15 June 2010

Look Out First Grade Here She Comes

I feel like lately this has been the blog of Mr. Smiley. I do have another child and she is great. We are blessedto have Big Sister in our family too. I am especially proud of her because at the end of this week she will finish her first year of school. She completed Kindergarten with flying colors!

In California the deadline for kindergarten is December 2nd. Big sister was born on December 2nd. Granted if she had been born 43 minutes earlier she would have been born on the 1st, but 43 minutes is 43 minutes. Since she was born on the cut off date we waffled for quite a while as to whether or not we should enroll her or wait another year. Being that she is the absolute youngest you cn be to go to school in California we wondered how she would do. Finally last year we decided that we would put her in Kindergarten. If she didn't do good either we could pull her out or just have her do it again. She excelled from the beginning.

When she was two she knew all her letters and by three had started writing some. We knew she was smart and we are so proud of how far she has come this last year.

The one thing she couldn't quite get a handle on before kindergarten was the sounds of the letters. Something hadn't quite clicked there so I was curious to see how long it would take for her to learn those. The first half of the year there were a lot of basic things that they were learning. But she started to learn the sounds of each letter better. It wasn't until January that her sound recognition and reading really took off. In the monthly homework her teacher started sending home a writing journal. They were to write a one sentence story each week and then illustrate it. At first it was hard to get her to write. She is a perfectionist and really wanted to make sure she was spelling every word right--except I wasn't allowed to correct her. She was supposed to use what she knew about the sounds the letters make to form the words. That journal will be something that I will keep forever. Once she started that, everything she learned the first three months all fell into place. By last month she was supposed to write at least three sentences for each story and she was doing great. Her reading improved and within a month or so she read her first book. I couldn't have been prouder as a mom! She has been a reading machine ever since.

As she graduateds from Kindergarten and goes into First grade I can only imagine where her leaning will take her. It has been an exciting year watching her learn and grow and I look forward to what comes next.

We love you Big Sister and are proud of you!

08 June 2010

Dinner at Lunch

I've been working three full weeks now. A big thank you to my family and friends who are tending to my children. It has been much appreciated. I honestly didn't think this gig would last very long, but I'm surprisingly enjoying it. I don't think it has been as drastic a change as I thought it would be. It even has been good for our family, I think. I feel like I'm taking the time I have with my kids and using it better. Even my relationship with T-Bone is better. We're both working more as a team and I think we appreciate each other a lot more. One huge thing my work schedule has forced me to be is more disciplined.

One thing I was really worried about with my schedule was getting my family fed. T-Bone gets home at 6pm and that is when dinner is ready--except for some very rare occasions. I knew I didn't want to leave the dinner responsibility with him and definitely didn't want to put that burden on the babysitters. They are doing enough already. So I came up with a different plan.

I make dinner in the middle of the day.

I know it sounds weird, huh? After I drop Big Sister at school, Mr. Smiley usually takes his nap within 45 minutes or an hour. Then I have an hour and a half uninterrupted time. You'd think I'd want to do something better than make dinner, right? At first I wasn't really sure how it would work, but it has gone well! This system has made all the difference in my willingness to make dinner. There is no little kid trying to pry himself between me and the counter or climb his way up me into my arms. I don't have to hold cabinet doors shut with my foot that he's trying to open for attention. There is no kid asking me to come see what she's done in the other room, or beg me to play a game with her. I love my kids, but they can be pretty demanding while I'm trying to make dinner. I also have started putting the audio scriptures on while I'm making dinner too, so I'm killing two birds with one stone!

It does take some planning though. I am forced to be disciplined in my meal planning. Before, I would get lazy and just plan each meal on the fly resulting in reluctance to actually cook. Now I have to have my weekly menu and shopping done at the beginning of the week. I like it that way though. I like cooking but it's when I don't have a plan that my motivation meter goes to zero. I know I have to get food for my family so I have been forced to be motivated.

I like this plan so much, I'm thinking of continuing it once I stop working! We'll see how long that lasts with summer coming...I can plan though, right?

