Monday, October 15, 2007

the day has arrived

**Some of you have been asking how I handled Joelle's first day of school (sorry, I forgot to put that in the post originally). I'm surprised to be able to report that I didn't shed a single tear! I think I was just too concentrated on how she was doing, that nothing else seemed to matter. Once I knew that she wasn't going to have the meltdown that I was partially expecting, I breathed a sigh of relief and was just too excited about the progress that she's been making lately. If I would've cried, they would've been tears of joy and pride for my big girl. She has grown by leaps and bounds lately and that's all I was thinking about**

Well, it's official. Our daughter Joelle is now in school. She went for her first day of pre-school today and it was a huge success! When she came running into my room first thing this morning, she had a huge smile on her face as she exclaimed, "Pre-School today!"

I had fun taking a lot of pictures throughout this whole experience (as you'll soon see...). Starting with pictures of her backpack and her breakfast this morning...

Here is her new backpack (a $7 purchase from Wal-Mart), her new Max & Ruby runners and the snack I packed for her.

I also made sure she had a good
breakfast this morning, although she didn't
eat very much (probably a case of
butterflies in her tummy).

It was fun getting her all ready to go. She changed her mind about which shirt she wanted to wear last night, and this morning she told me that she dreamed about having one little ponytail in her hair, instead of the two braids she had originally wanted. Typical woman, always changing her mind!

Here is the happy little school girl, proudly showing off her oversized backpack!

Look how excited she is -- her cheeks look like they're going to burst wide open!!
She couldn't wait to get to school.

Walking onto the school grounds...thankfully Malia was on her best behaviour (thanks to a bribe of fruit candies coming her

And then, just like that, we were there. Being the keener that I am, we were the first ones there so we just stood in the lobby until someone else got there, taking the private opportunity to pray with Joelle. Once others started arriving, we followed their lead by taking off Joelle's outdoor shoes and putting on her indoor shoes. I couldn't resist taking this picture of her outdoor shoes on the bright orange shelf nestled between her classmates' shoes (yes, I'm the dorky Mother who snaps pictures of everything -- but it's a cute picture, isn't it?).

Then one of the teachers came out to greet the kids and the parents had to sign their kids in. I walked Joelle to her classrom (Malia in tow -- still very well behaved, surprisingly!) where she met her other teacher. She looked a tad nervous as her teacher was helping her with her backpack and jacket and I was worried that this was the moment reality was going to sink in and she would have a meltdown. But she made me proud with her maturity and bravery and she put on a smile and looked around the room in awe. I could tell she was thrilled to finall be there! Les had asked me to take a picture of her going into her classroom, but Joelle had refused to give me permission. So in order to prevent it from being a negative experience, I just snuck these pictures when she wasn't looking.

The picture on the right makes it look like she's incredibly nervous, but I think she was just slightly overwhemled, wondering what to do first.

But I knew she was going to be okay when she waved at me and said "Bye Mom! I love you!" with no hesitation in her voice. It was a very proud moment for this mom!

On the walk back to the van with Malia, I was skimming the October newsletter that one of the teachers handed to me. My heart sank as I noticed that today was Show & Tell day. I had not been told about this, so of course Joelle wasn't prepared with a special item from home. I was concerned that Joelle would be upset that everybody else brought something except for her. I said a quick prayer and tried to put it out of my mind, confident that this was going to be a positive experience for her.
When we got home, Malia seemed at a loss without her big sister. Already when we were leaving the school, she was saying "Joelle, come. Come!" She seemed pretty bummed when I told her that Joelle was staying. She did manage to keep busy, but she was excited when I told her it was time to go pick up Joelle!

While we were waiting for Joelle to be finished her class (again, we were the first ones there!), she suddenly appeared and was running down the hall with the hugest grin on her face. The picture almost looks like she's upset, but trust me -- she was all smiles! Malia couldn't wait for Joelle to get to us; she started running down the hall towards her big sister and they had a nice reunion (I know, it's not a great picture -- the lighting in school hallways aren't great for pictures).
On the way back to the van, I was asking Joelle if she was sad that she didn't have anything along for Show & Tell. She just looked at me and said very matter-of-factly, "I just showed them my new runners." Good thinking! That's my girl!

And here she is proudly displaying her art work from class. Doesn't it look pretty??

It took me awhile to get a lot details out of her about her morning (she doesn't usually like to be bombarded with quesitons), but she did eventually start talking about it more and more. She also had fun calling her Daddy and one of her Grandma's to tell them about her first day at Pre-School.

One thing I wasn't prepared for was to have immediate fund-raisers! This is pre-school, afterall! I wasn't expecting this till at least Kindergarden.

Anyway -- I'm not going to harrass any of you (except for family of course...hee hee hee!). But if any of you happen to be interested in Regal products (and live in close proximity to me) feel free to let me know!

Now it's seven sleeps until she gets to go back! I'm so glad that this was a positive experience for her and I am so happy that we made this decision. Thanks to all of you who have been asking her about it and who wished her a good first day. It went better than I could've hoped for.


Pam said...

I am so glad that her first day went well! What a great experience....I'm a 2nd grade teacher and I would love to have parents like you for the students in my class! Thanks for sharing this with all of us!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like she had a great time! And don't worry about fundraising when she gets to Kindergarten, the school itself does do any, except for chocolate bunnies at Easter! That is the one they do, they have family night instead which is alot of fun and no need to sell anything! I was so happy when we moved here and found that out!

Jamie said...

Sounds like a very positive experience! That's great! Sounds like you did well too, no tears?

Erin said...

I'm glad it went well! Lots of great pictures.

Ruth said...

SOOOOOO FUN! she is the cutest little button. both of them! shiloh would adore hanging out sometime. :)

Gloria said...

I am glad she had a great first day. Did she miss her little sister as much as she was missed?

Pamela said...

Yay Joelle! What great first day pictures! :)

TammyIsBlessed said...

I'm so glad it went so well! I'm not sure I want to tell Sophia about this, she'll be jealous!

ValleyGirl said...

I know, I was totally unprepared for the amount of parent involvement Nursery school required! I thought you just dropped your kids off and picked them up and that was the end of it. Right. And it's even worse now that Hannah's in Kindergarten!!! Not necessarily with fundraising but with helping out with this event or that one. I sure don't remember my parents having to be this involved when I was in school.

Anyway, that's just rambling. Looks like Jo had a great morning.

Melanie said...

It sounds like her first day was wonderful!

And why oh why did this post make me cry? You were brave and didn't cry- but me? I cried for you.

I love the pictures- she looks like she could burst with happiness. Is she only going to go one day each week?

Amanda said...

Glad to here that pre-school went so well for all of you.