Friday, October 22, 2010

some great things that happened this summer was definitely the trip to Cape Cod. The girls LOVED it and will definitely want to make it an annual journey.
the ice cream lady was another great bit of summer. a routine i didn't get to see much since i was usually at work. the neighborhood turned out in numbers for the last visit of the summer.




time flies

videoOf course so much happens in a day there is no way to remember what may have happened since my last post in July but Phoebe Odette turned 3! We didn't have a party in the grand sense but she got a cake and a week later the neighborhood kids were over for a movie night so we sang "happy birthday" and she got a second cake. Unfortunately i only had a tiny bit of space on my memory so the video of the singing got cut off. Phoebe did get the whole song AND a second cake, she wasn't cheated.
We are into a pretty regular routine around here with school in session. Always a slow start to the morning, dragging the girls out of bed, coaxing Viv to eat and B to stop growling. Apparently around here, we are not morning people. Vivienne is a bit on the dreamy side and B is just plane grumpy. Phoebe, we don't know about yet because we haven't really pushed waking her up, she gets up on her own and quietly slips into the routine. She is a bit more of a morning person, i think. She likes to have her food straight off and then second breakfast and sometimes comes back for a bagel or toast. this girl wants to fuel up. it makes up for the fact that she rarely shows much of an appetite at dinner. she is a little bird of a girl.
Viv loves her first grade class. Makayla (her BEST friend from kindergarden) is in her class again and they had to figure out pretty quick that maybe they "shouldn't sit together" so that they will "learn more". She has a class pet of a hermit crab and her teacher is so nice because "we get to sit where we want". She still goes to her Kindergarten teacher every morning to give her a hug. Viv loves her school. i love that.
Beatrice settled in completely at her preschool after the first week. She didn't have fun at first because she didn't have any friends but now she talks about classmates who she likes and seems to have fun. Her teacher Barbarajean says that having B is like having another teacher who reminds the kids what they should be doing (in a good way). Annie, another teacher, tells me that B is her model for when she needs someone to show how things are supposed to be done and that B knew all the names of her classmates almost at the same time the teachers did and the only student who knows who everyone is. i had a neighbor stop me to tell me that she reads to B's class and that B is great and smart but not in a know-it-all way. (thank goodness.) it is refreshing to hear these things about B since i don't get to see this as often as i'd like. it would seem that B doesn't think her best behavior is necessary at home. she has completely figured out the computer wanting to pull up her favorite video on netflix. the only thing holding her back is her inability to read. when she masters that i will have to put on some serious parental controls which she will probably be able to navigate around in a matter of months. i have an ipod touch that Uncle Rob gave me and she figured out the "games" pretty quickly and shows V and PO how to do things on it. She is a pip.
Phoebe is delightful. she chats us up when she gets to be the only child. she has pretty much potty trained. we have to remind her when out and about and still need to watch her when she sleeps but is completely self-sufficient during waking hours at home. She is so funny shuffling around with her pants at her ankles, announcing her success, doing a little dance. i will always celebrate that!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Beatrice, the storyteller

Okay, so B, you have a knack for telling stories. I'm not sure if you actually believe what you tell people or if you know you are making things up, but you can be totally convincing. Like the time that you were pointing out a little girl in a picture that used to live in our neighborhood to Leslie, and you told her that she was our cousin that died because she smoked. you had Leslie absolutely baffled since she knew that a little 4 year old was not dead from smoking-- but you were seemingly convinced of it.
And then the other day we found this little clown that was yours since you were a baby. it plays a little song and there are lights that flash on/in it. i told you that it was yours and you used to love it. that there was a time when we were at Nanah's house and mama was out running errands and you were home with Uncle B and started to cry and cry. he finally got you stop by holding this little clown for you,- playing it over and over.
you said that you remember that it's your favorite doll!!!! you LOVE it!!!
you then told me that you remember that and that Uncle B taught you this dance while he was playing the song for you. and that i would NOT know this because i wasn't there. (you said this several times with emphasis.) so then you showed me this dance. i wonder if Uncle B remembers the dance? we should ask him....


video now if you told me that it was Uncle Robert, i might have believed you. (even though he wasn't there) somehow the only way i see this dance coming from Uncle B is if he were showing you some japanese tea cermony or something.... even then.... i'm not buying this one, Beatrice.
but it's a pretty dance, too bad you gave up on ballet.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

just a difference of 5 years....


