Finally Recess
Time to sit back and have a cup of coffee

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Family Pictures

We are spending today with my parents, sister and her family. Since we are all together we thought we would get our family pictures done professionally. So we made an appointment at the nearby mall. We specifically made the appointment for an appropriate hour, thinking of meal times and most importantly nap times.

Well our wisely thought out plan was botched because the photographer was 30 minutes late. Amazingly our kids did ok. We had a lot of fun trying to get all the kiddos looking at the camera at the same and with their hands down. We sang "Jingle Bells" repeatedly which really seemed to help.

So after a very long time of picture taking, we went to the play area for a while. We would have to wait an additional 20-30 minutes to view the pictures and make our choices. Well, our decision making process was of course not the quickest, but we managed to get out of there about an hour later.

We are all pleased with the turnout. However, we remembered quickly why we only do this once a year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas blast, recipes and not high enough

Well I have several things in mind to blog about today.

First of all, Wow! What a wonderful Christmas. We had such a great time. I will have to post pictures. Caitlyn got a Dora bike for Christmas and yes, she can ride it, to my amazement (it has training wheels). She got 3 games which will take a little while to get the hang of (maybe a long while). She got a Dora battery powered 4-wheeler from our good friends (yes, they love to spoil her). She got an aqua doodle, which is supposed to be mess proof (more about that later). She basically raked it in.

Brent also got some fun things, one of which was a Glo-worm. He has gotten so big. Jeff said it looked like he had gained 3 pounds alone today. We weighed him and he is about 15-16 lbs. It is hard to get accurate weight on our scale at home. I call him my chunky monkey. Whenever I tickle his belly he giggles so sweetly. Now if I could just get him to keep his pacifier in (especially in the middle of the night) or better yet learn how to find it, pick it up and put it back in his mouth.

Caitlyn showed typical 2 year old behavior when our friends gave her the 4-wheeler. She cried and kept saying "I don't want to". Now that's one way to say thank you. Now there were 6-7 adults staring at her and she had just been awoken from her nap, but still. When everyone left and we told her, "No problem, we'll just go inside", she changed her tune. Now it is hard to get her off the bike.

Tonight I updated my menu. Several years ago my mom gave me the idea to write all the recipes I cook down on one paper. This helps so when I'm making a grocery list, planning meals for the week (this happens maybe 4 weeks out of the year) or trying to figure out what to make AT dinner time, I can go through a list and see what to make. It really has helped. Tonight I updated my menu, even adding side dishes. Now so many are SIMPLE, like tuna sandwiches, but when you are brain dead at the end of the day and a 2-year old is climbing the pantry shelves this list really comes in handy. I also cleaned up and organized my cookbook and made a list of common ingredients to better help me shop at Costco. We will see how it works out, maybe I will even menu plan for the week.

So we get the aqua doodle for Caitlyn because she has been marking on inappropriate things with pencils, pens and markers. To work the aqua doodle pen you must add water. Well she has figured out how to open the pen and dump water. Now there is not a lot of water in the pen, but believe me it takes a little to ruin something, depending on what it is.

This has been the story of our life lately. Marker, pen and crayon in wrong places. Finding her on top of the computer desk grabbing something high. Or on top of the counter getting into cookies. She is scratching up her DVD's from handling them wrong, so of course we gather them all up and put them on top of the TV armorie. Well that doesn't stop her. She just gets her little chair (that my mom painted for her) and moves pictures on the TV to get to her DVD's. She is constantly coming out of my bathroom with fingernail clippers or gobs of lotion on her hands. Everything is up high but we still can't keep up with her. She is non-stop. She is constantly monitored too, all this happens in mere seconds. She is quick.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Pictures

Here is Caitlyn opening my gift. She enjoyed opening everyone's presents the other night. Everyone enjoyed watching her open all the presents.

I love this family picture even though Caitlyn is not looking. Her laugh is so beautiful!

Here is a full picture of Caitlyn's dress. I just love it. I saw her in Sunday school twirling around, showing off her dress. She is just getting so big. I am noticing a bit of sass too. Something else we have to get under control! Geez!

Here is an expression of how much Caitlyn loves her brother!

Either one of these 2 pictures could have been our Christmas card. That is, if I had gotten around to doing it.

We are going to go look at Christmas lights tonight and put together Caitlyn's toy! Tomorrow our neighbors will hopefully join us for breakfast and then we will go to our friends house for lunch. What are your plans for Christmas? I would love to hear from you, what you are doing and any special Christmas traditions you have.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Almost Christmas

I am so excited for Christmas. I think we are all ready. We are going to drive around tomorrow night and look at Christmas lights and then open one gift.

My mother gave us an interactive kid-friendly nativity and we have been reading that. It is still quite over Caitlyn's head but she does know who baby Jesus is.

We went to church this morning and wore our Christmas outfits, well minus me. I just wore what fit!

The sermon was good. It was about Christmas and why there is Christmas. The part that stood out to me was Christmas is for truth and grace. That Jesus gives us grace which means he loves us right now. Our pastor related that to a new born baby and how you love them for what they are right now even when you don't know how they will be or what they will do when they grow. Even when you are having to do everything for them and on top of that the keep you up at night.

We had some dear friends of ours over last night to open Christmas presents. Caitlyn opened everybody's Christmas presents. She is going to have a ball on Christmas morning.

