Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sara Kate Visits the Zoo!

*Warning, picture overload in this post!  But they're all good pictures, just so ya know.  :-)

Today was a first for Sara Kate...she visited the zoo for the first time!!  I wanted to take her this spring but it never worked out.  I think it's good we didn't get to go because I don't think she would have appreciated it as much then as she did now.  She LOVES animals.  She will play animals (Little People) or stuffed animals (including Elmo) over baby dolls.  Animals, puzzles, and books.  That's her thing.  Anytime we go somewhere she has to take an animal.  She has animals in the bath tub.  You get my point.  We decided to make it a family affair and ask Chris' sister and her family to go with us.  The only thing that could make visiting a place full of animals better for Sara Kate would be to visit a place full of animals with Hannah!  She was ecstatic when I told her she would spend the whole day with her favorite cousin (maybe her favorite person ever, ha!).  We put Hannah in our car on the way to Tulsa and the girls already were having so much fun.  We got to the zoo around 11, which worked out well for Hayden's nap schedule.  
These 2 were inseparable all day.  I love seeing Sara Kate have such love and admiration for her cousin! 
First up was the elephants.  The Tulsa Zoo has one of the oldest elephants in North America.  She was 62 years old!
Jason was telling Hayden all about them.
We went by the bamboo jungle (I love this picture!)...
On the way to see the monkeys!!
Hayden was kind of afraid of the monkeys at first because they got too close to him in the enclosed room but he was much better outside where he could get down with girls.
3 Little Monkeys!!
At one point it was just Sara Kate and Hayden standing there and she leaned over and put her hand on his shoulder to tell him about it.  We heard 'BUBBY, akfsdakfjsd (jibberish), MONKEYS, asdlfjadsljfaskdj (jibberish).'  It was precious.
After the monkeys, we saw the GIANT tortoises.  Seriously, they were huge, and they were right by the gate eating some lettuce and carrots.  One of them was estimated to be over 100 years old!
Next we saw the giraffes.  I love giraffes.  I love the way they look so elegant and graceful when they're so big.  Plus, what girl doesn't love a good giraffe print clothing item?!  I know I sure do!! :-)
This is an iPhone pic, but I loved seeing Sara Kate looking at the different animals, just taking it all in.
This is a terrible picture but it's funny.  Look closely, Chris said the giraffe photo bombed our picture, ha!!
We saw the zebras (once again, another good print on clothing, ha!) and Sara Kate kept talking about the zebras the rest of the day.  Before bed when we asked her what she saw, she said zebras.
Check out this very cool picture Chris got of the snow leopard!  He's saying, don't mess with me!
We saw 2 lions in the lions den.  I love big cats.
We planned ahead and brought snack lunch items.  There were picnic tables all over the place so we found a nice place and ate crackers, cheese, lunch meat, peanut butter, apples, and grapes. 
After lunch we went to the sea lion cave.  Another iPhone picture, but Chris couldn't get a good one since it was dark and they were moving so fast.  They are FAST!
We saw the penguins, and even saw the handler feeding them fish out of a bucket.
The flamingos were so graceful looking as well.  At this point, I was holding Hannah so she could see, Sara Kate was standing beside me asking for her apple juice, Chris was taking pictures, and Jason was holding Hayden.  I looked down and Sara Kate was gone.  I thought she went to Chris but she wasn't with him.  Freak out!  Jenny looked back and saw her running toward the stairs that went to the penguins and sea lions.  Jenny ran and grabbed her and gave her a stern talking to.  Thank you Jesus she didn't go far and Jenny saw her!!!!
And this was her look right after she got in trouble.  
Somewhere Chris saw this guy...yuck!!
There was a huge play ground area for the kids to play on.  It was perfect to let them run around since they had been staying close and holding hands all day.
Across from the play ground there was a rhinoceros.  Sara Kate had no interest in this guy.
Before we left we hit up the petting zoo area.  Sara Kate went around calling the sheep 'Ba Ba Black Sheep.'  What's so crazy to me is she loves animals so much, but she didn't want to touch!  This was as close as she got, and I think her hand was on the back of the sheep thanks to Hannah.  But she was done after that and she wanted to observe from my arms.
Hannah loved every second of it, though.
Since Chris was behind the camera all day, I snapped a picture of him and Sara Kate before we left. 
This is hilarious but Sara Kate hates big stuffed things, like mascots and this big giraffe.  Hannah wanted her picture with so I tested Sara Kate's limits with how close I could get.  HAHA!!!  She freaked.  I know, mean mommy.  And the giraffe was patriotic because they were having a voting registration right outside. 
We left about 2:30 and Hayden crashed on the way to the car, and the girls crashed as soon as the car started moving.
Everybody had a great time and behaved wonderfully (minus our one little disappearance), and I'm so glad we went with family.  It was a long day for us but a longer day for Jenny and crew since they drove from Berryville.  But Sara Kate loved every minute spent with Hannah.  I know Sara Kate had a blast, and I'm sure we will visit another zoo at some point down the road!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What We've Been Up To

