Friday, August 29, 2014

{Fun Food Friday}

I was the parent volunteer for The Bean’s class this week, which meant I was also in charge of snack time! On the menu: apple ladybugs, cheese sticks & organic juice. They were a hit! :)

32/52: SBL family bike ride

Summer Bucket List: Family Bike Ride – check!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

1st Day of Preschool!

Well, we did it! We got through The Bean’s first week of preschool with no tears, all smiles! It’s been a good experience thus far, a comical experience actually. Her first day was pretty darn eventful and I’ll explain that in a bit but first, can we just take a moment to soak up all this cuteness? This is our gal on her first day of preschool as happy as can be with her first day of school chalkboard. It’s the same chalkboard we used for her first birthday pictures and one that she plays with often. Best darn $13 bucks I’ve ever spent! The plan is to take a similar picture on her last day of school in May to see how much she’s grown. Could she be any cuter, seriously?

In our co-op orientation, the parents were given tons of information as well as a list of things that we would need to send to school with our kiddo each week. One of the items on the list was a change of clothing. This was to be used in the event that Grace had a potty accident since she’s almost 100% potty trained now! Potty training is a whole other post best saved for another day... Lot’s to share on that subject.

Anyway, back to her first day… Let me just start by saying that on day ONE, our gal needed to use her backup outfit, oh vey!

Georgia and I both went into work late that morning because there was no way that either of us was going to miss this BIG milestone.  The Bean was sooo excited as she ate her breakfast of fruit on the way to school. When we arrived we visited with a few other parents while trying to figure out how to open the security door entrance. It took 2 sets of parents to finally figure out the code/door opening process, which I didn’t mind at all. The safer the better! After checking out Gracie’s cubby and hanging her backpack, she was off. This kid ran right into her classroom and started playing. We spoke with the teacher going over the items we brought to donate to the class and took a few pictures before it was time to go. Some kiddos were crying for their moms, while some moms were crying for their little ones but not our kid… She gave us a peace out, see you later wave and went right back to what she was doing. Me and G just kind of looked at each other like, well ok, we’ll go and we did but not before taking one last picture of Gracie playing house with another little girl. Heart melts.

The 4 hours she was in school flew by, like super fast and before we knew it we were both back on the road in route to her school. I walked in first and when she saw me she yelled “MAMA!” and came running. I love when she does this and it made us so happy to see that she was happily playing when we arrived and just as joyful as she ran over to greet us. We began collecting her things and while doing so asked one of her teachers how she did. Mrs. Y gave us a full report, the good and the not as good. Apparently Grace was pretty excited when it came time to take her princess lunchbox out and eat. So excited that she spilled an entire cup of juice on her shirt and shorts and was so soaked that a change of clothes was needed so yeah, our kid used her emergency outfit on the first day school, lol. Mrs. Y also mentioned that Grace and some of the other kiddos preferred a family dinning style lunch where everyone shares so she suggested that we talk to Gracie about making sure to eat just her lunch. It appears that The Bean really wanted another little girl’s pretzels in trade for her food and there was some tug-o-war involved. Another teacher explained that this is a normal occurrence in the first weeks of school because students are used to eating with their families in which food is typically shared. It makes sense but all I could picture was Grace trying her best to get that little girl’s pretzels out of her hands. While we made sure to have a chat about it with The Bean, the thought of it made me giggle to myself just a bit. ;)  

I’ve loved packing Gracie’s lunch all week using the sandwich punch-outs and cute Tupperware I’ve been saving for years for such an occasion. We let Grace pick her lunch bag and she picked Disn.ey Princesses, of course (the girl’s obsessed). I then ran out and picked up a cute little matching water bottle and some yummy and healthy lunch snacks and we were ready. I’m punching butterflies and hearts in her food and her mommy is spoiling her with one small, not as healthy side of the salty foods she loves like Cheet.os each day. I know I say this all the time but I LOVE being a mom and it’s even the little things like packing my kiddos lunch that makes me love it even more.

We asked The Bean all week how she liked her new school and what fun things she did in class and like most 2 ½ year olds, her answer was, “I like playing outside!” She’s been excited to go and has been all smiles each day at pick-up time so – so far so good! I’m volunteering in class for the first time this Wednesday, which means it will be me, 2 teachers and 10 kids. Ekkkk! More updates to come. :)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

31/52: Pobrecita

Our gal decided to test her eyebrow strength on the corner of the coffee table.
Lots of tears but no stitches needed, just glue.
She was a trooper!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Preschool Open House

Our baby girl’s first day of preschool is this Wednesday and I still can’t believe it! We began the search for a preschool cooperative (co-op) about 10 months ago when I started back at work. It was really important to us that Gracie begin her early childhood education in an environment that encourages parental involvement, is accredited, has licensed teachers and is accepting and supportive of LGBT families like ours. There were a few that we came across that fit the bill but one in particular that stood out. After a bit more research, I contacted the school to get more information on enrollment only to find out that the 2-3 year group was no longer accepting new students and had a waitlist 10 months before the school year was even set to begin… Here I thought I was being a super proactive mama but even my early efforts weren’t early enough. We were bummed but figured that Grace was still only 2 and because we liked this school the most, we could just wait and enroll her next year, with the 3 year olds.

