Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I am sneaky

So today Katie was supposed to go to her friend, Ben's house. Unfortunately, Ben's mom called this morning and said that Ben's younger brother was up all night sick. We agreed that it would be best to wait til next week for the kids to play. So after Katie stopped crying, I realized that I was supposed to pick up Will's Christmas present this morning that I had gotten off Craigslist. No big deal, right? It's for Will, not Katie. Well, yes, but in this case I was helping Santa Claus out...and well...I didn't want Katie to see Will's Santa gift.
So I fed Katie a line about going to pick up a kitchen appliance for my brother and she bought it. I took a sheet along to drape over the....ok, it's a little workbench with tools. I draped the sheet over and carried it past Katie's window, stuck it in the trunk, and she hasn't mentioned it since.
We returned home, happy to have that errand done with. Then I discovered that the 3 postings I had put on Craigslist last night had 3 interested responses, which in turn will pay for what I just picked up today. It may take a bit more time and effort than just running to the store, but so far I'm doing fairly well with the Christmas budget. And hey - I've never started shopping this early before!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Preschool Conferences

It's that time of year again...tonight we had a parent/teacher conference with Katie's teacher, Ms Laurie. No big surprises - they said she is a wonderful little girl, very kind to the other students, friendly, and independent in the classroom. We were happy to hear that she is asserting herself more and asking questions. Her teacher said that she is in the top tier of her class when it comes to things like handwriting, asking questions, and being able to express how she feels and why. Katie is off from school all this week. When she goes back next Monday she will have a different teacher - Ms. Erin, who is back from maternity leave.
We also had a checkup at the dentist today. A few weeks ago I noticed a spot on Katie's tooth that I didn't like. We were pretty sure it was a cavity, but wanted to get it checked out. So I took her in today and sure enough - it was a cavity. While examining her, the dentist found two other spots that she didn't like - the VERY beginnings of a cavity...so they are going to put some sealants on there to make sure it doesn't turn into a cavity.
Luckily we caught her cavity early and they didn't need to use Novocaine to numb her. She did get the nitrous oxide, however. They sent Will and I out into the waiting room because they were going to do x-rays, and then they went ahead and filled the one tooth. I was told she was being pretty silly back there. She was out within 20 minutes and the nurses raved about how great she did. And she's excited to go back so no scarring done yet. :) But geez...it sure is hard for a mom to sit out in the darn waiting room!!!! So we are going to be a bit more aggressive in our flossing and brushing. She doesn't really eat many sweets, but they will REALLY be few and far between now.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Katie's Screening

We had a busy weekend up here - trying to get things done before Thanksgiving. It's hard to believe December is almost here! (And soon the warm weather, right?!?!??!)
On Saturday morning Katie had basketball practice for 30 minutes, and then a 30 minute game. I think it's safe to say that this isn't her favorite activity. She was excited to go this time though, because it was her turn to bring the snack. She brought Fig Newtons and juice boxes. And although we got 2 "I don't liiiiiike thooooose!" comments, I thought it was a success. She also didn't get hit in the face today, which is a vast improvement. No tears at all. :)
After basketball, John took the multitude of leaf bags to our local environmental center. He came back to watch Will while Katie and I went to an Early Childhood Screening sponsored by the Dept of Education for Minnesota. Every child between the ages of 3 1/2 and 5 is required to go through this screening before kindergarten. It isn't a "readiness" program, but more of an opportunity to identify the children that will need more help or assistance in the coming school years.
Katie played some 'games' with the screener which included building with blocks, drawing pictures and symbols, some memory exercises, and some jumping and hopping. Katie was a chatterbox during the whole thing, telling this woman ALL about her day at basketball, the snacks, etc. It was very amusing. Of course I had to sit in the corner, and not say a WORD. I couldn't make any gestures to Katie or anything like that. And I tell you - it was not easy. They came to one question...."A table is made out of wood....a window is made out of_______" Katie had to fill in the blank. I was telepathically sending her the answer, but it didn't do any good - she didn't have an answer. :) That was the only one she 'missed' though and wound up with a score of 30. If she had scored lower than 21 it would have indicated that she needs some extra help, but that isn't the case.
Then she had her vision and hearing checked, which was also funny to watch. Everything checked out great, and she could read letters on the eye chart that I wasn't even CLOSE to seeing. :)

