Monday, August 25, 2014

A Bittersweet Day

A day that I have been dreading and so excited about at the same time finally arrived. My sweet little Aubrey started Kindergarten today. We've been planning and discussing this day for so long that going through it all just seemed surreal. We went to open house to meet her teacher and see her classroom last week, but that really didn't prep me for what today would feel like.

We started getting ready yesterday by picking out which outfit to wear (not that she has a lot of choices since they wear uniforms), packing lunch, and working on her All About Me project. Each student had to prepare a half poster board sized project that told 6 things about themselves and then be prepared to talk about it. We had everything laid out and ready before bed and then it came time to read The Night Before Kindergarten. I knew I was in for it when I started wiping tears away about half way through the book. Aubrey and I talked for a bit about what to expect today. I tried to speak in a way to calm her nerves, but also calm myself. She finally went to sleep and I went back to my room and read the book again, just to make sure I got the message that the first day is so much harder on mom and dad than the children. I went to bed feeling ok, but woke up several times through the night thinking I had overslept. You would really have thought I was the one going to school, as nervous as I was.

The alarm went off sooo early and we all rushed around to get ready. Todd took half a day off work to go with us and that turned out to be a blessing for me. Seeing Aubrey in her uniform and little pink Converse shoes was so awesome. She begrudgingly went through the obligatory pictures and then we loaded the car and took off for school.

At MICS on the first day, they let the parents participate in the morning routine of the Pledge of Allegiance, and then they do a little reading for the parents on the first day, again meant to calm our jitters more than the little ones. Then, her teacher, Mrs. Mims, led the students in a craft for us to take home. And, now I just need to talk for a minute about how in love with Aubrey's teacher I am. This woman was born to be a Kindergarten teacher. She seems to have patience and warmth coming out the wazoo. Its just amazing to watch her with the kids because she is calming and loving and everything you would want from a woman who spends her day with 5 and 6 year olds. At open house, we went in to meet her and she immediately got down on Aubrey's level and bonded with her over their love of sparkles (since Aubrey was wearing sparkly flip flops). She was so patient with me and my 25 questions that I know she's heard a million times before. I guess after 25 years of teaching, she must have heard and seen it all, so nervous parents are nothing new.  When we walked in this morning, she immediately greeted Aubrey by name and complimented Aubrey's shoes. I think Aubrey is truly blessed to have such a special person as a teacher and I can't wait to see how things go through the year with her.

Ok, so back today. I managed to hold it together until it was time to say good-bye. I gave Aubrey so many kisses and hugs before I finally had to leave. It was so nice of Mrs. Mims to give the parents hugs before we left, but that's what started my tears. I know Aubrey will be loved in her class, but leaving her there still hurt a little. I just can't believe my little 7 lb, 3 oz baby girl has grown into this 5-year old girl that is ready for Kindergarten and it hit me hard. Todd knew I was upset so he held my hand, which helped to calm me down as we walked back to the car. We were all starving at that point, so we decided to get some breakfast before heading home.

Once we got home, it felt so weird to be there with just Mason. Even after 2 years of preschool, it just felt empty without her here. Around 11:30, Mason grabbed my hand and led me to the door and said "We go get Aubrey now" and I shed a few more tears then. The day went fast though because I managed to get so much more done with just him here and before I knew it, it was time to go pick her up. Unfortunately, the worst part of our day was the pick up line, but an after school email assured us it would be smoother by Friday. I surprised Aubrey with Anna and Elsa dolls in the car as a treat for making it through her first day, despite being a little scared. We then went out for frozen yogurt to hash out the details of the day. Her favorite part of the day: of course it was recess. I should expect nothing less. She said she had a great day and was upset that she doesn't go back until Friday.

We got an e-mail from her teacher tonight that said Aubrey had a great first day and shared this picture with us.

So, we officially have a Kindergartner in the house and we all survived the day. I will call it a success. I just hope the rest of the year goes as smoothly.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

July 2014

This post has just been sitting in my needs to be published folder since the beginning of the month just waiting on the pictures. I actually took a lot of pictures with my big camera in the month of July (still a lot less than in years past) and it took me forever to get them edited and uploaded. July was pretty relaxed, it still felt like it moved so quickly. I can't believe this summer is halfway over.

For the first time in a few years, we got to attend the Mooresville July 3rd celebration. We were worried it would get rained out, but a few brief storms made their way through right as we got there and the rest of the evening was perfect. We had a picnic dinner, played on the inflatables, ate way too much junk food and then watched the fireworks. I wasn't sure how Mason would handle the fireworks since we were much closer to them there than at Disney, but he laughed every single time a new one exploded, so my worries were pointless.

Silly girl posing while we waited in line

Waiting for it to get dark outside for the fireworks

July 4th was absolutely perfect. Todd and his dad spent the morning finishing the kids' new swing set and the kids spent the entire afternoon playing on it. I am so glad we were finally able to put one in our backyard. The neighborhood set is always so hot and has minimal shade so we made sure ours was in a shady area in our back yard. The kids are in heaven and love having their own place to play and swing. We grilled dinner that evening and then let the kids play with sparklers at dusk. It was awesome to watch their faces light up while the sparklers burned. Then, we walked down to the corner of the block and watched the neighbors shoot fireworks for a while. It was nice to just spend time at home and not have to fight crowds or traffic.

Aubrey was so excited that we got to change her earrings out from the ones that pierced her ears. She still complains that her ears hurt and doesn't like anyone touching or messing with them, but she loves changing her earrings and always wants to look a new pairs while we are shopping.

We've spent so much time at the HFFA this summer with swim lessons. Both kids are making a lot of progress with their lessons. Aubrey has done so well we signed her up for 2 more weeks of lessons because she is able to swim a few yards on her own and we want her to feel confident before she stops lessons. We also spent an afternoon in the HFFA outdoor pool and she surprised me by going down the large slide and going into the deep end by herself. I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do if she freaked out because I had Mason on my hip, but she quickly realized she could touch the bottom and she was golden.

We drove to visit Todd's college friend outside of Rocky Mount, NC on the 17th and attend their annual pool party. The weather turned out to be a bit cool for July (a common, but awesome theme so far this summer) but the kids didn't let that stop them from enjoying the pool. Aubrey decided she was brave enough to jump from the diving board with her swimmies on. She got up on the diving board and then freaked out because everyone was watching her. Later on, another little girl her age jumped off the diving board and that's all it took to re-boost Aubrey's confidence so she march back to the diving board and jumped right off. I was in the deep end near the diving board just in case she freaked when she came up, but she popped right out of the water and said "that was awesome." I lost count on how many times she went off that diving board that afternoon, but it was so nice to see her confidence bloom. Later that night we drove back to Todd's cousin's house in Zebulon and spent the night before driving back on Sunday.

Its been a big month of purchases as we start getting ready for the kids to go to school. I've enjoyed buying the uniforms, backpacks, and supplies the kids will use for the year. But, one of my most fun purchase of the year was some dress up clothes for Mason. Todd was getting tired of seeing Mason wearing Aubrey's princess clothes so he insisted that I buy some boy stuff for Mason. So, I bought him a Jake outfit from Jake and the Neverland pirates and bought both kids Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle outfits. Aubrey has gotten into the turtles over the summer, so she was excited to have that outfit to play in. Todd seems to think we need to dress up as the whole Ninja turtle crew for Halloween, but we'll see.

So that was our July. Next month brings some huge changes to this house and I can't wait to see how it all goes down.