Friday, August 21, 2009

We survived our first week!

I got through Shaye's first week of Kindergarten with only a little distress on my soul!! 2 of the 5 days were filled with "Mommy stay" or "Mommy don't leave me, Pleeeeeeeeeeease!" Thursday morning was rough. I cried a little for my baby who confessed in confidentiality during early morning pillow talk that she was scared of the newness of it all - I wept like there had been a death in the family. When a Mommy has to hear that her baby is scared of something, the Mama Bear instincts immediately flare up and you just want to protect her with every fiber of your being. I had fleeting moments of "Maybe we should have kept her in preschool for another year. I loved her teachers there and they can NEVER be duplicated" or "Are they not taking care of her needs?" Thursday morning I left the school with my heart in room K2. I sobbed as I drove away and saw her sitting on her teacher's lap (who is FUCKING awesome, btw!) with her face buried in her neck. It killed me. This morning we had a few "I'm not going to get dressed" incidents (I told her that her new friends would love to see her pj's that say 'Little Cupcake' ") and she finally gave in when I told her that we could do it "the easy way or the hard way" (one of my newest lines. LOL!) We got to school and she immediately ran off to play with her new friends, but when the teacher rang the little bell for them to come inside, she grabbed my hand and begged me to stay. Luckily, today is furlough Friday and Caroline was with us. I walked her through the line to her teacher (I will tell y'all more about this in a second) and kissed her goodbye. It had to be a quick transition.....she, of course, was just fine.

On her first day, they did this really cool little thing where the kids arrive and have about 15 min. of outside play (depending on how early you arrive) and all the parents hang out and talk. It's a really amazing vibe and most of the parents seem very friendly. The lead teacher (or guide as they are called) rang this delicate little brass bell and asked the children to line up. She then took a seat on a little kid sized chair and one by one she greeted them as they walked into the classroom (where they are guided by the other teacher/guide to their morning meeting spot). I thought that was a really great thing to do and assumed that it was a "first day of the year" type thing. Tuesday, we were running late and I dropped her off in the dropoff loop because she did so GREAT on her first day. She hopped out of the car and I watched her walk to her classroom like a pro! I felt horribly guilty for doing that to her on her 2nd day of school, but to my surprise she keeps asking to be dropped off in the loop! LOL! Wed., Thurs., and today I walked her in. On Wed. and Thurs. I actually left before they went into their classroom and just assumed the teacher would call them in and they would start their day. Well, today I was so incredibly impressed that they did the little "ring the bell, greet the teacher with a handshake, and walk into their classroom" routine. WOW!! What an incredible grace and courtesy lesson!!!!!!!!

After one week, I have discovered that I absolutely love this school. I am already deeply in love with both her teachers (hopefully I will still be saying this in three months! LOL!) The lead teacher is really laid back with a real low key, quirky (in a good way) hippie vibe. She's very direct and carries herself with a lot of self assurance and is very friendly. The other teacher is very sweet and reminds me of Maryanne from Gilligan's Island. LOL!! She just seems like a little farm girl from Iowa. And what impresses me most of all is that they are EXTREMELY into the Montessori philosophy. I was really worried about this because of a couple of reviews I have read about the school (they have 5 campuses), but now I can see that it truly must have been either ex-maligned-employees or parents who really don't have a clue - or both.

So far so good!! Here are some pics of her first day:

Lining up to meet Ms. Susan on her first day of Montessori Kindergarten

I am really bummed that they have lightened up on their uniform code and have turned it more into a dress code now. They still have to wear solid tops and bottoms with no characters, but they can wear ANY color and can also wear stripes (no floral or plaid) and shirts with no collars. We got Shaye a lot of the Children's Place uniforms that are really casual, but SUPER cute (unlike the polyester grossness of a lot of uniforms out there!) I liked the dressy uniform look better, but oh well. At least nobody is allowed to come to school with a Dora backpack, Transformer lunchbox, Thomas shirts, or blinking princess shoes.

Greeting Ms. Susan on her first day

Pleased to meet you!

Getting reading to enter her class

I love this place!!!!!

Showing little sister around her new classroom:

Shaye giving us the tour of her new classroom

Shaye's new classroom

In front of the CUTEST map ever in her classroom!

First day of school lunch (she requested all of this! LOL!):

First day of school lunch in her new Laptop Lunchbox

Oh, and also some pics of her preschool graduation:

Shaye with her Montessori preschool diploma

2009 Montessori graduate

Saturday, July 25, 2009

And so begins a new chapter....

My first born just finished almost 2 years of Montessori preschool and is now heading for ::sniff::: KINDERGARTEN!!! We are so lucky to be able to keep her in a Montessori school with NO tuition until the 8th grade! I am so incredibly proud of her accomplishments and how determined and focused she is on her work. I know that Montessori school is really laying the foundation for her so that she LOVE'S what she does and it really and truly shows. She is so damn proud of herself (and Mommy and Mama, too!) Last night we had her summer project bound at Kinko's and she was thrilled about it. It was like we just handed her the moon!! I went through it last night and started crying because I was in AWE of her work. For a 4 year old to be so focused and determined really blows my mind a little. Yesterday was her last day and on Friday's in the summer they have water play. She said, "Mommy, I don't want to put my bathing suit on and play in the water. I really need to finish W, X, Y, and Z of my book because this is my last day." I was stunned!!!!!! So, I stayed with her a little while and she finished her book. I am so proud of you, Shaye!!!!!

The last ever Montessori preschool job

Bound with a clear plastic front and plastic back to protect it:

Shaye's summer book project

Shaye's summer book project

Shaye's summer book project

Shaye's summer book project

Shaye's summer book project

Shaye's summer book project

Shaye's summer book project

Shaye's summer book project

This was her first ever job (pink tower) and her last job (working on her word book):

First and last preschool Montessori job

Her first day of school (on right) and last day (on left):

First and last day of preschool

The little graduate:

Getting fitted for her preschool graduation

The little graduate

Saying goodbye to her class:

Getting goodbye hugs from her teacher

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mmmmm...oh, yeah....kiss me baby!!!

Patrice Pike performs "Kiss Me Baby" from Pride Wright on Vimeo.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ok, it's settled.

The three most perfect and beautiful and smart girls EVER!!!! I'll have to scan this one later without the ZAZZLE across their faces.

3 of the 4 loves of my life

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Animals, animals everywhere....

This has to be one of the best educational toys I have ever seen. I found it at a local children's resale stores and my kids play with it ALLLLLLLL the time. Right now they are behind me listening to the noise the Bison makes over and over and over and over and laughing their heads off. It sounds like, well, a big stinker. LOL! The Giant Hornet sounds like a really long brrrrrrrrrrrrrr and they think it's just hysterical. It teaches about continents, countries, and animals and it holds their attention FOREVER!

Playing with their Leap Frog National Geographic Really Wild Animals toy

Playing with their Leap Frog National Geographic Really Wild Animals toy

We'll soon have some butterflies in the house. We have watched the larvae turn into large caterpillars and they are now in their pupa stage. The other day my friend asked how long they would be in this stage and I honestly had no idea. I said I'd have to look in the little booklet it came with. Shaye (remember, she's 4) said, "Mommy, it will be a pupa for 10 days." Sure enough, I found the little book last night and it said 7-10 days. It's 4 year old knows more than me when it comes to zoology! LOL!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Anthony Michael

New baby birth brother Anthony

New baby birth brother Anthony

How can my heart not ache for him?

We had a great visit with Lisa today and baby Anthony is precious (HUGE nose, but precious. Heh.) Lisa truly is an amazing woman despite her past history with her pregnancies and birth children. She has stopped smoking, is clean, and Anthony's dad seems to be a hard worker and is love with his new son. It's hard, but seeing the situation with my own eyes gives me a little hope. Everything is in order and she has the things she needs for a baby. She was attentive, however out of the 4 hours we were there I think I held him 3 hours and 45 min. She changed his diaper and made him a bottle and she actually looked like she knew what she was doing. Her neice is there with her and they are getting a lot of help from family members, so I can only hope that this baby is on the path he was meant to be on.

