Tuesday, August 29, 2017

first day of school

The summer flew by and it was back to school night for these two!
Our school has an ice cream social a couple of days before the start of school where they bring their supplies, meet their teachers and find their desks, etc.
This girl just had the best first grade teacher you can imagine.  Her classroom is so inviting and fun and she has the best personality!  Mrs. Martinez is full of enthusiasm and the kids just adore her.  
And Mrs. Estill is the fun 5th grade teacher!  Andrew is all about fun in school!  Ha!  Right before school started she added a bunch of flexible seating, couch, etc for reading time.  I bought the classroom a supply of pillows to get through the year!  Andrew was so excited.
And while mama is away, the kids and Ga Ga will play!  Ha!
I had to start back before the kids so my mom came to watch them for a few days and they had fun making slime, playing games, and just having a blast their last few days of freedom!
And then this happened.  Someone please tell me how I blinked and they grew up??
First grade just seems like such a big year.  Kindergarten is over and real school is beginning, ya know?  First grade is the year of learning to read, learning what school is going to be like the rest of elementary.  It's just so huge.
And it's the year I got the stink face from my baby girl!!! (Insert me crying here)... 
Here she is walking into her classroom for the first time.  I was so happy to be able to walk her to school and snap a few pictures before going back home and sobbing (ha ha, just kidding... sort of).
She found her desk!  And can I just have a moment to savor that toothless smile.  O.M.G.  I cannot get enough of that smile.
And this boy.  Oh my, he has my heart.  Seeing this sign makes me want to cry like a baby, but also burst with pride.  He's finally at the age that I wouldn't let myself think about back when he was so fragile, in the NICU, fighting for his life.  He did it.  He's here and he's amazing.  
He's much too old for his mom to come into his classroom for a picture.  But this mama doesn't care!  Ha!  I'm still so grateful he has two more years of elementary school.  But I just want to freeze time.
I teach part time in the afternoons at the kids school and this day I discovered that every day when I arrive, this first grader is on the playground.  She had to show me her new tricks!
Two besties right here
And I enjoyed this arrival time the rest of the year!  So many pictures of my sweet girl playing with her friends.
They just make my day.  How many people can say when their job ends every day, their kids walk into the room with bright smiles and happy stories to tell?  I.am.blessed.
I get a lot of help from this girl.  She loves to be my helper and pick up pencils off the floor, help me with my anchor charts, etc.  Sometimes she'll sit in my classroom library and read while I finish up tasks from the day.  I just love this time with her.
As the days went on, these two would greet me every day by opening the gate for me like I was a queen!  Ha!  And most days I took their picture.  Because they are cute, and I just can't get enough.
See what I mean?
When my work day starts like this, it can be nothing but awesome!
On Thursdays this boy is on the playground at the same time as my class.  He still waves at me, but then he's off to play kickball or soccer with his buddies.
And he's usually surrounded by girls.  Which he is clearly happy about- HA!
We discovered first grade homework is kinda fun!
But fifth grade?  Not so much.  Ha!

School is off to a great start!

