Sunday, May 23, 2010

4 year and 2 year pictures

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

the cleaning lady

Kara has pretty much always liked "helping" me with housework. At least since she's been old enough to try. In the past it wasn't very much help, and often gave me more work to do in the end. But I thought it was important to let her try, so she could learn how to do it. I am finally starting to see the payoff. Kara is finally able to really help me around the house. Not only is she able to do several things correctly, but she often volunteers, or just starts helping on her own. Today was a good helping day for her. After lunch, as I was cleaning up, she got a rag from the drawer, got it wet and started washing down the stools they sit on at the counter. She then started wiping the counters, (which I'd already done, but I didn't want to discourage her) and she even asked if she could sweep the floor. It's amazing to see what she knows about the things that need to get done without my telling her. She has just learned a lot of it from seeing what I do all the time. She even put on a little apron, as I often do while cleaning.
It does backfire on me a little when I am trying to get away with a light cleaning day, and she keeps noticing the things I haven't done. She'll say, "mom, aren't you going to clean the fridge?" or, "I think you forgot about dusting". Today as I was vacuuming the livingroom, she started moving chairs and things so I could vacuum under them. I'll admit I was just planning on doing a quick job through the open part of the room.
Another way she likes to help is with decorating. Today she said she made a centerpiece for the glass table. It turns out she had spread a bunch of her artwork all over the table. cute and cluttered at the same time.
and she also told me that she had decorated the bookshelf, which really meant that she had set up some of her toys there.
but other than a few minor annoyances, I am so glad that her helping has started to be more helpful than not. It really can cut down the amount of time it takes me to clean the house, and it's also great quality time to spend together. I realize that sounds lame, but she gets to do something she loves, while I get some needed help. And I also get to make sure she is learning the correct way to do things. She can get a little meticulous about certain things, but I only have myself to blame for that. She's just trying to do it the same as me. And I think it's better to be a perfectionist, than to be lazy.
I try to make it fun. Today we had a dusting competition. I got all the high places, and Kara got the low.
and just to prove that my 4 year old isn't stuck doing my housework all day, here's a cute picture of the girls playing Uno Moo. Kiersten got it for Christmas from Grandma VanSickle. They both love this game, and always want to play it 3 or 4 times. Hopefully Kara's love of helping me clean is going to rub off on Kiersten too. So far, it hasn't, and Kiersten will usually only help clean up when bribed. But I think at 2 years old, I wasn't really making Kara help very much either.

Monday, May 17, 2010

birthday party

Right after Kara's ballet, we hurried over to Dash Point beach for a birthday party for the girls' friend, Mathias. I didn't take the camera out to the beach, but they had fun playing in the water for a bit. But we mostly stayed in the grassy, picnic area. Kiersten wanted to eat some of everything. Kara playing tag with Ethan.
Kiersten loved playing with this toy with Daddy.
After a yummy dinner, there was a piñata. All the kids were anxious for their turn.
Kiersten trying to do some damage.

The kids couldn't break it, so Ben got a turn. He took it down in one swipe, and I wasn't fast enough to get a picture. That thing really went flying, though.
All the kids getting candy. Kiersten was hesitant to get in the fray, but did end up with a few little handfuls.
showing off her spoils.

It was a busy and fun day. We were glad to have sunday to relax and recover, though. We stayed home most of the day, with only a short trip to Dairy Queen for some ice cream.

Kara's ballet performance

Kara had 2 ballet performances this weekend. We had tickets for the saturday show. They did Cinderella. Kara was supposed to be a flower in Cinderella's wedding bouquet. Here she is entering the stage. She is in the blue skirt, following behind the slow girl in the pink skirt toward the back of the stage. It was difficult to get a good picture, because Kiersten kept pulling on my arm, trying to see the camera, but I got a few. Here are the little flowers dancing with the fairy godmother and the spell. Kara is in the back.
Here they are twirling off stage after their bow.
They were the first in the curtain call, so by the time the whole cast was done, you couldn't see them way in the back. So I didn't get a good picture with the whole cast. Kara is the 2nd girl to the left of the jesters.

The first group of girls that were sent out after the show had been changed back into their clothes. A lot of the parents got really upset about it, and were throwing a fit. So the lady in charge told he helpers to change the kids back into their costumes. So it took a while for me to be able to pick her up. She is so proud of her costume. She chose a blue skirt because she wanted to match with Cinderella. (even though Cinderella was in white) I think she thought the fairy godmother was Cinderella.
Some lady asked if I'd like her to take a picture of me with Kara, so I took her up on it. See how huge I'm getting? I feel like I should be in the last 2 weeks instead of the last 2 months!
I kept asking her to stand still for a picture, but she wouldn't stop posing.

This was as normal as I could get her to stand.
She was so happy to get flowers. She insisted on keeping them in a vase in her bedroom.

She had lots of fun doing the ballet. Ben and I sure are glad the performance is over, and we can finally have our weekends back to normal.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Kiersten and Kara had fun making welcome home cards for Daddy on Friday. They were so excited for him to see them and the rice krispie treats we made for him. I was so glad to finally see him after a week away. Friday was a really busy day. I ended up having to take both girls to my dr. appt with me, which was at 3:45. I had them both asleep in the stroller when I got there, but I ended up waiting til after 5 to see the doctor, so they woke up, and were getting very restless by the time I saw her. She rushed through the appt. a bit, most likely because of two whiny kids. She is concerned that I might be getting preeclampsia again with this pregnancy. I had it with Kara, but not Kiersten. Her main concern was my blood pressure, but I think it may have been high because I was so annoyed at waiting so long and having the girls there with me. I also had a few other symptoms, so we will see where it's at when I go back in two weeks. After the appt, I had to hurry up to fife for Kara's ballet rehearsal. It was really disorganized, and I was pretty frustrated. They insisted we get there by 6:30, and it took all of 2 minutes to get Kara into her costume. (after which, they didn't want her having any snacks, and we still hadn't had dinner.) Then, her group didn't get to practice until after 7:30. Of course Kiersten was acting up, but who can blame her? It was so nice to get home to Ben and dinner, and just unwind from the long day. He even let me go to bed early, and took care of the girls' bedtime.

On thursday, I got these pretty flowers from Ben. They were for mother's day, but he opted to have me get them a few days early. The girls were really excited about them too. Kara actually tried to take credit for them, but when I talked to Ben on the phone, he said she hadn't known anything about it. So funny. Now these flowers are blooming so beautifully, but I haven't taken another picture.
On friday, I got these pretty flowers from my parents for mother's day. I love having all these beautiful, fresh flowers in my house. I took this picture before I cut the stems down. They are looking prettier every day.
On sunday, Ben and the girls made me a yummy pancake breakfast, although I opted to eat it in the kitchen instead of bed, to avoid crumbs. silly, I know. The girls gave me new oven mitts, potholders, and kitchen towels which I really needed. Ben helped them pick out very nice ones for me. We had a nice, relaxing day together. It was a great mother's day.
I just love these two girls! Kara has spring break this week, so it has been nice to sleep in a little later than usual. Kiersten went pee in the potty 3 times yesterday, and so far twice today. Next week, I am going to go to full days of training. I bought her some stickers today, and plan on making her a potty chart to earn a fun reward.
Kara always wants her picture taken. I don't know that she'll grow up to be a model, though, with her crazy poses she loves to do.

On grocery shopping days, I usually check the discount pastry cart for the girls. If they are good at the store, I buy them some day old donuts for cheap. Here's my cute baby with a chocolate face.