Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nonessential...but fun

I've been gone far too long because blogging falls into the "nonessential" category of my life. And though it is not essential to me or my family's functioning...I think it's fun. That's a good enough reason for me to make a return from my hiatus.

The end of summer sped by and it's hard to believe that we're now in the middle of fall! I'll give a brief (yeah, right) recap of what our family has been so busy doing!

At the beginning of August, we took a week-long trip to Chicago with Kevin's parents and siblings (Mike and Kalinda already live in Chicago, so we go to play with them a lot). Kathy and Lucy flew in from New York and we all stayed in a lovely hotel in Evanston. The location was great because it was just a few blocks from the beach, and the rooms were close enough and large enough that we could party with our wine and board games after the kids were sleeping. This vacation was a big milestone for our family because we haven't taken a long trip with all of the kids since Ainsley was about 6 months old. The sleep difficulties and difficulty transitioning would have just been too much to be able to enjoy a vacation. Now that everyone sleeps well and is a bit older, we though we'd try our luck, and I'm glad to report that everything was great! The kids made the 6 hour drive there and back fairly well, they napped while we were there, and we got to to do a lot of fun things without many crazy meltdowns. All in all, a very successful trip...and it was so nice to spend so much concentrated time with our out-of-town family!

The family enjoying tapas. I love tapas (and sangria...and margaritas...)

Sawyer and Lucy shared some baby blanket play time on the beach

Sawyer enjoyed pouring bucketfuls of water on himselfBeach fun with Grammi and PaddyShedd Aquarium w/ Aunt Kali

A few weeks later, Reiley started Kindergarten at Shining Rivers Waldorf School. She's going three half-days until Christmas, and will step up to five half-days after Christmas. I've been grateful for this option since she didn't do preschool. It's a nice transition to full day next year. She went to summer camp at the school, so she already had some buddies prior to the start of school. This tipped the balance of scared/excited to about 20/80, which made us all less tense about the first day.

Putting things away in her cubby

Playing with friends in "The Meadow" - their AWESOME outside playspace that has these huge tires, two huge sand areas, hay bales for playing/building, huge fallen trees stacked together as a climbing structure, wheelbarrows, shovels, buckets, ropes, bungee swings...a child's dream play area. They play outside at least two hours every morning in every kind of weather. We are well equipped with rain and snow gear for the coming months!

Saying our last goodbies on the first day. What a big girl! In the past six weeks, she's started separating more and more quickly in the morning. What started as a 15-minute drop-off has turned into a cubby drop-off and run to find friends with me calling, "Are you going to give me a kiss goodbye?!" She also has rave reviews about school. Last week she told me, "Mom...I love school more than ANYTHING!"

That got us to the start of Fall...I'll post again later with pictures of all the Fall Fun we've been having!