Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Down South

Sometime in the near future we are heading to Texas. Correction: John and I are heading to Texas. The kids are going to be staying with family in Iowa. This will be our first trip away from the kids since 2006. That year we went to Seattle for a long weekend to take in two Pearl Jam concerts. Katie was 2 years old and that was my first night away from her as well.

This time Pearl Jam takes us to Texas. Does Eddie Vedder realize how much we plan our vacations around their schedule?

Anyway, so as we are gearing up for this trip I am having to deal with the same feelings of fear that I did 3 years ago. Before we had kids I never really had any anxiety about flying. Now? I have a TON.

I don't worry about the kids - they're with our families and will be having a GREAT time. We have a will, etc. Worst case scenario - the kids are provided for. But - hello?! I'm not there. Hundreds of airplanes take off and land every day - you never hear about that. Once we get to Texas, I'll be fine. It's funny how quickly I'll forget about wondering if Will has brushed his teeth or if Katie washed her hands. All too quickly it'll be time to come back.

P.S. - Thank you to my friend Sarah for mapping out fun places to eat, drink and be merry. It really makes everything a whole lot easier when you know where you're going!

Can you guess who this is? You're probably right.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

You better think again...

Today Katie came home from kindergarten and was her usual, happy self. When we got inside and went through her backpack she started telling me about her day.

She got to go to the library and get a book.
She played a dice game.
She helped a girl write a '2'.
She got to eat homemade jam on crackers.
They had a fire drill.

She was telling me about walking outside for the fire drill, and how they had to wait outside, then walk back inside. On the way back inside the girl behind her kept pushing her and wouldn't leave her alone. She kept pushing and pulling on Katie. In fact, she did this so much that it made Katie start to cry.

Katie said that her teacher saw what was happening, told the other little girl to stop, and led Katie to the front of the line so that she wouldn't have to walk by her anymore.

I talked to Katie about this and said I was happy that her teacher had seen it and made her feel better. I told her to be sure to tell her teacher if someone is doing something that hurts her. I told Katie that I wouldn't stand or sit by that other girl anymore. That was the end of it...trying not to make a big deal out of it.

I have some pent up anger here that I would like to unleash onto the blogosphere. Here's what I would say to that little girl if I ever got the chance.

"Hey you little snotty brat. Keep your damn hands to yourself. If I EVER hear of you pushing my little girl again - or even LOOKING at her wrong - you'll wish that you were home schooled."

Ahhh...I feel better.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Funny

P.S. Something even funnier? My nephew Justin turns 20 today! Happy Birthday Justin!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Front Row Seats

I was lucky enough to score front row seats to the hottest concert event in town!

No, it wasn't Miley or anything like that...even better.

This is an up and coming superstar singing Taylor Swift's "Teardrops on My Guitar".

* I apologize up front - the video is a bit longer than my other short ones. I think this one is like 2 minutes...maybe less.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ring of Fire

Saturday night we had a fire in our backyard fire pit. It was SUCH a great evening - warm temps and not very many bugs. John wanted to make a dent in our brush pile before we added to it anymore. We burned quite a bit of it and the kids ate up what was left of our marshmallows from Labor Day weekend.

Katie gets her kindergarten pictures taken at school this week. Haven't decided what she'll wear yet...hopefully we'll decide and BOTH be in agreement.

I made some super de-duper garage sale finds this past week. I was able to get Will some much needed pants and jeans for the winter. I also picked up two pairs of pants for myself - a pair of GAP jeans for $3, and a pair of capris from I even spelling that right? I've never even set foot in that store...much less thought about wearing anything from them. I'm not 17. (Unless I'm pretending to be.) Never the less, these $1 garage sale pants rocked! It's funny, I could spend 2 hours in the mall searching for $40-50 pants that never seem to fit right. I take a chance on garage sale stuff and get lucky.

I also found a nice little wooden chess set. John spent Friday night trying to teach Katie and I the basic points of the game. We have yet to FINISH a game, but it's good practice. I also found a Good Dog Carl book that hadn't seen before. As I'm paying the lady $2 for those two items she informs me that it's a signed copy as well. Double score!

And as always - for all the stuff coming in, some things have to go out. I'm going to get some of our kid clothes on Craigslist this well as our past Halloween costumes. It's that time of year too.

