Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas :)

my pretty girl admiring our pretty tree :)

Micah posing with the ornament that Rowan's sweet music teacher made for all the kids at the ELC.

Our tree topper, which adorned the top of our Christmas tree throughout my whole childhood. My mom picked it out. When my sister visited for the holidays, she said, "How come you get that?!" I replied, "Because I am the oldest. Duh."

Merry Christmas!!! :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

micah's class party was yesterday, and it was a huge success!! i am the only room mom for her class (three other people signed up, including josh. one of the other moms' daughter switched to another kindergarten class soon after the school year started, and the other mom has never responded to any of my phone calls or emails.) one of the moms in the class who did not sign up to be a room mom because she works a retail job and never knows when she'll be available, requested the day of the party off from work so she could help out. she was a lifesaver. i love volunteering at micah's school, but i'm not the leader type. i do much better when i'm working with someone else. katina and i went to walmart together to shop for food, drinks, treats, and party goods. we had turkey rolls, cheese cubes, pretzels, cheese crackers, baby carrots and ranch. the kids ate HARDLY ANY of the food. i think for the next class party, we'll get much less food! but the party was still fun. after the food and dessert, we had the kids do a quick little craft: they got to decorate a foam snowflake with some glittery snowman stickers. it wasn't perfect; the stickers didn't adhere too well to the snowflake, but the kids didn't seem to mind. they had fun drawing little smiley faces on the snowmen's faces. i was kind of bummed to see how few parents came to the party. obviously, parents have to work and some can't take time off for class parties... but it made me sad to see one little girl crying because her mom wasn't there. i'm so thankful that i work from home and am able to volunteer and be involved at micah's school.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Santa's Village

Rowan loved the goats!

Micah wanted to take one home with us. I think the goat was on board...

Micah and Rowan in the Dr. Suess house. Thing One and Thing Two put on a show for us as we waited in line.

Posing with Frosty!

Waiting for Santa to arrive on the fire truck...

"Is Santa coming or what?!"

Monday, December 6, 2010

we had a lovely thanksgiving last month. for the first time, on actual thanksgiving day, josh and i cooked at home for just us and the kids! it was really nice. my dad's side of the family usually does our thing on black friday, and mama, wesley, and maya were in brownsville visiting wesley's mom. sooo, that freed us up to have our own little family feast on thanksgiving day. we got a pre-roasted chicken, and made mashed potatoes and green bean cassarole from scratch. i used a mix for the stuffing, and bought a pumpkin pie. it was delish!

on friday we went to my dad's parents' house and had my grandmother's amazing lasagna, salad, apricot and pecan jello salad (a family tradition), along with some really yummy raspberry lambic my sister's boyfriend brought. we had a choice of pumpkin pie or homemade pumpkin cheesecake, courtesy of my stepmom and sister, for dessert. it was a nutritionally and emotionally nourishing couple of days. :)

this past weekend josh and i took the kids to santa's village. in years past, micah, especially, has not been much for going inside the little cottages. she gets anxious in crowds and feels shy. she also gets SUPER out of sorts when she's cold. last year i solved the cold problem by putting five layers on her, and she was as happy as a clam but didn't want to go in any of the houses. this year, she surprised me by being totally excited about all of it! first, we arrived in time to join in the countdown for them to turn on all the beautiful lights. the kids squealed with glee as the enormous tree over our heads lit up. then we got to see santa and mrs. claus arrive on the fire truck with the lights blazing, which the kids LOVED. we went into mrs. claus' bakery first, then a few more, ending with the petting zoo. the petting zoo made josh and i so sad. there were two ducklings huddling in a corner surrounded by shrieking kids, and a poor chicken running back and forth, back and forth, trying to get away from a group of toddlers. a big black and white goat climbed into my lap when i sat down next to him, and i could practically hear him begging me to get him outta there. the kids petted the goats and the rabbit, then our turn was up. i think we left after that.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

argh, i missed posting about halloween, one of my favorite holidays!! micah went as a mermaid (thanks to my friend, kim, who gifted us an old favorite dress-up item of her daughter's), and rowan went as... one guess... the batman. vesta snapped a pic of micah with her phone, i'll have to get her to email it to me. rowan did not make the photo op at daddy and vesta's house because he promptly stripped his costume off and climbed into daddy's chair to watch a scary movie when we arrived. my little guy is a major homebody. but the kids had fun, scored lots of candy, and stayed up late. i wish we had a camera so i could've gotten a picture of our across-the-street neighbors' house. it was done up right again this year, and the street was PACKED with people hanging out in and around his yard. so much fun. :-)
let's see... micah is still enjoying school, and drop-off has gone from "incident free" to actually pleasant and enjoyable. she smiles in the mornings, says bye and "i love you" to me as she gets out in the carpool line in front of her school. i never thought this day would come. okay, maybe that's dramatic, but... really. i never thought it would. she has been such an absolutely joy lately. she is beginning to read, and wants to be read to all the time. she tells funny stories and draws pictures for us. she is amazing with a hula hoop. she is still so strong and fiery and spirited, but... it's less challenging, nowadays, to nurture those traits in her. and she seems to have moved past the unsettling phase where she would ask me multiple times a day, frantically (usually after getting in trouble about something), "do you still love me?" that was heartbreaking. glad it's over.
rowan's first week (maybe two, hard to remember) of school were a breeze, then it seemed to hit him and he started having a little trouble at drop-off time. for a few days i had to hand him off to his teacher, miss kathy, and leave while he cried. that was very difficult, but - and it sounds uncaring - i was used to it, because of micah. but rowan is a different creature and "recovered" very quickly from his bout with separation anxiety. week before last, he was getting teary as i got him dressed and ready for school, and he asked me with a quivering lip, "mommy, will you come right back?" i said, "of course, every time." and he drew a deep breath and looked at me so bravely and said, "okay. i'm not going to cry this time." and he didn't. he paints and plays nicely with his friends at school, and pretends the plastic fort in the play yard is the batcave. miss kathy regularly comments on his good manners. :-) rowan is so affectionate and cuddly, and is soothed by physical touch when he's upset or angry. i love this about him. he and micah start out the night in their room, but rowan almost always ends up in bed with us. during the day, rowan and lina alternate between playing in-depth imaginary games together, and tearing toys out of each other's hands and screaming. never a dull moment!!
i'll brag about lina for a sec, even though she's not mine... she is learning to use the potty! smart as a whip, that one. she's truckin' right along with it, too; today i took only one wet diaper off for her. she is fiercely independent and willfull. i don't know anything about that at all... it's hard to believe i'll soon be in a house with all toilet-trained children. wow-weee!!!
josh likes working at whole foods, and i like his schedule. it changes from week to week, but most weekdays he's home by 3pm. we are planning a little family road trip to colorado in june. we are so excited; it'll be our first vacation with the kids. actually, it'll be our first vacation since our honeymoon. by "vacation" i mean a trip planned solely for joy, leisure, and sight-seeing. josh and i have taken little weekend trips and stuff, but one was to austin for an accounting conference, and another was just to wichita falls to see his sister... those don't count. oh, we did drive to oklahoma to surprise josh's other sister when rowan was a few months old... i guess what i mean is, this'll be our furthest vacation? whatever. i'm excited.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

working in micah's classroom last tuesday was so much fun! mrs. barrett had me stuff the tuesday folders, then i cut some red construction paper squares in the workroom and came back to the classroom to glue picture squares onto those (they were pictures of items like glue stick, markers, crayons, scissors, etc.). after that there were still a few minutes till lunch, so mrs. barrett had me sit out in the hall with a little guy in micah's class named aaron and work on letter recognition. i was supposed to work with another child after aaron, but there wasn't time. the kids lined up for lunch and i followed them out. it impressed me that micah continued to do her work and follow mrs. barrett's directions, even with me in the room!! i wondered if she would run over to me and not want to sit in her chair, but aside from smiling HUGELY at me when she saw me, she acted like i wasn't even there! it was great.

wednesday morning was josh's turn to have crosswalk duty, so he needed to take micah to school. she had HUGE meltdown over it, had to be put into the car kicking and screaming, then held by a teacher in the cafeteria at school kicking and screaming. josh and i decided that i'm going to do all the crosswalk duty from now on (whenever his work schedule allows), and he's going to take opportunities during the evenings that he's at home to connect with her. he feels really hurt that they don't have a close relationship right now... it's hard.

