Tuesday, August 15, 2017

First Day of Kindergarten

The day has come and we all survived, yay! Kinsley had her very first day of kindergarten and man was she excited about it. She has the sweetest, most positive and infectious personality and it certainly helped calm my nerves how excited she was about going. We woke up at the crack of dawn, although I always wake up super, super, super early on the daily to work, and I surprised Kinsley with a fun breakfast. Hope she doesn't think every morning will be like that because that was a one and done kind of event...until next year.

I decorated our dining room with her 1st day of school chalkboard, some sunflowers I bought her, taped a piece of paper across the table and wrote "Happy 1st Day of Kindergarten" and decorated with school supplies so they could color and doodle while they ate their breakfast of donuts and fruit. Kinsley was so excited and loved it! Kyle and I wrote her personal cards because she loves making cards right now, so I thought it would be cute and maybe a new tradition to write her her own card we make. The smile on her face when she saw them was priceless. Absolutely priceless!

We got her dressed, took her pictures and made the super long drive to school (kidding, it's like less than 5 minutes away). Silly me thought school started at 7:30 (first time school mom problems), when in fact it doesn't start till 8! So we were REALLLLLLY early! Once we could go back to her class, it was so darn cute to see her hang her backpack up, put her lunch box in the cubby, sit down and smile so big like "look guys, I totally got this kindergarten thing down pat". And she did.

Leaving her was hard. And I did surprisingly well, considering how bad it hurt and how broken my little heart felt. It definitely helped that I had two other kids to tend to, and finish working, so my mind had something to distract how sad I was. I cried when I first got her up and she crawled into my lap and gave me the biggest hug. I had this flashback to holding her as baby, getting her out of her crib and just watching her sleep. It melted me and just made me cry. But FINALLY the time came to go pick her up...

Umm....school lines are INSANE! We were spoiled by VPK pick-up because it was a breeze. Luckily she has her own pick-up line for kindergarten, but still...you have to wait with all the other pick-up parents for grades 1-5! We could easily spend an hour just trying to get her! But the second she saw our car pull-up she smiled so big and said "MOMMY!" and goodness gracious I wanted to just twirl her around and squeeze her so bad! She was so darn happy, and had the best first day. She said she loved school, made some friends but couldn't remember their names, got to play on the playground and go to the library, and how much she LOVED her new bento style lunch box, etc.. Basically- it was a great day for her! We got home and she hugged me so hard when I got her out of the car. Best. Feeling. Ever! We sat on the couch and looked through her take home folder and practiced her sight words she was learning. And then I just kind of looked at her forever because man I missed that sweet smile.

My baby girl has gotten so big. And while I love it and love seeing her blossom into her own little person now, I can't help but feel sad knowing my baby is growing up. We are so, so proud of you baby girl!

Monday, August 14, 2017

First Day of School Teacher Gifts

The season of gift making and giving has started. I found so, so many things I want to make this year, and without going overboard I narrowed my Pinterest ideas to two gifts for the first day of school for Kinsley's kindergarten teacher. First up, the pencil bouquet.

I bought a pencil holder, a few pack of crayons and some #2 pencils when we went school shopping for Kinsley. I saw this idea on Pinterest a few times, with a few different variations, and thought it was so darn cute! First, you glue the crayons around the base of the pencil holder. Ours was curved on the corners so I couldn't get a completely seamless look, but it still turned out cute. Then I traced out flowers from card stock, used a single hole punch to put a hole in the middle of each petal, and slide the eraser of each #2 pencil in the hole to create a flower with a stem. I placed some shredded paper into the bottom of the pencil holder, stuck my "flowers" into the paper and voila! A really cute teachery bouquet.

The second gift we put together was a bottle of one of my old time favorite lotions from Bath & Body Works, Country Apple (for the apple/teacher theme), traced Kinsley's hand on some paper and wrote "I know I'm in good hands with a teacher like you" on it. Taped the handprint onto the lotion bottle and bam, present DONE.

Seriously, just go search Pinterest and you'll be overwhelmed by all the cute ideas there are. I already have like 5 more gift ideas planned out in my head, so I guess we need some holidays and teacher days to quickly approach! It's always fun to show the teachers in your life how much they mean to you and your children, so make sure to give them a little something special on the first day to brighten their day.

