Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Father's Day 2014

Father's Day was full of family, swimming, me behind the grill (yikes), and beer.  A good time was had by all.

Happy Dad's Day, BVZ.  You make our world go round.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Kindergarten Wrap-Up

Kindergarten went by in the blink of an eye.  A BLINK.  I cannot believe it is over.  Norah transformed so much this year.  She is incredible.

Our class lost its room parent this spring (she moved) and so I stepped up to help with the class party and class gift.  I did gluten free "smart cookies" which turned out even cuter than the photo reflects.

After spending an inordinate amount of time on pinterest, I came up with a photo flower pot for our awesome Kindergarten teacher.  There were 20 kids in the class and each one got their own flower with their photo on one side and their name on the other.  The sparkly "V" at the top (which is the teacher's initial) held all of the gift cards I was able to get with the parents's generous contributions. One side of the pot said, "Thank you for helping us bloom" and the other had her name and the year.

I made a simple card to go with it that had a photo of the class from their field trip.

The class party and program was the day before the last day of school.  The last day was not really a day--it was a make-up for one of the inclement weather days we had during the ice storms this past winter.  In order to qualify for state funding the kids have to go a certain number of days.  The last day ended at 11:00 though, so all of the festivities happened the day before.

Louie was thrilled to get dragged there with me.

The whole kindergarten sang two songs and there was a sweet slide show.  There are seven sections of kinder with 20-22 kids each.  It's a big school.  Each class wore a different color of the rainbow.  We were red.

After the program we went back to Norah's classroom for the party.

Her teacher handed out "awards," i.e. recognizing something special about each kid.  Norah was named "most considerate."

They got to eat some treats, hang out with their friends, and then called it a day.

One of the other moms set up an adorable photo booth with all kinds of props and signs.

At the end of the party, Norah's sweet teacher took a moment to let me know just how exceptional our girl is.  She was always "kind, helpful, considerate, and a really good friend."  She ends the year as one of the top readers in the class and in terms of the "leveled readers" is where they expect kids to be after the first nine weeks of second grade.  

The next day was the aforementioned short day.  I spent some time asking Norah what she thought was different about herself on the last day of school versus the first.

Here's her list:

I am way less shy.
I can read for real and even some chapter books.
I know math and science experiments.
I don't have bangs.
I have way more friends.
I am not scared of the big slide.
I am much taller.
I can do the remote by myself and put on my own sunscreen.
I have more patience with Louie. (I dispute this one.)
I am not nervous to go to my friend's house as long as I know their parents.
I've seen Star Wars.

A friend in the neighborhood put together a little after school celebration at the park.  There were ice cream sundaes.

And extras for little brothers.

There were also three huge coolers full of water balloons.  Which was pretty much Lou's dream come true.

He was pushing through the big kids to get to them.

Overall, it was a great academic year and an incredible start to our public education journey. Despite my anxiety over the fact that the school is huge, we have found the faculty and administration to be responsive and nurturing.  It makes our ginormous property tax bill a little more palatable.  A little.

Summer Begins

When we bought this house two years ago I hated the fact that it had a pool.  I know, I know, first world problems.  But, pools are expensive.  And a lot of work.  And dangerous with little kids.  The kids finally took swim lessons last summer and that (combined with wanting to be able to keep up with Ruby in the pool), flipped a switch in Norah's brain and she went from being a big, giant chicken to being awesome.  This summer it is like we have a whole different kid.  She flies down the slide, dives for rings, and does cannonballs like nobody's business.  Since school has been out she spends every second I let her in the pool.  Louis is still a maniac but we make him use a puddle jumper so it's working out okay.  They love to pee in the grass and skinny dip in the evening.  We are pure class around here.

My favorite part is when they get out and snuggle down in my lap wrapped in towels.  They call it the "mama warmer."

She's not happy when I make her get out.

Along with swimming, Norah has been really into art.  She's doing a week long art camp later this summer which we are both really excited for.  She has a drawing pad in the car and will doodle and draw--not just pictures but just different variations of shapes and colors.  She was concerned because she was drawing what was in her brain but it "did not look like anything."  I explained to her the concept of abstract art and ever since then it has been game on.

These two.  Thick as thieves and nothing but trouble.

We spend lots and lots of time in the driveway with chalk.

Which necessitate lots and lots of baths.

We had a Memorial Day pool party, which was a big success.  Sweet baby Axel and Camilla hung out.  Had some pool and paci time.

Louie is such a big kid these days.  He's still super high maintenance, hates 99% of all foods, and can throw a tantrum like no other.  But he also tells the best dirty jokes.  I tucked him into bed tonight and he whispered, "I love you mom.  Did you know the toilet is like the garbage truck and my poop is like the garbage?"

Ruby gets here in a little over two weeks.  We are not excited about it or anything.

Lou is upset because his poop broke apart when he flushed.  Lou's day is dominated by poop.

This is what happens when I agree to his request for "privacy in the bathroom."  That would be the hand towel.

The week before school was over Norah had her end of the year ballet recital.  She was very graceful and confident.  Bubby and the S's were also very patient and kind and sat through a 2+ hour show where she was on stage for about 2.5 minutes.  That's true love.

We had a swim play date with some of Norah's school friends at the neighborhood pool and she was by far one of the strongest swimmers.  Which was super cool.

Lots of love around here.

Kiki came into town for a week and I did not get a single picture, which seems ridiculous.  She came to hang out right before defending her dissertation.  Which happened today.  Successfully! We shall now call her Dr. Kiki.  We had a celebration for her which involved--wait for it--more pool time.  We bought an inflatable Orca whale, which Norah calls "The Orcer."  She then named it Ellie.

Norah had big plans for Kiki time.

We went to a birthday party and did some gymnastics.  Norah really wants to do gymnastics.  I cannot seem to get it together enough to sign her up.  I think maybe subconsciously I don't trust her not to break a bone.

Again, these two.  They kill me.

Summer time means cousin time.  Norah got to spend the whole day with M and T the other day. It was officially the "best day ever."

We recently discovered the joy that is Menchie's Frozen Yogurt.  Lots of dairy free for me and a ton of gluten free for Norah.  If it didn't require that I actually put kids in the car we would go a lot more.  Car seats are my least favorite thing of all times in the Texas summer.  Pure misery for all involved.

Every once in a while I catch these two in a moment.  Be still my heart.