Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Back To School Dilemma

It has now been 3 weeks (2 full weeks) since school started and it has been quite the whirlwind. I have been posting more over on my school blog Insane In The Pre-K Brain about the fun things we have been doing in my class, but that is not what I want to talk about today. What I want to talk about today is this kid.

I will be honest and tell you I was kind of worried about school starting . I was so afraid that I would be scraping her off of my body everyday with tears and snot everywhere. I was especially worried about what would happen when she saw me during the school day. Brent and I discussed what we would do on the first day of and we decided that it might be best if I went ahead to school and get ready for my class wile Brent brought Mckinley to school a little bit later. This plan would have worked perfectly if I hadn't desperately wanted a first day of school picture and told him to bring her down to my classroom before walking her down to her own class.Well you can guess what happened next! There were tears, leg grabbing, and a very sad baby and daddy. She of course was fine after a few minutes, but it still broke my heart and had me worried for the rest of the school year.

Let's fast forward to the first full week of school because this is where things get interesting. As a parent you want your kids to always be happy, but you also want to know your child still needs you. You know what I mean mom's! You want them to enjoy themselves, but you also don't mind  a few tears or a lingering hug because it makes you feel needed. This is what I was expecting on our first full day of school. Mckinley and I drove the 2 minutes to school together for the first time and she of course begged to listen to her Llama Llama Time To Share cd to which I happily obliged. I had to get a few things ready for that day and Mckinley played in my classroom until it was time to walk her down to her classroom. I think I was holding my breath the entire 30 seconds it takes to get there so imagine my surprise when she refused to stand still for a picture in front of her classroom door and ran into her classroom to hug her teacher Mrs. Barbara. She never looked back and forget giving me a hug or a kiss. I was so happy there were no tears, but what was this other emotion? Heart Break!! I immediately turned and slowly walked back to my classroom because  as a teacher I know better than to call her back because that is when things always go downhill.

I know I know I should be happy that there were no tears or screaming, but I at least wanted a hug or maybe just a tiny wave!So I dealt with the fact that my child handles change well and moved on to worrying about what I should do if she saw me in the hallway during the school day. I wasn't sure if I should just roll with it or hide from her for the first few days. I was good and went 3 days without checking in on her or letting her see me in the hallway. Thankfully the band aid was ripped off for me because she spotted me one day before I could hide. I wish I had a picture of the way her face lit up when she first spotted me! I had to keep myself from running over and scooping her up and kissing her on both cheeks! She wanted a hug and asked me if I could get her (mama heart exploding here!), but was super cool with her hug and a kiss and I told her I would get her after nap. This totally made up for her dissing me on the first day.

Basically what I am trying to say is my child loves school and as a teacher that makes my heart happy! She wakes up and immediately starts asking if I am ready to go yet! It doesn't hurt that she is completely spoiled at school. People just can't resist my tiny ray of sunshine. She is so sweet and entertaining and that toothy grin of hers makes for a perfect little package.

It just makes me happy to know that she is so well loved and taken care of everyday.
How could you not love this tiny piece of work?

Monday, August 11, 2014

First Day Of School

I don't have many words to explain how I feel today except for excited, tired, and a little sad. Today was my first day back to school and it also happened to be my baby girl's first day of preschool. Thankfully I had so much going through my mind for my classroom that I never really got a chance to dwell on the fact that my baby wasn't a baby anymore, but a big kid who goes to school. 

After a long night of going to bed late, a balloon and fan incident and my alarm not going off I never had a chance to get nostalgic this morning. Thankfully I had decided at 11:00 last night to scrap my first idea for a first day of school picture and decided to do a little chalk art instead. I have an awesome framed chalk board my sister made for me this past Christmas and it was perfect for all of the pictures I was able to squeeze into my already hectic morning.

The 11th hour (literally) sign

And indoor shot 

An outdoor shot

A shot with our classroom sign that we forgot to change the 4 into a 3. I am going to get a redo picture when Mckinley goes back to school on Thursday

And an after school shot since I didn't get a chance to take a picture with my baby this morning.

What a whirlwind of a day for our little family. Tonight daddy is cooking us dinner and we are going to relax and snuggle. Tomorrow I will have another half day with a new set of babies and Mckinley will go to our babysitters house since she doesn't go back to school until Thursday. Wish us luck that drop off on Thursday is a little easier with fewer tears. Also pray that if we happen to run into each other in the classroom there won't be any tears. I am hoping the more she sees me the easier it will be on her.