thursday was largely uneventful. friday we shopped for food and supplies for rowan's birthday party, saturday i worked and we had a little family party for rowan at mama and wesley's house. we ate mud pie ice cream cake (just about the most delicious thing i've ever tasted). he got a beautiful wooden tricycle, a wooden sword, a sweater, shirt and socks, and some batman guys (of course). we all had a great time. my grandparents told us about the car accident they had last week - their FIRST, at around 80 years old. they were driving down the highway and a car in front of them lost control and spun into their lane. somehow my grandfather managed to brake, swerve, and only hit the car right behind the driver's side door. no one got hurt, and none of the oncoming traffic behind them piled into them. pretty incredible for going 60 MPH.

sunday i worked again, then went into overdrive as josh and i rushed to get stuff ready for rowan's "friend" party at heighs park. i thought scheduling the party at 4pm would give me plenty of time to get things ready, but i still felt rushed. the party was super fun. the weather was PERFECT, josh made an amazing birthday cake for rowan, daddy and vesta brought balloons, and a fun time was had by all. the park was packed, but it didn't seem to bother anyone. rowan made out like a bandit: hot wheels, batman guys & stuff galore, a batman costume, a leap frog "scribble & write", and a bat cave. i loved watching his face as he opened the bat cave. he gasped and shrieked "A BAT CAVE?!" haha :) :) :)
and yesterday rowan projectile vomited all morning. good times. :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

tomorrow i'm volunteering for a couple of hours in micah's kindergarten classroom, while rowan is at preschool. i'll be helping micah's teacher, mrs. barrett, put notes and things in the students' tuesday folders, then i might read to some kids or help them with work. i'm exciting! i hope to do this on a fairly regular basis.

i remembered a lot of stuff i wanted to blog about earlier, but now i'm so tired i can't remember any of it... :)

josh and i just watched a dark, depressing, violent movie about gangs. the fact that michael caine was in it was the only redeeming quality. i hope i don't have nightmares.

Monday, September 20, 2010

this morning i did something very responsible, and something i've needed to get done for two years - i transferred the station wagon title to MY NAME, and got it registered. AUGH!!! the chevy's registration was up for renewal too. it feels so good to have that done. jill and her ex-boyfriend, richard (from whose grandparents we bought the station wagon) drove it down here to us in September 2008, the week that rowan was hospitalized for epiglottitis. needless to say, we were a little distracted and didn't make it to the tax office that week. no worries - one has 20 days from the date of purchase to transfer the title of one's new vehicle into one's name, without penalty. well, this "one" is a master procrastinator and sweep-it-under-the-rug-er.. sooooo... yeah, it's been two years and the thing was still not in my name. still had the handicap plates on it from richard's grandparents. so i got up this morning, folded the paperwork up in my purse, loaded up rowan and lina, and headed to the tax office. the kids behaved beautifully. i told the lady, "i need to renew the registration for my two cars. one is simple and straightforward; the other one's going to be a huge hassle." she opted for the chevy first... and as it turned out, the station wagon wasn't THAT big of a hassle. she just had to make copies of the paperwork i brought. she asked me when i'd bought the car, and i told her: "september 27, 2008." her eyebrows shot up and she told me there'd be a penalty for waiting so long. i said fine, but i only had so much cash to spend. she entered the data into the computer, then her eyebrows shot up even further and she stepped into the back for a minute, presumably to ask advice of someone higher up. she came back to the computer, scratched through the 9/27/08 date on my title transfer and wrote today's date instead. she grinned and said, "you don't want to know how much the penalty was." i said, you're right, i don't. my little tax office angel. :)

anyway, YES, both my cars are legal and in my name now. feels good!! maybe i am growing up.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

after work today i came home to an empty house. josh and the kids were at his dad's house. i sat down and wrote a home study from start to finish (it's due first thing tomorrow). then i picked up the house real quick, changed into comfy clothes, and went for a walk/jog. i plugged some of josh's headphones into my iPhone and fired up the pandora app. i chose a rage against the machine station. it was WONDERFUL - jogging to RATM is very instinctual. :) i even forgot i was jogging... and that's really sayin' something, for me. only problem was, after a couple of songs the app quit responding when i pressed the thumbs-down button to skip the song, so i got frustrated and took the earbuds out. after that, it was much harder to focus. when i got home i showered and sat on the bed, half surfing and half working on revising a questionnaire for daddy to take when he does kinship studies.

eventually, josh and the kids came home and we went to a little snow cone social at terrace park for rowan's school. we got to mingle with other ELC parents, and josh got to meet rowan's teacher, the director, and a couple of the moms i'd already met last week. it was a fun evening. rowan had fun playing with the other kids and soaking his t-shirt in snow cone syrup. we took micah's friend, hannah, with us so micah would have a playmate, and they had a blast making up songs and mixing "salads" in plastic cups out of wood chips, water and grass. i am starting to really love rowan's little school. the people there are all so friendly and personable... the director sat down with us for a bit and chatted with josh about his artwork... i thought that was so neat, especially since i happen to know she only knew he was an artist from reading the paperwork i turned in. neat that she remembered, and cared enough to ask him about it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

rowan's first day of preschool was wonderful!! the night before i packed his little backpack with a sippy cup and a change of clothes, and i didn't even get emotional. we started the next day by dropping micah off at school (which is going so smoothly these days, thanks to her friend, hannah, with whom she walks in every morning), then we headed to samantha and christian's house to get lina. it was only 8 AM when we left with lina, and rowan's school doesn't start until 8:45; the doors don't open until 8:40. there really wasn't time enough to go back home, so i just drove to the school and parked. rowan and lina busied themselves with playing in the back of the station wagon, and i read my book and talked to josh on the phone. at 8:35 rowan could not wait one more second to get out, so we walked to the gate and played on the sidewalk a bit. a few minutes passed and jessica, the school director, opened the door for us and said, "good morning!" rowan grabbed his backpack and ran inside. he looked back to see if i was following him, and i was, with lina on my hip. he headed down the hallway in front of me, and walked right past his classroom. miss kathy, his sweet teacher, said from inside the room, "you're right here, rowan!" rowan turned and went inside, and never looked back! i hovered near the doorway, out of sight, and listened to him. i could tell he was looking at all the neat toys and things, and miss kathy was chatting with him and showing him things. jessica and another teacher, kim, who also happens to be my good friend and co-LLL leader, hovered in the hallway with me while i made sure he was going to be okay. and he sure was. so lina and i left, and i STILL didn't get emotional! lina and i bummed around the house; she played, and i mainly worked on a home study. at some point while milling around the house, i realized micah had left her teddy bear, layla, at home. she was supposed to take layla to school that morning for a teddy bear sleepover. mrs. barrett had this cute idea to have the kids bring their bears to school and leave them overnight; the note she sent home said, "rules for bears: no eating honey in the classroom, no growling," etc. and the bears with good behavior would have teddy grahams (presumably sitting in a baggy next to them for the students to snack on the next day). soooo cute!! anyway, there was layla sitting in the living room, and micah had seemed so excited the night before about taking her bear to school. so lina and i left the house a little early so we could take layla to school. we dropped her off in the office, then headed to rowan's school. once again, we were a little ahead of schedule, so i stopped by wendy's for a snack, then parked at the school. lina played in the back while i ate and read. my friend, susan, whose little boy, michael, is in rowan's class, pulled up next to us, so lina and i walked up to the school with her. i peeked in the classroom before rowan knew i was there, so i could watch him for a few moments. he was playing with some trains. miss kathy joined me at the door and told me he'd had a GREAT day, used the potty successfully, and had wonderful manners!! that was so nice to hear. rowan's had a bit of a stubborn streak lately, so i worried about how he'd do with the teacher. anyway, rowan heard my voice and turned around, and gave me a huuuge hug. he was really happy to see us. he said, "i'm ready to go home!" which i thought was so sweet. i thanked miss kathy and jessica, and we headed out. while we were loading up in the car, susan and michael came out too and invited us to mcdonald's down the road for lunch. i knew we didn't have much in the way of lunch at home that rowan would be excited about (plus, he'd overheard the invitation and got excited), so we said yes. i got to meet some of the other ELC moms at mcdonald's, so that was really fun. rowan had a good time playing with his new friends and classmates (although he did get stuck at the top of the play stucture, and cried, and i had to crawl up and get him). all in all, it was a very fun, exciting day, for me and for him. :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

change of plans - rowan's first day of preschool is tomorrow!! i'll be taking him at 8:40 in the morning. today we've chatted a bit about how he'll go by himself, and he'll get to have a snack and play on the playground. i don't know how it will go tomorrow, but i've decided not to make him go if he ends up crying every morning. he's only 2, and i've got two more years before he starts kindgergarten, so he's got plenty of time to get used to school. if he doesn't like it this year, we'll try again next year - or maybe even after christmas.

