Sunday, September 28, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up: Birthday Party and a Bonfire

It was a super fun weekend! Just goes by too quickly.

Friday: Henry had a Walk a Thon at preschool and I helped with that for a bit. He is so adorable with his friends. Evie was thrilled to come home for the weekend. Me too - kindergarten is no joke. We are all ready for some down time. Carl grilled and we enjoyed a nice dinner without rushing for bedtime. 

Saturday: We took a long family walk to the park and enjoyed the gorgeous weather. Fall in Middle Tennessee is amazing and makes the harsh winter (harsh to me - maybe not harsh for a New Yorker.) Later, we headed to the Onello girls birthday party. Three girls with September birthdays make for a super fun celebration. It was at a gymnastics place and my kids had a ball. Best part of a birthday party is the cake and their cake was amazing. I should have had an extra piece. After the party, we went to their house for dinner and playtime. Evie and Abby have been friends since they were in our bellies so it's always fun to play together.

Sunday: Everyone slept in a bit but we still made it to church. Evie and Henry went to Sunday school for the first time. They loved it and so did we because adults can skip over to Starbucks which is such a nice treat. We had a lazy afternoon before heading to the church bonfire! Hands down one of our favorite church events. Evie and Henry were super excited to see their friends, make 'smores and hang out by the fire.  Two late nights in a row is still a lot for our kiddos but it was a great time. Fingers crossed everyone sleeps in tomorrow morning!

Hope y'all had a super weekend! It's almost October - my very favorite month. Cannot wait for pumpkins, crunchy leaves, trick or treat, festivals and of course adorable costumes. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Thoughts on Kindergarten!

We are a month into kindergarten! It seems like a terrific time to jot down my thoughts so I can look back later to see how much has changed.

Teacher: Evie LOVES her teacher! I think she is the perfect mix of sweet and strict. She pushes Evie to work hard but also encourages her as person. I think she has excellent communication and is welcoming to parents in the classroom. Her teacher is a mom and gets what life is like with young children. I think she is the perfect teacher for Evie!What a wonderful answer to my prayers for Evie. I am so thankful for this teacher and the influence she will have on Evie this year. 

Bus: Evie loved the bus until last week and now she has decided she wants to be a car rider. She has decided the grass is greener but I am not ready to sit in car line yet. I am pretty sure she will change her mind again. Evie does love sitting with her friends from our neighborhood on the bus so that makes it seem like a treat. Henry is a big fan of the bus stop. He hangs out with the little brothers and brings a toy to pass the time. Henry announces the bus to everyone when he hears it coming. I like the bus stop too because it is a wonderful opportunity to connect with the neighbors. It sure is convenient since the bus stop is our front yard. 

Time: It is a LONG day. Evie leaves at 8 and gets home a few minutes after 4. The first few weeks it felt like the bus would never arrive. All of us have adjusted to the long days! Evie is tired by Thursday and exhausted by Friday but she is hanging in there. I still miss her a lot but am getting more accomplished while she is gone. Henry and I are really enjoying our time together too. He loves our "date days." Tuesday and Thursday are my two favorite days because I get to spend my days with the cutest three year old out there. Henry and I go to the zoo, the dirt pit, parks, story time and hang out with friends. We have a ball but definitely miss our Evie. I decided not to do any extra curricular activities this semester to allow Evie the time to adjust to her new routine. It has been wonderful to have lazy afternoons playing outside, reading books, drawing, or even watching our favorite shows.  

Homework: YIKES - I was not prepared for this much homework but I think it keeps me in the loop. Evie is really learning a lot. Her teacher creates a worksheet each week that reviews the skills for the week and then Evie has to cut out pictures for the letter of the week too. She reviews her flash cards every night too. Henry likes to do that for her and he holds them up to check her reading skills. 

Pace: Kindergarten is not what it used to be - I taught first grade for 7 years and still find this shocking! Evie is already writing and sorting rhyming words, counting syllables, solving equations and counting higher than my first graders could towards the end of the year. I volunteer in the classroom and see first hand that the ability levels are all over the board. These kids sit at tables and work like first graders for six or seven hours. It is truly unbelievable but the kids can do it! Evie keeps asking when she can play in the kitchen center. I told her I was not sure that is going to happen. Evie responded that there should not be a kitchen in the room if they cannot play with it. 

Friends: Evie is making lots of new friends and comes home with stories about them every day. Her feelings have been hurt and I am sure she has hurt feelings too. It seems like it is already becoming boys play with boys while the girls play with girls. Evie has always had lots of boy friends so it funny to hear her talk about boys as if they are from another planet. Campbell and Christian are excluded from her new preference for girls because they are still her best friends even if they are boys. She also likes the boys in her class but not the other boys in the kindergarten. Are you confused? We are too!

Lunch: Evie has bought her lunch twice but prefers for me to pack it. That works for me because canned fruit, frozen pizza and overcooked veggies are not nearly as nutritious as her ham sandwich, bell peppers with hummus and berries. She is packing a dessert now and thinks that is a real treat since dessert was not allowed in preschool. Dessert is a few gummy bears, a granola bar or a cookie.

