Friday, August 29, 2008

No More Tears

I think it is safe now to say that we are past the tears when going into the KG classroom. Claire has done remarkably well the last three days, and is even letting me leave her at the end of the hallway! She walks all the way to the end of the hall where her room is, turning around to wave and blow a kiss before going in. It makes my days SO much easier to know she's happy starting off...and Claire agreed it makes her happier too! Claire is exhausted after these last two weeks, and since Wednesday morning has been asking, while still laying in bed "How many more days of this?". It's a little amusing because she is such a drama queen about it!

It is thunderstorming while I write this...I love thunderstorms! The rolling thunder just makes me feel soothed and calm, and the patter of the rain on the window reminds me that God is here...renewing and refreshing. Which is how I feel after a thunderstorm. I know to most that sounds a little odd, but that's just crazy me!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Early Morning

Okay, not really early, but early for our family is 8:00am. After we've taken Claire to school and had some's time to go outside before it's too hot and play. This morning a cement truck was in the back yard of the house behind us pouring a patio. Landon immediately climbed up his playset to have a look. He moderated everything that was happening, right down to the color of "the mens" shirts. He had lots of questions, one of which the driver of the cement truck answered: "How does that cement get in your spinner?". We also enjoyed watching one of our many hummingbirds having breakfast. Landon finds it amusing when the birds are brave enough to come eat while we're playing. The pic isn't a great one, but they are too darn fast for me to catch up close! I now have a recipe to make my own nectar, which will be a fun project to do with the kids (Thanks Ann and Doris!).

PS: Claire went to school today without tears!!! We walked to her room and we barely made it to the door when she hesitated...I was thinking the worse. But she looked at me and said "Mommy, give me a kiss so I can go in", which I did, and away she went without looking back. Whew! If we can keep this up, I will be feeling much better, and, I think so will Claire.

Monday, August 25, 2008

They came to visit

Claire and Landon were so excited that Nana, Papa and Lucy came to Arkansas to visit us! We've had a grand time. We started the visit off right with a trip to Doe's for steak, which is a favorite of everyone. Sunday Gaga (Geoff) set up the backyard water park so Lucy could partake in the fun. She had seen our blog from the original set up and I think getting to go down the water slide was the only reason she came down here! Monday while Claire was in school, the kids, Nana, and I went to the mall and played around in the toy store, the water fountain, and of course did some shopping! We went to Red Robin to eat lunch, and by then, everyone was ready to go back home to rest. But once Claire came home, we all headed out back again to get some wet and wild fun before dinner. Everyone leaves tomorrow morning first thing, and will be missed!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Stories of the one left behind...

Landon has adjusted well to Sissy being at school all day. He gets plenty of play time with Mommy, he gets to watch whatever he wants when it's TV time, and he gets to come up with new and interesting ways to entertain himself. The other day he found some wrapping paper, and wrapped up one of his small monster trucks for me. I could hear paper tearing, and was thinking he was in the office tearing up scratch paper, but found him in the front bedroom with tape and everything! He was cute, and very adamant that the truck was for me and that I keep it. This morning we were playing in his room and trying to find a specific toy he wanted to play. We had been looking for quite a while through the toy box, when he started rooting me on. "Keep looking harder Mommy; It's got to be in there, dig deeper". He decided to take matters into his own hand and said "Move over Mommy, I'm going in". He looked around a little bit and then came up saying "I'll have to dig deeper than you Mommy". He proceeded to put his whole body into the toy chest...head first. If I hadn't been saving him, I would have taken a picture!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The 2nd Day Blues

Claire's second day of school did not go as well as her first, at least this morning. She got out of bed just fine, did her duties and walked into school. Once she sat down, however, she would not let go of me! Then the crocodile tears appeared. She wasn't alone, several other children were crying in her classroom. Did this make it worse? Probably! Mrs. Machan asked Claire to walk me to the door, reminded Claire that today was computer class and off they went. I HATE that I have to wait the whole day to know how she least at preschool it was just a few hours! Anyway, I'm sure she's fine and was too busy to keep being sad.

On a more fun note, Claire had a blast yesterday. She told us all about lunch, recess, art class (where she learned to draw a crab and lizard), reading books, making friends and learning about her school. Landon was an absolute riot after we picked her up. He couldn't stop talking to her, touching her and getting her attention. We went out to eat last night to celebrate the first day and Landon was asleep before we got there! Speaking of Landon, he's on his way to Wichita for a quick visit with Nana and Papa because Geoff had to go for work. He was super excited to see his Nana, Papa and cousin, Lucy!

