Thursday, April 24, 2014

Round Two

After Luke turned six at the beginning of April, I started being asked A LOT about him being in Pre-K instead of Kindergarten.  I've received lots of questions via emails, direct messages on Instagram and on Facebook - so I thought I'd address it here and hopefully answer your questions and share a little insight into our decision to do a "Round Two" of Pre-K with Luke Man :)

When I had Luke in April of 2008, I took my maternity leave and had planned on staying home after that.  My mom worked in the administration office of the school where I was teaching and she GRACIOUSLY and SELFLESSLY offered to quit her job (which she LOOOOVED!) to watch Luke for me and Dave full time.  It was a HUUUUGE blessing.  My parents value Christian education as much as Dave and I do and my mom made a huge sacrifice to help us achieve a goal of being able to enroll our kids in a Christian school where I was teaching.  There is very little turnover where I teach and I was hesitant to give up my position not knowing if there would be a position for me when I was ready to return to work.  Sooooooooo......... Luke spent the first three years with Gibi four days a week and it was AWESOME!  As a first time mom I couldn't have asked for a better scenario considering that I trusted her more than I trusted myself :) She and Luke have a super special bond that I believe came from them spending so much time together during those years as well. When Luke was two he did a mother's day out program 2 days per week at a local church as well.

When I found out I was pregnant with Mason, my mom turned in her resignation to Dave and I (despite us offering to double or triple her pay... hahaha.... she did it for free :) ) and we set out on the hunt for the perfect in-home daycare.  I knew that traditional daycare was not for us and after a long search we fell in LOVE with Miss Lisa!  Three year old Luke and 4-month old Mason started at Miss Lisa's house in August of  2011 and Luke loved it.  After spending three years pretty much just with Gibi it was great (and a bit of a challenge!) for him to spend all day,every day, with a group of kids, but he adjusted well.  He turned 4 in April of 2012 and started Pre-K at MCA in August of that same year.


Late fall of 2012 we started getting feedback from Luke's teacher indicating that academically he was STELLAR, but when it came to social awareness.... not so much. hahaha

Luke preferred to play independently, had a hard time moving from one activity to the next when he was enjoying what he was doing and was pretty much completely unaware of what other kids were thinking about him (for example... if he was upset he'd burst into tears... while other kids in his class would have been embarassed to cry).  

He was performing academically, but socially wasn't keeping up with the other kids in his class.  He was one of the very youngest kids and we were faced with the decision of doing a second year of Pre-K before sending him to Kindergarten.  I was a pregnant, hormonal mess and I stressed and stressed over the decision.  Dave and I talked, prayed and researched the pros and cons and ultimately we decided that the only downside to keeping him in Pre-K another year was mostly our "pride" in having the kid who was repeating.  We'd do anything for our kids and so we got over that really quick and re-enrolled him in Pre-K.

We waited until WELL into the summer to break the news to him (I thought he was going to be devastated), but he really couldn't have cared less. hahaha

We talked about how his birthday party had been the last one out of all his friends and that he was too young to go on to Kindergarten and he goes, "okay" and that was that. 

 

This year has most definitely not been perfect.  He's a five (well, six now!) year old boy and he does five year old boy things.  He "dog piles" with the other boys at recess, doesn't like to put away the Legos when it's time to go to the next center (surprise! surprise!) and he likes to talk. A lot. :)

But while it hasn't been perfect it's been so so so much better.  We're noticing more "leader" qualities instead of the "follower" ones we were seeing last year, his social awareness has blossomed and he's fallen into the routine and rules of a classroom more naturally. 

When we're out and about and people ask how old he is, they automatically assume that he's currently in Kindergarten and when he or I reply telling them that he'll be in Kinder next year almost EVERY SINGLE TIME we get an affirmative response with an anecdote about their son/nephew/grandson who waited for Kindergarten and it was awesome or someone who wished that they had waited for their son/nephew/grandson to start school.

Here are a few reasons we're glad that Luke had the opportunity to do a second year of Pre-K...

