Sunday, October 31, 2010

"This is my ghost, Buster."

Kate made this ghost wind sock at our ward activity last week, and named it Buster. She has not, as far as I know, been exposed to the Ghostbusters, so I'm not sure how she came up with the name.

I use the term "wind sock" advisedly here, since there really isn't anything sock-like about it. Wind plate, perhaps.

The ward activity, for reasons unknown, was not a costume party. Kate's wearing her dragon costume for the third year in a row, but the rest of us have not had occasion to dress up.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Readin', Writin' and Rainin'

Kate's been in school for two months now! I'm experiencing that odd duality, where it feels like she just started but also feels like she's been going forever.

When we went to our parent-teacher conference, Kate's teacher told us that they tested the kids to see how much they knew already before dividing them up into reading groups. Kate went through all the kindergarten material, and then they pulled out the first grade word list. This is 200 sight words that the kids are supposed to know by the end of first grade. Kate only missed 13 of them. So they tried putting her with a first grade reading group, but it just wasn't a good fit. She's five years old, after all. So she's back with her kindergarten group.

She doesn't seem to be bored by the material, which is good. She gets excited when they learn a new cheer for a letter ("Monkey on a mountain! M M M!")

We're getting used to being school parents. It certainly is an adjustment for the whole family. Mornings are hard sometimes, getting Kate up and ready, but I'm developing some strategies. Kate really likes her teacher and has made some friends in her class. She loves P.E., too. I hear the teacher is really good.

We walk to school together, with Andy in the stroller. (Andy cries when Kate goes into the school and he doesn't get to go. I tell him he has to wait four more years. Waaah!) Kate sometimes complains about walking and says she wants to drive, but I tell her it's good exercise. It's only a couple of blocks and takes less than ten minutes. I've been enjoying the walks and the autumn weather. We had some nice misty mornings that burned off to sunny afternoons, and then we got hit by some hard rain and had to drive.

Everyone knows that it rains a lot in the Pacific Northwest. But it's not so much a quantity thing as duration. We have a lot of gray, drippy days with a steady drizzle or a light sprinkle. It doesn't often rain hard. So we just put up our hoods and walk to school in the rain, and Kate gets to use this cute little umbrella that Aunt Barb gave her. (Or maybe it was Aunt Betsey? I will have to check on that.)

This week we had so much rain that I ended up dropping Kate off and picking her up one day, and dropping her off the next morning as well. The dropping off was a lot easier than the picking up. There aren't enough places to park. We'll keep walking as much as we can!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Andy at 22 months

Andy's favorites at this age:

walking around with a blanket on his head
making faces at himself in the mirror
climbing up slides
pushing buttons on anything
standing on tip-toe to see if he can pull the phone off the counter
crushed ice and pomegranate juice
freeze dried strawberries and mango from Trader Joe's

Andy managed to climb out of his crib a couple of days ago, and hit the floor with a loud thump and a wail. (We don't think he landed on his head.)

He's definitely going to be one of those kids who likes to take things apart to figure out how they work. He's also showing signs of being left-handed. Perhaps he'll be a left-handed engineer like my dad.

(He needs a haircut!)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Kate's first field trip (pumpkin patch)

The Kindergarten classes took a field trip out to the Schilter Family Farm on Wednesday the 13th. Kate was so excited about getting to ride a school bus for the first time. I figured I should document this momentous occasion, so I took Andy with me and drove down myself.

Andy and I beat the bus by about twenty minutes, so we had a while to wander around and look at things before Kate's class arrived.

Andy enjoyed seeing the animals, especially a family of kittens curled up together in a wheelbarrow. (Awwww!)

When the kids arrived they got to take a hayride around the farm in this tractor-and-wagon contraption.

We brought along Kate's pumpkin hat, but she didn't wear it very long. (It's a little too big.)

The kids got to pick out a pumpkin to take home. They have two fields there--one with bigger pumpkins, for families, and one with small pumpkins for school groups. Since they want the kids to be able to carry the pumpkin that they choose, they limit them to the small size. I'm not exactly sure how this size-segregation is achieved. Is that field planted with a variety that doesn't get as big? Are the pumpkins planted later so they don't grow as long? Do they actually sort the pumpkins after they've grown and strew them around the appropriate field? I suppose this could be. None of the pumpkins were still attached to the plants.

While Kate ate lunch with her class, Andy and I checked out this tractor.

"How do you turn this thing on?"

There were a few things that we didn't get to do, so we went back again on Saturday. It was SO CROWDED. Like Young's Jersey Dairy on a busy day, but worse. (And also very sunny, so not really good for pictures.) Kate really enjoyed the duckie races.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Purple Mountain

I've been trying to sneak in some painting time during Andy's nap. This is not easy, but I think I'm developing a system. Slow and steady!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Tot Lot

Yesterday (after the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference) we took the kids over to the Tot Lot for a while.

See how Andy's color-coordinated with the playground equipment? That was completely unintentional.

And Doug!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Crochet Overdress

We didn't make it to the fair this year. We were going to go on opening day, when you can get in free before noon, but Andy was feverish so we stayed home. But I did enter something again this year!

I crocheted this piece to go over this dress that I got for Kate. I cobbled together the pattern using two different Japanese patterns, and a row of the Irish roses that I learned back in high school.

(Here's the back.)

Since we didn't go to the fair I didn't know how I'd done, but my friend Becki let me know that I'd won a blue ribbon, and sent me a picture that she took with her phone.

I didn't include the red dress with the submission, since I didn't make that part, but they came up with something similar for the display!

Click here to see it on Kate!