10.29.2016

Halloween Parties + Trunk or Treat + Nevada Day!

I never realized how lucky we were to have Shelby go through 4 years of preschool and not have a single class holiday party, but boy were we lucky!! Our luck has officially run out though. ;)  This past week was jam-packed with Halloween festivities! We kicked off the "fun" on Tuesday with Hadley's class party at preschool. I was able to convince both girls to wear a Princess Anna costume to school b/c I wanted them to have a costume that was easy to go to the bathroom in.



I always felt like I understood why Trinity & MM (Shelby's preschools in MS & TX) opted not to do parties, but I got to see the reasons first-hand on Tuesday. ;)  The party lasted 60 minutes, but the only thing we had time to do was eat snacks (which Hadley didn't really even like) for about 5-10 minutes and do a 5-10 minute craft. The rest of the time was spent waiting in line for food, waiting in line to get materials for craft....a small preschool classroom just isn't suited for a party with that many people squeezed into it. Two kids were upset b/c their parents weren't there, one set of twins was losing it b/c their parents were five minutes late, three kids dropped their (full) plates of food all over the floor...I'm sure you get the picture by now. ;)  As were leaving the party, we passed the gym on our way out. Hadley stopped in front of the gym & said: "Hey! I didn't get any gym time today!" I told Hadley she didn't go to the gym b/c of her party, but that answer didn't satisfy her in the slightest. ;) These 3 and 4 year olds don't care about a silly holiday party, they just want to play with their friends at preschool! The parties are more about what the grown-ups think the kids want, not what the kids actually want...in my opinion at least! ;)

On Wednesday, our library was hosting "Spooky Storytime." This was really fun! It was just like regular storytime except the kids got to wear costumes & after storytime was over they got to practice trick-or-treating around the library at each of the desks. There was only like 3-4 trick-or-treat stations set up, so there wasn't much candy involved. It was just the perfect amount of festive-ness!


Ready for Spooky Storytime!
Thursday was our crazy day. We had our usual two morning drop-offs for Kindergarten & preschool, and then I came home for Brady to nap. After picking up Hadley up from preschool, we got home at 12:30. We had exactly 30 minutes to eat lunch, nurse Brady, and be up at Shelby's school for her party that started at 1:00. Then we had Trunk or Treat at Shelby's school that evening! It was a busy day!

The Kindergarteners got to dress up on Thursday, so this was Shelby on Thursday morning when we got to school.


Picking up Hadley from preschool in her letter D crown :)

Bobbing for apple slices at the Kindergarten Halloween Party




Princess Jasmine & Rajah the tiger ready for Trunk or Treat!



Back home & checking out all her loot!


Thankfully, Friday was Nevada Day and we had a chance to recuperate from our busy week! In case you're wondering like we were, Nevada Day is celebrated on the last Friday of October each year. It sounds like Nevada was just looking for an excuse for a 3 day weekend?! The holiday is supposed to be celebrating the state's "frontier legacy" & its entry into the Union. Thanks to Nevada Day, we enjoyed a slow morning for a change! It was so nice to be able to read stories to the girls after they woke up like we always used to instead of getting ready for a busy school day!

Morning snuggles with Brady
And thanks to Nevada Day, we finally got a chance to head up to base and see Daddy's new office (the Allergy clinic just relocated within the hospital) & get flu shots!




The girls were both pretty brave, so we treated ourselves to Panera on our way home for lunch! And then when we got home, the girls back to business--sorting their Trunk or Treat loot! I feel like sorting Halloween candy is a right of passage in childhood.


Hope you're having a great weekend!!

10.28.2016

Kindergarten

I have no idea how it's possible, but we're now officially a little over two months into the school year. I wanted to do a little post all about Kindergarten now that we've settled into the year. I'll apologize in advance that these pictures aren't organized in a more meaningful way, but this is just as good as it's going to get at this point in my life, ha!  I'm still trying to figure out how get things done since the girls have stopped napping. ;)

The first few pics below are from Shelby's Open House the Friday before school started. Just so I'll always remember, I want to share a quick story about Open House. At Marvelously Made, Open House meant a chance to play in each of the areas of the school--the outdoor classroom, the Art Studio, the Gathering Room, etc--to get comfortable in their new space. It was like the best day ever for those kiddos! So, when we told Shelby we were going to Open House for Kindergarten, it should have occurred to me to explain that this Open House would be nothing like MM's...but it didn't. She was all geared up for a fun Open House, and of course the first 30-40 minutes consisted of crowds in the lunchroom. After about only five minutes in, Shelby asked if we could go home. My heart was so heavy when she said that, I just wanted to scoop her up and run her back to MM for one more year! Thankfully, once we were finally able to get to her classroom, things were looking up! There was a reading tent in her classroom with an entire tub filled with Magic School Books...all was right with the world again!