josh is babysitting his nephews and niece until saturday afternoon, so i'm on my own again this weekend. today, we played hide-and-seek at home then walked down to holford park. the kids played on the playground for a while, and tried unsuccessfully to get away from a little girl (who, incidentally, goes to micah's school and recognized her) who insisted on chasing them and splashing water on them from her water bottle. i even asked her to stop, and she ignored me. :/ anyway, when we got home i stuck the kids in the shower, fed them, then snuggled them till they fell asleep. now i'm going to make micah's lunch for tomorrow, and get rowan's little teddy bear backpack ready for his first day. josh's dad ordered the batman backpack for us, but it hasn't arrived yet. rowan was disappointed when i told him before bed that he'd have to take his teddy bear backpack to school; i hope that doesn't push him over the edge tomorrow morning! :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

so rowan was awarded a scholarship to attend preschool at the ELC in richardson. i'm very excited!! i think the social interaction will be great for him. josh is a little less enthusiastic than i am; he thinks rowan is a little young for school, and isn't sure how much good it will do him in the speech area to be older than his classmates. since his birthday is in the early fall, he'll always be the oldest in his class. at any rate, we're going to try this and see how it goes. he'll go tuesday and thursday mornings from 8:40 to 11:45. i ordered this backpack for him today. :-) he won't start going until october (the 5th, to be exact - the day of his 3rd birthday!) because we can't afford tuition until then, and it'll also give me three weeks to get him caught up on shots.

my med law & ethics class starts on tuesday! i'm excited, and a little nervous. the instructor sent out an email saying this is a fast-paced class. i hope i can keep up. i haven't been in school in a while, and the last time i tried, i didn't do so hot. but i keep telling myself, this time will be different because i'm highly motivated, whereas before i was just going because i felt like i should be doing something productive. there was a breastfeeding management class out in denton in late october that i was excited about attending, but they cancelled it due to lack of interest. i hope they reschedule it soon.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

today i had trouble remembering that it was the anniversary of the terrorist attack on the WTC in new york. i feel pretty awful about that. i know the families of those lost in the attack didn't have any trouble remembering. nine years ago today, i woke up in my apartment in north dallas that i shared with my friend jessica, got dressed and drove to richland college. i absent-mindedly listened to the radio on the way to school, but didn't focus on anything i heard... my mind was on something else. i remember feeling annoyed that there was no music playing on any stations, only talk and commercials. i wasn't paying attention. i parked, went inside the school, and immediately tuned in to a weird, unpleasant energy... students were crowded in the hallways and foyers, and everyone was talking on their cell phones. i didn't have one at the time. i saw a sign on the wall that said classes were cancelled. i made my way through the crowd to the pay phones and called my dad. he told me what had happened. i couldn't process it. i went back to my car and drove home. jessica was there, sitting in the living room, watching TV and eating a bowl of peas. strange, the things we remember... i sat down with her, and we watched the second tower fall together. i got on the phone with my mom, and she told me my sister was stuck in oregon, unable to fly home from a camp she'd been attending. jessica and i watched TV for the next couple of hours. i don't remember much after that. they kept showing the same awful footage on TV, of bodies falling from the towers. i remember watching george w. bush's address to the nation, and wondering, "is this the beginning of a war? will this be my war? my generation's war? will my children interview me one day about this event, for a project or research paper at school? they'll read about this in their history books." isn't it strange that i had that thought? our minds are so funny sometimes.

last night i bawled my eyes out because micah and rowan are growing up too quickly. today, i decided to be present in the moment with them all day, to enjoy and revel in every moment with them. and i did. we got up early, got dressed, and i dropped them off at my dad and stepmom's for the morning while i went to work. i got done with the deposit at work as quickly as i could, then picked them back up. we drove to laura's new house in murphy for chase's 2nd birthday party. it was so fun; the kids had a blast playing, they got loot from the pinata, and we had a good lunch of chicken nuggets, fruit, and birthday cake. we hung out for a while after the party festivities had wound down, and i got to hold laura's 3-month-old baby, reed, while she ate her lunch. reed fell asleep on me - joy!! :) after we left laura's, the kids and i drove back home and rowan took a nap. micah and i chatted and snuggled on the couch watching cartoons while he slept. when he woke up, i fixed dinner (poor man's meal - mac & cheese, pintos, leftover popcorn shrimp, and salad) and we ate while we watched toy story. after dinner, i felt like doing something fun with the kids, so we went over to rachel and joe's house to play with mink and lael. the kids had missed each other, and craziness ensued. micah and mink made custom artwork for rachel and me, and rowan and lael made clay traps for their superhero guys. i love those kids.

now my babies are sleeping soundly, and it's time for me to take a shower and go to bed. i miss josh. i'm glad he's coming home from houston tomorrow. he's been there since yesterday, photographing a friend's wedding.

Friday, September 10, 2010

this past wednesday, i got DRENCHED to the BONE during crossing guard duty. it was fun. :) a sweet, sweet teacher whose name i didn't catch arrived at school at the same time we did. she noticed me hauling the crosswalk stuff out of the little foyer at the front of the school, and asked what i usually did with micah while i was out there directing traffic. i said, "she usually sits in the cafeteria, and she's usually the only one in there for a while!" the teacher clicked her tongue and said, "well, not today; you come with me to my room, honey, and i'll take you to your classroom when the bell rings." i held my breath as micah walked out of the foyer with her and disappeared down the hall. when i picked micah up that afternoon, she told me that the nice teacher had shared her breakfast with micah, and had given her a piece of chocolate to enjoy after school. what an angel. :)

last night (thursday) was "meet the teacher night" at school. jill was in town, so she played with rowan at home while josh and i took micah. we sat in mrs. barrett's classroom and listened to her rules and expectations. she walked us through what the kids do each day, and she shared some tips and stuff. it was really fun; i know it doesn't sound fun, but this is the kind of stuff i love. i could've spent hour after hour in micah's classroom, trying to see everything through her eyes. we found out that this is mrs. barrett's 9th year teaching kindergarten at cooper. it's nice to know micah's in the care of someone so experienced. i got to observe some brief interactions between mrs. barrett and the kiddos, and i liked what i saw and heard. she was playful, funny, but firm - and she didn't talk down to the kids. as the hour drew to a close, most of the parents drifted out with their kids, but micah and another little boy, kasyn, sat down at the reading center to flip through a couple of books. i took the opportunity to ask mrs. barrett how micah's been doing, and she smiled and said, "great. your worries are over." i felt completely comforted by her words, because i know mrs. turrentine must've talked to her about micah's separation anxiety... and micah has been doing wonderfully in the mornings. this morning i walked her into the cafeteria and handed her off to one of the teachers in there, and she went happily. she definitely still likes to hold someone's hand, whether it's mine or a teachers. and she seems to need to go straight from my hand to the teacher's hand - it seems difficult for her to walk from me to the kindergarten table in the cafeteria without being physically led there by the teacher. i am completely fine with this slow progression of her confidence and stability.

today (friday) micah had her best school friend, hannah (!), over for an after-school playdate. micah and hannah have been buds since the first day of school. i took micah over to hannah's to play earlier this week, and today hannah rode home from school with us. the girls had fun, and hannah told me she wants to ride home with us every friday. i told her i'd have to discuss that with her parents. :) i'm so happy micah has made a friend. i know it helps her to have a connection with someone at school. i think daniel in her class has a crush on her. he whispered a secret in micah's ear as we were leaving this afternoon, and micah wouldn't tell me what it was. ah, it starts!!! :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

this morning was josh's turn for crossing guard duty again, so he had to take micah to school. it went very smoothly leaving home this time; i'm anxious for him to get home so i can find out how it went at school! she just REALLY likes for me to take her. last week she cried when i put her in the car to leave with him, and he reported that she cried and had to have the teachers take her into the cafeteria. SIGH. this is very difficult for her... and for us. but i think every day gets easier. we've found out that if we walk her to her seat in the cafeteria, stand behind her and rub her shoulders for just a few moments... it works. that's become our magic trick. i did this once, on impulse, on a morning when she was having a very hard time. it worked, and that evening she said, "i want you to rub my shoulders like that every morning." so that is what we shall do. anything beats the alternative of standing in the hallway with her while she hems and haws, then finally gets dragged off me by a teacher who (through no fault of his/her own) does not understand the circumstances, and probably assumes i'm coddling micah and making it more difficult for her. i wonder if this is something we will move past anytime soon, or if it's something we'll be handling for years to come...

