Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How We Spend Our Afternoons

Madeleine's first question when she gets in the car in the afternoons is "can we go outside? Pllllleeeeease?" I think her need for outside time MIGHT have something to do with the meager 15 minute recess they have....yes, I'm still not over that. :(

So, everyday we spend the first couple of hours at home playing outside or at the pool. We've enjoyed the pool so much this summer and I realized that I hadn't posted any pics of that yet. So, get ready, there's quite a few!

We have a great pool in our neighborhood! First, it has a zero grade entry so the kids can happily play without me worrying too much. The entire pool is only 3ft. at it's deepest, so there are rarely big kids since we don't have a diving board. It also helps that we live only 2 houses from the pool, so even quick trips are easy. :) And, the view is AMAZING!

Harrison absolutely loves to ride on our backs around the pool. He'll swim if we make him (see below pics) but he's not too happy about it. :)

Madeleine is our cautious one and stays only where she can touch the bottom. She won't even try to come where she can't touch with us.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Day I Thought Would Never Come

I still can't believe that my little girl has gone to kindergarden.

The day of kindergarden brought much excitement at our house. Madeleine was up by 6am -- without us waking her up -- running around as excited as Christmas morning! She had what's become her standard breakfast of pancakes and dashed off to get dressed. I was so thankful that she was happy and excited about her big day -- I think it made it easier for all of us!

We headed to school to get there early and find her spot in her room and have plenty of time for pictures and goodbyes. We waited outside with the other kids and parents for the teachers to come and fetch their classes. This is how mornings typically go at school, her teacher will come and bring the kids to the classroom.

We followed her teacher to the classroom and Madeleine found her table. Her class sits at tables and I really like that. Her table is right next to the teacher's desk and she met the girl that sits next to her.
Here we are about to say goodbye....yes I'm crying. I wore my sunglasses as long as I could! I think I was the only parent crying! Seriously?? I expected to at least be one of a FEW. :)
Matt was much stronger. Ha!
When we got to the room Ms. Simpson had Nemo playing on the pulldown screen. Harrison just went ahead and sat down on the mat and watched while we tooks pics and got Madeleine settled. It was sooooo nice! He would have been more than happy to be going to kindergarden too! We pretty much had to drag him from the room.....not yet little guy!
Ms. Simpson called all the kids to the circle time mat where they were starting their day. We gave hugs and waved to her and she turned to her teacher as if this was totally normal and no big deal! (Madeleine's the one with the green bow).
Matt and I headed upstairs for a Kindergarden parent breakfast. Harrison was happy to find out that they had cinnamon rolls. He sat still and ate and let us visit. So nice! Then he and I headed off to start our day.

I can't believe how fast this day came for me. I remember thinking about it when she was little and I would hold her in my arms, knowing that one day she's be spending the better part of her day with someone other than me. I never wanted this day to come. I don't think I ever wished away one moment of my morning time with her. One of my friends reminded me last week that this is the first step in "roots and wings" and I think she's exactly right.

But, it's still a big change for us, all of us. Thinking back I know I've been preparing her for this day for a long time. I wanted her to be filled with excitement. I wanted to her be confident. I knew without a doubt that there would be tears, but I hoped that they would only be from me and not from her. And, looking back at that day, I know that she was excited. She was confident. She was ready. And, so I've done my job (with a lot of help from matt). And that thought carried me through the day and dried my tears.

I know that we still have so much to teach her. I know there will be times where other kids will hurt her feelings and I am already praying that when those times come I'll know what to say and do for her. But for now I am thankful that her first day of school was a happy one.

I think the only one that's still unhappy about Madeleine's going to kindergarden around here is Harrison. He misses her so much! The when we picked her up the first day, I could hardly get a word in because he had to tell her all about his day first! He told her that he went to Target, when potty and took a nap in her bed. I'll never forget hearing their exchange that day, it was so sweet. She had a great first day! She came home filled with stories and such a sparkle in her eye. Perfect. Just perfect.

**Her first week went great! She got into the car Friday and told me first thing that she'd had a WONDERFUL DAY! She made a friend and got 2 treasures. Her teacher put her in the car and told me that Madeleine was a "joy" and "does everything she's supposed to do." What more can I ask for?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Twas the Night Before Kindergarden...