Monday, August 18, 2008

First Day of School!

Daddy woke Claire up this morning. She greeted us with a groggy grin, and eventually got out of bed. She was excited when she came in the kitchen and came face to face with a plate of cinnamon rolls (one of her favorites). As she ate those, Claire finally started to grin and smile, and talk about this being her first day at Kindergarten. She said things like "I can't wait to learn new things, I hope we have PE today, I hope I don't get sent to the principal's office". Then she brushed her teeth, put on her outfit that took hours to pick out yesterday, let Mommy do her hair and declared herself ready for the pictures!
I had her write out the page you see in the pic that says "2008, KG, Central Park Elem." and she was ready to show off her handy work. From the point of getting dressed, she had a HUGE grin on her face, and couldn't stop talking...really. Mommy does this when she's nervous, and I think maybe Claire will have that trait also. But she was excited as she talked and after we said hello to everyone else in the neighborhood out taking pictures before the first day of school, we hauled in the truck and drove around the corner. We are lucky that Claire's school is very close to us. Amidst the traffic and chaos at school, we got our picture taken by the professional photographer and then let Claire lead us in. She did this without hesitation, went in her room, hung up her backpack, found her table and started coloring. That was it, she quit talking once she sat down, and the calm that I wasn't sure would happen, was apparent. She was ready, grown up, sitting at her KG table working hard on her coloring, looking at Geoff and I with big blue eyes, waiting for us to leave so she could get busy. I held it together until I was in the hall, and then have done fine until right now. It helped once again that I knew enough people to be embarrassed if I had started bawling. So there you have baby girl is a big girl now. And will be forever.
I love you Claire, and am so proud of you for being brave and smart, and going to school without any problems. You are such a great girl, and I will miss you terribly while you're away, but will be so excited when you come home so I can hear all about how much you've learned and grown!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"I'm a worker"

Okay, so I went potty (that's a way to start a post!) and when I came out, this is what I found:

Yes, that is a screwdriver in Landon's hand, and, before you freak out, that is the port for the central vac NOT AN ELECTRICAL OUTLET! Landon unscrewed the whole cap and took it off the wall, and then after showing me his feat announces "I'm a worker, Mommy, now watch me fix it". He proceeded to put the cap back into the wall, screwed it tight and then got up and walked away. I just sat there with two questions running through my head: 1) What is he going to go unscrew now, and 2) I wonder if he is better at this than Daddy?

KG Open House

Claire went to her school today for open house. She met her teacher and got a quick tour with her classmates. Claire was a little apprehensive..."nervous" is her word. She held on tight to my hand as we walked in and went to her room. After sitting down and playing playdoh with a new friend, she let me go to the library for the parents orientation (the principal talked to us, does that mean they trust us less than the students?). Anyway, when I went back to get her she's got everyone at the table talking, and of course, doesn't want to leave! Her teacher, Mrs. Machan (mah-hon), walked up to visit with me and her first impression of Claire was pretty much right on: "She's not shy, is she!". So, with that under our belts, we await the first bell ring on Monday morning. We were told there will be a professional photographer at the school taking pics of families on the first day, and the drop off procedure was covered...extensively. There are 753 students in Claire's school...a number that astounds me after having worked in elementary schools. The pics are of Claire's new backpack...we had it embroidered with her name, it turned out darling, and Claire in front of her new school, with a topiary shaped as an alligator, her new school mascot (she's wearing her new "gator" shirt in that pic). Most of you reading this are thinking "yeah, but how's mommy?". Well, I only teared up once during open house, I knew too many people there to make a blubbering fool of myself! And although I feel better about Claire going (maybe the nightmares will stop...bullying, lost, stuck in the bathroom, no food for lunch), the worst part is yet to come. I will not cry, I will not cry...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's the SUN!

It seems it's been rainy or overcast everywhere we've been since we returned from the beach. This afternoon the sun finally peeked through the clouds! I took the kids outside as soon as I spotted the shadows cast on the floor...we enjoyed some playing and Popsicles. We haven't played in our backyard for awhile, with the exception of the water park creation! The kids enjoyed a little afternoon activity, as did Mommy.

I realized as we were playing that this wouldn't be happening next week at this time because my baby girl would be at SCHOOL!!! We went shopping yesterday for the supplies: backpack, pencil case, nap mat, etc. The general supplies like pencils and glue were taken care of by the PTO at Claire's school (I paid them!) and will be in her classroom with her name on them when we go for open house. Claire's backpack will have her name embroidered on it, and she even got a pink glitter folder to live in the backpack, even though she probably won't need it (pink, glitter, how could you not need it?)! Anyway, Claire has been a little nervous, but loves to talk about what she will be doing and playing at KG. She's already decided she will like computer class best, with P.E. coming in a close second. When asked about reading and math?..."Oh, that will be fun too, but I already do workbooks with you, Mom, so it's not new".

