Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 2012 Videos


The kids' costumes were very simple.  They were put together using things we already had or borrowed or Emily made.  At first, Lincoln wanted to be Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.  Then he REALLY wanted to be a "butter-thy" like Emily.  I finally convinced him to be a cowboy like Curious George in Curious George Goes to a Costume Party.  He had to bring a costume to preschool on Tuesday.

Emily had to bring her butterfly costume to school twice, but I never saw the full outfit complete with butterfly flip-flops, thus no picture.  Austin usually takes the kids trick-or-treating while I stay home and answer the door, but he was traveling for work.  Thankfully, our international host student eagerly volunteered to take the kids even though she had never been trick-or-treating before.  The kids had fun going out around the neighborhood for about 45 min. until Emily's basket was full and Andjelka had to get back to campus for a meeting.  We had very few trick-or-treaters even though the weather was decent.  There's a reason I buy Mounds and KitKats to hand out! ;o)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Carving pumpkins

I don't think it's a secret that I'm not a fan of Halloween.  The only part I really enjoy is carving pumpkins.  By default, this has become a tradition on Emily's birthday.  I didn't even attempt to get fancy this year because I didn't have the time or the tools (our pumpkins were huge and thick-skinned).  Both kids were excited to design their own faces anyway.  I ended up doing 95% of the work because both kids were also grossed out by the insides and didn't want to touch anything except with a spoon.  I did use a good tip pinned by my sister about cutting a wide slot down the back as part of the lid for ease in cleaning out and lighting the pumpkin.

I seem to always find myself scrambling around looking for votive candles at the last minute, so this year I splurged and bought some special battery-operated pumpkin lights I recently saw featured on The Today Show in a waiting room.  Unfortunately, I was in a hurry, so I didn't read the package label closely and ended up with strobe lights instead of the color-changing LED lights I was looking for.  I guess it might be scarier, but it's definitely more annoying!  The kids had a lot of fun with them, though.  I must admit it was pretty tricky trying to get a  picture of both pumpkins lit since they were only briefly in sync every minute or so.  The kids tried to make scary faces, too. :o)

6 years old

Well, we now officially have a six-year-old!  Emily continues to learn and grow up before our eyes.  Her official birthday measurements are 46.5" tall and 50 lbs.

In addition to outer space, Emily has been absolutely fascinated by the Titanic this month.  She has checked out books from both the school and public library, as well as a National Geographic DVD about the discovery of the ruins.  However, she started to have nightmares at night, so we have decided to take a break from that topic.

School continues to go well.  Emily had a lot of fun this month playing a made up game on the playground at recess called "Flush the Toilet" that involved going down the slides.  They had quite the group going for a while.  She has made up other fun games at home.

Emily also enjoys playing school at home (no surprise there).  She has 35 "students" that are usually set up in her room for carpet time.  Each one has a unique name and personality.  Emily even has a rotating job chart on her closet door.

We haven't had nearly as many mealtime battles this month.  I've been making more things that I know the kids like and less new recipes.  Emily also brings cold lunch to school about two-thirds of the time.  One negative development is that she suddenly decided she was tired of Frosted Mini-Wheats Chocolate Little Bites cereal, which has been the staple of her diet for a couple years now.  She is now into Quaker Oatmeal Squares and Froot Loops instead.  Unfortunately, she made this decision AFTER I had just stocked up with Kelloggs/Scholastic rewards boxes.  What am I going to do with eight boxes of "chocolate cereal"?!?

We have also ventured into the world of Legos this month.  Emily took great pride in building "the great wall of China" with a random collection of Legos picked up at a garage sale years ago.  It's actually a blueprint of a large building that has classrooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.  Now Emily received a bunch of Lego Friends (i.e. the new girl Legos collection) for her birthday.  I'll post more on that sometime.

