Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning was perfect.  Looking back, Christmas morning was perfect.  In the middle of it, everything was going wrong. 

We had spent the two days before Christmas at Charlie's parents house.  His mom had been sick for days with that horrible stomach flu that was going around.  I just prayed no one in our house would get it.  At about 5 pm that night, Laci was on the couch and clearly didn't feel well.  After discussing not going to church, she said she felt well enough to go.  She had her new doll dressed up for church and needed to go show her off.  At about 1:30 a.m., Laci cried out for me and got sick.  I felt so bad as she was brushing her teeth after throwing up saying "I don't want to be sick on Christmas!!!"  It broke my heart.  As any mother does, I jumped in bed to sleep with her and make her feel better.  She didn't sleep well the rest of the night and constantly cried out for me.  At 7, I heard Calvin and got up.

As I walked out of her room, I noticed it was pretty cold.  I checked the themostat and it said it was 60 degrees.  Our furnace was broken!  On Christmas morning.  Charlie and I are not good at these situations and started freaking out.  We both stood next to the furnace without any idea of what we should do.  We called the furnace company and they said they would call us back but they could come look at it today.  We smelled gas but assumed that it was from the broken furnace.  But I am scared of gas and after the explosions at Richmond Hill, I wasn't taking any chances.  We called the gas company and they said they would send someone out and we should leave the house.  So now it is Christmas morning, Laci is sleeping and sick, Calvin is happy watching Dora, we have no heat and were told to leave the house.  We went to the neighborhood clubhouse so Charlie could get his run in (1486 days and counting!).  It was the saddest thing ever to wake your child up on Christmas morning and walk right by their presents from Santa to leave the house. 

Sidenote - I mentioned before doing things differently from the way I did it growing up - My Santa didn't wrap his gifts and we always played with our Santa toys and stocking gifts before our parents woke up.  My kids Santa wraps his gifts and we all go down together to open presents. 

The gas company came within 20 minutes and the kids and I left to go let him in.  He was very nice and gave the house the All Clear.  Whew... one problem solved.  He also looked at the furnace and said that it was probably just a broken ignitor, an easy fix.  We turned on the gas fireplace. 

Charlie came home and we had our Christmas morning... a little later than planned but it was still only 8:30.  The excitement of the morning kept Laci going.  We played with the stocking toys, Santa's gifts and opened all the presents.  Calvin actually skipped 4 of his gifts but eventually found them later that afternoon.  But by 10:30, she was sick again.  She threw up and was back on the couch.  It was so sad to see her pile of new toys and see her stuck on the couch.  Fortunately, Santa came through and she could watch her new DVD of Annie. 

At 11:30, the furnace repairman came and it was an easy fix.  I am so thankful for people who volunteer to work on Christmas Day.  He lived  nearby so we were the first service call.  We had heat again.  Two problems solved.

I planned a supereasy Christmas dinner - all from Omaha Steaks.  This is breaking tradition and is not the turkey dinner I grew up with.  It was awesome.  I just had to pop the twice baked potatoes and steak in the oven.  I cooked carrots.  I got out the pineapple and blueberries (one of our new traditions is that everyone gets their favorite out of season fruit for Christmas.  Calvin's is blueberries, Charlie's is pineapple.)  Bam Christmas dinner was done.  After the crazy morning, I didn't bother with getting out the good china like I planned.  Laci didn't eat anything.  Calvin had chicken nuggets.  It was a great Christmas dinner. 

By 2:00 Laci was feeling better and back to her regular self.  Third problem solved.

Did I mention a blizzard was predicted for Wednesday.  The day we were planning to drive to my sister's to celebrate with my family?  Since the heat was back on and Laci was feeling better, we decided to go to her house on Tuesday night and miss the storm and come home Thursday as originally planned.  The storm didn't turn out to be as bad as predicted and we got home fine on Thursday.  Whew.... fourth problem solved.  Christmas really was a perfect day!

Christmas Eve

I had really high hopes for Christmas Eve church service and all of our "traditions".  I love Christmas traditions and I love making them up as I go.  I am a pretty stuck in my ways and not-flexible on so many things that I have really surprised myself in how we do Christmas.  I thought I would do Christmas like I did when I was a kid. But I do very little of those traditions.  I love our traditions now and the way we do them. 

The week before Christmas, I started listening to Christmas music.  Silent Night is one of my favorites. Christmas Eve church service is one of my favorite times of year.  The candles and Silent Night at amazing.  I had dreams of sitting in the church pew with Calvin on my lap and Laci sitting beside me reading along in her Bible the Christmas story as they read the Scriptures.  We would sing together.  We would hold our candles high together.  What dream world am I living in?!?   Christmas Eve was nothing like that.

Charlie volunteered to usher that night.  I had to sit in the church pew with both kids by myself.  My kids don't normally go to church services and are not used to it.  Laci went to church with us the day before and she is just now at the point where she can sit quietly and color or listen for an hour.  Calvin is not there at all.  Laci wanted to sit in the second row down front.  I hate sitting that close. But the church was filling up so everyone was sitting down front.  We ended up being crowded in a pew with a couple for our small group and their parents.  Calvin was on my lap.  He did okay for the first 20 minutes coloring in his new books.  Not coloring books but coloring quietly in his regular books. I emphasize quietly so I allowed it.  But after about 20 minutes, he wanted to run up and down the aisles.  I gave up and took him to the back.  Charlie was nice enough to take him from me so I could sit back with Laci.

Laci can't read the Bible yet so of course she was not following along in the Bible as they read the Scriptures as she did in my dream.  But she did sit there very quietly and stood to sing with us at the right time.  At the end of the service, as they were getting ready to light the candles, I went back to get Calvin again so Charlie could help light the candles.  I went back to my seat, held my baby (I mean, big boy), hugged my little girl and we held candles high and sang Silent Night.  At least I had that moment.  That moment was enough to salvage my perfect Christmas Eve. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Cookies

I have mentioned before that I am not Martha Stewart.  There are very few domestic bones in my body.  I can't cook, decorate or bake.  But for one day a year, I try.  Saturday was my attempt.  Laci and I made Christmas cookies!  We didn't make dozens and dozens like some families do or 4 or 5 different kinds.  We made 2 dozen cut out cookies and frosted them.  We were worn out with that small amount.  We used my MIL's recipe.  We didn't even make our own frosting.  We did color it but I only had yellow and red food coloring.  We had sprinkles.  We had fun.

We did this last year too.  It was fun because Laci remembered doing it last year.  And she wanted to do it like we did last year.  Yeah - a tradition was born!  She wore my apron.  She helped me roll out the dough.  She ate lots of dough.  She cut out the cookies and could even transfer them to the cookie sheet herself.  She frosted the cookies and put sprinkles on them. 
After we made the cookies, we did chocolate dipping.  We made chocolate covered pretzel rods and chocolate covered oreos.  I dipped.  She sprinkled.  We made a giant mess.  The goodies look ridiculous but taste good.  But we talked about all the people that are important to her that she is making the goodies for - Calvin's teachers and her YMCA before and after school care workers.  We made a huge mess.  We had a great time.  
Right after I got the mess cleaned up and sat down to catch my breath, Calvin was crying from his nap.  Next year, I get to have twice the fun and twice the memories because he will get to join in.  

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My life on ... a Christmas Tree?

