Monday, November 23, 2015

Things I (presumably) Enjoy

I tell myself, I must really enjoy doing these things, because heaven knows, I do them all the time.  These things include:

  • Laundry. Washing, drying, folding, putting away, picking up off the floor.
  • Throwing out perfectly good food that starving Syrian refugees would give their right arm to eat.
  • Asking questions repeatedly simply for the sake of hearing my voice rise in a questioning tone. Please, don't answer me, that would just interrupt the melodious sound of my rising voice.
  • Screaming my children's names. Often the wrong child's name.
  • Thoughtfully planning healthy menus, spending hours cooking them, and then making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for picky children.
  • Doing dishes. See: laundry.
There are many more items to add to the list, but that captures my most favorite past-times.  Fortunately, I get to do all of these things every day!

Friday, November 13, 2015

1st lost tooth!

Asher lost his first tooth tonight- not the one that has been loose for over 2 months (yes, really!), but the one that became loose more recently.  We believe it was helped on its way after Eric caught a washcloth on it last night and yanked on it.  Tonight it was this loose:
Yes, his tooth is hanging out of his mouth
 We told him there was no way he could eat dinner with his tooth like that, and Eric promised him Shopkins if he got it out before dinner.  There was some mild hysteria around possible bleeding, but moments later, Asher popped his tooth out with his tongue- and it flew across the rug!  We all clapped and hugged and admired his tooth.
Showing off his prize
The gap on the bottom is about as big as the gap on top!
He wrote a letter to the tooth fairy- I didn't get a chance to take a picture before he stuffed it under his pillow, but it said something like, "Please leave my tooth because it is in a little bag. Leave my tooth but I would like something like money." My dad has a $1 coin to give him and Eric snuck out to 5 Below for Shopkins while no one was looking.  Asher is sleeping over at my parents' house tonight, so my dad gets to play tooth fairy again!  I am a little sad that I won't be there in the morning to see his reaction to a visit from the tooth fairy, but I didn't want to force him home, or delay his reward from the tooth fairy after all the tooth fairy promotion we did.  He is so proud now, and not afraid to lose that other wiggly tooth on the bottom!

Post-script: In looking at these photos, I feel motivated to begin saving for orthodontia. Oh my goodness.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Kindergarten Conferences

Hurray for the boys!
gap-toothed grin
Goofy guy
Today I got to meet one-on-one with both of the boys' teachers.  We really haven't had much conversation with the teachers about the boys, which I assumed was a good thing.  The boys are loving school and are eager to go every day. They are increasingly interested in letters, words, how to spell, counting, adding...  I love how they are making sense of their world and putting concepts together.

Anyway, both teachers raved about the boys and I couldn't be more proud.  While they aren't reading yet, their pre-reading skills are right where they need to be, and both teachers expected that they will be reading within the next few months.

More importantly, both boys are doing well socially.  They are good listeners, good classmates, and helpful.  I was SO proud!  I asked Asher's teacher specifically about the problems we had at school last year (his bossiness), and she said she doesn't see anything like that, that he isn't even one of the classmates most insistent on being line leader.  She said he is a joy to have in the class.
He is getting so tall!
Still my baby
Benjamin's teacher said that he is always helpful, and she trusts him to walk classmates to the office, to take books to the library.  He has a lot of girl friends and seems to get along with everyone.  She also said that he has an aptitude for math and numbers.  Surely he gets that from me- I almost bragged about my SAT scores just so she would know where it comes from!  But I am so thrilled that he is grasping concepts and figuring things out. Sometimes he is so in his own world that it's not clear what is registering with him and what isn't.

I know there is a very long road ahead of us, that kindergarten is just the start, but I feel pleased that they have made the adjustment well.  I also have to admit that I gave myself a little pat on the back for having TWO kindergarteners who are thus far well-adjusted good citizens.  Asher's teacher made some comment about kids picking up on things in the home- that it was apparent we were calm, that he isn't ever aggressive in school and shows kindness to others.  Hurray! For all our faults, and my self-criticism, it is clear Eric and I have done something right.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween 2015

This feels like what was possibly the longest Halloween lead-up ever.  We did the Count's Spooktacular at Sesame Place, Boo at the Zoo at the Philadelphia Zoo, two different costume parties at two different friends', and a Halloween party and parade at school- all before the main event.

