Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Piano Man

piano man
Originally uploaded by Adam W.
We interrupt the regularly scheduled catch-up blogging for some current news. Spencer is now playing the piano! He has had 3 lessons so far from an AMAZING teacher (Melaney Tagg), and he is loving it. At yesterday's lesson, he played his first duet; today, he asked me if I would play it with him. Never mind that it has 7 flats and is written in the bass clef (NOT a friendly clef for a violinist). I figured it out, and we played this about ten times this morning (yes - still in our pj's). It was a fantastic, fun musical moment. Emma even had her dollhouse people dancing to the tune.

Later today, I went in to volunteer in Spencer's kindergarten class. They were reading from their writing folders when I walked in, and Spencer proudly showed me the "story" he had written, complete with illustration. "I play the piano. I play the piano really well" it read.

Yes, you do, Spence, and we are so proud of you!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

John at 5 Months

This baby needs his own October post to note some milestones. I cannot look at this sweet little face without smiling. John-John is a champion bouncer in the exersaucer (thank you, Papa). It's one of his joys in life to make lots of joyful noise by going into jumping Johnny mode when he is in that fun contraption.

John is also an all-star sitter.

...when his brother and sister don't mow him over by smothering him with lovin'.

October meant solid foods for John. He LOVED rice cereal the first 2 times he tried it.

Look at that face - pure joy at having something solid. It didn't last long, though. He took a look at what we were eating, saw what he was getting, and noticed that there was no crossover. He only wants food with substance - the bigger the better. When I put a banana on his tray to cut it up, he dives for the biggest uncut section he can sneak. Applesauce even makes him mad - not enough texture to satisfy the palate. That's okay, though. I had high ideals of making my own baby food this time around. This saved me all the effort. Straight to the solids for our little man.


I am committed to some level of completion when it comes to this family record. In an effort to achieve that, I give you the month of October 2010 in recap:

I chaperoned Spencer's kindergarten field trip. We went to a local farm to pick pumpkins and see the animals. I got to keep an eye on this group of cuties.

Here's my favorite of the bunch picking out his pumpkin.

We did another round of the daddy-coached soccer league with some friends from church. Spence has decided soccer is his favorite sport. As I am writing this recap in February 2011, I can note that we pass the time waiting for the kindergarten bus by passing ice chunks back and forth trying to score a goal on each other. His idea, not mine, but I go along with it. Quite fun, actually.

Our local airport sponsors an annual air show; the airport is small, and the event is free. We love planes in this family, so we were off to check it out. We got to bring Gpa Barnard with us, since he came to spend a few months in VA. (We miss you, Gpa B!!!)

We checked out the fancy planes, trick flying, and wing walking.

Adam talked shop with Barry Barbini, a friend and FAA inspector who was working the event.

We saw some friends at the show, too! Here's Spencer with "the other Spencer."

My favorite picture of the day has nothing to do with airplanes. It's lovely and her lolly. Doesn't take much to keep this girl content, even on a hot October Saturday.

Because we can't get enough of planes, we headed from the air show to the Udvar-Hazy Smithsonian Museum for the Air and Scare, a trick or treat event. It was a fun time, but we'll never do it again. Traffic was HORRIBLE trying to get to the museum, and once we were inside it was difficult to maneuver because there were SO many people. Still, it was worth it to get a picture of my two aviators. (Spencer wore the costume John has on for his first Halloween. Spence's outfit comes from a dress up area at the museum).

It was also fun to meet up with some Storm Troopers. The kids are on a major Star Wars kick right now, so I need to pull these photos out to show them again. Spence watches the Endor battle scene over and over from Return of the Jedi. Emma likes the part where the ewok pokes princess Leia, so the film is a crowd pleaser.

We went to the museum with our friends and neighbors, the Abramsons. Thank goodness we had people to chat with as we made our way through the crowds.

On to more dressing up. Here is Emma with her preschool buddies for their dress-up day. She loves this dress from our dress up box. She was a ballet shoe-wearing princess - always a happy combination with this little lady.

Spencer's school doesn't allow dressing up in costumes, but they get into the fun of the season by having WACKY DAY the Friday before Halloween. Siblings were invited, and Emma was just as into it as Spencer. They had a great time planning their outfits. Spencer grew his hair out for a month before the actual day to achieve some pretty impressive height with this mohawk. It was his idea to do a little swirl of hair in the front as a departure from the traditional mohawk. I love that boy.

Emma's peep-toe pink shoes deserve a mention here. She wore them EVERYwhere, no matter how cold it got, until the snow came and, with it, the arrival of pink snow boots. Fashion before comfort for this girl.

Our final opportunity to dress up came when we saw the Pickwick Players' production of "The Wizard of Oz" starring none other than Papa as the GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ. Other characters of note: Joel as the Winkie General, Sarah as the poppy/Winkie/Oz resident, Trina as the munchkin barrister. We prepped for the production by watching a few of the songs on youtube, but our kids didn't know much about the storyline in general. Spencer enjoyed the production; John slept through most of it; Emma was ENTHRALLED. Obsessed, really. She went back with me to see it a second time with the Young Women. Emma can sing most of the songs, quizzes everyone involved about the characters, requested the chapter book "Wizard of Oz" for her bedtime story, and can effectively mimic Papa's antics from the Jitterbug number - an absolute highlight. Ask Em about Wizard of Oz, and get ready for a long, entertaining conversation. She LOVES to watch videos of the performance on Grammy's iphone.

Here's Emma getting Dorothy's autograph. THRILLED to be near her.

Maddie has long been a Wizard fan. She was even Dorothy for Halloween and dressed up for the play.

The group shot. The kids wore Halloween costumes, since the performance was on Saturday, October 30th.