Ellie

For the third week in a row, we essentially drew with markers. This week, the teacher was so unorganized, she didn't even know what to do with us. She was subbing for the regular teacher (some "regular", she's had subs all 3 weeks so far and the class is only 6 weeks long), had the wrong class roster, and the wrong lesson too. She expected the 2 year olds, most of whom are younger than Ellie, to be able to trace a picture. I had trouble tracing it, because the paper was so thick I couldn't see what to trace. It was a giant debacle, and Lisa already sent out multiple notes complaining about it. If I wanted my kid to draw with markers, I'd do it at home. We put her in art class so she could do messy stuff and we wouldn't have to worry about the cleanup. It's very disappointing because we liked the first round so much.
All that was a roundabout way of saying there's no art trivia this week. I think we don't have any class this weekend either, so it'll be a while before art trivia returns. Sorry about that, we hope to do better in the future.

Clearly this week's art was a house. What's interesting is that the picture was supposed to show Ellie and her family in or around the house too. So look at it again:

Clearly, the swirl to the left of the house is me, and the smaller swirl to the right is Lisa (Lisa drew the red dog in the corner, Ellie drew his "leash" on top). Ellie is the big swirl in the middle of the house, which is a good approximation of what the house looks like with a toddler running around all day.

We finally took the plunge (ahem) last night and went and bought some fish. Say hello to our black tetras! I let Ellie have her choice, and she shockingly turned down the more colorful alternatives of black neon tetras or cherry barbs. But hey, it's her fish tank, who am I to judge?

Like I said, it's her tank. I'm not sure why the rocks look pink in this picture, they're actually just shades of brown.

The fish check out the rock. You can see the faint black stripes that give these tetras their name. The stripes darkened up after a little time in the tank, I think they were a little pale from being scared by the toddler. Understandable.

That's a lot of fish! Actually there's only 6, which is plenty for now. We'll see how they grow and adapt before doing anything else. After I snapped a bunch of pictures, the fish started facing the camera. I swear I heard them saying "Cheeeeeese!" They're already taking after Ellie.

A little late, because I couldn't decide whether to bother with this one. It should be obvious again what the blue thing in the middle is because the teacher cut them out again. But as a bonus, maybe you can try to guess what else was supposed to go around it.
Oh, and for what it's worth, Lisa supervised this week's effort. Judge the results for yourself.

The answer to this week's art trivia is, of course, a black cat. The project was based on Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen's "Le Chat Noir." You can see the obvious resemblence:

We've rearranged Ellie's room a bit. We decided to get her fish for Christmas, and so we had to make room for a fish tank. In that vein, we took her crib apart and just put the mattress on the floor. We took out the old dresser and moved the other dresser to the other wall. This opened up space next to the closet for the fish tank and stand to go, and is right in front of the outlet where we'll plug in the fliter, heater, and tank hood. We had the tank, filter pump and heater already, so we had to go shopping for the rest of the stuff, which was substantial. You don't think that running a fish tank is all that hard, until you get into researching what it takes. We had to buy a stand for the tank, filter media, gravel, water tests, and a bunch of stuff for conditioning the tank. Luckily, Ellie isn't too upset yet that there's a fish tank in her room, but no fish.
We also got a book from the pet store that has turned out to be a very valuable source of information, and I'm already thinking about upgrading to a bigger tank (some day far in the future when we can afford it). As for Ellie, she's adjusting well to her new room. She's been sleeping on the mattress pretty well actually, and I'm pretty sure she's been sleeping longer (knock on wood: she used to wake up in the middle of the night around 3:30am, now she's up around 5:30am). It's also easier to get her back to sleep because you can just pull the covers back up over her and lie down next to her for a minute, rather than try to reach into the crib to comfort her. And once we get the fish tank bubbling away in there, I think it could get even better.

We've rearranged Ellie's room a bit. We decided to get her fish for Christmas, and so we had to make room for a fish tank. In that vein, we took her crib apart and just put the mattress on the floor. We took out the old dresser and moved the other dresser to the other wall. This opened up space next to the closet for the fish tank and stand to go, and is right in front of the outlet where we'll plug in the fliter, heater, and tank hood. We had the tank, filter pump and heater already, so we had to go shopping for the rest of the stuff, which was substantial. You don't think that running a fish tank is all that hard, until you get into researching what it takes. We had to buy a stand for the tank, filter media, gravel, water tests, and a bunch of stuff for conditioning the tank. Luckily, Ellie isn't too upset yet that there's a fish tank in her room, but no fish.
We also got a book from the pet store that has turned out to be a very valuable source of information, and I'm already thinking about upgrading to a bigger tank (some day far in the future when we can afford it). As for Ellie, she's adjusting well to her new room. She's been sleeping on the mattress pretty well actually, and I'm pretty sure she's been sleeping longer (knock on wood: she used to wake up in the middle of the night around 3:30am, now she's up around 5:30am). It's also easier to get her back to sleep because you can just pull the covers back up over her and lie down next to her for a minute, rather than try to reach into the crib to comfort her. And once we get the fish tank bubbling away in there, I think it could get even better.

You know it, you love it, and now it's back. Art class trivia! Figure out what Ellie made in art class this week.
It's the first week back, so we're starting off easy. All the parts were pre-cut by the teacher, so all Ellie had to do was glue them down wherever she felt they should go. I expect everyone should be able to guess this one, so here it is:

We got three cousins together over the holidays to take a picture with their matching Hanna Andersson striped pajamas. Ellie still wasn't feeling well, so she didn't cooperate too much, but there are still some cute pictures.

Yeah, she's a picker. We think it's because her finger just fits so perfectly in her nostril.

The best of the ten attempts we got. Colin, Regan (she weighs about as much as Ellie already, and she's only a couple months old), and shy Ellie. At least she's not picking her nose in this one, that's what made it the best one.

What a debacle. We decided to take the toddlers, Ellie and Colin, ice skating for the first time. We found out that the University of Michigan's Yost Arena had a holiday skate from 1-3pm, and decided to give that a try. After all, Baba Ratkowski had bought the kids ice skates for Christmas (the kind with two blades that strap to the bottom of their shoes). They seemed excited about it, until we arrived at the arena. Maybe it was the sight of so many people skating around out there, or just insecurity in general, or Ellie just not feeling well. But for whatever reason, they didn't want to go. We managed to get the skates on a protesting Ellie, but Colin wouldn't let us come near his feet. I carried Ellie out on the ice to try to get her to see how fun it was, but I might have made her more scared by my unstable wobbling. The rental skates weren't very good, and it had been so long since I had been on the ice, and combined with the destabilizing toddler on my hip, I didn't do very well. I never fell, but Ellie never got comfortable either.

The best picture we got of us on the ice. I had to at least get a picture so we could laugh about it later when she's an Olympic figure skater (or hockey player).

This one gives you a better idea of how she felt about ice skating. We really did think she would dig it. She loves hanging out at the curling club, and will go out with me on the curling ice. She loves watching the hockey next door, and the zamboni. But no skating for her. She'll stay in the stands, thankyouverymuch. It may be a while before we can try it again.