Sunday, November 20, 2011

33 with 3, 3 and under

Yesterday, I turned 33.
Bah. It sounds SO OLD to me. In my head, I'm about 27 and it's still crazy to me that I have 3 children.

Random thoughts that come to mind about all this.

My new favorite number is three. And I've decided to call my kids Maxxellian or maybe just MEI when I need to call all 3 of them at once.

In general, we take turns and swap between looking after the older two and the baby. Ellie goes back and forth from being included in the "older kids" bucket to the "younger kids" bucket.

We're always counting down at bedtime...1 down, 2 to go...2 down, 1 to go...3 down...collapse.

I literally can't do it without any help. I'll take an extra hand (or finger!) anyday.

People say I don't seem as controlling of a mom as they thought I'd be. (That's a compliment, I think?) But I don't think I was really able to not control things until the 3rd. Up until the 2nd, I could still pretty much control how most things were done in my house. Not anymore.

I'm so tired that I walked into the wall while walking around rocking Iann to sleep. I never fell asleep while walking before.

Simplified meals...enough said.

You learn to do 3 things at the same time....yet I'm still not good at multi-tasking.

I get super excited at the chance of going out. Before it was a nice treat, now it's absolutely amazing.

I don't carry as many things with me anymore. I deal with less "stuff". ie. Not each kid gets a cup. We all share from a family water bottle. No more choice between 2-3 different snacks. Now I carry only 1 and if you don't want it, you can be hungry until the next meal.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ellie is 2!

Dear Ellie,

I can't believe you're two years old today! These last couple of months, you literally went from a jibber jabbering baby to a big girl who's having real conversations with whoever will look your way. You are SO stinkin' cute that I can't keep from saying it everyday to your Appa. You show your love for me, your appa, oppa and eh-gee so much through your sweet hugs, words, and silly faces. You do the goofiest things and find everything hilarious. You love to share with those around you. And you also like to make sure everything is in it's place and done the way it's "supposed" to be. You like to try new things with caution and care. The littlest things make you happy. You see life very simply and with so much joy.

You're my special girl and I know mother daughter relationships can be hard but I hope we always have a great relationship. I try my best to give you space to learn and be you and also there for you as much as I can. I hope we have a special bond as the only girls in the family. I pray you know and experience God all the days of your life and love to the fullest.

Love you so much,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ellie's Cow Party

I decided on a cow theme for Ellie's party.

She loves animals so I picked this one cause she was born in the year of the ox (cow), she loves to moo, and cause black & white is fun and easy, especially with touches of pink. And once I found this free stock photography image, I was sold. Not only was it cute, but it reminded me of school. We had a ton of these cute cow stress relievers that said "Cornell University" on them. So much cuter without.

One of my goals for this party was to spend as little as possible and I think I did pretty good. Of course what ended up happening was I had to make as much as I could with myself using whatever I found around the house. I planned everything out a few weeks before the party but I didn't start doing any of the actual prepping until really, the night before. I'll always and forever be a procrastinator.

So ever since Halloween, my kids have been big on dressing up so I naturally figured to make a simple cow costume for the kids. Thought they would enjoy dressing up. I emailed the moms to bring their kids in white, black or neutral shades. I got headbands as favors from some previous parties and glued on some cow ears. For the cow bells, I used my stash of leftover ribbons from gifts to tie 'em on. The actual bells were the only thing I bought. I cut out a ton of cow spots and just taped those on with packing tape. And lastly, I used the ribbon and whatever yarn I had to make tails. I even put them on the kids with these little clips that came from bags of coffee I buy. I was originally going to use safety pins but didn't want to risk poked kiddie butts. I even had the hubs cut out a fence from cardboard boxes so the kids could stand behind and take a pic but that was a FAIL cause only half the kids wanted to dress up and only for a short amount of time. I guess I was asking for too much.

Either way, the kids looked SO friggin' CUTE! I suck at taking pictures when I'm hosting but I got a few of Ellie.

