Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Two weeks down!

Ayla starts her third week of school tomorrow...I can't believe how quickly the first two weeks went! I think it's fair to say that we're all getting used to this new schedule. I think Aubree and I struggled the most at first...mostly because of lack of sleep. After Dean and the girls got home from the cabin, we officially quit napping Aubree because we knew that once Ayla started school, we wouldn't be able to fit naps in. I leave work at 2:00 and go over to my parents' house to inhale a late lunch, get Aubree packed up, and head out to get Ayla. Aubree used to nap from 1:00ish to 3:00ish (give or take 30 minutes) so I would've had to wake her from her nap every day to get to Ayla's school in time. I'd rather she just skip her nap than have to make her get up sooner than she wants to. It took some adjusting but I think she has gotten used to it for the most part. Every now and then, she dozes off in the car for a quick 20 minute snooze, which can do wonders.

I've been trying to get both of them in bed between 7:30 and 7:45pm. Yes, it's early, but they're both used to getting 11-12 hours of sleep. Ayla's alarm goes off at 7:10 on school days. When her alarm goes off, she gets up, gets dressed, and comes downstairs for breakfast. By that time, she is already bright-eyed and cheerful. Aubree? Poor Aubree. I go into her room at the same time and wake her up. It takes a lot of kisses, back rubs, whispering, and snuggles to get her out of bed. Watching her try to wake up reminds me of myself. She can't fully open her eyes for several minutes and finally just slithers out of bed and often crumples onto the ground. I've been very lucky to have been able to let my kids sleep as long as they want up until this point, so it's been super weird having to make them get out of bed.

After breakfast, we drop Ayla off at school. If it's between 7:55 and 8:10am, she participates in the Walking Club. The kids all walk around the perimeter of the school until the bell rings so they're not just standing around. I think it's a great idea! It's become a new mommy-worry of mine though to watch and see if Ayla finds someone to walk with. Some days, it's timed right where I drop her off as some of her classmates walk by so she can join them. A couple of days, she's walked by herself. It didn't seem to bother her, so that's good. I've also seen her just run up to a random little girl and start chatting with her. :) One morning, it was raining, so they had to go straight inside. As she hopped out of the car, a little girl waved and yelled out, "Hi Ayla!" and she ran up to catch up with her. That quick little moment made my heart soar. I just want to know that she's happy and okay while she's away from me all day. The thought of someone not being nice to her breaks my heart. We have discussed bullying several times...I know she will take our conversations to heart.

After we drop her off, Aubree and I head back home for a little while before going to my parents' house. Some mornings, she eats a bit more and catches an episode of Caillou. A couple of times, we've taken a quick walk around the neighborhood. It's only 20-30 minutes of time before we leave again, but I enjoy it. :) On certain mornings, it's been really difficult to get her to get in the car to go to my parents'. Being there without Ayla while I'm at work has been and continues to be the hardest part for her. She's never been without Ayla, so this is a huge adjustment. I'm hoping once she starts preschool in another week, it'll break things up for her and she won't be so upset about it. She even protests and cries when I leave for work. She has never done this before. It makes me sad! By the time I get back a few hours later, though, she's totally fine.

We leave my parents' by 2:20 and get to Ayla's school between 2:40 and 2:45 and we just sit in the car in the pick up zone until 3:06. Aubree plays on the iPad or snoozes and I read a magazine/book or play on my phone. I thought I would dread this part, but it's actually a nice, quiet 15-20 minutes.

When we get home, Ayla eats like she hasn't eaten in days. With lunch being so early (10:55!!), she's starving by the time school's out. Plus, she's not eating a ton for lunch. I've gotten her to agree to at least try whatever lunch is each day (she has three options every day). Some days she eats very little...only fruits, veggies, and milk. Other days, she does pretty well. I'm hoping she learns to eat more of a variety of foods through all this and becomes less picky.

