Tuesday, November 30, 2010

GIGI AND PAPA K DRIVE MILES AND MILES



They got lots of love and kisses on their visit, but only a couple pictures. Laurel loved taking Gigi to violin, and Brant had time for all sorts of punching on Papa. Laney gives Gigi big smiles now!

FAMILY GETS NEW MEANING FOR BLACK FRIDAY

The day was black...with dirt. Nothing like being a kid, going to the ranch and getting completely filthy. Thanks to Aunt Joan and Uncle Bill for inviting us out for some wholesome, natural fun. The kids slept in the tent with Brad. Mom and Laney had plush sleeping arrangements in the house.

Brant LOVES tractors.

This Jeep has been around since Maren's childhood.

This boy knows how to chill.

The tent went up without any expletives.


This is a horrible photo, but shows the pure exhaustion the morning after...time to go home!

The only way to prevent the meltdowns as the family was leaving.

WINTER IN THE PARK TURNS WOBBLY

The kids were so excited to go ice skating until they put the skates on. They spent the entire 15 minutes clutched onto the sidewall and begging to be done. Maren did a few laps alone and had plenty of fun.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

FIRST GRADE DRAMA CROSSES GENERATION GAP

Do you remember being sad because the cool kid wouldn't trade you your cookie for his cake? Maybe you didn't get to sit on the playground tires with the popular girl.

Well, time doesn't change much.

Yesterday afternoon, Laurel got off the bus, climbed into the car, and within about 30 seconds her bottom lip started quivering. Within the minute, she was can't-understand-a-word-she's-saying sobbing. Mom figured out something happened on the bus. Turns out, a girl in her class that she rides the bus with said she wasn't going to be Laurel's friend. Who knows what prompted the girl to make the declaration... Laurel adamantly defended herself. "I didn't do anything!"

Fast forward to this morning. Laurel and Mom got ready fast enough to walk to the bus stop instead of the usual drive. On our way there, the mom of Laurel's non-friend pulled up next to the walkers, rolled down her window, and beckoned them over. She just wanted to invite Laurel over for cake and ice cream on Sunday night to celebrate the non-friend's birthday. (Just Laurel by the way; this was not a big party.) Mom agreed happily.

This afternoon, Laurel got off the bus practically hand-in-hand with her non-friend. :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

FAMILY SUCCEEDING IN GREAT EXPERIMENT(S)

The great experiment has begun. Brad is now working at Chronicle headquarters. In order to cut overhead, his employer will not be renewing the lease on his floor. Brad will stay in this new physical location indefinitely unless a client wants him on sight. So far, the experiment is going well. Brad's able to see Laney a little bit throughout the day, the family is saving on gas and tolls, and he doesn't lose an hour a day in commute time.

There is a side experiment running concurrently in the household. Laney has been adjusting to the "Child Development Center" at the YMCA. In fact, as of today, she is officially adjusted. This is a HUGE accomplishment. Prior to this week, she would scream as soon as Mom was out of sight. So under the advice of the Y staff, Laney and family have come every single weekday at the same time to help her adjust. Sometimes, Maren would do nothing but come and sit in the room and let her play. After five consecutive days of practice, Laney can now make almost a full hour of play time without Mama! It's a glorious day! The next step is to try a different Y, and see if she can handle the transition.