I will be posting some Christmas pictures later. Until then we wish you safe travels and a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Can't go back to Target for a while

This morning, a quick trip to Target turned in to great blogging material. I totally made a fool of myself. Caitlyn, Brent and I went to Target to pick up a few things. We had gone to breakfast with Jeff, dropped him off at work and needed to go to Discount Tire. Well Brent was not happy with the bottle I packed, the nipple was fast flowing. I had gone through and separated all the nipples but apparently Caitlyn found them because at least two of them got mixed up again. So I stopped my Target to grab some more bottles and change out his bottle. So we hit the baby section first, I grab a bottle of the shelf, dump the formula into the new bottle and head off. We grab several more things and actually take our time through the store.

As we are ready to check out I decide I must go to the restroom. Brent is out of his seat, tons of stuff is in his seat, so I ask the photo lady at the front to watch the cart while I run in. I have to drag Caitlyn from the cart, so now I'm holding two children. When I come back out I notice my baby bag is gone. I immediately start freaking out because my wallet, his bottle, etc. are in my bag.

I didn't think to take it in because it was in the bottom of the basket. So anyway they assure me they have video cameras and call security to the front. Customers and employees alike are helping out. I'm crying, shaking and totally frustrated at my stupidity for not taking in the bag.

I then start thinking, why would someone take a baby bag, they don't know anything of value is in there. Well maybe formula. Then it dawns of me that I took the baby bag out of the cart when I changed his bottle in the baby aisle. One of the employees runs to the back and finds it.

Hallelujah! But man I never felt so dumb. Everyone was so wonderful to help me. I'm so upset that my first thought was that someone took it.

I quickly started checking out and was ready to make my exit when I noticed that Caitlyn had wet through her clothes, brother! We had to go home, change and then head back to Discount Tire.

We noticed a flat in Jeff's front drivers side tire. So being responsible we take it in immediately to get fixed. Especially since my car is in the shop getting a few things worked on we didn't want to be without two cars. So we (Caitlyn, Brent and I) sit for 1.5 hours in Tire Toy Land only to find out they checked both front tires and there were absolutely no leaks.

I will say Caitlyn was pretty good, but it still wears me out.

Then we went over to pick up Jeff to eat lunch. Brent pretty much screamed through half of it. Jeff was happy to go back and I am happy to be home with both kiddos sleeping.

The joys of parenting. Believe it or not, we love it!

Oh yeah, one cute story to wrap this up. Caitlyn and I bought a DVD for Jeff and well Caitlyn too. I can't think of the name right now (and of course I'm not getting off the couch to check right now) but it is a cartoon type moving about hunting. Anyway at lunch Jeff is talking to Caitlyn about a movie. She starts telling Jeff that she bought him a movie today. Luckily he couldn't understand. She is getting so smart and is about ready to start telling all my secrets, yikes!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Winter Break

We are officially on vacation. I got so many loose ends and phone calls taken care of today and was able to squeeze in a long nap - yeah!

Brent has sampled his first bit of apple juice, because he has been very constipated. It seems like he is feeling better. There is nothing worse than seeing your sweet baby look at you with pain in his face.

Caitlyn has been way into Play-doh lately. She enjoys getting any and every utensil and cookie cutter out to transform the dough.

The last two days at school were really neat. We did Texas Christmas activities. I did an activity where we changed the words of the 12 Days of Christmas to make it Texas style. They turned out really cute. We made gingerbread houses, had a jingle bell run and had a sing-a-long. The whole school sings Christmas songs for 30 minutes why the room moms get your class ready for the party. Singing has never been allowed in any school I have taught in before. I have found another reason why I love my new school district. It was so refreshing to sing with my kids and more importantly to know that my little ones can grow up singing Christmas songs in school.

I have 66 students and I got some good loot. Gift cards to Starbucks, ornaments, tons of candy and fudge, and lots more.

Part 2 - I started this email yesterday and had to finish it today. One quick story before I post, Caitlyn was playing a DVD tonight (she can operate the whole thing on her own - and no I didn't teach her this) and the DVD wouldn't play. I thought maybe she didn't have it in there all the way so I had her check it, that wasn't the problem. After I checked it and found out it was dirty from finger prints (I wonder whose?) I showed her how to clean it off. Later on I found her stopping the DVD to clean it. She said, "I fixed it!"

During this same DVD she was eating a granola bar. She said, "Hold it. I have to dance." She started her cute little boogie dance. It was so cute.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Lesson relearned

Never take two young children to the mall by yeourself. I took Caitlyn and Brent to Northpark Mall yesterday. We went with our moms group to see the train but the lines were to long. So we went over to the area for storytime. We waited 30 minutes,Santa came out, Caitlyn freaked out, then settled down, started talking non-stop, so I had to take them both out. I couldn't take the stroller because there were too many people around it. So I took them both into Nieman Marcus to go potty. Well apparently people in Nieman (the closest bathroom) don't look kindly on crazy 2 year olds. I got so many dirty looks and believe me she wasn't even being that bad. After that 20 min. bathroom trip we met up with our group, ate lunch in the food court, while Caitlyn cried and had to sit in my lap. When she finally sat in her own chair she spilled her drink and soaked her pants. We finally left after a long trip to a crowded bathroom. Whew! I didn't even get to go to one store, I was worn out.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

4 More Days

I'm so excited that Christmas break is almost here! I have this vision in my head of getting to sleep in, stay in my pjs, and watch tv all day.