Vivienne Elise, you have been with us for 6 years now and you constantly amaze and delight. i know it's a bit cliche and all parents will say this, but it's true. you are wonderful! i should also note that the amaze part isn't always a good thing though.... like when you wiped your hands on a beautiful dress after falling against a t-shirt that had wet fabric paint on it. with all my experience in dealing with paints, and even fabric paints, i drew a blank and couldn't quite get the dress back to normal. *sigh* please stop wiping your hands on your clothes!
but you are in many ways so accomplished. writing your stories, drawing your pictures, even reading your books. the little one year old that you were in the picture above told me nothing of what you are today. it's such a slow unfoldment that i don't often take notice of it until you are in full bloom- and i'm sorry that i am slow to celebrate when this happens. but i don't do justice to the young lady that you are becoming. trying to be helpful, quick to share and care, and yes, show off. pretend playing with your sisters- school, wedding, "cyberchase"...and with your friends, playing princess and clubhouse.... all these things and more are a part of a day with you, Miss V. thank you. and happy 6th birthday!!


video

Friday, June 11, 2010

things i don't want to forget

V- apparently even in your dreams i don't answer you. the other night while you were sleeping we heard. "Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom" (with increasing volume,varying intensity) then you gave up and fell silent. i forgot about it. (habit)
Will asked what you were dreaming about and you said that you wanted to ask me something about God.

also you girls always call tombstones when we pass a cemetery "word rocks"* not sure where that came from but it makes me smile.

*i thought they called them word rocks but yesterday they told me that they are "name rocks".

Sunday, June 6, 2010

sing and sign

all of the kindergarten classes have been learning how to sign songs all year and they had their concert on Friday. V did well considering the concert went on and on. i only saw her yawn once. and well she does tend to get distracted but when she's on, she ON! like doing her "thank you" sign at the end of the songs. she's very polite on stage.

also taking into account the length of the event, PO and B were great. they only started to bicker once and then they got distracted. distraction is my best friend and my worst enemy.

there were points when B or PO were trying to copy the kids singing and it was almost as cute as the kids doing the concert. wish i had a real camcorder so that i could do better video but this is enough to get the idea. it would also help if i didn't have two little girls trying to climb me and pull my arms while i am taking video. this song was B's favorite she continued to sing it the rest of the day. singing "oh what a chemical am i!" i will refrain from comment on B singing "chemical" for the moment. (in case you don't understand the kids they are singing "oh what a miracle am i") here are the little miracles!


video

oh and if you can't see her, V is right behind the little girl in the light purple dress who is not dressed like the others.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

and here V is!

finally caught up w/ V and got to see her amazing efforts to ride a bike unaided. note: B has been practicing all day, unfair advantage. video

yet another milestone

this past monday while i was at work the girls decided that they needed to ride their bikes without the training wheels. Baxter across the street has been riding for about a month or so and they saw another young friend Mia riding around the block with her mom monday morning without her training wheels. since both Mia and Baxter are younger than V, i mentioned that maybe we should spend some time with the girls soon so they could maybe master this.

so the girls begged Will and the training wheels came off. according to accounts Will almost didn't have the bolts tightened on B's bike before she was on it and trying to pedal away. he took one step and realized she didn't need him holding her. done. she is biking without assistance. crashed a couple of times in the grass but has since mastered start and stop and only topples when she turns too sharp.

