Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The no picture post!

Wait! Don't go! Don't be mad!!! I am sorry I don't have any pictures to post. I just totally totally forgot. We have been very swamped and I didn't pull out the camera once. I am guilty. I hope to have double the pictures by Saturday! Here's hoping!

Well, for those of you that are still with me......we are glad it is almost "hump" day! This day has been busy! We are preparing for some guest to come this weekend. Mat's parents and Mat's youngest sister, Jess, are coming to visit us for the weekend! We are so excited to have visitors - it has been awhile! They are staying just for the weekend, a short visit, but a welcome one none the same. They will get to see Arlington play soccer on Saturday and we plan on eating out someplace fun Saturday night. Can't wait!

So we are cleaning. Since we haven't had guest in awhile, the cleaning doesn't get done quite as often as it used to. And with me working, well, that doesn't help! So each day this week, we are doing a little. Mat is concentrating on the outdoors (we are STILL seeding! UGH! And we have to mow the grass. We did the weeds. That was it. I have a feeling we are winding down with yard work, and soon we won't have to mow - yeah!

Sunday we went to church - again. This weeks attendance was lighter than last week. It is a very small church, and we are a little unsure about that. More Mat than me. I am willing to hang in there for a while longer. Arlington has already made a friend, and their family is really nice! And the people are wonderful. This coming Sunday is "World Communion day" and we are supposed to bring things from other countries, so we are bringing some of Cainan's Chinese things. Then Mat and I also signed up to make sandwiches for a local homeless shelter for one weekend. So we will see!

Also on Sunday we spent a lot of time outdoors with the kids. We hadn't been out much due to a large amount of rain. So we had fun being outside and just being together. But boy did we get bit by mosquitos! We all had bug bites everywhere by Monday morning. Arlington and Cainan seemed to get bit the most.

Monday was a busy day for me at work. For the first time, I saw 40 kids on one day. I was exhausted and overwhelmed. I couldn't believe it! They just kept coming! At one time, I had 8 kids in my office at once - all wanting my attention. We only have about 200 kids in the school, so 40 is quite a bit of our population! I ended up being at work an extra 1/2 hour just catching up from my day. Sigh. The kids are so cute, though. That does help. They say the funniest things! I had one girl who had gotten scratched by her cat, and wanted a bandaid. She was a 1st grader. I said to her (joking) "you will have to talk to that cat and tell it not to sratch you any more" She smiled at me and said, "but my cat can't talk" What a hoot. Monday's most aliments were bug bites and poison ivy. I guess we weren't the only ones who took advantage of the nice weather on Sunday!

So Monday night was busy at our house because we got a late start to our evening. WE still managed to get outside and play and get some yard work done before coming in. We have found that - just like our sun would RISE around 4:45am in the high of the summer, it SETS here by 7pm now (which I understand is about an hour earlier than my parents who live in Western Pennsylvania). So we are dark REALLY early. But our sun is up around 6:15 still, so maybe that makes a difference.

And Monday night was Steelers football. Go Steelers! Even though Big Ben looks really awful, I love our Steelers and we were glad to see them pull off a win.

Today I had a meeting all morning, so I had a substitute nurse in for me until lunch time. We still had a really busy day, but not as bad as Monday. Tonight the kids got outside and I stayed inside and cleaned the whole upstairs! So only the downstairs left to go!!

Arlington is doing well. She brought home the sight words for the month of October - I, see, it, is. Well, Arlington already KNOWS those words. So that didn't really mean much to her. So I have put together a large notebook of words for her, and we are working on those instead. She is charging ahead with the goal of reading. So we are leaving Kindergarten in the dust. :) But she loves is so much. She thinks it is so much fun. She has made a lot of friends, and just has a great time and we are told she is a good girl there. Today she came home from school though and said, "I had to move tables two times today" My heart stopped. What would YOU think? I thought "what did she do?" "was she talking? Fooling around? Out of control?" Nope - there were kids eating peanut butter for snack at two tables, so they had Arlington move twice to avoid the peanut butter. But in the end, she got to sit at the table with our neighbor (and her best little buddy) so she was happy.

Finley is still sick. She still has a cold, but it isn't affecting her too much. She is still eating okay - in Finley terms anyway! It is all in her nose. She has been sick for one whole month. This happened the last time she was in daycare. It may be awhile before we are on the other side of all of this. Poor baby. She has been doing great at school. She does fall and hurt herself a lot - so clumsy. She got a cut yesterday when she fell on the playground. The daycare workers think she is funny - and her file is getting thick!

Cainan is doing great. He has speech therapy at school again today. Daycare said he has made a little boy friend, and we think that is great! He is such a loner when he plays most of the time, that it is nice to see cooperative play. He also went pee-pee on the potty at school today! Whoo hoo! First time! We are proud. He was too! He came running out to me when I got there and said "pee-pee on the potty!" He was excited. It is nice to see that next summer all of this will be behind us and the kids will be out of diapers. Yeah!

