Saturday, January 31, 2009
I Wish You Enough
Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure. Standing near the security gate, they hugged, and the mother said, "I love you, and I wish you enough."
The daughter replied, "Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom."
They kissed, and the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy, but she welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it
would be forever?"
"Yes, I have," I replied. "Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?"
"I am old, and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead, and the reality is - her next trip back will be for my funeral," she said.
"When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, 'I wish you enough.' May I ask what that means?"
She began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone." She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and she smiled even more. "When we said, 'I wish you
enough,' we wanted the other person to have a life filled with just enough
good things to sustain them."
Then, turning toward me, she shared the following as if she were reciting it from memory.
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.
Wednesday this week was indeed a snow day for us here in the great north. The call came early at 5am that we would have the day off. It actually worked out a little for my family this time because Finley was really sick and still had a fever. So I would have been home with her anyway. She laid on the couch almost the whole day. She had a terrible cough and runny nose and looked at miserable as she probably felt. Here is a picture of my sad baby.
Mat went to work on Wednesday and emailed and said that he can see why the schools had canceled – the roads were a mess. So we didn't go anywhere. Dave, our neighbor plowed our driveway AND our shared driveway. Yeah – he came all the way up to our house. We are going to owe him a big thank you at the end of the winter. The snow only ever got a few inches deep, but then the freezing rain started, and then plain old rain. And it rained for most of the day. This would have been okay EXCEPT that it was 15 degrees overnight.
Thursday: From my story above, can you guess what happened to our driveway? Yeah. It wasn't pretty. But, since Mat wasn't hurt – here is a funny story. Mat went out in the morning to salt the driveway. He took one step and fell on his butt. He then tried to get up, but couldn't and slid on his hands and knees all the way down our driveway. I wish I had my video camera out for moments like this. He used two bags full of salt and it was STILL iffy if I was going to get out that morning to go to work. I had to put the car in the lowest gear and keep one tire in the yard (which was full of snow still) to get down safely. Fun times. Mat stayed home with Finley this day – she still wasn't well enough to go to school. Poor baby. She did a lot of sitting around on this day as well. Still had a slight fever. I am glad Mat was able to stay home with her. She needed one more day of rest.
Friday: Finley had slept really well over night and got up in good spirits and fever free. Her cough is still the same and her nose still runny, but we sent her back to school. I know – so mean. But she was fine. School said she was okay there. Friday was a fun day for me at work. The staff all got free pizza for some reason AND it was a dress down day. I got to eat with all the 3rd and 4th grade teachers and our principal. It was so fun! AND, I didn't get called away even once. I got to chat and we had so much fun and the pizza was really yummy. All the staff was excited about the chance to eat together – it never happens.
Saturday – no basketball! We were happy only because it meant not hurrying to get ready and get out the door. This morning Mat took Arlington outside to play in the snow while he got some work done. She loves to sled ride. Cainan is now coughing and Finley is still coughing and sneezing, so we stayed inside. I painted the back wall of our living room and started the hallway and stairs. The hallway and stairs made the biggest transition because we covered tons of dirt, marks, stains, and who knows what else that was left by the previous owners. They weren't really into painting or maintenance of this house, so the paint makes a big difference. I love my house and plan on taking really good care of it. It makes me sad when people don't care for their biggest investment. Anyway, it looks much better. I ran out of paint, so I will have to finish tomorrow.
Saturday was also celebrated Chinese New Year in our house. We put out our few decorations and ordered some yummy Chinese food (did you think I was going to cook it??? You know me better than that) and had a little family party. We ordered Cainan some Hunan beef to eat since he is from the Hunan Providence. He loves the spicy food! I took some pictures and put them below. So Cainan is from Chenzhou (Chen jow) - in case you were interested. That is where his orphanage was. When Mat traveled to China he and Aunt Betty stayed (and picked up) Cainan in Changsha which is the capital of Hunan. Also, Cainan was found in Dongta Park - on a park bench by a stranger. The gentleman who saved our little boy and took him to the orphanage - his name was Tao. Cainan original name (and now his middle name) is JiTao. The orphanage nanny's called him Tao Tao. His last name while he was in China was Chen (after CHENzhou - where he lives - all kids in the orphanages had the same last names). We still have Cainan's clothes he was found in. There wasn't a note with him, but from what they could tell, he was 3 days old when they found him. He only weighed 5 1/2 pounds. And remember - even when we brought him home at 14 months, his cleft lip and palate were unrepaired, so he was always a little tiny thing. I have a picture of the day Cainan was brought to the orphanage. I will try and scan it and post it sometime. Just a little piece of Cainan history. And look at him now!!
No real stories from work this week. One little 2nd grade girl came in and said that her friend had accidentally dropped a book on her eye. I asked how that happened and she didn't know. I asked her if she was lying/sitting on the ground and she said no. So.....a mystery unless this girl was 9 feet tall.
Okay – so I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their weekend! Tomorrow is the Super Bowl and we will all be in our Steeler clothes! Go STEELERS! They better win and Big Ben better no blow it for them. We have our snacks and will all be sitting around watching the game!!! See you Tuesday!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
"Xin Nian Kiau Le" Happy Chinese New Year everyone! “Gung Hay Fat Choy” is Cantonese for Happy New Year, but we are pretty sure Cainan heard Mandarin. We will be celebrating as a family next weekend. This weekend we were busy painting, so I wanted to wait until next weekend! We will be putting out our decorations and ordering some Chinese food and having a little celebration all of our own. I didn't order decorations in time this year – I wanted to add a few more, but shipping is too slow. Here's hoping for some new decorations for next year! We will all be in our red and enjoying some yummy food. Pictures to follow next weekend.
