Archive for May, 2010

memorial day

Monday, May 31st, 2010

The Memorial Day holiday never really meant much to me while growing up other than that it was a Monday off from school or work. However, sending Mike off to Iraq to serve his country made me take a much closer look at the occasion. Many wives never see their husbands return from their military duty during war. And so many children grow up without ever knowing their military fathers other than from stories or photographs. I have so much gratitude knowing that my husband and father of my children returned home safely after he fulfilled his commitment in the war zone. Each Memorial Day that I celebrate now is a special day where I am thankful for all the fallen serviceman/servicewoman who fought so hard for our freedoms that we enjoy every day in this beautiful and blessed country.

This is Mike with two of his closest, military buddies right before they shipped out to Iraq. Annie was only 18 months old and Mimi a mere days.

butterfly graduation

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

Another preschool year has come to a close for Mimi, but her days as a preschooler have come to an end. She will be heading off to kindergarten next year and will ride the bus to school just like Annie has been doing for the past 2 years. It’s hard to believe that I now have 2 elementary-aged children. As a celebration of this passage to the primary years Mimi’s preschool had a graduation ceremony. As much as Mike wanted to sit this one out (the whole refusal to celebrate mediocrity thing), I knew Mimi would not want to miss it. The event took a grueling 3 hours from the time we arrived until we headed home. To say the least, Mike was not pleased. However, it was quite evident that the teachers and students worked hard in preparation of the occasion. It was even catered with tons of great food and treats. I think when it was all said and done, Mike actually enjoyed himself most of the night as did the rest of us. And, surprisingly, Violet sat in her stroller the entire time without any complaints.

The ceremony was actually quite sweet and (don’t tell Mike this) brought tears to my eyes many times throughout the night. There were a lot of musical numbers by the students. In between performances the son of the director and owner of the school did some entertainment. He is so adorable (you’ll have to see for yourself later). I just have to say that the director and her husband are tall people which resulted in 4 VERY tall boys. Their oldest, the entertainer mentioned above, wears at least a size 20 shoe (that’s at least what I heard last year).

The intro to the show was a slideshow/video compilation of the kids throughout the year. They really do have a lot of fun at that school. Here are a couple of pictures of Mimi that I caught during the slideshow. Yes, they actually have the “graduates” dress up in cap and gown complete with tassels and sashes.

Like I said before, the kids performed multiple musical numbers, but this one really showcased Mimi’s personality. So much spunk from such a little being. I must apologize in advance for all the videos to follow, but they are really a lot of fun to watch:) Listen for Violet’s objection at the end of this video.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9iAZLmivZ0

The preschoolers did this number with the flags and “We are the World” being played in the background.

As a way to pass the time between musical numbers, the son of the school director charmed the audience with some balloon entertainment. The first thing he did was have an adult volunteer come up to be taught how to make a balloon octopus. It was fun watching the volunteer struggle, but the balloon man did a quick switcheroo to make it look like the volunteer had made a much nicer and larger balloon octopus.

I won’t post videos of all the balloon man’s routines, but I thought these might be enjoyed by everyone. The next thing he did was have 4 dads come up as volunteers, and he taught them a dance routine.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvyIbANXhFQ

And last, the balloon man did this feat (it’s broken up into 2 videos, but they are a must-see). You’ll hear Violet in the first video crying because I think she’s afraid of the machinery used…just watch to see what I mean.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tufdSACXPI

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRiRSJH6kKY

At the end of the show the graduates each got their “diplomas”. Here’s my little graduate who’s so proud!

Annie, Daddy and Violet sat so patiently throughout the entire event.

Afterward there was good eats. This cake was made by one of the moms. Wow!

on the move

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

After a lot of reverse scooting, rolling, or just plain giving up, Violet has finally started crawling on all fours. She still needs a lot of practice, but I think Violet will be getting speeding tickets by the end of the week. As long as there are pieces of paper or microscopic specs to pick up, Violet will work her way across a room to get them.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKHI97-1VCI

In other news, Violet and Sadie are the best of friends. Or shall I say that Sadie will tolerate being pulled and poked by yet another small child?

first bike ride

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Finally! We had an awesome weekend full of SUN and WARMTH. The girls spent just about every waking moment outside with friends, and Mike was happy to just tinker with the garden all weekend. As a way to take advantage of the nice weather (especially before it disappears again) we went on a family bike ride. It’s the first for the season, and the first bike ride ever for Violet. She was pretty meh about the whole experience, but she looked like she had a nice time. We took to the bike trail and rode a total of about 4 miles. The girls both crashed, but they managed to ride back without much drama or tears. Mimi was promised a band-aid once we got home, so that was enough to curb her turmoil. Annie put one of Violet’s leg warmers on her arm to look like a cast, and that satisfied her need for the dramatics. All is good.

