Thursday, August 29, 2013

Harper's Homework and Babysteps for Hudson's

Hudson started pouting at breakfast when he was telling me he wanted to stay at Gigi's house instead of going in the car to go to school.  Then, when it really was time to get his shoes on and go he started crying.  He was upset and knew exactly where we were going.  He was fine once we got in the car.  We dropped Harper off in the carpool line and then I parked to walk Hudson in. He kept saying, "no school" and "mommy's car" but he did walk in while he was crying. I've found that if I drag it out he just gets more upset, so a matter-of-fact "it's time to have fun at school" works better with him.  He really took it up a notch when we reached his class, but after a quick hug and a kiss I handed him over to his teachers.  I had to take something to Harper's class that she had forgotten so on my way out I walked near Hudson's room and listened for crying, but it was quiet so I hoped he would be OK.

I couldn't wait to pick him up and hear how his day went.  His teachers reported that he did even better today than on Tuesday.  He still felt most comfortable sitting in the stroller a lot of the day, but he participated in several activities today and these little baby steps are going to get him used to being there and being happy to participate all day!  Today he climbed out of the stroller to join in with their creative movement class and then ran right back to the stroller when the class was over.  I also was told that he did the craft project and was a big fan of the glue sticks.  He was really proud to show everyone what he made when we got home and kept telling me school was fun.

Harper is still doing awesome and just loves school.  She even has some optional homework once a week (practice letter writing sheets) and she takes it very seriously.  Tonight while she was working, Hudson sat with her and colored, which is a new favorite activity for him!


Today was the day that Handley had been looking forward to for two weeks now.  The Boosterthon fun-run at her school is their largest fundraiser throughout the year.  The kids get pledges for every lap they will run and with each pledge they earn prizes leading up to their run.  Handley's class also won a popcorn/movie party, game day, stuffed animal day, and stinky feet day (they got to keep their shoes off in the classroom).  Along with all of the fun stuff they also had a "pep-rally" or "huddle" each day with their team to talk about important character and friendship traits.  

Everyday for the past week the Boosterthon leaders have been out during arrival and dismissal to interact with the kids and keep everyone excited about the run.  This is a BIG deal and last year the school raised closed to $80,000 with this fundraiser.  

Her grade was running first thing this morning so Hudson, Harper and I left the house early to get there in time to watch them.  I wasn't expecting an hour and 1/2 of traffic and for Harper to get car sick (something that happens to her often) or for Hudson to gag himself and get sick, too.  It was quite the morning. By the time we arrived the run was already underway, but Handley didn't even seem to notice and was so happy to see us there cheering for her.  

The run was upbeat and high energy the whole time. They had a DJ playing music and the Boosterthon leaders were out there running with the kids and announcing all sorts of fun ways to make their laps around (high five lap, limbo lap, air guitar lap, etc.)  All of the kids were loving it!  As they came around each time the teachers were there to mark off each lap on their shirts.  Handley ran 35 laps (their max) and was so proud.  

Harper started crying when it was time for us to go because she said she wanted to see Handley more.  I think she thought the Boosterthon looked like lots of fun and I assured her that next year she would get to be out there running, too! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Stroller at School

We had such a wonderful weekend and the week has just flow by since we've been back.  We were at the lake for the weekend and had perfect weather!

The kids had a blast swimming, trying to paddle board, dancing to fun music on the boat and the girls even wake-boarded. Harper was tired after one try, but Handley did awesome this time and got up on her first try!  We were so proud of her and she was so proud of herself.  I even gave it a whirl since I haven't done it all summer.

We had the best company and loved hanging out with Jen, Justen and Parker all weekend.  The best last minute surprise was Trey, Stefanie, and Sophia deciding to join us for Saturday night and Sunday on the water.  This was Sophia's first boat ride and she seemed to love it.  She was SO good all day and even got a little tube ride in!

Monday was back to the grind with early morning wake-ups and school.  Gigi offered to keep Hudson though so he wouldn't have to be dragged around in the car all day and it turned out to be a great plan. Since we had gotten home late on Sunday night he was exhausted from the weekend and sleeping in on Monday was just what he needed.  Harper has been thrilled to go to school this week because she is the snack helper or the "snacker" as she likes to call it.  She gets to bring the snacks for her whole class all week long.  She has loved picking out the snacks and helping me get it all counted and packed up to take in.

