Pieces of Me

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Utterly Exhausted

Why doesn't Kindergarten come w/ a warning - CAUTION: Parents will feel completely exhausted and emotionally drained by the end of each day. Do not try to do more than one activity in a day until you are used to the new schedule.

That being said, I did not realize that taking on a new position as a Teacher's Aide at Noah's Ark preschool was literally going to kick my behind, and we haven't even started school.  Just 2 days a week.  It's still hard work.  I'm in mid-process of putting up our welcoming bulletin board - it's really cute.  I'm just going to see if I can make it even cuter - and of course finish it by noon on Thursday.  Now remember, I don't go back until tomorrow.

And what will I do this afternoon before picking up Hannah?  I will take a nap.  I much needed, not sleeping through the night, midafternoon nap.

Monday, August 25, 2008

K is for Kindergarten

This morning went surprisingly well.  We went to bed early last night.  I had everything packed - lunch, backpack, and school supplies.  We hung Hannah's first day of school outfit on her shelf so it would be "nice and fresh" first thing this morning.  Hannah was put in bed at 7:50 pm but she was soooo wired that she didn't fall asleep until 8:45 pm.  That was very frustrating for this mommy, but I know that she will be exhausted this afternoon and sleep will come easily.

I was up by 6:15.  Hannah got up at 6:30 and had breakfast, a nice warm waffle.  We brushed teeth, got dressed, and straightened her hair.  Then we woke up brother and all of us headed out the door.  Daddy took the truck and met us at Joslin. 

There were no tears this morning.  I did well up a couple of times but was able to hold it together.  After taking Hannah to her classroom, we helped her find her seat and hang up her back and then we left before the tears could begin.  Of course, there was the reassuring that Mommy would come back and pick her up in the afternoon.

Here are our photos from this morning -


This photo is actually from Friday afternoon.  Here is Hannah with her teacher, Mrs. Degon.  I know that Hannah is going to do supremely well this school year.  And in fact, you can visit Hannah's Blog throughout the year to read about things from her perspective.  Totally stealing this idea from Traci and Natalie.

There are actually nine students registered in Hannah's class.  I'm sure they will get a few more kiddos, but because Joslin has a larger ratio of special needs and deaf students, they are able to keep their class numbers lower than other schools.


Now onto the photos from this morning.DSCN0807_edited-1



Here Hannah is in her 1st day of school outfit.  She chose out the dress and capri leggings (that she insisted on pulling down as pants).  In this photo, she's standing hunched over like a "turtle, because this backpack looks like a turtle's shell." 






And here she is, standing up straight for us all to see.  She's holding a bunny I got her on Saturday while she was in Jacksonville. 

Please don't mind the small mess, don't we all keep a bathroom scale, laundry detergent, and Little Swimmers at our front doors?  Never got to that cleaning I had intended on doing this weekend.  LOL  The living room is clean.  Really, it is.



Here we are all buckled up and ready to leave the house.  Remember, Hannah is not going to her assigned school.  We had her transferred because of the treatment we received at her original school.  Hannah riding across town every morning with either daddy or me. 



Here's a photo of Hannah, Daddy, and Cayden walking into the building.  What I love about Joslin is that one of their school entrance leads right into the cafeteria so the kids can be dropped off or walked right into where they need to be every morning.  Pick up is the same.



Here's a photo of Hannah and her new friend, Miss C.  Don't they both look so excited to be at Kindergarten?  I know they are going to be great friends, but neither one of them wanted me to take their photo together this morning. 


And finally, a photo of Hannah right before we said goodbye for the morning.  After this photo, I went over, gave her a kiss, took her play-doh out of its back and smushed it.  This way, she was distracted from my leaving and was able to focus on playing with playdoh.   I cannot wait to hear about her first day of school. 

Sunday, August 24, 2008

And the award goes to . . .

my dear sweet hubby for Husband of the Year!!  As many of you know, I kept a boatload of children this week at my home.  And I do not believe I complained twice.  Once, I'm sure of. . . I was very tired, but I'm fairly certain, I just went with it and attempted to keep everyone happy.  And I did have a great week with the girls and Cayden.  It was lots of fun.  But it was exhausting. 

We've been planning on going out of town since June.  Uncle Les turns 50 next week.  He and Stephen share a birthday.  About midweek I decided the trip probably wasn't the best idea of our family.  I am very nervous about school starting tomorrow and want tonight's routine to be as close to normal as possible.  Plus, Ms. Molly was having a baby revealing party, and she actually called me and left a message stating that if I wasn't there, I didn't get to find out until I saw her, which could have been a while.  Well, instead of the whole family staying home, Stephen  suggested he take the kids to Jacksonsville and I stay home alone for all day Saturday and part of the day Sunday.  And that's what we did.  I was going to spend some of yesterday cleaning, but I decided against that so yes, my house is a mess,  but I am one very relaxed and rested woman.  Here's an outline of my day:

* Get up with family, help pack, get kids fed

* Send family on their way - lots of hugs and kisses and repeated hugs and kisses

* Attend a SpeedScrap Chat online at 9 am.  Wanna see my layout? This was a challenge for me.  We had to use the kit Urban Solitude, and I was having issues with trying to figure out how to make this kit childlike.


