Sloane’s first day of kindergarten was Friday 9/4. Our school district is fully remote for the foreseeable future. We explained how school won’t be exactly how she expected and she was fine with it! We picked up her Chrome book from the school last week. And after some IT issues, we were logged in and ready to go.
Her teacher is Mrs. Morrison, who were able to meet in person on Wednesday this week. Mrs. Morrison met up at the front desk of the school (all in masks) and after saying hello, she said she was going to take Sloane back to the classroom for a bit. Sloane just marched on back to the classroom without looking back. I cried a little because I was so proud of her. She has been out of pre-K since mid March and we just weren’t sure how she was going to do. But she was a rock star! She wrote her name with only the S backwards, counted to 39, matched her numerical numbers with the correct number of objects, and cut well! She already loves Mrs. Morrison, who was very sweet, patient, and kind. Also, Mrs. Morrison has a 5 month old named Violet so Sloane thinks that is amazing.
Friday was the first day of school online from home. Soren went to Nini and Papa 2’s and I could focus on Sloane. She is actually very good at navigating around the screen but when the password won’t work for a program, I even found it frustrating. We powered through and she had two 30 minute classroom meetings, plus we accomplished two assignments. Sloane is such a bright, imaginative, and inquisitive little one. Our hope is that she’ll learn to love school and we don’t lose our minds working through this online schedule. I just keep picturing Soren running naked through the background on a video meeting with Sloane’s class. Probably not the worse thing in the world though!
The kids helped Adam make strawberry ice cream with fresh local strawberries that Nini and Papa gave us. I thought it would be good for Soren to have his first ice cream cone since it is the first summer he can eat dairy and gluten. Adam handed him the cone and Soren said “oh, fancy”. He sat in Adam’s lap and they both had cones. Then Soren took a bite that got a bit of cone and he says “I sorry” because he didn’t know he could eat the cone. He is quite a thoughtful little one.
Starting in the middle of this pandemic, Soren started asking for Adam or I to make up stories for him. Sloane asks for them constantly with a wide cast of characters- Lonnie the lion, Mallory the moose, the Octanuts, Cat in the Hat, and the list goes on and on. Soren got the bug and started asking as well. His turn of phrase for it is to ask for the character and then say ‘you talk about it’ that you can hear around 15 secs into the video below.
Soren has been loving the Berenstain Bears book. He knows the titles from the covers and Moving day and Mama’s New Job are his favorites. Adam thinks the way he says Berenstain Bears is great. We hope you agree.
Overall, he really loves books more every day. He will lay and flip through them, quite adorably and quietly. And it is nice to get a quiet moment these days.
At the end of May, Sloane surprised me by saying she was ready to try riding her bike without training wheels. Luckily, they just swing up and lock into place. The path at the bottom of our park is a nice flat stretch with grass on both sides. She has only taking one trip into the blackberry bushes! It took her hardly any time to figure out the balance portion. And when she got going, I had another surprise- I got choked up and started crying.
This video is from today 7/12. She does better when I don’t watch her start.
Toward the end of June, we went cherry picking. This was the biggest adventure we have had since mid March. We drove over an hour each way and were away from home for almost 5 hours as a family. The kids were in awe pointing things out on the drive. The gorge was beautiful and sunny on a rainy day at home. The cherry trees were old and set up on a hill with a gorgeous view. Luckily there were ladders and we have daredevil kiddos!
The kids might have taste tested a few cherries as well.
After picking, we grabbed pizza from a food cart and sat very far from all other people. Then watch kite surfers on the river before driving home. It is a nice sneak peek at future adventures as a family.
Adam and I will sing to the kids at the end of the bedtime routine. When I am putting Soren down, he will sing with me. Recently, he will sing Baby Mine from Dumbo and wait until you hear our harmony! I had to take the video on the sly because he will just goof around if he knows I am filming. It is also a little long because we have to pause between verses to open the doors of his toy firetruck. But the second verse is worth it when he says ‘pay no heap what they say’
We have watched Frozen 2 a couple of times. Both Sloane and Soren enjoy belting out the Northuldra harmony. I was working in the yard when they came home from a bike ride with Adam singing ‘nah-nah, hey ya’ at the top of their lungs. We were talking about it at dinner that night and Sloane did a freestyle remix.
Sloane and Soren were playing camp out in the sleeping bags. Sloane started to sing the lullaby from Frozen 2. Notice she is stroking down Soren’s nose, I had told her recently that I use to do that to get them to sleep as babies.
This goof troop turned 2.5 on 3/23. We swear he woke up from his nap that day a half an inch taller and speaking about 30 more words.
He loves singing and will often tell us to stop singing because he is singing. Soren loves the Puffin Rock theme song, Little Drummer Boy, Stompy the Bear, Frozen 2 sound track, and Seasame street songs, especially C is for Cookie.
Soren is a bit of a dare devil- from jumping off furniture to riding his scooter super fast. His new trick is to squat while steering down a hill on his scooter. He also likes to look over his shoulder while running away, giving us a sly, mischievous look.
He is also super silly, just like his big sister. Here he is pretending to sneeze- not what we need him doing during this pandemic, but luckily we are just staying home right now.
Soren does have a quiet side, though that is mostly when he is having a poop in his diaper! But he does love reading books and kids magazines. He has a great memory and can recite many of his favorites, including Curious George (a 8 book set, Thanks Auntie Rach!) and The Bear Snores On.
He loves his family! Tonight he gave me the biggest hug around my neck, emphasizing it with a ‘snap, I got you’ as he hugged me. Sloane and Soren play well together. Unless one of them takes the other’s favorite thing (which changes hour to hour), because then there are lots of tears and MINE being yelled out. Did I mention they are both boisterous and opinionated? Who would have thought Adam and I would have loud kids who knew what they wanted!?!
Completely on her own, Sloane wrote this note and told me it was for her bedroom door. It says ‘Sloane, Yes Molly, No Soren.’ We are in for a long haul with these two growing up! She did recently decide to take this down and replaced it with Yes Soren, which is nice in our new reality of every one home most of the time.
Sloane has always loved stories. Most of the time, Adam and I have been reading or telling her stories over the years. For the past year she has taken to dictating stories to us to write in a notebook or on paper for her. Most recently, she has taken to drawing on multiple pages and then narrating the story for us to transcribe onto the pages. Last week in the middle of pretending she was a pilot who flew me to Africa, she grabbed a few pieces of paper and assured me she would use both pages. When she finished, she asked me to tape them together and write out the story for her. I will type out the text after each picture because my handwriting is terrible especially when trying to keep up with her dictation.
This book is call The African Safari Adventure written and illustrated by Sloane Bramble.
Molly and Sloane, one day they went on Safari. They saw some lions, some zebras. Molly was scared when she saw the lions. But Sloane held her hand and they both got braver.
And they saw some elephants. And the elephants went ‘wwrrrr’ And Sloane giggled.
And then they saw a monkey and a lion. And they had some fun with the lion and the monkey. They drank some lion lemonade and they drank some monkey lemonade. and they are some pie.
And then they saw the giraffe who had a really long neck. Molly and Sloane got to take a ride on it. And they had some fun. And then they had some giraffe pie. And then their trip was done.
The end, Sloane Molly, To share with the family.
I personally think the elephant drawing is amazing!
On 3/14 we had a snow fall. It was a bit of a surprise when we woke on Saturday morning. The kids loved it and we had a nice morning playing around. We were able to use the sled I bought in November. I thought I had jinxed us for no snow because I prepared by having a sled ahead of time but March 2020 is not following any rules.
The snow was mostly gone by the evening. But some neighbors rolled huge snow balls in the park so we were able to visit some snow for a couple more days.
And then 3/20, six days after the snow, this is what the kids did on the deck before dinner.
Adam and I are not working due to COVID-19, so we are home with the kids. Things are going pretty well even with the stress and uncertainty of this time. The kids are taking everything with amazing flexibility and understanding. We divide our time between long walks in our neighborhood and watching tiny goat visits videos from the Oregon Zoo. Oh and this happens sometimes.