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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Inaugural ride.

For Christmas, Lily got a trailer to hook her bike to one of ours. And Mommy got a new bike for her birthday. Since then, we've had bad luck with rain on the weekends. But today was a glorious day - sunshine and highs in the 60's - so we went out for a family ride. We went to a greenway and rode for about 6 and 1/2 miles and Lily pedaled most of the way! (Good job, big girl!)

The trail we rode goes across a pedestrian bridge over the highway, so we sent Daddy and Rory ahead to the other side to get these pictures...





Friday, January 27, 2012

Halfway through Kindergarten.

Lily's kindergarten year is already halfway over. It's hard to believe. Was it really four months ago that I left her in her classroom and then cried the whole way home? Now Lily hops out of the car in front of the school and skips inside, either by herself, or with one of her friends that she meets on the way in.

Lily loves school. She loves her teacher, the assistant, her friends. She loves the playground, music, gym, computer lab, art and the library. She loves math. She loves science projects. And she can read! (She'll tell you she can't, because our tiny type-A perfectionist doesn't think she can do something if she can only do part of it. So while she can read a bunch of sight words and can sound out 90% of words she come across, that last 10% has her convinced that she can't read at all.)

Most of all, Lily loves her teacher, Ms. L. She is sweet and encouraging and enthusiastic and generous with her time and praise. She is exactly what I would have chosen in a kindergarden teacher and she has been the perfect teacher for Lily. Lily simply adores her. Back in October, we found out that Ms. L. was expecting a baby boy in January. Unfortunately, she had some complications and delivered him 2 months early. So in November, Lily's class got a long-term sub. Ms. R. was older, and a lot less warm and fuzzy. She was a good teacher, and a nice lady, but really different from Ms. L. The transition was hard on Lily, who missed Ms. L. and would say things like "I don't understand why some grown-ups change the rules." She wasn't as excited to go to school every day. We were all excited to have Ms. L. come back after the holiday break.

Sadly, little baby Noah is still very sick and in the NICU. Ms. L. kept having to leave or take days off to be with him at the hospital. So Lily's class was having a lot of different substitutes. Lily was getting pretty anxious about the whole thing. On the way to school in the morning she would wonder out loud who her teacher would be that day and what the rules would be. One day, she had to walk laps for sounding out words out loud, a day after being encouraged to do that by a different sub. And her class wasn't getting to do things that the other classes were doing. So it was with really mixed emotions that we found out that Ms. L. is taking the rest of the year as a parental leave of absence. We will miss her terribly, but this way she gets to be with Noah, and the class will get a permanent teacher for the rest of the year.

For her "end of the year" gift, Lily picked out a stuffed animal for Noah, and she and I made this for Ms. L. to remember her by.
This is the back.And by the end of the day, Ms. L. had sent home this note.
She is so sweet, and we will miss her. We hope Noah gets well and strong soon, and that she will be able to come back to the school next year. I especially love the "PS." because earlier this week Lily came home bursting with pride that Ms. L. told her she is a "Math Wizard"!

Along with Ms. L.'s last day, today was also the day we got Lily's first ever report card. Everything is ranked on a scale of 1-4, and Lily scored 3 or 3+ in math, science, social studies, listening, and writing. She got a 4 in reading! She got top scores for all work habits and behavior, which makes Mommy and Daddy very proud. And most of all...
"She is a pleasure to have in my class." My heart could burst! Here's to a successful and smooth second half of the school year...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sweet Lily.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Typical Wednesday Morning.

You know, a show before school...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The whistler.

Monday, January 23, 2012

New shoes.

For today's teacher-workday-craft-project, we decided to paint the wooden shoes that Auntie sent the girls from Amsterdam. We saw painted shoes while we were there visiting and ever since then, Lily has been asking when we could paint hers. Today seemed like as good a day as any!Lily and Rory each painted the base color of their shoes. Lily painted the flowers on hers (and then Mommy went around the outside and neatened up the lines). Rory cried when Mommy wouldn't let her paint the dots on hers. Sorry Roo - your Mommy is a little too OCD for that.
Aren't they adorable?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pretend princesses.

