Thursday, April 29, 2010

Katie Anne's Three Year Checkup

Yesterday, Katie Anne had a big day!  She was scheduled for her three-year-old checkup at 1:30 in the afternoon, and that threw a little kink in the childcare plans - her school strongly discourages parents from picking kids up during naptime to avoid disturbing the other kids.  Granddad could watch her in the morning after 7:45, but Saunders had to be at an early meeting.  I had planned to work a half day so I can save as much sick leave time as possible for my maternity leave.  What to do???

Well, my bosses were nice enough to bend the rules a little bit and let Katie Anne come to school with me for a few minutes until Granddad could pick her up.  Katie Anne was beyond thrilled to ride to work with Mommy...
 and go to "the big kid school"!  

She had a great time while she was there!  My kids were excited to see her, too.  She got to help me sign in, check my mailbox, pick up my kids, and pass out morning work.  Katie Anne cannot wait to come to the big kid school!

After she spent the morning with Granddad, I picked Katie Anne up and we headed for her pediatrician's office.  She got a great report!  She's right on track for all her benchmarks and is the picture of good health.  She's 39.5 inches tall and 38 pounds.  That's 95th percentile for height and 90th percentile for weight.  It had been one year to the day since Katie Anne had been to the doctor - her pediatrician literally gave her three cheers for a very healthy year!  We've been very lucky - she's only had one 24 hour virus and a few not-too-serious colds since her two-year-check up!  The best news about the whole visit was - NO shots!

Since she did such a great job at the doctor's office, she got to pick out a treat at the bookstore on the way home.  She chose a Little Mermaid watercolor book, and she spent some time painting when we got home.

We capped off the day with a big family dinner at a great Mexican restaurant - La Parilla - with Gigi, Granddad, Greg, Jillian, and Mamaw!  It was a fun, busy, great day!

Well, It Took Them Long Enough...

but the bulbs we planted way back when have finally come up!
Our daffodils' green leaves came up, but flowers did not bloom this year.
We haven't seen any signs of the crocus bulbs, but the Muscari bulbs have finally made an appearance!
 In addition to the bulbs, we have some other pretty plants blooming in the yard right now, too!
(These are totally in thanks to my husband and mother-in-law... probably the only reason they're doing so well is because I've barely touched them!)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thanks for Being Positive

This afternoon, Katie Anne was painting in her new Ariel watercolor book.
She asked me, "Mommy, what do you think about this painting?"
I was sewing a hem in some pants, and I glanced at her painting and said, "Wow, that looks really good, Katie Anne."
She said, "Thank you, Mommy, for being so positive."

Cracked me up!

I asked her, "Who says thank you for being positive?"
She said, "I don't know, but it really sounds good to say."
I had to agree to that!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chores, Part II

In honor of Katie Anne's new dedication to working around the house (and to inspire her to take her bath before bed without a battle), I got her a new chore chart.  You may remember that I made her a chore chart myself  last year.  However, it has not held up well under repeated use... the Velcro dots are not sticking as well, and the laminate is pulling loose in places.  So, I saw this cute and simple chore chart at Hobby Lobby, and it had a lot of the "chores" I needed to encourage Katie Anne to work on - taking a bath, brushing her own teeth, and making her bed.  Paired with some of the tons of little incentive stickers I've acquired as a teacher, I thought this little chart would be a perfect fit.

She was so totally excited when I brought it home a little over a week ago, and she's been very motivated to fill it up.  It hasn't helped us get every chore done every day ... there's been a few days where we've skipped a bath or haven't exactly met the "Be Happy" goal - and making her bed in the morning was a bit hard for her.  But, it has definitely been a big helper - she loves to earn her stickers, and just reminding her about the sticker chart can help motivate her to hop on in the shower or improve her attitude if she's feeling surly.  

However, making the bed was still a problem after a week of working on the chart.  I blame part of this on all of us... I don't really have time before work between helping Katie Anne potty, get dressed, and fixing her hair to help her make her bed, she's not really motivated to do it independently without encouragement or a reminder, and Daddy doesn't put a high priority on bed making himself.  So, she only earned stickers on Saturday and Sunday for making her bed during the first week.

This problem brought about two changes - one was my idea and one was Katie Anne's.  First, I decided to ignore the days of the week on the chart and just let her earn her way across on the stickers.  She'd already earned the Saturday and Sunday stickers, and I didn't see a way for her to make her bed on the weekdays until I get out of school for the summer. I thought she could at least earn two stickers a weekend in this area until she filled up her chart. (She gets to pick out any treat she wants from the dollar store when she fills up her chart, by the way.)  

Katie Anne's idea works even better than mine.  When it was time to take a nap on Sunday, she got the brilliant idea to sleep on top of her blanket so that she wouldn't mess up the bed she'd already made.  So, she got out her big fluffy blanket and napped under it.  When bedtime came, she just decided to keep the good idea going and sleep on top of her covers at night, too!  As she said, "Now all I have to do is put on my pillows and sit up my animals, and my bed is all made!"  So, she's quickly earning those "Make My Bed" stickers with her smart thinking!

