Friday, August 26, 2016

First Day of School

Because Molly likes to be everywhere that everyone else is...

She actually just had her 2 yr old check-up and is holding strong in the THIRD percentile for weight. Oh that chicken little!!! Haha. She is super into taking off her diaper and coloring on walls. All things 2 yr old.
Bedhead much?

He's hilarious. And also a little lost without Ruthie. Luckily, it's only for a couple of hours and we usually have fun things planned--also I go to the gym and he loves it there. Next year, buddy!
Now, for the main event of this post! RUTH STARTED SCHOOL! I am officially old enough to have  a daughter in school. And its pretty crazy. 

So, to make a long story short--I wanted to put Ruth in Pre-K instead of Kindergarten because Kindergarten is REALLY INTENSE here (8 hour days, no recess, testing all day Friday, etc.). Come to find out, she didn't qualify for pre-k because of her birthday--if you are eligible for Kinder, you are automatically ineligible for Pre-k. I thought this was pretty lame because I could wait another year to put her in Kinder (even though she qualified), but she was still not allowed to be in Pre-K. 

BUT I get home from Utah and my good friend texted me that they changed the law!!!!!! YAHOO!!!

So now instead of the birthday cut-off for Pre-K being Sept 1st (which Ruth is august, so she didn't qualify) it was now August 1st, so she could do Pre-K!!!!!

Basically what this means is Ruth gets 1/2 day kindergarten before full day kindergarten (that they basically treat like first grade here). Everything is just so intense and kids are pushed SO HARD on the east coast that I didn't want her--who would already be the VERY youngest of her grade--to miss out on a year of playing and being at home and spending time with me and her family. Also, I didn't want her to be stressing about grades and homework (most kinder students here have 1 to 1 1/2 hours of homework). I don't really care how old you are when you start kindergarten, but it should not be that crazy. Luckily, we're holding off that craziness for another year. And I am SOOOO glad she gets a year of half-day because she loves it, and I love it, and it's the best of every world!!!!

Her first day of school (technically her second, because when we registered they showed us the classroom and Ruth joined right in so they let me leave her for the final hour, haha) she learned how to pick basil off a plant. The teachers were super impressed she knew to pick from the stem, and not pick half of a leaf. Credit goes to Grandma Rasmussen who let Ruthie help her pick flowers (mostly dead ones out of her barrels) and vegetables all summer long the CORRECT way. Also, we have a basil plant, so she came home that night and helped me pick some and put it into our spaghetti sauce. She was soooo proud!

She also cried when she had to leave on the first day. Because some of the kids stay full day and she thought she got to eat lunch with them. Poor thing. I told her she can stay sometime, but it costs six bucks, so we'll see. Haha. 

The school we sent her to is a United Methodist church, with the school attached. It's pretty much where the LDS families send their elementary kids---it's pretty funny because I never see people I know around the city, but when I pick up and drop off Ruth I see three or four people from our ward every time and it's super fun! 

They have singing time at mass on Wednesdays, and my friend that I work with in primary basically said they learn bible songs, but they can sometimes be quite rambunctious (aka, irreverent), haha. I'm sure she'll love it! 

There are only 15 kids in her class and two teachers and she totally has them won over already. Nobody else has red hair (surprise) and of course she never cries (most outgoing kid ever) because she loves to be there! 

We had a crazy couple of days getting all the applications through and immunization records and such, but she started on Thursday (kind of Wednesday) of the first week, which was pretty good. 

She requested an Elsa braid for the first day.

I cannot believe my baby is in school. Ruthie likes about school: playing out in the playground. Because it has a flying airplane and then we just played on the airplane. I like drinking out of my water bottle and having snack. 

She also lost a third tooth right before school starts, so she is just looking older and older!!! Our friends from the ward have a daughter in her class, Quinn, so that has been super nice because they have a friend already to play with.

We are also putting her in a ballet class on Saturdays at the community college by our house for six weeks, and Will gets to do basketball. They are both only for an hour on Saturdays, which is about as much as I can handle. Hopefully when they end we can swing swimming lessons--because they are so good in the water I want them to have some actual instruction! 

