Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Everyone loves a parade

On Sunday the whole family went out to a parade. We had to drop Natalie off with some teachers from her school because she was in the parade. Then we had to walk everyone to where we were going to sit with friends for the parade. And we sat and waited to see Natalie and embarrass shout words of encouragement at her.

Waving to the firetrucks

My friend's daughter in the marching band

Look at how thrilled Alyssa was with her first parade

An old army truck

Alyssa still not super enthused with the parade

The kids looking for more candy

Even Santa was in the parade! With a surf board???

An old fire truck

The Shriners

A tow truck for the little Shriner car

Nice old car

Whoa horsey!

Natalie holding the banner for #1 middle school

We didn't embarrass her at all can't you tell?

Another old fire truck

Snoopy was at the parade too!

Natalie wearing her mum

It was a really nice day for a parade. Natalie said she won't be doing that again though. Ha, she had lost her water bottle so she was really thirsty and worn out. It was a long parade.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Natalie's open house

Last night we went to Natalie's school to meet her teachers and find out what is expected of her this year. And because she made it into the AVID program they started out the evening for those 50 students and their families with a BBQ. They even had a raffle drawing which Kaitlyn ended up winning a $5 Target gift card. How cool is that?

So we learned a little more about the AVID program and met some of the other families that are involved and then we went to the auditorium to listen to the principal speak. Because of the percentage of students who did so well on the state testing last year they are raising the expectations of the students. So they are going to be pushed this year.

Also the principal had to address the new laws on bullying and cyber-bullying. If a student partakes in cyber-bullying even if it's at home, then the school by law has to take action. They have been talking to the children about how to become the person in the circle of bullies who stands up and tells someone. It's so good to hear them taking a huge proactive stance against bullying. Especially considering just yesterday on my Monica's Mom Musings' blog Natalie shared a personal story there.

Then we got to go meet her team teachers. They seem so young. They all seem nice so far though. I did not really talk to them. After that we went back to the auditorium to hear from the Unified Arts teachers. And finally it was done.

Kaitlyn and CJ went to childcare. CJ was a huge hit there. As a matter of fact so much so that one of the middle school kids that was watching them took a picture of him with her phone and said she was going to have it as her screen saver. Hmmm, that seems a little creepy. Some girl I don't know has a picture of my son on her phone. Wonder what she'll tell people about who he is? Sounds like he had fun though and so did Kaitlyn.

It was a super late night for all. When we got home at nearly 9 we had to send Kaitlyn and CJ to bed right away. Natalie had stayed after at school yesterday to make cupcakes for the BBQ and hadn't come home. We ended up meeting her at the school last night. She did do most of her homework, but still had stuff to do when we got home. So she had to finish that and then I had to type something out for her so she could get to bed at a semi decent time last night.

Thankfully the morning didn't go too bad this morning. Although, I did send Natalie to school without breakfast because we had to stretch her paper some to make it the length her teacher wanted it to be. So she was going to get breakfast at school, but apparently her bus was too late for her to do that. Poor thing must have been starving all day. I think this is going to be a very challenging year for Natalie, but a good one. Lots of new stuff for her. Including getting to march in a parade on Sunday carrying a banner that shows her school as ranked #1 middle school in the state. What an awesome opportunity for her to get to do that and so great that she's a part of the #1 middle school in the state.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kaitlyn's Open House

With the start of the school year comes a chance for us to get into the schools and the classrooms and meet our child's teacher and see their class and how their day goes. Last night was that night at Kaitlyn's school. Next week we have one for Natalie and I am hoping that CJ's doesn't end up being the same night as Natalie's. That would of course be the way it goes though since I can't be two places at once.

