Sunday, March 17, 2013

Connor Lately

Connor has had a lot going on in his little world lately, but he is enjoying every minute of it. He LOVES his new school, despite the long daily commute for all of us. Lately his school has hosted many activities that we've enjoyed being a part of.

The first graders recently held a "Reading Restaurant" where they invited parents to come into the classroom, sit down at the kids' desks, and order from a menu. Instead of ordering food, we were able to order books that the kids (the "chefs") would read to us. Such a cute idea! Connor really got into it and I just loved the experience in his classroom.

Connor and his new teacher, Ms. Vaid.

Chef Connor at Reading Restaurant.

Chef Connor and I enjoying the fun event.

Another event that his school recently hosted was the Fund Run which is their annual fundraising event. The kids collect pledges and sponsors for a number of laps that they run during a designated day at school. It was hosted by an outside company and was a really neat event. The teachers and kids alike really got into the fun, and the parents were able to watch as the kids ran to reach their goals. I was able to bring Kaitlynn and Lily (Julie's daughter) with me to cheer Connor on.

And they're off! The kids ran laps outside near the playground.

Connor's cheerleaders: Kaitlynn and Lily.

"Mom, I'm supposed to be running, not taking pictures!"

Happy fund-runner! We were so thankful for the gorgeous weather!

After the race, I took this picture of Connor's t-shirt where they kept track of the laps he ran.

Another cute event that the elementary school hosted recently was Muffins With Mom. It was held on Friday morning before the kids were released for Spring Break. I was super impressed with the incredible turnout of parents -- the gym and cafeteria were packed! We enjoyed a breakfast of donuts and fruit, and then we were able to go outside and enjoy the playground before school started.

Muffins (or technically, donuts) with Mom! 

Happy boy!

Kaitlynn was so happy to attend with us.

Group pic.

After breakfast, the kids loved playing on the school playground.

Sweet siblings.

One more thing about Connor's new school...I had a proud Mommy moment when Connor brought home his first 3 assignments. During our week of "home school" I had been teaching him about nouns and adjectives, neither of which he had covered in his former school. So imagine my delight when Connor came home with these grades on the subjects we had covered at home!

Connor's first 3 quizes at his new school.

Finally... I've been collecting stories from Connor for a while and thought I'd include them here.

One day Connor was asking me why I am so forgetful sometimes. I told him it's because I'm old. He thought about that a little bit and later said, "But Mom, you're not old. You don't have scratches on your face like Dad and Ms. Emswiler (his former teacher)." Ha!

When Connor has a headache, he describes it by saying his head is "beeping."

Connor LOVES playing games. He begs us over and over to play Yahtzee or Uno, and he beats us often. The other day I finally agreed to play Uno with him and he started giggling like a little girl, he gets so giddy and excited! After he beat me for the 2nd time that night, he was reading the Uno card box and noticed that it said for Ages 7 and up. He looked at me in all seriousness and said, "Mom, Uno is supposed to be for ages 7 and up. Do you think I can handle it? Because I'm not 7 yet." Um, yeah buddy, I think you can handle it, LOL!!

This conversation occurred between the kids and me a few months ago:
Me: How about pizza for lunch?
Kaitlynn, in her usual melodramatic fashion: I don't want pizza!
Connor: Kaitlynn, do you want a sandwich instead?
Kaitlynn: No! I want pizza!
Connor, exasperated, to me: She is SUCH a woman.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Our Girl

If you were to randomly stop by our house anytime that Kaitlynn is at home, you would likely see her dressed like this:

Our girl is ALL girl. I think most girls love to dress up and play princess, but we continue to be amazed at how much she gets into the act. She has several princess costumes, but this one from the Disney Tangled movie is her absolute favorite. It's a large costume covered in glitter and with multiple petticoats, so maybe it makes her feel like the ultimate princess! We help her put it on over her clothes, and then she runs straight to the playroom to get her coordinating earrings, tiara, and princess slippers. Then she proceeds to twirl and whirl all over the house, asking each of us if we'd like to join her at the Ball.

Kaitlynn and her Daddy have such a special relationship, and she now often refers to him as her Prince. When she is dressed up in her princess costume, she will extend a hand towards Jeff and ask him to dance with her. Of course, he just eats it all up! He loves to dance with her and be her Prince. The other day, they were dancing together when Kaitlynn announced, "It's time to kiss!" So she leaned toward Jeff, tilted her head softly one direction, and then went in for a long kiss. Jeff looked up at me with an amused, startled expression, wondering how she knows so much about kissing. I think we've been watching Cinderella a few too many times, ha!

The Prince and Princess were worn out after the Ball.

Kaitlynn is very much enjoying her girly accessories these days. She always notices my jewelry and outfits, and she frequently asks for her own. She finds many creative ways to accessorize -- it's such a girl thing, I guess! And every day when I get Kaitlynn dressed, she expects an appropriate number of "oohs" and "ahs" and compliments on her appearance by everyone in the house. Ha!

