Thursday, August 30, 2007

Best Mom Ever

I've been so concerned this week about not only how Olivia will adjust to school, but also how Noah will adjust to her going to school and missing her, that I've been trying to keep them both busy with fun stuff. Today while Olivia was at school, Noah and I made chocolate chip cookies. Yep, even though it's the hottest week of the year and over 90 degrees in our house, we baked cookies.

Then I decided that since it was so hot, and Travis was not coming home until late, it would be the perfect day to pack a picnic dinner and go to the beach for the afternoon and evening after getting Olivia from school. So off we headed to Natural Bridges, a lovely beach in Santa Cruz. We were there 5, count 'em, 5 hours! Olivia met a little friend and they splashed in the waves forever. Noah's favorite thing was climbing rocks. We made castles, buried feet, chased birds, and ate snacks. You really can't wrap up the summer without one last trip to the beach, can you?

Hopefully this will make up for the fact that the first snack I sent Olivia to school with had zero fruits and veggies and no drink. The second day I improved and it contained strawberries, grapes, carrots, and a juice box in addition to the standard goldfish and cheese stick. But it was still so hot that her teacher gave her an extra bottle of water. I asked Olivia why she couldn't just use the water fountain after she finished her juice box and she said the one close didn't work and she didn't want to walk to the far one. I'm learning slowly but surely! Tomorrow she will have a juice box and a water bottle. If I don't wake up too beat to remember to prepare everything after our long day, that is!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

2nd day of kindergarten, and I lost it

Yesterday I was wondering why I didn't feel the emotional response that everyone told me I would as my first child went off to her first day of kindergarten. Well, either because it was a short day, or because I'm a serious procrastinator, it hit me today.

When Olivia arrived at kindergarten today, the board had instruction for her to hang up her bags and sit on the sun mat and they would soon go to Open Sing in the cafeteria, parents and sibs are welcome. So, off they marches, with Noah and I tagging along, to sing in the cafeteria with the whole school.

First they sang This Land is My Land and that's when I started loosing it. I'm not sure why. The combination of the song, with Olivia sitting with all the kids in her class singing, with the bigger kids standing up front helping, it was just all so grade school and there was my little girl in the midst of it. This land is my land. This land is your land. Wah. From California to the New York islands. Wah. It was made for you and me. Wah, wah, wah. Good thing I had sunglasses.

They sang a few more songs of the more hippish nature, then they stressed about not throwing water bottles in the trash, but in the special recycling containers. They last 250 years, you know. This is California, and I'm all for being green if it's not taken out of proportion, so that's cool.

Then they sang this cute song Chicka Chicka Boom Boom which is either a song I remember as a youth in summer camp, or it's very similar. So again, loosing it. And they wrapped up with What a Wonderful World. I mean, really, are they seeing how many moms they can make cry? I see trees of green, and red roses too... Wah. I see skies of blue and clouds of white... Wah. I hear babies crying I watch them grow. They'll learn much more than I'll ever know. Wah, Wah, Wah. And I think to myself, What a Wonderful World. Yes, I say to myself, What a Wonderful World. Bawling, pure bawling. So cliche, but I never thought I'd be the emotional basket case mom on the first day of kindergarten. I guess I just had to do it the second day to be a little different.

So, at that point I high-tail it out of there with Noah. We hit Target, the new Trader Joes near my house (hooray) and get gas at Costco. We make it home for some snacks, gardening, and laundry before going to pick up Olivia. Even with the emotional roller coaster, I'm liking this kindergarten thing. And although today was longer than yesterday, it's not as long as next week when she starts staying for lunch.

Oh yeah, and Olivia is still doing well and seems to be enjoying it. I asked her what her favorite part was today and she said she liked everything. I asked her if she was happy the whole time or ever got scared or sad and she said, "I told you I liked everything, mom." Well, ok, there you go. Thanks goodness I'm going to be working in the classroom once a week or I wouldn't know anything that happens to the girl.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

First Day of Kindergarten

And all I brought home is an embarrassing picture.

When Olivia arrived at kindergarten today, she was asked to answer the Question of the Day which was "are you a girl or a boy?" and write her name on the appropriate side of the paper. Apparently this was a doozie and Olivia thought much more clearly with a finger in her nose. Since our camera battery is always teetering on the edge of running out of charge, here is the best I did on her first day of school. But don't worry, her first day was only an hour and a half and I'll try to get some better ones the rest of this week and pretend that they are the cute-as-a-button-big-milestone-first-day pictures.

