Friday, August 28, 2015

7QTs - In which I don't talk about school... too much

So many thoughts... 

--- 1 ---
School is absolutely exhausting so I'll keep it short and sweet in that regard...

We survived the first (not-full) week of school. We haven't been late yet but did manage a uniform infraction on the 2nd day : (   I don't know who is more tired me or E. I don't know who is having more adjustment problems me or R.

{conversation on the ride home in between and over M singing Happy Birthday (on repeat)!}
R - I don't wanna go to school any more!
Me - Why?
R - I don't like the teachers and the kids!
Me - What's that on your side in the field {trying to change the subject}
Me - {good work on articulating your frustrations}
R - I wanna go to E's school. I want see E RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!

--- 2 ---

Since there will be a new human around here in a few (less than 5) weeks I'll say something about the bebe. 

A. Being pregnant is no cakewalk - mentally, emotionally, physically exhausting in general, then top it off with - my baby is going to real school now and just exponentially increase those three things. 

Example - Today Lee came home and had another (far away) job to do. I walked out to his work truck told him I was about to have to wake up the to sleepers to go pick up E from school and halfway jokingly asked if he wanted to pick her up. And he said yes and I nearly could have cried. #pregnancyprobs Then come to find out he put gas in the van while he was out??? Yeah, he's a keeper. (also see #7 as supporting evidence)

B. On a lighter note... overheard at work

Guy - So what's this number three?
Me - No, actually number four
Guy - Y'all are slower learners (totally in good humor and not taking it in a mean way because I've known him for a few pool seasons)
Me - No... We just like what we do. 

--- 3 ---

M and our godson (from Missouri)

Our friends from Missouri came a few weeks ago. So great seeing them and their many kiddos and seeing our godson who we trekked out to St. Louis for a night when I was 7 months pregnant with M to go to his baptism. 

Definitely makes me miss seeing our friends though because I think we could have talked for weeks just catching up on life and stuff.

--- 4 ---

So cute...  

E and Papa went to help clean up the playground at school the weekend before school started. E had to have a hat just like her Papa : ) It was noticeably quiet around the casa

--- 5 ---

Despite all the craziness of the week with school and schedules being off and work lunches and uniforms and EVERYTHING... The girls wanted to stop and see the Moo-cows on our way home one night... 

I really didn't want to stop but stopping to do the small things is important especially amongst the crazies so I said yes. Fortunately there were cows super close to the fence so they got a good view.

See that mosquito on the seat? That got M right on the forehead before I managed to kill it : (

--- 6 ---

M is getting so not-a-baby anymore it is crazy. 

She has her own sense of style... With her "gaaa-ssays' 

She enjoys brushing her hair and screaming OWWWWW just like her big sisters!

She is very big into accessorizing with purses, hats, rings, bows, bracelets

She is super set in her ways - her mannerisms remind me so much of E it is kinda scary!

She isn't into eating meat - she loves any and all fruit and LOTS of it

She has taken to the potty and I've taken to the rewarding with jelly beans 
- anything to not change a dirty diaper right??? 

She loves to be read to and looking at books and will destroy them in her bed after looking at them - so far not too my casualties as it's not my first time around that block

--- 7 ---

Here's to the last year of my roaring 20s. It's certainly been a wild almost decade but no need to get all nostalgic over that yet....

I've been craving hot wings for a while now and Outback wasn't cutting it so we headed to Buffalo Wild Wings with the girls and Jibbe for an early birthday dinner out.

I tired a few kinds and I got the second or third spicy-est on their scale and I can say that my craving was satisfied. I was kind of afraid to get the spiciest kind as I knew I needed to get through the week without going into labor : ) - spicy foods is just an old wives tale right? 

But for real... they need to keep the tables stocked with Sams club wipes (we never go anywhere without a pack or two or five) instead of paper napkins and  individually wrapped wipes! 


Lee cooked up an AWESOME dinner a few nights later. Pine nut and parmensan chicken, spinach and pear salad. It was so good and I only wished we had put the kids to bed so we could really enjoy it BUT that didn't change the fact the food was great and I ate the leftovers for breakfast one morning. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

So the First Day of Kindergarten Happened...

Before the first day though there was this... 

Last day that our bags at the door would look like this as book bags are put away at the end of school and taken back out at the beginning

I put the call out for some chocolate and Nani came through in a GIANT way. 
Nothing like powering through an emotional meltdown with some chocolate - you know!

Uniforms - check (though we are still waiting on another skirt because they are on super backorder = not helpful!) 
I washed up E's book bag as well as her tote bag the night before orientation and crossed my fingers the book bag would be dry!

We had already been shopping for school supplies... Sharpie + coffee

Papa's contribution to the supply list

Okay now let's have a discussion about this because I happen to think this is super funny. I asked Lee to get disinfecting wipes from Sam's because well bulk is good for us. He comes home and asks-Who are these wipes for? I tell them for E's and R's teachers, not thinking much of it. Well come to find out he's got the 'Professional' grade wipes that will probably be great for the classes but seem a bit over the top for preschool and kindergarten - but hey, we'll take them!

With supplies packed we headed to orientation. 

Papa was able to come to orientation which was same time, same place as the first day of school but just a day early. It was definitely a good dry run for the first day. The kids went to the library while the parents got 'oriented' in the classroom. It was just an hour but still the thoughts swirled in my head as we drove to school and I turned on the music and tried hard not to think too much of it. 

Orientation success!

Then the real day came.

Waffles for breakfast per E's request though I think the squirrels got more waffles than the girls

It was only a halfday so I made some lunch... 

They were up SO early! As in 30 minutes earlier than normal which was fine but unexpected!

Trying the banana chocolate chip bread we brought for the teachers on the first day. There's still 2 loaves left for R's teachers. Too bad the girls 'Don't like bananas' - but they said the bread was worthy of bringing as a Happy First Day of School treat!

We hustled and bustled about. I allotted an extra five minutes for obligatory pictures - which was a good call. The kitchen was a WRECK until Lee got home in the late afternoon. Between, waffles, mac and cheese, other stuff and snack stuff he ran the dishwasher before dinner. I think I might have convinced him that it is nearly impossible to leave the house in good condition when there is a change in schedule, add on top of that the first day pop-ups and working in the afternoon and, well, let's just say he's a more than a good sport about cleaning up the mess. 

Now pictures... 

Everyone HAD to have a bow. 

R hiding bebe #4 
: ) 

Now this is where I could have totally lost it. So the whole school starts off outside with the Our Father and saying the Pledge of Allegiance - but the kids have to be in their class lines so basically we gave E big squeezes and she had to go to her class line. She was nervous but we kept our eyes on each other. Then when I thought I might start to cry, M wanted to be picked up (shocking I know) and held her tight and somehow made it though. Then each class marched into their classrooms and that was it. Had we taken them to their classrooms I think that's where the tears would have flowed BUT that was not in the cards (thank goodness). 

R promptly announced that she didn't want to go to school because she 'would have no one to play with' without E there - though she powered through and had a great time as I was told. 

It was actually nice being outside after the prayer line because there were parents mingling around and since we don't go to church at the school - which I am finding out there are a good number of non-parish member children in the school - it was good to meet and be introduced to some parents. I've met some really great parents (and now friends) at the girls preschool and I hope the same will happen here. 

I had to set a reminder on my phone to pick E up from her half day of school because - yes, I am that crazy and I didn't want to get a call asking why in the world I had forgotten to pick up my child : ) E said she had a good day and wanted to show me EVERYTHING she had done while we were in the carpool line : ) She said she couldn't wait to go for her first WHOLE day of school tomorrow. She knows one girl in her class from VBS but really hasn't said much else in terms of 'friends'. 

E has kept telling everyone who asks her ANYTHING about school what she'll have to wear each day... Skirt M-W, gym clothes R and jumper F. It is cute. Also, it takes the drama out of getting dressed in the morning. Because we've been there... please click it and understand just how dramatic E can be - it's an oldie but a goodie I promise. 

I think that E being gone all day will really hit us NEXT week when the new-ness has worn off a bit but for now we are basking in first week of kindergarten success... 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Day Trip to the Beach

A few weekends ago we toyed with the idea of going to the beach for some sandy time in the sun but mainly because it coincided with some good friends baby's baptism. I was super on the fence about going because Lee and I were leaving for Asheville the next morning after church so a coast to home to mountains voyage in a mere 24 hours wasn't exactly appealing. I kinda forced Lee into making the call because he's not your typical happy-about-being-at-the-beach goer but he said we were going to go for it. 

This is how it looked : ) 

Bathing suits, church outfits, pajamas, showering supplies and the master list!

We only left 45 minutes later than we had hoped which probably only would have helped us in the parking department!

We did get there around 11ish so we justified an early lunch at the Trolly Stop... They have great hotdogs.

M was not happy about me not carrying her

R took FOREVER to eat her hotdog and finally we let her finish it in the car!

The girls in their happy place - despite all the stinking shells!

M consuming ridiculous amounts of sand

Life on the beach

M's never too sure about the waves

Yay beach!

Beach day success

Then we raced to the public access showers - I really had no idea what we were dealing with until we got there - so we could get cleaned up before the baptism. I would't exactly call them showers - more like rinsing stations because the water is insanely cold and there's better pressure in the hose than the showers. So Lee 'rinsed plus used soap' - I'll refrain from actually calling it showering : ) then manned the one of the changing rooms that we monopolized for a solid half hour (sorry! but I think most people weren't actually changing anyways, just rinsing and running). I cleaned up the girls as best I could with the freezing water hose and we called in acceptable. M was definitely covered 30% in sand when she was strapped in the van but good thing it dries and comes off very nicely when dried. 

