adjustment period

Dexter and Theo’s school started off slowly with three half-days the first week.  They left before nap or lunch and were really only there for about three hours. Before and after care are not offered that first week – it truly is just a little taste for them.  With the second week came their first full-day experience. Lunch, naps, and before and after care. It’s a long day for them – from about 8:30am – 4:30pm.  We now are beginning their third week and I sure hope it goes a little more smoothly than week number two.

The environment is very different from the babysitter’s home who has cared for them all summer.  Dexter has gone to this sitter full-time for over a year now. He’s gotten used to playing Batman all day and a TV being on in the background. While there is a routine to the day and he benefits from social interactions with children who are a variety of ages, I’m not sure how often his intelligence is REALLY put to the test.

The school that the boys go to is a Montessori school. I never knew what that meant until my sister-in-law put our nephew in a Montessori school when he was 5.  I thought maybe it had something to do with religion? No. Montessori is simply the last name of the woman who developed the Montessori Method of Education. But this isn’t a post about Montessori – I just wanted to explain that the environment is so very different for Dexter.  If you want to learn more about Montessori, CLICK HERE.

Last year when Theo started Montessori, we were so worried that he would have a difficult time adjusting. He’s the one with the temper tantrums.  A super sensitive child.  My way or the highway.  We couldn’t have been more wrong. Sure, there were rough mornings and a few terrible drop-offs but all in all, he transitioned very well. What surprised us was how upset Dexter – our easy-going, eager to please, go with the flow child – became about Theo being in a different place from him three days a week.  Talk about some rough drop-offs.  He would just bawl and hang on to me, begging me not to go or to take him with me. Then I’d leave him there, crying, and bawl all the way to work.  It was so hard.  SO hard. Sucked bad.


We’ve been trying all summer to build up Dexter’s excitement for starting Montessori preschool. Emphasizing how great it will be that they will be in the same building again and that they’ll see each other on the playground.  Without a doubt, he has been looking forward to it.  But man.

It’s no different than you or I starting a new job and even if we are thrilled with the position, we have first impressions to make. We have to smile and be likable.  We have to learn new things and find the bathroom and get to training early (but not too early) and wear the right outfit.  It’s stressful. Even if it’s a good stress, it’s stressful.  So here’s Dexter in a new {cool, but still new} environment with a lot of things racing through his mind. I’m imagining it going something like this: Where’s the bathroom again? I have to go potty. I want to ask that teacher but she’s helping someone and they said not to interrupt. Whoops I just knocked over someone’s blocks and now she’s crying. I have to go potty. I’m hungry. Is it lunch time yet? I have to go potty but someone else is in the bathroom. What’s the teacher’s name again? I don’t want her to wipe me so I think I’ll just try to hold it until I get home. I forget where we put our lunch boxes. I wonder when Mommy will be back to get me. Or is Daddy picking us up?  What was I supposed to be doing again? Being quiet at circle time is hard.  I don’t want to take a nap here. Where’s Theo and will I get to see him soon? I have to go pot – whoops. Too late.

So he’s had more than a handful of accidents (at home and school) since school started two weeks ago after going probably six weeks or more with no accidents at the sitter.  That leads me to stress about them thinking “well is he potty-trained or not?” Yes! But he’s used to being reminded to use the bathroom. Montessori really focuses on fostering independence so I don’t know if they tell him to go or allow him to go whenever he feels the need.  I’m stressed that he’s stressed.  The other thing is that he has just been going INSANE when we get home from school.  It’s like he’s held it all together for 8 hours and he gets somewhere where he can be himself and just unleashes.  I am talking about hysterical tantrums when denied the second pack of fruit snacks.  Swinging toys around, hitting the wall or other objects. Behaviors that are extremely uncharacteristic for Dexter.  He is acting like this for about an hour or 90 minutes after we arrive home from school.  It’s not that fun but I am trying to tell myself that it’s just a phase.  He needs that time to release his feelings, and then he’s fine the rest of the night.


