First Day of School

Clara started preschool last week. Who took our baby and replaced her with this little girl?

After some debate, we decided to enroll Clara in a local 2-day per week preschool. It’s just the mornings, so she’s there for three hours on each of those two days. She loves being around other kids so we thought it was the right time for her… but we still held our breaths a bit on the first day. Would she cry? Would we cry? Would we get called half-way through to come pick her up because she was having an all-consuming sobbing fit?

Nope. There were dry eyes all around. Heck, Clara was so excited when she arrived that this is the only photo we managed to snag before she disappeared into the classroom. Seriously, she sprinted in without a look back in our direction.

When we picked her up three hours later she was all smiles and kept telling us how they sang and painted and played on the playground. Her teacher even reported that it was “the best first day of school” in all of her years of teaching. Apparently there were no tears from any of the twelve kids in her class, which has never happened before. So she is really excited about what the year ahead holds. And so are we.

Since her first day, she has gone four times, and she still loves it. In fact almost every morning that she wakes up she says “I go to school today?” with a big hopeful grin. We almost feel bad saying “not today, Clara” when it’s not a school day. But we’re so glad that she’s having such a good time.

As for the all important first day of school photo, we decided to take them in front of our front door with Clara and her school bag (a sweet handmade gift that we got from our friend Abby).

As usual, she was a ham.

Apparently the “hand in the air” is her new favorite pose.

This was her watching the elementary school bus roll by our house. Just a few more years ’til she’ll be on it. Crazy.

As you saw from the first image in the post, we chose to Photoshop the information about what grade she’s in right onto the door itself (the font is called Raleway in case you’re interested). We broke the words up and spaced them that way intentionally so we can keep things somewhat consistent for all future years – like when this occasion rolls around in 2016 (although hopefully she’ll be a bit taller by then)…

How’d the first day of school go for your household? Any big milestones? Any “emotions” from you or your kids? Sherry got a little “misty” but no tears actually fell, so she’s saying it doesn’t count as crying.

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Exploring The Georgia Aquarium

Ack! We’ve been home from Atlanta for over two weeks and I just realized we never shared our other animal-filled adventure in ATL. This one was more of the aquatic variety…

Yep, in addition to the zoo, the Bowers took us to the Georgia Aquarium. And it was AMAZING. I haven’t been to lots of aquariums in my day so maybe I’m just easily impressed, but there was just so much to see and so many things for the kids to do that we walked around with our mouths agape for a good three or four hours.

You saw a few of these photos in this Young House Love post but we’ve added a bunch of new stuff (and surely Katie will post some superior pictures soon since she’s the photog of the group). But there was certainly no shortage of bubbles, tubes, and portholes for the kids (okay, and us adults) to peer into for an up-close-and-personal look at the sea life.

I give Sherry lots of credit for capturing this moment with the penguin, since Clara and I were only in there for a hot second before escaping the stampede of tweens that threatened to trample us.

Don’t believe me? Just look at the fear in Jeremy Bower’s face as he sees the relentless wall of children creeping towards us while we wait in a long plastic tube for our turn to pop up and see the penguins. Hello claustrophobia.

Like the Maui Ocean Center we visited back in March, there was also one of those large tubes you could walk through and be surrounded by fish (though based on this picture it appears to be “fish” in the singular). Clara was fascinated all over again. And we were infinitely grateful that this aquarium didn’t require a red eye flight.

You guys already saw this sequence of Clara snuggling up to her main man outside the dolphin tank.

But what you didn’t see was the disappointing end. Is this the face of rejection or what?

That’s okay. Will returned some affection when it came time to saddle up on this seahorse-ish thing.

But as cute as the kids were (and as tricked out as the aquarium was) the real show was the fish themselves. Some of the best exhibits were the simplest ones where you were just able to stand back and stare.

 

Heck, even the jellyfish were beautiful.

And Sherry thought these guys looked like Snorks.

Our last (and perhaps favorite) spot was giant tank with the whale sharks. We could’ve watched those giant (and beautiful) beasts forever.

Not Will apparently. The dim lights did him in and he was out like a light (Clara followed suit a few minutes later in the car ride home).

So that was the end of the visit. We’re no travel experts, but if you’re looking for something to do in Atlanta – we highly recommend the Georgia Aquarium.

 

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