Thursday, February 2, 2017

New year, new pictures.

As I slowly try and reincorporate blogging into my routine, I'll try and catch up with a few fave photos from the past months... from starting soccer to the annual monarch butterfly crop to a family road trip (Lawrence to St. Louis to Indianapolis) to Halloween shenanigans to holiday traditions.

Abby and Elise LOVED playing soccer and are eagerly awaiting the start of the Spring season. They continue to excel at piano (Elise keeps us moving with "The Entertainer" almost daily and Abby has mastered "Colors of the Wind" with such emotion)... Speaking of piano, I missed their last recital as a certain someone couldn't stay quiet for even 30 seconds and we spent the next 35 minutes in the car. Four of us (sans Anna) read The Hobbit together and then enjoyed movie nights to see it in action - A and E are now working their way through the fourth Harry Potter with John as their nightly read-aloud. They joined student council at school and we got to enjoy a proud parent moment when a teacher from STUCO emailed and used the words "kind" and "mature" and "amazing". Speaking of teachers... third grade will be hard to beat. I practically have to drag Anna away each morning because it is the most inviting, nurturing, and upbeat learning environment (they are in the same class again this year) - the girls have each missed one day of school and even that was too much, in their opinions. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have NOT done Abby's pigtail braids for school; I can probably count on one hand the number of times I HAVE helped style Elise's hair for school. When fixing lunches each morning, no matter the question ("Do you want a cheese stick or a babybel?"), Elise always answer "I don't care". When Abby is asked, she always answers: "What kind of cheese stick? Is it a white cheddar babybel? Actually, do we have any of the cheese I like from the Merc? Can I have slices of that instead?". This. is. them.

Anna continues to serenade us with "The Twelve Days of Christmas", sometimes loudly in the shopping cart at the store, sometimes quietly through the monitor at night as she yammers endlessly before falling asleep. She was caught marching around Gran and Grandpa's coffee table just last week, chanting "Organize your life! Organize your life!", which is a perfect example of her charismatic personality - she listens to everything around her and we are so entertained by her selective use of certain bits she's heard. I am happy to report that Anna's back-seat driving has subsided... while I thought I was enriching her world with colors and information, little did I know that tuning her into stoplights would result in nonstop directives from the backseat: "Mom, it's green. GO!"... "There's a green arrow. YOUR TURN!"..."It's RED! You can't go on RED!". The latter was the most difficult - toddlers don't seem to quickly grasp "right on red". Sigh... Over the holidays, the official "first movie" was enjoyed and, if you've been with me for awhile, you might remember that Abby and Elise's first movie was "Mary Poppins". While I continue to hold steady on limited to no screen time, Anna's first movie was "Elf". Yes, Will Ferrell. She loved it and told everyone after "Buddy - that's a good name for an elf". At least it followed the real-people rule instead of animation, right?

We took a road trip in October - first stop in St. Louis to see Crazy Uncle Cousin Scotty, Traci, and Uncle Bob. A and E LOVED the apartment John booked for our night there - bunk beds and all... which I think made up for the fact that they had to endure a carsick little sister in St. Louis rush hour traffic shortly before arriving. It was a one-and-done incident, probably thanks to the help of Dramamine thereafter. We hit Fitz's for the world's biggest root beer floats and then spent a good portion of the next day at the zoo. My cousin Scott was a wonderful tour guide and provided unlimited laughter and entertainment.

From there we headed to Indianapolis to see Cousin Mark and Lisa. This was our third trip with Abby and Elise and Anna's first. It is always a weekend of relaxation, wonderful company, fun outings, and 5-star treatment. We went to the Children's Museum, found a couple wonderful playgrounds, and carved/decorated pumpkins.

Halloween brought us Hermione Granger, a Dark Fairy, and a Cat Ghost - how can you argue with those choices????

We are fortunate during the holidays to have ample time free of commitments - with family nearby, we don't travel... John's job allows him to have at least a week off... and we just roll at a steady and slow pace. Anna loved the lighting the "benorah" each night of Hanukkah, she STILL asks to see Christmas lights when we're out after dark, and the taking-down of our tree triggered a meltdown of epic proportion. I think she actually went through each stage of grief over the course of her hour-long episode: sadness, denial, anger... as she was finally calming, I said "I love you", to which she replied "I love you too but I can't talk right now". Tree-trauma aside, 2016 ended quite peacefully.

1 comment: