Thursday, September 14, 2017

August in review

August was a whirlwind of activity as summer shifted into fall, so I wanted to capture a few of those memories here. First, T-Bird Camp and the week leading up to middle school for this girl:


Beauty! Yep, she wears lipstick/gloss now.

We decorated Lu's locker and she got a bunch of compliments.

 Then Mark and I snuck back to the school and hid this little bundle of sweets inside to wish her a happy first day. So far she loves middle school.
We've also been spending lots of time with neighbors... walks, cul-de-sac round-ups, driveway movies and an adult dinner out at Maggiano's.
I think this night started at six and lasted until one in the morning, the whole crew singing '80's songs into the wee hours.

Mark and I went on a date to Warby Parker... he got glasses!

Now everyone tells him he looks extra sophisticated.
We went to Coldplay. It was epic.

And then the sky put on its own epic show and I got to join Gryffy for the solar eclipse. We weren't in the path of totality but we were close. It felt ominous and strangely dark.




Gryffy found this golf ball and was sure it was a sign of Grandpa John watching over him. So he made a point of bringing it to the eclipse because Grandpa John always loved the moon and the heavens. This just melted me.
 The clouds were in the way for some of it, but we saw most of it through our glasses.

A little gem from back to school night.
 And a bit of redecorating: we got a rug in the piano room.
And I think Gryffy had just wiped the table after dinner, but here's a pic of the dining room with collages of countries we've visited as a family, a new light, rug and gray walls. We eat most of our meals in this room and use it for a lot of family games.
That wraps up the month of August.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Bedtime Rituals

Tonight, as I was tucking the kids in to bed, Gryffy requested an old bedtime ritual/backrub that I used to do when they were toddlers. I'm writing it down so I don't forget.

TREASURE HUNT
Going on a treasure hunt (move hand in an S pattern, top to bottom)
X marks the spot (draw a big X across the back)
Four big boulders (pound shoulders and lower back with fist 4 times)
Little tiny rocks (tickle fingers on shoulders)
High seas (sweep hands across shoulders like waves)
Warm breeze (blow on neck)
Now you've got the shiverees! (tickles all over)

Favorite Bedtime Songs:
Edelweiss (using the kids' names)
Lully Lullay
Holly and the Ivy
Silent Night
Deedle-Deedle Dumpling Gryffin John
I Have a Dream (Mamma Mia)
Disney songs (Colors of the Wind, Part of Your World)
Yo-Ho, Hoist the Colors (Pirates of the Caribbean)

It's the little rituals that mean so much!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

First day of 4th & 6th grade

Today was the official first day of fourth grade and middle school. Yowzas! How did this happen?!
The back-to-school hoopla began on Monday with the ice cream social and teacher reveals at the elementary school. Gryffy was super excited to get several of his buds in class and was greeted first thing by Austin: "Hey, classmate!"
Lorelei walked him down to the fourth grade corridor to meet his new teacher...
 Ms. Biel. We already love her and it's her first year teaching, so this is a special year for her, too!
 And of course Lorelei had to stop by and say hello to her awesome fifth grade teacher, Ms. Gafney.
These two... so excited to be in class together! Miles told his mom that if he could only pick two friends to be in class, Gryffy would be one of them. Gryffy feels the same way. :)
 On Tuesday it was sixth grade orientation, a two-hour morning mock-school to shuffle kids between classes to practice schedules, bells and lockers.
  This girl did great and came home smiling!
 On Wednesday morning for the first day of school, the Backpack Fairy arrived with notes, silver half-dollars and some LED helicopters and favorite candies. (And let's just enjoy those uber-cool backpacks the kids and I decorated with patches from all of the countries they've visited - Lorelei wanted hers all higgledy-piggledy and Gryffy wanted his lined up in some semblance of order. Pretty snazzy.)

Digging into the fairy loot.
Saying "bye" to Daddy as he left for work.
And first day poses. Six fingers! Six!


We made some monkey bread the night before and barely touched it -- too much going on!
Meanwhile Gryffy refused to take any photos with Lorelei. The boy was tired. And embarrassed by the haircut his mom gave him. "I don't want to show my shame..." Poor kid. :(
The closest we got.
Fortunately, after I dropped off Lorelei - who was half-excited/half-nervous as we pulled up to Middle School - the boy pulled himself together for a few first day photos as well.
That's a "4" and not a "B" in sign language. :) Fourth grade! (One of my favorite years.)

Awww, look at that snaggle-toothed grin.
Gryffy met up with some buddies outside the school.

"Last picture, Mom."
Okay, Buddy.
I was a mess of emotion, which isn't usually the case on the first day. But this is the first year the kids are in different schools. I know they're meant to grow up and become more independent, but it takes awhile for my heart to catch up with them. They are my world, and my world is changing. And it's so good and hard and beautiful.

Fortunately I was able to pull myself together with some friends and mimosas. Thanks Jenn! 
And you know what? The first day flew by, lickey-split. And this girl got in the car, smiling and raving about her new teachers and how she got to help all the other kids figure out their locks at gym class (we'd been practicing all summer).
And then the two of us drove together to pick up Mr. Gryff, who loved his first day too. We talked the whole day through over our traditional Luksa family no-bakes, and then our neighbors showed up to exchange stories, we piled on the couch for a family movie and stir-fry, went on a walk under a rainbow-lit sky, and tucked into bed with made-up stories. It was a near-perfect first day.
Only 179 more days until summer. :)