He will get used to school. The kids, the teachers, the bathroom, the cubbies, the routines, and the rules.  He will. He just needs a little time.  Despite being so easy-going, he’s sensitive too. Emotional and maybe a little insecure without his big brother right by his side.  Putting them in separate classes was intentional for this very reason. But it sure seems like a dumb idea at the moment.



catch the moment: week thirty-two

I just realized last week as I was looking at some other 365 posts that I’m ahead by a day on my days/dates.  It was fine at the beginning of July…somewhere since then I have skipped a day ; I wonder if anyone else in the group is having trouble with this! Meh- I will figure out where I messed up eventually, because I plan to do something cool with this project – meaning (more than likely) a photo book – when it’s over.  For now, I just wanted to explain why I ended last week on day 218 and I’m also starting this week on day 218 in case any of my fellow 365ers thought I lost my marbles (likely). Whoopsy!

Every week, I link up with our Catch the Moment 365 hostesses, Mindi from Simply Stavish, Sarah from Nurse Loves Farmer, and Stephanie from Behind the Camera and Dreaming to share one photo a day for the entire year. I know that I would not have stayed motivated without the support of the CTM365 community!

218/365: August 6, 2014 – Dexter’s first day of preschool. He’s adjusting. More about that soon. 8-06-14

219/365: August 7, 2014 – Dexter sleeping. I turned on the hall light and cracked the bedroom door to try to play with the light but didn’t have tons of luck.  By the way, you can file this under: Forgot to take a picture until about 11pm. 8-07-14

220/365: August 8, 2014 – Friday afternoon shenanigans at the library. 8-08-14

221/365: August 9, 2014. A Saturday afternoon on the lake.  As you can see here, we’ve done a great job of keeping sunscreen on Dexter’s fair little face this summer. 8-09-14

222/365: August 10, 2014.  Our day at the Indiana State Fair. A Midwestern family tradition that we love. 8-10-14

223/365: August 11, 2014.  Late, late, late night trip to the grocery.  File under: Too busy to take a picture until I had a moment alone at 10pm right in the middle of the Kroger chip aisle. As a sidenote, this was the day Robin Williams died.  🙁 His life and death were the only thing I could think about as I wandered through the store.8-11-14

224/365: August 12, 2014. Theo was proud of the “ship” he built and wanted me to take a picture of it.  Sure, son. No problem. 8-12-14


My favorite pic this week? I dunno… it has to be a tie between that first-day-of-school cutie (day 218) and the firefighting astronaut (day 220).  Which one do you like best?



a new opportunity

So…I have a little announcement to make and I hope you’ll join in my excitement. Or just humor me.

A year or so ago, I came across a Facebook page called The Affordable Mouse. This was the first Disney-themed Facebook page I began following and found The Affordable Mouse’s website to be indispensable while planning our own Disney vacation last fall.  First and foremost, The Affordable Mouse is a travel agency that helps people make their Disney dreams a reality, regardless of budget.  There are countless resources on the website and a wealth of Disney travel information within the blog posts.  I’ve enjoyed just browsing this and other similar sites for fun, but found them especially helpful when I was seeking out answers to a host of vacation questions that popped up while we were planning our trip.

I said all that to say this: A couple of weeks ago, The Affordable Mouse posted that writers were needed for the website’s blog.  I thought about it briefly, questioning whether or not I had the writing AND Disney experience required to even inquire.  Before I allowed too much self-doubt to creep in, I emailed Nancy and shared with her a couple of links to my blog.  I explained that I loved Disney and I loved writing but was unsure if I had the skills to combine my passions on her website for the world to see.  Within the day, she had written back and expressed interest in having me join the writing team.  We exchanged a few emails discussing details. I had a lot of questions.  My niche will be Disney with Little Kids but that can go in so many directions. I hope I don’t run out of ideas, because my posts will be featured every other Monday, starting on August 25th.


Needless to say, I’m really excited for a new writing opportunity and challenge. I’m also pretty okay with having an excuse to think about Disney more than I already do. I hope you will “Like” The Affordable Mouse on Facebook and visit their blog often to read my posts there!