Friday, August 30, 2013

We've got a Kindergartener!

We've almost survived the first week of kindergarten.

I am still in a little shock that this is our new normal. I am also praying that Andrew gets to be a "late bird" and go to school from 9:20am-12:50pm instead of 8:30am-12pm (we find out next week). Most people are probably thinking I'm crazy... but my kids sleep in till 8am sometimes and I don't want to mess with a good thing... especially since I'm up half the night with a teething Ryan these days.

Other than me having to wake up at 7am so that we are ready to leave by 8am, things have gone well... or at least have been entertaining.

Tuesday morning started off with us heading out the door and discovering my neighbor Kara & family had decorated our front door with streamers and a little sign for Andrew. It was adorable and totally made me tear up.

Andrew lucked out and got a good friend in his class from last year. They are such cuties and it made him automatically relieved to know he had a bud in class with him.

Back to School Night was so surreal. It was so weird to be sitting and listening instead of being up there doing the talking as the teacher. I am also completely overwhelmed with all of the fliers and handouts getting shoved my way with information. I need it all to be digitized and sent to my inbox.

Andrew's love of rules has come out in full force this week. He was made for kindergarten and structure. He spent time after school yesterday explaining to me the rules for using the kinder bikes on the bike path. He even walked the whole path acting like he was riding a bike so that I could see where the bikes can and cannot go. This morning he told me all about the rules with the swings in the kinder yard. He thinks it is totally unfair that he can only pump 10 times before he has to get off and give someone else a turn to swing... but I'll bet he'll force himself to do it anyway.

On the first day of school the kids read Owen by Kevin Henkes. Yesterday they drew portraits and today they got to make "Sharkey" hats... since our school mascot is a Shark. They also got to visit the library. Andrew can't wait to go and "buy" books there. I laughed when he said that because he rarely gets to go to the library... and if we do go, we are usually paying a fine. It is much cheaper for us to order books on Amazon than it is to use a public library. My goal for Andrew is to not get banned from the school library for never bringing back his books.

Today when I arrived to pick Andrew up, he didn't come outside. The teacher motioned for me to come inside and I got to hang out while we discussed an altercation between Andrew and another boy. It become clear pretty quickly that Andrew was at fault and he wasn't sharing why he punched the kid. It seems to be a rite of passage for him at a new school... since he punched a kid on the first or second day at preschool too.

Fortunately, after lots of conversation at home, he finally remembered what had happened and it turned out to just be a silly accident. The kids had been goofing off and he'd been punching a paper and didn't realize there was a face on the other side of that paper. I think Andrew's teacher is awesome and he was pretty excited that she called me at home so that we could clear up the issue and she could let me know that it had been an accident too. Phew. I was worried he was going to be labeled as the problem child from day one. At least now she definitely knows his name and mine... for better or for worse. Let's hope he keeps his hands to himself from here on out.

The other highlight of the day today happened when I opened Andrew's bag and saw a crumpled page that said, "Please finish this :)" on it. It was partially colored and Andrew mentioned that he'd made a new friend in class and they spent quite a lot of time talking about light sabers. When I said something about how he was so lucky to get to do some coloring at home he mentioned that most others did theirs at school and colored faster than he did. I'm guessing it may have had something to do with all the chatting he'd been doing. Like mother like son. :)

He was totally happy to color in every single detail of his picture when we got home. I don't think I have ever seen that much blue sky colored on a paper ever. He had also cut out the scissor lines before coloring, which made the whole experience super complicated since his paper was all cut up and he needed to color it while keeping it still. He came up with the idea to tape it to the table with painters tape, so we did.

I am scouring the volunteer sign up sheets to try and figure out how I can get in to help in his class sometime soon. He loves his teacher, is excited every day when he wakes up to get to school right away, and he especially loves going early so he can play on the playground a bit before school starts.

I'm really interested to see how things go this year. I'm hoping he has a blast and he stays positive and enthusiastic about learning!

Other than kindergarten, we've kept the schedule pretty low key this week. We've chilled and watched TV in the early evening and I've let Andrew play legos for hours and hours since he acts like he doesn't get enough time to play now that he is at school. He would prefer if we lived like hermits and never left the house.

I have to force him to go to the park because I can't stand staying home all afternoon. Afterwards he'll tell me that our adventure was way more fun that he thought it was going to be. Today we road bikes up the hill to get popsicles and then road to the park, played, and then road home. I pushed the other two littles in the jogger while I ran after him (my second jog of the day).

I expected tantrums and meltdowns since I was exhausted and wanted to walk (and I figured he would be even more tired)... but little dude road the whole way and kept telling me I was too slow.

