Monday, June 2, 2014

These Days, May

May was a month of big transitions - the winding down of weekly school year routines and a slew of celebrations to mark another year of learning and hard work. Afterschool activities slowly gave way to longer evenings outside in the yard, later bedtimes and a generally less-hectic vibe. May also brought us some big changes in our every day experience as well, as both of the girls' babysitters moved away to follow their dreams and explore new passions - Grace to an internship at the Topeka Zoo and Shanna to Denver. We cut hair, lost teeth, had some big "lasts" and some new "firsts."

May revealed a certain three year old who is challenging us with her budding independence and a certain knocking-on-seven year old who is breaking our hearts with hers. We're feeling the tug of time as we face the reality of having two school-age children come August and there's an air of "uh-oh, it's all about to change" that seems to be permeating everything right now.

So, I snap away - trying to capture as much of the life we're living as a camera roll can hold. And even a week later I find moments captured that I already forgot happened and then, for whatever reason, it all feels less fleeting.  And with that, here are some May moments with my sweet ones that capture what life is like these days.

The girls and their ever-vivid imaginations said there was a one-eyed alien looking in the window & insisted I take its picture. (It's sort of minion-esque. See its big eye?)

Bea is WAY into dress-up these days, as you're about to see in more than one instance.

On this day, they waited outside my office door until I was finished working and handed me the "Fairy Queen" outfit so I could play along. Josie put the whole thing together from clothes in my closet.

Warming weather has meant a string of "West Coast Wednesday" mornings with Bea on all sorts of adventures. This month we hit the zoo, the aquarium, the museum center and the zoo again.

Spring is super interesting situated in the little forest around our home. This enormous moth (size of my hand) hatched then dried his wings hanging on the front of our house. 

We celebrated birthdays with friends who aren't new friends anymore.

The lease *finally* ran up on the giant gas-guzzling 4Runner that Toyota upsold a freaking out ready-to-pop pregnant with Bea version of me, and we significantly downsized to the Suburu Cross-trek that much better aligns with the size of our gas budget and the size of our garage! I LOVE IT! So much.

Zoo pics from early Wednesday morning Bea trips.

She put mascara on for this particular visit. Because it wouldn't come off & because I stopped caring about such things long ago, she rocked the raccoon look the whole day.

The families that Grace babysits all secretly planned a "Sister Rising" ceremony for her to send her on her way with the love and support from all of us as she graduated Xavier and moved on to the next leg of her journey. Grace has been a part of our family since Josie started at the Lab School as a three year old, where Grace worked in aftercare. When I was on bedrest with Bea, Grace and Josie grew very close and it was so fun having her here with the girls one day a week all year. Good luck Grace! (Rumor has it that she fell in love with a hippo named Tank in Topeka.)

Josie lost the first big top tooth! It seriously got wiggly around Thanksgiving and finally fell out, changing her whole smile. She's as adorable as ever!

I had the privilege of being the parent chaperone for the kids trip to Frieda's Bakery in Madeira. (Peanut allergies have their perks.) The kids had SO much fun working behind the scenes of a real bakery, making and decorating their own cookies and trying to set a world record for a whole-class version of "pat-a-cake."

There were quite a few "lasts" this month and a whole lot of them involved letting go of big pieces of little Beatrice. In this case, we were headed out to our last "Petite Pas De Deux" Mother/Daughter ballet class of the year. Next year she'll join the ranks of the CD1 kids whose mamas wait patiently in the hallway. Where did my Baby Bea go?

Speaking of fleeting Bea moments, we spent one of our final Wednesday mornings together at the Museum Center. She was really proud of this linking bead necklace she made so wanted me to photograph it, then promptly insisted that she make me one so she could take my photo in it.

So much big personality in such a small package!

This month our Shanna moved to Denver. For the last six months, she spent over 30 hours a week keeping the kids happy while Lou and I worked. This was NO small feat this winter when keeping Bea occupied during one snowed-in day after another meant an enormous amount of patience. We're excited to hear all about what's next for Shanna, although we're willing to bet it doesn't include anything related to Frozen, Pinkie Pie, or YouTube. ;)

Fun with Shanna often involved pets. Here's a great pic that cracks me up of the girls. I love text messages from the babysitters.

