Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Parent teacher conference

I wrote this post right after Edie's parent teacher conference, so that would have been last Tuesday night. I'd planned to edit it and post on Wednesday night after putting Edie to bed. But then she claimed to be starving at 7:59pm shortly after brushing teeth and reading stories, but right before turning out the light and saying goodnight. In other words, she decided to pick a fight with me. Because we have a strict no eating after teeth brushing policy and she knows this. We even offer a bedtime snack at 7:15pm to avoid this exact scenario. Which she had turned down that night. So when I said no, she flipped out and acted like a total nightmare for about 20 minutes before deciding to be cool and going to bed exactly like nothing abnormal had happened at all. All of a sudden I felt less inclined to post this rave review of my amazing daughter and stellar parenting. But a week has passed and all is forgotten (or at least forgiven), so I suppose now I'll publish the post I wrote last week.

With no further ado….

We had our first parent teacher conference last night at Edie's school. This might seem ridiculous considering it's preschool, but they offer the chance to parents with children in the "5's" class to meet with the teacher and I took it.

I won't go into too much detail, but I wanted to write down somewhere for posterity what a proud moment it was for us as parents to hear what her teacher had to say. Because it was all just so lovely. Teacher Annette says she is very bright. On several occasions she mentioned that Edie is the only one in her entire class that can do certain things. For example, while quizzing Edie on the months of the year, she realized that Edie wasn't reciting them from memory, but rather was reading them off the wall where Annette has poster boards up for each month. She's in the most advanced reading group in her class where they divide the children into groups of 3, and she assured us that she would be at the top of her class in Kindergarten next year regardless of whether we went private or public. She said Edie is extremely gregarious and outgoing (shocker), and will not get lost in the larger class sizes at public school.

Perhaps even more important is that she is kind at school. And while she is entirely devoted to her BFF status with Shreya, Annette says they are never clique-y and always accept others into their group to play. The only not glowing remarks were:
 1. a passing comment on her chattiness and how it is only very occasionally an issue, to which Jeff replied, "I think that will be a lifelong challenge."  Ahem.
2. once in a while Shreya and Edie can be a bit "sneaky" about ensuring they are always put in the same group and paired together for activities.

Both made me smile because both remind me of my own childhood. I feel so, so lucky to be raising this charismatic, smart, and caring kid. Even if she does sometimes tell me that the dinner I made is gross. And by sometimes I mean every night that I don't make mac and cheese from a box.

Seriously though, the other night I showed up at school to pick Edie up and was stopped short in the little vestibule between the main hall and the music room where I knew Edie was. There was another Dad waiting there as well so I stopped, stunned by what we were looking at. In the music room (where the kids play at the end of the day), there were about 8 kids lined up with their backs to the lockers while one of the teaching assistants faced them. Edie was at one end of the line, closest to the vestibule where I was stopped and she was SINGING. Like, singing a SOLO. It's important to say that this has never happened - they are never singing when I show up at 5pm.

Everyone was just watching Edie while she sweetly (and totally out of tune-ly) sang 'Let it Go' from the movie Frozen. I died a hundred times. I was so many things at once - super confused as to what prompted this (did she ASK to sing? was everyone taking turns singing and I just walked in during Edie's turn?), proud (talent aside, my kid had the balls to belt out her favorite jam in front of everyone, including this random Dad looking on), a little embarrassed (did she demand everyone pay attention while she randomly sang her favorite song? And the music snob in me wondered whether she couldn't have picked something a little less predictable…sigh) but mostly I was just overwhelmed with emotion and protectiveness. She's so amazing and she's putting herself out there and it's just the beginning.

I discovered a few weeks ago that our street has been rezoned to a new neighborhood elementary school. The border for two schools was always in our backyard, but for the 2015-16 school year, it is being moved to our front yard. Edie will be going to a different school next year than I'd been picturing for the last year or two. I'm not sure it's really a bad thing, it's just a new thing. Both schools are considered good by big city public school standards and the principal at our new school is very well loved. So I guess we'll see. Crazy to think this time next year we'll be having a legit parent teacher conference with her kindergarten teacher.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

October Photo dump

We are very into the monkey bars right now. Like, VERY. And by "we" I mean Edie. Because I am actually pretty bored with sitting in the cold watching her swing to the second bar and then fall to the ground over and over. That said, I'm not a total jerk and it's touching to see how determined she is to get better. It's also been a little challenging to figure out the right way to encourage her efforts when she's being met with such slow progress. These things take time. The problem I think is that she's just so little. She can barely reach and we've had a hard time finding smaller monkey bar options that might offer her more success. This was taken at the playground across the street from her school where her class does recess, just before daylight savings, which has since eliminated our post-school practice sessions. She still begs to try during the weekends when it's not too wet and she's seeing some improvements. She can now make it to the third ring! Sometimes. It broke my heart a little when she finally got frustrated after about the 500th fall and said, "everyone in my class can do it! I'm terrible!!"

Heading out for our neighborhood halloween parade for the kiddies:

She did the parade with her neighbor pal Elana, here they are at the park afterwards sharing a Kit Kat:

Edie with her cousin Luna during Luna's 2nd birthday party:

Inspecting her scrambled eggs for pepper. I told her there was none, but she didn't believe me and proceeded to get her flashlight out to prove me wrong:
With her best friend Shreya. These two are completely inseparable. It's so nice that they have each other and I think Shreya is such a good little match for Edie - they have similar wits, temperaments, and share a strong passion for drawing princesses, cats, and everything Frozen. Every day, Edie comes home with cards that Shreya made her during art and all the pictures she draws at night are of her and Shreya in ball gowns.
My apple pie for an early Thanksgiving dinner with my family (work and life conflicts required an early get together):

A hilarious diorama Edie created with her Playmobile kit inside one of Jeff's organizing boxes that he usually uses for receipts:
My other adorable niece, Caroline wearing my big dangly earrings hooked around the top of her ears and feeling awfully proud:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Trick or treat

Edie dressed as Elsa from the movie Frozen for school on Friday. She wore her dress made by aunt Kathleen, they had a parade and a party and she had a blast. But I was in Portland for meetings that morning and didn't get home on the train until 4pm that day so I don't have photos to prove it. For trick or treating, Edie got a bee in her bonnet to dress as a lemur (after seeing the Imax film this summer - Island of Lemurs: Madagascar).

My little ring tailed lemur:

I semi-homemade this costume by using a grey fuzzy hoody (with the perfect white belly already built-in). Then I added the white fur trim on the hood/hears and ordered a lemur tail from Etsy.

We met up with her old preschool buddy (who is now in kindergarten) who lives up the street for trick or treating. Her friend Elana was Word Girl - which will only mean something to people with children who watch PBS. Trick or treating in the daytime is not exciting or nostalgic for me, so we head out after dinner and while it makes for terrible photos, it makes for the best memories for me. Our neighborhood is super old school on Halloween and the streets are filled with gaggles of kids with hoards of friendly parents tagging along behind. The Dads are all drinking out of thermoses and holding the leashes of dogs in costume, and the Moms are all yelling, "DID YOU SAY THANK YOU??!!" from the curb while the littles try to walk into people's houses and the friendly neighbors hand out candy and wave to the parents on the sidewalk.

Assessing her haul before bedtime:
The rain held off until the very end when it started dumping and I became the ultimate fair weather trick or treater. All in all though, it was another fun Halloween for the family. 
Next year, Edie has decided that all three of us are going to dress up as zombies.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


A few weeks ago we visited Stony Ridge Farm in Everson, which was a short drive from my parents' place in Birch Bay where we were staying. It poured rain in the morning, but around noon the sun came out and we had a gorgeous, and not too crowded day picking pumpkins, watching goats, riding ponies, and other Fall-tastic activities.

It was VERY sunny: