14 January 2018

First Day of Preschool

I thought Josie looked like an angel wearing a blue bishop collared dress last Sunday. She is Mr Grump Fish when it comes to taking photos lately. Probably because I take away her treasured binky for the occasion. Maybe it is time to work on weaning her of the binky! Her hair is so fine, with a spot of curl on the ends. Most of the time she is quite the angel so the dress was, sigh....heavenly.

Evelyn had her first week of Preschool. She was over the top excited to start school. By 7:30 am she was dressed and ready to go. She had to wait clear until 11:45 before we headed to Sonoma Ranch. Over the weekend she packed and repacked her backpack of first day supplies. She was very interested in the items we bought to restock the treasure chest, a reward given at the end of the school week. A freak rainstorm uncovered her lost tooth's hiding spot, course she had to carry that around to church, school, the store, and to the dentist. She was pretty excited the tooth was no longer in her belly. Before preschool started she had a fun time dancing in the waiting area with Josie. She practiced saying her teacher's name as well: Mrs Melicard, aka Mrs Melichar. When I picked her up Mrs Melichar said she had an amazing first day, fit right in with the other kiddos. Evelyn's face held a different story, she had her close to crying face on with a side of angry eyebrows. Later she told me she was mad that all her treasures for the box disappeared during recess. Ha ha! I should've anticipated that. The next day her teacher showed her where all the cool items were stored and when Evelyn could choose something. Mystery solved. She enjoyed getting ready and attending the next three days just as much as the first. Seems she even made some friends already.

Phillip got to bring a show-and-tell item on Tuesday. His teacher said I could bring his hamster, Cagey Barry Allen Call, right after I dropped off Evelyn at noon. Josie marched right into his classroom shaking the poor hamster about in a small portable pod. Mrs Epstein was quite happy I did not have to bring in the entire cage (me too). Phillip got to show each student his pet and answer questions about what he eats, his cage, his personality, etc. Phillip at school was a totally different kid than Phillip at home! He was quite reticent, a trait I never see. Seems Josie provided just as much entertainment as the hamster did. After school and homework Everett managed to amused Evelyn for over an hour playing Exploding Kittens, Candyland, Sneaky Squirrel, and Headbands. The kids are starting to play board games now once homework is completed. I love it. 

Wednesday morning I cut some oranges to for school snacks and lunches. Around that time Josie woke up and was sitting at the table eating a sandwich. Amelia and Phillip popped a cut orange into their mouths and showed Josie. The look on that kid's face was pure revulsion and horror. She reared her head backwards and shouted, "Noooooooo!" We had quite the laugh over her reaction. Wednesday and Thursday mornings we spent at the dentist's office. Wednesday I took the older kids in for routine cleanings and x-rays. Everett earned a satisfactory dental bill of health. Amelia and Phillip not so much. Amelia had mild gingivitis on her lower front gums and two cavities, on baby tooth riddled with cavity and a small cavity in a molar. She was crying, mad crying when I told her she had to come back and get fillings for her teeth. Phillip had one tiny surface cavity on a molar. I felt embarrassed my kids do not enjoy dental hygiene as much as I do. Heck, I brush and floss my dang teeth 2-3 times per day. I require them to brush twice a day but they must not be doing what I command. I got the kids new spinbrushes to aid in our new quest for dental hygiene. The next day we were at the office again getting those pesky fillings taken care of. Took over 2 hours for both kids to get the work done. I had the dentist put resin caps on their molars as well. After experiencing their first real dental work the kids are especially motivated to really take care of their teeth. Sometimes a bit of discomfort is a good thing. Warms my heart to see the kids invested in brushing and flossing. I am sure grandpa Lane would be extra proud. He still asks me if I floss my teeth...yes! Sir! Spending nonthreatening time at the dentist was a good thing for Evelyn after her trauma. Amelia was quite affected by the laughing gas. She was giggling at the movie Moana with the silliest laugh. Phillip did not even need numbing stuff, so his went fast. Once again our expensive girl needs a trip back to the orthodontist, her second bicuspid is trying to come in between her front tooth and first bicuspid. Sounds expensive.

Phillip was the star of our Wednesday. He came home from school and whipped out his homework. He finished it without help in less than 10 minutes. He helped me with Evelyn and Josie, playing with them outside. At dinner he asked to clean off the table and set it for dinner?! My mommy heart was exploding with love right about then. That act of kindness and service made my week the best ever.

We continued the trend of the week, missing morning school, with a Dr visit for Phillip on Friday. He needed a medicine check up for his ADD. I had a really hard time answering Dr Auxier's questions since I don't see Phillip in action while the medication is still working. His teacher is super busy so I don't always hear back from her in a timely manner. We got report cards this week, so based on that empirical evidence his grades seem much improved. We decided to increase his dosage another ml and see how it helps. In two weeks I am supposed to decrease by half and see if his teacher notices a difference. Evelyn and Josie looked cute wearing Minnie Mouse dresses they got from Grandma Debbie for Christmas. Several folks commented on how cute the girls looked at Walmart. Josie would tell the person all about "Mimmie Mou."

All the kids wanted to help me practice my photography skills. I bought two photography classes from the ever amazing Meg Bitton, one Newborn course and a Simple Studio course. The Simple Studio course is all about using a one-strobe set up, which I use on a normal basis. I practiced on the kids some posing and using my light. Meg teaches to place your light 8-10 inches away from your subjects face. It was tricky since my light modifier is a parabolic umbrella, the umbrella center sticks out right into my photo when placed that close. Josie was a stinker. The rest of the kids seemed to enjoy helping me practice. I'm working on editing them using her method, which reduces the dreaded banding I always get when photographing on black.

Amelia earned straight A's again this semester. Her AR (academic reading) goal was a total of 101%! Phillip earned mostly 3's, a couple 2's in math, and an assortment of S's, P's and an E. Everett's report card actually looked almost the same as Phillip's. Seems like report cards for 3rd grade and under are extraneous. Just a bunch of letters and numbers. The kids wanted pizza for lunch as a reward. So we went to the mall for lunch. After we let the kids ride the escalators as a reward for their good grades! A mall cop busted us for recreational usage of the escalator. We were asked to leave them alone or leave. Sad! Our free fun was cut short. I am still laughing about the whole escalator fiasco. The mall must have a camera pointed right at that area to prevent unauthorized usage of the stairs.

I saw a sign my house needs, needs desperately! Don't mind the mess. My kids are making memories...of me yelling at them to clean up the mess. We resembled that quote during our Saturday morning clean up. Justin is having a good time finding a new car to replace old Betty Blue. With our house deal closed and done we have a bit of wiggle room for things like a car payment and cross our fingers, new carpet. Our current carpet is the worst ever for a family, white beige. My favorite part on the carpet is a finely defined hand print courtesy of Evelyn, right in the middle of the living room area. Cleaning it is like throwing paper on a fire, I gave up, knowing brown variegated carpet is in our near future. Justin was disgusted with one car dealership who tried to over charge him $2000 on supposed taxes and fees. The car was not worth that price tag.

Evelyn's new nickname for Justin is: My B.F.F Man (marshmallow head). She pronounces BFF so funny, like Bee-eh-eff.