Preschool interviews. There's a phrase you don't think about every day - unless you're in the thick of putting your 4 year old daughter through the preschool application process. A friend of mine the other day said, "Well it's not like she has to submit an application and a resume..." but that's exactly what we've been doing while looking for a preschool for Isabel. Education is one of the single most important gifts I can give our kids and to me that means getting them started in a great preschool. With that however, comes the job like interview process. With a 4 year old. It's tedious and maddening at times.. why would a potential preschool need to know her strengths and weaknesses? Which areas she excels at and needs help in? Why would they need to do a 1:1 interview with my 4 year old followed up by a home visit? It's exhausting. This was certainly not a task we had considered when those two blue lines appeared on the pregnancy test in 2013, but also as we're learning this year - everything is a process and we just need to work through it all.
Brian and I found out we were pregnant with our first daughter, Isabel (Izzy) in December 2013. Brian and I had said our goodbye's as he left on a 6 month submarine deployment and 4 days later I left work early because I wasn't feeling well. I went home thinking maybe I was just sad because I knew I wouldn't see my husband for the next 6 months and as I was cuddling in bed with our rescue pup, Chance, I thought, 'Ohhhhhhhhhhh....'
My grandma Isabel had passed away in October 2013 while I was on vacation in Peru and after I flew home, Brian joined me in San Francisco for her funeral. Death and funerals have ways of stirring up emotions and emotional discussions and during this trip we talked about our future together and having kids. He made the statement as we were driving up Van Ness Ave that if we ever had a daughter together we should name her Isabel after my grandma. We made the decision right then that we wanted to have babies together and 6 weeks later I was leaving work early because I didn't feel well.
I lay in bed with Chance running scenarios in my head of if it were possible, maybe it was just the flu, maybe it was just sadness, maybe a bad salad from Marlene's down the street.. I got out of bed and Chance and I drove to the Walgreens down the street to buy two pregnancy tests. We raced home and I took one. I set it on the counter and watched two lines appear. I looked at my dog Chance and said, "It's two lines. But two lines means you're pregnant. Why would it be two lines?" Two lines means you're pregnant." I took the other test and watched again as two more faint blue lines appeared on this white stick on my bathroom counter. I couldn't believe it. No really, I actually couldn't believe it. I sincerely thought something must have been wrong with my hormones that day to be causing the positive test result. Chance and I went downstairs to the computer in our living room and I googled the words, "Why would a pregnancy test turn positive if you're not pregnant?" Google came back and basically said, 'It wouldn't.' I spent the next ten minutes researching all of the possible ailments that I could possibly be suffering from to give me a positive test result (there aren't many) before Chance and I got BACK in the car and drove BACK to Walgreens for another round of pregnancy tests. I actually ran into one of my clients from the bank while I was there on this trip and with a bright red face I asked the Walgreens checkout clerk to quickly put the box into a bag as I ran out the door. Chance and I drove back home and I took two more tests. Positive. Faint Positive - but still positive. I finally smiled. Not one of those 'Heyyyy thank you for the compliment smiles,' but a real smile. The kind that slowly creeps across your face, the smile that lights up your entire face, brings tears to your eyes and just won't go away kind of smile. We were pregnant! My husband was 6000 miles away and would be living in a submarine under the ocean for the next 6 months, but we were pregnant.
The next 9 months were filled with ups and downs; from seeing our baby on ultrasound for the very first time to spending Christmas Day alone while suffering from horrendous morning sickness. Referring to her as our poppy seed via 'Sub mail' Brian and I communicated as much as possible over these 6 months he was deployed. We wrote each other multiple times a day, yet sometimes it was weeks or even a month before the submarine was able to send and receive our messages. He came home to me/us on May 4th, 2014 - the same day as our first baby shower and was greeted at the airport by an armful of balloons and my 6 month pregnant belly.
Isabel Blakely Bugge was born July 21st, 2014 and has lived up to her namesake every single day since then. She is the most charismatic, outgoing and patient person I know and I am so thankful to know her. This year has been nothing but change after change for her and Hudson, but she has maintained her positive and sassy spirit and for that I am grateful. Brian and I took her this Spring to a Montessori school on Oahu to visit and get registered for her first year of preschool. We walked in and she immediately became shy; grabbing my hand and hiding behind Brian's back. We spent the next hour watching her slowly come out of her shell - letting the other kids show her their activities and things they'd been working on. She checked out the paint station outside and took in the giant playground with excited eyes. We got in the car to leave and asked if she liked it when she replied timidly, "Yes, but I was kindof shy..." We could tell she had been embarrassed that she was shy during this interaction with her new classmates and it was so unlike her. Without skipping a beat Brian said to her, "It's ok Iz, sometimes I get kind of shy when I meet new people too." I will never ever forget the look on her face when he said that to her. She went from being slightly embarrassed to feeling empowered. Brian was everything to Izzy and if even HE got shy sometimes, well wow.. it was really ok that she was a little shy too.
We moved off the island 5 weeks after Brian passed away so Izzy wasn't able to attend that Montessori school, however with the help of my incredible sister-in-law I was able to get her enrolled temporarily at one in Boise, ID. She fell in love with preschool and it was difficult to pull her away from it when we moved - yet again- to Vancouver. She always gets a little shy when put in new situations with new people, but every time we come back to that conversation she had with her dad and every time she remembers how even he got shy sometimes and it makes it all ok.
As of this week we have found a preschool for her here in Vancouver! We're sticking with the Montessori program - at least through the remainder of the school year at which time she'll be eligible for kindergarten and we'll have to refresh her resume and brush up on her interview skills to prepare for the next round.
Thanks for reading. xo