Truman's First Day of Senior Kindergarten

I have a boy in Kindergarten today. All day school, you guys. How is this possible? Wasn't I just writing his birth story the other day, posting about my first day back to work after maternity leave with Truman? Man, they weren't kidding when they said that time passes in a blink, were they?

I don't want this post to be all melancholy and emotional and 'woe is me', because Truman is SO stinking excited for school and beyond ready for it. I'm taking his lead and focusing on the awesomeness of this milestone instead of being sad. And yet I have a lump in my throat after just typing these two little paragraphs. This one snuck up on me, I guess!

A little more info on the whole Kindergarten thing: we call it 'Senior Kindergarten' or 5K because last year was 'Junior Kindergarten', or 4K. Truman's elementary school shares a building with a charter school for the whole suburb, called STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Basically this charter school is totally separate from the neighborhood elementary school except that they share a building. There is a lottery for kids to get into the STEM program beginning at age 5 and it's really popular and therefore difficult to get into STEM. Truman was on number seven on the wait list this year, and there were twenty-two open slots for this new 5 year old class (also Kindergarten shares a classroom with First Grade in STEM; so confusing, I know). Anyway, out of the twenty-two open spots, eleven of those went to siblings who already had an upperclassman in the program. So there were eleven open spots for the rest of us lottery people and I am certain that over one hundred applied, maybe more. Being wait listed at number seven seemed pretty much unattainable but other moms told me in years past they had gotten through number eight. So there was hope! And then we heard that number five got accepted this year, which means we were SO CLOSE. I'm a little bummed because I think Truman would do phenomenal in that environment, with a heavy focus on hands-on activities, learning by doing instead of sitting and listening, lots of neat outside-of-classroom experiences, etc. BUT, I also believe Truman will be an excellent fit for the traditional elementary setting, too. The kid loves to learn and he'll do great even without STEM, I'm sure. We'll still apply for Cecelia and Porter to get in when their time comes, but for now Truman is at the elementary school he'll attend through fifth grade. We have a lot of years ahead of us at this school! Like, eleven more years or something until Porter is out of elementary and into middle school. FREAKY!

This year, Truman's class has twenty-three kids compared to last year's twenty-seven. Still a lot of kids but the classroom itself is twice as large (and super cool) and this teacher has been around for many years. I think she will be great for Truman and I hear that her specialty is getting the kids to be readers by the end of the year. It's just wild to me to know he will be in class every day for seven hours. And he'll eat lunch there, supposedly they have a 'nap time' there (hahahaha!), and he is going to be a real deal school kid now.

Last week we had the open house/meet and greet and Truman was a little shy when he met his teacher at first, but then he warmed up. Some of the other kids came while we were there and Truman got really excited to see them, saying, 'Mommy, I wish I could start school tomorrow.' I mean, talk about a relief to have a child love school and not dread it (ahem, Nate of yesteryear!).

Um, he is a whole head taller and I am a lot thinner. And not nursing, obviously, holy moly! These open houses are so much fun and obviously call for comparison pictures.
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Then this morning was the big day, and I had my worst night of sleep in a long time. I can't even blame the kids, it was all me and my stupid brain that wouldn't shut off. Porter woke up at 3 am and I didn't go in there, since we are sorta re-sleep training him, but it woke me up enough that I couldn't fall back to sleep at all. AT ALL. So when Nate's alarm went off at 5:15 I wanted to die but I actually didn't feel tired, more amped up than I thought for the first day of school. I basically just laid there for those two hours thinking about how fast time is going, reminding myself all that I wanted to do to prepare for the day, and just thinking way too darn much in general. Once Nate got up I did, too, and I went for a run to make the ridiculously early start time for this day somewhat worth it. I'm sure I will be paying for this anticipation later tonight but for now I feel alright. Afternoon coffee is happening, though. For sure.

I wasn't sure what to pack for his lunch, since I'm pretty sure they cannot have peanut butter in their classroom and Truman's fave is PBJ. So I packed some deli turkey, string cheese, a Go-gurt, a lemon Clif ZBar, a GoGo squeeze applesauce, some strawberries, and raisins. This seems like a lot and isn't exactly homemade goodness but oh well, I am curious to see how much he eats at this point!

