Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Kaitlynn Loses her First Tooth

The kids had their bi-annual dental checkups in January and the dentist told Kaitlynn that her two lower front teeth were both loose. Kaitlynn was SO excited! She was ready to lose a tooth so that the tooth fairy would come visit her. Of course, the dentist's definition of "loose tooth" was very different from ours -- you could only barely wiggle it at the time.

As the month wore on, Kaitlynn was getting impatient at times and didn't understand why it was taking so long for her loose teeth to fall out. I told her she could encourage the teeth to loosen up by eating on them and brushing them a little harder, so that's just what she did. Every once in a while, she would comment about one of her lower teeth and have us wiggle it, and it was definitely loosening up.

One night before bed, her tooth was really wiggling. As I am the tooth-puller in the family, I wiggled it and still thought she had another week or so to go. But the next morning, she woke up and was really bothered by that tooth. It was much looser, so I asked her if she wanted me to try to pull it. Sure enough, after a few tugs, I could tell it was about to come out. It was bleeding a little but Kaitlynn insisted, so I tugged one last time and there it was! Kaitlynn was so excited, her squeals of delight brought Jeff in from the other room. Oh happy day! (ha!)

Still in her pajamas, she was happy to show off the loss of her first tooth!

Look at that face, ha!

Several months ago, the daughter of one of our friends gave Kaitlynn a little tooth pillow that will hold your tooth for the tooth fairy. At the time, Rylie told Kaitlynn that if you put your tooth in that pillow and place it under your bed, the tooth fairy would bring her an extra dollar. Kaitlynn never forgot that and couldn't wait to put her tooth in that pillow! I'm not sure what she was more excited about, the tooth fairy or going to school and showing off the gap in her mouth from her lost tooth!

I just happened to be visiting Kaitlynn's classroom later that day to teach Junior Achievement. I arrived to the room a little early so I took the opportunity to peek into Kaitlynn's daily writing journal. When I saw what she had written that morning, I smiled so big!

Kaitlynn was "soopr" excited about losing her first tooth!

When it was time to go to bed that night, Kaitlynn made sure to secure her tooth in the little pillow from Rylie and place it under her pillow. She couldn't wait for the tooth fairy to visit! Sure enough, the next morning Kaitlynn came running into my bathroom with her good news. The tooth fairy had indeed visited, and she left Kaitlynn a $5 dollar bill (the going rate in our house for the first tooth) plus another $1 dollar bill. Wow, was Kaitlynn excited!!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Watch D.O.G.S.

It's not often that Jeff gets an opportunity to spend a lot of time with the kids at school, but each year he makes an effort to participate in the Watch D.O.G.S. -- Dads of Great Students -- program, allowing him to spend a day at school, shadowing the kids in their classes and participating in all the school fun.

This year was extra special because of Kaitlynn's kindergarten year. When she learned that Jeff was going to be a Watch Dog Dad in her class, she could NOT wait! They picked a day late last year -- December 10 -- and the countdown was on! Unfortunately, when December 10 rolled around, our house was overrun with the flu.

Luckily, Jeff was able to reschedule his date and joined Kaitlynn as her Watch Dog Dad in early January. Oh, were these two excited for their big day together at school!!

Kaitlynn and her Sweet Daddy ready for their Watch DOGs day.

When it was time to go, Jeff and the kids biked to school. They couldn't wait to get to school, and Kaitlynn was so ready to introduce her Sweet Daddy to her classmates.

Biking to school.

First up, they stood at the school entrance and greeted the students coming in. When the final bell rang, they headed to the library to participate in the morning announcements. Jeff tried to talk the kids into doing some sort of silly gesture on the video but Connor wasn't having it, ha!

They had their picture taken in the library after the daily announcements.

Kaitlynn and 2 of her very favorite people!

Sweet picture at lunch.

The very next week, it was Connor's turn to have Jeff at school with him. He has recently entered the "too cool for school" phase of youth so he couldn't show too much excitement about having his Dad as the Watch DOG in his class. But they still had a great day together and Jeff was able to experience life in the day of his 3rd grader.

Biking to school again for Watch DOGs.

And another pic in the library.

