Well I took my first crack at using all that I learned in my photography class last winter ... my friend Shawna asked if I would photograph her twin boys (they recently turned 2) over at her parents' house which has a nice wooded path. I can say that if I ever wanted to get into this hobby/job I would need A LOT more practice (mainly with light and angles) and a MUCH better camera..... but I had so much fun. I ended up snapping almost 300 pictures in the short time we were there and even ended up with some real gems out of the bunch (I darn well should for 300 photos). I'm going to post a few of my favorites below. Hopefully Shawna is as pleased with them as I am as I know she wanted to use them for her Xmas cards this year.
Famous Evie ..... yep, our little girl made the paper. Well.... the Lake Country Echo newspaper 0 but still :) A photographer snapped a photo of her while we were at the Nisswa Fire Department's Open House last weekend (last week was fire prevention week) .... she looked so adorable in her little fire fighter hat playing with the pylons they had there - even I snapped a few of the same photo that was featured in the paper. Check it out HERE. The open house was a lot of fun and the kids had a blast. They had all their vehicles out to tour and look over and the highlight was the North Memorial emergency helicopter they had there. The boys couldn't stay away from that and crawled all through it checking it out. They also did some demonstrations with the water hoses and an example kitchen (grease) fire and how NOT to throw water on it etc. We stayed and had some hot dogs and chips there and then headed back home to get Evie down for her nap.... and me showered and ready for my girls night out up here in Brainerd. YAY .... a few of my friends came up for the night: Ellie, Heidi and Nicki (Flez). We went to Prairie Bay and stuffed ourselves on some shared appetizers (BYOB - yum) and entrees cuz we couldn't decide what we wanted for ourselves - so why not just share a few? Then we headed to the Pickle (which has REALLY changed since last time I was there about 1.5 years ago) for a few, then back to the house for a bonfire. Such a nice visit with friends and to catch up on what was going on with each of us .... can't wait to have another one later this winter and see if we can get an even bigger showing from our group of gals.
We've been getting outside quite a bit lately ..... LOVING this weather. The kiddos love the leaves and beg me to make piles for them. Finally brought my camera out with me the other day while Evie was napping and snapped a few of the boys wrestling around in a big pile of leaves - they were having a hay day.... until we got inside and they were whining about how they had "itchies" (leaves in their diapers, pants, shirts etc). :)
Updates on the kiddos.... the boys are doing better and better each week at their preschool. Not that they were ever doing bad.... more just getting used to the whole routine and having to sit and pay attention etc. Each week as we drive into town we talk about OUR school rules and they are very proud to show they remember them, and every week we've added another rule ....so far we are at: 1.) No pooping at school (that is, until we're potty trained and good at telling another adult we need to go to the bathroom). 2.) Listen to the teachers (they know the examples are sitting for story/circle time, holding hands when walking down the hall etc) and 3.) Pull up your sleeves when you wash your hands and eat (which is a rule at home too). Next week we might add to #3 to include when they are working on their art work too.... as just this last Thursday Oscar came home with his sleeves just covered in yellow and green paint. :) They LOVE going to school and excitedly talk about going to see Mary, Michelle and Peggy (the teachers). On the times I get to watch them from behind the glass windows I see them doing so much better about sitting in their circle and only getting up when called.... and standing patiently in line until all of them are accounted for ... and playing so well with the other kids. Miss Mary told me the other day that both MacKay and Oscar don't seem to be as dependent upon each other as she would have expected and are really making new friends in the class. And one of the other mothers told me the other day that her daughter, Freya, told her that MacKay was her favorite boy in the class. YAY - I love hearing things like this as I constantly worry about their socialization and behavior out of the home. I'm so proud of them and so glad they are having such a good time .... as am I, as I am getting so used to getting out of the house so much more frequently (with the kids) that it isn't quite as big of a deal to get them all packed up and out the door now. And I love being able to take Evie to her own ECFE class during the boys' "drop off" day. Lately they have been really taking in things I say too... they amazed me hours later when they tell me something I told them earlier. Ex... today when we arrived at the play gym (parking lot) Oscar said "We get to see Jack and Wyatt" (who we used to go with all the time last season ... but they haven't been able to make it yet this season) so I told them "No, Jack and Wyatt won't be here this time ... they are at their grandma's". 2 hours later when we were leaving MacKay said "Jack and Wyatt weren't at play gym ... they were at their grandma's right Mom?" I know that sounds so trivial... yet it is so amazing to me that they pick up those details. MacKay even left play gym today saying "Good Bye Play Gym... it was nice to see you." They just converse so well now ..... and they are doing SO well asking for things. We've been working on their manners as lately they've been screaming for things when they don't need to (when should they really ever need to, right?). Now if they yell something at us (a demand - I NEED MORE MILK) we just tell them that we can't understand them when they yell, or don't like when they shout or whine ... and that they need to ask nicely. Now they nicely will ask "Can I HAVE more milk... please" etc. So much more pleasant around here ... but we're still working on it as they have to be reminded quite often to do this (after first yelling it out). And we're reintroducing the naughty bench for inappropriate actions (hitting, being mean, fighting, throwing a tantrum, whining etc). And it isn't really working.... not only is it NOT stopping these behaviors... but they actually LIKE being on the naughty bench. They will even prefer it if I use it as a consequence, like .... you need to help me clean up, if you don't help you have to go sit on the naughty bench. And they will just blankly tell me "I want to go sit on the naughty bench" and will walk right over there and sit there with NO qualms about it. Anyone got ideas on this one? :)
Evie is a feeding fiend lately... she eats EVERYTHING we eat now and pounds it down for the most part. She loves blueberries, cheese, pizza, fried potatoes, mac n cheese, spaghetti, cheese burgers and strawberries. Her definite favorite is always strawberries though .... she waves her arms around violently until you can get her more and more and more. She's got quite the little attitude lately.... throwing herself onto the floor or mashing her face into the wall/cabinets when she is having a temper tantrum. She LOVES to gab and even though no words are really being formed ... she blurts out her own full sentences about things, complete with the right voice inflection. She does have a few words that she can mimic or say..... Whoa, Wow, Hi, Hi-Yo (Hello), Mom, Da-Da, Jooz (Juice), Stop etc. And our little Miss Attitude has now graduated onto Miss Diva.... this morning I got her dressed (not super nice as we were going to the play gym) in some striped yoga pants and her Hello Kitty shirt .... which apparently didn't fly with her. While I was getting the boys ready she came over to me with her little iridescent purple tutu and handed it to me. I thought she was just showing it to me so I took it and put it on the dresser ... that's when she started ranting and stomping her feet so I gave it back. Again she started ranting holding it up to me. It hit me she might want to wear it as she totally knows when she has a tutu on and sways her hips back and forth etc. So I put it on right over her pants and outfit and she was SO pleased and ran off twisting her hips this way and that. A few minutes later when we were getting shoes on and getting ready to leave I tried to pull it off of her and she started humphing and hawing and tugging back on it. So I took it that THIS is what she wanted to wear and gave in pretty easily as all my friends with girls have advised me to do. It actually looked quite cute anyway ... and a mother at the play gym came over and commented how cute it was and that her daughter had come in and pointed her out saying "Look Mommy, it's a princess." Ha ..... you got that right. So she worked it at the play gym in her full on outfit with tutu shirt as the accessory. Wow .... I think I'm in trouble, barely past 1 year old and this has already started.
Wish us well this weekend..... 1.) We're going to ATTEMPT to make my Dad and Terri's fantastic ham/bean/chorizo soup. They made it one time when they were here so I could take notes. We made a bone in ham the other night with the intentions of making this soup this weekend ..... hopefully it turns out as good as theirs as my mouth is salivating just thinking about it. and 2.) We're going to ATTEMPT (let's not set expectations too high here) to potty train the boys this weekend as well. Saturday morning they will be dressed in their underwear and some sweat pants ... with full expectation of a big mess shortly thereafter. Hoping they hate the feeling of it right away and get the whole idea of telling us when they have to go BEFORE it actually commences. I'm sure I'll have some good stories after this weekend is finished ...... unnnghhh, SO not looking forward to this. Isn't there some sort of "class" or "program" I can enroll them in and have this taken care of FOR me?
I'm sure there is more to comment on .... but I cannot think of it at this moment, so I will now leave you to the barrage of photos I have to share.
Some photos of Jackson and Wyatt Williams ..... my favorites, tho these are REALLY pared down as there were another 10-20 I could have included.
MacKay and Oscar playing with their newly setup Black & Decker work bench (they got it for Xmas last year from Gma Bonnie and Gpa Dean). It now sits in their room as their only toy in their so far..... planning to move their toy box in there to reclaim some of our family room back from the kiddos toys. And also, the boys playing with .... yes.... THE BOX from their work bench. Classic
Our darling little Evie hamming it up for me during lunch one day (after polishing off half of a McDonald's cheeseburger and a ton of fries all by herself)
Oscar and MacKay during yet another one of our games of chase around the house.... always getting cornered....
Nisswa Fire Department Open House (10/9/2010)
Well... like I said, wish us luck... mainly with the potty training. I'll fill you all in later on how that went ....