Monday, January 28, 2008

Where We've Been

The last couple weeks have been a little bumpy here, trying to settle back into the school/homework/soccer practice/preschool routine after what felt like a month long vacation from all of it.

(I'm only partially kidding: Finn's school let out for 25 days in a row for the holiday break. "That's like a college vacation," a friend said, shocked. But without the ski trip to Lake Tahoe and sleeping in 'til noon parts.)

The most deliciously vacationy of it all, however, was the last week of the break, when we hosted Finn's best buddy from California, Logan, and his sweet mom, Gina.

You may remember Logan and Gina from past posts on this blog (which I cannot connect to through blogger at this time. Anyone else having this problem for the last, like, forever? Anyone?). Logan's had top billing on the Marquee of Finney's Heart for years and years, so naturally the boys were excited to see one another again after an excruciating six-month separation.

We tracked their flight on our computer as it made its way across the Pacific Ocean from LAX, an activity which made Finney nearly bubble over with anticipation in the hours leading up to their arrival.

made this special poster to greet them, which hung above our breakfast table during their entire stay.

Thankfully, the weather was cooperative so we spent lots of time at the beach, went hiking, and had lots of downtime, sprinkler hopping and Otter Pops at the house. Oh, and there was much juvenile nakedness. Especially from Shea, 'cuz that's just how she rolls these days.

Here's the rest of the highlights, in photos.

As the pictures can underscore, we had a fantastic time and were so grateful our friends made the long journey to come see us in our new home. We wanted to rip up their return tickets to see if maybe they'd just decide to stay forever, but no go. This time.

We're getting a new batch of visitors this week (and still more the week after that), so I hope to have lots of new photos up soon.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Another First

Shea started part-time preschool last week.

Despite the fact that she had been excitedly talking about going to big-girl school for months, that she had a brand-new backpack and lunchbox ready for the occasion, that she had her own cubbyhole with her name on it (with stickers, even!), and that I had stayed for nearly three hours of orientation on our previous visit to help her learn the ropes, she had a pretty little princess MELTDOWN when it was time for me to leave her on her own.

Here she is just moments before my departure, composed and eager for the day ahead. Or so it seemed.

The last thing I saw when I left Shea's classroom was her fitful body squirming on the ground in protest of my unfeeling abandonment, as her patient teacher tried to redirect her attention elsewhere.

Her screams, however, could be heard all the way into the corridor -- and even out in the parking lot.

All morning I kept my cellphone in my pocket, expecting the inevitable call to come collect her and rid them of her dramatic shenanigans. But the call, surprisingly, never came.

At the regularly scheduled pick-up time, I tentatively approached the classroom, half expecting to see Shea huddled in a corner, pouting or sticking her tongue out at her classmates. What I saw, however, was my nearly three-year-old daughter depositing her lunch trash in the rubbish bin by herself on her way to the bathroom to wash her own hands. She even had a smile on her face.

"Fifteen seconds," was the definitive pronouncement the teacher made when I entered the classroom. "Fifteen seconds after you left, I asked her if she wanted to go play with her friends outside and she said, 'O.K.'"

And so, with a sigh of relief and further appreciation of the refined art of distraction, begins another child's scholastic journey.

All's well that begins well, I say.