Today it's starting to hit me as I feel like my to-do list is a mile long JUST for today. All these things I want and need to get ready for tomorrow, and it's making me so sad people. Like my stomach is in knots and I already miss her, and she hasn't even gone yet. I see her little backpack hanging in the hallway and I keep thinking oh my gosh, this time tomorrow it won't be there anymore. It'll be at her SCHOOL! But I'm determined to make sure I keep it together in front of her and make sure she has the BEST first day of school, EVER!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Hair Caddy for Busy Mornings

With school season kicking off in full swing, our morning routines have to become as simplified as possible. Trying to get three kids up, dressed (well at least one of them), fed and out the door to get Kinsley to school by 7:30am is going to feel like running a marathon every day. To keep me as organized as possible, and in case I need a pair of helping hands from Kyle or when my mom is in town, I put together a hair caddy for the kids. I love using these type of cutlery caddy's for all sorts of organization. They're convenient, they hold a lot of items and you can easily grab it and take it to any room. I don't always do Kinsley's hair in the bathroom. Most days, I'll do it while she's eating when I'm short on time, or when she's sitting on a stool watching a tv show. The fact I can carry this to any room, and know I have everything I could possibly need to do her hair helps me out so much!

Our caddy is from Target ($3), but not sure if they still sell them. It was with their summery/Fourth of July collection and haven't seen them anymore at our Target, but you can find these types of caddy's almost anywhere these days. In our caddy I have:
- hair detangle spray (I really like Suave's, because it's really inexpensive and we love the way it smells)
- hair gel (I use this if I'm doing a braid or something that I need her baby hairs to really stay down)
- hair spray (again, I use Suave because it's inexpensive and works well without making her hair crunchy)
- wet brush
- brush
- comb
- hair ties (multiple sizes and colors, depending on what kind of style I'm going to give her)
- bobby pins
- hair clips

I'll clip a few bows onto the caddy from time to time if it's one we've been using often and we grab the most. Or if I have one that coordinates with her outfit, that we pick out the day before, I'll clip it onto the caddy to remember to add it into her hair in the morning.

And there you have our simple, easy to put together and very helpful hair caddy! If you're struggling every morning to get your kid out the door, make your life a little bit easier (ha!) by putting together caddy's that will help keep you on track, organized and not shuffling around the house looking for a hair tie.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Preparing For Kindergarten

This is one of those moments that I've thought about since becoming a mom: sending my baby to her first day of school. Real school. All day school. Gone 5 days a week. It was like this huge milestone that would signify she wasn't a baby anymore, and didn't need mommy 24/7, that my life with her was over. She would be stepping out into the real world and there would be no turning back. I couldn't protect her forever and I'd have to learn to let go. She would have to make her own friends, and find people to sit in the cafeteria and eat lunch with. She would learn who she was. And learn to adjust being away from us all day long. Well...that day was just as depressing as I always thought it would be.

I've been trying my best to be happy happy happy about sending Kinsley to Kindergarten. But deep down, I'm breaking in a million mommy pieces. I've had knots in my stomach for a week straight at the thought of watching her walk into her school all by herself soon. And seeing her standing at the pick-up line at the end of the day, knowing how anxious I would be at hearing all about her day! Being a mom is great and wonderful (and stressful and crazy at times), but nobody prepares you for how hard it is to let them go. To rip the bandaid off, so to speak, and let them be them. To kick them out of your car, and hope they have a great day and not know ANYTHING about it for hours. It's horrible. Just horrible.

But man, my sweet baby girl has been beyond excited to start school again. She did VPK last year, half days 4 days a week...and while that was hard on me, she absolutely LOVED school! So it certainly makes it easier when she's happy about going, and helps me from completely breaking down in front of her. So now that she's going to "big girl school", she's been excited about it for months! She got to go to school today to get a taste of what kindergarten is going to be like. They brought her class in in small groups, and got them used to what they would be doing, showed them around the school, they got to eat lunch in the cafeteria, and only went for a half day. It's a genius idea, so the kids aren't completely overwhelmed come the first day. Although it was technically her first day today, her "REAL" first day is next Tuesday, the 15th- where she will go all. day. long.

