Sunday, October 19, 2014

Another backward march through time!

Prior to our Sourdough Canyon hike with friends, I hosted a Bunco night.  It had been about 10 years since I've played but thought it might be fun to spice up game night!  The first night we were short 2 players so these guys had to stand in, but since then it's taken off to become a monthly thing and James has been awesome about giving me some evening "me" time as my days of slipping out are numbered!
 In my role with our local mom's club, I've taken on planning service projects and speaker events.  Here's Catherine showing off the "cat toys" she made with some baby socks we all donated!
 And here she is with the pup we had just checked for a microchip!
 The first few weeks of September I taught Catherine's preschool and we started with a unit on our bodies.  Here the kids were making bodies out of cookie dough!  Catherine's preschool co-op is a bit larger than last year (7 kids vs. 4) which is a blessing since it means my next teaching obligation is in February, but it also makes for a busy and exhausting morning!  However, we've added a Thursday afternoon playgroup component, so every once in a while I end up with 6 gloriously free hours to myself (or soon with just baby!)  Catherine is really enjoying having her "own" preschool friends this year and really enjoys the playgroup component.  However, she's been experimenting with verbalizing her feelings, so when I drop her off she always says very matter-of-factly "I will be sad and miss you when you are gone" which is about the sweetest thing ever.
 As we started back to school, we worked (and continue to work) on a better rhythm for our evenings. On an ideal night we have dinner, then the kids clean up the table, then if we're being smart they put on pajamas.  Dinner is always the trickiest meal of the day with a combination of exhausted kids who struggle to focus and a tendency to have more savory, new and/or flavorful foods to taste and ours will dawdle with taking all their tastes.  We've put an "end time" on dinner (and literally have a clock on the table to encourage timely behavior) and if the kids have taken all their tastes without dawdling they get to choose a special privilege.  Most often the privilege is a game, though we sneak in dessert or a show on occasion :-)  Catherine has been rocking memory recently, but other favorites are S'match and Staying Alive, a vintage 70s marble game we're borrowing from grandma Elsie!
 Before the cooler weather set in, we took advantage of a nice weekend for a hike up to Palisades Falls and ended playing in the creek as always.
The hike we took to Palisades Falls was the perfect hike to work on "training" the kids to carry their water.  On longer hikes I still carry the water but at 1 mile roundtrip we thought it would be a good length.  The next weekend they both carried their water for about 2 miles roundtrip without complaints so we are making progress!  Matthew also decided he needed to hike with a hiking stick.  Such the handsome outdoorsman.
 Catherine was well prepared in her fancy dress, pirate sweatshirt and sensible shoes!
 They both really love their camelbaks, to the point of overhydrating!  Eventually James and I will learn that with the camelbaks we have to force the kids to stop for potty breaks much more often, or we need to pack extra clothes.
 Palisade Falls:

Though it would have been the perfect weekend to sneak in our final camping trip, we were hanging around to check out Matthew's Fall Carnival on Saturday.  James and I both were able to volunteer at a few different points as well as enjoy the carnival with the kiddos!  

 The eyeball prizes were a favorite, though not quite as popular as the free happy meals we went out to enjoy!

And we had a busy week of carnivals, as our Moms Group held a carnival where Catherine had me paint her face:
 We played some music:
 And rolled a big die:
Catherine also had her first day of preschool, though because I was teaching, we didn't have to go far! She did however, fully dress up for the day.  We've gotten a lot of use out of this dress!
And Matthew's first day of school!

 Goodbye hugs with Catherine!
 Before school started we hit up the library to see our first magician.  She was fantastic and the kids found her hysterical!

 And last but not least, as summer wound down we picked up a new favorite hobby of biking at the "pump track."

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