Archive for August, 2015

P52 #32 – The Teepee In The Backyard

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 by Jen

This week, some arborists came to cut down trees around the electric wires. They cut some of our tree, and some of other peoples trees, and made a lot of big sticks. We watched them for the better part of an hour noticing how the cherry picker part went up and down, and how the wood chipper worked. Then I decided that we could ask them for some big sticks to make a tent out of and the gentleman working the wood chipper was very amenable and cleaned up 8 big sticks for us from the trees. We took them out back and made a teepee from an old sheet and they colored on the sheet with marker. It took a lot of self control on Ewan’s part not to just knock the whole thing down, he’s still really into destruction these days. We ate our snack in it.


Celia at 4.75

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 by Jen

Celia is quickly coming up on her 5th birthday, although too late this year to be considered for Kindergarten. We are lucky to have her at home longer with us! This summer she’s been enjoying having lots of free time to play outside with sand, water and her bike. She’s very confident on her bike, riding it in on quiet streets and on the bike path. She also rides on her scooter always making sure she’s keeping up with big sister. Celia likes to ride on all the toys actually, and she’ll try anything new we find at the park too. She’s very coordinated and loves to run and play.

One way she’s gotten stronger is through her gymnastics lessons. She’s made the pre-team at our gym and is on the second pre-team level, which is two levels below any actual ‘team’ that does competitions. She still even comes bouncing out of gymnastics after 1.5 hours. The more Celia practices the better she gets, she’s made it most of the way up the climbing rope, but not all the way yet.

At home Celia loves to listen to us read books, play dress up, paint, draw and build things such as train tracks or lego. She spends most of her time with Josie playing jointly until they’ve had too much of each other and I need to separate them. She loves to sing and perform for us. When Josie’s not around Celia is starting to enjoy settling into a big sister role for Ewan and being the one ‘in charge’ for their games. I love to watch them interact in their own silly way that they connect.

Academically, Celia favors math and plays with numbers in her own head. She also loves to use Khan academy on the iPad and has almost finished the algebra-teaching app Dragon Box. I use those for rewards for when she’s finished her reading lessons which we started earlier this year. She’s still having trouble with a few letter sounds (y) and recognition (d vs b) but she’s reading full sentences and many four letter words, most recently we did the -st and -nt words. She likes to point out signs and words that she recognizes in the world around her. This year Celia will be at home for her schooling and we’ll incorporate her into our homeschool activities and I’ll work to get more hands-on and interactive to suit her learning style. Wish me luck.

Celia’s struggling right now with her continued middle child spot, where she’s too big to do some things, and too little for others. It all feels very unfair to her. We’re trying to help her express her opinions and desires without the whining and screaming. Some days I think we need to get her ears checked, but then I might whisper ice cream in the other end of the house and she’ll show up uninvited, so I don’t think the physical ears are the trouble.

She’s got a bright smile and an energy all her own that I wish I could bottle and borrow a bit of! She wants to touch, and push on everything. She is not fond of being told what to do and when, so we’re working on figuring out how to work together to get our lives to move smoothly. Celia’s looking forward this fall to continuing gymnastics and starting with choir and soccer. She just finished up a week of t-ball which improved her baseball understanding quite a bit.

She’s also still very fond of seeing her friend Safi from preschool, and Claire a family friend. Celia mostly looks to present herself as a 7 year old and play with Josie’s friends whenever possible. I want to encourage my little girl to stay little just a bit longer, no need to grow up too fast. Sometimes she seems much older, and then sometimes she’s on the floor like a two year old throwing a fit. She is always highly motivated by competition and keeping up with Josie to do anything and everything. Celia also enjoys helping out in the kitchen and can crack eggs quite well and is measuring and identifying all the ingredients.

  • Size/weight: 5T, 45 lbs
  • Favorite foods: cheese, tomatoes, pasta
  • Favorite toy: dress up
  • Favorite book: Mercy Watson series
  • Favorite activity: digging and getting dirty
  • Sleeping: bedtime ~7:45; gets up about 6:30
  • New skill: reading bigger words
  • Teeth: holding steady with all 20
  • Literacy: starting our consonant blends


Celia's lovely hair

Celia's attitude
Digging in the sand

So this happened last month…

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 by Jen

One thing we didn’t need last month, but happened anyway was this.