we had a really nice labor day, albeit busy. i started out the day by getting up at 8, packing up my laptop, and driving a few minutes away to the generator, an awesome little coffee shop on the plaza in downtown garland. the place is so charming and hip, with fair-trade, organic coffee; twice-a-week, kid-friendly, free yoga classes; kitchy, vintage furniture; and a tub full of lincoln logs, legos and train pieces for the kids to play with. it is such a neat place, and i wish we had discovered it sooner. anyway, i drove to the generator yesterday morning, while it was still a little bit crisp and cool outside. i got a cup of coffee and a harvest healthy muffin, and went and sat in the sunshine at one of the tables near the front door. i whipped through my home study (which was due first thing this morning, and i knew we were going to busy the rest of the day yesterday). then i went home, got the kids and the husband ready, and we went to my dad's. we ate hot dogs, talked and played in the pool. then we went to josh's dad's around 4:30, ate more hot dogs and talked. we got home around 7:15, with both kids sound asleep in the car. i successfully maneuvered rowan to his bed without waking him, but micah took forever to fall back to sleep. i think it was after 9 when she finally did. but she seemed to be in a great mood this morning, so it's all good.

so since yesterday ended up being jam-packed with family obligations, we didn't start our week 2 running base training. this morning, as soon as josh gets back from micah's school, he's heading over to whole foods for an informal interview with the grocery team leader (yay!) so he can maybe get 10 or 15 hours a week there. when he gets back, we'll do our thing. we've been making it with just my income, but we decided there are some things we want/need (some materials to make art displays for josh, a new computer desk, a new fridge) so we're going to save josh's paychecks for those items. i'm actually kind of sad that he'll be going back to work. i never anticipated how much i would enjoy having him home all the time. he keeps me company, where i used to be alone with the kids for much of the day. we feel like more of a team when it comes to parenting stuff and housework. i know we can stay that way, i'll just miss him when he's at work. i've been spoiled!! oh well, back to reality... :)

my med law & ethics class begins a week from today! i am sooo excited. today, after josh and i do our walk/jog, we'll go to richland and i'll pay my tuition. my father-in-law ordered my textbook for me from, using his special membership to get free shipping, but i'm a little bummed... the book's condition was described as "very good", but it has writing all throughout. there are notes written on some pages, and some of the chapter reviews are filled out. argh! it was $33.60 compared to what it retails for in the richland bookstore, $120. so i guess i got what i paid for. :/ i don't know whether to have josh white out the notes and answers to the reviews for me, or just wait and ask the instructor. i don't want the instructor to be like, "yeah, you shouldn't have bought your book used online, dummy." i'm sensitive, i don't want to cry on the first day of class.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

josh and i finished our first week of establishing a running base, so we can begin training for our 5k! i'm excited. we really do need to buy new running shoes, workout clothes, heart rate monitors, interval timers, etc.... i can't wait till we can get all that stuff. today i'm going to take the kids for a walk, tomorrow josh and i will do a workout video at home, and mon, weds, fri of next week we'll do the week 2 walk/jog schedule - walk 5 mins, jog 2. i think it's hilarious that i can walk faster than i can comfortably jog right now.

micah and rowan are "swimming" in the bathtub right now, in their swimsuits and everything. they started out splashing in the sprinkler out front, until they both got cold (!!!) and asked to come inside. apparently they weren't finished with water play, though, because they wanted to get directly into the tub. now i can hear them pouring cupfulls of water over each other's heads. cute. :-)

this morning micah FREAKED OUT when it was time for me to leave for work. i think it was overwhelming for her to be separated from me every morning for school, and not to have a break on the weekends. monday will be nice; we'll sleep in, then go swimming at my dad's.

i think tonight we'll go to white rock lake park and have a picnic, and let the kids play on the playground. this weather is so lovely, i don't want it to go away...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

this morning was my first crossing guard duty. it was way less stressful than i anticipated! i always get worked up about stuff like this; i guess that's where micah gets her anxiety. i pictured a pile of kids waiting to cross, and a pile of cars waiting to get through, and a bunch of angry commuters glaring at me through their tinted glass... didn't happen. there was a seasoned crossing guard there to help me on my first day, and it was really fun. micah went into the cafeteria more easily with me than she did for her dad yesterday. the kids all lined up at the door, and micah's best friend, hannah, was there. she held a place in line in front of her for micah while micah hemmed and hawed next to me. finally i guided micah into place in front of hannah, and the kids just filed in. micah never looked back! she's getting the hang of this. i just hope she doesn't have another meltdown at lunchtime... i didn't send a lunch with her because she said last night that she wanted a tray (chicken nuggets, veggies and peaches is on the menu for today), but this morning she got upset about it. i should've made her a lunch, but something told me to go ahead and let her get used to eating the school lunch. homemade lunches are healthier for her, no doubt, but this is about more than just the food. i NEED her to relax and go with the flow and experience new things at school.

i just looked up local 5k races online, and josh and i picked one to run on november 6th. i'm super excited!! i've lost a little bit of weight over the past couple of weeks without really trying, which is encouraging, because think of what i could accomplish if i really TRIED! josh and i researched how to begin a running regimen and how to train for a 5k. we're going to start today by following these guidelines. now the silly girl in me wants to go buy new running shoes, gym shorts, an interval timer, heart rate monitor...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

all right, THAT'S IT. i just read my best friend's blog post, and she looks amazing. i am working out and paying closer attention to weight watchers, RIGHT NOW. DAMNIT.

phew. micah got upset this morning because josh took her to school. he had to; it was his morning for crossing guard duty. they arrived at 7:30, and micah needed to go sit in the cafeteria but wouldn't. josh said a teacher helped her, but she was crying. he felt so badly. crossing guard duty went well (it was his first day, half training and half experience). it's my turn tomorrow, and i'm a little nervous. micah was in a grouchy mood when she got home, and told me that she cried at lunch because she had to get a tray. this slightly irritated me, A) because she wouldn't give me any information as to WHY her reaction to getting a hot meal at lunch was to CRY, and B) before school began all she could TALK about was how much fun it was going to be to get a tray at lunch. that's what she calls eating the school lunch, "getting a tray." i think at pre-school last year she saw the kids eating breakfast in the cafeteria and thought it looked neat. anyway, i finally got it out of her that she was all bent out of shape over getting a tray because she'd never done it before, and was nervous. so she tried to eat the little bag of graham cracker cookies josh had tried to get her to eat for breakfast, which were still in her backpack, but mrs. barrett wouldn't let her. i'm sure that mrs. barrett thought to herself, "her parents paid for a hot meal, so she probably shouldn't eat this bag of cookies instead of her lunch." micah was hurt that she couldn't eat her cookies; she told me at home, "i should be able to eat whatever i want for lunch! it's not up to mrs. barrett what i eat!" i cannot express how much i love micah's... i don't even know what to call it anymore. FIRE. anyway, i explained that mrs. barrett was looking out for her and doing what she thought was best, and didn't intend to offend micah or hurt her feelings. i think she understood.

Monday, August 30, 2010

i realized yesterday that even though i'm not homeschooling, the opportunities to teach my children at home are endless. last night we had an impromtu science lesson during our bath. i taught the kids about volume, by demonstrating the displacement of water when i got into the tub. then i taught them about gravity, and how an object's weight changes how it's affected by gravity. i demonstrated this by dropping different bath toys into the water, and observing which ones floated and which ones sank. we talked about the meanings of the words "observe" and "predict".

it was amazing today, the difference between rowan's behavior at the hearing test and the way micah would've behaved in the same situation at that age. he was so calm and comfortable, not alarmed in any way by being in an unfamiliar place. had i not followed him into the sound booth for the test, he easily would've gone in there without me. i think lots of things are going to be a whole lot easier with him.
i was expecting this morning to be rough for micah, because of the two-day break, but she did FANTASTIC!! she woke up in a good mood (although i couldn't get her to eat one bite of breakfast), chatted with me on the way to school, and did not say "i don't want to go to school", which she has said once every morning so far (although usually with a sheepish grin on her face, as if she's just saying it to see what my response will be). we arrived at school just after mrs. barrett had come to the cafeteria to pick up her class, so for a moment i wasn't sure how micah was going to get to class. i can't walk her there anymore, and there weren't any teachers hovering around to help. i asked micah if she thought she could get to her class by herself, and she shook her head, but... a moment later, a first grade teacher walked by, noticed our predicament, and said to micah, "honey, if you'll just follow those kids down that hallway right there, you'll find your class." and somehow micah believed her, and she let go of my hand and just started walking. it was perfect! she did stop after a few steps, turn around, and look a little lost, but i had hidden behind a door by then so she couldn't see me. i watched her stand there for a few seconds, then give up on anyone coming to her rescue and start walking to her classroom. i was so happy and proud!! and the whole time, she was not upset or scared or near tears; she was just a little unsure. i could FEEL her gaining confidence in herself. i think when she gets home today, i'll talk to her about arriving at school a little earlier and waiting in the cafeteria for mrs. barrett. i think that would be a little easier for her.

