Friday, October 28, 2011

2011 Week 43

It's been a fun-filled week with Grandma. The kids got Friday off (teacher prep), which meant even more one on one time. Art projects, making cookies, reading books, getting spoiled when we went shopping... that's what happens when Grandma visits :)

When the kids were in school, Grandma was either sleeping in or working on small projects with me. We had a couple of craft sessions with my neighbors (finally got everyone to finish the wreaths from the craft day!) and devised a project for ourself by "upcycyling" an old Tshirt and pair of jeans for Kaitlyn. We've had some great fall weather here this week. All the leaves are changing colors and it's beatiful. I need to take the camera out for some photos. It must also be time to harvest the cotton around here, which is something we've never experienced. The day they were harvesting the field right next to us we took Tyler for a walk to check them out. I hate walking across the weeds and stuff in the empty lots but Mom and Tyler went right up to the fence to watch for a minute. Four combines and a couple trailors working on one little field - impressive.

Friday, October 21, 2011

2011 Week 42

We waited until Saturday to have Kaitlyn's bithday party with her friends. Possible mistake as we ended up with a really sad turn out (2 showed up. we invited 15!). But the party went really well and everyone had fun. Happy Birthday to Kaitlyn!

After the party we had a couple days' break, in which I came down with a nasty cold. Of course I was in the middle of it and feeling icky when Mom flew in for a visit. That didn't stop her or the kids from having fun. She brought an entire bag full of gifts and surprises with her, starting with some Halloween decorations for the kids to use in their rooms.

Friday, October 14, 2011

2011 Week 41

Birthday week! This is the busiest, most fun week of October every year.

Sam had Friday off, so we took advantage of having the kids in school and worked had a few household projects. We cleaned up the garage and organized it completely (finally!), adding new storage for the balls, pools noodles, and remaking the bike rack. Then we got to work refinishing 3 pieces of furniture - 2 tables Sam brought home from work (they were replacing them and these have a really nice wooden top, after we got all the gun cleaning stuff sanded off of them) and Kaitlyn's old dresser. All three pieces are now looking beautiful in my (now fully functional) craft room.

Saturday was my birthday (33) and I wanted to do something fun as a family. We decided to go to a corn maze, since we didn't do anything like that last year.

We tried to pick a good one, with lots of included activities for the kids like the hay bale play area, bouncy houses, petting zoo

fair-type games, etc.The maze itself was fun. It was set up so that you weren't looking for the way through it, but trying to find 10 different checkpoints inside the maze itself. Not easy, not easy at all. We gave it our best shot but when Tyler was starting to refuse to walk by himself we knew we were done. We walked out of there having found 9 of the 10 checkpoints - not bad.

A quick drink of water and a hay ride turned Tyler into a happy kid again. He chose to sit right up front, directly behind the tractor, of course. After leaving the farm, we all went to dinner at Olive Garden, then came home for cake!

Kaitlyn wanted to do the "icing" by herself. She found it was a little too tricky to do the writing herself, so she had Sam do that, then added a border and some polka dots.

Tyler wanted to be in charge of the sprinkles. It was pretty funny to watch him try to place them one by one.

And here is their combined handiwork. At this point Tyler thought it was funny to try to grab tastes of the frosting and we didn't get a single photo of the cake without tiny fingers in the background reaching for it :)

Happy Birthday to me! It was a great birthday and I felt very well loved by all - not just my little family for spending time with me, but from a weath of phone calls and emails all day as well.

After resting up for most of Sunday I devoted a lot of the rest of the week to getting ready for Kaitlyn's birthday.

And once again there was Ty putting his fingers in where he shouldn't. I made Kate's cakes a few days ahead of time so I could freeze them for easier cutting and decorating. I went on to other things while they cooled and came back to find that Tyler had taken tastes out of 3 of the 4 rounds! Little monkey. I would have been more upset, but I knew I would be cutting pieces out of them in order to shape her cake and figured I could work around the missing pieces. But boy, I'll know to watch him closer from now on!

Friday, October 7, 2011

2011 Week 40

Monday was our busiest day of the week. It was half-day at school for parent/teacher conferences. Without thinking, I had scheduled our parent/teacher earlier than Kaitlyn would actually be making it off the bus so I went to pick her up early. We purposely didn't pack her a lunch because I was going to pick her up before lunchtime, but it being a short day they bumped lunches an hour earlier which not only meant that Kaitlyn had to eat (or rather, get it then not eat most of it) hot lunch, but because they were finished with lunch but not in their classroom yet, it took a while for the school secretary to find Kaitlyn so I could take her home. We picked up Ty, had lunch, then went back up to the school.
I love parent/teacher conferences! :) I'm sure if my kids were struggling it wouldn't be as fun, but whenever I go, it's basically an excuse to listen to someone tell me how smart and wonderful my child is - what parent doesn't love that? Kaitlyn's teacher said she is doing great. Testing above and beyond where she needs to be in fact, especially on reading. She tested at the highest level they test for in second grade - the place where they are trying to get all the kids by the end of the year. (who knows if she is reading above that level, though I suspect she probably is. That girl LOVES reading) She got a 100% on all the sight words for the year. Math is great, writing is great. Go Kate!
Next on the list for the day was an appointment with the dr for Kaitlyn. She has been in the middle of another one of her coughing spells - the ones where she coughs so much at night it wakes me up and I have to stumble in there with her inhaler and where we have a hard time letting her do anything active because we know it leads to a coughing fit. She was also low on allergy medication. Our doctor is at the clinic on base (new doc this time that I like MUCH better, yay! happy that I don't have to go through the red tape of switching to a civilian doc at this point) and Sam was almost done with work so Tyler got to hang out at his office while Kaitlyn and I went to the appointment. We now have a second daily allergy medication for Miss Kate and are going to try to be more pro-active with the inhaler, treating symptoms before they happen (right before bed and a few minutes before activity), at least until she is no longer coughing at the drop of a hat. I hate the thought of all these meds so often but we'll do it for now while we try to target what is causing the spells.
The day wasn't over there. It was home for dinner, homework, then off to dance class for myself and Kate. A very, very long (but productive!) Monday.

Tyler is now getting homework at preschool! So far it's a novelty and he likes working on it. It was so cute to have both my kids sitting at the kitchen counter working on their homework togther.

Kaitlyn has started participating with a school activity called Kids on the Run once a week. Every Thursday they gather after school and run around the track. Kaitlyn loves running and thinks it's great fun. Her competitive nature kicks in too. The first week she did 6 laps on the track. This week she pushed herself to 10 laps and is hoping for more.
During one of their conversations, Sam and Kaitlyn decided she would be his running buddy. She hounded him for 2 days straight until he got out there with her. They did the mile around the neighborhood without slowing down - in fact, I'm pretty sure she was ahead of him the whole time. Haha! if Sam was looking for motivation, he now has it. That child will push him to get out there every day if we let her)