Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Our Extracurriculars

There are only a few things you can sign your kids up for in their first four years of life.  Then suddenly they turn five and the doors of extracurriculars are open to them.

And we have jumped right through.

Scarlet's favorite activity is dance.  We are doing what I term "real dance" this year.  She is taking a tap and jazz combo class at The Dance Zone.  It is the best hour of the week. 

I drop Scarlet off, take the boys to a nearby park (the studio is too far away to go home) and then come back an hour later and she tells me all about her day of dance.  She loves her teacher and all the girls in her class.  She noticed recently that none of the girls in her class wear cute little girl ballerina style dance outfits anymore.  In fact, the majority of her class wear little girl sports bra-style tops and spankies.  So, of all of her adorable dance wear items, this is the only one she will wear to class.

Her second activity is piano lessons once a week with Miss Michelle.  Great teacher and an occasionally willing student.  She loves it and getting her to practice is getting a little easier...

And her third was dad's choice, soccer.

Soccer is not her favorite but she has a pretty good time.  Her team, the Pirates, is a fun group of kids and their coach does  a great job.  Scarlet has had two games so far and it is a pretty typical 5 year old soccer game.  Big running/kicking clumps, lots of kids kicking goals into the other team's net, out of bounds every five or so steps... but it is still a ton of fun to watch.

Keep 'em busy and they don't have time to get bored or get into trouble.  That's my theory anyway :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Free donuts you say?

I love donuts.

I LOVE Krispy Kremes.

There is no word to describe my feelings about FREE Krispy Kremes.

And little I won't do to achieve said items.

What?  You want me to dress my kids up as pirates and score a free box of donuts PER KID?!


All things floating around  my costume collection.  Gotta love a good "Pirate of Dance" costume.

You may be thinking once again, look Kacey is all ready for Halloween!  Pirates... nope.  That would be way too easy.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Big Four

Rhode's fourth birthday was fast approaching and I was ready to go all out for my little guy.

Big boy themed party, lots of guests, lots of pinterest research... the whole thing.

But then I had an epiphany.

"Rhode, who would you invite to your birthday party?"

"Ummm.... Blaze & Bennett." (both do not live in LV)

"Okay, not sure they will make it... who else?"

"Well, Jane & Ellie & Scarlet &..." and he continued to name all of Scarlet's friends.

And then I realized, Rhode doesn't have any friends!  Well, that's not entirely accurate but there is a definite lack of boys his age in this area.  They are all older or younger... mostly younger.

And then I thought, am I seriously going to put all of this time into pulling a fun boy themed party for Rhode and all of Scarlet's girl friends?  Heck no.

So we went with plan B.  The best part was Rhode doesn't know this was all plan B and he thought it was the most awesome day ever.  Scarlet has already planned her next birthday celebration around the Rhode birthday fun.

The secret to my success, a little place called Chuck E Cheese.

My kids had never been there before.  We showed up with our friends Jane and Simon on a Friday morning just as they opened, bought $25 worth of tokens, found hundreds of tickets just laying around (did you know that all the machines spit out tickets when they turn them on in the morning?) and had the place to ourselves for two whole hours.

They recommended two people only in this picture.  We were never ones to listen to rules.

Chuck E Cheese came to visit us twice during our stay, each time handing the kids about a hundred tickets.
We were also hooked up with two wands of cotton candy by a very friendly employee.

They ran with pure, blissful freedom the whole time.  Asher got to run free as a bird and touch anything he wanted.  Then sometimes someone would hook him up with a token and whatever fun car he had found would take him for a ride.  He cried a lot when we left and I didn't blame him.

And it was a good thing the kids were hooked up with all of those free tickets because they were terrible at earning them.  I had to correct them at the art of skee ball more than once but to no avail.  And yet they somehow ended up with 150 tickets a piece.  Do you know how much cheap crap that scores you?  More than want, less than you think.

So Chuck E Cheese was a huge success.  My chosen meals of the day were also big winners.  The day started with his favorite breakfast,  donuts.

And we followed Chuck E Cheese to a trip to the best food in the world (according to Rhode and only Rhode), McDonalds.  

Rhode was EXHAUSTED after the morning's festivities and so I talked him into a little birthday snooze before we continued with cake and presents.  Plus I actually had to get the cake finished.  So I laid him down and headed downstairs to get my fondant on.  About 20 minutes later I headed upstairs for a missing ingredient only to discover this.

Told ya he was tired.  I picked him up and carried him straight into bed without a single movement from him.

While he dozed, Scarlet and I put the finishing touches on his cake.  His request, a Transformers cake.

 One of the attendees pointed out that I didn't actually need to write his name on the cake since there was actually a road on the cake.  Ha ha ha...

Rhode LOVED it!  As you can see the car is in fact a transformer. 

The kids took a little timeout to put on some dress up clothes before we opened presents.  Which was kind of ironic.  As you can see, his boy dress up clothes are getting a bit on the small side....

