Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Kindergarten Kid

We are now over a month into the school year and I think Sarah Graves is settling in. Kindergarten has been an adjustment for her. There have been lots of changes being at a new school, making new friends, lots of new rules to follow, and having new teachers. She likes her teachers, but they have high expectations for the kids and she has had to work to meet them.
I can tell she is learning a lot! Her reading has already made huge strides and she is working hard to master new concepts like using a calendar. Her Spanish vocabulary is improving, too!
The hardest part has been learning to listen, stay on task, and follow directions. Sarah Graves tends to get fidgety when it's time to sit and she often wants to rush through her work to do what she wants to do. Her class uses super sticks as a positive rewards system for the kids. You get super sticks when you help someone, are kind, go above and beyond, etc. She has been really motivated to earn more super sticks and be able to have enough to go to the treasure box at the end of the week. There are different levels of treasure depending on how many super sticks you have. She really wants one of the bigger prizes and she has been diligently working to get more super sticks each day! I love seeing how motivated she is to do well. 
She recently had a great day and earned 4 super sticks. I was so excited for her and kept talking about how good she must feel having such a great day and she said, "I only did it to make you, my teachers, and Lovie happy." I wish that she had wanted it just for herself, but it was sweet that she recognized that she could do something to make others happy. She then mentioned that she had filled my bucket by doing that. The classes all read a book at the beginning of the year about doing nice things to fill up someone else's bucket. She and Charlie like to make note of when they have done something to fill my bucket and I in turn tell them how they fill my bucket. 


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Dinner at Copeland's

We finished off Jeanne's birthday celebration with dinner at Copeland's, one of everybody's favorite places!

We had such a fun day! It was great being together and having fun!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Apple Picking!

We decided to give apple picking a try this year. The orchards are not just for picking apples, they have little festival like setups with food, activities, and you can pick some apples.
We think these two are a couple of good apples!

They love the bouncing pillow. This place didn't let grownups get on it...I was disappointed!

The cow train was a big hit!

There were lots of play areas with some inventive equipment like these horses made out of old tires.

Of course, hanging out with Lovie is always fun!

Charlie's favorite thing was the wagon ride! He was so excited to do it and loved that we were pulled by a tractor and on the other side he could see a wagon pulled by a mule, but the tractor won!

We did pick some apples to make a pie. Georgia is not really as far north as you would need to be for crisp apples.

Livy likes being snuggled up with her momma.

There was so much to do at these orchards! They even had a putt putt course!

This silly boy turned into a lion!

We really enjoyed all there was to do there. I didn't get pictures of the pig races, milking the cow, or touring the moonshine museum (ha!), but those were all fun too!

Picnic at the Falls

For Aunt Nay's birthday we headed up to Amicalola Falls for a picnic before we went apple picking!

The weather was gorgeous! It was the first cool day with sunshine and blue skies! Perfect for a birthday day trip.
Nay and Livy

My big girl was so sweet posing for pictures.

Charlie napped through most of our picnic, but surprised us all by waking up in a wonderful mood.

We so badly wanted pictures of all three of them wearing their apple shirts, but we just couldn't get Livy into the idea of taking pictures and getting a shot of all three looking was more than we could manage!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Dinner with New Friends

We had a really fun dinner with new friends on Labor Day! Several families were invited for dinner and it was so nice because our kids are all similar ages. Sarah Graves, Ava, and Aurelia are all in kindergarten, and Charlie and Logan are in preschool. Luca is in pre-k, but they got along great!
It was fun getting to know the other parents as well.

Bear Crawl

Sissy taught Charlie how to bear crawl down the stairs!
He is a funny boy! We are still working on potty training, but some days are better than others.
Recently, after a poop accident, he was laying on the changing table getting cleaned up when he asked, "what color is that poop?" Mom told him it was a dark brown and he said, "oh, I thought it might be white because I ate a lot of bananas at school today."

