Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The end of a chapter and the start of a new one

With your eyes so bright
And your beautiful smile
With your excitement for life
No time to rest for a while

You're growing up way too fast
No longer a little girl
A big 5 year old
Ready to take on the world

I feel so blessed
That you are here
Am so proud of you
There is nothing you have to fear

Live your dreams
Do amazing things
This moment is yours
So start spreading your wings

Happy birthday Caitlyn!  Happy first day at big school!  We are so proud of you and we know you are going to love your new school!

First I just want to give a "virtual hug" to Paul and Jo as their daughter Kate is off to uni today.  It must be incredibly hard for a parent when their kids leave home to make their mark in the big world.  Of course she will do great I'm sure and they are great parents so they raised her well, but it can't be easy when your kids are suddenly all grown up.  So today especially I'm thinking of you!

It was a bit of a bitter-sweet moment for me.  Yesterday was the very very last day Caitlyn went to Chelsea House (her daycare centre).  She was so excited.  She helped me decorate a cake to share with her friends and she shared the book I made for her with her school visit photos.  (I make books like these for 2 reasons really - for one the kids love having stories where they are the main character and where it is about them and also because it is a great way to let them share something special that happened.  Oh and a third reason - it helped with preparing Caitlyn for her official start at school).  Rather sad that the teachers who were so good to Caitlyn will no longer be her teachers.  So while Cailtyn felt extremely excited and on top of the world, I found myself feeling a little bit sad that this particular chapter has come to an end.  When did my little girl suddenly grow up?

Here are some of the pages in Caitlyn's book:

Caitlyn with the cake she decorated to share at daycare.

Good-bye Hazel, we'll miss you!

Showing Hazel her book.

Good-bye Ann, we'll miss you!

It feels like yesterday that Caitlyn arrived to join our family.  And she'll never fully grasp how much we needed her.  She kept things normal when we were right in the middle of dealing with Bianca's leukemia.  She smiled and brightened our day when it felt incredibly dark.  Bianca loved being a big sister from the start.  Even when Bianca spent long hours in a tiny hospital room, her face would light up when Caitlyn would come and visit.

In one way this seems like a lifetime ago, but in another just like yesterday...

Today there is more excitement in our house as Caitlyn's day started with presents!  Other than going out for dinner tonight (our tradition is that when it is your birthday you get to choose what you want to do for dinner), today will be low-key because on Sunday Caitlyn will have her proper birthday party. So I'll share lots of photos then.

Of course the big moment also arrived.  Caitlyn started big school.  Officially.  Oh the excitement!  I made cupcakes last night that Caitlyn could share with her class today and first we stopped off at Paul's class as Caitlyn wanted to share some of her cupcakes with him. 

Starting school isn't entirely new as Caitlyn already had 2 school visits and so she has a good idea of what to expect each day.  In the 2 days that we spent in Caitlyn's class during her school visits I must have taken about 400 photos (thank you digital technology).  Yes, I know I take lots of photos.  It's what I do :-).  So today I thought I would share some of these photos with you to give you an idea of what Caitlyn's days at school will be like.  Enjoy!

Caitlyn with her new bag and school stationery

Bianca took Caitlyn to her new class.

A special place to hang her bag.

She was so excited to find her seat.

Caitlyn's teacher - Mrs MacKenzie.

The class has some really nice things on the walls

The computer area where the kids will be doing Letterland and Mathletics

Playing Happy Sticks

Caitlyn got her space man - this is a piece of cardboard to help keep the spaces when they do writing.

Her very first writing.

She did really well!

Caitlyn was excited to catch up with her Chelsea House friend Iain who is in the same class.

Caitlyn loved the story of the Greedy Cat.

Caitlyn's very first learning to read session.  Reading "Bumper Boats".

Another friend from the previous daycare centre, Castle Kids.  Caitlyn loves doing puzzles.

The library corner is a favourite.

Lunch time.

Playing in the sandpit with a new friend.

Caitlyn working on the computer.
The school visits were great in that it not only gave Caitlyn a chance to see what school was all about and become familiar with the routines, but it was neat as a parent to see what they will be doing each day at school.

It sounded like she had a great day today and so begins a new chapter in Caitlyn's life.  I cannot believe she is in big school now!


LatteJunkie said...

Big steps for such a little one! Lovely photos too.

Well done to both of you on a big day, I hope your dinner out is somewhere super yummy!

amanda said...

Nogmaals baie geluk met Caitlyn se verjaardag. Die fotos is pragtig en ek glo sy sal skool baie geniet. Die rekenaars en toerusting lyk so "gevorderd". Waar is die dae van speelklei en klein swartborde om op te skryf!!

baie liefde, ma x

blackhuff said...

Happy Birthday to Caitlyn. Love the photos and the poem.

Sue W @ Living the Good Life said...

Great photos Lea. Happy birthday Caitlyn and have fun at school!
PS Tell Paul & his wife that the buggas come back..alllllll the time, generally asking for money!!! lol! :D

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Lea, is her bday on 21st or 22nd? I just want to make sure because of the time differences.

today is still 22nd here and it's my sister's birthday :)

I love all the looks back (what a cute baby!) and the school and the book. It's all so great!

Happy Birthday!

My sister told me she baked a chocolate cake too :)

Susan said...

What an exciting time in Caitlyn's life!
She'll love having all those photos to look at when she's older too.
All the best and enjoy yourselves :D)

Maria said...

A lovely post Lea! I loved the photos and the videos...what treasures those videos are!

cat said...

Happy happy birthday (bleated) to her!