Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Princess Sophie

Last week, Lola attended a theatre day camp through our local recreation center. The camp location was at a nearby middle school auditorium. The class worked all week on their very own play, which they presented to parents and friends on Friday. The kids got to name and create their own characters, develop the plot to their story and make up their own dialogue (which some guidance from their instructor, of course!!). It wasn't all about the theatrics, either. They played really creative games that honed in on their imagination skills. I was really impressed when I saw them in action. Lola loved it. For the performance, she played Princess Sophie, but didn't actually have any dialog. She said she didn't really want to talk! Wow, I've never known Lola to NOT want to talk, but ok!!! Nonetheless, she was ecstactic and truly proud of herself and the group accomplishment. It was great and despite her being so young for such a long day camp, I would totally send her again next year, if she wants to do it.

Camping & 4th of July Festivities

This past weekend we went tent camping for the first time as a family. We have camped a few times before in a camper or cabin, but this was a first time tent experience for us. I took just Lola for the first half of the weekend, while Elise stayed home with Dan. We didn't have any camping equipment so there was a bit of a mad rush to get the stuff we needed. It worked out great. Definitely a good first time experience for us. The campground itself wasn't a huge hit with Dan...it was beyond dusty and didn't have many amenities. He really prefers a few frills, like a pool or activities for the kids, etc...Although it was a bit more basic than he was expecting, he still had fun, which I'm glad for, considering he doesn't particularly care for camping anyway.
One of the highlights was the girls waking me up at some unGODLY hour (what was up with the crows performing an operetta at 5 am??) and taking the kids out on a little nature walk to see what wildlife we could spot. Although, the wildlife was sparse (that's actually a really good thing, considering some of the creatures we COULD have run into), we got great photos of the sun waking up and poking through the enormously tall trees.

The kids were besides themselves with glee and that is really what was important. They loved it and now we will be making it a much more regular activity for our family.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The calm before the chaos...

I know the expression is "calm before the storm" but storm sounded a little negative to me and "chaos"...well...chaos is just more of an accurate depiction.
Lola and I are going camping tomorrow and today is the only day I have to get everything done.

Lola has been in a theatre day camp everyday this week and tomorrow she and her class are performing a play that they've been practicing all week. I'm thrilled for her. She's very excited. I was apprehensive for the first couple of days that she was going...the age range is really wide, 5-16 years old. And I realized that Lola was the youngest and had to keep up the same schedule as the others. The first couple of days, she really had some adjustment. She was a more emotional than usual and had a bit of a chip on her shoulder. It's a long day for a 5 year old....typically, day camps for this age group are only 1/2 days, but Lola's is a full day.
She seems to be doing ok now, though, and I can't wait to see the play! We are hoping to leave for the campground soon after the cast party.

So, since I knew today would be a bunch of running around and packing, I decided to take Elise out to breakfast after we dropped Lola off at camp. It was really nice. I tend not to do much with Elise when Lola isn't around. I always feel guilty that she's missing out! I need to get over that, though. Anyway, we had a nice breakfast. Elise built endless "castles" out of cream containers and butter packets. It was cute.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Great Leaps Forward...

There's been so many recent accomplishments around here. Seems to be theme of this blog lately! In this past week, there's been at least one major accomplishment for each of us that has us beaming. Well, maybe not Dan...he's got ongoing drama in his business life. Poor guy.
First, the girls are now sharing a bed together at night, which means one very important thing: they are no longer hogging our bed!!! Yay! And it's been going so smoothly, we're kicking ourselves for not having started this sooner. Now, all of a sudden, they are happy to go to bed and, incredibly, they are sleeping all night. I'm surprised that we've not had a single middle of the night visit to our bed, which was happening all the time with Lola before we decided to put Elise in there with her. We're so happy for them and for us. We're all sleeping so much better!

Next, I got an idea from my friend, lifeineastcounty...she put up a chart for her girls and they are given stickers to encourage them to get along. I think at the end of the week, they get to go out for ice cream or something similar. I tried this with my girls recently too. Elise has begun using the potty quite regularly now so she gets a sticker on her chart for everytime she goes. Today was an especially good day...only one time did she not make it to the potty and it was because she had fallen asleep. I hope this is the real thing. It would be really nice to be done with diapers.
Lola also has a chart now too. She is learning the intricate art of being respectful of others around her. This means no interrupting when others are talking, especially nagging while one is on the phone, and being patient. For example, if I say "hmm, tomorrow we might stop off and get a smoothie before going to blah, blah, blah..." This means that while I have every intention of following through with my thought, it may not happen RIGHT THIS SECOND. She has a really hard time waiting. And I completely understand!! I get it! I get that she is only 5 and that waiting is a really hard concept to grasp. And while I'm perfectly understanding of her enthusiasm, what I'm not ok with are the 100 questions I have to answer before the actually event takes place...they are all really the same question, but posed in 15 different ways. That I asnwer over and over. And over again. It's enough to make me say, "you know what? Forget the f%$#ing smoothie!!!".

So yeah, we're working on that!

As for my own accomplishment? I just harvested my very first potatoes! I don't know why I'm so happy for myself about this, it's probably not that hard of a task! But for some reason, I'm really invested in my garden...I'm still so shocked that I have managed to grow something! Before this, I had the least green thumb possible and I'm known for unintentionally killing every plant that has every graced my home. But this garden is so beautiful and prosperous, despite me. Probably one of the most rewarding things I have done since birthing my children!

We also have some family visiting and it's always great to hang out with them. We've watched Dan's cousins, Nicole and Colette, grow up from kids into thoughtful, considerate and very wise young women. They are incredibly aware of their responsibility to our planet and strive to be good global citizens. They are very 'in tune' with themselves. It's a great to be around them and it rejuvenates my own pledges to a natural family environment and the earth.

All in all, a great week around this house.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Lola's big day, Part 2

After graduation this morning and a rather short appearance at playgroup, we had to get ready for the county fair, where Lola was to perform with her gymnastics group. The group's performance was amazing and cute. I'm still in awe at how such young little minds can remember all the steps and execute them with such finesse!
After Lola's show, we hung out in kid's section of the fair. She and Elise rode rides, ate all kinds of crap that they would not normally eat at home, played carnie games and had the time of their lives.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A huge day for Lola, Part 1

Today was major. And a couple of weeks leading up to day were chaotic too. Lola graduated from Kindergarten this morning and then had a gymnastics performance this evening at the county fair opening day. That's just the actual events that happened today...and while they were fantastic and awesome in their own rights, they are not exactly all of what made this day so major. There's an emotional layer underneath...us, as parents, watching our little girl grow leaps and bounds and Lola herself, realizing what big steps she took.
Let's break it down.
Lola's graduation...this really should be a whole other post because it should include how fabulous our kindergarten year was, how great her school is, how great her teacher is, how wonderful our part-time school/homeschooling program has worked for us, how involved the parents were, etc...etc...All that wonderfulness aside, the graduation was emotional and super cute. I was probably more emotional today than I was the first day Lola's school. Today, there was an element of saying goodbye. I mean, it's just for a few weeks before first grade starts, but since her school is moving to a new location, it seems more like an end to an era.
Lola seems so much older now than the beginning of the year! The teachers provided a slide show of photos that they had taken all year long...all our field trips, swimming, skating, dancing, gardening and whatnot. It was amazing to see how much we had done during the year....it flew by all too quickly. It was a cute graduation. The kids sang really creative songs about what they learned at Kindergarten and what they were looking forward to in the first grade! Afterward, we feasted on goodies that we had brought, potluck style.