Wednesday, August 31, 2011

This morning started out like any other..

A work out, a shower, breakfast, getting myself and the kids ready, ect.

But then something out-of-the-ordinary happened.

A bus came, and took my oldest baby away to kindergarten for 6.5 hours.

And just like that, my life as I have known it for the last 5 years and 11 months, has been changed forever...
I turned my baby over to the public school system...
He is now spending the majority of his wakeful hours with people I don't know...
Does this seem ludicrous to anyone else? I've spent his whole life controlling his environment -- what he was doing, what he ate, who he spent time with, what was being put into his sponge-like, beautiful head, ect. And now I'm expected to send him somewhere where anything can happen and be okay with it?!

If you can't tell, this whole kindergarten thing has been hard on me. I've looked endlessly into the local charter and private schools, debated the pros and cons of homeschool, and so forth.
But in the end, public school (and Brad) won. Because if I'm being honest with myself, I have to admit that his teacher is awesome. That there are only 17 kids in his class, plus a full time para-educator (basically a trained teachers helper). And that the public school system here is incredible and out-ranks all the private and charter schools. So I'm choosing to have faith instead of fear. And despite my all-out sob session this morning, I'm actually feeling surprisingly peaceful about the whole thing. Now time to document:

Yesterday was orientation, where we went to school with Nick for an hour and a half. Nick was in true "Nick-form" and was incredibly shy and uncooperative. His teacher had a little scavenger hunt for the kids to do with their parents to get to know the room and the morning routine. Nick wanted Brad by his side the whole time, even when the instructions were to sit on the rug and read a book while the other kids finished.

 But when the teacher called the kids over for a story, Nick perked up a bit and listened attentively.
And when she told them to line up so they could go play on the playground with the para while she talked to the parents, he willingly obliged.
 And after the meeting when we went to get him from the playground, he was a happy camper.

 This morning it was time for him to ride the bus and spend the whole day at school sans parents. He was "a little bit nervous, but mostly excited." Here he is drinking his first-day-of-school-smoothie:
 Walking to the bus stop, a few doors down...
 Standing in line, waiting, waiting, waiting...

He put on his green jacket just in time for the bus to come --



 It was a long day. Luckily, I have wonderful friends who spent the day with me. Even still, I don't think a minute went by where I didn't think of my boy. 3:04pm couldn't come quickly enough. And this view was a very welcome site!

 He gave me a huge hug and then turned to his siblings:

 He loved his first day! He said he wasn't scared once and is "excited to go back tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that and all the rest of the days!" I'm proud of my brave big boy and I'm excited for all that he will learn!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

My baby is how old?

   I can't believe Baby Girl is 9 months old. This milestone age always throws me for a loop, realizing they've been outside of me longer than they were inside. I wish time would slow down a bit!

It's been a huge month for Cora. A few days after turning 8 months she finally figured out how to crawl forward. She's now zooming around everywhere and I can tell she's very happy with her newfound independence. She's also started clapping, waving, pulling herself up on everything, and sprouted 3 teeth (the 4th is so close!). She loves patty-cake and peek-a-boo. And she's not a big fan of baby food unless she's starving. She would much rather eat "real food" and has done really well with the few things we've let her try. She is still very much a Mommy's girl and is happy affectionate and just plain adorable.

On the flip side, my good little sleeper is no more! I feel like I have a newborn again, trying to function in a constant state of exhaustion. I'm hoping when this teething phase is over and our summer travels are done she'll go back to sleeping through the night instead of waking up every two hours and/or staying awake for an hour or more in the middle of the night.

I plan to make a come-back to the blogging world this fall when we're back in our routine and life has calmed down a bit. This is a big year for us, with Brad finishing up his dissertation and going on the job market. Lots to look forward to. Until then, here are some pictures of my girl from this past month!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Big 8

8 years ago today I awoke at the crack of dawn, got ready, went to the temple and became a MRS. And boy do I sure like my MR.

On our 1st anniversary, whilst living in Denver, Brad took me to the Melting Pot and we fell in love with the food and the whole fondue experience. It's become our anniversary tradition. We can only afford it once a year and we look forward to it all year long! Because we don't have one very close to us in State College, we improvise a bit and go when we can. We've been to Melting Pots in Denver, Salt Lake, Cinncinnati, and Philadelphia. This year, while in SL, we discovered that my beautiful and wonderful cousin Chelsea and her hilarious hubby Marvin celebrated their anniversary 6 days before ours so we invited them along on our date. Chels and I are only a few months apart and have always been close. She's an amazing woman and mother and I love being with her!

 It was great to leave the kids for a bit, laugh our way through a delicious dinner, and celebrate being US. The past 8 years have brought a lot of changes and adventures, and I wouldn't trade one second of them. I fall in love with this thoughtful husband, loving father, and wonderful man more and more each day.
 Happy Anniversary to us!