Friday, August 22, 2008

Haley's Off to Kindergarten

Haley started kindergarten this past week, and was excited despite all her worries and uncertainties. It's interesting, the things they worry about; Haley was particularly anxious about eating lunch there, and how long of a day it would be (would there be time to play after school? Or would it be dinner and straight to bed?) We have all-day kindergarten here, which is the main reason we sent her to part-time preschool last year and I have to say that was a very good decision. Haley is slow to warm up to things and the shock would have been too much. The first few days have been hard, as we work to establish a routine and she begins to realize that yes, she has to go every day. Luckily she has a wonderfully sweet teacher and I've been impressed with the school overall as well. She loves everything about school - even eating lunch there - and hopefully we'll be completely settled into a routine soon.

I think maybe it's been harder on Jake than on Haley; when I came home from dropping her off the first day he said "Where's my Haley?!" And every day since then he asks if we can pick her up to go to the park or wherever we're going. He's not used to being the only child! I guess all-mom, all the time isn't all it's cracked up to be.

As for me, I'll admit that I had to hold back tears as I walked away from the school that first morning. Go ahead and make comments about the umbilical cord needing to be cut - I think all moms will agree with me that it can never really be cut - instead it feels like it can just stretch really, really far. Last weekend we drove by the UND campus and saw all the parents moving their kids into the dorms. I marveled that the moms weren't just bawling the whole time. Maybe their kids have driven them so crazy in recent years that it tempers the sadness, but it's hard to imagine letting go and having to let that cord stretch - possibly all the way across the country. For now, I'm glad she's only a few blocks away all day, in great and capable hands, surrounded by cute kids her own age (no frat boys), and that we get to enjoy her tired, cranky, but still-sweet self the rest of the time.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Road Trip '08

We had such a great time on vacation - a 3-week road trip that took us to Salt Lake City and Idaho to visit with friends and family. The kids did amazingly well in the car (hallelujah for in-car DVD players!), we saw some interesting sights along the way, and Jake is still saying "I want to go on another road trip!"

On the way to Utah we enjoyed:
-A stay in Wall, SD and a visit to the much-advertised Wall Drug Store.
-An unscheduled stop in the Nebraska corn fields to see "Car Henge" - a replica of Stone Henge made (obviously) from old cars. The kids (and Rob) got a real kick out of that one.
-Visiting Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming, just to see what they were like. I love exploring new places.

In Utah we had so much fun:
-Visiting and playing with grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins.
-Spending a day at Lagoon - and Rob and I getting to go on the "big" rides by ourselves that night while grandma and grandpa watched the kids (thank you!!!)
-Participating in the 24th of July celebrations in Salt Lake - the early-morning race, the parade, the crowds.
-The Hogle Zoo - our nearest zoo to GF consists of about 20 animals. The kids loved going to a "real" one.
-Getting to see my dad and step mom - an unexpected surprise as they had to travel to SLC for a family emergency, but I was (selfishly) happy to get to see them.
-Celebrating cousin Natalie's birthday with a Hawaiian Luau that only Rob's mom could plan and put together - so much fun!
-So much (probably too much) good food: Cafe Rio, Robintino's Pizza, Pace's Dairy Ann Bars....
-Staying for a few days with cousins Ethan and Ellie and the rest of the Reynolds/Perkes/Heiner clan, going for hikes, playing in their super-fun back yard, swimming, taking the Front Runner train from Layton to Salt Lake (the kids were in heaven).
-Catching up with ex-Grand Forkians, the Edgar Family. Sorry to everyone that we didn't get to see!!!

In Couer D'Alene we enjoyed:
-Seeing ALL of my siblings and their significant others at the same time - it was so fun to all be together!

-Exploring the beautiful area: hikes, swimming in the lake, and one crazy afternoon drive halfway up a mountain and then into downtown Couer D'Alene.
-Amazingly delicious camp meals - who knew you could could like that over a fire?
-"Grandma Time" for Haley and Jake in the motor home; they couldn't get enough.
-Stargazing under a sky such as I've never seen before. The Milky Way was bright as could be and Haley was so excited to find constellations (lucky that Grandma Ann is an expert).

It was a great trip, and although it was good to get back home, we wish we could have stayed longer!