Something that makes me happy: First grade is starting out well for Maddie!
Something I’m thinking: Well, the good news is that I’m writing this on an actual Sunday! The bad news is that I haven’t done it in a month.
Something I’m hoping: I hope to get started on Cullen’s 4.5 year letter this week. It’s going to be more challenging without regular somethings posts, but I know I’ll have plenty to say.
Something happening around the house: We did some organizing around the house, and we put all of the kids’ Legos in one place. We have a few more than we thought! The Legos kept the kids busy for quite a few hours yesterday. I hope that their new space inspires them to play and create even more with them. We had some tree guys come out and prune a bunch of our trees and take out a tree that was too close to the house. Oh, and Gabe accidentally ran into the side of the garage, and we had to have a garage guy come out to fix it. Oops.
Something I’m reading: I finished Lost Lake. I also read Eleanor & Park (for this month’s book club), Don’t Hex with Texas (book 4 in the Enchanted Inc series), Allegiant (finally! it took me a while to get into it since it had been so long since the other books), Mitosis (which is really a short story in the Reckoners series), and The One (the last book in The Selection series). I’m now reading the 5th book in the Enchanted Inc series, Much Ado About Magic. It seems like a lot of reading, but most of those were quick reads, and it has been a month since my last update!
Something Gabe is reading: He’s still reading The Way of Kings.
Something I’m watching: We’re going to see Marvel Universe Live this afternoon. Hopefully, we will all enjoy it! We haven’t really been watching much as I’ve been trying to catch up on photos and such. Gabe went to see Edge of Tomorrow while he was between jobs!
Something I’m playing: The kids have been playing a lot of board games. Cullen has been especially interested in games. He likes playing Candyland, Kids of Carcassonne, Max the Cat, Looping Louie, and Ninjago Spinners. He’s also very into the video games, but we are forcing him to take a break from those. He is getting quite good at the Mario games, both the adventure style and Mario Kart.
Something I’m creating: I started working on the WWDC photobook. I was hoping to get it done before August 1st, so I could use a free book code. I don’t think that I’ll be able to get it done before then. I have too many other things taking up my time! I’ve been spending a lot of time on Maddie’s school’s PTA website, getting it ready for the new school year.
Something tasty: We’ve made a couple of trips to Goodberry’s this summer. Yum!
Something about the grown ups: I’m participating in a 20-year study on first line relatives of MS patients (siblings, parents, or children). I’m excited (and a little nervous) that I was selected for another phase of the study involving sending them blood and flying to DC/Maryland for a full day of medical exams and MRIs. Gabe left his job and is now contracting, doing much of the same thing with a one year guaranteed contract. We’ve been busy getting paperwork, figuring out what we’re going to need to do for retirement accounts and estimated taxes, setting up health insurance through my company, etc. The logistics are a little stressful, but it is an exciting change!
Something about both kiddos: Oh good grief, when it takes a month to write, I’m not even sure where to start here. We took our first trip to Great Wolf Lodge. We went with Melissa and Jason and stayed for one night. The waterpark seemed smaller than I thought it would be, and I wasn’t sure whether it was a place we’d return to over and over. Once my expectations were adjusted, we had a really fabulous time. We are excited to return in the future (and already have a family trip planned to the Cincinnati one!). Both kids were pretty comfortable in the water. They both loved the wave pool and activity pool. Maddie wanted to do all the big slides, and I experienced some vertigo type feelings after riding them with her. Cullen enjoyed splashing in the younger kid area the most. Both kids enjoyed getting ice cream and playing MagiQuest. We weren’t sure whether we’d have much time for MagiQuest, but after seeing all the kids running around with magic wands, we decided to give it a try. It was so much fun! They loved running around pointing their wands at things. We were able to meet Nana and Papa for lunch before we headed to the waterpark since the resort is so close to their house. The following weekend, we headed to Edisto with Melissa and Jason. We joked that we spent every weekend of our summer vacation with them, since both trips were in between grades for Maddie (she only has a week off between grades). We had a fantastic time in Edisto. The kids love the beach. They were so happy to play in the sand, and they were not afraid to play in the ocean either. We had a couple of dinner/play dates with Austin and Elizabeth. I love seeing the four kids together. Maddie and Elizabeth have so much in common, and Austin and Cullen are best buddies as well. We are hoping to get together regularly so that the kids can continue to see each other. Maddie and Cullen continue to be best friends and play well together more often than not. Both kids want to start out the night in our bed, but we don’t usually let them both start there. Sometimes we let one or the other start in our bed, though.
