Zoe and Ella's preschool does so many special things, ranging from daily activities that make learning fun to evening events that are extra extra special. Each week the kids work on one letter of the alphabet and the week begins with one child sharing objects from home that begin with that letter. It's a BIG deal, especially when you're 3 or 4 : )
Zoe was given the letter bag back in December and was super excited. Ella was a little disappointed and wanted to know when it would be her turn, but cheered up when we read the note attached to the Letter Bag that read 'Dear Zoe and Family', and Ella literally cheered 'That's ME! I am Zoe's family!'. Ha : )
Zoe's letter was 'Kk', which is a tough one for her (it's one of the sounds she's working on in speech class) and it's just a more challenging letter in general because the Cc and the Kk both make the same sound. But after talking about what words start with the letter Kk, Zoe chose her little stuffed Kitten, a card with a Kite on one side and a Key on the other side, a little stuffed Koala Bear and a Kit Kat bar. She put all of her items in the letter bag -- and then we practiced having Zoe share. Sometimes Ella was Ms. Lisa and I was a classmate, sometimes I was Ms. Lisa and Ella was a classmate -- but Zoe was always Zoe and she got really good at explaining her objects and sharing them with us.
When her big day arrived she was ready and eager to bring the letter bag back to school -- and even though her voice was soft (and Ella added her own commentary from the audience, which was actually cute and made me smile) she did a FANTASTIC job. I was so proud of her -- it was a great experience all around : )
Last week Ella was given the letter bag and words can not even describe how excited this kid was! Her letter was 'Nn', and right away she started talking about what words begin with the Nn sound. She wound up putting a card in her bag with a Nest on one side and a Needle on the other side, an actual little Nest, Newtons (the soft chewy cookies -- strawberry flavored) and a Noodle Necklace that she made herself. She also thought it was very funny when Grama Dianne said she could go to school that day too, and that Ella could share Grama's nose with everyone. That didn't happen but it did give us a good laugh : )
Ella also did a super duper job sharing and I was very proud of her too. These girls -- they're growing up!!
We met friends Mia and Andi at the nature center one morning this past week, and like all other times we've visited -- the girls had a great time. It's always fun becoming one with nature . . .
It's also always fun checking out the salamander . . .
. . . and the frog . . .
. . . and trying to see the frog's tongue as it quickly snatched up the little white grub that was his snack.
I'm not a big frog holder myself, but I'm glad Zoe . . .
. . . and Ella are!!
I'm also glad they seem to enjoy riding the giant acorn . . .
. . . and posing while on the giant acorn.
Our nature walk to the pond, and walking on the pond itself (which is completely frozen over) was great fun too. We had so much fun none of the little girls wanted to leave : )
While walking around the pond we saw another mom with her toddler-aged son and a small baby tucked in the front of her winter jacket, with only his little round face sticking out. It was really cute and Ella and Zoe thought it was the best way
for a mommy to carry around her baby.
I didn't realize what an impact that mom and baby had on Ella and Zoe until later that night when the girls
This is how Zoe and Ella woke up earlier this week:
The night before, after I had tucked them in but before they fell asleep, they put all of the 'babies' they wanted to grow (stuffed animals)
into their pajamas. Then they fell asleep.
I found this to be so funny. They love babies and playing 'mommy', or 'grama' or their newest version, 'babysitter' -- and they've put little animals or dolls under their shirts for quite a while (and it was always two, maybe three -- four tops). But they've never done it with their sleepers on. Or stuffed so many in.
A few nights later this is how I found Ella when I went in to make sure she and Zoe still had their covers on
(which she did not, but Zoe did):
The picture doesn't show quite how funny it looked, but I was laughing out loud -- loudly. And because she had stuffed animals not only in the front, but the sides and back as well
(I'm thinking this was her helper . . . ),
I decided to take almost all of them out so she would sleep more comfortably. I felt like a magician pulling one scarf after another out of a magic wand. Or like a surgeon delivering the octomom's babies : ) Somehow Ella managed to tuck in 14 little stuffed animals
and then fall in a deep sleep herself.
The next morning Ella told us she was going to grow some more babies, and kept Tom and me entertained for quite a while.
She soon found that carrying all that extra weight is tiring though . . .
Ella and Zoe's preschool has a monthly 'family homework' project. January's assignment was to make little snowmen. We were given small white pieces of construction paper, some brown, some black, some orange and some red too; with directions to decorate however we wanted, with any additional materials as well.
It was SOOOOOO much fun!! Tom helped Zoe and I helped Ella.
First, the girls got to choose how many circles they wanted for their snowman's body and both decided on three. Tom and I helped with the tracing and cutting, and then they made their paper more 'snowy' and fluffy by gluing on cut-up cotton balls.
Once the bodies were done it was time to decorate.
Ella wanted a yellow hat but we didn't have any yellow construction paper, so instead we got creative and twisted a pipe-cleaner into a funky hat shape, and put a red pom-pom on the top. Ella also chose to make her nose shaped like a carrot (triangle), and had a lot of fun taping two little twigs to the back of the snowman for the arms. Her final touch was adding a purple ribbon for the scarf.
Zoe wanted a more traditional hat for her snowman with a blue pom-pom on top, and had fun using a hole-puncher to make little circles for the eyes, the nose and for the 'oh-oh smile'. Zoe also loved taping on twigs for the arms, but I think curling the yellow ribbon to make her snowman's scarf was even more of a high point for her.
Both girls worked hard and we all had a good time.
And we all think the snowmen turned out pretty darn cute.
After trying and waiting for a long time, June 26th 2006 was the estimated due date of Baby A and Baby B. We were thrilled. But a little over 10 weeks early our doctor decided it was time for us to meet the babies. On Wednesday, April 19th at 6:49 pm, Ella Marie was born. We named her after Tom’s mom, Della Marie, and her name means 'Light'. She weighed 2 pounds 14 ounces, was 16 inches long and was perfect. At 6:51 pm, Zoë Dianne was born. We named her after my mom, Dianne, and her name means ‘Life’. She weighed 3 pounds 5 ounces, was also 16 inches long and was perfect too.
Both girls stayed in the NICU for almost 2 months and did really well, especially considering all of the 'what could have/should have beens'. It was a 'one step forward two steps backwards' type of dance those first few weeks, but after 47 days we brought Zoe home and 10 days later brought Ella home. FINALLY, we were all four under the same roof, and were ready to start the next exciting chapter in our lives . . .
Ella and Zoe turned FIVE this April and are THRIVING. They are fun, funny, naughty and sweet. The joy they bring to our lives is immeasurable. They are also really fun to take pictures of : )