Well I can probably pull off the pj's but thats about it.

We are making gingerbread houses next week along with a Jingle Bell Run and class parties. We are also going to rotate through all 5 4th grade classes and do a special "Texas" Christmas activity. Mine is going to be the 12 "Texas" Days of Christmas.

I was researching that and the history of the song is very interesting. It is a Christian song. Google 12 days of Christmas and have fun exploring. We are going to change it up to be Texas gifts. Boots, cowboy hats, steer, etc.

I'm taking the kids to Northpark Mall in Dallas on Saturday. There are trains, penguins, and singers. It is a neat place to visit during the holidays. My dad actually asked my mom to marry him there a while back!

Monday, December 10, 2007

My little reader

I am so proud! Teaching reading is my favorite subject. I love watching kids as they learn to read. That is probably one of the biggest reasons I love teaching 1st grade. Well tonight I saw Caitlyn do two pre-reading skills.

First she was reading the pictures in a book. She would say, "Now she is sleeping" (A girl was sleeping). "Now it's a book" (she was pointing to a book on the next page). She did that for about half the book. I am so proud. This is an awesome first step.

Next I heard her reciting "Brown Bear, Brown Bear". She didn't have all the words, but she had the rhythm and most of the words. Memorizing (and eventually pointing to the words) repetitious patterns is a another fantastic pre-reading skill.

Now I fully understand that it is too early for her to read, and I'm not pushing her. I am just enjoying seeing the pre-reading skills she is picking up on. This is so fun!

Caitlyn also made me very proud in the "reading room" as we sometimes call it. This weekend she started going to the bathroom by herself. She told me she would do it "all by myself" and a few times she closed the door. She used the stool, crawled up on the potty and sat without the potty ring! Now it was sometimes and mostly an act of playing but anyway I was so proud. Today she went to the bathroom, by herself, and (sorry to be so graphic) she pooped!!!!!!!!!! I'm jumping with joy. She told me she did it and I said I needed to see proof and there it was. We might be potty trained in the near future.

Brent doesn't want to be outdone though. He said "momma" this weekend. Now I know it seems like I'm delusional but my friend Jennifer, babysitter and her daughter all heard it. He has said it at least 3 different times. Okay so I know he is just starting to put sounds and syllables together. When I say "starting" I realize that it is the very, very beginning, but it is fun nevertheless to share what a sweet sound I heard this weekend.

Brent has also been holding his head up so well. Here is a picture of him holding his head up.

Lastly, and the least important, although makes a big difference here, I found Dora and Diego paper plates. In my house (I got this from my sister) we never go without paper plates. We do use regular dishes but paper plates are a wonderful staple. Caitlyn has really enjoyed her new plates! It makes dinner, lunch and breakfast and clean up much easier.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree!

We have a beautiful Christmas tree this year. It is tall and skinny just like I wanted. It has beautiful red bows, white lights, gold and red Christmas balls and wonderful, memorable ornaments. (I posted a picture recently.)

Caitlyn is very intrigued with the tree as well. She swings it's limb and pulls at the lights. She has broken two ornaments, one of which was her First Christmas ornament. And if that wasn't bad enough, there are lots of wrapped gifts under the tree with lots of bows and Dora wrapping paper to intrigue her. She has opened one present and now is upset that the Diego puzzle is no where to be found and she has been caught trying to open one of Brent's presents. Something like 15 more days to Christmas. We can't wait.

On another subject, I got to shopping with a friend today. We only took Brent. I don't think he is going to be a shopper. He was good, but he was ready to just lay flat when he got home.

I bought him a Bumbo at a second hand store. This is a cushiony chair that has recently been recalled because of accidents. It is a cool seat that babies can sit in when they can hold their heads up. They are not strapped down so you can't leave them by themselves, especially if they are not on the floor. But it is a cool seat that lets them be a part of the action, sitting up, as long as you are beside them. For example, you can wash dishes while they sit right beside you. I am hoping this will really help doing chores around the house.

I'm also excited about the Dora tent I got for Caitlyn at the second hand store. I have been wanting to get one for her and it was only $8.50!

I wish I could say my Christmas shopping is all finished, but I think I'm going to finish up on December 24th! How is your shopping going?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Busy Week

This week has flown by. We now have 7 days left of school before the winter break. Almost everyday there is something impacting our schedule. We have had 2 assemblies, Big Blast party (culminating activity for a fundraiser), gingerbread house judging and my favorite a Teacher Luncheon.

I told my students it was the Big Blast Lunch! The PTA served the entire faculty lunch for 2 hours today in the library. NICE! A parent covered our rooms. Some of the students asked to go and I said sure. As long as they could provide we with their diploma. One student came up with her "College Bound" card later. Hehehe! Then at the end of the day two of my boys brought me notes. They were made up diplomas from A&M with a crazy professor name I didn't recognize but I'm sure was from a TV show or movie. They just laughed and laughed. The neat thing was one of the boys hadn't really opened up and didn't seem to enjoy school and 4th grade. I'm glad he was able to share a joke with me.

