My Life Parenting

First Day of Nursery School

No tears here, on the mama’s behalf or the daughter’s. I think it will be harder on me when she starts kindergarten, but she only goes to nursery school now for a few hours a day, four days a week. And the girl is so excited!

Eleanor on Her First Day of Preschool

The first day was only an hour long, and Eleanor was able to meet half of her new classmates. Today will be two hours and she’ll meet everyone else, and then tomorrow will be the first full day.

Eleanor at Preschool

Eleanor at PreschoolEleanor at Preschool

Brandon’s family has deep roots in her new school. His mom taught there. His late father helped dig the playground. His two older sisters and he went there as children, and one of his sisters taught there when she grew up as well. Eleanor’s five older cousins each went there.

Eleanor Playing in the Classroom Loft Her Grandmother Built

The loft that Eleanor was playing on had been added to the room by her grandma. This was her classroom.

Helen C. Balch's Classroom Loft
(The loft was built in 1997. Helen is still alive and well!)

E will get to play on the playground everyday, do art projects, interact with other kids, and learn so many new things. She’s thrilled.

This Class is T-Riffic!

You know how little kids sometimes think they’re giving you a great smile for pictures (“cheese!”), but it really looks like a forced grimace? Yeah, I think Eleanor may be entering that phase.

Eleanor at Preschool

And she can put on her backpack herself. (OK, there was maybe a little sniffle there.)

Eleanor Putting on Her BackpackEleanor and Her Owl Backpack

Big girl.

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  • Brianne Joy
    September 6, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Aw so sweet! I saw your instagram post yesterday & was curious as to when I’d see this blog post. :) It’s awesome how deeply rooted E’s school is in your family, for so many generations. Those are braggin’ rights on the fort.
    Glad E had a wonderful first day & that no tears were shed by either of you. Way to be a big girl, E!

  • Ilaria
    September 6, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Big girl!
    And such a special place to grow with other kids ;)

  • Allison
    September 6, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Aw! We have the same little backpack for our daughter. So cute.

    • Making it Lovely
      September 7, 2012 at 10:23 pm

      And have you noticed, as I did the first day we used it, that a standard sheet of paper doesn’t fit in it!? It’s cute, but yikes.

      • Allison
        September 9, 2012 at 1:37 pm

        oops, classic! We hadn’t noticed that since right now it’s just her bag of books, toys, and snacks for when we’re travelling as she isn’t old enough for pre-school yet.

  • Erica { }
    September 6, 2012 at 8:05 am

    What a gorgeous little girl! I still remember how excited I was to start school. At the age of 5 it was, by far, the best thing that ever happened in my life (and allowed me to escape my evil little brother!)

  • mandy @ this girl's life
    September 6, 2012 at 8:05 am

    We entered this phase this year too! It is hard to see them growing up but at the same time there is so much pride to see them becoming their own person. :) What a fun school and so special that you have family ties there. And I love her backpack!

  • Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife
    September 6, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Can’t believe how big she’s getting! Congrats on entering a new, fun, phase for you and Eleanor!

  • Amanda
    September 6, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Lucky girl! I love all the family history. Have fun, sweet thing!

  • Helena
    September 6, 2012 at 8:55 am

    How cool that your family has such connections to the school!

  • eskimo*rose
    September 6, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Oh Nicole, I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years now, how time flies, I can’t believe how grown up she has become, indeed a big girl!

  • Frances
    September 6, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Maybe this is weird – I like the term nursery school better than any other term used for those sweet school years before Kindergarten.

    • Erin
      September 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      Me too!

    • Making it Lovely
      September 7, 2012 at 10:24 pm

      I like the term too.

  • Elena
    September 6, 2012 at 9:26 am

    My baby girl started Kindergarten this year. We were both nervous. So to take the edge off, I decided to take a picture of her outfit everyday for two weeks of school and created a lookbook. It gave us something fun to look forward to in the mornings before school. I took 3-5 pics each morning and let her pick her favorite. It calmed us both and made the process so much easier.

    p.s. I love Eleanor’s book bag.

    • Emily
      September 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      This is awesome!! :) The thought of having a lookbook to use in helping my own kindergarten daughter get ready for school each morning makes me smile…I may just have to borrow this idea!

    • Making it Lovely
      September 7, 2012 at 10:24 pm

      The lookbook is such a fun, brilliant idea!

  • Erin | Holtwood Hipster
    September 6, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Loved this post! It’s pretty cool that Eleanor is attending a school that has so much of her family history wrapped up in it. It was similar for me during junior high and high school. There were even a few teachers there that remembered my parents making out in the back of their classroom (gross).

  • kate
    September 6, 2012 at 10:10 am

    So sweet, and how nice your connections to the school!

  • Christina W.
    September 6, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Your daughter has better hair than most adults I know!

    • Making it Lovely
      September 7, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      For sure. She’s way cuter than I am, and has better hair.

