Saturday, February 21, 2009

Photo Sampler: February Vacation Week

They are genuinely this sweet. It's crazy. Good thing it's not constant or I'd suspect their father of drugging them.

This past week was February Vacation Week. In Florida they don't get a week off randomly in February. Here in Connecticut, everyone who can afford to take time off, goes to Florida this week. In Florida, they don't need a week off to go to Connecticut in February. It all makes sense now.

Since we weren't going to Florida, we decided to sign Q up for 'Circus Camp' at his gymnastics school. Nine to twelve each morning, they did fun things like this:

The boy has slept hard.

Wednesday, while Q was playing at Circus Camp, Noodle had her second professional haircut. As you can see in the top photo, she was looking a little shaggy. I was expecting some trouble, but here we go:

And twenty m&ms later, we're done:

I'm already missing the shag.

In this photo you can see the top of her boots. She wears these every time we leave the house, and about 50% of the time she's inside the house. If I mention that we're going somewhere, she gets all excited. "BOOTS!" she says, and takes off for the kitchen where I put the boots after I've tripped over them.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentine's Day

Every once in a while I realize that the true genius of preschool teachers is that they work a little bit on a project every day for weeks. Q comes home with amazing crafts, but what I don't realize is how many days it took to finish the project.

I didn't start early enough.

Tuesday night I drew hearts (folded paper so that each side would come out as a mirror of the other) and Q cut them out. I cut out the 'card' part. It was really difficult for Q to stay on task and keep cutting until there were enough hearts (and he was doing two at a time). That should have been the tip off for me.

But in addition to Valentines, I'd also promised Q, and then his teacher, that we'd bring cookies to school on Valentine's Day. (Or rather, Thursday, since there's no school for him on Friday). So we have a serious deadline ahead for 12 valentines, plus 3 teachers, plus thematic cookies.

And I'd like to say now, in case I ever consider this again, perhaps it was too much work in a short amount of time. Perhaps in the future we can start making Valentines as soon as we are done writing thank you notes from Christmas.

We started out great: writing names on the front, gluing hearts on, putting stamps on the inside (they're gingerbread men and snowmen, but Q doesn't care) and having Q write 'from Q'. He adjusted that to 'love' at least once. And 'frve' another time. At least I'm smart enough to let that go. But then Q started to rebel. He was tired. It's hard to write that much, even if Mom tells you what letter comes next. Then the glue stick was exhausting. He had lots of energy for the stamping though. He was delighted to discover that if he stamped first in red, then in blue, he got purple! "They're going to love these valentines." He says this in his soft lovey voice he uses most often when he's talking about his beloved kitty, "Kitty is a newborn kitty. I'm nursing kitty."

Okay. So we keep plowing ahead. I am now writing the names on the front, Q stamps the inside, writes his name, I put glue on the front and Q picks out one of the hearts he cut before and puts that on the front. Done. Again. Exhausting.

But I'm not giving you the full experience. While this is going on, Noodle is going feral. She has discovered Q's craft box and pulled out the crayons. I hand her a piece of paper. She looks at it once, takes the crayons and disappears. I can't pay attention because I have to keep Q on task and keep feeding him letters. "Done!" he declares. I look. Half his name is missing. Try again.

Noodle tries to steal the glue stick. I rescue it. I try to distract her with an unneeded stamp. "NOOOOO!" she screams, standing on the chair next to me, leaning as far into the table as possible, precariously balanced on the edge. I scoot the chair in, and now she's got a sturdy surface from which she tries to steal the scissors. I try to distract her with colored paper and chalk. She is momentarily engaged and I continue to try to keep Q on task. "What color do you think Jack should have?"

We're getting there. More than halfway through the valentines. Noodle is scattering items from the craft box around the room. She happily climbs onto a comfy chair, clutching the ziplock baggie of crayons. She dumps these into the chair, where they roll into the crevasses. I stay focused on Q. Sometimes you accept that your couch will fall to friendly fire.

Noodle leans off the chair to peer at a crayon that has fallen to the floor. The cushion tips her off and she lands on her head with a thud. Ooops. Switch kids. I hold the exhausted Noodle as she sobs. Did I mention that it's after 6 pm and the kids are usually in the tub by now? I call for back up. J emerges from the den looking confused.

