Thursday, August 26, 2010

Riding the "Poo Bus"

I walked Elle into school the second day and again Zander was very upset to be leaving Elle behind. But I told him that we would meet her when she got off the school bus. There was a bus coming into the parking lot and he points at it and says, "Elle Poo Bus"? LOL! It was so stinkin' cute! I just love this little Man. He is talking so much and says the cutest things.
So here is Zander waiting for Sissy to get off the "poo bus."

Here comes the bus. It takes as long to go pick Elle up as it does for the bus to bring her home and it drops her off just one house down. I love it!


Elle was such a big girl getting off the bus. She told me it was very scary though, and she had to sit by a boy. He asked her, "Do you bite?"!! She just kept looking out the window and ignored him. Hillarious!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Day

When we first moved down here, my SIL came to visit us. As we passed the school in our neighborhood, she asked if that was where Elle would go to school. I remember laughing to myself as I looked at my 4 month old baby, and telling her that we wouldn't be living here by the time she would be old enough to go to school. Well, the 2 years we planned on living here came and went. We're still here 5 years later and Elle is (can you believe it) old enough to go to that school.

Elle is so ready to start Kindergarten, but it still is hard to let our little girl grow-up. As many of you know, I have been VERY concerned with Elle starting at the school in our neighborhood. We live in a great neighborhood, but apparently the school district we live in includes many not so great neighborhoods. Any way, I found out that they have all these silly rules--one being a dress code. So unlike all the other little girls in the world who got to wear the cutest, sparkliest, most kitty adorned clothes to the first day of school, Elle had to leave all her guns, and knives, and chains at home, and settle for a dress code approved denim dress with bike shorts underneath as per the code.:) (I'm actually amazed that Denim is an approved fabric.)

Elle was so excited for her first day! We on the other hand had a horrible night. Zander was up with a hurting ear and a fever and I think we got about 3 hours of sleep. I did manage to pull myself off the couch to make special "puffy pancakes" for breakfast.
The picture is kind of fuzzy because my camera lens fogged up. Got to love the humidity!

Yes, that is my old Game Boy. This girl is seriously addicted to playing video games. Even the 2 min. car ride over required getting in game time. It is a great bargaining tool though!

Here is Elle's class and her teacher Mrs. Parker. We got to "Meet the Teacher" last week where many of my fears were put to rest. Elle's teacher seems great and she also gets to have a student teacher, Mrs. Applewhite, until December. There was an older girl who was helping her little sister get situated and she ran right up to Mrs. P and gave her a great big hug. So I think that means that people have enjoyed her in the past, right? Any way, we had to cut our visit short because Zander started spewing--quite the first impression.
Notice Elle's fabulous clear back-pack. You never know what a dangerous Kindergartener will be bringing to school. Again, one of the best things about getting to go to school is picking out a cool back pack. My heart was crushed when I told Elle she couldn't have the cute Tinkerbelle one with wings. But she does love her backpack. It is pink with sparkles embedded in the plastic.

