Archive for the ‘School’ Category

K is for Kindergarten


I meant to work on this yesterday but work was so crazy so no time for a break and I had a PTA meeting to go to last night. And well, I don’t have much time today either. I’m beginning to think this A-Z challenge is not for me.

Kindergarten. I have twins that are nearing the end of their first year of school. I was so excited for them to start, as were they. They’ve grown a lot and are comfortable with going to their classrooms on their own. ;-(

I remember the first day of dropping them off and taking a ton of pictures. They were so excited to see what this school thing was all about. They felt like big kids and they still do. It is so fun to hear about what they do each day and I had a blast going on one of their recent field trips to see the Seattle Dance Project.

It is so wonderful to see them learning to read and listening to them sound out words that they don’t know. As a book lover, I hope my kids also have a strong love of books too.

The twins are loving school too – I hope that continues too as my husband and I are fans of always learning something new.

I joined the PTA to help make the school a better place for everyone – not just the kids and teachers, but for the parents too. I look forward to doing more with them.



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Hi all – I’ve done something crazy and joined the A to Z challenge. This post is just going to be an introductory one. I don’t have a theme for this challenge so I’ll just write about whatever is on my mind for that day. So I hope you enjoy my ramblings.

I’ll start off today with writing “About” my weekend. This past Friday was Good Friday – the place I work out gives us this day off so I spent the day by first taking my kids to school, then heading over to Target to get Easter supplies, then back to the school so I can lunch with my daughter (she’s 5 and in kindergarten), then acting as a chaperone for my son’s field trip (he’s also 5 – they’re twins and in kindergarten). My daughter’s class was also going on this field trip (can I tell you how weird it still is that I have a daughter and two sons? Three kids call me mommy.) The field trip was interesting and all the kids were really well-behaved. We headed to the ACT Theatre in downtown Seattle to see a dance performance. I had fun and my kids said they enjoyed it. After school ended, we went to pick up my 4 year old and headed to Richmond Beach (a popular place that day).

On Saturday, I started the day with a not fun thing of taking the minivan to get fixed (yet again). I swear just when I think things are going well, something happens so I’ve decided that I just need to think things are shitty all the time, then maybe nothing bad will actually happen. Murphy’s Law works this way, right? After that, I joined my husband and kids at the University of Washington to see the cherry blossoms along with the rest of Seattle – so pretty. We wandered around the campus and looked at Red Square, down to Drumheller Fountain with a beautiful view of Mt. Rainier. This campus is so pretty – I sometimes wish I went to school there just so I could enjoy this campus every day again. We ran into a friend of my twins at UW and so they played for a bit on the railings going up to Suzzallo Library (speaking of beautiful – I used to love studying in the graduate reading room).

After that, we went home for dinner, then off to play at a park because I guess my kids didn’t get enough sunshine. We also enjoyed a couple shakes from Kidd Valley.

On Sunday, we went to church to celebrate Easter, then to a friend’s house to have lunch and have an Easter Egg Hunt. I had a fabulous time there, as usual. Thank you to the McCombs for inviting us over.

It was a wonderful weekend helped out with the wonderful weather we had – between 64 and 69 degrees – and sunny, blue skies.

And now back to the work week. Only 3 weeks to go until I’m on vacation and heading over the mountains to visit my family in Spokane. I’m taking the kids there by myself (something I haven’t done before), so wish me luck!

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Extreme Sadness

So many others have already written about this. What else is there to say? Between the events at Sandy Hook and my mom learning her cancer has spread to her liver, it just hasn’t felt like I should celebrate anything. I haven’t been sleeping well. I have 3 children – Benjamin and Ella are 5 and started kindergarten this fall. Nicholas is 3 and will turn 4 in February. I can’t say how glad I am right now that they are off for Christmas break. We shouldn’t have to live in such fear that it could happen to us. I didn’t lose a child last Friday but my heart is heavy and aches for those that did. I want to take the pain away from them and have this event not happen.  This is a pain that I never want to experience – a pain I never want anyone to experience. There is not a moment in the day when I don’t think about the tragedy.

