Thursday, September 24, 2009


Caroline is having a tough time adjusting to a new school. We are not terribly surprised given her general distaste for change but it is still unsettling. She is not separating well at the start of the day and is complaining about not wanting to go and not liking school throughout the afternoon and evening.

Yesterday though, we had a glimmer of hope. When Rob asked her how her day was she replied, "Great! Oh, I mean, bad!" She had this conversation as she busily drew line pictures, the topic of her art class yesterday.

Caroline has always loved to draw and create but for some reason, I have never really considered art to be one of her true loves. Art, though, is what she is connecting with in her new school. Yesterday she talked on and on about her class as she drew beautiful pictures. She told me that had started the class with a story about lines. When I guessed that it had been Harold and the Purple Crayon, she said "No but that would have been a good one." At one point, she even told us that she wanted to be an artist when she grew up. I suppose this is not a huge leap from her previously chosen professions of "nail saloner" or "manicurer" but it was still exciting to hear.

As she drew and drew, first with colored pencil, then markers and crayons, she looked thoughtfully at her paper and said, "Where a line ends, a shape begins."

Maybe there is an artist-to-be in our house after all...

Monday, September 21, 2009


Yesterday afternoon, Caroline spent time organizing a "Chalk Marathon" on our sidewalk. The organization involved writing a list of participants along with activities they would engage in on the day of the marathon. All of her writing was done meticulously with sidewalk chalk.

The writing must have been tiring because when she was done, Caroline looked at me and said, "You must have to be really good at writing to write a chapter book."

Instead of reminding her that few people write chapter books with sidewalk chalk, I agreed with her... especially given the fact that I have been struggling lately to write my blog, a journal entry or even a sentence in my gratitude notebook.

As so often happens, the thoughts kept coming. "You would also have to like writing to write a chapter book. Because, you know, sometimes you can have a talent but not like it."

Wow. "Are there things you are good at that you don't like?" I asked.

I got a chuckle when her first response was "Singing and dancing." If anyone has ever seen Caroline dance, they will know that she is most definitely Rob's and my daughter and this means that dancing is, in fact, not one of her talents.

"Are there things you are good at that you also like?" I asked.

And then what a wonderful feeling for a mom who often worries that her daughter is too hard on herself, not confident enough, unsure of what a wonderful and talented person she is, to hear the long list of talents that Caroline believes she has... talents that she also likes...

Among items in a list too long for me to have remembered a day later were reading, writing, math, swimming and running.

And I suppose one day soon, she will be adding chalk marathoner to her list.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Another First Day

Katherine had her first day today at our new Montessori pre-school. We know many, many children at this school so it did not feel like the big transition it could have been.

Katherine did really well and seemed happy when she left after her hour long introduction. I asked her if she had a good time and with a huge smile on her face, she said, "No." I had watched her through a window for nearly the entire time so fortunately, I knew that her face spoke the truth.

At dinner tonight, when Rob asked her what she liked about school, Katherine did not talk about meeting her teacher or playing with a familiar friend. She did not talk about playing with play dough or completing a block work. She told Rob that the favorite part of her day was "When Mommy picked me up."

I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Having grown up as an only child, I am often amazed by the friendship and love that has grown between the girls. They play, laugh, share and learn together. Of course, they also hit, scream and pull hair but that is a post for another day.

Tonight, I sit in awe of sisterhood.

Caroline was so tired tonight that she asked to go to bed long before her usual bed time. I brought her up, finished our chapter of our latest Ramona book and turned out the light. A while later, I brought Katherine into their room and the battle began. She did not want to go sleep, continually begging for a drink, a back rub and often, to sleep with Caroline. They each have a small twin bed and have only shared beds on vacation so I was confused by the request and denied her again and again. Finally, at my wits end, I left, closing the door behind me, vowing to not return no matter how loud the protests. I heard lots of noises but no crying so I stayed out until I had heard silence for close to half an hour.

When I went into their room, I found Katherine, crammed beside Caroline with one arm wrapped tightly around her big sister's waist. While we did not take a picture for fear of waking them, I am sure the picture of the sisters will stay in my mind for a long, long time.

Friday, September 4, 2009

New School Year

Caroline is now a first grader. All the cliches are so appropriate... Where did the time go? Time flies. I could go on and on. A year ago we thought for sure that Caroline would continue on at her Montessori school for a few more years. I couldn't imagine that she would be ready to tackle our neighborhood public school. I knew that academically she would be more than fine but socially... I just wasn't sure.

On Wednesday, we walked with all of our neighborhood friends, to school. It was wonderful to be part of this community and to see Caroline running ahead to catch up with her girls. By Thursday, I think she realized that all would be ok but she was scared to admit it- months of complaining about switching schools couldn't be thrown away after one day. There were still a fair number of complaints. By Friday, she walked to school with a skip in her step and a smile on her face.

Happy New School Year to all...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Clever, Sort of...

Katherine continues to be much more mischievous than we ever thought she would be. I can remember sitting with her on the couch when she was an infant thinking, "Ah...we have a calm baby, finally!"

Calm would most definitely not describe my jumper, climber and trouble maker these days. Recently, she has come up with a plan to get away with her often dangerous adventures. I walked into her room the other day to find Katherine climbing on her windowsill. When she saw the look of horror on my face, she stated "Go away so you can't see me."

Pretty clever except that these words are now my tip off that something is coming... I remain grateful that, for now, I am still smarter than my three year old...