Friday, June 11, 2010

Mid February through Today: A Mostly Photo Update

Here are the kids a couple weeks ago, standing by their message for the AmGen riders: Ride Fast!

But thinking back to February when we last posted, it's clear we've had an eventful few months! This is my attempt to catch up a bit with a ton of photos, since that's probably the best way to document such a span of time... plus, these kids are easy on the eyes.

We had a fun trip to Ponderosa with the Ertls, Tootles, and Kroegers and enjoyed sledding, snowball tossing, fort-making, snowman constructing, snow tunnel-crawling, gorgeous scenery, and the warmth of the family all together.

We played outside in the nice spring weather.
Buster slept on Mama. He still gets a short walk/singing at nap time, which I relish (despite the ambiguous look on my face in this photo).
Buster also slept with Dada. He enjoys a good cuddle, that one.
Birdie had long hair.And we cut it into a nice bob for the warmer weather.

We knew we were moving soon, so we enjoyed the expanse of the back yard in our last couple of weeks there.
Jack perfected his "mean nose."
Birdie has really begun phasing out naps in earnest. She only naps 1-2 times/week these days. She usually spends the time reading or coloring quietly. Here's a nap time where Buster (foreground) ended up in bed with me and Bird read the entire duration. I love that puckered lip look she gets when focused sometimes.
We walked to "Shabbat Shalom" at Grandma's every Friday evening. Here are the kids in their hip sunglasses!
Bird had her second trip to the dentist and freaked out this time. Arrrgh.
We packed up for the move!

During the moving craziness, the Ertls, Aunt Erica, and Otis took the kids to the Fresno Zoo for a day. It was a great way to keep them happily occupied while E and I worked on bringing loads of our worldly possessions over to the new place. It's amazing how much more efficient it was to move without kids under foot!
During the moving madness, H and I took a night off to attend GW's production of Beauty and the Beast with our friends, Sydnie and Stephanie Tyler. Here are the girls at the tea party before the show, enjoying the attention from Belle.

After all of our things were under the new roof, E and I went back to the old place to clean up. This happened to fall on our 8th wedding anniversary. Here we are, pausing to document the occasion.

And here's the first home-cooked meal at the new house.This is a photo of Harper's room before we primed and painted. It photographs better than real life... it HAD to go. We are almost done with the painting treatment in this room, so look for "after shots" in the near future.

And here's Dad putting our bed together.
During this week, we had family visiting from Illinois. E's sister Danielle and our nephew Elijah were in town for some play time. The kids really liked each other and played super sweetly.
Elijah was an Uncle Ethan fan as well.

Check this handsome boy!And here's the Mother's Day spread that E cooked up. Festive, fun, and delicioso!

Bird continues to love her preschool. In fact, she's begun to get a little upset/anxious about transitioning to Kindergarten in a couple months, in part because she is so attached to her very loving teachers and the system at Montessori. Here she is showing off a "work" that she's mastered. We had a photo session of my mom's grandkids to get a "framer" for her gift. A handsome group of super sweet, smart, loving, talented, thoughtful, polite, wonderful kids!

And here's what was happening backstage. Jack was pretending to shoot water from a "hose" like a fireman.
The oxford twins were giving superior looks.
And Otis was charming the crowd.The kids have enjoyed painting at the outside artist table. In this photo, Bird and I were just pulling through a flu. She hadn't eaten in a long time and I'd used the possibility of painting as a motivation to get her to eat a few bites, thanks to Katie Tienken's good motherly advice. It totally worked!
I just love the bottom lip thing Buster does when he's focused.

Here's another irresistible Jack photo.
I had just finished reading about Piaget's developmental stages, where he described the "preoperational child" (my kids) and their inability to think of others/ tendency to be egocentric. Then I watched Jack get some Cheerios from the pantry, pull out two cups and distribute some Cheerios into each-- one for him, and one for Harper. Piaget has nothing on this kid!H got a bike with training wheels and they both got new helmets. Jack is more into the scooter than his trike, but the girl's bike skills are taking off!

Erica and Otis came over to enjoy Ethan's FoodieFights meal. Check this boy's sweet wisps and kissable lips!Partaking.

Here's a random moment in the grown ups' bathroom. Bird checking herself out, posing in a crown.
Buster wearing Daddy's hat and shoes, looking clownish.
Since the move, Sadie's been on a hunting tear. She's brought home about 10-12 birds and 1 mouse. For a while there, we had a cat door in our slider and we kept finding bird claws and feathers and whatever-those-white-beady-things-are in the same spot (the kids' bathroom floor). After the sixth one, we took the cat door out and still haven't found the right solution for Sadie. She wakes us several times a night either wanting in or wanting out. Ideas?
Here's Jack enjoying Ice Age at the Clarks' one night, working away at his chocolate-dipped frozen banana. Have I mentioned his eczema is waaaaaaaaaaaay better? We are overjoyed to see him outgrow that discomfort!
And here's E building our storage shed on a Saturday morning. It's helped us declutter the backyard a bit.
The kids have parked their tent behind a red bud tree. They call it "the library."
One day after eating, bird rolled up her mat and said it looked like a brain. Such a brain!

And we've set up the "home classroom."
The room will double as a sewing space, so you can see my sewing box on the shelves on the left here.Bird's been mad at mom lately, which I've realized is connected with heading to school and I believe is rooted in her anxiety about leaving her teachers and going somewhere new. Here's the note she wrote me hurriedly when she was throwing her fit and I was giving her some space/time to work it out. Usually, she emerges with an apology note, but this time she came out with an angry missive.

So I came up with this idea to work on her vocabulary for understanding and expressing her emotions. These jars are coming in handy, and I think they are helping her a lot. We first used them to write thank you notes for her two teachers. She wrote four sentences for each teacher. The first one said, "I feel helpful. I feel creative. I feel friendly at school. Thank you, Teacher Irene. Love, Harper." The second one said, "I feel thoughtful. I feel imaginative. I feel loving at school. Thank you, Teacher Mary. Love, Harper."

We've had H write daily journals on a variety of topics. But it seems she likes to write about her feelings since I made the sticks for her. This one shows her drawing of a bed (with a bedspread trimmed in lace with blue in the center and starbursts, and an orange plaid pillow). Below it, she wrote, "I feel generous and loved. At nighttime I feel imaginative."

And this one says, "This is a magic garden. These are magic daisies. Do you like daisies?"
Here's H writing a book report on a Nancy Drew book.

Jack Jack is getting more comfortable holding a pen and starting to draw/write. Here's a sample from one of the first days of our "school" (a week ago).
And here's an example that shows how his control is improving (from yesterday).
And these are just photos from last night. Jack peering through the blinds while eating one of Grandma's cookies...

and Bird reading her favorite book at Grandma's house: Amazing Animals, A-Z.

And Jack's in the throws of potty-training. He's making huge strides! Here he is in his Cookie Monster undies.

Good times!


Janay said...

This is awesome! It's so fun to see pics of your kiddos and how big they are getting. I love the emotion sticks- such a great idea- i plan on stealing it someday. When i was working as an Elementary School counselor- a common problem that came up was the inability for younger kiddos to express properly what they were feeling. Other then happy and sad they just couldn't articulate themselves- so again i think the sticks are great. We love you guys

this is me said...

i love your anniversary photo and the 'feelings on popsicle sticks'. you are f-ing brilliant. and cute.

Katia said...

Thanks for the update. It was great to see the photo montage. The feelings sticks are genius. Great idea! Love you guys!

sdas said...
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Anonymous said...

I love seeing the updates and photos of all of you! Your kids (as always) are fabulous, and I'm definitely keeping notes as to what things I can do with Ruby so she can be fabulous too ;) I hope we get to see you all when we are in CA in Aug. Much love from us in FL!