I will be posting on my school blog Insane In The Pre-K Brain more frequently so come on over and check things out. We are going to have such a fun school year!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Mckinley and Noah's Tomas The Train 3rd Birthday Bash

This year we decided to shake things up and give a joint birthday party with Mckinley's best friend Mr. Noah. 3 years ago Noah was born on Mckinley's due date and my wild child was born 2 days past due and these 2 kiddos have been besties ever since. Thankfully we also consider Noah's mom and dad as some of our nearest and dearest so it was more fun than actual work. It was also pretty useful that Noah's dad Ben just happens to be a graphic designer and could make all of our invitations and goodey bag tags and my dad owns a printing company and could print everything for us. After we had our theme we were ready to start planning.

Having never had a joint birthday party before I wasn't sure how we would divide and conquer everything , but I think we did a pretty darn god job making sure everything was taken care of for the big day. It doesn't hurt that we all enjoy getting together and grilling some burgers and drinking some wine. I honestly think that is the recipe for planning a successful party. Good friends, good food, and good wine.

Once we came up with our theme and chose an invitation design we got to work on planning our menu and any other little details. My inspiration for the entire party was based around this picture I had pinned on Pinterest. After we had our set up idea we could start planning out our menu. We decided on a simple menu since our party would be at 1:00 and some people would have eaten by then, but we wanted to make sure we had enough food for those who waited to eat. We had spinach dip and chips, Cheese balls, vegetables and ranch dip, fruit, pin wheel sandwiches, pretzel dogs, pigs in a blanket, and of course it wouldn't be a party without some cake and ice cream. To drink we had sodas, water, juice, beer and sangria. All simple and easy yet it was enough to feed a hungry swimming crowd.

The night before the party I headed to my parent's house to begin the party set up. I am so glad I spent so much time prepping beforehand because I didn't want to be rushed the day of the party. I started by setting up the food table and laying down the rail road tracks. I had purchased some inexpensive plastic green table cloths to be my base layer and to make it look like grass. Next I used blue painters tape to create my rail road tracks all around the table. I really wanted to use a brown or black tape to make my tracks, and almost bought some duct tape, but I am very glad I decided to go with my gut and stick with the painters tape. I ended up having to re-position a few pieces of tape after already laying them and if I had gone with the brown duct tape I would have torn my green table clothes to shreds. The painters tape allowed me to easily pull off any piece I wanted and move it into the correct position.

After laying all of my rail road tracks I got to work on the train cars that would hold all of our food. I found these loaf trays at Kroger and after roughly figuring how many cars our train should be carrying (12) I started hot gluing on the wheels I had cut earlier in the day. This only took a few minutes since I am a glue gun master. I went ahead and set all of the cars around the table so all we would have to do was throw the food in and relax.

After my amazing track laying skills the only thing I had left to do was get the tags attached to the gummy snacks for our goodies. Noah's dad Ben took created these tags for us and I will toot my own horn here because I came up with this idea with my crazy teacher brain! I knew I wanted something train themed and this just popped into my head one night right before the party. All I did was tape a tag on each gummy and threw them in a bowl for the party guests to grab before they left.

My final party craft was super simple, but turned out so cute. I wanted something to put outside so people could find the party and I wanted something train themed of course. I recreated this cute sign I found on Pinterest and I do believe mine turned out pretty darn cute. I reused a piece of board my dad had cut while fixing a few boards on my house and a little poster board and viola we had a sign.

The only other set up we did on the party day was set out the food, fill a few balloons (I have a fear of popping balloons so I did not participate in this!), set out the drinks and throw a train track on the table.

The final touch to our decorations was of course the birthday cake that my amazing mom made. She works at a bakery, but isn't one of the cake decorators and with a little help she was able to create the most amazing Thomas The Train cake. I couldn't believe how absolutely precious it turned out!

 Mckinley and Noah definitely enjoyed blowing out the candles on their own chocolate cupcakes and then Mckinley just started attacking the cake

I am calling this birthday the best most fun and relaxing so far.
To quote a line from one of Mckinley's favorite books Moosetache to sum up this birthday,
 It was simple, so easy, so perfectly perfect!