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Jul 28, 2012

Yosemite trip

Last week, we had another big milestone in our family life. After last year's first quick camping trip at Pinnacles, we went camping for 2 nights for the first time. And it was a great success. We were lucky to get a reservation at a campground in Yosemite, on a weekend where the weather was perfect, if not a little too hot. We spent a weekend exploring the valley, hiking, looking for wildlife (not very successfully though) and enjoying the outdoors. It was fun!
Even though Daniel had a short phase of accidents after a long hike to the top of Bernal Fall (bitten by a squirrel - or so he thinks, and a fall leading to a cut gum), he quickly recovered and enjoyed the rest of the trip. A few minutes later, he was again climbing on boulders, running around, and enjoying being outdoors to use his endless energy. The hardest part was leaving. Everyone was heart-broken, but Daniel had the hardest time. It seems to be a pattern for him lately, and I think this had to do with the age (although he already showed similar behavior at 18 months) . Daniel is so passionate about everything, and he loves new adventures. Even though we keep telling him and finishing an adventure means that a new one will be starting soon, he still has a hard time saying good bye. Fortunately, a few days later, we were on our way to a great trip to Europe. So the Yosemite nostalgia was limited. And we have another camping trip to look forward to in a few weeks, which should be a great way to wrap up the summer.
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Jul 8, 2012

Proud mommy!

These last couple of days have been really exciting for me, as Daniel has demonstrated many times how far he has come and that he is starting to be a big boy. It started with a parent-teacher conference on Friday morning, where we learned that Daniel was doing very well transitioning to his new classroom, the last step before Kindergarden. In only a few days, he had already been participating in all activities and had done very well. Also, he was about to get the "Super Friend of the Week" medal for good listening and helping. This was very encouraging since just a few weeks ago, Daniel had had some discipline issues at school. He had taken the feedback to heart and was making a lot of efforts to be a great model in the classroom. This had paid off! The teacher had actually nothing to say when we asked what Daniel needed to improve on! Yes, I know this kid is perfect, after all. (Joking!)

On Saturday, we had a couple of other great milestones. We went through our typical Saturday routine and Daniel had a good piano lesson, where he continued to make a lot of progress. During swimming, Daniel proved that he can swim better than me, getting close to mastering free style. I was very impressed. Over the last couple of weeks, he had been learning the techniques, but in small increments, having a hard time following all the direction at once. On Saturday, he got it: all the pieces were coming together very nicely. It was so great to see.

We continued our Saturday activities with a great 3-mile hike at Steven's Creek Nature Trail. It's a great hike, that goes through a variety of landscapes, from grassland to forest. We came in in the late afternoon and we were lucky to see a coyote and several deers, additionally to all the usual small creatures on the trail. But the best was seeing Daniel hike the entire time, a very happy camper. He was interested in what we were seeing, enjoying the nature (and the abundance of stocks!) and keeping a very good pace with us. Given his morning swim activities, I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was great to see that he did very well. We finished the evening with him building a very complex lego structure, and his thought process through the exercise was interesting to watch.

On Sunday, our big event was a 3-mile bike ride to get an early dinner in downtown. It was so much fun, being able to zoom through the long street, not just going in circles at the park. Daniel did well too!
So, I guess he is ready for a triathlon pretty soon, huh? It took 4.5 years, but it's starting to be so much fun now. So great to see Daniel develop into this great little boy.

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