Saturday, April 13, 2024

The Last 17 Days

 August 17, 2023 marked the end of an era for me, our family, and a whole lotta kiddos. I made sure to keep the last 17 days of daycare light, fun, easy, and normal. I saved all of the kid's favorite activities for the last few days, but the kids said they didn't want a big, huge party the last day of daycare. They wanted one last normal day with friends....until that day arrived. Then the very children that I had spent the last 12 1/2 years throwing parties for every single thing for, threw themselves and me a party. It was honestly the sweetest and best way to end this portion of my life.

Tears were shed that last day and if I'm being totally honest, sometimes I still get teary thinking about how that was the last summer, but I really couldn't have asked for a more perfect last 17 days.

Dinner at a Mexican restaurant and drinks on the Big Grove patio with friends. It brought me a lot of peace.

Pasta play has always been a favorite sensory activity.

We chose light-hearted games to keep us giggling. I highly recommend It's Bananas! if you want a good laugh.

Signing pillowcases....the pillowcases we couldn't get the tie dye to stick to, so they made an excellent gift for all of the kids.

Ramen taste testing all the brands and flavors.

I took the two youngest minis for an evening hike at Jester Park and wild flower picking at Jester Farms. It was one of our favorite summer nights.

A wicked game of one can see the child under the towel.

Hair, make up, and nails were done daily.

Cake/cupcake taste testing.

Always slime and play dough making.

The two youngest minis hosted a daycare sleepover, where they stayed up pretty much all night. Meanwhile, the oldest didn't want any part of it, so Hubs took him to Kansas City for the weekend.

Afternoons of kitty cuddling and Roblox.

They asked for sensory pools, so they received a bubble pool (with babies), baking soda "snow," and water beads.

Clay creations.

Admittedly, my children (especially the youngest two) spent a good amount of the last 17 days crying because of the closing. 

Me: We are not going to the Iowa State Fair this year. It's way too expensive.
Also me, wakes up on the busiest and hottest day of the fair: Hey, let's go to the fair today...ALL day long.

Then, the oldest go free tickets for a comedy act at the fair, so he and Hubs went a second time.

One final waffle bar.

Cats, kids, and dog, always keeping life real.

Body painting.

One last sack lunches with little notes on each bag.

Big points to Hubs, who surprised me by taking the day off and filled the breezeway with balloons. Then families brought gifts, the oldest made a painting, and I still can't believe the amazing community that was created.

The painting is of me and my dog, all of the stars in the sky is every child's fingerprints.

Then the animals wondered what happened and quietly laid in the daycare room while I worked to get things into piles: donate, sell, trash. Many, many things came with me to the Des Moines Children's Museum, that are used daily in my new role.