I was given this award from my sis-in-law Carrie at Hicks Family Four and my other sis-in-law Teen, at The Tings. Thanks!
The rules of the award:
1) Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.
2) Show the 7 winners names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with "Honest Scrap." Well, there's no prize, but it is fun!
3) List at least 10 honest things about yourself.
I suffer from panic attacks. They are brought on because I have a thyroid disorder. This makes it very hard for me to stay by myself when Mat is out of town. I can usually ride them out in about 10 minutes, and they always happen at night, but they are always scary. So – I don't like to be alone.
I quilt. I have made about 15. I LOVE doing it. I have made our bedding and am almost finished with the girls new bedding. I mostly make quilts for others for special occasions, and those are my favorites. My best quilt was the one I made for my WONDERFUL Godparents. I put a piece of every quilt I have ever made into that quilt. They have been there for me for everything in my whole life, so it only seemed fitting.
I have attended funerals for 9 child patients I had. Those were the hardest thing I have ever done. For the last one I attended, I was with the baby when she passed and that is when I decided I needed a break from intensive pediatric care.
I am not very patient. I try to be, but it is next to impossible for me. I get easily frustrated with the kids. I am working on it and some days are better than others!
I love going out and doing things as a family. I like being at home, but being outside or being out doing something is better. It isn't easy to get all 5 of us out, but even if it is just a quick outing, we are happy. We are “out and about” kind of people. I think that comes from living in a warm climate for 8 years.
I am terrified to fly. I some how end up on a plane just about every year and swear it will be the last time ever fly. I have taken medication to fly before, but now that I have kids I just suffer.
I would have liked to adopt one more child. If it was financially possible, we would have one I more.
I started playing the piano when I was 4. I stopped when I was in college, but can still play. I have perfect pitch. I also played the French Horn. But music was not my future – I always wanted to be a nurse. As long as I can remember.
I have a thyroid disorder that I was diagnosed with 10 months after Arlington was born. My feeling is that it was underlying all through college, and just escalated after I had a baby. I have Grave's disease. I had my thyroid radiated in 2003 and have taken medication ever since. Most of the time I feel good, but still struggle to keep weight on and keep my emotions in check.
I cannot cook. I would like to cook better, but I actually don't like it very much. I love to eat, though!
I give this award to:
Michelle at Sundry and Electric
Donna at Lena and Macey
Tara at Kidz
Tammy at The Long Family
Courtney at Adventures of our Family
Holly at Holly B's Random Thoughts
Anymommy and Is There Any Mommy Out There?
The rest of the weekend went pretty well at our house. Sunday I painted the family room/kitchen with the first coat of paint. Looks really good. I am anxious to paint the hall and back wall of the family room and get it all tied together. BUT – this week I will finish up with what I have and then on to those projects. The painting didn't get started as early as I hoped because Mat and I accidentally left the paint in his car overnight. We forget sometimes that we live in the north and doing dumb things like that will come back to bite us. His car is NOT in the garage and it was 5 degrees overnight and, well, the paint FROZE. Yep. That is NOT good for it apparently, so what we had was a big can of gloppy mess. AND, right on the can in BIG, pretty letters it says “Do not let freeze”. Oops. Unfortunately it cannot be saved, and that was a lot of wasted money. My dear husband ran back out to the store on Sunday and got more. What a good guy. Lesson learned!
Mat and Arlington also made popcorn on Sunday. They made carmel popcorn:
And Popcorn with white chocolate and oreo cookies:
We are our very own Dale and Thomas popcorn store! (click on name to see their site) If you have never had their popcorn, you have NO idea what you are missing. It was yummy and Arlington had fun.
Finley was on a “no nap” weekend brigade. That girl is a
menace challenge. She stayed in her room for her usual nap time, but didn't sleep either afternoon. The first afternoon she was good for about 2 hours and then she started shouting for her sister. She wanted “sissy” to come lay down too. She she yelled for her. This woke Cainan. Cainan always wakes up happy, but that was the end of naps. Sunday, she was quiet the whole time – just talking on and off to herself. I threatened asked her nicely a few times to go to sleep, but she never did. Ah well. She has weekends like this. If we can't run her around outside for awhile, she is less likely to sleep. At least she sleeps well at night.
Monday was a zoo at work for me. I saw another 70 kids. I sent 7 kids home with stomach bugs. It was not pretty. 32 of my 70 visits were upset stomachs. No joke. It was not fun and I was tired by the time I left work. But I came home and did a little painting. I put the second coat on two of the walls in our living room. I will do a little each day I can this week so that I can move on to another color this weekend.
Tuesday was better at work. On kid came in and said “I need you to take my fever”. What a hoot. I tried to correct him - “I need to take your temperature buddy?” He said, “no – you need to take my FEVER”. Alrighty then.
Tonight Arlington had Daisy scouts. She was excited to go. But she was having a mini meltdown after school. I think she may be coming down with a cold (although she will never admit it) so she was really fussing around. We almost didn't take her to scouts, but she was determined to go. She was fine by the time we left, and it is only 1 hour. She loves it. I have to report that she is really doing well with reading. Mrs. Oscarson has started sending home more challenging books for her to read, and Arlington is even surprising me with some of the words she knows.