Friday Night Dinner

We headed out for a fun dinner at a Mexican restaurant that we really like! We had such a fun time!
This buddy is really growing up and I am loving this big boy!

Nay Nay and Sissy while Livy gets a snooze.

Daddy and Charlie watching tortillas being made.

Excited for the start of football season!

Sissy loved playing with the tortilla dough while we waited for our food. She also decided she likes eating the tortillas cooked!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Handstand Girl!

Sarah Graves traded in her ballets and became a handstand girl! She wanted to do "real" gymnastics and she LOVES it! She is constantly working on handstands and cartwheels!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Little Swimmer

Charlie has been taking swim lessons for a few months and does really well. Since school started, he has been going on his own and hasn't liked it as much.
I was able to be there for a recent lesson and was able to help him through his feelings. He did not want to get in the water. His body was stiff and he backed himself up against the wall. The coach was being patient and I got anxious. I didn't want to waste a lesson and I didn't want to make his fear worse. 
I took a deep breath and resolved to stay calm. I moved closer to the water talking to the coach and trying to include Charlie. I rolled up my pants and stood on the top step. Charlie wasn't showing signs of getting in, so went over and picked him up and held him while I stood and talked to the coach in the water. We kept bringing Charlie into the conversation and eventually he would responded. A minute later, I felt him wiggle from my arms and he got in the pool. He went on to have a great lesson!

I felt so good! Good that I stayed patient, listened to my instincts, and gave him a chance to do it his way.

Here he is at his next lesson. He got in without hesitation.

Froggie Class

I had a chance to peak in on Charlie at school. He was so sweet sitting with his friends on their lily pad rug. He listened while his teacher, Mr. Peter, read to them about Pete the Cat at school.

Mr. Peter said that Charlie is doing a great job at school!

Three Year Old Check-Up

Charlie had his three-year old well-visit and was determined to be in great health! He weighs 33 pounds and 2 ounces and he is 36.9 inches tall. They checked his vision and it seems fine. We didn't have any concerns and neither did the pediatrician. We did his MMR vaccine and he was so brave only crying for a second.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Party Details

I did a rocket ship theme for Charlie's 3rd birthday. We had a few possible choices, but eventually this theme was his pick.

I found this adorable invitation design on Etsy

I also bought a set of party printables from this shop on Etsy.

I was a little worried about doing a party so far away from home but with planning and help from my sister, mom, and grandmothers getting it set up, I think it came together well. 

Mom usually does the cake for the kids' birthdays, but this time there just wasn't time for that. So, I ordered a basic cake from Costco and made these cake toppers. I was pleased with how it turned out and it definitely took a lot of stress away from the day of the party.

I did this centerpiece to give a shout out to Charlie's 3rd birthday and put cutouts of sons, planets, and rocket ships on the table to bring the theme outside. Thanks to my sister and her cameo for making these cutout shapes really easy!

I found cute space themed party bags on Oriental Trading Company and made the tags using the printable package that I bought.

I love the picture of him that we used on the invite and was excited to display it at the party!

These lollipops of astronauts and planet Earth were a cute centerpiece and a big hit at the party.

Couldn't resist having moon pies at the party!

Cheese puffs made great asteroids.

Powdered doughnuts were tasty Saturn rings

Fruit kebobs are such a hit with the kids and we called these spaceships on a stick.

Sarah Graves had the idea we should serve fruit punch and name it rocket fuel. I think she will be a great party planner!

I just love the printed water bottle labels! They make it so fun and personal.

I found a space shuttle piƱata on Amazon.

By far the best entertainment was the inflatable waterside! It was lots of fun and a big hit with the birthday boy.

I always make iced sugar cookies for the kids' birthdays. This year I did C's, 3's, and rocket ships! Unfortunately, after making 150 cookies, I left them at home! I was quite upset, but Charlie brought them to school to share with his friends and I think they thoroughly enjoyed them.