Wednesday, December 24, 2014

PJ Elf

The PJ Elf brought new jammies, slippers, and a blanket for Zack. He was so excited!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Grammy Leslie.

Zack did a good job of laying on the guilt before Rob and I left for NOLA. But I think things are going OK. 

(that's a Klondike bar he's wielding). 

Sent from Mailbox

Thursday, December 04, 2014

He's decided to be in astronomy club in aftercare this month.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dear Santa

Zack is speaking for the animals.

"Dear Santa. Jojo wants a toy. Giv it to her!"

(They're learning about punctuation in school, thus the exclamation mark.)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Long-awaited update

I know, I've been lax in talking about the boy. It's not for lack of things to say, but a lack of time to say it in. 

We had our first parent-teacher conference with his first grade teacher last week, so I figure this would be a good time to catch up. 

First, I should say that I really love his teacher, Mrs. Whaley. She's energetic and positive, and seems to really be able to control the classroom. Up until this year, she's always taught second grade--which means, as she puts it, she knows where all of these kids need to be at the end of this school year. Thanks to his school being a Title 1 school, there are still only about 18 kids in his class (compared to close to 30 in other schools). 

She said Zack is always cheerful, always wants to be there, is friends with all of his classmates, and is very social. She asked us if he had siblings, and was surprised that he didn't--she said he never comes across as an only child (I was VERY pleased to hear this!). However, he needs to work on focusing. I wasn't too surprised to hear this. During class, they work with Mrs. Whaley in small groups. When they're not with her, they have a To Do list on the board that they have to work on. Zack apparently sees this as a race and tries to finish things as quickly as possible, so that he can get a book to read (and apparently see what all his friends are working on). In doing this, he doesn't check his work. He also makes up instructions for the worksheets sometimes--it's not clear if he thinks he's remembering the instructions correctly, or if he just doesn't want to ask. Mrs. Whaley said she rarely catches him doing this because he doesn't ask, and because he is working hard, unlike some of the kids that stare blankly at the page when they're not sure what to do. 

He tests a bit below where he's supposed to be in reading, but again, she says that may be due to focusing. They're tested by reading a list of sight words that they've worked on, and the teacher isn't allowed to help them at all, or to ask them if they're sure about what they've said. She showed us what he missed and they're words he knows, he just went too fast. She said she's not worried about his reading because he's very good about sounding out words. I also added that he loves to read, and does it voluntarily all the time. 

She said that we should keep the focus issue on our radar, but that we don't need to really worry about it yet. We should work with him on taking his time and paying attention to what he's doing. She said he has a lot of confidence--will raise his hand to answer questions, will write sentences and spell the words the way he thinks they should be spelled without worrying about it--and Rob and I were very happy to hear this, particularly after hearing about some of our friends' kids who are already agonizing about doing things perfectly. She told us that she'd be happy to have another conference later in the year to touch base about how he's doing, and we'll probably take her up on that. 


Just in general, he's doing really well, and I've noticed a big boost in his confidence socially. He's been wanting to go to KAH (his aftercare) before schools sometimes, and when I drop him off there, he is less inclined to need a hug and a kiss; he just runs off and does his thing. He doesn't wave to me from the bus anymore (sniff, sniff). He has a lot of friends, in his class, in KAH, and in the neighborhood, and he seems to be finding friends that fit with his personality. As an example: in kindergarten, he was really good friends with Naeem and Grey, but none of them are in the same class this year. He still talks about Naeem, plays with him at recess, and has playdates with him. He mentioned Grey the other night, and I asked if he still played with him. Zack said, "Sometimes, but Grey is really into sports." So he's figuring out that kids have different interests and seems to be OK with that. What is also really nice is that he doesn't have a problem playing with boys or girls. There's a girl his age in the neighborhood, Ariana, who is in his grade and KAH who he plays really well with. Last Saturday, he and I went to the park with she and her mom, then he went to the movies with them (I couldn't go), then they came over for dinner--so about 8 hours of hanging out together and no bickering, no tears, they did great. 

So all in all, I think we'll keep him. :) He's generally pretty happy with spells of attitude. He's got the funniest personality and is generally a pretty sweet kid. He still adores the dogs and wants to be a veterinarian when he grows up. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Taking school pictures is apparently a more painful process than I remember.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Corner Pub

At The Four Corners Pub. He's planning his jack o'lantern.

I got nothing.

My boys...

...I've got a couple of cute ones.

The boy.

We got this picture while Rob and I were in Santa Fe. I think he did ok without us.

No school today...

...but there was an aftercare trip to Butler's Orchard! They had a perfect day for it, too.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


These are pajamas from last winter. They were long enough, if not a bit too long, last winter.