No tears the first day. She likes it too much! I can't be sad because it's been going so wonderfully! Mostly she comes home from school, we eat lunch, Will and Molly go down from a nap, and then Ruth helps me make dinner. Which is great---yesterday she even cut an entire green pepper (diced it, after I put it in strips for her) and three things of celery. She's pretty pro ever since Grandma let her cut up a cucumber in Utah. 

Yay Ruth! We love you SOOOOO much and I am so glad you get to go to school and that you love it so much! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Molly is TWO

I'm really not certain how kids grow so fast, it really is a wonder. I feel like Molly is constantly growing BEFORE MY VERY EYES and it keeps going faster and faster. I have to say though, she's a pretty great two-year-old, so I guess if she has to grow up, I'm pretty glad to keep her!
We celebrated with our Back to School Feast. We kept telling Molly it was her birthday and she was so excited, running around pointing to all the decorations "MY BIRDEE! MY BIRDEE! MINE!" She might be a little possessive. Yup, definitely two. 
I love this photo. She is just the greatest.
She worked REALLY hard to blow those candles out!
I told her to wait to open her present, she folded her arms and closed her eyes like a prayer. Which was kind of fun since I got a picture of it, but no idea why she did that! Haha.

Everyone was SOOOO excited! See that cute "Molly" on the biggest present? Ruth loves to mimic words now and can write all three of the kids' names without any help. Cutie.

Wedgits!!! We had the smallest set, and the kids ADORE them. And so does everyone else--all my piano students and kids I babysit, so we needed more. She got another set of 30 as well as the green stand (we didn't have one) and extra cards to teach how to make more. Ruthie loves the cards and sits and figures them out all the time. The green stand has been great for Molly, she likes lining up colors and stacking on top of it. 

And they have been all over our floor every since, haha! But I LOVE how much they love playing with them! 
I'd say it was a pretty successful birthday! 
Ruth's robot.

Molly also got presents from her grandma's in Utah, so she was definitely spoiled this year!

Two is such a great and hard age! Molly pushes down/takes off her diaper every chance she can get which is so annoying. I think I should probably potty train soon just so I can get through that, but then, I'd have to potty train. So...
Molly also still doesn't sleep. Not much has changed in two years. She crawls into our bed almost every night, and we take her back depending on our level of tired. Molly also CLIMBS like CRAZY and has managed to get up on the window ledge in their bedroom (tile) and walk back and forth in-between the blinds and the window. That is super unsafe, so instead we've been locking her into her carseat until she falls asleep, and then transferring her into her bed. We've been trying to get her excited about bed "If you stay in bed, you won't have to go in the carseat!" Which has been working reasonable well, so hopefully the carseat is only necessary for a couple weeks, haha.

She talks like CRAZY lately. My mom asked me the other day "Did you know she knows every single word to You Are My Sunshine?" Yup. She's tricky to understand--she speaks pretty well and can say most letters, but she kinda mumbles in this higher-pitched, tiny voice, so it's hard to catch things if you aren't listening closely to her. But she's talking full sentences and can definitely give you an earful! She loves to sing and especially loves Popcorn Popping ('opping!") and the Turtle Song and You Are My Sunshine.
She loves salsa (which surprises me) and most recently her birdee cake! She eats a TON which you would never guess by looking at her stick arms and legs. She wakes up every morning too, too early and gets a bowl of dry cheerios because she is starving! She still eats a full breakfast an hour later when the rest of us are eating! She often eats more pancakes than Ruthie, which is just so funny to me. 
Molly gives the BEST hugs and kisses. She tries to convince me to stay by her in bed every single night. "Stay my bed mommy, stay my bed." Poor thing. She got pretty attached to co-sleeping in Utah (ON MY HEAD) and while I am basking in sleeping without a koala attached to my head, she's taking it pretty hard. Her kisses are so great though, and she takes great care to get her lips directly on your lips, haha.
Molly wants to do everything her older brothers and sisters are doing, which most recently has been bike riding. She is tall enough to do the balance bike but hasn't quite got the swing of it yet. Soon, though, I'm sure. She loves to swim---she has NO FEAR (ever of ANYTHING)in the water, she jumps and splashes and slides and laughs at everything. She sticks her head under when Ruth has me count to see how long she is holding her breath. It's pretty cute. 
She wears size 12 month bottoms and 2T tops and is so light. The other kids still treat her like a baby and carry her/push her in the doll baby stroller all the time. She likes Bo On The Go (netflix) and she adores babies. She gives the BEST hugs and clings so tightly to your neck, I just love that.  

