Preschooling 2.0

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

When I was pregnant with Loden, I didn't really have a plan set out for what our time together might look like. I knew from experience that the first year or so with a new baby is a special and unforgettable time that I would want to be entirely present for, so I planned to be home with him as long as possible to maximize our bonding time. What I didn't know was that I would also struggle with a sense of losing my own time and feel a strong urge to regain an independent, meaningful-outside-of-motherhood existence within that year. 

It was a long and bumpy year, but I pushed through and prioritized my life in order to maintain a sense of self-worth and feel like a whole person for my kiddos. Before Loden turned one, I knew he would follow in his sister's footsteps and enter preschool once he was 18 months old. Reading back through the reasons Avienne was ready to start, I see how many of the same apply to Loden. This time, however, there is also the added selfish urgency to reestablish myself as an autonomous being and feel a sense of belonging to a world I currently feel so disconnected from.

When I started looking into schools for Loden, I considered language immersion again, as it had worked so well for Avienne. Some friends of ours recommended their son's Spanish immersion preschool which was a stone's throw away from our house, and after researching it, we decided it was the right place for Loden to begin his schooling away from home. 

I've just dropped him off for his second day, and although he walked into the school with confidence and coolness, he completely fell apart the moment I said goodbye. It's funny because I don't even recall having such strong, gut-wrenching feelings when Avienne did the same, but clearly, I did! I do remember having vague and fleeting feelings of guilt for "abandoning" her at 16 months old, but for me, the greatest takeaway from that experience with her was that she emerged a confident, Mandarin-speaking kid that lasted long after those torturous transitional weeks. My heart feels so full and strong when I think of that happening for Loden. This little boy of mine is so ready to share his love and friendship with the world.

NYC...a month later

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

It's been a little over a month since our family took a little trip with another favorite family to our mutually favorite city (New York, of course). Since I'm feeling the itch to get out of Austin again, I thought, what better time to recap all the fun we had on our last little jaunt? We made it there just in time for some crazy cold winter weather, lots of snow and lots of sludge. With the exception of one extremely lousy day that kept me with Loden in the apartment for 24 hours, we had a pretty swell visit.

These days chez nous

Friday, September 8, 2017

We're in that funky time in between summer and fall, where the day's weather is a mystery only solved by checking the forecast each morning, and you're not quite sure if it's still too early to put chili and soup on the regular dinner rotation or wait another month. While waiting for solid signs of persisting cooler temps, we've been sticking to spending our days indoors, setting up some semblance of a routine and working on some milestones. I'm so excited for the change of season, and honestly can't wait for Loden to become a little more mobile; he's such a heavy baby, it's a struggle for me to keep him strapped in a carrier for long and he's easily bored with those lame stroller views. I can't say enough how different my two babies have been!

So, here's what chez nous has been looking like lately while we wait for fall to arrive. 

New baby, new identity

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

For the past few weeks, I've been struck with relentless pangs of nostalgia. Looking through old photos and blog posts, it's hard to remember life as newbie parents and even harder to remember life without kids.

It's a pretty significant moment in motherhood for me - having a new baby to start all over with, plus seeing my first baby go off to elementary school, and my emotions have been taking me through some very high highs and very low lows. There are so many questions and doubts I have about the future and tons of wonder and regret about the past; all of which has been occupying my mind in the most aggressive way lately. I think the most compelling part of this whole journey of parenting has been the severity in which my transformation from an individual to a caretaker has impacted my self-image.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Woohoo! My first post of the year and we we're only a little more than half-way through it! ;)

Well, I was looking through some old photos and thought I'd come out of the woodwork to do a little update post. Some spectacular things have happened this year (namely, baby Loden!), but it's been a pretty hard year, too (namely, because new baby!). We're still wrestling with routines and desperately trying to find a new rhythm as a family of four, but Loden is growing and a little more predictable, so thankfully, there's a little light shining through now. 

We haven't left Austin since early October of last year (nearly 10 months ago!) when we jaunted to New York, and I think we're all itching like crazy to get out of town. While we're still working on passports for Loden, we decided to put off a big trip until the fall, and that's made for a pretty low-key (i.e. boring) summer. I can't count the times Avienne has asked to go to France or New York, wondered if we're going to take a plane soon or run off to a vacation destination like so many of her friends have recently. We are indeed kindred, travel-loving spirits, and we just can't seem to shake the craving to get out of town. Soon!

Until then, we're making the most of air conditioned spaces with lots of indoor shenanigans, including plentiful thigh squishes for our favorite baby, frequent coffee/cocoa stops and pulling out ALL the toys and ALL the books. Plus, an occasional splash pad/pool pit stop thrown in there for good measure. And, here's it all in photos:

Future architect? 

 Cute coffee dates.

Managed to have a picnic without melting first.

Legos, crafting, dress-up - all in a summer day's work.

Exercise, check! Air condition, check!

Intense reading moment. 

Coffee shop hangs, part deux.

 Pool hangs.

Occasionally escaping for a little mama r&r (i.e. a worry-free meal with adults!).

TEXAS SARAH. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.