August 25, 2009

formal education.

And thus beggineth our years of formal education.

Finn and I are going to kindergarten. Well, technically Finn is going to kindergarten, and I'm just along for the ride. But when he's in school, I feel like I'm in school.

So, we had some shopping to do.

We needed to get Finn some more shorts, and everywhere we went, they were out of his size. It was quite frustrating and I had to keep reminding myself "this is kindergarten, not a fashion show. Kindergarten, not a fashion show."

In desperation, I dragged him to Kohl's. Nothing against the place, it's just not normally where we shop.

Little old ladies were milling about, laughing and talking. Smiling happily at me, Finn and Twain. They make me feel so much better about everything:)

As I am digging through racks and racks of Tony Hawk clothes, Finn is silent. We pass by some McQueen swim trunks and Finn perks up. They did not have his size. Thankfully.

And then Finn spies something out of the corner of his eye.

"What are those things mommy?"

Oh, he knew full well what those things were.

They were backpacks. McQueen backpacks. Big, huge, plastic, obnoxious, 12 dollar backpacks.

I kind of gulped. Then remembered what I wrote here, about kids getting to pick out their own backpacks. This was it. It was really happening to me. I took a deep breath,

"Do you want that McQueen backpack, honey?"

Finn kind of stammered and looked away, all sheepish.

"You can have it, if you want it", I offered.

"Um,, I don't want that backpack. I already have one...besides it would just make Calvin want one..." Finn muttered wistfully.

And I knew, right then, that I wanted to surprise Finn with a backpack the first day of school.

But not that backpack. I ordered a plain black backpack online, along with a cute McQueen patch from ebay and sewed it onto the backpack. I also ordered a Mater patch for Calvin and sewed it onto Finn's old backpack.

It was the perfect compromise-- Finn still got his "character" backpack, but it was still neutral enough to go with his clothes. And Calvin got to recycle Finn's old pack.

I was so excited. I could not wait to give these backpacks to the boys, the night before school.

In the meanwhile, I had a few bucks left in my "health and beauty" envelope, so I bought some new make-up for our first day of school.

I'm loving that shade of purple/pink nail polish. As are my boys. They love staring at my brightly painted toes. Even little Ollie says "oh-ohhhh" when he sees them, and tries to pull my toes off.

Last friday, Finn and I (along with 120 other people) got to meet the kindergarten teachers.

It was hectic.
It was chaotic.
It was hot.
Nobody was really smiling.
Not a lot of people were mingling.
But Finn's teacher. Mr. M, was awesome and I was thankful for that.
I went home beat.

The night before school, I got out the backpacks and gave them to the boys. They were quite ecstatic and started running around the house filling them up with loot.

Finn said "You got me this backpack because you knew I wanted one when we went shopping for clothes". I could not believe he remembered our Kohl's shopping trip. It was over a month ago.

Here is my little-big-boy-darling the first day of escuela.

And in case you can't tell, here he is wearing his happy face.

What can I say? My kid is just exuberant.

John's mom watched the "littles" while I carted Finn off to school.

On the way over, I almost cried.

I escorted him to the cafeteria, where he sat by little Jordan. Such pip-squeaks.

I was very busy talking to all the kids and made friends with a little boy named Harry. He wanted me to open his Sponge-Bob fruit snacks and I happily obliged.

I talked to some moms and about this-that-and-the-other. Everyone seemed much more friendly and talkative today.

Soon enough, they lined up our kiddos. It was time to go to class. Moms were taking pictures right and left.

Hm. I have no words for this picture...

Here is Finny's new teacher Mr. M. He sang them a cute little song, with sign language,

"Good morning, good morning, good morning to you"

They played some Simon says,
And after roll call, Mr. M instructed all the kids to turn around and wave goodbye to their parents. I desperately tried to get Finn's attention and was waving wildly. Our eyes met and then I had to leave.

It felt odd. Our home felt empty. And very quiet. I was very excited at the prospect of seeing his shiny little face again.

When I returned to get him 3 hours later, the first thing Finn said was "I had so so so so fun today".

He's an eager little beaver, that's for sure. He can't wait to go back tomorrow.

And this kindergarten thing?

It's wreaking HAVOC on our nap schedule. Ollie napped for 1.5 hours and then I had to wake him up to get Finn. Thankfully, I was able to get him back down for another nap after we got home, because he was Mr. grumpy pants.

