Monthly Archives: August 2012

Fire Drills

Published / by MelissaGrandt / Leave a Comment

You know, I don’t usually think about fire drills. They just happen. In fact there has been two alarms in the last two weeks in my own office. And the smoke alarm does tend to go off in our house more times than it should (ok, so I we do burn things a lot occasionally) during the time when we are awake. Thankfully, it has never gone off while we were sleeping and we have never had an actual fire.  There was a fire two doors down from our townhouse once, while the children were with a sitter, and they were fascinated by the firetrucks… But I digress.

Fire drills.

They have those in school, remember? And we hadn’t really thought to discuss it with M. To prepare her. Why, do you ask? Well, she is not one to really like loud noises. She gets spooked by thunder. The little one, C, will sleep through any type of storm, but M – she will always cry and cower at the slightest loud noise.

And they had their first fire drills this week.

I guess the first one was on Monday. With another today, Wednesday. And this school’s fire alarm is LOUD, I am told.

So, when she got home tonight, I asked her about it.  She said it was so loud, she had to cover her ears. “And then what happened?”

“We went outside.”

“Did you go to the playground?”

“No, to the parking lot.”

“How long were you out there?”

“For two hours.”  (This is where I smiled.)

“I don’t think you were out there for two hours.”

“It was a long time. (pause) I don’t want to go back to school. It’s so loud.”

And here is where she started crying.

(Of course, she has been crying a lot lately at the drop of a hat. We are wondering if maybe we should have done only 3 days a week, instead of a full 5 days. Just because she hasn’t been getting much rest, not her normal nap times.)

So, we had a talk about how fire drills are important, because they teach you how to respond in case there is a real fire. They help you practice so you don’t panic, so that everyone is safe in case of a real emergency.  But nothing seemed to calm her.  She just continues to say she doesn’t want to go to school anymore.

The First School Cold

Published / by MelissaGrandt / Leave a Comment

M woke up on Monday morning with a terrible cough and a running nose. But no fever. So, off to school she went. Told Mrs. Johnson, and with just a quick hug I was gone. Get home from work that night and Jason says, “Guess what? She has a fever.” And school policy is that they have to be fever free for 24 hours before going back to school. So, today I worked from home.

She got to stay in her jammies, we popped popcorn and we watched movies.

A lot of movies.

Well, after my 3 – yes, count them, 3 – conference calls as M attempted to entertain herself with Doc McStuffins turned down really quiet and some turns at her cash register (thanks, Aunt Sandy!).

And then we worked through our alphabetized movies (ok, I’m a bit neurotic). She got to pick a kids’ movie from each letter.  We started with Anastasia. Then Bug’s Life. Then Cars. On to Fern Gully (that was a pick from the E-G category).

Somewhere between A Bug’s Life and Cars she fell asleep and for a blissful hour and a half I was able to work without questions about snack or a drink or what was that on the screen. But she looked so peaceful. And our cat curled up next to her, almost as if she knew M was sick.

And luckily, her fever did not return all day. Back to school tomorrow, M.

The Week in Review

Published / by MelissaGrandt / Leave a Comment

Quotes of the Week:

Jason: (August 22, 2012)

I feel like a caged squirrel.

C:  (August 25, 2012) jumping up and down, moving her hands and saying, ”

I’m flapping my wings.”

with a huge grin on her face.

C: (August 25, 2012) She’s clapping, shouting ”

Raise your hands, vote for me!

M:(August 21, 2012)

Those grapes were HUGE! I showed them to everyone. They were amazed! They were huge!

Weekly Newsletter from M’s teacher: (I have decided to include this each week. It tells what they’ve done that week, etc.)


Dear FDPS Families,

We have had a terrific week and I am looking forward to a great school year. Please ask questions if you are uncertain about anything. After many years of teaching preschool, there are many routine things I do and may not have explained them to you.

So, here is my list of things that have come up or questions I have been asked…hope this helps!

