Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Caught in the Act!

Last night, I was in the kitchen getting dinner ready, and I knew that my older daughter was in the living room, and I was certain that my youngest (3) was in the family room playing.  I called to her, "Kenzie" and she immediately yelled, "Nothing, Mom!"  So, naturally, that sounded a little guilt-ridden, I said, "What are you doing?" and she yelled again, "Nothing, Mom!"  (Same "innocent" tone...)  I asked her to come into the kitchen because we were going to have dinner and she came right in, no harm, no foul as my husband would say.  Later on when we were putting the kids to bed, I opened the linen closet outside of the bathroom and ALL of the clean towels were kind of wadded up and on the next shelf down from where they normally are stored.  They were RIGHT in front of the laundry chute (which is curiously, inside the closet, in the back -- limits the amount of things one can store on the shelf -- but love the laundry chute, none the less -- side note, told my friend at work this story today, she said, "Yeah, my laundry chute is the open basement door -- I shoot laundry down there as I walk by!").  My girl LOVES to take the clean towels and toss them down the laundry -- Daddy just loves that!  So, I'm pretty sure that I caught her in the act!  Look at that sweet face though -- I have a feeling that will help to get her out of hot water with Mom and Dad a LOT in the future! ;)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fall Favorites

Fall is by far my favorite time of year. I love all of the seasons, and love living in NY where we see the change of seasons, but there is something special about the fall! This time of year I feel very cozy in my home with my family -- whether it's the slight chill in the air outside, or the spicy scent of my cinnamon-scented votive candles burning inside the house -- autumn definitely signifies the warmth of home and family to me. My girls are both in school (3rd grade and preschool) and we have school pictures coming up, book fairs, school dinners, Girl Scout cookie sales! There are fall festivals and pumpkin and apple picking, cider and donuts, crock-pot dinners, Halloween decorations... This year we are going to visit out-of-town family for Halloween, which will be a fun treat! And soon after that, my favorite holiday -- Thanksgiving! Best wishes for a happy and cozy fall spent with your loved ones!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Speak VERY Clearly...

My friend Christine posted this funny (because no one was injured...) story on her blog about the need for being really clear and concise when speaking to your children! What parent can't relate to a situation like this? Just yesterday, my 8-year-old got off the afternoon school bus and came up to the already open door that I was standing in. She yelled, "Mommy!!" apparently excited to see me, and I put my finger up to my lips and said, "Shh... Your sister is napping." So my girl whispers, "Ok" and proceeds to stick her finger out and ring the doorbell!!! REALLY? Why would you do that? And she says, "I'm sorry, I just wanted to make sure that my bus driver knew that you were here!" What? Does the doorbell ring on the bus? I'm not even sure what that meant... I must always try to remember to speak very clearly and to anticipate any and all possible responses when I am speaking to my girls. "Shh... Your sister is napping upstairs -- please do not yell, ring the doorbell, play a trumpet, bang a bass drum..." Really specific!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Grandpa and Gramby came over last night to watch the girls, and my husband and I had a lovely dinner at our favorite (grown-up) restaurant to celebrate our anniversary. Not a french fry or a pack of crayons in sight, and we only spent about a third of the evening talking about our girls! Everything went smoothly at home (we had no worries) and Gramby told us a cute story about bedtime when we got home. She had put our littlest one to bed, but couldn't find her "bink" (pacifier). Our girlie tried pointing her in the direction of where we keep it (up on a shelf on her wall -- we only use it for nap and bedtime, and we're trying to wean her off of it!), but Gramby could not find it. My girl said, "Maybe your Rick can help you!" and Gramby said, "My what?" And she said, "Your Rick!" Gramby laughed and said, "You know, my Rick is your Grandpa!" And my girl said, "I know!" Sure enough, Grandpa found it, so crisis averted! ;)

Today we will be celebrating with our girls - our usual dinner, dessert, wedding video! Our older daughter loves the video (so do I!) -- it will be interesting to see if her little sister is more interested this year -- she loves to dance and sing, so I imagine watching her relatives dancing on tv will be a new thrill this year! We enjoy our annual tradition of celebrating just the two of us, but also celebrating with our dughters -- after all, they are a very large, very wonderful part of our lives together!

Friday, September 11, 2009

We Still Remember

I just read last year's post and I thought I would share it with you again. Hug your families close today and please remember the people who were lost on 9/11, the people who lost them, and the brave men and women in our military who work so hard to make sure that this never happens again.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First Day of Third Grade!

