“Ellie is the teacher!”

This was a rough morning for Ellie.  She didn’t want to get up…at all!  She kept hiding under blankets and telling me that she was sleeping and not going to school today.  She even crawled under the dining room table at one point and covered herself in a blanket and told me she was hiding.  Albeit, she was doing a pretty bad job of it!

As I was fixing her hair, she asked me to brush her teeth.  I obliged because we were going to be running late soon…  And she had stinky breath!  LOL!  I finally got her to be OK with heading to school once I showed her that she gets to use her truck lunch box today.  She was so excited!

When we got to school, it was still wet, so we took her picture by the stairs again.  She didn’t mind, although she did look longingly at the sign where she used to take photos before the heavens started crying every day.  She wanted to show off her new lunch box.  You can tell she’s excited!  :D

It was too wet to sit in her pink chair, again.  I hope she doesn’t expect this Cleopatra routine to continue when it’s dry!

We went inside and put everything away but she wanted mama.  She started to cry, but then the director distracted her with alphabet tiles and we were able to sneak away.

She learned more about amphibians today, which is great since she loves frogs.  They had an entire worksheet going over frogs that she got to color in.  She even gave her frog some googly eyes.  She vandaleyes’d him.  Poor guy!

She also had a cooking class today where she made “frogs on a log” — or raisins and peanut butter on celery.  But before she completed the frogs on the log, she ate all her components and wanted more.  All the other kids had super cute completed treats.  Ellie just had some scraps of peanut butter left on her plate when it came time for photos!

They did a lot of puzzle work today and she decided that she wanted to teach the youngest student about phonics, shapes and how to complete puzzles.  She told the director that “Ellie is the teacher!”  I thought she was a doctor?

During lunch, she went to all the other kids and wanted their food.  I guess she was hungry today, because after lunch, they had nap time.  She didn’t want to nap (not surprised), so, instead, she sat with the director…and shared her lunch of bananas, apples and grapes.  Seriously, I promise we feed her.  She had a full lunch of her own, too!

When we got there, Ellie was unrolling her rug, so she could sit on the floor and work on her little tablet they use at school. She opened a program where the upper and lowercase letters are broken up into puzzle pieces and you need to put them back together.  She didn’t want to stop until she completed every letter in the alphabet.

As we were getting ready to leave, the director reminded us to take her blankets and pillow home for a washing.  Ellie didn’t realize that they brought the blankets and pillow to the back room, so she ran to the closet to get her stuff.  She was sad when it wasn’t there, but excited once she realized we already had it.  We were told that Ellie loves her Bubble Guppies blanket.  Also not surprised about that, either!

The director told us that Ellie is progressing very fast.  She is advancing in all areas of school so far.  Her attention span is growing and she’s picking up everything they’re teaching her faster than expected.  My little genius.

For our end of day photo, we played by her favorite rocks again.  And Ellie let us know which hand was her right hand…and which hand was her left hand.  Sometimes, I think she’s surprised we know about this stuff, too.  You know — us parents can be so behind the times!  :P

“I want princess hair!”

Ellie snuggled with me in bed and didn’t want to get up.  That is our usual routine.  Once up, though, she did ask for me to give her princess hair.  She wanted her hair done like Anna from Frozen.  I gave her two little braids.  When I was done, she ran to the mirror and looked at her hair and jumped up and down in excitement over her princess hair.  I really love seeing her so happy about something like that.  She was so grateful that I was able to give her princess hair, lol!

When we walked up to school, she wanted to take her photo by the sign, but the ground was way too muddy.  We compromised with sitting on the stairs.  I asked her to stand, but she said stairs are for sitting.  How do you argue with that kind of logic?  XD  She showed off her braids some more.

We walked into the backyard to take off her shoes and she couldn’t sit on the pink seat, so Ryan picked her up and made a chair for her out of his arm, lol. I took off her shoes and she made sure I followed her routine.