Today was a school for Hudson and as soon as he realized it was his day to go he in the parking lot he kept saying, "Mommy's car, Mommy's car!!!"  He was not interested in going to school at all and just wanted to be back safe in my car.  Poor baby was crying harder than I've ever seen him when I handed him off to his teacher.  I came back around 11 AM (when they had told me to come) and when I got to the school his class was on the playground.  I was confused to see him sitting in a stroller, but he wasn't crying, so because he didn't see me I snuck back to the car. After calling the office and having someone check with the teachers about how he was doing I got a report that he was fine so that I should just come back at pick-up time.  I took advantage of the extra hour to go running (which felt so good because it has been so long) and then was back to pick the kids up.  When I got to his class he was still sitting in the stroller holding all of his things and apparently he spent the majority of the day there. His teachers said he wasn't really interested in getting out and playing, but he didn't cry except for drop-off and he made it the whole day!!!  That was a HUGE improvement and a BIG step in the right direction. Ms. Janet said she thought he was feeling safe and secure in the stroller and I'm sure as soon as he gets even more comfortable and used to the idea of school and his classroom he will be ready to jump out of the stroller and join in the fun.  They had Mother Goose come today and read some nursery rhymes to the classes.  Ms. Janet sent a few pictures tonight of this and I laughed when I saw Hudson sitting in the stroller with his paci, lambie and his red school bag (which is supposed to be hanging up on the hooks, but he loves it so much that he always wants to hold onto it).

Of course I would rather him to be sitting and interacting with the other kids, but he is always slow to warm up to new people and new situations, so I am thrilled with how he did today and the fact he didn't cry all day long.  Harper and I made a BIG deal about him staying all day and not crying when we picked him up and he seemed embarrassed by the attention (which is normal for him) but proud to call and tell Mimi and Gigi the good news.  We celebrated with frozen yogurt!

He was also proud to show us his "Jack be Nimble" candle stick he made.  I got the impression he didn't want to do any jumping over the candle stick at school, but was obviously watching how much fun the other kids were having doing it because he put it right down and started jumping over it when we were at home.

Dance and cheerleading were also big hits today!  The girls are loving their activities and I'm happy to report that Handley did AWESOME at cheerleading tonight. I think she was just having an off day last week and winning the cheer motions Simon Says game today got her back on track and gave her the boost of confidence she was missing last week. :-)

Friday, August 23, 2013

It's almost Friday!

Today was day 4 of pre-school for Hudson and it was also day 4 of crying for him.  I've just accepted that it's going to take a little while.  For today though, he was much happier to be hanging out with his mama and eating lunch!

This time he started crying as soon as we got out of the car because he didn't want to go.  I ended up picking him up around 11 AM this morning after getting a phone call and having a nice chat with one of the ladies who works in the office at the pre-school. She had spent some time in the class with Hudson today trying to give him some one-on-one attention and see if she could get him to stop being upset.  She and the teachers offered me a few suggestions we are going to try. They said we will try every one in the book with him until we find something that will work.  

* I'm going to drop him off just a little later so that he is the last one to arrive.  This will allow him to come into a settled classroom where all the kids are having fun, playing, and there isn't any confusion/craziness of the drop-off time with people in and out and parents walking by the door.  
* I'm going to continue picking him up early and giving him a abbreviated day until we can stretch it the whole 3 hours.  
* I will be sending in a picture of myself. They said that in the past this has helped some kids when they are missing their moms and today he kept asking for me so we'll give it a try. 

When I got to the school his class was outside playing and he wasn't running around like I would normally expect him to on the playground, but he was sitting with his teacher and a few other students and not crying.  Of course when he saw me he burst into tears, but he made a point to tell his teachers bye and half hugged them, too.  He is definitely warming up to them and they told me that although he seems sad at times during the day, he follows them around and wants to be near them.  

This evening I got an email from his teacher with a few pictures she had taken of him on Tuesday eating his cupcake.  I wrote her back and told her it did my heart good to see him enjoying a little time at school without crying...even if it did involve a cupcake!  

When we picked up Handley this afternoon she was THRILLED to show us her newest prize from the fundraiser they are doing at school. It's a fun-run they have to get pledges for and she is quite the sales girl.  Every time they get a pledge, they get a prize at school the next day so she has had a lot of incentives.

