Sunday, January 27, 2013

Gym Girl

In addition to Anna's preschool days, we also signed up for another semester of her beloved music class, and then we also recently added a gym class to our week. It's been an adjustment going from essentially picking our own agenda every day to such a structured week, but generally it's been great. It's a good balance of independent time and then time where I get to play too!

These pictures are from a free play session at Anna's gym...I don't like to use my camera during the actual class but hopefully these will give you a peek! Anna loves the free play time because they pull out all the good equipment and let the kids have at it!
















I'm way overdue for another picture post but it's time for Downton Abbey, so you all will just have to wait for another day! 

First Day of School!

I had originally decided to wait until Anna was three years old to enroll her in any kind of preschool program, but then New Year's came and I realized I was staring directly into Steve's busy season, and it kind of made me panic. Once his busy season really gets going, he is gone from 5 in the morning until after the kids' bedtime, and I realistically acknowledged that I was going to need some help with these two boogers. I didn't really think Anna was totally ready but I took the plunge and signed her up.

She loves her Minnie Mouse bookbag.


Anna is enrolled for two mornings a week, and it has been a very positive thing so far. Drop-offs are pretty rough, which we expected. Her teachers are wonderful though and assure me that she calms down quickly.


Daddy stayed home late on her first morning of school so he could help send her off!

Her class is small, less than ten children, although sometimes they join in with the "big kids" next door. Their daily schedule includes circle time with songs and books, art, gym/free play, and lunch. I have loved packing up her little lunch box and I have especially loved seeing her art projects as they are sent home. Every time I pick her up, we text a picture of her latest creation to Daddy at work. Steve was beyond tickled with her very first art project, which was a nest with birds glued inside. Anna's favorite project so far (according to her teachers) was her Otters picture, which she painted with her feet!

Inspecting her lunch


We have made a small picture wall to hang Anna's art, and we also plan to put some up on her bulletin boards in her room. Each week the kids learn a new letter, so the art reflects that week's letter. Her teachers said they were very impressed with how well Anna knows her alphabet already!





This is Oscar the Grouch, I got a good chuckle looking at this one!

Her school schedule has been a very positive thing for me too. It's been a relief knowing that I can count on those times twice a week to catch up on cleaning/house projects and to do the grocery shopping, and I have also loved having that one-on-one time with Maddie Magoo. And she loves it too! Anna is at school for four hours and it really is crazy how fast that time flies by. We hope that school proves a positive thing for Banana Bean too, and that learning stays fun!!


New Year's Resolutions

I know it's almost the end of the month, but hey, it's still January, so technically I'm still on time for this!

No matter how much stock you put into New Year's resolutions, this is always the perfect time of year for some self-reflection and mental preparation for the upcoming year. I came up with a few personal goals and wanted to share!

1) Shop my house more. I love doing projects around the house but over the years I have fallen into the habit of just running out to the store and buying whatever I need, instead of spending some time seeing if I already have something that will work. So I'm resolving to "shop my house" for projects before I buy anything new. The project might not turn out Pinterest-perfect but it will get the job done and save a bunch of money! I have already put this into practice on several organizational projects that I've done in the past few weeks and it's already paying off in terms of saving money and clearing out the clutter.

2) Polish my photography. I have really slacked off with pictures this past year and it's one of my bigger regrets. It's even harder taking my camera with me now with Maddie strapped to me, but I resolve (at least at home) to get back into manual mode, back into the portrait lens, and also spend some time familiarizing myself with Photoshop filters and editing. An iPhone covered in peanut butter and jelly just doesn't work the same!! It's one of my more fun hobbies and I enjoy doing it, so it will both document our beautiful babies and also give me some added mommy time.

3) Revamp my cleaning schedule. Our schedule has changed dramatically over the last year and especially in the last month (more on that later!). I always loved having my cleaning schedule written out and easily knocked out, and I know it will be worth my time to revamp it to fit my current needs. We also revamped our weekly menu, and now have 6 weeks of dinners already planned out. We are on week 4 now and it's been a great success, so I'm hoping the cleaning schedule will be equally positive.

4) Cut the trash. Saying I have been overwhelmed with the two kiddos is a bit of an understatement, and a lot of the things that I did with Anna, like cloth diapers, have been an afterthought with Maddie. But every time I use them, I remember why I liked them so much, and I resolve to get back to cloth more with Maddie. I also resolve to cut back again on our paper cleaning supplies and to keep up with the laundry of the napkins and cleaning cloths.

5) Get Personal. One of the things that I love about my sister's home is all of her family pictures, and it has made me realize how often I forget to actually print our pictures and hang them up. So I resolve to get more pictures printed and proudly displayed!!

Well, I had other ones, but my brain has given up for the evening. One of the hazards of a sleep-deprived momma, haha. What about you all? Any fun resolutions to share??

Friday, January 18, 2013

Llama Llama What a Drama

Toddlers are fun and interesting creatures, and one of the most surprising things is how developments can occur seemingly overnight. And sometimes it can catch Mommy off guard!!

We frequent many different story times around town, and for Christmas, we filled up the girls' bookshelves with some of Anna's favorites. One of the books was Llama, Llama Red Pajama, by Anna Dewdney. Anna has "read" this book on more than one occasion and always seemed to enjoy it, so I was excited to add it to the nighttime book repertoire.

Well, imagine my surprise when we start reading it together, and Anna suddenly recognizes that the llama is upset that Mama is gone. She points at the llama crying and says, "uh oh, happened????" (toddler-speak for "uh oh, what happened?"). She gets progressively more upset, and despite my best efforts to turn the damn page to show her that Mama Llama comes back and Baby Llama is no longer upset, she just continues to get more and more alarmed the more she looks at that stupid llama crying.

After a solid 15 minutes of reassuring her that Baby Llama is okay, I finally convince Anna to keep reading the book with me so that we can see that everything is okay and that Mama Llama comes back, and all is right in the Llama world.

Needless to say, Llama Llama Red Pajama has "accidentally" gotten lost in the top of Anna's closet, and I'm not sure that it will be making a reappearance any time soon!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Picture Post!

These are mostly Anna pictures since I just did Maddie's monthly post. Enjoy!

Eating lunch at the mall.

She loves her cowboy hat. And this is also her favorite outfit, a Christmas gift from SuSu. You will see this outfit in many pictures because it's pretty much all she wants to wear.





Her favorite song is "Fly a Kite" from Mary Poppins, so I finally found her a kite. And now there's no wind so Daddy ran it around the cul-de-sac to get it to fly!

Making a beeline for the doorbell.


I came downstairs one night to find a Daddy/Daughter pedicure session going on.

Giving manicures and pedicures is Anna's new favorite thing to do and I keep hiding the nail polish because I'm tired of getting it out of clothes (my new trick is hairspray) and scrubbing it off the furniture.


Maddie being Daddy's good luck Xbox charm








If Anna sees an umbrella she shouts "Poppins!!!" and then immediately wants to play with it.