Friday, August 29, 2008

For My Mom

What I'd Like For You To Know: The Mom Of an Only Child

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Look how little and sweet they were...

Are You Tired of it Yet?

Are you tired of me changing the background to this blog yet? I am. If someone knows a simple and easy to understand tutorial about making your own background on Blogger, please, please forward it to me!!

Whoopsie (AKA a sappy story about love)

Did I forget to mention that this cute man turned a year older last week? It's hard to believe, I know, because he looks the same age as he was on August 21. But really, he turned a year older on August 22. Funny how these things work.

So why would I need to mention that he had a birthday? Aside from the fact that he begged me for a certain Madden-related
thing for his birthday, but has not used it even once yet? Well, I guess it's because I wanted to tell you how sweet and wonderful he is. And Daniel is also very, very good at going with my plans for my future, as if they were not so much our future.

When I said a couple semesters ago that I was finally finishing school, he said "great!" Then when I said one semester ago that I was going to minor in something else and add another semester before I graduate, he said, "okay!" Even though it meant he would finish his own schooling even later. Then when I said 2 days ago that I was not going to minor in anything, but instead graduate this December, he said, "great!"

He also happily (or at least not angrily) feeds the kids, bathes the kids, and puts them all to bed while I take evening classes. He basically just goes with whatever I say I "need" him to do so I can finish school. Maybe he's just tired of me being in school, but I think it's because he's great.

So, there are tons of reasons why I think he's wonderful, but this week school started for me & Abby, so school is the theme of the week. That's basically all I can think about for now, so this will have to do. Maybe next year I'll have something else to say, Daniel. But for now, thank you for being so good. I love you.

Cuteness. Enough Said.

This is how you cool off at the zoo.


Aren't laptops great? I'm sitting here on my front porch, while my boys paint and draw (in their pajamas), blogging. It's such a nice day, and I wouldn't even know how great the mornings are for outside blogging and painting if I hadn't had to get Abby to school by 7:55. Why do they make school so early these days? I remember school starting at 9 or something like that when I was a kid. In fact, Abby goes to school so early that it is still morning when she gets out of school.

So, by the time I finish blogging, finally dress the boys, and open up the drapes for day, it's time to go pick Abby up from school. At least I know how my mornings will be spent for the next year...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's Been a Long Day.

It's been a long day. And it's only 9 am.

Today was Abby's second day of Kindergarten, but somehow it hit me much harder than her first day. Yesterday was easy. We were rushed beyond belief trying to get Abby to school, find someone to watch the boys, and get myself to school all at the same time. Abby was sort of late for school, so we walked her to the classroom door, said bye to her, and left. Then I had school, picked her up and that was that. I didn't really have any feelings at all yesterday, except maybe stress.

Today I had time to think about it, I guess. I started by waking Abby up, something I've never, ever done. I've always just let the kids wake on their own. In fact, if one of the kids is napping when we need to go somewhere, I'll either be late waiting for the kids to wake up, or have a sitter come over and watch the sleeping kid.

Well, anyway, I woke Abby up, and I decided to dress her. Daniel is all for independence, and he's been encouraging Abby to dress herself in the morning and at bed for years. She can do it by herself, but today I felt that I needed to do it. So I pretended she was a little baby again for 2 minutes, while I held her and dressed her in a school uniform.

She sat down and wanted to watch TV like she does every morning while she eats, but we were so rushed that she couldn't even watch one full show. We headed out the door before she finished her breakfast, and I drove her to school.

When I got back home with the boys, it hit me. My baby is in school. Every week day (minus summers and holidays), for the next 13-17 years. She has a life outside of our home and family, and I have to go about my morning without her.

I kept thinking about her as a baby, and as a toddler, and as a preschooler. Every time I change Ethan I think of a 19 month old Abby, and I cry. Every time I ask Avery to clean up his messes, I think of a 3 year old Abby, and I cry. She was just a newborn baby a few years ago. She wasn't even alive just 5 years ago, but now she's expected to get a long for 3 hours without her mommy. And her mommy is expected to get along for 3 hours without Abby.

I know this is just mommyhood. I raise them, teach them, love them, play the center of their world - and then they grow and leave me. When Abby is here, she might upset me or annoy me, but when she's gone, I can't remember those times. This is how motherhood works. But I also know this is just love in general. When I fell in love with Daniel, it made me sick to have to leave him when I had to go home, or he had to go home. When we weren't together, we wanted so badly to be together. Now I don't remember the times that Daniel has made me mad over the years, I only think about how great he is when he's at work. I don't remember the hard parts of getting married, becoming an adult, and I also don't remember (completely) how hard it is to give birth to a baby.

So I start to think about how easy it would be to homeschool Abby. How she would still be here every day, and I would know every part of her day. But I realize that homeschooling is not the solution. There are other ways she will leave me. Homeschooling her would only put off the inevitable. Kids grow and leave their parents.