On Sunday all four of us headed to church with plans to eat brunch at a restaurant afterwards. I don't know what they do to Katie in Sunday school, but it seems that she is just a BEAR after they are done. Maybe it's me....maybe they don't run around enough. We signed up to make 6 dozen Christmas cookies for a party at church in December. Was that dumb???? We'll see..... :)

We are heading to IA for Thanksgiving. Right now it looks like we will be leaving here Wednesday morning. Katie has a dentist appointment tomorrow as well as her parent/teacher conferences. I'll let you know how both of those go....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Flu shots

Today the kids and I are getting our flu shots. Correction...Will is getting his flu shot, Katie and I are getting the nose squirts. They are supposed to be more effective, and Katie is all for a vaccination that doesn't involve getting poked.

Besides our visit to the doctor, today is our "hangin' out" Thursday...nothing scheduled. An outsider would think that this makes for a great day. HA! Little do you know that a day of nothing scheduled can mean chaos and screams. We'll see how it goes, but my expectations are usually set pretty low: finish laundry, clean 2 bathrooms, and have a supper on the table. Anything else that gets done is gravy.

We are getting excited for Thanksgiving. (Geez, can you believe it's Thanksgiving time already?) Part of me says "Yay! It's Thanksgiving time already...Christmas is right around the corner...and then it's only a matter of time til it's spring again." But now that I have kids, time going faster is more of a punishment. So as much as I hate winter and being cold, I'm really trying to find happiness in the single digits. In keeping with this thought, I've posted a new poll question on the side of the blog...maybe you can give me some ideas on how to enjoy the season more.

Here is Katie rocking her warm gear when she was Will's age. She doesn't look real pleased about if either.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday, Monday

Today was another work day, another school day. We had great big snow flurries, but nothing that really amounted to too much.

Yesterday afternoon, John watched the kids as I headed out for a get together with my friend Shelley that lives in Rochester. Shelley is getting married in April, and Katie is the flower girl. So we discussed all things wedding and girly. We sat for a few hours at a Chinese Buffet and I really think we got our 8 bucks worth. :) Thanks to John for wrangling the kids for an evening!
Shelley and I met in Northfield, and earlier in the week I had made plans to pick up a pair of used snow boots for Katie. Much to my disgust, there was no one home when I stopped to pick them up at our agreed upon time. I knocked, pounded, called their phone...nothing. I peeked in the window and SAW the boots sitting on a shelf...hmmm....should I just try to open the door, take the boots and leave them their $5? No, I decided not to - but left a very assertive message for them. I haven't heard from the woman yet....and probably won't. Now I have to find another pair of boots on Craigslist. :)

After we dropped Katie off at school, Will and I headed to the grocery store. I had intentions of going to Cub - the discount grocery store. But at the last minute decided that because it was so cold out I would rather go to the upscale grocer who offers drive-up pick ups, but doesn't stock generics. I was still very happy to see that our weekly trip to the store resulted in a total under $90.

"And just what do you think YOU are looking at?"

Saturday, November 15, 2008

5 letter word for smart little girl...

Tonight John suggested we break out the Scrabble board and play a 'real' game with Katie. Usually we just let her put the tiles in any order any where on the board, but as she's getting older and wants to spell more words we thought that we should teach her the rules. It was rocky at first, and her attention span got tested towards the end, but she played a wonderful game.

