h.e.h. & baby brother
watch us grow

I don’t know if you watch the show Parenthood, but last Monday night was a crier. One of the main daughters on the show said good bye to her parents at the end of the episode to go off to college. I know we are only in week 3 of Kindergarten but some days it feels like we will be those parents next week. I’ve heard and always thought it was so obvious that our job as parents is to prepare our children to leave the house, to face the world and do it to the best of their ability. I believe that. I just didn’t think it could possibly be something I am already dreading when she’s only 5! (actually since she was 1 hour old)

On a much happier note…our girl loves school! She goes to school 2-3 days a week, takes off on the bus around 8:30 and doesn’t come back to us until 4pm. Matt and I love to go to the bus stop. When ever he thinks of it, as we walk back home in the morning, he says “that was fun!” So far there are more days when she just jumps right on, holding the hand of her fellow kindergarten friend and neighbor so they can sit together. More days when she forgets to even say bye. It makes me sad a bit but so so happy to know that she can do it, she isn’t scared and that confidence she possesses will take her far.

She loves her teacher and was most excited about riding the bus before school started. Today she told me that the bus is a long ride and very loud with lots of kids telling stories. I think she might say her favorite thing now that school has started is punching in her lunch room code and getting cold chocolate milk.

(H getting off at school. They let the K & 1st off first while the others waited and then there were helpers all over to get her to her teacher – I was so thankful)
Last week she told us a long elaborate story of an in school field trip her class took looking for the alphabet around the building. “We even went into the inchargeible’s office!” I don’t think I’ll ever forget that one.

(United with Mrs.Dau)
She practices each day saying the names of the kids that she knows from the 20 in her class. As of Friday she was up to 12, including herself and reported to me that for the first time a students behavior went down to Yellow and he got a note sent home to his parents! Drama in the classroom!

(Her owl and official first piece of homework due on the first day of school, she decided on her own the things that describe her and picked out the picture)
Matt seems pretty indifferent most days as to her leaving. The first days he asked me 3 times where she was, and he mentioned that he missed her. Since then, he’ll check in with me, confirming where she is…at the new school, not the old school. Other than that I think it’s a lot like last year when she was in preschool to him.

This is my favorite picture from the day. I think there was a tiny bit of hesitation in her eyes but overall, she was brave & excited to start Kindergarten. We are so proud of her and love to see her smile each day as she gets off the bus. There is so much knowledge to gain and this is just the tip of her ice burg! We love you H and are proud to be parents of a kindergartner!

It seems that over the years Haley has always had a birthday that goes on and on…living in Austria and now apart from one set of grandparents, her birthday is celebrated with each family and now we add “friends” to the mix! So, this year we had 3 celebrations of our little girl turning 5.

Back at the start of August we were in CA for Haley’s uncle’s wedding and were able to have a mini family swim birthday party with Nana and Papa! Nana is the queen of strawberry cupcakes and they are a must when we celebrate with her. This time they were served on a beautiful silver platter that belonged to Haley’s great grandma Higgins! It wasn’t too hot but perfect weather for a dip in the “big pool” and then a present.

Three days before her birthday we had a Sunday afternoon “friends” birthday party. It started out as an Ariel birthday but turned into just a classic birthday. An Ariel cake pan was rented, sadly she never came to life over the span of all the celebrating…but we did find an Ariel t-shirt for H to wear that worked perfectly. In the end, a rainbow cake was ordered with wording chosen by the birthday girl and the only things Ariel were the balloons and plates!

At Haley’s request we played Bingo (actually HALEY) and T-ball outside before we had our cake and Neapolitan ice cream. Each friend played until they yelled “Happy Birthday Haley” when they got “Haley” on their board. We were so thankful to have Oma come to the party to help with all the numbers and candy!

Dad was in charge of t-ball and everyone did so well hitting! Amazing how athletic some kids can be at such a young age. Things slowly moved to the playground and everyone came in with red cheeks and ready for some lemon-aid!

With a bunch of “Cha-Cha-Cha’s” we sang to Haley and dove into the cake and ice cream! Opened a slew of princess themed presents (while wearing princess costumes) and then headed to our neighborhood park where the parents picked them up. I hope they all had fun, I know Haley did!

Her actual birthday was a Tuesday.

It seemed extra special this year because her only girl (and probably favorite for that reason) cousin was visiting from AL for the week! It made the whole day fun and extra girly! Opa was willing to watch Matt to facilitate a special girls lunch in downtown Anoka at Truffles and Tortes. (Opa & M picked up a happy meal and went to watch for trains -it’s what they both love and it melts my heart) We got a strawberry and a chocolate torte to share, so yummy!

Haley and her Oma

All the girls on the Conner side of our family (except great grandma), celebrating H and her life!

Everyone gathered for dinner at our house and upon request, we grilled wings and drum sticks, had corn and cupcakes of 2 flavors! It was a fun evening and a great family time to be together (finally adding the boys to the mix)! Haley (doing her own make-up) with Opa:

Haley got an exciting gift this year from Opa & Oma. If you read my previous post you saw the new costume she received at Disneyland, it was the start of the gift. Tonight the finishing touches were all wrapped up for her to open. First came the new shoes to match the wedding Rapunzel dress, she loved them.

Then, probably the most important part of the costume came, the Rapunzel hair. She is so excited at this point, I don’t think she thought there could be any more to come!

But there was…the wedding veil, ring and flowers. Dad thought things were getting a bit too realistic at this point and I had to agree but she was beyond words excited! When we told her to stand and show us the whole costume she instantly remembered her “princess fingers” she learned from Snow White at DL and posed.

This next picture was actually where I think things went a bit too too far but it was so cute I had to capture it. I think our girl ended her birthday celebration month on a happy note!

In the mean time, her dad and I have decided that one cake will be enough for each child so she can decide when we have it…with friends or family. It seems only fair! If for no other reason than to keep the size of these blog posts down! Happy Birthday to our 5 year old! May it be the best year of your life so far!