Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of School

Today is one of the three most highly anticipated days of my life - Mary's first day of Kindergarten (Sarah and Leah's being the other two). Actually, I don't know if you could technically call today the first day of K. She was only there for an hour and fifteen minutes. They do this lovely staggered-start thing to drive the parents insane. Her first day with the entire class for the entire time (a whopping 2 hrs, 45 min) is actually on Friday.

Either way, she was really excited to officially meet her teacher, Mrs. M. She is the same teacher that Sarah had for K and she is fabulous. Mary also told me she met a new friend, but didn't know his name. That's par for the course for her. It took her a few weeks to find out the names of the kids she was regularly playing with when she switched preschool. I can just picture her calling everyone "Hey You!".

Sarah also had her first day of school today. She was very nervous and hardly slept last night. I think after finding out that she knew most of the fourth graders and a good chunk of the third graders in her class that she felt a lot better (it is a 3rd/4th combo class). One major disappointment to her is that she didn't get her best bud in class with her. Of course, her older brother is in her class (he's in 4th).
Here they are...all spit-shined and ready to go!

Mary in her backpack that weighs almost as much as she does:

Here is Sarah with the Wickliffe Wolf. Every school needs a old statue of a wolf with sharp, rusty faux-fur.
Here are both girls. Mary isn't as enamored with the tradition of the wolf-photo on the first day as Sarah is.
Of course, the best part about school starting is that I am *THIS CLOSE* to being part time again. Can't wait until September 1! Woo-hoo!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I just LOVE the Columbus Zoo. We are so fortunate to have such a nice facility so close to our home. On a nice crisp day like today (yes, I realize it is only Aug 22...but it was still cool this morning), the zoo is an ideal place for a nice stroll. The nice thing about having a membership is that we can just go for an hour or two, see a few animals and go home for lunch. The girls usually end up taking a nice nap in the afternoon, too. Can't beat that!

Because three kids aren't nearly enough, we brought along a couple extra. Actually, we haven't had Rachel and Becca for a long time so it was really nice to have all the girls together.

When we arrived, Leah kept talking about all the cowboys around. We finally figured out that she meant the huge contingent of Amish folks because of the hats the men wear. I can totally see how she would mistake an Amish guy for a cowboy. HA!

Here the girls are with Baldy the Eagle. We actually didn't see him until our way out of the zoo, but right before we walked up to him, he was completely mobbed by Amish kids. Thankfully by then, Leah was over the "cowboy" thing.

Here is a picture of three apes. You might recognize the ape in pink as one of my crew.
I just liked this picture. It was shocking that all five girls managed to get on there at one time. I didn't even have to pose them! Bonus that there aren't any extraneous kids on it too.

Speaking of posed...Sarah really wanted me to take this picture. It does make you wonder why there is a giant ladybug on the food though. Kinda makes you lose your appetite.
Here are Mary and Becca hanging out on the Hammerhead Shark. For some reason, I can never get both of them to look at the camera at the same time. I wonder if that is bad mojo for them or something.
Sarah and Rachel have no issues with posing and looking at the camera.

We trekked through the zoo for a few hours and I STILL haven't seen the baby elephant. Beco will be full-grown by the time I finally get around to his part of the zoo!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pool vs. Pond

Last weekend we went to Joe's cousin's house for a birthday party. The 80th birthday of his Aunt to be exact. At their house, they have a picnic shelter, large pond, play set, outdoor potty facilities, and on and on and on. Actually, their "house" is really more like a "compound".

As the girls were getting into the pond for an afternoon swim, I was struck by how little they cared about swimming in a pond. Well, once they got over the mucky bottom that is.

I personally think that any place I'm submerging myself into should be highly chlorinated and only contain human life forms. Ponds in general have a high "ICK" factor for me. I don't mind skirting around the edges and wading a bit. As long as I can see the bottom and know that no giant monster fish is going to attack me, I'm OK. Much farther into the water than that and it takes a cattle prod or something.

When we went to Lake Cumberland for vacation this summer, I did jump off the boat and swim a bit, but that was only after substantial peer pressure. I could have been quite happy sitting on the boat and taking pictures of everyone else. Being in lake water that was 100+ feet deep wasn't all that appealing. Who knows what kind of horrid creature was lurking in the depths? I shudder to think about it.

