Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Three really gets a bad rep. Yeah, there are tantrums - but I know grown ups who throw tantrums. In fact, that's basically just the back row of a staff meeting. So whatevs.

Three is when they race down the sidewalk pretending to be an airplane, complete with airplane noises and their arms outstretched.

Three is when they jump over every.crack in the sidewalk and insist you jump with them.

Three is when they MUST walk on every parking lot bumper (I googled it, that's apparently what they're called) like they're on a balance beam.

Three is when they automatically reach for your hand when you're walking together. When they put their head on your chest just to hear your heartbeat. When they enthusiastically love and hate everything all at once.

Three is awesome.

It is especially awesome when your three year old sings the following song to you:

"There's no mommy like yooooouuuuuuuu. There's no mommy like yooooooooooouuuuuuuu!!!!!"
(to the tune of "No Day Like Today" from The Secret Garden play Penelope was recently in).


Thursday, April 25, 2013

That's not funny, that's just not good

When I put the kids to bed I usually sing them a lullaby. They've come to expect this, and I'm happy to oblige.

Bryan's musical talents lie outside of vocal music and so he doesn't sing to them at night. Except the other night, when he sang them "Row Row Row Your Boat." While I'm sure they expressed the appropriate amount of gratitude the night of, I heard a rather interesting review of his performance tonight while he was at hockey.

G: I want a nigh-night song.... please. (the "please" was a decided afterthought)

P: Yes, please sing us a song.

M: Which one?

G: Rock a Baby!

P: You know mom, daddy can't sing.

M: *laughing*

P: (very seriously) No mommy, it's not funny. It's just not good. Daddy just can't sing.

M: Well love, not everyone is good at singing. But daddy's good at a lot of other things.

P: Yeah. Like playing, but not singing.

An Audition, a Play, and Kinder

This has been an eventful week for Miss Sissy.

On Monday she auditioned for the Missoula Children's Theater's production of "The Secret Garden" and got a part as a plant in the garden. She has no lines, but the garden has a special song and is on stage during parts of the play. She was really, really, really excited about auditioning and it was pretty hilarious to watch.

It was a group audition, so all kids were onstage at one time. The directors had the kids act out lines in chorus, and then individually. Pen was really animated for the group portions, but less animated when it came to saying her line on her own. I was not surprised by this at all, especially since this is her first foray into theater. She was plenty dramatic when socializing with her new friends though, and as I told my mother, when she's a teen and is super dramatic, I will only have myself to blame.

Since she is my daughter, she's caught on to the songs rather quickly. This means that evenings post-rehearsal are filled with her sweet and yet slightly off key voice. She's off key in the way all pre-schoolers are off key (i.e. they're almost always flat), and I actually think that she'll have a really lovely voice when she's older.

The kids rehearse for one week and then they perform, so the shows will be this Saturday at 1 & 3:30. I'm not allowed to take pictures of the performance, but they will have pics taken, so those will be posted as soon as possible. If I can, I'll take video of her performance (not the whole thing, because - um, I don't care about the performances of the kids who aren't mine).

I think this will be great practice for her drama camp, which starts the 2nd week of June. There will be a performance for that as well, and then after her birthday she can start to audition for the full length productions our local children's theater puts on. She also wants to sign up for basketball next season, so we're going to have a full plate of extra curriculuar activties (also, she has a summer dance recital and probably a winter recital as well).

Speaking of curricular, we found out yesterday that our district transfer agreement has been approved and we can enroll her in KinderBloom (i.e. transitional kindergarten) for the 2013/2014 school year. She is, of course, SUPER excited about going to school and is already talking about all the new friends she's going to make.

We'll see after this year where we put her for Kinder, but the new district (Spreckles) has full day Kinder, while our local district does not. So odds are we'll keep her at that school as long as she's in Elementary or as long as we're still living in this area.

The 4-5 age is pretty exciting, yes?