Tonight I stopped at a little 2nd hand store in my small town of Fate. I found a really cute sweater vest for Brent and a Christmas dress for Caitlyn. Unfortunately the shop is overpriced. I was able to bargain to get the dress for a price I was willing to pay. I got it for 50% less. It's a Blueberi Boulevard brand, which I have never heard of. I hope it works because some of her 3T dresses are too short.

We have cleaned out the attic and given all Caitlyn's clothes to a nurse at Jeff's office who had a baby girl and needs clothes. We are also giving Brent's outgrown clothes to another nurse. It feels good to help others but it is kind of scarey because it is pretty much saying we won't have anymore kiddos.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Awesome Gift

If you are looking for a cool gift to get for someone on your gift list this is it. It is a battery operated vacuum. It is really convenient and can be used on the tile, wood floors, carpet and fireplace hearth. The last place is the best. That is a difficult place to keep clean and this handy little guy does the trick.

Caitlyn loves it too. She is pushing the sweeper in the picture above.

My grandpa and grandma got us this present. We exchange presents at Thanksgiving every other year. They got Caitlyn a beloved baby doll. My grandma also made Brent a sheet blanket that I adore and a Christmas apron with my name on it. She made aprons for all the young ladies in our family (believe me that's a lot of work). They always get the best presents for our large family (Brent was number 60).

Thank you Grandpa and Grandma. We love all our presents. I know this may be an unconventional thank you card but this is the best I can do these days.

Monday, December 3, 2007

New pictures

Yesterday I wrote about decorating the tree, lights on the house, riding in her car, etc. I am going to upload pictures to match.

There is a cute picture of Brent laying in his boppy watching us decorate the tree. He is getting so good at holding his head up. He has a hat on outside because it was so windy. Yes the hat is too big right now, but he'll grow into it. It is so hard to find an infant hat.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Our Weekend

Several big events happened this weekend. We got the lights up on the house. Okay, so really Jeff did all of that.

We put up the Christmas tree. Caitlyn was thrilled with all the boxes of "things". We decorated our tree in red and gold balls and bows. It is very chic! Hehehe! We hung lighted garland on our banister and entertainment center upstairs. Our stockings are hung by the chimney with care too!

Brent is back to normal. He had a major blowout this morning. I mean the whole backside of his onesie was covered, sleeves too. I'm so glad he is feeling better.

Jeff was able to get my laptop back on the internet.

Chauncey ran away while we were putting out the lights today. Caitlyn was riding her car and all the neighborhood kids came out of the woodwork and wanted to ride too. It was very chaoctic. Jeff was on the roof and Chauncey, our brown lab, wondered off. About an hour later the same neighborhood kids found him down the street. He had gone around the whole block and was very sneaky because both Jeff and I were driving around looking for him. The kids really enjoyed their mission of finding Chauncey.

Brent went to the nursery at church for the first time. He was enrolled! He was very good in class and again it was just Jeff and me.

I did a ton of laundry and still haven't caught up. So I will be doing that forever. I love getting to the end of the basket. I did get there but I haven't gotten to the floor in laundry room and now the basket is full AGAIN!!!!

One of the teachers at school told me that she and her girls call Jeff "Dr. Hotty". I'm pretty sure he'd kill me if knew I was telling you that. But I just think it is so cool. I think he is a hotty too.

12 more school days until my holiday!

Pictures to follow!!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Smiley Brent

My little guy is really beginning to show off his gorgeous gums! During his bath last night he was giggling and moving his body all around, splashing. Once he figured that out the whole counter top was soaked. He loves bath time and screamed once I took him out. I wish I could have gotten a picture of him, but you know what they say about leaving a baby unattended in the water!

Then yesterday morning I held him up in the mirror. You could tell when he finally focused on himself because he would smile. It was so cute but I thought it was a fluke so I would move him and then let him see himself again and he would smile real big again.

Tonight he is not feeling very well. He had projectile vomit (fortunately in the kitchen right by the sink) everywhere. He hasn't very much today and to top it off he is constipated. Poor guy! I so hate it when my kids aren't feeling well because it is hard to know what to do when they can't verbalize.

Caitlyn doesn't really have a problem with verbalizing anymore. She is talking so much more. When I got her out of her car seat and she was climbing out of the car, I started to help her for time sake and she said, "No mommy, I can do it by myself." Then she turned around and said, "Goodbye car seat and waived!" It is so amazing how all her communication is in sentences now and I find myself sitting at the table talking to her.

Tonight we went through the sales ads and she would find a cool toy or movie, etc. I would cut it out and she would glue stick the back of it and turn it over and paste it down. There was a lot of prompting but she did it! It was kind of like a Christmas list. Then we used stickers to put her name on it, but it was all out of order. She kept asking what it spelled? It amazes me what concepts she gets - Spelling? I don't think I use that word that much (well at home anyway).

My students took a writing benchmark this Wednesday. They bombed it. They only wrote 1/2 - 1 page. For the highest score it has to be closer to 2 pages. They write two pages on a regular basis, but they all decided to be lazy yesterday. Today they had to retake the exam and it is a full day. Their papers are better in length so hopefully they will be just as good in organization and detail.

School is going well and I can't believe that we only have 12 more school days until Christmas break. I can't believe I have already made it through half a year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's Been Awhile

My sister asked me if I'd fallen off the Blog Bandwagon. Well I'm back! It has been busy around the Rickert household. We have been Christmas shopping, straightening up, organizing, changing formulas and oh, yeah, messing everything up again.

We finished the kids Christmas shopping. It is always so fun to shop for them. I really do think we live vicarously through them. There are just so many cool toys to play with now a days.

Brent is doing well. We tried to put him on a generic brand of Enfamil but that is a no go. Poor little guy has been constipated for a while now. We switched him back and hope to see some improvement soon. Last night I found a thin string or piece of hair tied tightly around two of his toes. We got it off in time and you can tell the blood flow is back now but there is still some indention because of swelling I guess. I feel horrible for letting this happen.

Caitlyn is speaking in full sentences now. One of her favorite sentences is, "Where are you momma?" I can run, but I can't hide!!!! She can draw a circle now and is always very impressed with herself. She really enjoys working puzzles and is quite good at them. She has a Diego 30-piece puzzle that was difficult for all of week.

We got the coolest new desktop computer. It has been lots of fun to play with. Supposedly you can watch tv on it. It even came with a remote control as most of them do now. Unfortunately my laptop is no longer hooked up to the network or printer. I have to figure out how to do this. If you know how please feel free to help!

The pictures are from Thanksgiving. There is a picture of Caitlyn working her Diego puzzle and taking care of Brent. There is a pictures of my dad, grandma and mom with the kiddos.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

Today we went shopping! We were not out with the masses at 6:00 am. However I was up at 3:30 and had a sick thought, like such, "oh, I could run out to Kohl's." I thought better of it. My parents, Jeff, the kids and I went to a few stores here in Rockwall. It was so nice because we were all able to load up in my suburban and ride comfortably, in one car to the store.

Caitlyn is feeling better although she is still not eating very much. She has been very sweet. Today I laid Brent on the couch and was working around the room. I look over and notice she has put her baby up beside Brent and is putting a blanket over both of them. She has learned not to cover his face. She was very proud of herself and told me, "Now it's all better."

We bought curtains for our bedroom finally. We picked out beautiful suede curtains that are supposed to keep the heat in, in the winter and cool in the summer. My dad was awesome enough to iron each panel for us. Unfortunately we got one pair of curtains too short so we will have to return them and my dad won't be here to iron, bummer. Luckily I love to iron myself, as long as it is not all the time.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Brent loves his bottle. He is so serious about it that he almost always puts his hand on the bottle even though he is obviously unable to hold it himself.

Brent enjoyed Thanksgiving very much. He was alert and happy all day. He had his eye on the apple pie so I indulged for him.

Caitlyn seemed to be in good spirits today but she isn't feeling well. We were awoken at 3:30 this morning to her yelling that "it was dirty." She had thrown up everywhere. We had to bathe her, change and wash her sheets and clothing. She didn't seem sick otherwise. Today she hasn't eaten much and stayed in our bed for quite a while this afternoon. She hasn't had any of our scrumptious meal either, poor thing.

We had a wonderful meal this afternoon. My dad made jalepeno dressing, Jeff made the turkey and cut up all the veggies for each course. We had mashed potatoes and broccoli and rice casserole and delicious pies. My mouth is already watering again for seconds or thirds!

I am so thankful for a wonderful holiday.
I am thankful for my husband who is so helpful with cooking, cleaning and the kids.
I am thankful for my sweet children, who are tremendously precious!
I am thankful for a wonderful job with great students.
I am thankful for good friends.
I am thankful for my home, new car and all the fun things we have.
I am thankful for the men and women serving overseas for my freedom.
I am thankful for the wonderful woman that takes care of my children while I work.
I am thankful that we have such an amazing God to provide for us!

I am thankful that Jeff let me sleep in this morning and took care of the kids.
I am thankful that Brent slept through the night again - 3 times now!
I am thankful that Caitlyn is not very whiney today.
I am thankful for Pull-ups!
I am thankful for the coffee that my husband has ready for me in the morning.

I am thankful. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Getting Ready

Today I was able to hit the grocery store without the kids to get the Thanksgiving fixings. It was really a quick in and out for it being so busy. We (Caitlyn, Brent and I) are going to my Aunt Donna's tomorrow for Thanksgiving. She has to work on Thursday with SWA so we will celebrate early. She is the best cook and I love to eat at her house. There is always a ton of incredible food. My parents, grandma, her parents and my cousins will be there. Jeff won't be able to go because he has to work. So thus my shopping trip for turkey today, we will have Thanksgiving here on Thursday too. Luckily it is my favorite meal!

Brent slept through the night again last night. I love it! I love him!

Monday, November 19, 2007

All through the night!

I'm super proud to report that my baby boy, Brent, slept all through the night. He slept from 10:30-6:45. Of course first thing, at 6:00 am, this morning I jumped up and made sure he was still breathing. He is such a good baby.

