Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Artist at Work

Ally has been doing some amazing coloring work at “before school”. I mean these are perfectly colored in the lines. I even asked who helped her with them and she was pretty offended and exclaimed “I did all myself!”

There was an Open House at her school this week and while there her teacher gave us a card Ally made for me.
The front says I Love You  with a heart on it and then inside there is a picture of Ally and the text says “Dear Mommy I’m having a good time at school”
Seriously – I thought I might cry then and there. How sweet is that?
We tried out a new babysitter for the Open House. Ally had a blast and at bedtime she told me about the spider web she drew with that evening. Ally explained that she drew a hexagon and then another and another and then inside she drew lines to the hexagon and outside the hexagon she drew lines, like spikes to connect the web to 2 trees. Once she was asleep I went to her craft table and found the picture. It was exactly like she described.

In not so fun news Ally had her first hard / dangerous fall at the park on Friday after school. She was playing with 2 friends and they were going really fast on the spinner thing pictured above and Ally basically got airborne, lost her grip and went flying about 2 feet thru the air from about 4 feet high and landed flat on her chest. It was not fun. It hurt. I carried her home, and Becky and I checked her out and called the doctor to be sure. They had us come in so they could make sure she was ok. Ally is in the waiting room at the doctor’s office above – playing a game on my phone with her Pooh next to her. She is fine – doctor said nothing was broken and said Ally might be sore in the morning but it was a good call to bring her in to get checked.

Then on Sunday at Church a parent of one of her classmates asked if we had seen Ally’s painting. We had not, but Ally had told me about it – she was super excited to tell me after school one day that she got to paint during choice time. Below is her masterpiece.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Good Morning Mama!


On the weekends I get up early – and then Ally is awake and we try and let mama sleep until about 8AM. Saturday morning, Ally had watched her TV shows and it was 8 and she was chilly. So I suggested she go in and wake up mama. As soon as Ally crawled into bed with Becky, Nali came up and laid down right on top of them! They called out to me to come look, and so I did and ran and got the camera.
What a way to wake up!
Then later in the day I went out to run errands and the two of them were sitting the chair playing computer games on the Ipad! And they were dressed in coordinating outfits!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Bobbing for Apples


We are planning our annual Halloween Party. Last night we were looking at pictures on the internet of games to play and came across a picture of bobbing for apples. Ally was intrigued and excitedly asked if we could do that. Becky and I said sure that could be a party game. Ally then asked if we could do it right now?

Of course we said yes!


A large bowl was filled with water and placed on the ground with a towel to contain any mess. Then ally placed the apples in the bowl.


Becky went first – to show Ally how its done. Becky has a hidden bobbing talent because she got an apple on the first try and looked so elegant and graceful doing it.


Ally thought it was awesome. She was so excited to try next.


Ally took her shirt off, and started right in bobbing for an apple. Quite quickly she caught one by the stem! It was so much fun she wanted to do it again and was determined to catch one full on with her teeth – I think she felt the stem was too easy.


She tried and tried and tried – for at least 10 minutes of dunking her head in the water. All smiles and full of glee. She LOVED it.



It was finally my turn. I got one on my second dunk.


Ally wanted to keep trying. But its hard to get a little mouth into a medium sized apple in a bowl of water. She was such a good sport and was so determined.

Finally I had an idea…


Goggles! And it worked – with her goggles on she quickly got an apple.



Mommy and Ally victorious apple bobbers!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Birthday Party #16

Ally’s friend Willow turned 6 exactly 2 months before Ally will; September 16.
Ally, true to form drew a picture of herself with her friend in the card – this time they were under a rainbow.

At the party having fun with a noisemaker.

The party games were a lot of fun; pin the tail on the donkey – and Ally was so proud that she actually did pin the tail on the tail. The second game was wrap your parent in toilet paper. Don’t I look great?
Then it was time for the piƱata.

