Sunday, January 27, 2013

Workin' that Pencil Grip

I often feel that our lives (and our office) is overrun with paper.  It can become overwhelming, as things get misplaced, notifications go unread, etc.  This past week I took both Monday and Friday off of work, and got that paper monster under control!  The biggest pile to go through and determine what to discard was Ava's preschool craft projects.  She's brought home so many cute crafts over the last several months, and it breaks my heart to throw them away, but if I don't choose my favorites and discard the rest, we'd be up to our eyeballs in glitter, construction paper and paint.  For now, it's under control and the office is on its way to being neat and tidy again!

In addition to the fun crafts that Ava is bringing home, we're also beginning to see some homework.  I am very grateful that we're not dealing with the super heavy-duty homework yet...I'm beginning to have flashbacks of the hours of calculus (not sure why I'm fixated on that - after all, she is only FOUR) that I had in high school.  For now, we're working on writing the ABCs correctly, and participating in the Reading Races.  I can handle this homework. :)  But once again, it's been made clear to me that I would never be a good teacher (lacking enormous amounts of patience) - so I'm incredibly grateful for the people in our community who have signed up for that job!  My hats off to you!

And continuing the school theme...we've registered Ava for Summer Camp at Maple Tree. It sounds like they are going to have so many fun summer activities...makes me want to be a kid again!  Also, I can't remember if I posted about it earlier, but we received her Kindergarten Round-Up info for Kaposia.  I was watching some videos of Ava when she was a baby, and then I catch a glimpse of her now and am floored by how much she has changed.  It makes me happy, but also breaks my heart a bit.  She's not our little baby anymore...  On the nights that I give her a bath, we play an "Ava is a baby" game where she sits in my lap, all wrapped up in her towel, and I sing her a lullaby that I used to sing to her when she was a baby.  She thinks it's great fun, and I think, "Thank God babies aren't 40 pounds!"  :)

I've just had some time to reminisce about her baby-days, and while I'm very happy with the little girl she has turned in to, it's hard to accept that she'll never be my little baby again...

Well, that was a bit of a detour from Kindergarten Round-Up!  Now that I've got the Paper Monster under control, it should be a breeze to finish up the paperwork and get ready for this next adventure for Ava.  Guess that will be a good Sunday project!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Old Friends, New Friends

What.A.Week.  I will not complain about being busy, as I am thankful to have a job that I genuinely enjoy.  I will not complain about Ava's dramatic tendencies, as we are blessed to have such a bright little girl.  And I will not complain about the frigid cold (this is a hard one), as we could choose to move to another state if we were that miserable.

So, all I will say is...what a week.  Glad it's over and that there's a new one awaiting us!

Scott and Ava have been having fun with the toy shotgun Scott bought Ava for Christmas.  It's giving her an early glimpse into gun safety, which makes me happy.  Imagine my glee when she came out dressed like this, ready to go pretend-hunting (for rabbits, no less!)  Scott might need to introduce the concept of mossy oak/blaze orange to this little girl.

Even though we were super busy this week, we still found a few minutes to snuggle...

Yes, we still have three dogs...they just don't get featured too much.  Here are Darla and Lucky, staying far away from the snuggling that's happening on the other side of the couch.

And the old man of the group, Spanky.  He's really not doing well these days, so we're not sure how much longer he'll be around.

Scott worked most of the day yesterday, so I planned a play date for Ava and I to go sledding with one of my friends and her two kids.  Talk about weird connections to people, through different channels of life...  Lynda and I have been friends since (roughly) 1998 when I started dating her ex-boyfriend.  After a somewhat rough start, we actually became friends and enjoyed hanging out.  After Lynda bought her first house we went to visit So St Paul.  At that point, SSP felt like it was a million miles away when driving from Minneapolis.

Fast forward a few years...I start dating Scott, meet his family, and realize one day that while we're visiting his dad, that my friend Lynda lives two houses down from him! (At that point, I hadn't seen Lynda for a bit.)  We catch up a bit, and then lose touch again.

