Monday, July 29, 2013

School Daze...and more!

Adjusting to Kindergarten was a long process for Devi. Though academics came pretty easily to her, focusing on schoolwork in a classroom setting with all the rules that apply were a bit harder to master. So it was a year of trial and error for her, finding her place, managing her time, controlling her behavior and figuring out how to get the attention of one teacher for all the RIGHT reasons. A flashback to instincts honed during orphanage living? All the children vying for the positive or negative attention of one? Perhaps, but we will never know for sure. What I do know and will never forget, is the proud look on Devi’s face and ours when Mr. Stanley announced her name at a school assembly selecting her for “Outstanding Student Achievement in Academics”, (with good behavior) recognition she had worked hard all year to achieve.

So eager to be going to a big school like sissy, Treya has been working hard as well, accomplishing her name. She can spell it out loud and now has mastered the shapes of the drawn letters as well. Treya has made huge strides in her speech therapy sessions too, successfully pronouncing several sets of sounds (f, v, s, sh, l)  that until recently had proved difficult for her. She is delighted that people outside of our family can finally begin to understand her, which has improved her conversational speech dramatically. 

And while we are on the subject of challenges, I took on one myself, learning to use fondant on a cake for the first time. This cake was an "I spy" cake that I donated to Devi's school's cake walk carnival night. It was really fun to do, though both girls were disappointed that at the end of the evening it was not coming home with us!
That about wrapped up our school year, so now to bring the blog a bit more up to date...a photo montage of the events that followed.

In those few minutes between spring and summer comes our annual Jr. Daffodil parade. With the weather still questionable at this time of year, we managed a somewhat sunny day to enjoy the floats and yes...princesses! who so graciously posed with our girls again this year, reminding them to do their best in school to one day be a daffodil princess too.

Who wouldn't gladly accept some extra loving on Mother's day? Certainly not me!

Thrilled to have Devi request my presence as a chaperone on her first field trip, and realizing that I am still cool in her book for a little longer, I gladly took the day off from work to join the fun. I have sort of dreamed of accompanying my kids on trips like these, and it was everything I had ever hoped for. Pouring rain during the mostly outdoor excursion to the zoo corralling 23 kindergarteners, each trying to display their best behavior, but bursting with excitement to tell "Mrs. Devi's mom" about touching sting rays, seeing a baby spotted leopard, and enjoying a sack lunch packed with special things just for this long awaited trip. Devi was enthralled with feeding the Budgies!

What do you do on a rainy day? We play pirates!

Daddy enjoyed his extra loving on Father's day too!

The girls were ecstatic when they found out their cousin Lina was coming to Washington! The two high-lights were a really sleep over where Devi gave up her bed to her cousin and all three girls slept in the same room. A first for our two girly girls, I thought for sure, I would be breaking it up after an hour or so. I was amazed that they actually went to sleep....almost on time. 

Days before Lina's arrival, Dee and Trey decided they needed a tea party, busying themselves making place cards for the seating arrangement and selecting the menu. Mini cupcakes, fruit, goldfish and pretzels were served with strawberry lemonade the perfect pairing. Lina was a very gracious guest of honor playing along with the girls, which totally made their day. grown ups were allowed!

And, if I haven't mentioned Bengal in awhile, well he is doing great, but now that he has grown to where his head can comfortably lay on the kitchen counter, he has become the counter surfer who is both clever and cunning. To date he has consumed bags of fresh made cookies from our neighbor, a whole loaf of french bread, muffins, countless leftover sausages, 6 raw chicken breasts and a half of a pizza...twice! Somehow, he does manage some self control, leaving the fruit bowl untouched. Such a good boy!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Refueling...on Spring Break!

 Spring Break in Mexico!

After a bit of a hiatus, I am back. The reason? Well, it was really a series of unfortunate events that lead to the break and not the lack of things to share. Close friends can attest to the fact that I am rarely at a loss for words. The problem began when my iphoto library went kaput on my mac.  What is a post without photos? My own fault really, because when talking about memory, it is an intangible thing that seems vast and plentiful, unlike an open refrigerator, where one glance reveals an obvious trip to the grocery is in order to replenish something.  When the machine’s memory is gone, so are all things you’ve asked it to remember.  Lesson learned...never ignore the polite messages reminding you that your start up disk is getting full (said while slapping the back of my own hand).

Secondly, I never realized how difficult (read time consuming) it would be to make it through kindergarten! Gone is nap time, finger painting and eating a two peanut snack at a snail’s pace. All of those memories from my childhood have been replaced with Devi’s full day classes, book club, writing homework, science experiments, not to mention all the extra curricular activities that take place after school. After recovering from the shock of this first-child-in-school adjustment - just when I thought I had hit my stride - these events: teacher appreciation WEEK, carnival, auction, jog-a-thon, crazy week, field day, book fair...and the list goes on, began to accelerate right up to the end of the year. 

Devi, our most seasoned traveler, had a few “firsts” she wanted to accomplish this trip, while Treya our little echo, was game for whatever big sister wanted. That makes things easy for mom and dad, until Treya realized what big sister was getting her into! First on Dee’s list? The signature hair style of corn-row braids with beads, which Devi thought was the perfect souvenir to wear into the classroom to show her friends at the end of break. For Treya, this meant sitting still for a long time, while someone fiddled with her hair - two of her least favorite things. Though she had an anxious look on her face the entire time, she was a trooper, tag teamed by two women to get the job done quickly. Both girls were delighted with the results, their new “dos” putting a spring in their step. 

Daddy surprised us girls with a trip to the spa for pedicures, while he....ahem....guarded our loungers by the pool! Another first, the girls were fascinated by the whole idea of being pampered in this way, carefully selecting two colors of polish - silver and orange - and requesting polka-dots! Another test in patience for Treya, her feet were soaked, nails were trimmed and her three toenails were painted and dry in a jiffy. Devi was delighted as well, thrilled that her open-toed sandals showed off her freshly decorated tootsies. 

 Treya masters chopsticks at Zen restaurant

 Devi tries the filet at Ipanema restaurant

Slated as my early 50th birthday get-away, (good heavens, can I really be THAT old?) I indulged in a wonderful massage, we managed to dine at all the restaurants on the resort and saw a number of the nightly shows. Michael Jackson night - was the highlight for the girls as they munched popcorn and continually asked me if the guy dancing around the stage was really him? Because we traveled on Easter, I  had craftily hidden plastic treasured-filled eggs in my luggage for an egg hunt that Pat and I managed to arrange for the girls. A very confused French couple watched from afar, our language barrier making it too difficult to explain why we were encouraging our girls to traipse through the bushes of the immaculate gardens. As always we met lovely people, two couples we befriended were from Canada. One of the gentleman was nick named Mr. Piggy and actually requested our girls to call him by that name. For two young girls how fun is that?

Our little dancers!

Shock of the trip? Treya will now let her feet touch sand.

 Treya had a fever for two days of the trip, but
it didn't seem to slow her down one bit!

As always our week flies by in an instant it seems, much like my absence from the blog. If you’ve managed to read all the way to the bottom of this, let me just say thanks. So many of you mentioned that you were tired of opening  “A Princess...” to find Treya still holding up those shoes! Others said they have missed watching the girls grow and change. I’ve missed sharing our story and it warms my heart to know that so many are still interested.  Isn’t it true, though?  Watching a child blossom can be so captivating! Now, playing catch up, on to the next post and preparing for first grade! HOLA!