Monday, May 28, 2012

Soccer 2012

Our first jaunt into team sports started out with a bang.  Avery loved feeling like she was a part of something, loved being treated like an athlete, and loved being a Green Dragon.  (Incidentally, when the team was coming up with a name, Avery's suggestion was, "The Practicers".)

After the first month or so of practices and the first game we made it to, though, the excitement started to wear off.

By the end of the season, we'd only made it to half of the games (bad planning on my part, but it worked out well since the games weren't Avery's favorite part).  We noticed by the last few games, though, that most parents had very lofty goals for their children: "Kick the ball into the goal!"  "Wow!  Let's see how many goals you can score this game!"  or even, "Kick the ball down the field!"

Our goals for Avery were slightly different:
"Try really hard to get to touch the ball with your foot at least once this game, ok?"
And, "If you can play and really try without complaining during this game, we'll go swimming right after!"

Just like in school when a teacher modifies the assignment so her students can all achieve their level of success, we found this strategy to work well for our Soccer Girl as well.

When she got her trophy, the coach called her, "Hardest Kicker", which was true: when she touched the ball, she did have a powerful kick.  Avery took the trophy, beamed ear to ear, and then told me, "I think I'm ready to do dance instead of soccer next year."  Sounds good, big girl.  Sounds good.

Click here for pictures of the week

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Week in the Life of Reese

The 2011-2012 school year is closing up, and I thought it might be fun to give you a glimpse of what I do all day while my sisters are busy with their activities.  So, I present to you... a week in the life of me!

-Sleep until sometime between 6-7:30.  Wake up with a dirty diaper.  This is a non-negotiable.
-Bottle and Eat.  And eat.  And eat.
-Try to convince Mom that a sink bath is necessary using 'smear and smoosh' tactics.
-Get ready for:
Monday: Gymnastics with Kate.  Flirt with Ms. Emilee.  Make a fuss about sitting still... this will lead Mom to give in and let me play on the equipment.  Score!
After gymnastics, hang out in the church nursery while Mom goes to Bible Study.  Vary between grumpy baby and sweet baby.  Gotta keep 'em on their toes!
Tuesday: Drop Kate off at school and then off to BSF childcare!  The women there are sweet, nurturing, and excited to see me.  But it's still pretty key to occasionally cry so hard that they have to go get Mommy from class.  What would life be like without a little variety?
Wednesday: Katie's playgroup.  Follow the big kids around, since I'm almost 4 myself.  In my mind's eye, that is.  Also, focus heavily on snack time.  Snacks can and should be strewn about the park, restaurant, or home that we're meeting at.  Occasionally, sacrifice the snacks to get attention: either by sharing or by letting the big kids stomp them into tiny crumbs.
Thursday: My day!! Storytime at the library.  Coo and giggle as much as possible to positively reinforce Mommy's efforts to give me time of my own.  Chew on books while Sister 'reads' them to me.  Generally enjoy being the center of the activity.
Friday: Nana Day!  Meet Nana at St. Peter's to drop off Kate, and in the event that Nana comes with breakfast (as she often does), stuff my face again.  It's the best way to show appreciation. At Nana's; either sleep the entire time (it's so much quieter without sisters there!) or woo Nana and DD away from their tasks with giggles and tricks.  One-on-one day is the best!

Sometimes, if the setting is just right and I feel like it, I nap.  Other days, I chase Sisters around while they engage in various forms of play:
Slip and slide outside
My Little Ponies (always act indignant when they call for Mom to help them with "Trouble Reese")
Splash Pad
Tea Party
OR, help Mommy with things like dishes, tearing up the trash or toilet paper roll, unloading her purse...

Depending on the amount of naptime taken during the day, sometimes it becomes necessary to cry through dinner.  This alerts the family that it is bath, bottle and bed time an hour early.  If this is unneccesary because optimal sleep has been achieved, acting like a human garbage disposal is always Plan B.  If the food doesn't all fit into my stomach, I still feel the need to clear my plate, so I just dump it into my lap or onto the floor for the dogs.

And there you have it - a day in the life of Reese!

Click here for pictures of the week

Click here for pictures by Ms. Emilee


Monday, May 14, 2012

Mayfest, Kate Style

Last year, I watched Avery do be-nastics (gymnastics) at Mayfest and get flowers and a trophy.  This year, it was my turn!

I had told DD one very important thing: "Mayfest is when you come bring me flowers and I do be-nastics."  I remembered well that last year, Avery got a trophy and flowers from Nana and DD.

