Friday, August 19, 2011

First Week of Montessori School!

We did it!  Finished our first week at pre-school/daycare at Lakeside.  Was a very tough week at work for me, but the girls had a fantastic time.  Riley was really excited about her "days of the week" song and told me several times today "Did you know that today is Friday?  And that tomorrow will be Saturday!  We had to say that many times today at school."  I asked her how the rest of her day was and if she played with anyone.

Her favorite friend at school is a little girl named Bonnie.  She is always picked up before I get there so I haven't met her yet.  Today Riley told me "Bonnie told me that I'm a little funny looking."  Totally broke my heart to think of someone saying that to her :(

So I asked her if she said anything to her.  Riley said "I told her I liked her and that she was beautiful."  Just about made my heart burst.  Sad to think of someone saying mean things, but joyful that she responded in such an amazing way.  I asked her how she felt when Bonnie said it.  She said "I was kind of happy and kind of sad.  But I'm fine with it."

Such an amazing girl.

Monday, August 15, 2011

First Day of Preschool!

Back to work today.  Riley and Julia started at their new preschool today - Lakeside Montessori.  They've been going to my friend Kami's house ever since Riley was 1 and we have loved every minute of them being with her.  She continues to be such an amazing person who I hope we'll always stay in touch with.  But Riley being 4 and only having one more year until Kinder, it was time for her to get used to a school structure.  So off we went.

For weeks, we've been praying for their time there and specifically for a friend for Riley on the first day.  I got her dressed this morning - only to find out that uniforms started today.  Thankfully I brought a set of uniforms with us so she was able to change before joining her class and we were early so it wasn't a big deal.

We went to Riley's classroom and set all of her things in her cubby.  Since her teacher wasn't there yet, we went to Julia's classroom and put all of her things in her cubby.  I took Julia out of her stroller and set her on the ground by a little girl who was about her size.  She was quite content.  I gave her a hug and seeing that she was fine, Riley and I waved goodbye and left.  I heard her cry for a very short time and then she was totally fine.

Riley's class was outside on the playground so I took her out there.  There were kids playing everywhere (not too many of them, but they all looked to have a friend with them).  There were two girls on their hands and knees - meowing like cats.  One of Riley's favorite things to do!  So I said "Look Riley!  Cats!"  I asked her if she wanted to join them and she said yes.  So I helped her climb up and she sat by the girls.  I took her picture and she said "Mom, Really?"  And then said "Bye Mom, see you later!"  That was when I got tears in my eyes and walked out.  I did get to watch her through the glass - which is darkened from her side so she can't see that I'm watching her - and was able to see that she playing with them and pretending to feed the cats.

So incredibly proud of how well both girls did today!

When I picked the girls up, I went to Julia's room first.  She was walking around behind the table and was so excited to see me.  Her teacher, Nicole, said that most kids cry a lot the first day and have a hard time, but Julia didn't cry hardly at all.  She said she cried a few times, but it wasn't for long periods.  She also said that she did an amazing job on her nap mat and was so amazed at how well she did on her first day.  Julia was completely happy and loved it.  I received a whole checklist of how the day went with all the information I would have asked.  Nicole is very sweet and kind and gentle, but firm with the kids.

Julia and I then went to pick up Riley at her classroom.  She was playing with Mr. Potato Head parts and gave me a big hug when I came, but she didn't want to stop playing.  Take that as a good sign!  She told me later that she got up from her nap mat because she didn't want to sleep and her teacher told her that she'd have to go into the little kid room if she didn't go on her mat and lay down.  Riley was quite scared of this.  This first thing that Riley told me that she learned was how to walk down the hall.  She said they have to have their hands behind their backs and put big bubbles in their mouthes like this.  And then she demonstrated it perfectly.  She's amazing!

The teacher said she had a great first day.  I told her that it was her first time in a structured classroom ever.  Her teacher, Sharon, said that she would never have known that Riley had never been in a classroom before and that she had a great day.  She told me that there was a little girl that she played with for most of the day :)  Definitely made me happy!  And one of my piano students' sisters is also in her class which is great!

So all in all, a very wonderful first day of preschool!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I am thankful for toilets.  Though I don't really give them much thought unless I have to go in an outhouse and then I miss the real thing.  Julia, on the other hand, loves toilets.  She enjoys swirling her hands in them (clean toilets, that is) and putting things in them.

This morning I shut the door to our bathroom and in that five seconds, she had already run to the toilet and was about to put her hand in when I yelled "Jules!" and scared enough that she took her hand out.

Today at Kami's house, Julia had the remote that controls her ceiling fan, A/C and something else.  She went into the bathroom, put the lid up and threw the remote into the toilet.  Landon asked Kami why she wasn't using the remote.  She said "Well, somebody (pointing at Jules) threw it in the toilet and it doesn't work anymore."  Ahhh... the joys.

So sorry Kami!!!  My girls sure kept you busy today between the toilet and the hair episode!

New Haircut

To date, Riley has had only one haircut when she was 3 1/2 years old.  She was bald the first two years - if not longer.  She had just a simple trim and that's all she's needed.  I had been planning to get her hair cut next week, but events today changed that plan.

The girls went to Kami's house all day while I taught piano and crochet lessons.  I was going to pick them up after 5pm when my last lesson finished.  Around 4pm, Kami called me to tell me that there was an incident that had occurred.  I asked if the girls were hurt or bleeding.  She said "No."  So I told her that anything else that happened, I could deal with.

