Thursday, September 30, 2010

Big Day for Benjamin

Today was a big day for our little Benjamin. It started with the Terry Fox Run at his school this afternoon (to raise money for cancer research).


This year Ben ran around the full track with the big kids (the kindergarten kids just run around on a grassy field). Being in grade one, though, he still had to wear his uniform (as opposed to gym clothes), and it was a HOT day!

Then a few hours later we went back up to the school for Meet the Teacher Night. This year the school had two bouncy castles set up. This was a big hit with all the kids, especially Janae--who may look small but is pretty tough and fearless in bouncy castle-type situations.


One of the castles was so big that I was able to take Alaina in and bounce around (sorry, no pictures!).

After the hot dogs, chips, and bouncing, Benjamin took us into his classroom and showed us around. It was fun to see the places where he spends so much time learning!


We also got to see his workbooks--they have definitely been busy during the first month of grade one! He's drawn pictures of stars, space ships, stormtroopers--for pretty much every assignment, he found a way to introduce a Star Wars twist.


Jason got to meet Ben's teacher for the first time. Unfortunately she told Jason that Benjamin seems to have a "perfectionist" quality about him when he is working on an assignment (which seems to make him take longer to get things done). Of course this led to an accusing glance (at ME) from my husband, and a lot of those guilty feelings mothers get when they realize their kids might be picking up some of their bad traits.

But overall it was an exciting day. I enjoyed being part of Benjamin's school day and seeing more of what he does while he is away.

Next week I will be helping out in the classroom, too, so I am looking forward to that :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Listening In

One thing I love about being a mom is discovering more about my children's personalities as they develop. This is, at times, also hilarious since you never know what will come out of a child's mouth.

Like many other moms, I keep a record of some of the funny things my little ones say--mine is on a pad of paper that has a magnet on the back so I can keep it on the fridge.

Well, the pad fell apart today (too close to the rice cooker, I think!), and as I was picking up the sheets of paper, I was reading them over. . . .

Here are a few funny conversations we've recorded recently.



Ben brought Janae's princesses into her room--they were in a fancy pink carriage wearing ball gowns. "Janae, your princesses are coming back from the war!"

The missionaries from our church asked Ben if he wanted to be a missionary when he got older. Ben said, "Actually, I'd rather be an astronaut instead!"

While watching curling on the Olympics Ben asked, "Mom, is curling very bad?" I answered, "No, it's a sport." Then Ben asked, "I mean, is it against the law?"



"When I grow up I am going to be AMANDA!!!"

Ben: "Janae, are you a pig?"
Janae: "No, I'm a LAMB!"

Ben: "Janae, will you join the DARK SIDE?"
Janae: "YES!!"

Dad: "We don't waste food in this house."
Janae: "We can waste it outside?"



When Alaina was crawling towards Ben's Lego, Ben said, "Alaina, whatever you are thinking, it's not a good idea!"

Alaina: "Ga ga da ma . . . "
Ben (in a very serious voice): "I beg your pardon, Alaina?"

Alaina: "Ga ga da da ma."
Ben (also in a very serious voice): "That sounds like a good idea, Alaina!

So funny :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Big Purchase

I am the first to admit that when it comes to buying things for myself, I tend to be pretty thrifty.

In many cases I will shop at second-hand stores, buy things on sale, borrow from the library, or go without, just to save money.

One example is my eye-wear. Some of you know that I have become very near-sighted over the years (all that reading and lack of sleep, I guess), but you may not know that I haven't had contacts since before Janae was born--almost four years ago! I just go through life with everything blurry because I can't bring myself to spend money on an eye exam or new contacts--or to wear my glasses (except for driving, of course--part of this must be a vanity issue).

Another example is my bedding. Even though Jason and I have been married for almost eight years, I have never bought a proper duvet, comforter, or quilt for our bed. We just use mismatched pillow cases and blankets--in fact, our bed is currently covered with a twin-sized Sesame Street comforter! I just think no-one sees it, so it doesn't matter (of course, now I have photographed it and posted it on my blog . . .).


Anyway, there is an item that I have been wanting to buy for a while--completely unnecessary and wholly for myself. And this week I caved in and made the purchase.