Well, like I said - no pictures. I promise more on Saturday! Good night!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rainy Saturday = crazy kids

Today it has rained the entire day. It wasn't too hard to entertain Arlington, since she has a wider variety of "indoor" activities she can do, but the babies - look out. They didn't do too badly, but you could tell by this evening they were about done with their toys and each other. We were glad when bed time came. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day and we can get outside and play for a little while. They are spoiled now with going to preschool - they get socialized all day, and get to play outdoors several times a day. They get bored easily with us at home now!

This week went by so quickly. Wednesday Mat had a dinner out with one of his groups from work. He didn't get home until 9pm, so I spent the evening alone with the kids. I got lucky - they were very well behaved and we had a good time. No one fought me going to bed, and everything went smoothly. It is hard doing it alone, though. I would never want to be a single parent. More than that - I wouldn't want to do it without Mat - we are a good team.

Thursday I had two meetings at school - one in the morning and one after school. So that made my day a little hectic. It is hard for me to be gone from my office during the day because that is when the kids kind of pile up and really need stuff. But it all worked out. The kids are a lot of fun. I could probably write a book over the years of all the things I hear them say. They are really funny. The little ones come in and I say, "what's going on?" They say "nothing". I say, "why are you coming to see me?" They say "I don't know". It is a fun game trying to get out the reason for their visit to the nurses office. They are really cute. I have many "frequent fliers" that don't need a thing - they just want to leave class and come and see me. I am working on being a little tougher on them, but it is hard. I don't want to make it so they don't want to come at all! I am sure I will figure it out. The most visits are for ice packs. My "yellow sponge in a plastic bag" ice packs are a big hit! They love those things! They will come in with three day old bruises and say "I need an ice pack". Or the TINIEST cut that I can't find needs a bandaid. I laugh because my own kids are the same way. Bandaids really can make ANYTHING feel better. My greatest tools during the day - yellow sponges, bandaids, vasaline. You can't imagine how much of a difference these three minor items make! It is quite funny. I do have my serious cases - kids who really need me. I have a diabetic who comes and sees me several times a day and he keeps me on my toes. I have many kids who take daily meds. In my 200 kid school I have 32 asthmatics and 12 kids who have epi-pens for allergies.

Thursday was also Cainan's speech therapy visit. He did very well again. The therapist says she can understand him quite clearly and he spoke several three word sentences while she was there. That was great. He loves saying "baby go night-night" and "where Finley go?" The therapist wants us to start to work on getting him to tell us what he wants instead of answering yes and no questions.

Friday was by far our busiest day this week. The kids had pictures at their preschool and Arlington also had pictures at Kindergarten. I am not holding my breath for anything great, but I am anxious to see the Kindergarten one. When I picked up Arlington, she had the bow (that in the morning was on TOP of her head) off to the side. She said it had been like that all day. It had come out, and she had replaced it herself. So the picture should be interesting! Oh well. Her first school picture - we are getting one no matter what! For those of you who are familiar with the books, Arlington is our own "Junie B Jones". :)

Besides pictures, it was a half a day in my school district. Well, I don't know why they call it a half a day because we didn't get out until 1pm (only 2 1/2 hours before end of day). I had meetings with the other nurses after that point. (and by meetings I mean we ordered pizza and talked about all the funny things our students do for 2 hours). The teachers had serious meetings and I felt bad for them! The meeting was a lot of fun. I love every nurse in my district and it is so much fun getting together with them. We have a few more half days this year where we will do the same, so I look forward to that!

Also on Friday was the book fair and something called "Brain Show Mania" at Arlington's elementary school. The babies are too young, so just Mat and Arlington went. Arlington looked around at the books (she is buying a book with her class on Monday) and then went to the show. Mat and she sat with our neighbors. This is like a game show and the families play against each other. It sounded like a lot of fun. Mat said our neighbor's family got chosen to go up and answer questions, and they took Arlingotn with them. That was so sweet of them, and I thank them for that! Arlington had a blast. She is a little on the young side to totally understand it, but in a few years, it will be great for her.

Full day, right? It was fun, though.

Today was a very rainy day, like I said, so the babies never went outside. Arlington and I escaped for a few hours. We went to the library to get a few more books. Arlington is participating in the "Reading Hall of Fame" at her school, and has a list of books she is to read this year. So we got a few of those, and few others. PLUS, I got the 4th and final Stephanie Meyer's book - Breaking Dawn - on CD (I listen to her books in the car too and from work.) I really liked the last book - so much better than the second book. But I have heard bad reviews for her last book in the series. I am going to listen to the whole thing, though. I am in love with Edward and Bella's love story, so I have to finish it out.

