This was mistakenly put on the TBB blog. Ebba let me know about it today... :)
The summer is almost over, but we are still fitting in adventure after adventure crossing things off our list (only biking in golden gate park, seeing an A's game and camping are left). Yesterday we took the ferry to SF, walked to Pier 39, did the aquarium, saw the sea lions and rode home. It was a long day, but the weather (even though we thought it was going to be cold) was beautiful. Jenna and her kids Taran and Kaya came with us and everyone had a great time until close to the end of the day when Taran got annoyed that Elizabeth took her merry go round horse, Miranda melted dow, and Parker got tired. I guess having them walk from from the ferry building to fisherman's wharf was a bit much.
At the ferry building.
Walking to Pier 39
Elizabeth can't pass a pole and not climb it.
The others followed suit.
The kids played on these ship tie down things for a long time.
Taran and Miranda while they were still happy.
In front of fish.
Looking at fish.
Pointing at fish.
Pointing at sting ray.
Touching sting rays.
Heading home. Alcatraz in the background.
Then today, we took the kids to fly kites at the Berkeley Marina. We have yet to have a successful kite flying day, but today was magnificent. All three kids got their kites up and got them up high. Parker started crying at one point saying that he was scared Elizabeth's kite was going to fly away it was so high and take her with it. He was legitimately concerned about this possibility. And yeah, I painted their faces again
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
This was mistakenly put on the TBB blog. Ebba let me know about it today... :)
Parker asked to practice piano this morning as we were going to have friends over this afternoon, which I thought was quite impressive that he thought about it that way.
He played his scales and chords and then played a two handed easy mozart piece. I don't know the name, but I knew the tune, so when he wasn't holding one long enough making it sound strange, I went over to show him that he had to hold that note longer. I guess, after three lessons, he knows which notes are which, but doesn't know all the other stuff yet.
In other Parker news, the breathstroke really clicked with him yesterday. He just got it and was flying across the pool. He's still a spaz with his goggles, not doing what teacher says, etc, but boy can that boy swim.
The girls are both off to playdates today after school, only one week after school started. They are going to different houses, which I think is best for now. There are a bunch of us moms that have kids in both grades so we decided to divide and conquer, so I'll be picking up the 1st graders today.
Back to school night was last night and it was quite a thing. Made me feel terrible we didn't get Parker into the Piedmont schools sooner. The thoughtfulness, skills and kindness of the kindergarten teachers is unbelieveable. We had to write down our hopes for kindergarten. I asked Michael what we should write and he said, Have fun, make friends." I said, "Add 'learn to read and write' to that and I'll be happy."
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I spoke briefly with Parker's teacher today before his reading assessment which would determine which reading group he went in. She told me about the plan for him (to get into a routine and then figure out what he needs and then discuss with us). Then she said that he was wonderful and was making connections that she hadn't seen made in all the years she worked there. Like, for example, when they read 10 black dots he exclaimed, "There are 55 dots in the whole book!"
I told him he knew that since he figured it out when he was 3 years old.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
We scootered to school today. Eli and Parker did just great. Miranda had three episodes of whining today which is totally annoying, but she got over it. Hopefully we'll be able to do that more.
Walking home with three scooters and three helmets wasn't ideal though so I'll have to look into some sort of bag for all of them for me.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
In the letter home from Parker's teacher it says,
"Your child needs to be ready to run and jump each day! Sneakers should be worn on all PE days which are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. In addition to PE, the students will have library, art, computer and vocal music weekly."
I wonder what they will do in computer class.
"Classroom birthdays. At Wildwood we strive to promote healthy food choices. For your child's birthday, we have a simple celebration. You have the option of brining a healthy edible treat or an inedible identical items for each child in the class. Please no goodie bags, cupcakes, donuts."
Yay! No more sugar every other moment. He gets enough at home.
Oh and when I emailed the teacher about Parker and our philosophy (denial) about his mathematical abilities she replied,
"Thank you for the check in regarding his mathematical understanding. Carol [Principal who I know from preschool since she had kids there] and I have already started a conversation in regards to how we will best support his development. Nancy Litton, our wonderful math resource teacher is planning to assess him in the coming weeks. From there, I will be sure to communicate with you and your husband as we work together to come up with an educational plan for the coming year."
The girls have two teachers and an aide in their class of 20 students. We had one barely functioning teacher last year in Oakland for a room of 24 students.
Back story: A month or so ago, Parker built another chaos tower. It's this motor-ized marble run that is for high school age kids. Michael used to help him build it since it is quite complicated, but now he can just do it himself. It has trampolines, jumps, and other such nonsense and when it works, it's quite a sight.
He hasn't played with it for a while so I told him we were going to break it down and put it away until the next time he wanted to build another one. I started taking it apart asking Parker for help to figure out how all the pieces connected. This was the first time I had really touched it or done anything with it as it is a Dad and Parker activity. After a few minutes, I said to Parker "Wow. This is really complicated to take apart. How in the world did you build this all by yourself? How did you know where to put things?"
His response: "Well...you know how you are taking it apart right now? I just did the same thing but did it going forward."
Miranda comes down before dinner tonight and says, "Mama, since I'm a big kindergartener now I'm not going to eat my own boogers."
Elizabeth announced she made a new friend at school today, but when questioned about it more, she said, "I don't know her name. But she is my friend."
Which reminds me of a story from the camping trip this weekend. At one point I saw Elizabeth walk to the bathroom with one of the 9 year old girls. She didn't come out so after a few minutes, I walked in there and said, "Elizabeth are you ok?" She shouted back from the shower, "Yes, I'm ok." I said, "What are you doing?" She said, "Taking a shower." I said, "By yourself?" She said, "No, I'm with someone." I reply, "Who are you with?" She says, "I don't know." I said, "What? You don't know who you are showering with?" Elizabeth says, "I know her, but I don't know her name!" I say, "Well...ask her!!!!! You shouldn't be showering with someone whose name you don't know." She says, "I can't! She isn't here right now!" Then the bathroom stall opens and out walks Isabelle who says, "It's me, Isabelle." Someone else in the bathroom says, "You shouldn't shower with someone you don't know...words to live by."
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Everyone started school today and it seemed to go pretty well. Miranda reported that "she had tears at PE" but otherwise had fun. There is another set of girl twins in our class and they are the daughters of twin mom friend I met when girls were 4 weeks old. She is a documentary fil maker who swears a lot so we get along great.
Elizabeth and Parker were tired after school but that was probably left over from Calistoga trip more than first day of school stuff. With the exception of everyone (and I mean everyone) at the school being white, it's pretty much the perfect school experience. I didn't get any pictures of Parker since he was with Michael while I stayed with girls. We weren't even allowed in his classroom.
Lining up to go in. Friend Owen from preschool is in between them.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Took the kids to calistoga yesterday. I'd been wanting to go back to the kid friendly spa and yesterday was the day. We hung at the four pools, played at the local playground, had a good dinner, and generally had a lovely time. Calistoga is pretty close, but it feels far away.
At Taylors Refresher, a delicious roadside burger joint on the way to Calistoga.
It's so nice not to have the worry about the kids in water anymore. Miranda was doing laps in the hot pool using a modified breast stroke. It was damn impressive. Elizabeth would swim under water across the pool. As usual, people were impressed.
At this playground, Elizabeth couldn't reach much of the fun stuff, so she would scale the poles to get them. People at the park couldn't stop staring.
The kids were pretty well behaved on the trip. They actually played together a lot. At the playground, in the hotel room, in the pool, on the walk. A little loud, but good.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Just got back from the twins club camping weekend that I planned and organized. We had about 25 twin families there most with two kids, but some like me with three and one with four. We did it at the KOA in Petaluma in the big group camping sites.
We (me and the kids) arrived early on Friday morning and got the lay of the land and set up our site so that when others arrived, I would be ready to help them and navigate any problems. Luckily with the exception of two high maintenance moms, it was smooth sailing. Even the communal dinner (I brought all the meat, condiments, etc and each family brought a side to share) went off well. With almost nothing left over, I considered the meal a success.
The girls mostly played with these 9 year old twins who were right across from us. And Parker played with these twin 6 year olds who seemed to adore him. A little too much at times.
The kids went swimming, rode bikes, climbed in trees, visited the petting zoo, played a few video games, and generally had a good time. As anticipated they got to bed a little late but without much fuss so it was all fine. The rooster at the petting zoo couldn't tell time, so when he crowed at 3am, Elizabeth said, "I heard a rooster, is it time to get up?"
We did smores both nights, Miranda watched a movie (charlottes web) with the big kids the second night while Elizabeth sang songs around the fire with 5 adults. Parker spent a good deal of time on the bounce pillow, which is like a bouncy house, but without walls.
It was my first solo camping trip (with a tent and all that) and I think I did pretty good. Other families had two or even in two cases three adults to help with their two children, but I had one adult to deal with three children and 24 other families. Someone said, "I don't know how you do it." I said, smiling politely "We all have our strengths."
Early morning hot tubbing.
These people came prepared. They had high chairs. pac n plays, shade tents and much more for their babies.
Setting up the buffet dinner.
Movie night with two sets of twins.