Wednesday, August 17, 2011

1st Week Under the Belt

These are the thoughts that were rattling around in my head, the morning Dev started school:

Perhaps it was denial or I was just very unprepared for how would feel this morning. This being the day my one and only marches off to full-time school. It appears easy for some parents...even a relief. And, I thought I would feel that way too. I remember flipping through the calendar pages of my planner to August 2011. I imagined how awesome it would be to have ALL day to get things done. But, today I guess the bitter is taking over this bittersweet moment.

It's hard to trust and feel 100% comfortable about her spending the majority of her day with someone else.

I often frame my role as a SAHM, just like I would any other job. I take it seriously, I want to do well...I want to do the best I can for Devin. It feels like a major part of my job responsibilities are over. It's like, my project got cancelled. Or, something.

I wanted to jot down how I was feeling, so I could look back I guess.

Day One: Brought many tears. None from Devin...lots from me! Devin articulated that she was "scared" about Kindergarten. I thought that was so mature of her, to express how she's feeling with words vs. acting out or crying. She marched off from car pool like a trooper and was in great spirits at pick up. She was most excited about getting to climb a tree on the playground & fixing her own snack.

Day Two: She still mentioned being scared during the 45 second drive to school, but I reminded her how well the previous day went and that there would be more friends in her class today. She was happy, if not a bit wild at pick up. We spent the afternoon at the pool, which was deserted, since most schools have started by now. It's hard not to play 20 questions with her about school, here are some Dev quotes:

-I tied 2 shoes today.
-They heated up my Tortellini for me.
-Miss Katie picks the person who gets to go first. It's usually the quietest one or the one who has their legs criss-crossed.
-We learned to carry chairs today.
-I got my own snack today. I didn't ask anyone. One scoop of bunny grahams and 3 slices of orange.
-I found a 4-leaf clover at the playground!

Day 3: No mention of being scared today. She was actually looking forward to meeting the rest of her classmates, who are 5 turning 6. This afternoon, she finally seems a bit tired from the week. I've had to wake her up each morning...which I've honestly never (ever) done before. Dev's seems to be a morning person. She wakes easily and is quick to get up and get moving. But, I know she'll need some extra rest this weekend.

Devin asks one of us to "play chest" almost everyday. She is begging to start in the Chess Club at school! I think she will love this and it only keeps her at school 15 minutes more. It's such a great life-long game, which my Dad taught me at about the same age.


You can almost see her bottom tooth about to fall out. It's SO wiggly and loose, but the dentist likes them to fall out naturally, no pulling. We have a regular check up next week, I hope it's out by then. The tooth fairy pillow she made with Grandma Ann, is on stand-by!


One of my favorite hobbies is dressing Devin:) I'm always on the lookout for unique skirts and dresses, that can transition through 2-3 seasons.

This may be my new favorite.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Open House-Our Journey Begins

Tomorrow, Devin begins "real" school. Yesterday, we went to "Open House." This was an optional, afternoon event & Dev and I took some of her stuff for class. One really nice thing about her school is they keep everything she needs in the classroom. (Rain coat, boots, change of clothes, slippers, blanket, pillow, etc) So, they don't even need a back pack. Which is good, because "Barbie" back packs are not allowed!


This is the assistant teacher, Miss Karen. She did a great job of taking these 2 and getting them comfortable with the space. I heard Devin tell her, "I already saw the bathroom when I was here cleaning." She also told Miss Katie (the main teacher) about the Barbie backpack. Um yeah. I wasn't going to mention it...but ok!


Some of the "typical" Montessori teaching tools.

Devin's so excited to learn to count to a 1000! With these beads, they can.

On her own, Devin was very interested in some of the "works." (The proper term for the various activities in the room)

The major adjustment (for all of us) will be the schedule. School starts at 8:00 am. Yikes. What a difference an hour makes. But, the cornerstone of the Montessori method is the 3-hour work cycle in the morning. This allows the children to explore and fully engage in an activity without distraction or interruption.

With each visit, Dev seems a bit more relaxed about the change of schools and her class in general. At bedtime last night, she seemed to look forward to her first day and hasn't had any nightmares since last week. She will start tomorrow, earlier than some of the older kids. Keep in mind her class is 21 children, broken into 1/3's by age. Meaning, about 1/3 of the kids are 2/3, some are 3/4 and the rest are 5/6 like Dev. This week, everyone attends school through lunch time and then goes home. This is supposed to help children adjust to the early start time, without getting too tired. Wish us luck.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Again with the sickness

Yuck. I guess I picked up another nasty bug this week that was awful. This episode was very similar to being sick a month ago, so I will be following up with my GP to see if I should visit a gastro. In both cases, the nausea hits in the night without any warning. This episode was particularly relentless. It felt like I was on the verge of getting sick for 24 straight sleep.

