Monday, September 29, 2014

It's Fall! Hooray!

September has flown by this year, which is quite sad to me because it's my favorite month. It's *normally* not too hot and not yet cold. (Last week we were in the upper 80s!) An added bonus to this year's September is school. Despite the issue we had at the school with Hunter, I've been a lot less stressed the past few weeks. I love Hunter to pieces but am so thankful he's in school now. I miss his noisiness during the day. Even though he won't admit it, I think JP misses him too. He doesn't want to do much when Hunter isn't here....Anyways, here's why I really love fall: LEAVES!
 Charlotte walked away just in time for Perry to dump all the leaves off the roof.

 Do you know how hard it's getting to get a decent picture of this kid? 
If you don't watch her, she will drink *anything* off the ground, even if it is dirty leaf water...
I've learned to leave the rake out...They love to jump in the leaves, rake them back up, and do it again. Yes!! Now I can start to pay them to rake the yard...

Apple Cider Field Trip

Last week, on our anniversary actually, JP's class took a field trip to Fort Missoula to make apple cider. Both Hunter and JP's class did this last year too. I really wanted to go, but was nervous about bringing my new baby and another child along with. This year I signed up to be a driver and brought Charlotte along. 
This was the last time I made apple cider...36 weeks pregnant with Hunter. That's a good 6 years ago... From what I remember about that time, it was loud so I was curious about the press at the Fort.
 I've always been impressed with JP, and on his field trip he was no different. He's such a good listener! And I'll let you guess what color apples JP brought with him... Seriously, red was out of the question...
 (He dresses himself, can you tell?)
 Each child had the opportunity to put apples in the the top part of the cider press and then were able to watch them go down as another child turned the crank to grind them up.
 JP really enjoyed cranking the wheel!
 After his turn he and his friends sat nicely (for the most part) and waited for everyone else to complete their turns.
When all the apples made it into the press, they watched all the juice stream out into the pan below. For their drink at snack time, they each tried a cup of the cider they made. It was tasty! Before heading back to school, they took a little tour of the Fort and sat inside and old homestead.
 Here's a few shots of the press we used at my baby shower in 2008. It was operated by a motor instead of all done by hand. 
We made quite a few gallons of cider! The apple press is still at the house in Whitefish, and I think we need to bring it back to Seeley to do this again!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Monkey Shiner Babblings

After Hunter's second day of school:
M - Did you meet anybody at school today?
H - Uh. No.
M - Are there any cute girls in your class?
H - No, there's not any.
M - Well maybe they'll get cuter when they get a little older.
H - Nope...they probably won't.

M - Hunter and Jim. I do NOT want to see you jumping and rough-housing on the couch again. Is that clear?!
H - Well then you better not watch....

On our way home from preschool, an ambulance drove past us with its siren on.
J - Oh. Someone must have got hurt by a tiger or something.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hunter: A Kindergarten Update

We're now two full weeks into Kindergarten. That's it two weeks. Do I really need to say what all has happened in that two weeks? Seriously it's only been two weeks.

Let's see...Hunter thinks he's one of the big kids now. He's a big kid in our house, but he still has a lot to learn. With that said, he doesn't like when I walk him to the bus in the morning. He's already embarrassed by me I guess. As I explained to him, once you can show me that you can get yourself to the bus stop (at the end of the street) by walking on the side walk and looking both ways when you cross the road, you can walk by yourself. When you can stand by the stop sign or in front of and not on the edge of the road, you can walk by yourself. When you can stop throwing rocks and running around in the street, you can walk by yourself. In the meantime, I'll be walking (a distance behind you) to the bus stop. Am I being over-protective? No, he's a kindergartner! Plus, I'm secretly hoping that one of these days, he'll actually turn around and say good-bye to me. OR at least wave. He's breaking my heart and he doesn't even know it!

We are also working on getting off the bus. Well, the bus in general. We've picked up quite a few things from the bus. For example, after his first day riding the bus, he came home and put his hand up in front of my face and asked some bogus question like, "Do you know what this does?" And before I could come up with a bogus answer, he stuffed it in my face. With a little more force it would have seriously hurt. He bust up laughing and told me he learned it on the bus. Apparently someone did it to him and it was "hilarious." Ha. Ha. Ha. He also had a nice talking to, along with another kid, about spitting on the bus. I know this because I started having a mini-panic attack when he didn't get off the bus. Just before I my mind went else-where, the bus driver whipped her window open and let me know he was coming. Thank goodness, but grrr!