Yes, it was a reusable tote bag from our local library.

Whenever I go into the library with my kids, I see the display of mugs, tote bags, and teddy bears--all crested with the library's logo, but it has been the bag that has caught my eye.

This week when we went to story time I decided to take Janae and Alaina in without a stroller. One thing led to another and I found myself with an armful of slippery-covered children's books. In my other arm was a squirmy one-year-old . . . and somewhere in the distance (I couldn't quite see where because--as I confessed--I never wear contacts) a free-spirited three-year-old girl.

As I dug through my wallet for my library card (apparently I grew a third hand to make this possible), I thought the reusable tote would definitely be an asset.

It turned out to be only $2. I think I would have paid at least 10.

I thought for quite a while about why I would want such a thing so badly, and I finally concluded that it is a symbol of the intellectual world of academic learning that I left behind when I became a freshman English teacher, and then a mom.

Anyway, it is great for carrying library books, and I think I will be using it for a long, long time.

Friday, September 10, 2010


It's hard to imagine Janae with short hair.

Even as a baby, her hair was long. . . .


By seven months she was already in pigtails,

and her hair kept growing.

Sure we trimmed it now and then, but we pretty much let it grow. Until today.

THIS is what Janae looked like when she came out of the hair dresser's:


Don't worry--the red streak was just on a clip that the stylist added for fun.

Janae loved it, of course (I have to admit I am not looking forward to the teenage years!).

Here are some more conservative shots :)



Pretty cute!

I wonder what Daddy will say. . . .

Thursday, September 9, 2010

To Cut or Not to Cut?

Janae was a very busy girl last Sunday before church. While I was upstairs getting Alaina dressed, she decided to give herself a haircut.


Being the sharp-minded, on-the ball mother that I am, I didn't notice until half an hour later when I was combing Janae's hair and realized it was shorter on one side.

It actually wasn't too bad as far as 3-year-old haircuts go.

But now I have to decide: should we leave it? Should I cut it? Should I take her to a hairdresser to have it evened out?

I had Janae all ready yesterday, sitting in a chair with a towel around her neck--one of her favorite shows on the TV; I even took a "before" picture . . . but as I combed her long, pretty hair I couldn't bring myself to cut it.


What would you do?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day Back

Well, today was the day I had been dreading for several weeks--the first day of school, when I would have to turn my Benjamin over for a full day, every day. But it actually went really well.

Benjamin was so excited, he woke up at 6:30 (as opposed to his 9:30/10:00 summer wake-up schedule . . . I wasn't sure how that was going to go!). He had nothing but positive things to say about going to school and was smiling all morning.


I was excited, too, to meet his new teacher and to see how things would go.

So, we got out the old blue pants and white shirt--and decided to accessorize with a crested vest, since it was raining a little.

Alaina even brought an apple . . . she is so thoughtful :)


Here is a closer look at that backpack. And yes, I did try to talk Ben out of it. I warned him that it might be too scary for some of the more sensitive children in his class. So, what did he do? He walked right up to one of the sweetest, shyest girls in his class and said, "Did you see my new backpack???!!!"

Benjamin loves his Star Wars!


Ben was as happy coming out of his first day as he was going in--which I think is a really good sign. He seemed excited and confident about the new experience--so different from the first day of kindergarten!

Benjamin's kindergarten teacher even came out and visited with all the new grade ones in the hall--it was nice to see a familiar face.

I'm just not sure how the girls feel about leaving their brother . . .


Things will really be different for us now!

We will miss Benjamin, but we think he will have a good time being in Grade One :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Alaina's First Birthday

Alaina turned one today!

We celebrated with a party--20 of her closest friends were invited, and all of them came! :)


We had a kitty cat theme--the kids got to look for mice hidden in our house and play "pass the kitty."

Alaina had a kitty cat cake . . .


and we found out she REALLY loves ice cream!

She was pretty tired by the end of the party,


but after everyone left she got her second wind--she had a great time playing with all her new toys!


Later we went to see Great Grandpa, who also had a birthday today (95!).

When I put Alaina into her crib tonight, I had to admit she doesn't look like a tiny newborn anymore . . . she looks like a big one-year-old girl!

She really had a happy day :)