28 September 2009


Evan had his first day of preschool this morning. It was a strange feeling, dropping him off and getting back into the car with Greg beside me and an empty back seat behind us. James started nursery school for the first time when he was younger than Evan is now, yet Evan still seems so small.

Camera/computer issues are still not resolved, but luckily Greg just got a fancy-pants new cell phone and he was able to get a first-day photo of Evan:

Our little baby, all grown up, with his new big-kid backpack and everything. Sniff.

This will probably surprise no one, but Evan loved school, loved it to pieces. When I picked him up he ran to hug me and the first words out of his mouth were to ask me if we could dance ourselves home from school. Sweatshirt and backpack went on, and he was off, skipping down the hall toward the door.

The ride home from school was all narration, because guess what they had for snack??? Raspberry yogurt! And Mrs. S. is the nicest teacher in the world, she's much nicer than James' teacher! And they had story time, but Mrs. S. didn't read a book, she did a puppet show! And there's another Evan in the class, and Evan M was a very good listener for Mrs. S. but Evan S. was, oh, a pretty good listener. School is good.

We went to a welcome picnic at the school on Saturday, and it was a little weird. Greg and I are not so much the type of people to walk up to strangers and initiate small talk, so we kind of hung back and people-watched. The vibe from this school is different from that of James' preschool. Less granola, more Wal-mart. Comparisons: the snacks served at the new preschool were Capri Sun and store-bought cookies; snacks I have seen people feed their children at the old preschool were things like legumes and homemade whole-wheat crackers, and nothing less than 100% juice. Cars in the parking lot at the old school were mostly older minivans with liberal bumper stickers on the backs. Cars in the parking lot at the new school are much newer, shinier, and bigger, even including some SUVs. (I can't imagine anyone at the old school setting foot in an SUV.)

We spent some time discussing the suburban feel of the place before it struck me that maybe now that we live in the suburbs and are sending our son to the suburban preschool, maybe we look like a typical suburban family too. I mean, is there any way to tell from looking at us that I literally make my own granola? I started remembering something about books and covers and resolved to keep my mouth shut until I actually met some of these people. Even rereading the last paragraph makes me feel like a big snob, so -- hey! A project to work on in my new-found free time: less snobbishness.

So this school is not our ideal. It doesn't match, in my mind, the standard set by James' crunchy urban school. But the smile on my son's face, and the excited chatter all the way out the door and during the ride home have convinced me that it's a pretty good place for him to be.


15 September 2009

farm visits

We've had three opportunities to visit our CSA farm this year, and it's always a fun experience. We were there over the weekend, and once in June. I forgot to bring my camera this time, but I never posted the photos from June, so I'm still able to share all of our farm love.

One of the great things about the farm is that they really encourage kids to get involved, so our kids have been able to help pick beans (both green and purple, which I'd never seen before, and sadly have no photos of), tomatoes (a literal rainbow of colors), potatoes (both red and blue), and peas:

We picked from pea plants taller than my first-born:

...who is a very adorable helper, by the way:

The farm is located in the same neighborhood as a buffalo farm, which we took a walk to visit. The buffalo were very shy of the large, noisy group of children who came to gawk at them, so I didn't get any really good photos, but a decent one:

The farm has two dogs in residence, both of whom my children adore. This is Juno, who earns her keep by killing woodchucks, and is skeptical of children:

The farm is a lovely place to walk around and explore:

You might find any number of bugs if you look hard enough at the ground:

Or you may find a gigantic dandelion fluff:

Be careful, though -- your shoes will most likely get very wet and muddy during a day at the farm, especially if it's rained nearly every day of the summer:

All in all it's a pretty beautiful place to be:

Each time we've been to the farm we've been able to have lunch with the farmers and their apprentices, as well as with other CSA members. The farmers always put together a delicious salad consisting of greens and vegetables taken out of the ground that morning.

It has really been a wonderful experience for us, getting so close to our food and the people who grow it. The kids complain a little about being put to work, but then I watch them both dig into farm-fresh salads with enthusiasm, sometimes asking for seconds, and I hope years from now they will remember these visits fondly.


11 September 2009

end of summer

It's come to my attention that there are people out there who actually miss it when I don't update my blog, which I really hadn't guessed. I stopped updating during my busy summer and people noticed and said things to me, so here I am, back to the blog.

It's not quite fall yet, but it's starting to feel that way. The days are suddenly noticeably cooler, trees in the neighborhood are starting to glow red and orange, and James started second grade on Wednesday. Second grade! I do not have the requisite first-day-of-school photo to share with you, for two reasons: 1, the laptop is having issues and I can't use it to do the whole photo thing, and 2, I forgot to take the requisite first-day-of-school photo. I actually brought the camera to the bus stop on Wednesday, but neglected to put the battery in it first. Yesterday I had every intention of taking a second-day photo and passing it off as a first-day photo, but the bus came ten minutes early and what with all the sprinting to catch it I didn't get a chance. Today I just gave up.

Second grade, by the way, is great, and Mrs. F. is his best teacher ever. And I don't know if it's maturity or something they're putting in the water at school, but James came home and voluntarily told me all about his day. No prying! Questions answered with multiple syllables! I hardly knew what to do with the sudden influx of information!

When James first got on the bus and went to school, Evan and I went inside and I asked him what he'd like to do all day. He answered, "I don't know what to do without James." Heart-meltingly sweet, I know, but not entirely true. No James means no competition for the Legos, which is mostly how Evan has been spending his time this week.

Evan is due to start school soon too. He was supposed to start next week, but we got a letter from the school informing us that the church in which the school is housed is having roofing work done, which includes asbestos removal, so school doesn't start until the end of the month. We did, however, get to go in to the school to meet Evan's teacher (apparently asbestos exposure of under half an hour is okay?) and she read to him and gave him presents, so he's totally sold on this whole preschool thing.

Evan, by the way, suddenly seems so much older. He's had a growth spurt over the last several months, and we cut his hair short, and finally he really looks like a preschooler. The baby fat is melting and the traces of babyhood in his appearance are fading away as well. It's been weird to witness such dramatic changes in a kid who's always grown so gradually.

We had a lot of fun this summer, and hopefully I'll remember to get back into the habit of blogging to share some of our many photos and stories.