Claire turns 8!

Claire’s birthday fell on the day after Thanksgiving this year. ¬†For the first time in years, we went to Corpus Christi for Thanksgiving this year, and we all stayed and celebrated Claire’s¬†birthday down by the Bay. ¬†All four of Claire’s grandparents were there as well as (great) Uncle Bob.

As you see in the photos, Molly was crying for Claire’s official candle-blowing-out. ¬†She had been asked to vacate the seat at the head of the table to make room for Claire. ¬†Molly did not agree or consent to this plan and let us know. ¬†Later, Molly made up¬†a brief story, possibly as a sort of apology. ¬†She said the main character was Jonny Jakes. ¬†The story was called “Jonny Jakes, for Heaven’s Sakes!” ¬†In the brief story, Johnny Jakes messed up his big sister’s birthday party by making a scene. ¬†Everyone said, “Jonny Jakes, for Heaven’s Sakes!” and Jonny was sorry. ¬†The end.

Presents included two nearly identical My Little Pony Rainbow Dash dolls. ¬†It was a clear and obvious choice! ¬†We later exchanged one Rainbow Dash for Pinky Pie. ¬†Claire also got a big Playmobil Santa’s workshop. ¬†Uncle Tim mailed in a painting set with¬†dolphin scenes, thus combining the recommended topics of art and dolphins.

Two Steps Up, One Step Back

20131121-molly1Molly’s toilet training has been a bit of a saga. ¬†Molly first successfully peed in the toilet almost a year ago. ¬†And two months ago, we finally got rid of Molly’s diapers for good. ¬†So that’s the end of the story, right? ¬†Well, I am writing about this now, so‚Ķ no.

Actually, the transition to underwear went pretty well at first. ¬†Molly has been peeing in the toilet pretty consistently for two months now. ¬†She also spent the first diaper-less week or two putting her poo in the toilet. ¬†Then she decided that she would rather poo in her pants. ¬†Every time. ¬†She wouldn’t even try the toilet any more. ¬†She would often poo in her pants while standing in the living room five feet away from you without a word. ¬†She pooed at the table Jason’s deli after swimming. ¬†That one was the worst since we didn’t have anything to clean up with; just a long, messy trip to the men’s room. ¬†She comes home from school with poo-stained underwear in a little plastic bag.

When queried as to why she does not want to use the toilet for poo, Molly usually replies, “I dunno.” ¬†We eventually got out of her that she felt more comfortable standing up. ¬†To her credit, Molly tries to clean up after herself. ¬†Sometimes we’ll find her in the bathroom trying to empty her underwear into the toilet and wipe down any mess.

This situation has lead to some vacillating about what to do.  Does Molly need an incentive to poo in the toilet?  Or would an incentive make things worse?  Or can we do anything at all?  In the end, we did promise her some treats, etc. if she poked in the toilet, but so far to no avail.

So here we are.  After a year, Molly is potty trained… kind of.

Claire’s 8th Birthday Party!

Claire is (almost) eight years old!

This year Claire had her birthday party with her friends at Jumpoline Park. ¬†Initially Claire had talked about having a petty zoo come to our house. ¬†Once we expressed some concern about where to put the animals, weather, and other practicalities, Claire immediately said, “That’s easy. ¬†We’ll do it at Jumpoline Park.”

And so we had her birthday at the perennially favorite spot, the largest and greatest indoor trampoline you can imagine. ¬†The kids had a great time. ¬†The girls were still young enough that they wanted us parents out there playing with them. ¬†It was myself and Cullen, the dad of Claire’s friend Maddie, who took on the important duty of “bouncing” the kids. ¬†This involved the girls laying all around a parent on the trampoline, then the parent jumping up and down as high as possible, trying to bounce the kids up as much as possible. This was tiring work, and soon sweat was dripping from my brow. ¬†The kids also liked to be chased across the trampoline, and some were quite good at taunting. ¬†I required many breaks to avoid collapsing in exhaustion.

This year, Claire knew ahead of time what some of the kids were going to give her for presents.  They basically just told her at school ahead of time.  The two big must-have items this year were My Little Pony stuff and a Rainbow Loom.  Claire adores My Little Pony and wants to know who your favorite characters are (Rainbow Dash and Pinky Pie of course, and Apple Jack is great but under appreciated).  Some of the other kids at school think My Little Pony is babyish, but Claire stands her ground.  She just loves that cute little ponies.  The other big item was a  Rainbow Loom, a rubber-band loom that is super popular at school.  Claire got to take hers to school and use it on the playground and the bus, like her friends.

Second Grade Thanksgiving Musical

Claire on stage.

The second grade put on a fabulous Thanksgiving show today. ¬†They played a half-hour musical to a cafeteria packed with parents. ¬† ¬†The performance involved a Thanksgiving crisis as the turkeys decided to go on strike this year. ¬†The arbiters and mediators tried to hammer out a solution. ¬†The cranberries and squash fought for a new place in the middle of the table. ¬†In the end, they kids all sang “It’s not about turkey, it’s not about Thursday, it’s not about the big game. ¬†We call it Thanksgiving because it’s thanks that we’re giving‚Ķ” ¬†It was a great message and extremely cute.

Claire was cast as “a public”. ¬†So she got to dress as an adult and sing as part of the general public. ¬†She was a little bummed about the less-than-glamorous role, but she did get to appear and sing a little. ¬†The next day, Claire asked me what my second favorite part of the play was. ¬†Obviously my favorite part was Claire’s bit, but what did I like after that? ¬†I told her it was the singing cranberries. ¬†Claire said she liked them too.

If there is anything more adorable than a second grade Thanksgiving musical, then I can’t think of it, not even a cute little baby. ¬†Babies drool and puke. ¬†Second graders sing their hearts out and try to make you smile.

Wii Night

We recently rediscovered the Wii.  Yes, welcome to 2007!

Anyways, the girls are old enough to enjoy playing the Wii now, and we occasionally¬†let them go nuts with it. ¬†This normally happens on a non-bath night when we sometimes have a little time in our hands (what!?!?) after dinner, thanks in large part to Molly’s new school being so convenient.

The girls love¬†Wii Sports Resort¬†and its games such as dog frisbee, kayaking, bicycling, and Claire’s favorite: plastic sword fighting. ¬†Claire and I have both stated emphatically that we want to¬†live¬†on the fabulous Wii Sports Resort island. ¬†Molly, for her part, loves going crazy with the Wiimote and¬†nunchuk. ¬†She likes the biking since you basically just wave the controls up and down as fast as you can.

But if you do turn the girls loose on the Wii, be prepared to have some worked up, possibly over-excited girls for bed time. ¬†Still, everyone has so much fun, it’s worth it.



Molly says that when someone puts their mouth in a circle, it means “Huh?”. She pointed this out in a couple of pictures from her books, with a someone wearing a small circle for their mouth and looking a little confused.

Actually, “Huh?” may be Molly’s favorite new word. ¬†She says it pretty often, and in such a funny way, always with a playful element of surprise and a high pitch at the end. ¬†She’ll get in her car seat and seconds hold up a coloring book and¬†say “Huh?” , as in “I didn’t know that’s where this was!” ¬†Or put her shoes on backwards and say “Huh?” ¬†Last night Molly stuck her head in the laundry hamper and said “Huh?”. ¬†It’s not clear what that was about.

Anyways, I wish I could capture it on video, but it’s much to quick to get. ¬†This photo will have to suffice. ¬†Huh?