Friday, August 31, 2007

Back-to-School Open House

I apologize - this was written and intended to be posted yesterday but our internet connection at home went down before I could publish it so I had to wait until I got to work this morning. So just keep in mind that "Last night" refers to Wednesday night and "today" refers to yesterday (Thursday) and it'll all be good. Ok?

Last night (Wednesday night... See you're getting it already!) was the Open House at the girls' school. First off, I am so glad to have both girls at the same school finally! Abby's been at this school for 4-year-old preschool, kindergarten and now first grade but Hannah's preschool last year was at a different school (the one where Abby had 3-year-old preschool) since the class at Abby's school was full. But now Hannah's in 'real' school too.

I love the idea of the Young 5's program and I'm really hoping that this will be a good thing for Hannah this year. It's kind of an in-between sending her to kindergarten (which I think she's too young and not ready for) or completely holding her back from school and repeating 4-year-old preschool - which would first of all be nuts, plus our pocketbook was feeling the strain of last year, and also - can we say busing! :)

The Open House was from 6pm to 7pm, so I knew we'd be on a tight time line since we don't generally get home until 5:30pm and I'd have to feed everyone dinner and drive Becca over to my friend Kristi's (so I wouldn't have to chase Becca all over the school and could focus on meeting the big girls' teachers with them).

My evening ended up starting at 3:30pm when I got a call from daycare that Becca had been screaming and crying inconsolably since she got up from her nap (as I could hear in the background, poor baby). That's so completely not like her, so there definitely had to be something wrong, but she didn't want to be held or put down and it was hard to tell since she doesn't have enough words to tell us yet.

So I left work early and picked the girls up an hour early. Becca was better by then but still snuffly and teary. She has some pretty bad diaper rash so I think that may have been part of what was causing the screaming. She also has a bit of a runny nose, probably allergies.

Took everyone home and actually had time to fix the kids a decent dinner since we had extra time. Then we dropped Becca off and headed to the school.

After parking half a block away (parking is very limited at this school), we walked down - well the girls skipped. Abby kept exclaiming, "I'm so happy to see (their school)!" Right when we got there we saw a family that we knew so the girls ran right in to see them. They have 3 daughters as well although the oldest (another Hannah) is in 2nd grade. The other two are in the same grades as Abby and Hannah - we met them when their youngest and Hannah were in preschool together - and they'll be in the same class this year too.

The gym was hot and stuffy! And we had to wait in line for a while to see Hannah's teacher. Abby kept wanting to run around the gym looking for kids she knew but she was being way too loud, so I tried to keep her near me, at least somewhat. Standing still is not her strong point though, so finally we compromised with her walking back and forth along one of the lines painted on the gym floor as if it was a balance beam. At least she did it quietly!

Hannah's teacher is very nice - she's fairly young and she's coming over from one of the other schools this year and teaching part-time, only Hannah's class in the mornings. Hannah was playing shy (which she's not!) but I could tell she liked her teacher. She gave Hannah a letter explaining how their day will go. Thankfully she doesn't need any school supplies other than a large backpack, which we've already gotten for her. There was a list of things that the teacher would appreciate us considering donating though, so I'll probably pick up some things for Hannah to take in the next time I go shopping.

Then we met Abby's teacher. She's older but also very nice. She noticed Abby's missing teeth right away and was asking her about them. Abby already has homework - of sorts! All of the kids were given a large poster with places to color and decorate and to fill in different things about themselves. It looks like a fun project and we've got almost a month to work on it, which will be good for us. They'll display them all in the hallway later this fall.

They also had a scavenger hunt for the kids to do tonight - once Abby got that sheet and the homework sheet, she wasn't interested in talking to her teacher anymore - she was raring to go start finding all the places on the list. Each place had a letter on the door, so they had to write down all of the letters and figure out what they spelled. When they brought them back completed, they each got a sticker.

The places to find were - their classroom, the library, the science room, the computer lab, the front office, the principal (who was wearing his letter) and the secretary (who was also wearing her letter). All together, the letters spelled out W-E-L-C-O-M-E. Abby and Hannah found all of them by themselves (Abby showed Hannah where some of the rooms were located) and wrote them all down by themselves. I had to help them read the final word though. And yes, every classroom had a 'W' on it! LOL

One nice thing we discovered is that Hannah's and Abby's classrooms are right next to each other. And Hannah's classroom is right across the hall from the room that Abby was in for kindergarten last year, so she's familiar with this area of the school already too.

We saw several other kids that we knew so the girls were busy exchanging hellos and hugs. They are so excited for school to start!

When we went back to Kristi's to pick Becca up, she was playing in the wading pool in the backyard so we stuck around for a little bit so the kids could all play. She'd done really well while we were gone and no more bouts of screaming (other than a couple of minutes of crying right when I left, but that's normal). Thanks guys!

Ron was already home when we got there - it was nice to have him around for bedtime for once. Last week he worked 74 hours so we hardly saw him.

I had lots of things I meant to do last night after the kids were all in bed, but then I made the mistake of lying down on the couch... :)

Did I mention with all of that, I somehow forgot to feed myself dinner? And then after sleeping on the couch all night... I think that's a good part of why I felt so strange this morning!

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