Monday, September 27, 2010

New Earrings

Mamaw came up to visit the week of September 20th, to check on her new house and to watch the kids while Mac was on his Mid-west sports tour with some college friends. At the end of the week, Mamaw bought Megan some "good" earrings, hopefully to alleviate some of the ear pain Megan was having. I think Megan just needed to be told to stop playing with her earrings, but I was out voted by the uber-consumer team of Mac and his mom, so Megan got new 14k gold and garnet earrings.

"Mom," Megan explained to me,"The earrings were 36 dollars. I have 22 dollars so that is almost 36."

"Megan, $22 is not almost $36," I reply, ever the pessimist.

"Yeah. I just need a fourteen dollar bill!"

I love how that is so smart and so naive all at the same time!

Monday, September 20, 2010

School For Liam

Like Megan, Liam started at Rosedale this year in the preschool class three days a week (Mac was really pushing for five!).

Liam also likes school, but, um, he's not exactly the student that Megan is. Don't get me wrong, he's doing just fine academically. It's just that he'd rather spill paint than learn letters, jump up and down instead of reading quietly, lick toys instead of cleaning up. Basically, he is all boy. What really gets to me and Mac, though, is his "hands on" learning style. All day long he walks through the house: open the oven, close the oven, touch the dishwasher buttons, turn on the lights, turn off the lights, grab the keys, wear my shoes, reset my clock, put on my chapstick, open the cupboards, get out the salad spinner, open the fire gate, play with my pen...He just touches everything and it drives me and Mac INSANE! Other than that, he is a really cute, lovable kid.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Kindergarten!! (Take 2)

Because of her January birthday, Megan is not old enough for first grade so she is getting another year of Kindergarten, this time at our local public school instead of at Little Red School House.

The year started with an Open House and an Ice Cream Social. We sat in the corner of the gym with our ice cream and managed to be completely asocial! The next day was assessment day.

At the assessment Megan was asked about shapes (nailed them, duh), and asked to count to 30 (she stopped at 200). She had a bit of trouble counting the number of words in a sentence (she only got to listen to the sentence) but because I know my daughter is brilliant, I deduced this was a dumb activity and not really a weakness in my child. ;) Then the teacher wanted to see if the kids could recognize their own names, so she placed a name placard in front of Megan.

"Do you know what this says?" the Teacher asked.

"Stella Pucket*" Megan responded.

"Good," complimented the Teacher. "Now can you point to your first name?"

Megan just sat there with a bizarre look on her face. Mac panicked - he couldn't figure out what the Teacher was getting at and this was supposed to be a Kindergarten test!!

When Megan didn't comply, the Teacher tried again. "Can you point to the first letter of your first name?"

Megan just sat there with the same quizzical look on her face. And Mac was equally perplexed. Finally, Mr. Garcia, the student teacher came to the rescue. "Umm, that's not Stella Pucket. That is Megan Smith."

"But she knew the name!" the Teacher replied.

"Yeah, Megan can read." Mac filled the Teacher in, which earned Megan a second assessment, this time for reading with the principal.

And just to make sure the school was really impressed with the Smith family, our ailing car battery went completely dead so we weren't able to leave the assessment until we got the principal to loan us her car and her jumper cables so that we could leave the premises.

School finally started and it has been great for Megan. They don't seem to be doing much for her academically, but she is enjoying all the new activities like music and group games. And she ate up the "guidance" lesson they got on responsibility.

After the first two days, I asked Megan if she had made any new friends (the entire group is new to her this year).

"Only one," she told me. "Stella Pucket."

*normally, I'd change a kid's name to protect their identity, but Stella Pucket sounds like it is straight out of kiddie lit; it just didn't seem right to change it, you know, for the integrity of the story and all.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Happy Labor Day!

Everyone was working hard around here on the long weekend.

(To be fair, this was Sunday, and on Monday I got all of the blackberries tied up for next year, something I always feel really good about...once it is DONE!)

Monday, September 6, 2010

One More Summer Trip

We finished our summer with a nine day trip to Southern California. The main purpose of the trip was to do the Angeles Crest 100 mile Endurance Run, my third 100 miler in a year. But that didn't go very well. Seems I bit off more than I could chew this time around and had a real blow-up, resulting in a DNF at mile 49. You win some and you lose some. I thought most of the course was great (at least the first half!) and plan to get back there sometime to finish what I started, though it won't be next year.
Enjoy the photo of me at the start, because there isn't one of me at the finish!

Though my left knee gave me some issues during the race, it was pretty much back to normal three days later, confirming that the main issue was in my head! But we still made the most of the vacation.

We spent lots of time with Cousin Holden, who isn't so little any more. He may out weigh Liam before he turns one! (that might not be saying much, Liam is a pretty meatless kid who just cracked the 20th weight percentile this year!). And there was lots of swimming. But best of all was a trip to Disneyland! I was kind of regretting our decision to go the Friday before Labor Day, but it didn't get crowded until after dinner. I couldn't believe how empty it was.

I am not sure why, but I think I like Disneyland more as an adult than I did as a kid. And it was great to see my kids so excited, too. Good thing we had so much fun, because that $79 admission price sure stings!

Now why isn't it okay if I put my kids in a cage at home??
Blast off!
We had to separate the kids on nearly every ride so that they could each drive.

Such concentration!
Mr. Hand-sy just had to touch Mickey.

Rocket lady really wanted to pose with us, so we cut Liam out of the photo to include this stranger.

The kids totally rallied until about 8:15, when Liam had a major meltdown and then fell asleep in his stroller before the fireworks show. By that time it was packed and we were pretty much ready to leave. Like Megan, Liam was fine with all the speedy rides, but couldn't handle the scary stuff like the Abominable snowman on the Matterhorn or the witch in Snow White. Liam didn't seem to have a problem with the monsters as long as he had a gun in his hand, which is why we ended up on Buzz Lightyear three times! Megan still covered her eyes at some of these same scary things (Liam, one the other hand, always covered his ears - See No Evil, Hear No Evil...??), but three orbits through Space Mountain now that she is above the height limit.

Saturday it was back to Oregon and time to get ready for Back to School.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Megan is swimming! Liam still has a ways to go before he'll be independent in the water, but he still enjoys it (as long as the water isn't cold, that is!)