Sunday, September 30, 2012

 This sweet boy has been a delightful sidekick in Magnolia's absence during the day.  The two of them are pretty inseparable when they are together but he is learning to play on his own more and we have had our own fun playing together.  A whole lot of "boy" play which has been so fun to see emerge!
We have fallen into a routine that we enjoy and I'm cherishing the time we have together this year.  His time for Kindergarten, too, will come quickly.  
He is into Police Officers right now.
 So, we do a lot of Cops and Robbers.
 And, the other favorite...Super Heroes!

George loves to ask him what his super hero power is for the day.  It's usually something new each time and we love to hear what it's going to be.
In addition to seeing what George wants to play during the day without the influence of his big sister, we are seeing a very funny and quirky personality emerge.  He says and does things that make us laugh all day long.  He loves to say, "This family is weird."  It's from the book, Today I Feel Silly.  He says it in context and in such a dry tone.  At one point I finally asked why we are so weird.  His reply, because we don't go to Discovery World (local museum we have membership to) much and because we don't eat more cupcakes and fish pie (I have no idea what fish pie is...).  He also calls my iPad a "Puter Pad."  Which, I suppose is a combination of computer and iPad.  He says it with such a twinkle in his eye, he knows he's making me laugh.  One day in the car he says he wants a cookie (he always wants a cookie).  I told him he can have a biscotti when we get home.  He said he does not like "scotti" because it's not round and doesn't have chocolate chips in it.  Of course, that's a cookie!  One day we were playing with all of the cards in my wallet.  I showed him my insurance card and told him that's the one I need when I go to the doctor's.  He asked, "To get your tummy all cut up?"  I said, "Do you mean these? (showing him my stretch marks).  When he nodded yes, I told him "Oh no,  the doctor didn't do these.  These are my tiger stripes!"

Georgie also has quite the sensitive side.  He's very quick to give HUGE hugs and kisses, to tell me I look "butiful,"  to show me "tute" (cute) houses,  and to protect me in any way he can.  He says he wants to be a policeman when he grows up so he can protect me.  :)  We have a squirrel in our yard that has become such a fixture that the kids named him "Hammie."  We often watch what he's up to and shoo him away when he climbs in the stroller to eat any leftover snacks.  One day a squirrel got run over by a car and lay dead in the street for a day or two.  This upset George to no end.  He was simply beside himself.  He had fits of crying and sudden new solutions to "fix" it.  He proposed calling an ambulance, taking the squirrel to his doctor, building a new house for him, and using daddy's tools to fix him.  To make matters worse, he was convinced it was Hammie.  But he said he just didn't know how it could be Hammie because Hammie "always looked both ways when crossing the street!"  It actually wasn't Hammie and when George heard this, he squealed with delight.

In the meantime, George had been to a pig roast this summer.  When I prepared him beforehand about the pig, he said he would "(s)mack him on the bottom if he cooks a pig"  (referring to the neighbors who were hosting the party).  We talked about how we all eat animals, animals eat other animals, it's just the way it is.  Well, on the the day of the party he asked to see the roasted pig.  He didn't say much except he wondered why he wasn't pink and then he refused to eat any pig when it was done.   Then recently I was cooking a whole chicken and he started to wonder about it as I had it on a platter to cool.    When I came back into the kitchen, he had taken a huge chunk of breast meat and stuck it in the neck and declared, "Look, now it has a head!"

SO, all of the incidences are probably what led up to the event that occurred last Monday in Trader Joe's.   We always go every Monday and I almost always buy a whole chicken.  NOT this time.  He screamed until he was purple, "Get that chicken out of the cart!!!"  Over and over again.  So much so that I had no choice but to put the chicken back.  He was SO upset.  I told him that we all like to eat chicken but if he chooses, he does not have to.   No.  No more chicken.  After he was finished crying and was satisfied that there was no meat in the cart, he crossed his arms over his chest, furrowed his brow, and told me "Trader Joe's not good cookers!"  When I asked why???  He said, "Because they cut heads off of chickens."   What about fish, I asked?   Oh, except fish.  It's okay to eat fish.  And on that day, pumpkin pie he said was okay.  :)  It's fine.  It's good.  It's actually wonderful.  We are heading in the direction of becoming vegetarians (with the exception of fish) in support little George.  :)

We love you, George.  For all that you are!  xoxo

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

 We recently went apple picking on George's birthday.  The apples didn't fare well here due to the cold snap in the spring and the insanely dry summer.  The apples came early and I'm afraid we were a little late for the best picking.  But, we hoisted the kiddos to the tops of the trees to pick what was left.

Which was pretty exhausting so our basket looked like this.
 Climbing the trees was a lot more fun.
So was taking photographs.

 Then Magnolia found "twins" and she and George started to pretend the apples were babies.
 Then George balanced apples.  

 After we were done doing everything but picking apples we did pony rides! 
Since it was George's 39th birthday I put money in 39 balloons and strung them across the dining room.  The kids were beside themselves with excitement over this, they couldn't wait to help pop them to get the money out.  They were so excited that they had all of the neighbor kids come over so they could show them.  Balloons, I tell you, the easiest and cheapest thrill.
 Daddy requests birthday kisses from these two.
 Homemade white cake with Nani's famous caramel frosting!
 One Happy Birthday Daddy.

