Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The solution to our problems...

This is possibly one of the funniest things I've seen in awhile. I was about to pee myself when I saw this. I'm ordering one for Christmas.

Coach Jeff

Fall soccer time is here, and Emma's going to play. She really enjoyed the summer soccer, and I think it'll be great for her. Not like she doesn't already have a ton on her plate as it is, but it only lasts about 8 weeks. Then, it gets WAY too cold to play soccer. Jeff had shown interest in being an Assistant coach for her team. Then, it was proposed by a co-worker, that he be bumped up to coach and the co-worker's wife be the assistant. That way, both our kids, their daughter Lauren and our daughter Emma, could be on the same team. So, now Jeff's the Head coach of Team 8 in the Mt. Pleasant Parks & Rec soccer league. He had a meeting last night, where he got all of his "coach gear", including balls, cones and a whole bunch of reading material. Practices start next Thursday, with games on Sunday afternoons. It should be fun! I'm going to be the Team mom, since I know NOTHING about soccer, but I want to help. We've got 11 kids on the team, and the focus is on learning skills and having fun. I vaguely remember watching my little brother (who's 12 now) playing soccer at this age. It was basically a herd of 5 year olds running around, paying no attention to position, with their soccer shorts hanging down to their knees. It's going to be so cute!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Hug your kids

The past two weeks have seen the passing of two little angels with Down syndrome. While I never knew either of these babies or their families, the pain is still very real. That could've been Sarah. Sarah was born with Down syndrome, yes, but she was also at risk, from conception, of having serious health problems, the worst of which she was blessed to have escaped. Heart problems, digestive problems, breathing problems requiring a trach, blindness, deafness. Both the babies who passed away recently had a major heart defect which required surgery. Their names were Kylee Rose and Reese Adam. Kylee was 4 1/2 months old, and Reese just 2 weeks. It's so senseless. Why are we so lucky to still have Sarah? I've never done anything in my life to afford me such grace. She was spared the worst of health problems, hasn't needed any major surgery, and is developing wonderfully. She's the sweetest baby, always ready with a smile, and she adores her big sister. She's curious and worries me to death that she's going to get herself into trouble from all her roaming around and exploring. I see so much promise in her future that 20 years ago wasn't there. And Kylee and Reese didn't even get that chance. I don't understand.
Here are the Memorial Pages for Reese and Kylee.

I know at times I'm just so tired & frustrated with the kids, but it's things like this that remind me that I still have kids to get frustrated at. Some people don't.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

This is what I think of lunch

Apparently she doesn't like green beans. She did this everytime I put one in her mouth.

First day pic

Emma had a great day! She didn't eat her hot lunch, and she has a bit of a problem with waiting her turn to talk, and she wants to get out ALL the toys, not just the ones her teacher says she can, but those are all things we can work on. She says she had fun and is really excited to ride the bus to school now. It's just EARLY! I set it up yesterday after school, and they said to expect the bus sometime between 6:30-7am. So, I got up at 6 this morning, got Emma up, and ready by 6:30am. The bus didn't come until almost 7:15. I could have let the child (and not to mention myself) sleep for another 30 minutes. ::sigh:: We've set it up to where she's going to take the bus to & from school 4 days a week, and then one day, she takes it TO school, and I pick her up. That way, I can touch bases with her teacher, pick up any big stuff that she may have forgotten, and pay for her hot lunches in person.

Monday, August 22, 2005

First day of school

Ahhhhh! I knew this day was coming, but it's still been a little hard dealing with it. Last night, we got a bath early, set out her clothes, got her backpack together, and "tried" to get to bed early, so we could have a good night's sleep.
Then this morning, I got Emma up, she had breakfast, put on her new outfit, and we all got ready to take her to school. Jeff took a couple pictures, but it was hard, as Emma just wanted to get in there. We hung up her backpack in her locker and put her blanket in her cubby (which reminds me, I need to send in a small pillow, as well). Then she got to work: putting together a puzzle, drawing and meeting her new friends. I don't even think she noticed when we left, but that's good. She ended up having to get a hot lunch today, which I think will be the biggest obstacle for her. She's a VERY picky eater and doesn't like much. But, I'm hoping peer pressure will help in that aspect.
So, you'd think that with one child out of the house all day, things would go pretty smoothly today. Well you'd be wrong. Go ahead, call Child Protective Services, because apparently I have instantly become a crappy parent. I was tossing Sarah up into the air this morning, and she promptly hit her head on the ceiling (BIG stab of guilt #1). THEN, while I'm trying to get her lunch together, I put her in her high chair & before I can put the tray on it, she proceeds to pull herself up and fall headfirst out of the chair, onto the floor (SHOOTING pangs of child abuse running through my head right now, contemplating calling 911). I seriously didn't pick her up right away, afraid she might have hurt her neck, so I just tried to calm her down for a minute, then she was moving around, and I figured she was ok. OMG, I'm a terrible parent. She has become SO quick the last few weeks, constantly on the go, can't sit still for a minute. When I change her diaper, even with the gigantic elastic strap on the changing pad, she still manages to wrangle herself into a sitting position, or tries to roll OFF the table, with the pad still strapped to her waist. I need a huge velcro wall to stick her on so she can't move anywhere or fall off. It's a good thing kids are made of rubber, otherwise we might have serious problems. The funny thing is, she didn't even cry when she hit her head on the ceiling, she just looked at me like, "ok mom, you love me, right? Cause that was just not smart." It's sad when your 16 month old gives you dirty looks, like you're really screwing this up.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Open House

