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First day of school....part 1

Wednesday was "la rentreƩ", as they say in France.
Back to school!
Where to start.....
Tuesday night (Arissa was at dance), M&M and I drove up to the school to see what teacher they would have and who would be in their classes. Arissa has a new teacher who previously taught Middle School. And there are only two 4th-grade classes, so the odds were pretty good that she would have friends in her class. Indeed, she does! There's hardly any kids in her class that she doesn't know. All her best friends from previous years are in there, and Arissa was ecstatic. And I was relieved.
Mariah hit the jackpot too...her teacher this year is the teacher that Arissa had in Kindergarten! She (the teacher) is the nicest person you could ever hope to meet...she is the kind of teacher that kids need in their early years, so they get hooked on school and love learning. Plus Mariah knows her, and she knows Mariah, so we were all so happy. We had been crossing our fingers since Arissa was in kindergarten that M&M would be lucky enough to be in her class sometime as well. And 2 of Mariah's close friends are also in her class. Success!
Now..... like any preschooler, Mallory has been looking forward to kindergarten for months. She even told Nana "don't call me Mallory anymore. Call me Kindergartner Mallory."
She absolutely COULD NOT WAIT.
And we were so excited for her as well. Seeing her so excited about a new school & class & friends eased the sadness we felt about leaving her wonderful preschool behind.
So there I am scanning the poster in front of the school.....looking, looking, looking at the class lists....who is Mallory's teacher? Who will be in her class?
Where the heck is her name? It wasn't there.
The office was closed, there was nothing we could do. I had to tell Mallory that her name wasn't on the list, and that we'd find out tomorrow what happened.
I felt her terror.
I figured it must be a mistake, and we went on with our night.
Then later a thought crept up: she's registered, right? No, no, she has to be. We filled out the intra-district transfer forms for all 3 girls, the lady @ the district office signed them, I've got the copies they sent us to prove it. We're good to go.
Then about an hour later it hit me. Kind of like as if my brain was still processing the information and trying to solve the case while I went on w/ my regular activites. And then it interrupted my thoughts to advise me of the outcome:
The form I filled out was NOT the registration form.
She's not registered for school.
It's my fault.
I messed up, and I ruined her first day of kindergarten.
Of course there's other forms to be filled out, why didn't I realize that? How could I have been so stupid? I've done this twice before, what is wrong with me?
Well the only thing I could do to console myself was decide that we would all get up at the crack of dawn the next day, get to the office as soon as they opened, and get this fixed. It'll be fine. It has to be or I will never forgive myself!
So we did get up early, we got all ready. New school clothes, new backpacks by the door, new lunchboxes filled and ready to go. First day pictures, posed & taken:
Miss Arissa, a big 4th grader this year:
New school year, new kicks:
My wittle 1st grader:
Sweet baby kindergartner:
(That's a "K" she's making w/ her fingers)
The big one again, happy to be starting 4th grade:
First day hair-do:
Group shot!
The Howard girls:
So back to the story.
We got to the office, greeted the secretary, and explained that there had been an oversight and we needed to register Mallory real quick. And we'd like to do it fast so she can check out her classroom. The lady smiled and handed us IT: A packet of paperwork, and a list of further paperwork that we had to get and turn in before she could start. Proof of residence, birth certificate, vaccination record...
So, in short, she could not start school that day.
I had to hold in my tears and still be happy for my two other sweet first-dayers. But inside I was racked with guilt and wondering, again, how I could be so stupid. I totally ruined this day.
So there's Mallory, in her new school clothes, sparkly headband, holding her new Hannah Montana backpack, and she couldn't go to school.
But I couldn't react too much because we still had to get Arissa & Mariah settled. They did great....I think Arissa might have been a little more nervous than Mariah. Mariah was very confident and matter-of-fact about it, which surprised me a little. Arissa was a little more wary, but she sure was happy to see so many friends in her class. And the fact that her teacher was a woman, that helped as well.

Well once A&M were in their seats and smiling, we marched out of there and set out to get this paperwork fiasco dealt with. I told myself: I can handle this. Mallory will start the next day. Fine. An extra day of summer, I told her! How lucky is that!

We went home and filled out the paperwork. Got the proof of residence. Got the birth certificate (I actually had it and didn't have to go the County Recorder Clerk's office and pay $18 tohave it printed like I usually have to). Got the vaccine record (again: usually have to pay to have printed, but I found Mallory's tucked away). Someone is on my side here; things will be fine. Took it all back to the school. Done!

No, of course not. She was missing 2 of the required vaccinations.

Okay, that can be dealt with. No big deal. I called Kaiser, sweetly explained what I needed. The girl told me they can get her in on tuesday to do the vaccines.

Tuesday? And miss 4 whole days of school? That, I could not handle.

So we drove over to Kaiser. The receptionist told us Kaiser doesn't do vaccines on Wednedays. They just don't do it. We can come back Friday if we want.

Then she must have either seen Mallory's sweet school-loving face, or seen the rage in Jesse's eyes and sensed that we were capable of making a scene, and she called the head nurse. The nurse complained, but then said if we were willing to wait, they would get to us eventually.

Okay, no problem. We'll wait. All day if we have to. Except....I didn't bring my knitting or a book to keep me busy! Damn it. But fine, we'll wait.

They called us after only 20 minutes of waiting. After a total of about 90 minutes, they did a complete physical, gave her a flu shot, and gave her FIVE vaccines. Not two. Five. Mallory didn't like that one bit, we had to hold her down. And she's a strong one, it was hard. Imagine the pain in my heart: I ruined her first day of school, and then held her down while some crazy lady poked her all over with needles. What else?

So we went BACK to the school and turned everything in. We were set, she could start the next day.

Sigh of relief!

She lost it!

The day before school started, Mallory lost a dear friend:

her wiggly tooth!

She was so funny when she called to tell me. That girl can tell a story like you wouldn't believe! :o) I said "but Mallory, you promised you wouldn't lose it until I got home!" and she replied, frustrated by my ignorance as always, "Mama, I didn't lose's right here!!!".

She was very proud and excited.

Goodbye Day

August 20th was Mallory's last day of preschool.

I didn't know it would be so much more sad than Arissa or Mariah's last day of preschool....I didn't realize that with Mallory, every "last" is going to really be the very last and the final time for us. :o(

But luckily, the day fell on a Thursday. So on my lunch break @ work, I ran over to the Downtown Farmer's Market and loaded up on bouquets of flowers. I put a few together in a big vase and we brought it for the school staff when we picked Mallory up:

Her regular teacher had left for the day, but we left this on her desk:

We gave the first bouquet to the director, along with this little picture and a letter:

I had to put in writing how much I love that preschool, and everyone who works there, and what a unique, wonderful place it is. We have been blessed beyond measure to have been able to send the girls there.

As we were saying goodbye to the director, who has known us since Arissa started there in 2003, both she and I cried and hugged. I was so embarrassed; I never cry in front of people like that! I usually take my emotions home with me and let it all out there. But I just love that place so much, and was so sad to see it all coming to an end.

I {heart} Hydrangeas....

Look what we found in the garden:

Notice the shape???

I've never seen a hydrangea in any other shape or form than this:

So it was utter excitement at our house to discover a heart in the garden:

Aprons for young artists/crafters

Last weekend, I made crafting aprons for the girls. I wanted them to have something to throw on when they want to use paint, or glue, or stamps, or even markers...all of which would otherwise end up on their clothes. In the past, when they've created with stuff that could get messy, we declare a "shirts-off party!" and then they strip down to their underwear. That gets the job done too, but sometimes it's not very in the winter, or when we have company!

So I set out to making these:




It was fun to make them all different and add little extra cute stuff here and there. I did them all in polka dots for the main fabric, and then different coordinating ones for the secondary fabric. Then I added little embellishments as I went along.

Some rick-rack on Arissa's pocket:

Some lace on Mariah's:

On the upper part of the chest and on the ruffle as well, shown here:

The models:

These two couldn't last for a second without laughing...

I had them standing on a stool which they apparently didn't feel totally sturdy on, and that induced the giggles.

Quilt #3....a REAL quilt this time

We all had to put up with a few days of this:

and this:

(who am I know I was the only one bothered by it. Jesse & the girls could live in those conditions 365 days a year and not care at all)

But eventually, I made this:

I did the binding myself this time (well, with some tips from Nana):

And, most unbelievably, I quilted it all by myself.

I did not just tie-quilt it.

I did not stitch-in-the-ditch.

I did not send it off and pay a professional quilter to do it (although I really wanted to...I just couldn't afford it).

I lowered the feed-dogs on my machine, I bought a free-motion foot on ebay, I switched out the foot, and I just went to town:

Yeah, it's kinda small. It's all I can manage in the little working space that I have.

I guess you could call it a lap-quilt. For someone with a very small lap.

I don't know, maybe I'll just hang it so I can look at it and remind myself that there are some things I can do, and do semi-right, every once in a while.

M&M thought it was alright:

Overall front view:

And back:

No more quilting for awhile. Too much time involved...and too much of a mess to clean up afterward! But at least now I know what I want to spend all day doing when I'm retired. Quilting quilts, knitting dolls, sewing clothes, crocheting blankets, and making gifts for my grandkids. :o)

Oh and I want to travel. And go on shopping-sprees at Barnes & Noble and then go home and read until my eyes hurt. And...oo I have lots more, I'm going to go make a list!

Only....30 years or so to go.


Quilted ABCs

I had an idea for a craft, but it was too young for my girls.

I needed a toddler, I needed a girl...and there was one such person coming to visit on Saturday...

So I made this for my niece (she's my cousin's daughter, but I like to call her my niece cause I don't have brothers or sisters so I got cheated out of having nieces & nephews!):

They're quilted letters. The entire alphabet was way too much work, so I figured maybe she'd have fun learning how to spell her name. I added the hearts just because.

They each have a different front, but the backs are all alike:

And then I thought it'd be cute if she could carry them around in a little bag.

So I made this:

I don't know if she'll like it, or just think it's a sad excuse of a gift. But either way, it was fun to make and it used up some of my fabric remnants...and it's pretty. In other words, success! :o)

Purses a-plenty

Now that I've got the bag pattern down by memory, I can cut & sew and whip 'em up pretty quickly.

I bought a bunch of 1/2 yards of fabric, pre-cut it all, then put them together assembly-line-like.

This one's my favorite....don't tell the others!:


This one is girly and for someone young...and I bought it by accident. I was having other fabrics cut, when I saw this fabric in their "go-back" pile on the cut-table, cause someone had bought it earlier. I snatched it up and took what was left. I love the words on it, I think they're cute and they make me happy:

And the coordinating liner fabric matches pretty nicely too:

So now that I could cut and sew these suckers in my sleep, I'm kind of tired of them. But I have about 10 more sets of fabric I bought just to make these purses, so I guess I'll have to "pencil in" some time to finish them!

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