Day 11 – End of a long week

There’s nothing quite like coming home at the end of a crazy week and spending a full three hours trying to convince your stubborn 3-year-old that, no matter how vehemently he protests, he does in fact have to poop. Preferably in the toilet.

This kid has elevated stubbornness to an art form. He’s so lucky he’s cute.

On a brighter, and much more exciting note…it was Report Card day and Miss C is rocking all A’s! Whoop!

We did see one 3 rating (out of a 4 scale) in “Works collaboratively with others” and when questioned why that was lower than all of the other rankings, Cadence explained that sometimes during the math group work, her group members would start getting off topic and jacking around when they were supposed to be working, so Cadence would just break off and work by herself to get it done.

We told her, if that’s the case, we’re happy with a 3 out of 4.

So we celebrated by playing a game of Life.

Yep. Just another exciting Friday night at the Romano house.

School, Soccer, and Style

The end of summer rush hit us hard around here. Between our trip to New York, Henry’s birthday, school shopping, appointments, paperwork, and trying to figure out what our schedule is going to look like with Cadence starting 1st grade and me starting a new job on Thursday, we’ve barely had a minute to sit down and breathe. But we’re not complaining. We’re excited to turn the page on this brand new chapter. And in those few free moments we managed to find these past weeks, we’ve had a whole lot of fun.

Cadence and I had a special girls’ day to go get her hair done. She’s been asking to dye her hair for quite awhile not. I’m not sure whether the obsession started because several of her favorite cartoon characters have funky-colored hair, or because she saw a few photos of me with pink/purple/red/blue hair from my college days. Either way, Stevie and I knew it was something she really wanted to try, so we decided it would be a fun back-to-school treat to let her give it a go. Miss C has always had a very unique sense of style, and both Stevie and I are supportive of Cadence’s desire to sport a little extra color. So C and I headed to the College of Hair Design last week for a cut and a little color (she asked to dye her whole head; we agreed that we’ll start with a streak). And other than Cadence getting a little bored when the bleaching lasted more than an hour, we had a blast and were both so excited with the results.

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Yeah, our kid is cool.

Sunday, Cadence started fall soccer with the YMCA. We thought we’d give it a try since she’d done so well in the Happy Feet league. It was the perfect day–sunny, warm but not too hot–and Stevie, Henry, and I had fun watching Cadence play. Team Coventry ended up losing 2-1, but it was a great game, and Cadence had two awesome breakaways and really controlled the ball well. It’s amazing how good she is for only starting to play soccer in January.

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Since Cadence is running around looking so stylish, I figured it was time for Mr. H to finally get the haircut he’s been so desperately needing. Little man’s hair was hanging down into his eyes, and he’s been sporting a full mullet in the back for quite some time now. These days, the boy is obsessed with books and Mickey Mouse, so I put some Mickey cartoons on the tv and gave him a board book to look at and dove right in. Other than stealing the spray bottle from me and demanding his own comb, he did awesome, and I think I managed to give him a pretty straight cut. But he looks so different! Seriously, he doesn’t even look like my baby anymore, and I don’t know how but cutting his hair made him look taller. Long or short hair, he’s one handsome little man.

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Somehow we managed to fit it all in and get everything done, just in time for Miss C’s first day of 1st grade today. I can’t even believe she’s this old already, and it amazed me how mature she looked standing there on the front step impatiently waiting for me to get the obligatory first day of school photos. Impatient or not, she couldn’t hold the serious face long, especially after I pointed out how Electra was creeping on her in the background.

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And now H-man and I are waiting for her to get home so we can hear all about the first day. And then I’ll have one more day home tomorrow before I head back to the office life and start my new position at the University of Nebraska. I can’t wait! Just when I don’t think it’s even possible, life always finds a way to getting more interesting. But with Stevie, Cadence, Henry, and Electra along for the ride, I’m ready for any new adventure that comes my way.

Space

Cadence’s class recently began studying the sky. She comes home each day talking about the stars and the planets fascinated, like her Daddy and me, by the vastness of all the space stretching out from our little ol’ planet Earth. Stevie downloaded the Star Walk 2 app, which helps Cadence get an up close and personal look at every star and planet floating around out there. We’ve taken to looking at it nightly. We read interesting little facts about the planets and study maps of the different constellations. Cadence has been diligent about coloring in her “moon tickets” as she tracks the waxing and waning pattern of the moon each night before she goes to bed.

Funny how a 5-year-old can ignite your interest in space again, just when you’ve gotten to the point where you’re too busy with all of your adult responsibilities to really even notice it anymore.

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Project Life 365 – Day 113 – Hands

The hardest part of going back to work after being a work-at-home mom for the last 3 years was trying to wrap my head around leaving my little girl in someone else’s care for the majority of the day. Well, that and actually have to get up, change out of my pajamas, and be both sociable and productive before 8:00 a.m.. Productive? Sure, I can handle that. No biggie. But being sociable in the morning, five days a week, before the caffeine has kicked in? You’re pushing your luck, friend.

