Posts Tagged ‘kindergarten’

It’s over

Kindergarten is over.

I will admit I am still in shock.

I don’t know where this year went.

I look back at the work MB did this year and the pictures of her throughout the year and I can see how much she has grown. How her pretty princess pictures have gotten more detailed. How much clearer her writing is. How much taller she is. The last of the baby face is melting away. The vocabulary amazes me on a daily basis- as an only child she talks just like TB and I. Nothing funnier than hearing her say- that is inappropriate, we have been delayed, the decision is too stressful, we must compromise, and a million other that I just can’t seem to think of right now.

She has graduated Kindergarten. Now she is a 1st grader.

I am ready, but I am not ready.

I want her to grow up, but I want her to stay small.

But we can’t stop time. She is growing up.

She had a wonderful last day. I sent her off with her Kindergarten Graduate shirt and shortly got a text from a friend asking on MB’s behalf if she could have her friends sign it.

Sign away, baby, sign away.

So she came home with 12 little signatures across her shirt and one even from her teacher.

I was happy, I was a little sad.

Then we headed off to the dentist.

I signed her in.

We sat down to play a video game.

The hygienist came out and called her name. Then sat down and told me what they were going to be doing today. Then she took MB back into the office.

Wait. What????

I am going to sit in the waiting room. When did this start?

I was too stunned to speak and afterwards I found out MB was too surprised too so she just went along and then it was too late to ask for her mom.

So I waited in the waiting room for 20min till they called me in to give me the report (all good!) and directed me to the check-out lady.

MB was getting her prizes and showing me the loot. Completely fine that she had just had her first doctor’s appointment without mommy. Other than the initial shock it didn’t faze her.

I wasn’t so lucky….it hit me hard. It’s over.

While she will always be my baby she isn’t my baby anymore.

Welcome to First Grade.

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Centerstage

Ok so I am playing some major catch-up. We had so many fun memories over the past few weeks that I want to share…so sorry that I am talking about Mother’s day a week or 2 after it happened. I just haven’t found any time in front of the computer over the past few weeks. Let’s just say my inbox is out of control too. So these next few days of posts will be my recap.

So how far back to go…Friday before Mother’s Day.  When the fun craziness began.

MB had a mother’s day performance. I assumed all the Kinders were doing the same thing. I was wrong and I have to say Mr. Kinder was the best.

We went into the classroom- tablecloths and flowers on the tables.  All the little Kinders sitting at the front of the room ready to perform.

MB was front and center and stole the show.

The songs were so cute, some made you laugh some made you tear up. Then they did a classic piece where each of the kids took a turn being a conductor with their wooden sticks. Following by a Beatles piece that was just as cute. It ended with one more classical song and the kids doing a laser light show to the music. I was just amazed at what he had put together and the exposure to music the children had gotten.

But now back to MB.

She was just her usual self, but for all those other mom’s that don’t live with her they enjoyed her extra “spice”. In fact as I left the room one mom said how much they wish their daughter was like MB…she is so outgoing and not shy and quiet. I smiled and said “if only she had an off switch”

Here are some of her highlights.

Her little friend was not paying attention as it was his time to be the conductor. MB says pretty loudly “Wake up, KYLE”.

While taking pictures at the start MB tells me through sign language “one more”. I put the camera down knowing she is done with the photos, but I guess I misread the “one more”. She thing excitedly gives me signs to pick up the camera and she strikes her pose. This was when one mom said you really should get her into drama. Right…more drama that is what we need J

Throughout the performance she was constantly checking those around to make sure they were following the movements, giving her friends coaching on jumping – a little extra they had added in, and when the songs referenced mom she made sure I knew she was pointing at me.

Her teacher probably summed it up best. The next day when I stopped into the classroom he and I chatted for a while about the year and the class…his one word for MB was “she is a RIOT”

There is one thing for sure. She is no wall flower and enjoys being center stage.

Lucky Me

I am serving breakfast. Fruit, eggs, and a Lovebug sugar cookie.

Yep it is Valentine’s day.

As I prepare MB’s backpack I remind her she has her party this morning.

Her first response. “Will you be there?”