She is a crazy, crazy kid and we love her SOOOOO much! Happy Birthday MOLLY!

Back To School Feast

I love traditions. I have thought a lot about them throughout the last couple of years. I feel like they are incredibly important to the fabric of a family. Traditions help children grow up feeling safe, secure, loved, and happy! We have some pretty great traditions already (ummm, by that I mean stuff like Christmas Eve pjs and such, I'm a pretty low-key mama) but I have really been struck by the Back To School Feast tradition (mostly taken from because she is kind of my mother hero). Last year we started a family theme. You can see the photo of last year's theme here
The kids had it completely memorized within a couple of weeks, but it was so nice to have it as a reference during FHE and other chats. I feel like it was a wonderful thing for our family. 

This year Sterling and I had a tough time picking a theme mostly because I wanted to make sure it had a very clear message to young kids. We're still working with our new theme on explaining what "choosing Christ" means, but I think it is definitely a conversation worth having over and over again at our dinner table! I have the kids recite it every morning at the breakfast table after we read our scripture (out of Thomas S. Monson's book that has a thought/scripture a day) and it doesn't take long before they have it memorized. 

Last year we did not do a back to school feast, mostly because I am not crafty and it was a little intimidating. Obviously, we toned the craftiness level WAY down and the decorations are med student income appropriate, haha, but I love how it turned out and am excited to do this every year!
And the birthday banner for Molly's birthday!
The kids have been LOVING these streamers! Thank you pinterest, for making a Craft For Dummies.
Ruthie wanted to help so I let her make placemats. They were soooo cute! She used a little stencil on all of them to make them fancy.

Ruth's! I love it soooo much!
I made crowns for everyone. Again, easiest thing in my life. Definitely something I can keep up. They loved them!

We had some red potatoes and corn on the cob from the farmer's market, which helped me transition away from mom's garden (sob). We talked to the kids about the theme and about going to school (Ruth is now going to school because Florida changed their Pre-K age laws, more on that later) and then Sterling gave everyone father's blessings. Since I had put a lot of thought and effort into this beforehand, I thought it turned out pretty well. Low-key enough that I should be able to keep it up. :) Happy back to school everyone!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Last day at Grandma's

These pictures are actually from the night I got home from Provo. My kids didn't even notice I was gone--they were too busy playing with the animals, helping grandma pick food from the garden, and helping out with all the chores. Ruthie would wake up, come up the stairs and ask if Grandpa had finished chores yet, and then dash off to go help. She also knew what she could and couldn't pick from the garden (she picked mostly carrots and raspberries) and was awesome at helping grandma water all the flowers and plants. Ruth was seriously in heaven at grandma's house. She loves to help SOOOO much and its so much easier to let her when you're outside and doing wonderful things all day! Will also followed grandma around, and Molly walked around the yard bossing everything like she owned the place. It was like watching three little ducklings follow grandma's every move. They were filthy dirty every single night of our stay there, and it was pure bliss. Plus grandma handed out popsicles left and right and there were all sorts of bikes to ride and things to play on, and even Molly got to be great at jumping on the tramp! It seriously was our own little paradise of summer, and I am SOO glad we decided to go and that our kids could strengthen those relationships with their cousins and grandparents and really enjoy some of the great things they can do in Utah that they don't have the opportunity to do here in Miami.

Gotta love the diaper bum and the dog hugging!

Roxie is such a pretty dog. And the way Molly yells at her is adorable--"ROCKY! ROCKY COME NOW!" haha.
Aww we love grandma kisses!
More animal lovin'. Mrs. Pots is probably not sad to see Molly go, haha.
Oh I love my dad!

