Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Emmett's last day of preschool

Today was Emmett's last day of preschool (until next year). It's amazing how much he's grown over the past 8 months.


He wasn't in much of a picture-taking mood today.



He's done really well in preschool this year.  I try not to compare him with Annika and her first year of preschool, since she was almost 3 and a half when starting preschool, and he's now almost 3 and a half after completing preschool (December baby).  He still doesn't quite know all of his letters, but he can recognize and name most of them now.  He's also starting to associate letters with the sound they make (his speech therapy is helping with that - more on that in another post).  He's really good with his numbers and loves to do his "math" workbook (he recently got a set of "Cars" workbooks from book orders - ABCs, shapes/colors, math and counting).  His art skills are still rather "minimal" (he would often bring home a painting with 1 or 2 smears of paint on it and that's all) and we're working on encouraging a proper grip for holding his crayons/pencils.  He's started tracing letters and shapes, but his control of a pencil is still pretty shaky.  He knows how to spell his first name.  Socially, he interacted well with his teachers, but I don't think he interacted with the other kids much.  Whenever I asked him who he played with at school he would say "no one" (however, at Y Neighbours he had a group of buddies that he would talk about).  All in all, I'm very glad that we put him in preschool this past year (and not just because I liked my free mornings twice a week), and I think that it was very good for him.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

"Weekend" getaway

Last year on the May long weekend we went down to the States for a night, so this year we figured we would attempt going for 2 nights.  Since Annika didn't have school on Friday, Carey took the day off and Emmett played hooky from preschool and we went down on Thursday night already.  We came back yesterday, so we missed all the long weekend traffic (I think we spent less than 5 minutes at the border going down, and maybe about 15-20 minutes coming back).  It was a good little break.

We ate lots of yummy food...

Went swimming in the pool 3 times...

Relaxed...

Ate more yummy food and had fun drinks (both kids requested a pink umbrella for their drinks)...


Had some good "family quality time"...

Had fun with glow sticks...

Found a park to fly the kids' new kites (bought at Menards - what a funny store that is)...

And slept!!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

I was spoiled with handmade gifts and cards this morning.  I love that the kids are at an age where they are starting to "get" Mother's Day.

Emmett made me these flowers in a clothespin "vase" at preschool, and a card that says "my love for you just grows and grows" (one of the teachers helped him print his name on it - he's nowhere near writing letters yet).  It was so cute on Friday when I picked him up from school, watching all the kids trying not-so-succesfully to hide their gifts from their moms. ;)



Annika made me a card that says "I love you to pieces" and these "mom" bookmarks.  There are two because when she got home on Friday she couldn't find it in her backpack and thought she had left it at school.  So I called the teacher at school and she couldn't find it anywhere, but she put the materials to make another one in an envelope for us to pick up that afternoon.  Then yesterday Annika found the one from at school, so I ended up with two. 



This book was an idea I had seen online and suggested to Carey that I would really like.  It's just a blank journal, but the kids will draw a picture or write a message in it every year for Mother's Day.  That way I'll have all my Mother's Day wishes in one spot and I can look back through them when I'm old and gray (or even just each year on Mother's Day).  I think it's a really great idea.  I'll probably do the same for Carey for Father's Day, and I may even start a book for each kid for their birthdays.



Love these kids!!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Nut-free snack mix

AKA - "throw everything in your pantry into a bowl and mix it up."

With a little inspiration from Pinterest, I came up with this nut-free snack mix for the kids to take to school/Y Neighbours for snack.  It's been a pretty big hit so far.  It's very simple, and you can easily substitute for what you have in your pantry.  Here's what's in mine:

4 cups plain popcorn
2 cups pretzel twists
2 cups Cheerios
2 cups Life cereal
1/2 cup Smarties
1/2 cup marshmallows
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried banana chips
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Other ideas: bite-sized crackers (goldfish, etc), chocolate chips, craisins/dried fruit (dried pineapple would be good!), pumpkin seeds, other cereals, yogurt-covered raisins, peanuts/almonds/cashews/etc (if you're not concerned about being nut-free) - whatever you have on hand and your kids like!

Enjoy!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Soccer

Tonight was the first night of soccer.  We are very lucky this year that both kids can be on the same team (the league is for 4-6 year olds, but since technically Emmett turns 4 this calendar year, they let him in).  Both kids had a blast.  Emmett is the smallest on the team, and sometimes had trouble paying attention/keeping up, but he always looked like he was having fun.  It's amazing the difference we see in Annika, though.  Last year was her first year playing and she was quite timid (although she did seem to enjoy it).  This year, whether it's being one of the bigger kids on the team or having a bit more experience or knowing some of the other kids (in addition to Emmett, there's also her good friend from school, a girl from the other kindergarten class, and a kid from her team last year), she seems to be more confident.  She even scored 2 goals in their game this evening! (they divide the field in half, and then play 2 games of 3 on 3 with the kids taking shifts, so it's not just one crazy lump of kids running after the ball).  Now we just need the weather to warm up - by the end of the evening it was cold sitting on the sidelines!