I almost have this jealousy for parents who homeschool. They don't have to take their kids to a school, leave them there with strangers, wonder what they're hearing from other kids, wonder if they're eating. And this is probably because everyone (with the exception of 1 or 2 families) I know homeschools. I have absolutely no one to talk to about sending my baby off to school. No one who can sympathize with me. So that's where this blog comes in. I talk about it, maybe someone will read it and understand, offer me some encouragement.

So, now that I've felt sorry for myself for the past 2 hours, I'm starting to feel better. I think, "three hours is not that long." I realize that if Abby weren't at school, she wouldn't seem nearly as sweet. She would be making messes like Avery is, upsetting me instead of making me miss her immensely. And really, it won't hurt her one bit to miss the Backyardigans.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Abby Firsts

First time touching a snake skin (at the zoo).

First time cracking her very own lobster claw.

First day of school.

Monday, August 25, 2008

This is Interesting to Daniel.

Look! George Orwell was blogging 70 years ago! On Wordpress, too!

Orwell Blogging.

One Kid

It appears that I have one kid that is always more something than the other two. No matter what you name, I probably have one kid that is more that than the others.

One of my kids is more whiny overall then the other two. One of my kids is more artsy than the other two. One of my kids is a better sleeper than the others. One is a better eater.

So, even though some of these things are negative, I try to keep it in balance and think about the positive things my kids are good at as well. I also try to encourage their abilities, by buying them gifts that fit each kid, and giving them chances to use their abilities. Does this remind you of anything?

Hint: Look at 1 Corinthians 12.

Spiritual Gifts! The Bible says we all have different ones, yet they're all important. About 6 months ago, a friend recommended that Daniel and I take the "Spiritual Gifts Analysis." I finally took it today (yeah, I know). Here are my results, in order of most evident to least evident:

Score Graph of Score Spiritual Gift
21 ====================== Faith
19 ==================== TonguesSpeaking
15 ================ Discernment
15 ================ Helps
15 ================ Healing
13 ============== Hospitality
11 ============ Teaching
11 ============ Giving
11 ============ Administration
11 ============ Encouragement
11 ============ Exhortation
10 =========== Miracles
10 =========== Intercession
9 ========== Missionary
9 ========== Music
8 ========= Knowledge
8 ========= Mercy
8 ========= Pastoring
7 ======== Wisdom
7 ======== Craftsmanship
7 ======== Prophecy
7 ======== Writing
7 ======== Poverty
7 ======== Leadership
5 ====== Apostle
4 ===== TonguesInterpreting
3 ==== Evangelism
1 == Celibacy

I guess I sort of always knew that #1 would be faith for me. I believe I've said it to Daniel before (about 100 times), and that seems to be true in our personal life as well. But what really surprises (or maybe disappoints) me is that writing is waaaay down on the list. What is this blog for, right??

Another thing on the list doesn't disappoint me so much as embarrass me. See what the last thing is on the list? Celibacy. *ahem* At least I'm married...

Take the test and let me know what you get.

Spiritual Gifts Analysis

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Apparently, Daniel resembles a Tiger. Ethan saw this picture on my computer, and yelled, "Dada!" I went to a different page, returned to Yahoo, and he saw it again. Again he yells, "Dada!"
I guess it's the dark tan Daniel has gotten over the summer....

A Looooooooooong Day: Ethan's Version

Ethan started out the day crazy excited - he was going to King's Island! ("whatever that means," he thought)

After a quick power breakfast with Dora the Explorer and Grandma, he headed off to see what this "King's Island" was all about.

Ethan was not too impressed. He saw no kings, no island, and sat in his stroller most of the time while Abby & Avery went on rides.

Finally, Ethan got the chance to get out of his stroller and do some swimming. After a few laps, he decided to just splash around in the kiddie pools like a baby. He absolutely loved the water. And apparently, all he sees from his level is legs. Lots of legs.

After a nice afternoon of swimming, Ethan decided to ride the train with Mommy. He then fell back to sleep. I guess his day was complete.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Loooooooong Day: Abby's Version.

Abby's day also started with breakfast at King's Island. She enjoyed the french toast sticks as she sat with her cousins. Suddenly, the girls realized their breakfast was gone! Cousin #2 looked under her napkin, but it was not there. It's a mystery!

Perhaps Dora or Sponge Bob can tell us where the food went. Nope, wrong cartoon characters. Dora only tells us to look in her backpack or consult a map. Sponge Bob suggests we try a Krabby Patty instead. No help at all.

Abby realizes what cartoon characters can help with a mystery, and quickly borrows their van to search for the missing breakfast.

Realizing that mystery solving is just too much work, Abby takes a break to ride the enormously fun Swipper ride with her brother.

It turns out the breakfast was not missing after all, it was just eaten. Because it was so good. The day ended with a splash - the splash of Abby & Daniel coming down the water slide on a raft.

A Loooooooong Day: Avery's version.

The day had finally arrived. It was Avery's first trip to King's Island (an amusement park)! He was so excited!

The day started with breakfast at King's Island. The food was very good, and there was lots of meat. But wait! What is that behind Grandma's head??

