So it’s looking like I’m going to be encountering some big round numbers this month.
The first is likely to be my car hitting 100,000 miles. It’ll probably happen by Monday. My sweet, little purple toaster car. It’s a 2005 Scion xB. The second car I’ve ever owned, and certainly the car I’ve driven the longest and the furthest.
I’m also about to hit 1,000,000 views on my Little Four Eyes blog. That’s coming in about 7-8 days. It’s a little crazy to think how much that little blog took off. I’m kinda proud of it. Ok. Really proud. (It’s possible that the Little Four Eyes facebook group could hit 3,000 members this month, but that’s far less likely).
And then, in just 10 days, I’ll hit that big, round number birthday. That’s right, I’ll turn…
just look at how big and round 38 is:
Today was Zoe’s last day of kindergarten. For the past few weeks, she’s been oscillating between being really excited about the end of the year, and then really sad about the end of the year. Last night, she excitedly told me that when she left the school today, she’d be a first grader. This morning, she told me she was going to wear “sad clothes.”
She was pretty chipper after school, though. Especially since she now knows that her best friend would be in her class again next year.
It’s crazy to think back over the year about all that she’s learned: She’s reading now, and writing. She’s started doing adding and subtracting, and lots of pattern recognition. She did her first library research (a report on horses). Her drawings are getting to be as good as mine (not that I’m a particularly amazing artist. At all). She asks great questions and is curious about things. I can’t wait to see what she learns in first grade, but for now, she gets a bit of a well-deserved summer vacation.
Watching Zoe learn to read has been one of those crazy things. In a way, it’s very reminiscent of when she was first learning to talk. Before starting kindergarten, she had one or two words she recognized (“no”, “on”, and “zoo”), but then she started coming home with small simple books, and she’d work hard and slowly and we’d get through them. And then the books got more complicated. And thank goodness, too, because listening to Zoe read the first one, that first time was awesome, I think I may have been more excited than Zoe was when she got through that first book. But after listening to those really early reader books for the twenty-third time? Well, it was a bit tedious. Now she’s reading books that have actual plots – they’re still short books, but with real stories, not repeating the same phrase over and over again. And in just the last couple of days, she’s started reading a ton of other things and I’m realizing just how many words there are all around us on signs and boxes and papers and bumper stickers and buildings…(“Why does the cracker box say ‘open for fun’?” “Does it say ‘Amazon’ on that box?”). It really is like language acquisition all over again. Oh, and now that she’s reading, she does have her own library card. I will admit, I had tears in my eyes when she checked out her own books for the first time.
I haven’t gotten a video of Zoe reading, she’s still self-conscious about it, even though she really does a great job. But Hazel wanted to get in on the action. So here she is doing a very dramatic reading of “No No Yes Yes” by Leslie Patricelli.
(Edited: Update at the very end, also some minor edits, I should have proofread before posting. I also wanted to note that I cannot take credit for the ideas here. They all came from our library department, I’m just documenting. Ann Z)
So those who know me on Facebook have probably noticed that many of my status updates have to do with the adventures of our staplers at work. Those updates seem to interest a lot of my friends, it’s even been suggested that I write a book on the topic. But writing a book is intimidating, so instead, I’ll just put down our hard-won wisdom in a blog post…
For those that need a bit of background: I work in a library at a small college – but a college that expects its students to write a lot. And to hold their papers together with staples. Also, at this particular college, the library gets a lot of use, and so, our staplers get a lot of use, too. And not all loving use. Also, some students walk away with our staplers. What this boils down to is that we go through a lot of staplers. A crazy lot of staplers. Enough so that we started investigating ways to encourage our students to be a little more gentle with them, and to leave them in the library.
Voter #633 at my polling place, ballot cast at 9:30 am.
Chris went shortly after the polls open and found a long line, but our polling place is pretty efficient and he got through quickly. We had a conference for Hazel this morning (she’s all good), and I went after that and found no line to get in. There was however, a line to put your ballot in to the ballot reader.
