Sunday, August 31, 2014

First day of Kindergarten!

Aubrey's first day has come and gone and she had a great time! We woke up bright and early to make sure we had plenty of time to get ready, have breakfast and do a mini photoshoot.

Addie wanted some photo action too!

I love how this photo captures her excitement:

A Frozen lunchbox (of course)

At this point I thought I would be a sobbing mess, but I surprisingly held it together. As soon as she saw her teacher, that was it. She wanted nothing to do with us! We asked for a kiss and hug goodbye and you could tell she was just ready for us to leave. She was more than ready to start this journey! Walking back to the car I got a little teary, and then when we got in the car Keith passed me a tissue and when I looked up, he was crying. Awwww.

We went and grabbed a quick breakfast with Addie and came back to the house for a bit. I'm going to miss Aubrey like crazy when she's at school, but I really loved having alone time with Addie. We've never really had much opportunity for one on one time and now we will have some every day!

When Aubrey came out of the class, I could tell she didn't want to leave. I asked her what she did at school today and she said "I don't remember!" haha. 

"Did you color?"
"Did you go outside?"
"Who did you sit next to?"

When we got back to the car, I went into her backpack and pulled out the daily communication folder and found her very first school art project and I got teary all over again when I held the tiny handprint in mine. 

I know it won't be this tiny forever.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dear Kindergarten Teacher

A new school year is upon is. I'm sure you're a mixture of nervous and excited as a new group of 5 year olds join your classroom for the next 10 months. It's another year of putting faces to names and deciphering each child's individual learning needs and learning to read each kid's personality.

There's a couple things you should know about Aubrey.

You should know that she has a very strong desire to learn everything about anything. The number of questions she asks in a day is astounding. Some find it annoying. I see it as her trying to soak in everything humanly possible. She will probably have a question about everything you talk about. 

You should know that she has a speech delay. Up until about a year ago, she barely spoke to anyone but me and Keith, and occasionally her aunts and grandparents. She had the thoughts and couldn't get the words out in a way that people would understand. This caused her to hole up and ignore anyone who tried to talk to her. She has come very far in the past year and has blossomed into a whole new kid, but she is still working on her speech and still has some sounds that are hard to decipher. Please be patient with her. It breaks my heart to see her upset when she isn't understood.

You should know that she takes a minute to look at the camera for a picture. So if you could, take a couple extras. I promise the sweet picture you get as an end result is well worth it.

You should know that that little girl is my whole world. From the moment I found out I was pregnant with her, she consumed my life. I debated over nursery fabrics. I babyproofed my apartment. In the car I replaced Eminem with Laurie Berkner, and at home I replaced Sex and the City with endless repeats of Toy Story (1, 2 and 3. I'm pretty sure I could recite each of them from beginning to end). I scoured every weekly email that compared her to the size of a poppy seed. A peach. A zucchini. A watermelon. 

And ever since that watermelon was placed into my arms for the first time, I dreaded this day. Between then and now, I was always able to hold her hand through it all. Once she walks through that classroom door, I share her life with you. 

We got a chance to see you and your classroom today, and some of those feelings of dread were replaced with excitement. Because I saw the way her face lit up when she saw that she was seated next to her friend that she met at the playground yesterday during the Kindergarten Meet-Up.

I saw her eyes fill with wonder as she fingered through the books in your mini library and all of the ways you incorporate each child's name into your classroom.

I saw the proud look she gave when you promptly hung up the picture that she made for you.

I felt your hand on my shoulder as I watched her do one of your open house activities, deciding whether or not I was going to let a tear fall. I saw the look of acceptance she felt when she was explaining the picture to you and you listened and asked questions.

You get it. I know you do. I'm sure you deal with parents like me every year. Parents who are ready to see their child, who they spent the last 5 years putting their blood, sweat and tears into, spread their wings and blossom into mini adults.. but at the same time want to take that child home and just forget about this whole "kindergarten" thing. Parents who have seriously considered homeschooling just for those extra hours in the day. But in the end, I know she's in good hands. 

Here's to an amazing year. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Countdown to Kindergarten!

This is it. The last Monday before Kindergarten. We've spent the last week preparing for this big day. We went school shopping with Grammy last Sunday and Aubrey picked out a bunch of "cool clothes" (including a zebra print sweatshirt.. yup she's definitely my kid!)

A mommy-and-me date on Monday, just the two of us, to shop for more clothes and accessories. But not before stopping at our local airport's diner for some breakfast and plane watching.

We have been getting Miss A to bed earlier each night so she's used to it by the time Wednesday night rolls around. It's definitely super important for kids to get enough sleep during the school year and we haven't had the strictest schedule over the summer. She has been adjusting to it really well. 

We were invited to go to a kindergarten meet-up this morning at the playground at Aubrey's new school so the kids could meet each other. We were all asked to bring a snack or drink, so Aubrey and I spent the weekend making these adorable fish snacks!

They were super easy to make. You will need the following:

- A printer
- Crayons (or you could find a clip art fish that is already colored. I thought having Aubrey color them herself would add a cute touch)
- Ribbon
- A hole punch
- Plastic baggies (I used sandwich bags- no zip closure- and just trimmed the tops after I was done so they looked "neater")
- Goldfish. I got 3 packages and it made about 40 bags with between 25-30 in each)

My plan was to put Addie to bed early last night and have Aubrey help me by counting the fish to put in each bag, but I got the mother of all migraines and had to go lay down for a good chunk of the night. I woke up around 10:00 and finished them myself. The whole process probably took about 2 hours total.

They were a huge hit with all of the kids and parents! 

The best part of the meet-up was meeting a new friend that will be in her class! These two were joined at the hip from the moment they said "hi!". Her mom & I exchanged phone numbers for play dates. I hope their friendship blossoms throughout the year!

The next couple of days will include an open house tomorrow to see her teacher (we met her briefly today - she was so nice! Aubrey loves her!), explore the classroom, and see where her desk and cubby will be. Wednesday she has a dentist appointment and will be getting a hair cut. Keith got Thursday off so he can come with us to drop Aubrey off at her first day (and to hold me today as I sob the whole way home :D)

I can't believe this week is here! Anybody else sending their kiddos off to school for the first time?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Summer 2014 Bucket List: An Update

Holy smokes, is it already the end of August? One more week until Labor Day. 5 more days until my little lady starts KINDERGARTEN (whaaaat?!). This summer flew by. Let's check the progress on our Bucket List. There are only 2 things that we haven't done yet, and to be honest we probably won't get a chance to do them until at least next month. 8 out of 10 ain't bad!

1. Attend the Big Apple Ponycon! Check!

2. Go to the beach Check!

3. York's Wild Kingdom Check!

4. Go to a Red Sox game  Check! (Kind of. I went, but Keith stayed home with a sick Addie)

5. Go to amusement parks Check! and Check!

6. Go to the local splash pad Check!

7. Davis Farmland Check!

8. Go to a pick-your-own farm
Not yet!

9. Swimming Check!

10. Go to a festival
Not yet!