Auggie’s First Day

With Auggie’s first birthday came his first day at preschool. It’s been a long time coming, we’ve been visiting his classroom a few times a week since August to ease him into his first day. And thankfully he has two teachers that could double as Disney princesses. They love him and he flirts up a storm with them. Auggie also has the greatest big sister who reassuringly told him to come find her if he ever feels scared.

Walking away from the school without Auggie on my hip was the strangest feeling. I’ve never understood when a mom tells me they sat in the parking lot and cried on the first day of school. Until today. I watched him happily digging in the sandbox and realized how big he is now but how little he looked. Having munchkin free time to work is really necessary and he is going to learn so much at school, but it was a bit heartbreaking to leave him today for reasons I can’t pin down.

As I peaked around the corner at pick up today, I saw him sitting sweetly at the tiny tables eating lunch with his buddies. I’m always amazed by this preschool and how they create a calm community at meal time. I picked up his birthday crown and he carried his truck lunch box out the door and we headed home for some much needed sunggles (for me…). The report from his teachers was glowing and Wednesday is Fire Safety day which means there will be a fire truck to sit in and that it is fire themed week. He’s in heaven!

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He was so pumped to have his OWN lunch box. He also refused to wear sneakers. Crossing fingers for Wednesday.

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Last First Day

I can’t believe that this is Baylor’s LAST First Day of Preschool picture! I told her that I sneak into her room when she’s asleep and squish her head and feet together to try to shrink her. I can’t believe this little face will be shipping off to kindergarten next year. IMG_7651 IMG_7653

And this guy? This guy will be having his first day on his second birthday in October. When meeting his teachers, they squealed they were so excited. He’s so lucky that he has such a cool big sister to pave the way for him. All the teachers wanted B’s little bro in their class.

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Last Day

This year’s last day of school kind of snuck up on me. Really, we’ve been running hard the last few weeks with school activities…this year feels a little more like crossing the finish line of a marathon – it’s relief rather than saddness!

It’s been a tough year. It was our first experience with “life’s tough, get a helmet” type teachers. It was not the greatest experience – but – it was a great lesson in how to get along and make the best of a less than perfect situation. And really, I’d rather do that now in 3 day a week preschool than when it really matters.

In looking back over teh year, I realized how much B has learned. At the beginning of the year, she could spell her name, but not identify it. Now she can read it, write it and write any word you spell for her. I was in awe as I dictated a thank you note to her and she not only wanted to write it, but could write it! Her hand writting has become legible, her drawings more precise and her vocabulary is a crack up. I’m a little worried about her use of the word lure…as in “I’m going to lure Auggie in here with some crackers”.

Watching her imagination, comprehension and verbal skills grow is amazing and so fun to watch. Although the days of not being able to spell the words I don’t want her to hear is rapidly approaching. I think PW and I should probably look into developing our own language.

Wow. It’s not until you look at August v May that I can see how much she’s grown!

(Also, it’s pajama day at school. The Uggs were a fight I could not win. Yes it is going to be 95 degrees today.)

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Come On Ring Those Bells

This past Friday we saved almost an entire pew in the chapel of Baylor’s preschool for family and friends so that we could all witness the adorableness that is the preschool Christmas program. Three songs and a group sing along have never been cuter.

The beautiful stained glass window in the chapel

IMG_5857I’m the mom with the super zoom lens…everyone makes fun until the pictures come out

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This is the picture from the program two years ago. Eeek she’s getting big!

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Big Picture, Little Picture

I love weeks when I can see the big picture. I can see life for what it is and find joy in small things and have patience to turn bad behavior into teaching moments. I have the energy to tackle my to do list AND be a good mom. Get down on the floor and play. Get in the kitchen and cook together. Read books and go for walks. Make dinners and clean up the kitchen before 5pm. Get the laundry and ironing done. Clear my desk of bills, work and whatever else is lurking there. These are good weeks.

