Friday, August 26, 2011

The week in review

Week 1 of Kindergarten...check! So, so glad that first week is behind us. It was definitely a week of transition for us all. Jacob cried Monday and Tuesday in the car on the way to school and in the class room. Wednesday he just cried in the car and Thursday he didn't cry at all. In fact, he didn't really put up a fuss before we left the house either. I was so relieved. Friday was the same, he was more tired but excited it was his last day before the weekend. Despite the struggles we had in the morning, Jacob was always in a great mood when I picked him up. He was always very eager to show me what was in his folder, had great things to say about the day and overall was happy. Relief. He has said and done some things this week that I thought were worth noting. You know, for the record book and all.

Sunday night, the night before the first day, Jim was talking to Jacob about school. And all Jacob could say was "I'm just gonna miss Mommy." And Jim continued with how much fun he was going to have and on and on and Jacob said again, "I'm just gonna miss Mommy."

Monday night during prayers, I asked Jacob if he had any special intentions he wanted to add after his first day of school. He said, "Thank you God for protecting me at school today and please help me to not cry at school."

After a couple days of school, I asked him who he had been playing with and who he sits by at lunch time. Trying to get a feel for potential friends. He says Caden is his friend. I asked him if Caden sits with him at his classroom table. He said no. I asked him how he became friends with Caden and he said, "I just asked him if he wanted to be friends and he said sure." I would have paid to have heard that conversation.

In preschool, Jacob always had lots of friends that were girls. So I asked him if he was friends with any of the girls. He says, "Eeewwwww. No, not girls." I think we are entering the 'girls are gross' phase. Makes me laugh!

Wednesday morning I was talking with his teacher after drop off. I asked her how he was doing and she said, "He is adjusting really well. He asked me yesterday how much longer until Mommy comes. And I said about three hours. A little while later he asked me again and I said about two hours. And he said, well that's better than three." We both got a kick out of that!

He was the most excited about Thursday, which is probably why he didn't cry that morning. It was the day they got to go to the library. He was very impressed with the library when he saw it at meet the teacher night. He was so excited to go and check out a book. When I picked him up he couldn't wait to show us his book. He chose Clifford, The Small Red Puppy. He said, "Luke, I chose your favorite book. It's something we can all enjoy." Delights my heart!!

When I picked him up from school on Friday, the first thing he says when he gets in the car, "Luke, I've got great news. You can play with me the rest of today, all day tomorrow and all day the next day. I'm off of school."

Tonight after we read a book about going to school, it led into a conversation and I asked him, "If someone is being mean, ugly or a bully to you what do you do?" And he replied, "I say, I'm outta here."!! Not quite what I thought he would say but hey that works.

I look forward to all the fun this year has in store for him. I'm excited for him and for the school year. Now, a week and a half until Luke starts preschool...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Newest addition

Our newest niece, Alyssa Grace was born on Tuesday to Rhonda and Brian. 7lbs 5oz. Isn't she a doll?

Rhonda and Brian are doing well and adjusting to having a newborn again. They went home from the hospital today and are hopefully settling in nicely.

Jacob overheard me telling someone we were going up to the hospital to see Alyssa the day she was born. His response, "That's not fair. You, Daddy, Luke and Sarah all get to go see her and I have to go to school. You get to see her in real life and I just have to see a picture." He was NOT happy that he would be missing out on the fun. Plus it was only the second day of school and was still not thrilled to be going there anyway. I've always been really careful not to talk about our plans during the day in front of him so he doesn't feel left out but this one slipped. So, Jim ended up taking him up to the hospital after school that day so he could meet his newest cousin. And he was thrilled.

This makes five grandkids for Papa Jim. Two boys and three girls!

I didn't get a picture with Alyssa. No, not because I didn't get to hold her. For the simple fact that as soon as I got Alyssa in my arms, little miss Sarah was not happy. Jim was holding her and she was reaching with all her might to get her hands on that baby. I don't know if she was a little jealous that I was holding someone else or if she was just mad that she couldn't get to what she was wanting. Anyway, my time with Alyssa got cut short and I ended up having to take Sarah back to the waiting area to calm her down. She was not a happy camper. Hopefully when we see them this weekend, it will be better! Fingers crossed! :)

Congratulations Rhonda and Brian. Alyssa is just perfect!

Monday, August 22, 2011

First day of Kindergarten

After much anticipation, the first day of Kindergarten has come and gone. (this was actually taken at meet the teacher last week with Mrs. Naber. Super sweet teacher and we've heard GREAT things about her.)

