Friday, August 23, 2013

First Day Recap and Daddy Birthday Parties

Well, she survived.  

I have to tell you, I held my breath walking into preschool on Wednesday afternoon.  I was so nervous that Rachel refused to go to the potty or threw a crying fit or had a horrible time.  There were a couple of moms standing at the doorway chatting when I walked up.  I overheard the teacher talking about the kids working with scissors so I glanced over her shoulder and saw Rachel, sitting quietly at a table, not doing anything.

Oh no.

And then she looked up and saw me...and smiled...

Ahhhh!!  Sweet relief!!  Once the teacher realized who's mom I was, she told me Rachel had a great day, although they weren't sure she could talk until she saw Elizabeth on the playground and went crazy.  (Sounds like her.)  Elizabeth's day was pretty typical for her and she got rave reviews from her teacher.

We talked about their days and new friends and then set out on our secret mission.  We had big fish to was Daddy's birthday.

We were making our plans on how to celebrate that morning when Elizabeth asked how old Daddy was.  Doing the math, I couldn't believe he was turning 39, making it ten years ago that we celebrated his birthday together for the first time.  Life was so busy then (ha!), with the college kids getting back to campus and school starting.  We hadn't been dating long, maybe a couple weeks...way too early to know how someone celebrates their birthday.  (You know what I it no big deal or is it a national holiday?  You never know!!)  So I asked him if he wanted to go out or did he want me to make him a special dinner?  He thought they would be practicing late and said he could just stop by afterwards, which worked out for me because we had practice too.

I ended up being pretty late for some reason that I can't now remember and walked in the door with nothing prepared, which I sheepishly admitted when he called to tell me he was on his way.  "No problem," he said.  "I'll be right there."  Ten minutes later, he walked in my little house with two cartons of ice cream and toppings and we celebrated his birthday with ice cream sundaes and watching TV on the couch.  I was mortified that he bought his own birthday treat, but he didn't seem in the slightest bit upset and told me that he just enjoyed relaxing and chatting.

Oh, I was smitten right away!  ;)

Fast forward waaaay into the future and three kiddos were excited to celebrate with him and we definitely weren't stopping at ice cream!  

Caleb and I met Scott for lunch at one of our favorite little restaurants that doesn't care if you trash the tables.

After picking up the girls, we ran to the fancy store (Stein Mart) to find him some presents, which, much to the chagrin of Elizabeth, did NOT include a Hello Kitty watch.  Then we went to Publix to get balloons and a cake.

The balloon tradition started not long after we moved here.  We had very little extra money and no little friends to make a birthday party special.  So Scott walked in the door of Elizabeth's 2nd birthday with two $2.99 balloons...the mylar kind with a character on it and they were instant hits...for a week!!  So now, at every birthday, each kid gets to pick out a special balloon and it normally still lasts a while.  

The nice lady at Publix agreed with the girls that Daddy would LOVE two princess balloons and Caleb got Toy Story.  We shot home, wrapped presents, decorated the house and they played and colored as I got dinner going.  During this time, I asked Rachel why she wasn't cutting with scissors with the other kids.  She just kind of shrugged at me, so I said, "Rachel, if your teacher asks you to cut, then you need to do what she says."  She paused for a minute and then looked me in the eye and said, "But mom, she said we didn't HAVE to and that we could color instead.  I already know how to cut."  WHOA!!  A fully sentence and not a hint of crying??  Yes!! (cue air fist pump!)

Then came the really important part...practicing jumping out and yelling surprise.  (This was right in Caleb's wheel house, in case you didn't already suspect.)

Here they are, keeping "look out" for Scott to get home.

I'm sure YOU'RE not surprised that it was a wonderful evening and we celebrated 39 years well.  Today, revealed another day of preschool and we were better prepared for the routine and had everyone's "bap paps" ready (Thank God!).

And then today really marked the first day of quality time with just me and my son.  Wednesday was so chaotic that we weren't really home much together.  So today, he broke me in by walking right in the door from the Y, running in the kitchen and pointing up at the refrigerator like, "Here!  Can I spell it out to you any more woman??  Cook me some lunch!!"  

"What??  I was huuuungry!!"
Sigh.  And now it's nap time and I'm off to tackle some ga-ross bathrooms.  Have a wonderful weekend, my sweet friends!!  Thank you for all your kind wishes, prayers and texts on Rachel's first day!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First Day of Preschool!

I forgot how much I used to LOVE nap time.

With Caleb being the only napper in the house, the 12-2 hours are now some of my craziest.

"Mama, what can we do now?"

"Mama, can you get this toy down?"