After the library, we went to pick a movie at Blockbuster for Arlington to watch on this rainy afternoon. She picked Thumbalina. Then we went to get a few groceries and then to McDonalds for some lunch before heading home (yes, I feed my kids McDonalds - shame on this nurse. Not)

This afternoon Arlington also learned another book. She is too much. I read it through to her first, and then she reads it right after me. Her memory (and listening skills) are amazing sometimes. Now, does she listen to me like she listens to books? Heck no. I could only be so lucky! So since she has such a good memory, we are back to doing flash cards with the words on them individually to make sure she is actually learning the words. She has a little booklet we are working through, and each day I am adding new words. She is really into learning to read on her own right now, so she is focused. I don't want to push her, so I just do a few words a day.

Finley and Cainan both have colds. New ones. They are both very congested. I am hoping they keep it to themselves, but I am not holding my breath. Finley's is worse than Cainans. Finley also went pee-pee on the potty here at home for the first time this week! She has been waking up dry many mornings, so I sit her on the potty to get success. I took a picture of her below! She was so proud.

No soccer today - too much rain. There are only two soccer days left before the end of the season. Then basketball starts! Arlington can't wait!

So that is it. Hope everyone has a good rest of the weekend and a good start of the week! See you on Tuesday!

Enjoy the photos.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ants, school, mayhem

Well, from the title of my post, you have to know it involves Finley - right??? Who else in my family would cause some kind of alarm besides that girl? Today - red ants. Yes my friends, Finley managed to find a red ant hill at daycare today and proceeded to sit on it. Now, to the girl's credit, she had no idea what it was - only probably that it looked cool. Only my girl could do such a thing, and of course, she got stung. A lot. She has about 20 bites on her back, legs, butt. The ants were on her in seconds. The staff at the daycare reacted quickly, got her up, got her clothes off, and got all the ants off of her within seconds. But she was bit a lot. The staff found her new clothes to wear and proceeded to get every ant off of the clothes she would be bringing home. Finley didn't cry much, they said. But she is now covered in red welts. No, the girl couldn't find a black ant hill - she had to find a red ant hill....in the north...in September. She is fine. There biggest concern was if she would have an allergic reaction. With the history of Finley's allergies (and her history in general) that wouldn't have been surprising. But she seems fine. Tonight I will put some cream on the bites to sooth them, but she doesn't seem to even notice them. I told the daycare that I feel bad for whomever Finley marries - she is a handful and a danger to herself!

So, that is our news. Everything else is going fine. Sunday we did get to church and what a welcoming church we found! We were met at the door by about 10 people who were eager to invite us in. Another wonderful thing about Connecticut people - always ready to welcome you wherever we go. Cainan is kind of a "rock star" when we travel - especially around here where to population is mostly, well, caucasian. :) They find our blended family fasinating. But we love it. Always the pro-adoption person I am, I find it an opportunity to speak about how wonderful adoption is.

Anyway, church was great. The babies had a chance to play in the daycare, and Arlington went to Sunday School. The church is small. There couldn't have been more than 80 people there. And that is probably a stretch. There are only 10 rows of pews, two sides. Coming from a large, 1000 person church in Florida, we couldn't sink into the background here. But that is good for us. We tend to be quiet when meeting new people, but Connecticut isn't about that. They jump right in, shake your hand, and want to know your life story. The pastor is a woman. She gave a terrific sermon which spoke to one of my passions - helping the poor people of the country/world. This ranks right up there for my passion of thinking all children in the country need to have health insurance. But that is a conversation for another day. She talked about grace - and how life isn't always fair - that some people get hand outs when we don't think they deserve them, but that is grace. I agree with her 100%. Sometimes people need a hand out before they can get a hand up. I don't think that isn't fair. Pay it forward - that is what it is about. We give things to people sometimes just because it is the right thing to do. And what we can do is hope that they take it, and do something with it.

We met a nice couple at church. They have a little boy that Arlington latched right on to. He is a year younger than Arlington, but their birthdays are both in February. His parents were very nice and we were glad to have met someone so quickly! We will be going back again this Sunday. I think we might have found our church.

Sunday we did the usual - clean up, pack lunches for the week, lay out clothes for the week, laundry, yada, yada. We watched the Steelers (sniff) lose. Even though McNabb was hurt for part of the game for Philly, my Steelers still couldn't pull off a win. UGH! But we are not fair weather fans in this house! We still love them (okay, but I don't always love Roethlisberger). I took some pictures of the kids in their Steelers gear. Not that it helped!

I also had a chance to visit with our neighbor/friend Michelle on Sunday. We had lost our car keys (don't ask me how) - and she came to return them. We had a nice chance to chat and catch up. She is just as involved in education of her kids as I am, so it is nice to talk with someone about that. We talked for over 1 hour and it was nice! I miss getting together with her and hope we can do it more often. She even asked if one morning instead of Arlington going to daycare she could come to their house and catch the bus from here. Arlington would LOVE that!

