Friday, October 24, 2008

Party! Party! Party!

Here are a few more pictures of Hadley opening her presents.

One of the many Elmo birthday cards:

Giving Elmo a kiss...
What could be better than Elmo underpants?

Opening presents with Daddy:

Here are a couple of videos. This is one of Hadley checking out a Sesame Street puzzle.

And this is one of Hadley gobbling up blueberries. I apologize for my giggling in the background. It is so funny watching her literally inhale these things.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Two Years Old

My brother and I like to joke that we have something called an episodic memory. This means that someone can tell us about an occasion and we can pinpoint the exact date when it happened. I suppose it doesn't sound like a huge deal, but it can be quite entertaining at times.

However, I can't remember much of what was going on on October 23 before the year 2006. I can make some guesses, of course. If I were in high school, this would be around the time of Homecoming, or if I were teaching this date might be around the time of a Fall Break. I think Calvin had a Reading Recess around this time as well.

But all that seems insignificant when it's held up to October 23, 2006. Or October 23, 2007, and now October 23, 2008. Each of these dates hold many vivid memories for me now that Hadley is here. Last night, after Hadley's bath she ran out of the bathroom in just her diaper; a new game she likes to play. As I watched her running around laughing and waving her arms in the air I remembered that last year at this time she wasn't even walking. And when Jesse comes home and Hadley drops whatever she is doing and yells, "Daddy!" and runs to the door to greet him, I think of the time minutes after she was born and she heard his voice. Hadley was screaming as the nurses were cleaning her off and Jesse walked over to where she was and said, "It's OK, Hadley. Daddy's here." Hadley immediately stopped crying.

This year, as Jesse and I told her that her bithday was coming up, she explained to us that she would be going to school with her backpack. So this morning when she woke up I brought in her first present - a little backpack filled with crayons, a juicebox and snacks, her toy truck and cellphone and some paper. I said, "Do you know what this is?" She said, "A backpack!" I told her, "That's right, and we are going to go to school today!" I took Hadley to Washington Christian Academy, the school I where I was a teacher, and we spent the morning going to school.

Hadley had a great time. One of the secretaries gave her a lollipop, an art class sang Happy Birthday to her, and the first grade teacher gave her a sticker and a pencil. Hadley made a trip the school's library where she was able to type on the computers and look at some books, she saw the cafeteria, and even got to sit in the Headmaster's chair behind his desk (how she managed that, I'm not sure but it made her mother a little nervous).

As always, Hadley had no problem being around other people, especially the students. At one point the kids I taught when they were in 8th grade, who are now seniors, came out to say hello. This was a real treat for me as I love this particular group of kids, and Hadley had no problems warming up to them either. At one point she even started "tap dancing" for them.

Here she is sitting at a desk in Mrs. Bratt's Science room:

Checking out the library:

Doing some work at the computer:
Sitting at Mr. Danner's (the Headmaster's) desk. If you look to the right, you'll notice that Hadley even put her snack down on his desk. Lovely.

Leaving school was quite a chore, however. Hadley did not want to go. She began crying as soon as we walked out of the building, and continued to cry the entire way home. Thankfully, we saw some school buses, garbage trucks and even a firetruck on the way home so that calmed her down. When we got back to our neighborhood, we stopped at the bagel shop to have a cookie. I offered to take her there for breakfast, but all Hadley wanted to do was go to school, proving once again that she is her father's daughter when she'd rather go to school then have a donut or a bagel.

The cookies that Hadley gets at this bagel shop are exactly like the ones I used to get at the Oak Park Bakery. If I have a taste of one, I feel like I'm 5 all over again.

It's been a lovely day to remember, although it's not over yet. Once Jesse gets home we have a tricycle to open up and ride on, along with lots of other presents from the family. For dinner we have her favorites: macaroni and cheese, bluberries, and ice-cream for dessert. I'll make sure I post more pictures of the evening.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hadley's 2nd Birthday Party

I supposed that technically this is Hadley's third birthday. After all, October 23, 2006 should count for something, right? Of course, there was no Elmo cake like the one at Saturday's birthday party.

Granted, he turned out looking a little more like Animal from the Muppets, but Hadley seemed to know who he was. Here's another shot of the birthday table with the Sesame Street plates, hats, and party favors, and another shot of Hadley's expression after she saw all the stuff laid out on the table:

Her buddies Matthew and Aiden came over and Hadley was so happy to play with them all evening. They colored, played with balloons and all kinds of toys, and all three practiced the new skill they learned - jumping!

