First week jitters, second week fun.

Kindergarten. It started. School starts comparatively late here so today is day 8 of Kindergarten including the first half-day. Over the past month or so my facebook and instagram feeds have been full of pictures of smiling children with a chalkboard or sign stating “first day of X grade xx-xx-2016”. In our house the first day of Kindergarten looked something like this:

img_6749Simon was NOT excited. He wasn’t scared really, but this year he is at a new school with new kids. His best friend is at a different school (we live in opposite directions from the old daycare/pre-K) and has been missing his Pre-K teacher all summer. When I asked him to look up he did then asked “was that a sad picuture of me?” “Good, I want you to send that to Miss C (pre-K teacher) so she can know I miss her.” Ok then.

img_6750The first day was a half day. Rob worked from home so we could drop off and pick up together. WE were excited for the first day. Simon was…tired. He didn’t even want celebratory ice cream, although we did get it (and he ate it). As soon as we got home Rob said “let’s lay down for a few minutes” and five minutes later a nap was happening.

img_6751We had an appointment in the afternoon and I even got a nap transfer in for another 30 minutes or so.

img_6752So sad for me was that Simon had no interest in shopping for school supplies. I loved shopping for school supplies. But really this is ok because the school lists don’t go home until the first day of school so it’s a mad house – we had to go to THREE stores to get a 24 pack of crayons because everywhere was sold out.

What we’ve learned so far is that Kindergarten is exhausting! He only wanted to lay on me and then I was afraid to move for awhile. Caleb was having and unsupervised ball – lots of crashing. Mostly he was playing with his castle and figures…and crashing cars down the stairs.

img_6790Also, Kindergarten homework is no joke. Simon is in the TAG program (talented & gifted) which is kind of a big deal in the city. They start with first grade math on day one. I’m amazed at how fast he is learning his math facts. Every night he has a math worksheet, sight word practice, and reading log (with parents 🙂 ). Then some nights there is writing (this is probably going to become daily). And then special class homework sometimes – like the art page to color Mona Lisa over the week and bring back next class. Once we get through the argument that “Yes, you do have to do this. And yes, it will be every night,” is goes pretty fast, maybe 20 minutes if no whining. Last night he did the whole math page with no help other than me telling him which problems to do. #proud

img_6800 img_6801We are in week two now and the jitters are gone. I’ve been waiting to share until we were smooth sailing. Now he runs in and stands in his class line all smiles and blowing kisses.

simon_blurAnd we are moving in to learning the more important things, like “You CAN have a chocolate milk with your lunch from home, but YOU DO have to ASK to go through the line.” Poor Simon every day has come home saying he wants school lunch because you only get chocolate milk if you go through the line – but he doesn’t want to eat school lunch. Today we got that figured out.

*Note we did actually get some cute pictures on the good camera, but when I will get those downloaded and edited is anyone’s guess. Phone pictures to the rescue.

Simon says; vol. 7

Every night we pray. Simon is starting to ask some deep questions.

Simon: I want to see Jesus. How do I see him?

Me: Well Jesus is in heaven with God. You get to see him when you die.

Simon: But I want to see Jesus alive. How can I see Jesus while he’s still alive?

Me: I don’t know. That is a good question we can ask pastor Jon.

[confers with pastor]

Me: I asked Pastor Jon your question. When Jesus was alive he could only see a few people. not all of the people. So he went to heaven so the Holy Spirit could come and live in everybody.

Simon: But I don’t want the Holy Spirit to see everybody. I only want Jesus to see me while he’s alive.


We sang a new song in church and Simon has been singing it at home.

Simon: Better is one day in your courts, Better is one day in your house. Better is one day in your courts.

Me: Do you know what that song means Simon?

Simon: No.

Me: It means that spending one day in God’s house is better than any other day. It is the very best day.

Simon: How do I go there?

Me: Well, God’s house is in heaven.

Simon: I want to go there when I am alive with Jesus and see the dead people.

#MicroblogMondays: the Met

Last month my mom and sister came to visit with my niece. They had a companion flight that was about to expire, so it was the perfect last minute fun. We took the kids to the Met one day. This is the first time we’ve been where Simon is old enough to kind of get it. We made it about three hours (including an overpriced lunch) so I was impressed. We saw Egypt and a good portion of the American Wing.

IMG_5446Heard from Simon:

“Mom, this is the same Egypt that Sherman and Mr. Peabody went to!”

“I’m scared to touch it (one of the things you were allowed to touch) what if the mummy comes to life?

“This place is amazing!”

“Mom, mom, come look at this one. It’s beautiful.”

IMG_5441I can’t wait to go back.

Sunday Snippets

  • Wow! It’s been a whole month since I last blogged – I don’t think I’ve ever lapsed that long. And when I came in to do these snippets I thought it had been two weeks…

    playing in a hidey hole
    playing in a hidey hole
  • We’ve been exceptionally busy. There has been some behind the scenes things (in our family, not this blog) that have resulted in a no screen time when children are awake Monday – Friday, for any of us. This means no more blogging after school while they play. But overall we are a week in and I think it is a good change.
  • Along with the rest of the world we’ve had fun with the MSQRD app. This one hasn’t been deleted from my phone yet. Lot’s were deleted in the above mentioned screen reduction. Caleb loves it.IMG_5555
  • Caleb had the flu a couple of weeks ago. Poor sad boy. But he bounced back in time for Easter.
  • We totally slacked on Easter this year. Grandmas sent some small things, so that was it. I’m giving myself grace that there are some seasons of life I will be able to go all out, and others where I just can’t.


    • Boys in hats. That is all.IMG_5583
    • Simon is still playing chess on Fridays. We need to practice more at home. He’s struggling a bit because the teacher “asks him too many questions”. In order to understand that there is a strategy beyond knowing how to move the pieces Simon has to explain the consequences of each move. It’s mentally exhausting, but I think we’ve come to an agreement that there are questions for 20-30 minutes, then only playing. He earned a gold star. Last time the teacher told him he’d get a gold star, then at the end Simon asked for his star – only to find it was a symbolic star. So this week the teacher had brought a sheet of stars just for Simon. I thought that was sweet of him.IMG_5587
    • I have a full preliminary dissertation file. Meaning I have a file with everything that is coded so far and can start analysis. But I still need to code about 20 questions and have about seven hours of audio to transcribe. So far nothing is significant.
    • And just for fun Caleb singing. He only sings two songs. Jingle Bells and Let it Go.

    • And Simon, practicing for Pre-K graduation. Which I will miss for work travel. But this video is everything.


#MicroblogMondays: Power of Words

I’ve been made extra aware of the power of words over the last year. In my Intro to Psychology class last fall we talked a lot about the power of words and the meaning behind them. For example, what are you really saying when you say something or someone is “crazy” and what could be a better word choice.

I have experienced the most profound examples in listening to my children speak. When you hear yourself, it can be eye opening. Simon called Rob a jerk a couple of months ago. Simon was angry. It was not ok. But…how many times have Rob or I said one of the kids was acting like a jerk in their hearing range? Part correcting the problem language is a matter of better modeling. I’m working on it.

My latest revelation is hearing how often we say “That’s not important right now, you need to…” or “I don’t care, what we are doing now is…” Simon is a dawdler. And it is maddening. So we say some variation of this often. I’m starting to worry that what he is hearing is “You are not important” and “I don’t care what you want”. I want to get better at taking the moment to see whatever thing is so important to him he has to do it right now. But in those moments where we actually do need to keep moving – like trying to get out the door for school? Any advice on a better word choice?