Tuesday, May 21, 2019

A Fun End-of-School-Year Interview for Kids


A Fun End-of-School-Year Interview for Kids
A Fun Start of School Year Interview For Kids

For the last couple of years, I've been using a list of questions I put together for my now 5 year-old-daughter to ask her on the first and last day of school. When I initially shared it here, it received a lot of traffic and was pinned quite a bit on Pinterest, so I've shared it every first and last day since.

Some of my daughter's responses on this school year's first day were the same as her last day (which was last week; kindergarten here we come!), and some changed quite a bit. It's endearing and bittersweet to see her growth just through her answers to the questions. 

(I'm putting her previous answers from the first day of this school year in italics.)

1. What is your name? Essley. Essley.
2. What grade are you in? I just graduated from Pre-K! Pre-K.
3. How old are you? 5. 4-1/2.
4. What is your favorite color? Pink and purple. Pink.
5. What is your favorite thing to do at school? Play in the kitchen. Play with my friends. And learn how to not be bad. (No comment on that one.)
6. What is your favorite activity outside of school?
Acting, ballet, jazz, tap, soccer, and swimming.  Tap, ballet, gymnastics, soccer, theatre, and swimming lessons.  
7. What do you want to be when you grow up? A dance teacher, a horticulturist, and an acting teacher. A dance teacher and an artist.
8. What is your favorite food? Tacos. Strawberries.
9. How old is your mommy? 24. (I wish!) Old.
10. What is her job? Blog poster. She works a lot on blog posts.
11. What is mommy's favorite food? Tacos. Indian food and a lot of smoothies.
12. How old is your daddy? 58 (hahahahhahaha!). Old. I think 20.
13. What is his job? Stage Manager. Stage Manager.
14. What is daddy's favorite food? Tacos. Kabobs. He likes cheeseburgers.
15. What do mommy and daddy like to do? Play with us. Work. (Yikes.)
16. If you have brothers or sisters, what are their names? A baby brother and his name is Emmett. Emmett. Sometimes I call him Crispy.
17. How old is your brother(s) (and/or sisters)? 3. 2.
18. What is your brother(s) (and/or sisters) favorite food? Tacos. Mac and cheese. Also olives.
19. What is your favorite toy? Rosie and Owly. Rosie (doll) and Owly (her favorite owl toy since she was a baby).
20. Where do you live? Chicago area. Somewhere by Chicago.
21. What is your favorite thing to do? Play. Play with my mommy.  
22. What is your favorite place you've ever been? The Fun Play Place. The candy store.
23. Who is your best friend? Emmett. Mommy and ..... (an endless lists of friends; too many to type.)
24. What is your favorite animal? Elephant. Tiger.
25. If you could have anything you wished for, what would it be? A unicorn. A bunny for a pet.

And because my little man is finally old enough to answer the questions as well, I'm sharing his. He has grown tremendously this year, and was so excited to answer my questions like his big sissy. (He was nowhere near ready to do the interview on his first day, and was also terrified of school. He went from weeping at drop off to only being sad on the days he didn't have school. So proud of this guy!)

A Fun End-of-School-Year Interview for Kids

1. What is your name? Emmett
2. What grade are you in? Preschool.
3. How old are you? 3
4. What is your favorite color? Blue.
5. What is your favorite thing to do at school? Play.
6. What is your favorite activity outside of school? Sports class.
7. What do you want to be when you grow up? A dinosaur and a farmer.
8. What is your favorite food? Mac and cheese.
9. How old is your mommy? 11.
10. What is her job? Kiss.
11. What is mommy's favorite food? Mac and cheese.
12. How old is your daddy? 48.
13. What is his job? Kiss.
14. What is daddy's favorite food? Mac and cheese.
15. What do mommy and daddy like to do? Play.
16. If you have brothers or sisters, what are their names? Essley.
17. How old is your brother(s) (and/or sisters)? 4 (she's actually 5).
18. What is your brother(s) (and/or sisters) favorite food? Tacos.
19. What is your favorite toy? Grover.
20. Where do you live? Chicago.
21. What is your favorite thing to do? Run.
22. What is your favorite place you've ever been? The Fun Play Place.
23. Who is your best friend? Tucker and Millie and Olivia.
24. What is your favorite animal? Pig.
25. If you could have anything you wished for, what would it be? Go to Mully's house.


