Allison recently had an ear infection. This is the first ear infection she's had since she had her tubes put in back in July 2011! With the tubes the infection is thankfully less painful although I have to admit, quite a bit more gross. Anyhow, when I realized she had an ear infection I scheduled a doctor's appointment for her. After the appointment, picking up a snack to kill time and then getting the antibiotics she just stayed home with me for the rest of the day while I worked from home. She worked right along with me - learning her letters. She made an 'A is for Apple Seed' card with glue. She was pretty proud of herself. Oh, and that Sleeping Beauty sticker she's wearing? We wore it for the next two days straight, using tape to adhere it to various outfits. You have to love stickers from the doctor's office!
September is a big birthday month amongst our family and friends. A few weeks ago we went to a small party for Allison's friend, Annie, her best buddy from Sunday School. I made the dress above for Annie's birthday using a very simple pattern which I got from my Mom which is made up entirely of rectangles. Meaning I could do it all with rotary cutting! And the pattern goes up to size 8. I will likely be making more of these. My Mom made a matching one for Allison's birthday so one of these days we'll get a picture of the two girls in their matching dresses.
And then, our dear friend, Bekah turned six! I was very excited about this little gift. I purchased and downloaded the full paper doll set from Sarah Jane Studios and printed them on ink jet magnetic paper. Then I picked up a magnetic white board and made a folder to fit the white board (also with Sarah Jane Studio's fabric) complete with pockets to tuck all of the paper doll accessories in. I have to say that I love this little folder, the paper dolls are absolutely adorable. I kind of want one for myself. Good thing I can print the files as much as I want for personal use, I'm pretty sure I'll be making more of these in the future, too!
Allison started formal ballet lessons this fall and so far she has loved them. She has loved them so much she won't take her leotard off when we come home. So she helps make dinner fully decked out like a ballerina princess. She's trying more and more things while she is in ballet class. I was a bit perturbed at the first lesson where she didn't want to try anything and just watched. But as soon as she got home she was re-enacting everything that had happened during class. It is exciting to see her trying new things each week.
We have a pre-school pack rat on our hands. Mark likes to blame my Mom, who gave her a green purse filled with items from the book 'The Big Green Pocketbook,' for this phenomenon. But I'm pretty sure it began before the purse and book. But the book might have taken things to a whole new level. She has to STUFF her bags FULL and carry them around with her. We find all sorts of amazing things in her bags and there are always some sort of snack to be found. She is quite proud of her packing capabilities and so far has been compliant when we tell her the bags need to stay in the car. (And on the particular trip pictured we were lucky to get out of the house with one bag, usually it is three!).
Now that Allison is a big three-year-old and I managed to stop by Target and buy some melamine dishes on clearance we gave Allison her first 'chore,' setting the table. So far she loves it. I rearranged one of my kitchen cabinets so all of her dishes, the melamine dishes, place mats and cloth napkins fit and are accessible for her. She generally insists that we all need a fork, spoon and knife at all meals and so far is persistent that they all belong on one side of the plate despite Mark's coaching. We'll see which one of them is more stubborn. Oh, and I keep straws down in her cabinet, too, so we're all drinking out of straws an awful lot around here. We really enjoy seeing her take so much pride and responsibility in her 'work!'
We managed another trip to the Oregon Coast this summer! I think three trips in one summer is a record for Mark & I. We were up at Pacific City this time, for a quick day trip. I couldn't believe how much Pacific City had changed since my college days (of course, I don't think I was ever at Pacific City in the summer so that might have skewed my perspective). The run-down old restaurant by the parking lot had become a fancy brewery (where we ate a tasty lunch) and the parking lot was insanely full. There were a lot more people in general and the area was built up quite a bit. Allison, of course, loved playing in the sand. It was a cooler day but not cold. We enjoyed a short break from the September heat around here.