Now fast forward many more years...Ava starts at Maple Tree and they are selling cookbooks for a fundraiser.  These cookbooks are made up of recipes gathered from the families of the kids who go to MTDS.  A name catches my guessed it, Lynda.  Her son is in pre-1 at Maple Tree, and her daughter is in Kindergarten at the school right down the street from us.  I made a point of looking for Lynda at the Christmas concert, we exchanged emails, and yesterday we all went sledding together, with a hot chocolate date at a local coffee house right after. 

There is something incredibly comforting about hanging out with someone that you've known for many years.  Doubly awesome that all of the kids get along, and they've asked Ava to come over to play.  Triply awesome that they live here in SSP, so they're nice and close!

So...what a week.  At least it ended on a high note with the sledding yesterday!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Back to Reality

Last week was the first 5-day week we've had in a while, and was loooong.  We certainly weren't looking for additional things to do, as the days just flew by! Ava was very happy to be back at Maple Tree with all of her little friends, and has started bringing home pictures that the girls have drawn for each other.  It's neat that the pictures are actually beginning to look like things that we recognize - no more blobs on the paper that we have to pretend to know what they are.

One of the items that she brought home last week was a sealed envelope.  When I opened it (even though Ava was telling me no-no-no!) I discovered a picture with Scott and I on it.  I was dancing and Scott was planting a garden.  Seems nice, right?  Until Ava proceeds to tell me that it's a picture she's going to give to me when I die. Hoping she's not plotting something in her sleep...

Ava also seems to be focused on blood these days.  On our way to school on Friday, she asked if my car had a battery.  I told her yes, and let her know that if she wanted a detailed explanation of what the battery does for the car, she had the perfect resource at home for any car/truck related questions.

Her next question was..."Does your car have blood?"  At that point I thought it would be wise to explain the difference between man and machine.  Still not sure she understands, but I don't want to discourage her questions, no matter how odd I think they are.  And who knows, maybe we have a future doctor on our hands!

Ava loves her new doll that she got from Grandma Deb and Grandpa Whitey - it's extra cool that she can cut her hair.  And wouldn't you want your hair to be cut by a little girl wearing a fluffy white dress and wings??

Just trying to relax after a long day of work.  And poor Darla...she's a great pillow for Ava!

It's really chilly here today (4 degrees right now), so Scott's going to make some yummy soup to share with the grandparents tonight for dinner.  Looking forward to a somewhat relaxing day before another crazy week starts!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Welcoming 2013

Well, 2013 seems to be off to a good start...we rang in the new year with great friends, we all went back to work/school as planned (it's a sick, sick time of year!), we just had our last Christmas party last night, and we even got our nice new TV all set up so we could enjoy larger than life entertainment.  Seriously, we skyped with my parents today (using the TV), and they were life-sized.  It was GREAT!!  No more crowding around my laptop to say hello!

The three of us headed south for New Years, and we had an excellent night catching up with old friends, and getting to know new ones better.  All of the kids behaved well, neither Scott nor I fell asleep prior to midnight, and no one broke anything.  I consider that a very successful night!

Spicing up the peach wine with HUGE actually tasted good!

Darren refused to listen to Tiffany regarding making jello shots - he was convinced his way was the right way...

Let's just say Tiff's actually set up and tasted like they should.  12 hours later and Darren's were still liquid...!

Dick and Louise

Cathy and Tory


Most of the kids...

There's the missing child - Evy was hanging with us!

Love my friends!

Ava had to get in one last workout in 2012...wearing sparkles, no less.

Not even sure what story he was telling but his animated expressions made me laugh...

Annie getting us ready for the midnight toast!


Ava was much more chipper at the start of 2013 than she was as the start of 2011...

2011 grumpiness (or serious lack of sleep)

We had a very small Christmas gathering/dinner with Grandma Deb and Grandpa Whitey last night, and then we watched the Vikings lose-lose-lose to the Packers.  Sigh.  At least they made it to the playoffs this year!  

She didn't know where to start!  It really didn't matter since 95% of the presents were for her!

At this point she was tired of me taking pics of her, but I loved the ponytail that Grandma Deb put her hair in...and it's a great idea.  Her hair is always falling into her food!

So, the first week of 2013 has come and gone, and I'm hopeful that the rest of the year is as good as it has started!