Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pushing Fall

Have I mentioned before that I can't stand hot, humid, weather?  I'm sure I have.  Just in case, I'm saying it again.  So when September comes around, I get even more irritated when the temperatures don't drop to a storybook Autumn where I can wear my new school clothes and pick apples. 

But yesterday it was cool enough so that the girls and I could take a nice, long walk and play at the park without getting burned by the equipment.  We needed to wear sweatshirts and jeans.  It was lovely. 

So after the girls took their naps, we made hot chocolate.

I think this picture sums up these two ladies' personalities quite nicely.  Hadley's all, "Hooooraayy for hot chocolate!"  Harper's like, "Mom.  What are you doing wasting time taking a picture when you said we can have hot chocolate?"
Stir it up, little darlin'. Stir it up.
(Harper's in the middle of saying, "My turn! My turn!")
Get in there, Harper.  Nobody's forgotten about you.
We decided to drink our hot chocolate outside because it was such a nice brisk afternoon.
Harper had chocolate milk instead.  I thought better of giving this child something hot to drink.
We had a nice little time sitting on the porch and enjoying something fun to drink.  

Monday, September 20, 2010

It's Funny Now

Last Sunday, as I was just getting ready to give the girls baths and then put them to sleep, Harper busted her lip open.  Harper's busted her lip lots of times.  Probably more times than what is normal for someone her age.  I'm learning, though, that Harper is not normal.  Take today for example.  She wouldn't take a nap unless her pink croc-like shoes were on.  Not normal. 

Anyway, she fell off a little stool that she was half on - half off of while she was coloring.  I believe she hit the table and then the floor, resulting in quite a whammy of an owwee.  It wasn't pretty, I won't lie.  Do you know that lips bleed a lot?  No?  They do.  A lot.  Luckily, Hadley went to get her doctor's kit that we got her for Christmas and told me she knew "just what to do" while Harper was screaming and blood was everywhere.  So the three of us were in the bathroom, me holding Harper trying to wipe blood from her face, and Hadley, standing on her little step stool, pulling out her stethescope, trying to find Harper's heartbeat. 

It was fantastic.

Did I mention that we were closing in on bedtime when this happened?  Did I also mention that Jesse was in Germany?  Just wanted to make sure I covered the "who, what and where" before I proceeded.

This was the worst lip bust I've seen, so we went to the ER.  I'm glad that we did because Harper's teeth went through her lip and the doctor worked his magic so that I can type this post now and say that Harper's lips are as beautiful as ever.    Otherwise, maybe she would've forever looked like this:
I realize I'm not the most important person in the world, but maybe the 4th or the 5th, and so it was extremely annoying to have to wait in the waiting room with two little kids while they pranced all over the place.  It was even worse to have to wait in the hospital room with nothing but a bed with lots of buttons and gadgets for little fingers to constantly touch.  When the doctor came in, looked at Harper, then told me what he was going to do, I thought he'd go get his tools and be right back but apparently there were other people in the world that had accidents so it was another 45 minutes before he came back.  You'd think we could've left after he "fixed up" Harper, but we got to hang out for another 45 minutes to wait to be released.  At one point, both of them were crying so I opened up our door, inched them as close to the hallway as I could, and had them cry and scream, "I WANNA GO HOOOOOMMMME!" so that everyone could have as much fun as I was having. 

It wasn't much longer before a nurse came in with two popsicles and our release papers and off we went.

The girls were in bed by a respectable 11pm. 


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Choose Your Adventure

Do you remember those books?  The ones where you would start to read and then at the bottom of the page it would say something like, "If you want to see so and so fight the dragon, turn to page 34.  If you want to see so and so play hopscotch turn to page 67."  I always chose the page that would get me to the end the fastest, thus ending my silent reading time.  What?!?!  She didn't like to read when she was a kid?  Nope.  I found silent reading dreadfully boring.  I'd sit and listen to a story no problem, but nothing was as interesting as what was going on in my own head when I was reading to myself.  I know.  I think am the center of the universe.

Anyway, this blog post is sort of like a choose your own adventure because as I'm typing I'm trying to decide which adventure to write about: Hadley's first day of school, or Harper's trip to the ER.  Hmmmm.  What to do, what to do.  I think I'll choose Hadley's first day of school.  Those of you who don't want to read about that subject (jerks) can wait until the blood and gore post follows.  I'll try not to disappoint.

I would first like to say that I am so pleased with the school we chose to put Hadley in for preschool.  They did a fine job with having several weeks worth of activities to get the kids settled into the classroom, etc.  We went to a "Popsicle Party" one week, and the kids got to play on the playground.  The next week the kids had some play time in the classroom while their teacher talked to us about different things that would happen during the year.  And then the first week of school started out slowly with a one hour day before Hadley went through the full day routine.  (Of course, Hadley was super annoyed that she only got to go for an hour).

I also got a newsletter (big fan of the newsletter) and an email from her teacher.  When I was teaching, I loved it when parents sent me notes of encouragement, so I sent out a little note saying how much fun Hadley was having.  I got a note back telling me that Hadley is a sweet, inquisitive little girl, and that she was the only one who knew the teacher's name.  Hadley's teacher's name is not an easy one to remember.  Let's just say that it's not "Smith" or "Johnson."  Actually, I think her name is just as hard to remember as my preschool teacher's name was.  It was something like "Popodopsnuffeloffagus" or something like that.  I'm sure I'm close.

Anyway, school is going very well.  Hadley loves it, and I am happy with what's going on so far.  Here are some pictures of the first day.

Here's Harper with her backpack on.  She thinks she's going to school, too.  You can imagine how awesome the car ride home was after we dropped Hadley off and Harper had come to the realization that she wasn't going too.  "I wanna geeee out!  Where Hadley go?  Eh! Eh!  I'm stuck!  I wanna geeee out!  Where Hadley go?"

Look how nervous she is.
(We were told to unbuckle the kids once we got in the parking lot so that the teachers could get them out quickly.  Just so you don't think I'm Britney Spears or anything.)
There she goes.  Handle with care, ladies.  Handle with care.
After school, I took the girls to Panera for lunch.  It seemed like the right thing to do.
Do you see how Harper is trying to do exactly what Hadley does?  Harper is Hadley's number one fan.  Unless Hadley has a toy Harper wants.  But they are buddies.  Hadley told me the other day that Harper is her best friend. 

Next up, why my youngest daughter looks like she got into a bar fight. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pictures and an Anecdote

That's my rule of thumb on this here blog.  I like to put up some pictures of the H's and then tell a story.  The problem with the pictures I want to put up today is that I wasn't there when the event was happening.  I was somewhere else, physically speaking. 

So you'll have to look at the pictures and maybe make up a story of your own.  In the meantime, here's what Hadley and Harper are doing while I'm typing this:  They're playing a game called "Rescue Girls."  They made it up.  They're running around the house asking Jesse and I if anything needs rescuing.  Hadley runs up to one of us, and Harper follows behind her on her truck.  Hadley says, "We're the rescue girls!  Do you have anything that needs rescuing?"  And then Harper says, "We rescue girls! Need Rescuing?"  Jesse and I then tell them what needs rescuing.  I love that they are playing together more and more.  I love listening to them talk to each other.  Yes they fight, but they play together too and it makes me so happy.  Not because it gives me a break (which, let's be honest, it does), but because I love the idea that we gave them to each other.  I love that they enjoy each other's company.

Speaking of keeping each other company.....

If that's not a hallmark picture, I don't know what is.

The child screams in outrage when I put socks on her feet, but this she'll wear.
I'm having scuba diving flashbacks.
Give me more, Dad.  Give. Me. More.  Don't make me get angry.  Nobody likes it when I'm angry.
Even though I wasn't there, I feel confident writing that fun was had by all at Big Star.  Because Big Star=Big Fun.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Reason Number 42,345 Why I'll Never Understand My Kids

Here's how the conversation went before bed the other night:

Hadley: Mom, I want to sleep on the floor.

Me: No, you don't.

Hadley: Yes, I do.

Me: Hadley, you are not sleeping on the floor.

Hadley: Yes!  Please let me!

Me: Fine.  Goodnight.

Thirty seconds later (I am not kidding) here she is.

Jesse snapped the pictures then put her in her bed.  Because I can just see her walking in our bedroom in the middle of the night and saying, "Why was I sleeping on the floor?"  And I would have no answer for her.