So we hooked him up with some new ones.  Rhode's favorite super hero?  Robin.  
His name starts with an R too.

My three dress up guys.  Asher looked adorable as a tiny ninja but that doesn't mean he wanted to be captured on film.

You might be thinking, Wow Kacey you are totally set for Halloween!  Superheroes... nope.  Too easy.

Rhode got a lot of fun presents for his birthday that he has put to good use.  He even scored a lot of cash and he is saving every penny for our upcoming Disneyland trip.  The kid could buy his own park ticket at this point... I am terrified to let him loose in Disney stores as I know the outrageous marked up prices are going to give me an aneurysm.  

Rhode is a fantastic four year old.  He is sweet and brave and so so funny.  Scarlet is still his best buddy and he is (finally) playing nicely with Asher now that he is big enough to adventure with him a little better.  Rhode is so darn tough.  He had to get four shots the other day and he seriously laughed after each one.  

Happy birthday buddy!  We are definitely excited you are one of us!   

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Third Child...

Asher doesn't seem like my baby anymore, but it sure is hard to let go.  It is funny when you think about what kind of a mom you were like with your first baby when it was just you and them.  And then number three comes along and I feel like I am a whole different person.  Some would say you worry less but I think instead, I worry about completely different things.

For example, I worry much less about what he is putting in his mouth and much more about whether or not I have remembered to feed him today.

We get to spend a little extra alone time together lately.  If we get off on our nap schedule, Asher and I get to hang out while the other two are at school.  We go shopping together and even fit in a little park time.

Asher is so good at playing at the park.  Scarlet was two before she could just climb around and enjoy herself but Asher just goes.  He prefers taking slides feet first and on his belly but will tackle the biggest slide on the playground.  He also likes to go to the many high ledges and tease me by pretend he is going to jump off.  It's tons of fun.

He spends A LOT of time in the car carting siblings different places.  He is so good about just going with the flow.  I have dragged him out of a dead sleep and thrown him in the car so many times and he just goes with it.

Asher has learned a few signs and is now anxious to tell us when he wants more or is all done.  He will say please, but only when forced.  My favorite is when he is really excited about whatever I am about to give him (i.e. lollipops or fruit snacks) and he will just sign all three as fast as he can hoping one of them will earn him the treat.

He jabbers at me all day long though.  I am so curious to know if his conversations are thoughts he is just desperately trying to express but doesn't have the words for yet or if he is just making noise like he assumes we are doing all day long.  Either way, we have had some great conversations during our alone time.

Asher has three loves right now.  He will take me from any part of the house by the finger and pull me to one of three destinations.  The first, to his rocking chair to read a story or two.  The second, out the front yard so he can throw some gravel around and dig in the garden.  And the third, his most frequent request is out the back door and straight for the swing.

And no, if you were wondering, his face is never clean.

His main goal in life is to explore every inch of my house and empty it of its contents.  I clean all morning long and am followed by a trail of disaster in every room.  Cleaning supplies, toilet brushes, flour, and corn meal are some of his more recent disaster makers.

He is so good at drinking out of cups... until he decides he is done.  Then, without fail, he intentionally tips the cup over and dumps it out, watching with glee as it splashes over whatever surface he happens to be standing over.  If it is the kitchen floor, he then promptly steps in the water and slips and falls onto the sealed concrete.

And... a molar just popped through with a few more on the way.  Asher, your baby years may be a little different than Scarlet's were but you are seriously cute and seriously loved.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

First days

It's Kindergarten time.  Scarlet has been waiting for this day all summer.  We picked a school, met her teacher, visited her classroom and then just counted down the days until she started.

She is going to Discovery Charter School.  It is conveniently located less than 10 minutes from my house and so far I am really happy with it.  Scarlet's teacher is Miss Kritzler and she goes in the afternoon Monday through Thursday (the whole school takes Friday off).  Discovery is a project based school so every student puts together a project of their own making every quarter.  At first, they are given specific directions but as they get older, the students have freedom to pursue any topic that strikes their fancy.  They also separate by ability instead of grade for different subjects.

Scarlet requested "connected" hair for her first day.  You may think it is called the connected braid because it connects in the back.  You would be wrong.  This is how Barbie wears her hair while singing the song "Connected" in one of her favorite movies.

Our friends, the Stouts were in town for the first day of school.  We had a fun morning with them and then Scarlet headed off for her first day!

And then, it was this guy's turn.

Rhode started preschool at the Creative Critters Preschool, run by my friend Heidi.  I LOVE it!  He goes to school Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday while Scarlet is in school and he has the best time.

His teacher has a fantastic lesson plan every time.  They have made so many crafts, created tons of fun goopy things, not to mention actually learning things.  I feel so blessed to have this program in Rhode's and my life.

Most days, Rhode and Scarlet get to school and then Asher takes an afternoon nap and I have a very quiet afternoon.  It is a little unnatural feeling, but I get used to it real quick.  The best part is I am even more excited to get to hang out with them again when school is over!  

Yay for school!