Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Julia's 24-Month Checkup

Julia went in for her 24-month checkup this morning. She continues to be in the upper percentiles for both her height and weight. She is 34 inches tall and weighs 32 pounds. Just like her previous two checkups, she is pretty much the same height Evelyn was at this age, but Julia weighs four pounds more.

Unlike a year ago, there are no concerns for Julia. Her motor skills show that she is moving around like a two-year-old should, and she throws the expected toddler tantrums. A clean bill of health for our little Sunshine.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Two Smart Girls

While watching the Weather Channel this evening, Evelyn said, "It's going to be 70 in Nebraska tomorrow!" Sure enough, that's what the map showed. Little does Evelyn know that her sentence shows both her understanding of United States geography and recognizing larger numbers. Very smart girl!

Julia is spot-on when it comes to colors. She knows all six colors of the rainbow, plus white, pink, brown, gray and black. She is also trying to count. Julia usually gets one, two, three correct, and then she starts saying random numbers. She also sings the ABC song, and she tries to read books by pointing to the words on the page while saying make-believe words. Colors and emergent literacy for our little Sunshine - not too shabby!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Aviation Museum Field Trip

This morning, Evelyn's Kindergarten class went to the College Park Aviation Museum. With Evelyn having recently visited the Wright Brothers Memorial in North Carolina and currently reading a biography about the Wright brothers, this field trip was right up her alley.

The first thing the class saw was a life-sized robotic mannequin of Wilbur Wright, talking to the students about building airplane parts in his workshop. As you can see in the pictures below, Evelyn was completely awestruck by this display. In the second picture, she is waving to him.
The museum docent explained the various parts of early airplanes, such as a 1909 Wright flyer, using the museum's replica to demonstrate how the parts of the plane moved. Evelyn already knew most of what was explained because of the chapter book that she is reading, so it was fun for her to get the same information in a different format.

At the end of the demonstrations, the students had a chance to "fly" a 1939 airplane - when they moved the steering wheel and pushed the pedals, various parts of the plane's wings moved. Do we have a budding pilot on our hands?

This museum has a variety of weekend children's activities throughout the year, and I am going to keep my eye out for workshops that will interest Evelyn. In other words, we will definitely be back!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Let's Eat Cake!

Julia couldn't wait to eat her birthday cake this year.
However, she waited patiently for the candle to be lit and for us to sing "Happy Birthday" to her . . .

After Big Sis helped blow out the candle, Julia wasted no time and dug right in.
The smiles on her face need no explanation - she loved her cake!

Presents for a 2-Year-Old

When Julia woke up from her nap this afternoon, a new, pink tricycle was waiting for her! She is still too little to power it on her own, but she enjoyed being pushed around the house this afternoon.
Kat and Ross joined us this evening for Julia's birthday party, and they gave Julia the perfect gift - an Elmo book. Julia loves books, and she loves Elmo. This gift will probably be on Julia's top-ten list.
Julia understood the concept of birthday presents this year, and she was itching to tear into them.
Uncle Eric and Aunt Heather sent Julia this outdoor grill set. It has lights and sounds that makes the set very realistic - here she is, adding a little salt to her steak.

Julia is all about puzzles at the moment, and she received two new wooden puzzles for her birthday. The one pictured below makes animal sounds whenever the right piece is put in place.

Guaranteed Sleep

This past week, Evelyn woke up around 6:30 every morning. That's about an hour earlier than normal . . . and our little Peanut needs more sleep than that. We're pretty sure the reason Evelyn wakes up that early is because of her east-facing bedroom window. Even with blinds, a black-out shade and curtains, the early morning sun still manages to wake her up.

Enter her eye mask, something Evelyn picked up a little while ago for fun. Last night, Evelyn mentioned that she wanted to wear it to bed. I didn't think she would keep it on, but when I went in to check on her, she was sound asleep with her eye mask on. What time did she wake up this morning? 7:50. That's much better. I wonder if this trend will continue?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Elmo Birthday Cake

Julia helped make her birthday cake this year. Considering how much she loves Elmo, I decided to go with the furry red guy for Julia's cake. She helped with every step. She opened the cake mix box . . .

. . . she added the oil and water, and she cracked the eggs . . .

. . . she helped the mixing bowl . . .

. . . and she managed to keep her fingers out of the batter.

The only thing that Julia had a hard time with was being patient. She seemed to think that once we poured the batter into the cake pan, it would be ready to eat. Patience, patience!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

That Was a Close One

So far this year, Evelyn has had perfect attendance in school. No tardies, no absences. After making it through the winter months (i.e., flu season) without so much as a sniffle, I thought she was home free. And then . . . she got a weird virus.

Saturday through Tuesday, Evelyn had an off-and-on sore throat with a fever. The fever only came in the evening, so we would give her ibuprofen before going to bed. In the mornings, she would wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, no fever whatsoever. Even though it went against the "fever free for 24 hours" school policy, I sent her to school.

The pattern of being fine at school and feeling sick at home continued for two days. Now it seems that Evelyn is in the clear and has gotten over the virus. With just over seven weeks of school left, we're crossing our fingers that Evelyn's Kindergarten year will be absence-free.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Two Years Ago Today . . .

. . . Julia Carolyn made her debut at 7:54 p.m. Since her birthday fell on a weekday this year, and Troy has been commuting to Washington, D. C. for a conference this week, we plan to celebrate Julia's birthday with cake and presents this weekend.