My mom is reading this and saying, "Cha-Ching!"  It's payback for all the times I insisted that tightrolling my jeans was necessary, or begging her to please cut my bangs so they looked  exactly like Chrissy Catrombone's.  But come on, that was in the name of fashion.  Sleeping on the floor?  That's just nonsense! 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

See You In September

We celebrated Labor Day weekend with a visit from Geoff and Kellee, our family from the south.  They didn't bring a southern drawl with them, but they did bring lots of fun and if it were up to Hadley and Harper, we'd start up the "Uncle Geoff and Aunt K-Yee Fan Club" ASAP.  You might not know this, but kids are a lot of work.  When they like you, they are even more work.  Hadley and Harper love Geoff and Kellee.  I'm afraid we sent them home exhausted and probably happy for the peace and quiet they are enjoying in Raleigh.

We spent some time hanging out in parks around the neighborhood, and on Saturday night, the four of us went downtown to 2 Amys for pizza.  Does every mother preference a statement about how much they like to go out with their husband and other other adults with, "I love my kids, but...."?  Or is it just me?  Either way, I love my kids but having a babysitter that is wonderful with my girls, and being able to leave to go out with other adults is lovely.  It's worth every penny of Jesse's hard earned money. 

We also spent the day in Georgetown where you might notice it is crowded, but with an almost 2 and 4 year old, it's just downright madness.  But we had fun walking along the river and doing some window shopping.  We also enjoyed a nice lunch at Dean and Deluca.  They have this great alleyway with tables set up so you can enjoy your baguette and people watch.  Or just make sure neither of your kids is putting anything in their mouths they aren't supposed to.

A few pictures:

Harper's smiling and Hadley's in the middle of a silly dance and silly face.  Don't let Harper fool you into thinking she's a sweet little angel.  There is a reason we nicknamed this child Voldemort.

But she has me under her spell, that's for sure.
Who's that cute looking couple?

It's Mr. and Mrs. Lewis!

Here's Kellee generously giving me a break from doing what she's doing with Harper.  Look how happy I am. 

Looking at a rather dried up part of the C & O Canal.
I'm pretty sure Harper's saying, "Wook, K-yee, wook!"
I think everybody had a good time.  It's fun to see them as much as we do now that they are live closer.

Friday, September 3, 2010


So let's talk about scrapbooking.  I'm a fan, but since I've started blogging I haven't made time for the other kind of memory keeping.  The thing I love about blogging is that I get to tell the story behind the picture. 

With scrapbooking, I always enjoyed designing the layouts.  It was fun to find the right colors and designs to match the picture.  It was a way to make the picture(s) look nice, but it was also a way to focus for a few moments on that specific memory.  On the other hand, with blogging, I get to throw up the picture and spend time thinking about what kinds of things I want to write about that picture.  Both tactics are ways of spending time making sense of the memory I'm preserving, but I'm finding writing suits me better.

It's the "throw up the picture" part that I need work on.  In case you don't know, there are other blogs out there.  And the pictures these bloggers post are gorgeous.  They make changing a diaper look like something you'd actually want to do.  One of these blogs is Becky's Blog.  I bought her book, Creative Lettering years ago at Micheals when I was scrapbooking, and still use it every now and then. I loved looking at her scrapbook layouts in Creating Keepsakes when I worked in a scrapbooking store one summer (that job didn't last long once I found out thatI am not nice to customers).

This week on her blog, she challenged her readers to put their camera down, take a picture, and see what happens.  Looking at the picture, you are to take notice of the details and perhaps the memory surrounding that picture.  I think it's called the "Picture of the Day" challenge (or POTD).  I thought this would be a great writing activity so I tried it.  Here's what I came up with.

First thing I notice?  Crumbs!  Yuck.  Why didn't I clean up my table after the girls and I had lunch?  And why is that sippy cup out?  Should've put that away too.  And while I'm at it, Hadley shouldn't be drinking out of a sippy cup anymore anyway.  Bad mother.  Oh, but I love my pantry wall.  The one with the word "summer" on it?  Can you see it back there?  I've been collecting little things this summer and putting them on the door.  I have wristbands from the splash park that the girls and I go to.  A picture of Monticello.  A little art project Hadley worked on.  I'll put all those things in a scrapbook I collect things like this in, and then start a new "pantry door dec" for the fall.