The other day I told Kaitlynn we needed to run an errand quickly but she could stay in her pajamas. Before I knew it, she had added her blankie as a "scarf" and of course, her princess slippers. A girl can't leave without her accessories, ha!

Sunglasses are a necessary accessory sometimes, too.

A trip to the library in her princess tutu.

Kaitlynn had her mid-year preschool assessment earlier this year to record her academic progress. They measure her knowledge of letters, numbers, shapes, colors, and some basic vocabulary. She seems to be right on track, and she has recently been working very hard on her letters and writing. We have several writing tools (dry erase flashcards, iPad apps, etc.) and she enjoys practicing her letters, but recently when I've tried to get her to write her letters or name for me free-hand, she usually flat-out refuses. Except for the letter H -- which she can write perfectly and draws all over everything (seriously, there are H's all over her papers! -- she hasn't been interested in writing for me. I can't figure out why she's so reluctant to write letters, except she gets a little frustrated when she messes up, like she's being perfectionistic about it? I finally bribed her and told her that when she was ready to write her name for me, I would take her to get a new pair of earrings. She seems a little more willing to write now, and I finally got her to write her name on her best friend Anais's birthday card last week. For her very first "signature" I was impressed! Of course, the letters are in no particular order, ha!

And speaking of Kaitlynn's friend, Anais...if I had to admit our biggest disappointments for our upcoming move to Katy, it would be (1) leaving our home/community, and (2) leaving behind Kaitlynn's best friend, Anais. Those 2 girls were instant friends from the time they met on the playground at Mother's Day Out when they were about 18 months old. They weren't even in the same class, but they always gravitated towards one another on the playground and haven't been separated since.

Anais and Kaitlynn, two very special friends!

It breaks my heart to think of Kaitlynn in preschool next year without her best friend, Anais! But the good news is that we are already planning lots of play dates to make sure they get to see each other often during summer and on the days they aren't in school.

Anais and Kaitlynn on the playground at preschool.

Some funny things Kaitlynn has been saying lately:
  • When she's excited about something, she'll jump up and down while exclaiming: "I'm so exciting!!"
  • When she isn't happy about something, she will say, "Stop being mean at me!"
  • She can be SO sweet when she wants to be. Her latest way of showing love is by hugging us while saying softly, "You're so perfect in my family."
  • She still says "kitchen" for chicken, "slip" for zip, and "yo" for phone. "Yo" has become a family word and even some of our friends are using it now to refer to Apple devices in general. Ha!
  • She eats peanut butter on wheat toast for breakfast most mornings, and she continues to pronounce it "pier" toast instead of peanut butter toast.
  • When she wants to be picked up, she holds out her arms and says, "I carry you." I can't bear to correct her!
Our girl has been going through quite the "phase" (at least I hope it's a phase) lately. I'm sure she is sensing all of our emotions and just reacting to the upheaval in our lives, so I'm trying to be patient with her. I also remember Connor going through a similar tough phase at age 3, so maybe it's a combination of age and life changes. In any case, I'm ready for it to be OVER! But in between all the "ugly" moments, there are many of the "beautiful" moments and we are just soaking them in.

Love those twinkling eyes and that sweet smile.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Preschool Rodeo Fun

Kaitlynn's preschool class definitely got into the Rodeo fun this year. Each student took home a paper boot to decorate and then they were hung in the classroom for the Rodeo festivities. Kaitlynn was so excited to decorate her boot. We made sure to get just the right accessories -- glitter letters, bling jewels, and princess stickers, ha! I let Kaitlynn draw and color her boot, and then she said she wanted to add a picture of herself. We found just the right one, and then I helped jazz up her boot a bit with the accessories we bought. Oh, and of course we added a big bow on top because when is Kaitlynn ever without a big bow, ha! She was so proud of the final result!

Kaitlynn with her decorated boot.

To add to the fun, Kaitlynn's class participated in a short Rodeo program for the parents. The last time Kaitlynn had a program at school, she spent the entire time crying and had to be pulled off of the stage. So before the Rodeo program, I told Kaitlynn that she needed to smile and participate or I would leave the show. Ha! I think that tactic worked, though, because Kaitlynn was quite the little performer and really had fun during the program.

Here are two of the Rodeo songs Kaitlynn's class performed at the program:

I have old videos of Connor performing the same songs several years ago, so I just love these precious memories that the kids are making during preschool. The Rodeo is always such fun for us!

One last pic that I couldn't resist posting. Remember sweet baby Joshua who was the recipient of Kaitlynn's pacifiers? He is such a happy baby and Kaitlynn is still quite enamored with him. They had a sweet "Hello" at the Rodeo program! :-)