Mr. Climber

Mr. Smiley can now climb up the ladder of Big Sister's bunk bed all by himself. We're in trouble...

He is pretty dang cute though.

07 June 2010

Strawberry Happenings

Here's a quick update of what we've been doing recently:

We grew our own strawberry

and then we went to the Carlsbad Strawberry Fields for more than one strawberry. Yum!

Maybe next year we'll have more than one strawberry of our own.

06 June 2010

Best 1st Birthday Ever

My little Mr. Smiley turned one two weeks ago so of course we had to celebrate. A month or so ago I got this idea that it would be fun to have all the family just come to Petco Park to have a picnic and watch a game. They do their Saturday games at 5:35pm so it would be a perfect time. At first I wanted to go when the Dodgers were coming down--plus they were giving away "Beat L.A." t-shirts and what San Diego fan doesn't want one of those--but we didn't get tickets in time. Petco Park has a hilly area outside of the stadium where you can set up blankets and you only have to pay $5 to get in. It's perfect for families and there is a little play area behind the hill where the kids can go play if they get tired of rolling down the hill. Since the Dodger game was sold out we went on the next home game, the 29th.

It was the most perfect day. The weather was gorgeous...it had to be 75 with a light breeze. Beautiful I tell you. I made some cupcakes and we got Subway sandwiches, chips, granola bars and juice boxes for the food. My Dad and Step-Mom bought Mr. Smiley a "Birthday Boy" onsie so he was of course wearing that. They treated us like royalty too!

When we got to the ticket gate they saw the cupcakes and asked if we were celebrating someone's birthday. We told him it was Mr. Smiley's first birthday and then they asked where we were sitting. I told him at the park and they said, "Stay there, we have something special we'll bring to you." We all looked kind of surprised that they would even make any deal out of the birthday. Pretty soon one of the workers comes up with a button for Mr. Smiley that says, "Happy Birthday!" and a few more that say VIP (Very Important Padre) for the other kids. They loved them.

So we just had fun eating food and playing on the hill during the game. Around the 7th inning another worker who is just handing things to the kids at The Park comes up to us. My Dad tells him it's Mr. Smiley's birthday and he gets all excited and tells us to stay where we are, he'll be right back. Thinking he's going to get another button I told him that we already got buttons. He says, "Forget the buttons! I'll be right back!" Again we were a little surprised at how excited all these workers were about Mr. Smiley's birthday. He comes back a few minutes later, tells me to pick Mr. Smiley up and then gets everyone's attention. Then he leads the whole "Park" crowd in Happy Birthday and gives him a little ball! Of course Mr. Smiley had no idea what was going on, but it sure was fun to have them pay so much attention to my sweet boy.

We left during the 9th, the Padres were ahead and the kids were pooped. T-Bone and I decided that since everyone had such a fun time we would try to do this every year for his birthday as long as he lets us. Happy Birthday Mr. Smiley!!

Modeling my button

My sister with Grandma and Daddy, Grandpa and Uncle Ian

Grandma and Grandpa were there too, and Mom's friend Maren

My Cousin likes Cheetos. His family was there too but my Mom didn't get any
pictures of his mom or dad. They were playing with the kids.

We got these Bobbleheads but they kept breaking. Two of these have no arms, and the
other two lost their bats. And that wasn't even the extent of the injuries. They were pretty cheap.

Here's the ball the worker gave me. My mom took it away though because it was
plushy and I started to take bites out of it.

Here I am with the gift my Aunt and Uncle Truman gave me.
A ball and glove from Sea World! Thanks guys! And my first time having juice. Boy was that yummy!

And lastly, me just looking pretty dang cute.
It was a good birthday.

Kindergarten Love-Update

I would just like to report that Big Sister has decided that she doesn't love "S" anymore and wants to marry "B" again. For what it's worth, I'm glad they are back together. I hope someone tells him.

01 June 2010

I would just like to report that yesterday I was able to find two pair of pants that fit me. In MY size. Not a pretend size that I'm suposed to try to fit into. My work wardrobe is now completed thanks to the Macy's Petite section.