Whatever!

What to muse about today?

October 14, 2016 ~ Like a Fairy Forest

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Green and Orange and Gold

Just about three weeks ago, Teagan and I went on a Girl Scout Letterboxing Adventure.  I’d always enjoyed hiking, walking through a forest, being outside.  As long as it’s not too hot.  Then it’s not fun at all, and I’d rather be by a pool.  But it was a lovely day, and combined with the treasure hunting aspect of letterboxing, we all had a fun time.

 

I’m not quite sure why it’s as fun as it is.  You go hiking with some clues and try to follow them to find a plastic box hidden under leaves and rocks.  The boxes are often dirty and there are spiders and bugs and stuff.  But it is like a treasure hunt.  Inside each box is a stamp, usually hand carved.  Often, the stamps are fun, sometimes they are beautiful. That’s probably why Teagan liked it, she had permission to get herself dirty and dig around for “treasure.”  I liked being outside and enjoyed the challenge of solving the clue enough that I didn’t mind too much.

For whatever reason she liked it, and I had enough fun to humor her when she asked to go again.   So I told her we would see what we could do, and looked at the websites listed on the simple logbook they gave us on our adventure. And I found letterboxes around us.  And more letterboxes around us. And it was more fun finding boxes “in the wild” instead of planted for a bunch of girl scouts to work on a badge for the day.

We all went letterbox hunting.  Even Stu tagged along, though I think he’s indifferent about it.

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Ashin’s Log Book After Our Mystic Hunt

As Teagan, and I, both enjoyed it so much, I looked around for books for us to use as log books instead of pieces of paper. And once Ashlin expressed how much she enjoyed it, and how excited she was to make her own stamp, I ordered a book for her too.  She was very, very happy to get it and put her first stamp in it.

We’ve gone out almost once a weekend since then.  Sometimes even after school if the boxes are close by and the clues seem straightforward enough.

I’ve even gone out myself a few times.  I admit it.  I love hiking this time of year.  It’s just the right temperature – not too hot, not too cold – and the forests are almost magical.  Like today.  I went to a park not too far away – Alice Newton Street Memorial Park – and walked almost two miles looking for letterboxes.  I didn’t notice that I walked through lunch.  The park was so beautiful.  It felt cared for.  Not necessarily cleaned or maintained, but that it was groomed and encouraged to grow.  Almost magical.

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Magical Forest

I have a few more boxes in my log book than Teagan, and of course Ashlin.  Some of the trails aren’t quite suited for a five year old, though don’t tell her that.  Some of the trails, like yesterday, although pretty, I wouldn’t want Teagan on either.

 

But trails like today, I would go on again, and again, and again.  Even though I have already found all the boxes that forest contains.

 

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Falls

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Panorama from the top of a cliff – Yesterday

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Super tall cliff – Yesterday

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March 28, 2016 ~ The Day Before A Full Hand

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Almost five

 

This one.  She’s turning five tomorrow.  A full hand.  For a while, she was nervous, scared even, about turning five.  It was a new number, she’d never been five before.  Eventually, she decided she was excited, and only a little nervous about it.  She is always a bit tentative about new things, even fun and exciting new things.  Still a very big snuggler, thankfully.  If at all possible, I really don’t want her to grow out of that.

She’s finally understood that she’ll always be my baby, even though she’s not a baby any more.  There may be a bit of baby fat there, but she’s not a baby.

She’s a sensitive soul, quick to feel big feelings.  One day she’s asking when I’m going to die.  (Nice, kid.  Just because you don’t like quiet time). Two days later she’s crying because she doesn’t want me to die, because I make the best sandwiches.  (I’ll take that, food is love).  She’ll cry if an animal is hurt in a show, or if someone is mean to someone else.  Watching Star Wars with her was an experience, as was Toy Story 2 (and Toy Story 3, and …)

She can count to 1,114 (just ask Stu!) and loves getting math questions right, though she thinks she doesn’t know how to do math. Frustration comes quickly to her, but can easily be banished with a few encouraging words.

I’m very much enjoying watching this little person develop and grow.

I love my peanut.

1 First Year - Ashlin5573231750_2b32df1a10

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January 26, 2016 ~ Dark Vader

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Brave Girl Sleeping During A New Hope

Over the past few weeks we’ve started watching the original Star Wars trilogy with the girls.  Of course we started there.  There’s no way we’d let their first impressions of Star Wars be of JarJar Binks.

Each movie needed at least two attempts.  The first time there were too many questions and Ashlin fell asleep.  The second viewing of A New Hope went much better.

