Thursday, August 27, 2009

First day of school

There were two weeks between the start of school for the girls. These were a very long two weeks but Jacqueline held up like a trooper to be honest.

Ashton was very excited to get back to school so quickly after our New York trip. She was anxious to see her friends and get back into the swing of things. Jani sent her the news that she was going to have her same teacher from last year (something she had been hoping for).

We also found out that she was an "Early Bird" which was not what we were expecting. Thank goodness we were still on East Coast time so the transition was not too bad.

We had also wisely purchased lunchboxes and backpacks before going on our vacation so we were prepared upon return.

The new "big toy" had been installed (although opening ceremonies were a week away). As you can see it's very impressive, what a fortunate place the girls live to have such a nice new playground.
By the time Jacqueline had her first day she was VERY ready to get back to preschool as a "Tiger". She was not even too worked up about going to a different school than Ashton, she knew where she was going and anxious to get there.

She wanted to wear her "pretty dress" and then added a baseball cap to show her own personal sense of style (?!). She immediately took advantage of her "big kid" status showing the new kids where things go and the finer points of the Barbie lunch bag.

Of course, the real bonus of school being back in session is for mom and dad when a schedule and structure returns to our lives. I continue to wonder why the idea of year round school is not taking off, it's not like the kids have a vote and since the demographics are shifting to two working parents it seems that the idea of a three month summer really should be something that we do away with in the 21st century.

I'm guessing a recession year is not the one to bring this up, but I must say I'm ready to vote if anyone else wants to.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bears in NYC

It seems I've lost a bit of momentum with this blog. Thanks to the miracle of back-dating and digital photography I can catch you all up without risk. This summer had the Bears cashing in air miles to fly across country to visit Grandma and Papa Terry.

As luck would have it, a bit series of meetings at work came up so I got to experience the trip twice (?!) but the visit was a huge success.

Bob and I also worked in an anniversary trip to The Hamptons (you must put a clothespin on your nose to say this correctly) leaving the girls in the care of the Grandparents [armed with M&M's, snack foods and hot dogs of course]. Before we left Jacqueline was quoted as saying "I'm going to miss you so much mommy" and after returning she said "why are you back so soon?"

Trip highlights included
  • American Girl store visit with Grams. Including purchase of new dolls, photos, tea and a hotel stay in the city

  • Trip to The Plaza for a $50 tea and a view of Eloise's lobby. Grams said the staff played up the Eloise story very well
  • Kids rides in Central Park
  • Visit to FAO Schwartz
  • The Natural History Museum
  • West Point Park Revue (created and rated by Ashton -- facilitated by Papa Terry). You will note the clipboard and pencil as each park was carefully rated.
  • Hanging out with Grandma and Papa Terry at their house
  • Seeing West Point
  • Crayola Factory (which would have been better named Museum)
  • A local park that the name escapes me, but that we had a nice hike, a merry-go-round ride, saw some zoo animals and were sweating our butts off (you will notice Ashton is cranky and not wanting to look at the camera)
  • Some downtown walking in the city and a street vendor purchase of a new handbag for me
  • Street cart Gyros, hot dogs and Ice creams. Grams is still looking for her change back from that event, when she couldn't understand how 3 hot dogs and 4 drinks could take a full $20...
One summary comment from Meg, was that August is a hot and sweaty month in New York. I figured this out the first day when we walked about a block and a half and Jacqueline said "let's go back inside mommy".

The Bear girls were most happy when we were inside with climate control. Thank goodness there are so many nice indoor things to do in New York. It was a blast. The girls were outstanding on the plane and we avoided any kinds of injuries or sicknesses. There were a few days adjustment when we got home but both Bob and I were really enthusiastic at what great travelers we have now.

Thanks to Grams and Papa Terry for the great visit. We appreciate you getting such a fun place to live, we vote for Hawaii next ;-).