Thursday, August 30, 2012

Owen's BIG day

This week Owen started Preschool/Mother's Day Out at Discovery Days in Huntsville.  He knew this was his big day.  With a hearty "me do!" he put on his shorts, shirt and shoes.  He even switched the socks I picked out for him!  Big sister helped him get ready :)

Owen is our clingy especially cuddly child.  It often upsets him to be away from us when left at the church nursery.  I was completely unsure of how he would react to being left at a brand new place with brand new people.  Orientation was for parents only so I made special arrangements at a later time to meet Ms. Candice at school so that Owen could meet her and feel more comfortable with his classroom.  We talked to Owen about "school" a lot over the past few weeks.  He would always say "You no leeeeave me" so you could understand why I was totally leery about drop off.

Like such a big boy, he marched right in with his new backpack and lunchbox, sat down and started to play with purple play dough.  As soon as he realized that I was still there he waved me goodbye.  No tears, easy peasy!

Owen will attend two mornings a week.  This will be the first time he doesn't have Emma around and that he will regularly be around little friends his age.  I'm excited about all the new things he will learn and experience :)

"Today you are you.  That is truer than true.  
There is no one alive that is youer than you."
 ~Dr. Seuss

Emma's BIG day

Our baby girl started KINDERGARTEN this week!!  I am so proud of her and know she will have a wonderful year.  She loves school and had a fun first couple of days.  She was especially excited to receive an orange triangle in the cafeteria for good behavior.  Emma is incredibly independent, eager to please and ready to learn.  She is set on eating cafeteria food for lunch and begs daily to ride the bus home.  

At bedtime on the evening before we read "The Night Before Kindergarten" :)

We assembled this "Back to School survival kit" for Ms. Thornton.  She called me that afternoon to thank us and commented that Emma was "so polite and well behaved".  Such sweet words to a parent's ear :)

Bright and early on the first day in front of her new school sign!

The long walk to the Kindergarten hall....

All smiles about her big day :)

Hard on the Heart

I have decided that nothing can adequately prepare one for the emotional roller coaster that accompanies parenthood.  I have been SO blessed to stay home full time with Emma for (almost) six years.  I have enjoyed having a front row seat to her whole world.  Perhaps this is why it is incredibly bittersweet to stand at the horizon and let her dash off to Kindergaten.  For months I was anxious, petrified and sad.  It broke my heart.  I literally couldn't bring myself to say the "K" world out loud.  It was hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that she wanted to eat cafeteria food and begged to ride the bus home.  I did my best to be excited for Emma because I knew she was looking forward to this new adventure.  It is definitely the next step in life for her but it's such a giant leap of faith for me.    

Just as I recorded her birth story shortly after bringing her home from the hospital, I'd like to jot down the story of her first day of Kindergarten.  The night before we laid out a new outfit, painted her nails to match, put her hair up in sponge rollers and read a new book, 'T'was the Night Before Kindergarten'.  I set my alarm for 5:55am (ouch!) and couldn't believe I had just put her to bed for the last time before we were on a set school schedule.  The alarm sounded and we woke Emma up to watch 'Martha' on PBS (her favorite!). After that she dressed in her apple applique shirt, black and white polka dot leggings, matching bow and brand new shiny Mary Janes.  After a few quick photos on the brick fireplace she put her little arms through the new cute chocolate polka dot Pottery Barn back pack we all dashed out the door.  We enjoyed McDonald's for breakfast and then headed around the corner to Lansberry Elementary.  

The place was busy with cars parked everywhere and people hustling to and from.  We guided her down to the Kinder wing.  When we opened the hall door and we saw Ms. Thornton standing in her classroom doorway my heart felt as though it dropped into my stomach.  There was no turning back now.  Emma made a bee line for the door with all the confidence in the world.  We followed to help her get situated (and of course to snap a few more photos!).  She found her table and began talking to some new little friends.  Owen felt right at home and sat down beside her.  I had held it together until this point but I felt the waterworks coming.  I started to make my way out the door but turned around once more before I left.  Our eyes met and it was almost as if she non verbally told me "I'm okay, everything will be fine mom".  The feeling that overcame me was the one I expect to feel on all of her big days....when we leave her at college and on her wedding day.  Once in the hallway I cried like I knew I would.  In all of the chaos we neglected to take any photos of ourselves with our girl.

That afternoon I showed up at least 45 minutes early to pick her up.  The line of cars was already crazy long.       I could hardly wait to hear how her day went.  She had lots to share.  She raved about the yummy cafeteria food and was thrilled to do push ups in PE.  She was excited to have received one of the first orange triangles for good behavior in the cafeteria and was proud of herself for doing the monkey bars on the playground.  

I already miss her abundantly during the day. There are countless little unexpected reminders that things are different now.  There is one empty spot on the double kid-friendly cart at Target, a missing buddy at the McDonalds play land and a little brother who often pitifully asks "We pick up Emma now fweaze?"

I know that we will all adjust to our new routine at some point.  I know that it will be a wonderful year!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Meet the Teacher

Tonight we attended 'Meet the Teacher' at Lansberry Elementary.  I may or may not have shed tears on the way there.  Emma was uncharacteristically reserved at first but warmed up quickly.  The Kindergarten hallway is decorated in a safari theme and her classroom is decorated with owls, vibrant colors and all sorts of learning posters.  Her favorite part was the upstairs play center. 

