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...