Let's hope our last day of K for the week goes well and we can enjoy a lovely and long weekend... and hopefully get to sleep in once or twice.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Getting Ready to Go Back to School

This weekend we said goodbye to summer with a little celebrating. We had a "Kindergarten will be a blast!" rocket party for Andrew and some church/neighborhood buds and we headed down to Santa Cruz for some fun at the beach.

You can read all of the party details over on my blog Toddler Approved.

Our favorite spot in Santa Cruz is Natural Bridges. The weather was exquisite and baby Ryan was in heaven climbing mounds of sand.

The beach trip was awesome other than when Catie almost cracked her head open at our favorite ice cream place- Mariannes. If you haven't been there... you must go... just make sure your kids don't act like crazy like ours did.

I have about a gazillion more photos from the beach that I need to share on here... but the ones above are my favorites. We also hit up Upper Crust for some yummy pizza in between the beach and ice cream.

On Sunday I attempted to orchestrate a cute Back to School family dinner celebration that was a bust. The kids acted crazy and couldn't sit still or eat... so we made no family goals for the school year or did anything special. Instead we scrapped my plan and just made chocolate rockets to blast Andrew off to Kindergarten. At least we kept with the family motto-- "Enjoy the journey, stop for treats."

On Monday night we celebrate the last day of summer with a trip to Shark Day at school (to find out Andrew's new teacher and get a tour of the school). Then we dropped off some treats to friends and got slurpees... and then we headed to the park for a family pizza picnic.

We ended the night at home with stories and Andrew got his first Back to School Father's blessing before he hit the sack.

It was a great weekend and I think we managed to have an incredible summer.

I have been telling everyone that this is OUR year. It is going to be a fabulous one. I'm so lucky to have Kevin and my cute kiddos so that we can make it an excellent year together!

If you want to see pictures of Andrew's first day of kindergarten, check Instagram. I'll be overgramming over there all week long :) 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

My Week with Catie & Ryan

Andrew flew to Utah last week to spend a a week with my parents. I've been calling it "Grandma Camp" but really it was "Grandparents Camp" since both my mom and dad were significantly involved in making sure that Andrew had an insanely good week.

He saw Planes, got new Legos, went to the Gateway Children's museum, Provo Beach Resort, and a bounce house place... to name a few of his excursions. He also went on a gazillion golf cart rides, threw rocks in the river, went to a luau at Aspen Senior Center, and had lots of trips to the swimming pool. I think he mentioned he got to have two scoops of ice cream almost every night too. The kid was in HEAVEN.

Meanwhile, I got an entire week to devote to just Catie & Ryan.

We had a lot of fun. Here is some of the stuff we did. I also posted a lot of photos on Instagram if you follow me there.

We made sparkly princess puppets

There were sparkles all over my kitchen for awhile

We did salad spinner art

We painted

We made fairies

We practiced our ABCs and read lots of stories

We did manicures several times

We went to Fairyland with Kevin

It is the perfect place for toddlers and babies. Andrew would've probably been bored... Catie was in heaven! I love going here every two years or so... more often would be too much for me.

Sliding down the Jack N Jill hill 

and we went to Fentons - yum!

We also went to Studio Grow with one of Ryan's little buddies and then had lunch at Methanys at Blackhawk

Catie also got to have her very own playdate at our house with her friend Farrah. It was adorable. I was having too much fun that I forgot to snap a photo. Normally she just follows Andrew around when his friends are over... so it was fun for her to have free range of the house with her friend.

We also just had a lot of downtime and playtime at our house. Catie loves to snuggle, so we watched her favorite movies while Ryan napped.

They also goofed around together and I just watched. Ryan loved all the attention he got from Catie.

I hosted a Girls Night Dessert night at our house for about 10 friends and we ate an insane amount of delicious treats brought by everyone and had fun chatting. 

I also hosted a YWs healthy recipes activity at our house one night.

The only downside to the week was the Ryan was teething and slept very little and Catie woke up a bunch at night too. All the stuff we did plus little sleep made for an exhausting week despite having one less kid to keep track of!

Andrew flew back home with my mom late on Thursday night. Our house is so much louder and crazier now that he is home, but we sure missed him! 

Once I get some photos I will need share a few snapshots from his special week with his grandparents. He had so much fun and I really enjoyed having extra time to cuddle and give attention to just Catie & Ryan! I am so grateful for my thoughtful parents who took such good care of Andrew and made sure he had a blast!

