Friday, September 30, 2011

Watercolor Apples

Red Fish/New Fish
 I cut out apples for the girls to paint with their Aunt Lee Lee.  They love doing the same type of painting projects over and over but I feel a need to do something to keep them just a little bit different.  Plus, I like talking about the seasonal colors and trying to work in talking about months and seasons.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ghost Feet


Now that it is officially Fall, Red Fish had been begging to make ghost feet again.  I think she really likes the feeling of having her feet painted.  I like that this project is almost mess free as long as I keep a wet towell next to where we are painting.  I have a feeling there are going to be about 100 of these made over the next month, just like last year.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Symphony Night

My obsession over when/how to educate my children continues.  Music has been a real point of worry for me.  I spend a lot of time thinking about how best to instill a love of music in my children and when I should start them in formal music lessons.  We do a lot of singing and listening at home but music never quite gets the focus and attention I would like it to have.  There just aren't enough hours in the day.  My newest musical effort is to introduce them to more music by taking them to concerts.  We attended concerts in the park over the summer and we go to some of my brother's concerts.  We also bought tickets to all of the family concerts our local symphony puts on.  The symphony is making an impressive effort to reach out to the younger generation with these family friendly (and surprisingly affordable) set of concerts.  Some of them I will take New Fish to but not all of them.  Tonight, Two Fish and I took Red Fish to the "Salute To Youth" concert.  Young musicians ages 11-18 soloed with the symphony.  I think it was great for Red Fish to see these very young and accomplished musicians.  She really enjoyed the music.  We didn't quite make it through the whole thing because it ended up being quite lengthy but Red Fish did a great job being quiet and respectful.  She is, after all, only three.  Red Fish's favorite part was the piano solos and getting to go out with mommy and daddy by herself.  Next month we get to wear our Halloween costumes to the concert.

Painting Pumpkins

Red Fish- painted on watercolor paper.   Oil pastels were used to draw the faces.
New Fish

 We needed something fun today.  Yesterday was rotten.  I had a terrible allergic reaction and was totally covered in welts and hives.  Even my ears and the bottom of my feet were swollen and splotchy.  I think my hives had hives. It did not make for a very fun Mommy.  Red Fish requested an art project and friends when I picked her up from school.  We decided to invite our friends on the street over to paint some paper pumpkins with watercolors and ride bikes.

Let the Halloween decorating begin!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Leaves Are Changing

We've been painting giant leaves to put in our front window. It's a good opportunity to talk about the seasons, leaves changing and fall colors. It's going to be October soon and I'm excited to start decorating for Halloween.  Plenty of fall crafts in the works.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dear Little Red Curls

I love you.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Circus Circus

 Today, we took the girls to the circus for the first time.  They LOVED it.  Their favorite part was the elephants.  Two Fish and I liked it too although it was too long and they have too much expensive garbage to flash at your kids.  ($12.00 for cotton candy!)  Barnum and Bailey put on a good show.  New Fish was totally rocking out to the music the whole time and everytime something lit on fire both girls would scream.
 I have great memories of going to the circus with my grandmother when I was little.  I was picked from the audience to ride an elephant.  My Dad also once forgot me at the circus when I was three and I got to go back stage and meet all of the animals.  I love everything about the circus except for the freaky clowns.  We weren't sitting close to the stage this time so they weren't scary.
 Our friends M&A and Baby C came with us.  Poor Baby C slept through most of the circus.
 Red Fish has been dying to ride on the train.  We figured today would be the perfect time to take it downtown.  We took pictures just like tourists and the girls both loved it. It was a fun day!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Glass Castle

By Jeannette Wall
 I can't remember the last time a book made me this angry. There was a steady stream of screaming going on in my head most of the time that I was reading this book. Wall's account of her childhood growing up with two "nonconformist" parents with a case of the wanderlust. Wall's formative years are spent sleeping under the stars, reading poetry and She sees the world through rose colored glasses that make her childhood seem to cling to a certain magic despite less than ideal conditions. Actually scratch that, terrible conditions. After the age of about ten things spiral downward into a heart breaking story of abuse and neglect. It was one terrible thing after another. One story of her parents letting her down after another. It would send me into a personal rant about some people not deserving to be parents. The injustice of good parents struggling to have children when some people CHOOSE not to take care of their children, expose them to abuse and don't even give them the basic necessities of life. Bad things do happen to good people but sometimes crappy parents just make sure bad things happen to their kids.

