Back to School!


Happy Back-to-School! 

Parker returned to his play-based, nature focused preschool on Monday, now attending five days a week (!) from 8:30am-11:30am. We just adore the stimulating environment, celebration of diversity, opportunities for enrichment (Mandarin, Spanish, music, art) and the fabulous 21 acre campus with gardens, creeks, forests and (Parker's favorite) the goats! 


Though little man was academically ready for kindergarten this year, he really needed another year to socially and emotionally prepare (plus, he won't turn five until March so his birthday most definitely did not make the cut anyway). Returning to the same place (with the same teacher!) I think will be so beneficial to him!


We visited last week to deliver supplies, check out his cubby and bring in a new pair of rain boots (one of my favorite things about the school - they wear these when visiting the creek or playing in the rain!). 


Back-to-School Questions

1. How old are you? 
Nine thousand years old.
(Or, you know, four.)


2. What do you want to be when you grow up?
What Dada is.
What does Dada do?
I would like to be an engineer too. I want to be a Ph.D. like Dada.
What do you want your Ph.D. to be in?
Aerospace. 


3. What's your favorite color?
Orange but it's red now because I've been seeing a lot of red like on Moana on the voyagers boat.


4. What's your favorite food?
Dessert.


5. What's your favorite book?
Dr. Seuss.


6. What do you like best about school?
Playing outside.


7. What do you like doing with Mama?
Play with you!



8. What do you like doing with Dada?
I like when he tries to block the basketball hoop. 


9. What's your favorite movie?
Moana.


10. What is your favorite thing to wear?
My baseball jerseys.

This sweet guy has had such a wonderful first week of preschool! Here's to a fabulous school year!
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Life Lately


Life lately has been all about holding on to summer for as long as we can! 


We're squeezing in all of our favorites before the school year starts. Walks to the pool, dinner outside, chasing bubbles in the yard -we're doing it all!


We also had my sweet Mama in town to enjoy some summer adventures with. We headed to the Greene Street Farmer's Market when she was here. It's every Thursday afternoon during the summer and just a few blocks from our house. Since we belong to the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture program) we hadn't been all season (it's usually the same produce we get in our box, and we get our boxes on Thursday as well) but perusing a Farmer's Market was on our Summer Bucket List and I'm so happy we made it!


My favorite find - the "Make Your Own Bouquet" Zinnias :) 


Suzy's Pops were a close second. Parker loved the live music and the macarons. 




Lowe Mill was another destination to take Ayah. 


She's now a Piper & Leaf tea fan :)


And Parker surprised us with wanting to paint at one of the studios! He's been turning down any and all attempts I make at arts and crafts lately (insert my frowny face) so I was stoked he wanted to do this!


And he was so proud of his work!



 My mom made it to concerts in the park - our favorite way to Monday during the summer!


More Suzy's Pops because they're just so good.



I've been loving the new cardio class at the local Pilates studio - it's called "Fire" and, let me tell you, it feels like it, too ;)


Our garden is hanging in there and I learned a fun fact about jalapeños - if you leave them on the vine, they'll turn red! I knew this about regular peppers, but had no idea about the jalapeños until I found this guy one day! Apparently the striations come with age, too. There's conflicting information on the internet about whether the red ones are spicier or less spicy - I haven't been brave enough to find out yet!


We said goodbye to the animated dinosaurs at the botanical garden (the exhibit leaves later this month). All summer, Parker has liked the baby triceratops the best!


Also, Huntsville, your coffee house game is strong. My winning combinations - sweet coffee + avocado toast:


And cappuccino + acai bowls:


We've been on a mission to find the best ice cream around, too. Unfortunately, my favorite is an hour and a half away in Nashville (Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream). But Yolo Rollo was a fun try! (Spoiler alert - it earned a perfect 5 for "Presentation").



Handel's was Parker's favorite.


Their scoop size did not disappoint (this was a single).


Summer, please stay!



9

Five on Friday



Give me all the summer produce! I'm loving eating the rainbow this time of year - it just feels good to fill up plates with fruits and veggies. Our garden is giving us lots of cherry tomatoes (yellow and red both), our basil is growing out of control and our CSA is providing everything from okra to eggplant.


For dinner earlier this week, I followed this recipe for Eggplant Parmesan with some tweaks. I used fresh tomatoes instead of canned for the sauce (since we have tons from the CSA) and just added a bit of tomato paste to it (worked perfectly). I eyeballed the rest of the ingredients and omitted the provolone (just using fresh mozzarella and parmesan since that's what we had on hand). It was a meatless meal and husby approved!



I brought my favorite peach salad into the rotation as well since we're getting lots of local peaches in our CSA boxes. If you haven't made this salad, it's a must!


This was our haul this week - does anyone know what the beans are? Also, I'm running out of ideas for corn... we have it coming out our ears. Help! 





Our little family of three headed out to Texas for a wedding shower this past weekend. This was us, nine hours deep in airport wait. The plane coming in had mechanical issues (and even tried turning back to Dallas). Our take-off time kept being delayed by an hour, half an hour, twenty minutes, another hour... the good thing was, we were not on the plane. We were in the terminal. The bad thing was, of course, we were at the mercy of the airlines and didn't know when (or if) we'd be leaving. You also can't really change tickets when your flight is pending (and we couldn't go back home because we kept thinking our flight would leave in an hour or two). I feel the more you fly, the better you are with airport drama. Max is now part of American's Million Miler program, and he was beyond chill. I was really good until about 7:30pm when I realized we were not leaving, the only restaurant had closed (Huntsville is a small airport) and that I'd be having Cheez-Its for dinner. I may have cried. Parker did the best out of everyone - this makes sense because proportionally, he's been on the most flights given his age (he's clocked in more than fifty flights!). For him it was the best day ever since he gets screen time when we fly. He watched two full length movies while we waited (Moana and Trolls, thank you Netflix streaming), which also just so happened to be his wish when he threw a coin in the fountain at Rosie's restaurant last week (the wish was to watch two movies in one week). So two movies for someone who's only seen a handful was all sorts of awesome. While perusing Netflix on hour five-something, I discovered this gem:


Has anyone else seen it? I'm obsessed. If you're wondering how the airport drama ended, after stringing us along for hours, they just cancelled the flight around 8pm (which was just as well with me because I wasn't too keen on boarding a plane fraught with mechanical issues no one could fix). Husby worked his magic and got us on the next flight out (tip - if your flight is ever cancelled, phone the airline immediately to try to rebook instead of waiting in line at the ticket counter.) We finally left HSV at 10pm, and got into Dallas around midnight (luckily the rental car shuttle and companies are open 24/7). It made for a late night, but we wanted to be there to celebrate these two lovebirds:


Max's sister and her fiancé! Also, how clever to schedule your wedding hair trial for party day!


She's just radiating happiness!


This was Parker on the way to the shower. He never sleeps in the car, but the late night did him in.


Max relocated him to a chair inside and he slept for the entire party. Sweet little guy!


Our flight back to Alabama was uneventful, just how we like them!



After devouring all of Gillian Flynn's books (starting with Gone Girl, of course) I've been very into psychological/suspense/thrillers. Ruth Ware's The Woman in Cabin 10 fit the bill (though the ending was a bit far reaching and lacked the finesse of Flynn). It didn't stop me from reading Ware's In a Dark, Dark Wood and now her new release, The Lying Game!


I'm only a few chapters in (I snuck in some coffee shop reading after barre class since P was with a sitter!) but I'll update with my thoughts!



We had some end-of-summer swim lessons, and I just couldn't be happier with Parker's progress over the summer! 


He started very aware of the water (and super uneasy) and is now so much more comfortable! Yay for our little Pisces!



I'm in complete denial that the start of school is right around the corner. Parker will be going to preschool five days a week this year - still only 8:30AM-11:30AM, but it's just not going to be the same without our two days of lazy mornings and doing whatever we want! The neighborhood elementary school started back on Tuesday of this week, and since we're just a couple blocks away, we saw lots of families walking there on the first day (and lots of cars on the mornings after that!). It's making me soak up our last few days of summer even more!





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