Saturday, October 26, 2013

Happy Bloggy Birthday!
I can't believe I've been doing this for 8  years... seriously, eight years. I started originally to chronicle our adoption journey. When we first applied, we expected a 6-8 month wait... a year at the most. As it turned out, it was almost 3 years before we were introduced to our beautiful girl. Once home the blog became an online scrapbook. Its an easy way of journaling and keeping track of photos. I've taken breaks along the way, sometimes even for a month or two when I get busy. But, I always come back. I think a lot of people who used to keep blogs have stopped because they post on Facebook. I like FB but, for me, its no substitute for my blog.

For now "The Long and Winding Road" will continue. Will it be another 8 years?? I don't know, we'll have to see. But, I'm so glad I've put the time into it so far because I love looking back on old posts of Georgie. Its so fun!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Finally, kindergarten!
The big day had arrived. Georgie was decked out with new shoes, new uniform, new backpack and new owl-themed water bottle! No lunch box necessary (this mama doesn't pack lunches). She was super excited to be a kindergartener and had no troubles at all. As for me, I managed to drop her off with a big hug, a kiss and a heartfelt "have lots of fun!" After that I hit the new parent breakfast. But, once I got back in my car, I bawled. I couldn't help it. I know from experience how fast the time goes.

I remember pretty clearly when Brett and Casey started kindergarten. I even remember Brett's Power Rangers lunchbox. And now? They're finished with college and living on their own. Sigh. The next 12 years will whiz by. Of course I want her to learn and grow but she's so perfectly wonderful right now that I wish I could freeze time. But I can't. So I take tons of pictures and try to savor each little moment of her life, of her growth. Kindergarten is a big step, its the beginning of school, of homework, of the busy-ness that comes with growing up. If I figure out a way to slow it down, I'll let you know.

Casey was lucky enough to take Brett's place working at the school as an aide. Georgie is super excited that her brother is there with her every day.
Upon return home, Georgie was greeted by hot pink gerber daisies (her favorite), a congrats card from daddy, and yummy chocolate chocolate-chip cookies.

The school had a professional photographer take first day of school pix of all the kids and then they emailed them to us that evening. What a treat!!!

How sweet is my little kindergartener??

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Kinder Ice Cream Social
Its the FCDS open house they do each year the day before school starts. It was super hot so ice cream sounded pretty good! We looked around, met G's teacher, Mrs Lopez, and found her desk. Last year in preschool there were only a few girls in Georgie's class. This was a real bummer for her because more than anything else, G likes to have little girls to play with. We were hopeful that kinder would bring more girl classmates. As it turned out, six of the 16 kids in Georgie's class are girls!!
Georgie met Celia that day. They became instant friends!! By the end of the social they were already walking around holding hands. Adorable!! I think they bonded over their mutual enjoyment of reading. They both read really, really well.
Only one more sleep until the big day! Kindergarten here she comes!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Really kind of a half day. We went into the park in the morning for awhile. Although I have absolutely no pictures to support it, we rode one coaster: the Dragon, about 100 times. The park was really empty for most of the days we were there so we were able to ride Georgie's favorites over and over and over and over again. Sometimes without even having to get off the ride. It was that empty.

How funny are these signs?
Georgie in New York City
I joked to Bobby that I had taken him to Vegas for vacation... he was only ever so slightly amused.
Last stop, the aquarium! Its small but good for a couple hours entertainment.
At that point, it was time to head home :-(

Georgie begged to stay longer and spent the first few days home asking when we could go back. It really was a LOT of fun.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

We decided to hit the water park. Again, perfect for Georgie's age! She was tall enough to go on all the slides and they were just the right thrill level for her.
After a fantastic morning at the water park we went back to the room for a nap. Another great thing about staying at the hotel was that we were literally about 100 steps to the park entrance. This made going back and forth super convenient.

Yet another character... knight guy.

Photo op with random and somewhat generic lego princess.
Like I've said before, Georgie really thinks herself an adventurer. We kept walking past this ride called Knight's Tournament and, to tell you the truth, it looked awful. Twisty, turny... yuck! Of course Georgie wanted to do it. I volunteered to photograph ;-) The prep for this ride was pretty intense. Riding required taking off shoes as well as any and all jewelry... I had to remove her pierced earrings!! The ride allows the rider to choose their thrill level from gentle to guaranteed puke. Fortunately, because of Georgie's age, she was limited to gentle. Bobby swore it wasn't that bad. Just thinking about it now makes me feel queasy.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Just to make things easy, we decided that once we parked at the hotel, we were just going to stay put. This meant eating all meals either at the hotel or in the park. Each day started with breakfast at Bricks. Yum!!

Georgie has never expressed much interest in legos before. We have some at home but she's never cared. But, at the hotel she loved building with them.

Georgie loved wearing this dress. It fit all her requirements: ankle length, sleeveless, twirly skirt! I loved that it looked like legos!
The second day was our first full day. Fortunately, because the park was so empty we'd gotten to do tons of stuff the day before. Day two allowed us to check out some new things and revisit some we'd already enjoyed.
One of the ride attendants made G this crown out of a park map

Just another one of Georgie's many delightful expressions!

Who knew that Legoland would have so many characters? Georgie loved them all... even this guy "M Dude"
Legoland Hotel
I realized that the end of summer was coming and we'd hardly done any fun things... what to do? what to do? I'd been thinking about taking G to Legoland for awhile. Everyone I talked to agreed, 5 years old was the premium age for Legoland. And, the Hotel had recently opened. Definitely meant to be.