I was parked at the grocery store loading my groceries, thankfully the kids weren’t inside yet, and a guy who perhaps shouldn’t be driving anymore, drove into my open door. It was fully open before he hit it, so it’s rather clear how far he pushed it and scraped things up and generally mucked the whole thing up. Took about a month before it really got all the way fixed. Ah well. The biggest stress was that Celia was at gymnastics at the time and I needed to pick her up before too long, so a few frantic calls to my parents later my mom was able to grab her and help us all home.


Graybills visit in July

Thursday, August 20th, 2015 by Jen

Last month we got a visit from my aunt Diane, uncle Todd and cousin Abby. The kids were super excited to see them, and Ewan associated Abby with cookies because Josie had baked her some the week before. We’d say Abby and he’d say ‘cookie!’ It was a very fun and busy trip and I opted mostly to leave the big camera at home because we did so much. We definitely wore them out that weekend. They arrived on Thursday and we ambushed them at my parents house, already waiting for them there. We let them eat and drink a bit while the kids demanded lots of attention as usual. We had a nice easy dinner on the grill before heading home for a the busy following day.

Friday morning I took the kids into the city at frog pond to wade in the water, play on the playground and wait for everyone else. Jordi took the rest of the crew on the Google tour of the building to give Abby a completely unrealistic idea of what most working environments look like. Once they enjoyed their coffees they drove downtown to meet us at the common and we went to lunch at PF Changs. After lunch we headed over to the public garden and rode on the swan boats for the first time in the kids lives. Ewan at first refused to get on the boat at all, but once it got going he enjoyed the nice leisurely pace and the sights to see around the pond. After the ride I put him in the stroller and within the first few yards of walking I think he fell asleep as we went to look at the swans and other water fowl on land.

Next we headed towards the giant public art project on the greenway via Chinatown. We stopped for some bubble tea, tried to find a public bathroom which was a nightmare, and eventually made it to the greenway. We found the cookie monstah truck and had split an ice cream sandwich and then took a nice long break sitting on the greenway chairs as the day had gotten quite warm. After our rest we found the giant string art hanging in the air, but weren’t all that impressed. I had heard better things about it at night. At this point it wasn’t too far off from dinner and we were pooped, so I took Abby and the kids and went home on the train while the rest of them took the car which took way longer. We picked up some pizza and ate at our house before crashing for the night.

Saturday we went for an early trip to the beach, we tried to go to Good Harbor but were too late and just barely made it into Long Beach. We had a nice day of frolicing in the sand, water and eating some more ice cream. Our immediately family didn’t make it out to dinner as we’re not too excited about a seafood place. But then we met up again in the morning at our house for a quick tour of our new upstairs and breakfast from quebrada. It was quick, but it was lovely to get to see them all and hopefully we can all visit again soon!


P52 #31 – Always going their own directions

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 by Jen

A cousin of ours was kind enough to host a party at a local hotel for family this past weekend. The kids had fun decimating the buffet and walking around the hotel exploring the dancing competition that was going on simultaneously. I managed to catch them all walking by each other for a brief moment as we tried to herd them out of the place.


P52 #30 – Running on the beach

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015 by Jen

ok so I’m cheating a bit, this is from the previous week, but I edited it tonight!

Josie, Ewan and Celia on the beach summer 2015

We are family – August 2015

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 by Jen

August 2015

P52 #29 – Just pretend I’m not here

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 by Jen

Every summer we’ve been going to cape cod, and for a number of those summers now I’ve taken the kids out early one morning to the beach with some breakfast in hand from a local donut shop to take some pictures (and let everyone else sleep in the quiet). We’ve been going in July lately and so to really get up early enough to be up for sunrise we’d have to be moving WAY earlier than I’d ever want to be. But we got lucky this morning at a semi-normal time of 6:30 we got up and the sky had heavy but not complete cloud cover which gave me some light but not too much and we had a hit. I’ve got tons of pictures from our trip but they’ll be doled out slowly as I manage to make it happen and edit them. For now, here’s them early on the beach in their own clothes, handily ignoring that my purpose is to take pictures of them in a lovely setting. This was a new tiny little beach but very close to the house and it worked out great.

Celia, Josie and Ewan