Friday, October 7, 2016

Natalie the Schoolgirl

Intelligent, curious, silly, loving. That's our beautiful girl! 
stomping around in her new boots

a picture she drew for our missionary brothers entitled "Carwash" haha

Purchase of the first backpack! // still loving Peppa // playdoh creationing

The Great Natsby. A fitting title for someone so magnificent! She LOVES to learn (her teacher called her "inquisitive" which is just perfect), and she is VERY concerned for the welfare of others. She always tells me if one of her friends had an owie or was sick, and she does the most tender little pat-pat on the arm of someone who isn't feeling well or is sad, while looking into their eyes with a little half-smile. How is this four-year-old so...mature? She is very special indeed. I have to remind myself that she is still just 4 - I give her responsibilities like "go check on Jack" or "make sure the boys don't dump the cereal out while I'm in the shower." Then I remember that she isn't 16 and I shouldn't expect her to do the things a babysitter would do! But she does them and she enjoys helping and being responsible and I am so grateful for her as my little helper. She now puts away her own laundry, makes her bed, "does the dishes," and easier stuff like putting away the toys and fetching something I need ("please bring me my shoes" lol). She gives great hugs and is always excited about meeting new people and seeing old friends. 

And.....she started preschool!!! She is SO pleased with the whole affair. Monumentally enamored by the whole idea of school, just like I was. She adores her teacher, loves playing with her little friends, is so excited to explain new ideas to me: "MOM! If there's a gun in the room, DON'T TOUCH IT. Go tell a GROWN-UP." (from their safety unit) "MOM! Miss Kaycee added new toys to the House Center!" or "Mommy? I had to sit in the safe seat today. I was throwing sand in the Sensory Center." It is so wonderful that she tells us about her day on her own accord - I hope we'll always be able to have good conversations about school and what she's doing in her life. She rides the bus to and from school right from our driveway and she LOVES it. Seriously can't get enough. Her morning bus driver is so cute and happy, Shannon.

 first day of school - watching her go down the stairs made me feel such...motherly conflict! happy about her new opportunities, sad that I won't see her as much. Isn't she the sweetest little preschooler you ever did see!?

look at her sparkly eyes : ) 

 Miss Kaycee is a ROCK STAR. So perfect for our Natsby.

Making cookies (she always remembers to grab our aprons) // hilarious facial drawings // more Peppa

another official drawing - "Big Huge Bubble"
It's been weird for me to spend less time with my Natsby. I am SO relieved that school is going well and that she enjoys it so much. It is awesome to see how much she is learning and growing (now she sounds out the letters at the beginning of words and tells me what they are! "fish...fff fff FISH, it's an F, mommy!"). I'm even MORE relieved that Miss Kaycee said that Natalie is kind and understanding. That is a BIG deal to me.

I thought it was quite poetic that I was driving the Xterra, my car from high school, on the first day of school for my daughter. (The other car was in the shop, hello new tires!, so we drove this relic.) I teared up as I noticed my old parking passes - the first one from 2006! - and realized how fast the past 10 years have gone and how fast the next 10 years will go. But I was also so happy that my little Natsby gets to start her own fun school adventure - I always loved school and it's been fun to share this experience with her. (Also, I may have driven by her preschool a couple of hours later just to "check" on her, as if I could see anything from the car haha. I missed her!)

An email from her teacher:

"I want to take a moment to brag on Natalie.  She is such a ray of sunshine.  We just love her.
I've been dying to tell you this story- I was stretching the other day and she saw my tanktop underneath my shirt and she said, "Ms. Kaycee I see your garments!!!"  We all giggled.
THAT NOTE TODAY, to Ms Linda, MADE LINDA'S DAY.  We made a BIG deal out of it and made sure to really praise Natalie for her kindness, but honestly, it was really special.  Thanks for doing that!"

Haha, the garments comment. The note that she is referencing is a little card Natalie found in my desk. She brought it to Austin and told him she wanted him to write down a letter from her to Miss Linda (a helper in the class.) Austin made sure she really meant Miss Linda and not her main teacher, Miss Kaycee, but Natalie was adamant that it was for Miss Linda ("Winda.") It said something simple like "Dear Miss Linda, I'm glad you're in our class. I love you. I love being in your class. Love, Natalie." She put it in her backpack and couldn't wait to give it to her! It was just very cute that it was all Natalie's idea and I'm so impressed that she had the thought that Miss Linda, probably overlooked in the background most of the time, could use a special note. I'm proud of and touched by her thoughtfulness.

ready for school, complete with hat,
at least half an hour before we're leaving haha

I laughed out loud when, at parent-teacher conferences, Miss Kaycee made a comment about how "smart, fun, and kind Natalie is" but then followed up with "she does talk a little too much." Pretty much verbatim what my teachers always said about me! Good job, Natalie! 

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