Monday, February 28, 2011

Building Blocks

We have a puzzle that is made up of 12 blocks. Each side forms a different puzzle. Katie likes to take the blocks out and put them back in the wooden square. She will do this over and over again.

Today I looked over to see what she was doing with the blocks and she was stacking them. This was the first time I have ever seen her do this. It was adorable because she was so proud of herself. She was able to stack 6 blocks in a tower before they toppled over. I looked over at her and said "YAY Katie!". After she did another stack, she looked at me, clapped her hands together and said "YAY Katie!". She is too funny.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Only Child Weekend

Katie and Michael both got to be only children for the weekend. Michael went to visit with Todd's parents at their house in Ruby and Katie stayed home with Todd and I. Michael left Saturday morning by 10:00 so it was just the three of us. He got back tonight around 7:00.

It was nice to have some one on one time with Katie while Michael was enjoying himself with his grandparents. Yesterday we got to read books with Katie and she brought out the fish game to play. This is her new favorite thing to do. The fish have magnets on them and move around the board while music plays. It's cute to watch her trying to catch the fish.

Both days, she took a long afternoon nap. Todd and I were able to get some stuff done around the house and in the yard. Katie played outside this morning because the weather was so beautiful today. And played outside some more after she woke up. I think she could have stayed out there all day long.

Todd and I really enjoyed having Katie to ourselves for a day. I get to spend time alone with Katie during the week but it's rare for Todd & I to have alone time with her. What made it even better is that we knew that Michael was having a good time without us. We missed him and were glad to have him back. We are so lucky to have both Katie and Michael but it's nice to be able to have special time alone with each child!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How did this happen?

Michael will be 5 in May and starting Kindergarten in the fall. Monday I went to his future elementary school to register him. It almost seemed surreal when I was doing it. I didn't feel quite as sad as I thought I would. I know that the first day of school will be a different story though. I am excited for him to start school and continue his journey of learning.

It seems like his first day of preschool was just a few months ago but it was almost 2 years ago. I am sure that these elementary school years will fly by too. I can't believe we will have a Kindergarten student in our house in less than 6 months. Before we know it, Katie will be following him to school!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Warmer Weather

It was hard to believe that this was a weekend in February. Especially after the winter we have been having here in South Carolina. It started off with temperatures in the high 60's for most of last week. Friday brought a high temperature of almost 80 degrees. We spent the afternoon at the park and playground. Michael and Katie were both wearing pants with short sleeve shirts but could have easily been wearing shorts.

Saturday was not quite as warm but the sun was shining and temperatures were extremely pleasant. I couldn't believe that snow had been in the forecast a little more than a week before. Today was a little cooler but temperatures were still in the 60's. It finally started to cool down a bit tonight.

I can't help but wonder if we are just going to start having 2 seasons here, summer and winter. It seems like temperatures vary so much from day to day and even from high to low on a daily basis. I am not complaining as I will take beautiful, sunny weather over snow, wind or rain any day. We can only hope that the groundhog's prediction was right!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One More Month

until Katie turns 2. I have been trying to keep up with monthly updates on what Katie's been doing. After she turns 2, I may do them every other month instead.

Today we went to the store and I got a crown cake pan for her birthday. We are going to do a princess theme for her party. But since she loves Elmo, I am going to make Katie her own personal Elmo cake on her actual birthday. There are so many different options to do for girls' birthdays.

Katie is completely a toddler and not babylike at all anymore. I can't believe some of the things that come out of her mouth. She interacts and communicates with Michael in the cutest ways. And he is really embracing their relationship as well. He got Valentines on Monday and came home to sort them. He pulled out 4 of them to share with Katie. She said to him, "Thank you Michael!". It was adorable.

Her hair is growing quickly. I am debating whether or not to let her hair grow out to one length. It's hard because she doesn't want to wear barrettes or clips so her hair would be in her face. She will talk about "boats", as she calls bows, and how they are pretty. But then when I ask her if she wants to wear them, she tells me no!

She is now wearing some 3T shirts and growing out of her 24 month pants. She wears a size 7 shoe and is fairly agreeable to letting you put on her shoes and jacket to go out. She wears her glasses every day, even if she takes them off about 20 times a day.

Katie loves interaction with other people once she gets to know them. I joke about how she won't say anything to people that she knows but will talk your ear off once she is comfortable with you. One of her favorite things to do is to say "bye" to the person after they have already left.