rowan has backtracked on potty training a little, but that's okay. he's not even three yet; i'm in no rush. last week he started telling me he didn't know how to use the potty, and he wanted diapers again. i think it was starting to bug him how often he had to stop playing and go to the bathroom. :) he won't let me put underpants on him anymore, but he will use the potty at home if he's naked (which he usually is). i took him to the Harris Hill GISD building this afternoon for a hearing test. when he first had his speech therapy evaluation here at home, they gave him a paper test, but this was a more in-depth screening. they had us sit in a sound booth and listen to sounds through headphones. he did wonderfully; he gave them his full cooperation, and passed the screening with flying colors. he has excellent hearing. the two people who administered the test told me the kids rowan's age who come in for testing are usually not as high-functioning as he was; they joked that he probably could've given himself the test. it made me feel good, and a little silly. if rowan doesn't qualify for services through the school district (and at this point, from what i've heard, i don't expect him to), i don't think we'll pursue private services. i feel like his articulation is becoming more and more clear every day, and the breakdown in his artic during connected speech, i'm told, is very normal and common for his age. SO - we may be nearing the end of his therapy, for now. i think, since he has a fall birthday and won't start kindergarten until 2013, we will wait until around his 5th birthday to see if we still have any concerns.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

micah survived her first week of kindergarten with no bumps, bruises or hurt feelings. i think she likes it! i'm excited for "meet the teacher" night the week after next. and i can't wait to start eating lunch with her.

josh and i have found a free, local yoga class. there's a coffee shop on the square in downtown garland, five minutes from our house, called the generator. on monday mornings and wednesday evenings, a certified yoga instructor (who happens to be a friend of josh's) gives free classes. the one on monday mornings is for parents and kids; kids are welcome to the wednesday evening one too, it's just geared more towards adults. josh and the kids and i checked out the wednesday evening one earlier this week, but when we got there with micah and rowan in tow, we discovered they actually hold the class outside, on the plaza in front of the shop. there's a huge sunken pond in the middle of the plaza, and we knew immediately we wouldn't be able to participate in the class. micah would've done fine, but rowan would've made a beeline for that water. not to mention the fact that the plaza is surrounded on all four sides buy... downtown garland traffic. josh and i are going to take rowan and lina to the monday morning class next week, and we're going to swap turns taking micah to the wednesday evening class. it goes from 7pm to 8pm (even though the website says 8 to 9; they've changed the time but haven't updated the site), so we'd still be able to get her into bed at a somewhat decent time on a school night.

speaking of bedtime on a school night, we've been doing a pretty good job of keeping everyone here on a schedule. here's how our days go now:

7:00AM - wake up

7:15 - eat breakfast, get dressed

7:40 - i take micah to school

8:00 - christian drops lina off at our house

from here, it changes every day... sometimes we just do stuff at home, sometimes josh goes and runs errands, sometimes i do - having him home has really been great.

2:50PM - one of us (usually josh) either drives or bikes to micah's school to pick her up. she's released at 3:10, but it helps to get there a bit early.

3:20 - freetime around the house; sometimes we go out or to a friend's house, sometimes i take the kids to the mall or the park. (and here's where we'll do homework, when that starts)

5:30 - eat dinner

6:00 - freetime

7:15 - brush teeth, pajamas

7:30 - in bed (although sleep actually happens between 8 and 8:30)

last night we went to joe & rachel's for dinner and a movie, then went to target for some groceries. i put apples in the cart, and apples are rowan's fave right now, so he promptly grabbed one and took a big bite. i scolded him for eating it before it was paid for (not realizing this concept means zilch to him), then decided to let the cashier just weigh one of the unscathed apples twice. i barely had time to congratulate myself for coming up with this brilliant solution before i heard rowan choking on his stolen bite of apple. josh and i rushed to the back of the cart where rowan was sitting, and grabbed him and started smacking him on the back and sticking our fingers in his mouth. it was chaotic, and micah started to scream. several people stopped and watched. in just a matter of seconds, the piece of apple was out, and everything was fine - in fact, it took much longer to calm micah down than the whole ordeal had lasted in the first place. no more whole apples for rowie!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

micah's second day of kindergarten was better overall than the first. she cried at drop-off, but it was kind of a special circumstance; i don't know if she would've otherwise. i accidentally got her to school a little early, and apparently if the students arrive before 7:50 they can't go straight to their classrooms. they have K through 2nd wait in the cafeteria, and 3rd through 5th go to the gym. so micah and i headed into the cafeteria, and it was loud and full of kids. i just led micah to the kindergarten table, and picked her up and set her on the bench. she was crying and holding on to me, and i just stood right behind her and placed my hands on her shoulders and pressed down gently. i bent down and said in her ear, "can you feel my hands? i'm right here. i will not leave until you're ready." she squirmed and whined for a few more seconds, then quieted. i waited until she was very quiet and still, then i lifted my hands from her shoulders and took a step back. she didn't turn around, so i took that to be her signal, and i left the cafeteria. on my way out of the school, i passed mrs. turrentine, and she asked how it had gone. i made the "so-so" gesture, and she said, "i'll go check on her right now!" that woman is so sweet. she's like an angel, just for micah and me. anyway, i got no phone calls or anything, so i'm assumming micah did great. josh picked her up (in the car this time) and took her to whole foods for some lunch fixings, and by the time they got home, she was in a great, chatty mood, and spent the whole evening laughing, pretending, and putting on dance shows for me.

after sept. 7, josh or i can eat lunch with her at school every friday. we had already decided to take her for donuts every friday morning before school, so whichever one of us takes her for donuts, the other one will go eat lunch with her, and we'll trade weeks. that way we'll both get to do it. micah has to wear sneakers to school every monday and wednesday, because those are the days she has PE. she brings home a daily folder every day which shows how her behavior and participation were in class, and every tuesday she brings home a different folder with important dates and other information.
my girl, putting on her lip gloss before school :-)

daddy, micah and rowan before school this morning.

my beautiful, sunny girl!! :-)

miss micah had a great first day of kindergarten! we had a bit of a rough start, but she settled in nicely. she arrived late to class because i had to drive to the clinic a couple of miles from our house to get a copy of her shot records. then we went to school, and she and i went to the nurse's office so she could update micah's records in the computer. then mrs. turrentine, the awesome counselor, walked micah and i down the hall to mrs. barrett's room. we arrived just as the students were lining up outside the classroom to go on a little tour of the school. micah clung to me on the way, and cried when it was time for me to go. but as soon as i was out of sight, i didn't hear her crying at all, so i relaxed a little bit. but i didn't fully relax until josh called mrs. turrentine a couple of hours later and checked on micah. mrs. turrentine reported that by the time the tour was over and the kids returned to the room, micah was totally fine. that made me happy. it was hard being away from her for seven hours, but the time actually passed more quickly than i thought it would! as soon as we got back home from dropping her off, i called my mom and dad to let them know how it went, then i put on my sneakers and went for a little walk. it was nice to get some exercise and clear my head before it got too hot outside. then i just played with rowan and lina all day, and tidied up the house. it was nice! i got to chat with a good friend whose son also started kindergarten today, and felt jealous of the ease with which he made the transition. but i reminded myself that kids are so differnent, and they do things in their own time. josh went on a couple of errands, got a couple of job applications, and went grocery shopping. then at 3:00 he got the bike ready, put her helmet, some water and a snack in the trailer, and headed to the school to get her. turns out it's still way too hot at 3PM to ride the bike, so we'll be biking in the mornings and driving in the afternoons for now. micah was very tight-lipped and out of sorts when she first got home. she was baby-talking a little bit, not being herself. i think she just needed time to process everything she'd been exposed to, and regroup a little bit. she whined and cried for a while, then around 4:30 she crawled into our bed and fell sound asleep. our friends, the russells, arrived for dinner and playtime at 5, and micah woke up even crankier at first. so i shut the door and snuggled her for a minute, and she recovered. she ended up having a fun evening with one of her best friends, mink, and behaved beautifully (i wondered how it would go, what with her being so tired). the girls chatted a little bit about their first day at school, but mostly just pretended and imagined. rowan and lael (one year apart in age) played with batman guys and cars, and rowan got grabby, as he is prone to do lately.

speaking of rowan, i feel like i've been tootin' nothing but micah's horn lately, so let's talk about my boy. he has abandoned both pacifiers and diapers (for the most part). he's 100% reliable diaper-free at home, and about 85% reliable out in public. i always bring a change of clothes in the diaper bag when we go out, and i use it pretty often. the past couple of days, he's asked for a diaper instead of undies, and i've complied because i don't want to push him. he had one false start before that lasted about a week. we're past that point now, but i still don't want to jinx it. he's the sweetest boy, but he is a stinker at the same time. he'll randomly tell me how much he loves me, or how pretty my hair is, then poke me in the back with his pretend screwdriver and giggle when i tell him how badly it hurt. :-) he loves his sister, and she loves him, but they don't get along too well most of the time. they scream at each other a lot, and grab stuff out of each other's hands. we work on it all the time, but it doesn't seem to be getting better. just a phase, i guess..