Little tag by Mabel's Labels, we received this and some of their awesome waterproof sticky labels for clothes, shoes, and paper products via Savvy Sassy Moms. Something about seeing it hang off his bag makes me teary. Because obviously I am insane.

Might go a little overboard labeling all.the.things, but I can't help it. They stick and stay on fabric, which is both awesome and mind-blowing!

Big kid lunch box with proper label;)

Oh, and we have a new rug in the Sunroom, must do a post on the updates soon!

The big kids were talking in their room before 7, and Nate had to leave at 6:30. I wish we had the forethought to have him take off of work a bit this morning, but I figured I could just fill him in and take a million pictures instead. Truman and CC were both in pretty good moods this morning, I could tell he was really excited and not too nervous. He reminded me that today is also his half-birthday which might be even more of a big deal than the start of Kindergarten in a five year old's mind;) (I'm sorry, a five-and-a-half year old's mind). I fed them breakfast, they got dressed, Porter finally woke up and he ate his breakfast, too. Then we had about 20 minutes to spare so we took lots of pictures on the front porch. Brings back so many memories of last year when Truman started his JK year (which was just 2.5 hours each day, but still a big deal!). Porter was just a few weeks old, I was on maternity leave, and super emotional. Some things change and some things don't at all!

The kids? They are all changing and are disgustingly cute, if I do say so myself.


I mean...

This girl is going to miss her big brother so much.

I admit that I asked him to do this for the camera, worth it!

Mom, please, are we done yet?

Gotta do a selfie stick shot first, buddy!
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The crew and I headed out the door at 8:00 and got to the playground pretty early, and the flurry of activity and electricity in the air on the first day of school is something I'll always love. We took more pictures, watched the kids line up with their teacher as the bell rang, and she had the parents come up with them for this first day. We helped them put away their backpacks in their cubby holes and organized some of the school supplies, but then she just wanted us to explore and walk around a bit. This is when I started to first feel a little teary, like it was getting so real that THIS IS OUR LIFE now, Truman is in school. The Principal came over the speaker system and we all said the Pledge of Allegiance. Then Truman's teacher had the kids come up to the front and 'find a square' on the big colorful rug, where they could sit. I gave Truman a big hug and kiss and had to turn my head so he wouldn't see my watery eyes. Porter and Cecelia were sort of wreaking havoc on the classroom toys which helped me stay somewhat distracted. Then the teacher asked the kids to blow the mommies and daddies kisses and wave goodbye. Cue another huge lump in my throat as I watched my brave boy smile the most genuine, proud smile ever as he waved and me and began his time in Kindergarten.

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Ugh, my boy is so big and it's so awesome/sad. Mostly awesome though, but woah.

Just having my two younger kids today has felt...weird, for a lack of a better word. We certainly miss Truman as the ringleader of the bunch but we've stayed busy enough by going to the pool for a few hours and enduring the ninety degree heat by splashing around. It was really fun to have just Cecelia and Porter to myself even though those two are my most challenging kids anyway, Truman is the easiest!

Needs a neck pillow in the car, duh.
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I've been looking for this hat all summer, glad I found it one week before the pool closes.
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Lolololz. These two!
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It's currently nap time so I'm spending it blogging and reflecting on this big day. I also got to spy on Truman at recess earlier, since we live so close to the school. I could watch out the window and see him running around with his buddies, seemingly loving his time outside. Oh, he is going to be beyond exhausted tonight though, I have a feeling this whole week will be full of brutal evenings. We will see.

I'll add a bit to this post once we pick up our school boy and get a full report. I hope he doesn't fall asleep at the dinner table after a big day like today, but hey---I might do the same, so whatever!

{UPDATE: he was full of energy, super happy to see his sister, and was talkative after his first day! I loved picking him up on the playground, seeing him run to me smiling a huge grin, and he almost chuckled a little bit as we hugged. His favorite part was recess and the fact that he somehow 'bought' a chocolate milk for lunch, even though I haven't loaded a penny onto his card since I want to provide his lunches. Also, day two was the same---sneaky chocolate milk somehow, maybe we will have a negative balance once I do upload money for him. We have since discussed that he can buy a chocolate milk ONLY on Fridays, since we do chocolate milk here maybe three times a year ever. Getting it two days in a row means Truman LOVES school, ha! He also ate a little over half of his lunches both days, which I guess is fine but he's definitely starving in the evenings after school so far.

His first day, Truman said they got to explore the Library and also the Music room a bit. They didn't actually nap, but they did lay down and read books during quiet time. On the second day he sang me a song they've already learned in Music class and has been super into sounding out words in random books in the evening. My little sponge---he really does love school. He even said something I'm not sure is true, but said, 'I even like it better than last year'. I thought Junior Kindergarten was a tough act to follow but for now, at least, while everything is still new and fun, Truman is a huge fan. Whew! }

New beginnings, a new chapter in life, and all of the corresponding emotions over here. I try not to get too far ahead of myself, but next year at this time Cecelia will be the one starting Junior Kindergarten. Talk about mind blowing!!

Okay, and then you would be super disappointed in me if I didn't do a lot of comparison photos, right??

Our crew, first day of school in 20014 and again in 2015:
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Truman's first day of JK versus SK
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Truman and CC at the end of last year (May) and today. Oops, I guess I like this dress a lot for her and she might have grown more this summer than T did! And Truman has worn those shorts for every one of these comparison days now;)
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Handsome, handsome boy at the first day of JK, last day of JK, and first day of SK
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Again... (favorite shorts are getting much shorter!)
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And again...
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I love him so much I could pop.

The end.


  1. De-lurking to tell you that I mis-read "pop" as "poop" in that 2nd-to-last line and literally LOL'd. Also, I love all the comparison photos, kids change so fast!

  2. Just an FYI, you can use sun butter in place of peanut butter. It's made from sunflower seeds not nuts and isn't a common allergen. My friends with deadly peanut allergies can eat it and that's what we use for schools that don't allow peanut butter. It tastes similar, but is a little more expensive. You can buy it at Costco.

  3. Love him and trying so hard not to cry ALL THE TEARS! You are taking this whole kindergarten thing way better that I am mama. I have tried to write a post but can't get past the first paragraph. He is so awesome and totally going to love school! Love the pics!

  4. Cannot believe how much he's grown in a year!! Jeez!

    All day kindergarten is a crazy milestone - suddenly your kid is spending all day with someone else, even if you're home. I mean...totally life changing when they've been with you the majority of their days/time. It's definitely bittersweet to see the little kid years with your oldest behind you, but man. Isn't the big kid stage amazing? I'm obsessed with it.

    1. Agree, I love this age so much, wouldn't trade it! Still definitely bittersweet to see them growing up so quickly, but that is kind of the point of parenthood I guess, huh? ;)

  5. Ok, I actually got a little teary reading this because I am as emotionally insane as you apparently :) Truman grew SO much in just a year (well, all of the kids did)! That's awesome that he is so excited about school. And I second the sunbutter. Kai loves it (he supposedly has a peanut allergy) and eats it every single day.

  6. My big guy started first grade, and it was more emotional for me than kinder - I was feeling all the same feelings and got teary-eyed for sure after leaving him in his classroom. So cute and I hope he had a great first day! We definitely had the grumpy/tired boy in the evening for the first 2 days!

  7. I had to laugh when you mentioned that 23 kids was a lot for one classroom. I always had around 33 kids in my classes in elementary school (I started kindergarten in '88) in crowded California. Twenty-three seems like such a small amount! I think that's a great size.

    1. Yeah, I have pretty large class sizes growing up, too. But I think by today's standards anything over 20 is a lot. Especially 4-5 year olds! But really, just happy it's not 27 like last year for one teacher. I'm sure it's different everywhere but I worry that kids are going to get lost in the shuffle with that many little bodies in a class!


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