Thursday, September 8, 2016

Linna update: Off to kindergarten.

And just like that, our first baby is off to kindergarten. Wasn't it just yesterday that I was rocking her to sleep in her nursery?! I know that every mom says this, but time has flown by WAY too fast.

5-year-old Linna on her way in for her first day of Kindergarten.

I am a ball of emotions today. I'm actually sitting in the car with tears in my eyes as I type this. I just dropped Linna off for her first day of kindergarten, and Baby Jimmy is sound asleep in the back seat. With Linna now at school for nearly 7 hours each day, I'm making a cautious effort to update this blog more frequently. Having two kids at home all summer long has kept me busy, and left this blog neglected. So while I'm struggling to let go of my baby girl, I look forward to having more time to embrace my passion of writing... On the same blog where I started writing about our little miracle, nearly six years ago.

Linna and Papa Saigh on Linna's first day of kindergarten.

At times, this summer seemed to drag on, and on... And on. But looking back, our family was busy as ever, and the 3 months of summer just flew by. Linna did a few summer camps, spent a lot of time playing with her neighbor friends, and we made the trek to my family's cabin on weekends. Linna enjoyed time with her cousins at the lake, sleepovers with her grandparents, and dates with her uncles and aunties. This summer, Linna celebrated her 5th birthday, and received a fishing pole and tackle box as a gift from my cousin Carly and her boys. To my surprise, Linna has found a new love for fishing, and everything that goes along with it... Even the worms. She is so interested in learning more about this sport from her uncles and cousins who are avid fishermen, and I think Papa Saigh is looking forward to having this hobby that they can share together.

(Linna's very first cast at the cabin this summer)

(The first fish that Linna ever caught, all by herself)

The neighborhood kiddos with Nanny Sam (our neighbor's summer nanny) on her last day.

Carver County Fair this summer.

Linna is attending a Chinese immersion program within Minnetonka's public school system. She's been learning Chinese since she started nursery school in Singapore when she was 2.5 years old. She's now able to count to 20, understand simple conversations, as well as many words in Chinese. At Linna's kindergarten assessment earlier this week, she was able to count to 100, write her first and last name without any help, rhyme, and can even spell and read simple words (in English). She is such a clever little bug.

(Last day of Chinese summer camp)

(Linna writing her first and last name without any help)

Carver County Fair this summer.

Linna competed in her first tractor pedal-pull this summer at the Carver County Fair.

While Linna absolutely adores her baby brother, she is having trouble sharing the spotlight. Who can blame her though?! She was an only child for the first 4 years of her life. If we say something as simple as "Good eating, Jimmy!", Linna will respond with "Why don't you say 'good eating, Linna'?". So that's been frustrating. She also gets super emotional whenever Baby Jimmy cries. The absolute worst is when I'm driving around with both kids in the backseat, and Jimmy starts crying because he's hungry or tired. This sets Linna off, and I then have two screaming kids in the car. She has gotten much better about remaining calm when her brother is crying. I love this sensitive side of Linna (just like her Papa).

Linna with her baby brother on the 4th of July.

Lots of swimming at the club this summer.

Our family at Papa Saigh's parents' cottage in South Haven, MN.

If you ask my mom, she'll tell you that Linna is a clone of a younger me. Linna is sassy, silly, argumentative, pushy, and loves being the center of attention. She is a little spitfire, and while I often finding myself wanting to pull my hair out when trying to get Linna do everyday tasks, I can't help but giggle at her unique personality. She says the funniest things, and will challenge anyone who gets in the way of what she wants.

(Linna, "The Performer")

Linna loves singing, has some incredible dance moves, and is so creative. She will spend hours at her arts and crafts table, making tiny figures out of paper, scissors, tape, and anything else she can get her hands on. She also loves playing "Alvin and the Chipmunks" with her neighbor friends Paytin, Leiney, and Brody, which apparently is the reason she's wearing her shirts backwards these days (she wants the front of her shirt to be a solid color... like the Chipmunks). Linna and her friends made their mark on every square inch of our neighborhood this summer, and were little Energizer Bunnies from sunrise to sunset. We feel incredibly lucky to have made such wonderful friends in our new neighborhood.

Linna discovered a new hobby in "clipping coupons" this summer.

Linna and the neighbor girls doing cartwheels in the backyard.

The "Valley Kids": Nolan, Brody, Paytin, Linna, Leiney, and Jimmy.

One big event that happened over the summer was Linna's first surgery... A double Strabismus surgery on her eyes. Linna has been seeing an ophthalmologist since she was about 2 years old, after we started noticing a lazy eye. We tried patching and glasses, but her eye doctor in Minnesota ultimately decided it would be best to correct the issue with surgery. During an almost hour-long surgery, the surgeon tightened muscles in both eyes to prevent her "lazy" eye from drifting. We had a wonderful experience from start to finish with the staff at Northwest Eye and Children's in Minnetonka. Watching Linna being put under before her surgery, however, was one of the hardest things I've ever had to witness as her mom. Nothing can prepare a mother for this. Thankfully, after a couple weeks of healing, Linna's eyesight is perfect, she no longer squints to focus, and her eye doesn't drift. I am happy to have this "first" behind us.

My baby being put under for her eye surgery.

All smiles with "Snuggs" (the blanket she's had since she was a baby) before surgery.
When I picked Linna up from her first day of kindergarten, she was ALL smiles, and so excited to see me. We did the pick-up line this afternoon, where they ask parents to stay in their cars (we are given a pick-up tag/number, that our child is associated with). Once the pick-up line gets going, it actually runs very smoothly. But, man, was it a circus today at pick-up and drop-off.

(Picking Linna up after her first day of kindergarten)

Linna said that she loved choosing a healthy snack off the snack cart when she walked into school this morning, and she talked mostly about the cafeteria when I picked her up from school. I think she loves being a "big kid". I packed her lunch today, but I think she's interested in doing a "hot lunch" sometime soon (we'll go through the lunch menu). We went to the pediatrician (a TB test follow-up for Linna) and Brueggers after school pick-up, and Linna wasn't as tired as I thought she'd be. However, when we got home, the tired "delirious crazies" set in (as seen in the video below). Both kids were up this morning at 6/6:30 a.m., and Jimmy didn't nap very well today, so both kids were in bed by 6:30 tonight. This is a bedtime that I was shooting for, because of the early school start time (7:50 a.m.). Jimmy, Linna and I had dinner, did baths, read books, and waited for Papa Saigh to get home from work around 6 p.m. He took a couple minutes with each kiddo, and then we each put one to bed. We might have to make mornings our quality family time during the week.

(Linna, at 4:45 p.m., on her first day of kindergarten)

And now, I'm off to relax with a much-needed cocktail. My babies sure know how to turn their mama into a puddle of emotions.

Cheers, fellow parents, to a happy and successful school year!

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