Friday, September 28, 2007

I don't do floors...

Yesterday I did something I don't do nearly as often as I should. I mopped the kitchen floor. I do a lot of spot-mopping with damp paper towels, but I don't actually get out the bucket and pine-sol and mop the floor that often. So I was feeling really good about my nice clean kitchen floor, and then the girls came home from school. Within the space of two hours, here's what happened to my spotless floor: wood chips and dirt were dumped out of tennis shoes all over it, a large bag of squishy grapes was spilled on it, four Otter Pops in various colors were carefully dripped all over it, and it was peed on. And yet Chris wonders why I don't mop the floor more often.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Primary Program

Sunday was the annual Primary Program at church (for those of you who have no clue what I'm talking about, Primary is sort of the children's Sunday school). These are always my favorite Sundays because I love the spirit that these kids bring to the meeting. This year, apart from the usual singing, they asked one child from each class to give a talk based on a part of the theme for this year, Faith in Jesus Christ. Lexi was asked to give the talk for her class. Her topic was: My Faith in Jesus Christ Brings Me Blessings. She was really excited to write the talk herself, with just a little guidance from Mom (since her #1 "blessing", in her opinion, is her favorite doll, Molly, and she wanted to go on at length about just how great a blessing that is). Here's her talk as she gave it:

"Heavenly Father has given me many blessings. I have a Mom and Dad who love me. I love my sisters, too. I have a home to live in and many food to eat. I have a doll. Heavenly Father blessed me with courage so I’m not afraid to try new things, like going to school. I’m thankful to Heavenly Father for my blessings. They make me happy. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

Vicki gave a talk last year, so this year she just got to relax and sing the songs, which she did with the greatest enthusiasm, even doing all the signs she could remember for "Love One Another". She sings her way through life, so in no way did she think she got the short end of the deal. It was a great program and I can't wait until next year's!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Back-to-School Night

Last night was back-to-school night, a well-organized but still crazy event at our school. We got to see the girls’ classrooms, talk with the teachers – Chris got to meet them for the first time – and see some of the girls’ work so far.

Lexi’s teacher had them illustrate their hopes for kindergarten. Lexi hopes to learn how to read. She also had them draw a family portrait. Most kids drew their moms and dads and siblings. Lexi drew herself, Grandma, and a kitty. Neither we nor Grandma (either one) has a kitty. In Lexi’s class they use sign language rather than their voices to ask for a drink of water or to go to the bathroom. Lexi thinks this is the greatest thing in the world, and she’s so proud that, thanks to our Signing Time videos, she already knew all the signs, and she even knew one her teacher didn’t: “cookie”!

All the kids in Vicki’s class made a Mini-me. The teacher took a picture of each of them on the first day of school and then printed their heads and let them add clothes using an old wallpaper sample book. Vicki’s, of course, had on a long, flowing gown and was accessorized by pipe cleaner bows. Beautiful. In her class they do SRAs I did SRAs in second grade – remember those little color-coded folders with a story and a bunch of questions on them? I can’t believe they’re still around. SRA stands for “silent reading assessments”. I never knew that.

Looks like it’s shaping up to be another fabulous school year!

Potty Training 101

Lesson 1: Underpants…

...are not a hat.

Lesson 2: Potty seat…not a hat, either (despite the number of times she did this, I unfortunately didn’t get a picture). We spent the most time on this particular lesson because that potty seat just fit so dang nicely on her head!

Once we got those two things cleared up, potty training the third time around has actually been a breeze. When she noticed that two of her friends were potty trained, Ellie thought this was the coolest thing in the world. For days all she could talk about was, “Jenna goes potty. Anna goes potty.” She wanted to sit on the potty, too. So we would sit on the potty, with absolutely no results whatsoever, about 15 times a day. Every once in a while we got lucky, but more often than not she’d sit happily for a while and then announce, “I done!” Either that, or she’d sit so quietly that I’d forget she was there, only to come back five minutes later and find about 3 miles of toilet paper decorating the bathroom floor.

Then, about three weeks ago, she decided that she wasn’t going to wear diapers anymore. Nope, it had to be panties, just like her sisters, and just like Anna and Jenna. So I told her that was fine as long as she kept them dry. It took two days for it all to connect and now her mantra is “no peepees on floor” as she runs for the bathroom. No sticker charts, no M&M’s, no bribery whatsoever, just a very determined little munchkin who noticed that no one else around here wears diapers, so why should she?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

We made it!

The first full week of school is over and we're all still in one piece. Vicki, of course, jumped right back into the swing of things and didn't really need any time to get used to things, but Lexi never went to preschool, so this is her first plunge into the life of a student, and going from no school whatsoever to all day long is a pretty big step. She did it, though, and appears to have loved every second of it. Every day after school she bounced over to me to drop off her backpack before running off to the playground to play before we headed home. And then she walked the half mile home without any complaints. There weren't even any of the major meltdowns I was expecting. She did lose it a bit at bedtime last night, but she crashed the minute her head hit the pillow and has been extremely cheerful all day today. So I think (hope, pray, knock on wood) that the worst is over and she'll just keep on having fun. Besides, it's kindergarten...what's not to love? :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Independence Day

