Sunday, April 13, 2014

"Daily Penelope"

The other day I sent Moin an email titled "Your daily Penelope", with a funny quote from our little girl. This subject line is perfect, because Penelope is pretty much always saying something funny.

Here are some of her recent quotes:
(after getting in trouble for sticking out her tongue at me) "But mommy, my tongue really likes to feel the fresh air"

(after getting in trouble for waking us all up at 5:30 by singing) "But I just wanted Zahra to hear a happy tune"

She has a rationale for everything!

She also really loves to get dressed every morning. She picks all her own clothes, and usually changes several times a day. Here is a picture I took of her and Zahra after WaPa brought them new swimsuits. Right before the photo was taken, Penelope ran off to grab a hat and a purse before posing! (and her baby, of course)

Penelope recently started taking ballet by herself (without Zahra). She seems to enjoy it. I think mostly she likes wearing the ballet outfit. These pictures were actually from her first day when I didn't know she needed a special outfit, which is why she is the only one in purple pants.

She has her first recital in May. We're all really looking forward to seeing what that is like!

Penelope is also the most obsessed with "Frozen" out of all the children. She claimed both princesses (Anna and Elsa) for herself, so Zahra usually pretends to be the snowman or one of the male characters instead.

Here she is rivited by the big screen at the Disney store, which was showing frozen videos. She did want to be Elsa for halloween, but now she says she wants to be an orange blanket instead. Zahra wants to be a birthday cake.

Here is one of my favorite pictures ever of the girls. The lighting is not good, but it sums up their personalities perfectly. Now, after reading this post, can you tell which one is Penelope? :)

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Last month we had parent-teacher conferences for all three kids. At the lab school, the parents also receive a written summary of the children that is about ten pages single spaced (!), and Quinn received a report card.

Let's start with what teacher Ayuko said about Zahra
Here are some of our favorite lines about Zahra in her summary:

"Zahra is very respectful of our school property and materials.  This is especially evident during clean up time.  She helps to carefully place materials in their correct places. "

"Zahra notices other children’s emotions, especially when they are feeling sad "

"Since Zahra is keen on noticing children who need support, she has occasionally initiated interaction with children by helping them"

These lines sum up Zahra perfectly. She is very sweet and caring, and also very clean and orderly! Ayuko also mentioned that Zahra is quiet in school, but seems to enjoy herself. She partiularly likes playing outside and in the gym, and doing cooking projects.

Now, on to Penelope.

Here are some of our favorite lines about Penelope:

"Penelope proudly talks about herself and her belongings"

"She can also independently put on her shoes, hat, pants and underwear and take them off as well."

These quotes sum up Penelope well. She is fiercely independent, and very talkative at school. She has made a lot of friends, and she also enjoys gym time, art and reading.

Both girls are hitting all their milestones well and doing everything they are supposed to for their age. Ayuko agrees with us that they should be separated into separate classrooms for next year, so that is the plan for now.

Now, on to Quinn.

We had basically the same conference we always do with Quinn. He is years ahead of grade level in all his academics. His handwriting and drawing are far below, and he shows zero interest in improving those at all. His teacher also mentioned that he is quite competitive with other children, and always wants to win. Sounds about right!

Quinn has had a great year in first grade. He listens to his teacher, and mostly gets along well with other children. His teacher mentioned at the end of the conference that she really wants us to contact her one day to tell her what he becomes, in terms of career. He has such a particular set of academic gifts (memorizing facts and maps), and she is curious how he will use those in the future.

If you ask Quinn about his favorite parts of school, he will say breakfast, lunch and P.E. 

The Syed children are lucky to go to such great schools with teachers who know them so well. Here's to a great rest of the school year!





Dare I say that Spring has finally started to arrive? I saw these tulips popping through the grass yesterday.

The kids are so excited for spring and to be outside.

Because we do live in Minnesota, we had several wild weather weeks leading up to Spring.

First, we had our first day of 40 degrees, which of course meant that Zahra and Penelope took of their pants and shoes to play outside.

And Quinn was in a t-shirt
Then, we had a late season snowstorm of about 8 inches!

The kids are obsessed with the movie "Frozen", and the girls kept shouting "Tell Elsa to bring back summer!" The snow did give us a chance to build "Olaf" though, who is a character from the movie.

And to sled down the next door neighbor's front hill

Spring snow melts quickly, and "warmer" temps were back soon. Quinn took this opportunity (40 degree temps) to wear shorts to school.

And the kids have been having so much fun just being outside.

And the truest sign of spring in the Herold/Syed household? We took the kids to the Mall of America to buy their crocs today!

Of course, colder temps are in the forecast for next week, but in our minds Spring is here for good. Thanks, "Elsa", for bringing back the warm temps!