Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Little More to Learn

A few years back, All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten was a pretty popular book/poster/oh-so-thrilling staff development topic. (Disclaimer: I've only skimmed the poster and doodled on my notebook through the meetings. I have no clue what this book actually says.) I have come to the conclusion, though, that though you might be able to survive (maybe) on what you learned in kindergarten, there is a lot more to learn. For your consideration:
  • At some point in your life you will be really, really, tired and you will see a donkey at the side of the road. The donkey's ears will be pointing up and its head will be turned so that its ears look like a horn. You'll think, "Oh, there's a unicorn. You don't see those much anymore." And it will be a few moments before you realize that unicorns do not, in fact, exist. And you'll still have a full day of chores and errands ahead of you.
  • Little people can have loud voices. This isn't a metaphor; I have an extremely loud baby.
  • Save often.
  • Sometimes the best decisions are made with very little thought.
  • The best TV shows are canceled first.
  • Snow days are a lot of work for grown-ups.
I'm sure there are more, but that's a good list for starters. Jack has made it through kindergarten, but we'll be starting first grade in a few weeks since there is still so much more to learn!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

We're Still Here

We've just been busy! Nothing too exciting, just the splash pad and anniversary parties and grocery shopping and school planning. And I think my camera is a goner. Maybe that will force me to go ahead and do some more posts on different rooms that I have already taken pictures of. I hope your (quickly disappearing) summer break is going well and I'll be back soon with some more exciting posts!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


flux: [fluhks] noun: continuous change, passage, or movement

We are in a state of flux here.

Alice seems to be trying very hard to leave two naps behind. She is usually quite agreeable in the mornings.

And then comes this. The problem is, she is trying to go from two naps to no naps. Last week she napped about 45 minutes each day. This wouldn't be a problem except a) she is keeping her regular waking and bed times and b) she's a baby. So we get this lovely face. You wouldn't believe the accompanying audio.

After a while, she chills out and does something else, like trying to string beads. She refuses to sleep, though. I happened across an article last week about children moving to only one nap. It said that it was rough to give up the hour and a half of free time in the morning, but the afternoon nap would become longer--about three hours--until they gave it up completely between the ages of three and four. I felt like kicking the author in the stomach really hard after reading that.

In a more positive example of change, we switched Alice's seat to the forward facing position. Now, though, she can see if we have drinks and she wants one. This little baby is becoming a real little person. Look out!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Last week I took the kids on a trip alone. Last month Jay took Jack to Arkansas for the day alone. We do a fair amount of things alone (or with just the kids) and I never really gave it any thought until someone thought Jay and I were fighting because we weren't together. The fact is, somewhere in the middle of a marriage filled with medical school, residency, and deployment, I realized that there were going to be times where if I wanted to do something, I was going to have to do it on my own or not do it at all. And even though I would usually rather have Jay with me, ninety-nine times out of a hundred it will go just fine even if he's not there. We just rack up the minutes on the phone.

All of that to lead into my little post about going out last night alone. All alone. Nary a child around. I even carried a regular purse without any wipes in it. Audrey Niffenegger was speaking at our local museum and no one wanted to go (or at least not anyone who lives in my area code), so I went by myself. I had a nice time, but I wish I hadn't gotten there so early for the drinks and mingling. That's not so exciting when you're not drinking or mingling. But I made the best of it and sat down on a bench and read until the auditorium opened. The talk was interesting, but reaffirmed my thought that if I had to be around artsy literary people for too long, I would probably assault someone.
I drove home listening to a CD Jay made for me at the volume of my choosing and even stopped by Taco Bell (Jack doesn't like Taco Bell and complains if we go there--smart kid) just because I could. It was nice. I picked up my cranky daughter and took her home to my husband (with whom I am not fighting) and even made it in time to kiss my son goodnight before he fell asleep. Who could ask for more?

Vacation: Friday

We were pretty worn out by Friday. We stayed at the hotel for a while and the kids watched cartoons and played.

Our first stop was back to the library. Ms. Kim let the kids sign up for the reading program the day before and even let Jack check out five books on her card. I had a sore throat from so much reading, but we managed to completely finish two A to Z Mysteries in one day.

