Friday, September 17, 2010


Last spring in the rush to get settled into our new house and get organized before company came I left one of my school bags sitting in the garage right outside our door. All summer as I opened the door to go into the garage I passed by the bag always thinking, "hmmm, I really need to bring that inside." But, I just never did. The bag was full of books, my day planner and one item I had forgotten all about...a Trader Joe's chocolate bar given to me as a gift by one of my students.

About a month ago I realized I needed one of those books in my bag so I gamely went out to the garage to recover it. As I peered into the black bottom of the bag I saw the shiny wrapper of the chocolate bar. Yay! Then I noticed the wrapper was in tiny bits and half the bar had been nibbled away. I quickly pulled my hand out of the bag knowing there must be a chocolate-loving creature lurking inside. As I was the only one home I did what I believe most people in my situation would do: I decided I didn't need that book after all, turned on my heel and calmly walked back into the house. I then willed myself to forget what I had seen and continued walking by the bag for the next month.

A few days ago I realized I did indeed need that book so I took a second peek in the bag. This time there was nothing left of the chocolate bar but a pile of shiny gold wrappers. Jason was home so I apprised him of the situation (there was some eye rolling on his part) and sent him to the garage to rid the bag of the scary creature that was surely inside. I retreated to the family room where I soon heard banging, running and maybe a tiny shriek. The culprit was still in the bag and this is what he must have looked like while enjoying my chocolate bar:

Somehow in my mind the only thing that could have been in that bag was some type of disgusting, creepy-crawly bug - or a rat. A mouse is entirely different! As you know, we've been trained from a young age to love these tiny rodents. I've been inundated with cute mouse images forever!
Like this one!
And have you seen this? Pretty cute!
Mice are heroes as evidenced by children's literature:
And clearly they have a sensitive side.

So, when I went out to take a look at the little mouse quivering in the corner of the garage behind a bookshelf I was horrified to hear Jason say he needed to get one of these:
"Not on my watch Jason!"
After more eye rolling on Jason's part (he thinks I'm crazy) he spent the better part of the next hour trying to get the mouse to run for his life out of the garage, which he did.
But darn that mouse - yesterday he came back looking for seconds. Now he's wanted: dead or alive.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I can't believe Isabelle started kindergarten this week! Even though she's gone to two years of preschool there is something different about starting "big kid" school. And, even though I teach kindergarten and am used to the chaos of 600+ children ages 5-11 running every which way, it is much different when your own child is dropped in the jungle and expected to survive. I am thankful I know the chaos is actually fairly organized and everyone gets to where they need to be.

Of course the very first event at her school conflicted with my schedule. Our open houses were on the same day at exactly the same time! I was so appreciative of her teacher when she arranged to meet with us earlier in the day so Isabelle could see her classroom and feel comfortable starting the first day. We looove Mrs. Odegaard! She is kind and sweet and really the quintessential kindergarten teacher.

Isabelle didn't seem nervous to start school at all. She was all giggles and smiles, even telling me there was no need for Daddy to follow the bus to school - "I can find my room by myself." (Clearly this was not going to be an option and Jason was waiting for her when the bus pulled up to school the first day.)

After carefully selecting her outfit it was time for the obligatory "first day photo shoot". Isabelle was even happy to pull out her best poses! It was raining though so we were confined to the porch. I am so glad that every morning I will get to put Isabelle on the bus. We had to arrange with transportation for Isabelle to get on at the first stop in our neighborhood so I can make it to work on time (sort of). Jason has arranged his schedule so he'll meet the bus after school right next to our house (the last stop in the neighborhood).
Check out Isabelle's huge smile! Her bus was the very last one to arrive at school. Settling in and writing her name.
On the second day Isabelle thought Madeleine might have felt a little left out so she wanted more pictures taken with her sister. So sweet!

I'm glad Jason could meet her at school so I could see this:

Isabelle is the only child in our neighborhood going to all-day kindergarten (everyone else is half-day) and she went to preschool near where I work so we were pretty sure she wouldn't know even one person in her class. We were happy when she got home and we heard this:
After school Isabelle's best friend Laney called to talk about their first day of school. After being together almost everyday at daycare I know Isabelle was really missing her now that they're in kindergarten at different schools. I tried not to eavesdrop on the conversation but, to my dismay, what I did hear was Isabelle saying to Laney, "now, when are you getting your driver's license?" What?! Come on girls, it's the first day of kindergarten! Ah, well. It's very apparent we only have 13 more years before she goes off to college. We're going to enjoy them!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Summer's Last Hurrah

That's right folks. Summer has officially come to an end. How can this be? I'm pretty sure that as long as I don't flip the month on the calendar I can still pretend it's August. But, with the end of August comes the Evergreen State Fair and since we'd never been we piled into the car and headed down the road for some fun, excitement and healthy food. (There was a piece of lettuce in the gyro I ate.) :)

Isabelle and Madeleine loved visiting all the animals.
We even saw two-day-old piglets! The "awww" factor on that was pretty huge.

There were pony rides...

...and thrill rides.

Did anyone else notice that Jason went on all the spinning rides? That definitely was not an accident.
Look at this delicious cuisine! Curly fries and elephant ears - delectable! At any other time I would probably turn up my nose in disgust but every once in a while we go a little crazy. However, not crazy enough to sample the fried Twinkies and candy bars. Look at Maddy reaching for the elephant ear! She couldn't get enough!
As if the seasons were plotting against me, the next morning the weather changed and all we could do was stare glumly out the window at the rain.
Right before the fair we had a fun visit from Uncle Jeremy, Jason's brother.
Isabelle and Madeleine had so much fun with him!
And so tomorrow it's back to school for me and the beginning of school for Isabelle. I can't believe that in a few short hours she'll be a kindergartner! Believe me, the camera will be poised and ready as I hold back tears and sniffle through the day.