On a different little man was swinging outside today and kept asking me to push him higher. Finally, I must have gotten him high enough because he stated "Mommy, when I get bigger and bigger, and higher and higher so I can reach the clouds, I will get one down and give it to you." As if I haven't been emotional enough lately...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Gram and Poppy's

We got home late Monday night from the beach. Geoff woke up the next morning and went to work while I started laundry...and packing to go to Kansas to see Gram and Poppy. We had this trip planned before our sudden beach trip, and Landon and Claire were so looking forward to it! The kids and I left Tuesday afternoon. It was a soggy trip, it rained most of the time we were there. However, we still got to ride the train and carousel in Abilene, visit the Russel Stovers factory and store, visit patients at Gram's work, help with a party at Gram's work, do a craft, play with water guns, ride Barney and lots more. Gram planned a get together with her family (my cousins and their families) on Saturday evening. The kids all had fun playing Wii and I enjoyed catching up with my relatives. Sunday came too soon, but with school right around the corner, we had to head back home to prep! Thank you to Gram and Poppy for a great time!!!

Other Beach Thoughts

Now that I've told our story to several people, I remembered some things that I didn't get put down in the first post...
* The "Dorito Nap" picture is a good story. Landon was eating a WHOLE baggie full of Dorito's as he started to doze. He'd wake up enough to take another bite and hardly finish chewing before he'd fall asleep again. This happened several times before complete sleep took over, with a tidbit of Dorito still left in his hand!
* When we were walking out to the beach on the boardwalk for the first time, Landon looked at me and said "Mommy, look at all the snow!". I had to tell him several times it was sand, but I don't think he believed me until he actually stepped foot on it.
* Claire is so excited about going back next year, she is already planning ahead. She's planning her "tatoo" type and placement (butterfly on her back), a new hair wrap and this time she is only going in the "non-jellyfish water".
* We spotted dolphins swimming in the water that seemed just an arm-reach away. This was an awesome sight...both kiddos were mesmerized!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Daniel-Symons Beach Trip 2008

Our spontaneity paid off this weekend as the beach trip was a huge success! It was hard to believe that it took us less than one week to find our condo, make plans and get on the road. We traveled overnight on Thursday to arrive Friday morning to gray sky's and a little rain. We ate breakfast and did a little shopping at some outlet stores (Polo...Scott and Geoff are both BIG fans). We couldn't check in until 3:00 that afternoon, but they kindly let us land-lubbers on the beach before that time. The beach was absolutely beautiful! I have only been on a couple beaches in my lifetime, but it wasn't about children's first experience with the ocean is one I will never forget! Their faces were of awe as we walked down to the water. A little anxiety was present as we actually stepped into the water...but after that it was smooth sailing (no pun intended)! After that first afternoon, we had sunny skies, blue surf and white sand the whole was perfect! The complex was very nice, it had several pools and lots of amenities. We drove way out on a pennisula to get their, but it paid off with the vistas from our patio area!
Landon loved the sand; he built in it, shoveled it, threw it, dug holes in get my point. Claire enjoyed the water, and was very brave about going out in it. This lasted until she was stung by a jelly fish, then she really enjoyed the pools! The jelly fish were prominent during the weekend; the concierge told me it was because of the way the wind was blowing. It generally did not stop us, we were just cautious. We drove into the more populated areas to eat in the evenings and found a great seafood and steak place. We shopped in these areas too, and rode a Ferris wheel (another highlight for the kids, but not Sara's favorite). Sara's favorite part? Going para sailing in the ocean. This was an incredible sight, she was really high in the air with one of her friends who was at the same complex. Landon wanted to do this stunt also, and was bummed when he learned he was too little. Scott and Geoff's favorite parts of the trip seemed to be anytime they were sitting on the beach with an adult beverage...and not caring what time it was as they did it. Beth enjoyed this part also, and I think also loved seeing her baby para sailing! Besides time on the beach, we also got some body art, Claire has a hair wrap, we have new build-a-bears, and so many great memories it's hard to know where to start. Thank you Symons' for putting up with us during the ride, but most of all for making this trip one we will never forget (and making it a yearly tradition!!).

PS Geoff is putting together a new slide show of all the pics...that's why I only posted one!