I love the Christmas tree and all the ornaments.  As I sat on the floor today looking at all the ornaments, I realized my life is in my ornaments.  There are ornaments from vacation, the year we were married, our first house, our current house, pictures of the kids as babies, etc.  There is even a picture of me as a kindergartner.  Every ornament has a story.  When I got that ornament, who gave me that ornament, why I got that ornament, etc.  There are several L and C ornaments on the tree that used to stand for Charlie and me. Now they are Laci and Calvin's ornaments.  We have ornaments from my childhood and ornaments from Charlie's.  Now the kids are starting to make ornaments at school and they love showing them off.  My Survivor ornament that plays the theme song is their favorite.  Their pictures are plastered over the tree too and they have their favorite ornaments that they can pull out every year.  The tree is their life too.

Last year several people on facebook shared an ornament a day.  I loved that.  I loved seeing everyone's life in ornaments and what is special to them.  I love that my life is saved and displayed on a Christmas tree and every year I can reminisce about those special moments.

Will I remember it all?

My children are growing up too fast.  I know it is cliche but it is true.  I feel like we are already onto the "next phase".  With about 10 more phases to go.  We are done with the baby stuff and transitioning out of diapers, cribs, etc. It's not an overnight process but it will be so strange to not be buying diapers, pull ups and wipes.  It will be so strange not to have a crib in the house. 

I look at their little faces and pray that as they grow, I remember all of these moments.  I take pictures.  I keep a family journal of what we do every month.  I scrapbook.  But is it enough?  Will I remember the sayings, the moments, the faces?  The other night I was tucking Laci into bed and watched her arrange all 25 of her stuffed animals.  It's quite a process.  She knows where each ones goes and cries out if she can't find them.  She is their shepherd.  Will I remember these days when she is a teenager and there aren't any stuffed animals left?  Last night, Calvin was so proud of himself for putting his coat on by himself - only to have it on upside down with the hood on his bottom.  These are the moments I love.  Right now they both fit in my lap.  That won't last for long.  But I will keep them on my lap as long as I can.  There will always be room for them both. 

It all goes so fast.  I can't wait for each new phase and I love watching them grow into the people they are meant to be.  But I just want to keep them small and remember each moment forever.

I've got the joy wiggles

Lately, I have been pretty wiggly.  I don't know if it is the coffee or the Christmas season.  But I am wiggly.  At work I'm wiggly.  I just want to dance around the office.  Skip down the hallway.  How goofy is that.  It's totally not work related.  I am in the middle of a very stressful time at work.  I don't remember the last time I was so overwhelmed and stressed at work.  But I can't stop dancing.  Maybe it really is the coffee and Diet Coke.  Or maybe it's just in the afternoon and I have the afternoon wiggles.  I have to confess that a couple of times I have snuck off to the bathroom to do a little dance.  Others can not see the little dance.  They wouldn't understand.

But I know what the real reason is.  It's joy.  Not happiness... Joy.  I always read about the "secret of happiness" or the "search for happiness".  I am not looking to be happy.  I want joy.  Real joy.  Joy that lives in my heart.  Joy that overcomes external circumstances.  Joy is real and unconditional.  To me, happiness is external and can be conditional.  Joy is the Holy Spirit living in my heart.  My wish for all is joy.  I am so thankful to be filled with joy. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Christmas Story

As Laci is getting older, I am reminded how difficult it is to teach the true meaning of Christmas in the middle of Santa, lights, music, etc.  Even I have trouble focusing on it.  I realized we need to work harder teacher Laci when one day she asked where Santa was in the Bible Christmas Story and pointed out that the only thing not Christmas-y at the Reynold's light display was the church.

But she is 5 and the Christmas magic and fun activites are still important.  I like to try to do something a little Christmas-y every weekend in December.  This weekend was Charlie's company Christmas party.  Let me remind you that he works with his parents so their Christmas party is more of a family outing.  We went to a museum downtown to see a train exhibit.  Then we went to a nice lunch. 

Saturday night we went to a Night in Bethlehem.  I was so impressed.  You entered the church and took a tour of Bethlehem.  First we registered for the census.  Everyone was dressed appropriate for the time period and we met Shepherds, tax collectors, even Roman Soldiers.  We were told about a rumor of a baby being born.  The first stop was the marketplace.  All the kids got coins and could go shopping at the marketplace.  There were about 15 booths and Laci made a bookmark, sheep ornament, got a wood craft to do at home, made a pottery bowl, kneaded bread, etc.  I was really impressed.  We had to stay out of the tax collectors way or he would take all your money.  There was even a begger woman at the well.  After we were done with the marketplace, we headed off to meet the king.  We had to give the rest of our money to the king for taxes.  Then we were denied room at the inn but met Shepherds that told us of a star, an angel and a baby being born in the manger.  In the sanctuary the kids learned the story of the Candy cane and were led by the Wise man to the stable.  It was funn because they had two teenagers as Mary and Joseph with a doll baby but there were real sheep for the kids to pet. 

I thought it was really well done.  A little bit cheesy but good for the kids.  Charlie and I talked the next day about what we hoped Laci got out of it.  I don't know yet but we hope that every year she "gets" just a little bit more.  Calvin boycotted his nap and therefore fell asleep on the 3 mile drive there.  He slept for the entire time.  Next year he may get more out of it - if he can stay awake.

The next morning our church had their cantata.  It was exactly what I needed to feel the spirit again.  Every Sunday at the start of church, the tears just flow, especially this week.  I think it is just the stress of the week building up and finally being in a safe place that the worry and stress can drain away.  I felt ready to continue on with Christmas after church.

Of course, what did we do Sunday afternoon?  Visit Santa!  So it is still a balancing act between Santa and the story of Jesus.  We'll get there.  We do the Advent Candle at dinner every night and I would like to find a family advent devotional for next year. 

By the way - Laci only asked Santa for one thing - the movie Annie!   But I was not prepared for Santa questions when she asked me if we were seeing the real Santa or not.  I was truthful and said that he was not the real Santa but a helper.  She was content with the response that he is an elf.  Whatever works!
We visit the same Santa each year and I love that I have the same picture
of them growing up each year.  Sitting in his sled after is a highlight!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


The night before Thanksgiving, we had a "girls night out" with my nieces and sisters.  We all went to see the musical Annie.  I love musicals and I was so excited to share it with my daughter.  My only concern was the late time.  Laci is usually asleep by 9 and can barely stay awake until 10 on a weekend.  We were on central time and everything was an hour later.  The play didn't start until 7:30 / 8:30.  But I knew she would be fine and I didn't want to be a fuddy duddy because of bed time.

It was so fun to get all dressed up with the girls and go to the theatre.  Laci loves her older cousins and considers herself a "big girl" with them.  Our seats were slightly spread out in a small section.  Laci cried when she realized she wasn't sitting with the girls but we figured out a way for the 4 of them to sit together and three moms to sit right in front of them.  Laci did great for the first half but got tired and wigglying towards the end.  At intermission, the girls walked around looking at the theatre again.  I had her sit on my lap for the second half and she fell asleep after a few minutes.  We didn't leave the theatre until 11 eastern time and she didn't get into bed until almost midnight.  But she had such a great time.

She is now obsessed with Annie.  She has sung Tomorrow for 3 days straight and is begging for the movie for Christmas.  She told Charlie that she is in love with Annie.  So he came home tonight just to take her to the library to rent the movie because she just can't wait until Christmas!  So right now we are watching Annie.  I am sure the first of many many times!   

Turkey Trot 2012

More on running...

About 10+ years ago, I did a Thanksgiving Turkey trot with my dad.  And the next year.  Soon other family members started to join me.  Now it is an annual event and everyone participates.  My brother, the mega runner, is so passionate about running.  With my brothers, sister, in laws, nieces, nephews and kids, there are 17 of us now. So my brother organized his own Turkey Trot 5k.  It was pretty cool.  He found a course, got us matching shirts (sponsored by our companies) and provided snacks at the end.  Because of my busy schedule and lack of running in November and October, I hadn't decided if I was going to walk or run it.  My mom isn't able to walk that far so the original plan was to have Calvin stay at the park with her and Laci was going to walk with my sister, niece and nephew and I was going to run.

