Friday, August 29, 2008

Now I need the introductions....

I could have sworn that Sarah was just born weeks ago, but apparently she has grown up right before my eyes. Yesterday we went to her pre-school orientation and she couldn't have been more excited or happier about it. She has been waiting for her turn to go to school since Rachel started a couple of weeks ago. Just this past week though, I head, "It's not fair, Rachel gets to go to school five days a week and I only get to go two.". And to think that I went through a lot of guilt over putting her in a two day program. Clearly she wants it and is ready. Heck, I think she'd be happiest if she could just join the kindergarten class!

And forget The Secret Life of Bees (I really liked that book)! I need a quick read of The Secret Life of Kindergartners, and how it is that my five year old can go in one week as a five year old and come out at the end of the week going on about fourteen! These first few weeks their unit has been on bears, so they concluded today with a teddy bear parade through the school. Each kid was to bring a teddy from home for the parade. The choice of teddy was an easy one - it had to be Soft Bear, devoted teddy and recipient of many nights of cuddling and love. I love that both my girls have a teddy that looks like it has been loved. I had one too. While the choice of which bear to bring was easy, the act of getting Soft Bear into the building this morning was trickier. We arrived at school and I was asked to carry Soft Bear in. I asked why and was informed that "It is so embarrassing to carry a teddy bear into school!". (Read that in your best teenage girl voice). And know also that last year she carried a pony, hippo, cat, poodle, dog and numerous other animals to pre-school on a regular basis. I love Soft Bear though, and appreciate his devotion to Rachel, so I wouldn't let her show him disrespect and told her that she needed to carry him in to which I got "so embarrassing". Seriously, who is this child that is now way greater in her age than the five years I am recalling?

At the end of the parade the kindergartners gathered in the auditorium where they got to meet their seventh grade buddies. Each year the kindergartners get a buddy that will watch out for them, make sure they hear their car numbers being called, escort them to their rooms in the morning, etc. Today was the big meet and greet. Rachel's buddy seemed so excited and interested in Rachel. I am told that she too loves Arthur, rides the bus and plays "soccer ball". I'm wondering if she babysits too. Maybe just a mother's helper on a Saturday while I got something done. Hmm.... Next Friday the kids will be with their buddies all day when they take their first field trip to Rock City. I am hoping to tag along, but will hang back, as the buddies are in charge of looking out for their kindergartners. Rachel could not be more excited about this field trip, and can you guess why? The bus doesn't have seat belts. She is so excited to ride something and not be buckled into a seat! Ah, safety!

And while it might be hard to believe, I actually have a baby quilt top finished and ready to be quilted. I'm off to do that now (or at least start it) and hope to have it finished over the weekend. It was a nice break from all the pinwheels.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Rachel's big give

Today was a big day. Rachel had her first full day of kindergarten with all of her class. She has been so excited about school, which makes me thankful. Today was pronounced "great" with the added bonus that she brought home homework! I know I should treasure the days when homework is a great and exciting thing to her. I wonder how long it will take for the novelty to wear off. I also wonder if part of the novelty was a counting game that came complete with a baggie of gummie bears to use and eat. I think Sarah wants homework now as well. But the day only got bigger for me, as we headed to Hair a go*go after school for Rachel's first real hair cut.

TWELVE inches came off, wham bam, just like that, in six pony tails. The above photo is thanks to Monica's assistant, Jessica, as I was also video taping the occasion. I had more media that one mom could handle.

Once she had the bulk removed she had it shampooed and than shaped. Monica said she was afraid that Rachel might freak out once it was cut, but she did great. She has been so excited about this hair cut and being able to donate her hair. She sat perfectly still while having it cut and acted so grown up.

Afterwards, she got a fancy going home do - "fish tail braids". Braids done with two strands of hair instead of three. I watched her do them, but hope that I am not called upon to replicate. I'm pretty sure that hair stylists have more finger and or hands than mere mortals like me.

