Mia's first few weeks of school and her groovy birthday party!
I took her to school on Monday, the 13th. I've been taking her to school instead of having the bus get her because the school is a decent hike and the bus would come too early for her to even get breakfast. She comes home on the bus, though, as we shall see.
So I put her in the van and we headed out. School starts at 8.30, so I've been getting there between 8.20 and 8.30 every morning. It's quite the fun scene at school, with all the many kids running around. We meet her aides by the side of the school, who take her into her classroom. Occasionally, if I want to speak to her teacher, I go in with her. On the first day, of course, I went in to say hello. We had met the teacher the previous week at the open house, but I just wanted to make sure everything was dandy. We got the menu for each week, and sometimes she buys lunch because it's something she'll actually eat, but on some days we send lunch with her. She also needs a change of clothes in case, as on the second day, she gets her pants wet before she even reaches school. Oh dear. So I dropped her off and left. She hardly noticed my passing, as I figured. She loves new things, especially school, so I figured she probably wouldn't care when I left. Norah is going to be a problem, I think.
Norah and I went to Little Gym that day for her first session. Little Gym is a place where kids can play on gym equipment and get to know how to deal with other kids and adults. We want Norah to get more socialized, and it's cheaper than day care, so we decided to check it out. Norah cried for a good 25 minutes the first day, until she decided the teacher was going to be her friend and she followed her around the rest of the time. Eventually, of course, she started playing, and then she didn't want to leave. This past week the crying was down to about 10-15 minutes, so we're hoping that tomorrow it will be cut even more. We'll see. I think she gets a bit freaked out by the adults, not the children, because she plays at the mall in the play area with all the kids and doesn't mind that. She's getting better, though.
Norah went down for her nap easily enough, as I figured she would, and Mia came home on the bus about 3.30. She gets out of school around 3, so this is pretty good time. She is, interestingly enough, the only student on her bus. She has a bus monitor with her, and each one (there have been different ones) and the driver has said that she enjoys the ride immensely. Again, I figured she would. I was kind of hoping she would take a little nap on the ride home, but she hasn't yet. Perhaps it's just too exciting riding on the bus! She rides the little elevator off the bus, and that's her day. Too much fun!
The teacher sends home a schedule book each day with a brief summary of her work. We also get a folder with her work for the day and any papers we need to sign. She's been working on writing her letters and her numbers. Of course, she's not very good at it, but she's doing her best. Getting her to grip a pencil or crayon the correct way is still high on the agenda, because it's going to be difficult for her to write if she doesn't learn that. On Monday she comes home and almost immediately has Occupational Therapy. I was a bit worried that she would be too tired, but she's fine. On Wednesday I pick her up at 2 because she has Physical Therapy at 2.30. She has been fine with that, too, which is a bit more surprising because of the effort involved. She's still walking rather well (with assistance, of course) in PT, so that's good. On Friday I take her late to school because she has swim therapy (and once it gets cool, horse therapy) in the morning. She doesn't miss too much on Friday morning - in the mornings at school she spends some time with the regular kindergarten, so she might miss circle time or something like that. Nothing that crucial.
She's in a class with no more, I think, than four kids, with at least three aides, so we're pretty happy with that arrangement. We'll see how she's doing as she goes along, but right now, she loves school. Of course, I love it too, because dealing with Norah alone is a lot easier than dealing with both of them. Norah tends to do her own thing a lot, and all I have to do is keep an eye on her. It's still very hot, and Norah doesn't like going outside in the heat, so she just wanders around playing with her toys. I'm looking forward to it getting cooler so we can go outside, but right now, the best I can do is the pool. We've been in it a few times in the past two weeks, and she's enjoying it. She also sleeps very well in the afternoon, so I can actually relax and read or go on the computer. I'm sure she'll stop napping eventually, but by then, maybe she'll be ready for other stuff.
So yesterday we had a birthday party for Mia's fifth birthday, which is on the 30th. It was a fun time. We weren't sure how many people would come, because so many people have so much else to do, but we ended up seeing a good number of people. A few friends of ours came with their kids, Mia's pre-school teacher showed up, her ex-swim therapist and her husband made it, and Mia's day care teacher, who lives a few blocks from us, came over. There were three other kids besides ours, all around the same age, so they had a good time playing with each other. Krys had a Wiggles theme going on, so we had a Wiggles cake that came out pretty well. Mia got a bunch of clothing, some DVDs, and a few other toys. She was very happy to see everyone, and even though she couldn't play with the other kids, she had fun watching them. Norah got over her initial reticence and played pretty well with the other kids. It was nice to see our friends again, because it's tough seeing people when they live so far away and have such busy lives. Krys and I were exhausted at the end of the day, but it was a fine time. Everyone, of course, told Mia how beautiful she was. The girl is going to have a big head someday soon!
Here are some pictures of her party:
I would have taken more of the kids playing later in the afternoon, but by then I was busy chatting with the adults. So no more pictures! Oh well. I hope you liked these! Come back soon for Norah's odd fashion choices and why the kids enjoy torturing Daddy! You'll want to miss neither!