The morning turned out perfect.  The weather was perfect.  Everyone showed up with our shirts.  Calvin was so excited.  He ran around saying "We're going running!!!"  He stretched with everyone and went to the start line.  The course was a lap around a little pond two times.  I decided to walk a lap with him and my sister and the little ones. We all got to the start line and with a "go", every one took off.  As Calvin started running, his smile turned to big tears and he started crying "Wait for me, guys, wait for me!"  It was the saddest, sweetest and cutest thing ever.  I felt so bad for him.  And we started our walk.  I ended up carrying him for most of the mile and a half.  I don't carry him very much anymore and my arms were sore for a week after.  But we walked picking up the rear and I could see my whole family running together.  It was the most special run / walk I ever did.  I love my big extended family and doing anything like that together.  Occasionally we caught up with my sister and the other little ones. I wish I had my camera and could capture the moment of the four of them holding hands and walking together.  We were lapped by the fast ones and finished our one lap after my brother and nephew finished two laps.  But we cheered everyone in.  A few years ago, was the first time my nieces and nephews ran with us and I ran most of the run with my niece.  It was awesome. I love sharing one of my loves with all of my loves.

I did it!

I need to get caught up on blogging... 

This should have been written a few weeks ago.  But I did it! I finished my running goal.  My goal for this year was 400 miles.  I was on a really good pace to finish in October.  Then October hit.  Work got super busy and it looked like I wasn't going to be able to finish.  I know I had to the end of the year but the closer I got, the more I wanted to finish early.  By October 15, I looked at my schedule and if everything worked out perfectly and no meetings came up, I would finish on October 31!  Nothing ever works out that perfectly.  On October 31, I had 6 miles left.  Then I thought I could finish November 1... 3... 7... November 15 I finally got that final run in!  I finished my 400 miles. 

I only ran one time after that so my year is finishing at 405 miles.  I'm happy with that.  Now I can spend December running errands, working through lunch and what I am now calling "Free Style December".  That just means I can do whatever I want if I do make it to the gym.  Last week I did the elliptical machine.  I hate the elliptical machine.  It seems like a dumb machine.  But Free Style December it doesn't matter and I can try all the dumb machine.  This week I might try the stepper... or the bike.  It doesn't matter because it's Free Style December. 

I'm just glad I accomplished my goal.  Next year my goal is 400 miles again.  But maybe I can actually finish the 400 miles in October.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Sometimes Laci is too clingy too me and doesn't want to do things by herself without me.  Sometimes she surprises me.  Last night was movie night at school.  I forgot about it.  But when I picked her up, she reminded me it was movie night.  But last night it was for kids only.  I asked if she wanted to go by herself.  She said she would think about it.  It was 5:10 at this point and movie night started at 6 so she needed to think quickly.  She decided to go.  We quickly had dinner at Taco Bell and headed over to the school to drop her off.  As we pulled up, I whispered to Charlie to not be surprised if we both walked back out.  But she did great.  I signed her in, helped her with the coat and she walked into the dark gym (the movie was about to start) to find a spot on the bleachers all by herself.  And I left.

It was a weird feeling leaving her.  I am still getting used to it.  Charlie, Calvin and I drove around and then went home to watch Bubble Guppies.  Right now Calvin must watch Bubble Guppies 24 hours a day.  :)  I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked her up.  Mass Chaos.  I went into the gym and the movie was just about over.  Kids were screaming and running everywhere.  :)  I'm not sure anyone was watching the movie.  I saw Laci on the bleachers with our neighbor who is in the PTA.  I talked to her and she said Laci did great.  She was really sweet but towards the end said she was ready to go.  I'm so proud of her for going all by herself.  I knew she was nervous but she did great. 

I was also a little nervous because the movie, ironically was Brave.  I hadn't let her watch that movie yet because I had heard it was a little scary.  I wasn't sure how she would do by herself if she got scared.  On the way home I told her I was proud of her for going.  She said she was glad she made a decision.  Sometimes she struggles with choices and decisions.  Later I asked her if she wanted the movie Brave for Christmas.  I laughed when she said "no, it was too dark."  :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Prince of Egypt - The Play

We rented The Prince of Egypt this week from the library. Laci and I have watched it a few times this week. One night I told her we were only going to watch half but when we got to the halfway point, I was glad it was a short movie because I realized I couldn't stop it. It is a pretty dark beginning and it was not a happy spot to stop it at. I love watching Biblical movies with Laci and try to use it as a way to teach her. The Old Testament is full of the great superheroes of the Bible. But it really had me thinking. And reminded me that I have a daughter that doesn't miss any details. In the last few nights we have talked about a lot of dark subjects - jealousy, anger, selling people into slavery, slavery, jail, difference in ethnic groups, famine, faith in God during the hard times and the one that really threw me was having to explain plural marriage and why Joseph and his brothers had different mothers. I hope she got the faith point out of the movie.
I could still hear her talking last night long after she was supposed to be asleep.  I went to tell her to go to sleep. She had her bears and stuffed animals all lined up on the bed. She explained that she was doing the movie we just watched. I asked her what part she was at. She said she was just handing out the roles. She showed me Joseph, his wife, his mom and dad and three brothers (she couldn't find 11 boy bears). I wish it wasn't so late or I would have asked to watch the play. :) I love her creativity.

It's me... Laci

The last few nights that Laci has said the prayer before dinner have been so cute.  She tends to wander in her prayers and I usually have to remind her to thank God for the food.  But she lists her family to pray for.  One night she was direct and used our first names but I love how she includes herself.  "Thank you for Daddy, Mommy, Calvin and Laci...  That's me... The one whose talking... " I always laugh in my head and remind her that God knows who she is.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Building Friendships

We got a note from Laci's teacher yesterday saying that she would like her to be in a small group with the school counselor called "Building Friendships".  The note said that she knows Laci can be a good friend but thinks maybe this group would help her make friends.  I hope it does.

I  was surprised by my reaction to the suggestion.  My first thought was "why does Laci need special help?"  It almost bothered me.  But then I remembered someone telling me about someone's reaction to speech therapy.  Lots of kids use it.  It's not a big deal.  But she knew someone that refused to let her son go to speech therapy.  She didn't want him singled out.  As a child, she did not like speech therapy and she didn't want her son going.  So she had her son switch schools.  That always stuck with me.

I don't want to be that mother and doesn't let her child get the support she needs and use the resources the school is providing.  This is a little thing and not a big deal.  But I will still wonder.  Is it because she is younger than the other kids?  Or just shy?  I was very shy too as a child and it took years for me to break out of my shell.  Laci will find her way too and she will find her friends. 

