Wednesday, December 19, 2007

...just broccoli, please!

We had pancakes for dinner. (I think this is the title of an Eric Carle book?) Anyway, pancakes for dinner. I scrambled up some yummy eggs for Miss E and me, and just for kicks, asked Miss A if she would like any. Her answer: "No thanks, just broccoli, please!"
So for her sake, let me re-state my first comment. We had pancakes, and broccoli, for dinner. yum?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A's Christmas Program

Weeks and weeks of preparation led up to tonight's event. Two-a-day rehearsals for the kids, plus their regularly scheduled music time, resulted in some burn out, but overall, it went really well. We were up at the church almost an hour early. And to my surprise, we weren't the first ones there! A handful of families had managed to sneak in and already had their seats staked out in the front row! This should have been my first clue at how crazy the night would be. :)
After 45 minutes of running from class to class, checking on line-ups, props, settling wardrobe issues, re-fastening hairbows, and assisting with potty breaks, we were ready to begin.
Getting the 2s up on stage was not a huge deal. Although we rehearse with only half at a time, since there is a Tues/Thurs class and a Wed/Fri class, doubling a number like 10 is not a big adjustment. The sweet little ones sang their first song (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star) and waved their gold glitter stars like champs. Miss A waved away! I'm not sure if she sang at all-she was on the very end of the row-but she stayed on stage, and that's all I hoped for!
Now, getting the 3s to join them for the 2nd song is a whooooole 'nother story. Like the 2s, we only rehearse with some of them each day. But for the 3s there's anywhere from 10-13 in a class, AND there are FOUR classes!! Sooo, getting all of them up there in an orderly manner was just not happening. One of the 3s teachers finally decided we were as close as we were going to get to "ready", and yelled out the "One, Two, Three!" cue to begin. Some began, more chimed in after the first "Jingle Bells", and by the end, I promise we had three different songs going! Oh well, live and learn, right!
Oh, the only thing I did notice from A was that she dropped her jingle bells a few lines into the song, and tried in vain to reach them without moving from her spot on the first step. Luckily one of the teachers in the front row saw her and got the bells back to her pretty quickly. She jingled to her hearts content!
Now we're ready for the 4s. Oh man. Twice and many kids means twice as many parents. Twice as many ignoring the "reserved for teachers only" seat signs, and twice as many trying to move in on my territory-one little circle of a spot on the floor, front and center, so all the kids can look to me if they lose place or forget a hand-motion. I had my spot staked out, then decided to stand to check out our line-up at eye level. Make sure none of the kids were totally hidden behind the one in front of them, etc. I stand up for 4 seconds, and start to sit back down, but there's a mom in my spot! Practically sitting on my feet. You have to understand, there was a parent to my left, my right, my back, and anywhere in-between that they could possible squeeze. All armed with video cameras.
I politely tap the head of the mom on my feet and tell her I really need to sit right there...and squeeze back into my spot. Practically in the lap of the person behind me. And so we begin. The kids did great. Thank goodness. I couldn't help with hand motions....I couldn't lift my arms from my side! I was sandwiched in!
Anyway, we made it through then trekked back to the new buildings to show the parents our new rooms. It was a good night.
I'll have to post pictures later-I didn't have my camera so I borrowed the school's digital. I'll burn my pics and post some after the break.
Oh, one comment on Miss E. She saw several friends from her class last year. There are 3 or 4 boys that are at the preschool again, in the "bridge" class, who won't go to Kinder till next year. I left her to visit in their room while I ran around before we started. I would peek in every time I would pass by that room. And every time, I'd see her in the middle of the pack of boys, giggling! blushing! grinning from ear to ear! Hugging their necks! Oh yes, she was eating it up! AND, I learned from one the teachers the next day, that apparently she heard one of the boys ask our E on a date! "Where would they go???" she laughed!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Sweet Sicky

