Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

See? They do love eachother!


Really!


Zach met Santa 4 times this year. Santa even came to the preschool!


Morgan got the roller skates she's been asking for.


And Zachary has not put down his Buzz Lightyear for 3 days!



This was our Christmas dessert!



Frosted coconut lime cookies --hard to make but worth the effort.



Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Thanksgiving Poem - by Morgan

Translation: I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my friends. I am most thankful for my family.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Halloween 2009

Pumpkin carving. Zach wouldn't touch the pumpkin "guts".

Our jack-o-lantern. Morgan designed it, Jon carved it. If you look closely you will see that it is missing one bottom tooth - just like Mo!


The witch and the scarecrow. All ready for 3 days of Halloween celebration. Preschool party, elementary school carnival, and a long night of trick-or-treating!


This is one tired witch!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October update.

Taking a quick break to update. Managing 3 school schedules has been really crazy.
I just finished my first aid class and am halfway through Chemistry. And I really need to get cracking on my keyboarding class. Its hard to get motivated to take a completely useless TYPING class, but there is no way around the requirement. Next week, I'll register for Winter quarter where I'll be taking 3 more classes.

Morgan is still doing great in Kindergarten. She loves her teacher and is only a little disappointed that she doesn't have homework yet. :) I think she's finally adjusted to the long school day (8:30-2:30) and she's had far fewer afternoon meltdowns this month than last. We've already gone on 2 field trips and have 2 more scheduled next month. Morgan is making tons of new friends and really learning a lot too. She is excited for the upcoming Halloween carnival and wants to be in the school play (Willy Wonka) in the Spring. I work in her classroom every Monday and it is so much fun. I really didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I do. The kids are all great and I love to watch their interactions during school. Kindergartners are soooo funny!

Zachary is adjusting well to preschool. He goes just two days a week and is (almost) always happy to go. His two best buddies, Kaden & Michael, are in his class so that helps. He's learning lots of new songs and games and brings home cute crafts every day. He teacher really focuses on teaching the kids to cut with scissors and Zach wants to practice all the time. Our living room is covered in tiny scraps of paper from all of Zach's cutting! I work in his class about twice a month too and it is a LOT harder than Kindergarten or even the 4-year-old class last year. Its only 2.5 hours but I come home exhausted and covered in glue and/or paint. Those kids have so much energy and so little attention span!

Our Saturdays are soccer days. Zach & Jon play in the morning and Morgan and the Soccer Superstars play in the afternoon. Under-6 Girls soccer is pretty hilarious. Morgan is having a lot of fun. Its a good thing that they don't keep score at this level, because she's probably be upset if she knew how many goals her team has scored for the other side. :) But they short games (5 minute quarters) of 3-on-3 or 4-on-4 so everyone gets a lot of playing time. There are 3 more games this season.

In our spare (ha ha) time we have been trying to buy a house. We've looked at tons of places, made offers on at least 8 (I've lost count) and come up empty. Just last night we got some potentially good news on our latest offer so keep your fingers crossed. Because I don't want to get my hopes up, I will list all of the bad things about the house: it is only 1000 sq ft, it has no central heat or air, it has only 1 bathroom, it has only a 1 car garage, it has a very small kitchen in need of updating and has no dishwasher. But that's what you get for a half-million dollars here. :)

Halloween in 3 days! Morgan is going to be a wicked witch (complete with green face) and Zachary will be a scarecrow. I promise to take lots of pictures and post them before Thanksgiving!

Morgan fell in love with this goat at the zoo. Now she wants a pet goat.

Zachary loves chocolate.


And playing dress-up.


So does Morgan.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Busy!

We are really really busy these days. Here are a few pics until I have time to write a proper update.

Morgan is on her first real soccer team - the Purple Soccer Superstars!

She's lucky number 13!

It was Pirate Day at kindergarten!


Zach doing his thing. He's started soccer too, but we don't have pictures yet!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

First Day of Preschool!

Zach had his first day of preschool on Thursday! He is such big boy! It was only an hour and the parents got to stay the whole time, so all the kids did pretty well. Zach got a little upset after he got into an argument with another (very large, very loud) boy and didn't want to sit in circle time without me. But once it was snacktime he did much better. I think he'll do great next week when he'll start going every Tuesday and Thursday for 2 1/2 hours!

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day of Kindergarten!

Today was the big day! Morgan did great. School was only 2 hours today. She'll go 3 hours/day the rest of the week and then start the full 8:30-2:30 days next week. Morgan was only sad that she couldn't stay longer today.Today was the big day! Morgan did great. School was only 2 hours today. She'll go 3 hours/day the rest of the week and then start the full 8:30-2:30 days next week. Morgan was only sad that she couldn't stay longer today.












Sunday, August 09, 2009

Like a fish!

IF we had a working camera right now, this post would be accompanied by a video of something which just a few months ago I was worried that I would never see. MORGAN SWIMMING!

At the beginning of last summer, Morgan would cling to the steps of the pool for dear life. She didn't even want to go out any further in our arms or with a floatation device! But around mid-July, she started wearing her arm "floaties" and by the end of the summer was even jumping into the pool with them. This was a huge development.


So I hoped that this summer she would be able to learn to swim on her own - maybe even take swimming lessons. But no. She refused to take off the floaties or even consider lessons. Which is fine. I know better than to push Mo into something before she's ready.


About a month ago, though, we were in the pool and Morgan was bobbing around like usual when she looked me in the eye and said very very seriously
"Mom. I have a feeling that I can swim without my floaties."
I started to ask her to wait until the weekend when Jon could come to the pool with us - I was worried about having both Zach and a non-buoyant Morgan in the pool at the same time. But something about Morgan's tone of voice made me think that this was a now-or-never opportunity. She might not "have a feeling" the next time we made it to the pool. I also remembered that she used the exact same phrase when she asked me to take her training wheels off her bike. And she was right about that, if you remember.


So off came the floaties and - guess what? Morgan started swimming! Just a few feet at a time, at first. And certainly not gracefully. But she was definitely getting from point A to point B under her own power and without drowning! She was so proud of herself!


And in typical Mo fashion she kept on practicing. Back and forth from the rail to the wall over and over and over again. Then she would swim along the wall - slowly going further and further. Then she started jumping in and swimming back to the wall. Now she is at the point where she can lift her head up to breathe and continue swimming. And she's trying to teach herself the backstroke!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What Zachary wants to be when he grows up.


No kidding. He wants to be a dancing tree. We took the kids to a womens' basketball game at Stanford last fall. Morgan, of course, wanted to be out on the court but Zach couldn't keep his eyes off the mascot. Its really not a bad goal - it means he'll go to Stanford after all. And its unique! I'll bet he'll be the only kid in the preschool yearbook who wants to be a dancing tree. He does have a back-up career, though. He also wants to be a "stop sign man" - school crossing guard - because he "gets to hold a stop sign on a stick like a lollipop!" What could be better?








Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bunk!

M & Z got a bedroom upgrade this month. They were so excited when they got their new bunk beds. . Check it out:
Morgan, especially, loves her new sky-high digs. It really is her own private space because Zach is not allowed up the ladder and the proximity to the ceiling makes it very uncomfortable for Jon & I so we avoid being up there if we can.

Zach, too, is quite a way off the ground as you can see here. He's only fallen out once so far and that was feet first. We build a nice landing pad out of pillows for him at night just in case.

We also got a matching dresser and finally have more than enough space for all of the kids clothes.
And there is still room for toys and books!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Happy Happy Birthday!

Today, Zachary is three years old. I am sure that this next year will bring even more fun with our little guy. He is the funniest kid I have every met. He talks all the time and the most hilarious things come out of his mouth.

One day, his uncle Todd complimented Zach on his good climbing at the playground. Zach turns to him and says in his most serious voice "I'm just doin' my job".

Even though he generally has an amazing vocabulary, Zach has some very quirky speech patterns. For example, he confuses "something" with "nothing". So he will say things like "Help! Ouch! I have nothing in my shoe!" or "I am hungry! I want nothing to eat." Or I don't like this game, I want to do nothing else."

And just the other day, we woke up to a classic "Zach-ism". During the night I noticed he had a soaked diaper (he's dry over 50% of nights but I don't like to take chances) so I changed him but didn't bother to put on new pajama bottoms. In the morning when he realized his pants were gone he called out from his room "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! My pants is MAGIC! They disappeared! My pants is MAGIC!"

Gotta love this kid!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Wow!

We planted a small vegetable garden in our backyard a few months ago. So far we've gotten 2 zucchinis. This is the second one. Its gigantic and it is becoming a zucchini quiche! Soon we should have tomatoes too!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Vacation

Just got back from a week in San Diego. Exhausting trip, but we had some fun. Visited all the grandparents and did the New Children's Museum, Balboa Park, SeaWorld, and the Zoo. The new elephant exhibit at the zoo is fantastic!!! Jon & I also got to go out and see a show and eat delicious food without the kiddos! Nice! Unfortunately, I managed to lose the camera somewhere in San Diego so I have no new pictures.

Now that it is summer, things are going to get busy. Morgan is out of school right now, but I will be taking two classes this summer and in the fall, Morgan, Zachary and I will all be in school. We'll also have classroom work in both kids' schools and I am on the preschool board. So this may have been our last vacation for a while!

Here are a couple of old pictures. These were taken by a friend of ours at a cookie-decorating playdate in May:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

This pretty much sums up their relationship.

Morgan and Zach split their time together pretty evenly between being best friends, tolerating eachother's existance, and hating eachother's guts. Now if you want to look at the cup half full that means that 2/3 of the time they are not fighting. But things can turn from happy and calm to terror and chaos in a split second. And sometimes they seem simply incabable of understanding eachother.

A few days ago M & Z were playing happily in the living room while I was making dinner. Suddenly the screaming started and Morgan ran into the kitchen holding a wooden spoon.

"Zachary - " she hissed, full of outrage and waving the spoon in my face. I figured he must have hit her with it.

"That BOY!!!," she continued. "He thinks this is a telephone! It is not a phone and when I told him it is a spoon NOT a phone he still thought it was a phone and called grandma on it!"

"Morgan", I told her not for the first time, "you cannot argue with Zachary's imagination. If he wants to pretend the spoon is a phone then it is a phone for him."
"Well, then he is wrong!" and she stomped off.

Its not that Morgan has no imagination. She has a great imagination. But she is completely intolerant of Zachary's imagination because it is so different from her own. Zach will play happily by himself using whatever he can find to serve as what he needs for his game. A bag can serve as a garage for his cars or a spoon can be a phone. Morgan's imaginary play, on the other hand, requires her to create. If she needed a phone she would construct it out of Legos. Many of her games result in elaborate pillow-and-blanket forts. The shows she puts on are not just singing and dancing, but have costumes and props and, unfortunately, lots of frustration over not being able to make the exact right costume or prop.

And this seems to be the source of much of their conflict. Morgan doesn't get Zachary's games. Because the details are inside his head, to Morgan they are too simplistic or just plain wrong. And Zachary doesn't have the patience for the extensive preparation that Morgan's games require. Maybe that will change as he gets older. Hopefully so, because Morgan does have some great ideas. But for now, the fighting continues.
And thank goodness for board games because that seems to be a place of common ground!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

ABCs and stuff.




Zach is really doing well on his ABCs! We started doing one letter a week a few months ago but he recognizes so many letters already that we do 3 or 4 at a time now!
Also, Morgan is cool.