“No, honey. Not this time. I am not on the volunteer list, there will be other moms and dads there”

Enter the saddest most pitiful face you can imagine. Followed by “please mom”

I look at my schedule. Ok. “Let me send an email and see what I can do”

Now the party is less than 45 min away and I am still only in my work from home clothes and having my first cup of coffee. So I send off the email and try to figure out how to juggle it.

The email comes through…come on over and bring your camera.

Ok, now the real scramble begins. Getting myself ready and MB off to school in 20min. Fortunately TB is home and can run MB up to the bus stop, while I jump in the shower and get myself together.

I make it. And this look was so worth it all.

I am so thankful for this year of working from home and being so close to her school. I know each year will be different and in a few years she won’t want mom around as much. I love that now while she wants nothing more than to have her mom there…I have been able to be there. I love that I know all 26 kids by first name (I get a few boys confused from time to time :)).

I know I am lucky. Very very lucky.

Jump Rope for Hearts

Today was Jump Rope for Hearts, MB’s school philanthropy.

I was so proud of her setting up her website (with my help), setting a goal,  and picking people to send out emails to help give money for kids who need stronger hearts. She loves to do good.

Back when they announced Jump rope for Hearts it said parents were welcome and gave times for each grade levels. That was about 3 weeks ago so I put it on the schedule. I figured there would be something that came home last night in the backpack as a reminder…but nothing.

Enter technology. I emailed her teacher this morning to let him know I would be doing parent pick-up and asked about the schedule for Jump Rope for Hearts…I was glad I did cause the time had changed.

Still worked for my schedule so I headed over. I could not believe I was the only mom there from all the kindergarten classes. MB and her friends were all so excited…I can hear them as they turn the corner. MB’s mom is here, Hi, Hi. MB your mom is here!!! Enter big hugs from the girls.

It was fun to be there and another chance for me to get to play with my camera. 🙂

The music was rocking and it was so funny to see the girls singing and dancing to Katy Perry while waiting to jump.

The boys turned jump-ropes into whips, just as you would of expected.

They had signs up on the fence of old jump roping songs. I started singing some of them and the kids stopped. One little girl said I know that song…the rest looked at me like I was crazy. Guess they need a few years on the jump rope songs.

MB has been practicing her jumping for the past few weeks and while she still has to work on the timing with the rope. She got a lot of ONE jumps in and was tickled pink.

The best was when they did a 3 leg race…the first time for the kinders.

The coach walked them through it…but they didn’t quite get the working together thing. I was down at the other end and would yell for them to put their arms around each other…each team figured it out about half way through. Was really cute to watch them struggle one way and then use team work on the way back.

For me the hour was full of pure sweetness.

Fun loving coaches. Happy smiles. Fun Kids….and some really amazing weather!!

Teachers amaze me

Today was my center helper day.

1 hour in the classroom helping 12 Kindergarteners work on their math, art, and writing. 30 min with the first group, 30 min with the 2nd group. Being in 3 places at once. Responding to 12 eager little hands for help, instruction. Keeping the noise level in check.

I love that I can come help out in the classroom like this. It is fun to be able to share in the process. It was neat to get to see the kids share some of their 100 day projects and acts of kindness. Just watching them in their daily routine.

But I will be honest. It is also exhausting. I was fresh and jolted up with a cup of coffee, but after just an hour I was exhausted. I was happy to be heading back to the headaches of the corporate world. I was happy to be going back to sit in my front of my computer, answer emails, respond to instant messages, and have conference calls.

As I walked to the car, happy to have had the time in the classroom, happy to be leaving, and thinking how much I was looking forward to getting back to my day job it reminded me how special teachers are. That is their day job. They do that each and every day. The balance all 25 little eager faces. They keep the in check. They teach them all in the different styles and different levels required. They deal with the struggling students. They keep the behavioral problems in check. They deal with the chaos everyday. They do all that and many of them love it.

Mr. Kinder’s excitement over the 100 day projects. Going gaga over all the diamonds on the little girl’s castle. Telling stories about the meanings of quilts. Stopping to admire the artwork the student who so wanted to show his teacher. He manages it all with such ease. There are more like him out there….and they all amaze me.