Poor Miss E! She started complaining of a sore throat last Saturday. Sunday I finally looked, and sure enough her tonsils were huge and had the white pockets. A sure sign of Strep. We got a Rx called in, and thought she was surely on the mend. Back to school on Tuesday, right?
We're on our 4th day home from school today. Tuesday night, I checked her throat because she was still complaining. Usually the antibiotic knocks out the pain by the 2nd day with Strep. I was shocked to see that everything was much worse! A call to the Dr. determined that she needed a stronger prescription. So we were back to ground zero. This morning she's still all swollen up and tonsils look the same as Tuesday night. We just took the 2nd dose, but it's only a three day dose! I'm hoping to see lots of improvement by this afternoon.
Meanwhile, I emailed her teacher and hinted that E would love some Get Well cards if any of her classmates had some free time. That afternoon she sent home a whole folder filled with cards and well wishes with a neighbor boy. E was thrilled! She read them all and went straight off to write a Thank You note. This is what it said:

To mi (she insisted it was better spelled this way) good friends.
Thank you for mi botiful get well cards. Love "E".

How sweet is she???

Friday, December 7, 2007

Wastin' Time

Though I rarely am satisfied with the details, I ask Miss E every afternoon about her day at school. Today she had a "good" day, got "purple" (the top level of the behavior chart), and got "accidentally" kicked in the eye at recess. Then she tells me, "but I just wasted all my time at free centers". Free centers is a free play/imaginative play time they get each afternoon, I think, before packing up to come home. This "wasting time" business didn't sound like a good thing to me, so I asked what she meant by that. She said "I just wanted to write."!
E's teacher has said to me several times before that E has a "passion" for writing. She LOVES to write. Really. She is always writing a letter, a list, an invitation, an idea...anything!
So today at school instead of taking advantage of her free play time, she sat at her desk and wrote her Christmas list, a list of all the boys and girls in her class (with a handmade graph), and charted the weather for the week. And she was VERY proud of her "quality work"! Crazy Kid!
Now just to work on spelling and penmanship.... :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

How did.....?

Last night we called the girls for dinner. E came running. A still did not come after a few calls. This is not unusual, so once everyone was seated, I went back to the bedrooms to get her myself. She met me halfway down the hall, telling me in a very pitiful voice, "I need help!"
A and E had been "dressing up". Apparently, Miss A tried to put on one of E's "bras", that she has from one of her matching sets. This is as far as she got...

A Happy Birthday

"Dear Ward". This is Ally-ese for "Dear Lord". She followed up our dinner prayer with one of her own. E always does this-has to add her own touch after Daddy finishes. If he says, "help those that are sick, we're thankful to be healthly", etc. Miss E will pipe in with, "but Dear God, please help me with 'the allergies'".
Last night, following big Sis, Miss A says, "Dear Ward, thank you for dis food, thank you for Cwismas, and I get some pwesents, and can I have more cheese, please?"
We tried so hard to hold in the laughter! She was so proud of herself!
Miss E, on the other hand, added this: "Dear God, Thank you for Christmas, and I hope Jesus has a Happy Birthday". Well, that was enough to make me cry!
Got me thinking that I need to thank God more often myself, for the things that I'm blessed to enjoy in my daily life. My family-Wow! What a blessing!
My life is filled with love from so many people and places-and I'm sure I sometimes take this for granted.
As we celebrate the Christmas season this year, I will remember to wish Jesus a Happy Birthday too, and to thank him for the gifts he has given me. And for allowing me to give back.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

Who's Training Who?


Potty Everywhere.
Hold it! Wait! Uh Oh...Change Clothes.
Look at Mommy Run!

I started potty training Saturday morning with Ally. It was a disaster. In undies all morning and not once went potty on her toilet. We'd sit on there for 30 min. at a time, reading books, playing board games, just trying to get her to relax and go. Never Happened.
She even asked for her diaper once just before a big spill, so I knew she was just very worried about going on the pot. The only time I ever grab her and whisk her off to the toilet is when I could tell she is pooping, and she'd fight it tooth and nail. So as far as she knew, she just didn't want to have anything to do with this toilet business.
We didn't try at all yesterday, we were just very busy and out alot. So today was ground zero again.
Started right away with her special undies, and gave her a big glass of milk. That'll do the trick, right?? :) Well, it did. She held it longer than I thought she could, but finally, enticed by a tootsie roll, she pottied in her toilet! Three times by 10 o'clock, and no accidents! So three tootsie rolls in the AM, and with a dry diaper and a big potty after her nap, a lollipop in hand, we decide to brave the park.
-oh, and she was one proud potty girl!-

