Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Strawberry Fields Forever





So keeping up with this blog is more work than I thought it would be. Not sure how others find the time to write and download pictures on a daily basis.
This past Friday, all six kindergarten classes at Spicewood went on a field trip to Sweet Berry Farms, located in Marble Falls. I was one of the lucky (?) two parents for our class who got to ride on the school bus with the kids. Somehow I remember the buses being bigger back in my bus riding days in junior high! Alex thought it would be fun to take pictures of his friends on the bus. I have about one hundred to choose from, but here are some of the best.



Once at Sweet Berry Farms, the kids had a picnic lunch in absolutely beautiful weather.
Then we met our farm guide, Farmer Lauren. She took us to go Berry Splatting. The boys in the class were especially thrilled to do this. First Farmer Lauren added some paint to each strawberry. Then the berry is placed into the strawberry gun, a device similar to the marshmallow shooters if you have ever seen those. Each child then had a chance to shoot their strawberry at the white cloth banner, which was a souvenir for the classroom.
Then we were off to learn about aphids and ladybugs, and each child was given a ladybug to release onto the strawberry fields. They also planted some seeds in a biodegradable pot which they got to water and then take home in a plastic baggy, and had relay races to dig for fruits and vegetables hidden in the sandbox garden.
Finally, it was strawberry picking time! Each child had a little box to fill up, but I splurged and bought the parent sized box. We picked lots of beautiful, juicy strawberries, and are currently in a race against the clock to eat them all before they go bad.
The time flew by, and then we headed back to Austin. It was the end of the 3rd nine weeks, which means... report card day! I was a bit of a geek growing up, so report card day is synonymous for me with great days. I resisted the urge to open up the brown envelope in his classroom, but as soon as we were in the Mommy van, I ripped it open.
Report cards today don't look anything like they did when we were growing up. They get graded on about 40 different things, and more annoyingly, they are graded on a scale of 1-4. So 4 is the best, but I can't help wanting to see all 1s.

Alex had what I consider to be a spectacular report card - almost all 4s, with a smattering of 3s, and a lone 2 from his Spanish teacher. But the best part was the part on the second page, where his teacher gets to add her personal comments about him: "Alex is an excellent student capable of grasping even the most complex directions. He is a delight to have in class and does very well in school."
Yes, that is right. My firstborn, who had a number of red and yellow days last fall, is now "an excellent student" who is a "delight to have in class." I was so elated, I almost drove immediately to Toys R Us to buy him the Nintendo DS he so desperately craves. I'm still doing my happy dance.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bunnies, Lambs, and Mimis, Oh My!

We brought out the Easter decorations last night. Which seem to be mostly comprised of stuffed bunnies, chicks, and lambs. Every year, the Easter Bunny brings an animal to the boys. And then they also get them from assorted other family members, and, well, its gotten a bit out of control. I crammed a bunch of the smaller ones in this basket. But Ryan kept redecorating for me. And then he added his Mimi to the decor.

Seeing Mimi here, I can perhaps see why the Children's Museum of Houston thought his fleece was as gray as snow. He gets washed quite regularly, but apparently there is a lot of Ryan love there that just can't be washed out.

Oh, and why is it that the Children's Museum of Houston thought his fleece was gray? Recently, we went for a visit with Granny and Auntie Cher-O. It was a lot of fun, and we all had a great time. Especially Mimi, who ended up at the museum with us somehow since its hard to pry him out of Ryan's hands.

Here is Mimi at the Museum before we went in, and some pictures of the kids having fun while inside the Museum. Mimi spent most of the Museum trip safely tucked away inside my purse.






But I had given him back to Ryan when we were getting ready to leave. And yet, somehow, we're almost home when I hear a quiet voice from the backseat ask, ever so politely, "Can I please have my Mimi now?'

Cue sheer terror in my heart. Auntie Cher-O begins a search in the car, to no avail. We pull over, search the car further, to no avail. Ryan begins to realize that his Mimi is not here, and is not replaceable, starts screaming "I want my Mimi! I need my Mimi! I love you, Mimi! HE WAS THE BEST MIMI EVER!!!" Granny suggests that perhaps its time for a new Mimi, and that we stop a Tuesday Morning. "I want my Mimi! I need my Mimi! I love you, Mimi! HE WAS THE BEST MIMI EVER!!!" I search the black hole known as my purse for a receipt from the museum, and the flyer, for a phone number. Find receipt. Find the brochure. Neither of which has a phone number. I try not to panic, I am the owner of the all-powerful iPhone. Call information who connects me, and gives me a recording saying push 1 for this and 2 for that and now 1 again, and then 7, and finally a recording that this number isn't staffed on weekends, so call this ten digit phone number instead. They kindly repeat the 10 digit phone number for me, but does this help me remember it over all the screaming and crying in the car? Um, no. Call back, press 1 then 2 then 8 then 5 then 0, get ten digit number again. Still CANNOT remember the number to save my life.

Drop Granny, Auntie and boys off with car seats just in case. Drive like madwoman through Houston trying to make it to the museum in time. Try calling Carl, who stayed home in Austin to work, so he can help me call the museum. Carl is not answering his phone. Am now really starting to panic. See traffic, because, you know, its HOUSTON, and decided to go on the toll road. Keep trying Carl, who FINALLY answers his phone, laughing and having a good time, as he is not working, and not waiting by the phone for my call. Still, Carl is able to call the number from information, press the five buttons and then actually write down the ten digit number, which he then dials and gets a live person. A live person who actually works at the Museum. On a Saturday. A live person who confirms that, yes, a stuffed lamb was turned in to Lost and Found just a few minutes prior. Hearing this news, my heart actually starts pumping again, although I still need to make it there by 6pm. Which I finally did, with only a few minutes to spare. I had to sign Mimi out of a log book, where he was listed as a "Grey-ish stuffed Lamb." The guard laughed about this, saying how some of the workers were having a chuckle over how Mimi looked pretty well-loved, and how there was probably a pretty upset child out there right now. I just glared back at him, failing to see the humor here. This was my pretty upset child, and I'm pretty certain I added at least thirty-seven new grey-ish hairs to my head that day. So no. Not funny.

