Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Elem's 1st Day of Preschool

Off he goes......

I mentioned before that one of the BIGGEST things going on with us starting in August was the introduction of Elem to his new Preschool. Elem attends Geyer Springs First Baptist Church Preschool 5 days a week! This is a huge transition for us and I could not be more proud of how Elem has handled this huge life change. Since he was 2 months old, he has spent just about every single second with me and our family. He has gone to school at the shelter, only being a few seconds away from me at most, or staid with immediate family, and even that has been limited. So when I say it was a big transition for him, I mean it was BIG. (For Seth and I as well). We have purposely not "left" Elem with anyone else just for our own preference and that being said, he hasn't really had the experience of being "babysat" by a stranger or even close family friend. Yes, we are kind of kicking ourself for that now, seeing as we haven' actually been out together just the 2 of us in forever, but it was well worth it for knowing that Elem was safe and we were spending every second that we could with him.

Seth and I both went to take Elem to school on the first day, and luckily had been able to meet with his teacher a couple of weeks before to ease some nerves and allow him a chance to see the room and get a feel for the place. To make things even a little better, his cousin and BFF, Cecilia, is in the same class. :) We didn't even plan it that way it just happened, so we went with it. Cecilia only attends 3 days a week, so they see each other just enough. Unfortunately, his school doesnt allow the kids to bring backpacks, and there is no need for lunch boxes, so I didnt get to get that ever so loved "first day of school with new backpack and school supplies" picture! So I had to take what I could get. Elem is still in this phase where he doesnt want me to take pictures of him-I dont understand it-so I have to take what I can get. And Seth thinks I am crazy for taking so many pictures, but I still try! These are a little gloomy for some reason, but it is safe to say the place was night and perky and full of little faces when we walked in.
On our way in-

Uhm-Mom? Dad? Are you sure you think I should go in here?

First things first-gotta wash our hands and get our name tag so the teachers will know who we are :) I had to make SURE everyone knew is his name was Elem (like L-M-N-O-P) and not EEElem with a long E. That drives me crazy.

Here he is on the bulletin board-he is the only kid that had a silly picture-go figure. Goes right along with his personality. ha!

And what do you know....look who is in the same table group together....

He went right on in and started playing with the manipulatives at the table and started talking to his teacher, Ms. Tracy. He was totally ready, and way more ready for us to go than I was. I seriously had planned on staying for AT LEAST 30 minutes and we pretty much left after 10! He told us he loved us and gave us lots of hugs and kisses and he was good to go. We told him Cecilia was on her way to school to and she would be there in just a couple of minutes and he was good to go with that.

On our way out, we found little miss sunshine, all perky and very happy for her First Day of School Pic to be taken!

I am so proud of Elem, there were no tears, no sad faces, no running out the door or anything! The whole first week went just like this, until Ms. Tracy was late one morning, and that was a whole different story. I wont go into how I started tearing up(crying really) because how Elem was crying and I had to leave him with a stranger!!! Because other than that he has just done so well! he is the second biggest kid in his class and his teachers love him! He does great at school and is well mannered and from what I hear from the teachers, has only had to go to time out once since he started! So thats a great report for me! Mommy's little boy is growing up so fast!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Good-Bye Summer-Hello School...

This post has been a while coming! I have been SO busy with all the changes that have been going on in my life, and I have majorly had to make some adjustments to timing and what I do in the little bit of free time that I have. I hate hate hate that blogging has taken a backseat and I haven't been able to document and keep up with everything as much as I was before. This is my ONLY form of scrap booking (unless you count ALL the tons of stuff I have saved in Elem's closet waiting patiently to be put in an actual book) :) that I use to keep memories and things in a timely order, and totally serves as a journal and outlet for me. So I really am going to try to commit more time to it because I know when I look back I am really going to regret not jotting down some of the little things that I love so much. For starters, our family ended the summer and kissed the 107 degree temperatures goodbye, with mixed emotions! I love the summer-swimming, the sunshine, pretty flowers, and all the school age kids at the shelter, but at the same time-enough heat is enough! The shelter summer program ended on July 31st and we had our annual graduation that gives the kids and the staff some closure!