We arrive at the park and she takes off running full force for the swings. She got about 8 feet from them and stopped dead in her tracks and look at her feet. Poor thing was so excited about her swings that she forgot all about this potty business!
So I change her into one of the three extra shorts and undies I brought, get her cleaned up, had her sit on the potty (yes, I brought it to the park!) just to make sure she was finished, and off she goes. This time for a slide. She gets to the edge of the slide and stops...and does the oh-so-common "potty grab".
Now I had just barely recovered from the first episode. I had JUST made it to the table with our group of friends and unloaded the potty, the newly wet clothes, some craft supplies (including a dozen loose feather headbands), our backpack and wipes container, all of which I somehow had balanced in my two arms.
So I do what any other training mom would do, right? I lunge off the bench for the potty, ready to head her way. I'm yelling, "I'm coming, A!", "Don't potty, Mama's coming!"
Well, this was a great plan. What I didn't plan on was the darn seat falling apart when I grabbed it. The lid flipped off. I struggled to juggle it while trying to slow my momentum. The basin fell out. The top half of my body is quickly getting ahead of my lower half, seeing how my lower half is being slowed up by the quicksand-like park pebbles, and the toilet I'm trying to hurdle! All I can see is gravel, and somewhere shortly after imagining explaining my roadrash face over the Thanksgiving Break....I slide in next to A, whisk her shorts down, and plop her on the pot. Right in the middle of the playground.
Luckily all her bodily functions seemed to halt during the commotion, and we made it in the potty!
Whew! All in a days work, right?
Actually, two false alarms later, I've decided she just like to see how fast she can make me jump. I'm like Pavlov's dogs now-I see any sort of pause or grab and I jump-it's relfex, I tell you!
Hey-one little accident after we got home, but she had an AWESOME day!! Off to a great start!

Friday, November 16, 2007

P is For Pretzel!

Today we hosted Miss A's age group's cooking playdate. In honor of letter "P" month, I chose an easy pretzels recipe. It was a big hit!
Everybody got to mix:

Then Knead:

Then we formed our initials with the dough!

Brush on some egg and a sprinkle of salt:

Bake for 10 min., Eat and Enjoy!

A Long Week!