Friday, August 11, 2017

soaking up summer

With a limited number of weeks left until school started, we soaked in every minute we could!
Some days we grabbed friends and met at the pool.
Lovin' pool life
We adore these sweet neighbors and friends of ours!
This guy keeping warm after doing the high dive a million times!
#bffs #justchillin
I took about a million pictures of them because I just can't get enough of this six year old cuteness right here.
They were warming themselves up on the hot pavement!  Ha ha.
Why does she look twelve?  This girl is all legs!
Kerigan did an ice skating camp for a week in August
Then they had this show for us at the end of the week
We were so impressed!  She learned a lot and got so good at ice skating!
Here is her sweet group- she's in the second row towards the right
She'd been wanting to do this wind tunnel they have at the mall and this day she talked Daddy into it since she did so good at her ice skating show!  Ha!
Then this happened (not because of the wind tunnel! ha!)  She had one of her ears get infected so she needed it pierced again since we had let it grow shut.  She was not happy about this!  But I refused to let her go to school with one earring in and one out.  She just wanted to take the other one out and I wouldn't let her do that because I knew she would want her ears pierced eventually and that she wouldn't want to do both all over again.
But she had her biggest fans.  These guys are pretty much wrapped around her finger.  She wanted to hold her bubba's hand and sit on Daddy's lap.  #done  Whatever she wants!
In the middle of the summer our sweet kitty started acting like she was coughing.  I thought it was a hairball but nothing ever came out (sorry for the tmi!) so I made her an appointment at the vet.
It turned out she had a lot of fluid around her lungs!  To make a long story short, they pulled the fluid and tested it.  They did all kinds of testing and ended up sending us to an emergency clinic, where they redid the testing and found basically nothing.
So we ended up taking her to the Vet med clinic at Iowa State, which is the top veterinary place you can go around here ($$$).  We weren't planning on spending our savings on our cat, but this little girl loves her kitty so much, and she has become part of our family!
We had to crack up when we saw this posted on her cage!  Haha!  This is the sweetest cat in the whole world who lets the kids drag her around by her tail for heaven's sake!  Angry cat just made us LAUGH!
These signs were cracking us up.  She clearly let the vets know how she feels about being there!  They all wore gloves and used extreme caution when dealing with her.  Then our family came in to visit her and we took her right out of the cage and cuddled her.  The doctors all stood around looking dumbfounded.  HA!  Belle just didn't like them!  By the way the findings were inconclusive, we didn't want to spend more money on surgery for her.  They recommended giving her a vitamin called Rutin, which I have to order on Amazon because no pharmacy has ever heard of it!  Update: It must be helping because she's doing so well!  We had the fluid pulled again in October, and I think she may need it pulled again now (May 2018) but she's still acting like her normal, fiesty self!
We decided to throw one last day of waterpark fun into August before heading back to school!  So we met cousins at Lost Island, a waterpark about 45 minutes from where we live.
A couple of excited cousins right here
This was such a fun place!
They had these awesome tube slides!
Here are the boys!
Kerigan loved the slides too!
And of course, the water monkey bars are a hit for her!
She still loves these little slides too!
We were walking around and saw a real mermaid!  I love her hands up by her mouth, she was in complete awe.
Evie and Kerigan heading out on the lazy river!

Side note here in case you are wondering- Andrew usually wears his wetsuit at waterparks and some swimming pools if they are too cold because his circulation isn't the best with his heart defect.  His lips get blue whenever he gets cold and he wears out quicker.  He loves the wet suit because it keeps him warm!
Cousin race!
Just a little lunch break chillin with Daddy! 
The best day with family!  We want to make this an annual thing!
The waterpark also had a mini golf course so of course we couldn't leave without playing!
Kerigan did really good!
She even got a hole in one!
So then her brother had to show her up and get one too!  Ha!
Afterwards we headed out for dinner and then everyone came back to spend the night at our house!  We had so much fun together!
Then we found a weekend in mid-August that Kerigan's besties from our old town could come and celebrate her birthday.
She had been wanting to do Build A Bear so we thought this was the perfect opportunity.
I always struggle while planning her birthday parties with who to invite, as this kid makes friends wherever she goes.  Lily and Annika are so special, as are their mamas, so I thought it would be better to have them come a different time than her regular party, so we could all give them more attention and have more time to spend together!
It worked just perfect and they brought their brothers along to play together too!  We took everyone to the Emoji movie!
Then we went ice skating!
Here's the boys!
Our crew!
We had to stop at Hurts donut to take donuts home for the morning (and let's face it, probably a late night snack too!  Ha!)
We had cake and sang, even though her birthday was a month ago!  Ha!
The kids cozied up and watched a movie while the mamas and I chatted!
Here's where they ended up sleeping.  Kerigan sandwiched between two sweet girls who mean the world to her!
The week before school started we had regular dental appointments that turned into Kerigan having to have her other front tooth extracted!  I was freaking out, but she did great!  She had an infection on her gums above her tooth that she didn't even know about!  Scary!  And a coincedence that their appointment was in perfect timing.
I wasn't sure I wanted both of her teeth missing right before her first day of school pictures!  She already looked grown up and this aged her all the more!  But I had to admit it was adorable.
The day before school we had to check out the eclipse.  Afterwards we realized we should've driven to Missouri because it really wasn't all that exciting from here.  All the neighbors were out on their decks and we were all like "what's supposed to happen here?"  Ha!

I flew through those summer updates!  Whew!  First day of school coming up!

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