An update on the boys…and stuff

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Dexter completed pre-school and Theo graduated from Kindergarten at the end of May. Here we are, already almost a full week into their school year. It’s hard to believe that my youngest is now officially in elementary school. We feel so lucky with the teachers our boys have this year. Dexter has the same Kindergarten teacher Theo had last school year. We had heard wonderful things from 3 different sets of parents about Theo’s first grade teacher and after  meeting her and hearing more about her teaching philosophy, we are jumping on the fan club bandwagon too.

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Summer flew by. Nine short weeks from the last day of one school year until the first day of the next. They went to a summer day camp for 8 weeks. Theo was in the Kindergarten and up class this year while Dexter was still in the pre-school class. The separation was a little difficult a few days here and there but overall everything went well. Theo had the opportunity to swim every day and about halfway through the summer, he passed a swim test so that he no longer had to wear a lifejacket in the pool. Now he is comfortable with swimming above and below the water and swimming down to touch the bottom of the pool. My mama heart wants to beat out of my chest watching him (like a hawk) but he is so proud of how much he’s learned and I am too.

Dexter reunited with a favorite friend from summer camp last year and begged almost every day to have him come to our house for a sleepover. Ha! If only it was that simple. Maybe if they meet up again next summer, we can try to arrange some get-togethers. Dexter always looked forward to seeing Theo at the flagpole and playing with him during before care for about 20 minutes.

Every day on our way home from camp, we passed their former Montessori pre-school. Of course, going there is fresh on Dexter’s mind, as are the friends we leave behind as we transition to this next phase in their lives. Often, Dexter would comment that he missed school, his teachers, or various friends. Theo never looked back once he left Montessori school so this has been a change of conversation and a little bittersweet. It hurts my heart to know that he’s thinking about the past longingly like that but I know that he too will move on. Soon those days will be a distant memory for him. Thankfully, we’ve become friends with the parents of some of his closest friends and hope to continue our connection to them and the school where it all began.

After 3 days of Kindergarten and 1st grade, I complained about not getting enough information. I’d ask them a million questions but I think they are just so busy that they can’t pick out specific details to share with me. It’s been an overwhelming change for Dexter. Theo is very excited about his teacher and having some of the same friends from last year in his class again. Dexter has been a little wild and crazy as he always is when big life changes are going on. Every day, everything is “good!” or “great!” so I’m trusting that all is well. I’ve been trying to hold back from emailing Dexter’s teacher for at least a week as he settles in to new routines and develops new friendships. Well, today on the fourth day I wish I had a little less information. Dexter said he had to walk five laps around the playground at the beginning of recess for talking while the teacher was talking. While I’m not terribly surprised, it’s disappointing and I kind of wish I was in the dark again.

Having a little one starting Kindergarten is tough on parents. I always heard people talk about crying when their “babies” started school and I guess it’s one of those things where you nod and give an empathetic “aww,” but you truly don’t understand what a big milestone it is until it happens. Before kids, I dreamed of having babies and young children but I guess my daydreams didn’t go much further than that. As a young girl, young woman, and young wife, I envisioned holding my babies for a good 20 years or more before I ever had any. 9 months of pregnancy flies by. A year of infancy and a couple years of toddlerhood fly by. The next thing you know, you’re ushering them onto the school bus and waving goodbye to them and their baby days all at the same time. Those precious 5 years are so unbelievably hard at times, but more than that, they are ridiculously short. When you send them off to Kindergarten, it is a milestone for the parents too. Off they go…into the world, or their miniature version of it anyway. I hope they are kind to others. I hope people are kind to them. I hope they follow the rules, but stand up for themselves when they need to. I hope they pay attention. I hope someone pays attention to them, shows them that they care. I hope they work hard and take pride in their accomplishments. I hope they enjoy learning. I hope I’ve prepared them well.

I hope they enjoy their childhoods. Because the next 13 years are going to fly by, too.

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Dexter’s FIFTH birthday celebration

Dexter had a busy and exciting birthday celebration. It started on his birthday, Friday the 13th, with a celebration at his Montessori school. My mom was able to come from Tennessee to celebrate, which meant a whole lot to all of us. A special time made even more special by the presence of special people.

