and first grade was done

S came off the bus the last day of school and gave me a silly look that said “you had better not spray me with that silly string!” A few of us moms had cans ready to spray the kids when they got off the bus. I had warned them my daughter, who doesn’t do well with surprises, may not like it, so we knew to skip her.

But then she ran right past me and into the house. I chatted with a couple of the other kids, gave some last day of school hugs, and then followed her in. I found her sobbing in her room.

“I’m sorry you’re sad honey. Are you sad because you’re going to miss all your class friends? I know it won’t be the same but we can set up playdates!”

She told me, “a little, but I’m really going to miss my teacher and I really love Ms. W.”

And I got it. I cried after school every year until about 6th grade. I had all the feels she did. Big feelings.  I told her about the time I kissed the wall of my school because I was going to miss it so much. So I let her cry, let her talk about Ms. W, and then we talked about all the fun stuff we would do this summer.

Before long she was excited to empty out her backpack and show me all the notebooks and binders she brought home.

And just like that first grade is done.  I feel like it was just a few months ago that she was born. But here she is, turning seven in August.  Time to make that summer bucket list.

Summer art

We brought back and old favorite…but because my daughter is a bit older than when we first did it, she really enjoyed it more! This can be done indoors or out.

You need:

Salt (from a canister, you’ll need more than a few shakes from a shaker)

Liquid watercolors (I buy these from amazon)

Glue (pourable, not a glue stick)

Droppers for the liquid watercolors

Big sheet of paper

First let your child doodle the glue all over the page…then sprinkle the salt on it before it dries. Shake off any excess salt that isn’t stuck onto the glue. Then use the droppers and small amounts of watercolors and drop small amounts and watch it spread! Tons of fun, especially with different colors.


dad I’ve been watching you

C is now 3…and he’s at the age where he wants to do EVERYTHING that daddy does. I underestimated just how much sons want to be like the men in their life!

I mean he wants to eat what daddy is eating…if daddy wears a coat, he wears one…if not, nope. He tries to walk the same way. And most recently, he walked around our patio and used daddy’s leaf blower to “help.”

I’ve learned that letting toddlers help….even if they are making more of a mess than actually helping, is important. They feel productive, they feel like they are contributing. So this day, my little guy helped and cleaned up the back just like daddy. And of course the toy yard tools weren’t good enough – he needed the real thing. 🙂

It was a good reminder to me to be conscious of what we emulate in front of the kids as they are always watching and listening!

roots and stems – a great kids experiment

We recently did a fun learning project with the kids that they both loved. The school unit was roots and stems, so we found something that helped continue the learning at home!

What you’ll need:

-heads of romaine lettuce

-food coloring (not the gel kind, that type won’t work; get the old fashioned kind!)

-a tall glass


Prepare the water by adding a few drops of food coloring until it’s pretty dark and stir. Then cut a leaf off (make a fresh cut) and put in cut side down. Wait 24 hours to see the max it will “drink” up!

Some colors work better than others as you can see here, so have fun experimenting!

He’s 3, just like that

My little one is 3.

It seems a bit hard to believe…I feel like just yesterday I was rocking you to sleep multiple times a night. Watching your every tiny milestone as the days flew by. Now, you’re turning into such a little boy, full of personality.

You’ve traded in snuggly lovies and pacifiers for fire trucks and legos.

Little ride on toys for motorized vehicles you drive around on our sidewalks.

Finger paints for colored pencils; veggie pouches for salads with grilled chicken (really).

My little sunshine is growing faster than I can believe, and I’m so excited to see the little boy personality flourish before my eyes.

(Just don’t grow too fast.)


Yesterday we took our annual family trip to the cider mill (in reality, we’ll probably go once or twice more). It was a picture perfect day. Slight fall feel in the air (but still very comfortable). Mix of clouds and sun, and we got there at a decent time to enjoy two full hours before lunch.

I took my “nice” camera vs. just snapping photos with my phone (a hobby of mine, I could spend hours with my camera).  The kids wanted to ride the train, so we got in line and hopped on. C decided at the last minute that he didn’t want to go; so hubby and C stayed back to watch S and I take a loop around the mill.

I was snapping away at S looking out the window…waving to people…getting excited about the train. She pointed out all the stuff she saw…”mama those pigs are stinky!” She’s 6, so it’s amazing how much they notice at that age.

The ride lasted maybe 3-4 minutes. Then it stopped. And although I had some cute pictures, including her getting SO excited about the tunnel it went through, I realized that I didn’t see ONE thing.

Not one. I was so busy taking pictures of her that I completely missed the train ride. And the scenery. And all the stuff she pointed out.

You see those articles about putting your phone down when playing with your kids to give them your full attention. I feel like this probably wasn’t much different.  Although I was doing what I thought would be nice for her (and me) to have later, my balance was obviously off.  I mean I did not look out the window ONE time.

Mental note – next time, I’ll need to put the camera down and see things through HER eyes instead of the camera lens. I see people at concerts missing the whole experience because they’ve got their phones up and are recording videos or taking pictures…and not getting immersed in the show. I sort of did the same thing.

Next time.

saturday morning

i love you because

…all is quiet

…i don’t know yet what the day will bring

…it means two nice long days of just us time is ahead

…i can sit with my cup of coffee before the craziness of the day begins

…there is no rushing, no place to scamper off to

…we can just do what our heart desires, all four of us