We made it to the baptism with 15 minutes to spare! My calculations were right on target. I have no pictures of the baptism but when you are overseeing kids you kinda get a pass on that right? Then we headed to the party afterwards and on the way we realized someone - some guy - had remembered his cassock for the baptism but not a collared shirt or anything reasonably appropriate (there were guys at the baptism in suits mind you) for the party so we hunted down a golf shirt (long story but it involved going to a private country club's golf pro shop) and he was set. Again no pics from the party which is totally my fault but when you are catching up with a number of people you haven't seen in forever and meeting new people - taking pics is low on the totem pole. The food was AWESOME and it was so great to see old friends and let the kiddos play together. 

Anyways... we loaded up at a reasonable hour and made the not-terribly-long drive home. 

We dumped all the sandy goodness in the laundry room... 

And maybe just maybe we might be able to convince Papa to do it again next year!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

So you think you can get outta the door on time...

If you have been reading this blog for any period of time within the last several months you probably have an idea the elementary school drop-offs have been a subject of much attention of mine. Why? Why? Why?

+ Well there is the fact that we have to leave about 40 minutes earlier than we do now

+ There is the actual tardiness issue - preschool you have a 15 minute window before the doors are locked and really, if you are late to preschool, its really no problem

+ Then there's the usual morning breakfast, get dressed, shuffle that has to happen earlier

+ Plus there's lunch to prep - which NEVER happens until we walk in the door from preschool

+ Add on not having Papa home in the mornings - at least for right now - to help move things along

+ Oh yeah and there's going to be a new little body in the house come October that is going to rock our routine to the core

Soooo.... yeah getting out the door for school has been on my mind for a while.

I choose to take more of a 'prepared scientific' approach - as in trial and error before d-day - to the whole process and starting the last week in July we tried getting out the door in time for E to be in the prayer line. 

We were there with 2 minutes to spare - which does not account for the inevitable carpool line.

Then the next week we went twice. The first day I was totally ready to test out muffins and smoothies on the troops:

So prepared!

Except the smoothies weren't ready by the time the girls were up and at the table so that 10 minute delay totally threw us off plus muffins took just as long as cereal and R still did not love the smoothie... My granola/muffin + smoothie breakfast theory has been tossed out the window

But we still made it out the door 

 And to school with 2 minutes to spare... But still not enough! 

The second trial of that week involved pushing up the timer to go pray - yes we are still going to be having prayer time in the mornings even though this takes a solid 10 minutes - 3 minutes.

Well we got to school a few minutes earlier than in trials past so... SCORE!

But I still wasn't convinced so I moved up the prayer timer another two minutes to account for any la-lee-gaging , I cannot find my shoes, potty breaks, getting shuffled out to the van, getting buckled, or not getting buckled when we are SUPPOSED to be getting buckled etc...

Because leaving the house is not just a simple one and done thing with kids - it is a PROCESS! It takes WAY more time than you can EVER imagine... in your LIFETIME.


But hey we were a solid 6 minutes 'early' to school. 

Plus this was my frig when I got home  because I forced myself to make lunch forever - because 75% of getting out the door on time is making sure my game face is on.


 So we have continued to bask in the glories of alone time at the playground... E is still too afraid to go down the pole herself

And we count the churchbells that tell us it is in fact 8 o'clock with each of its dings. We talk about which priest is saying Mass based on whose car is (or is not) in the parking lot : )

We wipe off the wet slides. R and M collect me 'flowers'.


We are steady the course because next week it is for real!

Here's a rundown of the schedule:

6:40 - Wake up girls (if they aren't already up) 
6:45 - Start breakfast 
7:20 - Prayer timer beeps - and beeps until we are all on our way upstairs - this is crucial as I when I started using the timer 2 yrs ago, I would turn it off because its super annoying then I would not go straight upstairs - thus DEFEATING the purpose of the timer
7:38 - Close garage door

You'll note that the girls control their time for breakfast and getting ready. Both like to have time to play/read whatever but if they don't use their time well at the table or take ages to find an outfit... No time for them. Also, it really doesn't seem like 18 minutes in between the prayer timer and leaving it really feels like a sprint race but between everyone getting shoes on and getting bags and stuff it apparently takes that long. 

I have to be halfway dressed and have a clue about what is on the lunch menu which requires me to either roll out of bed (on my tired days) or log off of work (on my productive days) at 6 to get myself in the groove and the caffeine flowing.

It really has been an adjustment to our normal morning routine and practicing a few times has definitely proven to me what I need to do to not be a completely miserable, stress-ball in the mornings. Here's to the soon-to-be new normal!