Sunday, August 22, 2010

i went out with the girls last night, for a movie and dinner. it was SO fun and relaxing. the movie, 'eat, pray, love' was good - it followed the book well, including all the important moments and leaving out some inconsequential ones - and the acting was great. i especially loved the guys who played richard and philippe. there were a couple of cheesy moments, but i still enjoyed the whole thing overall. and dinner was excellent - we shared all our dishes, family-dining style, and elena brought a bottle of pinot noir. i had a little bit too much and felt loopy on the way home... and on the way to work this morning. :-/ it was great to spend kid-free time with my closest friends who i see often, and a couple of others i haven't spent much time at all with this summer. (i say kid-free, but alison brought connor with her - he was so happy all evening, you hardly knew he was there!) yay for girls' night!! can't wait to plan another one.

i lost micah's shot records. :-( now my vision of her first day of school is ruined (i'm being dramatic) - instead of fixing her homemade waffles with strawberries and powdered sugar for breakfast, loading her up in the bicycle trailer, taking her to school, and walking her into mrs. barrett's room right on time... i get to haul ass to the clinic at 8AM, get a copy of her records, then go sit in the nurse's office while she updates micah's school record so she can attend class. i was in tears yesterday, tearing my house apart looking for the damn thing - i hate it when i do stuff like this. oh well. i have ALMOST forgiven myself. oh, and the school nurse's name is hannah. :-)

Friday, August 20, 2010

josh took the kids out to lunch and to visit his grandma this afternoon so i could get a home study done. he came home with stories of less-than-ideal behavior from the kids and a pounding headache, so i decided to take the kids back out to dinner and to the mall for some playtime while he relaxed and worked on some art projects at home. micah, rowan and i headed to the galleria, and the kids zeroed in on mcdonald's as soon as we got to the food court. i was too tired to argue, so we all got chicken nuggets and fries. blech. when we were finished (the kids only ate half of their happy meals; not something that usually makes me happy, but in this case, it did) we walked across to the indoor playplace. i sat and chatted with another mom for a while, and the kids had a good time until a little boy they were both playing with got a little rough and handsy. i don't think he had a good concept of personal space and boundaries. he really liked rowan's batman toys, and asked to play with one, but he kept sucking and chewing on it, so when i saw him drop it on the floor i snatched it up and stuffed it in my purse. when the boy came back looking for it and couldn't find it, he tried to pry the other one out of rowan's hand. shortly after that, the little boy started wailing on another boy, whose mother got a little heated over it. i decided it was time for us to head home. the kids cooperated immediately; i think they were tired. when we got home, one of my best and oldest friends, jake, was hanging out in the garage with josh. the kids were happy to see him, so i let them stay up a little bit. jake left, and i got the kids inside, pajama'd and into bed. we watched one episode of 'i love lucy' (our latest bedtime routine) then turned the lights out. they fell asleep within two or three minutes. now josh and i are going to hang out in our room and watch a movie while i fold and put away clean laundry. g'night. :-)
also this month, we rearranged the rooms in our house a little bit. we decided the kids and all their stuff had outgrown their room, so we switched them with the office. now the kids have a new, cool room with plenty of space and a bigger bed for them to share, and josh and i have (or will have, once we get it organized, and buy a new desk and reading lamp) a cozy office/reading room. i'll post pictures of the office once we get it the way we want it. for now, here's a dark, washed-out pic of the kids' new space. :-) we really need to buy a camera...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

micah's elementary school porch party was a wild success!! we arrived with a huge tote full of school supplies, and as we approached the school i saw a crowd of people gathered in front of the windows. we got closer, and i saw each grade had a section on the window with teachers' names posted and their list of students. i quickly found micah's name on mrs. barrett's list. i told her her teacher's name, and we headed inside to find her classroom. we stopped by the cafeteria first, where i signed my name and josh's on the "room rep" and volunteer lists for micah's teacher. then we wound down a couple of hallways with a bunch of other parents and kids, and finally found mrs. barrett's room. mrs. barrett greeted us as soon as we walked in the door, and asked micah her name. she responded, a bit shyly, but smiling. mrs. barrett had me label all micah's supplies with her name, then put some of them in assigned boxes on the floor and arrange the rest on a table by a piece of paper with micah's name on it. josh held sleeping rowan. while we were messing with the supplies, the school counselor, mrs. turrentine, came in. i'd had a conversation with her a few days ago about micah's separation anxiety at preschool last year. she'd said she'd find me at the porch party so we could put faces with the names. we chatted a bit, then she gave me her business card and went to see the other rooms. then i filled out a couple of information sheets. micah seemed very happy and comfortable the whole time, and i heard her help another little girl find the right box to put her kleenex in. we hung around the classroom a little bit longer, and rowan woke up. then we headed back to the front of the school where the sno-cone table was. the kids each picked "blue and green" (bubble gum and lime) and we sat on a porch step near the table to enjoy our treats. once the kids' mouths were dyed sufficiently blue and green, we headed for home. :-)
i was really happy that micah seemed so at ease the whole time. when we first pulled up in the car at the school, she asked me to carry her. but i told her i had to carry the bag of school supplies, and she'd have to walk. i didn't hear another thing about it. she also wanted to be completely in charge of organizing her supplies in the classroom. i kept trying to arrange her things just so, but she asked me not to help. i thought it was neat that she was taking ownership of her school things that way. she smiled and talked to mrs. barrett and mrs. turrentine. josh and i think she's going to do just great. i'm still anxious for monday morning, but more in an excited way than an apprehensive way now.

oh, and josh and i also signed up to be on the safety committee, which means one morning or afternoon a week, we each get to be the crossing guard in front of the school! i've always wanted to do that! i can't wait for my first shift.
hilarious. i haven't posted anything in over three months!! it's not as if nothing post-worthy has been happening.

i just read my last post, where i complained about four of my best friends igoring me on my birthday... and i feel compelled to update that two of them showed up at the surprise party josh threw for me the very next day!! the other two couldn't make it because of other obligations. but, anyway, i felt silly for being so hurt. :-) the surprise party was amazing; i was so touched that josh planned and pulled it off, and had such a blast with everyone who came.

micah and one of her best buds, isaac, shared a 5th birthday party in may. alison and i made rainbow cupcakes, the kids lived it up in the bounce house and destroyed a pinata filled with organic lollipops, and both birthday stars got some really neat presents. fun was had by all!! :-)

let's see, june... josh and his twin, jill, turned 31, and josh and i celebrated our 8th anniversary. our family also celebrated a year of being in this neat, perfect-for-us home.

july was hot, hot, hot, and we spent a lot of time at the richardson, garland and mesquite city pools. alison introduced us to two pools in her area, and we had regular playdates there. micah started a gymnastics class with another one of her best friends, mink. the girls had class together every thursday morning, up until last week when they switched to monday evenings in preparation for school to begin.

and that brings us to august, and school!!! micah is starting kindergarten on MONDAY! i can hardly believe it. we had fun shopping for school supplies, a couple of new back-to-school outfits to add to the gobs of awesome hand-me-downs she's received this year from rachel & mink (thank you!!), and a cute new haircut. tonight, we'll bike a couple of blocks to her school and attend the "porch party" where the kids will get to set up their cubbies, meet their teacher, hopefully connect with a few classmates, and eat snow cones. i'm excited, and micah seems to be excited, too. her new lunch bag arrived today. i think i'm more excited about fixing her lunch than anything else! :-)

josh and i have a new 2-3 year plan. he is going to stay at home and help me with the kids, while also working on furthering his career as an artist, while i continue to work for my dad, babysit lina, and go to school part-time. i'm going to school to get my required courses to sit the IBCLC exam in July 2013. i'm very excited, as i have never until now felt motivated and driven to pursue a specific career.

my mom, stepdad and little sister are moving to austin sometime in september. i'm going to miss them a ton, but i'm so happy my little sister is able to attend the waldorf school that my mom and stepdad love so much and feel so connected to. it's an amazing school, and i know i'll get to see them often - austin isn't too far away!

and now i gotta go get ready for micah's school function tonight. it's nice to be back, little blog!

