For whatever reason, I seem to go all out for the girls’ Valentines cards for school. I feel like I’ve learned my lesson over the years, and at least now we go with cute, but simple. This year we looked at designs from a few different websites, but ended up going with Tiny Prints. There are almost too many designs, it’s so hard to narrow it down!
We did our photo shoot back in January over MLK weekend. The light was great, and we had plenty of time to get set up. I chose a wall opposite the windows, and we cut out pink hearts that we taped to the wall around their heads. We don’t do many photo shoots like this, so it was hard getting natural smiles out of them. We did okay, but we’re definitely out of practice.
Delaney liked the glitter and the rainbows on her card. For her candy, we searched for rainbow candy, but that was difficult to find. We found these rainbow suckers, but every online review said they arrived busted. Instead I went to the local candy store and paid about 10x the price, but none were broken!
Caden was all about the magical unicorn. When I asked what she wanted to put with her Valentine she said “Magical candy!” How about we search for unicorn candy? Unicorn poop for the win! They are little marshmallows from Oriental Trading and they are perfect.
I got smarter this year and bought cello bags that have the tape already on them for packaging. It took less than 30 minutes to address and package everything. Win!
I have always been the parent who has been very involved with the caretakers of my children. When they were in daycare I loved chatting with their teachers at the end of the day and hearing about what they did. It seemed like almost daily we were working together through various issues – friends, eating, pooping, napping. Even in kindergarten and first grade I emailed their teachers at least once a month about something.
Second grade? Haven’t emailed once. I don’t even know what Caden’s teacher’s email is! There has been nothing to communicate about. It’s been lovely.
This year they really shook up the classrooms socially. Both girls’ best friend from kindergarten and first grade are in different classrooms. They see them at recess and gym, and for a while they still played together, but that happens less and less now. And yet, there has been zero drama about this. Delaney doesn’t really have a close girl friend in her class and yet, she’s been just fine. Actually, she’s flourished this year, and I wonder if it’s because of the lack of distractions. In the past there would have been drama about why so and so wouldn’t play with them, but this year both girls have just let it roll off their backs. They totally get that everyone has made new friends and that’s okay. They play with each other almost every day at recess which probably helps? But we’ve been dealing with mean girls and social drama since they were three, so I feel like at this point, they know how to handle it. That’s not to say that it won’t swing back around in the near future, but it at least gives me hope.
The girls’ current IB planner is “Where we are in place and time”. In other words, they’re studying the olden days. Like when phones used to hang on the wall. Part of this planner is a field trip to a one room school house and everyone is supposed to dress the part.
There didn’t seem to be wiggle room on the costume part, and I had no idea where to find a pioneer outfit. They suggested the thrift store, but I was not convinced we’d find petticoats and bloomers there! After texting a few people trying to get ideas, another mom said they ordered a costume from Amazon. Done and done! Luckily, Caden’s field trip was Wednesday and Delaney’s was today, so we could get by with just one costume.
The girls were so excited about this! We borrowed a tin pail from our old neighbor to put their lunch in, and pulled out a mason jar for their water. My sister in law had just given us the perfect boots that fit both girls, and their costume was complete!
Per Caden, they participated in a spelling bee, did a play about how Minnesota became a state, and ate lunch. Delaney didn’t think the bonnet fit her but we tried it on this morning with her braids and it’s perfect! They’ve also been watching Little House on the Prairie as part of this, which means it was time to get out our Little House books! Another series for them to dig into! Maybe we’ll do a Little House weekend trip this summer?
The girls’ school is an international baccalaureate school. In addition to their regular curriculum, they do ‘planners’ that last several months where they dig deeper into a topic and will do all sorts of activities around it. The current planner is “How we express ourselves”. They’ve been talking about all the different ways you can express yourself – dance, art, poems, acting, sports.
Last week Caden told me that she was going to read a poem from Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein for her presentation on how she expresses herself. Be still my heart! Also, I didn’t even know about this little presentation. I love that she and Delaney both figured out what they wanted to do all on their own. She read me a bunch of poems that she loved, and we talked about which would be good for her presentation and which wouldn’t work as well. She ended up choosing one called ‘Snowman’ because she thought it was perfect with the snow we had gotten recently.
All of this chatter made me ask Delaney what she was going to do. Hers was already done! She drew a picture of when we went swimming with the dolphins. How sweet is that? I had no idea that experience stayed with her like that. We’re going to look through our pictures from that day and pick a few to print out. She also had a classmate (a boy she went to preschool with!) that asked her to be part of his presentation. I think they did some sort of play?
Last night was parent teacher conferences. I talked about this with a few other parents and we all agreed that at this stage of the game, it’s more a chance to spend 20 minutes getting to know the new teacher. The kids have been in school about a month, so there isn’t a ton to discuss.
That said, both girls are doing very well. They both scored high in both reading and math on the MAP testing they did a few weeks ago. In math, they got their highest score in Data Analysis, which apparently isn’t common at this age. I kind of laughed because data analysis is what I do, and that definitely spills over into my parenting and my kids. Plus, they’ve always had an aptitude for recognizing patterns and things like that, so I think it comes naturally. I’m definitely raising two little business analysts/project managers. I’ll have them billing in no time!
One of the things I wanted to get across to both teachers is what voracious readers the girls are. Both girls were initially frustrated since the beginning of school didn’t involve a ton of reading, and then the reading they did do was at levels below what they had been reading all summer. But, now that everyone is in the swing of things that has changed and they read every day in class and at home. Delaney’s teacher had caught on to how Delaney gets lost in her book at individualized reading time, and her stamina to read for longer periods of time, so I probably didn’t need to mention it.
Caden’s teacher mentioned that a lot of the books they had in their classroom were old and falling apart, so I think I may try to find some books to donate. For book in a bag they choose a book to bring home, and she just doesn’t have many. We always have books at home that Caden can read, either ours or from the library, so that isn’t an issue. But she remarked that the kids still love to choose a book so it would be nice to find some she could have in the bins.
In house news, we have had a few more showings, but no further interest. The girl decided we needed a countdown to the new house. 29 days. I can’t believe it’s a month before we close. This is all taking forever!
First day of second grade! School started so late this year, the first day felt oddly anticlimactic. And, the girls didn’t want me to walk them to their classrooms so after the bus left, I just went to work. But! We were up nice and early and had plenty of time to get ready, do their hair, and get a few nice pictures before the bus arrived.
Both girls had a great day. They love their teachers and know a few girls in class that they will likely become close with. They also saw their friends from last year on the playground for recess. It will be interesting to see how all of these friendships develop. I love that they all have recess together, and hope that they can all play together nicely. Delaney did come home and say “No more dresses!” which made me a little sad. Apparently they do a lot more running in gym this year and a dress just doesn’t cut it. She’s totally a jeans and shorts girl, so this doesn’t surprise me. Hopefully Caden can wear all of the dresses we have!