Thursday, September 25, 2008

Meet the Teachers...

Last night was "Meet the Teacher" night at Shawn and Malia's school. Malia's meeting was first. She has a wonderful teacher, who is exactly where she wants to be...teaching Kindergarten. We heard what a busy day they have, and were given "About Me" books. I took a few photos of pages of Malia's...she is quite the little budding artist. :) I can't seem to get all of these photos into this posting, so they are posted just below this one. I love all the details on her "My family" page. She told me later that I'm wearing a dress...phew, I thought she had made me fat ;) LOL. Love Daddy's long legs, too. Her "my favorite meal" is classic. Nice the watermelon, cheese pizza, strawberry, mac and cheese, strawberry lemonade, cupcake and TWO strawberry ice-cream cones, LOL. Hmm...I think someone likes strawberry like her Mommy. Also, WOW...what a flamingo! Quite impressive for 6! Mrs. G told me afterwards that she uses Malia as an example all the time...that she is "SUCH a good girl", listens great, pays attention, tries hard, etc. She said the one thing she is going to work on with M is her apparent fear of being wrong. She won't answer something if she's afraid it won't be the right answer...can't figure out where she gets her perfectionism from, LOL. Poor kid got a double dose of it.

I would have LOVED to have brought home Shawn's paper, where he filled in blanks about himself. It gave such nice insight into him and how he views himself. He mentioned a lot about how he likes helping others and being a good friend. I'm so glad he sees himself how we do. :) He has always been our helper...and he loves it as much as we do. :) He also talked about how he is happiest when he is playing sports. I guess that paper is staying in his portfolio that he will be adding to all year, SO I'll share it in June ;) He has a ridiculously large class, thankfully his teacher has been teaching for 20 years. I'm really hoping the class size doesn't affect learning. Mrs. B told me after the meeting that she really enjoys Shawn, that he is very nice, polite and a great helper.

I think it'll be a great year for both of them :)

Malia's About Me pictures

Info about these in the post above this...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Leapster Learning...

Miss Kasi really enjoyed herself today when she found her big sister Malia's Leapster. She sat right down on the couch with her piggie tails and answered questions, colored items and enjoyed playing pre-k games. I couldn't resist snapping these photos...I particularly like the 2nd one with her clearly thinking. :) What a cutie. I am so enjoying my time with her each day. Speaking of which, yesterday morning she woke up especially early (while Jared was still home)...later in the day, she told me she was tired. I asked her why she got up so early. Her response..."because I wanted to see you. " She has me SO wrapped around that sweet little finger. :) Is there any wonder why?!

Monday, September 22, 2008

"Mom, you should be QB"

If you know me, you know I'm a die-hard Patriots fan. I don't miss a game if I can help it...and win or lose, I'm one of their biggest fans.

Throwing the football around with the boys is something I've always enjoyed doing. They love it when I do too...and I'm sure they wish I had more time for this pass-time. Jared always lets it be known that his Mom has "quite an arm". So, yesterday when the phone rang about me joining a Cape Cod Women's Flag Football League...I half laughed, half thought, "hey, I can do that". It's basically a bunch of lady friends of mine who will play flag football every other Sunday. Hopefully it won't conflict with church OR Patriots games ;) I was telling Jared about it and he said, "Mom, you should be QB...and I'm have an amazing arm and accuracy." Now, I consider that quite the compliment from my sports fanatic son. He knows all the stats, all the moves, the game plans...and he's impressed with ME?!?! How cool is that? Mom the quarterback, I like that. I feel like a QB everyday, actually. Afterall, isn't that what we Moms, do?! We maintain control on the playing field, we make the plays, we make sure all the players are in the right spots, doing what they are supposed to be doing, we help the teamates make "big plays", we celebrate, we get sacked, we experience defeat...and when one of the teamates are down, we stand behind them, pat them on the back and say, "hey, we can do this". Yeah, I think I'm up for the job. Stay tuned to see if I actually end up playing...I may just give it a whirl.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A day in the life...

my life, that is.

Today Jared's soccer was at 9, Malia and Kasi's was at 10:30 and Shawn's was at 1:30. Mixed in there also at 10:30 was Sierra's Field Hockey game. I went to half of M & K's soccer on one side of town, then took Jared and Shawn and we went to Sierra's game. While I was at M & K's game, I ran into someone who said they had seen me at swimming yesterday, and someone else who saw me at gymnastics..."You're everywhere", they said. That I am. It was "Family Day" at Field Hockey. So, after the game there was a big picnic for the families. The players each gave their Mom's a flower. There was a bucket of carnations, and they picked a color. Sierra brought me over a red one and gave me a hug. I said, "Meme loved red carnations". "I know", she smiled. Guess I've told her that a few times. :)

After Field Hockey was Shawn's game, but Steve had to leave for that before Sierra's stuff was done. So, we missed out. There's 7 more games still this I'll get to see more. Of course, news is, that he made 2 goals....and I missed it :( I told him he'll just have to do it again so I can see.

