We've been getting her ready for weeks, and now, Anna June has officially started Kindergarten.
First, there was registration. We stopped by the school, mainly to get the school supply list, but also to make sure that there wasn't any thing else needed that we didn't turn in at preregistration. There wasn't. I felt like I needed some sort of award, or Mommy merit badge.
We bought a few things at the grocery store, and a few more on our trip to take Grandma to Wal-Mart. Note to self: do not bring a person who needs a wheelchair to Wal-Mart on a Saturday, especially one right before school starts. Our final trip was to Office Depot, to find the elusive pack of construction paper of a single color (AJ chose white). I knew exactly where to go, since we faced the dilemma last year in Pre-K.
With all of that done, we faced a couple of critical back-to-school annual appointments. AJ got her eyes checked on Thursday, and afterwards, we went immediately to the pediatrician's office to get her annual dose of FluMist vaccination. So now there are two things I don't have to take her out of school to do.
At some point, we had to tackle the uniform situation. Last Sunday morning, I pulled out her old uniforms and we held a quick fashion show. She got tired in the middle of it, so I decided I would make some executive decisions. Almost all the uniforms we bought last fall had to go, but the ones we bought for winter could stay (they still fit for now, but by the time it gets cold, they may not). I then went online and arranged to give away AJ's old clothes to another mom in the PTA, and went to Walmart's website and ordered almost everything else. We picked out her backpack online - it had to be mesh or clear, so we went with hot pink mesh. We have enjoyed getting the packages on our porch this week - much better than standing in line.
AJ still wanted one more jumper with the criss-cross straps - this we found at KMart, same as last year. Here's a picture of AJ in the dressing room.
On Saturday night, we enjoyed a back-to-school party with some other families with kids at AJ's school. It was so wonderful. I don't know if they got the idea from Gold Shoe Blog, but it did remind me of this blog post from a couple of years ago.There was even a signature drink for the grownups: the Avondale Cocktail. (Champagne, limoncello and blueberry garnish) The kids played, it was nice and cool outside, and we enjoyed lots of wonderful conversations with our friends and neighbors, each of us has bought in to the same idea - if we want our school to be better, we must make it better. Some new families came and brought their fabulous kids. We all had such a good time - I couldn't stop smiling.
Sunday came, and we went to the Meet-the-Teacher Open House. We were told we could drop off our school supplies, so we did. We got to meet three new kids in AJ's class, and one we already knew. Mrs. Barrett is our teacher. She has more than 20 years of experience teaching Kindergarten and First Grade, so we're excited. We've already discussed the need for AJ to be in an advanced reading group, and she'd already spoken to Mrs. D about how AJ is an excellent reader and very mature (mostly) for her age. The kids had fun reading books, playing on my iPhone, getting to know the room, and having candy. Here's a picture of AJ's fancy outfit before we went.
She did her outfit, hair and makeup all by herself.
Here's a picture of her and her buddy Cuddy reading Goodnight Gorilla, one of her favorite books.
After a healthy dinner at Nana and Granddaddy's, we headed to Sonic for the Gallitz family tradition of back-to-school ice cream.
Finally, we arrived at the first day of school. As she promised, even though she threw several righteous fits at bedtime, she got up at the sound of her alarm at 6:30AM. She dressed herself, including the extra step of taking the tags off her new shirt. She was completely ready to go, and we ate breakfast together as a family. In Pre-K, the kids ate at school, but in K, the kids either arrive at school early to eat (i.e., not happening) or eat at home. So she enjoyed cereal and a smoothie drink and we enjoyed eating together. After she was done, she was literally bouncing around the house and begging for one of us to take her to school.
We made it there on time. Because of our extended conversations with Mrs. B yesterday, we knew exactly where to go and what to do. AJ hung her backpack and found a seat next to her friend and was eagerly coloring the teddy bear page that said "Welcome to school!" She read the message to me easily, so I was feeling a little more confident about the "summer slide" she's experienced, writing her letters and numbers backwards again, having trouble distinguishing b from d, etc. She is all set. She's got this.
If you want to read about were we were this time last year, go here. It's pretty amazing how different she is one year later. As this morning went so smoothly, I was reminded again of how blessed we are to be in such a wonderful neighborhood school, and how lucky we are to have been able to start going there last year.
Yeah, I sort of wish I'd made her let me do her hair, or if I had slept better maybe I'd have marked her name on her backpack in a less obtrusive spot. And maybe not neon shoes, but, well, everything is neon this year.
Watch out Kindergarten, we're ready.
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