Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Showing Off Her School

Today marks the third day in a row that Helen Grace has literally SKIPPED down the hall and into her classroom. What a blessing St. Agnes has been to us. Mrs. Gossett said that she’s starting to get comfortable and show more of her personality, and she has been very kind and nurturing to the other kiddos, including bringing a kleenex to a crying child. Mrs. Blaizel said that she talks to the teachers A LOT and tells them all the details of her weekend, etc. She plays independently at times but also with the other kids.

We had a girls’ day today, and Bubba, Spiffer, and I went to lunch at the Women’s Exchange and then to pick up HG at school. Helen Grace was so excited to show Bubba and Spiffer around her classroom and school, and she proudly took them around to her cubby, seat at the table, helper chart, playground, aquarium, etc. Afterward, we stopped by Yolo to cool off with some yogurt- it was HOT today!

Loving all the artwork she’s making, and it’s so cool to see new masterpieces up each morning.2013-08-26 07.53.542013-08-27 14.54.41 She is making a little progress on her name every day. The girl won’t practice for me at home without a big fight, so I’m happy to see she’ll cooperate for her teachers.2013-08-26 15.10.48  Showing Bubba and Spiffer her cubby2013-08-28 14.03.37 Her seat at the table2013-08-28 14.08.28 Helper chart- she FINALLY has a job- PTL! She came home every day last week sad that she didn’t have a job. It turns out that you have a job for a whole week, and this week she has been the Door Holder. She has been so excited about it…until she realized that sometimes she has to stay at the front or back of the line and not in the middle with her friends.2013-08-28 14.09.46 Nemo’s home2013-08-28 14.15.23 Yolo2013-08-28 14.57.10 2013-08-28 14.57.26

Sunday, August 25, 2013

First Week of School

Helen Grace had a great but exhausting first full week of school. With my new schedule, I’ve been able to walk her in every morning and pick her up in the afternoon, so her teachers know me by name and are able to give me some insight into her day. Very, very thankful for my boss for allowing me to work my schedule around HG’s schedule.

Monday was great. Mrs. Gossett could tell she hadn’t been there last year because of little things in their routine that she didn’t know, but she had a really good day. She enjoyed music class, and the music teacher spent some time with her. (HG said she made funny faces at them when they weren’t singing.) She came home singing a song about ‘the eye of the Lord.’ Mrs. Blaizel said she is playing well with the kids, and at recess, the girls were seeking her out to play. {PRAISE THE LORD- that was my biggest worry!} She was a little chatty at naptime, but she eventually got still and went to sleep. She made a ‘first day of school float,’ but didn’t like the Sprite in it. She said they held hands and sang Mrs. Gossett ‘Happy Birthday.’ After school, we had a cupcake at a new shop, Frost, to celebrate. She was tired but kept the party going until bedtime.

Caught her in a serious moment on the drive into town, but she was happy and excited2013-08-19 07.20.27 Happy girl2013-08-19 15.06.492013-08-19 15.09.30

Tuesday was a slightly harder day. She was fine at drop off, but Mrs. Blaizel said she cried a bit for mama mid morning but calmed down. She still says she had a good day- just that she wishes she could put herself in a box and ship her to me. I think she was just frustrated or nervous about something new. She had to go potty during lunchtime, so she didn't finish much. (Monday night we talked about what the school was serving for lunch on Tuesday, and she said she was fine to buy lunch there. Tuesday afternoon though she got all teenager on me and said, “Mama, you didn’t pack my lunchbox!” So it’s back to packing a lunch. Booooo.) She went to French class and came home saying ‘bonjour,’ and she took a great nap.

The rest of the week was picture perfect. She ate her packed lunch, took a good nap, and enjoyed playground, gym and library time. No more tears. Spiffer rode with me on Wednesday afternoon to pick her up and Grandma picked her up on Thursday afternoon, so she’s had lots to look forward to and has enjoyed telling everyone about her day. She only said she didn’t want to go to school on Friday morning, and honestly, after the long week, I didn’t either! But she soon rallied, and I didn’t hear another negative word.

