"Our" first day of School

Thursday, September 4, 2008
First Day
The original title of this post was "Kate's 1st Day" but since I stayed at pre-school with her the whole time.....I changed it. I never thought I would be one of those mothers that stayed at school with my child;)

Kate was accepted at the Montessori school that Harry previously attended in Virginia and we had planned to begin this Fall.  When we decided to move, I applied to a school here that I knew of.  Kate was on the waiting list which was fine with me.  I figured we would get settled and when there was an opening, we would try it out.  Well, the other day, I stopped by the school to get some forms and they invited Kate into the classroom.  She LOVED it.  She said, "Mama, I like that school, friends." When they offered her a spot on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, I said sure.  Both the boys went 2 days at this age and they loved it. She is very inquisitive and I thought this would give her a chance to socialize with children her age.

Well, Miss Kate loved it as long as I was in the room (that is why I got so many photos).  If I even went near my purse or looked as though I was leaving she wrapped herself around my body and screamed!  So, I stayed.  Luckily, the school has a loving "phase in" transition where parents are welcome to stay the whole time for the first few weeks.  As you can see, Kate mopped and played in the kitchen, she had music class and went on the playground.  She even ate lunch, read books and painted.  In fact, her beautiful schoolhouse dress is covered in paint (as are my nice clothes).  Lesson learned...I need to buy Kate some"school clothes."  The teacher said to me, "Oh, don't send her in anything you care about."  Inside I was thinking..."oh, you don't know me....I don't buy clothes for Kate if I don't love them!"  Luckily, I am the queen of stain removal. 

I will say this, pre-school is exhausting!  I would much rather be at home with Kate than there.  But I will keep going until she is comfortable.

My creation

Now, I know you all want a house update....

We still have not decided.  THANK YOU for all of the comments and insights.  Each one made me think and consider new things.  I truly mean that. In fact, that is what I am thankful for today! We were supposed to meet with the builder on the new house this morning to see if we could make some cosmetic changes to the exterior but I had to stay with Kate.  I flip flop back and forth. No one loves an old house like I do.  I am just not sure about not having a breakfast room (or table) and not having some practical living space.  It is not a really small house, it just lacks some practical spaces. And while I would love to overlook that, I despise chaos and clutter.  Also, eating in the formal dining room might be nice but it might get really old.  

I see how much more we all bicker in this small apartment and that makes me nervous.  Hands down...I would buy the old house if we were a family of four but that third child adds a lot of stuff and need for space.  I am anti-McMansions and feel very conflicted. I have prayed about it and this morning before I even opened my eyes, I prayed again.  I saw and heard one word, "wait."  So that is what we will do for now...wait.  We might lose one or both of the houses by doing so but I would second guess myself too much if we made an offer right now.

And just to show you some of the "old" house details that the builder put into the "new house"...here is some eye candy.

Upstairs Hallway
This is the upstairs hallway. Isn't it beautiful?

P.S.--the new house is completely new and has never been lived in.  It was furnished for staging and a showcase of homes. And for you Kimi---the photos in the last post are in this order..."old house " kitchen is first and "new house" kitchen is second.  I am not sure if people were confused.


  1. I can sympathize wih the stained clothing...I brought my niece to school with me this summer in an adorable dress while I prepared my classroom. She 'wrote' on my dry erase boards and got dry erase marker all over her beautiful, smocked dress! I was so upset with myself for not thinking about that before I handed over the markers. Anyway, the stain set too long before I soaked it and I could never get it out. I tried dry erase board cleaner, murphy oil soap (I read about that online), and the regular soaps I typically use, but nothing worked. Like you said, lesson learned!! Keep your chin up, things will continue to get better!

  2. Kate looks adorable in her dress! Looks like she had fun, and I bet she will settle into the classroom in NO time at all!
    I LOVE that upstairs hallway! How beautiful!
    Good for you for listening to that still small voice! Hard to do sometimes, but always worth it! We're praying for you and your family!

