Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Our First Day Back to School 2013


We seem to be a week behind everyone, but our first day back to school was yesterday. And I must say - it went impressively well! Even though Luke was battling some allergies and I've been dealing with the kind of exhaustion that can only be felt during a third trimester, everything went as planned - and no tears were shed! Despite Luke having a year of preschool under his belt and returning to the same school, with the same teachers, and most of the same classmates, I still expected to feel anxious and weepy about the experience. With all of the pregnancy hormones coursing through me, why not, ya know? But I was so calm and collected about it. It was so nice to leave him somewhere that I knew he was loved and cared for, and he was familiar with the environment. It was like leaving him with Grandma for a few hours. I will never stop being thankful for this school, and despite the astronomical cost - it's such a blessing to us. I'm so happy my kids will still be attending for years, and because of their age differences - we won't even have a break between school years! We'll be here for the next 5 years!

I always want to make the first day of school a fun and exciting one, because I hope to inspire a love of learning and well, of school for my kids. Matt and I were both quiet and sort of iffy about school, and we want better for our little guys. So I've set up some traditions to help them look forward to their first days. I whipped up a pretty big breakfast full of things the kids love and that I knew would help Luke make it to snack time without any problems. They had a lot of fun with their dinosaur toast - pretending it was eating the rest of their food and giving them names. Luke put the raspberries on his fingers (who doesn't?) and thought he was pretty cool. The boys sit about 6 inches from each other during meals (no joke), and they usually help each other out - they offer each other things, Luke encourages Henry to try things (seriously, this brother thing is pretty awesome). And since I can see them from my bathroom, I usually use their meal times to do my make up or my hair. So when they were finished eating this morning, I was ready to go. Luke put the last dot on his clown picture (his teachers sent it to him as a kind of countdown - he put one on every morning, and when his costume was decorated in dots, it meant it's time for school!), tossed the last loop on his countdown chain in the trash, and we stepped outside to take our back to school pictures. I got a few nice ones, but he spent most of the time being a goofball - which are usually the best pictures to look back on :)






When we were done snapping pictures, we loaded into the car, and I started chatting up a storm with Luke to try and ease his nerves. I asked him what he thought the snack would be today (a game he always liked to play on the way into school - he always thought it was awesome when he guessed right), and who he thought he'd play with during free play. I reminded him that Daddy was going to meet us at school to see him off, and told him to think about where he'd like to go for his after-school treat so we could leave as soon as I picked him up. He was a little bummed to learn that he'd be staying at school for an extra half hour this year, but I sold him on the idea that it was just more time he'd have to play outside at the end of each class day.

  

We took a few quick pictures when we got to school, and then went in to hang up Luke's backpack and get him settled in his classroom. Luke was visibly nervous, and he was sad to leave Henry and his Pillow Puppy at home (he's usually never more than a few feet away from one or both!), but he wasn't scared at all. And he wanted to be "the big kid" that just...goes to school, and it's no big deal. His chin quivered a little as he hugged us goodbye, but then he strode right in and went through the daily motions like this summer hadn't even happened. I left there feeling confident that he'd dive right into the day. The only one of us who was actually upset was Henry! He did not like that we were leaving his "too-tee" (Lukey) at school without him! But by the time we made it home, he was pretty excited to play king of the castle. He picked Wall-E to watch on the blu-ray and we snuggled up for a bit, and then he went and took over Lukey's room - because his big brother wasn't around to tell him he couldn't play with his toys! Ha! I took a moment to actually capture a belly shot of myself. Brace yourselves. I pretty much only grow straight out when I'm pregnant, and I get a lot of comments about "stuffing a basketball under my shirt", but this is just how I roll! I'm also at that annoying part of pregnancy when my maternity shirts no longer cover the bottom of my belly. Sighhhhh.

  

When we arrived back at school to pick Luke up, he was playing outside with his friends. This (along with snack time) has always been the highlight of his school day, and he seemed to be having a great time playing hide & seek. He was happy to skip over to the fence to line up to go when they rang the bell, and he excitedly waved to Henry and me. He was anxious to be let out, though (the teachers dismiss them one at a time to their parents when they're playing outside at the end of school), so by the time it was his turn, he was a little more subdued. And as we walked back to the parking lot, we were surprised to find Grandma waiting for us there! She'd come to see him on his first day, so we invited her to come with us for our after school snack. Last year Luke picked Panera, and this year he went with Tim Hortons.

The goal of this is always to get a special "Yay, we all did it!" treat rather than a full lunch, so the boys were very excited to stand in front of the display window and pick out their treats. Luke went with a sprinkle-covered doughnut (typical), and Henry picked Timbits. I got an iced coffee with a vanilla shot and a little breakfast wrap. Luke spent some time telling us about the story at school today, and by the sound of it - he found it hilarious!








Gosh, I love my cuties! I could look at them all day. Oh wait, I pretty much do ;)

PS - Guess which one of them is my clone, and which one is Matt's! It's kind of glaringly obvious, hmm? I'm so curious to see who this baby will look like!

When they were finished eating, I gave them their little gifts. I started a tradition last year of giving Luke a book (or a couple) for his first day of school. Henry is at that age where he would have been miffed to be left out, so I included him. They were so cute opening them, and I was so excited to watch them and listen to their reactions that I didn't take any pictures! Bummer. I wish I had that memory documented, but oh well. Luke immediately asked Grandma to read them all to him, and they both raved about the Halloween coloring books - and the glow in the dark stickers that came with them. The best part about this is I picked up everything at consignment sales & thrift stores, so this first day gift is a very affordable one! It cost me maybe a dollar each! And the reactions they had over them were worth far more than that! In the second picture, Luke's gifts are on the left, and Henry's on the right.

  

When we got home, we had a small quick lunch (yanno, since they just downed a truckload of carbs and sugar!), and then Luke pretended to fight nap time (as he usually does), but was actually more than happy to settle into his bed and rest - he had a busy day! But it was really a great one! I hope these last couple years of first days have left him with a good impression, because Kindergarten drop off is going to be a doozy next year - for both of us!

And now I'm off to scour his book order catalogs, because how can anyone resist those?

1 comment:

  1. Adorable, adorable pictures! (I guess it's easy when you have such cute kids!)

    What kid doesn't like a sprinkle-covered doughnut? They were always my favorite when I was little. To this day, they are my comfort food. Yum!

    Stopping by from SITS.

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