She even beat the pants off John and I. Of course we were both helping her spell words and find spaces on the board...that's why our own scores suffered. (At least that's my story.) Katie added a new element to the game too - she was like a timer...you had 45 seconds to make your word otherwise the timer would explode into an antsy 4 year old tantrum.

After we got done I took a picture of the board as proof that we did finish the game. When we were picking up the pieces, John was reading the box and discovered that Katie's score of 166 was very close to their estimation of an 'expert's' score of 180. Geesh...that's all we need.

The Scrabble champion
Earlier tonight while I was getting supper ready, I taped a big piece of paper that John had brought home from work for the kids to draw on. They did a GREAT job - both of them. This easily entertained them for 45 minutes or more. They each had specific areas to work on and pretty much stuck to their own sides. Will got messy, but hey, it'll wash off. He really pays attention to how Katie does things and really tries to imitate her.

"So that's how I'm supposed to do it."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Winter Time

It's that time of year again when we need to break out the boots, hats and mittens. In breaking them out I realized that Katie got bigger. Darn it anyway.
Thankfully her Elmo hat has been passed on to Will. So that means we have to get her a new hat. She also needed some good snow gloves. I had gotten her some thinner ones last year that get sopping wet after 10 minutes outside...not gonna work this year.

So while she was in school yesterday, Will and I picked out some for her. Will also took the liberty of trying on her new gloves and Hannah Montana hat. Luckily, she loves them...so far.

Where the heck is my little boy???

Katie had a play date today with her friend Ben. Ben was in Katie's preschool class last year and they were lucky enough to be together this year too. He is such a sweet little boy and the two get along very well. They played with playdough, pretened Will was a monster, played board games, ate lunch and colored pictures. Whew!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Big news

..and no, the news is NOT that I found my keys. :)

There's big news in the Hanson family. I was just made aware of it yesterday. My brother, Jeff and his wife Erica are expecting again. She is due in May. But that's not the exciting part...she's having twins! We won't know for another 5-6 weeks what the sex is, but we are all anxious to find out.

As for my keys...I have looked in 1 toybox, all of the shoes in the closet, my coat pockets (even though I didn't wear a coat the last day I had them), Katie's bookbag, the toy kitchen, and various odd places. All of your suggestions were GREAT ideas! But alas...nothing. I half expected Will to just come waltzing around the corner with them someday, retrieving them from where ever they had been placed.

I don't even KNOW if I took Mommy's keys!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Little Girl Time

Today Katie and I had a little "Girl Time." She and I went to the 2008 Gymnastics All Star show at the Xcel Center. Thanks to the Ortega food company I had 2 free tickets waiting for me at the will-call window. A few months ago I saw an ad in the Sunday paper that said if you bought $15 worth of Ortega Mexican food you could receive 2 free tickets to any Gymnastics All Star show. YAY!

Although we were kinda in the nose bleed section - at least we were there. We could see everything great - just kinda far away. Katie didn't really care because she got to have popcorn and lemonade.

Personally, I LOVED IT. We got to see (forgive the spelling) Shawn Johnson, Nastia Lukin, the Hamm brothers, Chelsea Memmel, Shannon Miller, and more. Everyone that was on the 2008 Olympic team was there. The routines they perform on tv look difficult...that's nothing to seeing them in person. Wow. They look darn near impossible!

Katie was having a good time until somewhere in the second half of the show...suddenly a Miley Cyrus song comes on - "I Might Even Be A Rock Star." BOOM - there is an excited look on her face and she is on her feet singing and dancing. Her 'good' time turned into 'great' time. Then on comes the Hannah Montana song "Best of Both Worlds." Holy cow - I thought I was going to have to hold on to her! Everyone in our section enjoyed the dancing. :)

My favorite moments were the guys on the high bar - they really put on a show! I also liked Nastia Lukin on balance beam - so beautiful. She also spoke about her dad, who is her coach and how much it meant to be in Beijing with him. So the song she performed to was "Butterfly Kisses." And while normally that song makes me wretch...I actually got chills watching her.
All in all it was a terrific show - almost a teenie-bop rock concert. I was able to take pictures, but let's face it - we were too far away for them to be worthwhile, so I'll spare you.

