Tuesday, August 13, 2013

First Day of School?

I have traditions for my classroom on the first day of school.  But now, I've got a little one that will have a "first day of school" and not just "ANY" first day of school, but the first day of KINDERGARTEN!

I know it won't be a tradition in her life.  Traditions build over time.  But, I do want her first day of Kindergarten to be special.

We had a special breakfast on the first day of school growing up.  Mom fixed Bubble Bread (I think most people call it Monkey Bread.)  I don't remember anything else about the first days of school.  I know I wasn't allowed to wear my school clothes we bought over the summer until school started.  (Check)  I remember going shopping for my school supplies and the fun and excitement of choosing the supplies.  (Check)

A bubble bread breakfast would be WAY too much food for just the two of us.  Also, since I'm a teacher and have to get to work really early on the first day, a super special breakfast is hard.

I'll take a morning picture for sure.

Any other suggestions?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Update on Her New Experiences!

These are just a few more things we've done this summer!

Swimming Lessons:
She has finished her 3rd session of swim lessons and she's doing great!  She still LOVES jumping off the side.  I showed her how to do a cannonball (I've told her I will only jump when we're the only ones at the pool! ;) and she's so cute trying to hold her knees and THEN jump off the side.  She LOVES doing a belly flop.  She is proud of her "airplane arms" and "ice cream scoops" and will show them off if you ask her.

"Wha's my teacher's name?" is the constant question.  I tell her we'll find out soon.  "Meet the Teacher" night is two weeks from yesterday.  She doesn't understand weeks, and I know to her it seems like forever, but it will be here before we know it!

Wet Zone:
A friend and her niece live in Rockwall/Rowlett area and met us at a fun, neighborhood water park there.  She absolutely LOVES a lazy river and the water spout things.  She REALLY wants to ride the tall slide, but she's about four inches from being tall enough.  There were some slides that she could do though, and she loved those.  She liked being able to turn the wheels to turn the water spouts on and off.  She especially loved it if she could turn them on when some unsuspecting person was walking by. ;)

Indoor Safari Park:
We went with Sara and her girls, E and A.  The girls had fun sliding down into the ball pit and playing in the "city" of buildings that was their height.  There were some areas for jumping and some for climbing and the entrance fee included a train.  All in all, she enjoyed it, but it wasn't much different than McD's and she LOVES McD's.

Public Swimming Pools:
The Parks and Rec has beefed up their pools since I was a kid!  One that is really close to us has a lazy river!  There are fun slides and water spouts and all sorts of things.  Most of the pools have inside/outside options, with one only being outside.  We've been to three total and go pretty regularly.  She just LOVES swimming!  The lazy river is still a favorite, but she likes just standing in the outside shallow pool and splashing, too.

Friday, August 09, 2013

A Recap on the Week

See this post.  It was fun! ;)

Somebody (not me) dropped a HUGE ball of communication.  Something was supposed to happen, and we didn't find out that it was NOT happening until it was too late.  LOTS of schedules had been moved to make this happen, so it was frustrating.  I can't even begin to tell you how much.

There have been ants in her bathroom sink off and on for awhile.  The pest guy has come before and the ants were gone for 2-3 weeks, but they're back today.  They're the little tiny ants, and she's not scared of them (thank goodness), but they're annoying and cause "time to brush your teeth" to be an adventure.  "What if there are ants?"

She saw a tiny gecko in her shower and wants to keep it as a pet.  I'd rather that reaction than scared!  A little hard to explain why we are not adding a pet to our home.

I dropped an egg while getting it out of the fridge, thus having a fun mess to clean up.

Sidewalk that leads up to my new classroom is torn up, with dirt and rebar the only access for some of the day.  (Which was totally accessible for walking, just not bringing the flatbed to move the rest of my classroom items.)  Then, they poured cement, making getting in and out of the room interesting. :)

I decided that expecting this week to throw curve balls was a good plan, because then I wouldn't expect things to go the way I planned. :)

Something else was supposed to happen today, but did not.

Emailed my principal asking for a door between the two classrooms.  I seriously thought she'd laugh a little and be like, "Alyssa.  Come on now, hon.  Let's be realistic."  I thought this was a "pie in the sky" type of request.  Cut a hole in the wall and put in a door!?  Um, her reaction was "I've already handled it.  It'll happen before school starts."  Wahooooooo!

