Day One

We’re a week later than most here in the south.  And it doesn’t feel huge because both of my kids know and love their new teachers already.  Taylor has had her teacher all summer, just in a different room, and is repeating the 4K curriculum because she has a late birthday and can’t go on to Kindergarden yet.  And Caleb’s teacher moved up from his Toddler Class with him (I think because she wanted to stay with the sweetest boy there is).  But even still, today is the first day of a new school year.  A new backpack and school supplies were procured.  Cute outfits were chosen.  They are going to new classrooms with new friends.  And they have on their game faces.

They are all set to start the next step in their journey to being whatever they want to be when they grow up.

So, yesterday she went to the aquarium with Grammy and Pops and saw the scuba divers in the tanks with the fish….then she went back to their house and watched The Little Mermaid during rest time….and now when she grows up she wants to be “a mermaid in the tanks at the aquarium”.

Caleb, however has more realistic, but less ambitious aspirations.  He said he wants to be six when he grows up.  Taylor thought this was hilarious (like she has room to talk) and gave him some more options like being a merman, or a fireman, or a policeman.   After her suggestions, he decided policeman also sounded good.  But I decided to write their first answers because that will be way funnier looking back, no?

He says he wants to be six, but really I think he just wants to be like his big sister

These kids…I just love them.

Puddle Jumpers

Rainy Days are a bummer.  Except that rainy days sometimes bring rainbows, and they ALWAYS bring puddles!

When you play in puddles, you get all wet.  I don’t think they mind.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

This was 2 seconds before she face planted and the fun was over.

It was a blissful 15 minutes though.

These kids are my favorites.

4 or 14

I think we may be done raising Taylor; she’s ready to raise herself now.  At least she would think so.  Sometimes it is all so clear that she is only four, but other times, I have to remind myself how young she is because she acts so gosh darn old most of the time.

She takes showers all by herself.

She refuses to let us go into the bathroom with her in public now.  This freaks me out in public places, but alas, I do want to encourage her independence.

She gets her own drinks and food out of the fridge and pantry.

She even eats responsibly.  The other night at dinner, she requested more peas and sweet potato fries (which are baked in a wee bit of olive oil, not fried or breaded).  And for dessert, she requests frozen yogurt (which is literally tubes of organic, fat free yogurt that is frozen) or popsicles (which is frozen orange juice).  This is what she chooses.  Occasionally, we have bags of frozen fruit, and that’s a treat!! It’s like little blueberry and raspberry popsicles.

She is the best big sister.  She and Caleb have really started playing together a lot lately, and she is remarkably patient with him and actually likes having him around.  At the playground yestereday, she totally looked out for him and let him follow her around the whole time so I didn’t have to climb the equipment with him as much.  She was just great.  So mature that one.

This change in their sibling relationship occurred after they spent five days separated at different grandparents’ houses while I took a trip and Russ was working crazy resident hours.  I guess absence really does make the heart grow fonder.  They are becoming good friends, and it warms my heart.

Here they are at our Dunkin Donut’s Tie-Dye Free Donut Friday yesterday morning.  Can you even?

laugher fills this house

Hey, I’m still here, kind of.  If you heard a big sigh of relief yesterday, it was me after my sabbatical was approved for this summer.  Holla!  Blogging more often will be among my sabbatical goals because it helps me keep my sanity partially in tact.  But for now, it’s going to be sporadic city around Better Days parts.  I could not, however, not blog about Taylor’s hilarity this morning.

While I was in the shower, she crawled into bed with Russ.  When I came out of the bathroom and the light shown into Russ’ still asleep eyes, he rolled over and put his arm around Taylor and gave her a big hug….to which she replied, “Uh, you’re disgusting!”

I laughed SO hard.  When she realized that she may have hurt his feelings, she clarified, “But you smell good”  – apparently his arm had landed on her mouth during the hug and she was noting that he tasted disgusting…maybe…or maybe she was just trying to spare his half-asleep feelings.

Then, at breakfast, we were all sitting together, which is a rarity in the morning.

Taylor mused, “You know, black is the darkest of the colors.”

Me:  “Yes, that’s right.  Which is the lightest of the colors?”

Taylor: “Yellow”

Me: “Hmm….what about this (pointing to her white napkin)?”

Taylor: “Oh, white”

Russ: “Actually I think she may be right because white isn’t really a color”

Me:  “True, white is the absence of color…Taylor, you may be right”

Taylor:  “That’s because I know everything.”

LAUGHTER ENSUES

Me:  “Taylor, you are funny”

Taylor:  “I know”

I’m glad she’s a confident girl.

Later on in the meal, she declared, “It’s like we’re in a meeting”.  Funny, smart, confident, and also a PK.

________________________________________________________

In other news, Caleb LOVES syrup:

A LOT

He also enjoys climbing:

Bonne Annee

Russ left this morning to go to Orlando for the Capital One Bowl so I resigned myself to a non-celebratory New Year’s Eve with the kids and myself in bed by 7:00 – Bah Humbug.

But then Grammy arrived with other plans since she was determined not to let the boys-only-Orlando-trip ruin her holiday.  Knowing full well that the kiddos would not make it to midnight, she had the clever idea to celebrate the Parisian New Year…which makes good sense in this house since without Paris, life would be incredibly different today.

We began the evening with croissant sandwiches (and silly hats of course)

Then we went outside for sparklers and poppers

Then, the kids got in their pjs for the countdown

5…4…3…2…1…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

CHEERS!

We ended the evening with ecclairs.

I would be remiss if I didn’t also show you Taylor’s New Year’s picture.  I dug out some of my old scrapbooking stickers…notice Mary (yes, the mother of Jesus) next to Taylor dressed as a reindeer…both holding a bottle of champagne.

Happy New Year everyone.  I hope you all have a great night and a great year.  My only resolution for 2012 is for nothing even close to 8 lbs to come out of my body (2010 – 8lb9oz Caleb; 2011 – 8lb cyst).

Pies

The kids have been over the top with their cuteness lately.  I think maybe they are filled with the Christmas spirit.

They have both been sleeping past 6:00 am most mornings (which may sound early to you, but for us, it’s like sleeping in).  Sunday, they even slept until almost 7:00 am!  Kids are so much cuter at 7:00am.

This morning, Caleb was crying because I walked out of the room (which is a fun topic for another post), and Taylor came over and let him hold her favorite stuffed kitties, Smokey and Pumpkin.  He pulled them close to his chest, stopped crying, and then reached out his other arm and gave her his dinosaur (which is his favorite item of all time).  Brother and sister sharing!  Without prompting!  It was amazing.

And a few nights ago, they danced together:

A few days before that, they helped me clean up – the both of them, together – in their pjs.  Little warms my heart more than little people cleaning up.  Especially for Caleb who applauds himself each time he finishes a cleaning task.

Gah, I love them.

bliss

What does it say about my parenting or my kids or our day that this was the happiest I’d seen them all day:

I mean, they were both giggling and shrieking with glee for the entire 20 minutes we were in the store.  I love that they enjoy each other so much.

They both think the other is hilarious.  When we left the grocery store, they were laughing hysterically in the back of the car – it’s like music to my ears.  Life is so much happier with two.

*Can you notice that Taylor has one clump of hair that is shorter than the rest in the middle of her forehead?  She cut her own hair at school yesterday.  I guess she wanted to see how she looked with bangs.