According to the schedule below, her days will start bright and early.  This will definitely be an adjustment for all of us but it looks like her school time will be full of fun and learning!  She has PE three times each week and on the other two days she will have fine arts and computer lab.

Ms. Thornton seems wonderful!  She was highly recommended by others and has been teaching Kindergarten in Trinity for 25 years.  She was very welcoming and I know Emma will love her :)  I'm sure it was pretty clear that this was my first time at this.  Most mamas probably don't have a prepared list of questions and a packet of tissues ready for backup.  Obviously I needed to know where to pick her up, where the nearest potty is, if I can be the room mom, whether or not to label her supplies and how to go about paying for cafeteria lunches.  

She looks forward to making at least fourteen new best friends on Monday!! 

She enjoyed some refreshments at the cafeteria table with daddy.  She can't wait to try the cafeteria food!

Although it is overwhelmingly bittersweet to watch her grow up, we are thrilled for Emma as she embarks on this new adventure!  We look forward to watching her learn, grow and excel in new ways.  Let's just hope that the next thirteen years don't fly by near as quickly as the last five-and-a-half have!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tiger Spirit

The Smith family showed up bright and early for football picture day.  We were decked out from head to toe in our best orange, black and white!

I thought it might be a good idea to get these kids comfortable with the mascot before the season got underway.  The only few times they had seen him before they were quite petrified!!  After a sneak peek and secret hand shake they were best friends forever :)

They sure LOVE their daddy!!  

Only TEN days until kickoff!!  Check out TIGER TALES to follow our athletic adventures!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lazy Summer days

We are doing our very best to soak up what little there is left of these lazy Summer days.  Life as we have known it is about to change completely.

Only 17 bedtimes 'til the first day of Kindergarten. *Sigh*  Owen starts MDO the very next day and Jarrod's first football game as Trinity AD/head coach is that Friday.  What a week it will be!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Big Boy Bed

Between church and nap time today we converted Owen's crib into a toddler bed.  He even got to try out his brand new big boy bedding (a Target steal, sports themed of course)!  When daddy grabbed his necessary tools Owen did the same :)

His big sister jumped out of her crib long before her second birthday (and naps completely stopped) I was planning on keeping him in it as long as possible.  He seemed perfectly content there.  However, his daddy made a good point.....there is no way to fully potty train and to expect his body to learn his signs if we don't follow through all the way.  This means no more diapers....even at sleep time (gasp!)

I was rather reluctant since mama this boy needs his daily three hour nap.  I went along with it and prayed for the best.  He came out several times needing to potty.  Once it got quiet I peeked in to find that he had pulled his curtain rod out of the wall.  Lovely.  After that he really impressed me and took a long nap!  

Just another step in growing up.  I sure wish I could find some way to keep these little ones little forever!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sea World 2012

On our last day in San Antonio we visited Sea World!  We were thrilled that our good friends, the Webbs, joined us.  Our last adventure there was in 2009 so this was Owen's first time.  

Emma with one of her besties, Bailey (another fellow coach's kid from Cameron!)

We enjoyed a few shows, including One Ocean, the newest Shamu show.  I am always so amazed at how skilled the beautiful sea creatures are!

Emma loved the kiddy roller coaster (see her hands up in the air in the far left corner)!  Little brother wasn't quite tall enough to ride.

One highlight of our visit was feeding the dolphins.  Owen immediately took to it while his sister wasn't so sure.

Luckily she warmed up to the idea :)  Those dolphins sure were happy she did!

Penguin hugs!

This is the area where Jarrod proposed almost a decade ago!  We quickly realized I was wearing the same visor :)

Owen skipped nap time and was literally snoring before we left the park grounds.  We got home close to midnight and Emma never fell asleep.  Despite the raging heat we enjoyed our time there.  I welcome Fall temps anytime now!

THSCA Coaching School 2012

We spent the past several days in downtown San Antonio for the 80th annual THSCA coaching school.  Coaches definitely overtook the town with an astounding 12,600 in attendance.  Jarrod's coaching staff stayed at the Emily Morgan hotel which was very close to the Alamo.  We walked by it countless times and Emma even wanted to walk inside.  Jarrod is quite the tour guide :)

{Our last time there ~ Spring 2009}

{This visit ~ Summer 2012}

{Outside the Alamo with Emma's photog skills!}

The kids love staying at hotels.  Only on vacation to they get to have powdered donuts for breakfast and stay up (a lot!) later than usual.  They were definitely sleepy heads each morning...especially this guy :)

While daddy was busy with sessions we ventured over to a nearby hotel so that I could participate in a few of the THSCWA (wives) activities.

This is the new association t shirt!  I was also very honored to be nominated and voted in as the assistant to our regional director.  I look forward to becoming more involved and enjoyed visiting with other coaches' wives.

The kids were super excited to reunite with the Rhoades girls (fellow coach's kids from Cameron).  They loved riding the glass elevator up and down :)

We took a walk through the huge exhibit hall and Emma wanted to take a pic beside RGIII (that's my girl)!

The kids enjoyed the Riverwalk, mall attractions and Ice Age in the theater.  

They also loved the River boat ride!

This was our final trip of the Summer.  Football season is now in full swing.  Only 28 days until kickoff!


Happy 9th Birthday to our sweet Roxie Louise!!

“He (she) taught us the art of unqualified love. How to give it, how to accept it. Where there is that, most other pieces fall into place.”  ~John Grogan, Marley & Me