"Being a family means you are part of something wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. No matter what." ~Author Unknown

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Leader of the Day

The minute Sof brought home the calendar with her leader day marked, I started thinking about what we going to send in for snack.  I will readily admit I NEVER did that for Adrienne.  “Back” then, no one did.  There weren’t little tiny containers on every grocery shelf or Pinterest snack ideas, and good moms could still get away with a box of granola bars.  Lexi perhaps had a slightly more creative version of me, but not by much.  Sof definitely has the “this is my last kid, I’m all in, and it’s only the beginning so I’m still real passionate” version of me.  So, I started planning and shopping Saturday, and put it all together Sunday.  I baked little banana breads for each child while my family hovered around begging for a taste.  My every look said, “Go ahead and touch that bread…if you don’t actually want to live”. 

IMG_1269 Then Lexi and I cut up an unreasonable amount of grapes to make a small container for each child.  In the end, I was very satisfied with my product.  All we had to do was wait for the next day when Buster would come home.  Buster the Bear comes home with the child the night before their leader day.  A little reminder that tomorrow is your special day to bring snack and show and tell.  Sof about lost her mind with excitement as she got off the bus.  She ran home and didn’t even take off her backpack or coat before opening the suitcase!


We decided we should do something fun with Buster while he was in our care, and Lexi suggested bowling.  Buster liked the plan, so off we went.


Being the great mama she is, Sof dressed him in his hat and coat to go.  It was determined Buster was just too little to have his own ball so he would watch and cheer for us.




When we got home we had to record in Buster’s journal what he did while in our care(top that other moms, bam! Nailed it!). 


Then it was time to get ready for bed.  Sof decided she should pick out Buster’s clothes along with her own for the morning. 


Finally time to snuggle in.  This is a big deal…Sof has never slept with a stuffed animal in her bed.  Ever.  Not only did she sleep with Buster, but she all the sudden developed an interest in the teddy bear Aunt Anne and Uncle Rick gave her for her 2nd Gotcha day.  She’d had it a long time, but all the sudden bears are cool.  She’s named him Fluffy.


Mornings are even easy peasier on leader day!  She couldn’t wait to get to school!  Luckily it was a primetime morning because she had a lot of stuff to bring!  Fluffly came with her as a show and tell, and I imagine he will be played with for the rest of the year now!  Lucky Fluffy, a second chance at love!


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Back to School

We’re two weeks into the school year and everything is going wonderful.  The older girls had an easier transition this year returning to the same schools as last year.  Friendships and lunch tables are already set which is really all you need to survive in middle and high school.  The academics are nothing compared to navigating the lunch room. 

Adrienne has a heavy class load this year.  All honors and AP classes.  I’m so proud of all she juggles and manages to keep straight A’s and excel in dance. 


Lexi was so excited after her first day.  She loves all her teachers!  She has a nice mix of classes with friends, and classes without friends.  I like that because it gives her the comfort of staying connected with her group, while still forcing her to branch out and meet new friends.



The big girls slid back into school life with little fanfare.  Sof, on the other hand, embarked on a whole new journey.  My baby went to kindergarten(sob).  Before the first day we went to Popsicles with the Principal.


How sweet to have a friend to show up with(for her and me).


Sof is not shy.  She oozes confidence.  She was happy to introduce herself to Mrs. Carlin and get a hug.  Allie likes a little more time to assess the situation.  I love her quiet tepidness, that goes away when she’s comfortable.  So different from Sof, but yet they compliment each other.


It was all of our first glance at the amazing garden they have on the playground.  Being a non-gardener, I’m so excited for Sof to have this experience!


Sof was crazy that night trying all the new playground equipment.  If she wasn’t excited before, this sealed the deal.


I spent weeks planning her first day outfit.  It had to be adorable, either school themed or primary colors, and have matching shoes and bow.  I take this very seriously. 


The night before we made a visit to the pool to enjoy the last of the summer nights.  At some point Sof turned and looked at me, and I noticed her eye was swollen.  She didn’t notice it, so I assume it was some sort of bug that bit her.  All I could think was how that was going to ruin my first day pictures!!


