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Moving On

15 Jun

Michaela finished first grade yesterday. It’s been a year of learning and growing and thriving. She’s gotten much, much better at reading, she’s shown a knack for math, and she’s made good friends. She’s just generally a really good kid. I’m super proud of the person she is, and look forward to watching her continue to evolve.

Today we went to the doctor for her long-delayed (six months!) 7-year check up. My darling Michaela is 4 ft., 4.4 inches tall and weighs 73 pounds. She’s in the 92nd percentile for height and 94th for weight (Michaela is very solidly built. She doesn’t have any fat on her, but she’s heavy!).

Now we have 10 weeks of summer to enjoy before she starts second grade!

Camp Out!

4 Jun

Michela’s Girl Scout troop had a backyard campout last night. It was a complete and total success!

The 11 girls and 6 chaperone moms gathered at 5 p.m. We started with some unstructured playtime, then a fun make-your-own-dreamcatcher craft, then pizza dinner. Once it was dark out, we put a movie on an outdoor screen (thanks, Mike, for the projector and technical assistance in getting it set up) and had s’mores and popcorn. When the movie finally ended — at 11 p.m.! — the girls started bedtime.

The big question among the moms was, would the girls (who were all sharing one giant tent) all go to sleep? Would there be a lot of crying for moms not there? Would kids end up getting up in the middle of the night and getting into our (shared, large) grown up tent? I’m happy to report that it was actually pretty smooth! All the girls were asleep by midnight, they stayed in their tent all night, and no one pitched a fit.

This was only my second time camping (the first time being the campout last year at Michaela’s school), and I’m battling a cold, so I wasn’t sure how it’d go for me, either. Outside of some snoring (sorry, tent mates!), it wasn’t too bad. I had a little pad that made sleeping on the ground much more comfortable. Our sleeping bags are really warm, so I wasn’t cold, and the weather was good.

At 6 this morning,  giant crow started squawking outside the tent. I thought for a minute it was one of the girls, until I opened my eyes. The girls were waking up, too, and we were off to the races. The kids worked on another craft (coloring bandanas, which was brilliant) while the moms got breakfast set up. Then the kids ate and cleaned up their stuff. We were all to be done at 8 a.m., and Michaela and I, and her friend who lives a couple of doors down from us, rolled out the door at 8:05.

It was a really wonderful experience and I’m glad we did it!

Wrapping Up 1st Grade

4 Jun

The end of the school year is upon us and I for one am thrilled. We’ve hit that point in the year where I wake up dreading the process of making lunch (what to pack? We have no food!)… where it isn’t dark out until after 8, so bedtime is hard… and where, therefore, Michaela is tired and grumpy in the morning and not excited to get up for school each morning.

That being said, there are also lots of fun things about the end of the school year, like open house! Michaela’s was last Friday and she was very proud as she took us around her classroom and showed us what he’d been working on this semester. They did “me poems,” where each kid narrated their likes and dislikes, and some autobiographical facts. I, of course, and tickled by Michaela’s


Her school also does a full on art show, where at least one piece or art from each kid is matted and displayed, gallery, style. Here’s the artist with her piece, a great example of composition in art.



She’s made a lot of good friends and grown and matured a lot. First grade is almost in the books!


Home improvement

21 May

It’s been just over four years since we moved into our house. It was move in-ready– the people who sold it did a bunch of smart improvements to help it sell, like removing the popcorn ceiling, putting in new doors, and refinishing the hardwood floors. The only major project we’ve done was the kitchen remodel, which is now two years in the rearview mirror.

That being said, it’s time to do some updates. I’d like to redo both bathrooms, and the front yard needs a major update. I am hopeful we can get the master bath and front yard done this summer, but it’ll take focused effort… and probably mean no big trips, since we’ll do much of the work ourselves and can’t do it if we’re not here.

Or maybe we should buy a new house? That’s always an option, too. We went open housing again today. It’s crazy how much property values have climbed in our neighborhood since we bought! Of course, that means if we wanted to buy something around here, we’d be paying a lot more for it than before…

So yeah. Maybe a remodel it is.

Disneyland Adventure

9 May

Mike has been out of town a lot this month (today’s the 9th and he’s already spent two days in Sacramento, two days in Los Angeles, and four days in Orlando), so Michaela and I have had plenty of together time. I’d been wanting to take a quick trip to Disneyland and decided the two of us would go while Mike is out of town.

Sunday afternoon, I told Michaela we needed to go to Target to get some snacks. Then I hopped on the 5 North and we were off. After about an hour in the car, Michaela still hadn’t asked why we’d been in the car for so long or where we were going (maybe because I got her a cool Lisa Frank coloring and tracing book, plus some new markers). I couldn’t take it anymore, so I asked her if she’d noticed we weren’t heading towards home.

Michaela: Where are we going, Mom?

Me: To Orange County.

Michaela: What’s in Orange County?

Me: Well, Pretend City is in Orange County.

Michaela, excited: Are we going to Pretend City?!?!?

Me: No.

Me again: The Discovery Cube is in Orange County.

Michaela, excited: Are we going to the Cube?!?!

Me: No.

Michaela started to cry at that point!

Michaela: Why do you keep telling me places we’re not going?

