I think this image is what I kept going back to most of the day. My (not so) little girl walking away to start a new adventure. I so wanted it to be a good adventure, one she enjoyed and wanted to be on. One with new things and excitement and friends. And there was no way I could ensure that it was. That made me sad.
I know I can help shape how she responds to things, how she may interpret events and possible how she may influence them. But not what happens. I want her to be liked by class mates, to have lots of friends. I want her time in school to be as happy and joyful as possible.
Of course, I want the same for Ashlin. For my little peanut to succeed and remain the happy – and quirky – little thing she is. I want her stutter to be something that doesn’t frustrate her, that never holds her back. That stops her from shining.
At least she looked back at me as she walked away.
This is the outfit Teagan wants to wear tomorrow. I was going to give her a choice of a few outfits, have her pick from them, but I needn’t have worried. She wanted the first outfit I showed her, saying “Mama, that’s exactly what I wanted to wear!”
I ironed it for her. That is not a wrinkle on the left side. Really. It’s just a shadow. From the pleat.
I can’t believe summer is over already. It flew by. We spent most of it at Lake Compounce, with occasional trips to Bounce U or a playground. Towards the end, we also played a bit of Just Dance on the Wii. Ashlin often scored higher than Teagan, but neither girl really paid attention to the scores.
Lunch for Teagan is packed, snacks for Ashlin. Back packs are labeled and ready. Well, I need a spare outfit for Ashin – just in case! Both girls are excited for school, and Ashlin is jealous of Teagan being able to take the bus. She has to be driven, special, to her pre-K class. She’s also upset that she doesn’t have a fuzzy blanket for nap time, even though she doesn’t have nap time.
I think they’ll both do great tomorrow. I hope they do. I’m sure they will. Hopefully, I’ll do just as well.
It was a super way to spend some time together!
Lake Compounce with Teagan was excellent. She was so well behaved, even for being so excited. We packed a lunch and got there just after opening.
I suggested we go on a few rides – the first I requested was the train ride. Ashlin and I had done the trolley, which was fine, but we hadn’t done the train. At first, Teagan didn’t want to, but after hearing that it would probably be the only ride I asked for, she agreed. And, she really enjoyed it, a lovely and picturesque ride on the lakeside.
After the train, I suggested the carousel, which she was a bit resistant to as well, but then asked to stay on. Then we walked to the far side of the park so I could show her the American Flyer and the Gas n’ Go car rides.
The Flyer ride made her a bit nervous – not scared – at first. But by the time it was our turn – a very short wait – she was ready to go. This turned into one of the favorite rides of the day. A giant swing shaped vaguely like an airplane. I don’t even know how many times we rode that, we just kept going back.
The cars were also a big hit, and these she asked to go on all by herself. It was a bit bittersweet watching her drive away, she’s getting so big, so grown up.
We ate a packed lunch watching one of the shows – the singers – and I clapped for them. They didn’t have a big audience, but it was still early in the day.
After lunch, Teagan went back to the flyers, and then back to the kid area. She asked to ride on the roller coaster alone. Such a rock star, she sat in the front seat several times, holding her hands up. This was the first trip to Lake Compounce that I haven’t ridden the roller coaster.
We also went on the Drop Zone at least three times. If I laugh, it’s not so bad. She’s lucky I have the stomach for all these rides! She did the Pirate Ship (hands up!), Elephants, Caterpillar train and motorcycles a few times too.
After hearing a bit from Ashlin’s trip Tuesday, she wanted to be sure to see the acrobats – trampoline artists – Cirque en Vol. And she loved them. She asked that we watch a second show, and also some of the practice. She was so enthralled that she stopped talking for about 10 minutes. This is big. She giggled at practice, watching them get things better than the first show – they did drop a few of the juggling pins, over-rotate after a long trampoline run or make an impressive landing. Although the show was very good, watching her watch the show made it so much better.
She was so good, all day, that we shared a treat – churros! – and ended up leaving much later than I was hoping.
I’m very glad we were given season passes this year. I have a feeling we’re going to be spending a lot of time there this summer.
Today we had a tie-dye play-date! It was fun. Well, once we got stuff set up and prepped and then stopped the girls from jumping on furniture and throwing dress-up jewelry. To be fair, they were excited for both the play date and to tie-dye. They haven’t seen their friends from day care in a few weeks.
I thought it would be easier to have one girl go at a time, so took Ashlin first, leaving Teagan to play with her friend. Ash didn’t like the gloves, but did ok putting the dye on her shirt. Teagan was very eager, starting to squeeze the bottles before turning them over and aiming on the shirt.
It was chaotic fun. With popcorn.
I even got a chance to try to make a sunflower shirt. I can’t wait till tomorrow to see how they turned out!
Today I took Ashlin to Lake Compounce. It was just the two of us today, one on one time with my little girl. Teagan was a bit jealous and sad when she found out where we had gone. But she’ll get her day at Lake PomPom too.
We ended up getting there a bit later in the day than I expected, but we had an errand in the morning and she took a two-hour nap. You can’t ever regret a nap like that. Then of course, we had to do her nails before we left. The first time she’s had real nail polish on – and she picked out the color – purple, of course.