Last year I made Hadley a birthday cake and she was quite suspicious of it (there are pictures on this blog of last year's celebration), but this year she had no problem diving into Elmo. In fact, when she first saw the Elmo cake, she took her Elmo doll (who she calls, "Uncle Geoff's Elmo" because he gave it to her) and put his face on the cake. I said, "Hadley, what are you doing?" She responded, "Elmo wants to eat the cake." I told her Elmo had to wait for Matthew and Aiden to come over.

FYI - the carseat on the table is NOT our soon to be second child. That is my friend Mindy's new baby Ryan who was born October 1. Here's a video of everyone singing to Hadley:

I had a great time watching Hadley have a great time. Hadley and I have known Matthew and Aiden and their moms Erin and Mindy for over a year now and we are fortunate to call them good friends.

This Thursday, which is the "official" birthday, we'll have our family celebration.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Last Exercise Class

On Monday we finished our last FunFit class, and Jesse came along to join in the fun. Here are some of the highlights:
On the parachute playing with the balls while the parents swing the kids around in a circle.

Picking out an instrument to play during the song, "Rockin' Robin." Hadley has managed to get the largest instrument every time.

See what I mean?

And here are a few videos showing Hadley in action:

This is my favorite part of class. The kids all get on one side of the gym, and the teacher says, "1, 2, 3" and everyone runs to the other side. Watch Hadley count:

Here's one more because I think it's so cute:

Here is Hadley singing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" next to Miss Piggy:

And here's one more of Hadley dancing with her drum:

After words the three of us got a little snack at Starbucks, and walked over to a park in the Kentlands to play for a bit.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Decorating Pumpkins

After our Fun Fit class on Monday, Hadley and I went to the grocery story to pick out some pumpkins to decorate. Hadley gets very upset when we leave Fun Fit and/or Music class, so I have to come up with fun things to do in order to distract her from leaving class. On Tuesdays after class we go to the park which is right outside the building where the class is, but I have to get creative on Mondays, and I thought picking out some pumpkins would be a festive thing to do. Anyway, here are some pictures:

Such concentration....

I think I'll decorate my tray now...

Let's see if I can make a pumpkin tower.

The finished products:

Friday, October 3, 2008

First Haircut

On Tuesday I took Hadley to "Cartoon Cuts" to get her hair trimmed. Jesse and I have talked about doing it ourselves, but both of us are a little nervous, so I thought we'd check this place out and see how Hadley likes it.
The first thing she saw were elephants on the door and walls and she loves elephants, so that made her happy. There were also crayons and paper in the waiting area, and she walked right over and got busy working while we waited for the big event.

In order to get her hair washed, Hadley had to climb up a ladder to a bunk - like seat. She thought the climbing was pretty cool, but hated getting her hair washed. Hadley doesn't generally cry in public, but when she is uncomfortable or scared she looks at me like I'm just about the stupidest person in the world to put her through whatever situation she's in. She'd give some of the middle school girls I've taught a run for their money with the look she has perfected.

The haircut went pretty well, although Hadley didn't like the cape too much. Too confining, I think. But the lady turned Barney on while she cut Hadley's hair and that proved to be quite successful. At the end of the cut, the lady gave Hadley a pink barret which Hadley wants to wear just about every day. She also gave her a lollipop which I have conveniently "lost." Here are some pictures:

This next video has nothing to do with Hadley's haircut, but it happened yesterday so readers are getting a "two for one" in this entry. As some of you know, Hadley is quite fond of books and the library. We go to the library at least once a week. Yesterday, Hadley was playing in her room and I heard, "This is just like the waabare." I went in to see what she was doing, and she had made herself a little "check out center" and was checking out her books (or "bookas" as she likes to call them). She used two cards from a game as the self scanner, and made sure she "scanned" the book where the sticker (barcode) is supposed to be. Here is the video:

After this task was completed, Hadley took Bear into the kitchen, sat him on her pink stool, and began showing him her magnetic letters. "This is a 'W', Bear. This is a 'B', Bear." After awhile I heard her tell him, "2 plus 2 is 4, Bear." I have no idea where she learned that. We all know that I was not teaching her math.