  3. That hallway in the "new" house is gorgeous! What a relaxing place to read. The new photo and details of the house never lived in and was a staging house makes it even more appealing! Whether it be one of these 2 great houses or another one even better, I know you will find your family's new home soon. Glad Kate is having fun in school - cute dress and photos as always!

  4. Kate looks too cute! Isn't that half the battle! ;) I'm glad she had a great time and loves it!

    BTW- thanks for the sweet comment!

    I need to get up to date on your home situation...

  5. Go with the new...practical spaces make sense. I can't imagine what the outside looks like unless it is like brown and dark...the inside is very attractive. Living in an apt is for the birds...make on offer on the new, could the outside color be changed or stone or brick be added or some kind of something to make you LOVE IT.

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  7. Kate's school dress is absolutely darling! She is such a beautiful little girl. I'm sure that she will settle in at her new school in no time at at all.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. If you need any Cleveland Indians "presents" for Will, let me know. There are tons of Indian's things for sale, since we are right here by Cleveland!! :) I would definitely go shopping for you!

    I love the hallway in the new house. You are right, it does have an "old" feel to it. I love it! The more you say about the new house, the more I love it. I do think that you will enjoy the extra room the new house has to offer.


  8. Congratulations Ms Kate on your first day of school :)
    My son went to a Montessori school until 1st grade and he/we loved it. That's great that you were able to stay with her. Joseph had a hard time with my leaving and I used to draw a heart in his hand and read him the book the kissing hand before we left in the morning. As for your house dilemma - tough one. I lived in an old house that we renovated but it sure lacked space. Now we live in a new house that is not a mcmansion but certainly has the room we so craved. I hate clutter and yesterday Joseph wasn't in school 2 hours and I was all over my husband about cleaning out the garage and our playroom/offices. Don't they say a cluttered house is a cluttered mind? :) It applies to me for sure.
    Good luck with the house hunting. Maybe waiting is just what you need to do.

  9. Kim,

    that is defiantly "eye candy"! Oh my word it is!

    Good for you on the wait and see!

    love that dress of Kate's!


  10. I forgot to respond in my email about how I did at school...it was a little sad that Landree wasn't sad, but I am so glad she loved it. I'm sure Kate will adjust quickly-it's that eveything is new for her right now. I love her little school house dress! Landree went in a short outfit the first day because they were very specific about 'play clothes' YIKES! Oh, and closed toed shoes too :) Tennis shoes can put a cramp in your style :) Glad ya'll had a great first day!

  11. I think you are very wise to wait. It is such a huge decision and I think everything will just all fall into place when it's finally right. I love following along on your search and thank you very much for including us!! It a very exciting time and you are going to have so much fun choosing where to put all your lovely things when you have a house. We lived for two years in a 2 bedrm apartment with ONE sink! That was the worst, kid toothpaste spit! I have never appreciated my own sink more. I even made sure John's was no where near mine! hahaha

    LOVE kate's school dress. I am having to put Bailey in play clothes for my gym and I think its a bummer!

    I am keeping you all in my prayers. You just keep hanging in there. Its all going to be wonderful!

  12. Even with only two children no breakfast room would get old. Your children are going to get larger, not smaller (ditto for the friends they bring home). Good luck, and congrats to Kate on beginning preschool (and best wishes that you get to "graduate" and stay home soon).

  13. and, you must tell me where that dress comes from. Also the little white one with the lobster!


  14. Kate looks so happy at her new school. I absolutely love everything about Montessori schools. Does Matilda Jane make play clothes? Ha ha!

    I still think you guys should build! You did such a fabulous job building your old house! That is my two cents!

  15. P.S. That hallway is just to die for! I love it!

  16. wow, that hallway is beautiful. I love the floors! I imagine the rest of the house is lovely, as well. You are wise to take some time to decide. I wish you peace and comfort on this big decision.
    Those are adorable photos of Kate at school. Her dress is fabulous!

  17. I am so happy Kate had such a great time at school with you there. I am starting to question my selfishness to let EllaKate go to school. I loved Kate's dress- I know you can get the paint out- surely it was washable! I remember when I taught K- I put soap in the container with the paint and it helped moms when washing clothes.

    I think I said I loved both houses but am so proud of you listening and following God's will- He know best even though we think we know what is best- can't wait to see what He leads you all to!!!

    Could you email me so we could talk privately?


  18. Ooohhhhh....that hallway is absolutely awesome! Look at how wide it is and the storage!!! WAy cool!

    I love the appropriate little red schoolhouse on her dress. Very, very cute and her bare feet while she is cleaning up in the kitchen area! LOL

  19. Oh... I just LOVE Kate's dress. It is SO cute.

    Glad you are feeling peace about waiting. By the way, they are both GORGEOUS. Love that hallway!!


  20. My "baby" had her first day of 2-day-a-week preschool today, also. Like you, I sent her there in a beautiful smocked dress and have purchased many new cute school dresses. I haven't seen what kind of damage was done to her dress today, but I hope it's not too bad :)I don't like buying "play" clothes!

  21. Yeah Kate!! So glad your first day went well. She looks lovely and no doubt will be the best dressed girl there! So, Kim... Did YOU make any new friends at school ? :-)

  22. The new house has a lot of character too! Go with whatever is going to make your life comfortable and happy. :) Good luck on the decision!

  23. oh Kim Caitlyn and Kate are two peas...
    Caitlyn wont stay anywhere without mommy yet either and I never thought I would be one of 'those' either...
    WE are going to gymnastics again tonight, praying she will soon be out of the love in face and do it! They too are being kind and letting Catlyn and I observe and do it on the sidelines...
    Caitlyn's excuse is "I too little. I the baby."

  24. That's the cutest first day of school outfit I've ever seen.

    The hallway of that house is gorgeous! Good luck with that whole decision making process! I'm thinking of you!

  25. Kate looks so cute in that dress! Then again she would look cute in anything. I am sure she will adjust quickly to her school and new friends. I am glad to hear that you are leaning more and more on the Lord for your housing decisions. It is difficult. It can be so frustrating being in limbo, but being in His will is so rewarding. The hallway of the new house is gorgeous. I will interested to hear if the builder is willing to work with you on some cosmetic changes. Praying for you!

  26. Wow! I am LOVING that hallway. Based on this post (the words, not the pictures), my vote has changed to NEW house! GOOD LUCK!

  27. Wow! I am LOVING that hallway. Based on this post (the words, not the pictures), my vote has changed to NEW house! GOOD LUCK!

  28. hi there! i know, i have been so lame! just busy :) i tried to update myself with what you are doing with the house thing. i have had the same answer to prayers - wait - it can be so hard to do! but listen for sure. just remember if you already have found three houses you like already! there are more. do you think there is a possibility that the house you lost could come back on the market? do you know when they close their deal? from the looks of things there are some real beauties where you are going. where are you going? i think you will want a breakfast room. i have tried to do the dining room thing and it didn't last even when we ate most of the time on the counter bar, i still love having a breakfast room. write me if you have time. i am not doing so well keeping up in the blog realm...
    :) :)

  29. Hi Katie Ru,

    I just wanted you to know that you were in my thoughts and prayers today. In fact, I called your mommy on the phone to find out about your first day, just as she was blogging. Because this will eventually become your journal, your mommy asked me to be sure to comment here on the blog also. You know what an enthusiastic commenter I am Kate! You looked absolutely beautiful as usual. School takes a lot of getting used to but it really is a lot of fun once you get the hang of it. I love you Kate - Aunt Staci

  30. I am glad Kate is enjoying school. Good for her. I am having so much fun checking your blog for house updates. What a busy and exciting time for you.

  31. I am so glad Kate liked school....she'll be okay with you leaving before you know it....I also believe that when you have found your house, you will know it....be patient sweet girl....you'll find your home for your family soon.

  32. How fun for Kate! I love Montessori...I went to a Montessori school until I went to middle school & my son went to one as a toddler, but our suburb had a program within the public school that was based on Montessori so we chose that option. I hope she transitions well & loves it! The school house dress is darling. You should share some of your stain removal tips...my berry loving daughter ruined quite a few of my favorite things this summer.

    Good luck with your house decision...that is a beautiful hallway & does have the charm of an older home!

  33. Kim,
    I'm so glad you found a good school for Kate! I'm sure she will get used to it and be ok with you leaving. Even if she cries the first few times you leave, she'll probably get distracted and stop very soon.

    I love the hallway of the new house! Its beautiful. It sounds like you're leaning towards new. I would if it has more details like the ones you've shown!

    I'm glad things are going better!

  34. I haven't read all the comments, so if I repeat anything, just consider it a concensus...;)

    Speaking from recent experience, do not hurry! My husband is an impulse buyer, hence we bought the first house we looked out, and although it is perfect for us, hindsight is hard to live with.
    I would have lingered a bit more over houses I wouldn't ordinarily have considered; also, don't forget to go to a house at all different times--evening, early morning, high noon...just so you can see if the house, with all of its lighting changes, still captures your heart...

    Having said all of that, my husband and I were giddy as schoolgirls ;) when we walked into our master bath...we knew it was THE house right then.

    You will know, just take some time to listen.

    Peace to you and your family.

  35. Kate looks so cute in that blue dress and her big red bow!!

    The house is beautiful...the hallway is to die for and you can tell that they did do a lot of things to give it the character and charm of an old home!

    You are wise to wait, if it is meant to be, it will be!

    Sounds like things are really starting to happen for you!

    Take Care,


  36. Oh, it's gorgeous!! They really paid attention to the details.

    Kate looks adorable in her school house dress.

  37. Well Kate looks just priceless in her First Day outfit :D

    Cheer up about the house - think about this ~ now that Kate is in school you will be able to focus on house hunting :D Always be positive!

    Ladybug hugs,

  38. Oh, that hallway space is so beautiful and inviting. They did such a good job making it look "old". Kate looks absolutely adorabe in that dress. Sounds like you two had an great first day at school. I'm sure she'll take to ir just fine.

    Gin =)

  39. ADORABLE!!! Kate looks like she had a great time. It sounds like things are looking up for you and the family and that is good news. Good luck with the house situation and wanted to say that I was so happy to see you "visited" me on my blog yesterday.
    Take care!
    Kim and Katiebug

  40. your daughter is so cute! love her dress! also love the upstairs hallway - looks like it's right out of a magazine!

  41. Kim,
    On the subject of the house, I, personally would go with the new, even though I adore old homes. The reason is the space. You can't do anything to change that 'practical space' issue unless you add on or something...I think space, in the end would always win out for me. We, too have three children. The third child took me over the top in every way, so I completely understand! By the way, congrats on pre-school. That first day was tough for me, too and next week I'm facing the first day of Kindergarten! Anyway, there's my 'two cents' if you like. Waiting is always a good idea, you never know what's around the corner. The best to you all in your decision. Renee in WA.

  42. Glad Kate loved her first day of school... She will get use to it soon.. and then you will have a couple mornings to yourself..
    Love the hallway.. it is beautiful..follow your heart.. you will make the best deicision for your family.

  43. I vote for the new house on the kitchen and hallway alone...:)

  44. Oh I am so happy for Kate. She will adjust. Addison starts tomorrow. My daughter Livi's teacher told my husband to not send Livi to school in such good clothes on art day. My husband laughed so hard and said "you don't know my wife, my daughter still has summer clothes with tags and my wife likes to shop". My attitude is they are only clothes. I buy what I like and if something happens oh well...
    I am happy you prayed about the house. I will pray for that a decision comes your way soon. I know how hard it is to live in an apt with little ones under foot. I think both house are beautiful. : )Today was an exciting day, my box of Matilda Jane arrived!!! It doesn't take much to excite me LOL Hope the boys did well today?

  45. Kate looks soooo cute in that little dress! Love the little school house on it! My Erin had so many dresses like that - and the bows too! She looks at photos of herself now and just laughs at me ("Oh mom, how could you send me out like that!). I so miss those days - but, alas, they do learn to dress themselves! I hope you have great luck with your montessori school. I am a montessori teacher and I believe that it is the most respectful way of educating young children. My 3 children went to montessori school and I was so impressed that I decided to take the teacher training! I am glad they allow the "phasing in" time, especially for the little ones. Best of luck with the house hunting, too...sometimes waiting can be the best solution!

  46. Oh that upstairs hallway is YUMMY!! I can understand the stress over your decision and I admire your patience to "wait"...

    Kate's first day of school dress was darling!! I love that the teacher actually told YOU to send Kate in something you didn't care about! LOL!!! I think we all got a kick out of that!!

    Here's to kate getting settled in so Mommy can have some "time"!!!

  47. Happy first day of school! It won't take her too long before she lets you go. I think it is so important that the school lets you follow her lead so that she can feel comfortable and secure. I think separation is a big issue for all children but it is HUGE for adopted children. It's a worthwhile investment to her feeling of safety and security. Hannah was just the same way. I engaged for a few days and then sat observing without engaging too much for a while and then just sort of slowly moved out of the picture until she was ready. After a few days (I can't even remember many, but not too many) she was just happy if I'd stay until SHE gave me the sign to go. She knew I wouldn't sneak before she was ready and that took lots of pressure off her. Once she knew she could trust me to stay if she needed me, she was happy and relaxed enough to not need me and would say, "you can go now" once she was engaged in some project or activity. Good luck.

    Best wishes with the house decision. Maybe waiting is the right thing...perhaps there is another one out there that is meant to be yours. Keep us posted.

  48. Aw Kim, preschool poopin' you out? Don't they have naptime??? hehe
    Glad Kate is liking it, though, and in time, she'll let ya leave!

    Now, about the houses, it looks like a win-win to me...can't wait to see what you guys choose. And, I'd like more pictures so I can live vicariously thru you!

    (thinking of you and your family a lot as you transition in newcity)...big hugs!

  49. Congrats on your first day of school Kate!!! How exciting! You looked so beautiful and I am sure you shined like a star today!

    Stacie and Zoey

    p.s. to your mama- the builder did a fabulous job of giving this house character- i would never know that it was new construction.

  50. Happy First Day to both of you!
    I agree with the other posters: pooh on *play* clothes!
    Gald she was a happy camper and that you got great photos.
    Keeping you all in my thoughts as you explore the houses.
    Happy Weekend!

  51. First things first, I just LOVE Kate's dress - you know I do and yes, she can have some play clothes (I guess) but they will be very niiiiiccce play clothes ;)

    And I have to tell you, this post made me laugh out loud, the complete visual of you heading off to preschool was just too much. At least this way you can meet some of her new friends and their mommies:) I am happy it was such a nice day for you both.

    And finally, the still small voice is usually right on...it's the prayer, I know it's the prayer:) Keep us updated and keep your eyes glued to the neighborhoods you love - I just know God is working a blessing for you.

    Thinking of you

  52. I think it's wonderful that you are able to be in the classroom with Kate for the first few weeks. It's a huge transition time for you and your family-you are doing an amazing job keeping everyone comfortable and happy. Don't forget about yourself!!

    The upstairs hallway is fabulous!!

  53. Oooh Miss Kate! You looked beautiful on your first day of school. And I can't believe how long your hair has gotten.

    Still praying for you all and the house hunt. The pictures are absolutely beautiful. What a perfect space to curl up and read to the peanuts during a rainstorm. Love it!

  54. Hi Kim

    I have followed your blog for awhile & I actually can't remember how I found it! I check in to see how your babies are doing & I love your outlook & your thankful Thursdays.

    I love that you stayed with Kate at school it sounds exactly like me, and her dress is too cute!

    Lilee is from Xiushan which is in the Chongqing province. I guess I never saw that they favored each other, but now that you mention it...they do :D

    I hope you enjoy following my blog as much as I like yours!


  55. Kim- I'm watching the Today Show and they just did a piece on real estate. Made me think of your house situation. A few things stuck out. 1) 2 out of 3 contracts fall through 2) if you love a house, and there is a contract on it- make an offer and include a them a letter letting them know how much you love the house. Include a picture of your family. If the 1st contract falls through, they just might call you rather than someone else. People want other people to love their house as much as they do. 3) that's a great idea even if there isn't already a contract.

    Something tells me that the perfect solution for you and your family is just around the corner!!

    Glad Kate's 1st day was good- and that things may be looking up for Will & Harry.

    Happy Weekend-

  56. Thanks for the comment on my blog. Your kids are precious, too! Thankfully, Gracie had a wonderful day at school and came home spotless :) She's such a girly-girl, but I'm sure things will changes once they break out the paints! Do you live in the DFW area?

  57. She looks so grown up! Love that dress! Praying that your house decision gets easier!

  58. I just got done scrubbing Weston's school shirts. All my kids are in uniforms and I hate buying more because they are ugly and they only wear them to school.

    My favorite kitchen is the first photo, it left me drooling. I'm all about space these days and as soon as the market comes up, I'm leaving charm behind and opting for space. Our home felt comfortable when we only had 2 kids, but things are getting tight with 3 and we haven't even brought the 4th one home. Gulp...

  59. Kim,
    On whether we're possibly neighbors, you can email me with a follow-up comment if you want to keep the information private.

  60. What an adorable dress Kate has on. Perfect for the first day of school. You have a beautiful family. you are truly blessed.

  61. Kate's smocked dress is adorable! I cannot wait until we have a little girl and I can dress her up in clothes so adorable!

    Coming from someone without kids, but having grown-up in my parents amazing house, I cannot image growing up without our kitchen table. We had family dinners in the formal dining every Sunday night, but most of the meals were at our kitchen table. The BEST part for me as a kid was that I could do my homework there and mom could help me while she cooked dinner. Of course, at some point, we always cleaned it off and set the table, but those are some of my fondest memories because no matter what she was doing downstairs, she was always available to us (and we still had the bonus room or our bedrooms for space when we needed it quiet).

    I saw these online and they reminded me of ya'll:


  62. My gosh that house looks beautiful!

  63. I so love Miss Kate's dress with the little schoolhouse...just too cute for words. And yes, that upstairs hallway is B-Utiful.

  64. I changed my opinion... now I like the new house! Fun story about preschool... Libby started this week too... and she came home with chocolate pudding (from a pudding-painting project)all over her dress. Oh well... I am like you, Libby doesn't have any clothes that I don't love. Her teacher didn't give it a second thought, which actually made me happy. I guess she figured, "Oh well, if you send her in this, be prepared to work on pudding stains!" Ha ha!

  65. Yay for Kate's new journey.

    I puffy heart THAT hallway.

  66. Hi Kim,

    Please, oh please, tell me you can help me! My husband is doing our laundry after I had surgery on my foot and he washed AND dried a whole load of clothes with a mauve crayon. Included in that load was one of my daughter's smocked dresses (which I never would have thrown in the laundry in the first place). Any stain removal tips? We have tried all the ones we could find on line (the clothes have been washed about 7 times now). There are mauve streaks on EVERYTHING!

    Any thoughts?

  67. Kim, Kate is sooo beautiful in her blue dress....

    I love the idea of being with your daughter at class...Here, in Spain it would be impossible...

    When, with my children, I asked for the possibilitie , they say no because it was worse for the children...( and it is a private school.

    A very big kiss,


  68. Kim,
    I thought this book might help with Kate going to school: I Love You All Day Long

    Josie loves it and it helped when I said goodbye to her that first day.

  69. I thought my husband was the only person that used the term "McMansion". I know you will find the right home for your family.


Thank you for your kindness.