Me, feeling sorry for her: You know what else is in Orange County? Disneyland.

Michaela: Are we going to Disneyland?!?!

Me: YES!

And so we did. We dropped our stuff off at a hotel near the resort and then grabbed some dinner before going back to the hotel to play in the pool and hot tub. There was a lovely Mormon family in the pool area with us; when I didn’t want to go back into the pool because it was too cold, the father told his two teenagers to play with Michaela in the pool. She was thrilled, because she loves people who are older than her, and Michaela had them cracking up. The father told his wife that Michaela is “brilliant”and “is going to go far in life.” Smart man!

The next morning, we got up early to go to Disneyland. We hit a few things there before hopping over to California Adventure. We hung out there (and even ran into another kid from Michaela’s class who was playing hooky with his parents) and then went back to Disneyland at dusk. We got a table at the Corner Cafe on Main Street and had dinner while waiting for the Main Street Electrical Parade, which Michaela LOVED.


At 9:30 p.m., we made our way back to the car, where Michaela immediately fell asleep. We were home by 11 and went straight to bed, tired after a fun girls’ getaway.

This morning, I asked Michaela what was her favorite part of our time at Disneyland. Her answer? “I liked when we were on the Little Mermaid Ride [at California Adventure] and the special light made my shoes and socks look cool!”


Turns out, I could have saved myself a lot of cash by skipping Disneyland and just investing in a blacklight.

Three Nights A Week

6 May

Michaela and I went to Souplantation tonight with a friend of hers. It’s always an interesting experience, to see what other kids eat. I’ve been with kids who skipped all the veggies and got only bread and macaroni and cheese, and I’ve been with kids who had a pretty balanced palate.

Tonight’s friend was telling us how she’s the one of her family’s three kids who likes to eat vegetables and other healthy foods. She said she’d eat pretty much anything. I told her Michaela had eaten some interesting foods, because of our travels, and this was the resulting conversation…

Me: Well, like she’s had frog legs and chicken hearts…

C: Frog legs? Chicken hearts?!?! GROSS.

Michaela: Frog legs are GOOD. I could eat frog legs three nights a week. AT LEAST three nights a week! And chicken hearts are DELICIOUS!

Mind you, I don’t eat either of those things, but it tickles me that she’s an adventurous eater who is willing to try new things.

What Magic is This?

30 Apr

We’ve been at a point for a long time where Michaela can wake up on a weekend morning and entertain herself so Mike and I can sleep in a bit. Something new has happened lately, though, where now Michaela is sleeping even later (she was a pretty solid 7:30 a.m. waker) on weekends, meaning we are all sleeping in even later. The last several weeks, Mike and I have slept until 9 or even 10 a.m.! It’s heavenly. Michaela wakes up at 8 or 8:30, makes herself a light snack, and entertains herself by watching her tablet or PBS Kids, or playing with her dolls or doing art or videochatting with her Nana. Meanwhile, I’m catching Zs. It’s amazing.


24 Apr

Picture it: It’s past bedtime. I’m snuggling with Michaela in her bed, trying to help her get to sleep. She’s quiet, momentarily. Then:

Michaela: Mom? I just thought of something I wanted to tell you about the field trip. Can I tell you?

Me, sighing heavily: What?

Michaela: We saw a cool cucumber today on our hike! But it’s not really cool. If you eat it, it makes you throw up and poop, all at the same time!

Me, sighing heavily: GO TO SLEEP!

(end scene)

Small World

24 Apr

When we bought out house three-ish years ago, it was from the children of the people who built the house. The couple had two children, who were left to sell the house after the parents passed away. When we took possession of the house, there were a few items here that harkened back to that family– a sign that said “The Haimans,” a concrete block with the kids’ handprints in it from when they were kids, etc. We asked our realtor to ask their realtor if they wanted any of the stuff; they didn’t.

Today, Mike took Michaela to a field trip to Mission Trails Regional Park, a park that’s just down the road from the house. Their guide was a man whose nametag said Steve Haiman– the name of one of the kids who grew u in our house. Now, that’s not the most common name in the world, but it’s not “Music,” either. Mike asked the guide if he grew up in San Diego; yes. If he grew up near here; yes. If he grew up at the corner of College and {cross street}; yes. If he grew up at {our address}; yes.

Of all the guides at the park… Of all the groups of school children… Of all the days to go to the park… Mike found the man who spent his early years in what’s now our guest bedroom. (His brother had Michaela’s room.)

It’s a small world after all!

Busy Weekend

23 Apr

Friday, after a full day of work, Mike’s college friend Becka came over, along with her husband and year-old daughter. Michaela was such an awesome big helper! She held Victoria’s hand, found toys that were safe and age appropriate for the baby, and shared with no issue.

Saturday, we had two birthday parties. Michaela jumped and pinata-ed at the first party — and ate FIVE tacos! — and then played and ate more at the second party. Two slices of cake in one day? Sure!

Sunday, another birthday party, this one at a local park that has a splash pad. Playing and splashing and eating pizza and more cake? Yes! Later that day, dinner and dessert with yet another set of friends.

It’s been exhausting in many way, but also really fun. We’re lucky to have good friends and neighbors and to live in a place where it’s 75 degrees in April such that we can have such beautiful days!