Kami said that Kenzie (her 10 year old daughter) was doing Riley's hair, but Riley didn't like the way it was being done and wanted to do it herself.  So Kenzie left the room and Riley was left alone to do it.  When Kenzie returned, she screamed out for Kami to come.  Riley started crying and hid under Kami's bed and wouldn't come out.  Kami noticed some hair in the bathroom.  She said it didn't look like too much was there.  But then she found a bunch of it in the kitty litter box.  And another place.  She said it was quite a bit of hair and that Riley had cut her own hair.

Riley finally came out from under the bed while we were talking.  I asked Kami how her hair looked.  Kami simply said "Oh.... I'm sorry."  hahaha   All I could do was laugh.  She told me that Riley must have gone through Kami's drawers and cut her hair.  At first she said it wasn't too much, but as she looked Riley over, she got quiet and just kept saying how sorry she was.  And that it kind of looked like a mullet.  I couldn't stop laughing and reassured her that I wasn't mad at all and that we'd figure it out.  No big deal.

A little off the right

Front view

Side view

Mullet side

Chunks of hair off the back

I decided to call Tony's Hair Salon to schedule an appointment to get Riley's hair cut tonight so that she wouldn't be walking around looking goofy or so no one at home would say anything about it.  When I picked her up, I tried to just smile and didn't say much except "Wow Riley.  I see you cut your hair.  We're going to go for a special haircut at Tony's to let them cut the other side too."  Riley was very proud of cutting her hair and very excited to go get it cut again.

So off the four of us girls went.  When Kathy, the owner, saw Riley, she couldn't stop laughing.  She just kept saying "oh my goodness."  Then Lindsay, the stylist, pointed to Riley and said "Oh my word.  That must be her!  Oh wow."  She repeated the line "Oh wow" several times.  Then said "When you called, I thought "oh no big deal.  probably a small section" because most kids just cut a small amount, but she really cut a ton of it.  Let me go sweep and think."  So she went off to get her chair area ready.  She had Riley sit in the booster chair and picked up her hair to see how short she'd cut it underneath.  Super short was the answer.  So Lindsay asked if I was ok with going short.  I replied that I didn't see any other way to do it.  She held her hair in a ponytail and motioned that it would be right below the ear.

Riley was such a trooper.  It took 40 minutes for Lindsay to do her hair.  Riley sat totally still and tilted and looked down and listened to everything that Lindsay asked her to do.  There were only two things she said:
1 - Please don't cut my skin.  I don't want you to cut my skin.
2 - (when the hair had been all cut and was still wet)  Will it look beautiful when it is dry?

We reassured her that yes, she is always beautiful and that her hair would definitely look beautiful when it was dry.  And no, her skin wouldn't get cut

In the meantime, Julia ate a load of Cheerios while we were there and then dumped the remains all over her hair and the floor.  They were everywhere.  Madi was sitting in chairs where other stylists needed to cut hair and was standing on chairs in the waiting area so I had to ask her to just stand and wait patiently  or to sit in a waiting area chair.  Riley was super excited about her new haircut and looks cute as a button!

There are several parts on the left side that will stick up no matter what we do, but I plan to take her out to buy new clips and headbands to accessorize her new hairdo in hopes we can make it special now that we can't braid it or put ponytails or anything in it.

Riley ended the day by saying "I love my short hair!  I love my short hair!  I don't ever want it to get long again!"

Guess it's very possible this may not be the last time she cuts it :)

Big Girl

Riley is growing up so fast.  She still has her moments of frustration and crying, but I just can't get over how big she is getting.  And seemingly overnight.

She's been doing math activities on a website called IXL.  Loves it.  Spent almost an hour yesterday doing games.  Some with me, some on her own.  Was impressed that she could find the missing number on a number line.  Was able to do simple addition and subtraction using pictures and numbers.  And get them all correct.

We went to school yesterday and she helped me set out the chairs.  When we were done, she counted each one - up to 25.  Incredible one-to-one correspondence.  She's very excited about starting preschool at Lakeside Montessori in two weeks.  Asks me every morning if today is "the" day.

Today I dropped her off at Kami's house.  Kami had six kids over (including two of her own, three of ours and a little boy named Luke).  Luke is 2 yrs. old.  He's a cute and sweet kid - but doesn't often like to share.  Go figure.  Totally normal for a 2 yr. old.

Riley heard Kami asking him to share with Julia so she came rushing down the stairs to check on them.  Luke held up a train track and showed it to Riley.  Riley said "Ooohhhh Luke."  And giggled.  Then said "You are my buddy.  He's sharing with Jules!  So sweet."  And then she gave him a big hug.  And told him "Thank you for sharing with Jules."  As she hugged him, Julia leaned in to hug too.  I got teary watching her.  Proud Mommy moment.

Julia is also growing quite big.  She's trying to talk more.  Though she often just says "Neh!!  Neh!!"  because she has heard Riley pretend to be a horse so much.  I think she believes she is actually communicating in that way.  She's working on her pouty face.  Seriously trying to figure out how to stick her lower lip out and make sad eyes.  She's also working on her mad face.  Got a chance to see her really thinking about how to look mad the other day.  Was all I could do NOT to laugh incredibly hard!