We couldn't think of a reason for Little Miss J to do another year of preschool, so we enrolled her in the only school we found that would let her start kindergarten despite her mid-October birthday. She (and we) learned a lot this past year and just yesterday, my little girl graduated from kindergarten!
She learned how to read this year, and next year she says she wants to learn how to study. How's that for daughter of Asian overachievers? It's in our blood. Last night I had her doing a little project and instead of asking me how to spell each word she didn't know, she just sounded them out on her own. She didn't come even close to spelling anything correctly, but we have been working on the "giving it the old college try rather than striving for perfection" concept all year. She seems to be a little too much like her mom in her quest for perfection and terror of failure. So this was a small victory.
Last night there was a small ceremony and celebration for the kindergarten graduates at the neighborhood park. The kids sang a song and did a little performance. They walked across the grassy knoll, shook some hands, and received a piece of paper, which immediately got a little wrinkled while she waited not so patiently for all the other children to walk across said grassy knoll.
And that's kindergarten round 1! Given her birthday, she wouldn't have been allowed to start kindergarten until this fall at public and most private schools in the area. So she's all registered for round 2 of kindergarten at a nearby Catholic school in the fall. She's excited to wear a uniform, and I'm excited for her because I fell in love with the place as soon as I visited it. It feels like the perfect fit for my Little Miss J.
But before we worry about next school year, she's ready to have some fun this summer. Swim and tennis lessons, a trip to Minnesota, Girl Scout camp, soccer camp, lots of pool time, and a glamping trip pretty much sums up her next two months. We'll see what else we can squeeze in there.
Congratulations on a successful year, Little Miss J! We're so proud of you!
Being not so outdoorsy, the Chunglunds opt for the day hike over backpacking or tenting it. Based on a recommendation from my friend, Wendy, we packed up the waterpack (because after working for five years at a large company, you earn the opportunity to choose from one of approximately 15 mediocre gifts priced at roughly $35-$40) and the kidpack and headed to Lake Clementine in Auburn.
Our goal was a little over 4 miles round trip to see the waterfall at the lake. Approximately 3/4 of a mile in there was a swimming hole where we let the kids splash around. This was the highlight.
In response to the repeated sentence, "I want to walk around," Gus obliged and let J2 out of the backpack. This lasted maybe 8 minutes at the most until we all realized that we were never going to get to the waterfall at the rate of two year old legs with shiny ball syndrome.
The last half mile to the waterfall is all downhill. About halfway down, Gus makes some grumblings to the effect that we should turn back because he was thinking of the walk back up with a 35 lb nugget on his back. We, however, persevered, and were rewarded with this!
Although, Little Miss J was pretty horrified that (and very vocal about said horror) we had walked all that way to look at the waterfall for less than five minutes. To be honest, this is total payback, and I have empathy. I recall trips to Canada where I was unimpressed with the journey and even less impressed by the destination. I was more interested in where the next waterslide or mini golf course was. My poor parents.
On the way back to the car, there was some of this ...
And a lot of this ...
And "this" was only resolved by an oral storytelling by Gus of every single Star Wars movie made as we made our way back to the car.
Despite all of "this" we made it by putting one foot after the other. We just kept going. I'd definitely do it again. Probably not in Tevas though because I got blisters. We may have a harder time convincing Little Miss J. If questioned, she will disclose that her only highlights were the swimming and seeing the deer on the path - both of which perked her up tremendously so we got some decent mileage out of her with minimal complaining.
Cue Rocky theme song. Little Miss J and I participated in the Women's Fitness Festival last Sunday. Started with a 5K for me, where my goal was under 9 minute miles.
Then we roamed around a bit. Had our body composition tested. Ate some granola. Squeezed some oranges all over us (that was just J2). Got our blood pressure taken. Tried to quell the impatience that is a five year old waiting for something.
It was finally Little Miss J's turn for the 1/2 mile Princess Run. She was excited and a little nervous when I left her at the starting line. She made me promise to run with her, but when they started she took off so fast I nearly had to sprint to keep up with her!
About half way through she slowed down a bit and was looking tired, but perked up when she saw the turnaround point and then when we saw the finish line I urged her to run hard to the finish. It was her first race and I think she was pretty proud of herself. Each little girl got a tiara at the end.
It was fun to be able to share the day with my little girl.
I don't particularly love running. I do it because it's easy. I can just throw my shoes on and head out the door. Plus I can take Carl, who loves the exercise. Even though swimming is my first love, running is much less effort than getting in my car, putting my swimsuit on, and dealing with goggle marks and smelling like chlorine. Whether it's swimming or running, I am trying to teach my kids the importance of being active. We get plenty of screen time. Trust me. After her race, Little Miss J asked if she could go for a run with me sometime. And that is FOR THE WIN!
One might wonder how much fun one can pack into three days, and the answer, if you are a Chunglund, is A LOT.
We packed up the car with grandparents, suitcases, beach chairs and sand toys and hit the road for Santa Cruz on Friday evening. Pretty smooth drive with zero traffic.
Saturday we did the beach.
ready for the beach ... or the retirement community
And the boardwalk:
J2 napped through the boardwalk
Sunday morning we drove to Half Moon Bay for some more beach time. It was a pretty drive up the coast and there was no shortage of beaches to stop at on the way. Neither child was deterred by the windy weather. Both kids ended up completely soaked trying to outrun the waves.
Wet and sandy we headed back to Sacramento to celebrate another season of t-ball. Water slide, water balloons, water guns, junk food, and trophies - we descended on the Shah household and a good time was had by all. Thank you so much for Stephenie, Cyril, Palmer, and Juliet for hosting the crew - and to our team sponsors for the water slide and the great treat bags.
trophy for J, beer for mom
Monday there was brunch at Iron Horse Tavern. Because ... well, mimosas, most obviously. Then we took the kids to see the Angry Birds movie, which Little Miss J has dubbed THE BEST MOVIE EVER. It was pretty cute and the best movie I have seen in awhile, considering the last movie I saw was Batman v. Superman, which is not really my thing. After the movie, we hit up the pool with some friends because it was HOT!
Beach, boardwalk, party, movie, and pool time - by Monday evening we were exhausted. Post-swim sushi and then we vegged out until bedtime.
While we all love a long weekend, Memorial Day signifies much more than just the beginning of summer. Let's not forget what who we are honoring and what we are celebrating. I am grateful to those who have served this country and sacrificed their lives for this nation. Land of the free because of the brave. Hope everyone else had a fun, safe Memorial Day weekend!