relaxing. And to top it all off, nurses kept bringing heated blankets.  Heated!  They put them around my shoulders, on my feet and over my pregnant tummy.  Seriously?  I told the nurse this was like a visit to a spa.  She chuckled that I must be a mother of little ones.  Ha!
After they rolled me into the ER, I had a short panic attack after a strange feeling flooded my body.  Panic washed over me and I thought I might have an unexplained reaction to something.  I asked the anesthesiologist if he had given me something and he said that yes, indeed, he had administered a mild sedative.  That made me feel better.  Well, I'm not gonna lie, the sedative made me feel fantastic.  Didn't feel a thing during the surgery.  And my wonderful husband greeted me as soon as I was done.  My hand was numb and as soon as the lidocaine was metabolized, the hand was feeling better.
The main reason for my post though is not to bore anyone with my perspective of the surgery but the funny, if not hilarious reactions my kids had.  After surgery the doctor put a simple wrap around my hand to stay for 24 hours.  The repaired hand also had to rest above my heart for at least 48 hours.  This is what my kids first saw.
Isabelle just kept her distance for a while.  I held her a few times but she was definitely confused.  The second day, my wrap came off and she saw my owie.  She kept coming by, wanting to look at it and kept saying "poor mamee."  She'd lay her head on my lap as to comfort me.  It was too cute.  I tried explaining that it didn't really hurt and just looked bad but she was not distracted from her sympathy.  She tried to touch it a few times and I had to really impress upon her that this was not a good idea.  She started to get real weary of my surgical leftover again when I resorted to my last-ditch effort to make her feel better: My cut started to talk to her.  Yep, it's weird.  But it worked.  Well, for a little while.  Because I wasn't allow to do anything but feed myself and dress myself, she was getting very emotional.  She wanted me to constantly pick her up and do things that just weren't possible.  Grandma, who was amazing enough to help out during this time, got the toddler wrath.  She was basically my "replacement" and Isabelle, who usually adores her grandma, wouldn't have any of it.  She'd scream and yell at poor "grammy".   Naturally, some rules were bent, little girls were picked up and well, you know how it is...
Abigail seemed fine after she saw me.  She seemed the only one undisturbed by the whole thing.  Makes sense, she is a lot like me, so this wouldn't bother her at all.  Until I walked toward her yesterday to hug her and she looked at me earnestly and said: "Please don't touch me with your yucky hand."  Hmmm...
Nathan was the funniest one.  He was somewhat stressed over this whole thing, not wanting mom "to have to hurt."  Although he was told multiple times that there wouldn't be any pain, he didn't quite understand this.  When I greeted him at the door after he returned from school, he surprised me with his emotion over my wrapped hand.  Again, he was assured that it looked worse than it was and there was no pain.  This is the boy who watched multiple carpal tunnel surgeries on YouTube with me.  He could also not look upon my hand after the wrap was removed.  Hiding my hand from him is the best strategy for this child.  :-)
All in all, their reactions are different from what I would have expected.  Isabelle's emotion over it all was a big surprise.  Nathan being grossed out is normal but after he watched some of the surgeries, the expectations were somewhat different.  Abigail was just funny.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Spirit Week 2014

The kids' school has a really fun Spirit Week every year.  Different themes are selected for each day of the week such as pajama day, color day, sports day, dress-up day, crazy hair day.  In addition they have all sorts of fun events throughout the week, such as teacher/student volley ball matches, class competitions, etc.  It all ends in Valentines Day parties in their classrooms.
Spirit week this year was a bit stressful, so I didn't get pictures of sports day or crazy hair day.  For crazy hair day Nathan has his hair colored with 7 different colors.  Oh, it was crazy.  And for sports day he wore his Denver Broncos uniform.  Brave man.  Most of his classmates are Seahawks fans.

Alas, I managed to get some pictures of pajama day:

Nathan wanted to wear his "Mommy's Monster" pjs.  Those are a size 8 and I noticed on that day that they have become short!  That boy grows faster than I can buy clothes.

Abigail had a hard time deciding what to wear.  I finally took the choices away from her and she happily settled into her favorite purple nightgown (from Oma) with her matching purple leggings.

Color day!  Abby's color for her grade was rainbow.  She had planned for two weeks what she would wear.  The one thing we forgot is to paint her fingernails.  I remembered after I dropped her off.  Nathan's color was purple.

Rainbow shirt, breakfast and hair!  :-)

Nathan with purple hair. 

Isabelle didn't want to be left out, so we colored some of her hair with chalks as well.  These are regular chalks from the craft section and we just made them wet so they would adhere to the hair.  All kids were advised to not go near water.

Abby in her classroom.

Nathan's class looked so fun upon entering this purple kingdom.

Cade, one of Nathan's friends.

This is also a morning ritual.  Esther, Heidi, Maggie and Sydney all swarm Isabelle and want multiple hugs.  They love the little girl and sometimes she gets overwhelmed when she gets swarmed.  

School is definitely fun (sometimes).  :-)

Game Night

One of my favorite family games is Apples to Apples Junior.  It of course comes in handy that our Kindergartner is a fluent reader.  The kids seem to really like this game and we even figured out a way that Isabelle can play.  And watch out!  That two year old has this game in her back pocket. 

First off, we had to find seating for everyone.  Isabelle has been turning the bear over and sitting on his front legs.  It's a balancing act to behold.

Abigail was the clear winner of this game.  She just picks the right cards for each category.  It was Nathan's quest to not give her any when it was his turn to decide on a winner.  He ended up giving her most of her trophy cards....

Isabelle doesn't like to sit on chairs.  She will get comfy on the table.

"Did I just give Abby another trophy card???"

Abby posing for the camera. 

We gave Isabelle cards as well and had her pick one every round to put in the pile.

The game is quite funny.

Isabelle would wander off and play with something else and then ocassionally come back to us.  But the littlest one almost one the game!  She was one card shy of Abby's respectable stack.  Nathan and dad were next and for some reason, no one liked my answers; I ended up with only two cards.  Yes, you can hear a sad violin sound in the background.

Remember the snow the had?  Did you know it makes one really tired to play hard in the snow?

She fell asleep right in front of our coat closet.  :-)