P.S. - Welcome back to IA my niece, Sarah (who was in Chicago) and my Mom (who was in Branson) I also have a favor to ask of you readers...I seem to have misplaced my keys here at home. If you were my keys...where would you be? Also - what do you think are the odds Will threw them away? :(

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pardon me for a moment

Today is Thursday - a rainy, wet Thursday. The good news is that I raked almost constantly for the past 2 days...and I think I have most of the yard done. There is still an area on the side of the house that I would like to get cleaned up, but if I don't, I'm ok with that. We bagged up about 19 bags of leaves. We have a lot of trees.
So how are you feeling about the election? Relief? Let down?
I do feel relieved to have it over with first of all. I am also happy with the outcome of the presidential election. I think Obama and Biden will make a good team and surround themselves with positive, intelligent people. I think Obama is an honest, smart man whom I enjoy listening to. I can't say that about the current administration...I can barely even type it. It also seems that he genuinely loves his wife and will continue to be faithful to her. Does that mean he will be a good leader? No - but I appreciate the trait.
However, all across the country individual states passed some amendments that concern me. It seems that we may have taken 2 steps forward in the presidential election, yet taken 1 step backwards in some state elections. In California, Proposition 8 passed which bans gay marriage. In Arkansas, a bill passed that bans homosexuals from adopting children.
Here's my two cents in case you care. The whole gay marriage thing upsets me. Why SHOULDN'T they be allowed to marry? Is it going to affect my marriage? Is it going to affect yours? NO! If anything it will improve the divorce statistics. And as far as adoption goes - it's a sad time when there are so many children awaiting adoption and now there are good families that won't get a chance to love them. There are a lot of people in this world that need to devote more time and energy to THEIR OWN family, and less time trying to manage and control other people/families. I now step down from my soapbox.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Jeff!

I wanted to take a post to say Happy Birthday to my brother Jeff today! As I was counting on my fingers to try to figure out how old he is today I realized....Oh My God....he's 40!
Also - Happy Voting Day....hope everyone takes an opportunity to cast their ballot. (This means it's the last day of political advertising right???)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

And 3rd prize goes too...

The COW!

Those were the words we just heard at Chanhassen's city Halloween Party. Will won third prize for his age group...0-4. Guess who else was in that age group. Guess who got kinda upset because she didn't win too.

Anyway - the town had a Halloween trick-or-treat at a local strip mall. I wasn't planning on going, but John had some work to do at home and the kids were kinda restless after Katie's basketball game. Every business in the little area had candy or toys or toothbrushes. We even got two cereal bowls from Cub Foods! There was a costume contest at the end and we happened to be around for it... Will won a little plastic trophy and $10 from Subway. I explained to Katie that she really won too because it was originally her costume, Will was just wearing it this year. After we got home she really didn't care because she got all the candy.

Yesterday we went to a local nursing home to trick-or-treat for the residents there. It was perfect! No crowds, plenty of room, etc. There were only 2-3 other kids there when we were walking around. Katie felt comfortable enough to basically just walk up to the residents on her own, and say trick-or-treat. She's used to wheel chairs, etc., thanks to our visits with my aunt Carol. They all gushed over Will and thought Katie was a very sweet bee. Again...she walked away with a full bucket after about 20 minutes.

No, you can't eat that...

And last night was SO beautiful outside! What a great night for trick-or-treating! Honestly, any warmer and it may have been TOO warm! Will and I tagged along for the first 2 houses, then John and Katie headed off by themselves. About 45 minutes later they came back with another bucket full. By 8 when we turned the lights off we had gotten 58 visitors. It beats our 3 from last year. :) And I was very impressed with how polite everyone was - plenty of thank yous.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween!