Christmas preparations were going on all month. Here's a rundown.
***Cookies with Santa at Grandma's work. They have Santa there and many crafts and games for the kids to do. They had a good time. No pics of Santa though. They had one taken with him but I haven't gotten it yet.
***Decorated the house and tree...check!
***Decorated our gingerbread village...check!
Next year I'm sticking with ONE house. This was a royal pain to build because they were miniature and not to mention the icing was terrible. They had fun anyway and that's the point.
***Put up exterior illumination...check! (Bob's job.)
***Went for a drive to look at lights...check!
Here'e the crazy house I talked about last year too. Still going strong. I found another house with about 40 blow ups all over their yard. No good pics though. I love riding around looking at lights.
***Baked cookies...check! No pics but a lot baking was done here.
***A thrilling visit with Santa...check!
Ryan asked for cars and trucks and Kaylie said princesses. No smiles for the camera however. Again, I paid for this picture!! I think they were a bit confused and wondering who this guy was. We had gone to one mall to see Santa but the camera wasn't working. We waited an hour and then left. They were so excited to go too. The poor kids were let down. The lady there was rude and I wasn't thrilled with that Santa anyway. He had a shorter beard and was wearing a bluetooth!!! Ok I know it was before they were technically open but still. So then we went to another mall for pictures for our card and I took them to see this Santa. They were wondering why there was more than one Santa. I just told them they were helper Santas that go and tell the real Santa what they want. The web we weave.
Now just awaiting the excitement Christmas morning brings. I can't wait. They are super exciteed. They are even "playing Christmas." This means pretending to be sleeping and then they get up and find presents. The presents are just boxes they took from my wrapping stuff and put random stuff in. Of course we aren't focused on gifts, they are well aware that Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus. They had a little celebration at school and I was providing the tablecloth, cups, napkins, and plates so we had to go buy them for the party. Kaylie asked if Baby Jesus was going to be at the party. :)
***Sorry for the spacing on this post. Blogger is a pain sometimes. ***
For a few months now, Ryan has become attached to this football.
He calls it Bee-Bee--that's the phonetic spelling, I'm not sure of the true spelling Ryan has decided on. (Wink) I suppose it could be B.B., BB, Be-Be, or maybe B-B. I'm not sure how the love affair began or even when although I feel it was shortly after our summer vacation in August. I received this football at one of my baby showers when I was pregnant. Well technically at one of my showers I wasn't pregnant but I digress. I'm usually good about remembering who gives me things but I cannot remember who gave it to us. You just never know what they will get attached to.
If you remember he has a striped blanket, oddly enough called, Stripe, that used to be his lovey. Now Stripe just stays in bed and has to be draped over his pillow (that the does not use BTW) every night. Every now and then Stripe makes an appearance but Bee-Bee is IN. He hugs Bee-Bee and kisses and loves to rub it on his face. If he gets a boo-boo he rubs the football on his injury. If he is scared or worried he goes and gets Bee-Bee and nestles his head into it. Bee-Bee gets tossed A LOT. We've had a few near misses with it landing in the sink and it has been responsible for knocking a shelf off the wall. It is constantly being lost in the house. Ryan has allowed it to get washed. Thankfully Ty is a smart company and made a machine washable product although Bee-Bee is definitely showing wear and tear. Like Stripe, I find myself referring to it as a "him." It's adorable to see how much love he has for this thing. The other day we were listing who was in our family and Ryan added Bee-Bee to the list. See, it's so stinkin' cute.
***If interested in reading about Stripe, it can be found in the March 2010 archive. I for whatever reason have forgotten/don't know HTML programming/can't do etc. how to make the word into a link. I've done it before but can't now. A case of use it or lose it. Sorry!
The kids had a Thanksgiving program at school. They sang a few songs for the audience. Well, my kids didn't sing. I thought they were going to because they were singing one of the songs at home. Oh well, we'll see what happens at the Christmas show.
The show was followed by a feast.
On Thanksgiving Day we stopped at Grandma & Pop-Pop's house to have a bit of their Thanksgiving feast and then headed over to Aunt Amy's house to eat again. Thankfully the meals were hours apart.
Halloween. Seems like a long time ago now. There they are a pirate and Sleeping Beauty. The kids had a parade at school and they sang a few Halloween songs. Kaylie just stood there and didn't sing. Ryan didn't sing either but he did do a few hand motions.
On Halloween we carved pumpkins. Kaylie wanted a ghost pumpkin and Ryan went with the more traditional jack-o-lantern directing me to cut circle eyes, a triangle nose, and mouth. Daddy carved the ghost pumpkin using his Dremel and template.
They liked scooping out the seeds. We roasted them in the oven and enjoyed them for snack. Here are the finished pumpkins.
Our family pic for Halloween. We have one every year sitting in the same spot.
Waiting to go get the loot....
Ryan enjoyed ringing the doorbells and was actually disappointed if the people were sitting outside waiting to give the candy out. In our neighborhood we have a lot of houses and it kids from all over our town come to our neighborhood because the houses are close together so we get nearly 500 kids, maybe more. It's best to just sit and wait for the kids instead of hearing your doorbell ring a million times. Kaylie was loving it too, but could care less if she was the one to ring the bell or not.
Pop-Pop came to help man the door while we were out trick-or-treating. He got into the Halloween spirit with a grim reaper outfit. The kids also loved helping to hand out candy to their "customers" as they called the trick or treaters. A lot of candy was consumed by these two that night, thankfully no one threw up!