Oh, where to begin?
Our Thanksgiving feast and program was scheduled for Thursday and Friday of this week (Nov. 15&16). So of course Monday, Nov. 12, I woke up feeling really lousy. Achey all over, an incredibly bad sore throat, and just no real appetite.
I chose to ignore it.
I had plans.
I was going to E's school to eat lunch with her and then serve in the cafeteria to the rest of the school. And I did.
E was so proud to have us there! After we were served and seated, she says, "Mama, I would like you to meet Charlie.", and gestures to the quiet blonde boy sitting next to me. (pause enough for me to say hello and nice to meet you to Charlie, then continues) "Charlie, I would like you to Mom."
How Sweet is she!?! I was so proud of her good manners!
Anyway, I didn't eat much, then stood on my feet for over an hour all decked out in a plastic apron, gloves, and hairnet! and was in charge of the dressing and roll distribution. I felt good about my contribution for the day, headed home to clean up and change, and get ready for a craft playdate at the park after school.
Had to wake A at 3:30 to go to the park. She was not happy about this, but we were bringing the craft supplies, so we had to get there.
Once we arrived and she made it to the swing, she was ok. Until she had to get off of the swing. Not ok. After kicking and screaming, wailing, and some attempts at pummeling...she settled down and had some more fun. She and the other kiddos took an impromptu hike up a really big hill and long path, running, falling, rolling down and getting really worn out. Fine with me, I thought-easy to bed tired kids-'cuz I'm really not feeling well (but still ignoring it).
We get home and I crash on the couch. Tell Miss E to make herself some cereal and something else for dinner and scrounge something for A. Somehow got the kids bathed and in bed, called J to tell him to grab something to eat on the way home, that I was in no way up to cooking.
I fell into bed feeling pretty much run over. Take a load of Motrin to try to dull the knives I feel in my throat every time I swallow.
Wake up a little after midnight and make a run for the bathroom-and so begins the vomiting. Which continues about every hour on the hour until about 9 AM.
Ruth came over to get E to school and entertain A for the day. J called in sick for me around 6, when he got up.
Remember our program this week?? yes....oh, the phone calls I got...."do you have lesson plans ready?", "where are the CDs?", "do you have a copy of the lyrics for the 3s song? they don't seem to know it very well.", "can you copy and email the sign language descriptions for the 4s song?", "we changed the 3s song to something easier", and then..."will you be in tomorrow???"
"I think so", I reply-"I haven't thrown up in awhile"..."but my throat is killing me!"
Ahhh...."you might have Strep".
Oh yes, I had Strep. Seriously. For the first time in 15 years or more! Not fun.
So I call my connections (thank you, Aunt D!!) and get some meds and am on the mend. But, I can't go in the next day. Not until I'm on the meds for 24 hours. So I have zero time with the kiddos before we perform on Thursday. Trying not to stress.
I make it to work and we do get to rehearse during the morning assembly. Not too bad. And it really went ok.
I was the only one singing during the 2s performance. One sweet pea did a couple of the movements for our turkey song, but did not sing. And another raised her dress over her head about 6 times. :) A stood on the stage for the first song, then matter-of-factly walked down the three stairs and plopped in my lap for the 2nd song. She's never been much of a follower. :)
And the 3s and 4s did really well. I was very proud. All of the parents enjoyed the show and the special goodies we made for them.

And I survived another week.

Did I mention we hosted a cooking playdate too?? another post....

TGITB!!! (Thank Goodness it's Thanksgiving Break!)

Miss E and her Grammy in line for the Tday "spread".

The Line Up, Day One.

Little A really enjoying her Pilgrim Hat cookie.

My Turkey.

Little A and her Grammy, Spread #2!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

No More Moomies....

When Ally gets tired and doesn't want to be tired...her attempt to try and get out of her nap is to ask for a movie. Actually, it's, "I no Want to take a Nap! I want to watch a Moomie!".
Well, today she very clearly and distinctly asked to watch a Movie!!
I almost cried.
All these changes and new skills are wonderful, but my baby is growing. Let's face it. My baby is no longer my baby. I know, I know...she'll always be my baby, but she's my THREE year old baby now. Wow.

Proud of Me

After today, I am excited, for the first time, for our Thanksgiving program at the preschool. Last *little* nervous. :) But after my second day working with the kids, I think I can pull it off.
My favorite song is one that goes like this:

There are many things I am thankful for, I can find them near and far.
There are many things I am thankful for, let me tell you what they are.
I am thankful for the Earth.
I am thankful for the Sea.
I am thankful for my Friends,
and I am thankful to be me.
There are many...(repeat)
There are many...(repeat)
I am thankful for the Son.
I am thankful for each Tree.
I am thankful for my Home
and I am thankful to be Me.
There are many....
There are many...
I am thankful for my Food.
I am thankful to be Free.
I am thankful for the Stars,
and I am thankful to be Me!

I looked up an ASL dictionary online and found the signs for all the key words (earth, sea, friends, etc. ) and started teaching the kids today. They are really catching on! I would tear up just watching them in class today. Funny how seeing them all lined up, following my lead with the signs, and singing in their best and sweetest voices, wanting to make me proud, makes the moments of wanting to pull my hair out fade (just a little...)!

Oh-I should mention-the 2 yr. olds are not doing this song. No, Ally's class will be singing (to the tune of I'm a Little Teapot):

I'm a little turkey, plump and wide.
Feet on the bottom, wings on the side.
When I walk I wobble, to and fro.
Hear me gobble as off I go!
(followed by silly 2 yr. old gobbling!)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

How Much is Too Much?