And thus we come full circle to how blessed we are that Mimi is now taking his place amongst our Easter decorations. For at least until the morning when Ryan decides to take him somewhere else.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The first day of Spring.. is Freezing!!



So today is officially the first day of Spring. And yet, its pouring down rain, windy and colder than a witch's... well, you know the saying. We had planned to spend the day outside gardening and working on the playscape, but like all best-laid plans...

Yesterday was Cowboy Day at Ryan's pre-school.



He protested a bit at wearing his hat and bandana, but that changed quickly enough. He had a good time in the parade, which made me happy. It wasn't that long ago that he couldn't make it through a parade without crying.



Alex finished up his week at Science Camp, and came home with a t-shirt he created. It says ... "Carl, Ryan, Alex." That's right, no Annalynn. Not even a Mommy. I am represented at least as a green stick figure, but yet somehow I don't even rate a mention on the t-shirt. Sigh. At least I can take some comfort in the fact that he made me a skinny stick figure, right?



The boys had a surprise slumber party last night. Noel and Tatianna, the twins who live across the cul-de-sac from us, came over to watch "Spy Kids." Alex invited them for a sleep over (isn't he thoughtful?) so the four of them ended up in Alex's room. Tati got the top bunk. Alex and Noel shared the bottom, full sized bed, and we pulled Ryan's mattress in so he could sleep on the floor. Surprisingly, it worked out quite well. I was awakened at 6:45 a.m. asking for more pillows for their pillow fight. Fortunately the buffet of pillows in the guest bedroom was enough - I was fearful of losing my own sniffy!

The "New Moon" DVD came out at midnight, so as soon as possible this morning, we took a family trip to Borders. We all came home with something we wanted!

I had told each boy they could pick out a book, but then they found several each, and since I think there is pretty much nothing as important as books, I gave in and let them get four new books each. I'm pretty excited that Alex is able to read an entire Magic Treehouse book by himself, so who am I to put a stop in the progress of a genius? ;)


Since it was an inside kind of day, we then decorated spring-ish cookies (flowers, butterflies, and easter eggs). The cookies didn't taste that good, but that didn't stop the boys from eating two apiece. Then it was a game of baseball with Noel and Tatianna - the kids get a big thrill from saying "Noel and Ryan" are playing baseball.



Next came Wes' 4th birthday party. Wes is on Ryan's soccer team, the Roly-Polys. His older brother, Will, is on Alex's soccer team, his dad, Ethan, is a computer guy like Carl and his mom, Jennifer, is an attorney. Yep, we pretty much have *nothing* in common with them. The boys had a good time, even if the pinata broke before Alex had a chance to pull the string.

Now the boys are asleep and its time to crank open that New Moon DVD. Edward and Jacob are calling me. Jacob (aka Taylor Lautner) is over 18, so its okay for me to like him now, right?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Patchridge Day!

You might think Ryan could easily say "Happy St. Patrick's Day." Sponge Bob has a friend named Patrick. I have a cousin named Patrick. But apparently today is known throughout Ms. Joi's four year old classroom as "Happy Patchridge Day."

To celebrate, we went to Krispy Kreme after dinner tonight, where they have Donut Decorating nights on Wednesday. The boys were pretty excited to decorate their own donuts with frosting and sprinkles, although they were both a bit confused why there were no blue sprinkles.



They also made Patrchridge Day hats so we could pretend to be Lepre-cuties for at least two minutes before they tired of wearing them.

Alex seems to be enjoying his Science Camp. I'm not sure how much science he is learning, though. He's made some kind of cool crafts, like a birdhouse, catapult and a bug house. But I think we could have bought these kits for about $5 each and saved an awful lot of money sending him somewhere cheaper like the Y for the week.

Enjoy what's left of your Patchridge Day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Still trying something new


Apparently inserting photos with my text is not as easy as I thought it would be. So we are just going to practice a bit.




















And customizing the look of my page beyond the nine basics seems to require a computer degree. Or at least a husband with a computer degree. Which, fortunately, I have.

And yet, I still can't get the text to line up the way I want to. Carl, where are you???



















And one of our favorite videos ever of our youngest:
video

Trying Something New

So I've bit the bullet, and am going to give this blogging thing a try. We'll see how it goes.

Its Spring Break this week, and Alex is going to the Mad Science camp. He made a bird house yesterday, and it came with an unattached hook and some seed. I carefully transported the house, hook and seed home in the car, and yet, somehow, between the car and the front door, the hook was lost. I go to look for it, and Carl stops me, since he has "hundreds of hooks in the garage." Flash-forward to dinner, and Alex proceeds to tell Carl all about his birdhouse, "and it comes with its very own hook." Gah!

Mondays are always hard for Ryan. He's back at preschool, and he has no special activities planned on that day. The fact that Brother had a "Do" class didn't help. I had gathered several toys for Ryan to play with during the class, but apparently I neglected to gather the correct Batman toys. He didn't want the Bat-cycle, he wanted the "Batmovile." He didn't need two Penguins, but he needed the gun part of Green Lantern's ship. Bad Mommy.

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