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More Memories ~ Summer of ‘Sixteen

August 14, 2016
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The Last Month of Summer…

Ella Bella, you got to spend so much time with Aunt Alexz (and Uncle Matt). Aunt Alexz was on summer break from school so she took care of you, played with you, fed you new yummy things, played music with you, and taught you new things (like counting, how to be nice to pets, colors, etc). Now you use your “counting voice” and pet our heads and call us “good doggies” all the time… And every single living creature both living and make-believe is a doggie. Humans, pink teddy bears, turtles, bugs- all doggies.
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Adry Padry, your daddy and your grandparents on the Ellwood side took you on some fun outings including a road trip to Gettysburg where you learned about the Civil War.
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And as a bonus you got to meet the singer of Beartooth! He posted this picture on his Twitter and called you his best fan ever! You were so proud.
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Adry, you also spent some time with Grandma and Grandpa Martin, and, even though you were pretty sick, you enjoyed hanging out with the animals at the pet store. You liked this pug puppy because Dan TDM has pugs!
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You both spent Wednesdays together with Grandpa Sanders! He took these photos of you at The Park of Roses.
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And we got to meet Maya, Cousin Jack’s new baby girl!
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Adry, you held her for like an hour, and you got to feed her, too. You loved it. You turned down going out for snacks so you could stay with her. You can’t get enough of babies and I like that about you.
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It reminded me of January 2009 when we took a trip in a blizzard to meet Maya’s big brother, Logan.
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This summer I’ve enjoyed slower mornings with Ella and snuggle Netflix nights with Adry. We watched Grace and Frankie, Gortimer Gibbons, and Parks and Rec ’til we fell asleep! We also snuck in some sprinkler time, bubbles, inflatable pool games, and an awesome water gun fight– that was a ton of fun! (We made Keith so mad that day.) And at one point Tori spent a whole weekend with us and we took her on a road trip to Lancaster to try to get into the drive-in-theater (fail!), and another road trip to Mount Vernon for Maya’s baby shower where the kids played on the playgrounds.

On our last day of summer together as a family we traveled to Gallipolis, Ohio where Grandma Sanders grew up to attend the burial service of her dad. He passed away from stomach cancer complications. Grandma drove us around and showed us the house in which she lived as a kid as well as her friends’ houses and some places around town that brought back childhood memories for her. It certainly wasn’t the happiest note to end our summertime together, but I’m glad we could support Grandma while learning more about her.

I feel very fortunate to have the love of a bunch of awesome people in my life.

I am never happy to welcome back-to-school time. Adry starts THIRD GRADE this coming Tuesday. It helps that he doesn’t mind going back. Sigh. Here we go! Goodbye, Summer!

 

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Thirty Years of Throwback ~ 2009-2011

April 10, 2016
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1985-1992

1991-1995

1996-1999

2000-2002

2003-2005

2006-2008

2009

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Adry’s first birthday party!

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Didn’t everyone have a pair of those navy sneakers for a minute?

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This is a photo from the scavenger hunt that Dave and Ginny hosted. I believe Matt, Alexz, Mer, and I called ourselves “Team Awesome” and we did not win, haha.

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This is one of my favorite photos of young Reese and Baby Adry.

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I loved being a stay-at-home momma with Adry this year. I will forever feel grateful I had those couple of years with my baby boy.

2010

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Another young Reese and Baby Adry. I can’t resist posting these pictures.

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Our bowling party! So much skill displayed that night.

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A very Sanders Easter. I believe this is the year I put edible grass in Adry’s Easter basket. Jamie came over later that night and we all sat around in the living room laughing and joking ’til our abs hurt about who-knows-what-probably-something-really-immature and obnoxiously eating the Easter grass ’til we got sick. I actually really miss random hangouts like that.

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Adry, Dad, and I did a TON of biking with the bike trailer and Adry’s bike buddy Charlie the frog that year.

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2011

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The year Nick and I decided to spend an entire season in a High School Throwback and he was kinda my 2nd best friend for a minute. It was good for us, though. Well, it was good for me at least; I can’t speak for him.

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I fell head-over-heels for ^^THIS^^ guy! It was a whirlwind adventure and I fell hard.

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Tay, J, and I at the theater for the last Harry Potter movie!

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Little Bro J and I spent a lot of time together in 2011. We roomed AND worked AND hung out as friends together. People used to marvel at how well we got along. They’d say, “If I spent that much time with my [sibling] we’d fight all the time, but you guys are like best friends!” I am thankful for the year I had with my littlest brother.

