Monday, September 17, 2012

First solid week of Kindergarten

Over all school is going well.  From what I can tell they are very happy and when it all boils down that's all that I care about.  For me I still have a pit in my stomach about it all.  We have 7 days under our belt now.  M&J are both very excited for all the new experiences.  Computer class was a huge hit with Madison.  She also loves art class and they both loved music class.  When we went for our orientation last spring the music teacher (guy with big fuzzy beard), was not someone they were excited to meet.  That all changed at the first class.  "He's SO silly!  He even forgot his own name!  How funny is that?"  They even had "healthy" class!  There is a boy in their class who is on their soccer team and he and Jackson seemed to become friends on the first day.  He talks about him a lot.  Yesterday we saw a boy at gymnastics who is in their class too.  He has cried at drop off every day this week :-(  He did better today but when I saw him start to well up I said "Hey!  Give me five!"  He did and I made a big deal like it hurt which made him laugh :-)  Luckily there have been no tears at all (at school...more on that later) for Madison and Jackson.  They have told me about their behavior chart.  There is purple, blue, green, orange, and red.  They all started on green and M&J have remained there (since writing this they were both moved to orange!!  I can't get a straight story out of them why).  Three kids have moved up to blue (not really sure what you need to do to move up) and one kid had moved to orange and now is on red.  I've heard a lot about this boy all week.  He is ALWAYS being spoken to and disrupting class.

Every day they get ready and go to school willingly.  I suspect this will change for Jackson within the next week.  I think when the honeymoon phase is over he will start to protest.


This was my first day all on my own so I had a lot of hopes for the day.  After dropping them off I went right home.  We are having construction done on our house so I had to chat with some people about that then I went for a 2.5 mile "run" (intervals).  I haven't run in almost a year due to a horrible pain in my legs but this was a very serious goal of mine for back to school.  As I stated over a year ago when I committed to running, I NEED to lose weight!!!  So the run/walk was rough at first but it got better.  After that I took a shower, went to the bank, the grocery store, walgreens, target, came home to put dinner in the crock pot, and even did a bit of editing.

So after school Monday they were clearly tired and whiney but it was gymnastics day so we took the 40 minute drive (only two towns away literally on the same street we live on) to the gym.  Last Wednesday was the start of their new session in which we made a pretty major change for Jackson.  I was faced with the decision of going to the gym 4 days a week so they could both be on pre-team (I'm just learning all the lingo here...they were both in "hot shots" all summer two days a week at the same time but different coaches).  Both of their coaches said that this fall they could move up to pre-team and if it didn't work out they could go back to hot shots.  The problem is that boys pre-team practices 2 hours on M W and girls pre-team practices on T TH for 2.5 hours.  I knew immediately I was NOT going to drive there FOUR days a week and have one of them with me every day, so I had to make a decision.  I decided to put Jackson with the pre-team and Madison with hot shots that practices at the same time as boys pre-team.  So Monday was his second day with his new coach (who he has interacted with for almost a year now) and practicing with the older boys.  1 hour and 15 minutes into the class Jackson taps me on the back.  I turn around to the saddest, biggest, doe eyes filled with tears he was trying so hard to hold back.  I scooped him up and he just let it all out.  I asked him what happened and he said, "nothing...I just miss you".  I started to tear up myself.  He said, "I can't stop thinking of you".  I took him into a quiet room and just held him and let him cry.  The poor kid...*I'm* feeling overwhelmed by all of this so I can only imagine how he feels.  He ended up confessing that there was a boy in class that always stares at him and it "creeps" him out.  Madison finished her class after that so we all just left.  I found out when we got home that Jackson told the coach that he was going to the bathroom so then I got to thinking that the coach must have wondered where he went??  Right??  I gave him the benefit of the doubt and thought that maybe he saw Jackson with me up on the balcony.  I called the gym that night to let them know about the boy in class.  The plan was to find out who he was on Wednesday and we would ensure Jackson that it was taken care of so he could go back to class (he said he never wanted to go back again... he just wanted coach B his old coach).

 Tuesday morning I had a newborn session and on my back home I called my mother to see if she wanted to go to lunch!  We were so excited!  She said "I've been waiting 5 years for this!!!"  It was funny.  We went to Victoria Station in Salem and sat on the patio overlooking the water.  We took our time even perusing some shops after.  Rather than having her drop me off at home to get my car to go back out and pick up M&J I had her drop me off at the school and I would walk them home.  They wanted to play on the playground so they did that for a good 45 minutes before making our way through what I thought would be a shortcut.  We live just over a mile away by driving on the roads but if you look at a map there is a way to walk a more direct route through fields/yards.  I figured we'd wing it and see what happened.  We had a nice leisurely walk but unfortunately couldn't cut through an area I was hoping we could.  That ended up adding a bit to our walk which they were already complaining about.  We stopped to sit twice which was a really nice time to chat about school.  We made our way back to our street which is where the traffic gets bad.  There is one major intersection we need to diagonally cross and at that time of day it's incredibly busy.  I wasn't comfortable crossing it WITH them let alone EVER letting them walk to school alone.


