Monday, August 29, 2011

First Day of K and 2nd Grade!

And they loved every minute of it - especially riding that school bus!

What a huge relief as I fully expected Noah to be clinging to my leg. The other 30 + kids (no kidding!) at the bus stop, all excited and ready to go, really helped...and, of course, his big sister did too. Abby held his hand as they crossed the street, climbed on the bus, and even walked him to his classroom once they got to school. (Sure made me feel a WHOLE lot better knowing that she was looking out for him. And I am proud to report that there were no tears - shocking, I know. I was close when I walked in the house, but then Pat called and snapped me out of it. Good timing, dear.)

Feeling pretty big and BRAVE and now proclaiming that school is "SO FUN", Noah insists that he can walk to his class "by myself" tomorrow. But not fully ready to retire my "helicopter mom" status, I told him that I'd like Abby to walk with him for a few more days so that Mommy won't worry.

I am making progress - loosening those apron strings, but still one step at a time...

and today's was GIANT.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hello There, Sunshine!

The sun is finally out!

There is no flooding or damage on our street.

And as an extra bonus - We never lost power, just a flicker here and there. (Pat and the kids were even able to bake cookies last night, and we watched "Dreamer" together which was a nice distraction as we waited for the storm to arrive.)

Can't ask for anything more than that!

I am definitely feeling grateful today.

Very grateful.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tornadoes, Earthquakes, and Hurricanes - holy cow!

Alright, Mother Nature...simmer down now! You are really starting to freak me out.

I think I have a little PTSD from the tornadoes in April...

Then with the random earthquake the other day and now making preparations for "Irene" - it's all pretty unsettling.

Noah has said to me several times - "But Mom, you said dare weren't dundertorms here!"

I did tell the kids that there wouldn't be as many bad storms or tornadoes up here. I didn't even think about hurricanes. And in my defense, this is supposed to be the worst storm this area has seen in 60 years - how was I to know?

Seriously...I am starting to feel jinxed. I'm sure that we are going to lose power so I will definitely check in when things are back up and running.

To all my East Coast friends - stay safe!

And Mother Nature - give it a rest...please!

*Holy crap...when I posted this just now, I noticed the date being the 27th. It was April 27th when the storms hit in AL. My heart just fell into my stomach...told ya, PTSD. Should actually start calling it Post-Tornado Stress Disorder.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

He's Kindergarten Bound! (Photo Story Friday/GMYBS)

Up until today, I think I was in denial.

Of course, we have been talking about starting school, got all registered, even went and picked out Mario and Hello Kitty backpacks and bought all those school supplies. Still, it hadn't quite set in, but after the K orientation this morning and the open house this afternoon, there's no denying it now!

Noah was pretty clingy and putting on the shy-hide-behind-mom act when we first got there. He wasn't too keen on going down to the classroom with his teacher while the parents stayed in the "gymacafetorium"  (now that's a mouthful) either.  Abby ended up going with him (and I threatened no video games this afternoon if he didn't cooperate - gotta do what ya gotta do), and he did fine.

We lingered for a few minutes after the "meet and greet" in the classroom so I could show Noah around the room a bit...

He was most excited about test-riding the school was Abby. She begged pretty much her entire Kindergarten year to ride that bus, but I stuck to my guns.  I told her that Mommy was still getting used to her being in K - one thing at a time.

Now that she's older and can sit with Noah on the way to school (and because ALL of the kids in this neighborhood ride the bus), I am taking a deep breath and loosening the apron strings a bit. 

Abby and Noah are insisting that they want to take the bus on the first day of school - probably a good thing in case there are tears and attachment issues at the first day drop off...

and I am not just talking about Noah.  

Thank goodness he only goes half-day. I teased Abby and told her I was going to ask her teacher if she could have "half-day second grade" too, but, yeah...she didn't go for it. 

Come Monday morning, I think I am going to need donuts...lots of donuts.  

Give me your best shot at Better in BulkPhotoStory Friday
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

So THAT's What That Was!

The kids and I had just climbed in the car after doing some back-to-school shoe shopping – always a fun experience – and I had turned the ignition when we felt the car start to shake and bounce around a bit. 

Great..something is wrong with the car, I thought. Crap.