* Walk with Buster - we are still looking for Sparky. :(

* Massage at 12:30 pm - best massage of my life.  Alex from Massage Harmony, thank you soooo much.

* Lunch at Central Market - Basil Pesto, Artichoke, Mushroom, and Olive Pizza on thin crust - AMAZING.

* Bra shopping at Nordstroms - no more nursing bras!!!

* Ran some other errands - dog food, small gift for Ms. Molly, and treat from Starbucks

* Rest and relax at home for a couple of hours.  I scrapped a few more pages:

cayden2 waiting

* Revealing party at Molly and Shannon's - It's a SURPRISE. . . mum's the word here.  I know, but I'm not telling :)

* Walk with both dogs - this was not fun at all and towards the end a big dog tried to attack us - owner was a little slow to react, but I'm ticked that the dog wasn't on a leash.  Grrrrr.

* Wished kids Good Night over phone.  Went and got a coke and cookies from McDonald's - just a little treat

* Bed pretty late, but nothing planned for tomorrow except to figure out how to get Buster in to get his nails trimmed, OUCH.


So there you have it.  I'm thinking of going to a movie but haven't quite decided.  I may just sit here in my PJs all day.  I need to get to the grocery store to get Hannah her favorite lunch items for this week and to pick up the ingredients for tonight's menu item for church.  Thinking of baking a tart. 

At any rate - I think my hubby's the best.  This was my first time away from my kiddos in a very long time - ever if you count that they are actually not in Austin.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bloom and Grow. . . and meet the teacher

It's official.  She's really and truly five years old and going to Kindergarten on Monday.  I have been working one of her birthday photos for a scrapbook layout.  I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. Notice how tiny and delicate she was in her newborn photo.  Crazy stuff!!!  Man, was she really ever that small?  And when did she turn into the little lady that she is now?  When did it happen?  I've been home with her all her life.  I just don't get it.  It happens soooo fast.  They aren't kidding when they say time goes by so quickly.  I'm still in awe with the fact that she's really going to Kindergarten.  For REAL


We did get to meet Hannah's teacher today -  Mrs Degon.  I snapped a photo.  Look at the fake smile from my little girl.  Totally a forced smile.  I hate photos like that.  And of course, we're "already sucking up" as Stephen says since we gave Mrs. Degon a small gift of pretty pink post it notes, notepad, pushpins, and paperclips.  But it was something I needed Hannah to do, having been a teacher myself. 


And no worries about numbers in Hannah's class.  There are a total of 13 or 14 kids, 7-8 boys and 5-6 girls.  Totally awesome, if you want my opinion.  Here's to Monday.  Say lots of prayers.  We'll both need them. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Longest Week of my Life

Yep, it's official. The week before Kindergarten starts has to be the longest week in the history of my life. It was not the week before I got married. It was not the week before either of my kids were born (they came as surprises so no preparation there). It has to be this week.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am having a blast this week. We've been terribly busy getting ready for school and spending time together. We've started the mom up at 6, Hannah up at 6:30. It's working. She's going to bed tired and not fighting us. But this week, I have had an additional 3 kiddos with me. My three "nieces" (cousin's girls and one of my best friends' daughter). And I am loving this houseful of children. It's been so much fun for me. We've even ventured out into the real world several times - Monday we went to Sam's. Tuesday we had an entire day nearly spent in the car - Stephen took the afternoon off and we headed up to our beloved Chiropractor for one final visit before switching to a new one. This was a very difficult decision to make. I met my chiropractor in 2001 after wrenching my neck while working. It was then that I learned I couldn't turn my neck at all. We're talking a 5 degree angle. I was literally using my shoulders and waist for everything (even driving - yikes). After months of visits and therapy, I started seeing huge improvement, and I'm happy to say that today, I can turn my neck completely and have been mostly migraine free. Life is good. Soooo you can see why we've been driving all the way to Georgetown for 4 years. Well, with K starting, it's just impossible to keep the same schedule so we went to our last appointment. It was very sad. I really and truly have been blessed by my relationship with Dr. Felder. And I have two babies to show for!! She helped me through my pregnancies and has been adjusting both kids since birth.

But I digress. . . I had my "interview," took Miss Martha shopping, kids to chiro, and Hannah's 1st dance class all in one day. And it was a L-O-N-G day. We won't even get into the scam session Stephen and I took time to attend (Bon Voyage Travel - Sealand Travel - looks like a great investment if we had the $$.) We went in for the prizes - a cruise and $1000 to amazon.com and left with bogus prizes. . . crap. . literally crap. I've filed a complaint with the BBB). And we came home to learn that Mr. Sparky had escaped earlier that evening while Stephen was repairing part of the fence. He'd left the garage door open and out he went. . so we're on a trek - back to posting signs and praying that someone brings him home again. Stupid dog is microchipped but kept taking his tag collar off. UGH!!!

And again, I digress. . . today was Hannah's last summer playgroup. I loaded up all the children to head to the Aldridge home for swimming and play. Kalie and Hannah had a blast playing with the kids. . . Parker's sister is Kalie's age so that was a nice break for the girls. From Parker's we went to Chick Fil A, met Stephen, and order the Chicken Nugget Platter and 3 large fries plus small waters for all the kiddos, big water for me, and a drink for Stephen. Turned out to be $4 a person instead of a million. LOL

And now, I'm happy to say, they are ALL FIVE soundly sleeping. We hope to get a walk in this afternoon so that we can hunt for Mr. S.

Photos from our week -

Friday - I had the girlies all to myself!

DSCN0395 DSCN0412

DSCN0425_edited-1 DSCN0426

DSCN0481 DSCN0598

Sunday - please forgive the red eye - these have no been edited.

DSCN0635 DSCN0609


Our nephew, Chase, eating lasagna. Yummy!

DSCN0670 DSCN0669

Wednesday - Our last day with the baby girls. We'll have Miss K through Friday.



DSCN0689 DSCN0707

The Motley Crew -

So this weekend, I will have the house to myself Saturday/Saturday Evening, and Sunday Morning. Stephen and his family are off to Jacksonville for a Birthday Party for Uncle Les. I'd love to attend, but I want to be at Molly's Reveal the Baby Party, and after this week, I think I deserve a break from any children whatsoever. LOL

Looking forward to the day to myself - is that a bad thing?

BTW - I'm now the 3-year-old class's TA at Noah's Ark Preschool. It's a MDO program - 2 days a week from 9am - 2pm. Tuition for Cayden is free and I get paid on top of it all. I'm excited. It will be nice to have a little time away from the SAHM life.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yay for Team USA!

United States 8 7 8 23
China 13 3 5 21
South Korea 5 6 1 12
Phelps wins 200 fly for fourth gold

BEIJING (AP) -- Michael Phelps has become the winningest Olympic athlete ever, earning his fourth gold medal of the Beijing Games with a world record in the 200-meter butterfly.
The American touched in 1 minute, 52.03 seconds, breaking his old mark of 1:52.09 set at last year's world championships in Australia.
It was Phelps' 10th career gold medal, breaking a tie with Mark Spitz, Carl Lewis and two others for most golds. He is 4-for-4 so far, setting world records in each of his events.BEIJING (AP) -- Michael Phelps has become the winningest Olympic athlete ever, earning his fourth gold medal of the Beijing Games with a world record in the 200-meter butterfly.
The American touched in 1 minute, 52.03 seconds, breaking his old mark of 1:52.09 set at last year's world championships in Australia.
It was Phelps' 10th career gold medal, breaking a tie with Mark Spitz, Carl Lewis and two others for most golds. He is 4-for-4 so far, setting world records in each of his events.

Time with Good 'Ole Friends

On Saturday evening, we went down to the Ohlendorf River Place to spend some time with Leah and Greta before they headed back to Colorado.  This week has just been wonderful getting to spend some extra time with them.  Leah and I have been friends since elementary school.  I think she's my longest known friend and regardless of how much our lives have changed, we are still great friends.  I got a photo of all of us at Miss Greta's baptism and then one of my kiddos with Greta.  I LOVE this photo!!!


And on Sunday, we had breakfast with the Whalen family (and Michael & Leslie).  I've also known Amy since elementary school and she is actually Hannah's godmother.  We reconnected at her wedding several years ago and have attempted to get our families together a couple times a year (they live in Pearland, Texas).  Anyway, they came up for Hannah's birthday and then we had breakfast with them on Sunday.  And although I didn't get any photos of us together, I did get a couple of our kiddos so I thought I'd share them as well.

This is Sam.  He is the most beautiful baby boy I know (beside my boy!).

014 020

And these are our girls who are 6 months apart.  Sooo cute!


I am so blessed to have such wonderfully faithful friends.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Birthday Bash

We had Hannah's birthday party for our family and friends on Saturday morning.  It was a lot of fun.  In spite of the heat, the kids had a blast, the adults enjoyed one another's company, and Hannah had a very memorable birthday.

We started the party off with playing on the water slide.  Believe it or not, I did not get ANY photos of the birthday girl playing.  Bad mommy, I know.  But life is good.

DSCN0143 DSCN0145

DSCN0153 DSCN0155

Hannah Montana was the theme.  We had the yummiest Strawberry cake with homemade buttercream frosting.  Yum Yum Yum!!!!



And the presents - WHOA!  We will certainly be going through our toys and giving lots away.

DSCN0161 DSCN0168

DSCN0195 DSCN0216

She did get a Hannah Montana concert costume to go with her Guitar. . . soooo


All in all, it was a great party.  All the kids had a great time.

And one of Hannah's requests this year was to go swimming at the River where Greta was baptized.  We didn't exactly go swimming, since the area we visited is so shallow that the water doesn't even hit Cayden's knees, but we did let her and Cayden flow on her new Hannah Montana raft and throw rocks.  They had a great time.

DSCN0283 DSCN0281



And of course, please meet Princess Sparky