About Me

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I'm a hand-holding, swing-pushing, story-telling Mama with a creative streak and a nurturing spirit. I like growing food and flowers (and people, hehe), sewing clothes and quilts, cooking and eating and running, a long, tight hug and the color yellow. I love date nights at home, spontaneous trips to the bookstore and hearing my babies laugh. I am indecisive, exaggerrative and I overuse parentheses. I am reflective and sentimental and quick to laugh. I think I still picture myself as a 22-year old, yet every year my life gets more fulfilling. I am still figuring out exactly who I am. :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

First Swim Meet

Claire Bear,

You were so cute walking alongside the pool, hand in hand with the other five year olds, taking your place in lane 7!

You jumped in at the beep, and there you went, your bright yellow cap bobbing through the water.

You tried so hard, and had so much fun, and that is what I want to celebrate.

But also, you earned 4th place in freestyle and 2nd place in backstroke! That's awesome!

The funniest part was when you heard the beep for the 11 year old boys' heat before your race, jumped in, and swam 25 yards towards the boys (who didn't know there was a 5 year old girl swimming her heart out toward them!) Then you got out (water polo style of course, no ladder needed), walked around the pool, and took your place for your 25 yard backstroke.

So proud of your effort and your confident attitude!

And your Daddy, he was just beaming at his little water girl. :)

Love, Mama

A fun high dive after practice!

At this point, Daddy is better at caps than I am, but I'm learning!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Last summer he didn't really like swimming lessons and was content to splash around on the steps.
This summer? The boy is in love! It helps that his coach is super friendly, funny and gentle. :)
He is past the blowing bubbles stage and is working on back floating and kicking. :)
He likes to toss the kid-size water polo ball around with his girls while Alexander is practicing. :)

My girl is looking really big here!

She is so funny- the past few mornings when I wake her up she's asked to sleep a bit longer. I say "sure, for a bit," and go get started on breakfast. It isn't long before I hear her tumble out of bed and run into the kitchen- "I forgot it's swim club today!" in a "why would I want to sleep in when there is so much fun stuff to do!" way. :)

One of my favorite things from school. They read a story about a kid who is very helpful and kind, and they were asked to illustrate a favorite part and talk about how they are kind and helpful. In case you don't read kindergarten-ese it says "I help my mama set the table for dinner every night."

Well, we're off to swimming for Alex soon, and then getting ready for our friends Jay and Janell and their 2-year old Calvin, our weekend guests! It's the perfect weekend because it is the only weekend of the entire summer in which Noah will not be traipsing around the state, water polo team (and sometime family) in tow. :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The end of kindergarten

Helping make pancakes for Pancake Friday

For my birthday, I asked for a truckload of bark to help improve the look/health of my garden. Alexander loved going to with Noah to see the back-hoe loader load up the truck, and then of course he wanted to help Daddy set it all out. My favorite part is the outfit- gotta tuck the swim shirt into the undies. :)

We love to go out in the cooler evenings and read on the hammock

Caught in the act! We were busy melting butter and chocolate for my birthday brownies and she had to sneak a few before they got too hot. :)

One of the enduring images from her toddlerhood, I'm sure. :)

We celebrated the end of kindergarten with a concert, and 3 of her grandparents and one uncle. :)

Love this one of Nana and LuluBelle!

A really good one of Oma and Opa (my silly boy!)

She's looking forward to a summer of swimming!

He's also going to take lessons, which he is less thrilled about, haha! We drove by a park a few days ago and he said, "No fair! Those kids get to play baseball!" which is what he wants to be playing. But I also want to get him comfortable and safe in the water. His lessons are way less intense than Claire's and if he's really not into it, he won't continue past the first two-week session. We'll see! :)

We got a blast of cool air a few weeks ago and we had to dig out pants and sweaters! Not complaining at all... :)

Movie night last Friday!

So big. :)

Very proud of the tomato sauce she sneaked while I was making lasagna. :)

She likes pointing and counting, just like the big kids do.
 It's weird.

The end of the school year has been looming for awhile, and we've been busy preparing- parties, gifts, projects.

And still, it felt anti-climatic.

I'm sure it's just my propensity to be overly sentimental, but it felt like, "That's it? Kindergarten's over?"

But it is, and she's now a "grader" (her term, cutie girl!)

I began the year somewhat tentative, unsure of lots of things.

Now I see how truly good school has been for her.

Her school itself is wonderful.
It's diverse (racially, religiously, and especially socio-economically), high-achieving and, most importantly, welcoming.

Her teacher was so special and perfect for Claire- high expectations yet nurturing.

The best part was because of the extended school day (8:30-1:45), her awesome teacher was able to really slow down and explore things the kids had questions about, whereas with the shorter school day from the year before (8:30-11:30) she would have to move on to the next activity.

So when they read stories, sometimes someone would ask an in-depth question and as a class, they would explore it together.

I love this, because this is very much what I do with them at home.

We are always playing, learning but it all comes about very naturally based on what they are interested in at the moment.

I feel like for our family, this is the best of both worlds.

I love and am happiest when we have unscheduled play time every single day. Usually Alexander goes straight for his trains, determined to come up with a new and complicated design, and Lucy goes to the play kitchen where she cooks up delicious mixed-up meals and loves to have me taste them and compliment their flavors, and Claire goes to her markers and blank books, ready to fill them up with new (pink, mostly) designs and stories.

Anyway, this got off topic, but I never want our lives to be so scheduled that we can't do that most days.

But also, I see (where I feared I wouldn't) many great benefits of a structured school setting, where a routine is followed, adults different from Mama and Daddy are teaching and setting positive examples, and where sometimes, you have to figure out how to pleasantly interact with kids you don't get along with too well.

And now, we've got a restful summer with lots of Daddy time (he's not teaching summer school and is only coaching for four hours in the morning), and just the right amount of routine so that we can really  soak up the playful days. :)