25 August 2008

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Originally uploaded by Uriel 1998
It's hard to believe that it has been another three weeks without updating the blog. Sprout has really kept me on my toes, although I should admit that I've done much of it to myself. As easy as it can be to bemoan life in the midwest and the lack of certain amenities, we've really got it good here in Dayton. We've had free movies at the parks, pony rides, great playgrounds, and educational programs through Five Rivers Metroparks, some of which are part of their Passport to Nature program. Once Sprout has completed her first passport, (She now has 4 of the 8 stamps she needs) she will be able to send the stamped passport brochure into the parks office for a prize.

In early August, we purchased a family membership to the Boonshoft museum so that we could take her there any time for a brief visit or a whole afternoon. While there last week, I saw a sign for a preschool science program offered by the museum. The cost is roughly equal to the cost of preschool at the Y but since the program is very focused on science and mathematics, Sprout will receive the academic stimulation that she needs in an age-appropriate setting. I couldn't be happier.

Sprout still wakes up every morning asking, "What are we doing today?" or "Where are we going to go today?" Unfortunately, I'm having some minor issues with Rosie, she's running rough and we've not been able to get the exhaust issues addressed. I'm trying to assess our current transportation situation. When we bought Rosie, I said that if she met our needs for 3 months, it was well worth the investment that we made in her. We're very near that 3 month point. If the change in the way she's running represents a major engine problem, that could really impact what we decide to do with her. (It's recent enough that I haven't had a chance to check whether it's had any effect on her gas mileage, which will tell me a lot...) We know that almost any repair done at a garage will cost us more than we paid for the car. The question rapidly becomes, "Would we be better off putting money into this car or into the bank for a 'better' car?"

With Sprout starting her preschool science program a week from tomorrow, the schedule for our entire family is about to go through some major alteration. With the new schedule, it may be possible for us to get by with one car, or to limit the use of the second car dramatically. Our visits to B.'s family will be much more infrequent, now that the school year has begun. A is in school all day. E is in afternoon kindergarten. B has decided to limit her daycare business to school age children and to only accept kindergarten age kids who are elegible for busing and afternoon kindergarten. This will give her the afternoons for studying. It's a perfect arrangement for her and I'm glad to see it working out.

Unfortunately, since Sprout is in the morning program, she'll be in class when E is home and home when E is at kindergarten. I'm sure that she'll find herself engaging more with her friends from "school" and that she'll be much more satisfied with the more occasional playdates with E & A, but she's already sounding a bit disappointed that she doesn't get to see them as much.

I'm trying not to think about how life will change once Sprout is in "school"... I'm also trying not to have fantasies about sending her to a M/W/F preschool program in addition to the science program. She just seems to want constant stimulation and input and those demands consume my entire life if I'm not careful.

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