Thursday, August 30, 2012

CFA and the Mermaids!

Last weekend, we headed over to our local Chick-fil-a for a special "mermaid afternoon."  The girls were dressed and ready to go!  And even the Mer-cow was there!!!!!

 The afternoon was really a product launch party for a new toy that is just now hitting the shelves, called Waverly and the Magic Seashells.  They had tables set up so all the girls could play with them and they could see what they liked and disliked.  The guy who created them is the same guy who created Pound Puppies.

 It's an interactive toy where each piece works together to make a whole new toy - so there is a "home" a magic seashell, a magic pearl that lets the mermaids speak, a wand that also fits in there and does something.  The girls were enthralled with it and Megan was begging for one.
(however, on a side note - all I could think was....  yeah, every part you buy separately and without the expensive "home" none of it really works.  Like great - Nicole won  seashell with a special sea friend and a magic pearl.... but all it is is a chokable ball and a shell she can't open on her own without a "sold separately" mermaid and her home (also sold separately). So I'm not seeing these finding a haven at our house.)   I'd rather them be a set of polly pocketish mermaids - that would last a lot longer in our house.  My girls love to use their imagination,so a playset that try to do that for them... no thanks.  BUT - thanks CFA - it was fun to play and see them.  They are great and fun and the girls loved them... but mommy - not so much.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Another Dancer in the Family

Nicole is the newest dancer in the family.  This week she also started her little creative movement dance class.  She was so excited!
 Here she is getting her groove on before class started...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

1st day of Preschool

We have had a lot of firsts this August! 
The cherry on top was Nicole starting "big girl school!"
 She's was so excited to have a school of her own.  As we got near the school she pointed and said, "wook, there's  my Dede school."  And I reminded her, "no, that's not your Dede's school...that's YOUR school!"  (Dede is what she has always called Megan.  She will also call her Megan - but evidently in her mind "dede" means "sister").  Then she really got excited!

I was glad because to be honest I wasn't sure how this was going to go!  This is my little clingy girl.  You know, the one who still cries when I leave her in the church nursery, or walk away to go to the bathroom, or.... you get the picture.  

So even though she was all smiles when we left home (really happy about finally getting to use her new backpack!), I knew that it was iffy as to what was going to happen when I actually dropped her off.  So... I had a plan!  I made some fun little "1st day of school" teacher appreciation gifts for Ms. Mandi and Ms. Ester.....  How was that a plan for Nicole?????
Both her hands were occupied when we got there so she couldn't grab onto me for dear life!   May not sound like much to some of you.... BUT - I know my little girl.  If we could make it through the door without a "cling and grab" to mom moment, we would be ok.  And sure enough.  As we started down her hall, I could feel her start to get worried and start to pull back - so we stopped and pulled out the gifts and her little cards she made and she had one in each hand as we got to her room.  I know she looks a bit terrified in that picture but that's because she was watching a little boy across the hall who was crying.

No, she was so brave!  She walked in and gave each teacher a gift box (full of chocolate becaue I was sure they'd need it - and they did!).  And she was fine.   I stayed with her a few minutes to get her settled in and I kissed her head a lot!!!!  And finally I said, "I love you and I'll see you later - don't forget to be a big helper"... and she responded with, "I a big girl now!"

And with overwhelming joy I walked out... so thrilled that we had no tears, no screaming, no clinging.  It was a HUGE thing!!!!!!  My heart was a bit emotional too.....  my baby!!!!  But I have to admit that the joy seeing her take a step towards independence totally overshadowed the sadness - God knew I needed that! 

And then I went to breakfast at a big girl restaurant and just soaked in the "non mommy" moment!!!!!!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Some girl time!

Since pre-school is starting for Nicole tomorrow, we've been making the most of our time together.  This past week we met up with a friend at Play!  We got there and Nicole only stopped running in order to jump into the foam pit.  She had a blast!

 Nicole and Bradley had a great time jumping together  - and the place was deserted so they jumped and jumped and jumped.
 and FLEW....
I must say, I love these moments with my baby!  I know they'll fly by too quickly, so I'm going to savor each one, while I can!
 As we were leaving, Nicole got to pick a treat from the treasure box - she wanted a magnifying glass.  So on the way out to the car - we investigated the flowers.  She was so cute trying to say "discover, investigate, explore" (from Sid the Science Kid).

School - for everyone!

Megan loves Kindergarten!

 If you ask her what her favorite part of the day is - she'll tell you....

