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Friday, September 9, 2011

First day of Preschool

Jack started his first day of Preschool this week. I packed up his dog sleeping bag, lovey, extra clothes and some pullups for naptime. And off we went.

For a week or so, we talked about how he was a Big Boy and would be going to school. School was fun where he would make new friends and learn fun things. He was totally into it.

On the first day, every kid gets a cubby with his picture. We put Jack's things there, took off his coat, and he wandered in to play cars with another little boy.

There are a dozen kids - three of them new - in his class. One of the teachers called me after an hour or so with an update. No problems, he was having a great time.

I wondered how he would take a nap with all those kids in the same room. So I called. No problems, he went to sleep easily and when he woke up, he stayed quietly in recognition that others were still asleep.

Jack's Preschool program is a full-time play-based, Reggio Emilia inspired program focusing on preparing  him for kindergarten and beyond. 

When we arrive around 8:30am, the kids transition into the day with some free-form play time with the toys, books, cars, etc. Each day has a different theme: art, cooking, music & movement, science, etc. There's "circle time" where the teacher's start off the day with a song, game, story, etc. and an activity of the day. Then the kids head outdoors to the playground or park. Followed by lunch and snacks, which are provided. Nap/quiet time follows. After naptime, the kids can opt to choose activities on the patio with wheeled toys, bubbles, balls or head inside to the classroom for structured activities.

Today, I dropped off Jack and he ran inside to play without even looking back. One more milestone under the belt.

Stella Returns

Lest you forget how beautiful Miss Stella is, or you are just a card-carrying member of her fan club and can't get enough of her, here's a couple of recent pictures. She is now 3 years, 7 months. She has maintained her girlish 55 pound figure with a grain-free diet and daily off-leash exercise at the beach and woods. Just as she did as a puppy, she will plant herself on the sidewalk, bat her big brown eyes, and stare down someone if she believes they will give her pats. She has quite a bi-coastal fan-club and people on the street still ask if they can take a picture of her with their phone.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Aquarium of the Bay

You can crawl underneath the starfish exhibit
and into a bubble that brings you close to the action
Jack has SoccerTots class each Saturday morning. The class is held on a field near Fisherman's Wharf, so we went to the Wharf's Aquarium of the Bay today for a little fieldtrip afterwards.

The aquarium is small but has just enough entertainment for a toddler without being overwhelming or crowded. It focusses on fish and sea creatures that inhabit the San Francisco Bay with some education around conservation thrown in.

Graceful jellyfish dance in the dark, you can touch bat rays and starfish, and there's a cool tunnel to walk through where sharks and fish swim all around you.


I panicked when couldn't find Jack's lovey one night this week because I didn't think he would go to sleep without it. Turns out he went down OK without it -- but then woke up in the middle of the night and started to frantically look for it in the dark.

In lieu of it, he surrounded himself with Legos, cars, and books and finally fell back asleep. I woke up the next morning to discover that he had also taken the diaper cream, suncreen, and ear wax dissolver (a gross sticky liquid) with him to bed. The bottle of ear wax dissolver was emptied all over the bed. And he decided to paint himself, the bed, and two chairs with the diaper cream. Of course, diaper cream is meant to be paintlike so it protects the skin and it doesn't rub off -- I spent 10 minutes that morning trying to wash it off of Jack. It doesn't rub off furniture either, so if anyone has ideas on how to remove the stuff, please let me know!

First Baseball Game

We recently took Jack to this first baseball game at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

As a native Bostonian, Fenway is my frame of reference with its history and tradition. AT&T Park is stunning in its own way. Built in 2000, it is located right in the city next to all forms of public transit, and the back of the stadium borders the Bay which is always full of boaters and kayakers waiting for that homerun ball to traverse the back wall. A waterfront promenade in the back allows free views of the game at field level. The stadium is designed to have an intimate traditional feel.

There's a small tot field where the kids can pretend they are their favorite players and kids even get a certificate to document their first baseball game.