Wednesday, September 16, 2009

School Daze

It's been a long time since we've updated, but The Mobilians have been busy. Life in the South is a bit more liesurely, and we are taking our leisure very seriously. We put a pool in our backyard and spent most of our summer swimming and entertaining. Sad to say, we overharvested the mint growing in our garden while keeping up with the demand for mojitos.

School starts early in the South. Like, early August early.
I am now a full-time graduate student and graduate assistant at the University of South Alabama. I'm working on a Master's in Community Counseling, but my long-term career goals change weekly.

John and Eleanor are attending the half-day Pre-Kindergarten program at a local Episcopal school, conveniently located next door to Mike's college. A word about schools here: insanity. People put stickers on their cars (really, SUVs) with the name/crest/motto of their children's schools. In some circles, it's a very big deal. We looked at what colleges graduates of these fancy-pants schools attend and were further convinced that Alabama really is a lot like the Hotel California. No one ever leaves. Most graduates go to either the University of Alabama or Auburn.

Mike and I looked half-heartedly at a few schools and picked the one with the nicest fence. (I'm kidding! UMS Wright has a much nicer fence. We toured St. Paul's and it had a very nurturing atmosphere, a program with hours that fit our needs, and most importantly, spots for two more kids.

To reference more classic rock, it's very true that the first days really are the hardest days. Just look at Eleanor's face in the photo above. John missed the first two days of school due to the Swine Flu. He missed another day due to unexplained vomiting, and Eleanor missed a day because she had a cough.

Pre-K is much more intense than day care. John and Eleanor are now judged on how well they color, cut, and follow directions. Each day we receive a folder with their daily work, and while we know that parents should not compare their twins it's very hard not to when you have two identical coloring pages in front of you.

Since the beginning of school Mike and I have had serious talks about John's ability to cut and stay in the lines when he colors. We even talked about it with the teacher and wonder aloud if this will prevent him from entering certain occupations. Each day, Eleanor comes home with three monkey stickers on her papers while John's paper has the obligatory "good try" monkey sticker and suggestions that he follow directions. One paper had the directions underlined in red ink twice.

But, I am happy to report that Mrs. Ritchie says this is typical and that most of the non-repeating boys in her class can't cut, color, or follow directions. We were also thrilled when John came home yesterday with a beautifully colored, cut, and pasted picture with three monkey stickers.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Mobilians Announce a New Member

There is a very cute neighborhood kitten who follows us on walks. Bo is so sweet with Eleanor that Mike wondered aloud if we should get a kitten. That was his first mistake.

His second mistake was agreeing to take the kids to a pet adoption day at a local pet store. We come home with a three-month-old orange guy who had never lived with a family. He came with the name Pinto Bean but soon became Oscar.

Eleanor loves Oscar. Perhaps she loves him a little too much. She carries him around the house and finds him no matter where he hides.

John likes Oscar, in theory, but has little time to play with him. John is far too busy being either Peter Parker or Aqua Man these days.

Jack, our eleven-year-old cat, doesn't care for Oscar. There was a showdown at the food bowl the other day. Both hissed, then Jack backed down and the kitten ate the rest of his food. Oscar is now in charge.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Few Notes on Christmas

Mike and I feel so smart. We each put some videos on our iPods for the kids to watch on the plane. Mike bought a splitter for our iPods and two sets of children's headphones. Mike and John watched Wall-E on the first flight and Eleanor and I watched an episode of Mickey's Playhouse.

John and Eleanor are having a great time playing with their aunts and uncles. As usual, they received quite a haul. Eleanor now has several horses to play with, including a pegasus that walks. When we put the kids to bed last night we held firm that they could each take one toy that didn't make noise.

Eleanor was upset that she couldn't take her Pegasus, which not only makes noise, but is bilingual. She sniffed, "But it's very mine."

Among John's favorite gifts is a small pick-up truck with a guitar on it.

Eleanor, always one to share, put Hershey's kisses in front of each statue in Grandma's manger. I think that John ate most of them.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Photos with Santa

Take One: Late November
John was persuaded to stand next to Santa so long as he could clutch the photographer's penguin. After negotiating for a Flying Vee John took a few steps closer.

Take Two: Mid-December
After mall haircuts and cinnamon pretzels, John and Eleanor wanted to make sure Santa knew who they were. This is the photographic answer to the whole "naughty or nice" issue.

The Trouble with Twins

John and Eleanor are hot on the birthday party circuit. We attend parties most weekends.

This evening they got into an argument over one of the hot new items in our house:

Breyer Mini Whinnies

They are basically a choking hazard in horse form. Eleanor adores them.

The following exchange took place when John took one:

Ellie: You are not my friend. And you are not invited to my birthday party, my Cinderella birthday party!

John: You can't come to my birthday party.

Dad: Johnny is your friend and he is coming to your birthday party.

Ellie: Well, he isn't getting cake and he isn't getting a goody bag.

We had a similar argument the other day. I tried to explain that they have the same birthday, but they didn't buy it.

I guess we're having two cakes this year. Eleanor, obviously, wants Cinderella. John wants a Superman cake. They even have separate lists of goodies for the goody bags. Both lists include candy, but John also wants to give his friends meatballs and cereal.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Something we can all agree on

This video is a new favorite at our house.

It has something for everyone: Cute animals for Eleanor and Johnny Cash for John.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Three weeks ago John, Eleanor, and I went to the Little Sisters of the Poor Lawn Party. The Little Sisters had a great party. They had several bouncy slides, a variety of fried foods, and a train ride.

John and Eleanor giving each other a squeeze.
I wouldn't really call it a hug; it was more violent than that.

It ended like this:

Eleanor with my cousin's son, Baby Gabriel. This is at the pumpkin patch that was next door to our house.

To infinery, and beyond!

John can't say "infinity." He tries. But it comes out "infinery" every time.