Saturday, August 24, 2013

Back to School 2013

Ahhh, the sweet sound of a cooing baby and only one whiny kid next to me. I thought this day would never come! School is back in session for the girls and these last few days have been such a roller coaster of excitement for all of us. The week began on Sunday when we decided to hit up Walmart for our school supplies. It was the most exhausting hour of my life. I had Indy in the car seat taking up the entire shopping cart and both girls carrying their own basket and about 300 other grade school kids doing the same thing. It wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't for Indy crying, Mia whining over the "heaviest basket in the history," Bella being the world's most indecisive pencil purchaser and the fact that there wasn't a pack of large Crayola crayons in sight.

Screw the nostalgia of back to school shopping that I always long for, next year I'll be ordering the supplies through school, thank you very much.

With only half of the list crossed off, we headed to Target the next day and did it all over again. But Target promised a much better backpack selection and both girls scored on some super cute light up Skechers backpacks.

On Wednesday morning, Bella (who is our resident deep sleeper) woke up, brushed her teeth, got dressed for school and came to tap on my sleeping face at 6:10 in the morning! SIX TEN PEOPLE! It was actually precious but it meant that we now had 2 hours and 20 minutes to eat breakfast and stare at the clock before the bus arrived.

This is Bella, my girl who loves to learn. A girl who'd rather be at school than anywhere else. Gosh, I envy that.

I'll never forget her 1st day of preschool and how big the backpack looked on little old her.

But today meant that she was a second grader, a title she's so proud of.

Listen, I admit it, I was SO excited. Like major nerd-mom who's just, if not more, giddy than she was. 
I think I'll feel this way on every first day back, it's just so me--I can't help it. I even spit washed her chin, you guys! At the bus stop! How embarassing for her!!!

Seriously, is she going to start asking me to drop her off places 500 feet from the entrance? I'll just die :)

Well, she's not that embarassed since she still gave me the biggest hug and kiss any mom could ask for. Atta girl! And just like that she was off to second grade.

 Mia, our other official grade schooler, had her kindergarten visitation and the three of us got to see her room, meet her classmates and chat with the other parents.

She found her cubby or as she likes to call it "cuvvy," despite anyones correction.

I love this picture!

 Mia has the same kindergarten teacher that Bella had and we couldn't be happier about that. Her first introduction to grade school will be with someone she can trust, learn from and laugh with--all the best qualities of a kindergarten teacher!

Her visitation was a success and got her even more pumped for her first day on Thursday.

Sadly, it was raining so we didn't get our traditional outdoor pics, 
but not to worry....Daddy to the rescue!

All summer I wondered if the emotions I felt the first time putting Bella on her kindergarten bus was just "first child-first school experience" feelings. I wondered if I would feel the same with Mia?

And the answer is yes! It was just as bittersweet the second time around.  In fact, we went outside to wait for the bus and the darn bus was early, and it was raining and suddenly there were THREE trucks waiting behind the bus so we had no choice but to rush her on! I didn't even get to kiss her goodbye (which broke my heart!) We had just enough time to cross over and get this picture. And it's already causing a lump in my throat as I upload it right now. 

My big girl. My confident girl. My independent girl. Her smile and wave was like a dagger through me,  I really wasn't prepared for what I felt (it all just happened so fast) yet she wasn't phased at all. Just look at her--she's happy and excited, as she should be. What a momentous feeling that must have been for her to board a bus driven by someone other than her parents taking her to a place 
she's been waiting so long for. This, this here was a milestone! 
Imagine the excitement she felt sitting in that seat looking back at us.

I get it.

And I'll feel this way with Chance and Indy too. 

When Mia arrived home and was greeted with my over the top inquisition, somewhere between the details of snack time and gym class she mentioned that Bella saw her in the hallway and gave her a hug and a kiss and sweet mother of molassess my heart swelled up right there. 

They're together, finally.

On Mia's second day the sun was shining and so was she.

I'm not kidding, he won't take his backpack off :)

Such sass!

What a pro!

Chance was reunited with his favorite bus driver who used to let him board the bus when she picked Bella up for Kindergarten, which you can read about HERE. 

And in 11 days, our little Chance will start daily pre-k. 

 And I get to feel this all over again. 

I can't wait.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Movie Under The Stars: Take Two!