Whew! Glad it's behind us. The day started early, early. I can't remember the last time I had to set my alarm. 5:45am. I was able to get myself ready and get breakfast made before anyone else was up. First Jacob at 6:30, then Luke and Sarah around 7:00. The goal was to head out for a few pictures at 7:15 and leave for school by 7:30. And somehow we managed to stay on track.

Yes, this is a Transformers backpack. We went round and round on finding just the right backpack. I really wanted a nice, non-character backpack, monogrammed with his name etc. But he was drawn to the character ones right away. What little boy wouldn't be, right? He has been on a Transformers kick lately. So I gave in.

He said this was his cool pose.

On the drive to school, Jacob was a little sad in the car. He said several times "The day is going to be sooooo long. And I have to go EVERY day." True, this is true. I know this will be the biggest adjustment for him. Eight to three really is a long time to be 'on' and engaged.

He was very apprehensive going in. Just like his momma, he enters new situations with much caution and reservation. He just didn't know what to expect. He asked me several times to ask the teacher what they would be doing all day. He needs to know details.

Getting his backpack and lunch box put away.

He teared up several times in class which broke my heart. I knew he would be fine once they got the day going and he could figure it all out.

After we said good-bye he gave us a little smile and a wave which made me feel better. After I picked him up he said "I did cry after you left. It was like one minute after you left then boom. But then my teacher came over and gave me a hug and I felt better." Boom, I thought that was so funny.

The PTO put on a Boo Hoo/Woo Hoo breakfast for the Kindergarten parents after drop off. Such a cute idea. There were a few moms crying but believe it or not I was not one of them. I don't think it's hit me yet. Ask me how I'm feeling in about two weeks, lol! It will catch up with me sooner rather than later I think!

They had a wonderful breakfast including fruit, muffins, granola, juice and coffee.

I thought the tables and flowers were so nice.

Let me tell you, come 2:30, I was ready to go get my baby. So we got in the car pool line around 2:40 and finally got him around 3:25. There were lines of cars coming from every direction, it was crazy. I knew the first week would be crazy but hopefully the pick-up will become easier soon. Once he got in the car, he plopped down in his seat with a very strong "Ahhh". When I asked him how his day was he replied "We just did everything after everything." Too tired to explain himself, I took that to mean he had a very busy day. He actually shared quite a bit with me about his day which I was glad about. When we got home, he sat right down and was very eager to show me something he made at school. Turns out, he had a great day!

I had asked him if he wanted to go to his favorite self-serve yogurt place, Cherry Berry for a little after school treat and he said he was too tired and just wanted to go home. Bless his little heart. But he suggested we make an Icee, so we did just that.

I put a little note in his lunch box and he kept it. I remember my mom always putting little notes in my lunch and I always loved that. :)

We got home around 3:30 and he literally played until it was dinner time around 6:00. I thought he would crash for awhile but he really was in a great mood and I could tell he had missed being at home. I was thrilled he had such a great day and really seemed excited about school. When I asked him if he was ready for tomorrow, he replied "Kind of". And had a little smile on his face when he said it!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Familiar advice

Since having kids, I have been amazed at how many complete strangers go out of their way to stop and admire the kids, hold a door open for me as I push the stroller through or stop and reminisce about when their own kids were little like mine. I often hear the advice, "Enjoy every moment, they grow up in a hurry." I recently had some one tell me this and it resonated with me in a much different way.

We had gone to Chili's after church one Sunday. Jim and Luke sitting on one side of the booth, Jacob and I on the other and Sarah at the end in the high chair. I had noticed during lunch there was a mom and teenage daughter sitting at the table across from us. Hoping they weren't annoyed at the typical chaos that comes with eating out...Jacob and Luke loudly carrying on, Sarah dropping everything imaginable on the floor and letting out a yell every now and then, Luke knocking over his drink and making a mess...I glanced over only to find them looking and smiling, as if they understood.

As we got up to leave, the mom stopped me and first complimented our family and the kids. She then said she and her daughter were talking about how much our family reminded them of their own. I asked the daughter if she was the youngest and she said yes and that she has two older brothers. The mom looked at me with tears in her eyes and said "My daughter is going off to college this year. Just enjoy this time with your kids. Before you know it, they will be grown and gone. Enjoy this time with them." She said it with such meaning. And of course I was teary eyed myself at this point. And for some reason this conversation and her advice has stuck with me. It's as if I can see that being Sarah and myself years from now, giving that same advice to a young family.

