Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Things are changing.....

It is so cliche to say that the kids grow up in the blink of an eye.  But really, over the last month, the kids really have grown up and come so far from where even I once was in my life.  Facebook is amazing in that you can keep in touch with people from all points in your life, and I am further amazed at how many different ways people's lives can go and yet still feel connected to everyone in some strange way.

But back to the kids:  Last week, we got an installed Gwen's bedframe for her bedroom.  With that, came the end of a 7 year era where someone was sleeping on a bed that was on the floor.  Gwen was thrilled of course to be getting off the ground, but it also made me realize that she didn't need any of her 3 step stools that we had for her to help get up higher to things in the house.  She can reach all the faucets to wash her hands in the bathroom, brush her teeth and the like.  

This week, Gwen and the whole Kindergarten class went on a field trip to the nature center.  It is amazing to see these kids and how much they have all grown in the past school year.  They are almost first graders!  Gwen had her first lunch at school, well, on the field trip anyway.  I will say, I'm concerned about next year and her speed of eating.  She, like me, is a slow eater.  She is also a picky eater.  She is also a social eater.  So put all these things together, and I have no idea how she will get through the day eating probably less than half of what she eats now.  She averages about 20 minutes to eat, but that is without any friendly distractions.    When she got back from her field trip she was very hungry and had eaten about half of her lunch.  Today at school they talked and made a note to their parents about going on the field trip.  Gwen's favorite part of the trip, and she mentioned it again and again and again, was the bus ride.  I seem to remember that it was the same thing for Trevor.  But I also know that she was telling everyone she could that she got to go to school in the morning.  She is looking forward to starting 1st grade, being a big kid, and all that it entails.  That's going to be a totally different ballgame!

For Trevor, we have been working on becoming more dependent on me for reminders and such.  I have been amazed at how much it has taken off my plate.  I think he thought that it meant I was going to leave him alone completely, but because of our weekly touchbase meetings, we can evaluate things that are happening and find new ways of doing things.  It has been a drastic shift for me to be much more hands-off, but I know that it means he has to figure out his own way of doing things.  While I know he can't grasp what it is going to be like in high school or even middle school at this point, I think it is a good idea to at least put some thoughts in his mind now, rather than have a whole shock to the system in a few years.  He is in the middle of some standardized tests which helps determine if he is accepted into the next gifted and talented program at his school.  

He's also ramping up and getting into the swing of things for baseball.  We have found out that for our first really traveling tournament, we will be going to Rochester.  With hockey this year, we will also be traveling, probably out of town as well.  So here we go.  The weather could use some improving.  Poor kids have only been able to do some fielding in the school gyms until the ground is good enough to play on.  Yeah, the weather is a whole other issue.  Everyone has stopped selling winter gear, but both kids have changed shoe sizes and don't have good boots anymore.  With the snowing and melting, raining and such it sure has been wet on the snow gear!

As far as my life, I have been reflecting on that as well.  Having been volunteering as my main source of time commitment outside of family, that has been shifting too.  My two year stint as PTA treasurer is coming to an end in a little over two months.  We have a great replacement named, and since I'm not going anywhere, I know it will be an easy transition since I can be asked questions if something is in question.  But as of this September, I won't have a kid to look after an average of 5 days a week.  I'm goaling myself to find something part time, or get more involved in church/school volunteer opportunities.  It depends on what we need to do.  I for sure would love to get more time at hot yoga.  With the summer, I know I won't go as often as when the kids are at school, but it sure is nice when I get the chance to go.  So peaceful.  

So there is time to think about the coming changes, but they sure are coming.  And coming fast.  Did I mention that Trevor and I can almost wear the same size shoes?  Yeah, he's growing the blink of an eye.

Friday, April 5, 2013 has been a whole month

I would guess that is the longest I have gone without blogging.  I know a year ago, I was doing it almost every day while we had our Disney trip in early March.  When you really want to remember things, you know you have to write them down right away or they will slip away from you!

As is true with our lives these days, so much has happened in a month!  A month ago, Trevor still had two weeks of hockey left.  He finished out those last few games strong and we also had the year end hockey party.  It was at an indoor batting facility that also allowed us to use an open space to play dodgeball.  The kids and the coaches also used the batting cages, and we ate and had a very good time.  This was Trevor's 4th year as a mite, and next year he will be a squirt.  I'm learning so much about hockey and it seems as though Trevor really enjoys it.  Hopefully he'll have a great team next year and I'll know a bunch of the parents that I have gotten to know over the past 4 years.

Out with hockey and in with baseball.....Trevor had his first tryout experience a week after hockey was done.  Being new to the tryout experience, I had no idea what to expect.  Neither did Russ, except he had his own tryout history to rely on.  However, since we were young, they have really restricted the ability for parents to watch their kids try out.  I guess there have been parents who have taken it upon themselves to argue about a kid's tryout to try to get him/her onto a different team.  So now parents don't get to watch.