Parent Teacher Conference

We had our first parent teacher conference with Laci's teacher last week. I'm sure after awhile, it will become old hat but I was looking forward to this first one. I was curious to hear how Laci was doing, especially since we were concerned about her going to school young. I was also concerned about how she interacted with friends. Laci has commented that no one will play with her and she doesn't have any friends. It is hard to hear her say that but without being there, I didn't know what the situation was. In a nut shell, the conference went like this: Laci talks too much when she is not supposed to and doesn't talk enough when she is supposed to.
Her teacher started by saying how bright she is. Smart teacher - flattery goes far with me. She is at the reading level expected at the end of the year. Her math skills aren't quite as high as her reading but she is still doing well. She writes very well.  But she is a little more immature than the other kids. That was hard for me to hear. I think my child is perfect - but I am a bit bias. Laci's biggest issue is that she craves and demands attention. At her daycare, she was always able to get it from the teachers there. But with a large class and one teacher, they can't do that with each student. I was not surprised by that comment because I had the same concern. It took her teacher several weeks to get Laci to calm down a little bit in that regard. Laci is a "teacher's pet" and loves answering questions. But way too much. Her teacher has been working with her to not get upset for not being called on and for not shouting out answers. We have also talked to her a lot about the importance of letting other kids answer questions too.
Unfortunately, Laci's comments about friends were right. Laci is having trouble adjusting with the other kids. She would rather stand with her teacher at recess than play with the other kids. Every day I ask her who she plays with and if she says nobody, I remind her to go up to the other girls and ask to play with them. If they say no, she needs to try with another group. It's very hard to hear your child struggle but I know that this is part of life and I can't help her through it. I need to let her work it out. She mentions playing with the boys and even her teacher said that the boys are more open to let her play with them. We have even added watching Ninjago and Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles into our tv watching rotation. Sometimes I think she is "studying" to play with the boys at school. She has even asked for Batman and Hotwheels race tracks for Christmas. I have no problem with her playing with the boys stuff but I hope that it is because she genuinely enjoys it and not because she is just trying to fit in.
Laci also talks about the kids at her before and after school program a lot. I am not sure how well she is received there. I hope she is fitting in well there. She seems to be. It is a smaller group and more social time. There are only a few kindergartens in the program and Laci has always liked older kids more than kids her own age.
All and all, it was a good conference.   We left the kids at home with the neighbor babysitting. I figured Calvin would be hard to contain at the conference and it was easier to leave them at home. Even though Laci had been so excited for the neighbor to come over, she cried when we left. A few minutes after we left, Calvin started crying and didn't stop for an hour until we were almost home. I felt bad for the sitter. I asked Laci if she calmed down quickly and she said yes because Calvin was crying and she didn't want it to be too hard on the sitter. I thought that was oddly thoughtful. We don't use a sitter often so we try to pay well so hopefully she will still come back to sit for us. :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bedtime Battles... Almost finished

I am not ready to declare the bedtime battles over.  But by golly, they are so much better.  Laci was a great sleeper as a baby.  When she hit two, the bedtime ritual got a little bit longer and we started to rock a few minutes at night.  When she was two and a half, she moved bedrooms and got a big girl bed.  All heck broke loose at that point.  The battles began.  It was ugly.  For two and a half years, it was ugly.  It could be up to a two hour battle.  I can't say I always won the battle.  One of our struggles was that at daycare, she still took naps.  When she was approaching 5, she did not need naps every day.  Because she was napping, she didn't need to go to sleep early.  But I still needed her to go to sleep early.  I needed some me time.  Plus she needed to get up early for school.  It seemed like everyone else in the world had no problems with bedtime.  I usually am able to talk to my friends about our parenting problems but this one I hated talking about.  It seemed like no one could relate.  My only hope was Saturday and Sunday when she didn't have a nap.

Then kindergarten came.  I had high hopes for the magical age of 5.  It has not let me down.  She's not perfect and we still have our battles.  But I see more glimmers of maturity.  We have a really good bedtime routine.  She watched tv and plays from 7:30 - 8:30.  We read 2 books.  Then I tuck her in while she plays with her stuffed animals.  A few minutes later, she is asleep.  This is how bedtime is supposed to be.  This is what others have been talking about all this time.  It's wonderful.  Sometimes I need to go in there a few times to remind her to go to sleep.  But overall there is peace.  :)  On the weekends, she is even sleeping in until 7 or 8 am.  It's nice.

I love watching her tuck in her stuffed animals.  She has 25 (we counted) on her bed at all times and she knows exactly which ones are missing. 

We're moving Calvin over to a new room and big boy bed in a few months.  I hope that his transition goes better than Laci's.  We don't rock him to sleep now and he still goes to sleep on his own by himself so I am very hopeful and optimistic.  But on the bright side, he'll be five in just two and a half short years too!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Conquering the bike... again

For Christmas, Charlie's parents gave Laci a new bike.  We weren't sure what size bike she needed.  I didn't want to get her a bike that was too small because we would just be replacing it in a few years.  She is so tall, I figured a wee bit bigger would be better than too small.  I was wrong.  It was too big.  She couldn't ride it, even with the training wheels.  The only time she would ride it is if we were taking a family walk and I could walk right next to her, holding her up.  i looked like I was walking a pony.  For most of the summer she rode her tiny bike.  The bike was getting tinier all the time.  But she could ride it fine.  
Last night it was a beautiful, warm fall evening.  It rained most of the day but after dinner it was dry and warm.  We decided to go for a family walk and Laci wanted to take her big bike.  I stood along side her prepared to catch her.  But she just took off and didn't need any help at all!  Away she went.  She did fall once but got right back up and took off again.  It was wonderful to see.  I was so proud of her.  I am most proud of her ability to fall and get back up.  That skill will help in her life.  As she rode, I reminded her how important practicing things are and how proud of herself she is when she finally gets it.  Our next challenge is riding without training wheels next summer.  She said she is willing to do that but only on the small bike.  Next summer is a long ways off so I think she may be ready for the training wheels off the big bike too. 
When we got home, the kids played in the leaves... next door.  No one leaves there and there were tons of pretty leaves to jump in.  I wish I had my camera because they were pretty cute in the leaves.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Laci's 5!!!

I forgot to blog about a very important event in our house last month.  Laci turned 5!  This was an important milestone.  5 years old is "all grown up".  She's a full blown kid.  I feel like I have said that at every birthday.  No more baby, all kid.  But 5 years old really is a milestone.  She's in kindergarten.  She's in elementary school. 

Her birthday is at the end of September and we really didn't know how to celebrate.  She just started school in August so I don't know her friends yet and we don't know how to contact them yet.  So we used this opportunity to catch up with some of her friends from daycare.  First she wanted a birthday at Chuck E Cheese.  But we ended up hvaing a simple party at home.  We love simple.  Laci still loves simple.  We invited 6 kids but only 3 kids were able to come.  I was a little disappointed because I hadn't heard from more kids but Laci was happy that her friends were there, there were presents and cake.  We made masks, ate pizza, had cake, played games (sock game, balloons, hot potato) and opened presents.  Laci was so happy and had a great time. 

My parents came that weekend to help her celebrate.  Charlie's parents came on Sunday to celebrate with her again.  Her birthday was on Monday so we opened her presents and celebrated a third day that day.  And on Friday, we made it to Red Robin, our family birthday restaurant.  I love birthday weeks in our house.

He Did It!!!

He did it!  Charlie ran in the first annual Purdue Half Marathon on Saturday.  My brother found the run and asked us to run with him.  I have absolutely zero desire to run a half marathon right now.  I was surprised when Charlie said that he would run it.  He is so dedicated to his Running Streak - anything else is just a risk to jeopardizing it. 

My brother is a running machine.  Charlie is not.  Their running "philosophies" are night and day different even down to when to arrive at the race.  My brother trains hard.  He studies, learns and follows training programs to reach his goals.  Charlie ran a few long runs on the Saturdays leading up to the race.  My brothers goal was 1:25.  Charlie had two goals - to finish upright and to finish his Sunday run upright. 

My parents came down for the weekend to cheer my brother on.  I wanted to bring the kids to support Charlie.  As we prepared for the race morning (all outings with my kids require preparation), I was regretting the decision to bring the kids.  We had to leave at 6:00 a.m. (the runners were leaving at 5:30), it was cold and there is lots of downtime.  The advantage of supporting my brother is that he is fast, there isn't a lot of downtime.