Here are some pictures of her new improved style of bed making this morning!  *Obviously, as you can see in the background, we need to make "Putting My Books Back On My Bookshelf Neatly After Reading" an extra area on the chart.  :)

Straightening up her Dora pillow... she had already put her fluffy blanket away while I was getting the camera.  The little pink and green blanket you see is her cuddle blanket, and it actually counts more as an animal or baby... and so must sit up near the pillows like the animals or babies.  Peach, the mouse KA is holding, is the ultimate loved stuffed animal, and she can't even put him down long enough to make the bed.  :)

It's hard work to put those big decorative pillows over the bedrail!

Once she gets the pillows up there, she drags them up to where they belong and gets them looking nice.

That's a pretty good job for a three-year-old!

Putting her sticker on her chart

Counting how many more she has to get...

Our worker bee is proud of herself!

Le Petite Artiste

Look at that concentration!

The Jolly Sex Party!

Okay, okay, I know what you're thinking - "Sex Party?!?!?"  
I mean that as in The Jolly Gender Party.  
It was just too good of a blog post title to pass up.

Last Saturday night, we went to the big gender reveal party to learn whether Jason, Erin, and Ella were adding a boy or a girl to their family.  I love this idea - and I can't believe that Erin and Jason have the willpower to have the envelope containing that big news in their house for several days and not open it!

The party was a lot of fun - Katie Anne loved playing with the kids.  She also loved checking out all Ella's toys - as she told us in the car on the way home, "Ella's got a lot of fun stuff.".  Saunders and I enjoyed catching up with Erin, Jason, and all their friends and family while enjoying the delicious food Erin had for us.  Finally, at 6:00, it was time for the big reveal.  Katie Anne and I voted for a baby girl, and Saunders voted for a boy... and Saunders was right!  Jason, Erin, and Ella will be welcoming Colin Michael Jolly in late August - Erin's due date is 6 days after mine!  It will be so exciting to have our sons so close together!  
 Here are some pictures from the fun night.

Two cool dads
Two hot mamas
KA with Daddy and Mommy
Katie Anne and Ella playing together
Opening the big envelope...
It's a BOY!!!
Congrats, Jason and Erin!

Rainy Morning Playdate

On Saturday morning, Saunders had planned to play golf with Lily and Bear's daddy, Josh.  So, Katie Anne and I thought it would be fun to have Vanessa, Lily, and Bear over to hang out with us and try out Katie Anne's new trampoline and swing set.  Unfortunately, the big storm rained out the golf morning... but we just moved the playdate indoors, and the kids had a blast together!  They played Barbies, Elefun, puzzles, dress up, tea party, blocks, and had a big time getting out practically every toy in the playroom... and they did a great job of putting them all back, too!  They stayed so busy that Vanessa and I had a chance to chat and catch up.  I snapped a few pictures of all the kids' crazy fun.

After our playful morning, we met the daddies at Chic-fil-A for a family lunch.  We had a great time - we'll definitely have to do it again soon, rain or shine!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chores, Part I

This is the first post in a series about Chores!

Lately, Katie Anne has gotten very into doing her chores - and that makes a Mommy very happy!  Katie Anne told me a few days ago, "Now that I'm a big three-year-old, I need to start doing work around this house."
So, one thing that she's started doing this week is setting the table for supper.  She puts out everyone's napkins. Then she gets the forks and spoons out of the drawer and puts those on the table, too.  She does a great job!   

Sock Puppet Fun!

For Katie Anne's birthday, her cousin Marley, Jodi, and Jason sent her a very cool "Make Your Own Sock Puppet" Kit all the way from Arizona!  When we opened it, it was filled with all kinds of fun goodies... 
and I was excited to see that almost the entire project was one that KA could really do on her own!  I love to find a craft that is really, really kid-friendly - and this one totally was.  With the exception of "sewing" the little pompoms to the top of the puppets (which an older child could easily do - it was basically poking the yarn through with a giant plastic needle and tying a knot), Katie Anne did almost all the rest of the work!  We started with the blue puppet - Katie Anne named him "Sock Puppy".  
The steps for creation were Peel...
and Stick!
Daddy came into the kitchen just in time to help peel some of the sticker backs for Katie Anne.
Without long fingernails, he was a little bit of a slow peeler...
and Little Miss Dramatic enjoyed giving him a hard time about it - but she could barely keep a straight face!
Mommy helped peel, too.   (I know I look very tired - my husband told me so as soon as he took this picture.  Hey, if you'd taken 22 kindergartners to a science museum while 22 weeks pregnant earlier in the day, you'd look this tired, too.  :)
Katie Anne was very happy with Sock Puppy when he was finished!
After that, work continued on "Clowny" the orange puppet...
And "Sophio" the green puppet!
In a little over thirty minutes, Katie Anne had three awesome new sock puppets to play with - and she'd made them herself!
After that, all that remained was to act out some very silly sock puppet plays!
I would highly recommend this product as a gift for any toddler - or just as a fun rainy day project for your own kid.  The company that makes this product - Creativity for Kids - has lots of other cool things on their website, too.  Plus, the great thing was that we had TONS of the self-adhesive stickers left, so we saved them to do other projects later!

Thanks Jodi, Jason, and Marley!!!