Finley came home from school today with a fever of 100.3. She didn't want to eat dinner. So she won't be going to school tomorrow. We are having a POSSIBLE snow day tomorrow, so we may not have to worry about it, but if we don't, Mat and I will split the day. I have a big meeting in the morning and he has one in the afternoon, so we have to split. So we will see. I was just thinking “the kids haven't been sick in a really long time”. So I jinxed myself. She has a terrible cough. Poor baby. I hope she doesn't share with the rest of us. Finley has progressed quickly with the Alphabet and now she and Mat play a "find a letter" game each night and she loves it. She can count all the way to 20. I think she could be smart like Arlington, but she just doesn't care. She isn't as advanced as Arlington was at this age, but she still holds her own.
Cainan is doing great. He has been having some night terrors that are new. He had some in the beginning when he first came home to us, and he still has some from time to time. But he settles right back down, which is nice. He can count to 5 which is AMAZING for him because he has no interest in learning letters and numbers and such. And he is doing well with colors. We find out in a few weeks if he will qualify for the preschool program and I am anxious to hear their report on his progress. With Cainan it slow, and not always steady, but we are always proud of his progress. He has had to overcome a lot.
Have a nice week and I will see you on Saturday!!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Mommy: Finley – do you know what letter this is? (pointing at the “u”)
Finley stares blankly at the page
Mommy: Finley, this is “U”
Finley (looking at me): me?
I look at her – I have no idea what she means
Mommy: “u” Finley
I still have no idea
Mommy: This letter is “u”
Then I think – does she think this is the letter “F”? We say “F” for Finley when we read. Where is Finley going with this “me” business?
Then is dawns on me. When I am saying “u” she thinks I am saying “you”.
This gets me laughing.
Mommy: no Finley not “you” (pointing at her) – this is the letter “u”
Finley: me? (pointing to herself)
Too funny though! And we are STILL working on it – three nights now, we go around and around. I think NOW, she thinks it is funny. Me too.
This week went quick for all of us, and now we are in the mist of our weekend. Wednesday was another short day for the kids in my district, so I had another enjoyable afternoon of peace and quiet and getting work done. Thursday was a long day for me at work, but still it went fast. Thursday and Friday this week in my district was Kindergarten registration. I saw aroudn 40 parents (the nurse has to review the dreaded health form that will allow their child to attend public school). All parents were nice and excited. It is fun to see the kids that are coming next year. I had to stay at school until 7pm on Thursday, but it was fine. The secretary and I had a great time, ordered Mexican food (what you say? MEXICAN? In a town that doesn't even have a convience store? Yeah. I said the same) and got out on time.
The kids were pretty good this week at school. I saw an average of 50 kids a day – about my normal. I did have some kids come in that started their sentences with “last night, at home.....”. Okay seriously? What does this have to do with RIGHT NOW? These kids usually show up in the afternoon after they are tired of being in class. They must think us adults are dummies. Thinking I am going to buy this “last night at home I bumped my head and it still hurts” about 15 hours after it happened. It didn't hurt all morning at school? That's AMAZING. And it just started right now? Interesting stuff! One girl told me a very long, elaborate story and the point ended up being that she had a cold and needed a Kleenex.
All of MY kids are doing great. I wish I could report that Finley has been accident free since Tuesday, but this morning she was jumping around and bumped her top lip on the edge of the bed. The girl not only needs a helmet, she needs knee pads, face mask, elbow pads, padded room......
Arlington was a drama mama this morning. She can be a very emotional child. She cries when broken things get thrown away. She has a hard time deciding things on a whim. She needs time. She was crying because she couldn't decide if she wanted to go shopping with daddy or stay home with mommy. She felt “stressed” about making this decision. Too much. Tonight wasn't much better. She really wanted to read more chapters in the book we are working on, but it was time for bed. I took a picture of her “drama” below.
She also has basketball this morning. It is clear that she doesn't love it. She likes being with her friends, but it is not for her. At least not this program, or not at this age. She never complains, but they don't really make it fun for the kids, so she gets bored. And then she starts chewing her fingernails. However, she has decided she wants to try T-ball in the spring. Here it is mixed boys and girls until the age of 7, when they can possibly HIT the ball, so she will be on a mixed team. It is for 4-6 year olds, so at least she won't be the smallest or youngest. That should help. She LOVES to hit the ball, and is pretty good at it. So, we will see. It starts in May.
Not much else to report. Finley drew all over herself this weekend. She was being REALLY quiet, and I went looking for her, and she had a permanent marker and was drawing on her hands. She had already drawn on her legs. That girl is too much!
Tomorrow is church and then I am going to start painting the family room. I am looking forward to transforming our downstairs like we did our upstairs. It is just paint for now, but we have more plans for this house! I will take pictures if I can remember!
I will see you all on Tuesday!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
So that was our fair warrior's weekend. On a good note, she is up to 16 letters that she recognizes. That is a huge improvement since just Christmas. We have found a FABULOUS book that has caught her attention. It is called the Alphabet room. It is a GREAT book. I highly recommend it.
I also took a series of pictures of Finley at dinner the other night. She has the best faces. She makes tons of faces especially when she eats, I tried to capture some of them. I really need to video tape her. Then I can use it to torture her when she grows up. Here you go - the many faces of Finley (during dinner, hence her messy face)
Cainan is doing well. He was excited about going back to school today to see his friends after being gone a week. He dove right into saying "hi" to everyone that we passed, and playing with they toys. Tonight he held up a green lolipop and said "lolipop is green!" Whoo hoo!! It is so great when he makes a revalation! I know he will have those colors down before we know it.