Jeff's favorite part of the day was spending time with Connor in art and at recess. The big to-do at recess for the 3rd graders is always a very competitive game of Sharks and Minnows. We've been hearing about these adventures the entire school year, so Jeff was excited to experience it in person. Of course, in true Jeff fashion, he went ALL OUT and tried to keep up with the 3rd grade speed and energy on the playground. Let's just say he was sore for days after this particular incident. (He fought the mud and the mud won..).

Jeff's muddy mess after a strenuous game of Sharks and Minnows.

Side note: Connor recently informed us that Sharks and Minnows has since been banned from recess due to the high number of "injuries and concussions" sustained on the playground. Say what?! LOL!!

While Jeff was spending time with Connor in his classroom, he found some of Connor's recent work and texted me some photos. No surprise here -- everything revolves around football and the Houston Texans, ha!

While Jeff was at school for Watch DOGs, he saw this up on the wall outside Connor's classroom.

It was a poem about football. Made me smile!

We are so thankful that the kids' school allows for these fun opportunities to spend time with them!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

100 Days of Kindergarten

February 4th marked a big day for Kaitlynn -- it was the 100th day of Kindergarten! To honor the big day, the kids were asked to make a t-shirt with 100 objects representing the 100 days of school. What a fun idea, right?

(WRONG! Don't these teachers know that I am the most terribly UN-crafty person on this planet?? Yikes!)

So it was Pinterest to the rescue! I did some searching on Pinterest for 100-day ideas, and I soon found this idea with buttons that seemed simple enough. I showed it to Kaitlynn and she loved it, so we decided to give it a go.

Our Pinterest inspiration for Kaitlynn's shirt. Looks easy enough, right??

We started our project two weekends in advance. You know, in case of a total FAIL on my part. Kaitlynn and I found a cute navy shirt at the resale shop and then we went in search of buttons at Hobby Lobby. We found what we needed and raced home to plug in the glue gun. (Cue the horror movie music! Seriously. I should not be trusted with that thing!)

Kaitlynn carefully counted out the 100 buttons and we worked together to arrange them in the flower design on the table. She was so proud of her counting, and I started feeling pretty optimistic. This was gonna work after all, phew!

The buttons all laid out on the kitchen table.

Then I started the hot-gluing. This is no joke. The glue is HOT and the residue forms spider web-type strings all over the place. I felt like I was covered in spider webs! But I managed to glue the buttons without a major catastrophe and we were quite proud of the result.

The finished product!

Love it! But then, being the complete left-brained person that I am, I decided to count the buttons. You know, just to make sure there were 100. I must've had a gut instinct that something was off, because when I counted them on the shirt, there weren't 100 buttons. There were 101! Noooooo!!!

Then I realized what had happened. In my overzealous attempt at making a perfect Pinterest copy, I had rearranged Kaitlynn's carefully counted buttons and ended up with one extra yellow button on the shirt. Totally my fault. She counted right but I had messed it up. I felt embarrassed when I told Kaitlynn my mistake and that her shirt actually had 101 buttons instead of 100. Oops! And then it became a big family joke, all of us saying that Kaitlynn would wear her shirt 2 days in a row: once for the 100-day celebration and again on the 101st day. Ha!

Kaitlynn's face when we realized our little mistake, ha!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Kaitlynn's Weekend with Tex

Kaitlynn's kindergarten class has a class pet, Tex, and she's been telling me all about him over the months. Each weekend, the students take turns taking Tex home and sharing some fun adventures. Then, the kids will share some photos and sentences about their time with Tex. Kaitlynn is not the most patient child (far from it), so she has been anxiously awaiting her turn with Tex. Finally, that time arrived. When I walked to meet the kids from school one afternoon last month, Kaitlynn greeted me with the hugest smile and squeal. Tex was coming over for a visit!

In my haste to hear all about her excitement with Tex, I forgot to snap good pictures. But we tried to make up for it throughout our weekend. We made plans for Tex's stay, including a dinner out together, a fun project, and of course, some playtime outside. Nothing extravagant, but Tex made it all special!

Eating out for dinner with the family.

Riding together on the Big Wheel.

Tex took a ride on Connor's remote controlled car.

