Monday, March 30, 2009

A little bit of Maya

While we had the camera out, Ryan did a little interview with Maya. I realize this is probably too many movies of Maya for a lot of you but if you're an adoring fan of our little Maya...enjoy!

For journaling purposes here's the interview transcribed:
What's your name?
What's your full name? Your Messick name?
-Maya Anne Messick
How old are you?
-I don' t know (with some prompting...) this many (three fingers). Three.
What do you like to do?
-Swim in the swimming pool with my swim suit
What else?
-I love climbing in those boxes.
Do you have any sisters?
-Hayley, M--, Oh! and Alice, and so many friends.
What do you like about Alice?
-Umm...I love Alice's great big smile!
What do you like about Hayley?
-I love watching movies actually with Hayley
What's your favorite color?
-pink and purple and that's all the colors.
What's your favorite animal?
-pigs and....oh yeah, purple elephants and pink pigs!
What's your favorite activity?
-Pouring beans into stuff (dry beans & measuring cups)

Tikki Tikki Tembo

Maya's current favorite book to read is "Tikki Tikki Tembo." If you haven't read it before, it's about a little Chinese boy that has a great long name. The book explains why Chinese people often have very short little names with one syllable. It's a fun name to say and when reading the book you have to say it over and over. So...Maya has mastered it...can you say it too?

His name is: Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Quick Trip

Ryan had to work for a couple hours at a location in Suffolk (near Virginia Beach). We decided to make a family trip out of it. We drove down one morning, went to the Aquarium in VA Beach. Spent the night at a hotel. The next morning, the kids and I hung out at a fun childrens museum while Ryan worked then we drove home. Here's a few pics from our quick trip.

Petting the sting rays.

Alice's favorite part was pushing all the buttons on the exhibits! Wow, she's getting tall!

The otters were fun to watch. Everytime I tried to catch a picture of all of them watching the otters one of the girls would disappear out of my I'm settling for 2 of the 3.

The highlight of the trip was definitely swimming in the hotel pool (the kids thought it was great...I thought it was freezing!) And who knew there were so many TV channels?!?! They were all mesmerized by this amazing thing called cable TV! (what can I say, we're cheap and busy so don't have cable at home!)

The Children's Museum had lots of fun stuff and I even remembered to pull the camera out a couple times.

What kid doesn't love bubbles? The girls had fun making life-size bubbles!

This was a room full of these styrofoam-ish bricks. They were entertained forever building their own house. The only difficulty was keeping Alice from destroying it!

All in all a fun little get-away!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Journaling Jog through Feb/March...

I love this picture of girls reading books on the floor together.

We've been reading lots lately and I love it. We've introduced them to a few different chapter book series that are fun to read all together--Boxcar Children, Magic Ballerina, Rainbow Magic Fairy.

Hayley is on the verge of taking off on her own with chapter books which is exciting. Maya actually just started reading her own starter books...considering she was learning her alphabet 6 months ago, we're really impressed with that kid!

Alice tries her best to keep up with her big sisters. She has found some little backpacks that we have and loves to wear them all over the place. She'll bring one to us with a very convincing request to put it on her! What cracks me up, is that after we put it on, as she's heading out on her next adventure, she always sticks her hands behind her back and taps the bottom of it to make sure it's there. What a cutie!

And this brings us to the magic princess castle that G&G T sent. As town-home dwellers that are quickly out-growing our own hut we were thrilled with such an awesome idea....a fun and magical tent and tunnel that folds down to the size of a large book! Scored points with me and the girls Mom and Dad! Thanks! And since we are obsessed with fairies right now it usually functions as a fairy castle with fairy-Alice guarding the tunnel!

We're a little late this school year, but we finally enrolled the girls in ballet/tap classes! Hayley took them last year and is super excited to be back (although at a new place). This is Maya's first time taking any sort of class. We're really proud of her for being so brave and leaving mom and dad to go to class. It's a big step for her but is going well so far. We feel like it's a really necessary thing for our cautious little Maya to gain some independence.

For those in the area with little girls...I'm loving this new dance studio because it's just around the corner + the teachers are great with little kids + they have TVs and one way mirrors so I can see how they're doing without being visible. Sometimes only mom knows when she needs to struggle through and when it's best to slip her out for a minute to avert a major melt down!

Hayley has been our whiz-kid with Kids K'nex lately...making all sorts of fun creations. This one was a ferris wheel type thing.

This picture cracks me up because after I took a picture of Hayley with her latest creation she wanted one with Maya in it and was sweet enough to say that Maya had "helped" her so could have some credit. Maya on the other hand couldn't care less...just wanted me to take a picture of her smile Hayley...turn around Maya...all are happy!