This past Sunday we tried The Empire Strikes Back.  This screening went much, much better although there were still a bunch of questions, and Teagan was a bit confused by Leia’s hair change (though she remembered the buns) and she couldn’t remember Han from minute to minute.

A couple of the questions from Teagan were:

  1. Can we live in a snow fort too?
  2. Why did they change Leia’s hair
  3. What’s the aminal-friend (wookie) doing to the ship?
  4. Did the ice monster hurt Luke?
  5. Why did they cut the aminal open?  (Tauntaun)
  6. Can I have a light saber?
  7. What is a swamp slug?
  8. How do worms live in space?
  9. Why is Yoda so short?
  10. What’s a bounty hunter?
  11. Is [that boy] Han dead?
  12. What is suspended animation?
  13. Will they get him out?
  14. Why is Luke sad if he found his father?
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Questions.  She’s Full of Questions

She went to talk to Stu (who had to get some work one) before she went to bed.  Initially, she didn’t like the dark side, but thanks to Stu, thinks it may be better because they have cookies.  Well, she’s not sure…

Ashlin was pretty good, she had her own questions along the same lines as above.  But she was very excited to see her SW Advent Calendar figurines in the movie, more so than she was during A New Hope. (We really only saw the Jawa and their sand crawler, the storm trooper and the imperial destroyer in that movie.).  Eventually her questions petered out as she fell asleep right after Luke got to Dagobah.  She and I watched what she missed Monday after she got home from school.

Both girls found lots of joy in telling me that my phone was ringing..  I have had the Imperial March as my ringtone for the past five years, at least.  My girls think they are the funniest people in the room!

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The Snow Tired Her Out!

I still need to share Ashlin’s questions/brain dump, because well:

We had to discuss the exogorth again, and how worms could live in space. She wants to have Yoda’s soup for dinner and IG-88 is her favorite bounty hunter. Bossk is a bit scary, and she likes how Darth Vader snores.  She cried over C3-PO being torn apart, Han being frozen and Luke losing his hand.  She cried because Luke was crying.

My favorite parting thought of hers was “Maybe Darth isn’t nice because he misses Luke.  Everyone needs to be with who they love.”

 

 

PS.  Teagan calls him Dark Vader.

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December 21, 2015 ~ Letters to Santa

After Santa left yesterday, the girls decided that they better write him a letter.  I had tried to get them to work on their Santa letters a few times, but they weren’t really interested.  Now, they were.  They felt the immediacy.

Stu helped the girls focus, spell, think about what they wanted.  Teagan wrote hers, of course, but Ashlin got frustrated after a bit and asked Stu to help.

Teagan’s list is pretty straight forward:

  1. Stuffed animal puppy
  2. [Puppy] diary
  3. Coloring book
  4. New cartridge for her game (LeapPad)
  5. Stuffed bunny baby
  6. Lego set

This is managed.  We have a few lego sets, a couple coloring books, I picked up the diary she had wanted at the Book Fair.  There’s at least one new Leappad cartridge as well as a few books (chapter books!).

Ashlin’s letter to Santa is a bit of a different story:

  1. Stuffed animal warthog!
  2. Robot toy giraffe
  3. Legos (preferably pre-built, so she can play with them)
  4. New cartridge game (for her Leapster)
  5. New books (both paper and for the Tag Reader)
  6. New CD player – pink!
  7. Stars for my bedroom [ceiling] (like Teagan’s from IKEA)

This one is partially under control.  But there were two additions from left field – the robot giraffe and the stars for her ceiling like Teagan’s.  Notice, the warthog is managed, that’s not the odd wish.

I do love that she wants pre-built legos, though after this morning, and her success with her mini-build from her advent calendar, this may already have changed.  I’m not sure that she knows you can get pre-built lego sets, but she knows that her building skills aren’t that strong.  But she’s four, they don’t need to be that strong yet.

Hopefully they’ll be happy – estatic – with their presents.  Like they were yesterday with their dolls and pajamas.

 

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December 18 ~ Quick! Catch-up!

My Two Front Teeth!

It feels as if I was just here, writing about Teagan losing her first tooth.  But no, it’s been four months.  To the day.  Crazy.  Teagan has now lost a total of four teeth.  Just in time, too.  She’s already learned the required song.

She lost the other top tooth about two months ago, and we still don’t see any sign of the adult one coming in.  For awhile, the top and bottom were missing and she looked like she had a coin slot in her mouth.  Also, the tooth fairy is out of (affordable) pirate Lego sets to leave.

