Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat

First words out of Anthony's mouth this morning were "Is it time to go trick-or-treating now?"

Finally the time came and we were off! Ciaran came over (3rd time in a row, though people have stopped mistaking them for twins) and they had a grand old time RUNNING from house to house.

They still were more than happy to stop and enjoy the decorations. One house had gravestones where the top would life and a ghost would come out. It was pretty funny watching Anthony peer behind it, trying to figure out how it all worked.

I gave out books again this year. Reception was generally positive, "Oooh, books!", especially from the parents. One Dad and I really had to convince a child that he really wanted "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." Silly child! A few kids rejected books and then were sent on their way! I'll do it again next year. House hasn't been egged yet.

Anthony's haul was pretty heavy on "the good stuff". Unfortunately for him, he prefers the horribly sweet stuff--laffy taffy, skittles, candy corn, lollipops. He's been pretty generous about sharing his candy with Mommy and Daddy. Probably the last time that will happen.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Fun

Today was all about Halloween Fun. The kids all wore their costumes to church this morning. Then we headed home for a quick lunch and off to the airplane museum to see the witch drop a pumpkin from the helicopter. No disappointment, it was a lovely SPLAT.

After a (too-long) nap, we headed off to some haunted houses in the neighborhood. The first was at a nearby elementary school. It was pretty dark and spooky, I was afraid that Anthony would be too scared. He LOVED it and was disappointed that we could only go through once.

We then headed off to DC Cemetery, which has won national awards for best haunted house and was even featured on the Today Show. Its their twentieth year in action and was stunningly impressive for a volunteer run display in someone's front yard! We were there during the daytime (children's hour) but it was still a pretty impressive display. And once again, Anthony was fascinated.

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Scary Pumpkins

An eagerly awaited day finally arrived, the carving of the pumpkins. Daddy and Anthony carved quite the scary trio, including a vampire jack-o-lantern.

About Anthony's shirt. He barely got to wear it this season as its been so warm. It was actually really too warm for today but I wanted it to be worn!

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Program

Today was Anthony's Halloween Program at school. He did GREAT!

Mrs. Mead, the director, started off with her standard spiel, about how much she loves Halloween, about how kids can grow up to be anything they want to be, and about how Halloween is the day where they can be WHATEVER they want. She then went on to describe some of the costumes--a twirling fish, muscled girls and bejeweled boys.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Art Work

Anthony has been doing some great artwork lately. All of a sudden a light clicked on and he really started to enjoy coloring. I print coloring pages on the computer and he loves to sit at the table and color with markers. (Not so into crayons, maybe the color isn't intense enough.)

The first picture is actually a "cognitive activity" from preschool--sorting and counting. I appreciate his attempts at writing his name. The 2nd picture is one of the first coloring pages he did. I was pretty impressed with how hard he worked at coloring it nicely. The third picture is an art project from preschool. I'm particularly fond of the portrait of yours-truly he drew. It even has eyebrows!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Robert's Birthday Party

Today was Robert's birthday party. For an event that was eagerly anticipated, Anthony really didn't have much fun. I'm not really quite sure why--it was all kids from the neighborhood that he knew. They were mostly older, though, and the party got off to a rather rambunctous start with a game of tag. Anthony generally dislikes playing that kind of game with bigger kids.

He did enjoy eating cake and ice cream out of his very own doggie dish.
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Friday, October 21, 2011

3-2-1 Blast-off!

Jay gave Anthony a vinegar and baking soda powered rocket for his birthday. Bob saw it and said, "That's so cool." Tonight we finally took it out for a spin.

The learning curve was a bit steep--too tight on the launcher and it wouldn't go, too loose and Bob gets covered in baking soda.

When done right, though, Wow! Bob even got to retrieve the rocket from the roof.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

Saturday we headed down to Swank Farms to visit their pumpkin patch. There are other, closer farms, but we like Swank a lot. It was our third year and even though the activities are the same, Anthony's interests keep changing. In addition to the "kiddie coral", we bought Anthony a ticket to ride on the "cow train". The Donahues arrived just as we were wrapping things up, but the kids did enjoy their train ride together. (Then the Daddies did the pumpkin sling-shot. Anthony was pretty bummed that he didn't get to "help".)

We enjoyed the maze, with the story of "Spookley, the Square Pumpkin". Anthony now understands how to follow the arrows to read the whole story. There was plenty of bounce house jumping and a pile of hay, too.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fabulous New Toy

We used the birthday money from Grandpa Vince and Grandma Donna to buy a toy I've been eying for YEARS--a Haba marble run.

Its definitely a parent/child activity as Anthony is probably a few years away from being able to set it up on his own. That being said, he really enjoys it and is starting to understand how it works. (Its also a quiet time activity, wild boys knock it over. That's what he was doing before he understood how cool it was when it was finally set up.)

Now, of course, I'm already lusting for some of the cooler elements, the sound staircase, the ringing track, and the funnel (which even included the ringing track).

Sorry, the video quality is lousy. Anthony was in the way AND I was on the phone with Grandma.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Worn out

Anthony was wiped out last Sunday afternoon and pretty much collapsed on the sofa. I think its the first time it happened. (Old post, this was the day after his birthday party.)