When she walked into school, she wanted to play with her friends right away, but we made her put her lunchbox and water bottle away.  As she did that she called out a couple hello’s to the friends who were already at school.  This is the first time we’ve heard her call them by their names when she says hello.  It was particularly cute.

When it was time for us to leave, Ellie cried and cried.  She wanted me to pick her up and hold her.  And bring her home.  But, I put her down by her friends.  These were the saddest tears, too.  But, of course, she was fine the minute I was gone.  The director’s husband brought us in the front door (and out of eyesight) again, so he could show us that she was quickly back to laughing and playing with her friends.

While going potty, she took out one of her braids, so the director had to fix it.  The director later commented about how hard it is to do her hair, since it’s so curly.  Her hair isn’t even.  You can’t just part it down the middle and have an even amount of hair for both braids.  I’m learning more and more about curly hair.  I was never good at hair to begin with, lol!

Ellie had a full day at school.  She worked on the 7 continents and she worked on the animal kingdom (specifically mammals, insects and amphibians). She loves maps and planets and she loves animals, so today was a particularly exciting day for her.  They worked on opposites again, and their counting and stacking skills, as well.

When we got to school, Ellie, the director and Adya (one of her best friends there) were working on stacking a tower of blocks.  Ellie was in charge of giving out the pieces to everyone.  Of course, she wanted to do most of it herself.  Especially the very tiny block that goes on the very top of the tower.  She wanted to work on each tower on the shelf (5 total, I believe).  So, we waited for her to complete all 5 with her friend.  When they’d complete one tower, she wanted to put it away.  The director tried to get them to share this responsibility, by having them both hold the box.  Ellie wasn’t having that, though.  And Adya seemed to not be phased by just about anything.  She’s a pretty laid back little kid.  A perfect sidekick for my little girl with the larger than life personality.  One of Ellie’s favorite things to do is rolling up and putting away the rugs they sit on when they do activities like these (or getting the rug and unrolling it).  Pretty much anything to do with the rugs, lol.  She is very particular and holds it in the exact way she’s instructed to do so — with both hands.  Very careful.  It’s adorable!

After they finished the puzzles and cleaned up, Ellie was ready to go home.  She wanted to work on more frog stuff, but the director told Ellie that she had to wait until tomorrow.

We left and took our end of day photos by Ellie new favorite rocks.  She told me she wanted to make a grumpy face.  And she happily tossed rocks all over the place before it was time to head home.

“Criss Cross Applesauce”

After a long weekend of activity, Ellie was ready to go to school.  She woke up and snuggled with me for 10 or so minutes.  And usually we need to ask her a few times to get up or tell her a few times that it’s time to go get dressed.  Today, I told her that she needs to get up so she can see her friend, Hazel.  She said, “Hazel’s at school?” And then jumped out of bed and went to get dressed!

Ellie let me put her hair up in pig tails.  I love how her curly little bangs look when her hair is up.  It really changes how her face looks.  It’s wild.  She wanted to wear her Batman socks and Avengers shoes.  I was totally fine with this crossover.  She also wore her jumper, which she calls her School Princess Dress.

When we got to school, Ellie took her morning photo by the sign and then we went into the back to take off her shoes.  The director met us outside and told us Ellie said they need a blue chair to be the companion to the pink chair.  They have two boxes for shoes — one pink, one blue.  Boys and girls have separate boxes for their shoes.  And so Ellie said if they have a pink box and a blue box, they should have a blue chair to go with the pink chair they already have.  This seems like a fair statement.  I did explain to Ellie that she should be allowed to put her shoes wherever she wants, though.  And if they do get a blue chair, that she can sit in either the pink OR blue chair.  A shoe box does not dictate her gender identity.  She looked at me and said, “You’re right, Mama.”  Already knows what to say and when to say it, LOL!

We brought Ellie’s new washcloths in.  We bought a bunch of plain, white washcloths and then embroidered her name on them and sewed coordinating strips of fun fabrics, so she has:  TMNT, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Avengers, Batman.  We brought TMNT and Star Wars to school today.  The director loved them.  And Ellie does, too.  Plus she’ll always know which cloths are hers!