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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Thirty Years of Throwback ~ 2006-2008

January 10, 2016
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1985-1992

1991-1995

1996-1999

2000-2002

2003-2005

 

2006

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The year I graduated from college!

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All I want to know is where Little J’s paisley shirt from this photo ended up! Also, throwback to the 2000’s “scene kid”, perfectly embodied by T.Matt!

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2007

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This gem is a wonderful throwback to FLIP PHONES and T9 texting! (One day I will tell my kids, in my day we texted on a 9-key number pad, imagine that! And my kids will be like, what is a 9-key number pad?) And also: throwback to our St. Patrick’s Day Mexican Fiesta as well as plastic beaded necklaces and that little ranch house on Scioto Darby Road!

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Getting excited about Mom’s meatloaf was, is, and always will be. Having to put our coke in fancy glasses at the dinner table? Another thing that will never change!

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The year I got my tattoo! Which I still absolutely love. I can’t bring myself to get another for fear I won’t love it as much as I love this one.

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Pregnant with Adry!  The year Jamie was vicariously pregnant through me!

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A cute little first-time-pregnant baby bump. Flashback to two-toned hair dye!

 

2008

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Throwback to being HUGE and pregnant with TWO FULL months to go!

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My very first moment of being a mother- the very first moment I saw Adry- the moment that changed my life forever- the best moment of my life!

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Baby Adry in the bassinet Jamie got for him, the same bassinet Ella slept in.

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The year of many, many game nights with the original husbands

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Throwback to Adry and Reese as Aang The Last Airbender and Appa The Sky Bison

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

THIRTY Years of THROWBACK! 2003-2005

September 13, 2015
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1985-1992
1991-1995
1996-1999
2000-2002

 

2003

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The Sanders kids used to think it was the greatest thing ever to get Coke in our Easter baskets. (I know I’m older here, but J was still a kid, so Matt and I still got Easter goodies.) Contrary to popular belief – probably an assumption based on the Sanders’ undying love of Coke – Mom and Dad did NOT keep Coke on tap in our childhood home. As a matter of fact, sugary treats such as soda, cereals, and candy weren’t brought into the home at all, as far as we knew, except on 3 holidays: Christmas, Halloween, and Easter. So when we got it we made that shit last!

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My two favorite pictures of me n’ Jamie.
We were both dating our future ex-husbands – Stephan and Ben – at the time. Unbeknownst to each other the boys each got the Snoopy and Woodstock shirts for me and James as gifts. Then Jamie and I, entirely unaware of the fact that we possessed these matching shirts, packed them to wear on the same day in Chicago. So of course we had to get corresponding facepaint at Ed Debevics.

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Mer, Dave, Ben, Les, me, Hilary, T.Matt, Jason, Kevin, Eric, Amber, J, and Mom the day I turned 18. Incidentally it was also the day OSU won the National Championship against… er… some other football team. So of course we had a party that was completely about me and not football at all!

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Throwback to Creation Fest days! And thrift store plaid pants, midriff spaghetti straps, dangly belly button rings, pigtails, band t-shirts, and MATT’S MOHAWK in its baby days.

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Throwback to J&Tay on the far right and their Best-of-Pals days. I miss those kids together!

 

2004 

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Jamie, me, and Jessie. Keeping it classy. Jamie is wearing a Jr. Asparagus t-shirt ~ throwback to Veggie Tales!

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The year I wore my mother’s wedding dress to marry Ben! It was a very happy day and I enjoy remembering it.

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Left: Me, Ash, Ryan, Mer, Pammy; Right: Les, Jessie, Jamie, Harriet.
breakfast with the bride’s maids.

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Throwback to the Alternative Christian scene with babydoll band tees, studded belts, and dickies.

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This was the year Pammy was diagnosed with Stage 4 Sarcoma and began an intense fight for her life. The girls and I stopped by the hospital to pamper her with a pedicure.
(Mer, James, Me, Pam, Ash, Jessie, and Harriet)

 

2005

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This was our last family-friend outing before Dave died.
It was the cookout for which we forgot spoons, so we got creative with plastic cups!
(Tony, Pam, Me, Dad, J, Matt, Les, Dave, Tay)

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Out for Tony’s birthday!
(Me, Ben, Matt, Mom, Les, Mer, Ash’s boyfriend, Ash, Tony, Ginny, J, Tay, Ryan, Ryan’s girlfriend, Pammy)

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Me ‘n Momma <3

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

THIRTY Years of THROWBACK! 2000-2002

August 2, 2015
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1985-1992

1991-1995

1996-1999

2000

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Matt, Jessica H, Jamie, me, Jessie, Steve, and Jacob– Jessie and Jamie’s last day as my backyard neighbors– neighborhood buddies gathered together to see them off to their new home for a few years in Dalton, Ohio. This was a very very sad day for teenage Jessica. (Also the summer T.Matt swung from a rope in shallow water while he, Steve, my parents, and I were boating in Alum Creek. Broke his tibia and shattered his growth plate and had to wear a cast up to his thigh the rest of the summer! And I still notice his slightly ‘off’ gait.)