Monday, September 17, 2012

This little guy gave me the biggest surprise I could ever imagine.  On his first day of school he marched right in, all smiles.  He gave me a kiss goodbye and boldly walked into his classroom without looking back.  I was STUNNED.  This is my painfully shy, clinging,  and socially anxious child.  For the past three years I have held him, carried him, and given him security when he felt shy, scared, or nervous.  All summer long he would cry and cry that he did NOT want to go to school.   
I was really regretting enrolling him.  I questioned this decision and was convinced he needed another year at home.  But the check was written and I was on the school board, knee deep in school involvement.  He was going.  We talked about how fun it would be.  We read a lot of books about going to preschool.  We told everyone that he needed six glue sticks which meant he was going to be doing A LOT of glueing.
 When we dropped Magnolia off a week before his school started he cried and said he wanted to go to his school.  I took this as a good sign. 
 Sure enough it was SO much easier than I ever imagined and this little boy is quite the big boy who adores school!   A friend teased me that maybe it was me clinging to him and not he clinging to me.  I had to laugh because I am sure there is some truth to that, he is my baby.  In any case, he's ready, he loves it, and I'm SO proud of him.  Way to go George!  

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

I started to feel a little sad at the end of the summer that Magnolia was going to be in Kindergarten from  8am until 3pm.  How can she be away from me for so long when I've been with her nonstop since she was nine and a half months old?  I knew I was going to miss her.  Miss her terribly.  And as I was dropping her off, standing in all of the chaos, she gave me that look.  That look like she was so nervous and was she going to be okay?  I tried to be strong.  I looked around.  Every other parent seemed to be holding it together.  I just couldn't.  My eyes filled with tears and I reassured her that I would miss her more than she would me miss me.  In fact, she would be having so much fun, she wouldn't miss me at all!  She walked into school and looked back for me one last time.  I dug hard in my purse for my sunglasses and bolted through the crowd, not making eye contact with all the people I knew, and cried.  An ugly cry.  I tried to bury my head in little George and he was so nervous by my crying that he started to laugh.  I finally met up with George who thankfully talked for me as we saw people we knew so I could pull myself together.  I really had no idea this was going to happen but later that day many other moms confessed to me that they all went home and cried.  Oh, the emotions of Kindergarten!

Enough about me!  Magnolia had a fabulous first day!  She walked out of that school hardly even wanting to give me a hug.  She looked around for friends and ran off to play with them.  Ah!  She feels comfortable, secure, happy!  I'm so relieved and so proud of my little girl.  She is going to have an amazing year,  I just know it!!!
And what a little darling in her red shoes that lasted all of 15 minutes because they hurt too much!  :)
She gets to bring her little froggy lunchbox, get her own punchcard for milk, her own rest mat, and a day packed with having fun!  

Of course, we needed to celebrate the first day of school so we had a little party that night!
I picked up helium balloons, a cookie cake, apples, gummy worms, and a keepsake box that will organize and hold all of her special mementos from Kindergarten to 5th grade.  Magnolia's mouth dropped open when she saw it.  She said nothing but came over and gave me a huge hug.  Needless to say, this is the newest Judy family tradition!
Way to go Magnolia!  We are so proud of you!

(Magnolia last year, K-4)

What a perfect summer!  We did so much, learned so much, saw so much, and had SO much fun!
This was what we had on our fridge all summer long, "100 Things to Do This Summer."  While we didn't do all of them, we did A LOT of them and added some new things as we went along.  

For Summer 2012 we checked off:  beach, fishing, blow bubbles, make lemonade, finger paint, water fight, make popsicles, swim, bird watching, splash park, cookout, nature center, make ice cream, visit a farm, sidewalk chalk, tattoos, wagon ride, photo booth, bean bag toss, hopscotch, picnic, fireworks, parade, obstacle course, game night, fly kite, paper airplanes, play dough, library (kids read 1,000 pages), picked strawberries, played put out the fire game, ride bikes, farmer's market, watercolors, sprinklers, sandcastles, visit grandparents, new playground, bbq with friends, visit fire station, play tennis, block tower, factory tour (Louisville Slugger), dress-ups, aquatic center, state fair, vacations, reunions, hikes, kyaking, hammocks.

I love being a mom!

After our place on Washington Island was booked all summer long, we finally had it to ourselves again.  It was SO good to be back!  We had Nani along with us which always makes it extra special.
We stopped at Wilson's in Ephraim before crossing over on the ferry.  Magnolia poses for me before we head in for burgers and milkshakes.
The house looked great.  Our renters were very gracious.  The weather was absolutely perfect.  We had no projects so we did a whole lot of playing and relaxing.

Hat throwing into the wind then running to see where they landed was a fun game!

We went to School House Beach to try and fly a kite.  It wasn't very windy and it was pretty hard to run on those rocks but we did get it in the air for a short time.

Back along our shore the water was extremely low, exposing a sand  rock bar.  It was so fun to walk out there and build rock towers.
We also got out our kyaks.  Apparently it was pretty tippy with the kids on it but I had a fun time taking one out by myself.  Much easier than a canoe in those shallow waters!

Nani built fabulous fairy gardens with Magnolia and George.
Complete with little flower bouquets, water caps as miniature swimming pools, and painted rocks.
So many of our renters raved about Sailor's Pub that we wanted to give it a try.  It had been years since we had been and were anxious to see a revised menu.  We got an early seating out on the deck overlooking the water.  The food was great!  Here are the two after dinner.
And a belly full of salad and fish, Magnolia wears my sunglasses and poses.
The fairies visited the gardens that the kids made and were so enchanted that they left silver coins, silver bells, and a silver garland that had the message "look for the Magic Tree" written on it. We had no idea what the magic tree was so we asked around town and were told to take a hike into the forest around dusk to find it and that we'll know it when we see it.
So off we went.
And then...there it was!  A tree filled with gumdrops and licorice!  
Pretty magical, I'd say!
It was a great weekend to end our summer and celebrate a successful year of renting out our home.  We are looking forward to many fall weekends up there!  If you want to see more of our trip go here: