Wednesday, August 31, 2016

almost a kindergartner...

Sebastian started school on Monday, but the kindergarten classes don't start until Thursday so I've had a few extra days this week with just Liesl. We went to the Children's Museum yesterday and ran around finding animal prints for a scavenger hunt, and then mostly played outside.
We got to meet her new teacher, Mrs. LaTocha, on Wednesday for a brief introduction and assessment. Liesl thought she was very nice and was happy to see her classroom before the first day. She is feeling nervous and anxious, poor baby - she's been extra emotional and easily upset, a little clingy and baby-ish, and has been super tired. She slept until 8 yesterday and 7:15 today - late wake-up times nearly unheard of in this household.

I know she's going to be fine - great even - and will make lots of friends and love going to school. We just need to get over these nervous jitters. In the meantime, we have read lots of books and snuggled together, and enjoyed being just us.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

end of summer

We have had a sweet last weekend of summer break - Sebastian's first soccer games of the season, two happy kids playing sweetly together, a family library visit, a 5-mile hike in the Gorge, and ice cream at Salt and Straw.  (In some respects, sadly, our summer ended with a whimper - widespread grouchiness, extensive to-do lists, a return of the lice, hot weather and a broken AC, poor Seb super sad to be at camp by himself....)
This was a complicated secret spy fort that they constructed in the garage.

A capture-the-flag setup, drawn in chalk on the street.
Sebastian is playing on the Forest Heights Eagles recreational team again this fall, with many of his school friends, and he's delighted. This year, they're finally playing with proper-sized goals, 7 players, a goalie, and a larger field, and it's great to see the boys out there expanding their play. They played two half-games on Saturday morning, won one and lost one, Seb played defense during one game and offense during the other. He was a little rusty in the beginning - kept immediately kicking the ball into empty space rather than passing or dribbling - but by the second game he'd calmed down and remembered his skills.
Today we woke up and hustled out the door - got bagels and coffee from Spielman's Bagels and headed out to the Columbia River Gorge to hike Angel's Rest. It's a 5-mile hike up to a gorgeous lookout, and the day was perfect. We started about 8:30 am and made our way mostly uphill, over some steep sections and rockslides, to the lookout.
 Ack! Disappearing Seb!
 Sebastian pretending to be scared of the hike -
 A Sebastian selfie.
 Can't decide which family photo I prefer... so I will post both for now!
We drove back into Portland for lunch at Bollywood Theater and a brownie-chocolate ice cream-hot fudge sundae at Salt & Straw. Yum!!
We stopped by the library to restock everyone's piles and then came home to nap - read - ride bikes outside - run through the sprinklers - enjoy the sunshine and the end of summer.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Liesl's first sleepover

Liesl was invited to her first ever sleepover, at friend Nina's apartment, and accepted with much joy. She was soooooo excited. And happy. And excited. Were there any nerves or reluctance? No - only from me, feeling anxiety and a touch of sadness at my girl growing up so quickly. She hopped out of bed Wednesday morning at 7, quickly got dressed, packed extra clothes, swimsuit, pajamas, toothbrush, hairbrush, Baby Foofoo, pillow, and was totally ready to head over at 7:30 am. And then she had to WAIT ALL DAY LONG in an agony of excitement and suspense.

She came to my office for the day so that I didn't have to make multiple car trips, which was probably a mistake on my part. The agony! She drew a picture of a mountain and a mama climbing it. I asked if it was me, and she said no - I was the tiny baby already halfway up the mountain, and Popo was the mama chasing after me. HA!!
We went out to lunch together - bento boxes at Chef Naoko. She loved the sweet egg roll and the adzuki beans and the tofu.
And then finally, at 3 pm, I took her to Nina's for the longed for moment of dropoff and sleepover! She was so excited and insisted on carrying all of her own stuff.
Nina's mom Yiping very sweetly sent me photos of their adventures throughout the evening and next day. They made jiaozi - went swimming - and played played played.
A picture of Liesl calling us to say goodnight.
On Thursday, after too few hours of sleep, the girls went to a playground with a splash pad, to Nina's swim lessons, and to the library. Liesl returned home to us that afternoon - a little overtired and overwhelmed, ready to be hugged and coddled. We'll see if there's a repeat sleepover very soon - it might have been a little too much for everyone involved - but it is sweet to see their friendship continuing.