Wednesday morningaug 21 school1 aug 21 school2classCelebrating on Friday with Gracie Bleu and the Coats girls- we all survived!!!2013-08-23 16.24.08

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


As we were playing with her Prince Charming and Cinderella, she (as the Cinderella) told him, “Prince, you never want to be a girl. Princesses have to wear necklaces and crowns and dresses.”

“I would never trade you because you are the funnest mama!”

“I miss Bailey (from Maples), but I know she’s in my heart.”

HG has figured out from my reaction to her 'tude-filled "what-ever" that she can change it quickly into a polite "whatever you want, mommy. Whatever you say." Master politician at the delicate age of four.

As I’ve been looking for healthy, quick dinner ideas, I’ve found tilapia as a yummy, easy option, and HG has discovered that she loves it. As in…she eats a whole fillet on her own and then begs for more. And this is a seasoned piece. I’m so impressed! Maybe she just likes to shake it all on there. Whatever works.

She tells me a lot, “We make a good team.”

Please, no one tell her that a “mouse nap” is really a “cat nap.” It is the most adorable thing, although it took me several days to figure out what she’s talking about.

Speaking of ‘nap,’ we’ve realized she can now spell the word, so when we say over her head, “It’s n-a-p time,” she’ll say, “No, it’s not my nap time!”

“I get the message!!”

“It’s crazy in this world, isn’t it?”

“Grandma, I don’t like your attitude.”

When you tell her she can’t do something, she responds, “I’m not giving up.”

A little friend of ours was having a meltdown and begging for a treat, and his parents were just trying to get him out of there and promising to get it for him later. HG looked at John and me and said, “I don’t think he deserves that.” Think she’s heard that before?

When John and I are being silly, we will belt out that song, “All By Myself,” and we have been astounded that HG has picked up on it and will do it herself now. She’s quite the comedian, with good timing even!

Another thing she’s picked up from us…when we give her a kiss and don’t quite touch her lips, she’ll say, “I need content (contact)!!!”

She does that “I’m watching you” motion where you point to your eyes and then to her eyes. She’s surely seen that move before!

Granddaddy to the rescue when her mermaid bracelet fell through the deck floor.2013-08-02 17.08.44Watching intently to make up lessons from Spiffer.20130804_113148 Pool time with neighbors- Addison, Sallie Key, Mariella, HGpool girls2 A bubble crown and dress2013-08-04 19.54.28Emsley and Amy came through town, and we were able to get together for dinner. These kids ran around like crazy, and HG was a hot, sweaty, and happy mess by the end of the night!IMG_4599Second soccer practice, thanks to grandparents. (John and I were at Meet the Teacher night) I wish I could have seen Spiffer/GD putting on shin guards!P1040394 Third soccer practice. She was so tired that morning, but she kept going back out there. Not a quitter. I was so proud.2013-08-17 12.42.30 We have Chick-fil-A. They had a petting zoo on kids-eat-free night last week. How cool!1175099_400829406685732_1117728900_n P1040400 P1040405 It’s a Barbie Jeep party at our place! Mariella and HG out for a spin.2013-08-18 16.55.34 We met the Hudson boys for an early morning zoo date (before soccer practice) on Saturday since Hayley was out of town. The red panda was on the ground, pacing and trying to cross the water!IMG_4682 IMG_4684 IMG_4690 Davis is a runner, so HG was busy chasing him down.2013-08-17 09.49.49 Definitely a Mississippi girl!2013-08-17 19.32.31

“Tomorrow!” Her theatre camp has renewed her passion for all Annie ballads.

Pretending non-stop on the ride to Grandma’s one morning. She could talk for days. We are making a running list to share with her JK teacher of all her make-believe stories so that the poor woman doesn’t think we have 21 kids, lock them in the trunk, etc.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

First Day as a St. Agnes Girl

Friday was Helen Grace’s orientation half day at St. Agnes (with just 1/3 of  the children in her class) to help prepare her for her first full day on Monday. She picked out her pink uniform to wear and was pretty happy to go. Early that morning, she said once that she didn’t want to go, but when I asked her if it was just because it was so early and she’d rather stay in her pj’s a while longer, she said ‘yes.’

