Sunday, August 17, 2014

Around Our House

Things have been really busy around here. The first few weeks of school, Grampie visiting, Noah's birthday, Emily's early birthday party, my new found love for swimming laps, volunteering at school. I haven't come up for air yet.

Grampie left this morning. He was here for 12 days. We all enjoyed his company. The kids enjoyed dinner outside with him too!
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Ben came running out of school last week super excited. He lost his front tooth. I've been waiting for those ones because I wanted to see him look all jack o lantern cool. His bottom ones came out, but his big ones were already there pushing them out. Now, he looks like this when he smiles.
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I also helped in the kids' class. How cute is Noah?

We were trying to do away with big parties for the kids. But somehow, Emily and her BFF decided they wanted a joint party. She had fun and that's all that matters I suppose.
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It was an owl theme.
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The girls painted owls. They each had two. Emily took so much time with hers that she only got one done.
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Emily got lots of owl things.
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And other goodies...
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They got matching owls.
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Here are the girls with one of their finished owls.
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Then, I drove all the girls to a yogurt shop where they get to add their own toppings. Boy oh boy, was that a loud car ride!
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And now, I'm ready to start a new week. I think...

Monday, August 11, 2014


My little man turned five this weekend! Wow, where has the time gone? Seriously, this feels like the quickest five years ever. Maybe because he came into this world with so much excitement and I remember it so vividly that it seems like five years hasn't lapsed.

Birthdays are all about their favorite things.

He requested monkey bread for breakfast.
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It was a school day on Friday, so I packed his favorite lunch of salami. I also sent in Lofthouse cookies for his entire class. It's his absolute favorite. When he got home from school, he wanted to open his presents, but I told him he had to wait until his Dad got home. He's never been so excited to see David in all his life!
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He got right to it. Ben cracks me up in these pictures. He's as excited as Noah because really, he gets to play with all the new toys too.
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We didn't have a big party for Noah. We are trying to do away with that. But, he got lots of great gifts including money from his grandparents. Our friends got him a drum set, thanks a lot! And Aunt Pam even sent him a gift. Everything was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
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See, David and Ben were super excited to play with Noah's new toys.
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No birthday cake for Noah, he doesn't eat cake. He wanted more Lofthouse Cookies!
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And to top off his birthday, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie came out on his birthday. We went Saturday morning first thing to see it. It was a great movie!
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I can't believe my little monkey boy is growing up. He truly is such a fun kid. Sure, he can be demanding and not very patient, but he's smart and funny and loves to cuddle. We are so glad he's ours.

Monday, August 4, 2014

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school. I got up extra early to get everything ready for the kids. We took some photos this morning.

Noah on first day of Kindergarten.
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Ben on first day of third grade.
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Emily on first day of fifth grade.
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Most parents walk the kids in to school on the first day. Typically because we have bags of school supplies we need to deliver. We went to Emily's class first and dropped off her stuff. Then, we went to Ben's. Then, we went to Noah's. Emily and Ben headed out to the playground and I thought Noah and I would just chill in his classroom a little. He looked so cute and confidant.
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But, he decided he wanted to go to the playground. So, I walked him out there. No sooner did he step foot on the dirt and the whistle blew. So, I told him to go stand in line with the Kinder kids and the teacher would walk them in. I was watching from the parking lot. I was so proud of us. Not a single tear! Everyone was happy.

I watch him walk in with the teacher. His hallway was full of parents and kids. At least two teachers had duty that morning, so their classrooms were locked and people were lined up everywhere down the hallway. I figured I would head to the office to turn in my check for full day Kindergarten since we have to pay if we want full day. The line there was outrageous. So, I decided to walk through the school to make sure he got to his class okay.

I turn the corner of his long hallway that probably has 8-10 classrooms. It's for K and 1st. And I see Noah running down the hallway, crying his eye outs. Apparently, he did not get to his classroom. The teacher brought him in the doors and in all the chaos, well, she lost him. I don't blame her really as it was so chaotic in that hallway, but my God, this is my child. Where was he going? He could've ran right out the front door. It isn't like at 4 years old, he can read the names of the teacher on the doors.

I scooped him up (as could have any stranger) and got him calmed down. Now, we were both crying.

We walked back to his classroom and I got him in his chair. He was so brave. He just wiped his tears and started playing with his blocks.

I don't know who the teacher was that walked him in, but I was not happy about the situation. I emailed the principal when I got home. No K or 1st grade teacher should have duty the first week of school. And, there should be someone at the beginning and end of the hallway to watch for kids who are lost.

Now, I'm just hoping the rest of their day all went fine. I asked the kids what they thought I should do when I get home, Ben said eat pizza and play video games. Noah suggested video games too. Emily told me to fold some laundry. I came home to complete silence and it is just weird. I got a glimpse of this with preschool last year, but it was so short that it wasn't even enjoyable. I came home and worked. Exciting, eh? But, then I did take a 20 minute power nap this afternoon.

It's nice that the house stayed clean and the silence is nice, but I really miss my kids. This is going to take some getting used to.

