As the weather turns chillier (whohoo!) our activities have changed and we are enjoying my favorite season. I love the fall colors and the cooler weather!
Anna began Pre-K the first week of September, which means she goes to school three days a week, for 2 1/2 hours. Last year her class was quite small, only 10 children, but this year her class is packed to the brim with 21 kids. It’s a lot for one teacher and one assistant to handle and those first few days of class were unorganized and a little hectic. Anna was uncomfortable and unwilling to go into class the second week – so we had our first meeting as parents with the principal. They’ve made some changes to the class routine since and Anna has made a friend and is less reluctant to go to class. Her little friend, by the way, is a little boy named Kasey, who moved here this summer from Chicago and is hilariously always dressed in collared shirts, matching pants and the best part – sweater vests! So cute! Anna is already pretty good at writing most letters, but now they are really getting into all of the letters at school and she’s really enjoying herself.
While Anna goes to school I drop Henry at the nursery inside the same rec center where the preschool is and go get a workout. Henry really likes the nursery staff – and on nice days there’s play equipment outside that he loves. After that, Henry and I run errands, try to get a short walk of Cash done and then head back to pick up Anna from school.
A few weeks ago Anna became obsessed with coloring – especially with markers. We’ve since bought her a set of 50 markers, that with the amount of use that they get, we will have to replace soon. She will spend hours coloring and is doing great at staying in the lines – it’s pretty amazing. I’ve fortunately discovered several websites where I print out almost endless coloring pages and keep her happy with new things to color; our printer gets a workout almost every day! Here are a few of her Halloween colorings that I have hung on our front door:
Henry meanwhile is almost always interested in doing whatever his sister does, and thus will sit and color with her as well. He also is trying very hard to stay in the lines, so much so that he presses so hard on the paper that it develops holes where he’s concentrated his efforts. He is also speaking quite well for his age – long sentences and plenty of great pronunciation. My only worry is the day when he will gain the ability to say his leading “s” and I will lose forever his “nuggle” instead of “snuggle” or “mall” instead of “small”, and “nack” instead of “snack”. The other day I heard him say, “Can you turn on the light? I’m too mall.” And sometimes the best part of my day is when Henry says to me, “Can I nuggle you? I need nuggles.” Heck, I’m actually more worried about the day when he won’t want nuggles at all – and then I’ll have a little cry I think…
With the coming of fall come the preparations for Halloween. Both kids already have their costumes and Henry loves telling people, any adult will do, “You know what I’m going to be for Halloween? A dragon!” We have the fortunate circumstance of having been able to borrow all of Henry’s Halloween costumes from Henry’s older cousin. This year it’s the green dragon costume, last year it was the zebra costume, and Henry’s first Halloween he borrowed his cousin’s adorable pumpkin costume.
For Anna on the other hand, I’m having to kluge together a costume this year. A few months ago Mike started the kids watching old episodes of “Spiderman and His Amazing Friends” (circa 1987) off our streaming Netflix. The kids totally loved it and Anna is now fascinated with the female super hero from the show, Firestar. She was determined to be Firestar for Halloween, so I’ve managed to piece together a costume resembling Anna’s new hero:
Pictures of both in costume will of course follow after Halloween!
On the days when I can drop Henry off at the nursery while Anna goes to school, I either swim laps or I’ve been trying to run on the treadmill. As usual, I’m trying to lose weight, but I’m also attempting to improve my fitness. I started a slow progression to full-on running a few weeks ago (similar to Couch-to-5K) and lately I’m proud to say I can run for 5 minutes, walk for 1, and then head into another 5 minute interval of running (I do four intervals at this point). It’s hard – and the treadmill is easier than running outside, but it’s progress over what I could do a few months ago. I have a good workout playlist on my iPod, and it keeps me going sometimes when I would rather stop and drop…
Mike is also running – but outside and for much longer – but is also slowly progressing back up to his previous fitness level. He ran a 10k in May, but the surgery he had this summer put him out of running for a while and he’s having to work back up to where he was before. Mike’s new love is lap swimming; I signed him up for a “Learn to Lap Swim” class at one of our local rec centers in September. It’s a class about improving your swimming strokes for adults and Mike really enjoyed it all month, despite the 6:30 a.m. start (fortunately it’s only one day a week). Mike is now swimming whenever he can, improving his swimming and endurance and is looking forward to taking the class again in November.
This month it’s my turn to take the lap swimming class and I am loving it as well – and am also learning a lot. I was an okay swimmer before, and have for months been lap swimming when I have the time, but I have a few things I need to improve. Not the least of which is that due to my years of competitive synchronized swimming, I generally don’t remember to breathe out under water, but instead swim along, just holding my breath. It’s a real adjustment to learn to let some air out!
My other big thing this fall will be a trip to New York City, with a beloved friend, to visit some other beloved friends. It will be a long weekend trip at the end of this month that will take me away from Mike and the kids for most of four days and three nights. I’ve only been away from the kids overnight once; with Mike on my Christmas present stay at the Brown Palace for one night – this will be a whole new thing for me and the kids! I am really looking forward to spending time with friends, seeing The Big Apple for the first time, munching on bagels and taking in a few museums when I can!
In preparation for New York City, I have just started Mark Helprin’s ‘In Sunlight and In Shadow’. It’s a book that I heard about on NPR about a couple in New York City in the 1940’s and I thought it would be fun to read. So far the writing is beautiful and I am looking forward to really getting into the book when I have some time – perhaps on my flight to New York City!
Through friends I have found some fun blogs of late, and am hoping to be captured on one reading my new book perhaps – the Underground New York Public Library. It’s a photography blog kept by a woman who photographs people reading on the New York Subway – I love seeing other people reading and what they are reading – so fascinating!
Since we live in a swing state we are bombarded with political calls, political surveys, ads and mailings. Election season makes me tired and grumpy! I snarled at a political caller the other day, without waiting to hear which party they were calling for, “Don’t call back again!” and hung up. I have found that this blog, Margaret and Helen, supposedly kept by two elderly ladies, is just the kind of light humor I need in the face of the presidential campaign. Warning! They may be elderly, but they curse like sailors! There is a debate about whether or not the blog is actually kept by Margaret and Helen – no one seems to have any proof either way – but even if it is actually written by someone in their 30’s, it’s still pretty funny.
I hope you, my readers, have gotten a laugh out of your day, that you have a good book to read, and that you too, have someone or something to nuggle with these days! Take care!