Friday, May 7, 2010

what's goin' on

oh, little blog... precious journal, i have ignored and neglected you.
a lot is happening with me right now. i just turned 28. my daughter starts kindergarten in 3 months. i'm rededicating myself to my volunteer work. i'm eating small meals every three hours to lose weight (on day 4 now). i've decided i want to adopt a haitian orphan.
i think that's about it.
i had a neat birthday. i spent the day hanging out with the kids, then ate homemade enchiladas and chocolate cake at my dad's. daddy and vesta got me a black Keurig mini brewer - exactly what i wanted!!! i'm so ridiculously excited about this thing. josh doesn't like coffee, so every time i wanted some, i'd make a whole pot, and would end up pouring more than half out. so silly and wasteful. not to mention the hassle of getting out the coffee filter, measuring the grounds (i never felt like i put the right amount in), cleaning out the pot and the filter holder afterwards, blah blah blah... NOW, i just put in one of the little pods, fill the resevoir, turn it on, and voila, one perfect cup of coffee, brewed right into my mug. i am a total sucker for stuff like this.
lots of sweet friends wrote a "happy birthday" to me on Facebook. four of my oldest friends didn't call me or write all day... i'm trying not to let that bother me. i know they're busy. and i can't complain, because i never call them.
micah is doing so well in pre-school. she has gained all this confidence and strength, and is now walking into class by herself (it was a struggle there for a while). her letter and letter sound recognition has really improved, and she's interested in math. i don't think she's going to be much into art. the drawings she brings home from school are usually pretty small (i.e. a couple of flowers on the page, and nothing else), and sometimes she just brings home blank pages. she doesn't seem too motivated to express herself in that way. she tells me that she enjoys home center the most at school, because no one tells her what to do. :) i'm gonna have my hands full with that one... she is enrolled in kindergarten at one of the elementary schools in our neighborhood. i can't believe she'll be 5 in a couple of weeks...
rowan is a total scamp lately. he delights in making messes, and when we ask him to pick something up or do something, he says, "no, you do it!" nice, huh? he's still a sweet, gentle boy, though... he gets his little feelings hurt when we discipline him, but a hug and kiss is all he needs to move on. he loves picking micah up from school, and loves playing pretend with her.
ugh, i'm tired. more tomorrow, i just felt compelled to update...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

i'm really enjoying being back at WFM. the job is easy and familiar, i feel comfortable and at home there, i know a lot of the team members and am getting to know the new ones, and it's stimulating for me to use my mind in this way, at least for a few hours every saturday and sunday. i'm finding myself daydreaming of going back to work there full time... then i get home to my sweet babies and wonder what the heck i was thinking!

today is valentine's day. traditionally josh and i don't do anything special... we both kind of view it as a made-up holiday to make money for hallmark, russell stover and but lately josh and i have been connecting in a rejuvinated, new way - mentally, emotionally and physically. we've made some changes in our financial habits and our eating habits, both of which were bringing us a lot of guilt and strife. maybe the fact that we've been making these changes together has brought us a newfound closeness and satisfaction with our life in general. maybe it's something about the fact that on february 21st we will have been together for 10 years. whatever the reason, we're in a really good place and i'm enjoying it thoroughly. josh surprised me last night with my first vday gift, then at work this morning i received a vase full of peachy-orange roses (the kind i carried on our wedding day) with a note from him. when i got home from work, he gave me two cards - the sweetest one from him, and one from micah and rowan, with micah's little handwriting in it - oh! - and tucked inside his card was a gift certificate to a nail salon! YEAH!! i am so excited. :) turns out katherine helped him get the GC, so she and i are going to go get our nails done together and go to a wine bar near the salon afterwards. i am so looking forward to this relaxing girls date. :) i'm going to get a spa pedi, which includes a hot stone massage and a peppermint mud mask, and a spa mani. i won't get polish on my fingernails, but i think i'll get a deep red on my toes.

i've been following the olympics this year, mainly because of the ravelympics. i'm not on ravelry as often as i'd like to be, i think because i don't have a camera and can't post pictures of my knitting, but i decided to join my knitting buddies, mama and katherine, and cast on a new project on the evening of the winter olympics opening ceremony, which i intend to finish by the end of the games on feb 28th. i chose this cozy cashmere hat for my project. i've already hit a snag, but katherine's coming over tomorrow to help me figure it out. i can't wait to wear this hat!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

so i ripped out the top part of my fingerless mitt ("i" meaning my mother) and redid it, and now it's perfect. PERFECT, i say. now all i have to do is finish the thumb! and by "i" i mean my mother! oh, and i guess i should knit the other one.

micah is doing so well at preschool. they had a "100th day of school" celebration this week. on monday she took a little art project made of 100 macaroni noodles and lentils. she glued them onto a little piece of thin cardboard in the shape of a tree, with some grass at the bottom. she arranged them and josh glued them on. it looks a little too perfect to be the work of a 4-year-old, because her daddy's a perfectionist artist, but i'm sure the other kids got help with theirs too. then yesterday, she wore a necklace that she made out of 100 beads. now, on this she did almost all the work on; she picked out the beads herself at the rockbarrell with josh, and strung about 70% of them onto the fishing line herself. when she got tired, she asked me to take over. she told us that she got to walk across the little stage at assembly and show off her handmade jewelry. : ) josh and i wished we could've been there to see her!

a bit of kid news:
- rowan has graduated from pronouncing his name "row row" to "rowan", and he usually adds "poole" to the end if you ask him what his full name is.
- rowan is getting closer and closer to potty training. if he's naked, he will ask to go to the potty. if i put his underwear on him, he forgets to ask. i think it's the sensation of having something against his skin; his mind and body just assume it's still a diaper.
- he is really talking a great deal, and becoming more and more clear. the other day micah was watching lady gaga's grammy performance on youtube with me, and was disturbed by the part where they toss her into the tank thing that catches on fire. she crinkled up her nose and said, "mama, lady gaga's weird. if you see her on redbox, don't buy it." (we rent movies from the redbox at the gas station near our house now and then.) rowan repeated her word for word! i was impressed, and amused that such an odd sentence would come out of his mouth.

- micah, as mentioned, is doing fantastically well at school. she has 6 friends; 5 girls and 1 boy. she loves her teachers, especially the aide, ms. brown.

- we've started working on simple math and writing the letters of the alphabet in upper and lower case at home. we bought her two workbooks from staples and she's been enjoying them, even asking to work in them in the evenings.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

well, i've completed my first fingerless mitt except for the thumb... but i think i'm going to need to rip out the top part and redo it, because it's too long. it covers my pinky finger, instead of stopping right at or below the bottom knuckles on my fingers, like it's designed to. somehow i made 6 cable twists instead of 4, like i was supposed to! oops! :) i'm so happy that i was able to knit cables and use dpns to knit in the round, though - this was my first time using both those techniques. i'm waiting for either mama or katherine to help me with ripping out the top part of the mitt - i'm not confident enough yet to do that on my own. i'm afraid all the stitches would just slip away, and the whole thing would unravel before my eyes. i haven't been able to meet for knitting group for a while, since i started working on the weekends. and this weekend's free time may just need to be dedicated to 24...
the new season has begun, and my dad has the 4-hour (!!) season premiere taped at his house, waiting for me. i'm thinking i may head straight over there after work on saturday or sunday and watch it. although, i will have to deviate from the 24-standard chicken stir fry that my dad fixed for me every monday night last year.
i have decided to stop eating meat for a while. my first day back at whole foods this past weekend, the team members in the cash office were talking about an animal compassion class they'd just been required to sit through. every once in a while, WFM has these classes and seminars to keep everyone on track with our philosophy, the reasons behind our quality standards, etc. the team members were discussing the footage they'd seen, and the array of alarming conventional and factory farming practices out there. i got this sinking feeling in my stomach as they were talking, and was struck with nostalgia for the way i used to eat and think and feel about such things when i first worked at WFM, before micah was born. for some reason, i just decided right then to take a break from eating meat, and i went home that day with some tofurkey and gimme lean meatless ground beef in my shopping bag. i made our staple dish, goulash, with the meatless ground beef the next night. rowan and i LOVED the new recipe, but josh and micah were not impresssed. josh says that he would love to reduce the amount of meat that we eat, and to introduce more vegetarian meals and fresh veggies, but he's not interested in eliminating meat completely from his diet. he was a vegetarian with me before micah was born, and i think he enjoyed it, but we're pretty sure he's hypoglycemic now, and it's become extremely important for him to get enough protein. neither of us are educated or disciplined enough to make sure he gets enough from plants and beans and nuts, so for now, meat is still on the menu for him. we're just making a committment to buy it all from WFM, now that i have a discount again. the kids, i'm sure, will continue to eat meat, but, again, only organic from WFM.
speaking of food, i've been on a huge amish bread kick. it seems to be all i want to eat. healthy, huh? i'm such a good vegetarian...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

