Aug 31 2010

‘Twas the night before Kindergarten…

Category: eco-mama @ 8:40 pm

Today was Dixon’s last day of preschool. It was bittersweet: It’s the end of an era. He’s been with these teachers and friends for two whole years now. We’ve gone on field trips, starred in Christmas Pageants, was the King of Mardi Gras, and graduated. And I’m sad we’re leaving that all behind but oh, so excited about Kindergarten.

Today we dropped Grayson off at preschool and then I took Dixon to his new school for the orientation.

The schoolyard is pretty awesome. There are two play areas, and one has a climbing rock. Here’s The Dude at the top.

While we were waiting for the Head of School to make her announcements, Dixon started doodling on the whiteboard. I was across the room talking to his teacher, and he ran over and said, “Mrs D I wrote your name!” And sure enough, he did. He actually sounded out all the letters and wrote them.

Although, when I was explaining this to Uncle Brad, he goes, “It looks like he wrote “misdemeanor”. And when I look at his mischievous grin, it sure does. Brad says that can be his rapper name.

And right outside his classroom is the composter! Awesomesauce!

After the orientation, I took Dixon back to preschool to finish up his last day. When I picked him up, his beloved teacher Mrs. Stephanie gave him a cross as a going away present. He is really going to be missed at that school! But I have a feeling Gray will keep them so busy they won’t fret for too long.

I just tucked the boys in for the night and read them the book “The Night Before Kindergarten.” Dixon realized that in his new classroom, we never saw a place for naps, and he mentioned it. I said, “Kindergartners don’t take naps” and he gasped so loudly I was sure he was choking on something. I’m not allowed to publicly brag that my five year old still naps, but he does. He still doesn’t believe me that there will be no nap tomorrow.

As for Grayson, today was his last official day in Intermediates. Now that Dixon’s out, Gray can move into Pre-K, but he’s been hanging out all week because he’s so excited he just can’t stand it. He’s sooooo happy to be one of the big kids. This year is going to be huge for Big Gray. It seems like he’s spent his whole life trying to get where Dixon is, and now he’ll be there by himself. And because he’s been on the pre-k schedule a bit already, bedtime has been a ton easier. Pre-K naps are shorter than his old class, so he’s no longer bouncing off the walls at 9pm because they let him sleep for 3 hours every day. It’s a win-win!

Aug 27 2010

Cruise Pictures

Category: eco-mama @ 5:51 pm

I have a few more pictures to go through. I have the ones that The Reynolds took, and the ones the pros on board took that need to be scanned in. But the rest of the shots from my camera are on my Flickr page here for your perusing.

Aug 27 2010

Alaska Cruise, Final Day – Seattle

Category: eco-mama @ 5:49 pm

We docked in Seattle around 8am, were off by 9am, and didn’t fly out till 6:30pm. So… we took a tour of the city and saw the Space Needle. We picked up a Lego replica of the Needle for Dixon. It said “ages 10 and up” and Dixon finished it by himself in under an hour.

Holding our tickets.

Goofing off in the long line for the Needle.

View from the top. Lucky for my travel-mates, I did NOT throw up on the way up or down the elevator. It was touch-and-go for a while though.

Enjoying the rainy view.

We made it back to Fresno late Saturday night, and drove straight home.

Aug 27 2010

Alaska Cruise, Day 8

Category: eco-mama @ 5:38 pm

Day 8 was uneventful. We sailed from Prince Rupert back to Seattle. The boys had a pizza making party with their Kids Club.

We were all pretty tired at this point and didn’t take many pictures.

Aug 27 2010

Alaska Cruise, Day 7

Category: eco-mama @ 5:35 pm

Today much of the day was spent at sea, and we docked in Prince Rupert, BC in the afternoon. Scott spent most of the day sick in bed, but the rest of us wandered around the town.

The day started off normally with the Bingo…

Then wandering around the ship…

Views from our suite….

Playing at the park (with an assist from Cousin Dalton). That’s our ship in the background.

Grayson and Morgan

The cousins and a totem pole.

Gray got into this mood where he’d run somewhere, sit down, and pose, begging for a picture. So I have about 6 of these nearly identical shots.

And since Scottie was sleeping, Dalton filled in and lugged Gray back to the ship. Someone had to do it.

And here’s the towel animal of the evening. An elephant? Bunny? Not really sure.

After the sun went down, things on the ship heated up. We had been frequenting this pub onboard called the Red Lion. At the Red Lion was Tino, the self-proclaimed One Man Band. He’s a singer and guitarist who played pretty much the same songs each night. After night 2, I started shouting out requests such as Bon Jovi. The next night, he came over to us and said he went and bought the rights to Living on a Prayer, and that I must sing it the next night!! So here I am, OWNING it and rocking out on stage, in front of a packed bar.