Yesterday is was back to school and work for all of us. I have been busy at work the last two days - a lot of children sick enough I needed to send them home. It seems early in the year for that for me. But, being in the warm climate, our "cold and flu" season didn't really start until December, AND we really didn't have much fall, so no weather change for allergy/asthma kids. Anyway, Arlington and the kids have had a great start back to school.

Arlington is doing well in Kindergarten. I got a note from Arlington's kindergarten teacher saying how well she is doing and that made me feel good. I told her I appreciate being kept abreast of what is happening. Arlington gets a little confused about what she has done in Kindergarten enrichment and then in actual Kindergarten. But we get newsletters from the teacher every Monday talking about what they are doing and what we can do at home, and homework for the week. Arlington has started "kid writing" - writing words (she doesn't know already) how she thinks they are spelled by what she hears. For example - the word "soccer" Arlington spelled it SCR. Because that is basically what she heard. The teacher thought that was great. We taught her how to spell the word correctly last night and added it to her vocabulary. We have also started the "I can Read" books (which I think I mentioned before) and so we are working through a couple of those. Arlington is also fantastic at memorizing songs. Today she heard a song on the bus the older kids were singing - and she knew it all by the time she got home. Proud mama! More than that- it is I think ALL kids are amazing. The way they learn - truly like a sponge - is the coolest thing.

Monday was "Pinwheels for Peace" at Arlington's school. (they also talked about it at church). International Peace day - what could be cooler? The actual date was Sunday, but school celebrated Monday. Here is a little bit about the day of peace: PEACE
I took a picture of Arlington with her pinwheel below.

Tooday was Arlington's first Daisy Scouts meeting. The parents were invited to this meeting so we could get information and see what it was about. I think Arlington is going to love it. For one - just about every Afternoon Kindergarten girl was there! The other - art, crafts, playing with friends, songs - all up her alley! Today they did a puzzle, colored, had a snack, and learned a song. There is a leader and 4 12th grade girls who will be helping the Daisy scouts. There will be 2 meetings a month for an hour each time. So we will see how it goes. We will get more info as it goes along. They will get cute little uniforms and will earn "petals" this year and next and then in 2nd grade she will move onto Brownies if she likes it.

Cainan - is doing great. Making great strides at daycare. He has another speech therapy appointment on Thursday this week. He has been so happy lately. Very little crying. That is a nice change. His speech will amaze you (for those of you who know us) the next time you see him.

So that is about it. The rest of this week is busy, so I will have lots to report on Saturday!
Enjoy the pictures

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Weekend report

Hi all! Hope all is well with everyone. We are enjoying our weekend here in Connecticut. The weather all of this week was cool, so we got a chance to wear some of our long sleeve stuff. Yesterday and today have been the coldest. It has gone down into the low 40's at night, and only reaching about 65 during the day. Cool days! This is good weather to be outside, though. It isn't so hot and good days to do yardwork. I am sure pretty soon I will be whining about the REALLY cold days that are ahead.

The kids are at the end (hopefully) of their sickness. They are still having a little bit of a tough time. Finley did stay home from school on Wednesday, and by the end of the day Cainan was also having belly problems. (I will spare the details). But by Thursday, everyone seemed pretty good. They all went to school on Thursday and Friday and so far, so good. I haven't been feeding them anything but the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast) and I think that helped. Today we are starting to slowly start eating regular food. Just a little, though. I don't want to push my luck.

My work week went well. Wednesday I missed work, but my substitute was my nursing supervisor, so that was good. She had a very busy day! Thursday was just as busy for me - I saw more than 30 kids that day. Half of them for belly aches and 5 kids were sent home! It was nuts. I didn't get anything else done in the office besides taking care of the kids. Friday was better. A little more peace, and I actually was able to leave on time. Mat was able to leave work early as well, so we were home around the same time and the kids played outside last night for a long time before dinner. After dinner it was pretty cold, so we stayed inside.

Today started with soccer practice. The babies and I were finally able to attend, so we went for the last hour of the practice/game. It was fun. We took a blanket and some snacks and watched Arlington and Mat's team play. It was fun. Our neighbor, Michelle, is the coach of Arlington (and her little girl's) team, and Mat is the assistant. They have a lot of fun together. The kids seem to be getting a lot out of it. Arlington's team is only Kindergarten. There are three Kindergarten teams all together (or 4?) and they mix the kids up at the end of practice to play a little game. It is fun. I took some pictures this week, and they are below.

After soccer, we all went to a state park near our house called Devil's Hopyard. It was really nice (and free!) We stayed for about 1 1/2 hours and let the kids run around and enjoy the woods and waterfall that were in the park. We took pictures of that and those are also below. Now the babies are napping - they were tired from their morning out. Our neightbor Michelle gave us some info on the water we saw there: "That's the Eightmile River, recently designated as a National Wild & Scenic River after 10 years of study. It's one of only 2 W&S rivers in CT the other being the West Branch of the Farmington River. The East Branch of the Eightmile, which is included in that W&S designation, runs through Salem..." Thanks Michelle!

