family

First Day of School: Round 2

Well, after I blogged about our first ever day of school with Teddy, we turned around and had another first day with JJ about 2 weeks later. The girls are in two separate schools this year, which sounds like way more of a headache than it actually is ;). We’re able to manage pick up and drop off times easily on my days off, and we have childcare lined up for both on the days I work. One of our huge saving graces here is that Teddy’s school is right across the street from Corey’s workplace. He can drop Jovia at her school on the early side, swing through the drop off line with Teddy, and then head to work. I’m so thankful that even though this has been a big transition all the logistical details sort of fell into place.

It’s been a huge change, but both of our kids love school, and we’re really grateful for the schools they’re in. I’ve actually struggled a lot with the adjustment of not knowing what goes on every day and what and how they’re learning and still trying to help them at home. I really did enjoy seeing how their little minds worked and getting creative with how we did school. I also loved that I knew exactly what they were learning and how.

There are still some times that I miss the home school days, and I’m still struggling with a lot of guilt over making the decision to put the girls in school. I don’t tell you this to garner any sort of sympathy or praise. When I’m able to think this through logically, I still know that sending my kids to school does not make me a bad mom. It’s just that I’m slowly coming to this realization that there is often a difference in our parenthood ideal and our parenting reality. And even more slowly, I’m coming to terms with the fact that what I imagine to be best for my kids sometimes in reality just will not work for our family. And you know what? I think I’m finding some peace and rest in that. God has given me the life I have and the kids I have. If home schooling really was the better choice for our family, I have no doubt that He would change our circumstances to allow that. So for right now we find ourselves in the pulic school system and we’re just really really thankful for access to good education for our kids.

So, JJ. She was more excited for school than just about any kid I’ve ever known. There was not a day that went by in the weeks leading up to the beginning of the year that we didn’t hear about school and how thrilled she was to be going. And the questions. She had aout 50 million questions about what would happen and how. Most of them I could not aswer adequately (sorry, JJ) because this girl thrives on details and wanted every.little.one. Several days before her first full day she and Corey attended the school open house and were able to meet her teacher. That night she was over the moon with excitement over a teacher who has “brown skin just like me” and a little girl she already knew from our friends’ old neighborhood in her class. I think from that moment on she was literally counting the hours until she got to start school. Her excitement was contagious and relieved a lot of my anxiety about sending a kid who had never seen the inside of a classroom into second grade.

Does she look so sweet or what? Jjajja sent us first day of school dresses and this one had tiny elephants all over it and a crisscross back. Her sense of style is on point. 😉

I got to walk her into her classroom on the first day and meet her teacher quickly before saying goodbye. She skipped down the hallway, holding my hand and chattering about how great her classroom was and how much fun she was going to have.

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e second day, she was ready to tackle the walk by herself. She stopped me about 30 yards from the front doors, said “I can go by myself now,” walked a little way, turned around and waved at me, then skipped the rest of the way to the doors.

And that’s that. She’s been just as enthusiastic about school every morning since. She’s put in a lot of hard work so far this year—she’s still really behind in a lot of areas—but she is loving the social aspect of attending school and her desire to learn has not waned. For now, this seems like a good fit and I’m so thankful for God’s provision and grace for my kiddos. ❤️

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A Day at Duke Gardens

I’m going to tell you something I’ve learned about myself since having kids. I’m grouchy after working night shift. Like, really really grouchy. I think Corey pretty much got used to tip-toeing around the sleep-deprived monster (yep, that’s me…) when it was just us. But kids kind of expect you to act the same whether you’re well-rested or spent the previous night taking care of sick people. Which is how I’ve learned that sometimes I’m just incapable of patience and thoughtful understanding post night shift. I’m crabby and nauseous and all around not a very fun person to interact with.

I tell you this because I’ve worked nights for the last two weeks. It’s been rough on all of us. So on Sunday, after my last night shift for the week, when Corey suggested going to Duke Gardens, we all jumped at the chance to get out of the house and enjoy the beautiful weather. For those of you not in Durham, Duke Gardens is over 50 acres of gardens on Duke University’s campus. It is especially lovely in the springtime and such a fun activity on a warm afternoon. We spent the afternoon wandering the grounds of the gardens, pointing out various colors, running in the open spaces and just enjoying time together as a family.

Here are some pictures from our time there if you’d like to see :).

Duke Gardens JJ

Duke Gardens JoJo

You can only catch JJ being serious for a minute or two before she’s back to her happy, smiley, silly self.

Duke Gardens Teddy and Daddy

This one is totally a daddy’s girl.

Duke Gardens Feet

Enjoying the sunshine while the girls ran around one of the big fields.

Duke Gardens Tedddy and Statue

Teddy stood and stared at this statue of a little girl for such a long time, it was cracking me up. The girls were also scandalized by her, um…lack of clothing on her backside ;).

Duke Gardens Teddy Face

Up close and personal, the way she likes to be, haha.

What do you do to rest and recover from an exhausting week? I also had lots of iced coffee on Sunday, which I think helped me perk up quite a bit ;). Coffee and my family…two of my favorite things in the whole world.

 

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Simple Things

simplethings2One of the things I love most about my girls is their absolute enjoyment of the simple things in life. It never takes much to make them really happy. They constantly remind me to slow down and enjoy little things.

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday we had another doctor day. I don’t know what your experiences are like with little ones and doctors, but oh my goodness, was I unprepared before becoming a parent. Part of it is that when you bring a child home from another country, there’s kind of a rush to get everything done pretty quickly. And I get it, I’m on board 100%, but it is exhausting. Each time we go in for an appointment, there’s one more test, one more vaccine, one more lab value that needs to be done. It makes for a long day every single time. And quite honestly, with all the needles it ends up being traumatizing for them (and mommy).

simplethings3

So back to the simple things ;). Yesterday mid-appointment, right around the time I started realizing it was going to be a long day with the potential for lots of tears, I knew the girls needed something special to look forward to. I told them that if they could listen and obey and get through the scary stuff, we would go home and make a bed on the couch, eat popcorn, and watch a movie. They were thrilled. You would have thought I told them we were heading to Disney World right after the appointment ;). Every time things got to be a little too much, I just reminded them of what was coming and they did so.well. I was such a proud mommy, they really are the best girls. Their resiliency astounds me almost every day.

tendojovia

So we got home, I made a bed on the couch, which for some reason is totally fascinating to them ;), popped some popcorn, and we all just kind of vegged. They took a three hour nap (!!!), woke up when daddy got home, and made a gigantic fort in the living room. All the very best simple things.

 

 

 

We must have one a good job recovering because other than some talk about the band-aids on their legs, this morning they’re kind of acting like nothing happened. What a relief!

What kinds of simple things do you enjoy after a hard day?

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