Week In Review: Rhonda

Well another week has gone by and my kid-free time is OVER.  The kids are back and they came in like a wrecking ball.  Sheesh.

During this week, I started decorating our house for Halloween, meet my mom group for drinks at one of their houses, and shipped out a shitload of orders.

Friday was a freaking exciting day.  My company was holding its Leaders Conference and I eagerly watched groups to see what was announced.  Two new limited edition colors came out, along with reformulated concealers and a new blush.  Pretty much the entire company collectively freaked the fuck out.  All this was happening while I wandered around the Halloween store, staring at my phone watching updates.  That was also the day that I received my first three-figure commission check, so it was a good one.

Saturday, Stuart and I had brunch at home then ran a few errands while we waited on his friend Ben to arrive from Germany.  Then I ran out to do some quick shopping while they caught up.  When I got back, we grilled some steaks and had a lovely dinner together before going out.  We went to the Stockyards to see Justin Moore and Dylan Scott.  What a freaking AMAZING show they both put on.  Justin is especially a super talented entertainer.

Sunday we made brunch for Ben and sat outside in the lovely weather for awhile with him. Then went and got the darling children before coming home to grill.

I think the best part of my week was Saturday night. What was yours?

Week In Review: Ashley

Hay y’all Haaayyy! Happy Monday. 🙂 I had a pretty jam packed week/weekend, and I can’t wait to share it with you guys. 🙂

Our week started with me facing five days of doing all things parent related on my own since Shaun was going out of town for work. He and I usually share kid drop off/pick up responsibilities, but since he would be gone it was all on me. I know. That may not seem like a big deal, but it is pretty exhausting doing it all by yourself. However, by the end of the week I felt like the three of us handled it just fine. I even remembered to pack Cooper’s show and tell item for Friday! **high fives all around**

Speaking of Cooper and school – he has been doing really well. His dad had been dropping him off everyday so we were really worried that with me now bringing him we’d have to start all over in the department of his separation anxiety. BUT at Monday drop off he did not get upset or cry AT ALL. He whimpered a little bit at the classroom door, but was calm and collected when I kissed him bye. I wanted to cry from relief when I got in the car. The rest of the week was pretty smooth as well. He did cry each day, but each day the crying has become more and more controlled. I’m so proud of him. AND he’s been loving his new lunches I’ve packed. I’m surprised everyday that I open his lunch box and he’s eaten almost everything inside. He requests to take a picture with his school sign at least every other day which is incredibly cute.

Rhonda came to town on Wednesday and stayed with us until we left for Fort Worth on Friday evening. Cooper was enamored with her. On Sunday night he was still asking about her and when would she be coming back?? lol I know Soso enjoyed her company too…she’s just not as vocal about it as Coopy is…I think she gets that from me. 😉

Since I was off on Wednesday – I got to pick up Coop from school. Sophie loves seeing “Bubba’s tool”.  As we walked to the car, they held hands. How freaking adorable is that???

Rhonda and I did our Wine Wednesday Live (on our Facebook Page) that night. It was so fun to actually get to be together in the same place when we filmed!

Thursday night I got to go out with my sister and Rhonda for ladies night at The Chill inside the IP Casino. It was so. much. fun. There was a fantastic band there to listen to and we did lots of dancing. I had to take a picture of the floor where I parked, because I am so bad at remembering where I park. Does anyone else do that?? lol We had a fantastic time that resulted in a late-ish night……Then I had to get up for work the next morning. Oy!

Friday evening after work Rhonda and I piled in the car to make our way to Forth Worth for a fun weekend. The 9ish hour drive wasn’t so bad. Actually about three hours in we were feeling like rockstars. Then. Well then we started getting hungry, and we couldn’t find a an exit to stop that met our criteria. We wanted to exit somewhere that had a gas station and food place within seeing distance of the exit. We ended up having to wait until we got to Alexandria, LA – which met none of our pre established criteria. Sooo after a long trip to Chick Fil A that began with somehow ending up in a random mall parking lot and ended with a near death experience via an almost collision with oncoming traffic – we had food in our bellies, gas in the car, and were back on the road for the last leg of the trip. From this point on there was lots of made up milestones that kept us motivated and encouraged until we finally made it to the DFW.  We rolled in just before three am, and after a little house tour, guzzling some water for our severely dehydrated bodies (we’d avoided drinking for the last 3-4 hours so that we wouldn’t have to make a potty stop), and chit chat with Stuart – we crashed in our respective beds.

Saturday day was just a lazy chill day. After a super delicious brunch served by Stuart, we made quick trip to Target and Ross for some things I’d forgotten to pack. The rest of the day was just lots of time hanging on the couch while talking and relaxing. Sometimes it’s just so nice to be still and present and not have anything pressing to do. Rhonda and I did a little live Get Ready with Us broadcast on our Facebook page. That night we went to the Stockyards and hung out at a our go to bar. There was some really entertaining live music. We snagged the perfect spot right in front of the dance floor and band. We were continually impressed by the dancing skills that were demonstrated on the dance floor. Seems like knowing how to two step is a Texan (or maybe just Fort Worth?) requirement. 😉

Saturday night led to Sunday morning and we found ourselves once again up until after three. After sleeping in Sunday, we had another fantastic brunch then got ready to head to the airport. I was pretty dang sad to leave…but I couldn’t wait to get my hands on those babies waiting for me back in Mississippi.

 

 

 

Week In Review: Ashley

Hey hey hey! Here we are again for another peak into our lives this past week. So great to see you here, and don’t forget to chat with us in the comments – we LOVE hearing from you guys!

Alright let’s see…what did we have going on this week? Well, last week was Cooper’s first full week at his new school. I am incredibly happy to report that drop offs are getting better and better. He’s really trying his hardest to not breakdown during that initial separation at drop off. And even when it is rough the rest of the day is really fantastic. He always always is in a good mood about school in the afternoons, and doesn’t really dread going back until right before he has to enter the building. Worry. Fear of the unknown. Then all of that turns into stress and anxiety. Poor bubs. 🙁 We’re working through it though!  I’m just so happy that HE’S happy!

Want to hear a mom fail though?  I didn’t send anything with him for show and tell last Friday. I expected that they’d send a note saying what letter to represent for show and tell, but I never saw that note so I thought maybe show and tell was not happening? Wellll, apparently the information for show and tell is in the weekly newsletter that comes home on Mondays.  Soo yeah. I felt awful about that. 🙁 I won’t forget this week though! 🙂

Wednesday we did our usual Wine Wednesday LIVE video on our Facebook page… if you haven’t liked our FB page.. you should go do that pronto so that you are notified of when we go live! This Wednesday we will actually be TOGETHER for Wine Wednesday LIVE. Trust me. You do not want to miss that…so come join us, grab your preferred beverage of choice and chat with us!

Also, I had some really awesome packages in the mail box this week…a new Lipsense color and my August Ipsy bag!

This weekend was really great. I spent time at my parents, per the usual, but on Saturday night I got to go out with my sister and a friend of ours. We started out in downtown OS and eventually made our way to Biloxi for some casino night life. 😉  We drank, talked, listened to live music, danced, and even saw a proposal….right in the middle of the dance floor at the club! LOL

Sunday, we enjoyed the pool and more family time. Cooper got to take a trip to the Bass Pro Shop in Mobile, Al with my mom and brother. They said he was amazed when he stepped foot into the building. For my little outdoors loving dude – The Bass Pro Shop is pretty much equivalent to a Disney trip!

That night I was feeling pretty proud of myself because I did a little meal prep for Cooper’s daily lunch box. I bought these new containers from Target over the weekend and went ahead and packed four days worth of lunches. So now all I have to do is pull the container from the fridge and stick it in his lunch box each night – instead of spending time every night packing his lunch. Why these particular containers you ask? Well, I was already using little separate plastic lunch box food storage containers, but I felt like they didn’t really fit well in his lunch box and also that was a lot of lids and bowls for him to have to deal with. These new ones just have one lid that he’ll have to take off and put back on, and the ‘bowl’ part is divided into three sections. The larger section is great for a sandwich or wrap situation, but he doesn’t eat sandwiches or wraps. I just used some cupcake wrappers to create little sections within the larger one to put pepperonis, turkey, cheese, and a sweet treat (Oreos or mini muffins). I couldn’t find the exact ones I bought from Target on their website, but these from Amazon are extremely similar.

 

And there you have it! What were you guys up to?

Week In Review: Ashley

Hey you guys! So glad to have you back for another Monday of looking back on what we’ve been up to. 🙂

Monday was Labor Day so I had the day off from work. The kids and I just hung out at home. I had a ton of household chores to catch up on…and they were exhausted from being on the go Saturday & Sunday.

Tuesday Cooper and I toured his new school! He was super excited. I had to drag him out of there and he kept saying that he couldn’t wait to go back which was such a relief. Drop offs have been rocky each morning though. He ends up having a fabulous day, and the school staff have been supportive during the tough time right at drop off SO hopefully he can get past that initial separation anxiety/control issues.  Anyway, we love the new school and I just hope it continues to work out.

Wednesday through Friday were much of the same. School, work, evening life at home…etc etc. I feel like I spent most of the week obsessively watching Hurricane Irma as she made her way to the Florida. Huge hurricanes like that are no joke, and I can’t stop thinking about all the people who are suffering major loss because of it. As a resident of the MS Gulf Coast I know how lasting that loss can be. You can still drive around here and see the lasting effects of hurricane Katrina which was 12 years ago. 🙁

This weekend was really great. The weather was beautiful and enjoyable to be out and about in. Friday night I got to hang out with some of my most favorite peeps for some Mexican with margaritas and then several games of pool. I did lose one of my Nickel and Suede earrings that night which STILL makes me sad. 🙁 🙁 🙁

Saturday and Sunday we spent most of our days with Grammy and Ppop and my siblings…just hanging out and enjoying each other’s company. 🙂 Oh. That gold face mask in the collage above. Don’t buy it if you have even the least bit of sensitive skin. It broke my face out AND it was annoying AF while wearing it.

Speaking of face masks, Sunday night I used this amazing face mask. I’m pretty sure it’s one my sister bought me for Mother’s Day that I’d thought I misplaced BUT I found it Sunday morning during a cleaning frenzy. 🙂 🙂 Anyway. It’s fantastic…it has this great cooling effect when you put it on your face. It was easy to position and stayed put for the entire 20 minutes.

There you have it folks…my week in less than 500 words… 😉 What were YOU guys up to? Are you enjoying this fallish weather??

Week In Review: Ashley

Heeeey you guys! So glad to see you back for another week in review…you know where we give you all the exciting details of our daily lives from the past week.

Currently, it is labor day and I’m home with the kiddos. I’ve already broken up no less than five disagreements/fights/arguments since we all woke up around seven SO that’s been fun. 🙂 lol Buuut anyway, you’re not here for today…you’re here for last week.

Alright…what did we do? It was a normal but not normal week. If that even makes sense. I ended up needing to switch my days to be off on Monday instead of Wednesday due to some family issues that interfered with our typical childcare routine.  We went to the park that day …but besides that we pretty much chilled at home. I don’t think we even went to Target that day! Are you shocked? Cause I am. Oh! I did do some work in the kid’s room. I got this mosquito netting that I set up as a tent in their room.

Tuesday, Cooper got to go spend the entire day with Aunt Grace. He had a blast.

Wednesday I worked, BUT we had Wine Wednesday Live on Our Facebook Page. It was so much fun. As usual. We stayed on until almost 11 pm. Crazy. We’ll be back this week for more wine induced conversation so make sure you join us!

Thursday night Cooper went home with his Grammy, because we had more regularly scheduled childcare programming that was interrupted. So he got to spend the entire day on Friday with his Ppop. Kid had a good week. 😉

Saturday, we all spent some time at my parents. I got to go hang out with my sister and her husband Saturday evening for just some chill conversation with adult beverages.

Sunday we all went back to Grammy and Ppop’s for pool time. The weather was actually really nice. No rain…and sometimes the clouds briefly covered the sun so that the temps weren’t unbearable. There was not a new episode of  Game of Thrones to watch this Sunday night. :(:( It was rough, but I survived. I’m also rapidly getting a cold…or a sinus flare up. Something. It took me forever to fall asleep Saturday and Sunday night. Trying to sleep with a runny nose and scratchy throat is near to impossible.

But yeah. That’s about it. So see. Same Same…with significantly less Target trips this week. 😉 What were YOU guys up to?!

 

Raising Children in a Godless Home

This is something that is perpetually on my mind in an on again off again fashion. I think it’s a relevant topic and worthy of bringing to light. We make a big deal of saying that we’re doing this motherhood thing…this mommy blog thing our own way. What does a god have to do with that? Well, I think that a lot of people…a lot of mommy bloggers have a belief in some sort of god as a backbone to their life and moral code. There are people who are active believers in a god who is a major and foremost character in their lives. There are people who you may never knew go to church every week and their belief in god only comes up occasionally. What I’m trying to say is that the spectrum of belief in a god is huge. I am aware of that. I’m totally ok with that. Me personally? I don’t believe in any god and I actively do and say things to make that clear to those around me…especially my children.