I was inspired by Wall's siblings ability to rise to the occasion and care for each other. There is a certain nobility in taking care of those you love. In cheering for each other they were able to drag each other up from the mire. There is a certain hopefulness and testimony to the unbreakable nature of the human spirit that I did love. I just felt more angry that they had to struggle so hard to get there.

I didn't end up quite as angry with the father, Rex. I think partly because he was repeating a terrible pattern of addiction, abuse and neglect that had been inflicted on him from childhood. I still think he was a good for nothing, selfish poor excuse for a father regardless. I do believe he loved his children. The mother, Rose Mary mostly because I think she had the most options in this book. She came from a nice family, inherited an actual home, could have left her husband, chose not to work etc. **Spoiler Alert*** When I found out that she owned over a million dollars in property that she never cashed in on, not even when her children were starving and living in squalor, I WAS OUTRAGED. I'd really like to write her off as mentally ill but I don't believe that. My impression is that she chose the life she has. I just can't fathom that she chose it for her children. She has the resources to get out and she just didn't do it. I believe sometimes people fall on hard times, sometimes they make mistakes but I cannot for the life of me understand why someone who had options would live in squalor. I think I might be forced to read Wall's second book on her mother just to try and understand.

I was pleased to read that most of the children made something of themselves. They are well educated, interesting adults with mostly happy lives. Overall I feel exhausted and lazy just reading through everything in this book.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

If You Need Us...

 We can be found outside on our bikes.  Picnics are packed at a moment's notice and toted around with us.  We have no use for the indoors.  It's too nice to sit inside.
 We are frequently out with our friends and neighbors.  Sometimes we are joy riding in their convertibles.  Extra bandaids are a must, mostly because they are fun to stick on and make us look tough.  Whole boxes have been known to disappear overnight.
And we leave a trail of chalk dust and finger paint behind us.  And yes, it is important to play dead when you are having your body traced.  Don't be alarmed.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

First Two Wheeler

Is today Red Fish's birthday? No. I gave her a birthday present anyway.  Every single morning she wakes up and asks me if it's her birthday yet and if she can get a bike.  In November it will be cold and yucky.  Right now, we spend a large chunk of our time outside riding bikes.  So I caved.  She won't notice or care if she only gets something small on her actual birthday.  The girl needs a bike and now both of us are very very happy.  She looks like such a big kid!

Being A Mom Rules

Yes all three of us can fit on this scooter and we can get going pretty fast if someone gives us a push.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Color Mixing

 We've been doing some creative color mixing around here.  I put two primary colors on either side of a sheet of paper and the girls drive toy cars, scrape combs and use paint scrapers to bring the colors together and see how they mix. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cabin

 Terrible pictures taken on Two Fish's cell phone in the dark.  Red Fish slept curled up with the dogs all night long. 

We went to the cabin again with one of my oldest and dearest friends.  The kids ran around and played for hours.  The adults chatted and read and snoozed.  Fabulous.  It totally makes the extra working and running around during the week worth it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Day At The Farm

 Last week, some of the neighborhood mammas and I found ourselves at the park after preschool.  We decided to plan on an Thursday after school outing for as long as the nice weather lasts.  So we decided to head to a farm/park today.  The kids got to see animals, run around and feed the giant geese.

Red Fish finally got to check off one of her summer goals.  She has been dying to climb a tree.  We finally found one suitable for climbing with low branches.  She was one happy girl!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Progress

video
Yesterday, I went to Red Fish's new preschool to observe.  Red Fish has been telling me that she didn't like school, had no friends etc. etc.  I was extremely concerned and worried that I made a bad decision moving her.  During my visit it was very obvious she is fine.  She is communicating with everyone at the new school really well.  She couldn't have cared less that I was there with her, she was running all over playing with the other kids and thoroughly enjoying herself.  I'm greatly relieved.  One less crisis to deal with!  I asked her to sing one of the songs she learned in school for my camera.  Her progress on articulation is really obvious in the song.  She has really started getting those "f", "s", "v" and "k" sounds.  Even some of the harder blends are there.  It never stops being exciting that she is making such progress on her speech.  It continues to blow my mind that we are in such a different place than we were last year at this time.
We had Two Fish's mom over for dinner tonight so the girls could spend some time with her.  They looked so cute reading bedtime stories together I had to take a picture.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Birds & Bubs

video

Just a little peak at the personality of our little Bubs.  She performs for us nightly during dinner.  
You also get to see her bossy little ways.