I am so excited to see her reaction to her birthday next month. She says "happy birthday" to people but wonder what she will think of everyone saying it to her!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Be My Valentine

Last Thursday we worked on getting Michael's valentines ready for his friends at school. The teachers like to have them in the day before the holiday. He needed to make 18 valentines for his classmates. So we started working on them on Wednesday afternoon with him writing his name on each one. We finished them up on Thursday. It was good practice for writing his name.



After we finished that, we started making Valentine candy. I got the idea from Family Fun Magazine.

First we shaped the candy canes into hearts and baked them for 10 minutes. When I took them out of the oven, I put the lollipop sticks on them.



After we filled in the hearts with the white chocolate, Michael decorated them with valentine sprinkles.



Here is the finished product!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Goal!

Michael's last indoor soccer game of the season was tonight. Indoor soccer is organized differently than outdoor soccer. Everyone is part of the same team and the first 20-30 minutes are spent learning new skills or working on older ones. The second 30 minutes include a game in which the players are split into two teams. One team turns their shirts inside out to distinguish between the two.

Michael was on the blue team tonight. He played the goalie early in the game and got out into the field for the rest of the game. We were watching him kick the ball toward the goal. He gave it one hard kick and then he scored!! It was so thrilling to watch him get so excited about it as it was his first goal. The coach gave him a high five after he scored too. A few minutes later, he scored another goal.

We are so proud of him for scoring 2 goals but also for trying his best whenever he played. The main goal is to have fun and burn some energy. What a nice way to end the season though!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Language Explosion

Katie has been talking for a while now but she is really starting to put together thoughts and expressing them in sentences. She is already asking "why" questions and constantly asks "where" people went.

One morning last week, she woke up and I got her dressed. I opened the blind on one of her windows and she looked outside. She said "Daddy go to work. Daddy drive his truck fast." She gets up and walks into our room and asks me "Daddy sleeping?"

We are in the kitchen and she opens the pantry door. She then says, "I want cereal and milk please". About Michael's breakfast she says, "Michael eat peanut butter crackers." Michael had gotten hurt and she said "what happened to Michael?" She also cheers for him while he plays the computer and claps for him saying "good job".

Of course, one of her favorite words is "no" and she does not hesitate to use it. What's really funny is that she actually says it in response to your questions and will answer "OK" or "yes" sometimes. When we get home, she says "open the door" and after we come inside, she says "close the door".

We have been talking about the potty and she is getting the concept down. I told her that if she uses the potty, then she will get candy as a treat. So I say to her "Does Katie want to use the potty?" and she says to me "I use the potty, I get candy, no diaper."

Katie will usually try to repeat anything that we say to her. It's fun to hear her making sentences and being able to carry on conversations. She also "reads" to herself. She has a small box of books that have outside scenes on them and the animals and things that are located there. She will tell you what the cover picture is and then answer what the pictures are inside if you ask her. Katie's favorite books are a few of Michael's. She knows who Thomas and Mater are. Guess I have to get her some more girly books!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Why didn't we use this sooner?

One of my Christmas gifts was a webcam for my laptop. Several people had told us about Skype as a great way for connecting with people far away. You could have free video chats with anyone else who had a webcam and Skype. We got my mom a webcam for Christmas too.

We had our first video chat a few weeks ago. The kids love being able to see Grandee and Pop-Pop on the computer when we can't see them in person. We have also done a video chat with a local friend. It's fun to be able to see the person when you are talking to them. We even got to chat with my cousin in California one night.

Skype was one of those things that I had heard about and thought it would be so hard to use. Once Todd got it set up, it was fairly easy to use. Even though I love to use the computer, I can be behind technology at times. I am so glad that we decided to start using it and hope to be able to chat with more family and friends who live far away!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Show Me the Mommy - Kid Photo

This picture was taken by Michael today. He has been getting much better at focusing on people and actually getting in their head and body, instead of just random parts or the back of their head. Maybe Todd and I can have our picture taken together on a family trip someday......

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Marfan Awareness Month

February is Marfan Awareness Month. This is a genetic disorder of the connective tissue that Todd, Michael and Katie all have. A person with Marfan syndrome has a 50% chance of passing it on to any offspring. It affects 1 in 5,000 people worldwide, even though many of those people are undiagnosed. It mainly affects the heart and blood vessels, skeleton, and eyes. It can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and followed closely by physicians.

When I tell people that Todd, Michael and Katie have Marfan syndrome, most people have never heard of it. So I think Marfan Awareness Month is a great idea and much needed. Here is the National Marfan Foundation website. There is some really good information on there, as well as links to an online community of other people affected with the disorder.

Great strides have already been made in the treatment of this disorder. When Todd was younger, his life expectancy was 35. Now the doctors say that he can expect to live well into his 70's. Isn't that amazing?