I am a firm believer in the simple truth  that we are all humans deserving of each other’s respect and consideration despite what each of us believes or how we choose to live our lives as long as we are not harming other humans. I do not believe that violence (of any kind) is ever a good reaction when you disagree with someone. No matter what the subject.

I don’t believe in any kind of god, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have a strict moral code. I don’t believe in any kind of god, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t teach my children about god and religion.

I once took a world lit class at a local community college in which we were studying Greek mythology stories. One of my fellow classmates raised this question, “I don’t understand how these people could believe in such fantasies and worship these gods? All these stories are just completely unbelievable as anything other than fiction!” It was later revealed and discussed how that this person was a Christian who believed in all those clearly true things that the Bible says …you know. Like Jesus walking on water..turning water into wine…resurrecting from the dead…etc. None of that sounds like fantasy…right? The truth is that person most likely blindly accepts those Christian stories and beliefs as fact, because that is how they were raised. That is what their parents taught them. Their beliefs are the only way and others are crazy notions.

I never want my children to come to that conclusion. I want them to know that I don’t believe in god. We don’t center our holidays or our daily lives around any belief in a higher power. BUT I think that it is so incredibly important that they know that other people believe in god(s). I want them to know about all the options available to them. I think that religion is sometimes necessary for certain people. I think that sometimes living with the knowledge that we are all in fact in charge of our own lives…that there’s no omnipotent being controlling/handling/guiding/whatever our lives and this world we live in…is not something they can handle. At our core we all crave some type of structure and guidelines. Some people need more than others. Some people need someone else to provide them with that structure. Things like a change of heart and mind to believe in a god that makes an alcoholic, wife beater, child abuser, tax evader, etc. turn from their wicked ways and start doing good instead of bad – well those things I can get behind when it comes to religion in this world. I’ve seen religion do the opposite though. It’s a fine line.

So anyway, what I’m trying to say – to impart to those of you who do or don’t believe in a god and teach your children the same beliefs…maybe teach them that there are children out there who don’t believe the same things as you do…and that’s ok. Cause that’s what I’m teaching my children.

I always always try to see things from the other person’s perspective. I try not to dismiss their beliefs. I think that we are all entitled to forming our own opinions. Both my children were baptized in the Catholic Church. Both sets of my children’s grandparents (and their dad) believe in a god. I’ll never stop any of them from telling my children about their beliefs. Why? Because that’s their prerogative and my children should know what they believe. And it made their grandparents happy to see them baptized. No one was harmed or traumatized. 

I grew up in a religious home. My dad was a preacher and the pastor of a Southern Baptist Church. I’ve made it a point to read about and research relevant religions and belief systems. I do not feel like I am uninformed or ignorant. I know the negativity associated with the word – atheist. There shouldn’t be any. Because the bottom line is that anyone – no matter what their belief set – is capable of injustices.  

It is incredibly important to me that my children not suffer from any kind of tunnel vision when it comes to their belief set. We can live alongside each other in harmony. We can enjoy each other. We can be kind to each other. We can be silly with each other. We can be honest to each other. We don’t all have to believe the same things in order to do all of that.

 

Week In Review: Ashley

Well well here we are again at another week in review! Thanks so much for coming by. 🙂

We had a decent start to the week. If you read last week’s WIR you know that I went on and on about Cooper and his struggles with separation from me when I drop him off at school. So, as I said last week I made a plan to start implementing some of the things the school suggested and some ideas I came up on my own. He was still crying when he got dropped off, but his teachers were saying that the crying didn’t last long and he ended up having a good day.

However, Wednesday changed things. I’m not really ready to get into the full details of what went on that day. I actually even considered not saying anything at all on the blog, but I have been pretty open about our struggles with transitioning to school and I thought it would be odd if I just all of a sudden stopped talking about it. Anyway, long story short? Cooper is no longer attending the school he was going to. We’re searching and considering different options. I probably won’t speak about it again on the blog until we’ve nailed down a solution and have settled in.

