Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gracie Meets Her Teacher

As you know, Gracie opted to change classes for 3rd grade, so she has a new teacher this year--and she is super excited about going back to school (whew! after last year I wasn't so sure!)

Ms. Joyner is Gracie's new teacher and she seems wonderful.  We met her tonight for Gracie's Open House.

Gracie found her desk and unloaded her supplies and told her teacher all about the key chains she had  chosen for her back pack (she is so funny! :).

I filled out the equivalent to a novel, and then was given more papers to take home, but it was well worth it to see the excitement in Gracie's face.

This classroom seems *much* smaller than last years, but they are still clumped together and I am sure they will have some fun things to do along with the challenging things.

Oh, and Ms. Joyner (and many others including the principal) not only loved Gracie's dress, but somehow knew I made it.

5 Days Until School

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

6 Days Until School

Thomas Meets His Teachers


Well, we did it. We went to preschool and we met teachers, and we found our hook, and we told everyone our name.

We were there for maybe 15 minutes for preschool Open House, but it was a BIG day for Thomas.

He wore his backpack to school full of supplies. When we got there he told the director "I Thomas!!" She told him she knew that and wanted to know if he wanted to go to his class.

We found his name hook and he hung up his backpack and then helped Ms. Tammy put the supplies we brought away.

He played with the toys for a few minutes with Gracie and then went to the table to color his frog. He colored and met a new friend Savannah.

Typical Thomas he colored for all of 30 seconds and handed it in.

I snapped pictures and then we went down the hall to meet Ms. Leslie.

He held out his hand and shook hers and proudly told her: "I Thomas! I go preschool! This Gracie, Gracie fird grade!"

Too precious for words!!

We walked back to his classroom and we got his backpack, not before he demanded "where my food?!!"  This demand did not let up even though I told him no snack today, we were just visiting school.

I feared a tantrum that we had to go, but was so thankful there was none to be had.

It was such a quick visit and I am so thankful I caught most of it on film!!

He is ready!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

8 Days Until School

Counting Down

Thankfully both of my kids are excited for school to start.

There are days when I am more than excited, and days I am just excited.  Really though, I think that the idea of my baby going away from me and this house (even for a few hours) is starting to set in and I am not quite as happy for him as I was a few weeks back.

I was sure that I would be a pro with this, especially since I have done it before, and since he is a million times more of a handful--but that knot in the pit of my stomach is starting to form, so I guess even the biggest handful will force just as much fear and saddness as his sister did.

But, the kids are ready to countdown even if I have a few reservations.  So, I thought I would help them keep track of the days and keep excited at the same time.

So here is our countdown.

Each child has a bus and a stack of numbers. They pull off a number each night, and then we get a book for that day to read before bed.

They are super excited with mommy's little plan.  And, you can read with us if you want. I will post the books we are reading as a countdown for you too!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Thomas' First Friend

There is a quote going around Facebook about how a cousin is your first friend.

It is a quote that I find hard to relate to, and honestly I just scrolled on past the entire cutesy back-grounded quote and moved on.


We were on our way to Lynchburg to see Grandma and Grandpa for a few days. A promise I had made to the kids that we would go back again before school started.  Before we left for their house, we had to stop off at the post office.

I made the mistake of telling the kids that we had to mail Jolee her birthday present.

I didn't think much about it at the time. I wanted Jolee to get her gifts from us in time and it takes several days for mail to get from VA to TN.

Thomas kept saying as we rode to the Post Office here in Mechanicsville "Jo-wee birfday." I told him she was turning 2 years old.  And, I told him she was having a Sesame Street party.  I came up with something new each time he repeated "Jo-wee birfday." It isn't that far to the Post Office, but with a repeating toddler it can seem like days.

We mailed Jolee's package and Thomas was sure to tell the mail person it was for "Jo-wee's birfday." And we climbed in the car.

I told Gracie NOT to tell Thomas where we were going.