Her reading skills have leaped forward, she’s almost able to read books – she can read a few of the pages from Fortunately, The Milk – which is a pretty cool book.

Oh, and she’s earned her white belt in Taekwondo.  And her first trophy.

Ashlin is gearing up for Kindergarten.  Already.  She’s started with Raz-Kids, and can identify some of her sight words. Yes, the four-year-old has sight words.  Also, she’s super jealous of her sister and the tooth fairy visits.

Also!  She was brave enough to go up and take a picture with Santa.  She’s not super happy about it, but she did it. Twice. She was super excited when we saw Santa walking on the street after the town’s tree lighting that she couldn’t stay still.  The blur is Ashlin.  Teagan was so full of awe when he stopped to chat with her, you could see the pure amazement and joy on her face.

Talking to Santa

Hoping you all have a happy start to your holiday season!

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August 10, 2015 ~ Dive! Dive! Dive!

She can run through a sprinkler, AND dive!

This one got brave enough to figure out how to use my hand to get to the bottom of the pool to get a dive toy.  Up until today, she was too scared to even try, even though she already could jump off the diving board, do a cannonball, hold her breath underwater.

She would take a big breath, reach for my hand and pull herself underwater and then down to the floor of the pool.  We started at the three foot part and worked to just about four feet.  Once she got it, she decided it was fun and we had to do it again, and again, and again.

My thrill seeker.

Of course, I don’t have a picture.  :)

 

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August 6, 2015 ~ Wiggle Wiggle!

This one wiggles

Teagan now has a loose tooth. A wiggly one.  She was so excited today at her last day of day camp that she told almost everyone there about it.  As Ashlin (in her twirly-twirly princess dress) and I crossed the parking lot to pick her up, we were told by at least two people that Teagan had big news.  Nice.

She couldn’t wait to show me which tooth, she bounced across the parking lot and into the car.  Sometimes she has such joy about life. Once she was strapped in, I had her show me which tooth – her lower left front.  Exciting!

As we drove to the pool, some of her anxiety started to leak out.  She asked what would happen if she swallowed it by accident.  (One of her friends had a loose tooth that he must have swallowed when eating a strawberry, so fair enough of her to worry).  I told her that I had a picture to prove that she had a loose tooth, and would take one once it fell out that we would be sure to show the Tooth Fairy.  She could also write a note explaining what happened.  I assured her that this would be enough for the Tooth Fairy to come.  If she wanted, we could use a tic tac as a replacement, but I didn’t think it would be necessary. I reminded her that the purple and green Tooth Fairy from the Jack Frost movie knew every tooth and the story behind them, she also could find teeth, they never got lost.  This seemed to help.  A bit.  But she still had those wrinkly eyebrows she gets when she’s worried about something.  Telling her that the tooth probably wasn’t going to fall out today, more likely Saturday or Sunday.  This made her face melt into sadness.  She really wanted it to fall out today.  Today!!

At least she stopped worrying about it falling into the pool.  I guess that’s something.

Eventually, the lure of the pool helped distract her for a while. Splashing is a good distraction.

When Stu got home, she couldn’t wait to tell him about her wiggly tooth.  And she asked if she could not finish her dinner, she was worried it would fall out.  Again, we explained things would be ok.  That she comes from a line of people not swallowing teeth when they fell out, so she should be just fine.

She needed a bit of hand-holding.

I guess this explains why she complained about her teeth hurting when she ate her banana for breakfast this morning.

Ashlin can’t wait for her teeth to start wiggling.  She’s got a few years to go…

Twirly-twirly princess dress

Fancy Handstand

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May 21, 2015 ~ I wind!

Stu and Ashlin finally went out to get her reward for not waking anyone up last week. As they were driving, Stu would call out “flag” when he saw one. Ashlin would then cry “I wind!”  If she saw a flag and called it, she would again “wind.”  Hum. Stu asked and was told “when you see flag first, she wins. And when she sees the glad first, she wins.”  When Stu said that it wasn’t very fair, Ashlin raised her hands, shrugged and said “the rules are the rules.”

Silly goose.  

goof

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May 18, 2015 ~ Dancing, Dancing, Done

Tap Costume

Finally.  Yesterday was the girls dance recital.  Actually, all weekend was the dance recital.  Saturday was the full dress rehearsal, Sunday the actual recital.  (The theme was LOVE).