I am going to do something. I am going to do whatever it takes to try to help this doesn’t happen again – whether it is joining a group who works toward gun control or sending letters or making phone calls to my Senators and Representatives. I feel I need to do something. All of these shootings need to stop – it particularly needs to stop hurting innocent children in a place that should be so safe – their school. I know that we need to fix our mental health care in this country – that this is part of the problem as well. I don’t even know where to begin to solve that part of the problem.

I want everyone to not live in fear that they will be killed once they leave their door at the hands of someone who means them harm for no good reason at all.

I am also striving to be a better person – to treat others how I would like to be treated – love your neighbor as yourself. That means a lot of things to me and it is something that I need to continually work on.

I am also very angry that we have gotten to this point – that there are all these shootings. Why is the U.S. so far ahead in a lot of other countries when it comes to gun deaths? We just love the gun so much that someone who loves his gun is more important than a child’s life? I do hope that we can make some commonsense changes and that the NRA won’t fight it and that the  people who love their guns would realize we aren’t taking away the right to have a gun, but to have the ability to buy a gun no one would need for self-defense or to hunt.

To those who have sad it was because God isn’t in the schools. As a Christian, I really, really take issue with that. Steve McSwain, a former Baptist minister, said it best…

“With such remarks, you not only show little regard for those broken by this tragedy, but you make God into some kind a cosmic psychopath — vengeful, sickeningly repulsive, one who takes out his madness on innocent little children.”

“Your reasoning is repulsive: Because we have removed your god from our schools, this is how your god gets even?”

That is exactly how I feel.

I hope one day that the heaviness in my heart eases. I just can’t handle it. I woke in a panic the other night that something had happened to my kids that I had to go check on them. I can’t imagine what those who lost a loved one is feeling right now. A school, a movie theater, a mall or a church, should be a place of fun, learning, and comfort – not a place of horror, fear and hurt. I pray that this country can come together to try to solve this problem – we have to try – we have to. Just saying that things like this happen – that they are terrible – is not the way this country should be thinking because it isn’t just terrible, it is horrifying.

Please go out and be kind to your neighbor, friends, and complete strangers every day. That will be one step in the right direction. To get you started – here are some ideas – 26 acts of kindness.

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This Monday, Benjamin and Ella started kindergarten! Can you believe it? They were so super excited to go that Ella woke up before I had planned to wake her and when I went to wake up Benjamin, he jolted out of bed. Yep, they were excited. Nicholas was a little harder to motivate, but he got ready in time and sat on the potty (speaking of potty training – this is going horribly).

Anyway,  we dropped of Nicholas at the preschool (he was pretty happy seeing his friends so there was no problem with that drop off), then we went to take Benjamin and Ella. We took some more pictures (we took the one above at home), then walked in to secure them a spot inside the school to wait in line until the teacher opened the doors. Jon took Benjamin to his classroom to wait. I took some  more pictures of Ella, then went to take some of Benjamin. Then I went back to Ella, then after a bit, back to Benjamin. I ended up taking Benjamin into his classroom, showing him where to put his stuff (he then forgot on Wednesday when they went back to school – the school did a staggered start so they didn’t go on Tuesday- and had a bit of a breakdown, I heard). I told him that I loved him and for him to have a good day then walked between the two rooms into Ella. She was patiently waiting to get into the classroom still. The teacher was showing each student how to check themselves in by taking a popsicle stick with their name on it and moving it to the other side saying “check in” or something like that. Then we put her stuff on the counter and hung her backpack up. We found her seat and I told her that I loved her and then Jon and I left to the “Tea and Tissues”. We talked with a person I knew in college who has a daughter in Benjamin’s class, then to the new principal. After a bit, we walked over to the gym for the back to school assembly. We saw Benjamin and Ella walk in but they were near the front, so we only caught glimpses of them after that.

When I came to pick them up that afternoon, they told me that they loved kindergarten. Now, it is their 4th day and I don’t doubt that they had a good week in kindergarten. Nicholas is also enjoying officially being in the preschool class. 😀

Now to back up – the week before school started, I had the week off due to their daycare/preschool being closed for the week. Monday was a holiday so Jon was there with us. We had friends come over that evening for a little BBQ. On Tuesday, I decided to take the kids to a picnic at a park that they had discovered with Jon. It is a cute little park called Kayu Kayu Ac Park in Shoreline. While we were about to leave, a train finally came down the tracks and then stopped right in front of us. The kids were confused as to why it stopped – but I think it was probably stopping at a oil refinery not too far down the way.

That night, my parents came into town for a bit.

The next day, I thought I would take everyone to Alki Beach in West Seattle. Surprisingly, my parents had never been there and I hadn’t been there in years. It was a beautiful day outside so we just sat on the beach and played in the sand and enjoyed the view. Then, after getting Nicholas’s bloody nose under control, we drove over to downtown Seattle to the waterfront. We had some lunch at a little food court on the piers that was right by the Seattle Great Wheel. After finishing our lunch, my dad, my three kids and myself went on the ferris wheel. It was such a nice day for it. A lot of the kids in Seattle were back in school (Shoreline was a bit late in starting) and it was a beautiful day out. My only complaint about the ferris wheel was that it was too short!

After that, we walked along the boardwalk for a bit but my mom was tired and Nicholas was being a big grouch, so we came back home.

Thursday morning, we went to Costco for some school lunch shopping, then went on our way to Northacres Park where I thought the kids could play in the water park but no, it had closed on Monday! Grr! The kids were upset but we did play on the playground and walk in the woods. I promised them the next day I would find another one to go to. Later that night, we went to the school’s Back to School BBQ – we got to go into their classrooms for the first time and meet their teachers. Nicholas was not happy when he learned that he did not have a spot like Benjamin and Ella so he had a complete breakdown.  But I found Ella was going to sit by the son of a friend of mine from work – we thought that was fun!

So after eating lunch on Friday, we made our way to Ballard Commons Park where the water park was still operating. Hooray! We played there for about 1 1/2 hours before getting a little snack and heading over to Golden Gardens Beach and Park. They have some nice sand there (a lot like Alki – not the rocky kind we find at our normal beach of Richmond Beach). They also have this huge climbing structure that Ella was determined to master. They ended up playing with a few other kids there.

Saturday – we went to the final playdate with kids from their school – not many showed up though. That afternoon, we went to a birthday party of a friend of theirs from their preschool. It was a really neat park in Lynnwood called Lynndale Park. I think we’ll have to check that one out again sometime.

Then Sunday was spent at church and at McDonald’s – we went there because Nicholas was doing well with potty training. Now that he is back at preschool, he isn’t doing so well. Sigh. People keep telling me not to worry about it – but that is, of course, coming from people who have potty trained kids. Have I mentioned that I hate potty training? I swear it seems I got the most difficult kids on the planet when it comes to this.

Anyway, I don’t want to leave it on a negative note. We had a blast during the week. I truly wish I could take more time like that off (though last night, I was a little tired and cranky – much like my kindergartners). I loved going to all the different places and I can think of a lot more that I want to do. The  next time I might have time off like that will be at Christmastime and well, we’ll see how the weather is during that time.

I look forward to this new adventure of kindergarten with Benjamin and Ella. They had their school pictures today and got their first Scholastic book order form too (this is one of the things about school I remember fondly). I am just so excited that they are in school now (and it isn’t because it is cheaper for us because it isn’t with daycare for Nicholas, after school care for Benjamin and Ella, and full-day kindergarten cost for Benjamin & Ella). I just look forward to meeting who they choose as friends, how they are as students, going to concerts when they are in choir or in band or acting in a play.  I even look forward to helping them with their homework. 😀

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I learned earlier today that my twins got into the full day program at the school we chose (the one nearby our house)! Now I just need to get them registered for after school care – I can’t do that until March. It would be more convenient if I could get them to the preschool they are going to now since Nicholas will be there, but I’m not quite sure how they would get there. Plus, I think it would be good for them to be in the after school program at the school so they take care of any homework and hang out with their classmates a little longer.

This past Saturday, I had some one on one time with each of my kids. My husband and I think it is important that we spend some one on one time with each of our children as often as we can.  So this past Saturday was my turn to spend a little bit of time with each child.

In the morning, I took Ella out to breakfast and then to the park. After lunch at home, I took Benjamin out to see “Puss in Boots”. Then as soon as I got home from that, I took Nicholas out to an indoor playground and to get a treat. Of course, he fell asleep on the way there so I let him sleep for a bit before I woke him up. He was not happy about that, but we had to go have our fun! ;-D

Next time, Nicholas will need to go first (as he was supposed to do but he wasn’t  getting ready so Ella went instead).

Anyway, it was a good day. All of us had a fun day hanging out with each other. I look forward to the next time I can do some mommy and me time.

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For those new to my blog, I have 4 1/2-year-old twins (Benjamin and Ella) and an almost 3-year-old (Nicholas) (turns 3 in February). My twins will be starting kindergarten this fall. They turn 5 in June. The twins and Nicholas are 20 months apart.

This morning the school had a tour. Apparently, it was supposed to be for adults only but the secretary failed to tell me that in the e-mail she sent me after I told her I would be bringing the twins. Oh well, I wasn’t the only one with my kids there so I didn’t feel too awkward.

We got there a little early, so we waited in the school cafeteria for a bit for the tour to begin. The school had 6th graders take a couple or so parents on the tour. You could tell that the 6th grader with us (Leah) was a bit nervous. She first took us to the gym (they only have gym 2 days a week for 60 minutes total which seems so little but I guess they do have recess too), then we went to the music room (they also get this 2 days a week for 60 minutes total). The music room looked like fun!

Then we came to the 1/2 day and full day kindergarten rooms. Unfortunately, the full day kindergarten teacher wasn’t there because she was sick, but it was still nice to look at the room where my kids will be going in the fall. We got to watch the class for a bit (the sub said it looked crazy, but it is organized chaos).

We then saw where the rest of the grades were at, the computer lab, the library (such a cute little library), and the doors to go out to recess (which they get twice a day in full day kindergarten). Since we’ve been to that school to play on the playground, my kids know all about how to get to the playground.

Then we came back to the cafeteria for the Q&A session with the school psychologist, the school nurse, the registrar and the family advocate. The principal wasn’t able to make it, but I did meet her at the Kinderfest over the past weekend. My kids were getting a little restless during that time and were ready to go to their preschool.

I think my kids will like it there. Thankfully, since they only have 1 full day class there, they are o.k. with twins being in the same class. It seems like such a nice small school with only 23 kids in their full-time class. Registration begins on Monday and we’ll find out in a week or so whether they got into full day or not. The registrar says that they’ve never had to do a drawing on who gets into full day, so that is good. Full day does cost us $3,100 per child per year so it will be the same as what we are paying for preschool – not much of a savings there. We’ll have to wait until 1st grade for that, I guess. Of course, the year after that, Nicholas starts school so we’ll be paying again (unless, of course, our district finally lets full day be free).

As we were leaving the school, I asked Ben & Ella whether they wanted to go to school there, and they enthusiastically said yes. The registrar said that they are going to have another open house in May so the kids can meet others in their class and meet the teacher and get to play in the room for a little while. I look forward to that and I know Ben & Ella do too.

I do wonder how Nicholas is going to adapt to this change. His brother and sister won’t be at the same school/daycare as him anymore. He didn’t like it too much at first when I dropped him off at the preschool and left with Ben & Ella, but once Nicholas was in the school, he was fine. That gives me hope he will be o.k. this coming fall.

They mentioned that the K-2nd grade kids take recess together, so that means that Nicholas will have recess with his brother and sister. Hopefully, that is a good thing. 😀

It’s an exciting next step in our parenthood journey. I look forward to my kids being in school. Parts of school I hated, but I do remember other parts fondly (like the book fair that the school was having today – I guess I’ve always been a book lover). I can’t wait for my kids to start in on the good parts and hope that the bad parts are rare.

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