I put J in charge of the valentines, direct him to the list of children's names and say Q can tell him how they're made. I take Noodle upstairs for her bath. Q talks J into letting him add glitter to all the valentines. Have I mentioned that the floor under the table is now a melange of crayons, chalk, scraps of paper Noodle stole from the trash, k'nex (they're like legos) and toddler crumbs? (Toddler crumbs are much larger than preschool crumbs. Toddler crumbs are how toddlers store food for future snacking.) Add glitter to that mix.

Somehow it all gets done. Noodle is bathed. The valentines are made, except of course the ones for the teachers which I forgot to mention to J. Q is in his jammies, and everyone collapses on our bed for book time. Noodle insists on "lie-barry" books. J, unhindered by a head cold, reads most of the stories. We tuck the kids in bed.

Downstairs again, I find myself comparatively relaxed as I frost the cookies that J and Q mixed, and J cut into the shape of hearts while Q played k'nex (much to everyone's relief). As I switch between pink and lavender frosting, I realize this kind of stress is crazy and I wonder if I'm going to lose my slacker mom status. Then I see the debris under the table and I realize I have nothing to worry about.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Can't Keep Up

Noodle is adding words too fast to keep track now. She's combining words into two word combinations and is very pleased with herself: "Kitty drush?"
"Kitty cat?" I ask.
"Kitty drush?"
Wait a minute - she's in the bathroom... "You want your kitty tooth brush?"

But yesterday she added (among others) two words that made me smile. Bunny - which sounds like "dunny". She confirms you're understanding her by adding, "hop hop hop."

And really amusing, she opened our copy of "Knuffle Bunny Too" turned to the last page and said, "Epilogue!" (not that clearly)

Evidently that word made an impression.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

"More more more!" said the baby

Today Noodle was 'helping' me unload the dishwasher. She pulled out the white bowl that Q wants his oatmeal in each morning.

"King." She starts to wander around the kitchen. "King."

"Is that Quinn's bowl?" I ask.

"Yesssh!" She's delighted with me.

Although we'd gotten an attempt at his name a few days ago, she hadn't repeated it until today. I drew Quinn's attention to her, "She's saying your name!"

"I don't want her to!"

Ah well.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Practice Practice Practice.

Last night we had dinner with Grandma Sue. Lovely. As we were leaving, she offered Q her fashionable dark glasses from her recent eye appointment. Q was thrilled. So thrilled in fact, that when he got home (Grandma Sue stop reading until at least Thursday) he told J he wanted to write Grandma a thank you note.

So evidently the Thank You Notes Lesson from the Christmas season stuck. I'm thrilled and amused.

He's a funny little kid. We see signs of him getting older and more competitive ("I'm first!" he says at the top of the stairs) but he's still also just a generous little guy. We were discussing shoveling this morning, one of Q's favorite activities lately. We have a couple of inches to clear away.

Noodle gets excited and manages to say, "Baby ho-VEL!"

We assure her that she can shovel too.

Then Q says, "Noodle can help shovel. She's a very good helper."

New word updates, and words I'd forgotten:

cack-a (cracker)
ho-vel (shovel)
previously she had 'nana' for hungry, but yesterday she came out with 'hunny' which threw us off for a while.
dink (drink)
cah (car)

Yesterday she also did a lesson in possessives: Daddy Nose. Mommy Nose. Daddy cah. Mommy cah.
It's like she now actually can hear us when we talk. Just an amazing process.

ALSO! I forgot:

brella (umbrella)
an-mul (animal)

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Little Updates

New Noodle Words:
Owl = Water
Owl = Owl
Gonga = Grandma
Tash = Trash
Tuh-tull = Turtle
Muk = Milk
Taol = Towel
Hanna = Savannah (the cat)
Rahly = Raleigh (the cat)
'anna = Joanna
George = Curious George (guess who's addicted)
Qin = Quinn (!)

She's also singing, in tune, "A-B-C -D-mumble, mumble, mumble..." (ending wanders a bit).

Behind me, Q is singing a pop song, "Ohhh, we belong together! Like traffic and weather, like traffic and weather."