Cainan is doing well. His speech continues to improve. He is doing well at school and his teachers continue to work with him. I am thinking that daycare was probably the best decision we could have made for him. It forces him to talk clearly so that he is understood! He loves it there, too, and is doing really well.

Finley is doing fine as well. This week she went on the potty at school! We were happy to hear that! We were going to wait until around Thanksgiving to officially start training her, but we have a potty, so maybe we will start a little earlier. She is definitely showing some interest. She wants to sit on the potty at home all the time. Cainan shows no interest or know how at all, but Finley was going to be first to train anyway! So who knows! It would be nice to get them out of diapers.

Arlington is still doing great at school. She got a little boo-boo on the playground at Kindergarten on Friday and saw the nurse....again. She just needed a bandaid, but still! That girl better not be a regular in the nurse's office! Ha! Just kidding. But she had learned some new songs, and in Kindergarten they are perfecting her handwriting. Today I taught Arlington to read a whole little "I can read" book. She learned it going through it one time. That girl is so smart! I would like to have her reading pretty regularly by the end of this year, and that is something Kindergarten is going to work on with her. Next is getting her to be able to write all the words she knows.

So that is about all. Tomorrow is church and cleaning (yuck). Then back to work! This week is a busy one. Monday Arlington's school is doing something called "Pinwheels for peace" It is international peace day, and all the kids in the school made pinwheels in their art classes, and they are going to plant them in the grounds at the school and an arial picture will be taken. Then the pinwheels will be placed around the town. It is pretty cool. Tuesday is Daisy Scouts (Kindergarten version of Girl Scouts), Wed. Mat has a business dinner, Thursday Cainan has speech therapy again, and Friday is picture day at school (plus also a book fair and another fun event at the school). So busy busy!

I would also like to wish a Happy Birthday one day early to my beautiful sister-in-law, Tricia! I am so lucky to have you as a sister and I hope you have a wonderful first birthday as a mommy!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Poor Finley

Our littlest one is ill. I am afraid the diarrhea and vomiting that Arlington had over the weekend has caught on to our little Finley. She had to come home early today from daycare today it was so bad. Poor baby! Mat was able to leave work early today, so I didn't have to. She is still having it this evening, so it looks like she won't be going to school tomorrow either. I am the lucky one to stay home with her tomorrow. Arlington and Cainan will still be going to school, though. No need keeping them around a sick baby! Especially Cainan who hasn't gotten it. Let's hope he doesn't. Or the rest of us, for that matter! Finley is acting fine - still her silly self. But she has had many diapers today that have been less than desirable! Sigh.

Other than that, things are good. Yesterday I went out to dinner with the other nurses in my district. It was a lot of fun! We chatted for about 2 hours at a yummy Italian restaurant and had a great time. We did talk a few minutes about work related stuff (chuckle chuckle) but mostly it was chatter. We are hoping to be able to get together on a regular basis. It is great to have such a support system in our school. Again, these towns are VERY different than what I am used to. Everyone is NICE to each other - what a concept! I love it, but I it never ceases to surprise me that someone doesn't just walk passed me and duck their head so they don't have to talk. Even me, who is USED to this terrible behavior, have had to come out of my shell to make eye contact and say a warm hello - even if I am the first to respond. It has been great.

Anyway, tonight was my first PTO meeting. It was from 7-9pm!! It was long, but fun. I learned a lot about our new school, and am excited about the programs that our school offers, even being a small school (around 500 kids grades K-8). I really want to be involved in the kid's school, and hoping I get some opportunitites even though I am working full time. The meeting was insightful and I got to meet some new people, which is always great.

Oh, and I got asked by one of the teachers to join her on an outing to see
Jersey Boys (the musical) in Hartford! A couple of teachers are going and she asked me to go too! I was thrilled. She is around my age, so I was hoping we would get to be social outside of school, and I am getting my chance! So I am excited and can't wait to go!

Cainan had his first speech therapy today. It went really well and the speech therapist was very pleased with his responses. His wonderful daycare teachers are eager to participate and continue his goals in between the time the therapist sees him, and that was very promising. The school has a copy of his goals, and will be working with him daily to help him complete those goals. Today at school the teacher told me he said "where is Nathaniel". Can you believe???? A little boy that has a hard time stringing more than 2 words together said this sentence! We were very happy.

Arlington is doing well. I have discovered, though, that she seems to like the nurse. The woman gave her stickers the first time she saw her, and she has been back there again! Today she went down because she said her belly hurt again. The nurse called and said she was there again with a belly ache. I think that Arlington is on the tail end of her illness, and she and I had to have a discussion that the school nurse is REALLY for emergencies or if she is feeling REALLY, REALLY bad. I don't want her to become a frequent visitor to the office! It is a fine line. I want her to go if she needs to, but I don't want her there for minor things that I think she can deal with in class. It is VERY important to me that she stay in class and learn and not think that every little thing at a time she might be feeling a little bored, or distracted, calls for a visit to the nurse for something to do. So hopefully drilling that into her over the next couple of days will work! Nice mom/nurse I am right????