It was REALLY hard to bring these hooligans inside when we knew it was our last day of play!
Thank you so much, mom, for an absolutely magical summer!

These two are the greatest. Ruth would stay with grandma in a HEARTBEAT if she could. 

We spent Sunday night and Monday at Grandma Cindy's. I should have pulled out my camera! We had a lovely afternoon playing board games with Marlowe, and since I hadn't seen him since the cabin that was really great! Then on Monday we headed out to Bridget's pool and just enjoyed and relaxed and let the kids play the day away. Perfect summer day to end a perfect stay in Utah. I can't believe how fast it went!!! And huge thanks to Cindy for getting up at 3:30am to take us to the airport! You are a saint! 
The flight went incredibly well. Ruth started crying after we made it through security, and when we finally made it to our terminal (just in time) I slowed down to ask her what was wrong. "I don't want to leave grandma!" which, in turn, turned on my waterworks, and we were probably a sight walking into the plane! But they cheered up with snacks and the excitement of the airplane, and Molly slept the entire flight to Denver which was a huge help! Our layover was just long enough to stretch our legs, fill water bottles, and use the potty and we were off on the next flight. They had individual screens which occupied Ruth almost the entire way (she watched commercials the entire time, I didn't even pay for a show haha) and then Will had the kindle to himself, and he slept and Molly slept. It could not have gone smoother. Ruth was even brave enough to use the potty twice on the plane by herself! We were definitely exhausted when we got home, but it was SOOO nice to see Sterling! Yay for daddy! Until next time, Utah. 

Weber County Fair

My sister Megan took my kids for two days while I worked at an office in Perry (which was awesome, and I loved it, and now I want to go back and sub there every single time I'm in Utah). They had the time of their lives. They rode these Jeep Wheels to the ground, played on the playground, were spoiled rotten by their aunt Megan, and got to enjoy Devaney's 6th birthday party. Too much fun. 
The morning in-between sleeping there I came upstairs to Molly laying completely on top of their dog, Willow, and-with her head completely smooshed against the dogs--poking Willow's eyes and saying "eye, eye, eye". It was hilarious. Molly loves animals SOOO much and she thought Willow was the greatest!

After I worked two days, we headed to the Weber County Fair. It was kids under 12 get in free day so it was the perfect day to go! My kids LOVED it and had such a blast! It was melting hot, but still definitely worth it!

Poor Kiery loves Molly SOOO much and Molly is such an independent little thing she'd just say "NO, GO 'WAY!" whenever Kiery tried to help her. We still love you Kiersten!
Ruth warmed up to petting all the animals.
We loved having so many cousins around ALL the time!!!
Will loved petting the goats so, so much. I was actually kind of surprised. 

The cow and Ruthie match!

Aunt Megan treated everyone to some goat food, and Will helped that goat lick every last crumb off, it was super cute.

Delaney tried valiantly to convince Megan to bring a little piggy home. Haha. They were so cute!
Here's Molly petting a kangaroo at the Down Under show!

My kids loved ALL of the vendors and stopped to get every little trinket that was being handed out, but Home Depot was hands down the favorite. We even had to find space to bring these little creations home on the airplane!
Working hard with his hammer. The last three nails he did all by himself!

Will was over the moon to see these real live transformers! Here's a high-five!

They loved seeing the little ponies everywhere!
I especially liked this Batman and Robin ensemble.
Watching some pony shows.
After this long and hot and wonderful morning (during which Megan treated us to Dole Whips and cotton candy, which was pretty much the greatest thing ever) we left all those kids with some of the teenage nieces and headed to the temple. I love how beautiful they've made the Ogden temple, and it was really great to get to go another time without worrying so much about traveling and babysitting expenses! Then Megan and Jared, mom and dad, and Kami and I headed out to eat and had some more great times. I miss it already!!!! Then mom took my kids home so I could head to Provo in the morning for the dental conference. Which was really fun actually--I had a great time and ran into a few people that I knew, and really enjoyed the evening banquet and fireside given by a member of the 70. Plus they fed us SOOO much! Haha, yay for food!