Of course, I had to try it out – while she napped – intrigued with the deep grape shade. We have matching nails. Tee hee hee.
On the ride up, I mentioned to her that there were some rides that she’s tall enough to go on, with me, that aren’t in the kiddie section. She was excited. I told her about Thunder Rapids – the round floom ride. I explained it was like a round boat. We watched a few people go by, and she said she wanted to do it.
She didn’t realize that she’d get wet. Even though we saw people coming off wet, that it was a water ride. There were some tears, I held her hand for part of the ride. Walking back to the other rides, she calmed down quickly, as she usually does. It was the water. She didn’t want to be wet. The ride itself was fun, she was just unhappy about the water. Fair enough.
We walked to the far side of the park to try some of the other new rides. American Flyers was a no-go, nor was the Sky Ride, but the Zoomer Gas n’ Go was a hit. We had to do that one twice. And the big carousel, and the elephants. Oh, and the small roller coaster.
We were having so much fun that we got home late. It was a good day.
Hoping Thursday – with the big one – is as good.
Today we went out with the girls. They needed a bit of running around, energetic exhaustion. We needed them to be entertained, and then tired. After a bit of googling for local bike trails, we decided to try a bit of the Hamden section of the Farmington Canal Linear Park.
After an aborted nap and a quick bite for lunch, we put the girls bikes and helmets in the trunk and headed out. The girls were excited, they LOVE riding their bikes. We found out that although Teagan can book on her bike Ashlin will end up winning, even with her short legs, as Teagan is too easily distracted by trees, flowers, bugs, the grass.
The park was very nice, once we got on the trail – we now know where to park for next time! Lush and green, nice bridges and railings when needed. It ran alongside the Merritt Parkway for a bit, so was a little loud, but eventually veered away.
Teagan impressed both of us, she was able to start her bike from a dead stop, even on a hill. She could also get herself much further up hills than we expected. Ashlin also impressed with her skill as well as with her stamina and perseverance. We ended up walking/riding just shy of four miles – at least twice as long as they are used to.
We did figure out that we need at least one adult bike with us. The girls get a bit too far ahead of us for comfort, with their unbridled enthusiasm. Thankfully, we have one. Though two would be even better!
We will go visit more of the canal when we can.
So. It’s been a rough ride these past few weeks. I didn’t mean to effectively disappear, but wasn’t in the right mind – or with enough free time – to write about any of it.
The girls are awesome. Well, mostly. Still some behavior issues, but that’s to be expected at three and five. Some sleep issues, but well. We do what we can there.
The bizarre thing that is my now life allowed for the girls to attend daily swim lessons up at the pool I grew up at. Well, where I spent entire summers before I could drive. The girls and I stayed at my folks, as Stu still had to work. My mom helped me keep the girls entertained – Fire House, Police Station, Zoo, Cat statues, nature lesson, ducks, library. Dad would come watch the lesson and leave for his job at the post office.
Ashlin started the first lesson off timid. Shy. Terrified. She’s never good at transitions, strangers, new things. But she eventually got in the water, did a few of the activities the first day. We praised her and she was better the second. Teagan was a rock star, though she was nervous too.
The second and following lessons were much better. Both girls needed different psych up chats – Teagan to sit still and listen, Ashlin to do what the instructors asked. They were better and better. I got us into a pool a day once or twice (where I took a total of three (!) pads removed from Teagan’s float vest! And got Ashlin out alone with her float vest with a noodle.) before we left to go home for the weekend. Home. To Stu.
The second week was even better. Teagan was able to do a few paddles on her own power at the begining, and swam halfway across the pool – from a jumping start! – by the end. Ashlin advanced far enough to not have a death grip on your neck, but only hold a finger or two, and blow bubbles and float a tiny bit on her back, if you didn’t let go. By that second Friday, she was rocking her vest. Alone.
So proud of them.
As we needed to be in New Jersey – the shore! – for a family gathering on Saturday, the three of us met up with Stu south of my folks, east of our house and left his car for what we thought would be a long weekend, but was shortened due to poor wi-fi.
My knitting is calling, as is the thunderstorm, so I’ll leave the tale here. For now. I will be better about updating more frequently. Promise. I will have a lot more free time – at least for a while.
PS. Some pictures of our adventures are up on flickr…. I’m still going through some of them. Go and check them out!
Today I made flowers. Paper flowers.
Months ago, Ashin asked if she could have a mobile like Teagan’s. A photo mobile that I’ve various paper decorations for – Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s, St. Patty’s days as well as spring, winter, fall. Oh! And some generic stars to go with the rest of her decor.
It took a while to find another mobile. Amazon eventually made one available on Prime, and I added it to an order. So, it sat out of sight for a while.
Today, I finally decided to swap out Teagan’s eggs with flowers. And as I had a little time, I made some more. The giant hydrangea were a bit too big for the mobile and would get caught with each other, so I put one in each girls room. I split the original ones across the girls, made some new ones in new colors, and added some dragonflies to further spruce them up.
Not wanting to put a new hole in the ceiling, I used a thumbtack to hang Ashlin’s mobile up. That will leave a tiny hole if, and when, we decide to move it.
Teagan isn’t expecting her mobile to be different… Ashlin doesn’t know she now has one too. I hope they’re both excited.