Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas is Special Because...

"'s Jesus' birthday." - Kate
"...we get presents!  Especially my ponies." - Kate
"...when I get to go to Nana and Popi and Aunt Jen's house." - Kate

"...we get presents!  Especially my DSi" - Avery
"'s also when we get to have some fun with our family, like going to the Kids' Crazy Christmas Show!" - Avery
"'s when we eat lots of yummy treats and stay up late." - Avery
"'s when Angel (our elf on the shelf) flies and makes snow angels on the table out of sugar... and when Josh licks the snow angel off the table!" - Avery

Merry Christmas!

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Peter Pan

Sometimes, the coolest things just work themselves out.  Like Peter Pan.  
Avery's Girl Scout troop had a workshop at Theater Under The Stars.  They got a behind-the-scenes tour of the musical Peter Pan, including a chance to gather Pixie Dust off of the stage.  They also learned to sing and dance to "I Wont Grow Up".  

The next weekend, Nana and D had two extra tickets to see the performance of Peter Pan, so they took some very lucky ladies.  The girls ate at their all-time favorite restaurant, rode over to the theater in a horse-drawn carriage, sang and watched Peter Pan fly all over the stage, and had a magical evening.  At intermission, Nana noticed Kate had been a little quiet, so she checked in with her.  "Nana, that lady that is Peter Pan... did she know how to fly already when she was in gymnastics when she was a little girl?"  Sweet Kate was trying to figure out if flying is a learned skill or a gift from birth. 

Here is what the girls dictated to me about their experience:

Our troop went to Peter Pan practice.  We also got to go backstage.  We saw all of the stuff that they use and we saw their dressing rooms.  The next weekend, we saw Peter Pan.  We rode in a carriage pulled by a horse to get there.  My favorite part of the play was when Peter Pan sang at the very end.  When it was all done, it was almost midnight.   - Avery

The pirates were funny.  My favorite part was when Peter Pan flew across the audience.  I liked having Nana and DD as my special dates and getting Coke at the half part. - Kate

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

If You Give a Reese a Cookie...

If you give a Reese a cookie, she's going to guard it with her life.  She might not even let you help her put icing on it.

But then, she'll look around and notice what the big girls are doing.  Then, she'll let you ice her cookie and she'll add sprinkles just like a big kid.

When she's finished adding sprinkles, she'll want to eat a cookie, so you'll tell her that's fine.

Eating the cookie will make her thirsty, so she'll wander over to the ice chest.

When she notices the ice in the ice chest, she'll want to play in it.  She might even invite all of her friends to splash around in the ice with her.

Playing in the ice will make her soggy.  She'll want to change clothes.  So you'll pack her up and get ready to go so you can change.

But then she'll remember her cookies.  And she will insist that she carries the cookies to the car.

While she is carrying the cookies to the car, she will drop them on the concrete about 3 times.  When she drops them, she'll call out to you and you will have to stop to clean them up with her.

Once her cookies are finally safe in the car, she'll notice the bring sprinkles on them.  And if she notices the bring sprinkles on them, chances are, she'll want to eat one.

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McClinton Family Definitions

Compliance (n.) - The action of complying with a wish or a command; or: Kate with Santa

Terror (n.) - Extreme fear; or: Reese with Santa

Tolerate (v.) - Allow the occurrance of something that someone does not necessarily like without interference; or: Avery with Santa and Reese

Hilarity (n.) - Extreme amusement; or: taking the McClinton clan to meet Santa, and finding out afterwards that the baby's face isn't even in the picture

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Conflict Resolution

One night, Kate was feeling particularly left out from a playtime with Avery and some friends.  This not being uncommon, I gave both girls the usual talks and life moved on.

The next morning in bed, the sisters huddled together and whispered intently about something.  A few minutes later, they were very busy in the craft room.  After they'd both left for school, I found a note left on the floor.  In Avery's handwriting, the note said:

"Dear (child's name),
I didn't like it when you played puppies with Avery and not me.  Next time we play, can I have the brown puppy and not you?
Love, Kate"

I thought it was cute and put it aside.

Two nights later, the same group of girls was playing and Kate was sitting alone, looking defeated.  When I asked why, she told me she couldn't find the note she'd written.

We grabbed the note, Kate took it to the group of kids, the child received it and clung to it like it was a special treat, and suddenly all of the children were playing happily again, Kate right in the middle of things.

Conflict resolution at its finest.

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Little Turkey

Our Ree is 16 months and in some ways is her usual self: observant, silly and happy.  But she's also growing into quite a character.  She spent November acting like a little turkey, showing her new skills and becoming more and more like a little person rather than a baby.

Ree loves to climb.  There is absolutely no area in home that she can't get to.  Usually, this means a good amount of premeditation: where the chair needs to be moved, how to maneuver exactly so... when the end goal is in sight, she is not easily distracted.

Currently, the end goal is almost always a marker, an open cup of milk left behind by sister, or a wallet.  I'm beginning to wonder if we will ever be able to keep markers in our house again.

Her very favorite treat of all is to climb up on the kitchen table and sip Mommy's coffee.  Most of the time, if she's gone silent for more than 2 minutes, I know where to find her: drinking my coffee.

Turkey Bird is also in the middle of a communication explosion.  It's not all verbal, but something clicked with her that she can tell us what she wants with select words (uh-uh, shish (shoes), aack (snack) and nulk (milk)), and with many hand motions, some of which are actual sign language and some are her own creation.  It's fun and often funny to watch her wheels turning as she figures out how to tell us what we need to know.

Reese is still our little mess.  She is usually covered in something sticky and then rolled in dirt, crumbs, or something similar.  She's a Breaded Turkey.  And in that same vein, her favorite toy is an apple.  She loves to tuck it under her arm, snack on it, throw it and retrieve it, and snack on it some more.

Our Turkey is also ridiculously observant and clever.  She knows where her diapers are kept and brings me a new one whenever she decides it is time to be changed.  She listens to our conversations and often acts on them as if we were talking to her.  One day, I told the older girls to get their shoes on and wait for me by the door.  Reese hopped up, ran to the shoe basket by the front door, grabbed shoes (not her size) and stood at the front door.

And my very favorite thing about Ree right now is the way she stands.  When she is waiting for her turn or when she is listening intently, she folds her hands together right on the small of her back.  It's melt-worthy.

We adore this little Turkey!

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