Oh yeah, she seemed to enjoy her first day. She didn't say much. She went to find her friend right away, but then didn't seem to play with her at all after that. She said she spent most of the time playing in the play kitchen and that she didn't learn anything about reading. That's a good start response, right?

Dead Men Tell No Tales

And neither do old cameras whose batteries loose charge faster than a princess in Disneyland is surrounded by a mob of preschool girls.

Sorry for the late picture sharing of our trip to Disney, but due to our old camera I didn't have the selection of pictures I had hoped for. But I did document the trip with a few pictures I'm finally getting around to uploading.

Overall it really was a fun, successful trip. While the kids were far from perfect, they did much better than expected and I wasn't left saying I'd never do that again, which is a huge ringing endorsement!

I'll spare you an account of every ride there and just show you the pictures.

Pixie dust is EVERYWHERE in Disneyland. And my kids have never even seen Peter Pan. I gotta get that movie. If only our DVD player wasn't broken. What's with all our electrical devices breaking down on us?

I tried to steer clear of the long lines to meet the characters, but we did get a picture op with Woody. Noah wasn't too impressed.

Olivia and Noah showing off their muscles while breaking out of the Toons Town jail.

Daddy and Noah riding Dumbo. Gotta get that movie too...

There is a really cool Brother Bear play area that is great for killing several hours in California Adventure, if I remember right, it's all starting to blur together.

P. S. If you haven't seen the Pirates of the Caribbean movie (which I haven't) and are wondering about the strange selection of title, it's definitely one of the favorite marketing lines for Disney merchandising right about now. And Disney is a master of merchandising, isn't it? It's still quite a magical place despite having to walk through a store after about every ride.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Olivia's friends from school

Although school doesn't start until next week, Olivia has already made friends in her class. Her school had a back-to-school BBQ last night. We get there and find a table to sit at, and as luck would have it, the family already sitting there included a little girl in Olivia's class. Olivia didn't seem too impressed at first and had to be encouraged to look at her and say 'hi' but they quickly hit it off soon after. Right after dinner they headed to the playground together and sat going in circles forever on the tire swing. Reflecting upon the night later at home, I commented to Travis that Olivia and her might be friends for the next 6 years. I feel like such a huge milestone is happening in front of my eyes.

Today we had a work-day to get the classroom ready for the year. A parent from each family had to go in and work this morning. So, I made a few new friends of my own. :) While I was working in the class, Travis took Noah and Olivia to the park where all the kids were playing, and Olivia met a few more of her new classmates. One family we met included a set of twins that will be in Olivia's class, and her grandma will be the one working in the classroom. She is originally from islands off of Portagual. The mom in the family works in another school in our district, what a great person to know to ask questions about how the middle school situation is each year as our kids approach that.

I'm right away feeling comfortable with Olivia's school, teacher, and classmates. Last night after meeting her new playmate, Olivia even started saying that she is not scared of kindergarten anymore. What else can I ask for? We peeked in her classroom and saw easels, computers, a play kitchen, all kinds of fun stuff. And her school campus has 3 play structures, hopscotch areas, and a huge sand area to play in.

Four more days until the big day. I can't believe I'm actually feeling good about it. How Noah is going to do while I work in the classroom is another story...

Monday, August 06, 2007

Say my name, say my name...

Noah has recently realized what his name is. Hopefully now he'll know the difference between when we are calling to him, "NoAH," and when we are telling him not to do something, just plain "NO." It can't hurt.

In any case, we've been having a lot of conversations like this...

Noah: My name is Noah.
Me: That's right! You're Noah. What's daddy's name?
Noah: Daddy is Travis. (With a big smile, of course.)
Me: That's right! Daddy is Travis! What's sissy's name?
Noah: Sissy is Olivia. (Well, it sounds like Olivia to me, if not any other person on earth.)
Me: That's right! Sissy is Olivia! What's my name?
Noah: Mommy!
Me: But what's mommy's name?
Noah: Mommy's name is Mommy!

Ah well, maybe someday I can be Jessica again. ;)