Lexi woke her up to eat breakfast together before she got on the bus. 


Then it was time to get dressed.  I watched my sweet baby brush her teeth, still seeming so little.


Then we got dressed and headed out to the bus.  I cried, and Sof looked at me like I was crazy.  She’s all like get a grip woman.


But it’s my last first day of Kindergarten.  I stood at the bus stop jealous of the mama’s with little ones who get to do this again.


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We called all the kids to pose for a picture.  There was a quick moment of nerves, not really knowing what to expect.


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Before we knew it the bus was coming down the street.  Sof turned and followed the the others on.  No kiss or hug, just a bye!

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I cried all the way home and in my car on the way to her school.  Yes, I met her at her school for an open house.  By the time I got there I was done mourning the end of my parenting a preschooler era, and ready to fully immerse in the parenting an elementary schooler again.


My emotion really stems from having the experience of seeing first hand how all too quickly these school years pass.  I love having older kids.  They help out, don’t require so much constant care, they’re actually cool to hang out with, and I see every day the emergence of the awesome adults they’re going to be.  But…it goes so fast.  0-5 seems to last an eternity in parenting years.  It’s just so hard and demanding and you just wish they’d do something, ANYTHING, on their own.  But when that’s over, it all seems to roll downhill at light speed.  I am thrilled Sof is going to Kindergarten.  It will be awesome, amazing, and so much fun!  She is so ready!  I just want to savor it…


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When it was time for parents to leave, I was ready.  She needs to make her own mark independently from me in her new world. 

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She has always liked Mrs. Winters as one of mommy’s friends, but now she thinks she walks on water.  Whatever Mrs. Winters says is gospel.  She has not had one moment of hesitation going to school.  She is ready and beaming everyday she gets on the bus.


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I love this new world we’ve entered.  Kids running and playing waiting for the bus.  Mama’s sipping coffee and comparing morning war stories.  Total chaos for about 10 minutes, then that nothing short of Godly yellow rectangle comes down the street and takes it all away.  All of the sudden mamas can have real conversations uninterrupted, then retreat to their house to turn on anything besides Nickelodeon.


My work schedule requires two days of primetime care, which in true Sof fashion went smoothly.  She loves having some time to play at school and I already knew both of the directors!


The back to school picnic reinforced that we are all in the right place.  We belong in this new setting.  It is new and exciting, yet familiar and comfortable.  Sof bounced from friend to friend all night, and there was no shortage of mamas for me to get to know. 

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My little caterpillar has become such a beautiful, confident butterfly.

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Saturday, September 6, 2014


Best e-card I’ve seen lately says, “August is like one long Sunday to teachers”.  You know when Monday comes, and all of the sudden the weekend seems eons ago?  That is how I’m feeling about August.  Like it was in a different lifetime.  As I sift through the pictures, we had really great times.  I just don’t feel inspired to write about all of them.  I have so many feelings about the beginning of school that I want to share, but my OCD will not allow me to move on to that until I’ve chronologically documented everything else.  Which brings me to the reason I’m telling you this, because I’m about to dump a whole lotta pictures in here with little to no explanation.  I will tell you our month consisted of the following:

  • Kids doing can drive to help Grace and Ryan with their medical bills
  • A weekend babysitting Alexander and Graeme(boys!!  in our house!)
  • St. Mary’s fair for dance performance
  • Lunch with my teacher girls
  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Night out at the comedy club with all our favorite seniors
  • Lexi going up north with her friends
  • Adrienne going to the One Direction concert(twice)
  • Celebrating Grace’s finish with chemo
  • Adrienne at ballet intensive
  • Dance Dynamic’s annual Family Fun Potluck
  • Eminem/Rihanna concert with Adrienne and Jordyn
  • Walled Lake Market Day
  • A visit from the fam
  • Staff retreat fun
  • Rainbow loom
  • Adrienne working princess ballet camp
  • Nail day in preparation for school
  • A boat day and a picnic at Ellen’s for the last of August












You may notice there are several pictures of Sof sleeping, thumb in mouth, blanky in hand.  A little foreshadowing to the following weeks where I get real sentimental about my baby going to Kindergarten;)