We stopped for gas on our way home and also indulged in our "it's-almost-Friday" treat of frozen yogurt!  Hoping we can make it through tomorrow because I know we are all ready for the weekend!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Getting into the groove

Yesterday was Hudson's 3rd day of school.  He was excited to go, like aways, but this time as soon as we got to his class and his teacher took him he started crying. I hung around for a few minutes in the parking lot awaiting a call and then decided to go on with the errands I needed to run.  I kept my phone handy because I was fully expecting them to call me to pick him up. I went to surprise Handley at her school and have lunch with her.  They eat at 10:45 AM so it's really more like brunch.  She was so happy that I was able to be there and I loved seeing her with her new friends and talking with all of them during lunch.  As I was walking out of her school my phone rang and I knew it was the pre-school.  Hudson's teachers told me I was more than welcome to leave him until the pick-up time, but that he had been pretty unhappy most of the day (crying) and that I could come get him if I wanted.  I did go and he was happy to see me, but as I peeked in before letting him know I was there he was crying and semi-playing at the same time. After talking to his teachers they said he seemed to do a little better yesterday than last week. In fact, he stopped crying during their music class and really had fun with that and he apparently also stopped crying long enough to eat a cupcake the class was having for someone's birthday.  :-)  She said we'll just keep trying what we are trying and pretty soon he will be more comfortable with them and with the routine.  

After thinking a lot about him, his personality and how things are going I am going to take a different approach tomorrow. He is always excited about going in and happy to be at school.  He is also super stubborn and if he starts crying about something at home he keeps on going and going and going until I just ignore it.  Almost to prove a point that he is upset and he isn't going to give up easily. I'm half thinking that is maybe what is happening at school.  We've been talking about not crying at school.  I'm going to bribe him with a lollipop if he doesn't cry and I'm going to try the no-nonsense approach about the crying (like I do at home) and see how that goes.  Worst that will happen is that he will different than what he is already doing! Today when we went to pick up Harper we had to walk past his classroom and one his teachers was there with another class she teaches.  He recognized her and went right up to her to say "hi" and that made me so happy to see. I know he's getting more used to them and to the school each day we are there.  

Tuesdays and Wednesdays are our LONG days.  I leave the house in the morning and don't come back until about 12 hours later.  I'm tired and tired of being in the car.  The morning commute to take Harper and Hudson is an hour.  SERIOUSLY an hour every.single.morning.  It's ridiculous, but it's just what it is right now. I'm thankful that they love to watch movies, play games or do puzzles on the iPads, because otherwise, I would just hate it for them.  Once we are in our house I will never, ever, ever take for granted the 5 minute drive I will have to the schools. EVER.  

The good news is, with all of the kids activities starting up and me spending so much time in our new area I am starting to get into some sort of groove and recognizing a lot of faces everywhere I go.  Yesterday the girls had their first dance classes at their new studio and they really loved it.  They are taking at a huge studio that I used to compete against when I was dancing so it was kind of weird to be there, but I know they will learn a lot and really enjoy their classes. 

Yesterday and today was also Handley's cheerleading.  It is hard-core compared to what she did last year.  They practice twice a week and I did not know that is what we were signing up for or I wouldn't have done it because of our long commute.  They expect a lot out of the girls and we came home after practice tonight and I helped her with the cheers they have learned.  I feel like she was having a hard time focusing at practice or remembering the motions and I could tell she was feeling lost.  I know she sometimes has a hard time because she is left handed and so many things in the cheers (and dance for that matter) feel awkward for her because she lives in a right-handed world. I think she may just be a little overwhelmed, but she did great tonight when I was helping her, so hopefully that will help because she really loves cheerleading and wants to do well.  

After school and before cheerleading tonight we went by the new house for a little bit to have somewhere to play.  Handley was teaching Harper some of the cheers and Hudson was happy to push around his mower when he wasn't yelling the cheers with them.  We were so happy for sunshine and finally an afternoon with no rain! 

Monday, August 19, 2013


Our weekend was rainy and cold, but we didn't let that stop our fun.  Harper was thrilled because she got to wear her new jeans!  Saturday morning we took the kids to see the new Disney movie, Planes.  Hudson just got the Cars movie for his birthday and he has been watching it non-stop the past few weeks.  I just knew he would love this movie.  He was really into it, until he fell asleep. Poor little guy was so tired and had a cold, so he just wasn't feeling his best.  The girls both liked it and were really happy we got to go.

After that we spent some time over at our new house cleaning up and organizing in the basement and then met Trey, Stefanie and Sophia for dinner.  We hadn't seen them in a while and Sophia has changed so much!  She's just growing bigger and bigger and gets cuter each time we see her.  She was super smiley and seemed really happy to be seeing the kids.

On our way home from dinner we stopped by Marshall's for Robby to check for something.  While he was looking I followed the kids around and could NOT stop laughing at them.  The girls were so excited to be finding all the "treasures" on the floor.  Treasures = the plastic size tags that have fallen off of the hangers that are lying on the floor under the clothes racks.  They were on the hunt and every aisle we turned down they would find more.  :-) They even got Hudson on board and excited about these little plastic treasures.  I love that it's the little things that make them so happy!