I am happy to report that he has made a few friends on the bus, though he can't remember their names. Yeah buddy! But like I said earlier, we're working on getting of the bus too. By that I mean going home after school instead of following the neighbor kids around like a puppy dog. Seriously, just about every day I have to reroute him to our house instead of someone else's.

Then there's the "incident" we had a school. On the third day of school. The third day. I didn't find out until the next afternoon when I emailed his teacher to let her know he was going to be gone on Firday. I was blindsided with her response of, in shortened form, a) call the school and update your contact info because we couldn't get a hold of you yesterday. b) He's a delight to have in class, loves sitting by me, and is very helpful, but c) he poked a kid in the face with scissors and made him bleed. Didn't you get the note I sent home yesterday?  Gah! No! I didn't get a note! It was pinned to his shirt but he "took it off on the bus and made an airplane (probably resembling a paper ball) out of it." He had been sent to the office for the remainder of the day, about 15 minutes, had to stay in for the next morning's recess, and lost his scissors for a week. I think losing his scissor privileges was really hard on him. What do you do when everyone else is using scissors? *Long exhale* "I just have to tear it...."

This little incident has been tearing me up for a good week now. How could my child do something like that? Maybe the better question is why? He claims he just wanted the other kid to know how it felt. I guess he was curious, but I still feel terrible about it. I hope it's just an "adjusting to kindergarten" phase he's going through!

In other news though, he basically asked to go to bed tonight at 6pm because he was so tired. He wanted me to know that after school tomorrow, he just wants to come home and take a nap. He's finally exhausted! This never happens! Ever! I had to carry him to the bus yesterday morning because he was too tired to walk. I would have held him all day if he let me. I NEVER get snuggles like that with my kids anymore! When he got home - he actually walked half way back to the house with me - he asked, "Is it okay that I fell asleep on the bus? I was just so comfortable with my head on my backpack." So it wasn't a big surprise today when he wanted to go to bed.

Overall though, he's definitely enjoying school and is slowly but surely remember people's names. He knows the librarian's name and his music teacher's. And he apologized to the boy he poked in the face and they are friends now. Not how I would go about making friends, but that's just me...

JP's First Day of Pre-K

My baby JP is slowly but surely growing up. He was so excited for his first day of Pre-Kindergarten last week! The night before, he picked out what he wanted to wear and while I was tucking him into bed he announced to me that, "When I wake up in the morning, I'm going to take a shower and you're not going to fight with me about it. You got that?!" I got it, and that's exactly what he did!
If you didn't know beforehand, it should be very clear now that his favorite color is green. You know, since he's dressed in green from head to toe. He also insisted on bringing the Ninja Turtle bag I made him and he's wearing Ninja Turtle socks. That's my boy!
Since he went to preschool at the same place last year, he already knows 6 of his classmates. His best friend, Matthew, is one of them. They are a funny pair! They love to play together, but they don't speak (if they do, it's not a lot!) to each other. At his school orientation, JP asked over and over if Matthew was going to be there, and Matthew asked the same about JP. We stood next to their family in the lobby area and the boys hid behind their mothers the whole time, and occasionally peaked out to smile from behind. 

JP acted very similar on his first day of school, which I expected. He clung for dear life to my leg. He didn't want to go color or play legos or trains...Nothing could get him to let go...until we spotted Matthew. "Do you want to go play with Matthew?" And away he went. "I'm going to go, are you going to give me a hug good-bye?" Whispering to me "I'm a little busy Mom!" That was that. I picked him up two and a half hours later and he was all smiles!