 ... riding the bus with her new friend Ivey!
It's sweet - the bus driver takes good care of her every afternoon.  Megan and Ivey sit right behind her, and according to Megan, they take turns sitting by the window.

Megan is even ready for homework.  She's had a few fun things to do to practice some basic skills like letter sounds and practice writing her numbers to 20.  But her "real" homework starts next week, after labor day. 
 But she's not the only girl over here who's off to school!
Tomorrow is Nicole's first day in her little 2 year old preschool class.  Last week we had a fun "meet the teacher" outing at school so that Nicole could meet the teachers and see her class.  To say she loved it - is putting it mildly!
 She has a couple of good friends in her class, so that was helpful.  But THEN.....
She saw Ms. Mandi's dress up area!  Oh yeah - within minutes she'd found the perfect dress!
 Of course, she didn't want to play favorites so she had a few costume changes - as she floated in between the kitchen and the tool area.

 You know what I loved??????

Her teachers!!!!!!!!
Nicole is in Ms. Mandi's class - that was also Megan's teacher when she was in that class.  So I'm soooo thrilled.
 Here's her assistant - Ms. Ester!
It's so precious to me that they get to love on Nicole like they loved on her big sister.  The really cool part is that they were a part of our lives when Nicole was born.  So they've watched her grow and now they play a role in nurturing her sweet little heart.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Littlest

This week I've been having some fun Mommy/Nicole time.  With Megan off at school, we've had lots of time together.  One of her favorite places to hang out is in Megan's room... dancing. 
She was measured up this week (for the Teddy medical study that she is in) and she's grown quite a bit!  At 2 years and 9 months, she is 38 inches tall and 41 lbs.  wow!  No wonder she can wear 4T and 5T clothes.  This weekend we went to get  new shoes and her "little" foot was sized into a 9 1/2 shoe.  Whoa!  I felt bad that she walked in wearing a size 8 shoe.  oops.

Of course the guilt continued as they sized Megan into a 13 1/2 and all the shoes she has are size 12.  So they each got a nice new pair of shoes... in the proper size.

For a little school update - Megan is loving Kindergarten.  Today she told me "it was a little overwhelming, but we got a lot accomplished."  She keeps me smiling. She's also loving her uniform.  Each day is a fun treat for her to pick out her what uniform she'll wear - I appreciate that because a few months ago she was really upset with the "boring colors".   I must say I do like the uniform, but dislike that I've had to get my iron cranked up for them.  boo for that one!   

Nicole starts her little 2 year old preschool class next week. She'll go 2 days a week - that will give me a day a week to volunteer at Megan's school.  She seems excited but very confused about who her teacher is.  I'm super excited that she'll have the same 2 year old teachers that Megan had!  AND, she has several good friends in her class - the little siblings of some of Megan's best friends (Macie and Sydney).  I think it's going to be a great year!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The girls

A fun afternoon starts with lots of dress up and dancing!

 And at some point (after a costume change), ends with some quiet time practicing reading.
Just got to love those girls!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tiny Little Friends

One of the things I love about my little girl is her lack of fear about bugs.  One day this little caterpillar dropped out of the tree and landed on her.  I think I would've jumped and freaked - but Megan's response was, "ooohhh look - a tiny little friend!"

 She was so gentle with it....
 Even Nicole (who is terrified of creepy crawlies of any sort) wanted to check out the little friend.
 After checking him out and letting him crawl all over - we found a nice little spot for him to rest.
Go be free - tiny little friend!

Monday, August 13, 2012

We Survived the First Day of School!

This afternoon, Nicole and I walked to the bus stop to pick up Megan.   I figured the bus might be a bit early or late - so we went early, and then waited a bit.  I am so glad we grabbed the bubbles as we headed out the door so that Nicole had something to do while we did all that waiting.

 Here it comes......
 And there it goes.... after dropping off a very excited Kindergartener.  Her first words were, "I had a great day at school!  It was so fun!"  I'm not sure how I held back the tears and the sob that was building in my throat - but I did (mostly). 
 And then Megan dropped to the ground to give Rocky all the love she had "saved up all day."

We made it!
Megan has had some funny stories from the day - like her new friend who doesn't speak English.  But according to Megan - no problem, because she's teaching her English.  And evidently Megan has also taken it upon herself to teach her teachers how to speak Spanish.     Great -this from my child who goes around saying nonsense words and proclaiming it to be spanish.

She said it was a great day, but she's exhausted.  And then she told me that Mrs. Waller took it easy on them today and didn't give out homework.

Oh that sweet girl!