On our way out off the High School field...just the 4 of us girls...Sierra's coach stopped us and she got 2 small sticks out of the shed. She gave them to Malia and Kasi to practice and learn the game. It was so sweet of her. She did this after seeing the youngest two and asking if "being cute was a requirement for being in our family"...she said she "couldn't believe how beautiful ALL of the girls are". :) I agree.

Came home and worked on some Disney vacation planning and eBaying. Then the boys came home and the neighborhood inundated us. Happens often...every day, actually. I'm glad they have this many friends...really, I am ;) One of them ended up sleeping over (Shawn's buddy)..hopefully they will all go to sleep soon.

Sierra is off at a friends party and she was supposed to be home a half an hour ago. Hmm...

Yeah, it's a typical Saturday...

How Come?

This is an almost daily conversation in our home (about mid-way through the day)...

Mommy: "How come you're so cute, Kasi?"

Kasi: "Because I love you so much".

and my heart is full for the rest of the day. :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

A date...(what's that?!)

At dinner, Steve turned to me and said..."wanna go out on a date tonight"?OK, this NEVER happens...we just do NOT spend enough time together. About the only time we go out is when my Mom is in town to watch the kids. I thought he was joking, since we had just finished dinner. However, at 9:30, he said it again. So, with the youngest 4 in bed...we gave Sierra use of our computer in exchange for her keeping an eye on things.

We went to Bobby Byrnes Pub and had a few drinks. I was happy to have 2 strawberry daiquiris and he had 3 beers. We also shared some potato skins. The best part though, was that we were together. Just the 2 of us. Did I mention that this never happens?? :( It was so nice to sit across the table from my handsome husband and chat. Nothing too important or memorable...just sharing a few laughs and some time to ourselves.We really need to do this more often...we say that all the time...but, really, we do. Life is too short and we have been blessed with a rare relationship. I married my best friend and I miss him. Guess I'll get off the computer and go snuggle.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cootie Cutie

For the past 2 days, Kasi and I have played the game "Cootie" together after lunch. She insists that we each build 2 of them. One can learn alot about the temperment of a 4 year old while playing this game. Kasi totally understood what the object was...she needed to roll the right number in order to get the correct pieces. Yesterday, she was quite the optimistic lady. Prior to rolling, she would do a little "dance", jumping up and down and shaking the die. 9 times out of 10, she got the number she was hoping for. I considered taking her to Vegas. Today...we both seemed to get everything except for the "6" required to get a cootie leg. Mind you, we were building 2 we each needed to get 12 sixes to complete our little buggers. Today, she giggled, and danced while shaking the die...and only sighed once. She has SUCH an awesome personality. Her giggle is contagious, and I found myself completely enjoying this obnoxious game. :) I am SO enjoying my one-on-one time with my sweet Kasi girl each day.

"Let's Get This Party Started"

So, Malia came home from school in a great mood...and changed into her leotard just as I asked her to. We are heading out the door to her gymnastics right now. Hmm...maybe this mornings "intervention" worked?! Fingers crossed. She brought home this painting from her first ever Art class in Kindergarten. She named it herself..."Let's Get This Party Started". So VERY Malia on so many levels. :)

Natural Consequences--or in other words, "there goes the bus, Malia"...

*sigh* Friends of mine have long touted "natural consequences" as a way of teaching children. If they do x, y will happen. If they don't do y, z will happen, etc. I've tried these tactics a few times...without remarkable success. Today, unfortunately, Malia got a first hand lesson in it.