The second activity for the kids was MOOsical Squares. (I seriously have gotten so corny after having had kids.) Used Spotify for the first time. Love it. And the older sibs were the "finalists". Great job to Miss K for beating all the boys!

The last activity was making your own strawberry or chocolate milk. (No pics of this, boo.) I had the kids decorate clear cups with farm themed stickers and they just mixed the powder or syrup into their milk. Yum. I loved choc milk when I was a kid. Went perfect with the cupcakes too.

I didn't have time to bake so the hubs picked up some regular and mini cupcakes from the local Shoprite. I thoroughly cleaned some farm animals we had and stuck them on and voila! Themed cupcakes. Ha ha ha. This was pretty ghetto but cheap and I just love mini cupcakes for kids cause all they eat really is the frosting anyways.

Huge thanks to "Cookie Emo" for her, once again, amazing cookies. Super cute designs, perfect packaging and even the layout. Sweet ending to our cute lil' party.

Decor was basic. I taped cow spots on the wall, made some flower balloons, and hung some more over the food area. I ran out of time so I didn't get to make a Happy Birthday sign. (Sorry Ellie.)

Kids all went home with their cow accessories (if they remembered) along with a white goody bag that had some farm animal stickers, tattoos and a "make your own farm" activity I made from paper, plastic animals, and a Costco cup. Again, ghetto looking but after talking to the moms, the kids seemed super excited to make their farms and that's what mattered.



Oh, forgot to mention food. I tried to think of what went with cows or a farm theme and ended up ordering KFC. With three kids, cooking was out of the question...even grilling. I now need the hubs watching at least one kid SO...we went with original, grilled and crispy chicken, mashed potatoes and coleslaw. I also got family size mac n' cheese from Wholefoods, which was pretty yum. And had some corn, grapes and clementines to add a dose of healthy to the menu.

Can you tell Ellie LOVED it all? She loved the attention, wearing the costume, she inhaled the chicken, the cake and cookies...all of it. She was smiling from the moment she came downstairs from her nap...until she went back up to bed. I think she really felt special so it made me and Gunn SO happy. Made my almost all nighter all worth it. And heck, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy most of it.

happy birthday girl + happy friends + cost efficient = Successful party

One thing I regret...the same thing I always regret. I really need to take the time out to take some good pictures. Probably need a better camera too.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Secret Message Bananas

I want to do this when my kids know how to read. And stick 'em in their lunch boxes. Just write on them with a toothpick and after time, the message will slowly appear. Easy peasy and so sweet!

Happy Halloween 2011

                      Photo by Jeff Lee

                       Photo by Jeff Lee

                      Photo by Jeff Lee

You know when you look at a picture of yourself and are surprised by what you see? Because your view of yourself is different from what everone else sees. I think that's what happened when I saw the first photo. This is the first picture of our whole family together. It was a bit of a shocker. I don't think I really get the fact that I have three kids. I see my hubs. I see my kids. I even see the four of them all together. But I've never seen US all together. I know the lighting's not the best, its not in focus, and Ellie's not happy to be taking it but...I LOVE IT. Thanks Jeff! And isn't Iann the cutest monkey ever!

Tonight, Hallelujah Bash (halloween party) at our church was cancelled due to power outages from yesterday snowstorm. I was so bummed until a friend offered to throw an impromptu party. Hosting a handful of families is a LOT of work. She had food for everyone, snacks, treats and multiple activities for our kids all prepared. She's amazing I tell you. Thanks friend for another great time. The kids were so sad in the car on the way home.

Halloween's never much to me. It's probably because I never went trick or treating growing up. But now that I have kids, I really like it. This year was the best one yet. :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkins & Snow

This year, I found out that the hubs is all about pumpkin carving. Who knew! I was going to print templates for the faces off the web but he insisted on sketching them himself. Happy surprise. We let Maxx & Ellie remove the seeds and gunk from the insides and then we did the poking and carving. The kids were surprisingly patient. And of course their favorite part was when we lit the candles inside and turned out all the lights.