Last night, we all went to Emma's school to check out her teacher & classroom. It was pretty exciting! Emma found out where her desk (well, a table with a chair) is, as well as her cubbie, locker, and crayon bin. There may be a few identification issues at first, as there are 3 Emma's in her class this year. There's an Emma F., And Emma K., and then Emma W. Apparently I WASN'T so unique with my name choices. Since my mom is still here visiting, she was able to go with us. I got a bunch of paperwork I need to fill out, as well as figuring out exactly when she's going to ride the bus, give the school money for her snack drinks, and try to convince her to eat the school's hot lunch.
One thing that I think is really cool, is there's a little girl in her class (don't know her name yet) who walks with a walker on wheels. I think it's so awesome to expose young kids to differences in people, so they can get used to the idea that not everyone's the same. She doesn't really see anything difference about Sarah yet, but other little kids might, and I don't want her to think that Sarah's the only one who might be see as "different". Kids can learn tolerance at a young age, and the younger the better, in my opinion. There was a little boy in her preschool who had glasses and most days, had to wear a patch on one eye, due to having a cataract removed when he was a baby. Emma, embarassingly, pointed that out to me one day, and I reminded her that not everyone looks the same, and we need to try not to point out other people's differences and make them feel uncomfortable. Accept people the way they are, and not try to change them to fit our mold. So I'm really looking forward to her starting Kindergarden and being exposed to a whole bunch of new things.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Argh, school blues

Ok, so I called Emma's school 2 1/2 weeks ago, asking where my information packet was from her teacher. They said to expect something the next week. That came, only with a generic letter from the school. We got another letter last week, only this was information about after school activities & the bus info. So, I called yesterday, asking where ANY information was from her teacher, whom I STILL don't know the name of. The lady said to expect it sometime this week. Mind you, school starts on Monday. She also said if I hadn't received anything by the Open House (on Thursday) I could just pick up the list then. 3 DAYS BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS???!!! This is exactly what I had wanted to avoid when I called them 3 weeks ago. Grrrr. I really hope this isn't a view of things to come from this school. It's a charter school, and I had really high hopes for it. It's a 20 minute drive from our house, which would be so bad if we didn't live in a town of only 25,000, and this school is in another town completely. I already bought her backpack, but I would like to avoid redundancy with school supply purchases. So if I don't NEED to buy her crayons, paper, etc, I would like to not HAVE to. I really hope this isn't the start of 12 more years of frustration with the school system. I can already foresee the struggles I'll be dealing with when Sarah starts.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

An overdue update

A recent picture of my two beauties.

I just thought this was the most adorable pic of Sarah, using Jeff as her own personal pillow. It was apparently "daddy is my jungle gym" night, as she ended up climbing all over him. That'll teach him to be on the floor.

Well things have been going pretty well around here lately. Jeff finished his second summer semester last week. It's been a long 12 weeks of summer school. Glad it's over.
On the work front, Jeff has been made interim manager of Technology Operations. His boss found another job at the University of Wisconsin, and they decided to give Jeff a year of management experience before putting the job up for applicants. But, the only down side is that now he'll have to scale back school to half time, meaning we're going to be here longer. But, that's ok, he couldn't have passed up this opportunity. The funny thing with management is they usually want people with experience, but you can only get that experience by BEING a manager. It's a vicious cycle.
Jeff's sister Kimberly was here visiting over the weekend. She flew out from San Francisco. It was a really nice visit. Emma ran her ragged (but it's ok, cause she works at a preschool) and Sarah loved having another person to charm the pants off of. It was probably the MOST relaxing weekend we've had around here all summer.
My mom is coming out this weekend, and will be here for 8 days. She'll get to go to Emma's Open House with us, and meet her teacher and see where she'll be going to Kindergarden, in a week and a half!!! AHHHHHH! That just doesn't seem possible. Still don't have a school supply list, and it's starting to worry me a little. I suppose I could just go with my gut instinct and get the generic crayons, pencils, erasers, pencil case, etc. But after talking to my friend Jennifer in FL last week, whose daughter started K this past week, I'm wondering if they won't be requiring a few things that aren't on the general list. She had to buy shaving cream. And a mini Magna Doodle. And tissues. And while that was in FL, I wouldn't put it past MI to be freaky like that.
We've been trying to implement "school rules" at home to get her used to what it's going to be like once school starts. Like NO TV at bedtime. That's been a hard one. Also, a strict bedtime. Right now it's 9pm, but that may change after school starts, depending on what time she needs to be on the bus.