- The pumpkin-flavored-everything has gotten a little out of control. I mean, I *love* pumpkin, and I love the fall (maybe even as much as I love Anne of Green Gables), but the other day Trader Joe’s had pumpkin-flavored dog treats. Really? Maybe dogs love pumpkin too, but seasonal pet treats seems over the top.
- Speaking of pumpkin, though…some recent hit recipes with the kindergarten (and older-than-kindergarten) set:
- Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Pumpkin Muffins
- Minimalist Baker’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (with or without chocolate chips)
- Almond Butter-Zucchini Muffins (grain-free)
- Minimalist Baker’s Gluten-Free Zucchini Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
- Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Banana Crumb Muffins (are we sensing a pattern here? Yes: it’s the pattern of “geez, I have a couple of mushy bananas or some leftover canned pumpkin or some zucchini…better put it to its best use.”)
- For Alan’s birthday: Oh She Glows Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Vegan Buttercream Frosting
- School has gotten way better for the kids. We are settling into a routine. Things seem manageableish for now.
- What we’re practicing: writing (is there anything more adorable than five-year-old letters, all slanted and squishy and squiggly?), art, reading, math games. Using pencil grips to help with fine motor skills. Implementing “Stretchy Snake” (to slowly sound out a word) or Skippy Frog (to skip a word until you can come back to it with more context clues).
- We did have to figure out the threshold of when-to-call-a-kid-in-sick vs. when-to-send-them-to-school. My sister-in-law AJ confirmed our call.
- Even the bus driver commented last week: “[Kid’s name] isn’t a morning person, huh?”
- This past Saturday we had a We Love Nicole and Jillian party for our two most recent nannies. Since our kids are in school full-time, N and J are moving on to other ventures, but we are so grateful to have them in our lives. I made a pumpkin-cream-cheese-chocolate-frosting cake and several members of our tribe came to celebrate the end of an era and honor these young women. We even have a new word in our family lexicon, courtesy of Alan:
- to Nicole (v, tr.): to spread one’s sphere of awesomeness. Ex: We came home after the symphony, and our wonderful nanny had Nicoled our house.
- Speaking of winning the Nanny Jackpot, our first nanny Abbie asked Audrey, Theresa, and Jamie to be flower kids at her wedding in May. Melt.
- We made it to a Friday night football game for my high school, the highlight of which was seeing Bart the Maverick (our equine mascot). The kids paid virtually no attention to the actual game.
- Since the end of September, I have had the wonderful opportunities to see the following: Seattle Shakespeare Company’s The Winter’s Tale (my favorite Shakespeare play!), Seattle Rep’s A Raisin in the Sun, and Seattle Symphony conducted by Itzhak Perlman perform Mozart’s Requiem. So grateful for great art.
- Yesterday we went to the park with our new friend (and neighbor!) who’s in their kindergarten class. All four kids were riding their balance bikes around the large loop of the park, and the friend’s dad and I walked behind them. We came upon an older woman with a walker and her gentleman companion who flagged us down. “Are you with those children?” the woman asked. “Yes; are they bothering you?” I responded. “One of them hit me in the back of the legs,” she said. “They did say sorry.” Oh man. I talked to this particular child about the need to look ahead of you when riding anything with wheels instead of getting distracted (this child has been prone to running into things while in motion since babyhood). On our next lap, we passed the woman and I apologized again, saying that we had been working with our kids about paying closer attention, and that I was sorry I hadn’t been able to prevent the (literal) run-in. She responded with a smile: “Well, that’s how they learn. Keep trying.” Thank God for strangers who have every right to get angry at my kid and at me, and who choose to be honest and kind.
- My PEMS (Program for Early Multiples Support) group ended after 8 weeks–it was my third group, and the first on a weekend with both parents. On a regular Saturday morning, there were 16 adults and 16 babies, ranging from 4 weeks to 5 months. Their exhaustion, their frustrations, their sleeping and feeding issues…I do not miss them AT ALL. I will miss seeing these parents and their sweet babies, though.
And finally: a conversation.
Alan: There are five of us. We could be a basketball team. I could be the center; Mommy can be power forward, and we could have a three-guard-lineup.
Audrey: I’ll be the ball!
Jamie: I’ll be the hoop!
Theresa: I’ll be the goalkeeper!
Note to self: work on sports lingo.