25 little kinders who are learning to read. 25 little kinders that can tell you the difference between an author and an illustrator. 25 little kinders who love their teacher. That is no little task. I am thankful for those like Mr. Kinder….I will stick to my conference calls and laptops!!

And I can’t wait to see how TB handles the 100 day celebration tomorrow. 100 little kinders for an hour….he is in for a big surprise!!!!

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Love watching brains grow

I laid in bed this morning and did some reverse role play. “I am starving, who is going to feed me”.

They opted to take me to First Watch for breakfast.

I splurged with pecan pancakes. Extra extra yummy.

But that is watching my belly grow not brains.

As with all family friendly eateries…they had crayons and an activity page.

After copying a drawing of a dog- my girl really has an artistic skill I have lacked.

She moves on to the animal activity. She asks me to read the instructions.

Can you spell the alphabet with these animals.

And then she sits there and goes:

“Giraffe, ja, ja…G”

“Lion, la, la,…L”

“Camel, ka, ka….oh that is a tricky one is it c or k. Mr. Kinder told us that was the tricky sound.”

After we finished all the animals I wrote a few words out. M-O-P, B-A-T. And watched her sound out each letter together and then put them together for the word.

Looking back 4 months ago when she brought home her first reader where I swore she just memorized the books by the 3rd night. She now amazes me by reading the book 80-90% on her own the first time through…and when in doubt she starts to sound it out. We might not always get the word…but it is amazing to see how far her little brain has come.

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2010 meant Change

When I look back at 2010 and think of one word that would sum it up. That word would be CHANGE.

Sometimes change is a good thing, sometimes change is a bad thing. 2010 was full of good CHANGE.

Some of the good CHANGEs…

1) We moved to AZ from NY. This was a big change…not only the move, but it also meant that MB and I went from a family of 2 to a family of 3, by adding TB to the mix. It was a leap…a leap of faith. A leap that required me to trust again both someone else and myself…something that wasn’t that easy, but has turned out to be one of the best CHANGEs of my life.

2) I went from alternating 2 weeks of custody with my ex to having her full-time. A lot of back forth for MB…life decisions being controlled mostly by strangers in the courts. After 3 years of being unsettled, never quite getting into a steady routine, sad goodbyes, empty beds and lots of tears we are back to normal. I am happy. She is happy. She is thriving.  Another great CHANGE.

3) MB started elementary school. No more pre-school. Riding the bus. New teachers. New specials. Learning experiences. No more dependent care expenses :). An exciting CHANGE.

4) Buying a house with a pool and hot tub. We have never had a pool or a hot tub. Swimming in your backyard- it really doesn’t get any better. I grew up with the beach..and that was great, but a pool is even better. Never in the summer will MB be bored. She could spend hours in that pool. My aching legs love the hot tub. A heavenly CHANGE.

5) Lastly a physical CHANGE. Anyone following the blog knows that in early 2010 I ran my first 5K. After going from no running to training I was proud to finish my first 5K trail run. I did a few more 5Ks in 2010 and then later in the year decided to train for a half-marathon which I will run in less than 2 weeks. I can’t deny it anymore I have become a runner. I can run 12 miles. I believe in myself and my body…what a CHANGE.

Those are the big CHANGEs….probably about 20 little ones too. (like getting a puppy). What will 2011 have in store. I don’t think it will be a year of as many big CHANGEs, and I personally hope that it isn’t in some ways. Just want to enjoy all the CHANGEs that 2010 has brought. What I wish for in 2011 is peaceful year. A year of being content, happy, and a year full of laughter and smiles.

What are your words for 2010 and 2011?

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Mama's Losin' It

Jingle jog

Jingle Jog…so you think it would be like the Turkey trot right???? WRONG!

And so I arrive at the school with my camera in tow and head to the field. There are about 10 mom’s I don’t know and 1 mom and dad I do know standing around…most of us drinking our Starbucks.

C’s dad asks the obvious question- so who is in charge?

Turns out no-one…at some point someone finds a list and see teacher’s names written by activities there are 10 in total.

Ok so guess what, we now discover it is not a jog but for one hour they will be rotating through 10 stations. And we are supposed to have 7 different parents from our room there…we only have 2 plus me who was down for photographs.

