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first day of school

Months of worry (privately by us – not Bella). Months of wondering if she would get the teachers we were hoping for (again just by us – not Bella) (And we did!). Months of anticipation (by us all). And FINALLY Kindergarten has begun…and so far…SO GOOD!

Our school shopping experience was not too pleasant. Turns out, Bella is not a big shopper. (I totally get it. Neither am I.) But she does like new clothes (she just doesn’t want to pick them out…). We went one day, and came back with almost nothing… SO, I decided to make a game of it, and get her some new clothes for the first week of school. I went to Target and bought a bunch of stuff  I thought she might like, and set up a “shop” in her room one night and pretended to be the sales person. She LOVED this (she loves pretend games right now). She picked out everything she liked, even tried everything on – and was armed with a new wardrobe to start off the school year. (I always feel more confident when I have a new outfit, and I was hoping she would feel the same way.) I told her she could keep the things that fit/that she liked, on one condition – she was not allowed to wear any of it until school starts. She picked out the outfit that she would wear to school on the first day right then. (Hot pink skinny “jeans” with a navy shirt with a cat with sequin glasses.)

Monday was the big day. Bella was definitely nervous as we walked to school on the first day – but she was also excited to be going to the BIG kid school that Owen goes to. We all walked together. She got in line for her class on the black top – and to be honest, it was a bit of a pandemonium – nervous kids everywhere with double the parents. Luckily there wasn’t much time to stand there (we were “just” on time) – and the line started to move and we gave her a quick kiss and said follow your teacher – have a great day! We didn’t want to walk her all the way to the class (the teacher had asked us not to, plus, we wanted her to see that we were confident in the teachers to take care of her and that she could do it by herself).  Unfortunately, lots of parents were right beside their kiddos – which makes it hard for the shorty kids to see their lines, and so it was a bit crazy. To her credit, Bella charged ahead with quite a bit of confidence, though (Jeremy and I snuck to the back to watch from where she couldn’t see us). She got lost from her line for just a second, but she saw her student teacher and quickly grabbed her hand and made her way to the classroom. Then we made our way home, and I proceeded to wonder what the heck I am going to do without my big girl on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to have some private time to spend with Audrey, but it just feels weird to not have Bella with us. (Audrey has been a little “off” all week too – I think she REALLY misses having Bella to play with…I realize I need to work on making some little friends for Audrey to play with, now…)

So after nail-biting my way through the day, wondering how Bella was doing – I finally go to pick her up from school. I get there – (again, a bit of pandemonium) – she smiles at me – “Bella, how was your day?”, her response…”IT WAS GREAT!! I got four smile faces! I got a poem! Chester left us a sugar cookie on our desks after recess!”

Relief! JOY! I am so excited to watch her start this journey. She has still been apprehensive in the mornings as we go to school – but each day, I see her confidence building – and she has come home with a smile and good feelings everyday so far. Man, the teachers really have a hard job on their hands (I think there are 24 kids in the class!) – but they are doing such an amazing job. I can’t believe we have a Kindergartener. I saw someone else write this on Facebook the other day in a comment, but I think it is SO true: The days go by slow, but the years go by SO fast.

Where did summer go?

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Wow. Summer is just really flying by. How does life move so fast?

First of all – Bella is FIVE. 5. Five, five, five. I just can’t believe I have a five year old. We had our first big birthday party (at Playwerx – Strawberry Shortcake theme). Mi Mi came – it was a big to-do and a great time! Bella really enjoyed it! YEA!

Here is what she said in her Birthday interview:


Breakfast: Pancakes

Vegetable: I don’t like any vegetables.

