August 22, 2014

First Day of School 2014.

So!  It happened!  She's officially a Kindergartner now!


And it was fine.  The worst that happened was that the sign we made said "2013" instead of "2014"

she wanted to add the part about what she likes
Something had to go wrong and if that was it I'll take it.  I can even ghetto photoshop it out:

Nailed it.
As long as I got some pictures of how nervous/excited she was:

And a picture of the backpack.  She was very proud of the backpack.
And she was SO nervous and excited.  Here she is waiting for school to start with her friend:

The same picture with the same friend from last year they are all smiles.  Not so much this year.

Drop off was tough.  Normally Matt will drive her to school but I did it the first day.  For both our sakes.  But everything went as it should have - both Matt and I cried.  She did not.

Then it was home to face my forlorn boys who missed their sister terribly.  To make them feel better - and celebrate her first day - they made her some cupcakes:

PicMonkey Collage
Then we went to the pet store where my Tiny had a milestone of his own.  First time MEEOWING at the hamsters.  It's probably my favorite toddler trick:

First Day of Kindergarten

Amusing them is going to be a whole different ballgame.  In the morning we painted, made cupcakes, went to the pet store, frosted cupcakes, read about the frog he's going to get when the fishtank filter is working again, and ate lunch.  As I was putting the dude down for a nap he says to me "I think I'm going start preschool tomorrow because you are boring."  GAH.

Pick-up was more nerve wrecking than drop off.  I couldn't wait to see her!  To hear all about it!  And then she got into the car and was silent.  For about 5 full minutes I couldn't get her to say anything at all.  And then all of a sudden she busted out with "MOMMY I JUST CAN'T STAND IT I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!"

And went on to tell me all about her amazing first day.  All about the friends she made and the hunt for clues they went on through the school.  About how her buddy had a note from his mom in his lunch, too, and how cool it was that they could read their notes without help from their teacher.

She was also SO excited to see her siblings:

First Day of K

When I took Tiny out of the car she ran over to me and was all "I just can't wait to hug him!"

IMG_3225 copy

 I tried to get a revised First Day picture with a 2014 sign but.... yeah:


The cupcakes were a hit, too:

The rest of this week has been pretty rough, though.  This new schedule (of actually having a schedule) is taking it's toll on all 3 of them.  And me, honestly.  I'm exhausted beyond all reason.  I might adopt their new 8PM bedtime.   But I think once we're all used to it this school thing is going to be pretty great.

Also great?  UNIFORMS.  For seriously.
Days 2 & 3
Although she is already on day 3 wearing Hello Kitty socks b/c they are "almost white and I don't think I'll get yelled at"  UM.... As someone who used to wear hot pink tights b/c there was nothing in the dress code about the color of tights we were allowed to wear I get it.  They changed that rule the next year btw.

August 19, 2014

Kindergarten Eve.

So I just put my little girl down for the last time before she starts REAL school ALL DAY EVERY DAY.  And... Yeah.  I decided that since Matt is at basketball the best way to cope was to pour myself a big glass of wine and open up a blogger window.

This should end well.  Like my fancy coaster?
You guys.  HOW DID THAT GO BY SO FAST?  I don't understand.
0523 2010 013
Pictured:  yesterday?  Pretty sure that was yesterday.
I mean I know some time has gone by by virtue of the sheer amount of other children that I have but all of a sudden I'm the parent of an actual school aged kid.

Marblehead Lighthouse
Or based on this photo a sullen teenager.
This is the end of an era.  This is the start of a whole new chapter for us.  Between her starting Kindergarten, the Dude headed off to preschool in a few weeks, and Tiny walking... well.  The future is now, my friends.

Akron Zoo
Pictured:  The future.  Those are our penguin overlords.
A future that maybe doesn't involve the insane management of minutia, the sleep deprivation, the base needs, the... poop... that these last 5.5 years have been centered around.