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The night Ash entertained us by performing silly dances to 98 Degrees in my living room for my 15th birthday. Throwback to the the obnoxiously long bunny ear antennae on the TV set and the bookshelf full of VHS movies! Oh, and everyone’s stylin’ plaid button down over-shirts are lying about.

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The last-day-of-school shaving cream fights my mom used to organize for us. I’m pretty sure that’s Mark, Matt, Steve, and me in the back; I forget/can’t tell, I forget/can’t tell, Little J, and his girl pal in the front.

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High School Homecomings! pre-dance photos by the parents in my living room. Flashback to spaghetti strap dresses! The boys in the back: Clint (who passed a few years ago, RIP Clint), Nick, Steve; girls in the front: Amber R, me, Jessie, Jamie, Jessica H.

 

2001

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The year Matt, Ash, Steve, and I decided at the very last second that we weren’t ready to be too old for Trick-or-Treat. We tried to be strong and mature, but dammit we needed one more year to be kids! So we ran to my parents’ box of old Halloween costumes and threw on the first things we could find. Ash had on a witch’s dress I think and the bunny ears from my first Halloween Costume. I think Steve had a Frankenstein’s Monster head and a sword or something. Matthew is in the picture donning my Orville Wright goggles and a clown wig, and I have on a clown hat and vest… And we had ourselves a Marry Trick-or-Treat. We didn’t have bags to collect candy and I remember Steve eating every single piece of candy he received between houses. My stomach hurts just thinking about it.

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Throwback to High School Sweethearts and the lilac bushes my mother planted on either side of the front door of our house. ohmygoshimissthose, I remember that fragrance. It takes me back every time I smell it.

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(**The date on some of these pictures is totally wrong.)
Young Reese Pete! See, we once loved each other! He had to have been under one here because I believe 2001 is the year I bought him- I had just turned 16 when he was born. (I still love Reese, by the way. Just in a very I’m-glad-he’s-Jacob’s sort of way.)

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Me- with ears stretched to a 0 gauge- and Little J with green teeth!

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Ah yes. Dad snapped this shot as I was about to walk out the door to go, i dunno, lollygag teenage-style somewhere. I was ready for my day, and what else could a 16-year-old girl need for her day other than her rainbow tank, baggy pants, hippie hair twists, quarter machine jewelry (a loovely choker and Matt and I had matching rainbow Power Heart Kid bracelets), blue Hot Topic Soda shoes, and 2 Blowpops just in case. You never know when you might need a Blowpop, and ya’ gotta have a second one to share with a friend.

 

2002

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The Year of Greta! and lots of thrifting, concerts, festivals, Monty Python, and Home Schooled kid sleep-overs together.

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The Brothers and I at a little music festival. Little J is shamelessly rockin’ that massive spill on his shirt!

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Ben and I were dating. Throwback to iron-on patches and safety pins!

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J, Dad, and I were camping out in line for a CD Release and signing.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Adry’s Day Out

July 5, 2015
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Adry got to have a grandson date with Grandma and Grandpa Martin last week.

They got to go to a park,

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see a juggling show, and visit Keith at work.

I’m very thankful for Adry’s day with The Martins! I’m very thankful that my boy is loved by so many people.

…Shared parenting is hard enough, and the total disconnect in routine/discipline/expectations between our households is challenging for me. I’m thankful for the amount of cooperation I get from Ben-I know the situation could be bad, and I do not consider our situation bad. We are civil and work together well with the schedule, clothes, etc., but otherwise Ben prefers for there to be a complete clean split/separation between our families. For example, if I want to ground Adry from Xbox for behaving poorly in my house, I can’t ask or expect Ben to carry out that grounding in his home, or even ask him to have my back and talk to Adry about his actions and consequences. I think he just prefers to not deal with whatever happens in my home, and I also have no idea what goes on in Ben’s house.

Anyway, I initially coped with this complete disconnect between our homes by trying desperately to gain control in my home and it wasn’t working. The more I pushed, the more Adry acted out. Keith and I saw a blended family therapist for a few weeks who basically listened for a few hours, and then was like, look. you’re turning up the volume and what you need to do is just let go– communicate and model expectations, and then let go.