In other big news this month, Josie had her very first sleep-away sleepover that was literally years in the making. A few weeks ago, her longtime bestie stayed the night with us and this time it was Josie's turn to stay with her. While I was out with Bea trying to convince her she was so lucky to have special weekend mommy and daddy time and that she definitely wasn't missing anything fun at all (that was all in sarcasm font if you didn't catch that), I received awesome little texted photo updates from the hosting mama.

Bea insisted on sleeping with her "sister doll" because she missed Josie so much at bedtime.

I am sure Josie missed Bea, too but clearly she had an awesome time!

Reunited, these sweet sisters spent much of the month of May in the yard. And "weeds" in the lawn make the most wonderful flower crowns!

Another zoo-y Wednesday morning...

Baby Nasha with new giraffe

Wow I am seriously just now realizing that Bea apparently spent the entire month of May in dress-up clothes! 

And another Wednesday morning that started with breakfast followed by a trip the Aquarium. (You see why I'm going to miss these mornings?!)

Grace's last day with us meant big hugs!

Meet Chelsea. She's the girls' summer bestie and it has (thank all things holy) been a very smooth transition.

Here are some pics that Chelsea has sent from her daytime adventures with Bea. Nannies take note: parents love these daily updates. :)

Chelsea also has cool sunglasses.

The annual school year closing Multicultural Potluck was so much fun this year. We are so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful school community!  Poor Bea spent half the afternoon crying because Josie was moving too quickly for her, but sweet Josie took breaks from her school friends to give me some attention. These two!

I had "a moment" in May. A moment brought on by the constant car backdrop of Kids Place Live satellite radio. Those who know me know that I have quite a phishy past and I so clearly remember, about 20 years ago, listening to this song and fast forwarding to the day when I'd be sitting in my car singing this song with my kids. And it happened. And I let out an actual audible "WHOA" when it did. And Bea was confused, but we sang anyway.

One of the biggest changes this month was a pair of summer chops! Well over a foot between the two of them. Josie had nine inches to donate to Locks of Love.

And Bea's new 'do is divine! (She couldn't stop looking at herself and smiling.)

The BIG NEWS in May was the zipline. It seemed like the perfect way to kick off the official start of summer during Memorial Day weekend!

There's a bit of a backstory here. The girls cracked open their piggy banks after six years of collections and had about $150 combined. We told them they could use it to buy whatever they wanted. They really really wanted to use it to buy a dog, but sadly that was just outside of their budget. Because a zipline has always been a close second on their collective wishlist, it was super easy to say yes and have that badboy shipped just in time for a holiday weekend install!

90 feet of pure backyard adrenaline in the making!

Lou worked and worked on installation. My job was to keep the girls out of the path of the zipline install, which I still maintain was WAY more work than installing the dang thing. Although I did get a picnic out of the deal. (Sneak peek of our fairy ring that is really starting to grow!)

By the time Grandma & DD arrived, everything was in place and just needed the final tools from DD to tighten it all up and get it just right. The girls tried SO hard to be patient. And Bea spent another day in costume.

Grandma's arrival on the scene definitely helped matters! And I got to finally tackle cleaning the uber-dirty screened in porch. Cannot wait for the first evening under the twinkly lights out there one of these days soon!

The zipline was FINALLY ready and it TOTALLY rocks!

We had our first backyard bonfire of the season, and it automagically felt like summer!

On Monday morning we hit up the iconic "Sugar and Spice" for a super perfect breakfast (and ducks, lots and lots of ducks.)

And of course spent lots more time on the zipline. The girls were really excited to take two of their favorite friends on a ride!

Guess what else? THE POOOOOL OPENED! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY! There's a whole lotta blue sky and blue water in our future.

All the ziplining and pool splashing has meant a lot more of this scene lately. 

And bedtime is looking more and more like two little girls reading themselves to sleep, although we are not totally there yet (THANK GOD).

Luckily mornings are still looking a whole lot like this, happy girls ready to start another fun day! 

1 comment:

Catherine said...

What an epic May! Great captures, Carri. Your yard is perfect for a zipline! Congrats on the new car - hilariously, Brandon just traded his Subaru in for a 4Runner! You've inspired me to work on my blog again, I've been so slack. xoxo looking forward to seeing your summer adventures.