Friday, September 28, 2012

Skippin' School...

Cooper is in school five days a week now.  While I think he likes his teacher and school in general, I noticed that perhaps he could use a break.  As we have two more years before he even goes to kindergarten, I hardly want him to burn out at school before then!  So yesterday we "skipped school" and spent the morning at the beach.  Really I ought to call it a "field trip" or "outside education" as I think the kids can learn a lot by being outside and exploring nature.  Plus, I miss my little buddy during the week!
Gingerly testing the water.
More confident...
Even more confident...good thing I brought swimsuits!
Penny said, "A shell! Oh my gosh!"
Sandcastles?  Pshaw! Must make train tracks in the sand when you go to the beach.
I love little feet in the sand!
Cooper in the "tunnel."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Little Blue Crab

When we first bought our house, the previous owners mentioned that one time they had a big blue crab in the garage.  As they were not from South Texas, they  found this to be particularly alarming.  Upon the end of the story, in almost perfect unison, David and I both said, "Blue crab!  Did you eat it???"  Needless to say, they most certainly DID NOT and looked at us crazily to have suggested such a thing.  

In the time since we moved in, two and a half years ago, we have witnessed some interesting wildlife phenomenon.  I will note here, that witnessing wildlife at all is a phenomenon in itself, as we live IN A NEIGHBORHOOD.  There was the most gigantic raccoon I have EVER seen "treed" on our back fence at 4 a.m. one morning.  There was the winter when the deer escaped from the ranch down the road and SWAM across the bay, climbed out on shivering, skinny legs and went jogging through the streets.  We've seen HUGE (no, seriously, HUGE) wolf spiders in the pool, and HOUSE, tree frogs on our window, snakes in the weeds, and countless coastal (and non-coastal) birds.  Our fave bird was a Loggerhead Shrike, who lived in one of our front trees, and whom we named Vlad.  I once rescued a mouse from drowning in the pool, only to be visited later by his many descendants. (That is an episode in life I would rather forget.)

Right before Penny's birthday, I posted a picture of a little blue crab that had entered our yard and was tormenting in, it reared its claws and all she could do was yip.  We marveled over it, scooped it up with the pool skimmer and walked it down to the bay.  Clearly he had lost his way and needed to be taken home.  

On Tuesday I kept hearing that signature Dooley yip that I am coming to know as her "crab bark".  Low and behold, ANOTHER blue crab, just weeks after the first, was in our backyard, tormenting Dooley.  I tried to implement the same method as before to rescue him.  It didn't work, and the little blue crab scuttled underneath some concrete steps.  I worried over him, wondering how he would get out and if he was hungry.  

Then yesterday Dooley had to have surgery.  As she can't partake in any strenuous exercise for 10 days, both dogs have been camped out in the sun room since yesterday evening.  Apparently this gave the little blue crab a chance to escape because this morning as Penny and I were coming home from the grocery store, I had to stop short to avoid THIS GUY hanging out in my driveway.

This time, armed with a broom and an ice chest, I was able to scoop up the crab and lug him and Penny down to the water to set him free.  He seemed overwhelmingly relieved to be back in the water, and I was glad too.  Then it occurred to me.  I never once thought, "Blue crab!  We should eat him!" 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

How to Help Kids Transition: Boots and Babies!

Cooper has expressed that he misses his old school and that he doesn't want to go to school.  Yesterday he decided he wanted to show his friends his boots.  While cowboy boots probably aren't the most practical  choice for an active almost-four-year-old, I let him wear them to school.  I wanted to encourage his confidence in making choices AND help engage him in forging friendships at school!  He came home happy and very proud of the shapes hat he made.  There was no mention of the old school or not going as we piled into the car this morning.  
The second week of school went decidedly smoother than the first week.  Penny cried less at drop-off, and I think that is mostly because she had her baby and blanket clutched under her arm for security.  Actually, she has barely let her baby doll out of her grasp all week, but  we are not fighting her on that.  She needs her baby right now, and that is ok!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Little Events Over a Long Weekend

Who's playing in the rain at Nonnie's house?
For us, the summer ended in very much the same manner in which it began.  On Friday we traveled to Houston to be with Nonnie.  The kids were subjected to some typical (and much deserved after their long first week at school) grandparent spoilage and Mama and Daddy got some time to relax.  We were back home by Sunday evening, giving us some more family time.  On Monday our friends came over for dinner and to swim.  We all felt recharged and ready to start the following week!
It's Cooper!
The sprinkler, a puddle, and a truck make for one happy little girl.
Penny in the pool with no less than two floats, Mama's sunglasses, and her plush baby doll...
A cozy end to a long weekend.