Prepping for Summer of 2012

Summer is rapidly approaching! And it comes year after year, so why do I always feel like summer catches me with my pants down? This year I refuse to be caught without plans. Of course I’ll be face painting, and I’ve decided to organize the summer by weekly science topics, starting with etymology. I didn’t choose our first topic randomly, it just happens we have a pretty cool bug collection we’ve put together over the years, and its nice to start with something that’s already somewhat prepared for!

My daughter will be entering second grade in the fall, and my middle child kindergarten. I ought to be able to provide science based material for each topic that they can each benefit from, like bug themed coloring pages and mazes they will both enjoy. We will make a paper mache exoskeleton and make small mosaics with bits of broken mirror to represent bug eyes and how they see. My daughter can work on spelling the more advanced words while my son learns to write his name on his coloring pages and worksheets. We’ll buy some big nets and hunt bugs and observe their details from how they move to what color they are to where we found them. They can each keep a journal and draw pictures of the bugs we see and my daughter can write her observations next to the pictures!

So we start with etymology. Then we’ll follow with botany, I think. Botany is a good one for kids, especially in Austin. Austin’s Botanical Gardens are amazing! Austin is also home to some amazing nurseries. Its About Thyme, The Great Outdoors, and The Natural Gardner are awesome places to visit.

Cells are pretty cool, the study of cells is called cytology, and I found a neat microscope at a garage sale with a 5″x5″ screen that shows the organism in a nice big picture vs. having to squint into¬† little microscope eye pieces.

Then there’s always the animal kingdoms! I’m working with local traveling petting zoo Tiny Tails To You and we’re welcome to visit the animals any time! There are tortoises and turtles, bearded dragons and gecko’s. Chicks, ducklings, rabbits big and small, hedgehogs and guinea pigs… I feel like I’m forgetting something. Well anyway, Tiny Tails does a free monthly petting zoo during story time at Book People each month, and would be an option for other parents wanting to give their kids a chance to see the different animals!

Aside from science themes we’ll of course have swimming lessons, lazy afternoons in the backyard, ice cream making, and decorating the kids’ room! Summer of 2012, I am ready for you!

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Kindergarten!

We made a conscious decision to not make a big deal out of the approaching First Day of School, yet even so, last night when I asked Hazel if she was nervous at all I was still surprised at her answer. “Nervous about what, mom?” Well SCHOOL for one! I laughed and said never mind and tucked her in. This morning, however, she popped out of bed shining and happy and excited – Today I Go To School! was her morning greeting to me.

So, y’know those moments in the movies where the moms are kissing their kids at school and the kids are like, “get off me, mom!” Well, in case you were wondering, kids really DO shove you off when you get to kissy at school in the morning! Hazel, my oldest and dearest, started her first day of kindergarten this morning. I was so excited for her while we waited in the gym for them to call for lineup. Then they actually DID call for lineup and it hit me, my baby was about to be taken from me, from my control, and I wasn’t going to be allowed to participate in her day any more. I realized she was walking off without her lunchbox and called her name. When she came back for it I scooped her up in a big hug, kissing her sweet little face and told her I loved her so much! She said, “OK MOM, GOOD BYE!” and squirmed out of my grasp to run to her spot in line behind her BFF Avery. (Luckily she had three friends she’d known for two years or so going to kindergarten in the same school. It might have been different had she not known anyone.)

Poor little Walter, he wanted to go so badly! I had to call him back out of the line. I reminded him he wasn’t quite old enough, to which her responded with a healthy stomping of feet, “YES I HAM!” He has a funny way of talking sometimes. There was a coffee social after all the kids had cleared out and we stayed for coffee and donuts. Walter started crying at one point, pining for his Hazy already. Tomorrow is his birthday. These last two weeks have been overwhelming with NEW things. Husband new job, Hazel new school, Walter turned three, Oliver turned one, Auntie moving to New York, New York… *sigh*

Well, its done. She’s in school for better or for worse, and now I just can’t forget to go pick her up!