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Jack’s First Day of Preschool

We took the requisite picture in the usual spot.

Rainy first day of Preschool!

It was dark and rainy, but he was bright. Just before this, he’d been sitting on the stairs wearing his backpack and waiting patiently for his sisters to be ready to go. We dropped Julia off first, then Phoebe, Lucy, and finally, it was his turn. He did not hesitate. He marched right in and got straight to work. He didn’t give me a second glance and I’ve finally learned that no one gains anything from me hovering around, so I left. I thought I’d cry. I didn’t, really. He was ready to go to school. I was ready, too. There’s a part of me that believes I should feel guilty for feeling that way. That part of me is silly. My kids aren’t babies anymore. I don’t need to grieve it as though it’s a loss to prove to myself that it was special. I cherished the baby years. I’ll cherish the school years, too.

My mom had the day off and went along to take Jack to school and pick him up and she took some pictures. I AM IN THEM. I’m not in many photos with the kids because I am usually the one taking them. Also, I’ve hated my body and did not want to be photographed. Still! Here I am with Jack after his first day of school.

Preschool pick up. Perusing his first Scholastic flyer.

He’s looking at his very first Scholastic book flyer. Look at his happy face! He’s going to have a great year.

I’m going to miss him so much when he goes to school.

We went to a meet and greet at Jack’s preschool yesterday.

I am going to miss this kid when he starts school!

(He picked the shirt he wore.)

We went for lunch after.

Making me laugh at lunch

Making me laugh at lunch

Making me laugh at lunch

He loves to make me laugh. He’s good at it, too.

We were having a great time until a couple sat down near us and the man suddenly stood up and started yelling down at the woman. “I told you! I TOLD YOU! I TOLD YOU!!!” It scared me. It lasted less than a minute, but I noticed the way the woman moved her hand to shield her face and looked down as the man glowered over her. It made me so sad and uncomfortable and angry. I hate that my son saw it, that now he knows this is a way people can choose to behave.

We took our desserts to go. On the way out, Jack held the door open and said, “After you, Mommy!” It was such a contrast from what we had just seen. I felt so grateful for that sweet, gentle boy. I will do all I can to help him stay that way.

Summer Lateblog #3: Julia turns 13

Happy Birthday Julia!

Look at this beautiful girl.

Julia is 13!

She’s officially a teenager now.

Julia is 13!

I was not nearly this gorgeous at 13. I was the most awkward thing you’ve ever seen.

Julia is 13!

It’s incredible all I see when I look at this child. (Can I still call her that? A child?) I see Dave and I see me. I see her tiny baby face grow up in seconds to the kid she is right now. And she’s this amazing kid. She’s creative and funny and full of life and love and ideas. She’s caring and conscientious.

I love these kids!

She’s a great big sister.

We all love her so, so much.

One of these people is a teenager.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

Dave loves sports and baseball is his absolute favorite. He watches it. He plays it. He has a secret blog where he writes an alternate version of baseball history, recreating old seasons with some kind of twist. For example, what if Thurman Munson hadn’t died in 1979? Baseball is his thing and the Cleveland Indians are his team. We’re just far enough from Cleveland that heading up there feels like a big deal. So, for Christmas I bought him two tickets to six different Indians games this summer.

Dave's Christmas present! Six pack of Indian's tickets.

I thought he might like to take each of the kids to a game, get some one-on-one time with them, make some memories, and maybe pass on his passion for baseball. This may have been the best Christmas present I ever gave him. He had so much fun!

At the Indians game

At the Indians game

At the Indians game

All the games were on Sundays, which are Kids Fun Days at Progressive Field. The kids get to run the bases at the end of the game.

Lucy runs the bases at Progressive Field

And there are cool activities if you come early.

At the Indians game

Dave and Bee at the Indian's game

At the Indians game

His seats were in the family deck.

Indians Game!

That’s also where the Kid’s Clubhouse is. It includes a play area with a two story slide and all kinds of interactive games to try.

At the Indians game

Jack runs the Tribe Tracker at Progressive Field

He took me to a game, too.

At the Indian's game

We all enjoyed it so much. I hope we can make it a tradition to do this every year.

Summer Lateblog #2: The Recitals

So, the piano recital wasn’t officially a summer thing. It was on May 20th. But school was nearly out and in my mind, I was already on summer vacation, so I’m including it here, too. Julia, Lucy, and Phoebe performed. I made a highlight video.

2017 Piano Recital Highlights

It was the first time for us that the recital wasn’t on a Sunday, which was fine, but weird. The girls were great and Jack fell asleep.

My girls after the piano recital

The dance recital happened after school was out on June 6.

Recital ready!

All four kids were in it for a total of eight performances and I made a highlight video of that, too.

2017 Dance Recital Highlights

Julia received her ten year award. That’s TEN YEARS of dance! (Remember the first one?)

After the dance recital - Julia's 10th!

She got to take a limo to the recital and at the end, she received a trophy.

That’s a whole lot to be proud of.

Summer Lateblog #1: What Phoebe and Jack Did

I didn’t write here over the summer. I wish I had, so I’m going to play a little catch-up in the form of some lateblogs. (I’m not sure that’s a real word, but you know what I mean.)