1) We want his childhood to last as long as possible
He's growing up so so so fast!!!  Delaying Kinder means delaying homework and the academic responsibilities that he'll have the next 12+ years to enjoy :)

2) We wanted him to be one of the older kids in his class
Teaching middle school gives me a unique perspective and I REALLY advocated for Luke being given every chance to be one of the older boys in his grade.  There is a HUUUUUUUUUUGE range of maturity levels, leadership skills and self control and we preferred for Luke to be on the upper end of that spectrum rather than the lower end.  There's also broad physical differences between boys... and we don't feel like an extra year of physical growth will hinder him socially or in athletics either. 

3) We get to keep him at home for an extra year!!! :)
When he's a moody, angst-ridden teen I may be regretting this decision, but for now - I'm relishing the fact that we bought ourselves 365 extra days with this sweet boy under our roof.  365 extra days of influence.  365 extra days to develop the forethought and judgement that teen boys are often lacking and 365 extra hugs that I wouldn't get if he was off at school. :)


Obviously, this decision is completely, 100% individual and I'm sure that there are TONS of kids who are more than ready for the academic and social facets of Kindergarten at or before the age of five.... but what I'm hoping you'll take from our experience is that if you don't feel that your child is ready (of if your child's teacher doesn't feel that they're ready!) you don't have to forge ahead just because that's what you're "supposed" to do.

Round two has been a huge blessing for Luke and I am so happy we made the decision for him to repeat.  I'm not sure what we'll do with Mason... I'm assuming that we'll probably have him repeat as well - but he's totally different than Luke so I guess we'll just have to wait and see!

Please don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions!!!  If you comment, make sure you're settings allow me to reply (check out this bloggers post on how to check and see!) and/or leave your email address in the comments so I can get back to you!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What I Wore Wednesday: Fancy Pants Edition

 It's no secret that I love me some palazzo pants.  They're pretty much glorified pjs that are acceptable to wear in public... and I've dubbed them my "Fancy Pants". :)

Monday I wore a pair of Fancy Pants from Hippie Chick Boutique and my new absolute favorite glitter "yall" shirt - also from Hippie Chick.  I paired it with THE BEST DENIM JACKET EVER and flats and I was ready to go!
 
I have SEVERAL pairs of fancy pants and I wear them all the time...

Most of them have a foldover waistband that I can unfold and wear the pants with wedges...

... or fold over and wear with flats.  And this post should also be a testament to my love for the denim jacket :)





Ariel at Hippie Chick has graciously offered to give away of her Fancy Pants to one lucky Instagram follower!  Head on over to Instagram, repost the picture below, follow @hippiechickboutique and @andrea2220 and tag it with #fancypantsgiveaway to be entered to win!  You can repost every day for extra entries as well and I'll pick a winner on Monday! How fun is that?!?!?!


And since we're talkin' clothes...

EEEEEEK!  Matilda Jane is running a customer appreciation promotion and if you place an order of $150 or more you get a super cute hobo bag!!!

The bag in the pic below isn't the actual promo bag, but it's another hobo that I have to give y'all an idea of the size.  I LOVE the MJ hobos.... they're super cute, durable, hold A TON and you can throw them in the wash.  This would be great to take to the pool, the park or on a day trip. 



If you're looking for things to order... here are a few ideas of items from their current collection, Wonderful Parade...




... and then the same bennys with the Judy and Ethel Tank...

This is the Sprouting Peasant Top with the Razzle Leggings...

And then the same top with the June Bow Belt and Picnic Ruffles.

Griffin also wore the belt and picnic ruffles with the Fairgrounds Betsy Dress for Easter... 

And then the same pants and belt with the Bitty Ballerina top...

The 3 Ring Sara Top has been an unexpected favorite :) 



Love Bug knot top is awesome!

 As is the butterfly lulu (runs big!) and blue ribbon leggings...


Be sure to check out THIS POST to see some outfit combinations I put together using pieces from past collections as well!  Lots of great stuff!!!

Y'all also know that I'm a big fan of the mama pieces as well...



