Parenting Story

Parenting Story

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pumpkin carving

Unfortunately, we experienced yucky weather on the day that we had planned to go to the pumpkin patch and we were forced to purchase pumpkins at our local grocery store.
Not quite the tradition that I was going for, but the kids did not seem to mind.
I had purchased a pumpkin carving kit last year that I was really excited to try out, so I had the kids pick out their design and then we got down to work on gutting the pumpkins.
Several hours later, we had these beautiful masterpieces.

Halloween 2012

Since I had a lamb costume for Gretchen, I decided that it would be fun to dress Reese up as Little Bo Peep. I started looking for costumes and was disappointed to find that most costumes were around $30 or more and were not the best quality. Though Reese was on board with the costume idea originally, she decided after watching the "Aristocats" that she wanted to be a white cat like "Marie". Wouldn't you know that a white cat costume would be impossible to find. Everywhere I looked, I found balck and leopard tails, ears and costumes, but never anything in white. Since I couldn't find a costume, I decided to try to make one. I just needed a white sweatsuit, which also turned out to be impossible to find. Eventually we found a white sweatshirt and leggings the Saturday before Halloween and day before trick-or-treat. I had some leftover fur from a Christmas project and used it to fashion some ears and a tail for her to wear with the sweatsuit. Though it was a fairly simple costume, Reese was ecstatic. She even thought that she should crawl on her hands and knees like a cat for trick or treat and drink milk from a bowl for her meals.

While we were uncertain about Reese's costume until the last possible minute, we had been working on Aidan's costume much longer. I brought a copy paper box home from work and taped off some boxes and the number one. Then I spray painted it blue. After removing the tape, I painted those areas red. I painted a face on a paper plate and spray painted several paper plates black and attached them to the box with hot glue. Finally, I added a striped piece of scrapbook paper on top and some black buffers to the front and back. I added some straps and Aidan's Thomas the Train costume was finished. Just like Reese he was so excited to wear his costume. I put him in it and he immediately began running around the house bashing into things.

Though Gretchen's costume was not homemade, she still looked adorable!

I hope that the kids will continue to allow me to help them create costumes in the future. It was so much fun to be able to work together to create something that they truly loved and was different from anything else that the other kids were wearing.

4 months

Gretchen turned 4 months old! We went to the doctor on October 7 and I couldn't wait to hear her stats. She was 24.5 inches long and weighed 15 pounds and 4 ounces, so she is definitely growing! The doctor confirmed that we were right to start giving her cereal and said to go ahead and start some baby foods. We have tried carrots, beans and sweet potatoes so far. Though uncertain at first, she now enjoys the new foods. We have also given her some of the baby mum mum crackers. She is not too interested in holding them herself, but will suck on them if you hold it for her. The other night as we were eating dinner, she sat with us in her high chair and licked and sucker her lips the entire time. It will not be long now and she will be eating table food with us! Though I am excited for each of the new phases as she grows, I am sad to leave each stage behind.

Besides physically growing, Gretchen has really started to develop her own personality. She is such a smiley, happy baby and so easy going. She barely cried with her shots and rarely fusses at all. She is an excellent sleeper, having slept a minimum of 8 hours most nights since she was about 6 weeks old. She is also very perceptive. She can tell when a member of our family is not in the room, and is definitely happiest when we are all together.
Though she is awake much more she still naps frequently throughout the day. I often catch her catnapping in her favorite chair
or falling into a milk coma after eating.
Whether napping or just hanging out, she has found that she really enjoys her thumb, much like her older sister did and still does. Though I know that I should discourage her from the thumb sucking I still think that it is adorable!

We love you so much Gretchen! Keep smiling!

Better than a blanket!

My mom came to visit us for a few days while she was off work after surgery. When she came she brought Reese's quilt with her. She had given Reese a quilt for her birthday about a month ago, but had to take it with her to finish up the binding. Reese was absolutely ecstatic to have her quilt and couldn't wait to put it on her bed.

Today as my mom was preparing to leave and the kids were extremely upset at seeing her go, my mom told Reese that sleeping with her quilt would be like having grandma Potter laying next to her and that each of the hearts on the quilt was like a kiss from grandma. Reese calmed down at that and settled down for her nap with the quilt.
A few hours later when the kids woke up from their naps, Reese told me, "Grandma Potter is a lot more fun than a blanket!"

Silent E and other school lessons

A few weeks ago Reese was writing small words like "stop" and making short sentences like 'We go to PE." The other night she was sitting at the table writing like she does most nights, but when I looked over at what she was doing I saw words like "butrfli" for butterfly and was so impressed. I can't believe how quickly she advanced from writing and recognizing short words to sounding out and spelling much longer words. She started reading the words off to me and then began to give me a little lesson on the silent E. After her lesson she said, "Oh yeah, I forgot the silent e!" and promptly went back and added the letter e to the end of each of the words she had already written. Friday, when I went to Reese's school for "read with me", her teacher informed me that Reese was so excited for me to come that she wrote about me in her journal. I'm hoping that we get to see her journal writing when we go in next week for conferences. Regardless of when I get to see it, that journal will likely become one of my most prized possessions when it finally makes it's way home, just like all of the drawings she brings home each week that depict her and I. I'm so glad that she has fun and enjoys school, but it's also nice to know that she thinks of me.