That’s my faithful backup crew behind me: Cindy and some others we met on board. Kevin’s standing behind me.

I have to admit, I was awesome. LOL. And it only took 4 rum-and-cokes to get me up there.

Me and Tino after the song.

Aug 26 2010

Alaska Cruise, Day 6

Category: eco-mama @ 7:35 am

This was the 7th day of the vacation. We docked in Skagway and rode the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad up into the Klondike, over the US/Canadian border. This was the highlight of Grayson’s week.

On the train between the two cars.

Dixon had fun, but spent most of the 3 hour train ride playing games on Scott’s phone.

Flags from every country whose citizens helped build the railroad in the 1800s.

Reflecting on the scenery…

Kids Club had Pirate Night, in which faces were painted, hats were constructed, and the boys sang songs about the Pirate Stinky Pete while parading around the ship.

And the towel animal of the night was an elephant!

Aug 26 2010

Alaska Cruise, Day 5, Part 2. The Scenic Edition

Category: eco-mama @ 7:19 am

After panning for gold and eating salmon and marshmallows, the boys and I took a brief nap and the ship sailed up to the Mendenhall Glacier.

A seal on a block of ice.

Mama and Baby Orca!

The Mendenhall Glacier

Still trying for that elusive family shot where everyone looks. At this point in the day, Dixon was just too tired to cooperate.

Aug 25 2010

Alaska Cruise, Day 5 Part 1

Category: eco-mama @ 5:39 pm

4th day on the ship.

We stopped in Juneau and went panning for gold in the morning. Dixon really got a kick out of it, but Gray just wanted to throw rocks. We wound up bringing home 3 tiny vials of water with 8 or 10 gold flakes in them. Probably worth $2 total, but it was still fun and the scenery was fantastic. Then, we went to a salmon bake and roasted marshmallows. I ate all the salmon I could get my hands on and the boys ate chicken. Go figure.

Our guide was “Mountain Matt” but he said everyone calls him Animal.

He found some gold!

Gray wasn’t really interested but did find sticks and rocks for entertainment. Next to him is Cousin Dalton.

After the panning, we ate salmon and chicken and roasted marshmallows.

I don’t know if Gray was still tired, or tired again at this point. Scottie dutifully lugs him back to the ship.

Aug 17 2010

Alaska Cruise, Day 4

Category: eco-mama @ 5:33 pm

Vacation Day 4. 3rd day on the ship. We stopped in Ketchikan and went to the natural history museum.

One important difference between Princess cruises and Norweigan, especially if you’re traveling with kids, is that Norwegian doesn’t charge extra for room service. We breakfasted on fruit and stuff. Grayson discovered hard boiled eggs on this trip, when he saw another kid eating one in the buffet. Maybe it’s just the act of sprinkling his own salt on it, but he’s hooked on them.

Wandering around Ketchikan.

Is it really too much to ask for a decent picture of me and the boys? Yes, yes it is.

Pretending to be scared at the natural history museum.

Scott had to carry Gray and Baby Lamb back to the ship. I would have done it, but my arms were still numb from carrying him for 14 blocks in Seattle.

Aug 17 2010

Alaska Cruise, Day 3

Category: eco-mama @ 5:23 pm

Day 3 of our vacation was our first full day on the ship. We sailed from Seattle to Ketchikan and were at sea all day.

Our suite. This shot shows how big the room was. A third queen-size murphy bed would have pulled out where the smaller dining table was, if we had needed it. Most nights we wound up with Scott and Dixon in one bed, and me and Gray in the other, but most mornings I found all four of us crammed in one bed together.

Family photo in the elevator.

Dixon eating spaghetti! I hate to be a cruise snob, but the food was better on the Princess cruises we took before. Although this one restaurant, Cagneys, was really good.

Totally Tuckered Out. Grayson and I took a luxurious afternoon nap nearly every day.

There was no shortage of activities for the boys. Gray got bored playing Bingo (even though there were kids cards so they could play too), so I left Scott and Dixon there and took Gray to the cupcake party hosted by the Kids Club. Here he his picking out his candy toppings.


Dixon playing games on Scott’s phone during Bingo.

Linda won TWICE at Bingo. She won almost $700 I think? But check out the redhead behind her. It’s Reba McEntire, on vacation with her family. After Linda’s second win, Reba congratulated her and suggested we all go to Vegas together.

Today’s afternoon hors d’ouvres were chocolate covered strawberries, much to Gray’s delight.

Today’s towel animal was a walrus?

We wrapped up the day at Kids Club, where the boys got to make crowns and pretend they were kings for a day. The Kids Club staff all had crazy names like Muffin and Candy Cane.

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