V was a little shakey and didn't get it right away but Will said she was not discouraged. i was a bit worried at first that V wouldn't want to keep trying if B mastered it first but she is determined. while i was at work on tuesday she figured it out and now needs no assistance as well.

the girls are growing up even if i'm not around to view it.

tuesday morning B made me come out in the rain to see her new skill. she is so proud and so am i.


video

running into summer!!



i can't believe we are within a month of finishing up school. and before we know it we are going to be swimming and doing summer camp. unfortunately with Phoebe having a late birthday she once again misses out on the activities. we will have to think of something special for her to do.

V is making great strides in school. she has lots of basic stuff down. she likes reading. she writes stories. adds and subtracts. and is a very good artist. as soon as i can figure out how i want to make one or two of her pieces into cards. who knows maybe she will take over the Christmas card this year.

B draws the best people in the world. she is full of expression but definitely trademark Beatrice. she can read a few words and write her name. i am amazed at what 4 year old B can do! her teachers think that she is very emotionally mature although i would disagree when she throws a tantrum or gets frustrated. she counts with V and is getting the concept of adding down. one more year of preschool. it will be interesting what that will bring.

PO is hot to keep up with the sisters. she is a chatterbox and rides her tricycle like nobody's business. her drawings are a bit like straight lines but very controlled so i know that she's getting it. she counts and may even understand what she is doing. and her pretend play is the best.

every year there is a marathon in Burlington called the Vermont City Marathon. the organization that sponsors it also does an event for the kids the day before. it is called the y.a.m. scram. the kids can run a half mile, mile or two mile course. the girls were invited by the neighbors to join them for the scram. they finished the half mile and it was tons of fun. once again Phoebe was disappointed that she was not able to participate but she made up for it by being an excellent cheerleader.

the video shows the kids warming up. they take this very seriously and will be great contenders if they take up running in the future.




video

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Smother's day 2010

today the girls had plans for breakfast in bed. i was to be pampered and not have to get up to eat. Viv brought home a brown bag which she decorated with a drawn picture of me in bed and filled (with help from Mrs. Bliss) with an apple, granola bar, juice box, and instant cocoa. it was very sweet and Will helped make the cocoa. while i snacked on my brown bag breakfast, V and B "helped" papa make egg sandwiches with fruit and coffee. it was all yummy even though i sustained minor rib and belly injuries as the girls fought and screamed over who would be next to and on top of mama. apparently "loving" mother on mother's day involves lots of cuddling in a very aggressive way. i couldn't feel more loved.

then mother's day was instantly over. no clean room like they said they would do for me. (at least not until Will went in and practically did the straightening for them) no extra special listening girls. and to just make their point that mother's day, indeed, does not last past noon, they went down to the basement and tore apart toys, flash cards, random baby items set aside for give away, and a mattress topper which is now scattered like snow over the whole lot. apparently i am the proud mother to a den of wild animals.

oh, and it snowed this mother's day, for real, outside. and happy mother nature day too.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Beatrice turns 4 take 2!


last sunday Beatrice turned 4. she is very 4 now. we had her party at a local gym that is set up well for young kids. somewhat intimate and great activities planned for the kids to do. they did a disappearing island game. (musical chairs where no one looses you just have to cram more & more kids in hula hoop/ islands as they become less and less in number until finally you have all the kids trying to stand inside one hoop) they had an obstacle course and a balance beam course.
B had a great time. she got to hang and swing and there was even a harness to hook into and jump doing backflips on the trampoline. B went home and immediately figured out how to hang from her trapeze bar on the swing set. "look mom. no hands" she also decided this week that she would write her name. she has to look at it written out but she does an acceptable copy job.
At her parent/teacher conference i found out that she is practically ready for kindergarden. she is reportedly very advanced emotionally.
below is B with the infamous coca cola cake. before it was demolished. this did not stay around a week!
videohere she is flying like tinkerbell!

Friday, April 9, 2010

while i'm posting video...