He knew we were going on a long trip because we had his DVD player hooked up, but I knew if he knew we would be seeing Grandpa it would be a very long 2.5 hours.

I may have saved myself from hours of excitement over Grandpa, but now I was hearing nothing but Jolee.  Poor Thomas thought we were going to Jolee's birthday party. I was heart broken for him.  And, he would have been too if he would have accepted my constant reassurance that we were not headed to Jolee's and that the mailman would deliver her gift.

It was no good. He had a one track mind and all he could think about was cake, birthdays, presents and Jolee.

I guess the kind of funny thing is that you wouldn't think they even liked each other the way they interacted when they met for the first time in July.  They were typical kids and didn't want to play together much or share.

But, the impact was nothing short of magical.  Candice tells me all the time how she talks about Thomas and Gracie, and my two constantly talk about her.

While I hated that these kids were so far apart in miles, I realized that Jolee was Thomas' first friend. She was the first child he had ever played with, knew by name, and missed that wasn't his sister.

So, I guess the cheesy saying is true--at least for Jolee and Thomas.  Your cousin is your first friend.

And, I can't think of a better friend for him to have, after all her mommy is my best friend too!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Baby Wash Station

This is a great idea for bored kids and a hot day.  My two children washed and cared for their babies for more than an hour.

Thomas was so sweet and gentle with his baby, and loved to put lotion on him (that is his favorite part of bath time too!)

I used things around the house and set out water in a bucket, lotions, baby brushes, towels and toys.

Easy and cheap..and adorable entertainment!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I am not sure when it happened.

I know I did not abdicate, I did not step down, nor was I impeached. I am sure there is some sort of technical name for those who find themselves suddenly no longer the voice of power among their subjects.

I think there was a coup.

Years from now you will be telling me that I will lose the ears of my once loyal subjects all together...but for now losing their ability to do as I say is more than enough.

Do you remember Bill Cosby's constant trouble with his adorable children and in his last effort of self-defense he would say in the most comic way "because I said so!!"

It's like that, but without the laugh track.

My eldest seems to be in a stage where she knows it all and in her infinite wisdom she is sure that my commandments do not apply to her .

In fact, they apply so little to her she must mock me in the smuggest way possible...and most obvious. Not only will she not follow through with direct instructions, but she will get in my face and sing ditties she makes up about how horrible said task is.

Now, think about when Dr. Huxtable would say "I brought you in this world, I will take you out!!"

Yep, that is where I am.

While his older sister is taking her passive aggressive defiance to whole new obnoxious level--Thomas in his three year old "I am the boss" persona--will use foot stamping and shouting "no I not (fill in the blank)!!"

He too is sure that his wisdom is far more superior than his mothers.

I am not only baffled by my sudden lack of power in this kingdom, but I am also finding no plan to regain said power.

Now, the King, who never seems to lose his power simply tells me to "lay down the law." Unfortunately, I have never parented that way. How do I change the way I rule the land? I don't shout and yell, although the juvenile coup seems to have resulted in this parenting technique already, so I guess it wouldn't be that big of a leap.

And, it is more than just not listening, the sheer lack of respect for my authority, or their lack of respect for my being their mother.

And, I am fully aware that it will only get worse with time, but I only noticed recently that my kids think I am without a brain, and apparently without a crown. So, give me some time to grieve...

...and find a large scepter!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Happy 1/2 Birthday Thomas

Yup, we celebrate that here :)

Monday, August 06, 2012

Gracie's Comic

You're gonna love this!

Gracie has made a comic book about the Evil Hair Brush.  Think we have grooming problems much?!!  Please let me know at what age your daughter STOPPED crying and screaming over having her hair brushed...unless it was pre- 8 years old, because then I don't want to know ;)

Saturday, August 04, 2012

He Can Hammer

Well, of course he can hammer. I think all little boys are born with the ability to "smash and hammer," but today he hammered *AND* wore his apron--so really the  big deal here is that Thomas participated.