Here are some photos of them at our various events in their various costumes:
Boo at the Zoo, Saturday, October 24
The panda contemplating the lion
The Banana in a flower with a pumpkin
Daddy with Benjamin on the carousel
Charlotte on the carousel yelling, "Hello, Mommy!"
In a set of 10 pictures, I couldn't find a single one where all 3 kids were smiling
 Costume party at a friend's, October 25:
Benjamin in a panda costume, with a Home Depot worker's costume on top 
Even Queen Elsa likes crafting
A very serious Mr Incredible with his candy trail mix
 And, in non-Halloween news, we got the boys' school photos from kindergarten:
Benjamin. We are debating a retake, with a haircut, and without the batman sweatshirt.
Asher. I'm sorry, is he 5? Or 15?
 School Halloween parade, October 30
Asher was the last person from his class. The 2 girls on the left are in another class
Benjamin whispering sweet nothings to his girlfriend, Lexie.

The parade underway

Mrs. Damico is Benjamin's teacher 
This tired-looking panda later refused to nap.
And finally, the main event- trick or treating with friends on Halloween night!  We had friends over for an early pizza dinner, and then we hit the streets. If it were up to Asher, we could cover A LOT of territory, but Benjamin and Charlotte are less motivated and not as quick.

Posing for Meema
Benjamin begged for face paint and then hated it.

I added some flair to Asher's store-bought costume 

With our friends as we set out
At our first trick-or-treat house
At the end of the evening. Benjamin now looks like a zombie panda.
It is so much fun to go out with kids who enjoy it, no complaints, just fun. They didn't whine about eating all their candy, either!  We got home and Asher kept trying to steal from our candy bowl- I told him if he wants candy he better go out and trick-or-treat for it. So he got his bucket and the 2 of us together hit up 2 more streets, and he raked it in. His pumpkin is now full to the top!  

Goodbye to another Halloween- I like it so much more as a parent than I did in the 2 decades prior!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sesame Place

We have thoroughly enjoyed our season passes to Sesame Place this year.  We recently went on 2 trips, 4 weeks apart- the first to get in our last day on the water attractions, and the second for their Halloween themed weekend, complete with costumes and trick-or-treat.  Here are some of our photos-
Benjamin is not asleep, merely zen
Summer clothes, fall decor 
The following pictures are at the Count's Splash Castle, which we have mixed feelings about. Benjamin and Charlotte (and mommy) don't like the splashing and spraying, but Asher loves it. And the water slides are pretty fun if you can get past the spraying.

 I texted this picture to my sister:
and said, "Look! Ran into Mom at Sesame Place!" Which got a laugh out of her.

We picked up a useful hint from our friends- go to one of the live shows during lunch time so that no time is wasted. We eat lunch while watching the show.  The kids love the show, and I find myself clapping along and dancing, too. (I am such a dork. Having kids makes me think it is ok to behave like my inner 4 year-old in public.)

Over the course of the summer the boys got increasingly brave, and would ride this tube ride without me, repeatedly.

Charlotte refused to ride it and instead went into the little kid splash pool. I won't post a picture, but her favorite thing to do is to sit on top of a water jet.  Smart girl.

I bribed them with Elmo face-shaped soft pretzels

We almost didn't make it, because we had plans on Sunday to see a friend, but he had to cancel due to illness. So, kind mommy that I am, I packed everyone up and drove them to Sesame Place.  It was COLD- in the 40s or low 50s and I definitely felt very begrudging in my mind.  But the kids had fun.  I only hope that I didn't negate their enjoyment by later getting exhausted and slightly snappish in frustration- but there is only so much Sesame Place I can take.
Asher is a banana, Charlotte is a princess or ballerina, and Benjamin is a panda
I love Asher's little boy profile. In the back is the dried up Count's Splash Castle

Benjamin doesn't like costumed characters and sat this one out on a bench.  
The next day I had to meet with Asher's teacher before school to plan the Halloween party for his class (in a moment of idiocy, I volunteered to be a room parent, hahaha!).  We got our first frost overnight, and I couldn't help but notice how beautiful the fallen leaves were.  Despite my best attempts at denial, fall is certainly here.