I made a yummy dinner last night of Lemon Pepper Tilapia, rice pilaf, and steamed broccoli. I had to practically pin Emma down to keep her from eating Jason's helping of tilapia-the child ate one and a half fillets, plus her rice and broccoli! Ally did try the fish. I got her to eat three bites before she was "done" with that. She didn't try the rice, but did eat ALL of her broccoli! Then asked for more! And ate all of that.....then asked for MORE! Yes, three good helpings of broccoli! Which leads me too it too much for one sitting? I didn't notice any unusual side effects, but was really wondering, you know? Since that's all she consumed for dinner, I didn't know what it might do to her tummy! Hey, I'm am not letting that stop me. We really have broccoli about 3 times a week now that Ally has chosen it as her only vegetable intake. It is jam packed with good stuff, though! Yay!

Friday, November 2, 2007

A Day for a Dig!

This was such a fun day for Ally and me. We were supposed to meet some playgroup friends downtown for a dig at the Dino Pit (it's letter "P" month, and we were going with a "prehistoric" idea), but all of our friends were either under the weather or chickened out due to the chilly morning :). I almost always travel anywhere out of town ("town" being the LCP area) with my good friend, M. I'm not afraid of taking on the big highways or the sky high flyovers, it's after exiting the fast paced routes that get me. I can't keep straight all the one ways, this ways, that ways, and no ways! I cannot go anywhere without at least one wrong turn. Today it was two (even after a call to M to double check the exit #), but we got there....and we had so much fun!
It was neat to just be Ally and Mom. I let her lead the way. We ran down dirt paths, walked across dry creek beds, dug for about 30 minutes for dinosaur bones before a herd of elementary school kids on a field trip took over. Then we visited the rescued animal area, and the reptile/amphibian/arachnid house with all the creepy crawlies. We had a little snack lunch then loaded up to head home. We visited and looked at the sites over the long-ish drive to keep A awake in the car. She talked about our adventures of the morning and told Daddy about it later. A really neat time!
Oh, and I took a *few* pics.... :)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

60s Style!

Emma had Red Ribbon Week at her school last week. This is a week to raise drug awareness, and as part of the fun, they tag each day with its own theme for the kids to dress up. I.e. Monday-"Put a Lid on Drugs", and the kids get to wear their favorite hat. Tuesday-"Team up Against Drugs", and they wear their favorite team shirt. Wednesday was "60 Ways to Say No to Drugs", and they were to dress up in 60s style clothing. We brain stormed a bit and came up with some ideas, and I decided to straighten her hair to add to the look.
I may be regretting that decision! She Loved it! The child could not pass the bathroom without stopping to admire herself. Couldn't concentrate on brushing her teeth, would get distracted doing ANYthing, stopping to swish her long silky locks. It was strange to see her hair like that. She's had curls-lots of curls as a little one-since day 1! But she loved it, and we may do it again every now and then, just for fun. :)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A 'Specially, *Sprinkley* Breakfast Surprise!

I cannot, on paper (or blog), explain how much I look forward to the weekends. Not because we have lay around the house days, or because we have anything special planned, but for one other sleep in! These are days that I don't have to get up in the dark, I don't have to carry a sleeping Emma to my room to dress her like a limp doll while she fights to stay in slumber-land. I don't have to "hush" her every word once she does wake up, trying to let Ally sleep a little more before it's her turn. No. We can sleep until we want to wake up, eat breakfast at a normal human pace instead of having to scarf it down in an hurry to make the bus, and yes, I'll admit...we can stay in our PJs all day if that's what we choose!
So, when Ally called out around 6:10 this morning and Emma shortly followed, I decided they could manage for 20 minutes or so on their own, and that I was going back to bed. I turned on whatever Nick Jr. show was on at that awful hour, and told Emma to come get me when it was over.
Well, she came to get me alright! Came bounding in telling me, "I've made you a very special breakfast!"
Immediately, the alarms in my head are going off. What did she get into? What will I have to clean up? And more importantly: What will I have to eat???
I squashed any finger waving for the time being and made my way to the table. Ally, thankfully, was still content in front of the TV. One glance at the table showed that Emma had put alot of effort into our breakfast. Each of us had a plate and bowl, and spoon set out for our treat.
I think I'll let the image speak for itself here:

And juuust in case you can't see it well. Let me paint the picture. Pink sprinkles on whole wheat bread. Not toasted, because she's "not supposed to plug things in". OK, good choice there.
And then what appears to be innocent "Golden Puffs" cereal. I decided to start with the safe bet. My first spoonful of cereal was about two inches from my mouth when she decided to share, "the cereal has sprinkles too!" OH, it DOES?? Yes, it does!
I choked down most of that, and about two and a half bites of the bread. Our little-big-girl was proud of her self though. And she did tell me later that she wanted to make eggs, but she decided that "that would be dangerous". Another good choice. :)

Oh, and Ally enjoyed every last lick.....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Ally!

Wow, after almost a 2 month absence from blogging...I just cannot let this day pass un-documented. Today our baby turned 3 years old. I can hardly say it aloud. It can't be true! My baby, my youngest, is Three! Even though we had her party over the weekend, nothing really hit me until today. Today it's official. And so bitter-sweet. She is growing up, growing more independent, and complex. And fun! She had her daddy and me in stitches last night, with all of her Ally-isms, showing out after big sister went to bed.
I made some special cupcakes for her to share at school today. The Preschool has a Circus theme this year, so I thought these were appropriate (and I may have had more fun making these than the kids did eating them!):

Ally enjoying her treats at school:

Monday, October 15, 2007

Brag Time!

Today was my first Parent/Teacher conference for Miss E. Let me say, it was unusual walking in there, trying to grasp that this was some other adult about to inform me of how my child was spending her days. A strange feeling, for sure.
My nerves eased immediately when the teacher looked up and almost seemed relieved to see me. I was the first appt. of the day, bright and early, so we could get on with our plans for Emma's day off. I think Mrs. G was still getting last minute things ready for her conferences, and when she saw me, she said, "Oh, you'll be quick. Emma is just WONderful! " Well, this I can handle!! :)
She began with the results of Emma's reading assessment. Emma is reading on a high first grade level. And improving every day. Mrs. G said she is constantly amazed by Emma's love for writing. Emma loves to write at journal time, and even made a special journal that she uses during "rest time", because she would rather not lay down. (this is another story for another time...).
I asked how Emma is fairing behaviorly and socially, and was told that she doing very, very well. Mrs. G said that she leaves Emma's name in the notes if she has to have a sub, telling to "ask Emma if you have any questions", and that Emma is very much a "Mother Hen" among her peers and table groups, helping friends with their work or reading.
I left that room feeling so proud of my little big-girl. This has not been an easy transition for either of us, but she has still managed to succeed and exceed expectations. We are SO proud of you, Emma!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Ally's First Day of School!

I wasn't quite sure how this day was going to go...Ally has been up at her "school" for a week now, for my workdays, preparing for the first day. But she has been either in the nursery or with me, working around the church. She has not been to class, or had any experience with her new room and teacher.
To my delight, she was VERY eager this morning! Ally insisted on carrying her "pack-pack" and "wunchbox", she wanted to haul them all the way in-did not let me help her hang them on her hook, and hardly looked back when she walked through the door! After a few quick pictues, she did ask for a hug and kiss, and then turned around and never looked back! I was so proud of her-and thank goodness I had lots of work to get to and didn't have time to mull on yet another transition.
Such a big girl! She did have some trouble leaving music class in the afternoon. She was very excited to see that I was the teacher, but not at all happy that she had to leave me again. There were some tears, but I was told that they soon dried, and it was only 45 more minutes before we were through for the day. Such a long day for my usually early napper. This is going to be a tough transition, but she's off to a good start!
Some pictures from Ally's first day:

Getting ready with Big Sister.

Showing off her new "pack pack".

Off on her own.

Going to class.

Friday, August 31, 2007

The First Day(s) (ok, Week) of School!!

