Monday, June 8, 2015

It's a Wrap!

I must admit it: this might be the cutest kindergarten classes in all of our area. They held a wonderful graduation performance for us Wednesday of last week - crooked caps and all!

They sang loud and proud and melted everyone with their rendition of What a Wonderful World complete with sign language. I was so proud of myself for keeping it together and taking it all in.

Then we were surprised by the Candy Awards. Mrs. P and Mrs. M passed awards to each child in their classes and all were based on only the best thing ever: candy. I cheered so hard for each of her classmates, because I've been lucky enough to watch them all transform this year while helping in the classroom. And then Ella got the Milky Way Award...for respect and kindness. The culmination of pride and melancholy washed over me so quickly that the biggest crocodile tears spilled out of my eyes before I could think twice. So I went with it. And when Ella marched her way off the stage to hand us her award, seeing her mama's happy tears bursting out everywhere was what she always expected.

Holy Toledo are we proud of her. Of all the awards, this touched us so deeply. I'm also ecstatic that she hood-winked the entire administration at GP Academy and saved all her less-than-flattering behavior for us!!

The Magic Worker, Mrs. P

JJ and Ella

With the future all bright and stuff, we headed home, got into zoo clothes and hit the ground running with Grandma and Papa for a few hours before I went into work.

We are a few days into Summer Break now and it has gone amazingly. Ella has a brand new journal she is writing in a few times a day. Yesterday, she added an entry about her Daddy being handsome. I also did some research on good learning apps for sight words and math and those have been downloaded to the tablet. Grandma has done her homework and secured a great workbook to keep her little noodle from getting all mushy, too. Her teacher made me promise to keep some of the routine going over the summer and I'm doing my part!

This past weekend was really wonderful with a festival in one of our best neighborhoods and then our own personal border patrol doing this...

I can't make this stuff up. I wasn't home. I was off doing fantastic stuff helping to kick off something I will mention later this month. Larry was home, with Ella and our two neighbor pals. Ella heard a baby kitty crying and this little stinker shows herself.

More later but we are fostering her after a quick trip to the Humane Society for a foster starter kit and meds to get her healthier. Meet Miss Agatha Hannigan, or Miss Hannigan for short. If you have no idea where Ella got this name (a name her BFF Roz thought would be awesome also, not knowing that E had chosen it), please consult all things Annie Movie.

I spent last night doing 3 hour intervals to check on her. She's just like a newborn baby, folks.

Summer Vacation just got a little more fun!


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Dear Ella, You've Come A Long Way Baby.

These images will be forever burned in my memory. Admit it - yours too!! The brutality that hit you, that hit us when you ventured off on your first day of school still overwhelms me a little.  

Fast forward to June 1, 2015. Look at you shine now, Ella Man Li! I'm not going to lie to you, it took a lot of patience, a lot of reassuring and a very good kindergarten teacher, Mrs. P. It also took a ridiculously awesome group of classmates. I am so happy that you get to be in the same class with them until 8th grade. Sure, some may move away but for the most part, this posse will grow together in a million ways. I've fallen in love with each of your buds, Ella. Helping out in your class each week helped you, it helped me and it helped Mrs. P. Win-Win-Win! 

You are still spending most of your free time 'teaching' in your bedroom. You have this exacting system down. You are your happiest with a dry erase marker in one hand perched at your white board and the other going through notes and books and all sorts of things you've stashed away as you boss your imaginary class. 

"Pandas are cute because they are just cute!" ~ Ella Meyer

"My favorite things are swinging."
 You are snoring next to me right now after your very last day with Mrs. P and the class. We took a field trip to your favorite park. We picnicked. We walked trails. And you spent every other free second plastered to a swing.

Just before dozing off you whispered to me, "What if everything was made of swings and the swings went all the way to China?" The smile on your face was so wide, sweet girl. It tells me that you hold China close in your heart.

My picnic mates.

We had this much fun, all four hours!

Lilian and Ella, so perfectly matched to be buds.
 Tomorrow morning, you'll dress up and with the other kindergartners, sing your hearts out and march down the aisle for your graduation. You've already announced that I will cry happy tears the whole time. There may be a few sad ones in there too, baby girl. For as happy as I am with the huge strides you've made in less than a year, I still miss my rosy-cheeked baby, Guan Man Li.

You've come so far. We couldn't be happier with the little six year old you've become. You are amazing and complicated and funnier than hell.

Let's do this so we can do all the things this summer. Adventures await us.

Love, Mama