Monday, January 28, 2013

Chick-fil-A Jersey Day

It was Jersey Day at Chick-fil-A and we made sure we joined the fun!  They gave away free chicken sandwiches during the dinner hour so we put on our shirts, made our appearance, and then took our food to go.  Although Alaina didn't get any chicken, she wanted to be in on the action so we put on her cheerleading dress over her pajamas.   We arrived a few minutes before the official beginning of the event, so we waited a few minutes before we placed our order.  My kids are not very patient so it was tough waiting.  Fortunately they took pity on us (I think Alaina's tired screaming might have helped...) and they gave us our chicken a bit early.  Everyone thought Alaina looked adorable so someone offered to take a picture of all of us together.  We are so glad Chick-fil-A has fun promotions like this.  We will definitely be back for more!

We Love Chick-fil-A!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rocks, Rocks, and More Rocks

The new year also brought a new school year for Travis (and Justin).  We have decided to hold off starting the next set of curriculum from our usual publisher, Heart of Dakota, and instead do a couple of unit studies.  Travis loves rocks and he received a lot of rock paraphernalia for Christmas, so our plan was to focus on ROCKS.
We have painted rocks, grown crystals, learned about the rock cycle and the different kinds of rocks, and we organized Travis' burgeoning rock collection.  But of course, Travis favorite activity has been pounding the rock blocks he got for Christmas.  They have crystals, geodes, and other assorted rocks in them that can be pounded out with a small (plastic) rock hammer.  Can you image how that would be his favorite activity?
His first find!

Travis even let Justin pound for about half a second!

Then Justin examined with the magnifying glass while Travis continued his search.

Then Justin got bored so he found Travis' bicycle helmet and tried it on for size.

Then we had to clean up the rocks with our special rock cleaning tool.  (An old toothbrush...)

Then we identified and sorted and put them on the special card included in the kit.

Travis also enjoyed all of the food experiments (or really just examples).  We made granite cookies with Fruity Pebbles cereal and marshmallows (think rice krispie treats with about a cup of added sugar).  Even Travis couldn't eat more than one!  And here is his sedimentary sandwich:  graham crackers, chocolate graham crackers, chunky peanut butter and jelly.  We also added some mini marshmallows for effect.  Also VERY sweet!

Travis had three blocks to pound so we spread it out over the month so he would have something fun to anticipate.  And by the last one there were lots of extra (empty) chunks of block for Justin to pound.  They create quite a dusty mess, but it was SO much fun!  And Alaina liked tootling around and watching/supervising.

We will finish our unit next week with a trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science and their gem and mineral area.  It has been a really fun and interesting month.  And Travis has just soaked it right up!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Alaina Holiday Pictures

Alaina got some pretty holiday outfits to celebrate the season:
Everyone needs First Christmas PJs!
Our neighbor gave us some beautiful Christmas dresses. 

Our friends lent us this beautiful dress.  Alaina looked like a wedding cake!

And these were Christmas gifts from Mommy Sharon and Daddy Jack.  I love that they make sure we can root for our favorite teams (even from far away)!  They came with instructions:

"For the Rose Bowl"
and "For the Super Bowl"

Too cute! 
I enjoy dressing up my little doll!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Soccer Camp

After New Year's Travis went to a three-day soccer camp.  It was put on by the same group from the summer program so he knew some of the coaches.  I only came in for the last few minutes the last day so I didn't get very many pictures.  It was really great to see how much he is improving though.  I am glad he enjoys the game.  He'll be starting another league the end of January.  It's one of the perks of living where it's blazing hot during the summer: you can play outdoors in the winter without a coat!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Real Christmas

On Christmas morning we opened presents with just our family.  It was the first time we didn't get dressed or at least eat some breakfast (okay, I did feed Alaina...) before we opened gifts.  I think we might have to plan that one a little bit better next year, but it was so fun to see the boys enthusiasm.
Travis got some of the big Lego sets he has been wanting.  He really enjoys the police and fire-themed sets so that's what he got!

Alaina got some very useful things like pacifiers, a sippie cup, and of course, socks!  She was speechless.

I realized a few short days before Christmas that the boys had been with me to get all of Alaina's gifts so I didn't have anything that Santa could give to her.  So, I had to make a trip out to get a couple of other things.  She got a picnic basket that teaches shapes and colors and sings all that cool stuff kids toys do these days.  Justin has played with it a lot and Alaina sucks on the plastic food.

And these are the moments parents live for:  Justin is fascinated with Veggie Tales and especially Larry Boy (I might have mentioned it a time or two.  :)  It's been going on for quite a while now.)   A friend at therapy got a hat like this when they went to a Veggie Tales show and Justin just shook with excitement when he saw it so we knew that we had to get him one of his own.  I wish you could have been there when he opened it!  His "word" for Veggie Tales is pulling on his ear outward, indicating the plungers on Larry Boy's hat.  (Here's an example of Larry's plungers in action.)  So the first thing Justin did was grab one of the plunger ears and pretend it was shooting off and he ran sideways into the french doors!  It was hysterical!  So he liked it... 

And to go along with the hat, you need a costume and cape...

It was a really fun Christmas morning and everyone had lots of fun.  We went to Randy's parents (Pop and Me-Me's) for a tasty lunch of brisket and baked potatoes.  Our friends, the TD family, joined us.  I got to take a nap.  All good!  It was a relaxing family day.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Travis Logic

So we were watching football playoff games and Travis had a thought:
"So why do they keep score when they play?  Why don't they just play for fun and then eat icy pops when they're done?"
Good thought, Travis.  We'll pass that one on...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Seven Months!

So Alaina turned seven months already!  Time is really flying.  She is so full of personality.  Here is what's new:
  •  Alaina can sit up and sit herself up from laying down.  So helpful!  As she was struggling to learn to sit up I would leave her on her stomach playing and when I walked back by I would find her sitting up and I got all excited!  Then Travis said, "Oh Mommy, I sat her up!"  When she finally did learn, Travis was shocked that he didn't have a job anymore!
  •  She is eating baby food.  She is enjoying all kinds of fruits and vegetables along with tasty rice and oatmeal cereals.  She seems to like mangoes a lot, which I am so excited about since no one else in the house likes.  I hope it sticks!
  • She is in a very "Mommy" phase.  Even having someone else hold her close to mommy is not good enough.  Surprising though is how she tolerates Travis carrying her around like a sack of potatoes.  Travis doesn't like her fussing so if Randy is holding her and she is crying he will go to him and say, "Let me take her to mommy" and he will carry her over to me.
  • She does not like shoes!  She rubs her feet together to make them come off.  Socks only last a little longer.  I can't wait for spring!
  • She is so close to crawling but she cannot quite get her arms and legs coordinated.  She can do one of two crawls but then she gives up.
  • Randy and I are pressing her pretty hard to get a "mama" or "dada".  We both get in her face and try to get her to imitate us.  So far she just smiles and grabs our mouths.   I know "dada" is easier, but come on, is it too much to ask for just one of three?
  • She is fascinated by singing.  She really loves when we sing to her and Travis and Justin are more than happy to oblige!
  • She loves bathtime (finally!) and the boys love when she splashes and plays.  Justin is such a good helper getting her towel ready and whatever diaper supplies I need.
  • I cannot say enough about Travis and Justin.  Is such a different experience having an older child when a baby is born.  It's even different from when Justin was born.  The boys are so sweet with Alaina and love to help and play and read to her.  She is fascinated with them and gets more interested in their faces and hair.  I think Justin taught Alaina to curl her lower lip under her teeth.
That's about all for our little girl these days!
Happy Seven Months!