Thursday, May 31, 2012

Our Little "Kit"

Lauren sure loves to read!!
This is a good thing because at the kiddos last "Well Visit" their pediatrician recommended they do only ONE HOUR of screen time per day.  This includes DSi, Computer games, Wii, iPad, TV etc. etc.

***If you were wondering about the "Well Visit:"
Tyler, for his age, is in the 85%-tile for for height and 84% for weight.  He's a solid tough guy!  Doc says he should be 6' 1".
Lauren, for her age, is in the 66%-tile for height and 50% for weight.  She's going to be long and every girl's dream, right?!  Doc predicts she'll be 5' 6".***

So with only ONE HOUR of screen time to work with AND being out of school all day long, the first couple days of Summer Vacation were hard to deal with.  

"There's nothing to do.  I'm bored."
"I just want to do a SCREEN TIME!"
"I have nothing to play with and NO, I don't want to clean!!"

It was almost enough to drive a stay-at-home-Mom to allow flagrant screen time.  But instead, I persevered  and implemented a "morning work" assignment.  Now, when they wake up L and T must do their morning work. (Draw a picture of whatever I leave out and (L) write 4 sentences about the picture or (Tyler) write one of his sight words.)  Then they can do their first 20 minute screen time.  After that they play or READ BOOKS.

Tyler loves to play with his legos and draw pictures and 
Lauren sure loves to read!!

She recently finished the American Girl Kit Kittrege series.  She LOVED them!  
She loved them so much she got her hair cut to resemble Kit. 

She's now working on the McKenna books.  

She read them to and from the Braves game last night.  I'm surprised she's able to read in the car because I always feel carsick when I read.

Maybe the thought of Turner Field Pizza helped.

Or maybe she knew the Braves would beat the Cards 10-7!

Regardless, We sure love our little "Kit."

Monday, May 28, 2012

First Saturday of Summer Vacay

First Saturday of Summer Vacay
(aka: the day I wore my kids O-U-T)

Saturday morning started off pretty mellow playing with our friends Tera and big Tyler.
I read from L and T's Pre-K memory books.
 Remember when Lauren used to draw people with Mickey Mouse ears?!  =)
Soon Tyler got bored and took a leaping jump to start off the day.

That afternoon we went swimming...for the whole entire afternoon.
It was a blast.  Fun, Hot, Tiring, and Refreshing.

After the pool we showered up and headed out to dinner.
Lauren has been craving buttery noodles and we knew Mama Lucia's would not disappoint.

Ready to go!
(I got them to smile for the top picture by yelling out "butt cheeks")
(and no, I'm not always impressed with myself) 
Dinner was pleasant enough but L and T were worn out.
Lauren fell asleep on the way to the restaurant but woke up to read her American Girl "Kit" book but poor Tyler just laid his head down and asked to go to bed.

They behaved so well at the restaurant.  They did not argue, fight or break any rule what-so-ever.  So even though they pretty much slept through the entire meal I decided to pull out the old "positive reinforcement" tactic and rewarded them with an additional screen time for the next day.
(additional screen time = 20 extra minutes on the computer/DS/iPad or TV)

After that we took our buttery noodles to go and we were all in bed by 9 o'clock.

Now I know the pool is a secret weapon to get the kiddos into bed early every night.
Stay tuned for more pool pictures All Summer Long!  

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day Weekend.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

How do I love thee?

I don't remember exactly how it came up in conversation but at one point this evening Tyler laughingly asked me,
"Momma, why do you love me so much?"

Well Tyler, let me count the ways.

**  You pretend you don't like my kisses or snuggles but you subconsciously rub my arm sometimes when you talk to me (especially when we are sitting at the kitchen table.)

**  You still pronounce the "ed" on a lot of your past tense words.  i.e. digg-ed, watch-ed, beat-ed, etc. etc. (It pains me to correct you.)

**  You don't always want to sit on my lap when we watch movies but if Lauren decides she does then you tearfully let me know you actually did want my lap.   (It happened today when we watched our movie.)

**  You refuse to wear jeans or khakis or any type of pants without an elastic waist to school except when I make you for "picture day."  They are just too uncomfortable.

**  You come home from school and immediately use the bathroom to take your underwear off because they are also too uncomfortable.  (I thank you for always leaving them in the laundry room instead of on the bathroom floor.)


 **  You are kind, smart, handsome, and helpful.  You are a people-pleaser (who will make your lucky future wife VERY happy someday.)  You are light-hearted and you like to laugh at yourself as well as others.

So Tyler, I ask you this:

 "What's Not to Love?!"

Friday, May 25, 2012

Last Day of School 2012

Remember my little girl and little boy I sent off to school last August?

Well, their taller and older looking clones celebrated their last day of school today.
(last day of Kindergarten or 2nd grade depending on which clone you are looking at.)
I can't believe how fast they grow
...especially since I don't age at all myself.

Thinking about 3rd grade is already making Lauren "wacko."

And Tyler is promising to keep it 'real' (comfortable) in 1st grade by wearing his signature sweatpants regardless of the temperature.
(low 90s today)

I'm so glad I get to spend the summer with these precious and I-can't-believe-how-fast-they-grow-and-why-won't-they-just-stay-little darling children of mine.

School's out for the Summer! 

Lauren's Awards

Last Monday Lauren had her 2nd Grade Honors Program.

I seriously teared up saying good-bye to Lauren's teacher, Mrs. B.

She is Amazing.
I even wrote a letter to the principal saying just how amazing I think she is.

During the program, Lauren was awarded a number of prestigious awards.
*All A's in all subjects.
*Good Attendance (absent 3 days or less)
*Outstanding Cub Character (never pulled a stick)
*Accelerated Reader, 39 pts.  (fyi:  the top reader in the class received 179 points...which is CrAzY good!! (and at the 7th grade level)  way to go Pete!)
*Six Flags Six Hours of Reading (includes a free ticket to Six Flags!)
*Pizza Hut Book-It (one free pizza every month from Pizza-Hut)

She also received a couple of very special awards:
*Mrs. B's "Don't Push the Panic Button" Award for "having patience and waiting for Mrs. B to finish talking before she asks her urgent questions."  (including the time she needed to go to the bathroom but waited to ask until she was in tears, and also the time she felt sick and urgently needed the bathroom but tried (tried!) to wait until Mrs. B stopped talking.)


*the coveted Citizenship Certificate.  She was voted "best citizen" by her classmates "in recognition of exemplary behavior and valuable service."  They voted for one girl and one boy and they chose Lauren as their girl.  I'm so proud of her. (and also my boy if you do recall but I don't want to brag!)

After the awards were handed out we took to taking photos.

-some of Mrs. B's 2nd grade girls-
(missing three)

Lauren's 2nd Grade Class

 What a great group of kids.
As much as I don't want them to grow up I'm equally interested to see what they all become.
The next generation has some good things a'coming.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weekly Menu 5-21-2012

Monday:  Pizza Lover's Pie
Tuesday:  Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms & veggie from freezer
Wednesday:  Black Pepper Fettuccine with Chardonnay Sauce and Grilled Asparagus & bread
Thursday:  Cod with Italian Crumb Topping, rice & corn
Friday:  Grilled Pepper Jack Chicken Sandwiches & Baked Broccoli Chips
Saturday:  Chicken and Broccoli Casserole & veggie
Sunday:  grill-out or left-overs

lookin' good

 The "Spend" envelope from Tyler's allowance has been burning a hole in his pocket.
(we like Dave Ramsey and his "Save, Give, and Spend" money lessons) 

...So today Matt took him to Toys R Us.
He found this "One Up Mushroom" hat and fell in love.
He wore it all day.

He paired it with a fine looking outfit.

And when he was at the pool this afternoon he asked where he could find a mirror to see how good his hat looked with his bathing suit.

Tyler, you are Lookin' Good!

Tyler Rocks!

My baby boy graduated from Kindergarten last week.
(where does the time go?!)
To celebrate, the four Kindergarten classes sang some songs.
Including "Down by the Bay"
So Cute!

Matt tried to shake T's hand on his way out of the cafeteria but Tyler just couldn't break the rule (to stay in line.)

The Kindergarten awards were then given out in the classroom.  Tyler received a TON!
Good Attendance, multiple Reading Awards, AND...
the lucrative Good Citizen Award.
(the classmates all voted for the best male "Citizen" and best female "Citizen.")
Way to go Tyler!  We are so proud!

Tyler with his teachers Ms. Karen and Mrs. Thomas

Tyler (aka Mr. Good Citizen) Rocks!
1st Grade...Bring it On!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Two Down, Two to Go

Tyler woke up feeling FINE this morning so off to school he went.
no strep = yes school

Lauren went to school as well but this was her by the end of the school day.

I was at lunch with my friends when I got a call from the school nurse.
She had sweet Lauren in her office with a 102.5 degree fever.
The nurse didn't tell me over the phone but I later found out Lauren went out with a bang.
She got sick THREE times!
1. In her classroom, 2. in the hallway on the way to the bathroom and, 3. on the bathroom floor on the way to the toilet.

I can only imagine the immediate school lock down and emergency clean up that took place.
It was probably treated like a chemical spill.
Lauren told me she was embarrassed but at least she let her classmates have an extra recess.
(Her teacher immediately made everyone go outside to the playground while the cleaning crew came.)
I gave her some Tylenol when we got home and she's been just fine.
We'll see what the overnight will bring.
So who wants to make a bet on the next one to get it?
(hint:  It won't be me!)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Weekly Menu, 5/14/2012

Mon:  Cheesy Zucchini Enchiladas  (super YUMM!  These are going into my meatless rotation!)
Tues:  Creamy Mushroom and Chicken Stew (Crock Pot Recipe)
Wed:  Santa Fe Chicken Pita Pizzas
Thurs:  Teriyaki Pork & hot cooked brown rice
Fri:  l/o or dinner out
Sat:  Lauren's SB pizza pool party
Sun:  Pizza Lover's Pie

Happy Eating!!

Love My Mothers!

Happy Mother's Day to the best Mom's I know!
(Grandma Jan, Grammy and MeMa)
 Love you All!

My husband and children love me as well.
Happy Mother's Day to ME!

Poor Tyler was feeling quite under the weather this Mother's Day.

Fever for two days and a lingering sore throat with visible white blisters. 
(No cold symptoms other than the sore throat.)

He's miserable and I'm thinking Strep.

Bless his heart!
 I'll call the Doctor tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New Additions: some cute, some inappropriate

 With her hard earned money (is Birthday and Christmas money hard earned?) Lauren added two new  additions to her happy little American Girl Doll family.

"Chloe" (the blond) and "Taylor" (the brunette)
both became big sisters this week.

Meet "Ethan" and "Lilly"

Welcome to the family kiddos.

Hopefully they will choose to ignore the inappropriate songs that often come home from school.

Conversations after school:

Tyler:  Momma want to hear a song?
Me:  Sure
Tyler:  (to the tune of the Alphabet)

"A-B-C-D-E-F-G, Barney is an enemy.
Stick a pistol up his nose, pull the trigger there he goes
A-B-C-D-E-F-G, Barney is an enemy."

Me:  Who taught you this song?!
Tyler: Jack 
Me:  Sweet Jack?! (one of the smartest and friendliest boys in the class)
Tyler:  Yeah, he just made it up.

Lauren heard this conversation and said she knew a funny song too.  She then started laughing so hard she couldn't get the song out.  She said she didn't want to tell me but she whispered it into Tyler's ear.  Her whisper was more than loud enough for my ears as well.

Lauren's song:
"Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells
Grandma had a gun.
Shot a tree and made me pee
In 1991."   

What's with all the gun references in these elementary jingles?  I don't think I have the patience to home-school but I will if I have to.  Good Grief!

Weekly Menu, 5/6/2012

Sunday:  left-overs
Monday:  makeover Sloppy Joe Mac n Cheese  (see picture above)
(Lauren and I loved this, Tyler had his mind set on Kraft Mac-n-Cheese so was disappointed and Matt was out of town.  Next time I make dinner for a friend in need (new baby, family crisis etc.) this will be it.
Tuesday:  left-overs
Wednesday:  Chicken-Escarole Saute & bread sticks
Thursday:  (softball tonight) Mushroom Chicken Alfredo & salad
Friday:  dinner out
Saturday:  Tortellini with Salmon-Ricotta Sauce
Sunday:  Cheesy Zucchini Enchiladas

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Thankful for my Birthday

Today is my birthday!  I turned 35 today and said good-bye to my early-thirties and am doing my best to embrace my mid-thirties.

Yesterday Matt and I hosted a "birthday swim and cook-out" and had some good friends over to celebrate.  It was the grand opening of the neighborhood pool so that worked out "swimming-ly."  We swam, feasted and laughed while enjoying the supermoon.  It was an absolute fantastic night...except....

There was an incident at the pool in which I was really, REALLY disappointed in myself and I feel I need to share.

While I was sitting by the side of the pool, chatting with my friends and keeping a head count on our own kiddos, I noticed another little boy in the shallow end (about 5 feet from where I sat) bobbing up and down but not ever bobbing high enough for his whole face to surface.  I thought to myself, "why doesn't he put his feet down and stand up?" and also "why isn't he bobbing high enough to get his whole face out of the water?"  After I let myself fully ponder these two questions in my head (no more than 15 seconds) I stood up and said out loud, "Is he Okay?"  At that point his mom (or grandma, I'm not sure) ran and jumped into the pool and jerked this little boy out.  He came out choking on and sputtering out the water.  After a full minute of choke-coughing he was fully recovered.  He never once started to cry but he had nearly drowned in the pool and I just watched.  There was no splashing, no flailing of the arms and no noticeable struggle except for the slight bobbing up and down.  Thank God he's okay.

I am so disappointed in myself.  Instead of questioning why he was doing what he was doing why didn't I just instinctively go jump in and make sure he was okay?  I certainly hope someone would do that for Lauren and Tyler.

You can be sure I'll be watching and ready for action at the pool from now on.

On behalf of my good fortune to celebrate yet another birthday please go read an article on the true signs of drowning. (like this one)  Let's keep the birthdays coming for all of us.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Final Door Decoration

 After school today the kids and I decorated Lauren's teacher's door for Teacher Appreciation Week.
Mrs. B's favorite sport is College Football (mine too!)
and her favorite team (bless her heart) is the Crimson Tide.

Lauren in front of her decorated classroom door.

I printed out the SEC mascots (and a couple of others) and laminated them.  Then I attached a Velcro strip to the backs so the kids could change the "Best Team Ever" to whichever SEC+ team they like.
I also printed out little football dudes/dudettes and typed the classmates names under them.
It's always fun to see your name on a poster, right?

When I finished I naturally attached the Oregon picture inside the "Best Team Ever" football but both Lauren and Tyler made me change it to Georgia.
I'm not sure what's happening here but I'm going to have to do some hardline discipline to remind Lauren and Tyler that they bleed green and yellow and they will Always...Always! cheer for the Ducks.  =)

Now before you get all teary-eyed thinking I'm the most creative and awesome person on the planet...  (JoKiNg!)

...Please know I had some help with my Crimson Tide football field.
(from the artist in the family)

I really hope Mrs. B likes it but more importantly I hope she knows how much we all appreciate her.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Two of These Things

Two of These Things are Not Like the Others 
Let me know if you have the answer.

Next week is teacher appreciation week.  To honor our fabulous teachers the Room Mom's are decorating the classroom doors in accordance with the Theme of the Year.  This year's theme is SPORTS.
College Football is the favorite sport of Lauren's teacher and the above picture shows some of my props.

Stay tuned for pictures of the final door decoration.
(Matt is helping me so you know it will be awesome.)