  1. If your little girl is wearing a dress or skirt, please have her wear shorts underneath.
  2. Closed toed shoes are required for the gym and recess. Sandals are ok during the school day. Please keep a pair of gym shoes in their backpack if they wear sandals often.
  3. Please be on the look-out for new toys in your house. We have a few students that really like our “stuff” and have been putting them in their pockets.
  4. I sent a book order home with your open house packet. They are due back on 8/31. Book orders and all our fund raisers are optional. Please don’t feel like you have to participate in everything. I will send home book orders 4 times a year.
  5. If your child seems to not be eating a lot of their lunch, they will once they are used to eating in a room with 40 preschoolers! The staff encourages eating healthy foods first and will send home items that have not been eaten.
  6. On the wall to the right of our classroom door is a poster, where I will try to write down daily what we have done. Hopefully, you can chat about what they have done that day on the way home.
  7. Please make sure your child uses the bathroom before school. Some students are afraid of the hand driers and we are dealing with it.
  8. There was some confusion about milk at lunchtime. We will get a list on Monday those who have signed up for milk. If your child did not have a juice box or water, they received milk. Hot lunch begins in September.

I think that is all for now. Email me anytime with concerns or questions- pjohnson@[email removed].

JESUS TIME-This week we learned how God created the world. Our puppet friend, Jelly, came to visit and had a bag full of items…ask your child what was in Jelly’s bag? We learned the song Two Little Eyes.

LETTERS, NUMBERS, SHAPES & COLORS-Our letter of the week was A. We made a list of words that begin with A, like Aubrey, Avnoor, Abby, apple & alligator. Some of us practiced writing upper and lower case A. We counted items this week to go along with our My Hand Can Hold books we made. Looks like some of you have been practicing at home…thanks! We talked about different animal shapes this week. If you look at our back board, you will see the animal shape your child picked out with the photo I took of them. On Thursday, we talked about our favorite colors.

ART-We will do art almost every day. I try to make it creative, so they are doing their “own thing”, but sometimes, it will be a project with specific directions. This week, we colored our traced hands. We also easel painted and did handprints on paper plates.

THIS & THAT-Our theme for the first 3 weeks is We Are God’s Handiwork. We talked about how special God made us all. You will see many things coming home or hanging up that have our hands on them. We also talked about Gentleness, with our hands and with our words. Our book of the week was I Like Me, which taught us to like ourselves, no matter what we look like or what we can or cannot do. The Sharing Bag is already coming around. If you find it in your child’s backpack, send it back the next morning with an interesting show & tell. Also coming home this week is the first Student of the Week (name removed) form. Check your child’s Friday Folder each weekend and send it back, signed, on Monday. Remember to have a full change of clothing in your child’s backpack daily.

I am sending home a hard copy of my newsletter this week. If you do not get an emailed copy, please let me know so your name can be added to our class list.

God’s Blessings,

Pam Johnson

M could not tell me what was in Jelly’s bag and couldn’t remember the song she learned. But she did know that she had practiced her letter A, counted, and that she had said her favorite color was red. She is loving the art and we have started a gallery in our house (I have plans for the artwork, but don’t be surprised if you get some samples in the mail!).

Today, however, was definitely a day where we felt the entire week catch up with us.   Even at her age, she had still been taking 2-3 hour naps daily and this week had gone 4 days without napping (only briefly napping one of those days, I was told). All morning today, any time anything was said to M, she burst into tears. It was almost as if she was a teenager already, with hormones raging! And her little sister didn’t help, the instigator she is.

A New Tradition

Published / by MelissaGrandt / Leave a Comment

After an afternoon with friends, we brought the girls home and decided to build a fort in the living room and have a campout and movie night.  Jason and the girls built the “fort” while I popped popcorn. They were so excited and couldn’t believe we were making a “tent” using the dining room table chairs.

“It’s a tent, Mommy!”

Then we pulled out all of our family-friendly movies and we each got to pick one movie. The 4 choices were:

  • Jason: Mary Poppins
  • Melissa: Madagascar (mainly, because he had already picked Mary Poppins!)
  • M: Finding Nemo
  • C: Monsters, Inc

And then from those 4, we needed to choose a final movie for the night.  Jason and I may have coerced them into choosing Mary Poppins (ok, we may or may not have watched Nemo & Monsters Inc only 100 times each in the last few weeks, because they are stored on our DVR!).  They really weren’t sure, but they both love anything with singing and dancing, so we knew they would love it if they just gave it a chance.