Phoebe is our singer of songs. video
wonder when we can start the voice lessons...
today you girls stayed with John and Alida while we went to a parent/teacher conference.
They reported to me that Phoebe loves to sing and dance. she had John dancing to show tunes and reported that she had to have an apple to "keep her energy up" Beatrice is quite a puzzler. they have great old wooden puzzles that Beatrice just seems to know how to put them together. not a picture to go by or any guide at all. (B is also writing her whole name now and can copy what others write.)
Viv just started writing and drawing. and without asking for spelling wrote out their names. quite impressive.
speaking of impressive. Ms. Bliss says V is so good with her math skills and with language stuff. often in the afternoon when they are doing projects of their own choosing, V likes to sit at the story table and write. we have also noticed a big interest in that area at home. it is so much fun to watch them figure things out.

our little dancer

Beatrice is quite the entertainer. she is very martha graham i've decided.

video

a special message


V wrote a lovely message on the magnadoodle.
translation:
l love my sisters mom dad.
(she writes this or some form of it quite a bit)

birthday take one




We celebrated Beatrice with her preschool class yesterday. they had cupcakes which B helped to make and V helped frost/decorate. (mostly ate frosting but did a wicked good job putting the flowers on top.)

we showed up with the cupcakes as the kids were getting up from their nap. the cupcakes helped motivate a bit but there were still grumpy ones. then they had to wait, yes wait, for the treat while they ate their healthy snack- which as one of the preschoolers pointed out, wasn't exactly healthy. (cheetos and the like) then after V and B passed out the plates and cupcakes, the song was sung and no prisoners were left behind. (except for one for Will, my waistline is saved for another day)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

decorating eggs

i had to make a special trip saturday to the store to get white eggs. i forgot to plan ahead and only had brown ones in the house. don't think the brown ones dye very well. you girls were very patient while waiting for the eggs to cool down. who knew you had to have cool eggs to decorate. at some point in my motherhood, i will actually plan ahead.

Viv, you are becoming very competent assistant and helpful especially when it comes to a special project. thank you. this year at school has done wonders in many ways for you. you follow direction better and like to teach your sisters. you also have become pretty good at writing stories. you really like to write stuff. the words are not spelled perfectly and it takes quite a bit of guesswork sometimes but the "stories" are fun and i like them. the illustrations always rock.

Beatrice you are becoming very good with your drawing. I have the best collection of mama portraits ever. and i'm evolving in the drawings every day. i finally have arms and a body. it's the best.

Phoebe you are very good at coloring and drawing. you make great straight lines and seem to like the color blue at the moment.

here are my little artists in action. it's a bit lengthy so you can get the whole process. after all, art is all about the process. scratch that. apparently the video is too long so i can't load it. i'll try to edit it and then add later... here's the short story.




video

easter egg "hunt"

we met up with the Easter bunny in the park yesterday. Viv, you and Sophie ran right up to him. Beatrice had to be coaxed just to stand in the picture frame and Phoebe needed to be bolstered -by mom.

words cannot describe the ridiculousness of what i did with you girls yesterday. we had fun. the video speaks for itself. (as you can see, Sophie joined us for the momentous event) please excuse the video quality. at times i forgot i was holding a camera. obviously, i am not a film maker, i'm an historian/hysterian at best. it does, however, capture the feel of the event...


