Friday, July 29, 2011

If you take a 3 year old to a restaurant...

If you take a 3 year old to a restaurant,
she's going to want crayons and paper.
She'll drop the crayons on the floor at least 5 times
so you have no time to look at the menu for yourself.
She's going to order grilled cheese.
When you tell her that the restaurant doesn't have grilled cheese,
she'll start crying so you'll have to calm her down
by telling her that they do have chicken fingers
and fries. She'll smile and wipe away her tears.
Then, she'll notice the cherry in your shirley temple
and want it for herself.
You'll look for a spoon to fetch the cherry and then
the waiter will arrive with your food.
The 3 year old will start crying again, and you'll
have to remove the little cup of ketchup from her plate.
She'll do her best to eat the fries and ignore the chicken fingers
until you start eating the chicken fingers yourself.
She'll decide she wants them back, and then she'll
tell you that she has to go to the bathroom.
So, you'll help her up from the table, clasp her hand in yours,
and walk to the bathroom.
Waiting for an open stall will remind her that the last time
she ate at a restaurant, she was with Aunt A and Uncle M.
She'll tell you that when she ate there, she had to potty, and
after she went potty, she saw that Aunt A had big toes.
3 of them.
When a stall opens up, you'll usher her inside,
close the door, and she'll want you to help her sit on the potty
because it's so big. You'll help her and while she goes,
she'll want to know why one time she went to Aunt A's house
and took her little potty with her but we didn't bring it this time.
You'll have to explain to her that her little potty went to
Aunt A's house when she spent the night and that she
wouldn't be spending the night at the restaurant.
"Oh yes, I am!" she'll tell you.
Finally, when she's finished you can help her up, and
she'll draw your attention to how cute
her panties are. You'll smile and nod in agreement
while directing her to the sink to wash her hands.
She'll splatter soap and water all over you while she explains
how pretty she looks in the mirror. You'll agree with her
and hand her some paper towels to dry her hands.
On the way back to your table, she'll smile and wave
at everyone she passes by.
When she's settled back at her seat, she'll eat 2 more bites
of her chicken, finish her fries, and be ready to go.
You'll pay the bill and walk back to the car to head home.
On the way home, she'll decide that she's bored.
She'll ask you for some crayons and paper
and if she asks for crayons and paper,
she's going to want to eat at a restaurant too.

$10/off $25 at JCPenney!

It's a great deal for savings on back-to-school shopping! The coupon is only valid today and tomorrow so don't delay. I've had my eye on this dress for Claira:

and this shirt for Elsie:

There are more colors and styles of the shirt in store. I see a trip there in my very near future!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Mornings

I'm seriously in love with these lazy days. I usually get to sleep in until Lucy's crawling all over me. Some days Elsie and Claira will climb into the big bed where we'll snuggle and share giggles until we finally make our way to the living room, to morning cartoons and a feast of mini bagels and cinnamon toast waffles. Elsie and Claira waste no time dragging out mini Lalaloopsy dolls who have taken up residence in a Ponyville house. Lucy will snuggle in the recliner with me until her curiousity gets the best of her, and she'll crawl off my lap to go spy on her sisters who usually groan at the sight of her on the floor, just feet away from their playspace. Still, Elsie will happily find a few toys large enough that they won't fit entirely into Lucy's mouth. It's usually not long before Elsie abandons the toys to cozy up on the couch with a few books. Lucy will make her rounds between the 3 of us, making Claira squeal in protest at her grabby hands, begging for waffle bites, snuggling with Elsie for storytime (or at least a couple of pages of it), and nursing for a few brief moments before she's on the go again. Eventually, the television is turned off and Claira joins Elsie "reading" on the couch. It's hilarious and so sweet to hear her sound out the words she makes up the way Elsie does the words on the page. "The___fishes___jumped___in___to___the___boat!" She makes a really good picture narrator.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Love this-Vtech Photo Album

We celebrated Lucy's 1st Birthday on July 3 (*sniff, sniff*), and I want to share a super wonderful toy we purchased for her. First, let me tell you that when you've got 3 little girls and love to shop for them as much as I do, it can be somewhat difficult to come up with new ideas. Let's just say that I'm not a member of the "It's her first birthday so she won't remember it anyway" club. I have no disrespect for those who are, I just can't possibly let a birthday past without a little showering of gifts. And first birthdays? Well, those are extra sweet in our corner of the world. Why? Because we make them that way, of course! I love picking something out that I think the girls will still be using years from now.

When Elsie turned one, I bought a little photo album and filled it with family pictures. She loved it. By the time Claira turned one, it didn't look like Elsie was going to be sharing hers anytime soon so I bought another and filled it with pictures for Claira. So, while birthday shopping for Lucy, I knew it was likely I'd be buying a third photo album for her. What I didn't know was that I'd come across an amazing talking photo album.

It's made by Vtech, and while I'll admit that they're not my favorite toy supplier for babies and toddlers, I adore this photo album. There are a few different modes of play with songs (that aren't terribly annoying), but the best feature by far is the ability to record a unique message for each page. Elsie and Claira had fun helping me record, singing Happy Birthday and telling Lucy how sweet she is and how much we love her. Lucy has been playing with it a lot so I'd say it gets her seal of approval. Her big sisters love it too.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Homeschool Prep-First Grade and Preschool

Right now, I'm tentatively planning to start our new school year on August 15th. That's just 3 weeks from today! Given that plan, I should probably order our curriculum, huh?

Last year, we used My Father's World for Kindergarten with Elsie. I think it's a great curriculum, but I'll admit that flipping back and forth in the teacher's manual was a bit flustering for me at times, especially with our younger 2 girls competing for my attention as well. I did love the "Words to Remember" as well as how detailed the projects and activities are. The material wasn't very challenging for Elsie though she did need the handwriting practice, especially for her lowercase letters, and the phonics lessons definitely helped kickstart her reading.

Earlier this summer, I was reading some curriculum reviews and came across a program called Heart of Dakota. Like MFW, the curriculum is Bible-based, but I think it's set up more clearly which I hope will make things easier for us. There's also more flexibility with math and reading, which is great since I want to continue Elsie's current phonics lessons in order to help build her confidence. One of my favorite aspects of homeschooling is the ability to customize the level of each subject your child is working at. I think first grade is going to be a huge year for Elsie, and I'm looking forward to working at her pace and finding something that is fun and challenging for her.

When I originally came across Heart of Dakota, I talked to Jason about using their preschool curriculum, Little Hands to Heaven, for Claira this year while we moved onto MFW 1st Grade with Elsie. Then, I'd have experience with both before making a decision for 2nd Grade. I've dragged my feet all summer long with that plan. While MFW worked fine for Kindergarten, I'm certain that I'm ready to try something new and hopefully find something that works better for our family.

I'll be ordering curriculum later this week. Little Hands to Heaven for Claira and Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory for Elsie. I can hardly wait for the book box to roll in so we can start our school year!