Then today, I was going to put the pumpkins on the front porch but then decided to stick them on our deck, off the kitchen. I'd rather our family be able to enjoy them than strangers walking by. (My neighborhood isn't much of cozy community.) And of course the kids wanted to play in the grossly wet snow, so I bundled them up and out they went. My house is such a mess right now. I'm so behind in putting away summer things but my laziness actually paid off this time. The water/beach toys were right by the deck door and did the trick.

Now that I know the hubs is into pumpkin carving, I think I want to make a day of it next year and make a display of multiple jack o'lanterns. This means I really have to find a nicer pumpkin patch next year.

Maxx (cocking his head back imitating me laugh): HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
me: You're suck a punk.
Maxx: I'm a pumpkin?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Sensitive Guy Theory

Do you know any sensitive guys? If so, I bet they like strawberry ice cream.
Go ahead. Test it. I have yet to find this to be untrue.

The converse, however, isn't necessarily true. Just because a guy likes strawberry ice cream doesn't make him sensitive. But then again, if your married and/or have boys, you might disagree with me all together and say that all guys are sensitive. Both my hubs and older son love strawberry ice cream. Go figure. :)

BTW, did you know Haagen Dazs shrunk the size of their container from 16 ounces to 14! Everyone's cheaping out these days.

House & Hold

I discovered a new online shop today that I really like. Overall it's decently pricey but you can find great home accessories for reasonable prices, and they price match!

     House & Hold

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Going to Stay Home

For the last month, I've been thinking about going back to work...not full time, but part time. The main reason was financial but a small part of me was kind of excited to do something of my own again. The tricky part was that if I did work part time, I'd have to make enough to cover the cost of hiring help and have enough left over to help with the bills and such. Going back to my marketing project management life would take care of that easily but doing contract project work would not give me the flexibility I need with my kids. I considered a handful of other opportunities including helping a friend with a start up. In the end, I came to my senses. WHAT WAS I THINKING!!? I have three kids, one being only 4 months old. How would I possibly juggle all this and be sane? That version of me would NOT be good for my husband and kids. As usual, I'm trying to do too much. So net net, I'm relieved to stay a fulltime stay at home mom.

If anything, I've been feeling like things, important things, are all over the place. I don't feel like I've been doing anything well lately.  Now that Iann's a little bit easier, I need to get refocused and prioritize once again. Discipline, allergies, encouragement, Ellie's birthday, holidays...just some of the things top of mind.

You know, I should've known better than to start looking for a job right now. My rule of thumb is never to let money be the deciding factor for any of my decisions.

PS. I got some photos from a friend so I updated my pumpkin post.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Where Is There Good Pumpkin Picking In Jersey?

     Photo by MPark

     Photo by MPark

                      Photo by MPark

Yesterday, we went with some friends to Alstede Farms. The kids had a blast but I think the crowds and craze got to the grown ups. It was like a mob scene when we arrived. It sorta killed the mood...for me at least.

I don't think I got one good picture. (edit: Thank you friend, for the great pictures!) The ones from the pumpkin patch were sad, sad, sad. The scene was lopsided, stemless pumpkins sparsely spread out on field of dirt. The kids were poking around but didn't seem excited. I think they had more fun doing other stuff at the farm. What I expected to see was something more like this. If you read her post, her "farm fail" was a Jersey farm. I bet it was Alstede Farms. Haha...wish I read this before I planned our trip. At least the donuts and cider were yum. I'll stick to Alstede for the berries in the summer...on a weekday.

Here are some photos from the summer when Gunn took the older kids berry picking while I was home with Iann. I don't know what it is but I love pictures of dads with their kids.

So anyone know of a Jersey farm where the pumpkin situation was a little better? Don't want another pumpkin farm fail next year.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Maxx Funny

The other day Maxx asked me why nipples were coming out of the holes. I almost died. He now always refers to it as the nipples game. OMG. He's been playing this game for months too.

Packing Lunch for the Hubs

It's week 2 of making lunches for Gunn. So far so good. Today I made him a turkey sandwich on toasted whole wheat with sharp cheddar cheese, romaine lettuce, chopped onions, mayo, spicy mustard, and Clausens deli style pickles on the side. We ran out of his daily morning banana so I threw in some pieces of a crumb cake that a friend made for us, to go with his coffee. (Crud. Just realized I forgot the salt & pepper on the turkey. Oops.)