Here are just a few pictures I took of the kids in their pjs. I am not good with pictures on Tuesday! Enjoy!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

First full week of school

This was both Arlington, the babies and my first full week of school. It actually went by very quickly! We did have one downside - Arlington was pretty sick on Thursday night into Friday. Thursday night she had a stomach bug (and I will spare you the details), but it kept her up until about 11pm. She felt better Friday morning - no fever, and wanted to go to school. So I sent her and she kept her meals light. But by 2pm, she did have to go and see the school nurse because she wasn't feeling well. She used the bathroom and felt better. It did last until Friday evening, but she has been fine all day today. I guess she had a little stomach bug. Poor little girl. I am glad she has felt better today.

Finley is doing well. She still has a runny nose, but it is mild. I have a feeling she will have that awhile if it is anything like the last time she attended daycare. But she is feeling and acting fine, which is a plus.

Cainan also has a runny nose. It doesn't seem to be bothering him, either. He still hasn't started speech therapy. I called Easter Seals 4 times this week, and finally got a human being on Friday. She told me that my case worker was on vacation all week, but that they would call Monday to set up a start date. I complained that it was supposed to start September 1st, but she didn't have an answer for that. So hopefully I will get him started with that this week.

My job is still going well. The kids are a hoot. I have heard some real zingers this week from the little ones! It has been fun. I have a fondness for most of the teachers and staff, and love being able to work with them to keep the kids in class. I have a few favorite students, and a few frequent visitors! I have a diabetic patient that I see several times a day and he is hysterical. He is a 3rd grader and tells me the funniest stories. I am officially off of orientation and ready to be on my own. I will miss the person who was orienting me, though! She was good company during the day.

This weekend has been pretty productive! I cleaned the playroom - like really cleaned it throwing things away and reorganizing. It felt good! And we did some grocery shopping and some TV shopping. I don't know if I mentioned - our main TV bit the dust this week. I am sad in a way because we really weren't looking to by a TV right now. This TV was 8 years old and has moved about 6 times, so I think it has done pretty well for us. We did some shopping today and will do a little more research tonight and then buy a new TV. I didn't realize it was only flat screens now. How out of the loop am I?

I have been hooked on a book series lately. Has anyone out there read Stephanie Meyer's series that starts with Twilight? It is pretty good. I am on the third of 4 books. I have been listening to the last two as books on CD and that has been entertaining to and from work on my 30 minute a way drive. I think the books are pretty good. There are no Harry Potters, but if you are looking for a light read, these are fun. I am looking forward to the movie "Twilight" that is coming out in November

I have a few pictures below. Now that I am working I have been bad about taking pictures. I need to get better!
Enjoy!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11th

Today we remember one of the worst days in our history. 7 years ago today thousands of people lost their lives and 1000's were seriously injured. I remember where I was. I was working at the Hopkins Children's hospital in Baltimore. We were close to Washington DC, so when everything started happening, they locked down our hospital and we weren't allowed to leave. We were prepared to get many injuries to find that most people had perished. It was a hard day. Hard to watch on TV and do nothing. Hard to shield the kids from what was happening. I look back now and see that this has made a lot of country become a country of fear. The airports are so different. The way we view people is different.

I give a blessing for all the wonderful people in my life on this day (as well as every other!) and remember how lucky I am. I am very blessed for my husband and children and my family and friends. I don't want my children to grow up in fear, but in love. I want them to learn that basically, people are good - sometimes you just have to look a little harder. I hope my children's world is always filled with love for each other and not hate. It has to start with me and Mat. I know that if we teach them right, hate will not prevail.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Everyone is sick Tuesday

Ah the fall. The breeze is blowing, the air is crisp,the temperature is perfect, and everyone is sick. Hey, that rhymed! I am a genius.

Anyway, everyone in my house (but me) is sick right now. All three kids have head colds, and Arlington has laryngitis. I am hoping she gives that to Finley (just kidding). Mat is even feeling under the weather and has a cough. Gotta love daycare and school! My poor kids got hit the first week in. But they are all still happy, just suffering through and mostly a little tired. I am sure I will be the next one to get it.

Things are going well. We had a great start to the week. Arlington is doing great and is off to a great start in school. She even has homework and she loves doing it. Let's see how long that last! Finley hasn't cried this week at all about attending school. She went willingly both days, and that has been a relief. I am on my own dropping the three crazies off each morning, so for her to go peacefully has been a blessing. I was smart this past Sunday and laid out all of our clothes for the whole week (the three kids and mine - Mat passed!!), and packed all the lunches for all 5 days! I was proud. Now, each evening when I come home I am not having to stand around and fix lunches for the next day or pull clothes off. I can just hang with the kids, help Arlington with her work, and make dinner.