Katie is getting better at reading - she can now read some books at a speed that keeps Will's attention. They can be SO sweet to each other sometimes...and then other times...ugh. It'd be great if they were just 'ok' to each other ALL times!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Garden variety

We have been trying to harvest things out of the garden as they are getting ripe. Had some tomatoes - gotta still get them used up cuz more will be coming. We were able to eat the 3-4 green peppers we had, and most of the beans and peas. The strawberries never really made it into the house this year - Will and Katie (mostly Will) ate them right out of the garden.

I fixed carrots last week - John and Will had picked 2 that I was going to use, but they were kinda small and I needed one more. So I went down to the garden and practically had to dig a hole to china to get this sucker out. I wish the tops had stayed attached because it would be WAY more impressive, but I yanked those off as I was trying to pull the thing out of the ground!

Will took one look at it and wanted to have it...not because it was a carrot, but because it was so dirty. He helped me wash it. Will also promised to eat it at dinner, but we didn't have any luck there.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Funny

Thursday, September 17, 2009

One week down...

So one week of school is in the bag.

How much longer do I have to keep doing this???

I never realized how much work it is to get one child to a bus stop by 8:00 am day after day. (And the weather has been SO nice...just wait til that goes away!)

Katie has had GREAT mornings so far. Thanks to her 'list' of things to do in the morning she doesn't put up any struggle in getting ready. It also helps that she is really excited to go to school.

On Monday she came home with someone else's sweater. She had hers too...just had an extra one in the bag as well. They were the exact same sweater - same color, size, brand, etc. so I couldn't blame her for thinking it was hers. That went back on Tuesday...right after I wrote Katie's name in (what I THOUGHT) was her original sweater.

On Tuesday Katie brought home her first library book from the school library. Every time they bring a book back, they get to take a new one home. That's certainly a 'grown-up' feeling for her.

The last couple weeks for so Katie has set up a "store" in her room everyday. She sets up books and toys on her bed, shelves, and floor - then John and I are expected to come in and shop. (Luckily she uses fake money - otherwise it'd be quite the racket she'd have going.) She must have sensed a feeling of boredom coming from John and I because today as she was setting up her store she came and asked me if she could have any "boy" things. Hmmm....I suggested toy trucks or cars, but that wasn't good enough - she wanted 'daddy' things. Finally we decided that ties and baseball hats were 'daddy' things. She took a few from John's closet.

As I went down to shop this afternoon she had a whole section of her closet labeled "BOYS - DAD AND WILL" It was filled with trucks, ties, buses, hats, books, etc. All things boy. Katie explained that this was her attempt to get more customers.

What do they teach in kindergarten nowadays?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hair today gone tomorrow

Ok - that title was awful, but I couldn't think of anything.

Will and Katie got their hair cut today. It'd been almost a year since their last "professional" haircut. I have been trying to do my best to trim it, but Will really needed some shaping to get me through the next 9-10 months.

I had already scheduled the hair cut, but was combing Katie's hair for school this morning when I noticed....something. It seems Miss Katie has accomplished another milestone...she cut her own hair. There was one section in the back that had really been chopped and then again on one side of her face. No big deal - it was bound to happen sooner or later. So we had to do some layers in the back and on the side that I had wanted to stay away from, but it's just hair - it'll grow back.

Will's hair is the big change, I spose. I had to share some pictures.

Will tolerated the clippers - which suprised me.

Will DIDN'T tolerate the hair dryer - that didn't suprise me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Survival Kit for Parents of Kindergartners

On Sunday the kids and I went to church. It was the first day of Sunday School and Katie was excited to be in the kindergarten class with a new teacher. There are so many kids Katie's age at church that her class is the only one that gets split into two separate classes. There are about 8-10 kindergartners in each class.

After I picked her up that day the parents were given a little goody bag. It had a list itemizing each thing in the bag and what it should be used for. I thought it was really cute, so here it is.


