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Tips to Navigate the First Day of Kindergarten

Tips to Navigate the First Day of Kindergarten

The second biggest day after giving birth to my daughter just happened this morning...she started Kindergarten!!!!

This was a day we've been preparing for all summer. My girl, like a lot of other children (and parents!), gets nervous when things are brand new. Often in those times of unfamiliarity she will cling to me and beg me not to leave with tears in her eyes. Oh, how that tugs at a mama's heartstrings - I'm sure many of you other mommies can relate. I was determined to prep her as much as possible this summer to make our goodbye on the first day of school a happy and joyous one!

And I'm thrilled to say it was very joyous indeed! My girl walked over to where her class was seated, gave me and her daddy a big hug and sat down to begin her day. No tears, lots of smiles and even a little encouragement for ME in the car occurred. We are all so happy and I cannot wait to pick her up and hear all about her day.

Several weeks ago, I took to instagram asking my fabulous followers for helpful suggestions on how to make our goodbye on the first day of school easier. I received some tremendous help so I thought I would put together a list for any other mamas out there who might need a little extra help dropping their children off for the first day of school.

Tips to Navigate the First Day of Kindergarten

1.) Talk about school A LOT and focus on the positive aspects.
Luckily, my girl has two years of preschool under her belt and already has a deep love for school. She did know that Kindergarten was going to be a longer day than preschool, but instead of focusing on the actual length we talked about the extra time she would have to play with her new friends. I made a big deal out of the fact that she gets to have lunch with her friends at school. Anything positive and exciting, we talked about it.

2.) Go to the open house/meet the teacher night if your school has one.
The best way for my girl to feel comfortable is to know what is getting ready to happen. Going to her school's open house allowed her plenty of time to get familiar with her new classroom, her teacher and her desk. We got to the open house at the beginning of the evening, allowing us extra time to explore the room and ask questions of the teacher without feeling rushed. I even asked my daughter to show me around the room helping her to have a sense of pride in becoming a Kindergartener.

3.) Read The Kissing Hand.
Several friends and followers recommended this book to me and I'm so glad they did. The book shares a story of a raccoon who is nervous to go to school and how his mom helps him to feel her love. I won't give away what happens, but the book definitely helped my daughter feel more confident. We read this book several nights in a row before she started school.

4.) Buy mommy and me jewelry.
I purchased matching bracelets for my girl and I to both wear on her first day of school. I told her that anytime she started to miss me or if she just wanted to think about me, to look at her bracelet.
Pro tip: Make sure that the bracelet will actually fit your child and not be too big. I bought bracelets from the little girl section, but they were still too big for her. So we ended up raiding her jewelry box to find bracelets that I knew would fit her and not fall off. 

5.) Concentrate on how your child can be a helper.
Since she has already been to preschool, she does know a little bit of what happens at school. Instead of telling my daughter "don't be sad," I told her to look around her class and find someone who might need some help figuring out how to do things at school. By having her focus on helping others, this shifted her mindset away from "I'm going to miss mommy."
(When I was in Kindgarten, I was scared and nervous on the first day of school. A sweet little girl came over to me and asked if she could give my lunch money to our teacher for me. We are still friends 31 years later!!!)

6.) Ask your child if they have any questions. 
Leading up to the first day, I tried to bring up school a lot and see if she had any questions for me. I wanted to give her all of the information that she was curious about up front.

7.) Prepare the teacher that tears might happen.
While we were at the open house, I mentioned to her teacher how she might cry on the first day. I wanted to give the teacher a head's up and have us talk about the best way to handle things. Luckily her teacher is very sweet and I can tell she has a very loving heart. We planned that if tears happened her teacher would swoop in and take over, giving me an opportunity to make my exit without a crying five year old clinging to my leg.

8.) Make a quick exit on the first day.
My husband and I walked her into school on the first day and I was so proud of her for walking right to her class without any tears or hesitation. As much as I wanted to hang around and take extra pictures, I didn't want to linger and give her a reason to come running over to us. We said our goodbyes, I snapped a picture from across the gym and we left.

9.) Pray.
We've taught our daughter to seek God and pray whenever she needs help. She already knows this and prays whenever she wakes up scared in the middle of the night, asking God to give her courage and strength. On our way to school this morning, we all took turns praying over her day and asked God to make it joyous and fun. I was so proud to even hear my girl thank God for the awesome day she was about to have.

