Thursday, June 27, 2013

Soccer Stars

Both girls decided they would like to do soccer this summer.  Ellie participated in Micro Soccer last summer (in micro soccer you play 3 on 3).  She loved practices but disliked games because she didn’t like everyone being so clumped together and basically kicking at each other.  Aggressive is not her strong suit.

This year Riley wanted to play too (because she wants to do everything Ellie does) so I found a team they could both be on which saves me time driving everyone around.  This year it is Soccer Stars instead of Micro Soccer and already I like it better.  They actually learn how to play the game with accurate positions instead of a free for all!  I think that Ellie likes this better too because there isn’t as much crowding around the ball.

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I only had my phone with me for a camera on picture day so this is the best I could do.  They are the “Green Dinosaurs”.  Ellie was proud to be the nominator of that name.

Tuesday was their first game.  The girls both played forwards and defense and then Ellie also tried her hand at center and goalie.  Ellie scored a goal playing center and blocked a few (and let in a few) at goalie.  She also managed to take a good kick to her thigh and a hard ball to her knee (both of which left her with tears) but she managed to stay in the game with some encouragement and high fives.  Since she’s on the sensitive side her ability to “shake it off and get back in there” left me more proud than the goal.

I’m not sure what Riley thinks of it all.  She has bouts of aggressiveness where she does really well but it is far more common for her to just hang out on the field and watch the ball go by.

Ellie left today (she scored 4 times today) saying she loves soccer.  I did not see that enthusiasm from Riley.  We’ll see if Ellie is still excited about it come August!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer of Self-sufficiency

That’s what I have deemed this summer.  I decided it was time the kids start pulling their weight around here!  Or, at least learn a few life skills…like cooking and cleaning.

I have implemented a system revolving around earning iPad time.  To earn their first 20 minutes, they need to eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, comb their hair, and make their bed.  Most of those chores you would think would happen naturally each morning but I guarantee that my children would run around in pajamas and crazy hair all day long if I let them.

To earn their next 30 minutes they need to read for 20 minutes, do 15 minutes of math/handwriting and then practice either Karate, Piano, or Gymnastics (depending on who you are).

Then they are each responsible for 2 of the following each week:

Meal helper, mud room organizer, toy picker upper, duster, floor cleaner, and bathroom sink duty.

After about 3 weeks on this system it is working pretty well but does need some adjustments.  For instance, it turns out Riley couldn’t care less about iPad time and therefore has no desire to do any chores.  I have started giving her “stars” and when she earns enough she can buy a stuffed animal.  This is working better even though she has no idea how many stars she needs (and neither do I).  She seems content to be earning a stuffed animal.

Meal Helper is the sought after job around here.  Depending on your age, you might be in charge of preparing everyone’s lunches or you might just be getting out cups, delivery food, and picking out side dishes.

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Austin was delighted to serve corn dog nuggets, goldfish, and grapes to his sisters.  He made the meal completely on his own.  Just ignore the stack of dishes on the counter.  They seem to be a permanent fixture this summer.  I should have added dishes to their list!

The goal is that by the end of the summer at least one these children will be capable of fending for themselves when it comes to lunch!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Birthday, Ellie!

Ellie has been looking forward to turning 6 for most of the school year.  As a summer baby she is one of the youngest in her class and she has to suffer as all her friends turn 6 throughout the school year.  Well, last Friday was finally her day!

She woke up and crawled into bed with me with a giant grin on her face!  First we headed to Donut Connection in our pajamas (and one of us wore a birthday crown) so we could order breakfast.  When we got back Riley was finally awake so Ellie was allowed to open up her presents.  Then we all got dressed and headed to the Mall of America to ride the rides, per Ellie’s request!

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We finished up the rides and dined on some McDonald’s.  Then we walked through some stores on our way to Claire’s Boutique….where Ellie was going to get her ears pierced!

She wanted to do it for her 5th birthday but Rob said no.  Then she wanted to do it for her 6th birthday and Rob talked her into waiting for her 7th birthday.  But, then I told Rob I’d rather she do it now.  She clearly wanted it done, I didn’t think that would change, and she had the courage to do it now vs. waiting and still wanting it but not having the courage.  Follow me?  So, then we talked her back into it and when it came time for her to get it done I think both Rob and I were more nervous than she was.

Pre-ears pierced:

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She was all smiles.  She picked out some pink gem flowers, she got the dots on her ears and she was hugging the Claire’s Bear with all her might.  She was ready.  I had previously pinched her ears (hard) to show her how much it would hurt.  I also had her watch another girl get it done so she saw what they would do…it didn’t deter her.

During:

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The smile was gone.  I had them double team her so she wouldn’t get one ear pierced and then change her mind about the other (knowing how much it hurt).  There were tears.

After:

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Retail therapy and a lot of looking in the mirrors seemed to ease the pain.

In the end, we decided that we would go shopping for her earrings on the day that she can actually change them (6 weeks from now).

And, I can’t believe I don’t have an after picture but trust me, she’s cute!  She is VERY excited about her earrings and just loves when someone asks her about them.  Her birthday party with her friends is coming up on Saturday and she is anxious to show them off.

So far, Ellie thinks 6 is a pretty great age to be!  She’s anxious to now lose a tooth (which isn’t going to happen anytime soon).

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fishing in Canada

I wasn’t there, so I don’t have much to post about this subject.  But, Rob recently went fishing with his Dad (and many others) in Canada for a week.

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I don’t know what kind of fish are in the pictures, but I do know they caught a lot of them.  Rob came home exhausted and complaining that his hand hurt from catching so many fish.

It was kind of hard to express any sympathy for that.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ellie’s a First Grader

I’m going to have to play catch up with the blog.  So, it’s going to be rapid-fire posts for the next few days (presuming I find the time to even do quick posts).  First up, my soon-to-be first grader!

Ellie’s Kindergarten class had their graduation ceremony on May 31st.  She thoroughly enjoyed Kindergarten.  She never once was upset she had to go to school. 

The kids did a great job singing their graduation songs and the teachers announced each child (over 80 in the a.m. classes) individually stating how old they are, what they like to do in school, and what they want to be when they grow up.  I had the pleasure of volunteering the day this information was gathered from the students so I knew what Ellie’s answer was.  She wanted to be a Chef Popstar.  The teacher announced it as a “Chef and a Popstar” but I was there when Ellie wrote it down and she actually wants to be a Chef that sings pop songs in the kitchen.

Her and Riley have since decided that they are going to live together and run a small bakery.  Ellie will have 2 children (a boy and a girl) and Riley will have a dog.  They will bake me a Snickers Cake for my birthday every year.

Back to the graduation:

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I thought Ellie had a really fun class.  I got to know quite a few of the kids through volunteering and they were a lively group!

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And, of course, the class wouldn’t be nearly as fun without their great teacher, Mrs. Addler.  Ellie loved her teacher and has already told me several times how much she misses her.

And it worked out perfectly that Rob and his dad were leaving for a fishing trip the following day so Bob and Patti were able to drive up for the graduation to add to Ellie’s cheering section:

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And her biggest fans of all were also present:

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Whether she is a Chef Popstar, a bakery owner, or anything else, we know she has a bright future!  Congratulations Ellie!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Perching

Remember when “Planking” was all the rage?  Well, maybe the phrase “all the rage” is a bit strong…but it was in the news and there were a select few weirdos out there that participated.

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Well, Austin has the new trend.  You saw it here first.

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We call it “Perching”.  He does it everywhere.  He can perch like that for hours.  No joke.  His butt is not touching the counter.  He has a brilliant future as a catcher (if he ever becomes interested in sports).