Friday, August 29, 2014

Our Minnesota Adventure!

This year on our annual trek to Minnesota we did the unthinkable:  We drove, the whole way.  Just over 1,600 miles in 3 days each way!  It was long, and not particularly easy, but it was definitely an adventure!  The kids did surprisingly well with the long trip - I think staying in hotels with pools really did the trick, since they had something to look forward to at the end of each day.  We also got to see/meet a lot of friends, which was good for my well-being too!

While in Minnesota we had a wonderful time, visiting family and friends, and best yet, celebrating my sister Lisa's wedding!  It was a lovely reason to make what was probably our most memorable trip out there to date!

Happy wedding, Lisa and Ami!  We love you both and wish you a lifetime of happiness together!

I made a photo book documenting our journey that I think turned out pretty well!  I hope the link works:

Click here to view this photo book larger
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Exit Kindergartener, Enter First Grader!

So I just realized that I never blogged about Dashiell's last day of kindergarten, and yet just this week he started first grade!  Two (short) months of an activity-filled summer happened in between those events, but for now I'm just going to focus on the school stuff!
Last day of kindergarten!

The end of kindergarten was bittersweet.  Dashiell had a great year, and his teacher was amazing and really seemed to get him.  I was sad to say goodbye to her, and so was Dashiell.  But at the same time - summer!  And the excitement of being a First Grader!  That's the big leagues, baby!  But...D knows that first grade means more homework and less social centers (play time), so he was a little sad and anxious about that as well.

The fact that he was given summer reading and math assignments did not help to make him feel less sad about leaving kindergarten.  It was a big ol' reminder that school was just going to be harder and more taxing from here on out.  And getting him to do the work was like pulling teeth!  None of it was difficult, and in fact some of the math "assignments" were fun - playing card games, for instance, or visiting museums.  But being dictated to do any work over the summer seems cruel and annoying, and not just for him!  Who is the one who has to be the bad guy and make him do the work?  Me.  So it put a damper on my summer as well!  Not that anyone is asking my opinion, but I am so anti-summer homework.  Let kids be kids and have their freedom for a couple of months!  Let them explore the world and make their own discoveries without the "help" of the school system.  Summer is short enough as it is! 

Rant over (until next summer, I'm sure).

School has been in session for a few days now, and Dashiell seems to be adjusting well.  He has definitely been a little anxious (we're currently going through a bit of a sleep crisis), and there have been a couple of sad days at drop-off, but his teacher has told me that he's been great during the day.
Morning of the first day of school!  
Aurelia of course had to get into the picture, too.

Laughing because I told them to say "Toilet!" instead of cheese.
Whatever it takes to get a real smile, amiright?

As for his new teacher (Mrs. S.), she is completely different than his kindergarten teacher.  Much higher energy, and as Dashiell told me "she's a little weird".  I like weird, so I'm good with that!  She seems like a very fun teacher, and will hopefully help Dashiell let loose a little bit!  Not that I want him to clown around all day, but occasionally he could afford to be less serious at school, less lost-in-his-own-head.  Mrs. S. seems like the type of teacher that helps bring you back to the present by not only teaching but entertaining. Let's hope my assessment is right and Dashiell has a great, amazing, incredibly fun year!