But anyways, we met Kaitlyn's teacher for the first time last night. I think he'll be great with Kaitlyn. He wanted to know how we got Kaitlyn to behave so well. Raving about her the same way her teacher did last year. I have to say I don't think I've ever experienced this where the teachers have been so impressed with my child's behavior. Let alone two in a row. Now don't get me wrong, I always get compliments about my children and how they behave. It has just been very different these past two years with Kaitlyn. I did want to make sure that Kaitlyn is not trying to play her teacher though so I talked to him about pushing her. She has this thing where she gets to a point where she says okay that's all I can do, but if you nudge her just slightly (and this is the rub with her because you can't push too hard) then she will really shine. I think her teacher this year will do okay with it. Probably not as well as her teacher from last year. He had such an amazing understanding of her from day one. Kaitlyn actually considers him her hero. I think that's so sweet.

Speaking of her teacher from last year, we got to see him last night too. He moved up to teaching 5th grade and we told him we hope Kaitlyn gets him next year. He told us to talk to her teacher this year. So I will definitely be doing that probably around spring conferences. I truly think he will be the perfect teacher to help prepare Kaitlyn for middle school.

We spoke with Kaitlyn's special reading teacher. She's changing her schedule up a bit this year. Instead of seeing her twice a week for one hour blocks she's going to do it 4 times a week in half hour blocks. This way she can push a little harder and they'll know there's an end in site. Sounds good to me. She said Kaitlyn is picking up right where they left off last year so I think things should go well.

Finally we got to hear from all of the grade level teachers. They will rotate into the other classrooms this year again for some lessons. They are pushing the CMT's and preparing for that already even though it's not until March. The band teacher came in to talk about the kids starting band this year too. That starts up for Kaitlyn on Thursday. She should be getting a clarinet from the school.

And that's how we're starting out the school year. Very excited to see what's going to come for her this year. She made such great improvement in her reading last year and I hope she has the same success.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Decade gone, but not forgotten

Ten years seems so long ago. How could anyone possibly remember what exactly they were doing on that day? Let alone an entire nation. We remember! We will never forget!

Natalie was asked to bring a current event article to school on Friday for Social Studies. She chose one on Cancer Awareness month (which is this month by the way), but many children brought in articles about September 11, 2001. Which of course sparked discussion about the events of that day. Natalie was just 2 1/2 years old. She of course does not remember what happened that day. She was actually sleeping when it all happened. I had just gotten up and was checking my email as I usually do. Joe was at work.

I was glued to the TV after I saw all the news updates about it. I watched the 2nd tower fall. I watched everyone running. I watched the smoke and debris. I watched the chaos. I cried. I worried. I thanked God that none of my family or friends were on any of those flights or in any of those buildings. I wept for the families who lost so much. I wept for the families who will never have complete closure because there is no body to bury. I wept for my unborn baby. I was bringing another child into this world filled with people who were so terribly cruel to innocent people who were just going about their day as I was. I gave birth to that baby girl 7 months to the very day of the events that occurred on September 11, 2011. And it was very much in the news as I sat in my hospital bed holding my new baby. I began to think about those women who were in the hospital giving birth that very day. I began to think about those women who had to give birth to the child they were pregnant with on September 11, 2011 who's husband would never get to see because they were taken away from their family far too soon. Those poor babies growing up without a father. That could have been me, delivering Kaitlyn all on my own.

An entire nation bonded in an instant. To never forget the events that took place. An entire nation remembering today a whole decade later where they were on September 11, 2001. The patriotism our country experienced on that day. We wave the red, white, and blue for the passengers of those four airplanes. We wave the red, white, and blue for the victims in the towers and the Pentagon. We wave the red, white, and blue for the firefighters and emergency personnel who responded to the 911 calls to try and rescue people. We wave the red, white, and blue for our American soldiers who are fighting the fight that was begun here on 9/11/01. It's a decade gone, but definitely not forgotten!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Check out the My Memories giveaway by My Special K's

So my friend Renee over at Life With My Special Ks is having a giveaway going on right now until September 20th. She's giving away the software for free for My Memories. And what that is is an online scrapbooking site which you can get printed out.

