Kindergarten, Here She Comes!

Hello Friends,

Like so many of you out there, we are wrapping up our school year. For Cricket, that means she is done with pre-school, and on her way to kindergarten. Yep, she’s got her certificate and everything.

Logistically, this makes the Cricket an actual student. We now qualify for multi-student discount and financial aid and all sorts of other fun school stuff. And of course, she now gets to wear a uniform-no more “choice A or choice B” in the mornings!

Cricket got to sing a couple of songs, and she and her classmates performed an alphabet poem about their year. Their celebration ceremony was informal, but nice. And no worries about Sweetie. She is off to the Second Grade, right next door to her current classroom. She got sent along with a jovial pat on the shoulder.

We hope you all have a good wrap to your school year, and may your summer start well. We’ll see you out there!

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History of Lego in Our Life

Hello Friends,

We all have our favorite toys from childhood, and mine are those colorful interlocking blocks – Lego (or more affectionately, “Legos”). They stuck around the longest for me, well after He-Man, G.I. Joe, Transformers & Go-Bots and M.U.S.C.L.E. fell off my radar. Man, the 80’s toy game was strong! But I digress…Lego. Yes, I was a big fan as a child and have rekindled my love for these blocks through my girls. Am I pushing their interest in them? Just a bit.

Taking us back to the early 80’s, my first “set” was Lego number 722, a general building set comprised of a box of bricks and an instructional manual with five different builds. In case you’re wondering how I can be so specific with this history, I still have the book:

This was my main interest until the Fourth Grade, when Cap’n Jack showed me the joy of constructing Lego spaceships. Always more of a free builder than I was (and a better free builder at that), Cap’n Jack stoked my Lego interest from an ember to a full on “Lego Maniac” Bonfire. In the mid-80’s “Zack” was a “Lego Maniac” (it was a commercial)- the kid my ten-year-old-self wanted to be, with the Lego collection I wanted to own.

But enough about me, the girls’ introduction to Lego starts with Duplo and, once again, Cap’n Jack. He gifted Sweetie her first Duplo set for her First Birthday. Want to guess what his son will be getting for his First Birthday? Needless to say, it took her a while to realize the blocks were not food, but fun. And things grew from there.

The Cricket wanted to play with whatever cool toy Sweetie was playing with. While she inherited the Duplo blocks, whose numbers had grown significantly, she would look to her sister and the smaller bricks.

Sweetie moved back and forth between, but her transition was sealed on her Fifth Birthday, when Moana’s Canoe arrived.

The girls’ collection really started growing after that birthday, with Lego sets becoming a go-to gift for many occasions. We also started adding the “Family Collection” to our house. That was five moving boxes and three copy-paper boxes full of built sets, bricks, plates, mini-figures (of course), and a plastic three-drawer organizer for the build manuals.

The Family Collection started when i was in Junior High and packed up my Lego city. My nephews and nieces took the collection from there and added the sets they collected over the past fifteen years. The girls have seen the Family Collection, but only get access to a bit at a time.

Thankfully, they are content with the bricks they have on hand.

Our latest addition, a dedicated table, adds some accessible play-ability as well as some organization to our Lego play (I’ll share some pics of that project later). Wife and I kept the layout simple to encourage free building, but there is a lower shelf to encourage Lego brick storage. As much as my heart loves these plastic blocks, the bottoms of my feet do not!

Did you grow up playing with Lego bricks (again, “playing Legos”)? Have you passed this interest on to your child(ren)? Or, like me, gently forced it upon them through continued encouragement? It’s great to see the following Lego has, and to see the community that enjoys these toys. I know they’ll be in our lives for many years to come, and we’ll be sure to share that with you.

Be safe, friends, we’ll see you out there.

Singin’ Out Loud

Hello Friends,

Our girls will often break out into song. Sometimes for a brief second, sometimes for a longer moment. And most often at the dinner table. Sometimes it is an actually song, many times it is just randomness. Either way, I seldom have a camera ready to capture the performance.

Well, here is one instance where I was ready, and the Cricket delivers. Her heart-felt delivery of this emotional ballad conveys her connection to her inner self. And by inner, I mean beneath the skin…actual inner, not metaphysical. Enjoy!

