Monday, August 29, 2011

Book Rec's, a TED talk & Kenny Chesney

I read this wonderful little book last week (during one class of karate, one class of gymnastics, and finished the rest before bed, it's quick!) and super duper loved it.

They do a great job of whittling down the mountains of research on sleep, diet, exercise, "preventive" health screenings (e.g., mammograms) and make it pretty clear that you are not screwed if you don't get 8 hours of sleep, eat brownies now and then, blow off a run to watch Glee, and sometimes skip annual GYN exams. (Phew!)

What woman can’t rattle off a list of to-do items for healthy living?  Exercise for a healthy heart; train with weights to build muscle and bone; stretch to maintain mobility; eat meals that are carefully designed for good artery and bowel function; drink one glass of red wine daily to avoid heart disease; resist the temptation to drink two glasses of said wine to avoid breast cancer; get a full night’s sleep to promote immune function; expose the skin to sunlight for ten minutes to absorb vitamin D, then immediately apply sunscreen to avoid skin caner; relieve stress to strengthen the immune system; build a social support network to ward off Alzheimer’s; book appointments with our mates for healthy sexual pleasure; and, of course, maintain a body mass index that falls exactly within the “healthy” range listed in every women’s magazine. 
It's funny and smart and most of all reassuring.
Woody and I read this next little nugget together and discovered a bunch of really great ideas to help OM with their writing:
There is a nice interview here with the author where she gives some great tips from the book. I think I might need to buy this one because there are so many activities that would be nice to refer to now and then. (I borrowed it of course from the library and we only got one go @ it b/c someone requested it after us).

I've been taking it pretty hard that O is starting elementary school next week. 
I just can't believe it. 
I've loved our fairly unstructured life for the past six years and the focus on creativity he's received @ his preschool. 
So I'm nervous for what's to come and I'm already missing him but I know it will be great and change can be wonderful if I let it be:) 
Letting go is tough.

Anyway, I watched this TED talk today and while not laughing out loud I found it very interesting and it supports why I'm a little fearful of what is to come for my little learner.

"Ken Robinson says school kills creativity":

OK, so this has nothing to do with anything but this song here by Kenny Chesney came on every time Woody and I were in the car together this summer trying to tune the radio (to something other than country).

Now when I hear it playing it reminds me of him and this happy summer we've had (I've had my eyes fixed on the ground during my runs, as the leaves on the trees are starting to turn yellow, orange and red and I just can't bear it...even tho I love Fall. I love Summer more).

Now I try to find it on purpose.

(Plus, we love Grace Potter around here, as she sings Maya's favorite song on the Tangled soundtrack)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

our tiny dancer

Maya has been joyfully participating in her ballet/tap class all summer and yesterday was the final class where parents could stay and watch.

I took Owen to a birthday party so I missed it but Woody took over 100 photos (the class is 35 minutes) so I do feel like I was there for every moment of it (someone LOVES their baby girl:)

First they start out in ballet slippers for the ballet portion...

Then they switch to tap shoes for the tapping portion...

Way to go Moo!

Friday, August 26, 2011

the grasshoppers

(from left in front: Ozzy (the student teacher), Daniel, Selah, Leaf, Gavin, unknown girl, Helena, Maya, Yunji, Mason, Henry, Annika, Oceane; back row: Brianne & Bethan, the best lead teachers ever)

Today we met Maya's class for an end-of-the-year celebration in the Park blocks @ PSU (Maya is only going to school M&W for summer).

Next week will be her last week as a Grasshopper:( 

In late September she'll start as a Ladybug:)

This week her classmates tie-dyed tshirts to wear at the celebration and seeing them all there in their shirts (most of them) playing and running together was so endearing. 
I have loved so much (especially on a warm and breezy day like today) that they are a part of the PSU campus and community and get to benefit from all of the varied educational experiences an academic setting (smack dab in the middle of beautiful downtown Portland, Oregon) can offer.

It has been (and continues to be) a huge blessing for us that OM got into this preschool. We love it with all our hearts. 

It's heartwarming to know that Maya can go off on her own to explore but she always has...

this very loving and hilarious group of friends to come back to.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oregon Coast Aquarium

See that teeny-tiny splash of water in the middle of the picture?
That's one of the whales we saw.
Our camera doesn't have any fancy lenses (yet) so Woody couldn't zoom any closer but it really is a whale. :)

After our morning whale watching we went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
It's no Monterey Bay Aquarium but it is a very lovely space and we had a great time.

Except Maya.
All the swimming was catching up to her so she and I took a brief departure to the car for a rest.

Luckily, Grandma Ginger decided to hang out with us for the day (woo hoo!) so Owen had a great buddy to share his enthusiasm with.

Woody introduced this first exhibit to OM as their favorite breakfast:

Little jellyfish (or, a la Dory, Squishy's):

They love their G'ma Ging.♥♥

On our way home we drove thru McMinnville (home of the Spruce Goose) and had planned on stopping to play at the new water park built out of this airplane...

Here's some video of it:

Two sleepy kids prevented a stop but we'll get there one day soon...