Wednesday morning I had a meeting with a local daycare regarding doing school pictures for them.  It went well and we even scheduled the date for next week!  I've been looking for an opportunity like this for a while so I'm very excited to offer parents a better option for school pictures.  After that I came home and worked on the documents for the parents and did some more editing.

Wednesday after school we made the trip to gymnastics and Jackson pointed out the boy who was staring at him.  He REFUSED to go into class.  He just clung to me.  The place is an absolute zoo at 3:30 so I couldn't find anyone to help me!  After wandering around for a bit I finally saw his new coach so I went out in the gym and told him we had a situation.  Turns out he had no idea Jackson left class on Monday.  Oh.  I had to let that one go at the moment.  We told him the problem and he called the kid over.  I took this opportunity to walk out of the gym so the only thing I heard was the other kid say was, (in response to "why are you staring at him?")"I only did it because he kept hurting me".  I'm so annoyed with trying to get straight answers out of kids.  All this time I'm thinking Jackson is innocent and feeling so bad for him and now it turns out he's been hurting another kid??  I don't even know what to believe.  Jackson managed to stay in class but about 45 minutes later he came up to the balcony again.  I brought him back down and tried to get him back in but he refused to go.  At that point I made the decision to swap days so that Jackson could go back with coach B for hot shots and Madison will go to pre team.  Luckily Madison won't be switching coaches so there shouldn't be any difference for her.

While they were in school on Thursday I did more editing at home but then I needed to go out to buy some frames and pick up prints at Costco.  I contribute these frames to a welcome basket for new home buyers in Lynnfield.  The frame has an advertisement in it but obviously they can use the frame for whatever they want.  I ended up getting to school a little early to get a close spot and opened and cleaned frames while I was in the car.  That day we went right home and relaxed.


Friday morning the kids were more relaxed and were all playing and chasing each other before it was time to go in.  When I went back to my car there was a psycho mom screaming at people for parking in a small lot that is for an apartment building.  I was pulling THROUGH the lot (not parked there) and she stopped her car in front of mine so I couldn't get out and screamed at me out her window, "YOU CAN'T PAHK HEEAH!!!"  I stupidly attempted to tell her I wasn't PARKED there but was just pulling through but there was no way I was going to reason with this woman.  After I dropped them off I went to Lynnfield to drop off the frames then went to Courtney's house to go to the beach with her and my niece and nephew to do some photos of them.  After that I went to to lunch with a new friend from gymnastics.  We both have boy/girl twins who were conceived about a month apart at the same fertility center!  We both are convinced we must have seen each other there at some point since we were there so much!
I walked around the mall for a bit after lunch then went right to pick them up.  We stayed at school again to play at the playground.  After running around a bit with a boy from their class who happened to stay Madison came up to me and said, "You know the girl that has the same backpack as me?  I wish she was here to play with".  It cracks me up that she still doesn't know her name.

I would say I have two stand out issues with this whole new experience.  One is the parking/drop off situation which I've been told is only worse in the winter.  Awesome.  The streets around the school are tiny and with all the people dropping off you have to park a ways away unless you get there really early to get a close spot.  For Madison and Jackson to take the bus (which I'm not sure I would want them doing here anyway) we would need to pay $600 so I guess I will just need to suck it up.
The other thing is me not knowing/not getting straight stories of what happens in school.  I am NOT a control freak but I really don't like them having all this time away from me where I can't know it all in detail.

I've been writing this post for four days now so I'm going to call it a wrap!

Saturday, September 08, 2012


I figured everyone deserved an update to know that I'm not still rocking in a corner by myself.  We all survived the first day and even better than I could have imagined.  I didn't cry ONCE!
It really was all so hectic.  We parked the car and walked the kids up to the door that their classroom enters through.  There was one other class at that door too so there were 50 littles and at least 50 parents although most had two grownups with them.  It was hot and muggy!  Jackson said quite a few times through the morning, "I wanna stay home with you mama." and of course I feel guilty for telling them that I would miss them because now I don't know if he just doesn't want me to be sad.  We got there 10 minutes early and they didn't go in the doors until 10 minutes late so there was a lot of time to whine about how heavy their backpacks were.  While they were in line their teacher came out and said hi to all the kids individually.  When I stepped back to take a picture of Madison with her Jackson stuck like glue to me.  Once the line went in he followed right in.  I was able to sneak a picture of them all on the floor once they were in their classroom.
Chris and I walked back to the car and went to breakfast.  After that I had a meeting with a bride and after I got home I actually took a nap!  Then Chris and I had to get ready to go to a wedding.  We had to be ready to go when we went to pick them up because we needed to leave for the wedding right after we got them.  My mom came up and picked them up with us so we were able to leave as soon as we got home.  The quick conversation we had with them was that they both loved it.  I asked Jackson if he still would have rather stayed home with me and he said "yes."  AWWW!

