Monday, September 4, 2017

K I N D E R G A R T E N

How much do you guys want to bet that I can’t get through this post without crying? Anyone want to wager that I totally will (hint, hint - you’ll win the bet).


My baby, our sweet little girl who was just a newborn like yesterday, is now officially in kindergarten. She started on August 1st and is already a month in. I didn’t write about this transition as it was taking place because I needed to process it for myself. I know that may sound dramatic, but it’s the absolute truth. I’ve never been good at handling change in any regard, but for some reason, watching my babies grow up so quickly, breaks my heart into a million pieces. You’ve probably noticed that almost every post I write about our kiddos begins with a bit on how time is passing too quickly and they’re growing way too fast. I know I write this all the time, but it’s because this is what’s running through my head, most days. I wouldn’t consider this an unhealthy outlook on parenting necessarily, because I truly do want Grace and Will to grow, to evolve, to learn new things and become awesome young adults. I really do. It’s just that sometimes my heart takes a bit longer to catch up with my head. I think this is also the main reason why I chronicle every.single.thing these kiddos do, haha! I take a million pictures, I write this blog, I make photo albums, I document their lives via video on Vimeo and via social media on IG and FB. I mean, they’re basically going to be able to read, hear and see every minute of their wonder years when they’re bigger, if they want to – which they probably won’t because they’ll be sick of my mamarazzi shenanigans by then… but we’ll see.


Anyway, I digress. Back to elementary school. We LOVE Gracie’s school and I so wish I could share every picture showing how awesome the actual school building is, but the school’s name is everywhere and there’s just too much to edit out. The school has an industrial design with big trees growing indoors, right in the middle of the school! There’s little lounging areas all over, think coffee shop and several playgrounds that look like they’re from the future, complete with climbing walls and other awesome play things! Grace LOVES her school and that’s the best part! As I wrote in this post back in April, Gracie’s school operates on a lottery system and when we found out that the school had around 200 applicants for kindergarten alone, and they were only planning to accept around 30 new kindergarten students, we never thought we would get in. Getting the call that we did was the most amazing thing ever! Gracie totally understood what a big deal it was and how blessed she was to draw lucky #15. This and 2 of her buddies from preschool got in, so all us moms were thrilled!


We were all so excited for big sis to start kinder that the preparations started all the way back in June. G got this urge on afternoon to take Gracie shopping and literally bought the kid an entire kindergarten wardrobe and for my wife who hates to shop, it was shocking! We don’t normally go out and buy “school clothes” but rather just have the bean wear whatever she already has. This little shopping spree was special and something G really wanted to do, which I thought was just the cutest.


 I’m a bit obsessed with fun lunchbox accessories and went all out for our big girl, finally splurging on a Planetbox Lunchbox and all the accessories and gadgets that come with it! I’ve forced myself to wait until Kindy to splurge on this and I think that’s why I went a bit overboard. I picked out two magnets sets for the front of her stainless-steel lunchbox, one being rainbows and unicorns and the other a fairy garden and Grace LOVED them both! The cool thing about Planetbox is that their products last FOREVER, as in, every purchase has a 5-year warranty but they’re built to last 10-15 years! They’re eco-friendly, non-toxic, non-leaching, BPA/phthalates and lead free. You can change out the magnets on the front daily or yearly if you’re passing it down to another kiddo and I just love that there’s all sorts of compartments and colorful containers to pick from. As a family, we’ve been trying to eat less complex carbs and this has made packing lunch so much fun! The bean’s lunches are a beautiful rainbow of fresh foods. Each one is my Mama-Masterpiece!


P.S. I’ll be sure to re-read this post in 6 months when I’m officially over it and would rather walk into oncoming traffic than pack a godforsaken school lunch, ha!


{As the daughter of a former teacher, I know that earning those parent points begins on day one! This is the special little gift Grace picked out for her new teacher, Mrs. M.}


Gracie’s teacher has quickly proven to be the most creative teacher she’s had yet and this crafty mama is loving it! She sent a “Sweet Dreams” kit home following their meet the teacher event for each kid in the class. The kit had instructions for Gracie to open the special packet the night before her first day of school and NO PEEKING! Gracie was dying to see what the packet had, so the night before we opened it up and read her the poem sent special from her teacher and teacher’s aide. It included a bag of magic confetti to help our anxious and excited gal sleep and she was so excited to put it under her pillow. I know the power of this magic confetti is 100% suggestive – but dang did it work! After dinner that night, the bean took a quick bath, we prepped her hair, sprinkled some confetti and she was out!


Georgia and I took the morning off for Gracie’s first day, which gave me plenty of time to enjoy every minute with our big kindergartner and take a ton of pictures! Gracie was so excited when she woke up that she brushed her teeth and ate breakfast without even having to be asked 5 times! We took her traditional first day of school chalkboard picture as she stood there, much taller than the chalkboard that used to be taller than her. My little cutie wore her absolute favorite alligator dress that her Nani got her and was ready to head out into the world, backpack and lunchbox in hand. :)


When we arrived at the school, it was a madhouse. Most parents accompanied their kids for the first day and together we all flooded into the halls looking for classrooms. When we arrived at Mrs. M & Mrs. L’s room, Grace was excited to see that her name was up in several areas of the room and that even more colorful decorations were out welcoming the new students. We got our baby girl situated, said goodbye and that was it. We watched her from the other side of a large window at the front of the classroom as she made her way to a table. Our independent gal went and sat at an empty table and my heart raced as the other tables filled leaving her still sitting there, alone. I’m sure only about 5 minutes or so passed but I felt my heart race as I watched her, saying to myself, someone sit with my baby, someone sit with my baby! Soon enough her table filled too and with that, it was time for the mamas to go. Surprisingly, the only one to cry that morning out of all of us was baby brother.


