T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Art Mom

I have recently become the art mom for T's kindergarten class. I had signed up to volunteer in his classroom. Then I received an email from the teacher who mentioned they were still looking for a parent to take on art responsibilities. I took a deep breath and said I could do art but I would need a little help during November and possibly December after having a new baby. The teacher, Mrs. T, said she had another volunteer that I would work with to help with those months.

I was doubting my abilities to be the art mom. Apparently, it's a big deal to be the art mom in a class because there is this big art night later in the year and it's like a big gallery opening and the art projects displatyed are supposed to be amazing and based on the assigned artist of the month. Another big deep breath - could I do this? I'm a craft person, but art? I took Ms. Messina's basic art class in 9th grade but I was a far cry from being a star student. But give me some yarn or fabric and I'm in my element (even though I never took Ms. Grow's home ec class).

Well, the day I accepted being art mom I received a call from our city library. Now to preface, we live in the biggest city in the state so it's the biggest library in the state, too. The kids visit the library on a weekly basis. Most of the children's librarian's know our kids, particularly T, on a first name basis. The library recently held a mini-Comic-com and part of the festivities was a drawing contest. The contest was to draw a favorite super hero. That was an easy one for my kids who regularly wear super hero costumes. It was also not a small contest either. 

Lil Sister loves Wonder Woman (which is awesome because she was always my favorite, too). T loves Captain America. So, about a month before the event, they submitted their drawings. They did a few and picked their favorite. The call from the library was to say that both kids had placed in the drawing contest - not just honorable mentions but Lil Sister won first and T won second place. I was blown away - not just one winner in the family but two. The next day we went down to the library, the librarians congratulated the kids and gave them their prizes. There were some great prizes - comic books, gift certificates to our local comic book store, and new drawing kits. The kids were excited but then after their thank you's they asked if they could go check out books. We all laughed. Then T said he needed to speak with Ms. Tammy about ordering some new books on Egypt.

Speaking of Egypt, the kids have really been interested in ancient Egyptian art and culture. Yes, they found some books at the library. So, when Mrs. T said the month of September there was no artist assigned and I could pick my own, I chose ancient Egyptian art. I drew a sarcophagus, folded the paper, and inside drew a body. Then T colored the outside sarcophagus and the pasted "bandages" (cut up paper towels) over the body inside. It turned out great. The hardest part was I had to give a 3 minute presentation to the kids about the topic. Boy, I was more nervous to do that than to take my oral boards for graduation! In the end it worked out great. The day at kindergarten was awesome and exhausting. Actually, I was more tired after 3 hours there than 11 hours at my work. My job makes me quite mentally exhausted but chasing 22 kindergarteners was physically exhausting. My hat is truly off to Mrs. T for her hard work. By the way, we love her and T just loves class. More on that in a later posting.

So, here is the completed art project. It took T about 15 minutes but some of the kids needed the entire 20 minutes. I encouraged them to make the projects colorful in keeping with the genre of the artist. Even Lil Sister enjoyed making a mummy. 

I really think the art mom thing is going to be great. I have a bit more confidence after the kids won the art contest, too. I already have my project picked out for October. I will post that one when it is done. As a hint, it does involve gumball machines. November is Snoopy (Charles Schultz) and I have that one delegated out to the other volunteer. I do want to try and do a non-artist project like a turkey, too, but we'll see how much sleep I'm getting at that point.

I also want to point out that Lil Sister is actually quite the artist, not just drawing and coloring but in crafting. That girl carries crayons and colored pencils as well as a note pad everywhere. It's actually caused some grief of late if we leave the house without them. She is always making notes, jotting stuff down, and giving out her pictures. I've recently had some insomnia and one morning I got up around 5:30 and starting crocheting. My little sweet daughter heard me, got up, and asked if she could join me to keep me company. She ended up making a bracelet for herself and one for me. I took photos to capture the moment. It was charming and I am so proud to see my little girl practicing her artistic skills.Oh, and we both had great naps later that day, too.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Profile Pictures

This posting I thought I'd include the kids profile pics as well. They watch me get my photo taken every two weeks and now they will ask for their photos and even turn to the side for profile view. Cracks me up when they do that.

T started kindergarten and LOVES it. The kid was made for school. So far, he is rocking all his lessons but struggling a bit with tying his shoes. We're working on it and he is progressing nicely. I am also the art mom for his class which he is very excited about. Ironically, the day I was chosen to be art mom I was also notified the kids both won 1st and 2nd in the city library's super hero drawing contest. (We're not talking a small contest - I will do an individual posting on this. They won some cool prizes.) His teacher is awesome. We really enjoy her. She is the classic kindergarten teacher and every morning each child gets a hug during line up and before marching into the school. We all adore Mrs. T. Morning class is also great for our little big guy who still takes naps about 5 out of 7 days. He has struggled a bit getting up early but he's been great and has even become a milk drinker as it's quite the social time in kindergarten to take a milk break.

Lil Sister started ballet school. We discontinued gymnastics, opting for a break. Instead we're doing community dance classes through the same parks and rec group I took my tap class. You cannot go wrong at $32 a session. That's like $4 a class. And the teachers are awesome! She is loving it. I will post more on her blog. She is the youngest in her class and (preface as I am totally biased and about to brag) the most naturally talented in her class, too. I have not even worked with her on positions or anything. I think she has some genetic memory I passed onto her from my college days of dancing! So far a great experience. Her Auntie J gave her the dance outfit. I love community ed as there are no strict clothing requirements and it's about having fun and learning skills at the same time.

Here are my 30 and 32 week pregnancy profile pictures. It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that soon we'll be a family of 5. We're all excited but I still feel like there is much to do and the nesting instinct is really kicking in. Plus, my body is SO ready to be done with pregnancy. Each pregnancy it gets harder and harder on my bones, ligaments, muscles, and gut, and other things. I am grateful not to have preterm labor issues or be on bed rest but pregnancy and me do no get along. I wish I could be one of those lovely women who just glow and radiate and love being pregnant. Alas, I seem to just be one who tries to make it through every day but still glad I am blessed to be able to do it. It's just super hard work for me and super hard on my body. I am grateful for a loving husband who helps with as much as possible. We make a great team. He is most understanding when I say I just need a few minutes or some reassurance or just to cry because I'm tired of feeling nauseous. Still, we know how blessed we are and the baby is very healthy, happy and extremely active. We all marvel at watching her acrobatic moves through my belly walls.

So without further ado, profile pics. T on his first day of school, Lil Sis on her first day of ballet school, and me at 30 and 32 weeks.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Rocky Mountain Train Ride

This weekend, Grandma and Grandpa N gave all of us our birthday and Christmas gifts. Since all of us have birthdays within about 6 weeks of each other and Christmas falls during that time, they decided a train ride would be a perfect gift to give all of us. The kids love trains and have been asking to take a ride. Plus, during November/December of this year we will be busy with a new baby and who knows how much bandwidth we'll have for outings.

It was awesome! The faces of the kids in the photos says it all. They had a fabulous time. The kept saying over and over, "This is SO much fun!" The "sheriff" on board made balloon light sabers and animals for the kids. More delight. We made one stop, disembarked, and had a wonderful lunch. The kids ran around for a few minutes before we headed back to the depot.

It was wonderful all around. The scenery near the river was beautiful. We've never seen the river from the non-highway side. Idaho is so beautiful. It was wonderful to enjoy it together as a family. Even more special to share it with the kids' grandparents. What a great gift!

Enjoy the photos!