Thursday, August 29, 2013


I'm in the final stages of what has been a very long process but my photographer website should be up and fully running withing a few weeks. From time to time I may blog personal projects on there instead of there- since I can always use the web traffic over there :) - but I'll be sure to add links.

This past weekend we got Eva's very last preK hair cut. My baby is growing so fast I don't know what to do! 

At any rate, there's the link- enjoy!

Rebeccah Parks Photography Blog

Goodbye Montessori, Hello Kindergarten

Today was Eva's final day at her Montessori school and I'm a big ball of emotions over it. On one hand, I am so very sad to be leaving a place that has been pivotal in her childhood. Yet on the other, I am so excited for her to begin kindergarten.  We had open house at her new school on Tuesday and she was beyond excited: her teacher seems lovely, her class size is smaller than I was expecting given how big the school is, and she seemed to fall right into the swing of things without any help.

I know that part of her will miss Montessori and part of her will love Kindergarten. My hope is that she can hold tight to the child she has become over the last 3 years- compassionate, empathetic, kind, curious, loving, silly- and not lose them in the shuffle and noise of a big school. 

“The things he sees are not just remembered; they form a part of his soul.” ~ Maria Montessori 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Letter to Our Daughters

Background: I joined the most wonderful women's photography forum a few months ago and a number of us ladies are starting a "Letters to Our Daughters" series. Each month, I will post a letter to Eva and then I will link to another mom's blog with her own letter. This blog has always been, in essence, a running diary of Eva with some politics and religion and random other stuff thrown in; I am so excited at the chance to sit down each month and really think through all the things I want to say to her as she grows.
So, to my letter.

Eva, my Eva-

My wonderful and spunky little girl, in less than three week from today, you will be in Kindergarten. I'm not sure how we arrived here, it feels like only yesterday we were having your one year photos taken and ohhhing and ahhhing over your ability to take a single step. And now, well, you don’t really walk, you run. Everywhere. Through the house, down the halls at preschool, at the park.  You’re so full of life that it seeps out in everything you do; sometimes I join you in your playfulness… and sometimes I long for a 5 minute break and a glass of wine.  But no matter what my energy level, you’re always there, reminding me of the amazing gift that being your mommy is.  Even on my worst day - and I’m blessed that they are few and far between - you are there with that perfect little face of yours, complete with button nose and minx grin, looking up at me, silently whispering with your eyes so blue that no problem in this world is ever more pressing than being with you.

The older you get, the more I hope you realize that even when I seem at my wits end, it’s never because of you. It is because of you that I get up in the morning with a sense of purpose, that I smile and laugh more times throughout the day then I can count, that I know my life has purpose and meaning and that even if no one else cares where I am or what I am doing, you care.

Last night, after riding your new big girl bike and playing at the park until almost dark, you stopped running, for just a moment and let me capture a memory.  So thank you. Thank you for slowing down so your old mom could remember your golden ringlets in the late summer sun. Thank you for teaching me patience. Thank you, most of all, for letting me love you every single second of every day.

Until next month my sweetie.
Love always,



Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Eva's First Slumber Party

So I'm way late in posting this but Eva had her first sleep over ever! It was at our friend Erin & Matt's house while Tina and Tim and their girls were in to from Florida. In all, there were 7 kids and one new baby to snuggle. All of the parents stayed over night to make sure there was no late night tears but all of the kids did so well. It was a very fun night indeed!

Baby Piper


Eva + Rya = goons

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Wow- we've already blown through almost another 10,00 views. 1,000 to go and we'll be at 20,000.... I feel like I'll have to throw a party to celebrate the occasion! I'm thinking a virtual party of lots of photos and shout outs... stay tuned!

Kindergarten Readiness

I don't know about any of you, but I swear the things kids need to know before even starting Kindergarten these days are what we used to go to Kindergarten to learn.  The list is long, and thankfully Eva has all of them down, but honestly it wasn't without effort on our part. I love her Montessori school, I firmly believe it has played a huge part in Eva's personality- I don't believe she would be as kind or as empathetic as she is without it- but while she excelled in many areas, the rote memorization of things- alphabet, numbers etc- was a challenge. 

Thankfully, I recognized it soon enough and cut back my work hours and spent lots of time making sure she's set to go on day one for Kindergarten.  I can easily see how so many students fall behind before school even starts. If you have a single parent who works 2 or 3 jobs just to keep a roof over your head and food on your plate, there's little time left for learning. 

Kindergarten Readiness Skills

Reading and Literature
  • Recognizes own name in print
  • Recognizes and names upper and lowercase letters (40+)
  • Begins to associate sounds with letters and/or words
  • Hears and makes rhyming words
  • Tracks print from left to right
  • Attempts to write letters in own name, beginning with a capital letter
  • Uses scribbles, shapes, pictures, letters, or dictation to represent thoughts or ideas
Speaking, Listening and Viewing
    • Inititates, asks questions and responds in conversation with others
    • Understands directional words (on, under, beside, top, bottom, left, right, first, last over
    • Makes needs known through verbalizations, gestures, or signs
    • Follows simple directions involving one or two steps
    • Recognizes numbers to 12 +
    • Counts number of objects n collections of 6+ items, with one to one correspondence
    • Counts in sequence 0-20 +
    • Recognizes and duplicates simple patterns
    • Identifies and names common shapes and colors
    • Describes objects with two or more characteristics

    Approach to Learning
    • Demonstrates the ability to focus on tasks or activities for 15 minutes or longer
    Interaction With Others
    • Separates easily from parents or caregivers
    • Interacts cooperatively with other children and adults
    • Responds to verbal and non-verbal (body language, facial expressions) cues
    • Manages strong emotions, controlling impulses and resolving conflicts respectfully, with support
    • Follows rules and routines
    • Uses materials respectfully
    • Manages transitions and changes in routines
    Functional Skills
    • Demonstrates independence in self-help skills (washing hands, dressing, toileting, feeding one-self, etc)
    • Demonstrates fine muscle control (using scissors and writing utensils)
    • Demonstrates large muscle control and coordination (hopping on one foot, balancing, throwing and catching a ball)