From the traditional spaghetti dinner until Sunday, the weekend went great.  Charlie finished in a time of 2:11:30 - 10 minute mile pace which is what he wanted.  He even accomplished his second goal and completed his run on Sunday.  The streak continues!  I knew it was wrong of me to complain but I was exhausted!  Between getting up at 5:30 (which seems much earlier on Saturday than it does the rest of the week) and walking all over campus from the start line to the fountain where we cheered them on and pulling the wagon and stroller, I was worn out on Sunday.  But I was so proud of my boys. 

Charlie wondered why I wanted to bring the kids.  I told him that even though it was hard to bring them, I wanted them there.  They didn't see much and didn't understand what was going on.  I want them to see their dad achieve his goals.  Someday they will understand.  In the big picture, it was important.  It was important for them to cheer him on and hug him at the end and it was important for Charlie to see them at the finish line.

As we went to sleep exhausted last night, we reflected on the day.  After the race, most of the day was spent watching football and pigging out on junk food.  Charlie was really glad he did it.  But he has no desire to run another half marathon or marathon any time soon!  I have a desire to run a half marathon every now and then for about 30 seconds.  Then the feeling passes and I am just happy to get my regular daily runs in.  More on that next week....  I hope.  It was a great day.

Laci loves to pose and have her picture taken by anything.
We waited inside.  I brought lots of books and snacks and they waited really well.
Calvin and Grandma waiting by the fountain, Mile Marker 12. He clapped and cheered for every runner.
My brother running just past Mile Marker 12.  He was all alone and ended 13th out of 1500!
Charlie almost at the home stretch.  I was so glad he got to reach his goal at his beloved Purdue.
The Medalists!  Laci ran in the Kids Fun Run.
She was so excited to get a medal. 
While we were taking family pictures after, she insisted on one with the three runners.   

Monday, October 8, 2012

All American Mac N Cheese

Here is my all-american family eating mac and cheese at Noodles ... with chop sticks?  Doesn't everyone do that?  :)
She insists on trying the chop sticks at Noodles

Sunday, October 7, 2012

October 3, 2014

October 3, 2014.  That is what I am calling Calvin's Reset Date.  Our new journey started on August 23, 2012.  This is the day I received the call.  This was the day Calvin fell and had his first concussion.  Or so we thought at the time.  It was really the start of something else.  After his fall, things just didn't add up.  His daycare teacher was surprised he had a concussion because she never saw him hit his head very hard.  That comment stuck with me.  Charlie said that he never got a firm diagnosis at the hospital that he had a concusion.  A week later, his teacher said he fell and was a little disoriented, a little wierd for a few seconds.  She asked that we take him to the doctor for a peace of mind.  We sort of blew it off.  What we were going to say "His teacher says he falls over and is weird."  He's two.  He falls over.  He's weird.  A few weeks later on Sept. 18 it happened again.  In front of two other teachers.  He started crying, walked over, his lips turned blue and he shaked and he fell over.  What?  The word seizure came to mind when they said he trembled.  I took him to the doctor but he was fine so he got the all clear.  And a referral to a pediatric neurologist.  Fortunately, we got into see one within a week.  The doctor said that the best thing to do was to wait and see.  These episodes aren't hurting him.  Most likely, they are toddlers going hysterical, holding their breathe until they pass out.  Calvin does have hysterical tantrums.  We felt better about this all.  But things just didn't add up to us.  The part that we couldn't reconcile was the disorientation.  We have seen the fits but he was never disoriented or out of it as the daycare had always described.  The doctor ordered an EKG and an EEG just in case.  Both came back normal but the doctor had indicated that the EEG is not a very conclusive test.  We talked to everyone at his daycare about this and said that if it happens again, let us know and pay attention to the surroundings.  Was he provoked?  Toddlers can go off on the slightest little thing.  They can start screaming if you look at them wrong. 

But then it happened again.  On Wednesday, at about 4:00, he was walking around his daycare room, fell over, shaked and his lips turned blue.  Another mother was in there too and even commented it looked like he was having a seizure.  It was unprovoked and out of the blue.  We talked to the doctor about this latest episode and he decided to start treatment.  Calvin is now on anti-seizure medicine. 

It was very hard for us to put him on it.  Who wants to put their baby immediately on a drug.  But we have to trust our doctor.  The hardest part through all of this has been the fact that neither Charlie and I have seen it happen.  It just doesn't seem quite real to us yet.  We are trusting his daycare teachers.  But their have been so many witnesses and the descriptions are always the same.  We have information about seizures - what to do, what he can and can't do, things to watch out for.  It's very unreal to us.  But hopefully the medicine will work.  The doctor said that if he is seizure free for 2 years, he can be weaned off the medicine.  The last one was October 3, 2012.  So my plan is to get him off his medicine on October 3, 2014. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Grandfather's Rocking Chair

If you take a walk around my house, there is very little furniture that I have actually bought new. I love used furniture. Not any old used furniture but mostly stuff relatives are getting rid of. The only things we have ever gotten "new" are our mattresses, a chair in our bedroom, a assemble yourself desk, our family room couch and loveseat and our kitchen table. I don't know why I love used furniture so much. Maybe because I am cheap (frugal). Maybe because I am indecisive and hate making selections. Maybe because I like to see things get used and not thrown away. My dining room set was my grandparents dragged out of my parents basement. The kids dressers are our old childhood dressers. End tables were given to us as relatives bought new ones. There are a few bookshelves I got at goodwill and repainted or reused. I like to re-purpose things. A bookshelf became a baby's dresser with some canvas drawers. I love my eclectic style.

In Laci's room is an old rocking chair. It used to be my grandpa's and was in their old cabin. It sat for years in my parents basement before it sat for years in my old guest room, unused. When Laci was born, I had it re-upholstered. I didn't want a fancy new glider that you are supposed to put in a nursery. My in-laws offered us one of their rocking chairs but I declined. I had visions of sitting and rocking my baby in that chair. My grandfathers chair. The chair that may have rocked my mom. It turned out Laci wasn't a rocker. I never rocked her as a baby in that chair. When she was about 2 years old, she started to be a rocker and I did spend quite a bit of time in that chair. It wasn't the magical chair that I thought it was. Or that I wanted it to be.

Sometimes I love my old furniture for the stories that they could tell. I have my grandparents old dining room set including the hutch. My mom gave me a vase of fake flowers when she gave me the hutch.   It was the gift my grandfather gave my grandmother for their 40th wedding anniversary. That was the last anniversary they had and one of the last gifts he gave her. Those flowers were always on the hutch. I left the flowers on the hutch also for several years. Most of the items do not have special stories and are just pieces of furniture. Charlie's grandfather did a lot of woodworking and I am thankful that we have several of his pieces - a small table, lamps. But lately, my grandfather's rocking chair has been a little bit magical to me. I haven't sat in it for awhile. It sits in the corner next to empty boxes (to play with) and plastic tubs of barbies and doll clothes. My grandfather died several years before I was born. I never met him and  I only have pictures of him. I often wondered what he was like and what he would think of me. Laci and I sit in her bed and read books every night. I can't believe how much her reading has improved in the last month. Lately I have been looking over at that chair and feeling his presence somehow. I can't explain it but it is how I thought it would be to rock my baby in my grandfather's rocking chair. My grandfather is looking over my little girl. Now and always.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

So many loves...