It's Sponge Bob! Imagine, breakfast with the most famous sponge ever. What nice socks you have, Sponge Bob. Grandma thought Avery would like to go meet him, but I guess she was wrong...

Avery headed straight for his car (bumper car, that is), and drove far away from Sponge Bob. Unfortunately, people kept driving into him because it was so crowded at king's Island. Thank goodness for that partial and useless seatbelt!

After many rides, ice cream, pizza, and walking, Avery was exhausted. Time to go home, sleepy boy.

Monday, August 18, 2008

This is Just Stupid.

Okay, I just read that it snowed in Colorado this weekend. I don't know what nature is doing, but it's a little off. I just said that I wasn't ready for autumn yet - I didn't mean it should be skipped over for winter in August!

The Last Days of Summer (Vacation)

Wasn't it just the beginning of summer vacation a couple days ago? Didn't I just write a quite ambitious post about Summer Camp at Home? Now Abby will be starting Kindergarten in a week. It already feels like autumn outside. The nights and mornings are cool, the days not too hot. I even saw a tree covered with orange leaves the other day. Here's Daniel's favorite joke when it gets cool out when it should be hot: "Stupid global warming!"

But really, where has the summer gone? It almost feels like I should be packing up the kid's shorts and sleeveless shirts, stashing the sprinkler away until next year, and getting out the rake. But I haven't even gotten one ear of corn from my garden yet! Maybe I'm just a bad gardener, so let me say that another way. But I haven't even used up all the sunblock yet!

Autumn is actually my favorite time of year, but I'm not sure if I'm ready for it yet this time around. I know exactly why that is, and it begins with an "A" and ends with "bby goes to Kindergarten"... Real school. I know you're getting tired of hearing me whine about this, so here's a few different perspectives. One that is not-so-sappy, and one a little-more-sappy, and if I ever find it, I'll put one that you will want to find some Kleenex and then go hug your kids.

Growing Pains

To My Little Boy, On Your First Day Of Kindergarten

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Long Week

So this week has been a very long week. We've had family in town, and the kids have been busy with their cousins all week. We had lots of eating to do, amusement parks to visit, and pools to swim in. There is an unfinished Cranium game out there that had to be called on account of sleepy children. Abby now has a darker tan than those Sunset Tan people, and even Avery has a bit of a tan. Avery's "hot shoes" now permanently reside at King's Island (I hope they made their way out of the Scooby Doo Haunted Castle). I also just remembered the mess the kids left upstairs at Grandma's house...

So we all had a great week, but a busy week. Yes, this is my excuse for not blogging all week. Pictures will be posted soon, along with a little gossip about Spongebob and Dora...

Monday, August 11, 2008

More for Her... Or for Me?

Today Abby had her Kindergarten screening at her new school. Daniel & I were sort of worried about it, but at the same time we weren't worried at all. We know she's ready for Kindergarten, even though she won't be five *gasp* until October 5. The cut-off is September 30. So, if a kid was born 5 days before Abby, they would be old enough for Kindergarten, but Abby might be too young.

Well, anyway, she "passed" the screening, even though she counted, "28, 29, twenty-ten." And Abby got to see her little (but much bigger than preschool) classroom, and meet her teacher. Her teacher even gave us the orientation folder a week early - but we had to promise and bring it back on Thursday.

Inside the folder was all kinds of things we have to provide, pay for, or can buy if we choose. Umm, what exactly is the tuition for, again? After tuition, uniforms, snacks, cupcakes, prizes, wrapped candy, field trips, etc., we'll probably have paid more than my school costs in a year. You know, the university?

But really, the most exciting part of the packet for me was the daily classroom schedule. Abby will actually have phonics, math, science, social studies, and music! Isn't that adorable? I can't wait to find out what she learns each day. It's like I'm heading back to Kindergarten myself. I'm ready for the book fairs and parent-teacher conferences and organizations, fundraisers, and homework. Did I mention that I was homeschooled? Maybe that's why I'm so excited about this stuff - but it's just so fun and so cute.

Now I have to alter Abby's little uniforms. Apparently extra-small is not small enough for my little girl. But she looks adorable in them, anyway. Too bad one week's worth of uniforms costs more than one month of clothing for myself.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Funny Things

Kids, as you know, say funny things. Here are just a few that you missed over the last week.

Avery at dinner:
"Mommy, you make the best ham, and... yellow... and green and brown ever!"
(Can you guess what we had for dinner?)

Ethan, repeating after me:
"Mama Bay!" (meaning Momma's baby)

Abby, anytime she doesn't want to eat what I serve her:
"I'm allergic to pasta" (or chicken, or potatoes, etc.).

Avery, when Abby is being mean to him:
"We're going to give you gypsies!"

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Woe Is Me!

Yes, you should feel sorry for me. I don't have *real* internet access! Meaning, I can sometimes connect, but not usually. Looks like we'll be switching internet providers, so you might not hear from me regularly for a while.

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