Friday, September 27, 2019

Welcome Friday

It was really hard to wake up this morning, but the day has been great.  It was raining when I went to get the girls ready for school, but they were so cheerful and cute, it made the sun come out.

They were already dressed and had their teeth brushed when I got there.  I had been wondering if they still played with this little kitchen, since I'm not over there as much as I used to be.  And they were fully engrossed in mixing
pancakes and taking something out of the oven.  Graysen couldn't even reach the microwave when she got it, and she's almost too big for it.

Sorry I didn't get a better picture of this cute shirt, but she already had on her fleecy shirt over it.   It was Spirit Day at her school, and she decided to go with the Auburn one rather than the Seahawks one that is similar.  The sequins flip to a silver heart.  Her classmate Olivia had on one just like it except it was a Seahawks one.

Katherine also had the sequins going on too, but she was proudest of her cougar ears and tail, and that's going to the the base for her Halloween costume. 
 Emily is keeping her fingers crossed they won't change their minds before Halloween.

The closet in the background has two rows of hangers full of cute hand-me-downs from Graysen in very good shape plus several drawers of other clothes, and she does love them, but lately Graysen has been getting some new clothes since she's outgrown all the others.  Katherine is pretty good about it, but when she she saw the 3 pairs of new shoes and the sequin shirts this week, she kept saying, "No fair," very softly.  Poor baby.  Woes of the youngest child.

So today when Emily told me she was on the way to pick her up at school, I told her that Graysen and I had been to get a frozen yogurt and that she needed to take Katherine and buy her something new!  

Vanilla with candy pumpkins!

We had just been to the library where she picked out only chapter books or Easy Reader ones.  The one we started has NO pictures in it, and it's keeping her interest.  Granted, it's about magic ponies like Twinkle Star and Pinkie Pie, but she (we) plowed through two chapters before we got tired of it.  

It was a good day for us all.  I needed some alone time with Graysen, and I hope she enjoys our time together.  Emily had a great shopping trip with Katherine and blamed me for the $20 hat she had to buy along with a couple of unicorn outfits at the Gap.  She said that hat had "a lot going on, a LOT," but Katherine fell in love with it.  Once I saw it, I could see why.  I'll have to take a picture later, but it's a nice warm winter hat with a cat face and lots of embroidery and sequins.  I don't think she will have to be convinced to bundle up this winter.

I'm so glad I'm inside right now.  The rain held off all day, but it looked pretty dark when I was in the grocery store.

Graysen and I walked home from school and back to the library and downtown to the yogurt shop, and it was dry but really windy and getting colder by the minute.  She said, "I think today is the last warm day we're having this year."  Guess she overheard it on the playground.

By the time Emily got here to pick her up, we could pull out Mama's old expression and say, "It's hard-down cold," although I'm sure we've not seen anything yet.  There's already snow in the higher elevations around here, and it's supposed to be a rough winter.  I can't imagine much worse than the last one. The kids missed so much school they were still going until the middle of June.  I read today that we had only one day above 90 degrees this year, and we usually have four!  

It's a little scary outside right now with a big wind and a loud hailstorm.  So glad to be cozy inside.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Katherine's First Day of Pre-K

We're already a week into it now, and Kate seems to be having a pretty good time.  She not only has some friends from last year, but she is talking about new friends and new activities.

Makena is in a different class, but they do get to see each other at recess on the days Makena is there.

James is one of her oldest friends, but for some reason, she ignored him at school last year.  Their parents are friends, so they do fine when they're all together - but school!  This year, though, they connected and play together.  So glad to hear this because James is just the sweetest.

This year is so much better than last year.  As soon as she gets in the car, she is telling us all about the things she did and how she played in the mud but didn't JUMP in the mud and all about the learning centers (Play-doh and sand) and the snacks (mac and cheese and alphabet soup).

I'm enjoying it too.  Today was really my first day of full carpool duty since Emily took the week off last week, and I just went along when I wanted to.  It was raining this morning, so I love just pulling up and letting Graysen hop out and go to the playground.  Then, because the streets all around Rooster Valley are being redone, we have a drop-off and pick-up system where the teacher comes to the car and gets or drops off the child as we drive by, so I'm loving that too.  They were getting soaked yesterday afternoon and this morning too.   I can't imagine they'll keep it this way after the construction is finished, but the parents love it.  It takes away a little bit from everyone getting to know each other, though.  I enjoyed the small talk and getting to know who belonged to whom during the year.

One of the reasons Kate like school, all the cats, but Tom the Barn Cat doesn't look really cuddly

Pete and Tom after hours

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Poppy is the classroom cat.  I hope she likes children and is tolerant of squeezes and attention.


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Graysen had her well-child checkup yesterday.  She is now 6 years old and has never been to the doctor with an illness!  So thankful for healthy girls.

She did get her flu shot though and was very brave.  She now wants to go with me to get mine and see if I'm as brave.

A little yoga before dinner.

It's already time for pickup.  Soccer game tonight.  Probably rain.  Let's see how THAT goes!

Monday, September 16, 2019

We Found a Party

Saturday morning, I just slept until I felt like getting up, which was about 8:30 or so.  Emily called around 11:00 to say they wanted to take Graysen on an adult bike trail and wondered if Katherine could stay with me.  Of course she could, but I knew she wouldn't prefer that to going riding with everyone else, so I pulled out the greatest temptation I could think of.  Picking up trash!