Poor G-Man is still a little too young for all of these activities. We will try to sign him up for soccer and T-Ball, but he's 2 years away from Kinder (and he will not be eligible for transitional kinder due to his birthday, unless we hold him back a year -  but we'll probably just enroll him in full time kinder the school year after his 5th birthday). Oh yes, and probably swim lessons this summer if I ever get my act together.

Thinking about my kids in elementary school is bittersweet. I really do love this age - even though some people think 3 is the worst, I haven't found it to be anymore challenging than the ages before it. It has different challenges than 2 or 1 or the baby stage, but then a lot of the previous challenges resolve themselves. So I can be thankful that we don't have to deal with teething, and that potty training is over (although G does still wear a night diaper) - even while we deal with occasional tantrums (which are 90% predictable and thus can be anticipated/avoided/quickly dealt with).

And so I'll end this with some of the things the kids have said lately that I don't want to forget.

Penelope (as she's watching me clean the bathroom): Mommy, you are so good at cleaning the toilet. And you are so beautiful. I am SO proud of you.

Griffin (as he's falling asleep): *sigh* I love you bunches mama.

Penelope (watching me make dinner): Oh mommy, you are so good at cooking. I love the food you make.

Griffin (while we're all play wrestling): No mama, no tickles. Only snuggles.
(because apparently mama is made for snuggling and daddy is made for wrestling)

Penelope (to Bryan): You are my best daddy.

Griffin (at bedtime): You give me 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 more kisses and then nigh-night, ok?

Monday, April 22, 2013

The party!

This past weekend was Bubby's birthday party. I know I've discussed party prep, but I figured pictures and a narrative were warranted.

Bryan and I spent the night before the party cutting capes. Which were time consuming, but not difficult. In the grand scheme of things, party prep wasn't too complicated, it just took up more time than I had originally anticipated. And we made too many capes, so I could have saved us at least an hour of labor if I'd made fewer adult sized capes. I had enough for all the adults, but not everyone was into cape decorating (which is totally fine, because pretending to be a superhero isn't for everyone).

But the end product was pretty awesome if I do say so myself. Here we all are in our caped splendor:

I didn't get as many pictures as I wanted of people actually decorating capes, but people seemed to be having fun.

Like Tyler

 And my parents certainly had fun posing in the capes
After we decorated capes, it was time for the scavenger hunt to find our Avenger friends. Bryan did an excellent job making the clues look like they came from Shield - and I wish I had taken a picture. The older kids loved it, but the younger ones had fun too. Here are some pictures of the kids on the hunt...

The clues were inside the house, the garage, the driveway, the YMCA, & the Library. It was a blast.

Once we had assembled all the Avenger figurines, it was time to get back to the party and defeat Red Skull! Some of my friends took better pictures, but I haven't gotten around to saving them onto my computer. Regardless, here's one of Bubs:
My Dad actually made the pinata himself. It looked great. None of the kids could bust it open (it actually fell off its hook, so my brother and I took a turn. Nic actually broke it open, but skinned his knuckled in the process.

Then there was cake!
Spiderman, old school X-Men, and The Hulk!

Griffin had a great time - and I think the rest of the kids did too. It was great. I'm so happy with how things turned out. :)

The next day was a trip up to the Boardwalk with my parents, my brother, his girlfriend, and her 5 year old son. Much fun was had by all. Here's a pic of Sissy & me.

So happy 3rd birthday Bubby!

3rd Birthday Questions - the Bubs

In Decemeber I asked the Penelo-potamous these 20 questions on her birthday.

And because I was mostly on the ball with Bubby's birthday this year, here are the answers to his 20 questions.

1. What is your favorite color? Blue

2. What is your favorite toy? Buzz

3. What is your favorite fruit? Craisins

4. What is your favorite TV show? Diego

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? A cheese sandwhich with mustard

6. What is your favorite outfit? Baseball shirt (totally not true, it was just what he was wearing at the time. His favorite thing to wear is actually his Superman shirt with the cape).

7. What is your favorite game? Pixar Pals (something he randomly chose from a pile of LeapPad cartridges).

8. What is your favorite snack? Wheat Thins

9. What is your favorite animal? Hippos (I had no idea and would have guessed whales)

10. What is your favorite song? Year 3,000 (Jonas Brothers, this one required prompting. I have a feeling it's actually Michael Jackson's "Bad").