She has been really struggling in the mornings. She has always been the "Pokey little Puppy"...she takes FOREVER to eat, to get dressed, to do just about anything. Ever since school began, she has really had a rough time in the mornings. We moved her bedtime back, thinking that would make a difference. She's been getting up earlier, but still super cranky. I mean, full on MELT DOWNS in the mornings....won't get dressed after the shower, won't eat, etc. It's been incredibly trying on my patience. So, when today began like most others lately...and she had a fit about getting dressed...I walked away. I told her that if she wasn't dressed and out to the table very quickly, she would miss the bus. Daddy went in a few minutes later and gave her that same warning. She kept whining and crying and rolling on the floor. Kassia and Shawn came right out and ate their breakfasts...cheerily, I'll add. 8:30 came and Malia showed her face, 1/2 dressed, hair still not brushed (but dried and frizzy by this point). I told her it didn't look like she was going to make it, but here was her cream-cheese bagel if she wanted to give it a shot. More tears, more whining. Shawn asked me if I was coming (we throw the football together at the bus stop). So, I told Malia I was sorry she had chosen not to get dressed quicker and she had chosen not to eat faster...and I went outside with Shawn and Kasi. You could hear Malia's hysterics from the street, and I apologized to the neighbors. I think they empathized...or at least found some humor in it. Then the bus came. Steve (the bus driver who knows us so well), glanced up towards the door and asked "where's the other one"? "Having a melt down inside", I replied. He laughed a belly laugh and said, "seems to be happening a lot lately"...and drove away with just Shawn on the bus.

The mother of all melt downs ensued. I calmly told her to pull herself together, finish her breakfast and come tell me what she learned from this. A few more tears later, the discussion went like this...

Mom: "Does the bus wait for you, Malia?"

M: "NO!"

Mom: "Do you need to get dressed right away, Malia?"

M: "Yes"

Mom: "How quickly do you need to sit down and eat your food?"

M: "really fast"

Mom: "Are you going to do this again?"

M: thinks, glares at me..."NO...can I go to school now?"

So, I told her this was her one "second chance". If this happened again, I wouldn't be driving her to school, she'd spend the day in her room. I brought her to school a half hour late...and I hadn't even showered. I wrote a note to Mrs. G, explaining my need to teach Malia what happens when you don't "get moving" in the morning. Then I ran into a Mom I know on the way out and I told her what happened. She empathized..."sounds like my house...only, they don't miss the bus...they get screamed at until they get on it". I told her I don't have the energy for screaming...and it's a stinky way to start your day. She agreed and thought maybe she'd give my tactic a whirl. Here's to natural consequences...sure hope Malia has learned something. I, somehow, feel calmer today.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

and it begins...

Soccer season, that is.

I hardly slept a wink last night...tossing and turning and thinking about sweet Stacey. :( I like to imagine her pain free, watching over her children from above.

Today soccer season began. Jared was at 9am, Malia and Kassia at 10:30 and Shawn at 1:30. It SHOULD have been cancelled, as it had been raining off and on all night and most of the morning. Damp, wet, cranky children...yuck.

Jared has been doing very well with soccer, it is wonderful to see him improve. Shawn also is really coming into his own. He is quite advanced for his age and he seems to love it. Malia "gets it" this year and isn't just wandering around aimlessly. Today was Kasi's first day ever playing soccer. Now, whether it was the weather or something else...she was NOT in a good mood. You would think having her Daddy as her coach would make a big seemed to set her off instead. She started crying when "he didn't wait" for her to start the jumping jacks. She started crying when he was helping another boy instead of her. She started crying because the ball didn't go in the're getting the idea, I'm sure. Of course, after 6 hours of soccer...I wanted to cry too.

It was nice to see a lot of people I haven't seen since last soccer season. Steve is now coaching all 3 teams because the rec center didn't have a coach for Junior High...he had already agreed to do the other 2 teams. He is incredibly patient and great with all of the kids. We're all blessed to have him.

My brother, Scott, is on his way here later tonight. The kids are excited to see am I. It should be a fun weekend with him. :)

Kids are all starting to argue, so guess I'd better go for now.

Friday, September 12, 2008

In loving memory of Stacey McDaniel

Almost 9 years ago, I became pregnant with my amazing son, Shawn. During that pregnancy, I joined an online community of Moms...all due in July of 2000. Those women have become sisters to me...we've helped each other through countless trials, celebrated births, held each others "virtual" hands and today...we all mourn the loss of our beloved friend, Stacey McDaniel. In 2003, Stacey was diagnosed with brain cancer. She was 28 at the time, and a mother of 4. She was pregnant with her fifth child at the time. She spent the last 5 years battling this horrible cancer...never wanting to let it get the best of her. She beat it twice...and it came back. Stacey drew her strength from her precious children. She had been through unbelievably difficult personal situations, and persevered. Stacey fought, and she fought. She wanted nothing more than to be there for her children...forever. I remember her posting this past Spring that she wanted to make it through Saylors birthday...then Avery' was like she found an upcoming "target" date to cling to. Made it through that, then found a new one. She went through an enormous amount of pain...and could have given up at any time...but she didn't...she wouldn't. She lived for her children and I pray that Saylor, Avery, Bailey, Logan and Kelsey will always KNOW how very much their Mom loved them. I believe she will be watching them from above and she will always be by their side. The world lost an amazing person today. I will forever remember Stacey for her strength, her courage, her tenacity, her humor, her optimism and her friendship. God Bless You, Stacey. I miss you already. :(

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What's his face...

So I joined Face-book back in April sometime as a way of looking at my brother Scott's photos of Europe. I get on every now and then and check out the updates that people post. A few days ago, it was like a can-of-worms was opened! I reconnected with several people from my old boarding school in Florida. I had left that place after my sophomore year, and simultaneously left all of the friends and bad memories behind. You can imagine my surprise this morning when, 20 years later, I heard from an old classmate of mine. Seems he's changed his name (goes by his middle name now) and is retired from the USMC. He was heavily involved in the aftermath of 9/11. It was surreal to catchup with him...he's a Daddy now, living in Chicago and seems successful. I also caught up with a good friend of mine who I also hadn't heard from since 1988. Things don't seem to be going as well for her...and that hurts my heart as she was always such a sweetheart. I found myself feeling grateful for my husband, my children, my life. I've been blessed with so many good friends through the years. It's a testament, I suppose...that they all remember me too...20 years later. Guess I left an impression LOL.

Time is a funny thing, isn't it?! Seems like yesterday...and yet seems like a lifetime ago that I was in the living room of our first home on the Cape. Shawn was 14 months old, and Malia and Kassia were just dreams somewhere in my mind. I turned on the TV for Shawn to watch Elmo, and breaking news of the terror attacks came on. Jared was in Kindergarten and Sierra was in 4th grade at the school next door. Steve was working. I called him on his cell phone and told him about a plane hitting the first tower. Then, as we were talking, the 2nd plane hit...then the Pentagon...then Pennsylvania. It was all in slow motion...we were on the phone...scared, in shock...not knowing what to do...what was going on. SO much changed that day, 7 years ago.

Kassia has a friend over...again. Nick has been here most of the day...again. They are demanding attention, so I will close with thoughts and prayers of the victims of 9/11. We will never forget.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bike rides

Kasi has decided she wants to go for a bike ride everyday. So, for the past 2 mornings, we've gone around the block (the "big block" today, the "small block" yesterday for those of you that know our neighborhood). I walk/jog along beside her. She is so cute on her little Dora bike. We chat about nature, the color of the houses, etc. Yesterday, she stopped every few feet to collect acorns and today it was maple leaves that have turned to red. She also found a branch with oak leaves still attached, which she declared was her new "broom to sweep the deck". Her imagination always amuses me. She is such a bright little girl. I think she would have ridden around 10 more times if I weren't worn out. Maybe she will get me back on my exercise wagon with this new ritual. It's supposed to be 39 degrees tonight...brr...I'm hoping it's just a freak occurence and Fall isn't really almost here. Well, I'm off to bed. :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fall back

I guess I haven't done too well with this "blogging thing". The best of intentions...and yet, so little time. School started a week ago today, and I am determined to find some time each week to jot down my thoughts. Sierra seems to be getting into a groove finally with school. She didn't seem to like any of her classes in the beginning...but is settling in and finding that she enjoys psychology and a few other things. Jared is embracing Junior High and all of the changes it brings with it. Shawn is "blah" about second grade...I'm hoping he's just bored with the review stage and will find that he enjoys it soon. Malia is head-over-heels for Kindergarten. She informed me on the first day that she "can't count as high as how long she's been waiting" for that day. She fills me in on all the little details each afternoon, and seems happy as can be. She did mention a little trouble navigating the playground social scene yesterday...apparently if someone is already playing with someone...back off. I told her there's no reason 3 people can't play together...but they haven't figured that out yet. She'll be okay though, I have faith. Kasi and I are just hanging out together. She has gymnastics on Mondays and swimming on Friday afternoons. We've just been enjoying each others company and working on writing the letter "K for Kasi." :)

I love Fall...the changing foliage, colors, crisp air, routines, apples and pumpkins. As much as I really enjoyed Summer this year, it is definitely time to get back into routines. I'm hoping to carpool with some other Mom's though, since Sierra has Field Hockey 5-6 days a week until 5:15 and Jared now has soccer everyday after school until 4:30. I feel bad for Shawn, Malia and Kasi who get brought all over town every day when they just want to chill out at home.

Well, Kasi girl is wanting my I'm off. Hopefully I'll get back on here more often.