We left without any issues today.  And that always makes for a very happy day!

Ellie had a busy day at school.  They sang songs together during their music lesson.  Ellie loved singing Pat-a-cake.  She was also very good about cleaning up when they were doing some activities on their mats on the floor.  Ellie rolled up her mat and put it away — she likes to keep her things very organized!

When we got to school to pick her up, the director was working with Ellie and her classmates on opposites.  She asked Ellie what’s the opposite of big.  And Ellie said, “Small!”  What’s the opposite of deep?  ”Shallow!”  The director also said that Ellie’s vocabulary is exploding, which we’ve noticed, as well.  She’s talking so much more now…and is having a much easier time of expressing her thoughts.  It used to be that she would speak a bit of her Ellie gibberish and then at the end of the sentence, she’d say a word or two that allowed to you understand what she was trying to say.  I almost always had to translate for her with other folks, since I’m fluent in Ellie gibberish.  Now, she’s speaking in much easier to understand, complete sentences.  And she’s been repeating everything we say and then using new words in the correct context moments later.  It’s wild to watch!

Monday is art class.  When Ellie walked up to us, we saw that her jumper had been art’d on, LOL.  She must’ve had paint on her hands when she was done and she proceeded to use her jumper as a napkin, lol.  (Thankfully, it was water soluble paint and with a little pre-treating fun, the jumper was salvaged.)   The art teacher didn’t have to show me Ellie’s art.  I looked at the 8 or so of them on the counter and picked my daughter’s out of that line-up, lol.  Ellie walked to the counter and took her art and wanted to paint on it more, but we told her it had to dry.

Hazel and her brother and mom were all leaving before we left, so we got to say goodbye.  Hazel’s brother asked me whose mother I was.  When I told him Ellie, he said, “Oh yeah, I know her!”

When we left, Ellie put her shoes on and then we went to her old stomping grounds.  The rocks.  And I took this adorable photo of her while she was in the midst of throwing rocks all over the place.  She told me that she’s sitting, “Criss cross applesauce, just like at school!”  Man, I’ll be honest.  Today was a rough day for me.   But this little girl can really make any day so much brighter.  What a blessing!

“I care about airplanes”

Today started like all other days.  Ellie woke up and then snuggled in bed with me for 10 or so minutes.  She put on her school uniform and I brushed her hair.  While in the car, she asked me what she had in her lunchbox for lunch. First, she asked if there was watermelon.  Yes.  A sandwich.  Yes.  Then she asked if she had grapes, but I told her no.  She then asked if she had carrots, and I said yes.  She was OK with that change.  We continued talking about this when we got to school and took her morning photo.  And then she told me she cares about airplanes.  I asked if she was a Care Bear.  She laughed and said that was a funny joke.  Not even sure what she was talking about, lol!  We took off her shoes and then walked into school and put away her lunchbox.  She said goodbye easily again, which is so nice.

Ellie had a full day at school, but her very favorite part was learning about the Three R’s of Recycling: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.  It was a sorting activity, so she was particularly happy about that!

We did have a small incident today.  On Friday’s, they have their cooking class.  It’s a cooking class without ever requiring the use of the oven or stove, so learning about dipping foods in sauces, or making butter…or making ice cream.  Today was ice cream day.  And anyone who knows Ellie knows that she’s a bit obsessed with ice cream.  And it’s a treat she doesn’t get very often, so when you tell her there’s going to be ice cream, well…she expects ice cream.  During the class, she was so good!  They made the ice cream and she was VERY excited.  But when it had to go into the freezer to set, well, she got upset.  VERY upset.  She threw a temper-tantrum.  She screamed and threw herself onto the floor and cried and tried to pull up a chair to climb up to get ice cream from the freezer.  They were so concerned, since she’s never acted like this before.  They thought she hurt herself or got a bad bug bite at first.  Until she finally communicated (by dragging a chair to the refrigerator) that she wanted to ice cream.  They tried to explain to her that it wasn’t ice cream yet…just cream.  But I’m the only person that can really get through to her when she’s like that, which, thankfully, isn’t often!