I have my own homework now anyway. Being new to the job, AND being the beginning of the year, I have work I bring home each evening. It isn't much, and I know soon I won't have to do that anymore. I don't mind, really. While I am watching TV, I play catch up and then at work I can concentrate on more important things. I still see between 30-40 kids a day, which in a school of 250 kids, that seems like a lot! But minor things, of course. Yesterday one class sent me 9 kids with a stomach ache. Hmmmmmm...... So I finally had to say - "okay, everyone is fine!" It was funny. I definitely am forming a fan club. :) I see some of the same kids a lot, and that is funny. I will have to get hard on them eventually, but that is going to be hard! I had a Kindergartener come to me today who banged his head on a desk, and he was afraid. I asked him his name, and he told me and then said, "I'm the new kid in town". Too much! I could just eat the little ones. Even the 4th graders are cute. (my oldest kids!)

Most of the staff has been great. There are a few teachers that seem a little nuts and if Arlington was at that school I wouldn't want her in their class. But I LOVE a few and I am so glad for a few co-workers my age. Overall it is a really great group. Oh and this week I had my first case of.........head lice. Whaaaaaaaa!!! Seems a bit early to be initiated into that group. (sob). Let's hope that was the last time. (chuckle chuckle)

So anyway, we were really busy and I didn't have time for pictures this week and I do apologize! I promise to be better.

Take care!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Rain rain go away

Actually, I don't really mean that. When it rains, I don't have to water my yard!! That is always a good thing. :) Thanks to Tropical Storm Hanna, who will be hitting our house in a few hours, we are getting a days worth of rain. The kids are going kind of bananas in the house today due to the fact that we haven't been able to go outside at all, and that has been a little tough.

Things are pretty good. This was Arlington's first week of school and the babies first week of daycare. Arlington and Cainan LOVED every minute. Arlington even loves Kindergarten enrichment and her afterschool program. She always whines when I am there to pick her up because she wants to stay longer! And Cainan is all smiles and saying hello to everyone when we arrive and byes when we leave.

Finley on the other hand......is Finley. Always the drama queen, she has not been as happy with the transition to school. She did fine the first day, but then the next three, not so much when we dropped her off. She would cry and say "no school". The teachers say she is fine 5 minutes after we leave and is all smiles all day. I am sure!! We did this routine with her at her last school and after about 2 weeks, she was over it and loved going. She is just spoiled. And, of course, (for all of you who know her) she has a cold. Of course. She even ran a low grade fever on Friday and the school thought I might have to come for her. But it came down on its own and hasn't returned. Sigh. It is going to be a long couple of months. Now that she has a runny nose, it probably won't disappear for a few months. Poor girl. She just has a weak immune system.

Finley, today got into red paint. I tell ya - can't leave her alone for even a few minutes. The babies wanted to play in the playroom, so they went downstairs, and I wanted to clean up the morning dishes before heading down. It wasn't even 3 minutes, and up she came. She was covered in red paint. Her lovely older sister had left it out last night and she got ahold of it. At first, I thought she was bleeding, but it was paint. And no only was it on her and her clothes, it was on the steps, the wall, and our CARPET in the basement. I was very sad about that. Luckily for us, our basement has the FLOR carpet squares, so I was able to change out the painted ones for some clean ones. But she was still in really big trouble! Bad baby.

But the preschool is great. They have a small class, and a small ratio, and the kids are doded on all day. The babies are eating REALLY well there and are getting a lot of attention. And Arlington is getting a lot of extra Kindergarten learning in the morning before she leaves for school in her enrichment class. They mimick the school's activities so she gets extra worksheets and extra cirriculum and I love that. I have hated that Kindergarten was only 1/2 day, so this is nice.

Cainan will be starting speech therapy again, hopefully this week. We got his IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) in the mail and he is all set. After this year, when he turns three, the public school will take over his speech therapy and he will get an IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) from then on each year until he no longer needs the service. The service is VERY inexpensive, and they will see him once a week at the daycare, which is cool (the service comes directly to wherever he is). I am anxious for him to start again, and hope between them and daycare, his speech will get clearer. He gets better every day.

Arlington also started fall soccer today. It is from 8:30-10am for the next 6 Saturdays. She got it in before it started raining. Mat is an assistant coach for the team, so they went together this morning. She loves going and can't wait to actually get to play some real games - which will come when she is older!

Tomorrow we are going to church - FINALLY! We have been very bad about that. Tomorrow starts the fall sessions at our local church and sign ups for Bible School are then. I need to check to make sure bible school for Arlington is the same time as church service. That would be the best, but we will see. Arlington loves bible school, so it starts up not tomorrow but next week. She will be excited about that.

