Saturday, September 6, 2008

Things are starting to settle down

Well, my daughter started college up in Northern California. The college is a six and a half hour drive from us. It was a little stressful having the little kids there with us on the trip, but they spent a lot of the time with Ray and his mother while we shopped, carried, organized, shopped some more, reorganized, got a little familiar with the area, figure out banking...It was a lot of running around for three days. We dropped the kids and Ray off as soon as we got into town and then spent the night before she moved in at a hotel after checking out a restaurant by her school. The rooms in her dorm are as small as they legally are allowed because of a lack of open land in the area. She shares a room with one other girl and then shares a bathroom with the girls in the room next door. All of the girls seem nice but Dakota's roommate brought an amazing amount of stuff. Really amazing. And continues to bring more back whenever she goes home to visit. For instance, she showed Dakota her four Halloween costumes she brought with her. Four? Why? And why bring them all into a small room. Dakota didn't bring a lot of clothes or other things since she isn't into clothes or many possesions, except for books. I think she brought two suitcases and a box altogether. Unfortunately, they don't have a meal plan on campus. There is a kitchen area and tv area on each floor. So the kids have to cook there or eat out. Not really a problem, except that they have to store all of their cooking supplies and food in their rooms too which makes it even more crowded. I'm sure it will be a great learning experience for all of them.
Dakota was able to skip freshman English because of the essay she wrote for the application and they allowed her to skip freshman drawing once they saw her portfolio. She has been in school for a week now and seems to enjoy most of her classes. She was a little surprised that they weren't harder since they are college classes. But she went to a really hard high school so she is used to working hard. And I am sure they will get harder as the semester goes on. She seems to be making friends and doing well, which makes me feel good. Leaving her at the college and driving away was really hard. I know it will be a great experience, but I also know there will be a lot of trying times.
It has been crazy hot here in Southern Cal. Crazy. I don't really know the temperature, because I never really pay attention to things like that. But usually it is perfect here or close to it. I am ready for fall clothes and the cooler air. And Halloween.
Sasha is doing great. She has been doing really well at school. She goes right to the teacher now and if I kiss her and leave quickly she is fine. As soon as she sees me in the afternoon she yells, "Momma," and races to me. Once I pick her up she points to the classroom (she is always outside when I drop off and pick up. When we get inside she points to the little case her pacifier is in on her lunchbox. She immediately puts it in her mouth like she is desperate for it. She only uses it at home at bedtime and so it's a little surprising how much she wants it. The teachers say she is doing really well and enjoys doing the work at school and likes to play outside. She loves to play in the dirt. She is going to love when it rains and she can play in the mud. I have never seen anyone who loves to play in the dirt as much as Sasha. She seems a lot more confident and relaxed since she started school. She is not nearly as clingy with me and seems more comfortable with other people and on her own. It's really nice and she seems much happier.
I almost brought Sasha to a nutritionist because she was really painfully thin for a long time. But just a couple days before the appointment I noticed that she had filled out. She is always going to be slender, but she looks healthy now. She even has a little chub on the inside of her thighs. A very little, but some anyway. She said, "hot," the other day after we kept saying it while we were waiting for her oatmeal to cool off. My son got her to say, "I want more," too. It's not three words the way she says it, it is one long one. She has only said it a couple of times. She likes to watch Dora and one day she stood up and said, "map," when it was time. She also holds up her hand to stop Swiper. She says, "Momma" all of the time and "Dadda" too. She says, "Dadda" in the softest, sweetest way. She loves to dance and a lot of her dancing is similar to breakdancing since she likes to copy Brayden. She climbs on everything. I joined a playgroup for kids her age and went for the first time yesterday. All of the other kids sat by their moms on blankets, but Sasha never sat for a second. She was too busy running in the grass or playing on the playground equipment. I wasn't really surprised about her, but it did surprise me that the other kids were so calm and quiet.
We went to Brayden's first soccer practice this morning at 8:00. It was great because it was still cool for a while. Sasha and Brookelyn had a great time running around. Sasha managed to pull her shirt off somehow and from then on I couldn't get her to keep it on. She, of course, wanted me to put it back on her as many times as she took if off. I finally just put it away and let her be half naked. At that point she decided her shorts needed to come off and spent some time trying to figure that out. Brayden did great. He scored four goals. More importantly he understands the game, which is half the battle at his age. It was a lot of fun for all of us.
We are going to a picnic this afternoon with a bunch of other families. It should be a lot of fun. Hopefully, it will have cooled off a little by then. I just made brownies and banana bread to bring with us, which made our house even hotter. Did I mention it is hot here?
Picture is of kids at Grandma's house.

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