Now after reading the instructions that told us how to instruct kids on jumping jacks…it took about 3 reads through to realize they were just explaining how to do jumping jacks….really!!! We were ready to go….bring on 100 Kindergarteners.

It was a blast…from doing hurdles to tug-of-war…the kids had a blast and lots of laughter….I was exhausted afterwards along with all the other parents…then we headed back to the classrooms for crafts and cocoa.

I am not sure that the teacher ever got them back to normal…but I gave my sweet MB a hug and headed back to work.

Next year I will know what to expect when they say Jingle Jog….and will make sure and keep my job as photographer…poor Mr. Dad had to do jumping jacks with the kids for an hour…and keep them entertained!

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He can do it all…Too!

Well I have come to realize that while I sometimes might take on too much and some days are better than even…I can for the most part do it all. I can work full-time, take care of the house, be a mom….and just make it all happen. Now sometimes the balance is out of whack and some days are better than others…but for the most part all those balls stay in the air and everyone is happy.

TB showed us in the past 24 hours that he too can do it all.

The poor guy had a biz trip that was extended, never fun. Leaving him about 15 hours at home before having to take off again.

So how much could he cram into those 15 hours…it turns out quite a bit.

He went straight from the airport to swim lessons where he was greeted with the biggest hug and smile from MB (and me too :)). MB swam her little heart out but after each lap looked over to the window to get a thumbs up from TB. I was just background noise this week.

We wrapped up with dinner for MB at the snack shack and then headed home all ready for bed. We said our good-nights to MB and then TB whisked me out for a nice dinner out. Some great fish, a good bottle of wine, no cellphones, catch up chatter, and an awesome chocolate souffle that we didn’t have to fight MB over. I went home with a full belly and heart.

Unpack, repack, sleep.

The alarm goes off with all of us lovebugs snuggled together.

Happy morning.

TB manages an important call as I get MB ready for school. Then they two of them are off to the book fair and doughnuts with dad…while I help Mr. Kinder prepare for the Thanksgiving celebration. TB and I swap off MB…he heads off to grab our seats and I stay and help the kinders get dressed up as the cutest little pilgrims and Indians. Fast forward 20min I find my seat next to TB in the auditorium and we watch and wave at the littlest lovebug.

With only a minute to spare TB gets picked up at the school to head back off to the airport. Leaving us happy with our fix…but both ready for him to come home on Sunday.

As I sit here tonight I realize that while fortunately he doesn’t have to deal with that craziness too often, when he does he makes time for what is important and he can do it all, TOO!

Accidents Happen

Ok so MB would probably hate that I was writing this post, but fortunately she can’t read just yet.

Today seemed like a normal day.

We got MB off to school and then I sent TB off to work.

After a full day of this and that I headed to the bus stop.

Off came my little vet (today was career dress up day) with a fire-hat on. Guess the fireman came to school today as well…

As she crosses the street I realize that she doesn’t have the same pants on she went to school in.

Not connecting the dots fast enough I asked her what happened to her pants.

Very calmly and matter of factly she told me that she didn’t want to talk about it, she would tell me when we got in private.

Whoops I got it now.

We finished up talking to our friends and as we headed home. Then MB told me she had an accident at library. Something about the teacher not letting her go and then she couldn’t go and the teacher would think she got lost…so while looking for her book she just went. Ok this is a first. We talked about not waiting to the last minute to go in the future.

But accidents happen.

Now the part that makes this worth posting. MB wasn’t upset at all. She proceeded to tell me how sweet her friends were. How her friends C and M were so nice and helpful and went with her to the nurse. I have to admit I was really surprised.

I was expecting tears and some tragic event where kids laughed and she was teased. You know all those horrible things you hear and read about. I expected that to be what she went through today.

But no. Compassion and sweetness is still alive in her kindergarten class. Innocent, goodness, and all the other words of love that I can think of.

Just makes my heart melt. I want to go in and squeeze all those little ones and I might just do that tomorrow when I volunteer. And for now we are going to have a movie playdate just MB and I. Bring on Ramona and Beezus.

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