In Minnesota, our ballots are paper, machine-read ballots. You mark your choice by filling in a bubble. You can choose to go to a booth, or just sit at a table and make your votes. There’s something about filling in a bubble on multiple choice questions, the scantron paper, sitting at these long tables, with a flimsy paper folder for privacy, that takes me right back to elementary school and standardized testing. I feel guilty when I pull out my paper where I wrote the names of the down ballot people I wanted to elect (judges and soil and water conservation board elections). Like somehow I’m cheating.
Everyone in the room is very Minnesota nice. People are pleasant, and even put up with the long line to enter your ballot with good humor. The election judges are helpful, and nice, and fair – they’re pretty much democracy super heroes in my mind.
I hope that everyone who reads this will vote, or has already voted, if they’re eligible! I won’t go all dramatic on you, but these things matter. Your vote matters.
For those in Minnesota, I voted No on both amendments (marriage amendment and voter id), and I do hope that you will, too. I believe that two people who love each other and are willing to make a commitment to becoming a family deserve to be celebrated and supported and protected, regardless of their sex. And I believe that there are already too many barriers to voting, as evidenced by the poor turnout at many elections. Minnesota has had very high profile recounts recently where votes were closely scrutinized, looking for fraud. There was no fraud that would have been prevented by a voter id restriction. But there are cases where eligible voters would be turned away at the polls due to not having a valid id.
I’m a bit late here … the girls turned 6 and 2 in the middle of October.
Zoe’s now 6, and full in to being a Kindergartner. It’s astounding how much she’s learning now, though she’s exhausted by the end of most days. She brings home books from school and slowly works through them, working out the words on her own. I think I was more excited about her starting to read than she is, though she does enjoy it. She also loves playing with her sister and helping her sister with things.
Hazel is 2, and rapidly leaving all the baby things behind. She’s talking a lot, and will entertain herself for a long time playing with her bears or her doll, and she’s always asking to, “read more book, Mama!”
I..ah, took lots of rock hammer for scale pictures this time around…
I was cleaning up after lunch and Hazel was happily and quietly entertaining herself. A little too quietly, come to think of it. I stepped around the corner to find this.
It’s Thursday evening at the dinner table, I ask Zoe about her day.
Me: What did you do at school today, Zoe?
Zoe: Well, our teacher brought us lemons. But we didn’t make lemonade.
Ah the poor, neglected second child. You know how they joke that a first child has lots of photos and the second, not so much? It’s grounded in just a bit of truth here. And I’m pretty clearly not too good at keeping this place updated as much as I used to either. Heck, I haven’t even posted her 1 year rock hammer photo. Let’s fix that:
and since she’s now nearly 20 months, we have an 18 month photo, too:
I recently re-read a post I wrote about Zoe at 20 months. I know you’re not supposed to compare your kids, but it’s fun to see where they’re the same and how they’re different. So inspired by that post, here’s Hazel at nearly 20 months:
Things she likes:
- stroller rides
- anything with her sister
- reading books
- playing the brown bear, brown bear game (she’ll sit for a long time matching the tiles to their places on the board)
- sippy cups – as many as she can carry.
- her sun hat.
- her coat – we’ve mostly broken her of that habit. No doubt in a few months, we’ll have a fight on our hands to get her to wear one again.
- her baby doll. Or her sister’s baby doll. Either one.
Things she doesn’t like (there are surprisingly few of these):
- people taking away her sippy cups
- being put into my car (mostly because she knows the stroller is kept in my car, and she gets her hopes up whenever we walk out to the car. And then she’s disappointed when, instead of unloading the stroller, I instead snap her into her carseat.)
- when someone leaves the room she’s in.
Words she says:
(Fun fact: Neither Zoe nor Hazel has been an early talker. With Zoe, I didn’t have many friends with kids of the same age, so I didn’t do as much comparing. But with Hazel, I have a lot of friends with kids the same age, and they all seem to be quite the talkers. I would be worried, except that I can see how much Zoe talked at that age. And given how much Zoe talks now, I’m not at all worried about Hazy. Both girls were very early nose-blowers, though, so we do have that to brag about.)
- mama, dada
- hi, bye
- cookie (we do feed her real food, honest).
- hat (of course)
- My! (she does have an older sister to contend with, after all)
- (and probably a few others that I’m not remembering)
Sweet, sick girl of mine,
Who sleeps only in my lap,
How, then, do I sleep?