Monday, September 24, 2018

Microblog Monday: Heebie Jeebies

Not long after we moved into our new house, I was standing at the kitchen counter making lunch for the kids and felt a tickle on my foot. I brushed at it with my other foot, looked down, and realized a spider had just ran across my foot! Shudder. That spider is now dead. I know there are a lot of don't-kill-the-spiders kind of people out there that would have caught it and released it outside. I am not one of those people.

On Friday, I was sitting on the couch while the kids were in their rooms for quiet time, and out of the corner of my eye I saw something run behind our tv stand. OMG, was that a MOUSE!? Yes. Yes, it was a f*@#ing mouse. A mouse in my house. We had planned on having a pest control company come out eventually, as the inspection report when we bought the house showed old rat droppings under the house. I hadn't yet called to schedule the appointment though. On Friday, as I was staring down this mouse, I made the call. My mil happened to come by while I was on the phone with them. She immediately went to the store and got a few traps. The kids enjoyed being mouse hunters that afternoon. Ayden seriously thought he could catch it, as it ran from the tv stand to the pantry to the tv stand again, to behind the couches and into the hall closet. I chased this little sucker around, placing a glue trap close to wherever its current hiding place was. Finally, he ended up running onto the glue trap and getting caught. Ohhhh, the squealing! Rylee repeatedly asked me if I was sorry for catching the mouse. Bless her animal loving heart. She kept going in to talk to it. She wanted to feed it. Both her and Ayden were convinced it was a baby mouse and it's mommy was going to be looking for it. They also wanted to keep the damn mouse as a pet.

We went to Tony's parents for dinner that night to celebrate mil's birthday. Tony left early to dispose of the mouse before the kids and I got home. The first thing Rylee did when we got home was go to check on the mouse. We told the kids that daddy let it go outside. We probably shouldn't have lied to them, but they would have been devastated to know the truth. Ayden was very sad because, he will "never get to have a pet!"

Today, I was driving around running errands after dropping the kids off at school. There was a spider hanging from my rearview mirror! When I screamed (yes, I screamed. Sue me.), it dropped down right next to my leg. It's a miracle I didn't wreck the car. I pulled into a driveway at my first opportunity and jumped out of the car, trying to find the spider. Of course I didn't find it. I finally got back in the car and went about my errands, continuously feeling like I had a damn spider crawling around my ankles and up my leg. About an hour later, while pulling into the parking lot to pick the kids up from school, the spider showed up again! It was crawling up my driver-side door. I tried to get it with a napkin (which I had gotten out and ready from my previous attempt to catch this spider), but it dropped down to the floorboard. I quickly parked and got out of the car. This time I DID manage to catch the spider.

So, we are spider and mouse killers. And now I have the heebie jeebies. I'm waiting for another mouse to show up, and every little tingle or itch feels like a spider is crawling over me.

If you'd like to read more #MicroblogMonday posts from other bloggers, please click the link here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

I have about a million blog posts that I want/need to write, but can't seem to find the words or motivation to actually sit down and write them. So, I'm going to just do a photo dump instead. Besides, who doesn't like seeing cute pictures?

Spiderman and Marshal watched Pinkalicious while I took my shower one morning 

Too cool for words

She actually took a rare nap

With our very first twin friends that we met when they all were just babies

With our nature hike friends from Veneta

We have grapes in our backyard!

Sometimes they get along

Ayden let Rylee borrow a pair of his dinosaur pj's for "3 days"

We went to the carousel

They were intrigued with the giant "Earth"

A picture with their Momma

They drew a "hopscotch" in our driveway 

Popsicles put everyone in a good mood

I let them make a giant mess in the living room with the agreement that they would clean it all up. They actually upheld their end of the bargain!

Friday, September 14, 2018

21 Years

We look SO YOUNG!

Yesterday we celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary. 21 years! I don't feel old enough to have been married for so long. When I told Tony that, he said "we ARE old." No, no we are not. Middle aged is not old! This was one of our anniversary dinner conversations.