Teagan had two dances, Ashlin just the one.  In the days before, Teagan seemed fine, a few nerves, but she remembered last year, so wasn’t too concerned.  Ashlin on the other hand, I think was a bit anxious.  She told me in the car on Friday that she was “a little nervous and a little scared, mama.” Oh, my sweet little girl.  I tried to reassure her, tell her that it was normal and that she’d be just fine.  Excellent, even.  She knew her dance.

Waiting is so hard when you are four

Saturday, Stu and I got the girls all dressed, with their dance hair and headed out for a long afternoon.  There was an issue with the sound, so the first few dances and the start of Teagan’s tap sounded like they were underwater.  After a minute of the girls not being sure what to do when they couldn’t hear the lyrics to their song, it got fixed.  Bad cable or something.  They had the girls restart their number, from the stage.  The girls danced well, but were a bit off.  I think it would have been better to have had them walk out again, a full reset.

Since the sound was fine by the time Ashlin went out, one song after Teagan, (which made for a bit of a frantic dressing schedule for me,) the preschoolers didn’t have any sound issues.  However, they had never been on a stage before, and seemed a bit overwhelmed by it.  One girl crowded the teacher, leaving a gap between the girls where she should have been.  But all seven of them did a fantastic job, even though some were scared of it being so dark backstage.

Silly Girls

Teagan seemed to carry over some of the uncertainty from her first number, and danced more tentatively than usual. She kept watching the girl to her right for cues.  We spoke with her afterwards, trying to bulk up her confidence, because she knew her dance, she didn’t need to follow, she could lead.  I think it worked, because Sunday she was much better, more sure of herself.

We ended up watching quite a few of the acts after the girls were done, Ashlin came out and saw her sister’s ballet number (Jesse’s song from Toy Story II, and the girls danced with a doll – so adorable!).  Teagan joined once I got her changed out of her costume.

Sunday was easier, in a way, but harder.  It’s so long, and the girls have to stay in the cafeteria for the rest of the show.  I suppose we could have left early, if they didn’t want to be in the finale.  But both did, so we stayed, while the girls colored and fed and hugged and were generally distracted for two hours.  Most of the other preschoolers left, Ashlin and one other peep were on stage for the finale.  (Although we called them the sunflowers, I overheard one of the other mom’s called them the peeps, so cute!)

Ashlin was so proud of herself, dancing on stage.  All the girls stayed in line and did their act, although one little girl ran off during the number, she was so scared.  Ash noticed partway through, and said to the teacher “we’re missing one!”  Everyone in the audience heard.  I think they were the hit of the show.  I could be biased.

Teagan’s ballet number also got big cheers from the audience, and I think her tap number looked better than the girls a level up.  They worked so hard to get the steps right.  I’m so proud of both of them!

At dinner, Teagan asked if she could use the knife.  We let her, and after a few failed attempts, she was able to actually cut her chicken.  She’s so big.

She has a knife!

We’ll work on holding the fork.  Eventually.

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April 29, 2015 ~ Learning to Dribble

Left Foot!

Last night was the girls’ first soccer lesson.  Staggered lessons meant that both needed to be ready to go at the same time, after having a quick dinner.  Our first time getting ready was a bit hectic – I’ve never put shin pads on anyone, even myself, before.  But we made it, and not too late.

Ashlin hit the field first.  I was a bit worried she would be scared, nervous about doing something new.  But I needn’t have worried.  She saw one of her friends from day care and was off.  She only came over when the coaches sent them on a “hydration break.”

Teagan’s lesson didn’t start for a half  hour, but she saw a classmate walking in as we parked, so she asked if she could walk in with them.  There were two other classmates in her session, and it was so wonderful seeing them interact.

The coaches kept them busy, broke them down into smaller groups to work on skills.  They seemed to be well prepared and organized.  The girls seemed to like them and the lessons.

I do need to have a chat with the girls though.  One of Teagan’s classmate’s mom mentioned that Teagan showed her some pictures of her sisters junk on her leappad.   Oops.  They’re all gone now, but yikes!

Stu was able to get to the pitch in time to see a bit of Teagan’s session.  He ended up kicking a ball around with Ashlin, scoring goals and dribbling away.  Teagan was a bit sad at the end of her lesson and scrimmage that she couldn’t kick with Stu too.  But it was late, they were both cold and tired and I hadn’t thought to pack snacks.  I did remember coats and water!

For a first time, I think we did pretty well.  They both had a great time and learned a lot.  I know I/we’ll be better prepared next week.

Back to it!

 

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