Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October Happenings - LLA, Exploring the Neighborhood, Playing at the Mall, and Joining Costco!

 Zoe has been loving the color science class each week at LLA.  She also has gym, book club, and an art class.  A couple weeks ago the color of the week was purple so we used purple cabbage juice to do a pH experiment.   The kids got to change the juice from purple to reddish, pink, blue, and green, then back to purple using washing soda w/ water, Sprite, vinegar, and baking soda w/ water.

Zoe brought her purple sock monkey and some purple chalk for show and tell ;)

Last week was the color orange.  So of course, the main event was an orange. They learned about buoyancy!  They measured the mass of each vegetable/fruit then they made a hypothesis of  whether or not they thought it would float, and then after they tested it they wrote down their observations (Sink or Float).

Sioux Falls now has a Costco!!  We've gone 3 times in the past couple weeks.   I grew up with Costco.  I had never set foot in a Sam's Club until we moved to Sioux Falls 7 years ago.  Costco is just all around better prices and better choices.  I will say though that they are definitely "behind the times" when it comes to their payment systems.  Only cash or check to buy food and the only credit card they accept in the whole store is American Express... :-/  I'm sure it has something to do with the cost of accepting credit cards but if all other stores can make it work then they really should too. Other than that, I am super excited that we finally have a Costco!

The beginning of the month was still pretty warm.  On the day this next picture was taken, it was 80 outside!  Lately the temps have been dropping.  Now we're having regular days in the 40's and 50's.

We took the girls to play at the new play area in the mall! They tore out the old one... it was kind of gross so it's good but still a little sad for me since I had brought Zoe there to play since she was a baby.

This was Avery's first time playing at the mall.   She is loving being able to get around and pulling herself up to stand.

This month we've been exploring our "new" neighborhood!  We've been here a year now but I didn't make time to really explore the area until a couple weeks ago.   WOW... we have trails and trails and more trails all over this area.  There are small  (and very old) parks around here too.  I actually saw a tall metal slide and seesaws made out of wood.  I hadn't seen those in ages!

Zoe's Kindergarten Portraits

I have a kid in KINDERGARTEN! I'm so amazed by that fact.  My first born baby is growing up.

Those who know me know that I have a zillion photos of Zoe.   I'm a photographer.  Photographing my kids is what I do best.  I even plan photo sessions for each of them every 6 months or so.  One thing is for sure... there will be no shortage of portraits of each of my girls by the time they reach adulthood.

But still, seeing these school photos done by Lifetouch nearly brought me to tears.

There is something about the traditional studio photos that I just love.

Of course, I would have actually taken more than one photo if I was going to offer a COLLAGE..... (Seriously, Lifetouch??), and I would have had a slightly different angle for reasons that seem obvious to me.  BUT, they are still so classic.  I love them.

Homeschooling for the past two months has been awesome.   I love to be actively involved in her education! It's so fun to watch her learn.  She's learning how to read much faster than I ever expected.  And being a part of the local homeschool co-op has been awesome.  One of her best friends, Max, goes to the same co-op and a couple of her friends from church.  She has made new friends too!  She loves all of her classes, but of course, her favorite is the one that her Grandma and Mommy teach ;-)

Monday, October 21, 2013

My Girls and Ear Piercing

June 29, 2012

The day I found out we were expecting another baby I took Zoe to the mall to find her a "Big Sister" shirt. That was our way of announcing the pregnancy to several people... just having her wear the "Best Sister Ever" shirt that we found at Children's Place and waiting until people noticed... the reactions were awesome!

On that same day Zoe decided she wanted to get her ears pierced.

Yes, for an entire year my 4 year old had been asking me if she can pierce her ears. I had always dreamed of her asking me when she was 9, 10, maybe 11 like me.  But 3?? That took me by surprise. She would look at my earrings and be so mesmerized by them.  The girl loves earrings.

So on this particular day she had found out she was going to be a big sister (we seriously never thought it would happen!).  She told me that she knew it would hurt a little and my little 4 year old Zoe assured me that she would be fine.  So we did it!

We went to Claire's and within a few minutes, her ears were pierced! She did great, didn't cry, no problems. She was very pleased with herself for being so brave.

Fast forward to July 2nd when we were on our way to St. Louis, MO to visit friends. We arrived in a hotel in Kansas City and it is midnight... long story short, one of Zoe's earrings ripped out... blood everywhere... little 4 year old screaming at the TOP of her lungs and probably waking up everyone in that hotel.

Needless to say but we had to wait for her ear to heal and by then it had obviously closed up so for the rest of the year she just had one earring.  She did not want to go back and get her ear re-pierced.

Until May of this year.  We were with Great-Grandma Murray at the mall and we walked past Icing and jokingly said, "You want to get your ear pierced today?" as we had said probably a hundred times before...

She said, "Yes!" Walked right into Icing and sat in the chair.


She was nervous, but she got to hold the Claire bear.  Oh how I love the Claire bear! I remember the Claire bear from when I got my ears pierced back on July 11, 1997 (Yeah, don't ask how I remember the date)! She got her ear pierced and this time she looked a little more nervous afterward but within a few minutes she was just fine.  Meanwhile I'm praising her over and over for doing such a great job!

A couple weeks later, on June 5th, we went to the same place in the mall and got Avery's ears pierced.


My best friend Shannon got her daughter's ears pierced last year when she was just a couple months old and I found myself wishing I had done the same with Zoe.  When Avery was about 2 months old I decided to just do it.  Get it over with.  The fact is, it only hurts for a few minutes and in Avery's case it only seemed to hurt her for about 30 seconds.  She was laughing and her normal self within a minute and she never once had a problem whenever I went to clean her ears after that!  It's done and she shouldn't ever have to worry about getting them pierced later.  Plus, they are super cute.

So, for now, we're done with ear piercing! Hopefully the earrings stay put this time.

What a difference a year makes...

 This was Avery on October 17, 2012

This was Avery on October 18, 2013 

I can't believe she is 8 months old already.   8 months! I know they say time goes faster as you get older but... 8 months! WHAT? Isn't she still a newborn?? She was just in my tummy like, yesterday. ;)

This girl has a smile that totally wrecks me every time I see it.  I seriously feel like crying (in a good way) every time I see her.  She's unbelievable.  A total, absolute miracle baby.  

Finding Joy in the Winter Months

For our family, this time of year is full of two things: celebrations and a slightly overwhelming sense of cabin fever. Both Gage and I cel...