Thursday, August 20, 2009

Preschool Ready

Every so often I hear the twittering of mothers on the subject of preschool. Some mothers have their kids on waiting lists for years before their children are eligible. I'm not one of those mothers--not only do I know of not a single local preschool worth going to such lengths, but-- newsflash!--I'm kind of a procrastinator. So a few months ago when I began the process of placing Owen in preschool, I had a difficult time finding one. By a minuscule two weeks, he meets the Dec. 1st cutoff to start kindergarten next year. I'm not sure if he'll be ready or if I will opt to wait another year, but I figured a year of preschool might help his chances.

I made lots of calls and found that most preschools were either already full or were extremely expensive. This is much more serious business that I had anticipated. I tried to get Owen signed up for a free state preschool program that enrolls kids based on disability or economic need, but was told that we didn't meet the enrollment criteria. When my sisters told me of the fantastic (and CHEAP) in-home preschools to which they had sent their children, I couldn't believe the price difference. I knew I couldn't afford preschool and sadly concluded that I'd have to try to prep Owen on my own.

After returning from our vacation I went to church and talked to my friends whose children had started preschool. They gushed about how great it was and how much the childred loved it. That convinced me that I had to try one more time. I found the child development center at the local community college that has a preschool program, and upon calling I was told they had a few more openings. We went down and learned that we qualified for free, 5 day a week, morning preschool. I'm not sure who was more excited--me or Owen. It seems to be a perfect fit!

Here's a picture I took of Owen yesterday, just before taking him to his first day of preschool. In the bag he's holding is his required set of extra clothes they keep for him just in case. He was really excited to go to preschool. When we walked into the Child Development Center, we went out to the playground to sign him in and Owen was off. Not a tear or even a goodbye came from my eager little boy. I held Henry and we watched him on the playground for a few minutes before we left. When we got to the car to leave, I was so happy and Henry was so sad! He cried as we drove away. When we came back a few hours later to pick up Owen, we watched him through the window of his classroom singing and dancing with the other children. It was very, very cute. He was having lots of fun, and didn't want to leave. I'm really proud of Owen. I love him so much. It's very fun to see him grow and become more independent.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Utah Road Trip!

We just returned from our summer vacation in Utah. We had a really fun time with my sisters Mindy and Susanna and their families the first week and Tim's brother Adam and his family the second week. Here are some pictures and highlights of the trip.

We stayed at Susanna and Robbie's house in Santa Clara. Our kids played together and we practically had to rip them apart to put them to bed at night. One evening we headed out on Susanna and Robbie's boat. My BFF Jill and her daughter Hannah drove out from Las Vegas to come along. Robbie is an awesome wakeboarder. We rode the tube and I was thisclose to getting up on the wakeboard. If only we had a little more time before it got dark, I think I could have done it.
Owen and Henry loved jumping off the boat into Tim's arms. With those life jackets on they were fearless.
The next day we went on a day trip to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. I was surprised to learn that the GC is only 2 1/2 hours from St. George. Including Mindy's family and Susanna's family, there were six adults and 10 children along. We took a hike that offered some great views. The Grand Canyon was really breathtaking--it was much more beautiful in person than in pictures. I think my heart beat five times as hard while we were on our short hike--not from exertion as much as from the thought of one of the little ones getting too close to the edge of the canyon! I made sure to keep Owen on the inside side of the trail next to me, and it was a relief when we finished the hike with family intact.
L-R Campbell, Quincy, Sydney, Owen, Preston, Blake, and Bailey

Cousins Tate, Sydney and Owen
We had so much fun in Southern Utah. There are lots of things to do there and it's really gorgeous. Everywhere you look is another great view. Even though the temperature is about the same as here, it felt a lot cooler--I think because it's so much more humid here. I continually had the thought: "WHY do we live in central CA? why why why why why?????"

We drove up to Farmington, UT for our second week of the trip to visit Adam, Amy, Lucas, Damon, and Clark. It was boy heaven for all of those cousins! They played very well together. I wish I had taken more pictures. I guess we were having so much fun that I kept forgetting to grab the camera. I really like the Bountiful/Farmington/Kaysville area north of Salt Lake. It's very pretty there, too. It would be so nice to live close to at least one of our siblings. It was another week of asking myself the "WHY?" question over and over again.

Although it was a fantastic trip and we were grateful for the comfortable accomodations offered us, we were very glad to be home. It felt wonderful to wake up in our own bed in our own bedroom and have no children in the room with us!