Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Preschool Pair

"Back to school, back to school to prove to dad I'm not a fool!" Any Adam Sandler fans out there? I'm equal parts nervous, excited, sad, and hopeful as I sit down to write this post today, so the only way I can think to open is with that terribly annoying tune from Billy Madison.

Somehow, enough time has gone by to where both of my little teeny tiny little babies are old enough for preschool. Ugh. To be honest, I love it. I'm totally the mom that appreciates small increments of time away from my littles and quiet time to focus on myself and tending to my own creative brain. But, in the very same breath I struggle with it too. The mom guilt is so real. 

Nevertheless, I love seeing them flourish and letting them experience some independence away from our home. And here we are today with another year of back to school updates! For a little recap, here's what we have under our belts so far:
And here we are at the start of the 2017/2018 school year with Bennett's first day in Four Day Fours and little Miss Lainey's big first day in the Older Toddler's room ~ Two Day Two's. Their first day was yesterday and we were all pretty excited about it.

Their little preschool does things a bit differently than our old preschool in Nash and it's actually kind of fun and cute. Before the first day of school the teachers host a shortened mock-schedule day where they let the kiddos come and explore their classroom with parents in tote. It's a way to get the kids oriented with their class and also let the parents see a bit into their normal day.

Lainey's orientation was last Wednesday and both Hubs and I took our little bit to meet her "new friends" (which Lainey loves to exclaim when we talk about school). We headed out for a little Starbucks to snag breakfast sandwich and this smart little tot picked a cake pop instead and we obliged ... because #letthembelittle 

And then we headed to her classroom to meet her teachers: Mrs. Debbie and Mrs. Beth. She's a bumblebee in the PDO program - Older Toddlers "2 Day 2's" ... my favorite part of the class was their little feet where they line up to head to the playground.

And even though, they're in separate classes for part of the day ... she's going to school with her future husband, Charlie, and that makes my heart happy.
After they explored their classrooms and met their new friends ... they were off to rule the halls and explore the playground! I'd say they "oriented" just fine.
Then Friday, it was Mister Bennett's turn to have his mock day. I goofed on the time and we had to skip out on his Starbucks cake pop before school. Whoopsie. But, similar to Lainey, we headed in to meet his teachers: Mrs. Boylan and Mrs. Klapheke, check out his classroom and meet some pals - and once we were all wrapped up they headed to playground as well.

And then, just like that, orientation and mock days were over and we were ready for the real thing!
My babies first day of preschool, and my big guy's last first day of preschool. Whew! That's a lot on a momma's heart in one day!

Like every year, the kiddos and I baked chocolate chip cookies and packed a treat for their sweet teachers that love and care for the them throughout the day.

Truth be told, I totally had it all together. Veteran mom over here, walking my littles in fully expecting to drop them at the door and head out to take on the day. But, sigh, I ran into Laura on my way in (it's Charlie's first year and his first ever drop off) and just like I was, my first day ever dropping off Bennett, she was a mess of emotions and I walked in to see her crying with tear stains on the tshirt of her cute pregnant belly and this veteran mom was NOT so veteran anymore. Que crying in the drop off line and and waving goodbye to my friend through teary eyes. Good grief!!! One of these years I won't cry. Maybe?!

~ Lainey Lou ~

~ Bennett Bernard ~ 

~ The Preschool Pair ~

 He promised to watch out for her and show her the ropes. And then proceeded to tell me the reason he kissed her on the cheek and not the lips is because "she's always so slobbery" ha!
 I hope they always stay close. And silly. Silly most of all :)

Friday, August 25, 2017

Chi-Town Recap

We've talked before about my love affair with Chicago. I absolutely love the city. So much so, Hubs and I actually talked very seriously about moving there many moons ago. It's without a doubt one of my most favorites cities in the USA and visiting in the summer and fall is the best of all.

Last year Mom and I spent nearly two weeks there! And this year since the whole family was headed up we settled for a cookie decorating class instead :) haha! 

We had such a fun night together, and actually learned a lot too!  

The next morning we packed up the car and hit the road. As our final farewell to summer we planned a weekend getaway with all fun things Chicago before the littles head back to school. Uncle Max joined our car and the kids were pretty pumped about that. 

 First stop ... dinner and a walk along the river.
 We passed right by Bennett park and little man thought that was pretty cool.
 We had a yummy dinner and played some bocce ball in the basement of Pinstripes.
 And stopped for some swinging at Molly's Cupcakes.
 The next morning we were off to explore Maggie Daly park - A MUST - if you've got littles in Chicago.

 And then made our way to the symphony ...
 And the bean!

 And rounded off the afternoon with a little no pants dance in the Millenium Square Fountain.
 Then we nearly fell asleep standing up at Hot Dog Fest in Lincoln Park.

But found every last bit of energy we had to use it on the bounce houses.
 Then we went back to the hotel to take a quick rest and get cleaned up for some hang time with our cousins. And when your cousin owns a boutique custom suit shop, BLVDier, you take full advantage!
 Then we hit up Warm Belly cookies - WOWWWW.

 We had a yummy dinner at Sweetwater and once again marveled at the city on our walk home.
 The kiddos slept, hard.

 Then we were off to the Children's Museum.
 And Navy Pier.

 Then we had a farewell dinner for Max before the big move to LA.

 The next day we explored Mag Mile.

 And headed to the Reds vs. Cubs game that night!

 The next day we headed home ... but not before making a Cracker Barrel stop, duh!

It was the perfect end to summer 2017!