Lily as Rapunzel (see the scarf-as-hair?) and Rory as Belle.Rory as Snow White.


The girls each got a gift card to a toy store for Christmas and so we let them pick out their own gift. Rory picked a crown that came with earrings and a fancy dress.
Lily picked a crown that came with earrings and a book.
And now we pretty much live with two crazy, silly princesses all the time. In fact, Rory is now insisting that we refer to her only as "Aurora".
I love this picture.
It's no secret that Mommy and Daddy are not so crazy about the whole princess thing. We successfully avoided it for a long time. We continue to encourage other toys and games. And when they are playing princess, we try to point out that princesses can be brave and strong and do fun things besides just wear fancy dresses. And these two princesses do all kinds of things. They dance, and build towers and rescue each other from the alligators that are apparently always swimming in our living room. And they have tea parties and birthday parties. And they put on shows. They read and they jump and they chase monsters. They are really cool and multi-faceted princesses.

And then Lily said to me the other day, "Mommy, do you know why we like playing princess so much? Because we get to use our imagination. And that's the best game, because your imagination is like pretend. Except it's inside your head."

So, while I wish there was a little more engineering and a little less princessing, I am no longer opposed to dressing up like a princess. And really, any excuse to dance with these two, to spin around until we're dizzy, is totally worth it for me.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bed heads.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Home improvement.

It's been awhile (at least a week) since we had tackled a home improvement project. So we decided to start the New Year off with a new shed for Daddy. We picked a spot on the side of our yard.And Daddy and Lily got to work, first painting the floor beams and then framing it out.
Rory wanted to help too.
And then Lily got work hammering the floor down.

By the end of the first day, we had a pretty good start.
But we were short on supplies, so we had to make a trip to L*we's, but that's a favorite store for 3 out of 4 of us, so we had fun.
The girls were excited to see Daddy get out his BIG ladder.
And by the end of the first weekend, we had the bones of a shed.
The next weekend, Lily and Daddy got to work on the roof.



And Mommy and Lily painted the outside. Then Daddy added windows and doors and a ramp.
And now we have a shed. Lily was very, very proud to get to help. And also exhausted. We kept telling her she could go play, but she would insist that she had to finish what she was doing first. And when I suggested that we do something she sighed and told me, "I just don't think I'll have time. With school, and working..." When I stopped her and asked what work she told me, "Helping Daddy with the shed on the weekend." Poor kid! Thanks for your help, LilyBug. You're the best!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy birthday?

We were invited to a birthday party for a friend down the street. So what else was there to do but put on the hats that they never want to wear on their own birthdays???


My sweet, silly girls.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Splish splash.

They were taking a bath.

Mommy & Daddy's new bathroom is the perfect place for bubble baths!

Friday, January 13, 2012

In 3D.

It was an early release day at school today, so I surprised the girls with a trip to the movies.Popcorn, skittles, lemonade and Beauty & the Beast. In 3-D.
Rory's first movie! She only wore the glasses for the first 45 minutes or so, and then seemed perfectly happy to watch the rest of the movie mostly blurry. Lily loved every minute and every time that something "Popped out at us. Like we were IN the movie!"

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Math and science night.

Lily's school is a STEM school (focusing on science, technology, engineering and math) and just hosted a Math & Science night. There were a bunch of students from NC State there, helping the kids with different projects and activities. The kids were supposed to go dressed as their favorite number or scientist, so Lily borrowed Daddy'a Halloween costume and went as "Pumpkin Pi".She learned how to engineer a diving board out of dominoes.
And she and Daddy melted some chocolate with light bulbs.
She learned about liquids and solids with Jello.
What's better than an experiment you can eat?
(She liked the chocolate better.)
I have no idea what they were constructing here. But both Lily and Daddy were completely in their element and having the best time ever.
Lily also made a necklace out of pasta after learning about patterns.
We love this school!