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Friday, July 25, 2014

School Prep & Nerves


In a month Gianna will be starting her second week of Kindergarten. Which is just NUTS to me.

But ready or not, here we go, right?

We found out that she will be able to ride the bus and have all the details on that squared away - and it turns out there are something like 4 or 5 other kids from our neighborhood who will go to her same school! The only downside is that we have to walk her about 1/2 a block to the bus stop (and to pick her up, of course) but it is what it is so we will work with it.

We are getting the rest of her uniform attire tomorrow, she is getting her before school hair cut (trim!) and hopefully we will be able to do the rest of her school supply shopping this weekend. She doesn't have a lot on her list, which is nice. Probably the oddest thing is the headphones she has to have for computer class! Oh and we of course need to pick out a backpack and lunchbox. And shoes. Okay, so maybe we will need to stretch this into next weekend....

But either way, we HAVE to be done and ready to go next weekend because we are going to be out of town prior to school starting and the last thing anyone wants to do the day they get home from vacation is go school shopping!

So that is the prep part, we know what to get, we have our lists made, etc.

On to the nerves part.

Gianna is NERVOUS and dare I say maybe even a little scared about starting school. Which, how can we blame her? She's never been there save for one time for an hour during screening. She doesn't know anyone (yet). She's never been gone all day before. It's literally going to be 100% new to her. And as history has proven, she doesn't always like new routines or change. I think she is excited, at least she will tell you she is excited even if her face says otherwise, despite her nerves. But we have been seeing a lot of behavior from her that says otherwise - and she has said on more than a handful of occasions that she is a little nervous. She's afraid school will be hard because "sometimes learning is hard for me, mama." (breaks my heart that she feels that way, but that's a whole different post).

Mike and I (and everyone she's around regularly, I think) always try to be really positive about school - it's going to be so much fun! A new adventure! I tell her every time that she expresses nervousness about it that yes, it might feel hard at first but that's because it is NEW! Anything new feels hard (remember how swimming felt hard the first day.. etc.) even for grown ups. But it is all still such an abstract concept to her that I think she has a hard time believing what I am saying! She really thinks that we can just pick her up after lunch if she's not having a good day or if she's tired.

In order to help with some of the nerves we are going to start back up with a morning routine so that she knows exactly what to do and in what order. This has always helped her feel in control, and it cuts down on us reminding her (which pisses her off, quite frankly!) of what to do next. We have started waking her up a little earlier in preparation for getting up for school - her bus comes at 8, so we are going to start with an hour of wake-up/get ready time since she is NOT the kind of kid who can just get up and go! It's a process. I think I am going to make her a little count-down calendar too, she is having a hard time with when school will start and we can put other fun things on there for her - safety city, vacation, etc.

It's strange for me, as her mom, to think about her being in the hands of strangers (who we trust!) for 7 hours of every day, even if I am not home with her during the week. I'm not nervous about the school, we picked this school because we think it is the best fit for her, but I am nervous about her being nervous! I am confident that after the first few days things will be better and more comfortable for her, but we are also basically preparing for the worst/hoping for the best for those first few days.

But it is still impossible for this sleepy little cutie to be a Kindergartner, I don't care what you say!



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Monday, June 30, 2014

Growing up

We all know by now that these adorable little people we are so blessed to have call us mommy and daddy are the biggest time-suckers ever invented. It seems like yesterday they joined our family as itty bitty humans and tomorrow they are going to be taking on the world.

Or in this case, Kindergarten.

Capture

I am an emotional wreck over this whole kindergarten business – not because I am necessarily sad about it, but because MY ITTY BITTY HUMAN is going to be gone all day. Because once school starts, it doesn’t stop for a very long time. It’s the first step to college. She might have gotten bigger, but she’s still my itty bitty human. Watching her grow up has been the greatest joy – I had no idea how awesome this journey of motherhood could be (how could you know beforehand?!) and it keeps getting better. Different, harder sometimes, but better.

The whole starting school thing has me wanting to latch on for dear life and then about 10x tighter to every moment with her since I get so few of them. Like how she wears silly pj combinations to bed which typically consist of a tutu and some kind of head wear (a hat, pink bunny ears, a tiara). As much as it drives me up a wall now, I’m sure I’ll miss the way she stalls at night and whines at me when she wants my attention. Okay, maybe I won’t so much miss the whining part as much as the attention seeking part. I love to spy on her while she plays – her imagination has always been fascinating to me and it still is. To watch her create stories and scenarios, crafts and pictures, getting her thoughts out into the universe however she can is pretty cool. She drew a picture today of our family “in the good old days” when Aleesia was a baby, she told me because Aleesia “didn’t take my toys then but I still love her anyway.” 

When Gianna tells a story she doesn’t leave out any detail, real or imaginary. My favorite story lately has been about when she went fishing with her Papa. “We went fishing, I had my Barbie fishing wand and Papa put on the worm ‘cuz it was gross. Then you have to watch the bobber, you know, the decoration on the fishing wand, until it sinks under the water. And when it sinks you have to real it in fastfastfast. then Papa takes the fish off!”

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I hope she always beams so bright when she accomplishes something she tries hard at. And that she stays so close with her Papa.