Here is just a COUPLE of pics from the summer of Elem and I and our time with the kids at the shelter! I am so thankful he has been able to be a part of this culture and been able to come away with so many friends and good experiences! I think it has really contributed to who he is as a person (even though he is a little person). :) And even though it was really hard to work and have him there with me, again I just wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Even though I am still a part of Our House, Elem has recently moved on! In the pics you will see where he has made so many good friends, and definitely feels himself at home within the shelter and its programs. Awesome! And to top it off, he found his first true love...Ms. Caroline. She was one of my employees for the summer program, and the FIRST EVER teacher/person, Elem willingly wanted to leave me for to spend the day with. I am not shocked at all that he chose such a beautiful girl, inside and out! He has good taste. The first pic(once the slideshow gets started) is my favorite-Ms. Caroline missed the graduation and couldn't be there but Elem was sure to find a pic of her and hold on to it tight and even made it home with it!

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I didn't realize you had to click onto a new page to watch the whole thing, so if you dont want to watch the slideshow, here is the pic of Elem and Ms. Caroline:

How can you not smile, right? Hehe. So sweet. Moving right along- here are a few updates that are going on in our lives! I am officially in Nursing School Full Time at UALR! Thats right, I finally took the plunge and decided to go back to school. :) I am super excited about making a shift in my career and I know it is a good choice for our family. Although, it is already proving to be seriously hard work, which I knew it would, it will be so worth it. I have been taking classes for a little over a year now, and going back as a "grown up" if you will, is way better! I really like going to school and I am super annoying in that I want to make an "A" in everything. However, it is difficult to find time to study with a kid around, so I kind of have to make do and have done some major shifting around with my schedule to make that happen. That being said, I am officially, part time at Our House Shelter. Which makes me sad because there could never be enough hours in the day to do my job, much less do it in a limited amount of time! So I just kind of have to do what I can in the time I am there. In addition to that, I took a huge step and got another job as well-I know I am insane! At Arkansas Children's Hospital, as a Patient Activity Specialist, where I basically play and provide activities, etc. for children in the hospital. It can range from bed side activities, to holding toddlers and reading to them, to organizing a playroom. I love it! That job is just a Zero Base job which means they call me and ask me if I can work when they have people needing to take off. Of course there is plenty of that! So I try to work about 1 shift a week or so. I know it was a huge risk in doing that, but I wanted to get my foot in the door at a hospital and really get some hands on training so I would feel comfortable when I was put in that atmosphere in clinicals. And I am so glad I did. Hopefully, when I graduate, I will be able to get a job a TINY bit easier with the hope that they hire within much faster that outside. Keeping my fingers crossed on that one. And finally, Elem has started preschool at Geyer Springs First Baptist Church. He is officially a big boy and it was SO difficult for me to let this happen. I am very stubborn in my ways and controlling with the whole parenting thing-and even though I willfully admit it, it has been super hard for me to let go and let someone else do some of the teaching to our kid! And I mean SUPER hard. Ill go more into his school on the next post! Overall the shift in these lifestyle changes has gone pretty smooth with the exception of some serious role reversal on the part of me and Seth in regards to who is at home and who is at work, and with some severe exhaustion going on! We are so excited and happy about where our family is headed, so keep us in your prayers and send your positive thoughts our way, because we need it. And we are a little more on the poor side these days, so we don't really do much outside the house, but since we have about 2 more years of that ahead, it hasnt really made too much of an impact on our life! ha! For today, all are happy, healthy, and in good spirits!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The stand off

And I mean the stand off between Sage, and ALL the other dogs that Seth's "shelby" side of the family has decided to add o the brute. Okay so I am a dog lover. Don't get me wrong. I love animals, -of all kinds, except those that are like insects or bite me for some reason. You have a pet, Ill love it, you have a dog, Ill pet it, a cat, Ill hold it, etc. But lately, the canine population with our family and friends has surplused to the point of obsurdness!

Ali and Dustin have had on the upward side of 5 dogs living in their house over the course of the summer and Seth's parents have had 3. I am happy to say that we are sticking with one! Sage. And only Sage. She may be 9 and 1/2 and strong in her ways, but gosh darn she is a good little dog and doesnt expect much more than a little lovin when you walk in the door, and a Dingo Bone every single night around 8pm. :) hehe. And by the way, IS Elem's best friend and sister. Best big sis in the whole wide world.