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I made blueberry muffins for the 9:30am celebration and we enjoyed watching Dexter get to go through all of the steps of the Montessori birthday tradition.

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Ryan’s parents were able to come to Dexter’s school celebration – what a lucky little boy to be surrounded by people who love him on his big day.

After school, he opened his presents (in a rush) before we headed over to his Ninja Gym class.

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Saturday May 14th: We were right back over at the gym for his party. He begged and begged to have his party at the gymnastics facility, like Theo did for his 5th birthday party. The big difference this time, was that the boys are actually taking classes there and their coach was able to facilitate the party. It meant a lot to 005 Party 006 Party 007 party 008

They absolutely love Coach Mike. And I gotta say … he is AWESOME with the kids. I feel lucky for them. He’s a great role model and influence. party 009 party 010 party 011 party 012 party 013

After the party we had more fun at home with family and went out to dinner. party 014

Dexter’s aunt, uncle, and cousin were here too but I guess I failed to get pictures of everyone. 🙁 Whoops.  My camera died at the party so I was partially relying on my cell phone and partly not caring about taking pictures; just trying to live in the moment.

It was sad to see everyone go on Sunday afternoon. My heart was full of love and happiness after a weekend surrounded by friends and family. party 015

Monday Dexter had his 5 year check up and we didn’t learn anything we didn’t already know (Dexter is healthy and smart and doing just great) other than our pediatrician dropping the bomb on us that he is moving to Boston at the end of the year. So, if the boys stay healthy for another six months, we might never see him again. We’ve been with him since the boys were newborns and it’s sad to think about him moving on. party 016

I have so many blogs in the back of my mind, like the end of school stuff and just general updates on life but who knows if I’ll ever get around to posting them.

until then –


Dear Dexter: You’re FIVE!

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Dear Dexter,

My Friday the 13th baby. Your daddy has always loved scary movies so it was fitting that we’d have a baby on Friday the 13th. You might not know that some people are scared or superstitious about Friday the 13th but I happen to love this day more than ever before! This is the first time we have celebrated your birthday on a Friday since the day your were born.

You are the opposite of scary, spooky, or creepy! You’re genuinely one of the nicest people I know and even if I wasn’t your mama, I’d love you anyway. You are such a sweet and happy kid who loves to please others. You go through life without a care in the world and I think a lot of grown ups could benefit from having your go-with-the-flow attitude sometimes. You are sensitive and sometimes your feelings get hurt easily. You love your brother, even when you probably should be a little mad at him. You can pick up on other people’s feelings really well and if someone’s upset, you know how to turn on the charm to put everyone in a good mood again.

You like what you like and become passionate about it. After about three years, I think your Batman obsession is dying down a little bit and has been replaced by Mario Brothers. You have learned how to play the Wii and you’re really pretty good at it! You love, love, love to play and you aren’t happy when we tell you it’s time to turn it off. Sorry kid, there’s more to life than video games (even if your dad would disagree with me). You also love animals, Wild Kratts, coloring, Perler beads, and playing at the park. You are happy to be along for the ride without even knowing where we’re going. You don’t often complain or make much of a fuss, but you do like talking like a baby sometimes – which you know drives mom and dad nuts!

Truth is, you are kind of a baby though-or at least, you’re MY baby! And you always will be. Even though we don’t mean to, I’m sure we treat you like you’re younger than you are or we might handle things differently with you than we did with your brother when he was your age. We try not to, but you are the baby of the family and sometimes it’s hard for moms and dads to let go of that.

I can’t believe you’re starting Kindergarten in 2 short months, Dex. It’s CRAZY! You got so big, so fast. You’re reading now and can count to…well, I don’t know what you can count to because you go on so long that we end up begging you to stop! You love your Montessori school and your teachers there. Not walking through that door anymore after May 26 is going to be different for all of us, after having that school such a big part of our family’s lives for the last 3 years. You’ve learned so much and come so far but it’s only a tiny step in the direction you’re headed in the future. Kindergarten is going to be so much fun. New school, new friends, new teachers, new experiences. I’m anxiously excited for you to face new challenges and grow even more as a student, a friend, and a person.

Dexter, I hope age 5 is your best year yet. You’re going to change so much. I’m not ready to let go of my baby but I know you’ll always love your mama. Can’t wait to celebrate your birthday all weekend long.