Monday- "You mean I even go to school in the night-time?!?". No, honey. Even though this is a ridiculously early hour to is not night-time....
Tuesday- "Did you know that 'barf' is the same as 'throw up'?"
Wednesday- "I had peas, AND beans, AND corn, AND pink milk at lunch. Those are all of my favorite things!"
Thursday- (after school) "Will you sit/lay/cuddle/read/play with me??" and, "I missed you all day. I love you all the way to the sun and the moon and the stars and the Milk Wave."
Friday- Me: Did you have a fun day today?
Emma: No, I just pushed everybody.
Me: WHAT???
Emma: On the swings.
Me: Ooooohh. :)

Yes, recess ranks high, and has almost always been the first thing mentioned when I ask about her day. She has said that they have an awfully small playground, though, for so many kids.

Sigh...where do I begin? The first morning was very much a blur. It all happened so fast! Hurry up and get dressed. Hurry and eat your breakfast. Hurry! Brush your teeth, get your shoes on, grab your lunch box, get in the car!

We arrive at the school with plenty of time to walk in and say good-bye. And that's all there was to do. We know where her class is, which is her locker, her supplies have already been turned in....there was no reason to linger. Hmmmm....very sneaky, teachers...!

I tried though. I had so much to tell her!
"Remember to eat quickly at lunch, you don't have much time!"
"Don't forget to drink your water at snack time. The juice is for lunch."
"Your rest-time towel is in your backpack."
"Pay attention and stay with your class when you leave the room."
And on and on....
I took a couple of pictures in the room. Several show signs of the slightest apprehension. But not for long. Emma found a seat at a table with two other girls and began coloring on some butcher paper. I want to watch to see what she would draw. I want to see who else would sit at her table. What will they talk about? What will they do next?
Realizing that the whiny child I hear amidst the shuffle is mine, I look back and see Jason, struggling to contain Miss A. We should go. I tear up before I reach the door. The walk to the car seems to take much longer than the walk just minutes ago to the room. It's normal to feel this way, right? She'll be ok? Will I?

As we inch through the incredibly long line at the only intersection that leads to the school, I'm struggling.

I just left my sweet, sheltered child in a room full of people I don't know. I know nothing about their values, beliefs, experiences, or what kind of things they are exposed to on a daily basis. How can this be right? In a matter of 60 seconds, our whole world is turned around. And there's no turning back.

After dropping Jason off, I somehow make my way to meet some fellow Kinder-Mom friends for a quick shoulder-to-cry-on-breakfast, before heading off to my new job at the preschool. The whole day is a fog. I have no idea what kind of conversations I held, how I accomplished anything, if anything....until the moment I was far enough into the car rider pick up lane to see her. Sitting in a straight line with the other Kinder pick ups. I watched her as I moved up in line. Sitting quietly. Taking it all in. Looking for me??
Then she spots us. A huge smile spreads across her freckled face. Arms waving a wild greeting. Looking around for her teacher, to announce, "My mom is here!"
Another teacher with a bullhorn sees our sign and calls, "Emma Keas!Kinder! Red cone!"
Emma stands and confidently walks directly to the red cone. Watches me pull up to a stop. And before the car door is even shut, asks, "What took you so long??"

So we survived. The first day. The first week. There have been converstations already about hearing things, repeating things, and making good choices. And I know there will be more.
Already she's come home talking about fund raisers, Marathon Kids competitions, and Five-A-Day healthy eating incentives.
I've seen a paint and sand art "palm" tree (made with palm prints!), a self portrait of Emma at the table with a plate of something she "would NEVER eat" (a tomato), and a gluey noodle AB pattern strip.
She's decided that she doesn't want to wear her $8 school t-shirt "because it's not really a pretty color", and that she wishes she could have "a chocolate chip granola bar for snack time, like my friend does".

And I'm ok. She's ok. And we will be. We will enjoy every exciting part of her school career, and we will weather every hurdle. We will keep our faith, and trust that we're raising a strong, smart, self-confident little girl.
I will be at PTA meetings, volunteer meetings, parent reading days, lunches and field trips, and I will enjoy every. single. minute. as long as I can.
And Baby, when you're reading this...(you know who you are) Thank you. I could not do this without you, and all that you do. Thank you.

Pics from day one....

And day two....

And THIS.... how we walk in the hall. It's called "duck tail and bubble"!