When we got to school, Ellie was drawing on a big ass piece of paper.  It was at least twice the size of the table she was sitting at.  No clue where we’re going to display it, lol.  Actually, I need to figure out the best way to store all of her school work.  We chatted with Ellie’s teacher’s assistant, who helped Ellie go to the potty earlier.  She said that after she helped her, Ellie said, “Thank you much!”  That sounds like our VERY polite daughter, lol!

Overall, Ellie had a great week.  She went to school for 4 full days this week, since we’re making up for last week.  And she did so well!  Next week is another week of 4 full days.  We’ll see how it goes for her.

When we left school, Ellie put her shoes on and then wanted to take photos in her new usual spot. And she even posed for me before throwing more rocks!

“I eat Spanish”

Ellie stayed up late last night because she wanted to finish watching her second Disney princess movie, Frozen.  (Her first one was Tangled, because it was on TV, so we recorded it.)  She didn’t get to finish it, since she fell asleep snuggling with me.  But, what she did watch, she loved!

When Ryan brought her down to me, she crawled into bed and quickly went back to sleep.  This has become our morning routine.  After we snuggled for much longer than we should’ve, Ryan got Ellie dressed while I got dressed and then I brushed her hair.  Ryan isn’t a big fan of brushing Ellie’s hair, since it can be a hot mess.

On the drive over to school, Ellie said she was excited that she was going to see her friends.  And, honestly, we were excited, too.  While I miss her tremendously, I can get so much more work done now.  And she’s learning at an even faster rate than we expected.

We got to school and took our customary photo in front of the school sign.  One of her teacher’s, Mrs. Cheryl, arrived at the same time and walked in with us.  Ellie sat down in the pink chair and took off her favorite shoes and put them away.  She walked into school and put away her lunchbox and water bottle.  Ellie waved goodbye and went to play with her friends.  And, again, I was so relieved that she’s no longer crying or trying to climb up my leg, lol!

The director needed some headshots of the kids, so I stayed a few minutes extra and took their photos.  And then we were on our way!

During the day, the director sent me some photos of Ellie.  She also sent me a video of Ellie going through flashcards and matching the animals, as well as identifying them and telling the director the first sound of each word.  Ellie seemed primarily interested in matching them, since she loves playing any match game she can find!

She also sent me photos from Ellie’s lunch time.  She told me that if she sees any other food on the counter, that’s the first food Ellie wants.  There were apples on the counter, so Ellie wanted apples!  Even though she already had grapes and watermelon packed in her lunchbox.

When we got back to school, Ellie was working on matching and identifying with a seasonal set of flashcards.  She went through and identified all the seasons as we watched.  She was supposed to hand out the matching cards to her classmates so everyone could get a turn, but instead she would keep the ones she wanted to match…and give away the cards she didn’t want to match.  She is so my kid!  One kid got pretty sad, because he didn’t like the cards he was given.  She then gave him a new card.  So sweet!

The director said Ellie did a really good job today.  She said Ellie is a joy.  I told her it’s because she got to do a lot of matching and picture identifying today.  And she loves both of those activities.  She also worked on her numbers, as well.  She is a big fan of numbers.  Well, except the number 6.  Not a 6 fan.

Ellie finally saw us and wanted to play with all the toys.  She had Ryan sing a song with her and then she made me a ham, cheese and egg sandwich with lettuce on a roll.  When we asked her what was on the sandwich, she said bread, cheese and…HAMBURGER!  And she laughed and laughed at this joke she just told.  She thought it was the funniest thing ever.  We got to bring home her artwork today.  We asked Ellie which painting was hers and she knew her work right away.  And so did I!

