Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Old Skool.

Mom saves everything, and it's finally paying off.

The kids are having a blast going through our old "Berenstein Bear" books.  I think Mom must have fifty of them from our childhood, and Harris, especially, can't get enough of them.

Babe, on the other hand, is having a blast with the old school Smurf toys Mom saved from my Happy Meal days.  Watching Hadley's excitement over those things made me question my policy of  eventually throwing out every Happy Meal toy that actually makes it into our house.

But only for a split second.  I don't think I can take the clutter.

Besides, when my kids have kids of their own, I'm pretty sure this stuff of Granti's will still be around.

Thirty One.

I'm starting to feel old.  I tried to watch the VMAs the other night and had to change the channel.  I didn't know who half of the performers were, and when Little (Lil'?) Wayne got up with his saggy white jeans and his rear end hanging out and his bare chest and his every-other-word bleeped out, I thought to myself, "I am so too old for this."

And so I'm fairly certain that was the end of my VMA run.  It was good while it lasted.

I do, in fact, have a small reason to feel old.  My birthday was last week, and my loving family helped me celebrate the big 3-1.

We started the week with a night at Chick-fil-A.  I had to work late on Tuesday, so the fam was willing to change things up and gather on Monday night instead.

Mom, Cassidy, DB, Cody, Mo, Raven, and Sam all joined in for some chicken nuggets and Bruster's ice cream pie.  That's a combination that's pretty tough to beat.

Oh, yeah!  Emmy was there, case you can't tell by the hugeness of my belly these days!  That girl is growing away, and I'm growing right along with her.  We've only got about three months to go!

On the actual day of my birth, I woke up, as is our birthday tradition, to find my birthday balloons and pile of presents waiting for me on the kitchen table.

My sweet boys took the time to choose some great gifts for me:  two very nice cards, a copy of the latest magazine with Teen Mom information on the cover, and a new pair of maternity pants and a brand new shirt.

It was a great way to start the morning!  I got to continue my celebration at work with a free lunch from my co-workers and a birthday pedicure with my BWF (best work friend).  Unfortunately, we had a PTA event on the evening of my birthday, so I didn't actually make it home until the kids were in bed.

And I sure did miss spending my special day with these sweet faces (just pretend Hadley's looking sweet...she's not exactly a morning person):

Even though I had to work late, Ben and I got to finish off the night with a big bag of pretzel M&M's and a can of coke.  I love that man.

Happy Birthday to me!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Home Improvement.

Our upstairs had a busy weekend.

Emmy's room got painted yellow (pics to come later, like when we actually have something happening in there), our room and bathroom were painted blue, and Harry's room was re-painted red (his choice).

It turned out pretty awesome.  We've still got some decorating to do, but we couldn't be happier with the way the color turned out.

Harris was beside himself excited to see his room.  We made a big deal about the "unveiling" of his new, red walls.

Check out these pics Ben took of Harry walking in for the very first time:

Hadley, who was right on his heels, walked in and said, "I LOVE this rojo!"

Emmy's room and our guest room also had new fans installed, and Ben even put a retractable screen on our back kitchen door.

I'm pretty sure we've met our productivity quota for the year.  Too bad we still have a crib to put together. :)


My Girl.

She's a hot mess. 

Babe is thriving at Ms. Ginnell's this year.  A couple of her friends have moved on to preschool, so Hadley's holding down the "senior" position at the babysitter's this year.  She's absolutely loving the new baby that has joined the crew, and often comes home and tells us that "Baby Grace loves to look at me."  Humility is not her strong point.

Haddie's been learning all about butterflies over the last few weeks, and Ms. Ginnell has even added a Spanish component to her lessons this year.  Senorita Maria, a high school student, is working with the kiddos once a week.  I can't believe how quickly my silly, silly girl is picking up Spanish words.

