Thursday, May 31, 2007

First week of summer

Since school has been out we've:
  • Celebrated Carys' 3rd birthday (photos here)
  • Been swimming at the neighborhood pool
  • Read books at the library
  • Read lots of books at home
  • Walked around the neighborhood a lot
  • Visited the Dallas World Aquarium
It's a challenge to keep everyone engaged and stimulated and retain a sense of a carefree summer. I'm trying to balance planned excursions (which I prefer) with lazier days so that I don't impose too much of my will on Katie & Cooper!

We're trying something different this summer. Cooper & I chose 12 themes for summer (recorded here), and we're using the theme to add a bit of structure to the weeks. This is Antarctica week, so we've been reading about penguins, visited penguins, eaten ice cream, studied Cooper's Smart Globe. Katie loves penguins and calls them "Happy Feet" because of the movie. And then she usually breaks out in a happy dance.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

There's a first-grader in the house

Cooper went to school a kindergartner this morning and came home a first-grader this afternoon. We celebrated in his classroom with cookies provided by the room mom. (I wish I'd had my camera so you could see how blue Katie's face and hands were after eating the giant sugar cookie coated in blue frosting and gold letters, spelling "We're 1st graders." She was really happy.)

Not surprisingly, I got a bit weepy when it was time to leave. As a student, I always cried the last day of school. I loved school and literally spent summers counting days until I could go back. Well, it looks like I get to relive that last-day-of-school emotion for the next few years with Cooper and Katie. It was a combination of factors today -- realizing that another year of my baby's life has passed, leaving our comfortable routine, feeling gratitude for a really outstanding teacher (who also cried a bit when saying goodbye to her little ones).

Tonight Steve & Cooper are at a minor league baseball game. It's the school district's spirit night, and our elementary school families purchased the most tickets. So, our music teacher threw out the first pitch. Steve reports from the scene that she tried hard but didn't make it over the plate. A nearby student appreciatively commented, "She throws like a boy."

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Crash course

I'm frantically working on a project that requires me to get to know the North Texas area very well, very quickly. You'd think a Dallas native would know more about her hometown! So I've been dragging family and friends on adventures the past couple of weeks -- museums, trails, restaurants, hotels. I have a number of photos not yet edited to include. This one is from a quick trip to the Fort Worth Museum of Science.

Field trip

All seven kindergarten classes, their teachers and dozens of moms headed south for a day at the Dallas Arboretum. The children had just learned about seeds, plants and living and nonliving things, so they were particularly engaged on the trip.

I led a group of four boys, including Cooper, through the grounds. Mrs. D provided blank journals, crayons and pencils and encouraged us to stop frequently to fill the pages. The boys were so well behaved, interested and eager to draw. I even cajoled them into writing a list of five living and five nonliving things around us.

We first named our group "Bledsoe Adventure Club." After lunch, one of the boys changed it to the "Healthy Bledsoe Adventure Club," noting that all four of them had eaten healthy food.

More photos are here. And special thanks to Jim and Betty for taking care of Katie so I could be a chaperone. Even before I knew I wanted to be a mom, I knew I wanted to be a chaperone on field trips.

Great Barrier Reef

Cooper shows off his diorama (previously mentioned) before taking it to school last week. (He's wearing a hat because it's the same day as his field trip to the Arboretum.)

The jellyfish (far right) moves up and down and wiggles side to side with some engineering help from Steve. Other creatures include a shrimp (under the jellyfish), clown fish, stingray, shark and mussel.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Alles Gute Zum Geburtstag, Conor!

Conor turned 3 in April, and we helped celebrate at one of our favorite restaurants, the Bavarian Grill. Some highlights:
  • Conor loved saying the names of everyone at the table.
  • Cooper learned to balance a spoon on his nose and convinced others, including folks at a nearby table, to do the same.
  • Many of us danced the Chicken Dance.
  • We all ate apple strudel.
  • Conor & Katie kissed at the end of the night.

A few more photos are here.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

So much catching up to do!

Katie loves her Aunt Melane

Greg and Molli

Cooper, Brooke and one of her original designs

Mel and Stevie D

Will and Conor (who is now 3!)


Me and Mel

Grandma and Papa

Jim & Betty hosted a lovely dinner for my birthday a couple of weeks ago. I was in the middle of a painful shingles episode, but nothing could get in the way of enjoying the company of some of my favorite people! More photos of the festivities are here.