Influence: Evie has been to preschool for years but this is the first time she has spent so much time away from me. It has been interesting to see how much she has changed. I am getting more sass and she seems like she has grown up so much in the last few weeks. Evie is being reminded a lot that we do everything without complaining or arguing even when we are in kindergarten! Sometimes I laugh at the things she has learned and sometimes it makes me sad to see her lose her innocence.  She did not know about divorce, adoption or even a friend that was different from her until now. Evie is embracing all the new changes and has become such a big girl. 

We are so proud of our Evie and look forward to seeing what this year brings for Evie and our family!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Weekend Wrap-up!

It's been a good weekend! Perfect amount of busy and down time.

Friday: Carl was home to see Evie get off the bus - that's a highlight for both of them. He was working from home that afternoon easily walked out to the  front yard to pick up Evie. I love seeing my sweet girl bounce off the bus! Evie says riding the bus is her favorite part of school!  Henry had a great day at school too. His teacher loves his "robust" personality. Henry is a big fan of preschool - friends, snacks and cool toys. Perfect place to spend the day! We celebrated the end of the week with pizza and ice-cream sundaes followed by playtime outside.

Saturday: Everyone slept late which is always nice! Henry and I made cinnamon rolls since we are always the first to wake up. We took the kids to Home Depot for a Build and Grow workshop. It was a blast. Evie and Henry made Wizard of Oz houses. I was not prepared for hammers and nails but I was able to build a house with just a tiny bit of help from Carl. Both kids loved it. Henry really wanted to use a wrench but was satisfied with hammering some nails. That afternoon, Evie had a birthday party at Goofballs. She had a blast celebrating Sweet Sam turning 5. It was her first time to ride bumper cars and to bowl. Bumper cars were a hit! Bowling was not her favorite but we will try that again because it would be a perfect winter activity. Evie and I were picking up Thai food for dinner when we got a call that my brother was engaged! We are so excited for him and Mary Devon. Evie is very concerned that she has missed the wedding. Wedding will be after Mary Devon completes her residency in the spring. Looking forward to their wedding and getting a SIL!

Sunday: We had a low key day! It was nice and cool - perfect for a picnic and outdoor fun.  Our day went by so quickly! Evie and Henry played a lot, then we went to the grocery store, played outside with the boys, and then went to church. Our 20's and 30's group got together to make dinners to stock the church freezer for parishioners in need of dinner. It was so much fun cooking in the kitchen together while the Dad's watched the kids. Sometimes the idea of a Sister Wife seems like a really good idea especially if I could pick her and she had her own husband. Ha! There is just nothing better than good girl friends!We came home from church and it was bedtime for the kiddos.

That wraps up our weekend! Hope you had a wonderful weekend and that the new week starts with a bang for you.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day Weekend

Nothing too exciting to report just a nice weekend at home with my favorite people.

Friday: Pizza and ice-cream sundaes started off the weekend on a sweet note. Evie and Henry are really enjoying playing in the street with their scooters so we spent some time outside after dinner. Driveways in TN are not exactly smooth so the road is a much better surface for riding although I get a little nervous. Evie is exhausted after a week of school so bedtime came early. 

Saturday: Henry is always up bright and early between 6:30 and 7. As soon as his eyes open, he begins calling "Mama, Mama" - he does not like being alone in his crib. At night, he falls asleep as soon as I put him in the crib so he is not used to spending time hanging out in the crib like his sister used to do! We spent some time straightening up around the house and finishing some little projects. Nothing too crazy but it always feels good to cross things off the list that have been on there for four years! Henry was invited to a birthday party without Evie which thrilled him to pieces. We headed off to Elliot's pirate party. Henry had a blast with his little friends from school and I enjoyed meeting some new moms. Evie requested Chinese food for dinner. It was a great idea! Football and Chinese food made for a perfect night. Evie loves wonton soup and I love not cooking dinner!

Sunday: I gave up computers and phones for the day and it was a wonderful feeling. It bothers me how I am so hooked to a little piece of metal.  It felt so freeing to spend a day without the extra noise. We had a lazy day at home and made the resolution to get to church more this September. Early church after a week of waking up early might not work for us now that Evie is in kindergarten.  We went on a family run and then Carl grilled ribs for lunch -yummy! We watched a movie on the couch - Home Alone. Evie adores that movie!  After the movie, we went on a hike which was the perfect way to spend a nice afternoon and then stopped for a sweet treat of ice-cream. It's always fun to see all the treats the kids pile onto their frozen yogurt. Carl and I keep it simple with chocolate candies and chocolate sauce. Evie and Henry are a lot more creative! More football was next on the agenda along with our Sunday night popcorn tradition. I finished my Book Club book - In the Woods. It was a mystery and a good one at that. Everyone went to bed early!

Monday: Henry and I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Evie and Carl slept really late. After everyone was up and ready to go, we headed to the pool and spent most of the day there. It was a perfect last day of summer! We played outside, watched a movie and grilled some chicken to round out the day. Such a beautiful day with lots of sunshine! I can already feel that tiny hint of fall in the air. Love all the seasons and am thankful to enjoy all four. Summer is my favorite and it is always sad to see it end. 

What a wonderful weekend! Even three day weekends go by too quickly. I'll miss Evie and Carl tomorrow!