It was back to school today and both Handley and Harper had great days. Handley's school had a pep rally to kick-off their big school fun-run fundraiser and she was all excited to ask us all for pledges when she got home this afternoon.  Harper got to start staying for lunch today, which she loved, and she also tried out the morning carpool line (since traffic was so bad and we were running behind), which she also loved.  She has settled in nicely at the pre-school and I am happy that I even met what I think will become two new friends there, today.  Now, if we could only get Hudson on board, we'd be all set.  He seems happy about going and I'm hoping the third time is a charm for him tomorrow. However, if they call me to come pick him up early because he is upset, you better believe I am going to leave my Target cart (and everything in it) behind and make a beeline for the pre-school to pick him up.  I want him to love school, but he is my baby and I am going to enjoy every second of him wanting to hang out with his mama.  He was so much fun to have with me today while I was running errands and getting things done.  I seriously wish I could just freeze time right now.  I'm just LOVING the age of all three kiddos, how much fun they have with each other, and how sweet they all are together.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Friday Fun

TGIF!  I am SO happy that tomorrow is the weekend and we can finally have a day to sleep in. I am not a morning person, so getting up before the sun each day to get Handley ready for school is rough on me. I am a night person. I get my second wind after the kids go to bed and start working on projects, blogging or just having a few moments of peace and silence.  I have always cherished my time at night because I'm the only one awake and it's my "me" time.  Another reason I end up staying up so late is the fact that I am not really able to be here during the day because of the long drive. When I leave in the morning to take the kids to pre-school, I am gone until we get home from picking up Handley from school or after their extra curricular activities in the afternoons/evenings.  SO, all of the things I would normally do during the day (laundry, grocery shopping, etc.) has to be crammed into the evenings, making for late nights for me.  The kids all take after me.  Yesterday when I got Hudson up he immediately said, "more bed" and Harper told me today she was so happy that she could sleep in tomorrow that she might just sleep all the way until lunch!

Handley had her first school spirit day today so she was excited to wear her new school t-shirt.  

Harper had a few tears before walking into class yesterday and today, but came home telling me how much fun she had and didn't even mention the tears again.  In fact, today when she was talking to my mom on the phone she told her that some boys and girls in her class walk in the class crying because they are sad.  When my mom asked her if she did that, Harper told her, "No!  I love's going great." 

To celebrate the end of her first week I took her for frozen yogurt. It is extremely rare that the two of us get one-on-one time, so I was happy to take her to get her favorite treat.  

Gigi kept Hudson today so I could go to a room rep meeting at Handley's school.  He was so happy to have her all to himself all day, but was super excited when we pulled in the driveway this afternoon.  We spent a lot of the evening outside so the kids could play.  They stayed entertained practicing to jump rope and pretending to be friends going on a run together.  Hudson was happy as can be to play along with their games.  

***Notice the kids in August!  Well apparently Atlanta hit a new record for temperatures set on this day.  The high was only 67 degrees, so it felt very chilly to us, especially when the week started out with temperatures in the 90's!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Day Two Blues

Yesterday when we took Harper to school, Hudson insisted on bring his red school bag.  After we dropped Harper at her classroom he kept asking me about his teachers and was acting like he wanted to go to school. I told him that he would get to go tomorrow.  Fast forward to this morning and I thought he was going to do great.  Again, he was happy to carry his bag in and when he asked if I would be going in with him I told him I'd be back to get him in a little bit...right after he played with his teachers and had his snack.  He said, "OK" in this cute way that he says it these days and when we got to his classroom he walked right in holding his bag proudly.

About two hours later I was in Target and got a phone call from the pre-school director.  She informed me that Hudson had been having a rough day and that he had been off and on crying most of the day.  They had given him his paci and lambie, but he was still upset and asked if there was anything else I could suggest for them to try that might make him feel better.  There wasn't and I know he is just having a hard time adjusting.  She said I could come pick him up early, if I chose to, so that is exactly what I did.  I got to his classroom and saw all the other kids sitting at their seats having snacks and he was just standing there crying. :-( My poor baby was so sad.  His teachers told me that it seemed like he wanted to have fun, but just couldn't and every time they got him distracted for a minute, he would get upset the next minute.  They also said he wasn't interested in painting, having a snack, or really anything.  I got this things and then we made our way to the car to wait on Harper to be done. He sat in my lap and had a snack and when I tried to talk to him about school he seemed happy and didn't say anything like he didn't like it and didn't want to go back.  He definitely loves the idea of school, but I think it is just going to take him some time to really get comfortable and make the adjustment.

