Friday, September 19, 2014

Preschool Prep: Tear Free Drop Off Tips

Now that we have pretty much wrapped up our second week of school I think I can give myself a little pat on the back for a smooth transition. I can't take much credit for Savannah being happy about going to school but I can offer you what we did to get ready for school.

Drop-off in the morning is always pretty interesting. Someone is always crying or begging their parent not to leave. Most of the parents have pretty easy drop offs. I would assume that's due to their child's previous experience with being away from Mom or Dad or maybe they were prepped really well for starting school.

We did lots of different things to make sure there was no drama during drop off.

preschool tips
I was able to find a cute book about The Night Before Preschool. We read that for our bedtime story every night for a couple weeks. It tells about the night before preschool and everything that happens the first day of school. I also mentioned her first day of school as much as possible. Not even kidding. If we were in Target and I saw a backpack I'd say, "Look at those backpacks! I bet all of your new friends will have their own special backpack!" 

We attended the orientation that was held the week before school started. She got a chance to meet her classmates and teachers. I think that was huge in getting her ready. We got to show her where the restrooms were and I made sure she knew where all the different classrooms were located. (it's all on the same hallway - not hard at all)

Savannah's program is an 8 to 12 school day. Official drop off ends at 8:15. I make sure that we are there as close to 8 as possible to avoid any of the kiddos that might not be having a "good" morning. That way, she's already in class at a center while little Johnny has his fit outside in the hall. She never sees someone not wanting to be left at school. I also think that helped a lot. I pick her up as soon as the pick-up window opens up. I never want her to think for one second that I "forgot" her. That evokes fear and she may not want to go back the next day.

In the mornings before school I make breakfast a big deal. We talk about what she might do that day and we say prayers for a good day at school. Like I said, she really gets all the credit for getting off to such a great uneventful start but I'd like to think all of my Mommy efforts may have helped - just a little.

Did you find these tips helpful? Anything I missed that you'd like to share? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Savannah...

Woot! Woot! It's time for a little family turn-up!

My baby girl turns four today!

fourth birthday birthday girl
I can not believe how fast time has passed. I feel like it was literally just five minutes ago that I was bringing her home from the hospital. Now she's a big girl.

This morning before school I made her the ever so popular "birthday pancakes". She loved them. We put a four candle in them and sang happy birthday before she went to school. She got to open one of her gifts from us - tickets to see the Fresh Beat Band. Her squeals were out of control.

I took Frozen themed cupcakes to her class. After school she'll try a gymnastics class before our evening family party. I can't wait! Saturday is her birthday party with friends. I'll share all the details on that after the celebration. She's having an "artsy" party.

These days my four year old is all about Disney princesses, bouncing and twirling and telling me the news of the day. She likes to pretend that she's on the news, it's funny. I should tape one of her stories for my YouTube channel….

I am so proud of the big girl that she's become. Just as sweet as can be...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Preschool Has Changed My Life...

We have successfully started the second week of school. This morning when I dropped Savannah off she didn't even say goodbye. While I was putting my daily info on the sign-in sheet she escaped to her class. By the time I was done signing my name she had joined a group of friends playing legos.

I was so proud. She goes to school like a boss.

Once she's dropped off at school the baby and I either go for a run or we start tackling my to-do list.

I can not even put into words how amazing it has been to get things done during the morning. Everyday I have four sweet hours to clean, cook and spend time with Little Mike. There have even been days where he takes a nap while she's in school. Pure bliss.

We have moved our school time to the evenings after dinner. Since we eat dinner pretty early this works out well for us and they are still in bed at seven thirty.

Because I am getting time on the front end of my day to tackle things I feel less stressed and overwhelmed during the day. I can spend time with them knowing that I've done "enough" for the day. There will be another four hours tomorrow to get more things done.

On Mondays and Tuesdays I do my heavy cleaning and I use the rest of the week for laundry. So far this has been working out well for me.

I feel like a new woman. Which I know sounds crazy. Who gets excited about more time to clean and cook? Apparently, me.

My afternoons are actually enjoyable now. For example, this afternoon I'll be taking Savannah's four year old pics. It feels good to be able to blog or doing something nice for myself without feeling like I have a list of other things I'm neglecting.

preschooler soccer bob flex stroller
one afternoon we played a little soccer. something that I would have never felt like we had time for  before.

I didn't know how I'd feel about her starting preschool but now I know it was the right decision for us. I'm a much better person to be around and I think I'm even sleeping better too.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thought Bubbles...

Just went down to the fridge to get a bottle of water. The only bottle left was frozen. Not good…

I ended up chugging the last sip of wine from the bottle…

How is it possible that there was even a sip left in that bottle…

I've been running the latest Operation SnapBack challenge. It's thirty miles for the month of September. I'm a mile shy of being halfway done…

I'm thinking about adding the Kelly Rowland & Jeanette Jenkins 6 week Sexy Abs Cardio Sculpt Bootcamp Challenge to my fitness regimen…

Tonight was shampoo day for Savannah. Every time I detangle her hair I thank God my second child was a boy…

Speaking of hair I thought I'd bring my "Vegas" hair back out, LOL! I needed a little pick me up from the summer. Nothing picks me up like a fresh 'do...

middle part sew in weave peruvian virgin hair
Bought a LBD during an online Labor Day sale. Tried it on last night and had a complete "D*B* you look good" moment…

Can't wait to wear that thing…

On another note. No shade intended but why do women tag their husbands in all their social media posts? Like, for real, what's that about? Can't seem to wrap my head around that one…

