The kids doing pysanky with Gramma Jean for the first time!

They’re a bit behind—I started at age 3! They were both excited to sit down and do it. Gramma gave them a quick lesson on how to hold the egg and kistka, but unfortunately both of them forgot and ended up grabbing the hot metal end…which is why you see tears on some of Katie’s close up pics. They both had fun and enjoyed doing two eggs—I was only going to watch but then couldn’t help myself and had to jump in and “do a quick egg” which of course turned into more time than I planned and I ended up sitting there finishing mine while the kids were done and outside playing. :) (Note: The eggs are done but are still at Gramma’s house being varnished so the finished product photo will come later.)

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Pumpkin Day

I volunteered to help with Pumpkin Day in Katie’s classroom. I had no idea what would be involved but then I got the email saying we’d be carving pumpkins so bring a knife and bowl if we could. Hoo boy—I hadn’t carved a pumpkin in years…

The classroom was a bit insane (I don’t know how she does it without an assistant—we were spoiled with Owen’s class having one) but overall it went well. There were four moms total so we each had a group of six. We had to measure the pumpkin with blocks and chain lengths, write what the pumpkin felt and smelled like, weigh the pumpkin, see if it sank or floated…and then design and carve the pumpkin. In an hour.

As you can imagine it was pretty much like herding cats. It started with the teacher switching Katie’s seat with someone so we could be at the same table…and the kid completely lost his shit and was a crying hot mess because “he wanted his seat.” Really, kid? You lose it over moving seats for an hour? And then some kids couldn’t pay attention for more than three seconds. One had no idea how to draw an H (“we haven’t done that letter yet”). A few wrote their numbers backwards (71 for 17) but fixed it after I told them—except one kid who literally kept writing it 71 no matter how many times I told him it was 1-7 not 7-1. One kid wrote all his letters on top of one another. You get the idea. I’m not bragging when I say that Katie seemed among the most advanced in her group (able to pay attention, answer questions, write her letters and numbers correctly, and follow instructions).

This is a snapshot of mass chaos before we even started.


I didn’t take many pictures because I was very involved in every step of the way—plus I didn’t have pockets, remember. 


Katie was the badge collector.


And then it was time to go home so Katie got to ride home with me. She had a good time and was happy I came. 

It’s that time again…Katie has started ABCMouse!

So, Katie has been doing “homework” lately—we bought her a workbook like Owen gets for his Summer Slide and she has fun with that, plus she also has a few educational iPad apps that she enjoys. She saw a commercial for the other day and asked if she could have it on the iPad again.

First, huh? She remembers? It hasn’t been on the iPad for probably two years now!

Second, well, why not? Owen really enjoyed it and if she wants to do it…it certainly can’t hurt! (And in the back of my mind I keep wondering if maybe that’s one of the reasons why Katie is a touch behind as compared to Owen—even though I know I shouldn’t compare the two.)

So the thought was in my mind but on the back burner since we’ve been busy. So imagine my surprise when out of the blue I get an email from someone at ABCMouse saying my site came up as one that linked to them and—long story short—would I want to become a full-fledged official referral source. Well, sure, why not?

So Katie was EXCITED to start her “homework” and she kept asking to do it. Before I knew it, she was 14% done with the pre-k level. Hopefully her excitement continues! And hopefully I make some money off referrals!

Both proud and upset—the joys of parenting.

Owen just came upstairs and told us he was ready to learn to light a match. (He was interested a few months ago and I tried teaching him but he got too scared.) After I told him we could try later today, he almost immediately admitted that he had been playing with matches downstairs. After the prerequisite (and repeated) talk about fire being very dangerous and me being disappointed in him, he then admitted that he actually lit one then blew it out. So, I was completely proud of him for fessing up AND actually being brave and lighting a match…yet obviously upset that he did something he knew was dangerous. #joysofparenting

Learning about Veteran’s Day

From the school’s Facebook page:

Halley 2nd Graders are buzzing this morning, thanks to some very special visitors at school today. Our students are learning about Veterans Day, and today, several Hornet staff and family members shared their experiences with us about what it means to serve in the military. We learned so much, and we are looking forward to commemorating all of our nation’s currently serving military and veterans in our ceremony tomorrow! Thank you, Ms. Demers, for these pictures!

Can you find Owen?


How about now? :)


Katie started swim lessons at British Swim School one year ago today!

I’m amazed at how much she loves the water and how comfortable she is in the pool! She jumps in regularly (with and without goggles), does cannonballs (complete with holding her knees), and just taught herself to retrieve rings from the bottom of the pool. She turns four in a few days. #proudmama

These are all rehashed photos, but it’s what I posted on Facebook. :)


He loves martial arts more now that he has the uniform.

And he’s so cute in it…


But…we’ve decided against continuing. And oh, the guilt I feel as he excitedly runs around practicing his kicks and showing Katie his moves and repeating his instructions and replying yes, ma’am to me. That said, the guilt just isn’t worth $160/month for 12 months.

Katie just asked him to do something and he said “No, I have to practice.” :( And then he just bowed before he went into the bathroom and then into Katie’s room. And he’s been giving me yes ma’ams all night.

And this is what he did with his uniform:


I know he’ll get over it soon enough…I just hope I will. 

Katie’s afternoon challenge

She’s done a handful of letters at a time but never the whole set…but she’s very good at it so I dumped them all out and left her to it.

She did quite well until a little more than halfway through when she started whining that it was useless and she couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to help her too much, but I arranged them a bit and tried to put wrong letters in wrong pieces which got her interested again (to tell me I was wrong).


Putting them away!


Learning to ride a bike is hard.

So you all know how much I hate potty training, right? Well, I hate teaching the kids to ride their bikes tenfold. It always ends up with whining and pouting and refusal to try because it’s too hard. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. But I keep trying.

So Katie finally got her reward for pooping in the potty! 

Unfortunately, as usual, she forgot that it’s hard to ride a bike and it wasn’t any fun when I stopped helping her. So there was whining and pouting…and she had to drag her bike home. (Well, part way home down the sidewalk—I’m not a monster.)