my first attempt at cables is successful, so far! it looks like it's supposed to! i'm so excited to wear these things. i took a picture of my progress with my dad's camera, but forgot to download the pics to the computer before giving the camera back to him. knitting group was really fun on sunday. and yesterday was a nice day off from school and babysitting; the kids and i just hung out and kept the house clean. this morning i took micah to school and she had a little bit of trouble, i'm guessing for two reasons: it'd been three days since she'd gone, and she was really sleepy. she woke up early yesterday morning and didn't nap, but for some reason i couldn't get her to go to sleep until around 10 PM. i'm going to try to get her down much earlier tonight. i also need to get her up a little earlier tomorrow morning. she seems to do better at drop-off if she's had a good 30-45 mins of awake time with me at home, eating or watching a movie or something. i'm learning, i'm learning........
last night i knit something from a pattern, from start to finish, without any help. i was so proud of myself! i made this little heart, for a pin for grandmommy. it's for her birthday/valentine's day. i'm picturing her wearing it pinned to a denim jacket, or maybe a bag. i hope she likes it! i think i'll make pins for micah's two teacher's for V-day, too. they are so easy and quick!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

i think micah is actually allergic to the adhesive on those bandaids. she has a big red welt on her thigh, where one of them was. i'm going to take our own bandaids the next time we have to get shots.
this has been a fun weekend so far. yesterday we woke up early and cleaned house, something we've been badly needing to do. we got everything straightened up from the room switch we did last week (we switched our bedroom and the computer room). i mopped the kitchen and entryway tile. it felt good to get everything neat and orderly. after we were done with our chores, we took the kids for a bike ride around the neighborhood. then we headed to gabriel's 1st birthday party - gabriel is josh's dad's step-grandson. the party was fun - we watched an adorable video of the birthday boy, played a pin-the-nose-on-the-elmo game, and swung at an elmo pinata in the front yard. we left the party early so we could make it home in time for my dad and vesta to come over. they watched the kids while josh and i went on a date! it was so nice. we had plans to eat at olive garden, and use the gift card josh got from his sister for christmas. we ended up not leaving ourselves quite enough time to eat there before our movie began, though, so instead we ate at charley's, a grilled sub shop. it was....... not good. our sandwich tasted all right, but it left both of us feeling nauseated. from there we walked around world market (we were at the firewheel shopping center) for a bit, then walked to the AMC movie theater. we saw 'sherlock holmes'. i had been warned against it by my dad and my stepdad, my dad saying "it has nothing to do with the real sherlock holmes story!" (he's a HUGE fan of the holmes stories and has been reading/telling them to me and my siblings all our lives, so he's a purist and wasn't going to settle for anything less than a perfect, idealistic representation of sir doyle's eccentric characters), and my stepdad saying the acting was okay but the story was stupid. i tried to leave these preconceptions in the lobby. it worked - josh and i both loved the movie! i laughed a lot, jumped and squirmed in my seat, and drooled sufficiently over robert downey and jude law. we also saw several previews for movies for future date nights. i think firewheel is going to be a frequent destination for our dates - it was really fun walking around from restaurants to our favorite stores to the movie theater. it made me feel like we were in new york or something. :)
i'm going to knitting group this morning! i'm so excited. i didn't try cables yet, as i earlier posted, so i get to do them today under the wise guidance of my mom and katherine. :) i should be successful.......
micah loves school. my attached, spirited, quadruple-gemini little firstborn loves school.
day one: cried
day two: no tears, a bit wary...
day three: let go of my hand, took off down the hallway with backpack, didn't look back
i'm really, really, really glad it's going well - and i'm having a surprisingly fine time letting go and embracing this change. i'm ESPECIALLY happy that we did this first, before making the switch to full day kindergarten. that would've been hard on her, and on me. i'm glad that i'm gradually weaning myself away from spending every waking moment with her. :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

took micah to her pre-school this morning, only to discover she was lacking two vaccinations. so we made an early appointment with the pediatrician, got those taken care of, and continued on to target (after a fast-food breakfast) to get her a backpack. : ) i wasn't sure if she needed one, but at the school this morning i noticed all the kids had them, and i want her to feel prepared and taken care of. upon arriving on the backpack aisle she immediately notified us that she would only accept one of those backpacks on wheels with the handle that you pull along behind you, like luggage. we looked around a bit and finally found this one in our price range. i wanted her to have this one, but it was too expensive. maybe for kindergarten. speaking of kindergarten, i just found out two things that make me nervous: one, i'm scheduled to work at whole foods the day of micah's test for admittance into the GISD's gifted and talented program so she can go to the academy for excellence near our house for kindergarten - so josh will have to take her instead of me (which may turn out to be a good thing...); and two, kindergarten is full day. from 8:00 to 3:15. i was not counting on her going to school for 7 hours at the age of 5. that just seems like too much........ goodness.
anyway, after backpack shopping we came home and did our normal stuff. it was nice enough outside for us to play in the backyard for a while, which was wonderful. our friend jake came over and played too, for a while. he brought some cherries to share, which made me long for summer even more. the sun was shining and the air was warm enough for micah and rowan to just have their light sweaters on. micah watched 'sleeping beauty' (she can't get enough of the disney classics lately), rowan played with his race track and his swords - until bathtime rolled around. i convinced micah to peel off the two bandaids she recieved at the doctor's office this morning. our pediatrician's office buys super-duper industrial strength bandaids that would probably be the last thing standing on a completely dessicated human being. they are the stickiest, most stubborn bandaids i've ever encountered, and micah HATES the moment when they have to be removed. last month i let her leave those suckers on there until they were literally hanging by a tiny thread, at which point i "accidentally" caught them on her pants as i was helping her get undressed for bed. after they were off, though, i noticed the skin where they had been was red, irritated and almost bruised-looking. i told her we wouldn't be able to leave them on that long anymore. tonight, i reminded her that we needed to take those things off before bed. she asked me if she could do it herself, and i said of course. i didn't realize she meant that she would sit and methodically, with the steady hands of a pre-school surgeon, pick and pluck at the little fabric bandaids, millimeter by millimeter, until they were loosened from her skin. i was going CAH-RAZY watching her do this, so i left the room. when i came back to check on her a few minutes later... she was asleep, sitting up, with her little fingernail hooked under one edge of the bandaid. i gently scooped her up and placed her in her bed in her room - yes, as of the night before last, she's sleeping in her own bed (ch-ch-ch-ch-changes).
i'm making progress on the fingerless cabled mitts i'm knitting for myself. tomorrow i'll attempt my first cable, without my knitting buddies to walk me through it. wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

i enrolled micah in pre-k today. i'm freakin out a little bit. the florence parons pre-kindergarten school is right down the street from our house, and i noticed it when we moved in. it looked like it was part of the public school system. i didn't really think anything more about it then. then josh and i had several conversations over the summer about whether we wanted to homeschool or send the kids to public school (since we obviously can't afford private right now). i've had this overbearing sense for a while now that i do not want to homeschool. i would love nothing more than to spend every waking moment with my children... but i am not a teacher. i do not have the patience or the self-discipline to make sure they're getting the exposure that they need to ideas and concepts, and i don't have the knowledge or the skills to expose them to it in the right manner. this is all probably kinda amusing to my older friends, who've been listening to me bash public school and sing the praises of homeschooling since micah was born... so i guess i'm just gonna eat a little crow here. i can't help it, i have just completely changed my mind.
she seems excited. we left the house early today to drop josh off at work so i could use the car, and she said, "are you dropping me off at school today?" and her tone wasn't scared or apprehensive, it was excited. when i said no, she said, "oh" and sounded bummed. i explained that we have to get through today and the weekend, then she gets to start on monday. i'm bracing myself for a tough first week, but i hope things get easier after that.