Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer Day 6/30

This morning we did our annual summer activity of painting rocks on the front porch. Lucia wandered on to other things after half an hour, but Greta was all-in for an hour beyond that. We painted rainbow rocks, fairy door rocks, and animal faces. Super fun.

We read a lot today of an Ivy and Bean book, which both girls are enjoying. They also played periodically with the glitter slime we bought at Michaels. Well worth the $2.

Quiet time today was a complete fiasco, with the girls running feral through the upstairs. Insanity. Their ability to just SIT AND BE QUIET was seriously lacking today.

We went to the pool this afternoon. I brought a few water stones for them to dive for, which they loved.

I put together a makeshift dinner of frozen macaroni and cheese leftovers and hot dogs (for the second day in a row), and then--blessedly--a babysitter came to handle the final hour of the day, including bedtime. What a nice break. Even nicer because I'd hired the babysitter so I could go to my favorite church rummage sale. It's calming to me to search through rummage. I didn't buy too much tonight--a few books, a brass grasshopper, an Anthropologie vase, an embroidered portrait of a girl playing a piano, two games for the girls.

Tomorrow, Andrew returns from California in the morning, and we'll drive up to NH. Made it through a week of summer on my own. Now a week of family fun to break things up.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer Day 6/29

Dragged both kids with me to the chiropractor this morning. Then we went to the zoo. Both girls were excited to feed birds in the aviary and ride the carousel. We also saw some wolves up close, and bears--preparation for our New Hampshire trip at the end of this week.

When we got home, L&G ran upstairs to "see their rooms," which is always exciting after the housecleaners have been here. Their rooms are always so tidy, with their stuffed animals arranged on their beds, and they played upstairs until lunchtime. Lucia played with Legos; Greta practiced writing some letters.

After lunch, quiet time. Then some snacks and reading on the porch. Then the pool, where the kids had a lot of fun as usual. We finished our pool visit with ice cream treats from the snack bar.

Bedtime was crazy. Neither girl would stay in bed and I was trying, of course, to get some work done. Greta wound up falling asleep on my bed with all the lights on. Lucia cried at the injustice of being told to go to sleep. They were both up at 6:30am this morning, with an active day behind them--their exhaustion took a turn for the chaotic. Sigh.

A nice day, bedtime excepted. The first couple days of summer left me feeling like I'd been hit by a school bus, but I'm slowly acclimating to the new energy requirements, and look--it's 9:20pm, and I'm not asleep on the couch yet!






Summer Day 6/29

Dragged both kids with me to the chiropractor this morning. Then we went to the zoo. Both girls were excited to feed birds in the aviary and ride the carousel. We also saw some wolves up close, and bears--preparation for our New Hampshire trip at the end of this week.

When we got home, L&G ran upstairs to "see their rooms," which is always exciting after the housecleaners have been here. Their rooms are always so tidy, with their stuffed animals arranged on their beds, and they played upstairs until lunchtime. Lucia played with Legos; Greta practiced writing some letters.

After lunch, quiet time. Then some snacks and reading on the porch. Then the pool, where the kids had a lot of fun as usual. We finished our pool visit with ice cream treats from the snack bar.

Bedtime was crazy. Neither girl would stay in bed and I was trying, of course, to get some work done. Greta wound up falling asleep on my bed with all the lights on. Lucia cried at the injustice of being told to go to sleep. They were both up at 6:30am this morning, with an active day behind them--their exhaustion took a turn for the chaotic. Sigh.

A nice day, bedtime excepted. The first couple days of summer left me feeling like I'd been hit by a school bus, but I'm slowly acclimating to the new energy requirements, and look--it's 9:20pm, and I'm not asleep on the couch yet!






Summer Day 6/29

Dragged both kids with me to the chiropractor this morning. Then we went to the zoo. Both girls were excited to feed birds in the aviary and ride the carousel. We also saw some wolves up close, and bears--preparation for our New Hampshire trip at the end of this week.

When we got home, L&G ran upstairs to "see their rooms," which is always exciting after the housecleaners have been here. Their rooms are always so tidy, with their stuffed animals arranged on their beds, and they played upstairs until lunchtime. Lucia played with Legos; Greta practiced writing some letters.

After lunch, quiet time. Then some snacks and reading on the porch. Then the pool, where the kids had a lot of fun as usual. We finished our pool visit with ice cream treats from the snack bar.

Bedtime was crazy. Neither girl would stay in bed and I was trying, of course, to get some work done. Greta wound up falling asleep on my bed with all the lights on. Lucia cried at the injustice of being told to go to sleep. They were both up at 6:30am this morning, with an active day behind them--their exhaustion took a turn for the chaotic. Sigh.

A nice day, bedtime excepted. The first couple days of summer left me feeling like I'd been hit by a school bus, but I'm slowly acclimating to the new energy requirements, and look--it's 9:20pm, and I'm not asleep on the couch yet!






Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Summer Day 6/28

Molly and Luca spent most of today with us, and a rainy day sent us scrambling for indoor activities. In the morning, we went to the Able Baker for treats and then to the post office, and then to the library, where L&G redeemed their first round of Summer Reading Club credits. After a while at the library, we headed home for lunch and playing. We had a little field trip in the early afternoon to Michael's, where everyone bought some slime and other diversions.

On the way there, a sulfury smell filtered into the car. Lucia said it smelled like scrambled eggs. Greta said it smelled like "French cheese and bacon scones." I'm not sure what to say about this.

The big news of the day: Lucia lost ANOTHER front tooth. She's officially in the world of all-I-want-for-Christmas-is-my-two-front-teeth, and she's amused by her inability to say certain words and sounds correctly. It was pretty wiggly but got super wiggly surprisingly fast, and this morning she gently tugged it, and out it came. Tonight the Tooth Fairy is leaving her a small vial of magical fairy dust along with a note and gold coin.

She told me today that she made a wish, and that she wished she herself had magic. Six-year-olds are too much. They are too, too much. Just too heartbreakingly cute.

And if anyone ever tells her the Tooth Fairy isn't real, I'll throw my large stone gargoyle onto the roof of their car. DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Summer Day 6/27

Lucia was super-excited to see what the Tooth Fairy left her this morning. A gold coin and a little note as usual--and she took the drawing Lucia had made, the one where Lucia wrote, "How do you get in to switch my tooth?" In the note, the Tooth Fairy credited fairy magic, and suggested Lucia look on her windowsill to see if she'd left any magical fairy dust behind. She had, in the form of a dusting of iridescent glitter. Lucia's gasp of pure joy and excitement means that little idea was a WIN. Too, too cute.

We spent the morning playing "pirates" with Lucia, Greta, and Luca. Aunt Molly is all-in with the imaginative play, and the kids have high expectations of her--and she doesn't disappoint. They made treasure maps, she was put in jail in the playhouse, she rigged a treasure pulley with a bucket and jumprope, there were chases around the driveway. The kids were in heaven.

We took them to the pool at noon, which was a great time to go because hardly anyone was there at that time. We went in all three pools. Molly and I each took a turn going down the waterslides. I don't think the kids knew what to think as they watched us. Fun for all.

Then Molly and Luca had a couple of hours to themselves while I took the girls to their gymnastics class. They're both enjoying it but Lucia, in particular, loves loves loves it.

I picked up pizzas on the way home. And now they're all in bed.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Summer Day 6/26

This morning I made some Trader Joe's chocolate chip scones for breakfast and then went to yoga. During a game of Go Fish, Lucia lost her first top front tooth--the second tooth in one week. She officially has a jack-o-lantern smile now.

Molly and Luca arrived around noon. Andrew, the girls, and I skipped out for a few minutes to nose around an open house on our street, and then we went home and spent the rest of the morning playing outside.

After lunch, we went to the pool. It was pretty crowded--we hardly ever go on the weekends, and this is why--but the kids had fun. Back home, the kids had popsicles and then played some more until the day started catching up with everyone and we retreated inside for a couple episodes of Strawberry Shortcake. Andrew went into town to pick up dinner from Freeman's--lobster rolls for the adults, fish fingers for the kids--and we ate on the patio. Then Molly was roped into an elaborate game of Pirates on the playset.

Andrew leaves tomorrow for California but for the rest of us it'll likely be another day of some version of the above.



Saturday, June 25, 2016

Summer Day 6/25

We had a morning at home. Greta slept till 8am. Lucia discovered the note from the Tooth Fairy and was excited; since she was the first awake, she decided to draw a picture to leave for the Tooth Fairy on her next visit. It shows our house, with Lucia asleep in bed and the Tooth Fairy outside. She wrote, "Dear Tooth Fairy, How do you switch the teeth? Love, Lucia." Love, love, love her new forays into writing. She's still doing a little journal every day, too. Just a sentence and a picture--but she'll treasure them forever.

Andrew made pancakes and then we played Candy Land. Then the girls just played outside happily, no squabbling. They rode various things around the driveway and collected elaborate "lunches" on their pool kickboards made of flowers, leaves, and other nature finds. This was all-consuming for a long time. I spray-painted some large frames that will become their artwork display areas in their rooms, and Andrew cleared a messy section of yard so he could put in some new plants.

After lunch, we went to the pool and stayed for a long time. They girls had a blast. Unlike me, who usually sits poolside and shies away from the chilly water, Andrew got in and gave the girls dolphin rides around the big pool. Lucia ran into a friend from kindergarten, and they played in the middle pool for a while. L&G each got an ice cream treat. Then they played in the little pool for so long, and so immersively, that I finally was able to do the unthinkable: get out my book and read while my kids played in the water. It may never happen again...but oh, was it glorious.

Andrew grilled some burgers and hot dogs when we got home. L&G ate ravenously and then swung for a while, singing Equestria Girls songs at a high volume. Now they are in bed, Andrew's at Home Depot, and I'm off to pour (another) glass of wine.

I was dreading the week ahead, because Andrew'll be in CA, but Molly and Luca have decided to pay a visit, so the week is something to look forward to happily instead.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer Day 6/24

The day started early, at 6:30, with Greta appearing in our room in a rage that her toe hurt. Perfect.

I'd promised them the zoo today, so we read some books in the morning then got to the zoo at opening time at 10. First up: the zoo train, always a favorite. Then we saw some other animals and made our way to the carousel, also a favorite. They both touched the stingrays in the touch tank. Lots of fun. We'll make this a weekly excursion.

Next, a stop at Trader Joe's. I haven't been grocery shopping with both girls for months, and I'd forgotten how crazy it is trying to keep track of everyone and also get what I'm supposed to get.

Lunch and quiet time. Greta wanted to work in her workbook again, rebuffing Lucia's repeated attempts to play together. Lucia resigned herself to making some elaborate lego structures while Greta practiced recognizing and drawing shapes.

We read books on the porch afterwards while the girls ate some cookies. Then we went once again to the pool. Again, a good time all around. They spent a lot of time in the water deciding what their names would be--I heard Sara and Elizabeth at one point. They had an elaborate game of swimming from the ramp in the big pool to the wall while holding hands, occasionally dramatically throwing their goggles and begging the other to rescue them. I got them to leave reluctantly after an hour and a half.

Then I cooked dinner while L&G watched a couple of episodes of Strawberry Shortcake. Dinner was not appreciated--a NYT recipe of pasta with zucchini, pesto, and ricotta. Lucia dutifully ate hers while Greta ranted about how awful it was and demanded I make a different dinner next time. She was so tired she could barely keep her head up at the table. Being out in the sun so much is an adjustment for all of us.

Big news of the day: Lucia's grotesquely loose bottom tooth finally fell out! It came out this morning while she ate a mini bagel. Her two front top teeth are going to be the next to go.

And now....the weekend!!!! Whoo hoo. Made it through week one. One out of....best not to count, I think. Taking this summer day by day.

Summer Day 6/23

Both girls slept in till 8:30--wish that happened every day, especially with my goal of getting up at 5:30 (not that I've done that yet, but that's what I'm aiming for).

I'm trying to figure out what our daily schedule will be, and it seems like the day is in three parts: something in the morning, lunchtime and rest, and something (pool) in the afternoon. We'll see how this goes. I think it's best for all of us if the days have a familiar rhythm.

So, today, we went to the library in the morning so the girls could sign up for the summer reading club. They put together their mobiles, which hang in the library all summer, and then we picked out a bunch of books. They were very very very excited and we read a lot on the porch as soon as we got home. Both have taken a liking to the Ivy and Bean series, which I actually like.

We had lunch and quiet time. Greta really likes doing pages of her preschool workbook so she did some of that--practicing writing capital letters. Lucia looked at some books and then played with ponies and legos.

Pool time. They had a lot of fun, hitting their pool stride. They wore themselves out.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer Day 6/22

Lucia had a dentist appointment at 8:30 this morning, so the day got up and running early.

Next: a playdate for Lucia at a friend's house. I did laundry at home while Greta whined about not being able to take her own shoes off for approx. 20 mins. Then we read books until it was time to pick up Lucia.