I cannot get my act together lately with the whole blog thing.  Only 5 blogs written in September?  That's terrible!!  I like writing frequently but I kind of feel like there's not much to talk about.  Maybe that's not true but I feel that way.  Plus I'm just tired.  Plain and simple!  But I'll let you in on a little bit of what's been going on with us the past week.

This past Saturday morning Sara Kate woke up at 4 am.  Yes, you read that correctly.  4-freakin-a-m-on-a-Saturday.  If she wakes up during the night, she will usually cry for a minute and go back to sleep.  But I got up with her hoping I could calm her back down before she got too worked up and wouldn't go back to sleep.  I rocked her for about 20 minutes and put her back in her bed.  She said 'Ka Kate play (Ka Kate is what she calls herself).'  I said, 'No, Sara Kate goes back to bed and mommy will be right here (in her chair).'  After about 20 more minutes of her rolling around in her bed she sat up and said 'Ka Kate gets milk then Ka Kate watch a moobie (movie).'  Ugh.  I said ok and went and got her milk and the iPad.  We watched Blues Clues, played animals, played puzzles, and daddy got up around 7 and took over!  I was able to nap off and on until 9 but I was still exhausted since it was a long day with a night football game.
When I loaded this picture to the computer I realized it was blurry.  Oh well.  It shows just how tired she was!
Speaking of football, we won't speak about that right now.  Our beloved Hogs are doing terrible and it's hard to stomach, especially during a year where things were supposed to be amazing.  We blame our non existent looney toon coach because our team has far more talent that what's being shown out on that football field right now.  *Sigh*  But we still love our Hogs.  I bought some red skinny jeans this weekend.  I felt so in style, HA!!  A girl can dream, HAHA!! :-)
We've spent alot of time outside lately.  We've been to the park and there is a new elementary school not far from where we live that has a neat big playground.  I took Sara Kate there twice over the weekend.  It's convenient so that's nice.
Conquering the BIG slide at the playground...big girl!
 Chris took these when we were at Gulley Park last week.  I love the images he captures.
Finally, we attempted some family pictures last night.  I have the most perfect images in my head of candid being in the moment photography, and while we got a few cute shots, pictures with a 2 year old are so hard!  She won't sit still, she won't listen, she certainly won't look at the camera and she wants to run the opposite direction.  Once again, a girl can dream (the Gulley Park candid's are perfect but we need the family there too!).  I'll share others eventually but will leave you with this one and say family picture FAIL!!  HA! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

After School Conversation with Sara Kate

Mommy: Did you have a good day at school today?
Sara Kate: Yeah.
Mommy: What did you do at school today?
Sara Kate: What did you do at school today?
Mommy: No, what did Sara Kate do at school today?  Did you play with your friends?
Sara Kate: Yeah.  I play with Maddie and Cooper and Mamona (Ramona) and aakldsjfkasdjfkajsd (bunch of jibberish) and color and adslfkadslkfjalsdkfj (more jibberish).
Mommy: Oh, you colored at school?
Sara Kate: Yeah.
Mommy: Well good!  Did you listen to your teacher?
Sara Kate: Yeah.
Mommy: Are you sure you listened to your teacher today?
Sara Kate: Yeah.
Mommy: Did you get in trouble today?
Sara Kate: Yeah.
Mommy: What happened when you got in trouble?
Sara Kate: I went time out.
Mommy: Oh you did?  
Sara Kate: Yeah.
Mommy: What did you do to get in trouble?
Sara Kate: adsfjkadfkadsfkajdskfj (jibberish) I want milk.