DD did not disappoint.  He showed up with flowers for me and a separate one for Avery... just like last year!

Mayfest starts with a dance routine and I loved practicing the dance for the last several weeks... most of the time.  Every once in a while I would decide I just couldn't participate and then I'd stand there, unmoving, for the entire practice.  Sometimes I'd start the dance and then one of the coaches would pick on me (I'm an easy target, they say), and then I'd have to shut down again.  Mommy finally told me that if I didn't practice my dance, she'd tell Nana and DD that they didn't need to come see me dancing.  That did the trick!  I practiced hard from then on.

Mayfest Kate-Style was underway.  I have really paid attention in class all year and my body size suits be-nastics well, so I was really focused and proud to show off my moves.

After Mayfest, when it was time to get our trophies, I noticed that mine looked a lot different than I thought.  I guess because the theme was Olympics, the trophies this year looked more like medals.  Mommy promises that once I watch the Olympics on tv this summer, I'll understand why this is so special.

Be-nastics was super fun this year and Mayfest was just what I expected... and lots of fun!  It's good to be a big girl and get a turn of my own.

Click here for pictures

Kate Olympian McClinton

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy 10 Months, Reese!

At 10 months, Reese:

- Can CLIMB - up the stairs in a flash, onto the craft table or the dishwasher... anywhere she wants to be, she'll be there

-Takes 2-3 steps when prompted to, but is still shaky

-Mimics kissing sounds, especially around the dogs

-Says "Dada", "Ut-oh", and claps happily; can occasionally say "Mama" and likes to hiss the "s" sound

-Plays Pat-a-Cake

-Has been upgraded from her most common nickname - Trouble Reese - to Disaster Reese (by Avery).  This is because there aren't many places Reese can't get to, and when she sees her sisters working on a project or playing, she wants in on the fun!

-Eats like a horse

-Is fully weaned and on bottles and formula (we haven't nursed in 4 full days!).  She prefers to skip the milk altogether and go for food, though - she will take only 2-4 ounces most feedings

-weighs 20 pounds (according to our home scale)

-had an overnight guest - we set up a bed in Reese's room for Kate to sleep in when Avery is sick or needs alone time and Kate spent two nights in there.  The two girls were giddy.  Who knew a 10-month-old could throw a slumber party like that?  Kate said, "Mommy, I am enjoying this.  And I hold Ree-Ree's hand like Aunt Amanda used to hold your hand."  Sweet sisters!

-Has said goodbye to the infant car seat and upgraded to a backwards facing 'big girl' carseat

-Is well on her way to being a big kid!  We love the moments that are flying by because each one of them shows Reese to be fully herself: loving, happy, and inquisitive

Happy 10 Months, Reese!  You're amazing!

Monday, May 7, 2012

My turn!

Kate, May 2009
When I was a baby, I was drug to all of Avery's playgroup field trips.  I'd strap into the Jeep carrier and follow the fun wherever Avery and her pals would lead.  My meal times, my naps, and my general comfort (heat much?) were usually secondary to the ever-important learning experience at hand.

And then I grew up.

Kate and buddies, May 2012

Now it's my turn to be the leader of the fun!  I'm the one learning and running the show.  And there's Reese, being drug along behind me, postponing her nap and her meal time so Mommy can facilitate my fun.

Don't worry, Reese, you'll get a turn, too.  And you know what?  In the meantime, a gorilla or an elephant might catch your eye and make you giggle.

Katie Beth, Zoologist


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Avery and Kate's First Real Blog Post (Mimi and Gran's 60th)

The girls were so full of excitement about the weekend we spent in Lockhart that they asked if they could write this week's blog all by themselves.  What follows is completely unedited (Mommy's translations are in parenthesis.)

we selabrated mimi and grans 60th anavrsary with my failmy .i saw a albino peicok (peacock) .  & it was in a tree.way up in the tree. we saw the bride . her name was mitzi (while we were at the restaurant celebrating Mimi and Gran) .we slep with nini (Nanny) .we cashed (catched) tadpoles .we had a great  time .we watched Annie.there were lots of people there . we saw shotshy (Shatszi, Nanny's dog).

love;: Avery

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(I play-ed with Nana and DD and come in there to see Mimi and Gran and Nanny because I didn't get to see them for a long time.  I saw a peacock, a gray girl peacock and a bride named Mitzi and Mimi was a bride one day.  And I love you so I need to see you again, Mimi and Gran and Nanny.  Love, Kate)