PONY RIDE!!!!! #cuyahogacountyfair #fair #thisiscle
Quick you just wrote about poop - throw in an adorable picture of a pony so they forget!
I feel like we're pretty tops at this toddler thing by now.  And newborns/babies?  Bah.  Owned. It.  But school aged kids are a whole new ball game.  I have NO IDEA what to expect.  I feel like I'm starting over at parenting.  Like they just handed me this tiny baby and sent me off with a few handouts and well wishes.  Sure.  It will be fine.  Millions of people have done this before, right? 

Meeting her new family
This time with her going from that itty bitty baby to a KINDERGARTNER OMG has been so amazing.  Watching her grow up has been such a privilege.  So much of parenting is done in these first few years and I'm so very proud of the little girl she has become.

Marblehead Lighthouse

She is READY for this new chapter.  Nervous, sure.  But also really, really excited:
She was SO PROUD packing up her lunch and snack for tomorrow. Her brother wanted to help!  Also is it bad that I'm not even one day in and I'm already completely fine that my school lunches will never be pintrest worthy? #slackermom #kindergarten
Packing her lunch for tomorrow.  Of course her brother wanted to help.  Also I am completely resigned to the fact that anything I send in for lunch will NEVER wind up on pintrest.  SLACKER MOMS, UNITE!
I've tried to make sure that this summer would be the best ever EVER.  We've done camps and gone to the fair, and stayed out late, and gone to the movies, and built cardboard castles, and rode bikes, and read chapter books, and even squeezed in a little time at the pool:

Spent the last day of summer swimming to exhaustion w friends at the pool. Tomorrow starts (gulp) kindergarten! !! #stevensonpartyoffive

And gone on so, so many adventures:

Akron Zoo
Akron Zoo.  We went one day b/c my daughter told me "I want to go on an adventure today."  Adventure, acquired.

presque isle state park
Erie, PA.  Just because we could.

I can't believe that is coming to an end.  Her adventures will be mainly school related now.  Which we wanted - we purposely picked a school with all sorts of amazing opportunities who's whole mission is "to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, lifelong learners, who have the courage to act responsibly to make the world a better place"  She's going to LOVE it.  The whole world is going to open up for her.  But (and I know this is selfish) man I'm going to miss her.

Our last project runway Friday afternoon. Next week she'll be in kindergarten!  #endofanera #stevensonpartyoffive #itgoessofast
Pictured.  Project Runway Friday Afternoon.  My favorite part of the week.  We'd put the boys down for naps and for an hour watch this silly show together even though I don't usually allow tv during the day and even though I probably had laundry to fold or something else that needed done.

Also the dynamic of two boys?  How does that even work?  I"m entering a world of cars and things that vroom and belligerent amounts of energy and incredibly gross books from the library (eyewitness amphibians?  DISGUSTING.  Frogs are not pleasant creatures.)  Hold me.

So yeah.  Tomorrow.  Wish us luck!

August 18, 2014

Macy's Back to School.

So!  My daughter starts Kindergarten on Wed.  But!  I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow.  (yes it is Scarlett O'Hara dramatic.  KINDERGARTEN!!!)
Instead I just wanted to let everyone know about something super fun happening in the Cleveland area this weekend:

Join Macy's for an afternoon of Back-to-School fashion and fun!  Hang with us and Radio Disney for crafts, face painting, games and prizes!

The Macy's & Radio Disney Back to School Event is this Saturday, August 23, at the Great Lakes Mall at 2PM.  It will be held in the Children's Department on the Lower Level of Macy's.  You can follow both Macy's and the Great Lakes Mall on Twitter or follow the hashtag #MacysBTS for updates.  I'll be there with my (howisthisevenpossibleOMG) KINDERGARTNER.  Hope to see you there!

I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post.  However all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

August 9, 2014

AHA! Cleveland.

So last night we took the kids downtown for AHA! Cleveland:

AHA! Cleveland
"AHA! is a multi-day festival of lights celebrating Cleveland's recent downtown development boom and will "illuminate" changes to our urban landscape. The event will take place from August 7-9. AHA! will complement Gay Games 9, also taking place in downtown Cleveland and Akron."

AHA! Cleveland
It was INCREDIBLE.  Seriously so very cool.  One of the neatest art instillation that I've seen. I'll just go through and talk about the individual pieces.  All of the descriptions are from the AHA! website:

The Pool - Jen Lewin's participatory installation.

AHA! Cleveland
"The Pool is an environment of giant, concentric circles created from interactive circular pads. By entering the pool, you enter a world where community play and collaborative movement create swirling effects of light and color. Imagine a giant canvas where you can paint and splash light collaboratively."
AHA! Cleveland

When we first got there the pool wasn't turned on yet.  And the kids still had fun playing on it:

AHA! Cleveland

 But when it turned on... well...

AHA Cleveland
I could post about 50 more of those pictures.  So much fun.  And taking someone who just learned to walk to one of the coolest places to walk... ever... was pretty awesome:

AHA! Cleveland

The Global Rainbow - by Yvette Mattern.

AHA! Cleveland
"The Global Rainbow, consists of seven parallel beams of laser light, representing the spectrum of the traditional seven colors of the rainbow, and is designed to be projected across large open sites, particularly densely populated areas. The Global Rainbow will be projecting the light beams from the Great Lakes Science Center over Mall B, into the sky. This spectacular rainbow will have the capacity to be seen from up to 36 miles away on a clear night!"

AHA! Cleveland
Yeah my kids called this "the Night Rainbow" and basically freaked out over it.  They danced under it, wanted to see where it was coming from, and were even more excited to see that it originated at "our science building" (aka the Great Lakes Science Center):

AHA! Cleveland
It was very impressive.

Drawing Lines by Iván Juárez.

drawing lines
"Artist Iván Juárez created Drawing Lines using “light” as a starting point. A continuous thread moves across elements in the garden to filter natural light and create new passages and spaces. The installation’s architecture is being broken apart. Its walls are transparent."

AHA! Cleveland
This instillation was in the Reading Garden of the Cleveland Public Library which is one of my favorite downtown spaces.  I used to bring my lunches here to eat on nice days.  Very different watching my kids experience it!

AHA! Cleveland
They were more into catching lightning bugs than the art.  But that's cool:

AHA! Cleveland
Transformations by Obscura Digital:

AHA! Cleveland
"The artist studio Obscura Digital will present a monumental art projection on the exterior façade of the original Public Auditorium, one of the city’s most recognizable architectural landmarks. Obscura recreated the building in a virtual 3D program and simulated the projections before creating the media. Using ultra-high definition projection technology, Obscura is transforming a 370-foot wide by 70-foot tall expanse of the façade into a canvas animated by fluid imagery of natural and manmade ephemera."

AHA! Cleveland
This was cool.  But... yeah.  I hate to be this guy...This was neat but it barely used the building at all.  There was very little interaction with the actual architecture.  As far as digital projections on buildings go it's really hard to beat the one on the Disney Castle. That's the only other time I've seen a digital projection like this one.  I've since learned that the Disney one involves many more projectors than this so I was a bit spoiled.  It was definitely cool, though, and worth seeing. 

Believe in CLE.

AHA! Cleveland
"Believe in CLE is a yoga movement taking shape in the heart of Cleveland. Through the power of collective consciousness, Believe in CLE connects the unifying force within our community by raising awareness, generating energy and accelerating the exciting revolution happening in Cleveland, Ohio."

AHA! Cleveland
I didn't participate in this but it was amazing to see.

AHA! Cleveland
Other Stuff and Things:
The Dude liked the fountain:

AHA! Cleveland

There was a drone flying overhead the whole time?  Which was... creepy:

AHA! Cleveland
The kids thought it was really cool, though:

AHA! Cleveland
I talked to the operators for a bit and they said that they were there with the official event photographer.  So I'm guessing the videos will be online somewhere at some point?  Anyone know where?

Our kids have learned by now that they can't go anywhere with us without ending up looking at architecture.  This time it was the Cleveland Convention Center:

AHA! Cleveland

The Dude just straight up sat down knowing that we would be awhile:
AHA! Cleveland

And of course the Terminal Tower looked fantastic all lit up:

AHA! Cleveland
AHA! Cleveland

 All in all it was a very cool event.  And it's still going on tonight if you want to go!  Yay Cleveland!

AHA! Cleveland
My favorite guys in my favorite city.
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