I have more fun packing his lunch, than actually cooking it. Today's was a sandwich so there wasn't any cooking involved, just making a yummy & neat sandwich. I always disliked it when the middles of deli sandwiches were super fat while the sides had no meat or if there was too little meat overall. I always make sure to evenly spread out all ingredients so every bite is equally yummy. Then I wrap it in paper towel or napkin so that the napkin will soak up any liquids from the sandwich, to keep the bread from getting soggy. (If there are tomatoes in your sandwich, the bread will likely still get slightly moist on one side.)

I cut up the pickles and put them in a small ziploc and did the same for the cake. You know the feeling when you're packing a box and everything you need to put in it fits perfectly inside? If you're a fellow OCD person, you do. Well I got that same feeling today when I put everything into this plastic container. Its the container the Hilshire Farm ham and turkey combo coldcuts came in. It totally makes up for not being able to buy Boar's Head meat anymore. Boar's Head is pricey but the best. I miss it.

Hope this takes away a little stress from his day tomorrow.

Family Update

- still adjusting to being without me at school
- loving his halloween costume
- now snaps with both fingers and does a dance incorporating his new skills

Don't you love pics of kids sleeping?

- working on staying in Sunday School with me
- uses 5-6 word sentences now
- started her first playgroup, not just joining in on her brother's playgroups/dates

She doesn't pick just her own nose.

- got little white nubbins showing on his bottom gums (explains his recent fussiness)
- sleep trained so easily a week ago
- got his second haircut a few days ago

Last picture before my new doo

As for Gunn & I? The hubs has been tired from his long work hours and packed weekends but continually sacrifices his comforts for our family. I started doing quiet time again with some motivation and help from friends, am looking into part time working opportunities, and am doing pretty well with my "cutting costs" list. We're also figuring out where to move to come the summer. I want this next town to be where our kids grow up and go to school. Any recs?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Belated, from Iann's 100th

Before I forget, I just wanted to say a huge thanks for your comments and emails with regards to my "Insecurities" post from the other day. I guess I figured I wasn't the only one but it really does help to hear others' stories and words of encouragement.

And here are the long overdue photos from Iann's 100 day celebration from last month.
(I'm totally regretting not having cut Iann's hair beforehand. Oh well!)


All photographs by Scott K. Doo

Friday, October 7, 2011

First Library Card

After living in Jersey for 15 years, I got my very first NJ library card yesterday. I was planning on getting Maxx a library card but as it turns out, he's too young so I got one instead. (You have to be at least six to get your own library card.)

Being your typical math/science nerd, I didn't read much growing up except for the Babysitters Club & Sweet Valley High series. (Loved them.) I didn't think reading was a big deal until I got my SAT score. There was over a 250 point gap between my math & verbal scores (old scoring system). English continued to be a challenge as I got older. It took me much longer than most of my friends to write papers in college. And now still, it takes me longer than I'd like to write certain emails and some blog posts. Although I love to share my thoughts, I sometimes hesitate and tend to write the way I speak instead of writing "intelligently". And yes, I don't think I speak intelligently...which I'm generally fine with.

But yeah, little did I know that reading WAS FUNdamental SO...I want to encourage my kids to read as much as possible. I decided it was time to try taking the kids to the local library. They weren't overly into it. Maxx goes to his school library weekly so he understood the concept at least. He was more excited to go to a new place over it necessarily being about books. In true Maxx fashion, we flipped through a ton of booked before he found a single one to bring home. And Ellie? She could've cared less where we were. She had so much fun going up and down the stairs and jumping and sitting on all the different kid seating they had.

For me, the trip to the library was actually very nostalgic. The way it looked and smelled brought back memories from the West Brighton Library on Staten Island. A design fave of mine is when there a lots and lots of something...anything . And in my house, the (few) books we have are all lined up in some sort of size order.  But there was something that I loved about the thousands and thousands of books looking all uneven and randomly placed on the library shelves.