Arlington read to us tonight. She read a large amount of her books, and we were so pleased. She really has it now. We also practiced a little bit of her piano. THAT was not as fun. She likes it, but she wants to play really fast. I have to admit I am going to stuggle being patient with that one. But we will keep trying. She seems to like it, and remembers everything my mom taught her last week.
Tonight we also went to see the bowling alley where she wants to have her party. It was very nice, very clean and she was so excited. So, tomorrow I am going to call and try and book it for her party and hope it is still available.
This was my first day of work this week. Yesterday was the holiday and today and tomorrow are half days for the kids. Nice way to start a week! I got a lot of work done after the kids left, and am looking forward to the same tomorrow. Today went by quickly, but I still had a little Kindergartener that made me laugh.:
Kindergartener: My forhead hurts
Me: What happened? Did you bump it?
Kindergartener: No - when I was a baby my ear hurt and the pain went up into my head and stayed there. And now when people make a lot of noise, it hurts my forehead.
Me: So you have a headache?
Kindergartener: No.....I have a problem with people being too loud.
What a hoot.
This weekend we also got another 6 inches of snow. Yeah. This is SO not funny. The people at work think this is hilarious for me. They keep saying, "you know, for 4-5 years we have not had a winter like this one. Good timing on your part." SO funny. We just keep piling snow on top of snow in our yard as we dig out because it has not been warm enough to melt. Dave, our fine neighbor, saw Mat digging out our driveway, AND our shared drive by hand and came out with his snow plow and did our private drive and our shared driveway. That was really nice of him. So.....Mat threw down the salt. :) Hey, those snow plows are stinking expensive! That will be a purchase for next year.
So that is about it. Right now I am watching the Inaugaration on TV. The ball, I should say. During the day I got to see President Obama sworn in and that was amazing. It gave me chills to watch our new president speak. His speech was wonderful. The number of people on the mall was unbelieveable. A teacher from our school was there. Somewhere! It was thrilling to watch our new president take office. And tonight while he was introduced at the ball, I was moved to see him dance with his wife and SO PROUD of America at that moment. This was an amazing day. I want my kids to grow up accepting EVERYONE. There race, sexual preference, amount of money they make - NONE of that should matter. I want my kids to be good people who treat everyone with respect. Unbiased prejudice will NEVER live in our house. NEVER.
Oh, and President Obama is left handed - just like me. And Mat. And Finley. THAT is really cool.
Arlington got into the car today and we had a conversation that went like this:
Arlington : I want to go home and watch Rock Obama on TV
Me: Barack, Arlington. But now, he is President Obama.
Arlington: right - we watched it at school. They are having a parade - I want to go home and watch the parade.
Me: sure - although, I don't think they are going to have floats......
Arlington: and his wife, Mrs. Obama - she is the first girl of the country now.
Me: First lady, that is right.
Arlington: Will she be in the parade?
I am glad she knows what is going on. She knew all about Martin Luther King, Jr. yesterday and knows that President Obama is our first African American president. Go Kindergarten.
Here are the pictures. Enjoy and I will see you Saturday!
Saturday, January 17, 2009
The kids don't care at all that it is cold. They want to go outside SO badly. They look longingly at the snow and look at their sleds and say, “please mommy?” But when the high is zero, I can't let them out. Sunday is supposed to be a VERY warm 31. So....then. That is when they get to go out. Happy day.
Mat was away this week in North Carolina. He had a nice time catching up with his friend and past boss, Tim and his family. Plus, he is there on business. We missed him and are happy he has returned safe and sound. He actually asked me while he was gone if the snow melted. That made me giggle. I think it will be melting in about.......April. What a funny guy I married.
My parents left this morning to go home. It was nice to have them in. I can always give them little jobs to do around the house that I, ahem, don't want to touch with a ten foot pole. And they always do them!! I guess when my kids are older, I can pay them back the same way. Hmmmmm....... We had some fun times. Wednesday we went out to dinner. THAT was not a fun experience. Arlington cried and Finley whined the whole way home. But dinner on Thursday was perfect. The kids were angels. They are so hot and cold! This is why we stay home. No 50/50 chances for Mat and I. My parents just don't know any better. They also don't care if the kids make a scene. They are just their perfect little
This week at work really tested my patience. I had a hard time holding it together on Thursday with the kids that are TRULY behavior problems. I didn't have a lot sympathy by the end of the day. But, you would have been proud. I calmly sent them on their way. You will have sympathy for me in a minute BECAUSE on Wednesday I broke my own record and saw.....take this in.....70 kids in my office. Yep. 70 little blessings in a 7 hour period. Thursday I saw 60. Friday, 54. (at least it got less!) I know what the problem is – the kids can't go outside. They are breathing that dreaded school air. For a whole week they have not been able to go outside due to these crazy temperatures. We haven't been above 18 degrees this whole week. Too cold to go out. So, they have stomach aches and sore throats, and headaches, and chapped lips, and dry eyes, and on and on and on. It was non-stop traffic. I had 10 kids in my office at once during a period of my day. But, I kept my cool. Even some of them made me laugh.
Girl: I have a stomach ache.
Me: I am sorry to hear that. When did it start?
Kindergarten girl: I have a staple in my leg
Me: What? Where? Let me see
(pulls up her pant leg and points to the SMALLEST little red dot I have ever seen)
Me: I don't see the staple – are you sure?
Kindergarten girl: yes- it was on the rug. I saw it.
Me: Well, you look okay – do you want a bandaid?