I had to get rehydrated in the ER again and they ran several more tests...nothing.

And, no. I'm not pregnant. They made sure & took x-rays of my torso to check for obstruction.
I'm feeling much better this evening, but only about 50%. It's frustrating. Since the last episode, I've made a concerted effort to eat more fruit and healthier in general. I even cut my precious wine and mimosas out completely, to detoxify.

Again, everyone stepped in to help with Devin. Matt had to attend Dev's school registration alone...let's hope this is it for a looooong while. I usually go years without getting a major bug.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I know corn grows in endless fields around here. But, there's something so cool about growing your own! I have two varieties growing, in 2 small boxes, instead of long rows. (That's supposed to help with the pollination)

It's a great plant for Dev to watch starts so tiny and gets SO big. And, she recognizes the cob.

Hopefully, it will indeed be Sweet Corn.

Oh my. I'm not even sure this is an "acceptable" back pack for Montessori. We haven't been to the parent orientation yet, but I know other schools don't allow "character" clothing or back packs. No Disney, no cartoons, nothing. I've got my fingers crossed they'll allow this awfulness for a few weeks...cuz' Dev's 1000% thrilled with finding a Barbie back pack WITH hair.

And, hey. She chose it, so I'm following that important principal!

Our bittersweet moment last Friday. These 3 women (plus Miss Irene, not pictured), meant so much to our family the last 3 years. Miss Noelle (the one holding Dev) was with Dev for the 2-Day 2's and 3-day 3's. Miss Cindy (in the middle) is the music and movement teacher and was the first person Dev came home and told us about. Miss Karen had Dev for her 4-Day 4's class where she truly flourished. So, it's been difficult for Devin (and me) to say goodbye and close the preschool chapter. She expresses that she "misses" St. Francis & is showing other signs of anxiety around the change of schools.

I've been slowly trying to adjust Devin's schedule the past few weeks, in preparation for school. We stay busy in the mornings & I've been pushing her into the rest time, more activity etc... Then early dinner (around 5:00) and bed by 7:00/7:30. The hardest part is getting her up at 6:30, so we have enough time for waking and breakfast. School starts at 8:00 am, but it's less than a mile from home.

As we're out and about, people say to her, "Ohhhh! Aren't you excited to start Kindergarten??" She just stares at them...because she isn't excited. She's anxious and unsure about why we're not at St. Francis and who her friends will be. Montessori allows for an individual plan, to adjust to school, so we're starting slowly next week. Devin will attend a few mornings in her classroom & serve as the "helper" to the younger children. We feel that might keep her busy and focused, plus give her a sense of being a leader. A few children are added each day, until the class in complete. Then, she will start the full-day routine. I'm thrilled about her teacher, Miss Katie. She's experienced, calm and always down on the child's level to interact and instruct.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Blast From the Past

We stumbled upon some old videos of Devin, hidden deep within our external hard drive. I love listening to her little voice ramble on about apple pie and not taking pictures. I forgot how much she used to hate me filming or taking pictures of her. I also realize how many "cooking shows" she's done for us. I think I posted this video a loooooong time ago.

"Apple pie is difficult. You have to touch it. Never, ever touch it."

I returned home from work the other day, to find this note. Any guesses?

What do Ninjas, babies in closets, tree drains, escalators and snakes have in common?

They're all NOT in Cinderella. Apparently, Devin thought it was important to make note of the differences between the movie they were watching and the story of Cinderella.

We're busy relishing the last 2 weeks of summer vacation. Our days are filled with play dates, swimming pools and crafts. Next week, we visit Montessori for registration/meeting her teacher. August 15th is the first day of school, but they spend that week in "transition." This allows the students to acclimate at their own pace and get settled in to the routine.

We also signed up for the Fall session of ballet/tap class. Devin absolutely loved her mini-session this summer and I'm very pleased with the studio. It's a no-nonsense, no-frills, family owned and run studio. This fall, she will be learning small routines and will have a recital at the end. The studio provides DVD's and photos, so parents don't have to strain to film the event.

The unrelenting July heat made gardening a challenge. I learned pole beans are a complete waste of time and garden space. I couldn't believe the massive foliage, without many beans. Never again, I'll stick to my Blue Lake bush beans. My tomatoes, cukes, zucchini, pumpkins and corn are all thriving. More pictures later!