And that promptly ended our after school conversation. :-)

This morning when we left she said, 'Mommy it's cold!'  I'm not sure where she learned the concept of outside temperature!  She's getting so big.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A thank you to our firemen

Last year on 9/11 I saw something online somewhere (you can see that it really made an impression on me, ha!) to do something nice for the firemen, policemen, first responders, etc. in your community to honor them on this difficult day.  The good deed or nice thing or whatever you want to call it stuck with me all year long.  I decided that this year I would make some Cake Batter Truffles (so can find the recipe where I blogged about them previously here), and we would take Sara Kate and go to our local fire station.  
It was kind of good timing because Sara Kate's teacher told me they had been talking about firemen and what they do and what if they had to visit their school and stuff like that.  I came home from work, Chris had Sara Kate color a card, I loaded the truffles on a plate, and we headed to the fire station closest to our house.  The guys there were so nice...we met Jeremy and Jeremy, and there was one other guy but I didn't catch his name.  We told them we brought special treats in appreciation for what they do to keep our community safe.  And they were very appreciative of that.  Sara Kate got so scared and so shy and she wouldn't even look at them, much less talk to them!  They took us through the firehouse and out to see the trucks, and she still was so afraid.  But the guys were so sweet and brought her stickers and a fire hat.  She loves stickers but she is not so much a fan of hats!
We asked her if she wanted to take a picture with the fireman and she said 'no!' but she said 'yes!' to taking a picture with the fireman and mommy.  We didn't get a picture with all 3 guys, but here we are with our new friend Jeremy.
He then offered to take a picture of me, Chris, and Sara Kate, and I told him that we came to see them but it is a nice family memory to have.  The lighting in the picture is awful because of the sun angle coming through the garage, but I'm glad we have the image.
Chris and I are glad we went to the fire station to visit, and we said we could make it an annual tradition.  We aren't in New York City but firemen (and policemen and paramedics and lots of others) have a job like no other.  They protect us and keep us safe, and we should always be thankful for that.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sara Kate Update

