First Grade!

At 4:00AM Ivy was trying to get us up so she could go to school.

At 4:05AM John was trying to get her to go back to sleep in her own bed.

At 4:10AM he had given up and gone back to bed himself.

At 6:30AM she was back – “I’m all ready, all I need is my shoes and breakfast.”

At 6:35AM John was begging her to go back to bed for a little big longer.

At 6:40AM he gave up and got up to have breakfast with Ivy.

At 7:15AM she came back to get me up so I could take her picture.

At 7:30AM I dragged myself outside and took some pictures of her.Ivy First Grade

At 7:40AM they finally left for school.

At 7:50AM Ivy decided she needed her Dad to walk her into school.

At 7:55AM Ivy saw her friends and left her Dad without a goodbye or a backward glance.Ivy first day of first grade.

At 3:55PM Ivy got off the bus.Done with the first day of first gradel.At 4:00PM Ivy told us how great her first day was.

At 5:15PM I said I was going to name a fictional Great Dane Reinold Von Hoobie Doobie and I “ruined her first day of school!”

At 6:15PM Ivy tried to eat the entire contents of the kitchen for dinner.

At 8:00PM I tucked her in bed.

At 8:05PM there was a fracas and Clara was moved to a different room!

And at 8:05PM and thirty seconds Ivy was sound asleep!

Rousseau and Other School Lessons

Today Ivy came home from school and proudly showed me her latest art work. Fortunately for me, and my rusty art history, Ivy also identified it for me as Henri Rousseau’s The Sleeping Gypsy.

I took that as a good sign that not only has she been paying attention in art class but that it was going to be a good evening. Some days Ivy comes home bubbly and expansive with stories to share about school. But some days, tired days, we hear almost nothing.

The bubbly days are fun. We hear about the school drama, So and So “was this close to getting his B flipped!” and sometimes Ivy even shares what sort of skills they are working on in class.Ivy laughing in snow

Happily, Ivy had a great evening and shared all sorts with us about her day. In fact, for the rest of the evening she practiced another skill she learned today.

Ivy practiced while playing with Clara, reading books, eating dinner and getting ready for bed. She didn’t even need any encouragement from me to keep working at it.Ivy winter on fence

Yes, tomorrow I’m sure the friend who taught Ivy will be very impressed with just how loudly she can burp on command.

A Proud Moment

We attended Ivy’s first parent teacher conferences recently and were happy to hear that she is behaving and doing well in school. Every day she brings home piles of papers (Really all you tree huggers, piles of papers. You want to save a tree? Talk to a kindergarten class.) and shows us what she’s been working on. She is reading, writing, making friends with everyone and having a great time.

Tonight Ivy found an old notebook and decided to show off some of those writing skills she’s been working on at school, it was a proud moment for us parents:

…a proud moment…

Belated Birthday Thoughts

While our internet was misbehaving I wrote many posts that I never got a chance to publish due to technical difficulties. I wrote this the evening of Clara’s birthday…

From the time Clara arrived, Ivy was a dutiful big sister. When Clara was a baby, Ivy was so attentive to her baby sister that I worried about ever leaving them unattended, a quick trip to the bathroom and I’d come back to find Clara under stacks of books, toys and blankets that Ivy just couldn’t wait to share. Of course as they have grown Clara is now happy to be buried under Ivy’s toys and Ivy is usually happy to play with Clara. But their sweet sisterly ways have been experiencing some growing pains since Ivy started school. Now Ivy drags herself off the bus, tired out after a big day of school and greets Clara’s happy rush to greet her with a “NO thank you Clara.” There has been more fighting between them than there ever has been before and the last weeks have been trying on everyone.

As Clara’s birthday approached we made sure to include Ivy in all the preparations and the big hearted sister that she is showed right back up. Ivy sewed Clara a pillow for her baby doll as her gift to give her. Then she gave me a special piece of fabric that she had been saving so that I could make a blanket for Clara’s baby. When we went shopping she asked if she could pick out Clara a present with her own money all by herself and she did. Ivy discussed cake plans with me, watched John build a doll cradle, wrapped gifts and even picked out some of her toys that Clara likes and wrapped them up to give to her.

When Clara’s birthday arrived Ivy had a bit of a tough time – it’s hard to be the big sister when it’s not your birthday. But when all was said and done, Ivy told Clara that she could pick out all the bedtime books and when I thanked her for being such a good big sister all day she admitted that it was pretty good, “Except for a few moments of cryin’.”

Ivy was right, it was a good birthday. Clara turned three and was as well behaved as a three year old can be and Ivy turned back into the big sister that we all know she can be. Tomorrow is back to school and regular schedule and I’m certain that the two girls have more rocky times ahead, now and in the future. But thank goodness for birthdays, and the opportunities they bring for teaching, thoughtfulness, and smoothing a bit of the rocky road, even if temporarily.

Just over a month later I’m happy to report that Ivy (and the rest of us) are getting used to school and her new schedule. There are still days where Ivy draaags her tired feet off the bus to the house and refuses to talk to Clara but there are just as many days that they are happy to see each other and disappear up the stairs in a fit of giggles.

