27 May 2011

First two weeks of summer vacation = Pure Awesomeness

Summer haircut!

Swimming in Grandmom's pool!
Claire started off not even wanting to jump in from the side, but got braver and braver, until she was jumping in from the diving board (wearing the baby floatie that Anna didn't care for)!

Redoing the girls' room so it's finally ready for two girls! Claire is doing great in her new bed, but we're still "transitioning" Anna. I'll probably post more pics of this major reorganization project when I'm done.

Having an Oreo. What a stinker! This isn't really specific to summer, but I thought it was a funny pic.
Enjoying riding together!

Reading some books--again, not a summer-specific pic, just cute! That blankie on her lap is her fave. Today, she took it to the hair salon with us--that was a mistake! Afghans are like velcro so it's got sister's hair stuck all over it.

08 May 2011

Happy Birthday, Claire!

I'm sure all parents have this feeling of wondering how in the world your child is at this age. It's so hard to quantify how Claire has changed this year, but here is a snapshot of who she is at age FOUR!

  • Activities: drawing and coloring (loves to draw stick people, color in coloring books, and paint on her art easel), packing up purses/backpacks for trips (mostly make-believe!), riding bikes (again, she's always telling me where we're going and what we're doing as we ride/walk from place to place), dancing to music on her CD player, work or fish with Daddy
  • Books: Magic Treehouse series! She got the first one from Mamaw a while back and the next three for her birthday, and we've read two and a half in about a week.
  • Foods: fried potatoes, waffles, strawberries, fried squash, mac and cheese...this sounds like she just mostly loves junk food, but she eats almost everything we put in front of her, at home, other people's houses, or at restaurants.
ABCs/123s: Can write her own name and probably half of the alphabet, can count to 12
Big Sis: Very affectionate and helpful with Anna (little sis is usually not a fan of this)

Claire is a good girl most of the time, with a tendency to be bossy and ask LOTS of questions. She's becoming more assertive with what she wants to wear--usually dresses or skirts whenever possible! (Mom says this is exactly how I was in my early elementary years!) She plays really well with other kids and is always up for going and doing. At least once a day, she asks, "Where are we going to-morning?" (This can mean this afternoon or or tomorrow--just "next.") She's very excited to start pre-K in the fall--when I was telling her I might come get her after lunch until she's ready to stay the whole day, she said, "Or I think you could just let me stay for recess and snacks." What happened to my baby? Oh yeah, her name is Anna now. Thank you, Lord!

We had Claire's party yesterday, and I think it was a lot of fun, although it was kind of a blur! It was a Candyland party, so we had a giant game of Candyland, with the kids drawing cards and moving around the board we taped to the floor with colored cardstock. I traced and painted cardboard standups of all NINE Candyland characters, with a corresponding candy/treat to go with each one. The kids each got a personalized candy bag they decorated as they arrived, and then we lined up to play Candyland. They drew cards, went around the board, and gathered candy as they passed each character.

Katelyn, Claire, and Dawson on the board. You can see Lolly in the background.

Going along the board...

Izzy walks by Princess Frostine.

Claire made it to King Kandy first!

It was very disorganized, with eight kids playing at once, ranging in age from 2 1/2 (Isabel knew most of the colors, but had trouble staying on her square until her turn!) to nine (Rylee wanted us to know that she was only playing for the candy). But I think they must have liked it, because a bunch of them went back to the beginning to play again, or just ran around the board for fun when they were done. Claire had an appropriate birthday girl game, drawing her favorite character of Princess Frostine and finishing first. (And NO Jay, I did NOT rig it!)

Then we made candy necklaces, ate pizza, and cut into the Candyland cake that Claire and I made together.
Candy necklaces

Birthday Girl! (Self-selected outfit!)

Claire and my joint masterpiece!

I was so thankful for my sister and her boyfriend James' help with setup, and with all the moms and guests who helped pick up afterward.

24 April 2011

Easter Fun!

We had our first egg hunt last Wednesday evening at church (resurrection eggs, egg hunt, and hot dogs before Bible class). As I've said before, the girls and I have been having for-fun hunts in our yard for a few weeks, so even little Anna knew what to do.

Our next stop on the Easter fun train was the Thursday School Easter egg hunt (straight from Anna's dr. appt). Pictured above are Claire's cousin Katelyn and her friend (sometimes boyfriend), Zeek before the hunt. I also mentioned on fb that it POURED during the 10 minutes the kids were hunting. I had my camera and Anna, so I scurried under a tree while Claire kept on hunting.

Then Friday Claire got to go watch Hop with Grandmom and Tyler while I worked on a writing assignment. Got 'er done!

And Saturday was the big Pannell get-together at my mom's house. Almost all the kids, from Claire to Kyle, even went swimming, despite the 65-degree temps! We hid a ton of eggs, with an area for the six toddlers and preschoolers, and a huge area for the six big kids. It was perfect; everyone got a bunch of eggs. But that night storms started rolling in, so after we ate pizza, everyone gathered around the TV to watch the radar.

Yum! Anna opened this egg and handed the candy to daddy, so of course he had to give it to her! She had so much candy yesterday!

We ended up staying the night at Mom's to avoid driving in bad weather or worrying about tornados when we got home. But that meant that when we woke up Sunday we had to drive down to Durant, do baths and Easter finery, and even a visit from the Easter bunny, and then drive back to Coleman for church. Only 10 minutes late--that was doing pretty good I think! I'm glad we got to come; it was an excellent service and we got to see some great people we don't get to very often, and then enjoy some more family time at lunch at Nana's.

....and now it's back to the grind!

But first, a pic of Anna's funny face! She loves to entertain people with this...when she feels like it. We can rarely get her to do it on demand, and this is the first time I've captured it on camera. She was doing it over and over at Nana's during lunch today.

21 April 2011

Anna at 15 months

Weight: 18.1 lbs
Height: 28 1/2 inches
Relative size: Fifth percentile (!)

Personality: Determined messmaker--not easily distracted, and loves to climb, crawl or squeeze into small and strange places, does not like to sit still, very affectionate, but usually not to sister.
Words: mama, dada, mmm for cow, da-da for dog, and bye! (not too verbal, but she definitely lets us know what she wants--has a very adamant head nod and a good pointer finger)
Favorite toys: cell phones (toy or real), lift-the-flap books, play computer. (Not too big on toys, really)
Favorite activities: pulling everything out of a toy box, bookshelf, Claire's play kitchen, or my cabinets (a few of the baby latches don't work too well, and/or I give up and open one for her), hauling items around the house. Also likes to pretend to cook in Claire's play kitchen (throws items in a bowl, stirs them), draw (prefers markers), and play outside
Favorite times of day: morning after breakfast, afternoon after naptime, when daddy gets home
Nicknames: Little Anne, Anne Banan. We call her Anna Jae a lot--but for me, it usually ends up being when I'm telling her no.
Little Sister personality
: Claire loves to try to pick Anna up, hold her, and love on her, but Anna has very little patience for this. Although Anna loves to watch and play with Claire, the only times she really touches her are to do this soft head-bump Claire sometimes initiates, or to "get sister," when she kind of grins and smacks Claire repeatedly. They usually play really well together in Claire's room, although this pretty much consists of Anna making her favorite messes while Claire does other things.