Me: an ice pack?
Girl: can I have a life saver?
Little boy (3rd grade): (very serious little guy) I have an ear ache. It started in November.
I cannot make this stuff up folks. They really don't have any concept of time.
My diabetic also had an awful week. His blood sugar numbers were all over the place causing his behavior to be all over the place. It is hard enough being a 9 year old boy. It is harder to be a 9 year old diabetic whose sugars control his emotions. One of my school phobia kids was also off. She is really stressing right now. So, on top of the 70 “non emergent” kids I saw, I have them too. Plus my regular work (which is starting to look like a distant memory) and meetings, and staff that come in constantly, and the Chinese teachers who came for a visit. AND I don't ever get to eat lunch in peace.
But that is about to change.
I am getting my own 15 minutes of fame to stand in front of the staff at my school and plead for mercy on January 28th. I am handing out info on the health office, (courtesy of my over protective nursing supervisor), “nurse passes” that the teachers will be filling out when they send a kid to me and they will each get little baggies of bandaids for all of those little hangnails.
I am glad I have great staff. They just need a little fine tuning. I am tired of being a rock star. I want to be a normal school citizen who sees an average of 20-25 students (like the other two elementary nurses in my district) and get my work done. I am beyond bandaids and boo-boos. 4 years of college, and 11 years of experience – I am MORE than that. I am part of the special education team. And I have kids who seriously need me every day. There is a lot of parts to my job that are getting lost in the shuffle due to weeks like this.
Blah blah blah.
Friday was SO cold here. It was minus 13 on Friday. A lot of schools were on a delay, but not my lovely district. No, we had the Chinese educators in town, so we were going to school ON time no matter what. The parents of the kids were not happy. One kid had to wait for the bus for 20 minutes! I have a hard time figuring it out. We get canceled when we have RAIN, but minus 13 doesn't even get us a delay. Huh. And can I tell you – the building was 50 degrees. The kids (and us) were so cold! It took all day to warm that building up.
The Chinese educators were nice. The students did a fabulous assembly. Each grade had a presentation and gift for our visitors, and then we gave a school gift. And each room had done some Chinese decoration. The school was very festive. I was really proud of them! It was so fun. I work (and live) in a small town that doesn't have much culture influence. This was great for them!!! I had several parents call/email me thanking me for the assembly teaching their kids about the Chinese culture. I am glad the kids enjoyed it. I got to have lunch with the principal and Chinese educators and we talked a lot about Cainan. It was great (and the food was AWESOME). It was a great day. I am thinking that the week of Chinese New Year, we may have to do something else fun!!
The kids had a nice break from daycare this week. We didn't get to go many places due to the cold, but we did eat out every night. Friday we took the kids to the mall and let them run crazy at the indoor playground. My dad hung with them and my mom and I went to “Pennys” to do a little shopping. I found some AWESOME deals. I had quite a bit of gift cards for JcP from Christmas (thanks Sally and Aunt Betty!) and I spent them wisely. I got 5 sweaters and a pair of jeans for me, and then went over to the kids section and got tons of shirts and jeans and two winter coats ALL for next year for the kids and I didn't even spend $100!!!! I saved some money for Mat to get a few things for himself as well (I share). It was awesome. I got winter coats for Cainan and Finley that were originally $60 on sale for $8.00. Yeah baby! They are all set for next year.
Arlington is doing well. We watched “Kit Kitridge and American Girl” today. She really wants an American Girl doll, but until she turns 8 (and a relative buys it for her), so will have to wish on. But the movie was pretty cute. We have also been reading this years choice for her Chinese New Years Book “The Monkey King” It is a good book for older kids – I recommend it.
We have played some Wii, played some board games, and read about 100 books. It is hard when they can't go outside. Oh, and my mom started to teach her how to play the piano this week while she was visiting. I think Arlington liked it. We will see if she wants to keep going. We had basketball practice this morning. It gets her out of the house for a few hours for exercise and that is always good!
We are also trying to plan her 6th birthday party. She will be 6 on February 15th. There aren't as many choices as we are used to for party venues, but thanks to our wonderful neighbor, Michelle, she has given us plenty to choose from. Arlington has decided she wants to have a bowling party. Sounds good to me. Last year we did the princess thing (and the year before) so I am ready for a change. AND, she is friends with everyone in class, and wants to invite everyone (although daddy is a little unsure of this idea) so we had to come up with a place that all kids MIGHT enjoy. So we will see. We are going to check out one of the venues tomorrow. I think it could be fun for them. Her birthday does fall at a tricky time as well. It is the day after Valentine's day AND the beginning of a week long break from school, where families might be going away. So we will see.
Cainan is doing well. He had his speech therapy appointment at home this week. He is speaking pretty clearly, but he a ways to go. We have a meeting on February 11th to start to work on transitioning him from the Birth-3 program to the public school system. He will probably qualify for speech, but not for special education services. That will be fine, but I will not be able to get his speech therapy through the school, then, because I will not be able to get him there due to work. So we would have to arrange for private therapy. So we will see what happens.
Finley is fine. She was singing the other day in the car and started to sing “mommy is a weirdo”. So nice!! She sings the weirdest songs. I have decided that she doesn't have any private thoughts – she says out loud every thing she is thinking. She is becoming a talker like Arlington, so my house is getting louder every day. Thank goodness Cainan is a little on the quiet side! After the kids had gone to bed the other night, I thought I heard someone moving around upstairs. I went up, and Arlington and Cainan were asleep, and Finley was standing beside Arlington poking her in the arm. Cainan's door was wide open – she must have already been in there. Sigh. She is also still fighting potty training. My parents really tried to work with her this week. And no good. She will sit on the potty. FOREVER. But she only went once this whole week.