video

Saturday, March 27, 2010

cold in a snap


last week we had great warm springlike weather. (60∘, maybe) you girls were outside, playing house and having a great time. this week it is about 30∘ colder. yeah. you're not outside but you aren't watching t.v. -amazingly. admittedly, we let you girls watch way too much t.v. in the winter. when the weather gets nice you don't want to stay inside so i'm not that worried. you seem to learn quite a bit from our mixture of videos/pbs kids. that being said, i love nothing more than working on my chores while listening to you girls "let's pretend" this and that. today, you are pretending that it is summertime. this, of course, entails all sorts of outfit changes. why does all pretend play consist of pulling out too many clothes and then "pretending" you don't see them when it is time to clean up. i can't keep up. don't know what is clean or dirty anymore. THIS drives me crazy.
i was at a neighbor's house this week who has 2 small children. now given that just 2 of you can make plenty o' mess it should be that this house looks somewhat like ours. (maybe one less child cleaner) apparently, i am the most disorganized woman who ever had kids. she had everything in place. there was no paperwork stacked in piles on a table. no shoes scattered under couches. i didn't even get the hint of children living in the house (i.e. glass tables, breakable decorative baubles) until i saw the basement with a lovely little, everything-in-its-place, play corner. i wonder, why can't i do this?
it's not like i have a full time job (she does) it's not like i do tons of volunteer work (she does) heck, i don't even get sleep. it must be that she never watches t.v..... wait, i don't either. you girls are the ones that watch the t.v. some people have nice little organized minds and that appears in their lives while other people are a bit, well, more organic. yeah, that's it. while i admit that i would not ever like to live in a museum or hotel lobby where things are planned and sometime sterile, i could use some help in weeding. the house needs some selective pruning and i hope that as you girls grow up that we figure out this together. i will never get there on my own. i have a hard time keeping track of my own self that i am amazed at times that i remember to show up at work on time, showered. this does not have to be the way that you girls do things and i hope to help you find YOUR way. maybe in the process, i'll find a new way of living.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

first day of spring


it's March and unseasonably warm and all 3 girls are happily playing outside once the negotiations of what to wear were complete. imagine if you girls always want to wear "summer" clothes when there is snow on the ground, how giddy you were to discover the temps warmer and the snow virtually melted. it was hard to convince you that it was not time to pull out the sundresses and wear sandals. so you are wearing the sun/summer dresses with long sleeves under and sandals with socks. you can be quite the bargainers, i hope you use it for good.

so much happens in the course of the week and i should be writing more to let you know how incredible you are but i just sometimes have to let it all soak in and not comment. i have a bad habit of speaking before turn and i hope that i will somehow correct that and show you the proper way to discourse since at your age, you are famous for interrupting.

Since the beginning of the year V and B have taken ice skating and ballet. you did well in ice skating for first-timers and will probably do it more since the yard across the street and one two house down, have ice rinks in the winter. given that you didn't take advantage of the grand ice time though, you tire quickly and want to just play in the snow. i can't say i blame you and it is quite a lot of work to keep picking yourself up. but that you did and i'm proud of you for it. next winter we will start you up earlier so that you have some tolerance built up by the time the yard rinks freeze. that is my goal.

now that the ice has melted though, it's all about ballet. you go once a week at the Y and love it. i think you might even be learning some although quite informally. i don't know if it's the little leotards that you get to wear or the dance but you seem to be much more excited about this than skating.

i am going to guess that it is the clothes because with you girls, it seems to be all about the clothes. V, you were willing to give skating a great effort, once you got to watch the figure skaters and i told you that you had to practice and be really good to be able to skate in those "dresses". And Phoebe wants to always look like a princess. She wants a pretty dress because she "is a princess". And well B, you just sort of do things as you are told, but in YOUR way. (B, i think you will be the one who figures out how to bend the rules without breaking one. sort of)

i can't seem to remember all that i should write about since i am continually interrupted by girls needing to tell me a story about why a little girl is crying, or what they are doing and who i am in the story or just needing a snack. but you do play nicely together and have quite the story developing about "living in your playhouse with your animals, [i am] the mom in the main house, and the cow won't get off the roof." well,.... okay, then.

i do want to remind Beatrice that i will not die soon so she doesn't have to worry about who will take care of her when i die. (you also told me one day that you were going to get a cat when "you and papa die.")

And Phoebe, you like to ask me "are you the mama?" and Will "are you the papa?" it's a cute little game and i'm not sure how it got started but it does establish a sort of classification. thanks for the help.