Lunch. The girls played with books in our library. "Quiet time" in their rooms: both did some drawing and played with random stuff while I hid worked in my office.

Both girls were really excited about doing pages in their summer workbooks. Greta practiced upper- and lowercase letters. Lucia did some spelling work. *daily parenting win*

Then we went outside and they once again washed their bikes.

Then it was time to go to the pool, which was a good way to spend the rest of the day. We ate dinner there. The day kind of got away from us and by the time we drove home, Andrew was walking up the hill.

And now I am going to drink some well-deserved gin.

Parenting reminder of the day: Don't forget about TV. Today they didn't even ask for TV or the iPad, which, I mean, is great, because they prefer playing to screens etc etc etc, but seriously: today my day with them was THIRTEEN HOURS LONG. And we were all completely wiped out by the end of it. A little down time will save us all this summer.

Summer Day #2

Yesterday:

Half-day of school for Lucia in the morning (her last day)

Play date for Greta and a friend at Orchard Park. Greta learned how to jump onto and descend a fire pole.

Attempt to play some board games foiled by general noncooperation and Greta's meltdown. Angry lecture about the value of their summer of freedom, the extreme privilege of staying home all summer, and the ominous hovering spectre of being sent to camp for THE ENTIRE SUMMER IF THEY DIDN'T SHAPE UP. *daily moment of stellar parenting*

Extended Greta meltdown while Lucia and I cleared insane pollen / tree detritus from the driveway with a leaf blower

Lucia and Greta took bikes out of the garage and cleaned them with a bin of water and sponges

Running through the sprinkler

Dinner on the patio

Walked to town for frozen yogurt while Andrew was out in the city for a work dinner. The walk home was eventful because both girls discovered the ability to make dramatic tiger / dragon sounds by gurgling their spit.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Lucia's Last Day of Kindergarten

Today was Lucia's last day of kindergarten. The year flew, and it seems like just last week we were sending Lucia off on the school bus for the very first time, Andrew crying openly in front of the neighbors. Then racing to the school to meet her in the crowd of kids lining up behind the school--and not finding her. She found me, smiling in amusement.

She had a great year. She made the adjustment from small nurturing private preschool to big chaotic public school in a snap--I can't believe how much is required of these littlest ones, and how they rise to it. She loved being on the bus, made bus friends, made lots of other friends, learned to read and spell (well, sort of...she forgets to add vowels) and write in capital and lowercase letters. She learned about ants. (That was big.) An interest in space and planets was sparked. She learned funny songs. She found the boys in her class hilarious. She bought pizza for lunch on Fridays and carried a stuffed animal in her back pack every single day. Her confidence and outgoingness surprise me all the time.

I cried on my last day of kindergarten, saying goodbye to Sr. Bridget, and when Lucia got home today she sobbed in my lap on the couch. She's a sensitive little girl, and though she's so excited about becoming a first grader, she was sad to say goodbye to her teachers, her kindergarten classroom, and her friends. Now: onward!


Lucia's first day of kindergarten
Last day of kindergarten!



Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer 2016

Summer! No more school. No more time to myself. None! For two months! Isn't it exciting? Because I can't bear the idea of sending them off to camp*, we're facing the entire summer of just. being. together. So...onward! Time to plan fun days and activities and drink a lot of chilled wine iced coffee. In the interest in having my children thank me profusely and humbly someday for their free, glorious childhood summers, I'll do my best to record what we do in the weeks ahead.

Today, for example, L&G filled up a bunch of cups and bowls with water and combed their Beanie Boos' hair with knives and forks. This "grooming" activity was oddly exciting. "I can't believe you're letting us do this!!!" said Lucia at one point. As though our entire existence isn't always some combination of filling things with water and combing toys' hair and making a huge mess of the kitchen.

Then we went to gymnastics. Both girls have classes this summer, back to back, which I think will be a nice break for all of us--a little iPad time for them while they wait for the other to finish, a little reading time for me.

*To be fair, Lucia would probably enjoy camp, though today she was so excited to be home that she couldn't decide what to do first and wound up bringing all her coloring pages and markers out to the driveway, where she alternated between coloring and scooter-riding. Greta would prefer to stay home. I, as a child, would have loathed camp. And so we don't do camp, aside from Greta's fun preschool camp last week while Lucia was still in school.