The fun project that Kaitlynn wanted to share with Tex was for her 100th day of school that was coming up in a couple of weeks. Kaitlynn and I were going to make a t-shirt with 100 objects, so we took Tex along with us to shop for supplies. It was a really fun project together, but I'll have to save the finished product for another post! ;-)

Shopping for Kaitlynn's 100 day t-shirt.

When it was time to say goodbye to Tex, we printed some pictures with Tex and Kaitlynn had to write a little story about her time together. She was very sad to see him go!

Kaitlynn's entry in Tex's book of adventures.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Mom's Weekend

On Super Bowl weekend, Jeff traveled to Colorado for a guys' ski weekend with his buddies. That meant only one thing: Mom's Weekend!!!!

This may be one of my new all-time favorite photos! Look at those expressions -- pure joy!!

Wow! The kids were so excited about Mom's Weekend! Over the years, they have been quite spoiled when I go out of town and they have Dad's Weekends, so I wanted to make sure they learned how much fun we could have during Mom's Weekend, too. I pulled out all the stops!

Mom's turn to show her excitement! haha

When I picked up the kids from school to kick off the weekend, it was a beautiful day and so we decided to hang out at the park. We picked up a pizza and enjoyed the gorgeous weather outside.

Pizza and park time.

Swinging at the park.

On Saturday morning, I made the kids' favorite breakfast -- piggies in a blanket -- and we learned how to play a new card game, Skip-Bo. The kids love games of all kinds, and this was no exception. We probably played Skip-Bo over a dozen times that weekend!

Eating some breakfast and playing Skip-Bo in our pajamas. So fun!

The kids were invited to two different birthday parties during our Mom's Weekend. The first was an amazing Frozen-themed party for Kaitlynn's friend, Kennedy. All of the little girls dressed up as their favorite Frozen princess and enjoyed music, dancing, makeup, games, and food. Oh my, was this party right up Kaitlynn's alley!

Kaitlynn and the birthday girl. Beautiful princesses!

Getting her makeup done by Elsa.

All of the princesses were served "tea" by Anna and Elsa.

Look at Kaitlynn's smile -- she's in HEAVEN!!

Back at home, the kids and I enjoyed the Super Bowl game and all of the commercials. One of Kaitlynn's favorite pastimes these days is brushing, fixing, and braiding my hair. So she did that for about 2 hours straight during the game!

Kaitlynn's masterpiece!

Our Mom's Weekend was so much fun! I'm not sure I convinced the kids that we could have just as much fun as they have with Dad while I'm away, but we sure enjoyed trying!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Cheer Weekend with Karlie

During the first weekend in January, we were excited to have a fun visit with my cousin Robin and her family. They were down in the Houston area for Karlie's cheer competition in Galveston, so we jumped at the chance to spend some time together.

Of course, no one was probably more excited than Kaitlynn. She and cousin Preslee are two peas in a pod and had such an awesome time playing together!

Two sweet princesses.

Having fun with their Rainbow Looms.

Sweet notes from these sweet girls; we found them all over the house!

On Saturday, I drove to Galveston for the chance to see Karlie compete in her cheer competition. It was my first experience with the world of competition cheer and it was eye-opening! The makeup, the glitter, the giant hair bows...oh my! But I had a great time and Karlie' group did so great. I felt honored to be a part of the fun weekend!

My beautiful niece Karlie, all dolled up for her cheer competition.

Karlie took a selfie for us :-)

A shot of Karlie's group competition.

Karlie and her parents at the competition.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sleepover Fun

Ever since Kaitlynn and her best friend, Anais, started Kindergarten last year, we have become slaves to the school calendar. It is always so tough to find good opportunities to get these two friends together. We made sure to find a time during the girls' Winter Break to get together for some play time and a sleepover. We met at the newly renovated Memorial City Mall play area (a mom's dream!) for the girls to play and have lunch. Later in the week, we picked up Anais for sleepover at our house. Squeals and big smiles all around!

Meeting up at the Memorial City mall play area.

The girls had a carousel ride.

They love playing cards and board games together.

Who's the winner!

Collin brought out his pet chameleon for the girls to see. (It was the day before Collin left for ND.)

Night time and the girls are looking a little sleepy.

Donuts for breakfast!

After some playtime outside, they had to warm their feet by the fire.

It warms my heart to see these girls so close despite the months and distance apart. They have the best time together and never tire of one another's company. Such sweet friends!