And then playing at the park. Willow, Siobhan and Ally. It was really fun to have such a relaxed low-key and more traditional party for a change. Event parties are fun too, but this was a reminder of how simple is fun and entertaining as well.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Birthday Party #15

Schools starts and so does Birthday party season! Sunday we actually had 2 parties on the same day – Andy’s was first – we went before church at 930 AM and then left the party before it was over and made it to Church in time for Sunday School.
Ally drew a picture in the card of her and Andy and a tree. A fitting card since the party was at a local nature preserve and the kids went on a hike and searched for bugs.
Ally was delighted to see her friends, Stella (as usual) and in a fun twist – the girl to the left is a new kindergarten friend of Ally’s, Angelina! Angelina attended the same preschool as Ally, but is a few months younger than Ally so they were never in the same class and did not know each other until kindergarten. Angelina was in Andy’s class last year at pre-school, while Ally was at junior kindergarten.  Right away on the first day of school Ally said she made a new friend.  I have met both of Angelina’s parents this week and they said she talks about Ally at home as her new friend as well. So sweet.
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Liem’s mom took these pictures of the guided nature activities. Ally was so excited to tell us she caught a really big callapiller (how she pronounces caterpillar).
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It was a really fun, interesting and educational party.
We have signed Ally up for a monthly class at this Nature Center with Andy and another preschool friend Luca. Now she is really looking forward to the first class in a few weeks.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A New Era

Well today I did it. Ally did it. We got to school without a morning babysitter. This is Ally as we left the house. Today I walked Ally to school and dropped her off at the "before school" program. This is a loosely supervised small (free) early morning program. The school sponsors this to encourage working families who need childcare before 845AM to attend the school. The program starts at 730 am. I brought Ally at 745 today and we waited a bit to meet the monitor, Miss Pat, and Ally and I looked at the breakfast offerings - fruit, bagels and Shredded Wheat!!!! Imagine my delight to see  they have Ally's most-eaten food (frosted mini wheats) available! Ally was not interested in eating this morning but I think I can convince her to eat some on other days.
We'll see.
Ally was so brave. Personally I had butterflies all weekend about this new phase of our lives.  I am afraid there is not enough supervision and something "bad" will happen to Ally. I was scared Ally would not eat enough at home before we had to leave, I was scared getting Ally ready for school would be a battle, I was worried about Ally freaking out about the change, I was worried Ally would cry or be sad to have me leave her. I am worried about how this change will affect my work, but my boss is being very understanding and flexible and we're going to see how it all works out.
And I know it will be hard sometimes, but going to early care was Ally's choice and, today went really well.
Ally woke up on her own this morning, watched her latest favorite TV show "My L.ittle Pony" and then was cooperative getting lotioned, dressed, and hair done. I even remembered to give her vitamins and have her brush her teeth. She picked out her new coat to wear, zipped it all the way up with the hood on her head, strapped on her back pack and was ready to go. She held my hand tightly as we walked the 5 short blocks to her school. We tried not to step on any cracks in the sidewalk. We arrived at school, walked to the cafeteria and all was good. Ally has an amazing capacity to "suck it up" about big things like this and she seemed determined to be OK with it. I just hope I can be OK with it too.
I'll pick her up after school today (and everyday) and I'll ask how it went and I am sure she will say "I don't want to  talk about it" which is her standard response so I'll require her to tell me 3 things and we'll chat and if I am lucky I can coax out 4-5 things before she realizes she let slip more than the 3 she agreed to. I know that if she has big thoughts she'll talk about it of her own free will, if she needs to and and when she is ready.
Ally is growing up. I know its what kids do and its wonderful and amazing, but sometimes its hard as her mom to experience it. I just want to protect her and keep her safe forever and ever.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Apples, Camels and Guatemala Girls


This month we met at a local orchard for our Guatemala Girls get together. Rosa and Ally were the first to arrive and waited patiently for the rest of our group.


We rode the train to the first stop – apple and pear picking. Alice, Roxie, Rosa and Ally sat together – Gabi is in the back row next to her mom.

Ally thought Rosa was hilarious putting the bag over her head. Alice pointed out that it was not safe to put a bag on your head. I think Roxie thought they were odd.


As you can tell Ally had a great time – picking and then eating an apple. Macintosh was the yummy variety this week.


The orchard also had these amazing grape arbors. Rosa climbed up her mom and picked a few for us to try. For the record, Ally prefers table grapes to Concord grapes.


Gabi and Roxie


The moms!


The girls played in the kids fun area for a long time and then realized there were camel rides. How could we say no to camel rides? They waited patiently for their turn.



Ally, Roxie & Gabi rode had the first turn.


Then it was Rosa and Alice on next.


Shot of the day was all five of them – victorious after their camel ride and so happy.



We took a snack break and then the girls rode a caterpillar train ride. All by themselves. The 6 of us moms stood there amazed I think in the 4 years we’ve been getting together it was the first time we were alone together as adults – for 5 minutes as the girls rode.


They had so much fun – I love how serious Alice looks here.

After the rides we picked a few peaches and headed home.