We walked outside and Ellie put on her shoes.  And then we took our end of day photos.  She loves her end of day photos…but I think it’s mainly because she gets to play with the rocks.  She posed with her painting, though, and that was my favorite!

On the way home, Ellie told me she had a great day at school.  And then she said, “I ate Spanish”…or maybe “I ate spinach”…?  I’m still unsure.  Maybe she hates Spanish?  Either way, it was a perfectly silly way to end a wonderful school day.

“Let’s Go to School, Mama!”

Ellie was extra tired this morning.  She had a full weekend of fun (including her cousin’s birthday party) and wasn’t ready to wake up just yet.  And, honestly, neither was I.  I was sick all Saturday night and Sunday.  Ellie even took care of me for an hour or so on Sunday while Ryan was out running an errand.  She rubbed my head and held my hand and told me she wanted me to be all better already.  It was the sweetest thing ever.  So, when it came time to wake up for school, she opted to crawl into bed with a very sleepy mama and we slept for an extra 10 minutes or so.  Ryan was our rock star.  He got lunch prepared, dressed Ellie and got everything in the car and ready to go.  I brushed her hair and then made my way to the car without passing out.  Score 1 for me!

We took our morning photo in front of the sign.  Ellie wanted to sit down, but we told her it was too dirty!  Her pink chair in the back wasn’t wet this time, so she was able to sit down on it and take her sneakers off.  She was happy she was able to follow through with her routine.  She walked up the stairs and put away her things and sat down to play with her friends.  No crying and climbing up my leg.  She was ready to play with her friends.  She took care of me all weekend, so it was fitting that she spent this time thinking about herself!  I was happy that this was an easy goodbye, since I wasn’t feeling super great.

Her teacher took some cute photos of her today, but didn’t send them my way.  I’ll need to ask her to email them to me!  Ellie learned how to break down her name by sounds.  She kept saying, “Eh, Ellie!”  She also had an art class today.  We got to meet the art teacher before we left.  Today, all the kids painted flowers.  She said Ellie’s was reminiscent of a Georgia O’keeffe painting. I chuckled at the thought.  But, when I saw it…I completely understood what she meant, lol!  The painting was still wet, but once they all dry, they will decorate the school for the next week.  Our daughter, the artist!

We got good news from the director, as well.  Ellie peed on the potty twice today.  That’s a huge breakthrough, since she hasn’t been wanting to pee on the potty.  It’s so frustrating, since she was so close to potty trained almost a year ago.  But, something happened and she regressed and became afraid of the potty.  Well, she’s back on track and we are so very thrilled.  The director used the watering can method.  Sit the kid on the potty and then pour water from a watering can into a bucket next to them.  The sound of the flowing water makes the kid more likely to pee…and then they are so proud they peed in the potty.  And it worked for Ellie.  Twice!  :D

The school’s director is letting us make up our missed days from last week, so Ellie will be back at school Wednesday through Friday.  How exciting for her!  Almost a full week of full days.  What will we do while she’s gone?

Once Ellie saw that we were there, she ran to me and said it was time to go home!  She took my hand and practically dragged me to the door.  I guess she missed us!  We went outside and put on her shoes.  She walked me to her favorite end of day photo spot and sat down for her customary photo.  When we got in the car, she told us about her day.  It’s amazing to be able to hold a conversation with her.  I know we’ve been able to do so for a while, but it still never ceases to amaze me.  Our Ellie Belly is such a big girl now!  And we are so very proud of her!

“School is cool!”

Ellie told me that school is cool.  I am totally excited that she thinks so! When we got back from Dragon*Con, Ellie was just too tired to go to school on Wednesday or Thursday.  We pushed our toddler an inch or two too far across the line, so we let her play hooky for two days.  She went back on Friday.  We can tell that she missed school and that school missed her!

She woke up and we snuggled, as is our morning ritual.  Once we got up, she got dressed and I brushed her hair.  Ryan woke up earlier and packed her lunch.  We drove to school and took her morning photo in front of the school sign.  We walked to the back and couldn’t sit on the pink seat, since it had rained and the seat was wet. Ellie was not happy about this change in our routine.  She sat on the stairs, instead, and I could tell that she did so begrudgingly.  The director of her school met us outside and was so excited to see Ellie.  She was worried about her a bit, but thanks to the invention of Facebook, she was able to follow our travels and shenanigans via the Geek-a-bye Baby Facebook page.  She even commented about Ellie’s costumes!  She mentioned that her son wants to go to Dragon*Con next year.  New volunteer maybe?  Ellie put her lunch box away, as well as her water bottle.  But then she attached herself to my leg.  She did not want me to leave.  Only one little friend was there, but I was able to distract Ellie Belly and get her to play LEGOs with her friend.  And then, while she was playing, we were able to sneak away without any tears.

This was a full day for Ellie.  Literally.  Her very first full day.  Instead of the normal half days she did for the first two weeks, Ellie started going to school from 8:15AM t0 4:45PM.  We were intrigued to see how she’d do with a full day at school.  When we went to pick her up, we learned all about her day.  She learned about butterflies and she learned how to make butter in her cooking class.  She also did all the usual stuff, like geography, math (bigger, smaller), sounding out letters, etc.  And she tried to steal someone’s banana.  Even though she ate grapes AND watermelon during lunch.  My daughter is a fruit thief.  And a chicken thief.  And a bread thief.  And a pretzel thief.  She’s just a food thief, LOL.  She took an hour nap, too!  The director of the school had to lie down next to her in order for her to go to sleep.  See, my daughter dropped napping around 9 months old, lol.  So, taking an afternoon nap isn’t something she’s used to doing.  But, after a long day of school work, I bet she welcomed a little siesta.  Today was particularly wonderful for me because her teachers sent me a bunch of photos and a video showing all the fun things Ellie did during the day.

When we left school, Ellie wanted to take her end of day photo in her usual place.  She loves those darn rocks!  I also love that she let me put her hair up in pigtails.  And, for the most part, they were intact when we picked her up.  She did collect an extra hair time on one of her pigtails.  We still don’t know where it came from, lol!


Ellie Likes to Write Letters

We continued our morning routine of Ellie crawling into bed with me so I can snuggle with her for 10 or so minutes before we get up.  She really wanted to snuggle for much longer, but I explained that we were short on time.  I brushed her hair and helped her get dressed.  She was pretty clingy this morning and did a lot of crying.  She didn’t want to leave me.  She knows that this morning routine means I will eventually leave her at school.  Once there (and once I’m gone), she’s totally happy.  But she still doesn’t like the idea of me leaving.

Ryan packed her lunch (sandwich, yogurt, watermelon and grapes) and water bottle and we went on our way to school.  Ellie wanted her morning photo by the sign and then we walked to the back of the school to take off her outside shoes.  Once inside, we put away her lunchbox and water bottle.  The director tried to help with this, but Ellie was adamant about doing it herself.  We chatted with the director and her husband about the website and the photos I took for them.  They seemed very pleased.  They have a few other photos that they want on the website that I didn’t take, so I’m going to edit those photos for them.  This way, the photos all look consistent.  It was time for us to go, but Ellie wasn’t having that.  She held onto me and cried again.  I gave her all the hugs and kisses…but then it was time to leave.  She cried and cried, but she was fine once we left.

Traffic wasn’t nearly as bad today, so we got home in record time. It was 8:30, so straight to work for me.  And Ryan had to pack the van for Dragon*Con.

On the way to pick up Ellie, we chatted about the upcoming road trip to Atlanta.  Ellie is such a good sport.  She’s been taking road trips since she was 4 or so months old.  We’re so lucky to have a kid who is adaptable and pleasant when traveling (and when not traveling, lol).  When we arrived at her school, Ellie was sitting on her nap mat and trying to sing another student to sleep.  She doesn’t take naps, so I guess she was trying to help everyone else nap.  I heard my name, “Mama?  Mommy?  MAMA!!!”  She occasionally calls me Mommy now because that’s what the director calls mothers.