Fast forward a few months to last Monday when out of nowhere I got a call back letting us know that one of the classes had a spot open up and GRACE WAS IN! It was the best call I’ve received in a long time. :)

The co-op has everything we’ve envisioned for Gracie’s early childhood education since we started discussing pre-k around her first birthday. The school is fun and colorful and full of life. In her pre-k group she will be exposed to self-selection play, group music, arts and crafts, small/big group reading, Spanish lessons and will follow a multi-cultural inclusive curriculum. The preschool cooperative uses, “The Creative Curriculum” as a guide, which I love because it will enhance the Bean’s physical, motor, language, literacy, social, emotional and creative development! Pretty awesome, right! The teachers are great too and so supportive of our family structure making sure to always speak to both Georgia and I as they would any other set of parents. There’s even a Lesbian teacher on staff who has been with the preschool cooperative for 17 years. She introduced herself to us when we went to orientation last week mentioning that she heard that the school had a new two mom family joining the group and was really excited to meet us. I thought it was a very sweet gesture. Our very own gay mom welcome! Talk about making someone feel right at home.

Grace will attend half-day, three days a week because while we’re excited to give her a head start in school, she’s still our baby and we’re not quite ready to hand her over full-time to anyone aside from family quite yet. That may be an option when she enters the 3-4 year old group but for now, 12 hours a week is perfect!

The things I’m looking forward to the most are the field trips, our monthly volunteer days, getting to hang our gal’s art projects on the refrigerator and seeing her interact with the school’s animals. There’s an interactive chicken coop where the Bean will be able to feed the chickens and bring eggs home to us on a bi-weekly basis. According to the teachers, the chickens love cheese sticks and so does Grace so I’m sure they’ll hit it off. There is also a big fish tank full of all sorts of different fish. Grace is already convinced that she’s going to find Nemo in there, or so she says. ;)

I am nervous to send her off because she’s never been with anyone besides us for an extended period of time before. I hope all the kids are nice to her and that she shares and treats her fellow classmates like she would want to be treated. I hope she eats her lunch that I’m so excited to pack for her each week and most importantly, I hope she learns a ton! This is such a big step for her and for us and it’s wonderful and scary all at the same time. Wednesday's her first day so I’ll keep you all posted on how week one goes. Wish us luck!

I’ll leave you with a few more pictures of today’s co-op open house.

{Arts and Crafts Corner}
{Science Center fun with Gaga}
{She's already loving this the play kitchen}

This was the last picture taken today as we were leaving. The Bean did NOT want to leave so when we finally got her outside she marched right over to the school’s garden to mope… Two year olds, gotta love’em. ;)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

30/52: Gotcha Mommy :)

Summer Bucket List: Celebrate Devin’s Bday!

It’s time to play Summer Bucket List catch up and believe me; I have lots of catching up to do… I guess there’s no better place to start than with Devin’s Birthday party… Which was well over a month ago. Where does the time go, seriously?

When Georgia first met our nephew Devin, he was just three months old. He was a tiny and smiley, bright-eyed little baby. This is the birthday boy now!

It’s hard to believe that so much time has passed and that our little bundle just turned 8 years old. It’s even crazier to think that his auntie Georgia has been in his life since before he was big enough to sit up on his own.

I have the honor of not only calling Devin my nephew but also my Godson and it’s a role that I hold very dear to my heart. I can remember the day my brother asked if I would baptize him and just how nervous and thrilled it made me to know that I would not only be his “auntie Kristi” but his Nina too! He is such an AMAZING cousin to our gal and that’s just one of the things that makes him so wonderful.  He’s the most patient and kind older cousin around.  He plays with the little ones, is very protective, and always makes sure that Grace gets hugs and kisses before leaving at the end of family nights.

He loves sports, his family, his friends and especially the Dallas Cowboys (as does the rest of our family). This year he requested to have a water themed birthday party so my brother and sis-in-law gathered a few pools, rented a water jumper and we had a water party. The Bean had a blast but I don’t think any of us had as much fun as my wife, LOL.

We tried taking a picture of all the kiddos at the party but Grace was having way too much fun to allow that to happen. Group photo fail. Way to go Gracie, ha!

It was such a fun day in the sun and we can't wait to see what the next year has in store for our guy. Happy birthday honey. Your aunties and Gracie love you so very much!

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