Jed traded some hours of work so he could be there to take Elle to her first day. We felt like the over protective parents, but realized there were several other families escorting their kids to class and taking pictures. I'm so glad Elle got into Trooper School last year. I think it totally helped the seperation anxiety. I gave her hugs "goodbye" and left. Not a single tear. Zander on the other hand was very concerned. He is saying, "Where Elle go?"
And in only the short ride home, Zander was completely upset that Elle was not next to him in her buckles.
That is when a tear started trickling down my face. I felt this overwhelming feeling of love that my little guy has for his sister. It reminded me of a dear friend from High School who just lost her five year old son to a brain tumor earlier this year. Her son and daughter were the best of friends and when he died, her daughter was completely lost without him. She said it was one of the hardest things to bear. And when Zander was so upset to not have his sister around, I completely understood that love he has for her. Zander and Elle are the best of buds and how would he handle her being gone all day?
Zander didn't have too much time to miss his sister. We took Jed into work so he wouldn't have to ride the bus in to downtown and then headed to the Doctor to Zander's ear checked. Sure enough, full blown ear infection. I'm beginning to think that Zander is feeling neglected and Elle is getting all the attention with her starting school; barfing the night we meet the teacher and an ear infection her first day :) Hmmm...hope this doesn't last!
By the time we left the Dr.,picked up the perscription and did some grocery shopping, it was time to pick up Elle. She is going to be riding the bus home, but I thought I would pick her up the first day. There was a bit of confussion as to where I was suppose to meet her, but we finally figured it out. I'm happy to say that Elle was very excited to see me and Zander nearly jumped out of my arms when she came out the door. The first thing she told me was that I needed to put on lipstick and kiss her hand. What??? After asking some clarifying questions, I figured out that they had read The Kissing Hand. It's a book about a Raccoon that is nervous to start school. So his mom kisses the palm of his hand and told him when he was lonely for her he could put his hand on his cheek and feel the warmth of her heart.
Elle had traced her hand on a piece of paper and her homework was to have her Mom put on lipstick and kiss the palm of the paper hand, cut out the hand, and send it back to school so it could be taped to her cubby. This would help her if she became lonely or missed her in the coming days.
We actually own the book, so for Family Home Evening we read it and kissed each others hands. This activity also brought tears to my eyes. I miss my little girl so much when she is gone. Maybe I need to trace my hand and have her kiss it, and tape it to the refrigerator so that when I miss her, I can touch the hand and feel the warmth of her little heart.

Zander's 2nd Birthday

My little guy is two! I can honestly say I am so amazed that we made it. It has been a very long year. As I was thinking about all the events that have happened in the life of this little guy I think him being in a cast for 6 weeks counts as an entire year by itself. In the short amount of time he learned to roll over, crawl, pull to standing, cruise furniture, attempt to climb stairs, and walk again! All the things a baby would do in an entire year :)
Zander is the sweetest little boy ever! He gives the most lovable "squeezes", and "sugar", and my favorite "snuzzies". He is also very smart and quite active--lethal combination! He usually has some scratch or bump or bruise on him--mostly his head and ALWAYS when I want to get his pictures taken. He climbs and jumps, and does somersaults and can throw and kick a ball. At Mesa Verde he climbed a 15 ft ladder by himself! (Of course Dad was right behind him.)

Elle is Zander's best friend and tries to do everything that she does. I totally relate to that. I always was trying to follow my brother's footsteps--which one time lead to falling off a rather tall slide and putting a nice cut by my eye. Zander was a little lost when Elle was at Trooper school and I think he is going to miss having her home. But I am looking forward to some one-on-one time with "my guy."

If you ask Zander what his favorite color is he will tell you "boo" (blue), but he picks green every time. And if you ask him how old he is he says "5" and then I say "no..." and he changes to "2". And he definitely is a two year old--his favorite phrases are "I wanna do!" and "It's mine!" Oh, the fun. Zander also absolutely HATES nursery. Even walking down the hall, he knows what his fate will be and starts huddling and clinging to your neck. We just have to walk away and let him scream it out. They have been bringing him back to us lately, so...

The night before Zander's actual birthday we had a little party with Grammie and Papa. They ended up driving home with us. They were coming down for a conference in Dallas and were suppose to be flying, but decided to drive instead. We got to spend a couple of days with them. They were leaving the morning of your birthday, so we celebrated early. We made Zander a chocolate cake with fudge frosting with a "Z" of marshmallows--his favorite treat! He can sing "Happy Birthday" and it is SO cute. He sang, "Happy to you. Happy to you. Happy to Elle. Happy to you!" and then blew out his two candles. Zander got a little trike and some new clothes, a microphone like Syd the Science Kid, shark (sharch) jammies, a Little People airplane, and Little People Stand n' Play Rampway. Zander loves cars and motorcycles and trucks of every kind. He gets so excited when he hears a motorcycle rev or a big truck honk or shift gears--his Grandpas and Uncles should be so proud! We had a really lazy day on Zander's birthday. We were still recovering from our expedition home and getting settled back into the routine of things. As I was getting ready to go pick Jed up from work, (he rode in with his parents since they were on their way out anyway) I found Zander sound asleep in the corner of the play room on the huge bear. So sweet. Happy Birthday little guy! We love you so VERY much :*