I seem to have given birth to a weed. Albeit a rather cute one.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


We headed down to the Eastern Shore today to check out Flag Pond Nature Center. Kelly had heard about it and urged us to go and we're so glad she did! It's a gorgeous natural beach on the bay and it was a perfect day. It's known for all the fossilized shark teeth that wash up; we found a few little ones. Afterwards we went to Stoney's, a nearby crab house. We sat on the water with live blues playing nearby. It was such a great day.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

It's a puzzle kind of morning.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sand castles

Field trip to a state park today, where they're having fun in the sun and sand!

Saturday, August 16, 2014


The new look of the garage. It's a little peacock-ier than it appears Inge picture.

(Behr Peacock Tail S-H-520, because I'll forget where I wrote it down otherwise.)

Monday, August 11, 2014


"Actually, the moon is nocturnal"

It's hard to argue with that. 

Sent from Mailbox

Friday, August 08, 2014

Another one down.

This is what happens when you have too much steamers and lobsters---you lose another front tooth.


Lobster for dinner. With Zack, it's an interesting combination of dinner and entomological exploration.

Monday, August 04, 2014

I think there's a little sand left on the's not all in his swim suit.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Great Insect Hunter and his dog.


Monday, July 21, 2014


Zack is front and center, with the goggles on. I'm not sure why he has the goggles on, but...

It's Mad Science week at camp, so he's looking forward to a lot of fun.

Monday, July 14, 2014


...watching Scooby Doo.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Thursday, July 03, 2014


I came across some of Zack's baby things today. He was really interested in them and somehow managed to put on a newborn sleeper. Sort of.

And those are his first shoes next to his current ones.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Shaving Cream Wiffle Ball

I have no idea what that is, but our boy is at bat!

Tuesday, July 01, 2014


We went camping with Deb and Shawn last weekend. Here are a few pics. The kids had a blast. It's a lot of fun watching then do their own thing without us having to hover over them all the time.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Zack and I went over to Kelly's to swim after I picked Z up from camp. After dragging him out of the pool (He'd still be in there if I'd let him. There might be something to him being a Pisces), he had some Mac and cheese. Jo Jo was hoping for some, too.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

While Mom's away...

...the boys go fishing.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday night​

Zack and Rob went over to Kelly's tonight to swim (I'm at a conference in Charlottesville). Too bad Zack doesn't love Jo Jo at all. Too bad neither of them are cute.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Guess what?

The tooth fairy is coming tonight!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


So let me fill you in on this guy. I'd say little guy, but that's becoming less and less true. He's quickly closing in on 50 inches tall, and weighs about 1 pound per inch. There are mornings when I swear I can see the overnight growth. 

Kindergarten is over. He's officially a first grader now. He's grown so much this year. He had great teachers this year, and learned so much (just ask him). He made a lot of friends. We're told he's a really good kid--is polite, gets along with everyone. The one challenge he runs into is that he just doesn't understand when others aren't nice to him. We have to work on helping him deal with that. 

We went to a potluck for his aftercare the other night and were watching a slide show of things they'd done throughout the year. Rob and I are pretty sure that they do more in aftercare than we did in kindergarten. 

He's in camp this summer. The camp is run by the same group that runs his aftercare, so he knows the ropes and the counselors and should have a lot of fun. They go swimming every Monday, and go on a field trip every Friday, with lots of fun stuff going on in between. 

We've been spending more time with our neighbors lately. We've really lucked out in that regard. All the kids are pretty much in the same age range. The adults are very similarly minded in terms of parenting and politics. Over the past month or so, we've had two potlucks at different houses, and it's been so much fun. The kids are old enough that they can run around in a pack and amuse themselves, which leaves the adults free to have a drink and an uninterrupted conversation. It's been great. Zack has also been getting to know another boy in the neighborhood, and it's been working out that they have been getting together to play pretty spontaneously. 

As for the boy himself, what can I say about him? He's got such a personality. He's got a great sense of humor and now that he's older, he gets more inside jokes, and makes some of his own. He's also taken to "getting" us---in other words, pulling our leg. 

He's still working on reading. It's interesting to watch; you forget how much mental energy it takes when you're first learning. We can almost see the cogs turning. Now that they sent all his school work home, we've seen that he was working on a journal in school where they were supposed to draw a picture and write captions about it. He was doing a really good job of sounding out words on his own, though it's hard for us to read. For example, he wrote the word "science" as "siins". Which, to be honest, makes as much sense as the correct spelling. 

He still loves to draw, and was very sad that the drawing class he'd been going to was over for the session. We'll definitely have to start those again when they start in the fall. He still loves Legos, too, and builds very complex things with interacting parts. 

Along with everything else, he's developing a bit of an attitude. There are days where I'm pretty sure that he's 6 going on 13. But we're working on it. And overall, he's a really good kid.