*Cotton Ball - to keep our hearts soft to our children

*Rubber Band - to remind you to stretch and grow with your children

*Eraser - God forgives our sins, we must do the same for ourselves and others

*Puzzle Piece - to remind you that you are an important piece in the journey of your child

*Band-Aid - to heal hurt feelings; either yours or your child's

*Tootsie Roll - to remind you to roll with the punches

*Do Not Disturb Sign - to remind you that you need time to yourself

*Mint - to remind you that your job as parents is worth a mint

*Snickers Candy Bar - to remind you to laugh at yourself and your child; laughter is good medicine

*Kleenex - to dry the tears that come with letting go

*Hug - because we all need one from time to time
Check Spelling
*Pencil - to remind you to list your blessings every day

*Tea Bag - to remind you to relax daily and go over your list of blessings

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Target Book Festival

It's that time of year again...time for John to go on a golfing trip and time for me and the kids to hit the Target Book Festival. For the last two years these events have fallen on the same weekend. It's worked well because it's given the kids and I something to do while John is away.

John is up north this weekend on a golfing trip with his company. They've moved it up a couple weekends because a few years ago they golfed while it was snowing. Doesn't look like they will have that problem this year.

So today the kids and I went to a nearby park for the book festival. We met our friends Jamie and Joe, and their son, Noah. Will and Noah are about 9 months apart and had fun running around together.

BTW...this isn't Noah. A random girl climbed up on the rocks to sit between Katie and Will. Her mom took the picture on her phone and sent it to me. :)

The good thing about the book festival is the free things they give the kids. We've gotten books, checker sets, jump ropes, mats, book bags, etc. This year we got more book bags to color, a Frisbee, toothbrushes, pinwheels, and some other little trinkets. Is that greedy? Yes. And I don't apologize for it at all. We are really lucky to live in an area that offers so many great things for families to do, and to do cheap.

Tomorrow the kids and I are off to church. Katie starts Sunday School tomorrow in the kindergarten class. Our church also has a "Backpack Blessing" for all kids returning to school. Kids are invited to bring their bookbags and we say a blessing in hopes that they will have a good, safe school year. Later this month our church is also having a special family breakfast for all kindergarten families.

And then John comes home!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gotta go back, back to school again...

Note - the above title should be sung to the Grease 2 song "Back To School." It's a classic Casablanca. :)

So today was Katie's first day of kindergarten! FINALLY! I feel like we were the last people in the free world to start school! We had our clothes laid out the night before, along with a list of things that need to get done in the morning before we meet the bus.

1. Get dressed
2. Eat breakfast
3. Comb hair
4. Brush teeth
5. Put on shoes
6. BE FANTASTIC! (Added by John)

This morning went off without a hitch. It was TOO easy because there's no where to go but down. We were out waiting for the bus by 8:05, and the bus came at about 8:10.

"Wait for ME!!!"

I rode the bus with Katie today. I also rode home with her. While she was in school, the waiting parents were given projects to get ready for the school year. Some were cutting yarn, some were doing something with pine cones, I was tracing circles on paper plates, etc. I swear to God, ALL elementary schools smell exactly alike.

John took the morning off and stayed home with Will since siblings couldn't ride the bus. Tomorrow Katie will ride the bus on her own.

I really liked being able to ride with Katie the first day; get a feel for her bus route. She has about 10 kids on her bus and is the 6th one to get picked up. There are four stops after her before they get to the school. She's on the bus for about 30-35 minutes each way. This morning was a bit longer because the drivers were getting used to the routes. Her bus is also ONLY kindergartners.

So the REAL question is how did John and I do? John did fine - maybe he was crying on the inside. I, on the other hand, never cried, but felt very sick. My stomach was just in knots and I paced all morning. I didn't want Katie to feel anxious so I kept positive. She loved her first day - is excited to go back and made a friend named Jasmine.

That first step is a doosey.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Today my parents celebrate their 47th wedding anniversary. Time flies when you're yelling at the kids I guess. :)

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Local Gem

Last Sunday the four of us went and explored a local nature center. It was beautiful - and best of all, free! They had a playground for the kids, bike trails, picnic areas, and small animals inside the building. Katie and Will liked watching the turtles, salamander, and toad.

After eating our picnic lunch.....

We went and explored the playground, which we had all to ourselves, then set off on our walk/bike ride. We brought Katie's bike for her to ride, while we pushed Will in his stroller. He's still mastering the whole pedaling thing...maybe next year.