Saturday, January 29, 2011

the professional first grader

Sometimes I worry that Alli is growing up too fast.  Not because she is into tween stuff yet.  It's not that.
A few days ago Alli lamented the fact that she doesn't have many adult friends here.  In Chicago she considered many adults to be her friends.  But here, she mostly has kid friends, and she wished that some of her adult friends from Chicago could move here.
The next morning I was brushing her hair while she ate her breakfast toast, and she asked for a ponytail.  Normally she likes her hair brushed, but not really fussed over.  Then she said, "I think hair pulled back looks more professional."  And she pointed out that she was wearing a white turtleneck shirt... which is very professional.
I met with a PTA mom yesterday after school to discuss how I can help with teacher appreciation week.  Instead of running off to play with the other kids, Alli sat right with us, interjecting her ideas into the conversation without the least hesitation.  She had some good ideas... and plenty of strong opinions.  She looked at a snapshot of the teachers' lounge and said, "Those chairs have got to go!"  And, "Those curtains won't do."  "How about some plants?"
I am not worried about Alli turning into a tween too early... but I worry about her asking for a briefcase or pant suit or portfolio for her resume.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Andy!

Yesterday was my birthday.  Today is Andy's birthday. 
Sometimes I get clothes for Andy for his birthday.  And this year I got him a snappy pair of wool pants.  They were a great deal, but they needed to be hemmed... which I can do.  I even figured out how to make a cuff.  The cuffs turned out great.  I pressed them and hung them in the closet with a red bow stuck on them. 
I was excited for Andy to find them this morning.  And he did.  He even tried them on.
But it turns out that the label had the wrong size... it was off by a few inches.

Some people say it is the thought that counts.  And I assure you I truly had the best intentions.
I am glad Andy laughed about it.
Happy Birthday to my Andy!  I love you!

Team Blue Eyes.

Friday, January 21, 2011

if you give a girl a cookie...

She'll ask for a glass of milk to go with it.  And when she sees that you've set up the camera equipment to take pictures of Great-Grandpa's paintings, she'll want her picture taken too.

That's how it goes here.
I had a big project to do this week.  My step-grandpa needed digital images of his paintings.  So I set up the strobes and jumped into a highly technical photo shoot.
I set it all up in the great room... while the kids were watching a show.  But I think they can sense the camera taking pictures, because before I knew it... 

June made herself comfortable on a stool in front of the painting.  I snapped a few pictures of her and scooted her away.
But she came back.

And she brought her sister...

"Mom, try this backdrop!"

"Mom, I'm up here!"

"Look at me now!"

"And over here!"

June got in on the photographing action...

Work it, baby.

Alli wanted a picture with her new book.

So studious!

Let's get everyone in the picture.  Group hug!
(I think this might be our Valentine card this year.)

Two days later I got the photos of the paintings taken.  Whew.
And I have all of these lovely shots.

Monday, January 17, 2011

pirate party!

This morning was the party for Alli's birthday.  Alli planned a pirate party long ago.  She is a planner, and she always knows exactly what she wants.
Guests were invited...

... and they came dressed in their pirate best!
... or worst.  Ruby looks like one tough mermaid-pirate.  Don't mess with her.
A hearty (say it with the pirate ARRRR) breakfast was served.
Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the li'l pirate feeding frenzy.  All hands were on deck flipping pancakes and serving sausages and pouring juice and rationing syrup  and scrambling eggs   and wiping up spills...

Pirate Caelan had the right idea... he stayed at the table until everyone else was gone, then he had the muffins all to himself!
There was a treasure hunt.  And there pirate games with pirate prizes.

Prizes such as a walk down the plank!

We had a delicious cake.  It didn't turn out pretty, but it was yummy.  It had a chocolate ganache topping and a layer of mint chocolate chip ice cream.  But it was ugly.

The cute toothpicks helped.
Pirate Dave did some pirate magic tricks.

And Cap'n Janis stole the show...

(I have the best siblings!)

There was a ship in the playroom.  This picture is post-party... and it's not looking as sharp, but check out Ruby in the port-hole-thingy.

I dressed up too.  I looked like a pirate deck hand... which was probably appropriate.  :)  I will be mopping the kitchen deck this afternoon.

The birthday girl was delighted with the whole event.

A few more pictures for good measure...

A special thanks to our pirate friends and pirate cousins!  You ARRRRRRe all wonderful!

For more of the party details, click here!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

seven years old

There was a birthday on Wednesday.
My (oldest) baby is SEVEN YEARS OLD!  Where did the time go?!

This is one of my favorite pictures from the day she was born.  You can tell Andy was holding his little girl on his lap, admiring her.  I love Alli's bright eyes.  My hair is horrid and the focus is all wrong...

She started out so tiny.  I looked forward to every milestone.  I can't wait until she can sit up...

... and then we blinked...

Next thing we knew she was putting on makeup and hitting the town.

She was a city girl through and through...

Chicago was her playground...

And now she is a Buckeye...

Alli's big present is that she now has her own room!
Ruby and June are together, and Alli has a room to herself.
And that has taken up most of my time this week.   Painting and decorating and sorting through three girls' clothes! 

I will post pictures of the room when I catch my breath.
Stay tuned.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy Birthday to June!

Two years ago...

this little ray of sunshine came into our family... a drop of summer in a cold January.

And suddenly she is two!

It is hard to believe, but it is true.

In some ways she seems too little...

June loves to climb into the cubby hole of this table.  She is very petite.  Most of her clothes are size 18 months.  In the nursery at church, June is the tiniest kid.

In other ways she seems more grown up...

June is almost potty trained.  She wears panties at home most of the time.  She is so little that I had to take in the waist of smallest panties I could find.
June is a sweetheart.  She is generous with hugs and kisses.  She loves snuggling, drawing, running, jumping (she has been our best jumper), singing, talking on the phone, and reading books.  June will do just about anything for a piece of chocolate (that is our potty training reward for her... and me).  And we can't get enough of her happy smile and  bright eyes!

So today we are celebrating June!
Happy Birthday Junebug!