And Calvin crashed on the floor right before dinner.

Big adjustment for our humble little home. We are doing well though. Just taking this school thing one year at a time!


  1. What a sweetie he is saying that he doesn't want the backpack because it will just make his brother want one. The backpacks you made are way cuter than the store bought ones - so resourceful you are! I'm glad he had a good first day and glad that you made it through. I'm already dreading that!

  2. how fun! love the backpacks! you look beautiful in the pics.

  3. Oh goodie! I was waiting for this post! Thought about you two yesterday... yes, you too as we've had this formal education talk before. :) SO proud of both of you and thrilled that Finn loved his day. And how the heck has it been 3.5 months since that little peanut Twain arrived. (Sigh.) I miss you!

  4. how cute is he!!

    aw..what a sweet post!

  5. Oh, thank you soooo much for posting, sister! I feel so much better about having missed his first day! He looks precious in the line of back-pack clad boys. And Jordan looks like she's in her element! And Finny's teacher looks very capable. Have a wonderful, fun, learning-filled year, dear boy!

  6. So so so so fun! I am glad he had a graeat first day. It does change the home dynamic so much but he is going to learn so much. I need to do a post like this for my little guy too. :)

  7. LOVE the back pack idea!! I tried my hardest to find finny a mcqueen folder for his backpack but apparently looking the day before school starts wasn't very smart =) love you friend! so proud of both of you!

  8. Now THAT is a great idea on the backpack (s)- they both turned out VERY cute! I love how you described Finn- I can just picture his sweet personality and responsible demeanor. And you! You look great- hottest Mom there I'm sure. Glad you treated yourself to some sephora- how fun. There is some light at the end of the tunnel now for when my kids start school in oh, 4 years. His teacher looks great too!

  9. Those backpacks are why I HAVE to learn to sew.

    You are so cute with your boys! Um and have I ever told you how much I love your fashion sense? I so do!

  10. is it really time for kindergarten?!!! INSANE! :D he is just too cute with his new backpack! every mommy deserves some kind of an award for getting her first kid to kindergarten, so bravo to YOU!! i just treated myself to a lil' sephora the other day too (i didn't have an excuse, just felt right! ha!) nothing like new makeup to play with!

  11. oh, (not-so) little Finny! So so sweet. Can you believe that you have a kindergartener on your hands??

    The backpacks are adorable-- what a great idea to make you ALL happy. :)

    Sounds like you all got off to a great start with formal education. I'll be praying for you all as you continue to adjust... I'll be honest, the dropping off and picking up sounds so tricky and I don't know how I would manage that! But you shall figure it out beautifully in good time, I'm sure.
    Thanks for sharing this exciting day with us!

  12. What a huge transition for you guys! It sounds like you both are adjusting wonderfully. I saw that video on facebook of Jordan and Finn with their cute! How exciting that they're in class together. And the backpacks...GREAT idea!

  13. 1. you are such a smart mom with the backpacks! i love the idea. AND if it stays in good condition the backpack can be reused next year with a different patch and no one will know. love it.
    2. the pictures are so handsome. hes so much bigger than the last time i saw him.
    3. kindergarten is only 3 hours??

  14. Sooo cute!!! This reminds me so much of us last year... trying to figure out all the getting to and fro! You DO get used to it, I promise!! He looks so handsome on his very first day of school. Can't wait to hear all about his year!

  15. Oh, I have such fond memories of this class! It really is a special year, unlike any other. Enjoy it even though it is incredibly difficult to do that with three little ones you are dragging along. You won't believe how much Finn will blossom in just this one year. You've entered school days and there is no turning back now! :)

  16. Way to go, surprising your boys! Moms: we are great! :)

  17. Finn sounds like the sweetest boy, concerned about how Calvin would want a backpack! What are your secrets? I love the patches you sewed on. What a great idea! I am glad he had such a good first day of kindergarten. I hope the drop off and pick up time gets smoother and easier, the interference with naptime is NOT fun. When I tried preschool last year with Jonah, I just hated cutting Nathan's naps so we could go get Jonah. One of the many reasons we became preschool dropouts, LOL! You're doing a great job, Mama! You're in my thoughts. :)The house does seem so quiet when one of the munchkins are not there.

  18. what a great idea putting patches on the back packs! I need to get one for my little man soon. Mostly just cause he wants one, we're home schooling so he doesn't truly need one. But I figure it's good for car trips and travel anyway. :)