Before I forget - I wanted to say congratulations to Matt and Madeline for a BEAUTIFUL spread in People Magazine this weekend. I was reading my favorite mag, and there he and his beautiful daughter were! Hop on over to his blog and check out his story. Matt, Liz, Madaline (click on the name to go to their blog)
So that is it!! I am really looking forward to Inauguration day. I am so happy my children are here to see the inauguration of our first African-American president. I wish we could take the time off to go to Washington to see him inaugurated into office. I am over the Bush era (just like my friend Michelle!) and ready for the future of our country with President Obama. I have been watching the news today on his trek to Washington DC and we are SO excited. OBAMA!!!!
Enjoy the pictures and I will see you on Tuesday!! Have a great weekend!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
So, Monday's event was:
Principal: "so Jennifer I just have to tell you about my morning." (I think I should have "confessional" written on my door the things I hear some times!)
Me: Okay....... (looking a little worriedl about what she might say)
Principal: I just had a conversation with 'Suzy second grader' and 'Timmy 4th grader' who I caught kissing under the stairs.
Me: The Students did WHAT???
Principal: Yeah. My thoughts exactly. They said they love each other and that is what people who love each other do."
Me: Wow. That is SO great.
I have friends who have second graders!! Seriously??? I need to be worried about this with my kids by the time they are 7?? Are you flipping kidding me. Home schooling is looking a little better today..... (I kid, I kid)
Second scenario wasn't as shocking as it was JUST PLAIN STUPID.
We have a little girl who about 3-4 weeks ago, right before the holidays (she is a 3rd grader) who was crying to her teacher that someone had carved her name and other choice words into a stall in the girl's bathroom. It upset her, and she didn't want to use that bathroom any more. She wanted to use mine. Okay - that is fine. Bright girl. I felt bad for her. She doesn't have a lot of friends.
Well, today, her teacher came in for a "confessional" session and said,
"Did you hear about Suzy third grader?"
Me: No (oh great, here we go again)
Teacher: Well, SHE carved her OWN name into the stall
Me: She did what???
Teacher: Yeah. Did it herself. Doesn't know why. But she couldn't take the guilt any longer (we have been questioning various students about the incident) and finally confessed. She wanted to get 'so and so' into trouble, but it didn't work out as planned.
So.....yeah. what else is there to say?
Today was NUTS at work. Actually, I say that a lot, don't I? I think I should tell you when it is quiet. That would probably be surprising to you. I say over 50 kids, my diabetic had really low blood sugars all day and was feeling crummy. I had a girl that almost fainted and fell down the stairs - thank goodness her teacher was right beside her. I sent 7 - yes 7 kids - home from school who didn't feel good. I little girl has shingles and has exposed her whole class AND her pregnant teacher. I had two back to back meetings this morning and so I saw those 50 kids and dealt with all the other craziness in about 5 hours. AND I don't think I ever had lunch. I remember snacking, but beyond that........I am not sure.
Backtracking, Sunday was a good day for us family wise. It had snowed again Saturday night into Sunday, but luckily we didn't get the big storm they were predicting. I think we got about 4-5 inches, maybe not even that. Enough to sled ride. Finley went out with Arlington and Mat and they all had a blast. Cainan is still not a big fan of the cold/snow, so he and I stayed in and stayed warm. We played a lot of games and just enjoyed a nice family day.
Monday we all went back to work and school. Everyone is doing well. Today, Mat flew out to North Carolina for a few days for a business meeting, and my parents drove in to spend the time with myself and the kids. It is nice to have the extra help when he isn't here. So today was the last day of daycare for the kids until next week. Arlington will catch the bus from home this week, and she is excited about that. I am glad she is getting a nice little break from daycare - the babies too.
Since my sister-in-law, Carrie, announced on her blog tonight about her baby news, I am going to say my congratulations publicly!! My sister in law has a blog: Hicks Family (click on name to go to her blog) so check out all of her news! Anyway, she is pregnant with her third child, and she has a little boy and little girl at home. We were SURE she was having another girl, but we got a surprise - she is having another BOY!! We are very excited. Congratulations to Carrie and their family! We can't wait to meet our nephew this summer.
So, I didn't do better with pictures. Shame on me. I only have three - I am sorry! I need to get better. Enjoy your week, and I will see you Saturday!!
Arlington - trying to keep her eyes open for the picture
Cainan doing a silly dance
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Anyway, I am done whining about it. Like I said, snow has its good points. It makes the kids happy. It is pretty. It causes school delays where we can sleep in.....