My friend, Claire, and I had a special project we wanted Allison & Benji to help us with. So late one afternoon Benji & Claire came over and the kiddos attempted finger painting. It was not a huge success. They both preferred using a sponge to their fingers and tended to smear the colors. But we managed to get enough samples we should be able to finish the project. And it was fun to feel like we were creative and adventuresome Moms. For the five minutes it lasted. Then we went inside and called Mark and had him pick up a pizza for dinner!
We have spent the last summer participating in a pilot 'Community Group' for our church. We've enjoyed getting together once a week with some good friends, practicing community, sharing our lives and gearing up for a church-wide launch of the groups this fall. As the summer is wrapping up (September actually feels more like summer around here than June!) we've had a few meals with these friends and made the most of beautiful weather in the backyard. Allison always loves going to Miss Vickie's house or Miss Mary Ann's house - they have very fun toys to play with like the helicopter thing she figured out a few weeks ago (pictured) and the whole group spoils this girl with lots of attention. We'll miss our friends in a few weeks when we're all branching out into new groups.
My oldest niece, Sophie, happened to be over while I was finishing up a quilt for my newest niece, Lauren. Sophie decided she wanted to take up quilting herself and went fabric shopping with her Grandma. My brother-in-law Tim cut her fat quarters down into squares (without using a rotary cutter - it was impressive) and then Sophie came over for a morning of sewing. She was most excited that I let her use my iron all by herself. Who knows what is going to be the most exciting for an almost 8-year-old?
She used my sewing machine by herself, too, I just adjusted the speed to be slow. We had some rows that had to be pinned together and she navigated the foot pedal and simultaneously pulling out the pins pretty well.
And the finished quilt top. She needs to come back soon so we can put it together with batting and a back!
And Allison was not to be left out of the quilting! She played with kid scissors, my box of scraps, card stock and a glue stick for most of the morning! Glad she's enjoying 'quilting' young, too!
As I was working through pictures I was shocked to realize I still hadn't written a post about my newest little niece! She arrived over three weeks early in late August and she is quite the darling little girl! My father-in-law happened to be around when I was taking pictures and let me use his camera body for these photos - now I'm thinking I'm ready for a new camera of my own, pretty sure these are the best baby pictures I've ever taken! Having a cute subject always helps, too!
Kisses from big brother, Logan!
And then when we were all done Allison & I got in on some baby holding action, too, of course!
After watching the Olympic team rhythmic gymnastics competition Allison couldn't stop talking about 'ballet' (I didn't bother to correct her). I happened to have found a little ballet leotard at the local consignment shop so we got it out for her. She loves wearing it around the house and 'doing ballet.' We have her signed up for a ballet class for this fall and so we're starting to see real ballet around here, too! I have no idea why she wasn't smiling in the the first two pictures, but I thought they were kind of funny so I had to include them - she looks like quite the moody artist if you ask me!
My parents and my sister came for a visit in late July / early August. We had a great time relaxing, taking a trip to Sun River, watching lots of Olympics on t.v. and riding bikes. My Dad was coaching Allison on how to finish a bike ride like an Olympic champion with her hands raised in the air, we'll see how well it takes! When we were in Sun River we realized her bike seat needed to be raised yet again. I think she's in the middle of a growth spurt - her bike is starting to actually look small for her.
We took one day and headed up to Portland to visit the zoo. Brittney loves the zoo just as much as Allison so these two were quite the pair. The weather was perfect at the zoo and many of the animals were out and active which made for a very fun trip.
My Dad brought his travel bike along and Allison loved helping him put it together and take it apart. She had to wear gloves just like Grr, eventually realizing he was only wearing one glove and she took one of hers off, too.
We may just have a future bike mechanic on our hands, folks!
Way back in May we decided we were ready for Allison to be in a big girl bed so we could sit on her bed with her and read stories, etc. We bought a twin mattress set and for now have it on a simple bed frame until we can decide what we really want to do. She loves her new bed. And she can now reach some baskets hanging on the wall at the end of her bed holding some toys.....which she is not supposed to play with during nap time but as you can see in the picture above rules don't always stop her!