Emily's birthday

After a really fun party on Sunday, Emily had a great birthday on Tuesday.  She wore her new outfit to school.  Her chosen birthday treats were frosted butterfly cookies with rainbow butterfly sprinkles.  She helped bake them last week.  She picked out the colors and frosted about half a dozen cookies before getting distracted by her new toys, so I ended up frosting the rest.  They were a hit at school.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Emily's birthday party

We celebrated Emily's 6th birthday with family on Sunday afternoon.  Emily was thrilled with her gifts, which included Lego Friends, Hello Kitty purse, personalized piano bag, books, crafts, a cash register and a cute new outfit.

We purchased space-themed plates/napkins/cups (not pictured), and Emily made all the wall decorations.

Emily found a Lego buddy in our international host student, Andjelka.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Frosting the cake

Emily has changed her mind so many times since she started "planning" her birthday party during Lincoln's party last May.  She talked about everything from rock star to Emily the engine to butterflies again.  However, she has had an intense interest in outer space for the last month or so.  I swear she has read every space book in the easy reader non-fiction section of the public library.  So, Emily finally settled on an outer space theme.  We checked out the star cake pans from the library again.  Emily made a miniature solar system that we covered in contact paper.  We even got special star & moon sprinkles.  I would not recommend black frosting to anyone, but it was the best choice for this one.  Emily helped me decorate.  Lincoln & Cousin Ryan helped with frosting clean-up.  Emily was thrilled with the outcome.  However, she ended up not even eating one bite of cake because she was afraid her teeth would turn black. :o)

Afterwards, Grandpa Boote gave horsie rides. :o)

 The boys also enjoyed racing plasma cars.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Our homework assignment for Spanish class this week was to take pictures of different emotions to compile in a book.  The photos were too funny not to share.  Can you match the following emotions?
  • feliz--happy
  • triste--sad
  • emocionado/a--excited
  • enojado/a--mad
  • cansado/a--tired
  • nervioso/a--nervous


Friday, October 19, 2012

Lincoln's perspective

Lincoln still loves taking pictures with the camera.  Today it entertained him for 20 minutes while I practiced piano with Emily.  After paring down the 110 pictures he took (most of which were very blurry or repetitive), I put together a slide show of some of my favorites.  I think it's an interesting glimpse into his current perspective in life...

3 years + 5 months

Lincoln's big development this month was beginning to make /l/ sounds.  His name is now "Lincoln" instead of "Winkin'." :o)  It's funny listening to his tongue get tangled up as he tries real hard to say things correctly.  With both the /l/ and /r/ sounds coming in, I think it is much easier to understand what he is saying.

Lincoln is also officially completely potty-trained and accident-free.  He has even started kicking me out of the bathroom in order to do everything himself.  He still sometimes needs help pumping the soap and getting his underwear & pants back on the right way.  He is starting to realize that you don't have to completely remove everything from the waist down every time you sit on the toilet. :op

Speaking of clothes, the transition from sandals or bare feet to socks & shoes has been a bit tough for Lincoln.  Although not completely resistant, he was definitely not excited about having to wear both socks & shoes.  It's pretty much a given that as soon as you get in the house both come flying off before he even makes it out of the kitchen.  For awhile, that included stores and other places, too. :op  When removing his shoes he insists on completely undoing the velcro so you have to re-thread it every time you put his shoes back on (another reason why not to buy laced shoes).   He is also a bit particular in the order of dressing.  He much prefers sock-sock-shoe-shoe vs sock-shoe-sock-shoe.  What order do you put yours on?

Lincoln is going through a "cold food" phase much like Emily did at one point.  He prefers almost all his leftovers at lunch to be cold rather than reheated.  This includes pizza, noodle casseroles, fried rice & egg rolls, ham & potatoes, etc.  Blech!  He would also survive on fruit alone if you let him.  Sometimes that's the only thing he eats at a meal.

Lincoln had a mild stuffy nose for a good portion of this month.  While it didn't really run or require much wiping, his nose did get crusty and had some serious boogers.  I can't stand it and am notorious for cleaning noses out--especially at bathtime.  This was evident whenever I came after Lincoln with a Kleenex because he covered up his nose saying, "No, my nose is closed!  I want my boogers!"  Sometimes he would even throw a fit trying to take them back out of the Kleenex in order to put them back in his nose.  Silly boy!

Lincoln is mildly obsessed with the CD player in his room.  We have a collection of audio book CD's that he listens to at night.  He changes every night not because he gets bored with the stories, but just because he wants to be the one who actually changes the CD.  He wore out his first CD player and is onto a new (cheap) one. 

Emily & Lincoln have had a near-constant argument lately over nicknames.  Emily always calls Lincoln, "mister."  Lincoln insists that, "I'm not mister, I'm sweetie," which I'm sure he gets called a lot.  So they go back and forth.  Emily also takes joy in screeching "Lincoln Austin!" whenever she feels the need to reprimand him.  I very rarely have used his middle name.  This is partly because it really hasn't been required and partly because I think I feel guilty like I'm yelling at Austin.  I'm sure there will come a day, though...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Super shopper

Grocery shopping got a lot more fun for kids with the addition of some super-cute mini-carts at the Waverly Fareway.  Lincoln LOVES to go shopping with me now and wants to put everything in his cart, although it's usually full by the time we get past the produce section.  He's a great driver--even while eating a free cookie from the bakery in one hand.  I've heard complaints from others about the mini-carts being "ankle biters," but never really experienced it until I took both kids for two quick items the other day.  Emily ran into the back of my ankles four times in three aisles (and she didn't even have a cookie the first two times).  Now I try hard to only go grocery shopping during the school day!

P.S. Apologies for the lousy quality of the picture taken with my phone. :op

Monday, October 15, 2012

Balloon hat

Our international host student from Bosnia is back at Wartburg.  Austin was out of town for work, so the kids & I took her out for supper at the Pizza Ranch on Kids' Night.  They have an amazing balloon man who works the crowd every Monday night.  Lincoln loved his fancy hat!

Radish brain

Lincoln & I cleaned out more of the garden this afternoon and found a long-forgotten radish among the wildflowers.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Silver sparkle

I am a far cry from a fashionista.  The boots in our house are for wearing in the snow or rain.  I have never tried on a pair of jeggings (just the name is kind of creepy to me).  I usually don't buy trendy stuff for the kids either.  However, I've had a little fun with fall clothes shopping and got this cute little outfit for Emily.  I think she likes it. :o)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thomas hat

We made a big trip to Waterloo this week to get all the necessary gear to survive another Iowa winter.  Lincoln picked out a new Thomas hat and has insisted on wearing it every time he goes outside.

Heartland Farms field trip

Emily had an exciting week at school.  On Tuesday, the kindergarten classes at West Cedar took a field trip to the Waverly Fire Department.  I think Emily was more excited for her first bus ride than to see the fire trucks!  Then on Friday, they took their big field trip to the Heartland Farms pumpkin patch.  I traded daycare hours for Lincoln with the mom of the little boy I'm watching so I could go along as a parent volunteer.  It was pretty chilly and windy, but fun to be with Emily and meet her classmates.  The kids enjoyed bouncy houses, a wagon ride through the patch, a corn maze, farm animals, watching the "Pumpkinator" shoot pumpkins at a school bus, sack lunches in a greenhouse building and each came home with a small pumpkin.

Handyman helper

Because every handyman helper requires fairy wings when installing a new toilet...

**It's another 10+ post run, so be sure to click on "Older Posts" to see everything**

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cousin weekend

The kids & I spent the weekend with my family in NW Iowa.  It was jam-packed with cousin time, including a trip to Cousin Ryan's house to deliver a belated birthday present and play with all his new toys.  Each kid also got to do the one thing they were looking forward to most: Emily read Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm and played with Dream Builders while Lincoln spent a couple hours outside with Grandpa Boote hauling branches with the Kubota and feeding cows with the tractor, as well as helping feed calves.  I sort of purposely didn't get out the camera to just enjoy time with family.  We made one attempt at a cousin picture before leaving on Sunday.  This is the best out of the 103 shots I took on Hi-Speed burst.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Kid art

A typical work of art by Lincoln

Emily's underwater explorer
Front of birthday card Emily made for herself