Wednesday, August 31, 2011

On pins and needles

Here in our school district, kindergarten had what's called "staggered entry." You go for one day during the first week of school with a smaller group and meet all the teachers. Then at the end of the period you are assigned to your class and start on your real "first day" a week later. For working parents, this can create quite a situation. Both our old daycare center and the YMCA (our new childcare option) had additional options for childcare during this week, but I thought it would be nice to use this time for some family activities that we'd wanted to do during a time that would be less crowded.

So we took the Amtrak train from Cary to Charlotte to visit the Discovery Center in downtown. This is not the fastest or cheapest way to travel from Cary to Charlotte, but I thought it would be the most entertaining and give us a change of pace. Driving down and back in one day is a lot of driving, and this way we could spend time with the girls or get up and walk around if we needed to. Plus, I didn't have to worry about parking or anything.

It was a three hour ride, and we took a taxi from the train station to Discovery Center. We stayed from 10:30 am until around 4:30 pm. We ate at their cafe for lunch and got sandwiches to go to eat on the train on the way home. On the train they ate, knitted, colored, and watched videos on my iPod.

The girls loved the kids room on the first floor, especially the building toys.

They have the CitiBlocks at the Museum of Life and Science as well, but the girls were very excited to spend a lot of time working on their creations.

An experiment on wind.

Our bright and shiny morning at the Cary Amtrak.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

First Day of the Big K

The girls had their first day of kindergarten today. Our district has staggered entry where the kindergarteners only attend one of the first four days of school. They aren't assigned a teacher yet and are evaluated. Then we'll go back to school for "Meet the Teacher" day on Wednesday for a few hours and find out our permanent assignments before starting on next Thursday.

We drove them to school and checked them in a little before nine. Since I'd read (and followed) the directions mailed to us by the school, it only took a few minutes before they were on their way down the hall. All day I wondered what they were doing.

I picked them up right at 5 (they're doing the after school program through the YMCA), and they were very excited. I grilled them about everything, but didn't get much in the way of details. Yes, they were separated for most of the day except for lunch and recess. The teachers asked them lots of questions and there was lots of talking. Madeleine was upset they said she was too young for the monkey bars. They were excited that some of the Y counselors were the same ones from the camp they did earlier this week.

Contrary to the popular rumor, they did not just crash tonight. They were pretty keyed up and stayed up almost an hour later.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Camp Success!

The girls had a great day at Y Camp today. I walked them in since it was the first day, and they went right in to hang out with the other kids. They liked the activities and games. Madeleine's favorite was archery, but she was disappointed that she didn't get to use the water slide (because they didn't want little kids out of sight). Lily was happy she got to swim with a foam bubble on, and she's hoping to get a turn at archery later this week.

Where I messed up was lunch. They were both happy with the items, however Lily was so hungry at lunch she ate her snacks too and didn't have anything left for the afternoon. But Madeleine was nice and shared apparently, so all is well.

I will try and do better tomorrow.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Swim Test

Because we were doing after school care at our school through the YMCA, we joined the Y this summer. But since we also still belong to Lifetime, as it's more convenient, we hadn't been to the Y yet this summer. Since the girls start the program this week, I wanted them to at least see the building and try out the pool.

It was very different from what they're used to. There's a baby pool, a sprayground, and the main pool is 4 feet deep. The pool at Lifetime is a zero depth entry pool, so they've never really been anywhere where they were instantly over their heads.

Both Lifetime and the Y have a slide as well. At the completion of her swim lessons this summer, Madeleine and Lily are able to ride the slides at Lifetime. They're the required height and can swim the distance from the slide to the exit. So they've been riding the slides there whenever they get a chance.

So Madeleine was dead set on riding the slide at the Y too, but I knew that the requirements were more strict. She had to pass a swim test and get a band (pictured above). For the swim test she had to jump in where it was over her head, go under, come up, and swim 12 meters. Then she had to tread water for 30 seconds. Pretty much the whole time we were there she practiced and after an hour took, and passed, the swim test.

She had time for one trip down the slide before we left for the day.

Lily cheered her sister on but isn't ready for the test yet. She's not particularly buoyant and gets scared easily. She was a little sad that she doesn't have a band too, but I think she's okay with it. But she does LOVE that sprayground.

Friday, August 19, 2011


I'm not sure why, but one of the things I always wondered about the girls is the timing of their teeth. I don't really know who had the first tooth because Lily was never one to let people look into her mouth, so I just assume it was Madeleine. However for some reason I thought they would fall out on the same schedule. I even asked the dentist about it repeatedly.

But I was wrong. Madeleine had her first loose tooth last December, shortly after turning 5. It took about a month to come out, so she lost it in January. Lily's were all in there pretty solid, and she was disappointed. It was about 2 months before Lily lost the same tooth.

In the meantime, Madeleine lost four front bottom teeth, and Lily's lost just two. So then both their top teeth started to be loose. Madeleine's wanted to pull hers out for weeks, but it was just loose enough last week to give it a shot. Lily wouldn't let us touch hers until it was almost falling out by itself. The gap was so bad it looked like it was already gone.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bowling for $$$$$$$

We went bowling today for the second time - the first time was almost two years ago. This time we went to Buffaloe Lanes in Cary. In addition to electronic scoring, they had a system that enabled us to turn on the bumper guards for just the girls and not us. So it was really cool for us to have a "real" game going on.

Madeleine was the most competitive and concerned with winning. They also were super loud and hyper. I attributed it to the fact that it was loud in there and one of the few places they could be as loud as they wanted and no one would notice.

There was also a lot of dancing as this was their first time in bowling shoes and they were trying to replicate the dancing from the Justin Bieber video "Baby."