During school, Ellie worked on her letters.  They worked on writing letters and picking out pictures of things that start with that letter.  Her teacher said she’s doing a great job and that she has an amazing attention span for her age.  They also rolled a 3 sided die and would pick out the corresponding quantity of strawberries for the number they rolled.  Ellie also got to do some connecting of dots.  She ended up drawing a vase.

We left school and she put her shoes back on.  She wanted to shovel rocks for what seemed like a lifetime, but we eventually re-directed all that energy and got her to leave the backyard of her school.  She wanted to take her end of school day photo by her favorite section of rocks.  And then another photo by the sign.  She looks so adorable in the below picture…but she also looks like she’s about the throw a rock at me.  I was prepared for anything.  :D

All in all, Ellie had a great day.  She was excited to go home, though.  And she was very upset when she thought we left her Batman flip flops or Spider-Man lunchbox.  Seriously, kid.  It’s like you don’t know us at all!  :P


A Busy Day for the Nelson-Campbell Family

I struggled to go to sleep last night, so when it was time to get up, make Ellie’s lunch and wake Ellie up, I didn’t even hear Ryan until he was walking down the stairs with Ellie.  She got into bed with me and we snuggled for a little while, but then it was time to get up, brush her hair and get dressed.  Normally, Ellie goes to school on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so she wears the uniform for that day — navy polo and khakis.  Since we have Dragon*Con this weekend, she had to go to school today, so she wouldn’t miss out on any of the three days for this week.  Well, Tuesday’s uniform is a maroon polo and black bottoms.  We completely forgot about the black bottoms…and put her in her khaki jumper.  We did this for a couple reasons:  1) She loves her jumper and 2) we could only find a size 4/5 maroon polo, so we needed something that would cover most of it up.  In the end, it looked like she had two dresses on, because the polo was longer than her jumper!

We also had a bit of an ordeal finding her jumper…but eventually found it in the last place we would ever look.  Isn’t that always how it happens?

We drove to the school and Ellie wanted to take morning photos by the school sign.  When we walked in the back, she sat down and took off her shoes.  When Ryan didn’t close the shoe bucket all the way, she went and closed it properly.  Ryan got scolded a bit.  Ellie walked up the stairs and for the first time, we ran into other parents as they were leaving.  Tuesday is a much busier day!  We put Ellie’s lunch box and water bottle away…and then she automatically attached herself to me.  She knew I was going to leave soon and she was extremely upset.  I held her for a minute or so and gave her bunches of kisses, but then I gave her to the director of the school and we left.  It was hard…but I know that the minute I leave, she’s fine!

We drove home and I went to work.  We hit some gnarly traffic thanks to a combination of a train, construction and school starting.  Before I knew it, lunch time was here and we had to head back to school to take photos for their website.  The school eats up natural light, so we had to get creative when taking photos of the kids.  We placed them next to the door, so I could open it and get more light or moved their tables closer to the window and opened the blinds.  Whatever was needed to get the light I needed for the photos.  Also, while I know I’m a good photographer, it was weird to take photos for someone else.  When it’s just for me, I know exactly what I need…and I know how to achieve it.  I don’t think I am a fan of doing photography for hire.  Too stressful!   But, the kids were wonderful and it was so nice to get to see Ellie in her element, especially before she knew we were there.

We went into her classroom and they were going over counting and working on which number is bigger and which number is smaller.  Ellie then went to work on her fractions.  She did 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 and 1/5.  We all moved into the main room and worked on different math problems, as well as sorting.  I’m happy to share that Ellie did not throw all the beans in the air this time.  It was time for the kids to eat lunch, so we left quietly.  We heard Ellie crying, but she only cried for a moment.

When it was time to pick her up and bring her home, she was pretty excited to come home with us, although I think she would’ve preferred to play outside all by herself for an hour or so.  She asked to take her end of day photograph with a new pile of rocks.