I think her advice has stuck with me for many reasons. One being the emotions I'm feeling with Jacob starting Kindergarten next week. How can it be that Jacob is almost six years old and time to enter the next phase of his life. I know starting Kindergarten and going off to college isn't an apple to apple comparison. But I have to imagine the emotions a mother feels of somewhat having to "let go" in some small way is the same. It has made me think a lot about Jacob, how much I have enjoyed our time together and how very thankful I am that I chose to spend these first years with him. As hard as some days can be, I really have tried to truly enjoy this special time with him.

With the first day of school being less than a week away, I've been thinking about what this means for Jacob, for me and for our family. It makes me wonder, hope and pray that we've taught him what he needs to know to make it in school...respect for adults, the Golden Rule, doing the right thing...have we instilled in him a strong enough foundation to be the kind of kid I know he can be? I sure hope so. I know the joys, heartaches, friend/social drama, and other struggles that all kids face in school are ahead of him in the years to come. Although he has been in preschool for three years, there is something that feels really different about him starting in the public school system. You better believe I will be showering him with prayers each morning, more so than usual.

It's hard to believe the time has come for our sweet boy to start school. The years really do go by in a hurry. The saying, "the days are long but the years are short" really is so true to me. On particularly hard days, I find myself thinking of that familiar advice I so often hear, "Enjoy every moment with your kids, they grow up in a hurry."

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer Activites

We have been staying busy this summer. Trying to enjoy these last few weeks before school starts, one week from today to be exact. (but that's another post) ha!

The circus was in town and we headed to see the fun with our dear friends Dana and Jackson. Jacob, Luke and Jackson heading in.

Jacob and Luke enjoying the pre-show, up close and personal.

Time for a snack, they all chose sno cones.

Well, except Sarah who enjoyed Daddy's popcorn. She was going at it with both hands...must have Daddy's salt tooth!

With a tummy full of popcorn, Miss Sarah fell fast asleep in Daddy's arms.

My very own clowns...they would fit quite nicely in the circus if you ask me! :)

On another note, I've been trying to do some workbook pages with the boys. They were enthusiastic about it at first but that quickly diminished as the summer went on.

We recently had our friends, the Wards over for dinner. There were eight adults and nine kids. Whew!

Miss Sarah thought it would be fun to crawl her way into the box of snacks in the pantry. She sat in there for a good 10 minutes and played.

A week doesn't go by that we don't visit one of the local malls. The boys took their saved quarters and used them for the rides at Willowbend. This was Sarah's first mall ride and she actually sat still and enjoyed it.

I think sometimes she forgets she's only one. She wanted out of the stroller so she could walk through the mall. The walk from the play area to the restroom was about three times as long with her walking all over the place. Oh boy, our outings are quickly changing. I don't know how I'm ever going to get any errands run with little miss and her busy self! (but that too is another post!!)

Luke decided the laundry basket was the perfect spot to look at one of his library books.

We also have been to the movies several times to see Cars 2, The Smurfs and Cars 2 again. We recently went to an indoor water park outside of Tyler that was a fun time. The kids went strong all day and didn't sit down except to eat lunch. Sadly, I don't have any pictures from these outings. We have had a fun summer and are going to enjoy our last week together.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

More birthday pictures

We had a fun weekend celebrating Sarah's 1st birthday. She liked opening her gifts and seems to notice and like her new toys.

Thanks for the birthday outfit, Kaitlynn.

Checking out her new baby.

Checking out her new car.

She's gotta have a car like the boys. They have been loving pushing her around on it. Can you imagine when the three of them are all riding around. Yikes!

And just for the record, I am LOVING having all these girlie toys around the house now. It really is so much fun having a girl. Love my baby girl!

Opening gifts at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Showing off her new toys.

Instead of a smash cake, Grandma made little cupcakes. Just the perfect size. As you can tell by her face, she wasn't interested in digging in. At all!

Still not too sure.

Thinkin' about it.

She had more fun giving bites to me. She did end up taking a few bites but never made a mess with the icing.


After a fun weekend in Kilgore, we headed to Arlington to see Jim's family for another fun party.

Cousin Emily got Sarah a baby stroller. It's too cute!

Time for dessert.

She loves pushing her stroller around.

Although she kept taking the baby out and trying to get in herself. :-)