This is not one of those weeks. This is definitely a little picture week. I can’t see the forest for the trees.  All I can hear is a teething baby screaming, a puppy yelping and a smart mouth four year old. All I can see is the mess of toys, dishes and laundry. All I can think about is the pile of invoices that need to be created, put into envelopes, stamped and sealed.  All I want to do is look at the beautiful, smart, talented little girl in front of me and say “WHY??? WHY DO YOU KNOW WHAT MY BUTTONS ARE AND WHY DO YOU INSIST ON PUSHING THEM AALLLLL THE TIME?? WHY CAN’T YOU STAY IN BED AT NIGHT?? WHY WHEN YOU STAY IN BED DO YOU SCREAM FOR A PARENT TO COME TO YOUR BEDSIDE EVERY 2 HOURS TO FIX SOME NONEXISTENT PROBLEM??? WHY ARE YOU WAKING UP YOUR BROTHER??”.

Oh yeah, we aren’t sleeping right now. Again. It’s fun. I think B has a bet with Augg on how soon the men with the big butterfly nets are coming for mommy. It won’t be long little lady. It won’t be long.

My mom told me last week that I need to remember that her behavior comes from the fact that she’s bright. Actually, her quote was “It’s because she’s smart. If she were dumb, this would be a lot easier to solve”. And she’s right. Bay is no dummy. She’s capable of great things which is why I get so incredibly frustrated when she flat out refuses to do something. Or worse, pretends that she doesn’t know how (button pusher, party of one…). I’m not asking Hellen Keller to sign supercalifragalisticexpialidotious, I’m asking Einstien to add two plus two. So why can’t she just say FOUR and we could move on?!

I guess because she really wants to see if the men with the nets have white coats….

Dear Parents

Dear Parents of School Age Children,

I know for a few parents, this is your first year of your kids being in preschool or kindergarten. I leave out the parents of older kids because they’ve clearly gotten the memo on what I’m about to tell you.

No matter where your kids go to school, public, private or charter, you are going to be asked to make a donation to the school or the classroom. Now, when I say donation, I don’t mean that it’s optional, I mean that it’s tax deductible. If you need a receipt for the $30 that the teachers of your child’s class are asking for so that they can develop film and hand you a beautiful book at the end of the year with pictures of your child through out the year, that’s just dandy. But please, under no circumstances should you think you are going to get the beautiful book without the donation.

Why? Because it is not up to the other parents in the class, the room parents, the teachers nor the school to provide the “extras” for your child. The donations is what makes those adorable and fun extras possible.  It should be noted that I am not talking about parents who are in difficult financial positions. In my experience, those with difficulties in cash flow are the first to respond. I’m talking about the rude parents who refuse to donate and go as far as sending nasty emails regarding the donations because they don’t like being required to make a donation and thus leaving the teachers and volunteers to cover the costs.

Listen, if you’re fine with leaving your kid in another classroom for the day while the entire class takes a field trip, that’s fine by me. I would suggest putting the $5 you should have spent on the field trip towards future therapy, but that’s just me.

So as one of the volunteers who “keeps sending you annoying emails” please note that your name will be left off the Christmas, birthday and end of the year gifts to the teachers. Even if that means I have to write out 25 names so that I can leave yours out, I’ll happily do it. Because you are what is wrong with our school system. You are the reason that our teachers are underpaid, under appreciated and most likely why your kid is a jerk.

Also, please don’t be surprised when my response to your emails is in the same nasty tone as your original email. I’m a volunteer, I don’t paid to be nice to assholes. And please expect that I’ll continue to send you those “annoying” emails, notes in your kids cubbie and in the check out folder – I think it’s important that you’re reminded of what a jerk you really are.

Kisses!

Beth

First and Last: Preschool Year 2

I can’t believe we are another done at preschool! For some reason this year was a sad ending. I don’t really know why, but it made me a little emotional saying goodbye to her teachers and the Panda room. B will be back next year and the year after, but she’ll be on the big playground next year. Yikes she’s growing up fast. Her end of the year packet had three dates where her teachers measured and weighed her. From August to May, she grew 2.5 inches and gained 4lbs. No wonder she can pack the food away.

My mom always said she enjoyed every phase of our lives (with the exception of the snotty teenager). She said she rarely longed for the days gone by because each new phase held great things that were better than the last. I feel the same way about B. Yes it was amazing when she was little and snuggly (she’s still a good snuggler), but I love listening to her make up stories through a bubble beard in her bath. I love when she says “Mommy. You know…” because I know she’s about to try to swindle me – and I usually give in because I love that she’s thinking not just about what she wants but how she can get it. She’s growing up and it’s really adorable. I just wish it wasn’t so fast.