I have a Daddy and he ain't my husband. Sips tea…

Does anyone else watch Don't Be Tardy on Bravo? There's something so entertaining about Kim…

I will be creating a Fall wardrobe shopping list. It will mostly consist of shoes…

Still can't believe we're out of bottled water. How did I let that happen…

The FYI show Married at First Sight was so good. My predictions for which couples would stay together were spot on. I could do a whole post on what I think about Vaughn & Monet…

Savannah's birthday is coming up. Can't believe she's almost four…

Football season has arrived. I don't like watching actual games but I do enjoy watching all the ESPN commentary…

Cheers to the freakin' weekend...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Preschool at Home: And at School

After giving it some serious thought over the summer we decided to put Savannah in a preschool program this year. This wasn't a super easy decision for my family to make but it was an easy one for me. (insert smile)

Over the summer I realized that I was doing her and myself a disservice. We were spending a lot of time together. Going to play dates here and there. But I noticed that many of our days were spent with just each other. Day after day.

Of course we were still going places and doing things but we were still going to those places and doing those things with just each other. She wasn't getting much time with other kids her age. I have to admit part of that is my fault because I am not really a playgroup person. I prefer personal play dates with people we know. You know, cause in order for play dates to work you have to like the Mom and her kids.

Then there's also the fact that I have a tendency to be in my little bubble where I forget to actually schedule things like that. So. I figured that a great way to give her the social time she craves would be to put her in preschool.

She can learn, have playtime and be back at home in time for lunch. It's perfect.

Preschool has actually changed my life. I'll talk more about that in another post though.

We're still learning at home because I want to make sure she continues to progress academically. Much of what she already knows will be reinforced in class. She'll be learning new things like geometry (on a preschool level) and spanish.  Then there are those life skills like - waiting your turn, working well with others and being quiet when someone else of authority (like a teacher) is talking that she needs to be learning.

I wasn't sure how I'd feel once she started going to school everyday. I think the fact that she really seems to love it has made it a smooth transition for all of us. Our new schedule/routine has been amazing. It's like we're getting the best of both worlds.

I finally feel like I'm checking off all my "Mommy boxes". How has "back to school" been for you? Any tips you want to share with me as we adjust to having a child in school?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Weekend Recap: Soccer and a 5K

This weekend was pretty busy. And full. I'm currently participating in a run challenge with my girls in Operation Snapback™. Our challenge is to run thirty miles in thirty days. There was a free 5k being offered on base in support of Suicide Awareness. I thought I'd go for it. 

I was lucky enough to be given my hometown area code as my running number. My naive mind took that as a good sign. That 5k kicked my butt.

I'm a treadmill runner. I want to become a street runner. Saturday's run let me know that I have a ways to go before that becomes a reality for me.

A couple hours after the race we had to trek over to Savannah's first soccer game of the season. It was also team picture day for her team. When I tell you it was hot out there...

Despite the heat we had a great time. Watching a bunch of three to five year olds play soccer has got to be one of the most entertaining things I've done since becoming a Mom. Sav scored one goal and had two assist during the game. Not too bad for her first game. I was so proud of her. I literally jumped out of my seat when she scored.

Sunday after church we headed to the mall to grab some sneakers for Savannah's first day of school. They aren't allowed to wear open toe shoes to school and I didn't realize that all she had in her size at the moment was sandals until the night before school. Mommy fail. 

Anyway, her first day of school was a success. I'll be talking more about that later this week. I hope you all had a great weekend!  Any big plans for the week?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Personal Story...

Hi everyone.

Things were a little slow around here over the summer. I wasn't sure if I was going to blog about it but it only seems right to share a little about what I've been up to all summer.

This summer was a crazy one. Quite possibly the longest weeks of my life were from July 6 to September 2. That's not an over exaggeration or a comparison to garner sympathy. It was really the toughest summer I think I've ever had.

On July 6th I found out I was pregnant. Initially, I was extremely shocked because I had a tubal after Little Mike. If you remember, I was born with a mullerian anomaly (septate uterus or bicornuate uterus - verdict is still out on which one I have - results coming soon). I only have one tube (which was "tied") and one ovary so you can imagine that I was very surprised when I learned of this pregnancy.

I was able to get in and see my doctor that week. She did confirm that my pregnancy was in my uterus but there were no signs of viability. We agreed that I'd come back every week until we heard a heartbeat.

I was cool with that. It was still early.

Week after week I'd have ultrasounds done and we never heard or saw anything more than yolk sacs. It was sad and exhausting.

At the beginning of August my doctor started preparing me for the possibilities and educating me on what my options were. I decided to keep waiting. I figured if something was going to happen to turn this pregnancy around I didn't want any type of medical intervention to mess that up.

If it was meant to be it would be and if it wasn't in God's will then I had faith that He would allow my body to naturally go through the process.

It wasn't in His will. As hard as it was for me to accept - it just wasn't. I kept reminding myself that everything works out for our good. Even though I can't see the good right now it doesn't mean that it's not there or that it's not coming. God's plan isn't for me to figure out or analyze. All I can do as a person is walk by faith and know that this too shall pass.

I'll be going to have some more tests done to see what exactly is going on inside my body within the next couple of weeks.

This summer taught me a lot about myself. Everything isn't always in my control and I can't always fix everything. That's not what faith is about. I wish things had been different and I wish I had another amazing summer break story to share but this is what's going on in my life right now.

Hopefully this post helps or encourages someone. Thank you to all of my friends and family that supported us this summer. It means more than you'll ever know.

I am at peace with how this summer went. I'm not sad or upset or angry. These past couple of months didn't change my outlook on life or how God works. He's still Almighty and I trust Him...
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