As the movie started, they both kept asking, “Where is Mary Poppins?” “Soon, soon. She’s coming.” We would answer.

And then, it comes.  You know that moment.  All of those “other” nannies are lined up outside of 17 Cherry Tree Lane. And the big gust of wind comes and blows them away. We gasped and laughed as they tried to hang onto lampposts and fences, their umbrellas turned inside out, but ultimately being blown away. And then, there she is. Mary Poppins. Floating down, calm and serene, with her umbrella above her head. I watched my daughters’ faces in that moment and their mouths were just open, their eyes wide. And I knew. I had just made two new fans of Mary Poppins.

They fell asleep before we had even finished “Jolly Holiday” and we will do many more “movie and fort” nights, because we had so much fun.  But it will be this one I think I will remember the most.

The night that Mary Poppins dropped out of the clouds and into the hearts of two little girls.

The First Week

Published / by MelissaGrandt / Leave a Comment

As the end of M’s first week comes to a close, it’s been very interesting. Starting to figure out the timing of dropping her off and getting to work.  I asked her this morning what she has liked about school.

“Well, I like going to the park” (the playground)

And what she hasn’t liked about school:

“There are just too many kids.”

And apparently, the saga with the grapes continues. Because today when Jason picked her up, M decided to give him a piece of her mind. I had sent black grapes today, cut up as she had requested. But these were “wrong” in her opinion, because they were black. “Grapes can only be green or ‘purple’ (red).”  So, today, I sent green grapes again.

Her teacher told me that M has the funniest facial expressions!

And not to be outdone, her little sister has been giving her own rendition each night of what she has done with that day’s sitter. When we ask M what she has done at school, C chimes in with “And I stayed home and did [enter activity here] with [enter sitter here].”

But we made it through the first week!



First Day of School

Published / by MelissaGrandt / Leave a Comment

Our oldest child started school today.

Last night, we had picked out her outfit: jeans and a new t-shirt. She had worn her backpack around as I prepped her lunch and made sure we had everything – “What else do I need?”. I could tell she was getting excited.  This morning, M could barely contain herself – jumping around the dining room – so excited to go to her first day of school.  She posed for the requisite photographs outside and then insisted on holding both her backpack and her lunchbox on her lap on the drive to school.  As we walked towards the building, she held my hand and I could feel her start to get a little nervous, but not too bad.  Her teacher, Mrs. Johnson, directed us to put her backpack and lunch in her cubby outside, her water bottle in her “snack cubby” in the room, and her snack in the fridge. And then, she was free to play as everyone arrived. She chewed on her fingers a little bit, but never once clung to me. She never once cried, never once looked at me in fear. And after a few moments ran off to the play kitchen and started playing. With a smile at Mrs. Johnson, and checking the sign-in sheet to make sure she was noted for after-school child care, I was off down the hall. No tears from either of us this first day!

I’d call that a success.

When I picked her up from school, she had to tell me all about it. How they had to stand in line to go EVERYWHERE. How a boy fell down and hurt his knee, “But don’t worry, Mom. He got a band-aid.”  How she wanted the exact same lunch I had packed her today, but to cut the grapes up. “They were huge. I showed everyone. They were amazed. They were huge!” I asked her if she made any new friends. “Yes, but I don’t remember their names.”

And so we enter a new era.

Ban These Olympic Sports

Published / by JasonGrandt / Leave a Comment
Below is a list of Olympic “sports” that should be banned.
  • Equestrian
    • Come on! The horse is doing all the work!
  • Rhythmic Gymnastics
    • It’s rhythmic gymnastics. I dont need to give you an explanation.
  • Badminton
    • Ok, this is just lame.
  • Table Tennis
    • Why isnt billards an olympic sport? Shouldn’t we include other recroom events? Maybe foosball, darts, table hockey, Donkey Kong, PacMan, Wii Tennis, or Mario Kart would be excellent additions.
  • Trampoline
    • Are you freaking kidding me????? This is an olympic sport???
  • Soccer
    • I know will be the controversial one. It’s absolutely an internationally popular sport, but they already have the World Cup, which I would argue is perceived to be a much more prestigious tournament.

All of the above are ACTUAL Olympic “sports”, but baseball, softball, and cricket are not.