Then I looked around and noticed the antennae on the cars next to me shaking too so I figured that maybe it was just a strong gust of wind. It felt a little out of the ordinary, but the shaking stopped after a few seconds, so I pulled out and headed down to the park, as I had promised the kids. 

Of course, Noah noticed the ice cream shop along the way and started yelling “Let’s go to the ice cream place, Mom!!!”   (That boy seems to only have two volumes these days – loud and louder!)

But being that it was ICE CREAM, how could I resist? 

I turned around and parked the car when I got a text from my bff - 

Did you guys feel the earthquake that hit DC?

Do what???

That shaking in the parking lot was a freakin' earthquake!

The kids were a little worried at first. Abby asked right away if we could raise money for the people in DC like when there were earthquakes in Haiti and Japan - such a sweet kiddo. I was relieved to find out that it wasn't that bad. Just scary for a lot of people, especially our family and friends in VA. (So glad that all of you are okay!)

When my mom finally got through to us (phone lines were jammed for a couple of of hours), she said,  "It seems like you've traded tornadoes for earthquakes!

Sheesh! I sure hope not.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

This Doesn't Happen Often...if ever...

The picture may be far away and a little fuzzy...but it must be documented that, last Saturday, this mama put a slimy, nasty worm on the hook, flawlessly cast that Spiderman fishing pole into the pond, and seconds later helped Noah reel in a tugging, struggling small mouth bass!


And this mama does not fish (or touch worms), my friends. I usually just take the pictures of everyone else fishing (or in Noah's case - playing with the worms)...

Never ceases to amaze me what we mamas will do to keep our kids from whining make our kiddos smile. :o)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Too Much Sizzle in Disney's Sizzling Summer (INFO UPDATE!!!)

Dear Disney Channel:

You know that I love you, but the new “Love You Like a Love Song” video featuring Selena Gomez?

Not so much.

As a mom who enjoys watching Disney with her kids (5 & 7), after seeing this video once, I now make sure to turn the channel every time it comes on.  It is disappointing because my 7-year-old daughter is a big Selena Gomez fan, but those extremely revealing, low cut costumes, heavy makeup, and watching her get up close and personal with a long-haired, bare-chested version of Fabio is completely inappropriate for the majority of your viewing audience.

Frankly, I feel that the video should be removed from the program line-up.

I realize there is a wide age range that your company is trying to appeal to, but this video seems completely out of character for Disney Channel.  It also saddens me that Selena Gomez would present herself in such a way, still being so young herself, and knowing what a young fan base she has.  I sincerely hope that this is not the direction that Miss Gomez or Disney Channel is headed.  Even “Shake It Up” recently featured an episode where “16-year-old Justin Star”  was involved in a “scandalous relationship” with his older manager.  Yes, it ended up that he was actually 24 and married to his manager, but what if the viewer hadn’t watched the entire episode? Either way, this plot was too mature and unnecessary in my book. There are better story lines to be written. 

Keep us smiling with shows like “Good Luck, Charlie” and “Friends for Change” - shows that entertain and inspire in a fun, wholesome way. This Disney-lovin' mama and her kiddos would very much appreciate it!

*Anybody with me? I've never actually written a complaint letter like this to figure out where to send it so that someone from Disney will actually read it. 

8/18 - UPDATE: Well, I researched a bit and found not only an address for the Disney Channel, but a phone number too (818-460-7477 - Thanks to!) where you can leave a 60-second message - after you figure out which options to pick. Tip: Once Disney Channel is mentioned hit 4-2-5. QUICK! They leave no wait time before the call disconnects. After a few attempts, I was finally able to leave messages about the video and the tv show. The Parents Television Council website also lists contact information for several other channels as well. With all the junk that is on TV, I am bookmarking that site! May even join a local chapter - "
Every telephone call, letter, and e-mail really does make a difference!"

Thursday, August 11, 2011

PSF & Summer Wish List Revisited

With less than three weeks left until school starts (starts later in PA than AL - yay!), I've been trying to make up for some summer fun lost due to packing, cleaning, moving, unpacking, more cleaning... Once the kids are in school, I'll have all of the uninterrupted time in the world to get things better organized and decorated. So this past Monday, I took the kids to Friendly's for GIGANTIC sundaes, then played a round mini-golf, and ended up browsing around at Barnes and Noble. Much more fun than being stuck in a house surrounded by boxes.

I guess I shouldn't be so hard on myself. When I think about it, we have done quite a few things on our Summer Wish List that we came up with back in May...

And who says the fun has to stop once school starts? Technically, summer is not over until late September so I'm hoping to take a few Satur-"daycations". There's an amusement park not too far from here, and the beach is only a couple of hours away! September weather will probably be great for camping too. We have a state park just a couple of miles down the road - definitely need to take advantage of that.

It will be fun to see which wish list items the kids enjoyed most and help them "keep their summer learning" using this new Fishful Thinking activity: The goal of the conversation is to help your child name at least one thing they loved doing over the summer, then set a goal for building on what they learned during the school year.

As for me? All of my favorite activities seem to involve dessert.

For more summer fun photos, check out GMYBPSF!

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Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What Are the Odds?

My brother and sister-in-law are expecting their third baby any day now. They've been scouring the baby name books, checking websites, asking for suggestions and opinions (always dangerous)...

I had to laugh when I got an email from him this morning with this screen shot:

Abby and Noah are TIED for #7!

TIED! Seriously. That is crazy, but not too surprising considering...

Just in this new neighborhood of ours - there are two other Noahs on our street.  One is going into K as well. In Alabama, everywhere we went, I swear, I would hear another mom call out "Abby!" "Abigail!" Between the children's museum and the bookstore one day, there were FOUR Abbys - no kidding.

I thought we had picked less common names. Classic names, not too trendy, but I tell ya, you never know what the trend in going to be. Pat came up with Abby's name just out of the blue one day. When I looked up what it meant, it read: Abigail - born to a joyous father.  Right then, I knew that was supposed to be her name.

For Noah, it was between that or Tyler. A biblical example of faith or a classmate of Pat's who had endured great obstacles in his life - being paralyzed while he was in high school - and rising above it. It was a tough choice, but when Pat commented, "Well, Tyler would be a good football name, and Noah would be a good golf name", I was set on Noah.

It is so hard to choose, but you just have to go with what feels right to you. And if that means your kids are known by their first name and last initial throughout their school career, then so be it.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I'm Such a Sap...

It had been over two and a half years since we'd been to my mom's house in PA.

Thanksgiving of 2008 - I remember thinking when we were all there that being together like this would become a rare thing. Then Noah came down with a fever so we reluctantly headed home a day early so we could take him to the doctor. He was miserable. Poor kiddo had an ear infection.

The months that followed were chaotic (to say the least) with Pat temporarily working out of state and still job-hunting. Mom made it down to see us, but the kids and I never made it back to her house before we moved to Alabama that June.

When we pulled up to Grandie and Grandad's house a couple of weeks ago, Noah was completely confused.  He thought we were going to visit them in Chicago since that's where we went last fall. I explained to him that they live in both places right now because of Grandad's job, but eventually, they will just live in this house only a couple of hours away from us. Being so little when we were there that Thanksgiving, Noah had no memory of this house at all. He ran up the walkway and up the front steps, excited to check out the place.

As Mom opened the door, and we walked inside, I had to fight back a few tears. My emotions love to get the best of me. The tears kicked in again when Mom took us over to local farmer's market/bakery/cafe that is one of my favorite places in the world. (Thank goodness for sunglasses to disguise my red eyes.) Thinking of how little the kids were the last time we were there and that now we'll be so much all seemed a bit surreal.

It seems surreal just being here in this house and this new neighborhood. I am going through the motions, getting unpacked, making things functional, registering the kids for school (still can't believe Noah is starting K - so glad it's only half day)....but I definitely feel out of sorts. Probably doesn't help that last week Pat had to work pretty much 12 hour days. Not to mention that I am trying to transition Rocket to being an inside dog since we no longer have a fenced in backyard. I feel like I have a whining 80lb toddler with separation anxiety who is constantly underfoot.

But when I get to feeling lonely or overwhelmed, I remind myself of pulling up to my mom's house, being so much closer to Virginia, and anticipate how nice it will be to be able to spend Thanksgiving with family this year...and I think Mom's coming back for Labor Day too. We are definitely looking forward to that and to going back to Brown's Orchard for fresh peach sundaes and old-fashioned kettle corn.  No wonder I missed that place so much!