I've spent the vast majority of my life in a climate where spring came too early and too hot, but that is not the case here. It turns out that I actually like spring here! The sun is out (when we aren't getting visited by wet spring snow) and the bulbs are blooming and the outside world beckons with wheeled vehicles and walks around the neighborhood.
Going on a walk in our neighborhood with Grace on her bike is a work-out-- not a physical one, mind you, but an emotional one. She has mostly ridden just on our driveway and venturing into the big world with HILLS (very, very slight hills) and STREET CROSSINGS and BUMPS ON THE SIDEWALK is a big undertaking. Grace is someone who feels her feelings intensely and can be dramatic about circumstances, so taking her out and about is a very slow process involving lots of encouragement and talking her down from the edge of hysteria. She is highly motivated to master new skills (which is good, of course) so she doesn't ever want to give up and go home. But oh, the dramatics...
Our chickens have grown very dramatically in the past ~10 days. I first noticed them looking bigger on day 4 or 5, which is kind of amazing to me. They don't have that round-ball-of-fuzz look anymore and a couple of them are already losing their chick fuzz in favor of adult feathers. Soon they will enter the awkward adolescent chicken phase when they look like they have mange and listen to music I don't like in their room with the door shut. But seriously, they eat ALL THE TIME, which I guess is how they manage to grow so fast. I bought them a second heat lamp when we were having a cold snap and snow (poor babies were all huddled together under the single heat lamp) but if we get more warm days then I think they can visit the grass for the first time next week sometime.
We had Grace's little ballet recital last night, which was, you know, what you'd expect from an evening of 3- to 5-year-olds "dancing". All the other pictures I took have other people's children displayed a bit too prominently for me to post them on the internet, and then this one below is out of focus-- AAARGH. Oh well, hopefully you can still tell what a lovely ballerina she is. She had so much fun doing ballet. She says she wants to do soccer next, so I should probably get on that. Things are wrapping up for the school year-- ballet class is finished, Grace will be done with preschool in 3 weeks, etc. This is giving me some cognitive dissonance because, again, I have spent almost my entire life somewhere where May brought the truly hot weather as well as the end of the school year, and it SNOWED last week here. It was warm and summery when we moved here last July so I'm assuming the snow will stop at some point before then?
Speaking of Grace and school, last week somebody from the ELP office called me to ask what our ranked preference for the magnet schools was and I told them we were going to go to our neighborhood school. Then the next day a more in-charge woman called me wanting to talk about that decision. It turns out that Grace tested very highly and she wanted me to know that before I declined an ELP spot. I thought we made this decision already! Aargh! Anyway, we are still going with our original plan for all the original reasons because I still think they make the most sense for us. I am, of course, now mildly plagued with worry that this isn't the best decision for her. On the other hand, I am OK with not making the absolute best decision for her as an individual in favor of one that will be good for us as a whole, as long as it isn't a BAD decision for her, you know? And I don't think this will be, even if she doesn't spend next year performing to her absolute peak 5-year-old potential. The administrator woman was very supportive and said she just had one piece of the picture there with the test scores and children and their families are much more complicated than just that. She said that our neighborhood school is great, which is what everyone says. We can always re-test Grace another year to try to get one of these spots again if we decide we should do that. So it turns out that Grace is even more a mini-me than we thought she was, from her hair to her big feet to her ability to take tests very well.