And I did. I pretty much relinquished control and crossed my fingers for the best, haha. And it’s hard for me! Every day it’s hard.

Well, kids are resilient and they adapt well-that’s true. But I rely so much on the people in Adry’s life to love him unconditionally and model for him how to behave, and how to treat me and treat others, and I just want you all to know how much I appreciate each one of you in his life, and every minute you spend with him! He has so many fantastic role models and positive influences, and he notices more than you know!

Thank you, thank you! <3 I love you all.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Halloween 2014

November 1, 2014
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Adry was The Joker this year.

He's in character saying, "Why So Sserious?"

He’s in character saying, “Why So Sserious?”

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He was pretty proud of how “scary” he was.

On Wednesday evening Dad and I met Jamie, John, Tori, and Baby Tara at Friendship Village of Dublin retirement home for dinner and trick-or-treating.
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The kids ran around laughing and being loud together and had a bunch of fun.

Grandview’s Beggar’s Night was Thursday. Adry spent the evening with his dad and a few school friends.

Adry is trying to be scary!

Adry is trying to be scary!


Ben said he completely filled his bag with candy and they all had a blast.

Meanwhile I was at home in bed (not feeling well) hoping I’d go into labor on my own. Otherwise they’re inducing me in a few days! Eep!

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

One BIG Adry Update

September 13, 2014
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Adry is in FIRST grade!

I believe I’ve mentioned once or twice before how PROUD I am of him! <3 He loves school and is doing so well. He has a cute little classroom, he really likes his teacher, and he has a great group of friends whom he plays with every day after school. Among those friends is his “best friend”, a little boy from his kindergarten class last year. They’re in separate classes  this year, but they still walk into school every morning holding hands (it.is.adorable.) and have a blast together during lunch and recess and after school. I’ve enjoyed watching how much they delight in each other. There’s no other way to word it; it’s just pure delight.

I’ve yet to stop being impressed by how quickly he is progressing. (I think) he was the only kid who started kindergarten last year unable to write his name. He’s not only caught up, kept up, but has (and I don’t mean to compare! But I totally am) surpassed kids who went to preschool and full day kindergarten.

He says he hates writing because ‘it’s boring; he has to just sit and think, uuugh!’ Haha. So, he doesn’t put a whole lot of effort into his assignments. I never see eraser smudges like I see on other kids’ work when they’ve put forth thoughtful revision… yet his work is neatly organized, in full sentences (minus the occasional accidental missed word), and mostly easily decipherable.

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One day in class they chose people to write letters to and he chose me! 🙂 Also, my baby belly made it into the picture!

 

Lego Day with Keith

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They spent literally 9 hours last week building with legos and “making stories”. It was neat stepdad-stepson bonding time. I’m proud of both of them… even if the damn sound of legos started to grate on my brain after ALL DAY. I’m glad they had that time.

 

Adry got a “NEW” bike!

I know, I know. I’m totally late to the whole bike scene. Other first graders are out and about on their big boy 2-wheelers and the last time I went biking with my boy I still put him in the bike trailer. Now he’s outgrown the bike trailer. Sad face. But just in time to pass it along to Ella Bella! So my dad completely cleaned and refurbished (brand new tires and training wheels and all!) the bike on which both the brothers learned to ride.

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And now Adry’s learning to ride it with the training wheels!

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Flag Football!

Adry requested to do flag football through Cypress this year, so of course I signed him up. Today was his first game! His dad brought him and shared this photo and video he got:

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Adry’s First Run

And Keith, his parents, and my parents all came to cheer Adry on. Adry enjoyed himself and we had a nice sportsball morning.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Adry’s Swim Lessons

July 29, 2014
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Adry passed his beginners swim lessons test this year! Yay!
During the first session he refused to even put his head under the water, but by the end he was fearlessly swimming underwater. He was so excited and proud.

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Putting his goggles on

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Practicing kicks

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With his instructor

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He just finished swimming through the hoop

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Next year he’ll move on to learning actual swim strokes.

This summer his dad also did the reading program with him through the Grandview Heights library. He got a t-shirt for completing 20 hours of independent reading, 51 books. He’s my little swimmer and reader! Two more weeks and he’ll be my FIRST GRADER! I think he’s had a fun, accomplished summer and he’s looking forward to returning to school. (I am SO not, though. I’m really going to miss sleeping in and snuggling him in the mornings, and I’m not excited for homework or early bedtimes! 🙁 )

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal