Sunday, September 27, 2009

Katie Grace Kelley Had a Farm E I E I O

Today the animal population on the farm grew by two more animals. We bought 2 pigs. For a little entertainment, watch the video of us unloading the pigs from the back of our Subaru and into their new home. Josh was the videographer and he did a very good job considering this is his first video. I especially like his commentary.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The First Bee Sting

Katie was stung by her first bee while at school the other day. The bee stung her in the thumb while she was out on the play gound. The school promptly called us at work to find out if she was allergic to bee stings but we didn't know if she was or not. Katie had never been stung before. Luckily, she did not have an allergic reaction to the sting and recovered fully from the traumatic experience in a matter of minutes. If Katie's recollection of events is completely accurate, she was attempting to pet a cute little bumble bee that she found. She has now learned that petting a bee is not a good idea.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hiking & Climbing

Today I (Rick) took the kids hiking and rock climbing on Wheeler Mountain. This was Katie's first chance to wear her rock climbing harness. She had received it as a gift from her auntie Cahill 2 years ago, but had not quite grown into it until this year. She and her brother both did a great job scrambling up areas of open, sloping rock face as the sun shone down on us a a slight breeze kept us comfortably cool. Katie might have earned a new nickname today as she clawed her way up the rock face on all fours. Josh and I agreed that she looked like a little bear scampering up the rock with both her hands and feet on the rock and her butt way up in the air.We began affectionately calling Katie-bear and she took to it immediately.

The hike is approximately one half mile from the parking area to the top of the 2371 foot tall mountain. Katie climbed it all by herself with only a little help here and there to get up to the next highest step in places where her legs were not quite long enough. On the way down, she trotted along in front of me, hopping from rock to rock with me holding a short sling attached to the back of her harness. When she jumped from a rock that was too high she would dangle for a bit from her harness with her feet still moving as I lowered her to the ground. Without a pause in her stride she would continue on her way.
We really had a lot of fun and I am very glad that we chose to hike and climb on this Labor Day holiday.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Week of School

School is back in session, and this time both of kids headed out the door to their first day of school. It was Katie's first day of school ever, and she could not have been more excited. She spent quite a bit of time playing, this summer, with the kids who would be in her class this fall. As we dropped her off the first morning, she greeted her friends, lined up with all of the other pre-shoolers and disappeared into the building holding her teacher's hand. It's a good thing she didn't look back. She would have seen me sobbing. (I cried on Joshua's first day of Pre-K, too.) It's such an important milestone, a day for which we have prepared so carefully. Some milestones mean even more when they are Katie's first steps out into the world. She was so sick for so long--and she has a ways to go yet--but she ventured out into the world so bravely and with such confidence that it was just stunning.
The rest of the day went just as smoothly for Katie, but she has developed a cold. She had a terrible night's sleep Monday night and woke up crying, "Don't make me leave my classroom." She was afraid that she would not be allowed to go to school with a cold. When I assured that she would be going to school the next day, she fell asleep immediately and slept soundly the rest of the evening.
Other funny stories have since emerged. For instance, she cannot reach the toilet paper while sitting on the potty because she is so small, and she needs help getting off the bus because she is so short. In every other way, though, Katie is a very normal and well adjusted member of her class. She loved being the "Star Helper" and "Line Leader." I was concerned when her teacher, the amazing Mrs. Tarbox, reported that "Katie is a natural leader"--teacher speak for "Your kid is a bossy nightmare"--but Mrs. Tarbox assures me that Katie is consistently well-behaved. She has been singing new songs, and she tells me about story time every day. She had phys. ed. last week. Both art and music start this week. She comes home with lots of pictures, and she practices writing her name on the whiteboard in my classroom every afternoon. (She really likes spending time at Lake Region in the afternoon!) In every way but one, she is a very regular kid who just happens to LOVE going to school. She runs to the playground every morning with the big kids who have "adopted" her--she is well loved and very well looked after by a whole herd of big brothers and sisters--and she has been calling me Mrs. Tarbox. I have been replaced, and it's a little unsettling, but I suppose I should enjoy her enthusiasm for school...
My mom laughed at me this weekend when I told her how easily Katie has adjusted to life at St. Pauls. She was quick to remind me that we had worked very hard preparing Katie for this transition. And she's right. I'm very proud of Katie. She's just growing up so fast...
Another scary thought: Joshua is in SECOND grade. Yikes. He is thriving, too :).

Summer Vacation: Part 2

Our "vacation" came in two parts this summer, and although the parts were both reasonably close together, it took me a while to make myself sit down and write about them.

One week after our trip to Boston, we headed to New Hampshire to spend one day at The Whale's Tale water park and the next day at Santa's Village. To say that the kids had fun would be an understatement. They had an incredible time.

Josh discovered that he is just big enough to be able to ride all of the big kid and adult slides at the water park so he spent the first day shrieking with exuberant fear as he tried every slide in the park.

Katie discovered that the water park held plenty of options for her as well, although she definitely showed a preference for the Lazy River and the heated pool. When our day at the water park was over, both kids were completely exhausted. We drove thirty minutes to our motel right across the street from Santa's Village, took the kids out for a nice dinner and then turned in early in preparation for the next day.
We had invited Grandpa and Grandma Kelley to join us at Santa's Village and they showed up bright and early the next morning. The kids were already bouncing around the room with excitement by the time my parents arrived so we headed across the street and started another day full of fun.

For a four-year-old and a seven-year-old, Santa's Village is a paradise. The highlights of the day included the flume ride which always managed to get Amy and I wetter than the kids, and the roller coaster. Katie had been begging to go on a roller coaster since her brother had gone on one
at Granby Zoo at the start of the summer. However, she was too small for all the other roller coasters that we had found. The Santa's Village roller coaster was different. It had an age limit
instead of a height limit and our vertically challenged daughter was able to ride as long as she was with an adult. So the whole family rode the coaster several times. It was fast enough to get a few screams out of Amy and I. Katie, screamed almost non stop, breaking only to add "This is fun!" at the top of her lungs.

After the obligatory photo op with Santa, we packed it in and called it a day. The park was closing and we had two very tired, happy children on our hands once again.