I know what people mean now when they see their childhood and their dreams through their child's eyes. We made a decision to not overly involve our children in activities too early. They get plenty of socialization time and time to learn directions, etc. at daycare. It did not seem necessary to get involved in too many activities too young. I have tried to stick to the rule of one activity at a time. But it occurred to me the other day that Laci has tried a lot of things - tennis lessons, swimming lessons, soccer, gymnastics, Awana, ballet/tap. She is begging to play baseball in the spring and is constantly asking when baseball starts. Our amount of sporting equipment went up tremendously this summer, especially with her birthday this weekend. New cleats, soccer ball, tennis racket, baseball mitt, golf clubs, ballet shoes, tap shoes.

Growing up, I played soccer and danced, ballet and tap. The world of tennis, golf and baseball are completely new to me. I am excited to enter these worlds with my kids. Every time I see Laci try something new, my heart grows so big. I am so excited for her. I am so proud of my big girl. Yesterday, I realized I was "that mom" that watches dance class doing the steps with them in the lobby. The first time I entered her dance studio, I felt like I was coming room. It reminded me so much of my dance studio growing up. I don't know what direction and what sports she will ultimately chose to stick with. But I need to make sure I step back and let her choose what is right for her and where her loves lie.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Time to make the lunches!

I don't know why but I love making lunch for Laci every day.  I realize I have only packed luched for her for 30 days and I have 16 more years of packing lunches for the kids.  I am sure I will sing a different tune in a few years.  But I packed my lunch every day for 12 years.  It's normal to me.  I still pack my lunch 2 or 3 days a week.  Charlie thinks we need to force her to buy her lunch at school for two reasons - so she knows how to do it and so she is forced to sometimes eat what she doesn't want to eat. I had assumed that some days she would buy lunch and some days she would take her lunch.  She refuses to buy a lunch.  I feel like I should make her do it at least one day so she knows now.  But it has been so long that she is afraid now.  Plus, the line for the lunch is long and by bringing her lunch, she has more time to eat.  I still make her buy milk but the milk only line is first and short.  

Her lunches are pretty boring and plain.  At one point, she actually asked me to pack less because she didn't have time to eat it all.  It's hard to know what how much to pack.  So I stopped giving her chips and I don't throw in a cookie.  I don't mind because I like knowing what she is eating and how much.  So every night I ask her what she wants for her lunch and then I go pack her lunch.  In the morning, I finish packing both of our lunches.  Her sandwiches are either two cheese roll ups or a peanut butter and jelly pita sandwich.  Her fruit is either banana, strawberry, grapes or yogurt.  Occasionally I sneak a carrot stick in her grapes.  We ran out of pitas and roll ups so this week she has had yogurt, banana and granola bar.  I have no idea why she has never requested a sandwich with bread.  The lunches have been pretty simple to pack.  She wants to bring a juice box too so she doesn't have to wait in line for milk so we made a deal - Friday is Capri Sun day.  

As a side note to packing lunches, I learned a few years ago that I have a secret obsession with lunch boxes.  I didn't realize how much I love lunch boxes until I got one for Christmas a few years ago and thought it was the greatest thing ever.  I have several now.  I got an even cooler one last year for Christmas.  It may have been my favorite Christmas gift.  I didn't get Laci a new lunch box before school started but I snuck a peak at her birthday gift from her cousins and I love it.

Today was pizza day.  We have been talking about her buying lunch on pizza day.  Last pizza day, she wanted to see the pizza before she fully committed to buying her lunch.  Last night, she almost agreed to buying her lunch.  There was a sudden sadness in me.  No lunch to make?  What to do?  I wanted to encourage her to buy her lunch and try something new.  But I like making her lunch.  I wasn't disappointed when she changed her mind and said she wanted to bring her lunch again.  I really need to encourage her more to try new things and not selfishly encourage her to do it my way to be dependent on my sandwich and banana.  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

From one mother to another...

This morning was my turn to volunteer with child care at church.  I know our church is pretty disorganized with drop off and pick up between services and do to several factors, now is worse than usual.  Plus Laci is clingy and always wants to stay with me in the preschool room instead of going to her own sunday school class.  Anyway, there were lots of tears from her and somehow Calvin walked off with Charlie.  I assumed Charlie took Calvin to the 2 year old room.  That is where he always goes.

A little while later, everything had calmed down.  Laci ended up staying with me.  I was talking to one of the mothers who was dropping off her child in the preschool room and asked if she saw Calvin in the 2 year old room.  No.  He wasn't there.  That's strange.  Charlie always puts him in there.  I was sure he was with Charlie somewhere.  But where?  For a second I panicked that Calvin was sitting in the dining room by himself eating a donut - she said she hadn't seen him in there either.  What if Charlie didn't see him follow him out and he walked off by himself?  I was sure he was fine but what if?  After a while, I was still a little worried and thought about running into the sanctuary to make sure Charlie had him in there.  Why would Charlie take him in there?  A few minutes later, the mother popped her head back in the preschool room to tell me that she did see Calvin with Charlie in the sanctuary.  I was so glad she did that because deep down, I was a little worried.  It is a strange feeling when you really aren't sure where your child is.  She said she saw him and she thought she would want someone to reassure her if she wasn't quite sure.  I thought, only a mother would think to run out and reassure another mother!  But I'm glad she did.  :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Running Updates

My running is going great! I had a horrible month of July.  There were a lot of things that may have attributed to the horrible month - heat wave, new medication.  But there were some days that I barely got 3.5 miles in.  By the end of June, I was running about 4.5 miles, almost 3 times day.  I was pretty down about the runs.  I was just exhausted in general.  I felt bad because it was too hot too ever go out and play and almost every day became a movie night.  I missed playing with the kids.

But by August I was starting to get things back.  It cooled down - if you can call "only" the 90s cooler weather.  I felt more adjusted to the new drug.  We started to take walks again and trips to the park.  My running slowly started to come back. 

Now in September I feel like I am where I was at the end of June.  I even ran 5 miles today.  True, I had the help of the "magic" treadmill but I felt great.  After the disasterous run of the Fourth of July, I decided I do not want to do any 5k runs for awhile.  But I am almost ready to commit to the 5k run at the Purdue Half Marathon in October.

Speaking of the Purdue Half Marathon, Charlie is running it.  I can't believe he has commited to it.  Of course, he still claims he can back out of it.  He has only simply signed up for it.  He hasn't started training beyond his 3 miles a day.  He is concerned that the marathon may put his streak in jeopardy.  But I know he can do it.  Hopefully in October he can get a few long runs in.  My brother is running it too.  It's so funny because both of their approaches to training is so different.  My brother is so serious and passionate about training and running.  Charlie just does runs. 

My original goal of 400 is very attainable now.  I only have 52 miles left.  I hit 400 miles last year on Thanksgiving.  I am shooting for Halloween this year.  Everything on top of that is just extra.  Everyone has different motivations for running and hitting my mileage goal is definitely enough motivation for me.  It's been a great running year. 

Where's Calvin!

Everyday, when we go to pick up Laci at school, Calvin puts his blanket on his head and says "Where's Ca-win" (his word for Calvin) or "Where's Mommy". Then I realize we are playing so I will say "Where's Calvin?" And he answers "Under my ninny!"
He doesn't seem to be missing Laci at school anymore. When I ask him if we should go pick up Laci, he will often answer "No". That makes me laugh too. Then when we drive by his school, I point out the window and say "what's that?" so that he will answer "Calvin's school". We try to always call it Calvin's school instead of Laci's school so he will have his own sense of pride about going to his school, not just being in Laci's shadow. 
Charlie and I agree that the time spent with one kid while picking up or dropping off the other kid is really an unexpected benefit of having the kids at two schools. .

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Not giving our children the world...