“I Love My Bones”

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am going to try to put up more video content. Let’s see where this chapter takes us in 2019!

First Day of School – Day 2!

Hello Friends,

So true to form, Cricket’s “First Day” post fell to the wayside. Better late than never though, right? No worries, I’ll make up for it with an abundance of photos. That’s easy since her Welcome Tea was on the first day of school on Monday while her official first day, a full day, was Tuesday. Here is how the child who was up and playing by 5:30 AM all summer greeted Monday:

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Zzzzzz…

Yep, their bodies know something is up. But she got moving soon enough.

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Once she was up she was all smiles, so I was feeling good about the full-day school situation. We’ve been talking up the lunches and the nap time for a couple of weeks, so the transition should be smooth. Here’s the official front yard shot:

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Wife was off on Monday, so she could share the morning with the girls. In Cricket’s case, she shared the whole day.

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Welcome Tea is an event for the early childhood students. Pre K-3, Pre K-4 and Kindergarten students come in for a classroom tour where the kids meet the teacher and check out the room. It all starts with a gathering in the school hall with socializing, snacks, and announcements from the principal.

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Monday went well. With only an hour at the school we weren’t expecting too much drama. Besides a moment when Cricket had to show her teacher her necklace, despite the teacher explaining their weekly schedule, things went smoothly. Cricket was ready to return for Tuesday’s full day of class.

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Again, all smiles on Tuesday. And the day went well overall. There is some adjusting, which is natural. And Cricket has some things she needs to get used to as well. Needless to say, she fell out immediately after we made it home. Ah well, best to rest up for the next day!

Singing Like a Dead Bird

Hello Friends,

The girls are in a singing phase right now, breaking out into song for just about any occasion. Much of their singing happens at the table when the girls should be eating. The other day, though, Cricket broke out into song when we were just hanging out, and I managed to catch it (I don’t think she realized I had the phone camera on).

A bit of a warning here: she is three and sings as such, and the content is just a bit morbid. For whatever reason, we have come across multiple dead birds lately. The girls are curious, not scared or disgusted, and apparently the Cricket stores the images in a special place.

Enjoy!

Twelve Day Experiment-Day 5

Hello Friends,

Sweetie shared a lovely little thought with me this evening: “I love spending time with friends and family”. Such a simple, wonderful thought came on the heels of a dinner with two other families, both neighborhood and school friends.

This is one friend with the girls on the skating rink (again with the WinterFest pics). When they were at the house, she and the other friend hid from my camera. Such are kindergartners.

They have siblings, and Cricket played happily without trying to keep up with the older kids all afternoon. Everyone played together well, so it was great.

The girls got to hang and play, Wife and I got to enjoy adult conversations. This is the peer support that parents relish. Good food and time spent with friends made for an excellent afternoon – one of those Christmas gifts that doesn’t come wrapped in a box with fancy paper and a bow.

Twelve Day Experiment-Day 3

Hello Friends,

It’s getting late in the day, and you may have worried that I was going to fail my challenge on just the third day. No worries though, here we are. We just ran a bit late with swim lessons and meeting Wife for dinner and watching “Elf on the Shelf” videos and bath time and such. Two photos today; here’s our opening shot:

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You know, looking at this picture this big makes me think that’s a whole lotta Cricket and a whole lotta Santa. More like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa!”. I guess this post really should have been yesterday’s post. Second Day of Christmas, two turtle doves, two pictures of Santa – the correlation would have been witty, no? Oh well.

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Clearly two different Santas from two different venues. Cricket couldn’t tell the difference, or really didn’t care. When she first glimpsed Santa this year she would not go near him. After a day, though, she was all about him. While I think she liked seeing Santa, she used the visits to reiterate to him exactly what she would like to see under the tree. It’s been great seeing her get into the holiday spirit and embrace the different symbols. And thankfully she asked Santa for some troll toys, not a pony or a yacht or a Red Rider b-b gun.

I hope your week is ending well. Our girls spent some time at Santa’s Workshop today at school and were showing signs of fatigue come bed time. The next week and a half might be a bit trying, but hey, ’tis the season!