This week finished out on a good note. Even though Friday was a full moon (and can I tell you, it was just as predictable as the last one – the kids at school were nuts) Friday was my best day of the week. Let me rewind a little
Tuesday and Friday were our only full days of work this week. Tuesday was the day of the 911 call incident at my school. What happened (I will shorten it the best I can, but that may not make the post shorter) was that a little girl fainted in our cafeteria. She kind of started hyperventilating because she is kind of a hypochondriac and kind of crumpled to the ground. Lucky the kids at my school are short, and they don't have far to fall. She didn't hit anything and didn't hurt herself. But, I was not in my office at the time (yes, I DO get to occasionally unglue myself from my chair and see what is going on in the rest of the school). I was giving a child a breathing treatment in a classroom. I carry an amazing walkie talkie with me where ever I go. This thing works everywhere. I was given it so that they could get ahold of me when needed (emergency or not) and I wasn't in the office. I am diligent about carrying it because my school is, well...sort of....hyper. It is a big task to be the only calm one in a building. Anyway, things went
Anyway, anyway – I get paged by phone to “come upstairs immediately”. No idea where I am supposed to go. I go to the office and find out I am needed in the cafeteria. When I get there, one of my frequent fliers is lying on the ground crying. More embarrassed than anything. I do all my “nurse” stuff to make sure she is okay. She isn't hurt anywhere. I set her up – she is good. We sit together on the ground for a few minutes. I ask if anyone called her mom. No answer. Everyone just shrugged. I was about to get up and get her info (because there were 12 – yes 12 staff members in the room, and the little girl was in no medical danger) when in comes.....yep.......the ambulance personnel. I was taken aback only because 1) they weren't needed and 2)who the heck called them? So I said “who called 911?” The librarian pointed to the principal. My principal said - “I thought we needed it”. I kept silent and just nodded my head. Again- whatever. But, at this point, little to my principal's knowledge – once EMT shows up, we lose control of the situation and they take over. EMT thought she was fine and they WALKED her to the ambulance. REALLY?????? Maybe a hint she didn't have to GO??? So I talk to mom on the phone, and convince the principal that this little girl is 9 and she can't go on the ambulance alone. (Yes, the principal was going to send her alone. Goodness) So her teacher volunteers to go with her, and my principal – still ramped up – decided to
So I talk to mom and mom says, “yes, she has done this before. I was pinning a dress to hem for her, and she got nervous and passed out.” Awesome. THAT would have been good to know. So mom was calm and went to the hospital to meet her daughter, who was released within about ½ hour. THE END.
Well sort of.
Remember my boss who made my principal cry??? That conversation was about to come.
After the ambulance went, I called my nursing supervisor to ask her what all paperwork needed to be filled out for a child sent 911. She wanted the whole story, and boy was she crazy about how it went down. She is very protective of me as a new person, and so she was coming over to talk to my principal about the days events. She had called our directors of what is called “pupil services “(head of our crisis teams) and they told her that if she didn't talk to my principal, they would. Again......awesome. (or not). So Linda (my boss) came over and tried to talk to my principal (who is a woman, by the way. And went to Dartmouth. And is about 6'2) She started to cry. And she said “I can't deal with this right now” and walked out of our meeting before two words were said. Great.
So she didn't return and Linda and I went home and the next day was.......a SNOW day. Yeah. Big surprise. No snow, but the school kind of panicked about it and canceled school. Bummer. But good probably for my school for a day to “cool down”. Thursday was a 2 hour delay, so school didn't start until 10:30. It was a crazy 5 hour day, and nothing got done. My principal and I did speak a little this day, and I repeated about 15 times, when she tried to give me all the reasons it went "well" on Tuesday, that they gave me this wonderful walkie talkie (which a LOT of people have in the school to use to get to me – we have A LOT), yet she kept saying “we don't do it that way here”. Very productive. So I sighed, and smiled, and left it. A lot of staff have found it humorous because they have been through this with the principal in the past and they think it is just how it is.
Time for CHANGE. I am a change FANATIC.
I called my supervisor, and told her about the “we don't do it that way here” stuff, and that made her SO happy. Not. She in turn told pupil services and they said “we will handle it”.
And they did.
Friday they showed up (there are two of them) and took the reigns and set the principal straight. Friday after noon – around 3pm – we had a crisis team meeting, everyone got their feelings out on the table how Tuesday went down. I got to tell them that it was fine and I was not upset, but I want to help them fix it for the future. And we put a policy in place. MY policy. The way I would like to see things go. Will it work every time? Of course not. BUT- we have a policy.
Like I always tell my boss “my school will come over to my sunny side of the street. I will get them to see it my way”. And I did. (Hardy har)
Friday was also my little Chinese inservice for all the grades. It was a lot of fun. The kids were really into it, and picked up on the Chinese Phrases really quickly. I taught them Ni Hao (hello) Xai Jian (Goodbye), and Shi Shi ni min lai (Thank you for coming). Thank you to my brother-in-law Frank for teaching me how to say them (the best I could!). I couldn't have done it without him.
My kids are doing really great. Everyone is healthy, and that is the best news. Finley is learning her letters a little more each day. We got her little letter books for Christmas, and she has been recognizing them from there. Cainan's color recognition is getting better and better. Arlington's writing skills and word recognition have taken off. Although, potty training - Boo. Finley is so stubborn. I need like a whole month off from work to work with her and get her straight. Cainan is waiting patiently for his turn. Ha! He just likes to shut the potty lid. I can't wait to see how much money we save where we don't have to buy loads of diapers any more.
Okay – so this blog was WAY to much about me, and not enough about the kids you love to hear about. The week was just crazy. I did get all of my Christmas stuff put away, and the house clean on my day off Wednesday. That left less for the weekend, which was nice. Arlington had basketball this morning and that was a lot of fun. I had a chance to catch up with my neighbor Michelle, my friend Kelly and made a new friend. I LOVE this town – people just see someone sitting alone, and before long, they come over and join you to keep you company and strike up a conversation. It never ceases to amaze me. After basketball, Arlington and I went to the library to get a few movies for her to watch this weekend. No books this time. Arlington got about 10 books for Christmas and another 7 at the book fair. So she has to catch up first! But we always have fun. She sits and reads some books and I browse.