Our girls are all eager to be independent. Ellie's favorite phrase is, "No! I gonna!" Lexi likes to make her own breakfast. Vicki likes to do her own hair. She likes it so much that we had to come up with a compromise: she does her hair on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and I get the other days. That way she gets to practice, but she still looks, well, tidy - at least part of the week. Yesterday was Tuesday and she was feeling especially creative.
The thing is, no matter how...interesting...her hair looks, I still think she's beautiful.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Ever since she turned 4, Vicki has been dying for loose teeth. She was so excited at the prospect of actually losing a tooth, and the whole tooth fairy business. Since then she’s only lost three teeth, and one of those was thanks to a faceplant on a tile floor when she was 4 ½. That permanent tooth hasn’t grown in yet, so she’s had a gap in front for almost two and a half years. Last November she finally got to experience loose teeth for real when the two bottom ones fell out within a couple of weeks of each other, both at school.

But all that was nothing compared to this most recent loose tooth, which she’s been working on for months, wiggling back and forth and encouraging anyone else she could get to stick their fingers in her mouth to help it along. She had it so loose last week that she could make it stick straight out when she smiled, which totally grossed me out! Someone at school on Friday suggested (jokingly) that she do the string and door trick. When she couldn’t talk me into doing it for her, she found a piece of yarn and tried it herself.

What do you know – it worked!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

First day(s) of school!

This year we have a second grader and a kindergartner.


How on earth did that happen?

We went down to the school last week to meet their teachers and got the added treat of seeing Vicki’s teacher from last year (and the year before) there with her 7-week-old baby! The girls were excited to see their new classrooms and meet their teachers. Vicki is in a 2nd/3rd grade class this year, which is nothing new to us since she spent kindergarten in a K/1 class two years ago. Her teacher is Mr. G. and he seems like a lot of fun. Lexi’s teacher is Ms. P., and she seems like the perfect kindergarten teacher for Lexi – young and full of energy and new ideas. Our district switched to full-day kindergarten this year, so it will be interesting to see how our emotional roller coaster deals with that. Apparently they will have an afternoon rest time, which should hopefully keep the meltdowns to a minimum.

Vicki’s first day back was Tuesday, and she, of course, was excited and not one bit nervous (at least not that she would admit to!) After three months of not having to be on any sort of schedule, I completely forgot that we have to leave earlier if we’re walking than we do if we drive and I had everyone out the door and ready to go at 8:30, only to remember that school starts at 8:40 and it takes at least 15 minutes to walk there. So we hurried into the car and made it to school just before the bell rang. Vicki was the last one in line in her class, but she made it! We got to hear all the details at dinner that night, and apparently she’s already developed a teasing relationship with Mr. G., which comes as no surprise, really. She’s excited about the assignment to come up with a name for their class, since they can’t call it “second grade” or “third grade” and “second and third grade” is too much of a mouthful. Some of the ideas, apparently, were “twenty-third grade” or “thirty-second grade”. Vicki likes “two-thirds (as in 2/3) grade”. She’s also excited to have recess on the “big” playground now, along with all the rights and privileges that go along with that, like the opportunity to sign up to be a Garden Steward, which means helping to take care of the school garden during recess. She has always loved school and has pretty much fallen right back into the swing of things, although she says it’s still hard to remember that her class is on the other side of the hall now.

Lexi’s big day was Thursday, but she wasn’t excited or anything. She’s only been counting down for the last week now. Wednesday night she was up at 2:15, knocking on our door and wanting to know if it was time to get up and get ready for school yet. I managed to get her back to sleep (“Count to ten 20 times, and if you’re still awake when you’ve done that, then come and get me.” Works every time.) In the morning she was so excited she could hardly eat her breakfast. She bounced out the door (on time today!) wearing her new Hello Kitty backpack and carrying her purple camo lunchbox. When we got to school she waved goodbye to Vicki and lined up with the other kids in room 3. When she heard her friend Daniel’s dad tell him that everyone was probably a little nervous, she looked up at me, grinned impishly, and said, like she was sharing a secret, “I’m not nervous at all!” It helps, of course, that she’d already met the teacher three times and seen the classroom twice. Ellie and I went inside with her, where she hung her backpack on a hook, sat down at a table like she’d done it every day, introduced herself to another little girl, and chose a book to look at. Several of the kids were similarly confident, but one poor little boy was in hysterics and was making a few of the other kids nervous. On the walk home that afternoon (she only goes for a half-day today and tomorrow, and then starts full-time on Monday) she told me all about the day, including several things that I’m pretty sure didn’t actually happen anywhere but her imagination – apart from circle time, recess, and PE, they also apparently climbed a tree so high their heads poked out of the clouds, had 8 cookies each after recess, and climbed a ladder to the top of the rain shed (wherever that is) and then slid down on a super long slide their teacher put up just for them, bouncing from cloud to cloud along the way. What a day!

In the beginning...

After weeks of deliberation, I’ve finally decided to enter the world of blogging. Everyone else is doing it, right? My intention is that this blog will be pretty much an account of day-to-day life in our family, revolving mostly around our three girls (since mine and Chris’s lives are much less interesting if you take them out of the picture.) I know that means coming up with a new title if we ever decide to have another one, but since that’s not an issue at the moment, I won’t worry about it!

Enjoy this crazy thing we call life!
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