Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sunday Hike

Sunday was a beautiful fall day, and we decided Gile Mountain would be a nice step up for the girls from Balch Hill.  The hike was just right, although I probably would have thought twice about it with a toddler if I'd remembered just how high the fire tower on top was!  

 super dad

Monday, September 9, 2013


Today was the big day - Emily's very first first day of school!

We've been talking about preschool for awhile, and Emily has been excited.  She often plays "school" with her stuffed animals, and tries to get Adara to play with her (which usually means putting Adara in another room and closing the door... not a big hit).  Just last Thursday though she asked me, "Can I wait and go to preschool when I'm 5, or 6?  I'm a little nervous."  Sweet girl.

On Friday we were able to go into the classroom and meet her teacher, which was so helpful.  Her preschool is in the local elementary school, which is such a friendly, welcoming place.  The secretary at the front desk (who lives around the corner from us), addressed Emily right away when we walked in on Friday, asking her how old she was and giving her directions to the preschool room.   We ended up waiting for her teacher for almost half an hour (she'd been caught in another meeting), but during that time Emily had a few minutes to look around the room on her own time, find the coat hook with her name on it, and meet some of the other adults who assist in the classroom.  (Half of the class is there for early intervention of some kind, so there are extra teachers who work with them.)  The speech pathologist, Miss Susan, came in and spent probably 10-15 minutes sitting on the ground playing with Emily and telling her about the class.  The teacher, Miss McCarthy, came in and she sat at a little table with Emily, and talked with her while Emily played with the "gak" she'd set out (sort of gluey non-messy slime you can make prints in) and promised Emily that she'd be sure to have gak again on Monday since she liked it so much.  Emily's one question was if they would get to go on the playground during class, so she was thrilled to find out that's part of every day.  They'll also get to go to the computer lab and library weekly.  Emily & I were both pretty excited about preschool after that, and all weekend Emily asked to go back to her class.

This morning Emily asked me again when I would come back for her, and what "the end of the day" meant.  After that I heard her walking around explaining to her stuffed animals over and over that at the end of the day, the grownups would come pick them up.  A little window into her processing.  Today after lunch, we snapped a few pictures and headed out on the 15 minute walk over to the school.  It was a picture perfect fall day.

Here she is ready to go right in, not interested in stopping for a picture outside the school, but then she changed her mind and humored me.

I wasn't sure quite what to expect, but despite the chaos of all the parents dropping their kids off at the same time, she never clung to me.  I could tell she was a little nervous walking in, but trying to be brave. We hung up her backpack together and I walked her over to the play area.  Adara headed straight for the toys, "I play toys mama?"  I told Emily that I could leave or I could stay for a few minutes, and she asked me to stay.  I watched from the side of the room for a few minutes, and then as I walked towards her, she turned to me and said bravely, "I'm ready for you to go now Mommy."  I didn't expect to tear up at those words!  I gave her a quick kiss and got Adara and I out of there before she could see that.:)

The whole walk home, Adara asked me where Emily was, told me she wanted to give her sticker to Emily, and pointed out Emily's seat.  When she woke up from her nap, she lit up when I told her it was time to go pick Emily up at school.  I asked her if she missed her sister and she said, "Yes, I miss Emily at school."  Precious.

Emily was happy to see us but told us she'd had a lot of fun.  Of course we got the negatives first.  "We didn't go to the computers today, neither the libary [sic].  I asked Miss McCarthy and she said not for a few weeks."  The teacher told me she'd done great, and the only time she was scared was at the end of the day on the playground when the kids were playing tag.  Emily isn't big on telling me about her day, but we've coaxed out bits and pieces throughout the day, like learning the rules at "meeting time" (circle time) and putting a number up on the calendar, playing in the play kitchen with another girl, and eating colored goldfish and orange juice for snack.  All in all, she is happy about going back tomorrow, which I think is the main measure of success.

I did have to play this Darius Rucker song tonight.  It came out the spring Emily was born, and it used to make me cry when Emily was a newborn.  I can't believe we are at the "preschool" part!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sister Scenes

When Adara was a baby, I remember looking forward to the days when the girls would play together, and ages 2 & 4 was what I pictured.  It's hard to believe those ages are here!  Adara has a month to go before she turns 2, but the girls have been having a lot of fun together lately.

When I was a baby, my mom made a needlepoint (?) picture of two rabbits under an umbrella with the phrase "Love is a Shared Umbrella" and it always hung on my bedroom wall.

Grocery store fun.

Lots of "smoothie picnics" on the deck in their animal chairs from Uncle Alden.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Labor Day at Westport

We got a last shot of Westport over Labor Day weekend.  Despite the fact that it rained all day on Saturday, I think the kids did as well together as they ever have - the big girls did great including Daniel and Adara in their fun.  Adara was enthralled by baby Evie (or 'Babyanna'), constantly wanting to 'pet' her or play 'this little piggie.'

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Breakfast Date

The girls & I had such a fun little breakfast date recently while Alasdair was at music rehearsal before church.  These attempts at on-command smiles make me smile. :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

End of Summer

A few weeks ago I was panicking about the end of summer, but today I feel ready for it.  It's really been a good summer!  Here are a few "last things" (I'm not winning any photography awards but you'll get the idea.)

A major highlight was many many afternoons at the pool.  As with a lot of "daily" things, I never thought to take pictures until the end of the last day... plus I was always in the water with the girls.  We didn't do any formal lessons, but both girls got so much more comfortable in the water.  After going most of the summer without life vests in the pool, Alasdair bought them these "puddle jumper" style vests that enabled them to be so much more independent in the water, and by putting them in the right position I think helped them get the hang of kicking and paddling.  Next summer we may try some lessons.  The pool closed last weekend, and we made one last quick visit on Saturday evening even though it wasn't very warm out and the water was freezing!  I think the girls were about the last kids out of the pool 15 minutes before closing. :)

Another summer favorite, although we didn't get there quite as often this year, is the water play area at the Montshire museum.  We spent a morning there with the Engert boys last week.


Two years ago, our friend Sarah invited Emily & I to visit the dairy farm where she worked, and Emily talked about for months.  After a few months of failed attempts, we finally make it out to visit her this year at the Robie Farm.