So yeah. Wednesday was rough – and the rest of the week just kind of flew by after that. Friday night Cooper and Sophie stayed the night with Grammy and Ppop. To say they were excited is an understatement. 🙂

Friday night I spent some time working on room decor updates in the kids’ room. I’m doing a black, white, and gray color scheme. They’ve been sharing a room for a while now, but I never got around to decorating it before. I thought that we’d be moving soon. That never materialized though. So, I figured I’d go ahead and implement my vision. 😉

I did a little shopping Saturday morning before heading over to my parents. We just hung out…did a little more shopping with my mom. 😉 You know. The usual.

Cooper stayed another night with my parents. He spent the whole day with them while they checked out a cabin in Lumberton that they are renting later in October. Sophie and I hung out with Aunt Grace for a bit – then just had a low key day at home. We gathered up Coop that evening and came back home for the usual usual at home. 🙂

Both the kids seem to be having another allergy flare up so that’s been pitiful. Hate seeing my babies sick. 🙁

What were you guys up to?

 

Week In Review: Ashley

Hey y’all hey! Welcome back to another Monday of Week In Reviews. 🙂 So glad you’re here. Ok, sooo prepare for lots of me going on and on about Pre-K drama.

Monday & Tuesday & Wednesday were pretty typical. As you know (or don’t know if you don’t regularly read my WIR posts…) we have been riding the struggle bus when it comes to getting Cooper adjusted to full day Pre-K. He has been freaking out at drop off each day. HOWEVER We had some fantastic days of drop off during the first part of this week! Cooper didn’t cry one bit which was super fantastic. I really felt like we were making some progress.

Then. His teacher called Wednesday afternoon to say that he’d been having a hard day. She said he was whining a lot and very concerned about what was going to happen next…as in he was asking her this every five minutes or so. The wanting to know what is next – well that’s just his personality. He’s super aware of his surroundings. He always wants to know the span of events that lie before him. I can understand though how that is frustrating. Because seriously you guys, some days I have to tell him “enough with the questions…I’ve already told you this over and over again.” She did suggest that maybe he needs more one on one time and attention from me. I get that. I decided I’d start making more deliberate attempts at giving him my attention in the evenings. Also, she thought maybe he was trying so hard to keep things together for my sake at drop off that the emotions were coming out throughout the day now. Thursday he was pretty upset at drop off BUT nothing major.  So that night we went to Chick-Fil-A and played at the playground and I took him to Target to pick out a toy for being so good at drop off for the four previous days.  I wanted to give him some positive reinforcement.

Friday morning was a rough rough rough. I’m pretty sure he sensed that it wasn’t a normal day. He could tell that I wasn’t going to work…we weren’t rushing like we normally do. So, about an hour before we had to leave he started getting upset and crying. I normally attempt to console him and do everything that I can to get him calmed down and not crying. However, that day I decided maybe he just needs to cry at home and get it all out of his system? So I let him go on and on. I told him it was ok to cry at home, but when we get to school he has to stop. Did that work? Hell no. He was in major freaking melt down mode once we got to school. I was crying. He was flipping out. It was bad bad bad. I actually told his teacher I was considering taking him out of school. She urged me to take him home that day and think things over, because the truth is that he’ll have to adjust now at Pre-K or later at Kindergarten.

I could tell that he was just doing all that he could in order to get to stay home with me. As soon as he realized he was going home he stopped crying and pitching a fit.

I honestly believe he has some major anxiety issues. I know part of it is that he just can’t control his anxiety and emotions. I get that. I feel for him. It’s stressful on both of us..and sometimes I make it all about me and how it makes me feel and how emotionally draining this whole process has been on me. But I have to remember that HE is the one going to school.

So. I’ve decided to implement some changes and start reinforcing routine for the morning. I don’t know how to fix his anxiety and make all of our transition problems magically go away, but I do know that he thrives in a routine. So yeah, I’m making some changes to our morning so that it will always be the same and consistent – you know as much as I can…I can’t control everything. Unfortunately. 😉 And his dad is going to start dropping him off .. I think that not having to leave me will help.  And I’m also going to do a calendar that we’ll put stickers on everyday that reflect how that day went at drop off and give him little rewards each day when he does well.

But yeah. We shall see if that all makes a difference.

This weekend? We stayed home. Took several trips to Target. Sunday afternoon we did get out for a bit to go the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport. If you are local, you should definitely take your children there. Sunday afternoons are a great time to go because it’s only $6 to enter. That night I made Sangria and watched the BEST Game of Thrones episode from this entire season.

There you have it. What have you guys been up to? Anyone else have some transitioning to Pre-K stories similar to mine? If so, tell me and make me feel better by saying it all worked out in the end. 😉

Week In Review: Ashley

Let’s see shall we?

Monday & Tuesday – We did the whole school/grandparent drop off, work, coffee, kid pick up, make dinner the kids won’t eat, play, chores, wine for mommy, bath/bedtime routine. Cooper cried every single day at drop off this week. Like. Screaming and crying. That was fun and definitely not emotionally exhausting for both of us. We survived though. Sophie seems ready to stay at school in a moment’s notice. On Wednesday I have to pry her away.. You know. While Cooper is screaming for me to stay with him.  🙁

Wednesday – Oh glorious day off in the middle of the week. I love it. Sophie and I took Cooper to school and then hit up Target. We got all of Cooper’s fall school supplies. I love school supplies shopping. Except for the hot minute that I thought I’d have to spend $30 for 300 paper plates. Thankfully, I found a 300 ct Target brand pack that was only $10.  We also went to Chick Fil A so that the kids could play and get some energy out. That afternoon they both had a doctor’s appointment. They’ve both had colds for about a month now that I can’t get rid of. However, according to Dr. Harper – they are suffering from intense allergies. So we got some medicine and I did some deep cleaning of their room to help cut down on the allergen inducing things. That night Rhonda and I went live on our Facebook Page for Wine Wednesday. Make sure you guys head over and like our page so that you won’t miss the next video! We’re hosting a giveaway for this week.

Thursday & Friday – So much sameness for Thursday. Sweet time with my babies and a job to go to. 🙂 I got a lot of great mail this week. Some new Nickel & Suede earrings arrived Thursday along with new glasses and contacts that I ordered. Inexplicably my current pair of glasses went missing Friday morning.  So the arrival of my new glasses was perfect. I may or may not be obsessed with them. I’ve taken way too many selfies in them. Oh well. Friday night I got to hang out with my Sister and her husband. We had a great dinner. It’s really nice to get to talk to the adults in my life without two little children underfoot begging you to stop talking and pay attention to them. 😉

Saturday – We hung out with Grammy and Ppop. Uncle Shane came over also. It was pretty much just a chill and relaxing day of hanging out…watching Shane wash his boat and my dad mow the whole neighborhood’s yards (ok that’s an exaggeration…just the neighbor across the street- but still…don’t you wish he was your neighbor?? I know I do!) eating delicious food cooked on the grill…and then the fun time of tearing away a very disappointed four year old who had to come home with Mommy instead of staying the night with his Ppop. That same four year old spent most of the rest of the night telling me how he wanted to go live with his Ppop, because he has a big yard and a pool and a pond and a lawn mower. You know. Unlike us. LOL

Sunday – We went to the park…came home for naps…and then just lounged the rest of the day. I ended the night with the latest Game of Thrones episode which was super great and of course ended way too soon.

What have y’all been up to?

5 Things We Learned on our Journey to Pre-K

Happy Monday! Ashley here to interrupt our regularly scheduled programming. We’re postponing our Week In Review Posts until tomorrow since today is a pretty momentous day in my household. Today is Cooper’s first official day of Pre-K. If you follow our snapchat (RAtheMOMachine) or have watched our Wine Wednesday Live Videos on our Facebook page (Rage Against The Momachine), then you have a little preview of what the journey to Pre-K has looked like for Coop – but I thought he deserved a little post of me droning on about how the time as flown … and of course a little insight into the things we had to learn along the way.

As I said today is Cooper’s first day of PreK. He’s been going to daycare/school since mid June. Half days. Today starts the real deal though. He’ll be there until I get off work at five to come pick him up. He’ll be there for naps. He’ll be there everyday learning all the necessary intellectual and practical skills that he will need to enter kindergarten. And he’s definitely not happy about it. Me? I’m pretty emotional myself.

I know moms say this all. the. time. BUT I swear when I look at him and see the little boy that he’s becoming…I cannot believe how quickly it’s all gone by. He’s the little boy I always wanted. He frustrates and tests me on a daily basis. He also makes my heart melt with those piercing eyes and the unexpected ways he can be incredibly sweet and considerate. A day does not go by that he doesn’t say to me, “Hey Mommy…know what? I love you.” So no matter how hard I try to be tough – when I’ve had to leave him (for countless mornings now) screaming for me to come back as I walk out the door of his daycare – my heart breaks. Our journey has not really been pretty. We were not prepared…I did not prepare my son like I should have. Poor guy. We can just add this to the many notches of first child problems. So what did we learn? What did we have to learn?

Prior to starting daycare/school this past June – Cooper was always watched by family. He’s spoiled. But hell. So was I and I went to daycare. The bottom line is that I was not prepared for the amount of independence he’d have to have at daycare. He sure as hell wasn’t prepared. So, I thought I’d share for all you parents out there who may have older children entering school who were previously cared for by relatives on a one on one basis the things that we had to learn. Cooper was potty trained…I thought that was enough…not so. Not so at all.

  1. We had to give up the sippy cup. Ok. Truth be told we haven’t completely gotten rid of it… BUT we did go hard core for several weeks until he mastered the regular cup. They use regular cups at school. Who knew? I should have…I just honestly didn’t think about it. To say he was devastated that he couldn’t use his sippy cup is an understatement. We survived though, and he’s pretty dang proud that he can drink out of a regular cup. 😉
  2. He had to learn how to completely undress and dress himself. People, we were NOWHERE near this skill. He could pull up his own underwear and pants…but I still did everything else for him. Why? I don’t know. I just didn’t think about it. I got him and Sophie dressed every single day. This was a major struggle and source of stress for Coop. He absolutely dreaded Wednesday water days at school which is so incredibly sad because that little boy loves being outside and he loves the water. But he had to undress himself and dress himself after the water festivities were finished. He didn’t know how to. No one told me when I registered him that he’d have to do this. I sent my baby in there with no clue. Most days he wouldn’t even get in the water because he said he wanted to stay perfect so he would be ready for pick up. Perfect as in his clothes wouldn’t be wet and wouldn’t need to be changed. Are you tearing up over there? Because I am. I can just picture him standing there watching everyone else playing..knowing that he wants to join in but won’t for fear of having to change his clothes. When water day officially ended….BOTH of us were so happy. The thing is he still dreads playing outside at school. I think it’s because he doesn’t quite trust that they won’t make him change clothes for some reason.
  3. This one is all me. I didn’t get pick up and drop off times in writing. This was such a source of annoyance and frustration for me. They let me drop him off at 7:30 for an entire month before the director called me to tell me that I was dropping him off too early. I was hot. I didn’t like the way she spoke to me and insinuated that I was knowingly bringing him early. I wasn’t. I was told that 7:30 was half day drop off. It wasn’t. 7:45 was. Maybe 15 minutes doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I have to be at work at eight. And when I registered him, one of the appeals was the 7:30 drop off time. I was also told the incorrect time for pick up. A later time. So. Lesson learned? Just get everything in writing.
  4. Nothing could prepare me for that first day of leaving him in the care of total strangers for the first time ever. He was totally fine that first week. He was excited and basically didn’t give me a second glance as he walked away to join the other kids. Me? Well that first day I got back to my car and couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t breathe and it took every bit of self control to not turn around to retrieve him. I thought to myself..”Are you literally crazy? You don’t know those people. Not really.” I’d said I would wait to call and check in on him until 10. I made it to nine. He was fine. I lived. But I can still vividly feel that feeling when I think of that day.
  5. Absolutely NOTHING could prepare me for the horrific feeling of having to leave my screaming child in the care of people who are not family as I walked out the door. The first time it happened I stayed with him for 20 minutes. I couldn’t calm him down, and I had to get to work. So one of the teachers distracted him while I slipped out of the room. Then I broke down. While still in the daycare. In front of another teacher and parent. They called me about ten minutes after I left to let me know he was fine. It’s heart wrenching…but we make it through. I say make – because that hasn’t ended. He screamed every single morning last week.

Watching your babies grow up is a beautiful thing. It makes me so happy and is one of my most favorite parts of being  a parent. Being there first hand to watch their little minds grow. To witness the development of their personalities, character, and traits. I treasure this front row seat. I am so lucky to have my babies. I am so privileged to have a role in their lives. To be their mom. But god. Putting my four year old in daycare has been one of the hardest things we’ve done. I’d have asked a shit ton more questions. I’d have waited a couple weeks and prepared Cooper for some of the things he needed to know how to do. I’d have tried to prepare myself. But we can’t go back. All I can do is share my experience…and well. Hope that the crying at drop off stops soon.