A tutoring kiddo cancelled.  It was for a really good reason, but since this particular tutoring kiddo owed money today...and paying bills is a positive thing....it was a little frustrating.

At some point, I drove over a nail, flattening my tire.  Traded cars with my dad, drove my little one to swim lessons and home again.

Except, while getting in the car after swim lessons, I dinged the car next to me.  I walked to the group of boys and men that were having football practice on the lawn next to the parking lot and asked if the Tahoe belonged to any of them.  (We've been going to swim lessons for 6 weeks.  Long enough to know the football team's coaches park as far towards the grassy area as they can, so I had a pretty good hunch.)  The man just said, "It's old.  Is it a big scratch?  Thanks for being honest!   You have a good night!!"  I literally choked up a tad, told him thank you and walked with my little one back to my dad's car.  

Picked up Angela, dropped her off at Zumba, dropped my little one off at VBS (found out today was "water day"....great!  She's not really in "let's get wet" type clothes and her shoes have been worn all of three times.  Sigh...), met dad at Discount Tire, traded cars back and he left for work.  Waited at Discount Tire for them to replace the tire...which only cost me the price of a new roadside hazard.  LOVE Discount Tire.

Went to school and moved the final four loads...but it's all just sitting in a pile in the middle of my classroom floor, because I don't, currently, know where it's going to go!

Monday, August 05, 2013

Today's "Oops" Moments

I locked myself out of my new classroom, and since it's a portable no one on campus has keys to it yet.  Yay, Me!

I wore a pair of pants that have a hole in a bit of an embarrassing place and are now in the trash.

Swim lessons are cancelled for today and tomorrow.

I was supposed to be one place at 1:45 (briefly) and the next place at 2:00.  I made it to the first place at 3:00 and the next place at 3:30.

I forgot I left my teacher cabinets totally full of random things...not packed at all...because I was planning on having kid helpers and they could just carry the things to my new classroom, so it wouldn't be a big deal that they weren't in boxes.  Except, right now kids can't be in the new room, so I'm going to get to cart it all out there myself!

I got on the HOV lane, not realizing that I would need to get off the highway before there was an HOV exit, which meant I had to go 2 miles past my exit and then u-turn and get in 5 o'clock rush hour traffic.  (I'd been previously going against that traffic.)

I'm hoping no other "oops!" happen today!

Saturday, August 03, 2013

New Experiences

I can't post pics, and I know that makes blogs WAY more fun, but I'm going to try little synopses instead.

I realized I'd been posting a lot about MY perspective of life right now.  Today's post is all about HER perspective of various things we've done.

I was going to try to do this chronologically...but please...that's too much brain work! ;)

The Dallas Zoo:  LOVED it!  Went with a friend and her two girls.  I have a PRECIOUS picture of J and E holding hands while walking to the crocodiles.  It was REALLY hot!  She'd been asking to ride a pony, practically daily, so we made that happen.  She thought the pony should be smaller than it was.  We fed a giraffe!  I think I was more enthralled with that than she was.  It was COOL!  She fed goats and touched a box turtle and a pot belly pig.  She saw a zookeeper holding an owl and feeding guinea fowl.  She did not understand why she couldn't touch the flamingos or the tiger.  She still talks about "When I rode the pony yesterday?" and "I touched it?"  when talking about almost any animal we saw.  (We're still working on timing.  We went about two weeks ago.)

Rode the DART Rail:  She'd been wanting to ride a train.  This was okay and all, but why doesn't it "choo choo"?

The Perot Museum:  She had a BLAST in the Children's Museum exhibit.  She put on a construction vest and went through the farmer's market with a basket filling it up with fruits and vegetables.  She got to "drive" a farmer's truck.  She also enjoyed the conveyor belt that hauled foam triangles, rectangles and squares up and then dumping those same shapes down the appropriate chute before loading them on the conveyor belt again.  She didn't really care about the dinosaur bones, though she did want to feed one of them. ;)  She liked the machine room (my wording...no idea what it's really called).  She was able to build some things with plastic-y, lego-type pieces.  She really liked that.

Swim Lessons:  When we first went swimming at my apartment complex pool, she showed ZERO fear.  The first day of swim lessons, though, she was a little nervous.  However, she's now half way through the third session, so 5 weeks total.  She's doing great!  She loves jumping off the side of the pool.  She knows how to hold her breath and go under water.  She can swim "free style" for about three or four strokes on her own before she wants to be touching something.  She can float on her back.  She LOVES wearing goggles, but she's okay without them, too.  She's having a blast!