(Ok, my girl's first day of school was really last Friday, but things have been hectic, so I'm just posting this now!) Just wanted to show off my cute new third grader! My girl was very excited picking out school clothes this year, and getting to create her own style. Hot pink and lime green are her "signature colors" (her words) this year... She's 8. Wait until she's a teenager -- heaven help us! Anyway, we're looking forward to a great year in the third grade, and she's excited to be one of the oldest kids in the school (it's a K - 3). "Today," she said, "I talked to a kindergartener like I was an adult!" This is the big time! :)

The night before her first day we laid out her outfit, packed her lunch, packed her bag, and had a special "last day of summer vacation" dinner. We also worked on our annual end of summer memory project -- the last couple of years we did big collage posters, but those are so bulky and hard to keep. This year I suggested that we do a little memory book -- this worked out great and we will definitely tuck it into her special keepsake box to reminisce about all of the fun things we did this past summer! This year, my mother was up right before school started, so I got a cute card that we all signed (including Nana) and I tucked that into my girl's lunchbox for a fun surprise on her first day.

Tomorrow my husband and I will be taking our little one to "Meet the Teacher Day" at preschool -- slightly devastated that she is old enough to BE in preschool, but excited about all that she will learn and all the fun that she will have!

How was the first day of school for your children? Do you have any special first day of school traditions?

Monday, September 7, 2009

FYI - Link to Prepared Remarks for President Obama's Address to Students

Much has been said in the media about President Obama's speech to K - 12 school students across America tomorrow. My husband and I were initially concerned about the speech, having "Googled" and read the first draft of the instructions for teachers -- we were not pleased with the section where students, even K - 6 were going to be asked to write a letter on how they could help the president. Our concern was over the collection of the letters and redistribution "at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals." That seemed a little severe to us for our 3rd grade daughter, particularly when she is prone to anxiety... Fortunately, there was enough uproar about that specific item that the Department of Education drafted a new set of instructions for students, leaving that part out.

The other thing that had my husband and I concerned (along with countless other parents) was not knowing what exactly the speech was going to be about. My mother sent me a link to the President's prepared remarks and I was able to read that -- I thought I would pass it along to you, so that if you were interested you could read it over and discuss it with your child(ren) if they have any questions. All in all, I feel much better after reading it -- it has a few things that may concern my anxious 3rd grader (he refers to a young man who developed brain cancer at at young age, talks about his own history with his father leaving his family when he was 2, etc.) but then, frankly, my girl will probably be on edge slightly from the handwashing suggestion that he makes to prevent the flu! It is a very long speech -- I think that he makes a lot of good points, I don't know that all of the kids will hear them all, children's attention spans being what they are. He does reference "Harry Potter" and Michael Jordan, so that may get the kids' attention if he starts to lose them.

I'm glad that I was able to read it beforehand (thanks, Mom!) and I hope that my girl gets a little inspiration out of it, and I will be well prepared if she has any questions about it, or just wants to talk about it at dinner tomorrow night!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Book Club for Girls

My 8-year-old daughter is constantly coming up with ideas, plans, plots – you name it! These range from her desire to put on an elaborate production of a “Pirates of the Caribbean” play with her cousins (all of whom live out of town) in the theatre company, to creating a Webkinz version of the Disney ride “It’s a Small World” (yes, both of these came to her after our Disney trip…) which would involve a big tub filled with water with a smaller tub inside as the boat. I love that she has a great imagination and an industrious mind, but many times I nod and say, “That sounds interesting!”

The other day she came up with an idea that I thought was not only wonderful, but something that would be quite easy to do. She asked me if she could start her own book club! I immediately said that I thought that was a great idea, and we could definitely make that happen. She has named it the "Little Book Worms Book Club" and she typed up the following note that we printed out and she sent as an invitation to 5 of her friends:

"If you want to join the book club, please call XXX-XXXX and ask for Olivia. If you want to join, call soon! And when you call, I will tell you all the information you need. This book club will be SO much fun!!! We meet every month, and we’ll have tiny snacks and talk, and make new friends and read!!!!!! We’ll meet once a month, starting October 2009!!!! Call soon please!!!!!"

She is going to pick the first book, and we will pick a Friday night in October to start. In preparation for the first book club meeting, she is going to come up with a list of questions that they girls can use to discuss the book they have read. At the end of the meeting, we'll put all of the other girls' names in a hat and draw to see who picks the next book. My girl is very excited about this (as are some of her friends who we have already heard from), and I am excited for her -- what a fun time they will have! I'll let you know how it goes!