I feel like I haven't written much about Sara Kate lately.  I mean, I write all the time about what WE'VE been up to, but since I don't do her monthly posts anymore (which I miss), I feel like I'm not writing much about what's going on with her.  So exactly has been going on (and this is an honest look at what's going on!)?
Apparently Sara Kate is having a hard time in her new class using her 'listening ears.'  Every day last week on her take home sheet it said her behavior was 'fair' and some days involved time outs and it's all because she's not doing well at listening and obeying.  I talked to her teacher about a week after the move to see how she was doing and her immediate response was 'Well, she's a busy girl.'  Ouch.  She stressed that the transition from the Pygmy room to the Skipper room was a harder one because this new class is much more structured, where as the Pygmy room still had alot of free play.  She stressed that she would be fine, and all the kids were struggling with the transition, but I just want her to be the perfect child, ha!!  Sometimes it sucks being a perfectionist!  I know she's learning and thriving at school (she seems to know new stuff all the's pretty amazing) so I know she'll be ok.  She's 2 and not listening is part of growing and learning and being 2.  But we're really working on listening and following directions.  Anyone have any advice?? :-)
Notice her shoes Thursday morning before school...yep, she picked them out.  Remember that perfectionist thing I just mentioned?  Yep, well she didn't wear those shoes into school, that's for sure!! :-)
Potty training is not going well.  Sara Kate is such an I'm-gonna-do-things-in-my-own-time kind of kid.  She's always been that way...rolling over, crawling, walking...she was perfectly capable of hitting all those milestones before she actually hit them but SHE did them all in HER own time.  And now potty training is the same way.  She knows when she's wet, when she pooped, when she needs a new diaper, etc.  And she will sit on the potty at home (begrudgingly at times) but nothing will happen.  We try to make it fun...we make up songs about the potty and big girls and dance around to get her excited.  Nothing.  We bought her potty months ago and I think it was right around when she turned 2 that her teachers at school told me she pee pee'd on the potty for the first time.  When I saw talked to her new teacher after she moved to the Skipper room I asked her about the potty thing and she told me that Sara Kate will use the potty at school.  Well of course she will, all her friends are doing it.  The thing is, she wants to wear a Pull Up at home (she does at school) but we stress that big girls wear pull ups and big girls pee pee in the potty.  But nothing.  In her own time, I know, but dang it's frustrating!!  Any advice??  :-)
Remember a couple weeks ago when I wrote that I thought we were finally over the seperation anxiety hump during drop offs??  Well, I now retract that statement.  It's back and it's horrible.  I hate dropping her off and leaving with her crying!!  I know her teachers redirect quickly but it still sucks.  UGHHH!  Any advice?? :-)
On a brighter note (because I feel that this post has been a Debbie Downer post), Sara Kate has learned SOOOO much lately.  She's talking like crazy and has gotten much easier to understand, she repeats ANYTHING, she sings songs constantly, she likes counting (she can count to 20, although she leaves out 16), she knows her ABC's and can sing the song like a champ, she is a pro at her colors, she still likes watching Baby Einstein and will do the sign language for what they are talking about, she still loves Elmo, she all of a sudden loves watching Barney (boo!!), her hair is long enough for me to pull back (mommy loves this!!), she loves puzzles and books, she loves being outside, she LOVES animals...she's just a little person with a funny, adorable little personality and she's turning into such a big girl!
Now if only we could get the 'listening ears' and potty training down...ha! :-)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Catch Up - Labor Day Weekend

I wanted to back up a little and do a catch up from our Labor Day weekend.  My parents always come up Labor Day weekend, it's always the first Hogs football game, and it seems like it's always Chris' dad's birthday.  So our weekend is always full of business and fun!  I usually am always trying to snap pictures with my camera, especially with my parents here, but I decided to lay low and just enjoy the moments so most of my weekend pictures were iPhone pics.  My parents and Sara Kate went with us to our tailgate on Saturday before the game, which is always big fun.  Our friends enjoy having Sara Kate which is nice, although it's hard to socialize trying to make sure she's not getting into too much trouble!  But thanks to my parents being there, we had extra eyes watching her!  
I really wanted a sweet little family picture outside at our tailgate but our friend Wade taught Sara Kate a new trick so that sweet little family picture wasn't so sweet.  This is terrible but it is so stinkin' funny.  And Wade was so proud of himself, ha!!
One more try got us a little closer to what I had at my mind, but as you know, a 2 year old is always on the go and will only look at the camera on the rare occasion when THEY want to!
Mom and dad took Sara Kate home and we went on to the game.  I sold our extra tickets to my friend Elizabeth and her husband and it was fun to have sweet friends sitting beside us.  We had a fun Saturday and enjoyed a Razorback win!
Sunday we enjoyed a nice church service before heading to brunch and then home for naps (which we all took!) and play.
Chris' sister and her family came into town Sunday so we had some fun family time celebrating Bob's birthday, which included dinner at Red Lobster (all you can eat shrimp in September, sweet!!), cousin play time, and an awesome firework show (we've been in a burn ban since June which meant no fireworks on the 4th of July so our area allowed fireworks Labor Day weekend)!
(Firework photos are compliments of firework pictures suck...maybe I'll share them sometime, ha!!!!)
My parents left on Monday morning, and we are always sad to see them go, especially Sara Kate.  She loves her Ghee and Poppa!
We spent the rest of the day hanging with Chris' family, since Bob's actual birthday was Monday.  Sara Kate loved spending time with her Papa and even enjoyed a special treat at dinner (and a first!), compliments of Papa!
So that's a look at our weekend.  We enjoyed spending time with our families, even though it was a busy time.  So glad this is a short work week and tomorrow is Friday, yay!!