...is the process by which we create, discover, learn and grow with those we cherish most.


making new friends

Back in February, in the midst of preschool scouting confusion, I came upon the notion of trying a Mother's Day Out program where there were no waiting lists. Just one day - first come first serve.

Aaron laughed. But when the sign-up date rolled around, he left the house at 4:45 that morning [even though they didn't open until 8] with breakfast and a long book to read [most likely filled with conspiracies]. When he arrived, he discovered that he was the fifth person in line. With our deposits handed over, we still held our breath for the da vinci - and since that didn't come to pass - we found ourselves the last weekend of August starting to scramble for dear life... "are we really going to do this?"

Apparently so. Because Ava no doubt is shy. But she thinks everyone is her friend. We'll be at the grocery store, library, or drive-thru and Ava will ask out loud, "Mommy, is she my friend?"

"Yes, Ava. Of course she is. Say hi..." and then we wave together.

She needs social entertainment - for play and learning. I've conceded to this fact. On the other hand, what worries me the most are the pushing, pulling or biting incidents that may occur when there's more than one toddler in a room. I know, I know.. it will inevitably happen - and the teachers may or may not see it. [sigh]

So I decided to stop dwelling on the whatifs and get with the program. Like buying new shoes....


Oh how I love the children's dept at Nordstrom. Simply for the fact that they have excellent customer service - and patience. Imagine fitting 6 pairs of sneakers between two wiggly toddlers? And by wiggly, I mean having to chase Ava and wrestle Noah to sit still long enough for our salesman to measure their feet, cover them in cotton and lace each pair. The chasing didn't begin until we asked them to stand up and walk around to test how it feels. They just wouldn't come back....

Onto the next challenge: finding a backpack without Dora, Ariel, or Thomas' head on it. And although I consider myself crafty - I didn't dare try this time. I finally scored mini-adult backpacks [for airport travel] and opted to use these instead. Then I found myself driving across town in search of nap mats... yes, I'm afraid I'm serious.

Napmats can be found online for a hefty price - or at specialty shops - who order them online... This would have been much easier if I prepared for all of this at the beginning of summer. But it's the night before, and getting all the items on their list of things to bring was trivial - not to mention - stressful.

I tried the camping aisle at Target and found 2 youth bags - and snatched it. It was finally coming together... for the big day....


I keep having to remind myself that this isn't really a "school" - it's just a practice run for preschool. This is just playtime - and Ava gets to see her "friends" twice a week, and Noah just once. The great part is that their rooms are adjacent to each other - and they have gym at the same time - so they can play together too - ok, this is where I cry...

And wonder if I'm doing the right thing. When Ava attended camp for one week, I was a complete mess. This wasn't as bad - but yet - it was. Because her little brother was [gulp] tagging along.


And being the big sister she was meant to be - she carried his lunch all the way to school... I mean, playtime. Watching Ava & Noah together is like watching a symphony in action - we feel everything. They play. They share. They follow. They fight. They console and they hug - each other.

But today, Ava is on a quest to make new friends. Hoping someone in her class will ask first, "Mom, is she my friend?"

And Ava would readily respond, "oh yes! I always have been."

Off to make new friends


  1. So... here is the report card for our household for day number 1.

    Only one of us cried - but it was only a little bit. I expected that. I just wasn't sure if it would be Ava or Noah.

    Once I consoled her and explained to her that it was only a practice run for the real thing and that school would come later, she sniffed her nose and wiped the tears away. I looked her in the eyes and in my best Daddy voice, I told her "Don't worry Zarlacht... they'll be done in 5 hours and we can go get them.

  2. Aaron is so funny...
    Hey, I don't get it... for how long do you do this practice? And when does she starts going to school daily?
    Now... how was it finally? Did she adjust well? Did she like it?
    I am so nervous with all this. I just have to find the preschool for Zoe right now. (I posted about this here: http://juliealvarez.blogspot.com/2008/09/en-la-bsqueda-on-search.html

  3. OMG...I have to call it "school" for Mari when she goes to daycare. It is still rough for me. You are lucky that you could wait this long. I missed her so much last night that I insisted she sleep with us. It made this morning much better.

    And like you, I went around like a crazy woman making sure she had everything for "school." The funny thing is, why would a 6 month old need crayons?? LOL But I know that she's prepared for next year when she does enter an official pre-school.

  4. Hi Julie! Well, they call it a "Mother's Day Out Program" - for kids younger than preschool age. Ava goes twice a week, while Noah only 1x a week. It's been rough. Ava is still getting aquainted with the routine and Noah - he just doesn't get the concept of playing all day with strangers. And why would he? They are all new faces. Lots of other crying babies. And they don't console him enough [I think] when he cries. I just hate the idea. And your the first person I'm telling here *I'm going to pull him out of this program**

    The experience has taught or shall I say, reaffirmed the idea of me parenting full-time. While Ava still loves to "be out" and see other kids her age, I think I can come up with more creative options... it's just a matter of finding these resources/friends to do it with locally...
    Thus more the reason for the MOON BEAM ACADEMY eh?

  5. Bianca! 6 months old! That must be tough! What are your thoughts on daycare and how has your experience been?

    I feel that it depends on the child - some latch onto the concept beautifully, while others struggle with it.

    How did you go about knowing what was right for you and baby? Have you looked into preschools yet?

  6. adorable. so you did it, they are finally going to school. good for you. i'm still debating to see if i'll put I in preschool or just do some home schooling. tough.

    anyway, just wanted to let you know we will be near the neck of your woods. visiting my sister and her family in SA, TX. exciting I is finally old enough to enjoy and play with his cousins.

  7. Hi Lisa! Where are you coming down from? I hope you'll have a great trip here in TX. If you're staying thru to next week - Roundtop, TX [hour east of Austin] has the biggest Antique/flea market ever!

    I'd love to hear your thoughts about homeschooling vs. preschool. I haven't updated this blog yet - but I pulled my son out of this program. He wasn't ready - and it breaks my heart for forcing 4 classes to confirm what I always knew. It's such an iffy concept/idea - which is why I'm trying my hardest to create a "preschool" environment for the kids at home. Email or repond back to this post and let me know what you have learned/experienced so far - I'd love to know!


Thanks for sharing - I will respond to your comment here as well so check back! xo


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