Last week, particularly last Monday, was a big day in our home.
Hubby started a brand new job. He was at his last job for 18 years. It was a big leap to change after such a long time, but boy is he happy. He says it has been like Dorothy leaving the black and white world of Kansas behind and stepping into Oz - bright, colorful, and vibrant. In short, he is loving his job and having a great time. We took a photo of him on his first day since we were all very excited for him. Not only is his new work role a great one, but the hours and benefits are great as well, and it is very work/life balance friendly! I could go on and on about his reports back to me. Something I totally oooh and awed about was the fully stocked vending machines that are totally free - candy, chips, soda, snacks, etc. There's plenty of other food, too - fridges stocked with bread and sandwich makings, all the makings for an impromptu lunch or barbeque, fresh fruit, etc. He said his biggest concern at this new job is weight gain. There is a gym next door that he has been using so maybe it will balance things out. It's just so fun to see him being treated well and smiling when he eagerly leaves for work. I realized recently that until now, I had never actually seen him giddy about work in the 12+ years we've been married.
The kids, on the same day, started at their new school programs. Yes, we cannot do change gradually around here - we have to do it all at once. My mom has been ill and can not take care of the kids. She is supposed to make a full recovery but it will take time. We hope maybe she can help with the baby in the new year but the kids have been loving their new programs so much that we plan to keep them on the same schedule regardless of whether she can help out again or not. It's a lot to ask a 74 year old woman to watch 3 kids. But I think she'd be bummed if she did not have time with the baby.
The program they are in is called "Just for Kids". It is an extension of our city school district. In fact, it is also on school grounds. It is somewhat of an onsite day care. However, much more elaborate than that. It's also a preschool and pre-kindergarten. The staff are all from the local university and are elementary education majors. T goes for a half day two days a week - he gets walked right over from his kindergarten class. Lil Sister (by the way, we need to change her blog name soon, huh?) is in pre-kindergarten two full days a week. There is plenty of structure, rest time, and they can bring their meals or eat in the school cafeteria.
I did have to go get Lil Sis a nap pillow and bring in one of her blankets for rest time. She seems to not nap there but her teachers (she has two for the 8-10 kids in the class) say she always rests quietly during the entire nap period. (Shh, don't tell them but the secret to her doing so is her soft "blankie"). I also purchased new lunch boxes for the kids - they love JFK days because they get a "picnic lunch".
T does not have a rest period and loves that several of the kids from his kindergarten class are also in JFK with him. He's making lots of good friends. Oh, and his teacher in his after school class is a guy - he thinks that's totally cool to have a male teacher.
The security there is also impressive. My mom was especially worried about that (having been a preschool director for years) but we can only sign them in or out with thumb print recognition. I thought that was pretty cool, too.
So, everyone has done great. It does make for really early mornings on Mondays and Fridays when I drop them at school. Oh, Lil Sister also calls JFK school. Plus, she was begging and begging for weeks to go to school. I think two full days a week is just the right amount for her at this point - and I am just about over the guilt of her starting preschool well before her brother started school. We can always add more down the road. And before we know it, she'll be my kindergartener. I was talking with T's teacher about helping more in the class. She laughed and said I was doing plenty as I had two other kids that would be going through kindergarten so I better pace myself. Oh, and she totally wants Lil Sis in her class in two years. She already talks like it's a done deal. Maybe because our little girl joins in as often as possible with T's class. I'll post some photos of the pumpkin patch field trip we all went on last week soon.
For now, here are some first photos - Hubby on his first day at his new job (I am still smiling hearing the excitement in his voice as he told me of his day), Lil Sister and T on their first day at their new programs. I also had to include a photo of Lil Sis wearing her "big school girl" back pack - this one does not hold toys, but only school work. Oh, and I don't normally send them in their pajamas but it was red ribbon week and the first day was wear your pajamas to school day. They both wanted to wear their bones jammies so they could show off how they glow.
Congratulations to my husband and kids on their successful days of firsts - the dinner conversation that night was AWESOME!