Friday, June 20, 2008

Getting There is Half the Fun

Whoever coined this phrase must have traveled via ferry boat!

Maya wags her finger at Madeline and says, "Hey, back away from my muffin!"

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Abby makes us chuckle

I don't see how anyone could possibly not like Abby. Adam may object, but probably more accurately, I should say I don't see how anyone could fail to be amused by Abby. She has always been a fiesty and full-of-life little spirit. This recent picture of her out in the kiddie pool with Maya perfectly expresses her personality. Things with Abby are always big. If she's happy, she's ecstatic. If she's mad, she's ready to explode. If there's a reward to be had, you'd better get out of her way because she'll bulldoze past you to get it.

I remember Abby's nursery leader saying of 2 year-old Abby, "She's small in size only." Very, very true as I think this recent story will illustrate:

Over the past few months the first and second grade classes at Abby's school have been preparing a musical called, "To Bee or Not to Bee". Abby informed us with great excitement that she'd been chosen to play the Queen Bee. She practiced her lines diligently and was counting down the days until the production. One day I saw a notice in her backpack that said all of the students from her class were going to be worker bees. I asked her about this and she was adamant that she was Queen Bee. I called the music teacher just to be sure. The teacher told me that she hadn't made any final decisions regarding the main roles, but that Abby was certainly a good candidate and she should keep practicing her lines. Well, a few days later, the teacher called me during the middle of the school day and said she'd posted a list of the main characters and that Abby was crushed that she hadn't been chosen as Queen Bee. She mentioned that there was a still a part open for Daisy the flower and that she thought Abby would be perfect in that role.
Abby came home that day requiring lots of TLC, but I convinced her that she could be a wonderful flower. The next day Abby came home once again pretty crushed because she hadn't been cast as the flower, but was the understudy flower. As the time for the production neared, I just avoided the subject since I knew it was a bit touchy with Abby. One day when it came up, I reminded her that she'd be a perfect flower. Abby shouted, "BACK-UP flower! And the REAL flower looks really HEALTHY!" Oh my, Abby!

Well, last night was the long-awaited show. There were several different flowers and each flower had an understudy flower who was also in the flower costume. When the flower scene started, all of the legitimate flowers and their understudies came to the front of the stage. They needed to pass a microphone around so each of the rightful flowers could say their lines. When the microphone was being passed, Abby kept reaching out her hand to grab it and it was obvious that she was about to pounce at any minute. The look of determination on her face made us nervous and Lyle mumbled to himself, "Don't do it, Abby!" Sure enough, when the Daisy line came, Abby snatched the microphone away from the Rose who had just said her lines but thankfully put the microphone under the other Daisy's mouth. We breathed a momentary sigh of relief abd then Abby leaned in and said the lines WITH her! Lyle and I about died laughing. I wish so much I had it on film. Once she got the microphone, there was no way she was going to be denied those lines, back-up Daisy or not. Yes, Abby definitely makes us chuckle!
And speaking of chuckles, I had a good one this morning. Recently we've been trying a new system to encourage the kids to keep their rooms clean. Instead of me getting into nagging mode, which is so easy to do, I've been posting "room violations".

First, each child had a day that was "their" day to get their room cleaned with mom. They got to choose their favorite after-school snack and then I helped them with their room. I had each child make their bed to the best of their ability and I took a picture (see photo at left). I also took pictures of cleaned desks, closed drawers, clothes in the hamper, etc. Each child had their room expectations posted on their wall with pictures to show what a clean room should look like.
In the morning, I told them I would not remind them to get their room done, but that if it wasn't done up to expectations, they would have a "room violation" posted on their door and when they came home from school they would have to finish their room and then also draw a job out of the job jar. My room violation notes are written on green Post-it notes I keep up in my bedroom. Abby has actually really liked this new system and has done very well. At times there have been some judgement calls when I could tell that some effort had been made but that it really hadn't been done well, but mostly the kids have been very aware when they deserve a room violation.

When I walked by Abby's room this morning, it was abundantly clear that she was getting a room violation. Her bed was a disaster, there were clothes and toys on her floor, and it was just screaming, VIOLATION! I pulled out my Post-It pad but before I could put a notice on her door, I saw that Abby had beat me to it. What do you think? Perhaps in light of her obvious violation, she was trying to butter me up a bit? I think so!

Abby's birthday is a week from today, and we just love our blue-eyed, fiesty beauty so much. Her uncontrolled laughter is infectious, her inventive mind entertains us all, and her zest for life adds such a special spark to our family. We love you Abby!