I never, ever watch news shows.  They freak me out.  But on Wednesday I had it on because there was a guy holding people hostage in the Discovery Building, and Jesse was working next door.  He called and told me what was going on.  I asked him if he was OK and he says, "Yea, I think so."  Not the right answer, Jesse.  Not. The. Right. Answer. Just stop at "Yea."  Never add, "I think so." I am thinking all kinds of horrible scenarios, texting him every 5 minutes to make sure his building hasn't been taken over, and of course, watching MSNBC because it's reporting every second of it. 

Here's my favorite.  Harper woke up from her nap and wanted to read books to Bear, Diego, and Uniqua (you know Uniqua, right?  From the Backyardigans?).  So she lined them all up and read them stories.  Bear looks like he's enjoying it, and apparently Diego has a little crush on Bear.  Maybe Diego's just making sure Bear is doing OK. He is an animal rescuer afterall.

I liked this exercise because it required no planning.  I just clicked away and then looked at what I came up with.  Completely opposite of the way I tend to approach life.  I kind of like it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Making Fun of Something Always Comes Back to Bite You in the Butt

I shouldn't use the word "butt" in a children's blog.  I should be ashamed of myself.  Clearly, getting busted by Miss "I love my Blue Blockers" Lyons in first grade for saying "butt" on the playground taught me nothing.  Neither did making fun of "carpool" at my first teaching job.  This isn't carpool in the way of "take my kid to school with your kid and I'll pick them both up."  This is carpool where you get a number for your car, and that number is assigned to your kid.  Your kid stays in his/her seat or in his/her classroom until that number is called.  Then s/he (runs) walks quietly and slowly down the hallway to the front of the building where a teacher is standing there waiting to tell him/her that s/he can leave to go to the next teacher on the sidewalk until that teacher escorts him/her into the car.

Guess who has a number for her car? 

That's right, folks.  Hadley's preschool does carpool.  I was explained how it worked for some time on Tuesday when Hadley and I went to a "Popsicle Party" for the kids.  Another mother, who has kids in the school (one of which will be in Hadley's class), took the time to explain it to me.  She was very nice to tell me how it all works because this is not a process you just "wing."  Oh no.  Carpool is a monster.  If you don't know what you're doing, you suffer major consequences.  Hadley needs to be sitting on the right side of the car because that is the side the teacher will pick her up and put her back in. Make sure you have your number hanging from the rear view mirror.  DO NOT place it on the dashboard because no one can see it there.  What? You don't have a minivan with automatic sliding doors?  Well, that will just add about 7.453 seconds to the whole process, thus slowling down the rest of the group.  It's OK.  Just get there a few minutes early and maybe teach Hadley how to open the door herself so that she can help with the process. (I'm being a little dramatic, although, I did make a joke about automatic sliding doors and found out later that the mother I was talking to drives a car with said gadgets.  So I'm starting off on the right foot.)

I understand why carpool is in place.  It's just so easy to make fun of. 

No more disrespecting.  Let's move on to how psyched Hadley is to start school.  Oh my goodness, we should've found a full day program for the child.  She is so ready for school it is unbelievable.  On Tuesday, I told her we were going to a party at her school.  Here's how the conversation went after that:
Hadley: How long will we be there?
Me: It will be about an hour.
Hadley: Are you going to stay?
Me: Yes.
Hadley: Actually, Mom, I think it'd be better if you didn't stay.
Me: I have to stay for this one, Hadley.
Hadley: Oh, alright.  But don't talk to me.

Rock on.

Here's a view of the back of the school.  Three playgrounds, a shaded sandbox, and under that weeping willow are a couple of picnic tables.  Not to shabby, if I do say so myself. 

Hadley thought this playground was pretty cool. 
I look at this picture, and I feel like I'm not dealing with a preschooler.  She seems older then that.  This picture looks more similar to the way I looked the day I got my driver's license.

Hadley's looking into what might be her classroom.  We weren't sure.  She was intrigued, however.

It went downhill after this picture was taken.  I told her it was time to go and she threw a fit.  She immediately started to cry and scream.  She wouldn't get into the car.  She hit.  She kicked.  It was a mess.  And the rest of the day she was all, "Woe is me, I wanted to stay at preschool but mean ol' Mom made me leave."  She asks everyday when she's going back.  Unfortunately, for the next couple of weeks she only goes for an hour.  So I get to look forward to telling her it's time to go again.  It's gonna be great.