One night when getting kids in the bathtub was proving to be harder than pulling teeth, I had the bright idea of letting them put their swimming suits on to get in. It's amazing how they came running! They wanted me to take a picture of them "going to the beach." What I want to know is...who teaches little girls how to strike poses?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

President's Day

On President's day, Mount Vernon is free! Although these days we are definitely residents not tourists of this fine city, we decided to brave the crowds and take advantage of the freebee! My friend Jana was nice enough to meet up with us and our kids had fun even though it was really cold and really packed!

Cute little miniature parade...the guy that was on the mic warned us not to take a bathroom break or it'd be over before we got back! Perfect length for us on a cold day! There were even farm animals marching in the fun!

Recognize the view from the back lawn of the Potomac? Ryan and I just watched the second National Treasure movie...makes me want to go back to Mount Vernon to do the tour of where they filmed it!

Sometimes I just wish I could climb in there and keep warm too!!!

I have to say, we hadn't been to Mount Vernon since our first year here (5 years ago). They've added so much fun stuff. A great big visitors center and museum that seems really hands-on. I was glad we could get a quick overview but will have to go back to really get a chance to enjoy it without all the crowds!


Alice has discovered art! She loves to draw! Some days I feel like she's taking notes on my parenting mistakes as she follows me around the house with her spiral notebook and pencil!

I even bought a second booster chair this week becasue I got tired of dragging her kitchen chair into the "craft table". She begs to get in her chair and colors for pretty long periods of time considering she's barely 1 years old! Hurray for craft time! I love it when kids can sit at the table and create...just didn't expect it to start this soon!

Scribble time!

Gotta love this face!

I just love the way that little tongue helps her concentrate!

We're working on establishing the rule that you only color and write on paper. But she's pretty young to get that and considering she has a pencil or crayon in her hand most of the time I'm just waiting for the writing on the wall to appear! In the meantime, I keep handing her notebooks to carry around with her little pencil with the hope that most of the art will end up there instead!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Bouquets of Hearts

I wanted to share 2 sites that I'm loving right now. These both have oodles of ideas for kids crafts and learning activities that they love (and that I love because it keeps them happy and busy!) I think we've just hit that age with Maya that craft time is so much fun and a necessary part of every day.

For Valentines Day the kids and I made these bouquets of hearts (from No time for flash cards) and G&G T's fudge to hand out to teachers and friends. I think they're adorable!

Anyways, check these out...
No Time for Flash Cards

Oh Nuts!

We have a kid with a peanut allergy!

Why do you always think these thing won't happen to you? I've had to tell myself that this really isn't that big of a deal and it could be much worse. But right at first, I felt a little bummed at how this will inconvenience me and complicate things. Plus my kid will miss out on the joys of peanut butter and reese pieces!

I had an inkling that she might be allergic to peanuts because of a reaction she had when she was 9 months old (when she accidently got a hold of some peanut butter) but was hoping it was just a sensitivity. I asked her doctor if we could get her tested at her 1 year appointment. He was no help...told me the tests aren't reliable until they're 4 years just avoid peanut butter for 3 more years. Are you kidding? Just avoid it for fun...just in case? Does he know what country we live in?

I wasn't willing to go through that much trouble when there may not even be a problem. So I drove us to a emergency room parking lot and fed her part of a peanut butter sandwich. She loved it!

Unfortunately within 15 minutes this was what she looked like. Luckily it was just hives all over her face and miserably itchy so we didn't have to utilize the emergency room. Benedryl cured the problem and knocked her out within 30 minutes. I felt bad for her but am glad to know that I'm avoiding it for a reason!

So now we've joined the many paranoid parents that carry an epi-pen and hope to never use it.

As a side note. I'm really lucky that I have an Aunt that is very highly educated and well respected in homeopathy and works with patients with allergies all the time. So we're going to go down that road in hopes that we can lessen her sensitivity and figure out what nuts she can and can't have. But if any of you out there have more tips and tricks for me...let me know!

Another Birthday

Ryan turned another year older...and is the third birthday we celebrate in our house in a two week period. I guess we were all getting tired of all the partying because I barely took a picture.
It was a fun day and we girls are just so happy to have this guy in our lives!

He bought some new gear for his current hobby (which I'll let him post about because if anyone has cool pictures...he does!) and I finally printed real pictures for him to take into work (I know, lame present but he was excited!). I'm sure his co-workers think he only has one's been so long since I've sent updated pictures into work! We never see his office so I just don't think about it.

The night before his birthday we met up at a Mexican restaurant with Ryan's sister and her family and my brother and his family. Amazingly, we had a blast even with 9 little kids in the middle of a restaurant! Again...the pictures are the best I've got!

This post is obviously way after the big day (since I'm in my constant catch-up mode) but I love you honey and am so grateful to have shared another fabulous year of life with you!!!