Megan's First Day of Kindergarten

Today was the day!
My big girl headed off to Kindergarten - all set in her school uniform (her school has a unified dress code - aka: uniforms, even though it's a public school), her new kitty backpack, her birdie lunchbox, and most importantly -her neon yellow shoes!

 We made it a family affair and we took her to school...

There she goes....
I was glad that Tom went with us - and drove... so that I could cry without restraint all the way home.  :^)   Megan did great - she was excited, just a tiny hesitation to unbuckle her seat belt.  She hopped out, told them her teacher - and she was off! 

Now, here was my back to school project for Megan's teachers.... I needed something to pour my anxiety into!  Ok, and yeah, I'm an overachiever... I admit it.

No, I never got anything like this when I was teaching... but it would've been cool.  The idea came from a blog I ran across - Bee in our Bonnet:

I just remember the 1st day of school when I taught K and 1st... you just want it to be awesome for all your kids - you want them to WANT to come back.  You hope that they'll feel special, have fun, see learning as fun, and have their heart ministered to.  But there are always the tears, the kids who are scared, the ones who will test you, etc...  That first day of school may be awesome and it may be challenging..... and I for Megan's teachers it was great - and just in case they have chocolate to celebrate and Advil in case it had some major roadbumps!

Now Nicole and I are off to enjoy our day together - until 2:50 - when the bus is scheduled to drop my big girl off.  I'm sure there will be more pictures then!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Twas the Night Before Kindergarten....

How is that possible?

It seems like it was just a few days ago that she was keeping me up all night, and we were learning to crawl and walk.  I have such vivid memories of her first bite of watermelon and even more so of her first spaghetti.  But now, my baby is heading off to Kindergarten...  Out into the world as I drive away (crying I'm sure!) in my van.

This past Thursday we got to go meet Megan's new teacher - Mrs Waller.  She is super sweet and nice and I think Megan will love being in her classroom.

I was able to get through the experience without crying, throwing up, or having a full blown anxiety attack.  :^)  But it was close a couple of times.

As a teacher - I know how much fun she's going to have, I know she's going to fine, I know she'll love it, and I know it's where she needs to be right now.  But as a teacher and a mommy, it was also a hard decision to send my baby off to someone else's classroom.  And as a mommy, it is super super super excruiciatingly hard to send my baby out to "the world" - where she'll be exposed to a lot of things that I could protect her from at home - or at least walk her through them in a gentle and guided way.  For the first time ever, she's going to be in an environment for a huge portion of the day where her faith is not nurtured.  To be totally honest - it's not the academics that worry me, or even the social stuff, it's..... Have we done everything we could to give her a firm foundation to grow on?  As she experiences the world, have we laid a solid ground for her to stand on as she experiences stuff that we no longer have control over?

Bottom line - ????????   God is constantly dealing with me on this.  I am not Him, and He is in charge of her.  Here's where my rubber meets the road as I let her go and my prayer life increases 1000 fold.

She went to bed excited about tomorrow.
I'm still putting off all the paperwork that asks me to let the teacher know all about my child (how do I wrap her up in a few sentences?).
I know I'll cry tomorrow.
I know that I'll hug Nicole a little tighter.
And I know that we have Krispy Kreme doughnuts waiting for our special "welcome to Kindergarten" breakfast!
All in all.... it'll be a good day!
AND, a huge milestone for all of us!

Nicole's swim lesson

Megan has had a great time with her swim lessons this year.  We love Ms. Katherine!  Sadly, she had to head back to Ole Miss so our lesson time is over - BUT, before she left - little Nicole got in a little lesson of her own.

Here's a little video of her in action:

After her lesson, Megan started working on the backstroke.  I didn't get any pictures of that since I was trying to keep this silly goose out of trouble.

To say she's excited to learn to swim would be an unstatement.


To catch up a little from the summer....
Megan went to a couple of camps this summer.   One was a dance and drama camp through our local park/rec system.  On the last day, the parents get to come in a little early for a "display" of what they worked on.
 They showed up some of the dancing skills they worked on - like skipping.
 Here's Megan all ready for her dance...
 One of the reasons she had so much fun at this camp was that she was there with 2 of her friends from pre-school.  (Megan, Victoria, and Sydney)
 Not to be left out - while Megan was at camp, Nicole went a little camp of her own - gymtots.  This was also the first camp Megan went to when she was 2 1/2.    She only went a couple of days a week -but ended up having so much fun.

There's still a lot more of summer to get on here!!!!