Got Cheeks?

We’ve got cheeks, what we are lacking is a proper functioning computer/internet.

Unfortunately my technical skills consist of arguing with the computer, turning it off and on and then swearing at it.

Even more unfortunately none of these excellent trouble shooting methods seem to be improving things.

Until I either expand my skill set or professional help is brought in the blog posting may be a bit sparse.

Wish me luck!

Here are a few quotable moments from the last few days that I haven’t shared due to our technical issues:

John: “How come every day when I get in my car there are fresh dog tracks on the windshield?”

Me speaking to Clara: “NO! You have to wipe with toilet paper, ONLY toilet paper.”

Clara: “…fortunately I left my shoes in the truck…”

Ivy:  Since we love Ivy I shall decline to share what she has been saying. Suffice it to say while she has been doing great at school the transition has been rough!


The First Week

It’s the big question of the week:

How is school going for Ivy?

Ivy will talk your ear off on her own terms, (Please take extra note of the on her own terms.)but unfortunately what she has done at school, what she may be doing tomorrow and what she is supposed to do with things brought home in her folder are not things on her agenda to talk about.

This leaves me with a very vague idea of what she’s doing, if she’s liking it and (on a memorable second day of school) if she has any homework that needs doing. All this makes everyone’s favorite question the week a bit hard to answer.

I feel I can say with confidence that in her first week of school:

-In math they counted to three (no opinion given – just a fact).

-In music they hit a drum one time ( no further information or emotion forthcoming).

-They did a bunny hop (not the dance) in gym (I got a demonstration of this so I think that was a hit).


-She had to sit on the red part of the rug one morning (she definitely hated that).

All other stories of the week have been of a highly suspicious nature:

Me: “Ivy how was your bus ride to school.”

Ivy: “Good, I saw a loon and an owl. Isn’t that exciting Mom, those are you favorite birds!?!”

She can be a sweet girl – not informative, but sweet.

What I do know all about is what the other girls in her class are wearing.

I hear about the girl in her class who’s wearing brown boots, jeans with sparkles, a purple shirt and a pony tail… the reports come complete with eye and hair color.

So I listen to my little fashionista (who’s current favorite footwear is mismatched flip flops) and attempt to insert appropriate comments into her fashion review of the day.

As I continue to hear about the fashion world of Kindergarten I keep hoping that one day, if I keep paying attention, she may divulge just a bit more than the color shirt of a girl on the bus.

One day.

How is school going for Ivy?

I have no idea – but she keeps willingly getting on the bus so I think she must be having a good time!

First Day of School

Today was the big day- Ivy’s first day of Kindergarten!

After months of tears and worries Ivy woke up bubbling with excitement and practically skipped her way onto the bus.

Clara on the other hand had been woken up extra early by Ivy (not a parent sanctioned event) was tired and sad that her big sister was leaving her.  While I wouldn’t go so far as to accuse Ivy of being so prone to teasing and torturing her sister that I would say Clara’s tears at the end of the driveway caused Ivy to so happily depart on the bus I’m thinking that they didn’t hurt her mood either.

John,  a tearful Clara and I waved goodbye to Ivy and headed back inside where Clara discovered something.

Ivy was at school.

Ivy was not at home.

Released from the control of her older sister who rules like an evil but well loved dictator Clara had a new phrase:

“Ivy at school so I…

…sit in her chair.”

…use her paint.”

…pick out Dad’s shirt.”

…let out the chickens.”

…get the eggs.”

Clara’s sadness at being left at home lasted about an hour and then she had a great day being the biggest sister in the house!

Ivy came home full of stories about her first day and manically overtired.

They are both looking forward to tomorrow. Sounds like a successful first day to me!

I Am Too Absolutely Small For School by Lauren Child

Ivy has made a very slow transition to crying at the thought of going to school to hesitant excitement about her first day next week. I can’t give this book all the credit for the turn around but it certainly didn’t hurt.

The voice of Lola the little sister who is too small to go to school is so absolutely perfect nothing I say will do her justice. Unfortunately that means that Charlie, her older brother who is the brains of the outfit, gets second billing which is quite unfair, as he’s pretty fantastic too.

Lola has also helped start a few good conversations between Ivy and I about school. For instance tonight after we read about Lola’s invisible friend Soren Lorensen I found out that Ivy’s invisible friend Belle is also going to school next week.  Apparently Belle has been there lots before and knows lots of things already like reading and chemistry. Ivy thinks Belle will be good company on the bus on the way to school but when I asked if Belle could help her remember where her classroom was since she’s been in school before I got the look. The look that says “Uh Mom. Belle is pretend, why would I ask her things?” Which I find to be quite convenient because Belle has a tenancy to encourage Ivy to do all sorts of naughty things.  Ivy’s defense of “But Belle TOLD me to.” never crumbles to the “Uh Ivy. Belle is pretend why are you listening to her” look I give Ivy. Apparently I’ve got to work on my “looks.”

Would I recommend this? Absolutely! It makes it into the catagory of books I make my adult friends read even if there are no kids around because I think it is so great!