That is all that is up this weekend! I only have a few pictures - I am sorry. They are from last weekend and a few others, I think. Last weekend we had a fun set of guest. Our friends the Dominquez family came to visit us on Sunday! It was great! They were are wonderful neighbors while we were in Florida, and about 1 year before we left Florida they moved to New York for a job transfer. We were so sad to see them go - their girls are around our girl's ages, and they always had fun playing together. So when Belinda called to say they were going to be in the area and wanted to come for a visit we were VERY excited! We haven't seen her girls in a while and they are getting so big! They are 7 and 4 now. When we first met them, the girls were 4 and 1!! So different. The kids had a blast together. They stayed all afternoon and left around 7pm to head home. We were so greatful for their visit and now that they are only 1 1/2 hours away from us, we hope to see them more often.

Today is my Grandmother Bonnie's birthday. She is 83 today. She looks like she is about 50 years old.!! She is a beautiful lady both inside and out. We are very very lucky to have someone like her as a grandmother. You will not meet someone more giving, compassionate, firey, God loving, humble, life loving, beautiful person EVER. Her passion for life and love are unparallel to anyone I have ever know, and I strive to be even 10% of the woman she is. Happy Birthday to the best Grammy and GiGi in the world.


On a sad note, today my grandmother Bonnie lost her sister, Angie. How sad to have someone you love so much die on your birthday. Angie was my grandmother's youngest sister. She has been sick for a few months and even though we all prayed that she would get better, she lost her battle today. She was surrounded by her children and family when she passed into God's hands today. Now she will be an angel in Heaven watching out for us. My Aunt Angie was firey just like my Grandmother! Just thinking about her now makes me smile because she was a terrific lady and we grew up spending a lot of time with her. My family is small and very close, so we knew many of our extended family members very well. She will be missed terribly.

Enjoy the pictures. Oh - in some of the pictures you will see what happens to Cainan with two sisters. One - Arlington has put a diaper on him on the outside of his clothes. In the other, Finley has gotten ahold of the sunscreen and put it in his hair. Sigh.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Stand Up To Cancer

I hope most of you watched this on TV tonight and will donate to Cancer research. We all know someone who has lived, died or survived cancer, and we are SO CLOSE to a cure. Cancer will stop in our life time. I am sure of it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Arlington

Today was Arlington's first day of Kindergarten. I can't believe we have a child in Elementary school. It doesn't seem real! Where did the last 5 1/2 years go? This post is only going to be about our little girl. We had a fun weekend and some surprise visitors, and I will blog about them on Saturday.

Anyway, Arlington was so excited this morning. She got right up when I went in to get her. Mat stayed home from work today, but we needed to get the babies to their first day of daycare (which went fine BTW). I got her up and got her dressed and did her hair and sprayed it so much that it didn't move the whole day! Daddy was nervous about having to do it again, so we wanted to make sure he didn't have to.

After dropping the babies off at daycare, I went on to work and Mat and Arlington came home for their "first day of school" breakfast. Which was.....pancakes of course! For all of you who know Arlington, she could live on these things. She and Mat watched cartoons and played all morning until it was time to catch the bus at 12:00. She did such a good job. She was excited to see the bus come and she and our little neighbor hopped on the bus and away they went!

We did have one little snag in our perfect day. Even after a phone call, and email, a letter to the teacher, and a daycare reminder to the school, they sent Arlington home on the wrong bus. Imagine our panic this afternoon when we saw the bus and didn't see Arlington on it. They had sent her accidentally to the daycare. I was really mad and called the school and gave them "what for" on the phone as we drove to the daycare to get our little girl. Arlington told us she even told them she was going home, but no one believed her. Poor thing. She was fine though - took it in stride, like always. She was happy and playing when we got there. The daycare even apologized because they tried to help and the school still did it wrong. Oh well. Hopefully tomorrow they will send her to the daycare - where she NEEDS to go!

Anyway, she was so excited and talked all the way home. We even took her to McDonald's for a special treat for her first day of school (and the bus incident). She and the babies bounced off the walls all night, so we finally had to shoo them outside to play before they went nuts.

But she had a great day. She had a little name tag at her desk. She has "special" activities everyday (art, music, gym). She loved her teacher. She made some friends. She loved the bus. She loved aftercare. And she didn't cry at all. (although her mom can't say the same!) She is just a big girl. Arlington is the kind of girl that will always - at least to us - be mature beyond her years. She is smart, thoughtful, kind, caring and will always be a good friend to everyone. We have always taught Arlington that you never judge anyone - you accept EVERYONE for who they are. And she has taken that advice and run with it. I am proud of the girl she is becoming and the woman I know she one day will be. I couldn't ask for a better daughter, and her siblings have the best sister in the world. Arlington is as unique and special as her name. And she will always be my baby - no matter how big she gets.

So we sent her off into the world today. I decided to put together a little video below of our girl over the years. It is only 5 minutes long, so I hope you will watch it. Make sure you turn the volume on your computer so you can hear the music. The pictures of her first school day are at the end!!!

Enjoy!

video