Ellie is really blossoming at school.  She has made a couple new friends and the teachers seem to be very fond of her, as well.  She’s a teacher’s pet, for sure.  But, was there ever any doubt?


Ellie Loves School — But She Also Loves Mama

When Ellie woke up, Ryan carried her downstairs and she crawled into bed with me.  We snuggled for a while, but then it was time to get up and get ready for school.  I brushed her hair and helped her get dressed.  She wore her khaki skort and a navy blue polo.  She chose a new pair of Batman socks…and her favorite blue shoes.  One of her friends had a birthday party during lunch today, so we only packed some fruit and a water bottle for her.

We drove to school and all seemed well.  When we got out of the car, Ellie wanted to take her morning photo, so we posed by a street light this time.  As we trotted into the backyard of her school, so she could take her shoes off, she still seemed fine.  We walked up the stairs, went inside and put away her washcloths, lunchbox (still Spider-Man so far) and water bottle.  We chatted with the director of the school about some photography she needs done…and as we were about the leave, the waterworks started.  ”No, Mama!  Please don’t leave!  Mama, noooooo!”  And she jumped into my arms.  I told her she had to go to school, but that I would be back after lunch.  She still cried.  The director of the school helped sit her down by the toys and as we left, she screamed and cried and gave me the saddest face ever.  We walked toward the front of the school and the director’s husband (he’s the one working with the design company for their website who gave us more specifics about the photos needed) met us by the front door and told us to quietly come inside the school.  All we could hear was Ellie playing with her friends and laughing.  Once we were out of sight, she calmed down and went back to business as usual.  Mir, the director’s husband, told us a story of when his first son went to school and a similar thing happened.  It was before camera phones and that kind of instant communication we’re all so used to…so when he left the school and his crying son, he just sat at work with a pit in his stomach, because he didn’t know if his son was better yet.  He wanted us to see…or, well, hear, that Ellie was already better, so we wouldn’t feel bad.  It was a lovely gesture.

When home, I got to work and had a lot of emails to answer and paperwork to complete.  Yada yada.  But then, I heard my phone buzz…and the school director sent me pictures of Ellie eating pizza at the birthday party.  See, Ellie doesn’t like foods that get her hands messy.  She gets frustrated.  Also, she’s a pretty healthy eater…so, pizza isn’t really something she’s ever tried.  They cut up her pizza into small enough pieces so they were bite sized and easy for her to pick up and hold.  And she really liked it.  (In the car on the way home, she said, “Mama, I ate pizza!  Yum!”)

We went back to the school during my lunch break to pick up Miss Ellie.  They were finishing up story time when we got there.  Once Ellie realized we were there, she walked over and took us to her classroom.  They worked on continents again today, so the first thing she did was take me to a puzzle map and tell me where Africa was.  And then she pointed out North America.  She also worked on more shapes, letters, numbers and sorting skills.  I’m sure she did even more, but that’s all she told me about.  Her teacher, Ms. Cheryl, took photos of the kids today, so I was able to see what Ellie did.  I loved it!  And, of course, Ellie started a little bit of adorable trouble.  Every time one of them would write a letter, she would tell them to all raise their arms and say, “We did it!”.  She does that a lot at home, whenever she’s particularly proud of herself, so I’m not surprised she told her new friends all about this fun tradition.  Apparently, they did this 6 or 7 times — for 6 or 7 different letters.  And the teacher got photos of the entire thing!

We talked to the director about hosting some fun events

After she showed us what she learned today, she wanted to sing and dance and play with all of the toys.  We let her sing for 5 or so minute, but then it was time to head back home.  We took her end of day photos with her sitting on the rocks.  She sure does love rocks of any kind, lol.

She goes back tomorrow, since we leave for Dragon*Con on Wednesday night.  I bet she’s going to be excited to wear a different color polo.  (MWF is navy.  TTH is maroon!)