Then this afternoon Mat took Arlington on errands. She LOVES to run errands – thinks it makes her a big girl. They got the salt and the shovel and some lunch. Yum. We are a sucker for fast food. It is a problem. But not a big enough one that I want to quit cold turkey!!! Hey, at least it was Subw@y.
Have a great rest of the weekend, and I will see you Tuesday!!! Sorry there are only a couple of pictures of the kids in some of their new clothes. I can't find my charger, so I will do better next time!!
Oh, and of COURSE you have noticed my new blog! Thanks to my wonderful hubby - I have a new look and a new title. But my blog address has not changed, so not to worry. I just wanted a little change. I hope you like it because it took my husband forever to do it, and he tells me he won't be changing it any time soon!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I could fill you in on all of those lovely stories, (and I am sure I will next blog post) but instead, I have decided to focus on the good that came out of last year. I have put together a little video of our kids from 2008. Mat and I love our kids more than anything on this earth. As crazy as they make us, we couldn't imagine going through life without them. When I think about all the little things I mull over each day, I try and remember how lucky we are to have what we have. Our children are at the top of that list. I wouldn't trade our life with anyone (I am sure many of you would say the same about your own lives).
2008 was a crazy one for us. We moved, made new friends, Arlington started Kindergarten, Mat and I started new jobs. I wouldn't trade any of it (except maybe missing our Florida friends dearly). This is the first year in a few years we have not added a new family member. As we watch Finley grow, we realize that with each passing day, we get further and further from having a true baby in the house anymore. While on many levels that is good, it is a part of our lives we will never have again. Soon we will be a house full of unruly teenagers! I kid. We look forward to watching them grow and change.
So today, enjoy the little video I made of our children. They give us A Beautiful Life.
Make sure you have your volume on so you can hear our little song that goes with the pictures! See you Saturday!
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Let's go back:
Wednesday. New Years Eve. We are with Mat's family and now everyone is together. are you ready? Mat's brother Zac, Mat's sister Carrie and her husband Jonathan and their two kids "M" and "G" (and she is pregnant with baby Hicks), mat's sister Teen and her husband Frank, Mat's sister Jess and her husband Tom (and their dog, Target), Mat's Aunt Betty, Mat's parents (and their two dogs lucky and Lady), Mat's Grandma Pletcher. And then, of course, the 5 of us. Yep. That is a lot of people in one house. But it is a boat load of fun. We had dinner at Mat's grandma's house on this day. Long ago we stopped fitting around one table, but somehow she makes it work! We had yummy food, and sang the 12 days of Christmas (yeah, you don't want to know. Annual tradition), and then headed back to Mat's parent's house for the night. We all stayed up (except the kiddies who went to bed early) until midnight and rang in the New Year together.
Thursday: New Years Day. This is also Mat's dad's birthday! He was a new year's baby. I will save him some stress and not tell you how
We also played some board games,played a lot of Wii (even had a bowling tournament) and had some good times. We have gone to bed exhausted every night.
This is the day we also had the "passing of the trophy" for our fantasy football league. Each year Mat's family and we are all part of a fantasy football league. We didn't have a chance to do an "official" passing of the trophy in 2007, so Jonathan the 2006 winner passed the trophy to Frank, the 2007 winner, and then Frank passed it to Teen the 2008 winner. The first woman winner! We were so excited! I put a few photos below. It is fun to play together.
Friday. Last full day of vacation. This day we were going to go to a movie, but there wasn't much out to see, so we decided to stick around the house and visit instead. We also used this day to laundry (yuck), pack the car (that was an adventure in itself) and get things together. Saturday morning we would be heading out early, so we wanted to have the car ready to go. We played more Wii, more board games, and just relaxed. MAt's sister Jess and hubby Tom went home on this day (put a small dent in our house party) so we said goodbye to them.
Saturday morning we were up bright and early and ready to head out by 8am. I went out to warm up the car and it wouldn't start. That was......NOT awesome. I turned the car over a couple of times - no response. Battery must be dead. Mat had discovered a light on in the back of the car a day earlier, and the temperature was 12 degrees, so neither of those things helped. But with a jump start, the van started, and we didn't have any further problems. That is not the first time that has happened to me. Fun times. We didn't get started until 9am, but even with the late start, and two stops and 20 minutes of traffic, we were still home by 5:20. So not bad!! We used our new GPS, and that was fun. The kids did really great on the way home and the ride went quickly and smoothly. We were glad to get home, and we spent the night unloading the car and start putting things away.
Sunday: our final day of vacation! Today we spent the whole day relaxing, putting things away, and getting ready for the start back to work/school. It is hard to believe how fast 13 days of vacation goes by!! We had such a wonderful time, and we and the kids were very spoiled. We wish we didn't have to go so long in between visits like this where everyone can be together. My favorite part of the holidays is the gathering of all of us in one place.
So that was our vacation! It was really great. The kids got spoiled rotten as always, and we had so much good food that I am going to go through withdrawal over the next couple of weeks. I want to thank all of our family and friends that gave our family such wonderful presents and wonderful fun. If you saw the pile of loot, you would be amazed.
Happy 2009 everyone! We had a really great 2008. We are lucky to have our health, our family, our jobs. I can't complain about little things when all the things that really matter were awesome. Look for soon a little picture video of a look back at our 2008. Also I will post a short video of our Christmas morning over the next week or so.
Enjoy the pictures, and I will be back on Tuesday! Sorry this post was a little late!! And the pictures are NUMEROUS!!