Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ladies and gentlemen: we have achieved Kindergarten!

It's true, I can hardly believe it, but yes: Maisie has started Kindergarten.

Yesterday (Wednesday 8/29) was her first day. The night before she said "You know what Mom? I'm scared and excited and nervous. You know why? (whispers) I have school tomorrow!"

But we talked about everything that would happen, Aaron helped her practice making friends and sitting on the bus ("Can I sit with you?"), and she got ready: she packed her lunch (grapes, pretzels, yogurt, a jelly roll-up, and pickles) and laid out her clothes (Hello Kitty shirt, flowered skirt). I was worried that she wouldn't be able to get to sleep, but she was out cold about five minutes after bedtime.

Wednesday morning, she woke up bright and early, before the alarm even went off. Got dressed, brushed teeth and hair, and was Ready! To! Go! by 6:30! Unfortunately her bus isn't until 6:57, so we had a little extra time! When it was time to leave, she was halfway up the block before anyone else was even out the door!

She was happy to see another kid waiting at the bus stop - an older girl, maybe 5th or 6th grade, who was very sweet to Maisie. For all her nervous and scared feelings, excitement had really taken over at this point!

When the bus pulled up, she hesitated for a moment, and looked back at me... I nodded, like "yep, this is your bus" and off she went!

She found a seat near the back and waved and waved as the bus pulled away.

Maisie reported a good day on her first day: her classroom is a little hard to find, and she didn't eat much of her lunch. But she made "four or five" friends, including one girl on her bus, and enjoyed music class and playing red light-green light.

She also came home with a definite opinion - she wants to eat hot lunch at school. I said that maybe we should pack a lunch, just in case she doesn't like what they are serving. But she explained that you don't have a choice; if you bring lunch, you can't choose to eat hot lunch instead. So she's buying lunch, at least occasionally.

This morning was similar - very excited to get up and go! go! go! She wanted to make sure she'd be riding the bus, and we weren't going to drive her (no worries there), and that I didn't pack her lunch, so she could buy it. I can't wait to hear about her day!

I'm so proud of Maisie. She's been at Sunny Hollow for three years, since she was not quite three years old. More than half her life! But she's handled this transition like a champ. There were a few tears shed, but that's to be expected. I know she's going to do great at her new school. I can't wait to see it.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Food I made that my kids won't eat.

I made three different dishes this weekend that I thought were really good. The kids disagreed. So I am going to tell you about them, dear reader, and you can tell me what a great cook I am.

1. Cabbage salad: pretty easy and basic. Shredded cabbage, chopped carrot, and chopped green onion (all from the farmer's market), mixed with broken-up ramen noodles, then topped with the Salad Girl's honey-ginger dressing. I thought it was delicious. The kids refused to try it.

2. Red potato and green bean salad: basically this recipe but with a vegetable mix of about 2/3 beans, 1/3 potatoes because that's what I had. Potatoes, beans, garlic, onions, and basil from the farmer's market. Maisie even helped me trim the beans. The dressing (for those who don't want to click through) is a vinaigrette with olive oil, balsamic, lemon juice, and dijon mustard. Maisie took one teensy nibble of a potato and started crying; Ella wouldn't go near it. Aaron's not a huge vinegar fan so he isn't in love with it either. I like it a lot, which is fortunate because there's a lot of it for me to eat.

3. Lazy Italian Chicken: a crockpot recipe that's allegedly kid-friendly. In your crockpot you layer the following: Potatoes, 1 tsp Italian spices, 1/2 c Parmesan, 1/2 c low-fat Italian dressing, boneless/skinless chicken, potatoes, 1 tsp spices, 1/2 c Parmesan, 1/2 c dressing. Cover and cook for 8-10 hours on low, or 3-4 on high. The girls deigned to eat some of the chicken but perhaps due to the above salad, refused to allow a potato onto their plates - even though I showed them that these potatoes had been cooked with (and therefore would taste just like) the chicken they were eating. Aaron & I liked it fine; nothing special but it's easy and hopefully with time, the girls will forget the horrors of the dijon vinaigrette and actually try the potatoes.

So that was my attempt at feeding my family this weekend. (insert eyeroll here) Next weekend, I'm going to stick with PB&J, pancakes, and mac & cheese. Not so exciting but at least I know the kids will eat!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Almost over now...

It's hard to believe, but the summer's almost over. Only 3 more weeks until Maisie's first day of Kindergarten! Holy cow, I can hardly believe it.

Since last weekend the weather's gotten a lot better. High temps are more reasonable - mid-80's instead of upper 90's, and not too humid - so Aaron and the girls have actually been able to get outside!

They've been going to a little park near our house to run around. We have a kid's sized soccer ball, and Aaron's teaching the girls basic soccer skills - how to kick, how to pass, how to stop the ball. Ella's still working on it, but Maisie's picking it up really quickly. On Monday after work we went to the park, and I taught her how to throw a frisbee (turn your body so you throw across your body, look where you want the 'bee to go, flick your wrist like this) and she picked that right up, too. By the end of our little outing, she was throwing confidently, and getting the 'bee where she wanted it to go probably 50% of the time. I am super impressed!

Yesterday they went back to the park - here's some of the pics that they sent me...

Ella resting, post running-around:

(It was still in the 80's, hence the very pink cheeks.)

Picnic lunch time:

Aaaah! Apparently Aaron packed a seafood lunch!!

Oh, did you notice Maisie's new short haircut? It's funny because she's such a girly-girl in a lot of ways, but she really loves having short hair. I like it too because it means fewer fights about combing out tangles.

Overall it's been a good summer. I know Maisie's excited about starting K in a few weeks but I'll be sad to see the summer over. I did take the Monday of the last week of August off work so we can all go to the state fair together - it'll be our last hurrah of the summer - school starts that Wednesday. Just 3 weeks away!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Star Wars Art

So over the last month or so, Maisie has become a real Star Wars fangirl, at least to the extent that a five-year-old can be. She's watched all 3 of the original movies, and plays Lego Star Wars - both with actual Legos and the Xbox game. She told me the other day that for Halloween she wants to be Jango Fett - I was like, I don't even know who that is.

So I guess I wasn't totally surprised to get home from work yesterday to find that she'd drawn some of her favorite Star Wars characters... can you tell who they are?

If you said 1. Darth Vader (she says "Dark" Vader, which is adorable and also kind of apt), 2. Princess Leia, and 3. Luke, you're right!

Not bad, hey?