First Day of Kindergarten
First Day of School Tips

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9 Tips to Navigate the First Day of Kindergarten

4 Month Update

4 Months Old

These past four months have been so full that they flew by in the blink of an eye. Knox brings so much joy to our lives, it is hard to remember what life was like before him.

Stats: We had Knox's 4 month check up on Monday and he weighed in at 14 pounds, 14 ounces and has grown to 24 inches long. His weight and height are pretty normal, basically in the middle of the pack for other babies his age. However his head circumference is almost off the charts. He fits right into our big headed family.

Development: He continues to smile a lot and has also started laughing, especially at his Daddy. Everything he touches makes its way to his mouth. We thought he was teething, a tooth even appeared in the top of his mouth and then it was gone! We can only assume that his gums swelled and covered it back up. He can now hold onto toys and also reaches out for the toys that hang from his activity mat.

Loves: This boy loves to eat. He doesn't miss a meal and for many days this past month he even took an extra bottle. Knox also loves to ride in the car. If he is fussy, a quick car ride will quiet him down. Laughing is a favorite pastime of his as well; Star Wars sounds will always ensure a laugh. And finally, I love that Knox loves his mama. We have a special bond that I hope never goes away.

Dislikes: Knox is quite a happy baby...until he isn't. There isn't much of an in between. He hates to be hungry and he hates to be sleepy. Those two things will 1000% ensure that a screaming fit will occur.

Sleeping: Knox was pretty much sleeping through the night until we moved. He would sleep from about 7:30 p.m. until 5:45/6 a.m. Then when we moved, we switched him from his Rock n' Play to his crib and things changed a bit. He started waking up around 3 a.m. and his naps almost became non-existent. We are working on things now and doing a bit of sleep training to get him back on track. His sleeping (or sometimes lack there of) is incredibly different from his sister and I've had trouble adjusting to it.

Diapers: Our little guy is still in size 2 Pampers.

Eating: Knox eats anywhere from 32-40 ounces of breastmilk a day. He eats 8 ounces at time, about 4 hours apart. Luckily, my oversupply has kept him well fed.

Clothing: He is solidly in 3-6 months clothing. I've even put him in several 6 months outfits that fit pretty good, but still allow some room to grow. Now that we've moved into our new house and I've unpacked his room, I've found tons of bigger clothes that I forgot we had. I'm glad we are pretty well stocked on clothing for him for awhile.

Miscellaneous: I'm so glad to report that the doctor told us Knox is very strong, has incredible muscle control in his neck and he is totally on track with his development even though he was born four weeks early.

3 Months Old

3 Months Old

Stats: We don't have actual stats on our fast growing boy as he won't have another check up until 4 months old. But we are thinking he is around 14 pounds, maybe? He has definitely grown and his feet have really gotten big as they don't fit into his sleepers. We can't wait to find out his real stats next month.

Development: These past few weeks have been so fun because Knox has really been able to focus and make tons of eye contact with us. He is SUPER smiley most of the time and his smile makes all bad things a distant memory. He moves his head around alot, checking out his surroundings. And his neck control is impressive; he can hold his head up for a very long length of time. I even started putting him in the Bumbo seat and he can hold his head/body up without slumping.

Loves: Not much has changed, he still LOVES his sister. I adore watching their relationship, they both have so much adoration for each other. He also loves to eat as you can tell from his growing body!

Dislikes: Right now his only dislikes are being hungry and being sleepy. He has had a couple fits of screaming because he was so hungry and was unaware that his milk was right in front of his face.

Sleeping: We started using The Baby Sleep Solution to help him sleep through the night. Right now Knox will go down around 8 p.m. and sleep until 5 a.m. most nights! We are thankful for those nine hours of uninterrupted sleep. He will wake up and eat just a tiny bit and then go right back to sleep which makes me think he will drop that 5 a.m. feeding soon. I'm super hopeful that he will sleep 12 hours straight (just like his sister did) very soon.

Diapers: Still in size 1 Pampers, but once we are done with the opened box, we will switch to size 2. We did start using size 2 overnight diapers.

Eating: Since we started using The Baby Sleep Solution, Knox is primarily bottle fed so we know how much milk he is eating throughout the day. He gets pumped breastmilk and eats every 4 hours. I have quite a LARGE supply of milk and already have almost 2,000 ounces frozen. I had no where near an oversupply with Kendall, it is incredible how different my body is this time.

