Sunday, September 23, 2012

Project Life, Week 38

 We received a beautiful bouquet of dahlias from a couple at church.
Isn't this one just stunning?!?!

 I've been giving the boys lessons in bed-making.  We make the bed together, and then they are responsible for putting all the pillows and bed friends on top.  This is Reed's arrangement.  Not too shabby. ;)

 Luci does enjoy her new backyard.
She does not, however, enjoy the squirrels that come with it.

 We learned quickly that Drew has to take his shoes off outside everyday after school.  The sand from three recesses adds up.  I could not believe the amount he had in his shoes one day this week.  How he can walk around in this all day, I'll never know.  I would bet that if I saved it, we could fill our own sandbox by next summer.

 It's beginning to look, and feel, like fall around here!  Temps were in the 60s all week long, which called for flannel pjs.  Oh are they ever comfy.

Tigger, Jingle and Reed thought it was pretty chilly, too.

The good news: I didn't fall off. 
The better news: The kitchen is painted.
The bad news: I don't think I like it.  Urgh.

Jet's Pizza was recommended to us as the best in town.
We tried it out this week.
The best?  We concur!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Balloon Fest

We spent last night out at the Midland County Fairgrounds, enjoying the annual Balloon Fest.  In a nutshell --- picnic at the fairgrounds with a lot of hot air balloons, parachuters, and some random Darth Vader and Chewbacca sightings.

It was a beautiful night.
The balloons were awesome.
The parachuters even more awesome.
Super fun night with family.
Another really great reason we love it here.

 {The Star Wars crew was on hand for photo ops.  I tried to get the boys to pose with Chewy, but they found Princess Leia much less intimidating and much more attractive.}

Project Life, Weeks 36 & 37

Here's a look at the last couple weeks around our place...

My parents came for a visit, and Dad brought along with him all sorts of gadgets and gizmos to start getting our new house into tip-top shape.  Starting out relatively new in the home-ownership arena, and never before having a real reason to own tools, having Dad come for both his knowledge and equipment was immensely helpful!  We had a "short" list of things we wanted him to look at, as well as a few other things we needed to learn how to do ourselves, and Dad with both willing and patient as we tackled quite a few tasks around here.

On the top of the list was installing board and batten in our kitchen.  It took all day Monday (Labor Day) to accomplish the task (which included spending the morning at Home Depot getting the wood cut, and all afternoon manning the nail gun to attach the boards to the walls).  

And because our tool inventory is incomplete, we had to use a little ingenuity when it came to creating sawhorses. :)

Week 36 was also Drew's first day, and week, of school.  I'll be including a few pictures from this post in our album.

 My mom spent her days with Reed while she was here and while Drew was at school.  Come Thursday (when my parents left and it was just him and me), he was a little beside himself on what to do.  He asked a lot about when Drew was coming home, but otherwise quietly preoccupied himself.

 Loving that this rug finally went on clearance at Target!  I've been eyeing it for the boys' room for quite a while (as it's the exact color scheme I'm going for in there) and was thrilled when I found it this week for half-price.  Yay bargains!

Saturday was an awesome day.  I think the boys played together, nicely!,  I think they've really missed their days together!  They made quite the mess in the basement...but they really were having a most awesome time together.

Saturday lunch.
I love this photo.
And, yes, it was a pajama day. :)

I found I took nary a photo this past week.  Drew's second week at school was much better than the first, so my emotions were a lot more stable and I was able to be much more productive!  I recently downloaded the Instagram app onto my phone, and I'm loving using it.  Many of this week's photos and stories were documented there.

 Drew came home from school Tuesday and told us that they played "The Name Game" at school and his name was first.  I'm still not totally clear on all that the class does for this game, or what the objective is, but Drew informed us that everyone drew a picture of him.  And sure enough, on Wednesday he brought home a booklet of drawings that each classmate had drawn of him.  He felt pretty darn special about all of this.

Super productive week on my end.  Monday I spent caulking.  Aw yeah, that was a blast.

Later on in the week, I spent a lot of time on my sewing machine.  These are curtains made from bedsheets for the boys' room.  I also made pillows for their room and some fabric coasters.  Loving productivity.  Loving using my hands.

Drew lost tooth #2 earlier this week.

I began a new Beth Moore Bible study with a group of women at church.  Loving getting back into one of these.  Loving being part of this group.

We're making strides in the bathroom with this guy.
Who doesn't love seeing the underwear sticking out of the pants...with the shirt tucked in, to boot!

We spent last night at the Midland County Fairgrounds taking in Balloon Fest.  I'll be including several pictures from there in our album...and a full post about it coming soon!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Progress Report

Four days into week two of full-time school.  And things are looking up!

We talked with Drew on and off over the weekend about school.  We realize and accept this is a big change for him, and want to help him work through his nervousness and sadness about it - especially considering he has many, many years of schooling ahead of him and oh my lands if he's still crying on the first day of 7th grade, we've got a problem!  So we talked.  We talked about the things that are really awesome about school and we talked about the things that aren't so great.  We didn't want to make a super huge deal about it all - it's really just a fact of life at this point for the kid and he just needs to get used to it.

So I didn't expect for things on Monday to be perfect, but I was hoping for improvement.  And with a lot of positive talk and a lot of silliness and laughter and not to mention that fairly healthy bribe we offered him should there be no tears...  Big Man Drew pulled it off!  He needed some reminders as the flood gates were about to open at a few different moments, but a silly remark or funny face made him laugh and he snapped out of it.  

And he received his new Cars car when he got home after school.  :)

On Tuesday, better still.  It was almost like he was a new man!  He still wants me to walk him into his classroom and walk with him through his morning routine there, but he was pretty low-key about the whole thing.  And when I went to leave - I barely got a kiss!  I know this is a good thing.   

{Of note: on Tuesday morning, one of the aides in his classroom told me that he is doing a lot of good things at school.  She suggested to Drew that he show me his "bee sticks."  They are popsicles sticks that are given as reward for, as Drew says, "doing good things."  Apparently upon receiving 10 bee sticks, the children will receive some sort of prize.  Well, when we marched over to see all the bee sticks, Drew had four.  The most in the whole class.  And yes, I will brag and be very, very smug about it.  Ok.  I'm done now.}

His mood has been brighter all week.  He hasn't said "I don't wanna go" since Monday.  He's made at least one friend, even calling him his "best friend."  He's doing good things there, apparently, and every day he tells me his day was good.


Kindergarten may not be so bad after all.    

Saturday, September 8, 2012

His First Week


We made it through the first week of school.

"Made it" meaning we survived.

And that's about all we did.

It was rough.  Whoa boy, was it rough.

Backing up to the beginning of the first day of school, however, things were alright.

As I like to do, I threw together a little celebration breakfast, in hopes of helping Drew feel extra special and to get him a little extra excited for his first day.

 {You also get a little preview of the board and batten my dad and I installed on Monday.}

Printables found online.  Somewhere.  I'm sorry I've lost the link!

 French toast, OJ, and bananas.

And let's just say sometime the effort isn't worth the hassle.  In this case, Drew was too anxious about going to school that he didn't appreciate the sentiment.  That, and he's five.  But whatever.  ;)

Anyway, he was kind of sulky and had a negative attitude about the whole school thing.  He's been like this for preschool the last two years, too.  Even though he always has a great time while there, the anticipation of actually going to school trips him up.  He's a bit of a negative Nellie, to say the least, and he had a hard time finding the good in the situation.

I diverted his attention a bit by asking him what he wanted in his lunch box.  He perked up a bit as he chose between peaches or applesauce and pringles or goldfish.  Oh, the decisions a kindergartener must make!  He then got dressed without too much of a hassle, and he kind of cooperated for some photos.  

 Rain on the first day of school doesn't give us the best backdrop for first day of school photos.

And then it was time.

Brad and I escorted him to school, and to his classroom.  I promised to divulge what his special treat was once we got settled into his room (because that's how we do things around here.  Bribe - and hope that it works).


Seriously not impressed once I told him we'd be going to Culver's for dinner as a special first day of school meal.

Seriously nervous and anxious and sad and desperate to be anywhere but where he's at.

Seriously difficult to reason with or to help him feel better.

Seriously tough for this mama to walk away as his tears get bigger and bigger and his cries for mama echo through the classroom door.

Because no matter how much I tried to comfort and explain and tell him why he had to stay at school, he's five.  It doesn't matter to him.  All he cared about was that he didn't want to be at school alone, without his mom.

He just wanted his mom.

And I had to walk away.

Brad and I lingered in the hallway and Drew quieted rather quickly.  Brad peeked back into the room and saw him sitting calmly at his table.

After school, both Drew and his teacher told me that he cried at lunch because he wanted to come home.  He knew that mommy was sad and he had to make sure I was alright.

Sweetest kid ever.

The week was an adjustment for all of us.

My parents were here from Sunday until Thursday, so they were a nice distraction for Reed and myself.  Dad and I kept busy with house stuff, and Mom and Reed were partners in play.  But I thought about Drew all the time.  I hated not knowing what he was doing or if he was ok (although I did know he was) or if he was still scared or sad or lonely.  And obviously, when I picked him up he was fine.  His mood was brighter than when I had dropped him off and his teacher confirmed he'd had a good day.

Wednesday was a better morning.  He was a bit uncooperative at home, but there were absolutely no tears at school.  He was still clinging to me as I left and wasn't all that willing or wanting to stay without me, but he did without any emotional breaks.

And I was feeling much better.

And then Thursday.  And Friday.  More tears.  More struggle.

And it's draining and exhausting.  I've tried to not think about him all day.  But I do.  Believe me, I know he's fine.  I know he's safe and having a good time and that he'll soon come to love it.

I suppose it's just as hard for me to separate from him as it is for him to separate from me.

The two things that Drew has repeated this week that are tough are 
1) it's a long day.  And it is.  Seven hours away from home and his "normal" is a shock to his little system.
2) lunch is the hardest part of his day.  For whatever reason, he misses me the most then.  I need to explore this more, but I'm thinking having lunch with him at school every once in a while might be a good idea.


It's been a long week.  It's been a challenge facing this next step.  For both Drew and me.  And Reed.  He spent all day Thursday (after my parents left) asking when Drew would be home.  {But this morning he told me he wanted to go back to the store (we ran errands on Friday) when Drew was at school again.  Ha!}

Monday we'll start all over again.  We are talking about school a lot and trying to garner a more positive attitude in him and asking him some questions about the tough spots in his day.  I know he'll love school.  He really enjoyed preschool.  Once he meets a new buddy (and I did catch him chatting with a classmate on the playground on Thursday!) and finds something to be excited about, he won't think twice about me. 

I'll learn to be okay with that.

{Tuesday afternoon was beautiful, and provided some much nicer photographs for his first day of Kindergarten.}

And we did make it to Culver's for dinner that first day of school.

And contrary to his earlier pout, he did enjoy it quite a bit.