Enrolled in school:  I gave her a tour of her new school.  She wasn't sure about the cafeteria or the gym, "Alyssa, I don't know how to play basketball."  "I know, honey, they'll teach you.  And, it's not JUST basketball.  You'll have races and hula hoops and jump ropes."  "Races?  Hu-a hoops?  Jum ropes?"  :)  We walked into the Kindergarten pod and saw the computers and the bathrooms two of the classrooms.  We even got to meet a Kindergarten teacher!  Her favorite part was the library.  We've been to the public library a few times and she loves reading stories every night and even will pick them up some during the day.  (I LOVE that she loves books!)

Oklahoma:  We've been to visit my family in Oklahoma twice.  The first trip was super short, just one day, but the second trip was for the weekend.  She had a blast!  She got to hold guinea pigs and catch a frog and play dress up and be tickled silly.  We went to my cousin's little league game and she enjoyed nachos and a pixie stick.  She was taught the downward Longhorn sign that Sooners do, but she gives my cousins a hard time, by doing the correct Longhorn sign. ;)

Gymnastics:  We went to an introductory class today to see how we liked it.  She LOVED it!  She did a FABULOUS job of following directions.  Today's theme was Barnyard Bonanza, which thrilled her since she loves animals.  She got to bounce on an air trac and learn to do head rolls and swing on a low bar and do the beginnings of a cart wheel.  It's all about gross motor skills.  It's great!  We're enrolled for the next month.  She's going to have so much fun!  On a side note, they had Legos and Lego animals out for the kids to play with before class starts.  She knew exactly how they worked and how to attach the train pieces and began building a great train to carry a plethora of animals off somewhere fun!

Coconuts:  Every night at bedtime, we read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  (If you're not familiar. all the letters of the alphabet try to climb a coconut tree.)  Today, my parents bought a real coconut and we busted it open and she drank the milk, "Is GROSSSSSS!" and tasted the coconut.  It wasn't her favorite, but she still had fun!

I'll try to do this every so often so it won't be as many next time! :)

Thursday, August 01, 2013

A Couple Things I've Learned Recently

1.  I remember being on the phone with friends who are/were mommas of young children.  They'd constantly be interrupted and sometimes I couldn't even tell who they were talking to.  They didn't say "just a second" or move the phone away from their mouth.  They didn't tell their child(ren) to wait because they were interrupting her phone conversation.  It was constant and sometimes almost pointless for us to be talking.  I was okay with it, but not great with it.  In my head, I'd be "Um, why'd you call me?" or "Why are we still on the phone when it's been a five minute phone call and we've exchanged two sentences?"  Mainly, I thought, "Please train your children to not interrupt you.  Manners are important." or at least I thought something along those lines.

To some degree, I still think that.  If the interruptions are constant, I just schedule a time to call the person back.  However, if you and I are talking, and I need to talk with her, I've probably already asked her to wait at least five times with nonverbal signals of some kind.  I've tried to handle her needs/wants quietly while we're talking and still attempting to follow our conversation.  I do talk with her about waiting until I'm off the phone, but this type of training takes time and she's not there yet.

I promise I'm working on it.  Please keep calling me!  I WANT to talk to you!

2.  I have been embarrassed by "my" child's behavior in stores or when meeting someone new.  I want her to be polite and talk to someone I'm introducing her to.  I want her to walk quietly and not touch everything.  I want her to know her manners and use them.  I want her to not be silly when talking with you or the cashier or when I'm trying to talk with a store employee.  My first thought is, "She's only been with me ____ weeks!"  My next thought is "I'm TRYING to teach manners and appropriate behavior.  She's improving!  But we're not there yet!"  Of course, I can't say ANY of those thoughts.  My pride is taking the beating.  I've seen the store employee's eye rolls.  I can practically hear the muttering under the breath when our back is turned.  I've done it before, too.  I know!

I've learned to judge less.  Realize more often that I DON'T know the circumstances.  Sometimes, in all reality, that person with the whiny, silly, lacking-in-manners child is doing the absolute best she can.  I will give grace more often.  I will offer a helping hand more often.  I will smile when a momma is tempted to turn away in shame more often.  Sometimes, it just takes a little understanding.