first day of preschool

This morning when I dropped off Baby Chickadee at preschool for her first day I caught myself getting weepy as I kissed her sweet little cheek. Then as I drove away I cried a bit more.

I haven’t been anxious to get Baby Chickadee out of the house and into school but I definitely haven’t been dreading it. That little girl needs more interaction than her sometimes-introverted mama is able to give. So school is good for her. She can get out a lot of her words with her friends.

Last night Janae asked if I was sad or excited for Baby Chickadee to start school today. I replied that I must be hard-hearted because I was not sad. So the tears this morning caught me off-guard.

I sure do love that little stinker. And I sure do miss the noise of my little buddy while she’s away.

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On Saturday the Fox Force Five drove to Manhattan for the Wildcats’ season opener. We get to go once a year because Hubby’s parents have season tickets and they’ll gift a game to one of their sons and his family when they can’t attend the game themselves. Well my in-laws couldn’t attend Saturday’s game, Hubby is the oldest of the sons so he got offered the tickets first, and we soon had the prized tickets in our grubby little hands.

But there were only four tickets, five of us, so Hubby and I devised a plan that he would attend the first half with whichever children wanted to attend with him, then he and I would switch at the half, keeping whichever kids wanted to stay at the game.

We knew G would attend the game because he loves all things K-State football; he goes a few times a year with one of his best buddies and he rattled off statistics to his uninterested sister at dinner the night before. We were pretty sure Little Missy wouldn’t want to go at all, and Hubby chose for Baby Chickadee because she hadn’t been to a game yet. This is the last time all five of us were in Manhattan on a football game day:

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Some of us look a little different now. We also aren’t quite as grainy in real life.

Little Missy and I dropped off the other three at the game, left them to these shenanigans:

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… and then headed to Aggieville. We walked around and held hands and looked into store windows. Then we found a coffee shop and sat in the corner, she with a raspberry italian soda and me with a black coffee. After our drinks were finished and no more art needed to be drawn on the chalkboard table we headed back into the heat and the sunshine and all my memories. We crossed the street onto campus and my old self walked alongside us, amazed at this life I now have. There was the hall in which my best friend Jodi practiced her bassoon; there’s the crosswalk where I fell hard on my butt as I hurried to class on the first day of second semester in my cowboy boots, boots that shouldn’t have been worn on ice ;); there’s where I learned to love studying english literature, all under the wise tutelage of Melissa Rodenbeek; that building is where I discovered english lit GTA’s had excellent taste in movie posters.

And the whole time I held Little Missy’s hand as she talked about her feelings on being the tallest girl in her class, squirrels, and everything that was important to her at that very moment.

My little cutie is 10 years out from being a college freshman; I am 17 years past. I told her that shocking information when it hit me as we walked past the president’s house. We both shook our heads and squealed. Whoa. Just whoa.

A long, long time ago my handsome husband graduated from K-State before I’d even graduated high school. Five years later I attended that same institution without graduating, and now years later we occasionally take our crew to eat Pizza Shuttle and walk Aggieville and scream for the Wildcat FIRST DOWN!

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It’s just all better than I’d hoped.

The daughter who talks about everything that crosses her mind, the other daughter who refuses to take a straight-faced picture, the son who rattles off statistics about an only semi-good football team, a husband who gets me down to my very soul and makes me feel safe.

It’s all just really good.

ow my heart

There is no quicker way to make you doubt the decision you and your husband came to after many months of weighing the pros and cons of procreating yet again before arriving at the happily resolute choice of, “Yeah, I think we’re good,” than going through the rabbit hole of your four-year-old’s baby pictures. You will see those chubby cheeks–of your now four-year-old, eight-year-old and nine-year-old–and think, “Well maybe we could have another one!” Especially when your oldest two children are asking for another baby.

Because I can hold other people’s babies, coo over the expressions that pass across their precious faces, smell their baby-ness, and easily give them back to their mamas without longing for another of my own. But looking at pictures of my own children, the children who hold my heart in their very beings, kind of make my arms ache for a teeny tiny newborn.

I mean, look at these pictures.

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I mean, look how happy they are to see her! This was the first time they saw their baby sister.

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But the truth is that you only take pictures of the happiest times, and I’m cultivating pictures for Baby Chickadee’s book from the happiest of the happy times. Not pictured: waking up 7-8 times a night, hormonal changes, etc.

So no more babies.

But man, the pictures sure are fun to look at.