Shelby posing with her teacher, Mrs. Sotelo



Shelby has a little journal/notebook she keeps in her room to draw/write in. She insisted on taking a shower (her first ever independent shower!) the night before starting Kindergarten, so while I was bathing Hadley she wrote this gem in her journal. Can you tell she was excited?!

The Night Before Kindergarten!!!



Shelby & Hadley sporting their UGA shirts for Red Day in Kindergarten!

Shelby is totally rocking Kindergarten!! She is VERY into the classroom management systems her teacher utilizes. They do the whole color system, which I'm not a huge fan of...but Shelby takes it very seriously. Each kiddo starts the day on Green. For poor choices, they go down to Yellow, then Orange, and Red. I was shocked kids were already moving all the way down to Red the first week of school--her teacher runs a tight ship for Kindergarten!! For extraordinary behavior, they can go up to Blue, Pink, and Purple. Shelby is always on Green or Blue, and she's super proud of this! They also do ClassDojo. Have you heard of this? I'm wondering how new this is b/c I never heard of this during my teaching days! It's an app that the teacher and parents use for communication, but the students can also earn "Dojo points" for good behavior, turning in homework, etc. I can track Shelby's points on my phone using the app, and then each week she's able to redeem her Dojo points for various prizes.

One thing that is totally bizarre to me is the morning drop-off routine at the school. The first bell rings at 7:40, but students are not allowed inside the school. The Kindergarteners stay on the Kindergarten playground, and grades 1-5 are on a separate playground/blacktop area. The kids play outside until the second bell at 7:55 This would only work in a desert, ha! We've had 2 months of school, and there hasn't been one rainy drop-off. I wonder what the school does in the event of rain??? Anyhow, when the second bell rings, the Kindergarteners line up and go in with their teachers. The rest of the school stays outside for "morning ceremonies," which includes the pledge, moment of silence, announcements, etc. This is Shelby lining up with her class when the second bell rang.


The afternoons at home were tricky at the beginning of the year (and they still sometimes are!). Hadley has been missing Shelby all day & often wants to play when we get home from picking up Shelby, but all Shelby wants to do is read. Thankfully, now that we're getting more settled in our routines, Hadley is more considerate of Shelby's need to wind down by reading.

I was a little worried when we moved here that Shelby would be significantly older than most of her classmates b/c the age cut-off for Kindergarten is later here than it was in San Antonio. The age cut-off in Las Vegas is September 30th, so had we moved here a year sooner Shelby would have been in first grade this year...crazy to think about! But there are actually a handful of kids in her class that turned six in September & October, so the age been a non-issue. And of course, I'm incredibly grateful that we got an extra year with her at home!


Peeking out of the shower at us ;)

I never gave homework as a Kindergarten teacher. I knew there was a chance Shelby might have a little homework in Kindergarten, but I totally wasn't expecting it to be as much as it is! She gets a new homework packet every Friday, and it is always due the following Friday. It really is way too much in my opinion!! The school day is so long for these kiddos, and I hate that they have to come home and do more. There's also been a huge emphasis on sight words for it being so early in the school year. The kids were all given a "Kindergarten sight word book" a couple of weeks ago that is comprised of about 12 sets of words. Every Thursday, they are tested on sight words. The kids have the whole year to master the book. If they master the book early, they are given the next grade level book of sight words. Shelby is currently working her way through other grade levels' lists of words. I can't imagine how stressful it must be for parents of kiddos who aren't quite ready for reading yet--not only are they having to muddle through homework packets every week, but they're also having to drill their five year olds on sight words!! They're too little for this nonsense! But from what I've heard, it seems that the amount of homework & sight word testing is pretty much standard school-wide.

First homework assignment of the year!


Of course Hadley couldn't be left out...she makes me give her "homework" to do every afternoon when Shelby works on hers.



I took this picture one day when Shelby's class was walking into the building. The boy to the right of Shelby with the Spider-Man backpack is one of Shelby's favorite school friends. This picture cracked me up b/c Shelby & Caleb are heads & shoulders above their classmates in line behind them!

First time sporting her new Bonner spiritwear!


Shelby was assessed on  her reading earlier in the year, and she is reading on a 3rd grade level per the assessment they used. A couple of days each week, she goes to another classroom to meet with her reading group. Her reading group consists Shelby & 3 or 4 first graders who are also reading on her level. She seems to enjoy this so far!