11. What is your favorite book? The Best Nest

12. Who is your best friend? Joe (from Daycare)

13. What is your favorite cereal? Life

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Ride my scooter

15. What is your favorite drink? Milk

16. What is your favorite holiday? 4th of July (total lie, I listed a bunch and he chose this one... it's probably Halloween or Christmas)

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? My whale (very true, and that's why I would have guessed a whale as his favorite animal).

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Cereal (that's IF he eats breakfast at home)

19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Chicken nuggets

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? I wanna be Peter Pan (ha!)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The post where I describe party prep and you all tell me I'm crazy

Bubby's party is Saturday. It's Superhero themed.

We were originally planning on Thomas the Train, but he asked for Superheros and so we switched. And then I went slightly overboard for a 3 year old's party.

There will be three cakes. They're made but not decorated yet. One chocolate, one lemon, and one funfetti-style. All made from scratch (because my cakes are better than box cakes. Full disclosure: I made box cupcakes for Griffin's daycare party, because "'ain't nobody got time for that").

The chocolate cake will be decorated Spidey-style. Red frosting (also homemade, because why not), spider, webbing. I do guarantee it will look good. Lemon cake is Iron Man (he's the sour one), decorated as his mask. The funfetti cake is Captain America, mostly because that will be the easiest one to decorate.

I have blank masks, foam stars, planets, & paint. I'll get felt squares and fabric glue. Large pieces of felt will be cut into cape-shapes and we'll decorate our Superhero capes & masks. Ribbon will be used to tie capes on.

While the capes dry, we'll go on a scavenger hunt to find the Avengers. Because Red Skull is threatening to crash the party and we have to have the Avenger's help to defeat the bay guy. My dad is making a Red Skull pinata, so that when we come back from our neighborhood search, we'll defeat the enemy.

I also have a cardboard cutout of Captain America for pictures. Industrial strength bubbles to test our superpowers, and chalk - because who doesn't like chalk?

Normal hot dog/hamburger party fare. I'm not getting fancy on food. I may just buy a giant tub of macaroni salad because, again, make macaroni salad from scratch? 'aint nobody got time for that.

The party in my head is awesome. I just hope the party that actually happens is just as awesome. Or at least that everyone has fun.

The Bubs is THREE

You guys.


Our baby is three. THREE. That's, like, 2 more than 1. TWO. Or one more than two. ONE. Or three more than zero. THREE.

We are all now collectively breathing a sigh of relief that I don't teach math.

It was three years ago today that my sweet, snuggly, loud, dirty, rambunctious, smelly, beautiful, adorable, happy baby boy was born.

Here he was then:

And here he is now:

Sunday, April 14, 2013

My students are awesome

Although my 4th period class is trying to kill me.

My theory is that they're so hungry, since 4th is right before lunch, that they can't focus due to lack of nutrition. They're also pretty chatty, but they're not nearly as chatty as 1st period. I think all of my 1st period students are only capable of breathing if they're talking. If they stay quiet for too long they might all perish from oxygen deprivation. 2nd period is perfect, except for the 3 gentlemen who sit poliety in class and do absolutely nothing unless I'm standing next to them.


Actually, I DO love my job. All of the behavior I see in my classes is pretty typical of teenagers. And while I certainly do correct inappropriate behavior, I can't get too mad that teenagers act like teenagers. It would be like getting upset at a 2 year old for throwing a tantrum. That's what they DO. They're just still learning. Getting mad is pretty much useless.

But my purpose in writing this blog wasn't to discuss my student's inability to shut up. It was to highlight how wonderful they are. Here's the proof:

(BTW, this is partner work, they have to do this on their own next week. Using the GRR model, it took 3 days to get to this place. But I'm quite happy with "this place")

Friar Lawrence describes the sunrise and how it's similar to a drunkard's vision when he says "and fleckled darkness like a drunkard reels" (2.3.3). This simile foreshadows events in the play because it implies that something dark is going to happen yet with something light shining out of it. The simile demonstrates how the ending of the feud is similar to the light dimly shinning through the dark that is the death of Romeo and Juliet.

