Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Curious By Nature

Today, Leo started a new preschool.  We tried our local Co-Op last year and it didn't go over so well. What I've learned about Leo is that he likes to know the plan and he likes to stick to the plan.. he also likes consistency.  That combined with a, sometimes mom is in the classroom, sometimes not was less than ideal.

Over the course of last year I asked around about and visited several preschools, one seemed to just feel right.  The school we chose is called Curious By Nature.  They have a great philosophy and program and spend an hour outside each day!  As well as an indoor classroom, they have an outdoor one complete with a "mud kitchen" trees to climb, walking adventures and more.  I think Leo is going to have a blast!

I started telling him about the school, we went to the open house where he played and had a popsicle.. what's not to love?  This weekend I told him about how his first day would go, he plugged his ears and closed his eyes.  All day yesterday he was telling me, I don't want to go to school then he told me he was scared.  I told him we chose this school because it's a safe place with kind and caring people and I added, I bet you're not the only one who is feeling scared before their first day of preschool.

By last night he wanted to pick out his outfit for the next day, just like Georgia does.  We packed his backpack and had a bedtime chat about how great school would be.  In the morning, he got out of bed and came downstairs on his own (a first) and seemed ready to take on the day.  He was happy and willingly got in the car to go to school.

We got there, used the bathroom, washed his hands and hung up his coat, then walked over to his teacher.  I knelt down to say goodbye and his tears had already started.  Poor Leo was clinging to me saying he didn't want me to go and that he didn't want to stay at school.  As I'd arranged with his teacher, she took him, held him and they read a book together until he calmed down.

Walking out, I teared up, I knew Leo would be just fine but I knew he was scared, no one likes that feeling.

Brian and I stayed in the car and tried to get a glimpse of his classroom without being seen.  Finally, we saw him walking around the classroom, no tears.

Three hours later I picked him up, I walked into the classroom where he was all smiles, he told me he had fun!  His teacher said he did great and calmed down quickly.

I am confident that Leo will like his school and have a lot of fun there.  I'm reminded that time is moving quickly and before I know it he'll be off on the bus with Georgia.  Leo has become my little sidekick, he loves to run errands, help in the kitchen, he'll even clean toilets, as long as we're together.  He is me, I still hold the record for crying the longest at the preschool I attended, my teacher and a dear friend of my moms reminded me of that today.

Lalalalala... I can't hear you!

 Little love, trying to be so brave.

After school success, he did it!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

First Grader

Today it happened, Georgia is officially a first grader and she couldn't be happier about it.  We chatted last night about what she was looking forward to, Friday, she said.  Why Friday? I asked. She looked at me in disbelief, you know mom, remember what's on Fridays?  I after giving some wrong answers she grinned and said, Because that's the day we have our tests.  Georgia found out on "meet the teacher" night that she will be having spelling tests every Friday, she's thrilled.

This morning she was up early and all smiles.  She couldn't wait to ride the bus, this year, now that she's not in Kindergarten she can sit anywhere she'd like and this is really exciting.

After school I got a minimal report but she gave the day a thumbs up and said she can't wait to go back tomorrow.

Go get 'em Georgia, I have no doubt it's going to be a great year.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Before You Go

Today I took the kids to the neighborhood park to get a few pictures before starting school and the hectic schedules that come along with it.  I can't believe how much they have grown up, six and a half and almost three and a half.. I love this two!



Keep Pedaling

Leo loves riding his bike, he's been zipping around the neighborhood on his balance bike for months.  That thing is genius, there are no pedals so he uses his feet to get going and stop, in between he is learning to keep his balance.  His shoes have taken a beating from being the breaks but today it was all worth it.  We got out the bike he's been wanting to ride for a while, it's bigger, has pedals like Georgia's bike and it used to be Blake's.. what could be better?  

After a few pointers from his sister I stabilized the bike and he tried the pedals, he'd get going and I kept saying, just keep pedaling, within 10 minutes he was cruising the neighborhood and couldn't have been prouder.  He was forced to take a break for dinner and only agreed after I told him we could do one more ride down the street before bedtime.



Summer Highlights

Summer flew by and I can't believe Georgia starts first grade tomorrow!  We certainly packed a lot in over the last several weeks, here are some of the highlights.

Leslie and I did a whirlwind roadtrip to Montana to surprise my dad for his 70th birthday.  It was a great night, and the look of shock on his face when he saw us was worth every bit of the short trip.

Mini golf.. Georgia got a hole in one!

This picture was take after Georgia had an echocardiogram at Seattle Children's in June.  I'm happy to report that she has a healthy, strong heart and she doesn't need to have another one for two years.

Our neighborhood 4th of July parade
Leo's first sprarkler
One of many trips to the beach
Celebrating Blake's 9th birthday at a Rainer's game

The Wave Master
Daddy/Daughter date to the Seahawks game

Georgia had a BLAST!

Leo thinks skateboarding is "super cool"

Georgia is all about "Peace"
Leo is always game for dress-up!

A little fun with an app called Boomerang...

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Lake Thomas

Lake Thomas to me, is a place like no other.  This small lake and the beautiful scenery hold so many memories of my childhood.  Every summer my mom would pack us up and together we'd spend nearly two weeks with my aunt and cousins at the same cabin that my mom grew up going to.  It was old, no TV, no telephone, lots of creaky floors and one bathroom... unless you wanted to use the outhouse. It's where we learned to waterski, told stories and never complained about being away from friends.  Nothing glamorous or fancy and it was heaven.

My mom's dying wish was to go to Lake Thomas, back to the cabin and lake she held so dear.  I remember packing to go, she was so sick.  Her oncologist called days before leaving and warned us against going, he said, she could die there.  We went anyway.  By that point, my mom's cancer had spread throughout her body and a spot on her spine was causing her great pain and significantly decreasing her mobility.  She slept in a lazyboy chair, the only thing that gave her spine enough support.  Her chair was in the sunroom overlooking the lake.

When Georgia was eight months old, Brian and I took her to Lake Thomas.  A picture from that trip hung in every hospital room we ever stayed in.  Here we were introducing Georgia to this place, so special to me and to the grandmother she'd never know and two months later we'd learn of her cancer.
August 13, 2016 marked 20 years since my mom died.  My sister and I kicked around several ideas of where to spend this day and Lake Thomas seemed to be the perfect fit.

After leaving Montana this year, Leslie and I drove with the kids to Lake Thomas.  We spent time with my aunt and enjoyed watching the four grandchildren my mom never knew experience the wonders of Lake Thomas together for the first time.

On the anniversary of her passing, we planted a tree in honor of my mom, perched just up from the water, it has a beautiful view of the lake.  I miss her so much, she would have loved seeing her girls be moms and watching her grandchildren.

 Tubing fun!

 Aunt Suzanne and the gang

 A dear friend of my aunt and mom, Betsy joined us for an evening boat ride.

 Fish on!  All four kids caught multiple fish!