I also liked that there were a lot of murals in the kids section. Maxx & Ellie were particularly drawn to the dinosaur mural. Go figure. Maxx was trying to hug the T-Rex and told me that he had to brush the T-Rex's teeth to get rid of the red food. Haha. I told them to pretend that the T-Rex was trying to eat them. Ellie was into it. I love her scared face. Maxx on the other hand is a punk and was looking at me like he was too cool to be doing something so silly.

I left the library wishing we had more books on our shelves and some murals on our walls. I think we'll be going at least a couple times a month. I should check to see when the books are due.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


What does Maxx think of school?
Does he cooperate in class?
Is he making friends?
Is he learning?
Does he think I'm abandoning him when I leave?
What does Maxx's teacher think of him?
What does Maxx's teacher think of me as a mom? As a person?
What do the other kids think of Maxx?
What do the other parents think of Maxx?
What do the other parents think of me as a mom? As a person?
Will Maxx learn to socialize and gain confidence so he can be successful in life?

I was extremely shy, quiet and introverted growing up. I lived in my sister's shadow and thought I was the most boring and "normal" person alive. At the time, the only area I was confident in was my studies.

None of my friends now would ever guess that I was like this as a child. (Well, except the nerd part.) In college, after finding God to be real in my life, I became confident and often times had too much to say. And post college, it just continued and I found myself a happier person.

Lately, I've been feeling like the adolecent version of myself and I'm not liking it. All these questions have crossed my mind repeatedly...some more than others. I wonder if it's just me or if this is normal. After becoming a mom, I've definitely regressed a bit in the confidence arena. And having 3 kids in such a short's not helping.

Whether or not these questions are typical of a mom new to the world of school aged kids...I do know that I'm not trusting God as much as I used to. Life is so much harder now and so I need to work harder at trusting God with everything. I need to remember that includes my kids and every aspect of who they are.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Can Do All Things~

We were about to leave Van Suan Park today when Maxx suddenly had to poo. He won't go just anywhere so a few months back I bought a portable potty for him. He wasn't the biggest fan for months but there were no other options today. After some convincing and negotiating, I got him to agree to try it. At first, he sat there looking uncomfortable. With his knees practically up to his chest, he was sweating and had a tense look on his face. He wanted some space so I closed the door but left the window open. Then out of no where, I hear him singing, "I can do all things...God makes me strong." So friggin' cute. So I walk over to his side of the car and got a good whiff of success. He had a big smile and look of pride on his face. YAY!

This was the first time ever that he put what he learned from Sunday School into practice. Our church, Joy Christian Fellowship, just recently got a new Children's Ministry Director who began implementing a new strategy called Orange. I'm starting to really like it.

It's basically a strategy where you combine the two primary influences that impact a child's (yellow) and family (red) that every leader, volunteer and parent is on the same page working toward the same goal. In most churches, kids go to Sunday School and learn about God and often the lesson ends there. There's usually not a substantial connection or continuation of what they're learning at church, at home.

God is in our home but so far, just in a high level sense. I would love to do a better job of making God more real in our family but surprisingly, it's not easy. The preschool program is called First Look and it provides an activity for the parents to do with the kids during the week. It's so simple and Maxx is really getting it.

So a huge thank you to Miss Jane and Maxx's other teachers!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cutting Costs

Could these 3 little ones really be sucking up all our money? Uhhh...yeah!

On top of the usual costs such as clothes, food, healthcare, diapers/wipes and the such, preschool's really the first big budget item we've come across to date and so it's only just begun.

According to this USDA calculator, our kids will cost us a total of $46k/year until they're 18. (I tried a couple of cost calculators and this was actually the lowest result. You can also adjust the numbers to include any exact costs you already are aware of.)
As for college, according to's calculator, it'll cost anywhere from $65-90k/year for each of my kids. There will be 3 years during which I will have 2 kids in college at the same time and 1 year, all 3. Um...yeah, no comment.

