Sunday, September 26, 2010

Birthday week comes to a close...

I had an awesome birthday week. I love birthdays. I look forward to a great date with my hubby and a to-die for meal from my mom. Both fulfilled my expectations. Jon took me out to Bravo Cucina Italiana- my favorite. Then Jon told me we were going to watch Survivor at our friends' house but he had to "stop by Scheel's for something real quick". So we went into the mall and amidst the hunting paraphernalia, he handed me some money and said, "phase two of your birthday: shopping". Oh, music to any woman's ears! No kids throwing temper tantrums as I hurriedly look through a store, pretending to ignore the annoyed glares of the employees. No searching under racks for the paci that Dawson launched out of the stroller at some unknown location. Just blissful shopping, at my own pace (ok....a slightly quicker pace with my hubby, knowing the sacrifice he was making on my behalf!!). He was such a good sport, pretending to be completely enamored with the clothes I was trying on. He even uttered the words, "that's super cute. You should try that on." (That would be the equivalent of me saying, "let's hurry home. The game's almost on!") He was a great shopping companion, even though it was all an act. I didn't mind. We stopped at Cold Stone on the way home (my new fave there- key lime pie with graham cracker crumbs) and watched Survivor together.
Birthday part two: lunch at my mom's today with most of our family. She made my all time favorite comfort meal- pot roast and mashed potatoes with gravy and Judie brought my favorite side- broccoli with cheese sauce. My birthday cake was a new recipe that I gave my mom to make: Tres Leches Cake. It was heavenly. Probably will be my yearly request now.
Thank you, family, for making me feel so loved and cherished on my birthday! I'm so blessed and thankful.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Two for Tea

I've never posted a blog about stuff I would love to have but I suppose there's a first time for everything. I came across these teacups today as I was reading another blog and fell in love. I'm way more of a tea drinker than a coffee drinker (my fave is Good Earth, Original with a little milk and honey) and I would love to sip tea from this:

I was thinking it would be a perfect gift for my English mother-in-law until I saw the $48 pricetag when I went to the web site. No mug is worth that kind of money. Oh well. Maybe I'll buy a plain white one and use a Sharpie.
This one is even cuter. It comes with a special marker to write your own message. How sweet to write a note and send it to your faraway best friend?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Photo Obsession

Completely self-indulgent, I know...but I'm just crazy about this photo my sister, Claire, took the other day. So rare to be in a picture with my kids!:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

It's my party but my brother will cry when he wants to...

We had so much fun at Dawson's first birthday party. It was much simpler than Bennett's first, but that will probably be the story of his life. I've always done a full meal for Bennett's parties and it was really nice not to worry about that this time around. We just had cupcakes and snacks with all our family. It was very for Bennett's outrageous behavior followed by a meltdown that occurred every 20 minutes or so. Either he was sleep-deprived or he was throwing out all the stops to steal the spotlight from the birthday boy! He spent about half the party in time-outs.
But besides that, it was so much fun. These first birthdays are really more for me than for the baby anyway, so I love it! Happy-I-survived-the-first-year-of-your-life-day to me!!

And as usual, I recruited my ever creative MIL to create some adorable party decorations. She even made the hats!

The "circus tent":

Ready to dig in!:
He scarfed that thing down in about two minutes.

They turn one and think they can sit at the big kids table. Sorry kids...not til your feet touch the ground:
Where there's Aunt Kayla, there will be mustaches!!:
All the cousins:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The crime scene:

Possibly an ape trying to ration out our supply of bananas among his friends?
Nope. Just a three year old left to his own devices for too long.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Preschool update...

Bennett has now completed his first real week of preschool. Last week was meet the teacher day on Wednesday and a hour of free play on Friday while we had a parent's meeting. This week was the real deal. And it was also back to work for me. I'm working 3 days a week (2 half days and a full day) back at America's Family Coaches. Its fun to be back and remove my "mom" hat for a little while. That hat has felt heavier lately with my emotional three year old and my very mobile almost one year old.
Bennett loves preschool. I didn't even get the chance to kiss him goodbye when I dropped him off today! He just jumped in the circle with all the kids. It was fun to ask him about his first day and try to imagine him in there with all those kids. I can't wait til his assigned snack days when I get to be a helper and sit in the classroom!
So on Wednesday I was asking him all kinds of questions and he was answering all of them. Then he says, "and there's something with a kid I don't want to tell you." Oh dear...I got a little tense. I knew he meant he did something he knew he shouldn't have. I'd heard that phrase a couple times recently, as in, "Mom, there's something with Dawson I can't tell you." And then as any easily manipulated three-year old would, he confesses what he did. Usually involves hitting his brother with a toy.
Me: "what did you do?"
B: "I can't tell you"
Me: "Yes, you can, Bennett. You can tell Mommy anything."
B: "No, Mom. You'll be mad."
And then I pulled out the infamous parenting line: "You can tell me. I won't be mad at you."
B: "I was fighting."
Me: "Who were you fighting with?"
B: "A boy about a block"
Me: "Did you hit him??"
B: "NO, Mom!"

Phew....instant relief. A little fight over a block. He didn't deck the kid. Thank heavens I wasn't the mom of the child who hit a kid the first day of preschool. We talked about the appropriate way to handle the situation.

Day 2: His homework is late. He was supposed to bring back a page covered in pictures of things he likes and we didn't get it done. This is not good. I was the WORST procrastinator in school. Let's hope I didn't just set the standard for the rest of his life as a student. I better email his teacher and ask for an extension!! :)

PS. Upcoming blogworthy event...Dawson turns 1 next week!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

First Day

I apologize ahead of time for all the details...I know our moms will love reading about it!

Today was meet the teacher day for Bennett's preschool. It was basically a walk-through of what their day will look like. I was so excited as we were getting ready to go. I was actually ready to go early so there was no rushing around. I seriously cannot remember the last time we had time to spare in the morning. I need to remember that 15 or 20 minutes of extra sleep are not worth it! It was wonderful. (It really helped that Bennett went to bed early last night so Jon and I had a good two hours together after the kids were asleep and went to bed early ourselves. The later our kids are up, the later I want to stay up)
I actually got a little choked up at one point during the walk-through, which surprised me. This has been one of the things I've looked forward to more than anything else since Bennett was born.
There are several parts to their day and they move to different rooms, which seems great to keep them focused and engaged. They have to wash their hands in the bathroom and go potty, then they go into a small classroom and find their hook with their name (Bennett found his all by himself!) to hang their bag up. They spend 10 - 15 minutes in there for focused learning. Then they have gym time. They get a full half hour to run around and play in a huge gym and work on gross motor skills like balancing and riding trikes. Then they go to the Choice Room (below) where they have some less structured learning time and then play time at the center of their choice.
His teacher, on the right, Miss Heidi, and the asst teacher, Miss Dawn:
The playdough table- this is what Bennett's looking forward to the most!

Man, I wish I could remember more of my preschool years. It looks so darn fun! All I remember is a boy named Sawyer or Samuel accusing me of wearing lipstick to school in K-4 because my lips were really red. I was so embarrassed.