Charlie and I decided when we had kids that we would not give them the world.  We did not want to create "premature affluence".  We want them to do without sometimes, hoping to create some character.  They do not have the latest or largest toys like a kitchen set or a red coupe car.  We do not go out for to the latest show that comes to town like Disney on Ice or Yo Gabba Gabba Live.  We don't buy them toys except for their birthday or Christmas.  We rarely even go to the movies or museum.  That is by design.  At this point, they won't remember it and it hards to say whether they could set still and enjoy it.  Those activities are expensive.  We don't go out for girls manicures or pedicures.  We want to make those experiences a treat, not an expectation. 

Don't get me wrong.  We do fun things.  Simple things like monthly coffee dates with Mom or a Purdue Football game with Dad.  Soon we want to take them to the high school games too.  We go to Dairy Queen once a month.  We go to parks a lot.  We go to the Children's Museum once or twice a year and therefore, it is a big event and a treat to go.  We'll go to the apple orchard in October and their grandparents will take them to the Pumpkin Patch and the Christmas parade.  Somehow even without buying them many toys, we have a house filled to the brim with them.  Last night, Laci and I went to family movie night at her school.  That was a simple treat for us.  And it was perfect because it was on lawn chairs in the gym.  She doesn't sit still for 90 minutes very well yet so being able to be wiggly was perfect.  We go to free concerts at the park in the summer.

Right now this decision is harder on me than the kids.  They don't know what they are missing yet.  I see people on Facebook with their daughters getting mani/pedis.  I see them taking their children to the latest show that came to town.  I wonder if we are short changing our kids because we aren't doing these things.  Are they missing out?  We go to big birthday parties at bounce houses and Chuck E Cheese.  I actually told Laci she could have her party at Chuck E Cheese but we ultimately decided that we could have a more fun party at home.  I can't wait to take Laci to see The Nutcracker.  I look forward to the fun and simple things we can do with them as they get older and appreciate more.  We will take them bowling, movies, putt putt, etc.  But not every weekend.  As the kids get older, it will be harder to say no to the latest gadget and gizmo.  We won't always say no.  They need treats, excitement and things to look forward to.  But they also need to know that they can't have everything and they don't need everything.  That lesson will last longer than the things they are missing. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

True Confessions

For a little more light hearted post, I will share my latest confession. It is a spin off from my cookie obsession. My latest obsession - Chocolate Chips. I keep a stash in a cupboard and when I am close to going crazy I sneak a handful. I am totally over having a two year old. Mine is crazy! I take that back - he has good days and bad days. And on crazy days, lots of chocolate chips get eaten. But I guess that is better than drinking, right?

I must not be hidden my obsession as well as I thought. The other day I asked Charlie to bring me up a snack and he brought me a cup of chocolate chips. Does he know me well, or what!

Papers. Papers, Everywhere Papers...

I know this is silly of me to complain because I only have had a kindergartner for a few weeks but the amount of paper she brings home every day is crazy! My plan is to have a hook on the wall for her backpack (she corrects me when I call it a bookbag, I'm old) and a couple of file holders for papers. But instead of hastily putting files on the wall, i am taking my time with that with the design of the "school station". And drowning in papers. I need to go to pinterest. Calvin's class is just as bad. Between worksheets, fundraisers, daily reports, movie nights, etc. it's hard to keep up with! I made the rookie kindergarten parent mistake and put Laci's worksheets on the top of the recycling pile. She found them and couldn't believe Daddy was throwing away her papers. I didn't correct her as I retrieved them. So there is a giant pile of worksheets on the counter ready to be hidden in the recycling pile.

The backpack hook was on the wall but I did not do a very good installation and it has already been ripped out of the wall. I need to put some better anchors in.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Call

Last week I got "the call". The call that every mother dreads. I was in a meeting 90 miles away from home and I could see the daycare number pop up on my phone. Fortunately Charlie was working at home and I knew if Calvin was sick, he could go pick him up. I listened to the message and it was pretty innocent so I assumed it was something trivial I needed to do. I still had some papers in my bag i needed to fill out. A few minutes after that, Charlie called and said he was meeting Miss Sara and Calvin at the hospital! Calvin had fallen and passed out and they were taking him to the hospital just in case. My co-workers all heard a giant "What! I'm leaving in a few minutes." I was in a bit of shock and continued talking about my project. They all turned to me and told me to leave... now.  
I got in the car and left. I still had an hour and a half to drive. There was nothing I could do. I made a call to my office because there was a meeting there that I was supposed to go to. I wasn't sure if I should go home or to the office. I think I was in shock because I felt nothing. I remember thinking that I must have good faith because even though I had gotten "the call", I knew Calvin was fine. I wasn't worried. Should I be? Would a better mother be more worried? A few minutes later, I did break down. It was such a range of emotions for that 90 mile drive. 
Thank goodness for cell phones. I was able to talk to Charlie every 15 minutes and got updates. Apparently, he had fallen at the playground, hit his eye and blacked out. They did a CT Scan just in case. The cut on his eye didn't need stitches. Charlie said that when he got here Calvin was very out of it and very scared. But by the time they left, he was looking better. By the time I got back to town, Calvin had been given the all clear and released. I went to work for a little while. I felt like I was doing the wrong thing and was supposed to go home to be with my baby. But my baby was with his dad and was getting ready to take a nap. There was nothing I could have done for him. Plus, I was still shaking and so worked up. I don't think I could have gone home. I needed to calm down.
He was diagnosed with a mild concussion. After talking to the director and his teachers later, I am still not sure what happened. I am not sure how he fell, hit his eye or hit his head. But he scared them. They said he was definitely out and they were blowing on his face trying to get a reaction. After he came to, his color was gone and he was not himself and was totally out of it.
I went home early and was there when he woke up from his nap. The nice thing about having Laci in school is that I was able to call and change her transportation for the day. She rode the bus home. I thought that was great - the school delivers your child home! I didn't have to go back out with Calvin to pick her up. When Calvin got up, he was still moving pretty slow. I actually sat and watched him watch a movie. I have never seen him sit still to watch an entire movie before. He must have been out of it. But by bedtime that night, he was back to his crazy self - climbing on furniture and jumping on the couch. It's hard to keep a 2 year old down. But we survived our first trip to the ER.  And fortunately with nothing broken. 

Beginning of school woes...

Last week, Laci came off the school bus one day in tears. I didn't know what was wrong. She walked home without saying a word, walked into the house and curled up in a ball on the couch under a blanket. I have never seen her do that before. I kept asking her what was wrong and she kept saying that she didn't want to talk about it and just wanted to sit quietly for a minute. I suddenly realized that in this next phase of her life, this scene may happen a lot. I gave her a hug and let her be. A few minutes later, she told me what was wrong. Three things. 1. Abby brought stickers in to share and she didn't get one. 2. Isaiah (her one friend from daycare) won't talk to her 3. her flower bracelet that she made in recess broke. A little while later, she bounced back to her regular self and told me that those three things didn't bother her and she was fine. I decided to let it go.  I'm sure it will come up again. School is easy for her. The social part of school is a bit tougher.
A few days later, Laci was lamenting to Charlie again about Isaiah not talking to her. He explained again that sometimes boys just want to be friends with boys and he is just trying to make new friends too just like her. This change in friends has been tough on her. She went from a place that was like home to her and she knew everyone and everyone knew her to a place where no one knows her. The one person she does know won't even talk to her. She's struggling a little bit as all kindergartners too. And their mothers can't help them with this one. This isn't the last time she will struggle and she will get through it.  But it is hard to see her struggling and upset. 
Her birthday is in a few weeks and since we don't know any of her new friends, I thought it might be better to invite some of her old familiar friends that she hasn't seen in awhile. I know we will have many days where she needs to snuggle on the couch quietly under a blanket as she figures all of this growing up stuff out. On the positive side, Isaiah started talking to her again and she has mentioned that she is starting to make friends. She's finding her way.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

She hit the wall...