I love hearing the little bits and pieces of what she remembers about her day. So far, she loves it! I really really hope this continues. She loves to stay busy so I think that's why she enjoys it. She said her favorite parts are recesses and lunch. Haha! Aaaaand she's already not a fan of gym class. She is my daughter. I've made sure to not make a single negative comment about gym class. She has decided all on her own that it's not her favorite. Gym class was quite literally my worst nightmare. It wasn't so bad in elementary school, but as I got older, it seemed to get worse for me. In case you haven't noticed, I'm not exactly an athletic person.

Overall all, gym class or not, she is doing really well and I'm really proud of how she's doing so far! :)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

We survived!

We did it! We all made it through Ayla's first day of school! :)  When I went to go pick her up, she ran over to me with a huge smile on her face and she gave me one of the best hugs ever. :)  I, of course, asked her a billion questions.  She said her favorite part of the day was playing outside. Three times.  Ha! I asked her what her favorite part was inside. She said when they sang a song she had already learned in preschool. :) She said she ate a little bit of her lunch. I was worried about this part. I want her to learn to like new things, so I told her we weren't going to pack lunches for a while.  Today she had two choices--a cheeseburger, which in all of her almost six years, she's never eaten...or a crispy chicken salad.  She went with the salad. It also came with some fresh veggies and a banana.  She said she didn't eat the banana because she couldn't get it open and then just got too busy and forgot about it. :)  I don't remember if I mentioned that the kindergartners eat lunch at 10:55!  SO early.  I told her that she has a whole four hours between lunch and me picking her up so she needs to fill her belly during lunch or she's going to starve.  And there aren't any snacks while she's there.  Well, needless to say, she was starving when we got home and ate an entire apple and a bag of Pirate's Booty (glorified Cheetos, but supposedly a healthier version).  I told her from now on, she only gets one snack after school so to eat more for lunch.  I think she will learn eventually. I'm really hoping that she will start to eat more and be less picky.  Overall, she said she really liked it, but "it was a really long day." :)

Here are a few more pictures from today:

Showing off her new backpack!

Daddy wanted a picture of her, too!

Mommy-Ayla selfie!

Aubree and her little friend, Rielle watching their siblings walking into school.  They will be in the same preschool class at our church!

On the way to pick up Ayla this afternoon, Aubree passed out in the car.  I was hoping she would!  She has to get used to losing an hour of sleep now that I have to wake her up to get Ayla to school on time.  Yikes.
My parents wanted to see Ayla so they came up to the school as well!  My mom sat in the car with Aubree while she napped so I could go get Ayla.  This is a huge adjustment for my parents, too.  They have taken care of Ayla for over five years while I am at work each day.  It's going to be really strange for them to not be able to see her four times a week!  They came back to our house for a little bit to hear about her day. Yeh-Yeh totally scored some points--he found Frozen costumes at Sam's today!  The girls are ready for Halloween! :)

After my parents left, the girls and I just lounged on the couch for a while.  I think we were all exhausted. I know it's only been one day, but I'm already ready for this new schedule to feel normal. :)

First day FUN!

First Day of Kindergarten!!😊

My big girl!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

West Bay Open House

Tonight, we went to an Open House at Ayla's school.  She was sooo excited! :)  As soon as we walked through the doors to get into the kindergarten classroom area, her whole face broke into a smile.  It was so cute.  We went into her room and she got to meet Miss Feldman.  She found where her seat was and we dropped off all of her school supplies.  Part of the Open House was a scavenger hunt to find various places within the classroom and then in the whole school.  She had to find where her cubby was...where to hang her coat and backpack, the bathroom, her teacher's desk, etc.  And then we went into the rest of the school and had to find the gym, cafeteria, office, art room, and library.  The library is AWESOME.  The first picture below is in the's so cute and inviting. :)  Dean also took a picture of the computer room...pretty impressive sight with all those Apple computers.  It's funny to think about what computers were like when we were in elementary school--remember those tiny black screens with the green displays and big blinking cursors? :)  The scavenger hunt ended back in her classroom with a high-five from her teacher.  It was such a great way to see the different areas of the school.  I love it all. :)  And I love seeing how excited she'll make it just a teeny bit easier to drop her off on Monday.  Maybe. ;)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Getting ready for school to start!