Luckily for us, the transtion from two-day-a-week morning preschool to full-time preschool was pretty painless. Sure the first couple weeks we were all worn out, and Steven and I spent some time harassing each other about the lack of hot water for whomever was last to shower.

But overall, we really can’t conplain, because just three and a half weeks into our new lives, we’re getting the kinks worked out and we’re all feeling pretty satisfied.

And, best of all, it’s clear that we made the right decision for Cadence. She hops out of bed every morning ready to start the day, and comes home each afternoon excited to share all the new things she learned in school. And tonight, as I sit, listening to my baby girl giving her Daddy and me a lesson on the alphabet and the sounds each letter makes, I know, without a doubt, that my girl is in very good hands.

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God bless the beautiful souls that take such great care of her while we’re away.

Project Life 365 – Day 46 – Reward

Okay, so maybe I’m a total dork, but I don’t mind admitting it. I consider going back to school a reward.

Laugh if you want, but I am seriously excited!

Yeah, this is just my admission to take a few summer session courses before I get around to the nitty gritty of diving headfirst into the counseling psychology program in Fall 2014, but it’s a step and it feels good to be moving forward.

Great way to start a weekend if you ask me. 🙂

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School Days

Since Cadence started school in August, I’ve been itching to get into the classroom and take some photos of her. The first couple weeks, drop-offs were rough. She was anxious and unsure, clinging to me and crying when I hugged her and said goodbye. Since her birth, we’d never been apart for more than an hour or two at a time, and even then, she was either with her Daddy or a grandparent or someone else she knew well enough to no be afraid. I knew it wouldn’t take her long to come around though, my inquisitive little girl. I knew that once she settle in, made friends, began to trust her teacher Mrs. Becky that she would love school and learning, and begin to shine.

It was around the time I realized that Cadence loved school so much and was so comfortable there that she didn’t even want to hold my hand walking in the door or hug and kiss me goodbye anymore that I figured I could probably get away with taking a few photos of her in the classroom without causing too much of a clingy ruckus. And hell, if she was embarrassed by me just walking in the room and saying goodbye to her, I might as well just go whole hog and go all paparazzi on her and her little friends and show her what real embarrassment is all about.

Poor girl, she’s got a whooooooooole lot of uncomfortable years ahead of her living with Steven and me.

So, last week when I picked Cadence up from school, I asked Mrs. Becky if it would be okay for me to come in one day and take some pictures of Cadence in the classroom. I mentioned that I’m a photographer, so if she ever wanted photos of a class activity or anything, to just let me know and I would be more than happy to help out. She said yes immediately, and mentioned that the class would be carving pumpkins, since they’d been learning about them all week. I was ecstatic! We missed out on the pumpkin-carving fun last year because Cadence wanted absolutely nothing to do with pumpkin-picking or pumpkins.

Apple-picking? Absolutely. She loved every minute of it, and talked about it for weeks afterward.

Pumpkin-picking and maybe a photo op in the pumpkin patch? She threw an all-out, fall-to-the-ground, kicking, screaming, whining, crocodile tear fit right there in the pumpkin patch. Thankfully we got it on video. We’re planning to show it to the first boy she brings home when she’s a teenager.

I made sure I told Cadence that I would be coming into her classroom to take pictures of her and Mrs. Becky and her friends. Even so, when we arrived and I unpacked the camera from my bag, I still got a “What the heck are you doing, Mom? Put that thing away! I’m at school!” look of annoyance.

But as soon as her friends started gathering around her Momma and begging for their pictures to be taken, Cadence seemed to change her mind about how uncool it was to have a photographer for a Mom.

I stayed for a little over an hour, snapping photos of all the adorable little munchkins in Mrs. Becky’s class as they went about their daily routine. I watched my daughter, awestruck at the amazing little person she’s already become–playing with her friends, taking turns, listening to Mrs. Becky’s songs and instructions (and sometimes choosing to selectively hear them).

I even watched her creep in close and examine the honorary class pet (well, at least until next week’s spider unit is finished), and then turn on her soap opera-style acting skills and pretend to be scared.

The pumpkin-carving was a success. Cadence and her classmates had a blast scooping out the seeds and feeling all the “squishy stuff” inside, and I got a ton of great pictures. For my blog though, I’m only going to share pictures of my little one.

And then, after a quick clean up, it was time for the kiddos to get their wiggles out and do a little singing and dancing  before snack. Some of you probably know, Miss Cadence got her name partly because both Steven and I are drummers and music lovers, and partly because the minute we saw her bouncing around non-stop on the first sonogram, we knew immediately that this little girl likely had music in her bones. I can’t even really explain what music does to this child, but here are a few photos to illustrate. In the words of Gloria Estefan, “The rhythm is gonna get ya…”

And then, it was time to line up, sanitize the little hands, and head off for snack.

I said goodbye to my feisty little girl and thanked Mrs. Becky again for letting me share an hour of her day. God bless the teachers that take such good care of our kids. I can tell you absolute certainty that our little Cadence is in very good hands.