Saturday, August 25, 2012

Back to the grind of school

The other morning, a friend asked me how Molly was doing at Kindergarten. "She's doing really well. She definitely likes it, even if she's exhausted by the end of the day." No joke, the whole day kindergarten is truly exhausting Molly. She turns into an absolute bear by the time dinner rolls around. Apparently, this is pretty common for the start of kindergarten, but it's definitely a challenge in our family. I jokingly told Cory that Molly was purposefully trying to make me not miss her during the day by being on such horrible behavior at the end of the day.

Then, my friend asked me if I gave a present to Molly's teacher on the first day of school. "WHAT?!?!? I was supposed to do that?" Geesh. I was only three days into the school year, and I was already behind. I didn't even think about getting a present for the teacher, but apparently some parents bring them to Back-to-School nights or the first day. We were past both of those already.

Our elementary school is a Title 1 school, which means that it has a lot of lower-income families and wider diversity. I am glad that Molly will be exposed to more diversity, but I also worry that she will get overlooked because she is a good and quiet kid. I worry that kids with more behavior and learning issues will get most of the attention.

So, if a present to her teacher will help keep her in the forefront of the teacher's mind, then by all means, I will do it! I am not above that! Not to mention the fact that Molly's teacher is in charge of my baby girl all day and deserves to be recognized and appreciated for that.

Enter Pinterest. Both the savior and the devil. I found a ton of great ideas, and I talked to my friend Sarah who is a former teacher. She assured me gift cards were always popular, and teachers can always use school supplies. So, I created a "Congratulations on completing the first full week of school" present for Molly's teacher, complete with gift cards to Starbucks and Office Max.

The whole present. I still have my friend's Cricut machine from Charlotte's birthday, so I just used it to make the tag. Thanks, Sarah! :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Kindergarten, tears and plaid

Ok, anyone who has seen me, talked to me, or read anything I've posted on Facebook or this blog in the last couple months knows that I've kind of been having a hard time with Molly starting Kindergarten. And, I'm probably underselling myself with the "kind of." Truth is, I'm really struggling with it.

In the past week, I've cried at least once a day. Last night, I woke up from a Kindergarten nightmare at 2am and spent the next two hours tossing and turning, trying not to think about the fact that Molly was starting today. My mind meandered from what to pack for my weekend trip, to the proper way to wash workout gear, to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. (FYI - I have since discovered that the crisis in the Middle East cannot be solved in the middle of the night while laying in bed in Kansas. Just so you know.) But, my brain just kept coming back to how sad I was that my baby starting school today.

Ridiculous, I know. Ludicrous, I know. Completely and utterly sappy, I know. But, still, there it is. I'm still crying in the bathroom. Gotta hide it from Molly, after all.

Here's the thing: I know Molly is going to love Kindergarten. I know that I'm going to be fine. I know Charlotte and I will find fun stuff to do with just the two of us.

I know this is not the first step to the end of her childhood. In my head, I know that she is still a little girl with a lot of childhood left. But, my head needs to tell my heart.

My heart just aches over the end of this time of our lives. I'm sad that for the rest of her childhood, we will be anchored in to the schedule of the Olathe School District. I'm sad that we can't have family lunches by meeting Cory during the work day. I'm sad that it will no longer be just me, Molly and Charlotte toodling around town with no concrete plans. I'm sad that Molly won't be at Papa Pancakes (our weekly Tuesday breakfasts with my dad) anymore. I'm sad that her baby book literally ends after the picture for her first day of Kindergarten. That's just cruel to us moms, right?

So, while I know that I will get used to this change in our lives, and I know Molly will thrive and grow and love school, I'm still grieving for the end of this phase. Staying home with my girls is the only thing I've known as a mom, so it will take some time to adjust to this new phase.

I will get to the point of being ok, I promise. I swear, I will. In the meantime, just give me a little freedom to cry a few tears. And, please don't laugh at me?

So, without further ado, the reason you're probably really reading this. Pictures from the first day.:

A couple weeks ago, we went shopping for some back to school clothes for Molly. I don't know what it is about plaid that screams back to school to me. It's that whole Catholic school uniform, I guess. That, or too many times of watching Girls Just Want to Have Fun. Therefore: Molly gets her first Kindergarten picture in the sweetest plaid skirt outfit around.

I was thinking about doing the cute Pinterest thing where you have your kid hold a sign or a chalkboard or a poster saying what year they are in. It looks super cute on Pinterest. I just didn't get around to it. So, I photoshopped the words on, instead. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Last days of summer

Man, the countdown is in the single digits now. Only three days before Molly is in school. I am in panic mode, but I've been trying to squeeze in some fun time with both girls before d-day.

Last week, we took a quick trip over to Deanna Rose Farmstead. I love being able to go during the week. Monday through Thursday it is free, so I don't feel bad about only going for an hour or two. Molly and Charlotte love visiting the animals and running around.

We checked out the one-room schoolhouse to practice for kindergarten. I told Molly that Gigi went to a school like that. I'm not sure she believed me.

The requisite picture sitting on the cow outside the cow barn.

Happy on the swing!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

2011 Photo Book - Complete!

Hallelujah! It is only the first of August of 2012, and I finally finished my 2011 photo book. I'm beginning to think that this compulsion of mine to constantly keep scrapbooks up-to-date has something to do with my miserably poor memory. Well, that and the realization that time just flies by way too quickly. With Molly starting kindergarten in less than two weeks, I have been having this intense need to get the 2011 photo book finished. This is the longest into the next year I have gone before being finished with the prior year. It was definitely stressing me out. So, it is with great relief that I finally pushed that "place order" button.

Ah. I can breathe again. Well, until I start thinking about the seven months of 2012 that I haven't even started. Ack. Back to panic mode.

Well, anyway. Enjoy! You never, know, you may find yourself in one of these pictures :)