August 2012

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May 2013

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Pancake Update

The Dad’s Pancake Breakfast couldn’t have turned out better! All the hard work and stress paid off 10 fold; we raised nearly $1000 for the school and the dads, grandpas, uncles and kiddos had a really fun morning together. Here are the highlights:

Stephanie’s ADORABLE centerpieces

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Pin the Tie on the Daddy game

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Make Your Own Tie

 

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A happy recipient of Make Your Own Tie

 

 

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These two were like a well oiled machine. They found every flat surface that could go on the stove and were flipping cakes at a rate of 20 every 2 minutes!

 

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PW working hard manning the serving table. Please note that Auggie is eating a paper napkin.

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Happy customers

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For being at the school at 630 am and flipping pancakes, refilling toppings and doing whatever else needed to be done – we didn’t look too shabby!

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A HUGE thank you to Ms. Stephanie D. I would work with you on any project, any time lady 🙂

Chef Wand

What do you do when you don’t have enough time to get everything done in a day? That’s right! You agree to host the Dad’s Pancake Breakfast at Baylor’s preschool! I’m nuts, I know. But in my defense, I love being involved with her school and I was not sleeping a lot when I volunteered and therefore was a bit out of it.

Thankfully, I am on the co-chair for the event and the other co-chair is one Mrs. Stephanie D. Also known as Wonder Woman. She makes working and traveling for work and raising an awesome little girl look like child’s play. We are both crazy list makers, planners and multi-taskers. Yin to my yang. Ethel to her Lucy. Abbot to my Costello. Peanut butter to her jelly.  I’ve tackled the donations and food, she’s done the signage, marketing and invitations. We have viewed this event as a game, and we’re in it to win it. Bring it on 300+ parents and preschoolers. We’ve got enough pancakes, toppings, games, crafts and raffle to keep you all happy and full.

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If you see two women drunk at a bar on Saturday night mumbling about pancakes and laughing hysterically, it’s probably us.

It Pays to Pay Attention

Ugh. Bay’s crud has finally attacked my immune system and won. I used to put up a fierce fight when I would feel the first signs of illness coming on – lots of rest, running it out, extreme mental denial of any illness, etc. However, because my two year old now hangs out with other two year olds at preschool a few half days a week, she comes home with every illness imaginable. Because despite her classroom being very clean and constant hand washing throughout her day, preschool = cesspool. Therefore I no longer fight it. At the first sign of a tickle in my throat, I down my usual cocktail of vitamin C, Mucinex D, Zyrtec and sometimes and Advil for good measure.

After a rough night’s sleep due to a scratch throat and PW’s scratchy throat and Baylor’s scratchy throat, I was a little more sleep deprived than usual. I realized my normal morning routine was a little scattered and I couldn’t quite put my finger on what came next on the priority list. Despite my general fuzziness, we made it out the door on time.

I dropped B off and stood for a few minutes watching her interact with her buddies – they were all hanging on the playground fence laughing and waving at a car parked with two dogs inside. It always cracks me up to see what she’s doing when she doesn’t know I’m looking.

I walked to the car making mental notes to remember to bring money at pick up for the pancake breakfast, to make a note about what I had signed up to bring for the Valentine’s party and which errand I needed to get done first. I pushed the button on my keys, heard the tell tale “beep beep” of an unlocked car, opened the door and started to swing into my seat when I realized something was weird…why are my seats tan and not gray? At that point a voice from the back door said “good morning”. I looked back to see a mom pulling her kiddo out of his car seat on the passenger side. It was then I realized I had just attempted to get into someone else’s car.

Thank God the mom clearly had a sense of humor and or empathy that she didn’t scream but rather just laughed and said “same car??”. And thank goodness I had at least attempted to get into a car that was exactly like my own (there are 4 white SUVs of the same make and model at B’s school – I counted) and not one that was completely different. I proceeded to get into the correct car and drive straight to Starbucks for an extra shot of caffeine to hopefully wake myself up a little.

While retelling the story to my friend and neighbor, a mom of three, she informed me that she too had done the same thing a few years ago. So at least I’m not alone in my airheadedness. Which means I’ll have friends when PW finally checks me into the funny farm.