Toy: Meredith (Journey Doll)

TV Show: Magic School Bus

Game: Playing with Meredith

Book: Scary Stories

Restaurant: Chilli’s

Holiday: Christmas and My Birthday

Animal: Rabbit

Ice Cream Flavor: Vanilla

Color: Rainbow – or Gold

Cake Flavor: all

Song: Suit & Tie by JT (I have edited the first part of the song out on my iPhone)

If you could change your name, what would you choose: As long as I got my Suit & Tie

What do you love about Mommy? That I buy Pirate’s Booty

Daddy? That he makes good pancakes

Audrey? I don’t know

Hazel? I don’t know

MiMi? Everything

Where would you like your next vacation to be? Mountains

What do you wish for this year? To get a kitty someday

What do you want to be when you grow up? A unicorn or a princess

Waht are you really good at? Jumping far

Who is your best friend? Owen, MiMi, Sadie or Eli

Then the Kennedy’s came, and we had a great time catching up with Aunt Christi and Uncle Jason – and of course, playing with Caitlin, too!  Unfortunately, Bella got Croup toward the end of their trip here – and then we all got the bug, so we are all still just recovering from that sickness around here now. It seems impossible for our family to avoid germs. I hate germs. Croup and the throw ups are by far my least favorite of them all.

Bella starts Kindergarten next week. She is growing so much, I can barely believe it. She is going through a bit of a negative “phase” right now. She is convinced that she dislikes school right now (and she hasn’t even been yet), so I am hoping she gets an amazing teacher that she can bond with and finds a friend in her class. Despite her saying repeatedly how much she dislikes school, I actually think she is secretly excited about SOME of the new things Kindergarten has to offer her. She is really into practicing her “letters” right now – and actually is enjoying the worksheets that were sent home with her from Kinderboost at St. Andrews. (We’ve been doing them together – and it is fun to bond over the “homework”.) I think she will like the structured learning part. She also likes the idea of being at the neighborhood school with Owen and Jack – and the idea that she is 5 now and bigger (the other day, she told me that she really feels five). I’m hopeful we can get into a positive “phase” once the school year starts. I really think when she learns to read – she will really enjoy school. She loves a good story, and I think reading books will really captivate her. I’m so hopeful. I really want her to be happy.

We planted a garden outside the kitchen last week. Mostly just greens/herbs – but I am so excited about it! Last year, I tried to cut a lot of processed stuff out of our diets, and this year I read a few books that really inspired me to work on my health even more (Disease-proof your child / Engine2Diet), and I’ve been eating mostly Vegan. (I know…I’m from TX, it shocks me still sometimes…) Bella has not been super excited about the change in menu around our house. I’m trying to be patient I’m hoping that it will encourage Bella to eat more veggies. While I really do believe food is a major issue in our health today, I also realize that having a major battle with my kid at every meal is not good for our mental health, so I am trying to be patient and take it super slow. Little things like having a garden are my creative way of trying to push her in a healthier direction when eating. I am trying to figure out a healthy balanced way of explaining to a 5 year old that many of the “normal” things she eats (or sees being eaten)  are “bad” for you (artificial colors, high sugar content, chemical preservatives), without freaking her out about food.  I’m really having a hard time with it. If I ever figure it out, I promise to write it down. Fortunately, Audrey is not picky at all right now (Bella wasn’t at 1 1/2 either!) So at least she will eat almost anything I put in front of her.

Speaking of Audrey…she grows so fast. She is not going to be a baby anymore. I’m still nursing her, but I will probably stop next week when B starts school. She is starting to talk in SENTENCES. Small ones (I’m hungry, mommy. or Okay, I will…) She is a sweet hearted little angel who has me totally wrapped around her little finger. I’m enjoying her age a lot. I love the discovery – and the sweetness. I love the snuggles. She wants to do everything herself – and gets very mad if she doesn’t get to do it, but I am enjoying her fight for independence.

I have so much more I would love to write – but we have been putting the kids to bed early to try to get into the routine of it for school, so I will be woken at the crack of dawn  and need to get some sleep! I am certain I will have a big update next week after the start of school though – just wanted to write this stuff down before the craziness begins.