Gianna gets really nervous when she knows change is coming so we are trying to keep the whole school business low-key and no big deal but she asks almost every day about it. It’s nice to know exactly when she starts (it’s actually right when we get back from vacation) so we have sort of “time mark” to help us. She is excited but the unknowns sort of swirl in her mind sometimes it seems so we just try to answer whatever questions she has as best we can and reassure her that it’s still summer and to have fun! Sometimes though, I think I need the reassurance as much as she does that it’s still summer and to enjoy it!

It’s sometimes hard to watch your itty bitty human grow up, but this doesn’t feel hard as much as it feels likes it’s the ending and beginning of an era. The end of her being under our protection full time and the beginning of the school days where she might learn more about the world then we are ready for her too. It’s going to be great, hard sometimes I am sure, but it’s still summer time and we are going to soak in as much fun as we possibly can!

Before I know it I am going to be crying my eyes out every other day because my itty bitty human is going off to college and kissing her on the cheek before work in the morning as she sleeps in her tutu with her bunny ears on is going to be such a distant (fond) memory. They really do grow up in the blink of an eye, huh?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

room sharing

 

One of the things that has to happen before the new baby (I am still sort of in shock by this phrase!) arrives is moving Gianna and Aleesia into the same room. A very small room, may I add. We want to do this sooner than later to work out the kinks that I am sure are coming.

I’ve figured out the furniture arrangement for the room, when the time comes and I am sure the closet will be organized appropriately.

But what I haven’t figured out is how we are going to manage bedtime with two girls who have different bedtimes. Aleesia is typically in bed before 7:30 and goes down pretty easily. Gianna is typically stalling to go to bed from 8 until at least 9. She has been stalling even more than usual lately (thank you mr. sunshine for staying out so long, but also we need room darkening shades STAT!) and just generally not wanting to go to bed for.ev.er.

So for anyone who has gone through this before and for anyone who wants to offer their advise, here are my questions:

  1. How do you manage bedtime with 2 kids in the same room when one is asleep much earlier than the other. What do I need to say or do to get it through the big one’s head that being quiet is very important when she goes to bed? I’ve already told her that if we have problems at bedtime she will have to go to bed before Aleesia, which she of course didn’t like.
  2. What can we do to make the room feel special for Gianna? She says she’s excited about it, but I’m not buying it yet! I might need to post some pictures and get opinions in a different post!

What is with the bedtime stalling, anyway? tonight Gianna told me she couldn’t sleep because she had an itch in her ear! I give her 10 points for creativity on that one, at least!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sleep Sacks! (#productreview)

Last summer I posted about an awesome product that I was introduced too – the Merino Kids Sleep Sack.
And I am here to tell you that we STILL love this thing. And by we, I mean Aleesia. She slept in her precious sleep sack all winter long and was snug as a bug.  We never had to worry about her being cold and she knows that when that baby is on her changing table it’s bedtime. It served as the perfect cue for bedtime.
The other best part about this product? How incredibly well it holds up! Aleesia literally slept in the same sleep sack for almost a year and after many washings, unfortunate middle of the night vomit episodes, and general baby sweet it still looks brand new! In fact, we have two of these now and I honestly can’t tell which one is the new one and which isn’t! The zipper is still flawless as well. Plus with the generous sizing she has plenty of room to grow!
Aleesia has been sleeping more and more without this lately but if she ever has a restless night we put her in the sack and she is out like a light! I think the weight is comforting to her at this point.
Since the peanut usually only wears this to bed I unfortunately don’t have any updated pictures of her in her super awesome sleep sack, but take my word for it, we are HUGE fans!
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And because we are such huge fans we want to share some great coupon codes with you so you can get your own (they make GREAT gifts too!)
  • Merino Kids - Babysleepbags
    Coupon code VO5DD2RR
    Buy 2 or more items from Babysleepbags.com, get an extra 5% off.
    Includes Merino Kids, Safe T Sleep, Poppet

  • Merino Kids - Merino Kids USA
    MerinoKidsUSA.com
    Save an extra 10% on orders of 2 or more items
    Coupon code EX10YHLA
**This product was provided to me for review but the opinions, and cute baby, are my own**

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A little love

Some days I look at my girls and beg them to share their never-ending supply of energy with me.

Most days it still takes my breathe away that I can use the phrase "my girls" in a sentence! 

The rest of the days I am amazed at how much love I have for them. It's so beyond anything I could have ever imagined, which I know sounds terribly corny. 

It took me a little while to feel that unending love when Gianna was born. I had just met her and she cried a lot! But we got there and that love between a mom and her daughter is powerful stuff. And then I panicked for at least 6 months before Aleesia was born that I might not have enough love to give her or that I would be taking something away from Gianna.  When she was born, it still took me a little while to give my whole heart to her the way I had given it to Gianna but we are totally there now. 

I went and tucked Gianna into bed the other night and realized that when she says "I love you mommy, see you in the morning" it still makes me smile as big as the first time she said it. When Aleesia snuggles into my shoulder it makes me melt just as much as when she was first born. 

I no longer fear that I won't love Aleesia as much because I know that I love them each a little different because they are different people. but I am happy to report that there is indeed enough love to go around. 

Which is a great thing to realize and be comfortable with considering what's ahead for us. 



Christmas is going to be extra special this year and we are so excited to share our love!