Now I love scrapbooking, but don't really have the patience for cutting and gluing. So whatever sites I can find where I can make a scrapbook page makes me happy. And with Alyssa's birthday coming up (people it's less than 5 months away) I need to get to work on her scrapbook to go into her time capsule. Hey, it's not like I have any other kids birthdays coming up. Oh wait, there's CJ in November ;). No need to worry I haven't forgotten about him and the wheels are turning for his birthday as well. Hey, those that know me wouldn't be surprised to know that my wheels are always turning when it comes to planning my children's next birthday party. So really no need to fret.

But anyways, seriously you should go enter this giveaway because there are a ton of scrapbook pages for this. I think I could have fun with it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Labor Day weekend 2011

Over the weekend between Joe's work schedule we did manage to make some memories. We went to Lake Compounce on Saturday and then Monday we went to the park. Alyssa is able to sit in the baby swings now. She's not as big of a fan of the swings as Natalie was, but she seemed to have a good time. I put together a little video slide show of our weekend for you to enjoy. Sorry for the lack of pictures of Kaitlyn on Saturday, somehow she escaped my camera's lens.

It was a nice weekend!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Riding the school bus

Today was CJ's first day on the school bus. He seemed fine with it, I was a nervous wreck. I put on a happy face about it today though and woke him up all excited about taking the bus. Don't need him getting any of my fears. We stood on the porch with Kaitlyn today trying to figure out who's bus would come first. Technically CJ's came first, but Kaitlyn's was right behind so I had to send her to the corner while I was getting CJ on the bus. He is so tiny he had to crawl up the stairs on the bus because he couldn't get his foot up on the step. We got on and I strapped him in and took this picture.

I asked the driver when I should expect him to be back and she told me 11:40. So I went inside and fed Alyssa and tried to keep myself busy to not think about my 3 year old on the bus. Then before I knew it it was 11:40. So I headed downstairs and waited on the porch for 30 minutes for the bus to come. I was definitely getting nervous, but also I understand that the driver is still learning her route and the kids and the parents and there could have been a problem on the bus or something. CJ was very happy when I got on the bus. I took him off and asked him about his day. He told me they have playdough at his school! Ahhh yes playdough is great when mom has a playdough ban in the house. They also have toys and he got to play he told me. I asked him about the bus and he said it was bumpy, but it was fun! Well, that's good to hear. He will get on the bus again tomorrow. He is growing so fast. What a difference between last year and this year. By the time he starts Kindergarten next year he's going to be running onto the bus and forgetting to give me a kiss goodbye.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

CJ's 1st day of Pre-K 4

All 3 children are officially in school. CJ started this morning. He was pretty excited to be going. He got up and ate breakfast and then got dressed and brushed his teeth, washed his face, and brushed his hair. Well, he had some help with all of that. Joe brought Kaitlyn to the bus stop and the bus that we were told wouldn't start for CJ until Wednesday pulled up in front of the house. Thankfully the bus driver was understanding that he wasn't going to be riding it today, but at least I knew about when to expect it tomorrow. It works out pretty well with Kaitlyn's bus too. Before we left we took our annual back to school pictures...

handsome boy

Got his back pack

All ready to go out the door

At school

Waiting for his teacher

Going in with his teacher

After dropping him off at school we ran a few errands to keep busy and before we knew it it was time to pick CJ up from school. He came out and was super excited to see us. He even had a few stories to tell us about his day which is a huge improvement from last year. He told us he played with puzzles and his teacher read him a story about a bear. Oh yes and we can't forget about his snack (which mommy had thoughtfully placed a note for him in) and he used the potty twice he said. Sounds like he had a great day. No one cried this year either so that's good. There's always tomorrow though. First day on the bus. This I am super nervous about. After a bad experience with a child of mine and a bus I was hesitant to do this, but I know I have to get him used to this and I need to get used to it too. At least his bus driver isn't the same one that left Natalie alone on the bus. Well, considering she was fired she better not be driving the bus.

