Wednesday, September 16, 2015

our summer in photos

We played.
We finally crossed over "Daddy's bridge."

Ray doesn't have an easily explained job, like a firefighter or teacher. And while the girls understand, I think, that he works in construction, Lola really latched onto this local project, a cycling/pedestrian bridge that Ray helped inspect a couple of years back.

She's been begging us to go over it ever since but we never did seem to get around to it.

Until this summer.

We had pancakes for dinner. More often than I'd care to admit, ha.

But we had fun with it.

We learned.

Lola finished her first real big-girl chapter book!

It took us two months but she did it! And she learned some history along the way.

We went to the lake.

Lola learned to rollerblade.

We "hunted" for frogs, Lola favorite pastime.

Fortunately, this one took up residence inside one of our calla lily planters so we never had to really look all that hard.

We colored.

On those rare days when Ray got off early, we painted our feet and left trails of tiny footprints throughout the house so he'd have to follow the trail to find us.

We visited parks.

We learned about medical care. (I sprained my ankle at tennis.)

We played Play-dough, Millie's favorite pastime.

We played with our felt boards.

We searched for a "Lola" everywhere. And failed.

But I told Lola that her name was kind of like mine, that when I was growing up no one ever had my name on anything. And we wouldn't find her name on a Coke bottle any sooner than we would find mine because it just isn't that common.

And then, one terrible day, she saw this:
Which proves that if there is a Bethany out there, somewhere there is a Lola.

(And if anyone finds one, I'll cover the shipping costs!)

We had parenting fails.

We had fun.

So much fun.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Life with Lola

Lola is quick. She doesn't even always realize it, I don't think, but she comes up with some of the best one-liners. I thought I'd share a couple here today, before these, too, slip from memory.

Scene: We're at the dentist. Millie is in the chair with the dentist doing his thing, chatting away to keep her at ease. Lola is at Millie's feet, watching with interest.

Dentist: "You have beautiful teeth! Just where did you get these beautiful teeth?!"

Lola, plainly: "God."

Scene: Home. We're rushing through homework/dinner/reading/bathtime. All of it, somehow, seems to happen simultaneously. Mustang is of course running at our heels, somehow both in our way and a step behind us. Lola, in all the activity, accidentally slams the bathroom door on his face and he yelps, running away and then coming back to hide behind my legs.

Me: "Lola!"

Lola: "What?"

Me: "You just shut the door on Mustang's head!"

Lola: "I did? Oops."

Me: "You should say you're sorry."

Lola, looking down: "Sorry, Mustang."

Me: "Give him a little kiss on his nose so he knows you aren't mad at him."

Lola, looking skeptically at me, then down at Mustang. Then back up to me: "Mom, it's a dog."

Scene: Home. I'm working on organizing photos for scrapbooking. Now, anyone who has had to questionable joy of being around me during a photo session knows that if I take 12 photos, it probably was actually 112, perhaps even 212. I take a lot of shots. (Former) occupational hazard, keep shooting 'til you know you've got a keeper.

Lola: "It's a good thing you scrapbook, Mom."

Me, feeling proud, thinking that she likes having the memories, etc., preserved: "Yeah, you like seeing all the pages all done?"

Lola, shrugging indifferently: "Well, yeah, but I think if you didn't scrapbook we'd have just piles and piles of pictures everywhere. Like a hundred feet tall. And hundreds and hundreds of piles. Really, Mom, I think the whole entire house would be just filled with pictures, all the way from the floor to the ceiling. And we wouldn't be able to play or walk or anything. We'd just keep running into more pictures."

Scene: We're at home. Watching some random movie that has a boy and girl in it who are worrying about what life will be like after one moves away from the other and I'm trying to explain to Lola that, sometimes, even when you want to stay with your friends that it's still a good thing to go out into the world to find your own adventures, once you get older of course.

Me: "Well, I mean, your dad and I, we'd miss you like crazy, but we want you to go do the things that you want to do, even if it means that you're going somewhere new and kind of scary."

Lola: "Oh. So like I might go live by Grandmas (in the Twin Cities)?"

Me: "Maybe, yeah, but even bigger. Like what if you wanted to go to Paris or California -- somewhere totally different and far away. We'd miss you, of course, but we want you to challenge yourself to find your own life too, even if it is a little scary."

Lola, getting more excited: "Like I could go live in Florida! If I made up the stories and pictures for a Disney movie or something like that!"

Then she pauses.

Lola: "But if I went to Florida, I think you and Daddy would come see me a lot though. I think you'd just probably move in with me. So, maybe not. Paris might be fun though."


Scene: A block from my house. I'm riding my bike next to Lola, who is flying on her two wheels and getting comfortable with the idea of on-street cycling.

Me: "You are doing so great! Are you having fun?"

Lola: "This is my favorite part of my whole entire day, Mommy!"

(Yeah, ok, that one was just for me. *smile*)

She really does crack me up though. She is such a doll.

Love you, kiddo.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

First day of school!

Yesterday was the first day of school.

Lola headed into second grade and Millie to her first full-day of preschool. (She went twice-a-week last year, three hours a day. This year she is again going twice a week, but for seven hours a day.)

There were quite a few back-to-school nerves (from Lola), centered on busing schedules and transitions.

But all went quite well.

And she came off the bus with big smiles.

Millie also did great. There were a few tears and whimpers when I left her at preschool, but she also cried every day last year at daycare and preschool drop-offs. So this was expected.

I was able to just watch her in the classroom for a few minutes before I picked her up in the afternoon and she was happily playing side by side with a new friend. I think she did just fine.

She "told" me all about her day, mainly through sign language later that afternoon. She likes her teachers, made new friends, colored and sang songs, and prayed before mealtime (it is a church-based preschool, obviously).

She also "said" that her teacher made her take a nap and that made her mad because she wanted to play more. And then gave me a faux-angry face. It was pretty cute.

Me? Well, I did fine.

But it sure was quiet.