Clothing: Most of his clothing is size 3-6 months, but there are a couple 3 month outfits that he can wear. It still amazes me how two different brands can be labeled the same size and yet vary in size drastically.

Miscellaneous: This past weekend we traveled to Illinois/Missouri for our niece's graduation, making it Knox's first road trip. On the way there he was a rockstar as we split the drive up over two days. For the return trip, we made the trip all in one day. The first six hours of the ride were perfect and he was so easy going. However, the last three hours were not so fun. I couldn't blame the poor kid, I wouldn't like to be stuck in a car seat all day either. We decided that we won't be traveling over six hours at a time anymore until he is older.

Living A Bold Life As A Second Time Mom

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and The J.M. Smucker Company, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #1850Coffee #1850CoffeeatTarget
1850 Brand Coffee

It is no secret to my friends, I'm a coffee lover and I look forward to my morning cup of java each day. I use the time while I enjoy my morning coffee to help me clear my head, plan my day and start out on a positive note. One thing I'm currently focusing on is being bold, both in words and actions. To me, the boldest a person can be is when they are completely truthful and don't try to act like life is always 100% perfect. Because it isn't. Sometimes to be bold, you need the help of a bold coffee to start you on the right foot. I'm currently enjoying the bold yet smooth flavor of 1850 Brand Coffee, a new premium coffee from the makers of Folgers. It wakes me up and starts my day in a positive way.

Now that I've been a second time mom for a bit more than three months, I've had plenty of time to gather my thoughts and truly reflect on how different our lives look. There is a cute little quote that grandparents often say, "If I knew how much fun grandkids were, I would have had them first." That is how I feel about being a second time mom. If I knew how much more relaxed I would be the second time around, I would have chosen to be a second time mom first. :)

Second Time Mom
1850 Brand Coffee Mug

I feel like a completely different mom with my second baby than I did with my first. I feel free, I feel in control and I actually find myself enjoying every aspect of newborn life. Yes, often even those middle of the night feedings can be enjoyable because I know he won't be that little for long. I wish I could invite every new mom I know over, brew a cup of 1850 Brand Coffee which will help her to feel more awake, and share my insights with her. I even wish I could go back five years and tell past Lindsay everything I'm going to share now.

Experience is truly a great thing. With my second child, I'm not crippled with fear and anxiety. I'm not begging my husband to let us stay in instead of living our lives. I'm not second guessing every choice I make.

Here is how I imagine the conversation going with first time mamas:
"Mama, I know it's hard.
I know you are tired and I know how desperately you want to look like you have it all together. The truth is, NO ONE has it completely together when they have a new baby. No one. And don't let anyone fool you into thinking they do. Life is different, yes, but you can still hold onto the normalcy you crave. To help yourself feel normal and not so crazed, I highly suggest giving yourself some "me time" each day. Even if it is only three minutes. My me time often is when I'm enjoying my 1850 Brand Coffee. Don't eliminate that me time from your day. It is important, it will help you still feel like yourself.

I know right now that you think your life will always be this crazy and unpredictable. It won't. It will go by in the flash of an eye and you will one day look down and see you have an almost five year old, getting ready to start Kindergarten at the end of the summer. You may find yourself wondering, where did the time go? How is she already going to leave me for five days a week when I'm so used to spending most hours of the day with her? Mama, truly hear me: You WILL gain control over your life again.

They say that the days are long and the years are short. I've never heard a phrase more true. Just remember mama, one day soon you will know your child's schedule. You will be able to predict when they will eat and sleep and want to play. You will eventually feel in control. I know at the beginning it doesn't feel that way, but it will - sooner than you think. Make a conscious effort to not confine yourself to your house. YOU still need to live. YOU still need to take care of yourself. I know it is easier said than done, but that little baby will only be tiny for a few months. Don't spend your days wishing for "I can't wait until the baby does this" because the next time you blink, you will be there and the newborn snuggles will be gone."

As I said above, coffee is my me time and it is how I start everyday. Quieting myself with my 1850 Brand Coffee helps me think about how I'm going to go after everything life has to offer...even with a new baby in the house. Were you someone who used to love going to coffee shops to enjoy coffee shop strength in your java, but because you are a new mom you don't think you can? Then pick up 1850 Brand Coffee and brew it at home. It is bold and smooth, but never has a bitter taste. It is evenly roasted for a consistent coffee flavor with less bitterness. And it can be available in your home 24 hours a day.
1850 Brand Coffee Flavor
Coffee Obsessed
Bold Life With Kids

You can still lead a bold life as a new mom, you just need to start with a bold choice. Every bold day has a morning. Make your choice to live a bold and truthful life while you savor your coffee. 1850 Brand Coffee gets it's name from the year 1850 when J.A. Folger started something new and innovative to help the prospectors as they sought their fortunes. Mamas, your fortune is a bold life alongside your newborn and not living a life stuck inside your house. Get after your bold life with this bold but smooth cup of coffee. Use 1850 Brand Coffee to help fuel new ideas, to declare that TODAY will be the day you and your baby experience life. Be brave, use your me time to become more than just coffee, but an ally to reclaiming your life and hustle.

And here is my best piece of advice. Don't quit your weekly (or more than weekly) trips to Target. The car ride there will likely soothe your baby to sleep, allowing you time to still wander the aisles like normal. Don't become crippled with panic thinking your baby might freak out while there. Just come prepared with your nursing gear or a bottle. And if the baby cries, so what, they all do!And while you are at Target, pick up 1850 Brand Coffee - Target is where you will find it! 1850 Brand Coffee is available in four signature blends of Ground and K-Cup coffee and will also be available in three ready to drink flavors. So you can have your Target run and drink your coffee too!

I'd love to share a special offer with you! Visit Target from 5/20 - 6/30 and take 20% off any 1850 Brand Coffee Product with the Target Cartwheel coupon (while supplies last)!

1850 Brand Coffee varieties

Decor Plans For Kids Rooms

Machine Washable Rugs

We are a little less than a month away from moving into our new home. That means that I've had home decor on the brain basically 24/7. While Tolar might be thinking about how much more space we are going to have and Kendall thinks about playing on her swing set at the new house, I've been imagining how I will decorate and organize every room.
I've been most excited about decorating the bedrooms for each of my children. Their rooms are much more fun to decorate because they both have themes. Kendall has decided on a mermaid theme because she really wants me to keep the jellyfish that I made for her birthday party last summer. And I will decorate the nursery with mustaches.

Even though we have chosen specific themes for their rooms, I am still trying to include neutral pieces that can be used for years to come. I'm sure as both of them get older, their tastes will change and new decor choices will be needed. By adding some neutral pieces keeps me from having to completely redecorate down the road.

One of the easiest ways, in my humble opinion, to add texture and dimension to a room is to add an area rug. Sometimes, just the simple addition of a rug can really take your decor to the next level. I love adding rugs to give a bit of a cozy feel to a room. However, adding a rug to a child's room can be a bit daunting. I've certainly wondered "do I really want to spend money on a rug that could potentially be spilled on and dirtied by little ones?" My answer now is YES because I've discovered something amazing...washable rugs that you can wash AT HOME from Lorena Canals.

Lorena Canals Rug
Lorena Canals has machine washable rugs that can fit in a conventional washing machine. At home machine washing 100% seals the deal. A busy mom does not have time to be lugging a rug to a dry cleaner and with Lorena Canals, there is no need. All you have to worry about with Lorena Canals is deciding which rug you will choose.

Keeping with my use of neutral items, I selected the Little Biscuit rug in white. Most people would say that white should be off limits in a child's room, but I simply adore the cleanliness of white and the aforementioned machine washable factor made this an easy choice. The Little Biscuit rug comes in other colors as well. I like the white because this rug can be used in either room, gender doesn't matter. I have not fully decided which child will get this cute rug. I love the scalloped edge and it is no secret that I am a huge fan of polka dots.

Another great feature of Lorena Canals rugs is that they are eco-friendly, with 100% natural cotton and non-toxic dyes. The rug is plush, super soft and extremely comfortable. If the rug ends up going into the baby's nursery, I feel completely confident laying him down. I think the polka dots would be perfect for tummy time and would give him something to focus on. Since the rug is extremely light, it can easily be moved from room to room until I decide where I like it best. If you have opinions and thoughts on who should get this rug, please share them in the comments below.

I'm excited for us to move into our new house and to share pictures of how I will decorate and organize everything. Hopefully by the end of June I will start to have things unpacked and somewhat decorated so I can start sharing!

Lorena Canals Little Biscuit white rug
Lorena Canals plush rug
Lorena Canals Little Biscuit rug
Lorena Canals washable rug