Tuesday, September 16, 2014

100 Sleeps til Christmas!

Anyone else freaking out?!

I just realized that there are only 100 sleeps until Christmas. So much to do, so little time! I have no idea how it "sneaks" up on me every year. Somehow in those 100 sleeps, I have to plan and host two birthday parties, decorate for Halloween (because we all know I love me some Halloween!), undecorated for Halloween, host or travel for Thanksgiving, bake cookies, send out Christmas cards, decorate for Christmas, shop, wrap, mail, soccer games, piano recitals, tennis lessons, conferences…. plus all the stuff I am forgetting….PLUS all the other stuff I do on a daily basis that seems to suck the life out of my body each and every day. Seriously, there isn't enough time!

Saying goodbye to a normal sleep pattern until December 26. Bring on the "magic!"

Monday, September 15, 2014

We Made It…Kind of

Well, we survived the first full week of school! 

Charlotte had her first day of preschool and boy was she excited!

The only way I could get a picture showing her excitement was having them jump in place! Two seconds after this picture, I found a HUGE black widow spider about 12 inches away from me on the side of the house! Needless to say, it is no longer a threat and after a quick call to the "spider guy" to kill anything within a 10 mile radius with eight legs, I was told that this late summer/early fall season has been the WORST on record for black widow spiders. Schools, especially, have been spraying like crazy to keep them at bay. So word to the wise, be on the lookout! 

I don't know about you but I thought the back-to-school backpack selection this year was the pits. Anything that was cute and reasonably priced, sold out in July! Both girls starting new schools REQUIRES new back packs in my book and the ones I wanted were on back order until November. Who wants a new backpack in November?!?!? (I am talking to you Pottery Barn Kids! Shame, shame, shame on you!!) Eventually, I found one for Grace but no luck for Charlotte. So instead, I made her this one! It is a bit too small but she LOVES it and it will get her through until PBK hops to it and sends me the replacement. 

 Charlotte practically ran into the classroom. I had to call her back to give me a hug good bye! I swear I could drop her off two blocks away and she wouldn't think twice!

With both girls in school, I hit the gym for my favorite spinning class! 

The week also included piano lessons. The girls took the month of August off so it was the first lesson in a while. Charlotte moved up to the next level in gymnastics and I chopped all my hair off! No photos but me likey. It's been a while since my hairs has been this length and it is much more manageable. When I picked Grace up at school that afternoon, she was the last to be released. The teacher walked over to me and told me that Grace didn't recognize me and kept telling the teacher that she thought it was me, but that I must've gotten a hair cut. Grace, Charlotte and I now look like the bobbsey twins so that's "cool".  The week also included Grace's first soccer game and my first time coaching a soccer game. Other than one of the kids stepping in dog poop five seconds before game time, it went pretty well. Phew! 

In other news, Grace discovered her first loose tooth! 
(Bottom right!)

Can't believe she is about to lose her first tooth. I can remember her getting her first tooth like it was yesterday!

Needless to say, by Friday, I was pooped! 
The changing seasons always gets me and I spent the weekend sick as a dog. I managed one outing for a birthday party. Grace's friend at school has a younger sister Charlotte's age so they were both invited and both excited. 

It was a pop star party and the girls rocked it!
Unfortunately, the party "rocked" me.

Starting out the week a wee bit on the tired, want-to-crawl-back-under-the-covers-and-sleep-for-a year- side, but instead I decided to blog.

You are welcome sports fans!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Back to School 2014 & First Day of Kindergarten

We kicked off heading back to school with some photos. Each girl by the tree we planted for her when she was born. 

Charlotte wasn't into it. 

Grace on the other hand…

Let's do this!

I will cherish this photo in particular of her. 
Every time I look at it, I cry. 

Not happy with how Charlotte's pictures had turned out, I decided to give Charlotte another go. Charlotte was a bit - shall we say - upset over the apparel I had chosen for this little photo shoot. The shirt in particular was not up to snuff. It was too tight around her neck and itchy. 

Ummm….if looks could kill!
My goodness! She REALLY doesn't like that shirt!