If any of you use these question to interview your preschoolers or grade schoolers, I'd love to hear some of their replies! Oh, and we purchased the chalkboard signs we used for our photos from this awesome Etsy shop.


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Monday, May 20, 2019

Your Children Are Not Your Children



Last Thursday, my oldest child graduated from preschool. Those of you with older kids will probably find it hilarious that I basically ugly cried my way through the ceremony, but for me, it was a big deal. My daughter has been at that preschool since she was two years old. She's grown so much there. But more than the preschool itself, my daughter has, over the last few years, really grown into her self. She's only five years old, but she has made it abundantly clear that she is her own unique person, in many ways very different than her father or me. And I didn't weep at her graduation because I'm sad she's growing up; I wept because I'm overwhelmed with pride at the person she is becoming.



I wanted to share a poem I recently read by Khalil Gibran called "Your Children" that was a wonderfully powerful (and also admittedly somewhat painful) reminder that our children don't belong to us.

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you, they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite.
And he bends you with his might that his arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hands be for happiness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies,
So he loves the bow that is stable.


All serious sentiment aside, these photos of my daughter in all of her pink, sparkling glory are visual proof that she is her person in every way. When I was pregnant with her, I was quite convinced that she would only wear neutral colored clothing like I do. I bought her all the wooden toys and painted her nursery pale gray. And by 18 months she wanted fluffy hot pink dresses and glittery plastic mermaid unicorn toys and wanted her bedroom walls painted pink and I said YOU GOT IT BABE because there is genuinely nothing more incredible than watching her be her.

Thank you for letting me share these thoughts today. And if you have a child you're watching grow up and maybe feeling how I'm feeling (so many complicated feels, my friends), you're not alone.


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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

12 Adorable Kids Swimsuits Under $18


1. Gold Ruffled Bikini ($17.99)   |   2. Yellow Flounce Bikini ($17.99)   |   3. Rainbow Bikini ($12.99)   |   4. Coral Striped Swimsuit ($5.99)    |   5. Striped Ruffled Swimsuit ($12.99)   |   6. Heart One-Piece Swimsuit ($5.99)   |   7. Shark Swim Trunks ($12.99)   |   8. Turquoise Palm Swim Trunks   |   9. Red Floral Swim Trunks ($12.99)   |   10. Navy Dinosaur Swim Trunks ($5.99)   |   11. Striped Swim Trunks ($5.99)   |   12.  Navy Palm Swim Trunks ($12.99)


It doesn't quite feel like it yet, but pool and beach season is (almost) here. We are really fortunate to have an incredible pool and water park across the street from our neighborhood, and it opens next week. The kids are stoked! I realized that their current suits no longer fit them though, and am currently on the hunt for new ones for this year. I came across these styles you see above in my search, and wanted to share because they're not only adorable, they're also all under $18. Which one is your favorite?



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Monday, May 13, 2019

Mixed Berry Jam (We Tried Canning!)



You may have already seen my posts about this over on Instagram, but we had so much fun with this that I wanted to briefly share here too.

A couple of weeks ago, my mama, daughter, and I all decided to try canning for the first time. We made jam out of strawberries and blackberries, and I was honestly shocked at (1) how easy it was and (2) how delicious the jam turned out. We used this recipe from Ball® jars, and while it was admittedly one of the more simple recipes I came across, I was still worried I'm mess it up. It turns out that I might actually be good at canning (or else I just chose the easiest recipe ever.) Regardless, we all really enjoyed it. 


I won't repeat the details of the process here, but you can read all about them on IG, and also see some behind the scenes in my Stories highlights there. I can't wait to do it again! If you're interested in trying canning and you're a newbie like we were, I highly suggest this recipe - it's simple but still quite delicious.


Have any of you ever tried canning?



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