And just like that our summer is over. I can't even begin to tell you how fast it went by for me (having a child the week before summer will do that to you.) But since we like to end things with a bang we capped it off with another awesome outdoor movie party. We started this tradition last summer when all our children's friends and their families gathered for an outdoor movie lawn party. And it was so much fun that we decided to do it again this summer.

There was an excitement in our home all week long leading up to the party. From movie choice to banners, the girls were front and center with preparations and decision making. After all, this is their party and I adore that they take ownership.

Her comma cracks me up!

This year we got a little fancy and added a concession stand stocked with hot dogs, pizza, nachos and candy--ya know, cinema essentials.

We decided on showing the movie Up and based our decision on three factors: an extremely high Rotten Tomato score, a best picture nomination, and it's all-around kid friendliness. It also lead to some pretty badass theme decorations. As guests arrived they were greeted by balloons floating 50 feet overhead.

Like our 40 foot Charlie Brown Christmas tree? hahaha

Watching my kids excitement as they reunited with their friends solidified to me why having this party is so important--it brings us all closer together. Months of summer separation vanished and a hint of school spirit was in the air. Even I couldn't help but have fun!

The wine was chilled, the popcorn was popped and within a matter of minutes there were blankets, families and children everywhere.

While there are several themes in the movie Up, one that we focused on was adventure. As a pre-movie activity we asked each child what adventure they'd like to do this coming year and wrote their answer on each balloon....and I'm telling you it was precious.

I could take a lesson from these kids. Alaska, South Africa, space exploration and unicorn rides are just a few of the awesome adventures these kids want to take!

And on the count of three, each child grasping a balloon string excitedly let go and watched as the  balloons soared high into the sky. Don't worry, the environmentalist in me had it tethered to the coffee table, but to a 4 foot child, it certainly felt like they were releasing it!

Once the sun went down we pressed play and snuggled with our families, clinging on to the last of our summer memories.

The night couldn't have been any more perfect.

And we'll do it again next year.

Here's to another great year.

And here's a little movie about our movie!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Chance's Vroom! Vroom! 3rd Birthday!

Holy crap, Chance is 3! SERIOUSLY, WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN? One minute he's a hard-core morning snuggler next minute he's peeing standing up. He has grown SO much since Indy's birth, which is such a blessing because I was afraid he was going to regress. Nope, not a bit. In fact, his birthday marked his official day of going BOTH #1 AND #2 on the potty, which was so awesome since he's really only been doing #1.

Jeez, I've talked about urination twice already and it's just the introduction. No more urination stories, I swear. On to the party....

For his birthday this year, Chance wanted a Lightning McQueen party.

 Thomas the Train was SO last year, sniff sniff, man I really loved his locomotive phase. Little man has moved up the licensed character ladder and his grubby hands are firmly planted on anything and everything Cars. 

He woke up to find the dining room decked out Nascar style--which he absolutely LOVED.  After breakfast we headed up to our local fun park for some surprise go kart racing where every family member got a "Pit Pass" and took turns driving on the tracks, even my mom! Spoiler alert: white haired people are slow drivers even in go karts. 

He was thrilled! 

 Look at the little stud! 

After we all raced twice, we presented him with the "The Piston Cup" gold medal and you would have thought he won the Olympics.                                                                           

We spent an hour at the fun park (which was a perfect amount of time actually) and headed back to the house for lunch. The entire week before his birthday Eugene and I would give Chance options for the lunch menu and he wasn't liking ANYTHING that we suggested. So, in what could only be described as total desperation, I suggested "crunchy chicken" and he started jumping up and down! Now I don't know about you, but I haven't had fried chicken for like a year.  It's one of those meals that I feel terribly guilty eating and avoid as much as possible. But now that it's the main course to my son's birthday lunch---I just have to eat it. Well holy shit, this mama licked her fingers clean! There's a reason I only eat fried chicken once a year and that's because IT'S SO DAMN GOOD! 

To make things a tad bit intresting we had a "Fried Chicken Off" between Kentucky Fried Chicken and Popeyes and Popeyes won by a land slide!


It was a PERFECT day for Chance.                                     

Which is exactly how a birthday should be, right?

Happy Birthday to the sweetest, kindest and cutest 3 year old I know. We love you Chancey. 

Here's his birthday video of our awesome day!


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