We picked out her backpack, her lunch box, bought her school supplies, her first day outfit for next week, made her teacher a gift, and have tried out best to talk about school as a really great, exciting and positive experience with her. It has helped, because this morning she said her goodbyes with a smile on her face. The sweetest thing we did with her (by her teachers recommendation) was to kiss the top of her hand. And that way if she ever gets scared, or misses us or needs a quick reminder that we love her, she can put the top of her hand to her cheek and remember how much we love her. Kyle ended up walking her into her class this morning and reminded her about her hand and if she misses us to just put it up to her cheek and she said, "I know daddy. I already did it". Ugh, my heart.

She kept saying "I'm a little bit nervous, but it's ok to be nervous, right? Because I'll make new friends and I'm so excited about all the new things I'm going to learn!". Sometimes I just look at her and think how did you come out of me? I'm the complete opposite. I'm the worrier- like a MAJOR worrier. I'm the one who has serious anxiety over change, who is a nervous wreck leading up to new events in our life, and who has honestly thought about this moment for almost 5 years! So I'm glad my child is the exact opposite because lord knows if she was sad about going to school I probably would have scooped her up and said "OK FINE! You don't ever have to go to school! I'll homeschool you!".  But her "prep" day at Kindergarten was GREAT and she had so much fun and can't wait to go back to school for real next Tuesday! Such a relief, such a sweet sweet relief that she loves it!

Being a mom is hard. It's hard in so many aspects. But the hardest thing to experience, is learning to let them go. Learning that your life from here on out will always be an evolving journey, with lots of new chapters along the way, and learning as a mom to navigate through them and adapt with your child.  I think momma needs Kinsley to kiss the top of my hand, so I can hold it up to my cheek every minute of every day that she's away. Because man, I definitely need the reminder that she loves me, too. Next week is going to be tough, and I need the tissues ready.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Weston Four Months

*Unrelated to this post- I logged into blogger, to see nothing. Like absolutely NOTHING- no posts, they just were completely vanished. This is now the 2nd time that my posts just DISAPPEARED for no reason!? Really, really, really, really PO'd about that one, so if you're searching for other things...well, they aren't there anymore. Maybe it's Google's way of saying hey, you don't do this blogging thing enough and nobody is interested anymore so I'm just going to delete your very existence in internet land. Not a happy camper! OK, now onto Weston :)

My baby boy, my little boyfriend, the happiest and cutest little boy I have ever laid my eyes on is 4 MONTHS OLD! Four...as in three other months have passed since he was born, and then the month after those three months...FOUR. I can't even believe it. It's been the quickest, craziest and busiest four months of my life, and man he is the best. 

Sleep wise, he could definitely get better in that department. He honestly has no routine down yet. I try and stick to the same routine every night: bath, lotion & songs, say night night to his sisters, and then nurse him to sleep. He usually has a good stretch for 4-5 hours, and then the rest of the night is kind of a free for all. He's slept through the night ONCE in four months, and has come close a few other times, but generally I'm up two to three times at night with him. I know it'll get better, so I'm not sweating it right now, but man I could use a good nights sleep!

He discovered his thumb and it's the cutest thing in the world. None of the girls were thumb suckers, so this is a first for me and I just love it! For his naps he usually senses I'm about to put him down, he'll start crying and then a few minutes after I lay him down he sucks his thumb until he falls asleep. Sweet, sweet baby.  

His smiles are seriously the cutest, most infectious grins. You can't help but smile right back at him when he gets all shy and smiley around you. He's around the 90% for both height and weight (we'll know for certain his stats on Thursday) but I'm going to guess he's around 18 pounds already. He's HEAVY and solid, and carrying him around all day certainly takes a toll of my body by the end of the day. But he's so. worth. it! He's also starting to lean forward in everything you place him in, or when he's sitting in your lap. So I decided to try out the bumbo and he just sat there like yea, what's up mom? He's getting to be such a big boy and it kind of breaks my heart!

I still think he's the perfect combination of Kyle and I- although most people say he looks just like his daddy. I see a lot of Rylan in him, and I also see a lot of Kinsley in him, especially when I look at her baby pictures. But man, he is so handsome and I just love him more than I could ever explain to someone. Weston Kyle, you've made the last four months pretty darn dreamy :) XO

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