Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Riding Her Bike

A while ago we received a hand me down bike from the lady that cuts Alyce's hair. It was in decent shape but needed a little maintenance before it was ready to be ridden. Specifically the chain needed to be oiled, tires inflated, and training wheels put on. Since we received it I've been dragging my feet getting to it (much to Alyce's dismay). Dragging partly because I was lazy, part because the garage was a mess, and mostly because I wasn't ready for my little girl to start riding a bike. We live on a hill and while it isn't very steep it is long. If you were to coast the entire way down you'd pick up some serious speed. Having a bike makes you much more mobile and is another step away from the protection of your parents.

My fears aside I needed to get the bike ready because this past weekend on Sunday was going to be a neighborhood bike rodeo! There was going to be lots of stations to teach kids proper bike handling and safety. The only requirement needed was a bike and a helmet. I didn't want Alyce to feel left out and I figure there was a lot to learn so I took the plunge and got the bike ready.  I spent a good portion of Saturday getting the bike ready. When it was all said and done the bike was in great shape. Well as good as I could make it without sending it to a bike shop.

When finished we went inside and asked Alyce if she wanted to ride her bike (we hadn't told her we were fixing it up). She responded with a resounding "yes"! I stuck around the house with Luke and Mom took her up the street to the cul-de-sac where it is flat and without cars. Upon their return I got the full report. Alyce did good on the bicycle but was running a bit too heavy on the breaks. Mom cut it short because they went up there without a helmet and a brand new cyclist could use a helmet.

I took the next round. Alyce with helmet brought her bike and I brought mine too. Together we rode in circles around the cul-de-sac.  She did much better with me. Never once did she fall off her bike but she did run into the curb a few times. She didn't lean into the turns like she's supposed to but she did have good balance when going straight. I think she could have ridden in a circle the entire day if would have let her but sadly it was time for lunch.  We brought her bike back and gave it a special parking spot in the garage. I think she's going to like riding her bike. I'm just not too sure about our hill.

When Sunday came the bike rodeo was cancelled on account of rain which was a disappointment. But it got me to let go of Alyce just a bit more even if I didn't want to. Next up will be to get her a bigger bike. The one she's got seems a bit too small for her frame. I'm thinking a bike will make a perfect birthday present. Maybe a new helmet too. Do they make airbags for bicycles?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Helping Sweep

A while ago I caught up with the family while they were at Gram's and Papa's house. Walking outside I saw Alyce sweeping off the deck. She was doing a decent job considering how over sized the broom was.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Goodbye Pool


Labor Day has passed and it is time that we say goodbye to the pool for the year. It has been a memorable summer in the water. It was our first year there. Having bought the house in January this was our first time to enjoy the benefits of the neighborhood.

Alyce got over her fear of having water in her face, going down the slide by herself, and jumping in the pool. As the summer closes Alyce is now making running leaps into the pool even if I'm not there to catch her. With this sort of confidence I think she might be ready to learn from her swimming lessons. Her favorite activity this year with me was to run around a little circular section of pool until we created a current. Once the water was circling well we'd pick up our feet and float around in circles. We call it our "Whirlpool"!

Luke has never been afraid of the water. In fact he loves every minute of it. Now that we have such easy access to water I think he'll embrace water as just another place to play and will never have any fear of it. Luke has learned some things from the pool too. For example he knows that if he blocks one of the water shooter holes the other holes shoot out water even farther. He has pretty good aim and likes to shoot both Mom and I with water.

To compare the two kids I think it is safe to recommend that continued and lengthy access to a pool is the best way to get kids acquainted with and to enjoy the water.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Super Swinging

A while ago I caught this video of Alyce swinging. She had found her Super Girl cape earlier in the day and wanted to wear it everywhere. I thought it looked cool blowing behind her.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Enough with the Whining

Alyce is at the age where her language skills are developed enough that she can say what she is feeling or thinking. The downside to this is that the majority of what she has to say is whining about any and everything.

Most of the time she is tattling on Luke for some slight. An example would be a bus that Luke starts to play with that Alyce had been playing with previously. Alyce will yell out "Lukie! I had that first!" even though she had been finished with it for the last few minutes. She only wants it because he has it. The standard sibling junk.

Just today she comes running into our room whining that "Lukie thinks my room is his room and he won't give it back!". Oh My Gosh the horror! A two year old boy wants to take your pink and purple bedroom as his own. I think not. Anyway I walk into her room and Luke is sitting on her bed tossing a few things onto the floor. I ask Luke if Alyce can have her room back. He proceeds to get up, get off the bed, and leave the room without a single comment.

Seriously kid it isn't the end of the world when you don't get your way. I guess Alyce is kind of a drama queen. I'm hoping that most of this clears itself up in the next few years as she matures a bit.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dancing in the Livingroom

Last night Alyce had her first dance class of the season. This year she is in the 5-6 year old class even though she is only 4. Of course she'll be 5 soon enough.

Alyce came home with the video for her dance recital from last June! She's been watching it ever since. When she sees her routine she dances along with it. Surprisingly she remembers all the moves. Beyond her own routine she's been watching the other class's routines and dancing along with them. Alyce is doing a pretty good job keeping up with their routines and ad-libbing where needed.

When Mom brought Luke home from school Alyce wanted the dancing again. Luke is now dancing in front of the tv too! It hilarious watching him go through the routines. He's stomping, stepping, twisting, and waving his arms all over and enjoying every minute of it. Perhaps he wants to start dancing too. I'd be ok with that. I guess...

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Last school year near the end of the year Alyce's class focused on plants. One by product of that subject was that each student got to take home a sunflower that they planted themselves.

When Alyce brought hers home it was a sad little plant so small yet full of hope. Hope that some day it would be big enough to make a flower. Well that day was today. After four or more months and numerous meetings with death Alyce's plant finally flowered!

They plant probably didn't reach it's full potential. I think most sun flowers can be upwards of 10 feet tall. This is probably 3' at best and has a wicked bend at the bottom. We didn't get it staked early enough to fix the bend.

Alyce has enjoyed this little project and has taken an interest in keeping it watered. Of course at times her attention wained and Mom and I had to drop a cup of water on it to keep it alive. We do really good at keeping outside plants alive. Interior ones are a different story. I'm kind of surprised we kept it alive this long.

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