Friday, August 31, 2012

Better than I thought

I made it through her first day, and we are even on to her second day today. The thing I didn't count on was how very excited Maddy was going to be. Her happiness and enthusiasm was so fun and catching that I didn't hardly have a chance to feel sad (until I got home by myself and turned on some music and a sorta nostalgic tune came on my music station and then I started getting misty). I would have let myself cry, but I was afraid that once I started I wouldn't stop, so...I tried hard not to start. :)
We started the day off with a good breakfast. Excuse Maddy's state of undress. She was so excited in the morning that she put her school clothes on before eating breakfast and I wanted her to have a clean shirt for school. Yep, I am that sort of Mom. awesome

Then we twisted her hair around and made up our own fancy hairstyle.

Then it was time for some photos in front of the door, this time with a shirt on. :)

Then I walked her into her classroom and her super nice teacher showed her where her cubby was and walked her through all of the steps of things to do when she comes into school in the morning. Maddy was paying very close attention. Cutest thing of the morning was that Maddy insisted on taking an apple for her teacher. I don't know how she even heard of that, but it made me laugh. The teacher found the apple in her backpack and asked if it was Maddy's snack (they have us pack snacks and a lunch for the kids) and Maddy felt too shy, so I said that Maddy wanted to give it to her on the first day. It was so cute because her teacher looked so happily surprised and said that no one had ever given her an apple before. It was cute.

Then I made her pose with a picture with her kid brother, even though she mostly wanted him gone. :) Grant kept trying to pull out the small chair next to her and stay. He was NOT happy with me when I drug him out of that room. As we were leaving he said a new word, "Skooooolll!" (imagine it said in a loud piercing cry as your mean mother drags you out). Pretty funny.

Maddy got right to work when her teacher gave her an assignment. She took it very seriously and basically ignored me from this point on. She was a woman on a mission. It was cute, and I was so happy she was so excited, but of course my little mom heart was a little sad.

Her teacher probably thought I was nuts that I took a photo as I left, was my last glance. She's lucky I wasn't blubbering at this point.    

Then I took this little guy home and we sorta stared at each other and said, Huh, what now? So I tried to teach him to do some housework. My Mom called him Cinderfella. Has a nice ring to it.

And then before I knew it (ok actually the day was dragging by ha) we went back to pick her up. Note to self, Carpool line is the worst. We were too late registering to get on the school bus at the beginning, but I am starting to consider doing the bus. Not sure yet. Anyway, they have this weird thing in NC where all of the schools have these giant rocks out front. You can pay money to rent the rock and paint it anyway you want. Apparently most people get them for their kids birthdays. Sorta strange if you ask me.
I was bored, so I took a bunch of photos during carpool.

He was bored so he sucked on a dum dum. Thank goodness I had one. I need to find another one for today's ride.

Then we came home and ate some homemade cookies, because I wanted to be that sweet mom that makes cookies for an afterschool snack every now and again. I remember my Mom doing that occasionally for us, and it always made me feel so cozy and happy when I got home. And if there is one thing I am realizing about being a mom is that even if you don't feel like you're naturally a good mom, you can make little choices like that to make yourself into the mom that you want. And even if you feel like you're faking it until you make it, all your kids will remember is the making it part, not the faking it. :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

answering some of your questions, while simultaneously posting random pictures of my cute kids

I have a lot on my mind.

Well let's be honest, I've had a lot on my mind for the past few months, but you would think now that I'm sorta settled into a house that my mind would finally start slowing down. Maybe it's just used to the need to constantly race and hasn't figured out that it's okay to shut off occasionally? I don't know, does this happen to anyone else?
In two more days, the first baby I ever had is going into Kindergarten. All of the sudden I understand why moms cry on that first day and I am terrified that I am going to be one of them! (No really, I am.) I used to think it was so silly, and now I am feeling nervous and scared and not wanting her to go. I honestly NEVER thought I would feel this way. I don't remember anyone ever telling me that they were scared for their kids to go to school. I'm not even exactly sure why I am scared. I can only think of a few things that make me nervous 1. kindergarten here is all day. I've heard mixed things about that, and I am really sort of sad to have Maddy gone for that long. I know I'm going to miss her. 2. I'm worried that somehow people will not take good care of her. I've never entrusted my child to a bunch of strangers before. It's sort of hard to let go! 3. I don't know whether to drive her all year (and knowing myself and how hard it is to get Grant and Maddy ready in the morning, that we will end up being late many times), or let her be bussed. She has to be driven the first few days at least because we registered so close to start time, but I am just unsure about this one.4. As Maddy's preschool teacher said, Maddy has a really tender heart. She is so so sweet and loving (with definitely a side of spunk), but she errs on the side of a sensitive soul and I am so protective of her. I want her to stay sweet as long as possible.
So there are all of my neurotic mom fears. I seriously had no idea I would feel any of this. I feel sort of crazy.

Also on my mind is doing a balancing act in terms of our finances. John's last job in Charleston found out that he was looking for another job right towards the end. He didn't do anything untoward. He never used company time to search for another job or interview, and he still got all of his work done, but his company was very upset that he was job-searching.  They pulled him into the office one day and pointe blank asked him whether he was job searching and he told them the truth. Even though they were upset, at that point they told him that he had done good work and they would keep him as long as he wanted to stay. We were nervous, but relieved after they made that decision. However, a few days later they decided they were too mad about it and let him go. John was devastated as were we all. He was let go on a Monday morning and he was made two job offers on Wednesday and Thursday of the same week which was a miracle. So it ended up being okay, but it still means that after all is said and done we will have been out of a paycheck for almost a month, which stacked upon moving expenses, getting rid of a house expenses, and getting a rental/eating/living in a hotel, well you can imagine how it has been. Our families have been enormously supportive and wonderful, but it has been stressful to the max.
We were both surprised by the decision his company made, and very saddened by it. We are hoping he will be able to stay with his current job for a really long time. p.s. he really likes it so far.

There have been so many changes in our family these past few months, and all that we are really craving at this point is to have some time to settle down into a peaceful, unremarkable, content life with our kids. We hope to have a period of calm and that we will feel like we are getting back on our feet in all aspects of our lives. These past few years have been a tumultuous time of moving, health issues, job issues, hard times spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally. What I am craving is for things to slow down, and to find a place where we can just be together--safe, content, and grateful.
So now you know a smidge more of the details. It's a bit more understandable why I've disappeared for a while, right? I couldn't bear to be on here blogging about the hard stuff and feel like a debbie downer, and I couldn't bear to blog about nonsense when I felt so burdened. I still feel so vulnerable and it is going to be hard to push the publish button. I guess we know where Maddy got her tendency to be sensitive. :)
as requested, here is a picture of the outside of the rental house

and here i am, being brave and posting a picture of the kitchen. it feels enormous to us, and we really like having an island. plus i have a little area that I call my baking area. so there you go friends.

We are still here and we are doing the best we can. And I feel proud of us.

Monday, August 20, 2012

hey guess what

today we got internet, and so I am here to do a short little update to tell you that we are still alive!

I honestly don't know that I'll ever really feel like going into all of our reasons for moving, but let's just sum up the entire experience as extremely not fun.

but here are the good things:
1. it has long been our dream to end up in North Carolina. yeah, we have weird dreams I guess. We are thrilled to be here. the weather these past few days have been lovely, and I like to think it's a nice welcome from the state. (although I am under no delusions that the summer is gone, it is August in the South, but I'll take what I can get!)

2. John has a new job that we hope he will be able to stay with for a good long while. he is going to be working on some exciting things that involve libraries and possibly kindles. anyone that knows John (and me ha) knows that this is a great fit for him. As John told them during his interview, "Hey, I even proposed to my wife in a library!" good times

3. We sold our house. This is the single best piece of happiness in my life in a long time. I know, I know. There are people that think I am a spoiled piece of junk for owning a house and wanting to get rid of it. Let's just say that I loved owning my two houses previous to this last house. Our time in Charleston was a trial and a half for me. I am happy to be a non-permanent resident (aka renter) for a few years.