But I did whisper in his ear that I wish he was mine.

New baby birth brother Anthony

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I'm so incredibly sad tonight

Shaye and Laela's birthmom gave birth to a little boy yesterday (April 10) at 9:27am. 7 lbs. 7 oz. They have named him Anthony Michael. I believe Laela was born at 9:27 in the a.m., so how weird is that? We have known about the pregnancy since last summer and we are about 98% sure that our decision to adopt this child was not going to happen. Because of that, I haven't really given it that deep, soul searching kind of thought. Now that he's here, I have just been crying since we found out at noon today. How can we not adopt this child? But honestly, how can we? How is it possible to be sane with 4 children 4 years old and under? My heart is speaking "bring him to us". My head is telling me to hope for the best for the baby that he gets placed into a loving home.

The saddest part is that it sounds as if the baby may possibly go home with mom and dad (dad was at the birth, has been there since, and Caroline said he actually sounds like a nice guy). Dad kept thanking us for calling and C said he sounded really happy. We know that CPS is investigating right now, but I am really scared that this little boy will get lost in the system. All it takes is for them to do a couple of home visits, determine it's ok, and that's life.

I'm just sad. Sad for my family. Sad for my children. Sad for this baby. Sad for myself. Sad. Sometimes life just doesn't seem fair.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

OMG WE'RE IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got the call this afternoon that Shaye will be starting her kindy year at a local Montessori charter school that goes K-8!! I am BEYOND stoked about this. We applied at 2 campuses and the one she got picked for is really awesome and I am very happy about it!!!! Oh, man...I am so RELIEVED!! Naia and Laela will also get to go there since they have sib priority. Can I tell everybody what a huge relief it is knowing that your education hopes and dreams for your child is coming to fruition? WHEW! Oh, I pray this is the right decision. It feels right. :)

Naia will stay in our private Montessori preschool until she starts kindy. And we may enroll Laela this August in pre-school, but she won't be going to kindy until 2012, so we may wait for awhile to enroll her.

GAHHHH!! I'm so excited I can barely stand it!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My baby is becoming a big girl!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!! Last night the kids were so excited about setting our Leprechaun trap they could barely sit still. Our "bait" was Lucky Charms (I mean, what ELSE besides pennies or shoes would a Leprechaun like?) Shaye woke me up at 6:30 this morning and insisted that we all get up immediately to check the "trap". We didn't snare any little sprites, but what they found under their tripped trap was shamrock cookies, shiny pennies and quarters, a special coin that fell out of the Leprechaun's pot of gold, and Leprechaun glitter was everywhere!!! They are tricky little fellas!! There was even a note that said: Top o'the morning to ya! Thanks for the treat, but us Leprehauns are a wee bit too clever for ya. Better luck next St. Patrick's Day. Love, Leppie (ok, so Caroline gave him the name, not me! LOL! Shaye insisted his name was Johnny though!)

Leprechaun bait

Stickers on our Leprechaun trap

Setting the trap for the Leprechaun

This is what we found in the morning!

Didn't get the Leprechaun, but they were happy!

Ok, I know this is a gross topic, but Laela is almost out of diapers!! She is now pooping and peeing in the potty and absolutely REFUSES diapers. She will only wear pull ups and, oh my GOD, if you don't let her wear a pull up she FREAKS the hell out!!!! Six months ago I said that she was going to be our hardest child to get out of diapers (her stubborn streak is fierce!) and crazy enough she's turning out to be the easiest!!! I remember when Shaye and Naia were potty learning that it took a lot of patience on my part. Neither of them really cared about using the potty, but once they did they did great. Laela has been actively trying now for months and I've been the bad Mommy trying hard to just keep her in diapers. Maybe I just want her to stay my baby for a little while longer?