Here he is...looking just pitiful, but still insisting on holding his bag. :-)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hudson's First Day of Pre-School

Hudson woke up ready and excited about going to school today.  After breakfast he and Harper got dressed and he was more than willing to have his picture taken holding his sign.  He'd say, "cheeeeeeese" and then after I'd snapped a few he would ask, "good?" wanting to know if he was good to go.

He wanted a picture with his bag, too.  He LOVES that thing and I can tell he feels so big to get to carry it.  In the picture with his arm up I asked, "who's ready for school?" and he yelled, "ME!!"

Harper wanted to help walking him to his class, so we took him first.  When we got to his class a ton of the other kids were crying.  When I tried to hang up his bag on the hook he got upset because he likes to hold it, so I just let him.  Then he walked right in, on a mission to find the "race cars."  The teacher told me she was going to close the door because so many of the parents were hanging around and looking in the class and it was making the upset kids more upset.  I walked away a little teary, but thankful that he seemed excited.

This was the first time in 6 years that all of my kids were at school at the same time. I definitely felt like a piece of me was missing, but I stayed busy running a few errands and before I knew it, it was time to pick them up. I got Harper first from the playground where her class was and the first thing she told me was, "I saw Hudson outside at the fire drill and his teacher was holding him and he was crying."  My heart sank.  First of all I was confused and annoyed that they had a fire drill on his first day of school and secondly I felt bad because I hadn't been worrying all day because I though he was fine and happy to be at school.  When we got to his class the door was still closed, but we were able to peek through a crack and see he was shaking some maracas with the other kids and participating with the class. I did notice he had his paci and Lambie though (the teachers said we could bring their things for the first two weeks and I had put it in his bag just in case).  As soon as they opened the door and he saw me he burst into tears.  :-(  My heart was breaking seeing him so sad and I was fighting back tears, too.  I just really wanted him to have a great day and to think school was fun.  One of his teachers told me he'd had a a great day - until the fire drill.  Then he was off and on upset for the last 30 minutes of the day.  Thankfully he calmed down soon after that and was able to tell me a lot of details about his day like what they had for snack and what he played with on the playground.  A little later on I asked him if thought school was fun and he said yes, so I'm hoping he is happy to go back on Thursday.

Tonight I got a sweet email that his teachers sent out to all of the parents with pictures and telling about their day and how well everyone did. It sounds like they were busy with some painting, music class, outside time and snack.  They did explain that the fire drill was set off by the church, not the pre-school, so no one at the pre-school knew to expect it.  That made me feel better and I love his teachers for sending out a little glimpse into their day.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Harper's First Day of Pre-K!

Today was Harper's first day of Pre-K and her first day at her new school.  She's been really excited about school starting, especially after seeing how much fun Handley had last week.  However, last night when it sunk in that she was going today she started crying and got really upset.  She was nervous about new teachers and new friends, but I told her that was totally normal and that I knew she would love it.

This morning she went back and forth between being excited and starting to get upset if she thought about it too much.  I told her that she needed to show Hudson how to go to school happy so that he would know how to do it tomorrow and that seemed to help her want to be brave.  On the drive there she asked me a ton of questions through her shaky voice and was trying to figure out just how long she would be there and when I would be picking her up.

When we arrived there wasn't time for her to get upset.  We walked right in, she was greeted by her teacher in the hallway and had to hang up her bag.  Then she gave me a quick hug and walked into her room with a smile.

Hudson saying/asking, "Hudson's teachers" because he recognized where we were and although I had told him he would go until tomorrow he thought it was his turn to go to school, too.  Let's hope he is that excited tomorrow!

When we picked up Harper she was all smiles and kept saying what a great day she had, how much fun it was and all about the details of her day.  She even met a new friend, so I think her year is off to a great start.  She is excited about going back tomorrow and that is the best thing I could ask for!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Braves Game

Robby was recently given tickets for the Braves game and all of the kids were excited to go.  It started raining this afternoon and we were worried we might not be able to make it, but it cleared up and we were off.  Just as we got to the stadium it started to sprinkle and then next thing we knew the bottom fell out. It was POURING and luckily we were under cover as we were getting dinner before heading to our seats.  We ended up waiting almost an hour for the rain to pass and the game to get started. We almost decided to head home and just call it a night, but I'm so glad we waited it out.

This was Hudson's first Braves game and he got to watch it from the front row! The seats and views were amazing it kept the kids so entertained.  They all loved watching the game, cheering for our team, doing the wave, eating cotton candy and dancing along with the music.

We left around 9:30 PM and none of them were ready to go. We promised we could come back to another game again soon, though!