Whitefish and a Day Trip to Glacier

This past weekend we took a little trip to Whitefish and spent time with my husband's side of the family. Since it's *already* been a year since my father-in-law passed away, we all agreed that the furniture and decor items needed to be claimed before the house sells. 
We pulled into Whitefish Friday morning, timing it accidentally perfectly to find Grandma walking through a store parking lot. We picked her up and headed downtown to kill some time. The kids were all excited to go to Imagine Station, a toy store where they each picked out a toy. Charli found herself a doll, Hunter snatched up a pirate's telescope and JP found this rocket launcher. It took him a while to figure it out, but when he did there was no putting it away! (And now that we're home, he's had just about all of our neighbors try it out too, including adults!)
 Once everyone arrived to the house from running errands, we started room by room, claiming things that we would like to have. Perry and I didn't claim much (though I'd still put up a fight for a few things) but am mostly okay with what we'll be bringing home. I'm drawn to vintage/antique looking things, so I claimed John's barometer and vintage snowshoes that hang above the fireplace. I'm also REALLY excited to be inheriting Betty's grandmother's sewing machine table. She said it still works too! But when we were nearing the end, my nephew woke up from his nap and gave me SO MANY snuggles! I seriously can't remember the last time Charlotte snuggled with me!
 These two were adorable together the entire weekend!
 Charli was a delight too! I had so much fun with my camera the last few days!
 And JP just melts my heart!

Friday evening, my sister-in-law and her husband (the one who saved my sanity over Christmas by letting me borrow his camera lenses when mine stopped working) planned to have a gender reveal party at his parent house in Whitefish. They are due in January with their first baby. It was a wonderful evening!
 After the barbecue, Em and Colin had the kids open a present that had a onesie inside of what "kind" of baby they were having. Hunter and JP opened it so quickly that they missed it. In the mini video above, you can see a pink thing show up in the white tissue paper on the left.  
 They're having a girl! I am really excited for them, and for Charli - she needs a cousin to bond with! Two older brothers, two younger boy cousins (plus one more coming in November!). She'll be thankful in the years to come!

On Saturday everyone packed up and drove to Glacier in a caravan. We stopped at Lake McDonald Lodge and had a picnic before traveling a little bit further up the road to the north end of the lake. I'm not sure if this little beach has an actual name, but in the Dustin family, I believe it is called Skipping Rock Beach. Or something similar because all the rocks there are flat and perfect skipping rocks.  
 To say the kids enjoyed the lake would be an understatement! Stevie, Charli, and Hunter hung out in the buff, while JP and Uncle Colin hung out in their undies for a bit.
 They are just too cute! I love baby bums!
 Hunter was probably the first to get naked because he basically went swimming with his clothes on.
 I sat on the beach with Barbara and had a nice chat with her with our feet in the water. I found myself staring at this red rock for a lot of it. The water was so clear and peaceful!
 Perry spent the majority of the time skipping rocks. I've never been able to skip rocks, but apparently Grandpa John was an excellent rock skipper. 
Everyone that was able to skip rocks threw a few out into the lake in remembrance of him. 
Hunter took a little swim with Uncle Colin right before he found Hunter a toad. And then Hunter and Mr. Toad were inseparable. Hunter sat down the beach, maybe 20 yards from everyone else, and played and play with the little guy. I sat with him for a little bit and left when he said, "Hey Mom! Look! He's going to crawl onto my pee pee!" Oh Hunter! I would post a few more pictures, but Hunter is "hanging out" in all of them...
 I'm probably going to frame these...
I love her expression! I had to crop Hunter's naked self out... And yes, she does have a rock in her mouth. Earlier in the day, I was walking over to her to snap a picture when she started to stand up. I put my camera down when I noticed there was a rock in her bum. I found out only seconds later that she was pooping in the lake...
 Before leaving the park, we took what was going to be a short hike. Turns out it was pretty long, but it had a lot of pretty views!

 We even managed to get a family photo in front of the falls. 

 This one is at the lake. I love how serene it is. 
Here's Aunt Em with JP and her little baby bump. Can January get here any faster?!

A Post for Erin

Before I get into what we did last weekend, I would just like to share these pictures I edited of my nephew. He just recently turned a year old, but has kept his momma busy since he was born. I was SO excited to spend some Auntie time with him!
 He woke up from his nap and laid on my shoulder for what felt like forever. It was probably only two minutes, but it was two minutes in heaven! Charli never snuggles with me anymore. Boo-hoo!

 I showed this picture to his daddy and said, "Someday you will look back on these days and miss them." He assured me he won't, but just look at that mad face!? So sweet!
 Again, look at that mad face!?

 I really enjoy taking pictures of mommas with their babies - probably because I don't have many of myself with my babies, so I know how special they are! Plus, my sister makes a great model!
 Love me some baby hands!