Saturday, August 29, 2015

Charlie Spahn: Kindergartner

Well, it's Friday and we made it through the first week of school (and the week before which was just as exhausting and logistically crazy!)  Here's the recap:

Some brilliant people (without Kindergarten students at home) thought it would be a good idea to start school on a Monday this year-- with full days every day.  Lovely.  Actually, the weather really was lovely.  Every day felt like the most desirable fall day you can imagine-- crisp chilly morning air, and that smell that only comes with Midwest autumn mornings.  You know exactly the smell, right? I don't even have words to describe it except to say that every morning smelled like fall.  So, the smell alone made the first day pretty perfect for me.

Our Get-out-of-the-house-routine still needs some perfecting.... but the "put all the things by the door the night before" policy seems to be helping out.

Charlie was thrilled about going to kindergarten and has been telling people for weeks that he's almost a kindergartner.  But Sunday afternoon, his tummy hurt and he only nibbled his dinner.  On Monday morning, as I fed Anna in the living room, Charlie called out to me, "Mommy?....I'm a tiny bit nervous....."   I think my heart melted on the spot but I held it together all morning.

Finding a donut at his breakfast spot seemed to ease his nerves for a minute or two.... (Sprinkle cake donuts really do make things better for awhile,  you know)

And before we knew it, we were taking photos of the first day of kindergarten! 

Since it was also AP's first day of school, Charlie insisted that I have my picture taken too (Our school-wide-theme this year is Superheroes-- which justified buying fun knee if I need an excuse)  Oh, and I think I had those same shorts in fifth grade-- just a smidge longer.  Seriously, did I wear koo-lots on the first day or do my chicken legs just make it look that way?

And here we are!  First day at Grundy Center Elementary.  (I kind of love that this is also where I took my first "real" job)

Charlie's principal is a former co-worker from AP!  He is amazing and I feel SO good about Charlie attending GC schools with him in the leadership position.  They are going to have a great year!

Charlie was so excited to learn that Jenna is in his class...

On the first day, I arrived after lunch (since I'm working afternoons there) and guess who was the very last person eating his lunch?  Surprised?  I wasn't.

And this:  He was so wrapped up in his lunch job that he didn't even see me standing next to him and taking this pic.  :)

So we officially made it.  In many ways it feels like I just met Charlie and held him for the first time and in so many other ways, it feels like he's been a part of me for a thousand years.  Kindergarten is such a milestone.  It signifies the beginning of the next 13 years-- years that are going to fly by with delights and challenges and things we never imagined.  I am fully aware that he will push against us and test limits and cross boundaries.  He'll try new things (both good and not-so-good) and hopefully take new risks.  He'll succeed and fail and hopefully learn from both.  He'll experience a range of feelings --which will lead me to feel those feelings too!  And at the end of the day, I hope he knows how much we love and support him, and are so proud to call him ours.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What? It's August?!

I'm behind on pop culture.  I'm behind on blogging.  I'm behind on reading blogs.  I'm behind on reading in general.  These days, I'm feeling like I'm just behind.

But am I?

In the summer, my whole entire life shifts.  I spend time doing  immersed in so many things that just aren't possible during the other nine months of the year.  I swim and walk and play and travel.  I meet up with old friends.  I cook less and drink more.  I watch less TV, I read fewer books, I buy fewer groceries.  I water more flowers, I go for more walks, I pick and harvest more garden goodies.   We spend time at the pool, in the backyard, on the patio, in our neighbors' yards, and at parks.  We retreat to the cool, sometimes musty, basement when the mercury rises above 85 (No, this is not my choice, but I give in because my kids are normal and don't seem to have my "need for extreme heat" gene yet).  This time is so fleeting, and we're consumed with so much cold and wind and God-forsaken S.N.O.W. here, that I've decided to just fully embrace summer and not give two shits about getting anything else done.  Hence: the behind factor.

So here I am.  It's freaking August and I have a zillion blog posts that I want to write but I just keep putting them off because, well....summer.  I have a serious Vitamin D addiction.  (I want that on a T-shirt-- who can hook me up?) There are so many things I want to write about, including (but not limited to!):

 * Charlie's miraculous swimming lessons
 * Having "Milk Fever" (That's what Mastitis was called hundreds of years ago and did you know, that women DIED from this before antibiotics were available?!)
 * Traveling to St. Louis
 * Hanging out at the Waterloo Arboretum
 * My Yoga Conference
 * Hanging out at Holiday Lake
 * Adventureland
 * Ellie's Birthday
 * Our Northwods Getaway

This always seems to happen.  Summer starts out just like a vacation; where the days seem to stretch endlessly before you and you just relax into them.  And then, halfway through summer (or the vacation week), you realize just how fast the days are passing and that in equal parts time, you'll be back to the grind (or packing up school supplies and heading back to work).

The upcoming school year is going to contain some big changes for Spahnville.  Not only is Anna starting at a new daycare, and Charlie is heading into Kindergarten, but I will be working an additional 2 1/2 days per week.  The story is long but basically, I'm helping out in the GC district this year while they figure out what the future counseling position will look like (aka: they get their shit together).  I'm hesitant to take afternoons away from being with Anna, but I'm excited to work in the same school with Charlie and get to know his peers and teachers.  In the end, I know this is just another thing to pass, and we can get through anything for a year.  Be sure to note my optimism now, in August, because I'm fairly certain that by October I'll be cursing this whole idea.    

And hopefully by then, I'll have updated the blog and given you a little glimpse into our summer.

In the meantime, if you want a little glimpse into our daily lives, check out this beautiful video that my friend/ doula/ photographer made for us.  We chose this over a traditional 9 month photo shoot and I couldn't be happier.  What do you think? (Click on the link below to view the slideshow)