We returned to Eastmont Orchards a few weeks after apple picking there to do some pumpkin picking. Again, the kids had a great time. They loved trying to lift the really big pumpkins to no avail! They would have picked every pumpkin there but in all we got two larger pumpkins and four smaller ones and a bunch of gourds. They fought over the gourds of course. I can't wait to carve them in 2 weeks! Any guesses at what their costumes are this year?
We took the kids to local Eastmont Orchards for apple picking. They had a great time picking the apples. We went home with two full bags. That is after us putting an end to the apple picking. They would have picked all day.
Here they are...my preschoolers. It's official. We have survived the first week without incident. There was no crying. They just went into the classroom, began exploring and kissed me goodbye each time. They go on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I am wondering what Tuesday will bring because there will be a 4 day break in there. I'm not really worried about it too much because I think they like it but you never know. Ryan likes the playground and said he had fun there. He has come home with an acorn each day. After the first day, I said, "You go to school tomorrow too." Ryan responded with, "We already went to school." He has no idea that life as he knows it is changed forever. He thought it was a one time thing like going to the zoo or something.
I have no idea if they behave or if they talk to other kids. I do know that they have at least talked to the teacher. She said Ryan talks to her more than Kaylie. It's like they have this other life now...without me. It felt weird the first day leaving them. Hello, I just left my kids in a strange place with "strangers." I wondered about what they were doing, how were they, etc..
I picked them up the first day and the teacher said they needed to practice drinking from open cups. I guess they drink from small Dixie cups at snack time. I'll admit I've only had them do that a handful of times and it's quite messy (x2 I'll add). I usually use straws or straw cups. So we practiced and the next day she said they did fine. There were no spills on the first day--I just think they didn't drink their juice because they couldn't/didn't want spill it. I'm not certain, but their clothes were not wet and I arrived to see them still sitting at the snack table with full cups of juice in front of them.
Trying to get from them what they did that day is hard. They say bits and pieces here and there and who knows if it's the truth. Every night before bed Bob asks them what we did that day and many times the things are made up! So I take what they say lightly. A positive is I am doing a coop with the school, where I will get to go and be the parent helper for the day. This is about once a month. At least I'll get to see a little bit of their "world."
We met their preschool teacher today. We had a short meet the teacher time scheduled with Mrs. Christensen. --a mouthful for the kids to say but we are working on it.
Neither of them greeted her with a hi or anything--more like who is this lady talking to me, I won't look, I won't look and maybe she will go away. Yep those are my kids. Kaylie grasped my hand each time she spoke to her--OY! They saw their names on the bulletin board in the hallway. Then they explored the classroom while I talked to the teacher. During this time they brought me a few things they found in the classroom to show me. They picked a color flower that they will be using in class to identify their name when they arrive at school. I think it is the teacher's way of taking attendance too. They will come in, unpack, and find their flower from the table. I assume whichever flowers are left are the ones who are absent--that's the inside track of being a teacher myself. They did both answer questions about color when asked. This blew me away that Kaylie actually answered.
Something surprising to me was that they actually cleaned up their mess--something I struggle getting them to do. That clean up song really doesn't work for my kids. What does work is me getting a garbage bag and putting their toys in it. Somehow they are more willing to help clean up when they see this coming. I can't do this all the time or the effectiveness will wear off but yep, I've done it when I've reached my limits.
Anyway, they did give her a hug good-bye when she asked for one. So that is my hope that tomorrow goes smoothly. Not the image I have in my head of Kaylie screaming her head off and clawing her way toward me as I walk away. I hope that image isn't a reality tomorrow. I REALLY hope not.
August continued with swimming, going to My Gym, and doing whatever it takes to keep two 3 year olds happy and entertained--that might also be read as Mommy forgets what we did.
I do know that we went to our town fair. We have gone three years now and every year we do something more each year. They did pony rides for the first time last year. This year we rode some of the rides. Of course we lament about how much more it costs us to go each year too!
Loving the cotton candy!!
Later in the month we headed for vacation. We went to Long Beach Island, NJ. We stayed at the same house we stayed at last year. It's right on the beach and so convenient to access the beach with kids and all the junk that comes along. If you have to go back to the house for something it really is no big deal. We all had a great time, despite some rainy days thrown into the mix. They especially liked playing with their cousins.
Full moon rising over the ocean.
Kaylie loved the sand. The ocean--not so much. We did get her to try it one of the days and I think she actually liked it but was still frightened at the same time if that makes sense.
Kaylie--"The Little Mermaid"
We had a few days of bad weather. So we had to make a road trip to a children's museum to pass the time. Although it was in a strange location, it kept them entertained and happy.
This picture might as well be a fake because we never got to go for our surrey ride. The bike had a flat tire and no other ones to rent!!! I was so disappointed. They didn't seem to mind that we didn't do it, but they were confused as to why they had to get off. They were all set to go. Maybe next year.
A sunrise--yep saw a lot of those with these early risers.
View from the deck
Snacks with Nana on the beach.
Ryan loved the sand too but did not want anything to do with the ocean. Again, ONE day we were able to get him to dip his foot in, but he wasn't having any more of that. I guess I have a pair of landlubbers.
Our beach stakeout while we headed up for lunch. Family pics on the beach. Bob has "the real ones" on his camera. The running joke is we'll get to see them next year.
Not our sandcastle, but it made a great addition to the pics!
A night at Fantasy Island Amusement park. They had a great time. Ryan even said, "That was fun!" after we left. He never does that.
A trip to Old Barney--Barnegat Lighthouse before we left to go home.