Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Bully-Walk and Halloween

   This was the second year we participated in the coast-to-coast Bully Walk.  It's in support of Pitbulls and brings pitbull awareness- they are fantastic dogs and only get a bad rap for the terrible way they are treated and raised.  This year was sad for me because last year we had Brandon with us.  They had a tribute tree for all the bulls they knew passed away the year before.  Brandon was right there with his red rose and doggie biscuit (It's almost enough to make me tear up all over again).  I miss my Brandon so much.  Odie is an AMAZING dog, but I always felt like Brandon could see right into my soul and know exactly how I was feeling.

The lady we got Brandon from and also helped us to get Odie (who is part of the PittieLove Rescue Org.) also lost one of her Pits in the last year kind of suddenly and unexpectedly.  Here's Bronx's tribute:

And of course, here's Odie in his Martha Stewart sweater.  Kerri assures me that dogs love it and think it's fun when you dress them up.  (And she's the dog-lady so she should know!)

And Eliot being a Firefighter for the second year in
a row.  I felt kind of like a bad mother, not getting
her child a different costume this year, but he said he
really wanted to be a firefighter.  That was $50 saved!
He had a blast as he has every Halloween since he
was one month old!

And my garden didn't do much last year, but produce a few cucumbers and one lonely (but beautiful sunflower)

Apple Picking

Eliot's school had a field trip to the farm down the street from where we live to do some apple picking, but Eliot was sick with a cold and couldn't make it-- so we decided to have a little field trip of our own.  Myself, Chad, Emily, Emily's friend Jacqui, and Eliot all went down to Brooksby Farm and had some apple-licious fun!

Eliot's Birthday (It was a Long Winter)

I feel so sad that I haven't written in this since last Fall.  It's been a hard Winter.  I found myself in a deep state of depression that began around last Fall so I guess it makes sense that I didn't want to write. I am starting to feel better now and I am going to try to update all that's happened though-- TRY!

Eliot's 5th birthday party was awesome.  He's just such a sweetheart.  We had another truck themed birthday party and I wonder if we will ever have anything, but.  This year my friends, Kerri and Chad were there to help make it even more special AND Ted's cousins Kevin, Katie and their sons Russell and Dennis came which was fun.  Eliot always has fun with Russell.  Of course, I can't forget to mention Eliot's four cousins because any day is a party when the five of them get together. 

Eliot got this hat (I think) for his birthday and now he wears it to all special events (I.E. birthday parties, his school Art Show, etc.)
 Chad and Eliot

 Kerri was kind enough to make Eliot's truck cake this year.

 Eliot & Kerri's dog, Mini

 That's the box the cake came in


 Odie doing tricks for Eliot!

I seriously cannot believe his SIXTH birthday is right around the corner! I had a lot of trouble with him turning five.  He's not a toddler, or even a preschooler anymore.  He's a kid.  My beautiful, sweet-natured, thoughtful kid.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Eliot's First Day of Fox-Hill Kindergarten!

We REALLY lucked out.  Last year when I went around checking out preschools, I had a hard time with it.  They probably all would have been fine, but when I walked into Fox-Hill School in Danvers (FHS), I knew IMMEDIATELY that THIS was the school for Eliot (and selfishly, a little nit for me too).  I didn't even need to hear the teachers' explanation of their methods or tactics, I just knew.  From the learning towers to paint on the walls, to the play farmer's stand, it was all just what I was looking for.  So, yes, he had an awesome time last year and really learned a lot.  Each time we had a teacher/parent conference, they would tell me how pleasant and sweet he was and that they could tell he was really learning.  Their whole program is based on literature.  They have different curriculum units that they do all year long and they always find supporting literature.

Anyhow, FHS has this amazingly awesome program for kids like Eliot who were born just after the kindergarten cut-off.  Eliot would have had to be five years old before September 1st to qualify for any public kindergarten, but FHS made a tailored program for 10 children whose birthdays are in the Fall who are just about ready to go to Kindergarten, but because of that cut-off date cannot attend kindergarten.  So Eliot is in his second year at FHS, but it's a whole new curriculum and in a whole new building.  Technically, it is private kindergarten so if we wanted to, we could send Eliot straight into public (or private) first grade next year, but we are pretty sure we will give Eliot the advantage of doing another year of kindergarten next year, but in a different setting (either the closest public school to us, or to some sort of private school).  Ted and I are on different sides of the fence on this argument, so I guess a little time and communication will have to come to pass before we decide where Eliot will be next Fall.   THIS Fall, however, is going great! He loves his new school and his new teachers--- and most of his classmates.  It's pretty much a full day too (5 hours) so it is truly like the kindergarten experience that just about all five year-olds are having.

Here is a snapshot from the first day of school this year:

And one with Odie :)


(Still trying to catch up here),  August was over in the blink of an eye--or so it felt.  I think that's kind of always how the Summer goes.  Eliot spent a lot of time outdoors and at the park with our awesome babysitter Christina while I worked either photographing weddings, or editing them. 

Eliot did have the chance to go to a camp put on by his Fox-Hill Preschool though and that was super fun for him.  They did all sorts of arts and crafts and reading on rainy days and lots and lots of outdoor sprinkler play on sunny days.  On their very last day of Camp, they went on a field trip to the beach!  Eliot loves the water-- beach, lake, pool (big or small), sprinkler, or even rain-- it doesn't matter, he loves to play in water! (Funny how getting him to take a bath lately is so challenging). 

Ted and I really try to make a point of finding things to do as a family.  I think this is the age where memories really start to stick so we want him to remember a childhood full of fun adventures, trips, events, fairs, parks, etc.  We found two kind of cool things to do in August.

First, one of my very best friends, Kerri, invited us to come and see her compete in a 1950's "Pin-up Contest."  It was kind of an event where everyone came to show off their classic cards and the women dressed as 50's ladies.  Eliot had fun looking at the cars (and looking at the ladies!).  We ended the VERY hot event with some nice cold ice cream.

                                                                    (The Lovely Kerri)

Another great friend of mine, Chad, let us know about the Peabody Mayor's Picnic where there would be some cool and fun things to do so we went there for a little while too on (thankfully) a cooler day!  I think I'd be lying if I said that Eliot had more fun than I did making bracelets at the carts and crafts table!

(Me & Chad)