4. Speaking of renting, here is the house we are renting. It was extremely difficult to find a house to rent in Charlotte in the school district we wanted to get into. This house that we are in was only on the rental market for maybe 2 days. That's right, we moved up to Charlotte without having a place to stay. Let's all say it together, Crazy. Or maybe, Leap of Faith. Or perhaps, Really Crazy. We lived in a hotel for a few days there. With two little kids. What I have to say about that experience (of two little kids in a cramped hotel room for several days) is that Grant is lucky to be alive. His cuteness has saved him many times over the past few weeks.

This is a great house, and we are so grateful to all of the people that helped us to find it and get into it. Moving is not done alone, and that is a very good thing.

5. Speaking of the house, it has an absolutely amazing kitchen. I'm sort of embarrassed to show a picture of it because it seems kinda braggy, and I don't really feel like I deserve such a nice kitchen. Of course, we are just renters so it's not like it's ours to brag about. ha. But still, maybe in a few weeks I'll build up the huzpah to show you. Maybe not. :) (although there is a small glimpse in the photo behind Madders).

so that's some of the latest. wish me luck as I try to scare up the documentation to prove that Maddy should be allowed to go to kindergarten in this state starting in one week. ack! let us all say a little prayer that Jennifer Savage does not need to retake any sort of driving test in order to get her license. we all know how that would end (clue: shambles).

Sunday, August 5, 2012

on the other side of OLD

Yes, it is true. Today is my birthday (please hold all applause until the end). I am officially 31. To me, this means I am on the downward slope. 30 is straddling the line of young and old, but now, well, I am going down. It's okay, I'm not too worried about it. I'm not going to turn into that old lady from the Pollyanna movie that lays in bed all day buying fabric to line her coffin or anything. I'm feeling pretty good for being OLD. :)

Anyway, since it's my birthday and all, that means I can post about whatever catches my fancy. Since, you know, I never do that anyway. Don't argue with me, it's my birthday.
I've had some worn out kids these past few days because it is hotter than Hades outside and we actually did venture outside because we had a special guest this week.
Well, it wasn't him. He's always hanging around, trying to make me hold him and give him binkies and what not.
It was this lady, my Madre. I took her on all sorts of tours because every other time she has visited us down here we have been in the hospital (only wish I was joking, heh). So she wanted to see Charleston before we move. Since I needed someone to take my mind off of stuff, I was SO happy she came.

I was also so glad she said she would sit next to him during the swamp tour because I have been on the swamp tour with him before and he was terrible. He lived up to his reputation unfortunately. Also unfortunate, he realized I was sitting behind him taking pictures of him and he got passed back to me at his insistence. Oh well, I still like him.
This is a picture of the swamp. Mostly it looks like a normal lake in this picture. Worst swamp picture ever.
Does it make me a bad mom that sometimes I take pictures just to annoy my already irritated children? Hmm....I am guessing No.

I had to keep taking pictures of them because we didn't see any alligators this trip. Bummer. But we still got to see lily pads and sweat 20 lbs off, so it's all good.
I make every person that visits us put their head in that butterfly board. I laugh every time.
So, on this trip we found out that my Mom is Dr. Dolittle (we are referencing a lot of disney movies today aren't we!). She got one of the parrots to talk to her. Apparently the key words are "hello pretty bird." Also, I found out her family used to own a gray african parrot (or something like that) when her family lived in Nigeria and they tried to smuggle, I mean bring home legally, the bird to America. They got the bird as far as Canada and the Canadian authorities (which I imagine means the Canadian Mounties, the only Canadian police force that I recognize officially), stopped the bird at their borders. They claimed it was because there was an outbreak of avian flu going around at that point, but it was probably because my Mom was trying to smuggle diamonds hidden in the birds feathers or something. Best part is my Mom read on the bird plaque that the birds have a lifespan of up to 50 years and she sat there and said wistfully, "He could be living still, up there somewhere in Canada..." So, if you have seen my Mom's african gray parrot who can whistle like their creaky gate and cry like my Aunt Venita when she was little, well she wants it back. Avian flu and all.
moving on, a rainbow of watercups. i am getting artsy in my old age.
almost everything is packed up at our house, except for coloring books and some toys. thank goodness for those!

