During their visit last week, we took Grammy and Pops to the Wyoming Territorial Prison in Laramie. The former prison has been turned into a museum and visitors can tour the jail cell blocks, laundry, warden's home, etc. Most famous inmate? Butch Cassidy.
The museum was very interesting, and well laid out. We all enjoyed our trip, but guess who loved it so much she can't stop talking about it, and keeps asking when we can go back?
Molly is sometimes employed to help wake Sophie up on those mornings when she's really sluggish. We say, "Release the baby!" (have you seen the Croods?) and then we can rest assured Molly will get the job done.
And, there are days when it's nice to be visually reminded that these girls can laugh and smile together.
Sophie, even the manner in which you made your way into this world was a bit hesitant and wishy-washy. Your dad and I smile about this because at the time we didn't realize it, but this was to be the way you approach many physical challenges. Take walking, for example! You were pulled kicking and screaming into the world of perambulation, but once you got started, there was no stopping you. We attribute your hesitations to a healthy caution and a strong sense of self-preservation, which we applaud. But at 8, you are starting to notice that you're one of the only kids your age not riding a bike, and you get frustrated that Molly can slide down a pole and she's only four. You're starting to get self-conscious, and I think it's driving you to be more persistant and brave.
This past summer, you passed the pool's swim test which allowed you access to the diving board and deep end of the pool. The test consisted of swiming the long length of the pool (on top of the water) and then treading water for 30 seconds. Cake.
You also decided that you were going to learn how to dive. And with the help of your swim instructor Mary Alice, you did it. I would like to mention that you were pretty freaked out when it was time to start diving off of elevated surfaces like the racing platforms and the diving board. You even had a nasty smack or two which made you shy away from the whole process for a day or two, but you got right back in the saddle.
During our summer visit to Pittsburgh, you hopped on the moving wheel at the playground. This is pretty hard. I can't do it. Think hamster wheel with the added task of balance.
In Cheyenne, you've started ballet lessons.
You've mastered your first tree climb:
On a trip last week to Curt Gowdy park with Grammy and Pops, you got a taste of rock climbing... and loved it.
And, at a local pumpkin patch, you took on the challenge of an obstacle course. This was a surprise. And you did it! We're very proud.
There's an important picture missing, and I'll have to fix that ASAP - because you are teaching yourself how to roller blade. Despite a few bruised tailbones, you keep at it and are learning to glide alternately on your feet. It's so much fun to watch you taking on these challenges, Sophie! Keep it up!
We're getting settled into our new house in Cheyenne, after almost a month of homeless upheaval and adjustment to new climate, altitude, shedules, and people. And we are having FUN. Sophie and Molly, you are each doing such a wonderful job landing on your feet after each change. Sophie, you've settled in at Freedom Elementary with a great new teacher and friends. Molly, you charge out of preschool each time saying what a good day you had there. You both still mention Georgia, and Molly, you sometimes refer to it as "home," and wonder when we're going back. But as you get accustomed to your new rooms and spaces, you move through life with more comfort and confidence. Grammy and Pops were here last week, and it is my observation, when settling into a new house, that getting ready for your first out-of-town visitors, and giving them the tour and a place to sleep, helps to solidify in yourself that this is now YOUR house. And if feels like home more than it did before. This is the case for me now, and I suspect you are the same.
Within our first week in Cheyenne, we discovered two places which immediately became favorites: the Laramie County Public Library, and the Paul Smith Children's Village. We have gone time and again in the past weeks, and still discover new things. Both provide a great story time program, and in their respective milieus, offer an abundance of variety. These are great places and we love them.
This automated return system is really cool because you load your books on the conveyor one at a time and a scanner immediately recognizes them as being items you borrowed, and immediately takes them off your account.
The library's entire second floor is devoted to kids, and they provide a great story time room, play kitchen, a large floor chess/checker set, computers with games, a play "book mobile," and a a large play structure (above) where kids can crank wheels to get conveyor belts to spin to move tiles up and over a top piece then down a slide. It's really awesome.
Paul Smith Children's Village:
I'd wager there aren't too many places around the country where one can pick blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries all in the same field, at the same time. But this is what Sophie, Molly, and I were able to do after a long drive through the country, which was a small price to pay. The weather was mercifully breezy and overcast, which allowed the girls to "stay with me" through the whole process. As my facebook friend Kristin says, the fresh berries taste a little "meh," but the strawberry pie sure was tasty, and so is the jam. And the picking is so, so fun.