Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wildlife Sighting

This afternoon while I was on the phone, Kate hollered to me, "Mom, there is a fox in our backyard. What has he got?" I looked out and saw a decent sized fox sitting in the middle of our back lawn while gnawing on a squirrel (lovely image, no?). Unfortunately, he ran off with his squirrel before I could snap a photo. We know that there are a decent number of fox in our neighborhood, but we haven't seen any in our yard until this week. I thought that the way our house is situated was keeping them away. This is the third fox sighting this week, and today it seems that this fox is fairly comfortable hanging out in our backyard.

Now normally I would think that such proximity to a fox would be really cool and a great learning experience. In fact, I think we'll go to the library this week to check out some books on fox. But this fox has me freaked out.

Why? Because I happen to have a little dog that isn't much bigger than that squirrel...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Kate!

My big girl is 5 today, and I can hardly believe it! She could not wait to turn five and asked me this morning (at about 6am), "Am I 5 now?" When I told her that she is, indeed, five now, she just smiled. She also told me in the car last night on the way to her party, "Mom, this is your last day to have a 4 year old!" (She doesn't realize that next month, I'll get another 4 year old!)

I was going to avoid birthday parties for my kids until they hit kindergarten, but Kate desperately wanted one this year, that I gave in. We stole my friend Ashlee's birthday party idea and had it at Pump It Up. It was so nice not to have to get ready or clean up. My kids are still getting over a nasty virus, so they both started to fall apart by the end, but all in all it was fun.

We have no big plans to celebrate today, and we'll probably keep it low key since we are all still a bit worn down. Kate got some balloons this morning, and she requested chocolate chip pancakes for dinner tonight (actually her first choice for dinner was toast with butter but I nixed that option!). Pancakes seem an appropriate choice considering it is National Pancake Day (aka Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday).

I'll try to post some photos of my big girl later this week. Here is a bit about Kate at age 5:
  • Loves horses. Loves to read about them, loves to play with pretend horses, loves to talk about them, loves to look, pet and ride real horses. Everything.
  • Also loves princesses.
  • Is starting to read and can independently read the whole first box of BOB Books.
  • Loves to swim and can't wait to swim all summer long
  • Is skiing and riding a bike independently
  • Loves to draw and color
  • Writes her name and a few other words, starting to copy words
  • Can count to 120 (just as of last night!)
  • Is very girly. Picky about her clothes and her hair. Very observant of fashion and styles (much to my dismay!)
  • Has a keen interest in Spanish. She will put on a "Learn Spanish" CD herself and practice speaking.

I'm sure I'll add to this list as the day goes, and I think of others.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Still Moving In

It has been almost 4 months since we moved into our new, old house. I'm still not unpacked. Oh-my-gosh! I'm STILL not unpacked. We came close to doubling our living space plus I have a TON of storage space, yet I can't seem to get it all organized. Part of the problem is that I am a perfectionist (hard to believe when you walk in my house right now, but I am...) so I can't just sorta organize a space. I have to think it through and make it, well, perfect.

I also get side tracked pretty easily*. I'm unpacking a box in my office, I find something that I think should go in the basement, so I take it to the basement. In the basement, I remember that I wanted to make a felt board on the wall so I go upstairs where the fabric is to see if I have enough felt. I grab the felt, but I notice that my thread is everywhere so I try to collect it all in one place. Then while making lunch, I decide that I don't like where I've put the pots and pans. I pull them all out along with all the kitchen paraphernalia in the cupboard where I want the pots and pans. The telephone rings and while talking, I start unpacking a box in the bedroom. I don't have enough hangers, so I set most everything on the bed. When I go to get hangers, I remember that I wanted to hang hooks in the coat closet. And you can see where this leaves me at the end of the day. The office is a mess, the kitchen is a mess (so I don't want to cook!), the bedroom has a pile of clothes in the corner, and I didn't have time to blog! LOL

Then there are the two preschoolers that I live with that seem to thwart all attempts to unpack and organize. If I manage to stay focus and unpack or organize an area, I walk out to find toys/crayons/bathtub toys/dress-up clothes spread everywhere. One step forward, three steps back!

I'm exhausted just thinking about it!

*This is an extreme example of a side tracked day. I'm not usually quite that bad. Plus when I set my mind to it, I can usually avoid being severely side tracked. Usually.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Beach Project

We did a really fun beach project while we were in Alabama that I want to share. We made sand handprints! I got the idea from a Family Fun magazine, and you can see the full directions here.

I brought some dry plaster of paris with us. We made deep handprints in wet sand (the really wet, packed sand didn't work for us) and then decorated our handprints with small shells we collected on the beach. Make sure to put the shells face down and don't press them too firmly into the sand. We then mixed the plaster of paris with a little ocean water and poured it into our sand hand molds. We let the plaster dry, dug out our handprints, and brushed off the excess sand. We got really awesome hand prints (they looked even better than in the photos where they still have wet sand stuck to the shells)
Unfortunately, I didn't pack them well enough for the trip home, and our fingers all broke off. We'll try again next year. Or maybe just try again in the sandbox this summer.




Tuesday, February 17, 2009

At The Beach

We just got back from our second annual trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama. We went with my mom to again see my grandma and my Aunt Gwen who are down there for the month of February plus we get to see my Aunt Gretchen who lives in Mobile. This year Matt was able to go with us, so we also got to visit with his Uncle Derrol and Aunt Margaret whom we haven't seen since our wedding.
Other than seeing relatives, we played in the sand, explored the beaches (found jellyfish, man-o-wars, clams and a flatfish - all of which we looked up in our new Ocean Encyclopedia), waded in the waves (Jack could not be held back from the waves!), flew kites, played cards, ate good Southern food (we all especially like Lambert's - home of the thrown roll!), and slept really well to the sound of waves crashing on the shore.

The photos are eerily similar to last year (although I didn't post many from last year - mostly just ones for my photography class. One of my outfits is even the same! I didn't take as many photos as last year, and I wish I had taken more. Next year.