Friday, August 26, 2011

First day of pre-K

Goodbye pre-school....Grace started pre-kindergarten today! Did you know there was such a thing?
One thing I love about Grace's daycare/school is that the children transition each year. So far she has been in 4 different classes at the school - toddlers, discovery preschool (bigger toddlers), preschool, and now pre-K.
They are an NAEYC accreditted center and they follow a set curriculum where a weekly school theme is adapted to meet the developmental level of the children in each room. Since we have been there they haven't repeated a theme at all so the exposure she has gotten to topics like Egypt, gooey science, community workers, and dinosaurs have been fun ways to explore letters, number concepts, and emergent reading.
Grace's new teacher, Ms. Elyse, is also new to the school. I think this is going to be learning and growing experience for both of them!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Going kicking and screaming

I haven't posted much this month. I started my new job on July 26th which means I have been crazy busy during the day and exhausted at night. Looking back, I am so glad we took advantage of the first 5 weeks in June and early July for summer fun. Yesterday, we went to the pool for the last time - it closes today because the lifeguards are all high school and college students who are going back to school this week. It was in the mid-80s and sunny and it just didn't feel like the end of summer. I don't want it to end. Bathing suits, sunscreen (or sunSCREAM, as Grace calls it!), eating outside...ahhh. Even though I like fall, I think this year I am going into it "kicking and screaming"!
Today was a little cooler so we went for a hike in the national park near us. Grace and Daisy had a great time climbing on the giant rocks and exploring the woods.

What are you doing, Grace?
Being the Statue of Liberty.
Ritchie Ledges is a popular part of this park for the massive rocks that formed 320 million years ago from the sediment of a muggy swamp. Today, the ledges are covered in moss and are home to plants and animals that are perfectly adapted to this cool, damp environment.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday cuteness

Grace didn't want me to take her picture so we played a game to see who was faster. She would try to hide her face faster than I could snap a shot. I was lucky to get these three cute ones!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sail the Hudson

The sailboat ride on the Hudson River was a new experience for all of us!
The captain was very laid back and let the kids and John steer the boat for most of the trip. He really had to, because he needed to tend to the sails once we got out of the channel.
John did a great job maneuvering through some choppy water from freighters, big tour boats going to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and two rocket boats doing 360s and creating huge wakes!
Grace has a fascination with the Statue of Liberty (she used to call it the "lady in the water" and the "Statue of Liverly"). I am glad she got a chance to see it this close so early in her life. I am sure it will be the first of many times!
The kids and I liked it on top of the boat near the sails. Shelly, the captain, said that is the most stable place. I don't know about that....at one point the boat was tipped on its side and our feet were getting wet from the water that seemed to be just inches away!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

50th anniversary fun

Friday, August 5th was a beautiful summer day - in 2011 and 50 years ago in 1961 when my parents got married.
We celebrated their golden anniversary as a family with a sailboat ride in the Hudson River....
..and then dinner at an amazing waterfront restaurant with views of Manhattan.
It was a fun day with a lot of laughs. But the best part was seeing my parents' faces when they saw the gallery-wrapped canvas of the grandchildren! At first, my mother didn't believe we met for a beach weekend back in June.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Shhhhh....it's a surprise!

My parents are celebrating their 50th anniversary together today. As one person I told said, "That is an uncommon love". It is certainly a testament to love and commitment to one person - for life. I have been lucky enough to watch my parents' love and marriage for 40+ of those 50 years and they truly have lived those marriage vows they took back in 1961...for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, etc.

My dad has been carrying this wedding
photo in his wallet for 50 years!
When we started discussing ways to celebrate, my parents were VERY clear that they didn't want a big party, a big trip, a big present....a big ANYTHING. In a way, that makes celebrating more difficult because everything was so undefined. But, we figured out a great, intimate way to celebrate the occasion - more on that in another post.

In June, we drove to New Jersey to meet up with my brother, sister-in-law, and nephews to have a professional photographer take pictures of the three grandchildren on the beach.
Kristy, the photographer, working with the kids.
Our hope was to get some great candid shots of the kids together as their anniversary gift. Believe me, I am glad August 5th is finally here because reminding Grace to keep the secret that we spent a couple of days at the Jersey shore playing with Connor and Ryan has not been easy!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Rainbows

The pool is going to close in a month but the weather will stay warm here through at least the end of September. So, I bought Grace a sprinkler to play in the water on our front lawn. The rainbow colors of the sprinkler matched her rainbow bathing suit.
Watching her today reminded me of when I was a kid. We lived in two different houses with pools but sometimes, we would play in the hydrant sprinkler. When that happened, the whole neighborhood would come out to run through the water together. Maybe if we keep playing outside we can attract some neighborhood kids for Grace to play with!