And so here is my new girl - looking older to me and acting much bouncier. The hair must have be weighing her down, as there was much jumping around tonight. A little extra sassiness as well at times. I'm hoping the hair cut didn't cause that as well. So later this week I will pack up the baggie full of her hair and send it off to Locks of Love so that she can share with others. We looked at the site together this weekend and she was talking about it on the way home tonight saying, "That girl was bald, Momma. BALD!!!". It was so cute. It is hard for anyone in this family to imagine not having hair, we have so darn much of it!! There's a few extra photos on Flickr and one with a funny story.

On the creative front, I'm back to pinwheels. Only took Hancocks two weeks to get my special order in. Of course the warehouse didn't send a bolt of a standard, stocked fabric along with the special order. I guess that would have shown too much thought. I wonder if they have more by now. Probably not. I may need to put pinwheels on hold for a while and whip up some baby blankets though. New babies seem to be coming out of the woodwork these days for me! Time to get off the computer and hop on the sewing machine!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The trip North

Before it is too far in the past, I wanted to share some pictures from our trip to Michigan. The pictures pretty much speak for themselves, so have a look. First we stopped in Saline to see my friend Anne. Rachel and her son Owen became instant buddies. Owen's working on becoming a rock star and I think Rachel might dig his rock 'n roll style.

There was fun had on the beach by all.
Time to play with cousins.
Giant ice cream cones to be eaten.
Snuggles to be had.

And a party to celebrate this man and his 90th. birthday.

We had a great time and feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to be able to get together with all of our family and celebrate such a special birthday with such an awesome Grandpa. If you want to subject yourself to more trip photos, you can check out this shutterfly album.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


My kindergartner. The day finally arrived. The one that she was anxiously been awaiting and the one that I have been silently fearing. The first day of kindergarten. I believe in this school enough to be willing to camp out in line for nine days to get her into it, so why suddenly did I start thinking about home schooling? I have gone through many different phases this summer, from fear, dread and panic, to excitement for me (and me after this past week). Today, she was so excited when she woke up, but by the time we dropped Sarah off at a friend's house, it became eerily quiet in the car. As I walked her into the school, I had to choke back tears. I think the look on my face made it obvious that we were newbies, as teachers quickly directed us to the kindergarten waiting area.

Thankfully, the school does what they call "phase in" days. For the first week of kindergarten, they only bring in a fraction of the class each day, and each child only comes for one day each of the first two weeks. Rachel met with her teacher and five other classmates today and parents were asked to stay with them. Thank goodness I wasn't expected to just walk away and lose it all in the parking lot! Parents spent the morning in the kid's class and ate lunch with them, then spent over two hours in a meeting going over all sorts of school information. Rachel is attending a Paideia school, so there is a lot of philosophy that parents have to understand, we met all the other teachers and specialists and got a general idea of how things work.

After letting the teachers have the kids to themselves for an hour, the parents rejoined the class as the kids presented their summer reading projects. Each child was asked to read at least ten books and then choose one to do some sort of project on. The project was left open to us. Rachel and I read The Quilt Story and I took the opportunity to teach Rachel some sewing basics. The quilt in her lap is the end result. Actually, I should say, the quilt top in her lap is the end result. I didn't allow for the attention span of a five year old when we set about making this, so the actual quilt will be finished later. Regardless, she completed nine log cabin blocks on her own. All I did was iron seams, square up the blocks and add the red sashing. The actual blocks are all her work and I love how it turned out. Dare I say she had the best project in the class?

I'll have to post a better picture of the quilt once we get it back. We had to leave it at school for now, which I was a bit leery of. Fingers crossed that it returns to us in the same state that we left it in! I would have already posted pictures, if it weren't for the fact that it was being finished last night around 9 PM.

And the trip and birthday party. All went well, but those are stories for another day.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Away we go

We're leaving for Michigan later today. We get to stop and spend the weekend with a friend from college and hopefully eat here. Then we head to Northern Michigan, where my family (aunts, cousins, grandparents, great grandparents, siblings, etc.) is convening to celebrate my Grandpa's 90th birthday. We haven't been together as a family since my kids were born, so it should be fun....and chaotic....and loud.....and fun. When we get home, it will be time for school to start and I'll be sending my baby off to kindergarten, which she is wildly excited about and I'm already choking back tears over.

Here's the handsome birthday boy in a picture taken a few years ago.