So while Gunn is working on bigger vision for our family's finances, I'm making some efforts to trim our current expenses further. I don't think our spending is frivolous so it's going to be hard to do this but I'm determined to make changes that will have real noticable results in our bank account.
In no particular order, here's what I got:

I'll still get a couple of special items but only if they're on sale. Fortunately, Iann's birthday is only a week after Maxx's so I can recylce all the boys clothes and get double use. I got a ton of stuff from a friend for Maxx & Ellie. It felt like Christmas. Thanks S!
>  I spend at least $150 about 4x/year for both M & E so I could probably save at least $500 here.

I nursed Maxx for 3 months, then supplemented for the next 3 months, then went fully to formula at 6 months. Ellie was almost completely a formula fed baby because there was just too much pain and difficulty. They say it's hard to go back to breastfeeding after not doing it for the last child. Well it's true but I am proud to say that I did it! And I'm so glad cause it's so much better for him too.
> They say you spend an average of $40 on formula/wk on babies. So in the remaining 9 months, I should be saving about $1500 by nursing Iann.

I need to cook and eat what we have in the fridge, freezer, pantry and garage (more storage) before stocking up on new stuff. And no more ordering in to satisy a quick craving. Sometimes I need to remind myself I'm not pregnant anymore!
> I'm going to ballpark the cost of all the food I have in my house at about $250.

This includes the best cuts of prime rib from COSTCO, angus kalbi from Hmart (Korean supermarket), meat/cheeses, various seafood, etc. My household tends to buy the absolute best quality for everything as well as expensive types of foods on a regular basis. Must save it for the special occassions. Good thing we don't have big drinkers in the house.
> This will easily save us at least $500/year.

Between and all the groupon-like sites, I have a few stocked up and there're always great deals so I'm hoping to never have to pay in full for a restaurant experience again...unless I'm not the organizer.
> If I estimate one date night/month, plus some of our special occassions, we should be able to save at least $350/year.

To be realistic, for Gunn, I'll aim to do 3 out 5 days/week. Sandwiches, pasta, leftovers...should be doable. Also, no more buying expensive lunches at parks, zoos, etc.
> Gunn spends $8 on average per day. If I'm conservative and estimate $3/packed lunch, then I'm saving $5/day which is $15/wk multiplied by 50 weeks (accounting for 2 weeks of vacation). Tack on another $100 for weekend family trips and you get $850.

Don't buy juice or soda when water's the healthier and cheaper option. And anticipate (iced) coffee cravings and make it at home to take with me on the road.
> If I cut out 1 juice/soda and 1 iced coffee/wk, I'd save over $200/year.

I've been cutting the kids hair at home and was going to only do it for a little bit since the kids are so young but I think I'll continue. All the practice has gotten me pretty decent anyways.
> $25/cut x 2 boys x 12 months = $600, $25 x 4 times for Ellie = $100....nets at $700/year

Until finances are in a better place, no more "wants" allowed. This includes toys for the kids as well as home goods and accessories for myself and electronics and games for Gunn.
Only exception will be gifts which we will cap at $50/occassion.

Many people I know have saved hundreds by doing this for car insurance.

Check out this article on 75 gas saving tips. Not sure how to quantify this but it's eco-friendly as well.

Ebay, Craigslist or Amazon baby and maternity items, as well as general household items. My things are in top notch condition so I should be able to get something decent. My dad is trying to clean out his place so I'll be doing this for him too. Maybe I'll get some commission. ha!
> With all the baby gear I have, I should be able to get at least $500 in a year's time.

But only until our finances are better. How we will determine when that will be? Not sure. But we haven't been on a vacation since we had Maxx and don't plan on considering any until Iann is at least 2. Before we got married we spent thousands every year on multiple trips. I definitely appreciate the luxury of going on vacations now.

If I'm going to buy something online anyway, might as well collect points for free money & gift cards later on.
> I should be able to earn at least $100 in cash and gift cards in a year's time. It's likely only this low since I'm trying to not do any shopping anytime soon.

When someone asks what gifts to get the kids, the answer will always be "college fund please".

