Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Camera!

After months -- YEARS! -- of admiring Michelle's children through the lens of a decent camera, we have joined ranks! Decent (if not super fancy) cameras have a way of making one's kids look, well, presentable. So, Tina and I -- yes, you've guessed right, I have commandeered the blog -- will do our best, in the name of fantastic grandparents that we love, to post pictures on a more regular basis. Starting now.

big teeth

adjusting to flash settings


restrained, but still happy

some beauty

more beauty

some pre-birthday, post-bath shots.

in-bath times.

guess who turns 8 tomorrow?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

what was that?

Jonas has started speech therapy, his first appointment was just a few days ago. (He has trouble with many consonant sounds.) He enjoyed the session and was so so so excited to have homework. "I'll do my homework when Seth does his homework, K mom?!"
His homework consisted of two pages of pictures, one with words beginning with "sp" and the other with words ending in "k". We did some homework on the way home, starting with the "sp" page. He did really well with the first few pictures, then I pointed to the bowl of noodles to which he said "ssssssss...macaroni". He knew as soon as he said it that it was really funny, so he has continued to insert it into conversation all weekend. A little funny man, that one.
We moved on to the next page, words ending in "k". His answers for this page were sssss..fork,, sssss..lock.

He's not quite there yet.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

plays nicely with others

I have recently figured out something about Jonas.

He plays really well with girls and not at all with boys.

His siblings are the exceptions- Maryn and Jonas have never gotten along that well, mostly because she doesn't let him play with her or her toys. He loves playing with Seth, but as with most older brother/younger brother relationships, Seth starts getting impatient and annoyed with Jonas after a while.

Girl example #1: Jonas thinks his best friend is Zoe (pictured above as the white queen with her little sister along with Maryn and Jonas) even though Zoe is Maryn's age and her best friend. To Zoe's credit, she balances these two kids vying for her attention with way more poise than you would expect from a five-year-old. Because Maryn is in kindergarten now and Zoe is not, she and Jonas have had a lot more opportunities to play together one-on-one and they both love it. I sometimes think that Zoe prefers to play with Jonas... I'll never tell Maryn though.

Girl example #2: C and her mom came over last week and spent two hours with us one afternoon. C is the youngest of 4 and only about two months younger than Jonas- they're in nursery together at church. Their whole family has been to our house numerous times, so this definitely wasn't the first time they had played together. So this past week, for the entire two hours, they played and played and didn't make one peep. Not one fight or complaint or tattle, nothing. I was shocked and amazed. And this is when my theory started brewing because of the following two examples.

Boy example #1: W moved in next door to us at the end of the summer. He loves to play with "Jona-th" and is always so excited to have Jonas come over to his house or play in our shared backyard together. I think the part of the relationship that Jonas likes the best is being able to play with W's toys which are cool in his basement playroom which is way cleaner than ours. He doesn't ever seem all that interested in actually playing with W.

Boy example #2: I have arranged with a mom of one of Seth's classmates to have weekly playdate swaps with our three-year-olds. L is a pretty easy-going kid. But when he comes over to our house for the playdate, Jonas is upset the whole time- crying, telling L not to touch his toys, refusing to play what L wants to play. This means that I have to spend the whole two hours hovering, trying to make sure that Jonas shares and doesn't cry or say mean things to L.

I don't know that it means anything, really. I think he likes playtime with a structure or creative "purpose" and maybe other three year old boys just don't play that way. I'm cool with that, generally playing with girls is quieter.

Friday, November 5, 2010

they don't know what's coming...

Every year during parent-teacher conferences, I try really hard to keep my face blank as my childrens' teachers gush over how well-behaved my kids are in class and if they could just have a classroom full of my kids, their teaching life would be easier. I'm not kidding, this is exactly what I hear every time. Is this what other parents hear too, is this what the teachers say to everyone? I want to be proud, but my scepticism wins over. I politely say thank you each time and we move on, but I'm still left wondering. These perfect children they talk about, who are they? Why don't they live in my house?

In an attempt to get to the bottom of the situation, I asked Maryn yesterday (right after she had smacked Jonas over the head for touching her paper within 10 minutes of being home from school), "Your teacher told me that you are a very good and sweet girl who gets along with everyone in your class, why don't you act that way at home?"

"Because Mommy, at school I have someone (her teacher, I suppose) to focus on and there are rules I follow, so I'm good and I don't get in trouble."

Maybe it's just me, but I think she was asking me to create and enforce more rules in our home.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure I can make that happen.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween 2010

For the first time, this year the kids actually helped clean out the pumpkin.
Oops, I guess didn't get any pictures of the finished product. It was Jack Skellington's head. It started growing mold the next day and was really spooky-looking by Halloween (complete with ooze).

This year, the only item I made for the kids costumes was Seth's scarf, his Harry Potter look needed something more identifying than the glasses and scar. I bought the Captain Hook costume for Jonas over a year ago when he started wanting to play dress up with Maryn and wear her princess dresses, so happy it still fits and that he wanted to wear it. His favorite part of his costume was his mustache. Maryn wore a sparkly witch dress which we borrowed from a friend. And I love an excuse to doll her up with makeup, so she's wearing sparkly purple eyeshadow, mascara and blush!

Oh look! There's the pumpkin we carved.

This is the only picture I took during actual trick or treating. It got dark pretty quickly after we left home. The kids had lots of fun and we (unfortunately) got tons and tons of candy. For the first time since we moved here, we trick-or-treated in our own little neighborhood. Because it's an older neighborhood with really nice, big homes- I was surprised at how many kids and families we saw on the streets.
Phew...I'm glad that holiday is over. It is my least favorite by a mile. Now the countdown is on for our exciting Christmas vacation! More on this much to do.

For the grandparents.....the rest of the (very few) pictures taken are here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween 2009

Before I posted pics of Halloween last weekend, I decided to share some pics of last year when I actually made all of my kids' costumes for the first time ever. Meaning I actually sewed everything you see here (except for the fairy wings and almost everything Jonas is wearing- except for the mask and R badge- which I did I guess not everything...)
Not sure why I didn't share any of these last year, you would think I would have been proud of all my hard work. Guess I felt like I didn't need any validation. (That doesn't sound quite right, does it?)

I think the actual reason was because this was my first venture into sewing costumes for my kids and they didn't turn out exactly like the vision I had in my head- meaning they weren't perfect, people!
But in reality, who knows what the heck I was thinking. It was a year ago!