One of the reasons not listed on the previous post about going to kindergarten is no naps in kindergarten. Laci still took naps at her daycare and she does not need one every day. She hasn't taken a nap on the weekend for a couple of years. But since she always took one at school during the week, we never fully transitioned to "no naps". Bedtime was tough because she wasn't tired because she had taken a 2 hour nap at school. She was tired on the weekends... overtired leads to tantrums.

Today was Day 8 of no naps. Today she hit the wall. I recognized the overtired tantrum immediately. Her tantrum started before dinner because her lego helicopter broke. I hugged her, ignored her and we moved on. Charlie and her got into it later. It was ugly. He was getting on her about every little thing. She was provoking him. I knew it was because she was overtired. I finally got her calmed down enough to take a walk around the block in the stroller.  I knew she needed some downtime. I felt pretty silly walking my nearly 5 year old around the block in the stroller as I waved to neighbors.  She barely fit in the stroller.  But it was needed.  We had a talk about behavior and listening to her dad.  When we got home, she apologized to Charlie and me. 

I am sure we will have plenty more tantrums due to overtiredness before we are done with this transition.  But it is time.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Another First ... after a family morning.

Today Calvin's daycare was closed for teacher training.  So I stayed home with him.  It was such a nice, rare family moment Monday.  Charlie got up and went running at the regular time.  Calvin usually gets up between 7 - 7:15 on the weekends.  He was up at 6:30 today.  So I brought him in bed with me and we snuggled and watched TV.  When Charlie got home, he joined us.  It may have been the first time we had a "peanut butter" sandwich with Calvin.  A few minutes later, Laci walked in.  Of course, Calvin immediately yelled "Laci go away... Laci No" as she climbed in bed with us.  He did not want her spoiling his mommy and daddy moment.  But our rare Monday morning, peanut butter and jelly sandwich was just perfect. 

Because I was going to be home, Laci took the bus to school and home.  I don't know who was more nervous - me or her.  Oh wait, I do know - ME.  She was so excited.  I was nervous.  My nervousness was so silly - all logistics.  What if we go to the wrong bus stop or the wrong corner.  What if they don't take her because she didn't ride the bus the first three days.  What if we miss the bus?

Of course,  my fears were all silly.  The morning was pretty leisurely.  Her bus doesn't come until 8:30 a.m.  So we went outside at 8:15 and just hung out on the corner.  She is the only kid at her corner but we could see two other stops with several kids waiting.  The bus driver was surprised to see her but knew who she was.  Laci want sit in the back even though I told her kindergarteners had to sit in the front.  The bus driver directed to her to assigned seat.  As she drove off, Calvin said "Bye bye Laci.  See you later." 

Calvin and I had a busy morning running errands and we went out to lunch.  It was nice.  I had one more errand I wanted to do but I also wanted to take a long walk with him.  He took a super long nap.  So the errand will have to wait.  Walks with my baby don't come often and they always come first. 

At 8:30 when we dropped Laci off, 4:00 seemed forever away.  But really, 4:00 to meet the bus came pretty quickly!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The end of an era... The Beginning of a new chapter

It's official.  Laci is a kindergartner now.  I am now the parent of an elementary student.  But I'm not going to be running out to get a proud parent of an XYZ honors student sticker anytime soon.  

This has been a crazy week.   Full of emotion and change.   For all of us.  Change is hard.  Monday and Tuesday hit us harder than we thought.  Saying good bye to the daycare really hit me.  I was a mess all day Tuesday knowing that it was her last day there.  We love everyone there so much and they are so good to my children.  But I think it is the safety factor that I loved about it.  She has gone there for almost 5 years and we are so comfortable there.  She knows everyone and everything about that school.  I don't  know why I was so upset.  I will still go there everyday to pick up Calvin.  

Laci on her first day of daycare.  Feels like yesterday...
Laci cried for school that morning.  Charlie was sure that it was because of the big change that was coming.  She kept saying how excited she was for elementary school and how sad she was to leave her friends.  He tried to give her a few extra hugs.  She had drama that morning over a new skirt that we tried on Monday night for the first day of kindergarten that didn't fit.  I took the skirt with me to work Tuesday so we could go to the mall after school and try to return it.  So she was crying because the skirt wasn't there.  I wasn't sure what mood she would be in when I picked her up.  She was pretty excited and skipped out of there.  When I asked her about being upset that morning, she insisted that it was the skirt she was upset about that morning and not leaving school.  And then she followed it up with asking if we can go to the mall.  
Laci on her last day of daycare. 
It broke my heart to see this picture but she has assured me
multiple times that she is only upset about the skirt.

Wednesday morning went great.  We are still working out transportation issues - some days Charlie will take both, some days I will take both and some days I will take Calvin and he will take Laci.  Charlie took both kids and Laci liked going to the old school to say hi to her friends.  But she was thrilled to skip out of there to go to elementary school.  I was excited all day long to pick her up and hear about her adventures.  Both Charlie and I goofed on the before and afterschool care pick up and went to the wrong doors / areas.  In a sense, we're "kindergartners" too.  She had a great day.

The hardest part for me was hearing how disappointed she was that she didn't get to ride the bus.  After school, she was the only person that had to go to afterschool care and not take the bus / get picked up.  It was the first time I think she realized that not everyone goes to daycare.  I was upset because I felt like I am the only mother around here that works.  Charlie reminded me that some kids go to afterschool daycares, some get picked up by friends and some mothers have different schedules.  I'm not the only mother that works.  Laci did think it was neat that she gets to play with the "big kids" afterschool.  I'll try to play that up.  Monday Calvin's school is closed so I am staying home with him.  I will let her ride the bus to and from school that day.  I hope that makes her feel better about the whole bus thing. 

The other plus / minus was the food.  We are really struggling with what Laci eats.  She is getting pickier and it's harder to get her to eat healthy.  She refuses to eat vegetables.  The school now has "healthy" foods that I am not sure if she will eat.  The before school care has breakfast but she has already complained about the cereal - Rice crispies and corn flakes.  We reminded her that she needs to eat it anyway.  She always ate lunch at daycare so having the option to bring a lunch is exciting to her.  It's been fun to pack a little lunch for her - even it is her weird favorite sandwich - peanut butter and shredded cheese on pitas.  If she eats it, I'll be happy.  They eat lunch at 11 and then she doesn't get a snack until afterschool at 4.  I know she will be hungry.  I hope this forces her to eat all of her lunch and the healthy snacks they give her - even if she doesn't like them.  It will take time to figure all of this out.  She ate a ton at dinner tonight.   The food thing is really a whole other issue but I hope that going to school helps with that also. 

The biggest surprise was how Calvin reacted.  I didn't even think of how this would effect Calvin until a few weeks ago when Laci spent a couple of days at her grandmas and wasn't at school.  He misses her.  Today, his teacher said that he asked about her day whenever they were in the hallway or lunchroom, times they normally saw her. When i picked him up, he asked about her.  I told her we had to pick her up at school.  He still thought I meant the daycare and assumed she was playing outside with the rest of the kids.  He went crazy when I put him the car and pulled out of there without.  He thought we were leaving her at the playground!  The entire 10 minute drive was him saying "Laci school.  Pick up Laci" over and over.  She liked that he missed her.  Even though we explained that she was going to a new school, he is too young to understand what that means.  This week was really an adjustment for all 4 of us!