Friday, September 17, 2010

Laugh the day away...

Last Sunday I kept finding myself staring at Alice. She just looked so grown up and beautiful...I'm not sure if she really changed overnight but it sure seemed like it. Luckily she let me do a little photo shoot to catch the moment!

Alice loves life!
(see that glint in her eyes!)

I think she inherited much of her happy & carefree personality from my brother, Adam. Crazy little kid that he was...I remember him making me insane when I had to babysit him. He was always in trouble and always laughing about it!!!

Life is funny and there's hardly a situation that can't be laughed at for Alice. It makes disciplining especially difficult as she belly laughs in my face no matter how heated and mad I get! The thing is--she isn't trying to be bad--she just really sees humor in all things. (I'm now sure my face is pretty comical when I'm mad!)

She also thinks her only purpose in our family is to tease. It doesn't matter if the object of her teasing is laughing, screaming or crying. Teasing must be done by someone! Her teasing habits have been increasing exponentially lately. Her sisters will either learn patience or suffer!

I love that I have a kid that forces me to laugh in difficult situations...I love her so much!
I know I have happier days because of her little smile and laugh.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Miracles do happen!

1st day of preschool
4 1/2 years old

We've learned many things as parents in the last 4 1/2 years about raising a child that is "shy". I'm going to log this in detail more to connect with other parents that struggle with this same issue than to complain about the rough road! As a baby and toddler I never imagined this character trait to be a hindrance. It actually made Maya seem really easy--she just followed us around quietly and was never very demanding. Then fast forward to the age that it starts to become necessary to develop socially and find out that it is a very painful process. This past year has been full of many painful and tearful moments for both Maya and I as we learn to negotiate this difficult road. I've learned to respect that it is almost physically painful for her to be out of her comfort zone but I struggle all the time with when it's right to push her and when I should let her cower behind me??? It has gotten to the point that I can't hardly leave her EVER! Even if I need to leave her with a friend that she knows really well, it is a major show-down (Sorry about those bite marks, my friend!!!) She has panic attacks that are impressive to say the least.

Realizing that we would really like her to succeed in school, and Kindergarten is one short year away, we decided to enroll her in a preschool program at a local church that we've heard great things about. She has known all summer that preschool is starting in the fall. Up until 2 weeks ago the mere mention of "preschool" ended in an hour of frustrated and panic stricken yelling and crying from her. I've been wondering, "and how is this suppose to succeed?!?!" We've focused our efforts on many prayers, more baby steps towards separation, and reading lots of library books about kids that are scared of school at first.

Well...I'm here to tell you that miracles happen! Look at that smile on her first day of preschool. She was still really scared but also a little excited. I don't think she hardly said 2 words to anyone on her first day but by her second time she told me that she made 2 friends and her teachers said she had told them that I was having a baby. So she must be feeling more comfortable and we're progressing!

Now on the way to preschool our conversation is about what it means to have "mixed emotions" as she tries to explain that she really wants to go to preschool and also really doesn't. Let me just say that I'm one grateful and happy momma to see this BIG baby step in her life! It was only a few weeks ago that I thought I'd never survive it!

And even some smiles after preschool. Hayley and Alice came to cheer her on and pick her up. Yeah!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

2nd Grade!

It must be second grade when mom forgets to even take a picture of the first morning of school! Couldn't have even imagined doing that in Kindergarten....but school's old news now, right?!?! I did catch her that afternoon...happy and tired!

I can't believe my baby is in 2nd grade! That sounds so old! Our elementary school is split in 2 buildings across a busy street and 2nd grade is when they move up to the "big" building so it really felt like a new and scary beginning for me. But Hayley is our little socialite that excels in school so she hopped happily into the distance as I looked back a hundred times just in case I needed to wave again. But nope, she found a crowd of friends and was happy as could be, so I'll hold the tears and move on too. It's nice to be past the emotional goodbye stage....she's happy & I'm happy! Nice.

The day before school started we had to run out and buy some new shoes for her growing feet. We realized she only had sandles that fit...and school requires closed-toe shoes. Apparently, she's finally big enough that she doesn't get velcro shoes anymore. So we had an afternoon crash-course of how to tie shoes and she mastered it! She even said she was the "shoe tie-er" for the other kids on the first day of school!

We also made it to the teacher meet and greet last week and got a picture or two in her new classroom. We've heard awesome things about her teacher and she's got lots of good friends in her class so we're excited for another awesome year!

Her sisters helping her get her new desk organized. After she was done, she said, "Look how clean my desk looks!" How bad does it normally get, Hayley?!?

So, we're off to early mornings, packed lunches, homework, reports about the day, and whatever other adventures this year may hold! After a summer of laying around being so sick...I'm excited for the routine and structure for the kids.

Maya starts preschool next week...