Update: The kids just got home and everything went fine. Except Noah got his leg stuck between a slide and pole on the playground and a teacher had to help him. I'm going through their backpacks and I think this sums up Noah's day:


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Lessons Learned and A New Chapter

Last night we went to church. They had a fun carnival after ~ Bounce houses, bungee jumping, slides, carnival games, and RAIN. It wasn't pouring, but it was sprinkling pretty good. It wasn't lightening though, so we were good. The kids had a blast. I think the rain just added to the fun for them. Here's Em on the bungee jump thing.

Today is the last day of summer vacation. The kids start school tomorrow. I told the kids we were going to get some cleaning done. I just wanted to start the school year off clean. I was trimming the bushes in the front. David was mowing the backyard, and I had the kids helping me.

Emily was using every excuse in the book. Her allergies were bothering her, she was sweating, blah, blah, blah. Then, I found this video on my phone when she was "going to the bathroom".

I was telling the kids that doing yardwork is a life lesson. You'll have to do this when you get older if you ever want to own your own home. I was trying to tell them to rake the leaves in a pile, so they are easier to pick up. Bring the garbage can to you instead of walking to it 100 times. Work smarter, not harder. Then, they all agreed that they never want to do yard work when they get older. So, I told them, they'll need really good jobs, so they can hire a landscaper. So, that's the lesson they came away with. Whatever.

We came inside and all cleaned up Ben's room. My kids play. Hard. They toys are always everywhere. His room was driving me crazy. We got it all cleaned up and moved on to Noah's. Emily's room is always very clean, but she never goes in there. The point being, we got the house all cleaned up and it feels great.

So tomorrow is a very big day for me. I had Emily in August of 2004 and I took about a month off and went back to work. I had a pack n play in the office and I'd take inventory with my baby girl strapped to my chest. You can do that when your Dad owns the business. In January of 2005, my Dad sold the business. Emily was 4 months old. I've been a stay at home Mom ever since. For almost 10 years, I've been home every day with my kids. Sure, there have been hard days, but for the most part, it's been wonderful. I'll always cherish that I was able to do that and be there for every milestone, for every moment.

My 30's were entirely spent raising my family. Starting tomorrow, Noah is in full day Kindergarten. So from 8:45-3:15, I'll be kid free. I'm thrilled and just a little terrified. My life is completely about to change. I'll have 6.5 hours a day kidless. I'm glad I have a part time job and it'll fill up some of my time. I'm glad that I'll have some free time and I can do what I want. I'm glad I can clean up the house at 8:30 and it will stay clean until almost dinner. I'm ready for the next chapter of my life, where I can focus on me a little bit again.

I'm sure I'll shed a tear tomorrow, but I always do on the first day of school. It's just the passing of time that gets me. Another year older, another year of my kids growing up. Then, I'm coming home and doing whatever the heck I want! :)

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Good Day

Yesterday was full of good things.

I took the kids to the last summer movie. Then, Dakri took Emily and Noah home (David was working from home) and I took Ben to his eye appointment in Phoenix. We've been going to the eye doctor four times a year for over three years. On our last appointment in April, the Doctor had us stop patching Ben's eye. We've been doing this for three years and his eyes weren't changing anymore, which means the patching wasn't effective anymore. Ben's eye have gone from legally blind to about 20/35. So, that's amazing progress. We stopped patching.

Yesterday, I was prepared for the Doctor to tell us his bad eye had gotten worse and we need to start patching again. Instead, he told us the eye was the same as it was 3 months ago, so it's locked into where it's at. He also told us at this point, we can go to annual eye exams! Yippee! I was shocked. We are so, so happy at Ben's progress. And as much as we like Dr. Salevitz, we are happy to only see him once a year.

We got home from Phoenix and only had a short time before we headed to the kids' meet and greet with their teachers. It was on meet and greet night 5 years ago that everything with my pregnancy with Noah took a turn for the worse. Shortly after that meet and greet, I was on a helicopter to Phoenix praying that Noah and I would live. This years meet and greet was a happy occasion. For one, I was not dying. For two, my baby looks like this.
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And he learned how to drink from a water fountain.
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You wouldn't think it's a skill you have to learn, but he's only done it a few times in his life. Living in Arizona, you bring cold water with you everywhere. If we even go to the grocery store, I bring water for each of us. At first he would get water in his mouth and then spit it in the drain part. Um, you are supposed to drink it little man. He got the hang of it.

We are thrilled that Ben has Emily's third grade teacher. Poor Ben's eyes were still really dialated and he could barely see.
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I wanted to take Emily's picture and she said, Mom please not here. I didn't force it, but geez, you are only in fifth grade lady!

The kids all got great teachers and we are super excited for another wonderful year!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Spider Love

Emily was dressed up as Spidergirl and Noah as Spider-Man. They really do love each other. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Vacation, day 15

We are about 20 minutes from home and it's about 10:30 at night. It's been a long travel day. It's good to be home. This is the sunset from the plane. 

We are so fortunate to have had such a great trip and thank Dad and Suzy and The Kelley family for having us. And my Mom for holding down our fort and watching our sweet dog.  

And God willing, we'll do it again next year!