And now that I’ve covered all the fun stuff, I would be remis if I didn’t mention the other stuff…


I’m not going to lie to you people, getting into the swing of things wasn’t the easiest for our sleepyhead, or her mamas. For the first time in years, Grace was exhausted in the evenings on school days. Like so tired she would fall asleep at 5:30pm as we drove home from picking her up after work. Being exhausted also meant that she was “too tired” to want to eat dinner and “too bored” to want to take a bath at night. The emotions ran high those first 2 weeks because anytime our gal is tired, she morphs into a ball of feelings just waiting to explode and before you know it, she’s yelling and then I’m yelling and then everyone is yelling... She also had to navigate the transition from chillin’ all summer to getting up early, making sure to eat breakfast, which can’t always be fluffy eggs and turkey bacon, (think more along the lines of cereal, breakfast bar, fruit with yogurt, etc.) and put her own clothes and shoes on. Now, I know you’ve all heard me refer to Grace as the human equivalent of a sloth, so just imagine what getting our sloth to kick it into high gear, every morning involved… Throw in getting ready ourselves, pumping, getting the dog situated, getting baby boy dressed, fed and ready to leave with his sister and I think it’s safe to say that we all deserve a medal for successfully transitioning into our new routine without killing each other! Hallelujah! 



Homework is another change we’ve been adjusting to and OMG, Grace has been a Rockstar! Her class is made up of 10 kindergarten students + 10 first graders and the homework is pretty intense. The kids have mandatory reading time every night with a reading log as well as a math and a writing homework packet that’s due every Monday for the week prior. They have computer simulated lessons they have to do at home nightly and families are expected to play board games in an effort to teach strategy and logic on Friday nights. My mind was blown when Grace started working on homework because girlfriend totally killed it! She was doing the homework for both kindergartners and first graders and did both for the first 2 week without us even realizing it! One of the math goals for the school year for first graders is to count, identify and write numbers 1-120. Grace did this (as a kindergartner) in week ONE. She totally smashed one of the math goals for the entire year, in her first week you guys! She’s been rockin’ and rollin’ in the area of reading as well! The intensive reading program we enrolled her in over the summer was worth every penny. Grace learned a lot about site words and can now read more site words than I’m even aware of, going into kindergarten. Sorry not sorry that I’m totally bragging right now, I’m just so darn proud of her! She’s excited about doing homework and concentrates so well every night, even if she’s tired.


This past week Grace had her first big school project due and she did awesome! The project was a presentation all about her and she worked on it for a week followed by an entire weekend of practice for her big 5-minute presentation in front of her class. She was so happy to tell us that everyone clapped for her and her teachers said she did a “fantastic job”! I mean, seriously – how cute is my gal?!


The Bean’s school had a BIG school event for the eclipse this past month and I was so bummed that I had to miss it because of work, but Mommy made it and they had so much fun! G woke up at the crack of dawn the morning of the eclipse to stand in line with hundreds of other people at our local library to get ISO approved glasses for Gracie to watch the eclipse with her school friends. Gracie had no idea that G was coming to have lunch with her and was bringing her special glasses and was beyond excited when she walked in! I love my geeky wife. :)


Our beauty has already had picture day and rode the school bus for the first time too! The school has one bus pick-up on our side of town and it just happens to be at a church that’s just down the road from us. Gracie’s goal in life has been to ride a school bus and when we told her that she was going to ride the bus to school she screamed her little heart out! G dropped her off at her stop and chatted with the teacher who rides with them there and home everyday. We drop Gracie off in the morning and her Gaga picks her up for us, so adventures on the bus won’t happen often but it was an exciting new experience for all of us!  


Our sweet girl. This year is totally going to RULE!




4 comments:

  1. As a mom who also won a school lottery, I totally get it! I will never forget getting that letter, opening it, reading congratulations and breaking out in a full sob in the middle of my museum lobby. The feels are real! Her school sounds incredible and she is such a beauty! I am going to look into that lunch box set. Right now, I throw a whole bunch of stuff into his bag but it produces a lot of trash. I love this idea!

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    1. I totally cried too and then jumped in my Jeep and drove directly to the school to verify that the voicemail was correct, LOL!Thank you for the sweet message about our gal! You'll love Planetbox! Totally worth the investment. :)

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  2. Loving the first day pics and the school sounds great. Although the homework sounds awful. lol. Our school does mandatory reading nightly and some teachers do the weekly homework package but I can't imagine trying to get that in with mandatory computer time too. It's crazy in the evenings, as you know.

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    1. Thanks Stacey! The homework has been a bit much and I think the teachers have started to figure that out. This week they sent a note home to inform parents that the kids are only required to complete the computer lessons 2x per week rather than 4x. I'm assuming some parents voiced concern, lol! It will most certainly make the evenings more manageable for us! :)

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Thanks so much for keeping up with our little family! We love reading your comments and will get back to you as soon as we can.

K+G+g+w ♥

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