Monday, August 30, 2010

School Rules!

We were all excited for the 1st day of preschool today. I personally knew Joseph was ready and would love it, so I faced the day with excitement rather than worry. All we needed to bring was 1 change of clothes. I think we need a smaller backpack!

Joseph literally walked in and started playing right away. He had some morning tea with one of his teachers, Miss Kasia.

Ethan seemed a little more hesitant, but I think Joseph helped him feel more comfortable.

Then Joseph started playing trains with another kid, and he completely ignored us. So we said bye-bye and left.

When our nanny and I went back 3 hours later to get him he was outside playing with Miss Pina and the class. I could hear that laugh of his before I could see him. The teachers said he had a great day, and not a single kid in the class had cried at all. He was a sweaty, stinky, snotty, drooly, dirty mess. With a big smile on his face. Success!

Esther asked him if he had missed us today. He said "No." We said it was time to go home, and he said "I don't wanna go home." On the way home, I asked if he wanted to have some lunch, and he said "I wanna go back to school." I guess school rules!

da Bears

On Friday we attended an open house at Joseph's preschool, Westmoreland Children's Center.

A big draw was that it was close enough so that we could walk there. Or let him walk us there, whatever the case may be.

Joe Joe Bear is one of those silly little nicknames that we started calling Joseph a long time ago. It just so happens that his class (the 3 day 3's) is called the "Bears." (And the 2 day 2's are called the "Cubs." Awwww.) The whole place was decorated and ready to welcome the new students.

They have a schedule. Hee Hee.
He has his own cubby with his name on it! Too cute.

And his own birthday balloon on one of the bulliten boards.

Even though it's in the basement of the church, the rooms are big and quite bright, with a zillion and one things to explore. Turns out there's only 11 kids with 2 teachers. 9 boys and 2 girls. Joseph already made nice nice with Zara, who we found out lives just 3 blocks down on the same street as us. And we knew this other kid Benjamin from Gymboree.

The outdoor space was another plus. It's big and shady and on a quiet side street. Everyone was impressed with Joespeh's pedaling skills.

On top of everything, our buddy Ethan from across the street is going to be in the same class! We figured that would make for a smooth transition come the 1st day of school.

Cupcake Monster

What else would you call a Cookie Monster made out of a cupcake? And he has a little chocolate chip cookie in his mouth!

The birthday girls Julia & Sarah are lucky to have a creative and talented grandmother who made these cupcakes for their party yesterday. I'm definitely filing this one away in case a certain someone ever requests a Sesame Street party someday.

And an uncle who knows how to make balloon animals?! No fair!

Happy 3rd birthday Julia & Sarah! Thanks for having us over!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Slip 'n Slide

Oh, summer is drawing to an end, and the water parks will be closing soon. Even though we've been having record breaking heat here and they could keep taking my money for weeks. But I guess all the teenyboppers are heading back to high school so there will be no one left to blow whistles incessantly or flip burgers at the snack bar after Labor Day.

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous, so we decided to squeeze in what just might be our last run to the Water Mine til next year.

Each time we hit a water park, it seems like Joseph gets braver and braver at trying the bigger slides. The biggest one left at this particular park was "Pete's Peak," and he was up for it. And not just Little Pete. We're talking BIG Pete!

I think it's obvious he likes it! Every single time he would say "Let's do it again!" even after the runs where he got dunked.

Many times he wanted to go down "alone" on the slide next to us, holding hands.

In case you can't hear, I said "That didn't really go as planned."

And "We can't seem to get that right."
Oh, there's always next summer.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


When we learned that my dad would be spending a week in nearby Baltimore for a conference, we made sure to have a day cleared to drive up to see him. We used it as a convenient excuse to get back to the aquarium too, which we all just love, to search out Nemo and our flipper-missing friend Calypso.

The highlight of the aquarium is always the dolphin show.

It's cool to watch them jump and do tricks up above, but it's simply amazing just to watch them swim around through the windows in the tank below after the show. Joseph had no problem making sure he had a good view. They come flying by!

Afterwards we crashed at Grandpa's hotel for a nap before meeting up for dinner. It was a gorgeous evening for a stroll around the Inner Harbor looking at all the different kinds of boats.

Joseph impressed Grandpa with his appetite and adventurous nature, grabbing handfuls of fried calamari and finishing his entire plate of fish with sweet potato fries while still saving room for a big bowl of ice cream.

It was great having an extra special day just to spend together having fun and seeing Grandpa!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fair & Square

Silly me - I call myself a quilter, yet I completely lacked the foresight to realize that when Joseph moved into a big boy bed several months ago, he'd really need a big boy quilt too. Or maybe I was just in denial - it took me long enough to make a baby quilt for him, and it's not like I have all that much free time anymore.

I finally got to check out this amazing quilt shop near my parents' house, Pennington Quilt Works. I'm a sucker for stripes and fell in love with this green and blue stripe that I knew would be perfect for the binding. Then I found 6 blue and 6 green "fat quarters" of coordinating prints. But I still had no idea what I was going to make! I LOVE what I came up with in the end!

I never knew there were so many quilt blogs out there until I found out that a friend of a friend had one. Liz at teeny tiny quilts definitely influenced this quilt. She often uses very bold prints and modern patterns, which is so not me, but I'm always up for trying something new. She also takes great photos! After clicking through countless links and considering so many patterns that I just didn't buy enough fabric for, I came up with this one called "Matchbox." All I needed was some solid white fabric and I was good to go.

All straight lines, almost everything cut in the same 2 1/2" strips. I thought "EASY!" Unfortunately I didn't think "fast, " which would have helped. I don't have enough time for fast, so I had to make peace with easy. It takes a while to make a full size bed quilt!

If you don't have a plan when you buy fabric, you always wind up improvising at the end. Another thing all those cyberquilters like Liz out there do is piece together the back of the quilt too. I had plenty of the stripe left over, so I just bought a little coordinating solid for each side, and I think it's pretty cool.

And here's Joseph jumping for joy over finally having a new quilt for his bed! It was his birthday present from me, just a little late (like the last one).

Oh, and if you don't get the title of this post, it's the name of the quilt. My blondie is fair, the quilt is all squares.

Monday, August 23, 2010

He's a good little monkey, but always very.....


That's our George! Joseph loves him so much and we've read all the books so many times. Now he just tells us which story he wants: "George rides a train." "George flies a kite." "George goes camping." "George and the chocolate factory." When we got the (mass) email that he was making an appearance at our local Pottery Barn Kids, we knew we had to go.

Luckily we were there pretty early and got a good seat. He watched in amazement as they led Curious George in, and with my encouragement (yelling from across the store!) went up for a handshake.

They read the original Curious George story, and he just sat there watching and listening like a good little boy....but also very curious.

Then we went up for a quick "meet and greet" and photo op. Look at that smile!!

By the way, we knew we were being set up, and fully intended on buying the new Curious George sheet set before we even got in the car.