We decided to do it up right and spent three nights! First day we arrived late, checked in and then wandered the hotel a bit. There's only one word to describe the Legoland Hotel... FUN!!! Seriously, from the moment you drive onto the property, its all about the kid. The rooms are super cute! We decided to go for the standard room to save money. IMO it was a great choice. The room had so many neat features. Georgie loved the bunk bed area. In fact, the only negative thing to say about it was that the bed was as HARD as a freaking ROCK! Honestly, painful. We called housekeeping to see if they had a pad or something but, no.
They had a little treasure hunt where you had to solve clues around the hotel in order to open the treasure box in the room. G did it and was thrilled to find a little lego set!
I know, I know... two pictures of the bathroom! But I loved it. So stinking cute!
I'm pretty sure this was Georgie's favorite part of the hotel. The step on whoopie cushion. It was right outside the elevator entrance on the main floor. G had to jump on it each and every single time we waited for or got off the elevator. It made a gassy noise then said in a gnomish voice "ooooh, you stinky dink"... told ya! All for the kid.
This castle was in the lobby. G spent a lot of time running around it. There are also those big bins of legos for building.
We finally made it to the park and G immediately tried out these little cars. My friends were right; five was the perfect age. G still like the more toddler style rides but was tall enough and interested in riding the other rides in the park. I can't imagine a kid over maybe age 10 being interested in enough of the park to make it worth it.
Some of the attractions at LEGOLAND are actually a bit confusing, like this fire truck thing. Even after Bobby and G "rode" it, I still didn't actually get it.  
LEGOLAND has characters!! Like this cook pirate dude
and this construction guy :-)
I absolutely loved this lego dragon in the lobby.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Back to School... almost
Around here, the public school starts the first week of August. Seriously, August? It's hard to imagine. When I was a kid, school didn't start until after labor day. Anywho, even though the public school starts in the middle of the summer, the school we'vechosen for Georgie to attend starts at the traditional time... after Labor Day. The problem is that we both work and pretty much every single summer camp type program shuts down when the public schools start. So, what to do with the kid???
Bobby had, what I thought at the time was, a brilliant idea. Let's send Georgie to the local public school for the first five weeks. Georgie likes school so I figured she'd enjoy it and our neighborhood school is supposed to be the premier public school in our area. As expected, Georgie was very excited about going to kindergarten. I even found her this super cute "Back to School" dress. Fun!

The big day arrived and off we went. Because Georgie had been placed in the afternoon program we arrived a bit early and were sitting in the car watching the morning class out at recess. I won't go into all the ugly details but I can tell you that I did not like what I saw. Georgie didn't either. We decided it just wasn't the place for us. At least not at this point in time. So, I came home and started scrambling on summer care. Fortunately I was able to piece together a plan for about 3 of the five weeks. The rest?? Georgie went to my mom's for a few hours, I used vacation time and stayed home, she went to work with me and we planned a week's vacation out of town. It all worked out just fine. But I must admit it was a bit stressful there for awhile.

Now for the good part! How cute was Georgie in her almost-was-a-kindergartener-at-the-local-school dress?

Monday, October 07, 2013

Sea World
Brett has moved to San Diego to go to law school :-(

Of course he needed a bit of help getting some of his stuff down there. Bobby and I were happy enough to help but figured that we might as well make a fun weekend out of it and go to Sea World. This required last minute summer reservations. Wow! Just gonna say I've  never paid so much for such a crappy motel in my life. But, for the fun we had it was totally worth it!
Georgie was completely obsessed with ray interaction tank. We spent hours there over the couple days we spent at the park. I didn't mind it too much. I find them interesting also and, as an added benefit, it was shady there!
I think this was one of my favorite spots in the park! Rays are always smiling! Happy little creatures, right??
Georgie loved feeding the seals. In true Georgie style she tried to avoid feeding the more aggressive animals and, instead, sought out the more timid creatures on which to bestow her treasured sardines. That's my girl! Friend of the underdog :-)
No trip to Sea World would be complete without seeing the Shamu show, of course. Georgie desperately wanted to sit in the "splash zone" I guess I was a bummer mom though and I said no... I blamed it on Bobby (don't tell!)
As always, Georgie loves the characters! Shamu was absolutely no exception.
Georgie likes to think of herself as somewhat of a daredevil. As soon as she caught sight of the big drop on the Atlantis ride, she was interested. I put her off a bit but she wouldn't let go of the idea. As it turned out she loved it!!
Haha!!! Is that a look of triumph, or what??
So in what of my lesser parenting moments.... Georgie wanted to have her picture taken in front of the drop. I guess as proof of her bravery :-) So there she stood doing her little poses, having fun. Then all of a sudden, one of the ride cars came down causing a HUGE splash of water to come flying toward us. Did either of us attempt to help the kid avoid getting drenched??? Um, no. We ran screaming away like litte girls and left the actual little girl standing there. She got just a wee bit wet... good sport that she was though,
she thought it was funny!
Once Georgie's confidence was emboldened by her ride on Atlantis, there was nothing she wasn't ready to tackle. This included Riptide Rescue a twisty, turny thing that looked like a sure puke-fest to me :-) She thought it looked like fun. Thankfully, Bobby is more brave and has a higher tolerance for being jostled about than I do. As it turned out they rode it over and over and over again. Bobby assured me it wasn't that bad and tried to get me to try it but, no way, no how. I took pix!!
Twisty turny, twisty turny, twisty turny... honestly, just thinking about it now makes me feel queasy.
This would be Georgie's famous "princess pose". She was giving Bobby lessons on how to do her various poses... I think he pretty much nailed it!!
Lunch with Shamu was lots of fun. The food was better than I expected and it was pretty neat to be so close to the whales. Boy! They are big!!

We were super happy that our friends, the Robinsons, were able to join us for the last day. Georgie is always happy when her besty, Cora, is around.