The man absolutely drives me crazy most days and has a gazillion annoying habits (and I'm sure I do, too), but he also has a lot of redeeming qualities. In honor of our anniversary, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the things I love and appreciate about my husband.

  • He tells me he loves me every single day, usually by asking "have I told you today how much I love you?"
  • He is funny (also one of his annoying qualities). He is very quick witted and can come up with a joke faster than anyone else I know.
  • He is amazing at math, which balances us out, because I am soooo not good at math. He can figure how much a tip should be at a restaurant down to the penny in about 10 seconds. Very convenient! He will definitely be the one to help the kids with their math homework.
  • He LOVES his kids and is a great daddy, without question.
  • He loves sports, same as me. And board/card games.
  • He is competitive, but also knows how to be a good sport (most of the time).
  • He is incredibly creative at making up games to play. This comes in handy on long road trips, and/or just to entertain the kids in general.
  • He works hard for our family. He commutes to work, even though he despises it, so we can live in a different area that is better for our family.
  • He is very level headed, calm, and reassuring when I need it the most, meaning when I get myself worked up/upset about things (like the start of preschool this year for example).
  • He has an amazing gift of being able to strike up a conversation and talk with anyone.
I know that there are other amazing qualities that I am not thinking of, but I'd say these are the top 10.

We didn't do anything fancy for our anniversary and don't currently have any plans, although we have talked about trying to arrange for a weekend away. The night before, we realized we could ask his parents to watch the kids and feed them dinner, a HUGE bonus to having moved back closer to family. So the kids had a fun evening with the grandparents, while we were able to enjoy an actual anniversary dinner out.

Through good times and bad, through all the arguments and laughs, through 9 moves in 21 years of marriage (6 in the last 3.5 years), through 14 years of trying to have children, surviving infertility and coming out on the other side, to now being a family of 4. Here's to another 21 years of adventures ahead of us in whatever life has in store.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Preschool Update

Today I dropped the kids off at preschool and didn't stay at all. After having a conversation with the teachers on Friday about my frustrations (which you can read about in my last post), I didn't feel it would be a good idea to stay and potentially add more pressure. I don't want them to feel judged, as nobody likes that!

When I picked up the kids, they were excited to see me and seemed to have enjoyed their morning. I was happy (relieved) to see that they had worked on (or at least talked about) the letter A today.

I checked in with the teacher to see if she had put anything together for me to help with. Her response was that it would be great if I could do the name tags so the kids would know where there seats are in class, but she had to find the supplies for that first. Okaaaayyyyyy, I have three thoughts on that:

  1. I'm glad to know that she has plans to help curb the chaos and be more organized.
  2. How hard is it to find the name tags and print out a class list for me? She had all weekend to do this!
  3. Deep breath. I have no idea what her personal story is. Maybe she didn't have any time available to devote towards being more prepared and organized. Maybe she had a death in the family and that's why she always seems so... awkward. Maybe she has no background in teaching and she was just the best option the school could find at the last minute? That is not a comforting thought.

I do take comfort in the fact that the kids are being shown love from the teacher's assistant. She is very warm and loving with the kids and really seems to connect with them. The kids really like her a lot. If only the head teacher could relate to preschoolers on the same level...

If you'd like to learn more about #MicroblogMondays, or read more from other bloggers, click here for the link.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

First Day of School

I was all excited and ready to write my First Day of School post, but then the first day actually happened. And I wasn't excited. And I wasn't happy. In fact, I was downright disappointed. But before I get into that, let me tell you about how excited my kids were!

Ayden was bouncing off the walls excited for the first day of school. There was NO apprehension about starting at a new preschool, for either kid. Rylee was excited too, but Ayden was beyond excited. He woke up by himself at 6:30 (not unusual), cracked open his bedroom door but then shut it again. He got dressed all by himself (he picked out his clothes and laid them out the night before), then came out and wanted his breakfast. Then he was asking to get his teeth brushed. I made him wait on that, because I thought he might want more to eat when Rylee ate her breakfast.

We ended up having to wake Rylee up at 7:00. She wasn't quite ready to get out of bed, until I reminded her that she got to wear her new Rapunzel dress to school. That's what SHE was most excited about!