Ayla starts kindergarten on Monday.

I. Can't. Believe. It.

In preparation, there have been a few events at her school this week.  On Monday, it was Back to School 101.  We went in to hand in final paperwork, she had her school picture taken, found out who her teacher is going to be (Miss Feldman), and filled out directory info.

Last night, there was a meeting just for kindergarten parents.  The principal and three kindergarten teachers walked us through the curriculum and what a school day will be like for our kids.  They explained everything we needed to know.  But I still feel a bit overwhelmed.  I think once we get through the first week and figure out a routine, I'll be good to go. :)  I like to stress about things until they happen. Sigh.

I am super excited for Ayla...she is thrilled beyond words to start school.  She keeps asking how many days are left before she gets to go.  I hope this attitude sticks with her for a long time. I am very impressed with the school and the staff that we've met so far.  The school just opened last year...I like that it's new and not huge.  There are 64 kindergartners...three classes.  The teachers also talked about how the first day drop off would go.  They said they'll all be outside waiting for their kids.  We leave them at that point.  They said we can take pictures, give hugs and kisses and go.  I pretty much gathered that that is how it would go, but for some reason, just hearing them say that, I got all teary-eyed.  They want them to learn to be independent and confident so they don't want us walking them into the classroom each morning.  I get it.  I do.  And I want her to be independent and confident.  She will be.  I know she'll run in with a smile and zero issues.  But. She's still my baby.  She protests every time I call her that because she's a big girl.  It's just hard to believe how fast the past five, almost six years have gone.  I feel like she was just born and all of a sudden we are beginning a new chapter and we're sending her off where she will be away from me all day.  I suppose Monday through Thursday while I'm at work, I may not notice a difference but I have Fridays off.  Next Friday will be a bit of a shock to not have her here all day.  It'll just be Aubree and me.  So weird!  This is going to be our new normal.

We have about a month until Aubree starts preschool.  Lord help us.  She has already stated that she does not want to go to school.  Oh boy.  She will be going every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00-11:30am, just like Ayla did a couple of years ago.  I'm anxious about dropping her off for the first time.  Any time she has been away from us, she has been with Ayla.  She loved vacation bible school, so I'm hoping she loves preschool just the same.  She is as feisty as ever, but that's what makes her so awesome. :)  I just hope her lack of filter doesn't get her into trouble at school.  It will be interesting to hear what she is like while she's there.  A lot of kids, including Ayla, tend to listen and behave better when it's not their own parents. Aubree...ehh...she pretty much doesn't give a sh*t. :)  We shall see.  Either way, this is a big step for her (and us) and it'll be a good thing.  I think she'll end up loving it!

Tomorrow night is an Open House at Ayla's school.  She will get to meet her teacher, see her classroom, and drop off all of her school supplies. :)

Aubree's 3-year pictures & Mini-BFFs!

Last month, my friend Molly and I took our girls to Elmwood Park to take some pictures.  I figured it was a good time to do it since I hadn't taken any 3-year pictures of Aubree yet.  Wrangling four little girls ages 1, 3, 4, and 5 in the heat was not an easy feat.  We were all sweaty and exhausted by the end, but after seeing the result, we have decided that we need to make this an annual tradition. :)  How fun would all these pictures be to look back on in several years?  

Miss Aubree is still working on her photo-taking smile. So far, it's a lil awkward looking, but she's still cuter than ever. This is her right now, so I'm good with it. :)

I asked her to show me her teeth (when she smiled) but she took it a little too literally and this is what I got. :)