We went to a benefit concert for a dear friend of ours, Deena, last night. Deena is fighting Cushing's disease and cancer. She is a wonderful mother, wife and former teacher. She has two beautiful, amazing daughters. Her oldest daughter is an upcoming county music singer and she performed last night as well. She is awesome and a true talent in every sense. Please say a prayer for this dynamic family. You can read about their journey, written by Deena's husband, John at

Last night at the concert there were a ton of babies. There was an adorable little girl that was 3 weeks old. It was kind of sad because I'm used to my sweetie being the smallest baby. Lucky for me, every one who came by commented on how cute and small he was. I still want to hear that he is so tiny, even though he is a chunky little boy.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Organzied Toy Room

I'm so proud of myself. I hunkered down and stayed with it and finished the toy room. I have walked in there multiple times for the past weeks and just couldn't make myself do it. Today I succeeded. I cleaned it, purged it and organized it today! Yeah!!

Now that is a difficult task with a 2 year old. She wanted to play with everything I purged. When I started to put it on the counter in the kitchen she told me I was taking her toys. Poor baby, it is hard for her to understand. I am actually doing it for her so she can have room for new toys at Christmas.

I am going to post some pictures. That way I can see how clean it was once. It's really too bad I didn't get any before pictures but I can paint a picture in one word - TORNADO! Just imagine you can't see the floor, every toy in every box is all mixed up and nothing is in it's right home.

We got to go out to eat with Kathleen, our dear friend, this evening. We ate at our favorite restaurant, Chiloso's and the kids were pretty good. Brent was gassy this evening but if you held him just right he was fine.

Just a quick tip, if you register at you can enter my blog and all your other favorites. The reason for this is so you just have to check one website to see when your favorite bloggers have posted. My sister over at turned me on to it. What a time saver!

My voice is completely gone today. I'm sure Caitlyn is wondering why I am whispering. I would be if I was her but she hasn't asked once what's wrong. I got a steriod shot today and started steriod's to bring down the inflammation. Hopefully I will be filling better soon. They are the legal steriods by the way. My voice is already starting to get better but will probably be tons better if I shut up and let it rest.

Quiet Times

Yesterday I woke up with a scratchy voice and cough. Today I woke up with no voice. So it should be an interesting day. It's probably a good think it's the weekend. I'm really hoping the quietness will rub off on Caitlyn and she will whisper too.

Not much is going on here this weekend. We are going to be lazy this morning and then probably make one trip out just to be a part of the world.

The students are out for the next week for Thanksgiving break. Teachers have to work Monday and Tuesday. Then we are going to my aunts house for dinner on Wednesday and my parents are coming down for the holiday! Yeah!

Here are some cute pictures of Brent. He is wearing his "doggie" outfit and "doggie shoes". He is so precious and snuggly.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Yesterday morning I was actually going to be a few minutes early to school. I try to get there by 7:30 and the kids come in our rooms at 7:50, usually I am walking out of the house by 7:30. Anyway, yesterday was going to be good. I got dressed without any issues, I mean the first outfit I tried on worked. Everything was going well. I even had my lunch packed before feeding Brent (the day before I forgot it). So anyway I was nursing Brent before I left. Nursing in the morning is hard, because you have to weigh in an extra 30 minutes that you could be in bed sleeping. But it is such a sweet time, because it is just Brent and me. Caitlyn is not usually awake, Jeff is still in bed, and everything is quiet.

Well that sets the scene. Yesterday morning Brent had a really good diaper, meaning he had gotten his money out of this one. So I was changing him and he had messed his pj's too. So I cleaned him up and was holding him out to the side so I could get the sleeves off of him. Well you probably already guessed it, he pooped all over. He got me, my easy to throw on outfit for the day, the couch, the carpet, the coffee table and the basket liner and basket that his diapers and wipes are in under the coffee table. Man, it was a big mess. Jeff had to get out of bed and clean the carpet because I was completely out of time, plus I didn't want to leave him out of this experience, I am very good at sharing !!!! My baby Brent really knows his stuff though. He was all smiles and grins after that, so of course, I couldn't be upset at all with this little guy.

So tonight I venture out with the kiddos to Target and Old Navy. I needed to exchange some shoes at Target for a bigger size because my feet have grown since my pregnancy. Grrrr! At Old Navy I really needed another pair of pants. Target went great without a hitch, but Old Navy was another story. I decide to carry Brent because he is very fussy and is probably going to need a bottle. So on the way to the back of the store Brent is screaming his head off - so people are staring. Caitlyn is actually sitting in the stroller. So we get Brent happy and then Caitlyn procedes to get out of the stroller and runs around. So all of a sudden she is gone. I call her name a couple of times but honestly I am quite embarrassed to call too much. People have been staring and giving me that look all through the store and here I am trying to shop, hold a baby, feed a baby a bottle with the other hand, push a stroller and keep up with a toddler. So I grab the bag, ditch the stroller, and look for Caitlyn. I decide to be quiet and look around the aisles closest to where I lost her. I finally hear her. She is in between the clothes hiding. Oh goodness! Thank goodness I found her quickly. I decided to hit the road. It took about another 10 minutes (or so it felt) just to get her to the front door - and of course people staring. Fun times I tell you!

We did the Applebee's Car Side To Go. That's a beautiful option with a kid and you are sick of drive thru.

I would love to hear any funny, crazy stories you have to share about your kids and shopping or getting ready in the morning.

Monday, November 12, 2007

For Kari

Kari, here is the picture I promised you. Brent is wearing the shirt you got him. I think I heard him say today, "I love my Aunt Kari, giggle, giggle!" I love you!

Here is a cute story of Caitlyn. Last night she was heading up the stairs to bed with dad. I had given her a kiss and then she headed up, but stopped and turned around and said, "Hug!" It was such a beautiful, sweet moment.

Well I would have paid big money for just 1 sweet moment tonight. We walked in the door and bam - she was a complete mess. I started dinner, she's in tears. I'm feeding Brent and she is playing in the expensive can of Enfamil. She was so pleased with herself too, she had some in another bowl - yikes! She took the alfredo cup and rubbed it on the dishwasher. She dropped play-doh bits all over the place. It was just one of those nights. Error, tears, error, tears, etc. The sweetest moment was bedtime! We will try it again tomorrow!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

My Dream Picture

I finally got my dream on Septemeber 9, 2007. It might sound silly but I have longed for a picture like the one above. I missed the opportunity to have a picture right after birth with Caitlyn because she had to be in the NICU for 5 days. So it was even more precious now. I have recently learned that I am not alone in this desire for a certain picture. A coworker recently had a baby at 30 weeks and her baby had to stay in the NICU for awhile. Well right before her baby was ready to come home the hospital gave her a chance to room in with her baby. She said it healed many wounds for her. I know it might sound silly, but it is a wonderful experience and I am so blessed to have had the opportunity.

Brent, I want you to know how much your sister loves you. Ever since the first time she crawled in bed beside me in the hospital she has been taking good care of you. She insisted to hold you immediately the first time she met you and she rushes to your side when you cry. She has never been jealous of you. She is a very good helper and loves putting your paci back in your mouth and choosing which diaper you should wear. Please remember how much she loves you because sometimes shes crams the paci in too hard. Or pushes the blanket over your face (I'm sure she is just trying to prop it against your paci so it won't fall out). Or when she is moving around on the couch so fast and bumps your head pretty hard. She doesn't mean to. She loves you very much.

We all love you so much and can't imagine life without you. You fit into our lives so well. You are such a sweet and precious boy. You seem to be getting on a schedule and my, how you love to eat. I love looking at you. If I had more time I would just sit with you on the couch all day and stare at you. You are starting to smile more often when I talk to you. You are my special baby boy and I love you so much.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Today was a really nice day because I was able to relax, hang out, piddle around, not wear makeup and do everything on my time table. I love that. It was just the 3 of us today, Jeff is hunting deer. I went with a friend to Mardel's and bought some things for my classroom. This evening some friends from my mom's group came over. When you say it sounds so old. A young friend was teasing me about playing cards, etc. But honestly that is fun. We had lasagna and such and just talked until too late. Now all my darlings are in bed, so I am excited to crawl in my bed and watch tv until I fall asleep.

Tomorrow at some point I want to reorganize my closet. It is such a mess and driving me crazy. I was able to go through Brent's clothes today. He has so many cute outfits for 3-6 months that I hope he stays in that size for a while.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Sleeping with the Dogs

I know there is an expression similiar to my title but in true fashion I can't say it correctly. Anyway, I believe I've told you before that Caitlyn periodically comes downstairs in the middle of the night and will sleep with Cali, our lab. Last night I woke up to feed Brent about 2:30 am and the living room light was on, so I knew Caitlyn was up. She was asleep with Cali and had the blanket from the couch over her (usually she has her blankie or nothing). I decided to leave her there and luckily Jeff was able to get a picture of her this morning.

When I picked her up from the babysitter she was, of course, having a great time. The sitter and I talked for a while and then I picked up Caitlyn because she had gotten hit by the door (long story) and she was burning up hot. We were around a little girl that we later found out had strep so since we were going to meet Jeff for dinner anyway we ran by and happen to find out she has strep and so do I. On the way in I saw my teammate who was also diagnosed with strep. Oh brother! Thank goodness for a weekend to recover, especially since I have no days to take off.

Brent is doing well in the midst of all this mess. This weekend I am going to have to put away his 0-3 month and break out his 3-6 month clothing. He is already in 3-6 mo - I can't believe it!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

She Amazes Me

Caitlyn was watching Diego and Dora on tv tonight. All of a sudden she burst out counting in spanish from 1 - 6. She was even saying it before the tv did. Wow! I am so impressed. Jeff said this morning he was counting with her and she said, "No. Let me do it." She just started counting in English and can count to 13.

We are still working on a couple important things. I keep trying to get her to say her name. I'll say, "say Caitlyn" and she'll say, "me". The other big thing is potty training. My goodness, it is the biggest battle I think I have ever fought. We have started and stopped this process since last Octoberish. Each time we start up again she does better. Well this time, since Brent was born, you can forget it. She does great for the babysitter. Of course that is a whole side story - she is perfect for the babysitter. If anybody has any bright ideas we would much appreciate it. I just keep holding on to the fact that she will not walk across the stage and get her diploma with diapers on!

Brent is growing so fast. I keep looking at him and try to memorize every little sweet curve and the touch of his soft cheeks. Poor thing has to endure millions of kisses from his mommy. His eyes are getting darker. It looks like they are going to be a grayish hazel like his sister and daddy. Tonight he has been giving us lots and lots of smiles.

Tonight I was able to pick up my suburban. It is such a nice car and I am happy to have it back. We purchased an extended warranty and thankfully so. It saved us about $1200. Unfortunately we had to pay a deductible. I was quite upset, but handled it calmy (believe it or not!). To make a long story short the used car manager wasn't budging, even though we brought it in days after the purchase and they said nothing was wrong. The nice part of all is that when I got home this evening the salesman you sold us the vehicle, called and said he was going to a higher level and trying to get our money refunded. If anything it is a nice gesture and I appreciate him for it. Hopefully we will get a good report tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Ladybug Video

I am hoping that I am posting a video of Caitlyn. She is so cute in her ladybug costume. She is running around saying, "boy, boy" which I am sure really should be "boing, boing". Certainly she is not boy crazy yet.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I stink at science. So it is quite funny that I teach 3 sections of Science and Social Studies. Luckily I am a great teacher and can handle elementary science. Actually I learn it but it does NOT stick with me. I might have a better chance of retaining this year since I have to repeat myself 3 times. Today we had a soil retention lab. It was crazy getting the kids through it and then setting up a new lab, back to back, no time in between. The kids loved it and from grading their journals I can tell they got the objective.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Big News

I knew I had something else very important to tell ya all yesterday. Brent Tyler Rickert has slept in his very own bed (pak-n-play) for 2 nights now. He didn't cry and I didn't have to get up multiple times to put in his passy. Although I am very excited about this progress I am also sad. It makes me realize how quickly he is growing up. I just keep reminding myself that as cute as it now to sleep with him, it is horrible when they are 18 months and squirming all over the place. Or even worse, a 2-1/2 old, and think that the middle of the night is for talking or watching tv.

Today was Brent's 2 month well child visit. He weighs 11.15 oz and is 22-1/2 inches long. He had to get 5 shots. Poor baby. But he is tough, although he cried, 5 minutes later I was able to have him rocked to sleep in my arms. PTL! I was a little worried about Caitlyn seeing Brent have shots because while the nurse was giving him an oral-suspension medicine she tried to push her away and said, "No that's my sister." Which of course I had to tell her, yet again, that Brent was her brother. Luckily she had band-aids to play with during all 5 shots. Band-aids are very important part of our laugh. They work wonders! See to see a full report of how wonderful band-aids are. If you are having a bad day - try a band-aid.

I had to take my car in to get fixed because it is leaking oil. So Jeff and I dropped it off at 7:15 am this morning. It was still not ready when my friend dropped me off at 3:30 pm. So luckily my extended warranty covered a rental. I needed to get to the kiddos fast for our dr. appt. so I opted for the Saturn they had on the premises. So 15 minutes later, car seats installed, I am on the highway speeding to get the little ones. I must admit I have become extremely spoiled with my suburban because in the little car I felt like I was sitting on the ground. All the rear view window reflections seemed so small that it almost made me sick to my stomach. And I guess now they make cars with the speedometer in the center of the dash. This is really wild when you are driving home and it is dark behind the steering wheel. Hopefully my car will be ready by tomorrow!!!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Just Another Manic Monday

Today we all got up at the same time. Jeff had to go to the ranch this morning. As we were waking up Jeff said that Caitlyn was up. He saw the light go on in the living room. So I peeked out there and she was just laying on the couch with her blankie on her. Saturday night she had come down stairs, turned the light on, and went back to bed. It was 3:30 am when I woke up and noticed the light, but she was sleeping soundly in bed.

After school I had a few errands to run. I had to drop off clothes I was donating to Helping Hands, take my car in because of an oil leak and go to Target to exchange diapers for size 2. Caitlyn was such a trooper. When we were at the Chevy place she couldn't understand why they were taking her Diego (ago) away, that would be her Diego video.

Well the sad thing is that I had others things I wanted to blog about but I can't remember any of it. Good thing is I can put the computer down and enjoy the movie I'm watching with Jeff.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Busy Day

This morning I woke up at 8:00 and feeling refreshed. It was kind of neat to realize that it was really 7. I had time to just sit with Brent and talk to him. He kept smiling back at me too! It took many tries but I finally got a picture of him smiling. Yesterday he even tracked me with his eyes while I danced in front of him. I'm sure he was thinking, oh mom, please stop, your embarrasing me!

I had the opportunity to go shopping this afternoon with a friend (we left the girls with their dads). We had a great time and crammed in as many shops as possible. It was funny because our goal was to buy clothes for ourselves and we kept picking up things for our girls or our husbands.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Super Saturday

The morning started off beautifully because the house was cleaned. I took the time last night to straighten up and boy was it worth it this morning. Most importantly I was able to stay in bed until 8:30 when Caitlyn woke up. NICE!!!!! We spent the morning at my friend's house and then had a nice, long nap time.

I did find out that Brent and I have thrush. Bummer! Luckily, I could call my hubby and get a script called in pronto.

Brent has been fussy and gassy today. He demands being held. I really love to hold him. I do put him down when I can. I hope I'm not spoiling him. Although at least once a day when he's crying I put him in his pak-n-play and he goes to sleep without me. So I know he can do it. Caitlyn has been asking me to him down every once in a while. She'll say, "Put Brent here and hold me." It's so cute because she'll clean off a spot for him if she needs to.

We made our weekly trek to the grocery store. It was amazing because it was completely uneventful. As long as we go on a Diego and Dora hunt, everything is fine. We don't have to buy everything, we just search for them on every row.