ANYWAY.... if you would like to place an order and receive the bag for free... fill out your wishlist and email it to dave-and-andrea@hotmail.com as well as katkempson@matildajaneclothing.com (put Andrea McAnally as your Jane) by Noon (CST) on Friday.  If you have any questions feel free to email!  If you comment on here, be sure that you're not set to "no reply comment blogger" or leave your email address so I can reply to you!

Also - I'm working on compiling all of y'alls "Yes Mom" moments into a post for a week from today.... if you have one be sure to email it to me with a pic!!!

And to hopefully make you smile a bit on Hump Day....



That kid is a MESS! :)

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy, Get Your Pretty On, and Because Shanna Said So.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Weekend Recap

This weekend was cray.  Cray I tell you :)  
I had Friday off work, but I sent G and Mason to Miss Lisa's house so Luke and I could take care of all kinds of party prep.  I RARELY get to get Griffin dressed in the morning so I was LOVING Friday morning :)

I started baking EIGHT DOZEN CUPCAKES and Haha stopped by to cut out the mouths for our bean bag toss.  Luke stood on the bags of mulch (STILL unspread - ooops!) to observe.
Sidenote: Try not to be totally jealy of my rockin' minivan in the background .#momswag hahaha


Luke and I ran around all over the place.... we picked up a helium tank and made a Sams run where I realized I didn't have my Discover card OR debit card OR a check OR cash and I had to leave my cart at the service desk.  Awesome.  And the best part??? Turns out my Discover card WAS in my bag.... just not in my wallet.   Can you tell I was a little scattered on Friday???  We hit up the craft store, grocery store, office supply store and the country club to decorate.  We baked, colored and made lots of lists.  Thankfully I had a cute shirt to run around in :)

When we got home from crazy errand day, Luke played outside like a crazy person.  He was disgusting and so he wanted to take a bubble bath.  I was in the kitchen getting cupcakes ready and when I went to check on him I found this...

... Johnsons baby wash plus jetted tub equals giant bubbly mess.  I'm pretty sure there are STILL bubbles in my tub.

Saturday morning was NUTS! I was at the club from about 6:15 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. getting ready for and then having the kids monster party.  We got home, cleaned up and then all did this...


Saturday night we were sticky and sugary and gross which means BATH NIGHT!!! G doesn't like the bath at all.... can't you tell???

The boys broke into some presents...


... and once everyone was in bed I got their Easter surprises ready.




Mason could have cared less about everything we had for him... except for the shovels.  That kid jumped up and down, squealed and told his entire Sunday school class later that morning that he got new "shobels" for Easter. :)


I'm pretty sure that if you see Luke any time in the next seven months that he'll be sporting this Minecraft tee :)  And he's brought the book with him everywhere!!!

We got dressed and ready and I totally had a "moment" dressing Griffin (the girl I never thought I'd have) up in her first Easter dress :)


Easter is crazy for Dave and so he worked all day, but the kiddos and I coordinated for Church :)

After church I asked my dad to take a couple of pics and I at their house in our matching dresses.  Obviously my dad has missed his calling as a photographer.  I mean... look at these fabulous shots...

Considering I was trying to get our dresses in the pic he totally accomplished his task. #not  :)


Kisses for Gibi at church!

When we got home I tried to get a cute pic of these crazies...


Church in the middle of naptime means a grumpy Griffin :(

Good news about Church at 8:30??? Home and in my comfy linen pants by 10:15 a.m. :) hahaha

 G took a short morning nap and then was up and ready to snuggle her bunny.  I feel like she turned one and turned into a total big girl :(


Lunch, playtime, games and then afternoon naps for EVERYONE.  Bliss. :)  Griffin woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed adn her headband was giving her a fab little "bump" #texasgirl 

Mark, Diana and Gibi and Haha came over and the boys hunted eggs...

(sidenote.... Dave spread fertilizer a couple of weeks ago and so he hasn't cut it to allow it to thicken up.  It was perfect for the egg hunt. hahaha)

G and Aunt Di watching from the sidelines.  I'm sure next year she'll be right there with her brothers :)

It was a fantastic and fun filled weekend.  I can't believe Easter and birthdays have come and gone!

Hope y'all had a fun, family-filled weekend too!!!