Thursday, August 30, 2012

First Day of (Pre) School

Ronan is now a smiling 'senior'... finishing up his last year as a pre-schooler

Last week marked the beginning of a new preschool year for Ronan and Nieve. Ronan has started his last year as a 'Red Legged Frog' while Nieve is a 'Tiger Beetle'.

For Ronan not much has changed as his classroom is similar in size to last year with all of his friends moving with him. There are a few additions to his class, children that were 'Red Legged Frogs' last year but have decided to delay the start of Kindergarten.

A mischievous girl on her first day of school, loving her new purple shoes (thanks Nana!)

Nieve is working through a more notable transition - her new classroom has twice as many children as her previous one. Hopefully after a few weeks she'll find her comfort zone and start showing her trademark confidence, humor and independence.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fun in the Pool

Flips, tosses, and dancing - all delights that come while playing in a pool

Last week during our Southern California vacation Ronan and Nieve were lucky to spend time with their friends Nico and Alex. The four of them got along swimmingly; Ronan and Nieve have been asking about when they will see Nico and Alex next. In addition to games of tag, cart races and water wars, the kids had a blast recording their exploits in the pool with a little waterproof GoPro camera. Nico (the eldest) was the lead photographer while Alex and Ronan showed off their acrobatic skill. Nieve was more than happy to dance a short routine for the camera. It was great to spend time with our friends and we are looking forward to the next time we are able to visit together!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Flight of Fancy

Just a quick warm-up pre spontaneous dance routine

Nieve loves to dance. Whenever she hears music a smile spreads across her face and she starts to move her body to whatever rhythm suits her. Sometimes her moves are fluid and graceful, others are aggressive and warrior-like with stomps, deep squats, and scowls.

Pretty good balance for a toddler; I doubt I could hold steady on my tip toes like that

When it comes to spontaneous dancing, music is optional. A few days ago we were enjoying the quiet, fading sunlight on a bluff above the Pacific when Nieve started into her routine. The dance looked to be a combination of modern and ballet, but the choreography was simply Nieve expressing herself through large body movements. Nieve's little dances are a treat for us to watch and many times we feel inspired enough that we jump up and join her (especially Ronan)!

We're not sure what she's doing here but we've coined it the 'seagull'

Thursday, August 9, 2012

License and Registration, Please

"Check it. This baby's good until Nov 2013."

Ronan and Nieve love playing 'driver' - they jump at the chance to climb forward from their carseats and make the front part of the passenger compartment their own. The kids have fun but it's a shock for the driver as every button has been pressed, ever lever has been pulled, every knob has been twisted. When the car starts a commotion of activity ensues as you struggle to stop the wipers, cancel the indicators and turn off the seat warmers.

On Sunday Nieve was playing inside of the minivan, creating her usual chaos when I opened the passenger side door and demanded for her to, "Show me your license and registration, please."

Nieve looked at the center console, grabbed my wallet, pulled out my license, handed it to me and said, "Here you go Daddy. See? It's OK."

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Typical Ride

This is how Ronan rolls

Ronan has a knack for cycling - he's been riding for 16 months and his skill has progressed rapidly - he's even grown into larger bike. As his rides are becoming longer and faster, I join him on my bicycle, and our rides together are often for an hour or more at a time.

Ronan taking a break during a campus ride

Our favorite ride takes us through the Stanford campus, visiting various landmarks, fountains, fields, and sculptures. We have a blast exploring, meeting people (which starts by Ronan cutting them off or buzzing them on his bicycle), and taking breaks for artwork climbing.

Ronan calls this statue his, "X-wing Fighter"

The campus ride is fun and fortunately mostly flat. Until Ronan gets a bicycle with gears (and more importantly hand brakes) we'll stay away from steep hills or undulating dirt paths. Of course Ronan still gets his thrills by riding stairs (he's only allowed to try shallow stairs that have at most 3 in a row), putting his feet on his handlebars, and even riding, "with my eyes closed!"

Climbing - to Ronan it's almost as much fun as riding