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Elle's 5th Birthday

My little girl turned 5 today! I think this day has been rather easy--especially since everyone told me that the fifth birthday is such a landmark. But you know what? Not even a tear! I think maybe it was because we were in Utah and not having to miss family--I don't know. Any way, no matter what, this birthday marks 5 years of growth in many many ways. My little girl is growing up. And life is continuing on.
We woke up early so we could celebrate Elle's Birthday before Jed flew home. We gave Elle a list of options she could do for her birthday and she chose to go miniature golfing at Cherry Hill. When we got there, I realized it was an excellent choice. Elle wanted a unicorn themed birthday this year and it turned out the golf course is castle/medieval themed. Perfect! We also bought a castle with 5 stuffed unicorn animals, off a cart there. Lots of fun.

Elle is still learning to hit the ball straight, but she is getting there. She of course liked all the fun obstacles associated with mini golf courses.

We had cake and ice cream at Gram and Grandpa's house. Grammie and Papa came over as well as Trevor, Lora, Brooklyn, Carson, Mason, and Savanna. In keeping with Elle's unicorn theme, we found a unicorn My Little Pony for her cake yesterday and a Pegasus one for her cake today. She was so excited and blew out all her candles.

Afterwards she opened her presents. She got so many fun things. We got her a Barbie Cruise Ship and some swim Barbies to go with it. I also found a Swim Instructor Barbie with a Kelly Doll that I couldn't resist, since we have been having swim lessons together. Grammie and Papa gave her a Princess hair dressing set, and The White's gave her a Princess beach towel, bubble gum machine, and green stripe shirt so she and Brooklyn can be "twinners". The grand event ended with a surprise from Gram and Grandpa---a new Barbie bike! No, idea how we are going to get it home, but at least she will have a couple of weeks to ride it. It was sad that Jed had to miss it all. He made it home later that night.
This time in Elle's life has been so much fun for me. She can comprehend more complex things and shocks me with all the little things she knows. I've also realized that even though she fights me on routine things like brushing teeth or cleaning her room, she will call me on it if it is not done. She also has become a great BIG sister. She and Zander have become the best of friends. For the most part they play really well together--maybe it is because Elle is good at being in charge and Zander is good at following commands :) Elle is very confident when she is with Zander. Lately she hasn't been wanting to say prayers, but when she "helps" Zander, she has him say all the things she would want to say in her own prayer---beautifully.
I really enjoyed teaching Elle's co-op preschool group. I just love to share my excitement of learning with her. I can't wait for Elle to start school this fall. I loved going to school and learning so many new things and I see that desire in Elle too. She had a wonderful experience with Trooper School and our co-op group over the past year and I hope she continues to have a great school experience.
Elle likes to make crafts, play games on the computer (esp. American Girls), help cook, play dress-up, have friends over, swim, and as of today, ride her bike.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Great American Road Trip V

This is a picture I wanted to share for Father's Day. Jed is the best Dad a kid could have. He is playful, funny and entertaining and the kids enjoy every minute of it. (Don't you just love the car!)
Father's Day

We drove up Sunday morning to Tremonton so we could spend Father's day with Jed's Dad and Grandpa. (Appropriate don't you think?)

This is one of my favorite pictures. This is Zander with his Great Grandpa (A.K.A. Great Crappa--long story) He grew up on the farm in North Dakota. The two of them standing out there, gazing upon the open field, to me is a visual bridge between four generations--the legacy being left behind for one and the future of the other.

We had a delicious BBQ and the weather was so beautiful. We had a fun time playing bocce ball and of course a game or two of cards outside on the patio. With family all together, we took the opportunity to snap a picture of the whole family together. (Well, minus Cimberee who was with her Dad.)

Also, since we were all together, we celebrated Elle 5th birthday early. The theme she wanted for her party this year was Unicorn Pegasus. (She did want a Unicorn Pegasus dress-up party (whatever that is :)) , but settled with unicorns.) Unicorns are kind of tricky to find, but we did find a My Little Pony Unicorn appropriately named Sweetie Belle. (Belle is Elle's middle name.)