It's not uncommon for her to point out different types of butterflies.  "Look," she'll say, "an anaranjado mariposa!"  (I've learned that means "orange butterfly.")  She can even get so specific as to point out which butterflies are of the monarch variety.  The girl has a mind like a steel trap.

She knows all of her colors in Spanish, and can even count all the way to fifteen (of course, in her vocabulary, "four" is known as "cuaco").  She interchanges the Spanish words for "dog," "cat," "ice cream," "baby," "mommy," and "daddy" into her every day conversation, and more often than not names colors in Spanish rather than English.

She still loves to sing.  Favorites include "You're a Grand Old Flag," "So Long, Farewell," "Do Re Mi," and "Potiphar" (from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat).  She loves swim lessons and has a major crush on her teacher, Mr. Caleb.  She's a ball of energy, and when she's on, she's on...but when she's off, watch out.

She makes us laugh every day. 

She also makes me want to pull my hair out sometimes.

I love her with every fiber of my being.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Boy.

I can't lie.

Our choice for Harris to attend Primrose's Private Kindergarten program this year has not been cheap. 

But if the last seven days are the slightest bit indicative of how his year goes, it will be worth every single penny.

He even asked me today if I could pick him up a little bit later because he is having "so, so fun" and wants a little more time to play.

He has come home every day talking about Venn diagrams and nocturnal animals and ABBA patterns and rhyming words and how to say "What is the weather like?" in Spanish.

He loves that place.  I do, too. 

Yesterday he asked Ben and me if he could participate in "PlayBall," one of Primrose's extracurricular activities.  According to Harris, they do "really tough stuff" at PlayBall.  There is a small additional fee associated with the program, so we worked out a deal with Harry:  he can earn the monthly PlayBall fee by feeding the dogs every single morning.

I've never seen him so stoked to get anything done!

I am so, so proud of my responsible little guy.  In addition to feeding the dogs, we've also added clearing the table and loading the dishwasher after dinner as his "I have to do this because I live here" chore.  I smile every night when he gets up from the table, takes a big, deep breath, and gets to work.

We're counting down the days until we can add laundry and yardwork.  :)

Maybe having my kiddos grow up isn't such a bad thing after all.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Kindergarten, Take One.

I was much more emotional today than I thought I'd be.  I didn't cry or anything, but I did take the time to step back, take a deep breath, and marvel at how grown up my very first baby has become.

He chose to wear a white shirt and blue shorts today.  I've decided that even though it's only day one, I'm falling in love with uniforms.

I had to wake him up this morning.  The first thing he asked me was, "What are we doing again today?"  I answered, "You get to go to school!"  He shot out of bed like a lightning bolt.

He had a blueberry Eggo waffle and some milk for breakfast and was able to catch a quick few minutes of "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" before we headed out the door.

Ben loaded Harris and Babe up in his truck, Cagne, while I climbed into Big Red (the van).  The plan was for Ben to take Harry to school and then drop Hadley off at Ginnell's while I headed on into work.  I followed them down the road, and about halfway to Primrose I decided I wanted to take Harris to school, too.  So, I did.

The four of us walked in and got a good look at Harry's classroom before heading our separate ways.  When I picked him up this afternoon, the report was that "kindergarten is so, so fun."  He also mentioned that he wished he'd been able to take a nap.

But, most importantly, he can't wait to go back tomorrow.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Primrose Kindergarten.

My sweet Harris is ready for "first" kindergarten!

We dropped by yesterday to say "hello" to his teacher, Ms. Wendy, and pick up his backpack.  He's most looking forward to seeing his friends from the after school program, wearing his uniforms, and getting to ride on the Primrose bus every once in a while. 

I'm most looking forward to his growth, both academically and socially, this year.  We're calling this year "First Kindergarten" or "Primrose Kindergarten," and Harry knows that he'll be headed to "Public Kindergarten" next year.  I honestly believe that spending this year with Ms. Wendy will set the foundation for the rest of his educational experience, and for that I am totally stoked. 

Bring it on, school year, bring it on!

My Little Princess.