Before we left for Florida, Trevor found out he made a team with his best friend, and knew 3 other kids on the team.  That means he know almost half of the team.  He had his first practice this week, and anything I tried to assume based on the previous year's schedule is completely thrown out the window.  This weekend, the coach will be signing up for tournament/game schedule and he asked to send him any dates that weren't good for us.  His reasoning is that because the team is only 11 kids, if there are more than 2 of them missing, I don't know that they can even have a game.  Unfortunately, we did find out that this year (for the first time) their Bloomington team is hosting a tournament over Memorial Weekend.  Similar to the Bloomington Hockey tournament, parents are required to volunteer and be there throughout the tournament.  So this isn't one that we can miss, even if we wanted to.  Bummer!  So baseball will be a learning experience for us.

Gwen has been signed up for "instructional" baseball, which is what Trevor did in Kindergarten.  The alternative option for Gwen to play softball would have her on a team with 1st and 2nd graders where they keep scores and outs.  Since she didn't have any t-ball last year, I think she needs more of a less pressure setting so she learns how to hit the ball, rather than throw her in somewhere where she doesn't know yet even how to make an out.  Also, this way, if there is a scheduling conflict, I won't feel bad at her not making a game because they aren't keeping score yet.  Fortunately, we have about a month before baseball for her starts, so one less thing to worry about in April.

Also on the Gwen subject, she has really taken an interest in drawing and coloring.  She has gotten a variety of writing instruments and coloring pads which she does at least once every day.  She even wrote a note to hear teacher (at my request) asking if she could bring her sketch pad to do during choice time.  He approved, so she has been enjoying the attention she gets from her classmates when she shares her drawing toys with them.  She is still very happy with her Lego Friends toys and got another set for Easter.  I *think* she is done with all the major sets.  I have no doubt that they will come up with more....what a goldmine that stuff is.  Gwen found an older girl in Florida while we were at a restaurant that had a small Lego Friends set. She brought her sticker book about Lego Friends so she made a quick friend with this girl.

This month we also had our first full week of a family vacation in which we didn't have a major event planned.  Don't get me wrong, I love Disney trips, but they can be a bit tiring, making sure you get the most out of the trip.  Going to Florida for an entire week where we just had to worry about when to golf and meet up with people we wanted to see was a very different experience.  We did go out to see a Twins spring training game, and it was a very nice day for it.  It was windy and cooler than we would have liked, but the stadium remarkably kept out most of the wind.  #7 didn't play that day, but we did see a home run and the Twins did win the game.  We had three rounds of golf scheduled.  Trevor played two of them.  Gwen was asking to play golf with us, but I think it is another few years off before she is going to be able to make it at a nice course for 18 holes.  We did take her to the driving range and putting green.  She was satisfied that she got to use her clubs.  We found a morning to head to the beach to get some shells and to bury Trevor up to his neck.

My Grandpa turned 90 earlier that month, and we got to celebrate with him one day that he came over to visit.  It sure is nice to see him and for the kids to get to get to see him as well.  Gwen pulled out all the stops with Grandma Joannie as they both enjoyed basking in the sun by the pool.

But we are back home now, having had two baseball practices, primarily indoors.  Sounds like there will be a strong possibility that Trevor will be a major pitcher for the team.  Between my nerves and trying to get Trevor to understand the reality of what being a pitcher actually involves vs. what he thinks about in his mind, it is going to be a very interesting season.  After his first practice, he said he was glad to be back doing baseball stuff.  He has already started throwing the ball at the wall even though there is still snow in the yard.

Apparently, it is also the season for everyone to need new shoes.  Gwen doesn't exactly have a functional pair of sneakers at this point in her life.  She has many fashionable pairs of shoes, but with her feet outgrowing most of the current pairs, it was time to get a few new ones, and Trevor actually also complained that he thought it was soon going to be time to get a new pair for him as well due to his toes hitting the tops of his shoes.  So I just had a big box of shoes sent this week and T is only one size away from being in the same size shoe as me.  My mom was remarking how again, he seems to have shot up another inch in the past few months, so now he hits me slightly above my chin as opposed to by my shoulder like he did last year.  I was seriously hoping to make it until he was a teenager before he outgrew me.  Fat chance of that I'd say.  Now we are going to have to hope that it isn't before he's 11.

So anyway....before this post ages another day, I'm going to submit for now.  Pictures are something I haven't updated in a long while, except for the occasional mobile upload.  I have so many things on my to do list.  And the days seem to fly by.  Wherever will I find the time....until tomorrow I guess???