Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Live from Boston

Noah and I are on our first trip of just the two of us. So far his living the dream on the plan. No brother to compete with. Non-stop six hours of cartoon network and Momma handing him food to sustain him. He has hardly said a peep. So different from Eric who asks questions about everything going on and how much longer.

Noah became a big kid on his birthday. He turned five. When Eric was fiver years he got to go on a work trip with Momma too, also around the time of the Boston marathon.

This will be a brand new experience for Noah. He will have undivided attention of both me and Grandma, not to mention Nana and Auntie Janice who he last visited at nine months old. Younger siblings don't really even know that undivided attention exists.

I am heading to work at the Boston Marathon. Grandma is meeting to hang with Noah while I work. It is going to an adventure for all of us. Clif Bar is the official organic sports nutrition food of the Boston marathon for the first time ever and it is a huge activation.

Noah is really ready for something new other than pre-school. His frustration with learning  and trying to do things like write letters, numbers, and read without yet having been taught is just like when he was learning to articulate with words he didn't yet have to express what he wanted to say.

I know he senses the transition to kindergarten is near and he has no hesitation but it probably not soon enough.

Soooo good time for his first big kid work trip with Mom! It will be interesting because Eric is such a good big brother, Always watching out for Noah and giving him direction and answering for him before he gets a chance to speak. Sometimes I think this makes Noah a little less outgoing because brother is always there to lead the way.

Let's not forgot to mention that "Mom-of-the-Year" is sitting two rows behind us on the plan with two little boys who we have not heard a peep out of the entire flight. I just keep hearing her bitch, swear, scold, put down, and ridicule these poor little boys who are doing nothing than being 2 and maybe 4 year olds on the plan. Very well behaved. The ask her lots of questions and have a lot of needs and I get that she has been traveling with them on vacation for a week and is desperate for a break but that doesn't make up for the fact that she puts them down. Listening to her reminds me that even on my worst day I am never that bad and that my worst days will now have me thinking back to how hurtful her parenting was to her children and how I don't even want to come close to that!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

February 2015 » Love in Mt. Denali

February 2015 » Love in Mt. Denali

Boy, could we feel the love in the air this February! Ready for some Valentine’s Day fun, the children wasted no time getting their hands dirty in art projects, planning secret surprise gifts for moms and dads, baking yummy treats, and of course, tracking down those mysterious footprints all over our classroom! Love wasn’t all we brought to the classroom, a mysterious “love bug” seemed to be playing in our classroom, leaving red heart footprints all over our tables, floors, and furniture! We never were able to catch the love bug in action, but it sure prompted questions regarding its identity. While we tried to unravel the mystery, we got to workspreading our own love by creating “long-distance hugs” to share with friends and family. With moms and dads often leaving on work trips or heading to the office for the day, we realized they must miss us like crazy. To help fill their bucket, we painted our hands and made two red handprints on white paper. Once the paint dried, teachers helped cut them out and use our fine motor skills to tie strings between each hand. Suddenly, hugs were being given out left and right! We hope you all got one of your own!

Afterwards, we began working on our TOP SECRET surprise gifts for moms and dads. Wanting to show them just how much we love them, what better way than to give them our hearts! Figuratively, we mean. Decorating heart shaped keepsake boxes with heart foam stickers andsequins, we decided a long distance hug just wasn’t enough, we wanted to make something our moms and dads could take with them everywhere, our hearts on a keychain! Using special shrink film, each friend traced a heart shaped stencil and decorated it with sharpie markers. Once their drawings were complete, we took each heart and baked it in the oven for approximately two minutes on 350 degrees. To our surprise, the shrink film shrunk to more than half its original size and now our hearts were the size of the palms of our hands! Attached onto keychain rings, we were able to decorate two hearts, one for mom and dad, and place them inside our heart keepsake box as a special surprise. We hope you loved them!

Of course, we couldn’t end the week without baking someyummy treats and passing out our valentines! Working on recognizing ingredients and identifying measurements, each friend was responsible for one ingredient. Using basic math skills and fine motor skills to handle measuring cups and spoons, we used a basic recipe to make delicious Valentine’s Day sugar cookies. Visualizing cause and effect as certain ingredients were added to our mixture, we tested the dough periodically to see if it was ready to be molded. Once “doughy” enough, we took turns rolling the dough into balls and flattening it to be able to use our heart shaped cookie cutter. Once placed onto the cookie tray and baked, we made our own frosting from scratch and added pink food coloring to turn it pink. With frosting ready to go, we began decorating our cookies, adding sprinkles to add to our sea of frosting, occasionally having to lick the frosting that kept getting on our fingers. Looking too good to pass up, we decided to dive in and “test” our cookies. Just to make sure they were safe. Hopefully you all got to “test” them too! And if you didn’t get to hear all about our Valentine’s Day at school, here are a few pictures to get you caught up!