I feel like we're finally finding our groove with the long days! The girls come home every day and relax for a few minutes. Then we do snack and homework (Hadley does pretend homework alongside Shelby every day). After homework is done, the girls have a little free time before bath/shower. Shelby is always too tired to engage in any kind of play. So she always opts to do art. And if Shelby wants to do art, so does Hadley. :)  Then after bath/shower, we eat dinner, go outside to get some fresh air & water the garden, then we begin the bedtime routine! The girls go to bed every night at 7, and they fall asleep almost as soon as their heads hit the pillow!

Reading after school

Doing art after school

This is what Hadley looks like every single afternoon as we wait to pick up Shelby

Working hard on her pencil grasp

 
One thing I really love about Shelby's school is how close we live so we can walk her to and from school every day. Walking has helped us meet other people at the school and in our neighborhood. We're feeling much more "plugged in" b/c of our proximity. While I don't love every little thing about Shelby's school  (I'll admit we're probably pretty hard to please coming off two years at MM and with me being a former Kindergarten teacher), Shelby absolutely loves her teacher and going to school each day....and there's not much more we can ask for than that!! I always loved school (and still do!), and I hope Shelby will always love school, too!!

10.23.2016

Our Week

We had a good week! The weeks are flying by it seems. Halloween is almost here, then we've got visitors lined up for November, a trip to Disney Land, more visitors in early December, then Christmas! Eek! Anyhow, here are a few pictures from our week. Enjoy!


Sitting outside listing to the pool's waterfall and enjoying a good book while the girls were at school and Brady napped, felt like a luxurious vacation while it lasted!!!

On Tuesdays & Thursdays when Hadley is at preschool, I get about 45 minutes to myself while Brady naps before we leave to pick Hadley up. Up until this week, I would run around like a crazy person while he napped trying to get things done. Then I realized, this is the ONLY time I get to myself right now. So I've decided to do a few quick chores and then enjoy myself for a bit either reading or blogging.

This girl is obsessed with doing "homework" these days!

Who can resist a picture of a sleeping baby?! Certainly not me!
Preschool is this girl's jam, she's totally rocking it! Here is Hadley this past Thursday when I picked her up. She was all smiles talking a mile a minute telling me all about the firefighters who came to visit them that day.


This is what Thursday afternoons look like around here. Do these girls look tired or what?! By Thursdays, these girls are worn out from the long week!

Nursing the baby + playing hair salon with the three year old...motherhood makes you good at multi-tasking! ;) 

Hadley and I baked pumpkin chocolate chip muffins on Friday morning while Brady napped!! It felt good to finally be baking again...things are slowly starting to feel more normal for us!
Waiting to pick up Shelby from Kindergarten! This is Hadley's patch of dirt. She sits in this exact spot every single day while we wait for Shelby and plays in the dirt. It makes her so happy!!

And here's what Friday afternoons look like. ;)  They did however muster up enough energy for us to go to the park with friends for an hour or so on Friday afternoon. For the past 3 weeks or so, we've gone to the park on Friday afternoons with neighborhood/school friends. It's been a nice routine!

Saturday morning + chocolate milk = Happy girls!

We ventured downtown to ride the High Roller...the girls LOVED it!!


Family selfie on the High Roller



There was a cupcake shop near the base of the High Roller, so of course we had to bring some home!


Our trip downtown wore this baby out! ;)

While Brady napped, we created this masterpiece! We've been looking for something to go above the dresser in our master bedroom, but nothing seemed quite right. Derek suggested we do an "Action Jackson" painting like Shelby did at Marvelously Made last year. So that's what we did!!
In action!


The finished product..I love how it turned out! And it's so much more meaningful to have something hanging in our room created by the girls! 

We had all three kiddos in bed by 7:30 on Saturday night, and then Derek & I enjoyed Mexican food on the couch together!!! Such a treat that again made us feel like we're getting back to our old selves! Today brought church, a trip to the nursery, yardwork, and grilling out! Our yard was in pretty bad shape when we moved in, and we weren't able to give it as much as attention as we wanted to b/c we were so focused on unpacking/the interior of the house at first then we were caught up with a newborn. Now that life is calming down, the yard has been getting a lot of TLC!

We had such a good little weekend together!!! We're looking forward to this week--Hadley's Halloween party at preschool, Trunk or Treat at Shelby's school, & a three day weekend for Shelby thanks to Nevada Day on Friday...still not sure what Nevada Day is though, ha! ;)  Biloxi had school closures for Mardi Gras, San Anotnio had closures for the Battle of the Flowers during Fiesta, and now Nevada Day...who knew?!