  • maria
    September 6, 2012 at 11:16 am

    She is so cute !

  • wndl
    September 6, 2012 at 11:26 am

    ahhh… the owl backpack. i showed my then 2.25 yr old ALL the options on amazon (there are like 9 animals!) and she picked the owl, which is how i found the backpacks in the first place via the blogs last year. so, my kid is super trendy. ;-)

  • Jen @ RamblingRenovators
    September 6, 2012 at 11:35 am

    A loft? I want to go to that school too! So excited for Eleanor (and for you too). My Chloe just moved up to the “big kids” room at her daycare and I have to admit I got all teary eyed when I picked her up at the end of the day and all her classmates gave her a hug. Its so much fun to see these little ones grow up to be their own people.

  • Jillian@TheHumbleGourmet
    September 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    How sweet! Hope both mother and daughter have a great time with the school (and that wooden play kitchen is bringing back serious preschool memories for me).

  • Leigh
    September 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    I had a smile when I saw the first picture and a bigger one with the second. My son is in the same classroom.

    • Making it Lovely
      September 7, 2012 at 10:26 pm

      No way! In the other session, or in her class?

  • Anna
    September 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    We called that phase the “cheesy grin.” It lasts unfortunately longer than one would hope.

  • Rebecca @ beautifulsquarefeet
    September 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    It’s my son Torin’s first day tomorrow, so I know what you’re going through! Exciting, but very strange times. Torin has the monkey version of Eleanor’s backpack – they’re great for their age aren’t they! Lovely pictures – I hope she continues to really enjoy herself!

  • Little Gray Pixel
    September 6, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    We have the same backpack! It’s so cute. And, of course, so is Eleanor. I can’t believe she’s old enough for nursery school — I remember reading your blog when she was itsy bitsy.

  • Mari
    September 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    So cute! She looks like such a big girl. Would you consider doing a style post on E? I just love her clothes and would love to know where you shop!
    Maybe you have done this on Babble before and I have just missed it?

  • Gena@BakeAllTheThings!
    September 6, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Awww, I love that she’s SO excited about going to nursery school! I hope that fabulous attitude continues.


    • Making it Lovely
      September 7, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      Me too! I rang the little doorbell and opened it up to show E. I was way excited about it.

  • Azra
    September 7, 2012 at 7:46 am

    It is neat that Brandon’s family has roots in her school. And she looks adorable. My younger son is entering a preschool and my older a first grade. We had an orientation for preschool… it is so sweet comparing to the first grade. I love preschool.
    I am sure she will have the best time. Good luck to her!

  • Catherine
    September 7, 2012 at 9:59 am

    What a wonderful story about your ties to the school! My boys went to preschool this week, too, and my younger one is having a hard time adjusting. So am I, to be honest.

  • Starlet
    September 7, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    YAY to your big girl, Nicole! And I agree with Catherine, it’s heart-warming to hear about your family history to the school.

    Now question to Eleanor, did you pick that cute stripe dress on your own?

    • Making it Lovely
      September 7, 2012 at 10:29 pm

      I may have helped her pick her outfit. ;)

  • Julie Anne
    September 8, 2012 at 1:57 am

    She looks SO much like a mini-you with Brendan’s blonde hair. So darling!

  • Melinda
    September 8, 2012 at 5:53 am


  • elise
    September 8, 2012 at 5:56 am

    How Cute !
    First day of school. As a retired preschool,and elementary school teacher
    I miss the excitement of the classroom . New clothes, new backpack, shoes that are brand spankin’ new.
    Most of all how wonderful it is to get to hear what each child did during the summer .
    It’s something in the air, going out early and smelling the wet leaves and taking the first field trip to the Orchard. It’s just a wonderful time in a child’s life. As you can tell, it was a wonderful time in this teachers life as well. I hope Eleanor has a blessed and fun year. She looks so grown up . Enjoy it to the max !
    Thanks for sharing .
    Best to you and yours,

  • itziar
    September 10, 2012 at 1:27 am

    My little boy started going to nursery school last week, he is so excited too!
    But he is going to go for 8h 5 days a week…. this month is for adaptation, and he is just 2 h a day for 2 weeks and 4 h next two weeks

  • Louise
    September 10, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Just gorgeous, she looks settled in…………My heart still breaks a little everyday when I take my daughter to school and it’s been 5 years since she started formal education, I love pick up time. She loves school, I just miss her.

  • Katherine
    September 10, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Your daughter is truly one of the most beautiful little girls I have ever seen. She is just lovely.

  • Rachel
    September 11, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Ok, this may sound weird … but is that Sunshine Preschool?? I went to Sunshine when I grew up in the Chicago suburbs. I’m a senior in college right now but that loft and that room look SO familiar!

  • how2home
    September 12, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    What a great outfit and backpack for first day of school! Cute :)

  • Kate
    September 12, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Everyone got that owl backpack for their kids? Is it weird that I have it for MYSELF??