Friday, August 30, 2013

A New School Year

School has begun. Overall, this is good. But it sure is an adjustment. The house is a lot quieter, for the most part. Sometimes it's too quiet and I pace around the house not knowing exactly what to do. I am always braced for the next child that needs me. My time to myself really only lasts for about 15-20 minutes, if that. Hallie doesn't talk and she sleeps half the time. She's a good little one to have around. Connor is, well... he's three. Sometimes he's a happy, cooperative child. And then there's the rest of the time. Good grief! That child is really going through one lately (meaning the last 8 months). As an example, he has to open all the doors. He's like our butler, our unreasonable, irrational and whiny butler. Whenever there's a knock at the door he either runs for it or immediately starts crying because he wants to get the door. And he is always the last one out of the car because he's in the back corner, yet none of us can even go into the house because he insists on being the one to open the door to the house. So the whole family just stands there waiting for him. Ridiculous. But trust me, this situation is much better than, heaven forbid, one of us opening it and then listening to a 30 minute meltdown. He could have meltdowns about not getting to set the plates at the table, or not getting to hold the remote, or choose the movie, or say something to me that a sibling said, or pretty much anything. I hope most of this can be chalked up to being three. At least I have to tell myself that. Yes, all the other kids were just as irrational and volatile, and look at them now.

I was going to put the picture of Connor laying in the hall naked, asleep with his pajamas right next to him, but instead I'll post one where he's happy. Oh, a funny thing that Connor always says is, "Mommy, take a picture at me" and then he'll pose like this. I do love that cute kid, even if he is difficult sometimes.
Erin started fourth grade. When did that happen? It's like old enough for some kids to need deodorant, which incidentally, I explained to Erin all about B.O. the other day. She is loving it so far (school, not B.O.) Of course there hasn't been much homework yet, but she seems excited and ready to be there. Her teacher is Mrs. Bush and she loves Disneyland so everything in the class pretty much revolves around some Disney theme, which the kids love. I feel like there is a new level of maturity with her this year. She decided on her own that she wanted to take a shower every morning. She practices her piano willingly and does what she's asked around the house. And she loves reading. She probably does three times as much as school wants her to. All this while still going to Activity Days, taking piano lessons and increasing her time at gymnastics. And she still gets to play with her best friend, Emma (I was going to say friends, but it's really just her that she plays with). I am impressed with how much energy that girl has and I hope she can keep it up throughout the year. Oh, and I actually do miss her when she's gone. She has been a great help with Hallie and Connor this summer. I went somewhere with just those two and I didn't have anyone to buckle their car seats like I did all summer. Plus, she is just a fun girl that I can actually talk to and joke around with now that she's older.

Side note:  Before school started, Erin laid out her clothes for the first two weeks of school, in the order she would wear them, including shoes, hair styles and accessories. Most of them were monochromatic, but definitely her style. She does a good job putting things together. And also, how the heck did she end up with so many different pairs of shoes?

Side note #2:  She has a back pack, but it wasn't purple so she took this old ratty bag that she got in nursery on the first day. Funny kid.
Alex started second grade and wouldn't you know it, there's another Alex in his class again (the same one as last year). Luckily he is already used to everyone calling him Alex D. I am confident that Alex will do well in school again this year, but the first week he seemed so tired. I feel like it just took a lot out of him. He's been laying around the house not wanting to do anything I ask him to do (probably just side effects of being so obedient all day at school). From what I've seen of his teacher (Mrs. Park), I absolutely love her. When we did his reading assessment, she came out and told me that she thought Alex was a very empathetic child, just from the answers he gave. I completely agree! It's so nice to see his teacher recognize something good about him too. He is so kind to those around him, which makes him an especially great brother to Connor. I have always felt lucky to have him in our family and in the line-up where he is. Alex is still taking piano, but for some reason he has stopped liking to practice. This is frustrating, because he was so good at practicing before and I think he could be pretty good if he kept at it. He just has to make it to the end of October, then his teacher will have a baby and they'll have a two month break. I've been stressing a little about extracurricular activities this year. Erin wants to do everything and Alex only has piano. I finally realized that all he needs right now is to be able to play with his friends after school. I think he will be happy to just have down time (and I am happy with that too).
Marissa started kindergarten a week after the other kids and let me tell you, she loves it. She says her teacher, Mrs. Anderson, is really nice but kind of mean because she makes them line up. The bus driver is also kind of mean because he makes them sit down. I wonder what she says about me behind my back. I am way meaner than that. None of her preschool or neighborhood friends got her teacher, but I was not worried at all about it. This child makes friends everywhere she goes. She has several new friends now, but she can never seem to remember their names (or she just never bothers to ask). She rides the bus with the other kids in the morning and then comes home on the kindergarten bus in the middle of the day. The bus came to drop off kids really early the second day and I was still on my way there. Since she didn't have a parent there they made her get back on the bus. I had to track her down at another bus stop. She was okay, but she broke down in the car about it. Poor kid. I won't be making that mistake again! She is so ready for kindergarten, and I am very ready for her to go to. She gets a bit bored at home and ends up fighting with Connor a little too much. I'm sure she will do just fine at school.
 In line for the bus. And yes, the two kids standing next to her are also in kindergarten. Marissa's a little on the short side.

Hallie has been sick lately. She had a fever on and off for a few days, and slept a lot, but there were times in the day when she acted just fine and played just like normal. The fever went away yesterday, but today she has a mild rash. The worst part is that she is hardly eating, and she is so tiny to begin with. I am really starting to worry about it. Sometimes she refuses to even nurse. I have an appointment with the doctor so I hope we can figure things out and that it won't be anything too serious. Worrying comes with the territory as a mom, I guess. I remember how worried I was about Marissa's torticollis and her head being mis-shapen, and now she's fine. Anyway, other than being skinny, Hallie is doing everything that an almost 11 month old should do. She is standing, climbing, breaking teeth and getting into everything. She is a huge mess maker wherever she goes, and I know that's exactly as it should be. We've implemented the sideways bar stool at the bottom of the stairs to keep her from climbing them and then tumbling on down. It's actually perfect because the other kids can easily get over it but she can't (yet). I sure love that baby and everyone else does too. It's so nice to see my other kids care so much about her, trying to keep her safe or entertain her. She is well loved!

This is a classic Hallie face, the closed mouth smile (sweet and innocent)
One of the messes she just made.

1 comment:

Callie said...

Erin is in 4th grade, Alex in 2nd, and Marissa is in Kindergarten? What the what?!?! How did they get so old? Connor and Olivia must be drinking the same 3 year old juice--one minute the cutest/sweetest and the next is tear city! And I hope little Hallie feels better soon. :)