Here are some pictures I took today. Recently, Julia has been interested in reading Evelyn's new Ralph's World book, and the following pictures show how animated Julia gets while reading:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ralph's World Groupies

After attending our third Ralph's World concert this morning, I think we have officially become groupies. Ralph's songs are clever and folksy, and his concerts are very personal. He tends to play in smaller venues, where audience members are able to visit with him before and after the show. He takes the time to chat with his pint-sized fans, take pictures with them and sign autographs.
This time, Evelyn brought two new Ralph's World items to be signed - his latest CD and picture book. Ralph wrote a message to both Julia and Evelyn on the CD. Then he wrote a special "Happy 6th birthday" to Evelyn inside her book, which was an early birthday present from her Uncle Eric.

Evelyn danced all over the place while Ralph and his band performed, and Julia stayed close to home base (aka Mommy), snacking on Goldfish throughout the show. Julia sang along to her favorite song, "Happy Lemons," joining in with the La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la chorus, but otherwise she sat and just took it all in. A good time was had by all, and hopefully we'll get to see a fourth concert sometime soon.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Rosie loves it whenever we get a package. Why? She gets to have fun with the box. Today I challenged her by hiding the box under the kitchen counter. Naturally, curiosity got the best of her, and she had to figure out a way to wiggle inside the box. Once there, she gnawed at the corners of the box, until she got a piece loose to play with. It truly takes the simplest things to entertain kittens.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wiggly Tooth

Evelyn is proud to announce that she has a wiggly tooth! Her middle-right bottom tooth is really loose and on its way out. It won't be long before the tooth fairy will need to pay Evelyn a visit. Stay tuned for an update - with pictures, of course!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Trifle Helper

Julia has become more and more interested in helping me make things in the kitchen. When I was putting a trifle together this morning, she insisted that I push the stool over to the island so she could get in on the action. You can tell that she is a thorough sous chef by the way she is carefully studying the recipe.
Besides playing around with empty measuring cups and mixing bowls, I did let Julia stir one of the pudding mixtures. As you would expect, she made a bit of a mess while stirring, but she had fun. She'll get better with practice, just like her older sister has.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lacing Lesson

I've mentioned before how different the girls are when it comes to fine motor skills. Julia is naturally tuned in to working her little fingers - she eats really well with a fork and spoon, plus she holds markers and crayons properly when coloring. But Evelyn could still use more practice.

Recently, I got a lacing kit for Evelyn to play with. The kit has several cardboard cut-outs of various bugs. The cut-outs have holes around the edges so that Evelyn can thread a shoelace through them. Since it's tricky to convince Evelyn to practice something she needs to work on, I left the lacing kit on the kitchen table . . . and waited for her to find it. Sure enough, she found it and wanted to play with it. It was fairly easy for her to lace the edges of the cutouts, but hopefully this skill practice will help her in other areas like writing and drawing.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April Heat Wave

I know this picture is a bit blurry, but it proves my point - it was HOT today! It didn't even get this hot in Dallas in early April.

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 5th Picture

Ever since we moved here a little over two years ago, we have taken a picture on the deck on the fifth of April. One of the trees in the backyard has gorgeous white blossoms on it this time of the year, which makes for a great background. I had to be in the picture this year because a certain little Sunshine kept trying to run away.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cherry Blossoms 2010

We saw the cherry blossoms in DC at the end of their "peak window" this year. With the warm weather we've had recently, not many of the trees had blossoms left. But we still managed to find a few pink-flowered trees for some photo ops.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Duck Donuts

As I started to drive away from the beach house this morning, heading for home, Julia requested, "Donuts?" I looked at Evelyn, who grinned and nodded in agreement. We had the opportunity to eat these yummy breakfast goodies earlier in the week. Who was I to say no? I turned the car around and headed to Duck Donuts.

After ordering our donuts, we found a bench on the boardwalk to sit and eat. Well, to be more precise, the girls sat, ran around and ate. Evelyn ordered two (two!) donuts with chocolate frosting and rainbow sprinkles, and I let Julia have a plain donut. It probably goes without saying that the girls devoured their morning treats.

We learned that a visit to the Outer Banks isn't complete without enjoying fresh, warm, made-to-order donuts from Duck Donuts.

Friday, April 2, 2010

One Last Time

It was a bit on the chilly side this afternoon with the wind, but we girls headed to the beach one last time.
Evelyn honed in on her architectural skills and built sand castles with surrounding trenches. She is learning that wet sand works best for building, so she filled her bucket close to the water.

Julia tried her best to help, but I don't think she exactly knew which direction to take. The only thing that mattered to Evelyn was that little sister didn't destroy her handiwork.

Sand Dunes

A popular attraction in Nags Head is Jockey's Ridge State Park, known to the locals as the Sand Dunes. The dunes go on forever, it seems, and you can wander around and play on as many as you want. Since our crew consisted of young ones, we stuck to one dune for our hour-long visit.

Evelyn (in the light blue shirt) is seen here, climbing to the top of the dune. It was a fairly steep incline, but Evelyn wasn't fazed at all.
Evelyn preferred two modes of transportation to get to the bottom of the dune. She either ran down the slope . . .

. . . or she scooted down on her belly.
Julia stayed close to the bottom of the dune while Evelyn literally ran all over the place.
Even though I'm the one who did all the work climbing up and down the sand dune, carrying my 30-pound monkey, Julia got so worn out that she fell asleep on me.