Friar Lawrence describes the sunrise and the darkness filled with spots of light when he says "and fleckled darkness like a drunkard reels" (2.3.3). This simile foreshadows future events in the play because he's trying to say that even in the dark, there will always be light (hope). The simile demonstrates how even when Romeo & Juliet die, there is will always be hope for both families.

 Friar Lawrence describes the sunlight barely coming out at dawn when he says "and fleckled darkness like a drunkard reels" (2.3.3). This simile demonstrates tragedy in the play becuase the long hatred between the two families will be disturbed by the new love of Romeo and Juliet. The simile foreshadows tragedy because the sunrise represents the possibility of a new thing coming out of the darkness.

These are, obviously, not perfect. But they're a really wonderful start. Students are starting to really THINK about what this poetic language means, not just what it describes. So the three days to get here was worth it.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Mommy, where did you get me?

A few days ago Penelope asked this very simple, yet very complex question.

"Mommy, where did you get me?"

"Well love, what do you mean? Where did I pick you up today?"

"No. I mean where did you get me. Where did you first get me."

"Oh, I see. Well, I gave birth to you. I made you in my uterus, which is in my belly, and then I pushed you out."

"But how did you push me out?"

"Once you were big enough, the muscles in my uterus helped to squeeze you out of my belly."

"Oh" long pause "But where from your belly?"

"Here, let's get your birth book and look at pictures from when you were born" (note: these pictures don't actually show the birth)

"Oooh! Ok!"

We then spent the next 10 minutes going through all the pictures in both her & Griffin's yearbooks (books I made chronicling their first year of life).

It was a conversation I hadn't expected, but overall I think it went well. I'm sure we'll have this conversation over and over again - in slightly more detail as she gets older.

Ah, my precious love.

Another conversation we had recently was about love and marriage...

Penelope: Daddy, who is your best friend?
Bryan: Mommy.
Penelope: (laughing) No, she's your wife!
Me: We can be married and be best friends.
Penelope: My best friend is Kayla, but she's not my husband.
Me: No, no she's not.
Penelope: But mommy, princess can marry princess.
Me: Yes, sometimes princesses do marry princesses. If they love each other.
Penelope: And princes can marry princes.
Me: Yes, if they love each other.
Bryan: You can marry whoever you want, when you're 40.

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Penelope's Growth

6 years: 50 inches, 47 lbs
5 years: 48 inches, 42 lbs
4 years: 43.5 inches, 41.0 lbs
28 months: 39 inches, 33.1 lbs
26 months: 38.5 inches, 32.1 lbs
21 months: 37 inches, 31.8 lbs
18 months: 35 inches, 30 lbs
15 months: 34.25 inches, 28.8 lbs
12 months: 32 inches, 27.1 lbs
9 months: 30.5 inches, 25.1 lbs
6 months: 29 inches, 21.2 lbs
4 months: 28.5 inches, 17.13 lbs
2 months: 24.75 inches, 12.12 lbs
At birth: 20.75 inches, 7.15 lbs

Griffin's Growth

5 years - 3 feet 11.25 inches (47.25 inches), 51 lbs
3 years - 3 feet 5.25 inches, 40lbs
18 months - 34.5 inches, 27.13lbs
12 months - 32 inches, 26.5lbs*
10 months - 31.75 inches, 23.4 lbs
7 months - 29.25 inches, 21.4 lbs
5 months - 28.5 inches, 17.9 lbs*
4 months - 28 inches, 15.5 lbs
3 months - 27 inches, 13.10 lbs
2 months - 25.125 inches, ?? lbs
1 month - 24 inches, 10.13 lbs
At birth - 22.5 inches, 9.1 lbs
*with diaper

Izzy's Growth

2 months: 23.25 inches, 10.8 lbs
At Birth: 22 inches, 8.11 lbs

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