Now I am ready for a nap!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Saturday Picnic & Shopping

It is fun having some extra time to hang out with this little cutie while Andrew is gone at Grandma & Grandpa Camp. She is positively adorable and spent about 30 minutes this morning saying "I love you" to me in a variety of ways... and then to Kevin too. 

After being lazy all morning, we got ready to head out on an adventure and discovered a package at our door! Catie was so excited to discover a cute ladybug bag from Aunt Shauna! She felt so special! Thanks Shauna!

Once our little photo shoot was over, we headed off to grab lunch at Chipotle and take it to a nearby park for a picnic. Apparently it was too loud for Catie in the restaurant. :) Ever since we taught her to plug her ears when Ryan was screaming on our drive home from Utah, she does this all the time. Cracks me up.

Our picnic lunch was delightful. Ryan was a big fan of the corn, beans, and rice. Catie was more interested in rolling around in the sand and lounging on our blanket.

Little dude stuffing his face :)

We also hiked around and explore at the park, in addition to playing. It was gorgeous outside today!

After afternoon naps we headed off to buy some crafty materials and some shoes. Catie and I are going to do some girly crafts and activities next week so we need more sparkles. We also needed to buy her some shoes that fit that weren't broken. She has broken several of her shoes this week...

Ryan was crazy at the shoe store and Catie was being super picky, but we finally found a pair that I liked that she didn't hate too much, so we grabbed them and raced home for bed! I think she looks adorable in them.

It was a great day! I'm looking forward to more fun adventures with this little cute (and her 9 month old side kick) next week!

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Catie Jessie Date in SF

Andrew left for "Grandma Camp" today so I only have the two littlest ones to entertain for the next week. We decide to team up with Jessie for a fun-filled day in Sausalito and San Francisco doing three of our favorite things... eating treats, playing, and running.

We started off the day at the Bay Area Discovery Museum at Fort Baker in Sausalito. The last time Catie went there she was only a few months old... so she mostly slept through the entire visit. This time there were things for both Ryan and Catie to do... so we had a blast!  

I need a padded climbing area like this in my house. Ryan could've stayed in the baby/toddler area all day long.

Catie is a woman on a mission for doing the next thing. Wherever she was, she was ready to do something else... so I felt like we kinda zoomed through several portions of the museum, but we still had a great time!

This is why we invited Jessie along- best aunt/buddy/little sister ever

Ryan was in heaven with all of the places to crawl and things to see and people to visit with.

All the other kids wanted to play with Ryan too... he was so smiley that he made friends everywhere

The Mona Lisa looks a little familiar...

I want windows like these in my house somewhere. Catie had a blast making a giant mess and spraying the wall and cleaning it.

She and Jessie also played with flart (which is what they called it at the museum)? I have never heard it called that before... I think it was actually flubber... but either way, it was super fun to play with. We need to make it again at our house soon!

We missed out on playing much in the outdoor play area because bees were totally attracted to Catie and Jessie in their neon colors and Catie got so freaked out by the bees flying by her that we opted to head indoors. I wish I had a train room at my house as cool as the one there.

Catie also made sure I paid my toll back across the bridge... if only it were $1.50--- ah... the good old days.

After the museum we headed down to the Marina to visit SusieCakes on Chestnut. I was super excited to check out a new-to-me dessert shop. I am very picky about the treats I will sacrifice calories on so had big plans to go and pick the perfect treat... but once we arrived I discovered Ryan finally fell asleep in the car, so Jessie went in and got us treats with Catie while I chilled with Ryan.

Jessie is a dessert expert and picked the perfect treat for me! I was so happy. The chocolate cake was AMAZING and so was the banana pudding and the pink cupcake that she and Catie ate.

We had a little sample while we hung out at the Yacht Club parking lot waiting for Ryan to wake up.

After our treat samples, we packed up the kiddos in my double jogger and we ran to the base of the Golden Gate Bridge and then back. Catie thought it was so fun to touch the little hands at the bottom of the bridge.

The kids were such good sports to tag along with us on our windy run and stay mostly happy. Ryan wasn't exactly thrilled to be there... but survived. We let both kids get out and play on the beach and in the sand too at Chrissy Fields. Ryan loved to attempt to put everything he found in the sand in his mouth but once we realized I wasn't going to let him... he just patted the sand and was happy crawling around.  

After we survived the run we said goodbye to Jessie and I trekked with the kiddos back home through Friday evening East Bay traffic. It wasn't too terrible and we got home in under 90 minutes. We got everyone clean and fed and in bed ASAP!

I'm crossing my fingers that all of our adventures will make for tired kids who sleep in tomorrow :) I won't hold my breath though! So glad that Jessie joined us for such a fun excursion today!