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!!!