This was a much different experience than the one earlier this summer. As my friend Lauri pointed out, many libraries are facing budget cuts, but I have to say that budget does not make the difference at this library; it is the people. They make a big deal over every kid and the kids l.o.v.e. it. You can't really see it there, but on each kid's reading log is a note from Ms. Kim. Then they got to pick out stamps and decorate their logs. Alice seemed to like this.

Next the kids got to pick out their medals.

Jack getting his medal.

Alice getting her medal. I think she thought it was a necklace.

I was impressed that Ms. Kim could still boost Jack up that high.

Alice got to put her name on the wall, too.

The music class Jack used to attend was going on, so we joined in.

Obligatory buffalo picture.

Alice finally tried out the dinosaur dig.

Obligatory buffalo picture--Alice was asleep when I took the one of Jack.

During Jack's class, Alice and I went to El Chico and Alice practiced dipping chips.

We got back to the museum a little early and entertained ourselves by taking pictures.

I took a shot of Jack's class while he wasn't looking.

I guess the vacation/camp plan was a success because Jack asked to do it again next year before we'd even left the classroom! We got back to our house a little after 5:00 to find Jay cooking dinner--a perfect end to our week!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Vacation: Thursday

We started Thursday with a trip to the library.

Jack enjoyed going to storytime with Ms. Susan again.

Alice was more interested in the carpet squares than the stories. She is a different bird than her brother.

Afterward, we headed to the splash pad, where Alice took off on her own to play.

Again, a completely different bird from Jack at this age.

I wouldn't trade either one of them, though!

When we were done splashing, it was on to the park.

That evening we went to dinner in Bricktown. You can't really tell in this picture, but it was raining like crazy. We were going to take a ride in one of the boats, but we'll have to try that next time.

We waited out the rain (sort of) at another yogurt place. We eat a lot of yogurt lately. (My mom and dad were there for the day since my dad had a class in town.)

We wrapped up the evening with more pool time.

Jack loves the pool!

Back soon with pictures of our last day!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Vacation: Wednesday

We started Wednesday at the inflatable play place. Alice had a good time!

Jack loves the tire swings.

While Jack was in class, Alice and I went to the mall. It's big sale time at Gymboree!

After class, we headed to the science museum.

Jack tried out the Segway for the first time.

He also got to make some goo!

Alice really enjoyed the water table. This one was just her height.

Jack tried out the shuttle simulator.

We had dinner and played with friends at the park.

Jack and Kira were more interested in finding treasures than playing.

We stopped for sno cones on the way back to the hotel. Eating them there instead of taking them in the car was one of the best decisions I've made in my six years of parenting.

Two more vacation posts to go!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Vacation: Tuesday

Tuesday morning the kids slept until 8:00. I don't think this has ever happened before. Alice is usually up around 6:30 and Jack doesn't stay in bed long after that.

I packed for the kids in bags. There was a bag for each day--or each part of the day, depending on what we were doing. I think I saw this on Deleise's blog. It made things so much easier for me!

Our first stop was the zoo. Jack loves the new Children's Zoo.

Alice seems to like it, too!

This is just weird. Even the baby knows it.

Storytime at the zoo!

And of course, the kids had to get soaked in the splash area. Knowing my kids, I had a bag of extra clothes with me so Jack wouldn't have to go to class soaking wet.

Feeding time for the alligators--that's a dead rat on the end of the stick.

When we got to the museum, Alice was still asleep, so I toured the Chocolate exhibit on loan from the Field Museum. It was really interesting. It was also the first time I've ever seen anything in this museum without a child pulling on me.

After Alice woke up, she did a little exploring. She liked most of the things Jack liked at that age.

After class, we went to the Lego store. Jack and Alice each got some new Legos and Jack
decided to spend some of his own money on some custom Lego people. He had a fun time picking out all the different parts.

On our way back to the hotel we got caught in a horrible rainstorm. Streets were flooding and I was sure our car was going to stall. It took us an hour and a half to get back--about three times longer than it would have normally. You know it was bad because I didn't even get out the camera--I was gripping the steering wheel too hard!

More vacation pictures tomorrow!