Things have been crazy around here lately so we are concentrating on very small projects right now.  Yesterday we made bird feeders because the girls have been all about birds since they went to the aviary with their Daddy.  We used toilet paper rolls (extra classy I know) with peanut butter spread on them and then rolled them in birdseed.  We used pipe cleaners to hang them up. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Bub & Bockum!

 Sunday morning was the primary program.  Red Fish sang "I Am A Child of God" with the other sunbeams in her class.  She really needed a new Sunday dress and I couldn't resist getting New Fish one as well.  New Fish (in case you didn't know) is totally OBSESSED with princesses right now.  She talks about them from morning until night and I knew she would automatically think this was a princess dress.  After church we headed to my grandparents house for a birthday party for New Fish aka Bub and my grandfather "Bockum."  They share a birthday 85 years apart.
 We played pin the tiara on the princess and had dinner together.
 My family is so fun.  I love the way they all completely dote on my girls.  It is so nice to have so many great people around to love my girls and play with them, especially when I was totally worn out this week.  They even humored me by wearing birthday crowns.
 Princess Bub- as she calls herself these days- was completely spoiled and she loved every single minute of it.  She was putting on quite a show for everyone dancing and singing. 

Here is New Fish's incredible amount of gifts.  Good thing I decided to try and rein myself in this year and buy less gifts because these girls get so much stuff from the rest of my family.  She got a stuffed stingray, a new scarf and hat, 3 dress ups, a new church dress, puzzles, princess books, a princess magnetic doll, puzzles, a princess lunch box, two tiaras, a princess bath toy, a pony, Beauty and the Beast the movie, a princess bowl and plate, a piggy bank and some princess art supplies.

New Fish had a wonderful day!  I plan to write a post later this week about how much she has grown up recently.  She is such a cute wonderful little girl!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Party Weekend

 On Saturday I threw a baby shower for my sister in law Lee Lee.  She is due with a little boy next month.  Unfortunately my camera batteries died so I only got two bad pictures of my decorations and nothing of the people who came!  I'm lame.  It was a nice shower with some great people and Lee Lee got some really nice gifts.

Friday and Saturday I worked at the dive shop sale/party selling scuba gear and making snow cones!  New Fish and Red Fish thought the snow cones were extra delicious.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

More Flavia

 My reading habbits over the last month have been pretty pathetic.  I haven't been reading nearly enough.

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce, #2) by
I get a kick out of this series. Flavia is hilarious. The mystery isn't quite as good (none of them are really mind-blowing) but I enjoy the story and love the characters.  
 
A Red Herring Without Mustard (Flavia de Luce #3) by  
This one was definitely darker than it's predecesors but still a quick, enjoyable read. I enjoyed the development of Flavia's family relationships. Hopefully it is the start of a larger story that will tie the series together. Flavia was as always, delightful.

 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Apples to Apples

Red Fish made this lovely apple print piece in preschool.  New Fish was incredibly jealous.  From the moment she woke up this morning she was determined to "paint apples."  So I sliced an apple in half and gave her some paint

 She made about two prints of the apple and then her little hands went straight into the paint.  Notice her face is already blue because she colors herself at least once a day.  Luckily the markers are extremely washable.  That's important when you have such a messy little artist.

Here is her "apple art".  She told me it was "very red."  I'm happy I could oblige and help her fulfill what was apparently a very important vision.

Monday, September 5, 2011

When Mommy Is Away... The Kids Will Play With Daddy

While I was gone Two Fish took the girls on several adventures.  He took them to a local aviary and to the store to buy cookies.  Red Fish was so impressed with the trip to the store and the pink cookies that she even showed them to me on google chat. 

Notice that they are dressed in cute clothes and have their hair fixed.  I was impressed.  Two Fish is such a good Dad that he not only took them on fun outings but had them appropriately attired. 
 The girls loved "the bird zoo" and I think they barely missed me at all!  They had way too much fun with Daddy. 

 There was also an awesome trip to the park.
 Monday was spent at Grandma's house playing with cousins.  It sounds like they had a pretty great time overall.  It makes me feel good that they love their daddy so much and that he takes such great care of them!
This last picture was taken by cute cousin E.  I stole it off her facebook.