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    Summer is dwindling down

    Tuesday, August 04, 2009

    The days of summer are becoming fewer and fewer. It doesn't help that this summer is going to be unusually short for us due to a big change in September. Benjamin has been accepted into a new school. He will be leaving daycare and moving on to a traditional school schedule. Mike and I have been curious about the Montessori philosophy for a while and so we toured a school and fell in love. It will be a little sad for us to leave the daycare that we have been at since Benjamin was just 3 months old, but it is time for him to move onto bigger and better things.

    He will be attending his new school Monday-Friday from 8am-3pm, which means that I also have to change my work schedule so that I can pick him up when school is over. Unfortunately this means that I will have to give up part of my four day weekend and will now be working Mon-Thurs from 8am-2pm. But that also means that I will have Fridays all to myself, which will be BEYOND strange for me. We are sadly going to lose our "stay at home Mommy" days, so I've been trying to take advantage of the few days at home that I have left with him. This change will move his first day of school up a year. We were preparing ourselves for this to happen in another year, so it may be tough. We are still waiting to get our paperwork from the school about his schedule, but his first official day of school will be September 8th.

    On Friday I let Benjamin choose what he wanted to do from a small list of options. He picked going to a park and going on a hike. First we had a little picnic at his favorite park, "the really fun park" aka Three Links Park and he played around on the equipment there. Next he wanted to go to Quarry Hill Nature Center so that we could hike their trails and he could look at the nature-related education stuff in their building. They have a magnifying camera that projects whatever bone, fossil or animal body part you put under it onto a television-like monitor, which he LOVES. His interest in learning about science and nature is so fun. We took each animal part (like a turtle tail or chicken foot) and compared them to the live animals. Then we headed out for our hike. I think we hiked about 2 miles around the trails before Benjamin decided that he was too tired to continue.

    Saturday was an early morning wake up for all of us. Mike did his training run and Benjamin and I volunteered for a water stop for the runners. For some reason, every single time we've done a water stop, it has been a moderately crummy day. Saturday morning was very unseasonably cold and cloudy. Benjamin mostly stayed in the back of the Rondo watching a movie on my laptop while I poured the water and Gatorade for the runners. The morning tired all of us out, so we spent the day inside, relaxing.

    Here is what our water stop usually looks like:

    To make up for our lazy Saturday, we filled our Sunday with a day trip to Northfield, Minnesota, home of St. Olaf and Carleton colleges. It was a gorgeous day! We had lunch at Beef O'Brady's, which we all enjoyed. Then we walked around the downtown area and hopped in and out of some shops. We visited both college campuses and Mike and Benjamin spent some time running around the big center field of Carleton's campus. The whole day felt like a mini-vacation, it was great.

    While we were in Northfield, we came across a brown paper bag along the side of a neighborhood road that said "Cukes - FREE." Not being one to pass up anything free -- or vegetables, Mike stopped and picked them up. Monday night Benjamin and Mike pickled some of the cucumbers. Benjamin is an expert vegetable peeler and though he didn't like the finished product, is very proud of his "cooking" endeavor.