Thursday, May 28, 2015

Last Day of Preschool

It's Maeve's last day of preschool today, and, as she puts it, Tomorrow I'll be a Kindergartner!

Okay, maybe not tomorrow. But her path through preschool has distinctly come to an end, and next fall we'll be shopping for a bigger backpack and figuring out how long it'll take to walk to her school from here.

I asked Maeve if she had any feelings about leaving her preschool classmates behind, knowing they most likely won't be going to her school next year, and she shrugged and proclaimed that she'll make new friends next year. Which is a very practical perspective, I should have expected it.

Although this is the same girl who cries when she has to leave a play date with a friend, even if she will see this friend in less than a week, and she knows it. So, I'm not too far off, worrying she would be sad to say goodbye.

I'll be a little sad to say goodbye to the moms with whom I've hung out in the mornings this year. I didn't make any real, close friends but I did enjoy getting to know them and their kiddos. I eagerly anticipate doing this again next year when the other parents I meet may be living in my neighborhood. I have high hopes that both Maeve and I will make new friends next year when she starts Kindergarten, friends that may live closeby.

We'll see if either of us is sad today when we leave Maeve's preschool classroom for the last time. I just can't believe we're here already.

About to hop on the hoppy ball at the indoor obstacle course

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Wild Animal Sanctuary Visit

Yesterday, just for fun, we went to the Wild Animal Sanctuary. It's this amazing place where large predators who were removed from bad living situations like circuses, private homes, crazy drug lords, etc, can come to live in more natural surroundings and with a group of similar animals.

They house a bunch of tigers, maybe fifteen or sixteen of them, and some of them appear to be friendly with each other. These two seemed to be interacting nicely. They mostly each have their own area although some of them share; we assume those are the ones who were raised together.

You probably can't see that one too well, it's taken in the black bear area. This particular black bear was on top of the cage for some reason, and it looked like maybe he had climbed up there without a plan for getting back down. We got a good laugh watching him try to figure it out, and he eventually did.

Here's one of the wolves; they had some excitement because someone's dog got loose (even though there are signs everywhere practically begging the guests not to bring dogs onto the property) and the dog was running past the wolf enclosure. Truthfully, the wolves had their tails held high and wagging, like they were hoping for a new friend to play with, but I would not like to have been that dog's owner!

After about an hour, though, Maeve had run out of good behavior and was tired, so we trucked it back toward the parking lot. It was so green and beautiful, and we loved seeing the sun after weeks and weeks of unusual rain around here.

I loved our time there, though, it's so cool to see all those animals and know what a wonderful life they have now. Also, don't you think that bear looks like it's patting/about to devour Daddy's head?

If you'd like more info about the Wild Animal Sanctuary and the animals they've rescued, check them out here:

Monday, May 25, 2015

Towel Day

I have written about Memorial Day before, and don't really feel up to writing about it again today.

However, today is also Towel Day, a day two weeks after the death date of Douglas Adams, science fiction comedy writer without peer. He died too young, at just 49 years old, of a heart attack, when I was in college. 

I celebrated that first towel day, even though I was moving, by carrying around a towel all day, as is tradition, and have done so ever since. Today I'll wear my t-shirt that explains how important towels are to interstellar hitchhikers (very).

Douglas Adams' books are somehow really important to me, and not just in helping identify friends with a similar sense of humor. Sometimes life just throws you into crazy circumstances, just like Arthur who left earth wearing just his pajamas one day when Vogons bulldozed his home planet to make way for a hyperspace highway. Arthur generally complains about the quality of the tea wherever he goes, and just wants to get his life back, but eventually he learns to relax and let life happen to him.

It's a good metaphor for parenting, too. Nothing can prepare you for what it's like to be a parent, but leaving behind you everything that's familiar and traveling with crazy people through totally unfamiliar territory? Pretty close.

So if you're looking for a side-splitting laugh of a book, set in space, I'd highly recommend some Hitchhiker's Guide. But that's because I'm a Hoopy Frood who knows where her towel is.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Maeve's Preschool Graduation

So, my darling girl graduated from preschool today. I won't say there was much pomp and circumstance, but the kids managed to behave pretty darned well for 18 kids under age 6.

When I came in, they were cleaning up from being in center time, and their teachers herded them over to the graduation wall. That's my kid there, making a fish face on the back right.

First they sang their Good Morning song, which was just cute as a bug.

Next came their rendition of Pete The Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons.

Lastly, they did some sign language to a song about 3 Bears and Goldilocks. Good stuff.

Then Ms. Tania and Ms. Tina introduced each of the children, told us a little about them, and read some of the answers they'd given in a little interview. Apparently I'm 78 years old...

She's right that I love asparagus, though I'm not sure what I'd do with an asparagus toy...

Then the kids all got to have snacks, and I snapped one more picture of Maeve with her little hat.

And that's it! Maeve has learned and grown so much in preschool, I can't wait to see everything she'll be tackling in Kindergarten. I was worried at first about leaving her, and wondered how she'd do in a classroom without me, but obviously there was nothing to worry about! One of my highlights today was seeing her volunteer to help her teacher when she saw she needed a hand. That's a great  thing to see.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Summer "Vacation"

The irony of this situation is not lost on me: Maeve has recently found a new cartoon to watch: Phineas and Ferb, the adventures of twin brothers trying to make their summer vacation more fun. And her summer vacation begins in just two weeks.

All of my previous summers with Maeve have been exactly like the rest of my days, so I didn't used to look towards summertime with anything but happiness for eating dinner on the porch and playing outside. 

But after having tasted the morsel of freedom offered me by Maeve's preschool attendance, I am now looking at Maeve's summer vacation, and feeling hungry. I'm going to miss those 4 hours I had to myself, definitely.

And I don't think Maeve is going to spend all summer outside making wacky inventions like her cartoon friends. So we'll have to think of something to do. A lot of somethings.

Like learning to skateboard...