On a related note, we "reward" him with 4 skittles to stay in bed until clock turns yellow. A few days ago he sang (and played in his bed for almost 45 minutes. All for FOUR skittles. Works for me!

Oh yeah, he dressed himself, too. Makes me cringe just thinking about it. Normally I give him his choice of shirts and then pull out the matching shorts. Sunday he was in time out for refusing to change out of his church clothes. He overcompensated.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Camping with Old/New Friends

We had a great time camping with my college friends Don and Sarah and their two boys this weekend. We went to Henry Cowell State Park and camped among the redwood trees.

Anthony was a bit stand-offish at first. It was strange, usually he loves other kids. Then he said, "I thought we were going with my cousins Joshua and Emerson." Joshua and Anderson, Joshua and Emerson, they sound similar, but are oh so different.

The boys had played together before, but now Anthony was finally old enough to really play with the big kids. Boy did they play together. Anthony even taught Anderson the "flying monkey game." Anderson showed off his loose/missing teeth, which made Anthony SO jealous.

We went on a few short hikes and found some geo-caches. (Bob and Anthony hadn't been geocaching in YEARS.) Anthony did great on the hikes, the longest was about a mile and a half and he didn't really get tired until the very end.

The highlights of the trip included marshamallows (of course), playing inside the various redwood trees, including one big enough to hold SEVENTY FOUR people, and petting "the muppet tree" which had an immensely thick layer of lichen.

The best part of all, of course, was visiting with old friends.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Good-bye jungle gym

It got played with TWICE. Once when the Deckers were here, once at Anthony's birthday party, by the other kids. I finally got the enormous piece of plastic out of our backyard by selling to a local family. Meanwhile, the kids had so much fun playing with all the disassembled pieces.
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

When will I be five?

365 days!

(Next year is a leap year)
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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Four Years Old

Anthony is four years old today!

Time for an update:

1. He's about 40" tall and 35 pounds. That means he's holding steady at 75% for height and 25% for weight.

2. He's really blossoming in terms of physical skills--he can pump on the swing, hop on each foot extensively, skip, walk a short balance beam and ride his bike without training wheels.

3. He's incredibly verbal with a fairly impressive vocabulary. (Latest declaration: "Burping is uncouth." Yes, I know he's just quoting me verbatum. He also knows EXACTLY what it means.) He also speaks VERY clearly.

4. Socially he's coming along. He still has a rough time having friends over. Now its not the sharing of toys as much as uncooperative play. He wants to play what he wants, not necessarily what his friend wants. That being said, he's started talking about the new friends he's making at preschool and is always playing cooperatively with a group when I pick him up at daycare.

5. He's fascinated by phonics. He seems to have fairly good mastery at B, S, M and W. If you clearly say a word that begins with one of those letters he can correctly identify it. Its kind of hit and miss with others. We practice a LOT as he find it interesting.

6. His favorite toys are his dress-up clothes and his bicycle. He also really enjoys his Highlights Hi-5 magazine. He's gotten pretty good at the Hidden Pictures and thinks those are a lot of fun.
7. "Mommy, buy me" has entered his vocabulary. It used to be, "I want". I first noticed it when we were looking through a Halloween catalog a few weeks ago. I thought we were just looking at the costumes and trying to decide what he wanted to be. Next thing I knew it was, "buy me this!"
8. His fine motor skills are still work in progress. We've been signing thank you notes and he still sometimes holds a pen in his fist. He can write a wobbly A, but not the rest of his letters. (He brought homework back from preschool last week practicing his name.)

9. He can count pretty high, but usually transitions straight from 26 to 37.

10. No more sippy cups! He hasn't NEEDED them for a long time, but he LIKED them. 4 year olds use big boy cups.

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Helping Mama Make Birthday Cupcakes

Funny... When Mom makes her own birthday cake its a bit of a bummer. When almost-four-year-old gets to make his own birthday cupcakes its a great treat accompanied by the licking of the beater.

Daycare cupcakes are chocolate with cream cheese frosting and topped with witch hats I made from gum paste and fondant.

The preschool cupcakes are also chocolate, but I've come to my senses and will just be buttercream and sprinkles.

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

No Training Wheels!

We gave Anthony his big birthday present today--a 12" bike with no training wheels. It took a little while for him to have the confidence to ride it. He was much happier with Bob's hand on his back for reassurance. This video was shot within seconds of getting on the bike. By the end of the afternoon he was a pro!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A few more party pictures

We were really too busy hosting Anthony's party to get good pictures! The top picture is playing "Pin the heart on the tinman." None of the kids had ever played before--old fashioned party games have gone out of style. I think they enjoyed playing!

We went straight from there to the pinata. Anthony had been begging to whack the witch all morning. Heck, he's been begging for his party all morning. We told him his party would be after lunch. As we were sitting down to breakfast he asked, "Is it lunchtime yet?" Of course, the cake and mint chocolate chip ice cream (Anthony's favorite) were enjoyed by all!

At dinner, he asked if he could have a wicked witch pinata for his birthday party. I assume he meant next year!

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Wizard of Oz

We really enjoyed the Wizard of Oz theme. I asked Bob to make a yellow brick road leading up to the house. He went wild with the chalk and did a great job! (The bounce house was labelled "flying monkeys only.")

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