Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Summer Wrap-Up

Mitch's last day of preschool
Labor Day weekend we wrapped up our awesome summer. Since our road trip, we were very busy having fun in Austin.

It has been very hot, so we spent as much time in the water as possible, at different splash pads and pools. Sometimes our friends even came with us! We are very grateful to have both the Quarry and Brushy Creek Splash Pads not too far from home. In fact, we like the Quarry so much, that’s where we had my 6th birthday party, right after we came home from our road trip. It was a blast and I’m glad so many of our friends could make it to my celebration.

We also found lots of fun, nearby pools, each very different. The nearby middle school has a pool, which was good for a quick dip when we were hot and didn’t have a lot of time. We’ll probably like that more when we’re older because it has a diving board. We also visited the pool in our old neighborhood with friends and were chased out by a sudden thunderstorm. We were searching for a new swim school, so that gave us the chance to try out their pools too.

Mitch's last day of preschool
We found the best pool, by far, at the end of the summer – Milburn Pool. It’s great because it has a huge waterslide that was fun for the grownups and a splash pad with a waterslide in the middle of the pool that is more our size. Fortunately, the two times we went to Milburn, we took friends with us, so we were able to share the fun with them.

One day in August, Mom was sick and Dad took us out to the lake with our friend Will, who has a boat. Each of us had a chance to ride in the tube behind the boat and had a great time. 

It’s exhausting being out in the hot sun all the time, water or no water, so we had to find some inside fun too. We hit a lot of fun birthday parties at some interesting places, went to a few library story times, Mom took us to the children’s museums in San Antonio and Austin, and we went to Ikea a couple of times, with and without friends, where we tried out all the beds and enjoyed their kids eat free lunch.

Turner's haircut - before
We also took care of some business, like Turner’s first hair cut. Mom had a hard time cutting off his curls. He said he was ready though, and he looks like a much older kid now. He was super proud of his new ‘do. The next morning when he went to school, he yelled to anybody who’d listen, “Hair! Hair!” while hitting the top of his head. 

Hazel needed some one-on-one time with Mom, and one day in August, she got it. They named it Chick Day. One morning when we all would have gone to preschool, Mom dropped Turner and me off and she and Hazel went for breakfast at Einstein’s Bagels and then the mall so Hazel could use a Claire’s gift card she got for her birthday. She picked out a crown, a Hello Kitty doll and a humongous pen that writes in different colors. While they were at the mall, Hazel rode a carousel. They had a great time together.

Turner's haircut - after
At what may have been the hottest part of the summer, we all went to San Marcos to cheer Mom on while she rode her bike 26 miles in the Tour de Jalapeno. Her training buddy rode along with her, which made the ride a lot more fun, Mom said. We are pleased to say she made it, but came home with a flat tire.

Other outdoor time included making mud pies and getting together on Saturday mornings with other kids who started kindergarten this fall. We also went to some Round Rock Express baseball games, which we really liked. Some of them finished with fireworks and one finished with a chance for kids to run the field. I keep telling Mom we want to go to more games next year than we did this year.

Some exciting end-of-summer news was when some new friends moved in. A new family a couple houses down includes a teenager who has turned out to be a great babysitter and her two little sisters. Also some good friends moved back to Texas from California, including a baby and a boy my age. Mom is really thrilled to have them around again.

Chick Day
We wrapped up the summer, with back to school events, including a party at a trampoline place – which I didn’t like and immediately left -- and a meet the teacher morning. That gave me a good start for kindergarten.

Labor Day weekend, the week after school started, felt like our last gasp of summer. It was still incredibly hot out – it was more than 100 degrees every day that weekend – but almost all the pools are closed after September 2. So we made the most of it!

Mom was hard at work cleaning and organizing our house while I was at school last week, so we kicked off our weekend getting rid of stuff we didn’t need any more at a yard sale. Mom and Dad woke up early to get out there and we had fun blowing bubbles and using our sidewalk chalk. It was an overwhelming success, and there wasn’t much left for Mom to haul to Goodwill afterward.

We next headed to my new swim school for my first Saturday lesson there. It went really well -- much better than my after-school lesson -- and Mom was very impressed with how well I did. So impressed that we went next door for frozen yogurt afterward!

Our afternoon was filled with more swimming when we all headed to Milburn Pool for the last time to meet up with some friends, Dylan and his dad, Eric. That also turned out to be more exciting than we expected, when Mom offered to babysit Dylan, who is also in kindergarten, so Eric could go watch football with Dad downtown.

Chick Day
After we had pizza for dinner, we made gingerbread cutout cookies, and Mom was very excited about how well we shared all the cookie-making tools and about how good we were at making the cookies ourselves. After that, we made sleeping bags out of blankets and all went to bed camping-style in the upstairs toy room. Hazel and I have been talking for ages about wanting to have a sleepover, so we were really excited. Even though we looked really wiped out, Mom expected us to fool around. But after she turned the lights out, she didn’t hear a peep. When Dad and Eric came home, Eric picked Dylan up to go back to their house, and Dylan was so knocked out, he slept through the whole thing! We all agreed, our first sleepover was a real success.

Sunday we took it easy during the day because we had a big night ahead of us – a party at the house of one of my kindergarten friends named Evan, who we got to know at the summer playdates. I was excited to see him and he cracked a huge smile when he saw me at his house. His Dad made a really cool outdoor oven and made tons of gourmet pizzas for everyone. We brought dirt cake topped with gummy worms that we helped Mom and Dad make that day. Hazel ran off with the other girls at the party and Mom and Dad didn’t see her pretty much the whole time we were there. Turner really liked Evan’s dog. It was all a real blast and we hope to party with them again soon. It was definitely a fun way to end summer.

We have lots of photos!

For summer wrap-up, click here

Mitch's 6th birthday: click here.

Turner's first haircut: click here

San Antonio with Mom: click here.

Chick Day: click here.

Chuck E Cheese birthday party: click here.

Mitch's last day of preschool: click here.

Monday, September 2, 2013

My First Week of Kindergarten

August 26 was my first day of kindergarten. I was really excited to start school. 

I had the chance to get to know my kindergarten teacher last year when I was in preschool, this summer on my birthday when she taught a cooking class I was in, and last Friday at Meet the Teacher day. She is super nice and a great teacher. We also had the chance to check out my classroom and put my supplies away at Meet the Teacher day. So I was as prepared as possible for the big day.

When I woke up in the morning, the first thing I did was crawl in bed with Mom. I snuggled her for a long time. She was very happy I took the time to say hi on my exciting morning.

The day before, on Sunday, I ate a sticky granola bar and the next thing I knew, my loose tooth was gone! While I was eating my granola bar, it popped out and I swallowed it. Mom and Dad told me the Tooth Fairy would understand, and that it happens to almost everybody, so I was okay with it. But I wrote the Tooth Fairy a long note explaining what happened. I also told her it was my sweet tooth, and asked her to bring me something sweet to eat so I could return to normal.

So not only was Monday my first day of school, I woke up to a surprise from the Tooth Fairy. She left me a letter telling me to look in the freezer for my sweet treat. Sure enough, there were popsicles waiting for me, but the Tooth Fairy’s note said I had to wait until after school to eat them, plus I had to share with everyone. I was super excited.

After breakfast, we took some pictures then headed over to school. When we got there, one of the girls in my class, who we knew from incoming kindergartener playground get-togethers we had all summer, ran up to Hazel and hugged her with all her might. She looked like she thought Hazel saved her day. We think she thought Hazel was going to be in her kindergarten class. She and Hazel really enjoyed playing together all summer, and she looked pretty bummed when we told her Hazel isn’t in kindergarten yet.

I had a great morning, and when lunchtime rolled around and we went to the cafeteria, I had a surprise -- Mom was there! Every day, parents volunteer to help kids with things like opening milk cartons and yogurt containers. It makes it so there are enough grown-ups at school for us to have two recesses on the playground. Anyway, Monday was Mom’s day to volunteer. My face lit up in a great big smile when I saw her. Mom was happy to see me too, and thrilled to hear from my teacher that I was having a really great day so far. At the end of the day, Mom explained that she would not be there every day for lunch, just once or twice a month. I had no problem with that the rest of the week.

We spent most of our first day learning a lot of rules and how to do things like how to walk down the hallways and go in and out of the lunch room.

We had a lot of other fun things to do the rest of the week. We had Gingerbread Man Day, when we read a book about a Gingerbread Man, then we had to go look for him. We found him in our classroom, then ate him together. 

We also played fun games like Freeze, Please and had PE twice. At the end of the week, I decided my favorite thing about school is recess, but I explained to Mom that there are a lot of rules, like we can’t scream unless we’re hurt, and we can laugh but not get too wild. 

Another great thing this week is I saw lots of people I knew from the past two years – my old preschool teacher, the principal, and the librarian.

After-school was a learning process for us this week too. Monday I came home really wild. Mom gave me some time to calm down, but we had to go pick up some supplies for my classroom, so we headed to the Dollar Tree and a visit to Petsmart, which was next door, afterward to look at all the animals. Then we headed to Lakeshore. They were quick trips but afterward it was time for dinner and bed, and I had a real meltdown at bedtime.

Then Thursday I had swim lessons at a new swim school right after coming home from kindergarten. It was a disaster. I swam all over the pool disrupting the other classes and hit my teacher over the head with a kickboard five times. Mom was mad that I hit the teacher and was disrespectful but also understood that I need time to unwind after school. So we moved my swim class to Saturday instead, which went great this weekend.

For the time being, we are going to just keep our afternoons clear so I can unwind. Every day this week, my teacher said I did an amazing job all day, and at the end of the week, my behavior report said I was excellent. So Mom and Dad figure if I am doing my job listening and learning all day at school, it’s only fair to let me blow off some steam in the afternoons. It’s tough being away from home all day. When Mom picked me up in the afternoons, a couple of times she asked if I wanted to go home or to the playground at the park. Both times I just wanted to go home. 

Last week was a big one for Hazel and Turner too. They moved up to their next preschool classes! They both did great. They were happy and had no trouble transitioning.

Hazel has the teacher I had this summer. When she came home Monday, she yelled at Mom, “I had more fun than you ever seen!!!”

Turner had a good day Monday too. When he went back Wednesday, he ran to his teacher and gave her a huge hug.

We are all looking forward to week number two!

To see my first day of school pictures, click here