Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The last week was called "Show Week" and parents and family members were invited into the actual gym so each child could demonstrate their skills up-close. I haven't been able to go to a lot of Rylan's classes because of working, so I was really excited to see him on his special day. The teachers reminded us parents to keep realistic expectations of our kid's behavior that day, and little did I know they would be talking to us!
Rylan's good buddy arrived soon after he did. The two boys were doing some good-natured "boxing" moves and Rylan's friend accidentally got slightly hurt from a bump to his glasses. Unfortunately, Rylan's friend was never able to recover from that rough start, couldn't be comforted and had to leave class without participating at all. I felt terrible that we played a role, however accidental, in ruinig his big day, but was thankful that Rylan seemed on track with participating. At first... He made it through the balance beam and the uneven bars before the "pressure" got to him and his naughty switch flipped. Then started what turned out to be the biggest meltdown of Rylan's young life. We ended up leaving class early as I had to haul Rylan out to the car, barefoot, kicking and screaming. At the end the class, they put out a podium, played Olympic music, and awarded each child a medal. Rylan missed it all because he was crying hysterically and refused to go up there. (While we were occupied with her brother, Caroline thoughtfully streaked to the podium during another child's turn to claim the medal for him.)
Rylan screamed the entire drive home, threw toys out of his room, refused lunch, and finally cried himself to sleep. We were all exhausted and really sad to see what should have been a special day so spectacularly ruined. Shouldn't these tantrums be over now that he is 4 years old? The poor guy hasn't been sleeping great this week and he definitely doesn't handle change well, so I guess it was an explosive combination.
Charlton did get some good pictures before the Huge Meltdown of 2011. You would never be able to guess the drama that is coming..
He really loves the uneven bars and we practiced on the tree branches in our front yard all during the fall.
Showing off some upper body strength.
Great flip, buddy.
Rylan likes the balance beam, too.
Showing off his balance with his wonderful teacher, Mrs. Evelyn.
As much as Rylan loves his gymnastics class, Caroline goes absolutely crazy with joy on the equipment. When she had an opportunity for some free play with Rylan's class, she raced around so fast to each station, I could hardly keep up. Her face says it all! I hope we will be able to let her take her own class when she gets a bit older.
Rylan starts his sports class this week. I am having PTSD just thinking about going back to the gym. Valium anyone?
For Christmas, my parents helped us frame this beautiful print to hang over our mantle (their Christmas present to us last year!). We have had this print rolled up in storage since we moved to Colorado and have been wanting to frame it for years. It was just one of those things that we could never seem to find the time or money to do. Thanks to my mom and dad for helping make our living room look so much more beautiful!
Friday, January 7, 2011
After being cooped up indoors and eating lots of yummy holiday food, we were really excited about doing some hiking at Mueller State Park. It is only about 1 1/2 hours from home, but really satisfies my longings for being outdoors and seeing the mountains. It is always much colder up her than in the Springs, so we weren't sure how long we would be able to be out with the kids even though we bundled up in lots of layers.
Our actual hike was very cold and windy, but for some reason the wind died when we came to this clearing with a great view at a high place on the trail. The kids got to play in the snow and we snapped some pictures.
What a view!
The Monroe and Clarke women love to hike.
Caroline is a great hiker, it was just hard for her to move as bundled as she was!
I know Rylan was cold, but he was a great sport also and hardly complained.
Caroline checks out her stocking.
Caroline opens a present from Aunt Bethany. She seemed a little overwhelmed by all the gifts and we had to encourage her to open them. Even then, she wanted to meticulously peel all the paper off each package.
Rylan knows exactly what to do with the presents.
Caroline has a crown to match her tinkerbell dress. I can imagine some dress-up sessions in her future.
Thanks to Grammy for my great new boots. I have been wanting a pair like these for a long time.
This picture cracks me up because only on Christmas Day would Rylan be allowed to play in the sandbox in his pajamas with his new Godzilla doll. And how crazy that it would actually be warm enough on Christmas Day to play outside for a little while in just his pajamas! That's the way it has been all this winter here in Colorado, although we finally got a taste of snow and real winter on the 30th.
Rylan has puzzle mania. Thanks to Nana for the gifts of all his puzzles, and especially the cool construction scene puzzle from Christmas this year. Charlton and Rylan had fun putting all the puzzles together at once.
Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!
Another one of my favorite pictures and a very common scene at our house this Christmas. We loved having Bethany here for her first Christmas in Colorado. She and Caroline are best buddies and they love cuddling on the couch together.
We let the kids open a special movie on Christmas Eve. Poor Rylan looks dazed by the flash, and I love the way he is holding the movie. Ooops!
Neither of the kids would cooperate for a joint picture with Grammy, so I had to settle for this cute one of Caroline and her Dora mermaid doll from Grammy.
Someone is getting sleepy and wonderfully cuddly.
Caroline gives Dora a hug.
Charlton and Rylan had just seen the movie, so Ry was super excited about his Tron action figure and light cycle.
I love the way Rylan's tongue is sticking out because he is so focused on his toy!
Preparing cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer.
Santa later traded the cookies and milk for presents.... Each child had their own chair this year, a nod to traditions of Charlton's childhood. At least Mama is looking forward to what is to come, since my kids don't look too happy. The kids went to bed and slept well without any trouble. I guess they are still too young to completely anticipate Christmas morning. We set up all the presents, and relaxed by the fire watching "Christmas Vacation."
It has just taken me a little while to recover from all the fun, still having to work my regular 2-3 nights a week, and keep things running at home. Also, my etsy shop went crazy with business right around New Years, so I have turned out at least 4 dozen hairbows in the last week and a half! Its a good problem to have, one that has me stumped because I probably filled that same amount of hair bow orders in the entire last year.
Back to Christmas... I found a cute gingerbread train kit at the grocery and saved it for one of those cold, stay-at-home days leading up to Christmas. I had never made one with the kids before and we had a great time. And the train turned out exactly like the darling picture on the box....
The kids were very proud of their work and didn't seem to mind the decorations and icing drooping a bit.
Nobody would look at mama with the camera while they were busy "working."
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Before: cluttered shelves, bare window, ancient ugly laundry basket
After! I got my curtain idea from The Nester's window mistreatments. It was a super easy, no-sew kind of window covering. I was pretty happy with the way it turned out, and it definitely satisfied my curiousity for trying this style of curtain. I re-used the baskets from my kids' nurseries, painting over the cherry wicker with an off-white. I think they may need another coat of off-white paint, but they are quite useable in the meantime. Much better than the jumble of bottles and can. On the opposite wall, I hope to frame my kid's artwork sometime in the future.
I was able to finish the basket liners in an afternoon.
I love the curtain fabric, the inspiration for it all.
While I can't say laundry is more fun now, it does make me smile to see these cheerful blues and greens and my pretty, organized baskets.