Here are some pictures of the girls at the pond last weekend. You can see that there was a killer crocodile there. Or was it an alligator? I never remember how to tell the difference.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

T-shirt Obsession

Like any good mom, I resort to bribes when I'm really desperate. Over time, I have discovered that the most effective bribe is dangling out a new t-shirt purchase. My girls LOVE "cool" t-shirts. I'm not sure what the criteria is to be deemed "cool", but each of them seem to have their own t-shirt rules.

Sarah has been really trying to get out of the girly pink/purple mode. Actually, the girl has a really nice sense of style. I will never fear that she will be one of those shlumpy teenagers. Of course, I can see her as the one who has to have all the latest trends.

Mary is really into anything Super Hero. The really nice thing is that Old Navy has come out with a line of girly super hero t-shirts. Right now Mary has two of them but I suppose that over time she will end up with the entire line.

Leah just likes anything that the other two tell her to like. She's pretty easy (for now).

Here are the girls modeling their latest t-shirt acquisitions (Aunt Lori purchased them yesterday):

I thought this shot looked like a pose you might see in the Old Navy weekly flyer. Look at those girls having a great time in their t-shirts! Don't you wish you were them? LOL!

Sarah wanted to get some pictures of them while on the swing set. Here is one shot that I particularly liked of her:

and here is Mary hanging out on the swings:

Leah decided she wanted no part of the swingset photo op. She's that way, ya' know!
Now they just need to start acquiring some bottoms to go along with all these tops!

Friday, August 7, 2009

State Fair

The Ohio State Fair is one of my favorite events of the summer! Today Joe and I took the girls after lunch time and headed out for an afternoon of food, rides and cow manure. It was a blast!

Here are the girls before we set out. Notice that they are clean.

We started our afternoon by visiting Smokey the Bear in the ODNR park. His a scary bear. He is a hairy bear. I believe the girls were not nearly as impressed with him as I always am.

One thing people always talk about is how wonderful the food is at the fair. I have to confess - I usually only eat some ice cream from the Dairy Products building and that is it. I really detest fried food, which is surprising for a chick who is as fluffy as I am.
Joe snapped a picture of Mary and me eating our tasty frozen treat. Mary is a big fan of any food that can leave enough of a mess on her face that you have the impression that she has a goatee.

After ice cream, we ambled around the various animal barns. Leah liked the cows the best. Actually, she really enjoyed the rabbits and chickens quite a bit too.

Finally we went to ride a few rides. While Joe was taking Sarah on the "big" coaster, I took Mary and Leah over to the kiddie rides. Here they are on the Frog Hopper before take-off.

Leah really, really, really wanted a ride on the giant slide, so I took all the girls. Joe was the smart one and stayed behind "to watch the stroller". Yeah, right. I was about two-thirds of the way up when I realized we were pretty high in the sky and the stairs were flimsy and rickety. After a small panic attack and a bit of vertigo, I finally managed to drag myself all the way to the top.

Good thing Joe was at the bottom to take some pictures and provide proof that I actually went on it.
We walked around a bit more and then finally called it a day. The girls were all troupers! No major fits or anything. Leah was totally pooped by the time we left. She actually slept through me putting her in the car and then slept through me putting her to bed.

I'm looking forward to joining her in dreamland tonight!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Orthodontia Ho!

It has finally started. I was pondering back in January how much Sarah's mouth would cost me...and now I know.

Actually, I only know what PHASE 1 will cost me. Yes folks, this is going to be a multi-phase process.

We went in on Monday and she had a bunch of molds and x-rays done. Her top jaw was too small for the smallest mold they had, so it was difficult for them to get a good imprint. While we were there, they went ahead and put in the spacers.

She has been whining ever since.

I keep thinking that if having some rubberbands wrapped around her teeth is going to be this painful for her, what is it going to be like when the palette expander is put in a couple weeks from now? Heaven help us all!

Anyway, she has been blessed with what they call a cross-bite. Basically, her lower jaw is growing faster than her upper jaw and that is a bad thing. It is the likely cause of the headaches that seem to plague her. The good news is that once her bite is corrected, the headaches will probably go away. The bad news is that correcting the bite will take a long time.

The palette expander is going to hang out in her mouth for the next four or five years or so and then she will get braces for a couple years. I suspect that the orthodontist and I will become best buds. The funny thing about her orthodontist is that he looks suspiciously like Smilin' Bob from the Enzyte commercials. I can't seem to get over that.