So anyways, there might be a few more pictures to share of the big boy on the bus tomorrow. He was very tired by the time we got home today and I'm sure tomorrow is going to be worse. I wouldn't be too surprised if he's asleep on the bus when I get him off tomorrow.

I have a video slide show from this weekend that I will be sharing sometime this week too so be on the look out for that. I am glad to be back into a routine again. My plan for tomorrow (if Alyssa will cooperate) is to go through CJ's toys and clean things up in there while he's at school. I'll really need something to keep myself distracted tomorrow from thinking of him on the bus.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Look who's 7 months old

Happy 7 months to Alyssa! It is going so fast. She is doing great. No teeth yet, but she sure is drooling a lot. We have been trying some baby food with her, but she would much rather skip over that and go right to table food. Those teeth really need to hurry up and come in. She doesn't have much interest in baby cereal or other mushy baby foods. We aren't pushing anything too much with her. It's fine with me if she skips over the baby foods and goes right to table foods instead.

Lets see, what else can I tell you about Alyssa? She's sitting up for longer and longer periods. She can almost get herself into a sitting position on her own if she's slightly propped up. She is starting to pull her knees under her trying to get in the crawling position. She likes to eat her toes. She loves her siblings like crazy. She is very picky about her pacifier. We found this one out the hard way by losing her favorite pacifier.

We are still cloth diapering and loving it. There are so many cute diapers out there in cloth. Her hair is getting long. She likes taking a bath with her big brother. She loves getting out of the house whenever possible.

I can't believe she is now closer to her 1st birthday than the day she was born.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

First day of school 2011

The 2011/2012 school year has started. Natalie is now in 7th grade and Kaitlyn is in 4th. I'm looking forward to great years for both of them. CJ goes to preschool on Tuesday.

So yesterday we had gone out to enjoy the last day of summer and get a few last minute things. When we came home we had no power. That made it interesting for trying to get things together for the first day of school. I was labeling school supplies in the dark. Natalie who was already a bundle of nerves was freaking out about how she'd get up in the morning. The power came on just as we were sending everyone to bed so that was a relief.

This morning Natalie got up with no problems and showered and dried her hair. I got up and found her all dressed and sitting on the couch with her head in her hands. I think she might have been more nervous this year than last and this wasn't even a new school for her. I had to remind her of what needed to be done. We snapped a few pictures and she went off to catch the bus.

Here's my big 7th grader...

A shot of the girls together...

Backpack on...

Out the door...

Once Natalie headed off to the bus stop I made sure Kaitlyn was getting all ready. I kept checking out the window to see if Natalie's bus had come. School starts for her at 8 a.m. and her bus didn't pick her up until 8:05. Perfect!

Kaitlyn got ready pretty quickly and was eager to go out the door. I took some pictures of her and then we headed outside to wait for her bus.

Here's my big 4th grader...

Heading out the door...

Going down the stairs...

Heading to the bus...

One last so long before getting on the bus...

And then my day with just the two littles began. It wasn't too bad, but around the middle of the day I was getting very anxious to hear about the girl's day.

Natalie came home very excited. She likes her teachers and feels much more confident about things this year. While her best friend is on her team they don't have any classes together, but that doesn't seem to be bothering her too much. So things so far seem like they are going to go well for her this year.

Then Kaitlyn came home and seems pleased with her teacher. He's not the best she said. She was happy that she did get to see her teacher from last year though. And she's writing an "All About Me" thing and wants to have a picture of last years teacher to put him down as her hero. She kept talking about how he was a hero to her because he helped her so much last year. I'm so glad she had him. And I'm hoping that she will have a wonderful experience this year too. I think she will. She adjusts pretty easily to things. She did tell me that her teacher didn't have any books she could read. She asked him for help and he found her one, but she said it's tricky. So we'll see how he handles her. I told her tricky is good because it's good to be challenged.

So one day down 179 to go. I think we'll survive. I survived my big homework night. All papers are filled out and ready to be returned to school tomorrow.