Phoebe played tee ball this year. While softball starts in the spring and goes through the end of June, tee ball doesn’t begin until school is out. She was more than ready to play when the time came. I love these pictures of her playing catch with her dad before her first game.

Warming up with dad for tee ball

Warming up with dad for tee ball

Warming up with dad for tee ball

Next year, she’ll play coach pitch softball and Jack will be the tee ball player.

Jack and Phoebe both took dance over the summer. Jack did a six week predance session and Phoebe did ballet twice a week all summer, which she loved.

Phoebe also went to College for Kids at Kent State at Tuscarawas for a week.

"What are these called? Ballooney Guys?"

She took a Super Scientists class where she learned this cool trick.

Phoebe's Magic Trick

And she took care of her doll Camille in a Teddy Bear ER class.

Phoebe went to college this week! She had a great time being a Super Scientist and caring for her doll Camille at the Teddy Bear ER.

She had so much fun. She can’t wait to “go back to college.”

Welcome back! Welcome back! Welcome back! (Sung to the tune of Welcome Back, Kotter) (But you knew that.)

It’s time for school again!

First Day of school!

Today is the first day of first grade for Bee.

First Day of school!

It’s the first day of fourth grade for Lu, which is also the first day of middle school.

First Day of school!

And it is the first day of eighth grade for Julia. Around here, that’s high school, friends.

First Day of school!

Jack doesn’t start preschool for two weeks, so he is exercising his right to wear pajamas all day.

It's the first day of first grade for Bee, fourth grade (and middle school) for Lu, and eighth grade (and high school) for Julia. Jack doesn't start school for two weeks, so he's still in his pajamas.

We’ve made an after-school treat. Dirt. With worms.

After school treat: Dirt

And until we go and pick our students up, we’re playing with the newest Grimmett. Her name is Nala.

Jack and I have an adorable kitter to keep us busy while the girls are at school today. Meet Nala, the newest Grimmett.

She was born the day my beloved Mabel somehow escaped the house and disappeared. I still have hope in my heart that Mabel will return, but for now, we’re back to an even number of cats which we all know is better than an odd number.

I’m so glad it’s summer break.

how long has it been
since we didn’t have to rush
to get everywhere

how long has it been
since I listened to you talk
and did nothing else

how long has it been
since I held you in my arms
til you fell asleep

We did as little as possible the first few days after school was out. Now, we’re starting to shift into our summer schedule. We’re staying up later and sleeping in a little. Sometimes a lot. Each day, I put a to-do list in a clear pocket folder for each of the kids. It usually includes some school work, piano practice, and a few chores.

Just a little school at home during summer break

It doesn’t take long for them to get it all done. I do my part along with them, so then we’re free for laid-back summer fun until softball or dance class.

Phoebe and Jack playing in the sprinkler

Lucy running through the sprinkler and what is Jack doing?

Sprinkler!

Jumping Bee in the sprinkler

We have some busy weeks ahead, but I’m hoping a lot of the summer is just like this.

And all the years will come and go, take us up, always up!

We may never pass this way again! Seals and Croft sang that in 1973. And if you graduated in ’73, there is no way that wasn’t your class song. I was born in the 70’s and am soothed by that music. It makes me think of a golden-haired girl walking in a meadow at sunset. That may have been in the commercial for Sounds of the 70’s from Time Life. Still, it’s a nice feeling. I’m listening to it today because I am completely aware that a phase in our family life is ending.

Today was Julia’s last day of middle school.

Julia's last day of middle school

It was Lucy’s last day of elementary school.

Lucy's last day of elementary school

It was Phoebe’s last day of Kindergarten.

Phoebe's last day of Kindergarten

And it was Jack’s last school day at home as he’ll be heading to preschool in the fall.

We may never pass this way again!

Welcome to summer vacation!

The great thing about an ending is that something else can now begin. I’m looking forward to what will take us up. Always up.

Post #2,181

I’m not a big selfie person, but I love this one. It’s 55% Dipper.

Dipper and Me

Cats are supposed to have 30 teeth. Katie had 22 when she went to the vet on Monday. She came home with 14. You can see how she feels about that.

Katie

That’s actually a significant improvement in her mood. As bad as it must have felt to have 8 teeth pulled, having 8 bad teeth felt worse.

Katie cat

That’s happy Katie who, by the way, is 13 just like Julia will be in one month, which is a teenager. A teenager! Holy shit, folks. HO-LY SHIT. Let’s talk about something else.

I have skin tags. You’ve likely seen them if you’ve ever seen me or searched for skin tags on the internet because there are more than a few websites using my photo.

Even more skin tags!  Ahhhh!

I just happened to stumble upon one of the sites and then did a Google image search. I was surprised to see my neck show up again and again, promoting natural remedy blogs, doctor’s offices, medical sites, and more. I guess I have really great skin tags! But it bothered me that my photo was being used without my permission. I started contacting the webmasters to alert them to their error and ask them to remedy it. So far, everyone I’ve contacted has agreed to take it down, though one had to be asked twice. Some apologized. One even offered to compensate me for the use of the photograph and I like that guy the most.

Okay, haiku time.

two parents, four kids
two ballgames, three dance classes
let’s hope that it rains

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