Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First day of Pre K

"You're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So... get on your way!" ~“Oh, The Places You'll Go!” by Dr. Seuss

Today our sweet Emma started Pre K!!

Of course she couldn't miss an early morning photo opp with her favorite little brother :)

Moments after posing herself for this photo, she marched right in like she owned the place!  The Pre K classroom is in the opposite side of the building of her preschool classroom and all of the other MDO classes.  Her teacher this year is Ms. Glory and she seems great!  In fact, Emma got to know her fairly well last year as their classes combined often for actvities.

Last week I was pretty tearful seeing all of the adorable photos online from friends' kids starting Kindergarten.   I was sad knowing that this will be our last year not to be in that mix.  I can't begin to imagine doing that yet.  Fortunately one of Ms Glory's main objectives is to prepare her students for Kindergarten.  I wonder if there is a class for the mamas??

Look what is posted right outside the classroom!  How very appropriate :)

Ms. Glory sent home a note saying that Emma had a GREAT first day!  Upon pick up she was super excited that she got to play with play dough (what else is there, right?!).  She also told me that she played spy girls on the playground, got to eat a purple popsicle to match our outfit and listed several words that start with the letter Y including yak, yoyo and yellow.  We are so proud and hope more than anything that she has a wonderful year of learning, exploration and FUN! 

Check out her first day of preschool last Aug HERE

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mascara for Owen

This evening while I was working I heard Emma say "Uh oh mama, he's got your eye makeup thingy all over the place"!  He was so proud of himself.

Then it was bath time......

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cheering for the Yoemen

Friday night lights are back!  This week we hosted the Connally Cadets.  Emma and her mini camp friends did an excellent job cheering during the first quarter!

We sure hope that "football weather" shows up soon.....

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First gymnastics classes

Yesterday the kids started their first gymnastics classes.  After three years of dance Emma decided that she wanted to give this a try (read: she wanted to do both but at 35 miles away we made her choose).  I knew I wanted to get Owen involved in something and there just so happens to be a "Mom & Me" class offered at the same time as Emma's class.  At first he was a bit rowdy but he finally got the hang of it!  He got to hang on the bars, jump on the trampoline, walk the balance beam, crawl through tunnels and do body rolls down an incline mat.  Did I mention that it's a total body workout for his mama, too?  Phew!

Since Emma's class is at the same time I didn't get to watch her as much as I wanted to.  Every time I glanced across the gym she seemed to be following instructions from her coach very well.  Last night when Jarrod asked how it went she said "It was really hard but I like it!"  She has very muscular legs so we're thinking this could be her thing :)

She was extremely proud of herself for doing the hand stand above :)

So long Summer!

Although the temperatures outdoors promise otherwise, Summer is coming to an end for the Smiths.  We are trading trips to the city pool, extra time with daddy and lazy days in our pajamas in for lots of new Fall activities, very little time with daddy and earlier bedtimes. 

Summer is nice but this mama is looking forward to getting back on a routine!  We have at least one activity scheduled every week day this year (I'm exhausted just thinking about it)!  Some of these include Pre K, gymnastics, soccer, Cubbies at church and gameday Fridays. 

For now, we will savor our last few slow days before everything begins!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Twenty Two Months

The most sweet and spunky little guy I know is 22 months old today!  I estimate his weight to be around 27+ lbs.  He will soon grow out of size 4 diapers and has started wearing size 2T pajamas. 

He has finally started sleeping much better at night (praise the Lord)!  He takes one good nap a day normally starting around 10:30 and lasting between 2-3 hours.  He is normally ready to call it a night around 8pm.  He might just have to add a second cat nap on Fridays during football season ;)

He still eats very little and often skips meal altogether.  He still consumes one Pediasure a day and gets Polyvisol drops in his morning milk.  His growth is right on track and his pediatrician continues to reassure me that babies regulate their need to eat much better than adults do!  He still begs for popcorn ("Pa pa") every day and will eat yogurt, apple sauce, french fries and weenies like a champ.  Occasionally he will surprise me by eating something I would have guessed he wouldn't (i.e. broccoli cheese soup). 

Over the past few weeks his imagination and sense of humor have really taken off!  He plays Barbies with his sister and makes the most realistic truck sounds!  When I go in to get him first thing in the morning or after nap time he often flops back down on his tummy and pretends to fall back asleep.  He likes to play hide and seek and laughs hysterically when we pop back into sight!  When he disobeys and I bring up time out he stops what he is doing and puts himself there.  Oh boy!

Owen's motor skills are astounding!  He will spend awhile trying to put something back together (such as the TV remote control shown below) or to determine exactly how something works. 