But then, a changing of the tides and she warmed up. 

It's a grin. No a smile! Hallelujah it's a miracle!

I was finally able to get a few photos where she didn't look like a kid possessed by a demon!
Phew! Mission accomplished!

{Oh and don't get me started on her haircut. It's been a rough summer around these parts for hair.} 

Truth be told, the only way I got Charlotte to even to pretend to smile was with a bribe. A mom's got to do what a mom's got to do!
A trip to Starbucks for a treat if she would smile and not whine. So as promised….

Our last mid-day, weekday treat break as a threesome.

{On a side rant: Why does Starbucks sell cake pops in the morning? Why does Starbucks sell cake pops…period?!?! Are they really just trying to subliminally tell parents not to bring their children into their stores anymore? If they booby trap the store with crap parents don't want to feed their kids, the parents (in turn the kids) will stop frequenting the stores. Is that what Starbucks is telling us when the set up cake pops in their display at 6 am? I can't tell you how many times I've been in line at Starbucks with a mom and child a few places back and the kid asks for a cake pop and then the mom has to go through the whole song and dance about how cake pops are junk food and that they have to get something else only to have protests and tears from the child. I mean come on Starbucks. Cake pops?!?!? Let's focus on products that you are only mediocre at…like coffee. End of side rant!}

Back to school photos snapped, tummies full, we set off to prepare for our Back to School dinner!

I set up a few little decorations and of course bought a cake! 
As Julia Child once said, "A gathering without cake is just a meeting." 

I made some chalkboard placemats for some school spirit. 

It was a very lovely dinner. Manna and Boppa joined us and the girls got to choose their meal.
They chose pancakes and corn on the cob. 

As a back to school gift, they received an alarm clock. Figured it would help with those early morning wake up calls when it is pitch dark outside.

The next morning, we were up early to meet Grace's teacher. 

The meeting went well and Grace's teacher is very nice. I am confident that Grace will be in good hands!

In the meeting, Grace decided she wants her teachers and friends to call her Gracie but she wants her family to call her Grace. She says it is "more adorable when my friends call me Gracie."

The night before the very first day of kindergarten was Grace's first soccer practice. I and a friend are coaching. Let's just say I earned this beer after practice.

And then it was time for Kindergarten. 
Lunch was packed. 

First day photos taken. 

Drop off was a breeze. She kept saying goodbye even before it was really time for me to go.
I hugged her and she was gone. 

Out the doors to recess. To a whole new world. 
She didn't hesitate. She wasn't scared. She was very ready and that is very comforting. 

It was a little harder for me. 
I sat and watched her play at recess (she couldn't see me) until the bell rang. I saw her find friends and find her way to her classroom. There was relief in seeing her adjust and take care of herself. To be her own little person. 
My words are not right here because I can't describe the way I felt that morning accurately. 
Happy. Proud. Sad. Selfish. 
Excited. Scared. 

I never thought I would be "that" mom that gets all emotional on the first day of kindergarten. I mean it is kindergarten, not war. 

But just as the birth of your first child turns your world upside down, so does the first child going off to school. Everything changes. Your day. The sounds. The lack of sounds. Your involvement. Your lack of involvement. Your ability to know what they did, what they ate, where they went…

It was an emotional day - to say the least. When I was talking to a pregnant friend who dropped off her son at kindergarten that same day as well, I was comforted to know that I was not alone. She'd been a "wreck" too but then again she had pregnancy hormones to blame it on! What was my excuse?!

Her response? 
"Your baby not being a baby anymore is a good enough excuse!"

All I can say is that Charlotte's first day of kindergarten is going to be R-O-U-G-H!
I might even wear all black that day.

Charlotte was a trooper. She wanted to go out to recess with Grace but understood that it wasn't her school and settled for a morning with mom making cookies. 

Charlotte and I had a great day but it always felt like something was missing. 
And it was SO quiet!

How I have treasured these days and years with these two constantly by my side. 
So much of me is sad to see this stage end but I know great things are yet to come. Now I just need my heart to catch up with this logic and we'll be good to go!