Last Tuesday we dropped off all five kids at school. WOW! ALL FIVE! They were all so cute and excited. Ashton, Isaac and Eliza are all at Dixie Downs Elementary where they are part of a dual immersion Spanish/English program and Oliver and Silas are at "Busy Bees Preschool" - this cute 2-morning-a-week preschool I found right near the big kids' school. After getting the kids happily settled in their classes, I walked out of there feeling like a new woman. For the first time in 8 1/2 years I'm going to have two mornings a week with no little kids! I'm so excited to go the grocery store and run errands one morning all by myself and spend the other morning volunteering in the kids' classrooms at the school without having to beg any babysitting favors. Life is good!
That first day of school totally wore me out, though. Here's how it went:
- 6:30 - got up and worked out, showered and got ready (my new resolution is to work out in the mornings - I've tried to make it work to exercise at other times of day but I've finally come to term with getting up early and getting ready for the day early and getting it done - this is a BIG thing for me to actually do it and so far so good!)
- 7:45 - scriptures (Jared reads to big kids while I keep the twins quiet with eating their breakfast nearby so I can hear too)
- 8:00 - breakfast and making sack lunches for school kids, dishes, getting hair done, etc.
- 8:40 - leave for school
- 8:50 - drop off big kids
- 9:00 - drop off twins
- 9:15 - back to the school to talk with teachers and principal and make a banner for Back to School Night
- 10:30 - help train parents to help with kindergarten recess
- 11:00 - dash to grocery store for a couple necessities
- 11:30 - pick up twins from preschool
- 11:40 - help Eliza's teacher line up kids' in alphabetic order for lunch and help the kids learn the lunch routine (while trying to keep Ollie and Si from disturbing things too much), walk kids' to lunch room, help make sure all kids eat something somewhat healthy before excusing them to go to play (while trying to keep Ollie and Si sitting at the table eating the lunch I brought for them - they loved it!)
- 12:15 - try to get the kindergarten scragglers to finish their lunch (some of them are SLOW and it's hard to get them to eat ANYTHING!)
- 12:30 - supervise lunch recess (and try to keep Ollie and Si in sight and out of trouble), help a few crying kids who missed their moms, help solve the problem of a huge pack of kids all trying to get on the slide at the same time and find that Ollie and Si are helping cause the bottleneck
- 12:50 - run to the UPS store to drop things off
- 1:15 - pick up Eliza (kindergarten gets out early for the first couple weeks then she'll get out with the big kids)
- 1:30 - go visit Jared at work so the twins and Liza can tell him all about their exciting first days, find out about a dance class for Liza from one of Jared's co-workers who teaches it
- 2:30 - go to the auto parts store to find some stuff to glue the weather strip around the windshield back in (it's been flapping around forever), get the filthy car washed
- 3:30 - pick up the big kids at school, get them snacks, hear all about their days
- 4:30 - take Eliza to dance class, bring Ollie who won't let go of my leg, leave Ashton and Isaac with Si, get there and find out that the tap class just filled up, try to figure out another class (since Liza's been begging to do tap ever since I took her to a friend's recital last May), find a jazz class that's not full, sneak into the tap class to get Liza out for jazz, find out that the teacher thinks she can squeeze her into the tap class, have Eliza melt down because she doesn't have tap shoes like everyone else (I didn't want to buy them until I knew whether she was even taking tap!), have a nice lady offer her daughter's old tap shoes, go out in the parking lot where it's 110 degrees and try on tap shoes that don't end up fitting while Liza cries for no apparent reason and I try to be extra nice to the nice lady to make up for Liza - the shoes don't fit and Liza's even more sad. "I thought dance was going to be SO special and now I don't even have any shoes!!!" Have a big talk on the way home about being a lot more grateful and listening to what I explain and being more patient...
- 6:00 - get home, make special first day of school dinner, get a phone call from Isaac's teacher saying he almost broke something in the classroom that day after she'd asked him not to touch it several times - Isaac can't leave things alone sometimes! The teacher also told me that Isaac had worked hard and done a lot of great stuff that day and it was good to establish a relationship with her and have a good talk with Isaac - he was really sorry and has been great ever since - just first day jitters mostly, I hope.
- get a bunch of tired, tired kids in bed and then fall into bed myself!
The twins were so totally excited to get into their new class that it was all I could do to coax a kiss and a "goodbye" out of them. They were not about to look away from their playdough for this picture. When I went to pick them up on their first day it was the cutest thing to see them running towards my car in tandem, shoulder to shoulder, yelling "Mommy!" with huge smiles on their faces and cute hats they'd made in craft time on their heads. They tried their best to tell me all about their day. I think it's going to be so great for them to have their own special thing they do independent of me or the other kids. I'm also doing a one-morning-a-week Joy School with the twins and some of their cute little friends - so that will be fun as well.
Eliza has been counting down the days until she starts school for years so she was pleased as punch to really go. Her homeroom teacher is her Spanish teacher and she was so excited that she already knew the colors in Spanish and a few other Spanish words thanks to her preschool that incorporated some Spanish. Liza's definitely getting the multicultural experience we wanted for her - I peeked into her classroom on the first day and saw that she and one other little girl are the only kids without black hair in her class - she sure stands out with that white hair! She told me her teacher speaks kind of different when she speaks in English and I told her that's because her teacher is from another country and English is not the language she grew up speaking. She asked me which country her teacher was from and I said I wasn't sure. She said "Well, I'm not sure either, but I'm pretty sure it's a country that speaks Spanish." Right on, Liza!
Isaac was so excited to see all his friends again. It was great to see other little kids light up when they saw Isaac come towards them. His teachers seem good and I think this will be a good year for him. We've been working so hard on his reading and while he still struggles, he's getting it more and more.
Ashton's teacher bonded with him right away when she heard that he's doing the rope swing at Bloomington Lake - she was just there last summer as well. Both of his teachers seem great and he's really excited the the whole 3rd grade is in the outdoor portable classrooms this year. The portables seem awfully grown up and exciting.
On another note, Ashton just saw that I was doing my blog and informed me that he's started his own blog and it's called "Ideas, ideas, ideas" - he opened up and showed it to me. He said he's probably not really going to use his blog much for a while since he needs to learn to type first. I told him that probably makes sense. Then he asked "So are Google and Yahoo close to each other - like are they friends?" I explained they sort of both go after the same customers so they're competitors. He said, "Well, I think Google will win - I saw an article about it and I like Google best." This kid is pretty technologically savvy.
Oh, we've got some great kids! This is going to be a wonderful year.