Gettin’ ready for the ride. As you can see Mimi has a hard time bottling up her excitement.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX0-tgfh9o8

more ruffles

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

I don’t know if it’s the nicer weather or what, but I have been full of enough energy and inspiration lately to dust off the sewing machine and get some projects going again. The ruffly leggings are really a new favorite of mine, so I made some more. This time the fabric choice made the leggings look a bit clownish. Ok, they are very clownish, but I think cute, little girls can pull off such a look. I had to laugh when I thought about myself or any other adult dare trying to wear such an ensemble and immediately thought of the Brady Brunch.

The girls had a lot of fun trying them out.


whistle blower

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

I probably wouldn’t be voted the best parent in the world for giving Violet a whistle, but look at what she did with it. Go figure, she seems to have determined the actual purpose of a whistle.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9grUCRAQcEs

ruffin’ it

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

This winter has been overwhelming with so many unplanned events, so I have had to put off the numerous sewing projects I’ve wished to do for so long. I do have a couple of jackets that are partly done, but I got intimidated and have put them on the back burner. As a way to make myself feel better, I decided to pick a quick and easy project to make. The Matilda Jane clothing that I’ve purchased in the past for the girls has such a fun style but also seems to quite simple to reproduce. Those clothes are too expensive to completely wardrobe my daughters with, so I thought I’d try to make a few items for them for a much cheaper price. I actually did make some MJ-inspired dresses for Annie and Mimi last fall, but I failed in my duties to photograph them for the blog. The next time they wear them I do promise to capture it on digital film.

In the meantime, I did complete another project for the girls. I made them ruffly leggings (again influenced by MJ designs). The leggings ended up being fairly simple to make after I overcame a few sewing-with-knits-for-the-first-time headaches. Unfortunately, the consumer fabric world doesn’t make many cute, knit fabrics suitable for leggings available to the general public. I had to settle from little selection, but the girls were still thrilled. At least Annie was; Mimi is a whole different story. She is apparently anti-leggings and is currently in talks to spearhead the “Coalition Against Leggings” (otherwise known as CAL).


lets go cubbies, year 2!

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Mike’s work had its annual Cubs’ game trip this past week. Of course, the girls wanted to join in the fun. It was was quite cold though, and I didn’t quite dress them warm enough. I was hoping it would somehow magically be like last year where it was warm enough to wear dresses. So we had to improvise with other layers such as a blanket, poncho and camouflage jacket. The rain stayed away long enough for us to enjoy the game. It was quite a game, too, with the Cubs winning against the Florida Marlins by 1 point.

Here we are. Vi took a nap for a bit, and Mimi had apparently took some Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde tonic which caused her quite a facial expression.

Annie made a sign to help root for the Cubs. She was very proud of it and had made it days in advance.

The next few pictures are courtesy of Annie.
Violet.

Mimi.

The game.

While waiting for the bus after the game several groups of these “drummers” came out for entertainment. This guy definitely figured out way to garner some attention by bringing his cute, little son.

Annie and Mimi were intrigued by them and watched the entire time.

We had a lot of fun despite the cold. Hopefully, we’ll be able to do this one more time before Mike is no longer stationed at Great Lakes. Such a sad thought.

natal equinox

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Yesterday was Vi’s official natal equinox. What is a natal equinox, you ask? You’d have to ask Mike because he was the one who coined the term meaning being out in the world for the same time you were in the womb. That means Vi is a bona fide 9-month-old. I haven’t taken her in for her check-up yet, but her unscheduled doctor’s visit last week revealed that she weighs about 18 pounds which puts her right around the 50th percentile. I’ll have more stats next week after her official appointment. Poor thing will have to get shots, too:(

The other day we took a walk down to the neighbors for a bonfire. We loaded up our wagon with stuff for the fire, and it occurred to us that we could use Violet’s booster seat to contain her in the wagon. She loved the ride. And check out how green it’s getting in our neck of the woods. It’s deceitful because the weather still feels like winter most days.

In other news, the girls found a recently hatched butterfly. Mike found out that it is a black swallowtail. He/she was very “friendly” by letting the girls hold it. I’m guessing it was still adjusting to the world and didn’t know yet how to flee from large beings. The girls freed it back into the woods but found it the next day in the same spot.


Stay tuned tomorrow for shots from our Cubbies adventure this past week.

orange you glad i didn’t say banana?

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Banana.

Banana who?

Banana!

Banana who?!

Orange.

…Orange who?

Orange you glad I didn’t say banana???

Remember that one. I personally like the dumber and more obvious version with the punch line, “Orange you glad it’s ME!” When I was looking for a shortcut to just copy and paste the joke I also came across this after the punch line was revealed…HA:

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Anyway, the reason I’ve got oranges (not bananas) on the mind is because I finally completed one of Annie’s requests. Thanks to Grandma Florida Annie now has an American Girl magazine subscription. Each issue features a fun and/or cute recipe to try. The past issue featured jello oranges, and Annie has been itching to try it out ever since. Mike was the good parent and finally purchased oranges, and I surprised Annie this afternoon with the completed task. I must say it was pretty easy to do and is quite a crowd pleaser. The girls were very excited to eat their “oranges” tonight with dinner.