On their way to my house.  Kate has left her training wheels behind and is a really good rider - but just not good enough for the adult trail yet.

She has been so concerned about seeing the little park near us littered and messy with rocks in the path and even a bench broken.  I know kids go there and vandalize it, and it's sad, but she is so disgusted with trash on the ground.  "WHY do people throw things on the ground.  They're littering."  Sure enough, after a few tears when they rode away, she was chattering away and helping me pick a big bag for us.

She's looking for every little bit of trash and is so serious about it.

Once we got that area cleaned up, we walked toward the school to see if we could find anything else and ran right into a PARTY.  She could hear music and see kids walking down the sidewalk and best of all, not one but two bouncy houses.  Please, Mimi!  I called it a stroke of luck to find something fun for her to do, not knowing that there was a full-fledged block party going on.  I had read about it, but I thought it was in Snoqualmie town, not the Ridge, so that was nice.

Before we got there, her little bicycle tire had a blow-out.  We heard it, and when we looked, there was a hole in the back tire.

I told her she could get a new one, meaning tire, but she almost started crying because, "I love my little bike SO SO much!"  Once she found out I didn't mean a whole new bike, she was okay but refused to push it, so I had to juggle it in one hand and my bag of trash and her jacket in the other until I found a trash can.

But she did enjoy the bouncy houses.  It makes me so happy to see how happy it makes her.  She ran into a neighbor friend, and they went back and forth between them until I finally suggested we go look and see what else they had.

As soon as we crossed the street, she was thrilled to run into her best friend Makena and her dad. Lots of hugging and giggling. It was a stroke of luck for me too, since I told him about the bike and having to drag it around.  He said if I would just lay it against a wall, he would take it to his truck and drop it off at their house when they got through.  I didn't argue a bit.  Katherine and I were headed back to the apartment to get some cash to get her a balloon and maybe something to eat, and I didn't have to carry it with me.

It turned out all the cute little animal head balloons were gone by the time we got back, and she didn't argue when I talked her out of a $10 fragile-looking unicorn.  In fact, she was just the happiest and sweetest girl all morning.  Just a few pictures up and down the sidewalk.

A cute little girl had spread out a blanket on the sidewalk and was selling her "jewels."  I told Katherine she could pick out some things for her and Graysen, and she was fascinated - but shy.  It took her a pretty long time, but she chose a free ring and two 65-cent necklaces for them.  So happy with that.  It's amazing how easy it is to please a 4-year-old!

Her dance company had several groups of girls performing, so she settled in to watch some of those.  She loved every minutes of that and clapped for them when they finished.

This was not good.  This little girl started crying as soon as she got out there and continued to wail loudly the whole dance.  I wanted to go rescue her!

I think she was more worried about the dog than the dinosaur, but she kept her distance from them both.  I'm surprised she didn't go up and make sure they had a doggie bag.

It was such a perfect day that we just lucked into.  Emily made us another good salad and the girls hot dogs, and I left to walk home and enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

This Week in September

The hardest of the year, but we made it through but not without some struggles.  I think Emily and I just over planned, got over-enthusiastic about the upcoming seasons, spent most of our days together, and wore ourselves out.

Monday was Katherine's first day of ballet, and she was more than ready to DANCE!

Tuesday was our shopping, lunch day and such a good day.  I can't even remember what we did later.

It was Katherine's first day of pre-K,  I have so many pictures, but I'll not put them all here now.

I think we both went to pick up the girls, and they dropped me off at home.  I decided to skip soccer, because we thought it was just a practice.  Turns out no more practices at 5:00 but games every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:00.  Since they had an hour to kill, they drove to Snoqualmie Falls.  I'm a little jealous of that.  I really want to stop one day but never do it by myself.

Wednesday I think was a day when I just walked up to the library and around town and enjoyed the morning.

The girls enjoyed bike-riding after school.

Then Kylie, a friend and co-worker of Emily's - and a former soccer player - came over to give Graysen some one-on-one coaching.

The days kind of ran together, but Thursday was our hardest, of course.  I had some errands to run, so I went over for a beautiful salad that Emily had made.  She's a salad person.  I like them but don't like to make them.  It was bigger, but I didn't get a picture until halfway through.

These are the flowers for me from the garden!

And these peppers!  I was told pepper plants don't do well here, but I bought one anyway and never thought about it any more.  The zucchini are huge and several meals apiece.

We picked the girls up at school, got them changed into sundresses and headed for Mike's tree at Tanner's Landing in North Bend.  I had not been there before, but it's such a nice peaceful place.  Emily has been there every September since 2016 and felt like we needed to go.

It was warm but very pleasant in the shade, so while Katherine gathered things for her "nest" and Graysen flitted around, Emily and I were able to sit there and reminisce and just be quiet and thankful.

The river was beautiful and a perfect place for another peaceful half hour.

I'm so thankful for this afternoon and these three girls.  I'm not sure if next year will be easier or not, but we'll know we've made it and done well and made memories for another year.

We are constantly looking for "signs," messages from Mike, and we didn't see any impressive ones that day.  Katherine did find a beautiful feather later on at the soccer field, but just about bedtime, we had a tremendous boom that got the attention of us and the whole area.  It was another of those unusual lightning and thunder shows, but this one shook the house.  We'll take that, just to make us feel better.