Friday, January 30, 2009

Still Best Friends

Last week at Gabi's parent/teacher conference, Ms. Laura told us that Gabi already knows the entire three-year-old curriculum in English (which she mostly knew before the school year started) as well as most of it in Spanish (but don't worry, she's adding in plenty of extras to keep Gabi interested -- that is what I love about this school: the ability for individualized instruction without removing her from her same-aged peers). She was also impressed with Gabi's vocabulary. I am, too; I remember a couple weeks ago when Gabi told me that "bows are dainty." Gabi likes to give me definitions of new words she has learned, such as "twice means two." Ms. Laura advised us that Gabi would be ready for some phonics workbooks and some easy-readers. Today, while I was fixing lunch, Gabi picked up a piece of paper and sounded out the letter sounds for N-E-S-T and then read "nest!" Wow, that girl is smart! So she read her first word without any coaching at all.

I'd like to share the last of our pictures from our New Years trip to Atlanta. We spent our final day playing with Gabi's best friend, Martin.

Sharing a cookie and a laugh at the Barnes & Noble cafe

Holding hands


Playing trains in the Barnes & Noble children's section

Bella signing "baby" -- she was so excited to have a playmate her size!

brothers Aaron and Martin


Best friends

Leaving Barnes & Noble

After lunch, Gabi played at Martin's house while I packed up the car and cleaned our house.

Playing at Martin's house

We miss you!

Gabi is also really into math skills now. She is adding single-digit numbers and able to compare bigger and smaller numbers. One day she was reading a book with numbers and I heard "twenty-one-teen, twenty-two-teen" as she continued to count past the twenty that they learn in school. So today I bought her a pre-math workbook, a beginning phonics workbook, a four-year-old handwriting workbook (since she loves to write letters), and a word-puzzle game (spelling three-letter words) to do during afternoon quiet time. She selected the math one for today, and it was a hit. She talked me into letting her do the first five pages, although I was initially only going to do two a day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Years in Atlanta

Shannon invited us to her house for a New Years Day celebration with black-eyed peas and all. Thanks for a great party!

Grayson took Gabi for a ride in his new car!

This outdoor excursion was a fun activity that we enjoyed watching, but it doesn't bode well for 13 years from now...

Around the circle in the the cul-de-sac

And then through the circle!

Gabi didn't appreciate the bumpy "adventuresome boy" detour, so she decided to take over the wheel... but driving proved not to be an innate skill.

How does this work?

Bella flying on the swing

Gabi (Grayson) and Ava

Hugging Ava goodbye

Then we visited Gabi's best friend, Martin -- the playdate Gabi most looked forward to (and, really, the entire point of the long road trip, as far as she was concerned).

Chilling in Martin's couch

Running in circles over Martin's bed

And for New Years dinner, we went to our good family friends' house in Lilburn. Peggy taught Gabi how to play Candyland, which she loved. Unfortunately, Gabi was sick this week, which resulted in few good photo ops. But she had such a good time that, just this past weekend, Gabi was playing with her twin dolls (named Peggy and Bossum) at Lolo and Lola's house, and she told me that there was another Peggy who plays Candyland (but, she observed that there isn't another Bossum - oh, how true).

Gabi playing Candyland with Peggy

The girls with Mike and Peggy

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Playgroup and GA Capitol

Of course while we were in Atlanta, we had to see our old friends at the Tuesday playgroup!

Bella, Gabi, and Ava in the sandbox

Gabi and Ava, the girly-girls

Riding a tricycle

Jonah climbing on the play house

Watching the boys try to exit via the skylight

Uncle Brian and Bella

Newest playgroup member, Max, was born after we moved

On New Year's Eve, we headed downtown to tour the Georgia State Capitol building.

on the MARTA

Retired GA military flags

Gabi on the steps

Cannon outside the GA capitol

Naptime in Gabi's old room

Jumping on my bed

That evening, after our ice skating and aquarium adventure, we ate dinner downtown at Taco Mac, right across from where LSU was whoopin' up on GA Tech. We watched the first half of that bowl game as well as the ND basketball game, and then enjoyed a rather lively MARTA ride home.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Georgia Aquarium and Ice Skating

The girls and I (plus Uncle Brian) took a road trip and spent the week of New Years enjoying Atlanta, and I have a ton of pictures to share! (Sorry I'm so late with these.) We visited the Georgia Aquarium twice before the end of 2008 (when our annual passes expired).

Waiting for the train at the Avondale MARTA station

We arrived at our old house Monday afternoon, and Bella promptly fell down the stairs. I wouldn't have worried about it except that her mouth was full of blood when I picked her up. I promptly called my husband, who was unable to help since he was at work back in Little Rock. It turned out just to be a torn frenulum connecting her upper lip to her gums, which isn't a big deal. At any rate, that adventure took all afternoon to address, so we couldn't visit the Georgia Aquarium until Tuesday, nor could we check out books from the local library for bedtime stories. Luckily Chick-fil-A was giving out books in their kids' meals, though.

The Georgia Aquarium from Centennial Olympic Park

Of course this holiday week meant that the aquarium was packed, and that certainly detracts from your ability to see the fish and even move around. We just skipped the smaller tanks, but the girls loved it anyway.


Dancing with the belugas

Pointing out some unusual fish

On New Year's Eve, we headed to downtown Atlanta again. (Twice actually -- we visited the GA capitol in the morning and then Olympic Park and the Aquarium after naptime.)

Excited to ride the train again

Reining in the adventuresome one

On New Years Eve, Gabi really wanted to go ice skating at Centennial Olympic Park. She's been learning to roller skate at school and likes it, so a skating activity sounded like fun. Uncle Brian agreed to watch Annabelle from the sidelines, and he took a few pictures of us (as the wiggle worm permitted).

Gabi's first time to ice skate

Bella enjoyed a trip around the ice
while Gabi took a break

Gabi having another go

It was so cold outside that we were completely frozen. Uncle Brian tried to play with the girls at the new playground in Centennial Park, but the girls got cranky. So we headed across the street to the Georgia Aquarium to defrost. It was a wonderful time of day to go because there were very few other visitors, and we stayed until closing. However, the girls were tired and hungry... I guess you can't have everything.

Bella showing Uncle Brian the jellies

Check out that scorpion fish!

Gabi touching the anemones

Watching the sea otters