On the drive, she told me that if there was a child who was scared, she could sing them Daniel the Tiger’s song, “Grown Ups Come Back.” When we arrived, she was excited to go in but wanted me to hold her. We met one of her classmates in the parking lot- a sweet little girl named Elise who was kind of nervous- so that was a nice ice breaker. John met us there, and HG was pumped to see him and went running to him. She headed to her class holding his hand (and Lovey, of course), but as we got closer, she changed her mind and held mine. She was a little shy but spoke to Mrs. Gossett, her teacher, and Mrs. Blaizel, her assistant (who is French Canadian and they’ll be learning French this year as their language- very cool!). HG soon told me ‘she could try to go potty,’ so Mrs. Gossett helped us find the bathroom. (I was glad we took care of that exploration first thing!) We showed her to her cubby to put up her bag and then around the room a bit, and she was really excited about the sensory table with beans, cups, and scoops. We tried to take some pictures with her, and she only clung to my leg when the camera came out. While she happily played with the house area and play tools, I chatted with Mrs. Gossett for a few minutes, and then I decided it was time to go. HG gave me a big hug and kiss and then walked over to Elise with Mrs. Gossett. I slipped out the door and felt like doing cartwheels with excitement for how well it went- such a relief!

I hadn’t realized how nervous I had been about school starting/first drop off until I walked out of those doors, but no tears were shed by either one of us. Proud mama! I think it helped to have dropped her off there over the summer during camps, but I’m sure the realization will hit me when I have to drop her off on Wednesdays and Fridays and not have her home with me. I have been able to change my work schedule so that I will work school hours (8:15-2:15) on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and still be off on Wednesday so that I can continue my Hope Moms Bible study. Plus, she gets out at 2 that day (and 2:45 the rest of the week), so we’ll still have time to go play after school.

When it was time to pick her up at 11:45, I parked and walked in to get her. She was SO excited and immediately (and proudly) pulled out all the artwork they had done that morning. She even agreed to pose for a quick picture, and while she wouldn’t tell me a ton about her day, she was happy about it.

On Saturday night, she asked me to put a St. Agnes ribbon in her hair, and then she ran around the house singing, “I’m a St. Agnes giiirrrrllll!” I guess you could say it’s been a successful transition!

IMG_4655 2013-08-16 07.40.13 IMG_4656 IMG_4660 IMG_4661 2013-08-16 11.39.23

After school, we met Bubba, Granddaddy, and Spiffer for lunch at Thistledome, a beautiful antebellum house in Byhalia next door to my great-grandmother’s house (Popa Frank’s childhood home). I had a wedding shower at Thistledome and took my bridal portrait there, so it has a lot of history for us. We enjoyed lunch and then walked next door to show HG Goodmama’s house. (HG kept calling her Greatmama- that works too!) Very fun and meaningful day!

P1040407 Same swing that Goodmama used to swing on all the time.P1040409 IMG_4664I fed a lot of Corn Flakes to goldfish in this pond when I was little!IMG_4668 But now there are chickens- HG was very entertained by naming all the chickens.IMG_4671

Friday, August 16, 2013

Back-to-School Zoo Hurrah

With Helen Grace starting St. Agnes with a half day on Friday and a full day on Monday, Wednesday was our last ‘Mommy day.’ To celebrate, we met our moms’ group friends at the zoo (of course) on a magical, breezy, October-like day. AND Mommy brought her swimsuit and finally let her run through the Teton Trek geyser at the end of the day! That was a first and a very special treat. She was *really* excited about it, and the only way I got her out was with the promise of Dippin’ Dots. By the time we finally left, she was so tired that I had to stroll her to the car!

Priss pot is ready to go!IMG_4618 Graham, Porter, Callum, HGIMG_4621 HG, Graham, Callum, PorterIMG_4625 IMG_4626‘Baby’ Emily too!2013-08-14 11.00.41 Finally got them to actually look at me.2013-08-14 12.57.00 “Moo!”2013-08-14 13.15.56 Egg-stra fun with Finley2013-08-14 13.18.17 2013-08-14 13.26.38IMG_4635 IMG_4636 Porter, Callum, HG, FinleyIMG_4637Emmett got in on the action too!IMG_4641 Wet, goodbye hugs2013-08-14 14.47.28