Something Maddie is doing (6 years old): Maddie is still our little daredevil. She did every slide that she could do (there’s one that the kids aren’t tall enough for). Maddie’s last week of kindergarten was fun. They had a special activity each day that week: end of year celebration, super centers, summer fun day, board game day, and pajama/movie day. Maddie was most excited about the pajama/movie day! Gabe and I went to watch the kindergarten classes perform several songs. It was quite cute. We then went to her classroom where Maddie’s teacher had a presentation to show us with pictures from the year. We then had a picnic with her outside of the classroom. Super center day meant that they did “centers” all day (art, computers, iPad, blocks, etc). Usually, they only did centers at the end of the day. I volunteered for Summer Fun Day which was an opportunity for the kids to spend the pennies that they earned for good behaviors in the last few weeks of school. They could spend their pennies on manicures, face painting, games, tattoos, bubbles, and chalk. After this portion, they could spend the rest of their pennies on items in the class store. I was manning the bubbles and chalk area, which allowed me to get some fantastic photos of every kid in the class. Maddie’s board game day didn’t go as well as she hoped. She was bummed as she didn’t get to choose who she could play with or what she could play. Friday was her best day. She was so excited to wear jammies to school (she picked her My Little Pony jammies) and they watched Frozen and Finding Nemo. That was a great way to end the school year! She was really nervous about starting first grade, but fortunately she had only a week to worry about it (with Great Wolf Lodge and Edisto trips to distract us). Her biggest worry was meeting new friends. Since there are only two classrooms on her track, we tried to explain that half of her class would likely be the same friends she already knew. Once we started to learn that some of her favorite people would be in her class, she said she was most nervous about meeting the teacher. Our teacher seems very nice and just graduated from college. She seems to have some great, fresh ideas and enthusiasm for teaching. Maddie likes her so far! We’ve had two full weeks now, and Maddie has been getting great behavior reports. I hope that continues! We went to meet the teacher this past week. We have been impressed so far. Maddie gets a packet of homework at the beginning of the week, and she has to turn it in on Friday. She also needs to read 20 minutes a day, and she has been pretty happy to do that. She can now get 3 books from the school library at a time, and she’s excited about that. Maddie has swimming lessons and gymnastics each week. She seems to enjoy them both, but she says she doesn’t want to continue gymnastics in the fall. She has asked to do rollerblading again, so maybe we’ll do that. We keep thinking that they might move her up to the next level in swimming, but we’re still in the initial level. We’re hoping that they will move her up soon so that we can start Cullen in that level! Maddie was so happy at the beach, playing in the sand and the ocean. Maddie spent a few days at art camp, and she was excited to see one of her preschool friends there. The theme that week was Egyptian art. Sadly, Maddie has stopped sleeping at night with stuffed animals. Since she was sick and threw up in the middle of the night, she is now afraid that she will barf on her buddies. I’m sad about this, and we’ve tried to reassure her several times that it isn’t likely to happen (and we can clean her buddies if it does). It does make bedtime easier, as we don’t have to worry about where the required buddies are hiding in the house…but it’s still sad. As a result, she’s not as attached to any of her stuffed animals at the moment. Maddie is very into My Little Pony. She chose to get My Little Pony figures as most of her behavior rewards toward the end of last year. She has quite a few little ponies! She has a renewed interest in Legos lately. We had several sets that she hadn’t put together yet, and she put those together in the past week or so. Oh, and she’s inexplicably attached to Mrs. Stick, a yellow toy drumstick. We’re not sure what the deal is with that.
Something Cullen is doing (4 years old): Cullen had so much fun splashing around at Great Wolf Lodge. I’m so glad to see that he’s more comfortable with the pools. He is taking a special two week set of swimming lessons soon. After he completes that set of lessons, we are hoping to sign him up for regular lessons at the same place that Maddie has been taking them. Cullen has rotating attachments to his stuffed animals, and he sometimes sleeps with one or two. Pluto has been one that has been a constant lately. He often takes a buddy or two in the car with him. Cullen is now playing a lot of the Wii U and the DS instead of the iPad, though we are forcing him to take a bit of a break from the video games. We are surprised at how skilled he is getting, but he tends to throw fits when things aren’t going his way. That’s one of the reasons he’s taking a big break! He also has been obsessed with the video games, so we’re trying to help that as well. He is adjusting to some of his good buddies moving up to kindergarten, and he’s strengthening some of his friendships with his fellow future graduates. He has had a few issues with being a good friend, so we’re working on that with him, the teachers, and his friend’s parents. He still likes reading to us, and he reads to us almost every night. He has been practicing counting up to 120, since that is what Maddie’s doing with her homework. He’s going to be more than ready for kindergarten next year!
Something I’m doing towards my goals: I got caught up on some photos, but I’m still quite behind on that. I started on the WWDC photobook, but I haven’t even made it through the first day! (To be fair, the first day involved our long bike ride over the Golden Gate Bridge which accounts for probably half of the photos!).
Something I’m looking forward to: I guess I should write about all the things that may be happening over the next month… Maddie continues to have swimming and gymnastics. Cullen has two weeks of swimming lessons 4 days a week. The kids have book club. Both kids will have music lessons in a few weeks or so. Maddie will be starting piano, and Cullen will have an introduction to music.
Something captured: This is one of my favorites from the past month, but we had many good ones!