Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I have a kindergartener

Kindergarten started Sept. 6th and the first day was great. She looked so cute and had such a good day. I took the day off so I was able to take her in just for the school hours--no before and after school care on this day. We had ice cream afterwards to celebrate this milestone.
Not every day at shool has been quite as wonderful. She still needs some reminders for sitting still and listening but is doing well. She is having to think and learn at a more intense level than preschool demanded and it shows. She is sleeping more--last week she fell asleep on the way home from school twice. The other day getting ready she said "Mom, I don't want to learn, I just want to play". Yeah--I know honey, sometimes I feel that way about work too.
Overall she is doing so well and I am so proud of her.

It's been a fun fall.
We had our first trip to an apple orchard with friends. It was lots of fun--they had animals and hay rides and other fun stuff for kids to do--but it hardly felt like fall as it was 80 degrees that day. Just noticed that we only have two apples left from that trip so we need to go back.

Our local nature center is one of Hannah's favorite places and they had a Fall Festival that we were able to attend. Hannah's favorite part is to see the snakes, fish, turtles, and other animals and it still was her favorite that day but they also had a kids carnival so we bought tickets and she got to play games, make crafts, and have her face painted. Oh--one of the big highlights was getting hot chocolate--she loved it and has asked for it almost every day since.

Spent a weekend at my Brother's for my Mom's birthday. Hannah's little cousin Mary Lou lives there and they have horses and dogs so Hannah was in heaven. Too bad we don't live closer.

She also attended a friend's birthday at Chuck E. Cheeses--"the coolest place ever". Since then she has asked everyone we see to come to her birthday. Good thing April is a long time away--I am counting on the fact that most of them will forget all about it.

Had a dentist appointment yesterday and she has her first cavity. Even though the dentist said it would only take 5 minutes, we had to make an appt to come back and have it filled.

Her personality is showing through more and more all the time.
She can get frustrated easily and I hear lots of grunts and other frustrated noises when she is doing something and it doesn't go right. I keep telling her "That's okay--just try again". When I turned at the wrong corner one day and said "Oh no--this is the wrong street" I hear a little voice from the back seat say "That's okay mom, just try again". It is always nice to have some confirmation that she really does listen.
When going from point A to point B she takes every detour she can find. One day when we needed to get going in a hurry I said, "Hannah just go straight to the car--don't stop and do anything on the way" She quickly replied, "But Mom--you just don't understand me!" And yes, she is only 5.
She is also such a sweetheart and gives me lots of hugs and kisses.
She continues to make up her own songs. The other day in the car she sang "I love my mommy, my mommy loves me, and we are together always because we are a family". I was smiling in the front seat for a long time.
She has never met my Dad as he passed away a little over a year before she came home but the other day she looked sad and said "I just miss my Grandpa" and then she started singing "I miss my Grandpa. He is my Grandpa and I really love him. And it makes me sad because I miss him and now he lives with God" Maybe it should have made me feel sad but really it just lit up my heart--she gets it and knows that he is a very important part of our lives even though she hasn't met him.
Oh, How I love that little girl.

She teaches me so much all the time. One of the big lessons recently was patience. She reminded me that I need to wait and reallly listen to others even if they are taking a while to get it said---what they have to say may be very important.
We were in the car, I was slightly frustrated from trying to get her in the car on time and then trying to hurry to get where we needed to be when she said "Mama" and I responded, "Yes Honey". I only heard a long pause with an occassional "um" thrown in so I said again "What honey". I still only got the same response so I was just ready to say something like "Just spit it out Hannah--what do you want?". I actually had my mouth open but just before I made any sound I heard a very meek voice say "I just really love you". Awwwww--all my frustration just melted away and I learned the importance of patience.

I have my moments too--I went through a week recently where I was just out of sorts and generally crabby. My life felt overwhelming and I felt that I just wasn't doing a good job at any of it--my job, my parenting, my friends, my finances, my housekeeping, etc. Then all of a sudden I snapped out of it. Nothing has really changed--I still have a messy house, I still wish I was home with Hannah more, had more time with friends, and less time at work and I wish I had more money in the bank's my life and I am happy with it.
Motherhood does require some sacrifices but the payback is so worth it.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Summer's End

Tomorrow is our last big Hurrah for the summer--a trip to the "Great Minnesota Get Together"--our State Fair. And then Kindergarten starts......

We have had a great summer--our second together.
We did all the usual things that I did before Hannah like a week's vacation at the Lake with my sister and her family and our annual McNab Family Campout with the whole family. Both were more fun with Hannah. I had a good timetoo but It was the most fun to watch her having so much fun. She ran and played and swam and just loved being with her cousins--she is the youngest but she holds her own pretty well. Last year she was that much younger and everything was still so new to her that I had to really supervise her more, direct her more, and be there for the meltdowns. This year she just blossomed--she did great playing all day with her cousins, came to me for anything she needed, and had no meltdowns at all. It was so fun.

We also did some new things for Hannah--
A trip to my Aunt and Uncles over the fourth of July. They live on a lake and my brother was there with his family also. We had a blast and the two little girls stayed in the water most of the time--Hannah became really comfortable in the lake and was swimming all over with a life jacket on.

And some new things for both of us--
I enrolled her in two organized kids sports--a baseball camp for four weeks and a "sports sampler" where they learned four different sports. She was not a fan. After the first day at baseball camp she would tell me "Mom, I told you I don't like this" and she would rather play in the sand in the outfield than participate in the game. She didn't really like the sampler either. I made her stick them both out but we were both glad when they ended. I think next we will try things like dance or gymnastics to see if she likes them better. I would like ice skating too.

She is such a girlie-girl. She obsesses with her hair, always wants to wear dresses, and must pair the right shoes with them. I have to convince her to wear pants to the park and other play things where pants are best. Except for wearing dresses, it fits my personality too so I have no complaints. She is fun to dress up.

Her summer daycare was called "Explorer's Club" and she had a great time there. They went on field trips twice a week--to fun places like mini golf, bowling, movies, a really cool toy store, a climbing gym, local parks and fitness centers, and also learning things like the Eagle center, a cave, the library, and others I can't think of now. At the beginning of the summer she had trouble staying focused, staying with the group, etc but she really grew throughout the summer and I got consistently good reports for the last 2/3 of the summer--in fact the teachers told me she was most improved and that she was the most polite. I was very proud.

She really has matured lately and has been such a sweetheart--I can't even remember her last timeout because she is listening so much better. Here is one example:
The other night I had a haircut and color appointment and my babysitter cancelled. I could not find anyone so I took her with for a nearly two hour appt. I was very scared how it would go but she did awesome. She was very well behaved the whole time. I did bring my laptop with a movie so she watched that part of the time but she also occupied herself while staying in one place and not messing with anything at the hair salon. She even engaged my hairdresser in conversation. She won over my hairdresser and I was told I could bring her anytime.
She still has many five year old moments but there are days that I can't believe how easy she is to parent. I often look at her and wonder how I got so blessed., after tomorrow summer comes to an end I really do think Hannah is ready for kindergarten. Am I that's another story.