So, sometimes, I’m just going through life thinking that the kids understand the words that we use around them or that they overhear and I’ll get reminded in a very funny way that they still sort of have no clue. For example, on Wednesday, while waiting to drop Ava off at school, a car passed by us on the road. It was a yellow sporty car with a rear spoiler. It looked sort of like this:
It wasn’t that nice, but you get the idea. Ava shouts out, “Mom, that car has a nodder!” I asked her to clarify and she said, “You know, like in Cars! ‘We’ve got ourselves a nod-der!’” (If you’re not fluent in Pixar, here’s the applicable movie clip.)
For Ava, spoiler = nodder. Classic.
I am never, ever, ever going to correct this. Feel free to giggle at her until she’s 18 and figures it out for herself.
Today was the first day of school for our household (beware: lots of pictures ahead!) and to say we were all excited would be an understatement. We’ve had a great summer, our first without any type of school schedule. But, our kiddos are their parents’ children, so more routine is always better than less. By the first of August, we were kind of ready for our new normal, even if it does come with more driving and homework.
I spent last night worrying over the drop-off schedule so that Ava wouldn’t be late for the 0810 bell and how best to juggle Noah into the mix so that no one ate breakfast too early or showed up too late. In the end, I decided to drop Ava off first and have Noah tag along for that. We could leave the house later that way and it worked out great. We dragged our feet as long as we could before we left, but still arrived to school before they’d opened the doors. At least this time we weren’t alone! A big crowd was gathered when we showed up, so we had plenty of company. Noah and I walked Ava to her classroom and she got settled in. She was happily coloring a “welcome to school” worksheet when I left a minute later.
In her report at the end of the day, I learned that she had not eaten her sandwich at lunch because it was too cold (a big deal for PBJ, apparently), had eaten half her yogurt cup (and left the rest of the open yogurt cup in her lunch box), had PE and recess, read a “mind story” about a monster going to school, does not remember any of her fellow classmates’ names yet, and she kept her behavior clip on the green plate all day. So far, so good, I think. Tomorrow brings more firsts, as she’ll be riding the bus on Tuesdays and Thursdays and will have Music class. By the end of the week, I think we’ll all be old pros at this school thing.
Noah returned to Mini U for Pre-K this year and we are all thrilled that his teacher from last year, Ms. Donna, has moved up with him. They were only together for about 8 weeks last school year, but were fast friends. Their mutual love of baseball might have something to do with their instant connection. (wink, wink) She and I had a good chat this morning and I left feeling confident that many of our challenges from last year were going to be resolved in this new academic year. Everything about school was familiar and that got Noah’s day off to a great start. Drop off was a breeze. When I picked him up, he had had a GREAT day and was sweaty and exhausted from playing on the playground. He has grown up so much over the summer and is going to make huge gains this year. I can’t wait to watch him grow and learn!
We’re off and running! Here’s to a great 2014-2015 school year!
If you’ll remember, we spent all winter (and this one was a loooong one) talking about when baseball season would be here. Well, it arrived six weeks ago and ended this morning. We signed the kids up to play their first-ever season of T-ball through our local YMCA and they’ve had a pretty great time. Ava’s got a golden glove, whether she wants to admit it or not, and Noah really likes to bat and play first base.
Things I want to remember about this season when we get ready for next season and forever:
- Sign the kids up only if they really want to. If they get signed up, they will play the whole season. Period.
Ava was all for signing up when the signing up happened, but decided she wasn’t really in love with playing t-ball. In spite of this, she was actually pretty good and always played hard during her games. Have to remember to let it be her call when it’s time to sign up next year. Noah LOVES baseball but, at three, loses patience with the pack-ball nature of the game and with the rigid structure of non-backyard imaginary play. Also, he’s really good at following a coach’s direction – a very pleasant surprise. Another year of maturity will probably serve him well next season.
- If you don’t volunteer to coach, only coach when asked. Also, an organized volunteer coach is earning his sainthood every practice and game. Say thank you…often.
We did a lot of sideline coaching during the first couple weeks of the season. Then, we started sitting in the outfield (the safest place to be since the ball is NEVER out there) after that. The kids did a lot better when there were fewer competing voices and we learned a valuable lesson about the real reason for their participation. Six words only: “We love to watch you play.”
- Six weeks is a long enough season for kids this age. Don’t get overzealous and try to let it take the whole summer.
So glad we tried tball this summer because I think we all learned a lot. It’s good to get fresh air on Saturday mornings and I’m sure this is only the beginning of our organized sporting activities. We’ve gotten a taste of what’s in the future, but, for now, we’re glad to be done with the season. We were so happy to watch them play.
Today is the last weekday of our summer. From here on out, we’re in the official school year. We’ve got another weekend, but then it’s off to the races.
To mark the occasion, we enjoyed a picnic dinner and some time at Eastwood Metropark. Eastwood has become our favorite stomping-grounds this summer since it has both an abundance of “nature” (read: longish grass, water, and birds/ducks) and a good playground.
We’ve got one more Saturday morning full of t-ball games tomorrow and then we’ll rest up for the big day Monday. Not gonna lie, I might be doing a happy dance by 0830 Monday morning. Together all summer is cool, but school days are awesome.
PS – The blog is back!! I’m going to try to make this a regular-ish thing, so come back soon!
Two weeks from today I’ll work my last full-time day at Sinclair. This is a change that’s been hanging on our hearts and our minds for months and months and we finally took the plunge just before Christmas. All that said, it couldn’t really be more fitting that my two-weeks day comes on another significant day, Valentine’s Day. What better way to celebrate such a turning point than with a day consumed with honoring the love our family shares together? Really, love of family is the driving force behind the choices we’re making now.
In November, Ava put together a playlist of songs for her dance party birthday party and one of the songs on the list was OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars.” Its driving beat and upbeat message have made it a family favorite and it was on heavy rotation as Matt and I were making choices about how we wanted to live our life going forward. For me, this song became an anthem of sorts…a reminder of all of the options we are lucky enough to have and of the freedom that comes from truly dreaming big.
Lately I been, I been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I been, I been prayin’ hard
Said no more counting dollars
We’ll be counting stars
Yeah, we’ll be counting stars
I see this life
Like a swinging vine
Swing my heart across the line
In my face is flashing signs
Seek it out and ye shall find
Old, but I’m not that old
Young, but I’m not that bold
And I don’t think the world is sold
I’m just doing what we’re told
I feel something so right
By doing the wrong thing
And I feel something so wrong
By doing the right thing
I couldn’t lie, couldn’t lie, couldn’t lie
Everything that kills me makes me feel alive.
-OneRepublic, Counting Stars
So often, I’ve lost sleep thinking about all the little moments we were missing at home and with our kids and rather than taking time to count the stars, we’ve been counting up the wrong things. Little moments are, in fact, our big dream. It’s the whole thing. To live them, notice them, collect them, treasure them. When I search my heart for what I truly want in life, I have found that I only really want to have done good work. To get to do good work for a family I love? That is a big dream, indeed.
To capture this dream in a tangible way, I took the moments we’ve collected this year on Instagram and made a video. These little moments…these snapshots in time…these are our big dream realized. It is truly beautiful.
And, hey, Matt? This video is your Valentine’s Day gift, as are all the moments I know are ours to share in the future. Thank you for making our dream possible by doing the work you do. LYS.