Owen LOVES the movie Cars.  Somedays he literally wakes up begging to watch it (Caaaaars?  Caaaaars?  while trying to make the TV remote work).  His wonderful daddy bought the original movie one day and Owen has been crazy about it ever since :)  We were reluctant to take him to Cars 2 in the theater but I'm sure we will see it soon! 

His attention span has really increased and he has shown more interest in reading books.   He shouts "book? book?" after bath time and anytime he needs an excuse to get out of bed and stay awake!    His favorite thing to read is an Elmo book called "I Can Do It".  In fact, last night I tried to pick out a different book and he shook his head side to side and brought his fav book to me instead.  As shown below, he loves to point out different items when prompted to do so.  Emma enjoys quizzing him and always praises him when he points to the right thing :)  She says "Owen, that's right!  You are a smart boy!"

When Emma and I sing "Baa baa black sheep" Owen shakes his head up and down at "Yes sir, yes sir".  He then holds his counting fingers up at "three bags full".  He can now identify many parts of his body (head, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth, belly button, fingers and toes).  He will point but rarely says the words.  He is still a little man of few words and will be evaluated by ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) this week.  Occasionally he totally surprises us with words (i.e. straw  and belly button) but for the most part he isn't communicating as well as he probably should be at this point. 

I can't believe we will be celebrating his second birthday in just a matter of weeks!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In his element

This afternoon while I was putting groceries away and starting to prepare dinner Owen was being overly whiny and clingy.  It's no easy task to do those things with a 27-ish pound little guy on your hip!  At one point he finally got quiet and I looked around the corner to see what he was up to.  He had discovered a cabinet full of FUN (an assortment of kitchen tools and equipment)!   

This kept him occupied for quite awhile!!

Who, ME?!?

How exactly does this thing fit together?

Precious little hands

Determination and focus (check out the tongue!)

"Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children." -Walter Elias Disney

Friday, August 12, 2011

Organized savings

For quite some time now I have clipped, printed and stuffed coupons into a small yellow accordion style folder.  It was somewhat organized by type and expiration date.  While this method worked efficiently, it recently started overflowing with savings in abundance!  I had to stop and literally dig for what I needed at each store.  Yesterday I finally spent a few dollars and upgraded my organization skills!  All it took was an old 1" three ring binder and some clear baseball card holder sheets and VOILA!  My coupons are divided into different categories such as Target, Groceries (baking aisle, snacks, yogurt, beverages & frozen), diapers/wipes, toiletries, cleaning supplies and restaurants. 

Once I started puting it together, I realized just how many coupons I have!  As much as I'd like to have as much success as the people on TLC's Extreme Couponing show, I am perfectly satisfied with saving a few hundred dollars each month on a variety of goods and services.  There are no grocery stores in our area who double/triple coupons so there are some mighty limitations.  Yes, this is a tad bit time consuming.  Since I work from home I feel that this is one of the ways I am able to contribute to our financial well being by saving dollars where we can. 

I am not an expert on this, just an ordinary housewife!  But, here are some things I think you should know when it comes to couponing :) 
  • Only use coupons on things you would buy anyway.  Don't just buy something because you have a coupon for it (unless of course it's free)!
  • Search for savings on the things you buy most. 
  • Stack coupons when possible.  Most stores allow you to combination of one store coupon and one manufacturer coupon. 
  • Complete customer service surveys found on the bottom of receipts. 
  • Have a plan before you go into the store.  It's very easy to get distracted, especially with kiddos!
  • The best places I have found coupons is in the Sunday newspaper, Coupons.com and Retailmenot.com. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Wedding Weekend

This past weekend the kids and I traveled to west Texas for my little cousin Amanda's wedding.  We enjoyed visiting with lots of family members that we don't get to see very often.  The wedding was lots of fun and we were honored to be there to celebrate the beginning of their "happily ever after".....

The brand new Mr. & Mrs. Zach Plinario!!!

Amanda and Zach met during their time on the Texas Tech track team.  What a neat groom's cake!

The newlyweds' first dance :) 

The beautiful bride with our grandmother "Memaw" 

Cousins (the 3 bridesmaids on the left are her sisters - the one closest to her is twin sister & maid of honor) 

Emma was no stranger to the dance floor!  Here she is grooving with cousin Rebekah :)

Owen even pulled his Great Aunt Donna out on the dance floor :)

"The highest happiness on earth is marriage".  ~William Lyon Phelps

Hotel nap time

It's just a known fact that babies don't sleep well away from home....at least Smith babies :)  I knew better than to wrestle with bringing the pack n play so we just requested a crib in the hotel room.  While Emma and Lita swam downstairs I did my best to make Owen nap before the wedding.  He has such a cute sense of humor and I couldn't help but laugh (and take photos)!

Believe it or not, he finally fell asleep for a short while :)