Friday, September 07, 2012

On the Eve of Kindergarten

These are the moments that are surreal.  Kindergarten has come out of nowhere and slapped me in the face.  I've really been feeling like I want to write about all of the things that are going on in my head regarding this day.  It's hard because I feel very guarded here since so many people I know read this.  I don't want to come off as a "drama queen" and yet I don't feel like I could even do justice to how I'm feeling because of my lack of writing skills.  So I feel pressure to write something really moving but even if I come up with it my family (and by family I mostly mean my husband) will just roll their eyes at me for being so dramatic.

I also feel like I owe it to Madison and Jackson to document how I feel.  I have no idea how my parents felt about anything except for my high school graduation and dropping me off at college for the first time when my mother and I cried our eyes out.  This is a major transition in our lives and they deserve to know how I feel about it.

Anyway, I'm a wreck.  I can't remember if I posted about their last day at pre-school in June but I was a sobbing mess picking them up that day.  I adored that school and their friends, and their teachers will never be topped.  Ever.  Seriously.  They were over the top phenomenal.

I think there may have even been a time maybe a year ago or so that I thought I might not even be emotional over them going to kindergarten.  I would think of all the crying mothers dropping off their kids and sincerely didn't think I would react that way.  After the last day of pre-school I knew I was completely wrong.

Shortly after pre-school ended we went for an orientation at their new elementary school.  The four of us went.  As we sat in the cafeteria listening to the principle chat with us all and telling us what we could expect I found myself welling up.  I was completely caught off guard.  I was CRYING.  Not on purpose.  Not to get attention.  I was just overcome with realization that this would be the school that they could potentially spend the next 6 years of their lives.  This was a special place and it was very overwhelming for me.  I could see the little cafeteria line inside the door to the kitchen which of course brought back memories of my elementary school.

After that I focused on soaking up every minute I had left with them as my constant companions. Of course I had my moments over the past 5 years when I seriously needed a break from them.  There were times this summer when I seriously needed a break from them but the thought of them not being with me all day every day from now on is so traumatic and depressing for me.  I tried so hard to have them, I put my foot down about staying home with them even though it wasn't always financially comfortable, I spent so much time making memories with them.  They mean the world to me and they know it.  To go through that much effort over the last NINE years and to have it all taken away tomorrow (OK, that may be a tad dramatic right there but it's how I feel, damn it!) is devastating for me.

Yesterday I took them to their school for their screening which will determine which students are in what class.  When we arrived in the room it was a little hectic with all the teachers and students and parents there.  We were greeted by a teacher who after pulling their files and going through the whole "you must be twins" thing, confidently stuck her hand out to Jackson to shake his hand and said "You must be Madison!"  Laughter ensued.  It was awesome.  Another teacher came and took them into the next classroom where the testing was being done and another teacher brought me to a table where I had to fill out two sets of paperwork.  After I was done I had nothing to do but observe the room and by then Madison was already out at a table decorating a star that was to be hung on the wall.  Once again the tears were streaming down my face.  I had to get up to get a tissue.  I was at least glad to see I wasn't the only one.  I even saw a dad wipe away a few tears!!  Eventually Jackson came out to decorate his star and the two of them sat at a table with some of their potential friends.  They were all very quiet.  I ended up chatting with the teacher that took Madison and she had glowing things to say about her.  She's so eager to follow direction, very articulate, and drew the best person she's ever seen at any kindergarten screening!  I didn't talk to the teacher that took Jackson so I didn't get any inside information on him.

On the way home I somehow made reference to the fact that I was sad about them starting school.  I'm always so worried about what is too much to tell them and with this I don't want to put any negative ideas of school in their heads.  I made a snap decision that telling them how much they mean to me far outweighed giving them a reason to not want to go to school.  I told them I loved them so much and I loved spending time with them and that it made me very sad that I wouldn't get to see them all day every day.  I cried.  In front of them.

Since screening we've done a lot of talking about school and turns out Madison is VERY excited.  She is very vocal about wanting to go back and learn everything she can.  She loved the classroom.  Jackson on the other hand said "I don't want to go.  I want to stay home with Mama!"  Uh-Oh.  After explaining that he was going to bring his lunch box he was on board.

So tonight I spent hand-writing a list of 100 books that they/we have read (2x50), writing their names on their towels for rest time, their lunch boxes, their back packs, their pencil cases, their composition notebooks, their folders, as well as packing my first ever school lunch.  (whole milk vanilla yogurt, peanuts, and snapea crisps for Jackson and whole milk vanilla yogurt, raspberries, blueberries, and peanuts for Madison and water in their water bottles)  They had a bath before bed and after I put Madison's hair in curlers for her to sleep on.  I bought her new bows.  I haven't picked out their outfits yet which is the one thing I envisioned doing way ahead of time.  I don't even have any thoughts now.  I'll have to wing it in the morning.

Chris is on vacation this week so he will be with us for the big day/drop off and he sure as hell better muster up every ounce of patience he has for my picture taking because there will be lots!  Hopefully we will get some breakfast after?  Then I have a meeting with a wedding client so I'm really hoping that will distract me from wanting to curl up in a ball and cry.  Wish me luck!

Like it was yesterday...