For you, Noah!For you, Noah!Who's ready to pass out valentines? Me!Who's ready to pass out valentines? Me!

 A valentine for you!A valentine for you!And you, too!And you, too!

Check out this cool valentine!Check out this cool valentine!Look, I made something for you!Look, I made something for you! 

Thank you Taavi!Thank you Taavi!Whoa, how awesome!Whoa, how awesome!

Along with all the love going on in Mt. Denali, we decided to integrate kindness into our curriculum and revamp our kindness heart concept. Creating new kindness heart buckets to resemble heart pouches, we reintroduced kindness hearts and ways we can earn them. Hanging them up in our circle area, we will take a moment each day during morning circle to highlight kind acts our friend have earned, hoping to encourage more kind acts to follow. At the end of each week, our friend will be able to check their buckets and take home all the hearts they earned that week to show moms and dads. For each kindness heart earned, Ms. Keri and I will write what kind act that friend initiated or was a part of. Our goal is to build positivity both inside and outside the classroom and encourage kindness in any way we can. From the simplest acts such as grabbing a pencil for a friend to helping a friend in need. Let the kindness begin!
Happy February!
With Love,
Ms. Lisa and Ms. Keri

Friday, February 27, 2015

Happy Birthday to Our Noah

Today Noah is five years old. Yesterday we discovered his two lower, front teeth are loose. He was so surprised. It is a true stepping stone of growing up. He has watched his older brother loose teeth all the time with extreme curiosity. Now it is his turn and he is fascinated. He reminds of when he started walking the day before his first birthday. He took this first two or three steps and had the same big eyes and surprised look as he does now looking at himself in the mirror making many various "Noah Expressions" while wiggling the teeth. The tooth fairy will be coming and this time for Noah's teeth because he is now five.

Thinking about writing this post I thought it would start by saying "oh, I can't believe he his five already", but the truth is I do believe it. My baby is five. Don't tell him I called him a baby. He hates that but of course our children are always our babies in our hearts.

For some crazy reason, I have been awaking every morning at 5am for the last month. My guess is that my need to write is waking me up. This morning I woke up and my first thought was today Noah wakes up and is five years old and he is going to be so excited.

Now Noah is five. He has a tender heart and a mind of his own. He is stern and direct with his feelings and willing to speak the unspoken feelings for the whole house. He loves to be held close and snuggle up. Even fifty-pounds heavy, Noah prefers to be carried, but understands when he can't be. He trusts his brother to teach him well, but doesn't let him rule his world. His best friend since they were five months old is Taavi , whose parents are wonderful and now also friends.

Noah is a child that has forced me to face many fears in order to better parent. This has helped me grow as a person. He challenges me in ways only Noah can, and while this does wear me down, each time I learn from it. He has opened my eyes to a tenderness that I believe all grown men have, some just have no idea how to express it because they didn't have the confidence or were never shown how. Noah you are a sweet, strong, and beautifully blonde boy. I love you and promise to always give you hundreds of big, wet, and sloppy kisses and some good back scratches.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Five cousins skiing

Stayed tuned.....five kids, two days, four adults one day, Aaron and I solo the next. May the force be with us.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2014


Today is my Grandpa Eric's birthday, Eric's namesake. He would have been 100 years old today. As far as I can tell there is no one sweeter or more content with his life than he was. He will always be a very special human who had more love and silliness to give than he seemed to realize.

 December 10th will  also always be 98 days after my labor day. Yet this day will never pass by without specially noting it as Eric's second birthday. No, not second as in two years old, but rather the day we came home from the hospital and walked through our front door together as a new family.

Eric, you embody the kind and happy nature of your great grandpa. Your smile, your bright eyes, your deep-belly chuckle bring daily joy into this world. You, my baby, have grown so much in eight years and the person you are becoming has me in awe every day. You are growing into a bold, confident, determined, and exceptionally enthusiastic young man. You wake up with sun wearing a huge smile on your face and strong bouncy steps underfoot. Although I struggle to wipe the sleep out of my eyes and say "good morning sunshine", I love your eagerness to start the day! Mostly though, I love you and as the trauma of our early days getting to know each other fades further behind us, I will remain forever grateful.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Eric soccer

Eric's soccer coach said he was the player with the best  sportsmanship and biggest smile all the time. His smile glows and lights up. His highlight move was passing and assistang in the goal which is what they c were working von all season as a team!

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Three buddies

These 24, 26, 25 weeker NICU grads celebrating together their 8th birthdays. #sweetestboysever