"Mama, can we play on your computer?"


So I basically keep running on a normal day and didn't realize how much I missed the solitude of a good nap time with no children awake until right now.

Ahhhh...quiet.  Can you hear it?  I'm drinking it in.

Well, except for the new garage door getting installed.  That's a little noisy.  But I'll go into all that next week.

Today, I had to take my heart to preschool.  Now, you know that Elizabeth went last year and she was jacked about going back.  Not a hesitant bone in that child's body, I swear.  But Rachel...

Well, we signed Rachel up because the pediatrician thought it would be best.  She is our shy one, our sweet and quiet one.  She will rarely talk to adults and sometimes not even kids her own age.  And she's never really been away from me for more than a couple hours.  I would be lying  if I said I wasn't nervous all morning, but she was really all smiles picking out her outfit and getting ready.

Ok, girls!  Stand there so I can get a picture of you in your back to school outfits!
Ok, Caleb...You want to get in there too?  Ok, now everyone look at me!  No, stop moving.. No, look at me.  Wait!  Hold still just a second...
Don't squeeze her head off Elizabeth!!

I asked the girls to go to the potty, got my bag on my shoulder and walked back in the den to see them both standing with their backpacks on, holding their lunchboxes, waiting on me.

*tear wipe*

And then Caleb pointed up at me, "Bap pap."

I have no idea why my dad taught him to say backpack at the beach, but somehow it wound into conversation.  Well, now here it was.


He wanted to go too.  And was quite insistent on my making it happen.  I ran back into the kitchen, his chubby little feet hot on my trail, and grabbed his lunch box out from under the island.  Happy to have something like his sisters, he marched proudly to the door to stand with them.

And there they were, ready and excited for what was very much the real world for a 5, 3 and 17 month old.  We walked in the school and dropped Elizabeth off, no problem.  Caleb held tight to his "bap pap," and after saying goodbye to Elizabeth (with a reminder to listen and obey), I turned to find a very nervous Rachel standing in the hallway.

Oh, how I know that feeling and how I wanted to take her back to the car with me.  Doesn't being the mom just suck sometimes??  

I smiled and gave her a big hug and we walked the hallway to her classroom and met her teacher.  Much to my relief, she was scooped up in her teacher's arms and told how excited she was to see her.  And then I saw Rachel's slow smile and knew she was going to be ok.  And I thought that I probably would be too...

Until I looked down to see my son staring up at me, expectantly...the one who has never been an only child in the house.  Sizing up his playmate for the day, he turned on his heel, grabbed his bap pap and started running for the car.

So much for being sad!

And now that my playmate is down for the count, I'm going to try to tackle my kitchen...which is still wrecked from making pancakes and lunches.  Happy Wednesday, my dear friends!!  And I'll let you know how the day went tomorrow...that is, if the girls let me use my own computer during nap time.  ;)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Summer Dreams...

It flew by and I wrote nothing.  

I didn't record my kids swimming.

I didn't write about our first trip to the ER.

I didn't tell you about our monster tomato plants or about how I was learning how to paint or my workout designed to get strong enough to do a pull-up.  (Which I can't do ANY!)

I didn't complain and I didn't rejoice. 

And now I'm kind of regretting it because I don't have record of our summer except for the piles of house renovations we were able to get through (and I'll share with you soon...woot!).  

Last week, we went to the beach and, while I didn't feel like I needed a vacation, once I set sights on the ocean, I knew I had been sadly mistaken.  We had perfect weather, stayed in a condo with a perfect walk-in pool, and made perfect memories.  

Me and the crazies!

After a few days, I found myself refreshed and ready to tackle the new season.  Running the beach, I felt so insignificant and thankful.  

Lord, look at all You've created and still you manage to bless my family and me.  Forgive me for all my selfishness and belly-aching and thank you for not only taking care of and knowing the individual needs of all the millions of fish in the sea but me also.

I told Scott that I felt like I was given a summer time New Years and returned home ready to get into our new preschool schedule and the final house remodeling. 

Oh, and writing.  :)

Speaking of which, this morning, I had the following conversation with Elizabeth as I was fixing her hair.

ERS:  Mom, if I were a mermaid, I WOULD NOT open my eyes under the ocean.
Me:  Well, Elizabeth, mermaids aren't real.  They're just pretend.
ERS:  No...I'm talking about MER-MAIDS.  The kind that swim in the ocean.  Do you think the water doesn't hurt their eyes??
Me:   They're not real.  They don't have eyes.  
ERS:  Ok, I don't think you know what I'm talking about...


Happy Wednesday!