Tony took the day off work so he could be there for their first day of school drop off and pick up, with the plan of also getting some more stuff done around our new house (still lots of cleaning, painting, unpacking, settling in to do). The kids were excited that we both would be taking them to school.

They were pretty skinkin cute!
Being silly

Ayden is pretty adamant about wanting to stay a kid "forever and ever"

They are going to a small private Christian Academy this year, which offers grades preschool all the way through high school. There's only 72 kids in the whole school, so it is pretty small, but Ayden and Rylee's preschool class has 18 students. Not small. No big deal since they had 18-20 last year, but they also had at least 3 teachers every single day. This year there is one teacher, and a teacher's assistant, only 2 teachers to the 18 preschoolers.

I digress though. The drop off process was chaos. I expected that since it was the first day of school. They had each of the grades line up, then they went into the sanctuary by class, leaving their backpacks in the lobby lined up. Then they went through morning announcements (which really don't apply to the preschoolers at all), say the Pledge of Allegiance, introduced all the teachers, and sang a few worship songs. After all that, the kindergarten and preschool classes lined up to use the bathroom before heading to their individual classes. This took forever. Finally they were ready to head to their class, only the teacher forgot to have them grab their backpacks. Tony and I, and a few other parents went back to grab all the bags.

Once everyone got settled into the classroom, the teacher did a roll call. It was the most awkward thing ever, which is also the best way to describe this preschool teacher. She didn't even know that one of the kids goes by Topher instead of Christopher. The TA knew, and even Tony and I had already picked up on that before this point. There were no name tags at the tables for the kids. No name tags where the kids were supposed to hang up their backpacks. No name tags for the kids so the teachers could learn their names!!!!

Tony and I left after the roll call. There was only one other mom still in the classroom at that point; everyone else had already left. As soon as we got in the car, I told Tony how disappointed I was. REALLY disappointed. This was not the teacher I had interviewed last spring. This teacher was not personable, and she definitely didn't seem at ease with a group of preschoolers. Not only was she extremely unorganized and not prepared, she was super awkward. She never approached a single parent or child at the beginning, only introducing herself if approached.

The saving grace is that I do like the TA and I am sooooo grateful that she will be helping in their class. The other positive is that we left feeling very proud and relieved that Ayden and Rylee are so well adjusted. They were able to roll with the flow, and were well behaved throughout the chaos, despite it taking an HOUR before they actually were settled into their classroom and did something.

After we picked up the kids two hours later, we took them to the park and out for frozen yogurt to "celebrate" their first day of school. While Tony and I are extremely disappointed, they at least had fun and were excited to go back.

On Friday, their second day of school, I stayed once again (I was the only parent that did) to see if it got any better. I stayed through the morning announcements, pledges, and singing. I waited through the long bathroom line before heading to their classroom. One little boy had an accident and the TA took him to help change his clothes. Once we finally all got to the classroom, the kids were asked to find seats at the tables and be quiet. There were a few scuffles over who got to sit where, because once again, there were no assigned seats. The teacher then waited for the TA to get back with the other little boy before getting started. When she did arrive, the TA started to make name tags for the kids. Ummmm, you'd think that would have been done in advance? While this was going on, the teacher gathered all the kids to sit around her on the floor while she sat in a chair, where she proceeded to say about a 20 second prayer. Then they all had to take seats at the tables again. You guys, this was a 20 minute process of kids finding seats and lots of shhh-ing from the teacher. So for 50 minutes, from the start of school, these 3-4 year olds are expected to sit, stand in line, and be quiet. On the agenda after that was talking about birds, then recess and snacks, and then two high school boys were going to be be "guests" coming in to read for story time.

I left after hearing the plan for the rest of the morning. I called a friend to vent my frustrations. I talked to Tony to tell him day 2 was no different from the first, and then I started making phone calls to find out if other preschools had any openings. I feel so guilty for picking the wrong school. I know that we have 13 more years of the kids potentially having bad teachers, but it should not be in preschool. They should be having fun. At the very least, they should be playing! Not sitting and standing in lines being asked to stay quiet.