So I mentioned my Mom and I toured around a bit. My mother's helper finally returned after being gone for a month just in time to watch my kids while I took my Mom to sweltering Charleston and now you are looking at the food we ate. Shrimp Po Boys, Fried Cheese Grits topped with Lump Crab Cake, Hush Puppies. That is the South on a platter.

Also, we feel personally responsible for Michael Phelps winning the Gold. You're welcome Mikey.

Then I convinced Mom to take a horse tour, and she was very dubious about it (despite being Dr. Dolittle) because she thought it was too touristy. She ended up agreeing that it is the best way to see the city. Did I mention it was HOT. Better to let the horses (technically Mules) do the work! This is the Old Exchange Building. Apparently George Washington once danced a jig here.
That is a famous church that leans a little because of an earthquake. Called St. Phillips I believe. If you watch the Patriot you can see it in the movie. Just a little more movie trivia for ya.
Can you tell my Mom is a good sport??
The Circular Church.
and for my morbid sister and her almost certified undertaker husband, I snapped some photos from the old graveyard. I like to believe I found Amadeus Mozart's headstone. Unfortunately the words on the headstone didn't seem to agree. long lost cousin at least.
this one just plain creeped me out. so i took a picture naturally. i just got the creeps again.
ah, much better. oh how i love this guy. being the mom to a boy is really awesome. even though he is acting like such a 2 year old that I am happy when he goes down for his nap everyday.

Yeah, we all love this little guy. he is so cute. John commented the other day, "he's just SUCH a boy isn't he??" yeah, he really is. can't imagine our family without him. he's my little lovey.
are you asleep yet? yeah, this is a long one. But I'm having so much fun! Because now I get to show some of the pictures I took without my Mom's permission (well some of them I got permission, so I'm not totally evil. yet.). Like the one above. I posted it to instagram and my cousin commented that she was probably explaining things about the Ipad. Probably true.
Mom and Mads. Mom took it upon herself to teach Maddy the correct way to wear her little purse. Pretty adorable if you ask me.
This was taken without permission
This one was really taken without permission
And the least amount of permission of all. hahaha. People, I am in the middle of moving right before school starts, I have to find my kicks somehow!

chill'n. drink'n. cute'n
Ohhhhh, this picture....Okay, this picture is a WARNING! One of my "friends" (that status is pending after this disaster! ha) gave Maddy this stuff for her birthday. It's called Squishy Baff. It said on the label that it makes your bath squishy, but then you put the other mixture in and it makes the squishy go away and down the drain. Totally safe! Totally Harmless! Totally a LIE. This is half of a big garbage can that I filled with the squishy stuff after fishing it out with a colander. It NEVER dissolved, and we had to drain the tub that looked like this:
using this method: (bucket and headphones, because it took forever). Never use that stuff. And definitely never give it as a birthday gift unless you sort of secretly hate someone. In which case if you do, this is the perfect revenge.

Oh yeah, and then we went through our cubist phase. This is a really random post. wow

sticker mosaics. totally overpriced, but great time-waster, and awesome sparkle factor.

and lastly, Maddy getting her feet measured for the first time ever, and I snapped a photo even though I was sort of embarrassed about it (I know, you would think I would have been more embarrassed about the stickers on our face picture, but, well....I do those pictures in our house, this was public nerdiness). I remember doing this every year before school started. It almost made me cry. Isn't that dorky? That's the sort of thing only people on the down hill side of being OLD would do.

I think I'm going to like this old thing.