I think we're finally ready....

*School supplies labeled and packed..........check

*Backpack and lunchbox ready.........check
*New outfit ironed and ready...........check

*Kissing Hand book for bedtime..........check
*One little girl too excited to sleep..........check
*One mommy ready to send her..........we're still working on that one

Monday, August 17, 2009

Kindergarden Orientation

Last week we went to meet Madeleine's kindergarden teacher! I think she's going to have a great year. Her classroom looked so nice and fun and she's getting more excited by the minute! She was excited to get there and wasn't apprehensive at all. I thought I was excited too....until we walked through the doors and I felt the tears coming. There's no hope for Wedensday; I'm just packing the keenex. :)

Her teacher told her that she'll be able to read enough by the time the baby gets here that she can read it a book! That made her day! :) I know she looks unhappy here, but she just didn't want her picture taken. She sat and looked at books while Matt and I talked to the teacher -- such a model student already. :)

I was also excited to learn that they generally won't have homework. The teacher said that they are EXHAUSTED by 3 and just need to go home and play! Yay! And, I somehow ended up being the room mom for the year, so I'll be up there helping out too.
Checking out all the crayons. They are sorted by color and Madeleine had to count all the boxes.
After meeting the teacher we filled up on some yummy BBQ and headed out to check out the playground. I still can't believe that they only get 15 minutes a day of recess.....hmmmm, maybe that's why AR is one of the most obese states??? We'll defnitely be spending the first hour at home in the afternoon OUTSIDE! This girl is so kinestic. She's got to have some run-time to keep her happy.
They do have a GREAT playground! Just her size and she had such fun exploring it. I keep reminding her that she'll get to play on it every day when school starts!

Just so you know Harrison was there....don't you love those eyes. Even with my simple digital camera they make me melt!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Seen and Heard

** Harrison's new word is "NOW" and it follows everything he says even if it doesn't really need to....he says "yes" like "yesh" and "okay" like "uhhhhhkaaaay." SO CUTE!!

*Madeleine told us in the car the other day that she needed four eyes: two to watch the TV and two to watch the grasshopper that was taking a ride on our windshield.
** When I can't find Harrison he's usually in the bathroom: brushing his teeth (aka eating toothpaste) or pulling toilet paper off the roll. He says he needs to be a pirate and wants the empty roll for his perioscope. :) He's also big into tearing little pieces off the roll and flushing them....obviously no one's told him about water conservation.
Madeleine calls the algea in the pond out back the allergy....and insists she's right when I correct her.
Harrison made this makeshift chair using Madeleine's babydoll highchair. He was mad that I put their two little chairs outside after they were used one too many times to enable him to reach the faucet. Mean ol' mom!
And, all hard labor around here is done naked. :) Here's my boy with his LOUD jackhammer.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Wild Animals.....and I'm Not Talking About The Kids

Last week we went to the Wilderness Safari for the first time. It's such a neat place! They have this 4 mile drive that takes you through the "wilderness" where all different kinds of animals roam....and a few live in cages. :)

The kids thought it was so fun that they got to get in the front and sit with us as we drove. Harrison got to have his turn at driving first while Madeleine and I took it all in. We saw lots of deer, cows, camels, zebras, bison, emus, and more that I've forgotten already. It was the closest I've ever been too most of those animals!!

Harrison was in HEAVEN!! He was enthralled throughout the entire ride (which took us about an hour) and never stopped smiling and laughing.

Of course our snack for the ride had to be annimal crackers! If you can't tell Madeleine is posing with her camel cracker.
We headed to the petting zoo afterwards. Harrison was a little hesitant at first, but Madeleine enjoyed every moment!
Here's Harrison petting the kangaroo...it was a momma and even had a baby in the pouch.
Matt and Harrison getting ready to feed/be attacked by the goats! They were frisky little guys!
Madeleine and the baby lion. She loved petting this little guy.

I wish I had a video of this.....Harrison was dancing around the monkey cage here making LOUD monkey noises! He was so funny!!!

Such a fun afternoon!! If you live in NWA and have kids this is a must-see!

Then it was off to the promenade to round out our day with train/carousel rides and ICE CREAM!