Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Today, our baby boy turns 5.

Five years ago today he was born via an unfortunate emergency c-section, but strong and healthy and cute as could be.

He was even lucky enough to be born during the year of the golden pig!

And to visit the beach soon after he was born. Even though he's now a full-minnesotan who, for his birthday, chose a trip to Duluth as his present, his birth certificate will always say: Santa Cruz, CA.

Quinn's week of birthday celebrations started this past Thursday, when Moin and I brought ice-cream sandwiches to his preschool. Thursday also happened to be his last day at the lab school, where he has attended preschool for the last three years, so I'll admit I was a bit weepy.

However, my tears quickly turned to laughter when I walked in and found Quinn eating lunch looking like this!

Apparently they had done some rock-face-painting earlier in the day. Later he and his buddy Emmett put on their pirate hats and went out to explore!

We were happy to be there on the last day of school both to celebrate Quinn's birthday, and also celebrate his time at the lab school. Words cannot express how wonderful his time there has been, and he will be benefiting from his three years there for the rest of his life.

This past Saturday we celebrated Quinn's birthday with a family get together.
As you can see, Penelope did not want to do the family photo.

We had my parents, Kelly, Anna, Eli, Todd, Patrick, and Dana (Anna's friend) here to celebrate. So fun!

Remember the alphabet book I blogged about earlier? Quinn absolutely loved it!

Zahra even cries every time she sees it now because she doesn't want Quinn to read it to her ANYMORE!

Quinn was a good sport about his sisters helping with the present opening.

They even each got a present of their own (a sesame street book). Here's Penelope about to open hers, which is wrapped in typical awesome moin-wrapping fashion.

Our big present for Quinn was the game Candyland, which he was (as expected) super-excited about.

Luckily the teenagers (Anna, Eli, Patrick, and Dana) were here to play with him! Patrick especially seemed to enjoy himself :)

But, as is always the case with Quinn, the big event was the food. For his birthday meal he selected hot dogs (beef and tofu), fries, corn and salad. And to be honest, he did not select the corn and salad. Moin and I added those parts.

Then it was cake time! Quinn selected a Thomas cake this year.

We were lucky to have a bunch of the neighbors come over and enjoy cake, ice cream, and happiness with us. Look at all these people celebrating Quinn!

The girls did not want any cake and only wanted to play basketball.

The teenagers were happy to have cake, though, and even sat on the little swingset to have it. Who are the little ones again? :)

The final leg of Quinn's birthday celebration is our trip to Duluth this weekend. Just Moin and I will take him, while the girls stay with my parents. We did this for his birthday last year and he loved it and requested it as his present again this year. I'll do another post about that next week.

As it stands, here are Quinn's favorite things as a five-year-old.
Book: Captain Underpants & The Syed Children's alphabet book
TV Show: Hey kids, let's cook and Diners, Drive-ins and Dives
Activity: playing candyland
Song: Not sure, but he loves both Yo Gabba Gabba albums
Color: orange
Food: Reeces Peanut Butter cups

Happy Birthday Quinn. We love you!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Picture time!

Tutu kind of day at the Midtown Global Market

Taking time to pose with Minnesota

Patrick and Eli playing Candyland with Quinn. This was our big birthday present to the Q-man and he loves it! (full birthday post coming later in the week)

At Como conservatory. The summer flowers are out now.

Cheese break at the conservatory

Posing at Como zoo. The girls thought Quinn doing this was really funny.

Fake giraffes at Como zoo. Quinn has always maintained that these are his favorite "animal" at the zoo. Maybe because he can ride them?

Spotting Brobee at Mall of America.

No water, no problem!

Swinging. Penelope looking slightly frightened.

Zahra! One of the few pictures where I think she actually looks like me.

Zahra reading with Kara, who we were lucky to have visit last week.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

First week of swim camp for the girls was a success!

The rec center where we take swimming has several pools, but the girls' lessons are in the toddler pool and a bigger pool. The water in the toddler pool only goes up to their shoulders in the deepest parts, so they can navigate the whole pool themselves. The bigger pool requires that they be held by an adult. As a result they do NOT like the bigger pool.

They want to do swimming themselves, and not been impeded by any pesky adult who might want to hold their hand or (god forbid) hold their whole body. Their teacher says this is pretty common for kids who are super-comfortable in the water, as these two are.

Nevertheless, they've learned quite a bit.
Zahra can blow bubbles, kick ever so lightly while sitting on the edge, and today she did go in the big pool with Anna and practice floating on a noodle.

Penelope can blow bubbles, jump off the edge of the pool, kick while floating on someone's arms, and kick while sitting on the edge. She can also float on her tummy while holding the edge and kick at the same time. She will not go in that big pool and be held and please don't even ask her.

Today Penelope harassed the class of older kids so much by pacing around them and trying to insert herself into the class that the teacher finally invited her to join :)

I love this picture of her marching into swim camp. Look at that determined stance! It's like she's thinking, who you callin' tiny?

Monday, July 23, 2012

A couple big events from the last week.

First, Quinn got to go to Target to pick out his birthday cake for the upcoming big-FIVE!

Maybe there is another kid in this world who loves dessert as much as Quinn, but I have yet to meet that person. Therefore, selecting the correct cake is a big deal in our house.

In case you don't believe me, here is what his cake looked like last year.

What did he choose this year? You'll just have to wait until the big birthday post next week!

Second, the girls began their swim camp this week. Anna is here helping me take them to it. Here they are waiting to get in.

I got one blurry picture of Penelope inside before I realized that she was about to run straight in the pool and perhaps taking pictures wasn't the best idea!

The girls loved their first day of swim class. They learned to blow bubbles, went down the slides, ducked their heads under water, and mostly just ran around. Hopefully we'll manage to get some better pictures as the camp continues!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A few pictures from the last week. Quinn has been so busy with summer camp/swimming/gymnastics/piano that I barely have any of him!

Here's one, of Quinn playing dollhouse with Patrick.

The girls looking at birds with WAPA.

Zahra "hiking" with Grandpa. Love this picture.

Anna has been helping me with the girls all week. They (and I) LOVE having her here.

She took some good pictures of them lunching at Minnehaha falls.

Finally, there has been a lot of "tween" drama in our neighborhood recently. Everyone "likes" someone else, and I keep getting report of who likes who, and who is whose boyfriend/girlfriend. Much of this involves Eli, who is also staying with us right now.
Anyway, I told the kids that I had a boyfriend and his name is moin. Later, I found this written on our driveway :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Penelope and Zahra's language has developed in very different ways.

Zahra says a lot of words very clearly. She's even using some two-word combinations now!
But she's also very quiet. She doesn't say much unless she has something to say. And most of that comes out clearly at this point.

Penelope's speech still isn't too clear, but she talks ALL.THE.TIME.

Most mornings we wake up to very loud babbling (YA-YA-YA-YA) from her crib. And by "we" I mean me and Moin. How her sister sleeps through it right next to her I have no idea.

Moin and I actually feel kind of lucky that we can't understand too much yet, as we're pretty sure a good amount of what she's saying is compromised of demands.

In any case, Penelope's list of "understandable" words is pretty funny, and is so classic second child it makes me laugh. No listing of facts or labels for her! Every word has some sort of social aspect. So, without further adieu here is what P says that can be understood by all:

uh-oh (her first word)
all members of the family (Q is still "ka" and Jackson is "kaka")
"I did that" or "I did it" (yes, she uses the whole phrase)
bo-bo (when hurt)
bye-bye (pronounced ya-ya)
shhhhhh (as in, be quiet)

And really, what else even needs to be said? :)