Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thank You Open Air

PJ and Bean started in a pre-school just a 30 second walk (literally, I timed it) from our first apartment in Denver. The school is called OpenAir Academy and is based upon the Reggio Emilia approach.  I can't tell you much about the approach other than it appears to be based upon treating children like humans; engaging with them where they are; working on social skills and kindess; and spending a lot of time outside. 

And boy did it work. Especially PJ - who has a pretty awful experience with bullying and negativity in his German school - blossomed. In a very short period of time, he became even more curious, thoughtful, and best of all --> kind. 

Parents are welcome in the school at any time and for any reason. The Mr. and I would pop in at the start just to see how things were going. They were always going very well. Our children were engaged, included, excited. The teachers were helpful, positive, and made an impression they generally cared about their school, their students, and themselves. 

The administrators were always available, always willing to discuss, always personable. And hilarious. Such a wonderful place. 

One day the Mr. and I were invited to PJ's classroom to help make schnitzel. The kids got messy and were so engaged. 

The school does parents-nights-out. We felt so comfortable with the school, the teachers, and our childrens' reactions that we took advantage of it. When we arrived, both were fast asleep. They were the only ones fast asleep. 

Another time the school invited us all to a music-in-the-park day. The teachers played football, rolling around on the grass with the kids, laughing as loud as could be. We had two carry-ins to get to the know the other teachers and each other. Every time it was loud, unscripted, inclusive. Really remarkable. 

But then we decided to move. And the pre-school is too far away. There were tears (mostly from the parents during the decision making). It was brutal to consider that the place that welcomed our children, included them and us from day one, and formed the safe environment for PJ to heal wouldn't remain a part of our lives. 

Our their last days, we snapped all those pictures. I think they tell the story much better than I ever could.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The family that tattoos together

The family that tattoos together, giggles a lot together.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Adventures in Our New Home

Our first home in Denver wasn't exactly right for us. But we still had adventures and joy. Especially the amazing pre-school that our children started at create remarkable change for both of our children that meant a lot to both the Mr. and I. 

One of the best times remain when we all climb into bed on a weekend morning and just goof around.

PJ created his own laptop so that he could work in his office while I was also working in my office. The benefit of working from an office at home.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

She's Three Years Old

Our little girl celebrated her third birthday. It was full of wonderful moments of joy and big surprises.

First thing she got dressed up as a princess.

Then she insisted on a picture with her big brother to share her excitement.

The first gift was also from big brother who decorated the outside of the box himself.

It is a wohnmobile just like what Granny and Grandpa live in!

Later that day, she got to see her big gift: a massive doll house. The Mr. and I gave her the doll house and then the families got together to gift her all the furniture inside. She was so excited and as the day went on and more rooms filled up, she got even more excited. 

Before the party started, we got to skype with Oma and Opa. Again I was reminded of how grateful I am for technology that helps us remain connected.

For her birthday she requested a purple cake with hearts. Mommy delivered!

Our Colorado based family came for the party. We grilled meats and had homemade mac'n'cheese upon request and some fruits and salads. Even a dear friend of mine from college who just moved to Denver joined us!

It was a wonderful day. And now we have a three year old in our family again.

I'm still so thankful for this little one. What a wonderful addition to our family and our home. Thanks for choosing me as your mommy!


Friday, October 14, 2016

Mothers Day 2016

My first mother's day in Colorado was a massive hit. What an amazing set of memories. I'm posting these very late and with warm feelings in my heart. 

We were still staying with Uncle Frannie & Aunt Kiwi. The kids woke up and spotted some bunnies in the backyard. 

Then they surprised me with a gorgeous card that I still have on my desk all these months later.

Yep, I cried.

Then we popped into our rental car and drove up I-70 and into the snow towards Breckenridge.

There we ate pancakes bigger than our heads.

There, we explored the city and the amazing outdoor wonderful. The children blossomed in the fresh air, the playful area, and the chillier air.

We struggled to get the kids from these chairs. I still think we should get some of these for home.

Right before we took off, we visited the "coolest playground ever!' and got some pictures. All of my mothers' days have been wonderful; this was by far the best. Mountains seem to bring out the best in us.

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