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Monday, August 29, 2011

Gallop-a-trot, Gallop-a-trot

Flannery is currently obsessed with princesses and horses.

And unicorns, well, that's just the combination of all that is princess and horse, right?

So you can imagine her giddy delight when she was able to ride a REAL!  UNICORN!  (her words exactly) yesterday at the back-to-school festival at the Speech School.  The pony's (er, unicorn's) name was Glory, and I think she will go down in history as the most perfect horse in all the ages.

If you ask Flanna, I mean.

What brings you giddy delight these days? 

Try, Try Again

 I remember the first time I pulled out a set of leggos with Flannery, and I was so excited to share what had been one of my favorite toys as a kid with my daughter.  

Trouble was, though, that she picked up a leggo, tried in vain to push it down onto the base, then gave up in disgust and moved on to another toy nearby.  I tried not to be too crestfallen, but I had really hoped that she would share my love of building and patterns and even architecture.  

But, as the saying goes, if at first you don't succeed...

I brought out the leggos a few weeks ago, and this time, Flanna built a whole house frame all on her own.  I helped her add the roof and the porch, but the main building was all her own doing!   We worked on the little house for close to two hours, and sweet Flanna just didn't want to stop working until it was perfect.  It was really fun, and such a happy moment for me to pass down an activity I had so enjoyed at her age.   

Sometimes I need to remember that the first experience or the first response to an activity or skill isn't the be-all end-all.  Backing off and then re-introducing the activity later can sometimes work wonders.  

You'd think potty training a toddler would've taught me that.  How quickly we forget!

What do you need to try, try again with your kids or students?  What do you need to back off from for a bit?

Yet Another Reason Why My Husband is Da Bomb

They now point out the capitol (and the GOLD!) every time we pass by!
He took the girls to the Capitol this summer, and on many other little mini field-trips around the city.  They still talk about those days, and I think it made them feel very special to have some time just with Robi.

The tiniest girl by the grandest portrait ever.

What was your favorite field trip destination as a kid?  I used to love the zoo, but think I learned most at the High Museum of Art.

Experience Nature

Today, I worked from home, and at lunch time, Flannery and I got to have a special picnic in the back yard.  The dogs came outside, too, and we all lazed around in the shade for a bit just feeling the breeze and munching on healthy food.  It was such a mood booster that it made me brainstorm ways to be outside more in my day-to-day work routine.
Anyway, we've had some really special times together outdoors this summer, and I wanted to share a few of those experiences so we don't forget them!  

We spent a day at the lake with my sister-in-law and Robi's brother, and we had such a great time!  Flannery got to "drive" the jet ski, and we were brave enough to go for a ride on the sea biscuit.   Robi's brother pulled us and was very gentle, and Flannery was so funny--she kept yelling, "Faster, Uncle Chris!"  (I was thinking just the opposite!)

Flannery's also gotten pretty brave at trying her hand at swimming this summer.  She's been swimming really independently with water wings, and has been brave enough to put her face under water a few times.  She's so proud of herself and her newfound comfort in the water!

We also went to Stone Mountain (where Robi and I got engaged 13 years ago!) with a big bunch of friends and family, and the girls got to run around and hear music and play with glow-sticks together.  Such fun to have all these cousins around!

Anytime we're outside together as a family, it's just automatically a pretty happy experience.  We can't wait for the weather to cool off so we can start thinking about camping!

What outdoor experiences bring you and your friends/family together?

Why "Gallery" is Now Part of our Everyday Vocabulary

The girls watching Dana at work.
Last weekend, my friend Dana invited us to meet her for lunch in Atlanta while she was in town visiting a gallery where her work is shown.  I was thrilled to take the girls to see some great art, but I didn't realize how much of an impact that quick little visit would have.

Now, it seems that every time Flannery creates a painting, she asks if I can hang it in a gallery, not just on the fridge.  I keep telling her that you have to get invited to hang your work in a gallery, but she just doesn't seem satisfied with that explanation.  I think I may have to break down and call some galleries to see if there are any who host kids' exhibits.  :)

Of course their favorite was the bulldog!  Or should I say bulldawg?

back at home painting some windchimes

What piece of art inspires you most?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I finally learned how to spell Winnona, and other things that make me feel at home

Flanna at Wynona Winnona Park -- Isn't she just the cutest tiny thing?
We've been in our new digs for almost a month now, and I only recently learned how to spell the name of our neighborhood.  I'd been writing Wynona Park.  Then I saw the street sign, the school sign, and the way one of my friends spelled Wynona on Facebook.  Apparently it's not Wynona, but Winnona Park. 

And this morning, I took Flannery to school (GPS-free!) using a shortcut that shaved 2 minutes off of our little commute, and I didn't get lost on the way!

Then, last week, we walked to the park a few times and met some neat neighbors and their dogs and kids, and watched a few community soccer games.

And yesterday, I was able to come home on my lunch break and let my dogs out for a little sun-basking time while I ate healthy food on the back deck.

So little by little, this new life is becoming more homey.  

The only thing left now is to unpack all our boxes!  It's awful, but our work schedules have been so hectic these past few weeks that we've gotten nothing done on the house during the week, and even though we feverishly unpack each weekend ALL weekend, we still have boxes stacked in the living room.  Sigh. 

Baby steps. 

But soon, very soon, I'm hoping to feel settled in, and then I promise I'll show off this sweet new little home. 

What project are you trying to complete?

Flanna's First Day of School

Flannery started school this month.  We were soooo lucky that she got into a wonderful preK just minutes from home and my work, AND it's the one so many of my friends had recommended to me. 

Flannery seems to like it.  At her old montessori school, they called all of the toys and manipulatives "works," and so the other day when I asked her how her new school was different than her old montessori, she said,

"Well, this new school doesn't have any's all just toys, and we don't do any work...we just play!"

A lot of parents would freak out at this news. 

But I want her to love school and enjoy learning and not to think of school as work for as long as possible. 

So, more power to the toys!

What do you remember enjoying about your preschool experience?  I remember building with those large wooden blocks for hours on end, and cracking pecans on the back steps of the preschool during recess.  Such peaceful little moments of learning. 


I'm ba-ack!

The Ragans now have internet!  Hooray!   

When we moved into our new place, we thought it would be a breeze to set up our new internet, but little did we know that we'd have to wait almost a month for a cable internet guy to set us up!  We joked (constantly!) that we were living like cavemen all that time!  Really, I can't believe how much I missed being able to read the wonderful blogs I love and share my little observations each day. 

So, fill me in!  What have I missed?