I have the tendency to want to treat people often so sometimes I can be naive about it. I love to give and share but I need to do it "smarter". My friends and family think that some people take advantage of me in this way and that's not doing anyone any good.

Make our "loose budget" more detailed & review Amex bill and bank account balances on a regular basis. Reviewing the numbers on a regular basis keeps you in check because it's so easy to stray from a budget.

18. PRAY
Trust God with our overall finances.

Sometimes it's hard to think that all the little things will make a difference but I truly believe they will. The quantifiable savings above total to over $5k. Think about someone handing you a check for $5k one day and maybe that'll motivate you.

If you have any suggestions for any additional ways to save, please share!

Monday, September 12, 2011

1st Day of Preschool

Initially, I didn't research many schools cause I had heard so many amazing things about First Presbyterian Preschool & Kindergarten (FPPK), a cooperative preschool in the area. I was all gung-ho about our decision until I had Iann in June. Then I started stressing about the childcare situation for my younger 2 for the few times a year I needed to co-op teach. I hadn't really planned it out in detail. So unlike me, I know. I should've just trusted my gut though, because after looking into a ton of other schools, I actually ended up back at FPPK for various reasons, but I'm so thankful I did.

At first, the parent involved aspect of the school was a little intimidating but after going to "Back to School Night", meeting M's teacher and now the first day of school, Gunn and I confidently know that we made the right decision.

If you're thinking of what schools to consider, I very highly recommend FPPK. The things I love about the school are:
:: I'll be able to be fully involved in the crucial first 5 years of his life, which in this case includes school
:: Maxx's teacher is awesome. She's has years of experience like most others but there's something special about her. She really gives you confidence that you've put your child in the right hands.
:: FPPK caters to the sensitive child that might need some hand holding
:: The first week of school is a flexible adjsutment period which is so great for kids attending school for the first time
:: His classmates and their moms are the kinds of people I like exposing him to, specifically other families that feel similarly about coop schools.

I know it's only the first day of school, yet I just feel that good about it all...and I'm so not a feeler.

We had been talking about the first day of school for months and then more so these last couple of weeks. We also watched the school themed episodes of Blues Clues and YoGabbaGabba. He was so excited when I told him about his very own cubby with his picture, where he can put his new backpack and jacket. He loved the idea of a bathroom with a kid sized toilet. He wanted to see Sprinkles again, the class guinea pig he met on our February tour.

I wanted to talk it all up but was afraid to go overboard because as with any sensitive child, with everything, you have to find the right balance between too little and too much.

I'm not sure what others mean when they talk about sensitive children but I'm not talking about the kind of child or person that gets hurt easily and takes things personally...although that often comes with the pacakge. I'm talking about the kind of person who's senses are heightened. Maxx can smell, taste, hear, feel and notice things that no one else in the room does. It's almost crazy at times. Things click in his head sometimes that I'm so amazed by. I'm not an early developmental expert by any means but I don't think it's typical. Or the fact that he talks about his feelings so much for a boy. (I know, I know, I sound like one of those crazy moms that thinks her kids are the best kids ever. I can't help it today. hee.)

If you know me well, you know that I have a reason & method to almost everything I do. Working on Maxx's attachment issues was one of the areas I put some effort and it really worked out great.

M was a rockstar! I'm so proud of him and happy for him.

If you know our Maxx, he's come such a long way. He was at the high end in the range of attached children. He literally used to be stuck to me like glue and would rudely dismiss most other people. It took me about 9 months of staying with him at sunday school for him to comfortable enough to go alone. I know, forever, but this was a huge step and totally paved the way for being ready for preschool.

Maxx didn't even flinch when I said I'd be leaving and would come back for him when he's done. He barely said goodbye as he was reaching for some trucks. I guess it comes off like the typical situation where the mom is more anxious than the kid.

I love, love, love, love our Maxx. I would never trade his sensitivity for anything. It's a special gift he has that one day he'll know how to use to do something really great.

By the way, I received a ton of great advice from friends and family so I'm happy to share and answer any questions you might have about anything related. Of course, I'll likely be more helpful as the school year goes on.

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