I did get an opportunity to talk to the teacher, the TA, and the principal/director all together when I picked up the kids. I asked what the expectations/goals were for the year. I kindly shared my frustrations at the disorganization. I also offered my help, saying I'd be willing to make name tags for them if they gave me a class list, or anything else they thought might help things run smoothly. They jumped on that immediately and said they'd have something for me on Monday. How much work have I gotten myself into??? I did learn that the teacher was hired just last week, which is something we kind of suspected. That at least explains the lack of organization, but it doesn't resolve her awkward personality and inability to connect with preschoolers. They assured me that things would get much better.

I at least felt better after talking with them, but I'm still not sure we are going to keep the kids there. At this point, we have no choice and if we want to keep them in preschool, and if we can't find another (affordable) preschool with two openings. I didn't go into this blindly. I had gotten several recommendations for this school, from reliable sources. I have sincerely liked every other staff member that I've met and talked to. I just don't like this preschool teacher! I chose this school because we do like that it's a Christian school, and because I thought it was the best choice to better prepare them for kindergarten education-wise. They have yet to pick up a writing utensil in their two school days so far. Not that I want it to be all business and learning, but I didn't want it to be a step back from what they had already learned last year. We loved our preschool so much last year! And then we had to go and move (which I don't regret, other than missing our old preschool). But I digress. I also chose this school because when we visited it last spring, the children there were so extremely welcoming! They were excited to have Ayden and Rylee visiting and invited them to play. They were HAPPY, and that clinched the deal for me.

It's still early. It has to get better, right?

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Kid Funnies

Kids really do say the darnedest things! And I rarely remember to actually document them. Actually, in the moment I always think to myself how I need to remember what they just said or did, and then it never ceases to somehow disappear from my brain. There's a few recent kid funnies that I do remember...

While living at Grandpa M's, we had the BEST neighbor that lived on the other side of our duplex. She's someone I've known for a long time, as she is a friend of the in-laws. The kids frequently commented at how nice Miss Yvonne is. The kids and I went over to say goodbye to Miss Yvonne one day after loading our car full of stuff to move to the new house. As we were saying our goodbyes, Miss Yvonne said, "well, we'll have to catch up sometime...." Rylee interrupted by saying, "Oh! I don't like ketchup!" She went on to explain how ketchup really wasn't very good. Miss Yvonne about fell over from laughing so hard at the misunderstanding!

Rylee has an obsession with spraying her hair with water with a water bottle, or just wetting her hair down at the sink. Insert eye roll. Don't get me started on how tired I am of the bathroom counters and floor always being soaked. Yesterday I was in the bedroom, on the phone with the door closed, trying to get an issue resolved with our internet provider. Rylee came in, asking if she could spray her hair and I told her no. She was mad and went out to complain to her daddy and Ayden. Her very thoughtful brother told her he could spit on her hair if she wanted. Bahahahaha!! Rylee didn't appreciate the humor as much as everyone else did.

Last week I took the kids grocery shopping. Rylee is still small enough to sit in the shopping cart seat, and Ayden sits in the basket. As we were walking around getting all the things we needed, Rylee LOUDLY (the girl does not have a quiet voice at all!) shared that she just farted. And not just once! She repeated it a few times, thinking it was hilarious that she farted on the shopping cart seat. I tried to get her to be quiet, and ended up putting my hand over her mouth because she kept saying it so loud! I looked over my shoulder to see who all heard, and a guy right behind me (trying not to die laughing) said, "it's okay. I do it too sometimes."

That same day as the shopping incident, the kids were riding their bikes out in front of our house. A neighbor that was driving by stopped to introduce herself. While chatting, Rylee proudly announced that she "pees her pants a LOT." Unfortunately, this has been an issue for the last few months. Thankfully, the neighbor was amused, and told Rylee that maybe she needed to use the toilet a little more.

Someone told me recently that I need to remember/document the funny, embarrassing moments so that when the kids are teenagers and embarrassed by us parents, we can remind them of all the times they embarrassed us! They do make for some great stories to tell down the road.