Home Depot Saturdays have been a staple for Gracie since she was 5.  It was a great chance for she and  I, or she and Aunt Ruth & Uncle George to have one on one time without a bothersome baby brother.  Plus, she has always loved crafts.

Thomas has been hesitant to participate in the Home Depot projects even though I take his apron and get him a kit and attempt to get him to help build. But, pretty much Gracie and I would build while he would be walked around the store with daddy after he threw a fit.

So, maybe we are on a roll.  This week I got story time *AND* Home Depot participation?!!

Thomas looked very smashing in his apron and he helped his daddy glue and hammer his project together, while mommy and Gracie worked on hers. Of course Gracie is such a master builder that really all I do I hold the nails while she starts them.  She reads her own directions and everything.

Both kids made lovely, and useful bulletin boards this month.  I have all sorts of ideas on the best way to use them in the house :)

Next month they are making goal posts for paper football.  Which, coincidentally, can be used to hand jewelry if you are a girly girl like Gracie.  So exciting!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Gracie Does Her Own Nails

..for the first time.

Gracie was very excited to try and do her own nails with the nail polish Aunt Dawn showed her at the beach (thanks alot!!!)

She was nervous about it, but once she got into it she was very giggly and proud.

What do you think?!!

**No, she isn't wearing lipstick, she is wearing red lip gloss that Candice (thanks a lot!!!) gave her!**


It is official...

Thomas is enrolled in preschool.

We dropped off the signed novel papers at the preschool office before heading home from story time for nap.

Thomas shook the lady's hand and was very chatty about the whole thing.

They made copies of my insurance card and his immunization record, and then I asked them about orientation.  I knew they would send a note home, but she had a stack of the postcards on her desk, so I got one "early."

And, I know you are thinking that I wasn't this excited about Gracie and preschool, but I was a different mom then and I couldn't breathe with out her--and now I am a mom of two and I have seen all the good things that come with preschool, so I am almost as excited as he is.

Although, when I saw the start date the excitement fell and sick feeling came over my stomach.  But, I will find the strength to make it through that first day, and weeks.  He and Gracie will start their school years on the same day--so that will be emotionally tough, but, I have made it this far...

Ring Around The Rosie

Thomas loves to do Ring Around The Rosie, ever since he learned about this amazing tune and dance, but with just the two or three of us, it isn't as much fun.

Can you imagine the squeals of delight when he got to do it at story time today?  Wanna hear them? ;)

(PS: We have never done Ring Around The Rosie before, but one little boy asked for it, and Mrs. Carolyn decided why not!)

 The other parents fell in love with his laugh and how happy he was. One mom told me "it is contagious!"

Usually during story time Thomas will sit and (mostly) listen to the stories, and if I am lucky--he will do the craft. But, almost NEVER will he participate in the songs and "exercise." He throws himself on my feet or legs or other body part if I try to get him to do it to.

But, that seems to have changed this summer. I don't know if it is because he is older, or because Gracie is going with us, but he is actually jumping in and singing and doing motions.  This is HUGE!!  Now, he still needs to warm up, but today he did the last of the "excerises" and then after the story he did ALL of the songs!! All of them!! He usually only will do "Row, Row, Row Your Boat!!!"

Want to see? Want to see?!!!!

Mrs. Carolyn told him today how proud she was that he was singing and doing the other activities.  He sat beside her to show off his craft and get a sticker and he told her abour how excited he is for preschool.

All of the library ladies are wonderful, but Thomas has a favorite with Mrs. Carolyn. She did ask me if she would get to see him agian, but I told her that preschool is only 2 days a week, so we will still do story time.  I think they were both relieved. :)

Oh, and guess what?!! They are doing a Back To School event at the library at the end of the month and there will be school buses there to give kids rides.  Oh, how Thomas can't wait!! He has not stopped saying "ride school bus" all day.  He has been crushed that he can't ride a bus to preschool, and Gracie gets to ride one to her school.  I will video and take pictures--the works on that morning--what a special moment for him!